Sunday, September 26, 2010

The Greatest Need Of The Believer

Temple Baptist Church - 9-26-2010

Ephesians 5:18


A. One of the most misunderstood of all Bible doctrines is that of being filled with the Holy Ghost. Being filled with the Spirit is a direct command of God for the life of every believer. It is not optional!

B. What the filling of the Spirit is not:

1. It is not a second working of grace. Some teach that you get saved and then get filled with the Holy Ghost later. When you get saved, you are as full of the Holy Ghost as you will ever get. You spend the rest of your life trying to be continually filled.

2. It is not some charismatic experience or gift whereby the Holy Ghost “jumps on someone” and they roll on the floor—get slain in the Spirit—speak in an unknown tongue—bark like a dog—laugh uncontrollably—fall into a trance—or anything else that causes someone to lose control of their senses.

3. It is not lying on your father’s grave until the power comes or praying through until the Holy Ghost takes complete control of you in some mystical manner.

4. It is not an act of God whereby He takes control of someone! It is an act of the believer whereby he or she gives themselves completely over to the will of God and thereby giving Him control of self.

5. It is not “Spirit baptism.” At the moment of salvation, we are all baptized into the body of Christ (1 Corinthians 12:13). This baptism is a one-time event; this baptism is an act of God; this baptism is simultaneous with conversion.

C. The Holy Ghost indwells every believer! The Bible declares that if any man has not the Spirit of God, he is not saved!

1. The Holy Ghost Indwells Us For Identification - Romans 8:9 But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his. (He gives assurance and brings about sanctification.)

2. The Holy Ghost Indwells Us For Liberation - 2 Corinthians 3:17 Now the Lord is that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. (We are free from the bondage of sin. Sin no longer has dominion over us.)

3. The Holy Ghost Indwells Us For Preservation - Ephesians 4:30 And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption. (He is the “earnest” of our redemption until God calls us home.)

D. We are not “filled with the Spirit” for a sign, shout, or show. We are filled with the Spirit for sanctification and service. This filling of the Spirit comes through cleansing from sin and consecration to the will of God in our lives.

E. Some of the results of being filled with the Spirit:

1. Fruit Bearing - Galatians 5:22-23 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, (23) Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. (Three inward; three outward; and three upward. Fruit, more fruit, and much fruit according to John 15.)

2. Submission - Ephesians 5:19-21 Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord; (20) Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ; (21) Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God. (Submission to each other; submission to the Word of God; submission to the man of God; submission to the ordinances of man.)

3. Witnessing - Acts 1:8 But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth. (There will be an outward manifestation of in inward joy that will be obvious to those around us as well as a desire to share our faith with others.)

4. Faithfulness - Acts 2:41-42 Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls. (42) And they continued stedfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers. (Our unfaithfulness is in direct proportion to our spiritual condition. Unfaithful is unfilled!)

5. Fellowship - 1 John 1:7 But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin. (Spirit filled believers love one another!)

The Fall of a Nation

Temple Baptist Church - 9-25-2010

Zephaniah 1:14-2:3; 3:1-8


A. The interpretation of the verses read this morning is to the nation of Israel. The Book of Zephaniah deals with the coming of the Day of the Lord and the end time.)

B. The application is to any nation. There have been many great nations that have risen to power and then, through moral decay have fallen from their position of world prominence.

1. Egypt (rose to its zenith of power under Joseph)

2. Israel (the greatest nation and most feared upon the face of the earth to the most despised)

3. Babylon (from Nebuchadnezzar to Belshazzar)

4. Medio-Persia (From Cyrus the anointed to oblivion)

5. Greece (Alexander the Great and no more worlds to conquer at age 30)

6. Rome (the great Caesars, armies and roads to internal decay)

7. Spain (the great explorers and Spanish Armada to mediocrity)

8. England (great military and missions outreach to total apathy and apostasy)

9. America (In God We Trust to In Government We Mistrust; God expelled from schools never to return; prayer banished from sporting events; witnessing disallowed in the work places; a form of godliness in the churches that denies the power thereof!)

C. We have seen out Country go from:

1. Pride to Shame

2. Morality to Perversion

3. Prayer to Apostasy

4. Strength to Apologies

5. Humility to Arrogance

6. Respect to Distain

D. America not only needs our prayers, it desperately needs our help! We are Americans and this is our country! I love America! America is not gone yet but she is gravely “listing” in the sea of sinfulness.

E. This morning, I want to look at the condition of our nation in light of the text verses that we read. We need to know where we are in order to know how to pray for this great land.

1. Our Nation Is Sinful - vs. 1 “filthy and polluted”

a. Lack of integrity among the people

b. Immorality and sexual perversion

2. Our Nation Is Disobedient - vs. 2a “obeyed not the voice”

a. She had and knew God’s Word

b. She rejected God’s Word

3. Our Nation Is Stiff-Necked - vs. 2 “received not correction”

a. She rejected the message from God’s Men

b. She rejected the warnings of impending destruction

4. Our Nation Has Become Self-Reliant - vs. 2 “she trusted not the Lord”

a. She forgot from whence her blessings came

b. She became proud in her accomplishments

c. She trusts in the government to supply instead Of God

5. Our Nation Has Willfully Rejected God - vs. 2 “she drew not near to her God”

a. In our government – The president said that America was no longer a Christian nation.

b. In Our schools – Bible reading and prayer expelled.

c. In Our homes – They are no longer Bible based and fall quickly when the rains and floods come.

6. Our Nation Has Become Politically Corrupt - vs. 3 “roaring lions...evening wolves:

a. From government by the people and for the people to Anarchy

b. From statesmen to politicians

c. From prayer and fasting to corruption and bribery

7. Our Nation Has Become Religiously Apostate - vs. 4 “prophets...light and treacherous...priests...polluted the sanctuary...done violence to the law”

a. Our pulpits are shallow

b. Our pews are sinful (we embrace sin and compromise)

c. Our testimony is gone

8. Our Nation Is Shameless - vs. 5 “knoweth no shame”

a. Sinners are justified

b. Sin is acceptable

9. Our Nation And Her End - vs. 8 “mine fierce anger”

a. The anger of the Lord

b. The judgment of the Lord

10. Our Nation and Her Salvation - vs. 2:1-3

a. Seek the Lord

b. Seek righteousness

c. Seek meekness

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

The Dispensation of the Grace of God

Temple Baptist Church - 9-22-2010

Ephesians 3:1-6

A. As I begin this message, it is of the utmost importance that we understand the term “dispensation of the grace of God.”

1. Miriam-Webster defines a dispensation as: a general state or ordering of things, specifically: a system of revealed commands and promises regulating human affairs; a provision especially of providence or nature; a formal authorization; the act of dispensing something; distributed.

2. In theology, dispensationalism is defined as: a Protestant evangelical tradition and theology based on a biblical hermeneutic that sees a series of chronologically successive “dispensations” or periods in history in which God relates to human beings in different ways under different Biblical covenants.

B. One of the books most noted for the teachings of dispensations in the Bible is “Dispensational Truth” by Clarence Larkin (copyrighted in 1918). Clarence Larkin broke down the 7,000 literal years of time into 7 different dispensations or periods of time where God dealt with man in different manners.

1. The Dispensation of Innocence – from the Beginning to the Fall

2. The Dispensation of Conscience – from the Fall to the Flood

3. The Dispensation of Human Government – Post Flood

4. The Dispensation of Promise – from the Call of Abraham to the Giving of the Law

5. The Dispensation of Law – from Mt. Sinai to Mt. Calvary

6. The Dispensation of Grace – from Resurrection to the Second Coming

7. The Dispensation of the Kingdom – Second Coming to the New Heaven and New Earth

C. I understand to a degree Larkin’s teaching but disagree with his conclusions. After the fall in Genesis 3, Innocence was gone but Conscience—Human Government—Promise—Law—and Grace were all together. Let me explain:

1. Adam and Eve had Conscience but so do we today.

2. Adam and Eve had Human Government and so do we today.

3. Adam and Eve had Promise and so do we today.

4. Adam and Eve had Law (though the written Law in its entirety came through Moses) and we still have Law today. The Bible; the Jewish Torah—“teaching,” “instruction,” or “law. The first 5 books of the Bible—Pentateuch.

5. Adam and Eve certainly had Grace (Noah had Grace in Genesis 6:8) and we have Grace today. Salvation is all of grace both now and in Adam’s day. Some teach salvation as works plus faith before the cross—grace from the cross to the Rapture—and then works plus faith again in both the Tribulation Period and the Kingdom Age. This is false theology! No man has or ever will be able to merit his salvation before a thrice holy God! In another of Clarence Larkin’s charts, he correctly called the “Dispensation of Grace” the “Ecclesiastical Dispensation,” which runs from Christ to Antichrist. I could agree to a greater degree with this title as we live in the “church age.”

D. I said all of that to say this: the dispensation of the grace of God is the dispensing of the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. It has and always will be grace. Eternity will be the “exceeding riches of his grace” in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Ephesians 2:7)

E. Now let us look at these verses. The message is simple tonight.

1. The Messenger of Grace – vs. 1 Paul, the prisoner of the Lord and the Apostle of the grace of God. Paul was a Pharisee, who rejected the Gentiles before his conversion, whom God because of the Jews rejection of him. Paul knew what grace was all about.

1 Timothy 1:15 This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief. (God saved the chief of sinners because He loved him. Paul also made a great trophy in God’s Trophy Case. God uses people who know what it is to be helplessly and hopelessly lost. What a work of Grace! God still uses “saved by grace sinners” who know and understand the grace of God to reach others. We have the responsibility of sharing the gospel to others.)

2. The Message of Grace – vs. 2 Salvation is all about grace! Paul, a Jew, was saved by grace and that same grace that he received was extended to the Ephesians, who were Gentiles.

Romans 10:12 For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him. (The message of grace is the message of the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. It is both universal and inclusive. All are saved the same way and all are included. The Gospel of Grace is Grace, not Race. It is all inclusive, not exclusive!)

Acts 4:12 Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved. (Nothing else works. All of our methods and programs fail. They may add “church members” but not true conversions. God’s way still works in spite of us.)

3. The Mystery of Grace – vs. 3-6 Jews and Gentiles in one body. Again, this is certainly not a reference to the local church because the Ephesians were Gentiles, not Jews. The Holy Ghost referred to all of them being members of the same body.

Ephesians 5:30 For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones. (“Of his flesh and his bones” refers to the body of Christ. Each time Paul wrote to a local church, he—though not a member—always included himself when speaking of the body of Christ. Ephesians 1:1-6. When the Lord comes for His Church, He will come for every born again believer—Jew or Gentile! He told the Jews in John 10 that)

John 10:16 And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

A Tearless Church

Temple Baptist Church - 9-19-2010

Lamentations 3:42-54

Introduction: This message will be a tough one tonight because it will greatly touch each and every one of us in one area or the other, but I believe that it is a very necessary message.

A. We find in these verses the Prophet Jeremiah weeping over the condition of Israel. The people were gone into captivity and the city of Jerusalem lying in utter destruction as a result of the sinfulness of the nation.

B. His eye affected his heart and the result was manifested in brokenness and weeping. Tears are a result of a soul’s sensitivity toward the unsaved, an attitude of brokenness, a heart crushed by the plight of the unrepentant.

C. There is a great need in the Church for a revival of tears. When we become deeply enough burdened for lost men and women until we weep over the needs of men, we will begin to bring them in.

