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Easter 2009 (Jesus in the Old Testament) – Isaiah 42 The Servant of the LORD March 22, 2009

Posted by roberttalley in Isaiah, Jesus, Promises of God, Prophets, Religion, Sermons.
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JESUS, THE SERVANT (Isaiah 42:1-9)

The LORD God Father wants your attention on His Chosen Servant, Jesus Christ. It is important to identify who this Servant is. There are several reasons why we know that this passage is speaking of Jesus Christ.

1. First, the Servant here must be the Messiah. In Isaiah, sometimes the nation of Israel is called God’s Servant but in verse 6, we find that the Servant is given to Israel as a covenant. That is, ultimately who the Messiah is, the one through whom the various covenants, which God made with Israel through Abraham and Moses and David, will be fulfilled. Since it is clear that this passage is talking about the Messiah, it remains to us to determine if Jesus fulfills this prophecy, is he the Servant, the Messiah; and, secondly, to understand what His task as the Servant involves.

2. Verse 1 prophesies Jesus’ baptism. Although the actual baptism is not predicted in the Old Testament, the events surrounding His baptism are in this passage. When Jesus came up out of the water, a voice from heaven proclaimed, “This is my beloved Son in whom I am well-pleased,” that is, the one in whom I delight, and then the Holy Spirit in the form of a dove came upon Jesus. First, the Father identified Him as His well-pleasing Servant and then anointed Jesus with His Spirit. Anointing was a way of identification of a prophet or a priest or a king. It is a way of setting them apart for specific service. It was usually done with an olive oil mixture. With Jesus it was a bit different. Jesus was identified by the Father as His well-pleasing Servant, better known to us as the Messiah, the Christ, and then was anointed by the Holy Spirit as the Servant at His baptism.

I. Jesus, the Servant will establish justice on this earth (verses 1, 3-4). We often think only in terms of personal salvation when we think of the work of Christ, but there is much more involved. Jesus came and will come to establish justice on this earth. Psalm 37:1, 7, 12, 14, 21, 35 describes for us the injustice that presently reigns on this earth. During these hard economic times we are constantly hearing of those who take advantage of others. Some are caught and brought to justice but many are not. What is God’s answer to the injustices of the world. It is not natural disaster nor is it cataclysmic financial disaster that will bring justice into the world. God will one day take things in hand through His Servant, Jesus Christ, the Messiah, who will bring justice to the earth. God’s law will be established on this earth.

A. He will not be swayed in His task (verse 2-4). These verses describe again the first coming of Christ. We find them quoted in Matthew 12:14-21. Jesus did not enlist others as testimonials of His greatness. He does not walk through the streets proclaiming Himself as God’s gift to mankind. Rather we find that His task as the Messiah involves preaching truth and righteousness and mercy and repentance and the kingdom of God. The God of the universe, who needs no humility, exhibits humility in His life here on earth.

We have in verses 3-4 a beautiful picture of Jesus character. The picture is this:

He will not break a bruised reed.

He will not quench the last embers of a little flax fire.

He will bring justice for truth.

His fire will not go out.

His spirit will not be bruised.

Until justice is established.

Jesus truly was meek and lowly. The common people, the oppressed, the sick and hurting heard Jesus gladly. He did not oppress them. He did not side with the rulers who oppressed His people. Yet it appears that Jesus’ death on the cross was a failure. Justice did not appear on the earth with His crucifixion nor with His resurrection. He is, however, coming back and when He does, justice will be established on this earth.

B. He will be welcomed by many (verses 4, 6-7). Verse four describes the hope of the coastlands, that is, the nations of the earth. While it is true that most if not all nations will be set against God when He returns to this earth, there will be those scattered throughout the world who will looking for His coming. He is, after all, there only hope. This group of people is described for us in Revelation 15:1-4. Many of them will be martyred for their faith. Others will be thrown in prison or left destitute and homeless because of their faith in Christ but they will be victorious in Christ Jesus. The servant is their hope. He is not, however, just the hope of those believers among the nations at the end of time.

The Servant is the hope of Israel because He fulfills the covenant God has made with them (verse 6). Jesus refers to this when He instituted the Lord’s Supper. Jesus said, “For this is My blood of the new covenant, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.” In other words, this covenant that God originally made with Israel through Abraham, Moses, and David is ultimately made possible through the death of Christ. Romans 11:26-27 quotes Isaiah 59:20-21and makes it clear that ethnic Israel will be saved through their Deliverer but this deliverance will be deliverance from sin. Now I am convinced from the Old Testament prophecies and from the book of Revelation that national, ethnic Israel will receive their promised land when Jesus returns to this earth but their deliverance from their physical enemies is a secondary part of their covenant. The Jews will, when the Servant returns to this earth, turn to their Messiah, to their Christ, they will renew their covenant through their faith in Jesus Christ. Now Jews can do this now. They do not have to wait until Christ the Servant, the Deliverer returns to trust. The Jewish person can trust Christ now and if and when he or she does, they immediately enter into the covenant with which God has made with the Jews through Abraham, Moses, David and has brought into fruition through Jesus Christ. There is, however, coming a day when the nation of ethnic Jews will turn to Christ.

The servant brings light to those Gentiles in darkness (verses 1, 6-7). They are in darkness for two reasons.

First, they were originally outside of the covenant that God had made with Israel (verse 6b). The Servant’s light is not limited to the Jews. Repeatedly, Old and New Testaments tell us that He brings light to all humankind. Simeon, when Jesus was just eight days old in Luke 2:32 identifies Jesus as “(a) light to bring revelation to the Gentiles.”

They were imprisoned in darkness, they could not help themselves. The Gentiles, because they did not know the God of Israel lived in the prison of darkness. They were in total darkness. This world is in darkness. Jesus brings light. This world is full of injustice. In Christ there is justice and righteousness and truth and law. As with the Jews, this will happen when Jesus the Servant returns to the earth but also like the Jew we do not have to wait to be released from our darkness.

I was hopeless and helpless in darkness and that is the situation of every person born, Jew and Gentile. There is, however, light. The Servant was executed for a covenant to Israel and for a light to us. It is Jesus, the Servant who establishes the covenant with the people of God as well as the Bringer of Light who brings out the prisoners of darkness into light and He does both of these through His death, burial, and resurrection.

II. Jesus, the Servant is guaranteed success by the LORD God.

A. The guarantee is based on God’s sustaining power (verses 1, 4-6). In verses 1 and 6 we have God’s promise that He will uphold, sustain, and keep the Messiah. Verse 4 tells how long God will keep that promise. Verse 5 God reminds us that His creative power, the power that gives you and I life and breath is the power that sustains His servant. Now this may not seem very important to us but it was vitally important to those looking for the Messiah. When Jesus was tempted in the wilderness by Satan, the second temptation recorded by Matthew had Satan taking Jesus to the pinnacle of the Temple. Satan said, “Let’s assume you are the Son of God, the Messiah. God has promised to protect the Messiah. The Psalms say that the angels will keep you from being hurt. Jump off this building and prove your Messiahship by fulfilling this prophecy.” Jesus answer was this, “The Law commands us not to tempt God.” Yet it is important for us to understand that even Satan Himself recognized that God had promised to protect His servant.

B. The guarantee is based on God’s righteous calling (verses 1 and 6). We have already seen how that God has confirmed the choosing and calling of His Servant. This calling is also the guarantee that the Servant will accomplish the work that He was sent and will be sent to do.

C. The guarantee is based on God’s unique position (verses 5 and 8). There is no god like our God. He is the Creator. He is unique in His position, which He shares with no other. Because there is no one like Him, He can guarantee the success of His Servant.

D. The guarantee is based on Gods’ past record (verse 9). Isaiah points out, God has kept His promises in the past, He will keep these also. We being further down the timeline can see how God fulfilled some of these prophecies during the life of Jesus Christ. We can rest assured that He will fulfill what remains in the future. More importantly this morning is the assurance we can have that if we put our faith and trust in Christ, He will save us.

Do you want to be free from the slavery of darkness and sin? Do you desire a future where true justice reigns? Do you want Christ to serve you? It is possible through faith in Jesus Christ and His death and resurrection.

NEXT WEEK: JESUS, THE SERVANT SUFFERS (Isaiah 52:13-53:12)

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Recognizing Jesus (Old Testament Prophecies of Christ Death and Resurrection) February 25, 2008

Posted by roberttalley in Luke, Messiah, Promises of God, Prophets, Religion, Sermons.
7 comments

RECOGNIZING JESUS

Luke 18:31-34

 

INTRODUCTION: This week while preparing for this sermon, I read again of Phillips Brooks, the well-known rector of Trinity Episcopal Church at Copley Square in Boston. Brooks is most famous as the author of the Christmas carol, “O Little Town of Bethlehem.” Phillips Brooks emphasized the coming and the life of Christ but not the death, burial, and resurrection. He was limited in his recognition of who Jesus is.

 

Later this week, I heard an interview of Bart Ehrmann, a professor at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. He has a new book coming out with the thesis that the Bible has no answer to suffering in this world. As a young man, Bart Ehrmann had been an evangelical Christian and had even taught at the seminary level but he became disillusioned with Christianity and would now label himself an agnostic. From the interview, it was obvious that the man knew a lot about the Bible and about Jesus Christ but it was also just as obvious that he was limited in his recognition of who Jesus is.

 

As I continued thinking this week, I began to think of Robert Schuller, a man who has given his life to preaching a positive outlook on life. Yet, as influential as Robert Schuller has been, he is another in a long line of men who have preached or taught about Jesus but who by their own testimony are limited in the recognition of who Jesus is.

 

It is good to believe that the coming of Jesus as the Son of Man is a wonderful miracle of God but that alone is not enough.

As we mentioned the last couple of Sunday nights, Luke wrote his gospel so that people might know, that is, recognize who Jesus is. He probably gives us the most complete picture of Jesus that we have. He emphasizes in His gospel especially in the first two chapters that Jesus is the Messiah, God who become man through the virgin Mary as was prophesied in Isaiah 11 and in other places.

