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Pastor Scott Markle

Independent Fundamental Baptist
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    Pastor Scott Markle got a reaction from *Light* for a sermon entry, Wisdom Crieth Without - Proverbs 1:20Ff   
    Proverbs 1:20-33 is the first occasion in the book of the Proverbs wherein we encounter the personification of Wisdom as a virtuous woman who calls for us to come unto her and learn her ways of righteousness. (Proverbs 8:6-8) This activity of personified Wisdom is also encountered in Proverbs 8:1-36 and in Proverbs 9:1-12. Through these passages we find a progression to the call of personified Wisdom, and thereby we find five responsibilities that we are to maintain toward the wisdom of God’s Holy Word. (Contextual note: I myself believe that the personified Wisdom of Proverbs represents the wisdom of God*s Word.)

    Repentance

    First, we must repent of (turn from) our selfish, sinful ways at the reproof of God’s Holy Word. This we must do in order that we might be able to learn the wisdom of God’s Holy Word. In Proverbs 1:22-23 the personified Wisdom of God’s Word proclaims, “How long, ye simple ones, will ye love simplicity? And the scorners delight in their scorning, and fools hate knowledge? Turn you at my reproof: behold, I will pour out my spirit unto you, I will make known my words unto you.” Indeed, this is where our growth in the wisdom of God’s Word must begin – with repentance. If we will not turn at the reproof of God’s Word, then we cannot learn the spiritual wisdom of God’s Word.

    Reception

    Second, we must receive (hear) the truth of God’s Holy Word with all readiness of mind and all meekness of heart. This we must do in order that we might be transformed through the wisdom of God’s Holy Word. In Proverbs 8:5-6 the personified Wisdom of God’s Word proclaims, “O ye simple, understand wisdom: and, ye fools, be ye of an understanding heart. Hear; for I will speak of excellent things; and the opening of my lips shall be right things.” Again in Proverbs 8:10 she proclaims, “Receive my instruction, and not silver; and knowledge rather than choice gold.” Indeed, we should be more motivated to acquire the treasures of God’s wisdom through His Word, than to acquire the treasures of material wealth in this world. (See also Proverbs 3:13-15)

    Reverence

    Third, we must revere (love) the truth of God’s Holy Word, seeking after its wisdom each day with great priority. This we must do in order that we might walk in the blessings of our Lord’s daily fellowship and of the abundant spiritual life. In Proverbs 8:17 the personified Wisdom of God’s Word proclaims, “I love them that love me; and those that seek me early shall find me.” Again in Proverbs 8:34-35 she proclaims, “Blessed is the man that heareth me, watching daily at my gates, waiting at the posts of my doors. For whoso findeth me findeth life, and shall OBtain favour of the LORD.” Indeed, there is no greater blessing in this life than our Lord’s fellowship and the abundant spiritual life. Yet in Proverbs 8:36 the personified Wisdom of God’s Word delivers the warning, “But he that sinneth against me wrongeth his own soul: all they that hate me love death.”

    Rejection

    Fourth, we must reject (forsake) the foolish, that is – all those who rebel against the truth of God’s Holy Word. This we must do in order that we might not be influence by their close companionship to turn back from the righteous ways of God’s Holy Word. In the opening portion of Proverbs 9:6, the personified Wisdom of God’s Word proclaims, “Forsake the foolish, and live.” Indeed, we must not walk in the way with the spiritually foolish, but must turn away from their companionship, counsel, and course. (See Proverbs 1:15; 4:14-15) “He that walketh with wise men shall be wise: but a companion of fools shall be destroyed.” (Proverbs 13:20)

    Responsiveness

    Finally, we must respond to the instruction of God’s Holy Word with committed, consistent OBedience. This we must do in order that we might be prosperous in our spiritual growth, and might not be self-deceived in our negligence. In Proverbs 8:32-33 the personified Wisdom of God’s Word proclaims, “Now therefore hearken unto me, O ye children: for blessed are they that keep my ways. Hear instruction, and be wise, and refuse it not.” Again in the closing portion of Proverbs 9:6, she proclaims, “And go in the way of understanding.” Indeed, we must hearken unto, follow after, and go in the righteous ways that God’s Word instructs. We must be “doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving [our] own selves.” (James 1:22)
  2. Like
    Pastor Scott Markle got a reaction from *Light* for a sermon entry, Let Us Examine Ourselves - 1 Corinthians 11:28   
    Speaking of the Lord’s Supper, 1 Corinthians 11:26-28 reads, “For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do shew the Lord’s death till he come. Wherefore whosoever shall eat this bread, and drink this cup of the Lord, unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord. But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup.”

    In the opening portion of verse 28, God’s Word declares, “But let a man examine himself.” As we come to the end of one year and the beginning of the next, it is appropriate that we should examine ourselves. It is appropriate that we should examine our lives over the past year, whether we have grown in spiritual character and conduct before our Lord, or whether we have gone away backward into sinful iniquity against our Lord. It is appropriate that we should examine ourselves, and that we get right with our Lord in any area wherein we have sinned against Him. It is appropriate that we should heed the exhortation of Lamentations 3:40 – “Let us search and try our ways, and turn again to the LORD.” Yea, it is appropriate that we should ask our Lord to examine us and try our hearts. It is appropriate that we should join in the prayer of David from Psalm 139:23-24 – “Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts: and see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.” Even so, let us examine ourselves through the following questions.

    1. Have we been faithful in our private walk with our Lord?


    John 15:4 – “Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me.”

    Colossians 2:6-7 – “As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him: rooted and built up in him, and stablished in the faith, as ye have been taught, abounding therein with thanksgiving.”

    Philippians 3:8, 10 – “Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ . . . that I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death.”

    2. Have we been delighting in the wisdom of God’s Word?

    1 Peter 2:2 – “As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby.”

    Joshua 1:8 – “This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest OBserve to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success.”

    Psalm 119:97 – “O how love I thy law! It is my meditation all the day.”

    3. Have we been constant in watching unto prayer with thanksgiving?

    Colossians 4:2 – “Continue in prayer, and watch in the same with thanksgiving.”

    Ephesians 6:18 – “Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints.”

    Philippians 4:6 – “Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.”

    4. Have we been OBedient in our daily ways for God’s glory?

    James 1:22 – “But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.”

    John 14:15 – “If ye love me, keep my commandments.”

    1 Cori nthians 10:31 – “Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.”

    5. Have we been edifying in the words of our communication?

    Ephesians 4:29 – “Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.”

    Colossians 4:6 – “Let your speech be alway with grace, seasoned with salt, that ye may know how ye ought to answer every man.”

    Proverbs 15:1-4 – “A soft answer turneth away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger. The tongue of the wise useth knowledge aright: but the mouth of fools poureth out foolishness. The eyes of the LORD are in every place, beholding the evil and the good. A wholesome tongue is a tree of life: but perverseness therein is a breach in the spirit.”

    6. Have we been loving in our affectionate warmth toward one another?

    John 13:34-35 – “A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.”

    Romans 12:10 – “Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honour preferring one another.”

    Galatians 5:13-14 – “For, brethren, ye have been called unto liberty; only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by love serve one another. For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this; Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.”

    7. Have we been zealous in our gospel witness to the lost world?

    Mark 16:15 – “And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.”

    Matthew 28:19-20 – “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: teaching them to OBserve all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.”

    1 Peter 3:15 – “But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear.”

    8. Have we been abounding in the ministry work of the Lord?

    1 Cori nthians 15:58 – “Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.”

    Hebrews 10:24-25 – “And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works: 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.”

    Ephesians 4:15-16 – “But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ: from whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love.”

    9. Have we been willing to withdraw ourselves from wrong influences?

    Psalm 1:1 – “Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful.”

    Ephesians 5:11 – “And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them.”

    1 Cori nthians 15:33 – “Be not deceived: evil communications corrupt good manners.”

    10. Have we become weary in well-doing through discouragement?

    Galatians 6:9 – “And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.”

    2 Thessalonians 3:13 – “But ye, brethren, be not weary in well doing.”

    Hebrews 12:2-3 – “Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God. For consider him that endured such contradiction of sinners against himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds.”

    11. Have we been consumed with worry over life’s difficulties?

    Matthew 6:31-33 – “Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed? (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things. But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.”

    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.”

    1 Peter 5:7 – “Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.”

    12. Have we become filled with wrath and bitterness at others?

    James 1:19-20 – “Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath: For the wrath of man worketh not the righteousness of God.”

    Hebrews 12:15 – “Looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled.”

    Ephesians 4:31-32 – “Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice: and be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.”

    13. Have we been infected with worldliness in our affections?

    Colossians 3:2 – “Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth.”

    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. 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. And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.”

    James 4:4 – “Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.”

    14. Have we been overcome with the wickedness of covetousness?

    1 Tim othy 6:9-10 – “But they that will be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition. For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.”

    Luke 12:15 – “And he said unto them, Take heed, and beware of covetousness: for a man’s life consisteth not in the abundance of the things which he possesseth.”

    Hebrews 13:5 – “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.”
  3. Thanks
    Pastor Scott Markle reacted to DaveW for a sermon entry, Salvation in the OT – Paul’s explanation.   
    Salvation in the OT – Paul’s explanation.
     
    To begin with, Hebrews is the perfect place to find out about salvation in the Old Testament, for this letter is all about how the New is better than the Old.
    In fact, it is widely recognised that the key word of this letter is the word “Better”.
    This word is found 13 times – only Ecclesiastes and Proverbs have more instances of this word.
    Ecclesiastes is a comparison between the ways of the world and the ways of the Lord – so we would expect to see “better” in any list of comparisons.
    Proverbs is about living for the Lord, and the wisdom of God’s ways compared to the worlds ways – so again comparison would expect to see the word “Better”.
    So likewise, Hebrews also is a comparison – of the Old worship compared to the New worship, so the word “better” should be expected.
    There is much in Hebrews to examine in this matter.
    Heb 3:15-19
    15 While it is said, To day if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts, as in the provocation. 16 For some, when they had heard, did provoke: howbeit not all that came out of Egypt by Moses. 17 But with whom was he grieved forty years? was it not with them that had sinned, whose carcases fell in the wilderness? 18 And to whom sware he that they should not enter into his rest, but to them that believed not? 19 So we see that they could not enter in because of unbelief.
     
    The Promised land is a picture of salvation, and they could not enter into the land because of unbelief – but it is actually more than that – it speaks of them not entering into His rest.
    Now, in case you would think that I am overstepping this point, see the next chapter.
    Heb 4:1-3
    1 Let us therefore fear, lest, a promise being left us of entering into his rest, any of you should seem to come short of it. 2 For unto us was the gospel preached, as well as unto them: but the word preached did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in them that heard it. 3 For we which have believed do enter into rest, as he said, As I have sworn in my wrath, if they shall enter into my rest: although the works were finished from the foundation of the world.
     
    Paul says that the Gospel was preached unto “us”, as well as unto them:”
    It doesn’t say that it was “a Gospel” but “the gospel” – this indicates it was the same thing preached unto them as unto us – and their problem was not that they didn’t sacrifice, but they didn’t believe in faith.
    And there is more along these lines:
     
    Heb 4:5
    5 And in this place again, If they shall enter into my rest. 6 Seeing therefore it remaineth that some must enter therein, and they to whom it was first preached entered not in because of unbelief:
    Entering into His rest comes after the preaching, but some entered not into His rest because of unbelief. This could all be applied to simply entering into the Land, if it were not for the fact that Paul equates the gospel preached to them with the gospel preached “to us” (that is Paul and those of his time.)
    Heb 4:7-10
    7 Again, he limiteth a certain day, saying in David, To day, after so long a time; as it is said, To day if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts. 8 For if Jesus had given them rest, then would he not afterward have spoken of another day. 9 There remaineth therefore a rest to the people of God. 10 For he that is entered into his rest, he also hath ceased from his own works, as God did from his.
    The key point in this section is that it is Jesus that would have given THEM rest – and that “rest” remains – the implication is that it is the same rest that is being spoken of.
    And an important note to this is vs 10 – “he that is entered into his rest, he also hath ceased from his own works”.
    Tit 3:5
    Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost;
    It appears as though Paul is equating the “rest” of the OT saints with the “rest” of salvation.
    The statement is made in:
    Heb 7:11
    If therefore perfection were by the Levitical priesthood, (for under it the people received the law,) what further need was there that another priest should rise after the order of Melchisedec, and not be called after the order of Aaron?
    If perfection were by the Levitical priesthood, then there was no need of the Saviour – It is stated quite plainly here that perfection was NOT POSSIBLE by the Law.
    With this statement, we must come to one of two conclusions – either there was no way for them to be saved, or they were saved by a way other than the Law.
    Further on in this chapter we have a comparison made:
    Heb 7:13-25
    13 For he of whom these things are spoken pertaineth to another tribe, of which no man gave attendance at the altar. 14 For it is evident that our Lord sprang out of Juda; of which tribe Moses spake nothing concerning priesthood. 15 And it is yet far more evident: for that after the similitude of Melchisedec there ariseth another priest, 16 Who is made, not after the law of a carnal commandment, but after the power of an endless life. 17 For he testifieth, Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec. 18 For there is verily a disannulling of the commandment going before for the weakness and unprofitableness thereof. 19 For the law made nothing perfect, but the bringing in of a better hope did; by the which we draw nigh unto God. 20 And inasmuch as not without an oath he was made priest: 21 (For those priests were made without an oath; but this with an oath by him that said unto him, The Lord sware and will not repent, Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec:) 22 By so much was Jesus made a surety of a better testament. 23 And they truly were many priests, because they were not suffered to continue by reason of death: 24 But this man, because he continueth ever, hath an unchangeable priesthood. 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.
    Jesus was not from the priestly tribe and is therefore not qualified in that way to be a priest. But He is after the order of Melchisidech – and the important part of that is “a priest for ever”.
    His priesthood did not start at the cross – He was already and always a Priest.
    In vs 19 Paul uses the past tense to show that “the Law MADE nothing perfect” – it never did, even when they were under the Law – “…but the bringing in of a better hope did;….”
    And in vs 24,25 Paul makes the point that this man has an unchangeable priesthood, and He is able to save “…seeing He ever liveth…”
    If it is unchanging, then it is unchanging from the start, and He is a priest after the order of Melchisedeck for ever.
    His priesthood is for ever and is unchanging.
    This indicates that His ministry has always been effective, and always will be.
    Next chapter:
    Heb 8:-7
    4 For if he were on earth, he should not be a priest, seeing that there are priests that offer gifts according to the law: 5 Who serve unto the example and shadow of heavenly things, as Moses was admonished of God when he was about to make the tabernacle: for, See, saith he, that thou make all things according to the pattern shewed to thee in the mount. 6 But now hath he obtained a more excellent ministry, by how much also he is the mediator of a better covenant, which was established upon better promises. 7 For if that first covenant had been faultless, then should no place have been sought for the second.
    Paul uses the word “Pattern” here, to show that the things of the priests were a pattern, or example, or illustration, of the true sacrifice. They were not the effective sacrifice, but a picture of it.
    If the picture were faultless (or effective) there would be no reason for the fact.
    In other words, if the yearly sacrifice was enough, there would be no need for the perfect sacrifice.
    The Picture showed the truth that was still to come.
    Chapter 9 discusses that picture.
    Heb 9:1-8
    1 Then verily the first covenant had also ordinances of divine service, and a worldly sanctuary. 2 For there was a tabernacle made; the first, wherein was the candlestick, and the table, and the shewbread; which is called the sanctuary. 3 And after the second veil, the tabernacle which is called the Holiest of all; 4 Which had the golden censer, and the ark of the covenant overlaid round about with gold, wherein was the golden pot that had manna, and Aaron’s rod that budded, and the tables of the covenant; 5 And over it the cherubims of glory shadowing the mercyseat; of which we cannot now speak particularly. 6 Now when these things were thus ordained, the priests went always into the first tabernacle, accomplishing the service of God. 7 But into the second went the high priest alone once every year, not without blood, which he offered for himself, and for the errors of the people: 8 The Holy Ghost this signifying, that the way into the holiest of all was not yet made manifest, while as the first tabernacle was yet standing:
    Paul makes the point that the “way into the holiest of all was not yet made manifest” – this is a significant statement because the word manifest means “shown or displayed” – “to be made apparent”.
    This word is used of something that is in existence, but is not seen.
    It is not used of something that does not exist yet – the way was there, it was just not clearly seen.
    Heb 9:9-13
    9 Which was a figure for the time then present, in which were offered both gifts and sacrifices, that could not make him that did the service perfect, as pertaining to the conscience; 10 Which stood only in meats and drinks, and divers washings, and carnal ordinances, imposed on them until the time of reformation. 11 But Christ being come an high priest of good things to come, by a greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this building; 12 Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us. 13 For if the blood of bulls and of goats, and the ashes of an heifer sprinkling the unclean, sanctifieth to the purifying of the flesh:
    “Purifying of the flesh” indicates the outside – the works.
    “Conscience” indicates the inside – the spirit.
    Heb 9:14-15
    14 How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God? 15 And for this cause he is the mediator of the new testament, that by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions that were under the first testament, they which are called might receive the promise of eternal inheritance.
    Paul talks of the “first Testament” transgressions being dealt with by the death of the Christ.
    This is those under the Law were purged by the death of Christ, not by keeping the Law – which we know its true today without argument. This is not specifically dealing with Pre-Christ issues though, but generally.
    Heb 9:16-22
    16 For where a testament is, there must also of necessity be the death of the testator. 17 For a testament is of force after men are dead: otherwise it is of no strength at all while the testator liveth. 18 Whereupon neither the first testament was dedicated without blood. 19 For when Moses had spoken every precept to all the people according to the law, he took the blood of calves and of goats, with water, and scarlet wool, and hyssop, and sprinkled both the book, and all the people, 20 Saying, This is the blood of the testament which God hath enjoined unto you. 21 Moreover he sprinkled with blood both the tabernacle, and all the vessels of the ministry. 22 And almost all things are by the law purged with blood; and without shedding of blood is no remission.
    After discussing the things that Moses did – blood purges sin etc – in the following verses Paul again talks about them being a “pattern”, and how the perfect sacrifice was needed.
    Heb 9:23-28
    23 It was therefore necessary that the patterns of things in the heavens should be purified with these; but the heavenly things themselves with better sacrifices than these. 24 For Christ is not entered into the holy places made with hands, which are the figures of the true; but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us: 25 Nor yet that he should offer himself often, as the high priest entereth into the holy place every year with blood of others; 26 For then must he often have suffered since the foundation of the world: but now once in the end of the world hath he appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself. 27 And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment: 28 So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation.
    Vs 25, 26 is interesting in that it says that Christ was offered once, and that was enough.
    If He had to be offered every year, as with the “pattern sacrifices”, then it would have had to have been “from the foundation of the world” – but now once in the end is enough.
    This is an indicator of a concept of “backward salvation” if you will – Paul is indicating that this once was enough for all time, even before the event – if it had to be an annual thing then it would have to be from the beginning of time for there were those who would have “missed out” if it was only effective from the day of the sacrifice.
    If the perfect sacrifice was only effective for 12 months at a time, then it would have to have been done at the very beginning and every year since.
    But this one time sacrifice is enough and is effective for ever.
    Heb 10:1-4
    1 For the law having a shadow of good things to come, and not the very image of the things, can never with those sacrifices which they offered year by year continually make the comers thereunto perfect. 2 For then would they not have ceased to be offered? because that the worshippers once purged should have had no more conscience of sins. 3 But in those sacrifices there is a remembrance again made of sins every year. 4 For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and of goats should take away sins.
    A restating of these things – picture, example, if it were perfect, then once would be enough, the picture didn’t have the power to save anyone.
    Heb 10:9-12
    9 Then said he, Lo, I come to do thy will, O God. He taketh away the first, that he may establish the second. 10 By the which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all. 11 And every priest standeth daily ministering and offering oftentimes the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins: 12 But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God;
    Take away the first – the picture of sacrifice, and replace it with the second – the perfect sacrifice.
    “….we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.” – this “once for all” is an all encompassing phrase – it means “one time for every one”, and there is no limitation stated or implied that it is “once for everyone from now”.
