Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Suffering In The Body Of Christ

Temple Baptist Church - 8-16-2017
1 Peter 3:13-22


A.  Tonight, I want to re-emphasize the imperative of interpreting Scripture within its context.  Over the next few weeks, I want to look at 3 things that can be so easily misinterpreted by taking them out of their context. The context begins with the word “Finally” in verse 8. 

B.  The Holy Spirit, through the Epistle of First Peter, ties several things together showing both a New Testament example and an Old Testament example of obedient children of God persecuted by the disobedient children of God.  If taught separately, they can lead to confusion.

1.  How to get along with others in the body of Christ.  Verses 8-12.

2.  Spiritual persecution by those within the body of Christ.  Verses 13-18.

3.  An Old Testament example of the disobedience of the spirits in prison.  Verses 19-20.

4.  The ordinance of Baptism explained by the example of the ark in Noah’s day.  Verses 20-21.

C.  The Last two weeks, we looked at how to get along in the body of Christ.  By loving right and living right.  Tonight, I want to look at persecution within the body of Christ.  Suffering is a normal part of our lives.  Peter will deal with suffering more than once in the epistle because it is a sorrow that affects us all in one of four ways.

1.  There is natural suffering.  All of mankind has sorrow and all die.  From the womb to the grave, we find this truth to be evident.  Job probably said it best. 

Job 5:7  Yet man is born unto trouble, as the sparks fly upward.

Job 14:1-2  Man that is born of a woman is of few days, and full of trouble.  (2)  He cometh forth like a flower, and is cut down: he fleeth also as a shadow, and continueth not.  (This is the result of the fall, not one of personal sinfulness.)

2.  There is the suffering of chastening.  Every born-again believer experiences this as we continue to live in a corrupt body. 

Hebrews 12:6-8  For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth.  (7)  If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not?  (8)  But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons.  (This a result of personal sinfulness.)

3.  There is the suffering of the Christian which we will deal with in chapter 4.  Those who choose to live a godly, separated life bear the reproach of Christ.

1 Peter 4:16  Yet if any man suffer as a Christian, let him not be ashamed; but let him glorify God on this behalf.

2 Timothy 3:12  Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.

4.  There is the suffering of the believer within the body of Christ.  This may sound wrong to some but I want to take our verses for tonight and interpret them within the context.  Again, the context begins with the word “Finally” in verse 8.

D.  The context has been how to behave toward others within the church! 

1.  We are to be united.  We are to be of the same mind within the body.   We certainly cannot unite with or be of the same mind as the world.

2.  We are to love right.  We are to have compassion on each other within the body.

3.  We are to speak right.  We are to speak lovingly and truthfully with those within the body.

4.  We are to live right.  We are to hate evil and live a consistent, godly life within the body.

5.  We are to react right.  When others do or say things that hurt or harm us, we are not to get even or speak evil.

E.  These things speak of our relationship with each other, not with the world.  Now, let us look at these verses considering our context. 

F.  First, let us look at the New Testament example.

The New Testament Example.

1.  You would not expect to suffer at the hands of God’s people!  Look at verse 13.  We fully expect to suffer at the hands of the world.  They hated Christ and they will hate us but, when we do good, we expect God’s people to be glad.

2.  Look at verse 14.  “But and if ye suffer for righteousness' sake.” The words “but and if” tell us that this is not always the case and should not be the norm but there is always the possibility.  The reason for suffering is living righteously.  We are positionally righteous but this refers to practical righteousness.

3.  This shows us that some believers will not live righteous lives and will mistreat those who do.  The reason for this is that we unbiblically compare ourselves with our peers.  If I know that I am not right with the Lord, I naturally do not want to be around those who are because of natural comparison.  I had rather run with the crowd who live as I live.  I am not talking about living in gross sinfulness.  I am talking about not living a life of biblical separation. 

4.  Those who live righteously are often called legalistic by others who are saved.  Separation is not legalism.  Legalism is following the law for righteousness.  We are not legalists, we are separatists. 

