Men's Workout #8 - June 24th


We began this week’s workout with a midterm oral quiz through Matthew chapter 5. Each of the men took turns reciting as much of chapter 5 as they could remember in sequence. For example, one brother started the quiz by reciting the Beatitudes, and then the next person would recite as much as they could remember, and then the next person would pick up the baton and carry on as much as he could, and so on. Although there were a few stumbles, we were able to successfully make our way to the end of Matthew 5 together!

We then entered into a discussion of Matthew 5:38-48.

  • “An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth”
    • Some might think that this means Christians ought never to go to court to settle certain matters. But the issue was never about never going to court. There definitely are some circumstances and matters that need to be settled in court (for example, defending the rights to freedom of religious gatherings & free speech).
    • The Scribes and Pharisees taught that restitution was just, but Jesus demanded the contrary – do not demand restitution. As Christians, we should be fine being wronged – if it is for the sake of making peace with others.
  • “Love your neighbor”
    • We know that Scripture says that we must “love your neighbor as yourself” – but this doesn’t mean that we should also hate our enemies!
    • The Pharisees taught that neighbors should be loved, but enemies should be hated. However, the Lord tells us the opposite; God wants us to be like Him and love everyone without discrimination. God fills the entire world with His goodness for everyone to benefit. He is gracious without distinction and bestows common grace to all men.
    • This teaching doesn’t trump the teaching of Paul to show priority to those of the household of faith (Galatians 6:10), but it also doesn’t mean that we can callously let unbelievers crash and burn.
    • Loving your neighbor is NOT about doing charitable work in lieu of sharing the message of repentance and salvation through Christ, nor is loving your neighbor only about meeting their physical needs. When we love our neighbor, we ought to love them wholly – we ought to meet physical needs AND spiritual needs.
  • “Therefore you are to be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect”
    • What does “perfect” mean?
      • The translation comes from the Greek word “telos”, which can be understood as “complete”, “mature”, or “fully developed”. Jesus is remarking that we ought to be mature rather than immature – for example, we ought to be like mature adults, rather than like immature children.
    • We are to be complete in our love for unbelievers in the same way that God shows His kindness and love for them. This is a call for Jesus’ followers to be complete and comprehensive in their love for everybody – not just toward the brethren or those who reciprocate love. We ought to be gracious to everybody, including unbelievers. As Christians, we must not exercise an “us vs. them” mentality.
      • God is not selective or exclusive, but generous toward everybody
    • If we take it to mean perfect holiness, then we arrive at some difficulties
      • If the word “perfect” were to be interpreted and understood as “flawless” or “without error”, it would mean that none of us could ever reach the absolute perfection and holiness of God, and we therefore would never be able to fulfill Jesus’ direction.
      • Also, some things that we must obey in order to be perfectly holy do not really apply to God. For example, if we are to be perfect, we must be free from lust, abstain from divorce & remarriage, etc. But none of these apply to God Himself. There are also authorized acts of God that we cannot perfectly emulate as finite, limited creatures. Therefore, it would be a stretch to consider Jesus’ command to be perfect as a call to emulate God’s nature and behavior exactly in order to meet God’s standard of righteousness.
    • The Scriptures still teach that God is holy and we fall short of His glory (Romans 3:23), but this verse in Matthew may not be the most appropriate to use in affirming this truth. We should exercise caution when applying this verse to mean all men are condemned if they cannot attain to the standard of perfect sinlessness in this life. However, we can use this verse to demonstrate to someone that they fall short of the perfect love of God that He has for everybody.


We spent the rest of our time practicing the development of propositions. Pastor Dan selected a chapter in the New Testament, and we spent a few minutes developing propositions independently. Afterward, we shared our propositions with the larger group.

Mark 2

  • Jesus has authority to forgive sins
  • Jesus rewards those who seek Him in faith
  • Jesus knows the thoughts of our hearts
  • Jesus is God and has equal authority to perform miracles and forgive sins
  • People follow Jesus and want to hear His every word
  • The healing of the paralytic was unique and something people had never seen before
  • Jesus is God
  • Jesus sees faith

1 Corinthians 1

  • No man can boast before God in and of himself alone
    • God used the unexpected things of the world to nullify the boasting of men before God
  • We are enriched in all things through Christ
  • Jesus will confirm us as blameless to the end
  • God is faithful
  • Christians should have no divisions amongst them; instead, they should be of the same mind and judgment
  • The word of the cross (the gospel) is the power of God for those who are being saved
  • The gospel equalizes all Christians
  • The wisdom of God is greater than the wisdom of man
  • Christians can boast in the Lord only
  • Paul encouraged unity among God’s people
    • How do we encourage unity?
      • Engage with one another
      • Celebrate diversity of viewpoints but have them rooted in Christ
      • Have intentional conversations with one another

Men's Workout #7 - June 17th

In today’s workout, we were joined by Pastor Dan’s friend from LA – Pastor Mike and Pastor Mike’s son, Micaiah. We dove straight into leading devotions, with the same structure of praise, reading of Scripture, propositional statements and application. During devotions, Pastor Dan also encouraged us to not always hunt for the main point of the passage, since that could be more difficult depending on the passage. However, there will always be obvious truths that we can reflect on.


James lead the first devotion.

  • Hymn 176 – Be Thou My Vision
  • Passage: 2 Timothy 1:1-12
  • Observed propositional statements and accompanying application / reflection:
    • Paul encourages Timothy to be a faithful minister. Timothy had a spirit of timidity, for men it can be a struggle. However, God didn’t give us a spirit of timidity, but of power, love and discipline. It is good for us to be that kind of men.
    • Gospel is worth suffering for. This occurred throughout church history. This is the reality for us, that we will suffer for the Gospel. We must be courageous and be willing to lay down our lives for His Word.

Ming led the second devotion.

  • Hymn 162 – Wonderful, Merciful Savior (note that we have replaced “embrace” with “obey” in the second verse)
  • Passage: 1 John 2:1-5
  • Observed propositional statements and accompanying application / reflection:
    • Encouragement to not sin, Jesus Christ is the Advocate who can plead our case to the Father. When we sin, we still have an Advocate.
  • We also covered the meaning of propitiation – appeasement of God’s wrath. This is what was achieved through Jesus’ work on the cross.
  • Additionally, we discussed the delineation of “not for ours only” and “the whole world.” God’s mercy in Christ is enough even for the whole world. There’s no one who can say, “I’ve sinned so much, I can’t be saved.”
  • Pastor Mike then asked us to walk through how we would explain this to kids. The group discussion as follows:
    • Definition of sin: God has a standard as defined in His commandments. Anything that goes against God’s commandments is sin.
    • Expectation of obedience: God expects us to not sin (disobey God’s commands).
    • Penalty for sin: When we sin, there are consequences of that sin – a penalty is required.
    • Substitution of penalty: Jesus Christ paid the penalty for sin on the cross. His sacrifice in our place is the only way to be saved from the penalty for our sin.
  • Pastor Dan also related a personal story – that kids will sometimes feel the weight of their sin, and as parents, we need to explain to them that Jesus sacrifice is big enough to cover their sins.

Nick led the third devotion.

  • Hymn 154 – Oh the Deep, Deep Love
  • Passage: Mark 1:1-20
  • Observed propositional statements and accompanying application / reflection:
    • Connection between repenting and the forgiveness of sins, repentance and belief going hand in hand. One cannot follow Christ until they leave something. These men aren’t just following Christ physically, but leaving a different master for Christ as the new master.
  • Pastor Dan encouraged us to look for obvious truths, as identifying the main point can be a real challenge (often requires an in depth study). For example, Jesus is greater than John is an obvious truth in the text. And we can then reflect on this by asking ourselves: Is Jesus greater than me? My boss? Someone I look up to in history and want to imitate?
  • Other observations:
    • Jesus is God’s beloved Son.
    • Repentance is tied to the forgiveness of sin.
    • John looked funny and ate funny food.
    • A lot of people went into the wilderness to listen to John.


We didn’t have time to recite last week’s passage, but we did walk through the crux of each of the antitheses of Matthew 5:

  • 5:21-26 Christians are peacemakers.
  • 5:27-30 Christians are pure.
  • 5:32-32 Christians don’t divorce.
  • 5:33-37 Christians speak truth. Main contention is speaking truth. Pharisees took oaths because their words couldn’t trusted.
  • 5:38-42 Christians don’t take vengeance or demand restitution. In the words of Paul, why not rather be defrauded, why not be wronged?