Friday, May 24, 2019

An international Sunday school lesson commentary
For Sunday May 26, 2019

Over 201,000 readers worldwide

(A living sacrifice to GOD)
(Romans 12)

   Romans chapter 12, along with 1 Corinthians 12, presents to us “the Christian image” of what “the Holy Body of CHRIST”, which is “the Church”, should look like. Paul has already shown us earlier how GOD has moved to provide and impart righteousness in chapters 6-8. Now, he moves on to the more practical issues that go to the heart of Christian theology, and what the attitude of the true Christian should be like.
    CHRIST does not ask that we die for HIM, in as much as HE asks that we live for GOD. Paul says we should strive to be a living, acceptable, holy sacrifice to GOD, no longer allowing ourselves to be conformed to the world, but rather, to be gradually transformed from it by changing the way we think and make decisions. We have to learn to actively apply the ways and examples of CHRIST into our everyday life, and gradually move away from a worldly way of thinking, or, veiwpoint.  
    As GOD’s messenger, Paul warns us to be honest in our estimation of ourselves, by measuring our value by how much faith GOD has given us. And in doing so, we will be able to function better in the body of CHRIST. And just as our bodies have many parts that must work together in unison, so it is with the body of CHRIST, which is of course, the Church.
    As Christians, we’ve all become a part of CHRIST’s body, and we each have different tasks to perform as members of that body. However, at one and the same time, we all belong to each other, and, need each other. GOD has given each of us certain gifts, and we are obligated by GOD to use those gifts in service of HIM, and, each other. We are to genuinely love each other, honor each other, and love what is right. We must also enthusiastically serve GOD as a member of the body of CHRIST in our homes, and, in all other areas of our lives.
    In addition, we must not curse those who trouble us, but rather, we should pray for them that GOD might bless them also. When others are happy, be glad that they are happy, not envious because you’re not. And, when they are sad, we should share with them, in their sorrow.
    Do your part to contribute to peace and don’t try to repay people for their evil deeds toward you, for that is a matter for GOD to handle. Don’t let evil conquer you, but rather, access the power of the HOLY SPIRIT in you, that you may be able to conquer evil instead.
    GOD’s righteousness is revealed through the transformed lives of men and women, who strive to reflect HIS image to others through their behavior. As a person is transformed in their mind, and is, as a result, made more like CHRIST, they begin to, not only approve of, but also desire GOD’s Will.
    To do GOD’s Will, will become paramount to us, as we begin to discover and understand more and more, that which pleases GOD. What pleases GOD and what is good for us, are, in fact, one in the same thing. In that sense, which is the spiritual sense, a person becomes complete in every way, and, is able to walk in the newness of life, that is CHRIST JESUS, and of course, enjoy GOD’s Will full time.
    The commands of Scripture are as real today, as they were in the beginning. GOD’s, expectations of us, has not changed over time. HE still expects us to do things that the world cannot do, or understand. Things like, serving, instead of wanting to be served all the time, sharing, instead of keeping things to ourselves, blessing people, instead of cursing them, loving, instead of hating.
    All of these actions are “conditions of the heart” that are expressed in our lives on a daily basis, and, they really do identify just whose side we are really on. It is always a sad commentary to hear a non-believer say this about a Christian, “You know, I didn’t really notice anything different about that person. What makes being a Christian so special?” As believers in the body of CHRIST, we must, at all times, focus on proving to the unbelieving world, through our lifestyles and examples, that Christianity, really does produce the best men and women.

A Sunday school lesson by,
Larry D. Alexander

Thursday, May 16, 2019

An international Sunday school lesson commentary
For Sunday May 19, 2019

Over 200,000 readers worldwide

(We can all be in GOD’s family)
(Romans 11:1-24)