5. “Happy are ye” does not mean that we relish persecution for righteousness.  It means to have a godly satisfaction.  We are not to be conformed to this world because we have been transformed by Christ but the phrase “be not conformed to this world” shows us the possibility of doing so.

6.  We are not to be intimidated by them or fear them.  They are the ones not right and their behavior unrighteous.  We are to sanctify the Lord in our hearts: to put Him above everything and everybody!  We are also to be able to tell them why we try to live a separate life for Christ.  We are to be able to give them a scriptural basis for our separatism.  There are somethings that people do which have no biblical basis.  Where we stand must be in line with the Bible.

7.  Their accusation must be found unjust and out conscience clear.  We must live with the person that we face in the mirror each morning.  We do not want to be pharisaical in our deportment.  We want to live as close to Christ as we can because He paid for our redemption with a great price and our body is the temple of the Holy Ghost.

8.  It is far better to suffer for doing right than for doing wrong.  Make sure you stand on biblical ground and be loving to those who do not.

The Old Testament Example.  Verses 17-22 are important verses and must be interpreted within their context.  The Bible is not really that hard to understand if you take the time to rightly divide it instead of looking for the effortless way out and grab a book or commentary.  Most good men get into trouble when they quit studying and start copying or reading men’s work.  Otherwise, you might just be biblically ignorant enough to believe:

a.  The Angel Theory of Genesis 6.

b. Believe that the ark is a figure of salvation. 

c.  And think that water Baptist is essential to salvation. 

1.  The context has not changed!  Peter is telling the believers scattered how to interact with each other. (verses 8-16)  Peter is also assuring those who are obedient believers that they will suffer peer pressure and persecution from the carnal or worldly believers.

2.  These saved Jews were very familiar with the Book of Genesis so these verses that follow were well understood.

3.  The context is obedience verses disobedience.  The few verses the many.  In our day, the few are saved and most are lost.  Also, the few are obedient to God and most have become disobedient.  I love to quote Richard Rawles: “Walking at a guilty distance from God.”  As it was in the days of Noe, so it is today.

4.  Here are the verses that we quote every week during Prayer Meeting.  Matthew 28:19-20  Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:  (20)  Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.

a.  Teaching them to observe what?  “ALL THINGS … COMMANDED YOU!”  If we teach that, we become “legalists” to the carnal or worldly crowd because they do not want to “observe all things.”  This is a command of our Lord to those who are saved.

b.  “Observe” – to guard, to keep, to hold fast, to preserve.  Hebrews 2:1  Therefore we ought to give the more earnest heed to the things which we have heard, lest at any time we should let them slip.  (Things are slipping quickly away as traditional churches have gone contemporary and sound doctrine is no longer taught.)

c.  Back to our context.  The obedient are those who observe all things in the Bible and endeavor to live clean, godly lives for the Lord.  Separated unto Him and separated from the world.

d.  The disobedient are those who refuse to observe all things and have conformed to the world instead of being transformed by the renewing of their minds through the Bible.

4.  Noah was obedient, a preacher of righteousness and suffered for well doing.  (verse 17)  A man who chose to be upright in his generation: or to marry within the godly line of Seth called the “sons of God.”  He suffered at the hands of the sons of God who followed the ways of the world.

5.  There is a lot of confusion as to who these “spirits in prison” are.  The “spirits in prison” were the disobedient “when once the longsuffering of God waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was a preparing.”  These disobedient, worldly sons of God suffered for evil doing and died in the flood.  (verse 17) For 120 years, they heard the preaching and saw the godly example of Noah yet failed to obey and get on the ark.  They no doubt used peer pressure and persecution to change Noah to no avail.

a.  Prison, i.e. captivity.  I have no problem with the term.  Jesus did not preach to angels nor did He descend into the fires of hell and preach to lost souls.  He went to Abraham’s Bosom! 

b.  To explain those prisoners or captives, I want to refer to 2 verses—one in the New Testament and one in the New Testament.

