Monday Morning Coffee with Mark

Everyone has a holy book. What makes the Bible so special?

May 16, 2022 Mark Roberts Season 2 Episode 20
Monday Morning Coffee with Mark
Everyone has a holy book. What makes the Bible so special?
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Welcome to the Westside church’s special Monday Morning Coffee podcast with Mark Roberts. Mark is a disciple, a husband, father and grand dad, as well as a certified coffee geek, fan of CS Lewis’ writings and he loves his big red Jeep. He’s also the preacher for Westside church.

Speaker 1:

Hello, and welcome to the Westside churches special Monday Morning Coffee podcast on this podcast, our preacher Mark Roberts will help you get your week started right. With look back at yesterday's sermon so that we can think through it further and better work the applications into our daily lives. Mark will then look forward into this week's Bible reading so that we can know what to expect and watch for. And, he may have some extra bonus thoughts from time to time. So grab a cup of coffee as we start the week together on Monday Morning Coffee with Mark.

Speaker 2:

Good morning. Good morning. Welcome to the Monday morning coffee podcast for Monday, may the 16th. And I am glad to welcome you to the podcast this morning. I'm holding a great cup of Costa Rican coffee this morning. A good friend sent me some wonderful coffee from methodical roasters in South Carolina. Appreciate that so much. This is the last B bit of that coffee and I have my Bible. I've got my Bible reading schedule and I have some notes from yesterday's sermon in the asking for a friend series let's get started. Let's think about yesterday's sermon. The third in our asking for a friend series. Everyone has a holy book. What makes the Bible so special was what we were talking about yesterday. This is a difficult lesson for me to preach because I don't want to just slam everybody else's scriptures or holy book. I'm hoping that that lesson can be a resource and people can email that link to friends, encourage others to listen to that. And I think starting with, uh, all other books are terrible and horrible and here's 18 reasons why probably isn't a great start. So rather than do that, what I really wanted to do was just wet interest in the word of God and to say, Hey, if you wanna be a spiritual person, if you're interested in God, if you're interested in that side of life and you should be, then the Bible is a great starting point and here are four reasons why it is unlike any other religious book and it is worthy of your attention. It has a unique authorship, unlike anything else written by all these different people. Over a long span of time, it has a really unique approach. Namely, all those authors are presented in all their humanness and all of their failings and foibles. Then it shows a unique vantage point on God, a unique God, unlike any other religions, the Bible shows us a God who loves us and who cares about us. And that leads to that fourth point. Then the Bible offers unique salvation rather than you do it all. You need to work harder and be better. And so that eventually it'll come out that the good in your life outweighs the bad instead of that, what the Bible says is you can't ever do that. You'll never get there. So God's gonna do it for you. Jesus comes here and dies for us. That is way off the charge, different than anything that anybody else in any other religion is even beginning to think of. So let me just give you a couple of quick thoughts here, as you're thinking about employing that sermon and trying to help others, or maybe you're letting that percolate a little bit in your mind and that's helping you have more faith in the word of God and more interest in the Bible. I'm gonna say a couple of things here. First of all, let me just give you an argument. I don't think is that good to make, and that is that the Bible is unique in its impact and you will see that argument made the Bible is the best selling book of all time. And so it's just had greater impact than any other book. Okay. That may be true, but you know, the Quran has had a huge impact. The book of Mormon has had a huge impact. JK Rowling's Harry Potter series has had a huge impact. In fact, she's already on the top 10 selling list of all time kind of thing. So arguing about impact probably is not good reasoning because lots of books have had impact and that doesn't prove that they are from God. So we wanna be really careful about that. The Bible certainly has had big impact, greater impact than any other book, but I wouldn't start there. Maybe if I got in further discussion with somebody, I probably would talk about how the Bible is unique in prophecy. And I do know that there are other books that claim fulfilled prophecy, but I think if you investigate those claims and that may be something that's worth doing with