He goes on in chapter 4 and tells how that Jesus claimed that His life was lived for the purpose of preaching the gospel and doing good as was prophesied in Isaiah 60. Luke then describes this “gospel do-gooding” ministry throughout most of the rest of the book.

 

All of these things are important and all of them are wonderful but as Luke continues his narrative in chapter 9, Jesus asks the disciples point blank, who do you think I am. Peter, confesses that Jesus is the Christ, the Messiah, the Son of the Living God. At that point, Jesus reveals for the first time that He is going to be killed by the leaders of Israel and then afterwards, resurrected. In that same chapter he begins His final journey to Jerusalem. The passage we have read today is close to the end of that final journey. On the way, Jesus again has several times either directly said or intimated that He is going to die. This third time he tells them plainly and with more detail but they still do not understand. In fact it is not until the last chapter of Luke, after the resurrection of Jesus Christ, that we find the disciples finally understanding the significance of Jesus has told them. In Luke 24 we find Jesus speaking to His disciples about this very event that we are reading about now.

44 Then He said to them, “These are the words which I spoke to you while I was still with you, that all things must be fulfilled which were written in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms concerning Me.”

45 And He opened their understanding, that they might comprehend the Scriptures.

46 Then He said to them, “Thus it is written, and thus it was necessary for the Christ to suffer and to rise {NU–Text reads written, that the Christ should suffer and rise.} from the dead the third day,

 

What the disciples did not understand until after the fact is that the suffering and the resurrection of Christ are the completion of the miracle. It was important for them and it is important for you and I to recognize that Christ’s suffering and resurrection were necessary and that the necessity of these events caused God to plan them and to tell about them hundreds of years before they were to happen. Let us look at some of these events that were so necessary, that God predicted them in the Old Testament.

He will be delivered to the Gentiles (Psalm 2:1-2). Earlier Jesus had told them that He would be killed by the rulers of the Jews but this is the first time that it was revealed to them that the Gentiles would also play a part in the death of the Messiah.

 

 

 

 

In Psalm 2, which talks about the setting on the throne of the King of Israel, David wrote, “Why do the heathen rage and the people imagine a vain thing. The kings of the earth set themselves and the rulers counsel together against the LORD and against His Anointed.” In Acts 4:25-28, we find that the disciples came to the place where they understood what Jesus had been trying to tell them, they know recognized Christ completely and fully and how that God had sent Jesus into the world to be the Messiah but also to be delivered to the Gentiles.

HE WILL BE MOCKED AND INSULTED AND SPIT UPON (Psalm 22:6-8; 69:1-12; Isaiah 50:6b, 53:3).

We read about some of this in our responsive reading today from Isaiah 53 but I want us to look at Psalm 22, especially verses 6-8, “6 But I am a worm, and no man; A reproach of men, and despised by the people.

7 All those who see Me ridicule Me; They shoot out the lip, they shake the head, saying,

8 “He trusted {Septuagint, Syriac, and Vulgate read hoped; Targum reads praised.} in the LORD, let Him rescue Him; Let Him deliver Him, since He delights in Him!”

In Matthew’s account, those mocking Christ as He hung on the cross actually say these words while they are making fun of Him.

 

Luke describes these events in just a few verses but they are powerful ones. Luke 23:35 And the people stood looking on. But even the rulers with them sneered, saying, “He saved others; let Him save Himself if He is the Christ, the chosen of God.”

36 The soldiers also mocked Him, coming and offering Him sour wine,

37 and saying, “If You are the King of the Jews, save Yourself.”

38 And an inscription also was written over Him in letters of Greek, Latin, and Hebrew: {NU–Text omits written and in letters of Greek, Latin, and Hebrew.} THIS IS THE KING OF THE JEWS.

39 Then one of the criminals who were hanged blasphemed Him, saying, “If You are the Christ, {NU–Text reads Are You not the Christ?} save Yourself and us.”

You see it was necessary that Jesus’ death be a death of shame and derision. It was God’s plan and Jesus knew exactly what He was stepping into when He began that final journey to Jerusalem.

 

 

 

They will scourge and kill Him (Psalm 22:15; Isaiah 50:6a; Daniel 9:26). Again, there are a number of Old Testament passages we could turn to. We could look again at Psalm 22 or Isaiah 53 both of which mention His suffering and His murder but I want us to think of Daniel 9:26a. “And after the sixty–two weeks Messiah shall be cut off, but not for Himself;” God reveals to Daniel events near and far but the most important event that He reveals to Him does not even take a whole verse. Messiah, the Savior of Israel, the Hope of all nations, will be cut off, will be killed. It has to be that way. God has spoken it.

And the third day He will rise again (Psalm 16:8-11 quoted by Peter in Acts 2). The first sermon preached on the day of Pentecost takes Psalm 16:8-11 and preaches the resurrected Christ. He does not demand for the rulers to produce a body and prove that Jesus is dead. He takes the Word of God and says, “Look! This is what God was talking about through David.”

Acts 2:29 “Men and brethren, let me speak freely to you of the patriarch David, that he is both dead and buried, and his tomb is with us to this day.

30 “Therefore, being a prophet, and knowing that God had sworn with an oath to him that of the fruit of his body, according to the flesh, He would raise up the Christ to sit on his throne, {NU–Text omits according to the flesh, He would raise up the Christ and completes the verse with He would seat one on his throne.}

31 “he, foreseeing this, spoke concerning the resurrection of the Christ, that His soul was not left in Hades, nor did His flesh see corruption.

32 “This Jesus God has raised up, of which we are all witnesses.

 

These events that happened to Jesus were necessary and it was necessary that they be fulfilled in detail because it was the plan of God.

 

THE PROPHECIES OF THE SUFFERING AND THE RESURRECTION OF CHRIST ARE THE ASSURANCE OF THAT MIRACLE. IT IS IMPORTANT TO PROVE THE CHRIST’S SUFFERING AND RESURRECTION WERE NO ACCIDENT.

There are those who argue that what happened to Jesus was some accident that God failed to prevent but the prophecies of the Old Testament assure us that God knew exactly what He was doing.

 

 

Now we find the disciples not recognizing the truth. Even after his resurrection. The reason according to Jesus is that they did not know the Scriptures. Luke 24:23 “When they did not find His body, they came saying that they had also seen a vision of angels who said He was alive.

24 “And certain of those who were with us went to the tomb and found it just as the women had said; but Him they did not see.”

25 Then He said to them, “O foolish ones, and slow of heart to believe in all that the prophets have spoken!

26 “Ought not the Christ to have suffered these things and to enter into His glory?”

27 And beginning at Moses and all the Prophets, He expounded to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning Himself.

 

Spurgeon once said, “Brethren, a want of familiarity with the Word of God is very often the seed-plot of our doubts! Half our fears arise from neglect of the Bible.” (Spurgeon in “Folly of Unbelief”, a sermon on Luke 24:40).

 

As I studied for this message, a set of verses came to my mind that remain dear to my heart. They are found in 1 Corinthians 15:1-4. In the early years of my faith, I struggled. I found it hard to believe that I could really be saved, otherwise, why would I continue to fall into sin. People would try help me with different truths of the Scripture, try to bolster my faith so that I would not doubt. One day, as a nineteen year old, I was sitting listening to these four verses being taught. I understood that salvation is this simple. God said that salvation is based solely on the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ. God planned it that way. God predicted that way. God performed it that way. My responsibility is to believe God. That was a life changing event for me.

 

What difference does this make? When you go to the doctor and find out that you have cancer, you need to know that the same God who predicted and planned the death and resurrection of His Son has you in His hand also.

 

When you fall prey to that sin that plagues your life, you need to know that the God of the ages planned a way for that sin to be paid for and that He planned a sacrifice that was sufficient for that sin which horrifies you and at the same time tempts you.

 

When you read in God’s Word the necessity of staying in a marriage even though you want out, you can take confidence in those commands because you know how that God keeps His Word.

 

When you pray, you can pray boldly according to God’s will because you know that His will cannot be broken and will be fulfilled to the most minute detail.

 

When your friends and family fail to keep their promises, you can turn to the one whose promises over the hundreds and thousands of years remain faithful.

 

CLOSING: Four travelers, not very well acquainted with the cross-road over which they were journeying, began to lookout for a finger-post. Soon after this, one of them cried out, “I think I can see one yonder in the distance”; and “I believe that I can see it too, about half-a-mile off,” rejoined another; and “I am almost certain that I can see it,” added a third, “it stand up higher than the hedges.” “Well, well,” said the fourth, “You may be right or you may be wrong; but we had better make the best of our way to it, for while we keep at such a distance, whether it be a finger-post or not, it will be of little use to us.” by George Mogridge from Spurgeon’s “My Sermon Notes, Volume II.

 

There is no doubt in my mind that some of you are plagued with doubts. You wonder if you are really saved. You wonder if God is really good. You wonder if what God says could really be true. The proof is Jesus Christ. God sent Him to die and live again so that we may believe Him. He is the one who shows us the Father. He is the one who gives us access to God. What we need to do is recognize Jesus as the answer to our doubts and the salvation from our sins.

How God Reveals Himself in the Old Testament Through Jesus Christ August 12, 2007

Posted by roberttalley in Bible, Character, False Teachers, Inspiration, Law, Matthew, Messiah, Promises of God, Prophets, Religion, Righteousness, Sermon on the Mount, Sermons, Special Revelation.
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JESUS AND OLD TESTAMENT ERRORS

Did Jesus Contradict the Old Testament?

Matthew 5:17-20

Last Sunday I was asked about an apparent contradiction between the Old Testament command to stone false prophets and the command that Jesus gave in John 8:1-11 that those who were without sin should cast the first stone. This is such an important question that Jesus Himself in His most famous sermon, the Sermon on the Mount, addressed this issue of His relationship to the Old Testament.

