Posts Tagged ‘Jesus’

healingThere are so many amazing and interesting facts in the Bible. Check out this list of ten interesting facts about Jesus.

The Name Jesus

Jesus is the English transliteration of the Greek name Iesus. Joshua is the English transliteration of the Hebrew name Yeshuah. Both Jesus and Joshua mean Yahweh saves or Jehovah is salvation. The name Jesus appears in the Bible more than 900 times. [Transliteration means that the word is not translated from one language to another, but tries to represent the same letters/characters from one language to another. Pronunciation may or may not be preserved.]

The Word Christ

Christ is not actually a name, but a title. When the Bible talks about the Messiah in the Old Testament, it is referring to the same title as the New Testament calls Christ. Both Messiah and Christ mean anointed one. Jesus was anointed with the power of the Holy Spirit (Acts 10:38) and was the promised redeemer. The first promise of a redeemer in the Bible was in Genesis 3:15. The word Christ appears in the Bible more than 500 times.

Jesus’ Titles For Himself

Jesus said He was the bread of life and the living bread (6:35, 48, 51). He was the light of the world (John 8:12). Jesus was the good shepherd (John 10:11, 14). Jesus outright claimed to be the Son of God (John 10:36). He also liked to call himself the Son of man (Matthew 20:28). He said He was the way, the truth and the life (John 14:6).

Foods Jesus Ate

Jesus ate bread (Matthew 26:26), which has been a common food throughout history. He ate clean meats such as lamb (Luke 22:15) and fish (Matthew 14:19). He may have eaten eggs because of His statement that eggs is a good gift (Luke 11:12, 13). The Old Testament says that Jesus would eat butter and honey (Isaiah 7:15). Luke 24:42 and43 says that Jesus ate broiled fish and honeycomb after His resurrection.

Jesus Was a Carpenter

Jesus was known to be a carpenter (Mark 6:3). This indicates that He not only grew up in the house of a carpenter (Matthew 13:55), but He worked in the trade at least long enough that people knew Him to be a carpenter too. There is a question of exactly what the word translated as carpenter really means. The Greek word is tekton, which is a generic word for anyone who makes things. This was applied to craftsmen of various objects. Early writings, tradition and culture indicate that Jesus probably worked with wood in some form. Therefore carpenter is a fine translation of this word.

Jesus’ Birthday

Jesus’ birthday is generally celebrated on December 25 each year. However, the Bible does not tell us exactly when His birthday was. Various scholars have put the Birth of Christ sometime in winter or early spring. We celebrate His birth at Christmas, but there is no record in the Bible of the early Christians celebrating the birth of Jesus.

Jesus and John the Baptist

John the Baptist was Jesus’ second cousin. Mary (the mother of Jesus) and Elisabeth (the mother of John) were cousins (Luke 1:36). John was about 6 months older than Jesus (Luke 1:36). In John chapter 1 when John the Baptist declares Jesus as the Lamb of God (v. 36) this is probably not the first time they met. They were likely together often as children and young men growing up.

Jesus’ Family

Jesus had several half-brothers and sisters ( Matthew 12:46-47; 13:55-56). At least some of his brothers were named James, Joses, Simon and Judas. His sisters are not named in the Bible. History says that James became the head of the church in Jerusalem.

Jesus Was Passionate

Some portrayals of Jesus in films and popular culture have Him walking around like a disconnected being who is hanging around to solve problems. However, the Bible shows some very passionate scenes from the life of Christ. He overthrew the tables of the money changers in the temple (Matthew 21:12, 13). He was moved to tears at the news of Lazarus’ death (John 11:35). The Bible says many times that Jesus was moved with compassion (Matthew 9:36-38; 21:12, Mark 1:41 and others).

Jesus and Simon

There was a man conscripted to help Jesus carry the cross up to Golgotha. This man’s name was Simon (Matthew 27:32). This man was from Cyrene which was also called Niger in Acts 13:1. This is not in the country known as Niger today. Rather he was from the country of Libya. Simon had two sons who were apparently known to the early church. Mark 15:21 says that Simon was the father of Alexander and Rufus as if the readers of the Gospel would know those two men.

prayerNow Jesus was praying in a certain place, and when he finished, one of his disciples said to him, “Lord, teach us to pray, as John taught his disciples.” (Luke 11:1 ESV)

Jesus, as God was prayed to, yet as a man, he prayed. Rather than walking the earth as the self-sufficient titan of salvation, he walked the quiet path of prayer, often alone yet ever in the Father’s counsel. In fact Luke’s gospel displays this time and again, for instance: at his baptism he was praying (Luke 3:21), he withdrew into a desolate place to pray (Luke 5:16), he went to a mountain and prayed the night through (Luke 6:12), again he prayed alone (Luke 9:18), and upon another mountain journey he prayed and was transfigured (Luke 9:28, 29). He, like David, gave himself to prayer (Psalm 109:4).

Enticingly, when Jesus was here again praying, a disciple asked of him, “Lord, teach us to pray”. With Jesus, the man who is God, standing before him the man didn’t ask, “Lord, teach us to work miracles,” or, “Jesus, teach us to preach with authority!” Though these are certainly noble acts, they were not the chief acts of men and women who know God. Here we may glean that prayer is not simply an important part of Christian ministry and living, but it is the thing from which every other action must flow!

Jesus intimately knew the Father, and in so knowing continually spoke “just as the Father taught [him]” (John 8:28). He and the Father were and are still one (John 10:30), yet Jesus deemed prayer a worthy use of a night. Through this the disciples understood that prayer was more than an act of religion, but the very thing from which God empowers men to work his will.

Do you esteem prayer as you should, or is it just another thing to be checked from your daily “to do” list?

coupleAbout five weeks ago a twenty-seven year old pregnant woman was sentenced to death by a Sudanese court for refusing to recant her Christian faith. The court also convicted her of adultery and sentenced her to one hundred lashes because her marriage to a Christian man is considered void under sharia law. Mariam Yaha Ibrahim Ishag, who was brought up as a Christian by her mother after her Muslim father had left the home, told the court:

‘I am a Christian and I will remain a Christian.’

She has since given birth to a baby girl and is allowed to care for her for two years before the sentence is implemented. Mariam’s husband is in a wheelchair and is dependent on her. He says that all he can do is pray. Although there has been an international outcry over the situation, Mariam remains shackled in prison along with her new baby and her twenty-one month old son (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-27646747).

This brave Christian couple are showing extraordinary loyalty to God and to one another in the face of the kind of threat that we read the early Christians faced for their faith in Jesus Christ.

Loyalty is a combination of love and faithfulness. It is a quality often lacking in our society today. Disloyalty destroys families, churches, businesses, political parties and even nations. Each of the passages today says something about this quality of loyalty.

1. Loyalty to God in our plans

Proverbs 14:15-24The book of Proverbs is full of practical wisdom. It encourages us, for example, to be discerning about what we believe: ‘The gullible believe anything they’re told; the prudent sift and weigh every word’ (v.15, MSG). Ultimately wisdom is about how we relate to God: ‘The wise fear the Lord and shun evil’ (v.16).

‘Fear of the Lord’ is an attitude of healthy respect and loyalty. It means involving him in all our plans. We need to be very careful about the plans we make – that they are for good and not for evil. Eventually, even ‘the wicked will respect God-loyal people’ (v.19, MSG).

‘But those who plan what is good find love and faithfulness’ (v.22b). The word for ‘find’ is sometimes translated ‘show’. Both are true. Those who plan what is good not only find love and faithfulness, they show love and faithfulness as well. This is at the heart of loyalty – to show love and faithfulness. This is contrasted with those who selfishly plot evil and go astray.

Lord, help me to be wise and God-loyal in my plans. Show me good plans and more ways to be kind to the needy. May we, as a community of God-loyal people, plan what is good and find love and faithfulness.

2. Loyalty to Jesus in our words

Acts 5:12-42In 2007, a group of twenty-three South Korean missionaries were captured by the Taliban in Afghanistan. They were terrified. The Taliban separated the group, isolated them and confiscated their possessions. One of the Korean women managed to hold on to her Bible. She ripped it into twenty-three pieces and secretly gave each of them a portion so that wherever they were, each person could read a part of Scripture when no one was watching.

The group knew that the Taliban had decided to kill them, one at a time. One by one the missionaries surrendered their lives again to Jesus saying, ‘Lord, if you want me to die for your sake I’ll do it.’ Then the pastor said, ‘I’ve talked to [the Taliban] because they are going to start killing us and I’ve told their leaders that if anyone dies, I die first because I am your pastor.’  Another said, ‘No, because I also am a pastor and I am your elder. I die first.’

Then the pastor came back and said, ‘You are not ordained, I have been ordained, I die first.’  And sure enough, he died first. Two more were killed before the rest were eventually rescued. They had demonstrated extraordinary loyalty to God and to each other.

The South Korean missionaries were following in the footsteps of the apostles who showed extraordinary loyalty.

As the apostles went out and preached the good news they performed many miraculous signs and wonders among the people. ‘More and more men and women believed in the Lord and were added to their number’ (v.14). As a result, ‘Crowds gathered … bringing their sick … all of them were healed’ (vv.15–16).

Sadly, their success led to ‘jealousy’ from religious leaders (v.17). Once again we see how envy is such a temptation for those of us who are seen as religious. In their jealousy they arrested the apostles and put them in jail (v.18). But once again God performed a miracle. He sent an angel of the Lord to open the doors of the jail and bring them out.

With huge courage they obeyed the command to ‘Go, stand in the temple courts … and tell the people the full message of this new life’ (v.20).

When they were caught doing exactly what they had been arrested for doing in the first place, they were re-arrested and brought before the Sanhedrin to be questioned by the high priest who said to them, ‘We gave you strict orders not to teach in this name … Yet you have filled Jerusalem with your teaching and are determined to make us guilty of this man’s blood’ (v.28).

Peter and the other apostles were loyal to God and to their calling. They replied, ‘We must obey God rather than human beings!’ (v.29). They continued preaching the gospel – even when they were on trial.

The brief sermon (it takes only three verses – vv.30–32) is all about Jesus. They preach about the cross, resurrection and the exaltation of Jesus. They proclaimed Jesus as Prince and Saviour. The talk includes a description of the way of salvation: repentance and forgiveness of sins. In addition they managed to include the whole Trinity: ‘The God of our ancestors (v.30), ‘Jesus’ (v.30) and ‘the Holy Spirit’ (v.32). This sermon produces such fury that, like the South Korean missionaries, they faced the threat of death.

However, in the providence of God, there was a wise man on the Sanhedrin, a Pharisee named Gamaliel, who pointed out to his fellow members (by giving examples from recent history) that ‘if [the apostles’] purpose or activity is of human origin, it will fail. But if it is from God, you will not be able to stop these men; you will only find yourselves fighting against God’ (vv.38–39).

Although his speech persuaded them, nevertheless they were flogged and ‘ordered … not to speak in the name of Jesus’ (v.40).

Once again, with extraordinary courage and loyalty to God and their calling, ‘The apostles left the Sanhedrin, rejoicing because they had been counted worthy of suffering disgrace for the Name. Day after day, in the temple courts and from house to house, they never stopped teaching and proclaiming the good news that Jesus is the Christ’ (vv.41–42).

Lord, may we be inspired by the example of the apostles and those like the South Korean missionaries who followed in their footsteps. Help us to demonstrate loyalty to you regardless of the circumstances and opposition around us. May we never stop teaching and proclaiming the good news that Jesus is the Christ.

3. Loyalty to each other in our hearts

2 Samuel 14:1-15:12Loyalty is such an attractive characteristic in a person. Disloyalty is subversive and betrays trust. Disloyalty can undermine the leadership in a church, business or even a nation.

In David’s case, disloyalty came from his own son. This must have been so painful for him. David loved Absalom; ‘the king’s heart longed for Absalom’ (14:1). God speaks to David through the wise woman from Tekoa. As a result David says, ‘Go, bring back the young man Absalom’ (v.21). When he returned ‘the king kissed Absalom’ (v.33). David gave him another opportunity to be a loyal son.

Tragically, David’s love and loyalty to Absalom were not returned. We see here a powerful description of how disloyalty works.

There are always opportunities for disloyalty. In any situation – whether for example in the government, workplace or the church – there are bound to be those who complain (15:2). If you are a loyal person you will help to deal with these complaints and attempt to diffuse them.

Absalom failed the loyalty test. He would say to the complainers,

‘ “Look, you’ve got a strong case; but the king isn’t going to listen to you.” Then he’d say, “Why doesn’t someone make me a judge for this country? Anybody with a case could bring it to me and I’d settle things fair and square.” ’ (vv.3–4, MSG).

Of course, this is absolute nonsense. But it is easy to make promises of this kind. The disloyal person says, ‘If only I were in charge everything would be so much better’. In this way Absalom ‘stole the hearts of the people of Israel’ (v.6). Disloyalty begins in our hearts and in our thinking. So does loyalty. Guard your heart and your thinking and do not allow your heart to be stolen.

Those who are feeling discontented in any situation always look for a rallying point. They look for someone among the leadership team whom they can rally around. If the entire leadership team remains faithful, the discontents will be unsuccessful. However, here they found a rallying point around Absalom and ‘the conspiracy gained strength, and Absalom’s following kept on increasing’ (v.12).

Lord, help us to stay loyal to our leaders – to our national leaders and governments, parents, church leaders and bosses. Lord, guard our hearts, keep us loyal to you and to one another. May loyalty, love and faithfulness always be characteristics of our community.

TombAfter Jesus was crucified, Joseph of Arimathea had Christ’s body placed in his own tomb. A large stone covered the entrance and soldiers guarded the sealed tomb. On the third day, a Sunday, several women (Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, Joanna and Salome are all mentioned in the gospel accounts) went to the tomb at dawn to anoint the body of Jesus.

A violent earthquake took place as an angel from heaven rolled back the stone. The guards shook in fear as the angel, dressed in bright white, sat upon the stone. The angel announced to the women that Jesus who was crucified was no longer in the tomb, “He is risen, just as he said.” Then he instructed the women to inspect the tomb and see for themselves. Next he told them to go inform the disciples.

With a mixture of fear and joy they ran to obey the angel’s command, but suddenly Jesus met them on their way. They fell at his feet and worshiped him. Jesus then said to them, “Do not be afraid. Go tell my brothers to go to Galilee. There they will see me.”

When the guards reported what had happened to the chief priests, they bribed the soldiers with a large sum of money, telling them to lie and say that the disciples had stolen the body in the night.

After his resurrection, Jesus appeared to the women near the tomb and later at least twice to the disciples while they were gathered at a house in prayer. He visited two of the disciples on the road to Emmaus and he also appeared at the Sea of Galilee while several of the disciples were fishing.

Points of Interest from the Resurrection of Jesus Christ Story:

• There are at least 12 different appearances of Christ in the resurrection accounts, beginning with Mary and ending with Paul. They were physical, tangible experiences with Christ eating, speaking and allowing himself to be touched.

• Jesus’ resurrected body was different from his physical body. It was no longer subject to the same laws of nature. He could transcend locked doors, and yet he could still be touched and he could eat.

• Before Jesus ascended into heaven he gave the Great Commission, telling his followers to go and make disciples of all nations.

• The stone was not rolled away from the tomb so Jesus could get out. He was able to walk through walls (John 20:19) in his resurrected body. The stone was rolled away so that everyone could see that he was risen.

SacrificeWhat’s so important about Easter? It’s important because it proved that Jesus was who he claimed to be. He was God in the flesh, and he came to earth to save us.

Three events occurred in a dramatic succession on that Easter weekend: the trial of Jesus, then the death of Jesus, and finally the resurrection of Jesus. Let’s look at each of those events and their implications.

The Trial

Jesus actually went through six trials. In that one night, he was brought before Annas, Caiphas (the high priest), the Sanhedrin (the religious Supreme Court), Pilate (the governor of Jerusalem), Herod (the governor of Galilee), and then back to Pilate. At the end of those six trials, what did they find to accuse him of? Nothing. He had done nothing wrong. They brought in people to make up phony charges, but those didn’t stick. Finally they convicted him on one count: claiming to be the Son of God. That’s the sole reason Jesus went to the cross. They didn’t like that claim.

Everyone who has ever been presented with Jesus has already made some kind of decision about who he is. You either believe he’s a liar, or you believe he’s a lunatic, or you believe he’s the Lord. It can’t just be: “I believe he was a good teacher.” He couldn’t be just a good teacher, because a good teacher would not say, “I’m God, and I’m the only way to heaven.” A good person would not say that unless it was the truth.

Jesus claimed to be the Savior of the world. In John 12:47, he is recorded as saying: “I didn’t come to judge the world. I came to save it.” He allowed himself to be put on trial so there would be no doubt about who he was. He could have stopped the trial at any moment. He knew he would be proven guilty and put on the cross — but he allowed it to happen. It was all part of the plan.

