Friday, December 11, 2015

From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded

From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded
What have YOU done with what you were given?

Luke 12:48
Peter asked him, Lord, are you addressing this parable to us or to all alike?
The Lord answered, who then is the faithful and sensible manager, whom the master will put in charge of his servants, to give them their food allowance at the proper time? Blessed is that servant whom his master at his coming will find so doing. Truly I tell you, he will set him over all his possessions.
But if that servant shall say in his heart, My master is taking his time in coming, and shall begin to beat up the men and the women servants, and to eat and drink and get drunk, the master of that servant shall arrive on a day he does not expect him and at an hour he does not figure on, and shall cut him to pieces and assign him a place with the unfaithful.
And that servant who knew his master's will but did not get ready or act in accordance with that will shall receive many blows of the lash. But he who did not know and did things that call for a beating shall receive few blows. From everyone who has been given much, much will be required; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, all the more will be demanded.

“From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked” (Luke 12:48). This statement of Jesus has become somewhat of an idiom in Western culture and is found, paraphrased, in Uncle Ben’s words of wisdom to Peter Parker in Spider-man: “With great power comes great responsibility.”

The idea of “to whom much is given, much will be required” is that we are held responsible for what we have. If we are blessed with talents, wealth, knowledge, time, and the like, it is expected that we use these well to glorify God and benefit others.   Jesus is the Master that is going away, we are the servants that are to be true to Him and Look for His return. 
I want to discuss some of what this passage means to us in the “Body of Christ”
We will start with where do these things given come from?
Then look at, How did we get them?
And finally we will look at, Just how much were we given to use for Our Lord?  And the responsibility that goes with what we were given.

They came from GOD!

God is "Self-existent". All that is in existence beyond the point of God's Self-existent Person is from and in God. God inhabits Eternity (all of time), which is from His self-existence. God does not live moment by moment, day by day in eternity, God inhabits Eternity, IN PRESENT TENSE, All of Eternity and every second of time before Him NOW!
All the Majestic Glory of the HOLY GOD exist in His self-existent Person.
All Knowledge exist in eternity before Him thus He knows all.
All eternity is before Him thus He is present to all, all the time.
All Power, Majesty, and Glory are from His self-existence thus He is all powerful. 
This is the God from whom we get all that is for us in Christ. All we are, all we have, comes from God, and His Grace in us.
God has given us MUCH, let’s look at just what that is.

In the passage Luke 12, Our Lord’s Galilean ministry was drawing-rapidly to a close. The time was near when He would go to Jerusalem to die. In view of this and His promised return He urged upon His disciples the importance of loyalty when He should no longer be present with them in person. He was going on to Calvary-there to make an atonement for sin. And in God’s due time He will return, not as He came before as a little Babe, as a lowly Man to be despised-but as King of kings and Lord of lords, to whom every knee shall bow. We read in the Revelation, “Behold, He cometh with clouds: and every eye shall see Him, and they also which pierced Him: and all kindred of the earth shall wail because of Him.” H. Ironsides

The Son of man returns clothed with power and majesty and with awe and terror. Royalty’s robe to his feet; that golden belt buckled at the breast; that hair so glistening white like the purest snow on which the sun is shining it hurts the eye; those eyes of flashing fire, eyes which read every heart and penetrate every hidden corner; those feet of burning metal glowing in order to trample down the wicked and stand firm in Holiness; that loud, reverberating voice, like the mighty thunder of Niagara falls in all it power; The word of His mouth a sharp, great-sword with two biting edges of Truth; that entire appearance “as the sun shines in its power,” too intense for human eyes to stare at—the picture taken as a whole, is a symbol of Christ, the Holy One, coming to purge His world.

The Good Master has gone away, the suffering servant that came as a man will return in Power beyond what we understand, The question is will HE find us watching for HIM? Will we be ready? 
From everyone who has been given much, much will be required,

When He comes what will we have done with what he has given us?

1.       Grace, Jesus work on earth and the BLOOD of Calvary. 
Eph 2:8  For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God;

2.     Holy Spirit indwelling believers. We have in Christ the indwelling Power of the Living God.
1 Corinthians 3:16  Do you not know that you are a temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you?
Romans 8:9  However, you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you But if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Him.
2 Corinthians 6:16   Ezekiel 36:27   2 Timothy 1:14   Acts 6:5   Ephesians 5:18   Romans 8:11   John 16:13  1 John 2:27 John 14:17

3.     We are Priest of the Most High GOD.
A royal priest hood to make sacrifices and offerings to HIM.
1Pe 2:9  But you are A CHOSEN RACE, A royal PRIESTHOOD, A HOLY NATION, A PEOPLE FOR God's OWN POSSESSION, so that you may proclaim the excellences of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light;

4.      We are New Creatures.
Old things and sins passed away and remembered no more, all things are made new in Christ.
2Co_5:17  Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come.
Psa 103:12 As far as the east is from the west, So far has He removed our transgressions from us.
There are several passages in the Bible that indicate that God forgives and forgets our sin. Isaiah 43:25 says, “I, even I, am he who blots out your transgressions, for my own sake, and remembers your sins no more. ”Hebrews 10 explains how Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross for sin was a once-and-for-all sacrifice. Unlike the sacrificial system of the Old Testament, in which sacrifices were continually made for sin, Jesus paid for sin once. His payment was complete. Hebrews 10:14–18says, “For by one sacrifice he has made perfect forever those who are being made holy.

5.     Adopted into the family of God.
Romans 8:15For you have not received a spirit of slavery leading to fear again, but you have received a spirit of adoption as sons by which we cry out, "Abba! Father!
Galatians 4:6  Rom_8:23  Rom_9:4  Gal_4:5  Eph_1:5

6.     Heirs of God, joint heirs with Jesus.
Rom 8:17  and if children, heirs also, heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him so that we may also be glorified with Him.

7.     We are the temple of God Indwelled by the Holy Spirit.
1Co_3:17  If any man destroys the temple of God, God will destroy him, for the temple of God is holy, and that is what you are.
1Co_6:19  Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own?

How much was given? What is our responsibility?

Peace, Joy, faith, hope, adoption of sons, Temple of God, Indwelling Holy Spirit, Priest of the Most High God, Gifts – we have the Power of the Living God!
What have we done with what God gave us?

Php 3:10 - 15  that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings, being made conformable to His death;  11 if by any means I might attain to the resurrection of the dead. 12  Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect, but I am pressing on, if I may lay hold of that for which I also was taken hold of by Christ Jesus. 13  My brothers, I do not count myself to have taken possession, but one thing I do, forgetting the things behind and reaching forward to the things before, 14  I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. 15  Let us therefore, as many as are perfect,{justified Innocent } be of this mind.

The scripture we are studying says  “to give them their food allowance at the proper time”
The Lord answered, Who then is the faithful and sensible manager, whom the master will put in charge of his servants, to give them their food allowance at the proper time? Blessed is that servant whom his master at his coming will find so doing. Truly I tell you, he will set him over all his possessions.

We so often teach the illustration we miss the point!  The “servant” was to meet the needs of his fellows. The illustration is of food, but that is spiritual needs as well as physical.  The evil servant says “My master is taking his time in coming, and shall begin to beat up the men and the women servants, and to eat and drink and get drunk“ this is more than just food but wellbeing.
We to whom Much Is Given must also live our lives so others can see Jesus in us. It has always been the office of a Priest to teach, guide and minister to the people.  We are to be the example both in this life and in “Watching for That Glorious Returning”.
Heb 5:10 Called of God an high priest after the order of Melchisedec.
Heb 5:11 Of whom we have many things to say, and hard to be uttered, seeing ye are dull of hearing.
Heb 5:5 So also Christ glorified not himself to be made an high priest; but he that said unto him, Thou art my Son, to day have I begotten thee.

A priest by birth, a priest sanctified to God, a priest from the people, and a priest as spiritual teacher for all, this is the King and priest by birth order of Melchisedec. Why was this Old Testament man selected? Maybe it is because he was both priest by birth and a king.

The point of this discussion, and the many things to say, and hard to be uttered is this priest hood. The fact that Christ is our high priest is not hard to follow, God said it. What that means to us in daily life seems not to have been widely seen. Christ is our High Priest after the order of Melchisedec, that is by birth. When we look beyond our self and see the wondrous Grace of God, and with the simplest Faith reach out to Him, the one who paid sins price with His own Blood, on that old rugged Cross, we are born into the family of God.

It is a birthright with eternal life and eternal responsibility!

Rom 8:15 For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father.
Rom 8:16 The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God:
Rom 8:17 And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.
Rev 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,
Rev 1:6 and hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father; to him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.

The spirit of adoption making us the children of God and joint-heirs of Christ is the new priesthood. It is the adoption into the family of God. There is much that has not been included in what it means to be a Christian in the teachings of the church. Part may have been because it was hard to say and we are weak of understanding. But, in the history of the church a good part of the problem is telling the Christian story in a way to help those in leadership positions control the masses of people.

How do you tell someone you are a child of the king, heir to rule with Christ, member of the heavenly family, Priest under the High Priest Jesus Christ. You may go directly to the Fathers side with your petitions.

Then tell them I am in charge and will tell you what you need to know and do for the church. I will tell you what the scripture says and all you must do. 

The failure to teach the truth about the Priesthood of the Christian is a choice of the leaders in the church to control people and the same grasp for power that lead to both the Reformation and the Enlightenment.

First the priest hood was by firstborn birth, responsible to lead the people to God.
Second is a tribe of Israel chosen by God to replace the birthright.
Third is the High Priesthood of Jesus, and our adoption into the family of God.

1 Peter 2:4-5 (NKJV)
4 Coming to Him as to a living stone, rejected indeed by men, but chosen by God and precious,
5 you also, as living stones, are being built up a spiritual house, a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.
1 Peter 2:9 (NKJV)
9 But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light;
Revelation 1:5-6 (NKJV)
5 and from Jesus Christ, the faithful witness, the firstborn from the dead, and the ruler over the kings of the earth. To Him who loved us and washed us from our sins in His own blood,
6 and has made us kings and priests to His God and Father, to Him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.
Revelation 5:10 (NKJV)
10 And have made us kings and priests to our God; And we shall reign on the earth."
Revelation 20:5-6 (NKJV)
5 But the rest of the dead did not live again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection.
6 Blessed and holy is he who has part in the first resurrection. Over such the second death has no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with Him a thousand years.

We are adopted heirs to the wonders of God. These verses say Jesus made us kings and priest unto God. We need no one to take our cause to God. We have the adoption of sons, the status of family, and may go to God on His promise and blood.

Heb 5:11 Of whom we have many things to say, and hard to be uttered, seeing ye are dull of hearing…

This new birthright and our place in it along with our relation to Jesus Christ our High Priest is the heart of “many things to say” and of which we cannot allow ourselves to be “dull of hearing”. Much of the problem in our present time comes from the church not teaching the true position and responsibilities of the Christian.
We have a responsibility to go tell others the wonders of God’s grace. If there is suffering and hard work, the toil is nothing compared to the love of God. And even this suffering has a promise.

Rom 8:17 And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.
Rom 8:18 For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.

We have a responsibility, Every Christian has a responsibility, to support the Church and learn the truth from the word of God and to share this truth with others. We must learn what we can of what the world is saying and the errors that confront the Church. How else can we ever seek to teach the truth and correct errors if we do not know what they are?

The birthright with Christ carries with it a great responsibility.

I am sure you know of the “Romans Road to Salvation”.  This is Paul’s outline of the steps or method of being saved.  It is often only partly quoted, but here is what he said.

1.     The righteousness of God is needed
2.     The righteousness of God is made known to us
3.     The righteousness of God is Available to us In Jesus.
BECAUSE  a. there is no difference in people  b. for all have sinned
Please do not make “For all have sinned and come short of the Glory of God” the subject and meaning of this passage.  You will miss the subject “Righteousness of GOD!”
Rom 3:20  Therefore by the deeds of the law  there shall no flesh be justified in his sight:  for by the law is the knowledge of sin. 
Rom 3:21  But the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets;
Rom 3:22  Even the righteousness of God which is  by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference:
Rom 3:23 For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;
Rom 3:24 Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus:

2. Not what we did!  God loved us before we knew Him.
Rom 5:8  But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners,  Christ died for us.
Rom 5:9  Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him.
Rom 5:10  For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life.
Rom 5:11  And not only so, but we also joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the atonement.

