Repentance -- Peace -- Teaching
In simplest terms, what was the all inclusive purpose of Jesus Christ? It was to save people from their sins. In the previous teaching, we went into detail about how the devil tempted Jesus Christ and how he, Jesus Christ reacted and resisted victoriously. This occurred after Jesus Christ visited John which was the first record of Jesus’ life. After the above two records, Jesus Christ then began to preach on the subject of repentance in Chapter 4.
The people which sat in darkness saw great light; and to them which sat in the region and shadow of death light is sprung up. – Matthew 4: 16
You can see that these people were in darkness, but they saw great light. When you witness to people, they are also in darkness and they see the light of Jesus Christ in your eyes and in your face.
From that time Jesus began to preach, and to say, Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand. – Matthew 4: 17
It is quite interesting to see what Jesus Christ did after he was tempted of the devil. He began to preach to the multitudes who were in great darkness and to say repent for God's kingdom is at hand -- it is right before your very eyes. All that you need to do is to believe. Do you think that aggravated the adversary? It must have driven him crazy. You see there is a Scripture that says that if you are going to make a blow to the god of this world, make the blow count! If there is one thing that Satan cannot stand, it's when we act as an evangelist when the need arises. Once a person becomes born again of God's Spirit, he no longer belongs to the god of this world. He is now a son or a daughter of God Almighty and God’s seed is within him or her and that seed is perfect and permanent.
That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. – Romans 10: 9, 10
When it comes to getting someone born again of God's Spirit, there are no two Scriptures that can have any greater impact than Romans 10: 9, and 10. These Scriptures stop the adversary in his tracks. He cannot move and he is now paralyzed as far as that person is concerned. He no longer has dominion or control over that person unless that person allows him to do so by a lack of that person's renewed mind.
Each of us according to God's Will, has free will. What exactly is free will? We should all know the answer to that. We are all able to make up our own minds concerning God's Word -- whether we are to believe it and act on it is completely up to us. That is what it means to have free will. If we did not have free will, we would be like robots as far as God is concerned. God gives us a choice whether to love Him and obey Him or whether to turn our backs on Him and to obey the god of this world who will only steal, kill, and destroy your life.
To repent, which is to confess Jesus Christ as Lord in your life and to believe that God hath raised him from the dead, is a tremendous thing. But after we do this, we have a responsibility to God to renew our minds to become like Him and to imitate His ways. These truths are mentioned throughout the Church epistles. Let's take a look at the book of Romans.
I Beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy acceptable unto God which is your reasonable [rational or logical] service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed [transfigured] by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God. – Romans 12: 1, 2
Once we repent, we must renew our mind to God's Word. This is a lifelong process and at times it could be very difficult. We must learn to break our bad habits and all the thinking patterns that the world has taught us. So we take it slow -- we take it one day at a time -- and each day gets better and better. The renewed mind is your key to power which means that the more you know and apply God's Word, the more powerful will be your walk with God in this present world.
Now let's take a look at another dynamic principal in God's Word which is required of all believers. In fact, this is the only way that you can renew your mind by sheer logic and pure common sense.
Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. – II Timothy 2: 15
We need to study God's Word to be able to renew our minds. People, there is just no other way. We should spend the beginning of each day studying God's Word and we will absolutely see, in time, that this is the best part of our day -- it sets the day. Starting the day with God's Word gives us guidance that we need to get through that day. It keeps us ahead of the god of this world. God's Word makes us extremely intelligent and God wants his sons and daughters to be winners -- He wants us to know the score. It is a commandment of the Lord that we study His Word. Again, we have free will to study or not to study. If we study God's Word, He promises us that we will have greater power in our walk with Him. We will stay on top of the situation, no matter how many tribulations come our way. When you don't start your day studying the Word of God, you have a tendency to be behind the eight ball all day long. You're playing catch up with the world and the world will make your day as miserable as possible. You have heard, and by this time you should know, that God says that we are to keep Him first and foremost in our lives. What do you do when you first wake up in the morning? Do you study and pray? If not, you need to renew your mind so that you do what God exhorts us to do. Then, and only then, will we see the more than abundant life and its manifestation in our own lives in our walk with God each and every day.
Do you see how simple this is? It's not enough to just repent unless we want to be satisfied with living in a world and living in a manner that the world dictates to us. If we want to be more than conquerors as the Word of God says, then we will study and we will renew our minds and we will act on the Word every day. Do not misunderstand what I am saying. It is of utmost importance that a person repent and become born again of God's Spirit. That person goes from a body and soul person, to a body, soul, and spirit person. That person is now made whole and has eternal life and all hell can't stop him from getting there. But in this life, without an accurate knowledge of God's Word -- without study and without renewing the mind, a Christian can live a very miserable life. God's Word is the blueprint for living. That is how we are supposed to be living our lives. It's really beautiful in many ways, but the world will try to blind your eyes from the truth that God has written in His Word.
So what am I trying to say? One of the greatest leadership principles that Jesus Christ could ever teach is repentance. But we must remember in this different Administration (Study “The Seven Administrations”), the Age of Grace, God absolutely requires us, for our own good, to study and renew our minds which then allows us to walk a powerful walk defeating the enemy and all his methods and devices. Only the Word of God rightly divided defeats the god of this world. Repent, then study, which will renew your mind and you will become more and more like Jesus Christ.
Now we are going to our next principle which happened to be written before Jesus Christ taught the record of ‘repentance’. This principle is so often overlooked and yet it is so important and taught in many parts of God’s Word.
And leaving Nazareth, he came and dwelt in Capernaum, which is upon the sea coast, in the borders of Zabulon and Nephthalim. That [So] it might be [was] fulfilled which was spoken by Esaias the prophet, saying, The land of Zabulon, and the land of Nephthalim, by the way of the sea, beyond Jordan, Galilee of the Gentiles; -- Matthew -- 4: 13-15
We are now going to talk about ‘peace’ and the ways to acquire it. There are five ways to get peaceful and one of them is nature. In the above verse, notice how Jesus Christ, after leaving Nazareth, dwelt in Capernaum which is upon the sea coast and notice that Jesus traveled ‘by way of the sea’. Why did Jesus Christ dwell near the sea coast and travel by way of the sea?
Where do so many people visit when they go on vacations? Many people head towards bodies of water whether they are fresh or salt water. WHY? Because they are very peaceful settings. God set it up that way. The sea and/or bodies of water are simply peaceful. Let’s look at another verse.
And Jesus, walking by the sea of Galilee..................... Matthew -- 4: 18a
Where was Jesus walking? By the sea. There are many more records like this regarding water, but we are going to move on to a different part of nature where Jesus Christ spent much of his time.
Let’s go to Chapter 5 to see where Jesus Christ went when he saw the multitudes. All right, I know what you’re thinking. All that was there, back in Christ’s time, was desolate areas and a lot of nature. True, but still today, people do venture to these areas for peace.
And seeing the multitudes, he went up into a mountain: and when he was set, his disciples came unto him: And he opened his mouth, and taught them, saying, -- Matthew 5: 1, 2
There is so much in God’s Word that I can’t help but veer off the subject temporarily. Notice how, when Jesus Christ saw the multitudes, he first taught his disciples. Why did he do that? Because many of the believers in the multitudes were not going to be able to understand what Christ wanted to teach. But his closest disciples would understand. That’s why he taught them first. Also notice the phrase used in verse 2 of Chapter 5 -- “he opened his mouth”. That’s what we must do in order to witness God’s Word. This same phrase is used many times in God’s Word.
Now back to our discussion of ‘peace’. In Matthew 5: 1, Jesus saw the multitudes following and approaching him. Can you imagine the influence he had? But Jesus Christ was a man just like us and at times, he needed peace and quiet – he needed time to be alone. Where did he go when he desired peace and quiet and tranquility? He went up into a mountain.
I walked a dog for 14.5 years over 30,000 miles and most often, we were up in the mountains where we could find peace – peace and quiet, and to get away from the ‘multitudes’. These are some of the greatest memories of my life and are ingrained in my heart. While walking, I studied and prayed often and God Almighty took advantage of the situation to teach me great things.
Remember, these teachings are under the category of “The Leadership Principles of Jesus Christ”. They are most important to your walk with God today. You have a RIGHT to peace as a result of what Jesus Christ accomplished. Don’t let the world take it away from you with its organized confusion. I find it hard not to mention that you should read Exposing Satan’s Newest Device AND There is Great Peace in Silence. These teachings will eliminate the need for a lot of repetition and will give you the ammunition to stick it to the enemy big time.
If you study the Gospel of Matthew, in only five Chapters, we see that Jesus Christ taught from a mountain, went into the wilderness and walked along a body of water. This is not by coincidence – there is no such thing. These settings bring peace to a person. You should remember and never forget that nature is one of five ways to experience peace and to relax. These are in, actuality, leadership principles that you must learn to apply. The enemy and his world will do it’s best to burn you out. Take time for yourself to relax and get peaceful. If you have a pet, both of you can be blessed. It’s up to you – you have free will. Take it from one who knows – Don’t argue with God. Learn how and what makes you peaceful. Just ask God.
And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful. – Colossians 3: 15
To the surprise of some, Jesus Christ was 30 years old when he began his Ministry. We can all teach like Jesus Christ did to some extent. Some people have a strong ability in this area. Let’s go back to Matthew Chapter Four.
And Jesus went about all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing all manner of sickness and all manner of disease among the people. – Matthew 4: 23
The most obvious leadership principle of Christ was teaching God’s Word. But the principle must be mentioned because of its extreme importance. Witnessing God’s Word to others is an essential part of your renewed mind walk with God.
And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation; -- II Corinthians 5: 18
This is actually one of our five Sonship rights. God has given us the Ministry of Reconciliation. We are the ones that God has chosen to reconcile people back to Him.
Remember Matthew 5: 2 – “he opened his mouth”. That is what we must do concerning others when God tells you to speak His Word. This responsibility has been given to us! If we do not move God’s Word, it will not move!! Do you see the great principle and responsibility that God has completely given to us? So, in conclusion, and most obviously, we must TEACH God’s Word.
Now let’s look back at verse 23. Look at the order of the verse. First Jesus taught the Word, then the healing of all manner of sickness and disease took place. We must ACT first, then we will see results. We must open our mouth. Now again, you can see the importance of II Timothy 2: 15. We must study and do so diligently so that we are ready to answer every man.
By the way, “opened his mouth” is an IDIOM – a figure of speech which means to speak freely with solemnity.
Almost throughout all of God’s Word in the gospel of Matthew, Jesus Christ taught people the Word of God. And what was the effect of the manner in which Jesus Christ taught?
And it came to pass, when Jesus had ended these sayings, the people were astonished at his doctrine: For he taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes. – Matthew 7: 28, 29
We need to be bold (i. e. act without fear) when we speak God’s Word. If we have studied enough and we BELIEVE, we will speak as one who has authority – the authority of God. Because He is the one who gets the glory. Watch the head trip – God loves that person as much as He loves you. In His eyes, you are equal. What separates us is our degree of believing which is the direct result of how much we renew our mind.
Teaching is an art and must be developed. It always came easy for me and so I finally realized that it was my strong point in the Body of Christ. I have taught God’s Word for about 45 years and it never ceases to amaze me. Without quoting numerous Scriptures, let me share my heart with you on this subject of teaching and witnessing.
1. Never argue. Truth needs no defense. Tell people to argue with God.
2. DON’T waste your time with the goats – they will never hear (God will tell you.)
3. Be careful. Don’t let someone who is in a hole they dug for themselves pull you in with them.
4. Watch out for Satan’s ministers being transformed into angels of light. They can deceive even the elect.
5. The stronger and more developed your renewed mind, the less likely you will fall into a trap.
6. Thorns in the flesh are rampant. They will hinder you from teaching God’s Word. This could be a best friend, your earthly family, your girl or boy friend. Satan is that devious. He
will work through the ones you love the most. KEEP GOD FIRST.
But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness and all these things shall be added unto you. – Matthew 6: 33