Archive for the ‘Bible Study Notes’ Category

Bible Study Notes “The Advocate” (07-12-09)

July 15, 2009

THE ADVOCATE

1 Jn 2:1-6

Last week we spoke of heavy things, and it was for the most part, dark. Our main focus as guided by the section of 1 John we looked at was facing the reality of sin and how walking in sin is proof that one is not a Christian and anyone who does walk in sin while wearing the label “Christian” is deeply deceived. This week we look at the other side of the coin. We will review John’s reasons for writing to “us” and look at one of works of the resurrected Christ, that of advocate. Further we will examine what “propitiation” is and to what human extent that work of Christ applies. Next we will look at the positive side of what we discussed last week in regards to how we “keep his commandments.” Briefly we will discuss what it means to have “perfected love” and then understand what it means to walk as Jesus walked. I hope this message will be an encouragement and joy to you all.

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Bible Study Notes “Practice Makes” (07-05-09)

July 6, 2009

Practice Makes….

PRACTICE MAKES…

1 John 3:4-10

This did not come about with much wrestling. This did not come without much pain. I have prayed that what is said here, as long as it lines up with Scripture, will do the work of a skilled surgeon in removing any cancerous growth of sin in your life. I do not bring this to cast any unnecessary doubt on your salvation. I bring this section of scripture to you because it is here. Because it is the inspired, inerrant, infallible, plenary, sufficient Word of God. Because “All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness,…” (2 Tim 3:16). This message challenges those who confess Christ yet live in patterns of sin. John tells them plainly, “You are not Christian. You are not saved. You are not God’s children. You are the devil’s children.” Now I must ask: What are you? What does your practice make you?

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Bible Study Notes “From Dark to Light” (5-31-09)

June 2, 2009

From Dark to Light

1 John 1:5-2:2

This section gives us some good contrast: that between light and darkness, God and man, the character of the regenerate and that of the unregenerate. To look at these contrasts is a humbling thing and may cause some discomfort. It has for me.

Let us begin, most appropriately, with God. John writes clearly in the most simple of terms so that even a child can understand, yet profound enough that we can probe it deeply and still see through a mirror darkly. If asked to explain God to an inquisitive toddler one could easily say to the tot, “God is light! He doesn’t have any darkness in him.” Even the small mind could think about the scary dark room and the monsters under the bed and in the closet and the ominous shadows of clothes made by a small night light. The tiny child could imagine a bright day with sunlight pouring into the room giving vibrant light to every corner. Such a little one could easily then conclude (in a limited way) that God is pure, that God is good. While we could be content to stop here, Scripture reveals even more to us that we might begin to understand what this means. (I say begin as while God is knowable he is incomprehensible.) But what of light and God? Let’s look at 1 Tim 6:16 which says God “alone has immortality, who dwells in unapproachable light, whom no one has ever seen or can see. To him be honor and eternal dominion. Amen.” Indeed Exodus 33:20 records the Lord himself saying, “you cannot see my face, for man shall not see me and live.” We find also that any physical descriptions of God’s form include light. Deuteronomy 4:12, “Then the LORD spoke to you out of the midst of the fire. You heard the sound of words, but saw no form; there was only a voice.” The thought of seeing God himself face to face was a terrifying thought. It meant death! When God gave the Law the people of Israel were astonished at the fact that they lived after such close contact with the Lord “For who is there of all flesh, that has heard the voice of the living God speaking out of the midst of fire as we have, and has still lived?” (Dt 5:26). We tend to not think this way much anymore. We view God as the warm fuzzy light of table lamp, not the raging consuming fire of a star. Has God’s nature changed from then until now? Of course not! Had it Paul, New Testament, would not have written that God “dwells in unapproachable light.” Rather than give us pause, we should be comforted by this. There is no darkness in God. There is no sin in God. There is no evil in God. Isaiah 6:3 tells us that God is “holy, holy, holy” and Luke 18:19 rightly says, “No one is good except God alone.” Such a moral purity is unmatched by any stretch of the imagination. We see God’s moral purity back in Genesis when he ejects Adam and Eve from the Garden of Eden after their sin. We see God’s moral purity in the flood. We see God’s moral purity in the moral law (the 10 Commandments for example). We see God’s moral purity when he wipes out those who live in the presence of the pillar of fire/smoke yet rebel against him. We see God’s moral purity when he punishes an idolatrous and rebellious nation by sending them into exile. We see God’s moral purity, God’s light, shown clearly when contrasted with human darkness.

