Luke 22:61 I Do Not Know the Man 6/12/2011 ßą
#1. Christ Rose on Sunday Morning (Matt 28:1, Mark 16:1-2, Luke 24:1, John 20:1, Heb 10:24-25)
#2. Peter’s Denial (Luke 22:31-34,54-62, 1Co 10:12)
#3. The Love of Christ (John 21:15-17, Isa 59:2, Gal 3:21, 6:10, John 14:15, Eph 5:2,25,29-30)
Please open your Bibles to the Prophecy of Leviticus, Lev 23:1 (2X). Today is Pentecost Sunday, and so I will not be preaching on Hebrews, but on glorifying God the Holy Spirit every Sunday. Here in Leviticus we find many ceremonial laws. The nature of ceremonial laws is that they are all representing types and figures of Christ, and of His atonement, and of the Bride of Christ. So let us read about one of these ceremonial laws in Lev 23:1-3 (2X).
Le 23:1-3 And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, Concerning the feasts of the LORD, which ye shall proclaim to be holy convocations, even these are my feasts. Six days shall work be done: but the seventh day is the Sabbath of rest, an holy convocation; ye shall do no work therein: it is the Sabbath of the LORD in all your dwellings.
This chapter gives a list of the feast days of the Lord. And which feast day is the first and foremost of all the feast days? It is the seventh day Sabbath. It is a day of rest. The word Sabbath means rest. What is this ceremonial law pointing to? It is pointing forward to the Lord Jesus Christ who is our Sabbath rest. We rest in the finished work of the Lord Jesus Christ on the cross for our salvation. We cannot do anything to improve on His work, and therefore we rest in Him. Please turn about 100 pages to your right to the Prophecy of Deuteronomy, Deut 5:12 (2X). We read in the Ten Commandments the fourth Commandment, which concerns the seventh day Sabbath. I did not ask you to turn to Exodus chapter 20, for this passage in Deuteronomy 5 speaks more clearly about the representation of the seventh day Sabbath. We read here in Deut 5:12-15 (2X),
De 5:12-15 Keep the Sabbath day to sanctify it, as the LORD thy God hath commanded thee. Six days thou shalt labour, and do all thy work: But the seventh day is the Sabbath of the LORD thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, nor thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thine ox, nor thine ass, nor any of thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates; that thy manservant and thy maidservant may rest as well as thou. And remember that thou wast a servant in the land of Egypt, and that the LORD thy God brought thee out thence through a mighty hand and by a stretched out arm: therefore the LORD thy God commanded thee to keep the Sabbath day.
Now look at verse 15. Why did God put this here in the midst of the seventh day Sabbath? Why did God say, “And remember that thou wast a servant in the land of Egypt?” Remember that you were a slave of Pharaoh, who was a picture of Satan. And remember that “the LORD thy God brought thee out thence through a mighty hand and by a stretched out arm?” If the Sabbath day was pointing to the Lord Jesus Christ, then what was the meaning of “a mighty hand and a stretched out arm?” Was it not pointing to the Lord Jesus on the cross? Indeed it was. His atonement on the cross caused us to be brought out of the house of bondage to sin and Satan. “Therefore the LORD thy God commanded thee to keep the Sabbath day” as a memorial to His atoning death and resurrection.
