THE TOXIC WASTE OF BITTERNESS
Whatever Happened to Sin?
The rampant looting sprees and malicious damage to property that saw 200 shopping malls and warehouses looted with R50 Billion losses and over 370 deaths in KwaZulu/Natal and Gauteng in South Africa has led many to ask: whatever happened to respect for life and property?
God Hates Sin
The Bible makes clear that God hates sin. “These six things the Lord hates. Yes, seven are an abomination to Him: A proud look, a lying tongue, hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked plans, feet that are swift in running to evil, a false witness who speaks lies, and one who sows discord among brethren.” Proverbs 6:16-19
Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God
The Great Evangelical Awakening was sparked by Jonathan Edwards’ sermon: “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God.” For the most of church history. preachers have thundered from the pulpits against the seven deadly sins of lust, gluttony, greed, laziness, anger, envy and pride. Today, few people would be able to even identify the seven deadly sins.
GODLY ZEAL VS. FANATICISM
“For the grace of God that brings Salvation has appeared to all men, teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously and godly in the present age, looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Saviour Jesus Christ, Who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from every lawless deed and purify for Himself His own special people, zealous for good works.” Titus 2:11-14
Salvation, Service and Sanctification
We leave the old life to live the new life. Looking forward to the glorious return of the King of kings and Lord of lords. God’s grace leads to godliness. We are saved to serve. Hope should lead to holiness. Salvation is by the grace of God alone. Christ alone is the Head of the Church. Salvation is by the sacrificial Atonement of our Lord Jesus Christ. He saved us, redeemed us and purified us to be His peculiar people, zealous for good works.
Wholehearted Zealous Enthusiasm
Our Lord deserves our very best. Nothing less than wholeheartedness is acceptable in the service of the Lord. In Revelation 3, we read that lukewarm Christians make God sick. The Lord requires us to be zealous, enthusiastic and wholehearted.
“See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil. Therefore, do not be unwise, but understand what the will of the Lord is. And do not be drunk with wine, in which is dissipation; but be filled with the Spirit, speaking to one another in Psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord, giving thanks always for all things to God the Father in the Name of our Lord Jesus Christ.” Ephesians 5:15-20
Our Highest Priority
We are to love God with all of our heart, soul, mind and strength (Mark 12:30). We are to worship God in spirit and in truth (John 4:23-24).
Peaceful, Joyful and Thankful
“And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to which also you were called in one body; and be thankful. Let the Word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in Psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord. And whatever you do in word, or deed, do all in the Name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.” Colossians 3:15-17
Preaching and Teaching the Word of God is a Vital Part of Worship
Teaching and preaching the Word of God is a vital part of worship. Congregational singing and music are also part of the ministry of the Word of God. Songwriters ought to be as skilled in the Scriptures and as concerned for Biblical integrity and Theological accuracy as the preacher and teacher of the Word of God.
CHRIST ON TRIAL
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The betrayal, arrest, trial and execution of Jesus of Nazareth, was unique. It was not His actions that were in question, but His identity. The charge laid against Christ by the Jewish Sanhedrin was blasphemy. The testimony on which He was convicted was concerned with His identity as the Messiah. The interrogation by the Roman governor, Pontius Pilate and the inscription and proclamation placed on His Cross at the execution, dealt with the identity of Christ as the Messiah, the Son of God, the King of kings and Lord of lords.
The Illegal Trial
The trial of Jesus of Nazareth was completely illegal. At every point it broke the laws of Israel as well as the laws of Rome. It was illegal to conduct a trial at night. It was also against the law to conduct a summary trial without any warning, or opportunity, for the accused to prepare a defense or seek positive character witnesses. At any trial the accused was to be granted an opportunity to prepare a defense and heralds were to be sent out into the area requiring anyone who knew anything positive about the accused to come forward and testify. There was no opportunity granted for appeal. There was no delay between the arrest and trial, between the trial and verdict, between the verdict and sentencing and between the sentencing and execution. Within less than a 24-hour period, Jesus was arrested, tried, condemned, sentenced to death and executed. This blatantly violated all due process of law.