But this creates a problem. Verses 6 and 7, “If we say we have fellowship with him while we walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin.” Now… don’t go thinking you got off easy because I’m not tackling this head on screaming bloody murder. I’m going to touch this lightly as John does and then, come 1 John 3:4-10… Well…

Put plainly a Christian cannot be a Christian if he or she engages in willful patterns of sinful behavior. A Christian can only be a Christian if he or she has a pattern of increasing godliness, holiness, and righteousness. Before I go on I must make this disclaimer: I am not promoting works-based righteousness or sinless perfection. Any questions on that will be answered in chapter three. Furthermore, just as sin separates us from God it separates us from each other. Yes, I am aware of how Emergent/Emerging/Emerged/Emer-whatever that sounds, but! If a Christian habitually lies to another Christian they have sinned against God (as a matter of primacy and utmost importance) but also against a brother or sister. Such a thing could very well and rightly so cause distrust between the two and thereby weaken fellowship. Yet what of the Christian whose life is exemplified by good works? The blood of Jesus cleanses from all sin.

John’s thought takes logical progression takes us next to the person who would say after the atonement we have no more sin. That is not so. To do so would to be sinlessly perfect. There are some in Christendom who believe that such a thing is possible in this life. They are the super-spirtiual type who claims such a level of sanctification that they do not any longer sin. They are not even tempted to sin! They can look at half naked women and be just fine and look with scorn on those who cannot. They can speak freely of events learned of third-hand without the slightest hint of gossip and scoff at the thought of people talking behind their back. But scripture disagrees. Even Paul, POST-conversion wrote such: Romans 7 is a clear indication of the battle he wages. In 1 Timothy 1:15 Paul says, “The saying is trustworthy and deserving of full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am the foremost.” Not “of whom I was…” But “of whom I am.” Indeed such a claim is to walk in the sin of pride! By denying plain fact and Holy Scripture we show that indeed we are self-decieved and without God’s truth. Let’s look also to the unconverted. There is a question that is familiar to many of us: “Would you consider yourself to be a good person?” Suppose we phrased that, “Would you consider yourself innocent in God’s sight?” Many would answer in the affirmative to both! Yet they do so to their own destruction. Jeremiah 2:35 says, “you say, ‘I am innocent; surely his anger has turned from me.’ Behold, I will bring you to judgment for saying, ‘I have not sinned.’”  John is correct to say it is self-deception. As Job (15:14) points out, “What is man, that he can be pure? Or he who is born of a woman, that he can be righteous?” This also points to the separation between light and darkness, God and man, Sons of God and Sons of Perdition. The good news of the gospel is that Christ died to take the punishment of the sins of mankind. If one claims sinlessness then for what did Christ die? His death would be in vain and God would be a capricious, malevolent bully. Our duty as ministers of the Gospel is to tell the Truth and the WHOLE Truth. Paul says it this way in 2 Corinthians 4:1-6 (note the common themes with our main passage), “Therefore, having this ministry by the mercy of God, we do not lose heart. But we have renounced disgraceful, underhanded ways. We refuse to practice cunning or to tamper with God’s word, but by the open statement of the truth we would commend ourselves to everyone’s conscience in the sight of God. And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled only to those who are perishing. In their case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. For what we proclaim is not ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, with ourselves as your servants for Jesus’ sake. For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.” You say you have not sinned. God says you have. Who is the liar? If anyone dare say God, they are not Christian.

But… here is the part that is most beautiful. If you were keeping count you will see I jumped over a verse. Verse 9! If you want to memorize something to have ready on the mind when speaking with people this is one. “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” First: Confess. What does this mean? The Greek word used here is “homologomen” Which means you are saying the same as, you are agreeing with whomever. In this case you are saying, “Lord, you are correct in your judgment of me. I am, indeed, a sinner. I lie. I lust. I steal. I covet. I use your name as a curse word. I kill even by murder in my heart. I….” There is no “Yeah, but…” in there. There is no room for excuse. It is 100% agreement with the light about the darkness. So we confess. What is this cleanse? Do we drink special water and abstain from yeast and sugar for two months? No. The cleanse comes from the blood of Jesus. The cleanse comes as the fullness of the sacrifices of the Old Covenant are made manifest in Christ. What do I mean? Turn to Hebrews chapter 9. The whole of it.  [+++] Clear? But wait… there’s more!

