Sunday, February 24, 2019

Overcoming Evil With Good

Temple Baptist Church - 2-24-2019
Romans 12:19-21


A.  I guess the 12th chapter of Romans could be called a college course on Christian ethics. 

1.  Before we get started, I want to say that there has only been one perfect man in this world, and they crucified Him.  If you ever get perfect, and you won’t, they would crucify you also! 

2.  Though perfection is not possible in this life, I do believe that we should earnestly strive to be so.  We often us human frailty as an excuse for sinfulness.

B.  I have often said that life is hard and often unjust.  Bad things happen to good people and good things happen to bad people but, thank the LORD, neither normally stay that way.

Matthew 5:45  That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.

C.  And, if you live a consistent life for the Lord, the world will not be your friend.  The world hated and continues to hate Christ and those who live for Christ.

John 15:18  If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you.

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

D.  Therefore, though you try to live for Christ, people will try to hurt you or your family.  I do not like it when people try to hurt but it causes a different reaction from me when they try to hurt my family.

E.  Vengeance defined:  infliction of injury, harm, humiliation, or the like, on a person by another who has been harmed by that person.  The human reaction is to get back at or get even with those who hurt you.  Those who desire vengeance try to justify it with scripture.

Exodus 21:24  Eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot. (This verse is found in the realm of Civil Law, not vengeance.)

F.  In verse 19, the Bible expressly states in our text that vengeance belongs to God and He will repay.  It may not be on my time or in your time, but He will not forget and, in His time, will judge all sinfulness.

G.  Look at Verse 21 with me.

1.  There is a Perilous Possibility.  “Be not overcome with evil.”  Verse 19 – “Avenge not yourselves.”  Hurt turns into anger and anger into wrath and the wrath of man worketh not the rightness of God!

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;

2.  There is a Positive Proceeding.  “But overcome evil with good.”  Verse 20 – “But overcome evil with good.”

Romans 12:20  Therefore if thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him drink: for in so doing thou shalt heap coals of fire on his head.

Matthew 5:43-45  Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy.  (44)  But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;  (45)  That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.

3.  There is a Plain Purpose.  “With good.”  Verse 20 says, “Therefore if thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him drink: for in so doing thou shalt heap coals of fire on his head.

Matthew 5:16  Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.


1.  God does not want His children to be overcome with evil.  This is evil from within, not without.  Not overcome by evil but with evil.

2.  God does not want His children to react wrong.  Vengeance belongs to God and make no mistake, He will avenge all wrong.  God wants us to overcome the potential evil of our flesh.  React right!

3.  God wants us to do good and do good to our enemies.  The Golden Rule:  Do unto others as you would have others to do unto you.

The Lover’s Kiss!

Temple Baptist Church - 2-24-2019
Song of Solomon 1:1


A.  Much has been said in the Bible concerning the “kiss.”  The word “Kiss” in one form or another is found - 46x in the Bible.

1.  These instances portray both the proper and improper use of the kiss. 

2.  In some of the instances of a Bible “kiss,” our hug or handshake becomes the equivalent.  It is still a custom in the middle east for men to either touch cheek to cheek or to even give a brief kiss to the cheek of another.

B.  The kiss is a very important element of the love relationship!  It is not only a wonderful experience for the young married couple, but it is also something for the old as well.

C.  Often, Israel will meet with one of the Palestinian groups and exchange handshakes and I normally wonder what is behind the greeting. 

D.  I want to look at the “kiss” for a few minutes this morning.

1.  The Kiss of Deceit - Proverbs 27:6  Faithful are the wounds of a friend; but the kisses of an enemy are deceitful.

Luke 22:47-48   And while he yet spake, behold a multitude, and he that was called Judas, one of the twelve, went before them, and drew near unto Jesus to kiss him. 48  But Jesus said unto him, Judas, betrayest thou the Son of man with a kiss?

