Shalem India Pentecostal church, New Jersey.

Sunday Message: Nov 09 -

November 01, 2009

Scripture: Philippians 2:5-8 (v.6)

Subject: The Attitude of Christ -1

Theme: What are the traits of Jesus?

 Introduction:

·         Our lives are directed by our attitude.

·         Winston Churchill said, “Attitude is a little thing that makes a big difference.”

·         What do we mean by attitude? Attitude is a mental position relative to a way of thinking or being.
It is the outlook of a person or one’s approach to people and circumstances around.

·         Someone said like this: “If you don't like something change it; if you can't change it, change the way you think about it.”

·         We can change our lives by changing our attitude.

·         Attitude can be both negative and positive.

 ·         Apostle Paul in our text talks about our attitude.

·         He says that our attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus.

·         Christians must be of Christ’s mind.

·         We must bear a resemblance to his life, if we would have the benefit of his death.

·         We must walk in the same spirit and in the same steps with the Lord Jesus.

 ·         He explores the person and nature of Jesus in the letter to the church in Philippi.

·         He discovered five such attitudes that we can follow.

·         We will see the first one that is explained in v. 6 in our sermon today

 1.      Christ Jesus who being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God (v.6)

·         Here is his divine nature: Who being in the form of God, partaking of the divine nature, as the eternal and only begotten Son of God.

·         That is what we read in Jn. 1:1, In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God:

·         Col. 1:15 talks about Jesus as the image of the invisible God.  

·         In Heb. 1:3 we read about Jesus as the Son being the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being.

·         He did not consider equality with God means he did not greedily catch at, nor covet and affect to appear in his divine majestic glory.

·         He laid aside the majesty of his former appearance while he was here on earth.

·         It simply states that thought he deserved it, being equal with God; Jesus did not try to take over the Kingdom by force.

·         He had an equality of nature and right with God. Yet he did not consider them as he decided to come to save human beings

·         His nature was not one of using force or driven by blind ambition, rather he was gentle and meek.

·         Certainly Jesus had the power to call legions of angels to rescue him from the cross and inflict punishment on the crowd that had mistreated him, but he did not do it.

·         Certainly he could have grabbed people by the neck if they did not follow him, but he did not do it.

·         He never applies any force to save anyone.

·         Jesus does not use all his power to simply stop all crimes and wrongdoings.

·         He refused to do anything that would destroy our ability to choose.

·         Love works that way.

·         Matthew quotes Isaiah to show the gentleness of Jesus in Matthew 12:18-21.

·         Especially v. 20 says, he will not break a bruised reed or quench a smoldering wick, till he brings justice to victory (RSV).

·         In simple language, it means that he won’t kick a man when he is down and he looks for the slightest spark of hope in people and tries to fan it into flame.

·         In today’s Christendom we see a lot of force applied to people.

·         We sometimes force people to accept Christ… to give… to worship

·         We manipulate people’s emotions to get our goals accomplished.

·         It may be either through an alter-call… or through a past experience… or through some stories… or words of intimidation or bringing guilt and shame up on people.

·         Evangelists trade secrets of how best to move the greatest number of people to the altar.

·         We do it in our own way and never allow the Holy Spirit to move people.

·         The whole structure of heads bowed, eyes closed, and the organ gently playing creates an unreal atmosphere that can be destructive to a person’s ability to make a genuine choice.

·         In this mood-setting atmosphere, psychological forces can come into play and confuse people.

·         We should not do anything that violates or that is disrespectful of the freedom of anyone.

·         We should never use deceptive means or dishonesty in any form to make converts.

·         We should always focus on the person Jesus himself rather than any church system or doctrines or styles.

Conclusion

·         Jesus who came to redeem people never took advantage of them on his way to the cross.

·         He never used them for his own purposes.

·         He could have easily taken advantage of a repentant Zaccheus or of the seeking rich young man or of the crowd he fed who wanted to make him king.

·         Rather, he chose the right means to achieve the right end.

·         He was driven by love and obedience, not blind ambition.

·         What should be our attitude in the light of Jesus’ nature?

·         Our attitude must be right and motives must be pure.

·         When goals are high and demanding, it is our temptation to choose the wrong means to achieve those goals

·         Even to achieve highest goals, we must choose the right means at any cost.

·         As God’s people, we should never be driven by force or selfish ambition, but by love and generosity.

·         May the Lord help us to have the mind of Christ!

 Mathew Philip © 2009

November 08, 2009

Scripture: Philippians 2:5-8 (v.7)

Subject: The Attitude of Christ -2

Theme: What are the traits of Jesus?

 Introduction:

·         We said last week that our lives are directed by our attitude.

·         We can change our lives by changing our attitude.

·         Apostle Paul says that our attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus.

·         Christians must be of Christ’s mind.

·         We must bear a resemblance to his life, if we would have the benefit of his death.

·         We must walk in the same spirit and in the same steps with the Lord Jesus.

·          ·         Paul explores the person and nature of Jesus in the letter to the church in Philippi.

·         He discovered five such attitudes that we can follow.

·         We have already  seen the first one in v.6, “Christ Jesus who being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God

·         He had an equality of nature and right with God.

·         Though he deserved it, being equal with God; Jesus did not try to take over the Kingdom by force.

·         His nature was not one of using force or driven by blind ambition, rather he was gentle and meek.

·         Today we shall talk about the second nature:

 2. Christ Jesus … made him himself nothing!     

·         The Greek word used here is kenosis.

·         It means He emptied himself

·         He made himself of no reputation, no image.

·         This nature of Jesus is something very difficult for us to understand.

·         It is because reputation is very important to people.

·         We want to be known by people; we want to have the best house; we want to live in the right neighborhood; we want our children go to the best school; we want to drive the right kind of car; we want to wear the right kind of clothing.

·         Look at Jesus! He made himself of no reputation.

·         People spent a lot of money to build their image in the public.

·         Sometimes we want to show off by adding number of Degrees (educational achievements) to our names or through our dress or simply speaking with pulpit voice or the sanctuary tone with a tear in every word.

·         Jesus did not do anything that will give him reputation or raise his image in the public.

·         He did not mind who he was seen with.

·         When tax collectors and sinners gathered around Jesus to hear him, Pharisees and the teachers of the law complained, “This man welcomes sinners and eats with them (Luke 15:1-2).

·         Do you know what the Pharisee said he they saw a woman with ill reputation touched and kissed the feet of Jesus?

·         He said, "If this man were a prophet, he would know who is touching him and what kind of woman she is-that she is a sinner."

·         I we were in the place of Jesus, we would not do anything of this kind that would tarnish our reputation or image.

·         Paul gives us further insight in 2 Cor. 8:9 into what it meant for Jesus to make himself nothing, “For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, so that you through his poverty might become rich.”

·         No wonder Jesus said that it is more difficult for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven than for a camel to go through the eye of a needle.

·         Possessing wealth is probably the strongest barrier to growing into the nature and lifestyle of Jesus.

·         A wealthy man has so much to give up.

·         What did Jesus say to the rich young ruler? “Go and sell what you have and give it to the poor.”

·         He did not say, “God and sell what you have and give it to God through my organization.” Nor he said, “Show your love and devotion by setting what you have and giving it to me, the Lord.”

·         Jesus did not say to all wealthy people to sell their possession and give to the poor.

·         It was because he had a keen sense of where our treasure and heart is.

·         One thing is very clear: What is valued before men is abominable in the sight of God.

·         Pharisees thought that their wealth was a blessing from God and people are poor because it was a sign of God’s displeasure.

·         Today also there are people who think like that.

·         Jesus consistently reversed the value system of this world.

·         That’s why he said to them, “You are the ones who justify yourselves in the eyes of men, but God knows your hearts. What is highly valued among men is detestable in God’s sight” (Luke 16:14-15)

·         In this age, the desire for “more has led many parents to take multiple jobs in order to provide their families with higher standards of living.

·         In this drive to excel, they have deprived their children of the richest of gifts-themselves. They are not able to give their time and presence to their children.

·         In that case, I think it is better to accept a lesser standard of living so that we may not loose what is best for us.

·         We are very important to God; we are precious in the sight of God.

·         His making himself poor was for our benefits – so that by his poverty we might become rich.

·         That’s why you and I became rich in faith.

·         May the Lord help us not to do anything for our name and fame, but for his glory alone!

·         We must be able to do everything for the glory of God, even at the cost of our own reputation!

Mathew Philip © 2009

November 14 (Saturdday's message)

Scripture: James 1:13-15

Sub: Temptation

Theme: How to Guard against Temptation

 Introduction

·         There are things in life we need to guard against.

·         For Example:

·         Car Accidents: Automobile accidents kill thousands of people each year. Many accidents could be avoided if people drove more carefully and guarded against them.

·         Diseases: Some diseases such as cholera can be guarded against by having a vaccine.

 ·         Now turning to the welfare of our soul, we also find there are things to guard against.

·         My purpose in this message is to show that Christians must guard against temptation.

·         We as believers must guard against temptations by understanding the ways it works.

 1.      We can guard against temptation by understanding that it works through desire (v.14)

 A.     Explanation of desire in v.14

·         There is nothing wrong to desire. We can desire for something good.

·         When desire becomes evil, that is called lust.

·         The Greek word, epithumia is used here for lust.

·         Our desire can be evil when it is fixed upon wicked, unlawful, things.

·         Generally desire is the basis of temptation.

 B.     How desire is the basis of temptation?

·         Without desire not one of us could ever be tempted to sin.

·         Temptation is powerless until it finds desire to work through.

·         Desire is necessary for human life.

·         But when desire goes beyond what is right, it breaks God’s law and is evil.

·         Peter tells us that the corruption in the world is caused by evil desire (2 Pet 1:4)

 C.     What kind of evil desires?

·         Evil desires which come from our sinful nature find expression in every direction.

·         Look at these evil desires: Revenge against someone, greed for money, worldly popularity, rebellion against authority, sex without marriage.

·         Galatians 5:19…

 D.     Application

·         Temptation will always work through desire.

·         We also cannot imagine a life without desire.

·         So, what we can do is to keep a watch over our desires.

·         Stop temptation at its first step.

·         Once a fire swept through a city and almost left it in ashes, but there was a time when a jug of water could have put it out.

·         That time was when it started!

·         So we can keep desire from running wild by not feeding it with thoughts.

·         And also by keeping watch over it by God’s Word and prayer.

 2.      We can guard against temptation by realizing that it works through bait (v.14).

 A.     Explanation of “enticed” in v. 14

·         “Entice” is from the Greek word for “bait.”

