Why do I feel this darkness even in the light of day What is this heaviness of spirit that I cannot escape Is there more to life than this overwhelming drudgery Who can I turn to, who can rescue me from this misery
and He answered
“For all have sinned and fall short of God’s glory But I will give you rest from life’s struggles, come to me I have a plan for your future, this hope is my gift to you For I am the way to abundant life and righteous truth”
How can I be sure that this good news is for real Is there anyone who could possibly know how I feel Why would someone care enough to die for me Where else can I turn, how can I know with certainty
and He answered
“I am the Good News that brings joy and peace But I have wept, I have been driven to my knees My Father sent me, so great is His love and mercy I am at your heart’s door, knocking, believe in me”
“In him was life, and the life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.” John 1:4-5
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Christian Community With John Stapleton: Basic Christianity- Love- 1 John 2:26-27
I am writing these things to warn you about those who want to lead you astray. But you have received the Holy Spirit,* and he lives within you, so you don’t need anyone to teach you what is true. For the Spirit* teaches you everything you need to know, and what he teaches is true—it is not a lie. So just as he has taught you, remain in fellowship with Christ.
1 John 2:26-27 NLT
1). Some People Are Lying To You
Like last time, John is addressing a serious heresy in the church that tried to claim the allegiance of an entirely new generation of Christians. The heresy taught that you can believe in Jesus and never change. You can fellowship with God while still living in your sin. John later reveals that these people are antichrists who have left the church.
Dear children, the last hour is here. You have heard that the Antichrist is coming, and already many such antichrists have appeared. From this we know that the last hour has come. These people left our churches, but they never really belonged with us; otherwise they would have stayed with us. When they left, it proved that they did not belong with us.
1 John 2:18-19 NLT
Not only that, these people were also teaching erroneous things about Christ, saying that he wasn’t God and he didn’t take on a physical body.
Dear friends, do not believe everyone who claims to speak by the Spirit. You must test them to see if the spirit they have comes from God. For there are many false prophets in the world. This is how we know if they have the Spirit of God: If a person claiming to be a prophet acknowledges that Jesus Christ came in a real body, that person has the Spirit of God. But if someone claims to be a prophet and does not acknowledge the truth about Jesus, that person is not from God. Such a person has the spirit of the Antichrist, which you heard is coming into the world and indeed is already here.
1 John 4:1-3 NLT
2) But You Have The Holy Spirit
John reflects back on Jesus’ teaching about the Holy Spirit.
And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate, who will never leave you. He is the Holy Spirit, who leads into all truth. The world cannot receive him, because it isn’t looking for him and doesn’t recognize him. But you know him, because he lives with you now and later will be in you.
John 14:16-17 NLT
John is echoing Jesus here and he wants the church to remember two things:
1). The Holy Spirit lives in you 2). “the Spirit teaches you everything you need to know” (2:27).
This is important because of the rise of the Gnostics. They were a group of people who believed in secret knowledge that wasn’t available to the average layperson in church. John’s heart here is similar to fathers of the reformation. If everyone has the Spirit who is also a teacher, nobody has the corner on truth.
These people were operating out of a deep sense of pride that elevated them above those dumb people. But as Paul would point out, knowledge without love just makes a bunch of smug Christians (1 Corinthians 8:1). In the end, it is not about developing fat heads, but huge hearts. It’s not about being the smartest people, but about loving each other like we already have been told.
Lord, help us remain with you as individuals and as the church. Safeguard us from lies both new and old, and continue to remind us that love is the outward expression of what it is to show Christ to the world. Amen.
