Sunday, October 29, 2017

Justification By Works or Faith

Temple Baptist Church - 10-29-2017
Romans 4:1-16


A.  Last week, we saw that our father, Abraham, (Verse 11) was justified by faith without the works of the Law.  If Abraham was justified by works, according to verse 2, “he hath whereof to glory.”  This would be contradictory to other verses of scripture. 

1 Corinthians 1:29-31  That no flesh should glory in his presence.  (30)  But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption:  (31)  That, according as it is written, He that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord.  (As it is written refers us back to the Old Testament.)

Jeremiah 9:23-24  Thus saith the LORD, Let not the wise man glory in his wisdom, neither let the mighty man glory in his might, let not the rich man glory in his riches:  (24)  But let him that glorieth glory in this, that he understandeth and knoweth me, that I am the LORD which exercise lovingkindness, judgment, and righteousness, in the earth: for in these things I delight, saith the LORD.

Romans 3:24-28  Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus:  (25)  Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God;  (26)  To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus.  (27)  Where is boasting then? It is excluded. By what law? of works? Nay: but by the law of faith.  (28)  Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law.

B.  Abraham’s faith was unique in that God’s salvation is the only “religion” in the world that excludes personal sacrifice or merit.  I want to give a general breakdown of Abraham’s righteousness imputed.

1.  What Abraham received – vs. 1-5  A canceled sin debt.  God Himself canceled it and declared an unrighteous man righteous through imputation.  Through the finished work of Christ to come, his sin was atoned for in the Old Testament and done away at Calvary.

2.  How Abraham received – vs 1-5  Through faith apart from works.  Abraham simply believed God!  I am not sure why this is so difficult to some.  God said it and, to Abraham, that settled it!

3.  When Abraham received – vs. 9-16  The moment he believed God, instantaneous and complete.

a)  Before he was circumcised – vs. 9-12

b)  Before the Law was given – vs. 13-16

C.  I want to give a short but biblical over view of saving faith.  Verse 3 declares that it was Abraham’s faith that saved him, not his works. This chapter explains how God justifies (declares righteous) ungodly people through the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
1.  Justification Is by Faith, Not Works (4:1-8).

a.  We have seen that the Old Testament saint was saved by faith in the coming of Messiah and the propitiation that would take place. 

b.  Acts 15:5-11  But there rose up certain of the sect of the Pharisees which believed(Saved but misguided) saying, That it was needful to circumcise them, and to command them to keep the law of Moses.  (6)  And the apostles and elders came together for to consider of this matter.  (7)  And when there had been much disputing, Peter rose up, and said unto them, Men and brethren, ye know how that a good while ago God made choice among us, that the Gentiles by my mouth should hear the word of the gospel, and believe.  (8)  And God, which knoweth the hearts, bare them witness, giving them the Holy Ghost, even as he did unto us;  (9)  And put no difference between us and them, purifying their hearts by faith.  (10)  Now therefore why tempt ye God, to put a yoke upon the neck of the disciples,which neither our fathers nor we were able to bear?  (11)  But we believe that through the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ we shall be saved, even as they.

c.  These verses declare that Jew, Gentile, and Old Testament believers were saved by faith without the keeping of the Law.  No man has ever been able to keep the Law as it is a perfect standard.  Those who have believed on Christ but taught that they must keep the Law must try to figure out what is a “big” sin and what is a “little” sin because they are still imperfect in the flesh.

2.  Justification Is by Grace, Not Law (4:9-17)

a.  Before the Law - Romans 4:3  For what saith the scripture? Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness.

b.  Under the Law - Romans 4:5-6  But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness.  (6)  Even as David also describeth the blessedness of the man, unto whom God imputeth righteousness without works,(“Even as David” ties King David’s faith to the faith of Abraham.

c.  After the Law - Romans 4:11  And he received the sign of circumcision, a seal of the righteousness of the faith which he had yet being uncircumcised:that he might be the father of all them that believe, though they be not circumcised; that righteousness might be imputed unto them also:

Romans 4:16  Therefore it is of faith, that it might be by grace; to the end the promise might be sure to all the seed; not to that only which is of the law, but to that also which is of the faith of Abraham;who is the father of us all,

d.  Works and Law cannot co-exist in saving faith.  They are like oil and water: shake them up if you wish but the oil will separate and come to the top.

