Sunday, January 29, 2012

The Imperative of Sound Doctrine

Temple Baptist Church - 1-29-2012

1 Timothy 1:1-4; 3:15


A. I feel the need to go back to preaching through the books of the Bible on Sunday nights because of my age: knowing that I do not have many years left as I am now in my mid 60’s (no, don’t get excited for I am not quite ready to go yet!). There is so much scripture, so many books of the Bible that need to be expounded to God’s people in light of our times and it has taken me 2 years just to preach through Ephesians.

B. 1 Timothy is one of the Pastoral Epistles. Paul is writing to younger men of God to set in order the oversight, structure, and operation of the local church. Timothy was a convert of the Apostle Paul and Paul felt the need to disciple this young preacher. The key verse of 1 Timothy is found in chapter 3 and verse 15: “But if I tarry long, that thou mayest know how thou oughtest to behave thyself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth.” Most churches are out of God’s order; therefore, learning how to behave in the house of the Lord—which is the pillar and ground of the truth—is of the utmost importance.

C. God’s house is a house of doctrine. The devil has certain “devices” that destroy the knowledge of sound doctrine which ultimately destroys God’s children.

1. De-emphasizing Of Sound Doctrine - A tactic of the devil to bring about the ecumenical movement which teaches that where you go to church is not important as long as you profess to be saved. This form of doctrinal ignorance is leading to the rise of a one world church.

2. Demonizing Of Sound Doctrine – A tactic of the devil that portrays God’s men in a pharisaical light and the Bible believing local church as cultic. This form of doctrinal ignorance drives away those who listen to such tactics and opens wide the door for false teachers and preachers.

3. Dividing Of Sound Doctrine – A tactic of the devil to bring about division within the fundamental churches with the main cause of division coming through higher education.

D. In the beginnings of the early church, all of the believers followed the doctrine of the Apostles but Satan soon began to infiltrate and divide. We have come:


Acts 2:42 And they continued stedfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers.


Ephesians 4:3-6 Endeavouring (to exert oneself or to strive) to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling; One Lord, one faith, one baptism, One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.

1 Corinthians 14:33 For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints.

E. There is a decline in the teaching of Bible doctrine in the churches today as many churches, pastors, and teachers shy away from it and go from “heart pricking” to “ear tickling.” To these, doctrine is neither important nor is it relevant to our day. I want to reiterate that sound doctrine is imperative! Sound doctrine is imperative to:

1. The stability of the local church - 1 Timothy 3:15 But if I tarry long, that thou mayest know how thou oughtest to behave thyself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth. (If the church is not doctrinally correct, then it cannot be trusted. The Head of the church is Jesus Christ; Jesus Christ is the Word of God; therefore, if the Head and the Word are right, the local church can be trusted to be right also.)

2. The detection and rejection of the infiltration of false teachers - Ephesians 4:14 That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive; (God gives to the local church pastors who rightly divide the word of truth, feed the flock of God, and equip the saints to be able to discern false teaching. Theological “food poisoning” is a good term describing false doctrinal teaching. It brings joy to the pastor’s heart when his people can detect false statements.)

3. The spiritual well being of the believer - Colossians 2:6-8 As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him: (7) Rooted and built up in him, and stablished in the faith, as ye have been taught, abounding therein with thanksgiving. (8) Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ. (One of the greatest accolades that can be given to the local church is that of a people who know what and why they believe. A knowledgeable people are both productive and protected. Too many churches are characterized by biblical ignorance. Paul often addressed the believers with the statement, “I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren.”)

4. The biblical training of our children - Ephesians 6:4 And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. (The Bible and doctrinal truth are essential to the spiritual upbringing of our children. Our children need to be taught the Word of God, not just entertained and the Bible taught must be right and the doctrine correct. I have seen people purposely confuse their children in order to show rebellion toward the preaching and teaching from the pulpit.)

Walking In Lust

Temple Baptist Church - 1-29-2012

1 John 1:5-7


A. The past few weeks
, I have been preaching on the importance and enemies of fellowship within the local church. One last time, I cannot over emphasis the importance of having a right relationship with each other. The one thing that our Lord said would bring the house down is division from within. I gave us three “L’s” to remember. We must walk in love, light, and without lust.

B. These three are equally essential to unity. If we do not walk in love, we will have schisms within the church; if we do not walk in light, we will allow our sinfulness to divide the purity of the church,; this morning, if we walk in lust, our priorities will be wrong and wrong priorities deter the church’s purposes.

C. I want us to look at several portions of scripture to explain what the Bible means when it uses the term “lust.” In our day, it normally gives a sexual connotation and that can be one of the various uses but “lust” can deal with a number of areas in the life of the believer.

D. James 4:1-3 says it all concerning lust and division:

“From whence come wars and fightings among you? come they not hence, even of your lusts that war in your members? (2) Ye lust, and have not: ye kill, and desire to have, and cannot obtain: ye fight and war, yet ye have not, because ye ask not. (3) Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts.” (Wars and fightings among us come from lusts that war in our members. I find two wars in these verses: 1) Lust warring in our members and 2) Wars and fighting’s among each other.)

E. If my interpretation is right and I believe that it is, the first war is from within and, if this war is lost, then wars break out in the church. Thus, if we want to have peace and unity within the church body, we must have personal victory within ourselves.

F. There are three general areas of lust which can be broken down into a myriad of areas of lust in particular.

1 John 2:15-17 Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. (16) For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. (17) And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever. (To define these three areas of lust would be somewhat like this: 1) The lust of the flesh would be our natural fleshly desires: our flesh is not saved and is sensual in nature: it too often desires that which is unlawful; 2) the lust of the eye would be a consuming desire for things that God has not given to us or are not God’s will for us: these things may or may not be sinful but can become weights that hinder our lives for Christ; 3) the pride of life could be called ambition for recognition of honor: a desire to “be someone.”)

G. How do we win the war within so that we do not have to fight the wars in the church? I believe that the answer is biblically simple though spiritually difficult. I am going to give us verses that we are familiar with and yet these verses are areas of frequent failure in all of us.

1. We must keep our Priority right. Luke 9:59-62 And he said unto another, Follow me. But he said, Lord, suffer me first to go and bury my father. (60) Jesus said unto him, Let the dead bury their dead: but go thou and preach the kingdom of God. (61) And another also said, Lord, I will follow thee; but let me first go bid them farewell, which are at home at my house. (62) And Jesus said unto him, No man, having put his hand to the plough, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God. (First is to be Christ! Allow me to put something before you, Lord? Not just putting something first but asking God’s permission.)

Matthew 6:25 Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment?

Matthew 6:33 But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. (The Lord asked Peter, “Lovest thou me more than these?”

2. We must keep our Purpose right. 1 Corinthians 10:31 Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God. (Our main purpose in life is to bring honor and glory to the One who saved us: being careful to maintain good works so as to never bring shame to Christ.)

Philippians 1:20-21 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. (21) For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.

Romans 14:8 For whether we live, we live unto the Lord; and whether we die, we die unto the Lord: whether we live therefore, or die, we are the Lord's.

3. We must keep our Prize in sight. 2 Corinthians 4:17-18 For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory; (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. ("He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain that which he cannot lose." [Jim Elliot] We are here for a short span of time and then our eternity begins so we should keep the eternal before our eyes instead of the temporal.)

1 Corinthians 3:11-15 For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ. (12) Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble; (13) Every man's work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man's work of what sort it is. (14) If any man's work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward. (15) If any man's work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Walking In The Light

Temple Baptist Church - 1-22-2012

1 John 1:5-7


A. Two weeks ago, I preached on the subject of “Fellowship.” Fellowship or getting along within the local church is essential to the well-being and work of the church. A house divided “against itself” cannot stand. Not divided by the world or Satan or doctrine, but by personality conflicts. I used three “L’s” that are the basis for fellowship or division: light, love, and lust.

B. Last Sunday morning, I preached on the “Seven Aspects of Divine Love.” Love is essential to peace among the brethren as we all have different personalities, likes and dislikes, opinions, and preferences.

C. This morning, I want to look at the “L” of Light. “If we walk in the light, as he is in the light.” The bible declares that God is light and in Him is no darkness at all. Therefore, walking in the light is essential to fellowship with God and each other.

D. I want to look at the first mention of light and darkness found in Genesis 1.

Genesis 1:1-5 In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. (2) And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters. (3) And God said, Let there be light: and there was light. (4) And God saw the light, that it was good: and God divided the light from the darkness. (5) And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And the evening and the morning were the first day.

