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Spurgeon on Prayer

“The act of prayer teaches us our unworthiness, which is a very salutary lesson for such proud beings as we are. If God gave us favors without constraining us to pray for them we should never know how poor we are, but a true prayer is an inventory of wants, a catalog of necessities, a revelation of hidden poverty. While it is an application to divine wealth, it is a confession of human emptiness. The most healthy state of a Christian is to be always empty in self and constantly depending upon the Lord for supplies; to be always poor in self and rich in Jesus; weak as water personally, but mighty through God to do great exploits; and hence the use of prayer, because, while it adores God, it lays the creature where it should be, in the very dust…Prayer girds human weakness with divine strength, turns human folly into heavenly wisdom, and gives to troubled mortals the peace of God.”

Charles H. Spurgeon, Morning and Evening: Daily Readings, Complete and unabridged; New modern edition. (Peabody, MA: Hendrickson Publishers, 2006).

 
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Posted by on October 11, 2015 in Quotes

 

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Sermon 1 “The Value of Learning from the Past” Romans 15:1-5

Sermon 1 “The Value of Learning from the Past”

Ill: Picture a young boy sitting in a classroom at the beginning of his education career. The teacher introduces the alphabet and numbers. The boy looks puzzled why am I learning about letters and numbers what practical purpose does this serve in my education. Why does he do this? He has no experience in life. He has no idea that the foundation for his ability to read, learn, and work hard is founded in those foundational things.

Text: Romans 15:1-5

Purpose: Paul wants the church at Rome to be patient and self-sacrificing toward their brothers, therefore He reminds them of the importance of learning from history, specifically the example of Christ, so that they we respond in a Christ honoring way.

Proposition: God wants you to walk in holiness by learning from the past.

Question 1: Why is history important?

  • History is about God.
    • Genesis 1:1
    • Colossians 1:16
  • History reveals God character and ways.
    • Genesis 50:20
    • Acts 17:24-28
    • Romans 11: 25-36
  • History reveals man’s character and ways.
    • Psalm 78:3-8

Ill: Our greatest pursuit in life is knowing God, and in that pursuit we will have a greater capacity to understand ourselves. A fear of God and knowledge of God is the starting point for all true wisdom.

Question 2: How does learning from history challenge us?

  • It gives us real life illustrations of God’s mighty working.
  • It shapes our ability to see with our eyes what the Bible states in other places.
  • It shows us living examples of ourselves. (It is often very difficult for us to see our own weaknesses or the results of sinful practices, but studying history helps us to see these things.

(Ill) Any single person can try to teach a married person how to have a good marriage, but practically, whether they realize it or not they have very little knowledge to draw from.

Question 3: What is the main purpose of studying history? Romans 15:4

  • Learning: Perspective, warning, direction
  • Patience: Life processes take time
  • Comfort: Life is full of challenges
  • Hope: There is a sure reward for faithfulness to all those who are in Christ.

1 Corinthians 10:6, 12-13

  • Holiness: You will not walk in holiness unless you take head to and pay attention to the history we find in the Bible.
  • Warning against pride: You will think to highly of yourself and puff yourself up with pride, unless you are constantly receiving instruction from Biblical history.
  • Perseverance: You will struggle to faithfully persevere in the Christian life without these great lessons from Biblical history.

Question 4: What will we be doing in the weeks and months to follow?

  • Saul: A humble man from a humble family becomes the king of Israel, a mighty warrior
  • David: A simple shepherd, the youngest of His father’s sons, becomes a mighty soldier, psalmist, king, and prophet.
  • We will see their strengths, weakness, opportunities, failures, responses to their sin, and God’s grace and justice. My prayer is that through these studies, our hearts will be drawn to the truth and stirred up to walk in holiness. I pray that we will learn, to become more patient, be comforted in times of testing, and strengthened to trust God steadfastly! May He be glorifies in our lives!

Conclusion: Do you want to be a godly person who walks in holiness and in the fear of the LORD? Then you must be a student of history!

