“The Obedience of Jesus” – Matthew 4:1-11
Hear now the word of the Lord from Matthew 4:1-11.
4 Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. 2 And after fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry. 3 And the tempter came and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, command these stones to become loaves of bread.” 4 But he answered, “It is written,
“‘Man shall not live by bread alone,
but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.’”
5 Then the devil took him to the holy city and set him on the pinnacle of the temple 6 and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down, for it is written,
“‘He will command his angels concerning you,’
“‘On their hands they will bear you up,
lest you strike your foot against a stone.’”
7 Jesus said to him, “Again it is written, ‘You shall not put the Lord your God to the test.’” 8 Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory. 9 And he said to him, “All these I will give you, if you will fall down and worship me.” 10 Then Jesus said to him, “Be gone, Satan! For it is written,
“‘You shall worship the Lord your God
and him only shall you serve.’”
11 Then the devil left him, and behold, angels came and were ministering to him.
Matthew 4:1-11, ESV
The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God endures forever. Well, in the year 1608, the French King Henry the Fourth opened the doors of a palace in Paris to up and coming artists. The arrangement was that artists would come and would live in this palace, which had a collection of some of the greatest works in the history of art. These artists would then be able to spend their days living in residence at this palace and copy these paintings. Painstakingly reproducing these paintings stroke by stroke, day by day, week by week, year by year. By this process of reproducing these paintings if they were given an apprenticeship where they were being trained by the old masters. Not because those masters were there, many of those masters had been dead for many years. They were being apprentice by studying how the Old Masters had produced the old masterpieces.
Well, over 400 years later, that same palace, although it's no longer a palace, is a place where artists are still doing this. What was formerly the Louvre Palace is now a museum in Paris containing some of the greatest artworks in history, and the collection has certainly expanded. It's where up and coming artists can come in and set up their canvases and start to paint, copying the old works of the masterpieces stroke by stroke, day after day, week after week. When I was in high school, I remember them as set up all over the Louvre, painting these old masterpieces.
Well, a few weeks ago, we went through this same story. When I preached on this passage, I was trying to show what Christ accomplished in this temptation story that we cannot replicate on our own. One of the main things I was trying to get across is that our salvation is not a do it yourself kind of a project. You can't watch a YouTube video, pick up a quick tutorial, you can't even read this passage and take away principles that then you can use to do it yourself, to work out your salvation on your own, apart from Christ.
Rather, what we are seeing here is that Christ accomplish something real for us that we have failed to accomplish on our own. Christ obeyed perfectly where we have all fallen woefully short of the glory of God. So this morning, as we studied this passage again, we're not trying to learn how to work out our salvation on our own apart from Christ. Rather, we are studying this passage to be apprenticed by Christ. To study what the master has done, as he's gone ahead of us. Not to replicate it, but again to become his apprentices, to become his disciples, learning from him. Every move he is making in this passage, especially as we face the relentless, vicious attacks of Satan. Jesus, our master is teaching us not to paint, but to persevere in faith and obedience in the face of Satan's fiercest temptations.
So our big idea today is we keep both of these ideas in mind. First of all, what Christ is accomplished that we could never do for ourselves and that we must receive from him by faith alone. But also as we see the pattern that Christ has given us; our big idea is this the Jesus gives us a pattern for walking by faith..
As we see our lord, our master working and responding to Satan with every turn of his temptations, we're seeing that Jesus is essentially responding to three questions that Satan is raising. First of all, is God good? That's the first essence of the temptation. The second temptation, its essence is this question, how do we know that God is good? Then the third temptation is getting at this question, is there any good apart from God?
1. Is God Good?
2. How do we Know That God is Good?
3. Is There any Good Apart From God?
Is God Good?
So in the first temptation where Satan is raising the question, is God good, we begin in verse one where we see that Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. He was led by the Spirit to be tempted by the devil. Now this is very explicitly written to be in parallel. Because what we are seeing here is Matthew bringing out the two sides of what's happening in this story.
First of all, that God is sovereign over this. Satan did not ambush Jesus in a dark alley in an unexpected way. The Holy Spirit led Jesus in the wilderness precisely so that this temptation could happen. God is sovereign over this temptation, but yet God did not tempt Jesus towards sin. God never tempts us towards sin. The Holy Spirit led Jesus into the wilderness, but yet he was tempted by the devil. It is Satan who tempts us to sin, not God. God never tempts us and yet he is sovereign over everything we experience.
