Aug 6, 2023. Hebrews 4:1-10

Please click here for the audio and click here for the video portions of this message.. Please click here to view today’s bulletin.

COMPLETE DELIVERANCE. Hebrews 4:1-10. 8/06/23. #13.

1 Therefore, since a promise remains of entering His rest, let us fear lest any of you seem to have come short of it. 2 For indeed the gospel was preached to us as well as to them; but the word which they heard did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in those who heard it. 3 For we who have believed do enter that rest, as He has said: “So I swore in My wrath, ‘They shall not enter My rest,’ ” although the works were finished from the foundation of the world. 4 For He has spoken in a certain place of the seventh day in this way: “And God rested on the seventh day from all His works”; 5 and again in this place: “They shall not enter My rest.” 6 Since therefore it remains that some must enter it, and those to whom it was first preached did not enter because of disobedience, 7 again He designates a certain day, saying in David, “Today,” after such a long time, as it has been said: “Today, if you will hear His voice,

Do not harden your hearts.” 8 For if Joshua had given them rest, then He would not afterward have spoken of another day. 9 There remains therefore a rest for the people of God. 10 For he who has entered His rest has himself also ceased from his works as God did from His.

1. To start is not to finish

                a. The journey to becoming a Christian is compared here to Israel’s journey from Egypt to Canaan

                                a1. Just as learning about Jesus is a prelude to receiving Jesus, walking through the Sinai Desert was a transition to arriving into the Promised Land

                                a2. Leaving Egypt didn’t guarantee entering into Canaan

                b. In order for Israel to safely arrive at their destination, they had to obey God

                                a1. They heard God’s words, but did not heed

                                a2. A contrast is made between preaching and hearing (receiving and obeying)

                                a3. Not those who left Egypt would enter into God’s rest, but those who obeyed him

2. Joshua could not save them

                a. Joshua was chosen to be the leader after Moses

                                a1. Joshua led and instructed, but could not force compliance on the part of the people

                                a2. Jesus offers salvation, but doesn’t force it on anyone

                b. Only “preaching mixed with faith” produces salvation, for an unheeded message is ineffectual

                c. Joshua 24 Joshua tells the people that he could answer only for his own salvation

                                a1. The Jews still carried idols with them that they had brought out of Egypt

                                a2. Ezekiel 20 9 centuries later, God tells Judah that they had never left their idols from Egypt

                d. If the Jews would not obey Joshua who led to physical deliverance, they also did not listen to Jesus, who offered spiritual deliverance

                e. When preaching falls on deaf ears, no chance occurs in the hearer

                                a1. Ephesians 2:1-10 it is grace mixed with faith that produces salvation

                                a2. As with Jeremiah, Ezekiel, and Paul, the warning given must be heeded to be saved

                f. Joshua spoke of a different day

                                a1. Joshua 22:4-5, Joshua offered a blessing of rest, but only on those who obeyed God

                                a2. Joshua knew that God’s permanent rest was still future

3. God’s completed work

                a. God had completed His work of creation and rested

                                a1. Rested = ceased from labor (everything was finished and very God – Genesis 1:31)

                                a2. Man was given a perfect body, soul, and environment

                b. When man fell, he left God’s perfect rest

                c. Through Jesus Christ, God offers to return believers to His perfect rest that He completed

                                a1. The perfect creation is a type of God’s eternal perfection that cannot be marred

                                a2. Believers enter into an eternal rest which is free of burdens, labor, trials, and strife

                d. Joshua only could offer rest from warfare, but Jesus offers eternal rest for the weary embattled soul

                e. Psalm 95:7-8 David repeated the same warning

                f. All that separates us from His rest is resisting Him

Key verse: Ephesians 2:1-101 And you He made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins, 2 in which you once walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience, 3 among whom also we all once conducted ourselves in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, just as the others. 4 But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, 5 even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), 6 and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, 7 that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. 8 For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, 9 not of works, lest anyone should boast. 10 For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.

Aug 29, 2021. I Thessalonians 4:1-8

Please click here for the link to the audio and please click here for the link to the video portion of this message. Please click here to view today’s bulletin.

HOLY LIVING.  I Thessalonians 4:1-8.  08/29/2021.  #8.

I Thessalonians 4:1-8 [New King James Version]

1 Finally then, brethren, we urge and exhort in the Lord Jesus that you should abound more and more, just as you received from us how you ought to walk and to please God; 2 for you know what commandments we gave you through the Lord Jesus. 3 For this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you should abstain from sexual immorality; 4 that each of you should know how to possess his own vessel in sanctification and honor, 5 not in passion of lust, like the Gentiles who do not know God; 6 that no one should take advantage of and defraud his brother in this matter, because the Lord is the avenger of all such, as we also forewarned you and testified. 7 For God did not call us to uncleanness, but in holiness. 8 Therefore he who rejects this does not reject man, but God, who has also given us His Holy Spirit.

  1. From rejoicing to admonishing
    1. Paul began letter with concern and moved to rejoicing at the positive report that Timothy brought back from church
    1. Paul now moves into topic of holy living, using 2 points:
      1.  Continue growing in the Lord
      1.  Sanctify your body for holiness; not for immorality
    1. Greek society was very promiscuous
      1.  They practically worshiped the body
      1.  Paul spent much time admonishing the Corinthians against sexual immorality
      1.  Greek was an openly sensualized culture
    1. Thessalonica was no different than the rest of Greece
      1.  Paul treats immorality as their #1 vice
      1.  Thessalonica believers had to change from their upbringing and culture
      1.  Paul taught gospel, doctrine, and virtue in 3 weeks
    1. Solution to immorality for believers:
      1.  Sanctification = setting body apart from sin to dedication to Christ alone
      1.  Abstinence from immorality (abstain = apecho in middle voice; literally, to hold oneself from)
        1.  To restrain self from sexual sins
        1.  Hold oneself back from participation
      1.  Seeking to do the will of God
        1.  Holy living is part of God’s will, along with studying Word, witnessing, prayer, worship, and service
        1.  Dedicating self to purpose of pleasing God in all we think and do (I Corinthians 6:12-20)
    1. Paul reminds them that he had taught them about virtue and fidelity (goes against their culture)
  2. Possessing one’s own body
    1. The hardest thing to control is yourself
    1. Possess (obtain, take hold of, procure) one’s own vessel
      1.  To take charge over or command oneself
      1.  To control one’s body (vessel) while navigating through a world of sin, temptation, and allurement
    1. 1 Cor. 3 refusing to succumb to fleshly passions, lustful impulses, and vile thoughts
    1. Paul challenges church to sanctify entire body permanently to the dedication of service to the Lord exclusively
      1.  Living in honor (“with full value” or worth)
      1.  Living counter to the debased culture around you
    1. To engage in immorality is to defraud the person you seduce or are seduced by
      1.  Defrauds family of the seduced
      1.  Defrauds self and Holy Spirit within you (Ephesians 4:30)
    1. Immorality holds one as a slave to sin and lust (tyranny)
  3. Avenger of moral violations
    1. The Lord avenges immorality as a violation of His Law
      1.  Even believers will suffer loss
      1.  God does not ignore or minimize moral violations
    1. Uncleanness = a violation of calling and Christ’s offering
    1. We are called to holiness, so to violate our holy calling is to reject God and grieve the Holy Spirit dwelling in us
      1.  Christ’s sacrifice calls for serious commitment
      1.  Common sin is not excusable behavior
    1. Defrauding self cheats you out of blessing and reward

Key verse: I Corinthians 6:12-20

12 All things are lawful for me, but all things are not helpful. All things are lawful for me, but I will not be brought under the power of any. 13 Foods for the stomach and the stomach for foods, but God will destroy both it and them. Now the body is not for sexual immorality but for the Lord, and the Lord for the body. 14 And God both raised up the Lord and will also raise us up by His power. 15 Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ? Shall I then take the members of Christ and make them members of a harlot? Certainly not! 16 Or do you not know that he who is joined to a harlot is one body with her? For “the two,” He says, “shall become one flesh.” 17 But he who is joined to the Lord is one spirit with Him. 18 Flee sexual immorality. Every sin that a man does is outside the body, but he who commits sexual immorality sins against his own body. 19 Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? 20 For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s.

Oct 18, 2020. Philippians 2:1-4

Please click here for the link to the audio and click here for the YouTube video portion of this message. Please click here for a copy of today’s bulletin.

SINGLE-MINDED SAINTS. Philippians 2:1-4. 10/18/20. #06.

Philippians 2:1-4 [New King James Version]

1 Therefore if there is any [a]consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any affection and mercy, 2 fulfill my joy by being like-minded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind. 3 Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself. 4 Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others.

  • Concord
    • Paul’s main concern for believers is for their maturity
      • The battle against our own sin nature continues
      • Paul knows that Satan loves division in church
    • Paul states that a new foundation for them has been laid
      • Not only is Christ our example, he is our life
      • There is an intimate relationship with the Lord that transcends mere knowledge or mentoring
    • “If there is any consolation in Christ…”
      • “If” is in 1st class condition = since there is…
      • There IS consolation (compassion, empathy, comfort, solace) in Christ (he consoles us)
      • Christ does comfort us in his love
    • There IS fellowship of the Spirit
      • We both have fellowship with God and with each other via the indwelling work of the Spirit
      • Any saint causing strife within the fellowship grieves the Spirit of God (Ephesians 4:30)
    • There IS affection and mercy
      • The core fundamental tenor of the church body is to be gracious, forgiving, and merciful
      • Believers are to be tenderhearted toward each other (a striving believer is ungodly)
      • Even when church discipline is needed, correction is to be administered in love for the benefit of the offending party and the body (Matthew 18, II Thessalonians 3, I Chronicles 5)
  • Unity
    • Paul moves from decorum to duty: because we have a relationship with Christ through the Spirit and because the Lord manifests godliness in us, we need to choose to be godly
    • All power to please God is in us, but we must choose to obey and imitate him or to rebel against him (freewill)
    • Paul uses the relationship with the Lord and his teaching to focus their attention on serving one another (Ephesians 5:1-10)
    • Paul lists several aspects which should be found in body:
      • Like-minded = to have the same purpose and goals
        • This does not mean “group think” where everyone always agrees and conforms to group
        • Our goals need to be the goals of Christ
        • Having the same love = bond of care for each other
        • One accord = “having the same spirit” (of grace, tenderness toward one another, cooperation,…)
        • Of one mind = with the same intentions
    • There is no room in the body for selfish pride, envy, or the desire to dominate others in the Body of Christ
    • Paul commands believers to highly regard or esteem others:
      • Humility = to be meek, self-deprecating, deferring
      • Regarding others more highly than self (putting others first; not being self-promoting or apathetic)
  • Charity
    • Paul concludes that we should seek the welfare of others before ourselves
      • We are servants of others
      • We are to actively seek how we can show others Christ through our actions
    • We are our brother’s keeper
      • We are to watch out for others and their best interests
      • We are not to be busybodies (I Peter 4) or interfere in the affairs of others (II Thessalonians 3), but we are to give aid when needed and are to watch for opportunities to do so
    • Being a Christian is a relationship and a lifestyle (full of grace, mercy, compassion, kindness, helpfulness, and love)

Key Verse: Ephesians 5:1-10 [New King James Version]

1 Therefore be imitators of God as dear children. 2 And walk in love, as Christ also has loved us and given Himself for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling aroma. 3 But fornication and all uncleanness or covetousness, let it not even be named among you, as is fitting for saints; 4 neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor coarse jesting, which are not fitting, but rather giving of thanks. 5 For [a]this you know, that no fornicator, unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God. 6 Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience. 7 Therefore do not be partakers with them. 8 For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light 9 (for the fruit of the [b]Spirit is in all goodness, righteousness, and truth), 10 finding out what is acceptable to the Lord.