Wednesday, December 3, 2014

An Unfinished Work

Temple Baptist Church - 12-3-2014
1 John 3:2
 
 
Introduction:
 
A.  When Christ shall appear, we will be like Him!  What a day that will be!  No more wicked flesh to subdue, no more spiritual battles to fight, no more failures to face.
 
B.  Until that day, we can only strive to be like Him.  One of the problems that many people face is a lack of biblical understanding in the area of sanctification.  John, writing this in his last days, declared that he was still a work in progress.
 
1.  The believer needs to understand what sanctification is not: it is not the eradication of sinfulness in the flesh in this life.  The Apostle Paul was one of the greatest Christians named in the bible.  He wrote almost half of the books of the New Testament under the influence of the Holy Ghost.  He was a Spirit filled man of God who continued to fail God during his ministry.  Paul made the lack of eradication of the flesh perfectly clear in Romans.
 
Romans 7:14-25  For we know that the law is spiritual: but I am carnal, sold under sin.  (15)  For that which I do I allow not: for what I would, that do I not; but what I hate, that do I.  (16)  If then I do that which I would not, I consent unto the law that it is good.  (17)  Now then it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me.  (18)  For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not.  (19)  For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do.  (20)  Now if I do that I would not, it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me.  (21)  I find then a law, that, when I would do good, evil is present with me.  (22)  For I delight in the law of God after the inward man:  (23)  But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members.  (24)  O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death?  (25)  I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin.
 
2.  The believer needs to understand what sanctification is: sanctification can be biblically broken down into 3 different aspects which are clearly taught in out text verse:
 
a)  Positional Sanctification: the deliverance from the penalty of sin.  This takes place at the moment of salvation.  “Beloved, NOW are we the sons of God!”
 
b)  Practical Sanctification: the deliverance from the power of sin.  This is a work in progress.  “It doth not yet appear what we shall be!”
 
c)  Permanent Sanctification: the deliverance from the presence of sin.  This will be finally realized at either death or the rapture of the church.  “We shall be like him!”
C.  The world is too often correct with it indicts the believer for not acting like a Christian.  The believers were first called Christians by the unsaved at Antioch because they behaved like Christ.  The world expects us to be different and live a holy life when we profess Christ.
 
D.  The believer is too often harsh when judging other believers.  We expect God to be gentle and longsuffering with us while being critical of others when they do not live up to our expectations.
 
E.  It would do all of us good to memorize this verse for tonight as none of us have “arrived” and still fail in our flesh.  Paul said it well:
 
Philippians 3:12-13  Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect: but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus.  (13)  Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before,
 
F.  Now, let us take a look at Practical Sanctification. 
 
1.  Practical Sanctification is a gradual work.  2 Corinthians 3:18  But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.  (Not only is our outward change gradual, but it is also different in each individual.  There is no such thing as a certain rate of spiritual growth that is uniform.  Never judge another person’s salvation nor their spirituality because of what you see or do not see in their lives.)
 
2.  Practical Sanctification is a personal work.  Romans 14:12  So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God.  (I cannot change others any more than they can change me.  God has a personal relationship with each of His children just as we have a different relationship with each of our children.  Too many people change outwardly through peer pressure and the change will not last.  Let God lead you; let God change you and it will last.)
 
3.  Practical Sanctification is a spiritual work.  Ephesians 2:10  For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.  (Many times, when there is no outward visible change, there is an inward struggle.  The Spirit of God takes the Word of God to bring about true conviction of the heart of the believer.  As saved and still sinful believers, we often battle in the inward man.  Paul said, “When I would do good, evil is present with me.”)
 
4.  Practical Sanctification is a perpetual work.  Jeremiah 18:3-4  Then I went down to the potter's house, and, behold, he wrought a work on the wheels.  (4)  And the vessel that he made of clay was marred in the hand of the potter: so he made it again another vessel, as seemed good to the potter to make it.  (I thank the Lord that He does not throw the clay away!  The little song says that the Lord made the universe in just 6 days but He is still working on me.  Paul said that he had not yet apprehended and neither have I.  You and I are not always what we should be but we are certainly not what we will one day be.  When we see Him, the work will be over with and we will be like Him.)
 
1 John 3:2  Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.

Sunday, November 30, 2014

What Is A Reprobate?

