The “Supernatural” Battle For YOUR Life (1 Kings 19:9–18)

Dear Reader, if you are new here and curious, or are looking for answers immediately, please follow this link to our Start Here page: https://hewasraised.wordpress.com/about/. The Start Here page is designed as the beginning point of this website to which these further posts correspond. Thank you, and may “the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all” (2 Corinthians 13:14, NIV).

The following sermon, preached on August 13th, 2017, focuses on the “supernatural” battle for your life. Don’t get “used to” the Bible! It is not common sense! It contains God-revealed truth! “Supernatural” is in quotes because everything is supernatural; all of life is sacred. “Supernatural” wasn’t even a word until modern times. God creates and sustains all life and everything good, meaning that we live a tangible, physical, spiritual reality. And there is a war on for all of our lives—a spiritual (physical, tangible) war!

A link to the audio is found below. Click on the link for the audio. And we apologize for the not perfect quality of the audio!

https://vocaroo.com/i/s0Ai0ZiE392M

Miracles Today (Matthew 14:13–21)

Dear Reader, if you are new here and curious, or are looking for answers immediately, please follow this link to our Start Here page: https://hewasraised.wordpress.com/about/. The Start Here page is designed as the beginning point of this website to which these further posts correspond. Thank you, and may “the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all” (2 Corinthians 13:14, NIV).

The following sermon, preached on August 6th, 2017, focuses on miracles. You better believe they are still happening today! As Bible scholar Craig S. Keener notes, “Missionaries to one region in Africa who merely left behind Gospels returned to find a flourishing church with New Testament-like miracles happening daily, ‘because there had been no missionaries to teach that such things were not to be taken literally'” (Miracles, 241, vol. 1).

A link to the audio is found below. Click on the link for the audio. And we apologize for the not perfect quality of the audio!

https://vocaroo.com/i/s1G4MQuItmbn

Miracles Today (Matthew 14:13–21)

Dear Reader, if you are new here and curious, or are looking for answers immediately, please follow this link to our Start Here page: https://hewasraised.wordpress.com/about/. The Start Here page is designed as the beginning point of this website to which these further posts correspond. Thank you, and may “the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all” (2 Corinthians 13:14, NIV).

The following sermon, preached on August 6th, 2017, focuses on miracles. What’s the deal? Do they happen today? Can they happen to you? How do miracles fit in with God and the Gospel? As biblical scholar Craig S. Keener notes, “Missionaries to one region in Africa who merely left behind Gospels returned to find a flourishing church with [New Testament]-like miracles happening daily, ‘because there had been no missionaries to teach that such things were not to be taken literally'” (Miracles, 241, Vol. 1).

A link to the audio is found below. Click on the link for the audio. And we apologize for the not perfect quality of the audio!

https://vocaroo.com/i/s1G4MQuItmbn

What’s Your Price? (Genesis 24:34–51)

Dear Reader, if you are new here and curious, or are looking for answers immediately, please follow this link to our Start Here page: https://hewasraised.wordpress.com/about/. The Start Here page is designed as the beginning point of this website to which these further posts correspond. Thank you, and may “the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all” (2 Corinthians 13:14, NIV).

The following sermon, preached on July 9th, 2017, focuses on how Scripture talks about God’s wiring us for eternity (cf. Ecclesiastes 3:11). Every person knows ABOUT God (Romans 1:20), but not all KNOW Christ. God created reality this way, “God did this so that they would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from any one of us” (Acts 17:27). So are you willing to move from knowing ABOUT God to actually submitting to God? Or from knowing ABOUT God to knowing Christ personally? Your life will never be the same.

A link to the audio is found below. Click on the link for the audio. And we apologize for the not perfect quality of the audio!

http://vocaroo.com/i/s1Z16VJPnOig

The Resurrection: Does God Change How WE Act? Luke 20:27–40

Dear Reader, if you are new here, or are looking for answers immediately, please follow this link to our Start Here page: https://hewasraised.wordpress.com/about/. The Start Here page is designed as the beginning point of this website, to which these further posts correspond. Thank you, and may “the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all” (2 Corinthians 13:14, NIV).

