SCENE 1: The Confrontation (1-7)

  1.  Pain can cause me to become self-focused.

Again, a second time, he went away and prayed, “My Father, if this cannot pass unless I drink it, your will be done.” And he came again and found them sleeping, because they could not keep their eyes open.

After leaving them, he went away again and prayed a third time, saying the same thing once more. Then he came to the disciples and said to them,“Are you still sleeping and resting? See, the time is near. The Son of Man is betrayed into the hands of sinners. Get up; let’s go. See, my betrayer is near.” — Matthew 26:42-46 (CSB)

  1. There is a difference between sorrow and regret.
    • This is the difference between Peter and Judas.

Then he started to curse and to swear with an oath, “I don’t know the man! ” Immediately a rooster crowed, and Peter remembered the words Jesus had spoken,“Before the rooster crows, you will deny me three times.” And he went outside and wept bitterly — Matthew 26:74-75 (CSB)

Then Judas, his betrayer, seeing that Jesus had been condemned, was full of remorse and returned the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and elders. “I have sinned by betraying innocent blood,” he said.

“What’s that to us? ” they said. “See to it yourself! ” So he threw the silver into the temple and departed. Then he went and hanged himself. — Matthew 27:3-5 (CSB)

“remorse” – the distinction in this word refers to an emotional change only, not an intellectual one.

Sorrow is the emotion God gave us in response to hurt where none else gets hurt. “ Bob Moeller

He was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief; — Isaiah 53:3 (ESV)

  1. We can be right in what we say, but wrong in the way we say it.

THREE WAYS WE CAN RESPOND TO ANGER:

  1.  Blow Up Damage Others Guilt and Destroyed Relationships
  2.  Clam Up Damage Self Rejection and Depression
  3.  Forgive Release Others Freedom from Anger

 

SCENE 2: It’s Complicated (8-14)

  1. Plans that do not involve God, will ultimately lead us away from Him.

Let your eyes look forward; fix your gaze straight ahead. Carefully consider the path for your feet, and all your ways will be established. Don’t turn to the right or to the left; keep your feet away from evil. — Proverbs 4:25-27 (CSB)

 

SCENE 3: The Return of the King (15-end)

  • Gilgal was the site of many significant events.

While the Israelites camped at Gilgal on the plains of Jericho, they observed the Passover on the evening of the fourteenth day of the month. The day after Passover they ate unleavened bread and roasted grain from the produce of the land. And the day after they ate from the produce of the land, the manna ceased. Since there was no more manna for the Israelites, they ate from the crops of the land of Canaan that year. — Joshua 5:10-12 (CSB)

Then Samuel said to the people, “Come, let’s go to Gilgal, so we can renew the kingship there.” So all the people went to Gilgal, and there in the Lord’s presence they made Saul king. There they sacrificed fellowship offerings in the Lord’s presence, and Saul and all the men of Israel rejoiced greatly. — 1 Samuel 11:14-15 (CSB)

Saul, however, was still at Gilgal, and all his troops were gripped with fear. He waited seven days for the appointed time that Samuel had set, but Samuel didn’t come to Gilgal, and the troops were deserting him. So Saul said, “Bring me the burnt offering and the fellowship offerings.” Then he offered the burnt offering. — 1 Samuel 13:7-9 (CSB)

  • People David meets again.
    1. Shimei – He went from careless to careful, from throwing stones to seeking grace.
    2. Mephibosheth – He trusted King David would be able to discern what was right.
    3. Barzillai – He wanted the next generation to step in.

What you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses, commit to faithful men who will be able to teach others also. — 2 Timothy 2:2 (CSB)

  • Trouble in the kingdom.

Is there anything more crippling than a lack of unity?

“I pray not only for these, but also for those who believe in me through their word. May they all be one, as you, Father, are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us, so that the world may believe you sent me. I have given them the glory you have given me, so that they may be one as we are one. I am in them and you are in me, so that they may be made completely one, that the world may know you have sent me and have loved them as you have loved me. —             John 17:20-23 (CSB)

 

EMERALD CITY:

1.  As we grow in Christ, we need to move from REACTING to RESPONDING.

 

At dawn he went to the temple again, and all the people were coming to him. He sat down and began to teach them.

Then the scribes and the Pharisees brought a woman caught in adultery, making her stand in the center. “Teacher,” they said to him, “this woman was caught in the act of committing adultery. In the law Moses commanded us to stone such women. So what do you say? ” They asked this to trap him, in order that they might have evidence to accuse him.

Jesus stooped down and started writing on the ground with his finger. When they persisted in questioning him, he stood up and said to them,“The one without sin among you should be the first to throw a stone at her.” Then he stooped down again and continued writing on the ground. When they heard this, they left one by one, starting with the older men. Only he was left, with the woman in the center. 10 When Jesus stood up, he said to her,“Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you? ”

“No one, Lord,” she answered.

“Neither do I condemn you,” said Jesus.“Go, and from now on do not sin anymore.” — John 8:2-11 (CSB)

 

Jesus’ Pattern of Ministry:

1.  Met people where they are.

2.  Accepted them.

3.  Understood them.

4.  Cared for them.

 

Eph. 3:1-21 “Mystery of Christ” Notes

  1. V.16 Strengthened through the – The key to strengthening the inner man is to surrender those as living sacrifices to Him and exercise the spiritual man. How?
    1. Commit: Romans 6 – Consider yourself dead (to sin).
    2. Consume: Any muscle growth, physical or spiritual, must be correctly fed with the right nutrients and protein to build muscle. Paul says we need to consume the “meat” of the word. As we do that, it informs the inner man’s conscience and gives the Spirit of God the ability to change our desires to match his. (Romans 12:2).
    3. Condition: V.17a. The key to muscle growth is tearing down to build up through resistance. Spiritually, it’s exercising our faith by choosing to serve and obey Jesus that the inner man is best built up. How do I do this? All of us have a throne in our heart. Whoever and whatever is on that throne is lord. Romans 6 says we exercise and build up the inner man by yielding to what the Spirit says about truth, my priorities, and the human condition instead of what I say.
      1. See link for a copy of My Heart, Christ’s Home by Robert Munger. (https://ashfieldpresbyterian.org.au/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/My-Heart-Christs-Home.pdf)
  2. V.17b-19 in love. The only way to have joy/the right heart that lasts.
    1. Experience God’s . Remembering God’s love and how I’ve experienced it.
      1. : (as far as the east is from the west). There is no limit to what He’d do in love.
      2. : Before the foundation of time, He knew us and knew He’d die for us.
      3. : As high as the heavens, so great is the Father’s love… Thankfulness in the highs brings our attention to know God’s love.
      4. : To the depth of our worst despair, hurt, pain. David: Ps 139 even if I make my bed in the depths, you are there. V.19- a love that surpasses knowledge is experienced.
    2. Result: filled to the fullness of God.

Grow Group Questions

  1. How has an online fragmented society damaged the “Mystery” of Christ and the unity it strives for? How can we reverse the trend (What priorities do we need to have)?
  2. What does Paul mean when he says “Reckon, or consider, yourselves dead to sin” in Rom. 6:11? How do I do that and why is that the first step at developing the inner man?
  3. Why do we need to constantly repeat “Get in the Word” (consume the word)? What role does consuming the word have in building up the inner man?
  4. Robert Munger wrote a great allegory about the areas of the home that Christ needs to be Lord over. Did any of them stand out to you as practical for your life and why? The library (the control center of the mind), Dining Hall (where we satisfy our appetites), The Rec Room (what activities we engage in), the workroom, the hidden closet, etc.?
  5. What prevents me from turning over the Title Deed to the master?
  6. Why is understanding the greatness of God’s love so critical to our walk with Jesus?

 

2 Samuel 18 Love and Justice

Setting:

  • In Chapter 17 we saw the stage being set for the showdown of King David and his son Absalom.
  • King David’s moral failure that started on his roof has led to significant problems in the nation of Israel.
  • Chapter 18 we see the conflict between love and justice. King David loves his son Absalom, but Absalom is guilty of treason against his kingship.
  • We live in the same conflict. At times we want love to prevail, and other times we want to see justice carried out.
  • Sin creates this tension. Before the fall of man in the garden, there was no tension between love and justice.
  • Only God is perfect in these two areas.

The one who does not love does not know God, because God is love. — 1 John 4:8 (CSB)

Be assured that a wicked person will not go unpunished, but the offspring of the righteous will escape. — Proverbs 11:21 (CSB)

God presented him to demonstrate his righteousness at the present time, so that he would be just and justify the one who has faith in Jesus. — Romans 3:26 (CSB)

SCENE 1: Battle Lines are Drawn (1-5)

  • We were left at the end of Chapter 17 with Absalom having a large army gathered in the land of Gilead that were referred to as “all the men of Israel” under the command of Amasa.
  • King David was with “the people with him” in the city of Mahanaim and they were “hungry, exhausted, and thirsty”.
  • It is unclear how much time transpired between the end of Chapter 17 and the beginning of Chapter 18.
  • David divides his men into 3 groups.
  1. Joab
    • He was a very capable and trusted leader but had a history of doing things his .

Then Joab left David and sent messengers after Abner. They brought him back from the well of Sirah, but David was unaware of it. When Abner returned to Hebron, Joab pulled him aside to the middle of the city gate, as if to speak to him privately, and there Joab stabbed him in the stomach. So Abner died in revenge for the death of Asahel, Joab’s brother. — 2 Samuel 3:26-27 (CSB)

  • In 2 Samuel 14 he came up with the plan to reconcile David and Absalom.
  1. Abishai
    • Joab’s brother.
    • He was also headstrong and fiercely loyal to King David.

