Sunday, August 20, 2017

Sunday Sermonette


August 20, 2017
The Cleansing Blood
“But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.” (1 John 1:7)
 
There is a common cultic heresy to the effect that the blood of Christ has no cleansing efficacy of itself, even though this contradicts the plain statement of our text. John wrote the above words long after Christ’s blood had all been spilled on the cross, but it was still miraculously cleansing sinners in His day, and is in ours as well.
 
It is true that Christ’s blood supported His physical life, for “the life of the flesh is in the blood” (Leviticus 17:11). But His blood was not like the blood of other men, for it was “the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot” (1 Peter 1:19), uncontaminated either by genetic defects due to accumulated generations of mutations (as in all other men and women) or inherent sin.
 
When His blood was shed, it did not simply disappear into the ground and decay into dust, any more than did His body in the tomb, for it had been an integral part of His perfect human body that was to be raised and glorified. As our great High Priest, He somehow took the atoning blood into the holy place in the heavenly tabernacle. Into the earthly tabernacle “went the high priest alone once every year, not without blood, which he offered for himself, and for the errors of the people. . . . by his own blood he [Christ] entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us” (Hebrews 9:7, 12).
 
There in heaven, at the mercy seat, just as the ancient high priest “sprinkled with blood” both the book and the people, the tabernacle and its vessels, so have we been cleansed in God’s sight by His own “blood of sprinkling” (Hebrews 9:19-21; 12:24; see also 1 Peter 1:2). Thus, His blood can (literally) “keep on cleansing us from all sin.” HMM


h/t: HENRY M MORRIS, INSTITUTE FOR CREATION RESEARCH

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Sunday Sermonette

August 13, 2017
Position and Condition
“If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God.” (Colossians 3:1)
 
Christians have a glorious position before God. As our text indicates, God has in effect already “raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus” (Ephesians 2:6). Yet, our actual spiritual condition here on Earth often seems to belie our exalted position in heaven, so we repeatedly need to be exhorted not only to believe the truth but also to live the truth. Theoretically, we are dead to the world, and our “life is hid with Christ in God,” yet we must continually be exhorted to “mortify [that is, put to death] therefore your members which are upon the earth” (Colossians 3:3, 5). We “have put on the new man” but nevertheless must repeatedly be “renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him” (v. 10).
 
While in doctrine we are “complete in him,” in practice we must “grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ” (2 Peter 3:18). “With the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation,” yet each believer is commanded to “follow after righteousness” and to “work out your own salvation” (Romans 10:101 Timothy 6:11Philippians 2:12). We are “all the children of light” (1 Thessalonians 5:5), and we are to “walk as children of light” (Ephesians 5:8). Paul prays that “Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith” (3:17), yet already we have “Christ in you, the hope of glory” (Colossians 1:27).
 
These truths are not contradictions, of course, but exhortations. “If” (and the Greek word actually means “since”) we are “risen with Christ,” then by all means we ought to live as those that are alive unto God! HMM

h/t:  HENRY M MORRIS, INSTITUTE FOR CREATION RESEARCH

Saturday, August 5, 2017

Sunday Sermonette

August 6, 2017
The Finished Work
“They shall come, and shall declare his righteousness unto a people that shall be born, that he hath done this.” (Psalm 22:31)
 
This is the last verse of Psalm 22, the marvelous prophecy that describes so graphically the sufferings of Christ on the cross, a thousand years before the fulfillment. The preceding verse promises that this great event will, literally, “be told about the Lord in every generation.” Fathers would tell it to their children, teachers to their students, generation after generation declaring His righteousness. “One generation shall praise thy works to another, and shall declare thy mighty acts” (Psalm 145:4).
 
This prophecy has been wonderfully fulfilled for almost 2,000 years as each generation of Christians tells the next generation the old, old story of “the sufferings of Christ, and the glory that should follow” (1 Peter 1:11), both of which are graphically foretold here in the 22nd Psalm.
 
But this final verse especially stresses the fact that the work has been completed. Its last word, “this,” is not in the original Hebrew, so the final statement actually should read “He hath finished!” The most glorious aspect of the gospel message is that He has accomplished all that was needed to assure eternal salvation to every one who would “remember and turn unto the LORD” (Psalm 22:27).
 
This last great prophecy was fulfilled when He cried out as He was dying on the cross, “It is finished!” (John 19:30). Just as He had, long ago, pronounced that “the heavens and the earth were finished” (Genesis 2:1), completing His great work of creation, so on the cross He had finished the still greater work of redemption. What is left for us to do? Nothing, for He has finished it all! There is nothing we can do, either to create the world or to save our souls. We can only receive, in thanksgiving, what He has done. HMM

h/t: HENRY M MORRIS, INSTITUTE FOR CREATION RESEARCH

Saturday, July 29, 2017

Sunday Sermonette


July 30, 2017
The Word of His Grace
“And now, brethren, I commend you to God, and to the word of his grace, which is able to build you up, and to give you an inheritance among all them which are sanctified.” (Acts 20:32)
 
Many beautiful descriptors are used in the New Testament to illustrate the powers of the Word of God, both spoken and written. For example, the Lord Jesus is called “the Word of life” in 1 John 1:1, and Paul, speaking of the Scriptures, reminded the Philippian Christians that they should be “holding forth the word of life” (Philippians 2:16).
 
Jesus called the Scriptures, which were to be spread through the world like seed sown in a field, “the word of the kingdom” (Matthew 13:19). The apostle Paul called them “the word of faith, which we preach” (Romans 10:8). Quoting a particular Scripture, he spoke of it as “the word of promise” (Romans 9:9).
 
As His witnesses and ambassadors, it is to us that He “hath committed . . . the word of reconciliation” (2 Corinthians 5:19), wherewith we are to beseech men to be reconciled to God. Paul also said that “the word of truth” was nothing less than “the gospel of your salvation” (Ephesians 1:13).
 
The writer of Hebrews called it “the word of exhortation” (Hebrews 13:22). In writing through John to the faithful church at Philadelphia, the Lord Jesus commended them because they had “kept the word of my patience” (Revelation 3:10).
 
But undoubtedly one of the most beautiful and meaningful of such metaphors of God’s Word is the one found in our text (and also in Acts 14:3), that is, “the word of his grace.”
 
There is no grander theme in the Bible than the unmerited, abundant, inexhaustible, saving grace of God in Christ, and it is fitting that God’s eternal Word be known as “the word of His grace.” The book, in fact, ends on this very note. “The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen” (Revelation 22:21). HMM

h/t: HENRY M MORRIS, INSTITUTE FOR CREATION RESEARCH

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Sunday Sermonette


July 23, 2017
With Christ
“And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.” (Romans 8:17)
 
One of the greatest doctrines of the Christian faith is the identification of Christ with His people in all the key events of His great work of salvation. For example, we are considered by God as dying with Him since He died for us. As Paul said, “I am crucified with Christ” (Galatians 2:20).
 
Furthermore, when Christ was buried, we were in effect buried also. “We are buried with him by baptism into death” (Romans 6:4). Then we are also resurrected with Christ. “Buried with him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead” (Colossians 2:12).
 
But that is only the beginning of our great salvation. Christ then ascended to heaven, sat down on the right hand of the Father, and we are there with Him! “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. . . . And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus” (Ephesians 2:4-6).
 
Not even is this the end, for we are joint-heirs with Christ, as our text assures us. He has been “appointed heir of all things” (Hebrews 1:2), and we share His inheritance. “It is a faithful saying: For if we be dead with him, we shall also live with him: If we suffer, we shall also reign with him” (2 Timothy 2:11-12).
 
Identified with Christ in His suffering, His death, His burial, His resurrection, His ascension, and then in His eternal reign! This is our position by faith. When He returns, it will become actuality, “and so shall we ever be with the Lord” (1 Thessalonians 4:17). HMM


h/t: HENRY M MORRIS, INSTITUTE FOR CREATION RESEARCH

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Sunday Sermonette

July 16, 2017
Open Doors
“Withal praying also for us, that God would open unto us a door of utterance, to speak the mystery of Christ, for which I am also in bonds: That I may make it manifest, as I ought to speak.” (Colossians 4:3-4)
 
This was Paul’s prayer request of the Colossian Christians, that God would open the door for His testimony. Paul had written earlier about “when I came to Troas to preach Christ’s gospel, and a door was opened unto me of the Lord” (2 Corinthians 2:12). The purpose of an open door is thus to preach the gospel of Christ and to speak the mystery of Christ.
 
Furthermore, these passages indicate that such doors are opened by the Lord, not by human devices. In fact, Christ Himself is “he that openeth, and no man shutteth; and shutteth, and no man openeth” (Revelation 3:7). Doors of testimony are opened by the Lord in answer to prayer, but He also specifies three criteria for keeping the door opened. “I have set before thee an open door, and no man can shut it: for thou hast a little strength, and hast kept my word, and hast not denied my name” (Revelation 3:8).
 
These conditions mean, literally, having little strength of one’s own and thus depending only on God, jealously guarding the integrity of God’s Word, and upholding the name of Christ as Creator, Savior, and coming King.
 
Even when the door is kept open by God, there is no assurance of ease in entering it. Paul wrote that “a great door and effectual is opened unto me, and there are many adversaries” (1 Corinthians 16:9). This is the reason prayer is needed, relying on God, not man!
 
The Lord is also seeking an open door into churches that think they “have need of nothing. . . . Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him” (Revelation 3:17, 20). HMM

h/t: HENRY M MORRIS, INSTITUTE FOR CREATION RESEARCH

Sunday, July 9, 2017

Sunday Sermonette


July 9, 2017
Faithful Smyrna
“And unto the angel of the church in Smyrna write; . . . I know thy works, and tribulation, and poverty, (but thou art rich) . . . . Fear none of those things which thou shalt suffer . . . be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life.” (Revelation 2:8-10)
 
The Lord Jesus recognized this struggling church, which is not mentioned anywhere else in the New Testament, as one of only two churches mentioned in the book of Revelation that did not receive any warning or condemnation.
 
He saw them very differently than our “church growth” movement might today. Many tend to envy the churches with big auditoriums or grand building programs. Most of the world praises those churches that are “emerging” from the restraints of godliness and churches that are “driven” to attract and please the ungodly.
 
Smyrna was poor, troubled by those who hated God’s message, and suffered tribulation for their works. Some were thrown into prison for their willingness to be identified with the truth. Generations have passed since anything like that has happened to churches in the Western world. Those countries that persecute Christians today seem only like scattered incidents that have little bearing on the day-to-day life of “civilized” nations. May God protect us from such attitudes.
 
But the One who walks among the “candlestick” churches of Revelation (His churches) saw Smyrna as rich and worthy of a crown of life. He praised this little church and encouraged them to remain “faithful unto death” (Revelation 2:10). When the King gives out His rewards from the great judgment seat, these faithful, poor, persecuted, troubled, and imprisoned souls will enter eternity with great riches and joyful liberty in the “general assembly and church of the firstborn” (Hebrews 12:23). HMM III

h/t: HENRY M MORRIS iii, INSTITUTE FOR CREATION RESEARCH