D. Tearlessness is a result of selfishness! Many times our thoughts are upon our lives and not upon the lives of others. We move through the mechanics of living for Christ and evangelism without a heart moved with a burden for the less fortunate. There needs to be a true revival of tears in our churches.

E. Jeremiah expressed a similar sentiment in the familiar passage: "Oh that my head were waters, and mine eyes a fountain of tears, that I might weep day and night for the slain of the daughter of my people!" (Jeremiah 9:1).

F. Tears are important to the Lord. Even our Lord wept over Jerusalem and at the tomb of Lazarus.

Psalm 30:5 Weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning. (Tears often precede joy. Burden often goes before blessing. Groaning before glory.)

1. God Sees Our Tears - Isaiah 38:5 Go, and say to Hezekiah, Thus saith the LORD, the God of David thy father, I have heard thy prayer, I have seen thy tears: behold, I will add unto thy days fifteen years.

2. God Remembers Our Tears - Psalms 56:8 Thou tellest my wanderings: put thou my tears into thy bottle: [are they] not in thy book?

3. One Day God Will Wipe Away Our Tears - Revelation 21:4 And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.

1. We Should Weep For Our Sin – Ezra 9:15-10:1 O LORD God of Israel, thou [art] righteous: for we remain yet escaped, as [it is] this day: behold, we [are] before thee in our trespasses: for we cannot stand before thee because of this. Now when Ezra had prayed, and when he had confessed, weeping and casting himself down before the house of God, there assembled unto him out of Israel a very great congregation of men and women and children: for the people wept very sore.

Matthew 26:75 And Peter remembered the word of Jesus, which said unto him, Before the cock crow, thou shalt deny me thrice. And he went out, and wept bitterly.

a. You see, sin isn’t really SIN anymore.
b. You see, the Bible isn’t really RIGHT anymore.
c. You see, men no longer “escheweth” evil!

Job 2:3 And the LORD said unto Satan, Hast thou considered my servant Job, that [there is] none like him in the earth, a perfect and an upright man, one that feareth God, and escheweth evil? and still he holdeth fast his integrity, although thou movedst me against him, to destroy him without cause.


2. We Should Weep For Our Children And Our Families - Luke 23:28 But Jesus turning unto them said, Daughters of Jerusalem, weep not for me, but weep for yourselves, and for your children.

a. Because Of The Sinful Society That They Are Being Subjected To. (The days of both Noe and Lot simultaneously coupled with Laodicea and the falling away.)

b. Because Of The Lack Of Godly Examples Being Set Before Them. (They are choosing the role models of the world instead of men and women of God.)

c. Because Of The Lackadaisical, Lukewarm “Christians” In The Church. (By example, they are following the “do nothing of a spiritual nature” attitude of the church.)


3. We Should Weep For Our Brethren - Job 2:12 And when they lifted up their eyes afar off, and knew him not, they lifted up their voice, and wept; and they rent every one his mantle, and sprinkled dust upon their heads toward heaven.

a. We Should Weep Over The Fallen. (Those who are into gross sin and reproaching the cause of Christ. But for the grace of God go I!)

b. We Should Weep Over The Failing. (Those who are out of church, either hurt or disgruntled, and reproaching the cause of Christ. But for the grace of God go I!)

c. We Should Weep Over The Floundering. (Those who are still in the church but will soon be casualties and will be reproaching the cause of Christ. But for the grace of God go I!)


4. We Should Weep For Our Nation - Nehemiah 1:4 And it came to pass, when I heard these words, that I sat down and wept, and mourned [certain] days, and fasted, and prayed before the God of heaven,

a. We Need To Pray For Those In Authority Over Us. (Like them or not, they are our elected officials. Pray for them now and change them at the polls!)

b. We Need To Pray For The Sinfulness Of Our Nation. (God expelled and godlessness exalted for sea to sea. The Word of God rejected and Madonna “crucified!” May God help our country!)

c. We Need To Pray For The Innocents Who Are Suffering Because Of It All. (Both in the classrooms and in the womb!)


5. We Should Weep For The Lost - Luke 19:41 And when he was come near, he beheld the city, and wept over it.

a. Because Hell Is Still A Real Place. (The liberals have not cooled it off by one degree with their denials.)

b. Because The Harvest Is Ripe For The Harvest. (The problem is still the lack of looking upon the harvest and the lack of laborers in the harvest.)

c. Because Sinners Still Die Without Christ Every Day. (They deserved to hear the truth and have it ringing in their ears as they live and die.)

A hundred thousand souls a day
Are passing one by one away
In Christless guilt and gloom.
O Church of Christ, what wilt thou say
When in the awful judgment day
They charge thee with their doom?


The Importance of Exhortation

Temple Baptist Church - 9-19-2010

Hebrews 10:25


A. As Bible believers, we know what time it is prophetically. We live in the last of the last days (which began with the coming of Christ). Jesus may come today and what a day that will be. I could spend the morning looking at the signs of His coming but that is not the message.

B. The message is this: we live in times of great disappointment and discouragement. More and more of God’s people are becoming distant to the things of God.

1. Old folks are sitting down as if their job is done.

2. Young ones are choosing the ways of the world over the things of God.

3. Churches and pastors are trying to “adjust” their message and ministry to the needs of these brethren but this is not the answer. The message and ministry cannot be compromised to reach those who reject the “faith once delivered.”

C. Then, what is the answer? I believe that it is two-fold:

1. Continue to lovingly preach the uncompromised message of salvation, sanctification, and service. Only the Word of God can overcome the trend that is taking place. It must be with longsuffering, love, and purity of doctrine.

2. Exhorting one another! This command of God is far more important than we realize. I want to look at the word “exhorting” for a few minutes. It is a little understood word. I am not a Greek scholar and do not think that you need the Greek to understand the English Bible that you hold in your hand. With that disclaimer, I want to look at the simple use of the word “exhorting.”

D. “Exhorting” one another!

1. John 14:16 And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever; (The word “Comforter,” which is capitalized because of its direct reference to the Holy Ghost, means intercessor and consoler; advocate and comforter.

2. In Hebrews 10:25, the word “exhorting” means virtually the same as it comes from the same root word. It means to invite, invoke by imploration, exhortation, or consolation; to beseech, call for, comfort, desire, entreat, and to pray.

E. Here is the “bottom line:” We are to do the work of the Holy Spirit in intercession and exhortation. God’s people are often confused, hurting, and generally dysfunctional! They are

1. Bewitched by sin

2. Bombarded by the world

3. Bewildered by circumstances

4. Backstabbed by the brethren

5. Battered by the church

6. And, eventually, Bitter towards the things of God. Spiritual dropouts!

F. Satan has done his work well! And many times, with our help! We need the Lord, the church, and each other. Let us look at several ways we can exhort one another:

1. Exhortation In Our Prayer Closets - 1 Timothy 2:1 I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men; (This word means to make intercession! One of the greatest things that you can do for me is to love and pray for me. All I can say is pray, pray, and pray some more. I need your prayers and you need the practice.)

2. Exhortation In Our Love For One Another - 1 Peter 4:8-9 And above all things have fervent charity among yourselves: for charity shall cover the multitude of sins. (9) Use hospitality one to another without grudging. (Love is a characteristic of discipleship. Love in spite of faults and failures; love with the love that the Lord loves you and I with; love with forgiveness and forbearance; love when hurt or maligned by others; love with the love that God placed in your hearts when you got saved. Fervent love: both without ceasing and increasing.)

3. Exhortation In Our Daily Interaction - Hebrews 3:12-13 Take heed, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God. (13) But exhort one another daily, while it is called To day; lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin. (One of the major problems of our day is the lack of interaction of God’s people on a daily basis. We work, mix, and mingle with the world without seeing each other from Sunday to Wednesday and back you Sunday again. In Acts 2, they were with one another on a daily basis, from house to house and in breaking of bread. Spend time with God’s people.)

4. Exhortation In Our Verbal Communication - Proverbs 15:1-2 A soft answer turneth away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger. (2) The tongue of the wise useth knowledge aright: but the mouth of fools poureth out foolishness. (Most brethren who become offended become such because of what other brethren say. Sharp words; judgmental words; insensitive words; unnecessary words; cruel words are offensive words. Be careful “little tongue” how you speak! Keep your words sweet.)

Colossians 3:16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord. (Admonishing means to caution or to reprove gently. Be gently and loving with the brethren. Keep their sin between them and the Lord, not between them and you.)

5. Exhortation In Our Faithfulness - 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. (Aha! You thought I had forgotten our text verse! This is not a negative thing but a positive, blessed thing. Come to church and worship together. Come to church and fellowship with one another. Don’t fuss and fume. Don’t criticize or judge one another. Just love one and exhort (come along side of) one another!)

6. Exhortation In Our Preaching – 2 Timothy 4:1-2 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. (I did not forget us pastors, preachers, and evangelists either! Reproving and rebuking are an important part of preaching but, without longsuffering, they can become harsh and judgmental. I have been guilty at times of trying to do the work of the Holy Spirit when preparing and delivering messages. These believers are God’s heritage! Truth, preached in a wrong spirit, can do more harm than good because people will turn their ears away—not because of the message but because of the messenger!)

Conclusion: Exhorting one another: and so much the more as ye see the day approaching! Jesus may come today so hang in there. It will be worth it all when we see Christ. Then, our fellowship will be perfect in Him.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

The Prisoner of Jesus Christ

Temple Baptist Church - 9-15-2010

Ephesians 3:1; Acts 16:16-31


A. In chapter 2, we found out where we were; what the Lord did for us; what the Lord is doing in us. In chapter 3, the Apostle Paul uses a phrase, “the prisoner of Jesus Christ for you Gentiles.” Five times in the Pauline Epistles, Paul refers to himself as a “prisoner.”

B. One of the best examples of what Paul is expressing in verse 1 is found in the story of Paul and Silas imprisoned in Acts 16. They have been placed in stocks in the inner prison for preaching the Word of God. At midnight, as they sing the high praises of God, there is an earthquake and the doors to the prison are opened. They remain self-imprisoned and the guard is astounded. He asks, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved,” and they lead him and his family to the Lord.

C. The prisoners were loosed and yet voluntarily remained in prison. I preached on the subject some years ago, “A Prison Without Bars.” When the Lord saves the believer, He makes them free. They are eternally saved! Free from sin; free from judgment; free from condemnation; free from the fear of death and hell; free to live.

D. Some children of God choose a life of rebellion and self-gratification. They have been set at liberty through the grace and mercy of Christ and then become friends and followers of the world. This is not what the Lord saved them to. Chapter 2:10 says that we are created unto good works.

E. The grateful believer becomes a bond slave and serves his Master out of love and gratitude. This is referred to in verse one of this chapter: a prisoner of the Lord Jesus Christ for you Gentiles. A prison without bars!


1. A Prison Is A Place Of Choice

a. Human Prisons – Commission of a crime.

b. Spiritual Prisons – Consecration of a life.

Philippians 1:20 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. 21 For to me to live [is] Christ, and to die [is] gain.

Galatians 6:14 But God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world.

2. A Prison Is A Place Of Detention

a. Human Prisons – Locked in by Security guards.

b. Spiritual Prisons – Locked in by self.

Ephesians 6:19-20 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, 20 For which I am an ambassador in bonds: that therein I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak.

Philemon 10-13 I beseech thee for my son Onesimus, whom I have begotten in my bonds: 11 Which in time past was to thee unprofitable, but now profitable to thee and to me: 12 Whom I have sent again: thou therefore receive him, that is, mine own bowels: 13 Whom I would have retained with me, that in thy stead he might have ministered unto me in the bonds of the gospel:

3. A Prison Is A Place Of Depriving Of Personal Freedoms

a. Human Prison – Limited by Locks.

b. Spiritual Prisons – Limited by Love.

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.

2 Corinthians 12:15 And I will very gladly spend and be spent for you; though the more abundantly I love you, the less I be loved.

4. A Prison Is A Place Of Protection

a. Human Prisons - The Protection of Society

b. Spiritual Prisons – The Protection of Self

Acts 23:11 And the night following the Lord stood by him, and said, Be of good cheer, Paul: for as thou hast testified of me in Jerusalem, so must thou bear witness also at Rome.

2 Timothy 4:17 Notwithstanding the Lord stood with me, and strengthened me; that by me the preaching might be fully known, and [that] all the Gentiles might hear: and I was delivered out of the mouth of the lion.

5. A Prison Is A Place Of Controlled Surroundings

a. Human Prisons – Nothing gets in or out Unnoticed

b. Spiritual Prisons – Nothing gets in or out Unnoticed

Romans 8:28 And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to [his] purpose.

6. A Prison Is A Place Of Restitution

a. Human Prisons – A debt is paid to Society

b. Spiritual Prisons – A debt is paid to Society

Romans 1:14 I am debtor both to the Greeks, and to the Barbarians; both to the wise, and to the unwise.

2 Corinthians 5:18 And all things [are] of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation;

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Prayer And The Church

Temple Baptist Church - 9-12-2010

Mark 11:15-18


A. If the Lord were to come to the churches of America today, would he commend them or cleanse them? He would probably spend more time cleansing than anything else.

B. Things had greatly changed in the Temple since the days of Solomon when the first Temple was built! When Jesus came into the Temple, He cast out those who perverted the Temple’s real purposes. He taught them, “Is it not written, my house shall be called of all nations the house of prayer?” This comes from Isaiah 56:7, which reads, “Even them will I bring to my holy mountain, and make them joyful in my house of prayer: their burnt offerings and their sacrifices [shall be] accepted upon mine altar; for mine house shall be called an house of prayer for all people.”

C. Not a house of prayer, but THE HOUSE OF PRAYER! They even had special times just to go to the Temple and pray. Acts 3:1 Now Peter and John went up together into the temple at the hour of prayer, [being] the ninth [hour]. The ninth hour was three o’clock in the afternoon, one of the three times that it was customary with the Jews to pray. At 9:00 AM, 12:00 Noon, and 3:00 PM.

Daniel 6:10 Now when Daniel knew that the writing was signed, he went into his house; and his windows being open in his chamber toward Jerusalem, he kneeled upon his knees three times a day, and prayed, and gave thanks before his God, as he did aforetime.

Psalms 55:17 Evening, and morning, and at noon, will I pray, and cry aloud: and he shall hear my voice. (EVIDENTLY PRAYER HAD BECOME BOTH INFREQUENT AND ALSO A FORMALITY!)

D. We, here at Temple Baptist Church, pray often. We have prayer meeting each Saturday night at 6:00 PM. We pray in men and ladies’ prayer rooms before the service. We pray at the altar to begin the service. We pray several times in the process of the service and dismiss in prayer. Do we pray for the power of God and His blessings upon us or do we pray out of ritual? That is where we find the Jews at the Temple in the days of Christ. Pray should never be a formality but communion with our heavenly Father!

E. It would do us well at this point to go to the first mention of prayer in the Temple to better understand what the Lord meant when He called it the House of Prayer. In these verses, we will see both the direction and quality of the praying. In 2 Chronicles 6:12-42, we find the Dedicatory Prayer that Solomon made upon completion of the Temple. In 2 Chronicles 7:1, we find the acceptance of Solomon’s prayer and the consuming presence of God. Let’s turn there:

F. The presence and power of God should be our ultimate desire when we meet at the church house. We are not going to read the entire prayer for the sake of time but I want us to get the “gist” of it. Look at verse 6:12 and then 7:1.

1. It Was A Prayer Of Humility – vs. 12-13

a. Humbled In The Sight Of Man – vs. 12 – “in the presence of all the congregation and spread forth his hands” (Not caring what man thinks.)

b. Humbled In The Presence Of God – vs. 13 – “kneeled down on his knees…spread forth his hands toward heaven” (Caring what God thinks!)

2. It Was A Prayer Of Remembrance – vs. 14-18

a. Remembrance Of God’s Person – vs. 14 – “there is not God like thee”
b. Remembrance Of God’s Presence – vs. 14 – “nor in the earth”
c. Remembrance Of God’s Power – vs. 15 – “fulfilled it with thine hand”
d. Remembrance Of God’s Promises – vs. 16 – “keep…hast promised”

3. It Was A Prayer Of Intercession – vs. 19-31

a. For Forgiveness – vs. 21 – “when thou hearest, forgive”
b. For Restoration – vs. 27 – “send rain upon thy land”

4. It Was A Prayer Of Missions – vs. 32-33

a. Foreign Missions – vs. 33a – “that all the people of the earth may know thy name, and fear thee”
b. Home Missions – vs. 33b – “thy people Israel…may know this house”

5. It Was A Prayer Of Deliverance – vs. 34-39

a. From Enemies – vs. 34 – “go to war…enemies by the way”
b. From Defeat – vs. 35, 39 – “maintain their cause”

6. It Was A Prayer Of Enthronement – vs. 40-42

a. God In His Rightful Place In The Temple – vs. 41a – “arise, O Lord God, into thy resting place”
b. God In His Rightful Place In The People – vs. 41b – “let thy saints rejoice in thy goodness”

Evidences Of Salvation

Temple Baptist Church - 9-12-2010

Matthew 13:18-23


A. Many people today are bothered by so-called “judging” when it comes to salvation. Their argument is that no one has the right to judge another person because the heart cannot be known.