What this first verse also brings out is the way that Jesus willingly submitted, in dependence upon the Holy Spirit, to what was going to happen to him. This will set a lifelong pattern that Jesus will be constantly following, even when it isn't explicitly stated in this way. That Jesus is always following the lead of the Holy Spirit.
Jesus regularly telling us that he has come to do the will of his Father, but here we are seeing the often unseen, invisible role of the Holy Spirit. As the Holy Spirit leads Jesus through everything, he must accomplish to fulfill all righteousness for his people. Here it's the Holy Spirit leading Jesus in the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. Our salvation was accomplished by Christ, but as a trinitarian work, by the Father's sending the Son into this world, by the Holy Spirit's empowering and leading Jesus through his life.
In verse two, then we see the prelude or the preface to this temptation. What happens before the actual temptation. That Jesus fasts for 40 days and 40 nights, he was hungry. Now Jesus is doing a couple of things. A few weeks ago, when we looked at this passage, the first time we talked about the fact that part of the reason that Jesus is in the wilderness for 40 days and 40 nights is to symbolically re-enact the 40 years that the Israelites languished in the wilderness. They failed that scene. They failed their temptation, whereas Jesus succeeds.
Jesus spends 40 days and 40 nights, and at the end of this, he is very hungry. So functionally what we are also seeing here, Matthew didn't have to state it, but Jesus is hungry after these 40 days of fasting, which sets up the actual temptation that Satan is going to bring. Where the Israelites, failed, Jesus, we will see, succeeded after he was so hungry after all of this time.
So in verse three, we read the Tempter, the Devil, Satan, the one who tempts came and said to Jesus, If you are the Son of God, command these stones to become loaves of bread."
Now, by saying it this way, if you are the Son of God, what Satan is doing is picking up on what happened at Jesus's baptism in the preceding passage. You remember there, when Jesus was baptized, a voice came from heaven, declaring, "This is my beloved Son with whom I am well pleased." The father identified Jesus as his son. Well, Satan picks up on that, and Satan twists that and says, well, if you are the Son of God. Brendan Crowe, a New Testament scholar says, "Maybe not "If you are the Son of God", but, "Since you are the Son of God."
Satan isn't so much questioning the fact of Jesus's sonship, that'd be too direct, it's more subtle than that. He's testing the mode or the implications of Jesus's son ship. Since you are the Son of God, we all heard the voice, since you are the Son of God, well, why don't you go ahead and turn those stones into bread? He's saying, look, if you're the Son of God, and I'm not disputing that at the moment, can't you fix the problem? Can't you take matters into your own hands? Can't you meet your needs here. God created human beings to eat, can't you turn these stones into bread to feed yourself?
What he's doing here is to raise a question that's designed to drive a wedge between Jesus and his father. He's trying to lead Jesus to distrust his father. He's leading in the same kind of question that Satan asked to Adam and Eve so many years earlier, when he said, "Did God really say you can't eat of any of the trees of the garden?" Well, the fact of the matter was God hadn't said anything of the sort. God had said, "You may surely eat of every tree of the garden, except the one tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Of that one, you shall not eat, for the day that you eat of it you shall surely die."
But Satan was raising this question to get them to doubt, well, maybe God isn't good. Maybe God won't meet my needs. Maybe I can't trust God. Maybe I'm in a situation where if my needs are to be met, I have to take matters into my own hands, even if it will mean fudging the details of God's law just a little bit. Maybe I need to take this into my own hands. What Satan is doing here is to drive a wedge of distrust between Jesus and his father.
Well, Jesus responds by citing the word of God. We read in verse four, "but he answered, It is written", and then he quotes Deuteronomy 8:3, "Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God." Now, obviously, the Bible doesn't fill our stomach. We are hearing the word of God now, but trust me, there will be a fellowship meal afterwards where you can eat physical food, and that's a good thing, we want to do that. God loves to feed his people. Food is very important.
What Jesus is saying here is that if it comes down to it, if I have to choose between eating and disobeying God, well, then I'm absolutely going to give up eating. If I have to choose between that and obeying God, I'm always going to choose obeying God instead of eating even what I think will be my needs.
