Sunday, February 7, 2016

How to be Right With God (Part 3)


SERMON               GM16-072

SERIES:              Renewal Through Romans: The Gospel Defined, Explained, and Applied

SETTING:          North Kelso Baptist Church

SERVICE:          Sunday AM (February 7th, 2016)

SUBTITLE:        How to Be Right with God – Part 3

SCRIPTURE:     Romans 3:22c-23

SUBJECT:          The Righteousness of God

SUMMARY:       The righteousness of God which cannot be obtained by merit comes to all men through faith in the atoning work of Jesus on the cross which fulfills the law of God.

SCHEME:           To enable my people to transcend present ecclesiastical understanding of righteousness by appreciating God’s benefits of the atoning work of Christ on the cross
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Saturday, February 6, 2016

Freedom From the Law

Scripture:  Galatians 4:12

"Dear brothers and sisters, I plead with you to live as I do in freedom from these things, for I have become like you Gentiles were -- free from the law." (Galatians 4:12, NLT)

Observation:

My dear brothers and sisters in Christ, I am begging you to live your life like I live mine, free from the requirements of the law. Listen, I have become like you Gentiles used to be, free from the law. (Galatians 4:12, GDM)

Free from the law. Reading these words brings several feelings to my mind and to my heart. Feelings like:

  • Relief - I do not have to worry about keeping the law in order to please God, especially the smallest details
  • Freedom - I am not bound or chained to, "do this and do that" in order to please God
  • Joy - I know I am free from the law because Christ perfectly fulfilled the law for me
  • Refreshment - I am no long tired or weary or worn out from working, but I feel refreshed as I am free in Christ
  • Courage - I can face God and even enjoy God and His presence because I am free from fearing I didn't keep the law

As I live my life each day I am to live it in remembrance that I am free from the requirements of the law. I do not have to go "backwards" and attempt to keep all the points of the legal, ceremonial, and ritual portions of the law to please God. As a Gentile I was free from the law, or it had no binding on me, therefore I need to continue to live free of the law.

Application:

Sin to Confess:  becoming a slave to weak and useless spiritual powers
Promise to Claim:  No
Example to Copy:  Paul - lives in freedom from the requirements of the law
Error to Consider:  trying to find favor with God by what I do or don't do
Command to Complete:  Be like Paul - live in freedom, free from the law
Hypothesis to Construe:  Jesus provides freedom from the requirements of the law

Prayer:

Father, since you have provided Jesus Christ as a sacrifice for my sins and since he has fulfilled the law perfectly, I am free from the burden of keeping the law perfectly in order to please you. Thank you for freeing me and releasing me from something that I could never do apart from Jesus Christ. Father, help me to imitate and practice Paul's freedom and from trying to find favor with you by what I do or don't do. Enable me to be like Paul, to always live in freedom and to remain free from the law. Thank you Father, that you provide this freedom through your dear Son, Jesus Christ. Amen.


Friday, February 5, 2016

Jesus Our High Priest


This passage certainly would have had more meaning to the first century Jews who had become Christians than to most of us today. We who are 21st century Gentiles don’t really comprehend in it fullness the role of the Old Testament Jewish priest. We don’t recognize or utilize priests in the Christian Church today.

The high priest, among many other duties, would once a year go behind that curtain that separated mankind from the presence of God. On Yom Kippur he alone entered the Holy of Holies, to make atonement for his house and for the people (Lev. 16). He alone could offer the sacrifices for the sins of the priests, or of the people, or of himself.

He would enter the holy of holies to burn incense and sprinkle sacrificial animal blood to expiate his own sins and those of the people of Israel. Of course, if God chose accept this offering and sacrifice then the judgment of God’s people would be rolled back another year.

Jesus Christ was appointed as our high priest. He went behind the curtain into the very presence of God and offered a blood sacrifice to God on our behalf. What made this different was the fact that the blood that was offered to appease God was His very own blood which testified to his sacrificial death.

Thanks be unto God for accepting this blood, this sacrifice! Not only did God accept it then, he continues to accept this sacrifice, and he will forever. This becomes our rock-solid hope the writer of Hebrews tell us (Chapter 6) – it is an anchor for our soul! The contrast between Aaron and Melchizedek is that Christ is a priest forever, never loosing his viability as my high priest before God!


I need to constantly be reminded of this truth in order not to grow dull in my patient waiting upon the return of Christ to fully redeem us. What great sin of mine to take this for granted.

Thursday, February 4, 2016

What Has Happened to Preaching?

It does not take a rocket scientist to see that preaching has fallen on hard times. Of course this should be of no surprise to anyone who reads their bible. Paul warned Timothy with the following:

" For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths." (2 Timothy 4:3, ESV)

Paul was not writing about the unsaved or unconverted,  or the Non-Christan. He was writing about Christians in local churches. We sure see this today. I was thinking about this recently and I wrote down some reasons:


  • There has been an increasing loss of belief and commitment to the authority of Scripture. People are no longer convinced that Scripture is sufficient for every aspect of their life
  • The misunderstanding of what is called or termed as "worship" Preaching is limited at best and eliminated at worst for the so called "worship" portion of the service.
  • A growing attention, involvement, and commitment to that which is mystical, ceremonial, or ritual. The emergent church has been a prime instigator of these things.
  • The introduction of "entertainment" into the services of the local church. The gathering of the body is no place for motorcycle tricks, zip-lines, rodeos, and or anything else that usurps the preaching, praying, and participation in the worship of our Holy and majestic God.
  • A growing fascination and integration with psychology and the philosophies of this wicked and evil world
  • A lack of mortification of sin and a growing love for sin
  • The growing propensity to fear man more than we fear God

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Thoughts for Your Devotional Life

All believers should have a regular, routine, and robust devotional life or quiet time. Look through these following four thoughts and the four important questions and grab hold of one or all of them to enhance your own personal devotional life.

  • Always get quiet and become still in God's presence
  • The goal of your quiet time is not to read through the bible in a yearly reading plan, nor is to exegete (study) the text at hand
  • The goal of your quiet time is quality time not merely quanity
  • This is not the time for devotional books or reading plans unless the are additions to the devotional reading of scripture

Here are four minimal but important questions to ask the text that you are reading:

  1. What does the passage say? (What is the main idea)
  2. What does the passage mean by what it says?
  3. What are the principles in the passage?
  4. What is the application, or what do I do now?

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Happy Birthday Craig

Although my only brother is not on Facebook, and doesn’t read my blog, today is his 57th birthday. I would like to wish him well and a very happy birthday! Happy Birthday Craig Metcalf of League City, Texas. Go Texans! (Unless they ever play the Seahawks, then Go Hawks!)

Monday, February 1, 2016

Calvin Commenting on the Incarnation

John Calvin’s Institutes, Book II, chapter 12, section 1: 
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It deeply concerned us, that he who was to be our Mediator should be very God and very man. If the necessity be inquired into, it was not what is commonly termed simple or absolute, but flowed from the divine decree on which the salvation of man depended. What was best for us, our most merciful Father determined? Our iniquities, like a cloud intervening between Him and us, having utterly alienated us from the kingdom of heaven, none but a person reaching to him could be the medium of restoring peace. But who could thus reach to him? Could any of the sons of Adam? All of them, with their parents, shuddered at the sight of God. Could any of the angels? They had need of a head, by connection with which they might adhere to their God entirely and inseparably.


What then? The case was certainly desperate, if the Godhead itself did not descend to us, it being impossible for us to ascend. Thus the Son of God behooved to become our Emmanuel, the God with us; and in such a way, that by mutual union his divinity and our nature might be combined; otherwise, neither was the proximity near enough, nor the affinity strong enough, to give us hope that God would dwell with us; so great was the repugnance between our pollution and the spotless purity of God. Had man remained free from all taint, he was of too humble a condition to penetrate to God without a Mediator. What, then, must it have been, when by fatal ruin he was plunged into death and hell, defiled by so many stains, made loathsome by corruption; in fine, overwhelmed with every curse? It is not without cause, therefore, that Paul, when he would set forth Christ as the Mediator, distinctly declares him to be man. There is, says he, “one Mediator between God and man, the man Christ Jesus,” (1 Tim. 2: 5). He might have called him God, or at least, omitting to call him God he might also have omitted to call him man; but because the Spirit, speaking by his mouth, knew our infirmity, he opportunely provides for it by the most appropriate remedy, setting the Son of God familiarly before us as one of ourselves. That no one, therefore, may feel perplexed where to seek the Mediator, or by what means to reach him, the Spirit, by calling him man, reminds us that he is near, nay, contiguous to us, inasmuch as he is our flesh. And, indeed, he intimates the same thing in another place, where he explains at greater length that he is not a high priest who “cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin,” 
(Heb. 4: 15)