The Word nourishes, and it helps us get rid of evil, deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and slander in our lives!
Jesus is our cornerstone! He was rejected by men, but accepted by God. When we finally receive Him – when we believe – we experience God’s mercy and are adopted into His family. We are now like Jesus. We are chosen, we are priceless, we are priests, and we are citizens of another kingdom. We are building a spiritual house as we offer up the sacrifice of obedience:
- By staying away from fleshly desires that do battle against the soul. What an indictment against the world that explains why so many are soul sick!
- By living in such a way that non-Christians can’t complain about us!
- By obeying and honoring human authority, even when recognizing God’s ultimate authority and fearing Him. But we shouldn’t use God’s authority as an excuse to be unruly and disobedient!
- By honoring all, and especially remembering to love the family of faith.
- By willingly obeying those over us, even when it brings hardship. As difficult as it is to understand, suffering injustice brings us into solidarity with Jesus, and finds favor with God.
How do we understand the last point? Do we see this as a new understanding as opposed to an old understanding (OT vs. NT)? Are there times when we should respond to the evil around us, and times when we shouldn’t?
- We are on the safest ground when we are standing up for the rights of others, rather than ourselves.
- Our default as believers should be to obey and get along with others, unless we have a clear understanding from Scripture that what we are being asked to do is wrong or in conflict with God.
- We should always rely on the leading and guiding of God through His Word and the Spirit in all that we do.
- Jesus is our greatest example to follow. He was humble, compassionate, obedient, and willing to suffer. If he wasn’t, then we wouldn’t be saved!
Isaiah 53:3-12 “He was despised and rejected by people, one who experienced pain and was acquainted with illness; people hid their faces from him; he was despised, and we considered him insignificant. But he lifted up our illnesses, he carried our pain; even though we thought he was being punished, attacked by God, and afflicted for something he had done. He was wounded because of our rebellious deeds, crushed because of our sins; he endured punishment that made us well; because of his wounds we have been healed. All of us had wandered off like sheep; each of us had strayed off on his own path, but the LORD caused the sin of all of us to attack him. He was treated harshly and afflicted, but he did not even open his mouth. Like a lamb led to the slaughtering block, like a sheep silent before her shearers, he did not even open his mouth. He was led away after an unjust trial— but who even cared? Indeed, he was cut off from the land of the living; because of the rebellion of his own people he was wounded. They intended to bury him with criminals, but he ended up in a rich man’s tomb, because he had committed no violent deeds, nor had he spoken deceitfully. Though the LORD desired to crush him and make him ill, once restitution is made, he will see descendants and enjoy long life, and the LORD’s purpose will be accomplished through him. Having suffered, he will reflect on his work, he will be satisfied when he understands what he has done. My servant will acquit many, for he carried their sins. So I will assign him a portion with the multitudes, he will divide the spoils of victory with the powerful, because he willingly submitted to death and was numbered with the rebels, when he lifted up the sin of many and intervened on behalf of the rebels.“