Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Being Confident Of Some Things

Temple Baptist Church - 2-29-2012

Philippians 1:6

Introduction:

A. Verse 6 is a very important verse to us who are saved as it gives assurance of two very important things: salvation and security!
Many denominations never fully understand the difference between relationship and fellowship. Relationship is established through a birth and cannot be reversed; therefore, we have Positional Sanctification. Fellowship is established through obedience to our heavenly Father; therefore, we have Practical Sanctification. In this verse, we find that salvation and security are a work of God, not man.

1. We are saved by the Grace of God. Salvation is an act of God whereby He saves to the uttermost those who come to God by Christ Jesus. 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.

a) Christ took our place – Propitiation - 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.

b) Christ paid our price – Purchase - Acts 20:28 Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood.

2. We are kept by the Power of God. Solomon, in Ecclesastes 7:20, said, “For there is not a just man upon earth, that doeth good, and sinneth not.”

a) We are hid with Christ - Colossians 3:3-4 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.

John 10:27-29 My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: (28) And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. (29) My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father's hand.

b) We are kept by Christ - 1 Peter 1:5 Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.

Psalms 37:23-24 The steps of a good man are ordered by the LORD: and he delighteth in his way. (24) Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down: for the LORD upholdeth him with his hand.

Jude 24 Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy,

B. Therefore, we can be confident in our salvation.

Romans 8:33-39 Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God's elect? It is God that justifieth. (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. (35) Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? (36) As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter. (37) Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us. (38) For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, (39) Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

C. I am glad that we can know that we are saved and saved eternally but I am also glad that we can know that the Lord will take care us until He takes us home. We quote some verses often but never want to take them lightly or for granted. Here is one of the most quoted and important:

Hebrews 13:5-6 Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee. (6) So that we may boldly say, The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man shall do unto me.

D. If He will never leave us (and He will not) nor forsake us (and He will not), then we can have confidence that He will take care of us.

1. He will Provide for us. Philippians 4:19 But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.

2. He will Protect us. Psalms 34:6-8 This poor man cried, and the LORD heard him, and saved him out of all his troubles. (7) The angel of the LORD encampeth round about them that fear him, and delivereth them. (8) O taste and see that the LORD is good: blessed is the man that trusteth in him.

3. He will Providentially lead us. Psalms 37:23-24 The steps of a good man are ordered by the LORD: and he delighteth in his way. (24) Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down: for the LORD upholdeth him with his hand.

4. He will Perform for us. Job 23:13-14 But he is in one mind, and who can turn him? and what his soul desireth, even that he doeth. (14) For he performeth the thing that is appointed for me: and many such things are with him.

Conclusion: Confidence brings peace.

a. There is peace in trust - Isaiah 26:3-4 Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee. (4) Trust ye in the LORD for ever: for in the LORD JEHOVAH is everlasting strength:

b. There is peace in trouble - John 14:1 Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me.

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.

c. There is peace in thanksgiving - Philippians 4:6-7 Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. (7) And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

Fables And Endless Genealogies

Temple Baptist Church - 2-29-2012

1 Timothy 1:4

Introduction:

A. As Paul began his letters to young Timothy concerning the proper running of the church, he began with the imperative of sound doctrine. Doctrine is defined as “a principle or body of principles presented for acceptance or belief.” The biblical definition of doctrine is “instruction to be received or believed” so biblical doctrine must be bible based in order to have a right foundation.

B. A fable is defined as “a fictitious narrative or statement.” Therefore, a myth is fiction with no basis of truth. Pulpits are for the preaching and teaching of truth, not for speculation or theories. Doctrinal truth can always be clearly revealed through scriptures. When preaching, a proper interpretation needs to be made before a practical application is given.

C. As a new Christian, I sat under sound, biblical preaching and thank God for it. The first time I was introduced to fables and endless genealogies was at Bible College as these commonly taught heresies were dealt with. I was acquainted with the Gap Theory of Genesis 1 and the Angel Theory of Genesis 6. Later, while pastoring, I dealt with them as I came to certain portions of scripture while teaching.

D. Always remember that true Bible preaching or teaching is to give answers, not genders questions!

1. Unscriptural Traditions of Men - Mark 7:7-9 Howbeit in vain do they worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men. (8) For laying aside the commandment of God, ye hold the tradition of men, as the washing of pots and cups: and many other such like things ye do. (9) And he said unto them, Full well ye reject the commandment of God, that ye may keep your own tradition.

a. Tradition in itself is not all bad as it is simply a custom or traditional way of doing something. Many churches partake of the Lord’s Supper on the 5th Sunday of each quarter. There is nothing wrong with do it like this. Our Lord said, “This do ye as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of me.”

b. We do many things according to tradition and these things are not necessarily bad but, when these traditions cannot be broken, they become taught as commandments of God.

c. Traditions may or may not have biblical basis but should never be contrary to scripture or be equated with spirituality or lack of it.

2. Unscriptural Theories of Men - 1 Timothy 6:20-21 O Timothy, keep that which is committed to thy trust, avoiding profane and vain babblings, and oppositions of science falsely so called: (21) Which some professing have erred concerning the faith. Grace be with thee. Amen.

a. Teachers always have to come up with something “new” when the bible says that there is nothing new under the sun. Everything that I know and preach has already been known and preached. I have no new revelations; I have no new prophecies; I have no new information to give to you.

b. Today’s pulpits and institutions of higher learning are filled with theory instead of biblical fact. A theory is an unproved hypothesis! It is a supposition, an assumption, or a guess.

c. “The Gap Theory” of Genesis 1 is just that: a theory! It allows for “scientific evolution” and “Theistic Evolution.” The Angel Theory” of Genesis 6 is just that: a theory! It destroys the fact of man’s beginning: made in the image of God and introduces half angel-half man monstrosities. The bible is clear on these verses and all true science can be backed up with bible.

d. We are not to guess or speculate because these things gender questions instead of giving answers.

3. Unscriptural Thinking of Man - Colossians 2:8 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.

a. Philosophy defined: Love and pursuit of wisdom by intellectual means and moral self-discipline. The investigation of the nature, causes, or principles of reality, knowledge, or values, based on logical reasoning rather than empirical (to gain knowledge by either direct or indirect observation) methods.

b. Worldly philosophy may or may not be correct! True wisdom and knowledge come from the knowledge of God and His revelation or things natural, moral, and civil.

c. What the bible calls sin has become moral in our society. What the bible calls righteous has become immoral in our society. Good is evil spoken of and evil has become the right way of doing and thinking. Worldly philosophy has become both useless and hurtful.

Conclusion: Here at Temple Baptist Church, we will continue to base our beliefs upon biblical fact, not the surmising of carnal men!

Sunday, February 26, 2012

David: A Man Of Worship

Temple Baptist Church - 2-26-2012

2 Samuel 23:1

Introduction:

A. We have preached for a couple of weeks on the life of David: the only man in the Bible that God said was a man after His own heart. When God makes a statement like that, it behooves us to look closely at the character and life of this man that made him so described. We understand that David was a man of contentment and character which make for attributes of greatness in the sight of the Lord.

B. This morning, I want to look at David in the light of his worship of God. Worship is of the utmost importance in God’s people. Worship is the missing ingredient in the lives of many and is reflected in the lack of biblical worship within the local church. We will never worship publically until we have learned to worship privately.

C. In our text for this morning, we find that David was called “the sweet psalmist of Israel.” Just how many of the 150 psalms David actually wrote is up for debate but’ while this number is not completely confirmed, it is said that 78 psalms were written by David and the other 73 of the 150 are by different writers. 73 Psalms are directly ascribed to him and Psalms 2 and 95 are mentioned in the New Testament as being composed by David. Some of the unascribed Psalms are also thought to have been written by David.

D. When I think of song writing in the realm of worship, I think of Fanny Crosby who wrote about 8,000 hymns which are songs or odes in praise and honor of God. Hymns are songs of worship. David wrote the majority of Israel’s “song book” from which we read this morning.

E. I want to take a biblical look at David’s life where we find the development of worship being evident in almost every aspect of it. Worship is important to us as God’s children and is essential to a proper relationship with Him.

1. David was taught worship by his father. 1 Samuel 16:5-6 And he said, Peaceably: I am come to sacrifice unto the LORD: sanctify yourselves, and come with me to the sacrifice. And he sanctified Jesse and his sons, and called them to the sacrifice. (6) And it came to pass, when they were come, that he looked on Eliab, and said, Surely the LORD'S anointed is before him.

a. Our children need to be taught to worship. They need to see their parents worship and need to attend a church where worship is both welcome and present.

b. David was brought up in a family that worshipped because Jesse came to the sacrifice when invited. He not only came but also brought his sons with the exception of David. Sometimes, the ox is “in the ditch” and so it was with David because the sheep had to be attended to but Jesse even called for David when told to do so.

c. Our children need to see us worship in the home in private and in the church publically.

2. David developed worship in his personal devotions. 1 Samuel 16:16-18 Let our lord now command thy servants, which are before thee, to seek out a man, who is a cunning player on an harp: and it shall come to pass, when the evil spirit from God is upon thee, that he shall play with his hand, and thou shalt be well. (17) And Saul said unto his servants, Provide me now a man that can play well, and bring him to me. (18) Then answered one of the servants, and said, Behold, I have seen a son of Jesse the Bethlehemite, that is cunning in playing, and a mighty valiant man, and a man of war, and prudent in matters, and a comely person, and the LORD is with him.

a. To this point in his life, David was still a keeper of the sheep. Much of his early life was spent alone under the stars with his father’s sheep.

b. Here we see that he was a man who was skillful on an instrument of strings. David no doubt wrote some of these psalms while keeping sheep. The 23rd Psalm could certainly have been written in such a setting: a young man alone with his Lord.

c. The words “Psalm of David” are found 55 times in the Book of Psalms. We can watch others worship but worship must become personal with us and it begins in our private lives.

3. David learned to worship in the hard times of his life. Psalms 43:5 Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou disquieted within me? hope in God: for I shall yet praise him, who is the health of my countenance, and my God.

a. Worship is easy when you are on the “mountain top” but much less likely to take place in the “valleys” of life.

b. Some of the most emotional “worshippers” are the ones who drop out the quickest when times get hard. The reason for this is that they operate upon emotions.

c. Worship is not based upon emotion but upon “worth ship.” What is God worth in our lives? God is worthy of our praise if we feel like it or not.

4. David unashamedly worshipped in his public life. 2 Samuel 6:13-14; 20-22 And it was so, that when they that bare the ark of the LORD had gone six paces, he sacrificed oxen and fatlings. 14 And David danced before the LORD with all his might; and David was girded with a linen ephod. 20 Then David returned to bless his household. And Michal the daughter of Saul came out to meet David, and said, How glorious was the king of Israel to day, who uncovered himself to day in the eyes of the handmaids of his servants, as one of the vain fellows shamelessly uncovereth himself! 21 And David said unto Michal, It was before the LORD, which chose me before thy father, and before all his house, to appoint me ruler over the people of the LORD, over Israel: therefore will I play before the LORD.22 And I will yet be more vile than thus, and will be base in mine own sight: and of the maidservants which thou hast spoken of, of them shall I be had in honour.

a. It mattered not who saw him as he worshipped in front of the people that he ruled over. No shame, no “airs,” and no apologies. With all of his might he danced before the Lord unashamed. He worshipped because of his great love and admiration for his Lord.

b. May the Lord help us to worship unashamed publically. You do not have to shout or swing from the chandeliers in order to worship the Lord but I do believe that inward worship will result in outward praise. I have seen some cry; I have seen some lift a hand; I have heard some praise God vocally; I have seen some sing with all of their hearts; I have seen the smiles on their faces and the beam in their eyes; and I have seen them bow their heads or their knees in the presence of their Maker.

c. Psalm 150 says it all: “Let every thing that hath breath praise the LORD. Praise ye the LORD.” We are all made up different but I believe that this psalm gives no room for an emotionless silence in the presence of a thrice holy God!

5. David Worshipped The Lord Publicly In The Place Of God’s Choosing. (He loved the house of the Lord!)

a. He Found Gladness - Psalms 122:1 I was glad when they said unto me, Let us go into the house of the LORD.

b. He Found Fellowship - Psalms 55:14 We took sweet counsel together, and walked unto the house of God in company.

c. He Found Beauty - Psalms 27:4 One thing have I desired of the LORD, that will I seek after; that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the LORD, and to enquire in his temple.

d. He Found Satisfaction - Psalms 65:4 Blessed is the man whom thou choosest, and causest to approach unto thee, that he may dwell in thy courts: we shall be satisfied with the goodness of thy house, even of thy holy temple.

e. He Found Strength - Psalms 84:4 Blessed are they that dwell in thy house: they will be still praising thee. Selah.

f. He Found Fulfillment - Psalms 84:10 For a day in thy courts is better than a thousand. I had rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God, than to dwell in the tents of wickedness.

6. David worshipped the Lord sacrificially with his substance. 1 Chronicles 21:23-24 And Ornan said unto David, Take it to thee, and let my lord the king do that which is good in his eyes: lo, I give thee the oxen also for burnt offerings, and the threshing instruments for wood, and the wheat for the meat offering; I give it all. 24 And king David said to Ornan, Nay; but I will verily buy it for the full price: for I will not take that which is thine for the LORD, nor offer burnt offerings without cost.

a. David did not worship the Lord without giving. Giving is such an important part of worship because it reveals to the Lord our thanksgiving for all that He has given to us.

b. The first fruits are His along with our free will offerings. He owns it all because all came from Him.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Church Member Appreciation Day

Temple Baptist Church - 2-22-2012

Philippians 1:1-5

Introduction:

A. Sometimes, the pastor needs to have a “Church Member Appreciation Day.” I do both love and appreciate my people. More than you will ever know for you are the family that we left behind. You are the friends that we left behind. You are the purpose of life that we left behind when we left Kentucky some 29 years ago. Temple is home to my family. This where God called us to; this is where our friends are; our friends are a family to us; and we are content to spend the rest of our days with you here.

B. The Philippian Church was a special church – Philippians 4:15-19 (The people cared for the Apostle Paul and did all that they could to take care of him.)

1. In the Bible Belt, there are a lot of churches but very few special ones! It amazes me the concentration of churches in just a few states. It sometimes seems like there is a church on every street. I go down the highway and see an intersection with 4-8 different church signs pointing down a side road. Now we have them starting in restaurants and movie theaters, as if we need more liberal churches in our town.

2. Temple Baptist Church has been a very special church. I cut my spiritual “teeth” in good, fundamental churches but this one has been the best of them all to me. There is a doctrinal correctness to go along with a love for missionaries and each other that is very special. We often fail to realize just what we have until we go to other places and attend another church. I am sure that those churches are special to those who attend also but they are not home. I may be made to feel “at home” but it is not home.

C. I try to preach on a good cross section of Scripture so that our people will receive the “whole counsel of God.” I preach on sin, salvation, sanctification, service, heaven, hell, and almost everything in between. Most churches would not allow the kind of preaching that I do but the Lord and our people have allowed me to stay here for almost 25 years now and I appreciate it.

D. On several occasions, the Apostle Paul made public his thankfulness for the people that God had sent him to minister to. I want to look at a few of those verses tonight because they rightly apply to you.

1. You are saved and beloved of the Lord - Romans 1:7 To all that be in Rome, beloved of God, called to be saints: Grace to you and peace from God our Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ. (I am so glad that you “got in!” It is refreshing to see people who can tell me about a time and take me to a place where the Lord saved them through His marvelous grace. Not a hope so; not a think so; but a “know so salvation.”)

2. You are known worldwide through missions - Romans 1:8 First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for you all, that your faith is spoken of throughout the whole world. (People know about you around the world. Many times men of God have related to me how that they have used you for an example to other churches for you missions giving.)

3. You are a testimony to the community - 1 Corinthians 1:4-6 I thank my God always on your behalf, for the grace of God which is given you by Jesus Christ; 5 That in every thing ye are enriched by him, in all utterance, and in all knowledge; 6 Even as the testimony of Christ was confirmed in you: (We live in days of shallow “Christianity” and most folks in the Bible Belt have the right words and speak the right language but their lives do not reflect a godly change that salvation makes. When I hear about you from other people, it is always in a positive light. The light of Christ shines in you as they behold your good works.)

4. You are unified in doctrine and purpose - Philippians 1:4-8 Always in every prayer of mine for you all making request with joy, 5 For your fellowship in the gospel from the first day until now; 6 Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ: 7 Even as it is meet for me to think this of you all, because I have you in my heart; inasmuch as both in my bonds, and in the defence and confirmation of the gospel, ye all are partakers of my grace. 8 For God is my record, how greatly I long after you all in the bowels of Jesus Christ. (I love to come to church and just be around you. I love to hear you talk, laugh, and share. I often just stand quietly and watch you shake hands and fellowship. You are some of the finest folks that I have ever known and just to be around you makes coming to church a blessing.)

5. You are as odour of a sweet smell to the Lord - Philippians 4:15-18 Now ye Philippians know also, that in the beginning of the gospel, when I departed from Macedonia, no church communicated with me as concerning giving and receiving, but ye only. 16 For even in Thessalonica ye sent once and again unto my necessity. 17 Not because I desire a gift: but I desire fruit that may abound to your account. 18 But I have all, and abound: I am full, having received of Epaphroditus the things which were sent from you, an odour of a sweet smell, a sacrifice acceptable, wellpleasing to God. (The Lord knows your sacrifice and will reward you for it at the Judgment Seat of Christ. You have done right by your pastor’s family. We have been well taken care of over these years.)