John’s purpose in writing (one among many) is that we may not sin. John, however, recognizes that tendency. If anyone does sin, there is an advocate on our behalf before the throne of God above! Not just any advocate, JESUS CHRIST THE RIGHTEOUS! The very one who bore the sin and grief of many, the  very one whose blood was spilled, the very one who experienced denial after denial from his own people, from his own followers, and from every one of us upon every sin where we deny in practice the Lordship of Jesus. It is that One who points to the scars upon his wrists, the scars upon his feet, and the scars upon his brow…

Five bleeding wounds He bears; received on Calvary;

They pour effectual prayers; they strongly plead for me:

“Forgive him, O forgive,” they cry,

“Forgive him, O forgive,” they cry,

“Nor let that ransomed sinner die!”

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For the audio of this message please click HERE.

Bible Study Notes “Living Words” (5-17-09) *UPDATE*

May 18, 2009

Living Words

1 John 1:1-4

 

Before we begin I have a confession. I picked this book because it has to be one of my favorites in Scripture. Not really any other reason. When trying to decide which book to tackle next it was between another and this one, and personal preference was the deciding vote. We have gone through James, Ecclesiastes, Romans, Jonah, and Matthew. We’ve touched on various Psalms. Through all these books there is a common Author and a common Theme.  All of Scripture is intended for us to know God, know his plan of Salvation, give us instructions on right living, and even lovingly correct us when we fail. This book contains all of that and more! Without delay, let’s go.

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Bible Study Notes (3/1/09)

March 1, 2009

Psalm 60

 

Background:

2 Sam 8:1-14

 

The ark has returned to Jerusalem after several long years. Under Saul the nation was always under attack, but under David, the nation was attacking! The borders grew and they began to take the land promised to them.

 

TITLE:

There is a discrepancy between the number 12,000 here and the 18,000 back in 2 Samuel. We can explain that in different ways. Perhaps it was one part of the battle in which 12,000 were killed and another part in where in the remaining 6,000 were killed.  Another option is that the 12,000 was an early count of the casualties.  The 18,000, is the later count.

We also see that this Psalm is written for our instruction; there is something for us to learn here.

 

VERSES 1-5

This song begins as a cry of lament.  It is a complaint against God for the way he has treated his people.  Israel has been under attack, oppressed by the Philistines, and at times even enslaved.  In the midst of battle God’s people cry out. They have seen the Ark of the Covenant taken from them and carried into the hands of their enemies. The people cry that they have a place to run to for protection and it is the Lord!  That He can deliver and save and will.

 

God had broken the modern church. He has allowed the enemies of culture to infiltrate and even corrupt some of those who profess to be shepherds.  Further, He has allowed that a majority of the American church would be drunk. They would exhibit foolishness and frivolity when it comes to preaching, teaching, and holy living. He has allowed that those who are indeed his to be scattered amongst different churches (buildings and denominations) and placed in their hearts a longing to run to His Banner, the banner of the Gospel, for safety. God will save and He will hear us who call to Him. “Send us preaching of the Word unadorned by entertainment and cultural knickknacks. Send us preachers to preach boldly the Truth without compromise to those in darkness. Send us the Spirit to make our hearts pliable and open to such preaching. May it wound and break us so that we die to self ever more and strive to live lives of holiness and constant repentance as we cling to the finished work of Christ as our only hope for salvation!” 

 

VERSES 6-8

This set of verses is filled with hope for God speaks! We see God say HE will divvy up the land. That the land belongs to Him, not to the enemies which they are currently fighting, but to God and he will give it to whom he chooses to give it.

Judah as scepter see Gen 49:10.

But those lands and people who come against the Lord they shall be put to shame. A washbasin, a shoe carrier and a totally defeated foe are the enemies of Israel.

 

God, in his holiness, will reclaim his church. Not the Baptists or Presbyterians or Lutherans or Methodists, but the ones whose names are written in the book of life. Those are His and he knows each by name. He will give to them an inheritance and to the enemies of his people he will give nothing and even what they have will be taken from them.

 

VERSES 9-12

At last comes a prayer, hopeful and heartfelt. The Psalmist first wonders who it will be who will lead the fight. God? Have you forsaken your people? HELP! LORD! HELP! With man it is in vain, but with you all things are indeed possible and with you there is victory!

 

God, who seems to have abandoned his people, waits; that we should call out to him from a broken heart. Who will lead us against the enemies of our culture? How shall we fight against the loose living that so pervades our culture? On our own we cannot do it any more than Peter or John could have faces the Council without the power of the Spirit (see Acts 4:1-22). How much less can we save ourselves from our greatest foe, sin? Yes. God is the one who saves! “Behold, God is my salvation; I will trust, and will not be afraid; for the LORD GOD is my strength and my song, and he has become my salvation.” (Is 12:2)

 

Let us go to Yah, YHWH in repentance and faith. Let us do so daily. As long as the sun shall rise, as long as a man shall breathe, and as long as world comes against us, we must cling to Jesus as our hope of salvation, our victory over sin, and our banner.

“Idol Hands” Bible Study Notes (2-15-09)

February 17, 2009

Idol Hands

 

 

And we know that the Son of God has come and has given us understanding, so that we may know him who is true; and we are in him who is true, in his Son Jesus Christ. He is the true God and eternal life. Little children, keep yourselves from idols.

1 John 5:20-21

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Bible Study Notes (1-25-09)

January 25, 2009

Psalm 79: The Cry of a Nation Judged

 

Intro:

 

In this time in America many Christians are worried. A man has taken the highest office in the land whose policies and views fly in the face of God’s moral standard. Some call him THE Antichrist, but those with more level heads doubt such a thing. But lest we point the finger to far away from us, lets stop and check ourselves. Are we, as a nation, upholding God’s moral standard in our everyday lives? Are we? On a whole, the answer is no. (more…)

Bible Study Notes (1-18-09)

January 19, 2009

As we study Psalms we are taking turns leading. This week’s was led by A.N. Here are her unedited notes.
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Psalm 28

The LORD Is My Strength and My Shield

1To you, O LORD, I call;
(A) my rock, be not deaf to me,
lest, if you(B) be silent to me,
I become like those who(C) go down to the pit.

18:2The LORD is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer,

my God, my rock, in whom I take refuge,
my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold. (CR)

35:22(A) You have seen, O LORD;(B) be not silent!

O Lord,(C) be not far from me! (CF)

39:12(A) “Hear my prayer, O LORD,

and give ear to my cry;
hold not your peace at my tears!
For I am(B) a sojourner with you,
a guest, like all my fathers. (CF)

83:1O God, do not keep silence;
(B) do not hold your peace or be still, O God! (CF)

88:4I am counted among those who(A) go down to the pit;

I am a man who has no strength, (CF)

143: 7(A) Answer me quickly, O LORD!

(B) My spirit fails!
(C) Hide not your face from me,
(D) lest I be like those who go down to the pit. (CF)

2(D) Hear the voice of my pleas for mercy,

when I cry to you for help,
when I(E) lift up my hands
(F) toward your most holy sanctuary.[a]

PS 140: 6(A) I say to the LORD, You are my God;

give ear to(B) the voice of my pleas for mercy, O LORD!

1 Kings 6:16 He built twenty cubits of the rear of the house with boards of cedar from the floor to the walls, and he built this within as an inner sanctuary, as the Most Holy Place.

Yeah yeah.. I’ll give you a minute to giggle over the irony of the first verse…

OK, so now that’s out of the way.. The background to these two passages is that they are said by David in a time of real need, an emergency. So what is the common theme amongst these passages? The worst thing to happen to us would be that we cannot hear the Lord. He is our protector, our refuge from the world. If we cannot hear him anymore because of our sin and not talking to Him or listening to Him, if he is silent to our request, our call, our prayer… we become like those who are going to Hell-it is like we are condemned ourselves, or that we are like those who are facing judgement. In fact, maybe we are. We don’t want to be treated the same way as those who are unsaved-we don’t want Him to see us with those eyes. He should be the first we ask in terms of guidance, and His word should be the first we turn to. If we don’t have an answer to a prayer, we need to keep praying or turn to His word. The KJV of this verse- says “1Unto thee will I cry, O LORD my rock”.

