Posts tagged #Gospels

Treasuring God's Truth in Your Hearts

Treasuring God's Truth in Your Heart.png

Matthew 1:20-21: Not Heartbreak But Heart Rescue

Matthew 1:20-21: But as he considered these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, do not fear to take Mary as your wife, for that which is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.”[1]

Joseph was likely heartbroken: the woman he loved was pregnant and the baby was not his. Matthew 1:19 helps us see Joseph’s struggle as he wants to protect Mary and honor God’s design for marriage. [2] The angel’s message would have been a huge comfort to Joseph because he could still marry his love. [3] But Joseph’s marital bliss would take second fiddle in the orchestra of God’s redemption: this unexpected pregnancy would result in the Trinity’s people being saved. Bible scholar William Hendriksen teaches, “To be saved means a. to be emancipated from the greatest evil: the guilt, pollution, power, and punishment of sin; and b. to be placed in possession of the greatest good.” [4]

The good news that Joseph received is good news for all who believe in Christ. If Jesus is your exclusive means of salvation and forgiveness from sin you are liberated from the greatest evil and own the greatest good. You no longer need to live in guilt nor sin’s control. [5] You have everything you need to live as God has called you to live. [6] If Jesus is not your only Redeemer, then you lack the greatest good and are still enslaved to sin. [7] When people who say they believe in Jesus walk unrepentant in sin, they are returning to the slavery from which God freed them. [8] We all must pray to the Spirit of Christ, asking for help so that we can be rescued from sin’s heartbreak to have Christ’s heart rescue—either for the first time for salvation, or as sinning saints fleeing their former master.

This blog was written by Seth Dunn

[1] The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. (Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles, 2016), Logos Bible Software 7. All Scripture references will be ESV unless noted otherwise.

[2] William Hendriksen. Exposition of the Gospel According to Matthew. (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Book House, 1987), 130.

[3] Hendriksen, Matthew, 131.

[4] Hendriksen, Matthew, 133.

[5] Romans 6:1-4.

[6] 2 Peter 1:3.

[7] Romans 3:9-23; 8:5-8.

[8] Romans 6:15-23; Galatians 5:1-6.

Treasuring God's Truth in Your Heart

Treasuring God's Truth in Your Heart.png

John 14:26: The Christian's Helper

John 14:26: But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you. [1]

If your death was near, how would you comfort those in your care? Jesus comforts His disciples by assuring them God the Holy Spirit will be with them. Christ can promise the Holy Spirit only because Jesus is God, and is equal with God. [2] The Spirit will teach everything believers need for salvation, and remind us of Christ’s Words. [3] Remembering Christ’s Word is significant because when God the Father removes the Bible from memory, or prevents Scripture from being known He is leveling punishment against unbelievers. [4] Further, if remembering Christ’s Word is emphasized, logically there would be no new revelation(s) after Christ and His apostles. [5]

The Holy Spirit’s presence is crucially important for Christians. The Holy Spirit’s abiding in believer evidences God the Father’s forgiveness, on Christ’s account, in His elect. [6] The Spirit further proves that Christians will be sanctified, meaning that they will grow in Christ-likeness. [7] The Holy Spirit also makes preaching and evangelism effective, regardless of how much time they take. [8] The Holy Spirit also unites unbelievers to Christ. [9] If the Spirit is convicting you of your sin and inability to be saved apart from Christ, know that if you own your sin and need for salvation and trust in Christ, you will be delivered, and receive a Helper for the rest of your days. [10]

This blog was written by Seth Dunn

[1] The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. (Wheaton, IL: Standard Bible Society, 2016), Logos Bible Software 6. All Scripture references from here on out will be ESV unless noted otherwise.

[2] William Hendriksen. New Testament Commentary: Exposition of the Gospel According to John, Two Volumes Complete in One. (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Book House, 1953), 275. See also The Westminster Standards: The Westminster Confession of Faith, the Larger Catechism, and the Shorter Catechism. (Philadelphia, PA: Great Commission Publications, 2011), Short Catechism Questions and Answers 4-6.

