A Prayer Of David (Psalm 86)

 

Tonight we’re going to read from the 86th Psalm…

A prayer of David. [1] Incline your ear, O LORD, and answer me, for I am poor and needy.

  1. We’ll see in verse fourteen that certain people wanted David dead.
  2. But David believes that God cares enough about him to intervene.
  3. And, he admits, “I am poor and needy.”
    1. He knows there’s no way he can help himself.
    2. But God “raises the poor from the dust and lifts the needy from the ash heap.” (Ps. 113:7)

 

So he prays…Read More »

God Is Not Mocked (Galatians 6)

 

  1. We’re going to finish Galatians today, and we’ve seen that the main point was to show how Christians are free from the law.
    1. We’re saved by grace through faith and not of works.
    2. And Paul stressed it to the point that he said, “if you accept circumcision, Christ will be of no advantage to you.” (5:2)
    3. He said, “stand firm…and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery.” (5:1)
  2. We’re so free that some people might wonder, what’s to stop us from running wild?.
    1. Well, Paul’s answer was, if you “walk by the Spirit…you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. (v. 16)
    2. Instead, you’ll bear the fruit of the Spirit, which is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.
  3. Last time, we talked about how that means we won’t be conceited, but instead we’ll treat others the same way Christ treated us:
    1. Anyone who is caught in a transgression will be restored gently.
    2. And those who do the restoring will be careful not to do it in pride.
  4. Well, now we’ll finish the last chapter with a couple more points on how it looks when we live by faith.

 

Let’s start in verse six…Read More »

Samson Pt. 1 (Judges 13)

 

  1. The book of Judges shows how Israel always failed to keep the covenant.
    1. No matter how many chances God gave them, they eventually abandoned him for false gods.
    2. They didn’t realize it, but they were slaves to sin and totally depraved.
  2. They only cared about him when they needed his help, and he finally refused to do anything else.
    1. He was finished with them.
    2. And he told them to go ask their other gods to set them free.
  3. But the people repented, and he’s compassionate, so he sent Jephthah.
    1. Then he sent Ibzan, then Elon, and then Abdon. (12:8-15)
    2. But no one could control the people.
  4. So, we’re coming to the end of the book, and there’s only one more judge mentioned.
    1. Now, there are a few more mentioned in First Samuel (4:18; 8:1-5), but they serve a different purpose to the story.
      1. They show the transition from judges to kings.
    2. All the judges up to now show the futility of trying to serve God in the flesh.
      1. They prove that Israel can’t obey the covenant or control their sinful natures, and no one can help them.
      2. That’s why the book ends with those two stories in chapters seventeen and nineteen.
        1. You have, first, the Levite who sells his religion for profit. And the guy who hires him thinks God will bless him for it.
        2. And then the second story tells of the woman who was terribly abused and murdered.
      3. The Israelites had no love for God or for each other.
        1. They couldn’t even fulfill the most basic part of the law.
        2. They were, in their own power, no better than the pagans around them.
      4. No number of judges could help them.
    3. But the judges also give some hope in that they show us what to expect in Christ.
      1. They were saviors who fought to free God’s people from oppression.
      2. They risked their lives to drive out the enemy.
      3. They helped usher in times of peace and prosperity.
      4. Despite their imperfections and limited power, they make us look for the ultimate Judge and Savior.
    4. And I think Samson is one of the greatest examples because he met both extremes.
      1. On one hand, his life points to Christ.
        1. He had such amazing strength and fought single-handedly to free God’s people.
      2. But, on the other hand, he wasn’t enough.
        1. He’s evidence that no amount of human strength can ever overcome sin’s dominion.
        2. The problem is in the head and in the heart, and the war is spiritual in nature.
      3. Samson proves that we need an amazing savior, but no one can do it except God’s own Son.
      4. So, as we read these next four chapters, I want you to keep that in mind and watch for Christ.

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The Five Solas (Pt. 2)

 

