Sermon by Joe Salcedo
Matthew 11:28 NIV
2 Kings 2:2-3,5-6 NIV
2 Kings 2:11-12 NIV
Luke 22:42 NIV
John 19:1-6 NIV
John 19:28-30 NIV
Luke 22:14-20 NIV
Psalm 139:23-24 NIV
Matthew 5:23-24 NIV
John 14:15 (KJV)
Matthew 22:37-40 NIV
John 13:34-35 NIV
1 John 3:16 NIV
BY jOE sALCEDO
Saved by Grace
Ephesians 2:8-9 NIV
Romans 6:23 NIV
Ephesians 2:8-9 AMP
Romans 6:1-12 NLT
Romans 6:13-14 NLT
John 8:1-11 NLT
John 1:17 (NIV)
Ephesians 2:10 AMP
James 2:19-26 AMP
God’s new command:
Luke 14:15 NLT
Matthew 22:37-39 NLT
John 13:34-35 NLT
Galatians 3:1-2 NIV
Galatians 3:10 NIV
Galatians 3:11-14 NIV
2 Corinthians 5:21 NLT
So that no one may boast:
Ephesians 2:9 NLT
James 4:6 NLT
Luke 15:11-32 NIV
God’s assurance of our Salvation:
Romans 8:31-39 NLT
1 John 4:18 NIV
An Instrument Of God
33 Teach me, Lord, the way of your decrees, that I may follow it to the end.
34 Give me understanding, so that I may keep your law, and obey it with all my heart. 35 Direct me in the path of your commands, for there I find delight.
The Psalmist on this verse is asking for the Lords instruction, 1. Teach me, 2.Give me understanding, 3. Direct me. A simple request for one who truly wants to follow his Master. The Psalmist even said that, with every request that he had made to the Lord, this was his response...1. I may follow, 2. Keep and obey, 3, For there i find delight. This would be a good prayer to the Lord don’t you think? This should be on every believers’ heart. I just love the last part that the Psalmist said...”for there i find delight”. Wow!!!
Can we say that, with all hearts tonight? Without even thinking twice, can we say it openly? It would be a big challenge wouldn’t it? Just this verse alone can open the reality of where we are in our walk with the Lord.
15 "If you love me, you will obey what I command. 16 And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counselor to be with you forever-- 17 the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you.
“"If you love me, you will obey what I command”. Is that still a question that we need to ask ourselves, do we love Jesus? That question was answered when we were called, it was answered, when we realized that an innocent Man took the punishment that was meant for you and I. Do we love Jesus? Yes!!!
Last weeks message we talked about following Jesus, why we struggle, and why it should not be a burden to follow Him. Its only a struggle, and would be a burden, whenever we choose to disobey! What if our minds were set to only follow and obey Jesus? Think about it real quick, what if that is all we are programmed to do? Would that be okay with you. After all, that is what it means to deny self, don’t you think?
“Teach me Lord, that i may follow. Give me understanding, that i may keep it and obey,with all my heart, Direct me in the path of your commands, for there i find delight”.
I wish i can openly say that without being convicted, or come out as a hypocrite. To be able to say that i am there. Don’t you want that same thing? Alone we can never do that, that is why Jesus said that He will ask the Father for the Counselor, the Spirit of Truth, to live in us...in us! There is that constant battle that we have to face, everyday. To ask God, continually to “Teach me, Guide me, direct me, for there i find delight”. Its okay to pray that daily, simply because we are weak, it shows how much we need our Savior. For a true believers’ goal should always be to please his Master. This is something that we can all pray for...”Teach me, Guide me, direct me, for there i find delight”.
Still under construction, right?
15 I tell you the truth, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it."
Why a “little child”? Because they are the ones that are pure in mind, not too much filth(still born into sin), innocent. Most of all they are the ones who will truly believe. Why? Because they have nothing! They have nothing to brag about, to boast about. All a child will know is to believe! Christian parents have a big job when it comes to raising their children. We cannot raise them according to traditions, but by Gods will. A child will only imitate what they see in their parents. That is all they see, everyday. The parents are the one’s that God chose to be the model for their children, keep in mind a simple mind of a child will only imitate what they see in the parents. So...how do you think our Heavenly Father looks at us now? I mean when we were called, most of us here were adults. Who do we model? Jesus! And how? We never saw Jesus face to face. That is why we are called born again, we are to start again. The way we think, the way we act. And who we serve! With Holy Spirit living inside you and I, we are made new. All the filth that we picked up as we got older, is being removed one by one, pruning...taking away all the filth, never to touch them again.
1 Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God's mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God--this is your spiritual act of worship. 2 Do not conform any longer 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.
“Teach me Lord, that i may follow. Give me understanding, that i may keep it and obey,with all my heart, Direct me in the path of your commands, for there i find delight”
“but be transformed by the renewing of your mind”. God is giving us a new mindset, its only fixed on Jesus. He is removing all the filth that we picked up growing, removing every single thing that is not pleasing to Him, He is our Creator, and He will not fail.
All that filth is why we have struggle, all that filth is the reason why, we cannot deny ourselves. All that filth is why, Gods commands have become burdensome. “Teach me to let go Lord, give me the understanding, that i may keep it and obey it, wit all my heart. Direct me in the path of your commands, for there i find delight”. We cannot do this alone, were not meant to. Just like a child we need to be raised the right way, Gods way. “Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is--his good, pleasing and perfect will”.
We don’t belong to ourselves anymore, we have been redeemed...
1 Peter 1:14-19
14 As obedient children, do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance. 15 But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do; 16 for it is written: "Be holy, because I am holy." 17 Since you call on a Father who judges each man's work impartially, live your lives as strangers here in reverent fear. 18 For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your forefathers, 19 but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect.
Why do we choose to struggle with God? Why do we want to go back, when God is moving us forward to the likeness of His Son... “As obedient children, do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance”. Are we still there? Living in ignorance? Only you can answer that. God has made that clear, we will have no excuse! Last weeks message we learned the seriousness of sinning deliberately against our God. Verse 17, “tells us to live our lives as strangers in reverent fear”. Why as strangers? For we don’t belong to the world anymore. We belong to God! And that is why, while we still live here on earth, live in reverent fear. We don’t please the world, or the things of this world anymore, we are to please Our God. Our lives were not bought with silver or gold, or did we inherit our salvation. We were bought by the precious blood of Christ...the precious blood of Christ! Let us go back to the beginning, and see the life of Adam before the fall. When Adam was created, God gave him simple commands, basically God gave him a job to do...
15 The LORD God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it. 16 And the LORD God commanded the man, "You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; 17 but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat of it you will surely die."
God commanded Adam to work, for that is why he was created, to tend the land. Adam lived a simple life, and that was all he knew to do, take care of the garden. There was nothing else on his mind, he was obedient to God. This was before Eve was created.
Nothing else but God in his mind. "You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; 17 but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat of it you will surely die." The first warning of what not to do. If you break it, you will surely die! And of course, you know how the story goes, Eve was deceived, and there the birth of sin. Just like Adam, God allows us to do certain things, he allows us to have fun, enjoy this life while we are here. But just like Adam, we are limited in what God allows us to do. Just like Adam, how did he know how to tend the garden? God taught him. How did he know that he was not allowed to eat a certain fruit? God taught him. The same way that God is teaching us how to live this new life that He has given us. Just like Adam, we were created for His purpose.
1 Corinthians 10:23-24
23 "Everything is permissible"--but not everything is beneficial. "Everything is permissible"--but not everything is constructive. 24 Nobody should seek his own good, but the good of others.
This verse is referring to eating certain foods, especially food sacrificed to idols. Now, i use this verse in my walk with the Lord, not just about food. When Paul said... “Everything is permissible"--but not everything is beneficial”. I look at it in a way that, God is allowing us to do certain things, only to the point that we will not sin. “but not everything is beneficial”. What will it benefit me if i sin? Nothing! But to face being disciplined by our Lord... “everything is permissible, but not everything can build up”.
We are to look at our walk in a way... “is it okay or not okay” with God. God simply wants us to move in a way that will reflect the image of our Lord, and help build up others, instead of being a stumbling block. Just like Adam, we were given a warning in a way we should live our lives, according to Gods commands. Earlier i said, i use this verse in my walk with the Lord, not just in regards to food. But on everything, and here is why...
1 Corinthians 10:31
31 So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.
“whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God”. I would not be glorifying God, if I’m living a life of deliberately sinning against Him, now will I? Of course not! “do it all for the Glory of God”. How did we know how to live this new life or that we are suppose to give Him Glory? “Teach me Lord, that i may follow. Give me understanding, that i may keep your commands. Direct me in the path of your commands, for there i find delight”.
For there I find delight! We were created by God, saved by God, to live for God!!!
Let me ask you tonight, church. Are you an instrument of God, a vessel for God, a slave for God, a child of God? Whichever ever name you choose, you were chosen by God.
“whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God”.
2 Peter 1:3-4 Making ones calling and election sure.
3 His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. 4 Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature and escape the corruption in the world caused by evil desires.
Everything we need to become more like Christ, God is already teaching us, how? By knowing who He is, and His divine nature. Jesus wants our lives to be fruitful, for He knows that such a fruitful life, greatly pleases our Heavenly Father. How do we become fruitful? By abiding in Christ. Verse 4...”Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature and escape the corruption in the world caused by evil desires”. Everything that we are, and everything that we will be when Jesus returns, is all according to His will. We cannot change what God has already planned. “For there i find delight”.
20 "My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, 21 that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me.
22 I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one:
23 I in them and you in me. May they be brought to complete unity to let the world know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me. 24 "Father, I want those you have given me to be with me where I am, and to see my glory, the glory you have given me because you loved me before the creation of the world. 25 "Righteous Father, though the world does not know you, I know you, and they know that you have sent me. 26 I have made you known to them, and will continue to make you known in order that the love you have for me may be in them and that I myself may be in them."
Jesus began His prayer for us, way back in the garden of Gethsemane, before His arrest. We have trusted in Jesus through Scriptures, by the enabling of the Holy Spirit, and this prayer was prayed before we were born. Jesus prayed for you and I, before He was crucified. “I have made you known to them”. How? This was two thousand years ago. “and will continue to make you known”. To this very day. “that the love you have for me may be in them and that I myself may be in them." Jesus will be in you and I. Jesus wants us to be with Him where He is, and to see the majesty and splendor that belongs to Him. Jesus wants to share His glory with you and i. How did we know all this? Because He has made it known!!!
Sept. 6, 2015
24 Then Jesus said to his disciples, "If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. 25 For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will find it. 26 What good will it be for a man if he gains the whole world, yet forfeits his soul? Or what can a man give in exchange for his soul? 27 For the Son of Man is going to come in his Father's glory with his angels, and then he will reward each person according to what he has done.
When Jesus calls, we submit. This verse alone is very clear of the condition required if we want to follow Jesus. Of course in a believers life, this question should only be asked once, and the response should be, undeniable “Yes”. Like we have any choice, if were truly drawn to the Son. After receiving Christ, there will always be that struggle to deny self. Do you agree? A new born christian will not understand this fully, he still wants to do what he or she wants to do. Still under construction... Verse 25 For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will find it. How can you save your own life? You cant! Only Jesus can save. “but whoever loses his life for me will find it”. Second time here Jesus gives us an option of what it takes to have life, what it means to truly live, Deny yourself, loose your life. For Jesus sake. What good will it do for man to gain the world, but ends up in hell. You know, that “if” question that Jesus is asking. "If anyone would come after me”, If you have been a christian for a long time, do you still need that question asked? What i mean is, when i wake up in the morning, do i ask myself, should I follow Jesus?. Once you have been drawn to the Son, you’re His for life. Life Eternal! We have been chosen, separated from the world. Forgiven, a new life! In Christ.
When i said separated, what i mean is that, Jesus is now telling us and showing us how we should live our lives. Through scriptures and convictions. Yes...convictions! Without being convicted of our mistakes, how can we be conformed into His likeness? Just look back at your old life before Christ, and look at your life now. Has anything changed? Only you can answer that. If you look at your Bible, its all about instructions, commands from God, How to live a Holy life. Being transformed. Why do you think Jesus calls for disciples? Why were they sent everywhere to preach the Gospel. Have you ever noticed the headings of some of the books. Its addressed to churches, to another disciple, for what? For instructions. Have you ever heard of the acronym, of what the Bible stands for? And of course its not biblical, but it does have some truth in it.
