From the Archives: Matthew 26:36-44 Gethsemane’s Cup

March 29, 2018

Matthew 26:36-44

Then cometh Jesus with them unto a place called Gethsemane, and saith unto the disciples, Sit ye here, while I go and pray yonder. 37 And he took with him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, and began to be sorrowful and very heavy. 38 Then saith he unto them, My soul is exceeding sorrowful, even unto death: tarry ye here, and watch with me. 39 And he went a little further, and fell on his face, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt. 40 And he cometh unto the disciples, and findeth them asleep, and saith unto Peter, What, could ye not watch with me one hour? 41 Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak. 42 He went away again the second time, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if this cup may not pass away from me, except I drink it, thy will be done. 43 And he came and found them asleep again: for their eyes were heavy. 44 And he left them, and went away again, and prayed the third time, saying the same words.

This passage of Scripture gives us a precious personal glimpse of our Savior hours before He would be crucified for the sins of the world.  Too often the primary focus of Christ’s suffering in His passion is on its physical aspects.  There is no doubt that our Savior suffered horribly in His physical body prior to and during His crucifixion.  The emotional and spiritual anguish greatly contributed to His physical suffering as can be seen in this passage.  The question that this passage raises which deserves a sound Scriptural answer concerns Christ’s prayer: Read the rest of this entry »


Just a Thought

January 3, 2018

Waiting with confidence creates desire.  Waiting with doubt breeds discouragement.

Journey through John, The Uncertain Man

October 16, 2017

John 3:1-18, There was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews: The same came to Jesus by night, and said unto him, Rabbi, we know that thou art a teacher come from God: for no man can do these miracles that thou doest, except God be with him.Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.Nicodemus saith unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter the second time into his mother’s womb, and be born? Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again. The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit.Nicodemus answered and said unto him, How can these things be?10 Jesus answered and said unto him, Art thou a master of Israel, and knowest not these things? 11 Verily, verily, I say unto thee, We speak that we do know, and testify that we have seen; and ye receive not our witness.12 If I have told you earthly things, and ye believe not, how shall ye believe, if I tell you of heavenly things? 13 And no man hath ascended up to heaven, but he that came down from heaven, even the Son of man which is in heaven. 14 And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up: 15 That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life. 16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. 17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. 18 He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.

We see in this passage a very religious-minded man that is truly ignorant about the nature of the kingdom of God and how a man could be born of the Spirit.  Reliance on a religious system or tradition for truth is woefully insufficient.  We must rely solely on the truth of God which He has preserved for us in the Bible. To his credit, Nicodemus did not allow his nagging doubts about important truths to go unanswered and then not be properly prepared to enter into eternity.  Though he was somewhat embarrassed by his ignorance and, therefore, came to Christ “by night,” he did the right thing in going to the only one that could truly answer his questions.

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Simple Bible Truths Series, Part Fourteen

January 24, 2017

Man: Bondage of Sin

Romans 7:18-21,

For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not. 19 For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do. 20 Now if I do that I would not, it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me. 21 I find then a law, that when I would do good, evil is present with me.

Does the dilemma described by the Apostle Paul sound like a battle that you are fighting?  It is the law of sin and its bondage on all men.  Even if a man is knowledgeable of the deceitfulness and destructiveness of sin and commits himself to change, he will find himself still doing those things he rejects.  Man is a slave to sin, and sin is not a benevolent master.

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Just a Thought

November 19, 2016

“Ignorance is not as bliss as obedience is blessed.”

Journey through John: Water to Wine

November 3, 2016

John’s Gospel presents us with multiple proofs that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God.  While some of the presented proof is direct revelation from God, the majority of the proof that is laid forth in John flows from Jesus Himself in the words He speaks and the works He does.

The first of His miracles is recorded for us in John’s second chapter where He turns water into wine at a marriage feast.

And the third day there was a marriage in Cana of Galilee; and the mother of Jesus was there: 2 And both Jesus was called, and his disciples, to the marriage. 3 And when they wanted wine, the mother of Jesus saith unto him, They have no wine. 4 Jesus saith unto her, Woman, what have I to do with thee? mine hour is not yet come. 5 His mother saith unto the servants, Whatsoever he saith unto you, do it. 6 And there were set there six waterpots of stone, after the manner of the purifying of the Jews, containing two or three firkins apiece. 7 Jesus saith unto them, Fill the waterpots with water. And they filled them up to the brim. 8 And he saith unto them, Draw out now, and bear unto the governor of the feast. And they bare it. 9 When the ruler of the feast had tasted the water that was made wine, and knew not whence it was: (but the servants which drew the water knew;) the governor of the feast called the bridegroom, 10 And saith unto him, Every man at the beginning doth set forth good wine; and when men have well drunk, then that which is worse: but thou hast kept the good wine until now. 11 This beginning of miracles did Jesus in Cana of Galilee, and manifested forth his glory; and his disciples believed on him.

John 2:1-11

In all of His miracles, we must avoid understanding them as a mere display of Christ’s abilities.  Jesus never did the miraculous for show.  The purpose of each miracle was to instruct about some specific truth concerning Himself so that men would believe in Him.

And many other signs truly did Jesus in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in this book: 31 But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name.

John 20:30-31

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The Use or Misuse of Scripture

June 3, 2016

In the previous post on the “Foundational Fundamentals on the Nature of Preaching,” we saw the importance for the preacher to do more than just proclaim Bible truth.  He is to reprove, rebuke, exhort concerning the truth with all longsuffering and doctrine.  Now I want to examine the use of Scripture in the teaching and preaching ministry.  In the following text from first six verse of John’s 8th chapter, we discover a remarkable and telling contrast between the way that the Lord Jesus Christ used the Scriptures and the way that Jewish religious leaders did.

Jesus went unto the mount of Olives. 2 And early in the morning he came again into the temple, and all the people came unto him; and he sat down, and taught them. 3 And the scribes and Pharisees brought unto him a woman taken in adultery; and when they had set her in the midst, 4 They say unto him, Master, this woman was taken in adultery, in the very act. 5 Now Moses in the law commanded us, that such should be stoned: but what sayest thou? 6 This they said, tempting him, that they might have to accuse him. But Jesus stooped down, and with his finger wrote on the ground, as though he heard them not.

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Foundational Fundamentals Concerning the Nature of Preaching

May 9, 2016

God charges a preacher with specific responsibilities in His church.  The Apostle Paul tells Timothy about this charge in 2 Timothy 4:1-4,

I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom; Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine.  For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.

Timothy is to proclaim God’s Word, but a preacher’s responsibility does not end with merely delivering the truth.  He is to also “reprove, rebuke, and exhort concerning the truth with all longsuffering and doctrine.

The word reprove comes from the Greek word eligcho which means  to convince or convict.  Even in the English word we see its root is the word “prove.”  It is necessary for a preacher not just to proclaim truth but also to bring his listeners to a place of belief by bringing to bear upon their hearts and minds authoritative evidence for the truth.  In a certain sense he is like a lawyer who is trying to do everything he can do to help the jury be absolutely convinced of a certain position by reason of the evidence.  God’s people need to know that something is true by the faithful expounding of the Bible rather than just because, “My preacher said so.”  Oh, that they would know truth because they know that the Bible says so, where it says so, and how it says so!

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Journeying through the Gospel of John, A Beginning

March 2, 2016

Personally, I cannot think of a more appropriate book to preach through in the beginning of a church planting effort than John’s Gospel.  Its message verse by verse is the great foundational truths needed week in and week out in just such a setting.  This is especially true when the planting effort is being done without the great benefit of a nucleus of believers which is how we began here in Lead.  [BTW, Lead is pronounced with a long e sound.]  This book amply enables the necessity of fervent evangelistic preaching without sacrificing the soundness and depth found only in expository preaching. Read the rest of this entry »

Ministry in the New Testament Economy, Part Eight

February 29, 2016

The articles in this series have been focused on discovering the Biblical truth about New Testament ministry amidst assertions by some men that NT ministry is always and only to be under the authority of a local church.  The most recent articles in this series have been examining evidence for and against this claim in light of the Apostle Paul’s ministry.  Having previously looked at the matter in regards to the authenticity, authority, and direction of his ministry, I now want to look at it concerning its material/financial support.

There has been an intertwining of financing with that of control in the mind of many people.  The world’s philosophy is unmistakable.  They believe that the ability to dispense funds is tantamount to possessing absolute control.  This is aptly seen in this quote from Mayer Amschel Rothschild who said,

Let me issue and control a nation’s money and I care not who writes the laws.

That speaks for itself, but will the Bible likewise give credence to something akin to “He that controls the purse makes the rules” or perhaps its inverse “Those that are in authority are to control the purse”?  First, we need to see if there is Biblical evidence that all of the Apostle Paul’s material/financial support came through the treasury of His supposed local church in Antioch as the under-the-church-only doctrine requires.  Next, I want to examine if the issue of having his material/financial support directed through his “local church” was an essential element Paul considered in whether to receive or reject support from others.

There are a only few places in the Scriptures where Paul mentions things related to the material support of his ministry.  According to those who hold to the doctrine of under-the-church-ministry-only, there should be some evidence that all material/financial support for Paul’s ministry was directed to him through his local church.  Let us see exactly what the Bible reveals.  In Philippians 2:25 and then latter in 4:14-18 we read:  Read the rest of this entry »