Monthly Archives: March 2010

Thirst after God!

Thirst after God

“For deliverance and guidance”

(Psalm 143)

1. The urgent prayer of David (vs.1-2)

2. David expresses his trouble (vs.3-4)

3. David’s thirst for God (5-12)

 

1. The urgent prayer of David (vs.1-2)

a. “Give ear” David wants God’s full attention in his moment of need.

b. “In your faithfulness answer me, in your righteousness.”David’s acknowledgment of the nature and character of God. God is faithful to forgive us of our sin (1 Jon.1:9). David was in a covenant relationship with God, knowing in His righteousness He would deliver him (Psalm 31:1).

c. “For no one living is righteous before you.”David comes before God in a state of humility. David knew when he measured up his heart with God’s judgment, he did not measure up. This is how we should come before God (Job 14:3-4)

2. David expresses his trouble (vs.3-4)

a. “For the enemy has pursued my soul” We see David’s brokenness as his enemies press down on him

b. “There my spirit faints within me; my heart within me is appalled.”Matthew Henry says this “David was not only a great saint, but a great soldier, and yet even he was sometimes ready to faint in the day of adversity.”Like David, all of us at times have trouble come into our life, and we feel like we are at our breaking point. “When I remember God, I moan; when I meditate, my spirit faints.”- Psalm 77:3

3. David’s thirst for God (vs.5-12)

a. “I remember the days of old; I meditate on all you have done.” When trouble comes remember what God has done, this will bring comfort to your tired soul! (Psalm 77:11-14) Some of the things God has done… Creation (Jer.10:12), Miracles of Christ (Luke 11:20), the birth of Christ (Matt.1:18-25) The resurrection of Christ (2 Cor13:4). Also remember what He has done in your life, and all around you.

b. “My soul thirsts for you like a parched land” This is the point of total surrender to God! “My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When shall I come and appear before God?”-Psalm 42:2

c. V.7 shows David’s desperation for God, this is where we all should be! Lord I need you right now!

We see six keys to complete surrender to God.

1. Listen to God in His complete devotion to us(v.8a)

2. Trust in God, let Him lead you (v.8b)

3. Flee to God for your refuge (v.9)

4. Be teachable so you can do His will (v.10a)

5. Be lead by the Holy Spirit (v.10b)

6. Let God revive us by his Word (v.11)

Application: In our life troubles will come; how will we handle it? Let us turn to God; knowing that as we thirst for Him, He will deliver us, and mature us, drawing us to Him (James 1:2-4) and leading our paths


Let us hold each other acountable

“Impress the young convert from the very beginning with the conviction that God has called him into His kingdom to struggle with the corruptions of his heart.”

WILLIAM B. SPRAGUE

 What has happened to true Christian fellowship? We go to church and when the preaching is done, we are done. We do not spend time getting to know each other. And what has happened to true Christian disicpleship? The new in Christ need our encouragement. Look at what it says in 1 Thess. 5:11, “Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing.”  This was a young congregation, and the call was to encourage each other in the Lord! So we need to hold each other accountable! We need to pull the ones that stray away back to the fold! It says this in Jam. 5:19-20, “My brothers, if anyone among you wanders from the truth and someone brings him back, let him know that whoever brings back a sinner from his wandering will save his soul from death and will cover a multitude of  sins.” So we need to spend time with the young Christian, telling him to watch out for temptation, leading him to the cross, showing him the Scriptures that will help him grow strong in the Lord! So let us hold each other accountable!


Adoption: What it means to be apart of God’s family

Adoption

 “And if you call on him as Father who judges impartially according to each one’s deeds, conduct yourselves with fear throughout the time of your exile.” -1Pet.1:17

 What is Adoption?  “Adoption is an act of God whereby he makes us members of His family.” – W. Grudem

 What does the Bible say about Adoption:

  1. 1.    It is a promise to the believer through faith in Christ.
  • We are the offspring of God.

“And if you are Christ’s then you are Abraham’s offspring, heirs according to promise.”- Gal.3:29

  • The believer needs to be thankful of the promise of adoption. It is not by works (Read Gal.3). But by faith.

“For in Christ Jesus you are all sons of God through faith.”- Gal.3:26

  1. 2.    It is by Grace, for His purpose.
  • God has adopted us for His purpose, by His unearned merit (grace).

“He predestined us for adoption through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved.”-Eph.1:5-6

  1. 3.    It is connected with new birth.
  • In order for us to be adopted there has to be conversion.

“But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right  to become children of God, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.”- Jon.1:12-13

  • We see here faith in Christ. And we are born not of our self but of God. In the new birth God’s Spirit will bear witness of adoption.

“The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God.”- Rom.8:16

  1. 4.    It should be looked at as a privilege.
  • We as believers should be humbled to be called his children.

“See what kind of love the Father has given to us that we should be called children of God; and so we are. The reason why the world does not know us is that it did not know Him.”-1Jon.3:1

  1. 5.    We are under the discipline of our heavenly Father.
  • Just as the earthly father disciplines his children, our heavenly father disciplines us.

“Know then in your heart that, as a man disciplines his son, the Lord your God disciplines you.”- Deut.8:5

  • Let us except the discipline of the Lord (Heb.12:3-11)
  1. 6.    It should lead to Holy living.
  • Being in God’s family should lead to holy living.

“Do all things without grumbling or questioning, that you may be blameless and innocent, children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and twisted generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world.”-Phil.2:14-15

  1. 7.    Fellowship with other believers as brothers and sisters.
  • In Acts 2:42-47 we see how the believers are to fellowship with one another.
  • Look at the early believers as they were in the upper room.

“All these with one accord were devoting themselves to prayer, together with the women and Mary the mother of Jesus, and his brothers.”-Act.1:14.When we come to Christ we look at other believers as family!


Sanctification: Growing in Christ!

Sanctification

 “According to the foreknowledge of God the Father, in the sanctification of the Spirit, for obedience to Jesus Christ and for sprinkling with his blood: May grace and peace be multiplied to you.”- 1Pet.1:2

What is sanctification? “The continuing spiritual process in which those who have been saved by faith are transformed into His image and likeness.”- MacArthur

“Sanctification is a progressive work of God and man that makes us more and more free from sin and like Christ in our actual lives.”- W.Grudem

What does the Bible say about sanctification:

  1. 1.    Sanctification is a life set apart for service.

Therefore go out from their midst, and be separate from them, says the Lord, and touch no unclean thing; then I will welcome you.”- 2Cor.6:17

  • We are to be set apart from the things of this world.
  • Growing more and more in the things that are of God.
  1. 2.    Sanctification is through the atonement of Christ.

“And by that will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once and for all.”-Heb.10:10

  • We needed the “Work of the Cross” (Heb.13:12)
  1. 3.    Sanctification is through the Word of God.

“Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth.”-Jon.17:17

  • In Jesus’ prayer we see we the believers, are to grow in the truth.
  • God has given us His Word to keep! It is our instruction book!
  1. 4.    The Church made glorious by sanctification.

So that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the Word, so that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without blemish.”-Eph.5:26-27

  • As we grow in the Lord, it brings glory to the Lord! Remember it is his church.
  1. 5.    Sanctification described as.

“But put on the lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to gratify its desires.”- Rom.13:14

  • Our yielding over to the Lord, not letting our mind plan out sin.
  1. 6.    Sanctification the purpose of.

“Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children.”- Eph.5:1

  • We are to let the lord shine through our life.
  1. 7.    Sanctification should lead to turning away from sin.

“For this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you abstain from sexual  immorality; that each one of you know how to control his own body in holiness and honor.”- 1Thess.4:3-4

  1. 8.    Sanctification leads to fruitful living.

“But now you have been set free from sin and have become slaves of God, the fruit you get leads to sanctification and its end, eternal life.”-Rom.6:22

  1. 9.    You will not inherit the kingdom of God without it.

1Cor. 6:9-11 (read). Works do not save us, but they show if we are in the faith.


A look at Regeneration: What it means to be born again!

Regeneration

 “Blessed be the God and father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.”- 1pet.1:3

What is regeneration?  “We may define regeneration as follows: Regeneration is a secret act of God in which he imparts new spiritual life to us. This is sometimes called “being born again” (using language from John 3:3-8)” – Wayne Grudem

What does the bible say about regeneration:

  1. 1.    Regeneration is required in salvation.
  • People are wicked and cannot come to God on their own. Because of our nature; people cannot please God.

“For the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God, for it does not submit to God’s law; indeed, it cannot. Those who are in the flesh cannot please God.”-Rom.8:7-8

  • We cannot have everlasting life without regeneration.

“Jesus answered him, “Truly truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.”- Jon.3:3

  1. 2.    Regeneration is caused by God.
  • The believer is born not by the will of man, but of the will of God.

“Who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.”- Jon.1:13

  • God gives us his spirit.

“He saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior.”-Tit.3:5-6

  1. 3.    God uses the proclamation of the Gospel in regeneration.
  • We see this in Paul proclaiming the Gospel to Lydia.

“One who heard us was a woman named Lydia, from the city of Thyatira, a seller of purple goods, who was a worshiper of God. The Lord opened her heart to pay attention to what was said by Paul.”-Act.16:14

  • God uses His Word.

“Of his own will he brought us forth by the word of truth, that we should be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures.”-Jam.1:18

  • Regeneration and proclamation go hand and hand.

“For since, in the wisdom of God, the world did not know God through wisdom, it pleased God through the folly of what we preach to save those who believe.”-1Cor.1:21

  1. 4.    Regeneration as described in Scripture.
  • It is a spiritual resurrection.

“We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the father, we too might walk in newness of life.”- Rom.6:4

  • Giving us a new heart and Spirit.

“And I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and you a heart of flesh.”-Ezek.36:26

  1. 5.    Regeneration produces change.
  • We will have a hatred for sin.

“No one born of God makes a practice of sinning, for God’s seed abides in him, and he cannot keep on sinning because he has been born of God.”-1Jon.3:9

  • We will delight in god’s law.

“For I delight in the law of God, in my inner being”-Rom.7:22

  • We will practice righteousness.

“If you know that he is righteous, you may be sure that everyone who practices righteousness has been born of him.”-1Jon.2:29


The Power of the Gospel (Phil.1:12-18)

 

  Paul understood the Gospel has power. It is what he stood in defense of and proclaimed. Paul said this in 1Cor.1:18 “For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.” Paul understood that getting the Gospel out was more important then his circumstances.

  The situations Paul describes here in getting out the Gospel.

  •  His imprisonment.
  • When the gospel is being preached with wrong motive.
  1. 1.    The Gospel is moving forward (v.12-13)
    1. a.   Paul was put into prison to stop him from proclaiming the gospel, but instead it was advancing touching the lives of the imperial guard that Paul was chained to. And the imperial household. (Look at 1:25) the progress of the Gospel in our own life.
    2. b.   When the situation does not look good believe that God is in it, look for the opportunity to share your faith!
    3. 2.    The Gospel is encouraging others to be bold (v.14)
      1. a.   Paul’s imprisonment was encouraging others to stand up for the Gospel. Giving strength to speak with boldness. At times it is hard to have boldness, we get scared. (Look at the prayer for boldness in Acts.4:23-31)
      2. b.   We need to pray for boldness to share our faith. The power is in the Gospel.
      3. 3.    The Gospel cannot be stopped (v.15-18)
        1. a.   Some were preaching from a pure heart. And others were preaching for themselves, even though the proper gospel was being preached.
        2. b.   Paul understood that God was going to work , because the power is in the gospel and not the person.

In closing: The heart beat of Paul; he wanted his life to be about Jesus, making the Gospel his highest priority. Read rom.1:16. Let us remember the power is in the Gospel and not in man.


What do we hunger for? (1Pet.2:1-3)

 

 As Christians it should be our desire to hunger for spiritual food. The bible has everything we need for spiritual health. Let us look for a moment at the Bible.

 How we received the Word (2Pet.1:20-21; 1Pet.1:10-12)

The purpose of the Word (2Tim.3:16-17)

A description of the Word (Heb.4:12)

The call to preach the Word (2Tim.4:2)

 This look at the hunger we should have for God’s Word is part of holy living. And so far we see this about holy living.

We are to rejoice in suffering (1:6)

We are to love and trust and find joy in God (1:8)

We are to have our minds in the right place (1:13)

We are to have our hope only in Christ (1:13)

We are stay obedient to God (1:14)

We are to walk in awe of who God is (1:17)

We are to love one another (1:22)

We are to lay aside sin and hunger for the Word (2:1-2)

 As we grow in the Lord it is that craving for the truth of the Word of God, that we build a strong foundation. Paul told Timothy this in 2Tim.3:16-17 “All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be competent, equipped for every good work.”

Some things to remember as you listen to this sermon

As you grow in your faith do you have a desire for spiritual things more than the things of the world? You should have this growing desire for the Bible!

It is important to watch what we say, and how we treat one another. At the start of this chapter, we see sin that deals with how we treat people. And the speech we use.

  1. 1.    We need to turn from sin. (v.1)

“So put away all”

  1. a.   Put away or rid yourselves: It is connected with various images, That of wiping away dirt (Jam.1:21); or taking off old clothes and putting on new ones (Rom.13:12,Col.3:5,Eph.4:22). The AMP says “So be done with”. So we are to stop sinning in any and all ways. That should be our desire! (That is what we deal with in spiritual warfare).
  2. b.   Peter names the sin one by one.
  • Malice: Wickedness.
  • Deceit: Lying, in deceitful speech.
  • Hypocrisy:  Doing something to impress others, although the person doing it may not believe in what he is doing, insincerity, pretense two-faced behavior. Note: In some instances it is rendered as “to wear a mask”. We are pretenders!
  • Envy: Jealousy, feeling of resentment or hatred over someone who has something which the other does not have.
  • Slander:  Insulting language. Greek Lit. “Evil Speech” Speaking about others in order to belittle or deframe. Critical of each other. “To shoot people with words.” Or “harm others by whispering”. (Jam.3) tells of how wicked the tongue can be.

Note: This shows the wickedness of sin, and how we need to be done with it.

  1. 2.    Thirst for the Word (2.a)

“Like newborn infants”

  1. a.   Infants: The Greek word is used to describe, the recently born. And could be talking of new Christians.
  2. b.   Long for: A word that expresses intense, passionate, and strong desire for something. That is how we should be for the Word of God.
  3. c.   Spiritual milk:  The word “spiritual” means the Word of God or the Gospel. (Remember that is referred to in 1:23-25).
  4. d.   Why we are to thirst for the Word. Look what it says in Heb.5:12 “For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the basic principles of the oracles of God. You need milk, not solid food.” Than in v. 14 it states that solid food is for the mature. And to distinguish good from evil. (1Cor.3:2)

Note: What do we long for? And if it is the Word of God, we will grow.

  1. 3.    We Will grow in the Lord (2.b-3)

“that  by it you may grow up to salvation”

  1. a.   This is the result of that thirst. That we will grow in relation to God. Look what it says in Act.20:32 “And now I commend you to God and to the word of his grace, which is able to build you up and to give you the inheritance among all those who are sanctified.”
  2. b.   Growth brings honor and glory to God read Eph.5:26-27.
  3. c.   Growth leads us not to sin. Read 1Thess.4:3-4

“Tasted that the lord is good.”

  1. a.   If we are born again we will have a desire for God and his word. So let not sin get in the way, and take away that hunger.
  2. b.   This comes from Ps.34:8.

In closing: If we are going to love one another we have to lay aside sin and thirst for God and his word. This is how we grow as a Christian.