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Thoughts on the Relationship Between Theology and Our Love for God and One Another

“Our love isn’t proportional to our forgiveness; it’s proportional to our understanding of forgiveness. If someone has been forgiven by Christ’s supernatural sacrifice at the cross—and yet that person never explores the depths of his sin and the miracle of the atonement—his love will remain tepid. It is impossible to know too much about God and his love for us in Christ. If someone is into theology and not into loving others, the problem isn’t that he’s spent too much time learning about God; it’s that he never took to heart what he learned. In fact, 1 John warns he may not even be a believer at all. Supernatural community begins with sound theology. It is unapologetic about the sinfulness of sin. It is honest about God’s personal wrath in a personal hell—rather than making hell seem like a logical consequence of his justice that even he’s embarrassed by. It glories in the miracle of the atonement—how at the cross something so horrific could achieve something so beautiful. And in keeping with Christ’s resurrection from the dead, it expects transformed lives as a result.”

Mark Dever and Jamie Dunlop, The Compelling Community: Where God’s Power Makes a Church Attractive (Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 2015).

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Porcher Update January 2016

Missions Update Template

 

Israel Demands a King: 1 Samuel 8:1-9

Sunday Worship 1 Samuel Series

Text: 1 Samuel 8:1-9

Purpose: God moved the writer of 1 Samuel to pen these words as a constant reminder to Israel and to us that rebellion always leads to pain and strained fellowship with God.

Proposition: God wants you to be careful what you demand from Him, because He knows what is best for you.

Interrogative: What truths will motivate us to be very careful about what we demand from God?

Scene 1: God’s will for Israel: Exodus 19:3-6

  • Israel received grace. They were God’s chosen people.
    • Scripture through them
    • Covenants to them
    • Promises for them
    • Law to and for them
    • God’s glory in their midst
    • Redemption through the Messiah.

1 Samuel 8:7

  • Israel’s laws were established by God, and He alone was to be their king. We call this a theocracy.

Scene 2: Israel’s chaotic condition: Judges 17:6

  • Idolatry
  • Immorality
  • Violence
  • Injustice
  • Polygamy
  • Erratic behavior
  • Intermarriage with idolaters
  • Selfishness
  • Famines and oppression from their neighbors

Scene 3: Israel’s selfish demand to God: 1 Samuel 8:1-9

Scene 4: God’s response: 1 Samuel 8:7

  • Their heart is not with me, so give them what they want.
  • I will not fight them, but I will warn them of the seriousness of their decision, and the consequences that will follow.
  • God wanted to warn the people, leaving them and all generations to follow a testimony of the damaging consequences of following your own heart rather than God’s revealed will.

 Scene 5: Their difficult consequences: 1 Samuel 8:10-22

  • He will abuses his authority
  • He will take your things
  • He will use you for his own benefit
  • You will have constant conflict with your neighbors
  • A broken fellowship with God.

Psalm 106:12-15

Practical lessons:

  • God’s ways do not always seem the best, but they are.
  • The world’s way is the common way.
  • God’s ways are for our own good.
  • We are prone to demand things without any idea of the consequences.
  • God’s people are to be distinct from their unconverted neighbors.
  • We are to be governed by God and His laws, not by the will of men who rule selfishly.
  • You can pick you sin, but not your consequence.
  • You always reap to a greater degree than you have sowed.
  • God does not walk in fellowship with those who demand their own way.

Conclusion:

  • Will you take the time to think about your own walk before the Lord?
  • Have you chosen a path that is like these people, one that is common, but will lead to pain and suffering?
  • Are you compromising and looking for something that may in the end hurt you?
  • Be careful what you ask for, because if you ask enough, God may give it to you to your downfall.
 
 

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Spurgeon on Meditation and Scripture

“There are times when solitude is better than society, and silence is wiser than speech. We should be better Christians if we were more alone, waiting upon God, and gathering through meditation on his Word spiritual strength for labour in his service. We ought to muse upon the things of God, because we thus get the real nutriment out of them…Our bodies are not supported by merely taking food into the mouth, but the process which really supplies the muscle, and the nerve, and the sinew, and the bone, is the process of digestion. It is by digestion that the outward food becomes assimilated with the inner life. Our souls are not nourished merely by listening awhile to this, and then to that, and then to the other part of divine truth. Hearing, reading, marking, and learning, all require inwardly digesting to complete their usefulness, and the inward digesting of the truth lies for the most part in meditating upon it. Why is it that some Christians, although they hear many sermons, make but slow advances in the divine life? Because they neglect their closets, and do not thoughtfully meditate on God’s Word. They love the wheat, but they do not grind it; they would have the corn, but they will not go forth into the fields to gather it; the fruit hangs upon the tree, but they will not pluck it; the water flows at their feet, but they will not stoop to drink it.”

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 12, 2015 in Quotes

 

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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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