Orwell Bible Church

Blog

Matthew 3

This is part of a Daily Devotional Orwell Bible Church prepares each week. You can get a copy from our Downloads and Literature page.

John the Baptist’s ministry was to call Israelites to repent of their sins, believing that the promised Christ was coming (vv. 1-3). Only then would they be ready to receive him. They publicly testified of their repentance and readiness to receive the Messiah by being baptized (vv. 5-6). True repentance is concretely seen in a changed, everyday life.

The reason why John called Israelites to repent was because “the kingdom of heaven is at hand!” (v. 2). Jews had such reverence for God’s name that they substituted “heaven” for “God.” Thus, “kingdom of God” is the same as “kingdom of heaven.” Note that the kingdom was not present: “at hand” means near—it was not present but approaching fast.  

Jesus was baptized, not to show he repented of sin (he had none) but because he was committed to doing what was right (v. 15). The Holy Spirit’s coming upon Jesus was God’s public endorsement of Jesus to be Israel’s King (cf. Acts 10:38). The Father commended Jesus as the Messiah (v. 17), Israel’s King and sinner’s Savior.

Truths to Nail Down and Meditate On

  1. One can be very religious and very lost (v. 7). Merely being religious cannot deal with sin; there must be repentance from sin and submissive faith in Jesus the Christ.
  2. True repentance is only seen by a changed life. If one’s life continues to be characterized by sin there has not been saving repentance, and one will face God’s judgment (v. 10).
  3. None will enter Christ’s coming kingdom who have not repented of sin and self-righteousness.
  4. The only way to saved from God’s wrath is by repenting of sin (v. 7). God’s wrath is coming!

Matthew 2

This is part of a Daily Devotional Orwell Bible Church prepares each week. You can get a copy from our Downloads and Literature page.

Here Matthew shows how Jesus came to be from Nazareth, as Jews did not expect Israel’s Christ and King to come from there (John 1:46; 7:41). Matthew addressed that hindrance to faith by walking through God’s providential accomplishment of his will.

The “wise men” (Magi) were scientists/astronomers, probably from Babylon. Through their study of the heavens they saw an unexpected star; somehow they connected that with the promised Jewish Messiah (cf. Num 24:17). Upon arriving in Jerusalem they asked around where they could find the Jews’ new King so they could worship him. Herod was so obsessed with power he eliminated every threat, so he was naturally concerned (v. 3). Herod learned where the Christ was to be born (vv. 5-6) and then sent the Magi to Bethlehem (v. 7). Then the star directed the Magi to the exact place where the young child Jesus and his parents lived (v. 9-10).

Herod’s attempt to kill Jesus was thwarted by God’s directing the Magi to not go back to Herod (v. 12) and directing Joseph to take his family to Egypt until Herod was dead (vv. 13-14). After Herod’s death the Lord directed Joseph to return to Israel where they settled in Nazareth (vv. 19-23).

Extra Note Not Included in the Daily Devotional Due to Space Limitations
Matthew’s use of Hosea 11:1 is often pointed to as “proof” that OT prophecies can have additional or “deeper” meanings. Hosea 11:1 states that Israel came out of Egypt, while Matthew 4:15 states that Jesus came out of Egypt, “fulfilling” what Hosea said. As Hosea wasn’t talking about Jesus many Christians say that Matthew saw another or “deeper” meaning that Hosea didn’t know about.

Words in a context only have one meaning, that which the author intended. The meaning of “fulfilled” depends on its context. “Fulfilled” can mean fulfillment of predictive prophecy or the application of a principle given in the single meaning of a text. Hosea 11:1 is not a prophecy, but simply stated a historical event showing God’s care for Israel by bringing them out of Egypt. Matthew applies the principle of Hosea 11:1 here: As God cared for Israel by bringing them out of Egypt, in like manner he cared for Jesus by bringing him out of Egypt. (See James 2:23 for another instance in which “fulfilled” doesn’t refer the accomplishment of a predicted prophecy but the application of the single meaning of an OT text.)

Truths to Nail Down and Meditate On

  1. Objections to the Christian faith can only successfully be answered by God’s Word. The better you know God’s Word, the better you will be able to effectively teach others (cf. 1 Pet 3:15).
  2. People of other nations viewed Jesus as Israel’s Messiah and King.
  3. God’s will is made known by Scripture. General revelation gives general knowledge about God through creation and conscience, but that always requires special revelation to give the correct meaning and significance.
  4. Only God is to be worshiped. From the moment the infinite Sone took on humanity he is the right and only One to be worshiped—no image, painting, sculpture, or icon is an acceptable substitute.
  5. Ungodly rulers sinfully strive to hang on to power at the expense of innocent lives. Christ, the King of Israel, came humbly as an infant to serve others. Eventually the greatest of earthly rulers will die (v. 20).

Matthew 1

This is part of a Daily Devotional Orwell Bible Church prepares each week. You can get a copy from our Downloads and Literature page.

Matthew begins proving that Jesus is Israel’s promised Messiah and King by giving an account of Jesus’ ancestors. This account traces Jesus’ legal connection to Abraham and David, not his physical connection. One generation’s physical connection to the following generation is indicated by the word “begot” which means “was the father of.” However, this is not said of Joseph’s connection with Jesus! Instead, we read, “Joseph the husband of Mary, of whom was born Jesus who is called Christ” (v. 18). Jesus was not Joseph’s physical descendant, but he was Joseph’s legal heir as Jesus was born to Mary while she was Joseph’s husband and Joseph formally named him (vv. 21, 25).

Jesus’ birth to Mary while she was a virgin—unique and different from every other human being—needed explanation. Matthew details this in verses 18-25. Joseph was legally married to Mary but by Jewish custom was not yet living with her (vv. 18, 20, 24-25). Yet Mary was pregnant, not by natural means but supernaturally by the Holy Spirit’s life-giving power (v. 20; cf. Gen 2:7). Her child was thus fully God and fully man to save Israel from their sins (v. 21), exactly as the prophet Isaiah foretold 700 years beforehand (vv. 22-23; cf. Isa 7:14).

Truths to Nail Down and Meditate On

  1. God promised that Israel’s’ promised Messiah and King would be a descendant of David yet rule forever (2 Sam 7:13; Isa 9:6-7). This required a human being descended from Abraham and David who was also God, and only Jesus qualifies!
  2. God always fulfills his promises, no matter how impossible they may seem.
  3. God accomplishes his purposes in and through human history. Always view everything from God’s perspective, for that is the only correct point of view.
  4. While non-Jews would also be saved from their sins by Jesus, God’s promises of salvation were essentially connected with his chosen people Israel (cf. Gen 12:1-3; 18:18; 22:18; 26:14; John 4:22; Rom 3:1-2; 9:4-5).
  5. Jesus is sinners’ only hope of being saved from the power and penalty of sin. There is no other Savior for sinners.

OBI Class for January 12, 2021

Tonight at 7:00 p.m. is our first class of this session for the Orwell Bible Institute, “How to Understand and Get the Most Out of the Bible.”

It’s not too late to register to watch it live! To do so you will need to click here to register.

If you’re not able to watch it live, it will be uploaded to our YouTube channel.

Here are links to this evening’s notes and worksheet:

How to Understand and Get the Most Out of the Bible

Orwell Bible Institute’s Winter 2021 Session:
How to Understand and Get the Most Out of the Bible

First class is Tuesday, January 12, 7pm!

What is the Bible? Why is it important? What does it say? Why are there so many different interpretations of it? How can you correctly understand and apply the Bible to your life and get the most out of it?

You’re invited to a weekly webinar where Pastor Dan Greenfield of the Orwell Bible Church will help you learn answers to these questions!

  • Watching this presentation does not require you to download any programs, you can simply watch it through your web browser (Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, or Safari).
  • After you register you will receive an email with the link to the presentation (if you don’t see it, check your spam folder). Reminders will be sent the day before and then 15 minutes prior to the presentation.
  • If you’re not able to watch it each presentation will be available to watch on OBC’s YouTube channel.

Printed notes for each upcoming lesson will be available during Orwell Bible Church’s Sunday services. If you’re not able to get these they can be mailed or emailed, just let us know (info@orwellbible.org). Included with the notes will be a worksheet to do after the lesson. These will help you learn the material better.

Orwell Bible Institute is part of the teaching ministry of our church to help you learn and apply God’s Word. Go here to learn more about OBI.

To watch the live webinar and receive the worksheets
you will need to register for this class.
Click HERE!

To watch recorded videos of these classes and download notes and worksheets, click here.

Lord’s Day Service, December 20, 2020

Today’s message from Isaiah 9:1-7 can be viewed on our YouTube page or listened to and downloaded in mp3 format. Please contact us if you have questions or something we can pray for!

Information about giving offerings is here.

Current bulletin: December 20
This week’s daily devotional: December 21-27

Lord’s Day Service, December 13, 2020

Today’s message from Isaiah 7-8 can be viewed on our YouTube page or listened to and downloaded in mp3 format. Please contact us if you have questions or something we can pray for!

Information about giving offerings is here.

Current bulletin: December 13
This week’s daily devotional: December 14-20

Lord’s Day Service, November 8, 2020

Today’s message from Esther 7-8 can be viewed on our YouTube page or listened to and downloaded in mp3 format. Please contact us if you have questions or something we can pray for!

Information about giving offerings is here.

Current bulletin: November 8
This week’s daily devotional: November 9-15

Lord’s Day Service, November 1 2020

Today’s message from Esther 5-6 can be viewed on our YouTube page or listened to and downloaded in mp3 format. Please contact us if you have questions or something we can pray for!

Information about giving offerings is here.

Current bulletin: November 1
This week’s daily devotional: November 2-8

Lord’s Day Service, October 18, 2020

Today’s message from Esther 3 can be viewed on our YouTube page or listened to and downloaded in mp3 format. Please contact us if you have questions or something we can pray for!

Information about giving offerings is here.

Current bulletin: October 18
This week’s daily devotional: October 19-25

Service Order for the Lord’s Day, September 20, 2020

Psalm 106
B54      O Blessed God! How Kind (words, tune)
Opening Prayer of Praise and Thanksgiving
1 Timothy 4:12–16
Pastoral Prayer
B638    Only One Life to Give (words, tune)
Jeremiah 29:1–14
B282    Depth of Mercy (stanzas 1–4; words, tune)
Sermon
B457    Day by Day (words, tune)

This coming Lord’s Day we’ll be meeting again at the church property (3535 Mayfield Road, Orwell, OH 44076). It may be a bit cool at the beginning, so in addition to bringing something to sit on feel free to bring a blanket! 🙂

Psalm 106 focuses on Remembering and praying for God’s mercies despite Israel’s rebellion. This psalm develops this focus in three parts:

1–5 Praise and prayer
6–46 Israel’s rebellion
47–48 Prayer and praise

The first hymn we’ll sing, “O Blessed God! How Kind,” will be new to us, so come prepared by working through the words with the tune (links provided above).

Pastor Greenfield will be preaching from Jeremiah 29:1-14 in preparation for messages from the book of Esther. It would also be helpful to read the following passages giving more background:

  • Leviticus 26:27-45
  • Deuteronomy 30:1-6
  • 2 Chronicles 36

Bring a sack lunch for you/your family for our fellowship lunch following the morning service. Bottled water is provided!

Lord’s Day Service, September 6, 2020

Today’s message from Psalm 46 can be viewed on our YouTube page or listened to and downloaded in mp3 format. Please contact us if you have questions or something we can pray for!

Information about giving offerings is here.

Current bulletin: September 6
This week’s daily devotional: Sept 7-13