2 Corinthians 6

2 Corinthians 6: Today is the day to Repent!

Paul opens this letter by explaining that we as believers in Jesus Christ should not take His grace in vain. Essentially, Jesus died for our sins and made it possible for us to return and live with our Heavenly Father; we should not abuse this grace. We need to be actively engaged in doing good. We need to work hard through our afflictions and trials and learn from them! Paul delivers a wonderfully written piece that we can all live by day to day:

“We then, as workers together with him, beseech you also that ye receive not the grace of God in vain. (For he saith, I have heard thee in a time accepted, and in the day of salvation have I succoured thee: behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.) Giving no offence in any thing, that the ministry be not blamed: But in all things approving ourselves as the ministers of God, in much patience, in afflictions, in necessities, in distresses, In stripes, in imprisonments, in tumults, in labours, in watchings, in fastings; By pureness, by knowledge, by longsuffering, by kindness, by the Holy Ghost, by love unfeigned, By the word of truth, by the power of God, by the armour of righteousness on the right hand and on the left, By honour and dishonour, by evil report and good report: as deceivers, and yet true;  As unknown, and yet well known; as dying, and, behold, we live; as chastened, and not killed; As sorrowful, yet alway rejoicing; as poor, yet making many rich; as having nothing, and yet possessing all things.” (2 Corinthians 6:1-10)

Paul then reminds the believers in Christ, to be around people that share their beliefs. Light and darkness should not coincide, righteousness cannot fellowship with unrighteousness.

“Be ye no unequally yoked [attached, coupled] with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? And what communion hath light with darkness?” (2 Corinthians 6:14)

Essentially, Paul is telling us that we need to choose our friends and our spouse carefully that we might; “…come out from among them, and be ye separate…” (2 Corinthians 6:17) Separate from the world, but still living in the world. We should never cave into the temptations of the world, just because it is being “accepted”. If we do these things, Paul promises that God; “…will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.” (2 Corinthians 6:18)

 

Luke 3

Luke 3: Baptism of Jesus

                In the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar, the word of the Lord came unto John in the wilderness. John departed from the wilderness and went to Jordan, where he preached “…baptism of repentance for the remission of sins;” (Luke 3:3) John cried out to the people and said; “…Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make his paths straight…” (Luke 3:4) There came one man who wished to be baptized, yet John must have found him not worthy or lacking in repentance, because he tells the man; “…O generations of vipers…. Bring forth therefore fruits worthy of repentance…” (Luke 3:8) John explains that everyone who does not bring forth the fruit of repentance will be like a bad tree, which will be cut down and tossed aside.

What are fruits worthy of Repentance?

In order to be baptized, one must first find Faith in Jesus Christ, Second Repent of those things not in alignment with the Gospel of Jesus Christ, meaning that you must follow ALL of God’s commandments. It is not just enough to believe in Jesus Christ, for if one truly believes in Him, and accepts Jesus as their personal Savior, then that same person will want to make their life like His, and follow in His footsteps. Third, that person can receive a baptism, for the remission of those sins. But that baptism needs to be done with the proper authority. Why do you think people came to John? It is because John had the Authority given to him. Finally after baptism you can receive the Holy Ghost, by the laying on of hands, again by someone who has the Authority to do so.

Many people who have gathered to be baptized of John ask him, how they can be baptized for a remission of their own sins. John explains that they need to give freely of themselves and their time, talents and wealth.

“…He that hath two coats, let him impart to him that hath none….” (Luke 3:11)

                “…Do violence to no man, neither accuse any falsely; and be content with your wages.” (Luke 3:14)

The people were astonished by John’s words, but he reassured them that he was only a man; “…I indeed baptize you with water; but one mightier than I cometh, the latchet of whose shoes I am not worthy to unloose: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost and with fire.” (Luke 3:16)

                John then rebukes Herod for marrying Herodias, who was Phillips wife and for all the evils which Herod had done, including putting John into jail.

Jesus then comes to be baptized of John; “…the heaven was opened, And the Holy Ghost descended in a bodily shape like a dove upon him, and a voice came from heaven, which said, Thou art my beloved Son, in thee I am well pleased.” (Luke 3:21-22) Jesus was about 30 years old when He was baptized.  Jesus was baptized at a later age to help us understand that baptism should be done at an age of accountability. In the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, that age of accountability has been decided through revelation of being eight years old. Baptizing before that age is a mockery before God.

The Genealogy of Jesus Christ is given, however it differs from the genealogy given by Matthew, giving his actual lineage through Mary, instead of his legal lineage through Joseph.

Lineage of Jesus Christ:

  • Joseph was the son of Heli
    • Heli was the son of Matthat
      • Matthat was the son of Levi
        • Levi was the son of Melchi
          • Melchi was the son of Janna
            • Janna was the son of Joseph
  • Joseph was the son of Mattathias
    • Mattathias was the son of Amos
      • Amos was the son of Naum
        • Naum was the son of Esli
          • Esli was the son of Nagge
            • Nagge was the son of Maath
  • Maath was the son of Mattathias
    • Mattathias was the son of Semei
      • Semei was the son of Joseph
        • Joseph was the son of Juda
          • Juda was the son of Joanna
            • Joanna was the son of Rhesa
  • Rhesa was the son of Zorobabel
    • Zorobabel was the son of Salathiel
      • Salathiel was the son of Neri
  • Neri was the son of Melchi
    • Melchi was the son of Addi
      • Addi was the son of Cosam
      • Cosam was the son of Elmodam
        • Elmodam was the son of Er
          • Er was the son of Jose
            • Jose was the son of Eliezer
              • Eliezer was the son of Jorim
                • Jorim was the son of Matthat
                • Matthat was the son of Levi
                  • Levi was the son of Simeon
                    • Simeon was the son of Juda
                      • Judas was the son of Joseph
                        • Joseph was the son of Jonan
                          • Jonan was the son of Eliamkim
  • Eliamkin was the son of Melea
    • Melea was the son of Menan
      • Menan was the son of Mattatha
        • Mattatha was the son of Nathan
          • Nathan was the son of David
            • David was the son of Jesse
  • Jesse was the son of Obed
    • Obed was the son of Booz
      • Booz was the son of Salmon
        • Salmon was the son of Naasson
          • Naasson was the son of Aminadab
            • Aminadab was the son of Aram
  • Aram was the son of Esrom
    • Esrom was the son of Phares
      • Phares was the son of Juda
        • Juda was the son of Jacob
          • Jacob was the son of Isaac
            • Isaac was the son of Abraham
  • Abraham was the son of Thara
    • Thara was the son of Nachor
      • Nachor was the son of Saruch
        • Saruch was the son of Ragau
          • Ragau was the son of Phalec
            • Phalec was the son of Heber
  • Heber was the son of Sala
    • Sala was the son of Cainan
      • Cainan was the son of Arphaxad
        • Arphaxad was the son of Sem
          • Sem was the son of Noe
            • Noe was the son of Lamech
  • Lamech was the son of Mathusala
    • Mathusala was the son of Enoch
      • Enoch was the son of Jared
        • Jared was the son of Maleleel
          • Maleleel was the son of Cainan
            • Cainan was the son of Enos
  • Enos was the sons of Seth
    • Seth was the son of Adam
      • Adam was the son of God.

Mark 6

Mark 6: Sending of the Twelve

                   Jesus goes into the synagogue to teach and heal on the Sabbath Day, those who are in His presence ask themselves; “…From whence hath this man these things? And what wisdom is this which is given unto him, that even such mighty works are wrought with his hands? Is this not the carpenter, the son of Mary, the brother of James, and Joses… and Simon?” (Mark 6:2-3) The people marveled at this man who was just a simple carpenter. We learn from this statement that Jesus actually had siblings! Meaning, Mary and Joseph had children together after Jesus was born. Making them at least His half-siblings. For further evidence of this please read: Jude 1:1

Jesus marveled at their unbelief, after all He had already performed countless miracles and yet the people still did not believe. Jesus leaves to call His Twelve Apostles:

“And he called unto him the twelve, and began to send them forth by two and two; and gave them power over unclean spirits; and commanded them that they should take nothing for their journey… no scrip [bag/luggage], no bread [food], no money in their purse.” (Mark 6:7-8) Jesus commanded the Apostles to go out by two’s [pairs] to preach His gospel. He tells His Apostles that they should leave with no bag, food or money. This goes to show that preaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ should never be done for money or glory.

Jesus continues to instruct the Apostles; “…In what place soever ye enter into a house, there abide [stay/remain] till ye depart from that place. And whosoever shall not receive you, nor hear you, when ye depart thence, shake off the dust under your feet for a testimony against them… they went out, and preached that men should repent. And they cast out many devils, and were anointed with oil many that were sick, and healed them.” (Mark 6:10-13) These same exact things are done today in the LDS church; Missionaries are sent two by two to preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ to the entire world. The LDS Church has a presence in every country that allows by law the preaching of religion. These full time missionaries for the church are currently at almost 90,000 strong, as of 2013. The missionaries are called “Elders” and do exactly what Jesus is instructing here, they preach repentance and heal the sick, among many other things, including service projects.

The fame of Jesus spread throughout the land, many questioned if this man was Elias or John the Baptist back from the dead. When King Herod heard of this fame of Jesus he wondered if this wasn’t the resurrected John the Baptist, who he had beheaded. King Herod had a quarrel with his brother, who was Phillip, because he had taken his wife, Herodias, to marry. John the Baptist instructed Herod that it was unlawful for him to marry his brother’s wife, and King Herod feared John the Baptist, because he knew that he was a just and holy man. On King Herod’s birthday, he had a huge feast and the daughter of Herodias came in to please and dance with King Herod. To commemorate this occasion he told the young lady that she could have any wish, up to half of King Herod’s kingdom. Herodias’s daughter was already instructed by her mother to ask for the head of John the Baptist. When King Herod heard of this he was saddened, but he wouldn’t go back on his word, so he commanded that the head of John the Baptist be brought to Herodias.

Jesus continues to instruct the Apostles and many others who were gathered. While Jesus taught, He commanded His Apostles to bring the people something to eat. The Apostles instruct Jesus that there were five loves of bread and two fishes. Jesus blessed the food and commanded the Apostles to divide the food among the 5,000 gathered there. When everyone was done eating, and full, they gathered up twelve baskets of fragments [leftovers]. Once Jesus was done teaching, He commanded His Apostles to leave by ship to Bethsaida. Jesus them departed His own way to go and pray in the mountain. Jesus meets up with them on the sea later, walking on water! When the Apostles see Him walking on the water, they become afraid and think it is a ghost, but Jesus comforts them: “…Be of good cheer: it is I; be not afraid.” (Mark 6:50) The Apostles were amazed at what they saw; “For they considered not the miracle of the loaves: for their heart was hardened.” (Mark6:52) Even after seeing such an amazing miracle as feeding 5,000 men with 5 loaves of bread and two fishes, the Apostles are still amazed by the power Jesus has.

Jesus board the ship and departs to the land of Gennesaret, where he is met by a large number of people who all meet Him, to be healed of Him.

Matthew 4

Matthew 4:

Jesus Tempted of the Devil

 

                Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by Satan, because of this Jesus fasted for “…forty days and forty nights, he was afterward an hungered.” (Matthew 4:2)

After he had fasted for many days, Satan came to tempt Jesus.

Satan tries to use his incredible knowledge of the gospel and the scriptures to trick Jesus. Remember just because Satan is evil, does not mean that he is dumb. In fact, I would say that second to only Jesus and God the Eternal Father, Satan’s scripture knowledge tops the charts.

Satan tries to outsmart Jesus…

“…If thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread.” (Matthew 4:3)

Jesus responds quickly and firmly; “…Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.” (Matthew 4:4)

Satan then takes Jesus upon the top of the pinnacle of the temple and tells him; “…If thou be the Son of God, cast thyself down: for it is written, He shall give his angels charge concerning thee: and in their hands they shall bear thee up, lest at any time thou dash thy foot against a stone.” (Matthew 4:6)

Jesus responds simply; “…It is written again, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God.” (Matthew 4:7)

Upon Satan’s last and desperate try to trick Jesus, takes Him upon the top of an exceedingly high mountain top and shows Jesus the kingdoms of the world and tells Him; “…All these things will I give thee, if thou wilt fall down and worship me.” (Matthew 4:9)

Jesus at this point has had enough and tells Satan; “…Get thee hence, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve.” (Matthew 4:10)

Even the most spiritually grounded individuals; the ones that wear the armor of God can be weakened and beaten down. Jesus, after having fasted for 40 days and nights was at one of the weakest moments in his earthly life. He let Satan tempt him 3 times, each time resisting his demands. By doing so, Jesus was able to feel the pressure of evil temptation from the devil himself! These temptations allowed Jesus to enter into our own shoes, so that he would know what we would go through during our lives. Jesus suffered the greatest temptations, and yet overcame them for our benefit.

In the end, Satan was spewing lies. Could he have offered Jesus all the kingdoms of the world? No, because they were never his to give. Jesus knew this and garnered enough strength to fight the adversary and become triumphant. We too can overcome Satan’s temptations and become triumphant! After Jesus casts Satan out of his presence, angels came to administer to Jesus. If we focus on ridding the devil from our own lives and overcome the temptations of the world, we too can feel the presence of administering angels.

With full strength and victory over evil, Jesus departs into Galilee to follow word that John the Baptist has been imprisoned. From that time forward; “…Jesus began to preach, and to say, Repent for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” (Matthew 4:17) Jesus walks by the Sea of Galilee and calls the fisherman; “…Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.” (Matthew 4:19) These men, being called to serve “…straightway left their nets, and followed him.” (Matthew 4:20). In the Gospel of Jesus Christ, there is no waiting, there is no hesitation. When you are called to serve, to preach the word of God you GO and you DO.

Jesus began his ministry and “…went about all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing all manner of sickness and all manner of disease among the people.” (Matthew 4:23)