Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Paul’s Prayer for the Colossian Church

Temple Baptist Church - 1-30-2013
Colossians 1:3-12


A. Paul was excited about a church that he had never visited and a people that he had never met! We live in days of jealousy and isolation. Churches of like faith are not our enemies! People of like faith are our brothers and sisters in Christ. The last time I heard, we were all on the same side and fighting a common enemy.

B. Now, for the sake of clarification, I do not mix and mingle with liberal or apostate churches! If a church is liberal or apostate, I do not associate with them. Separatism is an important part of the work of Christ. The division caused by liberalism and apostasy is one of their making, not mine. As Biblicists, we follow the Word of God and there is no place for variation.

C. Paul not only commends the church at Colosse, but also offers up prayers for it. I want to look at his manner of praying for those that he does not know that are “staying by the stuff” in light of often dire circumstances.

1. The Characteristics of Paul's Prayer

a. It was a prayer of thanksgiving. Vs. 3. For a local church of like precious faith located in another part of God’s vineyard. Luke 10:2 Therefore said he unto them, The harvest truly is great, but the labourers are few: pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he would send forth labourers into his harvest.

a) The harvest is great - 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. (We cannot go to every part of the field because of both numbers needed and logistics.)

b) The labourers are few - 1 Corinthians 3:6-9 I have planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the increase. (7) So then neither is he that planteth any thing, neither he that watereth; but God that giveth the increase. (8) Now he that planteth and he that watereth are one: and every man shall receive his own reward according to his own labour. (9) For we are labourers together with God: ye are God's husbandry, ye are God's building. (We are few in number and the harvest is scattered around this world. It takes the effort of all to reach all!)

b. It was a prayer of constancy. Verse 3. Our daily prayers should involve the praying for others: those in bonds as well as those who labor in other countries, in other states, in our county.

2. The Content of Paul’s Prayer

a. That they would be filled with the knowledge of His will. Verse 9. Proverbs 4:7 Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom: and with all thy getting get understanding.

1) In all wisdom – One of the great dangers to true Christianity is that Christianity is merely a system of truth to be believed. Christianity is much more than faith in a dogma; it is that faith in action that makes us like Christ. We may think right doctrinally and not be conformed to the person and work of Christ. Christianity is faith in action.

2) In spiritual understanding – “and with all thy getting get understanding” We can have action and conformity simply by following someone else but these actions alone become a source of problem. I have seen so many “conform” while in a certain church but, when they decide to leave, lose all “conviction” which makes that “conviction” simply a preference. Each of us need to know what the will of God is and make that a priority in our lives.

b. That they might walk worthy. Verse 10.

1) A life that is pleasing to the Lord. This comes from a realization of what Christ has done for us coupled with the knowledge that we are not our own, we belong to Him. Not pleasing to the church or pastor necessarily but pleasing unto the one who bought us.

2) A life that is profitable to the Lord. Spiritual growth is essential to fruit bearing. Babies have to be fed and cleaned but adults can care for themselves as well as others. John 15 give the progression of one “abiding” in the Vine: fruit, more fruit, and much fruit.

c. Strengthened with all might, according to his glorious power. Verse 11.

1) This brings about patience. I heard an elder pastor just the other day say that he quit praying for patience years ago when he found out that patience was a result of tribulation. We all NEED patience! Patience is essential to stability in suffering.

2) This brings about longsuffering with joyfulness. God’s power allows us to be longsuffering with others. Not only longsuffering but doing so with joy, not necessity. Being as gentle with others as the Lord is with us.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

The Pastor

Temple Baptist Church - 1-20-2013
1 Timothy 5:17-19


A. As we study through the Pastoral Epistles, we see the inner workings of the local church. One of the most important aspects of the local church is the work and care of the pastor.

1. Very few churches fully understand the relationship of the church to the pastor, let alone the relationship of the pastor to the church. This relationship is reciprocal: a two way street. There are obligations on both sides.

