7744 - Burial

Through the gift and obedience of one man, the body of Jesus had an honorable resting place, but only for a few days.

Jesus was dead. Who was going to care for the body?

Listen to Luke 23:50-56 which answers this question.

Now there was a man named Joseph, a member of the Council, a good and upright man, who had not consented to their decision and action. He came from the Judean town of Arimathea and he was waiting for the kingdom of God.

Going to Pilate, he asked for Jesus' body. Then he took it down, wrapped it in linen cloth and placed it in a tomb cut in the rock, one in which no one had yet been laid.

It was Preparation Day, and the Sabbath was about to begin.

The women who had come with Jesus from Galilee followed Joseph and saw the tomb and how his body was laid in it. Then they went home and prepared spices and perfumes. But they rested on the Sabbath in obedience to the commandment.

Two men who had not been in the crowd who followed Jesus stepped forth. One of them was a man called Joseph from Arimathea. Joseph was a member of the Sanhedrin. He was a good and upright man who had not agreed to the actions and decision of the council majority. This assures us that the death sentence for Jesus had not been a unanimous decision.

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7606 - Genealogy

Genealogies in the Bible can sometimes be tedious, but they are there for a reason.

Today we complete the third chapter of Luke as we talk about the genealogy of Jesus as recorded by Dr. Luke. We won’t read all the names but we do want to examine certain points of interest.

Luke’s record of the blood-line of Jesus goes all the way back to Adam. Perhaps in a way to emphasize that Jesus is related to all human beings born on earth.

Matthew, also gives a genealogy of Jesus, but his goes from Abraham up to Jesus. Luke’s list begins by saying that Jesus was the son, or so was the perception, of Joseph, and then proceeds back through time to Adam. In the eyes of the world Joseph was Jesus’ legal father, but in truth Joseph never had intimacy with Mary until after Jesus was born. The true father of Jesus was of course God.

Let us note some difference in the parallel of names in Matthew’s and Luke’s lists. The careful student will see that Matthew omits names which Luke includes. This is explained by Matthew’s omitting some names in order to achieve a symmetry of three sets of names with fourteen generations in each set. Some scholars note that not every name must be given in a genealogy. To the Hebrew the words “son of” paralleled “descendant of” so one name might be the grandson, or great-great-grandson of the previous name.

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7586 - The Parents of Jesus

Today we will take a look at the background of the family of Jesus, primarily Mary and Joseph.

We have been studying through the book of Luke for the past few weeks, and to give us some better understanding of Jesus and his earthly family, we will look at what we know about Mary and Joseph.

From Luke 1:27-28 we can see that Mary was a young girl, a virgin, and was probably in her early to late teen years. Not much is known with certainty about Mary before the time the angel Gabriel appeared to her, but we do know one thing for sure, Mary had found favor with God. We may not be able to determine how Mary had favor with God, but we know she was a very special young woman.

One thing to bear in mind though, some have sought to exemplify Mary as sinless in some way, they have put forth an idea of this “immaculate conception” of Mary, and have tried to say she was born without sin, and died without sin. This idea is not supported biblically, and should not be given any further consideration. The Bible tells us very clearly that everyone except Jesus has sinned.

Mary was a woman. She sinned as we have, but in some way the Lord saw her as being special, and blessed her with the privilege of being the earthly mother of Jesus.

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7582 - The Chosen Maiden

Let’s look today at the life of a special young woman.

We have been studying the amazing events of Luke 1.

First God gives to Zechariah and Elizabeth the marvelous story of a child, which was born to this couple after much prayer and perseverance. But God also gave the world the news that this son John was sent by God to prepare the way for the Lord.

Six months later the same angel by the name of Gabriel made another appearance in behalf of God to prepare a young virgin, both emotionally and spiritually for an event unique in history. This virgin, who had never had sexual relations and who had lived to please God was told by Gabriel that she would indeed become pregnant.

But let me read a portion from Luke 1:26-35:
In the sixth month, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a town in Galilee, to a virgin pledged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of David. The virgin's name was Mary. The angel went to her and said, "Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you." Mary was greatly troubled at his words and wondered what kind of greeting this might be. But the angel said to her, "Do not be afraid, Mary, you have found favor with God. You will be with child and give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever; his kingdom will never end." "How will this be," Mary asked the angel, "since I am a virgin?" The angel answered, "The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God.

We can imagine the turmoil caused within a young virgin by such an experience. Having a visit from an angel would be trauma enough, but such a message.
In the Hebrew culture of Mary & Joseph, ‘pledged to be married’ meant that both families had agreed to the union; and, that the groom had settled the price of the bride with her family. At this point the relationship could only be broken by divorce or death. They were considered linked, but sexual relationship was not permitted. After a waiting period, often up to a year, the couple would be married and begin to live together.

Mary faced the stigma of pregnancy before marriage. She would be a tainted woman. What would her family say? How about Joseph and his family? It would take God’s intervention to prevent a divorce from occurring.

But the angel gave Mary some positive reinforcement. She was highly favored by God. That means that God cared a great deal for Mary.

Her composure in this passage is impressive. Here she is, perhaps about 16 years of age, and she is not broken up by all this turmoil. God extended peace to her heart along with this startling message.

Notice this was not a request. Mary was not asked whether she would be willing to serve God in this way. God was in charge.

The profound news that this baby Jesus would be great and would be called the Son of the Most High would be understood by this Hebrew woman that He was to be the Messiah. He would reign on David’s throne over the house of Jacob forever, this son which she was to bear.

Mary did have a technical question. How can a virgin bear a child and never have sex? The angel assured her this was no problem with God. The Holy Spirit would complete this miracle of fertilization so that God would be His father.

With faith and confidence Mary responded: “May it be to me as you have said.” In her heart she accepted that nothing is impossible with God. The Sovereign God could take care of all the needed miracles, even to protecting her purity and reputation. Mary passed the test, and was blessed forever.

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7557 - Three Who Testify

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In our study of the first Letter of John we are now in Chapter 5, verses 7 & 8. Listen as I read them, “For there are three that testify: the Spirit, the water and the blood; and the three are in agreement.”

The one of whom these three testify is none other than the person and work of Jesus Christ, the Son of Man and Son of God.

We should keep in mind the times in which the Apostle John is called upon to write. It’s thought that John could be past 90 years of age as he writes.

Although John has not written of Biblical truth in the early years of the Church, he is now called upon by God to write from his extensive experience with Jesus Christ while he was here on earth. He was to share what Jesus had said and what he did. Emphasis of Spiritual truth is the bottom line as John writes his five documents.
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7546 - Born Of God

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In this study lets talk about being “Born of God”.

With this study we enter chapter 5 of the First Letter of John. Verse 1 says, “Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God, and everyone who loves the Father loves his child as well.”

John begins this chapter with another truth designed to cut the rug out from under the false teachers. The Greeks were famous for stressing the use of intellect. These false teachers had trouble accepting the spiritual dimension regarding Jesus. They denied the deity of Jesus and rejected the truth that He was the anointed One of Old Testament prophesy.

John boldly speaks that Jesus is the Christ and that everyone who believes this truth is born of God. This is a statement of faith and not intellect. There is no evidence to be gained by experiment or observation, which proves that Jesus is the Christ to the intellect.
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7542 - Jesus, Son of God

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Lets look in scripture and understand more clearly what the timeline for the existence of Jesus Christ looks like.

Our first mention will be the eternity before the creation started the time clock of humanity. In this distant past the Son of God was present. “In the beginning…the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” [Jn.1:1-2]. Consider also that the night before His crucifixion, Jesus asked the Father to glorify him in the Father’s presence with the glory which he had with the Father before the world began [Jn.17:5]. So the Son of God – the man called Jesus – was a living part of existence long before Creation.

The next link we notice is that the Son of God was the very One who brought creation into being. In Genesis 1:1 it says: “In the beginning God created…” The word ‘God’ here is the Hebrew word ‘Elohim’ which is plural, so the God-head is clearly involved. John’s Gospel [1:3] tells us: “Through [Jesus] all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. Colossians [1:16] says about Jesus; “For by him all things were created; things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible…all things were created by him and for him.”
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7539 - God Loved First

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In this study we will be looking at God’s love.

In the past weeks we have enjoyed several studies regarding the subject of love — both God’s and ours. Today we focus on 1 John 4, verse 19. It says, “We love because he first loved us.”

By nature God is loving. He has always been loving. Even when mankind did not respond to His love.
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7524 - Jesus Christ - Disclosure of God

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Long ago God Himself laid the foundation for man’s life when He designated His only son, Jesus Christ, as the One in whom spiritual life is to be found. He is the figure oft prophesied in the Old Testament by the word Messiah. The one who fulfills these prophecies is found in the New Testament under the term Christ. Both words mean the "Anointed One."

In the coming of Jesus to dwell in the flesh, we have a revelation of God more perfect and glorious than any previous revelation through nature or prophecy. The Incarnation makes it possible for us to know what God is like, not in abstract ideas, but in tangible and understandable form, since the character and attributes of Jesus Christ are manifestations of God himself.
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7508 - Spirit of Antichrists

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In our last study we noted that John bids Christians to be aware of how to ascertain whether the teaching or statement of certain people is indeed a message from God’s Word is so valuable. It’s compared to gold and silver. So, let’s examine the riches of a section of the Word together today.

John was concerned for the young Church, which was about sixty years old and was beset with false teachers. Let’s get a picture of the false prophets, who may sometimes be called false teachers or antichrists.

First, let’s look at 1 John 4, verse 3: “but every spirit that does not acknowledge Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you have heard is coming and even now is already in the world.”

Notice that John relates false teaching to the influence of false spirits or evil spirits. This alerts us to the truth that evil spirits from Satan’s domain may influence, come upon or indwell certain men to use them to oppose the Kingdom of God in all its broad extension.

John tells us here that any spirit which does not acknowledge Jesus, is truthfully the spirit of antichrist.
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7491 - I Am the True Vine

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In our Bible studies we have been in a series looking at the seven “I Am” statements of Jesus in the Gospel of John.

To close out our ‘I Am’ series, we now look at the last of these seven sayings– I am the true vine. Jesus is in the room of the ‘last supper’ with his disciples, before going to Gethsemane. Listen to John 15 (1,2,4,5):

“I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful....Remain in me, and I will remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me. I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.”

Here we have the description of a grapevine growing from fertile ground under the watchful eye of a gardener. Jesus is the vine, and supplies everything needed to the branches for life and health.
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7489 - I Am the Way, Truth and the Life

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In our series of Bible studies of the seven "I Am" statements made by Jesus in the Gospel of John, we have now come to the sixth statement--I am, the way, the truth and the life.

The night before His crucifixion Jesus was with His disciples preparing them for His departure and encouraging them about the future. Keep in mind, Jesus fully intended to leave the work of the Kingdom in the hand of these eleven apostles. He knew what was ahead--He would be betrayed and crucified. These apostles would be scattered and desert him under the pressure. And Peter would deny Him.

Yet, He did not flinch. You see, He also knew that He would send the Holy Spirit to strengthen and empower them. He knew their fear and timidity would be superseded by boldness and power--even to the point of working miracles as a sign for unbelievers.

7487 - I Am the Ressurection & the Life

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God’s self-existence is assumed and established from the beginning of the Bible (Gen 1:1): “In the beginning God...” Note that God is only introduced.

One of those passages in which we see the self-existence of God very plainly is Exodus 3. God sent Moses to Pharaoh and to the Nation of Israel to tell them they would be freed. When Moses asks how he should respond to the question, “Who sent you?” God told him to say “I Am has sent me....I Am who I am.” This is an expression of underived existence. Nothing created God, for in essence to be created is to be subordinate to the creator. God has always been and will always be.

As Jesus Christ ministered, He uttered in the Greek language, thirty-six times an echo of this “I AM” from God. Twenty-three of these expressions are in the book of John. At times this was only an expression which mean “It is I,” but at other times Jesus was openly declaring His deity.

7486 - I Am the Good Shepherd

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We are in a series of studies looking at the seven "I am" sayings of Jesus Christ in the Gospel of John. This is now the fourth of the series and we will be looking at Jesus' statement, "I am the good shepherd."

7485 - I Am the Door

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Today we are studying the phrase uttered by Jesus, "I am the door (KJ) or the gate (NIV). Thirty-six times in the Greek New Testament Jesus Christ uses the phrase "I am" in various statements. Twenty-three of these occur in the Gospel of John. Sometimes Christ simply meant "It is I," but other times He was stating His deity, because "I am" is how God describes and names himself in the Old Testament.

In Exodus (3:13) when Moses asked God His name, God said to Moses, "I am who I am. That is what you are to say to Israel: 'I Am has sent me to you.'" God says His name is "I Am," and this name is a form of the Hebrew "to be". God's name tells us that He is, He exists. He is eternal and has always been and will always be. He is sovereign and will be what He will be. He is faithful and will always be what He has always been, the same yesterday, today and forever.

7482 - I Am the Light of the World

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In the Gospel of John there are seven metaphorical statements picturing our Lord Jesus Christ. They are:
• I am the bread of life
• I am the light of the world
• I am the door (or gate)
• I am the good shepherd
• I am the resurrection and the life
• I am the way, the truth and the life
• I am the true vine

In each of these Jesus seeks to open the mind of the hearer, and those who now read His Word, to the truth that Jesus is the one and only source of life which God intended people to experience.

7481 - I Am the Bread of Life

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During the next few weeks we are going to be looking at seven distinct announcements which Jesus made in the book of John, all of which are introduced with the words 'I Am'.

He said:
• I am the bread of life. (John 6:35)
• I am the light of the world. (8:12)
• I am the door. (10:9)
• I am the good shepherd. (10:11)
• I am the resurrection and the life (11:25)
• I am the way, the truth and the life. (14:6) and
• I am the true vine. (15:1)

Today let's focus on the first of these statements: I am the bread of life.

7441 - The Liar - 1 John 2:22-23

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We are now in a close study of the first Epistle of John. This book was written by John late in life –– in the decade of the 90’s. In it he is repudiating the false teachings which were coming forth in the church.

Today we are examining 1 John 2, verses 22 & 23.

“Who is the liar? It is the man who denies that Jesus is the Christ. Such a man is the antichrist --he denies the Father and the Son. No one who denies the Son has the Father; whoever acknowledges the Son has the Father also.”

7442 - Jesus, Son of God

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As we are studying through the gospel of John we have observed many episodes in the interaction of Jesus with His disciples. As we approach the end of the life of Jesus it seems that it would profit us to search the Scripture and understand more clearly what the time line for the existence of Jesus Christ looks like.