Welcome to Church of God Sharing Village!
- Category: Scriptures With Songs
- Created on 15 June 2014
- Last Updated on 15 June 2014
- Written by Gina Constantino
Good Sabbath afternoon brethren. Please all rise as we call on Mr.___________________ to lead us in the opening prayer.
Thank you Mr.__________________. Let us open our hymnals and turn to:
HYMN 1:_p6 Joyful Joyful We Adore Thee
HYMN 2:_p222 The Song We Sing
HYMN 3:_page 214 Make Music to the Lord
Thank you brethren. Please be seated.
In II Chronicles 5:13, 14, it says:
"It came even to pass, as the trumpeters and singers were as one, to make one sound to be heard in praising and thanking the Lord; and when they lifted up their voice with the instruments of music, ... that then the house was filled with a cloud, even the house of the Lord; so that the priests could not stand to minister by reason of the cloud: for the glory of the Lord had filled the house of God."
The above verses describe the time of King Solomon when he brought the ark into the temple. The priests coming out of the Most Holy place, the Levites, the singers were in unity in praising and thanking God that they sounded as one, saying “For He is good, for His mercy endures forever”. They lifted up their voices, sang songs, played their instruments. God was so pleased that the house of God became filled with His glory and the priests could not continue ministering.
What a wonderful sight to see and to experience. Could we, a small flock, a fellowship ever come to this point of seeing the glory of God? Could we, given with skills and abilities to play instruments and sing songs be able to stand in the presence of God, sounding as one, singing as one, in harmony? This song service is all about how the people of God used music to the praise and glory of God.
What kind of musical instruments did God provide for us? How did David and others use music?
Reader 1 will read about various musical instruments used in the Scriptures
Reader 2 will read on how King David “the man after God’s own heart” used music in worship and in praising God
Reader no. 3 will continue to read on how David used music in the service of God
Thank you readers. Notice that David had appointed musicians and singers in the service of God. They were engaged day and night. They did not just play or sing, they had to be trained until they reached that time that they were singing as one. The gift of music comes from God but we need to do something to that gift. We can’t let it sit idle. We can’t say it’s enough that we know how to play or sing. We need to be trained and be skillful.
Please rise brethren as we sing hymn of praise…
- Category: Scriptures With Songs
- Created on 12 June 2014
- Last Updated on 13 June 2014
- Written by Raul Hipe
FACILITATOR: Joyous afternoon celebration of the Feast of Pentecost brethren. Welcome to our Hymn Singing and Scriptural Reading service. As we begin, may we call on Mr. _________________ to lead us in the opening prayer.
Thank you, Mr._________________. Let us open our hymnals for our opening praises and rejoicing on:
HYMN 1: God of Our Fathers (page 43)
HYMN 2: Guide Us, O Thou Great Redeemer (page 60)
HYMN 3: Wisdom Begins With The Fear of the Lord (page 100)
Introduction: Welcome brethren to our afternoon service of the Feast of Pentecost. As we have completed our count to Pentecost, we are thankful that God has continually provided us the impetus and thrust as we reap His blessings and benefits even as we count them.
One unique aspect of Pentecost is that the command to count is very explicit as given in the Bible. “Begin to count the seven weeks,” to quote from Deuteronomy 16:9 “from the time you begin to put the sickle to the grain.” The given emphasis is on some future and yet very certain harvest. Lev 23:15 “from the day that you brought the wave offering, seven Sabbaths [or weeks] shall be completed.” (Leviticus:23:15, NKJV).
This makes Pentecost very unique among God’s feast days, which is unlike any other holy days. So with counting, we feel the anticipation and the continuing preparation as we ready ourselves for the spiritual harvest.
But why counting? Have you think about it? What is there in counting that God wanted to impress upon His people? What are some of the salient lessons God wanted to teach us daily and weekly as we count from the Feast of Unleavened Bread leading and culminating to the feast of Pentecost?
