For just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, so in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others.
"Diversity, not uniformity, is the mark of God’s handiwork. It is so in nature; it is so in grace, too, and nowhere more so than in the Christian community."
For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the faith God has distributed to each of you.
"A believer should appraise the gifts God has given him fairly, glorifying God for their bestowal, and then exercise them through dependence upon the Holy Spirit and not in mock humility make light of them. A renewed mind thinks soberly about oneself." (Preceptaustin.org)
"we are not to judge of our own characters by wealth, or talent, or learning, but by our attachment to God, and by the influence of faith on our minds."
Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!
The design of this passage is doubtless to produce a spirit that should not find pleasure in the pomp and vanity of the World; and which will regard all vain amusements and gaieties with disgust, and lead the mind to find pleasure in better things. (Barnes)
At first glance it may seem that it's unfair for God to ask us to live our entire lives as sacrifices to him. But that's because we're not seeing things in view of his mercy. The unfairness isn't that we have to serve God - that's an honour and a rich blessing, and we should get more joy from serving God then from our sin. The unfair exchange is that Jesus, who is God, all powerful and eternally perfect, holy, pure, just, loving and merciful, the creator and sustainer of everything in existence, came and died for us. Jesus, who had been in fellowship with God the father and the Holy Spirit eternally, came to earth, took our sin and God's wrath (that we rightfully should suffer for eternity) so that we could be forgiven. Then he rose again from the dead to prove it.
Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship.
Romans 12:21There is a lot of evil in the world. That's undeniable if you just look around. Death, murder, rape, starvation, sexual immorality, homosexuality, abortion, slavery, lying, coveting, stealing, hatred, manipulation and selfishness are just a few examples. It's all around us and Satan uses it all to try to devour us and overcome us.
Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.
"Continue to remember those in prison as if you were together with them in prison, and those who are mistreated as if you yourselves were suffering." Hebrews 13:3
We may rest with the conviction, that God is as merciful and good in all his ways, as he is wise and just. But as we cannot comprehend him, neither can we his operations, it is our place, who are the objects of his infinite mercy and kindness, to adore in silence, and to obey with alacrity and delight.
God is not human, that he should lie, not a human being, that he should change his mind.Does he speak and then not act? Does he promise and not fulfill?
Oh, the depth of the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God!
How unsearchable his judgments,
and his paths beyond tracing out!
To the elders among you, I appeal as a fellow elder and a witness of Christ’s sufferings who also will share in the glory to be revealed: Be shepherds of God’s flock that is under your care, watching over them—not because you must, but because you are willing, as God wants you to be; not pursuing dishonest gain, but eager to serve; not lording it over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock. And when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the crown of glory that will never fade away.
In the same way, you who are younger, submit yourselves to your elders. All of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, because,
“God opposes the proudHumble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.
but shows favor to the humble.”
Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that the family of believers throughout the world is undergoing the same kind of sufferings.
And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast. To him be the power for ever and ever. Amen.
With the help of Silas, whom I regard as a faithful brother, I have written to you briefly, encouraging you and testifying that this is the true grace of God. Stand fast in it.
She who is in Babylon, chosen together with you, sends you her greetings, and so does my son Mark. Greet one another with a kiss of love.
Peace to all of you who are in Christ.
Who has believed our message
and to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?
He grew up before him like a tender shoot,
and like a root out of dry ground.
He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him,
nothing in his appearance that we should desire him.
He was despised and rejected by mankind,
a man of suffering, and familiar with pain.
Like one from whom people hide their faces
he was despised, and we held him in low esteem.
Surely he took up our pain
and bore our suffering,
yet we considered him punished by God,
stricken by him, and afflicted.
But he was pierced for our transgressions,
he was crushed for our iniquities;
the punishment that brought us peace was on him,
and by his wounds we are healed.
We all, like sheep, have gone astray,
each of us has turned to our own way;
and the Lord has laid on him
the iniquity of us all.
He was oppressed and afflicted,
yet he did not open his mouth;
he was led like a lamb to the slaughter,
and as a sheep before its shearers is silent,
so he did not open his mouth.
By oppression and judgment he was taken away.
Yet who of his generation protested?
For he was cut off from the land of the living;
for the transgression of my people he was punished.
He was assigned a grave with the wicked,
and with the rich in his death,
though he had done no violence,
nor was any deceit in his mouth.
Yet it was the Lord’s will to crush him and cause him to suffer,
and though the Lord makes his life an offering for sin,
he will see his offspring and prolong his days,
and the will of the Lord will prosper in his hand.
After he has suffered,
he will see the light of life and be satisfied;
by his knowledge my righteous servant will justify many,
and he will bear their iniquities.
Therefore I will give him a portion among the great,
and he will divide the spoils with the strong,
because he poured out his life unto death,
and was numbered with the transgressors.
For he bore the sin of many,
and made intercession for the transgressors.
“Of what value is an idol carved by a craftsman? Or an image that teaches lies? For the one who makes it trusts in his own creation; he makes idols that cannot speak. Woe to him who says to wood, ‘Come to life!’ Or to lifeless stone, ‘Wake up!’ Can it give guidance? It is covered with gold and silver; there is no breath in it.”
The Lord is in his holy temple; let all the earth be silent before him.
Exodus 10:1-2"I have hardened his heart". We don't like hearing that. We like God being in a little box where he can do what we want and be all loving and all merciful without being just, without being pure and without using all things to glorify himself. Sure, if we believe the bible then we "believe" that God is just and in control, but do we truly know it? Or do we subconsciously just ignore those parts of the bible.
Image sourceThen the Lord said to Moses, “Go to Pharaoh, for I have hardened his heart and the hearts of his officials so that I may perform these signs of mine among them that you may tell your children and grandchildren how I dealt harshly with the Egyptians and how I performed my signs among them, and that you may know that I am the Lord.”
So too, at the present time there is a remnant chosen by grace.
The animals you choose must be year-old males without defect, and you may take them from the sheep or the goats. (Exodus 12:5)"Without defect" means pure, without fault. Though the lambs sacrificed at the passover had to be physically 'perfect' (not deformed), I think this ties to Jesus in another way as well. He was spiritually without defect. He did not sin, and that was the reason that he could take our sin and pay the price for us. He was perfect, and therefore he could take our sin and we can take his righteousness and be saved.
“On that same night I will pass through Egypt and strike down every firstborn of both people and animals, and I will bring judgment on all the gods of Egypt. I am the Lord. The blood will be a sign for you on the houses where you are, and when I see the blood, I will pass over you. No destructive plague will touch you when I strike Egypt." (Exodus 12:12-13)If we put our faith in Jesus then we are purified from all sin. Consequently we also escape God's judgement. He sees Jesus' blood that has washed our sins away and we are forgiven and not destroyed.
"And when your children ask you, ‘What does this ceremony mean to you?’ then tell them, ‘It is the Passover sacrifice to the Lord, who passed over the houses of the Israelites in Egypt and spared our homes when he struck down the Egyptians.’” (Exodus 12:26-27)Jesus was sacrificed so that we may be spared from God's wrath when he returns to judge the earth. If you have put your faith in him and have repented of sin then God's wrath is laid on Jesus instead of you and you are forgiven. That was the point of the Passover lamb - that God's wrath would pass over God's people. Jesus is the true and better Passover lamb.
Do not break any of the bones. (Exodus 12:46)Jesus was sacrificed for us, but not one of his bones were broken. This was prophesied about by David in Psalm 34:20 and comes to fulfilment in John 19:33
But when they came to Jesus and found that he was already dead, they did not break his legs.Isn't it awesome how Jesus fulfilled evert prophecy about him in the OT, even those that he physically could not control. he most certainly is the Messiah, and he most certainly is God.
“This is a day you are to commemorate; for the generations to come you shall celebrate it as a festival to the Lord—a lasting ordinance. (Exodus 12:14)The Passover was to last forever. Well, until what it pointed to came to be. Jesus fulfilled the Passover, he is the once-for-all sacrifice that we need, so we no longer need the blood of sheep to pay for our sins. Jesus paid the price that we never could and he fulfilled the Passover. Now we celebrate the Lord's Supper, which Jesus introduced instead of the Passover and it points us directly to his sacrifice for us.
Pastor Matt Prater: "I just believe in what the Bible says and I'm just curious for you, Kevin, if you call yourself a Christian, why don't you believe the words of Jesus in the Bible?"
Mr Rudd responded: "Well, mate, if I was going to have that view, the Bible also says that slavery is a natural condition...Because St Paul said in the New Testament, 'slaves be obedient to your masters'. And, therefore, we should have all fought for the Confederacy in the US war. I mean, for goodness sake, the human condition and social conditions change."The thing is, he was wrong - he did not even explain God's word accurately. So I figured I'd explain why he was wrong - why slavery is never condoned in the bible, and why it isn't a "natural condition".
"And masters, treat your slaves in the same way. Do not threaten them, since you know that he who is both their Master and yours is in heaven, and there is no favouritism with him." (Ephesians 6:9)If I'm right then within Greco-roman culture slaves were the property of their masters. Their owners could do anything to them and not face any consequences. Yet God, through Paul, commands masters to treat their slaves well. I don't think we appreciate how against the culture this would have been. (Maybe it could be paralleled to us being told to let the boat people in and treat them fairly?). Yet God does command his people to treat their slaves with respect and dignity.
There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. (Galatians 3:28)Within God's kingdom we (Christians) are all equal. There is neither slave nor free - we are all slaves of God, willingly giving our lives to him, and we are all adopted as his children. We are equal in God's sight. Though not an explicit condemnation of the institution of slavery, this verse most certainly sets the standard for how we should view all people, regardless of their occupation. (Philemon 1:14-16 is relevant to this point too)
Were you a slave when you were called? Don’t let it trouble you—although if you can gain your freedom, do so. For he who was a slave when he was called by the Lord is the Lord’s freedman; similarly, he who was a free man when he was called is Christ’s slave. (1 Corinthians 7:21-22)Paul here urges slaves to gain their freedom if that is possible. Again, setting the standard - slavery, though not condemned in the bible is an institution that one should seek to be out of.
1 Kings 16:34
In Ahab’s time, Hiel of Bethel rebuilt Jericho. He laid its foundations at the cost of his firstborn son Abiram, and he set up its gates at the cost of his youngest son Segub, in accordance with the word of the Lord spoken by Joshua son of Nun.
At that time Joshua pronounced this solemn oath: "Cursed before the LORD is the one who undertakes to rebuild this city, Jericho: "At the cost of his firstborn son he will lay its foundations; at the cost of his youngest he will set up its gates." (Joshua 6:26)What is even more important than leading and building your family? Serving God. God is the only way that we can be saved form our sins, he has provided salvation through Jesus and calls us to repent and believe in him.