Now we know that when the New Testament was ushered in at the time that Christ rose from the dead, God abolished the ceremonial law for two reasons. First, most of these ceremonial laws were bloody in nature, and blood flowed abundantly from all the animal sacrifices who were sacrificed, all pointing to the blood that the Lord Jesus Christ shed on the cross. But after the cross no more blood may be shed for sacrifices, for the sacrifice of the Lord Jesus Christ was complete, and no one should try to improve on that. Secondly, all these ceremonial laws were looking forward to the coming of Christ, but when Christ had come all these ceremonial laws no longer were looking forward to Christ. But not all the ceremonial laws were done away. For example, the bloody ceremony of Passover was replaced by the non-bloody ceremony of the Lord’s Supper. And the bloody ceremony of the Feast of Weeks was replaced by the non-bloody celebration of Pentecost. And what about the ceremony of the seventh day Sabbath, which occupied such an important place in OT history? This also was bloody. Please turn in your Bibles to the Gospel According to Matthew, Matt 28:1 (2X). Here is a verse that you have to study in your Greek- English Interlinear Bible, for this text has been badly mistranslated in the KJV. We read here in Matt 28:1 (2X),
#1. Christ Rose on Sunday Morning (Matt 28:1, Mark 16:1-2, Luke 24:1, John 20:1, Heb 10:24-25)
Mt 28:1 In the end of the Sabbath, as it began to dawn toward the first day of the week, came Mary Magdalene and the other Mary to see the sepulchre. But literally the Greek text says: “But after the Sabbaths, at the dawning into the first of the Sabbaths, came Mary Magdalene and the other Mary to see the sepulchre.”
The two times the word “Sabbaths” occurs in this verse are exactly the same word: plural “Sabbaths”. The word “week” does not exist in the Greek, and the concept of the seven day week did not exist in the Roman Empire except in the nation of Israel. What does this mean what we read here in Matt 28:1? It was Sunday morning. The Greek text says, “But after the Sabbaths”, meaning after a series of Saturday Sabbaths have come to an end, because the ceremonial law ceased to exist, “at the dawning into the first of another series of Sabbaths,” a series of Sunday Sabbaths was just beginning, “came Mary Magdalene and the other Mary to see the sepulchre.” And this is not an isolated case, for if we go to the Greek text of Mark 16:1-2, and Luke 24:1, and John 20:1 we see the same message: This day, this Sunday morning, was the first of a new series of Sabbaths. Now why should that concern us? Briefly we read that in the fourth Commandment God has replaced the Old Testament Saturday Sabbaths with a new Sunday Sabbath. The fourth Commandment has not been done away, and God commands us to worship Him on Sunday, not on Saturday. There is nothing in the entire New Testament that would oppose this conclusion. In fact, when we turn to Heb 10:24-25 we can see what we should be doing when we meet together on Sunday.
Heb 10:24-25 And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works: Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching. Note the words, “Not forsaking, as the manner of some is.”
We should provoke one another unto love and to good works. And this we must do regularly. This is Christ’s mandate for the church; we are commanded to love one another, but to love God above all. Please turn in your Bibles a few pages back to Matt 22:37 (2X). In Matt 22 a lawyer asked Jesus “Which is the great commandment in the law. Actually he wanted to know what the greatest commandment was. Jesus answered him in Matt 22:37-39,
Mt 22:37-39 Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.
The greatest commandment is loving God above all, and second is loving our neighbor, but that is second. You can read this commandment to anyone in the church and they will say “Yea” and “Amen” to it. By itself this is an innocuous statement, until we actually apply it; then it begins to sting. On this Pentecost Sunday, and every Sunday God wants us to love Him and worship Him in church, “not forsaking as the manner of some is”, and this is just to put it mildly. Please turn a few more pages back to Matt 10:34 (2X). The Lord Jesus applied this principle with much more sting. In actual practice we love God above all by loving the Lord Jesus Christ above all, and we show that we love Him by obeying His commandments. The Lord Jesus says in Matt 10:34-37 (2X),
Mt 10:34-37 Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword. For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law. And a man’s foes shall be they of his own household. He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me.
Did we catch that? “He that loveth son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me.” Can we say that we stay away from church for a few weeks for the benefit of our son who plays soccer on those days? You must be kidding! What does the Lord Jesus say about that? “He that loveth son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me.” Let us understand that we are living near the end time. Our dedication toward our Lord must be even greater than in the past, for the church is under attack, even more so than at anytime in the past. What does the Lord say in 1Cor 16:22? “If any man love not the Lord Jesus Christ, let him be Anathema Maranatha” (2X). Can we see that loving Christ is an absolute necessity to be saved? If we are not serious about this statement, I can confidently say that we are just playing church here. Please turn in your Bibles to the Revelation of Jesus Christ, Rev 20:7 (2X). All the signs that the Bible speaks about indicate that we are very close to the end of time. It means that we must be very much on our guard, because Satan is almost winning the war against Christ. God ordained that Satan will be very successful near the end of time, for God is preparing the world for judgment. We read in Rev 20:7-9,
Re 20:7-9 And when the thousand years are expired, Satan shall be loosed out of his prison, And shall go out to deceive the nations which are in the four quarters of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together to battle: the number of whom is as the sand of the sea. And they went up on the breadth of the earth, and compassed the camp of the saints about, and the beloved city: and fire came down from God out of heaven, and devoured them.
Are we taking these words seriously? It means that the Devil is accelerating his attacks on faithful churches. These are all small churches, like ours. From Rev 13:7 and Rev 17:8 we understand that the number of saints has been reduced dramatically, regardless how confident pastors of large congregations are. From Rev 20:9 we know that God will not abandon His saints, but the attacks are fierce, because most people do not understand where the attacks come from. Please turn a few pages back to Rev 16:13 (2X). This is the same last battle as in Rev 20:9.
Re 16:13-16 And I saw three unclean spirits like frogs come out of the mouth of the dragon, and out of the mouth of the beast, and out of the mouth of the false prophet. For they are the spirits of devils, working miracles, which go forth unto the kings of the earth and of the whole world, to gather them to the battle of that great day of God Almighty. Behold, I come as a thief. Blessed is he that watcheth, and keepeth his garments, lest he walk naked,
and they see his shame. And he gathered them together into a place called in the Hebrew tongue Armageddon.
This sounds like Satan’s army is out in force and we will be able to recognize him. But let us think again. In order to deceive people Satan shall come as an angel of light. Satan’s goal is to erase the church, the shadow of Christ, and to do it in such a way that he will use church people to carry out this task. Please turn a few pages back to Rev 2:4 (2X). This is how Satan is going to do it; like a snake. He will attack the church in our basic doctrine, which is our love for Christ, and in our gathering on Sundays. He begins with little offenses. We read in Rev 2:4,
Re 2:4 Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love.
You may have observed that the word “somewhat” is in italics; it is not there in the Greek text. You see, if Satan could get us to forget our first love, and could induce us to skip church on Sundays, he has it made, for church attendance will decrease to the extent that the church will close, and this is already happening in Europe. Please turn in your Bibles to the Gospel According to Luke, Luke 22:31 (2X).
#2. Peter’s Denial (Luke 22:31-34,54-62, 1Co 10:12)
Let us look here at Peter’s denial of the Lord Jesus. As you know, Peter was bragging that he would remain faithful to his Lord, even if it would cost him his life. He knew that Jesus was being persecuted, and he knew that the Pharisees wanted Him dead. But the Lord knew Peter’s heart and his fear. We read in Luke 22:31-34,
Lu 22:31-34 And the Lord said, Simon, Simon, behold, Satan hath desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat: But I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not: and when thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren. And he said unto him, Lord, I am ready to go with thee, both into prison, and to death. And he said, I tell thee, Peter, the cock shall not crow this day, before that thou shalt thrice deny that thou knowest me.
