Journal – December 27, 2020
The Lord’s Prayer – Mattthew 6:9-13
9 Our Father which art in heaven, hallowed be Thy name.
10 Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.
11 Give us this day our daily bread.
12 And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.
13 And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil;
For Thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen
WARNINGS, GREETINGS, BENEDICTION
AVOID DIVISIVE PERSONS
17 Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them.18 For they that are such serve not our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly; and by good words and fair speeches deceive the hearts of the simple.19 For your obedience is come abroad unto all men. I am glad therefore on your behalf: but yet I would have you wise unto that which is good, and simple concerning evil.20 And the God of peace shall bruise Satan under your feet shortly. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you. Amen.
Vs. 17-18 The Devil is at work, antinomian libertines and Judaizing zealots are to be marked mentally and avoided. These false teachers are the Judaizing zealots that are skilled in the artful device of smooth and fair speech, a common feature of those who corrupt the purity and simplicity of the gospel. Listen to their speech, if it is contrary to the doctrine you have learned, get away from them and stay away.
Vs. 19-20 The fame of the Christian community at Rome has come to all the churches, any changes would aggravate the tragedy of corruption. We know the Devil is at work because Paul tells the church that God is going to bruise Satan under your feet.
GREETINGS FROM PAUL’S FRIENDS
21 Timothy, my fellow worker, and Lucius, Jason, and Sosipater, my countrymen, greet you. 22I, Tertius, who wrote this epistle, greet you in the Lord.23 Gaius, my host and the host of the whole church, greets you. Erastus, the treasurer of the city, greets you, and Quartus, a brother. 24The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen
Vs. 21-23 Here we have the greetings of others that are associated with the apostle. Timothy needs no comment, Lucius, Jason, and Sosipater are Jews, Tertius wrote the epistle and gives a personal greeting, Gaius was baptized by Paul at Corinth (1 Corinthians 1:14), now he has been Paul’s host and the host of the whole church at Corinth showing forth love and hospitality. Erastus occupies a position of influence in Corinth. Quartus is a brother in Christ, all of these Christians greet the church at Rome.
Vs. 24 The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen
Vs. 25-27 Now to Him who is able to establish you according to my gospel and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery kept secret since the world began 26but now made manifest, and by the prophetic Scriptures made known to all nations, according to the commandments of the everlasting God, for obedience to the faith—27to God, alone wise, be glory through Jesus Christ forever. Amen. Paul speaks of Christians at Rome being established according to my gospel and the preaching of Jesus Christ. He means the gospel that was entrusted to him and which he preached. The gospel Paul preached is in accordance with the revelation of the mystery revealed. The prophetic Scriptures were made known to all nations when the gospel went into all the world in accordance with Christ’s command and in the power of Pentecost: but you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you (the apostles) shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth (Acts 1:8). With this worldwide proclamation the Scriptures became the property of all without distinction and so through their medium the mystery is made know to all the nations. This was all according to the commandment of the everlasting God, for obedience to the faith. To God, alone wise, He is the only God and to Him alone can the wisdom be given in the opening up of His will for all nations, be glory through Jesus Christ forever. Amen.
A NEW YEARS THOUGHT
As I watch the news today and hear the liberals decry anything that speaks of conservatism or Christianity and, they set forth their desire to make us into a socialist, communist nation and destroy our true history. Let us remember our forefathers came to this new land so they could worship God freely without any man telling them everything to do. My thoughts wander back about 2,000 years ago and what the apostle John wrote in his gospel:
JOHN 1:10-13 He was in the world, and the world was made through Him, and the world did not know Him. 11 He came to His own, and His own did not receive Him. 12 But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, those who believe in His name: 13 Who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God. He was a stranger in the world He Himself had created; in addition, He was a stranger among the people whom He had set apart for His own by many deeds of mercy. “But as many as received Him”—that is to say, listened to and believed this blessed stranger—”to them He gave the power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on His name.” I thought that this might prove to bea suitable and profitable passage to discourse upon at the beginning of a New Year, for this is a season of hospitality, and some among us of our brethren will gladly say, “Come in, You blessed of the Lord; why do You stand outside?” This divine Stranger has knocked at many doors, saying, Open for Me, my sister, my love, for my head is covered with dew, My locks with the drops of the night, will you rise up and open unto Him, so that at the end of your life you hear this Stranger say Come, you blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: for I was hungry and you gave Me food; I was thirsty and you gave Me drink; I was a Stranger and you took Me in; I was naked and you clothed Me; I was sick and you visited Me; I was in prison and you came to Me. Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these of these My brethren, you did it to Me (Matthew 25:34-36; 40).The Holy Spirit works love into the hearts and minds of His own and tells them of the Fathers love. This is the beginning of a New Year, the first day of life for this new creation, a formerly lost sinner, but now enjoying fellowship with Jesus within his soul, gladly admitting Him into his mind and heart. We do not know what our Lord will do when He is no longer a stranger, it takes the rest of your life to find out as He visits with us.