6. You are faithful to the church - Colossians 1:3-6 We give thanks to God and the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, praying always for you, 4 Since we heard of your faith in Christ Jesus, and of the love which ye have to all the saints, 5 For the hope which is laid up for you in heaven, whereof ye heard before in the word of the truth of the gospel; 6 Which is come unto you, as it is in all the world; and bringeth forth fruit, as it doth also in you, since the day ye heard of it, and knew the grace of God in truth: (We may not have many folks but we do have faithful folks. Our Sunday morning, Sunday evening, and Wednesday night crowds are virtually the same.)

7. You are doing a good work for the Lord - 1 Thessalonians 1:2-3 We give thanks to God always for you all, making mention of you in our prayers; 3 Remembering without ceasing your work of faith, and labour of love, and patience of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ, in the sight of God and our Father; (When I needed you, you “stepped up to the plate.” You have filled positions that were left empty and have done the work.)

8. You are followers of the Lord and your Pastor - 1 Thessalonians 1:6 And ye became followers of us, and of the Lord, having received the word in much affliction, with joy of the Holy Ghost: (You follow me as I follow Christ. Many people are leaders and not followers; they are teachers and not students. I have tried to lead in a right manner and you have followed in a right manner. I would never intentionally hurt any of you and, even when I make mistakes, the Lord straightens it all out.)

9. You love one another in the Lord - 2 Thessalonians 1:3 We are bound to thank God always for you, brethren, as it is meet, because that your faith groweth exceedingly, and the charity of every one of you all toward each other aboundeth; (You are all different. Different personalities; different likes and dislikes; and yet love and respect one another. We have a wonderful unity in the church for which I praise the Lord!)

10. You stand together in tribulation - 2 Thessalonians 1:3-4 We are bound to thank God always for you, brethren, as it is meet, because that your faith groweth exceedingly, and the charity of every one of you all toward each other aboundeth; 4 So that we ourselves glory in you in the churches of God for your patience and faith in all your persecutions and tribulations that ye endure: (You keep “hanging in there!” Troubles come and go but you faithfully remain. I do not take that lightly. He’s coming and we are leaving!)

Conclusion - 1 Corinthians 16:23-14 The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you. 24 My love be with you all in Christ Jesus. Amen.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

David: A Walk In Integrity

Temple Baptist Church - 2-19-2012

Psalm 26

Introduction:


A. In this Psalm, David speaks of his integrity in verses 1 and 11. He associates integrity with how he acts around sin and interacts with sinners. It is integrity that causes God’s man to stand in an even place.

B. Integrity is a state or quality of being entire or whole; an undivided or unbroken state. For example, “the integrity of the oil tanker’s hull is intact.” It means there are no breaches or cracks. It is still sound and complete. A man or woman of integrity is a person who is morally sound without any compromises or “cracks” in their character where the world can leak in and corrupt their principles.

C. Character is developed, it is not inherent! You can be born into the richest, most influential family in the world and have no character. This truth has been established in many born into rich or royal families. Children are born in innocence but they are also born in sin! They do not have to learn sinfulness as that is bred into their “natural man.”

D. Children must be trained to do right. A child can be trained to do right and still resent it so there must be a time in their lives when they choose to do good because it is right. Battles with the flesh and circumstances in this world develop either character or a lack of it. Character or integrity is a personal choice.

E. Therefore, Integrity is rooted in your private life; integrity is reflected in your personal life; integrity is reinforced in your professional life; then integrity is revealed in your public life. Integrity is not rooted in the public life: it is only revealed there! Integrity is not rooted in our professional life. It is only reinforced there. Those with little integrity will eventually be exposed publicly. If we have integrity it is reinforced in our everyday professional dealings where we beat out its principles on the anvil of personal experience.

F. Integrity is that part of you that lives in close communion and fellowship with the Lord himself. When we root our integrity with Him alone, then just as natural as water running downhill, our integrity will be reflected to those in our personal world with whom we love and live, reinforced in our professional world with those with whom we work and play and revealed in the public world for the glory of God.

G. David purposed in his heart to “walk in integrity” and spent his life developing it. The Psalms reveal some areas of David’s integrity:


1. David learned to place his life in God’s hands - Psalms 3:2-4 Many there be which say of my soul, There is no help for him in God. Selah. (3) But thou, O LORD, art a shield for me; my glory, and the lifter up of mine head. (4) I cried unto the LORD with my voice, and he heard me out of his holy hill. Selah. (Life is hard at best and bad things happen to good people. We can control certain aspects of our lives but there are some things that we cannot control.)
Ecclesiastes 9:11 I returned, and saw under the sun, that the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, neither yet bread to the wise, nor yet riches to men of understanding, nor yet favour to men of skill; but time and chance happeneth to them all.

2. David learned to follow his Shepherd - Psalms 23:1 The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want. (The Lord knows the path ahead; desires only the best for His children; and will lead us in the paths of His choosing.)


3. David learned that it paid to live righteously - Psalms 15:1-2 LORD, who shall abide in thy tabernacle? who shall dwell in thy holy hill? (2) He that walketh uprightly, and worketh righteousness, and speaketh the truth in his heart. (“What goes around comes around” is a reality. You may pay a price for doing right now but payday will come at a later time.)


4. David learned the benefit of fervent prayer - Psalms 5:2-3 Hearken unto the voice of my cry, my King, and my God: for unto thee will I pray. (3) My voice shalt thou hear in the morning, O LORD; in the morning will I direct my prayer unto thee, and will look up. Ecclesiastes 9:11 I returned, and saw under the sun, that the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, neither yet bread to the wise, nor yet riches to men of understanding, nor yet favour to men of skill; but time and chance happeneth to them all. (Call unto me! The effectual fervent prayer of the righteous man availeth much! You may not get what you want the way you want when you want but God will answer in His time and His way!)

5. David learned the value of the God’s of Word - Psalms 12:6-7 The words of the LORD are pure words: as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times. (7) Thou shalt keep them, O LORD, thou shalt preserve them from this generation for ever. (God’s Word is the “root” from which we grow; it is the foundation upon which we build; and the rock on which we stand! It is more important than our necessary food. Heeding it builds character.)

6. A man after God’s own heart pants after the Lord - Psalms 42:1 As the hart panteth after the water brooks, so panteth my soul after thee, O God.

