Presentation on theme: "Attitudes and actions that garner God’s blessings."— Presentation transcript:
Attitudes and actions that garner God’s blessings
What is this series about? An examination of 21 attitudes and behaviors identified in the New Testament as “blessed” A look at Christian conduct and characteristics that will enrich our lives with lasting joy A look at the condition of those who lack these qualities
Outline (Matthew 11:6) John the baptizer and Jesus Jesus: the stone of stumbling and rock of offense Why the identity of Jesus is important “He who believes in Him will not be disappointed” The cursed life
John the baptizer and Jesus (Matt. 11:1-6) John asked: “Are you the Expected One?” Jesus answered with a paraphrase of Isaiah 61:1 Who else but the Messiah could fulfill such a prophecy? So Jesus’ answer to John is: yes But Jesus knew that some would not believe that He was the Expected One, that some would be offended at this claim and stumble over Him, including: Jews Greek & Roman pagans, atheists, and philosophers Muslims and other non-Christian religions “Blessed is he who does not take offense at Me.” Let’s examine how Jesus is a stumbling block to some…
The stone of stumbling and rock of offense Isaiah 8:13-15 - of Whom is this speaking? Peter (1 Pet. 2:8) and Paul (Rom. 9:32-33) say it is Jesus Jesus’ identity is the issue that offends people Jesus’ identity is the issue that offends people Would be easily accepted if He just claimed to be a prophet, or rabbi, or something else less than Who He really is. He claimed to be the Son of God, the Messiah, the prophesied Son of Man…but many Jews doubted: Those who knew his family (Matt. 13:54-58) Those who denied His divinity (John 5:18; John 10:30-33) His Own brothers (John 7:2-5) And so many Jews doubted and denied His claim Denial of Jesus is blasphemy…stumbling in sin Jews weren’t the only ones offended by Jesus’ identity…
The stone of stumbling and rock of offense Also “foolishness” to Gentiles (1 Cor. 1:23) Some did not believe in resurrection (Acts 17:32) Some defended paganism (Acts 19:23-28) Atheists are offended by the concept of God (Ps. 10:4) Immoral people stumble over God’s moral standards The world hates Jesus because He testifies that its deeds are evil (John 7:7) Disobedient people are offended by God’s commands God’s commands are not burdensome (1 John 5:3) Some Christians stumble at the doctrines of Christ concerning divorce/remarriage, sexual conduct, and the work/worship/organization of the local church
Why His identity is important (Matt. 16:13-18) If He is God in the flesh, He has divine power If He is the Messiah, He has power to lead If He is the Savior, He has power to save If He is the Judge, He has power to condemn If He is the resurrected One, He has power over death If He was none of these, then He was either a liar or a lunatic. Ultimately it boils down to whether or not you believe in the identity of Jesus. Believe not, and you will stumble right into hell (Mk. 16:16).
Jesus: not just a stumbling stone, but also a tried and true corner stone (Isaiah 28:16; Eph. 2:18-19) “He who believes in Him will not be disappointed” Quoted in I Peter 2:6 and Romans 9:33 God saves those who truly believe (1 Cor. 1:21; John 3:16) To believe in Him means to recognize His identity as God and therefore realize the absolute necessity of obedience to Him. Jews of Pentecost not disappointed (Acts 2:41-43,46-47) Ethiopian eunuch not disappointed (Acts 8:34-39) Household of Cornelius not disappointed (Acts 10:43-48) Philippian jailor’s family not disappointed (Acts 16:30-34) All of these heard the Gospel, believed in Jesus, and were baptized (Mark 16:16)…then they rejoiced! Anyone who obeys Jesus will not be disappointed!
The cursed life “The way of the wicked is like darkness; they do not know over what they stumble.” (Prov. 4:19) “The arrogant one will stumble and fall with no one to raise him up” (Jer. 50:32) “Unless you believe that I am He, you will die in your sins” (John 8:24) “…dealing out retribution to those who do not know God and to those who do not obey the gospel…will pay the penalty of eternal destruction”(2 Thess. 1:8-9) Is that a risk you want to take?
Summary The identity of Jesus is the foundation of our salvation and our faith in Him. If He is Who the Bible says He is, we must believe in Him and obey Him. Many stumble and are offended by His identity It is important to know the truth…salvation depends on it! Those who take offense at Jesus will suffer the consequences of their unbelief. He may be a “rock,” but He is not “too hard” to believe in! “Blessed is he who does not take offense at Me”
Believe in the identity of Jesus (John 14:1; Acts 16:30-34) That He died for your sins and was resurrected (1 Cor. 15:3-4) Repent of your past sins (Acts 17:30; 2 Peter 3:9) Commit yourself to holy conduct (Acts 26:30; Titus 2:11-12) Confess your faith (Matthew 10:32) Declare your belief that Jesus is God’s Son (Acts 8:37) Receive Baptism (Matthew 28:19; Acts 2:41; Acts 8:12) Baptism puts you into Christ (Romans 6:3-5; Galatians 3:27) Baptism is for the forgiveness of sins (Acts 2:38; Acts 22:16) Baptism saves you (1 Peter 3:21) Be faithful until death (Revelation 2:10) Trust His grace and obey His commands (Hebrews 5:9) Or face the retribution due to those who do not know/obey 2 Thessalonians 1:8; Romans 2:8; John 3:36
Pray without ceasing…Practice what Jesus preached…Prepare for our next assembly