[3] Hendriksen, John, 286.

[4] John Calvin. Commentary on the Gospel According to John Vol. 2. Trans. William Pringle. (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Book House, 1981), 100.

[5] Calvin, John, 101, and Bavinck, Reformed Dogmatics, Vol. 4, 338, and 363. See also O. Palmer Robertson The Final Word: A Biblical Response to the Case for Tongues and Prophecy Today. (Carlisle, PA: The Banner of Truth Trust, 2004), 1-21.

[6] Bavinck, Reformed Dogmatics, Vol. 4, 205.

[7] Hendriksen, John, 286.

[8] Calvin, John, 100-101.

[9] Titus 3:5; 1 Corinthians 2:10, 13; Ephesians 1:13-14, and Lane Tipton, “Fundamental Character of Union with Christ, and Nature of Union with Christ.” (Lecture: Westminster Theological Seminary, Glenside, PA, March 29, 2017).

[10] 1 John 1:5-10; John 14:16, 16:7, 16:13-15; Romans 8:9-11; 1 John 2:20, 2:27; Revelation 3:22.

Treasuring God's Truth in YourHeart

Treasuring God's Truth in Your Heart.png

John 6:63: No Other Help

John 6:63: It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh is no help at all. The words that I have spoken to you are spirit and life. [1]

Jesus shows human inability apart from the Spirit’s work. [2] In John 6:44, Jesus teaches that no one comes to God unless the Father draws her/him, and in verse 37 those God has chosen will come and “will never [be] cast out.” [3] Verse 63 beautifully captures the Holy Spirit’s life-giving work that has been true throughout biblical history. [4] The relation between the Spirit’s and Christ’s work shows the power and importance of Jesus’ words as the only means to salvation. [5] Also, Christ’s words here are attached to the “full and abundant” life from the Spirit. [6] Because of Jesus’s work, the Spirit’s presence is more abiding than in the Old Testament. [7]

The application here is huge: while God elects and moves, human responsibility is not void, as evidenced by the words “to you.” [8] If you are an unbeliever, because Christ’s words are life, you must read them so that you may have life and have it abundantly. [9] If you are a Christian, you have life and should live in step with it, [10] which includes sharing Jesus’ life-giving Word with the lost and those who are hurting. [11] We do this, not to earn favor, but from love and gratitude for the life given to us. [12]

This blog was written by Seth Dunn

[1] The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. (Wheaton, IL: Standard Bible Society, 2016), Logos Bible Software 6. All Scripture References from here on out will by ESV unless noted otherwise.

[2] Andreas J. Kostenberger. Baker Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament: John. (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic a division of Baker Publishing Group, 2004), 219.

[3] James Montgomery Boice. The Gospel of John, Vol. 2: Christ and Judaism John 5-8. (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books, a division of Baker Book House Co., 1999), 531.

[4] See Kostenberger, John, 219-220 for a good summary of the Holy Ghost’s creative and redemptive work.

[5] John 6:53, 68; 14:6, 24, 1 Corinthians 15:45; 2 Corinthians 3:6; Titus 3:5.

[6] George Smeaton. The Doctrine of the Holy Spirit. (Carlisle, PA: Banner of Truth Trust, 1997), 63

[7] Smeaton, Holy Spirit, 63.

[8] Boice, The Gospel of John, 534.

[9] Boice, The Gospel of John, 534, and John 10:10.

[10] Matthew 3:8; Luke 3:8; Act 26:20.

[11] Boice, The Gospel of John, 534.

[12] Romans 8:9; Galatians 5:25; Hebrews 10:24; James 2:14-26; Revelation 3:22.