Through Every Ascent And Decline by Robert M. Hinnen
This wilderness path traverses steep inclines and deep descents With rambling roots and stumbling rocks hobbling our journey Oh, but to overcome our sin and pride and willful disobedience See the sacrifice of the supreme Sojourner on Mount Calvary
Faith alone in Christ Jesus is the Way, the Truth and abundant Life Give Him your burdens for He has already born all that truly matters He never leaves behind even one redeemed by His grace and Light Guiding us through every dark valley and beside peaceful waters
Joy comes in the morn when these temporal tribulations we endure The straight and narrow road ahead leads to our heavenly home Hear the angels rejoicing as we finish this arduous adventure Finding the rest we seek in the loving embrace of Christ alone!
“So you will walk in the way of the good and keep to the paths of the righteous. For the upright will inhabit the land, and those with integrity will remain in it,” Proverbs 2:20-21 ESV
YouTuber John Stapleton shares on How To Trust The Bible (Matthew 19:3-6). Be sure to subscribe to John’s Weekly Bible Blog.
This video is also available as an Apple podcast below. (Note that John’s Q&A are available on the Apple Podcast).
Matthew 19:3–6 (NLT)
3 Some Pharisees came and tried to trap him with this question: “Should a man be allowed to divorce his wife for just any reason?” 4 “Haven’t you read the Scriptures?” Jesus replied. “They record that from the beginning ‘God made them male and female.’ 5 And he said, ‘This explains why a man leaves his father and mother and is joined to his wife, and the two are united into one.’ 6 Since they are no longer two but one, let no one split apart what God has joined together.”
This is a passage that is about marriage on the surface, but today we will see how Jesus thought of the Bible. The main thing I want you to see is that the Bible is God’s Word. Let’s dive in.
1). The Bible Is God’s Word
The Pharisees came up to Jesus and tried to trap him in something he taught. They wanted Jesus to agree with their liberal interpretation of Moses’ teaching on marriage that allowed them to divorce their wife for “any reason” (19:3). Perhaps they wanted Jesus to appear as if he contradicted Moses. Regardless, Jesus wastes no time getting to the scriptures.\
“Haven’t you read?” (19:4) was how Jesus reminded people that his point is going to be made with Scripture and how his listeners need to be biblically serious. He then quotes to them that God made humanity in his image and that God brought them together. This is from Genesis 2:24 where Moses appears to be narrating. This is not a direct quote from God and yet Jesus is saying here that God said “a man shall leave….” (ESV) – in other words, the Bible says what God says and God says what the Bible says. The Bible is God’s Word.
2). You Can Trust God’s Word
So the Bible is God’s Word, good.
But some of you don’t trust God’s Word for a few reasons:
Why do we have so many translations?
Can we trust that the manuscripts are accurate?
Can we trust our interpretation of it?
These are good questions that many people ask.
Here at the Bible Blog, I want to provoke you toward the right answers and so I will be glad to point you to some solid resources.
In general, you need to know that the manuscripts are accurate and are the most attested documents of antiquity. Not only can we trust the manuscripts but we can trust the translations we have. We have a number of translations on a spectrum ranging from versions that seek to reflect the words of the biblical authors, while others seek to reflect the sense of meaning that the biblical authors perhaps had. Both are wonderful options that have significant pros and cons.
3). You Can Trust God’s Word
We have so far covered that you can trust the academics of the Bible, but what about spiritually? Peter reminds us that God has given us everything we need to live a godly life.
2 Peter 1:3 NLT By his divine power, God has given us everything we need for living a godly life. We have received all of this by coming to know him, the one who called us to himself by means of his marvelous glory and excellence.
4). Scripture Will Never Fail
But what about all the ways the Bible has been abused? That might be the heaviest question on your mind and heart. I want to point you to something fascinating in the Gospel of John. One day as Jesus was walking through the temple, the people who have heard Jesus teach for a while step to him and demand him to clearly claim that he is God’s chosen one. And Jesus does. This turns to the crowd into a bloodthirsty mob. Jesus mentions that he has miraculously helped them many times and asks why they are trying to kill him. Their response points out the fact that they see Jesus as a mere man who thinks he’s God.
