Audio: Jesus Curses a Fig Tree

“On the following day, when they came from Bethany, he was hungry. And seeing in the distance a fig tree in leaf, he went to see if he could find anything on it. When he came to it, he found nothing but leaves, for it was not the season for figs. And he said to it, “May no one ever eat fruit from you again.” And his disciples heard it.” Mark 11:12-14 ESV

In Mark 11 we are presented with a very curious scene… because of its lack of fruit the Lord Jesus Christ curses a fig tree. How strange! The next day His disciples noticed that the fig tree had, in fact, withered.

Why would the Lord Jesus do such a thing? What is the lesson? If you dig deeper into the passage I believe you will discover a very important lesson regarding fruitfulness.

Recorded: Sunday November 6, 2011 at the North York Gospel Chapel, York, PA

 

Read More

God’s Good News: Lesson 7 Part 2

Free from the Law by Christ’s Death, so we can bear fruit to God (Romans 7:1-6)

As I said, it is true that you are not under law. The example of marriage will help you see this. When a man and woman are married, they enter into a legal covenant which states they will belong to one another. But if a woman’s husband dies, she is not under that law any more. She is free from the rule of that “contract.”

So also with you. You died when Christ died. Adam’s race was put under law. But you died. You are no longer part of Adam’s race. So you are free from the law, because you died with Christ. And now you are free to belong to Christ! Christ died to set you free. And He also has risen to new life. He died and rose as our representative. In your new life in Christ, you are joined to the risen Christ rather than to the law.

God set us free from the law so that we could now bear fruit that pleases God. When I do right things, God enjoys it. When I sin, God does not enjoy it. When we were in the flesh under the law, the members of our body were ruled by desires to sin. So, God was not pleased.

But now we are free from the law, so that we can serve God from our hearts. We do not serve Him because we have to, but more because we want to! That is serving God in the newness of spirit. If I try to serve God by keeping written rules, it will become old and dry. But serving from the heart is great! We can serve God out of desire rather than duty.

The law tries to control my actions from outside. God wants to control my actions from inside! Law applies rules from the outside, but does not change who I am on the inside.

But why can’t I bear good fruit by the law? Is the law sin? Is the law evil? We’ll have to answer that in our next lesson.

Continued in Lesson 8 Part 1.

Read More