Treasuring God's Truth in Your Heart

Treasuring God's Truth in Your Heart.png

John 3:36: Not A Smorgasbord

John 3:36: Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life; whoever does not obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God remains on him. [1]

You may know, or perhaps are, someone who treats religious believes like a buffet: “Buddhist meditation relaxes me, I like the Christian heaven, and Unitarianism is welcoming.” But John 3:36 teaches only those exclusively believing in Christ, and continue believing by God’s grace [2] have eternal life. Along with John, Jesus and Scripture are clear that God enabled heart change alone produces saving faith in the Son which leads to everlasting life. [3] Further, wrath and judgment waits for those outside Jesus. [4]

How is this fair? When we ask this, we ask the wrong question. The real question: why has God given escape from just wrath? We sinned, rebelled, and made ourselves God’s enemies. [5] Who do you know Who loves their enemies so much He would kill and raise His Son so that His chosen enemies could enter His glory with all the welcome and acceptance of a child? [6] Only the triune LORD of Scripture is that loving. He is yours when you confess your sins and submit your life to Him, as is His heaven. [7] May you grow in love and knowledge of this loving God.

This blog was written by Seth Dunn

[1] The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. (Wheaton, IL: Standard Bible Society, 2016), Logos Bible Software 6. All Scripture references will be ESV unless noted otherwise.

[2] Wallace, Daniel B. Greek Grammar Beyond the Basics: An Exegetical Syntax of the New Testament with Scripture, Subject, and Greek Word Indexes. (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 1996), 621 footnote 22.

[3] Habakkuk 2:4; John 1:12, 3:3, 3:15-18, 5:24, 6:40, 6:47, 6:54, 11:25-26, 14:6, 20:31, Romans 3:23-26, 4:13-25; Ephesians 2:1-10, etc. See also John Calvin. Commentary on the Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ According to John. Trans. William Pringle. (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Book House, 1981), 141-142, Andreas J. Kostenberger. John: Baker Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament. (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Publishing Group, 2004), 139-140, and The Westminster Standards: The Westminster Confession of Faith, the Larger Catechism, and the Shorter Catechism. (Philadelphia, PA: Great Commission Publications, 2011), chapters VI-XIV.

[4] Romans 1:17-18, 2:9; Ephesians 5:6; Colossians 3:6; Hebrews 3:18; 1 John 5:10-13, and Kostenberger, John, 139-140.

[5] Genesis 3:1-14; Romans 3:9-23, 5:6-11, 8:7-8; Ephesians 2:1-3, 2:11-12.

[6] Romans 8:14-19; Hebrews 4:14-16; 1 John 3:1-2.

[7] 1 John 2:1-2, 2:25-29.

Treasuring God's Truth in Your Hearts

Treasuring God's Truth in Your Heart.png

John 10:29-30: The Shepherd's Repeated Promise

John 10:29-30: My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all, and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand. I and the Father are one.” [1]

After describing His sheep, [2] Jesus reiterates salvation’s permanence in believers. [3] Christ’s teaching on the saints’ perseverance [4] is reinforced by His and the Father’s graciously choosing the sheep. [5] Because God has predestined His people to saving faith, not on the basis of their free will or works, [6] He will complete the work. [7] Yes, Christians are responsible for their actions, [8] but their efforts do not earn salvation or qualify them for heaven. [9]

Jesus makes this promise because He is one with God the Father. Only God could promise John 10:29, [10] and God has in Christ. No sin, sinner, circumstance, etc. can “snatch” us when we embrace Jesus Christ as our exclusive means of salvation. [11] Even if your worst nightmare comes true, and comes with all Hell’s power, it could not shake the Son’s and Father’s double clenched fists around you. [12] These hands greet the elect into heaven, and all who repent of their sins.

This blog was written by Seth Dunn

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

[2] Please see John 10:27-28 and corresponding blog titled “The Shepherd’s Sheep.”

[3] Andreas J. Kostenberger. John: Baker Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament. (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Publishing Group, 2004).

[4] For a thorough definition please see The Westminster Confession of Faith, chapter XVII. For now, it will suffice to say “perseverance of the saints” means God’s true elect will be eternally saved despite life’s struggles.

[5] James Montgomery Boice. The Gospel of John, Volume 3: Those Who Received Him John 9-12. (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Book House Company, 1999), 780.

[6] Calvin, John. Commentary on the Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ According to John. Trans. William Pringle. (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Book House, 1981), 416. See also Ephesians 1:3-10, 2:1-10.

[7] Philippians 1:6; Psalm 57:2, 138:8; 1 Corinthians 1:8; 2 Corinthians 9:8; Galatians 3:3; 1 Thessalonians 5:24.

[8] John 6:29; 2 Corinthians 7:1; Galatians 3:10; Philippians 1:10, 2:16; 1 Thessalonians 1:3, etc.

[9] Judges 7:2; Romans 3:27-28, 4:1-10, 9:11, 11:6; Ephesians 2:9; 1 Corinthians 1:28-31; 2 Timothy 1:9; Titus 3:4-7.

[10] John Calvin, Institutes of the Christian Religion. Translated by Henry Beveridge. (Peabody, Mass: Hendrickson Publishers, Inc., 2008), II.viii.26, page 248.

[11] Romans 8:31-39, and Calvin, Institutes, III.xxii.11, page 623.

[12] Boice, The Gospel of John, 783-784 and Calvin, Institutes, III.xxii.11, page 623.

Treasuring God's Truth in Your Heart

Treasuring God's Truth in Your Heart.png

John 10:27-28: The Shepherd's Sheep

John 10:27-28: My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand. [1]

Some claim: “In Calvinism everything just turns out alright in the end!” Such protests misunderstand Calvin and Scripture. Jesus came because everything is not alright. [2] Sin deafens humanity to Christ apart from God’s effectual call. [3] The Holy Spirit’s work is required for righteous living, [4] which causes humble, [5] lifelong, urgent pursuit of Christ. [6] The Trinity’s necessity for salvation and godliness makes relying on personal efforts and fruitlessness ludicrous because the spiritually dead sheep are made alive to follow the Good Shepherd. [7] We err when we assume we are Christ’s if we trust our works or lack them. [8]

Further, Jesus’ promise “no one will snatch them” brings realistic rejoicing because it implies snatches will be tried. [9] Worldly people, some posing as Christians, [10] employ philosophies and persecutions hoping to lead believers from the fold.[11] These attempts will fail because salvation begins and ends with the God Who keeps His sheep. [12] Believers: we have hope when everything is not right that Christ empowers us for the fight, and is victorious over evil. [13] Unbelievers: this same hope is yours if you surrender to the Shepherd. [14]

This blog was written by Seth Dunn

[1] The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. (Wheaton, IL: Standard Bible Society, 2016), Logos Bible Software 6. All Bible verses will be ESV from here on out unless noted otherwise.

[2] Boice, James Montgomery. The Gospel of John, Volume 3: Those Who Received Him John 9-12. (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Book House Company, 1999), 778. See also 1 John 3:5 and 8.

[3] Genesis 3, 6:5; Psalm 51:5; John 6:44; Romans 3:9-23, 5:12-21, 8:7-8, 1 Corinthians 15:22; Ephesians 2:1-10, Colossians 2:13, etc.

[4] Ephesians 2:1-10, Calvin, John. Commentary on the Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ According to John. Trans. William Pringle. (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Book House, 1981), 415.

[5] Boice, The Gospel of John, 780.

[6] Matthew 5-7; John 6:27; 1 Corinthians 9:24-27; Philippians 3:12-21; Hebrews 10:19-25, 12:1-3; James; 1 John 2:3-5, 2:29, 3:4-15; 2 John 8, etc.

[7] Galatians 3:1-14, Calvin, Commentary, 416, and John 10:27, Luke 13:1-9, James 2:14-26, Boice, The Gospel of John, 781.

[8] Boice, The Gospel of John, 781.

[9] Boice, The Gospel of John, 781.

[10] Matthew 7:15.

[11] Ephesians 6:10-19.

[12] Isaiah 66:22; Luke 21:18; John 6:37, 6:38, 10:16, 17:12, 18:9; Acts 13:48; Romans 8:26-39; 2 Corinthians 4:9.

[13] Psalm 34:18, Hebrews 13:5-6, and Ephesians 1.

[14] Hebrews 4:1-15.

Trasuring God's Truth in Your Heart

Treasuring God's Truth in Your Heart.png

John 6:68-69: To Whom Shall We Go?

John 6:68-69: Simon Peter answered him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life, and we have believed, and have come to know, that you are the Holy One of God.”[1]

After the compassionate Christ graciously offends the crowd, [2] He asks His disciples if they also want to leave. Peter’s response is a rhetorical question that expresses how the twelve ought to act. [3] By saying Jesus has “the words of life” (i.e. Christ’s teaching [4] leads to eternal life [5]), Peter demands the disciples follow Jesus alone or face spiritual death. [6] When Peter says, “believed” he means a faith that is convinced and trusts in Jesus’ existence, “power,” “nearness to help” and truthfulness. [7] “Know” implies that “the Spirit [has] seal[ed]” on Peter’s heart God’s truth in a way unlike human knowledge. [8]

What about you? Do you follow Christ’s life-giving words, or are you drowning in human inventions? Are you certain of Jesus’ might and ability to help in your life? Do you know the Trinity on His own terms and by His sealing, or do you have a list of demands you want God to meet? Certainly we all struggle with these in some ways. But we all must pray for spiritual growth and/or repentance. For there is no one else to whom we should go.

This blog was written by Seth Dunn

[1] The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. (Wheaton, IL: Standard Bible Society, 2016), Logos Bible Software. All Scripture references will be ESV from here on unless stated otherwise.

[2] Please see blog on John 6:66-67.

[3] Wallace, Daniel B. Greek Grammar Beyond the Basics: An Exegetical Syntax of the New Testament with Scripture, Subject, and Greek Word Indexes. (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 1996), 467-68.

[4] Tenney, Expositor’s, 80.

[5] Calvin, Commentary, 278.

[6] Calvin, Commentary, 279.

[7] Walter Bauer, William F. Arndt, F. Wilbur Gingrich, and Frederick W. Danker. A Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament and Other Early Christian Literature: A translation and adaptation of the fourth revised and augmented edition of Walter Bauer’s Griechish-Deutsches Worterbuch zu den Schriften des Neuen Testaments und der ubrigen urchristlichen Literatur, Second Ed. Revised and Augmented by F. Wilbur Gingrich and Frederick W. Danker. (Chicago, IL: The University of Chicago Press, 1979), 661.

[8] Calvin, Commentary, 279.

Treasuring God's Truth in Your Heart

Treasuring God's Truth in Your Heart.png

John 6:66-67: Life Giving Offense:

After this many of his disciples turned back and no longer walked with him. So Jesus said to the twelve, “Do you want to go away as well?” [1]

The last blog discussed Christ compassion for an oppressed crowd. [2] But in this passage, many of Jesus’ followers, who were miraculously fed by him, [3] are offended by His teaching and leave. Is the problem with the Son of God or the people? If we say Jesus is the issue we commit blasphemy. [4] The problem must rest on the so called “disciples.” But why were the people offended? Because Christ communicate that He is the only way to salvation since they cannot save themselves. [5]

Truthfully, Jesus’ message should have made the people glad [6] because God’s promised means of deliverance from sin was standing before them. [7] But for people unchanged by the Holy Spirit, Christ’s words bore the “fragrance” of death. [8] Sinful ears take no pleasure in words that destroy self-reliance and affirm human insufficiency. [9] While the Gospel should be articulated carefully to avoid unnecessary offence, the Gospel will always offend because it portrays people as we really are. [10] If we are offended by Christ’s words, we need to repent. Whether you are repenting for the first time in a cry for salvation, or as a believer who has returned to trying to save yourself, please repent with me rather than trusting in any other thing. Things that cause us to be offended by Jesus lead to our death.

This blog was written by Seth Dunn

[1] The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. (Wheaton, IL: Standard Bible Society, 2016), Logos Bible Software 6.

[2] Please see blog on Matthew 9:36-38.

[3] Matthew 14:13-21; 15:32-39, Mark 6:32-44; 8:1-30, Luke 9:10-17, and Tenney, Merrill C. The Expositor’s Bible Commentary with the New International Version of the Holy Bible in Twelve Volumes, Volume 9 (John-Acts). General Editor Frank E. Gaebelein. (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House, 1981), 71.

