Sunday, August 14, 2016

Beatitudes - Part 1 - Blessed Are The Poor In Spirit

Temple Baptist Church - 8-14-2016 

Matthew 5:1-3


Introduction: 

A.  Like most of the Bible, this portion of Scripture was not written to the multitudes (the lost) but to His disciples, the saved. 

1.  The unsaved cannot grasp spiritual truth that is in the Word of God because it is spiritually discerned. 

2.  The unsaved, through the preaching of the gospel and the illumination of the Holy Ghost can be saved but understanding the Bible requires the indwelling of the Holy Ghost.

B.  I want to take a short look at what we call the Beatitudes: a condition or statement of blessedness. Blessedness is often in spite of circumstances!  Blessedness is realization, not circumstances.

1.  I have seen or heard where some have substituted the word happy for the word blessed.  This is a cardinal mistake!  Happiness is contingent upon happenings. 

2.  You can be blessed and not be happy.  We are truly blessed if we are happy or not.  We can be down in the dumps so to speak and yet be blessed with food, shelter, clothing, etc. at the same time.

3.  You can be blessed and not be rich.  If money is your pursuit of happiness, you will find that it will not bring fulfillment in your life.  Is money important?  Not as important as this world would have you believer.

4.  You can be blessed and not be well.  I hate to see people sick and do not like to be sick personally but spiritual blessedness has nothing to do with physical wellness.

5.  These Beatitudes were meant to bring quietness to a disquieted soul!  The apostles were tired:

a)  Because of the multitudes who followed them!

b)  Because of the Pharisees, Sadducees, lawyers, and scribes who constantly persecuted them!

c)  Because of the poor conditions in which they lived: their pillow was a stone and they had to glean in the fields to eat!

6.  Psalms 46:1-4, 10  God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.  (2)  Therefore will not we fear, though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea;  (3) Though the waters thereof roar and be troubled, though the mountains shake with the swelling thereof. Selah. (4)  There is a river, the streams whereof shall make glad the city of God, the holy place of the tabernacles of the most High … (10)  Be still, and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth.

C.  What is “poor in spirit?”  Poor in spirit does not mean a lack of spirit or a worthless spirit. 

Luke 14:10-11  But when thou art bidden, go and sit down in the lowest room; that when he that bade thee cometh, he may say unto thee, Friend, go up higher: then shalt thou have worship in the presence of them that sit at meat with thee.  (11)  For whosoever exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himselfshall be exalted.

1.  “Poor in spirit” has to do with humility before God.  It means humility instead of haughtiness.  1 Peter 5:6  Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time:

2.  “Poor in spirit” has to do with submission to God.  Philippians 2:10  That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth;

3.  “Poor in spirit” has to do with contentment with God.  Philippians 4:11  Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.

4.  “Poor in spirit” has to do with thanksgiving toward God.  1 Thessalonians 5:18  In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.

D.  The poor in spirit:

1.  The poor in spirit Understand the grace of God.  “For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men …  Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ!”  So many professing Christians never grasp the necessity or the fullness of the grace of God.  To the child of God, it is all of grace!  I thank the Lord every day that He loves me in spite of me. Ephesians 1:6  To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved.

2.  The poor in spirit Understand just how precious Christ is.  They are blessed!  “Unto you therefore which believe he is precious!”  Christ not only gives us life; He is our life!  He has not only given to us eternal life, He has given to us life more abundant. Colossians 3:4  When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory.

3.  The poor in spirit Understand the value of the Bible and the importance of spiritual nourishment. What a wonderful gift the Lord gave us with “The Lord gave the word: great was the company of those that published it.”  Thank God for those who have faithfully published it!  1 Peter 2:2  As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby:

4.  The poor in spirit Understand the price paid at Calvary for their redemption.  “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends!”  Oh what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon the child of God!  1 Peter 1:18-19  Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers;  (19)  But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot:

5.  The poor in spirit Understand their indebtedness to the lost.  “Silver and gold have I none; but such as I have give I thee!”   The saved may not be able to feed the world but they have the power to free the world!  Romans 1:14  I am debtor both to the Greeks, and to the Barbarians; both to the wise, and to the unwise.