Romans 11:5-6  Even so then at this present time also there is a remnant according to the election of grace.  (6)  And if by grace, then is it no more of works: otherwise grace is no more grace. But if it be of works, then is it no more grace: otherwise work is no more work.

1)  If salvation is all of grace, it is mixed with no works.  If it is a mixture of grace and works, it is not grace.

2)  If salvation is of works, it has nothing to do with grace because works demands a payday or reward.  Grace, which means that we do not deserve it, would do away with works, which means that we do deserve it.

3)  Works for salvation frustrates the grace of God and Christ died in vain.  Galatians 2:21  I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain.

Galatians 5:1-4  Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage.  (2)  Behold, I Paul say unto you, that if ye be circumcised, Christ shall profit you nothing.  (3)  For I testify again to every man that is circumcised, that he is a debtor to do the whole law.  (4)  Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law; ye are fallen from grace.

3.  Justification Is by Resurrection Power, Not Human Effort (4:18-25) Salvation is not “do.”  Salvation is “done.”  It is a finished work: death, burial, and resurrection.

a.  Verse 17 says that it is God who quickens the dead.

1)  Jesus was declared to be God with power by the resurrection from the dead.  Romans 1:4  And declared to be the Son of God with power, according to the spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead:

2)  We were declared righteous with power by our resurrection from the dead.  Ephesians 2:1  And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins;

b.  Verse 19 says that God quickened the loins of Abraham and the womb of Sarah.

1)  When the flesh is dead, only God can bring forth life through resurrection power.

2)  Romans 4:18-22  Who against hope believed in hope, that he might become the father of many nations, according to that which was spoken, So shall thy seed be.  (19)  And being not weak in faith, he considered not his own body now dead, when he was about an hundred years old, neither yet the deadness of Sara's womb:  (20)  He staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief; but was strong in faith, giving glory to God;  (21)  And being fully persuaded that, what he had promised, he was able also to perform.  (22)  And therefore it was imputed to him for righteousness.

3)  When the spirit is dead, only God can bring forth life through resurrection power.

4)  Romans 6:3-5  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:

5)  The likeness of our Lord’s resurrection is that of absolute holiness which requires imputation. 

6)  Romans 4:22-25  And therefore it was imputed to him for righteousness.  (23)  Now it was not written for his sake alone, that it was imputed to him;  (24)  But for us also, to whom it shall be imputed, if we believe on him that raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead;  (25)  Who was delivered for our offences, and was raised again for our justification.

Walking Away From God In Bitterness

Temple Baptist Church - 10-29-2017
1 Chronicles 16:23-17:23


A.  Last week, I made the statement that Demas left God in his heart long before he physically left Paul.  This morning, we see a perfect example of this.  A man who suffered wrong became bitter to his own demise.  A man by the name of Ahithophel.  A man who harbored hurt in his heart.

B.  Who was this man, Ahithophel?  I believe that he is often thought of as a “wicked man” or, in our terminology, a “lost man.”  That is not the Bible’s commentary on his life.  Ahithophel was a godly man who started well but ended his life in bitterness. 

C.  This message will be one with a long introduction and a short summation. 

1.  Ahithophel was a man of great wisdom.  1 Chronicles 27:33a  And Ahithophel was the king's counsellor:

Proverbs 20:18  Every purpose is established by counsel: and with good advice make war.

2.  Ahithophel was a man who could be trusted.  2 Samuel 16:23  And the counsel of Ahithophel, which he counselled in those days, was as if a man had enquired at the oracle of God: so was all the counsel of Ahithophel both with David and with Absalom.