B. To an extent, they are right in this statement. There is little difference externally between a carnal, backslidden Christian and a lost religionist. The main difference is chastisement or lack of it.

C. Though the two may look and act alike, the true Christian cannot remain in that condition without the chastening of the Lord.

D. In these verses that I read (we have heard them preached for years), we find a parable of great truth which is being manifested in our day. The words “saved” and “born again” have become commonplace in our society and yet our society is virtually reprobate in its morality. “Having a form of godliness but denying the power thereof!” What power? The power to change a life for now and eternity!

E. Salvation (true biblical salvation) always produces in the life of the believer to one extent or another. True conversion is called “born again.” God gave the analogy! To be saved is to be “born.” If all true conversions do not produce a change of life then, evidently, there are two types of salvation! God only saves one way and that salvation carries with it the same fruits. Compare these two verses:

Proverbs 20:11 Even a child is known by his doings, whether his work be pure, and whether it be right.

Matthew 7:20 Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.

F. Neither you nor I am to be the judge of who is saved and who is not, but every individual needs to make sure that they have the “Real McCoy” when it comes to salvation.

2 Corinthians 13:5 Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates?

Titus 1:16 They profess that they know God; but in works they deny him, being abominable, and disobedient, and unto every good work reprobate.

G. Here are some good “evidences” that should accompany our salvation.

1. A Faith Accompanied By Works

James 2:17-20 Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone. Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works. Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble. But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead? (Not a faith by works but a faith that works! If faith is not accompanied by good works, it is dead!)
Ephesians 2:8-10 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: [it is] the gift of God: For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.

2. A Faith Accompanied By Love

1 John 4:19-20 We love him, because he first loved us. 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?

1 John 5:2-3 By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God, and keep his commandments. For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous.

a. Saved people love the Lord

b. Saved people love the Brethren

c. Saved people love the church

d. Saved people love the lost (Saved people love and show it!)

3. A Faith Accompanied By Assurance

Isaiah 32:17 And the work of righteousness shall be peace; and the effect of righteousness quietness and assurance for ever.

2 Timothy 1:12 For the which cause I also suffer these things: nevertheless I am not ashamed: for I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day.

Hebrews 6:11 And we desire that every one of you do shew the same diligence to the full assurance of hope unto the end:

Hebrews 10:22 Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water.

1 John 5:10 He that believeth on the Son of God hath the witness in himself: he that believeth not God hath made him a liar; because he believeth not the record that God gave of his Son.

1 John 5:13 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. (Salvation should bring peace and rest in the Lord Jesus Christ.)

4. A Faith Accompanied By Submission To Biblical Authority

John 10:27 My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me:

1 Corinthians 11:1 Be ye followers of me, even as I also [am] of Christ.

1 Peter 5:5 Likewise, ye younger, submit yourselves unto the elder. Yea, all [of you] be subject one to another, and be clothed with humility: for God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble. (Some so-called Christians submit to no one. They do what they want, how they want, and when they want with no thought to anyone else. There is an old saying: “Goats butt, sheep don’t!”

These goats are always a source of problem and concern to the pastor. As a general rule, problems always come from the same people. That is a warning indicator!)

5. A Faith Accompanied By Joy

1 Peter 1:8 Whom having not seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory: (Salvation should be accompanied by spiritual joy. Not necessarily happiness as happiness is based upon “happenings,” but a deep joy in spite of our “happenings.”)

6. A Faith Accompanied By An Outward Testimony

Acts 11:26 And when he had found him, he brought him unto Antioch. And it came to pass, that a whole year they assembled themselves with the church, and taught much people. And the disciples were called Christians first in Antioch. (Named because they acted like 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. (Suffered because they acted like Christ.)

1 Peter 2:12 Having your conversation honest among the Gentiles: that, whereas they speak against you as evildoers, they may by [your] good works, which they shall behold, glorify God in the day of visitation. (Witnessed because they acted like Christ. A life lived is worth a thousand sermons preached!)

7. A Faith Accompanied By A Desire To Share The Gospel

John 1:40-41 One of the two which heard John [speak], and followed him, was Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother. He first findeth his own brother Simon, and saith unto him, We have found the Messias, which is, being interpreted, the Christ. (With most so-called Christians, salvation is the best kept secret in the world!)

8. A Faith Accompanied By A Change In Priorities

Philippians 3:8-10 Yea doubtless, and I count all things [but] loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them [but] dung, that I may win Christ, And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith: That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death; (The child of God, Christ should come first! He is Lord of all!)

9. A Faith Accompanied By A Patient Continuance

Titus 2:11-15 For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world; Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ; Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works. These things speak, and exhort, and rebuke with all authority. Let no man despise thee.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Waiting Upon The Lord

Temple Baptist Church - 9-5-2010

Isaiah 40:31


A. I have often said that patience is not on of my “strong traits!” More often than not, when problems come, they do not instantly or quickly disappear. Valleys can be long and hard while God’s silences are the order of the day.

B. Let me say first of all that, because valleys are long and God seemingly silent, it is not necessarily a sign that we are either out of the will of God or that God does not care.

1. In John 11, our Lord allowed Lazarus to suffer and die before He showed up to raise him from the dead. The Lord used the suffering of Lazarus to manifest His glory and many came to Christ because of it. His suffering was not in vain.

2. In the Book of Job, our Lord allowed Job to suffer for a while (we are not sure of the time frame). He lost all plus his health while suffering at the hands of his “friends.” God blessed him double in the end and left us this precious book of the Bible to encourage us.

