The Demands of Discipleship

Plowing

We have been called to be disciples of Jesus, yet this is not an easy life. Discipleship is demanding. There are certain things required of us and not everyone will be willing to do what is necessary to be a disciple. In the following passage, Jesus encountered three prospective disciples:

As they were going along the road, someone said to Him, ‘I will follow You wherever You go.’ And Jesus said to him, ‘The foxes have holes and the birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay His head.

And He said to another, ‘Follow Me.’ But he said, ‘Lord, permit me first to go and bury my father.’ But He said to him, ‘Allow the dead to bury their own dead; but as for you, go and proclaim everywhere the kingdom of God.’

Another also said, ‘I will follow You, Lord; but first permit me to say good-bye to those at home.’ But Jesus said to him, ‘No one, after putting his hand to the plow and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God’” (Luke 9:57-62).

In Jesus’ responses to these individuals, He showed just how demanding it is to be one of His disciples. Let us consider what He said and how it applies to us today.Continue Reading

Great Days in History (Part 3): The Day of Jesus’ Crucifixion

Great Days in History

Wishing to satisfy the crowd, Pilate release Barabbas for them, and after having Jesus scourged, he handed Him over to be crucified. The soldiers took Him away into the palace (that is, the Praetorium), and they called together the whole Roman cohort. They dressed Him up in purple, and after twisting a crown of thorns, they put it on Him; and they began to acclaim Him, ‘Hail, King of the Jews!’ They kept beating His head with a reed, and spitting on Him, and kneeling and bowing before Him. After they had mocked Him, they took the purple robe off Him and put His own garments on Him. And they led Him out to crucify Him. […] Then they brought Him to the place Golgotha, which is translated, Place of a Skull. They tried to give Him wine mixed with myrrh; but He did not take it. And they crucified Him…” (Mark 15:15-24).

After being born into this world and living a relatively short life here, Jesus died. However, more than anyone else, His death was significant. The day of Jesus’ crucifixion was the day in which He died on the cross for our sins. As we have already seen, this was part of God’s plan from the beginning (Revelation 13:8).Continue Reading

Through Many Tribulations (Part 3): Sacrifices

Through Many Tribulations

When we first read of Paul in the New Testament – then referred to as Saul – he was looking on with approval as Stephen was stoned to death (Acts 7:58-8:1). Following that event, he began a zealous campaign against the church that took him to Damascus in order to find “any belonging to the Way” and “bring them bound to Jerusalem” (Acts 9:2). While on the road to Damascus, the Lord appeared to him and told him to go to the city where he would be told “what [he] must do” (Acts 9:6). The Lord then instructed Ananias to go to Saul to deliver His message to him (Acts 9:10-12; 22:12-16).

Paul was “a chosen instrument” of the Lord’s (Acts 9:15). Specifically, this meant that he was “called as an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God” (1 Corinthians 1:1). However, this did not mean that the Lord was going to see to it that Paul had an easy and comfortable life as he served Him. Instead, He told Ananias, “For I will show him how much he must suffer for My name’s sake” (Acts 9:16). When we think of the sufferings of Paul, we typically think of the persecutions he endured [we will discuss these in the next lesson]. Yet there were other sacrifices that Paul made that would be included in the things he was going to “suffer.Continue Reading

What Should Characterize Our Giving?

Collection plate

Now this I say, he who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. Each one must do just as he has purposed in his heart, not grudgingly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver” (2 Corinthians 9:6-7).

Periodically, it is good for us to evaluate what we do in our service to God in order to make sure we are doing what we should do with the right attitude to the best of our abilities. In this article, we are going to look at one aspect of our service to God – our giving on the first day of the week. This is not about examining the total amount that is contributed by everyone assembled in a congregation; rather, it is about individually examining ourselves by the standard of God’s word.

With this in mind, let us use the New Testament to help us consider the following question: What should characterize our giving?Continue Reading

The Priesthood of Christ (Season 4, Episode 4)

The Priesthood of Christ (Season 4, Episode 4)

 
 
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The Priesthood of Christ (Season 4, Episode 4)

The writer of the book of Hebrews repeatedly spoke of things under the law of Christ as being better than those under the Law of Moses. With Christ, we have a better hope (Hebrews 6:19-20; 7:19), better covenant (Hebrews 7:22; 8:6), better promises (Hebrews 8:6), and a better sacrifice (Hebrews 9:23-28). The writer told his audience, “Consider Jesus, the Apostle and High Priest of our confession” (Hebrews 3:1). The role of the high priest was to offer sacrifices for sins (Hebrews 5:1) and be an intercessor between God and man (Hebrews 7:24-25). The nature of Christ’s priesthood is one of the things that is better under the new law. In this episode, let us consider the priesthood of Christ.

Article: The Priesthood of Christ

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The Death of Jesus

Crucifixion of Christ

In the previous article, we considered the life of Jesus. He perfectly fulfilled the Father’s will – even in His death. This article will focus on the death of Jesus and what we should understand about it.
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Atonement (Season 3, Episode 5)

Atonement (Season 3, Episode 5)

 
 
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Atonement (Season 3, Episode 5)

Three weeks ago we discussed the five types of offerings found in the book of Leviticus. One of these was the sin offering. These were made periodically, whenever someone would sin unintentionally. However, there was also an annual day of atonement – the one time a year in which the high priest would enter the most holy place. In this episode, we’re going to discuss the day of atonement and how the sacrifices were a foreshadowing of the work of Christ.

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