Journal – March 14, 2021
Dominion Baptist Church
March 14, 2021 AD
Matthew 16:22-23 (Geneva)
22 Then Peter took him aside, and began to rebuke him, saying, Master, pity thyself: this shall not be unto thee. 23 Then he turned back, and said unto Peter, Get thee behind me, Satan: thou art an offence unto me, because thou understandest not the things that are of God, but the things that are of men
CONVERSION OF THE THESSALONIANS
1 Thessalonians 2:13-16
And we also thank God continually because, when you received the word of God, which you heard from us, you accepted it not as a human word, but as it actually is, the word of God, which is indeed at work in you who believe. 14 For you, brothers and sisters, became imitators of God’s churches in Judea, which are in Christ Jesus: You suffered from your own people the same things those churches suffered from the Jews 15 who killed the Lord Jesus and the prophets and also drove us out. They displease God and are hostile to everyone 16 in their effort to keep us from speaking to the Gentiles so that they may be saved. In this way they always heap up their sins to the limit. The wrath of God has come upon them at last.
Vs. 13 And we also thank God continually because, when you received the word of God, which you heard from us, you accepted it not as a human word, but as it actually is, the word of God, which is indeed at work in you who believe. Paul is setting forth to the Thessalonians the reality of their faith. To start with he thanks God continually because He called you to His kingdom,the Thessalonians made such a deep impression on him when they received the word of God. Oh yes, you heard it from us, but you accepted it not as a human word, but as it actually is, the word of God. We were just the instruments; God was the Author and Originator.We spoke to you what God had earlier given to us and the Holy Spirit quickened you into life and faith. Why we have mutually received from one another the deepest impressions of an operation of the Divine Spirit in your hearts which is indeed at work in you who believe. You understood and acknowledged the real nature, the Divine character and origin of apostolic preaching. They became aware that in the word, that was preached to them, there was a supernatural, essential power, as cannot proceed from mortal man because man is involved in the disorder of the worlds sin. Now they felt the Godhead drawing near to them in the word of life, because the Holy Spirit was active in their souls. They had an inward sense of Divine light in their conscious and felt it increase until the light of the Word drove away their previous darkness; therefore, they accepted the preached word for what it actually is the word of God. To accept man’s word is part of our ordinary day, but to accept the Divine word is saving faith, usually accompanied with joy in the Holy Spirit. The Thessalonians had a continuous confirmation that this word was from God because it is indeed at work in you who believe.
Vs. 14 For you, brothers and sisters, became imitators of God’s churches in Judea, which are in Christ Jesus: You suffered from your own people the same things those churches suffered from the Jews. In verse 6 of the first chapter, we found that the Thessalonians having received the word in much affliction, with joy of the Holy Spirit, became examples to all in Macedonia and Achaia who believe; or they are described as followers of the apostle and of the Lord Himself. Here in terms of encouragement they are described as imitators of God’s churches in Judea. The Divine word made its power to be felt in their believing hearts; for through it they imitated the Judaean churches in patience and constancy under persecution. Paul is pointing out a fundamental law of the kingdom of God, that is now fulfilling itself in the case of the Thessalonians as followers of the original Christian churches in Judea. The bearers of the Divine are always expelled by the natural community to which they belong. Therefore, the Thessalonian Christians are expelled by members of their own race, and the Jewish Christians by the Jews, became imitators of God’s churches in Judea, which are in Christ Jesus for You suffered from your own people the same things those churches suffered of the Jews. Who in like manner killed the Lord Jesus Christ and the prophets, ands now have driven out the apostle. There is no need for them to feel unsettled or confused by the injustice done to them by their fellow citizens; but in this, the evidence of the reality and power of the Divine influence you present to them, for only that which is really Divine is hated by the world, the strength to endure this enmity rests on God’s operation in believers—strictly nothing but actual experience has befallen you. When Paul began this verse, he addressed the Christians as his brothers and sisters, they have been born again through the womb of God, for they are now in the Kingdom or part of the family of God. The Thessalonians were the first church out of Palestine that was persecuted as a church, and it was made up almost entirely of heathen Gentile Christians.
Vs. 15-16 Who killed the Lord Jesus and the prophets and also drove us out. They displease God and are hostile to everyone 16 in their effort to keep us from speaking to the Gentiles so that they may be saved. In this way they always heap up their sins to the limit. The wrath of God has come upon them at last. The Roman soldiers nailed the Lord Jesus Christ to the cross, but God says the Jews are the ones that killed His Son, and the prophets and ran Paul out of Jerusalem. Who killed the Lord Jesus and the prophets and also drove us out (chased us out). TheJewish nation, by an act of its high court in which the people agreed, put to death the Son of God. It appears this was used by the Thessalonians against the apostle by the unbelievers saying “How can you believe this stranger? His own people, in fact, have driven him out, and are utterly unwilling to have him draw you over to his side”—an objection which might have more weight for the Thessalonian Christians inasmuch as most of them had been proselytes and accustomed to seeking and find truth among the Jews. Paul’s response, “Yes they have persecuted me, but not otherwise than they did the Lord Jesus and their prophets; nor are they willing to endure it, that I should publish salvation to you, and the Gentiles generally; but this way they are they displease God and are hostile to men and fill up the measure of their sin.” Paul had the same experience from his countrymen, as the Thessalonians had from theirs; and as they were proceeded by the Jewish Christians, so he himself was proceeded by the Lord’s crucifixion and the death of the prophets. Paul could see ahead that the Judaizers, standing on the same level as the Jews, would damage him in this church; therefore, by way of being cautious he expressed himself on the points in which he was usually blamed. The Greek means and us driving (away) in doing this Paul kept the Jews from having an argument against him, but rather an argument for him and against the Jews coupled with the fact they killed the Lord Jesus Christ. The Jewish race was regarded as haughty and heartless bigots, who looked down with insolence and scorn on all other nations. The Gentiles repaid their hatred with indignant and contemptuous disgust. An example of this hatred and disgust is seen back in Esther’s day in chapter 3:8 when Haman attempted to kill all the Jews because they do not keep the king’s laws; therefore, it’s not fitting to let them remain. At other times they were called the common enemies of the world. (Vs. 16) The Jews were angry because the apostles were preaching to the Gentiles and attempted to forbid them, even to persecute the apostles to the death. After three sabbath days Paul, Silas, and Timothy were run out of Thessalonica, then the angry Jews followed them to Berea, Paul had to leave again and went to Athens and from there to Corinth. The Jews did not want the heathen Gentiles (the Goyan—dogs) to be saved. They continued to fill up their sins always, they killed the prophets that God had sent to them; they murdered the Son of God, and now were persecuting God’s messengers—the apostles. The measure is full! Paul knows that his countrymen having rejected the Messiah, the spiritual message of the Apostles, is now ripe for judgment. It follows shortly thereafter, the Roman General Titus destroys the temple in 70AD, and sacks Jerusalem, a countless number of Jews are slaughtered, many go into slavery, some are exiled, others are scattered to nations all over the world. But this was not the end, for during the second World War over six million Jews were exterminated by the Germans, it is called the Holocaust. (The nation of Israel ceased to exist until 1948 when Great Britain and the United States set them up again in Palestine.) So, wrath fell upon the Jews when they had finally filled up the measure of their sins. The meaning of the words the wrath of God has come upon them to the uttermost does not mean the end of the Jews or their final destruction. Nor does it mean that wrath shall continue to its end, or to the end of the world. The time is yet to come, but in Romans 11:25-29 we find that blindness in part has happened to Israel until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in. And so, all Israel shall be saved. There is a day coming when God will call the Jews again in grace and mercy and there will be one kingdom od Jews and Gentiles with the Lord Jesus Christ as king. Never forget that God is immutable, He does not change, but after disciplining Israel He will again show His love for them. An earthly father disciplines his children, but when the punishment is finished he still loves his children.
Knowledge, Obedience and Faith
Gen. 2:16–17 And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.
The Lord was not ungenerous in his dealings with Adam. The first man could freely eat of all the trees of the garden except one. Such a single small restriction should not have caused any trouble or difficulty to the man. Yet it did. It is human nature that what is forbidden seems to loom in the mind as the object of desire. Further, God did not explain what it was to die. Was God then unjust to make such a restriction or not to explain what death meant? Of course not. This was his prerogative. Man was created as a creature of faith. He was placed into an already–existent world definitively created by God. He was to live by faith and act in faith. The One Great Object of his faith was God himself. He was to function in the context of simply and faithfully taking God at his word. The very same is to be true of us. We are to live by the word of God, that word which is sure and both true and truth itself.
Catechism Question 55
Q. What is required in the second commandment?
A. The second commandment requires the receiving, observing, keeping pure and entire, all such religious worship and ordinances, as God has appointed in His Word.
46 And he said unto them, Set your hearts unto all the words which I testify among you this day, which ye shall command your children to observe to do, all the words of this law.