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The Valley of Dry Bones

Core Christianity / Michael Horton & Adriel Sanchez
The Truth Network Radio
January 15, 2021 1:00 am

The Valley of Dry Bones

Core Christianity / Michael Horton & Adriel Sanchez

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January 15, 2021 1:00 am

Episode 621 | Adriel Sanchez and Bill Maier answer caller questions.

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CoreChristianity.com

1. I am a family man and a faithful member at my church. However, I have lingering feelings of discontentment in my life. Because of this I then find myself feeling guilty that I am not always fully and completely satisfied with the blessings I have—I want to be grateful and thank the Lord for every good blessing, but it really seems difficult for me. How should I think about contentment and my everyday life?

2. What role does repentance play in our salvation? 

3. How do I apply 2 Corinthians 5:21 in my day to day life knowing that I am forgiven but I still sin? How does God view me?

4. I am wondering if Ezekiel’s vision of the Valley of Dry Bones in Ezekiel 37 is literal or something that is figurative?

5. When Jesus came into Jerusalem and the crowd was cheering and singing “Hosanna in the highest” what exactly did they understand about Jesus when they were singing this?

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With all of the different literary styles used in the Bible from Psalms to the epistles. How can I know when the passage is literal or figurative, that is one of the questions will be answering on today's edition of core Christianity hi this is Bill Meyer along with Pastor Israel Sanchez and this is the radio program where we answer your questions about the Bible and the Christian life every day. We would love to hear from you. You can call us right now with your question. At 833 the core that's 1-833-843-2673. You can also post your question on our Facebook, Instagram or twitter account or email us at questions at core, Christianity.com first up today we have a bit of help news to share with you. Can you move 11 minutes a day you will live longer if you do scientists at the Norwegian school of sports medicine have done research using activity monitors to compare exercise levels with lifespan. The results showed that people who exercised 35 minutes per day saw the biggest statistical difference in lifespan, but they also say the just 11 minutes of moderate exercise which is equivalent to a brisk walk also had a noticeable positive impact, and that is great news for you a drill because I know every day you walk down to your local coffee shop for a muffin or don't want to yes at all of the above. Sometimes I get all three. Bill and I that I have energy for my walk home which is about three minutes so that we actually live really close to several coffee shops which is great if you love coffee and muffins and that kind of a thing but actually make me feel good about myself amid I get at least 11 minutes a day habit, you will all I get an hour to brother number alike on the treadmill. The stairmaster I like very much on and on, that that marble figure that you know I commit you to watch out American ninja warrior icon. Okay, let's get your first question of the day and Darren posted this on our website.

He says I'm a family man and a faithful member of my church.

However, I have lingering feelings of discontentment in my life because of this, I find myself feeling guilty that I'm not always fully and completely satisfied with the blessings I have.

I want to be grateful and thank the Lord for every good blessing, but it really seems difficult for me. How should I think about contentment and my everyday life while brother II can definitely say you're not alone.

I know that all of us as followers of Jesus Christ wrestle with contentment, and even the apostle Paul in Philippians chapter 4 talked about that daily battle with content Meno being content when he when he had a lot more content when he had a little it's something that each of us is going to wrestle with.

I think throughout our lives and in particular, one thing I've I've noted for a lot of Christians that I've had this conversation with even people in my own churches, people finding contentment with their work with their job summing. Sometimes I think it's easy for Christians to feel like I'm not really doing any ministry. I would love to have this great impact for Jesus, but I'm just stuck in my 9-to-5 and it's not fulfilling. I really think we need to re-examine how how we think about the vocations that God is given to one of the things that you said is your your family man your father and brother.

There is nothing more important than training our children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord what what role God has given to you and so that that's the first dance want to encourage you in and say brother be committed to teaching your children about Jesus, to being a godly husband me striving after those things that that Paul talked about in first Timothy three and in Titus chapter 1 where he talked about the qualifications for elders and deacons and is not to say that you need to go in and try to be an elder or deacon, unless the Lord calls you to that. But I think these are things that that all of us is as men as family men are called to and serving in whatever it is that God is called you to do in your job as a father serving as unto the Lord and asking God to fill you with that attitude that heart of contentment. It is easy for us in our own sinful hearts to not be happy with the things that God is given to us even even when the Lord has blessed us in so many ways and so one helpful exercise. I think that you might do is just to meditate upon the good gifts that God has given to you and to give thanks. That's one thing that will work for sure. Call to Paul told the Thessalonians. This is the will of God for us and giving thanks in all circumstances, is it when you're struggling with contentment here. Here's what I want to encourage you to do is focus on the blessings that the Lord has given you and stop and say thank you for each one.

I think that as you do that as we do that and as we built that that sort of habit into our lives as Christians we begin to rest in the gifts that God has brought our way and I think that's one of the ways that contentment is cultivated. May the Lord bless you brother there.

Thanks so much for your question a drill. I'm just thinking about that person. Thessalonians about give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus. That's right yeah sort of interesting how the apostle Paul put it there, right in all circumstances may really fall in every circumstance and yet that's what were called to because we know that God is working even if even in and through the difficult circumstances, and so we can give thanks for them you're listening to core Christianity with pastor Israel Sanchez. Let's go to will call were going to talk to Bill from North Carolina hi Bill, what's your question for pastor. Israel, my question is how into or part of salvation is repentance. It seems like repentance of something that we do and yet it also biblically so intertwined with salvation you and understand that that's a great question because because you're absolutely right, and when you think about that the very call of the gospel. When John the Baptist or Jesus was preaching, proclaiming the kingdom of God. They would say, repent for the kingdom of God is at hand.

And I think there's a way that we can really confuse this. Yet if we think that the gospel is first and foremost about what we do. In other words, I'm saved because I I'm really great at repenting every single day.

I repent and what we can ask.

He turned salvation into a work repent is really in the New Testament just means turning away change of mind and so I did.

I think one of the things that we have to understand is that what were called to repentance.

We have the gospel proclamation going out what's essentially being said is you need to change your mind about sin, about yourself and about the Savior about send out repentance is recognizing like I have sinned that there is a problem there is that there is this separation between God and I because of what I have done and so were were admitting to the Lord in repentance that we've sent and that arson is heinous, and yet were turning away from our sin. This is the turning element and were looking to Christ for salvation for hope and in that sense, it was that repentance is is truly integral to salvation. You might call it a saving grace, but it's not so much that it's something that we do it something that God by his grace works in us by the power of the Holy Spirit granting us faith to lay a hold of Jesus and so think of it, you got will think of repentance as a sort of negative aspect of faith, repentance is turning away from my sins and faith he is laying a hold of Jesus in the Gospels, looking away for myself and to Christ and apprehending Christ by faith is what saves us, and then the rest of our lives as Christians were daily repenting were were turning away from those sins as the Lord reveals them to us by the grace of his spirit, and so builder that does that help clarify things for you think were so often to an you're saying that if that were given from God's yeah yeah well you know I think of like what Paul said in Philippians chapter 1, where he gave me.

He's talking about me to work out your salvation with fear and troubling sexy question or a passage of Scripture that we oftentimes get questions about work out your salvation with fear and trembling and then and then Paul says Ford is God who is at work in you both to will and to work for his good pleasure. And so we think about how that that that sort of comes together.

You have this the sort of call.

You do this work out your salvation with fear and trembling, and you also have the source of how and why were able to do that is because God actually first and foremost Bill is at work in us both to will even the desire to repent is something that the Lord grants to you by the grace of the Holy Spirit, both to will and to do so in that sense we could say that repentance absolutely is a gift given to us by the Lord, something I think actually that we ought to pray for Lord give me the grace to repent of my sins to put them to death, even to see that I'm sending in in ways that may be up. I'm unaware of so that I might turn from them and to know that if the other date.

All of this is is a gift of God's grace. This is core Christianity with pastor Israel Sanchez.

We have a call from Leslie in San Diego, California hi Leslie, what's your question for pastor. Israel Mike Harris now and I have a question about my payment but I felt like a second Corinthians 520 154 hours a steamy camp could be an outstanding that in him we might become the righteousness of God and relates to the question before mine wanted to know how to apply that verse in my day-to-day life knowing that I am forgetting that I enclosed in the Reiki Christ and I still stand for God being me even though enclosed and contrite like a fan and tell you that that would be great. Thanks yeah just a really practical question there. Leslie and I love that you brought us to this text. Second Corinthians 521. It's what many have referred to as the great exchange Christ took our sin he was a sin offering for our sake, so that he who knew no sin might die for our sins and that we might become the righteousness of God. It's that great exchange. Christ takes our sin we get his righteousness. And yet, as you say, and I think as each of us could could testifies as followers of Jesus, we still struggle with sin were still on.

This continual path of repentance and we need the grace of God likely I was talking about what Paul says in Philippians God working in us actually sexy Philippians to not Philippians 1. But God working in us both to will and to work for his good pleasure. Now, first and foremost that one of the things that this verse highlights for you, Leslie, and for for all of us is that closing the righteousness of Christ. We are justified.

There's nothing that can take you out of that state you belong to the Lord God has declared you righteous, not on the basis of what you do.

But on the basis of what Christ is done because you are clothed in the righteousness of Christ.

And so there are some theologians who talk to Martin Luther. For example, that the great Protestant reformer. He talked about the fact were at at the same time just that is righteous and sinful eye and all the same person who wrote this could refer to himself as the chief of sinners, so, so were trying to balance the sort of understanding knowing that I'm justified.

And yet, knowing that as a justified person. I'm still in this day-to-day fight with sin and were called your cold both as us in Romans chapter 8 to put to death to mortify the sinful deeds of the body but the only way you're going to be able to do that. This is where I think second Corinthians chapter 5 verse 21 is really practical for your daily growth in grace and walking with the Lord is if you are resting in your new identity in Jesus Christ. Either the relationship between recognizing that you are justified, that you belong to the Lord, that your sins are forgiven and daily walking with the Lord in that identity element is give you one other passage I think that makes this absolutely clear and it's what the apostle Paul said in Romans chapter 6. In addition to read the first few verses for you there. Leslie Paul says, what shall we say then are we to continue in sin that grace may abound by no means how can we would have died to sin still live in it. Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death. We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the father, we too might walk in newness of life see walking in newness of life. Daily putting to death our sins daily repenting. In order to do that well working to have to recognize you're going to have to recognize you belong to the Lord, you have a new identity in Jesus that you are a part of the baptized who are justified, saved, redeemed, and as you rest in that identity you're able, day by day to walk into that to live as you've been called not questioning whether or not God loves you whether or not you truly forgiven.

So that's that's one of the ways I think Leslie that second Corinthians chapter 5 verse 21 helps us in our daily walk with the Lord and in daily repentance. Leslie, thank you so much for your call for being one of our regular listeners who are core Christianity by the way core Christianity is listener supported. So we count on people just like you every day to make this program possible. We also have a new Bible study. We want to tell you about if you just started reading the Bible on your own. You may find that it can be a little bit difficult at times. So we have designed a study just for you yet it's the core Christianity Bible reading plan and it is free for you when you sign up for our weekly newsletter. One of the things I love about this bill is it helps people get into the Scriptures each day, about 10 minutes a day as it is a year-long class. I can take you through the entire Bible. But what is going to do for you is it's an expose you to the major themes in Scripture things that we think are extremely important. If you're a believer and you been walking with the Lord for a long time that you lost that joy of reading the Scripture studying God's word.

Or maybe you're a newer, Christian, or maybe you when you call yourself a Christian, you, we want to learn about the Bible you're looking for maybe some some helpful places to start and how to go through the Scripture get a hold of this resource. Again, it's our Bible reading plan and I know it's can encourage you throughout this year. If you like to download the core Christianity Bible reading plan just head over to our website at core, Christianity.com/reading plan what schedule another call that came in a drill. This one, not from Jan) hi Karen, just crying and now he cannot talk about that right then, I was just wondering if that literal or a call and ask. Well, Ezekiel 37 begins the hand of the Lord was upon me Ezekiel the president and he brought me out in the spirit of the Lord and set me down in the middle of the Valley.

It was full of bones and he led me around among them, and behold, there were very many on the surface of the Valley and, behold, they were very dry and ale as this sort of vision continues, God gives life to the dry bones. These bones that were dry data mean Ezekiel basically sees a graveyard a cemetery and what this is is not is not meant to be taken literally mean.

First we have to recognize the genre of Scripture that were looking at him throughout Ezekiel you have these prophecies. These prophetic utterances and often times Jan in prophetic literature. What you have are these visions that are given to us that are symbolic of something greater something else. You see this throughout places like the book of Revelation, you know, John has a vision of the seven golden lampstands. What are those lampstands. John's told well there there the seven churches more you know John talk about the seven spirits of God and so on and so forth oftentimes and in prophetic literature, you have things that stand is in bowls or stories that are meant to illustrate a greater reality and hear the reality that is being illustrated for us is the fact that God raises the spiritually dead, in particular, the focus here is on the restoration of Israel, you, me think about the years and years of idolatry. It was as if Israel had become.

This dry land of the Valley of dried out bones. Yet the Lord of glory is able to restore her that's that's a wonderful bunny really an amazing promise that highlights for us the power of the Lord, the power of God and by the way, this is something I mean I think in one sense it's applicable to each one of us because you think about what Paul said in Ephesians chapter 2, he says we were dead in trespasses and sins individually. We were like a pile of dry bones apart from the grace of God. Apart from the work of the Holy Spirit, and yet Paul says you who were dead. He made alive in Christ is a really were talking about the spiritual realities here and ultimately what's being focused on the bottom line here is God's ability to raise the spiritually dead, and maybe you you listening right now you feel dried out spiritually like a pile of dead bones look to the Lord know that the Lord is able to restore and raise up by the grace of the Holy Spirit. Even those who are spiritually dead to the gospel of his son Jesus. Wow, what a great promise. Thanks for the drill.

This is core Christianity with pastor Israel Sanchez. If you have a call for us. The numbers 833-843-2673.

That's 833.

The core we have time for one more call. This is from Randy in Julian, California hi Randy how are you Randy what your question reading in Mark chapter 11 about when Jesus came into Jerusalem and the crowd was cheering for anything that the crowd understood and didn't understand about Jesus when they were welcoming him again. Hosanna in the highest Jesus arrival got me thinking. What what was it that they understood about Jesus or didn't understand about Jesus in that moment that could be helpful for us today. Yeah boy there's there's so much their right and in his best you, you know, when you when you said that last thing there Randy and how this can be helpful for us today.

It seems to me, and maybe this is what you're getting at that the crowd there really view Jesus as this primarily as political figure who is probably gonna deliver them from the Roman occupation verse nine. Again, those who went before and those who followed were shouting hosanna which means save now and in Hebrew. Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord blessed is the coming kingdom of our father David hosanna in the highest. You see, God made a covenant with King David way back in the book of Samuel second Samuel chapter 7, where he promised to one of his descendents on the throne in this descendent was gonna rule over the whole earth. You see that in places like Psalm chapter 2 and I really think that's what the people were hoping for this Messiah, who was coming now to vanquish the enemies of God's people.

The political enemies and establish his kingdom, reign of right there on earth now they have part of it right. Randy realized that Jesus was a great king would come to save but he was saving in a way that they didn't expect. He was saving them from forces that were far greater than anything they could ever imagine. Not that not the oppression of the Roman government. The oppression of Satan himself. In the kingdom of darkness. Jesus came to save his people from their sins.

And I think that that's one of the things it may be that the crowd there in Mark chapter 11. The scene is sometimes called the triumphal entry is one of the things that maybe they missed the fact of the matter is in you. You said you had. How can we do about this for ourselves today.

The fact of the matter is oftentimes today we missed it as well. Don't we. We want Jesus to deliver us from our political enemies.

We want Jesus to make us great to establish us or maybe our kingdom when he came to establish his kingdom.

He gets the glory, the praise, the honor to forgiving our sins through restoring people to a right relationship with God, and that's what he came to do.

That's why he rode into Jerusalem right there on that day, and many of the people missed it and we have to be so careful in our own lives brother that we don't miss it that we don't miss the Savior who came to redeem us from our sins and one day we have the hope. This is a really wonderful promise. He's gonna rule over the whole world. In this consummated fashion where he establishes his kingdom on earth, fully and finally he's raining right now in the right hand of the father is going to rain in the fullness when he comes again at the second coming and that thing we can all rest assured, thanks for listening to core Christianity to request your copy of today's special offer. Visit us@corechristianity.com and click on offers in the menu for or call us at 1-833-843-2673 that's a 33 core when you contact us. Please let us know how you been encouraged by this podcast, be sure to join us next time. As we explore the truth of God's word together


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