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The Rising Of The Son
June 27, 2010
Last in the series on "Freedom In Christ", in this sermon we are reminded that Jesus came to heal and help. As His followers, we are to do the same as much as we can. One way that we can do this is by using the weekly collection of money to pay off bills for our members, with the expectation that those members freed from payments can then voluntarily contribute to the collection to replenish it as fast as possible. Over time, we can save interest that would have gone to banks or credit agencies, remove stress from our members' lives, and make the congregation debt free, if done correctly and enthusiastically. After all, we will be judged for our good deeds, so let's get busy and do the work of the Lord!
The Rising Of The Son
By Bernie Parsons
Presented to Globe & Load church of Christ on 06-27-2010
(Load congregation at Globe due to building repairs from flood)
Wrapping up this series of lessons on the freedoms that we have in Christ, and the sub-set of that series regarding the love that we are to have toward our neighbors, I conclude with today’s lesson, which I have titled, “The Rising of the Son”, spelled S-o-n.
Malachi 4:1 "For, behold, the day cometh, that shall burn as an oven; and all the proud, yea, and all that do wickedly, shall be stubble: and the day that cometh shall burn them up, saith the LORD of hosts, that it shall leave them neither root nor branch.
2 But unto you that fear my name shall the Sun of righteousness arise with healing in his wings; and ye shall go forth, and grow up as calves of the stall."
Jesus, the son of God, is that sun of righteousness.
Luke 3:9 "And now also the axe is laid unto the root of the trees: every tree therefore which bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.
10 And the people asked him, saying, What shall we do then?
11 He answereth and saith unto them, He that hath two coats, let him impart to him that hath none; and he that hath meat, let him do likewise."
The fire of God’s wrath engulfs those who choose unrighteousness, but His healing comes to those who choose righteousness. What is righteousness? It is the state that we achieve when we align ourselves with God, for God is always right.
1 John 3:7 "Little children, let no man deceive you: he that doeth righteousness is righteous, even as he is righteous."
God is righteous, Jesus is righteous, and we are to be righteous. What is the proof that we are righteous?
Matthew 25:37 "Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink?
38 When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee?
39 Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee?
40 And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me."
Love your neighbor as yourself! This is the proof of our righteousness. Our neighbor, as we saw previously, is anyone who needs us!
Remember when we studied the story of the helpful Samaritan? We express our love for our neighbor whenever we assist him in his need.
Luke 10:36 "Which now of these three, thinkest thou, was neighbour unto him that fell among the thieves?
37 And he said, He that shewed mercy on him. Then said Jesus unto him, Go, and do thou likewise."
Jesus is the sun of righteousness who arose with healing in His wings.
Luke 4:17 "And there was delivered unto him the book of the prophet Esaias. And when he had opened the book, he found the place where it was written,
18 The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised,
19 To preach the acceptable year of the Lord.
20 And he closed the book, and he gave it again to the minister, and sat down. And the eyes of all them that were in the synagogue were fastened on him.
21 And he began to say unto them, This day is this scripture fulfilled in your ears."
Luke 7:22 "Then Jesus answering said unto them, Go your way, and tell John what things ye have seen and heard; how that the blind see, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, to the poor the gospel is preached.
23 And blessed is he, whosoever shall not be offended in me."
Can we walk in Jesus without being offended? Jesus said that the two greatest commandments are to love God with everything that is within us, and to love our neighbor as ourselves. Are we able to love our neighbor without being offended by this commandment?
John 8:31 "Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed;
32 And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free."
Jesus has made us free that we might serve one another. What is the truth of God? That we love our neighbors as ourselves. That we assist those who need us the most. That we help the hurting, the hungry, the poor, the downtrodden, the oppressed, and the needy. Will we continue in the word of the Lord, or will be offended by it?
John 13:34 "A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another.
35 By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another."
How will men know that we are the disciples of Christ? When we love one another. Do we want to be witnesses for the Lord Jesus, that we are His disciples? Or, will we be offended by His word, and refuse to help those who need us, thereby departing from righteousness? Will we embrace the healing that is in Christ Jesus, or will we reject that healing?
In discharging the love that the Lord commands, I propose that we follow the examples of the early Christians in showing our love for each other, and for others who need us. The early Christians, as we previously studied in Acts chapters 2 and 4, sold their excess resources, made all things common and distributed to each as they had need. In both Corinthian letters, we found that the Gentile Christians were urged to collect resources for a year and send them to the poor and needy Jewish saints in Jerusalem.
In the same manner that they collected, we can also collect over time to meet the needs of the poor and needy saints, and those in the community who also need us. The weekly collection is not a commandment, as I have shown, but is a convenient way of following these godly examples to carry out the righteous commandment of God to help those in need. The weekly collection is a viable way to follow the scriptural examples of giving generously of that with which God has blessed us, so that all may enjoy a better way of life. It is a freewill offering, to be given without reservation, and without regret.
I propose that, out of this weekly collection that we are already taking up, we sit down and look at the needs of each of our church members, to see who have the most need. If there are members who have urgent bills that are putting a strain upon their resources, we can help them pay those off. Once we do that, we can next look at lower value, ongoing payments to banks or credit institutions, where our members are paying monthly payments with interest. If we pay those off, we will save the members the cost of the interest, free them from the stress of debt, and make those resources available to go into the weekly collection.
If each member who has their debts resolved will take the money that had been going to the banks or credit agencies, and voluntarily replace the money by donating into the weekly collection, that collection will be built up to where the debts of others can be removed, as well. Over time, larger debts can be paid off until, eventually, the entire congregation will be debt-free! The local treasury will be growing by leaps and bounds, and the money can be used to do evangelistic work and to help meet the needs of people in the community who are hurting.
Galatians 6:10 "As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith."
As the word of the love for one another spreads throughout the community, there is a good chance that others will want to be a part of this godly, loving movement. This is how that the early church grew – finding favor with all of the people! People will know that we are the disciples of Christ by the love that we show to one another.
Acts 2:44 "And all that believed were together, and had all things common;
45 And sold their possessions and goods, and parted them to all men, as every man had need.
46 And they, continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart,
47 Praising God, and having favour with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved."
We will also be able to keep the law of Christ in that we love, not only our members, but also our neighbors who need us, and even our enemies.
Matthew 5:43 "Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy.
44 But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;
45 That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.
46 For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans the same?
47 And if ye salute your brethren only, what do ye more than others? do not even the publicans so?
48 Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect."
2 Corinthians 9:12 "For the administration of this service not only supplieth the want of the saints, but is abundant also by many thanksgivings unto God;
13 Whiles by the experiment of this ministration they glorify God for your professed subjection unto the gospel of Christ, and for your liberal distribution unto them, and unto all men;"
We can keep the righteous commandments of God, or we can be offended by them.
Matthew 25:44 "Then shall they also answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, or athirst, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister unto thee?
45 Then shall he answer them, saying, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me.
46 And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal."
Matthew 7:26 "And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand:
27 And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it."
James 1:25 "But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed."
James 1:27 "Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world."
2 Corinthians 5:10 "For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad.
11 Knowing therefore the terror of the Lord, we persuade men; but we are made manifest unto God; and I trust also are made manifest in your consciences."
Are we going to talk righteousness to death, or are we going to do what God has told us to do?