  • Do you want Biblical wisdom?
  • Do you want to be more patient
  • Do you want encouragement in difficulty and comfort in sorrow?
  • Do you want to be holy?
  • Do you want to be humble?
  • Do you want to persevere?
 
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Posted by on September 21, 2015 in Uncategorized

 

How Can We Have Victory Over Sin? Radio Program Romans 6:6-14

Brother Eric: What is the key to holy living?

6:6 Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin.

  • Conversion: These truths can only be applied by believers.
  • Biblical thinking: We cannot properly live in light of truths we do not know and understand.
  • Personal responsibility: We need to respond to these truths with action. Knowing what is right is not enough

Brother Victor: What happened to us when we were converted?

  • 6:6 Our old man was crucified with Him.
  • 6:7 We were freed from sin.
  • 6:9 Death no longer has dominion over us.
  • 6:10 We have been made alive unto Christ.
  • 6:14 We are put under grace.

Mr. Biney: What is our old man?

  • Our old man is not our body that sins or our flesh.
  • Our old man is the person that we were prior to our conversion.
    • A person that was born in Adam and under God’s wrath.
    • We know this, because he just spent Romans 5 demonstrating this truth.
    • A person who is powerless to live the Christian life and please God.

Romans 8:5-8  They that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit.  For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.  Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be. So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God.

  • The new man is the man that we are now after our conversion.

2 Corinthians 5:17 If any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.

Brother Eric: How has this death of the old man with Christ affected us?

6:7, 9 For he that is dead is freed from sin… Knowing that Christ being raised from the dead dieth no more; death hath no more dominion over him.

  • Sin’s authority over us has been broken.
  • Sin’s legal claim to us has been broken.
  • We have been freed to fulfill the purpose God created us to perform.

Brother Victor: What do we need to do to walk in victory?

  • Conversion: We need to receive God’s forgiveness through Christ.

6:6 Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him

6:8 Now if we be dead with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with him:

6:14  For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace.

  • Biblical thinking: We need to inform ourselves form the Bible what is true about our new identity in Christ.

6:6 Knowing this…

6:9 Knowing that…

6:11 Likewise reckon ye also yourselves…

  • Personal responsibility: We must take action based on what we know to be true about us in Christ.

6:12-13 Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof.   Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God.

Mr. Biney: What are we doing when we sin?

6:7-9 He that is dead is freed from sin…death hath no more dominion over him.

6:17-22  ye were the servants of sin, ye have yielded your members servants to uncleanness and to iniquity unto iniquity; ye were the servants of sin, But now being made free from sin, and become servants to God…

  • We are submitting to a master who is cruel and has no legitimate claim over us.

Mr. Biney: What are we doing when we walk in righteousness?

  • We are fulfilling the will of God and the purpose He created for us.

Colossians 1:16-17 By Christ were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him: and he is before all things, and by him all things consist.

Brother Eric: Where do lusts come from?

  • They come from within our own hearts?

James 1:14 Every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed.

Brother Victor: How is this truth significant?

  • We alone are responsible for our sin.
    • We cannot blame God for our sin.
    • We cannot blame Satan for our sin.
    • We cannot blame the person who tempted us when we sin.

Mr. Biney: Could you summarize this whole section?

A Christian is something before he does anything; and we have to be Christian before we can act as Christians…To be Christian, I say, is to possess a certain character and therefore to be a certain type of person. So often that is misinterpreted…we are Christians and our actions are the outcome of that. Going a step further, we can put it like this. We are not meant to control our Christianity; our Christianity is rather meant to control us…I am to be dominated by the truth because I have been made a Christian by the operation of the Holy Spirit within…All our activities, therefore, are the result of this new nature, this new disposition which we have received from God through the Holy Spirit.

  • Victory begins with our position in Christ.
  • Just because something is true about us, does not mean we will believe it or experience it as we should.
  • We have to study God’s word to know the truth about our position in Christ.
  • Knowing what is true is not enough.

Brother Eric: Why is this topic so important?

  • Many people think the way to become a Christian is to live like a Christian. This thinking is wrong and will ultimately lead to eternal destruction.
  • Many people think they can live like a Christian by their own power. This thinking is clearly wrong.
  • Many people think that the key to living the Christian life is an emotional experience. This clearly is not right.
  • Right living begins with converted, and then leads to knowing the truth, and living in light of the truth.
 

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How the Gospel Removes the Evil Ethnic Tensions We Find in Every Society: Ephesians 2:11-14

Ephesians 2:11-14

Two important Questions:

  • Why are the truths found in Ephesians 2 so transforming?
  • How should these transforming truths impact our thinking and living today?

Truth 1: It has always been God’s desire to save people from every people group.

  • God’s covenant with Abraham: Genesis 12:3 in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed.
  • God’s purpose for Israel: Isaiah 42:6-7 I the LORD have called thee in righteousness, and will hold thine hand, and will keep thee, and give thee for a covenant of the people, for a light of the Gentiles; To open the blind eyes, to bring out the prisoners from the prison, and them that sit in darkness out of the prison house.
  • God’s ministry through the Messiah: Isaiah 49:6 I will also give thee for a light to the Gentiles, that thou mayest be my salvation unto the end of the earth.
  • Simeon’s testimony: Luke 2:30-32 Mine eyes have seen thy salvation, which thou hast prepared before the face of all people; a light to lighten the Gentiles, and the glory of thy people Israel.

Truth 2: The Old Testament is full of examples of God’s grace toward the Gentiles.

  • Rahab: A pagan prostitute living in a condemned city whose life is spared, marries a Jew and later becomes a member of the line of the Messiah.
  • Ruth: A Moabite, idol worshipper who marries a faithless Jew who does leaving her a young widow, who later moves to Israel and in God’s gracious work is married
  • Ninevah: A wicked city known for its ruthless practices is spared by God when they repent at the preaching of God’s rebellious prophet Jonah.

Truth 3: Israel ignored God’s plan and proudly isolated themselves from their pagan Gentile neighbors.

  • The Samaritan woman: John 4:9 How is it that thou, being a Jew, askest drink of me, which am a woman of Samaria? for the Jews have no dealings with the Samaritans.
  • A Canaanite woman: Matthew 15:21-28 Then Jesus went thence, and departed into the coasts of Tyre and Sidon.  And, behold, a woman of Canaan came out of the same coasts, and cried unto him, saying, Have mercy on me, O Lord, thou Son of David; my daughter is grievously vexed with a devil.  But he answered her not a word. And his disciples came and besought him, saying, Send her away; for she crieth after us.
  • Gentiles at meals: Acts 10:28 Ye know how that it is an unlawful thing for a man that is a Jew to keep company, or come unto one of another nation; but God hath shewed me that I should not call any man common or unclean.
  • Paul’s response: Galatians 2:11-13 When Peter was come to Antioch, I withstood him to the face, because he was to be blamed.  For before that certain came from James, he did eat with the Gentiles: but when they were come, he withdrew and separated himself, fearing them which were of the circumcision.  And the other Jews dissembled likewise with him; insomuch that Barnabas also was carried away with their dissimulation.

Truth 4: The blessings of the Gospel put every believer on equal ground before God.

  • The gospel removes the classic societal distinctions: Galatians 3:26-29 Ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus…There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.  And if ye be Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.
  • God’s Kingdom has a beautiful diversity: Revelation 5:9-10 And they sung a new song, saying…thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation; And hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth.
    • We are blessed to have equal access to God!
    • We are blessed to be citizens together in His Kingdom!
    • We are blessed to be members together of God’s household!
    • We are blessed to be the building blocks together of His temple!
    • We are blessed to be joined together into one body in Christ!