One of the earliest accusations against Jesus was that He opposed the Law of Moses. Now if this was true then He should have been stoned according to the Law. In fact, in John 10:30-39 when Jesus told them that He was one with the Father, making Himself to be God, they tried to stone Him but Jesus escaped from them.

So today, we are going to see what Jesus has to say in his defense to the accusation that He tried to correct the Old Testament law.

JUDGE ME BY MY WORDS AND ACTIONS.

Jesus says, “Listen to me and be convinced” (verse 17). The gospel of Matthew is the only one of the gospels written specifically with Jews in mind. The Jews of that day were divided about the Messiahship of Jesus Christ. Many believed and followed him, many others did not, but there was a number of Jews who wanted to believe but needed more evidence. Just as there are questions of doubt in these days, there were questions of doubt in those days.

Jesus said to the doubters, “Think outside of the box! Do not jump to conclusions based on the normal way of thinking. Listen to me and see if I am telling you the truth. Do not suppose you know the answer. Listen and think!”

SO WHAT ABOUT THE ADULTEROUS WOMAN? 

We have an excellent example of this in the story of the woman who was to be stoned. John 8:6 says they brought the woman to Him to ask what they should do. Now there were Jewish courts for such a trial but they had decided to see if they could trap Jesus into contradicting Moses. Also, although apparently the woman was guilty, the man with whom she had been caught was not brought before Jesus. These men were obviously not interested in keeping the Law but rather in entrapping Jesus. Jesus could have easily said, “Stone her!” He would have been within His rights. In fact, He did say stone her but He did it in a way that was definitely outside of the box. He said to the men, “He who is without sin, let him cast the first stone.”

These fellows knew each other. They knew what kind of men they were. Suddenly they lost interest in the case. Beginning from the oldest to the youngest they walked away. They had been exposed. After they left, Jesus said to the woman, “Where are your accusers? Where are the witnesses against you?” She said, “I have no accusers!” At that, Jesus wiped the dust off His hands and said, “I cannot condemn you unless you have accusers. You may go but do not sin anymore.”

This is a good example of how Jesus thought outside the box and He wants us to do so as we examine Him. He wants us to think, of course, but He does not want us to think the way the world does but with spiritual thinking, thinking which is outside of the box of our humanity.

THE ANALOGY OF THE HOUSE

Jesus then said, “I did not come to take the house of God down.” That is what that word “destroy” means. “I did not come disassemble God’s Word.”

Jesus then said, “I came to fulfill the Law and the Prophets.” I came to move in new furniture. Look at my life, look at my teaching! There is not one thing that I do or teach that takes away from the Law (the first five books of Moses) or the Prophets (which is the rest of the Old Testament). I did come though to add meaning and clarity.

IF THE OLD TESTAMENT IS TRUTH, THEN JESUS  IS TRUTH.

Jesus says, “Listen to the Old Testament and be assured (verses 18). The Old Testament is an established standard by which to measure Jesus.

Almost every Easter and Christmas we hear expressions of doubt about the truth. We have heard about the DaVinci Code, the Gospel of Thomas, the Gospel of Judas, the gravestone which supposedly has Jesus’ name on it. Although we may not appreciate these expressions of doubt, they are crucial. They are “…crucial… because on the surface there seems to be no great difference between Christianity and the religions of the world. They have great leaders… and so do we. They have written Scriptures . . . and so do we. They have miracle stories . . . and so do we. They have high ethical standards . . . and so do we. They have a long and rich history . . . and so do we.

One might ask, ‘How can I know which religion is the right one?’ That’s a fair question. The average person today faces a… supermarket of religions from which to choose. He sees the well-stocked shelves and wonders, ‘Which one should I choose?’ There is only one problem. All the bottles have been poisoned except one. How can he find that one right, pure and safe bottle?” (RAY PRITCHARD)

The Old Testament is our answer. If Jesus can knowingly attempt to fulfill every letter of every page of every book of every section of the Old Testament, then we have a way to judge if He is really who He said He is.

The Old Testament points to the coming of a specific person. That is one of the key messages of the Old Testament. Jesus reveals Himself to be that person. Jesus fulfilled completely the book written about Him, the Old Testament. This book was completed four hundred years before His birth. Others before and after Him claimed to be the fulfillment of the Old Testament but only Jesus has fulfilled the holy book written about him.

No other man can make such a claim.

A COMPARISON 

Mohammed wrote the Koran to correct the Bible not to fulfill it. He claimed inspiration but he could not claim to fulfill the written prophecies of the Old or New Testaments.

Moses wrote the first five books of the Bible but he was not the fulfillment of one word of Holy Scripture.

Buddha wrote many words and like Jesus challenged others to evaluate his words but he never fulfilled the written prophecies of others.

Confucius wrote but like the others could never point to other holy writings and legitimately claim that he fulfilled them.

Jesus Christ said in John 5:39-47, “Search the Scriptures! They speak of me. If you believe Moses, you will believe Me because he wrote of Me. There is no other case in all of history where you can take a book and then take a person hundreds of years in the future and say, “This is about Him,” but in the Old Testament you can.

