Sunday School

 

Sunday April 18, 2021 Minister Richard Hendley

The Resurrection of Jesus

Do you Believe?

3 Peter therefore went forth, and that other disciple, and came to the sepulchre.

4 So they ran both together: and the other disciple did outrun Peter, and came first to the sepulchre.

5 And he stooping down, and looking in, saw the linen clothes lying; yet went he not in.

6 Then cometh Simon Peter following him, and went into the sepulchre, and seeth the linen clothes lie,

7 And the napkin, that was about his head, not lying with the linen clothes, but wrapped together in a place by itself.

8 Then went in also that other disciple, which came first to the sepulchre, and he saw, and believed.

9 For as yet they knew not the scripture, that he must rise again from the dead.

John’s writing for this chapter underlines the pivotal point of Jesus. Jesus raising from the dead.

Although, Jesus emphasized this while teaching his disciples; they were still astonished by his absence from the tomb.

He had risen!

Has Jesus ever spoken something to you and it went through one ear and out the other?

It perhaps may have not been purposely, but it happened. Through life, Jesus is constantly speaking to us, but we are not paying attention. However, when a situation arises, we are reminded through the Holy Ghost what just said.

Thank God for the Holy Ghost!

 We learn in this chapter, that the disciples were astonished. They hasten to view his absence from the tomb.

It is imperative for us to believe that God will perform what he said he will do. For we know God said he will hasten to perform his word. He has power over life and death. No man take his life he lay it down.

And what he lays down, he is Godly enough to pick it back up!!!!!!!

Yes God!!!

I feel like preaching- Hallelujah somebody J

19 Then the same day at evening, being the first day of the week, when the doors were shut where the disciples were assembled for fear of the Jews, came Jesus and stood in the midst, and saith unto them, Peace be unto you.

ž20 And when he had so said, he shewed unto them his hands and his side. Then were the disciples glad, when they saw the Lord.

ž21 Then said Jesus to them again, Peace be unto you: as my Father hath sent me, even so send I you.

ž22 And when he had said this, he breathed on them, and saith unto them, Receive ye the Holy Ghost:

ž23 Whose soever sins ye remit, they are remitted unto them; and whose soeversins ye retain, they are retained.

As we indulge into this verses, once again we see the astonishing of the disciples. Jesus absence from the tomb is one thing, but he showing himself is another.

A few verses before these verses, we learn that Mary was weeping because she felt his body had been removed, but factually, he had risen.

After Jesus had exposed himself to Mary, he directed her to tell the disciples.

There are several times in life, we are happy to see Jesus moving in our lives. Some of us get so happy, we cannot wait to share it with others. Jesus wanted her to share this. He commanded that she share this- but there was a problem- them believing.

Everybody is not going to receive what you are testifying about.

Some may feel you were lucky. Others may feel it was a coincident of life. But the truth is, it was God and you have the right to glorify him. Just know, you may be glorifying him alone.

ž27 Then saith he to Thomas, Reach hither thy finger, and behold my hands; and reach hither thy hand, and thrust it into my side: and be not faithless, but believing.

ž28 And Thomas answered and said unto him, My Lord and my God.

ž29 Jesus saith unto him, Thomas, because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed. ž

Like I said, you may be glorifying him alone, but Jesus always have something up his sleeves.

When people may doubt that it was the Lord, he has a way of showing the doubters who he is. In the above scriptures, he reveals himself to Thomas.

Now, when you were dancing alone, you now have a partner.

God has a way of turning things around for your good. When people try to make it seem like you’re a fool, God will turn that thing around to make them foolish. When God tell you to share something, share it. God will cover you. You glorify God. And while glorifying him, say- this is for all my haters.

As I close, what is it that God desires us to learn from this?

He desires us to believe. If he said it, he will bring it to pass. Continue to trust God. Continue to praise and give him glory. God will defend you- you just testify of his observance.

March 21, 2021 Minister Tajuana Miles

The Nature of Sin

Passage: Isaiah 59: 1-13

Setting: Isaiah 59 Foresees Israel’s return from Babylonian exile.  Particularly, it calls the nation to repent of its sin and to receive God’s loving forgiveness.

The Point: We are sinners, and on our own, we can do nothing about it.

All sin hurts us and others, but ultimately it offends God because sin in any form is a rebellion against God’s way of living.  When we are tempted to do wrong, remember that you will be sinning against God. 

Because we are born as sinners, our natural inclination is to please ourselves rather than God.

Psalms 51:5 – Behold, I was shapen in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me.

Romans 3:23 – For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;

Some sins seem bigger than others because their obvious consequences are much more serious.  But this does not mean that because we do lesser sins we deserve eternal life.  All sin, therefore, leads to death regardless of how great or small it seems.Don’t minimize “little” sins or “overrate” big sins.  They all separate us from God, but they all can be forgiven.

Isaiah 59: 1-13– Sin offends our Holy God.  Because God is holy, he cannot ignore, excuse, or tolerate sin as though it didn’t matter, sin cuts people off from him, forming a wall to isolate God from the people he loves.  NO wander this long list of wretched sins makes God angry and forces him to look the other way.   People who die with their life of sin unforgiven separate themselves eternally from God.  God wants them to live with him forever, but he cannot take them into his holy presence unless their sin is removed. 

1 Behold, the LORD’S hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; neither his ear heavy, that it cannot hear

As the Israelites looked up, they needed to make sure they were seeing God as He really is not the image their disillusioned minds might be creating. Isaiah emphasized the power of the Lord’s hand.  God had not allowed their captivity and struggles because. He was to weak.  He was strong enough to protect and preserve them through those trials. He was using that strength to save His people.  God always acts in the best interests of those who follow Him.  He always works things out for our benefit and for His Glory. The Prophet also announced God’s ear is not too heavy (dull) to hear His people’s cry for help. Isaiah reminded his audience God had heard, but they also had a responsibility to honor Him through their works and actions.

2 But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear

The people felt a disconnect with God and wondered why God wasn’t more active in their situation.  Isaiah pointed out their own iniquities have separated them from God. Refusal to obey His commands was driving a wedge into the relationship.  Their sins have hidden his face. Not that God did not know what the Jews were going through – He was working behind the scenes.  God is under no obligation to bless those who rebel against Him. The delay in receiving God’s blessings rest on the shoulders of His people.  As long as we continued to disobey, we will not fully experience God presence or see His hand at work in our lives.

3 Foryour hands are defiled with blood, andyour fingers with iniquity; your lips have spoken lies, your tongue hath muttered perverseness. 

Isaiah provided the answer of how the people has separated themselves from God in two sets of parallel statements. First, their hands were covered with blood and their fingers were soaked in iniquity.  This speaks to acts of violence and deception against others.  Second: their lips were filled with lies and their tongue hath muttered perverseness.  The people had built their lives and relationships on a foundation of dishonesty.  God is the very essences of truth, He refused to at on their behalf.  As their hand and lips pushed them deeper into sin, God removed His hand and words from their lives.

4 None calleth for justice, norany pleadeth for truth: they trust in vanity, and speak lies; they conceive mischief, and bring forth iniquity.

Vanity: empty words 

Justice and honesty were not high on their agenda.They depended on vanity and lies to get ahead. They could not be counted on to keep their word.  God is a covenant-keeping God and that was a severe violation of His commands and His character. Isaiah said that their actions served to conceived mischief and bring forth sinful lifestyle.  The book of James says temptations comes from evil desires andlead to sin and death (James 1:13-15).

I Corinthians 10:13 teaches us that There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.

In a culture filled with moral depravityand pressures, Paul gave strong encouragement to the Corinthians about resisting temptation.  He said: 1) Temptation happens to everyone, so do not feel you have been singled out 2) others have resisted temptation, and so can you 3) any temptation can be resisted, because God will help you resist it.  God helps you resist temptation by helping you 1) recognize those people and situations that give you trouble, 2) run from anything you know is wrong 3) choose to do only what is right 4) pray for god’s help and 5) seek friends who loveGod and can offer help when you are tempted.  Running from tempting situation is your first step on the way to victory.

5 They hatch cockatrice’ eggs, and weave the spider’s web: he that eateth of their eggs dieth, and that which is crushed breaketh out into a viper. 

Cockatrice – vipers

Instead of blaming God for their problems, the Jews needed to look inside themselves.  Despite years of captivity, they were still living like the nations around them, and continues to experience the same results.

Snakes and spider produce fear in people. Isaiah used them to emphasize the dangers of sin in the spiritual realm. In general eggs offer the promise of life – unless they are the results of sin.  The eggs conceived by Israel were the product of evil thoughts and actions and could only lead to suffering.  Sin produces its natural consequence – death. 

6 Their webs shall not become garments, neither shall they cover themselves with their works: their works are works of iniquity, and the act of violence is in their hands. 

Viper’s eggs brought nothing but harm; spider’s webs failed to produce any like of benefits.  Webs are suitable for trapping flies but shall not become garments.  They are too thin and fragile to offer sufficient covering.  Whoever would throw on a spider web like a shirt or blouse would end up being tangled and exposed. Isaiah call Israel’s work iniquity and violence.  The Hebrew word for iniquity here and in verse 7 carries the idea of disaster and destruction. Theses sins lead to harm for the victim, but much more for the offender. The only way to avoid such disaster is to repent and turn back to God.

God longed a deeper and more intimate relationship with His people, But they had to stop trying to cover their sin with cobwebs and excuses.

7 Their feet run to evil, and they make haste to shed innocent blood: their thoughts are thoughts of iniquity; wasting and destruction are in their paths. 

Isaiah indicates that the Jews’ eagerness came with making sinful choices.  They would run to evil and make haste to shed innocent blood and their minds were filled with thoughts of iniquity that would lead to wasting and destruction.  Unless they turn from their evil plans, they were heading for a collapse.

Proverbs 6:16-19 (King James Version)

16 These six things doth the Lord hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto him:

17 A proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood,

18 An heart that deviseth wicked imaginations, feet that be swift in running to mischief,

19 A false witness that speaketh lies, and he that soweth discord among brethren.

II Timothy 2: 22 Flee also youthful lusts: but follow righteousness, faith, charity, peace, with them that call on the Lord out of a pure heart. 

Running away sometime considered cowardly.   But wise people realize that removing themselves physically from temptation is often the most courageous action to take.  Timothy, a young man, was warned to run from anything that produced evil thoughts (I Timothy 6:11).  Knowing when to run is as important in spiritual battle as knowing when and how to fight.

8 The way of peace they know not; and there is no judgment in their goings: they have made them crooked paths: whosoever goeth therein shall not know peace. 

God long for a deeper, more intimate relationship with His people.

The way of peace was out of their reach until they came back to God. God’s Peace was a wholeness of mind, spirit and body. This peace was the result of God’s work and the reflection of God’s character.  Since the Jews weren’t walking in obedience to god, they weren’t on a road that would lead them toward such fulfilling peace.  This peace referred to a wellness that encompassed every part of life.

Isaiah stated that the Jews were regularly choosing to go their own way and would face the consequences.  The also expected God to finally bring Judgement to their world. God is a God of justice and expects His people to demonstrate true justice toward one another. The Jews insisted on making crooked paths, they experienced more hardship then help. Straight roads provided the shortest path to a traveler. The crooked paths took longer and held the potential for greater danger.  

Matthew 7: 13-14 – Two ways of life.  13Enter ye in at the straita gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat:14Becauseb strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it. 

There are but two ways, right and wrong, good and evil; the way to heaven, and the way to hell; in the one of which we are all walking in: no middle place hereafter, no middle way now:   The choice is yours.  God said choose the straight gate, not curves, bends, or angles.  Either you are IN or you are OUT.  Either the straight gate or the wide gate. The Straight gate is the right choice which leadeth to eternal life.  John 17:3 And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.  

Isaiah 45:2 I will go before thee, and make the crooked places straight: I will break in pieces the gates of brass, and cut in sunder the bars of iron:

9 Therefore is judgment far from us, neither doth justice overtake us: we wait for light, but behold obscurity; for brightness, but we walk in darkness. 

Judgement – justice

Justice -righteousness

Because of the nation’s sin, Isaiah noted that justice was far from us.  Those who sought God’s face would wait for light and brightness.  But the people only saw the darkness. God refused to declare righteous those who refused to change their sinful ways.

10 We grope for the wall like the blind, and we grope as if we had no eyes: we stumble at noonday as in the night; we are in desolate places as dead men. 

The people group because their eyes have not been opened.  Instead of walking confidently in the light of God’s presence and leadership, they were forced to feel their way along a wall like we had no eyes. The Hebrew word rendered “grope” means to feel with one’s hand. Such darkness creates insecurity and uncertainty. As a result, we stumble through life. While they should be living in the brightness of noon, their focus is diminished like a night.

Isaiah 58:10 Light is found through god’s forgiveness.

Isaiah 58:10 “And if thou draw out thy soul to the hungry, and satisfy the afflicted soul; then shall thy light rise in obscurity, and thy darkness be as the noon day:

God can and will forgive us of any sin.  While God forgives us, however he does not always erase the natural consequences of our sin.

11 We roar all like bears, and mourn sore like doves: we look for judgment, but there is none; for salvation, but it is far off from us. 

Sore – sadly

Sin leaves an unsettled felling in the human Soul. 

To roar like bears in anger, the moan of mourning doves.  The frustration andpain experienced by God’s people would only find relief in a renewed relationship with Him. Otherwise, they would continue living in the spiritual rut of their current condition.  Isaiah reminds us that the search for judgment yields nothing if one does not start with God.  Salvation remains far off from us unless we repent of our evil ways and turn to God.

2 Chronicles 7:14 (King James Version)

2 Chronicles 7:14 If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.

12 For our transgressions are multiplied before thee, and our sins testify against us: for our transgressions are with us; and as for our iniquities, we know them; 

Isaiah continued to remind the people that they had nothing to bring to God but their sinful ways. He said that the people’s transgressions are multiplied, like a debt that grows exponentially.   Jesus paid the ultimate debt on the cross.

Colossians 2:13-14 (King James Version)

13 And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses;

14 Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross;

13 In transgressing and lying against the LORD, and departing away from our God, speaking oppression and revolt, conceiving and uttering from the heart words of falsehood.

Isaiah used verse 13 as a summary of the sis that hampered the people’s relationship with God Their transgressions and deceptions were against the Lord.  And those iniquities prevented them from following God.