·         Here James is using a word picture.

·         It is a picture of fish swimming along in safety.

·         Suddenly a fisherman drops down a line and a hook with a worm on it.

·         One of the fish looks at the worm and sees its meal; it goes for the bait.

·         But someone else has a meal-the fisherman-who has caught the fish.

·         The bait brought the fish to the hook.

 B.     How the devil works in temptation?

·         Well, the devil works through a bait in tempting us.

·         He presents the bait as something to be gained.

·         It may be some pleasure, some new experience, and some earthly possession.

·         John talks about them in three categories: the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life (1Jo 2:16).

·         There are different kinds of bait, but the enemy uses the kind of bait that appeals to us.

·         He always works by a cunning method.

·         Eph 6:11 talks about it as different strategies and tricks of the devil; or schemes or wiles of the devil.

·         He shows us the bait but he hides the hook..

 C.     Illustration of Adam and Eve.

·         In Gen 3 we see how the tempter worked in Eden.

·         By presenting the bait and hiding the hook, Satan tempted Adam and Eve.

·         The forbidden fruit was pleasing to the eye (lust of the eye), good for food (lust of the flesh), and desirable for gaining wisdom (Pride of life) (3:16).

·         The tempter said, “You will be like God, knowing good and evil” (3:15)

·         You have something to gain.

·         Here is the bait, the profit.

·         But, oh, the pain, the shame, the punishment that would come!

·         The devil gave them a piece of fruit in exchange for paradise.

·         How the enemy uses bait to close our eyes so that we walk into sin!

 D.     Application

·         As Christians, we must watch out for the devil’s bait.

·         It may be a picture in a magazine you should not have in your hands.

·         It may be a chance for worldly gain by lying and cheating.

·         It may be a choice for something outside of God’s will for you.

·         It may be a relationship that developed recently.

·         Whatever the bait, our responsibility is to recognize it as bait; call it bait; stay away from it.

·         In so doing you will protect your soul against temptation.

 3.      We can guard against temptation by realizing it works through our will (1:15)

 A. Explanation of “after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin” in v.15

·         When does desire conceive sin? Or, in other words, when does temptation become sin?

·         Temptation itself is not sin. If it was sin, Jesus would have been a sinner since he was tempted.

·         We become sinners only when we will yield to it.

·         Our will decides the matter.

·         We are free moral persons, and the devil cannot force us to sin.

·         No one is forced to sin.

·         Theologically, sin is a voluntary transgression of the will.

 B. Illustration of Christ’s Temptation in Matthew 4:5-6

·         The devil could tempt Christ to cast Himself down from the highest point of the temple, but he could not push Christ down!

·         He could tempt Christ, but he could not force Christ to sin.

·         Christ refused to create peril for Himself and to try to force God to rescue Him.

·         Christ refused to prove He was the Messiah in this sinful way.

·         He stood firm against the devil’s temptation.

·         What does this speak to us? We too can resist the devil.

·         That’s what we are instructed by James in 4:7: “Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you.”

·         I myself cannot resist by my strength, but only when I submit myself to God, I will be able to resist the devil’s temptation.

 C. Illustration of sinful thoughts against a Christian

·         A consecrated Christian was very disturbed because she was oppressed by thoughts of sin.

·         She seemed to have no control over such thoughts.

·         One day she came to her pastor for counsel.

·         The pastor asked, “Is you will against these thoughts? Are you opposed to them?

·         “Oh, yes,” she said, “I hate them.”

·         Then the pastor said, “You have not sinned. You cannot keep birds from flying over your head, but you can keep them from building a nest in your hair. These thoughts are not sin; they are fiery darts of the wicked one (Eph 6:16). You cannot stop these fiery darts, but you have not sinned. Your will is against them.”

·         That does not mean that we can keep on thinking about bad things without sinning.

·         If we ponder on something, then we will yield to it.

·         That’s why we must trust in the blood of Jesus and resist the evil thoughts that comes to our mind.

·         So to be tempted is not sin; you must consent before sin takes place.

 onclusion

·         Dear people of God, the Lord has placed us in this world, a world under sin.

·         We are not yet taken out of this world.

·         As we live in this sinful world, especially, in the flesh, many are the works of the flesh.

·         We must resist them.

·         We can triumph in guarding against temptation.

·         You and I can guard against temptation because we know it works through desire.

·         Don’t feed that desire; don’t let it take over your time and thoughts.

 ·         Then we can guard against temptation because we know that it works through a bait.

·         If we recognize those baits as traps that hook us, our hearts will turn against them.

·         We can guard against temptation because we know temptation works through our will.

·         That is the battleground, but the devil cannot make you sin.

·         We ourselves must decide to sin.

·         Our will holds the victory; let us stand our ground in Christ Jesus.

·         Listen to these words:

All the water in the world, however hard it tried, could never, never, sink a ship unless it got inside.

All the evil in the world, the blackest kind of sin, could never hurt you one least bit unless you let it in.

 Mathewphilip©2009

 

November 15

Scripture: Philippians 2:5-8 (v.7b-8a)

Subject: The Attitude of Christ -3

Theme: What are the traits of Jesus?

 Introduction:

Scripture: Philippians 2:5-8 (v.7b-8a)

Subject: The Attitude of Christ -3

Theme: What are the traits of Jesus?

 Introduction:

·         Our lives are directed by our attitude.

·         We can change our lives by changing our attitude.

·         Apostle Paul says that our attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus.

·         Christians must be of Christ’s mind.

·         We must walk in the same spirit and in the same steps with the Lord Jesus.

·          ·         Paul explores the person and nature of Jesus in the letter to the church in Philippi.

·         He discovered five such attitudes that we can follow.

·         We have already  seen the first one in v.6, “Christ Jesus who being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God”

·         He had an equality of nature and right with God.

·         Though he deserved it, being equal with God; Jesus did not try to take over the Kingdom by force.

·         His nature was not one of using force or driven by blind ambition, rather he was gentle and meek.

·         So our nature should be the one that never uses force or driven by selfish ambition.

·         Then we looked at the second nature of Jesus in v. 7, “Christ Jesus … made himself nothing…”    

·         It simply means that He made himself of no reputation, no image.

·         Jesus did not do anything that will give him reputation or raise his image in the public.

·         His making himself poor was for our benefits – so that by his poverty we might become rich.

·         That’s why you and I became rich in faith.

·         So our nature should the one that will not seek for reputation

·         Today we will see the third nature of Jesus

 3. “…taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man…”

A. What does it mean to be Human?

·         The third nature is to be human.

·         Jesus voluntarily assumed human nature.

·         He was really and truly man, took part of our flesh and blood, and appeared in the nature and habit of man.

·         He not only took upon him the likeness of a man, but the form of a servant, that is, a man of mean estate.

·         He was not only God’s servant whom he had chosen, but he came to minister to humanity.

·         Mark 10:45 says, “For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many."

·         Though he was fully God, he became fully man just like me, a man with the same passions and temptations that I have.

·         We read in Hebrews 4:15, “For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are-yet was without sin.”

·         Jesus too was tempted just as I am, but without sin.

·         Though he was tempted, he did not yield to the temptations and found to be without sin.

·         Why? Because he perfectly obeyed his Father, depended on God’s Word and allowed the Holy Spirit to work in his life on earth.

·         This helps us to be humble, to own our own humanity.

·         We don’t need to hide it in the presence of anyone.

·         We don’t need to put on a mask of spirituality if it is not there.

·         This helps me to be honest about myself.

·         This understanding of Jesus’ nature helps me to be free to be forgiven and to forgive.

 B. What does it mean to be Servant?

·         Being in the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness, what service Jesus did for humanity?

·         A servant will always work for the freedom of others.

·         He or she does the job so that others will be free.

·         Jesus’ servanthood wants for others the freedom that comes from forgiveness.

·         Jesus chose forgiveness as a major trait of those who follow him.

·         When Peter asked Jesus, “Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother when h e sins against me? Up to seven times?

·         Jesus answered, “I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times” (Matt 18:21-22).

·         We may be good for three times of forgiveness.

·         We are not able to forgive others, because we forget sometimes the fact that we too are human.

·         Jesus never said to the Father, “let’s teach them a lesson,” because of the horrendous scares and deep wounds we had given him.

·         That helps us to forgive the sinner in his sin and let him know it.

·         Sin is a distortion of our created nature and forgiveness has an amazing power to correct that distortion.

·         Forgiveness also has a way of eliminating the distance between people, bringing us close enough to touch and embrace.

·         Those are actions very much in keeping with servanthood.

 C. What does it mean to be found in appearance as a man?

·         Jesus identified with humanity.

·         John 1:14 says, “The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.

·         Because God became human, we could touch him and feel him.

·         The incarnation brought to us the servant king who would touch us and let us touch him.

·         Scripture is filled with references to Jesus touching.

·         Since his love for mankind is so complete, even the lepers, the untouchables, felt the warmth of his hands.

·         No wonder those who touched him and the ones whom he touched were healed

·         While on earth, Jesus was the embodiment of love.

·         Thus he showed us in his human nature that we as human beings must love each other.

·         Many of today’s leaders cannot be touched and they are too busy to touch others.

·         The more power and authority we receive, the less accessible we become.

·         We find the prevalence of individualism among ministers and priest in today’s church. 

·         Stardom and individual heroism, which are such obvious aspects of our competitive society, are not at all alien to the church. 

 Conclusion

·         Jesus never wanted to present himself before people as a star or hero, but as a servant giving his life for others.

·         He took the very nature of a human.

·         To be human is to love and to be loved, to forgive and to be forgiven, to touch and be touched, to fellowship, to serve, to be sensitive to the needs of others, to help and everything on earth we can do to be a blessing for each other.

·         May the Lord help us to follow the very nature of Jesus, that is, to continue to be human, loving, making ourselves available, and to be someone others can touch and feel!

Mathewphilip © 2009

 

November 22

Scripture: Philippians 2:5-8 (v.7b-8a)

Subject: The Attitude of Christ -4

Theme: What are the traits of Jesus?

 Introduction:

·         Our lives are directed by our attitude.

·         We can change our lives by changing our attitude.

·         Apostle Paul says that our attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus.

·         Christians must be of Christ’s mind.

·         We must walk in the same spirit and in the same steps with the Lord Jesus.

·         Paul explores the person and nature of Jesus in the letter to the church in Philippi.

·         He discovered five such attitudes that we can follow.

 ·         The first nature we found our in Christ was that He never used force or driven by selfish ambition

·         v.6: “Christ Jesus who being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God”

·         He had an equality of nature and right with God.

·         Though he deserved it, being equal with God; Jesus did not try to take over the Kingdom by force.

·         His nature was not one of using force or driven by blind ambition, rather he was gentle and meek.

·         So our nature should be the one that never uses force or driven by selfish ambition.

 ·         Then we looked at the second nature of Jesus in v. 7, “Christ Jesus … made himself nothing…”         

·         He made himself of no reputation, no image.

·         Jesus did not do anything that will give him reputation or raise his image in the public.

·         His making himself poor was for our benefits – so that by his poverty we might become rich.

·         That’s why you and I became rich in faith.

·         So our nature should the one that will not seek for reputation

·         The third nature we found out was to be human.

·          “…taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man…”

·         Jesus not only took upon him the likeness of a man, but the form of a servant, that is, a man of mean estate.

·         He was not only God’s servant whom he had chosen, but he came to minister to humanity.

·         This helps us to be humble, to be true to own our own humanity.

·         Jesus never wanted to present himself before people as a star or hero, but as a servant giving his life for others.

·         Today we will look at the fourth nature of Jesus:

 4. He humbled himself and became obedient…” (v.8b)

A.     The Secret of Obedience

·         The fourth nature of Jesus was to be obedient to His Father.

·         When we think about obedience, we often think that we are made to do something that we don’t want or something that we don’t think is right by someone higher and stronger than ourselves.

·         This was not the case with Jesus.

·         Obedience was a joy for him because it was being true to the original nature (the image of God).

·         This original nature (obedience) was polluted by Adam and Eve by their choices.

·         The special mark of Jesus’ life was his total obedience to his Father

·         Jesus said in John 5:19-20, “I tell you the truth, the Son can do nothing by himself; he can do only what he sees his Father doing, because whatever the Father does the Son also does.”

·         Jesus chose to do the will of His Father.

·         Even in Gethsemane, we see Jesus’ obedience to do the will of the Father.

·         Jesus knew the secret of obedience which produces joy.

·         In Matthew 16:24-25, he gives to his disciples what may be the most condensed secret of God:

·         Jesus said to his disciples, "If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever wants to save his life [fn] will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will find it.”

·         Obedience to Christ means to give myself away for others.

·         None of my gifts and talents are to be used for self-seeking purposes – only for the edification of the body of Christ.

·         The ministry gifts are to be used for the equipping of saints.

·         Any act not beneficial to others is disobedient and damaging to the body.

 B.      The Power for Obedience

·         The power for obedience to the Father came to Jesus by the anointing of the Spirit that comes from the Father.

·         Anointing, however, is not always clearly understood.

·         We often think, anointing means to make a lot of noise, or to jump up and down.

·         When a minister felt that he had the anointing, the physical results were immediate.

·         The voice rose in volume.

·         Pulpit pounding would increase.

·          Similarly when congregation talks of a preacher who is anointed, it has nothing to do with what he says, but instead is a way of describing the style with which he preaches.

·         What was anointing meant to Jesus?

·         He was driven into the desert by the Spirit.

·         There he won the battle with Satan.

·         Then he went to the Synagogue where a scroll from Isaiah is handed to him and he reads, “The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to release the oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord's favor” (Luke 4:18-19).

·         That is what the anointing did to Jesus.

·         He was fulfilling his nature- to be obedient.

·         The word, Messiah or Christ means “the anointed one.”

·         Jesus was fully anointed, not to some volume or voice or jump up and down, but to do something – to preach good news, to proclaim freedom, to give sight, and to release people from bondage of Satan.

·         That is what the anointing must produce in me if I follow in his steps.

·         Notice the clients who came to him – poor, prisoners, blind, oppressed- the most unattractive sort of companions.

·         None of these people would be able to properly repay him for his services.

·         Look at many of today’s anointed servants of God… who are their companions? – Privileged groups… Cream of the crops… Political head… Religious leaders…  Top class of the community…?

·         None of the people with Jesus could give anything to him, but only receive.

·         Obedience thinks more about giving than receiving.

Conclusion

·         The work of the Holy Spirit in anointing us must result in total dedication and obedience to God.

·         It must also result in giving ourselves to others and serving them.

·         May the Lord help us to learn from this nature of Jesus and become obedient to the mission of Christ!

Mathewphilip©2009

November 29

Scripture: Philippians 2:5-8 (v.7b-8a)

Subject: The Attitude of Christ -5

Theme: What are the traits of Jesus?

 Introduction:

·         Our lives are directed by our attitude.

·         We can change our lives by changing our attitude.

·         Apostle Paul says that our attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus.

·         Christians must be of Christ’s mind.

·         We must walk in the same spirit and in the same steps with the Lord Jesus.

·         Paul explores the person and nature of Jesus in the letter to the church in Philippi.

·         He explains about five such attitudes in our text.

 The first nature we found our in Christ was that He never used force or driven by selfish ambition

·         His nature was not one of using force or driven by blind ambition, rather he was gentle and meek.

·         So our nature should be the one that never uses force or driven by selfish ambition.

          Then we looked at the second nature of Jesus in v. 7, “Christ Jesus … made himself nothing…”

He made himself of no reputation, no image.

·         Jesus did not do anything that will give him reputation or raise his image in the public.

·         So our nature should the one that will not seek for reputation

The third nature we found out was to be human.

·          Jesus not only took upon him the likeness of a man, but the form of a servant, that is, a man of mean estate.

·         Jesus never wanted to present himself before people as a star or hero, but as a servant giving his life for others.

 The fourth nature of Jesus was that he became obedient.

·         Obedience to Jesus was not out of force, but it was a joy for him because it was being true to the original nature (the image of God).

·         The special mark of Jesus’ life was his total obedience to his Father

·         Jesus chose to do the will of His Father.

·         Obedience to Christ means to give myself away for others.

 5. The fifth nature of Jesus was that He was willing to

    die for others:

A.     The Ultimate Price.

·         “…He humbled himself and became obedient to death – even death on a cross.” (v.8)

·         Jesus paid the ultimate price of servant hood, that is, his life.

·         We read in John 15:13, “Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.”

·         This is the ultimate test of love.

·         Jesus was never forced into it, but love was always his choice.

·         The step of death was a loving choice that Jesus made.

 B.     The Power for Self-giving

·         Jesus said, “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep” (Jn 10:11)

·         He further said, “…I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down and authority to take it again. This command I received from my Father” (John 10:18).

·         Power for such self-giving can only come from knowing what the Father is like and hearing his voice.

·         We are able to give ourselves to others only when we know what Jesus is like.

·         Only when we are ready to hear his voice, we will be willing for self-giving.

·         The question that comes to me in the light of Jesus’ own nature is this: “Am I willing to go that far in giving myself away?

 C.     Am I willing to die?

·         If I am willing to die, for what am I willing to die?

·         Many people have died in the past to achieve or guarantee certain privileges for us.

·         Many died for their nations.

·         Many died for a set of beliefs.

·         We may say, “We are willing to die for the Lord Jesus Christ.”

·         What does that mean?

·         Of course there were many heroes or faith who laid down their lives for their faith in Christ Jesus.

·         We must be ready to die for the sake of the gospel.

·         When I say we must die, it does not mean only physical death, but death to certain things.

·         It may be death to my own pleasure for others’ sake.

·         It may be death to certain gains and achievements for the sake of God.

·         It may be death to some of our ideas from the common good of the people around.

·         It may be death to comfort and laxuary.

·         It may be death to wealth and money. Our forefathers were dead to these things when they were cast our of their homes for the sake of Christ. They did not go back to fight for their rights and privileges.

·         What Paul says in Phil 3:8 is this, “What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish that I may gain Christ.”

·         I am not saying that Christians must die to these things and live in poverty like monks.

·         We must be ready to make choices in these areas wherever it is needed.

·         Jesus made his own choice to love you and me by dying on a cross.

 Conclusion

·         Let’s be motivated by the love of Christ.

·         Jesus said, "If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me” (Luke 9:23).

·         If you and I want to be a part of the Kingdom, we must die to ourselves.

·         The kingdom of God is not selfishness. It is not self-centeredness. The kingdom of God is not man-centered; it is God-centered. And a man whose life is centered in God cannot be centered in himself.

·         If there is a death, there is also a resurrection.

·         When we are dead to our sins, we are resurrected to eternal life.

·         May the Lord help us to possess this nature of Jesus and live a successful Christian life!

Mathewphilip©2009

 

December 13, 2009

  Scripture: Matthew 2:1-12 (v.1)

Subject: True Worship -1

Theme: Acts of True Worship.

 ·   There are different ways that we express our gratitude and concern to people.

·   For example:

- Our respect to elders in our culture

We get up and give a seat when an elderly person comes.

In some culture youngsters touch the feet of the older people.

- Another thing is our reception of guest. There are different ways of receiving guest.

We shake hand with them/We give bouquet and receive them.

We take them toward their seat.

·   Likewise in Christian worship, there are certain acts that will express our gratitude and devotion to our Lord.

·   There are ways of true worship.

·   This passage talks to us about different acts of true worship

 1. SACRIFICE IS AN ACT OF TRUE WORSHIP (VV. 1-8)

 A. What do we mean by sacrifice?

·   It means we give up something in life for a higher cause.

·   For example,

- The monks - They renounce their life in the society for the sake of asceticism to foster the interest of their soul.

- Missionaries - They forsake their comfort and luxury to serve people in the mission field.

 B. Why Sacrifice is an act of true worship?

·   The Magi sacrificed a lot to find Jesus, the King of the Jews.

·   They came from the East - perhaps from Persia or Southern Arabia - both of which are east of Palestine.

·   In the pursuit of finding and worshipping Jesus, the Magi traveled around 600 miles in the desert by camels.

·   It took almost 2 to 3 months for them to reach Bethlehem.

 C. Exposition of v. 1

·   In this passage, we see the wise men’s anxious enquiry after Christ.

·   Jesus was the anticipated Messiah, the King of the Jews, and the desire of all nations.

·   Yet his coming into the world was little observed and taken notice of.

·   If the Son of God must be brought into the world, one might justly expect that he should be received with all the ceremony possible, that crowns and scepters should immediately have been laid at his feet, and that the high and mighty princes of the world should have been his humble servants; such a Messiah as this the Jews expected, but we see none of all this.

·   John 1:10 and 11 reads, “He was in the world, and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognize him.  He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him.”

·   The first who took notice of Christ after his birth were the shepherds (Lu. 2:15).

 ·   One thing I liked about Shepherds was that they spread the news of Jesus’ birth and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them.