The following sermon, preached on November 6th, 2016, examines how the resurrection of Jesus is central to our faith. Does Jesus being raised by God change the way you live? The Gospel in a nutshell is that Jesus came, fulfilling Scripture, to die and be raised again, for the forgiveness of our sins. Christ’s Spirit living in us, cleansing us from sin, will change our lives! The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of resurrection, giving us new creational lives, not just after death, but right now.

(Note concerning the audio: we apologize for poor audio quality! Thank you for your understanding. In the future, this problem may be fixed!)

Do You Have Persistent Faith? On Luke 18:1–8

Dear Reader, if you are new here, or are looking for answers immediately, please follow this link to our Start Here page: https://hewasraised.wordpress.com/about/. The Start Here page is designed as the beginning point of this website, to which these further posts correspond. Thank you, and may “the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all” (2 Corinthians 13:14, NIV).

The following sermon, preached on October 16th, 2016, asks a very difficult question. Do you have persistent faith? Please click the play button on the audio widget below to listen to the sermon.

(Note concerning the audio: we apologize for poor audio quality! Thank you for your understanding.)

The text follows below.

(Note concerning the sermon text: the sermon text reflects the actual manuscript and was written to be spoken colloquially, not academically. It may contain grammatical errors such as run-on sentences, or special notation, etc. Thank you for your understanding.)
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Luke 18:1-8 says:

“1Then Jesus told his disciples a parable to show them that they should always pray and not give up. 2He said: “In a certain town there was a judge who neither feared God nor cared what people thought. 3And there was a widow in that town who kept coming to him with the plea, ‘Grant me justice against my adversary.’
4“For some time he refused. But finally he said to himself, ‘Even though I don’t fear God or care what people think, 5yet because this widow keeps bothering me, I will see that she gets justice, so that she won’t eventually come and attack me!’ ”
6And the Lord said, “Listen to what the unjust judge says. 7And will not God bring about justice for his chosen ones, who cry out to him day and night? Will he keep putting them off? 8I tell you, he will see that they get justice, and quickly. However, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on the earth?”

This is the Gospel of the Lord. Praise to you, Lord Jesus Christ.

OK, here we are, in a passage popularly known as the Parable of the Persistent Widow, but, perhaps the section is remembered best as a lesson concerning faith’s persistence. In this passage we see Jesus telling a parable picturing this confrontation between a dishonorable judge, and a widow. The widow, who is earnestly and rightly seeking justice, simply will not take no for an answer—so this is instructive for us, too. But, there is more to the parable than just this. This parable is also a tale concerning the imperative, in the life of any believer, for persistent prayer. Prayer is powerful. So we’ll talk more about prayer in the coming moments. Finally, when we get towards the end of this Scripture, Jesus starts talking about God, and Jesus is saying, that, yes, God is absolutely responsive to the plight of the faithful and their prayers, but also that our life—the lives of you and I, this morning, today—before Jesus, the Son of Man, returns, this will indeed pose a huge, huge challenge to our faith, requiring this persistence that the parable is getting at. “When the Son of Man comes, will he find faith”? —So this is what we are talking about this morning—that, in the parable, just like in our lives, we must be vigilant, we must not give up, because things are going to be tough, but look what Jesus says: this judge is unjust; and if even an unjust judge can carry out justice, just imagine what God, the loving and righteous God who invented justice, so to speak, is going to do. Good stuff. So let’s get into this parable.

Well when we begin to talk about the great justice of the loving God, I believe we often hit a snag here: one of the hardest things to wrap our minds around as Christians is that there is actually injustice, wickedness, or evil, in the world. This is extremely upsetting, especially when you are personally experiencing it. Well we have to look no further than right here in our own passage for such injustice. We find in verse 2, “a judge who neither feared God nor cared what people thought.” Well, some things never change, right? We find here—just like we find today, sometimes—a judge who cares nothing about justice, about God, or about people.**The parable starts out grimly, like Jesus wants us to start thinking critically about God’s great justice and love, in a world of evil, where even those who carry out justice, are themselves corrupt.

Well, with these questions in mind, the parable moves forward: a widow, of all people—perhaps the most powerless member of society in Jesus’ day, and maybe even in our own day—**the widow displays the most power, because she persistently never gives up, verse 3; and in the words of the judge, verse 5, “she keeps bothering me.” In other words, She has great faith… she never stops. Already we begin to get the picture that somehow our faithful persistence is the answer, in fact, to the question of injustice, to the question of evil, and of how can God be just and loving in a world full of evil: the answer is intertwined with our persistent faith in God, God, who is infinitely loving and just.

Well—Verse 1 tells us that this really is the case. “Jesus told his disciples [this] parable to show them that they should always pray and not give up,” v. 1. This is the way we too must be in our lives today, because, persistence in faith, is, in fact, the answer to injustice, because God. Jesus is saying that, though the odds are incredibly stacked against us in this world where there will be corruption, we too should always pray and not give up like the widow, because God is God. Because God is the just One, and God actually does bring justice for His children who cry out to Him day and night, verse 7, so therefore we must not, never ever, give up. This parable is not about our own power to keep going, or even about the widow’s persistence, prominent though it is—**this parable is actually about God, and God’s acting. God is the one who works in us and through when we go to Him in prayer—it’s not as if our prayer, or our power, is what changes things, it is God’s power, the Spirit, God himself, who changes things when we pray, and when we act. Really, this is all about God’s power, with the characters and the parable itself simply being tools used to speak the truth about God by Jesus. Because God is infinitely loving and just, we are always supposed to pray and never give up because, even if we die in this life, God will bring justice and His love will cover the whole Earth, even as the waters cover the sea, and Christ’s resurrection, and the Spirit living in us, is the real-life revelation of this promise, even right now, today, and it is what the world will look like in the future: God’s victory. The answer is that because God wins at the cross, and at death, we should never give up and always pray. Amen.

Let me tell you a story at this point, and it has to do with our widow in the parable facing this injustice, this corrupt judge—facing evil in her life. There was once a man named David Hume, and Hume was and is an extremely important skeptic philosopher of the 18th century, from Scotland. His writings were and continue be very influential. He often tackled theological problems, as is a favorite pastime of many philosophers. Hume wrote, “Is he [God] willing to prevent evil, but not able? then he is impotent […He is not all powerful]. Is he able [to prevent evil], but not willing? then he is malevolent[, evil]. [Or,] Is [God] both able and willing [to prevent evil]? [If He is, From where,] then, [does] evil [come from]?” In other words, Hume is asking—and I am sure the widow may have been thinking the same thing—that if God is able and willing to prevent evil, if God is all powerful, if God is all knowing, and if God is all good, then why in the world, is there evil? This, is the question I am sure that the widow is asking, even as she fights for her justice despite the odds.

Now, on a personal level, we too might think—many of us have probably thought this, and it is not a bad thing to think this way, by the way—that if God were truly good, and if God were truly just, these bad things even in my very own life—like, how I was cheated, or, how I was hurt, or how I was unfairly convicted of wrongdoing—these things that should have never happened to me: “Why didn’t God do something to stop this evil thing from happening to me to begin with?”

Well, to begin to answer, to set a foundation for our answer, in our passage Jesus promises that justice will be granted, and justice will be done. If even an unjust judge grants justice, then won’t God, “see that [His children] get justice, and [get it] quickly.” Jesus asks, “Will He [God] keep putting them off?” verse 7. Well, Absolutely not, God will not keep putting us off like the judge does in this parable, God is always acting, and God even sent His own Son to die for us, and pay the ultimate price, which is God’s ultimate action for us, and in our behalf, and even now today, we have the Spirit living in us. But to get back to the question, why did God not stop this evil thing to begin with, let’s press on, now that we have the clue and foundation that justice will be done answering what ever evil did in fact transpire.

Notice in our passage this morning, that there is an important assumption being made evil. In verse 7, when Jesus asks, “will not God bring about justice [. . . to those who] cry out?”…the assumption is, that evil is already happening, to everyone, which is why God’s children are crying out to begin with. So, where does this assumption of evil come from? Why does the widow have a plight to begin with? This is like the same question—“Why did God let evil happen to begin with to me.” Well, God’s Word gives us the answer. Evil exists in the world, like the corrupt judge in our parable, because of the wickedness of human beings. In other words, evil is not from God, but from sinful human beings. In Romans 5:12, Paul says, “ sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all people, because all sinned” … Sin is the evil in the world— As Paul says, “sin entered the world through one man,” Romans 5:12, and importantly not, “sin entered the world through God.”

So why did evil happen to me, or this widow, to begin with? Well evil happened to begin with because humans beings chose it, over God, and they sinned. It’s the same reason bad things happened to you and to me, to the widow in the parable. We human beings, creatures created by God with the capacity to and for true love, and therefore, the choice not to love, because true love cannot be forced—or else it is not truly be love—we chose not to love, we sinned, and we hurt each other. We disobeyed God, and we messed up. And ever since we messed up, day by day, and nanosecond by nanosecond, God has been working to call us back to Him, at every moment, second by second, even sending His own Son to die on the cross for us—why? Because God will never, force us, force us, to come back to Him—This is why we have the Bible, why we have the Old Testament, why we have the story of Israel, the Gospel, and Jesus Christ, who fills the Old Scriptures with meaning, and even this parable, and what it’s getting at, because God will not force anyone to love Him, because then it is not true love. This is why we must have faith, Believe in the Son, and that faith must be persistent faith, true faith, because what is faith if not a true love for God? In verse 8, this is why Jesus asks, “when the Son of Man comes—even though, God does so much for us, giving us every good thing we’ve ever had, even dying for us, in a brutal death—will he find faith on the earth?” when the Son of Man comes, Luke 18:8, will he find faith on the earth?”

This is what Jesus is saying: Will you be persistent in your faith, through the power of God, even though this world is evil and full of sin, and these bad things have happened to you? Will you stand firm until the end in His Power, even having been robbed, having been cheated, and having been hurt, or hurting others yourself? Will you continue to believe in God, and love Him, and pray to Him, and do good, do justice to others, be missional, even when justice has not been done to you, or when an accident, or when a natural disaster, hurts or you, or your loved ones? The question is, “when the Son of Man comes, will he find that you were faithful here on the Earth?” Verse 8. God will deliver justice, definitely, because God has the final word on death, as the resurrection of Christ, and His Spirit in us, proves. But will you believe in it? That is the question. **

As we come to a close this morning, the point of all this is that God is not sitting quietly, in the meanwhile, while you are getting unjustly treated—The Son of Man, Jesus Christ Himself, is coming back to Earth. Right now, we live in time, when things are the way they are, because God has given us these last days, as an act of love and mercy and opportunity—the reason why we are all alive right now—is to repent and find God, and lead others to God, in order to the live the life, that is truly life, that God desires: the greatest good for us. God has given all human beings, on the Earth right now, a last, final chance, for our aching hearts to hear the Spirit calling, and turn to Jesus Christ. That is why we live right now, in a time, where bad and evil things happen, where accidents happen, and where confusion abounds. But, the Son of Man is coming back. And sin and evil and death will be gotten rid of, and it will be more than just gotten rid of, by the way, everything will be entirely made new, so that we can’t even imagine what God has in store for those who love Him—it will be so good compared to the corrupt justice we’re used to, it will just blow us all away. In Revelation 21:5 “he who was seated on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new.”

The question in the last verse of our Scripture today contains this promise: All things will be made right, every injustice fixed, and everything created good, so that God is all in all, when the Son of Man comes, but….but…Jesus asks, When he comes, will he find that you, yes, even me, was I, were you, faithful to Him, and his death, and his promise of returning, were you faithful and persistent and prayerful, and missional, to the very end, despite evil? When Jesus comes back onto the Earth, will he find faith on the earth? Do you have persistent faith? That is the question I want to leave us all with this morning.

Sermon on 2 Timothy 2:8-13: Paul’s “Three Points and a Poem”

Dear Reader, if you are new here, or are looking for answers immediately, please follow this link to our Start Here page: https://hewasraised.wordpress.com/about/. The Start Here page is designed as the beginning point of this website, to which these further posts correspond. Thank you, and may “the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all” (2 Corinthians 13:14, NIV).

The following sermon, preached on October 9th, 2016, speaks into Paul’s Gospel, and how he lays it out for Timothy, and for us. Please click the play button on the audio widget below to listen to the sermon.

(Note concerning the audio: we apologize for poor audio quality! Thank you for your understanding.)

The text follows below.

(Note concerning the sermon text: the sermon text reflects the actual manuscript and was written to be spoken colloquially, not academically. It may contain grammatical errors such as run-on sentences, or special notation, etc. Thank you for your understanding.)
————————————————————————–

2 Timothy 2:8 says,

“8Remember Jesus Christ, raised from the dead, descended from David. This is my gospel, 9for which I am suffering even to the point of being chained like a criminal. But God’s word is not chained. 10Therefore I endure everything for the sake of the elect, that they too may obtain the salvation that is in Christ Jesus, with eternal glory.
11Here is a trustworthy saying: If we died with him, we will also live with him; 12if we endure, we will also reign with him. If we disown him, he will also disown us; 13if we are faithless, he remains faithful, for he cannot disown himself.”

This is the word of the Lord. Thanks be to God.

OK. This morning we are talking about the Gospel as we learn about it, here from 2 Timothy. Of course we can all read the fourfold Gospel of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, but we can also read about the Gospel in different ways, like from Paul, here in 2 Timothy. And this is important for all of us, because what Paul does in his letters, is situate the Gospel within theology to help us understand the Gospel even more. And it’s always better when we can understand the Gospel in deeper ways. So that’s what we’re talking about this morning, same as our passage; knowing the Gospel in deeper ways from 2 Timothy as Paul says it—and not just with the head, by the way, but necessarily with the heart, and it is, of course, the Spirit, who works a deeper understanding of the Gospel in us.

OK so here we are, in the middle of Second Timothy Chapter 2, and Paul starts off by making a sermon easy for us. What do I mean? Well Paul lets us know that “my Gospel” has three critical factors. I’m referencing verse 8, where Paul says, “my Gospel.” Verse 8 contains three critical factors. So, what we’re going to do is focus on these three critical factors. What are they? Factor number 1: Jesus Christ. Remember Jesus Christ, Paul says first. And well this factor is basically, a given right, or you could say that Jesus Christ, is a point all to himself. So that’s point number 1. Factor Number 2: Jesus Christ raised from dead. Jesus being raised from the dead is critical to Paul’s Gospel. And we’ll spend a lot of time on this point. And, lastly, Number 3: Jesus Christ descended from David [x2? “this is my gospel”]. And so, with these three points or factors, Paul is saying, this is my gospel, this is, the Gospel, so we, too, are going to focus on these three things this morning, The Gospel in 2 Timothy.

Now, to start us off, we need to know a little bit about the context of this Scripture, or any Scripture for that matter. Why are we reading about these three factors of the Gospel to begin with, and why is that itself important? Well, as it turns out, this letter situates Paul at the end of his life. Paul has been imprisoned by the Roman Empire, and was now literally in chains for the Gospel, like a criminal—says verse 9—so, Paul is seeking to strengthen and encourage Timothy, for him to work in the Church as a leader. So the first thing Paul does here, is emphasize the Gospel: “Remember Jesus Christ, raised from the dead, descended from David. This is my gospel” (v.8). And so, Paul breaks down the Gospel into these three points, because they are the extremely important points of the Gospel, and Paul, at the end of his life, must pass on the critical factors of his Gospel, and continue declare the good news of Jesus Christ through Timothy, so that, eventually, one day, even all of us today here right now, know this very Gospel, and we are saved by God through Christ. So that’s why it’s important here and for all of us.

Ok so that’s a bit about the context, let’s talk about Gospel factor number one, Jesus Christ. Well, to start us off on this point, I have some sad news. I believe that today, in our American Christianity at large, we have largely lost sight of factor number 1, the true person of Jesus, and who Jesus really was. This is a problem. Here’s a story about this. I remember growing up, I had a certain friend who was with me all throughout Sunday School, for many, many years. We grew up in the Church together, and one day we were at a service, and the pastor was talking about how, in the Gospel, Pilate placed a sign above a Jesus when he was being crucified, writing there “King of the Jews,” in John 19:21. Well, Suddenly a look of realization washed over my friend’s face, as if the very light of eternal truth had dawned on him. He looked up and said to me and all of our group of friends: “I get it now. I just realized something that I never realized before! Jesus was a Jewish person. King of the Jews! Now it all makes sense. Jesus was a Jew!” XD. And we all thought this was pretty funny and we gave him a hard time after that, because it is common knowledge in Scripture, that yes, Jesus was and is a Jewish person, a descendent of David in fact, point #3, but more on that later. But, you know, upon reflection, people don’t actually think about Jesus as he really is in Scripture… instead we use our own conception of who we think Jesus is, and this is a problem. And yes, I myself have a confession to make. Growing up, I always thought that Jesus was a caucasian person—Yes, I have seen the paintings. Jesus was a white man with a nice trimmed beard, trimmed much nicer than mine, of course, with blue eyes, or blue contact lenses at least, and he always wearing a white robe with a blue sash, and don’t forget designer sandals. This was the picture of Jesus for me, and I wouldn’t be surprised if, this is Jesus still for many of us.

Well, point number one, Jesus was not white, beautiful, or rich. Jesus was actually a poor, peasant, Jewish person. And I’m not trying to offend anybody when I say these things of course—I’ve noticed that sometimes people get offended by this, when we start calling Jesus what Scripture says he is, a poor peasant—but this is the necessary truth of the Gospel. Jesus was poor; Jesus was born in a manger, Luke chapter 2. He was born in a stable, surrounded by farm animals. Jesus, even from birth, is not rich, and he never became, a rich, privileged person. So Paul is saying, that this poor Jewish peasant man is the one person that Paul (also Jewish, by the way) has been beaten, imprisoned, and is facing death for—and this is all because of point #2. Factor number 2. Factor #2 tells us that this poor person, remember Jesus, was much more—…that he was, in fact, the very Son of God, poor though he was. So right now we’re going shift, and begin to talk about factor #2, Jesus Christ, raised from the dead.

So let’s talk about #2, Jesus Christ raised from the dead. Well first let me tell you something interesting about celebrating Christ raised from dead, aka Easter. In the book titled “Storytelling: Imagination and Faith,” author William J. Bausch, writes: “In the Greek Orthodox tradition [of Christianity], the day after Easter was devoted to telling jokes. . . .[Cool! The day after Easter is joke day! The jokes were meant to imitate] the cosmic joke that God pulled on Satan in the Resurrection. Satan thought he had won, and was smug in his victory, smiling to himself, having the last word [with the death of Christ]. So he thought. [But] then God raised Jesus from the dead, and life and salvation became the last words.” =]. Jokes on you, Satan, because Christ is raised from dead, Amen?

So this is point #2 in verse 8. And because there really is a lot more to it than simply telling jokes, good though jokes may be, Paul goes on to explain point #2 largely with a “trustworthy saying” in verse 11. Verses 11 through 13, the end of our passage, is a “trustworthy saying,” and its function is to emphasize especially this point #2, Christ raised from dead. So right now I am going to talk about this trustworthy saying in order to explain point #2, Christ raised from the dead.

OK, so, Verse 11, the trustworthy saying, “If we died with him, we will also live with him”— see how Christ being raised informs this saying already. Paul, here, is actually talking about baptism, believe it or not. Baptism! Baptism, is extremely connected to Christ being raised from the dead. In fact, Paul is talking about here, what he says in the book Romans, quote “We were . . . buried with him [Christ] through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life.” End quote, Romans 6:4. So here in Second Timothy, Paul is saying what he says in Romans, that baptism, having been buried with Christ; under the baptismal water—and then being raised up out of the grave, where Jesus was, out of the water, and into the new resurrection life of Christ—into the life of the Church, as it were, this is what it means to live for God, or to live with him, as our trustworthy saying is saying. It’s not that baptism saves us, it’s that baptism transforms us, by God’s grace, into the people who live now, presently, in the body of Christ, to and for God. So this is very important, to point #2.

OK, now, after this, and these build on each other, the next verse, verse 12, says, “if we endure we will also reign,” verse 12, meaning that, even as Christ reigns, now that he has been raised (point #2), and us too with him in baptism, so will we reign, if we have the Holy Spirit in us, because then we are living in His same resurrection-reigning life right now, so that’s the logic. If we live like Christ, being buried like Christ, we will reign like Christ. And by the way, that’s why it says next, “If we disown him, he will also disown us;” this is just saying the same thing—only more starkly, “if we endure we will also reign”…but if we do not endure, in other words we disown him, we will not reign. So, again all of this, coming from Christ raised from dead, point #2.

Next, verse 13 says, “13if we are faithless, he remains faithful, for he cannot disown himself,” meaning that, even if we give up on God—if we are struggling and we lose our faith, and we are faithless, in this journey—God will still be God, and point #2, Christ was raised from the dead. Even if we lose our faith, God will not give up on us; God will never give up on us, God never gives up! BUT, God will not force us to love him, if we do not endure or disown him, because love cannot be forced. God never gives up, because Christ, was raised from the dead, and God gets the last word, so God can’t disown himself, but as Paul says, “If we disown him, he will also disown us.”

So all this is point #2, Jesus Christ raised from the dead. It is a huge point, and it is really too much to talk about all at once even though that’s what I have been trying to do, and I think that’s why Paul gives us a shorter, “trustworthy saying.” There is just so much to it, that Paul gives us a guide in a saying format.

OK, Well, we’ve talked about Jesus Christ, we’ve talked a lot about Jesus raised from the dead, using our trustworthy saying, and we’ve come to our last point here, factor #3, which is Jesus Christ descended from David—this is my gospel. Let’s talk about it.

Does anybody like to read the genealogies in the Bible? Your faces betray you. They tell me just how much you enjoy, you know: He was the father of him, father of him, father of him…or… he begat him begat him begat him begat him, you know, it just goes on and on! Check out first Chronicles chapter 1, you’ll find a genealogy that goes on for 10 chapters! We always memorize John 3:16 but why don’t we memorize the genealogies, right? 
 Jesus Christ descended from David is a very important factor that Paul gives us. But what does it mean? Well the 100% human Jesus, born of the virgin Mary, of course, was not the Son of Joseph, Mary’s fiancé-husband but rather, Jesus is the Son of God. Jesus is 100% human, yes, and 100% divine, so, What are we talking about Jesus, when Paul says, “Descended from David?” Well, in the ancient world of 1st century Judaism, when Jesus was born, and in the tradition of the Hebrew people, the first born son has all the claims of inheritance to his father’s property, or lineage, you might say. And who was Jesus’s Father? Well, God, but, who was Jesus’ “legal father” on Earth? It was Joseph. Take a look at Matthew chapter 1. You will find there, in Matthew chapter 1, a genealogy of Jesus, that Joseph is descended from Abraham, and David, all the way to being married to Mary, who gave birth to Jesus. So in fact, we learn, in Matthew 1:1–17, the genealogy of Jesus, that the first born legal son to Joseph and Mary, inherit the lineage of Abraham, and King David. Jesus Christ descended from David.

Now, the point is that this Jesus is the one who fulfills the story of Old Testament Israel, and King David, and literally inherits the prophecy of God promising that a descendant of David would rule forever. Jesus is the one, raised from the dead, descended from David, who is, truly, the coming king, and He is the king even, of course, over death, when he defeated death by His being raised from the dead by the power of God.

And I want to begin to come to a close this morning, now that we’ve covered our three points, and just mention one thing that I have not mentioned yet. Paul says, he “endure[s] everything for the sake of the elect, that they too may obtain the salvation that is in Christ Jesus, with eternal glory,” v. 10, and what’s he talking about? who are these elect? Well, the elect are the people who have a saving faith in Christ that God enabled them to have, by the power of His Spirit. When Paul’s Gospel is declared, the Gospel of Jesus Christ, with three points—three points and a poem—this communication of the Gospel is what God uses to work in the hearts and minds of people, to bring them to Christ. That’s Paul is passing this along at the end of his life—the Gospel is the power of salvation, it’s God’s power—and we don’t know how the message of the Gospel is the tool that the Spirit uses for people to come to God, but it is just what happens, and why Jesus tells us to go and make disciples. The most important thing in this life, in our life—why Paul is chained up, and saying what he is saying, is the Gospel, because it is the power of salvation. And you know, if you are feeling the Spirit leading you this morning, through the power of God, come to Jesus, and if you already know the Lord, come even more to Jesus, that is why Paul is doing all of this, that we too “may obtain the salvation that is in Christ Jesus, with eternal glory.”