Sunday, April 26, 2009

It Is Finished: Now What?

Temple Baptist Church - 4-26-2009

John 14:1-4


A. Over the past several weeks, we have seen the work of Christ from Calvary to the ascension. The Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ! The world needs the Realization of the Gospel in order to be saved! The child of God needs the Realization of the Gospel in order live!

1. For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son. Made of woman, made under the law, sinless Lamb of God that taketh away the sin of the world.

2. Christ died for the sins of the whole world on the cross according to the scripture. God the Father accepted His sacrifice and was pleased. Sin was paid for in full!

3. Christ was buried in a garden tomb and rose bodily on the third day according to the scriptures. He died for our sins and rose for our justification.

4. Christ ascended back to Heaven after 40 days and one day, this same Jesus, will return in like manner. Seen by a select few who are saved, He is coming to take them eternally home.

B. Now what? Many of us think of the past and future work of Christ without giving much thought to His present work. “It is finished” had to do with the work of redemption, not with the work of Christ in its entirety. Between Christ’s “Going: (vs. 2) and Christ’s “Coming (vs. 3), He is busy on our behalf. We are “HIGH MAINTANENCE!” Because of what and who we are, we require constant attention. Jesus Christ now sits at the right hand of the Father on our behalf.

C. Let’s look at some aspects of the present work of Christ and let this study be a blessing to us as we:

1. Labor with Him
2. Live by Him
3. Look for Him

1. Christ Is Pleading For Us - Colossians 1:14 In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins:

1 John 2:1-2 My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous: 2 And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.
ADVOCATE - An advocate is one who speaks on behalf of another person, especially in a legal context. Implicit in the concept is the notion that the represented lacks the knowledge, skill, ability, or standing to speak for themselves.

Exodus 25:21-22 And thou shalt put the mercy seat above upon the ark; and in the ark thou shalt put the testimony that I shall give thee. 22 And there I will meet with thee, and I will commune with thee from above the mercy seat, from between the two cherubims which are upon the ark of the testimony, of all things which I will give thee in commandment unto the children of Israel. (I cannot plead for myself! When I sin, His advocacy is based upon the blood placed on the Mercy Seat.)

2. Christ Is Praying For Us - Hebrews 7:25 Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them.

Romans 8:34 Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us.

Luke 22:32 But I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not: and when thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren.

John 17:9 I pray for them: I pray not for the world, but for them which thou hast given me; for they are thine.

Romans 8:26-27 Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. 27 And he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God.
James 5:16 Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much. (Sometimes, people ask us to pray for them and that is the greatest thing that we can do! There is no doubt about the righteousness of our Lord, therefore, his prayer is effectual and availeth much!)

3. Christ Is Providing For Us - Philippians 4:19 But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.

Genesis 48:15 And he blessed Joseph, and said, God, before whom my fathers Abraham and Isaac did walk, the God which fed me all my life long unto this day,

Deuteronomy 8:3-4 And he humbled thee, and suffered thee to hunger, and fed thee with manna, which thou knewest not, neither did thy fathers know; that he might make thee know that man doth not live by bread only, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of the LORD doth man live. 4 Thy raiment waxed not old upon thee, neither did thy foot swell, these forty years.

2 Corinthians 9:8 And God is able to make all grace abound toward you; that ye, always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work:

James 1:17 Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning. (God has supplied every need that my family has ever had to this point and I expect Him to continue to do so. Not only our needs but most of our wants! God has still been good to my family.)

4. Christ Is Protecting Us – Proverbs 21:31 The horse is prepared against the day of battle: but safety is of the LORD.

Isaiah 43:2 When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee: when thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burned; neither shall the flame kindle upon thee.

Exodus 14:29 But the children of Israel walked upon dry land in the midst of the sea; and the waters were a wall unto them on their right hand, and on their left.

2 Timothy 4:17-18 Notwithstanding the Lord stood with me, and strengthened me; that by me the preaching might be fully known, and that all the Gentiles might hear: and I was delivered out of the mouth of the lion. 18 And the Lord shall deliver me from every evil work, and will preserve me unto his heavenly kingdom: to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen. (The Lord has protected me; is protecting me, and will continue to protect me! If the Lord be for us, who can be against us?)

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Dying To Self And Living For Christ

Temple Baptist Church - 4-22-2009

Galatians 2:20


A. The child of God is saved for more than one reason. This list will not be all inclusive because of the magnitude of our deliverance but here are a few things that we have been delivered from and to:

1. He is certainly saved from Hell - Revelation 20:6 Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years.

2. He is saved from the Jacob’s Trouble - 1 Thessalonians 1:10 And to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, even Jesus, which delivered us from the wrath to come.

3. He is saved from the bondage of the Law - Romans 6:14 For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace.

4. He is saved from the penalty of sin - Hebrews 1:3 Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high;

5. He is saved from the power of sin - Romans 6:14 For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace.

6. He is saved to walk in newness of live - Romans 6:4 Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.

7. He is saved to be an epistle of Christ seen and read of men - 2 Corinthians 3:2 Ye are our epistle written in our hearts, known and read of all men:

B. All some folks can think of is “Praise the Lord I am going to Heaven!” I thank God for that also but Heaven is later and there is the importance of living for Christ here. I believe that all of us understand that we are saved to serve. Our Lord left us here for a reason and that reason is to be both light and salt in the present evil world.

C. In Galatians 2:20, we find several “keys” to living both a victorious and useful life for Christ.

1. Dead with Christ – crucifixion “with Christ”

2. Alive in Christ – sanctification “Nevertheless I live”

3. Alive for Christ – obligation “yet not I”

4. Alive by Christ – empowered and driven “by the faith of the Son of God”

D. The Bible speaks much on the subject of dying while we live. We are to:

1. Die to Sin - Romans 6:11-12 Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord. 12 Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof.

2. Die to Self - Colossians 3:1-4 If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. 2 Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth. 3 For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God. 4 When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory.

Luke 9:23 And he said to [them] all, If any [man] will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me.

a) Obligation – “all”

b) Prerogative – “If”

c) Qualification – “deny”

d) Identification – “cross”

e) Duration – “daily”

f) Direction – “follow me”

3. Die to Shame

a) Not ashamed of my Salvation - Romans 10:11 For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed.

b) Not ashamed of Christ - 2 Timothy 1:12 For the which cause I also suffer these things: nevertheless I am not ashamed: for I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day.

c) Not ashamed of identifying with Christ - Philippians 1:20 According to my earnest expectation and my hope, that in nothing I shall be ashamed, but that with all boldness, as always, so now also Christ shall be magnified in my body, whether it be by life, or by death.

d) Not ashamed of God’s People - 2 Timothy 1:8 Be not thou therefore ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me his prisoner: but be thou partaker of the afflictions of the gospel according to the power of God;

e) Not ashamed to witness for Christ - Romans 1:16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.

E. “Dying to self” is the theme of Galatians 2:20. It is all important because two things hinge heavily upon it:

1. The work of Christ depends upon dying to self. It is simply a matter of spiritual priority!

2 Corinthians 4:18 While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen [are] temporal; but the things which are not seen [are] eternal.

2. The unity of the body of Christ depends upon dying to self.

Philippians 2:4 Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others.

F. Since dying to self is of such importance, how do you know that you are dead to self?

1. When you are overlooked, forgotten, set at naught or disregarded:

a. You are not hurt or offended

b. You keep a happy attitude

c. You endure it for Christ’s sake

(Then you are dead to self)

2. When your good is evil spoken of:

a. You pray for those who despitefully use you - ROBBY

b. You continue to do right and not quit

c. You take it with loving silence

(Then you are dead to self)

3. When you do not get your way:

a. You do it other people’s way

b. You never complain or gripe

(Then you are dead to self)

4. When others stand you up or let you wait for them when they are late:

a. You patiently and loving wait for them

b. You forgive them

c. You do not bring the subject up

(Then you are dead to self)

5. When you seemingly have needs that are not being met

a. You remain content in the state that you are in

b. You fail to indict God for forgetting you

c. You keep silence and let God meet the need in His time

(Then you are dead to self)

6. When you never care to refer to yourself in conversation

(Then you are dead to self)

7. When you never brag on your good works or itch for commendation

(Then you are dead to self)

8. When you see a brother prospers and have am abundance when you do without and you can happy for him while feeling no envy.

(Then you are dead to self)

9. When receiving correction or reproof:

a. You can humbly submit

b. You find no rebellion or animosity inside as well as outside

(Then you are dead to self)

10. When you choose to do right instead of that which is convenient.

(Then you are dead to self)

11. When you put yourself out in order to help someone else.

(Then you are dead to self)

G. Let’s look at verse 20 for a few minutes tonight. What a wonderful verse that will change the life of the believer.

1. “I am crucified with Christ” – notice with me that it does not say “crucified for Christ.”

a. He was crucified for me by choice. Now I am crucified with Him be choice!

b. Hebrews 13:12-13 Wherefore Jesus also, that he might sanctify the people with his own blood, suffered without the gate. 13 Let us go forth therefore unto him without the camp, bearing his reproach.

c. Luke 6:22 Blessed are ye, when men shall hate you, and when they shall separate you from their company, and shall reproach you, and cast out your name as evil, for the Son of man's sake. (Crucifixion with Christ brings about reproach for Christ. “Bearing his reproach.”)

2. “Nevertheless I live” – notice that willing crucifixion brings about life, not death.

a. John 14:19 Yet a little while, and the world seeth me no more; but ye see me: because I live, ye shall live also.

b. In the sense of salvation, we live because of the resurrection but in the sense of service—we live because of willingness to crucify ourselves with Christ.

c. You and I will never truly live until we truly die!

3. “Yet not I but Christ liveth in me” – Now it is not I that lives but Christ living in and through me!

a. John 14:20 At that day ye shall know that I am in my Father, and ye in me, and I in you. (As we are in Christ, He is in us.)

b. Acts 17:28 For in him we live, and move, and have our being; as certain also of your own poets have said, For we are also his offspring.

c. Colossians 3:4 When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory.

4. “And the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God” – the crucified life is a life of faith.

a. Hebrews 10:38 Now the just shall live by faith: but if any man draw back, my soul shall have no pleasure in him.

b. Faith that God will lead us, protect us, keep us, feed us, vindicate us, and bless us!

Conclusion: I fear that most of us are normally more alive than dead! How do we know? Because the dead have no feelings or personal desires!

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Worthy Of Our Praise - The Infinite Wisdom Of God

Temple Baptist Church - 4-19-2009

2 Samuel 22:4


A. We have seen that the Lord is worthy of our praise because of His excellent name, His wondrous works, His exceeding power, and His matchless grace. His name is truly wonderful, His works marvelous, His power beyond our imagination, and His grace is truly matchless.

B. Today, I want to look at another aspect of God that is worthy of or praise: His infinite wisdom!

C. Before I begin, I want to once again define wisdom: accumulated knowledge or enlightenment, the trait of utilizing knowledge and experience with common sense and insight, the quality of being prudent and sensible. By my definition, wisdom is the right application of knowledge.

