Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Lord's Supper

Eating The Lord’s Supper


Lord's Supper: Christ Jesus instituted this memorial as a physical act with deep spiritual meaning.  The ceremonial eating of bread and drinking of wine which Jesus said was His body and blood [by faith].  Churches in the Restoration tradition celebrate this each Sunday (the Lord's Day).


Robert Milligan wrote, 1859: "We must, therefore, simultaneously eat of the commemoration loaf and of the bread of life; and while we literally drink of the symbolic cup, we must also, at the same time, drink spiritually of that blood, which alone can supply the wants of the thirsty soul.  Unless we do this, the bread that we eat can in no sense be to us the body of the Son of God; nor can the wine that we drink be in any sense the blood of the New Covenant, which was shed for the remission of the sins of many."  [from the Millenial Harbinger]


Campbell said facts are stubborn things.  Much history has been written about the Restoration Pioneers.


Place: Bethany, (W) VA.  Time: Sunday morning, some years before the War Between The States.  Alexander Campbell is presiding at the Table, assisted by his father, Thomas.  On the Table are the customary loaf of bread, baked by one of the sisters; and two chalices  containing the cup of fruit of the vine [fermented], also produced by a sister.

Campbell read: "Then, taking a cup, he gave thanks, and said, Take this, and share it amongst you; for I assure you, that I will not again drink of the product of the vine, until the Reign  of God be come."  [Luke 22:17-18 Living Oracles Version]

Thomas Campbell, the father, then worded a prayer of thanks and blessing for the bread and fruit of the vine.

Then the congregation came forward, two by two.  Both Alexander and Thomas broke off a piece of the bread, dipped it in the fruit of the vine, and put it in the mouth of the brother or sister.  It was their intention to commune in the body and blood of the Lord.  They have done what the Lord said to do.


Place: here.  Time: last Sunday.  We were gathered to worship.  The brother who served that day presided at the Table.  On it were two circles of crisp bread [on plates], baked by one of the sisters.  Also two trays with individual cups [containers] of grape juice.  The brother read a few verses of Scripture, then prayed.  Three brothers, who were assisting this day, passed through the congregation with the bread.  Each person broke off his/her piece and ate it.  Returning to the Table, each assistant served the bread to the other.  The brother prayed a second time.  Those assisting took the trays of cups [containers] and passed through the congregation.  Each person took a cup and drank it.  Returning to the Table, each assistant served a cup to the other.  We have done what the Lord said to do.  We have celebrated His death and resurrection and coming again.  We have recognized His body which was crucified; and we have recognized His One Body of which we are part.  We have proclaimed His death until He comes again!  It was our intent to commune in the body and blood of the Lord.



1. What is this Holy Meal?


  a) A memorial feast by faith. 

        "And He took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them, saying, "This is My body which is given for you; do this in remembrance of Me."  Luke 22:19

        In the Bible remembrance is reliving the original event.


  b) A communion (sharing) with Christ. 

        "The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not the communion of the blood of Christ? The bread which we break, is it not the communion of the body of Christ?"  1 Cor 10:16


  c) A FACT celebrated in real time.


  It is an action in which we share. 

  It has a deep spiritual reality. 


  We are discerning the Lord's sacrifice.


  We are asking God to remember what His Son’s death effected between Him and us - the New Covenant (Hebrews 8:7-13).


  We are remembering that we are one body in Christ.  "For we, though many, are one bread and one body; for we all partake of that one bread."  1 Cor 10:17



2. Who should eat?


  a) Citizens of the Kingdom. 

        "And I bestow upon you a kingdom, just as My Father bestowed one upon Me, that you may eat and drink at My table in My kingdom, and sit on thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel."  Luke 22:29-30  [This was to the Apostles.  But we are in the Kingdom and we eat and drink as He commanded.]


        A kingdom is relationship and loyalty.  In obeying the gospel we "put on Christ."  Paul wrote: "He has delivered us from the power of darkness and conveyed us into the kingdom of the Son of His love, in whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins."  Col 1:13-14



  b) Those who discern the body.


        His body of flesh & blood that was nailed to the cross. 

        "Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits, whether they are of God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world. By this you know the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is of God, and every spirit that does not confess that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is not of God. And this is the spirit of the Antichrist, which you have heard was coming, and is now already in the world."  1 John 4:1-3


        His spiritual body  - which we are members of.

        "For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body--whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free--and have all been made to drink into one Spirit." 1 Cor 12:13


  c) Those who have examined themselves.

        "Examine yourselves as to whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Do you not know yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you?--unless indeed you are disqualified.  But I trust that you will know that we are not disqualified."  2 Cor 13:5-6


        Some think they must punish themselves for sin by refusing to eat the Supper.  This is an error. 


"Lamb of God, You take away the sin of the world.  You took away my sin when You died on the cross.  I am celebrating You in eating this Holy Meal."


"how much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without spot to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God? And for this reason He is the Mediator of the new covenant, by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions under the first covenant, that those who are called may receive the promise of the eternal inheritance."  Heb 9:14-15


        Properly humble and repentant.

        "But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin."  1 John 1:7


  d) We should neither invite nor forbid.  The Supper is open to all.  Each knows his/her faith.  Each who eats and drinks take upon themselves the worship of the Risen Christ.



3. We should want to remember Him often.

        The "first day" (Sunday) comes once a week.  We - the church - gather to worship Him.  Every Sunday we eat the Supper to praise Him and thank Him for His sacrifice.  We show forth His death until He Comes.  We presently celebrate the Supper in Christ's invisible presence, though one day we will see Him face-to-face in His eternal Kingdom.




Saturday, May 25, 2013


Honor to whom honor is due.

Some are called to military service, to police, and civil service. Memorial Day honors those who serve. We give honor where honor is due. Cornelius (Acts 10:1-2) was a Roman soldier who worshipped God, as did his family and household. Many Roman soldiers helped spread the gospel of Jesus Christ throughout the world. Roman soldiers helped protect Paul as he traveled up the chain of command to Caesar at Rome. Roman soldiers helped to preserve the peace, even as Christian had to run for their lives.

"In Caesarea there lived a Roman army officer named Cornelius, who was a captain of the Italian Regiment. He was a devout, God-fearing man, as was everyone in his household. He gave generously to the poor and prayed regularly to God. One afternoon about three o’clock, he had a vision in which he saw an angel of God coming toward him. "Cornelius!" the angel said. Cornelius stared at him in terror. "What is it, sir?" he asked the angel. And the angel replied, "Your prayers and gifts to the poor have been received by God as an offering! Now send some men to Joppa, and summon a man named Simon Peter. He is staying with Simon, a tanner who lives near the seashore." Acts 10:4-6 (NLT)

[McGarvey comments: "During the four days which had elapsed, Cornelius had made no secret of the vision he had witnessed, but had communicated it to such friends as were likely to take the same interest in it with himself. Having presumed, with all confidence, that Peter would come, and knowing the time that the journey would require, all was in readiness for his arrival."]

Give to Caesar, Give to God.

"Is it lawful for us to pay taxes to Caesar or not?" 23 But He perceived their craftiness, and said to them, "Why do you test Me? 24 Show Me a denarius. Whose image and inscription does it have?" They answered and said, "Caesar's." 25 And He said to them, "Render therefore to Caesar the things that are Caesar's, and to God the things that are God's." 26 But they could not catch Him in His words in the presence of the people. And they marveled at His answer and kept silent." Luke 20:22-26 (NKJV)

Christians are also "in the world."

"Everyone must submit to governing authorities. For all authority comes from God, and those in positions of authority have been placed there by God. 2 So anyone who rebels against authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and they will be punished. 3 For the authorities do not strike fear in people who are doing right, but in those who are doing wrong. Would you like to live without fear of the authorities? Do what is right, and they will honor you. 4 The authorities are God’s servants, sent for your good. But if you are doing wrong, of course you should be afraid, for they have the power to punish you. They are God’s servants, sent for the very purpose of punishing those who do what is wrong. 5 So you must submit to them, not only to avoid punishment, but also to keep a clear conscience. 6 Pay your taxes, too, for these same reasons. For government workers need to be paid. They are serving God in what they do. 7 Give to everyone what you owe them: Pay your taxes and government fees to those who collect them, and give respect and honor to those who are in authority." Romans 13:1-7 (NLT)

God wants everyone to be saved.

"I urge you, first of all, to pray for all people. Ask God to help them; intercede on their behalf, and give thanks for them. Pray this way for kings and all who are in authority so that we can live peaceful and quiet lives marked by godliness and dignity. This is good and pleases God our Savior, who wants everyone to be saved and to understand the truth." 1 Tim 2:1-4 (NLT)

Thursday, May 23, 2013



"Now may the God of peace who brought up our Lord Jesus from the dead, that great Shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant, make you complete in every good work to do His will, working in you what is well pleasing in His sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen." Hebrews 13:20-21

"...for it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure." Phil 2:13

"Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light." Matt 11:28-30

"On the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, saying, "If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink. He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water." But this He spoke concerning the Spirit, whom those believing in Him would receive; for the Holy Spirit was not yet given, because Jesus was not yet glorified."
John 7:37-39 [He was glorified in the Cross & Resurrection.]

There's a river of life flowing out through me,

Makes the lame to walk and the blind to see,

Opens prison doors, sets the captives free.

There's a river of life flowing out through me.

[from Sacred Selections, Special Edition]

Paul wrote: "that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death..." Phil 3:10

"Jesus said to him, "I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me." John 14:6

John wrote: "By this you know the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is of God..." 1 John 4:2

JESUS is God's PLAN! ALL relates to HIM: Bible, church, forgiveness, salvation, precious promises, hope, eternal life, etc. "God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself." Jesus is "the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world." All "authority" and "power" derives from Jesus Christ [Matthew 28:18; Philippians 2:5-11].

Christ is the first priority of the church. Not people. Not ministry. Not growth. Not success. Christ and Christ alone occupies the place of ultimate and absolute priority in the church. If the church is once again to become salt and light to the world, SHE MUST PUT JESUS FIRST! Compare Rev. 2:4-5.

This world is the arena of God's redemptive work through Christ and His One Body. We need to be open to God's power at work among us. For the Brotherhood of Churches of Christ to survive after we older folk are gone, we must pray and work for Revival, Renewal, Spiritual Awakening! We must enlist our young people in the Army of God's Kingdom.

It's all about Jesus!

Everything in all of Creation has

Made By Jesus stamped on it.

And long before Earth's Foundation,

He had us in mind as the focus of His Love.

That we should be holy and blameless

by His Love and Mercy.

God wanted us to enter in the celebration

of the glory of His grace

by the Hand of His Beloved Son.

Christ was the Sacrifice -

His Blood poured out on the altar

of the Cross.

We're now a free people -

free of sin & death, penalties and punishment.

It is in Christ that we find out who we are

and what we are living for,

that we should be to the praise of His Glory!

[Eph. 1:3-12; Col. 1:14-22; Romans 8:1-4]

Friday, May 17, 2013

Pentecost Against The Powers Of Darkness

Pentecost Against The Powers Of Darkness

"I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; I will take the heart of stone out of your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will keep My judgments and do them." Ezekiel 36:26-27

"I will put my Spirit within you, so that as the new spirit may influence the new heart, so will MY SPIRIT influence YOUR new spirit, that each may have a proper mover; and then all will be pure, regular, and harmonious, when passion is influenced by reason, and reason by the Holy Ghost." —Adam Clarke's Commentary

For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their lawless deeds I will remember no more." In that He says, "A new covenant," He has made the first obsolete. Now what is becoming obsolete and growing old is ready to vanish away." Heb 8:12-13

The knowledge of God shall be found in every part of the world. Matt. 24:14; Romans 10:18; Psalm 19:1-4

1. Pentecost was an unique event. Acts 2

Joel’s prophecy fulfilled.

God is real! Wonderful works of God!

God is faithful to His promises.

"But this is what was spoken by the prophet Joel: 'And it shall come to pass in the last days, says God, That I will pour out of My Spirit on all flesh; Your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, Your young men shall see visions, Your old men shall dream dreams. And on My menservants and on My maidservants I will pour out My Spirit in those days; And they shall prophesy." Acts 2:16-18; Joel 2:28-32

"Therefore being exalted to the right hand of God, and having received from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, He poured out this which you now see and hear."  Acts 2:33; Gal. 3:14

"And those of the circumcision who believed were astonished, as many as came with Peter, because the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out on the Gentiles also."  Acts 10:45

2. Pentecost brought in the New Covenant.

a) The Spirit confirms our faith.

b) Brings joy in the midst of suffering.

c) Assures us, guides us, teaches us.

