November 24, 2016
"For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin." Hebrews 4:15
This week's Announcements:
- Ladies fellowship this Friday (25th) 11:30 a.m.
- Sunday School Adult Class 9:30 a.m. Mr. Donald Chu will teach the final part of the Lord's prayer.
- 10:30 a.m. & 6 p.m. Rev. Fletcher Matandika will be our preacher.
- Seniors' Lunch Dec. 5 @ Noon (See Sign-Up Sheet for Christmas Lunch)
(If you or your spouse is age 60 you are both invited to attend.)
At prayer meeting this week:
Hymns: 174 Arise, My Soul Arise 177 Before the Throne of God Above
Study: Called to Preach the Cross Hebrews 4:15
Christ is our High Priest - the only one we need.
-He is in the heavens, which is the present other-world, not just the future world. Christ is there now at the Father's right hand interceding for us.
The Lord understands our weaknesses and our temptations. He is true man. He was tempted in all points as we are. This was true of Him while suffering on the cross. It is still true today as the Lord represents his own people at the throne of grace.
This is where the spiritual battle rages for all of God's people. We are to keep our eyes upon the cross-work of the Lord Jesus. In Christian living we are to keep our hearts engaged in the Lord's crosswork. We must never lose sight of Calvary love displayed through the Saviour.
This is where the severest temptations raged against our Lord.
- The Lord was tempted to avoid the cross.
- During His temptation in the wilderness - Matthew 4
- Through the ignorance of Simon Peter - Matthew 16:21-24
- Through the arrival and inquiry of the Greeks - John 12:20-28 These were Gentiles coming with interest in the Lord's ministry. It appeared from their inquiries that the world was opening up to follow Christ.
There is no reference to Gethsemane in John's gospel. This event, however, was the equivalent of Gethsemane as it caused deep trouble of soul for the Lord (v27).
However, through determination and through prayer to His Father (v.27-28) the Lord did not yield to even this temptation to avoid the cross.
We too are tempted to avoid the cross in our Christian lives. We are tempted to switch emphasis on learning and morality for the blood atonement through the sufferings of a despised and rejected Saviour. We may be tempted to follow Christ as teacher or leader with less of the stigma of the cross. We may be lured into seeking a Jesus with no shame and without reproach. It is easy to fall into a religion with emphasis on ritualism as a rouge for the cross that divides family and friends and demands our total surrender.
Christ's gospel brings a sword among men, while it brings peace to the guilty heart, for the blood of Jesus speaks peace to our souls.
- The Lord was tempted to hasten to the cross.
When Lazarus was sick, Jesus waited two days before going to Mary and Martha's home. That delay may have been interpreted as not caring for this family, whom the Lord knew so well. It was certainly unusual.
However, Lazarus was already dead when the first news reached the Lord. When the Lord did reach the tomb Lazarus was by then dead for four days (v39).
The delay was related to the hour of the Lord's own death. He knew that Lazarus' resurrection would trigger the plot for his crucifixion (v53).
The Lord was working to the time of his own decease, and his hour had not yet come. That was the Lord's statement in John 2:4; 7:30; 8:20.
The Lord would not be hastened on to the death at the cross before His Father's time. He had come into the world to do His Father's will, not his own. He was ready to wait on God's will for Him.
This is a most subtle form of temptation. To know what needs to be done and be within proximity to fulfilling it and yet to wait on God is testing.
But the Lord passed the test.
We too will be tested in this manner. We will be called on to wait for the will of God to unfold and for God's timing to open up. That waiting period is a trial to the flesh in us. We desire to get on with it and even get it over with. God's will, however, is very often to wait and persevere at our present station.
That applies to:
- our work-place,
- church fellowship and service
- our witnessing to the lost.
We need to apply great patience and wait on the Lord to continue in His perfect will. Do not yield to the temptation to rush ahead of God.
- Our Lord Jesus was tempted to come down from the cross.
See Matthew 27:42. See the subtle wording, "we will believe on him."
What! Escape torture of crucifixion and death and still have followers. To be successful as a Captain over souls and do it without suffering.
Our Lord withstood that temptation. It was a lie anyhow! If the Lord had come down from the cross they would have mocked Him.
We believe on the Lord because He remained on the cross and finished the work of atonement by shedding His own blood unto death. He had to cry, "It is finished" to be the true Saviour of sinners. There would be no basis for our faith if the Lord had not suffered unto death.
We have the gospel of God's redeeming love through the Lord's faithfulness unto His mission of redemption - to remain on the cross until His work was accomplished for us.
We too are challenged to leave undone our work for the Saviour. The worldling says, "sugar coat the message", "speak of God's love, but not of God's wrath for sin that demanded the penal sufferings of His Son." Don't be so legal; just be loving.
By these means we are tempted to turn the church into a people-friendly environment by cutting out the message of the cross.
We are told, "Then the people will come, they fill the seats and want to be followers." But we dare not follow that lie. People will not believe on a Jesus, who is not a pardoning, redeeming Saviour. Rather let us magnify the Lord as our great Redeemer and mighty to save through the power of His cross.
This is the strength of our message. It will be the power of God unto salvation. It will be the truth that the Holy Spirit will use to convert sinners.
Let us pray for more of the cross in our preaching and our worship. Let us pray for the Holy Spirit to magnify the Saviour whom we preach, and the cross in which we call sinners to trust. This is the Spirit's ministry, "But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me" (John 15:26).
As the Spirit's work is to reveal the love of Christ for sinners in His sufferings and death, so our work is to bear witness of Him in the church and before the world.
Pray that we will placard the cross of Christ before the eyes of sinners. Pray that the Spirit of God will open their eyes to see the love of God in Christ.
Remember that the Lord Jesus is now our High Priest to intercede for us on this very request that will glorify Him.
Visitors to Church to return and be built into the life of the church
Florence S. going through chemo therapy
Prince George Congregation
Victoria Congregation - this Sunday Pastor Goligher is ministering.
Fletcher Matandika preaching this Sunday here in Cloverdale
Mary H. of Millbay. Now home from hospital