Eldership Induction Service

Induction Service

This coming Lord’s Day at Hills Bible Church will be an Eldership induction service. Two men will be welcomed into the Eldership before the congregation. This occasion will be a public setting apart of these men for this task and be a time in which the congregation is reminded of the role of Elders. Continue reading Eldership Induction Service

What is the Church?

Church

The word “church” means different things to different people. The church is an ornate building to some. To others it is a holy huddle of religious people. Some believe the church is seen in the lives of people in their communities and neighborhoods. Some view it as a house of hypocrites. Some even suggest that it is an entertainment center. Well then, what is the church? In the New Testament, the word “church” is from the Greek term ekklesia, which means “an assembly” or “a congregation”. Continue reading What is the Church?

A Church of All Sorts

Variety

One of the things I love about the church is the variety of its members. You will meet brothers and sisters who have walked with the Lord for many years and others who are newly converted. There are people from different ethnic backgrounds and personality types. The church is made up of all sorts. For this reason, a church is not to exclude people because of their age, personality or appearance. A healthy church will be a place in which redeemed people from various ages and stages in life (according to the Word of God) are welcome to fellowship and worship the Lord.  Continue reading A Church of All Sorts

The People of God and Unity

 

UNITY

Before He went to the cross, Jesus prayed for His people. Among the numerous things He prayed for, one of them was unity. He asked,

 

that they may all be one, just as you, Father, are in me, and I in you, that they also may be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me. The glory that you have given me I have given to them, that they may be one even as we are one, I in them and you in me, that they may become perfectly one, so that the world may know that you sent me and loved them even as you loved me” ().

Continue reading The People of God and Unity

21 that they may all be one, just as you, Father, are in me, and I in you, that they also may be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me. 22 The glory that you have given me I have given to them, that they may be one even as we are one, 23 I in them and you in me, that they may become perfectly one, so that the world may know that you sent me and loved them even as you loved me.

Why I Love Going to Church

Why I Love Going to Church

I am really excited about the first day of the week. As Sunday morning and evening comes by my family gets ready and we go to church. Going to church ought not to be a mere routine or something to fill in time. Going to church ought to be an exciting occasion that we count as a privilege and anticipate the blessing that awaits us. When I say I love going to church, I am not referring to the building (though the church will be in a particular location or building). I am referring to the local gathering of believers – my local church. Why do I love going to church? Though there are many reasons that could be provided, I would like to share three broad reasons that contain many implications as to why I love going to church. Continue reading Why I Love Going to Church

How the Modern “Gift” of Healing Undervalues the Biblical Gift of Healing – Part 2

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As stated in the previous post, the Gospel of John contains seven selected signs. These signs were designed to prove that Jesus is the Son of God. Though they had physical benefits for the recipient, each of them contained a spiritual lesson. Four of the seven signs in John were healings (). Let us now consider these four acts of healing (two in this post and two in the next) and see why each sign is significant. In the next post, in addition to looking at the final two acts of healing, we will provide some important principles with regard to modern “faith healers” and why their erronous acts undermine the biblical gift .

THE HEALING OF THE OFFICIAL’S SON ()
In this brief passage we read about the miracle Jesus performed by healing an official’s son. In this story all appeared to be beyond hope, yet Jesus does what no other person could do, He restored this child to full health. This event began with a desperate situation () in which the man travelled at least half a day’s journey to ask Jesus for help. Jesus then gives an unexpected answer, “Unless you see signs and wonders you will not believe” (). Interestingly, the word “you” (which appears twice in this verse) is actually plural. Here Jesus is providing a public lesson to all who are listening on what true saving faith is. The official repeats his request for Jesus to come before it is too late.

This brings the reader to the display of the supernatural (). Jesus responds simply by saying, “Go; your son will live” (4:50a). Why didn’t Jesus go on the journey with Him and heal the man’s son like the healing of Jairus’ daughter ()? The reason is because He is giving a lesson on what saving faith is. Saving faith must take the Lord at His word without the need for signs and wonders. After Jesus said this, we are told, “the man believed the word that Jesus spoke to him and went on his way” (b).

Due to reasons unknown to us, he was unable to leave until the following day. As he set off on his journey some of his slaves meet him and shared the exciting news that his son is recovering. He asked them at what hour did this happen? They answered him “Yesterday at the seventh hour the fever left him” (4:52). At that moment he knew that this occurred right when Jesus spoke the words “Your son will live“. The response is amazing – “And he himself believed, and all his household” (4:53b). That was not a shallow superficial belief; it was genuine saving faith. I don’t know how many were in his household, but by God’s grace they all believed.

Finally, we see in this passage the declaration of the sign, “This was now the second sign that Jesus did when he had come from Judea to Galilee” (). Remember that the signs performed by Jesus are intended to point to a greater reality than the miracle itself. What does this amazing sign point to? It declares two realities: like this ill boy, humanity has a problem. The problem that all people share is spiritual one. We are all separated from Christ due to our sin. However, there is no barrier too big for a sinner to receive salvation. Why? Secondly, Jesus Christ has made a provision in which lost sinners can find eternal life. Our separation is not too far for Him to intervene in our lives. It doesn’t matter who you are or where you have come from. The Lord Jesus Christ can save you from all your sins. That is the lesson of this miraculous healing.

THE HEALING OF THE LAME MAN ()
John records that near the Jewish temple were shelters in which there was “a multitude of invalids—blind, lame, and paralyzed” (). Here is a group of people who for various reasons have disabilities and they are all waiting by this pool for the hope of a miracle. Sadly, I often hear of people who are in conditions like this and false religions and false teachers make them false promises and don’t deliver. That is devastating and deceptive!

The focus in moves from this group of invalids to a particular individual. We learn that he “had been an invalid for thirty-eight years” (). For almost four decades this man had experienced the debilitating disadvantage of not being mobile. I can only imagine how limited his opportunities in life were. The fact that for all these years that no one was there to help him (cf. ) also indicates that he was a lonely man.

This is what leads us to the miraculous compassionate act. We are told, “When Jesus saw him lying there and knew that he had already been there a long time, he said to him, ‘Do you want to be healed?'” (). This is truly amazing. The fact that Jesus “knew that he had already been there a long time” is a reminder that He is the Sovereign Saviour. This man has been in this condition since before Jesus was born, however, because He is the eternal Son of God He has this thorough knowledge. He asked the lame man a simple and direct question, “Do you want to be healed?” The assumed reply would be “yes!” But this man goes on to share his helpless situation,

Sir, I have no one to put me into the pool when the water is stirred up, and while I am going another steps down before me” ().

After hearing this it is clear that he didn’t expect or believe Jesus to be able to heal him. This man had been living with the hope that when the water was stirred up he would be healed. However, because he had no one to help him he never made it to the water. Living with the hope for all those years that he would be healed yet here he is revealing to Jesus is complete inability. This is an amazing picture of those who look to things like church attendance, prayer time, Scripture reading, and participation in church events as a means to obtain salvation. As importance as all those things are, they do not save anybody.

I’m sure he wasn’t expecting what happens next. Perhaps he thought that Jesus might help get him into the water the next time it stirs. Jesus says, “Get up, take up your bed, and walk” (5:8). Those are the words of Divine authority. By means of His power He was able to command this man who had been lame for 38 years to stand up and walk. Understand what is involved here. Due to his condition, the muscles in this man’s legs have wasted away. If it were possible for medical treatment he would need to build up strength in his legs. But Jesus simply commands, “Get up, take up your bed, and walk“. We are told that “at once the man was healed, and he took up his bed and walked” (). This was a miracle. Significantly, John points out that when this miracle occurred. He writes, “Now that day was the Sabbath” (5:9b).

Sadly, this compassionate act was followed by a controversial aftermath (). When these leaders saw the man walking along with his bed, they said, “It is the Sabbath, and it is not lawful for you to take up your bed” (). The law they had in mind was a man made tradition added to the Mosaic Law.

It is interesting how this man responds to this rebuke, “The man who healed me, that man said to me, ‘Take up your bed, and walk’” (). He shifts the blame to “that man“. Curious as to whom this man was, they wanted to know who said this (). The man pleaded ignorant, as he didn’t even take notice of who it was due to the large crowds ().

Sometime after, by Divine appointment Jesus found this man and said to him, “See, you are well! Sin no more, that nothing worse may happen to you” (). In the act of healing Jesus demonstrated that the impotence of external religion and the omnipotence of God. Jesus reminded this man of his new physical condition (“See, you are well!“). Then he issues a call to repentance by saying, “Sin no more, that nothing worse may happen to you“. This means that after the healing the man was not a follower of Christ. Some are troubled by the statement, “that nothing worse may happen to you” thinking that this means all sickness is the result of personal sin. That can’t be true because when the disciples inquired about the cause of the blind man’s condition, Jesus made it clear that no human’s sin was responsible for his condition (). However, in the case of this man, certain sicknesses do come as a result of sin. The point here is that if he doesn’t repent, he will receive an outcome worse than being lame for 38 years – he will receive eternal punishment. What Jesus says in is very serious. J C Ryle says it like this, “a sick bed is a sorrowful place, but hell is much worse”.

It is interesting how this man responds. We are told, “The man went away and told the Jews that it was Jesus who had healed him” (). This man was ignorant of who Jesus was (), and even when he knew what He could do and called for repentance he displayed ingratitude towards what Jesus has done (). This is a picture of Israel and particularly the religious leaders at that time. John told us in the prologue, “He came to His own, and His own people did not receive Him” (). This man’s response is a picture of external religion. This section concludes, “And this was why the Jews were persecuting Jesus, because he was doing these things on the Sabbath” (). Why did Jesus choose to do this miracle on the Sabbath? Surely He could have done it any other day of the week. The man didn’t even ask for it. Jesus chose to do this miracle on the Sabbath so as to expose the impotence and hopelessness of man-made religion and to demonstrate that He alone has the power to save. That is the significance of this healing.

43 After the two days he departed for Galilee. 44 (For Jesus himself had testified that a prophet has no honor in his own hometown.) 45 So when he came to Galilee, the Galileans welcomed him, having seen all that he had done in Jerusalem at the feast. For they too had gone to the feast.

