Temple Baptist Church - 7-18-2010
A. In Nehemiah 8:4, we have not only the first mention principle of the word pulpit (God will never change His mind concerning this subject); we also have a full mention principle (God said all that He needs to say on the subject). This is also the only mention of the word “pulpit!” God said all that needs to be said on the subject in one short context. I would behoove us to look at this important piece of furniture that is found in a prominent place in the local church and check out its purpose.
B. In most churches, the pulpit is the central piece of furniture in the most conspicuous place. The new and more modern (liberal) churches are built around the Family Life Center. This “falling away” from the preaching of God’s Word is not new. I remember my days in Bible College when we observed “shift change” at Tabernacle Baptist Church. There were many who came for Preaching but never Sunday School. There were those who came for Sunday School and left before the preaching.
C. The pulpit was once a place of reverence by the man of God. It is often called the “sacred desk.” In our day, men climb into pulpits that have no love for the Word of God or the people of God. They are hireling prophets who are more interested in their own personal agendas than they are standing true to the Bible. These are men with no call of God on their lives.
D. The pulpit was once held in respect by the people of God but times have changed that also. Now people come and hear the Word of God preached with a “take it of leave it” attitude. We live in the Laodicean Church Age and “Laodicea” means “the rights of the people.” People care little for what God says or what God wants. They do what they want to do.
1. God’s Man – vs. 2 “Ezra the priest”
2. God’s Method – vs. 2 “brought”
3. God’s Message – vs. 2 “the law”
a) The Value of God’s Word - Psalms 19:10 - More to be desired are they than gold, yea, than much fine gold:
b) The Sweetness of God’s Word - Psalms 19:10 sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb.
c) The Importance of God’s Word - Job 23:12 I have esteemed the words of his mouth more than my necessary food.
LET US TAKE A LOOK AT THAT PULPIT AND GIVE SOME APPLICATIONS TO THE PULPIT AND THE CHURCH OF OUR DAY
1. The Pulpit Should Be A Place of Desire – 1 “gathered themselves” (The people initiated the Service)
1 Peter 2:2 As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby:
Psalms 119:97 O how love I thy law! it is my meditation all the day. (Three Results of Loving God’s Word.)
Psalms 119:113 I hate vain thoughts: but thy law do I love.
Psalms 119:163 I hate and abhor lying: but thy law do I love.
Psalms 119:165 Great peace have they which love thy law: and nothing shall offend them.
a. Hate vain thoughts (wicked thinking)
b. Hate lying
c. Not easily offended
2. The Pulpit Should Be A Place of Unity – 1 “all...as one man” (The people were in One Accord)
Ephesians 4:11-15 And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ: That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive; But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ:
Acts:, 41-42 And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place....Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls. And they continued stedfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers.
3. The Pulpit Should Be A Place of Purpose - 1-2 “bring the book” (The people wanted to hear God’s Word)
2 Timothy 4:2 Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine.
a. Purpose of Salvation - Romans 10:17 So then faith [cometh] by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.
b. Purpose of Edification - 1 Peter 2:2 As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby:
c. Purpose of Exhortation - Hebrews 13:22 And I beseech you, brethren, suffer the word of exhortation: for I have written a letter unto you in few words.
4. The Pulpit Should Be A Place of Attentiveness – 3 “were attentive” (When God’s man speaks, God’s people should heed.)
a. Heeding God’s Word Brings Salvation To Others - 1 Timothy 4:16 Take heed unto thyself, and unto the doctrine; continue in them: for in doing this thou shalt bothsave thyself, and them that hear thee.
b. Heeding God’s Word Brings Cleansing - Psalms 119:9 Wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way? by taking heed thereto according to thy word.
5. The Pulpit Should Be A Place of Elevation – 4 “pulpit” (A “pulpit” is an elevated place.The people elevated it, not the preacher. Place of Authority.)
Hebrews 13:17 Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves: for they watch for your souls, as they that must give account, that they may do it with joy, and not with grief: for that is unprofitable for you.
1 Timothy 5:17 Let the elders that rule well be counted worthy of double honour, especially they who labour in the word and doctrine.
6. The Pulpit Should Be A Place Of Understanding. Vs. 4 “pulpit of wood” (It was made of perishable wood.) God’s infallible, perfect Word being preached by fallible, imperfect men! This is God’s way.
1 Corinthians 2:3-5 And I was with you in weakness, and in fear, and in much trembling. (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: (5) That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God.
7. The Pulpit Should Be A Place of Reverence – 5 “all the people stood up” (Reverence God’s Word.)
Psalms 138:2 I will worship toward thy holy temple, and praise thy name for thy lovingkindness and for thy truth: for thou hast magnified thy word above all thy name.
Psalms 119:117 Hold thou me up, and I shall be safe: and I will have respect unto thy statutes continually.
8. The Pulpit Should Be A Place of Blessing and Praise – 6 (Place of Elevation of Christ.)
Philippians 3:3 For we are the circumcision, which worship God in the spirit, and rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh.
John 12:32 And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me.
9. The Pulpit Should Be A Place of Agreement – 6 “Amen”
Hebrews 13:7 Remember them which have the rule over you, who have spoken unto you the word of God: whose faith follow, considering the end of their conversation.
Acts 2:42 And they continued stedfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers.
Amos 3:3 Can two walk together, except they be agreed?
10. The Pulpit Should Be A Place of Worship and Humility – 6 “Bowed…worshiped”
Psalms 150:1 Praise ye the LORD. Praise God in his sanctuary: praise him in the firmament of his power.
11. The Pulpit Should Be A Place of Attendance - 7 “their place”
a. The Importance of the People
b. The Implication of their Place (cannot be filled by another)
Hebrews 10:25 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.
1 Corinthians 4:2 Moreover it is required in stewards, that a man be found faithful.
12. The Pulpit Should Be A Place of Teaching and Understanding – 8 “caused them to understand the reading”
a. The Pulpit is a place of teaching - Matthew 28:20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you:
Hebrews 5:12, 14 For when for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again which be the first principles of the oracles of God; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat...But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.
b. The Pulpit is a place of preaching - 2 Timothy 4:2 Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine.
13. The Pulpit Should Be A Place of Joy and Gladness – 10 “the joy of the Lord is your strength”
a. The Joy of the people - 1 John 1:4 And these things write we unto you, that your joy may be full.
b. The Joy of the pulpit - 3 John 1:4 I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth.