Saturday, February 22, 2014

Focus '14-Modeling Jesus-Entry #8

Hi Friends!

For the next two weeks our focus at Connections Christian Church is on Modeling Jesus with respect to His handling of temptations as described in Matthew Chapter 4: Verses 1-11.

This week (Sunday February 23) we'll look at Verses 1-2 and see that the root of temptation is selfish pride and the ax that severs that root is the humility of Christ-like   faith.

Next week (Sunday March 2) we'll look at Verses 3-11and see that even though Jesus was tempted just as we are, that He never sinned, in part because He disarmed our adversary by quoting and obeying God's Word.

Then (Sunday March 2) we'll also attend the new movie release "The Son of God" and look to discuss the movie with respect to Christ's sinless life and perfect humility. This movie comes highly recommended by many of my peers that helped shape it and I trust it will bless all.

As we process this passage in Matthew Chapter 4 over the next couple of weeks, I put together the graphic above to remind us that as we come to the fork in the road, that God's Word should serve as our guide for each step we take. The Bible teaches that we live in a fallen world with trials that by nature come to us all, and with tests of faith designed by God to bring the best out in us.

And then there is temptation that comes to us courtesy of Satan who lives to entice us to sin and bring the worst out in us and ultimately kill us and have us experience eternal death and separation from God. And so for the next couple of weeks my blog post and my daily devotional emails will be centered on the graphic above and the accompanying Scripture from Ephesians 6:10-19.

I have posted the Scripture below and the link that follows will take you to an on-line reference where you can study this contextually and find many other resources to assist you in overcoming temptation by humbly and fully relying on God's Word.

My encouragement from Scripture is for you to do everything you can do to stand firm in God's Word and to ultimately enjoy His affirmation as Jesus did: to hear your Heavenly Father say and to fully know that you are His child whom He loves and with whom He is well pleased.

God's Peace,

Ephesians 6:10-19

New International Version (NIV)

The Armor of God

10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11 Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. 13 Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. 14 Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15 and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16 In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.

18 And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people. 19 Pray also for me, that whenever I speak, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel.

1 comment:

  1. Though it is good to have earthly people that we look up to, the One who should be our model is Jesus. He had and used the full armor of God. He was fully God and fully man, both. He had the ability to sin. He was tempted, and never sinned.

    So I draw the conclusion that Jesus used this armor: truth, righteousness, the gospel of peace, faith, salvation, and the Word.

    We see for every temptation that Jesus answered Satan with scripture, used appropriately. Jesus honored His Father every time, in every way. Even when Satan quoted scripture in tempting Jesus, Jesus understood the higher good (Exalting God Only, not edging God out).

    I find the words used in verse 13 interesting. Stand, and stand firm. I looked at the original Greek, and see that "stand" (NASB: resist) is from anthistēmi, and "stand firm" (NASB: stand) is from histēmi . Same root word. They carry the sense, especially when used together in one verse, of standing against and then standing for. In the NIV, I get the sense of a man standing after a battle (which is true), but the focus seems to be on the man himself. In the NASB and the Greek, the focus is more on God, on what the man is standing for.

    When we stand for ourselves, for our glory, we fall (spiritually if not physically). When we stand for God, through His power and with His armor, we remain standing, regardless of what happens to the physical body.