Psalms 63:1 O God, thou art my God; early will I seek thee: my soul thirsteth for thee, my flesh longeth for thee in a dry and thirsty land, where no water is; (Speaking of Christ, the New Testament says “who is our life!” He is more than our Lord and Saviour, He is our Life! Without Him we become nothing; with Him all things are possible and life is worth living.)

7. David learned to love the house of the Lord - Psalms 122:1 I was glad when they said unto me, Let us go into the house of the LORD. (God instituted the local church for several purposes: the mission of reaching a lost world for Christ; the mission of teaching God’s Word and raising our children for Christ; and to meet the manifold needs of His children. We are family and we are friends. In the house of the Lord, we both encourage and are encouraged.)
Psalms 27:4 One thing have I desired of the LORD, that will I seek after; that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the LORD, and to enquire in his temple.

Psalms 84:2 My soul longeth, yea, even fainteth for the courts of the LORD: my heart and my flesh crieth out for the living God.

8. David learned to trust the Lord patiently in troubles - Psalms 40:1-3 I waited patiently for the LORD; and he inclined unto me, and heard my cry. (2) He brought me up also out of an horrible pit, out of the miry clay, and set my feet upon a rock, and established my goings. (3) And he hath put a new song in my mouth, even praise unto our God: many shall see it, and fear, and shall trust in the LORD. (God loves His children and will take care of them in the best possible ways. As we do not always rush in and remove every problem for our children, He allows us to grow through our troubles because tribulation worketh patience, patience experience, and experience hope.)
Psalms 4:8 I will both lay me down in peace, and sleep: for thou, LORD, only makest me dwell in safety.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

David: A Man After God’s Own Heart

Temple Baptist Church - 2-12-2010

Acts 16:22-23; I Samuel 16:1-13

Introduction:

A. This morning, I want to look at one of the greatest of all Bible characters: David.

1. David’s name is mentioned 1139 times in the Bible. We read many verses this morning looking from the end of King David’s life back to the day of his anointing as King of Israel. There are many good way to look at the bible and this is one of the best. The Old Testament is prophetic in types and shadows while the New Testament brings those types and shadows to light.

2. I enjoy reading and have often taken a “sneak peek” at the ending then returned to the beginning and saw just how the author developed his story while knowing the outcome. It is a great way to study your bible. Look at the last mention of a particular subject and then, with that in mind, go to the first mention of the subject and watch as God reveals His will.

B. In our text verses, we find a “change in command” made by God Himself.


1. God’s Rejection of King Saul - 1 Samuel 15:22-23 And Samuel said, Hath the LORD as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the LORD? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams. (23) For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry. Because thou hast rejected the word of the LORD, he hath also rejected thee from being king. (Saul rejected the Word of the Lord. He understood fully what God had commanded. Saul was strong willed man and placed his desires above God’s will. He disobeyed the Word of the Lord.)

2. God’s Selection of King David - 1 Samuel 16:12-13 And he sent, and brought him in. Now he was ruddy, and withal of a beautiful countenance, and goodly to look to. And the LORD said, Arise, anoint him: for this is he. (13) Then Samuel took the horn of oil, and anointed him in the midst of his brethren: and the Spirit of the LORD came upon David from that day forward. So Samuel rose up, and went to Ramah.

C. David was God’s choice of a king to lead His people. Acts 13:22-23 And when he had removed him, he raised up unto them David to be their king; to whom also he gave testimony, and said, I have found David the son of Jesse, a man after mine own heart, which shall fulfil all my will. Of this man’s seed hath God according to his promise raised unto Israel a Saviour, Jesus:

1. vs. 6 - God did not choose David according to birthright. The first born was given tremendous privileges. He can and will use anyone!

2. vs. 7 – God did not choose David according to outward appearance. It makes no difference what race, gender, or social status. God is no respecter of appearance. He can and will use anyone!

3. vs. 11 – God did not choose David according to age. He will use young, middle aged, or old. God is no respecter of age. He can and will use anyone!

D. Man has a tendency to look upon the outward appearance. (1 Samuel 16:6-7) Samuel said “SURELY” this is the Lord’s anointed! The outward can certainly tell us certain things, but the outward can be a fa├žade while the inward man is full of sin.

Matthew 23:27 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye are like unto whited sepulchres, which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead men’s bones, and of all uncleanness.

E. David was God’s choice because he was godly in character. Verse 7 says, “The Lord looketh on the heart!” There was something special about David that his older brothers did not have, but God saw it.

Proverbs 23:7a For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he: (Life and living for Christ is a heart issue and as a man thinketh in his heart, so is he. Salvation begins with the heart and ends with the heart. It is with the heart that man believeth unto righteousness (Salvation) and the battle for supremacy in the heart rages for the rest of his life (Sanctification and Service).

F. I want to look at the character of David that helped to make him a man after God’s own heart. Vs. 6-12 – notice the outward man verses the inward man. The key word here is the word heart. Character is a heart matter, not an inherent matter. You are not born with character. Character must be developed in an individual. I once read a sign that went like this: “You either have character or you are one.” (Character is developed, not born in you.)

CHARACTER The peculiar qualities, impressed by nature or habit on a person, which distinguish him from others; these constitute real character, and the qualities, which he is supposed to possess, constitute his estimated character, or reputation.

1. David Was A Content Man – vs. 11 - “he keepeth the sheep” vs. 19 – “which is with the sheep” (Verse 19 was after David had been anointed King! You will never be greatly used until you learn contentment!)

Philippians 4:11 Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.

1 Timothy 6:6-8 But godliness with contentment is great gain. 7 For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out. 8 And having food and raiment let us be therewith content.

2. David Was A Controlled Man – vs. 13 – “the Spirit of the Lord came upon David from that day forward” - Ephesians 5:18 And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit;

Luke 4:1 And Jesus being full of the Holy Ghost returned from Jordan, and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness. (If Jesus needed to be filled with the Holy Ghost, how much more do we need Him?)