THE OPPONENTS OF JESUS

Jesus says, “Look at the False Teachers and be instructed (verse 19). “Whoever therefore breaks one of the least of these commandments…” – Every person is responsible before God because of the truth of the Old Testament. If Jesus had not yet come, or if He had come but God had chosen not to give us the New Testament, we would still be responsible to God based on the Old Testament. It is the inspired Word of God.

BUT JESUS OPPONENTS BELIEVED THE OLD TESTAMENT, DIDN’T THEY? 

Verse 19 – “…and teaches them so…but whoever does and teaches them…” Jesus is saying that you cannot separate doctrine and deed. If in your teaching you cause someone to break “one of the least of these commandments…” you will find yourself on the bottom of the spiritual pecking order, last in the kingdom of God.

THE WARNING FOR TODAY 

Finally, Jesus says, “Look to Yourselves and be warned” (verse 20). The authority for the warning comes from the phrase, “For I say to you…” How did Jesus get this authority? – Look back at verse 17. By fulfilling the Law and the Prophets. From whom did He get this authority? – Look at Matthew 7:21. He got His authority from God. Continually in the Sermon on the Mount He repeats the phrase, “I say unto you…” After awhile one might ask Himself the question, “Who does this Jesus think He is?” In Matthew 7:21 He tells us. He is Lord, and whoever obeys Him is doing the will of the Father.

The Purpose of the Warning (…unless your righteousness exceeds the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees…) Their lives were to reflect true righteousness which can only be found in following Jesus Christ. He goes on to teach them what to do. There is a huge difference between teaching righteousness and being righteous. Jesus was demanding that they become righteous by following Him, by becoming His disciple. Becoming a disciple speaks of a personal relationship to the teacher. This is what these fellows had. Of course, obedience is the natural result of being a disciple but you still have to learn what obedience means and that was what Jesus was teaching the disciples. First of all, that they might obey and secondly that they might be different from those who only taught righteousness but did not practice it themselves.

When God presents us with truth, He expects us to do something with that truth. Jesus presented in this sermon the truth of His Messiahship. He expected them to live accordingly. He expects the same from you.

THE HORRIBLE EXAMPLE OF JUDAS ISCARIOT 

He, however, will have nothing to do with you…unless…unless you put your faith and trust in Jesus Christ alone as the Savior of your eternal soul. This message is eternal but useless without trusting Christ as your Savior. Judas heard the same message as the rest of the disciples but he lived for earthly things. Yes, it was a temptation for the other disciples also but Judas was the only one that stepped over that line and said, “I’m driving my stakes down right here. I am living for this world. This kingdom that Jesus keeps promising, never comes. I’m going to get while the getting is good.” That’s why he could so easily betray Jesus.

You have the opportunity to become a disciple. Look at the claims Jesus makes for Himself and decide to follow Him and live or turn and go your own way. Whether you trust Him or not, He holds your future and you can enter His kingdom but you must trust Him and Him alone. He died for you according to the Old Testament Scriptures, He was buried, He rose again according to the Old Testament Scriptures, and He ascended on high to the Father’s throne (according to Psalm 2:7 and Hebrews 1:3-6) but you must turn to Him and to Him alone for salvation.

PUTTING YOUR MONEY WHERE YOUR MOUTH IS. 

Believer, are you living for Christ or are you just talking. Do you mouth the right words or do you live as you know Jesus wants you to. You may not know everything you are supposed to do to honor God but are you doing what you do know?

Some of you are struggling with doubts. You wonder if you are saved, if God really loves you, if you are good enough to please God. Are you going to live in the assurance established by the Old Testament Scriptures? They will never pass away. They will be fulfilled. Jesus Christ will do that. If you are in Him, in Jesus Christ, then you are just as assured of heaven as God’s Word is settled for all eternity.

Are you going to live, conscience of Christ’s commands everywhere you go? If you do, are you going to obey those commands. If you look in these chapters you will find the command to love your enemy, to forgive, to have confidence in God, the command to be pure, the command to be honest, the command to pray, the command not to judge, the command not to be proud, the command to live a mature and godly life. Will you live like your king or will you live like Judas for this world?

Links to Sermons on Matthew 5:17-20 August 10, 2007

Posted by roberttalley in Bible, Inspiration, Law, Matthew, Promises of God, Prophets, Religion, Righteousness, Sermon on the Mount, Sermons.
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Three Sermons from Arthur Pink.  I’m going to try to cover this passage in one 🙂

http://www.pbministries.org/books/pink/Sermon/sermon_06.htm

http://www.pbministries.org/books/pink/Sermon/sermon_07.htm

http://www.pbministries.org/books/pink/Sermon/sermon_08.htm

Not a well-known name but this is an excellent sermon on this text:

http://pastorsteveweaver.wordpress.com/2007/03/26/the-righteousness-which-the-king-requires-exposition-of-matthew-517-20/

And from Ligon Duncan

http://www.fpcjackson.org/resources/sermons/matthew/mat%20vol%201%20&%202/matthew%201%20&%202/08amatt.htm