[4] 1 John 2:22-25; 3:5, Acts 4:12, Matthew 1:21, John 14:6.

[5] See John 6:22-65 and Tenney, Expositor’s, 80.

[6] Calvin, John. Commentary on the Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ According to John. Trans. William Pringle. (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Book House, 1981), 276.

[7] John 6:35; 48; 51, 8:12, 9:5, 10:7; 9, 10:11; 14, 11:25, 14:6, 15:1, Luke 24:44-49, Matthew 1:21, Hebrews 8-10.

[8] 2 Corinthians 2:14-16.

[9] Romans 8:7-8, 5:6-11.

[10] Calvin, Commentary, 277. See also Matthew 5:10-12, 10:22, and Luke 21:17.

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

Matthew 22:36-40: Love In Action:

“Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?” 37 And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. 38 This is the great and first commandment. 39 And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. 40 On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.”

Christ’s commands in this passage are more than “situation ethics” and “mere legalism” because they demand “internalized love.” [1] Jesus requires love for God and neighbor because true obedience only happens when true love accompanies action. [2] Christianity is a religion that demands the whole person, affections and action included.

Why is it so hard to have love infused works? Many unbelievers have stories about Christians being heartless in their care, or polite believers without delivery on their promises. There are many reasons for this, but we will focus on two. First, Christians still sin and need grace as they grow in godliness. [3] This does not excuse sin in believers, but reminders us to look to Jesus Whose perfection shines in weakness. Just as you would not let car salesmen keep you from buying a vehicle, do not let growing believers divert you from Christ. Secondarily, displeasure with Christian ministry can be founded in misunderstanding “love.” Love is not blind acceptance, as some teach, but showing the love of God in Christ to someone. [4] God’s love is unlike our love, but is the love we need to begin living the commandments.

This blog was written by Seth Dunn

[1] Beale, G.K. and Carson, D.A. Commentary on the New Testament Use of the Old Testament. Edited by G.K. Beale and D.A. Carson. (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic, 2007), 81-82.

[2] Calvin, John. Commentary on a Harmony of the Evangelists, Matthew, Mark, and Luke Vol. 2. Trams. William Pringle. (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Book House, 1984), 59.

[3] Philippians 1:6, 1 Corinthians 6:11, Romans 7:7-25; 8:13

[4] 1 John 4:7-11, 19-21. Dunn, “That’s What I Like,” (Sermon: Emmanuel Baptist Church, Fort Lauderdale, FL, October 7, 2017).

Treasuring God's Truth in Your Heart

Treasuring God's Truth in Your Heart.png

John 1:29: Forgiven by the Lamb

The next day he saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, “Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!”

What would you give to have forgiveness? To have the pains you caused others, your careless words, and all the errors you cannot let go, pardoned? John the Baptist knew worldwide forgiveness cost lamb’s blood. But not just any lamb. If I am honest, I know the wrongs I have committed against others and God cannot be dealt with by a barnyard beast. My angry actions, my insensitive speech, my past have missed Scripture’s mark so much I need something God sized to heal my brokenness. If you are honest, you and I are in the same sinful ship in need of help (Romans 3:23).

That is why Jesus Christ is so amazing. Jesus is our once and for all sacrifice needed to move our sins as far as the east is from the west (Psalm 103:11-12, Hebrews 10:12-18). Jesus is the Lamb promised in the Old Testament, Whose blood empowers holy living today (Isaiah 53:7, Jeremiah 11:19, 1 Peter 1:17-19). Jesus is the Lamb Who is worthy in this sight of heaven when all others are found worthless, and Whose impending victory is predicted in Scripture (Revelation 5, 19:11-21). What would you give to have forgiveness? Forgiveness already purchased for you? Whether you have not yet received Christ as your exclusive means of salvation or a struggling Christian, His forgiveness is for you when you confess your need for Him, crying out “Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world” (1 John 1:9-2:2).

This blog was written by Seth Dunn