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January 29, 2021 12:00 am
Oh right, I was ever speaking for the glory of Christ hears Jason posting bail cities infuriated of the gospel play. Can you imagine this in the average church in our culture to join our church hallway their second ride, pick up your right, starting a new series of studies like all church planting in the town where almost everyone will pray well many churched people today are searching for the same thing but Jesus and his early followers were different from what was expected in acts 17 some disciples of Jesus were accused of upsetting the world isn't that often a typical response to the gospel. The world gets upset with God and his word and they take it out on Christians who tried to reflect and represent him. This is wisdom for the heart.
Stephen Devi has an important message for you today called the suffering King stay with us. There are some interesting insights that came out of the series. I read about it and watch it that was simply called belief and it was it was sort of a survey and it didn't go around the world. By the way, the number of different countries surveying what people believe that as a relates to some kind of supernatural being or some divine essence or it might even be some kind of universal force or power and it was supposed to witness some of the world's most fascinating.
They called it. Spiritual journeys were cameras have rarely read a little bit about it. They were searching for origins of diverse faith and the heart of what really matters whether it's the belief of millions flock to the sacred Ganges for cleansing of free climber on the side of a mountain without any security ropes who believes that his will apply is the greatest power on earth a woman engaged in ancient ceremonial cleansing search of one nation through ancient astrological systems to find meaning in the stars. Of course, more in our world is incurably hungry. I found it interesting in reading some of the promotional material just as I suspected that the idea would eventually surface and it did, and I quote that a monarch like God is fading a monarch like God is fading and people are now seeking the divine in nature and in their neighborhoods like never before in the series continually presents this question. What do you believe what do you emphasis you.
What do you believe what you and I believe is really a very good place to start because we are all finite creatures and we have a lien spots the size of our own biases were prone to believe whatever we feel for us and and is comfortable with our perceptions and lifestyles in the gospel collides frankly with what we believe in the truth of God is as well a W toes eroded in his work entitled the knowledge of the holy.
This left to ourselves.
We tend to reduce God to manageable term. We by nature want to get God where we can use, or at least know where he is. If we need God we can in some measure control making even the Christian God only slightly superior to the gods of Greece and Rome.
See the question to begin with is not what do you believe about God and the universe and some spirit BA or world out there. The question is what God revealed about himself and the universe he created and and frankly, the only place to begin to answer a question like that in specific terms, is this book we call the Bible and by the way the opening line of the Bible, God is not explained. He his existence is not supported. He is not proven he is not defended. He is simply introduced with the statement in the beginning what God in the beginning God here is. And now, our search begin and for us begins here not on a mountainside not through a telescope, not in the polluted waters of the Ganges begins here with what God claims to be his very breath the inspired Scripture is what creator God discloses about himself when I want to do in our session today is is begin studying one of the most loaded chapters in the Bible reveals who God is and what God is like what I want to show you is the self-disclosure of God to take some time to work through this chapter. You're probably wondering what chapter might that be will turn to acts chapter 17 when I want to do is I want us to travel back 1967 years ago this very month, the month of January to a moment when the apostle Paul arrives at a city called Thessalonica what happened in January, 49, 88, and we getting use this to just sort of began to not only capture our thoughts and what were going to discover about God through the revelation of God by means of his servant, but were also going to try to answer the question.
Along the way, how do we communicate to our culture that really doesn't want anything to do with a monarch like God who is so dogmatic as to suggest there might be something called command rather than a suggestion so we can also explore what it's like to communicate to our world in this pre-Christian day who God is.
So for this session… Go to verse one where Paul arrives in Thessalonica there's a synagogue there. The Jews and according to Paul's custom verse two he went to them in for three Sabbath reason with them and that we were told is that he's going to engage in at least three activities as he goes into the synagogue is going to primarily begin with Jews and and proselytes. He's going to deal with sympathizers to Judaism is a might sit on the fringe elements of this congregation, but is good to do three things. So start there.
First of all he's going to reason or dialogue. According to the Scriptures. My translation reads he reason with them.
The verb is dialogue of life in which we get our English word dialogue and is really important to understand what this is like so you can picture this in your mind.
It isn't like Paul is standing up somewhere like here and the audience is sitting out there sort of like you are this is this is more like a give-and-take dialogue in the Greek sense is a word that refers to teaching or engaging people in a method of question and answer in order to stimulate their thinking is the idea dialogue and and so what what Paul is doing here is he's having these Jews in these proselytes. He's got very Gentiles in these engaging them. By the way, notice, and x-rays. These dialoguing with them from the Scriptures. So what he's doing is he saying if you ever thought about this verse and he might have them you don't recall it from memory. Or he might quote it to them and have never thought about what that might mean anything to have give-and-take on the implications of whatever the particular text might be and he's focusing notice in verse three. He's he's intentionally driving them in the thoughts in the texts in the question and answers to consider the truth is that this God incarnate, died, and rose again. He was their Messiah, so he saying things like, never thought about that verse from the Torah the wall. The first five books of our Old Testament, they might fire back there answers that need to get that passage work were King David describes some things. What you think about the profits of the past and he believed them into some rather stunning implications of their own Scriptures to stimulate their thinking. So this would've been rather raucous. The word dialogue.
Never forget my father telling me what happened in an airport number years ago is in Russia.
He leads missions to military and he's coming back from the Black Sea area where they expanded and now have built a ministry there with the military Russian military very fruitful ministry and he's sitting there in the airport and for those of you travel certain times of year you may see the same thing he saw the terminal was filled with Orthodox Jewish men with the curly sideburns and the hats in the black. My dad was sitting there in the terminal is Bible open and yet understand that all he was doing was debating okay was very intentional and is opening it up just the way see what he was reading and sure enough, a young 25-year-old Orthodox Jew came and sat down beside him and quiet for a moment and then my my dad looked at him and said I ask you question. Sure, how will you know your Messiah is the true Messiah when he comes young man responded all we will not we will not how we can all he will be dynamic. He will be a great leader. You will have miraculous power. That's how we will know my father took his Old Testament and he said I know how you will know and he turned to several passages like the prophet Zechariah spoke of their returning king, and he turned there and he said look here and he had read it where it said they will look upon him whom they have peers in the young man said that's not in my Scriptures and my dad said yes it is and he said let me write that reference and so we got a little piece of paper he wrote the reference my father. So let me show you another passage from the great prophet Isaiah, you have never heard read in the synagogue and he turned Isaiah 53 and he said he read this verse. He was wounded for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities. The chastening for our well-being fell upon him young man said that reference any wrote that my father went to Genesis to the great Torah, written by Moses and return to chapter 49 in verse 10 were talked about the scepter not the parting from the tribe of Judah when it comes in the messianic prophecy that said and when he comes, he will tie his young cold to a fine does exactly what Jesus did when he entered the city young man's I've never seen that verse before my father very kindly said it's in your Torah. Then he turned to Zachariah again in chapter 13 and he showed him verse six, where the nation Israel asks their Shepherd King. What are these wound in your hand and then he will answer these are the wounds with which I was wounded in the house of my friend and he wrote that reference and asked some question.
So here they are in the terminal dialogue is the idea of the apostle Paul doing the same thing here in Thessalonica centuries earlier and notice the text to getting only dialogue with number two. He explained the Scriptures to them. Verse three Paul is is explaining see that word explaining again agrees help us with a little bit more color it means to to be okay. He is opening the Scriptures to them. In other words, Paul is taking the Scriptures as it were an opening that with clarity shedding light on and with that opening hearts and eyes that only the spirit through the truth of the Scriptures can do but but he started opening up the word of God to them in their hearts are open affect that word to open is the same word use of those two disciples. Jesus spoke with on the road to Emmaus and their eyes were clouded until they saw the Lord give them that the elements as it were, of what we call communion of their eyes were okay this is the idea here is opening Scripture wonderful when when you're reading the word of God in the spirit of God opens the meaning of the text to you work.
If you're listening to a sermon or a lesson, a Bible teacher or Bible study on the radio or whatever. I can remember as a senior high student. I given my life to the Lord is a 17-year-old, and I was told that J. Vernon McGee was going to come to a church in Virginia Beach 9000 telling stories and realize how getting it any right he was preaching every night for me and in that church and I was really hungry for the word of course it come to life spiritually, so I is a 17-year-old drove that I can't remember if I was alone by myself. I can't remember anybody being with me. I just remember that I was still in the front row of the balcony five nights a week and listen to jaybird and he took an entire week to go through the book of Ruth. You think how it took a we might talk slowly but really what he did was eat when into the history of the culture of the meaning of yours and everything and he he let I'll never forget sitting there with my mouth open. He okay the Scriptures this is Paul in the synagogue. He's opening one passage anything tell you what that mean showing them how they tied together to show God what you notice.
Thirdly, Paul is not only dialoguing, he's explaining the notice is giving evidence is giving evidence for scriptural integrity verb there in verse three giving evidence means to lay things alongside the translated writer would like. So Paul is taking the Scriptures anything laying one passage along side another passage which is a wonderful way. By the way, to study the Scriptures comparing Scripture with Scripture. So Paul is breathtaking prophecy and minis allaying along side of it.
Small entities delivering along with it. An eyewitness account from perhaps one of the one of the gospel writers we don't we don't know which we've been told that we don't know what he laid along. That doesn't mean we can't use our imagination. I can imagine that Paul could've started the dialogue and then moved forward and eventually to the evidence by asking the congregation. What did it mean for your great King Solomon to say in his collection of Proverbs which we revere what we call chapter 30 and verse four, who has ascended into heaven and descended who has gathered the wind in his fists, who has wrapped the waters in his garment who has established all the ends of the earth. Notice this, what is his name and the name of his son. I can imagine Paul, you just gonna throw that out there and stopping insane asylum is obviously talking about God, the creator please asking who is his son.
You know his name. Maybe the pocket a late alongside that text. The eyewitness account of Matthew in that incredible moment where where Jesus meets up with the ministry of John the baptizer and acknowledges the truth of that Old Testament prophet John and goes into the water as a sign of his acknowledging the truth of that message and going down and then up and out of the water in that voice speaking from heaven said, you know, the eyewitnesses said the voice from heaven said this is my son and I can imagine Paul saying a limit McKenna type together for you. The only way they can be tied together, let me introduce to you the son of God. Same man who was crucified, and rose from the dead, the son of God. Solomon centuries ago, wondered about. He is the son of God, confirmed by eyewitness account in his name is Jesus is the Christ. Look at verse three is explaining giving evidence that the Christ to suffer and rise again from the dead and saying this Jesus whom I am proclaiming to you.
I'm introducing his Messiah. What is an long before the Jews recognize the threat Paul represents to the religions of their tradition to their customs verse four tells us that some of them were persuaded and joined Paul Cyrus at work joined is actually much stronger it indicates to us that God is actually creating and forming a community of believers, we would know that obviously is the creation of a local church, but then again all you have is this departure from the synagogue you have your numbers that are disappearing. You have well respected women you have a multitude of Greeks you have even Jews join this community of followers are all naming Jesus as their Messiah very very troubling. Paul is introduce God was city that knew nothing of them, and now the question is what is the city going to do about verse five. The middle part tells us they formed a mob. They became jealous of course take the took some wicked men from the marketplace for them set the city in an uproar came upon the house of Jason were seeking to bring them out to the to the people. Evidently the believers had moved from the synagogue no longer welcome into the home of this this man by the name of Jason Paul will greet him later in one of his letters, Amanda put his life on the line for the apostle Paul and the gospel of Christ and Jason opens up his home evidently large enough reps, a leading man in the city. We don't know for sure but is hosting Paul and Silas, and church and then you have this this opera are they they effectively are going to drag Jason verse six out to make two charges against these Christians specifically Jason look at verse six to begin dragging Jason his brother before the city authorities, shouting these men who have upset the world have come here also. I love that phrase by the catch that market down. It's going to become more and more the testimony of the church in this culture, and the first charges that you are disturbing the status quo. These menu upset the world. Literally, these and they turn the world upside down ruining everything the way, if you disturb the status quo if if you swim against the politically correct current even if you don't keep your opinions of what's right and wrong yourself. If you suggest that Christianity is the only faith and everything else is speculation. If you do that going to invite trouble in your life.
Why, because you're tempering your impugning.
You are disagreeing.
You are claiming and you are turning the world upside down. Listen blood you are not you are not you are turning the world right side.
It's already upside your introducing your world who God really is, what is really like. The gospel actually returns the world where secondly: these early believers are not only charged with breaking up the status quo. Other accused of committing the crime of treason. Look at verse seven.
They all act later on the verse they all act contrary to the decrees of Caesar, saying there is another king, Jesus love saying there's another king. This is treason. Jesus is not only the Messiah that gives us enough problems but he's came back. The word used in the Greek New Testament by this model can be translated Emperor or you could translated it ready for this one monarch the world like chisel reminders who he is what he said but there is a sovereign monarch, the Emperor Jesus verse eight disturb the crowded city authorities learned these things when they receive the pledge. Jason and the others they released him receiving a pledge is as a reference to posting bail so they got from Jason was bail and he evidently bailed everybody out as it ever occur to you that wherever Paul went awry.
Follow Ryan's house after speaking for the glory of Christ.
Here's Jason posting bail cities infuriated over the gospel play can imagine this in the average church in our culture today. Join our church in the hallway their second ride, pick up your right and then come out all eternal Avenue to get some instructions on how to post bail because you're probably going to jail, but over starting a new series of studies like call church planting in a town where almost everyone will hate great sign me up. I went along that you are gospel should produce reaction heartburn offense guilt, shame, repentance, forgiveness, join which you can chisel away.
Jesus Christ is revealed. Sovereign God fulfillment of Solomon's question Davidson others suffer and die rose and return to earth one day is the Jesus Christ really is Emperor of all that exists. As Christians we may face trouble on this earth for being loyal to our King but that's the only way to live.
Thanks for being with us today here on wisdom for the hearts the Bible teaching ministry of Stephen Davey Stephen is the pastor of a church in Cary, North Carolina. He's currently working his way through a series called introducing God. It comes from acts 17. Today's lesson from that series is entitled the suffering King when you're unable to listen to wisdom for the heart on your local radio station, you can still keep caught up with our daily Bible lessons.
The wisdom international has each today's broadcast as well as the archive of Stephen's 35 years of Bible exposition you'll find the wisdom international in the app store for your device. Thanks for listening. Join us tomorrow for more list for the