2.  The Kiss of Forgiveness - Genesis 33:4  And Esau ran to meet him, and embraced him, and fell on his neck, and kissed him: and they wept.

3.  The Kiss of Separation - Genesis 48:10, 50:1  Now the eyes of Israel were dim for age, so that he could not see. And he brought them near unto him; and he kissed them, and embraced them…And Joseph fell upon his father’s face, and wept upon him, and kissed him.

Acts 20:37  And they all wept sore, and fell on Paul’s neck, and kissed him, 

4.  The Kiss of Reuniting - Exodus 4:27  And the LORD said to Aaron, Go into the wilderness to meet Moses. And he went, and met him in the mount of God, and kissed him.  (Family reunions were times of great kissing in the days of my youth.  You had to “run the gauntlet” when you arrived.)

5.  The Kiss of Respect - 1 Samuel 10:1  Then Samuel took a vial of oil, and poured it upon his head, and kissed him, and said, Is it not because the LORD hath anointed thee to be captain over his inheritance?  (The recognition and respect of a person of position.  We are to respect those in authority, not speak evil of them. 

6.  The Kiss of Friendship - 1 Samuel 20:41  And as soon as the lad was gone, David arose out of a place toward the south, and fell on his face to the ground, and bowed himself three times: and they kissed one another, and wept one with another, until David exceeded. 

7.  The Kiss of Reconciliation - Psalms 2:12  Kiss the Son, lest he be angry, and ye perish from the way, when his wrath is kindled but a little. Blessed are all they that put their trust in him.  (I call this one the “makeup kiss.”  The best part of arguing is making up!)

Luke 15:20  And he arose, and came to his father. But when he was yet a great way off, his father saw him, and had compassion, and ran, and fell on his neck, and kissed him.

8.  The Kiss of Gratitude - Luke 7:38, 45  And stood at his feet behind himweeping, and began to wash his feet with tears, and did wipe them with the hairs of her head, and kissed his feet, and anointed them with the ointment. 45  Thou gavest me no kiss: but this woman since the time I came in hath not ceased to kiss my feet.

9.  The Kiss of Brotherly Love - 1 Corinthians 16:20  All the brethren greet you. Greet ye one another with an holy kiss.

1 Peter 5:14  Greet ye one another with a kiss of charity. Peace be with you all that are in Christ Jesus. Amen. 

10.  The Lover’s Kiss, found in verse 1.  The kiss of love; the kiss of intimacy; the kiss of oneness

a.  The world has perverted the kiss.  The kiss has become something to be given casually or carelessly.

b.  Someone once said, “A kiss is the baby’s right, the lover’s privilege, and the hypocrite’s mask.”  Thus we find both the proper use of the kiss as well as the worldly perversion of the same.

c.  Another said it this way: “A kiss is two divided by none!”

d.  A beautiful type here in the Song of Solomon of the love shared between Christ and His Church.

Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Dullness of Hearing

Temple Baptist Church - 2-20-2019
Hebrews 5:11-14


A.  Tonight, we come to the third of five Warning Section of Hebrews.  We have seen:

1.  The Danger of Drifting – 2:1-4 

2.  The Danger of Doubting – 3:7-13

3.  The Danger of Dullness of Hearing – 5:11-14 

B.  God gave us two ears and one mouth for a reason.  I fear that we all use our mouth more than our ears at times.

C.  There is an old saying, “You hear but you don’t listen.”  Unfortunately, we find this principle throughout the Bible.  I will just give a few examples.

1.  Speaking of Israel - Zechariah 7:11  But they refused to hearken, and pulled away the shoulder, and stopped their ears, that they should not hear.

2.  Speaking of God haters - Acts 7:57  Then they cried out with a loud voice, and stopped their ears, and ran upon him with one accord,

3.  Speaking of mankind in general - Matthew 11:15  He that hath ears to hear, let him hear.

4.  Speaking of those who hear the gospel - Romans 10:17  So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.

5.  Speaking of those who do not want salvation - Acts 28:26-27  Saying, Go unto this people, and say, Hearing ye shall hear, and shall not understand; and seeing ye shall see, and not perceive:  (27)  For the heart of this people is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes have they closed; lest they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them.

D.  Tonight, we will look at the latter of these groups: saved people who, for whatever reason, do not want to hear the Word of God.

E.  These are believers who “cherry pick” what they want to hear instead of hearing “all the counsel of God” that Paul spoke of.

1.  Verse 11.  Dullness of hearing tends to silence the pulpit.  The Bible has much to say, so much to hear, so much to learn. 

a.  It is hard for a preacher to preach when he knows that there are some who will not receive it.  I call it “when the icicles start coming down the walls.”

b.  Preachers are like anyone else, they want what they have to say to be received.  So many pulpits across America have been silenced by dull hearers.

2.  Verse 12.  Dullness of hearing causes stunted spiritual growth.

a.  The spiritual growth of the child of God should be a steady growth.  As we check the height and weight of our children to make sure that the are growing properly, so should we check ourselves.

b.  Churches become spiritual daycare centers instead of spiritual outreach centers.

3.  Verse 12.  Dullness of hearing causes a serious lack of church workers. 

a.  A healthy church needs each member to carry his or her weight in the work.  There was once the 80/20 rule.  Twenty percent of the people did the work of the church.  I am sure that rule still holds true unless the twenty percent has dropped.

b.  There is a serious lack of spiritually qualified teachers in churches.  Notice that I did not say a lack of teachers, just qualified ones.  People who have a good handle on the Word of God and can relay its message to others.

4.  Verse 12.  Dullness of hearing causes the preachers to feed with more milk than meat. 

a.  There needs to be a biblical mixture of both milk—the first principles of the oracles of God—and meat—going on to perfection or spiritual maturity.

b.  The word “again” means again and again.  Most spiritual children who are not growing properly are so because they do not want to grow up.  Spiritual “Peter Pans.”

5.  Verse 13.  Dullness of hearing creates an adverse atmosphere for the church.

a.  These believers “use” milk, not drink milk.  They want the preaching to be light and shallow spiritually because they are satisfied to remain babes in Christ.

b.  This is one of the greatest reasons for people to bounce from one church to another.  They are “Buffet Believers” who pick and choose what they enjoy hearing.  Messages geared to salvation instead of sanctification.

6.  Verse 14.  Dullness of hearing cause a lack of discernment.

a.  Mature believers enjoy drinking a little milk every now and then but also love to be fed a “STEAK DINNER” also.  The word “belongeth” shows us that meat is not only important but wanted.

b.  Mature believers have their senses exercises to discern both good and evil.

c.  Weaker believers who use milk and do not desire strong meat, continue to live more in the realm of worldliness than godliness.

Conclusion:  These verses lead into the so-called controversial portion of scripture in chapter 6, which we will look at next week.  Desire meat and gratefully drink the milk and our spiritually perception will be right.

Sunday, February 17, 2019

Spiritual Maturity: The Key To True Christianity

Temple Baptist Church - 2-17-2019
Romans 12:9-18


A.  Tonight, we will have to look at these verses as parts of a whole.  What is “true Christianity?”  It is when this world looks at us and, as they did in Antioch, calls us Christians.  Those who are like Christ.

B.  Within the context, we find three attributes of the mature believer: Verses 1-2, Personal Sanctification; Verse 3, Spiritual Humility; Verses 4-8, Unwavering Faithfulness.  These three things are what the world sees in us.

C.  Verses 89-18 show us the marks of spiritual maturity.  The acrostic of the word “JOY” says it all.

1.  J – Jesus first.

2.  O – Others second.

3.  Y – You last.

D.  Marks of Spiritual Maturity:

1.  Verse 9 – Let love be without dissimulation. Peter 1:22  Seeing ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit unto unfeigned love of the brethren, see that ye love one another with a pure heart fervently:  (Dissimulation – to pretend, hypocrisy, insincere.  Don’t tell me that you love me, show me that you love me.)

2.  Verse 9 – Abhor that which is evil.  Psalms 101:3  I will set no wicked thing before mine eyes: I hate the work of them that turn aside; it shall not cleave to me. (Abhor – utterly detest.  I fear that we do not hate evil as much as we want to think.)

3.  Verse 9 – Cleave to that which is good.  Genesis 2:24  Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.  (Cleave – to join, to become one. L Depart from evil and stay with good.)

4.  Verse 10 – Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love. Ephesians 4:32  And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you.  (Affectioned – cherishing one’s kindred.) 

5.  Verse 10 – In honour preferring one another.  Philippians 2:3  Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves.  (Having a right perception of self and kindness to others.)

6.  Verse 11 - Not slothful in business; fervent in spirit.  1 Thessalonians 4:11  And that ye study to be quiet, and to do your own business, and to work with your own hands, as we commanded you;  (Hard working, dependable people.)

7.  Verse 11 - Serving the Lord.  1 Corinthians 4:2  Moreover it is required in stewards, that a man be found faithful.  (Time for family, time for work, time for faithfulness to the Lord.)

8.  Verse 12 – Rejoicing in hope.  Romans 15:13  Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost.  (Facing adversity with the joy of the Lord and the peace of God.  People watch us when we suffer adversity.)

10.  Verse 12 – Patient in tribulation.  Romans 5:3-5  And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience;  (4)  And patience, experience; and experience, hope:  (5)  And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.  (Someone once said that the measure of a man is not what he accomplishes in life but what it takes to stop him.)

11.  Verse 12 – Continuing instant in prayer.  1 Thessalonians 5:17  Pray without ceasing.  (Instant is an attitude of prayer whereby we always commune with the Lord, in every situation.)

12.  Verse 13 – Distributing to the necessity of saints.  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?  (The key is need, not want.  The Bible teaches contentment with food and raiment.  If a brother is hungry, naked, out in the cold, and willing to work—it it is our responsibility to help.)

13.  Verse 13 – Given to hospitality.  Hebrews 13:2  Be not forgetful to entertain strangers: for thereby some have entertained angels unawares.  (You all are always welcome at our home!)

14.  Verse 14 – Bless them which persecute you: bless, and curse not.  Matthew 5:44  But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;  (Love, bless, do good to them, and pray for them.)

15.  Verse 15 – Rejoice with them that do rejoice, and weep with them that weep.  Hebrews 13:3  Remember them that are in bonds, as bound with them; and them which suffer adversity, as being yourselves also in the body.  (Put yourself in their place: be happy for them when they are happy and suffer with them when they suffer.)

16.  Verse 16 – Be of the same mind one toward another.  Mind not high things, but condescend to men of low estate. Be not wise in your own conceits.  1 Peter 3:8  Finally, be ye all of one mind, having compassion one of another, love as brethren, be pitiful, be courteous:  (Condescend-to yield or to come down to.  Unity is the key to a successful Christian life.  Learn to get along and, if you do not get your way, smile!)

17.  Verse 17 – Recompense to no man evil for evil.  Matthew 7:12  Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets.  (The Golden Rule.  Treat others the way that you would like to be treated.  Be kind one to another.)

18.  Verse 17 - Provide things honest in the sight of all men.    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.  (Honesty is not the best policy, it is the only policy.)

19.  Verse 18 – If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men. Hebrews 12:14  Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord:  (If … as much.  Sometimes peace is not an option.  Ecclesiastes – time to kill, time to hate and a time of war.)

Fervent Charity

Temple Baptist Church - 2-17-2019
1 Peter 4:7-8


A.  Considering “the end of all things,” the Apostle Paul is giving admonition to the Hebrew believers concerning their relationship to one another. 

1.  The Holy Ghost uses the word “charity” when speaking of the loving relationship of the believers towards each other. 

2.  Love, in this sense, is an unlimited loving-kindness towards others and is held to be the ultimate perfection of the Christian relationship.  Charity both glorifies and reflects the nature of God. 

B.  I spend much time at Temple admonishing our people to love one another.  To get along with one another.  Why?  Because the greatest enemy of the local church is the enemy from within:  those who sit upon the pews and stand in the pulpits. 

C.  I want to look at this Christian virtue for a few minutes this morning.  Paul said to have fervent charity!  Fervent charity is to put your heart and soul into your love one for another.

D.  The best definition of charity is found in 1 Corinthians 13 with the Word of God giving it these characteristics:

Charity Suffers Long – “Charity suffereth long” 
Charity Is Kind – “and is kind”
Charity Is Happiness For Others - “charity envieth not”
Charity Puts Others First – “charity vaunteth not itself”
Charity Has A Proper Opinion Of Self – “is not puffed up”
Charity Behaves – “Doth not behave itself unseemly”
Charity Does Not Get Mad – “is not easily provoked”
Charity Gives The Benefit Of The Doubt – “thinketh no evil”
Charity Is Broken Hearted Over Sin – “Rejoiceth not in iniquity”
Charity Loves Right – “but rejoiceth in the truth”
Charity Is Forbearing – “Beareth all things”
Charity Hopes For The Best – “hopeth all things”
Charity Remains Constant – “endureth all things”
Charity Never Fails – “Charity never faileth”

1 Corinthians 13:8-13  Charity never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away.  (9)  For we know in part, and we prophesy in part.  (10)  But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away.  (11)  When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things.  (12)  For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.  (13)  And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity.

E.  Charity Is The Greatest Of Christian Virtues – “the greatest of these is charity.” 

1.  We can have a faith that moves mountains, a hope that causes us to endure all that life throws at us, but the greatest of all gifts is the charity that binds us together. 

2.  If we have not charity, then we are nothing. 1 Corinthians 13:2  And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing.

F.  Some things that charity does:

1.  Charity Glorifies God - John 13:35  By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.

2.  Charity Edifies The Church - 1 Corinthians 8:1  Now as touching things offered unto idols, we know that we all have knowledge. Knowledge puffeth up, but charity edifieth.

3.  Charity Shows Our Spiritual Maturity - Colossians 3:14  And above all these things put on charity, which is the bond of perfectness.

4.  Charity Covers A Multitude Of Sins - 1 Peter 4:8  And above all things have fervent charity among yourselves: for charity shall cover the multitude of sins.

G.  Five “MUSTS” of Charity:

1.  Fervent Charity Must Be Carefully Cultivated - 2 Peter 1:5-7  And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; 6  And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness;  7 And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity.  (Even though it should come naturally.)

1 Thessalonians 4:9  But as touching brotherly love ye need not that I write unto you: for ye yourselves are taught of God to love one another.

2.  Fervent Charity Must Have A Fertile Growing Place - 1 Timothy 1:5  Now the end of the commandment is charity out of a pure heart, and of a good conscience, and of faith unfeigned:

2 Timothy 2:22  Flee also youthful lusts: but follow righteousness, faith, charity, peace, with them that call on the Lord out of a pure heart.

3.  Fervent Charity Must Be constantly Maintained - 1 Corinthians 14:1 Follow after charity, and desire spiritual gifts, but rather that ye may prophesy.

4.  Fervent Charity Must Be Our Motivation For Fellowship - 1 Corinthians 16:14  Let all your things be done with charity.

1 Peter 5:14  Greet ye one another with a kiss of charity. Peace be with you all that are in Christ Jesus. Amen.

5.  Fervent Charity Must Be Consistent Among The Members - 2 Thessalonians 1:3  We are bound to thank God always for you, brethren, as it is meet, because that your faith groweth exceedingly, and the charity of every one of you all toward each other aboundeth;