Posts tagged #Calling

Treasuring God's Truth in Your Heart

Treasuring God's Truth in Your Heart.png

Remain in Christ by the Holy Spirit [1]

1 John 2:26-27: I write these things to you about those who are trying to deceive you. But the anointing that you received from him abides in you, and you have no need that anyone should teach you. But as his anointing teaches you about everything, and is true, and is no lie—just as it has taught you, abide in him. [2]

 Regrettably, some Christian can act as if they do not need instruction or guidance. 1 John 2:26-27 states the opposite. Contextually, John tells true believers to ignore heresy because the Holy Spirit grows true believers (not new and unbiblical teaching). [3] John’s instruction helps us see that the Christ—given gift of the Holy Spirit makes all Christians, congregants and pastors alike, stand on equal footing because they all learn with the Holy Spirit’s aid. [4] The central message is “in the last three words,” calling us to “abide in [Christ].” [5] When we “remain” in Christ’s teaching, found in Scripture, by the Holy Spirit’s power we persevere in the Trinity’s providence, growing in knowledge and godliness. [6]

 Saying one prayer is not enough. Occasional church attendance is insufficient. Rarely reading the Bible is inadequate. Christians need to hear Christ-centered, biblically faithful preaching and teaching. [7] Certainly, life circumstances affect church participation and devotional life. But believers miss opportunities to mature in Christ-likeness and make themselves easy prey for deception when devoutness is absent. [8] Yes, salvation is by faith alone, through grace alone, in Christ alone, according to Scripture alone. [9] But how healthy can faith be when we minimize growth? May the Holy Spirit empower His elect to grow in the Triune God’s ways, as He has promised. [10]


This blog was written by Seth Dunn

[1] Simon J. Kistemaker. New Testament Commentary: Exposition of the Epistle of James and the Epistles of John. (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Book House, 1986), 286. Kistemaker uses “remain,” rather than the ESV’s “abide,” hence my citing of him here.

[2] The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. (Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles, 2016), Logos Bible Software. All Scripture references will be ESV unless noted otherwise.

[3] Kistemaker, New Testament Commentary: Exposition of the Epistle of James and the Epistles of John, 285.

[4] Kistemaker, New Testament Commentary: Exposition of the Epistle of James and the Epistles of John, 285-286.

[5] Kistemaker, New Testament Commentary: Exposition of the Epistle of James and the Epistles of John, 286.

[6] Kistemaker, New Testament Commentary: Exposition of the Epistle of James and the Epistles of John, 286.

[7] Kistemaker, New Testament Commentary: Exposition of the Epistle of James and the Epistles of John, 285.-286.

[8] 1 Peter 5:8-9.

[9] Galatians 2:11-21.

[10] Philippians 1:6.

Treasuring God's Truth in Your Heart

Treasuring God's Truth in Your Heart.png

Matthew 9:36-38: Compassion Driven Calling:

"When he saw the crowds, he had compassion for them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. Then he said to his disciples, 'The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest.' ” [1]

What condition were these crowds in that they would have sparked a compassionate reaction from Christ, the Good Shepherd? [2] They were “oppressed” by “the burdens which the Pharisees place upon them (Matt. 11:28; 15:14; 23:4).” [3] These individuals were lied to by their religious leaders and those lies were causing suffering in their lives. (Perhaps you can relate.) But how does Jesus’ response communicate compassion? Because He sees their real need. Christ did heal sicknesses, [4] provide food, [5] and out of compassion raises the dead. [6] But Jesus’ compassion is more than humanitarian because He cares for and redeems souls. [7] Christ’s care is seen in that He wants God to send out workers so that the elect may be drawn into fellowship with the Father. [8]

How does this passage apply to us? All of us will be gathered, for salvation or condemnation. [9] In grace, God is still harvesting and will harvest you if you surrender yourself to Him as your exclusive means of salvation. [10] If you are a believer, you have been promised that you will be harvested for salvation, [11] and now are called to work in Christ’s fields for His glory. [12] May the Lord of the harvest continue to empower His laborers.

This blog was written by Seth Dunn

[1] The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. (Wheaton, IL: Standard Bible Society, 2016), Logos Bible Software.

[2] John 10:11.

[3] Hendriksen, William. Exposition of the Gospel According to Matthew. (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Book House, 1987), 439, and Calvin, John. Commentary on a Harmony of the Evangelists, Matthew, Mark, and Luke Vol. 1. Trams. William Pringle. )Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Book House, 1984), 420.

[4] For example, Mark 1:41, Matthew 14:14, and 20:34.

[5] See Matthew 14:13-21, 15:32-39, Mark 8:1-10, etc.

[6] Luke 7:11-17, John 11 (particularly verses 41-42).

[7] Matthew 1:21, Mark 2:17; 6:34, 1 Timothy 1:15, 1 Peter 5:7, 1 John 3:1-5.

[8] Matthew 9:38, on the harvest referring to gathering souls please see Isaiah 27:12, Matthew 3:12, Luke 3:17; 10:2, John 4:35, Revelation 14:15, The Reformation Study Bible: English Standard Version Containing the Old and New Testaments. General Editor R.C. Sproul, Associate Editor Keith Mathison. (Orlando, FL: Ligonier Ministries, 2005), 1863, note on Revelation 14:14-20, and Calvin, Commentary on a Harmony of the Evangelists, Matthew, Mark, and Luke Vol. 1, 421.

[9] Matthew 13:24-30.

[10] Hebrew 3:15-4:1-13.

[11] Jeremiah 31:14-33, Romans 8:31-39, Philippians 1:6, 2 Peter 1:10.

[12] Matthew 28:19-20, Acts 1:8; 14:21-23, Romans 15:19-24, 2 Timothy 2:1-2

Treasuring God's Truth in Your Heart

Treasuring God's Truth in Your Heart.png

1 Peter 2:11-12: Why Sojourners Act:

"Beloved, I urge you as sojourners and exiles to abstain from the passions of the flesh, which wage war against your soul. Keep your conduct among the Gentiles honorable, so that when they speak against you as evildoers, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day of visitation."

After Peter explains who believers are, [1] he instructs them on how to act. When Christians or non-Christians read these verses they might be tempted to think this is just another “to do list.” Why does Peter require believers to act like people who do not belong to the world, i.e. act “as sojourners and exiles”? Scripture provides several reasons for Christian character which include: witnessing to the unsaved and saved, [2] following God’s ways combat the sin trying to take believers, [3] and because Christ-like behavior glorifies God. [4]

While there are other reasons, perhaps the most important is because Jesus Christ lived a God glorifying life. [5] The Son lived righteously even when people wronged him, [6] and his righteous life insures salvation and the ability to grow in holiness for those who follow him. [7] So for those of us who are sojourners, we strive for godliness because of Jesus Christ. Living in Christ-likeness is possible for all who trust in Him exclusively. The gift for following Him and living by His Spirit as we grow in holiness is eternal joy in heaven. [8] May we all begin to sojourn better in Him.

This blog was written by Seth Dunn

[1] 1 Peter 2:9-10 (see also blog on the passage).

[2] 1 Peter 3:16; Titus 2:8; Philippians 2:15; 2 Corinthians 9:13.

[3] Romans 7:23, 8:13, Galatians 5:16-17 and 24.

[4] Matthew 5:16, 2 Corinthians 8:21, Colossians 3:17, etc.

[5] Matthew 9:8, John 13:31, the book of Hebrews.

[6] John 18:30, Luke 23:34, Matthew 26-27.

[7] Luke 24:44-49; Hebrews 8-10, John 14:26, etc.

[8] 1 John 2:1-25.