The Good Seat

James 2:2-4

2 Suppose a man comes into your meeting wearing a gold ring and fine clothes, and a poor man in filthy old clothes also comes in. 3 If you show special attention to the man wearing fine clothes and say, “Here’s a good seat for you,” but say to the poor man, “You stand there” or “Sit on the floor by my feet,” 4 have you not discriminated among yourselves and become judges with evil thoughts?

The Way and the Truth and the Life

John 14:6

6 Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.

Do Everything in Love

1 Corinthians 16:13-14

13 Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be courageous; be strong. 14 Do everything in love.

As the Corinthians awaited Paul’s next visit, they were directed to:

(1) Be on their guard—they were to be constantly watchful or alert for spiritual enemies that might slip in and threaten to destroy them whether it be divisions, pride, sin, disorder, or erroneous theology

(2) Stand firm in what they believed—that is, the gospel that they had been taught in the beginning, the gospel that had brought them salvation

(3) Be courageous so that they could stand against false teachers, deal with sin in the congregation, and straighten out other problems

(4) Be strong, with the strength given by the Holy Spirit

(5) Do everything in love because without love, they would be no more than prideful noisemakers

Today, as we wait for the return of Christ, we should follow the same instructions.

Scaling the Mountains

Matthew 14:23

23 And when He had sent the multitudes away, He went up on the mountain by Himself to pray. Now when evening came, He was alone there.

Deuteronomy 32:48-52

48 On that same day the LORD told Moses, 49 “Go up into the Abarim Range to Mount Nebo in Moab, across from Jericho, and view Canaan, the land I am giving the Israelites as their own possession. 50 There on the mountain that you have climbed you will die and be gathered to your people, just as your brother Aaron died on Mount Hor and was gathered to his people. 51 This is because both of you broke faith with me in the presence of the Israelites at the waters of Meribah Kadesh in the Desert of Zin and because you did not uphold my holiness among the Israelites. 52 Therefore, you will see the land only from a distance; you will not enter the land I am giving to the people of Israel.”

Deuteronomy 34:4

4 Then the LORD said to him, “This is the land I promised on oath to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob when I said, ‘I will give it to your descendants.’ I have let you see it with your eyes, but you will not cross over into it.”

Genesis 8:3-4

3 The water receded steadily from the earth. At the end of the hundred and fifty days the water had gone down, 4 and on the seventeenth day of the seventh month the ark came to rest on the mountains of Ararat.

Genesis 8:13-16

13 By the first day of the first month of Noah’s six hundred and first year, the water had dried up from the earth. Noah then removed the covering from the ark and saw that the surface of the ground was dry. 14 By the twenty-seventh day of the second month the earth was completely dry.

15 Then God said to Noah, 16 “Come out of the ark, you and your wife and your sons and their wives.

The Central Theme of the Gospel

1 Corinthians 15:3-4

3 For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, 4 that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures,

The central theme of the gospel is given in these verses, a key text for the defense of Christianity. The third most important point is:

(3) He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures. Christ was raised permanently, forever; his Father raised Him from the dead “on the third day” as noted in the Gospels (Friday afternoon to Sunday morning—three days in Jewish reckoning of time). This also occurred “according to the Scriptures.” Jesus quoted the prophet Jonah (Jonah 1:17) in Matthew 12:40 to show the connection to “three days” as prophesied in the Old Testament:

Jonah 1:17

17 Now the LORD provided a huge fish to swallow Jonah, and Jonah was in the belly of the fish three days and three nights.

Matthew 12:40

40 For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of a huge fish, so the Son of Man will be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.

Psalm 16:8-11 and Psalm 110 also foretell the resurrection of the Messiah:

Psalm 16:8-11

8
I keep my eyes always on the LORD.
With him at my right hand, I will not be shaken.

9
Therefore my heart is glad and my tongue rejoices;
my body also will rest secure,
10
because you will not abandon me to the realm of the dead,
nor will you let your faithful one see decay.
11
You make known to me the path of life;
you will fill me with joy in your presence,
with eternal pleasures at your right hand.

Psalm 110

1
The LORD says to my lord:

“Sit at my right hand
until I make your enemies
a footstool for your feet.”

2
The LORD will extend your mighty scepter from Zion, saying,
“Rule in the midst of your enemies!”
3
Your troops will be willing
on your day of battle.
Arrayed in holy splendor,
your young men will come to you
like dew from the morning’s womb.

4
The LORD has sworn
and will not change his mind:
“You are a priest forever,
in the order of Melchizedek.”

5
The Lord is at your right hand;
he will crush kings on the day of his wrath.
6
He will judge the nations, heaping up the dead
and crushing the rulers of the whole earth.
7
He will drink from a brook along the way,
and so he will lift his head high.

The Central Theme of the Gospel

1 Corinthians 15:3-4

3 For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, 4 that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures,

The central theme of the gospel is given in these verses, a key text for the defense of Christianity. The second most important point is:

(2) He was buried. The fact of Christ’s death is revealed in the fact of His burial. Many have tried to discount the actual death of Christ, but Jesus did in fact die and was buried in a tomb.

The Central Theme of the Gospel

1 Corinthians 15:3-4

3 For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, 4 that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures,

The central theme of the gospel is given in these verses, a key text for the defense of Christianity. The first most important point is:

(1) Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures. Without the truth of this message, Christ’s death was worthless, and those who believe in Him are still in their sins and without hope. However, Christ as the sinless Son of God took the punishment of sin so that those who believe can have their sins removed. “The Scriptures” refers to Old Testament prophecies such as Psalm 16:8-11 and Isaiah 53:5-6:

Psalm 16:8-11

8
I keep my eyes always on the LORD.
With him at my right hand, I will not be shaken.

9
Therefore my heart is glad and my tongue rejoices;
my body also will rest secure,
10
because you will not abandon me to the realm of the dead,
nor will you let your faithful one see decay.
11
You make known to me the path of life;
you will fill me with joy in your presence,
with eternal pleasures at your right hand.

Isaiah 53:5-6

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.

Christ’s death on the cross was no accident or afterthought. It had been part of God’s plan from all eternity in order to bring about the salvation of all who believe.