John 10:34–36 (NLT) 34 Jesus replied, “It is written in your own Scriptures that God said to certain leaders of the people, ‘I say, you are gods!’ 35 And you know that the Scriptures cannot be altered. So if those people who received God’s message were called ‘gods,’ 36 why do you call it blasphemy when I say, ‘I am the Son of God’? After all, the Father set me apart and sent me into the world.
Jesus decided to use Psalm 82, an obscure Psalm, to prove his point. God sarcastically called proud kings “gods” because that’s how they considered themselves (much like Pharaoh). Jesus’ point is if God uses the term “gods,” sarcastically applying them to the rulers of the nations, why is everyone so upset that Jesus called himself God? The people’s understanding of the scriptures was wrong, but Scripture is never wrong! To quote Jesus, “Scripture cannot be altered” (10:35).
There is a lot of talk about fathers today Godly men, good role models, abusive or absentee I am thankful for what my dad’s life had to say About the kind of person he wants me to be For his example was his Heavenly Father Full of joy and the wisdom that we seek Who sacrificed everything to make us better Who disciplines with love and mercy A forgiving Father who requires our best Let me be that kind who loves unconditionally Relying on His Word to pass life’s tests And share with my children His Gift of eternity
Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb a reward. Like arrows in the hand of a warrior are the children of one’s youth. Blessed is the man who fills his quiver with them! Psalms 127:3-5 (ESV)
Marching In The Tops of the Mulberry Trees by Robert M. Hinnen
When the Philistines come again to destroy you Call to the Lord for His promises are ever true Christ Jesus died for us, arose and will never leave He will see you through every trial if only you believe
When darkness spreads across the Valley of Rephaim Look to the everlasting Light the Son of Man He goes before us and knows our evil enemy For God’s Love bore our sins on Calvary’s tree
The Lord will always strike down the army of the Philistines “Hear the sound of marching in the tops of the mulberry trees” Can you hear it, believer, death is defeated, the war is won! Hallelujah! Hallelujah! Our Savior King is leading us home!
“And it shall be, when you hear the sound of marching in the tops of the mulberry trees, then you shall advance quickly. For then the Lord will go out before you to strike the camp of the Philistines.”” II Samuel 5:24 NKJV
So now what am I to do with this matchless mercy that freed me I did not even know I was a sinner, so unworthy, without redeemable merit Until the Holy Spirit removed the clouds before my eyes so that I could see The matter of blood, forgiveness and righteousness, the poured-out Gift
How can I not be transformed by this Love so great That I tried so hard to ignore, living like it did not matter But I cannot escape the depths of this unfathomable grace My long-parched heart satisfied only by this Living Water
Compelled by faith to share this Good News that has changed me No longer content to live in darkness, but willing to count it all loss For the bold light of truth and the joy of salvation are my living testimony To the only One who cared so much to suffer and die for me on the Cross
Come now, Lord Jesus!
“And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another.” 2 Corinthians 3:18 ESV
YouTuber John Stapleton shares on How We Should Feel About The Bible. Be sure to subscribe to John’s Weekly Bible Blog.
We love the Bible so we can treasure the Bible.
1) 5 Reasons Why You Don’t Read the Bible
You’re not “religious” (oppressive).
You don’t understand it.
You don’t want to.
You are missing out on the single most rewarding piece of humanity – your ability to connect your soul to God.
Yes, we human beings can accomplish a lot on our own. We can dig deep and find strength. But there is something even richer. Your soul ponders things like, “Is there more?” “What’s the point? and “Why?” These answers are found in the Bible.
Your soul longs for completion, unconditional love, and peace. You can dismiss the Bible and say, “All I need, I can find within myself.” This is the beauty of God – He gives you free choice to do that. But I’m here to tell you, the way I would tell a friend who I could look squarely in the eye and with love and certainty say to you, THERE IS MORE. I can’t convince you to find it, but I will implore you to consider.” – Keri
2) 5 Wrong Reasons to Read the Bible
You believe it will make you a Christian, but it won’t. Jesus said in John 5:39-40: “You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; and it is they that bear witness about me, yet you refuse to come to me that you may have life.” The Bible points to the reality of life that is found in Jesus.
You believe it will protect you from suffering. Ironically, the Bible not only records many stories about suffering, it tells us that we will suffer and it makes clear that God prefers to perfect his people by suffering, not get his people out of it.
You believe God will like you better the more you read it. However, God doesn’t simply favor some people over others because some have read more of the Bible than others. God actually tends to favor those who do what they read. Obedience is better than mere listening.
You believe reading it will make God do stuff for you. But God isn’t bought off by any of our good deeds, even reading the Bible. That’s manipulation, not worship.
You feel as if you have to be respected for proving points and having all the answers. I used to be that guy and it is not worth it. Bible studies are more fun when we are curious students instead of lecturing professors.
3) 7 Biblical Reasons to Read the Bible
Psalm 119:107 says, “I am severely afflicted; give me life, O Lord, according to your word!”
Many of us like to skip to 2 Timothy 1:7 where it says that God hasn’t given us a spirit of fear, but there is a healthy fear of God that the Bible gives us as we heed its warnings and learn from people who suffered God’s punishment because of their disobedience.
Promises About God
Psalm 119:122 says, “Give your servant a pledge of good; let not the insolent oppress me.”
When we sin, God’s Word convicts us and sometimes we reap the consequences of our sins. We read the Bible to feel remorse for our sins. Without God’s special revelation, there is no way to understand the depth of how grievous sin actually is. Afterward, we should see the value of God’s Word because it can keep us from a lot of negative consequences if we live by it.
4) 3 Practical Reasons to Read the Bible
Build The Habit.
Regular Bible reading is not natural to a lot of people and it is something that you will most likely not get around to if you don’t make a plan. Unless you put in on the calendar, its not real. It is the things that we do habitually and continually that form our character the most.
Imagine what kind of person you will be after 20 or 30 years of sitting under the teaching of the Bible? If you feel the right way about it, it will make you holier, no question about it!
Gain Better Understanding
Gain a better understanding of God and your relation to him.
To know his plan for your life turn to the Bible. If you want to better understand yourself, look at God as he revealed himself in the Bible and you will better understand yourself.
Respond To God
Lastly, we read the Bible to respond to God’s self-disclosure of himself.
Everyone who who hears the Word of God instantly is responsible for what they heard. Hearing God’s Word with no intention on doing the Word is evil. We must act on what we heard.
James 1:23 says “Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like someone who looks at his face in a mirror and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. But whoever looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues in it—not forgetting what they have heard, but doing it—they will be blessed in what they do” (NIV).
5) 8 Ways We Feel After Encountering God’s Word
Love for God’s law (Psalm 119:48, 97, 113, 163, 165).
It holds our attention and our delight (Psalm 119:14-16, 24, 47).
We are eagerly excited to get back to it (Psalm 119:18).
We depend on and crave it (Psalm 119:18-19, 103).
It is the most valuable thing (Psalm 119:72).
We can fee secure by it (Psalm 119:72).
Our enjoyment of it should be for our lifetime (Psalm 119:92).
It is our constant muse (Psalm 119:97).
6) Our Imagination of God’s Word
It is treasure!
We treasure God’s Word because 1 Peter 2:9 reminds us that we are God’s treasure. The result of treasuring God’s Word is goodness (Luke 6:45), knowledge of the glory of God (2 Corinthians 4:1-7), and wisdom (Colossians 2:2-3).
Most of us have heard the saying that we can’t take any of our stuff with us when we die, but we can send it ahead. The Bible tells how to store up treasure forever (Luke 12:33; 1 Timothy 6:18).
“The sum of your word is truth, and every one of your righteous rules endures forever.” (Psalm 119:160 ESV)