Manhood and Deity

Are you sold out to doing God’s will? Even at the expense of your own?

After Jesus grew up, he was baptized and then immediately sent into the wilderness to be tested and tempted by the Devil. Of course, he passed with flying colors, proving his Deity, and showing us how to say “no” to sin.

The following is a message I shared at Grace Bible Chapel on July 23, 2017.

Follow along here: Luke 3:21-4:13

Woe! Really?

I cringe when I read the “woes” Jesus spoke to the Pharisees and lawyers in Luke 11. Take, for example, when He says, “But woe to you Pharisees! You give a tenth of mint, rue, and every kind of herb, and you bypass justice and love for God. These things you should have done without neglecting the other” (Luke‬ ‭11:42‬ ‭HCSB‬‬). These Pharisees did a good job of putting their religiosity on display. They faithfully obeyed the “tithing law” with their material possessions, but they did not provide justice to the downtrodden nor did they love God.

Jesus went to on to pronounce the following woe on the experts in the law, “Woe to you experts in the law! You have taken away the key of knowledge! You didn’t go in yourselves, and you hindered those who were going in” (Luke‬ ‭11:52‬). These men had everything necessary to help everyone know and practice true worship, but they distorted it (or kept it to themselves) so the people were kept in darkness. But why was Jesus so harsh on these leaders? It makes me uncomfortable to hear how sharply He rebuked them. Continue reading

How Much Do You Love?

In our world today, there is a pervasive idea that in order to go to heaven, a person must be good. Of course, no one knows how good they must be in order to get in, but that doesn’t seem to bother many of us. We can always point out at least one person who is worse than us.

Unfortunately, the Bible teaches that no one is good enough to get into heaven on their own merit. In fact, Jesus taught the exact opposite. Jesus regularly made comments to the effect of, “I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance” (Luke 5:32).

In Luke 7:36-50, there is a delightful story about a Pharisee, a Rabbi, and a prostitute. Jesus (called “Rabbi” by many) was invited over for lunch by a Pharisee. While they were enjoying a pleasant meal, a sinful woman entered the house, knelt at Jesus’ feet weeping, washed his feet with her tears and wiped them with her hair, kissed his feet, broke open a bottle of fragrant perfume, and poured it on his feet.

Indignant, the Pharisee thought to himself, Continue reading

Deliverance

Scattered throughout the Psalms, we find multiple cries for deliverance. For example, in Psalm 6:4 David cries out: “Return, O Lord, deliver me!
Oh, save me for Your mercies’ sake!” In his distress, David calls on the Lord for salvation and relief. Although it’s not expressly stated in this Psalm, we believe that the Lord intervened and delivered his faithful servant from his distress!

If we fast-forward to the book of Luke, chapter 2, we will see another act of deliverance. In this passage we encounter the virgin Mary with a bulging belly. 9 months into her first pregnancy, she and Joseph made the arduous trip up to Bethlehem to be counted in a world-wide census. In Luke 2:6 we read: “So it was, that while they were there, the days were completed for her to be delivered.” (Normally, when people think about child birth, they think of the baby being “delivered”, not the mother. But here we see clearly that Mary is the one being delivered.)

When we go back to Genesis 3, we will understand why Mary needed to be delivered. It’s here that we read about the curses God pronounced on Adam, Eve, and the Serpent for the sin they committed in the garden. In verse 16 we read part of the curse pronounced on the woman. God said to Eve: “I will greatly multiply your sorrow and your conception; In pain you shall bring forth children…” From this point on pregnant women are the ones in need of deliverance from the sorrow, pain, and danger of child-bearing. (A deliverance that, really, only God can provide.)

Interestingly, in Genesis 3 we also read about the curse God pronounces on the Serpent. In verse 15 God tells Satan: “And I will put enmity between you and the woman, And between your seed and her Seed; He shall bruise your head, And you shall bruise His heel.” In this passage, God sealed the fate of Satan. He promised that one day a human child would be born who would bruise [crush] Satan’s head.

Even more interesting is that when the time came for Mary to be delivered, she brought forth a male child and called His name Jesus. (She was successfully delivered!) An angel had told Mary to give the boy the name Jesus “for He will save [deliver] His people from their sins!” (Matthew 1:21) Furthermore, when Mary and Joseph brought the boy to the temple in Jerusalem, a “just and devout” man named Simeon took baby Jesus in his arms and thanked God, saying: “Lord, now You are letting Your servant depart in peace, According to Your word; For my eyes have seen Your salvation [deliverance] Which You have prepared before the face of all peoples, A light to bring revelation to the Gentiles, And the glory of Your people Israel.” (Luke 2:29-32)

Approximately 33 years after Jesus is born, He was nailed to a wooden cross. His death seemed to many to be His defeat, but it was actually the exact opposite. By being hung on a tree, Jesus was able to take the curse that plagued mankind since the fall. By dying on the cross, Jesus was able to deliver His people from their sins. By dying on the cross and rising again, Jesus was able to crush the head of Satan.

Salvation is freely offered to all. Salvation from sin and judgment is obtained by simple faith in Jesus Christ, the son of God. Have you put your faith in the Lord Jesus?

“Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ,
and you will be saved [delivered]…”
Acts 16:21

The Man Jesus Looked Up To

In Luke 19, we see Jesus passing through the city of Jericho on His journey to Jerusalem. While He is there, He comes into contact with man named Zacchaeus. In versus 2-4 we are told three interesting facts about Zacchaeus:

  1. He was small in stature
  2. He was a chief tax collector (and he was rich)
  3. He really wanted to see Jesus

As you may recall, because Zacchaeus was short, he had to climb a tree in order to catch a gimps of the Great Teacher. (You may also recall that the people who knew Zacchaeus were not impressed by him because he was the “sinner” who had gotten rich by taking their money.)

Yet we read these marvelous words in Luke 19:5:

And when Jesus came to the place, He looked up and saw him, and said to him, ‘Zacchaeus, make haste and come down, for today I must stay at your house.’

When Jesus looks for someone to spend time with, He does not look for tall, handsome people. He does not look for people with prestigious jobs and lots of talent. He looks for people who are looking for Him.

If you haven’t already, I urge you to “turn your eyes upon Jesus.”
If you have, keep “looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ.” (Titus 2:13)