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Lesson # Matt. 16:20
Study Material - Matt. 16:20
You must be in fellowship prior to your Bible study, so that the spiritual information you receive can become a source, of blessing to your soul and produce spiritual growth.
20 Then [tote] charged he [diastellomai] his [autos] disciples [mathetes] that [hina] they should tell [epo] no man [medeis] that [hoti] he [autos] was [esti] Jesus [Iesous] the Christ [Christos] . KJV-Interlinear
20 Then He warned the disciples that they should tell no one that He was the Christ. NAS
So! Now you have had several days to consider your homework project and to come up with an answer to the command in verse 20. Do you remember the homework assignment? You'll recall that several days ago our lesson brought you before a mirror - the mirror before which you were to evaluate your life. The mirror (which is the Word of God, by the way) before which you were to decide if you were a genuine advancing believer, or whether you were one of those who picks and chooses what portions of Gods Word you would abide by!!!???
There are two types of breathing people in this world - those who are indeed alive and those who are the walking dead. Believers are truly alive due to the fact that they have believed in Christ and have received eternal life. Unbelievers are those who have rejected Christ and their are dead spiritually. Their destiny is the Lake of Fire.
Within the believer category there is yet another breakdown of three categories of people. The first are those who have not advanced at all in their spiritual life. They are going to heaven for sure (all believers go to heaven), but they just are not interested in advancing in their spiritual life, or they have discovered something better (that something doesn't exist by the way), or so they think. The second category are those folks who have advanced to varying degrees in their spiritual lives between spiritual infancy and maturity, but these folks pick and choose the things in the Bible which are convenient to their life and attitude. They may study, or they may not. They may be charitable or they may not. They may support Gods Word or they may not. They have a lot of may or may not's in their life. The third category of believers are those who advance to maturity and continue advancing because they have a genuine desire to advance as far as they possibly can in their spiritual life. To this the smallest group of the three, comes the greatest of blessings in time and in eternity.
Ok, so how did your mirror test come out? And for the assignment which concerns this lesson? I'll bet most forgot - perhaps there is evidence of indifference?? Children have to be told what to do. Adults know what they need to do. Each person evaluates them self. Each person has an opportunity to correct their own attitude. God gives us all this opportunity - for a time anyway.
Jesus warned them to not tell that He was 'Jesus the Christ.' Jesus is the Greek word and is the same as the Hebrew word 'Joshua.' It means 'God is Deliverance.' 'Christ' is the Greek word and its Hebrew equivalent is 'Messiah.' They mean 'Anointed.' Putting them together makes the 'God The Deliverer is Anointed.' God the deliverer has been identified.
Why wouldn't He want this to be known? Because it is His purpose to go to the Cross and become the Savior, and therefore the deliverer. Jesus delivers from sin, not from Rome. The only way to deliver from sin is to stand in our place and take on the penalty and therefore pay the price for sin. This is accomplished on the Cross and nowhere else.
Were this to become common knowledge then there would be two opposing forces. One side who would wish Jesus dead, and the other who would line up behind Him and fight. This fight would be on a battle field and not in a court room and then the Cross.
Jesus was to go to this destiny of the across alone. Only God can take on this mission. Man has no part in it. Man gets no credit for accomplishing salvation, lest man should boast about his contribution. And boasting or pride or sin cannot claim any part of salvation. Its destruction is the target of salvation, not an ally with salvation.
People need only to believe in the Savior. They do not necessarily need to be able to identify Him by sight, as they had the opportunity in Jesus' time. But then neither you nor I have seen Him, and yet we believe in someone whom we have never seen.
Sin and its defeat on the Cross are the objective of the first advent. If people were to look to Christ as their savior, but interpret this to mean that He was going to defeat Rome, then they would get all caught up in their own self defined crusade, and a wrong crusade. All too often people get caught up in one crusade or another. The want to save the world, save the fish, save a tree, or save something. But God is not necessarily concerned with fish or trees, nor even the world. What God is concerned with is peoples souls. The world will end. In fact God will destroy it and replace it with something better. But peoples souls live on forever, and they will either be with Him in heaven or they will be separated from Him, and in the Lake of Fire. What is more important? A tree or fish, or ones soul?
Being responsible in this world is a concern too, but learning Bible doctrine and advancing to spiritual maturity will generate proper responsibility within ones environment - and life will take care of itself. When people get away from their Bible Study, then they become confused between the role of government and the role of their spiritual life. The State in not an instrument of the Church, not is the Church an instrument of the State. When the two become one, then you have countries that are run by religious tyranny. Islam is probably one of the best examples of this abuse of power.
Likewise, there is a difference between humanitarian and political causes. The two should be separated. When they become combined then again terrible abuse results and regulations galore tie up every ones life. Political standards are imposed on all and if you do not comply then you become a criminal.
To avoid this confrontation, Jesus warns that He is not come into the world to build a constituency, nor an army, nor an earthly empire. His kingdom is not of this world. There will come time (the Second Advent) when Christ will return and totally destroy all evil in the world. But that time is not yet. Are we now ready for a mirror test? Or , just a lesson test? What was Jesus' middle name? I'll let you think on that one!!! Now do you know if this is a tease or if this is really a test question? Hummm? Bet you don't know!!
Now is the time to post a prayer.
End Of Lesson
Study to show thyself approved (mature) unto God, a workman that needs not to be ashamed, rightly dividing (studying/discerning), the Word of truth.
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