somebody that you're talking with, and you're trying to get them more serious about the Bible. And they're saying, no, I have my own scriptures. Okay. What proof do you have that those really are from God. Oh, it it's a prophet. And he said all these things, okay, let's talk about those things. And let's see if everything that he said came to pass. That could be a good starting point. And the Bible is unique and different because the Bible's prophecies are incredible, are incredibly impressive when they are examined. Particularly those that talk about Jesus' death and resurrection. The Bible contains over 600 prophecies about Jesus' birth and life and death. All of which of course are, have come exactly true. And those are remarkable, particularly because many of those occurred hundreds of years before Jesus was even born. They're. Those prophets are living in different countries and at different times, and yet they're all predicting the same things about Jesus. And the Bible is the only religious text that contains and highlights the story of someone who predicted his own death and resurrection and who rose from the dad over 500 witnesses saw Jesus after his death. Paul tells us in first Corinthians 15, Jesus is the only religious leader with an empty tomb. Jesus' resurrection makes possible our resurrection in this life and, and, and the life that is to come. And that is a central part of Christianity. It is right at the core of the gospel. Paul says in first Corinthians 15, we read that just very recently. And that is absolutely a unique part of Christianity, unlike any other religion of any kind. And we do want to center our conversations on Jesus, and we want to center our conversations on the resurrection of Jesus. That's where new Testament preaching is always going just as fast as it can get there. We want to go there too. So talk about it, talk about the Bible. It is absolutely unique for the four reasons I gave yesterday, but as quickly as you can, let's move to its unique prophetic sections. And the fact that it tells the story of Jesus who prophesize his own death barrel and resurrection, that's, we're talking about that's, we're thinking about, and I hope you'll get an opportunity to do that this week. Having said that we ought to think a little bit about some of that apostolic, preaching and writing. We ought to think about what Paul is writing to the Corinthians in second Corinthians this week, we're starting in chapter four, get your Bible. Let's talk about daily vibe reading. It is Monday and we're reading second Corinthians chapter four versus one to 10. I need to connect this up for you. Second Corinthians four, one starts with the word, therefore having this ministry just connect that back to chapter three and verse six, we have been made sufficient ministers of the new covenant. And Paul is talking about his ministry to the Corinthians because they aren't all accepting that ministry. And he is beginning here to talk a little bit about what drives him, his motivations. Once again, I'm just gonna say this a lot in our discussions in second Corinthians, we really get to look inside Paul's head and see what is going on in there. What he's thinking, what he's feeling. And here we get a good look at what's driving him. What keeps him going? And maybe it's time to think about that a little bit, because by now I'm like Paul, it seems like a lot of people don't like you and people persecute you and you're not accepted. And there's just a lot going on. What keeps Paul going? And the answer to that is he knows who he is and what he's doing. He is serving the Lord and he's doing that in a particular way. We have this ministry by the mercy of God. So we do not lose heart chapter four, verse one, please connect that to four 16. So I'm connecting backwards to three, six, but notice four 16, we do not lose heart. I think the phrase for that, the expression for that, the term for that is an inclusio, which means a bookend. We don't lose heart for 1, 4 16. We don't lose heart when I'm preaching. And I start with an introductory story, maybe about a dog, and that kind of kicks the sermon off and we get going and then I make three points. And then you hear me say something about that dog. So I'm really glad the dog made it. Or we learned so much from dogs. I'm saying something about dogs, which are of course completely superior to cats in every single way. So I'm saying something about dogs. As soon as I say that about the dogs, you know, up the sermon's over we've come full circle. That's what an inclusio is. That's this bookend kind of idea. So this thought is gonna be packaged in. We do not lose heart. That's where Paul is. And it does seem verse two, that some people have accused Paul of deceitful preaching and even commending himself. And he responds here by saying, that's not how I operate. I could have tailored my message