Temple Baptist Church - 11-30-2014
Titus 1:15-16
 
 
Introduction:
 
A.  The verses that precede our text for tonight give a vivid description to the apostates and false teachers that continually permeated many local churches.  I use the term “false teachers” instead of “false prophets” because our problem in fundamental churches is more of a teaching problem.
 
1.  They permeate local churches because of willfully disobedient “pastors.”  I place the word “pastors” in parenthesis because they are not biblical pastors.  These men will not teach bible doctrine line upon line and precept upon precept for fear of losing their “jobs” and, therefore, their salaries!  A pastor’s first responsibility is to God and His Word, then to the flock.
 
1 Peter 5:2  Feed the flock of God which is among you, taking the oversight thereof, not by constraint, but willingly; not for filthy lucre, but of a ready mind;
 
Ezekiel 34:2  Son of man, prophesy against the shepherds of Israel, prophesy, and say unto them, Thus saith the Lord GOD unto the shepherds; Woe be to the shepherds of Israel that do feed themselves! should not the shepherds feed the flocks?
 
2.  They permeate local churches because of willfully disobedient church members.  They are much of the problem because they reject sound doctrine and heap to themselves teachers having itching ears.
 
2 Timothy 4:3-4  For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears;  (4)  And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.
 
Psalms 1:1-2  Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful.  (2)  But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night.
 
Jeremiah 5:30-31  A wonderful and horrible thing is committed in the land;  (31)  The prophets prophesy falsely, and the priests bear rule by their means; and my people love to have it so: and what will ye do in the end thereof?
 
B.  These last verses show the spiritual condition of the apostate or false teacher.  The Holy Ghost uses the word “reprobate.”  For the “Greek Scholars” who man critique this message, the Greek word is “ἀδόκιμος.”  The Greek word was accurately translated and means to be rejected or unapproved. 
 
1.  To the reprobate, nothing is pure!  They will attack God’s Word, God’s Son, the blood of Christ, the gospel, God’s local church, God’s people, and God’s men!  God’s people are just that, people, but there are some things that we hold dear; there are some things that we hold as sacred; there are some things that are off limits for debate!
 
2.  The conscience of the reprobate is defiled!  God gave to every man a conscience based upon the laws of God written inherently in the hearts of mankind.  Defiled means corrupted.
 
1 Timothy 4:1-2  Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils;  (2)  Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron;
 
3.  The profession of the reprobate is false!  These are not people who were once saved and are now lost.  These are false professors who have no salvation’s possession.
 
2 Peter 2:19-22  While they promise them liberty, they themselves are the servants of corruption: for of whom a man is overcome, of the same is he brought in bondage.  (20)  For if after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, they are again entangled therein, and overcome, the latter end is worse with them than the beginning.  (21)  For it had been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than, after they have known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered unto them.  (22)  But it is happened unto them according to the true proverb, The dog is turned to his own vomit again; and the sow that was washed to her wallowing in the mire.
 
Matthew 7:21-23  Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.  (22)  Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?  (23)  And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.
 
4.  The works of the reprobate are wicked and knowable!  God’s children have the Holy Ghost as well as the Word of God and should have no problem recognizing these false brethren.  Under the leadership of these men, does the church become godlier or worldlier?  They lead the local churches in the wrong direction: away from God and toward the world.
 
Matthew 7:15-18  Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.  (16)  Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?  (17)  Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit.  (18)  A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit.
 
5.  The reprobate is an abomination before the Lord!  The word “abomination” is a strong word that needs a little explanation.  It means abhorrence or morally disgusting.  I guess the best way to explain the word is found in Romans 1:
 
Romans 1:27-28  And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet.  (28)  And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient;
 
6.  The reprobate is eternally lost!
 
1 Corinthians 16:22  If any man love not the Lord Jesus Christ, let him be Anathema Maranatha.  (Anathema – accursed!  We also use the word “excommunicated” which means expelled and barred.  Maranatha - an exclamation of the approaching divine judgment.)

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Thanks Giving

Temple Baptist Church - 11-23-2014
1 Corinthians 16:1-2
 
 
Introduction:
 
A.  There are some misconceptions about these verses as some preacher use them as a “springboard” for preaching on tithing though that is not the interpretation.  These verses do have something to do with tithing though.
 
B.  These verses deal with giving as they pertain to the gathering of a love offering for the poor saints in Jerusalem. 
 
1.  Now the question may be asked, “Then what do they have to do with tithing?”  You cannot give until after you have tithed!  To place less than the tithe into the offering plate is to rob God according to Malachi 3:8. 
 