We should also see again as we're trying to study the strokes of this masterpiece, as we apprentice under Jesus. We should note the way that Jesus responds to the devil. He only speaks words of scripture. He doesn't embellish. He doesn't debate. He doesn't dialogue with Satan. He only quotes scripture. Whereas Eve entered into a debate she dialogued with Satan. She asked questions, she responded to question, We shouldn't do that because when we do that, we give up the upper ground. Because our enemy, as we will see in this passage, is a relentless liar. If we give him an inch, he will take a mile. He will keep coming if we debate with him. Because to debate with Satan, to enter into a dialogue, should I or shouldn't I, means that we are giving false legitimacy to something that is absolutely illegitimate.
God has spoken, nothing more needs to be said. That's the way that Jesus responded, "It is written man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God." This is the only Godly posture to take.
Before I was in full time pastoral work, I spent a significant amount of time working in sales. I had to make a lot of cold calls. I had from those cold calls to try to set up meetings to try to pitch what we were doing to potential new customers. I spent a lot of time trying to perfect the scripts that I would use to be the most effective with people. So I would say the right words and the right way that hopefully would get the right results.
In fact, I had scripts for every objection I faced. If they said they were busy, I had a response to that. If they asked me just to send them more information, well I knew that was just a way to put me off and I had a response to that. If they said they didn't need it, I had a response to that. The one thing I never had a response for because there's no way to respond to it, is if someone just says no and says nothing more. If they just say no, there's no way to negotiate, there's no way to build entry. There's no way to offer something. If they just say no, there's really nothing you can do except to hang up and dial the next phone number.
Now, to be very clear, I'm a little bit comparing myself to Satan. However, what I was doing was to sell something that was legitimate. But what Satan is doing here is to sell something that is illegitimate. But in both cases, the same principle stands. The easiest way to say no is to say no and nothing more.
Watch the way your master works here. He simply shuts down this temptation and doesn't give it any room for negotiation, for debate, for dialogue. Jesus actually warns us against doing that very thing later on at the end of the gospel of Matthew, in Matthew, 26:41, where he tells Peter, "Watch and pray that you might not enter into temptation."
Now to enter into temptation is something more than, something beyond, something worse than simply being tempted. Because to enter into temptation is to enter into a dialogue about it in your soul. Try to think about it, to try to work on ways that maybe you can rationalize this. Maybe it's not as bad as you think. Maybe I can make room for this and obedience to God. So when you enter into them temptation, you are already playing right into the devil's hand and Jesus says, don't fall for it, watch and pray that you might not be deceived, that you might not enter into temptation. Don't enter into it, flatly refuse it and move on.
Jesus is showing us here, our master is modeling for us, his apprentices, his disciples, how to trust God when we are at our weakest. What Jesus is reminding us here is that God is good, even when God leads us into places of suffering. For Jesus, it was 40 days in the wilderness for you it may be a health situation or a job situation or a family situation, something going on where you are suffering. Jesus reminding us here is that it is far worse to sin than to suffer faithfully and obediently. Most importantly, what Jesus models here and throughout this story is that we should not enter into the debate. Don't enter into the temptation.
How do we Know that God is Good?
We also must be prepared because our enemy will not relent when we refuse to entertain the fact that God might not be good. When we refuse to give up after the first volley of temptations, Satan will come again and his next move is often to attack the foundations of our certainty in the goodness of God. So if the first question was, is God good. Now we come to the second temptation, which raises the second question, well, how do we know God is good? How do we know God is good? That's in verses five through seven.
So in verse five, we read, "Then the devil took him to the holy city and set him on the pinnacle of the temple." Now the holy city is Jerusalem. When it talks about the pinnacle of the temple, the word here for temple is not the word that refers to the sanctuary where the Holy Places were, where the Altar of Incense was and stuff like that. This word for temple refers to the whole temple complex.
So one of the buildings in the whole temple complex, Jesus was taken to the pinnacle of that building. Satan said to him in verse six, "If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down, for it is written, 'He will command his angels concerning you and, on their hands, they will bear you up lest you strike your foot against your stone against the stone.'" Now, Satan is again here attacking this idea of Jesus's sonship. Not necessarily questioning whether it's true, but here he's questioning prove that you are a true son of your father, prove that you trust your father, prove that you trust him by testing these commandments. These promises that God has given in scripture, that he will command his angels concerning you on their hands they will bear you up lest you strike your foot against a stone. Jesus, do you really believe Psalm 91:11-12?