In today’s Scriptures reading, we will look at some of these lessons. Our first set of Bible readers will take us back to these instructions and the principles behind the command to count as God began to reveal His Will to ancient Israel (Reasons of our Counting):
BIBLE READER 1: ________________
Exodus 23: 10-19
BIBLE READER 2:_________________
Exodus 34: 10-28
BIBLE READER 3:_________________
Deuteronomy 16: 9-12
FACILITATOR: Thank you bible readers. Brethren, let’s please stand as we sing the following hymn…
HYMN 4: Fear Not Rejoice And Be Glad (page 86)
B. FACILITATOR: How We Count: With counting, we learn that Pentecost is a harvest festival that lasted for 7 weeks. It began with the harvesting of barley crops during Passover and ended with harvesting the wheat for Shavout or Pentecost. One immediate and apparent lesson one may be gained during these periods of counting in such an agricultural setting, is the total dependence and trust a farmer will develop as he rely solely on His Maker and Provider. Thus the strength of one’s faith can be tested during this period and seasons. Our next set of Bible readers will provide us examples and lessons from the Bible.
BIBLE READER 4_________________
BIBLE READER 5_________________
BIBLE READER 6_________________
Hebrews 11:1-3, 23-29.
Thank you Bible readers. Brethren, please all stand as we responsively offer our next hymns:
HYMN 5: Faith is the Victory (page 2.13)
Thank you brethren, please be seated.
FACILITATOR: Counting on God: The meaning of our counting to Pentecost can cover wide spectrum of our life, if we only know how God actually takes care of each and everyone of us. From our conception to birth, to our calling, His ways are very mysterious, but in all these, God seem to be saying we can count on Him! Our next set of Bible readers will help elucidate on these:
BIBLE READER 7_____________________
BIBLE READER 8_____________________
BIBLE READER 9_____________________
- Category: Scriptures With Songs
- Created on 29 May 2014
- Last Updated on 29 May 2014
- Written by Ofelia Limpoco-Magat
FACILITATOR: Joyful Sabbath brethren. Welcome to our Hymn Singing and Scriptural Reading for today’s Sabbath service. May we call on Mr. _______________________ to lead us in the opening prayer.
Thank you, Mr._________________. Let us open our hymnals on:
HYMN 1: Joyful, Joyful We Adore Thee (page 6)
HYMN 2: Praise My Soul, The King of Heaven (page 8)
HYMN 3: The Lord Eternal Reigns (page 9)
A. COMMAND TO REJOICE BEFORE THE LORD
The Holy Bible is replete with exhortations to rejoice. In fact, the word “rejoice” can be found in the Bible 258 times (194 in the Old Testament, 64 in the New Testament). Add to these are words “glad” “gladness” and “joy”, “joyful”, and we can come up with hundreds of times these words were written and enjoined in the Scriptures.
In addition, God commanded us to rejoice before Him. And it is a command with specific purpose. We are not only to rejoice anywhere or anytime or with anyone we want to. But these are explicit commands to rejoice in His presence—before our God the Creator. Our first set of Bible readers will further explain these:
BIBLE READER 1: ________________ will be reading verses that will explain the command to rejoice in the place that God has chosen and to rejoice with the family, household members and strangers within your gates or in other words, guests in your house
BIBLE READER 2:_________________ will be reading verses that will illustrate the command to rejoice during the appointed time of the Lord – the Feast Days of God
Leviticus 23:2,4, 39-40
Deuteronomy 16:10-11, 13-15
Deuteronomy 26:3, 10-11
FACILITATOR: Thank you bible readers. Brethren, let’s please stand as we sing the following hymn
HYMN 4: O Give Thanks and Praise the Eternal ( Page 15)
B. CAUSES OF REJOICING – NATION OF ISRAEL
FACILITATOR : Please be seated brethren. Let us now focus our attention on the causes of rejoicing. In a poem made by Helen Steiner Rice, she aptly summarized the reason for our rejoicing:
You ask me how I know it’s true
That there is a living God-
A God who rules the universe,
The sky… the sea.. the sod…
A God who holds all creatures
In the hollow of His hand,
A God who put infinity
In one tiny grain of sand…
A God who made the seasons-
Winter, summer, fall and spring,
And put his flawless rhythm
Into each created thing…
What better answers are there
To prove his Holy Being
Than the wonders all around us
That are ours just for the seeing!