3. David Was A Committed Man – vs. 16 – It takes commitment to be a “cunning player on an harp.” A harp is a difficult instrument to master with all of its strings and sounds. CUNNING, a. [G. See Can.] Knowing; skillful; experienced; well instructed. It is applied to all kinds of knowledge, but generally and appropriately, to the skill and dexterity of artificers, or the knowledge acquired by experience.

Hebrews 5:14 But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil. (You only gain experience by doing. Sitters never gain experience.)

4. David Was A Courageous Man – vs. 18 – “a mighty valiant man, and a man of war” - Psalms 144:1 Blessed be the LORD my strength, which teacheth my hands to war, and my fingers to fight.

1 Chronicles 28:3 But God said unto me, Thou shalt not build an house for my name, because thou hast been a man of war, and hast shed blood.

Exodus 15:3 The LORD is a man of war: the LORD is his name. (You will never be a man after God’s own heart until you are willing to fight for the right causes and pay the price of war.)

5. David Was A Confident Man – vs. 18 – “and the Lord is with him” - Psalms 27:4-6 One thing have I desired of the LORD, that will I seek after; that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the LORD, and to enquire in his temple. 5 For in the time of trouble he shall hide me in his pavilion: in the secret of his tabernacle shall he hide me; he shall set me up upon a rock. 6 And now shall mine head be lifted up above mine enemies round about me: therefore will I offer in his tabernacle sacrifices of joy; I will sing, yea, I will sing praises unto the LORD. (A man after God’s own heart is one who walks with the Lord and that walk brings about a confidence.)


Sunday, February 5, 2012

This Is The Word

Temple Baptist Church - 2-5-2012

1 Peter 1:23-25

Introduction:

A. As bible believers, we make much of God’s Word and such should be the case
. Psalm 138:2 describes how the Lord sees His word. He has magnified it above all His name.

1. The foundation for all faith is found within its pages.

2. The basis of our salvation is found in its truths.

3. The hope of our eternity is found in its promises.

4. The peace in our heart is found in its comfort.

5. The encouragement of our souls is found its guidance.

B. The King James Bible stands alone as one of a kind. There is none like it.

1. I love to read it; I love to study it; I love to preach it; and I love to share it.

2. I stand upon it and stand for it. I champion the King James Bible, God’s holy Word!

3. It saved me; it keeps me; and it changed me; it encourages me; it guides me; it convicts me; it admonishes me; it chastens me; it feeds me; and it illuminates me!

4. The bible is complete in its revelation; miraculous in its unity; powerful in its ability; wonderful in its knowledge; and blessed in its reading!

5. It is unique and the Jewel of the Ages! To deny it is foolish and to reject it is damning!

C. 1 Peter 1:23-25 Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever. (24) For all flesh is as grass, and all the glory of man as the flower of grass. The grass withereth, and the flower thereof falleth away: (25) But the word of the Lord endureth for ever. And this is the word which by the gospel is preached unto you. In verse 23-25, we find:

1. Its purpose (being born again)

2. Its purity (incorruptible)

3. Its Person (God)

4. Its permanence (abideth for ever)

5. Its promise (endureth for ever)

6. Its power (gospel)

7. Its preaching (preached)

8. Its partaking (unto you)

D. We as an independent Bible-believing Baptist church base everything that we believe and preach upon the fact that the Bible is a miracle book! It is the foundation on which all faith and practice is based. Written by men who were supernaturally inspired, it is the only complete and final revelation of God to man. From Genesis to Revelation it stands unified without error or contradiction. I want to take another look at this miraculous book this morning.

1. The Bible Is Miraculous In Its Inspiration - 2 Timothy 3:16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:


a. God breathed! Every word pure; every doctrine pure; every historical fact pure; every scientific fact pure; every prophecy perfect!

b. Inspiration is the determining influence that acted upon the sacred authors, moving them to put into writing the revelation which they had received from God.

c. We believe the Bible to be verbally inspired; that is every word is literally "God-breathed" so that we can look to the Scriptures and declare; "Thus saith the Lord!"

d. Everything we know about God, and all of our doctrine that is taught and preached is because God, through inspiration, has recorded His Word in the Bible!

2. The Bible Is Miraculous In Its revelation - 2 Peter 1:21 For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost. (This refers to the controlling influence which God exerted over the human authors by whom the Old and New Testaments were written. Revelation involved the communication of truth from God to man, and inspiration involved the recording of that truth.)

3. The Bible Is Miraculous In Its Compilation - 1 Corinthians 13:12 For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known. (It is a book of marvelous unity and agreement.)

a. Its Authors – 40 different writers spanning over 1500 years without one contradiction or error.

b. Its Books - Books in the Bible: 66; Books in the Old Testament: 39; Books in the New Testament: 27

c. Its Chapters: Chapters in the Bible: 1189; Chapters in the Old Testament: 929; Chapters in the New Testament: 260.

d. Its Verses - Verses in the Bible: 31,173; Verses in the Old Testament: 23,214; Verses in the New Testament: 7,959

e. Its Words - Words in the Bible: 773,692; Words in the Old Testament: 592,439; Words in the New Testament: 181,253 (I said that to say this: no contradictions and no errors! More than amazing; it is divine.)

4. The Bible Is Miraculous In Its Illumination - Psalms 119:130 The entrance of thy words giveth light; it giveth understanding unto the simple. (Illumination is the supernatural help granted by the Spirit of God to the reader of Holy Scripture to enable him to lay hold on the divine message.)

1 Corinthians 2:12-14 Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God. (13) Which things also we speak, not in the words which man's wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual. (14) But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.

5. The Bible Is Miraculous In Its Preservation - Psalms 12:6-7 The words of the LORD are pure words: as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times. (7) Thou shalt keep them, O LORD, thou shalt preserve them from this generation for ever.

a. The Bible is a unique book: only a small percentage of books survive for more than a quarter of a century and even less survive for a hundred years with only a very small number survive for a 1000 years.

b. However, the Word of God has survived for thousands of years. No other book has survived the perils of the centuries as has the Bible.

c. Times have drastically changed; rulers have risen to power and fallen; the Word of God has been banned and burned; men have been commanded not to preach from its pages, yet it has always been preserved!

