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Sunday 21st of July 2019

March to Zion - Latest Content
A Fixed Heart
Written by David Wise   
Tuesday, 02 April 2019 18:53

My heart is fixed, O God, my heart is fixed; I will sing and give praise.” – Psalm 57:7

 

King David was on the run as he penned these words. We know from the notation at the beginning of this Psalm that this was penned as David was fleeing from Saul for his life and hiding in a cave. In spite of such a difficult and challenging situation around him in his circumstances, David did not let that calamity get down into his heart. His heart was still fixed firmly upon the Lord, trusting in his mercy and providence.

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What day was Christ crucified?
Written by Josh Winslett   
Friday, 29 March 2019 19:52

There are three basic views concerning the day that Christ was crucified. The majority view is a Friday crucifixion, commonly called Good Friday. A second view that has gained some popularity is that Christ was crucified on Wednesday. There is also a third view that blends the other views and places the crucifixion on Thursday. Before we consider the biblical and historic evidence, lets lay out the 3 general views listed above.

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Justin Martyr on Sunday Worship
Written by Josh Winslett   
Friday, 29 March 2019 19:49

Sometimes I read accounts of Christian worship and life from the 2nd century. It's always interesting to see how those directly after the apostles interacted in public worship. None of these saints were infallible. Some used strange language and others were influenced by Alexandrian philosophy. This should remind us to follow the Bible alone for regulatory principles of worship and dogmatics. With that said, it's still a blessing to read their writings and even those accounts of them from their persecutors.

Below is a small glimpse of Christian worship from a man named Justin Martyr. He was a 2nd century Christian that lived AD 100-165. Its believed that he possibly even was alive to hear the teachings of John the apostle. He was one of the first writing apologists of Christianity. In his First Apology, he gave a vivid window into the worship of these primitive Christians. In this small window we see praises being given to the entire trinity, reading of both the Old and New Testament, exposition/exhortation of the word, the collection for the orphans/widows, the reason for Sunday worship, and a description of Christ's Friday crucifixion and Sunday resurrection.

"Chapter 67. Weekly worship of the Christians

And we afterwards continually remind each other of these things. And the wealthy among us help the needy; and we always keep together; and for all things wherewith we are supplied, we bless the Maker of all through His Son Jesus Christ, and through the Holy Ghost. And on the day called Sunday, all who live in cities or in the country gather together to one place, and the memoirs of the apostles or the writings of the prophets are read, as long as time permits; then, when the reader has ceased, the president verbally instructs, and exhorts to the imitation of these good things. Then we all rise together and pray, and, as we before said, when our prayer is ended, bread and wine and water are brought, and the president in like manner offers prayers and thanksgivings, according to his ability, and the people assent, saying Amen; and there is a distribution to each, and a participation of that over which thanks have been given, and to those who are absent a portion is sent by the deacons. And they who are well to do, and willing, give what each thinks fit; and what is collected is deposited with the president, who succours the orphans and widowsand those who, through sickness or any other cause, are in want, and those who are in bonds and the strangers sojourning among us, and in a word takes care of all who are in need. But Sunday is the day on which we all hold our common assembly, because it is the first day on which God, having wrought a change in the darkness and matter, made the world; and Jesus Christ our Saviour on the same day rose from the dead. For He was crucified on the day before that of Saturn (Saturday); and on the day after that of Saturn, which is the day of the Sun, having appeared to His apostles and disciples, He taught them these things, which we have submitted to you also for your consideration." End quote

Article originally published on PBPerspective.com

 
God is Not Mocked
Written by Josh Winslett   
Friday, 29 March 2019 19:46

An interesting and sobering note from my studies today in Galatians. Paul compares the willful neglect of ministerial support while expecting continued blessing from them to mocking God (Galatians 6:6-7). The word for mocked in Greek (mukterizo) is used as a word picture for turning up a nose at one to ridicule or insult. The JFB Commentary describes this verb as "to sneer with the nostrils drawn up in contempt." In essence, to neglect the ministry while expecting spiritual benefit is equal to mockingly turning up our nose to God. What a sobering analogy!

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Jesus is both the Lion and the Lamb
Written by Josh Winslett   
Friday, 29 March 2019 19:41

The Bible often uses visual word pictures to display certain characteristics, or attributes of Jesus Christ. Two word pictures used are Lamb and Lion. Jesus is called Lamb that takes away the sins of the world (John 1:29). He is said to be "brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb" (Isaiah 53:7, Acts 8:32). This word picture denotes a harmlessness, and willingness of Christ to die on the cross. John Gill writes of Isaiah 53:7, "Christ went as willingly to be sacrificed as a lamb goes to the slaughter house, and was as silent under his sufferings as a sheep while under the hands of its shearers; he was willing to be stripped of all he had, as a shorn sheep, and to be slaughtered and sacrificed as a lamb, for the sins of his people."

Likewise, Jesus is called the Lion. This image is juxtaposed with that of a Lamb by magnifying the great prestige and honor of Christ. It also further shows the great power of God and fearful reverence his presence should solicit from those approaching him.

How does this work out in God's interaction with humanity? First, God is approachable to contrite sinners. Individuals sensible of their sins can find rest from their burdens in the presence of the Lamb (Matthew 11:28). During Christ's earthly ministry we see the forsaken poor finding safety in his presence. Likewise, every repenting believer, regardless of their past, can find relief and comfort at the foot of the cross of the Lamb.

However, we must never forget that Jesus Christ is also the Lion. The Lamb that was slain is also the Lion of the tribe of Juda (Revelation 6:5-6). This is why Revelation 6:16 uses the ironic expression of "the wrath of the Lamb." Jesus chased out the wicked money changers from the temple (John 2:15). Matthew 23 records Jesus calling the wicked, impenitent unbelieving Pharisees both hypocrites and vipers. Jesus is not simply some "grandfatherly" figure that spoils everyone, and is just waiting for someone to pay him a visit on Sunday afternoons. Jesus is the conquering Lion. Jesus will one day be the means through which God the Father judges the world in righteousness (Acts 17:31). Ignoring God's justice and wrath, while only discussing his grace and mercy, will often paint an imbalanced view of God that will lead to faulty theology.

Simply stated, our understanding of Jesus Christ as Lion will give us greater appreciation of his role as Lamb. In contrast, ignoring God's wrath will give us a lower view of saving grace. We deserve God's wrath. We deserve a devil's Hell. Yet, we have been delivered from both by the blood of the Lamb. There is rest and safety in his presence for those mourning their sins.

"Wonderful the matchless grace of Jesus,
Deeper than the mighty rolling sea;
Higher than the mountain, sparkling like a fountain,
All-sufficient grace for even me!
Broader than the scope of my transgressions,
Greater far than all my sin and shame;
Oh, magnify the precious Name of Jesus,
Praise His Name!"
-Wonderful grace of Jesus by Haldor Lillenas

"The blind receive their sight, and the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, and the deaf hear, the dead are raised up, and the poor have the gospel preached to them." Matthew 11:5

"Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted. Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth. Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled. Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy. Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God. Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God. Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you." Matthew 5:3-12

Article originally published on PBPerspective.com

 
John Gill on Romans 3:22
Written by Josh Winslett   
Friday, 29 March 2019 19:37

Excellent thoughts on Romans 3:22 from John Gill's commentary of the Bible:

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Being Seen Religion
Written by Josh Winslett   
Friday, 29 March 2019 19:34

Whereas our light should certainly shine before all men, we must also temper our personal piety with a discreet attitude, knowing that our reward is before, and from God, not men. Yes, our attitude/behavior of life that is visibly seen should be directed by the attitudes and behaviors manifest in the Beatitudes. Yet, our individual mourning over sin and piety should not be represented by purposely disfiguring our personal appearance to be seen.

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Quick note on Worship
Written by Josh Winslett   
Friday, 29 March 2019 19:24

Always remember, the reason you worship on Sunday morning is not simply because you are seeking a blessing from God.

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