Geoffrey S

Matthew 25: Be Ready - Geoffrey S Ross P

For the first time in this teaching series we hear from two speakers on Chapter 25. As the end time events were summarised by Ross last week we have incorporated a review of the parables of the Wise and Unwise Virgins and the Talents from Geoffrey, and then Ross concludes the last section of 25 on the final judgement to complete the end time message begun in Ch24.

All three of the end time parables, Wise, Talents and Sheep/Goats deal with being ready or standing in the right place of character and service when Christ returns.  The first two parables challenge us to be:
1. Patient, as if the Lord's return might be long be delayed
2. Prepared, to have attended to the Lord's work and be found in His service
3. Productive, to be using the gifts and talents the Lord has given us to the increase of His Kingdom.

Have you made the decision and bowed at the cross?
Will you be rewarded for using your talent well. Believers will be judged, not for our sin but for how well we have served the Master.

Faith and Works
Do you have any doubt as to whether Faith is justified by Works? Ross unpacks this question to show that what we believe motivates our works.

Where will you stand before the Judgement seat of Christ. Will your own words will condemn you?
Avoidance of God's judgement requires repentance and faith.

Look both up and around because the Lord is returning and there is a judgement coming.

Be ready.

Matthew 5:21-48 : God's Righteousness - Geoffrey S

Matthew records Jesus' challenge to the religious leaders that the righteousness of God does not come from doing right but being right. To be in a right relationship with God through the forgiveness offered in Jesus Christ, and right relationships with people as peace makers and being pure in thought and action.

These passages cover our ugly characteristics of Anger, Lust, Adultery, Divorce, Dishonesty and Retaliation.

Recognizing the depth of God's great love for us and His ability to work in the midst of our frailty can enable us to count on Him to change our hearts, to have hope that He can transform us to be more like his Son.

We can count on Him to transform our hearts because this is who God is. The gospel is the story of God wooing and loving us, His enemies. He cared for us before we even knew or cared that He existed. Transforming conflict into peace and well-being is at the heart of who He is. 

It is God who continually accomplishes the impossible--of enabling us to love, when our natural man only knows anger and division. 

Christ has covered only 6 principles here: Do not express hatred for another, but do good to everyone no matter what they did to you. Do nothing sexually immoral. Stay with the one you are married to. Do not break any commitments you make. Do not rebel against any authority, even evil ones. 

These are not laws that we can just wake up one day and say, “Well, it’s illegal to do this, so I think I’ll just stop.” Rather, these are laws that must begin to be obeyed in our minds. Our thoughts are what determine what our small, seeming insignificant actions will be. Thus, we must depend on the Spirit of God to obey in this way.

Liberty and Temptation - 1 Cor 10: Geoffrey S

Chapters 7,8,9 looked at our motivation toward the furtherance of the Gospel, and effects our liberty of choices can have on the lives of others. Matters of conscience.  

In Chapter 10 Paul warns the Corinthians about the consequences of indulging their liberty leading to idol worship, sexual immorality and discontentment with God's provision. This is no different for the Church today. Chapters 7,8,9 is about the effects on others while Chapter 10 considers the effects on a christian's walk, holiness and effectiveness for service.

When we are tempted, we need to rely upon Christ for a way of endurance, rather that resisting in our own strength.

We are reminded of the prohibition of bowing down before idols through the example made of Israel in the wilderness, and that God will have no other gods before Him.

Humility - 1 Cor 4 : Geoffrey S

A life of Discipleship requires a life of Servanthoodwhich requires a life of Humility.

Ways to develop and attitude of humility

1 You are aware of your need for God’s grace and ask Him for humility
Heb 4:14-16
Since then we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need

2 You ask God to think ‘show me where I’m wrong rather than “I’m right and I’ll prove it”
James 4:10
Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will exalt you

3 Have an attitude of Teach me, not I know all I need to know. Proud people are not teachable
Ps 119:33-34
Give me understanding, that I may keep your law
and observe it with my whole heart.
 Lead me in the path of your commandments,
for I delight in it

4 Think first of others feelings and needs
Philippians 2:3,4
Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus,

5 Give God the credit for your achievements
The humble man boasts in what the Lord has done
Jer 9:23-24
Thus says the Lord: “Let not the wise man boast in his wisdom, let not the mighty man boast in his might, let not the rich man boast in his riches, but let him who boasts boast in this, that he understands and knows me, that I am the Lord who practices steadfast love, justice, and righteousness in the earth. For in these things I delight, declares the Lord

6 Worship God sincerely and don’t just go through the motions
Luke 18:10-14
“Two men went up into the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. The Pharisee, standing by himself, prayed thus:‘God, I thank you that I am not like other men, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week; I give tithes of all that I get. ’ But the tax collector, standing far off, would not even lift up his eyes to heaven, but beat his breast, saying, ‘God, be merciful to me, a sinner! ’ I tell you, this man went down to his house justified, rather than the other. For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but the one who humbles himself will be exalted

7 Be willing to suffer humiliation and embarrassment for Jesus sake
1 Peter 4:15-16
If you are insulted for the name of Christ, you are blessed, because the Spirit of glory and of God rests upon you. But let none of you suffer as a murderer or a thief or an evildoer or as a meddler. Yet if anyone suffers as a Christian, let him not be ashamed, but let him glorify God in that name