2. There are very few churches who actually want a pastor. They are interested in a preacher whose responsibility is to visit and preach. Far too many church people do not want the pastor to have a place in their lives. The local churches are run by families and boards who make all of the decisions and see to it that the church moves in their desired direction.

3. There are very few pastors in our day. There are those who only want to preach and visit because they are looking forward to the day when they can step down and have their retirement. Then, they can just become an interim pastor in order to have a little additional income with no responsibility. The other side of this coin is made up of men who want to be dictators and have everything their own way.

B. Now, this is going to be simple tonight. We are not here to preach on the entirety of the pastor’s work or the total obligation of the church towards him. Paul sets forth these two things in the verses that we read:

1. The responsibility and work of a good pastor.

a. They are to rule well. 1 Peter 5:2-3 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; (3) Neither as being lords over God's heritage, but being ensamples to the flock.

1) Not because he is compelled to do so, but willingly. If he is God’s man, he will “desire the office of a bishop.” Just the other day, I told one of my sons that I want to remain in this pulpit for life. I want to be strong physically so that I can preach with passion; I want to be compassionate because my desire is to help you, not hurt you; I am not your pastor because God “made me do so” but because I would do nothing else. Willingly!

2) Not because I love to be paid for not working but of a ready mind. Excited about the prospect! I love to preach to and teach you. You cannot pay me to preach a sermon. I preach because I love what I am doing tonight. Some preach for money and retire because they can now live well without you. I have been asked often in the past couple of weeks the question, “Are you retired?” I tell those who ask that I am just now getting enough biblical sense to help people.

3) Not because I am a dictator. I do lead but I try to lead well, not in a self-serving manner. I also “take the oversight thereof” by not leading from behind. Many pastors find out what way the majority would like to go and then get in front of them. This is not my church neither is it your church. It is OUR church.

b. They are to labor in the Word. 2 Timothy 2:15 Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.

1) Find out what God says by “rightly dividing” the Word of Truth. I enjoy finding out what God said in this Bible, not constantly reading about what someone else said about it. I am not an enemy of reading but too often avid readers simply adapt their beliefs to the beliefs of the author. If these men would spend as much time in the Bible as they do in books about the

Bible they would undoubtedly know a lot more about the Bible.

2) Maintain and protect sound biblical doctrine. I maintain sound doctrine by preaching and teaching it. Doctrinal truth is often abhorred by those who feel the need to be entertained. I spend much time preaching through books of the Bible because it there that sound doctrine is found. Then I protect sound doctrine by not allowing anyone in this pulpit that does not stand where I stand because I stand right! They may get mad but that is their problem, not mine. If they were doctrinally correct, then they could preach here.

2. The responsibility and care of a good local church.

a. They are to honor him doubly. 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.

b. They are to care for him plentifully. 1 Corinthians 9:13 Do ye not know that they which minister about holy things live of the things of the temple? and they which wait at the altar are partakers with the altar?

c. They are to protect him fiercely. 3 John 9-10 I wrote unto the church: but Diotrephes, who loveth to have the preeminence among them, receiveth us not. (10) Wherefore, if I come, I will remember his deeds which he doeth, prating against us with malicious words: and not content therewith, neither doth he himself receive the brethren, and forbiddeth them that would, and casteth them out of the church.

3. The testimony of a pastor is of the utmost importance. Much is said concerning the pastor being an example.

1 Timothy 4:12 Let no man despise thy youth; but be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity.

Philippians 3:17 Brethren, be followers together of me, and mark them which walk so as ye have us for an ensample.

1 Thessalonians 1:7 So that ye were ensamples to all that believe in Macedonia and Achaia.

2 Thessalonians 3:9 Not because we have not power, but to make ourselves an ensample unto you to follow us.

1 Peter 5:3 Neither as being lords over God's heritage, but being ensamples to the flock.

a. The Importance To The Flock - Lends Credibility To The Message

b. The Importance To The Church - Lends Credibility To The Community

c. The Importance To Our Families - Lends Credibility To Our children

4. How to deal properly with a sinful pastor. Verses 19-21

a. It is to be done justly. Verse 19. “before two or three witnesses” Deuteronomy 19:15 One witness shall not rise up against a man for any iniquity, or for any sin, in any sin that he sinneth: at the mouth of two witnesses, or at the mouth of three witnesses, shall the matter be established. (He deserves the same benefit of the doubt that the Bible affords to you.)

b. It is to be done biblically. Verse 20 “rebuke” Titus 2:15 These things speak, and exhort, and rebuke with all authority. Let no man despise thee. (Rebuke him sharply with the authority of the Word of God. God’s man is not above God’s Word.)

c. It is to be done openly. Verse 20. “before all” Ezekiel 33:30a Also, thou son of man, the children of thy people still are talking against thee by the walls and in the doors of the houses … (It is not something that needs to be discussed in either private among God’s people nor in public before the world. Too much of the church’s “laundry” is hung out on the “clothes line” of the world.)

d. It is to be done universally. Verse 20. “without preferring one before another, doing nothing by partiality” Leviticus 19:15 Ye shall do no unrighteousness in judgment: thou shalt not respect the person of the poor, nor honour the person of the mighty: but in righteousness shalt thou judge thy neighbour. (His position is not his protection. Church judgment of sin is to be done in equality. The pastor is to be disciplined by the same rules as every other member.)


Temple Baptist Church - 1-20-2013

Hebrews 11:1-3


A. Chapter 11 begins with the word “Now” to show that 10 and 11 are a continuation of the same thought. The context of both chapters is “faith” and the contrast is between “faith” and “unfaithfulness.”

1. Chapter 10 shows the necessity and workings of faith as we see both faithfulness and unfaithfulness in the chapter. There are the “let us” people who continue in faithfulness and the “as the manner of some is” crowd who find faithfulness a thing of prerogative. With unfaithfulness, there always comes chastisement! While chapter 10 involves failure, admonition, chastisement, and exhortation—chapter draws a contrast.

2. Chapter 11 is often called the “Hall of Faith” and rightly so as the Holy Spirit names men and women who are specifically known for their faith. Chapter 11 shows the overcoming of faith in the most difficult of circumstances. I feel that, in light of the difficult days of spiritual decay, in which we live, that it is essential for us to understand the victory of our faith in overcoming our circumstances.

B. What is biblical faith? “Now faith is!” In our text, we find God’s definition. I want to take a few minutes looking at these 3 verses to see what biblical faith is and what it accomplishes. People live by faith each day and the principle is actually the same.

1. We sit down in a chair which we have never sat in before by such faith. It is not the knowledge that this new chair is stable because we have never tried it before. It is faith based upon the knowledge that a chair like this new one has been sat in before and held up people like us. It is built after a specific pattern and has been tested and tried many times. We do not ask, “Will this chair hold me up?” We just, by faith, sit down in it.

2. The same with a light switch, a water faucet, or turning the ignition on a car. By faith in past experience and performance, we simply trust these new ones.

C. Therefore, biblical faith has basis upon which we rely to guide us in the future. Our faith in the Bible and the God of the Bible is not a blind faith. At this point, let me say that just a belief that God is does not constitute biblical, saving faith. The “devils” also believe and tremble when it comes to knowledge of who Jesus Christ is.

D. What is biblical faith: a faith that believes the Bible to the point of trusting Christ for salvation, eternal life or security, protection, and the daily needs of life. Faith is not something that can be seen, heard, or sensed but neither is a baseless hope. I want to look at biblical faith for a few minutes as we are people of faith.

1. Faith Explained

a. Faith has substance. Substance defined - a physical material from with something is made. A substance is something deemed solid to the touch. Thus our faith is as real as what you see or touch in the world. It is assurance and confirmation at the same time.

b. Faith gives hope. An expectation or trust, not “I hope I am going to heaven” or “I hope there is a real heaven,” but rather a blessed hope or expectation. What God has done in the past causes us to expect or trust what He must do for us in the future.

c. Faith is based upon evidence. Evidence is proof! Eyewitnesses give evidence in a court of law. This evidence is something that they know, have seen, or have experienced. The works of God and the “fingerprint of God” declare the glory of God in His creation. Verse 3 sets forth God’s creation instead of Satan’s evolution theories. No Big Bang, not intermediate species, no millions of years, no “Origin of the Species,” no Theistic Evolution, but just God Said! The world was framed by the Word of God in six literal days. I cannot see Him but I know that He is because I can see what He has done!

2. Faith Essential. Verse 6 says, “Without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.”

a. Faith is essential to God’s Pleasing. 1 Thessalonians 4:1 Furthermore then we beseech you, brethren, and exhort you by the Lord Jesus, that as ye have received of us how ye ought to walk and to please God, so ye would abound more and more.

b. Faith is rewarding to God’s People. Proverbs 3:5-6 Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. (6) In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.

3. Faith’s Foundation. The foundation of our faith is found in two things: example and ensample. The examples being God’s Word and the ensamples being God’s people. Let me explain what I mean.

a. The Foundation of God’s Word - Romans 1:17 says, “So then faith cometh hearing and hearing by the word of God.”

1) The foundation of our faith is found in the Bible. Faith in anyone or anything else is misplaced faith. Once again, we find the importance of establishing what the Word of God is.

2) The Word of God is the final authority on all matters of faith. Not churches, not schools, not preachers or teachers, but the Bible. We saw the illustration of creation in verse 3. God said it and it was done!

b. The Foundation of God’s Work - 1 Corinthians 10:11 Now all these things happened unto them for ensamples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come.

1) Ensample – a pattern, repetitious, repeated blows, a model to be observed. New “versions” change ensample to example claiming that ensample is archaic and means the same thing as example but I dare to differ with them.

2) The translators of the King James Bible, the greatest men to ever translate the Word of God into English, used both words. If example and ensample were the same, they would not have used example and not the supposedly archaic word “ensample.” Though they came from the same root word, these men understood their difference. Many Greek and Hebrew words are translated differently in various places because of the context in which they are to be understood.

1 Peter 1:23 Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever. (Undecaying in essence or continuing not subject to decay or everlasting.)

1 Timothy 1:17 Now unto the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only wise God, be honour and glory for ever and ever. Amen. (Mortal speaks of being subject to death while immortal speaks of never dying or decaying.)

3) Difference in example and ensample: example is the pattern such as a pattern for a dress while ensample is the product of following the pattern which is the dress itself or “the pattern in conformity to which a thing must be made.” The example is right but the ensample can be either right when following the example or wrong when it does not follow the example or pattern.

c. These two, the Word of God and the work of God, go hand-in-hand to give us the confidence that we need in order to remain both hopeful and faithful. The Word of God gives us the example or pattern to live by while the people of God who follow that pattern give us the ensample or proof of the work of God; therefore, the two together give us confidence in God.

4. Faith Exemplified.

a. By trusting God with our salvation. 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.

b. By trusting God with our security. Ephesians 4:30 And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption.

c. By trusting God with our protection. Psalms 4:8 I will both lay me down in peace, and sleep: for thou, LORD, only makest me dwell in safety.

d. By trusting God with our provision. Philippians 4:19 But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.

e. By trusting God with our situations. Hebrews 13:5-6 Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee. (6) So that we may boldly say, The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man shall do unto me.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

We Are Not Alone

Temple Baptist Church - 1-16-2013
Colossians 1:1-8


A. In the Book of Colossians, Paul is writing to a church that he has never been to and to a people whom he has never met. The communications were a little hampered in those days because the cell phone and texting were not yet invented so it was easy to feel a little sequestered from the rest of the world.

