Monday, February 21, 2011

I ran out of time; the Last 2 Verses of Matthew 16

Here are the cut and paste thoughts that were in my manuscript on Matthew 16:27-28. We ran out of time, but for the few people who wanted the info, here it is. I've also included the original conclusion:

Verse 27 tells us that the Son of Man will come one day and judge us for our deeds. Not what we believed but how our life reflected our beliefs. Paul says the same thing in 2 Cor 5:10 NIV 2 Corinthians 5:10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive what is due him for the things done while in the body, whether good or bad.
James makes a similar remark in chapter 2: 17 In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead. 18 But someone will say, "You have faith; I have deeds." Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by what I do. 19 You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that-- and shudder. 20 You foolish man, do you want evidence that faith without deeds is useless? 21 Was not our ancestor Abraham considered righteous for what he did when he offered his son Isaac on the altar? 22 You see that his faith and his actions were working together, and his faith was made complete by what he did. 23 And the scripture was fulfilled that says, "Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness," and he was called God's friend. 24 You see that a person is justified by what he does and not by faith alone.

John MacArthur does a nice job explaining this when he write, “[this] isn't a works salvation, but we will be rewarded and we will be judged on the basis of what we do because what we do will reveal what we are."

Verse 28 – At that Jesus confirms that His glory will be manifested soon. Scholars argue that this could mean the Transfiguration to occur just a few days from now, Jesus’ resurrection and ascension, the early and miraculous growth of the church, the destruction of Jerusalem in 70AD. I tend to think this refers to either the Transfiguration or the resurrection/ascension (maybe both). Regardless of which view is taken, Jesus is affirming that though suffering is the lot for the Son of Man and His Church, be not afraid, glory is coming, and a the disciples would get a taste of that glory prior to death.

Discipleship to Jesus Christ means death to the good life, and yet death means true life and ultimate triumph.

Conclusion: Jesus gave up an unimaginably good life when he left the presence of God and the glories of Heaven. He left that state of glory to come to earth to die alone on a cross, bearing the sins of the whole world. He took the death we deserved, to procure for us the life we did not deserve. Now, the only way to experience this Cross-given life is to die to our own good life. We die to what is only a reflection of the good life and turn to the Giver of Life, Himself, Jesus Christ. We deny ourselves, take up our cross, and follow Him. He is building His Church. He is drawing men and women to Himself. He is offering profound grace. Will we cling to His gifts and exchange the glory of God for created things (Rom. 1)? Or will we cry out and make the Creator and Redeemer the Lord our life?

Discipleship to Jesus Christ means death to the good life, and yet death means true life and ultimate triumph.

Final Note: I gave an illustration on Sunday on a dead guy not being able to buy a latte that came from a sermon, "But God," I had recently listened to by Bobby Raulerson, 3rd year student at Denver Seminary. He gave a sermon from Ephesians 2 in the Denver Seminary chapel that i had listened to a few weeks back and the illustration must have made an impression.

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