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If Christ Be Our Example - Part 2

Good Morning Beloved,

Heavenly Father,

I just cannot thank You enough for the great reminder You've given us. He who is our Christ 
Our Substitute, our Shepherd, our Guardian. We bless You.  We praise You, we exalt You.
We are so grateful that He is our standard by which we eagerly accept the call to patiently, and unjustly suffer and form our responses after Him, taking it and entrusting the equity and the righteousness into Your hands.  Thank You for opening our eyes, that we have been able to see Him as our sin-bearing substitute, the one who paid the penalty for our sins, who died in our place.

Thank you that we have seen Him as the suffering Shepherd who gives His life for His sheep in order that He might rescue them and gather them in the fold.  It’s all about Christ, Father.  We want only to love and exalt Him, as we should, because all else is loss.  All in Him is gain.
May He be praised in this not only this moment
but in each day, throughout our live, now and forever,
In Jesus' name

"For you were called to this, because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example,
so that you should follow in His steps.  He did not commit sin, and no deceit was found in His mouth; when He was reviled, He did not revile in return; when He was suffering, He did not threaten but entrusted Himself to the One who judges justly.  He Himself bore our sins in His body on the tree, so that, having died to sins, we might live for righteousness; you have been healed by His wounds. For you were like sheep going astray, but you have now returned to the Shepherd and Guardian of your souls."
I Peter 2:21-25

Today's Message: If Christ Be Our Example - Part 2

In the process of our study, Peter has been unfolding for us these various elements associated with our Christian conduct, he has come to speak about Christ at the end of chapter 2 because Christ is the model which we are to follow.  We looked at that last time.  We considered the suffering Jesus as our example, as our standard.  Now, in our message today, we’re going to go on from there to consider the Lord Jesus, as Peter does, not only as our standard, but as our substitute, then finally as our shepherd in verse 25.

At the heart of the church’s worship is the beautiful ordinance of the Lord’s Table with which we are all very familiar.  There at the Lord’s Table, we take the bread and the cup in remembrance and communion with Christ.  At the heart of the Lord’s Table is a doctrine.  That doctrine is the very core of the Christian gospel.  At the heart of the church then is the Lord’s Table.  At the heart of the Lord’s Table is a very significant doctrine.  It is summed up in the words of our Lord who said, "This is my body which is given for you, for you."  The essence of the Christian gospel is that Jesus Christ has done something for us.  Most specifically, He died for us.  That is the point.  His death was for us, and that is precisely what Peter is saying here.

And as we study together  the Word of God, we come to the conclusion of our study on I Peter chapter 2 today.  I can’t tell you what an honor it has been, for me to share this exceptionally rich, refreshing and pertinent study with each of you. So, now as we have begin looking at chapter 2, particularly from verse 11 and following,  how we have seen that God has called us as believers to a submissive role in society.  It’s been of tremendous interest to me, especially as this particular series of messages has come at a time when many Christians continue to be engaged in such acts of civil disobedience, around the country,  even in our own city.

 Peter tells us in verse 21, "Christ also suffered for you."  He suffered for you. He also suffered for me. It was for us that Christ suffered.  That’s His point.  In three ways, we look at the suffering of Christ.  First, we’ve already noticed that Peter looked at the suffering of Christ as the standard for how we ourselves suffer under unjust treatment.  "Christ suffered for you," he points out very poignantly in verse 21, "leaving you an example,”  a standard a model, “so that you should follow in His steps He did not commit sin, and no deceit was found in His mouth; when He was reviled,
He did not revile in return; when He was suffering, He did not threaten but entrusted Himself to the One who judges justly." Christ suffered on the cross, for us,  leaving us an example of how we also are to suffer with patience, endurance, even in the midst of unjust treatment.

Christ, not only suffered, as no other being has in the history of this planet, nor will ever again. None of us will truly ever know, to what extent He suffered, but we know He accepted it all, in perfect submission, perfect patience and with perfect endurance and in doing such suffering, He was the perfect example of patient endurance, though the suffering was more unjust than any other.

