THE FEAST OF UNLEAVENED BREAD—— THE 15TH DAY OF FIRST MONTH IN GOD’S RELIGIOUS YEAR——SABBATH——
THIS YEAR OF 2018 IT FALLS ON MARCH 31 - A WEEKLY SABBATH ALSO.
WE HAVE JUST SEEN AS WE OBSERVED THE NEW TESTAMENT PASSOVER, THAT JESUS CHRIST WAS THE LAMB OF GOD, SLAIN AS A SHEEP IS LED TO THE SLAUGHTER. JESUS GAVE UP HIS GODHEAD POSITION WITH THE FATHER, TO COME AS A FLESH AND BLOOD HUMAN; HE WAS INDEED BOTH HUMAN AND DIVINE - GOD IN THE FLESH AND BLOOD HUMAN KIND. HE WAS THE TRUTH, THE LIFE, AND RESURRECTION. HE CAME TO DO AND SAY THE FATHER’S WILL; THIS IS MADE VERY CLEAR TO US IN THE GOSPEL OF JOHN.
WHY DID JESUS THE CHRIST HAVE TO DIE?
WELL IT IS ALL TO DO WITH SIN!
WHAT IS SIN?
SOME HAVE WRITTEN ON SIN:
The late president Calvin Coolidge returned home from attending church early one Sunday afternoon. His wife had been unable to attend, but she was interested in what the minister spoke on in the service. Coolidge responded, "Sin." She pressed him for a few words of explanation. And being a man of few words with his wife, he responded, "Well, I think he was against it."
—Paul Lee Tan, Encyclopedia of 7,700 Illustrations
A certain man wanted to sell his house in Haiti for $2,000. Another man wanted to buy it, but because he was poor, he couldn't afford the full price. After much bargaining, the owner agreed to sell the house for half the original price with just one stipulation: he would retain ownership of one small nail protruding from just over the door.
After several years, the original owner wanted the house back, but the new owner was unwilling to sell. So the first owner went out, found the carcass of a dead dog, and hung it from the single nail he still owned. Soon the house became unlivable, and the family was forced to sell the house to the owner of the nail.
The moral of the parable is, "If we leave the devil with even one small peg in our life, he will return to hang his rotting garbage on it, making it unfit for Christ's habitation."
—Leadership, Spring 1983
Sin does not serve well as a gardener of the soul. It landscapes the contour of the soul until all that is beautiful has been made ugly; until all that is high is made low; until all that is promising is wasted. Then life is like the desert—parched and barren. It is drained of purpose. It is bleached of happiness. Sin, then, is not wise, but wasteful. It is not a gate, but only a grave.
—C. Neil Strait, quoted in Lloyd Cory Quote Unquote
The greater the man, the dearer price he pays for a short season of sinful pleasure.
—F. B. Meyer, David
Believers throughout church history—the early church fathers, the Reformers, the Puritans—have been inspired by Scripture to reduce spirituality to two lists known as "the seven deadly sins and the seven virtues" of saintliness. The former includes pride, envy, anger, sloth, avarice, gluttony, and lust. The latter includes wisdom, justice, courage, temperance, faith, love, and hope. Even though it finds its origin in one whose life was not centered on Christ our Lord, Mahatma Gandhi's own list of "seven deadly sins" in the form of contrasts deserves our attention: Wealth without work, pleasure without conscience, knowledge without character, commerce without morality, science without humanity, worship without sacrifice, politics without principle.
—Max DePree, Leadership Is an Art
The grass on the other side is often not greener and often not even edible.
The first and worst of all fraud is to cheat oneself. All sin is easy after that.
—Philip Bailey, nineteenth-century poet
Let's say we were to get twenty of the best broad jump or long jump athletes in the world and take them to Huntington Beach pier and line them up. And let's say they were instructed, "We want you to jump as far as you can out into the water." Some could jump twenty-five feet. Some would come near the record and jump twenty-seven. Perhaps one could set a new record and jump twenty-nine or thirty feet. But nobody could jump to Catalina Island. It is humanly impossible. Every person would miss the mark because Catalina Island is twenty-six miles away. In Romans 3:23 there is the universal statement that God gives to all men when He says, "All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God."