1. Darkness – to hide or obscurity

2. Light – luminous, clear or glorious, complete visibility

3. Divided – to sever or distinguish

4. We often use the axiom “as different as day and night.” These are opposites.

5. God saw the light and said that it was “good” and divided it from the darkness about which nothing was said. Thus giving the immediate impression that, if the two are opposites, then the day or “light” was good and the darkness or “night” was not.

E. I understand that the night, as far as the twenty four period is concerned, is not in itself evil but the spiritual application is different. Night in the bible is a time of sin and sorrow. The night comes in which man does not work (at least in years gone by) so man sleeps it away in order to rest for the following day.

F. In our text found in 1 John 1, we find that light is good and holy while darkness is bad and sinful. This is the proper interpretation of these verses; therefore, it is both good and holy to walk in the light while it is bad and sinful to walk in darkness. Darkness breaks fellowship with God and, therefore, with man.

G. Four things walking in the light does:

1. Light Discloses Our Sin - 1 Corinthians 4:5 Therefore judge nothing before the time, until the Lord come, who both will bring to light the hidden things of darkness, and will make manifest the counsels of the hearts: and then shall every man have praise of God.

John 3:19-21 And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. (20) For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved. (21) But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God.

2. Light Defines Our Security – Psalms 4:6-8 There be many that say, Who will shew us any good? LORD, lift thou up the light of thy countenance upon us. (7) Thou hast put gladness in my heart, more than in the time that their corn and their wine increased. (8) I will both lay me down in peace, and sleep: for thou, LORD, only makest me dwell in safety.

3. Light Directs Our Steps - Psalms 36:9 For with thee is the fountain of life: in thy light shall we see light.

Proverbs 3:21-24 My son, let not them depart from thine eyes: keep sound wisdom and discretion: (22) So shall they be life unto thy soul, and grace to thy neck. (23) Then shalt thou walk in thy way safely, and thy foot shall not stumble. (24) When thou liest down, thou shalt not be afraid: yea, thou shalt lie down, and thy sleep shall be sweet.

Psalms 119:105 Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.

4. Light Displays Our Saviour - 2 Corinthians 4:5-6 For we preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord; and ourselves your servants for Jesus' sake. (6) For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

A Sincere Love

Temple Baptist Church - 1-18-2012

Ephesians 6:23-24


A. Paul ends the Ephesian Epistle in a very familiar way. He pronounces his desire for the Ephesians believers: peace, love, and grace! Peace to live together; love to fellowship with each other; and grace to endure steadfastly. We need all three of these things in our churches!

1. A blessed peacefulness when we enter these doors to worship.

2. A pure, fervent love for one another as we worship the Lord together.

3. An abundant, multi-faceted, all-sufficient grace that will see us through the valleys of life.

B. As we end this great epistle, called by many “The Highlands of Faith,” I want to home in on a phrase in verse 24: “love our Lord Jesus Christ in sincerity.” If there is a sincere love, then there has to be the reality of an insincere love. To so many in our day, love for the Lord is “lip service.” An empty, hollow, shallow word uttered from a heart fully set upon the things of the world.

C. The world’s love is normally based upon physical attraction instead of inner beauty. The Laodicean believer loves the same way. They love the Lord for what He does for them instead of for who He is. As the outer beauty of a person soon fades into old age, the Laodicean believer’s appreciation for the goodness of God soon wanes. If not careful, appreciation always turns into expectancy!

D. In John 21, as our Lord restored Peter, he asked Peter three times if he loved Him.

John 21:15-17 So when they had dined, Jesus saith to Simon Peter, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me more than these? He saith unto him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee. He saith unto him, Feed my lambs. (16) He saith to him again the second time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me? He saith unto him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee. He saith unto him, Feed my sheep. (17) He saith unto him the third time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me? Peter was grieved because he said unto him the third time, Lovest thou me? And he said unto him, Lord, thou knowest all things; thou knowest that I love thee. Jesus saith unto him, Feed my sheep. (The question to be answered is not “lovest thou me” for each of us would answer that in the affirmative. The question to be asked is “lovest thou me MORE THAN THESE!” Our Lord did not rebuke Peter for going fishing as there is nothing wrong with doing so. I love fish as much as anyone. Peter gave up his ministry for the Lord to go back to fishing for a living. “Peter, do you love me more than the old life?”)

E. A sincere love is so much more than a casual love. In today’s economy, young and old couples have pre-nuptial agreements or simply live together because the trust and commitment are not there. Their love is not a sincere love because its foundation is flawed from its inception. A sincere love is a love that changes our lives and desires. A sincere love should be:

1. A Sincere Love Is A Full Love - Mark 12:30 And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment. (A full love is from the heart.)

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

Philippians 1:20-21 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. (21) For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain. (A full love is with all the heart. A full love is without reservation. A full love is without hypocrisy. A full love is in deed and truth.)

2. A Sincere Love Is A Fervent Love - John 21:17 He saith unto him the third time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me? Peter was grieved because he said unto him the third time, Lovest thou me? And he said unto him, Lord, thou knowest all things; thou knowest that I love thee. Jesus saith unto him, Feed my sheep. (Peter was grieved with the questions of the Lord because it was a rebuke that brought about conviction. Peter no doubt loved the Lord. I do not think that there was a man in the Bible who loved Jesus more. But, because of failure and disappointment, Peter took his hand off the plow and looked back to the old life. Ephesus left their first love and so did Peter.)

3. A Sincere Love Is A Faithful Love - 2 Thessalonians 3:5 And the Lord direct your hearts into the love of God, and into the patient waiting for Christ. (How can I stop loving Christ? I cannot but I can let my love cool off to the point of unfaithfulness. All of God’s children love Him but it another thing all together to love him with “all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength”

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Seven Aspects Of Divine Love

Temple Baptist Church - 1-15-2012

1 John 4:7-12


A. One of the greatest characteristics of a saved person is that of divine love
. I am not talking about “natural love” for even the lost love. They have a natural love for their families as well as many other things in life but the love that we read about in these verses is a love that comes only through knowing the love of Christ.

Ephesians 3:17-19 That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, (18) May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; (19) And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God.

B. Divine love is an un-natural love! It is comprehended only in the incomprehensible love of Christ! It is known only in the unknowable love of Christ which “passeth knowledge!” It is perceived only through the love of Christ that bathes the child of God each day. His love, mercy, and grace go with us and before us. Before I was saved, I certainly like people who went to church because I was raised around them. They were, for the most part, good people but only acquaintances. I went to church because I had no choice: I did not hate church but I had rather be somewhere else.

C. When I was saved, things immediately changed! I took my family to church for every service. The people of the church took on a new meaning for me as, for the first time, acquaintances became family. That new love was a divine one that came through knowing and accepting the love of Christ. I not only loved God’s people but also loved sinners for whom Christ died.

D. When mentioning the Fruit of the Spirit in Galatians, the first aspect of that fruit is love.

Galatians 5:22-23 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, 23 Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. (When we become new creatures in Christ, one of the most amazing characteristics that we take on is that of love! Isaac Carter used to say, “The things that once made me swear now make me cry.” He was bad to drink and fight until he was 65 years old and then things changed when he gave his heart to Christ. He was old enough to retire but still young enough to “refire!” I remember him filling his shirt pocket with gospel tracts and going from house in a Clinton mill community called “Liddy City” where he lived witnessing to every person because they knew the old Isaac Carter and he wanted them to know that he was saved and a new man. Love compelled him to be faithful to church, witness to his family, and bring fish and turtles to his pastor. He got In!!!)

E. Without charity, we are nothing!

1 Corinthians 13:1-3 Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal. 2 And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing. 3 And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing. (We can know all about doctrine, be faithful to church, labor for the Lord, but without the divine love of Christ manifested in our hearts and lives, we become nothing but a hollow sound: “a sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal.” Too often, God’s children become pharisaical in their beliefs because the truth is not coupled with compassion. )

F. I am so glad that the Lord loves us completely and in a right way! We can never fathom the love of God that was displayed in John 3:16 where God so love the world that He gave His only begotten Son! When we begin to comprehend the love of Christ, it should become the constraining factor in our lives as believers.

G. I want to look at some aspects of that love this morning: how Christ loved us and, after our salvation, that same love radiates through us to others.

1. Love Manifested - In The Gift Of Christ - 1 John 4:9 In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him. (Jesus Christ was love incarnate. No man every loved as Jesus Christ love. God does not only love or try to love: God is love.)

2. Love Commended - At The Cross - Romans 5:8-9 But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. 9 Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him. (No man ever loved sinners as Jesus Christ loved them. I find no place in the Bible where our Lord ever got angry with sinners. He only got angry with the Pharisees!)

3. Love Believed - By The Sinner - 1 John 4:16 And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him. (A sinner will never come to Christ until he or she realizes just how much He loves them. He died for the world but He died for me. A personal Saviour and a personal salvation!)

4. Love Bestowed - In Our Sonship - 1 John 3:1 Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not. (The love of Christ was bestowed upon us, not just given to us. Bestowed is a strong word as it shows both approval and honor. What an honor it is to be called a son of God.)

5. Love Shed Abroad - In The Spirit - Romans 5:5 And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us. (Now the love of Christ becomes evident in the new believer. He now loves what God loves and his life is forever changed. We know that have passed from death to life because of the love that is within.)

6. Love Perceived - By The Saint - 1 John 3:16 Hereby perceive we the love of God, because he laid down his life for us: and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren. (As we grow in the Lord, we comprehend more and more the love of Christ. There is a song that says, “The longer I serve Him the sweeter He grows!” We become both satisfied with and secure in His love for us.)

7. Love Dwelling - In The Heart - 1 John 3:17 But whoso hath this world’s good, and seeth his brother have need, and shutteth up his bowels of compassion from him, how dwelleth the love of God in him? (As we come to know the love of Christ, that same love becomes more evident in us. We love what God loves: the Saviour, the church, the brethren, the bible, sinners, etc.)

Conclusion: Jesus loves me this I know, for the Bible tells me so. “Oh, how He loves you and me! Oh, how He loves you and me! Jesus to Calvary did go. His precious blood to bestow. He gave His life; what more could He do! Oh, how he loves you! Oh, how He loves me! Oh, how He loves you and me!”

Wednesday, January 11, 2012


Temple Baptist Church - 1-11-2012

Ephesians 6:21-22


A. As we finish the Book of Ephesians, I want to look at a man highly commended by the Apostle Paul. Tychicus! His name means fortuitous, that is, fortunate. Paul sent Tychicus to Ephesus for two reasons:

1. To let them know what was happening with the Apostle Paul and

2. To comfort the believers as they would no doubt be discouraged when the news of Paul’s incarceration came to them.

B. Fortunate! What a blessing to be used of the Lord in such an important manner. Paul could no longer travel freely and send faithful men of God in his place. Tychicus was indeed fortunate. He was both available and useable in the work of the Lord. You can be available and not useable or you can be useable and not available.

C. When we think about Paul and his faithful service to Jesus Christ, we often think of a man who stood alone. In 2 Timothy chapter 4, Paul said that “all men forsook me” and that only the Lord stood with him before the emperor of Rome. But, through the years, the great apostle had many helpers. In Romans chapter 16, Paul names some of them as well as in the Book of Acts and several of the Pauline Epistles (the Church Epistles).

D. The Bible clearly teaches that the work of the ministry is a corporate work. A few can do a few things; many can do many things; but all can do all things. Without the help of all, all cannot and will not be accomplished. God left us all here for the work of the ministry and all are essential to both the publishing of the gospel and the maintenance of the local church. 1 Corinthians 12 speaks of the individual gifts given to individuals in the body of Christ that no work would be left undone.

E. I want to look at Tychicus for a few minutes tonight because, in the mentions of his name we find some important truths concerning each of us.

1. Tychicus was a “beloved brother.” Verse 21.

a. Tychicus had a good testimony of salvation! I have often heard that you cannot know for sure who is saved and who is not and I understand what they are saying but Paul called Tychicus a “brother!” As I look at our people tonight, I have no doubt of their salvation. I thank God for you and count each and every one of you as my spiritual family. Tychicus had a good testimony of salvation. So many people in the Bible Belt speak the language but have no testimony of salvation but then there was Lot, King Saul, Demas, etc. They may be just like the world in their thinking but their salvation is between them and God. I think you can know a real brother through the Holy Spirit! You may be fooled occasionally but I always give them the benefit of the doubt.

b. Tychicus was beloved of the Apostle Paul. He not only had a good testimony of salvation but also had a testimony of being a loving man. He loved the apostle and was love by the apostle. You and I are so much more than just a spiritual family. We love each other; we care for and have compassion upon one another. I care what happens in your lives and pray fervently and effectually for you. We laugh and cry together; we pray for and help to bear one another’s burdens; we enjoy each other’s company. I have been around families that did not love or even like each other. Our church is a close knit one.

2. Tychicus was a “faithful minister.” Verse 21

a. Tychicus was a minister. Act_20:4 “And there accompanied him into Asia Sopater of Berea; and of the Thessalonians, Aristarchus and Secundus; and Gaius of Derbe, and Timotheus; and of Asia, Tychicus and Trophimus.” No doubt, shortly after his salvation, this man began to serve the Lord. There are many aspects of the ministry: preaching, missions, soul winning, steeple washing, commode cleaning, grass mowing, light bulb changing, etc. I have found that many, if they are not a God called preacher, do nothing at all. They will look up at a burned out light bulb and let someone else change it. See a dirty floor and wait for someone else to sweep it. See paper on the floor or song books out of place and wait for someone else to take care of it. Minister also means to give service, care, or aid; attend, as to wants or necessities. Visiting the sick, the orphans and widows in their affliction (James 1:29), visiting hospitals, being there for each other at funerals, etc.

b. Tychicus was a faithful minister. The work of the local church goes on every day, every week, every month, and every year. Faithfulness and availability go hand-in-hand. God bless faithful people who attend, tithe, labor, pray, and back their pastor. If you are the best worker in the world, you are virtually useless if you are not there to work. Tychicus was faithful to the Lord and faithful to the Apostle Paul.

Sunday, January 8, 2012


Temple Baptist Church - 1-8-2012

1 John 1:1-10


A. One of the most important traits of the local church should be that of fellowship. In order to get the full meaning of the word fellowship, I want to give a simple English definition:


1. the condition or relation of being a fellow (A person of equal rank, position, or background; a peer): the fellowship of humankind.

2. friendly relationship; companionship: the fellowship of father and son.

3. community of interest, feeling, etc.

4. communion, as between members of the same church.

5. friendliness.

6. an association of persons having similar tastes, interests, etc.

7. a company, guild, or corporation.

B. Fellowship is vital to the unity and success of the local church, therefore, it is under constant attack from our adversary, the devil. I have often stated that the most dangerous enemy of the local church sits upon its pews: US! There is an old saying, “The family that prays together stays together.” Thus it is with the local church!

C. If we have the same Father; the same Saviour; the same Spirit; the same goals; etc., then why is there so much contention and division of fellowship in the church? The answer lies within the context of the verses read.

1. Verses 1-3 speak of our relationship with the Word, our Lord Jesus Christ—which is what God did for us.

2. Verse 4 speaks of our potential of fullness of Joy which is God’s desire for us.

3. Verses 5-7 set forth the basis of our fellowship with God and each other.

4. Verses 8-10 give us understanding of both the problem and the solution of fellowship.

D. Fellowship among the members of the local church is as important as worship! Without fellowship there can be no true worship.

James 3:16 For where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work. (Confusion and evil works are devilish, not godly. God is not the Author of either.)

E. Fellowship is vital to the individual believer.

1. Fellowship Encourages the Believer - Hebrews 10:25 Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.

2. Fellowship Strengthens the Believer - Galatians 6:2 Bear ye one another's burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ.

3. Fellowship Supports the Believer - Ecclesiastes 4:10 For if they fall, the one will lift up his fellow: but woe to him that is alone when he falleth; for he hath not another to help him up.

F. Now we understand that a lack of fellowship is a sin problem. When we fail to get along or have differences (other than doctrine) that divide us, we must look within for the solution. I still believe that the greatest enemy of self is SELF.

1. The Problem of Light! A lack of fellowship is a sin problem! Pure and simple! We are all subject to sinfulness but sinfulness needs to be dealt with. If we walk in light, we walk in fellowship with both the Lord and our brother.

a. There Needs To Be Recognition In Sinfulness - Luke 18:13 And the publican, standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying, God be merciful to me a sinner.

b. There Needs To Be Repentance In Sinfulness - 1 John 1:9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

c. There Needs To Be Resolve In Sinfulness - Psalms 101:3 I will set no wicked thing before mine eyes: I hate the work of them that turn aside; it shall not cleave to me.

2. The Problem of Love! A Lack of fellowship is a love problem! If we love God right, we will love our brother right. We are to love as God loves.

a. Love Commanded - John 15:12 This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you.

b. Love Commended - Romans 5:8 But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.

c. Love Common - Romans 5:5 And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.

3. The Problem of Lust! A Lack of fellowship is a selfish problem! When we put the Lord first, we will have no problem with putting fellowship with our brother above personal desires.

a. Others Become First - Philippians 2:4 Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others.

b. Others Become Forgiven - Ephesians 4:32 And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you.

c. THEN Others Become Friends - Proverbs 17:17 A friend loveth at all times, and a brother is born for adversity.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Bringing In The New Year

Temple Baptist Church - 1-1-2012

Ecclesiastes 3:15


A. It is amazing just how quickly this past year as gone
. The days have passed faster than a weaver’s shuttle. 2012 is here! The date alone sounds like something out of a science fiction book.

B. As we face a New Year, we look forward to it with excitement and expectation. Not one of us knows what lies ahead so the New Year is unknown territory for each of us. You can go to a Chinese Restaurant and read a Fortune Cookie but it will be of no help. No one can predict the future according to Proverbs 27:1 and James 4.

C. Though we cannot know future events (I am not including prophesied events such as the Rapture, etc.), we can know certain things that will forewarn us as well as prepare us for the New Year. According to our text, history is prophetic.

Ecclesiastes 3:15 That which hath been is now; and that which is to be hath already been; and God requireth that which is past.

D. We need to understand that history repeats itself; therefore, we can be both forewarned and forearmed! God holds you and I accountable for what we know and have seen! I still maintain that this is the most accountable generation that has ever lived for two reasons: the example of the past and Bible that we hold in our hands.

E. Hindsight is often said to be “20-20.” Though this is not necessarily always true, it is for the most part. We look back through life and see where we made both good and bad decisions as well as the results of those decisions.

F. It is with blessed assurance that I can say that the future is “20-20” also! Hindsight proves to the believer that this Bible that I hold in my hands is right: it works!

2 Peter 1:19 We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts: (We can read it, heed it, and trust it. It is a proven Book! Therefore, we can face 2012 with hope and confidence.)

G. Though we do not know what this year holds, there are some things that we can know for certainty.

1. You Can Know For Certain That Satan Will Be Active - Ephesians 6:11 Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. (Do not expect to go to heaven on “flowery beds of ease” as long as Satan is not in the Lake of Fire. He hates all that God loves.)

2. You Can Know For Certain That Society Will Deteriorate - 2 Timothy 3:1 This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. (Sin will escalate until our Lord comes to sit upon the throne of His Father brother.)

3. You Can Know For Certain That Sin’s Wages Will Be Reaped - Romans 6:23 For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. (The Judge of all the earth will do right.)

4. You Can Know For Certain That God’s Grace Will Be Sufficient - 2 Corinthians 12:9 And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. (God will never place more upon us than we can bear. Whatever comes in 2012 will be alright.)

5. You Can Know For Certain That God’s Mercy Will Be Available - Lamentations 3:22-23 It is of the LORD'S mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. (23) They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness. (Forgiveness is assured for the repentant heart.)

6. You Can Know For Certain That Your Needs Will Be Met - Philippians 4:19 But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus. (David said that he had not seen the righteous forsaken nor his seed begging bread. We have been well taken care of thus far!)

7. You Can Know For Certain That Your Faithfulness Will Be Rewarded - 2 Timothy 4:7-8 I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith: (8) Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing. (Your labor is not vain in the Lord!)

8. You Can Know For Certain That The Scripture Will Be Right - Matthew 5:18 For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled. (Not one jot nor tittle has failed nor will it fail!)

9. You Can Know For Certain That God Can Be Trusted – Job 13:15 Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him: but I will maintain mine own ways before him. (God will still be God!)

Conclusion: I want to leave each of us with a couple of very familiar verses this morning as we begin a New Year. Proverbs 3:5-6 “Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. (6) In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.”