Our next set of Bible readers will be reading some of the events that caused the nation of Israel to rejoice before the Lord.
- Category: Feasts and Holy Days
- Created on 10 May 2014
- Last Updated on 10 May 2014
- Written by Cesar I Lumbuan
Of all God’s feast days, Pentecost is the only one where the Eternal commanded ancient Israel to count the days and weeks to determine the exact day.
Laying down certain conditions so that His people will know when the counting should commence, the Eternal caused His words to take effect as it is written:
a. Deuteronomy 16:9 Seven weeks shall you number: begin to number the seven weeks from such a time as you begin to put the sickle to the corn.
The first condition sets the start of counting simultaneous to reaping the harvest of the standing grain (or corn).
b. Leviticus 23:15 You shall count from the morrow after the Sabbath from the day that you brought the sheaf of the wave offering, seven Sabbaths shall be complete.
God’s second command assigns the counting to begin the day after the Sabbath when the wave offering is given to the priest. A sharp controversy existed between the rabbis and some Jewish sect concerning what Sabbath is referred to by God in this verse. Was it the weekly Sabbath or the Sabbath of the first day of Unleavened Bread?
It is premature to arrive at a satisfactory conclusion until we make a thorough analysis and complete study of the matter and consider God’s third command which is equally important as the previous two.
Most religious teachers and scholars totally ignore this third command since it appears to have no relevance at all today but only concerns ancient Israel. However, we should include this third command from God since it constitutes 1/3 of the revealed evidences or facts when the counting should begin.
c. Leviticus 23: 14 You shall eat neither bread nor parched (dried)corn nor green ears, until the same day that you have brought an offering to your God. It shall be a statute forever throughout your generations in all your dwellings.
The Eternal God prohibits Israel from eating the old corn (grains) of the land, the new harvest, green ears and bread before they bring in and give to the priest the required wave sheaf offering. Take note, it is a statute forever for Israel, throughout their generations and in all their dwellings.
The Feast of Unleavened Bread is the very first feast of harvest for the entire year in Israel. Firstfruits harvest begins in the first month of Abib (Abib means green ears). That’s the time when barley begins to ripen and is ready for harvest, while winter wheat is still in green ears.
Periodically, for the harvest and the calendar to coincide, the priest adds an intercalary month (resulting in leap year). This is to compensate for the irregularities in the solar and lunar cycles. Without the intercalary month, the Eternal’s Feast days will fall out of season over the years. Thus, we can find a 13th month in the Hebrew calendar intervals of approximately 3 years.
With God’s conditions on our hand, we can now begin to study and find out when the count to Pentecost must begin. Pentecost counting issue is mainly centered upon which Sabbath the Eternal God refers to. Is it the weekly Sabbath or the high day Sabbath of the first day of Unleavened Bread?
Using the Weekly Sabbath within the Days of Unleavened Bread as Basis for Counting Pentecost
This idea or doctrine of using the weekly Sabbath as basis for counting Pentecost is known to have originated from the first century religious sect of the Sadducees, continuing with the Karaites of the early Middle Ages. The basis of their doctrine stemmed from their understanding that the weekly Sabbaths were counted and not the weeks. Also, there were those who believed Christ offered himself again to the Father on the first day of the week after His resurrection as the first fruits (or as the wave sheaf offering).
Leviticus 23:15 is one passage where this understanding is based upon and where it says “…count from the morrow after the Sabbath, the day you brought the sheaf of the wave offering, seven Sabbaths shall be complete.”
The Sadducees interpreted this passage to mean that the wave sheaf offering should be given to the priest on the weekly Sabbath during Unleavened Bread. But, should one interpret a passage and make a conclusion and not allow the Scriptures to rightly interpret itself?
Opinions varied as to the significance of the “day after the Sabbath” mentioned in Leviticus 23:15. The Boethuseans (Sadducees) took this literally and counted from the first regular Sabbath (Saturday) after the first day of the Passover, so that Pentecost would always fall on a Sunday.
The Pharisees, however, looked at Leviticus 23:15 to mean the first day of the Festival of Unleavened Bread, the 15th of Nisan, and thus counted seven full weeks from the 16th of Nisan, so that Pentecost would fall exactly on the 50th day after the 16th of Nisan. Accordingly, through this reckoning, the day of the week on which Pentecost fell would depend on the day of the week the Passover began.”(Theological Dictionary of the New Testament, 1976, The Jewish Feast of Pentecost)
The Pharisees interpreted the ‘Sabbath’ of Leviticus 23:15 as the first day of the Festival of Unleavened Bread (cf. Leviticus 23:7), so that in the Jewish calendar, Pentecost now falls on various days of the week.” (New Bible Dictionary, 1996 Pentecost, Feast of)
Once we examine the word for word translation of the original Hebrew text in the King James Version Bible, a few questions will crop up.
Do seven complete Sabbaths equal 49 days? Does it also mean that there is actually an incomplete Sabbath? Basic arithmetic dictates that seven will always be 7 complete days, no more, no less. The word Sabbath of the verse in question is sensibly and clearly understood to mean sevens or weeks as the other scriptural passages interpret it.
Sabbaths in Leviticus 23:15 refer to weeks and regardless of what day it begins, it does not necessarily mean that it always starts on the first day of the week (Sunday). It can start on Monday, or Tuesday, or Wednesday etc. as long as there are 7 complete days.
Deuteronomy 16: 9 Seven weeks shall you consider, begin to number the seven weeks from such a time as you begin to put the sickle to the corn.
The start of the harvest signals the start of counting to Pentecost. It is not the weekly Sabbath that serves as a basis.
Many bible translators and scholars render the same Hebrew word shabbat here in Leviticus 23:15 as weeks. It is the weeks that can either be complete or incomplete as the case may be. We should allow other scriptures to define more clearly the verse in question before we readily conclude its meaning according to our own interpretation. A similar command mentioning seven Sabbaths is found in:
Leviticus 25:8 You shall number seven Sabbaths of years to you: seven times seven years; and the space of the seven Sabbaths of years shall be to you forty and nine years.
Practically the same line of thought is expressed here - it refers to seven Sabbaths of years. The Hebrew word shabbat used here clearly means sevens or weeks, based on how the Eternal precisely defines it in His word. The verse in question (Leviticus 23:15) should also mean seven times seven or seven weeks.
One of the best ways to truly understand God’s commands is to put ourselves in the shoes of ancient Israel. Consider ourselves as part of ancient Israel in the Old Testament times. Do God’s commands make sense and result in good? Are God’s Feast days occasions of rejoicing and thanksgiving for a bountiful harvest? We know these are the will of the Eternal God for His people. But let’s face it; is the end result of the doctrine we have embraced good and not confusing? Does the symbolism match the reality perfectly?
a. Looking now from the standpoint of ancient Israel, let’s remember that the Eternal God forbade them forever to eat of the harvest, the bread and dried grains until such time that the wave sheaf offering was given to the priest. Then, what if the weekly Sabbath during the Feast of Unleavened Bread falls on the fifth or sixth day? What will be the source of feasting and rejoicing in the first few days of the feast knowing that the harvest, the bread and dried grains couldn’t be eaten before the weekly Sabbath?
In this case, the actual Feast will commence only on the sixth or seventh day of Unleavened Bread. Does this make sense at all? Will God author a law that results in a real seven day feasting only once in three years? There must be something wrong with using the weekly Sabbath as basis for counting Pentecost!
b. If the weekly Sabbath used as a basis fell on the seventh day of Unleavened Bread, should the counting begin the day after the feast as some churches do? Should the actual feast and rejoicing begin the day after Unleavened Bread?