46 So he came again to Cana in Galilee, where he had made the water wine. And at Capernaum there was an official whose son was ill. 47 When this man heard that Jesus had come from Judea to Galilee, he went to him and asked him to come down and heal his son, for he was at the point of death. 48 So Jesus said to him, “Unless you see signs and wonders you will not believe.” 49 The official said to him, “Sir, come down before my child dies.” 50 Jesus said to him, “Go; your son will live.” The man believed the word that Jesus spoke to him and went on his way. 51 As he was going down, his servants met him and told him that his son was recovering. 52 So he asked them the hour when he began to get better, and they said to him, “Yesterday at the seventh hour the fever left him.” 53 The father knew that was the hour when Jesus had said to him, “Your son will live.” And he himself believed, and all his household. 54 This was now the second sign that Jesus did when he had come from Judea to Galilee.

John 5:1-16

5:1 After this there was a feast of the Jews, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem.

Now there is in Jerusalem by the Sheep Gate a pool, in Aramaic called Bethesda, which has five roofed colonnades. In these lay a multitude of invalids—blind, lame, and paralyzed. One man was there who had been an invalid for thirty-eight years. When Jesus saw him lying there and knew that he had already been there a long time, he said to him, “Do you want to be healed?” The sick man answered him, “Sir, I have no one to put me into the pool when the water is stirred up, and while I am going another steps down before me.” Jesus said to him, “Get up, take up your bed, and walk.” And at once the man was healed, and he took up his bed and walked.

Now that day was the Sabbath. 10 So the Jews said to the man who had been healed, “It is the Sabbath, and it is not lawful for you to take up your bed.” 11 But he answered them, “The man who healed me, that man said to me, ‘Take up your bed, and walk.’12 They asked him, “Who is the man who said to you, ‘Take up your bed and walk’?” 13 Now the man who had been healed did not know who it was, for Jesus had withdrawn, as there was a crowd in the place. 14 Afterward Jesus found him in the temple and said to him, “See, you are well! Sin no more, that nothing worse may happen to you.” 15 The man went away and told the Jews that it was Jesus who had healed him. 16 And this was why the Jews were persecuting Jesus, because he was doing these things on the Sabbath.

John 9:1-12

9:1 As he passed by, he saw a man blind from birth. And his disciples asked him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?” Jesus answered, “It was not that this man sinned, or his parents, but that the works of God might be displayed in him. We must work the works of him who sent me while it is day; night is coming, when no one can work. As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.” Having said these things, he spat on the ground and made mud with the saliva. Then he anointed the man’s eyes with the mud and said to him, “Go, wash in the pool of Siloam” (which means Sent). So he went and washed and came back seeing.

The neighbors and those who had seen him before as a beggar were saying, “Is this not the man who used to sit and beg?” Some said, “It is he.” Others said, “No, but he is like him.” He kept saying, “I am the man.” 10 So they said to him, “Then how were your eyes opened?” 11 He answered, “The man called Jesus made mud and anointed my eyes and said to me, ‘Go to Siloam and wash.’ So I went and washed and received my sight.” 12 They said to him, “Where is he?” He said, “I do not know.”

John 11:38-44

38 Then Jesus, deeply moved again, came to the tomb. It was a cave, and a stone lay against it. 39 Jesus said, “Take away the stone.” Martha, the sister of the dead man, said to him, “Lord, by this time there will be an odor, for he has been dead four days.” 40 Jesus said to her, “Did I not tell you that if you believed you would see the glory of God?” 41 So they took away the stone. And Jesus lifted up his eyes and said, “Father, I thank you that you have heard me. 42 I knew that you always hear me, but I said this on account of the people standing around, that they may believe that you sent me.” 43 When he had said these things, he cried out with a loud voice, “Lazarus, come out.” 44 The man who had died came out, his hands and feet bound with linen strips, and his face wrapped with a cloth. Jesus said to them, “Unbind him, and let him go.”

43 After the two days he departed for Galilee. 44 (For Jesus himself had testified that a prophet has no honor in his own hometown.) 45 So when he came to Galilee, the Galileans welcomed him, having seen all that he had done in Jerusalem at the feast. For they too had gone to the feast.

46 So he came again to Cana in Galilee, where he had made the water wine. And at Capernaum there was an official whose son was ill. 47 When this man heard that Jesus had come from Judea to Galilee, he went to him and asked him to come down and heal his son, for he was at the point of death. 48 So Jesus said to him, “Unless you see signs and wonders you will not believe.” 49 The official said to him, “Sir, come down before my child dies.” 50 Jesus said to him, “Go; your son will live.” The man believed the word that Jesus spoke to him and went on his way. 51 As he was going down, his servants met him and told him that his son was recovering. 52 So he asked them the hour when he began to get better, and they said to him, “Yesterday at the seventh hour the fever left him.” 53 The father knew that was the hour when Jesus had said to him, “Your son will live.” And he himself believed, and all his household. 54 This was now the second sign that Jesus did when he had come from Judea to Galilee.

46 So he came again to Cana in Galilee, where he had made the water wine. And at Capernaum there was an official whose son was ill. 47 When this man heard that Jesus had come from Judea to Galilee, he went to him and asked him to come down and heal his son, for he was at the point of death. 48 So Jesus said to him, “Unless you see signs and wonders you will not believe.” 49 The official said to him, “Sir, come down before my child dies.”

48 So Jesus said to him, “Unless you see signs and wonders you will not believe.”

50 Jesus said to him, “Go; your son will live.” The man believed the word that Jesus spoke to him and went on his way. 51 As he was going down, his servants met him and told him that his son was recovering. 52 So he asked them the hour when he began to get better, and they said to him, “Yesterday at the seventh hour the fever left him.” 53 The father knew that was the hour when Jesus had said to him, “Your son will live.” And he himself believed, and all his household.

41 And there came a man named Jairus, who was a ruler of the synagogue. And falling at Jesus’ feet, he implored him to come to his house, 42 for he had an only daughter, about twelve years of age, and she was dying.

As Jesus went, the people pressed around him. 43 And there was a woman who had had a discharge of blood for twelve years, and though she had spent all her living on physicians, she could not be healed by anyone. 44 She came up behind him and touched the fringe of his garment, and immediately her discharge of blood ceased. 45 And Jesus said, “Who was it that touched me?” When all denied it, Peter said, “Master, the crowds surround you and are pressing in on you!” 46 But Jesus said, “Someone touched me, for I perceive that power has gone out from me.” 47 And when the woman saw that she was not hidden, she came trembling, and falling down before him declared in the presence of all the people why she had touched him, and how she had been immediately healed. 48 And he said to her, “Daughter, your faith has made you well; go in peace.”

49 While he was still speaking, someone from the ruler’s house came and said, “Your daughter is dead; do not trouble the Teacher any more.” 50 But Jesus on hearing this answered him, “Do not fear; only believe, and she will be well.” 51 And when he came to the house, he allowed no one to enter with him, except Peter and John and James, and the father and mother of the child. 52 And all were weeping and mourning for her, but he said, “Do not weep, for she is not dead but sleeping.” 53 And they laughed at him, knowing that she was dead. 54 But taking her by the hand he called, saying, “Child, arise.” 55 And her spirit returned, and she got up at once. And he directed that something should be given her to eat. 56 And her parents were amazed, but he charged them to tell no one what had happened.

50 Jesus said to him, “Go; your son will live.” The man believed the word that Jesus spoke to him and went on his way.

54 This was now the second sign that Jesus did when he had come from Judea to Galilee.

5:1 After this there was a feast of the Jews, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem.

Now there is in Jerusalem by the Sheep Gate a pool, in Aramaic called Bethesda, which has five roofed colonnades. In these lay a multitude of invalids—blind, lame, and paralyzed. One man was there who had been an invalid for thirty-eight years. When Jesus saw him lying there and knew that he had already been there a long time, he said to him, “Do you want to be healed?” The sick man answered him, “Sir, I have no one to put me into the pool when the water is stirred up, and while I am going another steps down before me.” Jesus said to him, “Get up, take up your bed, and walk.” And at once the man was healed, and he took up his bed and walked.

Now that day was the Sabbath. 10 So the Jews said to the man who had been healed, “It is the Sabbath, and it is not lawful for you to take up your bed.” 11 But he answered them, “The man who healed me, that man said to me, ‘Take up your bed, and walk.’12 They asked him, “Who is the man who said to you, ‘Take up your bed and walk’?” 13 Now the man who had been healed did not know who it was, for Jesus had withdrawn, as there was a crowd in the place. 14 Afterward Jesus found him in the temple and said to him, “See, you are well! Sin no more, that nothing worse may happen to you.” 15 The man went away and told the Jews that it was Jesus who had healed him. 16 And this was why the Jews were persecuting Jesus, because he was doing these things on the Sabbath.

In these lay a multitude of invalids—blind, lame, and paralyzed.

5:1 After this there was a feast of the Jews, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem.

Now there is in Jerusalem by the Sheep Gate a pool, in Aramaic called Bethesda, which has five roofed colonnades. In these lay a multitude of invalids—blind, lame, and paralyzed. One man was there who had been an invalid for thirty-eight years. When Jesus saw him lying there and knew that he had already been there a long time, he said to him, “Do you want to be healed?” The sick man answered him, “Sir, I have no one to put me into the pool when the water is stirred up, and while I am going another steps down before me.” Jesus said to him, “Get up, take up your bed, and walk.” And at once the man was healed, and he took up his bed and walked.

Now that day was the Sabbath. 10 So the Jews said to the man who had been healed, “It is the Sabbath, and it is not lawful for you to take up your bed.” 11 But he answered them, “The man who healed me, that man said to me, ‘Take up your bed, and walk.’12 They asked him, “Who is the man who said to you, ‘Take up your bed and walk’?” 13 Now the man who had been healed did not know who it was, for Jesus had withdrawn, as there was a crowd in the place. 14 Afterward Jesus found him in the temple and said to him, “See, you are well! Sin no more, that nothing worse may happen to you.” 15 The man went away and told the Jews that it was Jesus who had healed him. 16 And this was why the Jews were persecuting Jesus, because he was doing these things on the Sabbath. 17 But Jesus answered them, “My Father is working until now, and I am working.”

18 This was why the Jews were seeking all the more to kill him, because not only was he breaking the Sabbath, but he was even calling God his own Father, making himself equal with God.

19 So Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of his own accord, but only what he sees the Father doing. For whatever the Father does, that the Son does likewise. 20 For the Father loves the Son and shows him all that he himself is doing. And greater works than these will he show him, so that you may marvel. 21 For as the Father raises the dead and gives them life, so also the Son gives life to whom he will. 22 The Father judges no one, but has given all judgment to the Son, 23 that all may honor the Son, just as they honor the Father. Whoever does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent him. 24 Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life. He does not come into judgment, but has passed from death to life.

25 “Truly, truly, I say to you, an hour is coming, and is now here, when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God, and those who hear will live. 26 For as the Father has life in himself, so he has granted the Son also to have life in himself. 27 And he has given him authority to execute judgment, because he is the Son of Man. 28 Do not marvel at this, for an hour is coming when all who are in the tombs will hear his voice 29 and come out, those who have done good to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil to the resurrection of judgment.

30 “I can do nothing on my own. As I hear, I judge, and my judgment is just, because I seek not my own will but the will of him who sent me. 31 If I alone bear witness about myself, my testimony is not deemed true. 32 There is another who bears witness about me, and I know that the testimony that he bears about me is true. 33 You sent to John, and he has borne witness to the truth. 34 Not that the testimony that I receive is from man, but I say these things so that you may be saved. 35 He was a burning and shining lamp, and you were willing to rejoice for a while in his light. 36 But the testimony that I have is greater than that of John. For the works that the Father has given me to accomplish, the very works that I am doing, bear witness about me that the Father has sent me. 37 And the Father who sent me has himself borne witness about me. His voice you have never heard, his form you have never seen, 38 and you do not have his word abiding in you, for you do not believe the one whom he has sent. 39 You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; and it is they that bear witness about me, 40 yet you refuse to come to me that you may have life. 41 I do not receive glory from people. 42 But I know that you do not have the love of God within you. 43 I have come in my Father’s name, and you do not receive me. If another comes in his own name, you will receive him. 44 How can you believe, when you receive glory from one another and do not seek the glory that comes from the only God? 45 Do not think that I will accuse you to the Father. There is one who accuses you: Moses, on whom you have set your hope. 46 For if you believed Moses, you would believe me; for he wrote of me. 47 But if you do not believe his writings, how will you believe my words?”

One man was there who had been an invalid for thirty-eight years.

The sick man answered him, “Sir, I have no one to put me into the pool when the water is stirred up, and while I am going another steps down before me.”

When Jesus saw him lying there and knew that he had already been there a long time, he said to him, “Do you want to be healed?”

The sick man answered him, “Sir, I have no one to put me into the pool when the water is stirred up, and while I am going another steps down before me.”

And at once the man was healed, and he took up his bed and walked.

Now that day was the Sabbath.

10 So the Jews said to the man who had been healed, “It is the Sabbath, and it is not lawful for you to take up your bed.” 11 But he answered them, “The man who healed me, that man said to me, ‘Take up your bed, and walk.’12 They asked him, “Who is the man who said to you, ‘Take up your bed and walk’?” 13 Now the man who had been healed did not know who it was, for Jesus had withdrawn, as there was a crowd in the place. 14 Afterward Jesus found him in the temple and said to him, “See, you are well! Sin no more, that nothing worse may happen to you.” 15 The man went away and told the Jews that it was Jesus who had healed him. 16 And this was why the Jews were persecuting Jesus, because he was doing these things on the Sabbath.

10 So the Jews said to the man who had been healed, “It is the Sabbath, and it is not lawful for you to take up your bed.”

11 But he answered them, “The man who healed me, that man said to me, ‘Take up your bed, and walk.’

12 They asked him, “Who is the man who said to you, ‘Take up your bed and walk’?”

13 Now the man who had been healed did not know who it was, for Jesus had withdrawn, as there was a crowd in the place.

14 Afterward Jesus found him in the temple and said to him, “See, you are well! Sin no more, that nothing worse may happen to you.”

And his disciples asked him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?” Jesus answered, “It was not that this man sinned, or his parents, but that the works of God might be displayed in him.

14 Now it was a Sabbath day when Jesus made the mud and opened his eyes.

15 The man went away and told the Jews that it was Jesus who had healed him.

11 But he answered them, “The man who healed me, that man said to me, ‘Take up your bed, and walk.’12 They asked him, “Who is the man who said to you, ‘Take up your bed and walk’?” 13 Now the man who had been healed did not know who it was, for Jesus had withdrawn, as there was a crowd in the place.

15 The man went away and told the Jews that it was Jesus who had healed him. 16 And this was why the Jews were persecuting Jesus, because he was doing these things on the Sabbath.

11 He came to his own, and his own people did not receive him.

16 And this was why the Jews were persecuting Jesus, because he was doing these things on the Sabbath.

An Elder’s Calling and Character

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In an earlier post, I looked at what the Bible says concerning the meaning of an elder. In this post, I will consider what an elder’s calling and character is like.

It is the duty of an elder to lead (; ), teach (), and shepherd (; ; ; ; ) the congregation in a local church. The elders are from the congregation and are given the task of an under-shepherd who will one day give an account to the Chief Shepherd of the church (; ).

It is important to understand what an eldership is and what God’s intention for the church’s leadership is. It is the duty of the elders to care for the congregation and it is the duty of the congregation to respect and submit to the elders (). This brings us to our passage in . In this passage we will consider two aspects of the position and function of an elder – the calling of an elder () and the character of an elder ().

The Calling of an Elder
contains the second of five “trustworthy” sayings (1:15; 4:9; ; ). Each of these contains an important pithy truth that was familiar to the redeemed. He proceeds to say, “If any aspires to the office of overseer, he desires a noble task. This verse provides an essential element to the calling of an elder, and that is aspiration. The word “aspires” does not refer to a selfish aspiration of power and status, but rather to the pursuit of the task of shepherding God’s flock. This is critical because as he shepherds God’s flock, it must be done with willingness and eagerness (). He is not driven by power, money or prestige – he is compelled to shepherd. This “desire” is “a noble task” because it is the oversight of those that Christ purchased with His own blood (; ).

The Character of an Elder
In , Paul provides a list of fifteen character qualifications of an elder. This list is not exhaustive, but provides the essential qualities of a biblical elder. When looking at a list like this, it is important to consider the following observations.

Firstly, an elder must be a male. The repetition of the masculine pronoun “he” is repeated throughout this passage and also the qualification “husband of one wife” (3:2) clearly indicates an elder is to be a male. Secondly, these qualifications have nothing to do with the man’s rank in society or his achievements. Instead, these are all descriptions of his devotion to the Lord. Finally, an elder will not be able to perfectly adhere to these qualifications, but his overall pattern will display a pursuit of these things in faithfulness. These qualifications reveal the kind of man the Lord desires to serve as an elder in the church. This is the man the church is to respect and submit to ().

The Lord Jesus Christ is the Head of the church. Within the church are a people who are gifted in unique ways so as to glorify God and edify their fellow brethren. Yet in the Lord’s design He has called for certain members to function as leaders. These leaders are the elders of the church and they have an important task to lead, teach and shepherd God’s flock.

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9 Marks

40 Questions about Elders and Deacons

17 Let the elders who rule well be considered worthy of double honor, especially those who labor in preaching and teaching.

17 Obey your leaders and submit to them, for they are keeping watch over your souls, as those who will have to give an account. Let them do this with joy and not with groaning, for that would be of no advantage to you.

Therefore an overseer must be above reproach, the husband of one wife, sober-minded, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach,

1 Timothy 5:17

17 Let the elders who rule well be considered worthy of double honor, especially those who labor in preaching and teaching.

28 Pay careful attention to yourselves and to all the flock, in which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to care for the church of God, which he obtained with his own blood. 29 I know that after my departure fierce wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock; 30 and from among your own selves will arise men speaking twisted things, to draw away the disciples after them.

12 We ask you, brothers, to respect those who labor among you and are over you in the Lord and admonish you, 13 and to esteem them very highly in love because of their work. Be at peace among yourselves.

for if someone does not know how to manage his own household, how will he care for God’s church?

14 Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord.

5:1 So I exhort the elders among you, as a fellow elder and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, as well as a partaker in the glory that is going to be revealed: shepherd the flock of God that is among you, exercising oversight, not under compulsion, but willingly, as God would have you; not for shameful gain, but eagerly;

17 Obey your leaders and submit to them, for they are keeping watch over your souls, as those who will have to give an account. Let them do this with joy and not with groaning, for that would be of no advantage to you.

And when the chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the unfading crown of glory.

17 Obey your leaders and submit to them, for they are keeping watch over your souls, as those who will have to give an account. Let them do this with joy and not with groaning, for that would be of no advantage to you.

3:1 The saying is trustworthy: If anyone aspires to the office of overseer, he desires a noble task. Therefore an overseer must be above reproach, the husband of one wife, sober-minded, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, not a drunkard, not violent but gentle, not quarrelsome, not a lover of money. He must manage his own household well, with all dignity keeping his children submissive, for if someone does not know how to manage his own household, how will he care for God’s church? He must not be a recent convert, or he may become puffed up with conceit and fall into the condemnation of the devil. Moreover, he must be well thought of by outsiders, so that he may not fall into disgrace, into a snare of the devil.

3:1 The saying is trustworthy: If anyone aspires to the office of overseer, he desires a noble task.

Therefore an overseer must be above reproach, the husband of one wife, sober-minded, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, not a drunkard, not violent but gentle, not quarrelsome, not a lover of money. He must manage his own household well, with all dignity keeping his children submissive, for if someone does not know how to manage his own household, how will he care for God’s church? He must not be a recent convert, or he may become puffed up with conceit and fall into the condemnation of the devil. Moreover, he must be well thought of by outsiders, so that he may not fall into disgrace, into a snare of the devil.

3:1 The saying is trustworthy: If anyone aspires to the office of overseer, he desires a noble task.

3:1 The saying is trustworthy: If anyone aspires to the office of overseer, he desires a noble task.

11 The saying is trustworthy, for:

If we have died with him, we will also live with him;

The saying is trustworthy, and I want you to insist on these things, so that those who have believed in God may be careful to devote themselves to good works. These things are excellent and profitable for people.

not domineering over those in your charge, but being examples to the flock.

28 Pay careful attention to yourselves and to all the flock, in which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to care for the church of God, which he obtained with his own blood.

18 knowing that you were ransomed from the futile ways inherited from your forefathers, not with perishable things such as silver or gold, 19 but with the precious blood of Christ, like that of a lamb without blemish or spot.

Therefore an overseer must be above reproach, the husband of one wife, sober-minded, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, not a drunkard, not violent but gentle, not quarrelsome, not a lover of money. He must manage his own household well, with all dignity keeping his children submissive, for if someone does not know how to manage his own household, how will he care for God’s church? He must not be a recent convert, or he may become puffed up with conceit and fall into the condemnation of the devil. Moreover, he must be well thought of by outsiders, so that he may not fall into disgrace, into a snare of the devil.

Therefore an overseer must be above reproach, the husband of one wife, sober-minded, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, not a drunkard, not violent but gentle, not quarrelsome, not a lover of money. He must manage his own household well, with all dignity keeping his children submissive, for if someone does not know how to manage his own household, how will he care for God’s church? He must not be a recent convert, or he may become puffed up with conceit and fall into the condemnation of the devil. Moreover, he must be well thought of by outsiders, so that he may not fall into disgrace, into a snare of the devil.

17 Obey your leaders and submit to them, for they are keeping watch over your souls, as those who will have to give an account. Let them do this with joy and not with groaning, for that would be of no advantage to you.

Carols at Hills

Carol's Flyer HBC

On 22 December at 6:00 pm will be the Hills Bible Church carols service (Carols at Hills). There will be congregational carols, items in song, Scripture readings, a message from God’s Word and supper after the service.

You are welcome to join us Sunday evening.

Jesus Christ: The All-Seeing Saviour

All-Seeing Saviour

Who is Jesus Christ? Jesus Christ is the eternal Son of God (). He is supreme above all creation because “without Him was not any thing made that was made” () and spiritual life is found exclusively in Him (cf. ). Despite the clear testimony of Scripture concerning who Jesus Christ is, sadly many people serve the seeker-sensitive Jesus. He is a “Jesus” that makes them feel comfortable in their way of life. He is nothing more than a “Jesus” of their own making.

In this post I would like to discuss one aspect of who Jesus Christ is. Though much could indeed be said, I will limit myself to the following: Jesus Christ is the All-Seeing Saviour.

The Lord Jesus Christ is able to look at people and see their true spiritual condition. Regardless of what people claim, He knows everything about them. He is aware of every thought and action that you have done. On one occasion early in Christ’s public ministry, after He performed a number of miraculous signs, He  attracted the following of many individuals. However, “Jesus on his part did not entrust himself to them, because he knew all people” (). In these verses () there is a play on words. The point conveyed is that many believed in Jesus but Jesus didn’t believe in them. Why? Their faith wasn’t saving faith. Sure, on the outside they said they believed in Jesus. However, in a way that only He can, He saw their hearts. Because of His Divine awareness – “he knew all people and needed no one to bear witness about man, for he himself knew what was in man” (b-25). Here we see a glimpse of the all-seeing Saviour.

In each letter to the seven churches in Revelation (), Jesus says, “I know your works” (). Such a statement is both a comfort and a caution. The glorified Christ is fully aware of every single action and deed you undertake and nothing escapes His attention. He knows all that we do and don’t do, and nothing is hidden from Him. He is fully aware of all that takes place in our churches – even if we don’t know about it ourselves. Every action that takes place in the church, every act of service for the Lord – menial and prominent, known and unknown – He sees it. He sees your service, your suffering and your sin.

This is who Jesus Christ is. He is the all-seeing Savour and He is watching. For those who love Christ and strive to serve Him, take comfort and know that He is watching you and knows your service. However, when we sin, be cautioned. Christ knows it all. For this reason, let us come to Him with with humility and honesty and submit to all His ways.

1:1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

John 8:58

58 Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I am.”

All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made.

Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.

24 But Jesus on his part did not entrust himself to them, because he knew all people

23 Now when he was in Jerusalem at the Passover Feast, many believed in his name when they saw the signs that he was doing. 24 But Jesus on his part did not entrust himself to them, because he knew all people

24 But Jesus on his part did not entrust himself to them, because he knew all people

2:1 “To the angel of the church in Ephesus write: ‘The words of him who holds the seven stars in his right hand, who walks among the seven golden lampstands.

“‘I know your works, your toil and your patient endurance, and how you cannot bear with those who are evil, but have tested those who call themselves apostles and are not, and found them to be false. I know you are enduring patiently and bearing up for my name’s sake, and you have not grown weary. But I have this against you, that you have abandoned the love you had at first. Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent, and do the works you did at first. If not, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place, unless you repent. Yet this you have: you hate the works of the Nicolaitans, which I also hate. He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To the one who conquers I will grant to eat of the tree of life, which is in the paradise of God.’

“And to the angel of the church in Smyrna write: ‘The words of the first and the last, who died and came to life.

“‘I know your tribulation and your poverty (but you are rich) and the slander of those who say that they are Jews and are not, but are a synagogue of Satan. 10 Do not fear what you are about to suffer. Behold, the devil is about to throw some of you into prison, that you may be tested, and for ten days you will have tribulation. Be faithful unto death, and I will give you the crown of life. 11 He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. The one who conquers will not be hurt by the second death.’

12 “And to the angel of the church in Pergamum write: ‘The words of him who has the sharp two-edged sword.

13 “‘I know where you dwell, where Satan’s throne is. Yet you hold fast my name, and you did not deny my faith even in the days of Antipas my faithful witness, who was killed among you, where Satan dwells. 14 But I have a few things against you: you have some there who hold the teaching of Balaam, who taught Balak to put a stumbling block before the sons of Israel, so that they might eat food sacrificed to idols and practice sexual immorality. 15 So also you have some who hold the teaching of the Nicolaitans. 16 Therefore repent. If not, I will come to you soon and war against them with the sword of my mouth. 17 He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To the one who conquers I will give some of the hidden manna, and I will give him a white stone, with a new name written on the stone that no one knows except the one who receives it.’

18 “And to the angel of the church in Thyatira write: ‘The words of the Son of God, who has eyes like a flame of fire, and whose feet are like burnished bronze.

19 “‘I know your works, your love and faith and service and patient endurance, and that your latter works exceed the first. 20 But I have this against you, that you tolerate that woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophetess and is teaching and seducing my servants to practice sexual immorality and to eat food sacrificed to idols. 21 I gave her time to repent, but she refuses to repent of her sexual immorality. 22 Behold, I will throw her onto a sickbed, and those who commit adultery with her I will throw into great tribulation, unless they repent of her works, 23 and I will strike her children dead. And all the churches will know that I am he who searches mind and heart, and I will give to each of you according to your works. 24 But to the rest of you in Thyatira, who do not hold this teaching, who have not learned what some call the deep things of Satan, to you I say, I do not lay on you any other burden. 25 Only hold fast what you have until I come. 26 The one who conquers and who keeps my works until the end, to him I will give authority over the nations, 27 and he will rule them with a rod of iron, as when earthen pots are broken in pieces, even as I myself have received authority from my Father. 28 And I will give him the morning star. 29 He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.’

3:1 “And to the angel of the church in Sardis write: ‘The words of him who has the seven spirits of God and the seven stars.

“‘I know your works. You have the reputation of being alive, but you are dead. Wake up, and strengthen what remains and is about to die, for I have not found your works complete in the sight of my God. Remember, then, what you received and heard. Keep it, and repent. If you will not wake up, I will come like a thief, and you will not know at what hour I will come against you. Yet you have still a few names in Sardis, people who have not soiled their garments, and they will walk with me in white, for they are worthy. The one who conquers will be clothed thus in white garments, and I will never blot his name out of the book of life. I will confess his name before my Father and before his angels. He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.’

“And to the angel of the church in Philadelphia write: ‘The words of the holy one, the true one, who has the key of David, who opens and no one will shut, who shuts and no one opens.

“‘I know your works. Behold, I have set before you an open door, which no one is able to shut. I know that you have but little power, and yet you have kept my word and have not denied my name. Behold, I will make those of the synagogue of Satan who say that they are Jews and are not, but lie—behold, I will make them come and bow down before your feet and they will learn that I have loved you. 10 Because you have kept my word about patient endurance, I will keep you from the hour of trial that is coming on the whole world, to try those who dwell on the earth. 11 I am coming soon. Hold fast what you have, so that no one may seize your crown. 12 The one who conquers, I will make him a pillar in the temple of my God. Never shall he go out of it, and I will write on him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, the new Jerusalem, which comes down from my God out of heaven, and my own new name. 13 He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.’

14 “And to the angel of the church in Laodicea write: ‘The words of the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of God’s creation.

15 “‘I know your works: you are neither cold nor hot. Would that you were either cold or hot! 16 So, because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth. 17 For you say, I am rich, I have prospered, and I need nothing, not realizing that you are wretched, pitiable, poor, blind, and naked. 18 I counsel you to buy from me gold refined by fire, so that you may be rich, and white garments so that you may clothe yourself and the shame of your nakedness may not be seen, and salve to anoint your eyes, so that you may see. 19 Those whom I love, I reprove and discipline, so be zealous and repent. 20 Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me. 21 The one who conquers, I will grant him to sit with me on my throne, as I also conquered and sat down with my Father on his throne. 22 He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.’”

“‘I know your works, your toil and your patient endurance, and how you cannot bear with those who are evil, but have tested those who call themselves apostles and are not, and found them to be false.

Revelation 2:9

“‘I know your tribulation and your poverty (but you are rich) and the slander of those who say that they are Jews and are not, but are a synagogue of Satan.

Revelation 2:13

13 “‘I know where you dwell, where Satan’s throne is. Yet you hold fast my name, and you did not deny my faith even in the days of Antipas my faithful witness, who was killed among you, where Satan dwells.

Revelation 2:19

19 “‘I know your works, your love and faith and service and patient endurance, and that your latter works exceed the first.

Revelation 3:1

3:1 “And to the angel of the church in Sardis write: ‘The words of him who has the seven spirits of God and the seven stars.

“‘I know your works. You have the reputation of being alive, but you are dead.

Revelation 3:8

“‘I know your works. Behold, I have set before you an open door, which no one is able to shut. I know that you have but little power, and yet you have kept my word and have not denied my name.

Revelation 3:15

15 “‘I know your works: you are neither cold nor hot. Would that you were either cold or hot!