B. In hard times and in hard places where little results are evident, if not careful we begin to think that we are alone and all of our labor is in vain. The world is going down like “a one egg pudding” and churches along with the people we once served with are deteriorating and defecting.

C. Epaphras visited Paul in the Roman prison and brought encouraging words. Not only was Paul hearing from churches such as the one at Philippi but also from churches that he did not plant nor possibly did he know they existed.

D. Paul, in these verses, thanks God for them and tries to encourage them in the Lord. This sermon will go out to hundreds of people with many of these people members of good churches that are trying to “hold the line” in these last, evil days. I want this to be an encouragement to them as well as to our people.

1. The description of the Colossian people.

a. Saints – In a day of lost church members, I thank God that there are those who are saved and show it: people who know that they know that they are saved. We have “family” all around the world who go through the same things that we go through and many suffer far beyond our comprehension. (Pastor in Iran)

b. Faithful – In a day of unfaithfulness, I thank God that there are those who just keep on keeping on when it comes to faithfulness: people who love not only God but God’s house and support it. Without you, the doors of the church would have to close. Many churches have gone to one service a week because of lack of interest. The one service is a feel good, ear tickling experience where everyone goes home thinking well of themselves.

c. Brethren – In days of division where we who are saved are naturally divided from even family member who are not saved, we find division within the “faith.” We may be separated “upon the walls” as they were in the days of Nehemiah but these brothers and sisters are alive and doing well. I go to other churches on occasion when out of town and feel right at home with the family of God.

d. Faith – In days of mixed faith, as people now place more trust in the government system than in the Lord, faith is still placed in the Lord. He will take care of us. There are churches that are holding to the King James Bible; adhering to the Old Paths of doctrine and practice; and are fighting against the worldliness that is creeping into the local churches.

e. Love – In days of “self-love” or “selfishness,” I thank God that I can not only come to church and find my friends and family who love, but also fellowship with other pastors and brethren in our community. One of the ways you know that you are saved is because of the love of God that is in you for the things of God as well as the people of God.

f. Fruitful – In days of gleaning here in the Bible Belt, I thank God that there are churches and missionaries in other place where the harvest is still fruitful and that fruit is “fruit to our account.” Some mission fields are difficult and render few souls while others are fruitful ones with many coming to Christ but ALL of the harvest is equally important.

2. The blessing of the Colossian people.

a. Paul received encouragement by them – vs. 2

b. Paul was thankful for them – vs. 3

c. Paul was given an example from them - vs. 4-6

Sunday, January 6, 2013


Temple Baptist Church - 1-6-2013
1 Timothy 5:3-16


A. This message tonight is a necessary one. As I preach through the Pastoral Epistles, which is a section of the Church Epistles, I want to deal with everything that is, has, or will confront the local church. If we want the church to be blessed, we must understand how one is to operate according to the Scriptures.

B. Last week, I dealt with the local church as a family with all of the parts of a normal family: elder men, younger men, elder women, and younger women. I intentionally left one aspect of the family out: that of widows or extended family. As a family, many of you—at one time or another—has had family other than the aforementioned living in your home.

C. In the local church, often there are widows among our numbers. It is not the work or responsibility of the local church to help everyone though we try to help our own people when they get into trouble. Many checks have been written that were benevolent in nature.

D. Many churches believe that it is their responsibility to feed the world. We do help some but it is on a case-case basis. We had a young woman walk into church just before Sunday School a month ago. She said that her parents were outside in a car and they needed money for gas and food. I told her to step outside where a man and woman sat in a car and told the young woman to tell “dad” get out of the car and speak to me. He was reluctant but finally got out of the car. I first told him that I do not like to see men send women into a church to beg for them! He was a little more than embarrassed. I then told him that if they would come into church and stay for the services that I would talk with him. He said that he would have to ask his wife so I went back into church and started SS. Needless to say, they did not come in for church.

E. So many people use churches as their welfare agency and many churches allow this to go on. I do not! The command to the local church is not to feed the poor but it is commanded to care for a “widow indeed.” I want to look at this for a few minutes tonight because most churches have at least one widow because you gals, more often than not, outlive us guys. What about widows?

1. Many of the younger women will remarry. (Verse 11) Paul gave advice to widows of this kind in another place.

1 Corinthians 7:39-40 The wife is bound by the law as long as her husband liveth; but if her husband be dead, she is at liberty to be married to whom she will; only in the Lord. (40) But she is happier if she so abide, after my judgment: and I think also that I have the Spirit of God.

a. The Bible declares her eligible to remarry. She is no longer bound to her first husband and is free to marry “whom she will; only in the Lord.” I believe this is an explanation of 1 Timothy 5:5, 11. “Wanton” means to “live deliciously.” To desire the things will satisfy her personal needs. Widows, if they remarry, need to find God’s will for a new mate just as they are to seek His will regarding the first one.

b. The Bible declares that she will be happier if she remains single and gives the rest of her life to the Lord’s service. Most of you older ladies who have been married for 40+ years are probably smart enough not get into that again! Smile! If she remarries, then she is the responsibility of her new husband.

c. The Bible also says not to take a younger widow “into the number.” Paul is speaking of bringing her into the number of the widows of the church who are to be cared for. A younger woman can “make ends meet” by working to support herself.

d. The Bible declares that the younger women who is given to her needs is to marry and bear children. Women need to be under the authority of a man. I know this will make some liberated woman man but it is a biblical principle. A young woman is to remain under the authority of her father or his proxy until such a time as I ask the question, “Who gives this woman to this man in marriage?” The standard answer is: “Her mother and I.”

e. A young widow who is not given totally to God, when left by herself, will get into trouble or cause trouble. (Verses 11-13, 15)

2. Many widows within the church have family to care for them. (Verses 4, 8, 16)

a. It is not the responsibility of the local church to care for the widow who has close family. I had a man come to me years ago and ask me if the church could pay for his mother’s medicine. He was a member of our church also. His mother was a widow and had family all over Laurens. I gave him the biblical answer: your family needs to get together and pay for the medicines.

b. I will say at this point if we have a widow in our church who has a sorry family who will not help care for her, we will help her but it is a matter of caring, not biblical responsibility.

1 John 3:17 But whoso hath this world's good, and seeth his brother have need, and shutteth up his bowels of compassion from him, how dwelleth the love of God in him?

c. The Bible calls such children and family members who will not care for their widows, sorry, low down, faith deniers. You may say, “Preacher, I did not see ‘sorry, low down’ in these verses.” The Bible says they are “worse than an infidel:” a heathen who is incredible and untrustworthy: as I said, “Sorry and lowdown!”

3. The local church is to care for a qualified widow indeed. (Verses 5, 9-10) Here are her biblical qualifications as not every widow indeed is to be cared for by the church. Not every “widow indeed” is the obligation of the church to care for.

a. She must be desolate. (Verse 5) This means incapable of caring for herself. Most men have such things as insurance and properties that will take good care of the wives in the case of their demise. I have tried to make sure that my wife can live independently in the case of my death. I know that I can trust God with her but I also know that He entrusted me with her. As one man used to say, “I am probably worth more dead than alive.”

b. She must be spiritual: “trusteth in God.” Her faith and expectancy are in the Lord. He must be the “love of her life.”

c. She must be faithful: “continueth.” Faithfulness in our day is a rare quality. She must be faithful in all things.

d. She must have been married only once. (Verse 9) She is the wife of one husband.

e. She must have a reputation for compassion. (Verse 10) Lodged strangers, washed the feet of the saints, relieved the afflicted, and followed every good work.