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September 2017

 
 

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September 2017

 

September 3

 

In the prayer related in John 17, the Savior prayed for the unity of His Church five times, which leads us to believe that the unity of the Church is equal to the success of the Church. 1. The Model for Unity. Unity reflects both the perfect character of God as well as the perfect relationship among the three persons of the Trinity. The unity of God is absolute, and

1. The Model for Unity. Unity reflects both the perfect character of God as well as the perfect relationship among the three persons of the Trinity. The unity of God is absolute, and is model for the unity of the Church. A divided Church is a false copy of the divine model. In His prayer in Gethsemane, the Savior prayed, “… so that they may be one as we are one” (John 17:11). We understand that the unity of the Trinity is characterized by common knowledge, purpose, method and direction: “I and the Father are One”. The word that the Savior repeats five times is ONE and the role model that He uses is the Trinity. Unity is God’s model and formula. 2. The Method of Unity. “…that there be no divisions among you, but that you be perfectly united in mind and thought” (1 Corinthians 1:10b). True unity is manifested in the unity of doctrine, of relationships, of worship, of purpose, and of vision. The great enemies of unity are comparison, competition, jealousy, judgment, contempt. The unity of the Church is produced by the Holy Spirit, but is maintained or destroyed by man – “make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace” (Ephesians 4:3). Paul taught us that true unity presumes the profound union of mind and emotion – “be perfectly united in mind and thought” (1 Corinthians 1:10b). Pope Paul VI said, “Love without truth is blind, truth without love is slaughter”. Truth without love is indifference, while love without truth is compromise, both being forms of individualism, and certainly not unity. 3. The Mandate of Unity. The most powerful form of unity is manifested in diversity. The Savior’s followers were united, despite their hardships: a. They came from various social circles – rich and poor b. They came from various professions – some were doctors and officers, others were fishermen. c. They knew the Lord differently – some knew Him personally, others met Him by faith. The secret of the unity of the first Christians was faith (Acts 2:37), but the mandate of their unity was evangelization (Matthew 28:19), edification (Matthew 28:20), worship, fellowship and ministry. The mandate of the Church is to demonstrate God’s love to a lost world, “so that they may be one as we are one… so that the world may know that you have loved me…” (John 17:22-23). Unity is the evidence of the Church’s authenticity, it is the manifestation of the quality of the church and it is the guarantee of the perspective of the Church.

2. The Method of Unity. “…that there be no divisions among you, but that you be perfectly united in mind and thought” (1 Corinthians 1:10b). True unity is manifested in the unity of doctrine, of relationships, of worship, of purpose, and of vision. The great enemies of unity are comparison, competition, jealousy, judgment, contempt. The unity of the Church is produced by the Holy Spirit, but is maintained or destroyed by man – “make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace” (Ephesians 4:3). Paul taught us that true unity presumes the profound union of mind and emotion – “be perfectly united in mind and thought” (1 Corinthians 1:10b). Pope Paul VI said, “Love without truth is blind, truth without love is slaughter”. Truth without love is indifference, while love without truth is compromise, both being forms of individualism, and certainly not unity. 3. The Mandate of Unity. The most powerful form of unity is manifested in diversity. The Savior’s followers were united, despite their hardships: a. They came from various social circles – rich and poor b. They came from various professions – some were doctors and officers, others were fishermen. c. They knew the Lord differently – some knew Him personally, others met Him by faith. The secret of the unity of the first Christians was faith (Acts 2:37), but the mandate of their unity was evangelization (Matthew 28:19), edification (Matthew 28:20), worship, fellowship and ministry. The mandate of the Church is to demonstrate God’s love to a lost world, “so that they may be one as we are one… so that the world may know that you have loved me…” (John 17:22-23). Unity is the evidence of the Church’s authenticity, it is the manifestation of the quality of the church and it is the guarantee of the perspective of the Church.

3. The Mandate of Unity. The most powerful form of unity is manifested in diversity. The Savior’s followers were united, despite their hardships: a. They came from various social circles – rich and poor b. They came from various professions – some were doctors and officers, others were fishermen. c. They knew the Lord differently – some knew Him personally, others met Him by faith. The secret of the unity of the first Christians was faith (Acts 2:37), but the mandate of their unity was evangelization (Matthew 28:19), edification (Matthew 28:20), worship,

a. They came from various social circles – rich and poor b. They came from various professions – some were doctors and officers, others were fishermen. c. They knew the Lord differently – some knew Him personally, others met Him by faith. The secret of the unity of the first Christians was faith (Acts 2:37), but the mandate of their unity was evangelization (Matthew 28:19), edification (Matthew 28:20), worship,

b. They came from various professions – some were doctors and officers, others were fishermen. c. They knew the Lord differently – some knew Him personally, others met Him by faith. The secret of the unity of the first Christians was faith (Acts 2:37), but the mandate of their unity was evangelization (Matthew 28:19), edification (Matthew 28:20), worship,

c. They knew the Lord differently – some knew Him personally, others met Him by faith. The secret of the unity of the first Christians was faith (Acts 2:37), but the mandate of their unity was evangelization (Matthew 28:19), edification (Matthew 28:20), worship, fellowship, and ministry. The mandate of the Church is to demonstrate God’s love to a lost world, “so that they may be one as we are one… so that the world may know that you have loved me…” (John 17:22-23). Unity is the evidence of the Church’s authenticity, it is the manifestation of the quality of the church and it is the guarantee of the perspective of the Church.

  

 September 17

 

In the New Testament, the return of the Savior, salvation, the future reward for saints, and the final judgment are all very closely tied together. The passage in Matthew chapter 24-25 is the last eschatological discourse from the Savior Jesus Christ. In this passage, the disciples raise three questions:

1) When will the temple be destroyed?