    Add to this the statement in vs 12 “…one sacrifice for sins for ever…” – the words “for ever” again don’t imply from now until for ever, but just forever.
    His Sacrifice was for sins for ever, not just sins from “now on”.
    Heb 10:20
    20 By a new and living way, which he hath consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say, his flesh;
    Even in this, the “new and living way” is not a brand new invention, but because it is consecrated to us “through the veil” it indicates that it is now seen by all – the veil of the Temple kept people out of direct contact, but when Christ died as the perfect Sacrifice, the veil was torn in two and people could see directly to God.
    The way was always there, but now it was “seen”, which ties in with ch9:8 where the way into the Holiest was now made manifest – the Holiest is the portion of the Temple concealed by the veil.
    The “Hall of Faith”.
    Heb 11:1-4
    11 Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. 2 For by it the elders obtained a good report. 3 Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear. 4 By faith Abel offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, by which he obtained witness that he was righteous, God testifying of his gifts: and by it he being dead yet speaketh.
    The very first example of faith mentioned is that of Abel – his sacrifice was acceptable, and offered “by Faith”. His sacrifice was of a lamb – this pictured the coming Sacrifice of Christ, whilst the sacrifice of Cain did not. Cain’s sacrifice pictured man’s own work, whilst Abel’s sacrifice had the blood.
    How did Abel know to make such a sacrifice? We are not told, but we are told that to cover Adam and Eve’s sin, the Lord made them coats of skins:
    Gen 3:21
    21 Unto Adam also and to his wife did the LORD God make coats of skins, and clothed them.
    We have the example straight up of a death required to cover sin, and the assumption is that Adam and Eve taught their children this example.
    They also had the promise of:
    Gen 3:14-15
    14 And the LORD God said unto the serpent, Because thou hast done this, thou art cursed above all cattle, and above every beast of the field; upon thy belly shalt thou go, and dust shalt thou eat all the days of thy life: 15 And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.
    This is a promise of Messiah, and event that He would die on the cross and be raised again – a bruised heel is rarely fatal – it is an inconvenience; it is painful; but it is rarely fatal.
    A “bruised head” however is a different matter. Even today a “bruised head” can be fatal, and before modern medicine it almost always was.
    This is a prophecy that a man would be injured but would then have ultimate victory over Satan – this is what we see in Christ – He was wounded, but not to finality – He rose from the dead. And when He did, he put an end to the efforts of Satan – Satan will never be like the Most High.
    And this was known by Adam and Eve, and associated with the covering for their sin which required the death of animals – you don’t get skins off of an animal without killing the animal.
    And Able offered a better sacrifice by Faith – by faith in God, evidenced by Able following the example given to Adam and Eve, in knowledge of the promise of victory through a son.
    It is somewhat flimsy to the argument of faith in Christ, but there can be no doubt that Adam and Eve were waiting for one to have victory over Satan, and the sacrifice of an animal was associated with it.
    Enoch pleased God and it is impossible to please God without faith – so Enoch had Faith in God – but it is not explained precisely what that faith was about.
    In each of these faith is evident in the works they performed -they trusted God when God told them to do something.
    Heb 11:17-19
    17 By faith Abraham, when he was tried, offered up Isaac: and he that had received the promises offered up his only begotten son, 18 Of whom it was said, That in Isaac shall thy seed be called: 19 Accounting that God was able to raise him up, even from the dead; from whence also he received him in a figure.
    Abraham had faith which was displayed in many ways, but in this particular one there is an indicator of something – that death and resurrection was possible.
    And it says that Abraham “also received him in a figure”.
    Received who “in a figure”?
    It is unclear, but it can not be talking of Isaac, because it did not in fact happen.
    The indication is that Abraham received God “in a figure” – He looked at the picture of Isaac dying on the altar, and was convinced that God could raise Isaac from the dead, and then realised that it was a picture – that God would die and be raised up again. (But this is not 100% clear in this).
    Heb 11:24-27
    24 By faith Moses, when he was come to years, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter; 25 Choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season; 26 Esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt: for he had respect unto the recompence of the reward. 27 By faith he forsook Egypt, not fearing the wrath of the king: for he endured, as seeing him who is invisible.
    It is interesting here that Paul says that Moses was “Esteeming the reproach of Christ” – not of God, but specifically “of Christ” – Now we know that Moses did not know the name of Jesus, but he knew about Christ, and that Christ was God.
    The Jews all knew about Messiah, and they all knew about the sacrifices – but not many put two and two together I guess – just as not many understand the truth of Christ today.
    Heb 11:39-40
    39 And these all, having obtained a good report through faith, received not the promise: 40 God having provided some better thing for us, that they without us should not be made perfect.
    These all “received not the promise” – that means they were expecting a promise – but which promise?
    They had faith, but “received not the promise”.
    It does not state it plainly.
    But there are indicators – and one of them is in the next section:
    Heb 12:1-2
    1 Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, 2 Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.
    Compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses? Which witnesses – these men and women just mentioned in chapter 11 – and what was common about them – they all had faith.
    The implication of this verse is that we should run the race in the same way that those gathered at the finish line did – they have already run their race,. And we should keep going till we finish as well.
    And what race are we to run?
    Looking unto Jesus the Author and Finisher of our faith.
    What is implied here is that their faith (chapter 11) is the same faith as our faith, and our faith is looking to Jesus, therefore their faith was looking to Jesus.
    They didn’t know His name, but they knew about Him.
    He was promised, and it was the fulfilment of this promise that they were trusting in.
    There is no doubt that men have always been sinners – at least since Adam sinned – and there can be no doubt that there is none righteous, no not one.
    What is less often acknowledged is that a man can only be righteous if God makes Him so.
    And God did that in the OT as well as in the NT.
    Rom 4:6
    6 Even as David also describeth the blessedness of the man, unto whom God imputeth righteousness without works,
    God imputed righteousness to men WITHOUT works, even in the OT.
    There are some references in Hebrews that we have looked at that show that the OT sacrifices themselves didn’t save anyone – they have not the power to take away sins – it was faith in what the sacrifices pictured that counted.
    But what exactly did the OT saints have faith in?
    This is less obvious, in that it was not “made manifest” or shown clearly in OT times. Yet some understood it – that is clear from the words of Hebrews 11 amongst other passages.
    But look at:
    Joh 20:26-29
    26 And after eight days again his disciples were within, and Thomas with them: then came Jesus, the doors being shut, and stood in the midst, and said, Peace be unto you. 27 Then saith he to Thomas, Reach hither thy finger, and behold my hands; and reach hither thy hand, and thrust it into my side: and be not faithless, but believing. 28 And Thomas answered and said unto him, My Lord and my God. 29 Jesus saith unto him, Thomas, because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed.
    This last phrase is an interesting phrase in light of what we read about those who “received not the promise” in Hebrews 11.
    It says “they that have not seen” – and it uses not the future tense, but a tense that allows both past and current. “Have not” actually sits in the past tense but also applies to those who “have not yet” seen – so it could include those alive then who have not, as well as those of the past who “have not” seen – although it would be more definite if it said “did not”.
    But it indicates that there were some who “have not seen, and yet have believed”.
    There were those in the past who believed in Christ, even though they did not see Christ themselves – this brings my mind to those who were waiting for the promised Messiah, but did not “receive the promise”.
    They were trusting in Him, but did not see the realisation of that promise – yet they are counted as having faith.
    Further,
    Joh 1:29-34
    29 The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world. 30 This is he of whom I said, After me cometh a man which is preferred before me: for he was before me. 31 And I knew him not: but that he should be made manifest to Israel, therefore am I come baptizing with water. 32 And John bare record, saying, I saw the Spirit descending from heaven like a dove, and it abode upon him. 33 And I knew him not: but he that sent me to baptize with water, the same said unto me, Upon whom thou shalt see the Spirit descending, and remaining on him, the same is he which baptizeth with the Holy Ghost. 34 And I saw, and bare record that this is the Son of God.
    This is that manifesting of the way into the holiest – the showing of Jesus Christ as the promised Messiah.
    And it is significant the way John refers to Him: “the Lamb of God which taketh away the sin of the world.”
    The people of the nation would have understood the reference.
    It was apparently approaching the time of the yearly sacrifice, and the people knew that a spotless lamb was to be sacrificed for the sin of the nation.
    We know that those sacrifices were pictures, illustration, shadows, of the truth.
    When John called out “behold the lamb of God”, the people would have known what John meant – that this guy – whoever He was – was the sacrifice for sin.
    They may not have understood it immediately, but people began to follow Him – they knew that He was the promised Messiah.
    People were looking for the Messiah to come.
    They knew about Him.
    They knew about the sacrifices as well.
    Over time and through poor teaching they had lost the meaning of these things, but it was known.
    They knew about Messiah, and they knew about the sacrifices, and the OT does link Messiah to the sacrifices – so the knowledge was available.
    They did not know His name, but they knew for instance that he would be called Emmanuel.
    They did not call upon the name of Jesus, but they did call upon the Messiah, the promised Lamb of God.
    And there is this:
    1 Cor 15:3-4
    3 For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; 4 And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:
    These things were all done “According to the Scriptures”, therefore the knowledge of what had to happen was there.
    If it was all according to the Scriptures, then it is entirely possible that an OT person could be saved by trusting in the Messiah to come.
    After all, it was all written there.
    And of course, Paul confirmed that fact when he wrote to Timothy:
    2 Tim 3:15
    15 And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.
    Note that When Timothy was a child the only Scriptures would have been the OT, yet Paul says that was sufficient.
     