2.  Now, at this point, there those who will turn this message off because “there that preacher goes again: preaching on money!”  I guess I placed myself under conviction the other night when I asked the question: “Does anyone here remember the last time I preached on tithing or giving?”  No one could remember! 
 
3.  I thought on that I came to this conclusion: our adults know the blessing of tithing but, if not careful, our children are not taught the biblical precept because “Old Preacher” does not preach and teach on the subject.  They miss the blessing and earn the cursing. 
 
4.  Malachi 3:8  Will a man rob God? Yet ye have robbed me. But ye say, Wherein have we robbed thee? In tithes and offerings.  (Notice with me that robbing God is done both by not tithing and not giving!)
 
C.  I thought on it and got this message together for Thanksgiving: Thanks Giving!  Something to be thankful for.  Too many begrudge the tithes and offering through ignorance: either by not being taught or through willfulness.
 
D.  The “Thanks Giving” is found in the words “As God hath prospered!”  God has certainly prospered us, has He not?  How can we be anything other than thankful?
1.  Thanks Giving begins with realization!  2 Peter 1:3  According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue:  (Everything came from the Lord and it is His.  It is God who prospers us, not we ourselves.)
 
2.  Thanks Giving begins with gratitude!  1 Chronicles 16:29  Give unto the LORD the glory due unto his name: bring an offering, and come before him: worship the LORD in the beauty of holiness.  (Many believers are tithers but givers are a special people.  They are grateful for the bounty God has bestowed upon them and have a desire to give above the tithe.)
 
3.  Thanks Giving is done in humility! Mark 12:41-44  And Jesus sat over against the treasury, and beheld how the people cast money into the treasury: and many that were rich cast in much.  (42)  And there came a certain poor widow, and she threw in two mites, which make a farthing.  (43)  And he called unto him his disciples, and saith unto them, Verily I say unto you, That this poor widow hath cast more in, than all they which have cast into the treasury:  (44)  For all they did cast in of their abundance; but she of her want did cast in all that she had, even all her living.
 
Romans 12:8  Or he that exhorteth, on exhortation: he that giveth, let him do it with simplicity; he that ruleth, with diligence; he that sheweth mercy, with cheerfulness.
 
4.  Thanks Giving is done in faith!  2 Corinthians 8:1-5  Moreover, brethren, we do you to wit of the grace of God bestowed on the churches of Macedonia;  (2)  How that in a great trial of affliction the abundance of their joy and their deep poverty abounded unto the riches of their liberality.  (3)  For to their power, I bear record, yea, and beyond their power they were willing of themselves;  (4)  Praying us with much intreaty that we would receive the gift, and take upon us the fellowship of the ministering to the saints.  (5)  And this they did, not as we hoped, but first gave their own selves to the Lord, and unto us by the will of God.  (It is not that we give in order to get; we give without expecting anything in turn.)
 
5.  Thanks Giving is done with joy!  2 Corinthians 9:6-8  But this I say, He which soweth sparingly shall reap also sparingly; and he which soweth bountifully shall reap also bountifully.  (7)  Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver.  (8)  And God is able to make all grace abound toward you; that ye, always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work:  (Thanks givers love to give!  It excites them to make out their tithe and faith promise checks.  It is not that they owe a bill; it is not that God requires it; it is because they are temporally grateful for His many blessings!)

The Enemy From Within

Temple Baptist Church - 11-23-2014
Titus 1:9-16
 
 
Introduction:
 
A.  I just finished several weeks explaining why Titus was to ordain elders in every church.
 
1.  To preach the unsearchable riches of God’s Word.
2.  To maintain order and priority  within the local church.
3.  To set a godly example that should be followed and pointed others to Christ.
4.  To take the oversight of the local church and guard against apostates and heresy.
 
B.  In verses 6-16, the bible sets forth their satanic purpose and work. 
 
1.  The local church stays under constant attack from within.  I have often said and will continue to say that the greatest enemy of the local church sits upon its pews.  Satan cannot take our salvation but he can destroy our godly testimony and, therefore, render us useless.
 
2.  The attack upon the local church is satanic.  Dr. Harold Sightler once said that it was a “planned attack” and a “manned attack.”  Satan uses people and they have to be accepted to a great degree by churches in order to be effective.
 
C.  Let us look at these verses for a few minutes tonight.
 
1.  Their Destruction – vs. 9-10  When not recognized, marked, and avoided, they can have a devastating effect upon the church.
 
a.  Gainsayers – Jude 11  Woe unto them! for they have gone in the way of Cain, and ran greedily after the error of Balaam for reward, and perished in the gainsaying of Core.  (To speak against, dispute, or to contradict.) 
 
b.  Unruly – 2 Peter 2:1-2  But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction.  (2)  And many shall follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of.  (Disobedience not put under or insubordination.) 
 
c.  Vain Talkers – 1 Timothy 1:5-6  Now the end of the commandment is charity out of a pure heart, and of a good conscience, and of faith unfeigned:  (6)  From which some having swerved have turned aside unto vain jangling;  (A profitless discourse – to major on a minor that makes little difference)
 
d.  Subvert – 3 John 9-11  I wrote unto the church: but Diotrephes, who loveth to have the preeminence among them, receiveth us not.  (10)  Wherefore, if I come, I will remember his deeds which he doeth, prating against us with malicious words: and not content therewith, neither doth he himself receive the brethren, and forbiddeth them that would, and casteth them out of the church.  (11)  Beloved, follow not that which is evil, but that which is good. He that doeth good is of God: but he that doeth evil hath not seen God.  (To undermine the power or authority; to mislead through seduction)
 
e.  Greedy – 2 Peter 2:3  And through covetousness shall they with feigned words make merchandise of you: whose judgment now of a long time lingereth not, and their damnation slumbereth not.  (Filthy gain.  Opposite of the Bishop’s qualification.)
 
2.  Their Deception – vs. 11  This deception is intentional.
 
a.  Liars - John 8:44  Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.
 
b.  Evil beasts – 2 Peter 2:12  But these, as natural brute beasts, made to be taken and destroyed, speak evil of the things that they understand not; and shall utterly perish in their own corruption;  (Depraved, injurious, dangerous.  Beasts have no conscience or moral code and will hunt, kill, and eat with no misgivings.)
 
c.  Slow bellies – Matthew 23:15  Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye compass sea and land to make one proselyte, and when he is made, ye make him twofold more the child of hell than yourselves.  (Laziness, intemperance, gluttony, eating the bread of others without labor.  Most false prophets and heretics got their theology from the heresy of others without personally “rightly dividing the word of truth.”)
 
3.  Their Denial – vs. 16  These false brethren or prophets claim to know the Lord but their lives deny Him.
 
a.  Profess that they know God – Matthew 7:21-23  Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.  (22)  Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?  (23)  And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.  (Profession without possession.)
 
b.  Works deny God Jude 4  For there are certain men crept in unawares, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ.  (Practical atheists; they owned there was a God, and boasted of their knowledge of him; but their lives and conversations showed that they had no true knowledge of him, and that the fear of him was not before their eyes.)
 
c.  Abominable – Revelation 21:8  But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.  (Detestable, idolatrous)
 
d.  Disobedient – Ephesians 2:1-2  And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins;  (2)  Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience:  (Obedience is a vital part of conversion.)
 
e.  Reprobate – Romans 1:28  And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient;  (Eternally lost with no hope of salvation.)
 
4.  Their Detection – vs. 13 “This witness is true”  There are two ways that they become obvious to the believer:
 
a.  By their lifestyle – Matthew 7:15-20  Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.  (16)  Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?  (17)  Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit.  (18)  A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit.  (19)  Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.  (20)  Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.
 
b.   The Bible – 1 John 4:1  Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world.
 
5.  Their Denunciation – vs. 11, 13  They are not to be left unchecked or uncensored!
 
a.  Mouths must be stopped – Romans 3:19  Now we know that what things soever the law saith, it saith to them who are under the law: that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God.
 
b.  Rebuke them sharply – 1 Timothy 5:20  Them that sin rebuke before all, that others also may fear.

What Is Thanksgiving

Temple Baptist Church - 11-23-2014
Philippians 4:6
 
 
Introduction: 
 
A.  This is verse gives us a unique look at thanksgiving. 
 
1.  It is not thanksgiving for what God has done but thanksgiving in advance for what He has not yet done.  It is based upon the love, mercy, and goodness of God to His people. 
 
2.  We do not know what will happen in the future but we do know that God will still be God!  We do not know what the future holds for us but we do know Who holds us!
 
