Share This Episode
Cross Reference Radio Pastor Rick Gaston Logo

That First Commandment (Part B)

Cross Reference Radio / Pastor Rick Gaston
The Truth Network Radio
September 30, 2021 6:00 am

That First Commandment (Part B)

Cross Reference Radio / Pastor Rick Gaston

On-Demand Podcasts NEW!

This broadcaster has 1047 podcast archives available on-demand.

Broadcaster's Links

Keep up-to-date with this broadcaster on social media and their website.

September 30, 2021 6:00 am

Pastor Rick teaches from the Gospel of Mark (Mark 12:28-34)

The Verdict
John Munro
Connect with Skip Heitzig
Skip Heitzig
Alan Wright Ministries
Alan Wright
The Voice of Sovereign Grace
Doug Agnew
Renewing Your Mind
R.C. Sproul

Jesus said in Matthew chapter 6 verse 21 for where your treasure is there your heart will be also.

What you find important that's where you're going to be. And I have been chasing the fulfillment of this loving the Lord with all my heart soul mind and strength since I was saved. Since the very moment I've been saved. I've been trying to fulfill this love. I haven't gotten there yet but it's been worthwhile.

Today Pastor Rick will continue his study called that first commandment as he teaches through Mark chapter 12. It's a question and it's a matter that we should be mindful when we find ourselves critics. When we find ourselves troublemakers or unhappy. We should ask ourselves what about others? What are the you know how come they're handling this well?

Why can't I handle it well? So again his reaction demonstrated not only his sincerity but his integrity. And the Holy Spirit captures what he has to say instead of just ignoring his response when he says to the Lord well done well said instead of God saying who cares what you think it's what Christ said. No God says I want you to see what this man's reaction was. I've showed you the negative ones.

Here's a positive one and he only needs to give us one. He says here in verse 28 perceiving that he had answered them well. And of course that is him respecting the Lord's handling of attackers. What's the issue with unbelievers today when they come across the words of Christ? How can you refute them? To me they're irrefutable.

You can't beat them. The wisdom, the logic, the truth, the conviction behind them. That's one thing that God's word brings that I don't think any other religious writing brings at all is a conviction. And that conviction is you are guilty. You have been tried.

You have been weighed and found wanting. When the handwriting appeared in Daniel's day many many tackle you for arson. It was you are busted and you know it. That's what it was all about. That's why the king's knees knocked against one against the other. He was terrified. And they sent for Daniel. If there was no conviction, who cares? That's impressive.

Okay let's go on with the party. And it says here that he asked him which is the first commandment of all. First in value. Again, where is the one with the weight?

Where is the one that you cannot do without? To better understand God you have to understand scripture. That's the point. We want to understand. I want this question asked, Rabbi, because I want to understand God better. And if there's any way I'm going to understand him, if I have any chance at that, it's going to come through his word.

Oh I can get the beginnings of it. There are other ways to begin to see God. To begin to see God.

But if I'm going to develop that and enter into this relationship, I've got to hear what he says and I've got to understand enough of it. Decades later, Luke will write about scholastic Gentiles who all they did was spend their time arguing points. They loved to hear themselves talk and they would judge others and posture themselves. Some, just like these Jewish scholars did. The point is not only did the Jews do these kinds of things, pretend to be religious and pretend to be intelligent before God without the vital ingredients of love and submission and sincerity and integrity. Acts chapter 17, Luke just makes this, he throws this comment in when Paul had to deal with these guys. He says, for all the Athenians and the foreigners who were there spent their time in nothing else but either to tell or to hear some new thing. So they could never really enter into the depths of what God had for man, the knowledge, the relationship.

They stayed with us on the surface but they thought they were deep. Verse 29, Jesus answered, the first of all the commandments is, hear, O Israel, Yahweh our God, Yahweh is one. Just incidentally, he's quoting Deuteronomy 6. And there the word in Deuteronomy 6 in the Hebrew for one is a compound one, not an absolute one, which lends to the Trinity. And it's Elohim, plural for God. And so even in Deuteronomy 6.4, you have this coming attraction, we could say, of the Trinity in the Old Testament.

There are other places but that's one. But this is known as the Jewish Shema. The Jewish, listen up, Israel, listen up, hear, O Israel. They called it the Shema. The devout Jew would recite it three times a day, twice a day, pardon me, three sections of scripture twice a day. Here, Deuteronomy 6.4, numbers 15, 13 through 41, and again Deuteronomy 11, 13 through 21. And they would take these verses and they would write portions of them and put them in little boxes and wrap them around their arm or tie them around up on their forehead called phylacteries. Because they believed this was the weight of their scripture and they were not entirely wrong. But what did they do with it?

After a while it just became a showpiece. True faith in God, the God of the Bible, is centered in man's resolve, not man's feelings. Your faith is not about your feelings. Oh, it can have feelings. I'm a little nervous when I get around people who are emotionally driven because they just don't think. They stop thinking and they just feel. And that means they block out others. Others may not feel what they feel, but yet they demand they be put under the same guidelines or whatever is going on.

And I don't want to be that guy, but at the same time I'm not a stick. I want to be able to feel things too, but I want them to be right. And when I've got, you know, the lights are all where they need to be and all the dials and knobs are on the settings they need to be, then I can have my brains and my feelings. I can have all of me begin to work in unison. I've got that rhythm now with truth and with who I am in Christ. So the Old Testament as well as the New Testament centers on man's will, not his desire to, you know, not what man wants, but the resolve of man when faced with the will of God. Is that individual going to submit Christian love, Christian devotion? It is the pursuit of obedience.

Whether it gets there or not, it pursues nonetheless. Regardless of how I feel, I know what I'm supposed to do. I'm supposed to pursue obedience. This word means a lot to me, what Christ is saying.

This is the first word. If the feelings were central to my walk with Christ, then Christ could never command me to love. Love, agape love, Christian love, divine love, it's not an act of the emotions. It is an act of the will, my soul, who I am, me, my decision to follow. And love, this type of love, it's not only emotional.

In fact, it doesn't have to be emotional at all. I know what I'm supposed to do, whether I like it or not. I love a person and am ready to preach the gospel to that person, whether I like them or not, whether they have hurt me or not. If I have an opportunity to share the truth of God, hatred would withhold it. Love would disperse it, as painful as it might be. And others have gone down this road and they have pulled it off.

They have done it. So, God's word is centered in the will to comply, to surrender. God has no plan of salvation for the unsurrendered life. It belongs to those who say, he must increase, I must decrease. God must get larger in me and I must get smaller.

And that is a good plan, because the result is nothing like it. When you look at a man like Daniel and you say, how do you get to be like Daniel? Well, then you have to decrease. Yahweh has to increase. This is the story, Yahweh of the Old Testament, Jesus Christ in the New Testament, same person. Verse 30 of Mark 12, and you shall love Yahweh your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, with all your strength. This is the first commandment. Within this great exhortation and commandment, within this profound answer that is just easy enough for all of us to repeat and to understand, there's the great invitation of God to love us and for us to love him back. God can be loved by sinners because God is love. And so again, he says, you shall love Yahweh. What's the most important, Jesus, that you should love Yahweh? Who is Yahweh? Jesus Christ. We know that because the New Testament develops it.

They had not yet gotten there. In fact, today, two of the reasons that Jews will say Jesus could not be the Messiah, one is that he made himself equal with God. Well, he's following the Old Testament.

He shall be called Wonderful Counselor, the Mighty God, the Everlasting Father. I mean, it's just your own scripture. Your Old Testament has it. Then the other one, they say, is he did not destroy the Romans. Well, we covered that so much already going through Mark, how they refused this man's authority because they wanted to dictate terms. He cannot be Messiah if he doesn't do what we say.

And they lost as a result, but they hold this to this day, to this day. Judaism stands by these two points in rejecting Jesus as Messiah. It is rather thoughtless. It is rather, I don't mean that to be insulting.

If it is taken, there's nothing I can do. The truth doesn't care about how you feel. The truth is the truth. It makes a demand on the will of every single listener, every person that hears the truth. Instantly, a demand is made. When you see that light turning yellow, the truth is speed up. When it turns red, don't go through it. You laugh because you're innocent too. I just pulled it off this morning.

But anyway, that's not an admission of guilt. Anyhow, I asked one deputy, I said, at what point at the yellow light do you bust them? And he said, well, if I understood him correctly, if the back tires haven't crossed that line, I'm going to get them. So I just make sure my back tires get over that line, and that's going to be my defense when they pull me over, license and registration.

Nope, my tires were over the line. Sorry. Okay, anyway, with all your heart.

What does that mean? With all my heart? Well, it's everything you've got. That's the bottom line. You shall love God with everything you've got. Let's pray.

I mean, that would be it. But we're so complicated, we're so ready to pull things back, to not understand, to get confused by other things in our rightful attempt to balance the checks and balances of understanding, of knowledge, we have to explore and open up a little more. In ancient Hebrew thought, the heart was not just that organ in the chest that pumps blood. The heart was the seat of human intelligence, of the will. Jesus said in Matthew chapter 6 verse 21, for where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. What you find important, that's where you're going to be. And I have been chasing the fulfillment of this loving the Lord with all my heart, soul, mind and strength since I was saved, since the very moment I've been saved, I've been trying to fulfill this love. I haven't gotten there yet, but it's been worthwhile.

Imagine if I did not. It is a worthwhile duty to pour everything into loving God with balance. But loving God must, it must continue to love self, not an imbalanced love of self. We love ourselves naturally.

You need no effort for that. Jesus said, listen, love your neighbor as yourself because I know you love you so much, without effort, I don't have to tell you to love you. I've got to tell you to take some of that love and give it to your neighbor and you'll not lose any of it. You know, some would say a candle doesn't lose any of its own light when it lights another candle.

Well, that's a good illustration. But I've been chasing this love, but I'm not the only one. Paul said it this way because he chased it too. He says, not that I've already attained or am already perfected, but I press on that I may lay hold of that which Christ Jesus has laid hold of me.

Not that I've already attained or am already perfected, but this one thing I do. And then he goes on to, he's telling the Philippians when he writes this in Philippians 3, I'm spending myself loving Christ. And then he told the Corinthians, I am spent and will gladly be spent for you. Sometimes I get tired of being spent. I do, I do.

Okay, I'm done. And God just says, because he knows I am kept by the power of God, not only for my salvation, but for my service. Because I can't keep myself. Our God is big and he is awesome. And we love him for it. And Satan's not going to sit down idly and stand for that.

He's going to come at it. No matter what you bring to God with your heart, he's going to attack it at some point. If you're in it, if you're in the fight like he did Job, Job was attacked because he was a good man, he was a great man. God was bragging about Job.

You check out Job, nobody liked Job. Loves good, hates evil. I have asked God to not boast about me. And he has said, don't worry about it. He's not giving me much. So, God put blood in the game when he came and died for us.

And he has demanded no less from us in return. With all your heart, again, that is my mind, that is my ability to reason, to make a decision, the way I feel, it is all of me. That's what Christ is saying. He is giving us the definition of the heart when he says mind, soul, with all your heart, mind, soul, you got it.

I've already quoted it like five times without looking. Your soul, your mind, your strength, that's your soul. It is that part of me who is me. And if I'm not born again, I only have a soul. I do not, my spirit is dead. It is not until I am born again does my spirit come alive and now I can interact with God. That dead spirit can interact with hell, but it cannot interact with God in a way that pleases God. He says with all your soul, and again, I've already pretty much covered that. If you are unsaved, your soul is empowered with human energy and influenced by Satan from the spiritual realm and not God unless, of course, God is appealing you to get saved. If you are saved, your soul is empowered and influenced by the Holy Spirit, but it still has to fend off the flesh. So it is that touch of holiness upon the soul that brings us life in Christ and centers our attention upon God.

Here's a picture of what happens inside of us from an experience of Moses. You remember, and I love to tell this, I know, Moses did not want to be called into ministry. He had tried to help his people. He realized, you know what, people are a pain in the neck. And he left. And God said, yeah, too bad they're a pain in the neck.

They're a pain in, you know, you're going to still have to work. Eventually there would be a pain in his hands and his feet and his side and on his brow. People did all of that to him. Christ was crucified for us. Anyway, so when Yahweh saw that he had turned aside to look, because God, I guess, I don't know much about hunting or trapping or things like that, but I have heard that there's two things that really work when it comes to hunting and trapping, and that is bait and wait.

If you bait him and you wait for him, you're going to get him. And so God kind of did that with Moses in the bush that burned. He wanted to grab his attention, and Moses said, I have to go and see this thing. He took the bait, and God was waiting.

I hope that doesn't sound like I'm trivializing it. I'm magnifying it. So when Yahweh saw that, he turned aside to look. God called to him from the midst of the bush and said, Moses, Moses. And when God says your name twice, something's going on.

Not necessarily bad, but it's serious. And he said, here am I. Could you look at the look on Moses' face? There's nobody on the mountain, and someone's talking to him, and he's talking to someone he can't see, just like us.

Anyway, then he said, do not draw near this place. Take your sandals off your feet, for the place where you stand is holy ground. Well, what's the next thing Moses did?

Took his sandals off. You see, his soul, his spirit came to life. He's in the presence of God. And God does this to us. And that sense of holiness comes from this type of experience with God. And so Jesus says, with all your mind. Sin always drives us from God, what God desires. Sin is always opposite of what God wants, and it is always harmful.

At some point, it is very harmful. And we are better off when we feel better about Jesus Christ. A lot of Christians, they just don't feel good about life. They're always sour.

They have life, but they don't have joy. And I fear that in many of these cases, it's because they're really not centered on Christ, they're centered on self. I don't say this as an outsider, as a bystander. When I'm cast down, I know the steps and I take them. I don't suffer with depression too much anymore. Every now and then, I feel it, you know, I want to see it on the horizon, and I beat that thing back now. But I learned early on, you know, I'm not going to live this way. And so, as I've said before, when I feel depression coming on, the next sound you hear is the sound of the sword leaving its sheath. I'm going to fight it.

I am not going to let it fight me without resistance. And when my mind is on him, then I feel, how I feel about myself falls into place. Now, Isaiah says it this way, and I have had problems with this verse, but I've never given up on it, and it has paid off.

Isaiah 26, you will keep him in perfect peace whose mind has stayed on you, because he trusts in you. Now, you either believe that or you do not. If you are in a place you say, I believe it, but I don't feel it, then you've got to work it out. And that's okay. You're in a good space. You are saints.

You are separated by the blood of Christ. We have no right to take the easy way out when the hard way leads to victory. We have no right to say, it's too hard, and then quit. More is expected of us. How else do you get stronger? How else do we develop? And I'm telling you, I'm getting afraid to preach these things.

You know why? Because it seems like I preach them and God says, okay, let's see if you can do it. I say, no, no, it doesn't work that way. I preach it, they do it. And then you tell me more to preach, I preach it, they do it. It's a good system, God.

He just hasn't agreed with that. With all your strength, that's the resources of your resolve, of my resolve, the resources that we have, and we have them. You just sometimes have to mind them. You dig for them. Feeling a thrill in Jesus' name does not make me a believer by itself. There must be the confession of the faith with energy to grab hold of life in that strength and that faith and that belief. Confession of faith is to lead to an answerable life to the confession.

I'm taking this from John Bunyan in his Pilgrim's Progress. Confession of faith is to lead to a life answerable to that confession. You said you're a Christian?

Okay, let's see it. God help us to believe the things that we confess. God help us to believe and carry out the things that we say we can do. And when you fail, you get up. Satan hates that part. Satan hates that you can get up and that you do get up. How many times have you felt like, I don't feel like going to church?

Probably none here. I know that. But let's just for a moment put ourselves in the place of other churches where sometimes people are like, I know, it's so goofy. Well, I don't feel like going to church. And they go anyway.

Who just won that skirmish? It wasn't hell. Unless they get to church, it would cause problems. Then he gets another problem. This is the first commandment, Jesus said. So he lays it out. You're to love God with everything you have. These four things are the beginning of the first commandment.

Because he's going to say, but it doesn't stop there. The man asks for one commandment, Christ is giving him one answer with two parts of commandments involved. What would Christianity look like if Christ never said such things? If he never said, you shall love the Lord your God with everything you've got. What if he said, you know, just whatever you can.

He'd get even less than what we're able to give him. Also, balanced Christianity is critical. It involves duty and sacrifice, which is what Christ meant. He said, take up your cross and follow me. It is your duty and it is sacrificial and it is worth it. And to take that away, we get nothing done for Christ. So the will, that is the duty.

And the heart, strength, feelings are involved, the mind. Thanks for tuning in to Cross Reference Radio for this study in the Book of Mark. Cross Reference Radio is the teaching ministry of Pastor Rick Gaston of Calvary Chapel, Mechanicsville in Virginia. To learn more information about this ministry, visit our website, Once you're there, you'll find additional teachings from Pastor Rick. We encourage you to subscribe to our podcast. When you subscribe, you'll be notified of each new edition of Cross Reference Radio. You can search for Cross Reference Radio on your favorite podcast app. That's all we have time for today, but we hope you'll join us next time as Pastor Rick continues to teach through the Book of Mark, right here on Cross Reference Radio.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-08-18 11:12:26 / 2023-08-18 11:22:00 / 10

Get The Truth Mobile App and Listen to your Favorite Station Anytime