Bethel Baptist Church
Worship Service @ Home
1 May 2022
Service available on Youtube, or as text (below), or for audio see the Podcasts page.
“The jars had a lid on very tightly, and no-one could pour anything into them. If we are not open to the Holy Spirit, we miss the blessing of being filled by Him. Alternatively, as we open up to the Spirit, we will be surprised, even amazed at the results” (Acts 2:17).
Please read: Rom. 5:1-11
And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to usRom. 5:5
We have a beautiful relationship with our heavenly Father, through His Son, Jesus Christ and by the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us, as we are told in the text above. God has done everything necessary to enable this relationship to be brought about, so that we can draw near and enjoy a close and intimate relationship with Him. If this is not the case, we need to check things out on our side!
(1) In error because we do not know the Scriptures or the power of God
Jesus said these words on one occasion to a group of Sadducees who say there is no resurrection – they would have ‘known’ the Scriptures but were not sufficiently open to Scriptural truth which amounts to not knowing the Scriptures (Matt. 22:29). This could be a reason that many Christians don’t enjoy a close and intimate relationship with their heavenly Father. But it’s all there in the Scriptures including Romans as we will see in future studies.
(2) Holding something back
Interestingly, the above passage in Matthew is followed by one in which some Pharisees come up to Jesus with a question to which Jesus replies, Matt. 22:37-40: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbour as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.” All, all, all, and all. Our Father, who gave His all for us, requires us to give our all for Him. If we hold anything back, we lose out. Even our relationship with our neighbours affects our relationship with our heavenly Father cf. Matt. 6:14-15.
(3) The work of the enemy
No sooner had His Father in heaven publicly expressed His love and delight in Him, His Son, Matt. 3:17: “And a voice from heaven said, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased,” when just around the corner the enemy started to question Jesus on that very matter, Matt. 4:3 and 6: “The tempter came to Him and said, “If you are the Son of God …If you are the Son of God.” Whatever blessing we receive from our Father in heaven, be aware of the enemy who will seek to snatch it away (cf. Matt. 13:19; 13:24-28). The answer, resist him standing firm in your faith, 1 Peter 5:8-9: “Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that the family of believers throughout the world is undergoing the same kind of sufferings.” So let’s believe it when the Lord tells us through His word, the Scriptures, that His love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us and let us continue to love one another and love our neighbours, Amen!
Quote of the week
“Jesus’ Double-Love Command gives humans a direction to face and a way to be” (Bruner).
Verse of the week
Beloved, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God.1 John 4:7
Gracious, loving heavenly Father, thank You that Your love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, whom You have given us. Help us to love You with all our hearts and to release this love to others we know and meet in our communities, in Jesus Christ, Amen.