6.  The poor in spirit Understand that true riches are eternal, not temporal.  “Labour not for the meat which perisheth, but for that meat which endureth unto everlasting life, which the Son of man shall give unto you!”  "He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose." 2 Corinthians 4:17-18  For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory;  (18)  While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen aretemporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal.

7.  The poor in spirit Understand that this world is not their home. “Dearly beloved, I beseech you as strangers and pilgrims!”  This world is not my home, I’m just a passing thorugh.   Hebrews 11:8-10  By faith Abraham, when he was called to go out into a place which he should after receive for an inheritance, obeyed; and he went out, not knowing whither he went.  (9)  By faith he sojourned in the land of promise, as in a strange country, dwelling in tabernacles with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise:  (10)  For he looked for a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God.

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Faultless - Part 2

Temple Baptist Church - 8-10-2016

Jude 24-25


Introduction

A.  Last week, we looked at this verse in the light of the context which is earnestly contending for the faith once delivered.  We do not want to be “falling” or moving from our biblical position and we want to remain “faultless” in these last days by continuing to win souls, support missions, and steadfastly walk in the “old paths” that were paid for with such a high price.

B.  By application, there are 2 kinds of righteousness that I want to mention:

1.  The Righteousness of the Law.  The self-righteousness of fallen man in his sinful state which is moral goodness or kindness. 

Isaiah 64:6  But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away.

Galatians 3:10-13  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.  (11)  But that no man is justified by the law in the sight of God, it is evident: for, The just shall live by faith.  (12)  And the law is not of faith: but, The man that doeth them shall live in them.  (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:

2.  The righteousness of God which is the absolutely impeccable, immutable holiness of God which must be imputed to man for salvation as man has never and will never be able to be sinless or good enough to be saved!. 

Romans 1:17  For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith.

Romans 3:21-23  But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets;  (22)  Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference:  (23)  For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;

2 Corinthians 5:21  For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.

James 2:23  And the scripture was fulfilled which saith, Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness: and he was called the Friend of God.

C.  One of the most misunderstood of all doctrines is the doctrine of Eternal Life and that life is found only IN Christ! 

1 John 5:11-13  And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son.  (12)  He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life.  (13)  These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God.
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.

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

D.  The mistake is not knowing the difference between relationship and fellowship.  The Bible makes a plain distinction between the believer's position in Christ and his practice for Christ.

1.  The believer’s Position is in Christ.  It is instantaneous, secure, and—therefore—eternal. 

2.  The believer’s Fellowship is found in Practice.  It depends upon our moment by moment walk with Christ.  Can the believer sin?  Yes!  Can the believer then be lost?  No!  Salvation is a finished work and depends upon what Christ did and not what the believer does.

E.  Let me give you a few things that the Bible says about who and what we that are saved are.

1.  We have been purchased by Christ, bought by Christ, sanctified by Christ, cleansed by Christ, received by Christ, perfected in Christ, secured by Christ, and will be one day presented to Christ by Christ.

2.  He took our sins, in Him is no sin, we are in His body in which is no sin, in His righteousness, and in His faith.

3.  We have everlasting life, eternal life, full assurance, strong consolation, and hope.  We have been forgiven, justified, sanctified, reconciled, risen with Christ.

4.  We are accepted in the beloved, saved from the penalty of sin, citizens of heaven, children of light, elect, peculiar, and born again.

5.  We have passed from death unto life, shall never perish, never die, have peace with God, saved from the wrath to come, cannot be separated from the love of Christ, are children of God by faith, confirmed until the end, a new creature, and sealed by the Holy Ghost until the day of redemption.

6.  We are seated in heavenly places in Christ Jesus, made fit for heaven, complete in Him, and perfected forever.   We are a part of the family of God, in the body of Christ, filled with all spiritual blessings, and shall be translated into the kingdom of His Dear Son.

7.  We have access to God, eternal redemption, eternal glory, everlasting consolation, a Propitiation, an Advocate with the Father, an Intercessor, a High Priest, and a returning Lord. 
             
8.  Our sin is past, God’s wrath is gone, we have been made free, and there is now no condemnation.  We are predestinated to be conformed to the image of God, are joint heirs with Christ, and have an everlasting reward.   We have an incorruptible inheritance and a glorious liberty in Christ Jesus.
                       
9.  You see, we are and will be presented faultless before the throne of His presence with exceeding joy!  Not because of anything that we have done but because of a finished work on Calvary.  He is our Sacrifice, our Saviour, our Salvation, our Lord of lords and King of kings.  His our God!
                       
10.  What a blessing to be saved and know it!

Sunday, August 7, 2016

Greet All The Brethren With An Holy Kiss

Temple Baptist Church - 8-7-2016

1 Thessalonians 5:26


Introduction: 

A.  As we get to the end of 1 Thessalonians, the Holy Ghost once again admonishes the church to be loving and unified.  The greatest enemy of the local church is division and strife.  The local church is a family and should love like one.  God is not the Author of confusion but of peace.

1 Corinthians 14:33  For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints.

B.  Division is a preacher’s nightmare!  I can battle things that attack the church from the outside but when the enemy is rooted within the church, there is great potential for a church split or a pastor who has to leave.

C.  The Bible says to be of one mind, one accord, forgiving, forbearing, charitable, and hospitable one to another and yet, problems in unity are a continual source of heartache and headache!

D.  God is not pleased with division and strife in the church.

James 3:16  For where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work.

1 Corinthians 3:3  For ye are yet carnal: for whereas there is among you envying, and strife, and divisions, are ye not carnal, and walk as men?

2 Corinthians 12:20  For I fear, lest, when I come, I shall not find you such as I would, and that I shall be found unto you such as ye would not: lest there be debates, envyings, wraths, strifes, backbitings, whisperings, swellings, tumults:

E.  Brotherly love in the church is a sign of spiritual maturity!  Little children squabble while mature people overlook or minimize situations.

John 13:34  A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another.

1 Thessalonians 4:9  But as touching brotherly love ye need not that I write unto you: for ye yourselves are taught of God to love one another.

1 Peter 1:22 Seeing ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit unto unfeigned love of the brethren, see that ye love one another with a pure heart fervently:

1 John 4:7 Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God.

F.  I want to dissect this little verse as to get a proper understanding of it.

1.  The Command Of The Greeting – “Greet” - I love to come early and stay late.  Many times, people finally leave the church and remain standing around in groups in the parking lot.  Spend time with one another and fellowship!  God both wants and expects loving kindness within the walls of the local church.  This greeting was a sign that they were glad to see one another.  I am always excited about seeing God’s people come to church and love each other.

2.  The Consistency Of The Greeting – “all” – We are not to love a few or a certain group, but to love with consistency.  “Ye” is the understood subject - The command to greet is given to every believer.  We should all be mixing and mingling in sweet fellowship. 

1 John 4:20  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?

Philippians 4:21  Salute every saint in Christ Jesus. The brethren which are with me greet you.

3.  The Character Of The Greeting – “holy” – To distinguish it from an unchaste and lascivious one; and from an hypocritical and deceitful one.  This “holy” kiss can only be given by one who is right with the Lord and, therefore, right with his brother.

1 Timothy 5:1-2  Rebuke not an elder, but intreat him as a father; and the younger men as brethren;  The elder women as mothers; the younger as sisters, with all purity.

a.  A Kiss Of Deceit - Proverbs 27:6  Faithful are the wounds of a friend; but the kisses of an enemy aredeceitful.

b.  A Kiss Of Disloyalty - Luke 22:48  But Jesus said unto him, Judas, betrayest thou the Son of man with a kiss?

c.  A Kiss Of Death - 2 Samuel 20:9-10  And Joab said to Amasa, Art thou in health, my brother? And Joab took Amasa by the beard with the right hand to kiss him.  But Amasa took no heed to the sword that wasin Joab’s hand: so he smote him therewith in the fifth rib1, and shed out his bowels to the ground, and struck him not again; and he died. So Joab and Abishai his brother pursued after Sheba the son of Bichri.

1 John 3:15  Whosoever hateth his brother is a murderer: and ye know that no murderer hath eternal life abiding in him.

4.  The Charity Of The Greeting – “kiss” A kiss is a token of love!  We do not kiss those whom we dislike and, yet, some will give the outward kiss without the inward love.  They will greet with their lips but their hearts are full of wrath and envy.

1 Peter 4:8  And above all things have fervent charity among yourselves: for charity shall cover the multitude of sins.

Conclusion:  Why “Greet all the brethren with an holy kiss?”  Because we, together, can fight and overcome the outward enemies that assail the church but disunity, discord, disgruntled people can quickly destroy the unity and work of the church!

Withered Hands and Withered Hearts

Temple Baptist Church - 8-7-2016

Matthew 12:1-15


Introduction:

A.  Our Lord’s interaction with the Pharisees, Scribes, and Lawyers was a bitter-sweet one.  Everywhere Jesus went, the crowds gathered to hear the Word of God speak.  There were those who were just curious and came to watch; there were those who were just sick and came to be healed; there were those who were just hungry and waited to be fed; there were those who tempted the Lord and watched for failure; and there were those who hungered and thirsted after righteousness.

B.  This morning, I want to look at these for a few minutes.  I am not trying to be hard but things have not changed much since the days of our Lord who fed the multitudes and died virtually alone.

1.  Those who were just curious and came to watch.  To many, the things of God have just become a side show.  A form of Christian entertainment.  A place to get the emotions stirred and a place to have a good time.  A place where the miracles of salvation that sit on the pews are only things to be watched, not experienced.  Church has become a place for entertaining goats instead of feeding sheep.  Church is not a place of entertainment; it is a place of worship and reverence. 

John 6:1-2  After these things Jesus went over the sea of Galilee, which is the sea of Tiberias.  (2)  And a great multitude followed him, because they saw his miracles which he did on them that were diseased.

2.  Those who were just sick and came to be healed.  It is not always God’s will to heal those who are sick.  When those who are just sick come to be healed, if the healing does not take place, they just leave and go some were else.  If the healing did take place, they would still just wander away for they got all that they came for.  These are those who are in trouble.  I have seen so much “jailhouse repentance” in my years as pastor.  They weep and wail until they get out of jail and then it is business as usual until the next time.  Some just come to church to see if the Lord will get them out of their trouble but have no heart felt repentance.

Luke 17:15-18  And one of them, when he saw that he was healed, turned back, and with a loud voice glorified God,  (16)  And fell down on his face at his feet, giving him thanks: and he was a Samaritan. (17)  And Jesus answering said, Were there not ten cleansed? but where are the nine?  (18)  There are not found that returned to give glory to God, save this stranger.

3.  Those who were just hungry and waited to be fed.  I receive calls all of the time from people who prey upon the goodness of the churches and have to discern who actually needs help and those who just live off of the generosity of God’s people.  They have family that can help but they call the church.  There are jobs to be had but they do not work.  They live in open sin and rebellion but want the churches to support their lifestyle.

John 6:25-26  And when they had found him on the other side of the sea, they said unto him, Rabbi, when camest thou hither?  (26)  Jesus answered them and said, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Ye seek me, not because ye saw the miracles, but because ye did eat of the loaves, and were filled.

4.  Those who hungered and thirsted after righteousness.  Nine times, in the Book of John, the words “many … believed” are found.    I find it interesting that these words are not used together in Matthew, Mark, or Luke.  The Book of John speaks of the deity of the Lord Jesus Christ and it is only when one believes on the Lord Jesus Christ that they are saved. 

John 2:23  Now when he was in Jerusalem at the passover, in the feast day, many believed in his name, when they saw the miracles which he did.

Matthew 5:6  Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.

C.  I want to deal with two types found in our verses: a man with a withered hand and men with withered hearts!

1.  Men with withered hearts!  Verses 2 and 14.  There were two sects that came out of the 400 silent years between Malachi and Matthew: the Sadducees and the Pharisees.  The Sadducees upheld the written Law and denied an afterlife.  The Pharisees upheld the oral Law and believed in life after death.  Both of these sects rejected Jesus Christ as the Messiah,

a.  Withered heart people are a type of religion.  People are innately religious but the religion is personal merit.  People who have religion instead of salvation become the enemies of the church and the work of the Lord.

b.  Withered heart people are a type of rejection.  Religion has knowledge of biblical principle but such knowledge brings about a decision to turn to Christ or to turn from Him.  Those who reject are always enemies of Christ and, therefore, enemies of the saved.

c.  Withered heart people are not fond of the “withered hand” people coming to their churches!  Instead of the foolish, they desire the wise; instead of the weak, they desire the mighty; instead of the base, they desire the noble!  They desire a certain kind of people in their churches instead of all kinds of people there!

Mark 2:16  And when the scribes and Pharisees saw him eat with publicans and sinners, they said unto his disciples, How is it that he eateth and drinketh with publicans and sinners?

d.  Withered heart people are not glad when the “withered hand” people are forgiven of their sins and spiritually healed!  The reason is simple, true salvation shows up religion.  These “withered hand” people have a change of life; they have a song in their hearts; they have a joy unspeakable and full of glory.

Mark 2:5-7  When Jesus saw their faith, he said unto the sick of the palsy, Son, thy sins be forgiven thee.  (6)  But there were certain of the scribes sitting there, and reasoning in their hearts,  (7)  Why doth this man thus speak blasphemies? who can forgive sins but God only?

e.  Withered heart people are not happy when their church savings account or CDs are liquidated and money goes to missions to help win a world to Christ.  They are not happy when they are no longer in control and can pressure the preacher into silence.  They get angry when the direction of the church becomes biblical in nature.  Their hearts are withered by the sin of religion and they try to find fault.

f.  Withered heart people normally remain that way and die without Christ!

2.  A man with a withered hand.  Verse 10.  Those with withered lives are welcome to come to church; they are accepted by Christ; they are the ones for whom He died.  I thank the Lord for our young people who come to Christ at an early age and never know the ravages of a sinful life.  Stay clean and live for Christ but the withered hands were the people who came to Christ in faith and find healing for their souls! 

a.  Lives withered by sin and shame!  Many of us were the undesirables, the off scourings of the world!  I thank God that He loved sinners!  A friend to the lost and dying!  The Saviour of the world! 

b.  I thank the Lord for the drunks that became saints.  The harlots who became godly ladies.  The drug addicts who are now clean.  The blasphemers whose mouths are now filled with praise.  The lost that are now found.  The hurting that found healing in Christ.  The backbone of the local churches! 

c.  Sinners who came to Christ for spiritual healing and feeding, not just for what they could get.  We have helped so many people with physical needs over the years and none of them are here tonight!  But, we have helped so many who had spiritual needs and they are here.

1 Corinthians 1:26-29  For ye see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called:  (27)  But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty;  (28)  And base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea,and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are:  (29)  That no flesh should glory in his presence.

d.  Thank God for the people who came to Christ by faith and were gloriously, instantly healed!  Their lives forever changed!  Their hope in heaven!  God loves all mankind but especially those of the household of faith!

Ephesians 2:19  Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God;

Conclusion:  We find a man with a withered hand healed while the ones with withered hearts angry because of their religion.  God was able to heal the man with the withered hand but not the ones with withered hearts!  He certainly could have if they would have!