to fit the audience. I could have watered it down. I could have made it stronger. So it's to drive off the Gentiles and please the Jews, I don't do that. That's not how it works. And that doesn't mean everybody's gonna accept the gospel. Some people don't get it versus three and four. The gospel is veiled. That's the work of the devil, the devil, veils, them, blinds them from seeing what they need to see. I'm centering on verse five, Jesus, the Christ. That's what preaching needs to be all about. And then he begins to talk once more about suffering. We have treasures verse seven in jars of clay, and we are verse eight afflicted in every way. I, I see Paul really reaching out to the Corinthians to say that main theme. I care about you. I need you to care about me. I need you to accept me as an apostle. Look, how much I care about you. And one of the ways that Paul does that is by talking about how much he suffered on behalf of the Corinthians. And he shows the weakness of Paul to let the power of God shine through. And we really get that 7, 8, 9, 10 really see, Paul has undergone a lot for the Corinthians, probably referencing back some of the things that he's gone through in EUS, maybe some of the difficulties in Corinth, maybe some of the difficulties of being rejected by people in Corinth is what's going through Paul's mind here, but I hope you are seeing, I hope that I'm seeing Paul. Yeah. Paul's had some rough sledding here and I hope we have a greater appreciation for that. One of my big goals in our Bible reading plan this year is at the end of the year for people to say, I get Paul and you don't get Paul. I don't get Paul. If I don't see that Paul really hurt for the gospel. That's part of second Corinthians chapter four, that's our reading versus one to 10. Let's think more about that tomorrow. We'll finish this chapter. See you tomorrow on Tuesday. Welcome to Tuesday. Second Corinthians chapter four versus 11 to 18 are on the docket for our reading. This is a short reading. It is not a complicated reading. It is just Paul. Once again, really sharing his motivation, how he keeps going. And the key to that is he keeps going in the power of God. The power of God is working in him. Verse 11, all of these deliverances Paul, how do you, how do you get out of all of these fixes that you're in and all these problems and troubles and people who are hunting you, how do you keep going? How do you get out of those messes? God is working in him. God is the one who delivers him. That's how this is working. He's suffering so much for Christ. He's suffering so much for the Corinthians. And so the secret to his perseverance verse 13 is his faith, which demands that he speak. It demands that he keeps going. Maybe the place here, this is the place here for you and I to stop and think what demands do our faith. Does our faith make upon us? Because I believe am I compelled to speak of Jesus to Christ? Is that where I am? And then the thought closes verse 16, we don't lose heart. That attaches. I said yesterday to verse one, we don't lose heart. And then this beautiful verses 17 and verse 18 are just beautiful, beautiful passages. That express Paul's powerful belief that even as he is getting weaker, God's glory and strength in him, his spiritual power is simply increasing. That is such an incredible thing for us to think about. As I sit there by Paul and I look over at him and I see the marks of his suffering in him. I look at the anxiety on his face as he is so concerned about the Corinthian church. And are they going to accept that letter that he wrote? Are they gonna, are, are they gonna change the things that Paul has written to them in first Corinthians that they need to fix? Are they gonna reject Paul entirely? He is deeply concerned about them. I look at Paul and I say, buddy, you're just wearing out. And he says, you know what? I am wearing out, but that is preparing this outward, wearing away. The outer self wasting away verse 16 is preparing something far greater and eternal weight of glory. And I look to that and I'm, I'm not looking at the outer shell that's wearing away. I'm looking to that, that amazing home that God has prepared for me. And he'll say more about that in second Corinthians chapter five, see tomorrow it's Wednesday. You've made it halfway through the week at second Corinthians five, one to 10 that we are reading. And this comes directly from chapter four. What we read yesterday, where Paul says the hope of glory is pulling him on. And that hope is not to be absorbed. He'll say in chapter five into some greater oneness, to some sort of weird ethereal body list existence. No, Paul doesn't say he's not gonna have a body. He just wants a better body. And he uses the imagery of clothing and particularly the imagery of a tent. Remember Paul was a tent maker. Tents can be put up and taken down on a moment's notice. And that is also true with our bodies. And so he uses the idea of a tent, our body. And if our body is destroyed, I, I talked a little bit yesterday about how Paul's body, by this point in his life is getting pretty beat up. Hey, Paul, your, your tent looks a little dilapidated. It's wearing around the edges. And he says, you know what? That's okay. If that is destroyed, I have a better home. And I don't care how good your tent is. A house is always better. It's a more permanent structure. It's got more room. Everything is better about the house. I wanna move out of the tent and I want to be in the house that God has prepared for me. And that is the emphasis in verses one, two and three. And he even talks about groaning. Verse two. Sometimes people act like Christians never have any problems, or they never even bring those up. You never complain. I don't think Paul's complaining here, but Paul is emphasizing to the Corinthians how much he goes through on their behalf. Care about me because I care about you. That's the theme here, isn't it. And so he even talks some then about knowing that this is going to happen because I have the guarantee verse five of the spirit, and the word guarantee is the word there for earnest money. Maybe you've bought a house and you had to put some earnest money down. This says, we're serious about this. We're really gonna buy this house. Sometimes I've sold stuff on Facebook marketplace or on Craigslist. And someone says, Hey, I really want this, but I can't come and get it until tomorrow. And of course other people are gonna email or message and say, they want it. And I'll say, Hey, if you really want this, you want me to hold it for you. You need to, to put down some money, Venmo me some money, PayPal me some money and I'll hold it for you. And that says, I'm really going to make this purchase. We have been given the spirit by God as an earnest money, as a deposit to say that we have relationship with God and that God is gonna make good on that promise that we are going to get to go and live with him. And that may be, it could be here spiritual gifts that were operative in Paul's life and in the lives of the folks in Corinth. But maybe this is just the gift of the spirit as spoken of at X 2 38, that we have the indwelling spirit as a guarantee, God has given us that spirit to begin that relationship. And that is his guarantee that we will consummate that relationship and eternity with God when we go fully to live in that amazing home of the soul of the house, as we move out of our tent and then in a very Pauline kind of way, a very Paul sort of way, he just gets super practical in verse nine. Here's what we have to do now. Yeah. I'm talking about eternity, but you know what I need to do right now? I need to please the Lord right now, because someday I'm gonna stand in judgment. And I do think verse 10 is a passage that speaks to the doctrine of once saved, always saved. You can't get there from here. Paul is not gonna say that kind of thing about appearing in the judgment seat to receive what we've done in the body, good or evil. If our guarantee, if, if our salvation is guaranteed and we can't possibly lose that verse 10 would never work in that kind of way. If once saved, always saved is true. It's just not. We have to continue to serve the Lord in this tent if we want that house someday. And he makes that clear in a very practical kind of way in verses nine and 10. That's our reading for Wednesday. Let's get ready to push further in chapter five. But again, just, just notice how much of Paul we are really getting here. This is what makes Paul Paul. This is what Paul is thinking about. This is what keeps Paul going and in a very real way, it helps us to keep going as well. This is a section about perseverance, and I just love it. See you tomorrow. It's Thursday, and we are completing second Corinthians chapter five, gonna read verses 11 to 21 today. This continues Paul's discussion of what motivates him. What's keeping him going. And some of that is the fear of the Lord. Verse 11. The thought of divine judgment makes Paul have feelings of awe and reverence. And please notice he does not has no interest in curing favor with his hairs, by whittling down his message to suit their taste. That's a quotation from a scholar, you know, really good scholar Tasker wrote that in his commentary on Corinthians, no curing favor, no trying to shape the message to be more popular. No, and I'm not commending myself. Paul knows verse 12, that he has detractors. He's gonna say more about that at the end of the book. And he wants the Corinthians to be able to defend him and their experience with him ought to be more than enough. But some verse 13, this is a difficult verse. What does he mean beside ourselves? Maybe some are criticizing Paul because of his emotion and passion, as he spoke and preach the word of God. I think about that a little bit myself. Sometimes people will say something about how fast I talk or how excited I get. Well, one of our kiddos at west side, he likes to come up to me afterwards and he says, you're loud. And I am loud because Paul says, the love of Christ controls us. This is important. We care about this. Paul says, this matters. This is everything to me. And I used to judge things very superficially. What would be popular? What about race? Or what about money? There's a lot of superficial kind of judgements. Verse 16, everything changed when I became a Christian. I don't operate that way anymore. I am now in Christ and that changes everything about how I look at life. External considerations, like what you think of me because I'm loud or because I'm passionate. Am I preaching? Or because I have humble origins or because I went to the right school, ah, I don't care about any of that. That's not important. What's important now is being in Christ for 17 being a new creation. And please notice verse 18 as it begins to talk about the ministry of reconciliation and being reconciled to Christ that we can't reconcile ourselves. This is not a circumstance where we can just say, you know what? I'm gonna be friends with God now. No, we can't do that. This is another one of those little places where we get some things that Paul will develop further in some of his other writings. And in Romans, Paul really gets to talking about reconciliation, Romans chapter five, but God's anger against sin being expressed against sin is not something that you and I can just say, oh, hold on, God don't do that anymore. No, we are sinners. And God's justice rightly says we deserve to be punished for our sins. So what's gonna be done about that. God is the one that has to do something about that. God is the one that reconciles us in Christ and Paul verse 20 is an ambassador with that message. And ambassador is one sent with authority. I do think primarily Paul is thinking of the apostles here. I've, I've been in several Bible classes where there's just been a full on debate about whether Christians, they can be an ambassador or not. And it all depends on how you want to define an ambassador and how you want to define the authority of a Christian today. I think in a sense, the apostles are the only ambassadors of Christ. They are the only ones that have had that kind of authority, but, but in a sense, you and I are ambassadors for Christ. We have the authority of the written word today to try to help other people see that Jesus Christ has been treated as a center on our behalf, Isaiah 53, 4 and five is in view here. And he has been treated for our sake verse 21. He has been treated as a center so that we can be reconciled to God. And that is what Paul is about. And that is what Paul is doing. He's working together with Christ six one, uh, versus one and two really go with this thought. And that kind of makes an awkward chapter division here, but that really works. We are working and now is the time six two, the day of salvation now is the time to be reconciled to God by the message by the gospel, by the message of what God has done through Jesus for Christ. And that, that is what excites Paul. And that is what keeps Paul going. Paul just love this section in chapter five that helps us see Paul in a, in a much better way in a very human way. As we just get a glimpse of who Paul is and why Paul is what Paul is because he is in Christ because he knows the fear of the Lord because he wants more men and women to be reconciled to God through Christ. What a great section to read today, see you tomorrow. We're gonna read in chapter six it's Friday. You made it to the end of the week. Let's read second Corinthians six, one to 10. And as I said yesterday, versus one and two, really go with the rest of chapter five. Paul's an ambassador five 20, which means God is working through men. God is working through Paul. That is the emphasis six one working together with him, which means now is the time. This is right out of Isaiah. Verse two is right out of Isaiah 49. When the servant is promised of indication in due time in the day when salvation is offered to the Gentiles. So there's those quotations. There, now's the time of salvation. Now Paul says Corinthians cooperate, work with God, be on God's team. Like I am, and let's help more men and women be reconciled to Christ. And so then verse three, this is really connected in some ways to what's going on, we appeal to you. He says in verse one, there have been some accusations made against Paul because he was successful in reconciling. People are responding to the teaching of Paul and there's some jealousy going on and there's some charges that are utterly without any kind of merit. And so Paul begins to itemize the hardships of being an apostle because he wants the Corinthians to be able to use that in his defense. If somebody's attacking him, Paul wants a brother in cor a sister in cor and say, oh, wait a minute, wait a minute, wait a minute. Paul is not like that. Paul is going through so much for us. He cares about us. Keep coming back to that theme. And I just keep coming back to that idea that Paul is a pretty difficult and tough life. We need to have more appreciation for that. And once again, Paul is visiting the idea of suffering. He really begins second Corinthians by saying, we suffered so much. We had the sentence of death in us. He says in chapter one, and now in chapter four, once again, there is the idea of suffering and, and really there's three groups here. There's kind of general trials, tribulations, and distresses. The idea being in a tight corner is the idea of distress here. And then there's trials from men, beatings, prison riots. And then there's kind of hardships that, you know, yourself, labor, sleeplessness, all kinds of difficulties that you go through for yourself. And this just has written across it all over it. Anxiety and distress and worry. Particularly Paul says, because I care about the gospel. It's hard to be an ambassador and I care about you Corinthians. So it's kind of sum some of that up. Maybe verse eight, we are treated as bad guys. Some people even say that we're fake apostles, but we are true to the gospel. And we continue on. Some people have a great opinion to me. Some people have a low opinion to me. Some people love me. Some people hate me, don't care because I'm about the gospel. And I'm about doing what God wants me to do, because that's the only thing that's gonna help people get to heaven. And that's the only thing that's gonna help you Corinthians get to heaven. Paul is really laying it on the line here. You might wanna go with verse 11, 12, and 13, even though that is not officially part of Friday's reading to get the full thought here. As he says, our heart is wide open to you Corinthians. I nearly chose that as the key verse because Paul is laying his heart bear. All of us know a circumstance situation where we've been in a relationship and we just felt like we had to say, we, we had to say it. We had to put, put it out there. We had to, to, to tell our true feelings. And there's always that concern. I'm gonna say, I love you. And is she gonna say, I love you back. And Paul says to the Corinthians, I care deeply for you. I love you in the Lord. And you can hear that echo, are they gonna say back to him? Yeah. We love you too, Paul, we really do. And we accept you as an apostle. We're really coming to the climatic moment in second Corinthians. We'll be reading that next week when Paul finds out the reaction in Carin to the first letter that he wrote to them, all that stuff that he said, you better fix this and stop doing that. And I'm not gonna have any more of that in the church. You better do. Right. And straighten it up. How has that been received? Paul is dying to know how do they feel about him in and Carin. He loves them. That's our reading today. Thanks so much for reading the Bible with me this week. Appreciate your care and concern for these podcasts. I just get a lot of good feedback from folks. And that just means a lot to me. Thank you for reading the Bible with me this week As always, I will say thank you for listening to the podcast. Hope to see you Sunday. We're concluding the asking for a friend series on Sunday with a lesson about the realities of heaven and hell. That's an important place to take that series. As we try to get serious with people and their, in their quest for spirituality, I do appreciate very much. You are listening to the podcast and I hope that you will subscribe or follow rate and give a review on iTunes or whatever app you're listening on. And especially, I hope that you'll tell somebody else about the podcast that would help us out. The very mostest word of mouth advertising is the bestest of course, most distant bests need to get those added to the dictionary. Who do you, who do you see about that? Do you write Webster? Does he have an email address about that? But until next time, may your coffee be delightful? I hope your Friday is wonderful and I hope the Lord will be with you today. All day. I will see you on Monday with a cup of coffee.

Speaker 1:

Thanks for listening to the Westside church of Christ podcast. Monday morning coffee with Mark. For more information about west side, you can connect with us through our website, just and our Facebook page. Our music is from upbeat dot IO that's upbeat with two P'S, U P B E a T, where creators can get free music. Please share our podcast with us. And we look to seeing you again with a cup of coffee, of course, on next Monday,

Sermon Notes
Monday 2nd Corinthians 4:1-10
Tuesday 2nd Corinthians 4:11-18
Wednesday 2nd Corinthians 5:1-10
Thursday 2nd Corinthians. 5:11-21
Friday 2nd Corinthians 6:1-10