Or, should the rule be broken and the Sabbath before Unleavened Bread must be used instead as the time to hand over the wave sheaf offering? Would the priests be able to attend to it knowing they are busy with Passover sacrifices? Which one is correct between the choice of the Sabbath or the method? Who is the authority to decide since there is no scriptural verse to support either method?
c.What about the symbolism, do we give the wave sheaf of the firstfruits harvest to the priest before the death and sacrifice of Christ?Will the Eternal author a prophecy and shadow of a future event that is disorderly and will only be true once in three years?(Only once in three years, the weekly Sabbath falls on the first day of Unleavened Bread).Will the Eternal cause His people to proclaim their keeping and enacting a shadow that doesn’t tell the truth about the reality?
- Category: Hymn Files
- Created on 02 May 2014
- Last Updated on 02 May 2014
- Written by Arnold Miguel
Ipamalita Sa Iba
(To the Tune of “Pass it On”)
Lyrics By Arnold Miguel
(A Sabbath Special Music Offering sung by Analiz Miguel)
Kailangan ng munting kislap
Upang apoy ay magpatuloy
At lahat ng nakaikot sa init
G A7 D
Ganyan ang pag-ibig ng Ama
Em7 F#m Bm
Pag iyong nadama
G Dsus4 D
Ang nais Niya,ibahagi at
Ipamalita sa iba
- Category: Feasts and Holy Days
- Created on 29 April 2014
- Last Updated on 29 April 2014
- Written by Cesar I Lumbuan
“Days of Unleavened Bread? That’s a Jewish festival, part of the Old Testament law that God gave ancient Israel,” reasoned out by a number of Bible preachers.
In addition, they say, “We are now under the New Testament. We ought to be living as Christians and thus, should be keeping ‘Christian holidays.’ The Holy days, Feast days, Sabbaths and food laws were God’s Old Testament law for ancient Israel.”
Before we take their word for it, wouldn’t it be better if we seek God’s mind on this matter (consulting with His inspired word) and not too easily succumb to opinions and teachings of these modern-day religious preachers?
Christ the Son of Man was a Jew
When Jesus Christ came down to earth to be a human, God chose him to be a Jew out of the many races, people and creed at that time. The Eternal has planned this all along from the very beginning. Prophecies of Christ’s birth and life strewed the pages of Scriptures - detailing places, events, time and the people he will become part of, that of Israel, of the tribe of Judah.
“But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah,
Though you are little among the thousands of Judah,
Yet out of you shall come forth to Me
The One to be Ruler in Israel,
Whose goings forth are from of old,
From everlasting.” Micah 5:2
Historical Background of Israel
The history of Israel as the Hebrew nation is traced back to Abraham. Because of obedience to God’s laws and commandments, God’s promises to Abraham filtered through the offspring of his grandson Jacob (whose name God changed to Israel).
Part of the promises made was fulfilled when Israel (starting out with 70 heads in Egypt), grew up to become a nation mightier in number than the Egyptians, her bondmaster.
4 And I will make your descendants multiply as the stars of heaven; I will give to your descendants all these lands; and in your seed all the nations of the earth shall be blessed; 5 because Abraham obeyed My voice and kept My charge, My commandments, My statutes, and My laws.” Genesis 26:4-5
At the appointed time, the Eternal redeemed Israel (by this time numbering around 3 million) out of bondage from Egypt with a powerful and strong hand. A momentous event commemorated through the keeping of Passover and the Days of Unleavened Bread.
“And Moses said to the people: “Remember this day in which you went out of Egypt, out of the house of bondage; for by strength of hand the Lord brought you out of this place. No leavened bread shall be eaten.” Exodus 13:3
That particular event in Israel is analogous to the life of the New Testament ecclesia (or “called out ones” or church), who in like manner were redeemed and brought out of slavery from sin with the precious blood of Christ, the lamb of God, to become God’s new covenant Israel.
18 knowing that you were not redeemed with corruptible things, like silver or gold, from your aimless conduct received by tradition from your fathers, 19 but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot. 1 Peter 1:18-19
Who are the Jews?
Having settled for a long time in the Promised land as a kingdom (composed of 12 tribes), Israel was divided into two opposing kingdoms during the reign of Rehoboam, the son of Solomon.
Jeroboam, Solomon’s official and son of Nebat, rallied all Israel to his side and established the Northern kingdom with Bethel as the center for idol worship.
In Jerusalem, on the other hand, Rehoboam reigned over the kingdom of Judah comprised of the remaining tribes of Benjamin, Judah and the Levites who were expelled by Jeroboam.
1 Now when Rehoboam came to Jerusalem, he assembled from the house of Judah and Benjamin one hundred and eighty thousand chosen men who were warriors, to fight against Israel, that he might restore the kingdom to Rehoboam… 13 And from all their territories the priests and the Levites who were in all Israel took their stand with him. 14 For the Levites left their common-lands and their possessions and came to Judah and Jerusalem, for Jeroboam and his sons had rejected them from serving as priests to the Lord. II Chronicles 11:1, 13-14
It was the kingdom of Judah (or Jews) that God entrusted his oracles.
“What advantage then has the Jew, or what is the profit of circumcision? 2 Much in every way! Chiefly because to them were committed the oracles of God. 3 For what if some did not believe? Will their unbelief make the faithfulness of God without effect? 4 Certainly not! Indeed, let God be true but every man a liar…” Romans 3:1-4
Years before the birth of Jesus, with the second temple completely restored and beautifully rebuilt by Herod, the Jews enjoyed a time of peace. They were back on track in their worship of the God of their fathers. It was in this environment where Jesus grew up, in the poor but devout Jewish family in the area of Galilee, keeping the Sabbath, holy days, and the customs of his day.
“So He came to Nazareth, where He had been brought up. And as His custom was, He went into the synagogue on the Sabbath day, and stood up to read.” Luke 4:16
Traces of the conflict between Judah (Jews) and Israel were still evident up until the time of Christ. While passing through a city in Samaria, a woman met Christ, by Jacob’s well and said,
“How is it that You, being a Jew, ask a drink from me, a Samaritan woman?” For Jews have no dealings with Samaritans… Our fathers worshiped on this mountain, and you Jews say that in Jerusalem is the place where one ought to worship.” John 4:9,20
Jesus said to her “Woman, believe Me, the hour is coming when you will neither on this mountain, nor in Jerusalem, worship the Father. 22 You worship what you do not know; we know what we worship, for salvation is of the Jews. (verses 21-22)
Christ’s statement singled out the Jews as having the knowledge of the true God. Pointing out also the fact that “Yahu saves” is of the Jews, or the Messiah (Yahushua) is a Jew. He told her it was Him.
The New Testament and the New Covenant
When Jesus died in Calvary (Golgotha in Hebrew), Passover 30 AD, his death ushered in the new Testament and paved the way for Christ to enter into a new Covenant with His disciples after His resurrection. Christ is the Creator of all things; physical and spiritual, visible and invisible.
“For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created through Him and for Him.” Colossians 1:16
- Category: Meditations
- Created on 27 April 2014
- Last Updated on 27 April 2014
- Written by Ofelia Limpoco-Magat
GREAT ART THOU
Great art thou who made my eyes to see
The wondrous works thou have designed for me—
--the kaleidoscopic sky at dawn
--the iridescent hues of the rainbow
--the impressive tail feathers of a peacock
--the artistic array of flowers
--the magnificent panorama of the sunset
Great art thou who made my ears to hear
The various sounds thou had created for me—
--the chirps of the birds on a tree
--the murmur of the brook rushing to the sea
--the roar of thunder on a stormy day
--the laughter of the children at play
Great art thou who made my hands to write
--what my eyes could see
--what my ears could hear
--what my mind could tell
- Category: Feasts and Holy Days
- Created on 22 April 2014
- Last Updated on 22 April 2014
- Written by Raul Hipe
One of the most uplifting and promising words Jesus Christ gave during His last Passover was recorded in John 16: 33, to quote: “Be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.”