3. In the Book of Genesis, our Lord allowed Abraham to wait upon Him for the promise of Isaac for 25 years. God made Abraham a promise but was silent until all hope was gone before giving him a son. They were long, troublesome years for Abraham but left us a promise of hope that God will do what He says He will do.

4. Also in the Book of Genesis, our Lord allowed Joseph, having done nothing wrong, to spend years in slavery and prison with no answer as to either how long or why. He suffered for app. 13 years. The Lord then raised Joseph to a position second only to Pharaoh in order to deliver the nation of Israel. What a blessing it is to us today!

5. Moses chose to be afflicted with the children of Israel instead of becoming the next Pharaoh and having the wealth of the world at his command. He fled Egypt and was “rewarded with 40 years on the backside of the desert for his choice before the Lord appeared to him in the burning bush. There is not greater man in recorded history than this man, Moses, who spoke face to face with God.

6. The Lord allowed David, the anointed king of Israel, to spend 17 years running and hiding from Saul before elevating him to the promised kingship. David gave up on God as he went down to Gath and offered to fight against the very people whom he would later rule. David was later enthroned and it will be the Throne of David upon which our Lord sits during the Millennial Reign.

C. The list could go on but I believe that we all get the picture. Waiting, in these instances, were vital for both the glory of God and the intended good of those who waited. Waiting is neither a sign of sin on our behalf or a lack of compassion of the part of the Lord. Waiting is one of the hardest things that the Lord will ever require us to do.

D. I read this, “If the request is wrong, God says “no;” if the timing is wrong, God says “slow;” if you are wrong, God says “grow;” if the request is right—the timing is right—and you are right—God says “GO!” Waiting on the Lord is both one of the hardest things that we will be asked to do but, in the end, can be one of the most beneficial things that we can do.

Isaiah 43:1-5 But now thus saith the LORD that created thee, O Jacob, and he that formed thee, O Israel, Fear not: for I have redeemed thee, I have called thee by thy name; thou art mine. (2) When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee: when thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burned; neither shall the flame kindle upon thee. (3) For I am the LORD thy God, the Holy One of Israel, thy Saviour: I gave Egypt for thy ransom, Ethiopia and Seba for thee. (4) Since thou wast precious in my sight, thou hast been honourable, and I have loved thee: therefore will I give men for thee, and people for thy life. (5) Fear not: for I am with thee: I will bring thy seed from the east, and gather thee from the west;

E. God is not in a hurry, we are. If God can accomplish anything immediately and He can, then why does He more often than not make us wait for the answers to our problems? Often, His silences are hard to understand because His ways are not our ways and His thoughts are higher than ours.

F. I am not going to preach on all that I know about waiting but I want to deal with just one aspect in question form: what does waiting accomplish in the life of the Christian?

1. Waiting on the Lord teaches us submission to His will - Mark 14:36 And he said, Abba, Father, all things are possible unto thee; take away this cup from me: nevertheless not what I will, but what thou wilt. (The Father did not even answer our Lord’s request for immediate removal of His problem. Our Lord bowed to the will of the Father.)

2. Waiting on the Lord is a cleansing agent for the child of God - Psalms 26:2 Examine me, O LORD, and prove me; try my reins and my heart. (Problems bring about self-examination and self-examination brings about confession and forsaking.)

3. Waiting on the Lord produces a sincere prayer life - Philippians 4:6 Be careful for nothing; but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. (Often, our prayer life becomes a formality because life is good and we have need of nothing. Problems “drive us to our knees” as we seek God’s deliverance.)

4. Waiting on the Lord teaches us to trust in the Lord with all our hearts - Proverbs 3:5 Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. (When we do not understand and our problems seem to get the best of us, we need to remember that God is still in control. Paul said, “For I have learned!” God’s providence becomes a reality in our lives.)

5. Waiting on the Lord teaches us to rest in Him - Psalms 37:7 Rest in the LORD, and wait patiently for him: fret not thyself because of him who prospereth in his way, because of the man who bringeth wicked devices to pass. (The Lord loves us and cares for us. He will always do right in our lives. Yes, sometimes sin must run its course but God still controls everything in this universe and can be trusted.)

6. Waiting on the Lord renews our strength spiritually - Isaiah 40:31 But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint. (As bodily exercise profiteth little (and it does prosper), spiritual exercise also makes us to mature in the things of the Lord. As our world is fat and lazy, so do we become if we have all that we want and never have problems. We shall “mount up as eagles!”)

7. Waiting on the Lord causes us to hope in Him - 1 John 3:2-3 Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is. (3) And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure. (The older we get; the more problems that we endure; the more we long for home!)

Psalms 42:5 Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou disquieted in me? hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise him for the help of his countenance.

The Mission Of The Church

Temple Baptist Church - 9-5-2010

Matthew 28:18-20

Intro: One of the main problems with the end-time church is that of priority and purpose. That is the reason for the confusion, conflict, and casualness of God’s people. Their priorities are wrong which leads to selfishness. Selfishness leads to conflict. Conflict leads to confusion. Confusion leads to failure of purpose!

A. The Church Has Become A Recreation Center For The Sinner Place Where He Is Comfortable, Not Convicted, A Place Where He Is Placated, Not Preached To

B. The Church Has Become An Entertainment Center For The Carnal Saint Encourages Carnality, Not Crucifixion Produces Apathy, Not Ardor

C. The Church Has Become A Fast Food Joint For The Shallow Saint Pumps Their Flesh, Not Their Faith

D. The Church Has Become A Rest Home For The Backslidden Saint They Are Careless In Their Sin, Not Convicted In Their Service


1. Soul Winning - The Church For The Sinner: A Rescue Mission

“When a congregation stops winning souls, it loses the primary purpose for existence.”

a. The Work Of The Saviour

Luke 19:10 For the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost.

b. The Wisdom Of The Saint

Proverbs 11:30 The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life; and he that winneth souls is wise.

c. The Waste Of The Sinners

Matt. 9:37-38 Then saith he unto his disciples, The harvest truly is plenteous, but the labourers are few; Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he will send forth labourers into his harvest.