3.  Ahithophel was a very dear friend of King David.  Psalms 41:9 Yea, mine own familiar friend, in whom I trusted, which did eat of my bread, hath lifted up his heel against me.

a) “mine own” Ahithophel was someone very personal to David.

b) “familiar friend”  Ahithophel was intimate with David.  Ahithophel was allowed into David’s personal life like a family member.

Psalms 55:12-14  For it was not an enemy (Ahithophel was David’s friend) that reproached me; then I could have borne it:neither was it he that hated me (Ahithophel loved David) that did magnify himself against me; then I would have hid myself from him:  (13)  But it was thou, a man mine equal, my guide, and mine acquaintance.  (14)  We took sweet counsel together, and walked unto the house of God in company (Ahithophel loved God).

D.  What caused Ahithophel to turn bitter against his “own familiar friend” the king.  What caused such hatred and intended harm?  What caused Ahithophel to destroy his own life?

1.   Ahithophel was Bathsheba’s grandfather!  Ahithophel, according to the scriptural account (2 Samuel, chapter 11), was a victim in the matter of King David’s sin with Bathsheba and against Uriah the Hittite. 

2 Samuel 11:3  And David sent and enquired after the woman. And one said, Is not this Bathsheba, the daughter of Eliam, the wife of Uriah the Hittite?

2 Samuel 23:34  Eliphelet the son of Ahasbai, the son of the Maachathite, Eliam the son of Ahithophel the Gilonite,

2.  King David could have had almost any single woman in the kingdom as a wife, but he stole the wife of one of his mighty men, Uriah the Hittite: a man very close to the king.

3.  King David, instead of confessing his sin, sought to cover it by using Uriah’s flesh against Uriah.  Uriah’s desire to be with his beautiful wife.  Even causing Uriah to get drunk could not undermine the integrity of the man.

4.  King David sent a letter to Joab by the hand of Uriah that placed Uriah in the hottest place of battle and retiring from him so that he would die.

5.  Somehow, Ahithophel became privy to the wicked acts committed by King David and the hurt, anger, and bitterness turned into wrath.  From that day, he hated the king.  He continued to be David’s counselor without David knowing that Ahithophel was in the know.

6.  When Absalom came into power and King David had to flee for his life, Ahithophel remained in the palace as Absalom’s counselor.  When the right time came, he tried to kill the king.

7.  When his counsel was rejected, he went home—put his house in order—and hanged himself.

E.  The King sinned against God, Bathsheba, Uriah the Hittite, Joab, Ahithophel, and Israel. 

1.  King David got it right with God but Ahithophel never got over it.  He became hurt, angry, and bitter against the man of God. 

2.  Ahithophel’s bitterness destroyed his own life, not David’s.

F.  There are only two things that should divide us from the local church:

1.  Major doctrinal error.  Romans 16:17  Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them.

2.  Open, unrebuked sin. 1 Corinthians 5:1-2  It is reported commonly that there is fornication among you, and such fornication as is not so much as named among the Gentiles, that one should have his father's wife.  (2)  And ye are puffed up, and have not rather mourned, that he that hath done this deed might be taken away from among you.

G.  Hebrews 12:15  Looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled;

1.  The Causes of Bitterness can be varied so I would not try to enumerate them.  Bitterness is a self-inflicted wound!

a.  People can be carnal and care nothing for the feelings of others.  When people legitimately hurt you, you need to realize that you can hurt yourself by not handling it right.  They can say something wrong and forget about it while you stew over it for years.

b.  People can falsely perceive that they are being hurt by others.  There is always the possibility of you “reading them wrong.”  Not everyone can speak a word “fitly spoken.” They intend no harm but say something is a wrong way.  Always give them the benefit of the doubt realizing that people have bad days or tongue problems at times.

c.  People can overact to the actions or words of others.  One piece of advice given to me by my pastor many years ago was to “minimize things.”  Never making a “mountain out of a molehill.”

