Sunday, March 29, 2015

Palm Sunday – Jesus’ Triumphant Entry

Palm Sunday – Jesus’ Triumphant Entry
Pastor Bruce A. Shields
House of Faith Church


It is nearing time for Pesach, the Passover Feast. Today being the 8th of Nisan, according to the Hebcal Jewish Calendar.

This Jewish year is currently 5775 (or 2015 by the Gregorian calendar), Pesach begins Friday April 3rd – and ends Saturday April 11th.

One of the seven feasts of the Lord given to Israel as a teaching tool and reminder of what God had done for them.

Passover, took place at a time when God’s People were slaves to Egypt.


In Exodus we read about how God’s people were given instructions by God on how to escape the coming judgment that was to fall upon all the people in Egypt.


God instructed them, to escape this judgment, the sacrifice of an unblemished lamb was to be made,


and the doorway to the house was to be covered with the blood of the lamb so the Judgment of the Lord on Egypt would pass over God’s people.


Exodus also tells God’s people to remember this as a feast to teach the next generation of what the Lord has done.



Here we see a perfect example of how hearing the Word of God was not enough, if you did not DO what the Word instructed, then you would have been a partaker of God’s judgment.

James 1:22
Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.

This teaching in Exodus, as most of the teachings in the Old Testament, is a teaching of the coming of Christ and what He would accomplish for us.


Today, all are God’s people, Jew & Gentile, not in the sense that we are all saved and right with the Lord, but because Salvation is available to all because of Jesus Christ.

1 Peter 3:18
For Christ died for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God. He was put to death in the body but made alive by the Spirit,

He died for all – Jew and Gentile. 

1 Timothy 2:3-5
3 This is good, and pleases God our Savior, 4 who wants all men to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth. 5 For there is one God and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus,

God’s first Will for you in your life is that all are saved and come to a knowledge of the Truth…who is Jesus Christ!

He died for all.
Old Testament : New Testament

But we are enslaved, not by Egypt, but by sin. 

Romans 6:6 – 7:25

  ALL PEOPLE                                SIN

We are condemned and guilty by the first covenant, the covenant of Law, by which all men are guilty.

Galatians 3:10 – 12
 10 All who rely on observing the law are under a curse, for it is written: "Cursed is everyone who does not continue to do everything written in the Book of the Law."  11 Clearly no one is justified before God by the law, because, "The righteous will live by faith." 12 The law is not based on faith;

If you think you can live by The Law, and be reconciled to God you’re mistaken. 


Sadducees and Pharisees thought they were justified by the Law.

Jesus corrected them.

The rich young man who wanted to follow Jesus thought he was justified by the Law.

Jesus corrected him.

The scribe in the Temple who thanked God he was not like the tax collector who prayed to God before him, thought he was justified by the Law.

Jesus corrected him.

This is why Jesus, the Lamb of God came.

As a sacrifice for those who are slaves to sin.

John 3:17 & 18
For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. 18 Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already

Just as God’s people were salves to Egypt, We, Jew’s and Gentile are slaves to sin.



a.      Sacrifice an unblemished lamb.

Unblemished = sinless

Lamb = Jesus Christ

He is our sacrifice.

                            SINLESS      JESUS

b.      Slaughter the lamb on the 14th day of Nisan at twilight.

Jesus rode into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday, which is the day that all those who were going to give sacrifices would come from everywhere to the city.

While all of them are preparing for their sacrifice, the true meaning of the scriptures and sacrificial teaching was riding in the city at that very same day.

And at the twilight of the 14th day of Nisan, while the sacrifices were taking place, Jesus, the sinless Lamb of God and our perfect sacrifice was on the Cross for you and me.

This is exactly when Jesus Christ died on the Cross!

The 14th Day of Nisan, the First month of the Jewish year!

c.      Eat the lamb with unleavened bread.

Here we have the Blood of the sacrifice, and the unleavened bread.

The lamb’s blood represents Christ’s Atoning Blood, and the unleavened bread represents the sinless bread of life, manna from heaven.

Jesus is that sinless bread of life.

d.     Eat it with cloak tucked into belt and staff in hand, eat it in haste.

Why?  This too is symbolic; the end is near when we will be ushered away in the blink of an eye!

Symbolic of what is coming after the Passover…what is coming NEXT…after Christ’s sacrifice, the next EVENT is going to be the calling up of all those who are committed to Jesus Christ.

e.      Paint the doorposts with the lamb’s blood.

The Blood of Christ must be a covering for our hearts, for it is the only thing that will remove our sin, and make us reconciled to God when with time of judgment comes.

f.       The blood will be a sign for you on the houses where you are; and when I see the blood, I will pass over you. No destructive plague will touch you when I strike Egypt. – Exodus 12:13

Because of the Blood of Christ, no judgment will touch you when God strikes sin!
BLOOD OF LAMB WILL CAUSE GODS JUDGMENT ON EGYPT TO PASS OVER HIS PEOPLE     JESUS                                                           SIN

This judgment is coming!

Tribulation is around the corner, and the judgment of God is going to be poured out upon the earth and it’s sinful inhabitants.

Only the Blood of Christ will ensure that you are not here to partake of this coming judgment.


a.      "This is a day you are to commemorate; for the generations to come you shall celebrate it as a festival to the LORD -a lasting ordinance. – Exodus 12:14

Why a lasting ordinance?

Because Jesus came to FULFILL the Law.

Jesus is the fulfillment of the Old Testament.

The Promise of God.

                          SINLESS                             JESUS
Palm Sunday is the day Jesus Christ came to give Himself for us.

The beginning of the Passover Feast.

Dying on the night that the High Priests were sacrificing the lambs.

These same Priests ushered and orchestrated the sacrifice of Jesus.

It is God’s Will that all men come to Jesus Christ and are saved.

If you have never done so, do so know, in remembrance of Him and what He has done to reconcile you with the Father in Heaven.

How Jesus Spent Pesach (His last week before the crucifixion)

Saturday and Sunday

Jesus drew near to Jerusalem (John 11:55), arriving at Bethany six days before Passover (John 12:1), on Saturday. Jesus was anointed at Simon the leper's house (Matthew 26:6-13; Mark 14:3-9; John 12:1-8). On Sunday, a great crowd came to Bethany to see Jesus (John 12:9-11).


The next day (John 12:12) Jesus entered Jerusalem (Matthew 21:1-9; Mark 11:1-10; Luke 19:28-40; John 12:12-19), visited the temple (Matthew 21:10-11) and returned to Bethany. It was Nisan 10, when the Passover lambs were selected. Likewise, the entry into Jerusalem was the day when Jesus presented himself as Israel's Paschal Lamb.



On the way from Bethany to Jerusalem, Jesus cursed the fig tree (Matthew 21:18-19; Mark 11:12-14) and in Jerusalem he challenged the temple practice of selling on the premises (Matthew 21:12-13; Mark 11:15-17; Luke 19:45-46). Some religious leaders began to plot ways to kill him. That evening Jesus left Jerusalem, presumably returning to Bethany (Mark 11:18-19; Luke 19:47-48).



On the way to Jerusalem, the disciples saw the withered fig tree (Matthew 21:20-22; Mark 11:20-26). At the temple in Jerusalem, Jesus' authority and wisdom was questioned by some religious leaders (Matthew 21:23-23:39; Mark 11:27-12:44; Luke 20:1-21:4). That afternoon Jesus went to the Mount of Olives and delivered his discourse to those assembled (Matthew 24:1-25:46; Mark 13:1-27; Luke 21:5-36). Two additional things occurred on that day: (1) Jesus predicted that in two days he would be crucified at the time of the Passover (Matthew 26:1-5; Mark 14:1-2; Luke 22:1-2);  and (2) Judas planned the betrayal of Jesus with some religious leaders (Matthew 26:14-16; Mark 14:10-11; Luke 22:3-6).



Jesus and his disciples prepared the Passover lamb (Matthew 26:17-19; Mark 14:12-16; Luke 22:3-6), and they had their seder meal together (Matthew 26:20-30; Mark 14:17-26; Luke 22:14-30). Jesus shared heartfelt words with his disciples and offered an intercessory prayer in their behalf (Matthew 26:30-35; Mark 14:26-31; Luke 22:31-39; John 15:1-18:1). They arrived at the Garden of Gethsemane, where Jesus suffered in agony awaiting what was to come (Matthew 26:36-46; Mark 14:32-42; Luke 22:39-46; John 18:1).  Later that night Jesus was betrayed and arrested (Matthew 26:46-56; Mark 14:43-52; Luke 22:47-53; John 18:2-12). He was tried first by Annas and later by Caiaphas and other religious leaders (Matthew 26:57-75; Mark 14:53-72; Luke 22:54-65; John 18:13-27).



Early in the morning, Jesus was tried by the Sanhedrin, Pilate, Herod Antipas, and Pilate again (Matthew 27:1-30; Mark 15:1-19; Luke 22:66-23:25; John 18:28-19:16). He was led to the cross and crucified at 9 a.m. and died at 3 p.m. and was buried later that day (Matthew 27:31-60; Mark 15:20-46; Luke 23:26-54; John 19:16-42). Jesus died at the time when the Passover lambs were being sacrificed.



Jesus' body was in the tomb during the Sabbath, and the Pharisees hired Roman guards to keep watch of the tomb (Matthew 27:61-66; Mark 15:47; Luke 23:55-56).



Christ was resurrected from the dead (Matthew 28:1-15; Mark 16:1-13; Luke 24:1-35). His was the first of many resurrections to come, in which it was a type of first fruits offering. (First fruit offerings were made on the day after the Sabbath.) (Leviticus 23:9-14; I Corinthians 15:23)

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Paul's Epistles - 1 Corinthians Part 18 – Need for Self Discipline

Paul's Epistles - 1 Corinthians
Part 18 – Need for Self Discipline
Pastor Bruce A. Shields
House of Faith Church | |

Paul's letter to the church in Corinth, was addressing the things he had heard about them, including incest, adultery, over-spiritualized behaviors, wandering away from the Word of God, and an overall pride about them.

Paul has corrected the Corinthian Churches view about the division; Christ is head of the church, no one else. He also let them know that the power comes from God, and they should be humble, not conceited and over-spiritual.

He warned them not to go beyond what is written.

He addressed their pseudo-faith and spiritual activity of abstaining from intimate relations with their spouses, explaining this was the root of their immoral behavior.

He also warned them against lawsuits with other believers, saying the only reason they could not come to terms together inside the church was because of their pride and arrogance.

He instructed them to be content in their situations, so as to quench the immoral behavior that was coming from discontent, and selfish ambition. Paul warned about becoming a stumbling block to other believers if we have certain knowledge that they do not possess.

Week before last we spoke about how the church was to care for the Pastor and his family financially, also, bringing up the fact that he was free, and could marry if he chose.

Paul cleared the air, stating that even Peter, whom some denominations teach is the first Pope, the founder of their church, and yet, restrict ministers from marriage, was married himself. Many of the Apostles took their wives with them on their mission trips.

Paul will wrap up what he has said in the last few chapters about freedom in Christ, and how he chooses to use his freedom.

Today we will look at what Paul says about self discipline.

SCRIPTURE REFERENCE I Corinthians 9:24 - 27
24  Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. 25 Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last, but we do it to get a crown that will last forever. 26 Therefore I do not run like someone running aimlessly; I do not fight like a boxer beating the air. 27 No, I strike a blow to my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize.