The Death

After a night of beatings and mocking, after being crowned with painful thorns, Jesus was crucified. Crucifixion is probably the most brutal and torturous death penalty ever devised by men. His hands were stretched out wide against the cross and nailed through the two bones in each wrist. As the nails went through this part of the flesh, they would strike the nerve that travels up the arm and cause excruciating pain.

If you hung this way for any period of time, the muscles around your chest cavity began to be paralyzed. You’d be able to breathe in but you couldn’t breathe out. Death on a cross would have been a simple matter of suffocation — except the Romans didn’t want to make it that easy. They’d take a person’s knees and bend them a little bit and nail the feet to the cross. So a man would hang there in absolute agony until the pain in his chest was about to explode — and then he would lift himself up on his nailed feet to grab a breath. When the pain in his feet grew unbearable, he’d let himself back down again — until the pain in his lungs became unbearable. It was an incredibly torturous event. Eventually, the soldiers would break the legs of the criminal to hasten death by suffocation.

In the case of Jesus, they didn’t have to break his legs, because he had already died. But just to make sure, they stuck a spear in his side. Water and blood came out of the chest cavity, which, doctors say, only happens if the heart rips. You can call it what you want, but Jesus died of a broken heart.

Why did Jesus have to die? Because he alone was able to pay for your sins. You deserved punishment, but Jesus paid the penalty for you.

The Resurrection

After Jesus died, they took his body down and put him in the tomb, and a giant millstone was set in front of the cave. The religious leaders — worried that Jesus’ body might be stolen — asked for Roman guards to be posted in front of the tomb. They didn’t want him coming out! But of course, he did.

You know the story. But it’s important to remember that Easter is not some memorial to a nice, good religious teacher who lived 2,000 years ago. It’s a celebration of the fact that he is alive today. I’m living proof — and so are the approximately 1 billion Christians who will celebrate Easter this weekend.

“… by being raised from the dead he was proved to be the mighty Son of God, with the holy nature of God himself.” (Romans 1:4, LB)

Easter is the good news about God’s Son, Jesus Christ our Lord, who came as a human baby, born into King David’s royal family line. Four historical records say he showed himself to 500 people at one gathering. Can you imagine witnessing his death and then seeing him walking around Jerusalem three days later? What an amazing thing! When Jesus was hanging on the cross, the skeptics and critics mocked him and said, “If you’re the Son of God, why don’t you just pull yourself down from that cross? Why don’t you just come down and show that you’re really God?” Jesus had something more spectacular planned. He said, “I’m going to let you bury me for three days, then I’ll come back to life to prove that I am what I am.”

What does this mean to us today? In one sense, Jesus Christ is still on trial. He’s on trial in the heart and mind of every person who has not yet acknowledged him as the Son of God, the Savior of the world.

What’s your verdict? You see, Easter really boils down to only two issues. One, is Jesus who he says he is? Is he God? Or is he a lunatic or a liar? And two, if he is who he says he is, when are you going to start following what he says to do with your life?

Today, you sit in judgment of Jesus Christ. Just as Pilate asked, “What shall I do then with Jesus who is called the Christ?” you also must decide whether he was who he said or not.

Are you willing to gamble your life that he was wrong?

How to give your life to Christ:

1. Admit you are a sinner and need forgiveness.

2. Believe that Jesus Christ died for you on the Cross and rose from the grave.

3. Through prayer, confess that Jesus Christ is the only way to God and commit to live for Him for the rest of your life.

What to Pray:

Dear Lord Jesus,
I know that I am a sinner and need your forgiveness. I believe that You died on the cross for my sins and rose from the grave to give me life. I know You are the only way to God so now I want to quit disobeying You and start living for You. Please forgive me, change my life and show me how to know You. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

If you prayed that prayer, please send us an e-mail to let us know. Or you can call our CBN Prayer Counseling Center at (800) 759-0700. We would love to talk with you and send you some literature to help you begin your walk with the Lord.

How you can know you are forgiven:

The Bible, God’s Word says: You were saved by faith in God, who treats us much better that we deserve. This is God’s gift to you, and you have done nothing on your own (Ephesians 2:8).

For those who put their faith in Jesus: He gave them the right to be the children of God… God Himself was the one who made them His children (John 1:12-13).

fridayMatthew 27:32-61

The Crucifixion of Jesus

32 As they were going out, they met a man from Cyrene, named Simon, and they forced him to carry the cross. 33 They came to a place called Golgotha (which means “the place of the skull”). 34 There they offered Jesus wine to drink, mixed with gall; but after tasting it, he refused to drink it. 35 When they had crucified him, they divided up his clothes by casting lots. 36 And sitting down, they kept watch over him there. 37 Above his head they placed the written charge against him: this is jesus, the king of the jews.

38 Two rebels were crucified with him, one on his right and one on his left. 39 Those who passed by hurled insults at him, shaking their heads 40 and saying, “You who are going to destroy the temple and build it in three days, save yourself! Come down from the cross, if you are the Son of God!” 41 In the same way the chief priests, the teachers of the law and the elders mocked him. 42 “He saved others,” they said, “but he can’t save himself! He’s the king of Israel! Let him come down now from the cross, and we will believe in him. 43 He trusts in God. Let God rescue him now if he wants him, for he said, ‘I am the Son of God.’” 44 In the same way the rebels who were crucified with him also heaped insults on him.

The Death of Jesus

45 From noon until three in the afternoon darkness came over all the land. 46 About three in the afternoon Jesus cried out in a loud voice, “Eli, Eli,[a] lema sabachthani?” (which means “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”).[b]

47 When some of those standing there heard this, they said, “He’s calling Elijah.”

48 Immediately one of them ran and got a sponge. He filled it with wine vinegar, put it on a staff, and offered it to Jesus to drink. 49 The rest said, “Now leave him alone. Let’s see if Elijah comes to save him.”

50 And when Jesus had cried out again in a loud voice, he gave up his spirit.

51 At that moment the curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. The earth shook, the rocks split 52 and the tombs broke open. The bodies of many holy people who had died were raised to life. 53 They came out of the tombs after Jesus’ resurrection and[c] went into the holy city and appeared to many people.

54 When the centurion and those with him who were guarding Jesus saw the earthquake and all that had happened, they were terrified, and exclaimed, “Surely he was the Son of God!”

55 Many women were there, watching from a distance. They had followed Jesus from Galilee to care for his needs. 56 Among them were Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James and Joseph,[d] and the mother of Zebedee’s sons.

The Burial of Jesus

57 As evening approached, there came a rich man from Arimathea, named Joseph, who had himself become a disciple of Jesus. 58 Going to Pilate, he asked for Jesus’ body, and Pilate ordered that it be given to him. 59 Joseph took the body, wrapped it in a clean linen cloth, 60 and placed it in his own new tomb that he had cut out of the rock. He rolled a big stone in front of the entrance to the tomb and went away. 61 Mary Magdalene and the other Mary were sitting there opposite the tomb.

MondayThroughout this week I’ll provide the rough harmony/chronology of the words and actions of Jesus in the final week of his pre-resurrection life. There wont be any commentary, just a simple journey as given by the Bible. Take some time to read it and see how it applies to your life.


On Monday morning Jesus and the Twelve leave Bethany to return to Jerusalem, and along the way Jesus curses the fig tree

Matthew 21:18-19

In the morning, as he was returning to the city, he became hungry. And seeing a fig tree by the wayside, he went to it and found nothing on it but only leaves. And he said to it,

“May no fruit ever come from you again!”

And the fig tree withered at once.

Mark 11:12-14

On the following day, when they came from Bethany, he was hungry. And seeing in the distance a fig tree in leaf, he went to see if he could find anything on it. When he came to it, he found nothing but leaves, for it was not the season for figs. And he said to it,

“May no one ever eat fruit from you again.”

And his disciples heard it.

 


Jesus enters Jerusalem and clears the temple

Matthew 21:12-13

And Jesus entered the temple and drove out all who sold and bought in the temple, and he overturned the tables of the money-changers and the seats of those who sold pigeons. He said to them,

“It is written,

‘My house shall be called a house of prayer,’

but you make it a den of robbers.”

Mark 11:15-17

And they came to Jerusalem. And he entered the temple and began to drive out those who sold and those who bought in the temple, and he overturned the tables of the money-changers and the seats of those who sold pigeons. And he would not allow anyone to carry anything through the temple. And he was teaching them and saying to them,

“Is it not written,

‘My house shall be called a house of prayer for all the nations’?

But you have made it a den of robbers.”

Luke 19:45-46

And he entered the temple and began to drive out those who sold, saying to them,

“It is written,

‘My house shall be a house of prayer,’

but you have made it a den of robbers.”


In the evening Jesus and the Twelve leave Jerusalem (returning to Bethany)

Mark 11:19

And when evening came they went out of the city.

eraseTo best answer this question, we’re going to look at two powerful passages of Scripture. The first is found in the book of Psalms: “As far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us” (Psalm 103:12). One of the most effective tricks Satan plays on Christians is to convince us that our sins aren’t really forgiven, despite the promise of God’s Word. If we’ve truly received Jesus as Savior by faith, and still have that uneasy feeling wondering whether or not there is true forgiveness, that may be coming from demonic influences. Demons hate it when people are delivered from their grasp, and they try to plant seeds of doubt in our minds about the reality of our salvation. In his vast arsenal of tricks, one of Satan’s biggest tools is to constantly remind us of our past transgressions, and he uses those to prove that God couldn’t possibly forgive or restore us. The devil’s attacks make it a real challenge for us to simply rest in the promises of God and trust His love.

But this psalm also tells us that God not only forgives our sins, but removes them completely from His presence. This is a profound thing! Without question, this is a difficult concept for humans to grasp, which is why it’s so easy for us to worry and wonder about forgiveness instead of just accepting it. The key lies in simply giving up our doubts and our feelings of guilt and resting in His promises of forgiveness.

Another passage is 1 John 1:9, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” What an incredible promise! God forgives His children when they sin if only they come to Him and in an attitude of repentance and ask to be forgiven. God’s grace is so great that it can cleanse the sinner from his sin so that he becomes a child of God. Even when we stumble, we can be forgiven still.

In Matthew 18:21-22, we read, “Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, ‘Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother when he sins against me? Up to seven times?’ Jesus answered, ‘I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times.’” Peter was probably thinking that he was being generous. Rather than repay a person who had committed a sin against him with equal retribution, Peter suggested giving the brother some leeway, say, up to seven times. But the eighth time, forgiveness and grace would run out. But Christ challenged the rules of Peter’s suggested economy of grace by saying that forgiveness is infinite for those who are truly seeking it. This is only possible because of the infinite grace of God which is made possible through the shed blood of Christ on the cross. Because of Christ’s forgiving power, we can always be made clean after we sin if we humbly seek it.

At the same time, it must be noted that it is not biblical for a person to sin habitually and continually as a lifestyle and still be a believer (1 John 3:8-9). This is why Paul admonishes us to “examine yourselves to see whether you are in the faith; test yourselves. Do you not realize that Christ Jesus is in you—unless, of course, you fail the test?” (2 Corinthians 13:5). As Christians, we do stumble, but we do not live a lifestyle of continual, unrepentant sin. All of us have weaknesses and can fall into sin, even if we don’t want to. Even the apostle Paul did what he didn’t want to do because of the sin at work in his body (Romans 7:15). Like Paul, the response of the believer is to hate the sin, repent of it and ask for divine grace to overcome it (Romans 7:24-25). Although we need not fall because of God’s sufficient grace, sometimes we do because we rely upon our insufficient strength. When our faith grows weak and, like Peter, we deny our Lord in word or in life, even then there is still a chance to repent and be forgiven of our sin.

Another one of Satan’s tricks is to get us to think that there is no hope, that there is no possibility that we can be forgiven, healed, and restored. He will try to get us to feel consumed and trapped by guilt so that we do not feel worthy of God’s forgiveness any longer. But since when were we ever worthy of God’s grace? God loved us, forgave us and chose us to be in Christ before the foundation of the world (Ephesians 1:4-6), not because of anything we did, but “in order that we, who were the first to hope in Christ, might be for the praise of his glory” (Ephesians 1:12). We must always keep in mind that there is no place we can go that God’s grace cannot reach, and there is no depth to which we can sink that God is no longer able to pull us out. His grace is greater than all of our sin. Whether we are just starting to wander off course or we are already sinking and drowning in our sin, grace can be received.

Grace is a gift from God (Ephesians 2:8). When we sin, the Spirit will convict us of sin such that a godly sorrow will result (2 Corinthians 7:10-11). He will not condemn our souls as if there is no hope, for there is no longer any condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus (Romans 8:1). The Spirit’s conviction within us is a movement of love and grace. Grace is not an excuse to sin (Romans 6:1-2), and it dare not be abused, meaning that sin must be called “sin,” and it cannot be treated as if it is harmless or inoffensive. Unrepentant believers need to be lovingly confronted and guided to freedom, and unbelievers need to be told that they need to repent. Yet let us also emphasize the remedy, for we have been given grace upon grace (John 1:16). Grace is how we live, how we are saved, how we are sanctified, and how we will be kept and glorified. Let us receive grace when we sin by repenting and confessing our sin to God. Why live a sinful life when Christ offers to make us whole and right in the eyes of God?

th_huggingWhat does the Bible say about sin? The Bible is very clear on the subject of sin in that everyone is guilty of sin, God hates sin, God found a way through Jesus for us to be forgiven of sin. Feel free to use these sin Bible scriptures for a devotional, Sunday school lesson or topical Bible study.

We Are All Sinners

Romans 3:23  For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard.

Isaiah 64:6 We are all infected and impure with sin. When we display our righteous deeds, they are nothing but filthy rags. Like autumn leaves, we wither and fall, and our sins sweep us away like the wind.

We Need To Confess Our Sin

Proverbs 28:13 People who conceal their sins will not prosper, but if they confess and turn from them, they will receive mercy.

Hosea 5:15  Then I will return to my place until they admit their guilt and turn to me. For as soon as trouble comes, they will earnestly search for me.”

God Forgives Our Sin

1 John 1:7-9 But if we are living in the light, as God is in the light, then we have fellowship with each other, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, cleanses us from all sin.  If we claim we have no sin, we are only fooling ourselves and not living in the truth. But if we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness.

Forgiving One Anothers Sins

Luke 17:3-4 So watch yourselves!    “If another believer sins, rebuke that person; then if there is repentance, forgive. Even if that person wrongs you seven times a day and each time turns again and asks forgiveness, you must forgive.”

Examples of Sin

Colossians 3:5-6   So put to death the sinful, earthly things lurking within you. Have nothing to do with sexual immorality, impurity, lust, and evil desires. Don’t be greedy, for a greedy person is an idolater, worshiping the things of this world.  Because of these sins, the anger of God is coming.

Galatians 5:19-21  When you follow the desires of your sinful nature, the results are very clear: sexual immorality, impurity, lustful pleasures,  idolatry, sorcery, hostility, quarreling, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish ambition, dissension, division,  envy, drunkenness, wild parties, and other sins like these. Let me tell you again, as I have before, that anyone living that sort of life will not inherit the Kingdom of God.

Victory Over Sin

1 Corinthians 15:57 But thank God! He gives us victory over sin and death through our Lord Jesus Christ.

Romans 8:1 So now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus.

I pray that these Bible Verses on sin helped you to see sin the way God does. Please feel free to add any other sin Scriptures in the comments so this will be a better resource for those that find it. For those who have not accepted Jesus into their lives and are ready to accept Jesus please see below which is a portion of an article Jack Wellman wrote about Signs of the Second Coming of Jesus.

HOW TO RECEIVE & KNOW YOU HAVE ETERNAL LIFE

Admit – that you are a sinner and in need of a Savior (Rom 6:23)

Abandon – self-effort and realize that you can not be saved by your works or your own efforts (Acts 16:31)

Accept freely Christ’s payment for your sins, required of the Father (John 3:16)

Acknowledge Jesus Christ as your personal lord and Savior (Acts 4:12)

indexHave you ever thought about how limited your knowledge is? Think of all of the books in your school or local library and guess how many of them you have read. Probably not even a shelves worth. There are so many things that go on in science, literature, politics, or mechanics that we can never know a small fraction of what they all do or mean.

Now think about God and his knowledge. He knows everything because he created everything. He is the God who split the Red Sea and brought Lazarus back to life. He is the God who brought the ten plagues on Egypt and healed the paralytic. Not only is he knowledgable, he is powerful. So, why do we come to him in prayer with what we only know in our little box of knowledge or how things should work in our little universe?

Paul tells the church in Ephesus that they can pray big prayers. God can do more than we can even ask or think. He also does it through us and it all brings glory to Jesus. You see, we can pray big prayers because they will point to Jesus and not ourselves. We won’t get the credit, but He will.

As you are praying for this New Year, ask God to help you step out of your comfort zone and to direct you to the big prayers he wants you to pray. Should you be praying for the person who would “never” change their ways and follow Jesus? Should you be praying for God to change a community and that wants nothing to do with him? You get the idea, right?

Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen. (Ephesians 3:20-21 ESV)