   In Romans chapter 11, Paul brings to the Jewish thought, the divine idea of “The Remnant”. Here he uses the Old Testament prophet Elijah, as his example, but certainly he could have equally chosen the likes of Isaiah, Jeremiah, Amos, Ezekiel, Zephaniah, or even Micah, as they all came to realize, one by one, that there was never a time when the whole nation of Israel was true to GOD, and, that there never will be. They all experienced times when they felt as though the work that they were doing in ministry to GOD was futile, or, of non-effect.
    Listening to Paul, the Jews probably felt that GOD may have already rejected his chosen people as a whole. But here Paul seeks to re-assure them that no such thing will ever happen because of GOD’s promise to their patriarchs Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob (Vs. 1-2a & 28b).
   In this passage Paul brings to the Jews memory of how the prophet Elijah complained to GOD about the people of Israel when he said, “LORD, they have killed your prophets and torn down your altars. I alone am left, and now they are trying to kill me too” (1 Kings 19:14). There GOD re-assured HIS prophet that, indeed, he was not alone. HE tells Elijah that there were 7000 others in Israel who had not yet bowed down to the idol gods of Baal (Vs. 2b-4).
    Time and time again Scripture returns our thoughts to the idea of a faithful remnant of people who had always lived in obedience to GOD, and it is still that way even today, as hard as that may seem to believe. And, even though there is no, denomination, or group that will be saved “en masse”, there will always exists among us, certain individuals who are saved by way of their faith in GOD, which governs their behavior and keeps them on “the right path” or, “road to salvation”.  
    A relationship with GOD has always been, is now, and, will forever be an individual and personal one. A person must individually give their own heart, and surrender their own life to GOD. None of us can go to Heaven based on the GODly life that “Big Mama” lived, unless, of course, we ourselves, imitate her GODly behavior and obedience in our own life, and teach it to our own children.
    The Jews had to learn that they could not be saved based on their membership in GOD’s “chosen nation” alone, they must instead, as individuals, live their lives in a way that is pleasing to GOD, based on faith in GOD, before GOD would consider making them a part of HIS “chosen family”.
    Here Paul is teaching that a person can only be saved by the personal decision that they make for GOD, based on their faith. There can be no nation that can be lumped together as a “chosen people”, simply because of their heritage, pedigree, or national origin. The chosen people are those individuals who choose to obey GOD, and choose JESUS CHRIST, as their LORD and SAVIOR. It is those individuals who are members of “The Remnant”, that the Scriptures speak of, and that has nothing to do with race, creed, color, or national origin.
    GOD, will graft into HIS family, whosoever he chooses, to replace those Jews, or anyone else, who has rejected HIM. However, those who are grafted in, must be careful not to boast of being righteous of themselves, but instead, must be willing to continue to walk in the righteousness of CHRIST JESUS (Vs. 15-20). If GOD did not spare those family members, the Jews, who were originally included in HIS family, certainly HE won’t spare the non-Jews who HE replaces HIS family members with (v. 21).
    Remember, GOD is both kind, and severe. HE is kind to those who obey HIM, and severe in HIS punishment to those who don’t. Paul goes on to say that, whenever the unbelieving Jewish people turn from their unbelief, GOD is willing to graft them back into HIS family again, because HE has that power. And not only does HE have the power to do it, HE will do it, and HE will do it with exceeding, unspeakable joy (Vs. 22-24).

A Sunday school lesson by,
Larry D. alexander

Friday, May 10, 2019

An international Sunday school lesson commentary
For Sunday May 12, 2019

Over 199,000 readers worldwide

(Life in the SPIRIT)
(Romans 8:1-14)

   After teaching about our human struggles with sin in chapter 7, Paul now shifts gears and tells us that, “we don’t have to lose our lives to those struggles”. If we have, and obey, the SPIRIT of CHRIST living in us, there is no condemnation awaiting us at the end of this earthly life. The power of the life-giving SPIRIT of GOD, has freed us from the power of sin that leads to death (Romans 8:1-2).
    GOD sent HIS Law to us by Moses, to act as a mirror that will expose to us, our own sinful nature. HE wanted us to see just how far we were from HIS divine standards. Once we were able to see for ourselves how we weren’t functioning in the righteousness that GOD intended for us to function in, in our own strength, HE then sent HIS only begotten SON, JESUS CHRIST, in 100% human form, in a final attempt, to save us from ourselves.
    GOD ultimately destroyed “sin’s dominion over us”, by way of JESUS’ human vicarious sacrifice on the cross. Now, HIS requirements under HIS law can be fully accomplished for those who choose to abandon the old master (our sin nature), and take up residence with the new master (JESUS), living in the SPIRIT of GOD (Romans 8:3-4).
    When we are dominated by our “sin nature” we only think about sinful things. However, if we allow ourselves to be controlled by the HOLY SPIRIT, we will soon begin to share the mind of CHRIST, thinking only of those things that please our FATHER GOD. Letting our minds dwell on sinful things can only lead us to death. But when we allow the HOLY SPIRIT to control our mind, HE leads us to life and peace. The “sin nature” in us is hostile toward GOD, and is incapable of pleasing GOD, because it cannot, and will not, ever allow us to obey GOD’s laws (Romans 8:5-8).
    The term “Christian” is not just something that we can declare ourselves to be. We actually have to have the SPIRIT of CHRIST living in us, having a positive GODly effect on our behavior and character, if we are to be “true Christians. If we don’t reflect the image of JESUS CHRIST through our behavior, then, we are not really Christian at all, no matter how many times we declare it. Real Christians, act like it (Romans 8:9).
    When we become Christians at heart, even though our bodies succumb to death because of sin, our spirit is still alive because we have been made right with GOD through JESUS CHRIST. And even though our human bodies will eventually perish, the SPIRIT of GOD, WHO raised JESUS from the dead, lives in us. And, just as GOD raised JESUS’ human body from the dead, HE also gives life to our mortal bodies, because we follow HIM in character and obedience to GOD the FATHER (Romans 8:10-11).
    Because the HOLY SPIRIT lives within us, we don’t have to obey our sinful nature any longer. In fact, if we continue to give way to its urgings, we run the risk of being permanently separated from GOD forever when this life here on earth comes to an end.
    However, if we adhere to the promptings of the HOLY SPIRIT in us, we will be able to overcome the gravitational pull of our sin nature, and will gain eternal life with GOD in the end. Only those who are being led by the SPIRIT are “children of GOD” (Romans 8:12-14). We must begin to live as though we are children of the Almighty GOD, who are adopted into HIS family, and call HIM father. In fact, as Christians, the HOLY SPIRIT speaks deep within our hearts, reminding us that we are GOD’s children.
   Remember, as true Christians, we share all of the treasures of GOD, and JESUS is ours too. However, with those privileges comes the responsibility to also share in CHRIST’s suffering, as long as we are walking in the righteousness, while living in this life here on earth. We must be willing to “drink from the cup” which JESUS drank from, during HIS human lifetime, here on earth (Romans 8:15-17). 

A Sunday school lesson by,
Larry D. Alexander

Friday, May 3, 2019

An international Sunday school lesson commentary
For Sunday May 5, 2019

Over 198,000 readers worldwide

(CHRIST took our punishment)
(Romans 3)