THANKSGIV'ING, n.  The act of rendering thanks or expressing gratitude for favors or mercies.  A public celebration of divine goodness; also, a day set apart for religious services, specially to acknowledge the goodness of God, either in any remarkable deliverance from calamities or danger, or in the ordinary dispensation of his bounties.  The practice of appointing an annual thanksgiving originated in New England.
 
B.  Most people say “Thank you” simply because they have been trained to do so.  I know that, personally, there have been times that I have blessed the food on our table and then had to ask my wife if I had blessed it already.  Then I bow my head and really give to God thanks!
 
C.  We have so much to be thankful for. 
 
1.  Our Great Salvation
 
a)  Saved by grace
b)  Saved eternally
c)  A wonderful life here and heaven waiting!
 
2.  Our Great Possessions
 
a)  Our homes
b)  Our transportation
c)  Our every day needs
 
3.  Our Great families and friends
 
a)  Your greatest possession outside of salvation!
b)  Quality, not quantity!
 
4.  Our Great Liberty
 
a)  Freedom of travel
b)  Freedom of speech
 
5.  Our Great Opportunities
 
a)  You can be anything that you want.
 
b)  You life is limited by your will to accomplish
 
D.  We are to be thankful at all times.  I, as a pastor, have difficulties in this area.  Now, I can be thankful when the heavens are opened up, and God's blessings rain down upon me, and when everything is going well, and when there are no bumps in the road!  But when problems come, I too often complain.  When things don't go my way, I too often whine instead of giving thanks!
 
What is Thanksgiving?
 
1.  Thanksgiving Is A Sign Of Realization: the Lord has been good to us (far better than we deserve) and will remain good to us in the future. - James 1:17 Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.
 
a.  If it were not for the Lord, you would have nothing.  If it is not of the Lord, you will have nothing!
 
b.  Things could be a lot worse than they are now.  Things can get a lot worse than they are now!
 
c.  Compared to the rest of the world, you are rich.  Happiness is so much more than temporal things: it is peace of mind!
 
2.  Thanksgiving Is A Sign Of Acceptance: we should rightly accept what we have and be willing to accept what we shall have. - 1 Timothy 6:6-8  But godliness with contentment is great gain. 7  For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out. 8  And having food and raiment let us be therewith content.
 
a.  All that we have came from the Lord.
 
b.  What we have is His will for our life.
 
c.  God wants the very best for us and our family.
 
3.  Thanksgiving Is A Sign Of Gratitude: we should be grateful for what we have and also be grateful what we will have. - Matthew 6:31-33 Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed? 32 (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things. 33 But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.
 
a.  The Lord has been so good to us.
 
b.  We deserve absolutely nothing.
 
c.  What He has given us should be satisfactory.
 
d.  We can trust Him to supply our every need as they come - Philippians 4:19 But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.  
 
Conclusion:  We need to thank God this week for all that He has done for us and thank Him in advance for all that He will do for us:
 
            a.  Learn to look for both blessings and lessons in our circumstances. 
 
            b.  Prayerfully accept God’s will for our lives.
 
            c.  Replace griping and murmuring with thanksgiving and praise.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

The Mercy Of God

Temple Baptist Church - 11-9-2014
Lamentations 3:22-23
 
 
Introduction: 
 
A.  As we approach Thanksgiving, I want to turn our hearts toward the Lord who is truly worthy of our praise and thanksgiving.  One of the greatest gifts ever given to fallen man is mercy!  David knew of the mercy of God and, before Bathsheba, he wrote of such.
 
Psalms 23:6  Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the LORD for ever.
 
B.  As a rule, when dealing with either grace or mercy, I give the following definitions:
 
1.  Grace is getting what you do not deserve.
 
2.  Mercy is not getting what you do deserve.
 
C.  This morning, you are looking at a one hell deserving preacher!  Without any false humility and certainly with no bragging on a past, sinful life, I often say that I have no idea why God would give me the “time of day.”  I think of the verse that says, “What is man, that thou art mindful of him? and the son of man, that thou visitest him?
 
D.  You should be able to praise Him for all eternity for just the little that I have already said!  No wonder the psalmist said, “Bless the LORD, O my soul: and all that is within me, bless his holy name.”
 
E.  In 1976, God came to where I was when I could not come to Him, reached down His hand in mercy to a wicked man, and saved my rotten—hell deserving soul! 
 
1.  Do you remember when God came to where you were? 
 
2.  Do you remember the life that God saved you from? 
 
3.  Do you remember the wonderful change that He made in your life?  Do you remember?
 
F.  I cannot look at everything in one short message as the word “mercy” is found 276x in 261 verses; the word “mercies” is found 44x in 44 verses, while the word “merciful” is found 40x in 36 verses but we will look at enough to cause us to praise the name of the Lord!  We will find that:
 
1.  God’s Mercy Is Everlasting - Psalms 100:5  For the LORD is good; his mercy is everlasting; and his truth endureth to all generations.
 
Psalms 136:1 O give thanks unto the Lord; for he is good: for his mercy endureth forever.  (There are 26 verses in this Psalm and each verse concludes with the same phrase:  “his mercy endureth forever.”)
 
2.  God’s Mercy Is Unchanging - Lamentations 3:22-23  It is of the LORD'S mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not
 
3.  God’s Mercy Is Abundant - Numbers 14:18  The Lord is longsuffering and of great mercy, forgiving iniquity and transgression...
 
 Psalms 103:8  The Lord is merciful and gracious, slow to anger and plenteous in mercy.
 
 Joel 2:13 “........he is gracious and merciful, slow to anger and of great kindness and repenteth him of the evil.”
 
4.  God’s Mercy Is Supernatural - Romans 12:1  I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.
 
5.  God’s Mercy Is Inexhaustible - Nehemiah 9:27  Therefore thou deliveredst them into the hand of their enemies, who vexed them: and in the time of their trouble, when they cried unto thee, thou heardest them from heaven; and according to thy manifold mercies thou gavest them saviours, who saved them out of the hand of their enemies.
 
6.  God’s Mercy Is Demonstrated - Psalms 116:5 Gracious is the Lord and righteous; yea, our God is merciful.
 
Ephesians 2:4  But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us,
 
7.  God’s Mercy Is Ever Present – Lamentations 3:23  They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness.
 
1.  The Lord Is Merciful In His Salvation - 1 Peter 1:3  Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,  (He saw our sinfulness and still sent the Saviour!  We deserved Hell and yet He send His only begotten Son that we might go to Heaven one day.  He saved us from a life of sinfulness and a Devil’s Hell!  Don’t tell me He is not worth to be praised this morning!  Glory to His wonderful name!)
 
Psalms 86:13  For great is thy mercy toward me: and thou hast delivered my soul from the lowest hell.
 
Titus 3:4-7  But after that the kindness and love of God our Saviour toward man appeared,  5  Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost;  6  Which he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour;  7  That being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life.
 
a. Christ died for the ungodly (Rom.5:6)
 
b. Christ died for those without strength (Rom 5:6)
 
c. Christ came to seek sinners (Luke 19:10)
 
d. Christ came to save sinners (Luke 15:10)
 
e. Christ died for transgressors (Isaiah 53:3-8)
 
f. Christ died for murders and blasphemers (I Timothy 1:15)
 
g. Christ died for his enemies (Romans 5:10)
 
Ephesians 2:4 But God who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us,
 
1 Timothy 1:13 Who was before a blasphemer, and injurious: but I obtained mercy, because I did it ignorantly in unbelief.
 
2.  The Lord Is Merciful In His Provision - Psalms 78:72  So he fed them according to the integrity of his heart; and guided them by the skilfulness of his hands.  (God has been good to me in times when I have not been so good to Him.  He has never let me down in the 32+ years that I have been saved.  I have lived well; I have eaten well; I have paid the bills!  When I was laid off, He gave me a job.  When I had a great need, He sent someone.  That is mercy!)
 
3.  The Lord Is Merciful In His Protection - Psalms 4:8  I will both lay me down in peace, and sleep: for thou, LORD, only makest me dwell in safety.
 
Psalms 91:4  He shall cover thee with his feathers, and under his wings shalt thou trust: his truth shall be thy shield and buckler.
 
Matthew 23:37  O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not!
 
4.  The Lord Is Merciful In His Forgiveness - Hebrews 2:17  Wherefore in all things it behoved him to be made like unto his brethren, that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people.
 
1 John 1:9  If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.  (No matter how terribly that I fail Him, He forgives!  No matter how often I fail Him, He forgives!  No matter how many times I fail Him, He always forgives and—and thank God—He forgets!)
 
Hebrews 8:12 For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more.