Verily, Verily

John 5:24-25

Most assuredly, I say to you, he who hears My word and believes in Him who sent Me has everlasting life, and shall not come into judgment, but has passed from death into life.  Most assuredly, I say to you, the hour is coming, and now is, when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God; and those who hear will live.

The King James Version of the Bible uses the phrase, “verily I say unto you”, a total of 115 times.  Out of the 115 times, 78 times are in the Gospels.  John’s Gospel is the only book in the Bible that uses the words “verily, verily, I say unto you”, twice in succession and it does so twenty-five times.   That word stands out.  In other Versions, a similar word is used.

  • New King James Version – “assuredly, I say unto you”
  • New International Version – “I tell you the truth”   
  • Amplified Version – “Truly I tell you”
  • Contemporary English – “I Promise You”
  • Message Bible – “Listen to this carefully”
  • God’s Word Translation – “I guarantee this truth”
  • Holman Christian Standard – “I assure you”

In everyday language we would probably say something like:

  • Listen Up
  • Pay close attention
  • Hear this
  • Listen very carefully
  • Listen to me now

All of these draw special attention to the statement that follows the word “verily” or “verily, verily” or whatever phrase they use.  But John, alone, used the word twice in succession.   Perhaps the era in which he lived, he felt that extra emphasis was necessary to get people’s attention to the truth that followed.  He lived longer than many of the others who were close followers of our Lord and influenced more people because of that long life.  Remember, John is the one who, in Revelations, Chapter 2 and 3 used the phrase “He that has an ear to hear, let him hear what the Spirit says unto the churches” seven times.  He may have been following the example of Jesus, and followed closely Jesus’ use of that phrase “verily, verily.” 

John was the writer of a unique Gospel and a unique Revelation prophecy.  His Gospel is topical, dealing with specific details, not primarily chronological like the other three Gospels, and the same topic is not always covered in other Gospels.  His Gospel revolved around seven miracles and seven “I am” statements of Christ.  His purpose is crystal clear.  It was written to spark believing faith in the reader.   Four of the miracles in John’s Gospel do not appear in any of the other three.  Only John spoke about Lazarus being raised from the dead and has more to say about this particular miracle of Jesus than any other in any Gospel.

Martin Luther King used the same tactic when he gave that speech titled “I have a dream” and he used that phrase over and over.  Most public speakers do the same kind of thing when speaking.  I, myself, quite often do so also.

Are the statements you make around your family, around your friends clear to those you are speaking to and do you use words or phrases, like John did that will get their attention?  Are you following Jesus closely or afar off?  Are you making a difference in others’ lives?  

John 5:24-25 – Most assuredly, (or verily, verily) I say to you, he who hears My word and believes in Him who sent Me has everlasting life, (WOW, WHAT A TRUTH) and shall not come into judgment, (ANOTHER GREAT TRUTH) but has passed (NOTE “has passed” IS PAST TENSE) from death into life.  Most assuredly, I say to you, the hour is coming, and now is, when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God; and those who hear will live. 

Shortly after this statement Lazarus was raised from the dead.  What God promised, He fulfilled.

Life and judgment are through the Son – Verse 24 speaks of life, everlasting life.

  • If one has heard the Word of the Lord
  • If one has believed in the Father who sent the Son
  • If one has asked forgiveness of the Son through the Father
  • If one has come to the foot of the cross
  • If one has made peace with their past
  • If one has placed their trust in the Lord Jesus Christ
  • If one lives faithfully for the Lord

Then judgment for those sins that one has committed has already taken place; that one has everlasting life.  Though that one may go by way of the grave they are dead in Christ physically, but alive spiritually.  That one shall hear the voice of the Son of God when He comes in His glory at the sound of the trumpet. 

John 3:16-18 – For God so greatly loved and dearly prized the world that He [even] gave up His only begotten (unique) Son, so that whoever believes in (trusts in, clings to, relies on) Him shall not perish (come to destruction, be lost) but have eternal (everlasting) life.  For God did not send the Son into the world in order to judge (to reject, to condemn, to pass sentence on) the world, but that the world might find salvation and be made safe and sound through Him.  He who believes in Him [who clings to, trusts in, relies on Him] is not judged [he who trusts in Him never comes up for judgment; for him there is no rejection, no condemnation–he incurs no damnation]; but he who does not believe (cleave to, rely on, trust in Him) is judged already [he has already been convicted and has already received his sentence] because he has not believed in and trusted in the name of the only begotten Son of God. [He is condemned for refusing to let his trust rest in Christ’s name.]  (Amplified Bible)

John 6:47 – Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me has everlasting life.

John 6:47 – I assure you, most solemnly I tell you, he who believes in Me [who adheres to, trusts in, relies on, and has faith in Me] has (now possesses) eternal life.  (Amplified Bible)

1 John 3:14 – We know that we have passed from death to life, because we love the brethren. He who does not love his brother abides in death.

Inferior to Superior

John 2:1-12

On the third day there was a wedding in Cana of Galilee, and the mother of Jesus was there.  Now both Jesus and His disciples were invited to the wedding.  And when they ran out of wine, the mother of Jesus said to Him, “They have no wine.”  Jesus said to her, “Woman, what does your concern have to do with Me? My hour has not yet come.”  His mother said to the servants, “Whatever He says to you, do it.”  Now there were set there six water pots of stone, according to the manner of purification of the Jews, containing twenty or thirty gallons apiece.  Jesus said to them, “Fill the water pots with water.” And they filled them up to the brim.  And He said to them, “Draw some out now, and take it to the master of the feast.” And they took it.  When the master of the feast had tasted the water that was made wine, and did not know where it came from (but the servants who had drawn the water knew), the master of the feast called the bridegroom.  And he said to him, “Every man at the beginning sets out the good wine, and when the guests have well drunk, then the inferior. You have kept the good wine until now!”  This beginning of signs Jesus did in Cana of Galilee, and manifested His glory; and His disciples believed in Him.   After this He went down to Capernaum, He, His mother, His brothers, and His disciples; and they did not stay there many days.