Ephesians 4:8  Wherefore he saith, When he ascended up on high, he led captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men.  (In the New Testament, the Bible refers to Abraham’s Bosom as “captivity” and kept the saints “captive” when He resurrected with them.)

Psalms 68:18  Thou hast ascended on high, thou hast led captivity captive: thou hast received gifts for men; yea,for the rebellious also, that the LORD God might dwell among them. (In the Old Testament, the Bible added a phrase to the above verse.  This verse ties with 1 Peter 3:19-20.)

c.  What was their disobedience?  Be obedient and get on the ark or be disobedient and remain with the rest of the world.  Get in or get out?

d.  What was their punishment: death by drowning.

1 Corinthians 11:30  For this cause many are weak and sickly among you, and many sleep(Chastening that brought death.)

1 Corinthians 10:5  But with many of them God was not well pleased: for they were overthrown in the wilderness.  (Chastening that brought death.  Moses also died without crossing Jordon.)

6.  Baptism and Noah’s ark are tied together in our text. 

1 Peter 3:21  The like figure (an analogy or resemblance) whereunto even baptism doth also now save us (not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God,) by the resurrection of Jesus Christ: (Any student of the Bible understands that baptism has nothing to do with salvation.  The Bible clarifies that in these verses when it goes back to the Biblical type of the ark and Noah.)

a.  What is water baptism?  It is obedience to God’s command.  Baptism is the first step of obedience to the Lord.

Matthew 28:19-20  Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:  (20)  Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.

b.  Hebrews 11:7 says, “By faith Noah, being warned of God of things not seen as yet, moved with fear, prepared an ark to the saving of his house; by the which he condemned the world, and became heir of the righteousnesswhich is by faith.  (Two things here need to be looked at.)

1)  “Saving of his house.”  Noah did not spiritually save anyone.  He saved his family physically from death through obedience to God.  There are no verses of Scripture that say Noah’s family was just or saved.  There are no verses that say that all who died in the flood were lost.  Noah’s family was safe.  The ark is not a type of salvation, it is a type of safety through obedience.

2)  “Became heir of the righteousness.”  Noah was rewarded for his obedience to God while the disobedient were chastened.

Conclusion:  Here is the “bottom line” of our context of suffering within the body of Christ.  God commands all His children to be obedient to the Word of God and to love one another. 

a.  Today, there are more disobedient children of God than obedient ones and that is the analogy that Peter is giving.  Noah’s day was characterized by the messianic line of Seth joining the worldliness of the ungodly line of Cain. 

b.  The word “Christianity” has become an oxymoron.  To be Christian is to be like Christ, not like the world.  If you live godly in our day, you are out of step with the mainline churches and they will make you the bad guy and punish you to some degree for it. 

c.  But, God will protect and reward the righteous and the disobedient will eventually pay the price.

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Joseph Walked With God In Integrity

Temple Baptist Church - 8-13-2017
Genesis 50:15-21


A.  A true love story gone wrong! 

1.  Isaac was going to bless Esau, the first born, but Jacob stole the blessing from Esau. 

2.  Esau said that when Isaac died and the days of mourning were over, that he would slay Jacob.  Rebecca overheard him, told Isaac.

3.  Isaac sent Jacob to Padanaram unto Laban, son of Bethuel the Syrian, the brother of Rebekah, Jacob's and Esau's mother to find a wife

4.  Jacob fell in love with Rachel, served for her, but got Leah instead.  He later married Rachel and the “baby derby” began to give Jacob sons.  Rachel could not conceive so she gave her handmaid, Bilhah to be his wife and Leah gave him her handmaid, Zilpah.

5.  Eventually, Rachel—the favorite wife—bore Jacob two sons: Joseph and Benjamin.  These two children of his old age completed the 12 tribes of Israel.  Jacob favored Joseph and Benjamin over the other 10, causing a problem. 

B.  Jacob sent Joseph to check on his brethren and, when they saw him coming, they plotted against him.  They saw Ishmaelites coming and sold him to them.  They went down to Egypt and sold Joseph to Potiphar, an officer of Pharaoh, captain of the guard
C.  It is here that we will pick up the story of Joseph.

D.  Joseph is probably the most perfect type of Christ found in the Old Testament.  I could preach a long series on the life of Joseph but I want to include him in this series on “Walking With God.” 

1.  If a man ever had a human reason to be bitter in life, it was Joseph. 

2.  If a man ever had a human reason for “throwing in the towel” and quitting, it was Joseph. 

3.  If a man ever had a human reason for vengeance, it was Joseph.

E.  Yet, throughout his life, we find that Joseph maintained his integrity in the midst of injustice and hardwhis while maintaining a walk with God.

F.  Integrity is an important part of basis Christianity.  We live in a world that has turned its back on God and integrity has become, for the most part, a thing of the past.  Dr. Bob Jones, Sr., said to do right if the stars fall out of the sky.  That is integrity.

G.  I want to look at several times in the life of Joseph when, instead of giving up and becoming bitter, he excelled through integrity.

1.  Joseph walked with God in integrity when he was sold into bondage at age 17. 

a.  Hated by his brothers through no fault of his own.  Genesis 37:18  And when they saw him afar off, even before he came near unto them, they conspired against him to slay him.

b.  Sold into slavery by those same brothers.  Genesis 37:24, 28, 36  And they took him, and cast him into a pit: and the pit was empty, there was no water in it ...  (28)  Then there passed by Midianites merchantmen; and they drew and lifted up Joseph out of the pit, and sold Joseph to the Ishmeelites for twenty pieces of silver: and they brought Joseph into Egypt ... (36)  And the Midianites sold him into Egypt unto Potiphar, an officer of Pharaoh's, and captain of the guard.

c.  Because of his integrity, he became great in his master’s house.  Genesis 39:1-6  And Joseph was brought down to Egypt; and Potiphar, an officer of Pharaoh, captain of the guard, an Egyptian, bought him of the hands of the Ishmeelites, which had brought him down thither.  (2)  And the LORD was with Joseph, and he was a prosperous man; and he was in the house of his master the Egyptian.  (3)  And his master saw that the LORD was with him, and that the LORD made all that he did to prosper in his hand.  (4)  And Joseph found grace in his sight, and he served him: and he made him overseer over his house, and all that he had he put into his hand.  (5)  And it came to pass from the time that he had made him overseer in his house, and over all that he had, that the LORD blessed the Egyptian's house for Joseph's sake; and the blessing of the LORD was upon all that he had in the house, and in the field.  (6)  And he left all that he had in Joseph's hand; and he knew not ought he had, save the bread which he did eat. And Joseph was a goodly person, and well favoured.

2.  Joseph walked with God in integrity when he was enticed by Potiphar’s wife. 

a.  Potiphar’s wife constantly tempted him.  Genesis 39:7-9  And it came to pass after these things, that his master's wife cast her eyes upon Joseph; and she said, Lie with me.  (8)  But he refused, and said unto his master's wife, Behold, my master wotteth not what is with me in the house, and he hath committed all that he hath to my hand;  (9)  There is none greater in this house than I; neither hath he kept back any thing from me but thee, because thou art his wife: how then can I do this great wickedness, and sin against God?

b.  Potiphar’s wife falsely accused him and he was cast into prison.  Genesis 39:10-20  And it came to pass, as she spake to Joseph day by day, that he hearkened not unto her, to lie by her, or to be with her.  (11)  And it came to pass about this time, that Joseph went into the house to do his business; and there was none of the men of the house there within.  (12)  And she caught him by his garment, saying, Lie with me: and he left his garment in her hand, and fled, and got him out.  (13)  And it came to pass, when she saw that he had left his garment in her hand, and was fled forth,  (14)  That she called unto the men of her house, and spake unto them, saying, See, he hath brought in an Hebrew unto us to mock us; he came in unto me to lie with me, and I cried with a loud voice:  (15)  And it came to pass, when he heard that I lifted up my voice and cried, that he left his garment with me, and fled, and got him out.  (16)  And she laid up his garment by her, until his lord came home.  (17)  And she spake unto him according to these words, saying, The Hebrew servant, which thou hast brought unto us, came in unto me to mock me:  (18)  And it came to pass, as I lifted up my voice and cried, that he left his garment with me, and fled out.  (19)  And it came to pass, when his master heard the words of his wife, which she spake unto him, saying, After this manner did thy servant to me; that his wrath was kindled.  (20)  And Joseph's master took him, and put him into the prison, a place where the king's prisoners were bound: and he was there in the prison.

c.  Because of his integrity, he became great in prison.  Genesis 39:21-23  But the LORD was with Joseph, and shewed him mercy, and gave him favour in the sight of the keeper of the prison.  (22)  And the keeper of the prison committed to Joseph's hand all the prisoners that were in the prison; and whatsoever they did there, he was the doer of it.  (23)  The keeper of the prison looked not to any thing that was under his hand; because the LORD was with him, and that which he did, the LORD made it to prosper.

3.  Joseph walked with God in integrity when he was forgotten.

a.  The butler and baker forgot him and he spent 2 more years in prison. Genesis 41:1  And it came to pass at the end of two full years, that Pharaoh dreamed: and, behold, he stood by the river.

b.  He was remembered by the butler and faithfully interpreted the Pharaoh’s dream. Genesis 41:14  Then Pharaoh sent and called Joseph, and they brought him hastily out of the dungeon: and he shaved himself, and changed his raiment, and came in unto Pharaoh.

c.  Because of his integrity, he was elevated to second in command in all of Egypt. Genesis 41:39-41  And Pharaoh said unto Joseph, Forasmuch as God hath shewed thee all this, there is none so discreet and wise as thou art:  (40)  Thou shalt be over my house, and according unto thy word shall all my people be ruled: only in the throne will I be greater than thou.  (41)  And Pharaoh said unto Joseph, See, I have set thee over all the land of Egypt.

4.  Joseph walked with God in integrity when his brothers came to buy corn. 

a.  Joseph revealed himself to his brothers.  Genesis 45:1  Then Joseph could not refrain himself before all them that stood by him; and he cried, Cause every man to go out from me. And there stood no man with him, while Joseph made himself known unto his brethren.

b.  Joseph forgave his brothers. Genesis 50:15-18  And when Joseph's brethren saw that their father was dead, they said, Joseph will peradventure hate us, and will certainly requite us all the evil which we did unto him.  (16)  And they sent a messenger unto Joseph, saying, Thy father did command before he died, saying,  (17)  So shall ye say unto Joseph, Forgive, I pray thee now, the trespass of thy brethren, and their sin; for they did unto thee evil: and now, we pray thee, forgive the trespass of the servants of the God of thy father. And Joseph wept when they spake unto him.  (18)  And his brethren also went and fell down before his face; and they said, Behold, we be thy servants.

c.  Joseph glorified God in the paths in which he had walked.  Genesis 45:7; 50:19-21  And God sent me before you to preserve you a posterity in the earth, and to save your lives by a great deliverance ... (19)  And Joseph said unto them, Fear not: for am I in the place of God?  (20)  But as for you, ye thought evil against me; but God meant it unto good, to bring to pass, as it is this day, to save much people alive.  (21)  Now therefore fear ye not: I will nourish you, and your little ones. And he comforted them, and spake kindly unto them.

d.  Joseph made commandment concerning his bones.  He wanted to be buried in the land of his people.Genesis 50:25-26  And Joseph took an oath of the children of Israel, saying, God will surely visit you, and ye shall carry up my bones from hence.  (26)  So Joseph died, being an hundred and ten years old: and they embalmed him, and he was put in a coffin in Egypt.

Conclusion:  Joseph walked with God throughout his life amid his integrity!  At the end of the day or our life, we must be willing to like the Christian life that we have lived.  Not a life of perfection but one of faithfulness and integrity!

Sunday, August 6, 2017

Not Ashamed of the Gospel

Temple Baptist Church - 8-6-2017
Romans 1:16-17


A.  Tonight, I want to look at the Gospel for a few minutes.  Paul declared that he was not ashamed of the gospel.  This tells me that there are some who are! 

1.  I have heard biblical salvation called “slaughterhouse religion.” 

2.  Over the years, there have been those who have minimized the importance of the blood of Christ in salvation. 

3.  There have been those who have taken the songs about the blood of Christ out of their songbooks. 

4.  There are so-called “bibles” that have removed some references to the blood. 

5.  My advice is to leave the gospel alone!

B.  As Paul begins this doctrinal book to the Romans, he begins with the gospel.  The gospel is the foundation of salvation and, if you do not get the foundation right, all else is religious vanity.  Jesus is the ONLY way of salvation and to try to go to heaven any other way is to be eternally lost. 

C.  Paul declares his undying allegiance to the gospel in verse 16-17.  I want to declare my undying allegiance to that same gospel tonight.  This may sound like “preaching to the choir,” but we need to remember what God did for each of us.  Salvation is personal and I take it personally!

D.  In relation to the gospel, there some things that Paul was not ashamed of:

1.  Paul was not ashamed of the Person of the Gospel!  If you are ashamed of the gospel, you are ashamed of the Person of the gospel.  Jesus Christ, God’s only Son loved us enough to become man and die in our place.

Romans 5:8  But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.

2.  Paul was not ashamed of the Price of the Gospel!  If you are ashamed of the gospel, you are ashamed of the blood that was shed.  Jesus Christ shed His own blood for our redemption.

Hebrews 13:12  Wherefore Jesus also, that he might sanctify the people with his own blood, suffered without the gate.

3.  Paul was not ashamed of the Perfection of the Gospel!  It was a finished work.  Nothing to be added and nothing can be taken away.  So many religions teach personal merit for salvation.  I am glad mine is anchored in what Jesus Christ did! 

1 Corinthians 15:3-4  For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures;  (4)  And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:

4.  Paul was not ashamed of the Preaching of the Gospel!  It is the power of God unto salvation to everyone that believeth, Jew or Gentile.  It still works!  We do not need programs or entertainment; we do not need the wisdom of words or great oration; we need the preaching of the gospel. 

1 Corinthians 1:17-18  For Christ sent me not to baptize, but to preach the gospel: not with wisdom of words, lest the cross of Christ should be made of none effect.  (18)  For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God.

5.  Paul was not ashamed of the People of the Gospel! They are the greatest people on planet earth.  We are family. 

Revelation 1:5-6  And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth. Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood,  (6)  And hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father; to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.

6.  Paul was not ashamed of the Purchase of the Gospel! I love the church! I fell in love with God’s people when I got saved.  So many sing “O How I Love Jesus” but are not faithful to His church.  They are not faithful in their tithe.  They are not faithful to witness.  They are not faithful to live for Christ.

Ephesians 5:25-27  Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it;  (26)  That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word,  (27)  That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.

7.  Paul was not ashamed of the Pardon of the Gospel! I stand before you tonight forgiven.  My sins are gone!  I have been bought with a price and am thankful. 

Psalms 103:12  As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us.

8.  Paul was not ashamed of the Prize of the Gospel! One day just like today and it could be today, I will step on shore and find it heaven, touch a hand and find it God’s, breathe new air and find it celestial, wake up in glory, finally home! 

1 Thessalonians 4:16-18  For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:  (17)  Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.  (18)  Wherefore comfort one another with these words.

Conclusion:  I too am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ!