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Jan 14, 2017
The Worth of a Life
Series:

Discipleship

"The Worth of a Life"

Mark 8:31-37

Pastor/Teacher Roger Redmond

We must always remember that Christ is faithful; He cannot nor will He ever deny Himself.  There is no false pretense with Him.  He, in understandable language, laid out the cost of discipleship unto the entire crowd.  You notice He called unto Him the disciples and all the people present.  There was a message for the disciples and for everyone. His words are intended for all people, "And when he had called the people unto him with his disciples also, he said unto them,..."

What you find here and in Matthew 16:21-26 is Christ telling of His coming death and Peter's lack of understanding.   Peter, through his lack of understanding, unintentionally became a tool of satan. There is lessons here for us.

1.  The Separating Power of the Word of God., Hebrews 4:12.  "....it is quick and powerful...." "Dividing Asunder". The bible is able to give you the truth.  It separates your thoughts from the temporal to the eternal, from earthly thinking to heavenly thinking.  It gives you understanding of the things of God.

Peter's problem:  He said to Christ, "....be it far from thee, this shall not be unto thee," Matthew 16:22b.

Christ turned from Peter and gave these words, "But he turned, and said unto Peter, Get thee behind me, Satan: thou art an offence unto me: for thou savourest not the things that be of God, but those that be of men." Matthew 16:23.

Jesus used the Word of God in His defense against the temptation of satan, Matthew 4:1-11. Three (3) times Christ said it is written:  4:4 "It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God. "  4:7"... It is written again, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God." 4:10 Get thee hence, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve.

The Word of God allows you to have victory, 4:11 Then the devil leaveth him, and, behold, angels came and ministered unto him

Paul wanted the scriptures at the end of his life. He was used of God to write most of the New Testament and as he was preparing for his departure, 2 Tim 4: 6-7 For I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure is at hand.  I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith: What was three (3) of the items he wanted?  2Ti 4:13  The cloke that I left at Troas with Carpus, when thou comest, bring with thee, and the books, but especially the parchments.

"but especially the parchments." I think he wanted the writing of what the LORD had and said to him and through him:  Here is what Guthrie said:

"It is not impossible, at least, that Paul had in his possession some written account of the Lord’s doings and sayings and that he wished to have them to hand in his present critical situation."Guthrie, D. (1990). Pastoral Epistles: An Introduction and Commentary (Vol. 14, pp. 191–192). Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press.

For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. Heb. 4:12

2.  The Plan of the devil. The devil is cunning ,crafty and he is your adversary, " Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:" 1 Peter 5:8.  He (satan) understands the authority and power of God's Word.  He suggested to Eve and changed God's Word.  Genesis 3:1-5.  The devils believe the Word of God to the extent they tremble, "....the devils also believe, and tremble. James 2:19.

In the temptation of Jesus, the devil uses the power of suggestion to question God.  Mat 4:6  And saith unto him, If thou be the Son of God, cast thyself down: for it is written, He shall give his angels charge concerning thee: and in their hands they shall bear thee up, lest at any time thou dash thy foot against a stone. The temptation is for you to presume upon God.

In Jesus' answer we are taught the importance of rightly dividing the Word of God  Mat 4:7 Jesus said unto him, It is written again, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God. Always remember God never contradicts Himself.  If two portions of scripture are at odds the meaning lies between the two seemly differences.

The Word of God divides Truth from Tradition.  It divides the righteousness of God from Self Righteousness, Luk_18:9-11  i.e.  verse14  I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other: for every one that exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted. It divides the earthly from the heavenly; Col. 3:2 set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth.

Opposition to the gospel is from Satan, Christ said you are an offense unto me, "Get thee behind me, Satan: thou art an offence unto me:" Peter was now cast into the role of stumbling block, "offense" means stumbling block.  Peter unintentionally is being used by satan and it was through not understanding the things of God, Mat 16:23  But he turned, and said unto Peter, Get thee behind me, Satan: thou art an offence unto me: for thou savourest not the things that be of God, but those that be of men.

"Offence (σκάνδαλον). Rev., better, stumbling-block. See on 5:29. Not, thou art offensive, but thou art in my way. Dr. Morison, “Thou art not, as before, a noble block, lying in its right position as a massive foundation-stone. On the contrary, thou art like a stone quite out of its proper place, and lying right across the road in which I must go—lying as a stone of stumbling.”

Vincent, M. R. (1887). Word studies in the New Testament (Vol. 1, p. 98). New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons.

Peter was a stumbling block because he perceived not the importance gospel. Peter just said to Jesus, you do not need to die on the cross. "Savourest not" His mind was not on the things of God. He who opposes, misapplied or misstates the truth of the death of Christ on the cross is an adversary and offense to Christ, though he be as sincere in his profession as Peter himself was.  The death of Christ is central to the understanding of the gospel.   It is the central truth to salvation.  1 Peter 2:6-8.

Discipleship will involve suffering; and this suffering will be seen /experienced in the price you pay in teaching, preaching and standing up for the Christ of the Cross. 1Co 1:18 For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God.

There is no greater picture of a Suffering Saviour than Isaiah 53: 3-6 He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not. Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.

Stories like the prodigal son can only be true because Christ the Son of God died on the cross.

Will You Forfeit Your Life

"Gain—lose (κερδήσῃ—ζημιωθῇ). Note that both words are in the past (aorist) tense: “if he may have gained or lost. The Lord looks back to the details of each life as the factors of the final sum of gain or loss. For lose, Rev. gives forfeit. The verb in the active voice means to cause loss or damage. Often in the classics, of fining or mulcting in a sum of money. Compare 2 Cor. 7:9."

Vincent, M. R. (1887). Word studies in the New Testament (Vol. 1, p. 98). New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons.

How will Christ judge your life, 2 Timothy 2:10-13, i.e. verse 13 "If we believe not, yet he abideth faithful: he cannot deny himself." In order to justify our unbelief, we go the wrong way as to the truth.  Here, He is not seeking to prove eternal salvation.  What is being taught should stir our hearts.  Do you think the LORD should be faithful and reward you for your work as He promised?  He will and He will also be just as faithful to hold all accountable for their un belief.  Rev.  22:12, 1 Cor. 3:13-14

2 Cor. 5:10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad.

Therefore, "if we believe not, yet he abideth faithful: he cannot deny himself". He will be just as faithful in holding the believer accountable for unbelief in the matter of their life, at the Judgment Seat; as He will in passing sentence on the unbeliever at G.W.J.  Many saved people live as those they will receive special treatment!  "Faithful" = True to own character - True who He is - He cannot deny His own righteous character.  "....he cannot deny himself."

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