Sweet Sunday Sermon – The word “Redeem” as found in the New Testament

Submitted by Dr. GP

In the New Testament we see that all people need redemption, since they are all slaves, being all sold under sin and in spiritual bondage. Jesus made this abundantly clear to the Jewish leadership of his day (John 8:31-36).

The Coming of the Redeemer and the accomplishment of Redemption is recorded in Matthew, Mark, Luke and John in accordance to the teaching of Galatians 4:4 that in the fullness of time, God sent his son into the world to redeem a people for himself. The Fall of man established man’s desperate need for redemption, and God had carefully and thoroughly prepared the world for the coming of the Redeemer in the balance of the Old Testament.

The four gospels are the inspired eye-witness accounts of the life, death and resurrection of the Saviour. Christ came to reveal the glory of God in human flesh, “the image of the invisible God, pre-eminent over all creation” (Colossians 1:15). He came to proclaim the kingdom of God and teach us about the way of salvation (Matthew 3:2). He came to conquer Satan and to destroy his work (Col. 2:15; I John 3:8). But above all, he came to die for sins and to rise triumphantly from the grave to display his victory. He came to redeem us! (John 3:16,17).

Sweet Sunday Sermon – Gesture of Kindness (2 Samuel 9)

Submitted by Dr. GP

2 Samuel 9 records the most wonderful account of David’s magnificent gesture of kindness to Mephibosheth, the grandson of his enemy Saul, in which four times we are made aware that Mephibosheth was restored him to an exalted position and invited to eat at David’s table just like one of the king’s sons. 

This is a lovely type or foreshadowing of the doctrine of the adoption of sons as is declared in Galations 4: 4-7 thus” But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law,To redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons.And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father.Wherefore thou art no more a servant, but a son; and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ. 

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Sweet Sunday Sermon – Will the Church Go Through the Tribulation?

Submitted by Dr. GP

All Christians will suffer affliction, trial, and tribulation in this world. It is a fact of life and it is a truth of Scripture.
• The Lord Jesus Christ said, “In this world you shall have tribulation, but be of good cheer, for I have overcome the world”

(John 16:33)

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Sweet Sunday Sermon – The Ritual of the “Scapegoat”

Submitted by Dr. GP
There are many words and phrases that we commonly use that originate in the Bible.
For example, the word “sincere” which is found in 1Peter 2:2 to describe “the milk of the word,” is a transliteration of two Latin words “sine” (without) and “cere” (wax.)
In days of old, when charlatan potters would gloss over their impaired pottery with wax before they tried to sell them, more honest potters who sold perfect pottery, advertised their ware as “sine cere”.
Today, we will state the etymology of the word “scapegoat” and exegete the passage in the Bible where this word occurs, and the passage where such a goat was used in a ceremony, and explain the significance of the passage, sincerely (“sine” (without) and cere (wax.)

Sweet Sunday Sermon – Do we have Apostles in our Church today?

  • The English word “apostle” is derived from the Greek apostello, “to
    send forth.”
  • The Greek word for “apostle” literally means “one who is sent” and
    can refer to an emissary or anyone sent on a mission.
  • While hardly used in the Old Testament, it is found at least 80
    times in the New Testament.
  • An apostle is one who is “sent” by God to preach the Gospel to the

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Sweet Sunday Sermon – Helpful Hints in REVELATION- Part 1

Submitted by Dr. GP


You will get much more from this booklet if you will prayerfully read the book of Revelation two or three times before starting it. The book of the Revelation of Jesus Christ is the only book in the Bible that a special blessing is pro­nounced on those who read, on those who hear, and on those who keep the things that are writ­ten therein (Rev. 1:3). This promise does away with the notion that we cannot understand this book and that we should not waste our time studying it.

It is true that there are portions of the book that are difficult to understand, but if the stu­dent will keep in mind four principles he will receive much blessing and benefit from the study of the book. These four principles are (l) Christ is the key. This is not the book of “Revelations” (plural), but it is “the Revelation (singular) of Jesus Christ.” When we call this book “Rev­elations” we study it as a series of revelations, but when we understand that Christ is the key, we study it as the Revelation or unveiling of the ‘”King of Kings and Lord of Lords.”(2) The Holy Spirit is the great teacher of the Holy Scriptures (John 14:26, John 15:26, I Corinthians 2:10). In a special way He delights to reveal prophetic truth (John 16:14). (3) This is a book of prophecy. It has to do with future events. God wants the believer to know and understand what the future holds. (4) This book must be in­terpreted in the light of other Scriptures. The best commentary on the book of Rev­elation is the rest of the Bible.


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Sweet Sunday Sermon – The 7 “WITH CHRIST” Verses of the NT

Submitted by GP

Recently, I have been fascinated with seven NT verses in the Pauline epistles which contain  the phrase “with Christ”. Four of which are to be found in Colosians 

“With” in the Greek is “syn’ from which we get English words synergy  and synergistic  and the phrase “in synch!”

 Paul repetitively use of sun/syn  to make certain that we understand that we  are in a new and intimate relationship with Christ, and that Christ is all that we will ever need and that He is ours and that we are His and that this oneness or union should serve to stabilize us in the turbulent seas of false teachings, as here in Collosians, but also generally in all things.  

Being in union with Christ certainly seemed to be a thought that occupied Paul’s mind. Generally he teaches that in a past completed action at the moment of salvation we were made alive together with Him  in a  close, intimate union. He wants us to understand that  there is such a connection between Christ and those whom the Father hath given to him, that His resurrection from the grave involved their resurrection to spiritual life. It was like raising up the head and the members – the whole body together.

Whereas each of the verses containing the phrase “with Christ”, speaks of being in permanent union and identification with Christ, each verse seems to have a phrase which qualifies or expands on the phrase “with Christ,” by declaring some particular additional benefit or responsibility which the believer partakes of from being “with Christ”, or being “in synch“ or in permanent union with Christ”!”

E.g. In Colossians 2: 13 the outstanding additional truth is that God in addition to quickening or making us alive together with him, has also forgiven us of all our trespasses.

In Colossians 3: 1, Paul points out that we were raised with Christ.
In Colossians 3: 3 he stresses that we are hid in Christ.

Let us briefly survey these 7 verses before honing in on Colossians 3: 3.

1- Romans 6:8 says
Now if  (or since) we have died with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with Him

Here the benefit is to live in union with Him, as promised in Psalm 23:6 and John 14:1-3 inter alia.

2.Galatians 2:20 says

I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.

Having shared in  His crucifixion, the benefit is that now Christ (the Messiah) lives in me and the life I now live in the body I live by faith in ( i.e by adherence to and reliance on and complete trust in) the Son of God, Who loved me and gave Himself up for me.

3. Ephesians 2:5 point out that
Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;)

While we were dead (slain) by [our own] shortcomings and trespasses, Jesus, quickened or made us alive together in fellowship and in union with HIM. This means that He gave us the very quality of eternal life ——–i.e the same new life with which God resurrected Him.

In addition, He made us partakers of the salvation he gives and for which he died by grace (i.e His favor and mercy which we did not deserve), and He delivered us from judgment

The benefits mentioned in Ephesians are certainly stupendous!

4  Colossians 2:13 affirms

And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses;

This verse repeats that even when we were dead in our sins, God brought us to life spiritually in union together with Christ, and has freely forgiven us of all our transgressions

Colossians 2:20 asserts
“Wherefore if ye be dead with Christ from the rudiments of the world, why, as though living in the world, are ye subject to ordinances,”

This verse teaches that having died  with Christ we are to be oblivious to the material ways of looking at things because we have escaped from the world’s crude and elemental notions and teachings of externalism, we are not to live as if we still belong to the world and subject our self to the world’s material ways.

The context of this statement is the difference between human-centered efforts, versus a Christ-centered reliance on God.

Paul’s point in the second half of this verse is clearly that if a person really believes that Christ, not the Law, is the focus of their lives, why would they continue to obsess over human rules and regulations? In other words, Paul questioned why the Colossian believers still acted like unbelievers in some areas. Instead of living by faith in their own ability, they were to walk by faith in Christ (Colossians 2:6). The ascetic teachings or rules of false teachers were not binding upon them and offered no advantage.

This verse confirms the teaching of 2 Peter 1;4, which proclaims ……..  Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.

6. Colossians 3:1
If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God.

This injunction points out that since we have been raised with Christ [to a new life, thus sharing His resurrection from the dead], we should aim at and seek the [rich, eternal treasures] that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God.

Colossians 3:3
For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God.
This short statement is much deeper  than it seems, and is worthy of communal study!

Colossians 3 v 3 states For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God.

The first thing to say about this verse is this remarkable outline I got from Charles  George.

“your life”, the Treasure;

“is hid with Christ”, the Treasurer;

“in God”, the Treasury.

In my view, there are GENERAL CONSEQUENCES or BENEFITS to each of these “WITH CHRIST” verses, and there are also SPECIFIC CONSEQUENCES or BENEFITS. 


Throughout the New Testament we find this intimate union of the believer with Christ affirmed –

We are crucified with Him (Gal 2:20).

We die with Him (Ro 6:3-4).

We rise with Him (Ro 6:4-5, Ep 2:6).

We live with Him (Ro 6:82Ti 2:11Col 3:4).

We reign with Him (2Ti 2:12Eph 2:6Re 20:4).

We are joint heirs with Him (Ro 8:17note).

We share His sufferings on earth (Acts 9:161Pe 2:212Co 1:51Pe 4:13) and

We share His glory with Him on His throne (Re 3:21). 

The specific consequence of Colossians 3:3 is that the life of the Christian is hidden with Christ in God for ever. Believers are permanently hidden, and securely locked together with Christ. The greek verb translated “hidden” is ’krupto’. It means to cover, to hide (as in hiding treasure), to conceal, to keep secret in a “vault” or “cellar,”(either for protective or for selfish reasons).

The word “with” is “sun/syn which conveys the picture of intimate union, and our oneness and identity with Christ, bringing out the truth that we are now in (new) covenant with Him. Because of our union with Christ we have a constant presence with Him.

We were hidden with Christ at the time of our salvation, and we remain hidden or concealed permanently and irrevocability. We are hidden in the sense that our new spiritual life is no longer in the sphere of the earthly and sensual, but is with the life of the risen Christ, who is unseen (by the world) with God. Our life “is hid from the world which cannot understand us, and hid from the devil who cannot steal it.

”Hidden” means that the life of the Christian now “remains intimately and

permanently linked or locked “together with” (sun) Christ, “in” (en) God, and no one or nothing can  break that combination, as is taught in Romans 8:35-39. Who shall ”separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 8:35-39) i.e Our hidden life is eternally secure in Christ. Eternally Secure, held fast by His Nail Pierced Hands!

Believers are safe not just in the present but in eternity future! No caveats. No

disclaimers. God says it. That settles it.

“Hidden” or concealed conveys the ideas of a permanent and irrevocable union. It expresses the fellowship of the believer, and his identity with his risenLord, who is in the bosom of the Father (cf Jn 1:1810:27282930).

Why are we hidden?

There are several practical aspects of our new lives being raised and hidden with Christ in God. Since believers are hidden “safely” in God, we no longer have to  try unsuccessfully to hide from God, like our fore parents tried to do in Genesis 3:7-8. Nor will we be involved in the futile efforts of men to hide from the face and wrath of God when the Day of the Lord comes as John described  in (Revelation6:15,16). If we are truly in Christ, we are forever and ever in Christ, independent of our frequent failings in this present early existence.

1 We are hidden for God’s personal pleasure.

God gets pleasure when we live in the Spirit and are victorious in our daily lives living for him

2 We are hidden for  our safety, and security

The believer’s salvation is safe & secure with Christ : it is the most secure thing possible, because it has Almighty God in and behind it. (Jn 10:28).

The security of our life is not in our experience, or our hands, but in Him. No one can take or destroy what is safely hidden with God.

When Christ said “It is Finished,” He put His irrevocable stamp on our eternal security.  No works we do can ever add to His finished work. No sins we commit, have not already been atoned for by His precious blood of the New Covenant. Our hidden life is eternally secure in Christ. May God grant us grace by His Spirit to fully rest in this incredible truth in Christ.

Our salvation is secure because God is doing the holding, and the hiding.

•Although we stumble every day,
The Lord is always there
To pick us up, forgive our sin,
And show His love and care.

All of us slip again and again as we walk the Christian pathway. But we are held securely by the Lord, and we can be restored to close fellowship with Him when we confess our sins (1 Jn. 1:9).

3 We are hidden for  to aid in our Submission.

To be hidden means that our own selfish desires are submitted to Christ.

Being “hid” suggests that we are to be invisible, so that Christ can become visible in our lives. As we all know, dying to self and living to God ( i.e Christ increasing, us decreasing as taught in John 3:30 is the essence of the heavenly minded “muchfruit” life (John 15:8) which our Father desires for all His children to experience so that their joy might be full.

We must spend time in prayer asking the Holy Spirit to show us any areas where we are tempted to shine and promote your own identity. Sometimes we do this out of fear or in order to feel in control. We must ask the Lord to help us remember that being hidden in Christ, means that we are safe and fully loved.

4- We are hidden for  our protection

We are hidden so as to provide protection, and to prevent us from being harmed while we are being transformed to be more like Him, and as Christ becomes visible in our lives. Remember: the word hidden (Krupto) carries with it the idea of keeping something secret or protected. Because we are safely hidden in Christ, we can have the confidence that He will keep us and bring us to our final destinationas expressed in Jude 24.

While we are hidden or concealed, “where the world sees Him no more”,

cf. Jn 14:19). the believer’s life is nourished by secret springs and directed towardits source and away from the visible and carnal.

•Illustrate  with example   of big cats

5 We are hidden because we are precious

Because of our union with Christ we are considered to be valuable and precious. We are so precious to God that our new life, is “hidden with Christ in God”. 

In 1 Peter 2:4, it is noticeable that God compares us, as well as His Son, to living stones “chosen by God and precious to him.”  But we are not only precious  as building blocks in a spiritual house but we are also like precious stones or GEMS.

Precious stones are valued, displayed, treasured, and used as a tribute to one’s love when placed in an engagement or anniversary band. 

Just as valued, and treasured precious stones are and often hidden in a safe or

vault to protect them from theft or destruction, so too God has hidden us in

Christ. Just as rich persons hide their valuables in safes and vaults, so too our very rich God hides us, his precious expensive possessions who were purchased by the shedding of Christ’s blood on Calvary’s cross. 

6 We are hidden in preparation for our display or presentation c.f Jude 24

Ephesians 2:10 states For we are his workmanship or masterpiece, created in

Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we shouldwalk in them. God is working on us for our display in the heavenlies. Meanwhile he hides us just as an artist hides his work until it is exhibited.

While we are hidden in Christ, we are hidden from the world that is dying in

spiritual darkness (Mt 5:14). We can have our  lives hidden with Christ in God in the sense that they do not have to conform to the carnality of this present world (Romans 12:1-2). 

We read in 2 Peter 1:4, Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escapedthe corruption that is in the world through lust.

