Short commentary on Acts 15 (Please read the whole chapter)
How many of you want Freedom and Love Freedom? How many of you want freedom from religion, rules and traditions of men? There is a war going on between the ‘control spirit’ and the ‘Spirit of Grace’.
I believe Acts 15 is key turning point Scripture to understanding that we as New Covenant believers are FREE from the Law of Moses.
Acts 15:5 But some from the religious party of the Pharisees who had believed stood up and said, “It is necessary to circumcise the Gentiles and to order them to observe the law of Moses.”
The story says that some of the legalist became believers but still held onto the law of Moses. When the Gospel went to the Genttiles, it was a surprised for the Jews becasue they thought that God only wanted to save the JEws. Even Peter on the rooftop had no idea and had to convince the other brothers that salvation also went to the Gentiles. So the problem they had now was that they realised that God wanted to save the Gentiles as well.
So in the early church they had this problem: What do we do with the Gentile beliveres? Do we convert them to Jewish proselytes and keep the Law?
The answer was Peter stands up in
15:11 So now why are you putting God to the test by placing on the neck of the disciples a yoke that neither our ancestors nor we have been able to bear? 15:11 On the contrary, we believe that we are saved through the grace of the Lord Jesus, in the same way as they are”
Peter states that, that not even Jews have to keep the law of Moses now, so the Gentiles definitely don’t have to keep the Law.
Then what happens?
15:19 “Therefore I conclude that we should not cause extra difficulty for those among the Gentiles who are turning to God, 15:20 but that we should write them a letter telling them to abstain from things defiled by idols and from sexual immorality and from what has been strangled and from blood. 15:21 For Moses has had those who proclaim him in every town from ancient times, because he is read aloud in the synagogues every Sabbath.”
V21 states that the law of Moses has been proclaimed everywhere in ancient, meaning that we as believers have to be sensitive to the unbelieving Jews who have been scattered everywhere so that gentile believers don’t offend and so win them to Christ. (More on that later)
Remember the Law of Moses was only given to the Israelites at ONE TIME in history, in ONE PLace, through ONE man MOses, and it was NEVER given to the gentiles. (Psalm 147:20, John 1:17)
For a commentary on the purpose of the Law, please goto:
9) ADD YOUR OWN ONE HERE in modern Christianism that you know ain’t right
10) Or any other religious rules, laws and traditions of man that you might have in your churchianity
Gentile believers are free from the Law of Moses – 613 commandments!
15:28 For it seemed best to the Holy Spirit and to us not to place any greater burden on you than these necessary rules:
What are ‘These necessary rules’?
These are the rules they delivered to the believers in Antioch.
What do those 3 rules possibly mean to the believers in those days?
1) Abstain from things defiled by idols
There is only One God. “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth… the whole of Genesis is all about people Worshipping the One True God!”
Later Paul writes about it in 1 Corinthians,
10:14 So then, my dear friends, flee from idolatry. 10:15 I am speaking to thoughtful people. Consider what I say. 10:16 Is not the cup of blessing that we bless a sharing in the blood of Christ? Is not the bread that we break a sharing in the body of Christ? 10:17 Because there is one bread, we who are many are one body, for we all share the one bread. 10:18Look at the people of Israel. Are not those who eat the sacrifices partners in the altar? 10:19 Am I saying that idols or food sacrificed to them amount to anything? 10:20 No, I mean that what the pagans sacrifice is to demons and not to God. I do not want you to be partners with demons. 10:21 You cannot drink the cup of the Lord and the cup of demons. You cannot take part in the table of the Lord and the table of demons. 10:22 Or are we trying to provoke the Lord to jealousy? Are we really stronger than he is?
14:1 Now receive the one who is weak in the faith, and do not have disputes over differing opinions.14:2 One person believes in eating everything, but the weak person eats only vegetables. 14:3 The one who eats everything must not despise the one who does not, and the one who abstains must not judge the one who eats everything, for God has accepted him. 14:4 Who are you to pass judgment on another’s servant? Before his own master he stands or falls. And he will stand, for the Lord2 is able to make him stand.