Basic Instructions Before Leaving Earth ( Please add to power point, thanks.)
Through out our Christian walk, God commands separation, you will see a lot of that in scripture. From being slaves to sin, to slaves of God. Dead to sin, alive in Christ. Death in Adam, Alive in Christ. God will always command us to separate from certain things.
2 Corinthians 6:14-18
14 Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness? 15 What harmony is there between Christ and Belial ? What does a believer have in common with an unbeliever. 16 What agreement is there between the temple of God and idols? For we are the temple of the living God. As God has said: "I will live with them and walk among them, and I will be their God, and they will be my people." 17 "Therefore come out from them and be separate, says the Lord. Touch no unclean thing, and I will receive you." 18 "I will be a Father to you, and you will be my sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty.
( Belial is another name for satan)
We have a lot in common with the church in Corinth, at one point we were idolaters, we followed false prophets, we followed false teachings. Until Jesus reveals our errors by knowing the Truth. Always separating us from the things that are not pleasing to our God. Isn’t that the goal of every believer? To please our God. And this is something that we cannot do on our own. These are the things that we are so used to doing... second nature. Doing the opposite of Gods will. That is why being a new creation comes in. Being transformed into the likeness of Christ. Don’t you just wish sometimes, that when we were drawn to the Son, that all of our memories of our past also disappeared? When we became a new creation, don’t you wish that all the bad stuff was gone, erased from our memory? If that were to happen, how would we know how to turn away from them? I tell you, life is a lesson everyday. Always a battle, there are times that its really painful, and times that brings nothing but joy. But there is always a lesson that brings God all the glory. Every lesson we go through, brings us closer and closer to God. Being transformed closer to the image of His Son. Of course that is the goal of why we were saved. To be like Christ. I guess that’s what Jesus meant when He said “take up your cross and follow Me”.
Sin is an everyday battle don’t you think? Whether we are at home, the things we watch on t.v. Social media, being online. Or just by being bored, your mind wonders. Whether by action or thought, sin is still sin! Scripture tells us that...
The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and instruction.
Again, remember...Basic Instructions Before Leaving Earth. “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge”, In another translation, beginning of wisdom.
Sadly not many fear the Lord anymore. Many believers have used scripture as an excuse to go on sinning. See if this sounds familiar...
I’m saved by grace..(Ephesians 2:8)
God knows i am going to sin just ask for forgiveness...(1 John 1:9)
Uses Romans 7 because I’m still in the flesh, but neglects to read chapter Romans 8, living in the Spirit. We can come up with all the excuses we can, use scripture to justify our mistakes. But no excuse will be accepted when we stand in front of a Holy God...None!!! We will all stand in front of our Lord one day, and give an account for the things that we did when we were called. Earlier i said, nobody fears the Lord anymore. We have all relied on asking for forgiveness whenever we make a mistake. That is biblical, and that is what we are suppose to do when we sin. One message that Pastor Julius delivered, he used this verse...
26 If we deliberately keep on sinning after we have received the knowledge of the truth, no sacrifice for sins is left, 27 but only a fearful expectation of judgment and of raging fire that will consume the enemies of God. 28 Anyone who rejected the law of Moses died without mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses. 29 How much more severely do you think a man deserves to be punished who has trampled the Son of God under foot, who has treated as an unholy thing the blood of the covenant that sanctified him, and who has insulted the Spirit of grace? 30 For we know him who said, "It is mine to avenge; I will repay," and again, "The Lord will judge his people." 31 It is a dreadful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.
“ If we deliberately keep on sinning”. Honestly, how many of us have done this, deliberately. Before Jesus came along and showed us the seriousness of this offense! That is why, Jesus said “deliberately keep on sinning”. There needs to be a time that we should stop. Our God is merciful, we are still in the transformation process. We are being renewed, through convictions.
4 But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, 5 made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions--it is by grace you have been saved.
What did we read earlier about grace?