3. Wages of Sin Death, but in the Righteousness of God we are free form sin.
Rom 6:22  But now being made free from sin, and become servants to God, ye have your fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life.
Rom 6:23  For  the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

How to be saved, Confess and Believe!
Rom 10:9  That if you  shall confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shall believe in your heart that God hath raised him from the dead, you shall be saved.
Rom 10:10  For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.This very familiar verse tells us how the act of being saved works. With the Heart=Believes, with the Mouth=Confesses.  

How Shall they hear if the Priest of this age of grace fails to carry the message?

Our position in the family of God carries with it a Great responsibility, we are the Priest of Grace the messenger to tell the world about Jesus.  The next verses are not so often read but they tell us of that responsibility.   

How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a messenger? And how shall they preach, except they be sent?    
Romans 10:14-15

Christ said “You must be Born again,” and as such we are new creatures in Christ.
We have a birthright responsibility to tell others the wonderful story of the Gospel. We are the Priest of this age, the Priest of Grace, to live each day in the fullness of Grace so others may see JESUS in our Lives is our spiritual office, to tell the world about JESUS is our Responsibility.  If they do not hear they will not be saved, and that is an eternal loss.  WE are to live a new life dedicated to God to spread the Gospel. We must be the example that the world sees of what a Christian is.

We have failed to stand, to be heard, and to teach the truth. We have allowed the liberal humanist to establish the standards of debate, and once in power they are hard to move.
Have we chosen to follow the easy path in our busy lives?
Have we let others claim the authority to say, “Live any way you want to”?
Could we stand with the martyrs and face the wild animals or torture for the name of CHRIST?
Who can face death with Polycarp and say, “Eighty and six years He never failed me I will not deny Him now”?  When the need is great who will stand in the gap?
The church today has lost her way and can’t seem to stand where the stand matters.
Yet we are responsible as heirs to heaven, Priest of Grace, We must take a stand.

 What Do I Owe Jesus?  
We often speak of Tithes of 10%, and a gift to meet special needs. We may even get to Church AND Sunday school, or Prayer meeting and Bible study, some even go to evangelistic outreach.  We may even read our Bible sometime in the week, AND read the Sunday School Lesson BEFORE Sunday School. Look at all we do for Him.

What Do I Owe Jesus?   The wealth of the universe “That Debt” could not repay!

He in love, stepped from eternity and across time and was born a man. Totally GOD (second person of the Trinity, existing for all eternity,  Became, Totally a man just as we are. The man had a beginning with birth, died on the cross and was rewarded and seated with God in heaven.)
He lived as a man, learned a trade, taught us to know Him, and paid a debt we could not pay.
He is, He must be, my all, my all in all, life and Lord, Master and FRIEND.  Lord and Master, yet wants to commune with us and be a true friend.  We owe Him ALL. 
The Question is not “What Do I Owe HIM?”  

The question should be, In that deepest private personal place of thought and hope, deep in my soul, "What would I withhold from Him” ?

This view of a Christian is beautiful, breath taking, exciting, there is victory in knowing Jesus.
How do you make this work and not seem proud?
How do you access the power of God?
By choice I give my all to Jesus, a bondslave to serve Him.  Life is not about me and what I want.  I give my wealth, life, position, and Faith to the savior, He is my all in all I only live to serve Him.  The more I yield to Him the more His Power can flow through me.
Are we watching for the Masters return, Can the world see Jesus in us?
Would they want what they see?
From everyone who has been given much, much will be required; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, all the more will be demanded.

Who am I?        A bondslave of Christ Jesus!

The twenty first century Christian needs some first century Living Reality of Christian Life.  Mr. Wesley was accused of ”experiential theology”, the educated of the day made fun of him basing any part of his “theology” on having lived it.  Yet the only way to know it is to live in Christ.   The problem in the Church today is “we are so busy we fail to stop to worship, pray, or just be still and let Him speak to us.”   To know Him is to understand His word. To know Him is to hear Him speak.  If you have studied scripture long I am sure you have read a familiar passage only to have some new truth pour over your soul and thrill you with God’s meaning. This is God speaking to you through scripture.  But, we have to listen, be quiet and listen. 

Steven Randall Eubanks,  δοῦλος Χριστοῦ Ἰησοῦ

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