14:5 One person regards one day holier than other days, and another regards them all alike. Each must be fully convinced in his own mind. 14:6 The one who observes the day does it for the Lord. The one who eats, eats for the Lord because he gives thanks to God, and the one who abstains from eating abstains for the Lord, and he gives thanks to God. 14:7 For none of us lives for himself and none dies for himself. 14:8 If we live, we live for the Lord; if we die, we die for the Lord. Therefore, whether we live or die, we are the Lord’s. 14:9 For this reason Christ died and returned to life, so that he may be the Lord of both the dead and the living.
14:10 But you who eat vegetables only – why do you judge your brother or sister?And you who eat everything – why do you despise your brother or sister?For we will all stand before the judgment seatof God. 14:11 For it is written, “As I live, says the Lord, every knee will bow to me, and every tongue will give praise to God.???14:12Therefore, each of us will give an account of himself to God.
Exhortation for the Strong not to Destroy the Weak
14:13 Therefore we must not pass judgment on one another, but rather determine never to place an obstacle or a trap before a brother or sister.14:14 I know and am convinced in the Lord Jesus that there is nothing unclean in itself; still, it is unclean to the one who considers it unclean. 14:15 For if your brother or sister is distressed because of what you eat,you are no longer walking in love.Do not destroy by your food someone for whom Christ died. 14:16be spoken of as evil. 14:17 For the kingdom of God does not consist of food and drink, but righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit. 14:18 For the one who serves Christ in this way is pleasing to God and approved by people. Therefore do not let what you consider good
14:19 So then, let us pursue what makes for peace and for building up one another. 14:20 Do not destroy the work of God for the sake of food. For although all things are clean,it is wrong to cause anyone to stumble by what you eat. 14:21 It is good not to eat meat or drink wine or to do anything that causes your brother to stumble.14:22 The faith14:23But the man who doubts is condemned if he eats, because he does not do so from faith, and whatever is not from faith is sin.The faith you have, keep to yourself before God. Blessed is the one who does not judge himself by what he approves.
2) Abstain from Sexulal immorality
In the begining God made them male and female
Gen 2: 24 That is why a man leaves his father and mother and unites with his wife, and they become a new family.
3) Abstain from what has been strangled and from blood.
1 Cor 9:19 For since I am free from all I can make myself a slave to all, in order to gain even more people.9:20To the Jews I became like a Jew to gain the Jews. To those under the law I became like one under the law (though I myself am not under the law) to gain those under the law. 9:21 To those free from the law I became like one free from the law (though I am not free from God’s law but under the law of Christ) to gain those free from the law. 9:22 To the weak I became weak in order to gain the weak. I have become all things to all people, so that by all means I may save some.
9:23 I do all these things because of the gospel, so that I can be a participant in it.
I believe this rule has to do with evangelism purpose for reaching out to those under the Law.
Below taken From the Commentary from net.bible.org
Three of the four prohibitions deal with food (the first, third and fourth) while one prohibition deals with behavior (the second, refraining from sexual immorality). Since these occur in the order they do, the translation “abstain from” is used to cover both sorts of activity (eating food items, immoral behavior).
Telling them to abstain. These restrictions are not on matters of salvation, but are given as acts of sensitivity to their Jewish brethren, as v. 21 makes clear. Another example of such sensitivity is seen in 1 Cor 10:14-11:1.
What has been strangled. That is, to refrain from eating animals that had been killed without having the blood drained from them. According to the Mosaic law (Lev 17:13-14), Jews were forbidden to eat flesh with the blood still in it (note the following provision in Acts 15:20, and from blood).
In conclusion, the New Covenant believer whether Jew or Gentile, we are FREE Specifically from the LAW of MOSES with its commandments and its conditions. The New Covenant believer lives from and by a new heart (changed by God- He writes His Laws on our hearts by His Spirit so that we will know how to live from the inner guide) not from following some external rules and laws on tables of stone.
Please meditate on this Acts 15, I believe this is the Key passage to freedom!
1Corinthians 10:23“Everything is lawful,??? but not everything is beneficial. “Everything is lawful,???but not everything builds others up. 10:24 Do not seek your own good, but the good of the other person. 10:25 Eat anything that is sold in the marketplace without questions of conscience, 10:26 for the earth and its abundance are the Lord’s.10:27 If an unbeliever invites you to dinner and you want to go, eat whatever is served without asking questions of conscience. 10:28 But if someone says to you, “This is from a sacrifice,??? do not eat, because of the one who told you and because of conscience18 – 10:29 I do not mean yours but the other person’s. For why is my freedom being judged by another’s conscience? 10:30 If I partake with thankfulness, why am I blamed for the food19 that I give thanks for? 10:31 So whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do everything for the glory of God. 10:32 Do not give offense to Jews or Greeks or to the church of God, 10:33 just as I also try to please everyone in all things. I do not seek my own benefit, but the benefitof many, so that they may be saved.
The believer is FREE from all laws that bind him so that he can live for God from his heart out of God’s Grace!
But one note about freedom:
Galatians 5:15 For you were called to freedom, brothers and sisters; only do not use your freedom as an opportunity to indulge your flesh,but through love serve one another.
Don’t use your freedom to indulge the sinful nature but to serve one another and to reach the lost! This is the year of Jubilee where God sets us slaves free through Jesus so that we come back to Him out of freewill and serve Him because we want to not because we have to!
Sometimes we wonder, “What is God’s Will for my life?”
God’s will is that you are free!
Acts 15:28 For it seemed best to the Holy Spirit and to usnot to place any greater burden on you than these necessary rules:15:29 that you abstain from meat that has been sacrificed to idolsand from blood and from what has been strangled91 and from sexual immorality.If you keep yourselves from doing these things,you will do well. Farewell.
Essentially what the apostles were saying to the Gentile believers in antioch was this:
“Hey guys, you are free man! it seems best to the Holy Spirit and to us that you Remember only 3 rules:
1) Abstain from things defiled by idols
2) Abstain from Sexulal immorality
3) Abstain from what has been strangled and from blood.
Because you are Already a New Creation, this is how a New Creation lives. You don’t have to live like this to Become a New Creation, but this is Already Who You Are.
You don’t have to obey any Scriptures from the bible (it would mean from Genesis to Revelation in our day) because you are a slave set free by Jubilee and you obey your master not because you ‘have to’ but because you ‘want to’. but you obey God because you want to.
That maybe a shock to you, but that shows you how good God is and His ways of making us Holy is not through laws but it’s through Grace.”
Only 3 guidelines that fits in with New Creation nature, that’s pretty simple isn’t it!
When the Law of Moses got cancelled at the Cross, all the “Have to’s” are gone. Jesus never forced anyone to follow Him, people followed Him because they wanted to.
When the Spirit of God and the new creation you are rises up from within you as it shakes off the chains of religion and laws, you will automatically desires to obey God because you want to (New Covenant mindset) not because you have to (Old Covenant Law of Moses mindset).
We obey the bible not because we have to. Freedom is Not True Freedom unless you are Free to do whatever you want to do. We obey God because we are Free to do so!! our New nature when its been liberated from the chains of religion and rises up out of revelation of who we are in Christ, just wants to live for God.
Grace is Not Freedom TO SIN, but Freedom FROM SIN!!
I have seen legalism operate in my own life, when I live by rules and laws I make up for myself, I end up in living in frustration and anger, unhappiness and critical of others. That’s what the ‘law’ will do to you.
God wants to change us from the inside, not the outside. If you put laws on people, you will change them externally on the outside for a period of time. But if you change people’s hearts from the inside, you will change them forever. External behaviour modifications have an apperance of Godliness but has no ability to restrain the sinful nature.
If you have died with Christ to the elemental spirits of the world, why do you submit to them as though you lived in the world? 2:21 “Do not handle! Do not taste! Do not touch!??? 2:22 These are all destined to perish with use, founded as they are on human commands and teachings. 2:23 Even though they have the appearance of wisdom with their self-imposed worship and false humility 45 achieved by an 46 unsparing treatment of the body – a wisdom with no true value – they in reality result in fleshly indulgence.
What does the bible mean when it talks about the ‘law’?
The word ‘Law/law’ can mean 3 different things in terms of the Old Covenant depending on the context it was used in.
1) It can mean the first 5 books of the bible, known by Jews as the Torah.
2) It can mean the entire set of 613 commandments given by God through angels to Moses to the people of Israel at one time in history.
3) It can mean the 10 commandments given by God to Moses. The ten commandments is basically the summary of the 613 commandments.
Here’s an example of the law meaning 2 different things in 1 Scripture:
Romans 3:21 But nowapart from the law the righteousness of God (which is attested by the law and the prophets)has been disclosed – 3:22 namely, the righteousness of God through the faithfulness of Jesus Christ for all who believe. For there is no distinction, 3:23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.
The first time the ‘law’ is mentioned in this Scripture, it’s talking about the commandments of God under the Old Covenant. The second time the ‘law’ is mentioned, it’s talking about the Torah, the first 5 books of the bible written by Moses in the Old Testament. The phrase, ‘the law and the prophets’ or ‘the law, prophets and psalms’, when used, refers to all the books of the Old testament. Here it’s talking about the prophecies mentioned in the Old Testament that testifies that Christ, the Messiah is our Righteousness.
The law given through Moses is the 10 commandments, or a single complete/composite system consisting of 613 commandments, set of rules, laws regulations given to the Jewish people at ONE time in history, through ONE man Moses, and was never changed again in history- the Old Covenant.
John 1:17 For the law was given through Moses, but44grace and truth came about through Jesus Christ.
It was only given to the Jewish people, never the Gentiles:
He has done this for no other nation;
they do not know his laws.
Praise the LORD.
However, the requirements of the law such the moral aspects of doing good and loving people are written on the hearts of every human being on this planet (Romans 2:12-16). Even though the Gentiles never had the law, but in their hearts they lived under the law. The 613 commandments in given through Moses was never given to you and I Gentiles, so why become so obsessed by it? Just be FREE, LIVE FREE! we gentile believers are priviliege to be able to live in the New Covenant without NEVER ever having to UNDO the legalism under the Old Covenant; we Gentile believers are PRIVILEGED! when we believe in Jesus, we go straight into the New Covenant. Whenever someone tries to put you under the Old Covenant again to obey the 613 commandments, just tell them “I’m a kiwi, or I’m Chinese, or I’m australian… the law was never given to my ancestors! so back off!!!”
Gentile believers are not only SET FREE FROM THE LAW but THEY WERE NEVER UNDER THE LAW given through MOSES! but their own laws they created for themselves through their own cultures, belief systems and religious traditions and superstitions.
The law demands perfect obedience if you want to live in the blessings, otherwise you will be cursed. Please read Deut 28 the whole chapter. The law is one composite set, you either obey ALL, or NONE.
When we talking about ‘living under the law’, what we mean is ‘the legalistic observance of the commandments of the Old Covenant, or any part of the Bible (GOd’s Word) to earn the His blessings and even eternal life.
Under the Old Covenant, namely ‘living under the law’, a man’s righteousness- right standing with God, is attained through keeping the law perfectly.
And if we are careful to obey all this law before the LORD our God, as he has commanded us, that will be our righteousness.”
But we are ‘living under Grace’, what we mean is that Jesus kept God’s Word perfectly and earned the Blessings and everlasting life us and all we have to do is to receive it by believing in Jesus. Now that you have received by becoming born-again, what we need to do now is not to ask ‘for more blessings’, but for God to give us the revelations of the blessings we already have, so we can live in it more. It’s about getting MORE Revelation by the Spirit and the Word, not about getting MORE BLESSINGS. Please read Ephesians 1.
1 Timothy 1:8
But we know that the law is good if someone uses it legitimately, 1:9 realizing that law11is not intended for a righteous person, but for lawless and rebellious people, for the ungodly and sinners, for the unholy and profane, for those who kill their fathers or mothers, for murderers, 1:10 sexually immoral people, practicing homosexuals,12kidnappers, liars, perjurers – in fact, for any who live contrary to sound teaching. 1:11 This13accords with the glorious gospel of the blessed God14that was entrusted to me
In the “church age”, what else can the ‘law’ refer to?
The ‘law’ not only stands for the Mosaic law, but it can also stand for church laws/traditions, denominations laws, or any requirements you put on yourself in order to obtain righteousness before God, right standing before God.
Here the notes are taken from Derek Prince’s book, “The Spirit filled believer’s handbook.” and teaching from Rob’s LA preach last year.
The purposes of the law are:
1)To Reveal Sin. (Romans 3:19-20)
2)To Stir up sin, to make people sin even more (Romans 7:8-13).
The law doesn’t make you holy, it actually makes you want to sin more. Paul said of himself before he was saved, “by legalistic righteousness, faultless”. On the outside, Paul seemed to be a very ‘HOLY MAN’. But he explained how he struggled with sin so much in his inner self in Romans 7. The law is only externally concerned. The fact that Paul knew by the law that he couldn’t go out there and commit adultery, this truth actually made him commit adultery even more by commiting adultery more in his heart. You may not have committed adultery, but if you lust in your heart you have already committed adultery in your heart.
But sin, seizing the opportunity through the commandment, produced in me all kinds of wrong desires. For apart from the law, sin is dead. 7:9 And I was once alive apart from the law, but with the coming of the commandment sin became alive 7:10 and I died. So I found that the very commandment that was intended to bring life brought death!7:11 For sin, seizing the opportunity through the commandment, deceived me and through it I died.7:12 So then, the law is holy, and the commandment is holy, righteous, and good. 7:13 Did that which is good, then, become death to me? Absolutely not! But sin, so that it would be shown to be sin, produced death in me through what is good, so that through the commandment sin would become utterly sinful
3) To make NOTHING Perfect because the commandment is Weak and Useless.
On the one hand a former command is set asidebecause it is weak and useless,7:19 for the law made nothing perfect. On the other hand a better hope is introduced, through which we draw near to God.
Christians are not under the law, but we live under grace.
Romans 6:14 For sin will have no mastery over you, because you are not under law but under grace.
Grace gurantees that the sin will not have mastery over us! it gives us victory over sin which the law cannot do- a weak and useless covenant (Heb 7:18-19)
Christ cancelled the law at the Cross (Col 2:13-15) so that we are no longer governed by an external set of rules and regultations to earn God’s blessings or eternal life, and now we live in the new way of the Spirit NOT to earn the blessings or eternal, but to know HIm and His Will for our lives, governed by the Spirit Who lives within us- for he has written His law ‘on our HEARTS’ not on tablets of stone. He lives inside of us so we are governed from within and we instinctively know what to do. (Heb 10:15-18; Jer 21:33-34)
What is legalism? or does it mean to be ‘living under the law’?
i.e. if you don’t do this or don’t do that, then God won’t love you anymore and He will be angry with you. God will only love you if you do this and that- conditional love.
Titus 2:11For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all people.162:12 It trains us17to reject godless ways18and worldly desires and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age, 2:13 as we wait for the happy fulfillment of our hope in the glorious appearing19of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ.
What do you like to boast about? yourself? things you do? your heavenly encounters of works of charity? or about Jesus’ love for you??
What is the Definition of love?
1 John 4:10 In this is love: not that we have loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the atoning sacrifice for our sins.
*I boast in God’s love for me, not in my love for God; my confidence is in His love for me, not my love for Him. God’s love for us is unchanging, eternal, everlasting; my love for Him has its ups and downs, its not always consistent. If my foundation/focus in life is on my love for Him, then I will become depressed, unworthy and condemned.
John 17:26 I made known your name to them, and I will continue to make it known, so that the love you have loved me with may be in them, and I may be in them.???
God our Father loves us the same way He loves Jesus!!
Question: Do I always tend to focus on my love for God rather than His love for me? How does this affect my relationship with God? Or with others
“I AM THAT I AM??? is the Name of God
3:11 Moses said to God, “Who am I, that I should go to Pharaoh, or that I should bring the Israelites out of Egypt???? 12 He replied, “Surely I will be with you, and this will be the sign to you that I have sent you: When you bring the people out of Egypt, you and they will serve God on this mountain.???
13 Moses said to God, “If I go to the Israelites and tell them, ‘The God of your fathers has sent me to you,’ and they as me, ‘What is his name?’– what should I say to them????
God said to Moses, “I AM that I AM.??? And he said, “You must say this to the Israelites, ‘I AM has sent me to you.’??? v15 God also said to Moses, “You must say this to the Israelites, ‘The Lord –the God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob –has sent me to you. This is my name forever, and this is my memorial from generation to generation.’
*When Moses discovered “Who??? God is, he also discovered “Who he is???.
If you know His Name “I AM that I AM???, then you will know your name, “I am that I AM???.
*One of the revelations of my identity in Christ, is that “I AM God’s beloved???
See yourself the way God sees you: the One He loves.
Luke 3:22 and the Holy Spirit descended on him in bodily form like a dove. And a voice came from heaven, “You are my one dear Son; in you I take great delight.???
*I don’t say ‘I am’, but I say “I AM”. When I declare God’s Name, “I AM that I AM???, I am actually saying I AM one with God, I AM one in Him, He is in me, he lives in every cell of my body.
My name is connected to His Name, because God is in me, I can say “I AM”, I exist because of Him
*I don’t say, “I can, I will be???, but I say, “I AM??? because I already have it, I lack nothing. It’s not going to happen, but it has already happened.
Questions: How important is it for us to know who we are?
Declarations you can make everyday (I do this every morning when I get up)
I AM beloved
I AM the one He loves
I AM God’s beloved
I AM Father’s beloved
I AM Jesus beloved
I AM Holy Spirit beloved
Questions: How is your self talk? Do you have bad self-image? do you speak about yourself as God’s Son or Daughter?
What is the Difference between OC and NC love?
*In the OC, you boast about your love for God because you were obligated, had to love Him
*In the NC, you boast about God’s love for you because you want to love God, not because you have to, but you have such an revelation about how much He loves you that it stirs a reciprocal love towards Him
Lazarus was referred to by others as “the one Jesus loves???
John 11:3 So the sisters sent a message to Jesus, “Lord, look, the one you love is sick.???
v.36 Thus the people who had come to mourn said, “Look how much he loved him!???
*If you want to get Jesus attention, say “I AM the one He loves..”
John called himself “the disciple Jesus loved???, John boasted in God’s love for him
*Who wrote the book of John? John wrote of himself as the One Jesus loved!!
What is the difference between disciple John and Peter? Peter was someone who boasted in His love for God, whilst John was someone who boasted in God’s love for him.
Benefits of boasting in God’s love for you, not your love for God
1)You will feel the closeness of Jesus, find rest in His bossom, know the secrets of God
13:23 One of his disciples, the one Jesus loved, was at the table to the right of Jesus in a place of honor. v24 So Simon Peter gestured to this disciple to ask Jesus who it was he was referring to. v.25 Then the disciple whom Jesus loved leaned back against Jesus’ chest and asked him, “Lord, who is it????
Peter couldn’t ask Jesus’ directly the question, but had to go through John, because he felt far away.
2)You will follow Jesus all the way to the end.
19:26 So when Jesus saw his mother and the disciple whom he loved standing there, he said to his mother, “Woman, look, here is your son!???
John followed Jesus all the way to the cruxifiction, while all the other disciples deserted him
*You will outrun (more passionate) than anyone else
John 20:1-9 Now very early on the first day of the week, while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene came to the tomb and saw that the stone had been moved away from the entrance. So she went running to Simon Peter and the other disciple whom Jesus loved and told them, “They have taken the Lord from the tomb, and we don’t know where they have put him!??? 20:3 Then Peter and the other disciple set out to go to the tomb. The two were running together, but the other disciple ran faster than Peter and reached the tomb first. He bent down and saw the strips of linen cloth lying there, but he did not go in. Then Simon Peter, who had been following him, arrived and went right into the tomb. He saw the strips of linen cloth lying there, and the face cloth, which had been around Jesus’ head, not lying with the strips of linen cloth but rolled up in a place by itself. Then the other disciple, who had reached the tomb first, came in, and he saw and believed. (For they did not yet understand the scripture that Jesus must rise from the dead.)
*You will have greater faith. No need to see with your physical eyes to believe. Why didn’t John go into the tomb straight away? Because he knew Jesus wasn’t there, he remembered Jesus said “I’m going to rise from the dead???.
*You will be the first to recognise when God is doing something in your midst, His Presence/appearance, signs and wonders.
John 21:4 When it was already very early morning, Jesus stood on the beach, but the disciples did not know that it was Jesus. So Jesus said to them, “Children, you don’t have any fish, do you???? They replied, “No.??? He told them, “Throw your net on the right side of the boat,and you will find some.??? So they threw the net, and were not able to pull it in because of the large number of fish.
Then the disciple whom Jesus loved said to Peter, “It is the Lord!??? So Simon Peter, when he heard that it was the Lord, tucked in his outer garment (for he had nothing on underneath it), and plunged into the sea.
The negatives of boasting in yourself and your love for God
Peter was always boasting how much he was doing for God, he thinks he know it all,his eyes was fixed on himself, not Jesus.
*You will end up getting ahead of God’s will
Matt 16:21 From that time on Jesus began to show his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things at the hands of the elders, chief priests, and experts in the law, and be killed, and on the third day be raised. 22So Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him: “God forbid, Lord! This must not happen to you!??? 23 But he turned and said to Peter, “Get behind me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to me, because you are not setting your mind on God’s interests, but on man’s.???
Peter thought he knew it all, he knew better than God.
*You will end up denying Jesus, become hypocritical/compromise/backslide
Matthew 26:31 Then Jesus said to them, “This night you will all fall away because of me, for it is written: ‘I will strike the shepherd,
and the sheep of the flock will be scattered.’
32 But after I am raised, I will go ahead of you into Galilee.??? 33 Peter said to him, “If they all fall away because of you, I will never fall away!??? 34Jesus said to him, “I tell you the truth, on this night, before the rooster crows, you will deny me three times.??? 35Peter said to him, “Even if I must die with you, I will never deny you.??? And all the disciples said the same thing.
*You will always be comparing yourself with others, judgmental and jealous of others, proud, self-conscious, self-righteous, self-condemned
John 21:18 I tell you the solemn truth, when you were young, you tied your clothes around you and went wherever you wanted, but when you are old, you will stretch out your hands, and others will tie you up and bring you where you do not want to go.???19 (Now Jesus said this to indicate clearly by what kind of death Peter was going to glorify God.) After he said this, Jesus told Peter, “Follow me.???
21:20 Peter turned around and saw the disciple whom Jesus loved following them. (This was the disciple who had leaned back against Jesus’ chest at the meal and asked, “Lord, who is the one who is going to betray you????) So when Peter saw him, he asked Jesus,“Lord, what about him???? Jesus replied, “If I want him to live until I come back, what concern is that of yours? You follow me!???So the saying circulated among the brothers and sisters that this disciple was not going to die. But Jesus did not say to him that he was not going to die, but rather, “If I want him to live until I come back, what concern is that of yours????
1Peter 5:5 In the same way, you who are younger, be subject to the elders. And all of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, because God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.
*You will live legalism- condemnation and death.
2 Cor 3:7 But if the ministry that produced death – carved in letters on stone tablets – came with glory, so that the Israelites could not keep their eyes fixed on the face of Moses because of the glory of his face (a glory which was made ineffective), 8 how much more glorious will the ministry of the Spirit be? 9 For if there was glory in the ministry that produced condemnation, how much more does the ministry that produces righteousness excel in glory!
Question:Can you see some examples of when you have boasted in your own love for God?
Or when you boasted in God’s love for you? What happened?
What are some practical ways I can boast in God’s love for me?
What are the some other benefits of boasting, focusing on God’s love for me?
When you boast, only boast in God’s love for you and He did for you, don’t boast about how good you are!! Don’t boast about your good works- you will always fall short, but focus on God’s eternal, unchanging love for you that is Constant, you will have a stable consistent life.
Don’t boast about your ministry, what you do for God, but what He has Done for you in Christ!!
Grace is about “wants to??? not “have tos???, stirs up voluntary/spontaneous love for Jesus, reciprocating His love
1 Corinthians 1:31 so that, as it is written, “Let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord.???
Galatians 6:14 But may I never boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world.
In conclusion, say with me,
I AM God’s favorite One!!
I AM God’s Chosen One!!
I AM God’s Beloved!!
*This message has its origins in a message on “Boasting in God’s love for you, not your love for God”, by pastor Joseph Prince