2.  The Consequences of Bitterness can have both personal and collateral damage.

a.  Springing up!  Bitterness springs up from the root of hurt and anger.  Kill the root before it becomes a tree!

b.  Trouble you!  Personal damage comes when it troubles you.  We have enough trouble in this world without causing our own.  It troubles you because you do not deal with it.  It troubles you because you meditate upon it.

c.  Many be defiled thereby.  Collateral damage is when your bitterness affects those around you. 

This has attributed to D.L. Moody  “The one sin that is keeping revival from coming to the church, more people from being, and more of the blessings of God from coming upon His people, is the sin of an unforgiving spirit.”   

3.  The Cure of Bitterness is nothing profound or unreasonable.  I want to look at two problem sources.  Bitterness generally boils down to carnality and unforgiveness.

a.  Spirituality vs. Carnality - Psalms 119:165  Great peace have they which love thy law: and nothing shall offend them.

b.  Forgiveness vs. Unforgiveness - Ephesians 4:31-32  Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice:  (32)  And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you.

4.  Bitterness will destroy your life along with the lives of those closest to you.  To be bitter or not to be bitter is up to you!  Throughout the trials of this life, we make choices to become better or bitter.

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

You Bad Devil, You!

Temple Baptist Church - 10-25-2017

1 Peter 5:8-9


A.  Last time I preached on Wednesday night, I preached on Satan and his hatred for God and all that God created.  We found that:

1.  Satan is our enemy.  “adversary”

2.  Satan is our personal enemy.  “your”

3.  Satan is a destructive enemy.  “he may devour”

4.  Satan is a persistent enemy.  “walketh about seeking”

1.  Understand who the enemy is: the devil.  “whom” 

a.  Our enemy is no other professing Christians.  Mark 9:38-40  And John answered him, saying, Master, we saw one casting out devils in thy name, and he followeth not us: and we forbad him, because he followeth not us.  (39)  But Jesus said, Forbid him not: for there is no man which shall do a miracle in my name, that can lightly speak evil of me.  (40)  For he that is not against us is on our part.  (I understand doctrinal separation and am a separatist but fighting other denominations or people who profess to know Christ is detrimental to the cause of Christ.)

b.  Our enemy is certainly not our brother in Christ.  Galatians 5:13-15  For, brethren, ye have been called unto liberty; only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by love serve one another.  (14)  For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this; Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.  (15)  But if ye bite and devour one another, take heed that ye be not consumed one of another.

2.  Be ready to resist the devil.  “resist”  Resist-to oppose or to withstand.

a.  Resisting takes spiritual preparation.  Ephesians 6:10-13  Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.  (11)  Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.  (12)  For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.  (13)  Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.

b.  Resisting takes obedience to God.  James 4:7-8  Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.  (8)  Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded.

c.  Resisting takes a conscious effort on our part.  1 Corinthians 6:18-20  Flee fornication. Every sin that a man doeth is without the body; but he that committeth fornication sinneth against his own body.  (19)  What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?  (20)  For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's.

d.  Resisting is a continual war with the flesh.  2 Corinthians 10:3-5  For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh:  (4)  (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;)  (5)  Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;

3.  Be ever watchful and ready to resist the devil.  “steadfastly”

a.  Ever watching in sobriety.  1 Peter 5:8  Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:

b.  Do not allow sinfulness to root in your life.  Ephesians 4:27  Neither give place to the devil.

4.  Resist the devil in the faith.  “in the faith”

a.  Resist the devil in the Spirit.  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.

b.  Resist the devil in the Scriptures.  Matthew 4:4  But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.

5.  Realize that you are not alone in the fight.  knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world

1 Corinthians 10:13  There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.

2 Timothy 3:12  Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.

Revelation 1:9  I John, who also am your brother, and companion in tribulation, and in the kingdom and patience of Jesus Christ, was in the isle that is called Patmos, for the word of God, and for the testimony of Jesus Christ.

