Thirty Days of Jesus: Day 20, Jesus as Teacher

thirty days of Jesus day 20

How can we know God unless He reveals Himself to us? The creation confirms His existence, but what does the creature know of His attributes, Person, or Power? Unless He teaches us about Himself, we will not know. God sent His Son Jesus to earth as a born-babe, to live the full life of sinlessness under the Law, and to teach us about Himself. He was prophesied to die as the atoning sacrifice, and then rise again to receive His people through His work on the cross. Grace abounds.

We are in the section of these verses throughout the series where we examine His works and ministry. Yesterday, we saw the He first emptied Himself. This is the kenosis, and it’s explained on Day 19.

Today we see Jesus as Teacher. I mentioned earlier that Jesus’ first recorded words in His incarnation was when He was in the temple as a boy. His desperate parents sought him for three days, and upon discovering him there, He said, “Did you not know I must be about my Father’s business?” Jesus had been

sitting among the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions. And all who heard him were amazed at his understanding and his answers. (Luke 2:46-47).

The following is from the Christian Courier.

Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews, conceded that Jesus of Nazareth was “a teacher” from God, as documented by the “signs” which he did (John 3:2). A wealthy young ruler approached the Lord asking, “Teacher, what good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life?” (Matthew 19:16). Even Jesus’ enemies addressed him as “Teacher” (Matthew 22:16, 24), though their use of the expression was not always genuine. The Lord is addressed as “Teacher” twenty-nine times in the Gospels. The noun (teacher) and verb (teach) combined are used of Jesus some ninety times.

Christ’s teaching was informative, logical, buttressed by Old Testament evidence, well-illustrated, documented by divine power, original, and uniquely authoritative (Matthew 7:28). When officers once were sent to arrest him, they returned to their superiors empty-handed, exclaiming: “Never man so spoke” (John 7:46). The Lord’s various methods of teaching beg for careful study. Source-

Jackson, Wayne. “Jesus: The Master Teacher.” ChristianCourier.com. Access date: December 16, 2017. https://www.christiancourier.com/articles/1497-jesus-the-master-teacher

Go to the link for more.

GTY Sermon: Jesus Teaches the Teacher

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Thirty Days of Jesus Series-

Introduction/Background
Day 1: The Virgin shall conceive
Day 2: A shoot from Jesse
Day 3: God sent His Son in the fullness of time
Day 4:  Marry her, she will bear a Son

Day 5: The Babe has arrived!
Day 6: The Glory of Jesus
Day 7: Magi seek the Child
Day 8: The Magi offer gifts & worship
Day 9: The Child Grew
Day 10: The boy Jesus at the Temple
Day 11: He was Obedient!
Day 12: The Son!
Day 13: God is pleased with His Son
Day 14: Propitiation
Day 15: The gift of eternal life
Day 16: Two Kingdoms
Day 17: Jesus’ Preeminence
Day 18: Jesus is highest king
Day 19: Jesus emptied Himself

Ladies, do you want to fulfill your potential? (Think hard before you say yes)

Someone on Twitter asked if we could recommend any good women’s conferences centering on faithful Biblical exposition and an unrelenting love for the church. This was my reply:

Good conferences centering on faithful Biblical exposition &an unrelenting love for the church are any from MacArthur, G3, TMU’s Truth & Life conference, etc. I’m not an advocate of separate women’s conferences. Women need theology, so, “Conference”, not “Women’s conference” IMO.

Below is why I prefer men’s conferences, exactly this, as a reader alerted me to a few days after the Twitter inquiry-

caine

The Dallas Seminary’s Women’s Leadership conference concluded a few days ago. Christine Caine as the keynote speaker makes me so sad, because she teaches things unworthy of Christ. Through this invitation, the Dallas Seminary gives Caine credibility. Think of how many women are negatively influenced and exposed to her, or even when they see the line-up of speakers on the website.

I looked up the Bios of the other women who were on the schedule at the Leadership conference. A pattern emerged.

Have you noticed this phrase very often? It’s become a constant to many women’s ministry bios and purpose statements.

Her mission in life is to equip and inspire women to reach their full potential in Christ.