How much more severely do you think a man deserves to be punished who has trampled the Son of God under foot, who has treated as an unholy thing the blood of the covenant that sanctified him, and who has insulted the Spirit of grace?
Our God is merciful, He is patient, but most of He will not be mocked!
7 Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows.
8 The one who sows to please his sinful nature, from that nature will reap destruction; the one who sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life.
God cannot be mocked! When we were called, we were called to be transformed to the image of His Son. What is the image of His Son? Perfection!!! Not only is our God perfect, but He demands His children to be perfect.
Jesus said on...
Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.
1 Peter 1:15-16
15 But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do; 16 for it is written: "Be holy, because I am holy."
( Please add both verses in one screen, thank you)
A quote from John MacArthur:
Only the most arrogant fool would claim to be perfectly holy. Yet perfect holiness is the only standard acceptable to God. For that reason it becomes obvious that, apart from God’s graciously granting that holiness, no man can hope to achieve it.
Only by the grace of God can we achieve what He demands. We cannot do this on our own. And God does not fail, we are the clay, He is the potter. He will be the One to mold us to that perfection. Only in Gods hands is that possible! We may not see it now, but He has seen the finished product.
1 John 3:1-3
1 How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him. 2 Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known. But we know that when he appears, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is. 3 Everyone who has this hope in him purifies himself, just as he is pure.
We are still being transformed. Either, we are a slave to sin or a slave to righteousness. Either one, we have to have a master, which one would it be? The title of this message is “Leaving It All Behind”. If God has already released us, cleansed us from our sins. Then why would we want to go back? Deliberately... Leave it behind, let it go. Because going back to it, is the opposite way of where God wants us to be. The goal is perfection, not the other way around. Could you imagine standing in front of Jesus one day, and this is what He says... Remember this verse?
21 "Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. 22 Many will say to me on that day, 'Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?' 23 Then I will tell them plainly, 'I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!'
Jesus is talking about Christians here, who else would call Him Lord? Whats missing here? “did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles”. What is missing here, why did Jesus say “I never knew you”?
Two things here...”Did not do” the Fathers will, second no repentance. See the last part of the verse...”away from Me, you evildoers”. They went through the motion here, accepted Jesus as Savior, that is why they call Him Lord. With that alone, if you accepted Jesus in your heart, and he lives inside you and I. Why would Jesus contradict the Fathers will? Joined ministries, faithful in attending church, but still, something is missing...They were never called. “but only he who does the will of my Father”. Its a hard journey, isn’t it? Being a christian? That’s probably why Paul said, “workout your salvation with fear and trembling”. ( Phil 2:12) I guess this also what Jesus meant when He said “pick up your cross and follow me”.
I can honestly say, in my opinion, it is a hard and joyful journey. Hard, because we have to go through challenges, fight the temptations, accept the discipline when needed be. Joyful because, we know that we are not going through it alone. Jesus is with us always, “I will never leave you, nor forsake you”. Through the hard times, it brings us closer and closer to Jesus, not just in His likeness, but also in His presence. Leave it all behind, because Jesus does not want us to stay there. Jesus is bringing us to eternity. Just like that song..I have decided to follow Jesus, no turning back, no turning back.
"If you love me, you will obey what I command.
The proof of loving God is not just in speech for others to hear, but more of a living obedience to His will. How we live our lives outside those church doors will determine how much of this verse is true in our lives.
1 John 5:3
3 This is love for God: to obey his commands. And his commands are not burdensome.
“His commands are not burdensome”. We have been born again, this is part of the new life that God has given. A life for His purpose, His will be done!!! “Why do you call me Lord, Lord and not do what i say”. ( Luke 6:46 ) Just like our previous verse when Jesus said, “I never knew you, away from Me, you evildoer”. We live and breathe, only by Gods commands. He is the One that holds our life. It is by His will, that we are here tonight. “His commands are not burdensome”. “I have been crucified with Christ, I no longer live, but Christ lives in me”. Christ lives in me! So why would His commands be burdensome? The only reason we live and breathe is because of Christ!
6 being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.
God is faithful to finish what He starts. Once we have been called, the work of sanctification begins. It starts with Jesus, and ends with Jesus for all eternity. “ I am the Alpha and the Omega, Beginning and the end”. No turning back...leave it all behind. “pick up your cross, and follow Me”.
The Lord’s Message August 30, 2015
Intro: We have a Filipino saying, “Ang hindi lumilingon sa pinangalingan ay hindi maka-karating sa pato-tongonan”. In English it says, “One who does not look back to where he came from will not get to where he is going.” I believe there is a good lesson in this that when we look back and remember where we came from and are now experiencing fulfilment and success in life we will be more appreciative, thankful and grateful to where we came from. On the down side, there are those who are now successful in life that tends to forget where they came from. What if you were once poor and have now become rich and your status in life have gone high so that you do not associate with the poor and downtrodden. Or because you are now well educated and have studied in Ivy League schools that you look down on other Filipinos that could not speak good English and would not even associate with them. Or you may come from a rich family and grew up with a silver spoon in your mouth that you look down on the poor which we call in our language “mata pobre”. Wherever you are today and whatever is your status in life do you look back once in a while to appreciate where you came from? I hope you do not forget what your parents have done for you for without them you will not be where you are even if they were poor, less educated and now growing old in age.
What about in the spiritual life, is there a parallel to this? Yes, very much so. So let me go straight to the truth found in our text the Lord is giving us today. I titled this message as…
“Therefore, remember that formerly you who are Gentiles by birth and called “uncircumcised” by those who call themselves “the circumcision” (which is done in the body by human hands) - remember that at that time you were separate from Christ, excluded from citizenship in Israel and foreigners to the covenants of the promise, without hope and without God in the world. But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far away have been brought near by the blood of Christ.” Eph. 2:11-13
Since we are all Gentiles, then this applies to all of us. The first truth that we ought not to forget is that we are Gentiles by birth. In the Old Testament there were only two classifications of people. You are either a Jew or a Gentile. And if you are a Gentile you are not part of the chosen race by God. Was this by their choice or not? Certainly not! In the same way that I did not chose to be born as a Filipino. What if my parents were Iranians or Syrians, what would I be? I would probably be raised in the religion of Islam. I thank the Lord that I was born with Filipino parents and some of you to American, Hispanic or other nationality. But as far as God is concerned we are all Gentiles and not Jews and equally lost. Jews from the time of Abraham were also called the “circumcision” to distinguish them from the Gentiles. Circumcision was commanded by God for their identity as His people.
So now, as Gentiles and that is all of us, what are we to remember next? We were separated from Christ. To be separated from Christ means there is no salvation for us for we have no Savior. We must also remember that Jesus was sent initially to Israel or Jews, descendants of Abraham. When Jesus went to Tyre and Sidon a Gentile area, He was approached by a Gentile woman who was seeking His help for her daughter who was demon possessed, but… Jesus did not answer a word. So his disciples came to him and urged him, “Send her away, for she keeps crying out after us.” He answered, “I was sent only to the lost sheep of Israel.” The woman came and knelt before him. “Lord, help me!” she said. He replied, “It is not right to take the children’s bread and toss it to the dogs.” “Yes it is, Lord,” she said. “Even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their master’s table.” Then Jesus said to her, “Woman, you have great faith! Your request is granted.” And her daughter was healed at that moment. Matt. 15:23-28
We see here that although Jesus was sent only to the Jews, He saw the faith of the woman and her desperate need for His help. Why did Jesus use dogs to describe those who are not Jews? This is the description of those who are not saved at the end of the world after they are judged. “Outside are the dogs, those who practice magic arts, the sexually immoral, the murderers, the idolaters and everyone who loves and practices falsehood”. Rev. 22:15
But because of her faith, she was shown mercy and healed her daughter. Jesus was setting the stage for the salvation that will come to the Gentiles. And this was affirmed by the apostle Paul when he was sent with the gospel to the Gentiles. “For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes: first to the Jew, then to the Gentile. For in the gospel the righteousness of God is revealed - a righteousness that is by faith from first to last, just as it is written: “The righteous will live by faith.” Romans 1:16-17
Gentiles were not only separated from Christ but excluded from being a citizen of the kingdom of God and heaven. Since the kingdom of God starts here on earth we are like illegals with no papers and birthright. We are foreigners in God’s kingdom and are only temporary residents of earth and belonging to the devil’s kingdom. Jesus said that the devil is father of the unsaved.