"After these things I looked, and behold, a great multitude which no one could number, of all nations, tribes, peoples, and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, with palm branches in their hands, and crying out with a loud voice, saying, "Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!" Rev 7:9-10

"When Jesus heard it, He marveled, and said to those who followed, "Assuredly, I say to you, I have not found such great faith, not even in Israel! And I say to you that many will come from east and west, and sit down with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven." Matt 8:10-11

3. Pentecost conquers the powers of darkness.

We reread with new eyes the New Testament - especially the Book of Acts.

"For it is the God who commanded light to shine out of darkness, who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ."  2 Cor 4:6

"And the God of peace will crush Satan under your feet shortly. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you. Amen." Romans 16:20

"Oh Lord, our God, Your creation of Man was a wonderful work. Your redemption of Man is still more wonderful. May we strive in a lawful way against the dark and evil powers of this world. May we find in You everlasting joy in the midst of our struggles. May the Holy Spirit of Pentecost help us to become what we already are in our New Covenant life in Christ Jesus. May Your Holy Spirit bring renewal to the Church and crush Satan beneath our feet. We pray in the name of Jesus."


Unleashing the Power of Pentecost


   The problem is not that we are sinners, but that we do not allow ourselves to be transformed by the encounter with Christ in love.


   Surrounded by Your glory,

   What will my heart feel?

   Will I dance for You Jesus,

   Or in awe of You be still?

   Will I stand in Your presence,

   Or to my knees will I fall?

   Will I sing Hallelujah,

   Will I be able to speak at all?

   I can only imagine.

   I can only imagine.

[old song    Psalm 149; Psalm 150]


   "Joy unspeakable and full of glory"  1 Peter 1:8

   "leaping and dancing and praising God"  Acts 3:8

   1. Jesus said: I will build My Church!

   Quote: “The Church is the People united by the unity of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.” 

   "Make every effort to keep yourselves united in the Spirit, binding yourselves together with peace.  For there is one body and one Spirit, just as you have been called to one glorious hope for the future.  There is one Lord, one faith, one baptism, and one God and Father, who is over all and in all and living through all."
Eph 4:3-6 (NLT)

   "The human body has many parts, but the many parts make up one whole body. So it is with the body of Christ. Some of us are Jews, some are Gentiles, some are slaves, and some are free. But we have all been baptized into one body by one Spirit, and we all share the same Spirit."  1 Cor 12:12-13 (NLT)

   "Do not stifle the Holy Spirit. Do not scoff at prophecies, but test everything that is said. Hold on to what is good. Stay away from every kind of evil."  1 Thess 5:19-22 (NLT)

   2. God who is acting in our world.

   “And as I began to speak, the Holy Spirit fell upon them, as upon us at the beginning. Then I remembered the word of the Lord, how He said, 'John indeed baptized with water, but you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit.'  If therefore God gave them the same gift as He gave us when we believed on the Lord Jesus Christ, who was I that I could withstand God?"  When they heard these things they became silent; and they glorified God, saying, "Then God has also granted to the Gentiles repentance to life."  Acts 11:15-18

    "But some of them were men from Cyprus and Cyrene, who, when they had come to Antioch, spoke to the Hellenists, preaching the Lord Jesus.  And the hand of the Lord was with them, and a great number believed and turned to the Lord. Then news of these things came to the ears of the church in Jerusalem, and they sent out Barnabas to go as far as Antioch."  Acts 11:20-22

    3. Pentecost: the Law; the Church.

    a) Pentecost: the giving of the law on Mt. Sinai created a chosen people who were united by something outside themselves: the commandments of the Old Covenant.

    What happened with Moses and the people of Israel at Sinai was a dim shadow of what was going to happen later, at Pentecost, to Peter and the people of Christ’s Church.

    b) Pentecost: the giving of the Holy Spirit to Christ’s followers on the feast of Pentecost created a new chosen people, the Church, united by something within themselves: the presence of the Holy Spirit, the living law of God’s love that makes up the New, imbedded, and everlasting Covenant.

    The Holy Spirit works with us, within us, guiding and enlightening, but not taking away our natural abilities and personality.  It’s a partnership, and these four gifts of the Holy Spirit — wisdom, understanding, knowledge, and counsel — make us better partners, better listeners, better disciples.

    Take some time now to savor these gifts, which you have already received.  Reflect a little bit on how these gifts have influenced your life up to now, and stir up a fresh desire in your heart for a new outpouring of these gifts, so that you can say: "I know... that the light of God exists, that He is Risen, that His light is stronger than any darkness, that the goodness of God is stronger than any evil in this world. And this helps me to go forward with certainty."

     "Dear friends, you always followed my instructions when I was with you. And now that I am away, it is even more important. Work hard to show the results of your salvation, obeying God with deep reverence and fear.  For God is working in you, giving you the desire and the power to do what pleases him."  Phil 2:12-13 (NLT)

Tuesday, May 14, 2013


Let The Spiritual Mothers Arise!

1. Prayer-meeting in the upper room.

"And when they had entered, they went up into the upper room where they were staying: Peter, James, John, and Andrew; Philip and Thomas; Bartholomew and Matthew; James the son of Alphaeus and Simon the Zealot; and Judas the son of James. These all continued with one accord in prayer and supplication, with the women and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with His brothers."
Acts 1:13-14

"with the women" Here in Acts we see men and women praying together; there is not a separation. We know that there were women that traveled with Jesus. Read Luke 8:1-3, Matthew 27:55-56. These were women who Jesus had healed, or were mothers of his apostles, or wives 1 Cor. 9:5. Luke stands out in mentioning women and their roles during Jesus' earthly ministry. Women were clearly an important part of the early church and were valued for their contributions.

"And Clemens Alexandrinus has particularly remarked that the apostles carried their wives about with them, "not as wives, but as sisters, that they might minister to those who were mistresses of families; that so the doctrine of the Lord might without reprehension or evil suspicion enter into the apartments of the women." And in giving his finished picture of his gnostic, or perfect Christian, he says: "He eats, and drinks, and marries— having the apostles for his example." Adam Clarke's Commentary

2. Spiritual mothers and grandmothers.

"And Adam called his wife's name Eve, because she was the mother of all living." Genesis 3:20

"As a result of this gift, of the supernatural grace of God, which was infused into him by the breath of life, Adam could see, understand the Lord walking in Paradise, comprehend His words, understand the conversation of the holy Angels, the language of all beasts, birds and reptiles and all that is now hidden from us the fallen and sinful creatures. All this was so clear to Adam before his fall. The Lord God also gave Eve the same wisdom, strength, unlimited power, and all the other good and holy qualities. He created her not from the dust of the ground, but from Adam's rib in the Eden of delight, the Paradise which He had planted in the midst of the earth." S. Seraphim

"I remember your genuine faith, for you share the faith that first filled your grandmother Lois and your mother, Eunice. And I know that same faith continues strong in you. This is why I remind you to fan into flames the spiritual gift God gave you when I laid my hands on you. For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline." 2 Tim 1:5-7 (NLT)

3. Let the spiritual mothers arise!

Now is the time for the flame of spiritual motherhood to be ignited in those called to be mothers of church. Napoleon once said, "The hand that rocks the cradle rules the world." World changing leaders and world changing movements must be mothered into being. A commercial tells us "There's never been a better time in history to be a girl." Likewise, there’s never been a more needful time to be a woman in the Lord’s church. Now is the time for women of faith to rise.

The Bible gives us many examples of women operating in faith who changed the direction of the human race. Oliver Wendell Holmes once said "The real religion of the world comes from women much more than from men - from mothers most of all, who carry the key of our souls in their bosoms." Throughout human history, the faith of women have given birth to not only men but movements. It has been said that women of faith conceive the seeds of the future. You might say each of these women conceived ideas upon which they acted and thus mothered into being movements that changed their world.

God gave Sarah the grace to conceive, as He did mother Mary, and hundreds of other Christian women whose lives made a huge difference in the spiritual direction the world was heading in. God is asking the question today, "Where are the spiritual mothers of the church?" Indeed the Spirit of the Lord is searching near and far for women who will receive and embrace a passion for the salvation of the lost and the renewal of the sons and daughters of the church of Jesus Christ.

"But when the time arrived that was set by God the Father, God sent his Son, born among us of a woman, born under the conditions of the law so that he might redeem those of us who have been kidnapped by the law. Thus we have been set free to experience our rightful heritage." Gal 4:4-5 (MSG Petersen)

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

4 Reasons Why Jesus Came In The Flesh


The Incarnation shows us that God became like us. The Resurrection shows us that we will become like Him.

God is faithful to Himself.

The gospel is the story of God writing Himself into human history to slay the dragon and rob the grave. Jesus is the Human One. Through His birth, sacrifice, and resurrection, Jesus is able to offer hope for those who wish for death to be canceled. In the first Adam, human history fell into a tragedy. In the second Adam, history blossomed into hope. The Resurrection established the basis for human hope and human faith. Thanks be to God who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

"But God raised Him from the dead. He was seen for many days by those who came up with Him from Galilee to Jerusalem, who are His witnesses to the people. And we declare to you glad tidings--that promise which was made to the fathers. God has fulfilled this for us their children, in that He has raised up Jesus. As it is also written in the second Psalm: 'You are My Son, Today I have begotten You.'" Acts 13:30-33

Hebrews chapter 2 gives at least 4 reasons why the Eternal Word came in flesh & blood, skin & bones. Jesus is better than Moses or even angels. This New Covenant [New Testament] is better and established on better promises. We have the perfect Sacrifice. God’s promises to Abraham and the Fathers are fulfilled in Jesus! "But now He has obtained a more excellent ministry, inasmuch as He is also Mediator of a better covenant, which was established on better promises. For if that first covenant had been faultless, then no place would have been sought for a second." Hebrews 8:6-7

1. Jesus "tasted death for everyone"

"But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels, for the suffering of death crowned with glory and honor, that He, by the grace of God, might taste death for everyone." Hebrews 2:9

Christ-on-the Cross gives Gentiles (and Jews) the blessing which God promised to Abraham. Christ redeemed us from the curse by becoming a curse for us. We could not save ourselves, but God has done what we could not do.

2. Jesus destroyed the power of the Devil.

"Inasmuch then as the children have partaken of flesh and blood, He Himself likewise shared in the same, that through death He might destroy him who had the power of death, that is, the devil, and release those who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage." Hebrews 2:14-15

In sharing death, the final horror which all must face, Christ completely shared our human experience. By raising from death He added a new dimension of hope. Not only does He make it possible for us to be forgiven our sin and be changed from the enemies of God into the friends of God, but He also is the GUARANTEE that we shall survive death.

"But now Christ is risen from the dead, and has become the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep." 1 Cor 15:20

3. Jesus set us free from the fear of death.

"...and release those who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage." Hebrews 2:15

Death is a reality we all fear. Each one of us must step out into eternity. Job asks: "If a man die, shall he live again?" Job 14:14 But we need not live in the fear of death because our Lord Jesus has raised up from the dead. Death has no more dominion over Him!

"And when I saw Him, I fell at His feet as dead. But He laid His right hand on me, saying to me, "Do not be afraid; I am the First and the Last. I am He who lives, and was dead, and behold, I am alive forevermore. Amen. And I have the keys of Hades and of Death." Revelation 1:17-18

4. Jesus became our High Priest full of mercy.

"Therefore, in all things He had to be made like His brethren, that He might be a merciful and faithful High Priest in things pertaining to God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people. For in that He Himself has suffered, being tempted, He is able to aid those who are tempted." Hebrews 2:17-18

As High Priest, Jesus offered the sacrifice of Himself to forgive our sins and to reconcile us to God. Because He has experienced all these things Himself, He is able to help those who are tempted. Compare Matt 4:l-11; Hebrews 4:14-16. Note that temptation itself is not sin, but it can lead into sin.

"Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new. Now all things are of God, who has reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation, that is, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not imputing their trespasses to them, and has committed to us the word of reconciliation." 2 Cor 5:17-19