Sunday, October 22, 2017

The Faith of Abraham

Temple Baptist Church - 10-22-2017
Romans 4:1-25


A.  Abraham was the only man in the Bible called the friend of God.  He was a friend of God because of the greatness of his faith.  God honors faith!

B.  I want to take a short look at Abraham’s faith as he is the “father” of us all.  Look in verse 11.

Romans 4:11  And he received the sign of circumcision, a seal of the righteousness of the faith which he had yet being uncircumcised: that he might be the father of all them that believe, though they be not circumcised; that righteousness might be imputed unto them also:

C.  Our faith is no different than that of Abraham.  Our walk of faith with God beings in the same way that our human walk begins, with baby steps and increases with age and use.

1.  Gentle Steps or Salvation’s Faith.  John 8:56  Your father Abraham rejoiced to see my day: and he saw it, and was glad. 

a.  We are not sure when Abraham placed his personal faith in the Lord but this verse explains his personal faith in the coming of the Christ.  Our faith walk begins with salvation.

b.  We cannot walk with faith until we are in faith!  The first step we take is to trust Christ alone for our salvation.

c.  God is so very gentle and undemanding of new believers.  Too often, we require too much of them.  God places very little spiritual problems on their shoulders the same way that we place little or no responsibility on babies.

2.  Growing Steps or Sanctification’s Faith.  God begins to teach us spiritual responsibility.  Some new believers never learn to trust the Lord with their lives or livelihood.

a.  Sanctification’s Faith.  Genesis 15:7  And he said unto him, I am the LORD that brought thee out of Ur of the Chaldees, to give thee this land to inherit it.

1)  God called Abraham to leave the Ur of the Chaldees, a heathen land, and come to Canaan, the land of promise.

2)  But, Canaan was a place of spiritual and physical warfare  .Canaan is a beautiful type of a victorious Christian life.  It is life of battles but also a life flowing with milk and honey.

b.  Tithing Faith.  Genesis 14:20  And blessed be the most high God, which hath delivered thine enemies into thy hand. And he gave him tithes of all.

1)  Abraham understood that the tithe was the Lord’s and gave God Hid due.  God blessed Abraham for tithing.

2)  Another growing step is that of the tithe.  Two months after I was saved, Barbara and I began to tithe and have not missed in almost 41 years.  Tithing is both a thing of obedience and faith.  God said “prove me now herewith.”  Don’t wait until you are financially devastated.

c.  I could spend the night on Growing Steps of Faith.  In every aspect of our Christian life, God demands our obedience and still puts no more on us than we can bear.

3.  Great Steps or Impossibilities Faith. 

a.  Trusting Faith.  Trusting God to do the impossible in our lives.  Romans 4:18-21  Who against hope believed in hope, that he might become the father of many nations, according to that which was spoken, So shall thy seed be.  (19)  And being not weak in faith, he considered not his own body now dead, when he was about an hundred years old, neither yet the deadness of Sara's womb:  (20)  He staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief; but was strong in faith, giving glory to God;  (21)  And being fully persuaded that, what he had promised, he was able also to perform.

1)  When faced with human impossibility, Abraham believed God.  The conception and birth of Isaac was beyond human comprehension yet Abraham never wavered.

2)  As we grow in our faith, that faith is often tested as we face the impossible with hope.  There will come a time in your Christian growth when having done, you will just have to stand.

b.  Sacrificial Faith.  God asking us for our all.  Hebrews 11:17-19  By faith Abraham, when he was tried, offered up Isaac: and he that had received the promises offered up his only begotten son,  (18)  Of whom it was said, That in Isaac shall thy seed be called:  (19)  Accounting that God was able to raise him up, even from the dead; from whence also he received him in a figure.

1)  There came a time when God asked Abraham for the most important thing in his life, Isaac.  What faith!  Abraham immediately obeyed God because, through baby steps to steps of impossibility, he found God faithful.

2)  God may one day require of us the best that we have.  If we can trust God with our eternity, can we not trust him with our temporal things?  If God takes that which is most important to us, will we continue to walk with Him in faith?