The most important word of our text is Stranger, and its light casts an aspect of strangeness over the whole passage. Here are three strange things. The first is that the Lord Jesus should be a stranger here below. Is it not a strange thing that, He was in the world, and the world was made by Him, and yet He was a stranger in it? Yet is it not a bit stranger than true, for when He was born, there was no room for Him in the inn? It was Bethlehem of David, the seat of the ancient family to which He belonged, but He had become a stranger unto His own brethren, and an alien unto His mother’s children, and no door was opened unto Him. Soon there was no safe room for Him in the village itself, for Herod the king sought the young child’s life, and He must flee into Egypt, to be a stranger in a strange land, and worse than a stranger—an exile and a fugitive from the land where by birthright He was king. On His return, and on His public appearing, there was still no room for Him among the mass of the people. He came to His own, to whom prophets had revealed Him, and types had set Him forth, but they would have none of Him. He was despised and rejected of men. He was the man “whom men abhorred,” whom they did know that they cried, “Away with Him! Crucify Him! Crucify Him!” Yes, the world did not know Him they must hang up the Lord of glory on a cross and put “the Holy One and the Just” to a felon’s death. Jew and Gentile alike conspired to prove how truly He was a stranger, the Jew said, “As for this fellow, we know not from where He is,” and the Roman asked Him, “Where are You from?”
Brothers and sisters in Christ, for such I trust you are, we can receive Christ as a stranger when believers are few and despised in any place. We may live where worldliness abounds and religion is a matter of laughter, and you may need courage to tell your faith in Jesus. Then have we an opportunity of saying the approving word, I was astranger and you took Me in, this is a sure proof of love in receiving our Lord as a stranger. Jesus is in low esteem in our country, let us be all the bolder to swear our allegiance to Him. Many enjoy singing songs about His birth, why there are those in our midst that cry “Hosanna,” with the multitude of the Lord’s admirers, but in heart they have no love to the Son of God. Our loyalty to Christ must never be a matter of those whom we are with at that moment, we must love Him in every place providence places us, honor Him when the multitude disregard Him, and we must speak of Him when all forget Him.
Again, we have the Lord’s own warrant for saying that if we show brotherly kindness to a poor saint, we entertain the Lord Himself. If we see a sincere Christian in need, or despised, and ridiculed, and we say, “You are my brother, it matters not what garb you wear, the name of Christ is named on you, and I suffer with you. I will relieve your needs and share your reproach,” then the glorious Lord Himself will say to us at the last, “Inasmuch as you have done it unto one of the least of these, my brethren, you have done it unto Me.” Does it not seem strange, that you and I should be able to entertain our Lord and yet it is so.
Again, we may entertain the stranger, Christ, by holding fast His faithful word when the doctrines taught by Himself and His apostles are thought of as error. Christ’s faithful word shall have it said of them, “I was a stranger, and you took Me in.” When you see revealed truth laughed at and no man saying a good word for it, then is our hour come to declare it is Christ’s truth, and to prove your fidelity. Oh, the stupidity of those who only believe what everybody else believes, just because they must be in the majority. So, when Christ’s precepts are disregarded, His day forgotten, and His worship neglected, we can come in, take up our cross, and follow Him, and so receive Him as a stranger. HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!