Then David asked Ahimelech the Hethite and Joab’s brother Abishai son of Zeruiah, “Who will go with me into the camp to Saul? ”  “I’ll go with you,” answered Abishai.  That night, David and Abishai came to the troops, and Saul was lying there asleep in the inner circle of the camp with his spear stuck in the ground by his head. Abner and the troops were lying around him. Then Abishai said to David, “Today God has delivered your enemy to you. Let me thrust the spear through him into the ground just once. I won’t have to strike him twice! ” But David said to Abishai, “Don’t destroy him, for who can lift a hand against the Lord’s anointed and be innocent? ” — 1 Samuel 26:6-9 (CSB)

  1. Ittai
    • A was a surprising pick.
  • The king in .
    1. King David wants to lead this fight personally.
    2. The people recognize what this battle is about, taking out King David.
  • The King’s .
    1. David speaks as king but in the words of a Father.
      • Absalom was guilty of treason and deserved death, that was justice.
      • The heart of the father wanted “gently for my sake”, and still saw him as a young man, that was love.
      • The demands of justice and the requirements of love were in terrible conflict.

SCENE 2: The Battle (6-8)

  1. Where it was .
    • Forest of Ephraim.
    • The battle ended up back across the Jordan river to the West.
    • Area known for being thickly wooded, rough terrain, ravines, marshes, and cliffs.
  2. What .
    • Israel suffered a great loss of 20,000 men.
    • The terrain killed more than actual battle indicating Israel was fleeing recklessly.

SCENE 3: Justice (8-18)

  1. What appears to be chance is God’s .

The lot is cast into the lap, but its every decision is from the Lord. — Proverbs 16:33 (CSB)

  1. Often justice overtakes us .

And just as it is appointed for people to die once ​— ​and after this, judgment — Hebrews 9:27 (CSB)

Yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring ​— ​what your life will be! For you are like vapor that appears for a little while, then vanishes. — James 4:14 (CSB)

  • Absalom was heir to the kingdom.
  • Absalom was buried in a tomb fit for a sinner.

Then Joshua and all Israel with him took Achan son of Zerah, the silver, the cloak, and the bar of gold, his sons and daughters, his ox, donkey, and sheep, his tent, and all that he had, and brought them up to the Valley of Achor. Joshua said, “Why have you brought us trouble? Today the Lord will bring you trouble! ” So all Israel stoned them to death. They burned their bodies, threw stones on them, and raised over him a large pile of rocks that remains still today. — Joshua 7:24-26 (CSB)

SCENE 4: Good News (19-end)

1. We are called to be messengers of the

2. Some will it and others will .

EMERALD CITY:

1. As a result of the providence of God, Absalom hung from a tree where he paid the consequences of his sin. There was another man who hung from a tree, and this time and did intersect.

For while we were still helpless, at the right time, Christ died for the ungodly. For rarely will someone die for a just person ​— ​though for a good person perhaps someone might even dare to die. 8 But God proves his own love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. How much more then, since we have now been justified by his blood, will we be saved through him from wrath. For if, while we were enemies, we were reconciled to God through the death of his Son, then how much more, having been reconciled, will we be saved by his life. And not only that, but we also boast in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received this reconciliation. — Romans 5:6-11 (CSB)

 

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Christ commanded us to love one another even as . For us to know how to love each other we must understand the character of the rich deep love that Jesus Christ that Paul describes in Ephesians 3 as surpassing knowledge.

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I. His love is unmerited

A. 1 John 4:10 “In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the .”

B. Ephesians 2:4-7 “But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.”

C. What escapes definition is that even when we reject Him, we disobey Him, we sin against Him, . We call it ‘’, unmerited love from God to His rebellious creation.

D. God’s unmerited love is given to us, people who don’t deserve His love to transform and change us into new creations.

E. We are such undeserving beneficiaries of God’s . He reached down to us in our absolute total depravity and lifted us to Himself pouring out His grace to us.

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II. His love is unlimited

A. He, who loved us forgave us, doing so without limit.

1. Revelation 1:5 And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth. Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood,

2. Luke 23:34 Then Jesus said, ‘Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do.’ And they divided His garments and cast lots.

B. John 3:16 For God so loved the world that He gave his only begotten Son…

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III. His love is unselfish

A.

1. 1 Corinthians 13:5-6 Love “Does not behave itself unseemly, seeks not her own, is not easily provoked, thinks no evil; Rejoices not in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth.”

2. Jesus is the perfect example of selflessness. Matthew 20:28 says, ‘Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give His life a ransom for many.’

B.

• 2 Corinthians 8:9 “For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, so that you through his poverty might become rich.”

• John 10:10 ‘The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it] more abundantly.

When you think about suffering, what comes to mind? Do you envision bedraggled children with distended stomachs, a hospital patient hooked up to life-sustaining medical equipment, or a courageous veteran dealing with the aftermath of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.  Adversity seems to be a common denominator to human existence, but what does the Bible have to say about suffering?

Jesus spoke to His disciples about suffering. One of the most well-known verses reads, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me” (Matthew 16:24 ESV). The Greek word for cross in this verse is staurós. It refers to the crossbeam which the lowest criminals carried as they trudged toward their execution. The cross symbolized degradation and indescribable pain as well as sacrifice.

While the invitation to eternal life is free, it comes at a price–certain suffering.

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