TEEN TREE OF LIFE

The Lord Jesus Christ’s Offer of Rest - Part 2

May 29, 2022

 

Before you begin, ask yourself a very important question: Do you believe that Jesus Christ died on The Cross for all of your sins? If you answered yes, you will need to be sure that you are filled with The Holy Spirit. How do you do this? You name your sins to God The Father in His Son’s Name. This is called Rebound. As a Christian, you must rebound any time you sin. This is taught in 1 JOH 1:9: If we confess [name] our sins [directly to God], He [God] is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins andto cleanse us from all unrighteousness. Now, if you have never believed that Jesus Christ died on The Cross for all of your sins, all you have to do is say to yourself that you believe in Him and you are saved! The Bible verse which teaches us this is ACTS 16:31: “Believe on The Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved.”

 

We continue our study of The Lord Jesus Christ’s Offer of Rest which begins with a prayer found in MATT 11:25-27 (New International Reader’s Version): At that time Jesus said, “I praise you, Father. You are Lord of heaven and earth. You have hidden these things from wise and educated people. But you have shown them to little children. Yes, Father. This is what you wanted to do. “My Father has given all things to me. The Father is the only one who knows the Son. And the only ones who know the Father are the Son and those to whom the Son chooses to make him known.” Notice that The Lord Jesus Christ doesn’t begin with the phrase “Our Father,” as He did when teaching His disciples how to prayer in MATTHEW 6. Neither does Our Lord refer to God as Father in the universal sense as the Creator since He addresses that in the second part of the prayer, Lord of heaven and earth.”

 

When Our Savior prays to God The Father, as He does here, He simply addresses God as “Father.” In the Bible, He uses the phrase, My Father twice (MATT 26:39,42) and “Abba! Father!” once (MAR 14:36) in speaking directly to God The Father. Jesus speaks to God The Father directly addressing Him simply as Father because of His Unique Relationship with Him which signifies His Own Deity. Jesus calls God Father because He is The Son of God. The Jews of that time certainly understood what Jesus meant by this because His enemies sought to stone Him for blasphemy for addressing God that way in JOH 10:31-32 (New International Reader’s Version): Again the Jews who had challenged him picked up stones to kill him. But Jesus said to them, “I have shown you many good works from the Father. Which good work are you throwing stones at me for?”

 

Jesus Christ is The Messiah, God in Human Flesh, so it’s no wonder that we find God The Son giving praise from a basis of unity with God The Father. The specific thing which was well-pleasing in the eyes of The Father and The Son was expressed by Jesus Christ when He said, You have hidden these things from wise and educated people. But you have shown them to little children. Yes, Father. This is what you wanted to do. (MATT 11:25-26 New International Reader’s Version) But what was hidden from some and revealed to others? It was all that The Lord Jesus Christ had been proclaiming and teaching up to this point in His Ministry. That includes The Sermon on the Mount in which He presented His Kingdom Program and the characteristics of true righteousness necessary to be part of it.

 

Those individuals, such as the Scribes and Pharisees, who only have the righteousness of an outward conformity to the demands of a religious system, will not enter God’s Kingdom. That brings up the first prerequisite of receiving Our Savior’s Offer of Rest. The offer may be universal, but only the humble of heart will hear and understand the offer being made.

 

The words “wise and educated” are used here in the same way that Paul uses them in 1 COR 1:18-29 (New International Reader’s Version): The message of the cross seems foolish to those who are lost and dying. But it is God’s power to us who are being saved. It is written, “I will destroy the wisdom of those who are wise. I will do away with the cleverness of those who think they are so smart.” (Isaiah 29:14) Where is the wise person? Where is the teacher of the law? Where are the great thinkers of our time? Hasn’t God made the wisdom of the world foolish? God wisely planned that the world would not know him through its own wisdom. It pleased God to use the foolish things we preach to save those who believe. Jews require signs. Greeks look for wisdom. But we preach about Christ and his death on the cross. That is very hard for Jews to accept. And everyone else thinks it’s foolish. But there are those God has chosen, both Jews and Greeks. To them Christ is God’s power and God’s wisdom. The foolish things of God are wiser than human wisdom. The weakness of God is stronger than human strength. Brothers and sisters, think of what you were when God chose you. Not many of you were considered wise by human standards. Not many of you were powerful. Not many of you belonged to important families. But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise. God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. God chose the things of this world that are common and looked down on. God chose things considered unimportant to do away with things considered important. So no one can boast to God.

 

The terms “” found in both MATT 11 and 1 COR 1:18-29 refer to those who think they can do it their own way and so think they do not need a savior. They think they can figure it all out on their own and provide for themselves. It’s a reference to the foolish pride of mankind which schemes, plots and develops its own religion or philosophy so that there is no need to trust in God and His Mercy and Grace alone. These are people who think they can somehow, by their own efforts, achieve their own ends by their own means and methods. This was exactly what the religious leaders had done when Jesus Christ walked the earth. They modified the Mosaic Law to the point that they actually thought they were keeping it and therefore were pleasing God to the point that He would have to let them be part of His Kingdom. They ignored the warning of the prophets that even their righteous deeds were filthy rags before the Holy God who created them: All of us have become like someone who is “unclean.” All the good things we do are like dirty rags to you. All of us are like leaves that have dried up. Our sins sweep us away like the wind. (ISA 64:6 New International Reader’s Version)

 

That same kind of pride exhibited by those religious leaders is still very much present today. It’s found in all the false religions and philosophies which includes Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, paganism, secular humanism and all the rest. It’s found in the many cults which claims some sort of tie to Christianity because they speak about Jesus and use New Testament terminology such as mercy, grace, faith, hope, and salvation yet, they often have different meanings for those words including having a different, false savior.  They also foolishly believe that they can achieve salvation by their own efforts.

 

Even Christian denominations that at one time held to the truth have lost their way in the same manner as the Jewish leaders of old. They replace The Gospel of Salvation in Christ alone with salvation in some system of works. The Roman Catholic church added doctrine through the ages that switched Salvation through Christ to salvation through the church, from Trust in Jesus to trust in Mary, from Redemption from sin by God’s Grace and Mercy alone to redemption received by doing the meritorious works of what they refer to as the Sacraments.

 

God has always resisted the proud while giving grace to the humble. This is taught in many verses throughout the Bible. Look at PSA 138:6 (New International Reader’s Version): Though the Lord is high above all, he cares for the lowly. Though he is in heaven above, he sees them on earth below. In JAM 4:6 (New International Reader’s Version), the apostle James wrote: But God continues to give us more grace. That’s why Scripture says, “God opposes those who are proud. But he gives grace to those who are humble.” (Proverbs 3:34) The apostle Peter put it perfectly when he wrote: In the same way, I’m speaking to you who are younger. Follow the lead of those who are older. All of you, put on a spirit free of pride toward one another. Put it on as if it were your clothes. (1 PET 5:5 New International Reader’s Version)

 

In MATT 11:25-27, The Lord Jesus Christ is referring to those who are proud because they think themselves to be wise and intelligent and refuse to come to God on His Terms. God will resist such people and bring them down. At the same time, the humble, who are referred to in this text as “little children,” will be given Grace and Understanding of what The Father has revealed through His Son’s Teaching. This is well-pleasing in God The Father’s Sight.

{to be continued}

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