Beloved, it is safe to say, before it's all over, we too will suffer unjustly as believers, in this ungodly and sin filled society in which we live.  Nonetheless, we are to follow the example of Jesus Christ.  However, there is a greater way in which He suffered for us.  He suffered not only as our standard, but today, I want us to look at the fact that He suffered as our substitute.  As our substitute, He suffered for each of us.  Please, notice in verse 24.  This is such a significant and incredibly powerful statement of His love for us, and I believe, it is one that ought to be given prominence and highlighted in every Bible.  "He Himself bore our sins in His body on the tree, so that, having died to sins, we might live for righteousness; you have been healed by His wounds."

Beloved, I encourage you to just think about that for a moment, with me, as I read that again from our text, "He Himself bore our sins in His body.." Is that not an absolute sacrificial display of ones love for another? This verse speaks with great sentiment of Christ's sacrifice as our substitute.  It speaks of Christ, as the one who took our place.  By the way, as I had previously mentioned, as Peter unfolds this closing section of chapter 2, he’s thinking of Isaiah 53.  He would be alluding to Isaiah 53:4,5, and 11. Because here, in those verses in Isaiah 53, Isaiah writes about the substitutionary sin-bearing death of Christ.  And again, I must say, this is the heart of the Christian gospel, the great doctrine of substitution.  That is, that Christ was our substitute in dying is basic to our faith. Our redemption is substitutionary. In fact, we could safe to say that all other elements of salvation merely surround this significant core truth. That, "He Himself bore our sins in His body on the tree, so that, having died to sins, we might live for righteousness; you have been healed by His wounds." That section of our text, is so incredibly powerful, it deeply touches, the very fiber of my soul, its rather difficult not to become choked up with emotion, on this text. Christ was our substitute, for what we deserved.

The apostle Paul sees Christ as a substitute. and so he wrote, in II Corinthians he says there what Peter says here, "He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf that we might become the righteousness of God in Him."  Here he echoes Peter's words.  Peter says, "It’s substitution."  Paul says, "It’s substitution that is at the heart of the Christian gospel."  Then in Galatians 3:13, Paul also says  that, "Jesus was made a curse," then he uses these two words, "for us, for us."  

So, if I may, state this as simply as I can, if Christ had not been my substitute, then I still occupy the place of a condemned sinner.  If my sins and my guilt are not transferred to Him and if He does not take them, then they remain with me.  If He did not deal with my sins, then I must, myself deal with them.  If He did not, in substitution, bear my penalty, then I must, in fact, bear it.  As there is no other possibility.  It is either Him or me.

I am aware that some have suggested, that it is immoral to teach the doctrine of substitution.  Some theologians have suggested that it is immoral to teach that God in human flesh took on sin and bore my sin and your sin.  But it is not immoral, because you are not pushing something on God that He wouldn’t want.  You are not tainting His holiness, in any way.  The truth of the matter is that in the process of salvation,  God is not transferring penalty from one man guilty to another man innocent.  No, He is bearing the sin Himself, for Jesus was God in human flesh.  The point is this: nobody is pushing substitutionary death off on God.  God took it on Himself.  There is nothing immoral at about that.  It is not an affront to a holy God to say that He bore sin.  He did it by His own will.  He wills that sin be punished and He wills to be the victim who bears its punishment. 

Look here's the bottom line: Either Christ took my sins and bore them, or I will have to. Either He paid the penalty for my sin, or I will pay it in hell forever.  Now, what does the text say?  It begins with these words, "And He Himself bore our sins."  "He Himself" is emphatic, and it means to emphasize that this is God in human flesh bearing our sins, not because somebody outside the Trinity pushed it on Him, but because He chose it Himself.  He Himself bore our sins.  He alone did it.  The emphatic personal pronoun indicates He did it alone, and it also indicates He did it voluntarily.  Voluntarily and alone God took on our sins.  He came into the world to save His people from their sins as John said of the Lamb of God in John 1:29.  Peter is simply affirming that Jesus willingly took our sin upon Himself.  He Himself without outside influences, bore our sins.  That’s the point.  And there certainly is not anything immoral about that Scripture. You know, Satan, will use whatever means of deceiving the minds believers. Just as he did with Eve, and he even tried it as we can recall with Christ Himself. It's up to each of us to know what Scripture says, so that we are not duped into believing any false doctrine. Scripture says, in no uncertain terms, Jesus bore our sins. If the Bible says it, that settles it. Period!

Now, there are also those teach that Jesus died as a martyr.  I'm sure you know that.  They somehow think that Jesus is just a great example of someone who died for a cause.  Beloved, that’s not the Word of God, that's a "Jesus Christ Superstar" mentality. Jesus was not a martyr who lived for a good cause, and therefore sets a great example of how to be so sold out to a cause that you’re willing to die as a martyr.  Admittedly, a martyr can be an example of suffering, but a martyr cannot be a substitute for anyone else..  And furthermore, a martyr cannot take away my sin by the sacrifice of himself or herself.

If you will turn to I Peter 3:18 for a moment, and we'll examine briefly, where Peter reiterates this same great truth of substitution.  "For Christ also suffered for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, that He might bring you to God, after being put to death in the fleshly realm but made alive in the spiritual realm." He, the just, died as a substitute for us, the unrighteous.  He took our place.  The verb “bore” there means to carry a massive, heavy weight, and that’s exactly what sin was; a heavy weight that Jesus bear for us.  In fact, if you want to know just how heavy the burden is, read Romans 8.  It says that, "For we know that the whole creation has been groaning together with labor pains until now."  Jesus took the heavy weight of our sins. 

I have been asked what does it mean that He bore our sins, specifically?  Tt comes from the Old Testament, and because I know that a number of people, avoid the Old Testament, however, I want you understand it.  It is not common in the New Testament to use that phrase, “Jesus bear our sins.”  It only appears here and also in Hebrews 9:28.  But it does appear rather frequently in the Old Testament.  If you understand how the Old Testament used it, you’ll understand how Peter, before he was a New Testament saint, who was an Old Testament saint, who would have understood it. Many of the translations, use the bore our sin, "so also the Messiah, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, will appear a second time, not to bear sin, but to bring salvation to those who are waiting for Him."

When you begin to study the Old Testament, it becomes quite clear what bearing sin means.  However, allow me explain to you what it means. 

For example, Numbers 14, "You will bear the consequences of your sins 40 years based on the number of the 40 days that you scouted the land, a year for each day.  You will know My displeasure."  You remember when God brought Israel out of Egypt and brought them to the land of Canaan to Kadesh Barnea, the spies went into the land for forty days.  They came back out of the land, and they told the people, But the men who had gone up with him responded, "We can’t go up against the people because they are stronger than we are!"  God says, “All right, for your unbelief and lack of trust in me, I will punish you by causing you to wander is this wilderness for, forty years."  Forty years.  God punished them by making them wander in the desert for 40 years instead of going right into the Promised Land.  

In Ezekiel 18:20 it says, "The person who sins is the one who will die. A son won’t suffer punishment for the father’s iniquity, and a father won’t suffer punishment for the son’s iniquity. The righteousness of the righteous person will be on him, and the wickedness of the wicked person will be on him.”  What does it mean?  No son will be punished for his father’s sin and no father will be punished for his son’s sin.  To bear iniquity means to be punished.  In that case, the soul that sins shall die.  He says, "Sons, you won’t die for your father’s sins.  Fathers, you won’t die for your son’s sins." 
So, to bear sin meant to endure the penalty of sin, and that’s a very important biblical distinction to make in order to clearly understand what Jesus did on the cross.  He bore punishment.  The wrath of God against sin was put on Him instead of us.  That’s precisely what it means.  In Numbers 18:1,
"You and your sons with you shall bear the guilt in connection with your priesthood."  What is He saying?  He’s swearing the priesthood in, as it were, and He says, "When you sin against the sanctuary and when you sin against the priesthood, you will bear the guilt."  What does that mean?  You will suffer the punishment.

In Numbers 18:23 it says, "The Levites will do the work of the tent of meeting, and they will bear the consequences of their sin. The Levites will not receive an inheritance among the Israelites; this is a permanent statute throughout your generations"  In other words, if they violate the law of God, the Levites in the course of their duties, they will endure the punishment.  That’s what it means, and you will find this repeatedly in the writings of Ezekiel.  Look at chapter 4:4. "Then lie down on your left side and place the iniquity of the house of Israel on it. You will bear their iniquity for the number of days you lie on your side.  For I have assigned you the years of their iniquity according to the number of days you lie down, 390 days; so you will bear the iniquity of the house of Israel."  He went through a symbolic punishment, demonstrating to the people of Israel what happens when you are punished for your iniquity.  And you find it again in Ezekiel, the 44th chapter and various other places in the Old Testament.

Turn back, if you would to, I Peter and what does he mean?  He says,   "He Himself bear our sins in His body."  What does that mean?  Does that mean that He became a sinner?  Well, Paul says, "He became sin for us," but that’s a different issue.  When he said, "He bear our sins," it means that He took on the punishment.  He endured the penalty for us, and it wasn’t just physical death.  It was spiritual death.  "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?"  This is the cry of spiritual death.  Spiritual death is separation from God.  Jesus bore that for us.

Our iniquity was placed upon Him. He carried in His body our sins, however, that’s not what Peter is talking about.  What Peter is talking about is He took the punishment for that, therefore satisfying a holy God.  He bear our sins.  What an absolutely astonishing truth, just an astonishing truth indeed.

Charles H. Spurgeon, loved the doctrine of substitution.  He knew it was at the core of Christianity.
I will quote you some of the things he had to say,  "In one word the great fact on which the Christian’s hope rests is substitution.  The vicarious sacrifice of Christ for the sinner, Christ being made sin for us that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him, Christ offering up a true and proper substitutionary sacrifice in the place of as many as the Father gave Him, who are recognized by their trusting in Him.  This is the cardinal fact of the gospel."

What he is saying there is atonement is at the center.  Substitution is at the center.  He says, “There is no doctrine that fires my soul with such delight as that of substitution.  Substitution is the very marrow of the whole Bible.  It is the soul of salvation.  It is the essence of the gospel.  We ought to saturate all our sermons with it, for it is the lifeblood of a gospel ministry.”  He says, “I am incapable of moving one inch away from the old faith, the gospel of substitution, and one thing I do is preach it.”  He says, “If you put away the doctrine of substitutionary sacrifice of Christ, you have disemboweled the gospel and torn from it its very heart.”

He also said, "I pray, God, that every stone of this tabernacle may tumble to its ruin and every timber be shivered to Adams before there should stand on this platform a man to preach who denies the substitutionary sacrifice of Jesus Christ or who even keeps it in the background, for this is our watch word."  You know that.  Jesus was our substitute.  He not only became sin for us, but He bear the punishment for us. "“In His own body on the cross through crucifixion.  He had to die on the cross.  He had to be lifted up.  He had to be crucified.  That was the plan.  He had to even be hanged, as Paul says, to fulfill the curse of one who is hanged on a tree.  He had to be crucified on wood.  In His own body, He felt the potent punishment of God, as He hung on the cross.

In case you're wondering, the word "cross" literally means the word “wood.”  He Himself bear our sins in His own body on the wood, the wood.  Why would He do that?  Verse 24 says, "so that, having died to sins, we might live for righteousness; you have been healed by His wounds." Oh, beloved, what a beautiful gift.  He did it in order that we might die to sin and live to righteousness.  Did you hear that?  It didn’t say He did it that we might go to heaven.  It didn’t say He did it in order that we might have peace. He did it, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness.  He did it to transform us from sinners into saints.  He did it so that we might be forever changed.  "He bear the punishment in order that we might die to sin and live to righteousness." That's just an incredible statement!

And so, we have the purpose of Christ’s substitutionary death is not just the forgiveness of sin, not just the removal of guilt, not just a change in the standing of our position.  It’s not forensic. It’s not a declared change.  It’s a real transformation.  He took our place in order to transform us that we might die as slaves to sin, and live in righteousness as slaves to God.  By the way, the word “die” here is a rather unique word in the New Testament, not the typical word for "die."  In fact, it’s the only time it’s ever used.  It means to be away from, to be missing, or to depart, or to cease existing.

In fact, the particle is used in classical Greek to refer to the dead as the dearly departed. Therefore, the purpose of the substitutionary work of Christ is that we might depart from sin.  That’s what he’s saying, that we might depart from sin, and that we might live to righteousness, that we might enter into a new life.  Peter here is on the same track as Paul, in Romans 6, "For we know that our old self was crucified with Him in order that sin’s dominion over the body may be abolished, so that we may no longer be enslaved to sin, since a person who has died is freed from sin’s claims"  That’s a real change.  This great passage in Romans 6 is at the heart of everything in the Christian’s life.  If you haven not taken the opportunity to study it carefully, I'd like to encourage you to do so. Every Christian should master this material.

We have been crucified with Christ in which we have died to sin.  How?  We have paid the penalty.  That’s one part of it, but not only that, we have departed from sin and Peter goes beyond what Paul intends in Romans 6.  Paul is saying we have, in paying the penalty of sin through the death of Christ, we have died to sin.  In terms that we have paid the penalty in Christ, and so sin has no claim on us.  Peter says, "Further, we are saved to depart from sin."  Now, Paul talks about that when he talks about living according to that new life, but Peter uses the word that means "to depart from."

So, beloved, Christ died for you in order that you might depart from sin and live to righteousness to change your life pattern, to convert you, to regenerate you, to make you a new person from sinner to saint.  Then he alludes to Isaiah 53:5 when he says, "By His wounds you were healed."  The word "wounds" mlps, mlps.  Do you know what it means?  Scars from flogging is exactly what it means, bruises, welt, scars from whipping.  By His scars, by His pain, by His bearing punishment, we were healed.

It’s not unfair to say that even the whipping of Jesus, the flogging that tore His back was part of the punishment of God, which He bear for sin.  They became the means of our spiritual healing.  But you must understand, he isn't talking about physical healing here.  Primarily, he’s talking about spiritual healing.  He’s talking about transformation from death to life, from sin to righteousness.  He took our place to make that a reality.  It never fails, there is always somebody always says, "When it says, ‘by His wounds you were healed,' that means you’re to claim healing the atonement."  And that’s fine.  I do believe there’s healing in the atonement, but not yet.  The healing in the atonement is going to come in our glorification.  Do you understand that?

There is healing in the atonement.  I certainly will not argue that.  By His stripes we were healing spiritually, and by His stripes we will be healed physically because the day will come when we will have no more physical pain, no more physical issues. In Matthew 8:16, do you remember Jesus was casting out demons and healing everybody who was ill in order that what was spoken through Isaiah the prophet might be fulfilled saying, "He Himself took our infirmities and carried away our diseases."  And people always say, "Don't you see it?  He took our infirmities.  He carried away our diseases when He healed those people."  Yes, that’s right, and He was showing that as an example to those people what all of us will experience in the glory which is to come, healing from physical disease.  But physical disease isn’t the issue in this text.

Beloved, there is physical healing in the atonement promised, however, not yet realized.  However,  if there was physical healing in the atonement given now, no Christian would ever be sick or die.  How obvious is that?   He did promise healing in the atonement in the future, not now, in the future.
Our Lord suffered, we can certainly all agree on that, and He suffered as our standard to show us a pattern of virtuous suffering in the midst of unjust treatment, and He suffered as our substitute, and this is such basic theology: He took our place.  Though it’s really unfathomable, isn’t it? That the lovely, perfect Son of Almighty God, pure and untouched by sin, untainted in any way, would take upon Himself not only our sin but our punishment and do so willingly. It is unimaginable to me, that He, the perfect Lamb of God, would do this for me, a wretched, filthy sinner. That's love beloved, that's agape love.

Finally, Peter says He is not only our standard and substitute, He’s our Shepherd.  He is our Shepherd.  And, I must say, I love this.  Look at verse 25 with me.  See, the Lord had to do that because you were continually straying like sheep.  You see, if the Lord hadn’t provided a sacrifice, He never could have brought you into His fold.  If the Lord hadn’t provided a substitute, He never could have saved you.  Peter is still thinking of Isaiah 53:6.  He must have just read it before the Spirit inspired him in this text.  Isaiah 53:6 says, “All of us like sheep have gone astray.  Each one of us has turned to his own way, but the Lord has laid on Him the iniquity of us all."  What does that mean?  Christ bear the punishment for it all, and because of that, you have returned to the Shepherd and guardian of your souls. Isn't that beautiful?

Jesus had to bear your sin to be your Shepherd.  You and I are like sheep gone astray, and he says and so did Isaiah, "You’re like straying sheep, but there was a Shepherd who brought you back because He gave His life for you."  When he says, "You were continually straying like sheep," he’s talking about their unsaved condition in the past.  But now because of God’s provision in Christ, you have turned toward, is what the verb means.  You have turned toward that refers to repentant faith.  That was the prodigal who turned toward the father.

Would you please take notice you have not turned toward a system, not a theology, not a religion, but a person.  The person of Christ, our Lord. I love this.  You have turned toward the Shepherd and guardian of your souls.  Literally, your lives.  It has the whole person, your Shepherd and guardian.  And Who is the Good Shepherd?  The Lord Jesus Christ.  You say, "that’s out of John’s gospel."  That’s also out of Peter’s epistle.  Look with me at chapter 5, verse 4.  He calls Christ, "the Chief Shepherd, the Chief Shepherd."  Isn't that absolutely wonderful.  Peter calls Christ, "the Chief Shepherd."  In chapter 5, he calls Him the "Shepherd and Guardian."  Oh, and by the way, that’s a very significant thing because in the Old Testament who was the true Shepherd?  "The Lord is my Shepherd." How many of you know Psalm 23? It's not surprising, it is one many people are most familiar with, "The Lord is my Shepherd.."  So what Peter is saying is Jesus is the Lord.  Jesus is God.  This is the affirmation of Christs deity. I don't know how people can miss that, yet, I've had many discussions, with those belong to other religions, who would argue a black cow was white! It so clearly spelled out for anyone to understand.

The term "Shepherd", that is His title.  The term "Guardian", that is His function.  And what is the function of a shepherd?  That's right, guardianship, guardianship.  Interestingly enough, the word shepherd is poimn, which is the word "pastor" and the word “guardian” is the episkopos, which is the word "bishop" or "overseer."  Both of them are applied to elders.  We are the shepherd guardians of the flock under the chief Shepherd Guardian.

And in Ezekiel 34:23-24 and Ezekiel 37:24, the title of Shepherd for God becomes Messianic, so even in Ezekiel, the Messiah will be Shepherd.  Every Jew should have understood that was a promise that the Messiah would be God.  He is the Shepherd who guards, oversees, leads, supervises, and further gives His life for the flock.  In John 10, Jesus said, "I am the good Shepherd.  I lay down my life for the sheep."  Jesus put His life on the line for us to bring us to Himself.

Jesus suffered. He is the suffering Jesus.  He suffered to be our standard.  He suffered to be our substitute.  He suffered to be our Shepherd, to gather us to Himself.

Once you’ve identified Jesus’ suffering , you can no longer just say He suffered as an example.  You’ve got to then say He suffered as a sin-bearer, and He suffered as a Shepherd gathering His sheep.

The main point of all of this here is that Satan wants to heap against us unjust suffering, and in the midst of it, we lose our victory.  We lose our testimony.  We sin with our mouth.  We sin with our actions.  We sin with our attitude.  We retaliate.  We become vengeful.  Peter wants us to know that that is not consistent with what God has called us to do.  Even though we suffer unjustly, we can overcome.  There’s a good hint at how.

In Closing....

 I'd like for all of you to open your Bibles to the book of Revelation, chapter 12:11.  This is a description of some godly saints that have been under attack by Satan, the accuser of the brethren, relentlessly assaulting their character.  But it says in verse 11, "They overcame him."  Who is him?  Satan.  They overcame him.  They overcame all his onslaughts, all his insults, all his persecution, all his efforts to destroy them and their testimony.  They overcame him. They overcame. So, how did they do it?  Because of the blood of the Lamb, because of the word of their testimony, and because they didn’t love their life even  unto death. That's how, they didn't this life as valuable, because they knew their treasure, eternal life awaited them.

So, I'll just explain this all very simply: You overcome through the blood of the Lamb.  That’s salvation.  That’s the power of God.  You overcome because through the blood of the Lamb you have the power of God to overcome. You overcome because of the word of God is your testimony.  That is to say you overcome because you won't not forfeit your testimony.  When we are persecuted and hostilely treated, we must not retaliate.  Because we don’t lose our testimony.  We must press on, in  bold faith and courage and with an uncompromising spirit. That's how we will overcome.

I tell you this, there is so much compromise in our world today, so so much.  But Peter, Paul, Stephen, the saints throughout the Scriptures, these people wouldn’t compromise.  And how did they overcome?  Because in salvation they had the power of Christ, because they would not compromise their testimony.  Finally, because they really didn’t care about their own lives.  It was no big deal to them whether they suffered or didn’t in this life.  It just didn’t matter much.  If you have through salvation the power of God, if you have through conviction the non-compromising faith and boldness, not to equivocate on your testimony, but at all costs keep your testimony pure, and if you really don’t care that much about your life here, you’re going to overcome. You will overcome.

Beloved, Satan threw everything at them that he could, but they overcame him.  They never lost their testimony.  They never cared about their life.

We too shall overcome!

And now may the Lord bless you and keep you;

the Lord make His face shine upon you,
And be gracious to you;

The Lord lift up His countenance upon you,
And give you peace.

Now and forever, in Jesus' name
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Brian Monzon Ministries

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    " The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave Him to show to His bond-servants, the things which must soon take place; and He sent and communicated it by His angel to His bond-servant John, 2  who testified to the word of God and to the testimony of Jesus Christ, even to all that he saw. 3  Blessed is he who reads and those who hear the words of the prophecy, and heed the things which are written in it; for the time is near." Revelation 1:1-3 Good Morning my beloved,   We welcome you to worship in the name of the Lord. Thank you for joining us today, we're glad to have you here. We are especially grateful for those of you who have been sharing the ministry website with all of your family and friends. Your faithfulness to share God's Word with others continues to bring about tremendous results. We are grateful to each of you. And through your sharing, God has brought a number of people to Christ. Praise God! May He continue to use you and this minist

Nothing Has Changed If You Haven’t Changed

Good Morning beloved family, I'm so glad to have all of you joining us today! Let's give a shout of praise to the Lord! Amen! Heavenly Father, As we gather here today, enlighten our understanding, purify our hearts every desire, quicken our wills, and strengthen every right purpose. Grant us wisdom and discernment, that we may better know Your Word and understand. Direct us, in clarity, during this time of worship, guide us to the magnifying and exalting of Your name, and to the e nduring good of us Your children and servants, through Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior. Amen " To everything there is a season, A time for every purpose under heaven:   A time to be born, And a time to die; A time to plant, And a time to pluck what is planted; A time to kill, And a time to heal; A time to break down, And a time to build up; A time to weep, And a time to laugh; A time to mourn, And a time to dance; A time to cast away stones, And a time to gather stones; A ti

Ministry With A Mission

    " Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus according to the commandment of God our Savior, and of Christ Jesus, who is our hope, 2  To Timothy, my true child in the faith: Grace, mercy and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord." I Timothy 1:1-2     Good Morning my beloved,   We welcome to all of our beloved brothers and sisters, from all around the world, who have been lead to join us today. We are glad to have you here!   I know that I mentioned this to you in our last message, however, Scripture calls us to pray with and for our brothers and sister in Christ. I again, would like to encourage all of you to visit our Prayer Wall, there are a number of them who are in great need of some faithful prayer warriors. I pray that you will join us in praying for them in their time of need. I would greatly appreciate it, and I know that they would as well!   I Timothy 2:1 tells us " First of all, then, I urge that entreaties and prayers, petitions and than

The Power Of A Humble Prayer

      " Finally, brethren, pray for us that the word of the Lord will spread rapidly and be glorified, just as it did also with you; 2  and that we will be rescued from perverse and evil men; for not all have faith. 3  But the Lord is faithful, and He will strengthen and protect you from the evil one . 4  We have confidence in the Lord concerning you, that you are doing and will continue to do what we command. 5  May the Lord direct your hearts into the love of God and into the steadfastness of Christ." II Thessalonians 3:1-5     Good Morning my beloved,   Welcome to all of our beloved brothers and sisters, from all around the world, who have been prompted to join us today. We are glad to have you here!   I believe that peace, encouragement and good hope are present realities for any true believer. It stands in stark contrast to what the world offers. In the face of life's challenges, discouragements persecution, and shattered dreams, God brings encouragement to th