  • The water made wine
  • The ordinary made extraordinary
  • The plain and simple made special
  • The inferior made to be superior
  • A life of sin, no hope within.
  • Struggling alone, no hope, no joy

INFERIOR

  • A light turns on, the Spirit calls
  • We receive Christ, old habits gone

SUPERIOR

  • Outcast, chained, in bondage torn
  • Tired and lonely, no friend to call our own.

INFERIOR

  • We cry out to God, we bow our head
  • We weep in sorrow for what we have done
  • New hope dawns

SUPERIOR

  • He broke my chains and set me free
  • His banner over me is love

INFERIOR TO SUPERIOR

Psalm 25:4-5 – Show me the right path, O Lord; point out the road for me to follow.  Lead me by your truth and teach me, for you are the God who saves me.  All day long I put my hope in you.

When we find Christ

  • The crooked way is made straight
  • The difficult becomes manageable
  • The storm gives way to sunshine

Inferior to Superior!

Job 13:15 – Though He slay me, yet will I trust Him.  Even so, I will defend my own ways before Him.

Yet will I trust God anyway. When darkness gives way to light, I have assurance – Even though I’m tried I shall come forth as gold.

When we are in Christ and Christ is in us, we have His promise.  He will be with us.  There will be difficult times, but He will be there.  He is a shelter in the storm. 

John 16:33 – These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.

Psalm 23:4 – Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.

YOU ARE WITH ME

Psalm 23:6 – Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life; and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.

Dwell in the house of the Lord – that’s superior

We live in the inferior now – but the superior awaits!

What Do You Seek?

John 1:35-39

Again, the next day, John stood with two of his disciples.  And looking at Jesus as He walked, he said, “Behold the Lamb of God!”  The two disciples heard him speak, and they followed Jesus.  Then Jesus turned, and seeing them following, said to them, “What do you seek?”  They said to Him, “Rabbi” (which is to say, when translated, Teacher), “where are You staying?”  He said to them, “Come and see.” They came and saw where He was staying and remained with Him that day (now it was about the tenth hour).

What do you seek? – What are you looking for from life?

Come and see

Matthew 11:28 – Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.

What do people seek for?

  • Riches
  • Houses and lands
  • Education
  • Fancy cars
  • Jewelry
  • Fame
  • Are you seeking for meaning, purpose in life?
  • Are you seeking for self-improvement, fellowship, friends?
  • Are you seeking deliverance from trials, trouble, suffering?
  • Are you seeking approval and acceptance with God?

Isaiah 55:6 – Seek the Lord while He may be found, call upon Him while He is near.  Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts; let him return to the Lord, and He will have mercy on him; and to our God, for He will abundantly pardon.

Matthew 6:24-33 – No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon.  “Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink; nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing?  Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?  Which of you by worrying can add one cubit to his stature?  “So why do you worry about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin; and yet I say to you that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.  Now if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will He not much more clothe you, O you of little faith?  “Therefore do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’  For after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things.  But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.

Luke 11:9-10 – So I say to you, ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.  For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened.

Matthew 16:24-26 – Then Jesus said to His disciples, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me.  For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it.  For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul?

Only Jesus can satisfy your soul. Only He can change your life and make you whole. He’ll give you peace you never knew, special joy and heaven too. Only Jesus can satisfy your soul.

Jesus said, “What do you seek?”  Then, “Come and see.”

Behold the Lamb

John 1:29-37

The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, “Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!  This is He of whom I said, “After me comes a Man who is preferred before me, for He was before me.’  I did not know Him; but that He should be revealed to Israel, therefore I came baptizing with water.”  And John bore witness, saying, “I saw the Spirit descending from heaven like a dove, and He remained upon Him.  I did not know Him, but He who sent me to baptize with water said to me, ‘Upon whom you see the Spirit descending, and remaining on Him, this is He who baptizes with the Holy Spirit.’  And I have seen and testified that this is the Son of God.”  Again, the next day, John stood with two of his disciples.  And looking at Jesus as He walked, he said, “Behold the Lamb of God!”  The two disciples heard him speak, and they followed Jesus.

There are nearly 70 references to the Lamb in the Old Testament, most refer to the lamb as a sacrifice for sin.

  • God will provide the lamb

Genesis 22:7 – But Isaac spoke to Abraham his father and said, “My father!”  And he said, “Here I am, my son.”  Then he said, “Look, the fire and the wood, but where is the lamb for a burnt offering?”  And Abraham said, “My son, God will provide for Himself the lamb for a burnt offering.”

  • Lamb must be pure and holy – representing Christ

Exodus 12:5 — Your lamb shall be without blemish, a male of the first year. You may take it from the sheep or from the goats.

  • Christ was pure and holy

1 Peter 1:19 – but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot.

  • In the Old Testament an offering had to be made as atonement for sin.  It all points to Christ as that offering.  Christ fulfilled once and for all that required sacrifice when He gave Himself willingly.

John 10:17-18 – Therefore My Father loves Me, because I lay down My life that I may take it again.  No one takes it from Me, but I lay it down of Myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This command I have received from My Father.

