Sermon Audio – Paul vs Paul

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“Some indeed preach Christ even from envy and strife, and some also from goodwill: The former preach Christ from selfish ambition, not sincerely, supposing to add affliction to my chains; but the latter out of love, knowing that I am appointed for the defense of the gospel. What then? Only that in every way, whether in pretense or in truth, Christ is preached; and in this I rejoice, yes, and will rejoice.” Philippians 1:15-18 NKJV

 

“I marvel that you are turning away so soon from Him who called you in the grace of Christ, to a different gospel, which is not another; but there are some who trouble you and want to pervert the gospel of Christ. But even if we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel to you than what we have preached to you, let him be accursed.” Galatians 1:6-8 NKJV

 


This sermon was originally recorded April 6, 2014 at Brandywine Bible Chapel, Wilmington, DE.

 

 

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Jottings – Eternal Security

Interestingly enough, Paul here uses the eternal security of the believer as one of the strongest reasons why we should not sin.

Commenting on Ephesians 4:30 ~~

 

“Interestingly enough, Paul here uses the eternal security of the believer as one of the strongest reasons why we should not sin.”

 

MacDonald, William. Believer’s Bible Commentary: Old and New Testaments. Ed. Arthur Farstad. Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 1995. Print.

 

 

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1 Corinthians 3:1-3 – Growing Up & Maturing

 

 

And I, brethren, could not speak unto you as unto spiritual, but as unto carnal, even as unto babes in Christ. I have fed you with milk, and not with meat: for hitherto ye were not able to bear it, neither yet now are ye able. For ye are yet carnal: for whereas there is among you envying, and strife, and divisions, are ye not carnal, and walk as men? 1 Corinthians 3:1-3 KJV

 

Last week we discussed the fact that many Christians are baby christians.

I have taken another week to look at the topic in a bit more detail. The reason being that God does not want us to remain as ‘baby christians’ but He wants us to grow and make progress in our Christian faith. We cross refer in the session to Ephesians 4, Hebrews 5 and 1 Peter 2 to draw some lessons so keep your bible handy.

If you are like me you might feel that this week is a bit like a personal stocktaking and review. I believe that it is good to stop and consider where we are in our walk with God from time to time.

 

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This is the 20th video in a series of teaching videos on the book of First Corinthians.

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Audio: The Temple – Herod’s Temple

 

Therefore remember that at one time you Gentiles in the flesh, called “the uncircumcision” by what is called the circumcision, which is made in the flesh by hands – remember that you were at that time separated from Christ, alienated from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world. But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. Ephesians 2:11-13

 

This is the seventh in a series of nine messages tracing the history of the Jewish Temple in Jerusalem entitled ‘The Temple: The Biography of a Place.’

This series of messages, along with their accompanying PowerPoint slides, were originally presented by Brother Tom Schetelich at the Forge Road Bible Chapel of Perry Hall, MD in late 2010 and early 2011.

Lord willing the series of messages will be posted every Friday through March 8th.

 

 

The Temple Part 7: Herod's Temple from DigitalSojourner

 


The Temple: The Biography of a Place
Series Directory

Part 1 The Temple: Choosing the Place
Part 2 The Temple: David Prepares the Materials
Part 3 The Temple: Solomon’s Dedication
Part 4 The Temple: Ahaz and Hezekiah
Part 5 The Temple: The Glory Departs
Part 6 The Temple: Haggai and the Second Temple
Part 7 The Temple: Herod’s Temple
Part 8 The Temple: Jesus at the Temple
Part 9 The Temple: Today & Beyond: Ezekiel’s Temple

 

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NT Tuesday: The Church, The Body of Christ [part 5]

 

Christ Preeminent

 

We continue to explore what the Bible says about the Body of Christ, the Church.

We have been using Ephesians 5:25-28 ESV – “Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, 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 spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish” as our theme verse.

Today we shall explore another aspect of Jesus Christ’s relationship to the Church.

In Ephesians 5, we noted that Christ loved the Church and gave Himself for her. In other words, He purchased her with His own precious blood. It was the only way by which lost souls could be ransomed, sins could be forgiven and God could be satisfied. Because of Christ’s redeeming work on the cross, sinners can be called out and set apart for God’s purposes and in Christ’s Church.

 


The Head of the Church



 

We remarked, albeit briefly, that the Church is the Body of Christ. And, just as our human bodies have a head, so does the Church. The Church’s Head is Jesus Christ.

In Colossians 1:18-20 ESV, we have an inarguable affirmation of this. “And He is the head of the body, the church. He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in everything he might be preeminent. For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross.”

As a side note, it confuses me how a statement so clear can be so ignored by people who profess to be part of the Body of Christ. Christ is the Head! That means that NO ONE else could possibly be the Head. No man, now or ever, could or should take the place of Jesus Christ. Not Peter, not Paul, and no one today.

Much is in the news about a man who leads a denomination of professing Christians and his plans to retire. This mere man is often referred to as the head of the church. Dear loved ones, this man is not the head of the Church! Jesus Christ is and — praise His name Jesus is not retiring! I do not write this to cast aspersions, rather I must write this because the Word of God demands that truth be defended and taught.

 


Prominent or Preeminent?



 

Equally undeniable is the fact that, as Head, Jesus has the right to be preeminent in all things. That means He gets the first place, the most important position, the top priority in everything that we do – as a Body and as members of the body. One dear brother said, “It is easy to have Christ as prominent, but there is quite a difference when He is preeminent.”

For most reading this little blog, Jesus Christ probably plays a prominent role in your life, but, dear ones, is He preeminent? This is a challenge to my heart, as well!

Next week, we will continue looking at the role of Jesus Christ as Head of the Church. Praise His name!

 

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NT Tuesday: The Church, The Body of Christ [part 4]

Bride and GroomWe continue to explore what the Bible says about the Body of Christ, the Church.

We have been using Ephesians 5:25-28 ESV – “Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, 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 spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish” as our theme verse.

Over the last few weeks, we reviewed some of the names that William MacDonald listed in his book “Christ Loved the Church.” Last week we looked at the terms dwelling place, house, and pillar and ground of truth.

This week, I want to look at my personal favorite. All of the phrases are amazing and reveal what God thinks about the Church, but the Bride of Christ reveals an amazing love and incredible sense of intimacy.

Let’s think about what John the baptizer said about Jesus Christ and His bride. “The one who has the bride is the bridegroom. The friend of the bridegroom, who stands and hears him, rejoices greatly at the bridegroom’s voice. Therefore this joy of mine is now complete” John 3:29 ESV.

Two important points can be made from this short statement:

One is that the Bridegroom “has the bride”. In other words, there is an intimate relationship between the Bridegroom and the Bride. We often say, “we don’t have a religion, we have a relationship,” but do we really understand the significance of that statement. A religion is a series of beliefs/mores that define how God relates to man and man relates to God. But a relationship is about two living, intelligent beings that involve our emotions, our intellect, and our physical being. Relationships are living and can grow or can drift. Marriages get stronger or they stagnate. The same is true with our relationship with our Bridegroom, it ought to get stronger. Relationships take work. I like to say it takes investment, where we expend our time, emotions, and energy in something that is worthwhile.

The other fact contained in John’s statement is that there is great joy involved in a relationship between the bride and the Bridegroom. Now, John is saying that he has joy, so it is a joy that spreads. His joy is in knowing that the Bridegroom is rejoicing in His relationship with His bride.

I have to admit, that this concept is hard for me to grasp sometimes. I can understand, having experienced it myself, the joy of ME knowing Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior. But, the Lord is rejoicing because He knows me?? How can this be? The answer is clear. It all has to do with His nature and His character and His attributes and it has NOTHING to do with me. He loves me (and His entire Bride) because He is love and because He loves us because of Who He is. We are unlovable, but He loves us anyway. I am so incredibly thankful that He loves me despite my numerous flaws, despite my falling short.

The Church is not a building, nor an organization! I hope we are starting to see this. The Church is the Bride of the Son of God and as such, it is the object of His special love and affection.

Praise God for His incomparable love!

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NT Tuesday: The Church, The Body of Christ [part 3]

Sunflower

 

We continue to explore what the Bible says about the Body of Christ, the Church.

We have been using Ephesians 5:25-28 – “Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, 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 spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish” as our theme verse.

And last week we reviewed some of the names that William MacDonald listed in his book “Christ Loved the Church.” Last week we looked at the terms flock, building temple, husbandry, and body.

The first term we will look at this week is the “Habitation of God” or “dwelling place for God.” This speaks to us of a permanency and closeness in proximity. God has routinely dwelt with man in various ways – in the Tabernacle, in the Word made flesh, in believers, and in a very special way in the Church. This speaks of fellowship – the fact that God wants to have a relationship with us! Praise His name!

In a similar way, the church is referred to as the House of God (1 Timothy 3:15). This speaks of order and discipline. The term “house” isn’t referring to the structure, but rather to the functions contained within the house. Think of the writer to the Hebrew’s comparison of Moses and Jesus Christ. The writer states that Moses was faithful “in God’s entire house” but that Jesus Christ was faithful “over the house of God as a Son.” The writer is referring to the functions of the house, not the structure.

This reminds us that we are part of what God is accomplishing here on earth – the functions, the work, the order is all part of the house of God, and as members of the Body, we are part of what God is accomplishing. It also speaks to us of an order as well. God, with all due respect, gets to call the shots. He is in charge. It’s His house! We would do well to submit to His revealed instructions and directions.

In the same passage in Timothy, the writer mentions that the church is the Pillar and Ground of Truth. William MacDonald brings out some amazing insights to explain the significance of this phrase. Pillars, in biblical times, were used to post announcements and proclamations. They were also used to support the structure. So, the church is the instrument used by God to proclaim, support and defend the truth. Sadly, it would seem that some who profess to be the church, have done a terrible job of fulfilling this role. Much truth has been watered down or simply changed to make it more palatable to itching ears.

Next week, we will look at one more phrase. Until then, think about the magnitude of God’s love for the Church based on the phrases we have looked at thus far.

 

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NT Tuesday: The Church, The Body of Christ [part 1]

Ekklesia

Over the next several weeks, I would like to take a closer look at what the Bible teaches us about the Church. There are many misconceptions about the Church and many false ideas. We can only get true and accurate understanding by looking at the Word of God and allowing the Scriptures to shape our thoughts (rather than the alternative).

First, let’s wrap our mind around a key Bible passage about the Church. Ephesians 5:25-28 – “Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, 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 spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish.”

Now that we have level set our thinking, let me tell you how I grew up and what use to come to mind when I heard the word “church.” I was raised in a main-line protestant denomination. When I was young, “we went to church”. And what that meant was we went to a special purpose building where religious things happened. Church also meant things like special calendars and special clothes for the clergy. It meant special events and special collections. It meant spectating while the paid staff and the deacons did the work. It meant a little song “here is the church, here is the steeple, open the door and see all the people.” The word “church” brought to mind a lot of things, but none of them were biblical or in the correct context.

I don’t recall ever hearing that the Church was the Bride of Christ and that He was eagerly awaiting His gathering her up for the great wedding day. I don’t ever recall being told that I was part of a body – a living organism that, in order for it to function, every member must use the gift given to him/her for the mutual edification of the other members of the body. I wasn’t told that we were “called out ones” or that we were gathered unto the Lord Jesus. Ironically, I was taught why “we” were “more right” than the Catholic church. But, I don’t recall being taught that Jesus was the Head of the Body. I always thought that the clergy was the head of the church.

But if we look at Ephesians 5, we notice something pretty significant. First and foremost, Christ loved the Church. He loves her – and He demonstrated His love towards her by dying for her and by purchasing her – He GAVE Himself for her. That’s an amazing thought – that the Eternal Son of God gave Himself for her. What does it mean that “He gave Himself”? Basically, how I see it is that He sacrificed Himself for us – for me!

More next week, but in the meantime, think about the fact that Christ loves the Church. What does that mean for you?

 

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[Photo Credit] Note: Ekklesia is the Greek word for church.

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Audio: Equipping The Next Generation

“And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds and teachers, to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ…” Ephesians 4:11-12a ESV

Every generation of God’s people have the solemn responsibility to effectively pass along God’s truth to the next generation. We are told in Ephesians 4:12 ESV to “equip” the next generation.

This goes way beyond simply teaching the next generation! Yes, we do have a responsibility to teach the next generation, but we must also go beyond this by equipping them to carry on the work.

Are you up to the task?

Recorded: Saturday May 26, 2012 at the Memorial Day Weekend Conference convened at the Bethany Gospel Chapel in Worcester, MA.

 

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NT Tuesday: Bearing & Forgiving One Another

Forgive One AnotherLast week took a week off, kind of, to discuss the concept of modesty as described in the New Testament. This week we will return to the “one another” verses and discuss the practical applications and relevance of following these verses as a requirement for fulfilling our responsibility of being New Testament principle practicing Christians.

This week’s (and next week’s) blog will be on the idea of “bearing with one another” and “forgiving each other.” Paul writes in Colossians 3:12-13 ESV, “Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other, as the Lord has forgiven you, so you must forgive.

Similar thoughts are also shared in Ephesians 4:1-2 ESV. There Paul writes, “I, therefore, a prisoner for the Lord urge you to walk in the manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love…”

 


Bearing With One Another



 

Let’s first look at the idea of “bearing with one another.” The idea of bearing is based on the word “forbear.” To forbear is to refrain from or forgo exercising one’s rights when offended or wronged. For example, if a police officer stops you when you were speeding, and he chooses not to give you a ticket, in essence, he has exercised “forbearance” on behalf of the state. He had every right to give you (or me) a ticket, but he chose not to do so. If you miss a loan payment, the bank could chose to repossess your house, but it might chose to forbear and allow you time to straighten things out.

Likewise, as Christians, we are often wronged by others and we often wrong others. Not every wrong must be addressed. In other words, we don’t need to demand an apology and confession every time someone wrongs us. In fact, it would be a good exercise to chose to forbear in many, many instances.

Because believers have a sense of what is right and wrong, as defined from the Bible, we are often inclined toward correcting the wrong and making it right. Does God do that to us? Yes, I know, every one of our sins has been forgiven and has been paid for on the cross of Calvary by our lovely Lord Jesus Christ. Clearly, it would be far more Christ like to forbear when offended than demand an apology every time we are offended. In my experience, people who are easily offended are usually people who are not very happy. They tend to cause division in assemblies. They tend to have a lot of broken relationships and they usually don’t add much to the functioning of the local body because they are too busy being offended and demanding that the wrong be made right.

 


Tolerance & Patience Vs. Provocation



 

Another idea of “bearing with one another” is the idea that we tolerate and patient in the face of provocation. The best solution in dealing with each other is being very patient and tolerate each other’s weaknesses (not sins, but weaknesses). Does the Lord bear with us? Of course the answer is YES, therefore, we ought to emulate His conduct, because we are united with Him and walk in newness of life with Him. It’s not our life, but His that we live. Therefore, our life should look like His.

Until next week, fulfill your ministry!

[photo credit]

 

 

 

 

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