It sounds good. “Full potential.” Who wouldn’t want to reach their full potential, especially “in Christ”? It sounds great. Here are some more Ministry purpose statements I found along those lines.

[This ministry] exists to serve the local church, leaders, organizations, and individuals by inspiring and helping them connect with their God-given potential and purpose.

[This ministry] believes in the passion, purpose, and potential of every woman everywhere.

[This Teacher] has committed her life to equipping women of all ages, regardless of marital status, with practical, biblical truth to help them live more genuine lives.

I share this dream with some amazing friends… to gather and equip and unleash a generation of women.

According to these teachers in their ministry purpose statements, I can be genuine, reach my full potential, be ‘unleashed’ (because I’m shackled now, right?), find my purpose, and more. Sounds good.

Except it’s wrong. Ministry isn’t about me. It isn’t about my potential. It isn’t about my life. It isn’t about my purpose. We do ministry for an entirely different reason. A reason that has its focus not on ourselves, looking laterally. We look up.

My potential is this: as a sinner I have the utter and constant potential to sin. (Genesis 6:5). Sinners gossip, steal, covet, murder, lust, and more. That is what sinners do. It is what we have the “potential” for. As a believer, my potential is in Christ, and will be fully realized in Christ when He comes. When we are glorified our potential will be full, but not until then. As it is now, as long as we’re not raptured or dead and dwelling in heaven until the Day, we have the total potential to sin. More than potential, actually.

We have the Holy Spirit as a help and an aid to resist our sin-nature. The more we grow, the more we can resist sin through the Holy Spirit’s help. But we do sin. Paul remarked about that, and if there was any believer who had a shot at reaching his “full potential”, as Christine Caine puts it, it was him. Yet he still struggled with doing what he didn’t want to do, and didn’t do what he wanted.

For I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate. Now if I do what I do not want, I agree with the law, that it is good. So now it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells within me. For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh. For I have the desire to do what is right, but not the ability to carry it out. For I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I keep on doing. Now if I do what I do not want, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells within me. (Romans 7:15-20).

The kind of ministry purpose statements I read and quoted some above sound more like a fortune cookie than deeply committed evangelical purpose. It’s like that funny blog essay Challies did, ‘Joel Osteen or Fortune Cookie?’  Joel Osteen was selected as the unwitting target because he is well-known for issuing nebulous platitudes instead of firmly proclaiming the Word. We can play the same game. “Ministry Purpose Statement or Confucian saying?” Confucius was a Chinese philosopher who lived in around 500 BC. Here is an example:

The will to win, the desire to succeed, the urge to reach your full potential… these are the keys that will unlock the door to personal excellence.

It’s a Confucian saying, but if we add “in Christ” to the end it might well match any of the liberal Christian ministry purpose statements we find of the type I’m talking about.

I wish these ministries would have in their purpose statements and their leader bios, something like this:

“Helping women learn who Christ is through the study of His word.”

Or,

“Helping women to learn theology so we bring honor to Christ in our lives and deeds.”

Or,

“Women together studying the person, life, work, and ministry of Jesus Christ.”

Or,

“Studying His word so as to transform our minds and become more Christ-like.”

Or,

“Encouraging women to study God’s revelation to us through His written word.”

If you’re checking out a ministry online and see something like the me-statements mentioned above, promising full potential or unleashing or finding your purpose, beware. Alternately, just because a ministry puts up a solid-seeming purpose statement, it doesn’t mean they are necessarily solid. There’s this purpose statement for a famous ministry, which sounds fantastic:

[This ministry] is dedicated to encourage people to come to know and love Jesus Christ through the study of Scripture.

Sadly, the about statement of purpose is Beth Moore’s at Living Proof. Rather, her purpose statement should read:

This ministry is dedicated to encourage people to come to know and love Beth Moore through the study of my direct revelations, personal dreams, pop psychology, and funny anecdotes.”

So, just be aware of the language ministries use. If they claim to want to help you attain your full potential, it might be wise to say to yourself,

“No thanks, I want to study Christ while on earth, resist my potential, and wait for Him to fulfill it when I’m glorified.”

Thirty Days of Jesus: Day 19, Jesus emptied Himself

thirty days of jesus day 19

Barnes’ Notes explains the ’emptying’

The word does not occur elsewhere in the New Testament, except in the passage before us. The essential idea is that of bringing to emptiness, vanity, or nothingness; and, hence, it is applied to a case where one lays aside his rank and dignity, and becomes in respect to that as nothing; that is, he assumes a more humble rank and station.
In regard to its meaning here, we may remark:

(1) that it cannot mean that he literally divested himself of his divine nature and perfections, for that was impossible. He could not cease to be omnipotent, and omnipresent, and most holy, and true, and good.

(2) it is conceivable that he might have laid aside, for a time, the symbols or the manifestation of his glory, or that the outward expressions of his majesty in heaven might have been withdrawn. It is conceivable for a divine being to intermit the exercise of his almighty power, since it cannot be supposed that God is always exerting his power to the utmost. And in like manner there might be for a time a laying aside or intermitting of these manifestations or symbols, which were expressive of the divine glory and perfections. Yet,

(3) this supposes no change in the divine nature, or in the essential glory of the divine perfections. When the sun is obscured by a cloud, or in an eclipse, there is no real change of its glory, nor are his beams extinguished, nor is the sun himself in any measure changed. His luster is only for a time obscured.

Further Reading

GotQuestions: What is the Kenosis?

GTY Study Guide: Christ humbled, Christ exalted

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Thirty Days of Jesus Series-

Introduction/Background
Day 1: The Virgin shall conceive
Day 2: A shoot from Jesse
Day 3: God sent His Son in the fullness of time
Day 4:  Marry her, she will bear a Son

Day 5: The Babe has arrived!
Day 6: The Glory of Jesus
Day 7: Magi seek the Child
Day 8: The Magi offer gifts & worship
Day 9: The Child Grew
Day 10: The boy Jesus at the Temple
Day 11: He was Obedient!
Day 12: The Son!
Day 13: God is pleased with His Son
Day 14: Propitiation
Day 15: The gift of eternal life
Day 16: Two Kingdoms
Day 17: Jesus’ Preeminence
Day 18: Jesus is highest king

Thirty Days of Jesus: Day 18, The Highest King

thirty days of jesus day 18

Further Reading

Though the verse is literally speaking about King David, the relation of David to Christ means the verse also prefigures the preeminence of King Jesus. The throne, through David’s line, would last forever through Christ.

Gill’s Exposition says,

Also I will make him my firstborn,…. Or, “make him the firstborn”; make him great, as Jarchi interprets it; give him the blessing, the double portion of inheritance: so Christ is made most blessed for ever, and has all spiritual blessings in his hands; and is heir of all things, and his people joint-heirs with him. Christ is God’s “firstborn”, or “first begotten”, Hebrews 1:6, being begotten by him, and of him; … even him the Father promises to make “higher than the kings of the earth”; having a kingdom of a superior nature to theirs, and a more extensive and durable one; and even they themselves shall be subject to him; hence he is called “King of kings”, Revelation 19:16.

The King of Kings shall reign forever, His Kingdom shall endure. See Day 16: Two Kingdoms for related verse & info.

Thirty Days of Jesus Series-

Introduction/Background
Day 1: The Virgin shall conceive
Day 2: A shoot from Jesse
Day 3: God sent His Son in the fullness of time
Day 4:  Marry her, she will bear a Son

Day 5: The Babe has arrived!
Day 6: The Glory of Jesus
Day 7: Magi seek the Child
Day 8: The Magi offer gifts & worship
Day 9: The Child Grew
Day 10: The boy Jesus at the Temple
Day 11: He was Obedient!
Day 12: The Son!
Day 13: God is pleased with His Son
Day 14: Propitiation
Day 15: The gift of eternal life
Day 16: Two Kingdoms
Day 17: Jesus’ Preeminence

List of important Christians to follow on social media (not). Plus, ridiculous books

Crosswalk Ministry recently posted a story titled 20 Important Christians You Should Follow on Social Media. Crosswalk.com’s About says,

Crosswalk.com aims to offer the most compelling biblically-based content to Christians on their walk with Jesus. Crosswalk.com is your online destination for all areas of Christian Living – faith, family, fun, and community.

After seeing the list of “important” Christians you should follow, Crosswalk should not be your destination for anything. Why? Most of their list is populated by false teachers. Sadly, the author of this list states that she is a teacher/leader at her church. It is apparent that the author lacks discernment, which is terrible for a church teacher/leader. It’s clear that the publication’s editors lack discernment, too, because they allowed it to be published.

paul meme

We can pair this list of who (not) to follow with a recent vlog by Challies-

5 Most Ridiculous Books to Ever Become Christian Bestsellers

If you were to scan the lists of the best selling Christian books of all time you’d see some truly amazing books there. You’d see some books that have helped us better understand who God is and books that have instructed us. and how we as Christians can live lives of obedience to Him, and like you, I’m genuinely thankful for these books. Sadly though, you’d also see some truly flat-out awful books. Today I’ve narrowed down that list to the five most ridiculous books to ever become Christian bestsellers.

Asked what the biggest problem facing the American church is, John MacArthur replied that it is a lack of biblical knowledge, a lack of biblical discernment. When you see a list like Crosswalk’s, this certainly seems to be sadly true.

And besides, didn’t the Bible tell us that no believer is more “important” than another? (Galatians 3:28, James 2). Their list is a who’s who of false teachers. The list is a slideshow, and as each page came up it got worse and worse. I couldn’t think of any worse people to put on the list if I tried. They’re all there. I thought to myself, “Surely they won’t put Joel Osteen on their list, but when he popped up at #15 my heart sank lower than the floor.

Anyway, here is Crosswalk’s list of “important” Christians you should follow in their order:

  1. Beth Moore
  2. Steven Furtick
  3. Toby Mac
  4. Lysa TerKeurst
  5. Franklin Graham
  6. Max Lucado
  7. Judah Smith
  8. Joyce Meyer
  9. Andy Stanley
  10. Rick Warren
  11. Jen Hatmaker
  12. Tim Keller
  13. Candace Cameron Bure
  14. Levi Lusko
  15. Joel Osteen
  16. Sadie Robertson
  17. John Piper
  18. Shauna Niequist
  19. Christine Caine
  20. Brian Houston

Most of these people teach a false doctrine of one kind or another. I know that no one is perfect, and we all hold to some error at one time or another before being graciously corrected. However many of these people on the list teach not immature and temporary error, but permanently damning heresy. Meyer teaches (or taught) that she isn’t a sinner, and that Jesus went to hell and allowed satan to stomp all over His back. Joel Osteen refuses to preach half the Gospel (sin and wrath). Beth Moore gets extra-biblical revelation knowledge and purports to add to the canon by the prophecies and directives Jesus supposedly gives her.

These are actions that by God’s own word, the one who teaches them are doomed. (2 Timothy 4:3-4, Acts 20:28-30, 1 John 4:6, Titus 1:16, 2 Peter 2:3, Romans 16:18…)

Others teach error (Piper, for example) but at this point he can’t said to be false.

I’ve looked at Bure’s statement of faith and her life trajectory and can’t find anything that seems to contradict a foundational tenet or is a damaging teaching. So 1 out of the 20 might be solid, and she isn’t even a Bible teacher or preacher or ministry leader but is an actress (one who albeit takes her platform seriously and promotes Christian standards through the transparency of her life).

Discernment is spiritual insight that is honed by experience and age. However, discernment isn’t by osmosis. It doesn’t just drop in one’s lap. Wisdom is accrued through careful study of God’s word, prayer, and constant application. Through study, one becomes instantly familiar with what is true and what is false, even a little false. In other words, the discerning person has nuance and a humble spirit. The person who can discern displays biblical knowledge, wisdom, and the ability to proclaim it, apply it, and use it.

Ultimately, though, discernment comes from God. David prayed for discernment. Psalm 119:125 says (NIV)

I am your servant; give me discernment that I may understand your statutes.

 It’s obvious that the current global church lacks discernment in tremendous and devastating ways. Just as over the centuries, the leaders of Israel and eventually the Pharisees turned God’s glorious light and truth into a dark and perverse religion, today’s leaders of the Christian church have turned Christianity into a perverse and ridiculous paper tiger religion that saves no one.
Fortunately, God always has a remnant, which is what true believers are. We are certainly not the majority, if we ever were. A remnant, standing on the rock, proclaiming truth for the glorification of Jesus’ name remains unsullied. The rest, the so-called Christians on the top 20 list and their followers, are a crowd that lacks discernment, to their detriment, perhaps eternally.

Here is my list. Top 20 people not to follow- and why

  1. Beth Moore (no)
  2. Steven Furtick (Steve Kozar says no) (Todd Friel says Furtick’s false)
  3. Toby Mac (Ryan Martin at Religious Affections says no)
  4. Lysa TerKeurst (Michelle Lesley says no)
  5. Franklin Graham (no)
  6. Max Lucado (no)
  7. Judah Smith (no)
  8. Joyce Meyer (CARM says no)
  9. Andy Stanley (Josh Buice says no), (no), (And just no)
  10. Rick Warren (Challies says no), (Warren publicly prayed to Islam’s false god),  (JMac negatively reviews Purpose Driven)
  11. Jen Hatmaker (Christine Pack says no), (Denny Burk says no)
  12. Tim Keller (no)
  13. Candace Cameron Bure
  14. Levi Lusko
  15. Joel Osteen (nope)
  16. Sadie Robertson (maybe)
  17. John Piper (there’s issues…) (and other issues)
  18. Shauna Niequist (Michelle Lesley gives her a ‘not recommended‘)
  19. Christine Caine (Rosebrough says no)
  20. Brian Houston (no, with a lot of other NO’s inside)

Pray to the Spirit for wisdom and He will give it without reproach (James 1:5). Be wise as serpents regarding “Christian” publications including mine and others listed on this page. Use your eyes to see and ears to hear when reading or listening to Christian material. Compare to scripture and give no place to falsity. Jesus is too precious and His torture, death, separation from the Father too heart-rending to cover with any compromise in doctrine by accepting false teachers.

It’s too bad about Crosswalk. That list sure is ridiculous.

Thirty Days of Jesus: Day 17, Jesus’ Preeminence

thirty days of jesus day 17

Further Reading

Grace To You sermon: The preeminence of Christ

Desiring God: The preeminence of Jesus for Life

Institute for Creation Research devotional: Preeminence of Christ

11 verses on the preeminence of Christ

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Thirty Days of Jesus Series-

Introduction/Background
Day 1: The Virgin shall conceive
Day 2: A shoot from Jesse
Day 3: God sent His Son in the fullness of time
Day 4:  Marry her, she will bear a Son

Day 5: The Babe has arrived!
Day 6: The Glory of Jesus
Day 7: Magi seek the Child
Day 8: The Magi offer gifts & worship
Day 9: The Child Grew
Day 10: The boy Jesus at the Temple
Day 11: He was Obedient!
Day 12: The Son!
Day 13: God is pleased with His Son
Day 14: Propitiation
Day 15: The gift of eternal life
Day 16: Two Kingdoms

Thirty Days of Jesus: Day 16, Two Kingdoms

thirty days of jesus day 16

Further Reading

Two spiritual kingdoms: A Chart

Does Satan have his own kingdom?

Grace Gems: Deliverance from the power of darkness

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Thirty Days of Jesus Series-

Introduction/Background
Day 1: The Virgin shall conceive
Day 2: A shoot from Jesse
Day 3: God sent His Son in the fullness of time
Day 4:  Marry her, she will bear a Son

Day 5: The Babe has arrived!
Day 6: The Glory of Jesus
Day 7: Magi seek the Child
Day 8: The Magi offer gifts & worship
Day 9: The Child Grew
Day 10: The boy Jesus at the Temple
Day 11: He was Obedient!
Day 12: The Son!
Day 13: God is pleased with His Son
Day 14: Propitiation
Day 15: The gift of eternal life