A cry can mean that we are sorrowful, that we are desperate. A call (as in the ESV) seems to be more of an entreaty. When we call out, we call out to HIM, and HIM only. We are increasingly urgent in our calls if He is silent.. He is our rock.. a shelter, a refuge for believers. He is also solid and not easily moved-so he represents security and a foundation, but in my perspective, it’s also a warning to ‘the world’. He will not leave His own. We are never without Him.

We want Him to hear us, to pay attention to us in our time of need… When we lift up our hands towards Him, we are asking Him, crying out to Him, so in this way, the second verse echoes the first verse of Ps 28.. Psalms is written like a song of worship, so you do see some repetitition. It does seem to be written in a way that would sound “pretty”. I’ll leave more comments for others. I was kind of confused by the cross-reference to 1-Kings, for I read the “most holy sanctuary” –when we call out to Him, we LIFT OUR HANDS, which implies that the most holy sanctuary is where He is-UP ABOVE. Thoughts?

3Do not(G) drag me off with the wicked,
with the workers of evil,
(H) who speak peace with their neighbors
while evil is in their hearts.

Ps 26: 9(A) Do not sweep my soul away with sinners,
nor my life with bloodthirsty men,

Ez 32: 20 They shall fall amid those(A) who are slain by the sword. Egypt[a] is delivered to the sword; drag her away, and(B) all her multitudes.

Jeremiah 9: 8(A) Their tongue is a deadly arrow;
(B) it speaks deceitfully;
with his mouth(C) each speaks peace to his neighbor,
but in his heart(D) he plans an ambush for him.

Psalm 5:9 9For there is no truth in their mouth;
their inmost self is(A) destruction;
(B) their throat is(C) an open grave;

Psalm 12:.2 Everyone(A) utters lies to his neighbor;
with(B) flattering lips and(C) a double heart they speak.

Psalm 55: 21His(A) speech was(B) smooth as butter,
yet war was in his heart;
his words were softer than oil,
yet they were(C) drawn swords.

Basically, this verse says it is a sin to gossip, and to backstab, or it is so the way I read it. If you do not like a person or you have a problem with them, but you say nothing to them and think you are “playing nice” and then you turn around and say something ugly about them to someone else.. this verse speaks to you. This verse is a warning to us not to associate with those who are “of the world” or those who are “wicked”, for they will influence us. “Workers of evil” say what they do not mean-they are pretenders.

4(I) Give to them according to their work
and according to the evil of their deeds;
give to them according to the work of their hands;
(J) render them their due reward.

Jeremiah 50:15(A) Raise a shout against her all around;
she has surrendered;
her bulwarks have fallen;
(B) her walls are thrown down.
For(C) this is the vengeance of the LORD:
take vengeance on her;
(D) do to her as she has done.

Revelation 18: 6(A) Pay her back as she herself has paid back others,
and repay her(B) double for her deeds;
mix a double portion for her(C) in the cup she mixed.

2 Timothy 4: 14(A) Alexander the coppersmith did me great harm;(B) the Lord will repay him according to his deeds.

Psalm 137:8 O daughter of Babylon,(A) doomed to be destroyed,
blessed shall he be who(B) repays you
with what you have done to us!

Simply.. this is a reminder that the Lord will punish those who wrong Him, and they will face judgement. We are not to exact punishment ourselves, and we are not to seek vengeance. God will punish our thoughts as well as our actions.

5Because they(K) do not regard the works of the LORD
or the work of his hands,
he will tear them down and build them up no more.

IS 5:12(A) They have lyre and harp,
tambourine and flute and wine at their feasts,
(B) but they do not regard the deeds of the LORD,
or see the work of his hands.

JOB 34: 27because they turned aside from(A) following him
and had no regard for any of his ways,

This is related to Verse 3 and 4. Those who think evil thoughts, have evil actions, ignore Him, fail to praise Him or otherwise don’t show that they love Him will be destroyed by Him. This is also related to Verse 1… If we don’t obey Him, He will not help us grow in Him.. How can He, if we cannot hear Him? The more evil that is shown in our thoughts, our actions, our words, the more he becomes silent to US so that we cannot hear him so we are like those in Hell. We won’t be able to become closer to Him or serve Him well.

