Sunday, March 27, 2011

The Three Crosses at Golgotha

The 3 crosses

Luke 23:26-49 
“Now as they led Him away, they laid hold of a certain man, Simon a Cyrenian, who was coming from the country, and on him they laid the cross that he might bear it after Jesus. And a great multitude of the people followed Him, and women who also mourned and lamented Him. But Jesus, turning to them, said, “Daughters of Jerusalem, do not weep for Me, but weep for yourselves and for your children. For indeed the days are coming in which they will say, ‘Blessed are the barren, wombs that never bore, and breasts which never nursed!’ Then they will begin ‘to say to the mountains, “Fall on us!” and to the hills, “Cover us!”’ For if they do these things in the green wood, what will be done in the dry?” There were also two others, criminals, led with Him to be put to death. And when they had come to the place called Calvary, there they crucified Him, and the criminals, one on the right hand and the other on the left. Then Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do.” And they divided His garments and cast lots. And the people stood looking on. But even the rulers with them sneered, saying, “He saved others; let Him save Himself if He is the Christ, the chosen of God.” The soldiers also mocked Him, coming and offering Him sour wine, and saying, “If You are the King of the Jews, save Yourself.” And an inscription also was written over Him in letters of Greek, Latin, and Hebrew:

THIS IS THE KING OF THE JEWS.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Our Prophetic Role: Spreading the Gospel

This message is part of a sermon series. For the rest of the sermon series go to  A Royal Priesthood

sleeping on duty

1 Timothy 2:1-7; Psalm 60:1-12

Therefore I exhort first of all that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men, for kings and all who are in authority, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence. For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour, who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. For there is one God and one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus, who gave Himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time, for which I was appointed a preacher and an apostle — I am speaking the truth in Christ and not lying — a teacher of the Gentiles in faith and truth.

God, You have cast us off; You have broken us down; You have been displeased; Oh, restore us again! You have made the earth tremble; You have broken it; Heal its breaches, for it is shaking. You have shown Your people hard things; You have made us drink the wine of confusion. You have given a banner to those who fear You, That it may be displayed because of the truth. That Your beloved may be delivered, Save with Your right hand, and hear me. God has spoken in His holiness: “I will rejoice; I will divide Shechem and measure out the Valley of Succoth. Gilead is Mine, and Manasseh is Mine; Ephraim also is the helmet for My head; Judah is My lawgiver. Moab is My wash pot; Over Edom I will cast My shoe; Philistia, shout in triumph because of Me.” Who will bring me to the strong city? Who will lead me to Edom? Is it not You, O God, who cast us off? And You, O God, who did not go out with our armies? Give us help from trouble, For the help of man is useless. Through God we will do valiantly, For it is He who shall tread down our enemies. NKJV

In our two earlier discussions, we had looked at prayer as the duty of the Christian in times of national crisis. We have seen him on his knees to win the men and women “for whom Christ also died”. We have seen him changing lives as he works in partnership with the Holy Spirit. We have seen him causing the rulers and all those in authority change their policies and making us to live godly and peaceable lives. We have seen him, like Christ, making intercession for all men because this is “good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour”. We have ended the last discussion on the note that “God our Saviour will have all men to be saved and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.”

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Our Priestly Role: Praying for those in Authority

This message is part of a sermon series. For the rest of the sermon series go to  A Royal Priesthood

prayer

1 Timothy 2:1-7

"Therefore I exhort first of all that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men, for kings and all who are in authority, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence. For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour, who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. For there is one God and one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus, who gave Himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time, for which I was appointed a preacher and an apostle — I am speaking the truth in Christ and not lying — a teacher of the Gentiles in faith and truth."

In our first discussion, we looked at prayer as our communication with God as His children in Christ Jesus. The Bible assures us that “He who did not spare His only Son, but offered Him for us, would He deny us anything which we ask of Him?” So we are enjoined to pray, believe and we receive as we ask. But Paul here exhorts us to pray for all men especially for those in authority. Does this include the wicked rulers? Should I spend my time both in the public and in the private to pray for those whose rules have caused me so much head and heart ache?

Monday, March 07, 2011

Our Priestly Role: Praying for all men

This message is part of a sermon series. For the rest of the sermon series go to  A Royal Priesthood

A royal priesthood

1 Timothy 2:1-7;  1 Peter 2:9-10 
Therefore I exhort first of all that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men, for kings and all who are in authority, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence. For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour, who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. For there is one God and one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus, who gave Himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time, for which I was appointed a preacher and an apostle — I am speaking the truth in Christ and not lying — a teacher of the Gentiles in faith and truth.


But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvellous light; who once were not a people but are now the people of God, who had not obtained mercy but now have obtained mercy.

In our earlier series, Christ our Great and Perfect High Priest,  based on Hebrews 7:25-28, we had looked at the High Priestly office of our Saviour and Lord Jesus Christ. We saw His merits and qualities that qualify Him to this High office. We saw that He is more than able to perform the mediatorial office in that He lives forever to make intercession for those who come to Him. He is holy, harmless, undefiled, and separate from sinners and made higher than the heavens; He does not need to offer sacrifices daily for His own sins but had once offered Himself, a sacrifice that is whole and acceptable to God. Because of all these and more “He is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by Him” 

We now wish to consider the priestly office of the believer. Christ is making intercession for us so that we can “stand against the wiles of the devil”; so that we can “let our lights so shine before men, that they may see our good works and glorify our Father who are in heaven”; so that having reconciled us unto Himself, we can be agents of reconciliation; so that having comforted us in all our troubles and sorrows, we can with the same comfort, comfort them who are suffering; so that having called us out of darkness into His marvellous light, we can “be witnesses unto Him both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea, and in Samaria and unto the uttermost parts of the earth”. In short, He is our Great High Priest in Heaven, so that we on earth can be the priest of the otherwise lost world.