All have missed the mark. All may have tried, but not one of them even came close to a spiritual Catalina, if you please. They all jump, they all tried all sorts of things, but by birth, by choice, by action, by nature, man constantly misses the mark, no matter how good his intentions may be.
—J. Vernon McGee, quoted in Paul Lee Tan, Encyclopedia of 7,700 Illustrations
During my hitch in the marines back in 1958, I was stationed on Okinawa where there was a leprosarium. At that time I was playing in the third division band in the Marine Corps and we were to do a performance on that north part of the island of Okinawa.
I had read about leprosy, but I had never seen a leper and I wasn't really prepared for what I saw. We went over a bridge or two and got into the interior of this compound. I saw stumps instead of hands. I saw clumps instead of fingers. I saw half faces. I saw one ear instead of two. I saw the dregs of humanity unable even to applaud our performances. I saw in the faces of men, women, and even some teenagers an anguish crying out. We could play music for them, but we could not cleanse them of their disease.
In Scripture leprosy is a picture of sin. And we see that it is cleansed rather than healed. Only Jesus' blood has the power to cleanse us of our condition of sinful corruption. Now I understand when Scripture says, "He was moved with compassion."
Because of sin, man has taken the deity out of religion, the supernatural out of Christianity, the authority from the Bible, God out of education, morality and virtue out of literature, beauty and truth out of art, ethics out of business, fidelity out of marriage.
THOUGH ALL OF THE ABOVE ARE INTERESTING ON THE SUBJECT OF SIN; THE BOTTOM LINE IS WE MUST HAVE THE BIBLE DEFINITION OF WHAT IS SIN.
IT IS FOUND IN 1 JOHN 3:4—— IT’S THE BREAKING OF GOD’S LAW. THEN THAT MUST BE PUT WITH JAMES 2:10-12; BREAK ONE POINT OF THAT LAW, YOU HAVE SINNED. THE POINTS OF THE LAW ARE EXPLAINED TO US WITHIN THOSE VERSES…… DO NOT COMMIT ADULTERY, DO NOT KILL OR MURDER.
YES THE LAW IS THE 10 COMMANDMENT POINT LAW.
PAUL ALSO EXPLAINS—— SEE ROMANS 7: 7, 12, 14, 22.
SHOULD BE PRETTY PLAIN—— THE TEN COMMANDMENT LAW HAS NEVER BEEN “DONE AWAY WITH” — THAT LAW DEFINES WHAT IS SIN. MANY OTHER PARTS OF THE BIBLE AMPLIFY THAT LAW.
THE LORD WOULD NOT ABOLISH THAT LAW: “THE LORD IS WELL PLEASED FOR HIS RIGHTEOUSNESS’ SAKE; HE WILL MAGNIFY THE LAW, AND MAKE IT HONORABLE” [ISAIAH 42: 21.
WHAT IS RIGHTEOUSNESS? IT IS DEFINED FOR US IN PSALM 119:172.
JESUS DID MAGNIFY THE LAW, AS PLAINLY SEEN IN MATTHEW 5, 6, 7.
THE 10 POINT LAW COULD NEVER BE ABOLISHED, FOR IT DEFINES WHAT SIN IS!
PAUL WROTE UNDER INSPIRATION: “FOR ALL HAVE SINNED AND COME SHORT OF THE GLORY OF GOD” [ROMANS 3:23]. “THE WAGES OF SIN IS DEATH….” [ROMANS 6:23].
WE HAVE ALL SINNED; WE WERE UNDER THE DEATH SENTENCE, UNLESS GOD COULD FORGIVE US. HE HAD A PLAN TO DO JUST THAT; BUT IT WAS NOT SOMETHING LIKE WAVING A MAGIC WAND, AND SAYING ABRACADABRA YOU ARE SINLESS!
THE DEATH SENTENCE FOR ALL SINFUL HUMANS MUST BE PAID. ONLY A GOD BEING COULD TAKE ALL OF THOSE SINS UPON THEM, ONE HUMAN BEING COULD ONLY DIE FOR ONE OTHER HUMAN BEING.
A GOD BEING, A MEMBER OF THE GODHEAD SAID HE WOULD COME, AS HUMAN AND DEVINE TO HAVE ALL HUMANITY’S SINS PLACED UPON HIM. THAT BEING BECAME JESUS THE CHRIST. LIVING A SINLESS LIFE HE DID DIE UPON THE STAKE; HE DID HAVE HIS BLOOD SHED, AS A LAMB LED TO THE SLAUGHTER. SINS COULD NOW BE WASHED AWAY BY THE BLOOD OF THE LAMB. SINS COULD BE FORGIVEN.
BUT PEOPLE HAD A PART IN ALL THIS; THEY HAD TO ACKNOWLEDGE THEIR SIN, AND REPENT OF SIN!
THIS IS ALL MADE EASY TO UNDERSTAND IN THE BOOK OF ACTS—— SEE IT FOR YOURSELF—— ACTS 2:37-39; 3: 19.
PEOPLE HAVE TO REPENT; BE CONVERTED; BE TURNED UPSIDE-DOWN AS WE MAY SAY; TURN AWAY FROM A LIFE OF SIN, AND TURN AROUND AND GO THE OTHER WAY—- GO IN THE OPPOSITE DIRECTION FROM SIN—— TURN AWAY FROM BREAKING THE LAW OF GOD—— AND GO IN THE WAY OF RIGHTEOUSNESS [SEE AGAIN PS. 119:172].
BUT DID YOU NOTICE IN ACTS 2: 38-39….. “FOR THE PROMISE IS UNTO YOU AND YOUR CHILDREN, AND TO ALL THAT ARE FAR OFF, EVEN AS MANY AS THE LORD SHALL CALL.”
AS SHOCKING AS IT MAY SOUND TO SOME, YOU CAN NOT BECOME A TRUE CHRISTIAN, A TRUE CHILD OF GOD, UNLESS YOU ARE CALLED BY GOD.
JESUS HAD SOMETHING TO SAY ON THIS:
“NO MAN/WOMAN CAN COME TO ME, EXCEPT THE FATHER WHICH HAS SENT ME DRAW HIM…..” [JOHN 6:44].
AND AGAIN: “THEREFORE SAID I UNTO YOU, THAT NO MAN CAN COME UNTO ME, EXCEPT IT WERE GIVEN UNTO HIM OF MY FATHER.” [JOHN 6: 65].
PAUL WAS INSPIRED TO SAY: “BUT UNTO THEM WHICH ARE CALLED…..For you see your calling brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, ARE CALLED” [1 COR. 1: 24, 26].
GETTING OUT OF THE DUG-OUT ON TO THE PLAYING FIELD; MUST START WITH THE CALL OF GOD!
ALL PEOPLE OF THE WORLD ARE IN SPIRITUAL BLINDNESS BEFORE BEING CALLED. GOD MUST DECIDE TO CALL, THEN REMOVE THE BLINDNESS SO THE INDIVIDUAL CAN SEE CLEARLY WHAT SIN IS; ACKNOWLEDGE WHAT SIN IS, ADMIT THEY ARE SINNERS; THEN BE ABLE TO COME TO REPENTANCE.
I HAVE A STUDY YOU NEED TO READ, IT IS TITLED “CALLED AND CHOSEN - WHEN?” IT IS STUDY #70 UNDER “SALVATION, LAW AND GRACE” ON THIS WEBSITE.
SOME HAVE WRITTEN ON REPENTANCE:
Repentance is not like the person who sent the IRS a check for $150 with the remark, "If I can't sleep, I'll send you the rest."
—James Hewett, Illustrations Unlimited
There is a line by us unseen
That crosses every path,
The hidden boundary between
God's patience and his wrath.
O where is that mysterious bourne
By which our path is crossed,
Beyond which God himself has sworn
That he who goes is lost?
How far can one go on in sin?
How long will mercy spare?
Where does grace end and where begin
The confines of despair?
An answer from the sky is sent:
Ye who from God depart,
While it is called today repent,
And harden not your heart.
Anonymous, quoted in William Hendriksen, Exposition of the Gospel according to Luke
True liberty is not found without confession of our sins and the experience of divine forgiveness.
—Paul Tournier, The Strong and the Weak
You have driven me into a corner
Where I cannot escape.
I come to You penitently
For today I've sinned grieviously.
I have betrayed my highest ideals.
I have been false to my inner convictions.
I know I have broken Your heart.
Thank You for dealing with me
In the privacy of Your personal Presence
For my sin has been against You alone.
Cleanse me, Lord.
Sin is so hideous, so outrageous!
Renew me until I am spiritually contagious.
—Ruth Harms Calkin, Lord, It Keeps Happening and Happening
KING DAVID WROTE ON REPENTENCE ALSO; IT IS FOUND IN PSALM 51.
The prayer of a penitent soul
To the chief Musician, A Psalm of David,
when Nathan the prophet came unto him,
after he had committed adultery with Bathsheba
Have mercy upon me. O God, according to thy lovingkinaness:
according unto the multitude of thy tender mercies and
blot out my transgressions.
Wash me throughly from mine iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin.
For I acknowledge my transgressions: and my sin is ever before me.
Against thee, thee only, have I sinned, and done this evil in thy sight:
that thou mightest be justified when thou speakest, and be clear when thou judgest…..
Behold, thou desirest truth in the inward parts: and in the hidden part thou shalt make me to know wisdom.
Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean: wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.
Make me to hear joy and gladness; that the bones which thou hast broken may rejoice. Hide thy face from my sins, and blot out mine iniquities.
Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me.
Cast me not away from thy presence; and take not thy holy spirit from me.
Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation; and uphold me with thy free spirit.
Then will I teach transgressors thy ways; and sinners shall be converted unto thee…..
O Lord, open thou my lips; and my mouth shall show forth thy praise.
For thou desirest not sacrifice; else would I give it: thou delightest not in burnt offerings.
The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise……
NOW THAT IS GETTING AT THE ATTITUDE AND HEART OF TRUE REPENTANCE; GOD SAID OF DAVID THAT HE WAS A MAN AFTER HIS OWN HEART!
SO WE HAVE NOW COME OUT OF THE DUG-OUT AND ON TO THE PLAYING FIELD OF SALVATION; WE ARE ON THE ROAD WE MUST TRAVEL TO THE END, WE ARE NOW A SOLDIER OF CHRST, FIGHTING THE BATTLE, FOR SIN AND SATAN HAVE NOT DISAPPEARED; AS LONG AS WE ARE IN THE FLESH WE MUST FIGHT THE GOOD FIGHT AGAINST SIN AND SATAN.
SOMETIMES WE MIGHT STUMBLE AND FALL; EVEN THE GREAT [AS WE MAY PUT IT] PAUL HAD HIS FIGHT—— READ ROMANS 7. THAT SHOULD GIVE YOU SOME ENCOURAGEMENT.
WE ARE OUT INTO THE SPIRITUAL FIGHT, FOR OUR HUMAN NATURE CAN STILL BE ON THE BACK BURNER, READY TO MOVE TO THE FRONT BURNER IF WE ARE NOT CAREFUL AND CIRCUMSPECT.
WE ARE NOW IN A FIGHT AGAINST THE EVIL UNSEEN POWERS OF THE SATANIC WORLD, WHO WOULD LOVE TO BRING US CRASHING DOWN TO THE GROUND NEVER TO RISE AGAIN. THEY WANT TO DESTROY WHAT GOD IS NOW DOING IN THE LIVES OF HIS CHILDREN.
SO PAUL WROTE TO THE CHURCH AT EPHESUS TO PUT ON THE WHOLE ARMOR OF GOD—— EPHESIANS 6, STARTING IN VERSE 10.
WE NEED TRUTH….. GOD’S WORD IS TRUTH [JOHN 17:17]. YOU FIND THE TRUTH FIRST BY WANTING IT, THEN SEARCHING THE SCRIPTURES ON ANY BIBLE TOPIC; YEAS IT TAKES SOME TIME AND EFFORT.
WE NEED THE BREASTPLATE OF RIGHTEOUSNESS…. BIBLE DEFINITION IS PS. 119: 172.
WE NEED FEET WALKING IN PEACE WITH THE GOSPEL….TAKE SOMETIME TO LOOK UP ALL THE VERSES ON “PEACE” IN THE NEW TESTAMENT, WITH SAY STRONG’S CONCORDANCE OF THE BIBLE [GIVES YOU EVERY VERSE WHERE THE WORD “PEACE” IS FOUND].
WE ABOVE ALL NEED THE SHIELD OF FAITH….READ HEBREWS 11 FOR EXAMPLES OF FAITH. IT IS WITH FAITH WE ARE ABLE TO QUENCH ALL THE FIERY DARTS OF THE WICKED.
WE NEED THE HELMIT OF SALVATION…. PAUL WROTE “LET THIS MIND BE IN YOU THAT WAS ALSO IN CHRIST JESUS” [PHILIPPIANS 2:5].
WE NEED THE SWORD OF THE SPIRIT…. “FOR THE WORD OF GOD IS QUICK AND POWERFUL, AND SHARPER THAN ANY TWO EDGED SWORD, PIERCING EVEN TO THE DIVIDING ASUNDER OF THE SOUL AND SPIRIT, AND OF THE JOINTS AND MARROW, AND IS A DISCERNER OF THE THOUGHTS AND INTENTS OF THE HEART” [HEBREWS 4: 12].
WE NEED TO BE PRAYING ALWAYS WITH PRAYER AND SUPPLICATION IN THE SPIRIT, AND WATCHING THEREUNTO WITH ALL PERSEVERANCE AND SUPPLICATION FOR ALL SAINTS.
VICTORY CAN BE OURS; WE HAVE THE GREATEST SPIRITUAL WARRIORS ON OUR SIDE—— THE HEAVENLY FATHER AND HIS SON [OUR SAVIOR AND ELDER BROTHER].
VICTORY IS OURS!
How can you stand your ground when you are weak and sensitive to pain, when people you love are still alive, when you are unprepared?
What do you need to make you stronger than the interrogator and the whole trap?
From the moment you go to prison you must put your cozy past firmly behind you. At the very threshold, you must say to yourself: "My life is over, a little early to be sure, but there's nothing to be done about it. I shall never return to freedom. I am condemned to die—now or a little later. But later on, in truth, it will be even harder, and so the sooner the better. I no longer have any property whatsoever. For me those I love have died, and for them I have died. From today on, my body is useless and alien to me. Only my spirit and my conscience remain precious and important to me."
Confronted by such a prisoner, the interrogation will tremble.
Only the man who has renounced everything can win that victory.
—Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, The Gulag Archipelago
Wilma was born prematurely. This produced complications that resulted in her contracting double pneumonia (twice) and scarlet fever. But the worst was a bout with polio which left her with a crooked left leg and a foot twisted inward. Metal leg braces, stares from neighborhood kids, and six years of bus rides to Nashville for treatments could have driven this young girl into a self-made shell. But she refused.
Wilma kept dreaming. And she was determined not to allow her disability to get in the way of her dreams. Maybe her determination was generated by the faith of her Christian mother who often said, "Honey, the most important thing in life is for you to believe it and keep on trying."
By age eleven, Wilma decided to "believe it." And through sheer determination and an indomitable spirit to persevere, regardless, she forced herself to learn how to walk without the braces.
At age twelve she made a wonderful discovery: Girls could run and jump and play ball just like boys! Her older sister Yvonne was quite good at basketball, so Wilma decided to challenge her on the court. She began to improve. The two of them ultimately went out for the same school team. Yvonne made the final twelve, but Wilma didn't. However, because her father wouldn't allow Yvonne to travel with the team without her sister as a "chaperone," Wilma found herself often in the presence of the coach.
One day she built up enough nerve to confront the man with her magnificent obsession—her lifetime dream. She blurted out, "If you will give me ten minutes of your time every day—and only ten minutes—I'll give you a world-class athlete."
He took her up on the offer. The result is history. Young Wilma finally won a starting position on the basketball squad; and when that season ended, she decided to try out for the track team. What a decision!
In her first race, she beat her girlfriend. Then she beat all the girls in her high school, then, every high school girl in the state of Tennessee. Wilma was only fourteen, but already a champion.
Shortly thereafter, although still in high school, she was invited to join the Tigerbelle's track team at Tennessee State University. She began a serious training program after school and on weekends. As she improved, she continued winning short dashes and the 440-yard relay.
Two years later she was invited to try out for the Olympics. She qualified and ran in the 1956 games at Melbourne, Australia. She won a bronze medal as her team placed third in the 440-meter relay. It was a bittersweet victory. She had won—but she decided that next time she would "go for the gold."
Wilma realized that the victory would require an enormous amount of commitment, sacrifice, and discipline. To give her "the winner's edge" as a world-class athlete, she began a do-it-yourself program similar to the one she had employed to get herself out of those leg braces. Not only did she run at six and ten every morning and three every afternoon, she would often sneak down the dormitory fire escape from eight to ten o'clock and run the track before bedtime. Week after week, month in and month out, Wilma maintained the same grueling schedule for over twelve hundred days.
Now we're ready for Rome. When the sleek, trim, young black lady, only twenty years old, walked out onto the field, she was ready. She had paid the price. Even those eighty thousand fans could sense the spirit of victory. It was electrifying. As she began her warm-up sprints, a cadenced chant began to emerge from the stands: "Vilma... Vilma... VILMA!" They were as confident as she that she could win.
And win she did! She breezed to an easy victory in the 100-meter dash. The she won the 200-meter dash. And finally, she anchored the U.S. women's team to another first-place finish in the 400-meter relay. Three gold medals—she was the first woman in history ever to win three gold medals in track-and-field. I should add that each of the three races was won in world-record time.
—Denis Waitley, Seeds of Greatness
Thou Art My Victory
I prayed for help, I prayed for strength,
I prayed for victory:
I prayed for patience and for love,
For true humility
But as I prayed, my dying Christ
By faith I seemed to see,
And as I gazed my glad heart cried,
"All things are mine, thro' Thee!"
If He doth dwell within my heart,
Why need I strength implore?
The Giver of all grace is mine,
And shall I ask for more?
And need I pray for victory,
When He who conquered death
Dwells in my very inmost soul,
Nearer indeed than breath?
Oh help me, Lord, to realize
That Thou are all in all;
That I am more than conqueror
In great things and in small
No need have I but Thou hast met
Upon the cruel tree.
Oh precious, dying, risen Lord,
Thou are my victory!
—Avis B. Christiansen, quoted in Charles R. Swindoll, Victory
YES…. YES…. IN THIS RACE WE RUN FOR ETERNAL LIFE WE CAN BE VICTORIOUS——
“I CAN DO ALL THINGS THROUGH CHRIST WHICH STRENGTHENS ME” [PHILIPPIANS 4: 13]