  • Exodus 12 tells us of the first Passover when the Israelites applied the blood of the lamb to their homes and were saved when the death angel slayed the first born in every home where the blood was not applied.  Symbolically, the Passover pictured the coming of Jesus Christ as the Savior.  The lamb without blemish pictured His sinless life and the blood sprinkled on the door posts pictured His blood shed for the believer.  It was a sign that the life and blood of the innocent lamb had been substituted for the firstborn.  The eating of the lamb pictured the need for spiritual nourishment gained by feeding on Christ, the Bread of Life.  The unleavened bread pictured the need for putting evil out of one’s life and household.  It was the blood of the lamb that saved the people.  The lamb was sacrificed.  Its blood was shed as a substitute for the people.  The lamb symbolized Christ our Passover who was sacrificed for us.  If we believe and apply His blood to our hearts and homes, He saves us.  If we do not believe and do not apply the blood to our hearts and homes, we are destroyed.  It is the Lamb of God who was sacrificed for us; it is His blood which saves us.

John 1:29 – The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, “Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!”

1 Peter 1:18-19 – knowing that you were not redeemed with corruptible things, like silver or gold, from your aimless conduct received by tradition from your fathers,  but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot.

  • Historically, two lambs were sacrificed “day by day continually…the one in the morning and the other at even.

Exodus 29:38-39 – Now this is what you shall offer on the altar: two lambs of the first year, day by day continually.  One lamb you shall offer in the morning, and the other lamb you shall offer at twilight.

  • The people knew their sins had separated them from God and that their sins had to be removed before they could be reconciled to God.  Thus, symbolically, the sins of the people were removed from the people and placed upon the two animals.  The animals, without blemish, had the sins of the people placed upon them; and, symbolically, they bore the judgment of sin, which was death.  They were sacrificed for sin, and by their death, they symbolically set the people free by redeeming them from their sins.  Note:  It was not the deed that caused God to remove the sins, but the faith of the person in God’s Word that He would remove the sins.

Isaiah 53:6-7 – All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned, every one, to his own way; and the Lord has laid on Him the iniquity of us all.  He was oppressed and He was afflicted, yet He opened not His mouth; He was led as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before its shearers is silent, so He opened not His mouth.

1 Corinthians 5:7 – Therefore purge out the old leaven, that you may be a new lump, since you truly are unleavened. For indeed Christ, our Passover, was sacrificed for us.

1 Peter 2:22-24 – Who committed no sin, nor was deceit found in His mouth; who, when He was reviled, did not revile in return; when He suffered, He did not threaten, but committed Himself to Him who judges righteously; who Himself bore our sins in His own body on the tree, that we, having died to sins, might live for righteousness—by whose stripes you were healed.

Revelation 5:6; 6:1; 7:9, 12:11; 13:8; 14:1; 15:3; 17:14; 19:9; 21:22

Jesus Christ is

  • The perfect Lamb of God, without sin
  • The One upon whom the sins of the people were placed
  • The One who bore the judgment for sin, which was death
  • The One who was sacrificed for sin
  • The One whose death sets people free by redeeming them
  • The One whose blood is counted precious both by God and believers

It should be noted the Christ willingly offered Himself as the sacrificial Lamb, as our substitute and God willingly accepted the offering and sacrifice of His Son for us.  God is satisfied with the settlement for sin that Christ made.  If any person really believes the blood of Christ to be precious, really believes that the blood of Christ covers his sins, God will take that person’s belief and count it as righteousness.  That person is counted righteousness by God.

John 10:17-18 – Therefore My Father loves Me, because I lay down My life that I may take it again.  No one takes it from Me, but I lay it down of Myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This command I have received from My Father.

Romans 5:1 – Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.

1 John 2:1-2 – My little children, these things I write to you, so that you may not sin. And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous.  And He Himself is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the whole world.

The “Lamb of God” is not of men but of God.  The idea is that the Lamb belonged to God, that God gave, supplied and provided the Lamb for Abraham as a substitute for Isaac.  This speaks volumes about:

  • The unbelievable love of God for man

John 3:16 — For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.

  • The great sacrifice and humiliation Christ underwent for man

Philippians 2:6-8 – who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men.  And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross.

  • The forgiveness of sins and salvation which came from God’s grace and not from man’s resources and works

Ephesians 2:8-9 – For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast.

The “Lamb of God” takes away the sin of the world

The phrase “takes away” (airon) means “to lift away, to carry off, to bear in behalf of one, as one’s substitute.  Jesus Christ was the Lamb of God who bore our sins.  He lifted our sins off of us and carried them away.

1 Peter 2:24 – who Himself bore our sins in His own body on the tree, that we, having died to sins, might live for righteousness—by whose stripes you were healed.

John the Baptist was simply pointing out the “Lamb of God” to the people – Here is the Lamb of God we have been waiting for

We must point the Lamb of God to others – fulfill the Great Commission

  • It is not the great exception
  • We cannot leave it to somebody else to do
  • When people are lonely – “Behold the Lamb”
  • When people are in turmoil – “Behold the Lamb”
  • When people are sick, in pain – “Behold the Lamb”

Behold

  • To perceive through sign or understanding
  • To see
  • To gaze upon
  • To observe
  • To call attention to
  • We need to do more than just behold
  • More than see
  • More than observe
  • More than call attention

We need to

  • Receive the Lamb of God for our self
  • Receive the Lamb of God as our Lord and Master
  • Serve and glorify the Lamb of God in our own life
  • Point out the Lamb of God to others

Sharing the “True” Light

John 1:1-14

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 were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made.  In Him was life, and the life was the light of men.  And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it.  There was a man sent from God, whose name was John.  This man came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all through him might believe.  He was not that Light, but was sent to bear witness of that Light.  That was the true Light which gives light to every man coming into the world. 

He was in the world, and the world was made through Him, and the world did not know Him.  He came to His own, and His own did not receive Him.  But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name:  who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.  And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.

One of the great themes of the Gospel of John is “light.” 

John 1:4 – In Him was life, and the life was the light of men.

John 8:12 – Then Jesus spoke to them again, saying, “I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life.”

Matthew 4:14-16 – You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden.  Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house.  Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.

John 3:19 – And this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.

Jesus is the true light.  While others talk about enlightment, we know and believe that Jesus IS the Light of the World.  Even though the true light has come, yet much of our world remains in darkness.

1 John 1:5-7 – This is the message which we have heard from Him and declare to you, that God is light and in Him is no darkness at all.  If we say that we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth.  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.

The darkness is great

  • Darkness by birth
  • The sins of our “first parents – Adam and Eve” passed down to all of us.

The Psalmist David states Psalm 51:5 – “Behold I was brought forth in iniquity, and in sin my mother conceived me.”

  • None of us chose our parents, and one of us chose to be born in sin, but we do have a choice as to whether or not we will continue to live in that state of sinfulness.

Romans 3:23 tells us, “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.”

Romans 6:23 tells us, “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus, our Lord.”

  • Darkness by choice

John 3:19 tells us, “…men love darkness rather than light because their deeds are evil.”

  • Much of the evil done in the world today is done as a matter of choice.
  • The Burnhams, missionaries in the Philippines, were held captive by a terrorist group for ransom money to fight a war of their own choosing.
  • The terrorists who flew into the World Trade Center buildings on 9/11 did so as a matter of choice.
  • The man/woman who kills their spouse or abuses their own children have made a choice.
  • The man who rejects Jesus is also making a choice to live in darkness.
  • Darkness by neglect
  • Even after Jesus told His disciples to “Go into all the world,” they wanted to stay in Jerusalem
  • It took the persecution found in Acts 8:1 to get the church moving out of Jerusalem with the Gospel.
  • The Church has had the Gospel for 2000 years and yet the majority of our world is still not evangelized.

What will it take for us to truly get serious about carrying the Gospel to the whole world?

The light is needed in our world

Matthew 5:14-16 – You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden.  Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house.  Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.

Light, life and freedom are found in Jesus

John 14:46 – I have come as a light into the world, that whoever believes in Me should not abide in darkness.

Acts 4:12 – Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.

Romans 10:13-17 – For whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.  How then shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher?  And how shall they preach unless they are sent? As it is written:  “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the gospel of peace, who bring glad tidings of good things!”  But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Isaiah says, “Lord, who has believed our report?”  So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.

2 Corinthians 4:6 – 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.

The Narrow Way

  • Way to God is very specific.
  • Way to God is straight – not bending in purpose or morals.
  • Way to God is not a popular one.

John 14:6 – Jesus said to him, ‘I am the way, the truth and the life; no man comes to the Father, but by Me.’

Acts 4:12 – Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.

1 Timothy 2:5-6 – For there is one God and one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus, who gave Himself a ransom for all.

  • Way to salvation requires effort.

Luke13:24 – Make every effort to enter through the narrow door, because many, I tell you, will try to enter and will not be able to. (NIV)

Luke 13:24 – Strive to enter through the narrow door. For many, I tell you, will seek to enter and will not be able. (NKJ)

  • Must “strive.”  Strive (agonizesthe) means “to agonize, to struggle, exert to the fullest, labor fervently.”  This does not mean that a person “works” to earn their salvation.  That is a free gift of God.  It does mean, however, that a person must give whole-hearted, complete commitment to seek God.  They cannot allow anyone or anything to take their attention from God and His purpose for their life. 

Luke 9:23-26 – He said to them all, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me. For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will save it. For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and is himself destroyed or lost? For whoever is ashamed of Me and My words, of him the Son of Man will be ashamed when He comes in His own glory, and in His Father’s, and of the holy angels.

  • Just being in church does not make one right with God.

Matthew 7:21 – Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven.

Mark 7:6 – He answered and said to them, “Well did Isaiah prophesy of you hypocrites, as it is written:  ‘This people honors Me with their lips, But their heart is far from Me.’”

Luke 6:46 – But why do you call Me ‘Lord, Lord,’ and not do the things which I say?

  • Judgment will fall on those who do not find the narrow way.

Matthew 13:30, 49 – Let both grow together until the harvest, and at the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, “First gather together the tares and bind them in bundles to burn them, but gather the wheat into my barn.””  So it will be at the end of the age. The angels will come forth, separate the wicked from among the just.

Matthew 25:46 – And these will go away into everlasting punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.

  • Those Who Find the Narrow Way Will Come From all Nations, Races, and Classes of People

Matthew 28:19-20 – And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.

Acts 10:34-35 – Then Peter opened his mouth and said: “In truth I perceive that God shows no partiality. But in every nation whoever fears Him and works righteousness is accepted by Him.

Jesus, Our Savior

Luke 8:26-49

Then they sailed to the country of the Gadarenes, which is opposite Galilee. And when He stepped out on the land, there met Him a certain man from the city who had demons for a long time. And he wore no clothes, nor did he live in a house but in the tombs. When he saw Jesus, he cried out, fell down before Him, and with a loud voice said, “What have I to do with You, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? I beg You, do not torment me!” For He had commanded the unclean spirit to come out of the man. For it had often seized him, and he was kept under guard, bound with chains and shackles; and he broke the bonds and was driven by the demon into the wilderness.  Jesus asked him, saying, “What is your name?”  And he said, “Legion,” because many demons had entered him. And they begged Him that He would not command them to go out into the abyss.  Now a herd of many swine was feeding there on the mountain. So they begged Him that He would permit them to enter them. And He permitted them. Then the demons went out of the man and entered the swine, and the herd ran violently down the steep place into the lake and drowned.  When those who fed them saw what had happened, they fled and told it in the city and in the country.Then they went out to see what had happened, and came to Jesus, and found the man from whom the demons had departed, sitting at the feet of Jesus, clothed and in his right mind. And they were afraid. They also who had seen it told them by what means he who had been demon-possessed was healed. Then the whole multitude of the surrounding region of the Gadarenes asked Him to depart from them, for they were seized with great fear. And He got into the boat and returned.  Now the man from whom the demons had departed begged Him that he might be with Him. But Jesus sent him away, saying, Return to your own house, and tell what great things God has done for you.”  And he went his way and proclaimed throughout the whole city what great things Jesus had done for him.

Why do we need a Savior?

Evil Spirits – There is only one devil, but there are many evil or unclean spirits or demons.  The New Testament says of them:

  • They are spirits – Matt. 12:43-45
  • They are Satan’s emissaries – Matt. 12:26-27
  • They know their fate is eternal doom.  Matt. 8:29; Luke 8:31
  • They affect man’s health – Matt. 12:22; 17:15-18; Luke 13:16
  • They deceive the world and blind people to Christ – Eph. 2:2
  • They entice men to a false religion of asceticism – 1 Tim. 4:1-3
  • They entice men to depart from the faith – 1 Tim. 4:1
  • They are cast out of people in the name of Jesus Christ – Acts 16:18
  • They shall participate in the final judgment coming on the earth – Rev. 9:1-11, 20

Results of sin – We see by this man’s life what the devil desires to do in our lives, and what sin can do if allowed to run its full and unhindered course.  Many in our society today are like this man – and we see the results in abused children, overflowing prisons, broken homes, hurting people. 

Romans 6:23 – “For the wages (that which is earned) of sin is death.”

  • This man had lost all sense of shame and self-respect.  He was running around naked.
  • This man had lost his friends and family.  He lived alone among the graves.
  • This man was completely under the control of the evil spirit.  He had lost his “right mind” – his sense of true identity.  Notice that when Jesus asked the man what his name was, the demons answered Him. 
  • The demons’ response to Jesus
  • They recognized who He was – “Jesus, Son of the Most High God”
  • They recognized that there was no possibility of a relationship with Jesus – “What have I do to do with You?” or “What have we in common?”
  • They recognized His power over them – “I beg You, do not torment me!”
  • They were forced to obey Him
  • Our proper response to Jesus

We need to recognize who He is.  Jesus Himself told us in John 14:6 – “I am the way, the truth and the life.  No one comes to the Father except through Me.”  We do not come to the Father based on our good works, on our good intentions.  We do not come to the Father by church membership, water baptism.  We do not come to the Father through Buddha, meditation or any other source but Jesus.  He is not Santa Claus, He is not grandpa, He is not our “good buddy.”  He is – just as the demons recognized – “Jesus, Son of the Most High God.” 

We need to recognize that we cannot maintain a relationship with Him and continue in sin.  Water and oil do not mix. 

Luke 16:13 – No servant can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despite the other.

James 4:4 – Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity (hatred) with God?  Whoever therefore wants to be a friend (a loved one, speaks of a love of emotion and deep friendship) of the world makes himself an enemy of God.

Galatians 1:10 – For if I still pleased men, I would not be a bondservant of Christ.

John 14:15 – If you love me, you will keep my commandments…   This statement could also be made – If you do not keep my commandments, you do not love me.

We need to recognize that Jesus has power over the devil and sin.  There can be victory. 

What is a Savior?

Webster’s dictionary defines it as “one that saved from danger or destruction; one who brings salvation.”  “Salvation” is “deliverance from the power and effects of sin; preservation from destruction or failure; deliverance from danger or difficulty.”

The Greek word used in this entire chapter of Luke 8 is sozo.  It shows us the full range of the power of Jesus as Savior.  It shows us all that is meant when we say Jesus is our Savior

The demon-possessed man was freed of evil power that took control of his own rational mind and physical actions.  Verse 36 tells us that he was “healed” – (sozo).  Jesus has the power to set us free from those bondages that seem to control us – habits of the flesh (you can make your own list), wrong attitudes or thoughts in our mind (worry, fear, lust, gossip, hatred, etc.) – those things that seem to control us.  Jesus died to set us free from those bondages. 

John 10:10 – I am come that they might have life and have it more abundantly (superabundance, excessively overflowing).

2 Timothy 1:7 – For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.

Sophronismos means “good judgment, disciplined thought patterns, and the ability to understand and make right decisions.  It includes the qualities of self-control and self-discipline.

Philippians 6-8 – Be anxious (merimnao means “a distraction, a preoccupation with things causing anxiety, stress and pressure) for nothing….and the peace of God…will guard (a military term picturing a sentry standing guard) your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. 

Paul then lists the things we are to meditate on (think over, reflect on, contemplate, consider)

Luke tells us in verses 40-56 of two physical healings.  One was a women who had been sick for twelve years and had spent her savings on doctors with no results.  In verse 48 Jesus tells the woman she has been “made well ” – (sozo).  The other was a little girl who had died.  In verse 50, Jesus tells the girl’s father that the little girl will be “made well” – (sozo).  In both cases, Jesus referred to the need for them to believe. 

Healing is one of the gifts of the Spirit.  We see in Acts where the Early Church experienced great healings.  James instructs us to call for the elders of the church when we are sick and states that the prayer of faith will bring about physical healing.  This kind of faith is also another one of the gifts of the Spirit.  We need to pray that we will draw close to God so that the gifts of the Spirit may once again operate in our midst. 

We also see in this chapter the parable of the Sower.  This is clearly referring to our spiritual life.  Yet, again in verse 12 he speaks of someone being “saved” – (sozo).  Here we see that one is saved – healed by the Word of God. 

Jesus has come to be our Savior in all areas of our life.  To heal our broken relationship with God; to save our broken personalities and heal us from our bondages; to deliver us from our physical weaknesses and diseases and ultimately to rescue us from death itself at the final resurrection.

What do we do after we accept our Savior?

  • The “saved, healed, delivered” man wanted to be with Jesus.
  • Jesus sent him on a mission.
  • Show what God has done in your life.
  • Go to your own house.

Matthew 5:16 – Let your light so shine before men that they may see your good works and glorify your Father which is in heaven.

Acts 8:4 – That they were scattered abroad went everywhere preaching the word.

1 Peter 3:`15 – But sanctify (set apart) the Lord God in your hearts and always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear.

Acts 16:14-15 – …The Lord opened her heart to heed the things spoken by Paul. And when she and her household were baptized…

Acts 16:30-31 – And said, ‘Sirs, what must I do to be saved?’ And they said, ‘Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you shall be saved and your house.

Exodus 12:3 – On the tenth of the month every man shall take for himself a lamb, according to the house of his father, a lamb for a household.

Proverbs 22:6 – Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old, he will not depart from it. 

“Train up” does not mean just bring a child to church once a week or teach them a memory verse.  It does not mean to just tell them they should be saved and serve God.  It is much more than that.  It carries the idea of a parent investing in a child whatever wisdom, love, time and discipline is needed for that child to become fully committed to God.  It assumes that the parent has the emotional and spiritual maturity to do so.  “In the way he should go” means to take into account the child’s unique personality, gifts and desires.  It also means to train the child to avoid whatever natural tendencies he/she might have that would prevent total commitment to God (a weak will, a lack of discipline, a susceptibility to depression).  This promise means that if a parent takes the time, uses wisdom and love to instruct the child in the way of commitment to God, both by words and by their own example, taking into account the child’s own personality, and then they can be assured the child will stay committed to God as an adult. 

If you want your child to go to church, how often do they see you go to God’s house?  What is your attitude when you go?  “I have to go,” or “I was glad when they said unto me, ‘Let us go unto the house of the Lord.’”

If you want your child to love God’s Word, how often do they see you reading God’s Word?  What is your attitude when you read?  “I have to read,” or “I love learning more about God’s Word.”

If you want your child to worship God, how often do they see you worship God – both at home and at church?  Do they ever see you just stop in the middle of work and sing a song of praise or take time to pray?  Do they ever see you in church entering into worship with all your heart?  What is your attitude about worship?  “Hurry up and get on with it,” or “What a joy to worship our Savior.”

If you want your child to give to God’s work, how often do they see you giving?  What is your attitude about giving?  “I have to tithe,” or “It is a blessing to give to the cause of Christ.”

Have you taken the time to teach your child how to study the Bible, how to look up words they don’t understand, how to do research?  Have you taken the time to teach your child how to pray? 

Receive the Savior – and tell others

Busy at My Task

Luke 4:16-20

He came to Nazareth where he had been raised. As he always did on the Sabbath, he went to the meeting place. When he stood up to read, he was handed the scroll of the prophet Isaiah. Unrolling the scroll, he found the place where it was written, God’s Spirit is on me; he’s chosen me to preach the Message of good news to the poor, sent me to announce pardon to prisoners and recovery of sight to the blind, to set the burdened and battered free, to announce, “This is God’s time to shine!” He rolled up the scroll, handed it back to the assistant, and sat down. Every eye in the place was on him, intent. Then he started in, “You’ve just heard Scripture make history. It came true just now in this place.”

God has given us His Spirit also

1 John 4:14 – By this we know that we abide in Him, and He in us, because He has given us of His Spirit.  And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent the Son as Savior of the world.

1 Corinthians 2:9-14 – But as it is written:  Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, Nor have entered into the heart of man the things which God has prepared for those who love Him.  But God has revealed them to us through His Spirit.  For the Spirit searches all things, yes, the deep things of God.  For what man knows the things of a man except the spirit of the man which is in him.  Even so no one knows the things of God except the Spirit of God.  Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might know the things that have been freely given to us by God.  These things we also speak, not in words which man’s wisdom teaches but which the Holy Spirit teaches, comparing spiritual things with spiritual.  But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. 

The Spirit of the Lord is Upon Me (and on us) For what purpose?

To give wisdom, to give understanding, to give leading, to give discernment, to give comfort, to give help..

NOT JUST FOR EMOTION – NOT FOR ME TO USE LIKE A TOY – NOT FOR ME TO JUST FEEL GOOD – BUT…BECAUSE…HE HAS ANOINTED ME TO…PREACH – HEAL – PROCLAIM LIBERTY & RECOVERY – SET AT LIBERTY

  • The anointing breaks the yoke.
  • The anointing penetrates to the heart.
  • The anointing divides the sin from the sinner. 
  • The anointing gets the job done.
  • The anointing draws sinners to repentance.
  • The anointing draws Christians closer to God.
  • The anointing starts in motion a purifying process.
  • The anointing calls us to holy living.                   

Who is the poor in this passage? 

  • It is the sinner, in his beggarly ways, who is the poor, helpless, blind, wretched, and miserable.
  • The brokenhearted are those who are lonely and afraid, wounded by the spirit of the world.  The Christian is not broken hearted for we have been given a new heart at salvation.
  • The captive are those who are bound and in chains of bondage.  We are free in Christ.  He has paid the price and we are free.
  • The blind are those whose eyes have not been opened to the Word of the Lord.  It is the blind who do not see Christ.  
  • The ones who are not at liberty are those who are bound by the things of the world.  Christ can and will set free those who want to be set free. 

The acceptable year of the Lord is today.  Now is the day of salvation.  Now is the time for repentance.  Now is the time to start anew.

Fruits Worthy of Repentance

Luke 3:7-9

(The Message) – Brood of snakes!  What do you think you’re doing slithering down here to the river?  Do you think a little water on your snakeskins is going to deflect God’s judgment?  It’s your life that must change, not your skin.  And don’t think you can pull rank by claiming Abraham as ‘father.’  Being a child of Abraham is neither here nor there–children of Abraham are a dime a dozen.  God can make children from stones if he wants.  What counts is your life.  Is it green and blossoming?  Because if it’s deadwood, it goes on the fire.”   

When crowds of people came out for baptism because it was the popular thing to do, John exploded: 

Luke 8

(The Amplified Version) – Bear fruits that are deserving and consistent with (your) repentance (that is, conduct worthy of a heart changed, a heart abhorring sin). 

The message that John was preaching to the people is the same message still being preached today.  You call yourselves Christian, then behave like a Christian, act like a Christian, conduct your affairs each day like a Christian should.  Live like a Christian should live, talk like a Christian should talk.

The message that John was preaching to the people has the same reaction from people today.  Some genuinely repent of their past sins and change their way of living.  Some repent of their past sins and go on unchanged.  There is more to repentance or salvation, or the born again experience than kneeling down at an altar and repenting of sins.  Genuine repentance means turning and forsaking those things that are contrary to the Word of God.  Genuine repentance means changing your way of living.  Genuine repentance means following after Christ.  Genuine repentance means giving up old dead, sinful habits that will bring you back into bondage again.  Genuine repentance might mean that you have to change your dress style, your reading habits, your television viewing habits, your music listening habits, possibly even changing your old friends or acquaintances.

Remember the story of the prodigal son…he left the pig pen…he was given a new place to live, new clothes, new habits, and new friends.  The scriptures tell us that “he had spent all that he had on riotous living.”  The word riotous living means wasteful, wantonness, recklessness, reveling, dissension, insurrection, sedition, uproar.  Now, was this guy in bad shape or was he in bad shape?  And some of us here today were in the same shape.  But, now we have been saved, changed, been renewed in the spirit of our mind.  Our heart’s passions are different.  We don’t want the old lifestyle, the old living habits, the things that once held us in bondage.  We are a new creation in Christ. 

Remember the story of the rich, young ruler.  He approached Jesus and wanted to follow Jesus but something got in the way of his following Jesus.  We could debate all day and never come to a sound decision of what it really was that kept him from following Jesus.  Oh, we know it was money or was it the love of money, or was it the life-style or prestige that money could buy?  Was it pride or was it selfishness?  What was his was his and he was going to keep it as his.

There is no written evidence that this young ruler ever changed his mind or his lifestyle.  Although we know he was obedient to all the commandments, one thing kept him from following Jesus.  That one thing was simply this:  total surrender

A story of two friends is told where one man was converted to God.  He went to tell his friend who was surprised and made fun of him.  The new Christian stated he had something that was bothering him and he had to tell it.  Six years previous, the new Christian had stolen four sheep from his friend’s flock and had branded them with his own brand.  They and their offspring were in his field and he was now having trouble sleeping and had to talk to him.  He stated that he would go to prison, pay for the sheep or restore the property. The non-believer stated he did not want the sheep as he trembled in fear.  He went on to say he did not want anything from the Christian, that something strange had got ahold of him and he did not understand it.  The Christian insisted that he had to settle the theft issue.  He counted out the value of the four sheep, plus interest, and then gave his friend double the amount.  True repentance will cause one to make things right.  

The Fruits of Repentance

Change of habits, change of life style, change of attitude, change of living, change in the way one talks, change in the places we frequent, changes in the way we dress, change of friends and many more changes that confront us every day are fruits of repentance that must not be ignored. Whatever it might be in our life that separates us from complete surrender to Jesus Christ, it must be discarded, given up, and surrendered.  Some of these changes may cost us dearly but if not made they will cost us eternal life with Christ.

Bearing fruits worthy of repentance indicates that we might have something to carry, a cross perhaps.  Jesus spoke several places about carrying a cross.  In fact there is a logical step-by-step progression to cross carrying. 

Matthew 16:24 – If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. 

Luke 14:27 – Whoever does not bear his cross and come after Me cannot be My disciple. 

Matthew 10:38 – He who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me. 

(The next passage goes on to say that whoever loses his life shall find it.)

Jim Elliot, missionary to Ecuador, and three other missionary friends lost their earthly lives but gained eternal life. He said “He is no fool who gives up that which he cannot keep to obtain that which he cannot lose.“

John 15:13-14 – No greater love has any man than this that he lay down his life for his friends.  You are my friends if you do what I command you.

What change must you make following repentance?  Do it.  Your eternal destiny depends upon it.

Seeing God’s Salvation

Luke 2:25-35

And behold, there was a man in Jerusalem whose name was Simeon, and this man was just and devout, waiting for the Consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was upon him. And it had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not see death before he had seen the Lord’s Christ. So he came by the Spirit into the temple. And when the parents brought in the Child Jesus, to do for Him according to the custom of the law, he took Him up in his arms and blessed God and said:  Lord, now You are letting Your servant depart in peace, according to Your word; for my eyes have seen Your salvation which You have prepared before the face of all peoples, a light to bring revelation to the Gentiles, and the glory of Your people Israel.  And Joseph and His mother marveled at those things which were spoken of Him. Then Simeon blessed them, and said to Mary His mother, “Behold, this Child is destined for the fall and rising of many in Israel, and for a sign which will be spoken against (yes, a sword will pierce through your own soul also), that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed.

Simeon, A Man of God

In this passage we read of a man who was different from others.  He was probably out of place just as a man of God is out of place today.  He probably was ridiculed.  He was probably called self-righteous.  He was probably referred to as a fanatic.  We read in the Bible about Simeon and it gives us some insight as to who he was.

  • He was a man who was just and devout.
  • He was a man who was looking for the Messiah.
  • He was a man who was led by the Holy Spirit.
  • He was a man who had been given an unusual promise.
  • He was a man who saw and held the Messiah.

Titus 2:11-14 – For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men, teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in the present age, looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from every lawless deed and purify for Himself His own special people, zealous for good works

  • Simeon was a man who was just and devout.  What does that really mean to us today?  Someone who is just “dikaios” in the sense that this passage means is someone who is righteous, well-behaved, living as one should live.  And the word devout “eulabes” means cautious and careful in relation to God.  It means a reverence for or pious toward God.   That description does not fit a lot of people today.  There is a care-free, nonchalant, no big deal attitude by a lot of people in their relationship to God. 

Psalm 31:23 –  Oh, love the Lord, all you His saints!  For the Lord preserves the faithful. 

Jude 21 – Keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life.  

  • Simeon was looking for the Messiah.  The Messiah had been prophesied to come and save His people.  The Messiah was longed for by the faithful.  

2 Peter 3:10-12 – But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night, in which the heavens will pass away with a great noise, and the elements will melt with fervent heat; both the earth and the works that are in it will be burned up. Therefore, since all these things will be dissolved, what manner of persons ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness, looking for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be dissolved, being on fire, and the elements will melt with fervent heat?

  • Simeon was a man who was led by the Holy Spirit.  In the Old Testament, the Spirit only came upon men for special service.  From what little we read here it appears that Simeon may have had the Spirit upon him continually.  At any rate, one thing we know of this special man, he was a man who loved God. 

Matthew 10:32 – Therefore whoever confesses Me before men, him I will  also confess before My Father who is in heaven. 

  • Simeon was a man who had been given an unusual promise. He was going to be able to see the Christ before his death.

1 Peter 1:8 – Whom having not seen you love.  Though now you do not see Him, yet believing, you rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory. 

  • We are to be Men and Women of God.
  • We should be just and devout, as was Simeon. 

Micah 6: 8 – He has shown you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you, but to do justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God. 

  • If we are people of God, then we should be looking for His appearing. 

2 Timothy 4:8 – Finally, there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give to me on that Day, and not to me only, but also to all who have loved His appearing.

  • If we are people of God, then we will walk and live and move in the Spirit.

Romans 12:1 – I beseech you therefore brethren, by the mercies of God,           that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. 

  • We, too, have been given an unusual promise.

John 14:1-3 – Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me.  In My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also.

Men of God, our Examples

  • Job – God telling Satan that Job is righteous like no other man.

Job 1:8 – Then the Lord said to Satan, “Have you considered My servant Job, that there is none like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, one who fears God and shuns evil?”

  • Daniel, Noah, Job – God telling Ezekiel of the righteousness of Daniel, Noah, and Job.

Ezekiel 14:14 – Even if these three men, Noah, Daniel, and Job, were in it, they would deliver only themselves by their righteousness,” says the Lord God.

  • Elijah – Elijah taken up to heaven alive in a chariot of fire.

2 Kings 2:11 – Then it happened, as they continued on and talked, that suddenly a chariot of fire appeared with horses of fire, and separated the two of them; and Elijah went up by a whirlwind into heaven.

  • John the Baptist – Jesus telling the multitudes that there were none greater than John the Baptist.

Matthew 11:11 – Assuredly, I say to you, among those born of women there has not risen one greater than John the Baptist; but he who is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he.

  • Enoch – The testimony about a man of God.

Hebrews 11:5 –  – By faith Enoch was taken away so that he did not see death, “and was not found, because God had taken him”; for before he was taken he had this testimony, that he pleased God

Jude 14 – Now Enoch, the seventh from Adam, prophesied about these men also, saying, “Behold, the Lord comes with ten thousands of His saints,

  • Moses – Numerous Scriptures – Greater miracle worker, prophet, law giver, warrior-leader.
  • Paul, the Apostle – Numerous Scriptures – Missionary, Apostle, Prophet, Miracle Worker, Teacher, Man of God.
  • Simeon – He was not ashamed to declare that the One born was the Savior of the world.  This was more than any of the scribes of his time had discerned.  The scribes in Simeon’s day were men who looked upon Christ as a sign to be spoken against and to whom He would become a stone of stumbling and a rock of offense.  With godly Simeon it was different. He was Spirit taught and knew He whom he held was His salvation, and not only his, but the whole world. 

Nowhere is it recorded that Simeon bragged about or wore his religion on his sleeve.  He was led by the Holy Spirit, and yet he told no one of his walk with God.  His great spirituality and closeness to God was known because of his walk, not his talk.  He was one of a very few select of God who recognized this babe as the Savior of the world.  There were many who saw him as babe but did not recognize him as Savior. 

Luke 2:25-35 – One who was just, devout, looking for the Messiah, led by the Holy Spirit, given an unusual promise and saw and held the Messiah.  His name means “one who hears and obeys”. His faith had been justified and now he could die without fear.  Have our eyes seen the salvation of the Lord?  Can we die in peace?

The Apostle Peter asks this question in II Peter 3:11 when he is talking about the coming of the Lord.

2 Peter 3:11 – Therefore, since all these things will be dissolved, what manner of persons ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness?