Are you truly sincere in following Jesus Christ?
The commemoration of Anzac Day has been more emphasized I believe this year and no doubt in recent years, there have been more in attendance at memorials and they’ve taken on a greater importance in the whole life of the country. It was said that this is the most important day for Australia during the year and perhaps defines the spirit of Australia better than anything else. I listened to some considerable extent the memorials that took place and I thought they were very moving when you consider what it is that you hear rehearsed in the stories of those who gave everything, who gave their lives so that we can live in freedom - this is how it was said and put - and it was this quality, this character of sacrifice that underpinned all other qualities - courage, duty, faithfulness to your mates, loyalty, all these are very good things and do stand a county in a certain amount of strength they should have, and character than whenever this is present amongst its people.
We saw in World War I especially when it was the beginning of the Anzac , when a very few years after, Australia became a nation, they’re able to make the kind of contribution, perhaps unequaled by any other nation in proportion that is to what they were, what they had and how they started and a lot of very fine men were lost during that time, giving their lives for their country and perhaps for the safety of the entirety of the world as they did also in World War II. We stand in respect and we remember those who have fallen in past wars, they gave their all and as we say, we owed to their fallen soldiers lest we forget. John Williamson, on the Currumbin, RSL presentation which we saw live a little before 6 yesterday morning, finished with True Blue (name of a song) which kind of sums up the spirit doesn’t it, of the Aussies, the diggers (slang for Australian soldiers ) as it were. We do respect this, but we ought to ask, why do we, why is this something we respect and then we go to great effort to attend such services, people do that, we attended one such yesterday, or let’s say we pay a certain amount of homage to what took place before and the sacrifice of those who did that. I believe it does get to the heart of what we are as a people, personally, individually; it gets right to the heart of what we are.
I think it has a very important lesson for us in the Days of Unleavened Bread. We’ve come to the last day of Unleavened Bread and there is something in this meaning that focuses on a particular aspect of what we should be, perhaps we should say also, has to do with the removal of sin, I want to put it more in the positive way, of what we should be and what we should become, the only way we can become what we should be is through Christ, as Drew has already mentioned. However in I Corinthians 5:6-8 , here is where we find what is said here and this is the subject today. It says:
I Corinthians 5:6 -7 - Your glorying is not good. Do you not know that a little leaven leavens the whole lump? Therefore purge out the old leaven that you may become a new lump since you are truly unleavened. For Christ indeed, our Passover was sacrificed for us . The old has been purged through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ, so that is why we are unleavened.
V. 8 - Therefore let us keep the feast… as he goes on to say …not with old leaven nor with the leaven of malice and wickedness but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth .
And he makes a special point of this, that we don’t find the unleavened spoken of quite in this way before and he’s very direct in saying this. Our observance of the Feast of Unleavened Bread has for us the meaning, as I suggested, that we put sin out and of course we then change and become a new creation through Jesus Christ. Unleavened Bread, from which we derive our spiritual strength from, so that we may affect that change in our life. It can only come from one source and that is Christ.
Now why, in verse 8 does he say, the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth? Now sincerity can certainly be suspect, we don’t mean it in that way, not that a person is sincerely wrong, sincerity is not the only thing of course but that the person is right, but he may not be sincere in following what he knows is right, that is more the idea here, not that a person can be wrong and sincerely wrong, if a person is truly sincere, they will make great efforts to understand where they may be wrong and when they don’t do that, one would have to question- or their genuineness perhaps would be somewhat suspect. A person is a person of truth when they truly follow what they claim to be true, they are sincere, so he speaks then of the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth, so the idea of unleavened bread carries with it the sincerity and truth in the person, that’s what Paul is saying here. If so, how? It goes to the heart of every person, what every person is deep down. Now about a week ago we heard the story of Peter who professed his loyalty to Jesus, saying that he would die for Him, he would go to prison for Him, making these types of statements but when it came down to it, in his moment of testing, he testified openly to all who might hear, that he didn’t even know who Jesus was, isn’t that interesting how you can do that. Now Jesus, knowing the heart of all men, knew that there was something in Peter that he was not prepared to give of his all for Christ, even though He may have said that, Peter may have said and even asserted that he was sincere, there was a truthfulness here that needed to be exposed, or lack of it rather.
See as Christ taught them on many occasions, “ If anyone come to Me and does not hate his father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters and yes, his own life also, he cannot be My disciple. ” Meaning that you have to love Me more than anything else, you have to be prepared to give up anything. If it comes down to it, if there is a choice, not saying there always is a choice, but if it comes down to it, you’re going to have to choose Me, that’s what He taught His disciples. Luke 14:26 Luke 14:26If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brothers, and sisters, yes, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple.
American King James Version× and He goes on to say in Verse 33:
Luke 14:33 Luke 14:33So likewise, whoever he be of you that forsakes not all that he has, he cannot be my disciple.
American King James Version× - “ So likewise, whoever of you does not forsake all that he has, cannot be My disciple.” And He spoke of denying oneself, you have to take up your cross and following Christ, it says this, it says, “ He who seeks to save his life will lose it, he who loses his life will in fact save it .”
Christ spoke many times to His disciples individually, personally, about what He expected of them and they had to be prepared to give everything. There was no question that this was Jesus’ teaching, there was no question that Jesus was looking for the deepest sincerity and the deepest truth on the part of His most intimate disciples and followers, that they, when it came right down to it, would serve Him beyond anybody else, this would be the decision, that’s what they were, that’s what they would be as a person. That teaching was in place, that teaching was clear, couldn’t ever be denied that Jesus didn’t say this, we have record and some of His disciples and followers of the time told us about those very sayings, so they’re acknowledging this is what He said and the disciples apparently didn’t quite understand what that really meant, what that would entail, what it would require.
So you have the exchange between Jesus and Peter as they walked along the beach after Jesus appeared to them at the Sea of Galilee where they were fishing and in John 21:17 John 21:17He said to him the third time, Simon, son of Jonas, love you me? Peter was grieved because he said to him the third time, Love you me? And he said to him, Lord, you know all things; you know that I love you. Jesus said to him, Feed my sheep.
American King James Version× , as we take this a step further, we begin to see there’s a question that He is asking, there is a question Jesus is asking Peter. He’s not asking all the other disciples this, He’s asking Peter and I’ll show you how this was set up here between Jesus and Peter in just a moment. But He said:
John 21:17 John 21:17He said to him the third time, Simon, son of Jonas, love you me? Peter was grieved because he said to him the third time, Love you me? And he said to him, Lord, you know all things; you know that I love you. Jesus said to him, Feed my sheep.
American King James Version× - He said to him the third time… now we read the whole passage before so I’m not going to go back into that, but I want to focus today on what was it He asked…” Simon, son of Jonah, do you love Me?”
Now that’s a very simple question isn’t it? You know, isn’t that what every woman wants to know, oh yes it is, they want to know that. When I counsel a person for marriage and I do, I’ll ask them straight out, “Do you love her?” And if he can’t answer without hesitation, I’m suggesting that we’ve got a little bit of a different problem here, I don’t think the person is quite sincere and likewise, she’s got to be able to say that. Now I ask the question straight out, not at the beginning of course, after a little bit of counseling, but I want to know that, I want to know how they answer that question, they’ve got to be able to answer it, they’ve got to know that firmly in their mind. Simon Peter was hedging on the answer - “Do you love Me?”
V. 17 - … Peter was grieved because He said to him the third time, “Do you love Me?” And he said to Him, “Lord, You know all things, you know that I love You” and Jesus said to him, “Feed My sheep.”
Now I think the point we made earlier is that Peter at that time was not prepared to make let’s say a statement, because he was perhaps even doubting himself at the time, which I suppose he had every right to do because he wasn’t doing what he said or what he professed earlier, so He said, “If you love Me, feed My sheep.” Now he goes on to say:
V. 18 - “ Most assuredly I say to you, when you were younger, you girded yourself and walked where you wished, but when you are old, you will stretch out your hands and another will gird you and carry you where you do not wish.” And this He spoke signifying by what death he would glorify God. And when He had spoken this, He said to him …wow, He said to him again… “Follow Me.”
