20 episodes

This publication contains the weekly teaching from Christ Covenant Church in Lakewood, Colorado. For more information about Christ Covenant Church please visit our website (http://www.christcovenantcolorado.com).

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    • Religion & Spirituality
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This publication contains the weekly teaching from Christ Covenant Church in Lakewood, Colorado. For more information about Christ Covenant Church please visit our website (http://www.christcovenantcolorado.com).

    Doing Family According To Jesus – Part 2: Major Life Decisions

    Doing Family According To Jesus – Part 2: Major Life Decisions

    Having finished our discussion on Jesus’ radical view on family, it is important that we (now) consider its application to our everyday lives. In other words, that we understand what doing family according to Jesus it looks like.

    With regard to the world’s values or expectations, conversations with outsiders, and fellowship with those not welcomed to God.



    * You reject the family values or expectations established by the world.

    * Your conversations with outsiders are to be focused on family talk: God and His Word/gospel/our church family.

    * You have no fellowship with anyone who does not welcome conversation about God and His gospel or refuses to act on what they have heard (including biological family and friends).



    With regard to your major life decisions, personal life, and attitude toward your brothers and sisters



    * All major life decisions – or in the lives of those in your care, are under the oversight of your church family (most especially your ordained pastor).



    4.1. (1Co 1:10; Phi 1:27, 2:2)

    4.2. Some practical examples:

    4.2.1. Discipleship/discipline of your kids (Eph 6:4) = Notice Paul (their ordained pastor) is telling them what to do with their kids. IOW: he had jurisdiction over the parents in respect to how they raised their children. And based on the scope of the two terms used by Paul (“discipline” and “instruction of the Lord”), this would include jurisdiction over their education and extracurricular commitments since these two terms (discipline and instruction) encompass the entirety of the child’s spiritual and/or character formation. This means if parents don’t know what the church understands to be God’s prescription (in respect to these two terms) and their application to the different areas of their children’s lives (education etc), then they need to go to the church (or its ordained pastors) and ask. Your children are not your own to do whatever you want with (especially if they are covenant children – i.e. a part of the church family).

    4.2.2. Where to live, what to do for work (Jam 4:13-17) = According to James it is “evil” and sin” to make decisions as to where to live (“Today or tomorrow we will go into such and such a town and spend a year there”) or what to do for work (“we will …trade and make a profit”- i.e. career choices) without determining (first) the will of God (15).

    4.3. According to Scripture, the will of God is determined by the church family (or her anointed pastors) (Act 15:1-3 = Notice it is the church who decides what should be done; 15:6 “apostles [anointed men] and elders [meaning anointed elders such as James] w/19-28; Gal 2:1-2; 1Co 14:29 [w/28 “church”] = Who is determining the will of God in this matter is the church [Hence Mat 18:17 “tell it to the church”] = The church [or her ordained leaders] possess the HS for discerning God’s will  [Joh 16:13] = Verse 16 reveals which of the two HS events Jesus is referring to. It is the one after His resurrection [versus after His ascension] [v16]. It is, therefore, the anointing of the HS that Jesus is referring to, that portion of the Spirit given to pastors for discerning God’s will for His people [Joh 21] – versus the baptism of the HS [Acts 2] that which helps all Christians live in obedience to God and His appointed leaders.

    4.4. Does this mean that ordained pastors are infallible (or cannot be wrong) – or that we cannot disagree with him? (emphatically) NO. But it does mean that if we think they are wrong, then we have an obligation to go to them and reason from Scripture (following the protocol of Mat 18:15-17 when necessary) (e.g. our view regarding the excommunicated being able to pray – Psa 51). If we can’t demonstrate our position to be correct (to them or the church) then we must continue to submit to them understanding this to be God’s (current) will for our lives (Rom 13:2; Eph 6:5-7; 1Pe 2:13-18) = Not...

    • 1 hr 7 min
    Doing Family According to Jesus – Part 1

    Doing Family According to Jesus – Part 1

    Having finished our discussion on Jesus’ radical view on family, it is important that we (now) consider its application to our everyday lives. In other words, that we understand what doing family according to Jesus it looks like.



    * You reject the family values or expectations established by the world.



    1.1. (Luk 9:57-62) = Given Luke’s decision to group these events together, means that we should assume they possess the same general context from which to discern their intended principle or point. That context is family – or more specifically, the values and expectations possessed by the world’s view of family. There are three presented in these verses. Jesus opposes/rejects all three: 1) your home is where your biological family resides (57-58) = “Holes” (or dens) and “nests” represent not only an animal’s resting place but the place where its biological family resides. Humans in the world identify home – or their resting place, in the same way. It is the place where my biological family resides. Jesus however opposed such thinking (“The Son of Man has nowhere to lay His head”  – i.e. My resting place -or home, is not determined by my biological family). What determined Jesus’ home (and the same would be expected of His followers) was wherever He was doing God’s work (Joh 12:26; Luk 17:21 – “the kingdom of God is in the midst of you”). IOW: home will be determined (for the Christian) by the resting place – or home, of God. Which according to Paul is the church or the church family (1Ti 3:15). 2) children must honor their parents in death or their parent’s dying wishes (59-60) = What is communicated by this man could refer to returning home for a funeral or to saying his goodbyes to his father before he dies. In either case, Jesus makes clear that no such expectation of honor toward one’s parents is recognized by God and therefore must never get in the way of any responsibilities we possess in respect to Him or His family (the church). 3) the approval of your biological family is necessary – or something you care about, when it comes to those choices you make in following Christ (61-62) = Most scholars agree the real reason this man wishes to go home and say goodbye to his family is so that while there, he can receive their approval. As before, Jesus makes clear that caring about – or adhering to, such worldly family values disqualify a person from being a part of His family (“No one [is fit for the kingdom of God] who puts his hand to the plow and looks back” = Is concerned about the opinion, approval of those they are leaving behind – e.g. Gen 19:26 w/Luk 17:20-24).

    1.2. (Mar 3:31-35) = Jesus is both dismissive and disrespectful to His mother’s demands according to the world and its expectations of adult children – no longer living in the home (i.e. that they continue to respect/listen to/obey their parents). He not only refuses to go outside and speak with his mother but also exposes her and her words as foolish by using them as a teaching point w/His disciples. Jesus’ behavior toward his mother may be what the prophet Simeon is referring to when addressing Mary in (Luk 2:34-35).

    1.3. Another example of Jesus’ rejection of worldly expectations when it came to biological family (or His mother) is (Joh 2:1-4) = Notice how Jesus responds to His mother who is trying to use the fact that she is His mother to manipulate Him into doing her bidding (“Woman what does that have to do w/Me?”) = He doesn’t address her by the title of mother but rather “woman” indicating that she no longer had authority to tell Him what to do.

    1.5. The POINT NOT TO MISS = Jesus does NOT have the same values or expectations as the world when it comes to our biological family. His are radically different. And we are to imitate Him – not the world if we want to get to heaven.



    * Your conversations with church family and outsiders are to be focused on family talk: God.

    • 1 hr 1 min
    Family According To Jesus

    Family According To Jesus

     

    Why talk about the subject of family? Two reasons: 1) Because Americans – including professing Christian Americans, are genuinely interested in the subject. From a sociological perspective, studies on the family have produced over 50,000 books. From an identity perspective, over 70% of Americans see their identity (or commitment) to their biological family as more important than their race or their religion.  The family clearly matters to Americans – including again, professing Christian Americans. It is their primary interest and their preferred identity. This leads directly to the second reason, 2) Jesus’ (and the NT writers’) view of family is not only very different but in most cases, diametrically opposed to the views of Americans -including once more, professing Christian Americans. This means if we are to continue as His legitimate followers –as well as defend against the flaky and false views of many who espouse to be Christian, we need to know the subject of family according to Jesus. Here (then) is what we need to know:



    * Our baptism into Jesus places us into a new family.



    1.1. (Gal 3:26-29)

    1.2. Notice (first) that Paul sees baptism as the place of (saving/effectual) faith (v26 w/v27 “sons of God through faith…for as many of you were baptized into Christ have put on Christ”) = The place where your faith made you sons of God/where you put on Christ was in the waters of baptism.

    1.3. According to the criteria of a family, our baptism places us in a new family: 1) family designation (v26 “sons of God”) = All those in Christ are now children of the same Father irrespective of our biological origins/sociological distinctions (v28), 2) common ancestor (v29).



    * Since baptism makes us members of the church, the church represents our new family.



    (Acts 2:41 “were baptized and there were added” [to the church] that day about three thousand souls”).



    * The church family – not the biological family, is the greatest institution created by God.



    3.1. (Act 20:28) = Christ died for the church family –not the biological family. It should therefore be obvious that the family created by Jesus is infinitely greater (and more important) than the one created by you.

    3.2. The church btw is the only institution that Jesus promised would not be overridden by the gates of Hell (Mat 16:18). Biological families fail all the time b/c of sin and Satan. But Christ’s church will never fail. Wisdom, therefore, dictates that biological families put their focus on being faithful to the church as this (once more) is the only family under divine protection.



    * To follow Jesus, a person must demonstrate loyalty to Him and His church over their biological family.



    4.1. (Luk 14:25-26)

    4.2. You cannot be loyal to Jesus without being loyal to His church (1 Jo 1:6-7 w/2:10-11 w/15 w/4:7-8, 20-21) = To have fellowship w/ – or be loyal to (“love”), Jesus (or “God”) requires that a person be loyal to (“love”) their church family (or spiritual “brother”).

    4.3. We are to demonstrate loyalty to the church to the same degree as Jesus, there is no limit to the level of sacrifice or suffering we are willing to endure to remain together (1Jo3:16; Joh 15:12-13; Consider also Joh 21:15-19 and Rom 8:35-39). Contrary to the view of the world, Scripture never calls for such love in relation to one’s biological family. Though we are called to care for them, never are we called to die for them (including our wives or children).

    4.4. That God expects our loyalty to our church family to be more than what is given to our biological families is seen in the example of Ananias and Sapphira. Sapphira dies b/c of her loyalty to her husband over her loyalty to the church. She lied and covered for him rather than exposing and condemning his sins before the church (Act 5:1-11).

    4.5.

    • 1 hr 10 min
    Why I Choose To Follow Jesus

    Why I Choose To Follow Jesus

    Why (at 24 years old) did I make such a decision and continue to follow Him today (no matter what the world does or how difficult it might be at times)?

    (3 reasons): 1) what I knew about myself, 2) what I knew about the world, 3) what I knew about the future.

     



    *

    What I knew (and continue to know) about myself = It didn’t take me long to realize that I was (and would continue to be without Christ) a slave to my feelings/emotions with very little (if any) power or ability to free myself from them.





    1.1.I hated being controlled by them because I saw how depraved, deceitful, and destructive they were.

    1.2. I saw how they affected my ability to determine truth, make wise decisions, or have right relationships with others. I was a deaf, dumb, and blind crazy person that operated no differently (if not worse) than an animal.

    1.3. I observed that this was true of others as well. Even the best pagan people were selfish animals being driven to do what they did by how they felt. And most of what they felt (or what drove them) was shameful and disgusting (e.g., 98% of men and 73% of women watch pornography – a habit that not only promotes the worst of crimes – the sexual abuse and exploitation of others [including rape and child molestation] but also destroys the most important relationship on the planet- marriage).

    1.4. In short, what I realized about myself (and still know to be true to this day) is that self (myself as well as every other human) is out of control if left to themselves.

    1.5. Contrary to popular belief, human beings are not naturally good. They are naturally selfish and self-serving (and that to a fault). And by “self-serving” I mean serving the desires of their flesh (no matter how shameful or destructive that may be to others).

    1.6. I realized THAT. And (once more) that I possessed very little power to fight it. And that scared me b/c it meant I was capable of the worst of things.

    1.7. BTW: it didn’t take being in the world or experiencing sin or the sinful world to REALIZE THAT. All it took was being honest about myself –what I knew was inside me and what I knew was inside others (e.g., psychological research now suggests that everyone either has some form of a mental disorder or will develop one later in life).

    1.8. God’s Word confirms this to be true (of me as well as every other human being) (Deu 28:28; Ecc 9:3; Jer 17:9; Rom 7:18-19; Joh 8:34; Eph 2:3, 4:17-19; 1Pe 3:3, 4:3; 2Pe 2:12; Jud 1:10)

    1.9. SO THAT is the FIRST REASON I chose (and continue) to follow Jesus. B/C of what I knew about myself.

    1.10. This means that WHAT Jesus saved me (first and foremost from) was myself – from being controlled by my flesh- my feelings/emotions. As I gave (and continue to give full control of my life) to Him, He continues to give me power over my flesh so that I am no longer its SLAVE.

    1.11. As a result, He saved me also from the shameful, foolish decisions I would make without Him and from the damage I would do to myself, others (and most importantly, God) if I were still in control.

    1.12. Hence the reason it has NEVER been a problem to let Him be the BOSS and run my life.

    1.13. I am afraid of myself. I don’t trust myself with my life. I know the narcissist I WAS —AND would be if I were running things. I also know how stupid I am. I can’t think straight.

    1.14. Left to myself (or my feelings/emotions) I will deceive myself into thinking something is right when it is wrong, that something is safe when it is dangerous. I am (therefore-AGAIN) deathly afraid of myself (my thinking, my desires, my heart).

    1.15. And so, I let GO of ME twenty-seven years ago and GAVE full authority (and all decisions) to Jesus because HE is the only One who truly knows what’s true, what’s best, and what path will keep me from destroying me (both now and for eternity).

    1.16.

    • 39 min
    Biblical Interpretation: What’s The Point?

    Biblical Interpretation: What’s The Point?

     

    Proper biblical interpretation requires two steps: 1) discovering WGO? (what’s going on?), 2) discerning WTP? (what’s the point?).

    WTP (what’s the point)? = What timeless, universal principles of wisdom are established based on WGO (what’s going on)?

     



    * Many preachers today discount (or outright reject) the need to discover WTP? believing it to be the Holy Spirit’s job (e.g. John MacArthur believes this and those who graduate from Master’s seminary are taught this – i.e. it is the Holy Spirit’s job [not the pastor] to apply the principles established by the text).

    * The most obvious reason for people not pursuing WTP? in their study of the Bible is that it takes more time and mental energy than people are willing to give.



    2.1. Discerning WTP? will often require as much – if not more, time than discovering WGO?

    2.2. Hence the reason David says what he does in (Psa 119:97-99 “understanding” [Heb. Sawkal/Biyn– wisdom/principles of wisdom]) = Notice what David he does to gain this (“your law…is my meditation all the day…your testimonies are my meditation” = David spent lots of mental energy and time thinking about what is being communicated in God’s word). See also (v130 “unfolding of your words” = The discernment of WTP?; “gives light” –i.e. it “impart” [gives] understanding [principles of wisdom] to the “simple” [the unwise/fool/stupid – Pro 30:2-5])



    * The reason discerning WTP? takes so much time and mental energy is b/c of the way God chose to write the Bible.



    God chose to write in such a way that most of those timeless/universal principles in the bible are not obvious or apparent. This is what makes the Bible different than other books. It remains (for the most part) undigested as to its principles whereas other books are the digested thoughts/principles of the author (e.g. Over 70% of the OT is either narrative or prophetic in its genre —e.g. Gen 33:1-3).

    *(In my opinion) a big help to discerning WTP? (or figuring out the timeless, universal principles of wisdom) whether it be w/the Bible or life is done through reading (digested) books (or books where you can see how the author is working thru and establishing principles).

    Harry S. Truman (“not all readers are leaders, but all leaders, read”)



    * That being said, discerning WTP? is not optional.



    4.1. This is a part of what it means to seek God with all of our hearts (the key to finding Him – i.e. seeing the value in following Him)  (Jer 29:13)

    4.2. It is what we must do if we want the wisdom to avoid temporal and eternal pitfalls and the ability to truly help others (Pro 2:1-20, 3:13, 23:23, 24:3)

    4.3. It is also what pastors are commanded to do in their ministries (2Ti 2:7) “think(ing) over” what has been said (i.e. putting the extra time and mental energy into discerning WTP?) is what is required if we want the Lord to give us (His pastors) “understanding in everything”.



    * Discerning WTP? is exemplified in the teaching of Jesus.



    (Mat 19:1-3, 4-5 w/6 [WTP?])



    * Discerning WTP? is (also) imitated by Jesus’ Old and New Testament teachers/shepherds.



    (Neh 8:7-8; 1Co 9:9 w/1-8 and 10-11 [WTP?]; Consider also Rom 15:4 “whatever was written in former days” = The OT; “was written for our instruction” = It contains the timeless/universal principles we need for “endurance” and “encouragement” and so we can have eternal “hope”)



    * Jesus and the prophets reveal justice, mercy, and faithfulness to be the foundation of most principles communicated in the bible, therefore, providing a helpful guide in our process of discernment.



    7.1. In regard to Jesus (Mat 23:23) “weightier matters of the law” = Where the focus in God’s Word resides. One or more of these three moral categories (justice, faithfulness,

    • 1 hr 11 min
    Biblical Interpretation: What’s Going On? – Part 4

    Biblical Interpretation: What’s Going On? – Part 4

    The goal of all biblical interpretation is to discover the timeless, moral principle being established (“What’s the point?” [WTP]). The reason every Christian should be striving to do this is because this is how we grow in our relationship with God. We do it by discovering Who He is through the principles He has established in His Word (by discovering WTP?). The bible is God’s self-disclosure: the means to understanding Him – or getting to know Him, so that we will trust Him, obey Him – and be passionate about following Him. Learning how to interpret the bible is therefore not a hobby –or something that only those who like reading books or studying grammar and history do for fun. It is again, essential to every Christian to grow in their relationship w/God. Hence the reason a person’s lack of trust (or obedience) to God is often (if not always) proportional to their neglect in attempting to discover WTP? (e.g. Mat 22:29 = Sadducees’ distrust/disobedience directly tied to their failure to “understand” WTP? when it came to Scripture – and in turn, “the power of God”). To discover WTP? (however), first, requires the mental effort (and work) of understanding WGO? [“What’s going on?”]. The following represents what must be among our most basic considerations if we are to understand WGO?:

    Biblical Interpretation: What’s Going On? – Part 1

    Biblical Interpretation: What’s Going On? – Part 2

    Biblical Interpretation: What’s Going On? – Part 3



    * Who was the original audience? (it’s not you or me – e.g. Jer 29:11)

    * What was the culture or their cultural biases? (e.g. their view of children [as cheap labor and security] – e.g. Psa 127)

    * How is the word/phrase being used (or what is it associated w/) in the book? (“works of the law” [a reference to the OT clean laws versus earning our way to heaven]- e.g. Rom 3:28)

    * How is this action or idea used elsewhere that might give additional insight into its meaning? (e.g. faith [baptism] – e.g. 1Pe 3:21 – “baptism now saves you”; Act 2:38 – “repent and be baptized”; Gal 3:27 – “as many of you were baptized into Christ have put on Christ”)

    * Am I dealing with an ancient idiom? (“him who has an ear let him hear” – those who are seeking righteousness and welcome to God – e.g. Mat 11:15)

    * Have I practiced attention to the details? (Gal 6:2 = “gentleness” in restoration – not discipline)

    * Have I vetted my conclusions based on their consequences? (Gen 6:1-4 = If “sons of God” refer to fallen angels then God is guilty of sin since He gave them sexual organs and desires w/no ability to fulfill their purpose – Mat 22:30)

    * Is this an allusion to something in the OT? (Joh 8:20-24 an allusion to Zec 8:23 and Christianity as a very Jewish religion in how it functions)

    * 9. Have I looked for parallels or parallel versions for additional information? (OT and NT)



    (For example)

    9.1. In the OT (1Ch 21:1 w/Jam 1:13 [?] w/2Sa 24:1 = 1Ch 21:1 is not teaching that God tempted David to sin. God does not tempt anyone (Jam 1:13). He instead allowed Satan to entice (or temp) David to rely on the strength/number of his troops rather than God (bc of David’s prior sins and God’s subsequent anger – Pro 22:14 “the mouth of forbidden women is a deep pit; he w/whom the Lord is angry will fall into it – i.e. God will not protect those who continue to covet a particular sin but allow it to come and capture you. IOW: God gives us what we desire – good or evil).

    9.2. In the NT (Mar 10:1-12 w/Mat 19:1-9 = Divorce for any reason is not prohibited.

    • 1 hr 24 min

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