Then the worse is we have no hope and without God in our lives. Many today are hoping to go to heaven even though they are going the wrong way. Ask anybody if they are certain of going to heaven and most will answer “I hope so.” But their hope is to a hopeless end. They also think that they know God just as we did before we got saved, but the God most people believe today are idols, idols of wood, silver and gold, idols of different religions or idols of a god created by themselves.
Do we now realize that this is where we all came from because we were followers of religion, ignorant of the truth, and helpless because we were spiritually dead? But by God’s mercy, that is God withholding our punishment and by the grace God, He saved us, unworthy and undeserving sinners and this is what we are now because of what Jesus did by laying His life and be punished for our sins: one with Israel and circumcised in the heart by the repentance of sins, no longer separated from Christ but one with Him and in Him, citizens of heaven - no longer foreigners but legal and permanent resident, with an endless hope in God in salvation both now and forever having and possessed by God, Christ in us and the Holy Spirit
When did this change of our standing with God happen? In God’s time when He gave us this new birth and have been born again. Here’s how that happened. “You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous person, though for a good person someone might possibly dare to die. But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Rom. 5:6-8
Three things we could not do ourselves: We were powerless so we cannot save ourselves. We were ungodly because we were wicked. And lastly we were sinners and objects of God’s wrath.
But all these changed when by God’s grace He saved us according to His will. “In love he predestined us to be adopted as his sons through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will - to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves. In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace that he lavished on us with all wisdom and understanding.” Eph. 1:4c-8
Even if we know this truth already, we ought to look back in order to remember and not forget how God saved us. Did we do anything to get saved? Nothing! Was it our will to get saved? No! It was because of God’s love that He saved us. Were we lovable? We were wicked and rebellious. And when did God love us? “I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with loving kindness.” Jer. 31:3
So when did God love you? He loved us from eternity past even before the creation of the world. Another truth is we did not come to Him but He drew us to His Son. Here’s now a warning for those who have been saved a long time now. “I know your deeds, your hard work and your perseverance. I know that you cannot tolerate wicked men, that you have tested those who claim to be apostles but are not, and have found them false. You have persevered and have endured hardships for my name, and have not grown weary. Yet I hold this against you: You have forsaken your first love.” Rev. 2:2-4
What is Jesus saying to His people here? How can we be guilty of forsaking our first love? Just as Jesus said, we can be working hard for the Lord, persevere, endure hardship and not growing weary and are able to discern false prophets but how does Jesus evaluate what we do? We then ought to examine ourselves why am I doing what I am doing? What is my motive in doing what I am doing? Am I doing it to earn God’s favor or am I serving the Lord out of my love for Him?
What really matters to God and our Lord Jesus Christ is to “love the Lord our God with all our heart and with all our soul and with all our mind.” And when that is the focus of our life, then God will work through us to do whatever He wills for us to do. Remember the test of our love for Jesus is to obey His commands. It is our love for the Lord that motivates our obedience to all His commands and does according to His will. And this will be carried out by God the Holy Spirit who is in us. “…for it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose.” Phil. 2:13
What then should we not and never forget? The love of God for you and me. “This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.” 1 John 4:9-11
Today we are going to remember what Jesus gave up for you and me in the observance of the Lord’s Supper. This is not to save us or improve our salvation but it is a reminder of what Jesus did to save us from the wrath of God and hell. But before we can partake of the elements, let us examine ourselves if there is any sin that we have committed against God or even unaware of sin against God. We are exhorted and warned by the apostle Paul as instructed by Jesus that… “A man ought to examine himself before he eats of the bread and drinks of the cup. For anyone who eats and drinks without recognizing the body of the Lord eats and drinks judgment on himself.” 1 Cor. 11:28-29
And the only one who can really examine our hearts is the Holy Spirit, so we ask, “Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.” Ps. 139:23-24
And if the Holy Spirit reveals a sin in your heart then take your sins to Jesus… “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” 1 John 1:9
Then come to “The Lord’s Supper.”