6Blessed be the LORD!
For he has(L) heard the voice of my pleas for mercy.

42: 2(A) My soul thirsts for God,
for(B) the living God.
When shall I come and(C) appear before God?[a]

This is when this Psalm turns from prayer to praise. He hears us cry, plead, call out for mercy. When our prayers are answered, we should praise Him, and praise Him often-give thanks for what we have been blessed by, for Him hearing us.

7The LORD is my strength and(M) my shield;

in him my heart(N) trusts, and I am helped;
my heart exults,
and with my(O) song I give thanks to him.

PS 3: 3But you, O LORD, are(A) a shield(B) about me,
The LORD Is in His Holy Temple

To the choirmaster. Of David.

PS 11: 1In the LORD I take refuge;how can you say to my soul,
(A) “Flee like a bird to your mountain,my glory, and(C) the lifter of my head. (CR)

PS 69: 30I will(A) praise the name of God with a song;
I will(B) magnify him with(C) thanksgiving.

This is pretty self-explanatory. Our trust in Him helps us every day. The stronger our faith, the more we feel his power and the more we feel safe with Him protecting us. We are weak and falliable as humans, and He is strong for us. When our trust in Him and our relationship in Him are strong, we are happy. This kind of brings home the point of worship, of songs of praise within worship within a church service. I have a question for you here.. If worship/songs/music were cut from the service and we would only have a sermon, what difference would that make for you?

8The LORD is the strength of his people;[b]
he is(P) the saving refuge of his anointed.

PS 140:7O LORD, my Lord,(A) the strength of my salvation,
you have covered my head in the day of battle. (CR)

PS 20 :6Now I know that the LORD saves his anointed;
he will answer him from his holy heaven
with(A) the saving might of his right hand. (CR)

9Oh, save your people and bless(Q) your heritage!

(R) Be their shepherd and(S) carry them forever.

Deu 32: 9But the LORD’s portion is his people,

Jacob his allotted heritage.

PS78:72With(A) upright heart he shepherded them

and(B) guided them with his skillful hand.

Is 40:11(A) He will tend his flock like a shepherd;
(B) he will gather the lambs in his arms;
(C) he will carry them in his bosom,
and gently lead those that are with young.

IS 63: 9(A) In all their affliction he was afflicted,[a]
and the angel of his presence saved them;
(B) in his love and in his pity he redeemed them;
(C) he lifted them up and carried them all the days of old.

God is our strength, our salvation for those who are believers. This again says he will protect us. He is our leader (shepherd) and will protect us. So we should “save our people and bless our heritage”. So we should pray not only for ourselves, but for “our people”.. what does that mean?

For me, it means other believers. What is our heritage? Not only other believers, but friends, family.. Give thanks for those who are saved, pray for their future.

Bible Study Notes (12-14-08)

December 16, 2008

FrieNdShip

 

“A man of many companions may come to ruin,

but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.”

Proverbs 18:24

JESUS AND DISCIPLES

I would be sinfully remiss if I did not touch upon this last and most important point. It is best given in the words of Christ himself in John 15:13, “Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends.” Friends? The very same friends who were dozing when he needed them most? The same who when push would come to shove run off and abandon him? Including one who would even vehemently deny knowing him? Yes, those very same friends. He tells them, just after that in verse 14, “You are my friends if you do what I command you.” Oh! But even with this they did indeed sleep and run and curse! Yet, when Jesus Christ rose it became clear that their very hearts of stone had been made flesh.

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Bible Study Notes (12-7-08)

December 10, 2008

FrieNdShip

 

“A man of many companions may come to ruin,

but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.”

Proverbs 18:24

PAUL AND BARNABAS

Lastly, we come to the beginning. How a true friend begins a friendship and how blind, dare I say, that a true friend really is. Saul of Tarsus was a genocidal fanatic. You were Christian? He’d like to kill ya. He stood, holding peoples coats as they stoned the first Christian martyr to death so they would not be bloodied. One day, he was bringing a letter to a town called Damascus. That letter gave him permission to round up the Christians and bring them back to Jerusalem for… judging. As he rides along on his horse, BAM! (more…)