Summary: How do New Testament believers to live?
In preparation for Joshua 23 today, let’s remind ourselves the purpose of the Bible. The Bible is God’s truth written for us to learn who God is, who we are, how we are to live, and what our future will be!
Take a quick look with me the Table of Contents of a Bible….
The Book of Genesis gives us the foundation for everything; Genesis 1:1… In the beginning God! Right off the bat, do we truly live daily with God in mind?
God eternally exists! God made everything! God created human beings out of love, therefore God allows freedom for human beings to choose right or wrong and God tells people the right things to do and the consequences for not doing the right things. God cannot be blamed for anything for He has provided everything right for people.
Now, because of sin, man disobeying God, God flooded the earth and only 8 people, Noah’s family, survived in an ark, which God actually had built. From the 8 people, God allowed the earth to be populated and again because of the freewill given by God, people continued to disobey God even though God kept telling them to do the right things. God saved 8 people and repopulated the earth because He had a promise to keep!
God chose a people, the Nation of Israel, to continue to reveal Himself and to teach specifically how to live and lay out the final solution to people’s disobedience. Through God’s Chosen People, through the Old Testament, God reveals the ultimate solution to man’s problem of sinning, a promised Savior Messiah. The Savior was a promise from God from the very beginning of life on earth!
And so, about 2000 years ago, God became a human being, Jesus Christ, who suffered and died for all of man’s sin. The New Testament reveals to us God’s final plan to have a perfect relationship with God for eternity. John 3:16 tells us, For God so loved the world that He gave His One and Only Son, Jesus Christ, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life!
Jesus Christ Himself said, “I came to earth so that people can have life to the fullest!”
Romans 10:9 tells us “If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.” And at the end of the Bible we read Jesus says.. “Look, I am coming soon! My reward is with me, and I will give to each person according to what they have done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End.
And so, God has not changed with His love, but godly life in Old Testament time was based on a promised Savior and godly life today is based on the reality of the Savior Jesus Christ in our lives.
Let’s briefly go back in time and learn from God’s Chosen people in Joshua 23… read along with me…
v1: The Nation of Israel was living in peace and rest for a long time now.
v2-5,9-10,14: The people of Israel were told to remember God’s actions of love to them! Isn’t it interesting that we human beings have a tendency to remember hate more than love! Today is September 11, 2016, 15 years after that tragic even in New York City. We easily remember the hate for America. May I suggest that we always remember God’s love for us! No matter what happens here on earth, remember that God Jesus Christ suffered and died for all our sins so that we can live, live it to the fullest, and have etrnal life with Him in perfection! This is love we don’t deserve, but God gave it; we should remember God’s love always!
v6-8,11: God’s people were told to obey God always and hold fast to Him; to love God always!
And as we noted earlier, people are given by God a free will to choose right and wrong in life. God will bless people who choose to do what He says, but,
v12-16: there are bad consequences in not following God’s instructions!
God is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow. And as I stated earlier, God’s love for people does not change, but godly life in Old Testament time was based on a promised Savior and godly life today is based on the reality of the Savior Jesus Christ in our lives.
And so, how do we apply what was told to the Israelites of old in Joshua 23?
1. We are to always remember what Jesus did on the cross for us! Memorize our Scripture of the Week: 1 Corinthians 15:3b-4.. Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures,