Human history has witnessed many great moral and ethical teachers…Plato, Socrates, Confucius…just to name a few. The Bible also contains wonderful teachings of morality and ethical behavior, but no one save the Lord Jesus Christ Himself ever claimed…as He did in John 6…that the words which I have spoken to you are spirit and are life.
We all need to ask ourselves this fundamental question: Is God’s word to us just a book of ethical and moral teachings, or is it a book that brings us to spirit and Life?
The central thought or message of Romans is that God is making sinners into sons to be the members of the Body of Christ expressed in local churches.
At the beginning of the book, we have a thorough exposure of fallen human kind. All have sinned and come short of the glory of God. Then we have a marvelous revelation of God’s complete salvation…His judicial redemption. And then according to Rom. 5:10 much more we are saved in His life. Now we are becoming sons of God,…those mature in the divine life…to be members of that Body of Christ described in Romans 12. And the universal Body of Christ which is uniquely one is expressed in all the genuine local churches on the earth. This is the message of Romans. It’s not just about justification. It’s about sinners who are sons. These sons are members of the Body of Christ, and the Body of Christ is expressed in the church life.
In Luke, the start of the ministry of the Man Savior was chapter 4 with Jubilee, and the Jubilee concept should govern the writing of all the following chapters. Now you come to chapter 9, 5,000 men with their wives…children, if they would be dismissed with hunger, there would be no more Jubilee. This one and than one would complain. “Nearly the whole day, I didn’t get any food.” Would this be Jubilee? This would be famine. The people would be full of hunger. But after the feeding there was real Jubilee.
The Lord sent the 12 to spread His ministry. What was His ministry? His ministry was the ministry of Jubilee. There would be no poor ones. All poor ones would be filled up. There would be no more captives. All captives would be released. And all would be brought back to the enjoyment of God. What is this?
This is Jubilee declared in chapter 4. Twelve (12) baskets of leftovers. This is Jubilee. In the kingdom of God could there be some kind of hunger? No! Jubilee. In the Jubilee there would be no hunger, but satisfaction. Everybody would be satisfied and there still would be some left over.
The disciples approach…in Luke chapter 9…was to ask the Lord to send the crowds away so that they could provide food for themselves. This approach really is in the principle of the law. The law places requirements on man. In order to fulfill the law, man has to do something out of himself to meet those requirements. There is no supply from God to meet the requirements of the law.
But the principle of Grace…which is the New Testament principle…is that God supplies man with everything that man needs to fulfill the requirements of God and also to satisfy man’s inner hunger. God doesn’t ask us to do something; He asks us to receive what He supplies.
So in this story here (Luke 9), the Lord asked the disciples to make the people recline in groups of 50, and then the Lord proceeded in a wonderful way…under Gods’ blessing…to feed this great crowd of people…to supply every one of them so that not one of them was hungry. Everyone was fully satisfied. And there was an overabundance of supply. This is the real Jubilee. When everyone has his hunger fully satisfied and still there is something left over. This is God’s New Testament Gospel. This is God’s New Testament economy.
By the time Jesus was ready to begin His earthly ministry, a well established God-ordained religious system was firmly entrenched in the land of Palestine. But as the very God Himself who was the fulfillment and reality of all of the components of that established religion, you would think that He would have taken great care to approach the leaders of that religion and to bring them into His ministry. But the record of the New Testament reveals quite the opposite. The gospels, and particularly the gospel of Mark, reveal that Jesus showed no interest in maintaining the old religion with its traditions and rituals…even those that were among the ones that God had originally instituted such as the Sabbath.
Rather Jesus offended the religious community to the uttermost by breaking the Sabbath regulations repeatedly. It is apparent that the Lord cared more the relief of the suffering than He did the ritual of religion.
What a beautiful picture of the kind of salvation He is here to provide.
In New Testament terms to have an exodus is to get out of the world. However without the graphic picture in the book of Exodus, it is difficult to say just how we are to get out of the world…We need to realize that experientially many MANY believers today have experienced Christ as their passover. God has passed over them. The blood of the Lamb has redeemed them from the righteous judgement of God…But they remain in Egypt still needing to make an exodus so that God’s purpose to have a dwelling place can be fulfilled.
If we care only for the benefits that come to us through salvation, we may be content to remain in Egypt with Christ as our passover lamb. But if we care for God’s economy, not only will WE make our exodus from Egypt, we will be burdened that ALL of Gods people be released from Egypt and to serve God and be one with Him for the building up of the Church as His body to consummate the New Jerusalem.
Saints, the Bible reveals to us three (3) big enemies to our Christian life…sin, Satan and death. And all of these 3 take advantage of our fallen flesh to frustrate us, but God’s approach to our flesh may surprise you. Check out today’s podcast on the book of Romans for insight into our experience of dealing with the flesh and the secret of how to reign in life over these 3 enemies.
Galatians chapter 4 is a wonderful chapter focusing on two (2) divine sendings. God first sent forth His Son…but not only so,…He also sent forth the Spirit of His Son into our hearts. These 2 sendings in Galatians 4 are our topic on today’s podcast.