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How Do We Take up Our Cross?

Core Christianity / Adriel Sanchez and Bill Maier
The Truth Network Radio
March 5, 2020 1:00 am

How Do We Take up Our Cross?

Core Christianity / Adriel Sanchez and Bill Maier

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March 5, 2020 1:00 am

Episode 394 | Dr. Michael Horton and Adriel Sanchez answer caller questions.

Show Notes

Key questions answered in today's show:

1. In Mark 8:34-38, when Jesus calls his disciples to take up their cross, is this about our discipleship? Can you explain what Jesus means by this?

2. How was it that the Bible was written 75 years after Christ died? How exactly is that explained?   3. Is it true the Constantine changed the day of worship to Sunday? If so, is it wrong to go to church on Sunday and not Saturday?

4. What do you say to a fellow believer who seems to be ashamed of the Gospel?  

5. Is Isaiah 7:14 truly a prophesy about Mary & Jesus? Ive heard that the word “virgin” was translated incorrectly and this verse shouldn’t be used as a prophesy about the birth of Jesus.

6. Is love the most important teaching in the Bible?

Journeys with Jesus: Every Path in the Bible Leads Us to Christ  by Dennis Johnson  

The Gospel-Driven Life: Being Good News People in a Bad News World  by Michael Horton

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This is core Christianity, where answering your questions about the Christian life Monday through Friday. Your hosts are author and seminary professor Dr. Michael Horton and pastor atrial Sanchez call right now with your question. At 1833. The core that's 1-833-843-2673 and now here's atrial Sanchez hello and welcome to another episode of corporate entity. Were we answer your questions about the Bible. I'm with Prof. Michael Horton and I'm pastor atrial Sanchez. What a joy it is for us to be together again pointing you to Jesus talking about the gospel talking about the cross of Jesus Christ, you, Paul. He said in the book of first Corinthians. I purposed to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and him crucified the cross of Jesus is central to the Christian faith, with which is so interesting because you think about what the cross symbolized in the Roman Empire.

It wasn't that pretty thing that you would put around your neck. You know it was an instrument of torture, of capital punishment. And yet this instrument of torture became the symbol of the Christian faith. If you will and and so it's important for us to understand what Jesus means when he talks about the cross. We have a question from Emily here on Instagram. She asked in Mark 834 through 38 when Jesus calls his disciples that take up their cross. Is this about our discipleship. Can you explains what Jesus means by this Mike.

I don't think he meant you don't wear it around your neck in element definitely wrong with that per se, but like you not know exactly will the most important thing here, as elsewhere, Emily is to distinguish the law from the gospel.

The law commands but the gospel gives, we can't look to the law for our salvation and justification before God and the gospel doesn't command the gospel announces what God has done for us in Christ. But Jesus meant what he said here is the law. It's a command. We are to take up our cross but we have to distinguish our cross from his his cross is gospel. Our cross is a command is a law but Jesus bore the curse of sin and death for us in our place.

We could never bear the brunt of God's righteous wrath against sin. But Jesus is the spotless Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world.

We don't take up that cross, Jesus took up that cross and he did it alone for us, but our cross is sharing by analogy in his suffering, not for our sins, but for our testimony to his gospel were not bearing God's wrath, but the wrath of Satan and in a world that hates the truth so Jesus warned his disciples.

They hate me there to hate you, so you were so soft and comfortable in our consumerism today. Just turn on the TV evangelists or look at the bestseller list for religion and spirituality even of some of the Christian bestsellers and you'll find a very different view of the Christian life. It's hard to imagine that that religion would turn out a lot of martyrs. If we found ourselves in a situation of great persecution. There's no cross either Christ's cross or are cross in that prosperity gospel religion and a lot of American preaching that never talks about the cross again either Christ's cross or are cross.

We don't come to Christ to die to ourselves so that we can live to God and for our neighbors. According to a lot of the preaching today. Now we come to have health, wealth and happiness here and now we really need to hear more about Christ's cross as the single and unrepeatable sacrifice for sinners and about our cross very different cross as the self giving and self-sacrificing love that we are called to imitate as we love and serve others, and bear witness to Christ's saving life, death and resurrection. In other words, were called to die to ourselves not die for ourselves or for others but to die to ourselves and take up our cross in the sense that we are willing to name ourselves Disciples of Christ.

Even in the face of suffering and persecution for a Manas protocol that we received about when the Bible was written on Graham Rd., Oliver Bartlett, Bible partners are our product support Ambrose first great name we named our youngest son Ambroise after the Bishop of Milan. Mike you recently took a trip to Italy worry you got to see the baptismal Ambroise used way back then to baptize Augustine down.

That's pretty cool. So anyways like your name & wealth to get your question. The Bible was written over a long period of time. A lot of the Bible was written before Jesus was born right the Old Testament. Other books of the Bible say some of the Pauline epistles were written a couple of decades after Jesus's death, the can of first Corinthians, for example, others were in later and of course there are debates about what year exactly those books were written, but the reality is there also ready early and we have an insane amount of manuscript evidence when it comes to the canonical books of the Bible that is the books that we received as holy Scripture is inspired by God in the New Testament. Historian Larry Hurtado, who died recently. Sadly, he noted in his book, the destroyer of the gods that Christianity was a particularly bookish religion.

He called it focused on holy Scriptures and this was unique in that time because one was really expensive to copy books you have to hire a scribe if the pay them. You have the by parchment. It will just wasn't an easy process. It was a very tedious process is the ideal you have a religion based on holy Scriptures on God's word. It just didn't seem practical, but to not everyone knew how to read so a lot of information circulated in the church through oral testimony and it took some time to organize what we know of as the New Testament simply because people didn't have copies of the Bible like we have them today if you want to hear the Scriptures is that you do you go to church but again all of this happen pretty early, and even as early as Peter writing his epistles.

There was already this sense is that the other New Testament writings that were being circulated were inspired by God. Peter identified Paul's writing as being Scripture second Peter 316. The Bible didn't fall out of the sky from heaven, leather bound in a box like we get it when we order it from Amazon.

God used people and under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, they wrote as they were led by God and the church receive their testimony as the word of God, and over time compiled the books of the New Testament together because they bore those marks of divine inspiration. They were associated with the apostles. They fit in terms of of the doctrine that was being taught. This was something that the church received maybe what you're thinking Ambroise this is EI.

I have heard people say we can't trust the Bible because it was written hundred years after Jesus was near nobody was even really there, but I still think that that's the case of a Mike we have so much early manuscript evidence and the fact of the matters is that the writings that we do have what what were told in them is, this was a carefully account of what took place absolutely about Luke chapter 1 the way Luke begins his gospel or or John in his first epistle and first Johnny's is that which we have seen with our own eyes. It is amazing how in fact, Pinchas P is Jewish scholar very highly respected Jewish scholar who actually believe that Jesus rose from the dead. The evidence is overwhelming. He said, but he didn't believe in Jesus.

He said the disciples are typically Jewish and not Greek because the Greeks spiritualize everything but Jews. Kind of like matter. They believe that God created this material world. They were pro-world and they stumble over themselves, he says, to emphasize the materiality of the resurrection. We have a really remarkable witness to Jesus life, death and to his empty tomb, which can only be explained by the resurrection of Jesus Christ right Ambroise the big take away for you is you can trust God's word. You can trust the Bible that we have a reliable account and inspired account inspired by the Holy Spirit of what took place that we can hold onto and so I hope that you do brother God bless you. You're listening to court Christianity were answering your questions about the faith. Give us a call with your question at 1-833-843-2673. That's 1833 the core or send us an email at We have a special offer that we want to let you know about today. Yet we do a drill were sharing a frequently requested resource on court, It's called nine frequently asked questions about angels and demons and it's free. When you sign up for weekly newsletter. One of our most popular resources I think there's a lot of crazy teaching healthcare about angels and demons.

We need to search the Scriptures. Download and share this resource by heading over to court, to download nine frequently asked questions about angels and demons. Thank you. Can also get hold that by calling us at 833-843-2673 let's go to another question now is an email we got from Deborah. I grew up in a denomination where I was told that the apostles in the early church continued to gather together and worship on Saturday and that the day of worship was changed to Sunday at the Council of Nicaea by Emperor Constantine if that's true, is it wrong to attend church on Sunday and not Saturday. Thanks, Deborah is a great question. The other are some who believe that we should worship on the last day of the week Saturday instead of the first day, Sunday, and they they argue that the command to observe the Sabbath is bound up inextricably with the day commanded in the law at Mount Sinai Saturday of the only reason most Christians worship on Sunday is because the Emperor Constantine after his conversion moved the day we should follow the Bible is that of Constantine's less the argument, but it fails to convince, first of all, the New Testament itself tells us that the holy day was now Sunday instead of Saturday. Acts 20 verse seven tells us on the first day of the week when we were gathered together to break bread, Paul talked with them intending to depart on the next day and he prolonged his speech until midnight or again in verse 20 and 16 to on the first day of every week. Each of you was to put something aside and store it up that as he may prosper, so there will be no collecting when I come to every time you gather for worship on the first day of every week you're to contribute to this collection in Revelation 1010, John says he received his vision when he was in the Spirit on the Lord's day. Second, this was the practice in the earliest period of Christianity after the apostles in the year one 1280 planning, the younger the governor of Turkey wrote the Emperor Trajan that Christians gathered every Sunday, which they called the Lord's day and worship Jesus as God receiving a meal at which they believed he presided and then riding around 140 A.D. Justin Martyr tells us the same thing gives us a lot of detail on what happened as they gathered every Lord's day on Sunday to worship. So here's the thing. The Sunday practice was firmly in place from the time of the apostles long before Constantine arrived on the scene long before the Nicene Council in 325. Thirdly, Deborah. It's important to realize there's a reason for the shift from Saturday to Sunday. Saturdays, the end of the workweek right, but it's not until Sunday that you enter the new week. Will Jesus isn't Moses bringing us to the verge of the promised land of Sabbath rest. He's the greater Joshua who actually leads us in to the land, the resurrection of Jesus brought the workweek of the trial of humanity to an end Jesus fulfilled the trial. He did all the work that workweek, he fulfilled the law.

And then he entered into the everlasting Sabbath rest, and as Hebrews chapter 4 tells us, we who have believed have entered that rest with him.

Only an earthquake of seismic proportions could move the Sabbath from Saturday to Sunday and the resurrection is that earthquake was in a court Christianity were we are answering the questions you have about the Christian faith and we want to let you know about another free download available on court, called nine ways to know you really a Christian is free when you sign up for our weekly newsletter article, and click on offers and the menu bar download nine ways to know that you are really a Christian again.

One of the best ways you can help spread the message of court. Christianity is by sharing these resources with your friends and your family in my going back to Deborah's question.

It seems like when you read the Old Testament. The Sabbath was so central. It was a command. The fourth commandment don't break the Sabbath.

The New Testament Christians and they were gathering weekly for worship as you said on the Lord's day. But today it seems like many people don't have as high overview of gathering together with believers. What you think that's the case, yeah. I mean this is the festival day of the soul.

All the other days are days when you know we go to the mall we go to games we are engaged in work were engaged in sport. We go to the store we go shopping get our food. This is the day when our soul gets to gather all of its groceries. That's why a lot of Christians in the past of called the market day of the soul is a duty of Christians together on the Lord's day for his word, but it is not only a duty. It is for our benefit. As Jesus says man was not made for the Sabbath. The Sabbath was made for man.

It's for our good.

It's for our rest look at our feverish, frantic society, never stopping for one moment, terrified of being bored terrified of resting terrified of stopping and being quiet turning everything off except for God and his word and we really need that rest, let's move on out to our next call by Dr. Orton. My name is Frank, would you say to someone who sometimes feel the shame of the gospel. Thank you Frank. Why would ask why. First of all why is that person ashamed of it. What is it about the gospel that makes you ashamed of course the apostle Paul said, I'm not ashamed of the gospel verse. The power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, but a lot of people are ashamed of it.

They've always been ashamed of it. Since the time of Christ.

And that's why the apostle Paul has to say.

I'm not ashamed of the gospel, you know, I think that sometimes were ashamed of the gospel because it's not popular.

Sometimes we are ashamed of the gospel, because it is difficult to understand. It goes against the grain of our thinking. You ask the average person on the street. What is religion for and they'll tell you to make good people better. While the gospel comes to sinners, not to the righteous. First of all, we have to acknowledge that were not righteous were sinners that were helpless.

We need to be saved. We need to be rescued so a lot of people turned against the gospel for all sorts of reasons. Some people think that it's fanatical and out. You believe that Jesus literally rose from the dead you believe the Bible is really true from Genesis to Revelation.

Your fanatic will be can be ashamed of the gospel for that reason, we have to remember with the apostle Paul.

I'm not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, when you hear that gospel it really sinks in. You say he did all that for me. God came down. He stooped to our level. He suffered shame he's the one who suffered our guilt and condemnation. You weep and use a hint of eight this is the power of God to salvation.

You believe that you embrace it and the moment you do your justified or declared righteous united to Christ, you are are beginning to be conformed to his image in one day will be glorified, raised from the dead, bodily, and glorify. That's our hope that's the power of God in salvation. When you stand on the other side of it at the end of all this raised bodily and glorified, are you gonna look back and say yeah but I'm still kind of ashamed of this or that no owner, no those who persevere in this phase to the very end will be saved and they will know that the gospel is the power of God in salvation for all who believe.

Even if at times they have felt like that gospel seems powerless in the world and our love of the gospel really has to overcome our fear of man, and I think that that's Frank, what would it is a lot of time. This is fear of man were afraid of what were gonna lose by preaching the gospel people and I think I'm crazy about religious nut case that I'm not stable.

I think about Peter in that the book of acts in acts chapter 14 of the disciples are under a lot of persecution there under the threat of death. I mean, they might lose their lives for being bold with the gospel. So what is he do, he prays he prays and says, Lord, give us boldness in the face of their threats.

I think one of things that we can do more struggling with. This is pray God would fill us with the boldness to be to be faithful at sharing the gospel with others not to be afraid of what others think about us is an email we got from Susan is Isaiah 714 really a prophecy about Mary and Jesus, I have heard that the word virgin. There really means young maiden at this verse can be used as a prediction about Jesus. Let me give you what, at least, Isaiah 714 says in the ESV therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign. Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and you shall call his name Emmanuel attic the context of Isaiah 7 here is God is speaking to the king of Judah, a man named Ahaz and he's comforting him because Ahaz had received word that there was a Syrian army coming against him that with regard to the word virgin here, the original Hebrew word can in fact be translated as young maiden or virgin. You see, for example, if used in reference to a virgin in Genesis 24 words have we sometimes call a semantic range. They can mean different things depending on the context that an example would be I can say boy it's really cool outside in the word cool can mean different things. I can be referring to the weather and it's cold. Or I can be making a statement about how neat the surroundings are lookout cool the sunset is traditionally Christians have understood that this is ultimately being a prophecy about the virgin birth because Matthew quoted. As such, usually a place like Matthew chapter 1 verse 23 is ultimately the New Testament writers inspired by the Holy Spirit, understood this text to be pointing forward to Jesus and the virgin birth and I think you can even see that in the text of Isaiah 714.

This is supposed to be a sign sometimes that word is used for a miracle or something miraculous about this birth. That Isaiah's being told about that could be a sign that's right if it if it was just the normal young maiden conceived world they knew that what I day they had exactly what I do want to talk just with you for a minute about why the virgin birth is so significant. If you if you have Eileen open a Luke chapter 1 verse 35 this is what the angel Gabriel tells Mary, the Holy Spirit will come upon you and the power of the most high will overshadow you. Therefore the child to be born will be called holy, the son of God. There's something really cool about this verse, the people often miss the language that the angel is using is coming from places in the Old Testament like Exodus chapter 40 verse 35 with the glory of God overshadowed the newly established tabernacle Gabriel saying Mary's womb is going to be a temporary temple for God the son is he just states for nine months. If that doesn't blow your mind. There's there's something running the idea is that God himself is with us and he is taken flesh from the womb of the Virgin Mary, and that's having that's that's the miracle absolutely.

And as you point up there a drill that the New Testament interprets the Old Testament so if the word there can mean virgin or young maiden number one, it can't be a sign if it's just young maiden. It's only a sign if it's a you know a miraculous thing like a virgin conceiving. But second, more importantly, if the New Testament writers under that same inspirational Holy Spirit interpret the word as virgin then that will be going at our answer. Yeah, there's a Facebook question we got from Ed, would you agree that love is the most important teaching in the Bible. Well I I'm wary of trying to whittle the whole Bible or even the whole gospel to a single truth Edward but surely love is at the center. I think when most people say love, though, and his love is the most important teaching in the Bible. I think they mean our love is the most important.

All we need is love love love love but our loving God and each other isn't the most important teaching in the Bible.

That's the law as Jesus summarized it in Luke 1027 and elsewhere.

We need to know the law.

First of all, in order to realize that we've fallen short of it and need the redemption from its curse that we find only in Jesus Christ. And we also need the law to show us as redeemed people how we ought to live loving God and our neighbor, but the most important truth in all of Scripture is God's love for us in the gospel.

That's what the gospel is I hear people say sometimes will the gospel is it love God with all your heart, so my mistreatment in your neighbor as yourself.

Know Jesus said that that was the summary of the law is not the gospel but we need first and foremost is the good news of what God has done for us in Jesus Christ because he loved us so much he gave his son and then on that basis were prepared to view the wall rightly and in a proper perspective, the most important truth in all Scripture is God's love for us. This is love, not that we loved God but that he loved us and sent his son God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son. Thanks for listening to court Christianity to request your copy of today's special offer. Visit us at court, and click on offers in the menu for or call us at 1-833-843-2673 that's a 33, the court when you contact us. Please let us know how you been encouraged by this podcast and be sure to join us next time. As we explore the truth of God's word together

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