While these words of Jesus are very reassuring enough for anyone to hear, it seems most of the disciples did not take His words seriously. For we find a few verses later and during that same night that most of Christ’s followers were gone and scattered! They have abandoned Jesus in fear and defeat. The Gospels told us that the most ardent and loyal of Christ’s follower, Peter, denied Him three times, another fled without cloth or garment with him (Mark), Judas conspired with authorities and had Jesus arrested, and the rest of the disciples had either deserted, run away or were in hiding.
So the question for us to reflect on the 7th day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread: Are we of “good cheer”?
Are we still “overcoming the world”?
The word “overcome” in the Greek is nikao (Strongs #3528) it means “to conquer, prevail, get the victory” In fact, the word “Nike” which a popular brand today comes from this same root word.
Nowadays, overcoming is such a big word to Christians who are helpless and powerless in the midst of all the troubles and the temptations and pulls of life. Just like during the time of the disciples, it can be outright confusing and overwhelming. But where do we find our help, how can Jesus Christ provide us the strength so we can be an overcomer?
First, we need to realize that the death of Jesus Christ made possible our deliverance and forgiveness from sins. The following Bible verses make it clear:
For I delivered to you first of all that which I also received: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures” 1 Corinthians 15:3, (NKJV throughout, unless noted)
“Grace to you and peace from God the Father and our Lord Jesus Christ, who gave Himself for our sins, that He might deliver us from this present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father, to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen.” Galatians 1:3-5
Our keeping of Passover and the Days of Unleavened Bread should help us realize the heavy price of sin through Jesus’ sacrifice, the pervasiveness of sin in the world, and the necessity of putting sin out of our lives. This means that we are called to a life of overcoming.
Accordingly, overcoming is not simply a one time triumph over sin but we need to be constantly on guard as it is pervasive and persistent. That’s what the symbol of unleavened bread teaches us—the putting out of sins daily in life. Just like the children of Israel who had to leave the physical bondage of Egypt (Deuteronomy 5:6), Christians need to leave from the “spiritual Egypt” (Revelation 11:8) of this present evil world (Galatians 1:4).
This is a serious matter. Christians need to come out of sin, but they need God's help in overcoming sin.
The words of the apostle Paul, gave a full glimpse of what everyone should be learning and doing as we grapple with our uncertainties over sins:
Moreover, brethren, I do not want you to be unaware that all our fathers were under the cloud, all passed through the sea, all were baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea, all ate the same spiritual food, and all drank the same spiritual drink. For they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them, and that Rock was Christ. But with most of them God was not well pleased, for their bodies were scattered in the wilderness.
Now these things became our examples, to the intent that we should not lust after evil things as they also lusted. And do not become idolaters as were some of them. As it is written, "The people sat down to eat and drink, and rose up to play." Nor let us commit sexual immorality, as some of them did, and in one day twenty-three thousand fell; nor let us tempt Christ, as some of them also tempted, and were destroyed by serpents; nor complain, as some of them also complained, and were destroyed by the destroyer. Now all these things happened to them as examples, and they were written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the ages have come.
Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall. No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it. (1 Corinthians 10:1-13)
We have the experience of the children of Israel as our continual reminder and learning. There are at least five manners or attitudes we are forewarned about in order for us not to follow in their examples of disobedience and defeat: lusting after evil things, immorality, idolaters, tempters, and complainers. Think about it as you root out every appearance or vestige of these in your life.
Moreover, we are also forewarned about the activity of the wicked one working behind all these in order for us to lose our battle:
“Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.” I Peter 5:8
For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. Ephesians 6:12
How did Jesus Christ provide a way of escape so we can bear it?