Our new life with Christ in God is concealed from the world and unbelievers are unable to grasp the full import of the believer’s new life (1Co 2:14). The world cannot recognize the Christian now; but the true manifestation of the sons of Godis yet to come in the next world, so that people cannot see what believers really are like (Ro 8:19Ga 5:5, Php 3:20, 211Jn 3:2). 

The day is coming when Christ will return in glory and then the Christian, whom no one recognized, will share that glory and it will be plain for all to see

In the meantime, while we are hidden in Christ each one of us precious gems are becoming transformed into something immensely valuable to our Creator as GOD SHINES US UP TO HIS DESIRED PERFECTION


As we live out our union hidden with Christ in God, may our way of life be really so hid with Christ in God that in the midst of the day’s business we continue to be inwardly lifting brief prayers, short sudden utterances of praise, whispers of adoration and of tender love to the CHRIST IN WHOM WE ARE  HIDDEN

We can surely then sing Safe in the arms of Jesus

•Safe in the arms of Jesus, safe on His gentle breast,
There by His love o’ershaded, sweetly my soul shall rest.
Hark! ’tis the voice of angels, borne in a song to me.
Over the fields of glory, over the jasper sea.

Safe in the arms of Jesus, safe on His gentle breast
There by His love o’ershaded, sweetly my soul shall rest.

Safe in the arms of Jesus, safe from corroding care,
Safe from the world’s temptations, sin cannot harm me there.
Free from the blight of sorrow, free from my doubts and fears;
Only a few more trials, only a few more tears!

Jesus, my heart’s dear Refuge, Jesus has died for me;
Firm on the Rock of Ages, ever my trust shall be.
Here let me wait with patience, wait till the night is over;
Wait till I see the morning break on the golden shore.


Sweet Sunday Sermon – PALM SUNDAY WHAT A DAY!

Submitted by Doc GP

Back ground to Palm Sunday message


To show that

1- God was working according to a plan,

2- that Jesus was fully aware of His Father’s plan and willingly compliant, and

3- to show how Palm Sunday fit into that plan. 


Today is the day that we celebrate Palm Sunday.

We call this Palm Sunday in commemoration of the time when, 6 days before His

crucifixion, Jesus entered the city of Jerusalem, and palm branches were placed

before Him  as a “red carpet” to worship and to invite him into Jerusalem as their


On Palm Sunday our Lord made His tearful and first triumphant entry into

Jerusalem, as he continued His faithful march to being crucified on the cross five

days later.




Sweet Sunday Sermon – Jesus the Well

Submitted by Dr. GP

Theme:  Jesus the well.

Text:  Our text is taken from John 4:5.— “Jesus, therefore, being wearied with His journey sat thus on the well .”

And “Now Jacob’s well was there” ( John 4:6).

We will proceed using the TYPOLOGICAL method of Bible study

The “well” of the Old Testament Scriptures definitely foreshadowed Christ and what is to be found in Him.

Let us observe how some of the Old Testament passages where the “well” is mentioned, and discover how they foreshadowed Jesus the “Well”,   the One who gave the water of life to the woman of Samaria, at Sychar’s well as recorded in John 4. May our eyes be enabled to behold “wondrous things” out of God’s word..

Not only is each typical picture perfect, but the order in which they are found demonstrates  Divine design.

 1 Jesus the “Well”  is the place of meeting between the Savior and the sinner.

The first time the word “well” is mentioned in Scripture, is in Genesis 16:6,7,13,14.

6But Abram said unto Sarai, Behold, thy maid is in thy hand; do to her as it pleaseth thee. And when Sarai dealt hardly with her, she fled from her face.

7And the angel of the LORD found her by a fountain of water in the wilderness, by the fountain in the way to Shur.

13And she called the name of the LORD that spake unto her, Thou God seest me: for she said, Have I also here looked after him that seeth me?

14Wherefore the well was called Beerlahairoi; behold, it is between Kadesh and Bered.

First, note that the “fountain of water” of verse 7 is termed the “well” in verse 14.

It was the place where the angel of the Lord found the poor outcast Hagar.

Similarly, Christ, the “well” of salvation, is where God meets the sinner, for “no man cometh unto the Father” but by Him. (John 6:44; John 14:6)

Second, this well was located in the wilderness.

The “wilderness” well is a good and fit symbol of this world, which perfectly. depicts the state of heart we were in when we first met Christ!

Third , the “well” was the place where God was revealed to Hagar, who called it, “the well of him that liveth and seeth me.” This reminds us that  Christ is the Revealer of God — “He that hath seen me, hath seen the Father.” (John 14:9)


2. Jesus the “Well is the place of spiritual discernment or understanding

In Genesis 21:14-19 we read, 14 And Abraham rose up early in the morning, and took bread, and a bottle of water, and gave it unto Hagar, putting it on her shoulder, and the child, and sent her away: and she departed, and wandered in the wilderness of Beersheba.

15 And the water was spent in the bottle, and she cast the child under one of the shrubs.

16 And she went, and sat her down over against him a good way off, as it were a bow shot: for she said, Let me not see the death of the child. And she sat over against him, and lift up her voice, and wept.

17 And God heard the voice of the lad; and the angel of God called to Hagar out of heaven, and said unto her, What aileth thee, Hagar? fear not; for God hath heard the voice of the lad where he is.

18 Arise, lift up the lad, and hold him in thine hand; for I will make him a great nation.

19 And God opened her eyes, and she saw a well of water; and she went, and filled the bottle with water, and gave the lad drink.

Notice that again, we have before us Hagar, an outcast, whose water was spent, for she had only “a bottle”, and who like the prodigal son, “began to be in want.” As she sat weeping having cast away her child to die, she was a picture of the poor, desolate, despairing sinner! But the Lord “opened her eyes,” so that she might see the “well” that had been there all the time! And so it was with us. We would not have discovered the One of whom the “well” here speaks, unless, the Holy Spirit of God, had  opened our eyes to see Jesus as the One who alone could meet our desperate and deep need for salvation.  We read in Proverbs 20:12-— “The hearing ear, and the seeing eye, the Lord hath made even both of them.”

Also in John 5:20 we are told, “And we know that the Son of God is come, and hath given us an understanding , that (in order that) we may know Him that is true.”


3. Jesus  the “Well is the place of the “covenant” and “the oath”

In Genesis 21:27-31 the “well” is presented as the place of the “covenant” (verse 27), which was ratified by an “oath” (verse 31), as is corroborated by Hebrews 7:20-22.

 “And Abraham took sheep and oxen, and gave them unto Abimelech; and both of them made a covenant. And Abraham set seven ewe lambs of the flock by themselves. And Abimelech said unto Abraham, What mean these seven ewe lambs which thou hast set by themselves? And he said, For these seven ewe lambs shalt thou take of my hand, that they may be a witness unto me, that I have digged this well. Wherefore he called that place the well of the oath ; because there they sware both of them” .

We read in Hebrews 7:20-22? — “And inasmuch as not without an oath he was made priest: (For those priests were made without an oath; but this with an oath by him that said unto him, The Lord sware and will not repent, Thou art a priest forever after the order of Melchisedec:) By so much was Jesus made a surety of a better testament [covenant ].”

The covenant and the oath speak of that which tells of the sure ground upon which our eternal preservation rests. From hereon, every reference to the “well” has that connected with it which is appropriate of believers only.

4. Jesus the “Well”   is the place of prayer, where the believer approaches the Father in the name of Christ, of whom the “well” speaks.

In Genesis 24:10-12 we read, “And the servant took ten camels of the camels of his master, and departed; for all the goods of his master were in his hand: and he arose, and went to Mesopotamia, unto the city of Nahor. And he made his camels to kneel down without the city by a well of water at the time of the evening, even the time that women go out to draw water. And he said, O Lord God of my master Abraham, I pray thee, send me good speed this day.”

5. Jesus the “Well”   is the place of rest in Christ in the “green pastures” into which the good Shepherd leads His own c.f Psalm 23.

 In Genesis 29:1-3 we read, “Then Jacob went on his journey, and came into the land of the people of the east. And he looked, and beheld a well in the field, and, lo, there were three flocks of sheep lying by it; for out of that well they watered the flocks.”

This is very beautiful and striking contrast between this typical scene and the first that we looked at in Genesis 16. There, where the sinner first meets Christ, the “well” is located in the wilderness — a picture of the barrenness and desolation of the sinner. But here, the “well” is found in the field with three flocks lying and resting by this “well.” This  suggests the “green pastures” into which the good Shepherd leads His own, and their position of  lying and resting by this “well,”denoting the rest which Christ gives His own. It is only in Christ that the believer finds rest.

6.  Jesus the “Well” is the place of refuge

In Exodus 2:5-17 we are told, “Now when Pharaoh heard this thing, he sought to slay Moses.. But Moses fled from the face of Pharaoh, and dwelt in the land of Midian; and he sat down by a well. Now the priest of Midian had seven daughters: and they came and drew water, and filled the troughs to water their father’s flock. And the shepherds came and drove them away: but Moses stood up and helped them, and watered their flock.”

In this marvelous type, we see Pharaoh the king of Egypt as he prefigures Satan as the god of this world, attacking and seeking to destroy the believer. Often times the great Enemy seeks to frighten us and gets us on the run. When Moses “fled” from Pharaoh to Midian, the next  thing that we read of Moses is, that  “he sat down by a well.” Thank God there is One to whom we can flee for refuge — the Lord Jesus Christ to whom the “well” pointed.

To this well the daughters of Jethro also came, for water.  But the shepherds came and drove them away. How many of the “under- shepherds” today are, by their infidelistic teachingdriving many away from Christ. Nevertheless, God still has a Moses here and there, who will “stand up and help ” those who really desire the Water of Life. But be it noted, before we can “help” others we must first be resting on the well for ourselves, as Moses was.

7. Jesus the “Well”  is the object of song and praise.

“And from thence they went to Be-er: that is the well whereof the Lord spake unto Moses, Gather the people together, and I will give them water. Then Israel sang this song, Spring up, O well; sing ye unto it” (Numbers 21: 16-17).

The well is here  personified, and  made the object of song. It evokes praise.  All believers ought to be “singing” unto the “Well.”

8. Jesus the “Well”  is the place of shelter and protection for believers cf Colossians 3:3

In  2 Samuel 17:17-1 we observe : “Now Jonathan and Ahimaaz stayed by Enrogel; for they might not be seen to come into the city: and a wench went and told them; and they went and told king David. Nevertheless a lad saw them, and told Absalom: but they went both of them away quickly, and came to a man’s house in Bahurim, which had a well in his court: whither they went down . And the woman took and spread a covering over the well’s mouth, and spread ground corn thereon; and the thing was not known ”.

Here we find the “well” providing shelter and protection for God’s people. Notice there was a “covering” over its mouth, so that Jonathan and Ahimaaz were hidden in the well. So it is with the believer — Paul writes in Colossians 3:3 “your life is hid with Christ in God.

The last sentence quoted above is noteworthy, “And the thing was not known!” The world is in complete ignorance of the believer’s place and portion in Christ!

9. Jesus the “Well”  is the only source of satisfying water for the believer

“And David longed, and said, O that one would give me drink of the water of the well of Bethlehem, which is by the gate!” ( 2 Samuel 23:15). Nothing but water from the well of Bethlehem would satisfy David. Nothing but water from Jesus the “Well”  will satisfy the believer either.

10. Jesus the “Well”  is the personal source of satisfying water for each believer

Proverbs 5:15 asserts   “Drink waters out of thine own cistern, and running waters out of thine own well.” What a blessed climax is this. The “well” is our own, and from its “running waters” we are invited to “drink.”

This study has been unspeakably blessed as it gives meaning to our text from John 4:6.— “Jesus, therefore, being wearied with His journey sat thus on the well .”

There are three things that we must consider, in connection with this particular “well” which speaks of the character of that Salvation which is found in Christ.

“Now Jacob’s well was there” ( John 4:6).

First , this well was purchased by Jacob, or more accurately speaking, the “field” in which the well was located was purchased by him. “And Jacob came to Shalem, a city of Shechem, which is in the land of Canaan, when he came from Padan-Aram; and pitched his tent before the city. And he bought a parcel of a field, where he had spread his tent, at the hand of the children of Hamor, Shechem’s father, for an hundred pieces of money” ( Genesis 33:18-19).

The word “Sychar” in John 4:6 means purchased . This well was  thus  a well-chosen and suited place for Christ to speak to that woman of the “gift of God,” which cost Him everything.

Second , the “parcel of ground” in which was this well, was afterwards taken by Joseph with “sword and bow;…. And Israel said unto Joseph, Behold, I die: but God shall be with you, and bring you again unto the land of your fathers. Moreover I have given to thee one portion above thy brethren, which I took out of the hand of the Amorite with my sword and with my bow” ( Genesis 48:21,22) — that this is the same “parcel of ground” referred to in Genesis 33 is clear from John 4:5.

 The reference in Genesis 48 is apparently to a later date than what is in view in Genesis 33. The Amorites were seeking to rob Jacob of his well, and therefore an appeal to arms was necessary. This, we believe, fore shadowed the present interval, during which the Holy Spirit (while Satan is yet the “Prince of this world” and ever seeks to oppose and keep believers-God’s Jacobs away from the “well”) is bringing salvation to souls by means of the “sword” ( Hebrews 4:12).

Third, this portion purchased by Jacob, and later secured by means of the “sword and bow,” was given to Joseph (see Genesis 48:21-22). This became a part of Joseph’s “birthright,” for said Jacob “I have given to thee one portion above thy brethren.” This ought to have been given to Reuben, Jacob’s “firstborn,” but through his fall into grievous sin it was transferred to Joseph (see 1 Chronicles 5:1).

How marvelously accurate the type! Christ the second Man takes the inheritance which the first man Adam forfeited and lost through sin!

 Putting these three together, we have: the “well” purchased, the “well” possessed, the “well” enjoyed.


Sweet Sunday Sermon – A STUDY IN ROMANS 16

Submitted by Dr. GP

Relationships among servants of God in the early church.

•We will begin with a few outlines to REVIEW THE BOOK OF ROMANS section by section in order to fix the message of this epistle in our minds.
•Followed by a few GENERAL THOUGHTS ON THE CHAPTER…..leading into
(1) Condemnation (Romans 1-2).
(2) Justification (Romans 3-5).
(3) Sanctification (Romans-6-8).
(4) Dispensation (Romans 9-11).
(5) Application (Romans 12-15).
•The first eleven chapters are a revelation of the grace of God.
•Then from chapter 12 we are instructed on the responsibility that man has because of this grace.
(6) Conclusion (Romans 16).
•We began in the first week of June by establishing that “The righteousness of God is the major theme of Romans.
•We would agree that the term “righteousness” covers all that is necessary to reinstate a sinner as right with God, and therefore includes his position, his character, his privileges, and his prospects.
•It embraces the past, present, and future, and it means “the state of being right.”
•On this basis we can reasonably outline the epistle thus:
•(a) Righteousness needed by sinful men (Rom 1:173:20)
(b) Righteousness provided by God (Rom 3:21-26)
(c) Righteousness received through faith (Rom 3:274:25)
(d) Righteousness experienced in the soul (Rom 5:18:17)
(e) Righteousness guaranteed as permanent blessing (Rom 8:18-39)
(f) Righteousness rejected by the Jewish nation (Rom 911)
(g) Righteousness manifested in practical life (Rom 1216)
•R-      Ruin  (Romans 1:17 – 3:20) – The utter sinfulness of humanity
O      Offer  (Romans 3:21-31) – God’s offer of justification by grace
M      Model  (Romans 4:1-25) – Abraham as a model for saving faith
A      Access  (Romans 5:1-11) – The benefits of justification
N      New Adam (Romans 5:12-21) – We are children of two “Adams”
S      Struggle w/ Sin  (Romans 6-8) Struggle, sanctification, and victory
•Galatians 3:27-28 King James Version (KJV)
For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ.
•There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.
•This seems to be the major lesson to be gleaned from vv1-16.
•Many people ignore Romans 16, because they see in it nothing but a list of names of people.
•Verses 3-15 and verses 21-23 contain a long list of greetings to personal friends of Paul in Rome, to whom he was writing, or greetings from persons who were with him in the city of Corinth, from which he wrote, and who never knew that they were going to be famous.
•In some ways the names in these verses are incidental because we really don’t know very much about any of them.
•However, we must remember when we come to a section of Scripture like  the lists of genealogies in the Bible or the long list of names  in this chapter, to keep in mind 2 Timothy 2:19b  which teaches that “The Lord knoweth them that are his.”
•We need also to remember  2 Timothy 3:16-17,which teaches that “All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work.”
•These saints whom Paul greets have long since died, and their names and the information Paul supplies may seem irrelevant. But the Holy Spirit has both inspired and preserved these words for our edification. Our task is to determine why these words have been preserved for us and what they have to teach us. It is a task well worth the effort.
•Romans 16 is by far the most extensive, intimate and particular of all the words of loving greeting in Paul’s marvelous letters. We can not afford to miss this wonderful outpouring of Paul’s heart toward the saints whom he so loved in all the Church of God!
•Although Paul isn’t deliberately teaching here, and is just greeting his friends in Rome and sending greetings from some who were with him in Corinth, the Holy Spirit inspired Paul to write these greetings which gives us a snapshot of these two churches, to teach us much about what our church ought to be like, and how the individuals greeted here can motivate and encourage each of us to be all that God wants us to be.
•So rather than skip over this chapter quickly, we need to think about, “What food for my soul ishere for me?” We have to dig a bit, but when we do we  come up with some nuggets that make the search worthwhile. Let us look to Him who inspired these words to open our eyes to their meaning.
•In many ways Romans 16 is one of the most exciting chapters in the Bible, a proper study of which yields the following general nuggets of truth.
•1. The local church family is made up of ordinary, diverse people who have come to faith in Christ through the gospel; they are “in the Lord,”  and are seeking to grow in grace and the knowledge of the Lord through sound study of the scriptures.
•2. The local church family is made up several families, and because the members are part of a family who love one another, they are thus hospitable and helpful toward one another, as they seek to deepen their relationships with one another in the Lord.
•3. The local church family is made up of men and women who serve the Lord, in different roles and capacities , and who work hard together for the Lord.
•As we saw in chapter 12, every believer has been given at least one spiritual gift that he or she is to use in serving the Lord, so there should be no benchwarmers in the body of Christ.  The believers mentioned in this chapter  seem to have been workers rather than shirkers, as required by the teaching  of 1 Peter 4:10-11
•As each one has received a special gift, employ it in serving one another as good stewards of the manifold grace of God. Whoever speaks, is to do so as one who is speaking the utterances of God; whoever serves is to do so as one who is serving by the strength which God supplies; so that in all things God may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom belongs the glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.
•Romans  Chapter 16 consists largely of Paul’s salutations to saints that Paul knew who were dwelling in Rome, and from others who were with him in Corinth as he wrote.
•Paul concludes his excellent epistle, with a great deal of affection, in which, his  great love for his fellow believers is revealed. He talks about relationships that tell us a lot about his accountability, his love and his dependence on fellow believers .
We may outline it thus:-
1. Commendation of Phoebe to the Roman Christians- v1-2 – PHOEBE                                
2. Cordial greetings to several of his friends at Rome – v3-16 THOSE WHO WOULD HELP THE CHURCH or PRISCILLA &THE PILLAR PEOPLE
3. Caution to take heed of the phony Christians who were seeking  to cause divisions in the church  – v17-20 i.e  THOSE WHO WOULD HARM OR HINDER THE CHURCH or THE PROBLEM PEOPLE
•4. Complimentary greetings from his companions who were with him in Corinth as he wrote v 21-24  OTHER PILLAR PEOPLE-                       
5.Concluding Doxology or solemn celebration of God’s glory v 25-27 PRAISE                                                                                   
•As we read Romans 16, we notice that Paul speaks of  two different types of folk that may be found  in a local church .
•HELPERS  or PILLAR PEOPLE  vv1-16 and
•Paul points out in vv1-16that we need to celebrate and commend the builders and helpers of the church, and that we need to rejoice over those who encourage us in the faith and call us to follow Christ more fully.
•We  are to  mark and avoid the destroyers or hinderers or the problem people in the church because they cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned. v17.
•We must  not only teach what to believe, we must also teach what NOT to believe” and who not to believe.
•There is so much to be gleaned from studying Romans 16:17-20, about the PROBLEM PEOPLE, but because of lack of time today, we will only give an outline for this section, and confine most of our remarks to parts 1, 2 & 4 of our outline and discuss what I call the PILLAR PEOPLE.
1- Commendationof Phoebe to the Roman Christians- v1-2
2- His cordial greetings to several of his Christians friends at Rome- 16:3-16


•4- Complimentary greetings from his companions who were with him as he wrote 16:21-24
•Churches that grow in a God-glorifying way are churches that have a core of Godly, dedicated pillar people.
•These are the people who undergird and support the weight of the ministry of a church and give it a strong foundation.
•Without quality pillar people committed for the long haul, it is only a matter of time before a ministry collapses.
•In verses 1-15 Paul acknowledges, cheers on, and thanks 26 different PILLAR people in the church at Rome, because Paul knew the vital importance of Pillar people when it came to the establishment and growth of a God-glorifying church.
•Bylooking closely at this list in Paul’s P.S. we can see at least two characteristics that are found in true pillar people—qualities we must embrace if we want to be the kind of people our church needs in order for it to grow and do more for God. PILLAR PEOPLE in a local church are believers who demonstrate  two main characteristics.
•The first is SERVANT-HOOD,
•the second is SACRIFICE.
•In our study of the named believers in Romans 16:1-15 & 21-23 today, we will give
•the name of the mentioned saint,
•the outstanding characteristic for which that saint was  known,
•a discussion of the Greek word that explains this characteristic.
•We want to show the relationship that Paul enjoyed with these pillar people and stress their character, with the hope that Paul’s words to these saints will be an encouragement and a challenge to each of our hearts as we see traits in these people that we would want to emulate in our own lives.
•I hope you will find this approach to be interesting and as fascinating as I have.
•V 1-2 PhoebeServant (diakonon)
•I commend unto you Phebe our sister, which is a servant of the church which is at Cenchrea:
•Phebe is recommended with three endearing names
•(a) As a sister to Paul: in the faith of Christ
•(b) As a servant to the church at Cenchrea: in acts of charity and hospitality,
•(c) As a succourer of many, and particularly of Paul
SHE IS CALLED A SISTER to Paul: in the faith of Christ.
•The word sister indicates that Phebe was in a father/daughter relationship with God. She was a sister because she knew the Father.
•She was also in a relationship with other redeemed children of God.
•Note that Paul “identifies” her a “Sister” in Christ not in the flesh, cf 1 Cor 7:15; Phm 2)
•In Christ, we belong to God not only as “fellow citizens with the saints” in His divine kingdom but also are brothers and sisters in His divine “household” (Ephesians 2:19).
•To refer to Phoebe as “our sister” meant that she was a devoted member of a church family made up of redeemed people from all kinds of races and backgrounds.
•When a person comes to Jesus, all the barriers of life are broken down according to Galatians 3:28. In Jesus there are no racial barriers, no social barriers and no sexual barriers. We are all made one in Jesus!
•This is perhaps the most significant thing we should grasp from this list of names.
•“A servant of the church which is at Cenchrea:“
• SHE IS CALLED A SERVANT to the church at Cenchrea, in acts of charity and hospitality
•Paul says that Phebe is a “servant“- diakonon.
•Because diakonon is the same word that is translated “deacon” elsewhere, this has resulted in some controversy  in many church groups who believe  in female leadership in the church, and therefore teach  that she was a deaconess at the local church in Cenchrea.
•We are not going to discuss the controversy over  the word “diakonos” today, instead we will note that Paul stressed her service, rather than her office.
•The use of diakonon  here means only that she carried out the spirit of that office in her work for the Lord, as a servant to the church because diakonon  means one who executes the commands of another.
•You see, the word translated “deacon“, say in 1 Timothy 3:8-13, and here “servant” means “a table waiter, or one who waits on orders from his master.” At times it referred to one who kicked up dust.The idea being that the servant was a person  who was so busy carrying out his duties that he left a trail of dust behind him.
•diakonosis used of the household servants who drew the water that Jesus turned into wine (John 2:59), and Paul has used the term earlier in this letter twice: to refer to secular government as “a minister of God to you for good” (Ro 13:4 ], and even of Christ as “a servant to the circumcision,” that is, to Jews (Ro 15:8).
•The phrase “of the church“ indicates that Phebe was under the authority of a local church. Whatever kind of service she rendered, her  place in the church, was a servant.
•Phebe was connected to, and respected  for her work with a local church and not just doing her own thing as an independent Christian.
•Note that the same is true about preachers, teachers, leaders and all officers of the church. We are all servants and are to be in submission to the local church.
•for she hath been a succourer of many,
•Succourer means “to come to another’s assistance.” It comes from an old word that means “to run under”.
•Succourer(from Latin suc-currereto run to help) is defined  as someone who is proactive in their service, and furnishes relief by running to the aid of another.
•Phoebe was apparently a businesswoman of considerable wealth and of high esteem and integrity, who used her influence and financial means, as well as her personal time and effort, as a tremendous help to many fellow believers and of Paul also.
•So Phoebe’s gift was to be a patroness, a protectress, a succourer, running to care for the affairs of others and aiding them with her resources.
A. She Gave Of Her Talent & Treasure – Whatever it was that Phebe was good at, she dedicated that to the Lord and used it to be a blessing to the church.
•She helped Paul and she helped others. She was unselfish and not self-centered. She placed the needs of others first and made a difference in their lives for the glory of God.
•She took her life and placed it all on the altar for Jesus. She did what she could. Phebe didn’t try to do everything, she just did what she could!
•Here is what the church needs today! We need women, and men, who will do what they can do, with their Talent & Treasure!
•Not every one can teach or preach. Not everyone can sing, or write, or lead, or whatever. But, everyone can do something! That something that you can do is what you should do for the Lord and for His church. Do what you can for Him and He will bless it in a great way!
•B. She Gave Of Her Time – A ministry like that takes a lot of time! She was willing to spend her life on behalf of the church and for the glory of her redeemer.
•Have you ever thought that your time may just be the most valuable asset you have?
•However, in the light of eternity, what is the investment of time for the glory of God?
•Lets thank and praise the Lord for those people in the church who are willing to give of their time……to pray for others, to visit a sick one, to minister to the bereaved, to make that phone call, to prepare that meal, to do what needs to be done so that others might be blessed.
ROMANS 16:1-2  summary
•The Church Should Commend & Assist Fellow-Christians Who Are Ministering to Others (:1-2)
•a. The church’s business is to minister to others
•b. The church should commend  and assist and thank fellow-Christians who are committed to helping and serving others
•c. The church should HELP THE HELPERS
•In these first two verses we are introduced to the concept of letters of commendation orrecommendation from “friends” and “team members” in one church to “friends” and “team members’ in another church  as taught also  in Acts 18:24-27.
•The word “commend” comes from two words, sun, together with, and histemi, which means to stand. Paul is saying , “I take my stand with Phebe.” I stand along side her.”
•It appears that in the early church era, there were no hotels, so typically when you traveled, you needed to stay with friends. Also. when a person left one church to go to another,it was a common practice for them to carry  with them a letter of commendation from the home church to let people know that this person could be trusted. We still do this today, to a certain degree.
•A letter of commendation was a very practical solution to identify true saints, introducegood Christian workers,  and distinguish them from false teachers.
•The purpose of such references is to spare the church many problems which are the result of indiscriminate acceptance of strangers who are wolves in sheep’s clothing.
•So in the first two verses of chapter 16 Paul introduced Phebe to the believers in Rome, and identified her  as a true and faithful believer who should be welcomed into the church there.
•He wanted them to know that she was pretty special and that she would be a blessing to them.
•You cannot read Romans  16  without being impressed by the highly visible place of women in Paul’s ministry, and the number of women he mentions who were being used for Christ.
•Women  actually occupy a prominent place in the New Testament, and much  more so than in any other literature of that day.
•Women were essential to the ministry and handled very important tasks in the ministry of the early church, according to the gifts they had, as they labored for the Lord.
•Contrary to what is supposed by some today, Paul was not a “woman-hater,” and saw it okay to have women involved in ministry.
•He greatly valued women and appreciated the significance of the important roles in  their ministry, and in the list of twenty-seven persons in this chapter he mentions nine prominent women who are all said to have worked for the Lord, and to be used for Christ.
•These women include  Phoebe, Prisca, Mary, Tryphena, Thyphosa, Persis, Rufus’ mother, Julia, and Nereus’ sister.
•There are still many women of this sort in the church today…….and in this church also.
•From what we see in this list in Romans 16, women were essential to the ministry and labored for the Lord. Women can and must be active in the ministry. The Bible only states that women should not rule over or teach men in the local church (I Tim. 2:9-15). (1Tim. 2:12).
•They are not to be preachers, pastors, elders or deacons and are not to be put into positions of authority, or infringe  upon the order of the assembly of God.
•Their labor in the church is, however,  not just getting chicken dinners or making flower arrangements or planning parties; they are to have spiritual activity in prayer groups,  witnessing, Bible studies, missionary groups, etc.
•Consider that for every one man who offers himself to the mission field, approximately twenty women have offered themselves!
•What a remarkable place women have in the spreading of the Christian faith.
3-5aPriscilla and Aquila -Fellow workers-  (sunergos)
• Greet Priscilla and Aquila my helpers in Christ Jesus: Who have for my life laid down their own necks: unto whom not only I give thanks, but also all the churches of the Gentiles. Likewise greet the church that is in their house.
•”also the church in their house.“
•Notice three things that Paul said about the precious tent-makers Priscilla and Aquila.
First of all, in verse 3 he says that they were fellow workers.
•When Paul calls Prisca and Aquila, my fellow workers in Christ Jesus…he uses the Greek word  sunergos, which  is used 13 times in the NT(predominantly by Paul).
•Paul used it also in this chapter of Timothy in v 21, and in v 9 of Urbanus  (“refined or polite“), who seems to have been a Roman citizen, since his name was a  common Roman name.
•Note that Urbane was “in the top drawer”  like Timothy and Prisca and Aquila!”
•Note also that Paultwice specifically includes godly women among his fellow workers: Priscilla, here,  and in Philippians 4:3  with respect to Euodia and Syntyche, two godly but quarreling members of the church at Philippi who had shared Paul’s “struggle in the cause of the gospel,”as “fellowlabourers”.
•Fellow workers  (sunergos from sun/syn = together with, speaks of an intimate relationship + érgon = work).
•The word sunergos is worth pondering especially in light of Paul’s repeated use of it in this chapter with specific reference to other believers, and the fact that in 1 Corinthians, Paul refers to all believers as God’s fellow workers (1Cor 3:9).
•Sunergos which gives us our English word “synergy, “literally means working together intimately with”,  to help share the load in something, and thus refers to a companion in work, a colleague, a co-laborer, a fellow laborer or fellow helper.
•Synergy is defined as the interaction or cooperation working together of two or more agents, forces, organizations, substances, or other agents which produce a combined effect greater than the sum of their individual or separate effects.
•This word refers to someone who is a team player, who labors with another in furthering the cause of Christ, and who does not seek to run or control things on his own, nor serve for selfish or personal agendas.
•In the NT, sunergos is used only of a co–worker or helper in Christian work. In each instance sunergos conveys the idea of an affectionate partnership and not merely that of an impersonal, official relationship.
•We are reminded by the word sunergos that believers are to work together on the same team, having the same ambition (to please Christ–2 Cor. 5:9) and having the same goal (the glory of God–1 Cor. 10:31). Just as the members of our human body help one another, so it is with the body of Christ (1 Cor. 12:12, 20-27).
•Fellow workers tend to get involved in the focus of their local church, evangelism, discipling new converts, missions, Bible teaching, giving, praying for others   etc
The second thing Paul  says about this couple is “who for my life risked their own necks,”
•Now, we don’t know much about this as the scriptures are silent as what it is he’s talking about exactly.
•The phrase “risked their own necks” seem to indicate that many times this courageous couple rendered selfless service by putting themselves in extreme danger and risked their lives many times for the sake of protecting Paul or other believers who were in the churches there in the area.
•So not only does Paul thank them, but so did all of the churches who benefited. They all give thanks for the precious lives of these two people.
•Their sacrifice brings to mind John’s exhortation of 1 John 3:16 “ We know love by this, that He laid down His life for us and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.”
Thirdly, their home was one of the places where a church met in Rome. Verse 5 says, “Also greet the church that is in their house.”
•Meeting in homes was part of the norm of that day , and their house was a place, a gathering, where many of the believers could come. Their home was open to the believers there.
•Wherever they went, this couple soon had a church meeting in their house. In Ephesus the house of Prisca and Aquila was a meeting place for the saints (1Cor 16:19;Acts 18) as it was here in Rome.
•Lightfoot says there is no clear example of a separate building set apart for Christian worship within the limits of the Roman Empire before the third century. Early congregations met in homes (1Cor 16:19Col 4:15Philemon 2)
•The Christian congregations were therefore dependent upon the hospitality of prominent church members like Prisca, and Gaius(v23) who furnished their homes for this purpose..”
• These facts provide a clue to the organization of the early church — in a city with a Christian community of any size, there appear to be several “congregations” meeting in different houses (c.f vv14&15), since there were no “church” buildings at this time.
•This is all we can say about HOUSE CHURCHES TODAY except that at least 5 house churches are mentioned in this chapter in vv. 5, 10-11,14, 15.
•“Likewise greet the church that is in their house”
•This phrase The church that is in their house gives us a clue to the organization of the early church. For at least the first two centuries, churches had to meet in homes due to persecution.
•Here we see also that there was an assembly in the house of Priscilla and Aquila .This was  not the only one in Rome, for we see indication of four others also (vv. 10, 11, 14, 15).
•In the early days of the Church believers gathered in private houses in great simplicity, according to our Lord’s word: “Where two or three are gathered together in My Name, there am I in the midst of them” (Matthew 18:20).
•In a city with a Christian community of any size, there would be several “congregations” meeting in different houses (very probably houses of a large size). Each house church probably had its own “pastor.”
•Meeting in homes facilitated people-to-people ministry  and helped spread the gospel throughout the whole of then known  world. There is no better environment for person-to-person ministry than in the home.
•Christians then , did not try to get people to come out to church but instead invited them into their homes. There they talked to them about Christ, and there they won their friends and neighbors to the Lord.
•There is no  evidence that there were special “church” buildings until the third century.
•After that the custom grew like wildfire. It was when believers no longer had their church meetings in their homes that organized religion began to take over. Leaving the informal setting of meeting  in the home changed the whole atmosphere and it became formal.
•There were probably half a dozen churches meeting in the city of Rome in private houses.
•Paul  referred to at least three house churches (vv. 5, 14, 15), and at least two households (vv. 10-11) which  might also be house churches.
•In verse 5 there is the church that met at Priscilla and Aquila (cf. v. 23)
•Prisca and Aquila opened their home to host the gatherings of the church
•Wherever Priscilla and Aquila went they started a local church by opening up their home, as they did also in Ephesus (1 Cor. 16:19).
•In verse 14 we have five brethren greeted by name, and also the brethren who apparently met  with them are also greeted.
•In verse 15 we have another such house church assembly in Rome, apparently led by Philologus.
•Philologus means “a lover of the word,” and this was probably a nickname given to him, just as Barnabas was called “the son of consolation,” even though that was not his name.
•Here was a man who loved the Word of God, and gathered with him some men and women including Julia, Nereus and his sister.
•There is a renewed interest in house churches in our day.
•In many places today, many humble saints, finding themselves unfed and very often unwanted in the great “establishments,” are gathering more and more as the early Christians did,–in homes, in Bible Conferences–wherever Christ and His Word and real fellowship in the Spirit are the only drawing powers.
•These gatherings have the advantage of forming close relationships, allowing for closer shepherding, and involving every member in ministry. They have the disadvantages of lacking solid teaching and getting off track doctrinally if they lack trained leaders.
•They can also spawn relational conflicts that come from being overly involved in one another’s personal affairs.
•Also, if they don’t maintain an emphasis on outreach and healthy growth by division, they can become ingrown.
•Such home fellowships provide all of these advantages and disadvantages!
•v5 Epaenetus-beloved -(agapetos)
V 8 Amplias -beloved- (agapetos)
V 9 Stachys-beloved- (agapetos)
•It is noteworthy that all three of these brethren were considered to be Paul’s dearly beloved brothers in Christ.
•The word for “beloved” is agapetos- the same word God the Father uses to describe Jesus
•Agapetos could be translated beloved, dear, very much loved, “divinely loved ones,” and is a term of endearment used only in the context of the New Testament of Christians united with God or with each other in love, according to the truth of Romans 5:5.
•Agapetos is love called out of one’s heart by preciousness of the object loved.
•It is a term that means somebody who you know well and have great respect for and who is especially dear to you…. someone that you love, and someone you are deeply devoted to.
•My beloved in the Lord is a wonderful way to characterize an individual, since that is who we are in the Father’s eyes!
•Believers have a wonderful bond in Christ regardless of their station in life or their position in society.
•The gospel puts every believer on the same level, for we are all bond slaves serving our Master, the Lord Jesus (Col. 3:23-24).
•Remember also : “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female; for ye are all one in Christ Jesus” (Gal. 3:28).
•v6 Mary -the “toiler” – (kopiao)
• Greet Mary, who bestowed much labour on us ………………..”Greet Mary, who has worked hard for you.”
•Salute Tryphena and Tryphosa, who labour in the Lord. Salute the beloved Persis, which laboured much  in the Lord.
•Paul gives Mary a very high compliment when he calls this industrious woman something like “Mary the toiler” because she worked hard and toiled laboriously even to the point of weariness and exhaustion.
•The phrase, “worked hard” comes from two different words. One word means “much” and the other word, kopiao, means “ fatigue”. In other words, she had labored to the point of much fatigue.
•The work described by the Greek term kopiao speaks of exhibiting intense toil and physical tiredness  which follows the straining of all one’s powers to the utmost. It was used to describe  great effort and exertion, and  weariness to the point of exhaustion.
•The idea is that the work left one so weary and worn out, or faint as if the person had taken a beating.
•This is the same word that is used in John 4:6 when it says of the Lord Jesus, “being wearied from His journey, He sat down by the well.” It’s the same word for the disciples in Luke 5:5, when it says, “They toiled all night long and caught nothing.“
•It is fascinating that without email, telephones, etc, that Paul knew that Mary had exerted effort to the point of exhaustion for the believers in Rome!
•Would Paul call you, or I  “_______ the toiler?“
•Note that Paul also places emphasis on the strenuous labor to the point of exhaustion of 3 other women, Tryphena, Tryphosa and Persis in verse 12
•It is noteworthy that, as he goes through this letter, all the women he greets he characterizes as hard workers. I think this is very significant. What would we do without the ministry of women in the church?
•V 7Andronicus and Junia-Outstanding -(episemos)
•Salute Andronicus and Junia, my kinsmen, and my fellow-prisoners, who are of note  (or outstanding ) among the apostles, who also were in Christ before me.
•Paul tells us four interesting facts about these two believers, who might possibly be husband and wife.
They were Paul’s “kinsmen.” Although “kinsman” normally refers to blood relatives, it can be extended to include fellow countrymen and in the context of this epistle probably refers to fellow Jews who are in Christ, as Paul explained in Romans 9:3.
•In Romans 16, Paul uses this term three times (see verses 7,11,21) and names six people as his kinsmen.
They were Paul’s “fellowprisoners.” These two believers were at some time, perhaps even then, his fellow prisoners and may have shared imprisonment with him in a number of places because of their faith.
They were “in Christ” before Paul. They came to Christ before Paul did, prior to Acts chapter 9. “In Christ” has the technical meaning that is found in Galatians 3:27-28 of being baptized into Christ, and becoming part of the church.
They were “of note among the apostles.” These two believers were probably known by the apostles and had an excellent testimony before them.
•“Of note”  (or Outstanding (episemos) literally means “having a mark upon” and was used literally to describe money that had been stamped or coined (with a raised mark).
•In this verse Paul uses episemos  to indicate that Andronicus and Junias had an excellent or splendid, or outstanding, or distinguished, or eminent or illustrious reputation.  It seems that the meaning here is that Andronicus and Junias performed outstanding service in the Lord’s work while working among, and with and possibly under the guidance of some of the ordained apostles, such as Paul and Peter, and were well–thought–of.  They were thus outstanding ..or “raised” and in “the top drawer.”
•V 10 Apelles – Approved-  (dokimos)
•Salute Apelles approved in Christ.
The significant thing Paul says, and all we know about Apelles is that he was approved in Christ.
•Approved  (dokimos) is a remarkable word which  means tested and thus reliable or acceptable, and was used to describe precious metals such as gold or silver that were refined by fire and proven genuine, having passed the test for purity.
•Gold or silver would be put  into a pot, and heated  until it became a liquid and all the dross would begin to come to the top. Then they would take a ladle and scrape off all the dross. When the silversmith could look in it and see his reflection, then he would cool the fire. That’s what it means to go through the fire. That’s what it means to be tested and to be approved and to be proven genuine in the midst of adversity.
•It seems that Apelles was a believer who must have suffered terribly when tested by the trials and afflictions and adverse circumstances of persecution in the context of this era of the early church, but had responded well to the fires and pressures with integrity, and came through the testing, proving his faithfulness to Jesus Christ.
•Apelles trusted the Lord, remained true to Christ, and came out proven to be pure and proven to be genuine.
•Paul says to greet Apelles because he is  “approved”.
•Approved (dokimos) is what we all desire to hear from our Lord “Well done, my good and faithful servant” (Mt 25:2123Lk 19:17). You are Approved!
•Like Apelles many have suffered for Christ who are not recorded in Scripture, but God will reward each one for his or her faithfulness.
•v10 Aristobulus’ household
Salute them which are of Aristobulus’ household.

V 12 household of Narcissus

Greet them that be of the household of Narcissus, which are in the Lord.

•In verses 10 and 12 where Paul sends greetings to the believers who were, “in the household of Aristobulus” and “the household of Narcisuss.”
•Neither Aristobulus nor Narcisuss were Christians—but some of their servants
•J.B. Lightfoot says that there was a man namedAristobuluswho was the brother of Herod Agrippa I, the grandson of Herod the Great. Now, if this was the same one that Paul is talking about, he would have been a close associate to Claudius, the evil Emperor ruler of Rome who drove all the Jews out of Rome.
•If that’s the case, when Aristobulus died, his whole household which included his servants, became the property of NERO, the cruel emperor at the time. This would explain the presence of this family of believers who were actually slaves in the household of Caesar.
•Narcissus was the personal secretary of the Emperor Claudius. When Nero succeeded Claudius, Narcissus was put to death shortly after Nero assumed the throne,  and Narcissus’ servants, who are described in verse 12 as “in the Lord”also became Nero’s property.
•So it seems that there were in these two “inherited” households, within the palace, a large Christian witness in the very corridors of Roman power—working for Nero, the monster.
•These two possibilities give us some help in understanding Philippians 4:22 about “the saints that are of Caesar’s household”.
•God had believers like this even in the higher ups of the government of Rome in that day.
•Since Paul made no distinction between slaves and aristocrats, when they were believers, he says to greet this family of believers.
•They are tremendously significant in the kingdom of God and they are of the household of Caesar, if that theory is correct.
•The gospel was permeating the society of that day!
•11 Herodion – kinsman,
•Salute Herodion my kinsman.
•Recall that in verse 7, he also similarly referred to Andronicus and Junias, as his “kinsmen.”
•In verse 21, Lucius, Jason and Sosipater are similarly referred to as his “kinsmen.”
•He is saying that these six believers were Jews who had come to know the Lord Jesus Christ, and so were thus both Israelites and brothers in Christ.
•We know of only two relatives of the Apostle Paul. His sister and her son (Acts 23:16.).
•V 12Tryphaena, Tryphosa and Persis—three female laborers!-  three “toilers” (kopiao)
•Salute Tryphena and Tryphosa, who labour in the Lord. Salute the beloved Persis, which laboured much  in the Lord.
•One cannot fail to be slightly amused by the allusion to these workers in the Lord, Tryphosa – ‘Dainty’ andTryphaena – ‘Delicate’.
•“Delicate” and “dainty” may have characterized their lives before salvation, but spiritually they were active and faithful workers in the Lord
•These three women labored “in the Lord“.  They probably knew that our labor is not in vain in the Lord (1 Cor. 15:58), and that our labor is to be “in the Lord” and it is also to be for His great Name’s sake (Rev. 2:3), because of WHO HE IS, and that the One we labor for is worthy of our utmost energy and effort. He deserves nothing less than our best
•V 12 Persis both beloved and a toiler
•Salute the beloved Persis, which laboured much in the Lord.
•Persis was beloved,  and a  toiler — she was another lady who had worked hard in the Lord.
13Rufus-chosen in the Lord-eklekto
•”Greet Rufus, a choice man in the Lord, also his mother and mine.“…….. Salute Rufus chosen in the Lord
•Rufus, (choice) literally means chosen, or elected.
•Thayer says  that the word eklektos translated “choice” means select, i.e. the best of its kind or class, excellent, preeminent.”
•Some believe that this term is here used in a special sense, meaning that Rufus was a “choice” or  an exceptional or extraordinary believer — “a choice man in the Lord”, known for his love and work for the Lord and for the Lord’s people.
•Rufus might have been a beloved, dear, precious man, to Paul, but  everybody Paul talks about is chosen, because ALL believers are “chosen in the Lord.”
•We all are God’s elect (see Col. 3:12; Rom. 8:33; 2 Tim. 2:10; 1 Pet. 1:2; 2:9 where this same word is used).
•Let us remember that Ephesians 1:4 says  that “ he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love.”
•V 13 Rufus’s mother
•and his mother and mine.
•This doesn’t mean that Paul was a brother of Rufus, it means that he considered Rufus’ mother to be like a mother to him.
•It seems that Rufus’ mother had the gift of hospitality, and that at some time and in some way during Paul’s years of ministry, used her gift faithfully for the Lord Jesus, in caring for the Apostle Paul as one of her own children, and that Paul received from her the empathy and tenderness that only a mother can give.
•When we are saved and become members of the family of God (John 1:12) we soon discover that we have many brothers and sisters and mothers and fathers and that God’s blood-bought children have a unique relationship one with another, as the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Spirit (Romans 5:5).
•”Let Christian mothers find here a great field for that wonderful heart of instinctive loving care given by God to mothers,—that they extend their maternal care beyond their own family circle, to all Christians, and especially to all laborers for Christ. The Lord will remember it at His coming!” (W.Newell)
•V 14 & 15
• Salute Asyncritus, Phlegon, Hermas, Patrobas, Hermes, and the brethren which are with them.
• Salute Philologus, and Julia, Nereus, and his sister, and Olympas, and all the saints which are with them.
•Five believers are greeted by name in verse 14 and mention is made of the “brethren that are with them.” Five believers are also mentioned in verse 15 as well as “all the saints who are with them.”
•It seems that Paul is here greeting two  groups of men who were part of  house churches that existed in the city of Rome like the one that met  in the home of Priscilla and Aquila.
•He distinguishes five people out of each of these churches.
•We know nothing about these men, but by studying history and the times and the names and what they were associated with, it appears that you’ve  got two groups of five men who were, or had been slaves at that time and had come to know the Lord Jesus Christ.
•Paul distinguishes, lifts up, and pays tribute to these men. Nobody else would have paid tribute to them except God Himself, but God is doing that through Paul.
•Philologus  is an interesting Greek name that means “lover of the word.” I don’t know anything else about him, but I love his name. You certainly can not have a Bible teaching church without a few Philologi!
•There’s an inscription of a slave freed by Augustus by the name of Asyncritus. We don’t know if it’s the same one.
•The name, Nereus, is found in an inscription of the imperial household.
•So we have in these two verses  ten believers  who had somehow been distinguished by their faithfulness to God in little house churches  there in Rome, and Paul was led to put them into his list of greetings in Romans chapter 16.
•V 21Timothy  fellow-worker,(sunergos)
•”Timothy my fellow worker greets you.“
• We have already discussed the implications of sunergos.
•Timothy (Timotheus meaning “honoring God”) was one of Paul’s closest and most trusted associates, and his dear beloved son in the faith who had stayed with him long, and remained faithful from the beginning to the end because of the servant heart Timothy had.
•Of all the companions of Paul, we know more about Timothy than we do anybody else in the list that Paul mentions. He’s mentioned in twenty-four verses in the New Testament.
Acts 16:2  reports that “he was well spoken of by the brethren who were in Lystra and Iconium.“
•From the very first meeting Timothy had alongside Paul , Timothy’s loyalty began to spread and people began to find out about him  and by the time that Paul wrote the book of Philippians everybody knew about Timothy.
•Everywhere Paul went Timothy appeared. Paul would assign him here and assign him there or leave him here as needed.
•Paul spoke of him in the highest terms always; especially in (Philippians 2:19-22), “I have no man likeminded, who will truly care for your state. Ye know that as a child serveth a father, so he served with me in the furtherance of the Gospel.”
•Another version says in Philippians 2:22, “But you know of his proven worth that he served with me in the furtherance of the gospel like a child serving his father.”
•Paul had a warm place in his heart for Timothy even to the end of his life. The very last letter Paul wrote from his prison cell in Rome was to Timothy. Among his last recorded words, Paul twice asked to see Timothy again (2 Tim. 4:9,21).
•The relationship with Timothy had become very precious. It says in 2 Timothy 1:4, “longing to see you, even as I recall your tears, so that I may be filled with joy.” Then down in the last part of the book, in 2 Timothy 4:9, he says, “Make every effort to come to me soon.“
•There is no more beautiful picture than that of a man who is a servant of the Lord Jesus Christ, a man loyal to a man like the Apostle Paul. It didn’t matter the credit that came to him. He was willing to serve him like a child would serve a father. People knew this about Timothy. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if people could say that about you and me? There was a loyalty there.
•** v 21 Lucius.
•Lucius was probably the Lucius of Cyrene mentioned in Acts 13:1, as one of the teachers in the city of Antioch, and as one of the persons who commissioned Paul and Barnabas to the mission field.
•”Lucius” may also have been Luke, the writer of Luke and Acts, and who was present in the “we” portions of Acts.
•** v 21 Jason
•Jason was most likely the Jason who entertained and hosted Paul in his home in the city of Thessalonica, for a short while after a riot broke out in the city before the believers there sent Paul and Silas to Berea for their safety (Acts 17:5-10).
•** v 21 Sopater….Sosipater
•Sosipater is in all likelihood Sosipater, the son of Pyrrhus, of Berea, mentioned in Acts 20:4-6 as “Sopater,” who was among the companions of Paul who met him at Troas after he left Ephesus.
•Sopaterdoubtless was among the Jews in Berea who “were more noble-minded than those in Thessalonica, who received the word with great eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily, to see whether these things [that Paul preached] were so,” and was among the “many of them [who] therefore believed”(Acts 17: 10-12).
•Must have been very difficult to be more noble than those in Thessalonica C.f  1Thessalonians 2:13
•V22 Tertius
• I Tertius, who wrote down this epistle, salute you in the Lord.
•The name “Tertius” (v. 22) indicates that he, was a slave, because his name means “Third.”  (His brother, Quartus, Fourth, is mentioned in Verse 23.)
•In the ancient world in slave families they had a very simple way of solving the problem of naming children. They did not bother to think up names; they just numbered them. The first born was called Primus, the second Secundus, the third, Tertius; & the fourth, Quartus, etc.
•Here are Third and Fourth of a family of slaves.
•They are educated slaves who have become Christians. They can read and write, and are part of this group in Corinth.
•Paul’s normal practice in writing letters to churches was to use an amanuensis, (from Latin  servus a manu = slave with secretarial duties  ie a copyist/secretary; scribe, assistant who took  dictation) when writing his letters, but frequently added a greeting with his own hand (1Co16:212Th 3:17 Phile 1:19). Paul spoke as he was moved and carried along by the Holy Spirit (compare 2 Peter 1:21) and Tertius transcribed with precision what he said.
•But this is the only letter where Paul’s secretary Tertiusis mentioned by name.
•GAIUS –Host-  (xenos)
•Gaius mine host, and of the whole church, saluteth you.
•Gaius, in whose home the letter was written, is presumably the person mentioned in  1 Corinthians 1:14 whom Paul had himself baptized. Gaius has the distinction of being one of the few people who Paul himself ever baptized, as Paul didn’t baptize many people. Paul preach the gospel and others took care of the baptizing.
•The word (xenos) first means stranger, foreign or not of one’s family and in this context refers to one who hosts strangers.
•Gaius was apparently a wealthy, prominent , gracious and generous hearted believer and well known brother for his  hospitality in opening  his house to the entire Christian community that Paul could say that he was not only his host , but also host  to the entire church at Corinth.
•He  had a spacious house suitable for the gathering of the saints for worship; so he welcomed and entertained all the saints at  his house which was probably the meeting place of the church.
•Fiends, if you have a longing to be helpful to God’s saints, be a Gaius!
•V 23 Erastus  -Treasurer (steward, manager)-(oikonomos)
•Erastus was apparently  a high ranking official as the chamberlain, or city treasurer,  or director of public works in the city of Corinth. This was a very high important office in that time. This shows how the Gospel proclaimed by Paul for some 18 months in Corinth had penetrated even the higher echelons of the society and government. Such is the power of the Gospel!
•The word “oikonomos” (compare the English word “economy”) which means to manage, distribute, dispense, literally the manager or superintendent of a household or estate and in the context of the city of Corinth, “superintendent of the city’s finances.”
•We get the term “dispensation” from this word
•Erastus was a dispensationalist in more ways than one. He was entrusted with dispensing the city’s finances and more importantly, as a believer, he was entrusted with the responsibility to manifest and exhibit God’s grace (Eph. 3:2).
•Erastus was a man of high station and political influence, and as such had the opportunity to be an excellent testimony before the leaders of the city.
•May we shine for Christ wherever God has put us, whether high or low (Phil. 2:15), and be reminded of 1 Corinthians 4:2 which teaches that “ it is required in stewards, that a man be found faithful.”
•V 23 Quartusa brother
•and Quartus a brother.
•Quartus means “the fourth.“ Like Tertius, his brother, mentioned in Verse 23, he was possibly a slave………….. but he was a dear brother in Christ.
•How thankful we should be that Christ is not ashamed to call us “brothers” (Heb. 2:11).
•The interesting thing about the names in verse 23 is that they span the full spectrum of the social order.
•On one side was Gaius who was wealthy enough to be host to the entire church at Corinth.
• Along with him was Erastus, the city treasurer.  These two men reflected the higher end of social strata in Corinth.
•At the other end of the spectrum were the slaves Tertius and Quartus. Yet they are mentioned here alongside the leaders and nobility of the city
•You can see how the gospel penetrated all levels of society, with slaves, public officials, consuls, leaders of the empire, all sharing an equal ground of fellowship in the church of Jesus Christ.
•All class distinctions disappeared within the church and that is what happens whenever the church works as per the thesis of Galatians 3:27-28 .
•You can picture them gathered in the home of Gaius , this gracious, genial, generous host of the city, mentioned in Paul’s first letter to the Corinthians.
•Which of these phrases would Paul, or the Lord use to describe our church members?
•succourer of many
•helpers in Christ Jesus
•laid down their own necksfor my life
•bestowed much labouron us.
•of note/outstanding
•beloved in the Lord.
•helper in Christ,
•my beloved.
•approved in Christ..
•in the Lord.
•labouredmuch in the Lord/toiler.
•lover of the word
•chosen in the Lord
•workfellow or fellow worker,
•faithful steward
•3. Caution to take heed of the phony “Christians” who were seeking  to cause divisions in the church v17-20
•In this section of the chapter, Paul  tells us…….
•He tells us that there are two things we are to do. Let us observe…..
Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them. Examine and exclude
For they that are such serve not our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly; and by good words and fair speeches deceive the hearts of the simple.  Motives and methods of these menaces
•He encourages us to WISE UP
•For your obedience is come abroad unto all men. I am glad therefore on your behalf: but yet I would have you wise unto that which is good, and simple concerning evil.
•In verse 20, he gives  FURTHER ENCOURAGEMENT THAT TELLS US WHAT GOD IS GOING TO  DO ……i.e God will vanquish Satan and make the Saints Victorious.
•And the God of peace shall bruise Satan under your feet shortly. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you.
•Romans 16:17-20 is a sermon on its own –c.fMatthew 7:15-20; Acts 20:28-30; Philipians  1:15-17: Philipians  3:2&18  for completion.
ROMANS 16:17-20 – a summary
•1. CAUTION– Keep Your Distance… Keep away from those who divide us from fellow Christians and cause us to stumble from fundamental Christianity V 17
•2. DISCERNMENT — What You See Is Not Always What You Get An uncorrupted heart can be deceived by the sound of something good V 18
•3. CAREFUL OBEDIENCE — Look Carefully Before You Leap Discern first, obey second (rather than blind obedience) V 19
•4. PERSEVERANCE IN HOPE — Hang in There, Satan’s Party Will Soon Be Over Though Satan’s aim is to divide and destroy our Christianity, God’s aim is to soon destroy Satan to bring us peaceV 20
•5.Concluding Doxology or solemn celebration of God’s glory – V 25-27                                                                                     
•24 The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen.
•25 Now to him that is of power to stablish you according to my gospel, and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery, which was kept secret since the world began,
•26 But now is made manifest, and by the scriptures of the prophets, according to the commandment of the everlasting God, made known to all nations for the obedience of faith:
•27 To God only wise, be glory through Jesus Christ for ever. Amen.
•Let me here share this cute outline for verses 17-27 that I found online, and dressed up a bit.
•1. Watch out (16:17-18). mark them & avoid them.
•2. Wise up (16:19-20) be discerning & encouraged
•3. Welcome in (16:21-23), like Gaius, Paul’s host did.
•4. Witness on (16:24-27), with the precepts of the wonderful doxology which enjoins us to use the gospel to present  God’s GRACE,GOSPEL & GLORY
•In this complex and profound doxology, the apostle brought together words and ideas from his earlier epistles, in  HIGH NOTES OF PRAISE in which he sounds off on GOD’S GRACE, GOSPEL & GLORY as summarized in the outline below
•1.GRACE v24
•A. It Is SovereignGrace
•B. It Is SavingGrace
•C It Is  Satisfying Grace
•2.GOSPEL v25
•A  The Message Of The Gospel
•B. The Ministry Of The Gospel
•C The  Mystery Of The Gospel
•3. GLORY v26
•A The Glory Of God’sWill
•B. The Glory Of God’s Wisdom
•C. The Glory Of God’s Work
•This concluding doxology sums up all the great ideas of the Epistle, by reminding us of the power of the Gospel which Paul was commissioned to preach;  we see
•its revelation: the eternal purpose of God;
•its contents: is based on faith;
•its sphere: all the nations of the earth;
•its author:  the one wise God, whose wisdom is thus vindicated.
•All these thoughts are continually dwelt on in the body of the epistle.
•In these last three verses, the apostle summarizes the major themes of the epistle.
•(1) The Wisdom of God. We are reminded in these verses of the infinite wisdom of God.
•In the wisdom of God, He devised a plan whereby He would take rebellious and sinful men and give to them eternal salvation, yet without blemish to His attributes of justice and holiness.
•This He accomplished by the substitutionary death of His Son, Jesus Christ.
•He further planned to save both Jews and Gentiles. The rebellion and unbelief of the Jews has made possible the proclamation of the gospel to the Gentiles.
•And the salvation of the Gentiles will provoke the Jews to jealousy, so that they will finally turn again to their Messiah.
•The wisdom of God in saving Jews and Gentiles was not fully disclosed in the Old Testament.
•Though this mystery was spoken of by the prophets, their meaning was not made known until the coming of Messiah and the preaching of the apostle, whose calling was to make known the mystery of God’s plan to save men from every nation and to join them into one body.
•(2) The Sovereignty of God.
•God is not only wise, but He is all powerful, and able to accomplish what His wisdom has planned.
•Paul says in verse 25, “Now to Him who is able to establish you …” If we have learned anything from the Book of Romans, it is that God alone is able to save and sanctify men.
•Our steadfastness is certain because our God is sovereign.
•(3) The Grace of God. Perhaps the word which captures the theme of this epistle more than any other is the word grace. Grace, as we all know, refers to the unmerited favor of God whereby He has showered upon us blessings which we could never earn or merit.
•We need grace to make it day by day! If we are going to take our stand for Jesus against the troublemakers and Satan, the ultimate troublemaker, then we need grace.
•If we are to enjoy God’s victory as we fight the battles of life, then we need grace because as Romans 5:20 teaches that gracesupercedessin—it  goes far and above in counteracting sin .
•Grace is not superficial or superfluous it is sufficient!
•Thank God for grace sufficient from a supply that will never diminish, 2 Cor. 12:9.
•“The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with” us is certainly a great contrast to the disgrace of division-makers mentioned in v17 as we fight the battle to fight against the assaults of error.
•In the meantime. May  “the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you” in the strife.” Amen.
•This passage in which Paul saluted his friends in Rome contains a word for all of us as Christians.
•If he were alive today, could he greet you and I as a true Christian, a saint, one chosen in the Lord?
•If your answer is yes, then do as those in Rome did — labor for the Lord.
•We are challenged to give everything we have to the service of the Lord and to the service of His church.
•We are challenged to look at our lives and our hearts, and ask “Am I giving everything I can to God, His church and His people? If not, then now is the time to pledge our all to Him afresh and anew.
•If your answer is no, then you need to be converted, saved, born again?
•You need to trust and commit yourself to Jesus Christ as your King and Savior.
•You need to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and be saved!
•If you are not  yet  in the family of God and if you do not know the Father, or the Son, let me tell you that He loves you and wants to save you and take you into His family.
•If you need to meet Him, then come and discuss it with the leadership.
•Paul’s words to these saints should thus be an encouragement and a challenge to each of our hearts as we see traits in these people that we would want to emulate in our own lives.
•Before we get into our message fully  today, I just want to say to any who are here today and have not trusted Jesus as your Saviour, that there is very special list of names that is being written up in heaven upon which you want to have your name!
•Regardless of where your name is recorded down here, be sure it is written up there, in the Lamb’s Book Of Life (Rev. 20:11-15).
•If you miss that list, you have missed out on everything. So be sure to have your name on Heaven’s list.
•If you have trusted Jesus as your Saviour, your name is on Heaven’s list!  If not, it can be!
•And friend, having your name on that list makes all the serving, all the sacrificing and all the steadfast living worthwhile!


Monday Sermon – Do This and Live



Submitted by Grenville Phillips II

Jesus engaged a lawyer, who wanted to know the answer to perhaps the most important question.

And behold, a certain lawyer stood up and tested Him, saying, “Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?”  He [Jesus] said to him, “What is written in the law? What is your reading of it?”

So he answered and said, “ ‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, and with all your mind,’ and ‘your neighbor as yourself.’ ”

And He [Jesus] said to him, “You have answered rightly; do this and you will live.”  (Luke 10:25-28)

So, we are to love God and others.  Love is a verb, and requires action to be demonstrated.  Jesus said that we are to love God with all of our heart, mind, soul and strength.  What does this mean?

Jesus did not elaborate, but demonstrated this love in His life.  He chose to believe what God said and accept it as truth.  He chose to obey whatever God instructed Him to do, regardless of the consequences.  He chose to cultivate a relationship with God as His Father.

In loving your neighbour, Jesus gave the example of the Samaritan, who used his resources to help someone in desperate need who did not ask for help.  We may describe this as unsolicited kindness.

Jesus has already paid for our access to God, through His sacrificial action.  We should not scorn God’s invitation to know Him.  Yet many do.  It seems absurd to live a life disconnected from our Creator, when the way to Him is so easy.  Hear Jesus once again.

“do this and you will live.”  (Luke 10:28b)

Be blessed on your journey.

Grenville Phillips II is a Chartered Structural Engineer.  He can be reached at NextParty246@gmail.com

Sweet Sunday Sermon – The Cities of REFUGE – a picture of Jesus Part 1

Submitted by Dr. GP








God commanded Moses on three different occasions to have Israel set up cities of refuge when they came into the promised land in……

Exodus 21:12-14,

Numbers 35:9-34,

Deuteronomy 4:41-43, Deuteronomy 19:1-13,

And in Joshua 20, we read of Joshua establishing the six cities of refuge.

In my view, the fact that the cities of refuge, which remind us of Christ Jesus our hiding place, are described in no fewer than four Old Testament books, denotes their significance, and demonstrates that the concept of Christ our Refuge is important to the mind of God.

The Cities of Refuge were six of the forty eight Levitical  towns  that were appointed  by God to which accidental manslayers  could flee to claim the right of asylum.

This new legal concept was unique to Israel’s judicial system and reveals the fairness and justice of  God.

It is noteworthy that there were cities in Israel that were larger and more prominent, than these cities of refuge,  but none of them could shelter the sinner, because they were not designated for this purpose.

Similarly there are many “religions” today, but there is only one designated way of salvation as announced in God’s Word—faith in Jesus Christ (Acts 4:12).

In our study today, we hope to show some of the many ways in which allotment of these six  cities of refuge illustrate the salvation we enjoy in the Lord Jesus Christ.

These cities of refuge would not have been so often mentioned in the law of Moses, if they were not designed to be a symbol of the refuge and relief provided for penitent sinners in our Lord Jesus Christ, and a manifest type of Christ as He is presented in the gospel.

The account of  the cities of refuge would not have been so often repeated, if they were not designed to teach us about the protection from the curse of the law and from the wrath of God that believers  have in our Lord Jesus, to whom believers flee for refuge (Heb. 6:18 ), and in whom they are found (Phil. 3:9 ) as in a sanctuary, where they are privileged from arrest by the “avenger of blood”, and where there is now no condemnation to them (Romans 8:1), or any separation (Romans 8:35-39) from Him.

Now we know that the Holy Spirit has purposefully shadowed forth the Lord Jesus in the Old Testament, in type and figure, and it is indeed striking to observe the fascinating similarities that can be drawn between the cities of refuge and Christ, our refuge, and how the believer’s redemption that he procured was prefigured in this many sided type.

Even though no analogy or type is absolutely perfect, it is clear that the cities of refuge are In many ways beautiful types of Christ, to whom we “have fled for refuge to lay hold upon the hope set before us” (Heb 6:18), and they demonstrate to us pictorially how Jesus (and the salvation He provides us) is our refuge from sin, death, hell, and the grave.

When we closely compare the various things said of the cities of refuge to what is said about the Savior in the NT, we must conclude that these four Scripture passages were Divinely designed to enlighten us about our CITY OF REFUGE.

The Bible applies the picture of the cities of refuge to the believer finding refuge in God on more than one occasion: e.g. Psalm 46:1, says God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. More than 15 other times, the Psalms speak of God as being our refuge.

 Hebrews 6:18 points out “That by two immutable things, in which it is impossible for God to lie, we might have strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold of the hope set before us”  clearly speaks of Christ, in whom sinners find a refuge from the destroyer of our souls.

Some points of similarity between the cities of refuge and our refuge in Jesus.

Both Jesus and the cities of refuge are within easy reach of the needy person; they were of no use unless someone could get to the place of refuge.

Both Jesus and the cities of refuge are open to all, not just the Israelite; no one needs to fear that they would be turned away from their place of refuge in their time of need.

Both Jesus and the cities of refuge became a place where the one in need would live; you didn’t come to a city of refuge in time of need just to look around.

Both Jesus and the cities of refuge are the only alternative for the one in need; without this specific protection, they will be lost.

Both Jesus and the cities of refuge provide protection only within their boundaries; to go outside means death.

With both Jesus and the cities of refuge, full freedom comes with the death of the High Priest.


The safe shelter and security provided for us in Christ is because we are all GUILTY!

As we proceed,  let us remember that we must not seek to build doctrines on types; rather we interpret types on the basis of doctrine.

Let us also remember also, that no type or analogy in the scripture is absolutely perfect or has every detail concerning it that fits in exactly with its function as a type, and so we will find that there are some dissimilarities between the cities of refuge and the refuge that we as God’s people find in Jesus Christ.

There are two particular points of contrast between the cities of refuge and Jesus Christ our refuge  that we must grasp.

The first particular points of contrast between the cities of refuge and Jesus Christ our refuge  that we must grasp is that whereas persons who fled to the cities of refuge had to prove their innocence to get the protection of the cities, ( Joshua 20:6, Num. 35:12), we who have fled to Jesus for refuge do not have to go to trial to defend our innocence.

There is no trial or  investigation of our sins for us, when we come to Christ our Refuge  as the elders of the city of refuge had to  investigate the alleged crime committed by the one who fled there,  because we are all guilty before God for breaking His law, and thus are deserving of death, and thus there is no need for an investigation.

 As sinners we were rightly condemned and sentenced deservedly to death. BUT our sentence has already been executed because  Christ bore the penalty for us on the Christ. Because He died in our  place, we are free, and  have been delivered from the penalty of sin. Never do we have to answer for it again. We are free now to go out and serve Him, because we now have a High Priest, a resurrected Savior, to whom we can go.

John 3:18  says “He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.

Romans 8:1-4 reminds us that There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death.Forwhat the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh:Thatthe righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.

The second amazing difference that we must grasp, is that whereas a merciful God appointed and  set up these temporal cities of refuge to provide shelter and security for the benefit of the innocent only  – so that the innocent might not suffer with the guilty, the eternal safe shelter and security provided for us in Christ our Refuge is essentially because we are all GUILTY!

The cities of refuge were only for the innocent – the elders of the cities of refuge only protected  and helped someone who was innocent of murder because these cities were only for the man who killed by mistake.

Our innocence is, however, not in question,  when we come to Jesus, because  we are all guilty before God and deserving of His just wrath.

Jesus  our city of  refuge  is for the guilty. It is the guilty who come to Jesus and find refuge. . It is the guilty who are invited to come to Jesus and confess their sins (I John 1:9).

The city of refuge provided protection from the avenger of blood only for the  innocent manslayer. There was no reprieve for deliberate or presumptuous murder.

The deliberate or guilty murderer was excludedto teach us that there is no salvation in Christ for presumptuous sinners who still go on deliberately in their trespasses. Those who persist in willful sin, and continue to defy and trample upon God’s law, bar themselves from His mercy, and should be aware of the warning of Hebrews10:28-29 which emphatically states our need to accept Christ as our Refuge thus : “He that despised Moses’ law died without mercy under two or three witnesses; of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy, who hath trodden under foot the Son of God, and hath counted the blood of the covenant, with which he was sanctified, an unholy thing, and hath done despite unto the Spirit of grace?”

There is no shelter in a holy Christ for those who are in love with sin, but unto those that flee to Him from their sins there is “plenteous redemption.” (Psalm 130:7)

In Christ the guilty, penitent and believing sinner is secure from the curse of the broken law and the wrath of God, for the Lord Jesus endured  them in his stead.

In Christ he is safe also from the fury of a raging Devil and is delivered from the accusations of a guilty conscience.

It is very important to realize that whereas the cities of refuge only helped the innocent; the guilty can come to Jesus and find refuge.

Remember, Jesus said he that is not sick does not need a physician (Matt 9:12, Mk 2:17, Lk 5:31) but that he  came to seek and save the lost.

Because Christ died for and receives guilty sinners, the guilty can come to Jesus and find refuge- even the deliberate sinner.

How is it possible that the holy God would accept those that are guilty?

It is not by giving up His holiness, because He can not and does not devalue that.

Rather, the reason Christ is able to be our Redeemer is that He is a high priest and the sacrifice He gave was His own death.

Another important thing we should point out in this introduction is that these cities anticipated an urgent situation, and were provided ahead of time!

The Lord did not wait until an Israelite or a stranger had accidentally slain one of his fellows, to then arrange for his deliverance from the sword of justice, for the Lord is ever beforehand in supplying what we lack.

Just as these cities were available before they were made use of, in like manner, God’s appointing of Christ to be the Savior of  sinners  was no afterthought to meet an unexpected emergency for in the Divine purpose and plan, Christ was the Lamb “slain from the foundation of the world” (Revelation 13:8).

The surprising thing when we look through the scriptures is that we can find no actual example recorded of someone actually using the cities of refuge, just as we will find no example of a father bringing a rebellious son to the city gate for the prescribed punishment according to the rules cited in Deuteronomy 21:18-21 & Leviticus 20:9 .

But God in His wisdom provided both for our learning of the way of salvation.

Although no father is reported to  bringing a rebellious son to the city gate for the prescribed punishment we know as we are told in Romans 8:32, that God, the Father “spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all”, even though the Lord Jesus was innocent of all sin.

Though we have no example of anyone actually using the cities of refuge, we must all appreciate God’s provision, and  in the symbolic application of the Cities of Refuge be wise and dwell in the provisions of our City of Refuge, as outlined in the OT scriptures, and as enunciated in the provision of John 3:16, and other related NT scriptures.

For it is only in Christ, our City of Refuge that we live in safety both now and in the future.

Although we can not find any recorded examples in the Bible of persons who availed themselves of the provision of any of the cities of refuge, there is one clear example of a man who was killed because he did not enter such a city.

In 2 Samuel 2:18-24, we read about Abner, Saul’s Commander-in-chief, being pursued by a man named Asahel. Abner tried to reason with Asahel, but Asahel continued to pursue Abner, and Abner eventually killed Asahel.

Later, Joab, the older brother of Asahel  and David’s Commander-in-chief. caught Abner at the gate of the city  of Hebron, which was one of the 6 cities of refuge, and killed him, to avenge the death of Asahel, 2 Sam. 3:27.

What is most striking are the comments made by king David as he mourned the death of Abner, 2 Sam. 3:32-34.

It is as if David were saying, “Abner, you died like a fool! You were right there at the gates of the city of refuge. All you had to do was walk right in. Nobody had you tied up! You could have been saved, but you died like a fool!”

Friend, don’t let that same thing happen to you! Nobody has you tied down this morning. All you have to do is walk into the refuge that God has provided and be saved. Our Refuge, Jesus, is waiting for you! Don’t die like a fool!

Just as God’s Word promised that there would be cities of refuge in Joshua 20:7–8, and they were duly established; so did the promise of salvation first given in Genesis 3:15-19, became a reality through the death of Christ on the cross.

God’s promise of salvation through Jesus is given to all who will come, (Rev. 22:17.) He has not promised what he can not deliver, and he has promised not to turn any away, (John 6:37)!

Let us now further consider some of the several truths concerning the cities of refuge and  observe the grand picture  they present of the “so great salvation” that can be found in Jesus Christ alone, and how they uniquely reflect the mercy of God toward us sinners.



Joshua 20

The LORD also spake unto Joshua, saying,

2Speak to the children of Israel, saying, Appoint out for you cities of refuge, whereof I spake unto you by the hand of Moses:

3That the slayer that killeth any person unawares and unwittingly may flee thither: and they shall be your refuge from the avenger of blood.

4And when he that doth flee unto one of those cities shall stand at the entering of the gate of the city, and shall declare his cause in the ears of the elders of that city, they shall take him into the city unto them, and give him a place, that he may dwell among them.

5And if the avenger of blood pursue after him, then they shall not deliver the slayer up into his hand; because he smote his neighbour unwittingly, and hated him not beforetime.

6And he shall dwell in that city, until he stand before the congregation for judgment, and until the death of the high priest that shall be in those days: then shall the slayer return, and come unto his own city, and unto his own house, unto the city from whence he fled.

7And they appointed Kedesh in Galilee in mount Naphtali, and Shechem in mount Ephraim, and Kirjatharba, which is Hebron, in the mountain of Judah.

8And on the other side Jordan by Jericho eastward, they assigned Bezer in the wilderness upon the plain out of the tribe of Reuben, and Ramoth in Gilead out of the tribe of Gad, and Golan in Bashan out of the tribe of Manasseh.

9These were the cities appointed for all the children of Israel, and for the stranger that sojourneth among them, that whosoever killeth any person at unawares might flee thither, and not die by the hand of the avenger of blood, until he stood before the congregation.

In Joshua 20 we are essentially given a shortened version of what was ordered of Moses by God, when he was still alive,  and  told to Joshua in the plains of Moab as the wilderness journey was nearing its end as recorded  in Numbers 35.

Joshua 20 indicates that now that the tribes of Israel had come into the land of Canaan and had possessed,  subdued, inhabited anddivided up the land, and had all received their inheritance and things were starting to wind down as far as the conquest of the land was concerned, the time had come for Joshua to carrying out the commands and instructions that had been given previously in in  Exodus 21:12-14, Numbers 35:1-34 & Deuteronomy 19:1-13, about appointing out of the 48 Levitical cities the six special cities of asylum or refuge for those who accidentally kill another.

The first thing we will note from the Biblical accounts of The Cities of Refuge is that they were appointed by  God  Himself.

These cities and the Christ they picture were both gifts from the loving heart of God, who “so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son” (John 3:16)

They were not of man’s devising. Just as the gospel is no human invention, man did not come up with the idea for these cities.

Christianity and salvation through the shed blood of Jesus did not originate in the heart of man either. This was a notion that was birthed in the heart and mind of God from start to finish.

Moses did not choose the cities, to remind us that the Law cannot save anyone.

It was not an earthly priest who appointed them, to remind us that religion in any form can’t save anyone.

When man creates a religion, he fixes it in such a way that he is in control of it. He sets it up as a system of works and makes himself responsible for getting himself to whatever Heaven he is striving for.

God, on the other hand, set up salvation in such a way that all man must do is trust Jesus as his Savior by faith. And, even that faith is given to him by the Lord, (Eph. 2:8-9).

Salvation is all God or it isn’t real at all! (Psalm 3:8,Psalm 62:1, Jonah 2:9)

Next we note that the  Cities of Refuge  were provided by grace.

God could have allowed the manslayer to die for his carelessness like any other person who had taken a life.

However, in His grace He made a way that those folks who had accidentally taken the life of another might find refuge and help.

By the same token, God could have allowed sinners to all go to hell, since we are guilty in His sight and we deserve nothing but damnation in the fires of hell!

But God sent His Son to take our sins upon Himself on the cross, (Isa. 53:6, I John 3:16, I John 4:9, I Corinthians 15:3 etc) .

Jesus paid the price that sinners might live through Him!

The Word of God tells us that salvation is only through grace from start to finish!

1. He initiated the process – John 6:44; Eph. 2:1.

2. He provided the means – Rom. 3:25; Acts 4:12

3. He saves those who believe – Acts 16:31

4. He keeps those He saves – 1 Pet. 1:5

They  cities of refuge were an expression of the Divine mercy,  and an act of grace, for all men are sinners and deserve to die.

These cities by their very natures spoke of the grace of God and of His love for the needy. They were there because God cares!

And how rich the grace is thus evidenced, for it provided not merely one, but six of these cities!

This reminds us of Romans 5:20. Where sin did abound….grace did much more abound!

The same is true about Jesus! He is there for our salvation simply because God cares about us! He did not want us  to die and go to Hell, 2 Pet. 3:9. Because He wants so much that we be saved , He proved His love for us  when He allowed the Lord Jesus, to suffer on the cross in our place.

Rom. 5:6 teaches that  “when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly” and Rom. 5:8 asserts that “ God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.

Jesus is our refuge and we can enter into the refuge  he provides and find a dwelling place, because he has promised a place for all who would believe by grace through faith! Just as these cities  were placed where a man could flee in a time of desperate need, so Jesus is a place of safety this morning.

In order to be fair, in order to be just, God had Israel establish six cities of refuge that he had allocated (three on either side of the Jordan River) for those who had committed manslaughter accidentally against persons  to whom they had no hatred or malice to  flee and be safe from the avenger of blood

In studying these instructions, I could not help thinking of Romans chapter 3, where we read about God’s plan for our need…….


Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin.

21But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets;

22Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference:

23For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;

24Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus:

25Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God;

26To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus.

Here God is saying “I have been FAIR and JUST and I have allocated and provided an effective City of refuge for everyone!”

The intricacies of the prescribed laws in relation to the cities of refuge are described under the NEED OF THE CITIES

 A person who was accused of committing  murder had to “flee” immediately to one of the cities  of refuge, where He would be safe from the avenger—the family member charged with avenging the victim’s death (Numbers 35:19)—until the case could go to trial.

 Such a person could not afford to delay! If he procrastinated and waited too long to flee, he could be caught by the avenger and killed.

Fleeing for refuge implied earnestness, and unwearied diligence The manslayer dared not dawdle or saunter or loiter as he ran for his life until shelter and safety were reached.

In the same way the scriptures tell us to be wise and take full advantage of what is being offered to us and be saved today while we still have the opportunity to be saved, for we will not always have opportunity. 2 Cor. 6:2  teaches that “today is the day of salvation.”

If the manslayer  did not flee to a city of refuge when sought by the avenger of blood  who was determined to execute judgment upon him, there was no hope, as there was no other alternative to these cities but death.

Similarly  lost sinners today can not afford to delay in fleeing to the only refuge, Jesus Christ, as there is no help or hope for us, if we do not flee to the refuge which God has given to us at such a great price.

Just as a city of refuge was the only  place of safety  for the manslayer in need; without the specific protection of the Lord, our Refuge, all  sinners would be lost. Both Jesus and the cities of refuge were provided as a place where the one in need could live in safety.

This reminds of Acts 4:12 which states “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men,  whereby we must be saved”

Hebrews10:28-29 emphatically states our need to accept Christ as our Refuge thus : “He that despised Moses’ law died without mercy under two or three witnesses; of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy, who hath trodden under foot the Son of God, and hath counted the blood of the covenant, with which he was sanctified, an unholy thing, and hath done despite unto the Spirit of grace?”

We have heard the gospel; if in the Old Testament ignoring God’s law brought death, what about us if we should despise the work of Christ and the grace which He showers upon us?  How shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation; which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed unto us by them that heard him;(Hebrews 2:3)

Just as the persons sought refuge in the cities set up for that purpose, we flee to Christ, the one appointed by God for refuge from sin (Hebrews 6:18).

We run to Christ to escape the danger we are in from the curse and condemnation of the law, and from the wrath of God, and from an eternity in hell.

Only Christ provides refuge from these things, and it is to Him alone that we must run.

Just as the cities were open to all who fled to them for safety, Christ who provides safety to all who come to Him for refuge from sin and its punishment.

The cities of refuge were completely adequate for the needs of all the endangered ones who fled to them, and they were sufficient for their need.

The cities of refuge did not only provide  legal protection, but were also stocked  with  a supply of food, so that they were  a completely sufficient refuge,  as they met all of  a man’s needs once he was inside..

Even the suburbs or borders of the city were a sufficient security to the offender, v. 26, 27, just as there  is virtue even in the hem of Christ’s garment for the healing and saving of poor sinners.

In like manner, Jesus Christ is a completely sufficient refuge  for the need of any and every soul! Christ not only makes a Christian legally safe through His propitiatory death, but He supplies the believer with great riches.  Christ’s death is completely adequate to meet our need for refuge from the true moral guilt which we have.

Christ’s is work on the cross is completely adequate to meet our need for refuge from any moral guilt which we have.  It is  a final and complete work  because of who He is.

Once the manslayer had been received safely into the city of refuge, the avenger of blood was kept at bay and could not set-upon the killer again, and act as his executioner . He could now act only as prosecutor (Numbers 35:19).

However, there are consequences to every act! Even though the man was protected, there still was a price to be paid for his actions. Once he had claimed asylum, a perpetrator had to be put on trial, and his case was determined by the rules God had specified concerning the cities of refuge.

When the slayer came to one of the cities of refuge, upon arriving at the gate-  the place where the elders sat and administered justice – before he was admitted, he received a preliminary hearing  from the local city elders, at which he had to explain, to them what happened (Joshua 20:4) to see if he was worthy of being protected.

This initial trial by the elders of the city prevented a person from taking advantage of this provision for the innocent. The accused  was then given a place to live within the city until a fuller and more formal trial or investigation of his case in a court of justice  could be conducted (Numbers 35:12: Joshua 20:6).

Eventually, the accused had to “stand before the congregation in judgment” ( Joshua 20:6, Num. 35:12), where he was given a fair trial, at which full and formal investigation was made, so that the accused had every opportunity to prove his innocence.

The  elders of the city would  call witnesses and the congregation determined from the evidence if the death was deliberate (first-degree murder) or if the attacker acted unintentionally  (manslaughter) (Numbers 35:24 et secq).

As pointed out earlier in slide 11, persons who fled to the cities of refuge had to prove their innocence to get the protection of the cities, but we who have fled to Jesus for refuge do not have to go to trial to defend our innocence.

Note that we are not here disavowing our appearance at the “Bema” which is not really a trial per se, but more a tribunal to determine which of the five heavenly crowns that believers can receive in Heaven, will be awarded to us?”

Those who killed, either accidently or with malice, were not allowed to pay a ransom in the cities of refuge in order to avoid the consequences of their behavior (Numbers 35:31 – 32). Jesus is the only ransom.

Because deliberate killing is first-degree murder, but inadvertent killing is manslaughter, God distinguished the two. God indicated that death caused by a pre-meditated act is murder.

For deliberate,premeditated murder there was no escape or refuge. Apre-meditated act was punishable by death. Death had to be pronounced and executed.

If a person truly had committed a pre-meditated murder against someone else, then the person was to be killed and if necessary he was even to be dragged from the very altar of God where he was seeking refuge in order to be put to death for the murder.

If the accused was convicted of murder, i.ekilling someone in anger, malice, by premeditation, the elders of the city of refuge were to turn the guilty one over to the avenger of blood. The avenger was then to carry out the death penalty  (Numbers 35:19, 21, Deuteronomy 19:12).

It should be realized that the cities of refuge were not for the guilty, because there was no sacrifice for high-handed, defiant, premeditated, or known sin (e.g., Ps. 51:17).

Deaths caused by accidental acts, which we would today call ‘manslaugter’, were not a cause for the death penalty.

If in a particular city of refuge it was determined that the offense was accidental, or second-degree murder,  and that death had ensued where no malicious attempt upon life had been made, but, instead, the injury had been inflicted unintentionally or “unawares,” then the accused was  found not guilty of first-degree murder, and  the death penalty was not visited upon him

In fleeing to the city of refuge, it was only  the person who had acted unintentionally in committing the act that resulted in the death of a person who would be given refuge.

In the same way it is the repentant person who  has inadvertently sinned as a result of the weakness of the flesh, not one  hardened in sin and unrepentant, that is given salvation in coming to refuge in Christ by saving faith in Him

For unintentional deaths, or accidental manslaying where there was no malice before thought, God set aside the six cities of refuge to which the murderer could flee for refuge.

When one unintentionally killed a neighbor, there must usually have been in such cases a culpable degree of carelessness, and though his life was spared, his freedom was curtailed.

The legal and civil consequences for his acts, and for his safety, the manslayer was wasseparated from his own tribal allocation and required to leave his home, his wife, his children, and family, and everything  and flee to and take up residence in the city of refuge, and there remain where he could live in safety protected, from the “avenger of blood,” but only if he stayed in that location until the death of the High Priest (cf. Num. 35:25).

That is just what a man does when he resolves to be saved by grace: he must leave everything he calls his own, renounces all the rights and privileges which he thought he possessed by nature; and confesses to having lost his own natural right to live, and he flees for life to the grace of  God in Christ Jesus.

The manslayer had no right to live until he was in the city of refuge, no right to anything except that he was God’s guest within those enclosing walls.

And so we too relinquish, heartily and thoroughly, once and forever, all ideas arising out of our supposed merits; we hasten away from self that Christ may be all in all to us. Fleeing for refuge implies that a man flees from his sin, confesses and repents of it.

There has to be a complete break from the old self-pleasing life. Sin must be made bitter before Christ will be sweet.

This symbolizes that in the salvation that Jesus procured for mankind on the cross, a person has to also be willing leave the influence of his family and friends, and even his own life, and come to Jesus and abide in and follow Him.

We see this taught by Jesus in a few places in the gospels, including:  John 15:1-6, Matt. 16:24-25, Luke 9:57-62 etc.

Just as it was his duty to flee into it, the manslayer who had fled to a city of refuge, was obliged to remain within the city of refuge and could live there in safety until the death of the current high priest at which time he would be free to leave the city and  could return to his own home in safety, without fear of retribution.

There is as much emphasis placed upon our abiding in Christ as there is upon our coming to Him ( John 8:31Colossians 1:23Hebrews 3:6,14; 1 John 2:28).

These verses point to the responsibility of the believer to abide in Christ not only at the time of his conversion, but all through his life.

A  person was only safe from harm as long as he remained within the walls of the city.

As long as the slayer remained in the city, he was safe, and he would be freed  and be exonerated of his crime  when the high priest died, and be allowed to return to his own city and the manslayer would not be able to harm him.

The manslayer could only safely return to their home after the death of the High Priest (Joshua 20:6).

If he was foolish enough at any time to forsake the  boundaries of that cityof refuge, and try to return home before the high priest died, he forfeited legal protection, and risked being killed by the avenger of blood, if the avenger should then find him without its borders.

Under such circumstances the avenger had the right to kill him outside of the city of refuge, without penalty (Numbers 35:26 – 28).

Similarly, as long as we abide in Christ, we are safe.

Jesus said, in John 15:4,6, “If any man abides not in Me, he is cut off, the branches withered. Men gather them and cast them into the fire.”

So the importance of abiding in Jesus Christ, our refuge is paramount.

Though the true Christian can never perish,  by failing to “abide in Christ” he or she opens the door to spiritual and physical dangers.

Both Jesus and the cities of refuge provide protection only within their boundaries

All the days that the high priest lived and the manslayer abode within the city, no condemnation could come upon him.

In like manner, since our High Priest Christ is “alive for evermore,” we are eternally secure; because He lives, we live also.

So though we are legally guilty before God, when we cast ourselves upon Him we are free forever.

It was only upon the death of  the high priest who was in office at the time of the trial, that the manslayer was exonerated of the crime and free to leave the city without fear, and return to his own city and home and reside there unmolested (verse 28) for  the death of the high priest formed an atonement.

The manslayer was allowed to leave the city of refuge and return to his own town and home, upon the death of the high priest because the high priest’s death symbolically terminates the guilt incurred.

 When the high priest died, all of those who were taking refuge in all of the cities of refuge were exonerated from committing any acts of manslaughter and thus free to go home safely, being free from fear of attack or reprisal from the manslayer.

The avenger of blood could no longer hunt down or harm the  manslayer once the high priest  had died, because the high priest’s death serves as payment, a form of substitute, for the offended party.

For the Christian, this picture is a depiction of Christ, whose death andsacrifice took away the guilt of our sin. Because of the death of Jesus, our high priest, we Christians no longer need to fear the death which comes about because of sin, for He died in our place.

Only the death of the high priest  secured full and final deliverance for the manslayer  ( Joshua 20:6).Similarly, it is only through the death of  our High Priest, the Lord Jesus Christ that our victory over sin and death is  secured!

We owe our emancipation to the death of Christ.

Just as full freedom came  with the death of the High Priest  so too did our freedom come with the death of Jesus.

This speaks beautifully of our salvation—for not only do we have refuge in Christ, but we’re also free because our High Priest died for us on the Cross of Calvary.

It is noteworthy  therefore that not only were the cities of refuge symbolic of Christ, but that the high priest himself was also symbolic of Christ.

 The double figure of the city (safety) and the high priest’s death (propitiation) was necessary to set forth both aspects, as were the two goats of Leviticus 16:7,8.

There may also be a designed dispensational hint here: saints were saved of old, but not until the death of Christ was the full liberty of son-ship enjoyed ( Galatians 4:1-7).



If you look at a map of the Holy Land, you find that the six cities of refuge were well spaced throughout the country, and  all strategically and conveniently situated in the land, so that no matter where you were in Israel, you were not very far from a city of refuge.

This was because of express instructions given by God as to the precise situations of those cities. The land was to be divided into three parts, one city of refuge in each so that the cities were to be “in the midst of the land” (Deuteronomy 19:2,3), and not in remote corners which were difficult to approach.

Those cities were so situated that when anyone living in Israel, including strangers (Joshua 20:9), had need of such, one of them was near at hand,and could be reached within a single day’s journey, from any corner of the country no matter where the manslayer resided.

No tribe was too far from the place of safety,  as they were distributed in central places on both sides of the Jordan roughly equidistantly so that each one could be reasonably accessed to the manslayer from any part of Israel; they were of no use unless someone could get to the place of refuge QUICKLY.

The cities of refuge were chosen so that they were never more than a half day’s run from one of these cities, always easy to reach from any place in the country, and  easily accessible at short notice in any particular section of the country, to those who might have need of them.

Three cities on each side of the Jordan River- were provided for a man-slayer guilty of second-degree murder.

Three of the cities of refuge were located on the west side of the Jordan River and three were east of it.

One in the middle of the country, one in the northern part, one in the southern part.

This was intended so that a person could pick out the city that was closest to them, and get there in a hurry.

To be of any use, a city of refuge had to be accessible, and so, they were close to everyone no matter where they were or who they were!

Whether the manslayer was a son or a stranger, there was a city of refuge near to him.

The application is obvious.

These facts teach us that just like the cities of refuge, Jesus is always very near, and  accessible to all and within easy reach of the needy person whether Jew or Gentile

Christ is Better Than Any of the Cities of Refuge because He is nearer than any city of refuge, and we may cast ourselves upon Christ at any time, in any place ( I Peter 5:8) because the Saviourhas placed Himself within the reach of all.

A runner could fall and not be able to get to a refuge in time to shelter him within the walls of safety, but a man who looks to Christ can never fall.  This concept is clearly taught in scriptures such as Phil 1: 6;  Jude 24; I Peter 5: 10 etc

“The Lord is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart” ( Psalm 34:18).

Unto such He says, “My righteousness is near” ( Isaiah 51:5).

The way to Christ is straight, and short: it is but a simple renunciation of self and a laying hold of Him to be our all in all.

Certainly in the Gospel, God has fully and plainly made known the way of salvation, so that “wayfaring men , though fools, shall not err therein”(Isaiah 35:8). See also Romans 10:6-8.

The Bible makes a specific promise: “Him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out” (John 6:37).

In fact, Jesus Himself seeks us.He says in Rev 3:20 , “I stand at the door and knock.”.

So Christ is easy to reach, His arms are open to all, His entrance is never locked, He is a completely sufficient refuge, and He is the only hope.

Just as the cities were near to all—so is JESUS, our REFUGE NEAR TO ALL, AT ALL TIMES

Monday Sermon – Count The Cost


Submitted by Grenville Phillips II

People may be tempted to negatively pre-judge persons.  Before Jesus gave His followers His commandments, He seemed to address what others saw, as opposed to what He saw.

“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.
Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for 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 sons of God.
Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”  (Matthew 5:3-10)

He then explained what they would likely experience if they followed Him.

“Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake.  Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.”  (Matthew 5:11-12)

Jesus then called His followers to be visible, so that God may be glorified by their responsible behaviour.

“You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt loses its flavour, how shall it be seasoned?  It is then good for nothing but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot by men.”

“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.”  (Matthew 13-16)

Jesus then explained the importance of His commandments.

“Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill.  For assuredly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle will by no means pass from the law till all is fulfilled.

Whoever therefore breaks one of the least of these commandments, and teaches men so, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever does and teaches them, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.  For I say to you, that unless your righteousness exceeds the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven.”  (Matthew 5:17-20)

The scribes and the pharisees knew the scriptures.  Jesus explained to His followers that they should be better than those who knew, but did not obey the scriptures.  Hear Jesus.

“Then Jesus spoke to the multitudes and to His disciples, saying: “The scribes and the Pharisees sit in Moses’ seat.  Therefore whatever they tell you to observe, that observe and do, but do not do according to their works; for they say, and do not do.”  (Matthew 23:1-3)

Jesus then explained His challenge with those who have knowledge, but lead others away from God because of their bad behaviour.  Hear Jesus.

“But woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you shut up the kingdom of heaven against men; for you neither go in yourselves, nor do you allow those who are entering to go in.   Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you devour widows’ houses, and for a pretense make long prayers. Therefore you will receive greater condemnation.

“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you travel land and sea to win one proselyte [convert], and when he is won, you make him twice as much a son of hell as yourselves.”  (Matthew 23:13-15)

It is very dangerous for knowledgeable persons to practise behaving badly.  Soon, they are simply unable to change course.  Hear Jesus speak of their likely end.

“Fill up, then, the measure of your fathers’ guilt. Serpents, brood of vipers! How can you escape the condemnation of hell?”  (Matthew 23:32-33)

Since Jesus will judge us at the end of the age, it is much better to choose the sure path of following Jesus’ commandments, and bear the reviling that Jesus said to expect.

Grenville Phillips II is a Chartered Structural Engineer.  He can be reached at NextParty246@gmail.com

Sweet Sunday Sermon – The Second Coming of Christ

Submitted by Dr. GP

The New Testament uses three different words to describe the Second Coming of Jesus Christ.

(i) The commonest is parousia, a word which has come into English as it stands. It is used in Matthew 24:3; Matthew 24:27; Matthew 24:39; 1 Thessalonians 2:9; 1 Thessalonians 3:13; 1 Thessalonians 4:15; 1 Thessalonians 5:23; 2 Thessalonians 2:1; 1 Corinthians 15:23; 1 John 2:28; 2 Peter 1:16; 2 Peter 3:4. In secular Greek this is the ordinary word for someone’s presence or arrival. But it has two other usages, one of which became quite technical. It is used of the invasion of a country by an army and specially it is used of the visit of a king or a governor to a province of his empire. So, then, when this word is used of Jesus, it means that his Second Coming is the final invasion of earth by heaven and the coming of the King to receive the final submission and adoration of his subjects.

(ii) The New Testament also uses the word epiphaneia (Titus 2:13; 2 Timothy 4:1; 2 Thessalonians 2:9). In ordinary Greek this word has two special usages. It is used of the appearance of a god to his worshipper; and it is used of the accession of an emperor to the imperial power of Rome. So, then, when this word is used of Jesus, it means that his Second Coming is God appearing to his people, both to those who are waiting for him and to those who are disregarding him.

(iii) Finally the New Testament uses the word apokalupsis (1 Peter 1:7; 1 Peter 1:13). Apokalupsis in ordinary Greek means an unveiling or a laying bare; and when it is used of Jesus, it means that his Second Coming is the laying bare of the power and glory of God come upon men.

Here, then, we have a series of great pictures. The Second Coming of Jesus is the arrival of the King; it is God appearing to his people and mounting his eternal throne; it is God directing on the world the full blaze of his heavenly glory.

We may now gather up briefly the teaching of the New Testament about the Second Coming and the various uses it makes of the idea.

(i) The New Testament is clear that no man knows the day or the hour when Christ comes again. So secret, in fact, is that time that Jesus himself does not know it; it is known to God alone (Matthew 24:36; Mark 13:32). From this basic fact one thing is clear. Human speculation about the time of the Second Coming is not only useless, it is blasphemous; for surely no man should seek to gain a knowledge which is hidden from Jesus Christ himself and resides only in the mind of God.

(ii) The one thing that the New Testament does say about the Second Coming is that it will be as sudden as the lightning and as unexpected as a thief in the night (Matthew 24:27; Matthew 24:37; Matthew 24:39; 1 Thessalonians 5:2; 2 Peter 3:10). We cannot wait to get ready when it comes; we must be ready for its coming.

So, the New Testament urges certain duties upon men.

(i) They must be for ever on the watch (1 Peter 4:7). They are like servants whose master has gone away and who, not knowing when he will return, must have everything ready for his return, whether it be at morning, at midday, or at evening (Matthew 24:36-51).

(ii) Long delay must not produce despair or forgetfulness (2 Peter 3:4). God does not see time as men do. To him a thousand years are as a watch in the night and even if the years pass on, it does not mean that he has either changed or abandoned his design.

(iii) Men must use the time given them to prepare for the coming of the King. They must be sober (1 Peter 4:7). They must get to themselves holiness (1 Thessalonians 3:13). By the grace of God they must become blameless in body and in spirit (1 Thessalonians 5:23). They must put off the works of darkness and put on the armour of light now that the day is far spent (Romans 13:11-14). Men must use the time given them to make themselves such that they can greet the coming of the King with joy and without shame.

(iv) When that time comes, they must be found in fellowship. Peter uses the thought of the Second Coming to urge men to love and mutual hospitality (1 Peter 4:8-9). Paul commands that all things be done in love — Maran-atha — the Lord is at hand (1 Corinthians 16:14; 1 Corinthians 16:22). He says that our forbearance must be known to all men because the Lord is at hand (Philippians 4:5). The word translated “forbearance” is epieikes which means the spirit that is more ready to offer forgiveness than to demand justice.

The writer to the Hebrews demands mutual help, mutual Christian fellowship, mutual encouragement because the day is coming near (Hebrews 10:24-25). The New Testament is sure that in view of the Coming of Christ we must have our personal relationships right with our fellowmen. The New Testament would urge that no man ought to end a day with an unhealed breach between himself and a fellowman, lest in the night Christ should come.

(v) John uses the Second Coming as a reason for urging men to abide in Christ (1 John 2:28). Surely the best preparation for meeting Christ is to live close to him every day.

Much of the imagery attached to the Second Coming is Jewish, part of the traditional apparatus of the last things in the ancient Jewish mind. There are many things which we are not meant to take literally. But the great truth behind all the temporary pictures of the Second Coming is that this world is not purposeless but going somewhere, that there is one divine far-off event to which the whole creation moves.’

Monday Sermon – Keep Reading


Submitted by Grenville Phillips II

It is important for followers of Jesus to keep reading the Bible.  You can never read enough.

I have found that as you read, you may not understand everything.  But you will understand what you need to understand at your individual stage of development.  This removes the pressure of having to be an expert to read the Bible.

If you do not read the Bible, and only read other’s opinions of it, then you risk being led astray.  To reduce this risk, Moses commanded that the Law should be read in the presence of everyone in Israel, every seven years.  Hear the commandment.

“So Moses wrote down this law and gave it to the Levitical priests, who carried the ark of the covenant of the Lord, and to all the elders of Israel.  Then Moses commanded them: “At the end of every seven years, in the year for cancelling debts, during the Festival of Tabernacles, when all Israel comes to appear before the Lord your God at the place he will choose, you shall read this law before them in their hearing.”

“Assemble the people—men, women and children, and the foreigners residing in your towns—so they can listen and learn to fear the Lord your God and follow carefully all the words of this law.  Their children, who do not know this law, must hear it and learn to fear the Lord your God as long as you live in the land you are crossing the Jordan to possess.”  (Deuteronomy 31:9-13)

They appeared to do this for one generation, and then stopped.  Israel then served the false gods of the people whom they had displaced, and suffered the consequences.

Is there a place for intensive study beyond what we initially understand?  Of course.  However, when studying like that, we must be careful to check that our results, including any resultant religious traditions, are consistent with Jesus’ words.  Why?  Hear God Himself.

“While he was still speaking, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them; and suddenly a voice came out of the cloud, saying, “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. Hear Him!” (Matthew 17:5)

This reassuring message from God, of Jesus’ words being the standard, was critical, because Jesus was saying things that scriptural experts were challenging.  Hear Jesus on a challenge of what defiles a person.

“Hypocrites! Well did Isaiah prophesy about you, saying:  ‘These people draw near to Me with their mouth, and honour Me with their lips, but their heart is far from Me.  And in vain they worship Me, teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.’ ”

“When He had called the multitude to Himself, He said to them, “Hear and understand: Not what goes into the mouth defiles a man; but what comes out of the mouth, this defiles a man.”

“Then His disciples came and said to Him, “Do You know that the Pharisees were offended when they heard this saying?”

“But He answered and said, “Every plant which My heavenly Father has not planted will be uprooted.  Let them alone. They are blind leaders of the blind. And if the blind leads the blind, both will fall into a ditch.”

“Then Peter answered and said to Him, “Explain this parable to us.”

“So Jesus said, “Are you also still without understanding?  Do you not yet understand that whatever enters the mouth goes into the stomach and is eliminated?  But those things which proceed out of the mouth come from the heart, and they defile a man.”

“For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies.  These are the things which defile a man, but to eat with unwashed hands does not defile a man.”  (Matthew 15:7-20)

The Gospels are full of Jesus’ wonderful simple teachings.  We are to convey the same simple and self-explanatory messages to others.  Hear Jesus’s instruction to those who wished to follow Him.

“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, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen.” (Matthew 28:19-20)

Be encouraged to keep reading and sharing Jesus’ simple message.

Grenville Phillips II is a Chartered Structural Engineer.  He can be reached at NextParty246@gmail.com