“For Christ’s love compels us, since we have reached this conclusion: If One died for all, then all died. And He died for all so that those who live should no longer live for themselves, but for the One who died for them and was raised” (2 Corinthians 5:14-15, HCSB).
There are two ways to live a holy life, two versions of sanctification. These verses describe the right way sanctification should be manifested or lived out in our lives.
In Matthew 25 Jesus tells a number of “second-coming” parables, one of which is the well-known and oft-quoted Parable of the Talents.
In this parable a man makes an extended trip to a far country so he entrusts his servants with some of his financial resources to invest while he is away. He gives one servant five talents (talent was a unit of weight, about 75 pounds, to measure coinage and now is used to indicate an ability), one two talents, and the other one talent.
If you knew the teaching of Jesus that is repeated the most times in the Gospels, wouldn’t you want to do it? As His disciple, wouldn’t you want to apply it to your life?
Well, here it is: “If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it; but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it” (Matthew 16:24-25, NASB).
Yes, it’s a familiar verse. You’ve probably heard many sermons and Sunday School lessons preached and taught on these verses.
When Jesus said, “store up for yourselves treasures in heaven” and “seek first His kingdom and His righteousness” (Matthew 6:20, 33, NASB), He identified the connection between what you are and do in this present life to what you will be and will do in eternal life.
In other words, your life in this present age is inextricably linked to your future life, your eternal life.
By “inextricably” I mean that the connection between your present and future is so intricately entangled as to make it impossible to escape from it.
“These men who have turned the world upside down have come here too, and Jason has received them as guests! They are all acting contrary to Caesar’s decrees, saying that there is another king—Jesus!” (Acts 17:6-7, HCSB).
In Thessalonica the conversion of a great number of God-fearing Greeks and leading women prompted jealousy among unbelieving Jews. While the Apostle Paul had encountered resistance just about everywhere he went during his missionary journeys, here the Jews organized scoundrels from the marketplace to form a mob and start a riot against Paul and Silas.
“Make sacred garments for Aaron that are glorious and for beautiful” (Exodus 28:2, NLT).
God commanded Moses to have the Israelites sew ornamental garments for the high priest to wear during the time he served in the tabernacle.
These garments were designed to be visually beautiful and appealing because the garments represented the glory of God, which is God’s Beauty.
“Then Peter began to speak: “Now I really understand that God doesn’t show favoritism, but in every nation the person who fears Him and does righteousness is acceptable to Him.” (Acts 10:34, HCSB)
A Roman military commander by the name of Cornelius lived in the city of Caesarea in the region of Samaria north of Judea. Although Cornelius was not a Jew, he worshiped God in the custom of the Jews.Cornelius had a vision to request the Apostle Peter, who was staying in the city of Joppa about 50 miles away, to come to his home.