Now this bears a little bit of analyze here to say what is He really saying here? He says, Peter, there’s going to come a time when you will have to give your all, completely, you won’t have any say about it whatsoever. In other words, the trueness and the sincerity of anything that goes on in your heart and your mind is going to be, in the end, finally tested just like this. They’re going to take you where you don’t want to go, that’s how you’re going to die, that’s it. Now there were some traditions about that, I don’t know whether they are true or not, but he did die, he did have to give everything for Christ. Christ said, You are going to be My witnesses and He called them for that, they had to be. Now anything less than that, anything where a person was not prepared to go all the way, it would show that perhaps the sincerity is suspect, he’s genuineness is something to be questioned, that truthfulness of what he may be proclaiming is not exactly as the person makes himself out to be and in the end, the truth will have to be known.
Now you want to arrive at this before you come to the point where Peter came to, where it actually had to be done and so he was told beforehand, and so Peter had to come to this and as we are going to see, he had to come to this rather quickly, I either go all the way or I don’t, and that’s what was required of Peter and the other disciples too.
V. 20 - Then Peter, turning around, saw the disciple whom Jesus loved following… now let me set this up for you, they were walking along the beach, Christ had prepared breakfast for them from the fish, He had already had the coals going and they ate breakfast, He and Peter were having a little one on one as they were walking along, so guess who was following close by? John, he wanted to hear what was going on. Now, that might tell you something about John! In any case, Peter turns around and says, what about him?
V. 22-23 - Jesus said to him, “If I will that he remain till I come …that is, until I come back… what is that to you? And he repeated now, the fifth time… Follow Me.” You follow Me. Then this saying went out among the brethren that this disciple would not die. Yet Jesus did not say to him that he would not die, but “If I will that he remain till I come what is that to you?”
There are two things here that Jesus further tested the genuineness of Peter on, this is what we’re talking about, sincerity and truth, the genuineness of Peter was tested.
Number one, that there would come a time when things will be out of your control and you will have to reconcile yourself that you’re going to give your life for me and it’s going to be done in a way and manner in which you do not choose, you don’t wish to go there, it’s going to be taken out of your hands, are you willing to submit yourself to Me and follow Me in that way? That was the question he was posing to Peter, He was requiring nothing less of Peter.
Now there is a second point in which He was talking to Peter about, that is, it is of no concern of yours how John is going to fare in the future body of Christ . So what He’s saying is, why are you here anyway Peter? Now this may be rather direct, but this is what He’s saying, it’s no concern of yours, this last point that He’s making here for Peter shows again a disingenuous…I invented that word because my Word program wouldn’t allow it, but I think it’s a very good word so I added it to the dictionary, whether I should have or not! It does show disingenuousness to why Peter you are here. When you are concerned about who gets what in the Church, this implies that there are other motives than a purity that is in Christ or the motive as to why you’re here in the first place. Is it because you can be a leader among the apostles, Peter, because you suspect you are a chief apostle of some kind, some sort, so Peter, why are you here? I didn’t say that he wasn’t going to be a leader, but Peter’s question is what are you in this for Peter? He says, you follow Me, that’s the point, follow Me, I’m not promising you anything, follow Me, that’s it. Get everything else out of your head about what might happen, what you might get, what you might receive, I’ve told you five times, follow Me, that’s it - yes or no. That was the question He posed to him, you might say, that’s pretty tough talk, but this is what He wanted to know from Peter. Peter is making statements, Peter is professing certain things and he said, OK, you made a mistake, all is forgiven, but I really want you to get down to it, why are you here? I really want you to examine this, why did you say this to start with? Christ wanted Peter to have removed from him every last vestige of any thought about himself, who he thought he could be, what he thought he would receive. He says, Just follow Me, this was the instruction to Peter, just follow Me. Can you trust Me Peter; is what He’s telling him, without any thought of what you’re going to get or what anybody else is going to get? And so right away, Peter had to show where he stood and place his life on the line and was tested, pretty much right away, he was pretty much tested as to whether he would even so much as speak in the name of Jesus Christ when he was told not to upon threat of death! What would he do? I think Peter understood that at that point, and he said, Yep, this is what I commit myself to, I’m either true blue or I’m not. I Peter 1:6-9 - he’s now at this point toward the end of his life and we know that because he refers to that in these two epistles that he writes.
I Peter 1:6 - In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while, if need be, you have been grieved by various trials …so the brethren, wherever he wrote to them, were in trial, they were being persecuted, he says… that the genuineness of your faith being much more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire, that this may be found to praise, honor, glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ .
So we are asking then, what, in all that we do, and there is a lot we should do, but what is the most important thing to God? And that’s it, He wants to know, are you genuine ? Are you the real thing? Are you going to run in the time of battle and leave your mates? What are you going to do? We found what happened, the Church of God doesn’t have, let’s say more recently, a very good record in that regard, however, there are those who will stand, that’s what we’re told, having done all, to stand . You need to stand for what you know, what you believe, do you really mean what you say because you’re genuine?
V. 8 - Whom having not seen, you love …it’s interesting the way he puts that here… whom having not seen you love, though now you do not see Him, yet believing and you rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory.
Every wonder why you don’t see Him? You know what the answer to that is? Why don’t you see Jesus, why don’t you see Christ, why don’t you see God, why doesn’t He appear, why doesn’t he, well do whatever? Well, the answer is, is your love genuine? That’s it, that’s the answer - is your love genuine? Are you here for the right reasons?
You know, I saw a movie one time where there was an officer, he was wounded in World War II and for some reason someone found out about him and people wrote letters and he was still in Europe and he was recovering, took him a long time to recover and he had to fight the traumatic effect of being in war, being wounded, seeing his mates die but a woman started to write him and her letters were so encouraging, so absolutely profound and what she had to say had such meaning to them, such depth to them and such feeling to them, that he fell in love with the person he’d never seen. He saw what she was and so it was some time after the war, months after the war when he was finally brought back home and he was able to be released and able to get back to normal as much as possible, it was a very long and slow recovery and he finally got back and of course they corresponded, considerably and they formed this relationship, simply based on what was said and it was aimed to be true in every way because there was so much benefit, so much help provided by one to the other and this was recognized and he fell in love with her and I think she formed quite a strong attraction to him.
And so, it was very interesting, they agreed to meet back in some city in the US, I don’t remember where it was, at a certain place, he would come out there and he would be in uniform and he would meet her and she would be dressed in a certain color dress. Well, she was but she got there a little bit early and what she did, she found another lady who was, and by the way, this lady was quite an attractive woman and as it so turned out, exactly the same color dress, but so happened she was able to find another lady dressed in exactly the same color, not so good looking, past the flower of her age, as it were, hair somewhat greying, whatever and maybe slightly overweight, whatever, that’s the way they pictured it. So she approached this lady, and said, “I’ll tell you what, I’ve got ten dollars in my pocket if you will do this. There’s a man coming to meet me, if you will go and say, and she told her her name, tell him that that’s who you are and I’m going to be over there, I’m going to observe what he does.” Now he had never met her, didn’t know what she looked like, so she did that and so this woman did. Actually before, the man saw the actual original woman but she never paid any attention to him, she walked right by him and he said, oh, guess that’s not her, would have been nice if it was, but it wasn’t. She was the very attractive person. The other person came up and started talking to him and introduced herself in the name of the person who was writing the letters and they began to talk and he showed no hesitation, he loved her for what she wrote, for what she was, for what she portrayed herself to be in her letters and for what she said she was in those letters and he never blinked an eye and in his mind, that was her and the lady, the original lady, watched this for a while and then came up and thanked the lady for doing that for her and she said, “I’m the person.” She wanted to know, what’s going to be your response, you know, are you going to love me without having seen me and are you doing this for the right reasons? Or are you just looking for a person who is good looking or what? And he was true to his feelings and to what he knew.
You know, that’s what a genuineness is here and you wonder why we don’t see Christ and Christ wants to know, is your love genuine and we’re going to receive the end of our faith and salvation of your souls, it’s got to be genuine, it’s got to be true in every sense. Sometimes we have different values, different ways we look at things and sometimes we tend to compromise based upon surface, appearance or issues in our lives that don’t mean anything, but this is what we do, it’s human to do this. Christ wants to get deeper than that, He says, we’re talking about the salvation of your soul here. So we don’t know, we don’t see Christ, but do you love Him because you know Him, because you know what He’s done, you know what sacrifice He has made, you’ve seen His nature, you see the character that He was prepared to sacrifice and to give all. See, this is what we’re in for, the salvation of our souls.
There was a genuineness in Christ that simply couldn’t be questioned, He came here for certain reasons, the genuineness in us that Christ doesn’t ever want to have to question, He wants to know, so there is a testing, indeed there is and He wants to know why are you here, He says, are you prepared to follow Me? That’s it, follow Me, I’m not promising you anything here, I’m not promising you a rose garden, the way the song goes, you’re going to follow Me, this is it, I can promise you some other things maybe, didn’t say that for certain, but we can talk about that and say, this could be on the cards, are you going to follow Me? That’s what He wanted to know and that’s what Christ wants to know about us, are we genuine in what we profess? In what we say? Hence, should eat the bread of Christ understanding it is the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.
John 15:12-13 John 15:12-13 12 This is my commandment, That you love one another, as I have loved you.
13 Greater love has no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.
American King James Version× - “ This is My commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends .”
Well that’s the greatest love there is, when Jesus did that, you couldn’t question His love then. We’re basing then, our profession on what we know Jesus did, that’s the only thing that’s going to get us there, that we know this is what Jesus did.
V. 14 - “You are My friends if you do whatever I command you…meaning to do that too, if you’re that genuine. I want to go back to the Corinthians here briefly, I Corinthians 5:1 because there is a context and once again you always go back to the context in Corinthians because it does tell us a little bit about what was going on there and why he would say such a thing, he says:
I Corinthains 5:1-6 - It is actually reported there is sexual immorality among you, and such sexual immorality as is not named among the Gentiles, that a man has his father’s wife. And you are puffed up …meaning you’re arrogant… and you’ve not rather mourned that he who has done this deed might be taken away from you, for I indeed am absent in body but present in spirit, have already judged as though I were present, in him who has so done this deed. And in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, when you are gathered together, along with my spirit, with the power of our Lord Jesus Christ, deliver such a one to Satan for the destruction of the flesh that his spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus. Your glorying is not good. Don’t you understand that a little leaven leavens the whole lump?
What does he mean when they were puffed up? That is, they were puffed up with their own wisdom, their own knowledge, the eloquence of their favorite teachers that they seemed to support at a time when you ought to be mourning over one who had departed from his belief, that he resorted to this kind of a sin. So you ought to be mourning over this, says I have to question your genuineness here, I have to question what are you in this thing for because you’ve got a lot of politics going on right there in your congregation. They felt they were spiritually strong, sufficient to sustain this kind of sin in the congregation, Paul insists that they weren’t, he said I have to question your sincerity. So he goes on to say:
V. 9-13 - I wrote to you in my epistle not to keep company with sexually immoral people. Yet I certainly did not mean with the sexually immoral people of the world, or with the covetousness or extortioners or idolaters since you would have to go out of the world …you couldn’t even talk to anybody if that’s the case… but now I’ve written to you not to keep company with anyone named a brother who is sexually immoral or covetous or an idolater, or a reviler or a drunkard or an extortioners - not even to eat with such a person. For what do I have to do with judging those who are outside? Do you not judge those who are inside? Those who are outside God judges. Therefore put away from yourselves the evil person.
See what’s the difference between keeping company with a person who is not a brother and not keeping company with a brother who does such things? Simple, the brother knows what’s right - he made a commitment, he’s made a confession as to what he says he believes and he made that commitment at one time to obey God, now he thinks he can remain a member of the body of Christ and still participate in the same kind of conduct, you can’t do that. People themselves should never allow it.
So Paul says that we are to eat the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth, you can’t be a part of the body of Christ under false pretenses or for wrong reasons. So all of the arrogant factions that were occurring there, disobedience, that person you would get up to in the congregation and allow it to be permitted is nothing more than self-seeking and hypocritical to what the body of Christ ought to be. He’s making very clear what the body of Christ is with respect people who want to be something in the body of Christ he says, there is only one reason you’re in the body of Christ, because you’ve been put there because of receiving of the holy spirit, so he makes very clear in the same letter to them, I Corinthians 12:13, you are in, you are a part of the body of Christ because Christ gave to you, authorized you to have the holy spirit, otherwise you wouldn’t be in the body of Christ.
So the body of Christ then is a spiritual body and while there may be various structures in one form or the other, whether it is formed through that which Christ puts in or whether that which men put in and we tend to get it confused sometimes. We ought to really take a look at that and ask ourselves, to what extent do we get confused somewhat about the spiritual body of Christ where you just do what you’re supposed to do, where you simply follow Christ and any other kind of structure in terms of reward or benefit means zip. Can everybody understand this? I mean can we really understand this in terms of what we are supposed to be in the body of Christ, that’s why He told Peter, follow Me, that’s what He told him - follow Me, I’ll use you the way I want to use you, follow Me. Didn’t promise him a thing except you know what - follow Me, I want to know your genuineness and so therefore, all of the other things that tend to happen within any church or group tend to get confused a little bit as to why we should really be here. There’s only one reason that you’re in the body of Christ and that is to follow the head of the body which is Christ and you grow up to Him in all things so you can satisfy His purpose, that’s it. Any other vestige, any other notion, any other thought then is an impurity. Pure in terms of the pure unleavened we should have in our lives.
So what was going on in the congregation of Corinth came to be more self-seeking rather than the pure will of Christ, Paul says to deliver such a one to Satan for the destruction of the flesh that the spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus. See he was more concerned about the person’s salvation than he was with how the person fared in his place in the Church, that’s what he was more concerned about. He said, I can see you don’t have that priority, so he said, this is what you need, this is more important, this person’s salvation is going to come to bear in the day of the Lord Jesus which very well likely, I mean not now, but his salvation was in any sense at stake. People began to bring in the world, the values of the world, there’s no place for the one-upmanship, there’s no place for climbing for position, recognition, politics in the Church of God. We find the parable of the talents and the parable of the pounds, both of them, that is, both of those parables where Christ proportions the responsibilities after He returns, based on what a person does - emphasis on does - during that time that Christ goes away. So what does he or she do with what they have been given? Not rewarded with how high he or she rises within the structure of the Church. That has been something of an idea that has floated around, I’ve heard it actually stated as such and that is so much in error it’s not funny. Christ Himself uses us in the Church as He sees fit. If you want to go on and read the rest of I Corinthians 12 where he says, you’re put in the Church by the spirit, he goes on to say, here are the gifts of the spirit, something that people do, it’s what you do.
Notice Christ in these parables, the talents and the pounds, will Himself reward the person, no voting takes place, no politics going on, Jesus had made the great sacrifice Himself beyond anything or beyond what any of us can do or have done, He’s the one whose given the sole discretion of where a person is going to be in the kingdom and it’s going to be based on what a person does . So all the posturing, positioning and politicking that was taking place in the Corinthian church wasn’t bearing the kind of fruit that would be rewarded when Christ returns, so it’s not going to be rewarded. Oh, it paid some benefit in this life, sure it does, you can get the upper hand, you can be in charge, have power, if this meant something to you, then you could have some reward now - and the great false church went in that direction, it went completely in that direction and they went for the power that’s in the world, they began to ally themselves with the powers, secular powers, empires and thought it was the thing to do. So you have then the spiritual leader and then the church came out of all of that who now has power, a great deal of it - still a lie, the governments of this world. He said, I don’t want you to go down that road.
So too then, in the Church of God it’s a point we should understand in respect to the sincerity and truth. It’s easy to lose sight of why we’re here, so whatever we do we do in the name of service toward another and he did say this, that the greatest one is the one who is the greatest servant, forget about positions, don’t get wrapped up in that, now if you have that, you’ve got to understand that that’s all it is, it is for the aberration of the functioning of the body of Christ in a secular world, that’s all it’s for, don’t get carried away with that. It’s what you do, that’s what he’s saying. Whatever you do, you do for the benefit and welfare of others, no thought of title or position or reward.
Now that’s the mind of Christ, that is the mind of Christ, nothing less than that is the mind of Christ and Christ relinquished that, remember that, that’s what He said. Philippians 2 is the most definitive statement in the bible about the mind of Christ and that is, where He was prepared to relinquish everything He was, everything He had, take upon Himself no reputation, give up His position and everything that went with it and became a human being and became obedient without question to the Father and died the death, the death of the cross it says. Now it says in Phil. 2 - now for that reason…every knee is going to bow to Him. Now that’s how God wanted to show this as to what sincerity and truth really is. Can we say then, I am here for the right reasons, I’m absolutely genuine in my profession of Christ, there is purity of motive in what I do, am I truly a follower of Christ?
So when Jesus said this, I am the true bread, how did He mean that? Because He went on to say, I came not down to do My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me. John 6:37-40 John 6:37-40 37 All that the Father gives me shall come to me; and him that comes to me I will in no wise cast out.
38 For I came down from heaven, not to do my own will, but the will of him that sent me.
39 And this is the Father’s will which has sent me, that of all which he has given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day.
40 And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which sees the Son, and believes on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day.
American King James Version× :
John 6:37-39 John 6:37-39 37 All that the Father gives me shall come to me; and him that comes to me I will in no wise cast out.
38 For I came down from heaven, not to do my own will, but the will of him that sent me.
39 And this is the Father’s will which has sent me, that of all which he has given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day.
American King James Version× - “ All that the Father gives Me will come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will by no means cast out. For I am have come down from heaven not to do My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me. This is the will of the Father who sent Me, that of all He has given me I shall lose nothing but should raise it up at the last day.”
We ought to be so happy; thrilled over the genuineness that was in Christ, that we see how it is going to be played out toward us.
V. 40 - “ This is the will of Him who sent Me, that everyone who sees the Son and believes in Him may have everlasting life and I will raise him up at the last day .”
So Jesus comes and we are rewarded, what we’ll be asked is, what did you do ? If you were to judge a person, if you were sitting on the jury and hearing testimony but you know what the person did and you were being asked to judge, so maybe you had to hire a person, who knows, what’s the most important? What a person says or what you know a person does? What is the most important? How is a person judged? By what they do, that’s going to work every time with Christ, He will want to know what you did. Not what you said, not what you claimed to be or anything like that . Psalm 78 , you don’t have any Feast of Unleavened Bread that goes by that you can’t refer to Israel coming out of Egypt, Psa. 78. If I can very quickly go through why God had such an issue with the Israelites, we say, well they rebelled, sure, of course they rebelled and they disobeyed, that’s right, but I want you to read it a bit closer here to see what’s the point he is making. You have the preliminary statements, he said, I established something as a testimony in Jacob.
Psalms 78:5-6 Psalms 78:5-6 5 For he established a testimony in Jacob, and appointed a law in Israel, which he commanded our fathers, that they should make them known to their children:
6 That the generation to come might know them, even the children which should be born; who should arise and declare them to their children:
American King James Version× - … testimony in Jacob and He appointed a law in Israel which He commanded our fathers that they should make them known to the children that the generation to come might know them. That the children who would be born, that they may arise and declare them to their children . They wanted them to learn something that was a negative example but he wanted them to know this.
V. 7-8 - That they may set their hope in God and not forget the works of God, but keep His commandments; and that they may not be like their fathers, a stubborn and a rebellious generation, a generation that did not …first of all… set its heart aright , whose spirit was not faithful to God . Here we begin to see why God was just a little bit upset.
V. 9 - The children of Ephraim, being armed and carrying bows, turned back in the day of battle …He says, I don’t go for that, not only that but… they did not keep the covenant of God; they refused to walk in His law and forgot His works and His wonders that He had shown them.
Ephraim was the biggest tribe, the most prominent tribe, they were given the most territory, they were the most populous tribe, they were the leaders and He says of Ephriam, turn back! He says, I’m beginning to understand your genuineness or the lack thereof and He didn’t go for it. What He’s saying here in Psalm 78, let me tell you what He’s saying here, He says, I’m telling you why I chose the tribe of Judah and not Ephraim, because you turned back, He said, you should have been there, but you didn’t. The marvelous things He did in their sight, the fathers in the land of Egypt, He divided the sea and He split the rocks in the wilderness (v. 15), He gave them the drink of the abundance and brought streams out of the rock.
V. 17 - But they sinned even more against Him by rebelling against the Most High in the wilderness and they tested God in their heart by asking for the food of their fancy. Yes, they spoke against God, they said, “Can God prepare a table in the wilderness?” Behold, He struck the rock and the waters gushed out and streams overflowed. Can He give bread also? It never quit did it? It just carried on. Water? Can He provide meat for us? It’s not that He wouldn’t, it’s couldn’t He…why are you saying this? V. 21 Therefore when the Lord heard it, He was furious …you see, because the Lord showed Himself to be faithful in His intent, completely honorable in everything in His dealings with them and He didn’t like these accusations.
V. 21 - So a fire was kindled against Jacob, anger also came up against Israel because they did not believe in God and did not trust His salvation.
Let me tell you something, our level of belief in God and to whatever extent He works in our lives, has to do with our genuineness toward Him. Our genuineness is only going to be understood in as much as we understand who He is and what He’s done and He had done all these things, it goes on to say He rained down meat on them, gave them everything they desired.
V. 32-37 - In spite of this they sinned, they did not believe in His wondrous works. Therefore their days He consumed in futility and their years in fear. When He slew them, they sought Him and then they returned and sought earnestly for God and then they remembered that God was their Rock and the Most High God their redeemer. Nevertheless they flattered Him with their mouth… how did He know that - that their profession for God was nothing but flattery, they didn’t mean it… they lied to Him with their tongue; their heart was not steadfast with Him, nor were they faithful in His covenant.
V. 38 - Now He, being full of compassion, forgave their iniquity …He understood… He did not destroy them. Yet many a time He turned His anger away and He did not stir up His wrath, for He remembered that they were but flesh, breath passes away and does not come again.
V. 40-43 - How often they provoked Him in the wilderness, grieved Him in the desert, yes again and again they tempted God and limited the Holy One of Israel. They did not remember His power the day when He redeemed them from the enemy, when He worked His signs and His wonders in the field of Zoan; turned their rivers into blood …and so on.
I have here an inability of the Israelites, once they saw everything to live up to what they agreed to, now let me just make one thing clear - He never gave them any kind of a proposition until after He did all of those things for them, He sent them the plagues on Egypt, they saw that, they saw how they were released, they saw how they went through the Red Sea, they saw how they were fed with manna, they had all of that, they were on their way and it was only sometime later that He said, Look, here’s my law and He said, Here’s My covenant. He said, Here’s the deal, do what I say and here is what I will be, but He had demonstrated what He will do over and over again, now it’s just up to them to take God up on it, but to stay with it. He said they didn’t stay with His covenant.
V. 56 - Tested and provoked the Most High God, and did not keep His testimonies, turned back and acted unfaithful like their fathers, they were turned aside like a deceitful bow. In other words, you’ve got a bow and arrow, you shoot it and an arrow goes one way, this bow keeps lying to me, I’m pointing that way, it goes that way, in other words, that’s just like a deceitful bow.
V. 58 - They provoked Him to anger with their high places, provoked Him to jealousy with their carved images and when God heard this He was furious …it’s not as if He did not show His integrity, it’s not as if He did not show His faithfulness again and again and they turned around, they had tested Him again and again, so He said this, He said, OK, that is the way it’s going to be, here’s how we’re going to do this.
V. 67-72 - He rejected the tent of Joseph and did not choose the tribe of Ephriam, but chose the tribe of Judah, Mount Zion which He loved. He built the sanctuary like the heights, like the earth which He has established forever. He also chose David His servant, and took him from the sheepfolds; from following the ewes that had young He brought him to shepherd Jacob His people, and Israel His inheritance, so he shepherded them according to the integrity of his heart, and guided them by the skillfulness of his hands.
What he’s saying is, the tribe that should have had the leadership in it, that I gave the best opportunity to, didn’t do it, they turned back and they were the ones who were right in the middle of the complaining and the griping and the fault finding and the criticizing of God when it was totally uncalled for. He said, all right, I’m going to choose a person, I’m going to put him in position where he’s going to be their leader, he’s going to be the shepherd, but I’m going to test him first but he took him from following ewes, didn’t say he led them…I’d like to go behind sheep all the time! What a calling! Here’s a kid, just following ewes, no exaltation in that is there? Then once God appointed him as king, what happened? He was tested for a number of years, God wants to know when you become king, you’re not going to go down the same road, there still has to be the genuineness there and you can’t let this idea of the fact that you become king, you become the big deal, OK?
Follow Me, follow Me and He wanted to make David understand very clearly how he got to be where he was and it wasn’t because of him, because of his greatness or goodness or anything about him. God is very interested in our genuineness. Coming down to a close here, I can’t even begin to get into the Laodicean church, you every read that sometimes, with this in mind, this lukewarmness, that’s what that is, there is a disingenuous there, especially if you think you’re rich and increased with goods, there’s a lot in that.
See God wants to know is your heart true, is it as you say it is? Is it as you portray it to be? I’ve got to know - well He will know. Jesus says, you love Me more than anything else, do you love Me more than anything else, He wants to know that because He’s already established His love, that’s not in question and He will find out whether what we proclaim is true or not. We’ve been given the true bread of life to eat and to live on and to be sustained by and that is Jesus Christ, that is the only way that any impurities can be removed from us and a right mind could be put in us. This is the true bread of life.