Message NotesI. Intro
a. Looking forward to the opportunity
b. Overview of the series
i. Goal #1 Take a deeper look at the message taught in churches today so we can see why the word of the kingdom is not widespread
1. Trip to Gville ?Message of the Cross?
2. Trip to Michigan. Marriage as a picture of Christ and His Bride-Awesome. ?the Church as Christ?s bride?-not awesome.
ii. Goal #2 Strengthen our faith with things we have previously learned as well as help us see some common ground we have with other believers so that we can then ask directed questions to get them thinking about the word of the kingdom-like talking to a girl.
1. How they became part of this church-wanted the meat, not their ears tickled.
2. Responsibility to share this message. Obviously we have our roles and responsibilities that God has given to us and we are to be faithful in, but I think that this knowledge hasn?t been given to us to just better our understanding alone.
II. Leaven in the Bread-understanding this will help us understand why the church is in the state that it is at this time and why the message of the church lacks the word of the kingdom
a. The 4th parable of the 7. It follows the parable of the mustard seed where we see the church grows into something that it isn?t designed to naturally become. Jesus is out by the sea, the sea being a type of the Gentile Nations and he gives these words before returning to the house, the house being a type of Israel. These are types found throughout scripture. So, this parable concerns the church during the end of their dispensation, before God begins to work on Israel during the Tribulation.
b. Matthew 13:33 Another parable He spoke to them: ?The kingdom of heaven is like (based on the full context, this phrase is best understood the proclamation and offer of the kingdom of heaven is like, not the actual kingdom of heaven) leaven, which a woman took and hid in three measures of meal till it was all leavened.?
c. So, what do we have here? We have meal which was grain that made bread. We have the number three, which is a number of divine perfection. So the entire Word of God is in view here, and part of the ?whole? word of God is the part concerning the word of the future kingdom.
i. Matthew 4:4 But He answered and said, ?It is written, ?Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.??
ii. To begin these seven parables, we read in Matthew 13:19, ?When anyone hears the word of the kingdom??
d. Leaven=word study OT evil-sin
i. Greek: Zoo-may. Leaven, sour dough, paints the picture of being bred of corruption, coming from previous evil, and spreading through the mass of that in which it is mixed.
ii. Exodus 12:19 ?For seven days no leaven shall be found in your houses, since whoever eats what is leavened, that same person shall be cut off from the congregation of Israel, whether he is a stranger or a native of the land.?
iii. 1 Cor 5:6-8 ?Do you not know that a little leaven leavens the whole lump? Therefore purge out the old leaven, that you may be a new lump, since you truly are unleavened. For indeed Christ, our Passover, was sacrificed for us. Therefore let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, nor with the leaven of malice and wickedness, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.?
e. Revelation from Ephesus to Laodicea (strong to weak understanding) attitude of Christians toward the word of the kingdom. All are commented on God knowing their works and to him that overcometh. That is the message of the kingdom. Faithful obedience by believers to the Word and overcoming the flesh. In the last days Christ will stand at the door and knock and will enter and eat with the individual who seeks to understand the truth of the word. The Ephesians, as we have studied through Paul?s letter to them, we know, knew the truth of the word, they understood the kingdom. But even to them, Christ says they have left their first love.
i. To the church in Laodicea Rev 3:15-16 ?I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot. I could wish you were cold or hot. So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of My mouth.?
ii. They were lukewarm in regards to their message. The Word has become so diluted since the beginning of the Church that it is lukewarm. Their understanding of the truth of the word is then compromised and Christians don?t fully comprehend the whole of the Scriptures. The leaven began from the beginning of the Church and has had 2000 years to spread throughout the whole of the Word
III. Transition: So it shouldn?t be a surprise to us as to why we can have all these churches on the same street and almost a different message in each of them.
a. We are living in a day and age where the message has been filled with lies. That doesn?t mean that the truth of the Word is no longer there. It just means that it takes a seeking heart and someone who longs to learn the truth, someone who allows the Spirit to reveal to them the lies they?ve believed and then to correct those lies with the truth.
b. Today, I want to briefly look at one area where we can see the leaven has infiltrated the message and that is the over-embracing of God?s love.
c. Don?t misunderstand me, and as we speak over the next few weeks, the messages in and of themselves may not be completely wrong, such is the case with embracing the love of God. It is good to embrace the love of God.
d. However, I do see something wrong when we over-embrace the love of God to a point where we ignore the Justice of God.
e. Sure we see the justice of God in regards to our sin nature pre-salvation but it?s like the Justice of God flies out the window the second we are saved.
f. I mean, think about it with me for a second. What is one of the questions that people have a hard time grasping in relation to the Bible?
i. How to reconcile the God of the OT with the God of the NT. We have it engrained in our heads that it can?t be the same God because we serve a ?loving and caring and merciful? God. Yes, yes we do but that?s what makes those characteristics even better to me. He is Just yet He still loves us even though we constantly mess things up.
g. So today, I want to briefly look at the Justice of God pre-salvation and post-salvation.
IV. Role of Gods Justice Pre-Salvation
a. I think we are all familiar with the Justice of God when it comes to us and our sin and us being reconciled to Him.
b. In Genesis man sins. We then see Adam sin in order to be one with His bride eve, in order to redeem her. That was the only way for the two to become one flesh.
i. This is why Christ had to come, no other way about it.
1. 2 Cor 5:21 ?He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.?
ii. Adam and Eve were ashamed and what?d they do? They took plants and wrapped themselves in them. But the plants would not suffice.
iii. Genesis 3:21 ?The Lord God made garments of skin for Adam and his wife, and clothed them.?
1. Where do you suppose God got these garments of skin? God killed innocent animals and took their skins and covered them.
2. It was the blood of these animals that covered their sins. God, being just required blood be shed in order to cover their shame, in order to save them.
3. As we see in relation to us, we who believe in Christ, are covered in the righteousness of Christ. This is how a just God is able to love us and forgive us. Our sin, unlike those in the OT, has been done away with, not simply covered. We do not have to make sacrifices year after year. God sees the blood and that?s it. He is satisfied.
c. What about the picture of Israel in Egypt.
i. We are familiar with the story. God in the tenth plague vows to kill the firstborn of any household who does not kill a lamb and spread the blood above and beside their door.
ii. Those who do this he saves and rescues out of Egypt, a type of the world. He takes them across the Red Sea, a type of baptism, coming out cleansed and ready for the journey to their inheritance, which is where God was leading them.
iii. Interesting quote concerning Israel and their relationship with God:
1. ?Having God as their just king was a two-edged sword for Israel. God executed justice for His covenant people by protecting them from hostile would-be oppressors. However, when Israel rebelled against God?s authority, He was forced to bring disciplinary judgment on His own people.?
-Robert Chisholm Jr A Theology of the Psalms
V. Role of Gods Justice Post-Salvation
(two aspects of God?s justice and look at how God deals with His own people Israel and think how he deals with us in the same manner.)
a. #1 God is the judge of His rebellious nation
i. Ps 78:52-59 ?52But He led forth His own people like sheep
And guided them in the wilderness like a flock;
53He led them safely, so that they did not fear;
But the sea engulfed their enemies.
54So He brought them to His holy land,
To this hill country which His right hand had gained.
55He also drove out the nations before them
And apportioned them for an inheritance by measurement,
And made the tribes of Israel dwell in their tents.
56Yet they tempted and rebelled against the Most High God
And did not keep His testimonies,
57But turned back and acted treacherously like their fathers;
They turned aside like a treacherous bow.
58For they provoked Him with their high places
And aroused His jealousy with their graven images.
59When God heard, He was filled with wrath
And greatly abhorred Israel?
1. What are we told here? God was filled with wrath at Israel?s disobedience. He brought them out of Egypt like sheep, brought them to His holy land, their inheritance, prepared the way for them to dwell there and what did they do? They tempted and rebelled against God and did not keep His testimonies.
ii. Likewise in Ps 81:11-14 ?11"But My people did not listen to My voice,
And Israel did not obey Me.
12"So I gave them over to the stubbornness of their heart,
To walk in their own devices.
13"Oh that My people would listen to Me,
That Israel would walk in My ways!
14"I would quickly subdue their enemies
And turn My hand against their adversaries.
1. God?s desire is for his people to walk in his ways, to obey him. But if they don?t, and they didn?t, God will give them over to the stubbornness of their hearts.
iii. Psalm 10:11-13 11He says in his heart, "God has forgotten,
he has hidden his face, he will never see it."
12 Arise, O LORD; O God, lift up your hand;
forget not the afflicted.
13Why does the wicked renounce God
and say in his heart, "You will not call to account"?
1. Sadly, I believe this is the current state of the Church today. And I believe it is partially attributed to the fact that we over-embrace the love of God and we do not equally embrace the justice of God.
2. How many times have we ourselves, not even other believers said in the midst of temptation, ?Oh, God won?t know what I do? or ?He doesn?t care, he?ll forgive me anyway.? We have this attitude that once we are saved, God no longer will care what we do or keep us accountable.
b. #2 God is the vindicator of His righteous servants
i. Ps 18:20-24
20The LORD has rewarded me according to my righteousness;
According to the cleanness of my hands He has recompensed me.
21For I have kept the ways of the LORD,
And have not wickedly departed from my God.
22For all His ordinances were before me,
And I did not put away His statutes from me.
23I was also blameless with Him,
And I kept myself from my iniquity.
24Therefore the LORD has recompensed me according to my righteousness, According to the cleanness of my hands in His eyes.
1. What we see here is God rewards those according to their righteousness and based on the previous verses we read, we can conclude that He punishes the wicked. And lest we think He is referring to all believers as righteous and all unsaved as wicked, it is impossible for any man to be righteous unless he has been saved. No unsaved man can do anything righteous but a saved man can do both good and evil.
ii. Psalm 15:1-2 ?1O LORD, who may abide in Your tent?
Who may dwell on Your holy hill?
2He who walks with integrity, and works righteousness,
And speaks truth in his heart.?
1. Those who have integrity and are righteous, it is they who will dwell on God?s holy hill, which when referenced in the psalm earlier, referred to the inheritance of Israel.
c. And to close, I want to continue with the picture of Israel coming out of Egypt. On their way to inherit the land God had set apart for them, it is interesting what happens. God gives Moses the Ten Commandments.
i. Why on earth would God give them these commandments if after they were saved, He is just this all-loving God who loses His accountability once we are saved? It doesn?t make sense.
1. Because God is Just and desires a just and holy people in order to obtain inheritance.
a. 1 Peter 1:3-4; 13-19 ?3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His great mercy has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 4 to obtain an inheritance which is imperishable and undefiled and will not fade away, reserved in heaven for you. 13 Therefore, prepare your minds for action, keep sober in spirit, fix your hope completely on the grace to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ. 14 As obedient children, do not be conformed to the former lusts which were yours in your ignorance, 15 but like the Holy One who called you, be holy yourselves also in all your behavior; 16 because it is written, "YOU SHALL BE HOLY, FOR I AM HOLY." 17 If you address as Father the One who impartially judges according to each one's work, conduct yourselves in fear during the time of your stay on earth; 18 knowing that you were not redeemed with perishable things like silver or gold from your futile way of life inherited from your forefathers, 19 but with precious blood, as of a lamb unblemished and spotless, the blood of Christ. ?
i. Here we see the love of God and the Justice of God working hand in hand. Once we are saved, God calls us to be obedient children, not conforming to the former lusts, to be holy as He is holy.
ii. But he doesn?t just leave us to fend for ourselves. He gives us the grace and the mercy to be able to be obedient.
iii. And look at what is at stake in verse 4-an inheritance that is reserved in heaven for us. Like Israel coming out of Egypt, if we are not obedient children, we can forfeit our inheritance.
a. Eccl 12:13-14 13The conclusion, when all has been heard, is: fear God and keep His commandments, because this applies to every person. 14For God will bring every act to judgment, everything which is hidden, whether it is good or evil.
b. 1 Cor 3:11-15 11For no man can lay a foundation other than the one which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. 12Now if any man builds on the foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw, 13each man's work will become evident; for the day will show it because it is to be revealed with fire, and the fire itself will test the quality of each man's work. 14If any man's work which he has built on it remains, he will receive a reward. 15If any man's work is burned up, he will suffer loss; but he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire.
c. Role of God?s justice once we are saved. He holds us accountable. He has the kingdom in mind. He wants us to discipline ourselves, suffer, in order that we may revel in his glory as a co-heir. The righteous will receive a reward while the wicked will suffer loss
d. My desire is for us to not embrace the love of God alone, but to embrace his justice/righteousness just as much and to pursue it