Matthew 24:35 says, "Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away."

Luke 16:17 says, "And it is easier for heaven and earth to pass, than one tittle of the law to fail."

6. The Bible Is Miraculous In Its Salvation - Romans 10:17 So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.

a. It has the power to convict of sin - Acts 2:37 Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart and said, Men and brethren what shall we do?

b. It has the power to convert the sinner - 1 Peter 1:23 Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the Word of God which liveth and abideth forever. (The human heart is the soil, the Word of God is the seed, God quickens it by the Holy Spirit, and the result is the salvation of man's soul! Paul said, "For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth..." Romans 1:16.)

c. It has the power to change the saved - Ephesians 4:25b-26 Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; that He might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of the water by the word. (Sanctify and cleanse means that the Word has the power to purify our lives inside and out. Not only will the Word of God take the impurity out of the heart, but it will cleanse the outward life and make us usable in His service.)

Conclusion: We believe that we have a supernatural Bible! It is a miracle book! It is miraculous in its Inspiration, in its Preservation, and in its Power. Our position on the Bible separates us from many other churches and groups of believers. We are BIBLE BELIEVING BAPTISTS! We believe that the King James Bible is the final authority in matters of faith and practice. God inspired it, preserved it, and empowered it...we are privileged to proclaim it here and around the world! THIS IS THE WORD!



Wednesday, February 1, 2012

The Local Church

Temple Baptist Church - 2-1-2012

Philippians 1:1

Introduction:

A. Paul is writing with a two-fold purpose:

1. To encourage the saints in light of his imprisonment by letting them know that he is in bonds in the will of God. God often uses dire circumstances to work His will and to accomplish spiritual ends. Trials and tribulations make us more dependent upon the Lord and strengthen us spiritually.

2. To commend the Philippian believers for the work and labor of love in the area of missions and promises them that, as their power to give ebbs and flows, God meets the needs of Him men through others.

B. As we begin the Book of Philippians, I want us to turn our attention to the first verse because it is one of a kind in the Pauline Epistles. In all other of his epistles, the Apostle Paul wrote to the saints in general or to individuals. This salutation is different as he mentions not only the saints but also the offices of that local church.

C. Over the past few decades, there has been a movement across America to minimize the importance of the local church. I do not know what there is about “not forsaking the assembling of yourselves together” that the modern day “Christian” does not get but, to me, the command is plain and simple to understand. I love to use the phrase “Not means no and no means never.” The Bible strongly emphasizes the local church.

D. The local church has organization that curtails confusion and division. Today’s churches are “laid back” in both organization and worship to make the carnal believer and the lost religionist feel right at home in the presence of a thrice holy God. God is neither the Author of confusion nor does He condone carnality in worship.

E. I may take these first couple of weeks preaching on the local church. I will not preach a series but will take my time dealing with this particular subject matter. I preach along these lines occasionally because of the “drifting” that has and is occurring in the Bible Belt. I am a strong local church preacher. I believe that its Founder is the Lord, its organization is Divine, its worship is pure, and its purpose is pointed.

F. Tonight, let’s look at what Paul pointed out in his salutation concerning the Philippian Church. There are three distinct classes of believers in the local church. By classes, I am not speaking of importance or worth, because all three are important and have definite purpose. Each is nothing without the other two.

G. I will deal with them in the order of mention.

1. The Saints - Act 2:41-43, 46-47 Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls. (42) And they continued stedfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers. (43) And fear came upon every soul: and many wonders and signs were done by the apostles … (46) And they, continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart, (47) Praising God, and having favour with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved.

a. The Were Added – “gladly received” These individuals got the “real thing” and it showed in the immediate change of life. They were, for the most part, orthodox Jews who love the Temple and rejected Christianity. Now, they became identified with Jesus Christ, the rejected One, and the people of like precious faith. So many people get “saved” and never leave the false doctrine and deadness of their former religions.

b. They Assembled – “added unto them” Those who were truly saved had no problem with either baptism or attendance! There is a distinct difference between religion and salvation and that difference is evidenced here. When people get “saved” and have to be dragged to church and pushed into the baptismal waters, they are possibly missing something.

c. They Adhered – “continued steadfastly in the apostles doctrine” They became “sheep” instead of “goats!” Goats “butt” and are often unruly. These believers recognized and accepted the truth being taught through the power of the preached Word and the inward dwelling of the Holy Ghost.

d. They Adored – “Praising God” Their assembly was punctuated by worship and glorification of the One who saved them. They worshipped unashamed and loved unreserved. Their hearts forever changed and filled with the love of Christ and His church.

e. They Became Active – “fellowship…breaking of bread…prayers” They followed God’s men, adhered to the doctrine taught, were faithful in fellowship, and became prayer warriors. They were not “pew sitters!” The work of the church must be done corporately!

f. They Added – “such as should be saved” God uses “sheep” to begat “sheep.” As their friends and loved ones saw the change that came through real salvation, they desired the same. From faith to faith is God’s way of propagating the gospel. We are saved and then tell others. Church visitation is an everyday event as God’s people mix and mingle with the unsaved both in public and within their families.

2. The Bishops - Jeremiah 3:15 And I will give you pastors according to mine heart, which shall feed you with knowledge and understanding. (There are denominations and churches that have women pastors and preachers. These churches are willfully ignorant of the scripture. A bishop must be the husband of one wife. This qualification also applies to missionaries and evangelists or preachers of any kind. If these verses in 1 Timothy only apply to the office of a bishop—then then the evangelists, missionary, or other preachers do not have to meet any qualifications!)


a. The Design of the Pastor – 1 Timothy 3:1 This is a true saying, If a man desire the office of a bishop, he desireth a good work. (It is an office! “Superintendence” To be placed in charge or to be director over. As the Godhead is triune, so is the body of the church. Chain of command is by divine design and is essential for the welfare and work of the local church. Without it, there would be much confusion because of a lack of spiritual leadership.)

b. The Description of the Pastor – Ephesians 4:11-15 And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; (12) For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: (13) Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ: (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; (15) But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ: (He is God’s man for you! Without apology, he is special because of his office, not because of his person. If he is God’s man, he will lead you right, he will love you right, he will advise you right, and will never intentionally hurt any of you.)

c. The Duties of the Pastor – 1 Corinthians 9:16-17 For though I preach the gospel, I have nothing to glory of: for necessity is laid upon me; yea, woe is unto me, if I preach not the gospel! (17) For if I do this thing willingly, I have a reward: but if against my will, a dispensation of the gospel is committed unto me. (God’s man is divinely obligated! God’s call is not optional; God’s call is a stewardship. He is not to be lazy or lax in his obligation. The pastorate is not an easy way to make a living, it is a ministry.)

1) The Pastor Is A Shepherd - 1 Peter 5:2-3 Feed the flock of God which is among you, taking the oversight thereof, not by constraint, but willingly; not for filthy lucre, but of a ready mind; Neither as being lords over God's heritage, but being ensamples to the flock. (This speaks of both authority and obligation.)

2) The Pastor Is A Watchman

a) Warns Against Sin - Ezekiel 3:17-21 Son of man, I have made thee a watchman unto the house of Israel: therefore hear the word at my mouth, and give them warning from me. When I say unto the wicked, Thou shalt surely die; and thou givest him not warning, nor speakest to warn the wicked from his wicked way, to save his life; the same wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at thine hand. Yet if thou warn the wicked, and he turn not from his wickedness, nor from his wicked way, he shall die in his iniquity; but thou hast delivered thy soul Again, When a righteous man doth turn from his righteousness, and commit iniquity, and I lay a stumblingblock before him, he shall die: because thou hast not given him warning, he shall die in his sin, and his righteousness which he hath done shall not be remembered; but his blood will I require at thine hand. Nevertheless if thou warn the righteous man, that the righteous sin not, and he doth not sin, he shall surely live, because he is warned; also thou hast delivered thy soul. (Wicked Lost and Wicked Saved)

b) Warn Against False Teachers - Acts 20:29-31 For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock. Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them. Therefore watch, and remember, that by the space of three years I ceased not to warn every one night and day with tears.

3) The Pastor Is A Preacher

a) Always Instant - 2 Timothy 4:2 Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine.

b) All Inclusive - Acts 20:26-27 Wherefore I take you to record this day, that I am pure from the blood of all men. (27) For I have not shunned to declare unto you all the counsel of God.

1a. Preaches Salvation to the Lost

2a. Preaches Sanctification to the Saved

4) The Pastor Is A Teacher - 1 Peter 5:2 Feed the flock of God which is among you, taking the oversight thereof, not by constraint, but willingly; not for filthy lucre, but of a ready mind;

5) The Pastor Is A Friend - 2 Corinthians 12:15 And I will very gladly spend and be spent for you; though the more abundantly I love you, the less I be loved.

3. The Deacons - 1 Timothy 3:8-12 Likewise must the deacons be grave, not doubletongued, not given to much wine, not greedy of filthy lucre; (9) Holding the mystery of the faith in a pure conscience. (10) And let these also first be proved; then let them use the office of a deacon, being found blameless. (11) Even so must their wives be grave, not slanderers, sober, faithful in all things. (12) Let the deacons be the husbands of one wife, ruling their children and their own houses well. (Many churches have both men and women deacons but do err concerning the Scriptures. The qualifications for a deacon are the same as those of the bishop. He must be the “husband of one wife.” Those that err try to go to the Greek text underlying our English Bible to prove their appointment of women deacons. In Romans 16:1, Paul calls Phebe a “servant” of the church. The word “servant” used in this verse is the same word used in 1 Timothy 3 when giving the appointment and qualifications of deacons. Therefore, they concur that Phebe was a deacon in the local church. The Scofield Reference Bible adds to this confusion with its center column reference concerning the word “servant.” If you have a Scofield Bible, you will notice a little “s” if front of the word “servant” in verse 1. The center column explains the notation by calling Phebe a deaconess! There are two problems with Phebe being a deacon: 1) According to 1 Timothy 3, she is disqualified by not being able to be the husband of one wife 2) 1 Timothy 3 speaks of the “office” of a deacon and Romans 16 makes no such claim. Phebe was a precious lady who did what she could to serve the church but did not hold the office of a deacon. Though the scriptures say little concerning this particular office, good deacons are invaluable to the work of the local church.)

a. Deacons are invaluable to the local church - Acts 6:1 And in those days, when the number of the disciples was multiplied, there arose a murmuring of the Grecians against the Hebrews, because their widows were neglected in the daily ministration. (Many times, people do not receive the visits that they both need and deserve when sick, in nursing homes, or in the hospitals. The pastor is expected to do all of the visiting and good pastors do make visits but, if he is the only one who visits the sick, those in nursing homes, or in the hospitals—those needing the visits will not get many visits! Churches do not realize how busy a pastor is during the week. My week gets planned out very quickly and, if not careful, I will let all of those plans interfere with the most important aspects of the pastorate. Our people who are sick and in need should have visits from someone besides the pastor or they will think that no one else cares.)

b. Deacons are invaluable to the pastor - Acts 6:2-4 Then the twelve called the multitude of the disciples unto them, and said, It is not reason that we should leave the word of God, and serve tables. (3) Wherefore, brethren, look ye out among you seven men of honest report, full of the Holy Ghost and wisdom, whom we may appoint over this business. (4) But we will give ourselves continually to prayer, and to the ministry of the word. (Good deacons “serve tables” to keep the pastor from having to do so. The main work of the pastor is two-fold: prayer and the Word of God. Study and prayer time are ever so important to the pastor: 1) For his personal wellbeing 2) For the wellbeing of the pulpit! These men of God are not only table waiters but are also sources of encouragement and counsel to the pastor. Their faithfulness to the Lord, the church, and their pastor is a blessing that only heaven will reveal completely. Good deacons are blessed: 1 Timothy 3:13 “For they that have used the office of a deacon well purchase to themselves a good degree, and great boldness in the faith which is in Christ Jesus.”)