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.
THE TOXIC WASTE OF BITTERNESS
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"Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you. Be imitators of God, therefore, as dearly loved children and live a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave Himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.” Ephesians 4:31 - 5:2.
Bitterness defiles and destroys lives, friendships, families and one’s future. Bitterness is like a cancer. It devours its host. Bitterness is self-induced misery.
Real or Imagined
When we sin, we feel guilt. When others sin against us, we feel bitter. Bitterness is always based upon someone else’s actions. These actions could be real or imagined, they may even be based on a false report, but the bitterness is always very real. Bitter people cannot imagine the possibility that they are bitter over imaginary sins. As far as the bitter person is concerned the other person’s guilt must always be real. Rioters, arsonists, ANTIFA and BLM protestors ae all bitter and angry over something they believe others are guilty of.
“See to it that no one misses the grace of God and that no bitter root grows up to cause trouble and defile many.” Hebrews 12:15. The Bible warns us lest any root of bitterness spring up causing trouble and defiling many people. If there is a root of bitterness, it will bear bitter fruit. Bitterness is destructive and devastating.