    (I went to correct a typo and all my references disappeared - I have replaced them, so I hope they show up now!)
  4. Thanks
    Pastor Scott Markle got a reaction from Brother Stafford for a sermon entry, A Spiritual Focus For Our Celebration Of Christ’S Birth   
    Throughout the Biblical accounts in Luke 2:1-38 and Matthew 2:1-11 concerning the events that surrounded our Lord’s birth, our attention is focused upon two important responsibilities. Indeed, these two important responsibilities ought to dominate our celebration of our Lord’s birth as God in flesh. They are the responsibility to WORSHIP and to WITNESS. Consider the Biblical accounts:

    “And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus, that all the world should be taxed. (And this taxing was first made when Cyrenius was governor of Syria.) And all went to be taxed, every one into his own city. And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judaea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; (because he was of the house and lineage of David:) to be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child. And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered. And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn. And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid.”

    The angel of the Lord WITNESSED.

    “And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.”

    The multitude of the heavenly host WORSHIPPED.

    “And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.”

    “And it came to pass, as the angels were gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds said one to another, Let us now go even unto Bethlehem, and see this thing which is come to pass, which the Lord hath made known unto us. And they came with haste, and found Mary, and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger."

    The shepherds WITNESSED.

    “And when they had seen it, they made known abroad the saying which was told them concerning this child. And all they that heard it wondered at those things which were told them by the shepherds. But Mary kept all these things, and pondered them in her heart.”

    The shepherds WORSHIPPED.

    “And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told unto them.”

    “And when eight days were accomplished for the circumcising of the child, his name was called JESUS, which was so named of the angel before he was conceived in the womb. And when the days of her purification according to the law of Moses were accomplished, they brought him to Jerusalem, to present him to the Lord; (As it is written in the law of the Lord, Every male that openeth the womb shall be called holy to the Lord;) And to offer a sacrifice according to that which is said in the law of the Lord, A pair of turtledoves, or two young pigeons. And, behold, there was a man in Jerusalem, whose name was Simeon; and the same man was just and devout, waiting for the consolation of Israel: and the Holy Ghost was upon him. And it was revealed unto him by the Holy Ghost, that he should not see death, before he had seen the Lord’s Christ.”

    Simeon WORSHIPPED.

    “And he came by the Spirit into the temple: and when the parents brought in the child Jesus, to do for him after the custom of the law, then took he him up in his arms, and blessed God, and said, Lord, now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace, according to thy word: for mine eyes have seen thy salvation, which thou hast prepared before the face of all people; a light to lighten the Gentiles, and the glory of thy people Israel.”

    Simeon WITNESSED.

    “And Joseph and his mother marvelled at those things which were spoken of him. And Simeon blessed them, and said unto Mary his mother, Behold, this child is set for the fall and rising again of many in Israel; and for a sign which shall be spoken against; (Yea, a sword shall pierce through thy own soul also,) that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed.”

    “And there was one Anna, a prophetess, the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Aser: she was of a great age, and had lived with an husband seven years from her virginity; and she was a widow of about fourscore and four years, which departed not from the temple, but served God with fastings and prayers night and day.”