So why does Paul pen these words: He wrote these words to people who were steeped in culturally acceptable yet serious and ungodly divisions, so that they would see that the gospel that has saved both Jew and Gentile removes the stigmas that separates these two bodies. This gospel makes both groups equal before God, members of the same body and family. We to must see that what cultures may accept, God may actually detest!

Applications: The gospel is the answer!

  • It removes the stigmas of cultural differences?
  • It removes the stigmas of racism?
  • It is the cure for gender superiority?
  • It removes the stigmas that separate rich and poor?
  • It makes every human equal before God no matter his education, status in society, or family background?
  • It makes enemies brothers?
  • It replaces hatred with genuine love?

1 John 4:19-21 We love him, because he first loved us.  If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen?  And this commandment have we from him, That he who loveth God love his brother also.

Final thought: Let’s live in the light of the gospel we have professed faith in!

 
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Posted by on June 25, 2015 in Church Issues

 

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Shall We Continue in Sin that Grace May Abound? Romans 6:1-7 Radio

Shall We Continue in Sin that Grace May Abound? Romans 6:1-7

Audience:

  • Does God expect Christians to live holy lives?
  • Is it possible for a Christian to live a sinless Christian life?
  • Is it possible for a Christian to struggle with sin and still be a genuine beleiver?

Eric: How would you describe salvation: a free gift or an earned reward?

Romans 3:24 We are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus.

Romans 5:15 The grace of God, and the gift by grace, which is by one man, Jesus Christ, hath abounded unto many.

Romans 5:16 The free gift is of many offences unto justification.

Romans 5:17 They which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ.

Ephesians 2:8-9 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: not of works, lest any man should boast.

  • We are saved freely by grace alone, not because of some work that we do for God, either in order to get saved or to stay saved! This means that eternal life is completely a free gift.

Victor: If salvation is a free gift, then why should I live a holy life?

Romans 6:3-4 Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death?  Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.

  • The word baptized means placed into…signifying a new relationship or identification with Christ that we did not previously have.
  • He then says that we have been placed into Christ, by the Spirit: 1 Corinthians 12:13 For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit.
  • Those who have been placed into/baptized into Christ by the Spirit are called/expected to walk in newness of life.

2 Corinthians 5:17 Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.

  • We should walk as new creatures because we are now identified with Christ and members of a new family.

Mr. Biney: Does living a holy life matter?

Romans 6:6-7 Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin. For he that is dead is freed from sin.

  • Yes, living a holy life is important, because this is one of the main reasons that God saved us.
  • Before our conversion, we are slaves to sin, and under its rule and authority. Christ saved us by His death so that the body of sin might be destroyed and that we should no longer serve sin as a slave to a cruel master.
  • Serving sin is like serving a cruel master who is killing you, and who has no right to demand your allegiance and obedience.

Romans 8:2-5 For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death.  For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh: That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.  For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit.

  • God saved us in part so that the righteous requirements of the law would be revealed in us. He wants us to obey His laws, and He enables us to do His will through the new birth. He does not do this to add to our salvation. It is part of what He does in us when He saves us.
  • Many people incorrectly think that faith + works = Eternal Life. This is not what the Bible teaches. Instead, the Bible teaches that Faith Alone in Christ Alone = Eternal Life which will be evidenced by a changed life. Bible salvation is free, but does not leave you as you were before your conversion. It radically changes you.
  • Living a holy life is one of the evidences that follow a genuine trust in Christ for eternal life.

Eric: Is it possible to live a holy life?

  • Yes, but not sinless perfection.

Romans 6:4-6 Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.  For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection: Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin.

  • We have been planted in the likeness of His death.
  • With this death of the old man, we have been freed from our slave master sin: This means that we no longer have to serve sin.
  • We have been raised in the likeness of His resurrection.

Victor: How is it possible?

  • We have been planted in the likeness of His death: This means that the old man has been put to death.
  • With this death of the old man, we have been freed from our slave master sin: This means that we no longer have to serve sin. We have a new master Christ.
  • We have been raised in the likeness of His resurrection: This means that we are a new creature, whose will once was in bondage to sin, but has now been freed to obey God purely from the heart.

Mr. Biney: Do all believers live holy lives?

  • All believers will have some evidence that they are in Christ, but no believer will live in sinless perfection.

Romans 6:4-6 We also should walk in newness of life…we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection…henceforth we should not serve sin.

  • The future: We will be in the likeness of His resurrection
  • The present: We should walk in newness of life and should not serve sin.
  • The future: A promise of sinless perfection.
  • The present: A command to walk in obedience.
  • The future: Glorification: God is going to deliver us from sin completely, where we will have a glorified body that cannot sin, will not be tempted, and will never again experience the affects of the fall.
  • The present: Sanctification: We are going through a daily process of becoming more and more likely Christ. This process is never complete until we die and stand complete before the Lord in our eternal glorified body.

1 John 1:6-2:3; 12-13 If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth: But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin. If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.  If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.  If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.  My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous: And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments…I write unto you, little children, because your sins are forgiven you for his name’s sake. I write unto you, fathers, because ye have known him that is from the beginning. I write unto you, young men, because ye have overcome the wicked one.

  • Notice the content of this letter and its parallel teaching to Romans 6: we sin, though we should not.  There is a cleansing available to all believers so that fellowship with God can be restored whenever it is lost. This is a relational forgiveness not a legal forgiveness. There are certain evidences that accompany genuine faith. Though no believer walks in sinless perfection, his way of life has a character that is distinct and in opposition to his former way of life in the world. The believer is called an overcomer whose sins are already forgiven, because his complete salvation is secure, based upon the promise and power of God, not in his imperfect performance as a Christian.

Eric: Doesn’t God get more glory as a gracious God the more I sin?

Romans 6:1-2 What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound?  God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein?

  • Paul anticipated this question, but in his mind it was a foolish question. Rather than answering the question yes or no, he presents a series of reasons why every believer should walk in holiness.

Victor: So what is the point of salvation?

  • Our salvation is multi-dimensional to the intent that God will be glorified and adored.
    • We are justified: God declares us righteous, based upon the righteousness of Christ imputed to us freely, meaning we are viewed by God as righteous and free from any legal guilt.
    • We are saved: God saved us from the wrath we justly deserve now and forever. He saved us from the bondage of our fallen wills, freeing us to walk in holiness, and He delivers us from the corruption of sin, death, and the grave. All that was lost in the fall will be restored, and we will enjoy Him eternally in His Kingdom ruling and reigning with Him forever.
    • We are adopted: God legally makes us His child and ultimately we will be joint heirs with Christ and members of His household.
    • We are called saints: He not only declares us righteous, but through a lifelong process of sanctification, He personally shapes our characters and wills into the image of His Son.
    • We are called overcomers: We must enter the Kingdom after a life of suffering and perseverance. When we enter His Kingdom, He will welcome us as those who have overcome and will enter into the joy of the Lord.
    • We are redeemed: He has purchased us to be His holy bride forever.

Mr. Biney: How would you challenge our listeners?

Hebrews 2:3 How shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation; which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed unto us by them that heard him?

  • Do not neglect to respond to the gospel!
  • Trust in Christ, turning from your self-righteousness and pride to be saved by the gift of His righteousness, through His sacrificial death on the cross and triumph over death in the resurrection!
  • Live out the obvious implications of your position in Christ!
  • Rejoice in what God has accomplished so that you could be redeemed.

 

 

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The Significance of the Resurrection: John 16:16-22

Occasion Sunday Worship 5th April 2015

Illustration: Every child comes into this world with tremendous pain and suffering to the mother. There are no exceptions. Those nine months leading up to delivery are often very difficult for the mother. At the end of her time, the baby comes with many birth pains, but the end result of the pain is unspeakable joy. When the mother holds her new healthy baby in her arms, she quickly forgets the pains she felt that brought that little one into the world.

Text: John 16:16-22

Purpose: In the events leading up to the cross, Christ wanted to prepare the disciples for the things they would experience; therefore, He made the following statements about His coming death and resurrection.

Proposition: God wants you to understand the significance of the crucifixion and resurrection.

Interrogative: How can we do this?

Truth 1: The cross brought confusion and sadness to the disciples: 16:20 …ye shall weep and lament…

Picture the setting of these events and the way the people living these events would have responded:

  • The disciples were devout Jews who were looking for the Messiah: John 1:47 Jesus saw Nathanael: Behold an Israelite indeed, in whom is no guile!
  • The disciples had given up nearly everything to follow Christ: Matthew 19:27 Peter said, we have forsaken all, and followed thee…
  • The disciples lived under harsh Roman occupation and anticipated a physical delivered: Luke 2:1-3 There went out a decree from Caesar Augustus, that all the world should be taxed…And all went to be taxed, every one into his own city.
  • The disciples had listened to Christ’s preaching and seen His miracles, so they were convinced that He was the Messiah: Matthew 16:16 Simon Peter said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.
  • The disciples had a misunderstanding of the nature of Christ’s ministry: Matthew 16:21-22 Jesus began to show his disciples, how he must go unto Jerusalem, and suffer many things of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised again the third day.  Then Peter took him, and began to rebuke him, saying, be it far from thee, Lord: this shall not be unto thee.
  • The cross, to them, likely meant the end of everything they thought would happen, the end of their dreams of a Jewish Kingdom, and now their own lives are in danger: John 20:19 Then the same day at evening, the doors were shut where the disciples were assembled for fear of the Jews.

Truth 2: The cross brought joy to those who hated Christ: 16:20 …but the world shall rejoice…

  • The religious leaders saw Christ as a threat to their comfortable position. John 11:47-50 Then gathered the chief priests and the Pharisees a council, and said, What do we? for this man doeth many miracles.  If we let him thus alone, all men will believe on him: and the Romans shall come and take away both our place and nation.  And one of them, named Caiaphas, being the high priest that same year, said…it is expedient for us, that one man should die for the people, and that the whole nation perish not.
  • The religious leaders saw Christ’s message as radical and abrasive.
  • Christ bluntly and harshly rebuked the religious leaders: Matthew 23:27-34 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye are like unto whited sepulchres, which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead men’s bones, and of all uncleanness. Even so ye also outwardly appear righteous unto men, but within ye are full of hypocrisy and iniquity.  Ye serpents, ye generation of vipers, how can ye escape the damnation of hell?  Wherefore, behold, I send unto you prophets, and wise men, and scribes: and some of them ye shall kill and crucify; and some of them shall ye scourge in your synagogues, and persecute them from city to city:
  • They wanted nothing more than to get rid of Christ, and to make a public example of Him in His death, so His followers would fear and disappear.
  • When Christ died, the religious leaders mocked Him and rejoiced in His death:  Mark 15:29-32 And they that passed by railed on him, wagging their heads, and saying, Ah, thou that destroyest the temple, and buildest it in three days, Save thyself, and come down from the cross.  Likewise also the chief priests mocking said among themselves with the scribes, He saved others; himself he cannot save.

Truth 3: The resurrection brought joy to the disciples that could never be taken away: 16:20 but your sorrow shall be turned into joy…

1 Corinthians 15:21-23 By man came also the resurrection of the dead.  For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.  But every man in his own order: Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ’s at his coming.

  • The resurrection meant forgiveness of sins was now possible.
  • The resurrection now meant God would eventually establish His Kingdom through Israel and Christ.
  • The resurrection meant everything the disciples had forsaken to follow Christ had been worth the sacrifice.
  • The resurrection was the triumph of God over sin, death, and eternal destruction: 1 Corinthians 15:55-57 O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory? The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law.  But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

Application:

Why did Christ have to come?

