Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Putting Off In Order To Put On

Temple Baptist Church - 7-31-2013
Colossians 3:5-14
A. Last week, we looked at the dual nature of the believer.
1. We have an “old man” who is sensual and a “new man” who is spiritual. In light of these truths, we are to understand that there is constant conflict between these two natures.
2. The victory comes when the believer feeds or renews the “new man” and starves or controls the “old man.”
B. Verse 5 said that there are sins to be mortified.
1. This listing is a possibility for every believer if he-she walks in the flesh instead of the spirit. These sins are to be mortified by each of us. They are so wicked and destructive. They are a part of the past of many and are to be shunned; therefore, the word mortify.
2. Many of God’s people have fallen prey to these fleshly desires and the end has been horrendous. Never think that it cannot or will not happen to you. Some great men of God are now on the sideline because of such sin.
C. The success of the local church has been obscured by a quest for numbers!
1. Numbers are great as long as they do not come at the expense of sanctification. The local church is to be a holy place where holy people come to worship, thus showing a stark contrast to the world which brings about conviction that draws sinners to Christ. The latter day churches have used worldliness and casualness to make sinners feel right at home within the walls of the church. Holiness is not for sale!
2. Numbers are great as long as they do not come at the expense of doctrine. Strict adherence to doctrine brings about a division that was commanded by the Scriptures. There is an old saying among those who have no doctrinal teaching that says, “Love unifies; doctrine divides.” Doctrine does divide and there can be no true love without it! Doctrine is not for sale!
3. We are to go out and compel sinners to come in, preach the Word to them, and let God give increase and add to the local church as He sees fit. Areas are different according to the amount of biblical light they have received and the length of time that they have had that light. If I read my Bible correctly, I find that in the last days of the church, there is a falling away and general unfaithfulness. Not an excuse for “smallness” but a biblical fact to be recognized. When the Lord comes again, will He find faith? Unfortunately, not much!
D. One measure of success in the local church is that of unity in “spirit and truth.” This unity becomes a reality only when individual believers “conform to the image” of the Lord Jesus Christ. That is why we find the words “mortify,” “put off,” and “put one” in this context.
E. I want to look at these verses as they show us the proper order of walking in the Spirit as well as getting along within the corporate walls of the church. Paul, writing to the Colossian Church, is instructing them concerning unity and charity among the members. The local church is to be a “nest” in which we raise our young; a school in which we instruct with the Bible; and a haven in which we come apart from the world and rest. The worst enemy can be, and normally is from within: the members’ sitting on the pews.
1. We are to put off the deeds of the old man:
a. Anger – There are two types: selfish anger which a result of not getting what we desire or a sinful reaction to the provocation of others and righteous anger which is being angry at things that makes God angry. We are commanded to be angry and sin not.
Proverbs 29:22 An angry man stirreth up strife, and a furious man aboundeth in transgression. (People with anger control issues will always cause strife in the local church.)
b. Wrath – I define wrath as anger in motion and out of control. People who lose their tempers almost always live to regret it.
James 1:20 For the wrath of man worketh not the righteousness of God. (Wrath will cause a believer to do things that he-she ordinarily would not do and, once done, can almost never be undone.)
c. Malice – To hold a grudge because of an unforgiving spirit. “I don’t get mad, I get even” is the phrase so often quoted.
1 Corinthians 14:20 Brethren, be not children in understanding: howbeit in malice be ye children, but in understanding be men. (Children can and do get mad at one another but get over it quickly. When the parents get involved is where the problem comes in. We are to be like children in matters of conflict.)
d. Blasphemy – Normally, when using this word, we think of cursing or speaking evil of the things of God but the context is dealing with unity and charity among believers. Blasphemy means to speak evil of something or someone. Be careful what you say because: 1) you will probably wish you had not said it and 2) it will normally get back to the one you said it about.
e. Evil Communications – To say things that do not glorify God. It is so easy to get drawn into a conversation that a Christian should not be a part of. Speaking of those things done in darkness, off color jokes or language, etc.
f. Lying – We are to be truthful in all that we say. Lying is an act to intentionally deceive another and a half truth is still a whole lie.
Ephesians 4:25 Wherefore putting away lying, speak every man truth with his neighbour: for we are members one of another.
We must put these things off in order to put the following things on.
2. We are to put on the new man: in verse 12, Paul appeals to the believer based upon their “election of God, holy and beloved.” Now, understand that the body is elect, not the individual. Paul is appealing to the church, not simply the individual because it takes the whole church’s involvement in order to have the unity so imperative to success spiritually.
a. Bowels of mercies - A sympathizing spirit, weeping with those that weep, suffering with them that suffer, being touched with a feeling of their sorrows and weaknesses: an inward pity and compassion to those distressed. Simply said, “Caring!”
b. Kindness – Mercy and compassion in action, being good to people, courteous to people, understanding and caring. Giving a cup of water in the name of Christ.
Galatians 6:9-10 And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not. (10) As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith.
c. Humbleness of mind – A realization or true perspective of self. If there is anything good in me or about me, it is because of Christ. If I am anybody or have done anything, it is because of Christ. He should be our Everything first, others should always be second, and self last.
Philippians 2:3-4 Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves. (4) Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others.
d. Meekness – When I think of meekness, the verse that comes to mind actually deals with the godliness of women.
1 Peter 3:4 But let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price.
When I apply this verse to men and women, it means to be a “background” person: not always having to be seen or heard; not to draw attention to self; to allow others to take the praise.
e. Longsuffering – This word is self-explanatory: to suffer long: to be patient or enduring! Not easily offended or angered by the accidental or even thoughtlessness of others. Be as longsuffering with others as God is with you.
Romans 2:4 Or despisest thou the riches of his goodness and forbearance and longsuffering; not knowing that the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance?
f. Forbearing one another – Forbearing is similar to longsuffering but is not the same. They have a common bond found in:
Romans 2:4 Or despisest thou the riches of his goodness and forbearance and longsuffering; not knowing that the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance?
While longsuffering is normally putting up with the faults of another over a long period of time, forbearance has more to do with an individual moment. If you know someone is going to rub you the wrong way, you can mentally prepare to be patient with them and, therefore nice to them, but when you do not expect something it is like a needle jab! You jump and yell before you think. If you expect a needle in the arm, you prepare. Forbearance is exercised in the immediate moment.
g. Forgiving one another … even as Christ forgave you – Forgiveness has a two-fold benefit: 1) it forgives the offender for all wrongdoing 2) forgiveness keeps anger, wrath, and bitterness from gaining a foothold in your heart. I have often said, “Hurt turns to anger, anger to bitterness!”
Ephesians 4:32 And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you.
h. Charity – Above all things because brotherly love covers a multitude of sins. If I love you as my brother or sister, then I will neither argue nor fight with you.
1 Peter 4:8 And above all things have fervent charity among yourselves: for charity shall cover the multitude of sins.
The definition of charity in 1 Corinthians 13 says it all:
1 Corinthians 13:4-7 Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, (5) Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil; (6) Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth; (7) Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.

Sunday, July 28, 2013

The Sovereignty Of God

Temple Baptist Church - 7-28-2013
1 Chronicles 29:10-13
A. The verses that we read this morning are powerful in that they exalt the person of the Lord and He is worth of our praise.
1. David’s praise is a result of proper perspective of who God is.
2. David’s praise is a result of the knowledge of what God can do.
3. David’s praise is a result of the place God occupied in David’s life.
B. I feel that I need to preach often on the person of our wonderful Lord. These verses say much about God but I want to look at one aspect that encompasses David’s expression of who God is: His sovereignty!
1. The moment I mention the word “sovereignty,” the first thought that comes to the minds of most “Calvinism!” I always feel that I need to explain that I am not nor could ever be a Calvinist. No, I am not a Calvinist. I fervently disagree with his TULIP theology as John Calvin saw only one side of the sovereignty of God.
2. In God’s sovereignty, He chose to give man choice which brings about obligation to choose rightly. I find it amazing that we all know that God has given every man the right to choose the path for his life and, yet, they cannot either choose or refuse Christ! The unsaved as well as the saved make decisions all of the time and those decisions do not seem to interfere with the sovereignty of God one bit.
3. My God is loving, kind, gentle, good, longsuffering, high and holy, and yet touchable! His name is truly wonderful, His works marvelous, His power beyond our imagination, His grace is truly matchless, His wisdom past finding out, His Word both perfect and eternal, and His majesty matchless.
C. The Sovereignty of God!
1. You will not find either of the words “sovereign” or “sovereignty” in the Bible but the truth is set forth from Genesis 1:1—where the bible declares that “In the beginning God”—to Revelation 22:21 where it says “Amen!” As God has said, “Let it be so!”
2. Since the word “sovereignty” is not a bible word, let us look at it’s definition for clarification:
Sovereignty – Free from all external control; reigning or royal authority; the dominion of a monarch, the complete authority to govern a state; exclusive in right to control one’s thoughts and actions; autonomous; greatest in status, authority, and power; supreme; exceptional in quality.
D. The doctrine of the “Sovereignty of God” is one of both the least understood and the most misunderstood.
1. By the sovereignty of God, it is to be understood that—as Creator of all things both visible and invisible—God is both owner or and ruler over all things.
Deuteronomy 32:39 See now that I, even I, am he, and there is no god with me: I kill, and I make alive; I wound, and I heal: neither is there any that can deliver out of my hand.
2. By the sovereignty of God, it is to be understood that all things happen in the providence of God and by chance. The bible does not teach luck. It teaches the providence of an all-knowing, thrice holy God! He knows the end from the beginning; He rules and over-rules in the affairs of man; the child of God is safely and securely in His mighty hand; He loves His children in a way that we will never fully understand until we get to heaven. Because of His sovereignty:
1) God Requires No Counsel - Romans 11:34 For who hath known the mind of the Lord? or who hath been his counsellor?
2) God Seeks No Advice - 1 Corinthians 2:16 For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him? But we have the mind of Christ.
3) God Lacks No Wisdom - James 1:5 If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.
4) God Asks No Permission – Job 33:13 Why dost thou strive against him? for he giveth not account of any of his matters.
5) God Answers To No Man - Romans 9:20 Nay but, O man, who art thou that repliest against God? Shall the thing formed say to him that formed it, Why hast thou made me thus?
3. By the sovereignty of God, it is to be understood that He does as He wills and what He does is perfect.
1. God Is Sovereign In His Creation – Genesis 1:1 In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.
John 1:3 All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.
Hebrews 11:3 Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear.
Psalms 19:1 The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handywork. (Everything in nature contains the “finger print” of God. You can believe it or deny it but you cannot stop it or change it! You were not there when the foundations were laid: God was there!)
2. God Is Sovereign In His Counsel John 12:48 He that rejecteth me, and receiveth not my words, hath one that judgeth him: the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day.
Proverbs 1:23-30 Turn you at my reproof: behold, I will pour out my spirit unto you, I will make known my words unto you. 24 Because I have called, and ye refused; I have stretched out my hand, and no man regarded; 25 But ye have set at nought all my counsel, and would none of my reproof: 26 I also will laugh at your calamity; I will mock when your fear cometh; 27 When your fear cometh as desolation, and your destruction cometh as a whirlwind; when distress and anguish cometh upon you. 28 Then shall they call upon me, but I will not answer; they shall seek me early, but they shall not find me: 29 For that they hated knowledge, and did not choose the fear of the LORD: 30 They would none of my counsel: they despised all my reproof. (You can take it or leave it but you cannot alter it! You may reject it and or change it here on earth but it is forever settled in Heaven. You will hear it again!)
3. God Is Sovereign In His ConversionJohn 5:24 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life.
John 14:6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.
Deuteronomy 30:19 I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live:
Proverbs 14:12 There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death. (Salvation is God’s way or not at all. It is His way or the highway and the highway leads to hell!)
4. God Is Sovereign In His Circumstances Romans 11:36 For of him, and through him, and to him, are all things: to whom be glory for ever. Amen.
Job 23:10-14 But he knoweth the way that I take: when he hath tried me, I shall come forth as gold. 11 My foot hath held his steps, his way have I kept, and not declined. 12 Neither have I gone back from the commandment of his lips; I have esteemed the words of his mouth more than my necessary food. 13 But he is in one mind, and who can turn him? and what his soul desireth, even that he doeth. 14 For he performeth the thing that is appointed for me: and many such things are with him.
Hebrews 2:10 For it became him, for whom are all things, and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons unto glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings. (He controls all that happens! Although tough to accept at times, Romans 8:28 is still in the Book! Proverbs 3:5-6 still apply!)
5. God Is Sovereign In His Consequences John 3:16-18 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. 17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. 18 He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.
Luke 16:22-23 And it came to pass, that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels into Abraham's bosom: the rich man also died, and was buried; 23 And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom. (It is either Heaven or Hell! In God’s sovereignty, He gave men a choice. Then, man’s choice leaves God no choice!)

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

The Dual Nature of the Believer

Temple Baptist Church - 7-24-2013
Colossians 3:5-10
A. One of the least understood truths concerning salvation is the dual nature of the believer. We find in these verses 4 states of man: two have to do with relationship or lack of it and two with fellowship or lack of it.
1. The Natural Man in verse 7. Before salvation, man is dead in trespasses and sins according to
Ephesians 2:1-3 And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins; (2) Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience: (3) Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others.” (Sinners walk in this state of spiritual darkness and deadness because they live within those states! They cannot walk in spiritual light because they remain in the darkness of their Adamic nature. Sinners sin because they are sinners!)
2. The Saved Man in verses 1-3. After salvation, the believer is risen with Christ because he or she is “hid with Christ in God.” Those who are saved are
Romans 6:3-7 Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death? (4) Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. (5) For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection: (6) Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin. (7) For he that is dead is freed from sin.
3. The Old Man or Carnal Man in verses 5-9. Though the believer has, through relationship with Christ, been eternally saved and sealed, and yet
a) The old Adamic nature comes through our physical birth remains in him or her through the sinfulness of the flesh until death. The spirit is saved but the flesh cannot inherit the Kingdom of God.
1 Corinthians 15:50 Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption. (For this reason, our new body to be received from God is a necessity for eternity.)
b) The reality of this nature is argued by some who believe that the Old Man is eradicated either at the moment of salvation or through a second work of grace afterwards. The Bible is specific on this point:
1 John 1:8-2:1 If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. (9) If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. (10) If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us. (2:1) My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous: (If we say we have no sin, we make God a liar and the truth is not in us. In 2:1, we find the possibility of sin and God’s remedy. This is written to “My little children” or the saved.)
4. The New Man or Spiritual Man, found in verse 10, comes through a spiritual birth and remains for an eternity. The Spirit of God lives within the believer to guard and guide him or her.
1 Corinthians 3:16 Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?
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.
B. Now, let us look at the conflict of the believer.
1. The Reality of Sin. The listing in verse 5, though not a complete listing of possible sins, is enough to show us the depravity of our flesh.
Romans 7:17-18 Now then it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me. (18) For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not.
2. The Probability of Sin. The will of God is to “sin not” but the possibility or probability is that we do and will sin. The flesh is not an excuse but our Lord said,Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.”
1 John 2:1 My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous:
1 John 1:9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
3. The Perpetuity of the War. No matter how spiritual we may be, the war with our sinful flesh continues.
James 4:1 From whence come wars and fightings among you? come they not hence, even of your lusts that war in your members?
1 Peter 2:11 Dearly beloved, I beseech you as strangers and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul;
Romans 7:21-23 I find then a law, that, when I would do good, evil is present with me. (22) For I delight in the law of God after the inward man: (23) But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members.
4. The Victor of the War. There can certainly be victory in this life. The victory that overcomes the world comes through our faith in Christ. There is also a pattern to be followed.
a. Verse 5 – Mortify therefore your members. “Mortify” means to put to death and what has to die is your “members.” There must be a death to he flesh which is a death to self.
b. Verse 8 – Put off all these. There must a recognition of encroachment of sinfulness lest we “get used to the dark.”
c. Verse 10, 12 – Put on the new man … Put on therefore. To robe oneself in righteousness as one would put on a garment.
d. Verse 15-16 – Let. We can either “let” or “let not!”
5. The Results of the war.
a. There is a Carnality and sinfulness that brings failure or
b. There is a Spirituality and holiness which brings faithfulness!

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Risen To What?

Temple Baptist Church - 7-17-2013
Colossians 3:1-4
A. The Bible never ceases to amaze me. God can say so much in so little space concerning spiritual truth and does so in verses 3-4.
B. Verse 1 says,If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God.”
1. “Risen with Christ” speaks of having a real salvation experience: one that transforms the natural (dead) man into a spiritual (living) one. It is not a religious experience but rather a spiritual transformation that brings about an eternal change. Risen means “to rouse up” or to “rise from the ruins or nonexistence” and “with” means together with Christ.
2. “Seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth” refers to eternal things, not temporal ones. There is nothing wrong with temporal things as long as they do not become our heart’s treasure but foolish men too often trade the eternal which cannot be lost for the temporal which cannot remain.
2 Corinthians 4:17-18 For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory; (18) While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal.
C. I want to simply break these last two verses down into a simple sermon outline showing the results of coming to Christ.
1. Our Promise – “ye are dead, and your life is”
a. Salvation is universal - 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.
b. Salvation is assured - Romans 10:13 For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.
Acts 16:31 And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.
c. Salvation is immediate - 1 John 3:2 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.
d. Salvation is effective - 2 Corinthians 5:17 Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.
e. Salvation is complete - Colossians 2:10 And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power:
2. Our Position – “hid with Christ in God”
a. Safe from enemies - John 10:28 And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.
b. Safe from failure - Jude 24 Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy,
c. Safe from sin - 1 John 3:9 Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God.
Romans 7:18 For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not.
3. Our Possession – “Christ, who is our life”
a. Christ gives us life - 1 John 5:11-12 And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. (12) He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life.
b. Christ is our life - Acts 17:27-28 That they should seek the Lord, if haply they might feel after him, and find him, though he be not far from every one of us: (28) For in him we live, and move, and have our being; as certain also of your own poets have said, For we are also his offspring.
4. Our Prospect – “when Christ … shall appear”
a. His Promise - John 14:3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.
b. His Person - 1 Thessalonians 4:16 For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:
5. Our Place – “with Him in glory”
a. With Him - Revelation 22:3-5 And there shall be no more curse: but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it; and his servants shall serve him: (4) And they shall see his face; and his name shall be in their foreheads. (5) And there shall be no night there; and they need no candle, neither light of the sun; for the Lord God giveth them light: and they shall reign for ever and ever.
b. In glory - Revelation 21:2-4 And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. (3) And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God. (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.