D. One of the attributes of God is that of omniscience. This is simply means “all” and “knowledge.” The state of having infinite knowledge. As Dr. B. R. Lakin so put it, “Has it ever occurred to you that nothing has ever occurred to God?” God knows everything about everything!

E. There is a difference between having knowledge and having wisdom. Many men of our times have had great intellect, extensive education, and yet have died without Christ! That is the most foolish thing that I can think of. “The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God!” Men like Confucius who have left behind a legacy of worldly wisdom have denied Christ, died lost, and are in hell today.

F. God not only has all knowledge, He also has all wisdom! God’s knowledge and wisdom are far above that of the smartest and wisest of all men.

Revelation 7:12 Saying, Amen: Blessing, and glory, and wisdom, and thanksgiving, and honour, and power, and might, be unto our God for ever and ever. Amen.

Isaiah 55:9 For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts. (Notice the analogy here: “as the heavens are higher than the earth.”)

G. When I think of the wisdom of man, I think of Solomon.

1 Kings 4:30-34 And Solomon's wisdom excelled the wisdom of all the children of the east country, and all the wisdom of Egypt. 31 For he was wiser than all men; than Ethan the Ezrahite, and Heman, and Chalcol, and Darda, the sons of Mahol: and his fame was in all nations round about. 32 And he spake three thousand proverbs: and his songs were a thousand and five. 33 And he spake of trees, from the cedar tree that is in Lebanon even unto the hyssop that springeth out of the wall: he spake also of beasts, and of fowl, and of creeping things, and of fishes. 34 And there came of all people to hear the wisdom of Solomon, from all kings of the earth, which had heard of his wisdom. (Solomon was the wisest man who ever lived!)

H. Yet, the Bible declares that Christ was wiser than Solomon!

Matthew 12:42 The queen of the south shall rise up in the judgment with this generation, and shall condemn it: for she came from the uttermost parts of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon; and, behold, a greater than Solomon is here.

Romans 11:33 O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out!

1. The Wisdom Of God Penned Down In The Bible – Proverbs 1:1-5 The proverbs of Solomon the son of David, king of Israel; 2 To know wisdom and instruction; to perceive the words of understanding; 3 To receive the instruction of wisdom, justice, and judgment, and equity; 4 To give subtilty to the simple, to the young man knowledge and discretion. 5 A wise man will hear, and will increase learning; and a man of understanding shall attain unto wise counsels:

Colossians 3:16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.

2 Peter 3:15 And account that the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation; even as our beloved brother Paul also according to the wisdom given unto him hath written unto you; (There has never been a book like this one. You can live by it and be glad you did! You can trust it and find it true! You can learn from it and find it both factual in its truth and perfect in its detail! What a Bible! What Wisdom!)

2. The Wisdom Of God Previewed In Creation - Genesis 1:31 And God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good. And the evening and the morning were the sixth day.

Proverbs 3:19 The LORD by wisdom hath founded the earth; by understanding hath he established the heavens.

Psalms 19:1-4 The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handywork. 2 Day unto day uttereth speech, and night unto night sheweth knowledge. 3 There is no speech nor language, where their voice is not heard. 4 Their line is gone out through all the earth, and their words to the end of the world. In them hath he set a tabernacle for the sun. (God created in wisdom! It was and is still very good – so good that He has never had to change or correct anything in the heavens or the earth. All was created perfectly and remains perfectly unchanged. All of earth and space remain in perfect harmony! What a wise God we serve!)

3. The Wisdom Of God Personified In Jesus Christ - Proverbs 8:1, 22 Doth not wisdom cry? and understanding put forth her voice?...The LORD possessed me in the beginning of his way, before his works of old.

1 Corinthians 1:24 But unto them which are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God.

Colossians 2:2-3 That their hearts might be comforted, being knit together in love, and unto all riches of the full assurance of understanding, to the acknowledgement of the mystery of God, and of the Father, and of Christ; 3 In whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. (Jesus Christ did not have wisdom, He was Wisdom! He never said a wrong word, did a wrong deed, think a wrong thought, or give a wrong advice! He was all wise!)

4. The Wisdom Of God Performed In Salvation - 1 Corinthians 1:17 For Christ sent me not to baptize, but to preach the gospel: not with wisdom of words, lest the cross of Christ should be made of none effect.

1 Corinthians 1:21 For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe.

Ephesians 1:6-10 To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved. 7 In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace; 8 Wherein he hath abounded toward us in all wisdom and prudence; 9 Having made known unto us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure which he hath purposed in himself: 10 That in the dispensation of the fulness of times he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in him:

Ephesians 3:8-11 Unto me, who am less than the least of all saints, is this grace given, that I should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ; 9 And to make all men see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ: 10 To the intent that now unto the principalities and powers in heavenly places might be known by the church the manifold wisdom of God, 11 According to the eternal purpose which he purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord: (God came to us in grace and mercy. Thank the Lord for His perfectly free salvation!)

5. The Wisdom Of God Personalized In Justification - 1 Corinthians 1:30 But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption:

1 Corinthians 2:5 That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God.

1 Timothy 1:15 This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief. (God knew what we were. God knew what we needed. God knew that we could not maintain our salvation. It was perfected in wisdom!)

6. The Wisdom Of God Perfected In Eternity – 1 Corinthians 2:9-10 But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him. 10 But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God.

Psalms 31:19-20 Oh how great is thy goodness, which thou hast laid up for them that fear thee; which thou hast wrought for them that trust in thee before the sons of men! 20 Thou shalt hide them in the secret of thy presence from the pride of man: thou shalt keep them secretly in a pavilion from the strife of tongues.

Hebrews 11:16 But now they desire a better country, that is, an heavenly: wherefore God is not ashamed to be called their God: for he hath prepared for them a city.

Revelation 21:1-5 And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea. 2 And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. 3 And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God. 4 And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away. 5 And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And he said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful. (A perfect place prepared for a perfected people! I promise you, you will never be disappointed in Heaven!)

My Lord And My God

Temple Baptist Church - 4-19-2009

John 20:24-29


A. After the resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ, we find in Scripture the accounts of His personal appearances to His disciples.

1. In the first part of this chapter, He appeared unto Mary Magdalene in the Garden before His first ascension. When He spoke her name, she said, “Rabboni!” Master! Our Lord said to her:

John 20:17 Jesus saith unto her, Touch me not; for I am not yet ascended to my Father: but go to my brethren, and say unto them, I ascend unto my Father, and your Father; and to my God, and your God. (He is our Father! He is our God!)

2. In the later part of chapter 20, He appeared to the disciples who were assembled secretly for fear of the Jews. (vs. 19) He said, “Peace be unto you.” (Thank the Lord for His peace that comes through salvation. I’ve got peace this morning! It is well with my soul! It is well with my life! Not everything is as I would have it but the Lord has been good, gracious, and gentle with this preacher!)

3. In our text verses this morning, we find our Lord’s appearance for a third time. Thomas, who was not present when Christ appeared to the disciples earlier is now present. After the earlier appearance, Thomas was told of Christ’s visit and declared, “Except I shall see in his hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and thrust my hand into his side, I will not believe.” (John 20:25)

B. Thomas will, until Christ comes again, always be labeled “Doubting Thomas!” I wonder how things would have been if Thomas had been with the other disciples when Jesus appeared? In these verses, we find that Thomas did not have to “see” or “put” or “thrust” as he stated but declared, “My Lord and my God!”

C. I want to concentrate on the words of Christ, made after Thomas’ confession, in verse 29. Thomas saw and believed but, we who are now saved, have never seen and yet believe. Our Lord said, “Blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed.” (I am BLESSED this morning! You are BLESSED this morning! I believe!)

D. Here are just a few things that I have not seen and yet I believe:

1. I Believe That Jesus Christ Was Almighty God Manifested In The Flesh! John 1:14 And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.

1 John 1:2 (For the life was manifested, and we have seen it, and bear witness, and shew unto you that eternal life, which was with the Father, and was manifested unto us;) (I believe that Jesus Christ is God! There in none like Him; there was none before Him; there will never be another like Him! He is one of a kind! I believe and therefore I am BLESSED!)

2. I Believe That Jesus Christ Is The Only Begotten Son Of God! Acts 8:36-37 And as they went on their way, they came unto a certain water: and the eunuch said, See, here is water; what doth hinder me to be baptized? 37 And Philip said, If thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest. And he answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.

John 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. (I believe! He is the One! I believe that He is the only One! I believe that I am His and He is Mine! I believe and therefore I am BLESSED!)

3. I Believe That Died On The Cross For My Sins! 1 John 2:2 And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world. (He is the Propitiation for my redemption! He is the Payment for my sins! He paid for my sins—past, present, and future! I am free from the penalty of sin! I am free from the power of sin! Thank God I will one day be free from the presence of sin! Thank you, Lord, for loving me enough to take my place, to pay my price, and to purchase my pardon! I believe and therefore I am BLESSED!)

4. I Believe That Jesus Christ Was Buried And Bodily Rose Again! 1 Corinthians 15:3-4 For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; 4 And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures: (I was not there but I have heard; II was not there but I have believed; I was not there but I have accepted! “Were you there when they crucified my Lord?” I was not there but I was on His mind when He was on my cross! “Were you there when He rose from the grave?” No, I was not there but I believe! I believe and therefore I am BLESSED!)

5. I Believe That I Am Eternally Saved Through Christ And Christ Alone! Titus 3:4-5 But after that the kindness and love of God our Saviour toward man appeared, 5 Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost; (I am nothing! I was nothing when He found me! I was nothing when He saved me! I am nothing outside of Him! I am somebody in Him! I am glad that it is not by works because I could not do enough to be saved or be good enough to stay saved! I believe and therefore I am BLESSED!)

6. I Believe That Jesus Christ Is Coming Again Just Like He Said! John 14:1-3 Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. 2 In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. 3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also. (Because He lives, I can face tomorrow! I expect Him today! I am looking for Him today! Even so, come, Lord Jesus! I believe and therefore I am BLESSED!)

7. I Believe That Heaven Is A Reality Soon To Be Realized! John 14:2 In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.
Revelation 21:2 And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. (That sounds like home to me, like where I want to be! There’ll be no tears to dim our eyes again! Heaven! Home! I believe and therefore I am BLESSED!)

8. I Believe That Hell Is A Reality Realized Too Late! Revelation 14:11 And the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever: and they have no rest day nor night, who worship the beast and his image, and whosoever receiveth the mark of his name.
Revelation 20:15 And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire. (I believe that Hell is real! I believe that Hell is hot! I believe that Hell is “hell!” I believe that Hell is eternal! I believe that I will not be there! I believe and therefore I am BLESSED!)

9. I Believe That Eternity Is A Long, Long Time! Revelation 22:5 And there shall be no night there; and they need no candle, neither light of the sun; for the Lord God giveth them light: and they shall reign for ever and ever. (Life here is short and death is sure but I will live forever and ever with Him in Heaven! I am immortal because He is immortal! When the day comes that I am not here, I will be THERE! I believe and therefore I am BLESSED!)

Wednesday, April 15, 2009


Temple Baptist Church - 4-15-2009

Galatians 2:15-16


A. Galatians is an open defense of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

1. Paul declares one Gospel and “another gospel” is not “another!” There is no salvation outside of the pure Gospel of Jesus Christ!

2. Paul then declares that the Gospel of Jesus Christ came by revelation of God, not by the theology of man. The Gospel is preached and God reveals Himself and His finished work of redemption.

3. Paul then declares that the Gospel is for both Jew and Gentile as God is no respecter of persons.

B. The key verse of the Book of Galatians is found here in our text. Verse 16 declares that justification if by faith alone. The Law was never meant to save and, therefore, salvation is not of works “lest any man boast.” Salvation is an act of God!

C. I want to look at the word “justified” for a few minutes tonight. When speaking of justification, we often say that it means “Just as if I had never sinned” and this is a true statement.

1. Justification is one of the most important elements in the salvation of a sinner. Without it there is no hope.

2. One of the greatest errors of Bible scholars is to identify justification with pardon. Justification is much more than pardon.

A person can be forgiven or pardoned for a transgression, but come under condemnation the next day for a different transgression. Justification not only insures forgiveness, but guarantees our future state of righteousness in Christ.

3. Justification means "to declare righteous." Justification is a judicial act of God to declare the believer righteous, without guilt and free from condemnation.

4. Justification is the clothing of the believer with the garment of Christ's righteousness. Therefore God no longer sees the believer in his own righteousness, but in the perfect righteousness and person of Jesus Christ.

5. Justification is an "act", not a process. No Christian is more justified than any other. Justification is more than mere forgiveness and pardon.

6. Key Verse Romans 4:8 "Blessed is the man to whom the Lord will not impute sin." God will not put sin on our account after justification. Christ takes all of our sins and puts them on His account, which will never be lacking of funds.

1. The Declaration Of Justification

a. Justification Is An Act Of God - Romans 8:33"Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God's elect? It is God that justifieth."

b. Justification Is A Judicial Act Of God Declaring The Believer Righteous Through Grace - Romans 3:24"Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus."

c. Justification Operates Through The Divine Mercy Of God By The Blood Of Christ - By Blood

Romans 5:9 "Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him." His spotless life and pure blood have provided our justification.

d. Justification Hinges Upon The Resurrection Of Jesus Christ - Romans 4:25 "Who was delivered for our offences, and was raised again for our justification." The resurrection gave proof of God's acceptance of Christ's redeeming work.

2. The Demand Of Justification

a. The Need For Justification is based upon the fact that once a man sins he is forever condemned by the law. The law outlines the guidelines by which sin is determined.

Ezek. 18:20 "The soul that sinneth, it shall die." Law and justice demand the punishment for sin be death. Romans states clearly that "the wages of sin is death."

b. God in His justice declared, "I will not justify the wicked."

Exodus 23:7 The problem is that man is so wicked, he cannot justify himself. As our scripture states in Galatians 2:16,"by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified." Only through the life, death, and resurrection of Christ. God's demand could only be satisfied with the death of his son.

3. The Duration Of Justification

a. Because Justification Is Unmerited, It Is Eternal - Titus 3:7 That being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life.

b. Because Justification Is Unmerited, It Brings Assurance - Isaiah 32:17 And the work of righteousness shall be peace; and the effect of righteousness quietness and assurance for ever.

1 Thessalonians 1:5 For our gospel came not unto you in word only, but also in power, and in the Holy Ghost, and in much assurance; as ye know what manner of men we were among you for your sake.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Four Resurrections

Temple Baptist Church - 4-12-2009

Luke 24:1-5


A. Once again, we come to the Garden Tomb and find it, as always, empty! The “Stone” which the builders rejected became the “Chief Corner Stone” and, ultimately, the “Capstone of Christianity.” The typology found in these verses is tremendous.

1. A Sabbath’s Rest – The Seventh Day of an Old Week (Millennium)

2. A Sunday’s Resurrection – The First Day of a New Week (Eternity-the Eighth Day of New Beginning.)

B. There are many “Cardinal Doctrines” in the Bible. When I use the term “Cardinal Doctrine”, I want you to understand that all doctrine is of major importance, but without the doctrine of the Resurrection, all others would be in vain.

1. Without the Resurrection, Calvary would have been in vain; we would still be in our sins; and there would be no hope of life after death!

2. Without the Resurrection, there would be no finishing! No finishing of the Cross. I am glad this morning that it is finished for time and eternity. Sin paid for in full and redemption purchased. Hallelujah, what a Saviour!)

3. Without the Resurrection, there would be no faithfulness to the Scriptures! This Bible that I hold in my hands would be just another fiction book.

C. The resurrection of Jesus Christ was just the beginning, not the end.

1. There was confusion among both the women who came seeking the body of Christ as well as among the other disciples when His resurrection was announced.

2. There was later realization of the resurrection later brought about a wonderful change in the lives of the believers and “because I live ye may live also” became a reality in their lives leading them to a fearless resolve to live for and preach the risen Christ.

D. I want to look at four resurrections this morning that began with Christ’s glorious resurrection:

1. The Resurrection of Jesus Christ from the Dead - Rom 1:4 And declared to be the Son of God with power, according to the spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead:

a. It was a resurrection of Power - Matthew 27:62-66 Now the next day, that followed the day of the preparation, the chief priests and Pharisees came together unto Pilate, Saying, Sir, we remember that that deceiver said, while he was yet alive, After three days I will rise again. Command therefore that the sepulchre be made sure until the third day, lest his disciples come by night, and steal him away, and say unto the people, He is risen from the dead: so the last error shall be worse than the first. Pilate said unto them, Ye have a watch: go your way, make it as sure as ye can. So they went, and made the sepulchre sure, sealing the stone, and setting a watch.

b. It was a resurrection of Promise - John 10:17-18 Therefore doth my Father love me, because I lay down my life, that I might take it again. No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This commandment have I received of my Father.

Mark 8:31 And he began to teach them, that the Son of man must suffer many things, and be rejected of the elders, and of the chief priests, and scribes, and be killed, and after three days rise again.

c. It was a resurrection of Permanence - Revelation 1:18 - I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death.

1) Spoke of Approval - Jesus’ Life

2) Spoke of Acceptance - Sin’s Penalty

3) Spoke of Accessibility - Veil Rent In Twain

4) Spoke of Availability - “whosoever will”

2. The Resurrection of The Repentant Believer From The Dead - Philippians 3:7-10 But what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ. 8 Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ, 9 And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith: 10 That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death;

a. Resurrection To A New Life – Ephesians 2:1 And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins;

b. Resurrection To A New Longing - 2 Corinthians 5:17 Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.

c. Resurrection To A New Lineage - 1 John 3:2 Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.

3. The Resurrection of The Saint From The Dead - 1 Corinthians 15:51-57 Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, 52 In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. 53 For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. 54 So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory. 55 O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory? 56 The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law. 57 But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

a. Resurrection of Hope – 1 Peter 1:3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,

b. Resurrection of Blessing - Revelation 20:6 Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years.

c. Resurrection of Glory - Romans 6:5 For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection: (Glorified Body - Glorified Home)

4. The Resurrection of The Unbeliever From The Dead - John 8:28-29 Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice, And shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Respect Of Persons

Temple Baptist Church - 4-8-2009

Galatians 2:6-14


A. In this portion of scripture, we find that there was a problem in the area of respect of persons. In the first century AD, polarized conditions governed society. People were either rich or poor, slaves or free, Jew or Gentile, Greek or barbarian.

1. Paul used the phrase “who seemed to be somewhat” when referring to them of “reputation” in verse 2.

a) By reputation I believe that the reference was to the Apostles mentioned in chapter 1:16-19.

b) Their having a “reputation” was not necessarily wrong in itself as they were the visible leaders of the Jerusalem believers.

c) Paul went to them privately, reporting what God had given to him in both revelation and ministry.

d) Paul reported to the Galatian believers that these Apostles “added nothing to me.”

2. In verses 12-14, Paul relates a real problem concerning “respect of persons” in his confrontation of Peter.

a) Peter ate with these gentile believers in verse 12 prior to the arrival of other Jewish believers.

b) When the Jewish believers arrived, Peter “withdrew and separated himself” from them.

B. Peter’s actions caused a two-fold problem.

1. His actions were a personal affront to the believers at Antioch. They certainly knew what he did.

2. The other Jews followed Peter’s bad example also. Respect of persons brings about negative peer pressure.

3. Barnabas (a champion of the down and outers who took in the Apostle Paul) was then affected by the dissimulation and withdrew also.

C. Paul then withstood Peter “to the face” in verse 11 because he was to be blamed. He was the most noted of the Jewish believers that came to Antoich.

1. The rebuke was public because the sin was public. Vs. 11

2. The rebuke was stern because it was detrimental to the truth delivered.

Acts 10:34-36 Then Peter opened his mouth, and said, Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons: 35 But in every nation he that feareth him, and worketh righteousness, is accepted with him. 36 The word which God sent unto the children of Israel, preaching peace by Jesus Christ: (he is Lord of all:)

D. Respect of persons has continued to be a problem throughout the church age. Respect of persons does not mean that you have to invite the entire church to your cookout. I want to look at just three areas that have affected our churches and their growth.

1. Respect of persons because of race.

a. This affects our evangelism! The Jews hated the Samaritans and the Samaritans hated the Jews. Most nations were natural enemies and it was and still is hard to get them to sit down together.

b. Race differences have always been a problem, especially here in the south. We love to sing the children’s songs which say, “Red and yellow, black and white, they are precious in His sight; Jesus loves the little children of the world” while ostracizing people based on race.

c. God made people the way He wanted them to be. There is not a problem with recognizing race. The problem is with “respecting” race. Respect of persons is to place one race above another or to exclude someone of another race.

d. God made all; God loves all; God is willing to save all!

1 Timothy 2:4 Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.

2 Peter 3:9 The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.

2. Respect of persons because of social status.

a. This affects our unity! The socially elite have a problem with the “baser” sort and the opposite is also true. I do not get invited to their cookouts and they do not get invited to mine!

b. From this aspect of respect of persons, cliques are formed. It is not that we cannot invite everyone, it is that not everyone is wanted.

Psalms 133:1-3 Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity! 2 It is like the precious ointment upon the head, that ran down upon the beard, even Aaron's beard: that went down to the skirts of his garments; 3 As the dew of Hermon, and as the dew that descended upon the mountains of Zion: for there the LORD commanded the blessing, even life for evermore.

3. Respect of persons because of money.

a. This affects our motive! This form of selective evangelism places monetary value over the value of a soul. The rich and poor normally do not meet in the same churches! Organized visitation occurs in select communities instead of in every community.

b. Many times the rich are welcomed into churches with a “red carpet” treatment while the poor are either looked down upon or ignored. Every visitor should be treated with kindness and respect! It matters not how they are able to dress or the amount that they may be able to give.

James 2:1-7 My brethren, have not the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory, with respect of persons. 2 For if there come unto your assembly a man with a gold ring, in goodly apparel, and there come in also a poor man in vile raiment; 3 And ye have respect to him that weareth the gay clothing, and say unto him, Sit thou here in a good place; and say to the poor, Stand thou there, or sit here under my footstool: 4 Are ye not then partial in yourselves, and are become judges of evil thoughts? 5 Hearken, my beloved brethren, Hath not God chosen the poor of this world rich in faith, and heirs of the kingdom which he hath promised to them that love him? 6 But ye have despised the poor. Do not rich men oppress you, and draw you before the judgment seats? 7 Do not they blaspheme that worthy name by the which ye are called?

c. This kind of respect of persons often clouds the judgment of the leadership. The rich can get away with “murder” while the poor are quickly chastised for the same sins.

Deuteronomy 1:17 Ye shall not respect persons in judgment; but ye shall hear the small as well as the great; ye shall not be afraid of the face of man; for the judgment is God's: and the cause that is too hard for you, bring it unto me, and I will hear it.

Deuteronomy 16:19 Thou shalt not wrest judgment; thou shalt not respect persons, neither take a gift: for a gift doth blind the eyes of the wise, and pervert the words of the righteous.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

The Peace of The Cross

Temple Baptist Church - 4-5-2009

Mark 15:1-39


A. There are so many aspects of the cross that could and have preached that it is impossible to deal with each one of them in a single sermon.

1. We could preach on who Jesus was.
2. We could preach on why Jesus came.
3. We could preach on what Jesus did.
4. We could preach on His rejection.
5. We could preach on His suffering.
6. We could preach on His sayings.
7. We could preach on so many aspects and never get the job done!

B. I believe that one of the greatest aspects of the cross is found in verse 38, where God rent in twain the veil of the temple from top to bottom. For thousands of years this veil had been in place in either the Tabernacle in the Wilderness, Solomon’s Temple, or in the temple referenced here which is referred to as Zerubbabel’s Temple.

C. Because of man’s sinfulness and God’s holiness, there remained in place the veil to insure separation. This veil was entered through once a year by the high priest as he offered the blood of atonement for the sins of the people.

1. Separated Man From The Holiness Of God - Exodus 26:31-34 And thou shalt make a vail of blue, and purple, and scarlet, and fine twined linen of cunning work: with cherubims shall it be made: And thou shalt hang it upon four pillars of shittim wood overlaid with gold: their hooks shall be of gold, upon the four sockets of silver. And thou shalt hang up the vail under the taches, that thou mayest bring in thither within the vail the ark of the testimony: and the vail shall divide unto you between the holy place and the most holy. And thou shalt put the mercy seat upon the ark of the testimony in the most holy place.

2. Separated Man From The Presence Of God - Exodus 40:3 And thou shalt put therein the ark of the testimony, and cover the ark with the vail.

3. Separated Man From The Judgment Of God - Leviticus 16:2 And the LORD said unto Moses, Speak unto Aaron thy brother, that he come not at all times into the holy place within the vail before the mercy seat, which is upon the ark; that he die not: for I will appear in the cloud upon the mercy seat.

Numbers 18:7 Therefore thou and thy sons with thee shall keep your priest's office for every thing of the altar, and within the vail; and ye shall serve: I have given your priest's office unto you as a service of gift: and the stranger that cometh nigh shall be put to death.

D. In the New Testament, we find that the Old Testament vail was a type of Christ’s flesh:

Hebrews 10:20 By a new and living way, which he hath consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say, his flesh;

E. The death of Christ on the cross was the “rending” of the Veil, which was Christ! We all know that the veil of the temple was rent from top to bottom. It was done by God, not man.

Isaiah 53:10 Yet it pleased the LORD to bruise him; he hath put [him] to grief: when thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see [his] seed, he shall prolong [his] days, and the pleasure of the LORD shall prosper in his hand.

F. Here are some of the results of that rending of the veil this morning as we consider Christ’s death and what it meant to man.

1. Through The Veil Of His Flesh Man Has Access To The Person Of God - Hebrews 10:19-20 Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus, 20 By a new and living way, which he hath consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say, his flesh; (The sinfulness of man separated him from the holiness of God. Jesus Christ opened up the Holy of Holies for every believer. The believer is no longer separated from God! I have a personal relationship with the Lord!)

2. Through The Veil Of His Flesh Man Has Access Into The Presence Of God - Romans 5:1-2 Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ: 2 By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. (Access into the very presence of a thrice holy God! The believer not only has a relationship, he has access! Not once a year but anytime and all of the time.)

3. Through The Veil Of His Flesh Man Has Access To The Peace Of God - Hebrews 9:24 For Christ is not entered into the holy places made with hands, which are the figures of the true; but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us:
Ephesians 2:14 For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us; (Now, we have peace with God!)

a. The Promise Of Peace - Luke 2:14 Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men. (God wants you to have that peace this morning.)

b. The Person Of Peace - Ephesians 2:14 For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us; (That peace comes only through the person of Christ.)

c. The Preaching Of Peace - Romans 10:14-15 How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher? 15 And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things! (God chose the foolishness of preaching to present that peace.)

d. The Process Of Peace - Romans 15:13 Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost. (Peace comes through believing! Trusting the finished work of Calvary. Trusting the finished work of the gospel of Christ.)

1 Peter 1:13 Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ;

e. The Permanence Of Peace - John 14:27 Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid. (You can have peace today! The peace that only Jesus Christ can give. It is sufficient [“my peace”] and lasting [“not as the world giveth”] as He promised.)

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Our Liberty In Christ

Temple Baptist Church - 4-1-2009

Galatians 2:1-5


A. Galatians is a defense of justification through faith in Christ alone. We do not have the righteousness of the law but the righteousness of Christ. The difference: the righteousness of the Law was not meant to save and the righteousness of Christ is the only way of salvation.

Matthew 5:20 For I say unto you, That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven. (The Law condemns while Christ liberates!)

Hebrews 7:19 For the law made nothing perfect, but the bringing in of a better hope did; by the which we draw nigh unto God.

B. The world thinks that we are “bound” because of salvation but the truth is this: the world is bound by sin while we are made free in Christ Jesus.

John 8:36 If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed. (Christians are not bound by a set of rules. We are bound by our love and debt! We are truly debtors and those who love Christ obey His commandments.)

C. The child of God has been MADE free, not set free!

1. Free From The Condemnation of Sin - Romans 8:1 There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.

2. Free From The Bondage of Sin - Romans 6:11 Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord.

3. Free From The Bondage of The Law – Galatians 5:1 Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage. (Salvation is “done,” not “do.”)

4. Free From The Bondage of Fear - Romans 8:15 For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father. (No fear of hell or death!)

5. Free From The Bondage of Corruption - Romans 8:18-25 For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us. 19 For the earnest expectation of the creature waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God. 20 For the creature was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of him who hath subjected the same in hope, 21 Because the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God. 22 For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now. 23 And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body. 24 For we are saved by hope: but hope that is seen is not hope: for what a man seeth, why doth he yet hope for? 25 But if we hope for that we see not, then do we with patience wait for it.

6. Made free from the Law of Death - 1 Corinthians 15:54-55 So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory. 55 O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?

D. One of the greatest attacks upon the believer today is the attack against our liberty which we have in Christ. Before I get into the subject of religious liberty, we need to define just what liberty in Christ is and is not.

1. Liberty in Christ is NEVER license to sin! Romans 6:1-2 What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? 2 God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein?

1 Peter 2:16 As free, and not using your liberty for a cloke of maliciousness, but as the servants of God.

2. Liberty in Christ is ALWAYS liberty to serve! 1 Corinthians 9:19 For though I be free from all men, yet have I made myself servant unto all, that I might gain the more.

E. Our Liberty is attacked by what the scripture defines as “false brethren.” Vs. 4

These are people who never understood salvation by grace through faith. To them, man has to “do his part” in order to be saved or remain saved. Two things prove this theology erroneous to the true believer:

1. Characterization by Word of God – it depicts man in his natural state of depravity as helpless, hopeless and worthless outside of the righteousness of Christ.

John 8:32 And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.

2. Conviction by the Spirit of God – the Holy Ghost convicts the true believer of sinfulness and his need of salvation through Christ alone.

John 16:8 And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment:

F. Our Liberty is attacked by weaker brethren. “Taste not, touch not, handle not, etc.” The entire chapter of Romans 14 is given to this subject. Well intending brethren are continually trying to force their preferences or convictions upon other believers.

Romans 14:22 Hast thou faith? have it to thyself before God. Happy is he that condemneth not himself in that thing which he alloweth.

H. True Liberty should be based upon the absolute Lordship of Christ in our lives! If He is Lord in our lives, then liberty is a glorious thing that will never be or cause a problem to others. This is the Liberty that Paul set forth in the Pauline Epistles.

I. Let’s look at our liberty for a few minutes. Here are some simple “rules” to follow when exercising our liberty:

1. Our Liberty Should Never Make Void Plain Scripture - Many things are clearly set forth in the Bible. The Word of God either condemns them or commands them. These are not matters of preference but conviction. Often we call our preferences convictions or call convictions preferences, according to what we want or intend to do with them. If the Bible either condemns or commands, there is no liberty to go contrary to it.

2. Our Liberty Should Never Be Exercised Contrary To The Clear Leading Of The Holy Ghost – God has given to us His precious Spirit to lead us into God’s will for our lives.

John 16:13 Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come.

3. Our Liberty Should Never Become A Stumbling Block To A Weaker Brother.

Romans 14:13-15 Let us not therefore judge one another any more: but judge this rather, that no man put a stumblingblock or an occasion to fall in his brother's way. 14 I know, and am persuaded by the Lord Jesus, that there is nothing unclean of itself: but to him that esteemeth any thing to be unclean, to him it is unclean. 15 But if thy brother be grieved with thy meat, now walkest thou not charitably. Destroy not him with thy meat, for whom Christ died.

4. Our Liberty Should Never Be Purposefully Offensive To Another Believer. (Notice that I used the word purposefully. We often “offend” others without knowing it. I am speaking of knowing that something will offend another and willfully doing it anyway.)

1 Corinthians 8:13 Wherefore, if meat make my brother to offend, I will eat no flesh while the world standeth, lest I make my brother to offend.

5. Our Liberty Should Never Become A Stumbling Block To The Lost. Many times the lost know or think that they know more about how Christians should behave themselves than we do!

Matthew 5:16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven