Sound Teaching

This is the teaching site of the West Side church of Christ in Fort Worth, TX. Unless otherwise indicated, all materials were written and prepared by Stan Cox

Index by Subject

Sermon: The State of Israel without Christ

The apostle Paul dealt with Israel’s condition because of her rejection of Jesus in Romans chapters 9-11. Both Jew and Gentile can be saved only through God’s mercy, accessed only through Jesus Christ.

Audio

Pharisaism

During Jesus’ ministry, there were three main sects of the Jews that influenced Jewish politics and culture. The Pharisees, Sadducees, and Essenes.

Interestingly, the Essenes are not mentioned in the New Testament writings. Perhaps their tendencies toward asceticism and monasticism separated them from the common Jew, and limited their influence upon Jewish culture. (Note: It is believed that it was an Essene community, Qumran, that was responsible for the penning of the Dead Sea Scrolls).

The Sadducees were characteristically liberal and secular in their outlook. They were political animals, often affluent, and held the highest political offices among the Jews. “They were a political party, of priestly and aristocratic tendency, as against the more religious and democratic Pharisees” (ISBE, Vol. IV, pg. 2659).

The Pharisees were, as noted above, more religious. In fact, at least in outward form, the Pharisee seemed to mirror most closely the teaching and philosophy of our Lord. For example: 1) The Pharisee contended for the importance of separating himself from ungodly and worldly influences; 2) The Pharisee was very attentive to the Law of God, and careful in his exposition of its teaching; 3) The Pharisee emphasized the importance of diligent obedience to the Law of God; 4) The Pharisee was eager to convert others to his beliefs, and was active in proselytizing; 5) The Pharisee was very active religiously, and many saw the expressions of his faith.

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In The News: Anti-Semitic Comments Aren’t Kosher

inthenewsIt says in the Book of Proverbs: “Wine makes a fool of you and leads to brawling.” Friday night, Mel Gibson, Christian action hero, found that out the hard way. Tooling through Malibu in his Lexus, he was pulled over on suspicion of drunken driving, got into it with a sheriff’s deputy and wound up in handcuffs.

“Are you a Jew?” he allegedly demanded of the arresting officer.

That question alone constitutes prima facie evidence that Gibson was DUI. Come on, 30 years in Hollywood and he can’t tell the difference between a Jew and a deputy sheriff?

No wonder they booked him.

To his credit, as soon as he sobered up, Gibson apologized to the lawman, something presumably along the lines of: Sorry I called you a Jew, mate. No hard feelings.

In the process of getting arrested, Gibson shared some of his opinions with the cops. One that found its way into their report is that the Jews are responsible for all the wars in the world…

…On Saturday, a chastened Mel issued a statement apologizing to anyone he had offended. He had said “despicable” things that he does “not believe to be true.” He didn’t go into details. He didn’t need to…

Still, there was a puzzling lack of logic to the apology…

…So, let’s certify that Gibson is an anti-Semite, as his critics have charged since he released the film “The Passion of the Christ” in 2004…

…Anyway, I confess to being less than shocked to read about Gibson’s Jew-war theory. The tip-off came when he denied being an anti-Semite in an interview with Diane Sawyer in the publicity run-up to “The Passion.” This is known as the Richard Nixon “I am not a crook” principle: When you get to the point you have to declare your innocence on network television, you are probably guilty.

by Zev Chafets
The San Jose Mercury News

Analysis:

While Chafets is having a bit of fun with the rather erratic behavior of Mel Gibson, a devout Catholic, the evidence indeed seems to indicate that Gibson has some anti-semitic tendencies. Evidence indicates that his father harbors a hatred of Jewish people, and while Gibson says otherwise while sober, those sentiments seem to be ingrained in him as well.

There is a great difference, however, between a drunken tirade against Jews, and accepting the Bible account of the crucifixion of Jesus. In Gibson’s movie, The Passion of the Christ, he correctly portrayed many of the events of Jesus’ betrayal and crucifixion. In noting the part that Jews played in Jesus’ death, he related historical fact, not an ingrained bias against Jewish people. Claims that an established representation of history is inherently biased are ridiculous.

2,000 years ago a group of Jews cried out to the Roman governor, “Crucify Him, Crucify Him” (cf. Luke 23:21). On the first day of Pentecost following his death, 3,000 of those same Jews received forgiveness for their crime (cf. Acts 2:40-41). The important question does not concern what the Jews did or did not do to Jesus. The important question is what any Jew (or Gentile) today will do with Jesus! Will you be obedient to Him as your Lord and Master? Or will you “crucify again for [yourself] the Son of God”? (Hebrews 6:6).