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Why God Became Man, Part 2 - 7

Beacon Baptist / Gregory N. Barkman
The Truth Network Radio
August 20, 2023 7:00 pm

Why God Became Man, Part 2 - 7

Beacon Baptist / Gregory N. Barkman

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August 20, 2023 7:00 pm

These verses in Hebrews 2 give six reasons for the incarnation of Jesus Christ. The first three were in covered in the first part on Sunday morning, August 13, 2023. Continuing in this text, Pastor Greg Barkman gives three additional reasons for the incarnation of Christ.

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Well, surely the incarnation of Christ is one of the greatest mystery of all mysteries. How the eternal, omniscient, omnipotent, creator God could become a man is really beyond our understanding and yet the incarnation of Christ is at the very center of the gospel.

The whole gospel revolves around it and what Christ did in coming into the womb of the Virgin Mary, into the human condition, taking upon him the body, the nature of a man, adding that to his deity but living on this earth as a man and accomplishing as a man that which only a man could accomplish and yet only one man that was qualified and able to accomplish what he did. And so, why God became man. There are six reasons given to answer that question in the last five verses of chapter two of the book of Hebrews. Three of those we looked at last Sunday morning from verses fourteen and fifteen.

Do you remember what they were? Number one, he became a man in order to become like his brethren, to share the nature that we have so that he would have the same nature so that there would be that relationship between us and him. Why did God become man? Number two, to defeat Satan. There's something about the defeating of Satan that required one entering into the world, into Satan's domain, into Satan's kingdom and then conquering Satan from within. And so, Christ became a man in order to defeat Satan.

Reason number three, why God became man. He became man in order to conquer the fear of death. His people should not fear death. His people will not fear death if they truly embrace the truths that the Bible teaches us about his defeating death.

The death no longer has any hold, indeed no longer has any sting for the people of God. But he had to enter into the human nature as a man, die upon the cross and then rise again from the dead to defeat death so that we would have no more fear of death. Now today we come to the last three reasons found in verses sixteen, seventeen and eighteen why God became man. Number one, to rescue the seed of Abraham. Number two, to become a faithful high priest. And number three, to become a merciful high priest.

Let's look at them one by one. Why did God become man? He became man in order to rescue the seed of Abraham, verse sixteen. For indeed, he, that is Jesus, does not give aid to angels, but he does give aid to the seed of Abraham.

There's an awful lot of truth packed in that little verse. It tells us first of all that Jesus did not come to rescue angels, in fact it tells us that God in all of history has provided no help for the angels, that is angels who sinned, angels who fell from their first estate. And with that statement he concludes his discussion of angels and the comparison of Jesus Christ with angels that took up the bulk of chapter one and the most of chapter two, but now that's come to an end as he'll take up other comparisons. But he is telling us by this that the angels who sinned against God sealed their fate when they sinned. The wages of sin is death for angels as well as it is for men. Angels have no physical body so they do not suffer physical death, but of course the death that is the wages of sin is more than simply physical death.

It is eternal death, it is separation from God, it is something that even spirits will endure. And for the angels the wages of sin is death period, but for the seed of Abraham the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. No help for angels, but great help for the seed of Abraham.

There's a great lesson in this. God did not provide a way of salvation for sinning angels. I think perhaps in part to remind us that God has no obligation to save anyone. If he didn't save the angels that sinned, there was no obligation that he save any of the fallen sons and daughters of Adam who have sinned. In other words, God is sovereign in salvation. He saves where, when, and whom it pleases him to save.

A lesson that fallen sons and daughters of Adam seem to have great difficulty embracing and understanding. But God has no obligation to save anyone. He is sovereign in salvation and he remains holy and righteous and just in the exercise of his will as much as when he refuses to save as when he stoops down to save. He's just as holy either way. He's just as righteous either way.

