Note: Our greatest belief, as a follower of Christ, is in the Word of God. An out-pouring of that should be an attitude which is not judgmental as we interact with those around us. Not that we are to believe everyone at face value, but to line up our thoughts with Christ.
“The simple believes every word,
But the prudent considers well his steps.”
• Ellicott: And so, having no fixed principles by which to go, often takes a wrong step; while the prudent man considers well (Proverbs 14:8) whither each step will lead, and therefore does not go astray.
“Jesus said to him, “If you can believe,
all things are possible to him who believes.”
Immediately the father of the child cried out
and said with tears, “Lord, I believe; help my unbelief!”
• Barnes: Jesus here demanded “faith” or confidence in his power of healing. His design here is to show the man that the difficulty in the case was not in the want of “power” on his part, but in the want of “faith” in the man; in other words, to rebuke him for having “doubted” at all whether he “could” heal him.
• Our Hope…
And He has made from one blood every nation of men to dwell on all the face of the earth, and has
determined their preappointed times and the boundaries of their dwellings, so that they should
seek the Lord, in the hope that they might grope for Him and find Him, though He is not far from
each one of us; for in Him we live and move and have our being, as also some of your own poets
have said, ‘For we are also His offspring.’
We put up with the antics of those we live and deal with on a regular basis, but do we really allow ourselves to do this with a godly attitude. Christ bore our sins selflessly. Are we not to have a similar attitude as we deal with people?
“For a good tree does not bear bad fruit,
nor does a bad tree bear good fruit.”
• Benson: “The meaning of this whole passage is, as a tree is known to be either good or bad by its fruit, so a man is known to be either good or bad by his words;”
“And as it is appointed for men to die once,
but after this the judgment, so Christ was
offered once to bear the sins of many.
To those who eagerly wait for Him He
will appear a second time, apart from sin,
• Henry: “It is evident that the sacrifices of Christ are infinitely better than those of the law, which could neither procure pardon for sin, nor impart power against it.”
“Therefore if there is any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any affection and mercy, fulfill my joy by being like-minded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind. Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself. Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others.”
Philippians 2: 1-4
Note: Truth comes from God. It’s a choice one makes. To ask God to guide your life as you walk in truth is perhaps one of the wisest prayers we can petition.
“LORD, who may abide in Your tabernacle?
Who may dwell in Your holy hill?
He who walks uprightly,
And works righteousness,
And speaks the truth in his heart;”
• Pulpit: “Such a walk involves the doing of righteousness, not, of course, in absolute perfection, but with a sincere intention, and so as to have “the answer of a good conscience towards God.”
“Show me Your ways, O LORD;
Teach me Your paths.
Lead me in Your truth and teach me,
For You are the God of my salvation;
On You I wait all the day.”
• Barnes:(5) “What God sees and regards as truth is true, because He sees things as they are; and when we have the divine estimate of anything, we understand what the thing is.”
“Hear my prayer, O Lord, Give ear to my supplications! In Your faithfulness answer me, And in Your righteousness.” Psalm 143:1
Note: In this verse the word iniquity is used with rejoice. This is the attitude of being happy when evil things happen to others. Too often we not only rejoice in the down falls in evil people, but in the people we care about. Perhaps, forgiveness is needed so we don’t react in such a harsh way.
“Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, And in sin my mother conceived me.” Psalm 51:5
• Barnes: “This language simply traces his sin back to the time when he began to exist.”
“And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity: so is the tongue among our members, that it defiles the whole body, and sets on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire of hell.” James 3:6
• Gills: “…but as fire should be carefully watched, and kept, so should men take heed to their ways, that they sin not with their tongue, and keep their tongue from evil, and their lips from speaking guile;”
“For if these things are yours and abound, you will be neither barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. For he who lacks these things is shortsighted, even to blindness, and has forgotten that he was cleansed from his old sins.” 2 Peter1:8-10
Note: Too often we need to check our motives in doing things. Are we doing them for good or for evil purposes? God’s ways are only good. Satan’s ways are always for evil. Who do you want to follow?
“Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil;
Who put darkness for light, and light for darkness;
Who put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!”
Isaiah 5:20 (Isaiah’s song to God)
Henry: “Here is a woe to those who set their hearts on the wealth of the world.”
“For You are not a God who takes pleasure in wickedness, Nor shall evil dwell with You.” Psalm 5:4
Gills: (4) “Sin, ungodliness; it is contrary to his nature, who is holy, just, and good; and to his will revealed in his law, which is the same with his nature; and sin is a transgression of it.”
“And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.” Romans 8:28
Note: Why is it the closer we are to some people we have a tendency to provoke them? We are to edify each other and know our position in Christ so we are secure in who we are becoming in Him.
“How often they provoked Him in the wilderness, And grieved Him in the desert! Yes, again and again they tempted God, And limited the Holy One of Israel. They did not remember His power: The day when He redeemed them from the enemy,” Psalm 78:40-42
Barnes: (40) “The meaning here is that the conduct of the Hebrews was such as was suited to cause pain – as the conduct of a disobedient and rebellious child is.”
“You cannot drink the cup of the Lord and the cup of demons; you cannot partake of the Lord’s table and of the table of demons. Or do we provoke the Lord to jealousy? Are we stronger than He?” I Corinthians 10:21-22
Poole: (22) “It is most applied to God to express his anger against those who give Divine homage to idols; the worship of God being a great piece of his glory which he hath said he will not give to another, nor his praise to graven images, Isaiah 42:8.”
Our Hope… follow Him
“So when they had brought their boats to land, they forsook all and followed Him.” Luke 5:11
Note: We should earnestly be concerned for others instead of ourselves.
“A man who isolates himself seeks his own desire; He rages against all wise judgment.” Proverbs 18:1
Barnes: “He who separateth himself from others seeks his own desire, and rushes forward against all wise counsel: a warning against self-will and the self-assertion which exults in differing from the received customs and opinions of mankind.”
“So I say to you, ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened.” Luke 11:9-10
Poole: “But if we ask any thing which is good and wholesome for us, and profitable unto us, in the circumstances in which we are, we may be sure that God will give them to us…”
“…that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him, the eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that you may know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, and what is the exceeding greatness of His power toward us who believe, according to the working of His mighty power…” Ephesians 1: 17-19