Walking With Jesus
22 Be merciful to those who doubt; 23 save others by snatching them from the fire; to others show mercy, mixed with fear—hating even the clothing stained by corrupted flesh.
24 To him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you before his glorious presence without fault and with great joy— 25 to the only God our Savior be glory, majesty, power and authority, through Jesus Christ our Lord, before all ages, now and forevermore! Amen.
- Helping Those Who Doubt to Follow Jesus
- Show mercy to those who doubt
There is a difference between doubt and abandoning the faith. Doubt is a normal part of the learning or growing process.
We talked last week about building our faith.
Mark 9: 17 A man in the crowd answered, “Teacher, I brought you my son, who is possessed by a spirit that has robbed him of speech. 18 Whenever it seizes him, it throws him to the ground. He foams at the mouth, gnashes his teeth and becomes rigid. I asked your disciples to drive out the spirit, but they could not.”
19 “You unbelieving generation,” Jesus replied, “how long shall I stay with you? How long shall I put up with you? Bring the boy to me.”
20 So they brought him. When the spirit saw Jesus, it immediately threw the boy into a convulsion. He fell to the ground and rolled around, foaming at the mouth.
21 Jesus asked the boy’s father, “How long has he been like this?”
“From childhood,” he answered. 22 “It has often thrown him into fire or water to kill him. But if you can do anything, take pity on us and help us.”
23 “‘If you can’?” said Jesus. “Everything is possible for one who believes.”
24 Immediately the boy’s father exclaimed, “I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!”
25 When Jesus saw that a crowd was running to the scene, he rebuked the impure spirit. “You deaf and mute spirit,” he said, “I command you, come out of him and never enter him again.”
26 The spirit shrieked, convulsed him violently and came out. The boy looked so much like a corpse that many said, “He’s dead.” 27 But Jesus took him by the hand and lifted him to his feet, and he stood up.
The Disciples are growing
“Lord I believe, Help my unbelief!”
- Be patient in your mercy
Snatching them from the fire seems like they just escaped! Well, that means that we are waiting to snatch them, because we don’t force folks to believe. They must turn and then we can grab them up. But it means that we haven’t given up on folks until God indicates that we can. And forgiveness and restoration is also still in view.
How does God exemplify this?
Romans 3: 25 God presented Christ as a sacrifice of atonement, through the shedding of his blood—to be received by faith. He did this to demonstrate his righteousness, because in his forbearance he had left the sins committed beforehand unpunished— 26 he did it to demonstrate his righteousness at the present time, so as to be just and the one who justifies those who have faith in Jesus.
27 Where, then, is boasting? It is excluded. Because of what law? The law that requires works? No, because of the law that requires faith. 28 For we maintain that a person is justified by faith apart from the works of the law.
Ephesians 4: 25 Therefore each of you must put off falsehood and speak truthfully to your neighbor, for we are all members of one body. 26 “In your anger do not sin”[d]: Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, 27 and do not give the devil a foothold. 28 Anyone who has been stealing must steal no longer, but must work, doing something useful with their own hands, that they may have something to share with those in need.
29 Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.
Romans 11: 32 For God has bound everyone over to disobedience so that he may have mercy on them all.
- Be patient in your mercy without accepting sin
But neither do we compromise the message of the gospel. That is to be spreaders of fire!
Sources of life are sources of life. Sources of death are sources of death.
God is both the justifier and the just! Consider why Jesus died on the Cross!
- Jesus is Able to Order Your Steps
Jesus can keep you from stumbling!
- A light for a dark path
The pathway is the pathway of life.
John 8:12 12 When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”
Matthew 5: 14 “You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. 16 In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.
9 How can a young person stay on the path of purity?
By living according to your word.
10 I seek you with all my heart; do not let me stray from your commands.
11 I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you.
105 Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path.
24 “Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. 25 The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock.
- Make level paths for your feet
7 Endure hardship as discipline; God is treating you as his children. For what children are not disciplined by their father? 8 If you are not disciplined—and everyone undergoes discipline—then you are not legitimate, not true sons and daughters at all. 9 Moreover, we have all had human fathers who disciplined us and we respected them for it. How much more should we submit to the Father of spirits and live! 10 They disciplined us for a little while as they thought best; but God disciplines us for our good, in order that we may share in his holiness. 11 No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.
12 Therefore, strengthen your feeble arms and weak knees. 13 “Make level paths for your feet,” so that the lame may not be disabled, but rather healed.
Hardship and discipline without bitterness!
- Walk after the Spirit
16 So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. 17 For the flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh. They are in conflict with each other, so that you are not to do whatever you want.
24 Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. 25 Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit.
Colossians 3: 1 Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. 2 Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things.
III. Jesus is Able to Present You to God
- We will all face judgement before God
Matthew 10: 28 Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell.
Romans 14: 10 You, then, why do you judge your brother or sister[a]? Or why do you treat them with contempt? For we will all stand before God’s judgment seat. 11 It is written:
“‘As surely as I live,’ says the Lord, ‘every knee will bow before me;
every tongue will acknowledge God.’”
12 So then, each of us will give an account of ourselves to God.
Hebrews 9: 27 Just as people are destined to die once, and after that to face judgment, 28 so Christ was sacrificed once to take away the sins of many; and he will appear a second time, not to bear sin, but to bring salvation to those who are waiting for him.
- Jesus presents us to God without fault
II Cor 5: 21 God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.
Hebrews 10:14 14 For by one sacrifice he has made perfect forever those who are being made holy.
Romans 3: 23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24 and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. 25 God presented Christ as a sacrifice of atonement, through the shedding of his blood—to be received by faith. He did this to demonstrate his righteousness, because in his forbearance he had left the sins committed beforehand unpunished— 26 he did it to demonstrate his righteousness at the present time, so as to be just and the one who justifies those who have faith in Jesus.
Isaiah 53: Surely he took up our pain and bore our suffering,
yet we considered him punished by God, stricken by him, and afflicted.
5 But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him,
and by his wounds we are healed.
6 We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to our own way; and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all.
- Jesus makes meeting God Joyful
John 14:1- 6
1 “Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe also in me. 2 My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? 3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. 4 You know the way to the place where I am going.”
5 Thomas said to him, “Lord, we don’t know where you are going, so how can we know the way?”
6 Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.
Marriage as the consistent Biblical metaphor!
Hosea, This passage in John and Revelation 19!
6 Then I heard what sounded like a great multitude, like the roar of rushing waters and like loud peals of thunder, shouting:
“Hallelujah! For our Lord God Almighty reigns.
7 Let us rejoice and be glad and give him glory!
For the wedding of the Lamb has come, and his bride has made herself ready.
8 Fine linen, bright and clean, was given her to wear.”
(Fine linen stands for the righteous acts of God’s holy people.)
9 Then the angel said to me, “Write this: Blessed are those who are invited to the wedding supper of the Lamb!” And he added, “These are the true words of God.”