  • Man sinned in Adam, and now all of the creation is under God’s curse: Galatians 3:10 For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse: for it is written, Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them.
  • We were born spiritually dead: Ephesians 2:1 You were dead in trespasses and sins.
  • We have sinned and are building up God’s wrath which will be revealed and poured out on us for all eternity in the Lake of Fire: Romans 2:5 After thy hardness and impenitent heart treasurest up unto thyself wrath against the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God.
  • God determined even before the foundation of the world, to send a redeemer: 1 Peter 1:18-20 Ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers;  But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot:  Who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you.

Why did the cross have to take place?

  • On the cross, Christ became a curse for us. Galatians 3:13 Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree.
  • On the cross, Christ took our sins on himself. 1 Peter 2:24 He bare our sins in his own body on the tree.
  • On the cross, Christ fully satisfied the Fathers wrath against our sin. Isaiah 53:11 He shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied.

Why did Christ have to rise from the dead?

  • When Christ rose from the dead, He demonstrated His power over sin, death, and the grave.
  • When Christ rose from the dead, He demonstrated His claims to be the Messiah were true.
  • When Christ rose from the dead, He fulfilled Old Testament prophecy regarding the Messiah
  • When He rose form the dead, He gave His own the guarantee, that they will rise form the dead in the same way that He rose form the dead.

How can blessings of the Gospel become mine? By faith alone! Titus 3:5; Ephesians 2:8-9

Illustration: The merciful actions I took to rescue a helpless chick from certain death in the gutter.

  • This faith involves repentance toward God: a thinking change that changes the way I view myself, this person Jesus of Nazareth, God’s righteousness, justice, holiness, and the seriousness of my sin.
  • Genuine repentance will leave you with an overwhelming sense of your helplessness and your complete inability to make yourself righteous before God.
  • Genuine repentance will leave you with only one saving hope, and that is Christ.
  • Genuine repentance will leave you believing that God is just, holy, and righteous, and that He cannot overlook even one of your sins.
  • Genuine repentance will leave you believing that the very best works you can give God are filthy rags; therefore, God can only accept a righteousness that is as perfect as His own.
  • Genuine repentance will point you to His finished work alone, and will leave with no other choice but to turn from all other hopes and place your full trust in the work of Christ not your own.
  • Saving faith rests in one object, Christ alone. No other object can be added to His finished work and perfect righteousness.
  • Have you repented of your self-righteousness and pride placing your faith alone in Christ’s finished work and righteousness? May God through the preaching of the gospel, turn your heart to Him! May we see many people today; place their faith in Jesus Christ our crucified and risen savior!

Conclusion: For those who have trusted in Christ, let us worship God with great joy for His wonderful plan of redemption. For those who have not yet placed their faith in the finished work of Christ, I pray that today will be your day of salvation. I pray that today, you will place your faith in the finished work of Christ!

 

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The Importance of Humility in the Local Church: 1 Peter 5:5-7

Occasion Sunday Worship 29th March 2015

Illustration: Jonah teaches us that you cannot fight against God and win. And that even a true prophet of God can become so proud that he will refuse to take God’s message to those who need it. God can do and use anything He chooses to accomplish His sovereign purposes. He used and storm, a great fish, a tree, and a worm to reveal how He uses His creation to accomplish His purposes in the world.  We see from the life of Jonah, that fighting against God in pride and rebellion is futile. You cannot prevail.

Text: 1 Peter 5:5-7

Purpose: Since a properly ordered church is the best environment for young believers to grow, Peter commands the church to seek peace around truth through humble interaction.

Proposition: God wants you to be a humble Christian.

Interrogative: What truths will help you to be a humble Christian?

Truth 1: God resists the proud: 5:5 God resisteth the proud…

  • What is pride? Viewing yourself higher than you ought to think

Romans 12:3 I say to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think.

Illustration: Satan Isaiah 14:12-14 Thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will be like the most High.

    • Arrogant self-esteem: You really think you are something special.
    • Self-focused: Your own interests are your primary concern.
    • Self-promotion: You will do whatever it takes to get noticed and promoted.
    • Self-reliance: You trust and depend on no one but yourself.
    • Self-pleasing: Your own desires are your focus
    • Self-governing: You see your own mind as the final say on everything.
  • What does he mean by resists?

Illustration: Picture two brothers, where the older brother runs and hides behind the door to the house.  When the little brother pushes against the door, he cannot move it because he is being resisted by his older and stronger brother.  This is how many people live before God.   

    • Literally, God will become your opponent, and will fight against you.

Psalm 89:6-9 Who in the heaven can be compared unto the LORD? who among the sons of the mighty can be likened unto the LORD?  God is greatly to be feared in the assembly of the saints, and to be had in reverence of all them that are about him.  O LORD God of hosts, who is a strong LORD like unto thee? or to thy faithfulness round about thee?  Thou rulest the raging of the sea: when the waves thereof arise, thou stillest them.

Truth 2: God gives undeserved favor to the humble: 5:6 And giveth grace to the humble.

  • What is humility? Viewing yourself Biblically.

Illustration: How would the chairman of a certain department at UCC view a first year student correcting him incorrectly? A humble student would never dream of acting so proudly.

    • Your confidence is not in self, because you know what you are before God, but rather it is in God’s grace given to you in Christ.
    • Your focus is on God above everything else, and then to your fellow man.
    • You let God promote you, rather than seeking to promote yourself.
    • You are dependent upon God’s providential care, not upon your own strength, wisdom, and plans.
    • Your greatest desire is to glorify and please God not self.
    • You bring yourself under God’s rule, and everything you do is filtered by a fear of the Lord.
  • In what ways does God favor the humble?
    • Salvation: You cannot be converted without the humility that accompanies genuine repentance.
    • Promotion: God lifts up those who do not lift themselves up.
    • Protection: God defends those who do not defend themselves.
    • Fellowship: God communes with and reveals Himself to those who are humble.

Application: Five biblical responses to this text

  • Show proper honor to those who are older than you in the Lord: 5:5 Ye younger, submit yourselves unto the elder…
  • Hold your opinions gently: 5:5 All of you be subject one to another…

Illustration: It seems that every family has at least on controversial member, that one uncle who always has to have the final word. When his mind is made up, you might as well close the meeting, because no other view will move him. Is this the way a Christian should behave in the church?

    • Never compromise on truth.
    • Be quick to compromise on personal opinion for the sake of unity in the body.
  • Have a humble interaction with other members of the body: 5:5 Be clothed with humility…

Illustration: When a visitor comes into the church and sits in your chair, the chair you have sat in week after week since the first day you came to the church, what thoughts come into your mind? Are you irritated and offended? Do you think things like: Who does this person think that they are?

    • How do you speak to other Christians?
    • How do you speak about other Christians?
    • How do you relate to other Christians?
  • Humbly let God exalt you: 5:6 Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time…

Illustration: The scriptures are full of men and women, who were humble and came from lowly places, but God chose and used in remarkable ways for His own glory.

  • Give your anxiety to God: 5:7 Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you…

Illustration: Do you ever lie down on your pillow at night with your mind racing and overwhelmed with worry and fear. Your life seems out of control and you do not know what to do. Is this the way a Christian should live his life? Does this kind of thinking please God?

    • Worry is rooted in two serious sins:
      • Distrust of God: God is not able or God is not good
      • Pride: I must be in control of my circumstances

Conclusion: Let us take a moment to reflect on what we are before God: we are morally bankrupt, without any hope of salvation apart from God’s work for us. Every spiritual blessing that we have is ours by the work of Christ alone. Every good gift that we have is from God’s kind hand. How many times has He held back His anger from us, and showed us mercy. Let us see ourselves as God sees us, because then we will be able to walk before God and men as this passage commands us to walk!

 
 

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