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Introduction

  • During the destruction of Jerusalem, a civil war broke out among the Jews based on how they wanted to deal with the Romans. Eventually the Jews stopped fighting each other and fought the Romans. By the time Jerusalem fell, 1.1 million people died. Enraged by the rebellion of the Jews, the Romans killed indiscriminately.
  • Luke 17:20-18:8

Do not let the circumstances of this life determine your view of God.

  • Later generations tend to turn away from God because parents don’t always teach their children well.
  • Amos 4:6-11 – God had brought numerous calamities on them, yet they did not return to Him.
  • Regardless of what happens, God still rules!

Pray and persist!

  • Luke 18:1
  • I Corinthians 16:13
  • We are the mighty men fighting for our King!
  • Don’t be afraid to speak your faith!
  • I Peter 3:8-15
  • Can you tell people why you believe in Jesus? Even when you are suffering?
  • We need to pray for wisdom and opportunities.
  • We need to pray that God’s will be done.
  • We need to persist!
  • Luke 18:7-8 – God will make everything right.

For further study, see also:

Questions or comments? Join our Discord server for further study.


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Introduction

  • Matthew 4:1-11
  • This was not the only time Jesus was tempted.
  • Why is this episode saved for us? Jesus was lead by the Spirit to go to the wilderness. This was an important event in His life.
  • It’s possible these temptations were more severe than we appreciate.
  • It’s important to plan how you’re going to deal with temptation before it occurs.

Five ideas to prepare

You have to realize Satan’s temptations are serious.

  • Culture tries to tell us sin is no big deal.
  • In this episode, if Jesus gives in then Satan wins and therefore there’s no hope for the rest of us, despite the fact that these actions seem like no big deal.

You have to view the temptation spiritually.

  • I John 2:15-16
  • If you thought at the beginning of the temptation “depending on how I handle this I will either live or die.”
  • God had just said and affirmed to Jesus that He was God’s Son and He was living the life God wanted Him to live. Satan starts each temptation with, “If you are the Son of God,” casting doubt on His identity and tempting Jesus as if to say, “if you are who you say you are, prove it!”
  • When we are trying to decide to give in or not we have to understand what it will do to our relationship with God.

Ask for help.

  • In this episode, Jesus is in the wilderness to pray and meditate on God’s will as He’s about to begin His ministry. He does this often because He has a relationship with His Father and loves communication with Him.
  • God listens to you! He wants you to come to Him, He wants to help you!

Learn discipline.

  • Jesus had just finished fasting which is an exercise in discipline.
  • We need to add self-control and discipline to ourselves. Fasting is one way to physically practice this. Learning this helps in other aspects. We learn to control ourselves so that when we make a decision, it’s our mind that wins and not the body.

Focus your time on doing good to help and show love to others.

  • Jesus started doing this just after this episode. All His miracles to prove His word were to help people.
  • When you’re busy doing for others, there’s less time for your selfishness.

Conclusion

  • Think on these things and next time temptation comes your way, you’ll be prepared. Do them and the Devil will flee.

For further study, see also:

Questions or comments? Join our Discord server for further study.


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Introduction

  • If you are a Christian, why did you first decide to be baptized?
  • For many, this starts with a fear of hell but then turns to the reward of heaven with maturity.
  • Peter gives the incentive for obedience as hope. I Peter 1:3-21

Hope should produce gratitude in us.

  • I Peter 1:3
    • Compare Ephesians 1:3.
    • God should be blessed! Do we do this?
    • God has acted according to His great mercy.
    • God has caused us to be born again. We are His children because of what He did (see John 1:9-13). God chose me to be His son.
  • I Peter 1:4
    • We have an inheritance because of a family relationship we have with God. Our inheritance will never age or tarnish.
  • I Peter 1:5
    • See I Peter 3:12. God listens to us! God keeps us. The only thing that will separate us from God is us.

Hope should make us the most contented people in the world.

  • I Peter 1:6
    • We should be rejoicing!
    • We need to be thinking about where we are going every day.
    • Difficulties in life make us selfish because we focus only on the problem.
    • Rejoicing in the Lord is remembering that no matter how bad it gets, I’m going to heaven to be with God.
  • I Peter 1:7
    • Difficulty should remind us of the folly of this world and of the glory of heaven to come.
    • “Hasten the day” should be our motto!

Hope should prompt holiness in us.

  • I Peter 1:13
    • We can’t be unintentional Christians. Everyday we must remind ourselves of these things. We must avoid things that intoxicate us, whatever that may be (money, job, sports, etc.).
    • Our hope should rest fully on going to be with God.
  • I Peter 1:14 – Be holy!

For further study, see also:

Questions or comments? Join our Discord server for further study.


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Introduction

  • Most people in the United States do not believe the Bible is the word of God.
  • Many people try to get around the miraculous aspects of scripture. Our faith needs the miracles!

Jesus has power to forgive sins

  • Matthew 9:1-7
  • Matthew 4:23-24 – Compare Matthew 9:35.
  • Romans 1:16
  • Hebrews 10:14-17
  • How do you know you are forgiven?
    • Emotions are not sufficient evidence of spiritual realities.
    • Faith! Hebrews 11:1
  • By healing the paralytic, Jesus proves that He has power to forgive sins.

Jesus has the power to give eternal life

  • Matthew 9:18-19, 23-25
  • Jesus did this several other times in the gospel.
  • Jesus did this so that we would not be afraid of death.

Jesus has the power to reward faith

  • Matthew 9:20-22
  • Jesus healed her because of her faith. The power was His, but He used it because of her faith.
  • We must be confident in Jesus and His power.

Jesus illuminates us

  • Matthew 9:27-31
  • John 9:1-11
  • Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life, and the reason we know that is because He gave sight to the blind.

For further study, see also:

Questions or comments? Join our Discord server for further study.


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Introduction

  • Chris’ Comment: You always have to give up something you want to get something you want more.

When someone sinned, something had to die.

  • Isaiah 59 – Sin separates us from God, and thus from life.
  • Leviticus 1:4
  • Leviticus 4 – God says He will forgive their sin if they sacrifice an animal. The sinner had to kill the best animal they had.
  • Isaiah 53:3-6
  • Because we are not under the Law of Moses, we don’t get how personal it is when we sin.
  • Leviticus 4:1-12

Consider the volume of blood involved and the sufficiency of Jesus’ sacrifice.

  • Hebrews 10:4 – None of all this animal blood was sufficient to forgive sins.
  • Hebrews 10:26-31

Appreciate the detail involved in the sacrifices.

  • Leviticus 4:20 – God’s forgiveness is conditional.
  • Romans 12:1
  • The condition of our sacrifices matters!

If we’re not careful, all of this loses its significance.

  • Isaiah 1:10-15 – God was tired of their sacrifices because those sacrifices weren’t changing them.
  • If these people could lose focus, the same can happen to us!
  • Romans 15:4
  • Don’t undervalue any part of God’s word!

For further study, see also:

Questions or comments? Join our Discord server for further study.


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