MISSIONS IN THE OLD TESTAMENT
All Nations in God’s Purpose
After our Lord Jesus Christ rose from the dead, He revealed God’s eternal purpose to His disciples.
“And beginning with Moses and all the prophets, He explained to them what was said in all the Scriptures concerning Himself... He said to them, ‘this is what I told you while I was still with you: Everything must be fulfilled that is written about Me in the Law of Moses, the Prophets and the Psalms.’ Then He opened their minds so they could understand the Scriptures. He told them, ‘This is what is written: The Christ will suffer and rise from the dead on the third day, and repentance and forgiveness of sins will be preached in His Name to all nations’” Luke 24:27,44-47. Most of us have closed minds and we need Jesus to open our eyes to see Him in all the books of the Old Testament, in the Law of Moses, in the writings of the Prophets and in the Psalms. Jesus broadened the vision of His disciples to see all nations in God’s purpose.
The Protoevangelium: Genesis 3:15
Salvation is initiated by and achieved by God – “I will...”
Salvation will destroy satan – “He will crush your head.””
Salvation will come through a Mediator who is related to mankind – “The Seed.”
Salvation will involve the suffering of the Redeemer – “The enemy will bruise His heel.”
THE HEART OF THE PROBLEM IS THE PROBLEM OF THE HEART
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.
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.