  1. Last week we started talking about the basics of the gospel using what are sometimes called the Five Solas of the Reformation.
    1. The word sola is just a Latin word that means “only” or “alone.”
    2. And, the Reformation was when a group of protesters (Protestants) tried to reform the Catholic Church.
      1. You see, the Church sold indulgences, which they said allowed forgiveness for certain types of sin.
        1. They said, “Give God a little money, and you can be forgiven.”
      2. Well, the response was that forgiveness can’t be bought.
        1. The wages of sin is death” (Rom. 6:23), and “without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sins.” (Heb. 9:22)
        2. So, they said, salvation is granted by grace alone through faith alone.
    3. And, there you have the first two Solas: grace only and faith only.
    4. Then, in the early 1900’s, Scripture alone, in Christ alone, and to the glory of God alone were added.
  2. Taken together, they say that spiritual truth is found in Scripture Alone and that it teaches salvation by Grace Alone, through Faith Alone, in Christ Alone, to the Glory of God Alone.
    1. So, the Five Solas are relatively new, but the truth behind them isn’t.
    2. It’s a convenient way to explain the gospel, and it’s still useful today.
  3. We’ve already seen how spiritual truth is found in Scripture Alone.
    1. We talked about how there are so many different opinions, traditions, and religions.
      1. And, how are we supposed to know which are true?
    2. Well, we can start with the fact that there’s no way to know spiritual truth without knowledge of the spiritual world.
      1. We need revelation from God.
      2. And, the Bible is that revelation, and it tells us everything God wants us to know about spiritual things.
      3. It’s the only thing that comes from him, so it’s the only authority on these things.
      4. That means it’s the only thing we can believe.
        1. It doesn’t matter what your parents taught, what your pastor says, or what the commentaries say.
        2. It doesn’t matter how you feel about something or what your gut says.
        3. Your morals, and culture, and upbringing are irrelevant.
        4. Anything that claims spiritual truth but doesn’t agree with the Bible, is wrong.
  4. And the Bible teaches that salvation is by Grace Alone, through Faith Alone, in Christ Alone, to the Glory of God Alone!

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The Five Solas (Pt. 1)

 

  1. This past week we went to Bladon Springs to preach the gospel through what we called the Sola Trail.
    1. Now, the name comes from what is often called the Five Solas of the Reformation.
    2. Of course, we used a light version with the kids, but I’d like to talk about them this morning in more detail.
  2. Just to give you an idea of how they came to be, let me give you a two-minute history:
    1. Constantine legalized Christianity in Rome in the early 300’s.
    2. Then he gave the church a lot of money, and people started to compete for it.
    3. And, you can imagine what kind of people they were, and how they affected the church.
      1. They slowly built the system which is now Catholicism.
      2. And the leaders claimed to be the true representatives of Christianity.
      3. But they added a whole bunch of doctrines that just weren’t biblical, so the gospel was corrupted.
    4. And that didn’t go well for true believers, so several men spoke out against them.
      1. And I’m thinking specifically of the 1500’s now, the time of The Protestant Reformation.
      2. The Catholic Church sold “indulgences,” which, they said allowed people to be forgiven for certain types of sin.
      3. The people who spoke out argued that forgiveness couldn’t be bought because salvation is granted by grace alone through faith alone.
    5. And these two points were the beginning of what would become known as the Five Solas:
      1. The Latin word, Sola means “only” or “alone.”
      2. Salvation is by grace alone and through faith alone.
      3. Then, in the early 1900’s, it was more fully fleshed out with the other three Solas:
        1. Scripture alone, Christ alone, and the Glory of God alone.
        2. So, taken together, the Five Solas say that spiritual truth is found in Scripture Alone and that the Scripture teaches salvation by Grace Alone, through Faith Alone, in Christ Alone, to the Glory of God Alone.
    6. So, putting them together as the Five Solas is relatively new, but the truth behind them is not.
      1. It’s a convenient way to explain the gospel, and it’s as useful today as it was during the Reformation.

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Bear Each Other’s Burdens (Galatians 6)

 

  1. When we last left off in Galatians, we were reading about the freedom found in the gospel.
    1. Paul said, “You were called to freedom, (v. 13) and this freedom is from the law, so it’s also freedom from its condemnation.
    2. We talked about how we’re not bound to the law of Moses.
    3. So we don’t worry about the curses promised for breaking it.
  2. But someone might wonder whether this affects (or doesn’t affect) our conduct.
  3. And so, Paul says, “do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another.” (v. 13)
    1. We talked about how the gospel fulfills the requirement of righteousness in us.
    2. Instead of telling us what we ought to be or must be, the gospel changes who we are and makes us new creatures.
  4. And this is all of faith, so it’s of the Spirit, and, if you “walk by the Spirit…you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. (v. 16)
    1. So, basically, if you have God’s righteousness, then you’ll also have his fruit.
    2. And that fruit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.

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The Fruit of The Spirit (Galatians 5)

 

  1. The big struggle for the Galatians was trying to decide how much of the law was needed for their salvation.
  2. So Paul wrote to tell them that their focus was totally wrong.
    1. The only thing that matters is what Christ did for us on the cross.
    2. He died, and that means he’s free from the law’s demands.
    3. And we died with him, so we’re also free from its demands and its curses and condemnation.
  3. This is what we mean when we talk about salvation being by grace through faith.
    1. To go back to the law, then, is foolish.
    2. We can’t earn it, and we don’t even want to try.
  4. So, he says, “Stand firm…and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery.
    1. He wants us to rebel against any doctrine that says we should try to be righteous by works.
    2. He doesn’t want us to put our focus on religion or morality in regard to being right with God.
  5. But it’s not that we don’t care about righteousness or right living.
    1. Rather, we know that true righteousness is obtained by faith and through the Spirit.
    2. We know we can simply live in freedom and trust God to provide righteousness.

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