   In the biblical Greek, the word used for “justification” is “dikaiosune” (dik-ah-yos-oo-nay), and it is “equity in character or action”, and is thereby, “righteousness”. In the biblical sense, the word has a dual meaning. First it means that a person is pronounced “not guilty” before GOD, and then secondly, it means that that same person is pronounced “righteous” in CHRIST. 
    Justification is a one-time event that happens at the very moment that one decides to get on the road to “Salvation” through CHRIST JESUS, giving HIM control of the throne of their life. Afterwards, the process of “Sanctification” begins, and must continue on for the remainder of the life of the person who is “being saved” through their pledge to CHRIST. The “justified” person is then expected by GOD to become more and more like CHRIST, keeping his or her pledge faithfully with each passing day, in terms of their obedience and behavior.
    The great advantage the Jews had, at one time, was that they, as a nation, had sole possession of GOD’s Word. However, more often than not, they chose to disobey it. Thanks to GOD’s grace, “a lack of faith” by them, did not nullify HIS faithfulness to them. GOD’s continuing grace and mercy is not affected by our propensity to perpetually live a sinful life under HIM. GOD gives us wills that are free, and therefore, HE wants us to make “the only right choice”, voluntarily joining HIS family of believers, be we Jews or Gentiles.
    GOD’s law was never given for the express purpose of saving us, but rather, its purpose has always been to make us aware of our sins against HIM, WHO created us. GOD, through the Scriptures, has revealed a righteousness that has nothing to do with the law. And since all have sinned, and fallen short of the glory of GOD, all need to be justified by a “Grace Gift” given only to those who have faith in JESUS CHRIST.
    The Jews in general, often misunderstood the meaning of their special position of “privilege” with GOD. Paul, however, believed it was special, because, with it, came a certain “responsibility”. He knew that the special privilege didn’t afford them with the license to do “what they like”, but rather, it afforded them with a responsibility to do “what GOD likes”.
    In verse 2 of this passage, the word Paul uses for the phrase “oracles of GOD”, in his original writings, is “logia”, and it is “a special statement, or pronouncement from GOD”. Here it means the “Ten Commandments”, and here in verses 2-3, Paul is saying that GOD entrusted the Jews with keeping the Ten Commandments, and not with special privileges.
    The Jews never quite grasped the fact that GOD’s “special choice” of them, was made for the purpose of “special duty and responsibility to HIM”. Responsibility is always the “obverse” of privilege. The more opportunity a person has to do right, the greater their condemnation is, when they chose to do wrong. The root of all sin is disobedience. When pride sets the “will of man” against the “Will of GOD”, the end result is always “sin”.
    When a person has sinned, they sometimes display an amazing ingenuity to justify it. In verse 26 of this third chapter of Romans, we see a wonderful paradox being displayed. Here Paul tells us that GOD is “just and fair”, and that, in that incredible, miraculous grace that JESUS came to deliver to us, GOD accepts the sinner, not as a criminal, but rather, as a son whom HE still loves.
    Remember, obedience to the laws of GOD “is what we can do for ourselves”. “Grace”, on the other hand, is concerned with what GOD is doing for us, and, with what we can do for each other. The laws of GOD serve to show us, just how far we are from HIS high and glorious standards. It exposes to us, things that we didn’t even know were sins before we received it. Furthermore, the law shows us, very vividly, our need for grace, and, for a SAVIOR.
    GOD’s grace gives us a chance to escape the bondage of sin, as there is nothing good in our own flesh. The only way for us to be reconciled to GOD is through grace received as a result of our belief in our LORD and SAVIOR, JESUS CHRIST. Remember, all of our human acts are tainted by our own sin nature, and thereby, less than perfect, and not acceptable to GOD.
    GOD’s Law serves to show us our imperfections, and when we are measured by HIS glorious standard, we all come up way short. Everyone has already been judged by GOD’s Law, and the verdict has been announced by GOD, as guilty. Our righteousness, or justification, can never come from our own acts. It can only come from the acts of GOD, WHO, is our SAVIOR, through JESUS CHRIST, WHO sent us the immeasurable help of the HOLY SPIRIT.

A Sunday school lesson by,
Larry D. Alexander

Friday, April 26, 2019

An international Sunday school lesson commentary
For Sunday April 28, 2019

Over 198,000 readers worldwide

(Disciples must make and teach disciples)
(Matthew 28:16-20)

   Here we come to the end of Matthew’s account of JESUS’ thirty-three year mission as a “sacrificial human being” here on earth. Before ascending into Heaven however, there would be a final and critically important meeting between JESUS and HIS remaining, eleven closest disciples. Over the years the message of this gathering has come to be known as “the Great Commission” by the “Church Age” followers of CHRIST.
    In verses 16-20 of Matthew’s Gospel account we find JESUS’ disciples leaving Galilee and going up into the mountain where JESUS had earlier instructed them to go. When saw JESUS on the mountain they began to worship HIM, even though some of them still, even at that time, doubted HIM.
    Nevertheless JESUS began to speak, first, assuring them of HIS power and deity-like authority, telling them, “I have been given complete authority in Heaven and on earth” (NLT). Here in this statement we see JESUS claiming authority in Heaven (a shared authority with GOD the FATHER) for the first time. Up unto this point HE had only claimed authority over all the earth. However, now, HE had completed the task assigned to HIM by HIS FATHER GOD, and as HIS reward, GOD had given HIM power over all creation, and, indeed, over the entire universe. And HE would soon be seated on HIS throne in Heaven, at the right hand of HIS FATHER.
    Secondly, JESUS gives HIS men a commission; “Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the FATHER and the SON and the HOLY SPIRIT. Teach these new principles to obey all the commands I have given you” (NLT). JESUS sends all who pledge themselves to HIM, out to the nations of the world, armed only with the Good News of the Gospel. HE taught us with HIS own life, that, a man (100% human), born of woman, can live and overcome all of the pressures of satan and his world, and be resurrected into a new life, not just in Heaven, but right now, here on earth. And we as disciples can also teach others to do the same.
    In the Greek the word used for “promise” is “eppagelleia” (ep-ang-ge-lee-ah), and it is “an announcement of divine assurance of good”. Finally in verse 20b, JESUS leaves HIS disciples with a “promise”. It is a promise, not only to HIS original disciples, but also, it is a promise of assurance to all who will accept the responsibility of being one of HIS disciples, for all time.
    Here JESUS tells HIS faithful followers this; “And be sure of this: I AM with you always, even to the end of the age” (NLT). As Christians, we are sent out to perform the greatest task that one can ever be given in this world. It is a great privilege, and perhaps even a greater responsibility. And it is for that reason that JESUS needs to encourage us by letting us know that we are not alone in our quest, but rather, HE HIMSELF will be with us, even unto the end of the age.
    And even though JESUS would no longer remain with HIS disciples physically, HIS spiritual presence is with anyone who earnestly chooses to follow HIS lighted path through the trials, tribulations, and gravitational pull of this dark world. HIS “spiritual presence” will accompany us until our assigned tasks on this earth as disciples, is finished.

A Sunday school lesson by,
Larry D. Alexander

                                           LARRY DALEXANDER- Official Website


Friday, April 19, 2019

an international Sunday school lesson commentary

For Sunday April 21, 2019

Over 197,000 readers worldwide


(JESUS replaces fear with hope)

(Matthew 26:1-15)

   Sin ushered into the world, “physical death”. The resurrection of CHRIST JESUS ushered into the world, “spiritual life”. The resurrection of JESUS is the essence of the Christian Faith and the core of all of the apostles’ teachings, and mine.

    It was William Barclay who wrote, “Cleverness can never be the basis of true religion, and true religion can never be the product of a man’s mind”. By that he meant that, no man is capable of producing or concocting a “true religion” or “faith”, because only GOD is capable of meeting and setting the qualifications of perfection that every man can benefit from, by following.

    Man, through his imperfections, will never be able to, “rightly”, spiritually rule over another man. And so, with that being said, Christianity, without denominational attachments, is the only “true religion” simply because it is the only religion that is a product of GOD’s mind.

    In Matthew chapter 28, verses 1-15, the Apostle Matthew, give us his account and eyewitness recollections of the events surrounding the resurrection of our LORD and SAVIOR, JESUS CHRIST. Here he tells us that on the dawn of the first day of the week following JESUS’ crucifixion, Mary Magdalene, and the other Mary (the mother of James and Joseph) went to the cave where JESUS had been entombed on the previous Friday by Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus.

  The two ladies, along with Salome and Joanna had faithfully watched from a distance as the two men anointed JESUS’ body with about 75 pounds of embalming ointments and spices, and wrapped it in cloth before rolling a heavy stone over the entrance of the cave (Matthew 27:57-61 and John19:38-42. They had returned to the site on this Sunday morning, after the Sabbath (Saturday) was over, apparently to anoint JESUS’ body again (Mark 16:1-2).

    Matthew records that there was a great earthquake, associated with the appearance of an angel of GOD, who came down from Heaven and rolled away the heavy, sealed on, stone covering from the entrance of the sepulcher. The Roman soldiers who were guarding the tomb became so frightened that they actually fainted. The angel, who appeared like lightening (very swiftly), was dressed in clothing that was as white as snow.

    The angel then proceeded to issue a proclamation to the women that JESUS had been raised from the dead as HE said HE would. He even invited the women up to the entrance of the cave to see that it was empty, and then, instructed them to go and tell the disciples the good news. He told them to tell the men (JESUS disciples) to meet HIM in Galilee.

    As the women were hurrying along to tell JESUS’ closest disciples the wonderful news, JESUS HIMSELF suddenly appeared before them and greeted them. Upon hearing HIS greeting, the women recognized who JESUS was, and immediately fell down at HIS feet and began to worship HIM.

    It was altogether fitting that these women would become the first people on earth to actually see the risen LORD, and receive HIS good news. They had been faithfully there at HIS cross during HIS crucifixion, and they had also been there when HE was laid in HIS tomb. And now, as their just reward, they were allowed to become the first to experience the joy of the resurrection of CHRIST JESUS.

    No man can give us that kind of religion, for it is something that only GOD can do. Through the birth, ministry, passion, death, and resurrection of CHRIST JESUS, GOD is saying to us, that, HE loves us with an everlasting love that can withstand all of the suffering that this world has to offer, both, now, and, in the future.

A Sunday school lesson by,

Larry D. Alexander

LARRY DALEXANDER- Official Website

Friday, April 12, 2019

An international Sunday school lesson commentary
For Sunday April 14, 2019

Over 196,000 readers worldwide

(JESUS anointed at Bethany)
(Matthew 26:1-13)

   Matthew 26 records events from the last week of JESUS’ physical “human life” here on earth, and is known as part of the “Passion Narratives” of the Holy Bible. In the biblical Greek, the word used for “passion” is “pascho” (pas-kho). It is used only one time in Scripture (Acts 1:3) and it means, quite literally, “experiencing the sensation or impression of pain”. In that instance, it refers to the suffering and death of CHRIST JESUS by crucifixion on the cross, by Roman method. Each of the four Gospels, thereby, contains narratives concerning “the Passion of CHRIST”.
    This chapter opens up in Bethany just as JESUS is completing HIS, now famous, “Mount Olive Discourse”, with HIS lecture concerning HIS “final judgment” of man. Here HE reminds HIS disciples of the upcoming Passover feast, which was only two days away. Matthew now records that, at this time, in nearby Jerusalem, there is plot being hatched by the High Priest, Joseph Caiaphas, and the other religious leaders, to secretly arrest, and subsequently, have JESUS nailed to a cross with the help of the Roman official (Governor), Pontius Palate.
    In verse 6, the story shifts back to Bethany, just east of Jerusalem, near the slopes of Mount Olive, where JESUS is now a guest in the home of Simon, a leper, whom everyone else would normally take care to avoid. We see in this passage however, that, as far as JESUS was concerned, this deadly disease was such a nonfactor that it is not even mentioned again in this passage. This is because when JESUS shows up, it is understood that all sickness and disease has to vacate that space. Remember also that, in all of New Testament Scripture, there is no instance where a person even died while JESUS was around.
    And so the story now moves on to the supper table where suddenly a woman enters into this all male gathering, and boldly pours a bottle of expensive perfume over the head of JESUS. The Gospel of the Apostle John describes this same event in greater detail in chapter 12, verses 1-8 of his account. There he actually gives us the names of the individuals involved. He tells us that the woman was Mary, the sister of Martha and Lazarus, close friends of JESUS’, who also lived in Bethany. He also tells us that the disciple who objected so strongly and verbally by saying, “What a waste of money. She could have sold it for a fortune and given the money to the poor”, was Judas Iscariot (Matthew 26:8-9 - NLT).
    However, Judas’ objection was not motivated by his concern for the poor. In verse 6 of chapter 12 of John’s account, he tells us that Judas was a thief, and he wanted the money to put into the disciple’s treasury, which himself controlled. JESUS steps into this mood of indignation by HIS disciples, and asks them, “Why berate her for doing such a good thing to ME?” (v.10). Then HE tells them here in verse 11, that, “You will always have the poor among you, but I will not be here with you much longer. She has poured this perfume on ME to prepare MY body for burial. I assure you, wherever the Good News is preached throughout the world, this woman’s deed will be talked about in her memory”.  
    Here JESUS tells us that this action by Mary, prepared HIM for HIS burial, which at that time, was only a few days away. It is the story of a lovely thing that contains several very special truths. First we see the extravagance that true love must contain. Mary’s alabaster jar contained perfume that was valued at an average year’s wage for a common working man. She gave it because it was the most precious thing she owned. However, true love never calculates, it never considers how little it can decently give, but rather, it desires to give the utmost it can possibly give, and then, still doesn’t feel it has given enough.
    Secondly, with true love, the commonsense view of things, fails us, because true love only obeys the dictations of the heart. Thirdly, love shows us that some things must be done when the opportunity arises, or we may never have the chance to do them again. And while some things can be done any old time, this anointing of JESUS could only be done once, and for Mary, it could only be done at that precise moment.
    And finally, it is said that the fragrance of a lovely deed will last forever, and a lovely deed done in a world full of darkness is exactly symbolic of what JESUS’ life was here on earth. HE was a lovely deed done by GOD, with the intention of lighting up a world that had long ago been rendered dark by the sins of man.

A Sunday school lesson by,
Larry D. Alexander

                                           LARRY DALEXANDER- Official Website

Friday, April 5, 2019

An international Sunday school lesson commentary
For Sunday April 7, 2019

Over 195,000 readers worldwide

(JESUS sends out the twelve apostles)
(Matthew 10)

   In the biblical Greek there are two words that are used for “power”. One of those words is, “dunamis (doo-nam-is)”, and it is “physical power or might”. The other word that is used for power is, “exousea” (ex-oo-see-ah), and it is “the power of authority, jurisdiction, superiority, or control over another being or entity”. It is “authoritative power” that is extended to someone in order that that person might be able to get things done in the absence of the person who is actually in charge.
    In Matthew chapter 10, JESUS, WHO at this time had already declared that HE had been given authority (power) by GOD the FATHER, over all the earth (Mark 2:10, John 5:22 and 27, John 17:2), calls HIS closest disciples together and delegates to them, some of that “authoritative power” (exousea), so that they would be able to “cast out evil spirits” and to “heal every kind of disease and sickness”.
    After giving them this spiritual authority over demons and the sicknesses that they cause, JESUS sent HIS disciples out on their first mission without HIM being physically present. Before sending them out, however, JESUS, first, gives HIS eager group of aides, specific instructions on how to travel light when they go, because the person, who travels light, travels long, and, travels fast.
     On this first mission, JESUS also instructed HIS men to go and witness only to the people of Israel, whom HE calls, “GOD’s lost sheep”. They were not to go to the Gentiles, or to the Samaritans, at least, not yet. However, we know now that later on, HE HIMSELF, would minister to them, and then posthumously, HE would commission Paul and many others to do the same.
    This first missionary task would be an urgent undertaking, and the disciples wouldn’t have time to socialize with people all over town. JESUS instructed them to make themselves guests in only one home (v.11)(Luke 9:4), and if they weren’t welcome in a town or village that they entered into, they were to “shake even the dust of that place from their feet” and move on to the next city. They were not to linger in any place that rejected GOD’s message and plan for them, as there could be no preaching or teaching in the wrong atmosphere.
    JESUS further instructed HIS disciples that, when they were invited into someone’s home, they were to give that home their blessing, and if the home ultimately displayed unworthiness or rejection of their message, they were to take back that blessing. And JESUS assured them that those people in those rebellious places would be worse off in the end, than the inhabitants of Sodom and Gomorrah back in the days of Abraham (Vs.12-15).
    JESUS told HIS disciples that HE was sending them out as sheep among the wolves, and HE warned them to be as “wary as snakes”, and as “harmless as doves” while they were out there performing their mission. HE warned them that they would suffer many persecutions because of their allegiance to HIM, even in the Church, and while all these things were happening, they should not worry so much as even what they would say. For the HOLY SPIRIT would be there with them, instructing them on all matters (VS.16-23).
    In all generations, the student shares the fate of the teacher, especially the home. What a child is taught by a parent, good or bad, will always affect their life down the line in some way. The parent, especially the father, should always make sure that the things they teach their household in privacy are those things that will not bring them shame in the public.
    Teaching the family the things of GOD in the privacy of the home will always be backed by the power and strength of CHRIST JESUS and the HOLY SPIRIT before the world. The believer should never be afraid to espouse those things loudly from the rooftops, which they have been taught from the Word of GOD privately. Remember, people can only kill the body, which is scheduled to die one day anyway, however, GOD, the holder of everyone’s fate, can destroy, both, the body, and, the soul, in hell (Vs.24-28).
    In verse 32-33 JESUS declares that, “If anyone acknowledges ME publicly here on earth, I will openly acknowledge that person before MY FATHER in Heaven. But if anyone denies ME here on earth, I will deny that person before MY FATHER in Heaven”. JESUS says “HE did not come to bring peace on earth” (in other words, “make us comfortable in our sin”), but rather, HE came to separate us from the enemy (satan), who already resides in every home, working through family members.
    That is why we must be able to love JESUS more than we love family members, and “we must take up our own cross” (confess and take responsibility for our own sins) and follow the ONE, JESUS, WHO can save us, and, our family members. However, if we try to cling to “our old life”, which is destine for “eternal death in Hell” with satan, we will forfeit the opportunity to find new “Eternal Life” in Heaven with GOD (Vs.34-39).
    Any household that welcomes true men of GOD welcomes JESUS, and thereby welcomes GOD WHO sends us. In fact, that household will receive the same reward that is preserved for prophets who speak for GOD. And if we get in the habit of welcoming GODly people (people who are seeking GOD) into our homes, we will, in effect, store up treasures for ourselves in Heaven. We are rewarded for everything that we do to aid GOD’s people, and promote GOD’s cause (Vs.40-42).     
A Sunday school lesson by,
Larry D. Alexander

                                           LARRY DALEXANDER- Official Website