    Anna WORSHIPPED.

    “And she coming in that instant gave thanks likewise unto the Lord.”

    Anna WITNESSED.

    “And spake of him to all them that looked for redemption in Jerusalem.”

    The wise men from the east WITNESSED.

    “Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judaea in the days of Herod the king, behold, there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem, Saying, Where is he that is born King of the Jews? For we have seen his star in the east, and are come to worship him. When Herod the king had heard these things, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him.”

    “And when he had gathered all the chief priests and scribes of the people together, he demanded of them where Christ should be born. And they said unto him, In Bethlehem of Judaea: for thus it is written by the prophet, And thou Bethlehem, in the land of Juda, art not the least among the princes of Juda: for out of thee shall come a Governor, that shall rule my people Israel. Then Herod, when he had privily called the wise men, enquired of them diligently what time the star appeared. And he sent them to Bethlehem, and said, Go and search diligently for the young child; and when ye have found him, bring me word again, that I may come and worship him also. When they had heard the king, they departed; and, lo, the star, which they saw in the east, went before them, till it came and stood over where the young child was.”

    The wise men from the east WORSHIPPED.

    “When they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceeding great joy. And when they were come into the house, they saw the young child with Mary his mother, and fell down, and worshipped him: and when they had opened their treasures, they presented unto him gifts; gold, and frankincense, and myrrh.”
  5. Thanks
    Pastor Scott Markle reacted to Alan for a sermon entry, The Kindness of God   
     
    “The Kindness of God”
    2 Samuel 9:1-13 David & Mephibosheth
    The theme of this story is the kindness of God. In David’s life, we can see the kindness of God. Because David and God had an intimate relationship, David developed a kind heart.
    Background
    Before David became the King of Israel King Saul tried to kill David and prevent David from becoming King over Israel. King Saul was David’s enemy. For seven years, David fled from King Saul.
     
    Except during times of  religious expediency, King Saul did not obey God. He rebelled against God, listened to the people, and had a stubborn heart.
     
    God rejected King Saul and anointed David to be king over Israel. 1 Samuel 15:10 & 11 and 23 says, “Then came the word of the Lord unto Samuel, saying, It repenteth me that I have set up Saul to be king: for he is turned back from following me, and hath not performed my commandments. And it grieved Samuel; and he cried all night.” and, Samuel told King Saul, “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."
     
    King Saul is like many people. Most people, yea, even a lot of religious people, reject the will of God because they are rebellion against the Bible, stubborn, and will only listen to the world.
     
    David, before he became King, had a close relationship with King Saul’s son, Jonathan. Jonathan was an individual who had a love for God, for the will of God, and for the man of God.
     
    Verse 1-3, “And David said, Is there yet any that is left of the house of Saul, that I may shew him kindness for Jonathan’s sake? And there was of the house of Saul a servant whose name was Ziba. And when they had called him unto David, the king said unto him, Art thou Ziba? And he said, Thy servant is he. And the king said, Is there not yet any of the house of Saul, that I may shew the kindness of God unto him? And Ziba said unto the king, Jonathan hath yet a son, which is lame on his feet.”
     
    King David loved God and God gave David peace and love in his heart. King David did not have hate nor have bitterness in his heart towards the house of Saul. King David put into practice the love and kindness of God. “Remember, O LORD, thy tender mercies and thy loving kindnesses; for they have been ever of old.” Psalm 25:6
     
    King David is a good example for us how we should love our enemies and exhibit the love and kindness of God. In this passage twice, King David said that he wanted to show the kindness of God towards the house of Saul. Jonathan was King Saul’s son and a friend of David. Mephibosheth was Jonathan’s son and King Saul’s grandson.
     
    Mephibosheth was lame. He could not walk nor could he earn money. He was very poor. Mephibosheth was the grandson of Saul. Mephibosheth represents the Christian. Before we are saved, we are a child of the Devil and unworthy to enter into the presence of God and into heaven. And, only the love and mercy of God makes us worthy enough to enter heaven.
     
    “But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved.) Ephesians 2:4 and 5
     
    Love Produces Kindness
     
    Verse 5 & 6, “Then king David sent, and fetched him out of the house of Machir, the son of Ammiel, from Lodebar. Now when Mephibosheth, the son of Jonathan, the son of Saul, was come unto David, he fell on his face, and did reverence. And David said, Mephibosheth. And he answered, Behold thy servant!”
     
    Please note that even though David was the King he sought Mephibosheth. King David is a type of God. God loves us and He is seeking us. 1 John 4:9 & 10 says, “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. Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.”
     
    God loves us!
     
    The Lord Jesus, the Son of God, said, “For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost.” Luke 19:10 God is seeking the salvation of man in order for man to escape the torment of hell and enter the joy of heaven.
     
    Jesus loves us!
     
    Verse 7 & 8, “And David said unto him, Fear not: for I will surely shew thee kindness for Jonathan thy father’s sake, and will restore thee all the land of Saul thy father; and thou shalt eat bread at my table continually. And he bowed himself, and said, What is they servant, that thou shouldest look upon such a dead dog as I am?”
     
    The first words out of the mouth of King David was “Fear not.” King David relieved the heart of Mephibosheth. Is that not like the kindness of God? “Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee: yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness. Isaiah 41:10
     
    Mephibosheth realized that he was not worthy to receive this honor and was humble. In this passage, Mephibosheth twice said that he is David’s servant and did not deserve his mercy.
     
    Before we are saved, we are unworthy to enter into the presence of the King of Heaven. We deserve to go to hell. Like Mephibosheth, we need to have a grateful heart to the king of heaven and be God’s servant and follow Jesus.
     
    Verse 13, “So Mephibosheth dwelt in Jerusalem: for he did eat continually at the king’s table; and was lame on both his feet.”
     
    King David gave commandments that his servants were to provide the physical necessities for Mephibosheth. Mephibosheth could not take care of himself so David took care of his needs.
    The Lord Jesus is our king and one day we will sit at His table in heaven and eat. The Lord Jesus, as an added blessing to the salvation of our soul, will give us a new, glorified body, and will take care of the needs of our new body for eternity. Revelation 19:9, “And he saith unto me, Write, Blessed are they which are called unto the marriage supper of the Lamb. And he saith unto me, These are the true sayings of God.”
    Conclusion
    The story of King David and Mephibosheth is a wonderful story of the loving kindness and mercy of God. It shows us how God gave David love for his enemies’ grandchild. It shows us the humility of Mephibosheth and love and kindness of God in a practical manner. It shows us how God will take care of our spiritual, physical, and eternal needs.
     
    Like King David, when we have a close relationship with God we can have the love and kindness of God in our hearts.
     
    God loves us! He is Merciful and Gracious! Before we loved God He loved us! Because God loves us He sent His Son, the Lord Jesus, to die on the cross and become the propitiation for our sins. This story shows us how God is seeking man for the eternal salvation of our soul so we can escape the torment of hell and enter into the joy of heaven.
     
    “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” John 3:16
     
  6. Thanks
    Pastor Scott Markle got a reaction from Alan for a sermon entry, Wisdom Crieth Without - Proverbs 1:20Ff   
    Proverbs 1:20-33 is the first occasion in the book of the Proverbs wherein we encounter the personification of Wisdom as a virtuous woman who calls for us to come unto her and learn her ways of righteousness. (Proverbs 8:6-8) This activity of personified Wisdom is also encountered in Proverbs 8:1-36 and in Proverbs 9:1-12. Through these passages we find a progression to the call of personified Wisdom, and thereby we find five responsibilities that we are to maintain toward the wisdom of God’s Holy Word. (Contextual note: I myself believe that the personified Wisdom of Proverbs represents the wisdom of God*s Word.)

    Repentance

    First, we must repent of (turn from) our selfish, sinful ways at the reproof of God’s Holy Word. This we must do in order that we might be able to learn the wisdom of God’s Holy Word. In Proverbs 1:22-23 the personified Wisdom of God’s Word proclaims, “How long, ye simple ones, will ye love simplicity? And the scorners delight in their scorning, and fools hate knowledge? Turn you at my reproof: behold, I will pour out my spirit unto you, I will make known my words unto you.” Indeed, this is where our growth in the wisdom of God’s Word must begin – with repentance. If we will not turn at the reproof of God’s Word, then we cannot learn the spiritual wisdom of God’s Word.

    Reception

    Second, we must receive (hear) the truth of God’s Holy Word with all readiness of mind and all meekness of heart. This we must do in order that we might be transformed through the wisdom of God’s Holy Word. In Proverbs 8:5-6 the personified Wisdom of God’s Word proclaims, “O ye simple, understand wisdom: and, ye fools, be ye of an understanding heart. Hear; for I will speak of excellent things; and the opening of my lips shall be right things.” Again in Proverbs 8:10 she proclaims, “Receive my instruction, and not silver; and knowledge rather than choice gold.” Indeed, we should be more motivated to acquire the treasures of God’s wisdom through His Word, than to acquire the treasures of material wealth in this world. (See also Proverbs 3:13-15)

    Reverence

    Third, we must revere (love) the truth of God’s Holy Word, seeking after its wisdom each day with great priority. This we must do in order that we might walk in the blessings of our Lord’s daily fellowship and of the abundant spiritual life. In Proverbs 8:17 the personified Wisdom of God’s Word proclaims, “I love them that love me; and those that seek me early shall find me.” Again in Proverbs 8:34-35 she proclaims, “Blessed is the man that heareth me, watching daily at my gates, waiting at the posts of my doors. For whoso findeth me findeth life, and shall OBtain favour of the LORD.” Indeed, there is no greater blessing in this life than our Lord’s fellowship and the abundant spiritual life. Yet in Proverbs 8:36 the personified Wisdom of God’s Word delivers the warning, “But he that sinneth against me wrongeth his own soul: all they that hate me love death.”

    Rejection

    Fourth, we must reject (forsake) the foolish, that is – all those who rebel against the truth of God’s Holy Word. This we must do in order that we might not be influence by their close companionship to turn back from the righteous ways of God’s Holy Word. In the opening portion of Proverbs 9:6, the personified Wisdom of God’s Word proclaims, “Forsake the foolish, and live.” Indeed, we must not walk in the way with the spiritually foolish, but must turn away from their companionship, counsel, and course. (See Proverbs 1:15; 4:14-15) “He that walketh with wise men shall be wise: but a companion of fools shall be destroyed.” (Proverbs 13:20)

    Responsiveness

    Finally, we must respond to the instruction of God’s Holy Word with committed, consistent OBedience. This we must do in order that we might be prosperous in our spiritual growth, and might not be self-deceived in our negligence. In Proverbs 8:32-33 the personified Wisdom of God’s Word proclaims, “Now therefore hearken unto me, O ye children: for blessed are they that keep my ways. Hear instruction, and be wise, and refuse it not.” Again in the closing portion of Proverbs 9:6, she proclaims, “And go in the way of understanding.” Indeed, we must hearken unto, follow after, and go in the righteous ways that God’s Word instructs. We must be “doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving [our] own selves.” (James 1:22)
  7. Thanks
    Pastor Scott Markle got a reaction from PastorMatt for a sermon entry, A Spiritual Focus For Our Celebration Of Christ’S Birth   
    Throughout the Biblical accounts in Luke 2:1-38 and Matthew 2:1-11 concerning the events that surrounded our Lord’s birth, our attention is focused upon two important responsibilities. Indeed, these two important responsibilities ought to dominate our celebration of our Lord’s birth as God in flesh. They are the responsibility to WORSHIP and to WITNESS. Consider the Biblical accounts:

    “And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus, that all the world should be taxed. (And this taxing was first made when Cyrenius was governor of Syria.) And all went to be taxed, every one into his own city. And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judaea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; (because he was of the house and lineage of David:) to be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child. And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered. And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn. And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid.”

    The angel of the Lord WITNESSED.

    “And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.”

    The multitude of the heavenly host WORSHIPPED.

    “And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.”

    “And it came to pass, as the angels were gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds said one to another, Let us now go even unto Bethlehem, and see this thing which is come to pass, which the Lord hath made known unto us. And they came with haste, and found Mary, and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger."

    The shepherds WITNESSED.

    “And when they had seen it, they made known abroad the saying which was told them concerning this child. And all they that heard it wondered at those things which were told them by the shepherds. But Mary kept all these things, and pondered them in her heart.”

    The shepherds WORSHIPPED.

    “And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told unto them.”

    “And when eight days were accomplished for the circumcising of the child, his name was called JESUS, which was so named of the angel before he was conceived in the womb. And when the days of her purification according to the law of Moses were accomplished, they brought him to Jerusalem, to present him to the Lord; (As it is written in the law of the Lord, Every male that openeth the womb shall be called holy to the Lord;) And to offer a sacrifice according to that which is said in the law of the Lord, A pair of turtledoves, or two young pigeons. And, behold, there was a man in Jerusalem, whose name was Simeon; and the same man was just and devout, waiting for the consolation of Israel: and the Holy Ghost was upon him. And it was revealed unto him by the Holy Ghost, that he should not see death, before he had seen the Lord’s Christ.”

    Simeon WORSHIPPED.

    “And he came by the Spirit into the temple: and when the parents brought in the child Jesus, to do for him after the custom of the law, then took he him up in his arms, and blessed God, and said, Lord, now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace, according to thy word: for mine eyes have seen thy salvation, which thou hast prepared before the face of all people; a light to lighten the Gentiles, and the glory of thy people Israel.”

    Simeon WITNESSED.

    “And Joseph and his mother marvelled at those things which were spoken of him. And Simeon blessed them, and said unto Mary his mother, Behold, this child is set for the fall and rising again of many in Israel; and for a sign which shall be spoken against; (Yea, a sword shall pierce through thy own soul also,) that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed.”

    “And there was one Anna, a prophetess, the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Aser: she was of a great age, and had lived with an husband seven years from her virginity; and she was a widow of about fourscore and four years, which departed not from the temple, but served God with fastings and prayers night and day.”

    Anna WORSHIPPED.

    “And she coming in that instant gave thanks likewise unto the Lord.”

    Anna WITNESSED.

    “And spake of him to all them that looked for redemption in Jerusalem.”

    The wise men from the east WITNESSED.

    “Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judaea in the days of Herod the king, behold, there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem, Saying, Where is he that is born King of the Jews? For we have seen his star in the east, and are come to worship him. When Herod the king had heard these things, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him.”

    “And when he had gathered all the chief priests and scribes of the people together, he demanded of them where Christ should be born. And they said unto him, In Bethlehem of Judaea: for thus it is written by the prophet, And thou Bethlehem, in the land of Juda, art not the least among the princes of Juda: for out of thee shall come a Governor, that shall rule my people Israel. Then Herod, when he had privily called the wise men, enquired of them diligently what time the star appeared. And he sent them to Bethlehem, and said, Go and search diligently for the young child; and when ye have found him, bring me word again, that I may come and worship him also. When they had heard the king, they departed; and, lo, the star, which they saw in the east, went before them, till it came and stood over where the young child was.”

    The wise men from the east WORSHIPPED.

    “When they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceeding great joy. And when they were come into the house, they saw the young child with Mary his mother, and fell down, and worshipped him: and when they had opened their treasures, they presented unto him gifts; gold, and frankincense, and myrrh.”
  8. Thanks
    Pastor Scott Markle got a reaction from irishman for a sermon entry, A Spiritual Focus For Our Celebration Of Christ’S Birth   
    Throughout the Biblical accounts in Luke 2:1-38 and Matthew 2:1-11 concerning the events that surrounded our Lord’s birth, our attention is focused upon two important responsibilities. Indeed, these two important responsibilities ought to dominate our celebration of our Lord’s birth as God in flesh. They are the responsibility to WORSHIP and to WITNESS. Consider the Biblical accounts:

    “And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus, that all the world should be taxed. (And this taxing was first made when Cyrenius was governor of Syria.) And all went to be taxed, every one into his own city. And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judaea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; (because he was of the house and lineage of David:) to be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child. And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered. And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn. And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid.”

    The angel of the Lord WITNESSED.

    “And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.”

    The multitude of the heavenly host WORSHIPPED.

    “And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.”

    “And it came to pass, as the angels were gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds said one to another, Let us now go even unto Bethlehem, and see this thing which is come to pass, which the Lord hath made known unto us. And they came with haste, and found Mary, and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger."

    The shepherds WITNESSED.

    “And when they had seen it, they made known abroad the saying which was told them concerning this child. And all they that heard it wondered at those things which were told them by the shepherds. But Mary kept all these things, and pondered them in her heart.”

    The shepherds WORSHIPPED.

    “And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told unto them.”

    “And when eight days were accomplished for the circumcising of the child, his name was called JESUS, which was so named of the angel before he was conceived in the womb. And when the days of her purification according to the law of Moses were accomplished, they brought him to Jerusalem, to present him to the Lord; (As it is written in the law of the Lord, Every male that openeth the womb shall be called holy to the Lord;) And to offer a sacrifice according to that which is said in the law of the Lord, A pair of turtledoves, or two young pigeons. And, behold, there was a man in Jerusalem, whose name was Simeon; and the same man was just and devout, waiting for the consolation of Israel: and the Holy Ghost was upon him. And it was revealed unto him by the Holy Ghost, that he should not see death, before he had seen the Lord’s Christ.”

    Simeon WORSHIPPED.

    “And he came by the Spirit into the temple: and when the parents brought in the child Jesus, to do for him after the custom of the law, then took he him up in his arms, and blessed God, and said, Lord, now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace, according to thy word: for mine eyes have seen thy salvation, which thou hast prepared before the face of all people; a light to lighten the Gentiles, and the glory of thy people Israel.”

    Simeon WITNESSED.

    “And Joseph and his mother marvelled at those things which were spoken of him. And Simeon blessed them, and said unto Mary his mother, Behold, this child is set for the fall and rising again of many in Israel; and for a sign which shall be spoken against; (Yea, a sword shall pierce through thy own soul also,) that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed.”

    “And there was one Anna, a prophetess, the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Aser: she was of a great age, and had lived with an husband seven years from her virginity; and she was a widow of about fourscore and four years, which departed not from the temple, but served God with fastings and prayers night and day.”

    Anna WORSHIPPED.

    “And she coming in that instant gave thanks likewise unto the Lord.”

    Anna WITNESSED.

    “And spake of him to all them that looked for redemption in Jerusalem.”

    The wise men from the east WITNESSED.

    “Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judaea in the days of Herod the king, behold, there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem, Saying, Where is he that is born King of the Jews? For we have seen his star in the east, and are come to worship him. When Herod the king had heard these things, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him.”

    “And when he had gathered all the chief priests and scribes of the people together, he demanded of them where Christ should be born. And they said unto him, In Bethlehem of Judaea: for thus it is written by the prophet, And thou Bethlehem, in the land of Juda, art not the least among the princes of Juda: for out of thee shall come a Governor, that shall rule my people Israel. Then Herod, when he had privily called the wise men, enquired of them diligently what time the star appeared. And he sent them to Bethlehem, and said, Go and search diligently for the young child; and when ye have found him, bring me word again, that I may come and worship him also. When they had heard the king, they departed; and, lo, the star, which they saw in the east, went before them, till it came and stood over where the young child was.”

    The wise men from the east WORSHIPPED.

    “When they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceeding great joy. And when they were come into the house, they saw the young child with Mary his mother, and fell down, and worshipped him: and when they had opened their treasures, they presented unto him gifts; gold, and frankincense, and myrrh.”

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