“Like Oil & Water”

Oil and Water

1 Corinthians 1:18 “ For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. “

              Have you ever tried to mix oil and water? I have, but it does not work. I remember as a college freshman in Biology class we tried mixing oil and water as some type of experiment. There was a container capsule in which one side was filled with water. The other side was filled with oil. There was a mechanism that could be opened up for mixing the two liquids. However, once the mechanism was opened one could quickly see that oil and water would not mix. The oil would flow towards the bottom of the capsule and force the water towards the top. No matter how much I shook the capsule, turned it every which way, it simply would not mix.

             We see this same type of thing in our Scripture today as we look at the cross of Christ from two vantage points. One vantage point is from those who are perishing. These are lost people, non-Christians, the unsaved. They look at Calvary’s cross, and it is a stumbling block to them for one reason or another. They don’t believe Jesus is who He really is. These people simply look at Christ as a prominent figure in history, or possibly even just as a good teacher. Since they have this view of Jesus their mind, heart, and spirit is blind to the truth of the cross. It becomes the stumbling block to them as Scripture describes it. In fact, for many the cross becomes an irritant like sand in the eye.  In other words the cross is foolishness to them;  therefore, they believe it is foolishness for anyone to believe in a man dying on a cross and being raised the third day to bring life to sinful people.

             However, there is another vantage point that is seen here. “but to us who are being saved, it is the power of God.” Is the view of the cross from the individual who has given their heart and life to Jesus Christ. For Christians, the cross is not foolish at all. These are people who have accepted what Jesus came to this earth and did by laying His life down for sinful man. Christians have trusted in the God-Man ( Jesus ) who died on Calvary’s cross. To us, it is the power of God that has come to this earth and done what sinful man could not do for himself. Jesus, born of a virgin, came to this earth. This was God Himself in the form of human man. He came to earth. He came to live. He came to minister. He came to seek and to save that which was lost. He died on the cross of Calvary. He was buried. He was raised the third day, and thus He is the life-giver to any man who will trust in Him, and what He has done for man. The cross becomes the power of God!

             Just like oil and water are so different that no matter how you try to mix them they will not mix. So it is with the difference between lost men and saved men. They view everything differently. Lost man lives for this world and the things of this world. Why? It is because he is trying to obtain everything he can in this world because this world is his only hope. The saved man is not working to obtain the things of this world, because his hope is set on the eternal things that are yet to have come. His value of life is not wrapped up in what he does or does not have right now. His value is in his relationship with Jesus Christ. He has his hope, his desires, his future all with the future look of being in the presence of God when he enters into the Kingdom of God, Heaven.

             How we look at life will depend greatly upon where our life is in relation to Jesus Christ. If you have a relationship with Jesus and you are daily growing with Him then you should have no trouble having an eternal perspective about your life. The charge for the Christian is to realize that the cross of Christ is not a stumbling block, but a stepping stone. The cross of Calvary is the power of God!

Sincerely,

Bro. Bryan

Advertisements

“There’s a Battle Going On?”

Battle - Word of God

Matthew 4: 2-4,  After fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry. The tempter came to him and said, “If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread.” Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.”

As a Christian I find myself facing many of the same issues in our world today that Christian’s have faced since the beginning of time. The Bible calls it spiritual warfare. The battle is not against flesh and blood, nor is it really on this earth. The battle is in the spiritual realm. In fact, the Bible puts it this way. “For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.” Ephesians 6:12. 

If you are a Christian, and you ( with God’s help ) are working on growing in your relationship with Jesus Christ on a daily basis, then you can expect to find yourself engaged in this war! Our verses above reflect that war going on, but Jesus gives us the perfect example in how to deal with the leader who seeks to darken this world.

I believe it is valuable to see the timing of when the tempter came ( Satan ) came to Jesus. Notice that the Bible shows us that the devil came to Jesus after He had been fasting for forty days and forty nights. Satan picked a time when he knew Jesus would be physically and mentally weak as the Son of Man. Obviously, Jesus is fully God, and fully man, but in His humanity this would have been a time of physical and mental weakness ( as a man ). I think about my own life and how I am at times when I have gone a long time without eating. In all honesty, it’s easy for me to become cranky and irritable. It’s nothing I am proud of, but I am being honest with you. It is in those times that I must be even more careful about both my actions and reactions due to being tired and weak physically and mentally.

Another valuable point we should take away from this passage of Scripture is to see what the tempter ( Satan ) said to Jesus. He made a statement to Jesus, but he did it in the form of a question. Satan said, “If you are the Son of God”. In saying this he was really saying, “Prove that you are God by showing your power.”. He was questioning Jesus on who He really was and is. Satan was trying to get Jesus to prove what Satan already knew. There was no need for Jesus to prove Himself. He is God, and that is Who He is! It is important that we understand through this passage that Satan is crafty, sneaky, and sly in his attempt to knock you off course in your walk with Christ. He will not come to you with a sign on it that says, “Here am I – the devil!”. He will come to you as wolf in sheep’s clothing – looking good, but terribly dangerous. Be on alert and remember how he comes to deceive.

A third thing we should take away in this passage is what we must do. For that we must look at how Jesus responded to the tempter himself. Jesus quoted Scripture. Jesus said, “It is written, Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.”. You see, Jesus would have been tired and hungry at this point. He would have been fatigued and weak physically. However, because He was in tune with His Father there was no chance of Him yielding to the tempter. Jesus was in step with His Father and His Father’s word. The lesson for us here is that we need to be in step with Jesus. The way to do that is to daily feast upon His word. Just as we must eat our breakfast, lunch, and dinner there must be a daily partaking of the word of God. Reading God’s word is our daily armor to take on and defeat what the tempter brings our way. It’s not enough to be physically and mentally strong. God’s children must be spiritually strengthened for the daily battle of spiritual warfare!

The passage for us sounds the alarm for all of God’s children to be on the lookout for when the tempter will come, and what he will say. However, it is a great encouragement to us knowing that God has given us His word which is the sword of the Spirit so that we don’t have to go into battle unarmed. Remember, before you start each day feast on God’s word so that you can be prepared for the battles that come your way.

Sincerely,

Bro. Bryan