Friday, May 29, 2020 – “Just Who Are You?”

Friday, May 29, 2020 – “Just Who Are You?”

This is Part Three of this week’s Tuesday Night Bible Study and we will be looking at the accusing question the hostile delegation from Jerusalem confronted John with, namely, “Who are you?”  Our study this week is on the testimony of John the Baptist and is found in John 1:19-23.

Now this is the testimony of John, when the Jews sent priests and Levites from Jerusalem to ask him, “Who are you?”  He confessed, and did not deny, but confessed, “I am not the Christ.”  And they asked him, “What then?  Are you Elijah?”  He said, “I am not.”  “Are you the Prophet?”  And he answered, “No.”  Then they said to him, “Who are you, that we may give an answer to those who sent us?  What do you say about yourself?”  He said: “I am ‘The voice of one crying in the wilderness: ‘Make straight the way of the LORD,’ as the prophet Isaiah said.” (John 1:19-23)

But setting their question aside for the moment, John’s answer will compel each of us to become more like Christ.  His humility is contagious.  And his wisdom and unwavering focus on his mission, is convicting.  It’s something quite enviable.

Be blessed by John’s words and ask the Lord what you can learn about your own priorities in life compared with those of John the Baptist.

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Thursday, May 28, 2020 – The Perfect Testimony

Thursday, May 28, 2020 – The Perfect Testimony

This is Part Two of this week’s Tuesday Night Bible Study and we will be looking deeper into the testimony of John the Baptist as recorded in John 1:19-23.

Now this is the testimony of John, when the Jews sent priests and Levites from Jerusalem to ask him, “Who are you?”  He confessed, and did not deny, but confessed, “I am not the Christ.”  And they asked him, “What then?  Are you Elijah?”  He said, “I am not.”  “Are you the Prophet?”  And he answered, “No.”  Then they said to him, “Who are you, that we may give an answer to those who sent us?  What do you say about yourself?”  He said: “I am ‘The voice of one crying in the wilderness: ‘Make straight the way of the LORD,’ as the prophet Isaiah said.” (John 1:19-23)

Here we learn more about the makeup of the hostile delegation sent to John from the religious elite in Jerusalem.  But we also will look at the word “testimony” to discover the depths of its meaning and how John the Apostle uses it over 70 times in his writings alone.  Why is that?  You’re soon to find out.

As you study along with us today, consider the elements of your own testimony.  How much of it is about you?  And how much of it reveals Christ?   Something to consider, isn’t it?

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May 25, 2020 – “Who are You?”

May 25, 2020 – “Who are You?”

Today, as we continue our study into the life of Christ, we’ll look into the testimony of John the Baptist regarding Jesus that begins in John 1:19.  In fact, it’s hard to read the question they ask him without having the CSI theme song, the Who classic from 1978, playing in my head.  “Who are you?”

Now this is the testimony of John, when the Jews sent priests and Levites from Jerusalem to ask him, “Who are you?” (John 1:19)

What we have before us is the testimony of John the Baptist.  And the word “testimony” (marturía) means “a witness, certification, record, that which someone witnesses or states concerning a person or thing.”  It is a declaration by a witness who speaks with the authority of one who knows, like an expert witness.  John is very familiar with this word and uses it over 75 times in his writings.  But there is more.

Just think, John the Baptist is the first witness the Apostle John calls to testify of the Lordship of Christ.  Later he writes:

This is the disciple who testifies of these things, and wrote these things; and we know that his testimony is true.  And there are also many other things that Jesus did, which if they were written one by one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that would be written. Amen. (John 21:24-25)

But there is more.


Who Is This Guy?

John the Baptist was one remarkable individual.  Consider the following:

    • He was the subject of an Old Testament prophecy found in Isaiah 40.
    • His birth was due to direct supernatural intervention (Luke 1:7,13).
    • He was filled with the Holy Spirit before his birth (Luke 1:15).  I can’t recall the Scriptures saying that of anyone else.
    • He was a man “sent from God” (John 1:6).  What an amazing epitaph for a life well-lived.
    • He was sent to “prepare the way of the Lord” (Matt. 3:3), and nothing else.  In fact, when he got off point, it cost him his life.
    • He was the last of the Old Testament prophets (Matt. 11:13), on the same par with Isaiah, Ezekiel, and Jeremiah.
    • Jesus said he was the greatest man who ever lived (Matt. 11:11), hands down, bar none.

So let’s take a look at it together, shall we?

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May 22, 2020 – How to Achieve Victory Over Temptation

May 22, 2020 – How to Achieve Victory Over Temptation

When it comes to the topic of the Christian and their struggle with temptation, preaching should not only tell us the “what” and “why” — but it should also give us the “hows” to stand up against it.  Because we all have the same questions, such as what are some practical steps we can take as believers to soar over temptation and stand victorious as our Lord did in Matthew 4 and Luke 4?  And when we study the account of Satan’s attempt to get Jesus to sin and how He responded to the enemy’s trickery, we should be encouraged to follow His lead like a dependent child.

Notice what Jesus did to ward off Satan’s schemes.

But He answered and said, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.'” (Matthew 4:4)

Jesus said to him, “It is written again, ‘You shall not tempt the Lord your God.'” (Matthew 4:7)

Then Jesus said to him, “Away with you, Satan!  For it is written, ‘You shall worship the LORD your God, and Him only you shall serve.'” (Matthew 4:10)

Notice anything that ties these three defenses together?  Or do you notice anything you could place in your arsenal to combat the evil one on the day of temptation?


Three Keys to Victory Over Temptation

From the life of Jesus, what can we learn?

One, every temptation follows the same pattern that is revealed to us in 1 John 2:16, which reads:

For all that is in the world — the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life — is not of the Father but is of the world.

Two, there is no temptation that only you have experienced.  Satan is not original, but he’s very good at what he does.  But not to worry, there is always a way out.

No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it. (1 Corinthians 10:13)

And three, if you want to discover the three keys from the life of Jesus that will help you get victory over your temptations, you’ll have to keep listening.

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May 21, 2020 – Away with You, Satan!

May 21, 2020 – Away with You, Satan!

We are now in the third temptation of Jesus that is recorded in Matthew 4 and Luke 4.  And in this temptation, Satan drops all pretense and allows his true nature to emerge.  He no longer tries to get Jesus to move outside of God’s will by either meeting His own needs (turning stones into bread) or trying to force God’s hand (jumping off the pinnacle of the Temple).  Instead, Satan now suggests he can offer Jesus exactly what His Father has promised Him, a kingdom, but he can get it to Him quicker and without any suffering.  Look at how this temptation unfolds:

Again, the devil took Him up on an exceedingly high mountain, and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory. And he said to Him, “All these things I will give You if You will fall down and worship me.” (Matthew 4:8-9)

Luke’s account adds a few more details:

Then the devil, taking Him up on a high mountain, showed Him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time. And the devil said to Him, “All this authority I will give You, and their glory; for this has been delivered to me, and I give it to whomever I wish.  Therefore, if You will worship before me, all will be Yours.” (Luke 4:5-7)

Which raises a few questions.


Somebody Hasn’t Thought This Through

For one, Luke records Satan saying the kingdoms were given to him and he could give them to anyone he chooses.  But who gave them to Satan so he could then offer them to Jesus?  If the answer is the Lord, then isn’t Satan trying to tempt Jesus with something that ultimately belongs to Him by right of creation?  It’s like he was saying, “If you worship me, I’ll give you what you already own.”

And two, if Jesus refused to compromise in making bread out of stones, why did Satan believe He would compromise on something like this?  Who didn’t eat their Wheaties today?  Somebody hasn’t thought this through.

There is so much more here than meets the eye.

So let’s take a look at it together, shall we?

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