The only source of lasting earthly joy is to know God through Christ. Christ revealed the Father's glory, so we can be reconciled to the Father. He came to us so the world might know and see the Father's love for His Son and His love eternal love for people.
Students must hear the words of their teachers in order to learn. In the same way, you must hear the words of Jesus in order to be his apprentice. Knowing God's Word and being shaped by God's Word is an absolutely essential practice of following Jesus. This message explores four ways to read the Bible in order to have the well-rounded approach of a true apprentice.
What is the climax of the plagues on Egypt? We've gone through the first nine plagues and the tenth has been threatened. What is all this leading to? Is it the tenth plague? The actual exodus of Israel? The Passover and the Feast of Unleavened Bread? There is a lot packed into this passage, and as we look at it, what we actually see is Jesus permeated throughout all of these events.
Josiah was the last good king of Judah. Moved by God's word, he celebrated a great Passover, yet not long after was killed in a pointless battle. He points us to the Lord Jesus Christ, whose death was not pointless, but was indeed the real last Passover, the sacrifice for sin.
In verse 15 we hear Paul saying that he would not cease to pray for the believers in Ephesus. He would not cease to give thanks for them. He would make mention of them in his prayers. What is it that he was praying to the Father for? He was praying for a couple of things which are very important to us who are here today, as well. 1st of all – He prays that the Father would give to them a spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him. And 2nd – He prays that they would know what was the hope of God's calling them in salvation.
Paul is saying the same thing to us here this morning. He would have each of us to know that God would have us to become righteous and holy in terms of our living to His glory. He would not have any of us simply to live to ourself. So, I pray that we will humble ourselves now, to receive these profound truths which are found in the apostle's prayers, as I open them up for you.
Our Communion Service concerns Christ's 2nd word on the Cross to the wretched criminal crucified beside him: "Today shalt thou be with me in Paradise". We consider this Word of salvation that will be given to the chief of sinners who will repent and believe in Christ. That by grace alone we are saved through faith in Christ alone - who flings heaven's gates wide open for sinners who cast themselves upon Him. As we consider coming to Commune with Him, we first affectionately meditate on the truth that Paradise will be glorious because we will be with Him, and that way is opened for us through His broken body and shed blood. Luke 23:42-43.
Many Christians today don't realize that Jesus' discipleship model was based upon the rabbinic model of ancient Israel. This makes it very different than sitting in a modern classroom, learning a subject matter from your teacher. There was this element of learning information, but it was much more about becoming like your teacher and being recognized by your imitation of your teacher. Ultimately, it was about replicating the way of your teacher -- which, in the case of Jesus, means teaching his Gospel and life to others.
Everything that Jesus shares with His disciples in the next chapters is based on the fact that He is going away. But the disciples are so dismayed at this news, they do not even hear Jesus' instructions.