Sunday, September 7, 2014

The Commitment of Preaching

Temple Baptist Church - 9-7-2014
 
Titus 1:3
 
Introduction:
A. Last week, we looked at the first and only mention of the word “pulpit” found in the bible. The pulpit is an elevated place. It is not there to elevate the preacher but to elevate the Word of God so that all can easily see, hear, and—therefore—understand God’s Word.
B. This week, I want to look at the preaching and the preacher. We have been through the Book of 2 Timothy, but I want to look at some verses again tonight as I open this sermon on “The commitment of Preaching.”
2 Timothy 4:1-4 I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom; (2) Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine. (3) 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. (Preaching is a commitment or charge which makes it a Trust. All of us have been entrusted with the Word of God: to read it, to study it, to preach it, to protect it, to hear it, and to heed it.)
C. I want to look at the relevance of preaching in our day. We live in a day where scholasticism in most seminaries is turning out teachers instead of preachers. We are familiar with 2 Timothy 4:3 which says, “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!” Notice the words “heap to themselves teachers.” Churches are now looking for “speakers” to fill the pulpits instead of preachers.
D. There was a time when young preachers sat under their pastors to learn their doctrine and manner of life! God called men learning from God called men instead of college professors. I want you to understand that I am not just “knocking” education in general but, in these last few decades, God called men have been told that they must have a bible education at a chosen seminary. The bible actually teaches just the opposite. God called men sat under God called men that they personally knew were godly men and doctrinally straight men.
2 Timothy 3:14 But continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them;
2 Timothy 1:13 Hold fast the form of sound words, which thou hast heard of me, in faith and love which is in Christ Jesus.
E. The best teacher that you will ever sit under is the pastor that God gave to you. There you will learn your doctrine correctly. But, the poor old pastor soon became no longer the “best” teacher in the eyes of the people so along came the seminary. The young preachers were systematically taken out of the local churches and placed under men who were supposedly “more capable” and “more learned” than the men of God in the pulpits.
F. In the beginning, these seminaries were made for just preachers! Seminaries were special schools providing education in theology, religious history, etc., primarily to prepare students for the ministry. They were schools that gave men of God 2-4 years of comprehensive bible teaching to sharpen their “swords” for the task that God had called them to do but the local churches soon became depleted of young preachers and families. Not many years passed before these schools began to take in students who were laymen as well as preachers. This was done in order to give believers a good “bible education” which was actually the work of the pastor in the local church.
G. Slowly but surely, these schools began to expand their outreach to young men and women in preparation for other fields such as education, accounting, pre-med or engineering, etc. As the schools expanded to accommodate these new students, they began to pattern their curriculum to that of the public schools and, thus, the introduction of “Liberal Arts” degrees. I have often maintained that the key word in “Liberal Arts” is liberal! Thus we find the introduction of worldly philosophy into theological seminaries. Their education may have been good but their theology was not! Theology was mixed with liberal arts and the theology became as “liberal” as the arts!
Romans 16:17 Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them.
H. The word Theology is derived from two Greek words: theos, God, and logos, speech or reason. “Theology is the science of God and of the relations between God and the universe.” Theology is the “science of things divine.” Theology is a reasoned discourse or treatise about God. As a term, theology has both a narrow and a broad use:
1. In its narrow use, theology means the doctrine of God, His being and works.
2. In its broad use, theology means the sum of Christian doctrines.
I. Theology has a threefold ground:
1. In the existence of a God and His relationship to the universe.
2. In the capacity of the human mind for knowing God and certain of these relations.
3. In the provision of means by which God is brought into actual contact with the mind, or, in other words, in the provision of revelation.
J. Since preaching has never been popular among the masses, the masses—who desire to have a form of religion that is both pleasing to them and supposedly appeasing to a holy God—have chosen teachers to fill their pulpits instead of preachers. GOD ORDAINED PREACHERS for that purpose! Intellectualism produces teachers and not preachers and teaching is a last day phenomena. Paul said that he was not sent to preach with eloquence and oratory.
1 Corinthians 2:4-5 And my speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of man's wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power: That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God.
Scholastically, the Apostle Paul was certainly qualified to give an intellectual dissertation, but he chose the simplicity of the old gospel story to get the work done.
K. Because of this modern “phenomena” of teaching, we see:
a. An Increase In Carnality In The Church – Preaching exposes sin and a lack of preaching increases carnality among believers.
b. A Decrease In Conversions In the Communities – God chose the foolishness of preaching to save the lost so, if there is not preaching, there will be fewer true conversions.
c. An Increase In Apostasy In The Church – Teaching has become a “smoke screen” for the intellectual and a breeding place for false doctrine.
L. I want to look at the importance of bible preaching in our church and also for the salvation of sinners.
The Importance Of Preaching To The Sinner
1. Preaching Gives the Sinner a Basis for Faith - 1 Corinthians 1:17-25 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. For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God. For it is written, I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and will bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent. Where is the wise? where is the scribe? where is the disputer of this world? hath not God made foolish the wisdom of this world? For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe. For the Jews require a sign, and the Greeks seek after wisdom: But we preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumblingblock, and unto the Greeks foolishness; But unto them which are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God. Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men; and the weakness of God is stronger than men.
a. Biblical Preaching Is Practical – “of none effect”
b. Biblical Preaching Is Powerful – “the power of God”
c. Biblical Preaching Is Pleasing – “it pleased God”
2. Preaching Pierces The Sinner’s Soul - Acts 2:36-37 Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly, that God hath made that same Jesus, whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ. Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do?
Acts 9:5 And he said, Who art thou, Lord? And the Lord said, I am Jesus whom thou persecutest: it is hard for thee to kick against the pricks.
3. Preaching Saves The Sinner’s Soul - Romans 10:17 So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.
The Importance Of Preaching To The Saint
1. Preaching Keeps The Saint Pure - 2 Timothy 4:2 Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine. (Reprove means to “bring to light” or to convict. Rebuke means to “censure” or to “pass sentence.”)
a. It Is To Be Done Sharply - Titus 1:13 This witness is true. Wherefore rebuke them sharply, that they may be sound in the faith;
b. It Is To Be Done Authoritatively - Titus 2:15 These things speak, and exhort, and rebuke with all authority. Let no man despise thee.
Revelation 3:19 As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent.
c. It Is To Be Done Lovingly - 2 Timothy 2:25 In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth;
2. Preaching Encourages The Saint - 2 Timothy 4:2 Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine.
3. Preaching Brings Joy To The Saint - Luke 4:18 The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor (Joy because it saves); he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted (Joy because it comforts), to preach deliverance to the captives (Joy because it delivers), and recovering of sight to the blind (Joy because it restores sight) , to set at liberty them that are bruised (Joy because it sets free)
4. Preaching Gives Understanding To The Saint - 1 Corinthians 1:22-24 For the Jews require a sign, and the Greeks seek after wisdom: But we preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumblingblock, and unto the Greeks foolishness; But unto them which are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God. (Preaching helps us to handle problems right in the light of God’s Word!)
5. Preaching Gives Hope To The Saint - 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him. For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep. 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: 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. Wherefore comfort one another with these words.
So, here is the question that needs to be asked, “Is old fashioned bible preaching relevant in our day?” Of course you and I know that it is but most people will not stand for straight preaching or sound doctrine.
1. We must:
a. Allow Biblical Preaching - Hebrews 13:22 And I beseech you, brethren, suffer the word of exhortation: for I have written a letter unto you in few words.
b. Pray for Biblical Preaching - 2 Thessalonians 3:18 The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen.
c. Receive Biblical Preaching - 1 Thessalonians 2:13 For this cause also thank we God without ceasing, because, when ye received the word of God which ye heard of us, ye received it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God, which effectually worketh also in you that believe.
d. Apply Biblical Preaching - 2 Timothy 4:2 Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine.
2. What kind of preaching does the church need?
a. The Church Needs Need Bold Preaching - Ephesians 6:19 And for me, that utterance may be given unto me, that I may open my mouth boldly, to make known the mystery of the gospel, (Men of God who are not afraid to preach the Word of God to the people of God!)
Isaiah 58:1 Cry aloud, spare not, lift up thy voice like a trumpet, and shew my people their transgression, and the house of Jacob their sins.
Jeremiah 1:6-8 Then said I, Ah, Lord GOD! behold, I cannot speak: for I am a child. But the LORD said unto me, Say not, I am a child: for thou shalt go to all that I shall send thee, and whatsoever I command thee thou shalt speak. Be not afraid of their faces: for I am with thee to deliver thee, saith the LORD.
b. The Church Needs Broad Preaching - Acts 20:26-27 Therefore I take you to record this day, that I am pure from the blood of all men. For I have not shunned to declare unto you all the counsel of God. (Reproving, rebuking, and exhorting! Most churches leave the first two out in order to produce a “positive” reaction among their people. Thus the churches become worldlier and spiritually anemic.)
c. The Church Needs Spirit Filled, Powerful Preaching - 1 Corinthians 2:4 And my speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of man's wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power: (By powerful preaching, the bible is not referring to loud preaching or a demonstration of some sort but preaching in such a way as to give the Word of God its power to convict, convince, and convert the sinner.)
d. The Church Needs Biblical Preaching - 2 Timothy 4:2 Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine. (Preach the word! We are not politicians nor are we a political party; we are a church. Our work is the work of the gospel.)
e. The Church Needs Compassionate Preaching - Jude 22-23 And of some have compassion, making a difference: And others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire; hating even the garment spotted by the flesh. (Preaching is to be straight, not mean spirited. Men of God are not to be “brawlers” nor are they to “strive” with the people.)
2 Timothy 2:24-26 And the servant of the Lord must not strive; but be gentle unto all men, apt to teach, patient, In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth; And that they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him at his will.

The Double Heart Verses The Determined Heart

Temple Baptist Church - 9-7-2014
 
1 Chronicles 12:23-38
 
Introduction:
A. In these verses, we find a listing of the men of war from each tribe that came to David and helped him to take the kingdom after the death of Saul.
B. There are many admirable attributes mentioned concerning these me but, as I continue our series on the Heart, I want to draw your attention to verse 33. Of the tribe of Zebulun, we find 50,000 men described as not having a “double heart.” This speaks of allegiance and determination!
C. Their allegiance was to David and David alone! Their minds were made up and they would fight for him to death. These men were determined to follow the leadership of their King and do whatever was necessary to see him back in his proper place upon the throne of Israel.
D. Double hearted is the opposite of determined hearted. We are certainly soldiers and have a wonderful King who needs to be rightly enthroned within our hearts.
1. A Double Hearted Man Cannot Make Up Him Mind Who To Serve - Matthew 6:19-24 Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. The light of the body is the eye: if therefore thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light. But if thine eye be evil, thy whole body shall be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in thee be darkness, how great is that darkness! No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon. (Treasures are precious things!)
2. A Double Hearted Man Is Continually Looking Back To The Old Life - Luke 9:62 And Jesus said unto him, No man, having put his hand to the plough, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.
Hebrews 11:13-16 These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth. For they that say such things declare plainly that they seek a country. And truly, if they had been mindful of that country from whence they came out, they might have had opportunity to have returned. But now they desire a better country, that is, an heavenly: wherefore God is not ashamed to be called their God: for he hath prepared for them a city.
3. A Double Hearted Man Cannot Be Depended Upon In Times Of Trouble - James 1:8 A double minded man [is] unstable in all his ways.
E. When we determine what we are going to do in a certain situation ahead of time, it helps us to rightly react when the time comes.
F. Paul was a man of determined heart.
Acts 20:24 But none of these things move me, neither count I my life dear unto myself, so that I might finish my course with joy, and the ministry, which I have received of the Lord Jesus, to testify the gospel of the grace of God.
2 Corinthians 12:15a And I will very gladly spend and be spent for you;
Philippians 1:20-21 According to my earnest expectation and my hope, that in nothing I shall be ashamed, but that with all boldness, as always, so now also Christ shall be magnified in my body, whether it be by life, or by death. For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.
2 Timothy 4:7 I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith: (Paul was not a super Christian. He was simply a man who made up his mind and determined in his heart that his life would be spent for Christ.)
G. In order to have a stable, determined heart, I believe that one of the keys is to be pre-determined! I have often said that I have determined how I will react or act in certain cases such as someone breaking into our home with us there that will allow me to act without having to think about it.
Some Things We Should Pre-Determine
1. We Need To Pre-Determine to not quit – 1 Corinthians 16:13 Watch ye, stand fast in the faith, quit you like men, be strong. (I have seen some of my friends and fellow preachers quit over the years because of hurt and disappointment. I understand that bad things to come and we sometimes come out on the “short end of the stick.” A pre-determined heart will help us to “stay the course” during and after these storms of life. Yes, life is hard but God is still good and gracious to all of us and is worthy to be served.)
2. We Need To Pre-Determine to not compromise – Titus 2:7 In all things shewing thyself a pattern of good works: in doctrine shewing uncorruptness, gravity, sincerity, (Things are in serious spiritual decline and, as the song writer said, “Change and decay in all around I see.” We watch as men of God see serious decline in numbers and the liberal, worldly churches gaining in numbers. The natural tendency is to let down because all of us want to see physical growth in our churches. When the Lord died, He died virtually alone; when John the Baptist died, he died virtually alone; when the disciples died, they died virtually alone; so what makes us think that our straight preaching and adherence to the Old Paths will make us popular. Even in Jeremiah’s day, the people refused to walk in them!)
3. We Need To Pre-Determine to not be brought under the power of things not expedient – 1 Corinthians 6:12 - All things are lawful unto me, but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me, but I will not be brought under the power of any. (Notice that these things that are “not expedient” are not sinful in nature. They are things that will distract us from the main purposes. We need to keep our hand to the plough and our eye on the Point, Jesus Christ. Otherwise, we will be too busy with the things that do not matter, which are temporal, to be involved in the things that do matter and are eternal.)
4. We Need To Pre-Determine to not misuse our liberty and offend our brother - 1 Corinthians 8:13 - Wherefore, if meat make my brother to offend, I will eat no flesh while the world standeth, lest I make my brother to offend. (One of the important things when in war is to identify the enemy. You are not my enemy. I am not your enemy. We should learn to live in the love that brings about unity within the church.)
5. We Need To Pre-Determine to glory in our infirmities – 2 Corinthians 12:9 And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. (I will not complain. Trust the Lord with our health and wealth!)
6. We Need To Pre-Determine to not fear men – Hebrews 13:6 So that we may boldly say, The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man shall do unto me. (A resolve to fear God and serve Him in spite of personal attack from those who would stop us.)
7. We Need To Pre-Determine to not be a burden, but a blessing – 2 Corinthians 12:14 Behold, the third time I am ready to come to you; and I will not be burdensome to you: for I seek not yours, but you: for the children ought not to lay up for the parents, but the parents for the children. (Seek the welfare and good of others without having to be seen or recognized. Just try to be a blessing to each in any way that we can.)
8. We Need To Pre-Determine to be faithful - Hebrews 10:23-25 Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised;) (24) And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works: (25) Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching. (Someone once said, “The greatest ability is dependability!” What a blessing to see people who are busy, have troubles, and remain faithful!)
Conclusion: Solution to double heartedness - James 4:8 Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded.

The Except of Salvation

Temple Baptist Church - 9-7-2014
 
John 3:1-7
 
Introduction:
A. There are many times in the Bible when God says, “Except.” “Except” means no exceptions and, when God says no exceptions, He means just that. One of the more notable “excepts” in the Bible has to do with the new birth or being saved.
B. There is only one way of salvation and that is through the finished work of our Lord Jesus Christ at Calvary. I often refer to this as “plus nothing, minus nothing, and mixed with nothing.” The work of Calvary is “done,” not “do.” Salvation is the work of God!
C. We live in “religious days” with churches of every denomination and flavor popping up on almost every street corner. If you do not like the church you are in, you can just shop around and find one that suits your personal desires. How do you find the right church is the question.
1. A church that preaches and teaches out of the King James Bible.
2. A church that stands fast in the Old Paths of doctrinal, ecclesiastical, and personal separation.
3. A church that loves and actively seeks sinners.
4. A church that is missions hearted.
5. A church that faithfully assembles.
6. A church that is autonomous and biblically structured.
D. Today’s liberal and worldly churches are producing a people who profess Christ but in works deny Him and the great change that biblical salvation makes. Satan has blinded the minds of those who believe not and provided many alternatives to the new birth.
Did you know?
1. A person can believe in God and not be saved. James 2:19 Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble. (The world in general believes in a god and many believe in the God. The light of God lights every man who comes into this world. If there was no God, then all men would be born atheists but the exact opposite is true. The vast majority of mankind believes in a Supreme Being who created and controls all. Atheism is a willful act of denying the light that God has given to every man. All of nature declares the glory of God and rejection of such knowledge cause man to become a fool. Knowledge of a “god” or even of the “God” alone is not enough to save. Salvation is a trust.)
2. A Person can pray to the Lord Jesus and not be saved. Matthew 7:21 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. (I saw a sign the other day at the Laurens Middle School that read: “As long as there will be tests, there will be prayer in school.” I prayed at times as a lost man. Someone once said, “There are no atheists in foxholes.”)
3. A person can stand in a pulpit and preach without being saved. Matthew 7:22-23 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. (Being a pastor, preacher, evangelist, or missionary does not make one saved. Salvation has nothing to do with preaching, it has to do with a personal relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ.)
4. A person can do many wonderful works in the name of the Lord and not be saved. Matthew 7:22-23 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. (I have some great neighbors who would do anything for me but they are not saved. I have known of many who went to foreign countries and gave their lives to help the poor and sick but have not known Jesus Christ.)
5. A person can have great zeal to serve the Lord and not be saved. Romans 10:2-3 For I bear them record that they have a zeal of God, but not according to knowledge. (3) For they being ignorant of God's righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God. (At funerals, I often hear preachers tell of all of the good things that the deceased had done and how much they had served in the church but salvation is not of works but of grace.)
6. A person can have a genuine interest in salvation and not be saved. Matthew 19:16, 22 And, behold, one came and said unto him, Good Master, what good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life? … But when the young man heard that saying, he went away sorrowful: for he had great possessions. (It is often the person who will listen when you witness who will not be saved though they seemingly showed great interest in salvation and heaven. Interest and a good listening ear will not save unless the decision is made to come to Christ.)
7. A person can be a good person in the eyes of the world and not be saved. Romans 3:10-13 As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one: (11) There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God. (12) They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one. (13) Their throat is an open sepulchre; with their tongues they have used deceit; the poison of asps is under their lips: (How often have we heard someone say about a person that had died that “if anybody ever made it to heaven, they did.” Nothing about Jesus Christ; nothing about the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ; nothing about repentance from dead works and faith in Jesus Christ.)
8. A person can only be saved when he/she comes to Jesus Christ in faith alone! Romans 3:24-26 Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: (25) Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God; (26) To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus. (Salvation is a personal faith in the finished work of Calvary: Jesus Christ—God’s only begotten Son, died for your sins, was buried, and rose again bodily the third day. If you are not saved, turn from sin to Christ alone this morning and be saved.)

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Behold What Manner Of Love

Temple Baptist Church - 9-3-2014
 
1 John 3:1-3
 
Introduction:
A. The Book of 1 John was written by John the beloved to the body of Christ in general. The key word is “know” and the recipients are “my little children.” This little epistle describes the believer’s position in Christ, fellowship based upon walking in light, the possibility and remedy for sinfulness, the probability of false prophets entering the flock, along with much that will be dealt with in these last 3 chapters.
B. In our verse for tonight, we find the manner of love that God bestowed upon us when we came to Christ by faith. The Apostle John knew much about the love of Christ as he was referred to by the Holy Ghost as the disciple whom the Lord loveth. John lay his head on the breast of our Lord and heard the very heartbeat of God. It was John who recognized the Lord when the apostles went back to their old life of fishing.
C. I personally believe that the first few verses in chapter 3 were written to keep the believer from taking “so great salvation” for granted. Hebrews 2:3, one of the five warning sections of the Book of Hebrews, says, “How shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation; which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed unto us by them that heard him.” We came to Christ by faith and He gave us eternal life along with a new life. He gave us heaven for our home and the blessed hope of His soon appearing.
D. There are three words that catch my eye in the verse: Behold—which is Revelation, Manner, which is Realization, and Bestowed, which is Favored. These three words give us great insight into this “great salvation” and help us not to take for granted our wonderful position in Christ.
1. We Have A Wonderful Redemption - Romans 3:24 Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus:
Hebrews 9:12 Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us.
2. The Lord Has Given Us A Divine Deliverance - 2 Corinthians 1:10 Who delivered us from so great a death, and doth deliver: in whom we trust that he will yet deliver us;
Colossians 1:13 Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son: (Delivered from Satan)
1 Thessalonians 1:10 And to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, even Jesus, which delivered us from the wrath to come. (Delivered from hell)
3. The Lord Has Given Us A Wonderful Transformation - 1 Corinthians 6:9-11 Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God. (What a wonderful change has been made since Jesus came into my heart!)
4. The Lord Has Given Us A Complete Forgiveness - Ephesians 1:7 In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace;
Romans 4:7 Saying, Blessed are they whose iniquities are forgiven, and whose sins are covered.
Colossians 2:13 And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses; (Past, present, and future)
5. The Lord Has Given Us A Glorious Reconciliation - Colossians 1:21 And you, that were sometime alienated and enemies in you mind by wicked works, yet now hath he reconciled
2 Corinthians 5:19 To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation. (Reconcile - Brought into friendship from a state of disagreement or enmity)
6. The Lord Has Given Us A Blessed Peace - John 14:27 Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.
Colossians 1:20 And, having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself; by him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven.
Philippians 4:7 And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
7. The Lord Has Given Us An Eternal Inheritance - Ephesians 1:18 The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints,
1 Corinthians 2:9 But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.
1 Corinthians 3:21 Therefore let no man glory in men. For all things are yours;
8. The Lord Will Give Us A Heavenly Translation - 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him. For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep. 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: 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. Wherefore comfort one another with these words.