John 4:35 Say not ye, There are yet four months, and then cometh harvest? behold, I say unto you, Lift up your eyes, and look on the fields; for they are white already to harvest.

d. The Wealth Of The Soul

Matthew 16:26 For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?

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; But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot:

2. Missions - The Church For The World: A Place Of Reaching Out

The Command To Go – Through Missions

a. Where – All The World

Matthew 28:19 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:

Acts 1:8 But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.

b. How – Through Missions

1 Corinthians 3:9 For we are labourers together with God: ye are God’s husbandry, ye are God’s building.

c. Why – Preach And Teach

Mark 16:15 And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.

Matthew 28:19 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:

3. Preaching and Teaching - The Church For The Saint: A Restaurant

a. There Must Be Feeding (Consistent Bible preaching with power and boldness.)

1 Peter 5:2 Feed the flock of God which is among you, taking the oversight thereof, not by constraint, but willingly; not for filthy lucre, but of a ready mind;

John 21:17 He saith unto him the third time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me? Peter was grieved because he said unto him the third time, Lovest thou me? And he said unto him, Lord, thou knowest all things; thou knowest that I love thee. Jesus saith unto him, Feed my sheep.

Acts 20:28 Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood.

b. There Must Be Feasting (The pastor can feed all he wants but unless there is a feasting, all is in vain.)

1 Peter 2:2 As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby:

Hebrews 5:14 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.

4. Restoration - The Church For The Weary Servant: A Place Of Refreshment

a. There Is Encouragement – Restoration For The Failing

Galatians 6:1 Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted.

2 Corinthians 2:7 So that contrariwise ye ought rather to forgive him, and comfort him, lest perhaps such a one should be swallowed up with overmuch sorrow.

b. There Is Edification - Reassurance For The Fainting

Jude 1:20 But ye, beloved, building up yourselves on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Ghost,

Ephesians 4:11-12 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:

2 Corinthians 1:4 Who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

The Blessings Of Salvation

Temple Baptist Church - 9-1-2010

Ephesians 2:11-22


A. The Book of Ephesians, called “The Highlands of Faith” by some, gives the believer a right perspective about what and where he was; what the Lord did for him or her; and what the Lord is going to do for them. The book has a two-fold division:

1. Chapters 1-3 speak of the Positional aspect of our salvation. As we continue in these chapters, we see progressively what the Lord did for us. Salvation is of the Lord but it always is followed by a change in life and good works.

2. Chapters 4-6 speak of the Practical aspects of our salvation. Personal responsibility, coupled with divine enablement, brings about personal choice and accountability.

B. We, as believers, often tend to get caught up in our daily lives and forget just who and what we are. We are the light of the world, both to be visible and guiding to the unsaved. We are the salt of the earth! We are to make salvation both palatable and desirous to those what are not saved. We are precious children who have been made nigh through the blood of Christ. We are changed and are to show forth good works that bring glory to the Lord Jesus Christ. Verse 10.

1. A new control – “we are his workmanship”

2. A new conduct – “unto good works”

3. A new course – “that we should walk in them”

C. The Holy Spirit sets forth three things in the verses following verse 10 that I want to call our attention to:

1. Our not so illustrious past – Lest we think more highly of our selves than we ought to think.

2. Our underserved but wonderful present – To promote thankfulness to the One who did it all.

3. Our glorious future prospect – To give us a blessed hope in our heavenly home.

D. These verses do two things: they describe the wonderful change in both acceptance and destination in Christ and also provoke thanksgiving in the hearts of those redeemed and reconciled by the blood of Christ. If we are mindful in these things, we will be both what we should be and all that we can be for God. Then and only then are we usable and fruitful.

1. Remember Your Past – vs. 11-12 The Problem: Who, where, and what you were!

a. Gentiles in the flesh – “Gentile dogs!” The word “gentile” means a heathen people. Not even worthy of the crumbs that fall from the rich man’s table. We were nobodies spiritually who were grafted in as branches from a “wild olive tree.”

b. Aliens from the commonwealth of Israel – outsiders who do not belong. Not a part of the blessed nation of Israel. “British Israelism” is a heretical doctrine that was adhered to and taught by Herbert W. Armstrong of the World Wide Church of God. It taught that the people of Western Europe and especially the British Isles were direct descendants of the ten lost tribes of Israel. We gentiles are neither Jews physically or spiritually.

c. Strangers from the covenants of promise – not one of the promises left to Israel, the people of God, apply to you and I. We were a nothing people going nowhere.

d. Hopelessly and helplessly lost, having no hope in either this world or the world to come. Drifting aimlessly toward the grave and hell.

2. Realize Your Present – vs. 13-18 The Propitiation: What The Lord Did For You!

a. Made nigh by the blood of Christ – verse 13 – “made nigh” Titus 3:5 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; (Not drew nigh but MADE nigh. Being made nigh is an act of God through the blood of Jesus Christ!)

b. Made peace by the body of Christ – verse 15 – “abolished in His flesh the enmity” Hebrews 10:19-20 Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus, (20) By a new and living way, which he hath consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say, his flesh;

Mark 15:38 And the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom. (We now have a peace with God that brings about the peace of God.)

c. Made accessible the fellowship with God by the Holy Spirit – verse 18 – “access by one Spirit” Romans 5:1-2 Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ: (2) By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. (Thank God for His great love that brought about a personal relationship with Him.)

d. Made a part of the family of God for all eternity – verses 19-22 – “fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God” 1 Corinthians 12:12-14 For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ. (13) For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit. (14) For the body is not one member, but many. (We were all made “FAMILY” through the new birth and one day we will all be called home at the Rapture of the Church.)