Youth Service in Malang, May 30, 2015 (Saturday Evening)

Peace and grace in the love of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Luke 9:7-9

9:7. Now Herod the tetrarch heard of all that was done by Him; and he was perplexed, because it was said by some that John had risen from the dead,
9:8. and by some that Elijah had appeared, and by others that one of the old prophets had risen again.
9:9. Herod said, "John I have beheaded, but who is this of whom I hear such things?" So he sought to see Him.

We must experience the enhancement of our recognition of Jesus. A lot of people know Jesus as follows:

  1. John the Baptist (the great man).
  2. Elijah (one who has power) or
  3. One of the prophets (one who tells the prophecy).

These recognitions are general and limited to flesh or ordinary man only.
Our recognition must increase up to special one, namely Jesus as Messiah, the Son of the living God or the one of the cross of Jesus.

Now, we learn about verse nine.
Luke 9:9
9:9. Herod said, "John I have beheaded, but who is this of whom I hear such things?" So he sought to see Him.

Herod has beheaded John the Baptist. It is not a defeat, but enhancement, namely giving opportunity to Jesus to work.
The work of God through John the Baptist is building the foundation, while the one through Jesus is building on the foundation, namely purity and perfection.

There are two lessons that we get from the incident when Herod beheaded John the Baptist and they are as follows:

  1. The work of God cannot be defeated by anything or anyone even Satan.
    Even John the Baptist had been dead; the work of God was not stopped, because it was continued by Jesus.

    Do not be the one who thwarts the work of God by leaving the ministry like Judas.
    Do not ever leave the ministry because of being disappointed, proud, and chasing the happiness of the world, since the consequence is your life will be like Judas Iscariot who burst open in the middle. His life is not beautiful but perishing forever.

  2. The church of God must experience the spiritual enhancement up to perfection whatever the things appear before us.
    Do not let our spirituality be constant even decrease, but we must always increase up to perfection.
    It depends on us, whether we want to increase or not.

The process to experience spiritual increase is as follows

  1. Putting the foundation or the base of salvation (by John the Baptist).
    Mark 1:1-4, 8
    1:1. The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God.
    1:2. As it is written in the Prophets: "Behold, I send My messenger before Your face, Who will prepare Your way before You."
    1:3. "The voice of one crying in the wilderness: 'Prepare the way of the LORD; Make His paths straight.'"
    1:4. John came baptizing in the wilderness and preaching a
    baptism of repentance for the remission of sins.
    1:8. "I indeed baptized you with water, but He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit."

    The steps are as follows:

    1. Listening to the word of God, so we can hear it earnestly up to understand and believe it, so it becomes faith in the heart.
    2. Repenting, namely one stops sinning and returns to God or being dead to sin.

    3. Water and Holy Spirit baptism.
      Romans 6:4
      6:4. Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.

      The true water baptism is one who has died to sin must be buried in the water with Jesus and come out or rise from water with Him to receive new life.

    4. Holy Spirit baptism.
      Mark 1:8
      1:8. "I indeed baptized you with water, but He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit."

      Water and Holy Spirit baptism result in new life or heavenly life (the opened Heaven), namely we can live in righteousness and sincerity.

      If we live truly and sincerely, we will be the place of the presence of Jesus who saves and blesses us.

  2. Building on the foundation (by Jesus).
    It consists of two parts as follows:

    1. The building of the body of Christ.
      Ephesians 4:8-12
      4:8. Therefore He says: "When He ascended on high, He led captivity captive, And gave gifts to men."
      4:9. (Now this, "He ascended" --what does it mean but that
      He also first descended into the lower parts of the earth?
      4:10. He who descended is also the One who ascended far above all the heavens, that He might fill all things.)
      4:11. And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers,
      4:12. for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry,
      for the edifying of the body of Christ,

      The cost or foundation of the edifying of the body of Christ is Christ's sacrifice or blood of Jesus. In ministering the edifying of the body of Christ, we may not be proud or feel inferior of something, but always give thanks to God, because the foundation of the building is the blood of Jesus, not cleverness or wealth.

      The process of the building of the body of Christ is as follows:

      • Jesus calls us to release us from sin.
      • Jesus chooses us. It means He purifies us in the shepherding system like a branch that abides in the true vine, so we are purified intensively.

      • Jesus gives us ministry and the gift of Holy Spirit.
        Ephesians 4:11-12
        4:11. And He Himself gave some to be apostles(1), some prophets(2), some evangelists(3), and some pastors(4) and teachers(5),
        4:12. for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ,

        God gives ministry to us, starting from five main ministries as follows: apostle, prophet, evangelist, pastor and teacher.

      Ephesians 4:13
      4:13. till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ;

      After being used in the building of the body of Christ, there are two things that we have to pay attention to as follows:

      • We must be faithful and fervent in ministry and the gift of Holy Spirit.
        Do not neglect the ministry! One who neglects the ministry is cursed. On the contrary, the faithful one will be happy.

      • We must have the unity of the faith which is based on true teaching word.

      The result is we will grow to a perfect man, namely true, holy and perfect like Jesus.

    2. Putting Jesus as the head.
      John was willingly beheaded, so Jesus became the head.
      The closest relationship between the body and head is the neck. It refers to worship.
      We have to worship a lot.

      Matthew 17:1-2
      17:1. Now after six days Jesus took Peter, James, and John his brother, led them up on a high mountain by themselves;
      17:2. and He was transfigured before them.
      His face shone like the sun, and His clothes became as white as the light.

      The prayer means as follows

      • The process of the tearing or crucifixion of flesh with all its desire, ambition, lust, et cetera.

      • Seeing Jesus' face that shines like the sun.
        We receive the sunshine from Jesus' face and we have to reflect it to others.

        Matthew 5:43-45
        5:43. "You have heard that it was said, 'You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.'
        5:44. "But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you,
        5:45. "that you may be sons of your Father in heaven; for
        He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.

        The proof that we receive the sunshine from Jesus is we can love others, make the sun rise for others, love and pray for those who hate us.

      Psalms 84: 11
      84:11. For the LORD God is a sun and shield; The LORD will give grace and glory; No good thing will He withhold From those who walk uprightly.

      The results are as follows:

      • The love of the sun becomes shield to protect us from disaster, false teaching, and sin up to the peak of sin.

        We live safely and peacefully, so everything becomes easy and light.

      • The love of the sun is the same as God's mercy and kindness that illuminates the valleys of the shadow of death. It means God is able to help us from our problems, lift us up and recover our life.

        David committed adultery with Bathsheba and killed her husband. He fell into the darkest valley. But, as long as we can see Jesus' face, namely we confess the sin, become honest and sincere, God will keep helping us.

      • The love of the sun is the same as God's glory that changes us from carnal men to spiritual ones like Him. It is started from being honest and sincere. It is the same as becoming the house of prayer.

        Proverbs 15:8
        15:8. The sacrifice of the wicked is an abomination to the LORD, But the prayer of the upright is His delight.

      Matthew 13:43
      13:43. "Then the righteous will shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father. He who has ears to hear, let him hear!

God blesses us.