Go To Meeting

Marlin Fannin—February 5, 2021

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In part one I gave examples in the Bible, good examples and bad examples.

I would like to review what we went over. We looked at the good example of Abel and how he set a good example by giving a sacrifice—the right kind of sacrifice—to God.

We also looked at the lives of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, and how they told the king that 'Our God can protect us, but if He decides not to, we're not going bow down and worship your image. God did protect them, and they were a great example there to Nebuchadnezzar.

Also, Daniel in the time of Darius had those who colluded against him and were jealous of him. The only thing they could find against Daniel was that he served his God. Daniel continued, even after the decree was made that they shouldn't worship any other god except the gods of Babylon and that area for 30 days.

But Daniel went into his room and with the doors and windows opened and he prayed to His God. God protected him from the lion's den. He was an example to his countrymen and all of those around him to show that God was God!

We also looked at Naomi in the book of Ruth, and what an example she must have been to her daughter-in-law; an example of love and kindness that they would want to go with her. We know that Ruth did. She said, 'Your God is my God, your people are my people.'

Then we looked at the example of Phinehas who was the grandson of Aaron who stopped God's plague on Israel, because of the sins that they were committing with the Moabites with idolatry and Phinehas went in and killed the man, and also the woman who I think was a Midianite and stayed the plague.

God said that He would be in the priesthood and his name would be there forever. So, somewhere are the descendants of Phinehas today and still alive.

We also looked a Joseph and what good example he set when he ran from Potiphar's wife, who wanted to seduce him. Joseph said, 'How can I sin against God?' So, sin is against God when we break His laws and commandments.

We also looked at a couple of bad examples: The sons of Eli said that they didn't know God. They were responsible for the people coming to offer their offerings and sacrifices, and they were taking the choicest things, setting a bad example. They even had women around the tabernacle, and they were having sexual relationships and all that. Because of that, God killed them! God told Eli that He would, and actually Eli died as well.

I would like to continue on and we'll look at examples in the New Testament. What better example can we look at than Jesus Christ?

I have seven points, plus some additional Scriptures to give going over some of the examples of Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior.

  • Christ Became Flesh

John 1:14: "And the Word became flesh and tabernacled among us…"

Verse 1:1: "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things came into being through Him, and not even one thing that was created came into being without Him. In Him was life, and the Life was the Light of men" (vs 1-4). It talks about that in Col. 1:13 and Rev. 4:11!

Here was a great being; He was God and the plan was from the foundation of the world that He would become flesh and dwell upon the earth and give His life as a sacrificial lamb for all of mankind.

So, Christ became flesh and dwelt upon this earth so we could have salvation and have the opportunity for eternal life and be sons and daughters in the very Family of God.

  • Christ Came to do the Will of the Father

John 6:38: "For I did not come down from heaven to do My own will, but the will of Him Who sent Me…. [God the Father] …And this is the will of the Father Who sent Me: that of all whom He has given Me, I should not lose any, but should raise them up in the last day" (vs 38-39)—the resurrection!

Matthew 7:21: "Not everyone who says to Me "Lord, Lord" shall enter into the Kingdom of Heaven; but the one who is doing the will of My Father, Who is in heaven."

Christ came to do the will of the Father, and also we should follow His example to do the will of the Father and also Jesus Christ. Jesus was obedient in every way.

  • Obedience to the Father

Jesus came to be obedient and show us an example of obedience.

Matthew 26:38: "Then He said to them, 'My soul is deeply grieved, even to death. Stay here and watch with Me.'…. [talking to His disciples] …And after going forward a little, He fell on His face, praying, and saying, 'My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from Me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as You will.' Then He came to His disciples and found them sleeping. And He said to Peter, 'What! Were you not able to watch with Me one hour? Watch and pray, so that you do not enter into temptation; the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.' The second time He went again and prayed, saying, 'My Father, if this cup cannot pass from Me unless I drink it, Your will be done'" (vs 38-42).

Jesus was obedient to the Father, and He instructed them, and us as well, that we need to pray and study, and don't enter into temptation.

Matthew 17:5: "While he was speaking, a bright cloud suddenly overshadowed them; and behold, a voice out of the cloud said, 'This is My Son, the Beloved, in Whom I delight. Listen to Him!'"

We're to listen to God and Christ and Their Word. We have to listen, listen and apply to what we're told to do. We see that Christ was obedient to the Father. Even though He didn't want to die, He said, "…if it be possible, let this cup pass from Me…" if there's any other way! "…nevertheless, not as I will, but as You will."

Mark 1:11: And a voice came from heaven, saying, 'You are My Son, the Beloved, in Whom I have great delight.'"

God was very pleased with Christ and delighted in Him when He was in the flesh completely obedient to the Father.

Mark 9 is where Christ was there in the Transfiguration before Peter, James and John

Mark 9:1: "And He said to them, 'Truly I say to you, there are some of those standing here who shall not taste of death until they have seen the Kingdom of God come with power.' And after six days, Jesus took with Him Peter and James and John, leading them alone up into a high mountain by themselves. And He was transfigured in their presence; and His garments became exceedingly white, like glistening snow, such a white as no bleacher of cloth on earth is able to make" (vs 1-3).

Verse 4: Then appeared to them Elijah with Moses, and they were talking with Jesus. And Peter responded by saying to Jesus, 'Master, it is good for us to be here. Now, let us make three tabernacles; one for You, and one for Moses, and one for Elijah.' For he did not know what he should say because they were terrified. Then a cloud came and overshadowed them; and there came a voice out of the cloud, saying, 'This is My Son, the Beloved. Listen to Him!'" (vs 4-7).

I've often wondered how Peter knew that there was Moses and Elijah there. Somehow they figured out or it was revealed to him that it was Moses and Elijah. It's a question we'll have answered some day, but I guess we don't have an answer right now.

He was obedient to the Father in every way, and we are told to listen. He told the disciples, who later became apostles, that 'the Father sent them and the voice in the cloud said to listen to My Son!'

  • Baptism

Matthew 3:13: "Then Jesus came from Galilee to the Jordan to John, to be baptized by him. But John tried to prevent Him, saying, 'I have need to be baptized by You, and You come to me?' Then Jesus answered and said to him, 'You must permit it at this time;for in this manner it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness.' Then he permitted Him to be baptized. And after He was baptized, Jesus came up immediately out of the water; and behold, the heavens were opened to him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending as a dove, and coming upon Him. And lo, a voice from heaven said, 'This is My Son, the Beloved, in Whom I have great delight'" (vs 13-17).

We see Christ set the example there. He said, 'In order to fulfill all things. And then He permitted us to do this. Christ set the example as far as baptism.

When Christ appears back to His disciples after the resurrection and Jesus spoke them saying:

Matthew 28:19: "'Therefore, go and make disciples in all nations, baptizing them into the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit; teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you. And lo, I am with you always, even until the completion of the age.' Amen" (vs 19-20).

We know the proper way to be baptized, and there are a lot of instances in the New Testament to be baptized in the name of Jesus.

Why they wrote it (Matt. 28) that way, I don't know, unless there were others who were baptizing, as well. This is from Christ Himself showing the proper way when we're baptized, and what is said afterward.

"…baptizing them into the name of the Father… [He's the One Who calls us] …and of the Son… [Who became our sacrifice, our Passover, our High Priest, through which the remission of sin comes] …and of the Holy Spirit…"—which God gives us after baptism; repentance, baptism and the laying on of hands.

The Holy Spirit then lives within us to help us to overcome this nature. Also, it says that God the Father and Christ come and dwell, also.

Verse 20: "'Teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you. And lo, I am with you always, even until the completion of the age.' Amen."

Jesus set the example as far as baptism. He shows us how and in what names we are to be baptized: the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.

  • He Came to Serve and to Give His Life as a Ransom for Us

Matthew 20:26—Jesus tells them how to get along: "However, it shall not be this way among you; but whoever would become great among you, let him be your servant, and whoever would be first among you, let him be your slave; just as the Son of man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life as a ransom for many" (vs 26-28).

All of mankind will have the opportunity once God calls and they except or reject that calling. It's through Jesus Christ that we have remission of sin. We are to serve God, and Him only!

I remember one time a minister said on a Holy Day where about five churches were gathered together, 'You serve me, you serve me first.' I thought that the Bible said that you serve God and Him only! I'm sure that others have run across things like that, too, in our past church history. I'm glad that some of that is past. So, Christ came to serve and not be served!

Romans 15:1: "Now, we who are strong in the faith are obligated to support the ones who are weak… [and not to please ourselves] …and not to please ourselves. Accordingly, let each one of us please his neighbor for good, unto edification; for even Christ did not please Himself; rather, as it is written, 'The reproaches of those who are reproaching You have fallen upon Me.' For all the things that were written before were written for our instruction, so that through patient endurance and encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope" (vs 1-4)—what they tell us when we read them!

Verse 5: "Now, may the God of patience and encouragement grant you to be likeminded toward one another according to Christ Jesus, so that with one accord and one mouth you may glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, receive one another, according as Christ has also received us, to the glory of God. Now, I tell you that Jesus Christ has become a servant to the circumcision for the Truth of God…" (vs 5-8).

As we saw earlier, He said that you go into all the world, not just to Judah, not to the lost ten tribes, but all the world! The Gentiles, we know, were opened up so they could be called and have knowledge of the Truth, the specific ones that He has called out, just like He has called out us.

"…so that He might confirm the promises given to the fathers; and that the Gentiles might glorify God for His mercy, exactly as it is written: 'For this cause I will confess You among the Gentiles, and I will praise Your name'" (vs 8-9).

Verse 10: "And again it says, 'Rejoice, all you Gentiles, with His people'; And again, 'Praise the Lord, all you Gentiles; and praise Him, all you peoples'" (vs 10-11).

So, God made it possible for the door to be opened to the Gentiles, not just to Israel.

We see that Christ came to serve, not to be served, and likewise we are called to be servants, as well. Not to be served, but to serve!

  • He came as our Passover Lamb

John 13:3: "Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into His hands, and that He had come from God and was going to God." Proof showing that He came down from the Father He went back to the Father!

Verse 4: "Rose from supper and laid aside His garments; and after taking a towel, He secured it around Himself. Next, He poured water into a washing basin and began to wash the disciples' feet, and to wipe them with the towel, which He had secured" (vs 4-5).

Verse 12: "Therefore, when He had washed their feet, and had taken His garments, and had sat down again, He said to them, 'Do you know what I have done to you? You call Me the Teacher and the Lord, and you speak rightly, because I am. Therefore, if I, the Lord and the Teacher, have washed your feet, you also are duty-bound to wash one another's feet; for I have given you an example… [for us to follow] …to show that you also should do exactly as I have done to you. Truly, truly I tell you, a servant is not greater than his lord, nor a messenger greater than he who sent him. If you know these things, blessed are you if you do them" (vs 12-17).

Christ set an example as far as the foot-washing. He said that I have washed your feet and you should be willing to wash one another's feet!

Luke 22:14: "Now, when the hour had come, He sat down, and the twelve apostles with Him. And He said to them, 'With earnest desire I have desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer. For I tell you that I will not eat of it again until it be fulfilled in the Kingdom of God'" (vs 14-16).

Certainly we'll be doing that in the Kingdom of God. We know that it talks about in Zechariah about the Feast of Tabernacles, that we'll be keeping it.

Verse 17: "And He took a cup; and after giving thanks, He said, 'Take this, and divide it among yourselves. For I say to you, I will not drink at all of the fruit of the vine until the Kingdom of God has come.' And He took bread; and after giving thanks, He broke it and gave it to them, saying, 'This is My body, which is given for you. This do in the remembrance of Me'" (vs 17-19).

Just like it says to remember the Sabbath Day to keep it Holy! Christ is telling us to:

  • remember the Passover
  • remember the foot-washing
  • remember the symbols of the bread and wine and what they mean

Verse 20: "In like manner also, He took the cup after supper, saying, 'This cup is the New Covenant in My blood, which is poured out for you.'"

As we know, He became a sacrifice for all of mankind; that we could be reconciled to God through His blood.

We're told that if we have something against a brother or sister in Christ that we need to go to them and reconcile with them. Just as God said,

If you bring an offering to Me, and you have something against your brother and sister, you go first and reconcile with them before you bring the offering to Me.

We must have a right heart and conscience when we come before God.

Matthew 18:15: "So then, if your brother sins against you, go and show him his fault between you and him alone. [first we go on a one-to-one, individual]If he is willing to hear you, you have gained your brother. But if he will not listen, take with you one or two others, so that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established. And if he fails to listen to them, tell it to the Church. But if he also fails to listen to the Church, let him be to you as the heathen and the tax collector" (vs 15-17).

God is telling us to resolve our problems with one another. Looking back over the years and the history of a lot of us—some of you maybe not, which is good—there were some things that took place there. I remember an elder who gave a sermon some years ago in one of the other Churches of God, and he said that all the years that he had been in the Church—which was probably man, 40 at that time—he only had one person come to him because he had said something that was offensive. They talked about it and they reconciled. He said that they had become fast friends and they're still good friends today.

Looking back over the years, I remember a couple of people who came to me with something that I said, or they didn't like and was offensive, and I talked to them and was able to resolve at least one of them. Some of it probably was my fault, because the attitude back then was that 'how dare you come to the ministry'! Well, a minister is no different than any one of us.

If we have something, we should go and try to talk to them. That's all we can do; we've done our part. So, the through the years, we look back and see the mistakes and problems, and to repent of them go forward and try to resolve them as God said, 'You go to your brother and if he won't listen then you bring a couple more, and if he still doesn't listen, you take it to the Church,' which sometimes needs to be done. Hopefully with step one or two it can be resolved. But sometimes it can't and it has to go before the Church. We're told to go to our brother, the example that Christ told us, first.

We'll follow up on this very thing, as Paul was telling them in the Church at Corinth, because they were having problems and Paul was giving them basically the same advice.

1-Corinthians 6:1: "Does anyone among you who has a matter against another dare to go to a court of law before the unrighteous, and not before the saints?"

In other words, why are you going to a court of law when you should solve the problem with the saints there. Just as I read in Matthew what we're instructed to do.

Verse 2: "Don't you know that the saints shall judge the world? And if the world is to be judged by you, are you unworthy of the most trivial of judgments? Don't you know that we shall judge angels? How much more then the things of this life? So then, if you have judgments concerning the things of this life, why do you appoint as judges those who have no standing in the Church?" (vs 2-4).

In other words, out in society they are not a part of the Church. There may be times when you need to go to the judges of this world with circumstances. But problems with ourselves or someone else are trivial things, and most times they are just trivial things. We should be able to judge them and solve them within the Church, not going out to men in the world. It's going to cost you money, cost reputation maybe, all kinds of things. So, try to resolve them within as Paul is telling us.

We see that Christ came as our Passover Lamb, and we're told that we are to do the Passover in remembrance of Him, and that we are to try and resolve the problems within the Church without going to the outside, to the people of this world to solve our problems when we can solve them ourselves.

  • The Example of Suffering and Death, and Forgiveness

Luke 23:34: "Then Jesus said, 'Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.' And as they divided His garments, they cast lots."

We see here that Christ is telling the Father that they don't know what they're doing, in other words, their minds are closed; they haven't been opened. They're just going the carnal way of men with bitterness, hatred, strife, jealousy, envy and greed. Christ knew that through His sacrifice that it would open up the door eventually for all mankind to have an opportunity.

That's why He came and went through the suffering and the many things that we usually bring out at Passover in Psa. 22 and Isa. 53. So, He said, 'Father, forgive them because they don't understand or know exactly what they're doing.

James 1:18[transcriber's correction]: " According to His own will, He begat us by the Word of Truth, that we might be a kind of firstfruits of all His created beings. For this reason, my beloved brethren, let every man be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger, because man's wrath does not work out God's righteousness. Therefore, having rid yourselves of all filthiness and all the abounding of wickedness around you, then in meekness accept for yourselves the implanted Word… [Christ] …which is able to save your lives" (vs 18-21).

Verse 23: "Because if anyone is a hearer of the Word and not a doer, this one is like a man considering his natural face in a mirror."

We're told here that we are to overcome the things of this flesh; the filthiness and wickedness. We should implant ourselves in the Word of God.

1-Peter 2:20: "For what commendation is there if, disobeying and being beaten, you endure it? But if while doing good you endure suffering, this is acceptable with God; for to this you were called because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that you should follow in His footsteps; Who committed no sin; neither was guile found in His mouth; Who, when He was reviled, did not revile in return; when suffering, He threatened not, but committed Himself to Him Who judges righteously; Who Himself bore our sins within His own body on the tree, so that we, being dead to sins, may live unto righteousness; by Whose stripes you were healed" (vs 20-24).

Again, the example that Christ set through His suffering. He didn't threaten, and He bore our sins in His own body for us.

Those are the seven points regarding Christ!

James 5:7: Therefore, brethren, be patient until the coming of the Lord. Consider the husbandman who waits for the precious fruit of the earth, being patient for it, until it has received the former and latter rains. You also be patient. Strengthen your hearts because the coming of the Lord has drawn near. Do not complain against one another, brethren, so that you may not be condemned. Behold, the Judge stands at the door. My brethren, take the prophets who spoke in the name of the Lord as an example of endurance in afflictions and of steadfastness. Remember, we call those blessed who endure. You have heard of the endurance of Job, and you have seen the end result of serving the Lord: that the Lord is very compassionate and full of tender mercies" (vs 7-11).

James is telling us here to endure and be patient, and the examples of those that are listed in Heb. 11.

1-Corinthians 10:1: "Now, I do not wish you to be ignorant of this, brethren, that our fathers were all under the cloud, and all passed through the sea. And all were baptized unto Moses in the cloud and in the sea. And they all ate the same spiritual meat. And they all drank of the same spiritual drink; for they drank from the spiritual Rock that followed them. And that Rock was Christ" (vs 1-4).

We're drinking from the same Rock today: Jesus Christ. He should be the foundation that we build upon.

Verse 5: "But with many of them God was not pleased, for their dead bodies were strewn in the wilderness. Now these things became examples for us, so that we might not lust after evil things, as they also lusted. Neither be idolaters, as were some of them; as it is written, 'The people sat down to eat and to drink, and rose up to play'" (vs 5-7).

As I have mentioned about Phinehas and how he was plagued by the unrighteous act that he committed.

Verse 8: "Neither should we commit sexual immorality, as some of them committed, and twenty-three thousand were destroyed in one day. Neither should we tempt Christ, as some of them also tempted Him, and were killed by serpents. Neither should we complain against God, as some of them also complained, and were killed by the destroyer. Now all these things happened to them as examples, and were written for our admonition, on whom the ends of the ages are coming" (vs 8-11).

These are written down so we can learn from them. These are examples so that we don't make the same mistakes. That we might serve God with the right heart and right mind.

That takes diligence, endurance, overcoming and obedience.

1-Timothy 4:10: "Now, it is for this reason that we are laboring, and we are personally suffering reproach because we have hope in the living God… [that's where our hope is, in God the Father and Jesus Christ and His Kingdom to come] …Who is the Savior of all men… [not Judah or Israel] … especially of those who are believers." Those who are called and begin to walk in it! Walk in God's way of life!

Verse 11: "These things command and teach. Do not allow anyone to despise your youth… [must have been young] …but be an example to the believers—in word, in conduct, in love, in Spirit… [setting the right example] …in faith and in purity" (vs 11-12)—in obeying the Laws of God!

Verse 13: "Until I come, devote yourself to reading…"—read, study and pray; keeping God's Spirit active within us.

That we're not like the five foolish virgins who just slumbered and slept. We want to have oil in our lamps at all times.

"…to encouragement, and to doctrine" (v 13)—which are the teaching of God the Father and Jesus Christ, and those things that He passed on to His disciples, the apostles.

Verse 14: "Do not neglect the spiritual gift that is in you, which was given to you by prophecy with the laying on of the hands of the elderhood."

Not only Paul, but others must have been laying on their hands, as well.

Verse 15: "Meditate… [think] …on these things; give yourself wholly to them so that your growth in the faith may be apparent to all."

That's what we need to do as we grow in the faith and knowledge of God—we practice it and try to live it—that we become an example to all who see us. They may not agree with us, or our lifestyle, Sabbath or Holy Day, or not keeping the pagan holidays, but they recognize that we're striving to keep and obey God and love God.

Verse 16: "Be diligent with yourself and with the doctrines… [teachings of God the Father and Jesus Christ and His Word] …continue in them…."

Not just teach them, but you yourself continue in them. We have to do that in order to be an example.

"…For in doing this, you will save both yourself and those who hear you" (v 16).

As I mentioned in part one, a lady was told that they rather see a servant than hear a sermon. In other words, 'practice what you preach and teach.'

James 2:1: "My brethren, do not have the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory, with respect of persons. Now then, if a man comes into your synagogue wearing gold rings and dressed in splendid apparel, and there comes in also a poor man in lowly apparel, and you give preference to the one who is wearing the splendid apparel, and say to him, 'Seat yourself here in the best place'; and yousay to the poor man, 'Stand over there,' or, 'Sit here under my footstool'; then have you not passed judgment among yourselves, and have made yourselves judges with evil opinions? My beloved brethren, listen. Did not God Himself choose the poor of this world, rich in faith, and heirs of the Kingdom, which He has promised to those who love Him? But you have dishonored the poor man. Do not the rich oppress you, and do they not drag you into the courts? Do they not blaspheme the worthy name by which you are called?" (vs 1-7).

Verse 8: "If you are truly keeping the Royal Law according to the Scripture, 'You shall love your neighbor as yourself,' you are doing well. But if you have respect of persons, you are practicing sin, being convicted by the Law as transgressors" (vs 8-9).

How often we saw that, some of us, in the past and maybe felt that way ourselves. We thought if someone left the Church that we shouldn't speak to them or having anything to do with them. They may have legitimate reasons for leaving, because they saw some things we didn't see at that time. If we judge them, that was wrong.

I know that after I left people were judging me, going on the other side of the street. I thought that's what I deserved; I did it to other and now I'm getting a dose of it myself. That was good; it was a learning lesson!

We're not to be respecters of people. We're not to look at someone, how a big a home that they have or what nice car they have, or job, or how well they dress. That was all done in the past. There were times that the ministry would look at that and they would say, 'There's somebody I can use.'

Well, a lot of times they were useful and turned out to be faithful servants. But a lot of times it came back upon the ministry. They left and didn't stay around long. We can't look on that. God looks on the heart! What that person really feels. God says, 'Don't look at the outward appearance.

The poor man it says in 1-Cor. 1:27-28 that God has called the poor people, the weak of the world, the lowborn to confound those who think they're mighty and God couldn't do without them. That's an example there that we should not be a respecter of persons.

A couple of bad examples that I would like to go through. We're going to 'beat up' on Peter a little bit. Others over the years have 'beat up' on Peter, but in the end he overcame a lot of these faults, just as God expects us to overcome our faults and weaknesses.

Luke 22:54: "And after arresting Him [Christ], they led Him away and brought Him into the house of the high priest. Now, Peter was following at a distance…. [not real close] …And when they had kindled a fire in the middle of the court, and had sat down together, Peter sat among them. And a certain maid saw him sitting by the light; and after looking at him intently, she said, 'Now this one was with Him.' But he [Peter] denied Him, saying, 'Woman, I do not know Him'" (vs 54-57)—that's the first time!

Verse 58: "And after a little while, another saw him and said, 'You also are one of them.' But Peter said, 'Man, I am not.'" The second time!

Verse 59: "Now, after about an hour had passed, a certain other man strongly affirmed, saying, 'In truth, this one also was with Him, for he is indeed a Galilean.'"

In some of the other Gospels it says that 'his speech gave him away, his accent.'

Verse 60: "And Peter said, 'Man, I do not know what you are talking about.' And immediately, while he was yet speaking, the cock crowed." That was the third time that he denied Christ, just like Christ said that he would!

Verse 61: "Then the Lord turned and looked at Peter; and Peter remembered the word of the Lord, how He had said to him, 'Before the cock crows, you shall deny Me three times.' And Peter went outside and wept bitterly" (vs 61-62).

Peter saw a part of himself, just like sometimes we think we're macho guys, but I can't say that I wouldn't have run. We all get scared for our lives. Peter began to see a part of himself and what he had done to His Lord and Savior that he had been with for three and a half years; personally being with Him and taught by Him. So, he "…wept bitterly."

Peter was the chief disciple, so what kind of example was it to others?

We know that John was right there at the very cross or tree where Christ was, because Christ looked down and said to John, 'Behold, your son and your mother.' John was right there close enough, and I'm sure that Christ was very weak and wasn't able to yell out loud. So, John had to be close enough that Jesus could say 'behold this is your mother and this is your son' and he took her in that very day to take her in and care for her.

Galatians 2:11: "But when Peter came to Antioch, I withstood him to his face because he was to be condemned… [corrected] …for, before certain ones came from James, he was eating with the Gentiles. However, when they came, he drew back and separated himself from the Gentiles, being afraid of those of the circumcision party" (vs 11-12). He was afraid of what they thought!

Verse 13: "And the rest of the Jews joined him in this hypocritical act… [Paul is telling it like it is] …insomuch that even Barnabas was carried away with their hypocrisy. But when I saw that they did not walk uprightly according to the Truth of the Gospel, I said to Peter in the presence of them all, 'If you, being a Jew, are living like the Gentiles, and not according to Judaism…'" (vs 13-14).

The traditions and things that Christ told them to come out of the scribes, and Pharisees and Sadducees and confronted them because of their traditions. They followed them more than they did God.

"'…why do you compel the Gentiles to Judaize? We who are Jews by nature—and not sinners of the Gentiles—knowing that a man is not justified by works of law, but through the faith of Jesus Christ, we also have believed in Christ Jesus in order that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by works of law; because by works of law shall no flesh be justified" (vs 14-16)—going back to the traditions and laws of Judaism!

You would think that since they came down from James… I don't know if this was written after or before, because we just read in James where he said to the brethren, 'Don't be respecters of people coming in with rich attire on.' And somebody comes in poor and you sit them in different places. I don't know if this was written before or after that. But evidently they were still keeping the traditions.

Peter was sitting there—and also some of the Jews—at a table with Gentiles and Barnabas, don't you think they would have come over and say, 'Hey guys, how are you doing?' They would say, 'Yea, we're doing okay, pull you up a chair and sit down and fellowship with us!

But evidently from the very beginning they went over and sat by themselves. So, Peter became afraid and he got up, and also some of the other Jews and even Barnabas, and went over with them.

How do you think that made the Gentiles feel? What a bad example that was to them! If we ever had that happen to us—I certainly did on one occasion—how that makes you feel. So, Paul corrects Peter, and rightly so! This was a bad example for the Gentile converts.

Matthew 5:14—Christ says: "You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a mountain cannot be hid. Neither do they light a lamp and put it under a bushel basket, but on the lampstand; and it shines for all who are in the house. In the same way also, you are to let your light shine before men… [our examples] …so that they may see your good works, and may glorify your Father Who is in heaven" (vs 14-16). We are to be a light and example to the world!

Sometime back my wife saw on Facebook a statement that someone had made that I would like to conclude with. This is something we can all judge ourselves on, especially as we examine ourselves; we should set an example every day, especially at this time of the year; it's only about seven weeks to Passover.

If you or I were on trial for being a Christian, would there be enough evidence to convict us?

IF we're doing the things that God has shown us we need to do—praying and studying, and fasting as needed—THEN we can keep the oil in our lamps, and the answer to that question should be yes!

Scriptural References:

  • John 1:14, 1-4
  • John 6:38-39
  • Matthew 7:21
  • Matthew 26:38-42
  • Matthew 17:5
  • Mark 1:11
  • Mark 9:1-7
  • Matthew 3:13-17
  • Matthew 28:19-20
  • Matthew 20:26-28
  • Romans 15:1-11
  • John 13:3-5, 12-17
  • Luke 22:14-20
  • Matthew 18:15-17
  • 1 Corinthians 6:1-4
  • Luke 23:34
  • James 1:18-21, 23
  • 1 Peter 2:20-24
  • James 5:7-11
  • 1 Corinthians 10:1-11
  • 1 Timothy 4:10-16
  • James 2:1-9
  • Luke 22:54-62
  • Galatians 2:11-16
  • Matthew 5:14-16

Scriptures referenced, not quoted:

  • Colossians 1:13
  • Revelation 4:11
  • Psalm 22
  • Isaiah 53
  • Hebrews 11
  • 1 Corinthians 1:27-28

Transcribed: 7/29/21