                   I.            EVERYONE IS IN THE RACE
a.      All runners in the race are running
                                                                         i.      Whether they want to or not

                                                                      ii.      "And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment:" Hebrews 9:27

                                                                   iii.      We are all running, we are all competing
1.      Who are we competing aginst?
2.      Paul says in vs 27, our flesh

b.     But only the winner receives the crown
                                                                         i.      The prize, the crown we win, is the cross and everlasting life

                                                                      ii.      Unlike worldly competition, in God's Kingdom are many winners

c.      Therefore, run to win
                                                                         i.      some are lazy
                                                                      ii.      some mediocre
                                                                   iii.      some give some
                                                                     iv.      few, give it all they have got!

               II.            ANYONE WHO COMPETES, TRAINS
a.      Strict training
                                                                         i.      Paul tells us how to train, strictly
                                                                      ii.      If you cannot put your heart into the Lord and His work now, while you are alive, what makes you think you will qualify to spend eternity with Him?

                                                                   iii.      How do you train?

                                                                     iv.      How do you run?

b.     Look at how hard many train for rewards in this life which only fade away
                                                                         i.      So many devote their lives to working for an earthly reward, sacrificing so much to achieve that fading prize...

                                                                      ii.      Are you training strictly

c.      Our reward is everlasting!
                                                                         i.      if so...the rewards that await us will never fade, they are everlasting

            III.            DO NOT RUN AIMLESSLY
a.      So, do not run aimlessly
                                                                         i.      We run to win, with our eyes on the prize.

                                                                      ii.      All those who run the race to win, are certain of winning
1.      Would you run harder if you knew that there was only one crown or prize at the end?

2.      ""Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it." Matthew 7:13

                                                                   iii.      Though it is true that the rewards are offered to all, Jesus makes it clear, not all are going to arrive on that narrow path.

b.     Do not be like a boxer hitting the air
                                                                         i.      Paul is saying, do not fight uselessly
1.      Striking the air never wins a match for a boxer.

2.      You MUST strike your opponent

                                                                      ii.      Put your strength into that which will profit you

                                                                   iii.      running to win this race, striking your opponent to win

                                                                     iv.      Who is your opponent

c.      Paul says. "I strike a blow to my body"
                                                                         i.      Why not a strike a blow to satan?
1.      Because Jesus has already done this

2.      At the cross, Satan has already been defeated.

3.      Your opponent, the one you struggle with is your flesh.

                                                                      ii.      Not allowing his flesh to rule
1.      Paul recognized this struggle, and wants us to stay focused

2.      Yes we battle against powers, principalities, and dark forces in this fallen world, however, where do the battles take place?

3.      In our flesh.

4.      If we make our flesh slaves to us, and allow God's Holy Spirit to rule inside of us, satan no longer has a battlefield.

                                                                   iii.      The spiritual battlefield is our minds...this is why we MUST wear the whole armor of God, Ephesians 6:11-18

                                                                     iv.      Keeping his eye on the prize

                                                                        v.      Just like those who train so hard, ignoring their body telling them to stop, to give up, to quit, you can't take anymore...

1.      This is exactly where the one training wants his body, under submission to his spirit, his will

2.      If you think you "Can't", you probably wont
3.      If you think you can (All things are possible through Christ Jesus), then you probably will!

4.      For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he: Proverbs 23:7

5.      If your spirit is not for God, if it is not your will to do God's will, your efforts of winning are wasted on a reward which will fade away.

I make my body my slave, so after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize.

Paul is saying, even if you are a preacher of the Gospel, if he doesn't stay focused on the prize, he will be disqualified at the end of the race.

For those who believe once saved always saved, Paul is saying otherwise here.

The Lord has one way of victory, which is the same for everyone, even preachers.

Paul says if he stumbles, if he takes his eyes off the prize, or looses focus, ho too could be in danger of losing the crown.

Want to learn more about Salvation and Getting Saved?    CLICK HERE!