Every hair numbered

Matthew 10:27~What I tell you in the dark, say in the light, and what you hear whispered, proclaim on the housetops. (NIV) We are to proclaim the Gospel fearlessly and lovingly. However, there is often a price to be paid for taking a stand for Christ. Therefore, Jesus says, do not fear. Matthew 10:28~And do not fear (φοβέω phobeō) those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather fear him who can destroy both soul and body in hell. (ESV) (φοβέω phobeō) fear refers to flight and terror. Whatever the enemies of the Gospel may wish to do, there is one thing they cannot do to us—and that is to kill our souls. 

Our bodies are temporary, our world is transient, but our souls are eternal. So, which is more important, this moment, or eternity? Thus Jesus says, fear God. Proverbs 9:10~The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.

(NIV) This fear is the reverential awe for the one who planned, created and implemented His own purpose in our world. (Isaiah 1:17-19) Our love and reverence for God must supersede our fear of persecution, in whatever way it may come. Thus, God warns us about the certainty of persecution, saying Give it the Boot. 2 Timothy 3:12~In fact, everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted, (NIV) 

No one can escape this if they are in Christ. He continues by reminding His disciples of their value. Matthew 10:29~Are not two sparrows sold for a penny (ἀσσάριον assarion)? And not one of them will fall to the ground apart from your Father. (ESV) The word (ἀσσάριον assarion) is our version of a penny. At that time a denarius was a day’s wage for the average worker, and a penny would be the pay for about 30 minutes of work. Sparrows were of very little value, and a penny would buy two of them. For those who lived heartily in the last century, two sparrows cost a bag of candy. Yet, God knows when each one of them dies. Matthew 10:31~Fear not, therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows (ESV).

Because of God’s unfathomable love, he numbers even our hairs. How many of you have a locket of hair from your baby’s first hair cut? Some have pictures and certificates of all this stuff and you thought you were paying attention to the details. Listen to God’s attention in Matthew 10:30~But even the hairs of your head are all numbered. (ESV) God knows every detail about us, what we are going through, even the persecution we suffer standing for Him. Students, He knows the homework question you skipped, God knows what we have omitted in our responses, He knows everything. When we revere God and believe in His sovereignty and omniscience, there is never a need to fear. In God’s hands, we are presently and eternally safe and secure. Why would we ever want to leave? Grasp the promise of Proverbs 18:10~The name of the LORD is a fortified tower; the righteous run to it and are safe. (NIV)

Jesus emphasizes the importance of taking a stand Matthew 10:32~So everyone who acknowledges (ὁμολογέω homologeō) me before men, I also will acknowledge before my Father who is in heaven, (ESV) The word (ὁμολογέω homologeō) acknowledge, confess it means to agree or speak the same thing. In this verse, it means declaring allegiance to Christ. Just believing Jesus lived, died, and rose again is not enough. Why? According to James 2:19~You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that-and shudder. (NIV) 

However, demons don’t declare their allegiance to Christ. Remember Romans 10 says to become believers, we must acknowledge Him, by believing in our hearts and receive Jesus as Lord and Savior by confession. To confess Jesus before men, means we identify with Him as Lord and Savior, that we are a part of His people, the church, His bride. The first step in affirming and confessing before men is to be publicly baptized. Christ Jesus next warns of the alternative, denying. Matthew 10:33~but whoever denies me before men, I also will deny before my Father who is in heaven. (ESV) This means if someone fails to take a stand for Him, Jesus will deny that person before His Father. Do you want to be like Jesus Christ? Then we’re going to come into the Line of Fire: where Slander is Levied, where we must Give Fear the Boot.
 
Today, bravely share your faith with someone God has laid upon your heart.


Prologue, And God…the Cost of Sin Genesis 3:8-24

After Adam and Eve violate God’s command, we see sin has an extremely high cost. The Cost of Sin requires two actions: No and _____________. 1) No_____________(3:8-13) Genesis 2:17~but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat from it you will certainly die. (NIV) Death is coming, B/c Adam & Eve ate the_____________fruit, yet they do not die an immediate physical death. So what separates us from God? _____________ Spiritual death never means annihilation rather it means _____________ or to be separated from God. Isaiah 59:2~But your iniquities have separated you from your God; your sins have hidden his face from you, so that he will not hear. (NIV) When you have sinned what was your response? Fear or Faith (circle one) When God calls to us He already knows our spiritual condition and He desires repentance. Genesis 3:10-11~And he (_____________) said, I heard the sound of you in the garden, & I was afraid, because I was naked, and I hid myself. He said, Who told you that you were naked? Notice the questions God asks are designed to bring confession and repentance. Where are you? Why are you afraid? Who told you that? One thing God hates is the game. In regards to sin, there’s only one person to blame—and that is the _____________ game. In Genesis 3 Adam and Eve give birth to_____________, for all of humanity. 

2) Consider on the _____________ (3:14-24) Notice God never asks the serpent any questions just curses him. Genesis 3:14~The Lord God said to the serpent, because you have done this, cursed are you above all …on your belly you shall go…(ESV) According to John 8:44, the father of lies would have just told lies, because there is_____________truth in him. In Genesis 3:15 we find the    Biblical prophecy. It is about the Messiah, Jesus. In Romans 16:19-20 Paul tells us to be excellent in _____________ and_____________of evil as the God of peace will soon crush Satan. 1 John 3:8~The one who does what is sinful is of the devil, B/c the devil has been sinning from the beginning. The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the devil’s work. (NIV) So why did Jesus have to come to earth? To_____________the devil’s works. Now the Evil One, Satan seemed to gain victory at Jesus’ death, that is until His Glorious_____________! For the woman’s part in creating sin, she receives_____________in childbirth as well as male domination and the exploitation of women, all as a_____________of sin, and not God’s design. (Genesis 3:16) Ephesians 5:25 commands husbands to _____________ their wives and wives, according to Ephesians 5:22 are too_____________. (ὑποτάσσω hypotassō) is a voluntary attitude of yielding, cooperating, assuming responsibility, and carrying a burden. As God fashions the first clothes, I can only imagine Adam and Eve’s horror they witness the shedding of_____________blood to cover their own nakedness, brought by sin. 1 Peter 1:19~but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect. (NIV) Jesus died for you so let’s Take A Step: ___________________________________________________________________________________________



Inspectors

So, give fear the boot (Matthew 10:26-33). As we follow Jesus, we can expect slander and persecution, adding to this Jesus says we are not to fear those who malign and persecute us Matthew 10:26~So have no fear of them, for nothing is covered that will not be revealed, or hidden that will not be known. (ESV) Why do they want to persecute us or be destructive? It is because they fear and reject the truth. Proverbs 29:25~Fear of man will prove to be a snare, but whoever trusts in the LORD is kept safe. (NIV) 

Who here has ever been caught in fears trap? You’ve been ensnared, by fear? Yeah, of course, fear can paralyze us causing us not to respond, or it can incite panic in us, leading to poor choices. Jesus says, trust the Lord, He is the only safety we have. He continues by saying a time is coming when everything covered will be revealed and everything hidden will be made known (Matthew 10:26). In time, sin will be revealed for what it is and righteousness revealed for what it is. Listen to Ecclesiastes 12:14 ~For God will bring every deed into judgment, including every hidden thing, whether it is good or evil. (NIV)

Saints our lives will be judged at the (βῆμα bēma) seat. Bema means to ascend, it’s a step, like an Olympian who ascends the box to receive his or her prize for winning. Jesus will have us ascend the step before His throne. All who are in Christ, whose name has been written in the Book of Life. Understand everyone at the Bema gets into heaven, but it is at the Bema seat where our reward is given to the Saints. How many of you ever took a final exam and wished the professor would unpack the grade. Well, Jesus is going to do just that for His followers.

1 Corinthians 3:12-13~Now if anyone builds on the foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw—each one’s work will become manifest, for the Day will disclose it, because it will be revealed by fire, and the fire will test what sort of work each one has done. 

1 Corinthians 3:14-15~If the work that anyone has built on the foundation survives, he will receive a reward. If anyone’s work is burned up, he will suffer loss, though he himself will be saved, but only as through fire. (ESV) This moment is not about salvation, that happens later for the lost, at the Great White throne judgement of Revelation 20:11-15, rather this judgement is about what we’ve done with all the Lord has given to us. The Bema is for believers, John 3:16 whosoever believes in Jesus Christ is saved. 

Paul writes for us the process of salvation Romans 10:9-10~because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart, one believes and is justified, and with the mouth, one confesses and is saved. (NKJ) I hope to see you at the Bema. As an aside, for those still struggling with their judgy ways: We are asked in Romans 14:10-12 why do you judge others? Or look down on others? For we will all stand before God’s judgment seat, the (βῆμα bēma). Let God be the judge, we will inspect the fruit, as we share the hope of Jesus Christ.