Just as I preach about the church of the Bible, I also need to preach about the Christ of the Bible, and do. Just as I preach on “How Can I Know When I Have Found the Right Church?” I also need to preach on “How Can I Know When I Have Found the Right Jesus?” In His discourse concerning the impending destruction of the city of Jerusalem by the Romans (which occurred in A. D. 70) Jesus warned, “For false christs and false prophets will arise and show great signs and wonders so as to deceive, if possible, even the elect” (Matthew 24:24). Through the centuries, many false christs (messiahs) have arisen. So, how can we know when we have found the right Jesus, the right Christ?
The title, “The imperfect Jesus,” reminds us to use Bible words with Bible meanings. Hebrews 5.9 states that Jesus was perfected by obedience. Here are verses 8-10:
“If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all people.”
Most who are Christians, at least in the Western World, have never suffered persecution as the Christians did in the first century. Although we may be aware that this is always a possibility in a changing and volatile world, in our minds any persecution that might come would be from someone we don’t know, from someone who does not even acknowledge God.
As young people we might have envisioned how our lives would unfold. We looked forward to achieving a college education followed by a successful career. Or maybe as adults we anticipated how the potential we saw within our children or grandchildren would blossom in marvelous ways as they reached adulthood. Still yet, there might have been the expectation for just a normal healthy life filled with a long marriage and children.
Love is the most powerful force known to man. Nothing is stronger. It should not surprise us then, that love is the key motivating factor in scripture.
When God is our help and hope, v. 5, how happy we will be!
What is faith? This probably sounds like a silly question – but only if we have given it no thought because we assume we fully understand it. Consider one small sampling of the evidence.
With the conversion of Cornelius the dynamic of first century evangelism changed. No longer was the good news of Jesus directed only to Jews, but Gentiles were also taught. The result was that “a great number who believed turned to the Lord” (Acts 11:19 NET).
The classic method for creating a garden planter is to use three elements; a “thriller” (something eye-catching), a “spiller” (something to trail gracefully out of the container, and a “filler” (taking up space among the other two types of plants, and filling the gaps.) That filler plant fills up space while the other two elements get all the attention, even though they may be a smaller part of the composite arrangement.
I avoid sensationalism, preferring the understated approach. Sex is one of those subjects that turns a lot of heads. In Brazil, money and religion are volatile subjects. So when addressing them, we try to deal with them in all sobriety. Last week, I posted for the congregation in Brazil 26 summary points on the biblical teaching about sex and marriage. Maybe I’ll share it here one of these days.
The word “indeed” implies a different understanding of the word Israelite than the one commonly held. What was the common understanding of the word Israelite in the days of Jesus?
At the check-out at the bread store, I saw this little sign above a basket of goodies: “Please don’t squeeze the bonbons.” I asked the cashier what that was about.