How to know if God is revealing Himself (From Sermon Series on God’s Word) August 5, 2007

Posted by roberttalley in Antichrist, Bible, Depravity, Deuteronomy, Eternal Security, False Doctrine, False Teachers, First John, Gospel, Hell, Holy Spirit, Jehovah's Witnesses, OT Preaching, Perserverance, Prophets, Satan, Sermons, Spiritual Warfare, Truth.
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TRYING THE SPIRITS

1 John 4:1-6 and Deuteronomy 13:1-5, 18:21-22 

Lying spirits exist and we are to test the spirits (verse 1). Now God has given us the final word but God has chosen to allow competition, to allow false spirits to speak their false doctrine through false prophets, to allow the lie to coexist on this earth with the truth.

It is not always easy to discern the false from the true. Just as counterfeit money is meant to be spent, false doctrine is intended by Satan to be believed and that means he must make it believable to the human mind and appealing to the human heart.  That is why it is of eternal importance that we look into God’s Word and find out how to determine the difference between the spirit of truth and the spirit of error.

TESTING SPIRITS IN THE OLD TESTAMENT

There are two passages in the Old Testament law in the book of Deuteronomy that discuss testing the spirits who claim to speak the truth. Now, it is easy to say that the Law was for then and not for today, for example in the law against eating pork which is also in the book of Deuteronomy (Deut. 14:8). We understand though that the law is more than the Ten Commandments and when Jesus said He came to fulfill the law He meant all of it, not just the moral code but also the civil and ceremonial aspects of the law. Not only that but as we saw about a month ago, “All Scripture is…profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness” (2 Tim. 3:16). So how do we apply the Old Testament tests? By finding and investigating the timeless principles that apply to the subject of testing the spirits as taught in 1 John. (Ideas in this paragraph with thanks to Paul Lamey of Huntsville, AL.)

Test #1 –

If one part of the prophecy is proven untrue or inaccurate, then it is not of God (Deuteronomy 18:20-22).

“Here’s a Help Wanted ad you may find interesting: Spokesman needed for international firm. No experience necessary, no education required. Must be between 20-85 years old. Full- or part-time…Will meet often with the CEO who will instruct brief you on what to say to the public. Important that you be able to move in all circles of society–from the highest to the lowest. Good vocabulary a must, ability to speak in colorful images a big plus…Unlimited opportunity for advancement…Must be willing to endure ridicule, persecution, slander, and occasional beatings. This job carries only one significant negative aspect: Make one mistake and you will be stoned to death….That ad describes the biblical role of the prophet…The test for a biblical prophet was 100% accuracy. Make one mistake and you would be stoned to death…(T)he Jews had a well-defined procedure for stoning. The victim was stripped naked, with hands bound, paraded out of town and placed on a scaffold nine feet high. The first official witness pushed the victim off the scaffold. The second witness dropped a large stone on his head and chest. Bystanders then pelted the dying man with the stones. The corpse was then buried in a special place along with the stone that inflicted the fatal blow. No mourning ceremony was permitted. False prophets had to be stoned. The Law commanded it…(P)rophecy was not a growth industry in the ancient Israel. It was a risky way to make a living. Today prophecy (and messages from God) is big business–and not nearly so risky.” (Thanks to Ray Pritchard)

(In fact, you can make the New York Times Best-Seller List and become a fixture there.)

A WORD ABOUT DREAMS AND OTHER MODES OF CLAIMED DIVINE REVELATION 

Not only does a prophet sent from God speak the truth with 100% accuracy but he knows that his message is 100% accurate and does not try to hide that fact. When someone says that they have a vision or dream or message from God and they temper their claim with the possibility of human fallibility then I know that I need not be afraid of that person. God does not speak to every subject but to every subject that He speaks, He speaks authoritatively and without error.

Test #2 –

If the prophecy leads away from the truth, then it is not of God (Deuteronomy 13:1-5).

Actually, this whole chapter deals with the seriousness of following anyone who would lead us away from the truth. In verses 6-10, if a family member attempts to lead away from the true and living God, they were to be stoned. In verses 11-18, if Israel heard that one of their cities had turned from following God, they were to go against it and destroy it with all its inhabitants, all its livestock, and to destroy everything in it. They were not to take anything for plunder. Obviously, we are not to apply the extreme measures that are commanded to the Israelites but we are to take this seriously.

APPLYING THIS TEST TODAY 

How do we recognize the spirits (verses 2-6)? In other words, how does this apply today?

The Spirit of truth identifies…

…Jesus as God and man (verse 2). Any person or any group that denies that Jesus is 100% God and 100% man is not of God. The Bible is very clear. One of the reasons that we have started studying together the book of Colossians in the adult and junior high and junior aged Sunday School classes is the vital importance of this doctrine. If Jesus is not God then Christianity is a lie and if Jesus is not man then Christianity is a lie and the Bible is a lie. I do not have a problem with the Jehovah’s Witnesses refusal to celebrate birthdays. That is not an eternal issue. I do not have a problem with their refusal to salute the American flag. That is not an eternal issue. I do not even have a problem with their refusal to take blood transfusions. I think they are wrong and that it is an unfortunate belief but that belief will not send them to the lake of fire. I do have a problem though with their refusal to acknowledge Jesus Christ as God, not a god, but Jehovah God Himself. That is why I fight for the Virgin Birth. If Jesus was not Virgin Born, He was not God. That is why I fight for the Bodily Resurrection of Christ. If He did not rise bodily from the dead then there is doubt that He was really man. He was and is both. That is also why it is so important that we hold to the Bible as given by God without error. If the Bible is in error in any area, then how can we trust what it says about Jesus Christ and the message in verse 2 about Jesus Christ is only to be found in the Bible?

NOT JUST THE PERSON BUT ALSO THE WORK OF CHRIST IS PART OF THE TEST. 

The Spirit also identifies the redemptive work of Christ as sufficient for eternal salvation (verses 9-10). I understand that John is not addressing this directly but it is addressed in other places in the Scriptures: the first half of the books of Romans, the epistles to the Galatians, the Ephesians, the Philippians, the books of 1 Timothy and Titus, the book of Hebrews. I am saying that it does matter what we believe about Christ’s saving work.

The word “propitiation” here means to appease God. We are sinners, we deserve the eternal punishment of the lake of fire but Jesus Christ came and died to appease His Father. That is the good news that we are to believe. If you believe that salvation comes any other way than through Jesus Christ alone, you are in the trap of the spirit of error. If you believe by being good you can satisfy God, then you believe the spirit of antichrist. If you believe that trusting Christ and being baptized to wash away your sins, then you are trusting a ritual. Paul said in Galatians of such rituals that they make the crucifixion of Christ of no effect. Either Jesus’ death, burial, and resurrection was sufficient or it is not. If you believe the Church provides you appeasement before God, you are trusting the doctrine of the world. If you believe that the Lord’s Table which we partook of earlier in this service will impart God’s saving grace into your life, then you are trusting the doctrine of a false spirit. It is through Jesus Christ alone.

Acts 5:12 says that there is no other name under heaven given among men whereby we must be saved. He does not need my help, He does not need your help, and he does not need the help of any ritual, good deeds, or organization. He is capable through His death alone of saving us and according to these verses, He does this because He loves us.

The Spirit of error… (verse 3-5).

…contradicts in some way the Spirit of truth (verse 3a).

Why?  Because the spirit of error is of this world (verses 3b-5). This is not a new phenomenon (verse 3b). Since time began, Satan has been lying to humankind. Although it is true that as we get closer to the end, evil men will get worse and worse, it is a matter of degree and not of quality. The quality of the counterfeit is always bad. Some are more effective in their deception than others but counterfeits are always a lie.

WHAT IF I QUIT BELIEVING? 

Believers in Christ have protection within them from false prophets (verse 4). In 1 John 2:18-27 we find specifically what he means by this verse. Some have asked me, what happens if I quit believing in Jesus Christ. According to these verses that will not and cannot happen. If you quit believing in Christ it is because you never truly believed in Him. I am not talking about doubts. I am not talking about those who give up in frustration and quit trying to live for Christ. I am talking about those and the text is talking about those who teach the truth and then turn their backs on it and attempt to drag others with them on their path. That is what John is addressing here. We, however, are protected. We are protected because we have the Holy Spirit living within us. We are protected because we have the truth in us.

The world has no protection from the false prophets because they think just like them (verse 5). This is an awful thing to think about but the Bible plainly teaches that the natural mind follows after the lie of Satan. The lie appears in all kinds of forms but every form is deadly. Which will kill you a bullet through the heart or a knife through the heart? So it is with the lie of Satan. There is no hope unless they are awakened by the Holy Spirit and believe the truth of the Word of God concerning Jesus Christ.

ANSWER THESE THREE QUESTIONS 

When someone clearly sees and rejects the truth we know that they are not of God (verse 6). If you are here this morning, you have heard the truth. Did you understand it? If you understood it, have you accepted it or rejected it? If you have accepted it, how are you going to react when you hear the lie? That is our invitation this morning.

Links to sermons from Deut. 13 and 18 and 1 John 4:1-6 August 3, 2007

Posted by roberttalley in Bible, Deuteronomy, False Doctrine, False Teachers, First John, Jonathan Edwards, Links, Prophets, Sermons, Truth.
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Not a sermon but a short paragraph to get you started on the importance of Scriptural doctrinal statements.

http://against-heresies.blogspot.com/2007/07/affirmation-of-truth.html

http://www.fpcjackson.org/resources/sermons/John%27s%20Epistles%201-2-3/05b.htm Sermon by Ligon Duncan

http://www.biblebb.com/files/edwards/je-marksofhs.htm by Jonathan Edwards

http://www.gracegems.org/Law2/d01.htm by Henry Law

http://www.pbc.org/library/files/html/0161.html by Ray Stedman

http://www.keepbelieving.com/sermons/read_sermon.asp?id=553 by Ray Pritchard