Category Archives: Sermons

The Cross & Suffering

God does not diminish the reality of human suffering; He gives no easy answers. God deals with our suffering from the depths of His heart. Human suffering is central to the gospel because suffering is the result of sin, and the gospel is Christ’s good news of atonement and redemption and deliverance from sin! Human suffering both calls the unbelieving world to God and disciplines God’s beloved  children so that they can partake of His holiness. Therefore the Church must understand human suffering and exercise Christ’s supernatural love to this suffering world!

Click this link for our study on the-cross-suffering.

The New Man: The Miracle of Regeneration

I have recently seen the necessity to think and speak rightly about the miracle of regeneration; for the slightest derivation in our thinking and speaking about this subject can lead to traumatizing spiritual maladies in our personal relationship with Christ.

Because of this I felt compelled to begin a series in our church on the topic of being “born again”.

I can’t ignore the reality that so many Christians today are perilously besieged by Satan’s lies on this subject; many in the Church today believe that it is normal for divorce rates, fornication, adultery, racism, and abortion to be as prevalent within the Church as it is in the world- nothing could be farther from the truth! But Satan’s attack is not one dimensional. Unfortunately, many Christians, seeing this deception for what it is, have been besieged by another one of Satan’s lies about regeneration; namely, that it is impossible to sin once you become born again.

What I have recognized during this series is just how much discipline is required to think and speak rightly on this subject. It is remarkable just how easily influenced our belief’s on this subject are by the various trends and currents of today’s events: but we must not be so easily tossed to and fro by every wind and wave of doubt. We must believe what God has promised with all our heart and mind!

THE MIRACLE OF REGENERATION

There’s a trend today to divorce the moral teachings of Jesus from our desperate need for atonement. As Oswald Chambers put it, “people talk pleasant, patronizing things about Jesus’ teachings while they ignore His cross. But the teaching of Jesus apart from His atonement simply adds an ideal that leads to our despair. What is the good of telling me that only “the pure in heart shall see God” when I am impure? Or of telling me to love my enemies when I hate them? I may keep these thoughts down, but the spirit is still there. Does jesus Christ make it easier? He makes it a hundredfold more difficult! The purity God demands is impossible unless we can be remade from within, and that is what Jesus Christ undertakes to do through the Atonement.” (Biblical Ethics/ The Moral Foundations/ The Philosophy of Sin: Principles for Christian Living, chapter 1: Moral Imperatives 1).

We must understand something about the moral imperative of God’s law that has been placed on the heart of all mankind: God’s moral requirement of humanity does not make itself weak to those who are weak, nor does it palliative our shortcomings; it does not take into account our heredity, infirmities, or cultural disadvantages. God’s moral requirement upon humanity requires that we be absolutely moral because God created us as moral beings. This is what separates us from animals; we feel moral indignation over transgressions and injustices that they simply cannot entertain in their animal senses.

But, through sin, death has separated us from our Creator and thus fractured in us what it means to be fully human. And as soon as we realize our human brokenness and inability to attain to God’s standard, we begin to equivocate: “of course God won’t demand it; of course God will make allowances”. But, as Oswald Chambers wrote, “God’s laws are not watered down to suit anyone; if God did that He would cease to be God. The moral law never alters for the noblest or the weakest; it remains abidingly and eternally the same.” (Biblical Ethics/ The Moral Foundations/ The Philosophy of Sin: Principles for Christian Living, chapter 1: Moral Imperatives 1).

ROMANS 2:11-12, 15 (MEV) “for there is no partiality with God. As many as have sinned without the law will also perish without the law, and as many as have sinned under the law will be judged by the law, who show the work of the law written in their hearts, their consciences also bearing witness, while their conflicting thoughts either accuse or excuse them.” (see also Romans 3:23).

There is no human being that does not have some remnant of a moral imperative within them that makes them say “I ought to do this”, or “I should not do this”. This remnant of the human moral fiber exists in every person, even in the most degraded human specimen, and the Bible tells us exactly how it got there- it comes from God (Genesis 1:27).

Oswald Chambers wrote, “the modern tendency is to leave God out and make the moral standard whatever is most useful to people” (Biblical Ethics/ The Moral Foundations/ The Philosophy of Sin: Principles for Christian Living, chapter 1: Moral Imperatives 1). Nothing has changed since his time in the late 1800’s.

The prevailing moral thinking today says that morality has evolved by human beings for the benefit of humanity- the greatest good to the greatest number- but nothing could be farther from the moral reality each of us experiences on a day to day basis. A thing is not “moral” simply because it benefits the greatest number of people, a thing is moral because God is behind it! This is why philosophies of eugenics are so abominable to the human conscience; only a human conscience that has been seared beyond human recognition finds the rational practice of eugenics to be “moral”.

However, our problem is that we find in our brokenness this disposition: “I ought to do this, but I won’t; I shouldn’t do this, but I will.” This universal human problem removes from the realm of possibility all moral philosophies that teach us that we can simply “teach people what is right and they will do it”- they simply will not. The Scripture tells us our problem, that “we are carnal, sold under sin. For what I am doing, I do not understand. What I will to do, that I do not practice; but what I hate, that I do” (Romans 7:14-15). Fittingly this discourse in Scripture ends with the despairing cry “O wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death?” (Romans 7:24) But the human spirit revives at the revelation “I thank God- through Jesus Christ our Lord! There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit” (Romans 7:25- 8:1).

Again, Oswald Chambers nails it; “what we need is a power that will enable us to do what we know is right! We at say, ‘Oh, I won’t count this time’, but every bit of moral wrong is counted by God. The moral law exerts neither coercion nor tolerates compromise. ‘For whoever shall keep the whole law, and yet stumble in one point, he is guilty of all’ (James 2:10). Once we realize this we see why it was necessary for Jesus Christ to come. The redemption is the reality that alters our inability into ability!” (Biblical Ethics/ The Moral Foundations/ The Philosophy of Sin: Principles for Christian Living, chapter 1: Moral Imperatives 1).

The law of God is “the great equalizer”; everyone comes to it clothed and beautified by their wonderful accomplishments of pride, and everyone flees from it naked, bruised, and bloodied! Some flee from God’s law and quickly redress themselves in their vain accomplishments and pride; others, hearing the gospel of Jesus Christ, humbly kneel before their creator with a broken and contrite heart. The former flee into eternal damnation, the latter kneel into everlasting life and are raised into newness of life and clothed in the white garments of Jesus Christ!

Jesus did not come to make things easier, as some preachers erroneously claim, He came to supernaturally lift us onto another plane! Remember Jesus said, “Unless your righteousness exceeds the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, you will in no way enter the kingdom of heaven!” (Matthew 5:20). Jesus goes behind the law to the heart of our very disposition. As it is written, “Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets, for I did not come to destroy but to fulfill” (Matthew 5:17).

As Oswald Chambers wrote, “The teaching of the Sermon on the Mount penetrates our very heart and soul! Jesus didn’t simply say, ‘you shall not do certain things’, rather He demands that we have such a condition of heart that we do not even desire them! Every thought and imagination of heart and mind is to be utterly pure!”

We must make absolutely certain that we do not err in our thinking and be led to believe that “salvation” is at all separate from “atonement”: the purity God demands is impossible unless we can be remade from within, and that is exactly what Jesus Christ undertakes to do through the atonement!

Jesus didn’t come to tell people that they “ought to be holy”- everyone of us has already been born of a moral fiber and intuitively knows that there is an “ought” to which we are accountable- He came to put us in the place where we can be holy. This is the miracle of regeneration, and it is where humanity stumbles the most because it is out of our control. I can intellectually acknowledge various truths and realities; I can perform various sacred sacraments like baptism and the Lord’s Supper; but I cannot lift myself out of the fractured state of separation from God and place myself onto the high plane of justified fellowship with my Creator in true and unending holiness! That is the one thing I simply cannot do on my own.

Read Hebrews 9:14 (MEV), “How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without blemish to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?”

What is fractured in our carnal condition is restored in the regeneration of Christ. Though every human being has a moral conscience, only those who are “born of water and spirit” have clean consciences. The carnal man’s conscience is fractured; it is not complete because he has been separated from God through sin. But the new man’s conscience is restored because he is in Christ Jesus and walking according to the Holy Spirit who now miraculously abides within him.

Therefore it is not a question of first applying Jesus’ teachings to your actual life and then trying to live them out, but rather, it is a question of applying them to your relationship with Him; then as you keep your soul open towards Him, He works in you to bear then fruits of your new life!

When we read “blessed are the poor in spirit”, this is not to say that we then attempt to become paupers towards the world! There are enough mortally poor in spirit souls in the world as it is. Rather, it is to say that we must become utterly poor in spirit before our God; then will we the “kingdom of heaven be ours”. Likewise with out mourning, meekness, hunger for righteousness, mercy, and purity. Such teachings of Christ must first be applied to our relationship with God before they can be realized in our walk upon this earth.

Therefore the best expression for us is found in Psalm 139:23: ‘Search me, O God’; I cannot make my own heart pure, I cannot alter my heredity, I cannot alter the dress of my mind; ‘Search me, O God, and know my heart.’ That is the poverty of spirit Jesus has blessed; if you are in that condition, He says the kingdom of heaven is yours! Why? Because God gives teh almighty gift of salvation from sin to paupers; He gives the Holy Spirit to them who ask as those who are destitute (Luke 11:13).

The Devil’s U.N. Arms Resolution

Some of you might be thinking that I am getting ready to write about Obama’s recent endorsement of the United Nation’s “Small Arms resolution”, but those of you who know me know that I’m not. I’m going to talk about something far more sinister: the Devil’s agenda to disarm the Church of the Sword of the Spirit.

How many times have you heard someone say “theology isn’t going to save anyone, they just need to be loved”? If you’ve believed this lie, then Satan has just taken his first step in disarming you of your most effective and divinely-powerful weapon: the Sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God.

Technically “theology” means “the study of God”, but to most people they simply equate it with the Bible period.

There’s an idea that people “are just hurt and needing love”, and I don’t disagree that people are hurt, but, this is not an accurate depiction of their condition as a whole. See, there are plenty of people who would not self-identify themselves as “hurt” people; they enjoy reasonably healthy relationships, love their jobs, and have lives full of healthy hobbies, but they are utterly and completely damned to condemnation. That is right: you can be a healthy, happy, reasonable citizen of this world and be condemned by God. Nurturing people’s emotional wounds is not the Church’s job; we were not called to be nurse-maid to the world. Don’t get me wrong, we tenderly care to the suffering- especially those of the Church Body- and we are eager to care for the wounds of those who have been cast aside by society. But the Church has traditionally understood that all this was a bi-product of our greater calling: to preach the gospel to a lost and dying world so that they can be truly and wholly healed by Jesus Christ and saved from their sins and the death thereby produced.

When we hear the idea expressed that we need to “set aside the preaching of God’s word” so that we can focus on “loving on the hurt”, we are hearing Satan’s attempt to persuade the Church to lay down our sword and stop fighting.

Certainly this approach will temporarily draw larger numbers, but, what will the end of this be? What will happen to those people once they are healed? They didn’t want God before they were hurt, and God wasn’t shown to them while they were hurt. What makes us think that they will want God once they are “back to normal” and doing well? God was not what drew them in the first place. And if they stick around, it will not be because of God, but it will be for the relationships that they have formed during their difficult times. While strong relationships in the body are vital, these relationships alone count for nothing if God is not their substance and life-source.

Yet the Church has shown a perplexing propensity to ashamedly throw down our swords the moment anyone cries “offense!”

Church leadership everywhere is scrambling to draw up “more effective plans” to reach the world without any offense; without exposing ourselves as being followers of Christ! But what this has produced is a generation of Christians who do not know the foundations of our faith- they do not know what they believe, or why they believe it- and they are unable to contend for the faith in a world composed of many very hostile world-views!
But as for me? I believe in God’s Word and trust in the Truth that is enlightened thereby. I believe that even when it appears that the Word only ever offends the world, it is accomplishing things that I cannot yet perceive and I will see the fruits of this work one day- whether in this world or the one to come. I will continue to preach the Word and live thereby until the end; I will walk in the light provided for my feet by God’s word, and beckon to my brothers and sisters to join me in walking the narrow path together.

Some argue that we cannot live by the Word because it is too divisive.

Yes, the Word is divisive; Jesus never concealed the fact that He “didn’t come to bring peace on the earth, but a sword”, as He said “for I came to set a man at odds against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law” (Matthew 10:34-35). But, Christ also prayed “Sanctify them in Your truth. Your word is truth… that they may all be one” (John 17:17, 21), and again it is written, “be eager to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace” (Ephesians 4:3). Many divisions in the Body today occur not because Christ has divided, but because we demand our own ways and are unwilling to relent according to the heavenly wisdom that descends from above (James 3:17). Though these divisions are unnecessary, they nonetheless succeed in dividing the stubborn and divisive brother or sister from the body.

So I must ask, will you throw down the Word because you are ashamed of Christ and do not want to be set apart from this world as holy to God? Or will you take up the sword of the Spirit- the Word of God- and engage a relentless and vicious enemy?

It’s your decision. You decide.

Genesis 9 to 11

Genesis 9 to 11

The Nations To Babel

 

Critical Apologetics Issues:

Some of the apologetic issues that we may encounter here are:

  • Gap Theory?
  • Vegetarian before the flood?
  • Was there many languages that became one from chapter 10 to 11?
  • Pangea and the Flood
  • Is there an extra “Cainan” in Luke?

Click Critical Apologetics Issues for Genesis 9 to 11 for further resources.

Genesis 9: Life After The Flood

Point 1 (Genesis 9:1-3)

God sends Noah and his family out into a fresh world with blessings upon blessings: “be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth” (9:1).

Man is given the task of   spreading over God’s creation,   stewarding it,   and filling creation with goodness as a reflection of the image of God.  There is a prophetic foreshadowing here in the command to “fill the earth” that is later revealed plainly:

Habakkuk 2:14 “For the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the LORD, as the waters cover the sea.”

This extraordinary measure of goodness is meant to give mankind a fresh start: a new beginning apart from the saturation of evil.

Romans 2:4 “Or do you despise the riches of His goodness, forbearance, and longsuffering, not knowing that the goodness of God leads you to repentance?”

 

Point 2 (Genesis 9:4-7)

Life is now made holy.  Animals are given to man for food, but, man is not allowed to eat their lifeblood- that belongs solely to God.

God now institutes the corporate death penalty.

 

Point 3 (Genesis 9:8-17)

God establishes His covenant of forbearance and longsuffering with all the earth: sealed with the Rainbow.

The LGBT community aims at testing God’s patience and mocking His longsuffering.

 

Point 4 (Genesis 9:18-29)

The first historical account given after Noah and his family exit the Ark is of Noah planting a vineyard and becoming drunk:

Psalm 104:14-15 “Bless the LORD, O my soul!  He causes the grass to grow for the cattle, and vegetation for the service of man, that he may bring forth food from the earth, and wine that makes glad the heart of man, oil to make his face shine, and bread which strengthens man’s heart.”

I believe there is a prophetic picture in Noah’s drunkenness:

Jeremiah 23:9 “My heart within me is broken because of the prophets; all my bones shake.  I am like a drunken man, and like a man whom wine has overcome, because of the LORD, and because of His holy words.”

Isaiah 5:7 “For the vineyard of the LORD of hosts is the house of Israel, and the men of Judah are His pleasant plant.  He looked for justice, but behold, oppression; for righteousness, but behold, a cry for help.”

Noah gives a prophetic revelation of the course in life that Canaan’s offspring would take: this is more “prophetic” than “curse”.

What was Ham’s sin?

  • Seeing Noah naked (v22a)?
    OR
  • Mocking his father (v22b)?
    OR
  • Perversity (v24)?

 

 

 

 

Genesis 10: The Nations Descending From Noah

Point 1 (Genesis 10:1-32)

The tenth chapter of Genesis is meant to frame the following chapters in Genesis; often in the West we prefer to summarize, but Genesis appears to employ the method of “framing context” (see ch 1 vs 2, etc).

In this chapter we are given the first prophetic hint of the coming “great commission” for the gentiles:

Genesis 10:5- Japheth (the father of the gentiles) “Language”, “families”, “nations”- “tongue, tribe, and nation”.

 

Genesis 11: Babel

Point 1 (Genesis 11)

As the descendants of Shem, Ham, and Japheth began to grow, they began to roam together eastward until they came to the plain of Shinar.  And they began to rebel in their hearts against God’s decree that they should spread across the earth and multiply.

Pride of life:

  • Make a great city.
  • Make a great name.
  • Not spread and fill the earth

But God had predetermined dwellings for men, as it is said:

Acts 17:26 “And He has made from one blood every nation of men to dwell on all the face of the earth, and has determined their pre-appointed times and boundaries of their dwellings, so that they should seek the Lord, in the hope that they might grope for Him and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us.”

In Genesis 11:7 God confuses their language and intertwines prophetic relevance for the course of history:

Jeremiah 5:15  “Behold, I will bring a nation against you from afar, O house of Israel; a mighty nation, it is an ancient nation, a nation whose language you do not know, nor can you understand what they say.”

Zephaniah 3:9  “For then I will restore to the peoples a pure language, that they all may call on the name of the LORD, to serve Him with one accord.”

James 3:1-12  TURN AND READ

Genesis 6-8: Noah and the Flood

Critical Apologetics Issues:

The account of Noah and the flood is foundational.  From baptism to the end times, the account of Noah and the flood is necessary to understanding God’s revelation in scripture to mankind.  It is no surprise, therefore, that it has received such an array of critical attacks that need to be answered.

Apologetics is quite literally means “to speak in defense of” something; from the Greek “ἀπολογία” (apologia).

  • See Philippians 1:7 “Defense and confirmation of the gospel”
  • See 1 Peter 3:15 “Always being ready to give a defense for the hope that is in you”

Far from apologizing for the gospel, the defense of those things that are written in God’s word is the front lines in which the gospel is preached and the strongholds of the enemy are torn down.

Included in the correlating handout are articles which deal with critical apologetics issues regarding Noah and the flood.

  • How could Noah build something So Large?
  • What is known about Noah and the Ark?
  • Kinds: How many animals were on the Ark?
  • How could the animals fit on the Ark?
  • How could Noah care for all the animals?
  • How could the animals breathe?

These and many other issues are dealt with in the included printout taken entirely from Answers in Genesis.

Critical Apologetic Questions on Noah from AIG

 

 

Genesis 6: The Ark Prepared Whilst Wickedness Abounds

Point 1 (Genesis 6:1-7, 11-13)

As man began to fulfill God’s commandment to

Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion over the fish, birds, and every living thing on the earth”, (Genesis 1:28)

The LORD saw that man had subjected all creation to wickedness and filled the earth with violence.

The LORD saw that every intent of the heart was only evil continually…” (Genesis 6:5)

God had given man a dominion as His stewards over all creation- to fill the earth and subdue it- and man used his stewardship to fill the earth with violence and subject it to wickedness; and God was deeply grieved and began withdrawing His Spirit from man (Genesis 6:3-4)!

God even saw that “all creatures” on earth had become corrupt (Genesis 6:12):

God saw how corrupt the earth was, for every creature had corrupted its way on earth.

Note From Our Times: ANIMALS have recently been observed NOW committing homosexual acts.

 

Here, the Sovereign looked down upon man and pronounced his condition; that every intent of his heart is evil.  It’s self-seeking and vain glory!  The nakedness of mankind’s shame was again exposed by God- only this time there would be no covering’s provided by God, but instead, the LORD would cleanse the face of the earth with His wrath.

Noah stands preaching to us today: “the patience of God DOES come to an end; His wrath WILL come!”

 

—IMPORTANT NOTE:

God does not abandon His purpose in creating man, not even when the world is covered in darkness and man’s wickedness saturates every thought and imagination that comes into his heart; God knew “the end from the beginning” (Isa. 46:10)- Remember, it is mortal man that tries to make sense of the past in the darkness of time, but the long journey of the past only makes sense in the Light of the future!

Therefore, with such evil in the world, God’s word focuses on the deliverance of Noah from wrath in the Ark.  In other words, God is telling you- O end times Church- to focus on your deliverer, not your calamity!

“Set your minds on things above, not on things on the earth!  For you have died and your life is hidden with Christ in God!  When Christ who is our life appears, then you also will appear with Him in glory!” (Colossians 3:2-4)

READ: Romans 8:18-26 “I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us…”

 

Point 2 (Genesis 6:8-10)

God tells us of the “generations” (NASB) of Noah; and we are not told first off of his progeny, but rather, of righteousness.  Preceding God’s recitation of Noah’s “generations” we find that Noah found grace from the LORD- before anyone can be brought into the line of righteousness as an heir they must first find GRACE!

It is here that we see Jesus foreshadowed again: Christ is “grace upon grace”- Noah found grace.

Let us consider Noah’s generation of righteousness (which is revealed at greater length in the entire chapter 11 of Hebrews):

(PREACH) By faith Noah, being divinely warned of things not yet seen, moved with godly fear, prepared an ark for the saving of his household, by which he condemned the world and became heir of the righteousness which is according to faith. (Hebrews 11:7)

“Noah condemned the world”, just as we die to the world:  the floodwaters, which represent our baptism into the death and resurrection of Christ by the Holy Spirit, were the means by which the whole world was condemned to Noah, and by which Noah died to the whole world- when he emerged from the Ark he emerged into a new world.

 

 

Of Noah’s generations it is said:

  1. He was righteous and blameless in his generation.
  2. He walked with God.
  3. His progeny: Shem, Ham, and Japheth.

 

Point 3 (Genesis 6:13-22)

“Elohim” spoke to Noah (God’s Genesis 1:1 name), and told him that the Creator of Heaven and Earth is coming to destroy creation.  “Elohim” declares the end from the beginning with what will ultimately be fulfilled at the return of Christ:

And God said to Noah, ‘The end of all flesh has come before Me, for the earth is filled with violence through them; and behold I will destroy them with the earth.’

  • See Isaiah 34:1-4 “Let the earth hear, and all that is in it; for the indignation of the Lord is against the nations…”
  • See 2 Peter 3:10-13 “But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night, in which the heavens will pass away with a great noise…”

 

From this point on God speaks exclusively regarding Noah’s salvation:

  • The Ark of God’s covenant by which Noah would be delivered from God’s wrath.
  • The floodwaters of God’s wrath by which Noah would be delivered from the wickedness of the world.

Now the details regarding the Ark of God’s covenant begin to be revealed:

 

  1. The Ark is God’s covenant with Noah provided by grace and entered through faith.
  2. The Ark’s design is revealed in advance.
  3. The Ark had one window.
  4. The Ark had many rooms.
  5. The Ark had one door.
  6. The Ark was God’s deliverance during the outpouring of His wrath

 

  • See Psalm 32:6-7For this cause everyone who is godly shall pray to You in a time when You may be found; surely in a flood of great waters they shall not come near him. You are my hiding place; You shall preserve me from trouble; You shall surround me with songs of deliverance.”
  • See Luke 11:13How much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him!

Noah and his sons labor to build the ark for anywhere between 55 to 75 years (high estimates are 100+ years).

(v22) “Thus Noah did”

By faith Noah, being divinely warned of things not yet seen, moved with godly fear (Heb 11:7)

 

Genesis 7: The Great Flood

Point 1 (Genesis 7:1-6)

The LORD watched Noah, who was moved with godly fear as he received God’s warning by faith; God saw Noah’s faithfulness all these long years of thankless, sweat-stained, blood-stained, ridiculed labor, and declared;

“Come into the Ark, you and all your household, because I have seen that you are righteous before Me in this generation.” (Genesis 7:1)

By the labor of faith Noah entered the Ark.

So there remains a Sabbath rest for the people of God.  For the one who has entered His rest has himself also rested from his works, as God did from His.  Therefore let us be diligent to enter that rest, so that no one will fall, through following the same example of disobedience.” (Hebrews 4:9-11)

Jesus Christ is the Sabbath-rest of God. Enter His rest at the invitation of His word (Matthew 11:28) whereby every sincere heart of faith is filled with the grace of God. Let us be diligent to set our hope on the firm foundation of Christ’s return; to take up every promise of God whereby we may become partakers of His divine nature (2 Peter 1:4); and to abound in the joy of our salvation through blessing and trial by offering to God our sacrifice of praise (Hebrews 13:15).

Hear this: today we must be moved by the same godly fear that moved Noah by faith!

1 Peter 4:17For the time has come for judgment to begin at the house of God; and if it begins with us first, what will be the end of those who do not obey the gospel of God?

See Matthew 24:27-41

 

Point 2 (Genesis 7:7-24)

This is when everything ceased being faith for Noah and everything he had believed in became reality; for years Noah was moved with God fear by faith to labor for things that seemed so far off.  The world continued as it had always been- life, merriment, death, and new life- but Noah and his family forsook the passing pleasures to pursue something that was utterly veiled to their understanding.

  • The floodwaters began to rage as the fountains of the deep were broken
  • The widows of heaven were opened.

 

Then God commanded Noah to enter the Ark:

So those that entered went in as God had commanded Noah; and the LORD shut him in.”
(Genesis 7:16)

Noah is sealed into the Ark by the LORD:

  • See Ephesians 4:30
  • See Romans 8:35-39

 

 

Genesis 8: Noah Delivered and God’s Covenant with Creation

Point 1 (Genesis 8:1-14)

The floodwaters of God’s wrath that cleansed the face of the earth from the exceedingly great wickedness of man brought deep sorrow to God:

I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but rather that the wicked turn from his way and live. (Ezekiel 33:11)

Every creature of God’s “very good” creation was destroyed; the fierceness of God’s wrath- the wrath that can only be fully satisfied by Christ- broke loose upon the face of the earth with great noise, terror, and power.  And in this moment God was utterly robbed of any pleasure in His creation.  No song of nature.  No beauty of the fields.  Nothing on earth but the Ark carrying the line by which the greatly anticipated Seed that would crush the Serpent’s head was left on the face of the earth.

Then Elohim remembered Noah in the Ark and brought a wind to dry up the earth.

After the Ark came to rest on Mt. Ararat Noah began sending out birds to see if the earth was ready to receive him again;

 

  1. First the Raven
  2. Then a Dove (returned).
  3. Again a Dove (returned with an Olive Branch).
  4. And again a Dove (Did not return).

 

Olive Branch Meaning: Romans 11:17-21. Olive Branch representative of Israel into which the Gentiles are grafted!

 

Point 2 (Genesis 8:15-22)

Now that the earth is dried up God spoke to Noah again;

“Go out of the Ark, you and your household, bring out with you every living thing that is with you so that they may abound on the earth, and be fruitful and multiply on the earth.” (Genesis 8:17)

 

Noah is now breathing the hope of new life and builds an altar to the LORD to sacrifice a burnt offering of every clean animal and of every clean bird.

Now thanks be to God who always leads us in triumph in Christ, and through us diffuses the fragrance of His knowledge in every place.  For we are to God the fragrance of Christ among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing.  To the one we are the aroma of death leading to death, and to the other the aroma of life leading to life.  And who is sufficient for these things?  2 Corinthians 2:!4-16

Noah’s sacrifice foreshadowed the complete redemption of all creation that would be made by Jesus Christ in the end; by this sacrifice Noah diffused the fragrance of the knowledge of Christ.

 

In the past God has cursed man’s dominion at the fall of Adam and Eve; even so again God struck man’s dominion again at the flood.  Now God makes a covenant;

I will never again curse the ground for man’s sake, although the imagination of man’s heart is evil from his youth; nor will I again destroy every living thing as I have done.  While the earth remains, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, winter and summer, day and night, shall not cease” (Genesis 8:21-22)

 

 

Prophetic Signs of Noah’s Time:

  • Mankind gave and took in marriage and bore sons and daughters (Ch. 5)
  • Mankind multiplied on the face of the earth (6:1).
  • Mankind’s wickedness was widespread on the face of the Earth (6:5).
  • Every intent of their heart was evil (6:5).
  • Noah found Grace from God (6:8)
  • Noah’s generation was righteousness (6:9)
  • The Earth itself was also corrupt before God (6:11).
  • The Earth was filled with violence (6:11).
  • Every creature (people and animals) on earth had corrupted its ways (6:12 see v7).
  • God judged Noah’s faithfulness during the years of construction (7:1)
  • The Ark is God’s covenant with Noah
  • The Ark’s design is revealed in advance, as Christ was foretold by the prophets.
  • The Ark has one window.
  • The Ark has many rooms.
  • The Ark had one door.
  • The ark was God’s deliverance during His outpouring of wrath.

 

Peace Comes

Peace comes to those who wait upon the Lord.

The prophets of old wrote, “Behold, this is our God; we have waited for Him, and He will save us. This is the LORD; we have waited for Him; we will be glad and rejoice in His salvation” (Isaiah 25:9); they made God their hope, and trusted in His coming rather than the strongholds of men.  By “strongholds of men” I mean those fortresses of things like health, wealth, knowledge, weapons of war, and bigger barns that we put so much confidence in.

Peace is written concerning Christ:

“I will cut off the chariot from Ephraim and the horse from Jerusalem; the battle bow shall be cut off.  He shall speak peace to the nations; His dominion shall be ‘from sea to sea, and from the River to the ends of the earth’” (Zechariah 9:10).

For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given; and the government will be upon His shoulder.  And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.  Of the increase of His government and peace there will be no end, upon the throne of David and over His kingdom, to order it and establish it with judgment and justice from that time forward, even forever.  The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this. (Isaiah 9:6–7)

There is one Prince who establishes lasting peace; by His scepter righteousness will reign over the earth!

But beware of the peace accord that is struck between the light and darkness; do not be seduced by such a peace, as it is written “indeed, they have seduced My people, saying, ‘Peace!’ when there is no peace” (Ezekiel 13:10)- again, there can be no peace between the temple of God and idols.  Again, there is a call for peace that seeks to heal wounds where there can be no peace; do not be deceived, as it is written, “for they have healed the hurt of the daughter of My people slightly, saying, ‘Peace, peace!’  when there is no peace” (Jeremiah 8:11).

Remember what is written:

For I will stretch out My hand against the inhabitants of the land,” says the Lord. “Because from the least of them even to the greatest of them, everyone is given to covetousness; and from the prophet even to the priest, everyone deals falsely.  They have also healed the hurt of My people slightly, Saying, ‘Peace, peace!’  When there is no peace.  (Isaiah 6:12-14)

For when they say, “Peace and safety!” then sudden destruction comes upon them, as labor pains upon a pregnant woman. And they shall not escape. (1 Thessalonians 5:3)

Therefore, do not trust the peace that is proclaimed in this generation.  Rather, peace comes to those that wait upon the Lord, as it is written;

For He Himself is our peace, who has made both one, and has broken down the middle wall of separation, having abolished in His flesh the enmity, that is, the law of commandments contained in ordinances, so as to create in Himself one new man from the two, thus making peace, and that He might reconcile them both to God in one body through the cross, thereby putting to death the enmity.  And He came and preached peace to you who were afar off and to those who were near.  For through Him we both have access by one Spirit to the Father. (Ephesians 2:14–18)

Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid. (John 14:27)

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.  (Galatians 5:22-23)

Peace comes to those who wait upon the Lord, who walk in the Spirit, being themselves crucified to the flesh and alive anew to God in Christ!  His peace abides in them that love Him and bear fruit in accordance with repentance by the Holy Spirit.

The peace that is given by this world can likewise be taken away by this world; but the peace that is the fruit of the Spirit- the peace that joins us together with God- cannot be taken away by this world because it transcends even the reach of this world and those who walk in the world.

Days are approaching in which those who have their peace from this world will find no rest, and those who have not found peace in Christ will seek it with tears to no avail.  It is a time when the confident will find no strength to stand before God; their vain words will vanish like the morning dew, and their strength will faint before the glory of God- yes, even the multitude of their prayers will not save them in the flood of His great wrath!

These days are approaching silently as people pursue the cares of this world and scoff at the warnings God sends their way.  There is mercy still to be found in the setting of the sun, even mercy in the late watches of the night, but these who refuse to be corrected deride God’s mercy and insist upon their own way!

But those who wait upon the Lord shall sow the fruit of righteousness in peace!  There will be no shadow of turning in their ways, nor will they be afraid of the dark, because the Light of Christ has burst forth in their heart and given them light for their path!

Therefore, whoever is weary and has not found peace, hear the word of the LORD:

Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.  Take My yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.  For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.   Matthew 11:28-29

10 Commandments- Keeping the Name of God

REVIEW

An important note from last week’s lesson is that the whole of the law and prophets rests on the premise of God’s redemptive act:

  • Deut. 5:6
  • Hosea 13:4
  • Example- Lev.19:36- note that God appeals to His redemption of Israel as the base for why Israel must have honest scales; this is the case all throughout the whole law over and over again.

This is no mere coincidence as the same appeal is made today because of the redemptive act of Christ: 1 Corinthians 6:19-20

LESSON NOTES

Opening Scripture Reading:

  • Psalm 139

Key Passage:

  • Deuteronomy 5:11 (cf Ezekiel 36:20-27)

Word Definition: “Vain” (Hebrew word “Shav”)- means “empty”, “nothingness”, “falsehood”, and “lying”.

The gravity of this commandment:

  • Deut. 28:58-59 (cf. Malachi 1:6-14; Leviticus 22:32-33)

Redemption, covenant, and the name of God:

  • Psalm 111:9

Prophecy of restoring a pure language to call upon His name:

  • Zephaniah 3:9 prophecy about restoring pure language to call upon God’s name.

The commandment fulfilled:

  • Matthew 6:9 
  • 2 Timothy 2:19
  • Colossians 3:17 
  • James 5:12 (cf Matthew 5:33-37)

CONCLUDING NOTES

The law and the prophets were but shadows of what was to come in Christ; when the Word of God took on flesh, the shadows and copies gave way to the light and substance.  Christ took the righteousness that was testified of in the Law and elevated it, fulfilling and perfecting it so that the fulfillment of the command, “do not take the LORD your God’s name in vain” is accomplished in a people who “do all things, whether in word or in deed, in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ”.  Now, our every word, even our “yes” and our “no”, are in the name of the Lord!

10 Commandments: the idolatry commandments

This is the first lesson in our series on the 10 Commandments.  We begin with the first two commandments on idolatry.  Our objective is to expose the deeds of idolatry and turn our fellowship away from idols with the ultimate end that we might “come out and be separate”.

Walk Humbly With Your God

We began this sermon series under the great conviction of our desperate need for a complete renewing in humility.  This series is less of a “comprehensive” series on the subject, and more about the seeds God has placed in our hearts that are growing to bear fruit in our lives.

Our desire is to walk humbly with our God; and I ask my brethren to consider whether or not it is even possible to walk in any other way but in humility with God?  Will He even walk with someone who isn’t walking humbly with Him?

I will continue to build on this post, adding more text and audio lessons as they develop.

FEATURED SERMON

SERMON SERIES

Spiritual Disciplines- Denying Self

This is the first lesson on denying self in our spiritual disciplines series.

Spiritual disciplines are those practices by which you nurture spiritual attributes.  They are not self-empowered, nor do they come from the will of man, but are spirit-empowered according to the will of God.  It’s for the lack of regular spiritual disciplines in our life that we so often experience dryness and weakness in our spiritual journeys.