The Spiritual Demeanor

It is safe to say we are living through a period of time where men are malcontent. Every city seems to be facing challenges both politically and fiscally. Some individuals are going to work wondering whether or not that will be their last hour of pay before they are let go. Thus, society appears to be in a constant state of turbulence, seeking to find the one entity to blame for all their problems. There is very little peace, and even less patience.

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Lessons from the Recorded Temptations of Christ

In Matthew 4, Mark 1, and Luke 4 an event from Christ's life is recorded which details three temptations that He endured directly from Satan. While there are other places within the Scriptures that seem to imply temptations were prevalent in His life (Luke 22:42), only this occasion directly shows Christ interacting with Satan one on one. It is a very intriguing passage, because it proves to us without doubt that Christ went through the same hardships, trials, and temptations that we go through each and every day. Christ also shows us that with God's help we can avoid sin. No one forces us into sin, and God's precepts give us guidance in how to overcome temptation. Therefore, we are left with no excuse for sin. There are many such lessons we could draw from this account. I want to notice five important points that I hope will cause us to think about temptations and trials in our own life.

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The Wrath of God

The Wrath of God is real and powerful. The Hebrew writer tells us that it is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God. (Hebrews 10:31) Many in the denominational world seek to minimize or even eliminate the Wrath of God from the nature of God. I have often seen and heard comments about "the God of the Old Testament" being much different than the God of the New Testament. But this is something that is simply not supported in scripture.  James 1:17 tells us clearly that He is without variation or shadow due to change. He is the same yesterday, today and forever. In fact the wrath of God is as much a part of the nature of God as His Love, Mercy, or Grace. God would not be God without the wrath of God.

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Disciples of Christ 2: Called

As mentioned in my previous post, Christ called his disciples to Him. Other rabbis of that era spent years gaining a reputation and the prestige necessary for students to call on them. The Lord's model is the exact opposite. I think there are some interesting things that might shed some light as to the differences. The teachers of the Law in Christ's time were backwards in a lot of ways. Traditions that were younger than the Old Testament itself were given equal weight to those scriptures. Many of those traditions weren't even Jewish in origin, much less scriptural, as some were pinched from Babylon and Persia--especially regarding the more esoteric aspects of understanding the cosmos and such. The Greeks also influenced Jewish thought, like Philp of Alexandria.

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A Body You Have Prepared

The offerings of animal sacrifice were preparatory for the coming of Christ. They at once demonstrated the need of blood to atone for sin, and the insufficiency of animal sacrifice to bring about the desired change in man’s condition.

  • For the law, having a shadow of the good things to come, and not the very image of the things, can never with these same sacrifices, which they offer continually year by year, make those who approach perfect.

  • For then would they not have ceased to be offered? For the worshipers, once purified, would have had no more consciousness of sins.

  • But in those sacrifices there is a reminder of sins every year.  (Heb.10:1-3)

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