1. Identify the temptation in which Jesus was tempted to use Violence as a means of establishing the Kingdom of Heaven and give examples of two other similar temptations Jesus faced during his ministry.
2. Write out a verse from memory which tells us that God is willing to forgive the sins of those who confess to him.
3. Give two Bible references which tell us that we are to confess sin to God and list three results of making confession of sin.
4. Give Biblical counsel to both those who have an exaggerated sense of sin and those who have made a half-hearted confession. You will be able to identify the circumstances under which restitution must be made and suggest ways in which this might be done.
5. When given a passage from the Bible you will identify the “Put offs” and the “Put ons” found in the passage.
It must have been a real temptation for Jesus to get power quickly over the kingdoms of the World and to free the Jewish people. Of course, we know that Jesus rejected the temptation and dedicated himself to doing the will of God: the way of the cross.
Underline in red the word “kingdoms” in Matthew 4:8.
Yes, Christians do sin. We fail, and we sin. And so, there ought to be a place in our private prayer, as well as in our public worship for the confession of sins.”
Read psalm 51:1-4
Who does David say he had sinned against (verse 4)
Who is the source of all forgiveness?
(Matthew 26:28; Ephesians 1:7; 1 Peter 2:24) indicate that we receive forgiveness through the sacrifice of Jesus. But in order for us to experience God’s forgiveness we must confess our sin to Him. (1 John 1:9)
Read Matthew 5:23-24. In these verses Jesus is teaching us that we ought to make things right (reconciled) with our brother: before we come to God.
There is something else we must do too if our attitude toward sin has really changed. If we have done harm to another person we must not only confess to him, but we must also make restitution. To make restitution is to put back something that was lost or taken so that things are the same as they were before it happened. (Leviticus 6:4-5; Ezekiel 33:15-16; Luke 19:8-9; 1 Samuel 12:3).
Read Luke 19:8-9.
Who approved of what Zachaeus did with the money he had stolen?
Satan is a mighty spiritual enemy who is dedicated to turning men away from God. In the temptation of the High Mountain, what does it mean to worship Satan”? Seek the kingdom by human methods, without God.
Read Daniel 7:14. What does this verse say about the rule of the Son of Man?
So then, the temptation did not consist of seeking the kingdom of righteousness, but rather in the method of seeking it.
“The end never justifies the means.” In other words, just because the things we wish to do is good, does not mean the that we can use wrong methods to do it.
Read John 6:66
What happened when Jesus rejected the revolutionary expectations of the Jews?
Read Hebrews 2:14-15
If Jesus had chosen to take power as the King of the most powerful empire in human history, could He have also saved sinful men from death? Through His own death Jesus was able to render the Devil powerless.
Read Matthew 26:51-52; Luke 9:51-56; John 6:15, 18:36.
Read Luke 22:36-38. In the light of the firm stand Jesus took against violence as a means to establish His kingdom, doesn’t it seem strange to you that Jesus would tell His disciples to “buy a sword”?
Read Luke 22:49-52
Now, think carefully about the observation you have just made in this passage of scripture. If the apostles wouldn’t have had a sword, would we really know for sure that Jesus purposely gave Himself up to the temple guards? Would we be able to say that He refused to defend Himself by violence?
Christ wanted to show them that He would NOT use a sword.
Read Matthew 26:52 and Matthew 27:37.
What is the symbol of the kingdom of Heaven, a sword/cross?
Jesus chose to extend His kingdom by sacrifice-cross and the love of God.
Following the temptations in the wilderness, Jesus left the desert with a well thought plan. He did not move from that original plan the slightest little bit during the three years of His public ministry. His plan was to establish the Kingdom of God in the heart of every man, and to place his trust in the way of sacrifice, of love, of truth, and obedience to God.
Christ taught that every-time we allow ourselves to harbor hate in our hearts we are in fact, in the way of the sword.
Read Matthew 5:21-22.
According to Jesus, one can be morally guilty of murder if he holds anger in his heart against another person.
Neither is it necessary to actually die on a cross in order to be on the way of the cross. Every time our heart is filled with the love of Christ toward our neighbor and we show that love by serving the sacrificially for our neighbor’s good, we are on the way of the cross. In Matthew 16:24, Jesus says: “If anyone would come after Me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow Me.” According to this verse to take up his cross” means: to follow after Jesus by taking His example of love and sacrifice. To follow after Jesus by denying myself and serving others. (1 Corinthians 1:18; Galatians 6:14; Ephesians 2:16, 4:32)
Read Matthew 4:10
What was Jesus’ reply to the temptation of Jesus on the high mountain?
Read Zechariah 4:6
How does God accomplish His will? “Not by might nor by power, but by my
The exile was the “crucible of Israel’s faith.” They were pushed to the edge of existence where they thought they were hanging on by the skin of their teeth, and they found that in fact they had been pushed to the center, where God was. They experienced not bare survival but abundant life. Now they saw their previous life as subsistence livingg, a marginal existence absorbed in consumption and fashion, empty ritual and insensitive exploitation. Exile pushed them from the margins of life to the vortex where all the issues of life and death, love and meaning, purpose and value formed the dynamic everyday, participation-demanding realities of God’s future with them.
It keeps on happening. Exile is the worst that reveals the best. “It’s hard believing,” says Faulkner, “but disaster seems to be good for people.” …
All of us are given moments, days, months, years of exile. What will we do with them? Wish we were someplace else? Complain? Escape into fantasies? Drug ourselves into oblivion? Or build and plant and marry and seek the shalom of the place we inhabit and the people we are with? Exile reveals what really matters and frees us to pursue what really matters, which is to seek the Lord with all our hearts.
(From Run with the Horses by Eugene Peterson)
Do you feel as if you are in exile? Let disaster develop your character. Do not spend all your time seeking relief but reflect on what God wants to teach you. Ask him to show you what is really important.
Confession of Sin
What do you thing it means when I say that keeping unconfessed sin is a lot like running up a charge account
Repentance means to show a change of attitude toward sin. According to Matthew 3:6, this change of attitude is to be shown by the
Read 1 John 1:8-10.
John’s letter was written to Christians. Are Christians guilty of sin?
Stop here for just a few moments. Do you need to make restitution to anyone you may have wronged? It could be someone in your own home, the office, your neighbor, or your best friend. Make a note of the kind of restitution you need to make. Ask the Holy Spirit to show you areas where restitution is needed. Now make definite plans to make restitution under the guidance of the Holy Spirit. After you have done it, destroy the paper. have you done this?
Exercise: Read Proverbs 28:13 and underline it in your Biible with green.
Let’s practice the technique of observation.
Read Psalm 32:3-5. Keep your Bible open to this Psalm.
The person who does not confess his sins is taking a great risk. Which two verses of Psalm 32 tells us that David’s body ached and had become weakened because of his sin? Versesand. Which verses tells us that David had confessed his sin and been forgiven?
David’s body “wasted away” and his “strength was sapped”. While David hid his sin. When David did not confess it he felt weak and sickly. He was spiritually dry. When he confessed his sin, he had a feeling of well-being.
Read Psalm 32:1-4, the person who has confessed his sins to God is forgiven by Him and feels better in his spirit, soul, and even his body.
Jealousy, envy, coveting, and resentment are only a few of the sins which can cause bodily illness when they remain un-confessed, deep within a person’s mind.
Read Matthew 5:25; 5:1, teaches us to confess sin immediately.
Exercise: Underline Matthew 5:25 and Ephesians 4:26 in green.
Memorize 1 John 1:9.
There is a well known local coach in Fullerton, California, whose thirty-five-plus years in athletics have been eminently successful…. His incredible career in Southern California speaks for itself. When he was interviewed by the Los Angeles Times, the sportswriter wanted to know his secret. What was it that made him so successful? Without hesitation Coach Sherbeck said that his credo could best be stated in words written by an anonymous author. Ever since he was a boy growing up in Big Sandy, Montana, he has lived by these words.
Press on. Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; The world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent.
Don’t misunderstand. I have in mind being determined to accomplish what is right…. When the objective is good and the motive is pure, there is nothing more valuable in the pathway leading to genuine success than persistence and determination. Following one’s dream requires these disciplines…. The thing that makes for greatness is determination, persisting in the right direction over the long haul, following your dream, staying at the task. Just as there is no thing such as instant failure, neither is there automatic or instant success. But success is the direct result of a process that is long, arduous, and often unappreciated by others. It also includes a willingness to sacrifice…. In our world of instant everything, these thoughts are not very popular…. If we really want to soar like and eagle, we must keep on continually pursuing – we must keep on seeking.
(From Living Above the Level of Mediocrity by Charles Swindoll)
Is there a specific goal you recently gave up? Reexamine your motive for doing so. Is it possible that you gave up too soon? Would God want you to persist? If so, recommit yourself to the task. Talk to a friend who can encourage you to reach your goal.
The Body of Christ
Today we are going to learn more important things about the Body of Christ.
The Bible says: “Christ is the head of the church, his body.” (Ephesians 5:23) In the Bible, the word “Church” does not talk about a building where believers meet together. It talks about believers themselves. Therefore, from this Bible verse, we learn that believers are the of Christ here on earth.
Since Jesus ascended into heaven, we cannot see him here on earth. But, we have become his body here on earth. People should be able to see Jesus Christ living in us.
Each of the members of the body of Christ have different jobs to do. They are responsible to do this in the service of God and of others in the church. “In Christ we who are many form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. We have different gifts, according to the grace given us.” (Romans 12:5, 6) Each member or part of the body of Jesus Christ has received a different .
The gifts which are being talked about in this verse are Abilities which are given by God. The Bible goes on to say: “If a man’s gift is prophesying, let him use it in proportion to his faith. It it is serving, let him serve; if it is teaching, let him teach…” (Romans 12:6-8). In other words, we are to:
Some believers have been given the ability to teach, others to give comfort, and still others to encourage those who are discouraged.
The believer who is gifted in Helping should help the needy.
The believer who is gifted in Teaching should.
The believer who is gifted in Encouraging should .
In other words, The Bible says: “But to Each One of us grace has been given as Christ apportioned it.” (Ephesians 4:7) Is there any believer in Christ who has not received an ability (a gift) from God? (Answer “Yes” or “No”) Do you have an ability then, that you can use in the work of the Lord? (Answer “Yes” or “No”)
Some believers make the mistake of thinking that they have nothing to offer in the work of the Lord. However, this is NOT true. Other believers make just the opposite mistake. They are very proud of the abilities they have been given. They think that they are very gifted and that they have many abilities. This kind of pride causes them to look down on other members of the body. How many church members have gifts or abilities?
Paul wrote about this: “The eye cannot say to the hand, ‘I don’t need you!’ And the head cannot say to the feet, ‘I don’t need you!’ (1 Corinthians 12:21) How many of the members of the local church are needed by all of the rest of the members?
You should use the abilities that God has given to you and thank him for them, and appreciate and thank God for the abilities that he has given to other members of the local church.
It is wrong for some believers to stay at home when the rest of the body of Christ is gathered together for worship and the services of the church.
Why is prayer so important? Here are the four shortest reasons I know.
… Prayer forces me to leave the situation with God; it makes me wait.
Secondly, prayer clears my vision. When you first face a situation, is it foggy? Prayer will “burn through.” Your vision will clear so you can see through God’s eyes.
Thirdly, prayer quiets my heart. I cannot worry and pray at the same time….
Fourthly, prayer activates my faith. After praying I am more prone to trust God…. Prayer sets faith on fire.
Don’t just fill the margins in your Bible with words and thoughts about ways a Christian prays. Do it!… Pray!
… The Lord is the Specialist we need for those uncrossable and impossible experiences. He delights in accomplishing what we cannot pull off. But He awaits our cry. He listens for our request….
(From Hand Me Another Brick by Charles Swindoll)
What was your first response to an unexpected medical bill, a car breakdown, or a layoff at work? Did you respond in anger, by worrying and complaining, or did you first go to God and ask for his help and guidance through the hardship?
BIO:Robert Pierce Shuler
Robert Shuler was born August 4, 1880, in the foothills of
the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia. At the age of nine,
kneeling between his mother and his preacher-uncle in “the
meetin’ house” at Comer’s Rocks, he received Christ to be his
Lord and Saviour. His primary education consisted of a three-
month school, where he mastered the McGuffey’s Readers. In
1897 he entered Emory and Henry College as a sub-freshman,
and was graduated in 1903. Two years later he married Nelle
Revees, and the same year entered the Holston Conference of
the Methodist Church.
Endowed with a good mind and an even better wit, he
was an excellent extemporaneous speaker. In addition to this,
his great courage, coupled with his conservative theology and
evangelistic fervor, prompted him to ever preach with the al-
tar call in view.
In 1920 he became pastor of the Trinity Methodist
Church of Los Angeles, a position he occupied until his
death. He began with a depleted congregation and saw it grow
to 5,000 in the 1930s. In 1929, he was given a radio station
which was housed in the tower of his church. It became a
strong voice against crime and corruption in Southern Cali-
fornia. His life was threatened many times, his church was
bombed, he was sued and put in jail. He ran for United States
Senator on the Prohibition ticket in 1932 and lost by only
His writings included The Methodist Challenge, What
New Doctrine Is This?, Some Dogs I Have Known, and I Met Them
on the Trail. Three of his sons followed him in the ministry.