·   After that, Simeon and Anna spoke of him, by the Spirit, to all that were disposed to heed what they said, (Luke. 2:25-38).

·   I was thinking the people of Jerusalem should with both arms have embraced the long-looked-for Messiah; but, none out of their stupidity recognized Him.

·   Not only was the Jews, but also today’s world do not acknowledge him, and no less that of many who are called Christians!

·   V.1: After Jesus was born -

·   The account of Jesus’ birth is given in Ch. 1:18-25.

·   It talks about why the birth of Christ is unique?

1.      The birth of Christ is unique because it fulfilled the Old Testament prophecy spoken 300 years before He was born.

2.      The birth of Christ is unique because He was born of a virgin.

3.      The birth of Christ is unique because He was born to die for the sins of the people.

 ·   We read here that he was born in Bethlehem in Judea.

·   Bethlehem was the birth place of David (1 Samuel 16:1).

·   It is about six miles Southwest of Jerusalem.

·   But how came Joseph and Mary to Bethlehem from Nazareth, the place of their residence?

·   We know that it was not of their own accord, and certainly not with the view of fulfilling the prophecy regarding Messiah's birthplace.

   To our amazement they stayed at Nazareth till it was almost too late for Mary to travel with safety.

·   The senses had taken Joseph and Mary to Bethlehem because of their Davidic descent (Luke 2:1-6).

·   So we see a high hand of God was in all these movements.

·   Here Matthew’s aim is to emphasize that Jesus came from the tribe of David.

·   The Jews expected the Messiah to be born in Bethlehem and to be from David’s family (John 7:42).

·   Judea was the name of the Roman province, but it is probably mentioned here as a reminder of the descent of Jesus from the royal line of Judah.

 ·   When this enquiry was made concerning Christ in the days of Herod the king.

·   This Herod was an Edomite, a gentile, made king of Judea by Augustus and Antonius in 40 B.C.

·   Like most rulers of the day, he was ruthless, murdered his wife, three sons, mother-in-law, brother-in-law, uncle and many others and also the babies in Bethlehem.

·   Christ was born in the 35th year of his reign and He died in 4 B.C. 

·   This fact is the only help we get from Matthew in dating the birth of Christ.

 ·   Here comes the wise men - They are here called Magoi—Magicians.

·   It is in a good sense; the Magi among the Persians were their philosophers and their priests.

·   They were probably of the learned class who cultivated astrology and kindred sciences.

 ·   Well, whatever sort of wise men they were before, now they began to be really wise when they set themselves to enquire after Christ.

* Anyone who seeks for Christ and follows Him is really wise!

·   We are sure of three things about them:

1.      They were Gentiles, and not belonging to the commonwealth of Israel.

-Notice something here - The Jews did not acknowledge Christ, but these gentiles enquired him out.

*Note, Many times those who are nearest to the means, are furthest from the end. 

We may be inside the church, but can be outside of Christ.

2.      They were scholars.

-They dealt in arts, magic and astrology. I wish good scholars should be good Christians, and then they complete their learning when they learn Christ.

3.      They were men of the East, who were noted for their soothsaying (Isa. 2:6).

-Whether from Arabia, Persia, or Mesopotamia is uncertain. We know that they were from the East.

Arabia is called the land of the east (Gen. 25:6), and the Arabians are called men of the east, Jdg. 6:3. The presents they brought were the products of that country; the Arabians had done homage to David and Solomon as types of Christ. Jethro and Job were of that country.

 ·   What induced them to make this enquiry?

·   They, in their country, which was in the East, had seen an extraordinary star.

·   They had never seen such a star before.

 ·   They took this to be an indication of an extraordinary person born in the land of Judea.

·   I personally think that a divine impression made upon their minds, enabling them to interpret this star as a signal given by Heaven of the birth of Christ.

 ·   How they prosecuted this enquiry?

·    They came from the east to Jerusalem.

·   Jerusalem was the Jewish capital city.

·   Since the Magi were looking for the King of the Jews they naturally came there.

·   As I mentioned in the beginning they took a long journey on purpose to enquire after him.

* Note, Those who truly desire to know Christ, and find him, will not regard pains or perils in seeking after him.

 Conclusion

·   These magi sacrificed their best of time, money, and health to come and worship the king of kings.

·   What is there to sacrifice to the Lord as our best?

·   How about our commitment in worshipping Jesus?

·   We are really wise as we seek for Christ and worship Him.

·   The Magi did not consider the heat of the day, cold in the night, and the dangers of the desert

·   Let’s not regard pains or perils in seeking after him.

·   Sacrifice is an act of true worship.

·   May the Lord help us to give our best as we come to worship Him!

Mathewphilip©2009

December 20

 Scripture: Matthew 2:1-12 (v.2-8)

Subject: True Worship -2

Theme: Acts of True Worship.

 ·   In Christian worship, there are certain acts that will express our gratitude and devotion to our Lord.

·   There are ways of true worship.

·   This passage talks to us about different acts of true worship

·   Last week we talked about one of such acts, that is, SACRIFICE IS AN ACT OF TRUE WORSHIP (VV. 1-8)

 ·   The Magi sacrificed a lot to find Jesus, the King of the Jews.

·   They came from the East - perhaps from Persia or Southern Arabia - both of which are east of Palestine.

·   In the pursuit of finding and worshipping Jesus, the Magi traveled around 600 miles in the desert by camels.

·   It took almost 2 to 3 months for them to reach Bethlehem.

·   What induced them to make this enquiry?

·   They, in their country, which was in the East, had seen an extraordinary star.

·   They had never seen such a star before.

·   They took this to be an indication of an extraordinary person born in the land of Judea.

·   They came from the east to Jerusalem.

·   Because of their desire to know Christ, and find him, they did not regard pains or perils in seeking after him.

·   These magi sacrificed their best of time, money, and health to come and worship the king of kings.

·   Their question is, where is he that is born King of the Jews?

·   They did not ask, whether there was some one born like this?

·   But, where is he born?

·   They were quite sure that Christ was the King of the Jews.

*Note, Those who know something of Christ cannot but covet to know more of him.

·   They wanted to have a ready answer.

·   It is not written that they went directly to the King Herod and asked about the child, but Herod heard that they were making an enquiry.

·   These wise men wanted to find all Jerusalem worshipping at the feet of this new king.

·   They might have been looking for a long queue in Jerusalem to see people flowing to the Palace and worshipping the King of the Jews.  

·   But they could not find any such thing and they might have enquired from door to door with this question, and no one could give them any information.

*Note, There is more gross ignorance in the world and in the church too, than we are aware of. Many that we think should direct us to Christ are themselves strangers to him.

·   People of Jerusalem might have asked them, why do you make this enquiry?

·   They would say, It is because we have seen his star in the east.

·   People would ask, "What business have you with him? What have the men of the east to do with the King of the Jews?

·   They have their answer ready, “We have come to worship him.

*Note, Those in whose hearts the day-star is risen will make it their business to worship him.

·   Let the world say anything what they want to say, but we will worship him.

·   Majority may be ignorant about Christ, but that doesn’t nullify his uniqueness as the Lord and Savior.

·   Have we seen Christ’s star?

·   Let us continue to give him honor and worship him.

 ·   Let us see how this enquiry was treated at Jerusalem.

·   News of it at last came to the King Herod and he was disturbed (v.3)

·   He could not be a stranger to the prophecies of the Old Testament, concerning the Messiah and his kingdom.

·   Those would have thought Jerusalem should rejoice greatly to hear that her King comes, saw that all Jerusalem, except the few there that waited for the consolation of Israel, were troubled with Herod.

·   When the gentiles came to worship, those in control of Jerusalem, the city of God are troubled.

*Note, When God’s people worship the living God in truth and spirit, the religious authorities in world are troubled.

·   They were troubled because of their ignorance.

·   They thought the Kingdom of the Messiah would clash and interfere with the secular powers.

·   They could not recognize that the star that proclaimed him King plainly intimated that his kingdom was heavenly, and not of this lower world.

*Note, The reason why the kings of the earth and the people oppose the kingdom of Christ is, because they do not know it, but go wrong concerning it.

 ·   Chief priests and teachers of the law were called for their assistance to find out the King of the Jews.

·   Chief priests - Sadducees who were in charge of worship at the temple in Jerusalem.

·   Teachers of the Law - The Jewish scholars of the day, professionally trained in the development, teaching and application of the Old Testament law,

·   Their authority was strictly human and traditional.

·   All of them were in one opinion that the Messiah must be born in Bethlehem, the city of David, here called Bethlehem of Judea.

·   Herod made it sure that a person of such importance to the Magi is likely to be the Messiah.

 ·   The King made a bloody project.

·   Herod was now an old man, and had reigned thirty-five years.

·   But this king was newly born and he will take years to come to the throne.

·   Yet Herod is jealous of him.

·   Crowned heads cannot endure to think of successors; and they won’t bother much about their rivals.

·   Therefore nothing less than the blood of this infant king would satisfy him.

·   So Herod cunningly called the Magi and asked them to come back and report to him if they found the Messiah.

·   In order to avoid suspicion o his fear and jealousy, he had covered his plan with a show of religion - “so that I too may go and worship him.”

*Note, The greatest wickedness often conceals itself under a mask of piety.

·   But Herod made a mistake of believing those wise men that they would come and report to him back.

·   It was only seven miles from Jerusalem.

·   How easily he might have sent spies to watch the wise men so that he could destroy the child!

·   But I believe that God in his providence made Herod a fool to believe those wise men.

*Note, God can hide from the eyes of the church’s enemies those methods by which they might easily destroy the church.  When God wants to protect and deliver his people, his way is to make the judges and those in authority fools.

 Conclusion

·   Sacrifice is an act of true worship

·   The question is, what do we sacrifice before the Lord?

·   In Genesis 4: 4 we read Abel brought fat portions from some of the firstborn of his flock.” - He brought the best he had.

·   In Gen. 22:5 we read that Abraham had to sacrifice his most precious son.

·   We read in the history that many great men and women of God had to leave everything they had for the sake of following Christ.

·   Early missionaries left their own countries to the third world

·   Are we ready to sacrifice our time, strength, money and many others for the sake of Christ?

·   Romans 12:1 says, “Offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God” - This is your spiritual act of worship.

·   Some one said that there is nothing for us to sacrifice as such, because whatever we have is given by our Lord.

·   So what do we do?  We invest what we have for the extension of God’s Kingdom.

·   God wants us to be investors in God’s Kingdom.

·   May the Lord help us to give our best in worshipping our Lord!

Mathewphilip©2009

 

 

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