2) What will be the sign of Messiah’s coming?

3) What will be the signs of the end of age? 

From the Savior’s response, we can understand that His return is presented closely to the destruction of Jerusalem, whose judgment is used as a template for the future judgment. The message of chapters 2425 can be split into four parts. The perspective of future times until the moment of the Lord’s return (24:1-31) is the first section from the eschatological message. It begins in the Temple and closes with its defilation and destruction. Then a period of great tribulation and suffering follows, that will culminate with His return and taking away His chosen ones to heaven. This first part is explained by Jesus through several characteristics:

1. Confusion and deceit (verses 4-5)

2. War, calamity, and terminal illness (v. 6-7). The Lord Jesus mentions that these signs will only be the beginning of the pains. (v. 8)

3. Hated, torture, and killing (v. 9) 

4. The abandonment of faith, betrayal, the abandonment of brotherly love (v. 10)

5. Many will be deceived by false prophets, which presumes very intense prophetic activity in the end times (v. 11, 24) 

6. Immorality will discourage and will drive to secularism (v. 12). “But the one who stands firm to the end will be saved” (v. 13) 

7. The global preaching of the Gospel (v. 14a). Christ mentions “and then the end will come” (v. 14b). 

8. When the abomination of desolation will be placed in the Holy of Holies, the saints need to hide, avoiding public places (v. 15-22). The expression “the abomination that causes desolation” that is mentioned by the Savior Jesus Christ, likely refers to Antiochus Epiphanies. In the year 167 BC, this king placed a pig, dedicated to Zeus, on the altar in the Holy of Holies in the temple in Jerusalem. This event is known as the “abomination of desolation”. The majority of those who interpret the Biblical prophecies believe that the Savior is referring to Antichrist, who at the end of the age, will sign a covenant with Israel for seven years, and then will violate it, doing something similar to the “abomination that causes desolation” in the Temple in Jerusalem. The Antichrist is described in Revelations 13:14 as making an icon, toward which everyone, including all the born-again Christians, will be forced to bow and subordinate. 

9. Confusion with regards to the return of the Savior (v. 25-31). Nine times in Chapters 24-25, there is a reference to the return of the Savior – “then”. What does God tell us the saints will need to do in those times? 1) Patience: “but the one who stands firm to the end will be saved” (v. 13).  2) Ministry: “And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations” (v. 14).  These nine characteristics presented by the Lord explain the first of the four parts of chapters 24-25 in the Gospel according to Matthew. This is the agenda of the future, presented to us in the Bible. Whoever has ears should hear what the Spirit tells the churches. 

 September 24

 

God created life and gave it to the man he made in Eden. Then the Creator made Eve and placed her in the life of Adam. The family according to God's model is the solution to the happiness of every man. Looking in the mire of the time that has passed from creation to present we notice that the family institution has remained sturdy, but the divine model has been redefined in many ways. Loneliness, concubinage, adultery, polygamy, homosexuality, etc. are the dirty and ineffective temptations of sin that throw people into unhappiness and debauchery. When a new generation of children appears on the stage of history they form a mentality about the world and life in the first 20 years of existence. Depending on the cultural environment and the educational system that influenced them in the early years of life, several models of family that youngsters practice in marriage have emerged:

1. The traditional model - promoted man's superiority and polygamy

2. The modern model - promoted women's emancipation and unisex fashion

3. The Biblical model - promoted personal sanctification, fidelity to marriage, unity through love and respect The first book of the Bible gives us the following guiding principles:

I. MAN`S NEED EXPLAINS THE REASON FOR A FAMILY. The family exists because the needs of man are fulfilled within it: procreation, protection, education, love, marriage, fidelity, company, belonging, care, funeral. Marriage is a principle of life, celibacy is an exception, so loneliness is not a solution. When Adam woke up from his sleep, he married Eve and was never alone again. The reason for a family is explained by the needs of man which are fulfilled completely only within the family.

II. THE DIVINE SOLUTION EXPLAINS THE SUCCESS OF THE FAMILY. When God thought of a suitable helper for the man, he made Eve. Not money, friends, reputation, position, opportunities, or education are a good helper for a man, but his wife: "Whoever finds a good wife finds happiness, it is a grace that he receives from the Lord" (Prov 18:22). None of the opportunities of the world can equal the importance of a suitable wife in a man's life. III. LEAVING THE PARENTS EXPLAINS THE CLINGING ONTO THE SPOUSE. The only reason a young man can leave his parents is to cling to his spouse. Failure of

III. LEAVING THE PARENTS EXPLAINS THE CLINGING ONTO THE SPOUSE. The only reason a young man can leave his parents is to cling to his spouse. Failure of leave the parents in marriage can adversely affect the bonding of the spouses. No matter how young a family is, it is a self-contained family. It is necessary for parents to be present in the life of the young family, but with a consultative, not an executive role. IV. THE FRAMEWORK OF THE FAMILY EXPLAINS SHAMELESS NUDITY. The Bible states that "the man and his wife were both naked and not ashamed" (Genesis 2:25).The family is the only place where nudity is not a shame.The failure of many families begins by exposing nudity in public through (un)clothing, unhealthy friends... The family according to the divine model is God`s solution for all the people.

IV. THE FRAMEWORK OF THE FAMILY EXPLAINS SHAMELESS NUDITY. The Bible states that "the man and his wife were both naked and not ashamed" (Genesis 2:25).The family is the only place where nudity is not a shame.The failure of many families begins by exposing nudity in public through (un)clothing, unhealthy friends... The family according to the divine model is God`s solution for all the people.