And then came to pass what the Lord Jesus predicted. Please drop down to verse 54, Luke 22:54-62,
Lu 22:54-62 Then took they him, and led him, and brought him into the high priest’s house. And Peter followed afar off. And when they had kindled a fire in the midst of the hall, and were set down together, Peter sat down among them. But a certain maid beheld him as he sat by the fire, and earnestly looked upon him, and said, This man was also with him. And he denied him, saying, Woman, I know him not. And after a little while another saw him, and said, Thou art also of them. And Peter said, Man, I am not. And about the space of one hour after another confidently affirmed, saying, Of a truth this fellow also was with him: for he is a Galilaean. And Peter said, Man, I know not what thou sayest. And immediately, while he yet spake, the cock crew. And the Lord turned, and looked upon Peter. And Peter remembered the word of the Lord, how he had said unto him, Before the cock crow, thou shalt deny me thrice. And Peter went out, and wept bitterly.
Why did God put this sordid story in the Bible? In fact, God put this story in all four narrative Gospels, Matt, Mark, Luke and John. Most stories are only in two or in three of the Gospels, but this one is in all four. The first warning the Lord gives us is this: 1Co 10:12, “Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall.” Do not be overconfident that you will resist the temptation of the Devil, for he is a mighty foe. He is a very intelligent foe. He is smarter than anyone of us will ever be. Therefore the only one who can help us is the Lord Jesus Christ. He must fight for us against the wiles of the Devil, and then will His grace be sufficient for us. The second warning is more subtle. What was going on with Peter? He was not planning to make himself known. Then he mingled with the heathen, warmed himself by the fire while the Lord Jesus stood bearing insults. And then he denied knowing Jesus at all. In fact, in the Gospels of Matthew and Mark he began to use foul language; he began to curse and to swear, “I Do Not Know the Man.” Look at the title of this sermon: “I Do Not Know the Man.” He pretended that he did not know Christ. “And the Lord turned, and looked upon Peter.” And suddenly Peter realized his sin. God placed this story in all four Gospels to remind us that this is how Satan is going to attack the church; clever like a serpent. Can we all see what was going on? First, Peter was fearful. Second, Peter mingled with the heathen. Third, Peter denied that he knew Jesus. And this last one was very bad, for knowing Christ is the essence of salvation. And thus Peter denied that he was saved, and Peter denied that he knew the apostolic band. For the sake of earthly comfort he abandoned his eternal comfort. He mingled with the messengers of Satan and reaped the consequences. Let us now apply this to our time, here in these ungodly United States. What is the church doing in this day and age? The church has left the back door open. The church has tried to please everyone. And this is the demise of the church. This was Satan’s strategy and goal in the first place.
Let us face it. Ball games, and soccer games, and basketball tournaments, and tennis matches, and all kinds of other sports games are always held on Sunday, preferably on Sunday morning, for the Christian churches are too weak to voice a protest, and the Roman Catholic churches have moved their services already to Saturday. Sports are generally not on Saturday, for the Jewish Defense League will get up in arms if Saturday will be a major sports day. And sports are generally not on Friday, for the Moslem part of the population will severely object to that. And as far as Satan is concerned that is fine with him. He is not concerned about other religions; they are already in his hand. He wants to destroy the Christian church; that is his main goal. And how does he go about it? Please turn to the Second Epistle to the Corinthians, 2Cor 11:13 (2X). The goal of Satan is to create a world that is a comfortable utopia for humans, but without God and without Christ. Satan does not have the well-being of humans in mind. Satan hates all humans, even those that are on his side. Satan wants them all go to Hell. He started his destructive plan in the Garden of Eden, and he will continue to work on it until the last day, for his hatred of humans is intense. For this reason he will deceive mankind at any opportunity. We read in 2Cor 11:13-15,
2Co 11:13-15 For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ. And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works.
How does Satan portray himself as an angel of light? First he sets the stage: Ball games, and soccer games, and basketball tournaments, and tennis matches, and all kinds of other sports games are always held on Sunday. Then he calls families together. Is it not lovely how we all can come together and have a great deal of fun? After the games we can have Sunday brunch together at a restaurant. Then we can read the Sunday paper, which is an endless load of paper and information that you cannot be without. And then we can have a family dinner where everyone is present, and there will be no pressure concerning religion, for we all have different opinions of religion and we do not want to offend anyone. And so, let us have peace with one another while we have a good meal. And this is how the Sunday is spent in many many families today. No pressure, and all in the family are happy heathen.