What he is asking is, how could you know that you can really trust God? When push comes to shove, when the rubber hits the road, when things get tough, how do you know that God will come through for you in this situation? What Satan is pushing Jesus to do is to put God to a test. To create a controlled environment, not to control because he's falling here, but a controlled environment where he is controlling the terms of the way the test comes. By this he's testing, will God be there for me at some uncertainty of the future of which I cannot predict. What Satan is tempting Jesus is to grasp for certainty and control over a situation by knowing whether he can trust in God.
Now, Jesus sees through this once again and once again, he flatly quotes scripture and says nothing more. Verse seven, "Again, it is written You shall not put the Lord your God to the test." He's quoting Deuteronomy 6:16. There is a difference here between trusting God when we must, trusting God when we enter into these situations that we didn't plan and ask for, but we find ourselves in the middle of. There's a difference between trusting God when we must and stress testing God.
You see the desire to stress test God, to know can I trust him in this or that situation, is an attempt to try to shift our confidence from God, from his promises and his power, and instead of trust in probabilities. I want to increase my level of certainty that God will come through for me when I need it.
It's to approach God like a lawyer would trying to evaluate an insurance policy. Am I covered and all of these various angles? It's to ask, well, what if this happened? What if that happened? Rather than trusting God by saying, even if these things happen, I know my Savior and I know that he will take care of me.
You've probably seen those mayhem commercials about where that crazy guy who personifies mayhem brings people through every random, inconceivable possibility for horrible things that might happen. The whole point of the commercial is, are you covered for this? Does your cut rate insurance cover you for that? Well, that's the kind of question that Satan is asking here. Do you have certainty that you're covered for this situation? Do you have control with it when you walk through the valley of the shadow of death God will be there? Or will your insurance policy lapse?
The only way to be truly happy to be truly free is to make sure that you are covered, that's a stress test of God. When we stress test God, what we're doing is to take our eyes off of his promises and his power and to reduce our loving, Heavenly Father to an actuarial table of disaster probabilities. Do you treat God like an actuarial table? How much can I trust you, in what circumstances, to what degree? But once again, Jesus doesn't respond, except to quote the word of God and to flatly say no and move on.
The question is for you, do you believe that God is good? And if so, how do you know that you can trust him? Because you've put him through a battery of stress tests or because you know his person, his promises and his power?
Is There any Good Apart From God?
Well, Jesus our master after walking masterfully through these two temptations, faces yet another temptation. Satan comes after him again from another angle. No longer does he bring up the question of if you are the Son of God, this time Satan drops the veil and goes right after what he wants from Jesus, and he offers Jesus the world in exchange for worship. The world in exchange for worship. So this brings us to the third temptation is there any good apart from God? Is there any good apart from God?
The first question was, is God good? The second question is how do we know that God is good? The third question is what are my backup options? Is there good apart from God? In verse eight, we read, "Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain", we're not told which mountain, "and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory, and he said to him, 'All these I will give to you if you will fall down and worship me.'"
Now we have to stop there and be very clear about something. This was the precise purpose for which Jesus Christ came into the world. To bring all the nations and all the kingdoms of the world under his dominion and under his authority. That's very clear through the rest of the scripture. Jesus came to be the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords.
Revelation 11:15 celebrates this fact that, "When the seventh angel blew his trumpet, there were loud voices in heaven, saying, 'The Kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of his Christ, and he shall reign forever.'" That was the purpose our Lord came into this world, To bring all the kingdoms of the world under his dominion and his authority.
The temptation is not for Jesus to claim the kingdoms of the world. The temptation is how Jesus would claim the kingdoms of the world. Because Jesus came into the world to claim the kingdoms of the world by going to the cross. That was the plan. That was the decree that was set before the foundations of the Earth was laid. That was the eternal covenant made between the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. The Father would send the Son into this world so the Son would die to purchase for himself a people, a kingdom that can never be shaken.
Satan here is offering a pain free way to accomplish this mission. This is the temptation of pragmatism or the temptation of expediency. Will you sell your soul to gain your goal? It's very simple. It's an easy exchange. You get what you want, it'll only cost you your soul. Only at this point does Jesus speak extra words above and beyond the scripture. It's not to debate, not to consider this for a moment. It's rather to express horror and indignation at what Satan has suggested. "Be gone Satan, for it is written, you shall worship the Lord, your God and him only shall you serve." He tells Satan to be gone and then quotes Deuteronomy 6:13, there is no good outside of God.
There's a very old saying that you can't con an honest man. Some people find that a little bit controversial because it happens all the time. The very honest people are taken advantage of because of their honesty. If you go to really important websites like Quora.com, where just random people from the internet debate these things, you can find a really interesting discussion.
Is it true that you can't con an honest man? That's a saying I heard and was thinking about it a little bit. Someone named Michael Norton, I have no idea who this person is, but he made a very good point. He says certainly honest people can be scammed, but honest people can't be conned. He says a scam is one thing. It's when you offer someone x in exchange for y, they pay the y. It's an honest business transaction, so it seems. Then you never give them X. You never give them what you bargained for, that's a scam, and certainly honest people can be taken advantage of that way.
Here’s what he writes, I have no idea who this person is, but it was a really helpful point for understanding the nature of a con, a con artist. He says, "A con is more subtle. You see a chance to get X and all you have to do to get x to put up a small amount of money. It's not a fair business transaction. You put up a little in order to get a lot." So you get $10 million from a Nigerian prince in exchange for just $500 in bank fees. How many of us have gotten that offer in our email spam folder? Or you have the opportunity to split a wallet that was discovered and there's $1000 in it, and you just have to pay $100 of earnest money rather than doing what you should have done and turning it into the police to get back to the rightful owner. Here's what he writes, "The power of a con is that it relies on the victim believing that he's the one taking advantage of the situation. Anyone can get scammed, but you need to be dishonest to be conned."
What Satan is doing here is offering a shortcut, a shady shortcut. He's saying, Jesus, I can give you this and all it's going to cost you is this. It's not a fair transaction. Jesus knows the price of redemption of his people, and it will cost the Lord of Glory nothing less than his life as he bleeds out on a cross. Satan is offering this shortcut, and Jesus sees right through it. He recognizes that if he goes this way, if he thinks that he can take control of this situation and find a shortcut around the cross to gain the goal of gaining all the kingdoms of the world, then he won't have won the victory. Even though he might have the kingdom of the world, he will still be under the authority of Satan, having offered his worship to the enemy of God. So Jesus absolutely refuses to do this, he's horrified by this opportunity.
So Satan is cast away. We read in verse 11, "then the devil left him." Last time we talked about this passage, we talked about the fact that Jesus isn't just dodging a bullet that might reoccur at any point. Jesus is accomplishing something real here. By resisting temptation, succeeding where Adam and Eve had failed, Jesus is binding and casting away Satan so that he can continue forward with this phase of his public ministry.
Jesus talks later about if you want to plunder someone's house, you have to first bind the strong man. That's what Jesus is doing here. Jesus is not coming as a thief, he is coming as the liberator who is coming to free captives from the filth of their dungeon of sin under the captivity of Satan, who now offers Jesus all the kingdoms of the world in exchange for worship. Your goal in exchange for your soul. Jesus resists this, and by this, he binds Satan.
Now, the very next thing we are going to read about is that the doors have been opened. The barriers have been removed and our Lord, the conquering king, is going to move forward in the public ministry rescuing captives, as he goes all the way to the cross to purchase their final redemption. Here we read that after Jesus succeeds, after the devil leaves him, angels come and were ministering to him.
Well, we've spent time studying the master strokes of this masterwork, where our master teaches us apprentices, us disciples, us about how to resist the temptations of Devil. What do we do with this then? Well, the application is this trust God's promises of good for you in Christ, through the Holy Spirit. Trust God's promises and even his power of good for you in Christ through the Holy Spirit. Remember all of these temptations dealt with good. Is God good? How do you know God is good? Is there any good outside of God? Ultimately, all of us are looking for what is good.
The Puritan John Owen writing in the 17th century in his book Indwelling Sin, really articulates this well. He says that "Our will (the faculty of our soul that makes choices) never chooses to do anything except what has an appearance of good, some present good. We will never do something that we think to be evil or wrong, we will only do what we think to be good. However, we can be very deceived about what we believe to be good, what we believe to be evil."
We're always seeking, we're always searching, we're always choosing for good, what we think to be good. This has been true from the beginning. From the very beginning, the test revolved around whether Adam and Eve would obey God and what God had said to be good, or whether they would take matters into their own hands. Whether they would seek a good apart from God, trying to be like God by eating from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. I want to discern good and evil for myself. I don't want God. That was their attitude. That's where they failed.
Ever since the beginning, the insidious, relentless, persistent suggestion of Satan has been this. Go ahead, find what's good for you. Seek good apart from God. If God doesn't meet your needs, go meet them another way. Even if it requires transgressing God's boundaries and God's law, find your own good. Make your own truth. Take a shortcut. If you need something, take it. If you lack confidence about God, test him. If God leads you through sacrifice and suffering, find that shady way around it.
We need to learn with our mind, and we need to feel from our desires and affections that God alone is good. This is why the word of God is so important and this is why Jesus never fails to cite the word of God because it lays bare the goodness of God in front of our eyes. It shows us God's character. Where we always see God lavishing upon his people far more abundantly good than they could ask or think. We see God's reliability actually in our call to worship this morning. We had Psalm 34:8 to remind us that we must taste and see that the Lord is good.
To test whether God is good is very different thing than to taste and see that he is good. One arises from skepticism. I don't know if I can really trust him. Let me put him to the test. Let me susus this out on my own. The other arises from a sense of childlike wonder. God, I know that you are so good. I want to taste the goodness that you have promised to me. Taste and see that God is good. Don't put him to the test.
Now, sometimes this is this is described as a blind leap of faith into the utterly unknown. I'm sure it'll be good. I promise you to be good, but you have to just jump into the unknown and not know where it's going to lead you. Now it's true, we don't know where the Lord will lead us. We don't know the winding path of the course that our lives will take under the leading of the Holy Spirit, just like Jesus here.
What God does assure us is that the end point, we may not know the path that we will take, but we know where this will end. God has given us a guarantee, a confirmation of his goodness in Jesus Christ. If you doubt that your Lord is leading you in paths of goodness, remember, the same God did not spare his only Son, but gave him up for us all. If you are suspicious of his power, remember that he raised Christ Jesus from the dead. What test could you design that would be greater than what God proved through that? If you suspect that you can find a better deal elsewhere, remember King Jesus is coming again. When he comes again on the clouds and every eye will see him, he comes to judge the living and the dead. There is no good outside of him. Trust God's promises of good for you in Christ through the power of the Holy Spirit.
Jesus is here setting for us a pattern of how to walk by faith rather than by sight. It's to live according to the settled assurance that God's word is true. Satan is going to try a thousand ways to move us from that confidence, to move us away from that assurance. But Christ shows us, look to him alone. Remind yourself, strengthen yourself, bolster yourself in the truth that Christ has died, Christ has risen and Christ will come again. Trust in God's goodness toward you in Christ.
To bring this full circle, I want to remind you, Jesus is accomplishing two things here. First of all is he is cleaning up our mess. He is accomplishing something for us that we could never accomplish for ourselves. He is the perfectly obedient son who is winning salvation, not so that we could follow in his footsteps and win the same salvation from him in the way that he has done it, but so that we might receive it from him as a gift by faith. Jesus is the single champion going out to battle on our behalf, and we need do nothing but to be silent and to look to him and be saved. That's the way our salvation comes.
Jesus is also setting a pattern for his people. To show us what it looks like to follow the Lord in faith and in obedience. We are called to trust in Christ alone for our salvation. To be counted righteous to the righteousness that he gives us, that he earned as our Lord Jesus did everything to fulfill all righteousness necessary in his life. Then he calls us to follow after him to grow in the holiness, without which no one will see the Lord. Our master takes us as his apprentices, as his disciples, to teach us to obey everything that he has commanded him. Not so that by that, we may be saved. It's the fruit of what he's accomplished for our salvation.
Look to Christ and be saved even this morning, oh sinner, look to Jesus Christ, turn from your sin and look to him and be saved. Then follow in his footsteps as you grow to learn to love the Lord, to trust in his goodness and to follow him in the obedience of faith.
Let's pray. Heavenly Father, I pray that you would teach us to love Jesus Christ. I pray that you would lead us to walk with him all the days of our lives. Father to receive his righteousness and to follow him as he works in us holiness. Father, we pray that we would do all of this, looking at Christ in faith and receiving his righteousness and following him in the footsteps of faith, all for the glory of Christ. All for our good that we have in Jesus Christ, that we might more and more taste and see that our savior is truly good. In his name we pray. Amen.