He remains just in all that he does when he saves and when he does not save. And he could have therefore left sinful man without a remedy for his sin. Salvation as we all know is by grace but sometimes we don't think that all the way through to its conclusion. Grace is unmerited favor. Grace has no obligation attached to it. Grace has no rightful expectation attached to it. We cannot demand God's grace. We cannot claim God's grace.

We cannot leverage God's grace. Grace is unmerited favor. It is a gift. God bestows it as he wills. God withholds it as he wills. It is grace.

It is his determination when he is going to give this free gift. And so when Christ became man, he did not come to rescue angels but he came for the merciful rescue of sinful men. For indeed he does not give aid to angels but he does give aid to the seed of Abraham. God gives aid to the seed of Abraham.

That word translated aid could be translated takes hold of. God takes hold of with a mighty grip the seed of Abraham. Thayer's Greek lexicon says it means to lay hold upon another to rescue from peril. God gives aid to the seed of Abraham. God lays hold upon the seed of Abraham to rescue from peril.

Westcott says this word means to take hold in the sense of appropriating. God lays hold upon the seed of Abraham to make that seed his own. He appropriates that for himself.

He's decided to take those ones and make them part of his family. God did not give aid, did not lay hold upon, did not appropriate it for himself, the fallen angels but God did give aid to, God did deliver, God did take hold of, God did appropriate for himself the seed of Abraham. God rescues sinners who were helpless to rescue themselves. And those rescued we are told in verse 16 are the seed of Abraham.

Those are the ones who are rescued. Why not the seed of Adam? Well because he didn't come to give aid to all the seed of Adam, only a portion of that seed but he did come to give aid to to rescue all of the seed of Abraham properly understood. The seed of Abraham not the seed of Adam because this rescue is designed for the heirs of salvation. This rescue is designed for what we might call the spiritual seed of Abraham.

The seed of Abraham, who is this? Well the New Testament actually supplies two answers to that question, both of which are found in Galatians chapter 3. We read this in verse 16 of Galatians 3. Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made. He does not say and to seeds as of many but as of one and to your seed singular who is Christ. The seed singular of Abraham is Christ. Would anyone have known that apart from the New Testament scriptures?

Could anyone have known that apart from the New Testament scriptures? Reading the Old Testament and the promises to the seed of Abraham, could anyone have come up with this astounding truth that that promise was made first and foremost to Christ, the promised Messiah, the seed singular of Abraham. However that's not the only answer that is given to the question who is the seed of Abraham because Galatians chapter 3 also supplies a second answer and I'm going to read several verses now.

Galatians 3, 6 through 9. Just as Abraham believed God and it was accounted to him for righteousness, therefore know that only those who are of faith are sons of Abraham. And the scripture foreseeing that God would justify the Gentiles by faith preached the gospel to Abraham beforehand saying in you all the nations shall be blessed. So then those who are of faith are blessed with believing Abraham and couple that with verses 26 through 29. For you, writing to the Galatian Christians, most of whom were Gentiles, for you are all sons of God through faith in Jesus Christ, for as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ, there is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus and if you are Christ's, then you are Abraham's seed and heirs according to the promise. So who is the seed of Abraham?

Number one, Christ. Who is the seed of Abraham? Everyone who is in Christ.

Every true believer. Those who are the heirs of salvation. The spiritual seed of Abraham. Again, was that clear from the Old Testament scriptures? Actually that was revealed in the Old Testament and some people got it but it was not clearly seen by even very godly students of the Old Testament scriptures until it was revealed to us in the New Testament scriptures. So the seed of Abraham encompasses all true believers and only all true believers. Jews in fact are the physical seed of Abraham but it was never God's design to rescue all the Jews. That's clear, again, perfectly clear in the New Testament scriptures. But it was God's design to rescue all of Abraham's spiritual seeds. They are the object of his rescue and that completes our understanding of the seed of Abraham. There is a physical seed and there were promises made to the physical seed but the salvation promises apply to the spiritual seed and they are all who are in Christ, all of those promises center in Christ, they're purchased by Christ, they depend upon what Christ did, they depend upon Christ becoming physically the seed of David which made him physically the seed of Abraham but then those who by faith are in Christ, Jew or Gentile, physical seed of Abraham or not, all those who believe are the seed of Abraham because they are in Christ the seed of Abraham. Could anybody have figured that out from the Old Testament? I doubt it but here it is in the New Testament very clearly.

So what is our question? Why did God become man? The answer is because he came to rescue the seed of Abraham, verse 16.

But number two, the second answer which really is the what, fifth answer to this question, why did God become man? Number two in our series today, number five in our numeration from last Sunday, he became the seed of, he became a man, he became incarnate in order to become a faithful high priest, verse 17. And actually in verse 17, and look for it as I read it, you're going to find two elements of this priest. He is a faithful high priest, he is a merciful high priest and I'm breaking those apart because the first part, the faithful high priest is dealt with primarily in verse 17 and then the merciful high priest is dealt with in verse 18 but they're combined in the wording of verse 17 and so here it is. Therefore in all things he had to be made like his brethren that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God to make propitiation for the sins of the people. Now what is the purpose of a priest? Why was there a priesthood in the Old Testament? Well the purpose of a priest is to bring man and God together, to bridge the gap between God and man, to act as a representative, as an advocate, as a facilitator, to bring God as it were down to men, to bring men as it were up to God. That's the purpose of a priest. And the high priest of course was the highest priest of all and now the term high priest is mentioned for the first time in Hebrews and applied to Jesus as the high priest and there's going to be a much fuller development of that in chapters 5 through 10.

We'll be coming to that in great detail later on. But he became a man in order to be able to be a faithful high priest and we see that there was a necessary qualification for him to become a high priest and what was that? Well it was that he had to become a man. He had to be incarnate. Verse 17 begins with therefore which always takes us back.

So back to verse 16. For indeed he does not give aid to angels but he does give aid to the seed of Abraham therefore, he gives aid to the seed of Abraham therefore in all things he had to be made like his brethren. He had to become a man in order to give aid to the seed of Abraham.

A necessary qualification. In all things he had to be made like his brethren which takes us back to the first reason. I told you there was a little overlapping in these six but he had to be made like his brethren. He had to be. This was necessary. He could not have secured the salvation of his people apart from becoming a man, becoming indeed the seed of David and the seed of Abraham but becoming a man. He could not become the high priest that it was necessary for him to be in order to bring man and God together apart from himself taking a human nature to accomplish that task. He had to be.

It was necessary. He had to take upon him human nature that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest. He had to take upon him human nature in order to be merciful. We'll explain that more in the text in the verse to come.

But in order to be able to extend mercy to the fullest degree he had to become man. But verse 17 focuses upon the other qualifier, the other modifier of what kind of high priest he is, namely a faithful high priest. And the question is what does that refer to? A faithful high priest. Is that in reference primarily to God? He's faithful in his duties toward God.

Or is that in reference to man? He's faithful in his duties to men, or both, and I think both. But God Word is specifically spelled out in the text. Therefore, on all things he had to be made like his brethren that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest in what? In things pertaining to God.

The God Word aspect is the most important. In order to fulfill toward God all that divine justice, the justice of a holy God requires to save the seed of Abraham, he had to become a faithful high priest. He had to take upon him human nature to become such a faithful high priest. A faithful high priest in his service to God. But also man word.

We can look at this from the man word direction. We can say he also became a faithful high priest. That is to fulfill all that sinners require to be free from their guilt before a holy God. So toward God as a faithful high priest, he fulfilled all that divine justice required in order to be able to justify sinful men. Toward mankind, he became all that sinners require in order to be able to be cleansed and come into the presence of a holy God.

He became a faithful high priest. And all of this takes upon the legal aspect and that's bound up in that big word in the last part of the verse to make propitiation for the sins of the people. I don't think that's a difficult word for most in the Beacon congregation because you've sung it, you've heard it, you know at least in part what it means. But I would venture that a lot of Christians today if you would talk to them about propitiation they would say, huh? What's that?

Never heard of that before. I remember it's been quite a while ago now when I had some kind of communication going on with Chris Anderson, the author of a number of the hymns that we sing. And I told him that we were enjoying his song His Roads for Mine. I said I first heard it being sung by our teens in the teen room. They were singing away His Roads for Mine. He wrote back and said must be a pretty high level teen group if they can be singing about propitiation.

And I just had to smile and say I guess so. Propitiation. What does that mean? Well the verb propitiated. I took these definitions out of the Webster dictionary to keep it simple so it wouldn't be theological terms out of a theology book.

Propitiate means to gain favor or goodwill. The backdrop of that of course is that man is a sinner. He is alienated from God.

He is the Bible tells us at enmity with God, that is an enemy with God. Man in his first birth, in his sinful state, does not enjoy the goodwill of God. Even though God is exceedingly kind and demonstrates amazing goodwill and love even toward those who are unrighteous.

Jesus talked about that in the Sermon on the Mount. He causes his rain to fall upon the just and the unjust alike and so forth. But when it comes to man's condition and man's future, sinful man does not enjoy the goodwill of God. He is under the wrath of God. He is under the condemnation of God.

And rightly so, justly so for God is just. So propitiate means to gain favor or goodwill. Or if you take the noun which is the form that's found in our text, propitiation noun, it means that which propitiates, in other words that which gains favor or goodwill. And then this definition, again out of Webster, an atoning sacrifice. A propitiation is an atoning sacrifice. It is that which removes the object that makes it impossible for sinners to enjoy the favor and goodwill of God.

It is their sins, of course, that is the problem. And propitiation is that which removes the sins, removes the obstacle, removes the barrier between sinful man and the holy God by justifying sinful man to make him righteous legally before God and therefore to enjoy God's immense gracious favor. Now under the Old Testament system, as you find it in the law of Moses, the high priest once a year would go into the tabernacle, later the temple, and once a year would go behind the veil. It's the only time anyone went behind that veil into the holy of holies, the holiest place. And there after having made atonement for himself first so that he was qualified to go back there, his sins had to be dealt with first. Then he went back there and he sprinkled blood on the mercy seat, the lid on the top of the ark of the covenant. And that was to propitiate God's wrath against the sins of Israel.

They were covered, they were removed from consideration for another year. But the next year he had to do it again, the next year he had to do it again, the next year he had to do it again. And what we really learned as we go on from the old covenant to the new covenant, learn more about it, we realized that God in mercy was basically looking at that as an act of credit.

He was saying, I'll go ahead and give you credit for what hasn't happened yet and what needed to happen. Jesus needed to come. Jesus needed to take upon him a human nature. Jesus needed to die on the cross and become the sacrifice that really could take away that. Jesus had to come and provide the atonement that really satisfied a holy and righteous God, a perfect atonement, a perfect sacrifice.

He had to come. And so believing saints in the Old Testament, and there were true believers, had their sins passed by on credit until Christ came and then it was fulfilled. When Jesus said it is finished, he meant it's finished for all the believers before me and all the believers who will come after me. So the Old Testament high priest could only offer symbols of propitiation. He wasn't really able to propitiate, but Jesus could offer the one effectual atoning sacrifice. For either the sinner must die for his own sins or a qualified substitute must take his place. And there's only one who is qualified to do it. It is the sinless man, Christ Jesus. It had to be another human being to substitute for human beings, but it had to be a sinless human being who had no sin of his own that needed to be dealt with.

And there's only one who qualified in that regard. And the interesting thing is when we think about Jesus, a priest, and especially a high priest, that in his work he became amazingly both sacrifice and sacrificer. The Old Testament priests took the animals that were brought to them by the worshipers or the ones that were appointed for the daily sacrifices. They took those animals and they offered them upon the altar. The priest was not the sacrifice. The priest was the sacrificer. The animals were the sacrifice, but again, only symbols, only symbols.

They couldn't really do the work that needed to be done. But when Jesus came, he became both sacrifice and sacrificer because, again, there was no other sacrifice that would suffice. It had to be a perfect sacrifice. It had to be a perfect sinless man to substitute for sinful men and women. And in order to be acceptable to God, it had to be offered by a perfect high priest who could really mediate between God and men.

There's only one mediator we know between God and men, the man Christ Jesus. So Jesus became both sacrifice and sacrificer. That's why we sing in stanza three, his robes for mine, God's justice is appeased. Jesus is crushed and thus the fathers pleased. Christ drank God's wrath on sin, then cried, tis done, sins wages paid, propitiation won. And that's also why we sing, Jesus our great high priest offered himself and died.

That's been running through my mind for the last two or three weeks. And for the life of me, I couldn't think of the name of the head and located the hymnal. What is that hymn? Jesus our great high priest offered himself and died.

But when you figure it out, let me know. I spent time looking through the index and trying to locate that hymn. That one phrase kept running through my mind and I couldn't come up with the hymn.

So we move on. So that's number two, why Jesus, why God became man. Number one, to rescue the seed of Abraham. Number two, to become a faithful high priest. But number three, to become a merciful high priest. Now verse 18, for in that he himself has suffered being tempted, he is able to aid those who are tempted. He became a man in order to become a merciful high priest.

In order to suffer like we suffer. He acquired a human nature to experience the human condition. He endured the experiences and trials of humanity. We like he, or he like we I guess I should say, experienced growth and development from actually just the initial seed deposited in his mother's womb until he was born and then continued to grow and develop outside the womb. He went through all of that. He like we was taught by others.

Imagine that, the omniscient God of the universe who knows everything perfectly in his humanity. He went through what we go through. He had to learn his ABCs, his alpha, beta, gammas or whatever else he was learning. He loved as we love. He was astonished and surprised as we are often astonished and surprised. He grieved over pain and over the death of his loved ones as when he wept at the tomb of Lazarus. He exercised faith in God and in his word as we must exercise faith likewise.

He studied the scriptures. He prayed. He wept. He was hungry. He was thirsty.

He was weary, tired. He experienced all of the things that human beings experience in this world so that he could become a merciful high priest. He endured the temptations of humanity. We know about his great temptation in the wilderness by the devil and we read that when that period was over the devil left him for a while for a more opportune time.

Now the Bible doesn't describe the other times but what we gather is that the devil was constantly tempting Jesus throughout his lifetime. He was tempted again and again and again and again and again but never sinned, never fell, never failed in the face of such temptation. He was tempted in the wilderness to put physical desires above spiritual desires. Have you ever been tempted to do that? Of course you have, to put physical desires ahead of spiritual ones. In the wilderness he was tempted to expect God to rescue him from his own folly.

Throw yourself off the temple. He's promised his angels will catch you, bear you up lest you dash your foot upon a stone and Jesus said it is written thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God. Have you ever expected God to rescue you out of your own sinful folly? Why should he?

He very well may. He's very kind and gracious and merciful but you can't expect that surely. That's a temptation to demand that of God. Sinful temptation. In the wilderness he was tempted to compromise principle to achieve a desired goal. Just bow down and worship me and I'll give you all the kingdoms of the world which he knew he would receive anyway but only after he went to the cross and went through that terrible suffering and agony and death but Satan said I'll tell you a shortcut.

Bow down and worship me and I'll give you the goal of what you're now going through ahead of time without all that pain and suffering. He was tempted to compromise principle to achieve a desired goal. Have you ever been tempted to do that?

Of course you have. The difference is in some of those things, many of those things we have all fallen but in those and many other temptations Jesus never fell. It has been said and I think it's true that the full strength of temptation is known only by those who do not yield. When we are tempted and the temptation grows stronger and stronger and stronger until we finally succumb we fall. We don't feel the full strength of that temptation because it stops the moment we fall. The only one who knows the full strength of the temptation is the one who endures it as far as that temptation is able to go until temptation drops out, until temptation becomes exhausted.

That's the only one who knows the full strength of that temptation. Jesus felt the full strength of temptation. In other words, he felt the strength of sinful temptation more than we have. He who falls to temptation yields before the temptation is exhausted. Jesus never fell and so he felt the full strength and weight of that temptation to the very end. He suffered like we suffer for in that he himself has suffered being tempted he is able to aid those who are tempted.

He qualified himself to sympathize with the sufferings of his people and the fullness of sympathy I read in one commentary is not in the earnest of feeling but in lessons of experience and I think that's true. There are some things we can really understand what people are going through because we have been through the same thing. I remember when I got cancer back in the 1980s. I started hearing from people, telephone calls, letters back in the days before email from people who said you can understand what I'm going through now. I have cancer like you have cancer and so I would appreciate your praying for me and maybe you'll have some advice for me.

I hadn't had people reaching out like that before but now they're reaching out. You can understand me. You know what I'm going through. But there are a lot of other things I don't understand I haven't gone through.

I don't understand the death of a spouse I haven't gone through that. God has been merciful. Marty and I have been married 53 years and still going strong as far as I know. Marty do you still love me? You gonna stick with me to the end?

Amen. I don't know the trial of the death of a spouse or the death of a child as some of you have experienced. Many of you know we have our youngest daughter has a brain tumor and she's struggling. We don't know what the future holds for her but up until now I haven't gone through that particular trial of life. I haven't lost a child I haven't lost a spouse but like many of you I've lost my parents father first and then mother and so forth other loved ones but we all experience some trials in life but we can't experience them all. But Jesus experienced enough trials that he was able to sympathize perfectly with all who suffer in their suffering. He understands our suffering because he suffered too. He understands our temptations because he was tempted too. Have you ever heard someone maybe one of your own young people say no one understands me?

I think that's a lie of Satan. Parents understand their children a whole lot better than children know they do. Hey Missy I was a teenager one time too but you've never been an adult.

It's interesting the perspective that young people have they think they're the only ones that have experienced certain things. No one understands you. Well your parents understand you young people better than you think they do but they may not understand everything about you and about what you're facing but I'll tell you one who does. His name is Jesus. He understands everything about you. He understands all of your temptations. He understands all of your sufferings. Don't say no one understands me. Nobody does.

Go to him. Don't say you don't understand what I'm going through. That may be true in part at least to the person you're talking to. I'm not confident that it requires experiencing every individual trial of life to understand the sufferings of others. Suffering is suffering and we all have suffered in many ways. But no one understands what I'm going through.

Yes someone does. His name is Jesus. He's in heaven above at the right hand of God the Father but he lived on earth and he suffered like you've suffered and he was tempted like you've tempted and he does understand you and you can go to him because he himself has suffered being tempted so that he is able to aid those who are tempted. He became man to be able to minister to every human need. Man's greatest need is for cleansing from sin. He became man to deal with that as our faithful high priest. Man faces temptations and trials and sufferings of various kinds and sometimes those are very strong, very vicious, very unrelenting but he became a man so that he can truly sympathize with us and comfort us and enter into those trials with us and help us in those trials. Why did God become man? To become like his brethren. Why did he become man? To defeat Satan. Why did he become man? To conquer the fear of death. Why did he become man? To rescue the seed of Abraham. Why become man? To become a faithful high priest. Why become man? To become a merciful high priest. A lot of lessons in this text.

May I cover two or three of them quickly? I think there's an important lesson here in biblical interpretation. Now bear me out. I see that particularly in that phrase, the seed of Abraham. If we only had the Old Testament scriptures, we would probably think that that refers to Abraham's physical descendants. But as we come to the New Testament, we read, as I read to you in the book of Galatians, that in the first and most important instance, seed of Abraham refers to Christ himself. And secondly, it refers to all those who are in Christ, all those who are trusting Christ.

They are the seed of Abraham, the seed that counts and the promises that pertain to salvation. I think it's possible for all kinds of people on different sides of the theological dividing line to make errors in this very arena. For example, I think that covenant theologians seem to get something wrong because they allow Old Testament teaching about circumcision to inform them in regard to New Testament baptism and what that represents and to whom that should be applied. Even though there's nothing in the New Testament to be found anywhere that even hints at baptizing babies, little children, only believers. But they carried that over from the Old Testament. They find that in the Old Testament with circumcision, they decide there's a strong parallel between them. And then they import that into the New Testament and teach that practice.

And I think they've got it wrong. This helps us understand something about the interpretation of scripture. We don't let the Old Testament color our understanding of the new, though it does affect it.

It does help us to understand the new more fully. But we always allow the greater revelation, the newer revelation, the new covenant scriptures to be the superior revelation and let them help us properly understand the Old Testament that we might not otherwise have understood. But it's not only covenant theologians make similar errors, so do dispensational theologians. They tend to take the seed of Abraham to mean the physical seed of Abraham period and no more. And yet the New Testament is so clear. When it comes to salvation, it refers to all believers, Jew and Gentile. The Old Testament teaches us the seed of Abraham, but the New Testament informs us that that is all the people of God, not just the physical descendants of Abraham.

This opens a window into our understanding. And if we'll take that understanding and go back and reread the Old Testament scriptures with that in mind, we might see things a little bit differently than we do. But if we say, I got it now from the Old Testament and that's going to color the way I see the New Testament, you've got it upside down and backwards. Remember the seed of Abraham in this text and how it must be understood.

Lessons in biblical interpretation. This text also surely teaches us something about sovereign mercy. God owes mercy to no one. God owes mercy to no one. Grace is sovereignly bestowed by God's sovereign choice.

The God who said, I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy. My choice, not yours. It's not first and foremost predicated on your free will. Your will responds to what God does prior to your getting involved. God's grace, God's mercy, I combine the two ideas together here at this point, is a gift and a gift is never owed. It is freely given or not given. That's up to the giver to decide. And I think it's important that we teach this to our children.

I think sometimes we cave in to sinful attitudes. You give something to someone, that's not fair. You got to give me the same thing.

Why? If it's owed, it's not a gift. Now frankly, I in most cases would recommend some evidence, some semblance of what is considered to be fair because we don't want to create jealousy between our children.

We don't want a favored Joseph and an unfavored brethren situation. But it's also important that we teach our children, nobody has a claim upon any gifts from mom or dad or anybody else, grandpa, grandma, loved ones. A gift is a gift. It's never owed. It's always freely given or not given according to the will of the giver.

And there are no rightful demands or expectations upon a gift. So help them with that because that will help them with spiritual insight into the ways of God. God tells us how he bestows his gift.

It's his choice. A third lesson from this passage is just to remember God understands your trials and temptations. He's able to help you resist temptation. Do you struggle with that? Well, of course you do.

We all do. But he's able to help you resist temptation. Do you believe that he truly understands you? You do if you believe the Bible. Do you seek his aid to rescue you?

Well, that's a question I can't answer, but I hope you do. I hope you go to him and say, help me, Lord Jesus, you who understand my sufferings, my weaknesses, my temptations, my infirmities. Help me with this temptation that you so ably overcame. And finally, and even more importantly, have you sought him for your soul's salvation? He's the only one who can save you, but he is able and he is willing.

Doubt no more. All who come to him in repentant faith will be received and will be saved. Shall we pray? Father, how we thank you for your word. We thank you for this portion of your word. Apply these truths to our hearts, we pray. Amen.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-08-27 11:54:57 / 2023-08-27 12:09:59 / 15

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