But God tells us what He thinks of this satanic development, which is already in an advanced stage here in these godless United States. Let us take for example one Christian person who decided to join the family in the stadium where a soccer game is played on Sunday morning, or where some other competitive sport is on display. Christian would certainly not want to miss the excellent performance of a family member who is playing, and so Christian sits in the midst of the heathen who are watching the game. Why do I say “the heathen”? Certainly all these other people who are sitting there have chosen not to be bothered by church or some other religious event on Sundays. They are unbelievers, plain and simple, which God calls the heathen. Christian has decided to mingle with the heathen. Christian does not talk about Jesus, for Christian is embarrassed to be sitting there among the heathen instead of worshipping the Lord in church. And by his actions Christian is actually declaring that he does not know the Lord Jesus, for if Christian did know the Lord Jesus he would not be there in the stadium in the midst of the heathen. Just imagine, if the Lord would return at that moment, where would He find Christian? He would not find Christian in a God glorifying environment, but in a heathen environment, not for the sake of evangelism, but for the sake of joining the heathen members of the family in their abominable environment. What would the Lord say to him? The Lord would say to him the words of Matt 10:37-38, and there we read,
Mt 10:37 He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. And he that taketh not his cross, and followeth after me, is not worthy of me.
First, Christian made the decision to remain unknown. Second, Christian has been mingling with the heathen. Third, Christian has denied that he knows Jesus, for if he did declare that he knows Jesus everyone would have asked him why he was not in church. The denial of Peter is played out all over again. How is it that Christian ever came to take such a course of event? It was because Christian has been negotiating with the Devil and in such a case you always loose. The Devil came as an angel of light, pretending that his lofty goal was to strengthen the bonds within the family, but ignoring the fact that he was proposing to violate God’s commandments. Let us not underestimate the Devil, for God says in Matt 10:36, “And a man’s foes shall be they of his own household” and this occurs because the Devil is very very smart. But if we stand back and analyze the situation Christian was in, then we see that the choice is this: On whose side are we? Are we on the side of the Devil, or are we on the side of the Lord Jesus Christ. Those are the only two choices in the world. There is only black and white. There are no gray areas. The moment we believe that we are in a grey area and that it is not a salvation issue, we have given Satan a foothold into our life, and we have given Satan a foothold in the church, and it will be the beginning of death of the church. Of course where do people go for advice on these matters? They do not go to the Bible, and they do not come to me. They go to their unsaved friends and family members of whom they know that they find approval of their actions. They know in advance what their friends will say. With friends like that, who needs enemies? When the Lord Jesus says in Matt 10:36, “And a man’s foes shall be they of his own household” He did not mean to say that our foes will express their enmity against us. That is not how Satan works. Satan comes as an angel of light. Our foes within our own family will talk very smoothly, very convincingly, very lovingly, but in the Lord’s sight it is all venom, aimed at destruction of our relationship with Christ, and after that destruction of every thing else, including our family. The only true love within our family exists if Christ is among us. No man can serve two masters. If you try you will fall for the snares of Satan. Look at the evidence all around us. If all these enticements of Satan would really work to create harmony within the family, why then are there so many divorces in these godless United States? It is because Satan’s goal is to create utopia without God and without Christ. And how do we personally experience such calamities in our congregation. It feels terrible. When someone is lured out of our church in that way it feels like death in our own family. It is worse than physical death. It is spiritual death. And when Christian realized all these things and the sin he had committed, he wept bitterly.
John the Baptist quoted from Isa 40:3, “The voice of him that crieth in the wilderness.” Today we are the only ones who have identified the Sunday Sports phenomenon as a satanic tool to destroy the church. All other churches stay on the sidelines, afraid to offend anyone. May God judge those who stay silent, or leave the back door open.
Nevertheless, Christ will be the Defender and the Avenger of His children. For those who are His elect His grace will be sufficient for us, and He will turn the hearts of His children to Him again. His will be done. And so, we realize that the love of Christ may mightily work to repentance in those whom He wants to bring back. Please turn in your Bibles to the Gospel According to John, John 21:15 (2X). Here is the example of Christ forgiving Peter the grievous sin of denying Him, and reinstating him into the office of elder in the church. It is a beautiful example of the love of Christ for His elect and an example also that there is no sin so great that Christ would not forgive. His love for us is immeasurable, and His mercy is unmerited pardon for all our sins. John 21:15-17,
#3. The Love of Christ (John 21:15-17, Isa 59:2, Gal 3:21, 6:10, John 14:15, Eph 5:2,25,29-30)
Joh 21:15-17 So when they had dined, Jesus saith to Simon Peter, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me more than these? He saith unto him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee. He saith unto him, Feed my lambs. He saith to him again the second time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me? He saith unto him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee. He saith unto him, Feed my sheep. He saith unto him the third time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me? Peter was grieved because he said unto him the third time, Lovest thou me? And he said unto him, Lord, thou knowest all things; thou knowest that I love thee. Jesus saith unto him, Feed my sheep.
Peter, “Feed my lambs, and feed my sheep”, and remember why you are doing this. You are not doing this because you want to obey my commandments. You are doing this because you love Me above all, and your love for Me indicates that you have been born again. You are not feeding my sheep by telling them that only by obeying my commandments can they be saved. You are not feeding my sheep by emphasizing that God will not hear you if you have unconfessed sins. You may not isolate and quote Isa 59:2, “But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear.” The Arminians are isolating this verse. But Peter, you are correctly feeding my sheep by telling them Gal 3:21, “if there had been a law given which could have given life, verily righteousness should have been by the law.” There is no obedience to any law that can contribute one iota to our salvation. And this includes the law: “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved”. We cannot be saved by obeying this command to believe. And so, where does our obedience enter in? Did not the Lord Jesus say in John 14:15, “If ye love me, keep my commandments?” Yes, but our love for Him was introduced after our salvation, not before our salvation, for we love Him because He first loved us. The cross of Calvary showed us that He loved us, and that was in AD 33. Our faith and love came long after that. And so, Peter, feed My sheep that they must love Me, but that they will only love Me if the Father grants them the gift to draw them to Me. Peter, feed My sheep the true Gospel, that salvation is by grace alone, and not by anything else that we DO, and feed My sheep that salvation does certainly not come by any ceremonial hoopla, like water baptism or anything else that we DO. Most importantly, Peter, tell My sheep that their salvation manifest itself in their love for Me and for one another. No one can be saved if they do not love Me, for loving Me is knowing Me, and knowing Me is salvation. Why is that so? Please turn to the Epistle to the Ephesians, Eph 5:2 (2X). We read in this chapter how the Lord Jesus Christ loved us first and gave Himself to suffer the penalty of our sins in our place. It is indescribable how Christ, the Judge of all mankind, before the foundation of the world pronounced the penalty on our sins, and then in AD 33 He stepped from behind the judge’s bench and paid the penalty on our behalf, so that we no longer are subject to eternal damnation for our sins. What a love! Therefore we also must walk in love for our fellow man, especially to those who are of the household of faith (Gal 6:10). We read in Eph 5:2,
Eph 5:2 And walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweetsmelling savour.
This love of Christ for us, by giving Himself as a sacrifice for our sins, is a sweet smelling flavor in the nose of God. And because Christ loved us so much, God expects from every born again saint that in our gratitude we will love Christ also above everyone else in this world. And secondly, we must love the brethren in the faith. Where is it that we can love our brethren in the faith? It is in the church; although we must be careful to recognize which churches have remained faithful. Since we live near the end of time many churches have already slid into apostacy. Christ loves the church that has remained faithful. Please drop down to verse 25, Eph 5:25,
Eph 5:25 Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it;
Yes, here in this chapter, in verses 22-32 the Lord gives us this metaphor of a husband and wife representing Christ and the church. This is why God instituted the marriage bond, to give us a symbol and a pattern of Christ and the church. You see, once we have recognized this metaphor, we realize that we must love Christ as our spiritual husband and love our fellow members in the church as those who are also loved by Christ, and who we will see and love again in the life hereafter. Please drop down to verse 29, Eph 5:29-30,
Eph 5:29 For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church:
Eph 5:30 For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones.
But what do we do if we have a husband who does not love his wife? How can we tell if the husband does not love his wife? If atheists demand that their wives sin, that is a clear sign that they hate their wives. If a husband who is on the way to Hell demand that his wife sins, he is actually demanding that she join him on the way to Hell. Then the wife should refuse to obey her husband, for she should love Christ above all, and the husband may not take that privilege away from her. Look at how Christ suffered for our sins. Should we now sin wilfully just to please our husband? Absolutely not! Perhaps we have done it already. Then we should turn away from that sin. We did that in ignorance. But now that we understand our relationship to Christ we should not give in to our husband that he is the chief potentate in our life. That is pure selfishness. Perhaps we have been troubled by the sins of our past life. But when we realize the unconditional love of God, and the sufferings of Christ to the extent of the equivalent of an eternity in Hell for our sins, we realize that He has made us whole, and that He has made us strong Just like in the parables that Jesus told, He says, “Get up and walk; be strong for I have made you whole; resist the Devil for I am with you; My grace and My presence shall be sufficient for you; be not afraid, put up a fight against evil, for I will never leave you nor forsake you.” And what is the sign that the Lord has forgiven us our sins?
Please turn in your Bibles to the Epistle to the Romans, Rom 2:4 (2X). Have we repented? How can we tell if we have truly repented? First of all we have to admit that we were wrong in pursuing sports on Sunday. Without that admission there is no repentance. But did you know that repentance is a gift from God? We read in Rom 2:4
Ro 2:4 Or despisest thou the riches of his goodness and forbearance and longsuffering; not knowing that the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance?
It is the goodness of God to make us realize that we have sinned. It is the goodness of God to make us turn away from that sin. It is the goodness of God to give us the strength to resist that sin forever more. But what is the problem? Did we repent, or did we say, “No big deal; Jesus will forgive us anyway.” Are we saying, “We are delivered to do all these abominations?” Can we see what the problem is here? It is dirty rotten pride. Are we too proud to admit that we were wrong? That is a hopeless position to be in. God says in Jam 4:6, “God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble.” Are we willing to humble ourselves before God? Are we willing to admit that God was right when He said in Heb 10:24-25, “And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works: Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.” And then we see that this takes us back to the beginning of this sermon. Remember that I mentioned that today is Pentecost Sunday. We do not find this on most calendars today because Satan has influenced the calendar makers to abandon Pentecost. We do find Easter Sunday because the heathen want to celebrate Easter bunnies that lay colored eggs. Just count seven Sundays after Easter, and that is Pentecost. It was a great feast for the early church, for it was the beginning of the New Testament church. When a soldier pierced the side of Christ on the cross, His side gushed out water and blood. And this symbolized that the church was being formed when the soldier pierced His side. Therefore we read in 1John 5:8, “And there are three that bear witness in earth, the Spirit, and the water, and the blood: and these three agree in one.” The Spirit, the water and the blood. When Pentecost came around the Holy Spirit was added to the water and the blood, and the church was born. Therefore we should worship Christ on Sunday, for it is to us a reminder that Christ rose from the grave on Sunday morning, and that the eternal church, the Bride of Christ was also born on Pentecost Sunday. AMEN. Let us turn to the Lord in prayer.