Lame Man Leaping – Acts 3:1-10

  Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we could go to our medical professional, and he could deliver us from the penalty of our sins the way he might set a broken leg? If we could take a newly developed pill which could cure us of the effects of the curse of sin, we might be willing to buy it even if it wasn’t covered by insurance. If radiation or chemotherapy, physical therapy or shock treatments could enable us to walk all the way into Heaven there might be a few more people willing to make that trip. But, of course, this will never happen. “That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. This is why Christ said, Marvel not that I say unto thee, Ye must be born again.” Nevertheless, there are a few scriptural cases where physical and spiritual healing went “handin-hand.” Or perhaps a better cliche might be – “They went together like a hand and glove.” There was once a crippled man, who was laid daily at one of the gates of the Jerusalem temple. By the direction and providence of God, Peter and John entered that gate one afternoon and spoke to him. “Peter said, Silver and gold have I none; but such as I have give I thee: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth rise up and walk. And he took him by the right hand, and lifted him up: and immediately his feet and ankle bones received strength.” Judging from the context, that man was not only physically healed but...

Apostolic Evangelism – Acts 3:1-16

  We can’t be sure where exactly the healing of this lame man took place. Jerusalem, yes; the temple, yes. But I have seen dozens of depictions of the temple in Jerusalem, and they are all a little different. Nowhere else in the Bible are we told about the “Beautiful Gate,” so it may have been a nickname used only in that day. But there is a reference in verse 11 to “Solomon’s Porch,” and in verse 8, after the healing, the three men went “into” the temple. So I am thinking that this took place at one of the exterior gates – outside the Court of the Women and outside of Solomon’s porch. One day, at just before 3:00 in the afternoon Peter and John walked toward the “Beautiful Gate.” On that day, one of the greatest of all human events took place. Two Christians behaved like Christians should and one sick, dead, lost man became a child of God. Let’s consider the event itself. This man, because of his malady, had no access to the temple. Because he couldn’t walk and because he couldn’t walk, he was not permitted inside the temple grounds. So metaphorically – symbolically – he had no access to God. He was unable to worship the Lord according to the outline of the Old Testament law. He was spiritually crippled – lost – in reality, he was dead in his trespasses and sin in the sight of God. In fact, he had never been able to walk, even though his legs were correctly formed, despite their weak and thin condition. Apparently there was...

The Temple, the Temple, the Temple of the Lord – Jeremiah 7:1-7

  Wednesday, when we were going over our prayer requests, I mentioned our need of revival. I immediately heard a few “amens” and some other heads were nodded – we need “revival.” “Revival” is a good, old-fashioned religious word, but I’m not sure if it is still in vogue – still fashionable. Are you aware that it is foreign to the Word of God – “Revival” is not to be found in the Bible. We find a few revival’s but not the actual word. And even though the word “revive” is Biblical, it is not at all common. The best known verse with the word comes from the obscure book of Habakkuk 3:2 – “O LORD, I have heard thy speech, and was afraid: O LORD, REVIVE thy work in the midst of the years, in the midst of the years make known; in wrath remember mercy.” From the other six verses using this word, we have the Psalmist’s – “Wilt thou not REVIVE us again: that thy people may rejoice in thee?” THIS is what I meant when I said, “We need revival,” and I hope it was to this you said, “Amen.” But our text this evening, obviously, isn’t coming from Habakkuk or the Psalms. Jeremiah served God during the days of a revival in Israel – but he also served in the years that followed. The blessings of that revival were not as blessed as he hoped – or as we might think. What good was produced was short-lived and then it was twisted into something quite negative. In order to see the full picture, we...

The Mission in Crete – Titus 1:4-5

  I’d like to talk to you about the Lord’s work in Loveland, Colorado. Almost from the beginning, I have thought of that work as a mission of our church. But it is not something which our church has determined to do; it has just been my perception so far. I think that for clarification purposes, we need to vote authorizing our mission work in Colorado. There are already, in Loveland, some of the common characteristics of any mission work. There is the preaching and teaching of the gospel in meetings open to the public. But just as important, the people are personally sharing Christ with their neighbors and co-workers. They have a sincere desire to have a mission and to see it grow into an independent Baptist church, even if some them eventually move to Post Falls. And the Holy Spirit is blessing with souls saved and the Christians there are growing strong in the Lord. These are things we like to hear in reports from any mission – Romania, Siberia, Brazil – wherever. But there are things about Loveland which are not typical in modern missions. For example, it didn’t begin the way that most missions are started these days. When it seemed that the former ministry in Loveland was closing down, the Lord declared it to be otherwise. Even though God didn’t send a missionary to Loveland or Fort Collins, the Holy Spirit has established a missionary-type ministry. I don’t think any observant Christian can suggest that God is finished with the front range of Northern Colorado. And yet, many of the people there have been...

Paul’s Special Prayer Request – I Thessalonians 5:17

  It can be safely said that no Christian has a prayer life as deep, as spiritual and as thorough as it ought to be. Paul exhorted his friends in Thessalonica to “pray without ceasing” because they were not. But he probably wrote those words without embarrassment, because “without ceasing” may have characterized his own prayer life. I think “pray without ceasing” means to begin each day in prayer and end each day in thanksgiving. And in between time, even though we have a thousand things to do, we should carry out each task with an attitude of prayer. In other words, the Lord should be very near our every thought – our every deed. There should be a very tiny step between where we are and where the Lord is. Every place we go should become the Lord’s tabernacle. And in our hearts, if not our hands, there should be a censer filled the odor of godly prayer. But incessant prayer; importunate prayer; selfless prayer; holy prayer is not my subject this evening. I’d like us to consider a very special prayer request which Paul laid out before his friends. There are occasions when we all have special needs, and sometimes we ask our brethren to pray for us. Eight verses after Paul said, “Pray without ceasing,” he said, “Brethren, pray for US“ – “Pray for Timothy, for Silas and for me.” There is no Christian who does not need, or who could not use, the prayers of his brethren. None of us are smart enough, strong enough, spiritual enough not to need more of the blessing of...

Abram, the Warrior of God – Genesis 14:1-25

  Brother Fulton and I were chatting the other day, when he mentioned that he had enjoyed teaching through a passage full of genealogies. We agreed that if God put something into His Word it must be there for a reason. My Bible has about 1,300 pages, but it could be infinitely longer. The Holy Spirit has done some editing for us. Can you imagine what the Lord could have recorded in His Word, but hasn’t? The Book of John concludes with the words, “And there are also many other things which Jesus did, the which, if they should be written every one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that should be written. Amen.” And still we have many chapters of nothing but name after name. There must be a reason. I was reading the book “Chats from a Minister’s Library” by Wilbur M. Smith, and this chapter was brought up. It was a fascinating article describing how the four kings of from Mesopotamia swept around and then attacked the five kings of the Jordan valley from the south. It wasn’t so much the military strategy which peeked my interest. I was struck with a couple of other things, but I am not sure that I will be able to verbalize my cogitations. Here we are a quarter of the way into one of the most important books in the Bible and we are confronted with ten verses of ancient, useless names and information. Who cares who was king of Shinar four thousand years ago? And where is Shinar anyway? Why do we...

A Worthy Life – Ephesians 4:1-3

  A lot of people would give God permission to make them His children, if it guaranteed an eternal inheritance. Yet many of those same people would refuse God the right to direct that person’s life. But the right of creation creates a number of other rights for the Creator. The Bible teaches that the potter has power over the clay. The right of blessing walks hand in hand with the right of direction. and only ostrich-like professing Christians miss fact that God outlines how He wants us spend our lives. I know from experience that many sermons on Christian living end up with a list of negatives. Sometimes that is necessary – Children need to hear specifics, and I’m afraid we are all children. Sometimes, a simple, “Be good while I’m gone,” just isn’t sufficient. Sometimes it needs to be said, “Don’t spray-paint the dog; don’t glue the pages of sister’s book together, and don’t try to build a camp-fire in the living room.” But, of course, I am being silly – these are a bit extreme, aren’t they? No child is that dumb, is he? Actually, even the children of God are that dumb. What sort of sins have you committed since you were saved? Some of those sins have been more than just dumb. Despite our weaknesses, It shouldn’t be necessary for the Christian to hear only negatives. The power, effects, blessings and testimony of the Christian life are positive. And if our neighbor sees only the negatives in our Christian lives, he is not going to be interested in our Saviour. We need to have...

The Blessing of the Holy Spirit – Romans 8:1-14

  It could be argued that this message is a continuation of our short series from I Peter 2:9-10. It is not, but the fact is, this does a consider another of the great blessings we have as Christians. As I said at least once during that series, it may take eternity for us to fully understand and then to express our thanksgiving for all that is contained in our salvation.   Addressing primarily Christians, as Paul was doing in this letter to the Romans….. When you entered the Family of God, through divine grace and the sacrifice of Christ, you instantly began to enjoy a number of new relationships. You became a part of a chosen generation, and a royal priesthood, and an holy nation. You became a one of the Lord’s peculiar people. And in the midst of those things, you began a new relationship with God, the Holy Spirit. That relationship is so important that Christians need to stop and consider it from time to time. To illustrate this new relationship, let’s pretend that you are young and deeply in love. You have found the person with whom you’d like to spend the rest of your life. You two seem perfectly matched and compatible in every possible way. You have the same kind of faith and the same Saviour – in fact you met in the House of God. You enjoy the same sort of music, and you have the same recreational interests. You have the same taste in food; and your life’s goals and interests are compatible. And there was instant acceptance by each other’s...

That Ye Should Show Forth the Lord’s Praises – I Peter 2:9-10

  A month ago, when we first approached this scripture, I didn’t intend for it to become a series. I simply wanted to teach a lesson on the priesthood of the believer. But as we have seen, that is only one of the blessed privileges which the Lord has given to His children. There are six relationships listed, each of which are a blessing to my heart, and I hope to yours as well. “Ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people. You have been called “out of darkness into (God’s) marvellous light.” “Which in time past were not a people, but are now the people of God: which had not obtained mercy, but now have obtained mercy.” This evening I’d like to conclude it all by considering what Peter said in the midst of all these blessings. “That ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light.” Then he went on, “Dearly beloved, I beseech you and strangers and pilgrims……” Verse 15 – “For so is the will of God, that with well doing ye may put to silence the ignorance of foolish men.” The Lord has infinitely blessed us, but there was a special purpose in it. Before we get to the Lord’s purpose in saving us, let me ask a question seems to come out of left field. Why are religious people religious? George Gallop and Pew Research, two major survey groups, say that between 37% and 39% of the people of this country attend church regularly. The American population...

One Christian’s Opinion of Zionism – Psalm 137:1-6

  I was recently handed a tract and asked to give my opinion about it. I was told to be frank and honest in my assessment – which I always try to be anyway. But my instructions included not pulling my punches or holding back – which sometimes I do. The tract dealt with a subject I’ve never explicitly addressed, and because of this I feel led of the Lord to offer my opinion publically. But I have to admit that this isn’t something I have studied for months and months. I don’t have a seasoned opinion, based on reading several books and hearing a dozen sermons by men who I consider to be expert in the subject. In other words, this will be a pretty simple answer, and with more study my opinions might change slightly some day. But the original challenge was – “What do you think about this tract?” And so I am going to begin where I am right now – with the knowledge I have at the moment. The article is entitled “Zionism: What it is and what it is not.” It is published by Ariel Ministries, one of the Messianic Jewish organizations in the world today. Their leadership and teachers appear to be entirely Jewish – that might bother some people, but not me. Their doctrinal statement, published on the internet, includes some pretty good stuff, but mixed with some of the common precepts of Protestantism. For example, they believe, as we do about the Triune God, with the full and absolute deity of Christ Jesus. They believe in the fall of man...

The Day of Gods’ Wrath – I Thessalonians 5:1-10

  This will be a rather unusual message – not for its content, but for its presentation. I almost worded that first statement – “This will be a very unorthodox message,” but that is not the case. “Unorthodox” means – “contrary to what is usual, traditional, or accepted.” That word is usually used in a religious context. This message will not be contrary to the stated doctrine of our church – in fact it is just the opposite. From its inception, Calvary Independent Baptist Church has held to the Premillennial, Pretribulational position in regard to the return of Christ. Article XIV of our Statement of Faith reads: “THE LORD’S RETURN. We believe that Christ Jesus is coming back to earth again; that His return shall be personal, audible, visible, and bodily; that it shall mark the advent of the “day of the Lord” and usher in the millennium; and that He shall in that day turn the tables on Satan, take up the throne of His Father David, put down all His enemies, rule with a rod of iron, triumph over sin, and give the world an example of righteous government during His thousand years of personal reign on earth. We also believe in the imminent return of Christ for his saints. Being thus imminent, it will naturally occur prior to the time of Jacob’s trouble – the tribulation. We also believe that the many promises made to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob concerning a land of inheritance have not yet been fulfilled and that Christ will make good on these promises when He returns in glory to save Israel.”...

The Law of Christ – Galatians 6:1-2

  The Lord has a great many wonderful names and titles. Each of them reveal different aspects of His nature and His relationship to creation. Thousands of pastors and Bible teachers have taught through them – blessing their churches.. That is something I have considered but never done, but I have addressed many of those names and titles individually. This afternoon I want to bring your attention to one of those titles – one of my least favorites. I often refer to the fruit of this office without directly mentioning the title on the door. To neglect this subject is to improperly preach the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ. I am referring to the title “Lawgiver.” I am much more comfortable with “Judge” than I am “Lawgiver,” but they are closely related. In God’s government there is no distinction between the executive, legislative and judicial offices. Because God is one – and completely sovereign – He is King, Lawgiver and Judge. As a title, “Lawgiver” is given to Jehovah twice – once in each Testament. Isaiah uses the three titles I just mentioned in his 33rd chapter. – “For the LORD is our judge, the LORD is our lawgiver, the LORD is our king; he will save us.” Isaiah 33 is filled with glorious promises of God’s future blessings on Israel – and ultimately to us. Jehovah is ISRAEL’S lawgiver, but because he is King, Judge and Lawgiver over all His creation, the wicked – universally – will pay for their rebellion against him. I could see only one other verse which calls God our “Lawgiver.” Amidst exhortations...

Ministry as Illustrated in Philemon – Philemon 1-25

  There is a word in verse 6 which I will take as the spring board for our message this evening. In that word we have an opportunity to speak about the ministry – the human side of the work of the Lord Jesus Christ. Also in this short epistle, the Lord has revealed several other suggestive things about the ministry. And it needs to be understood that it’s not just about the pastor, the missionary and the evangelist. The word “ministry” needs to be applied generally to all Christians. We all have our ministries. Music might be one person’s ministry. But very few of us can play an instrument well enough to be a blessing to others. And not all of us are good singers, helping others in that aspect of their worship. Not every can preach or have the opportunity to teach a Bible class. But there ARE some things which all of us can do – and should do – for the glory of the Lord’s Name.   The word which caught my attention is “communication.” “I thank my God, making mention of thee always in my prayers… that the communication of thy faith may become effectual by the acknowledging of every good thing which is in you in Christ Jesus.” While several of my thoughts this evening will be related to the Apostle, we notice that this verse is pointed toward Philemon. And Philemon apparently was not the pastor of the church of which he was a member. He doesn’t appear to be ordained; he was not an elder in the church. He might have...

God’s Trumpet – I Thessalonians 1:4-10

  I have said recently that I have a dream where our church becomes somewhat like the church in Antioch. I admit that it is an ambitious dream. It’s perhaps not as ambitious as the dream being celebrated tomorrow. But why not? Why can’t we dream big if it is for the glory of God? Why can’t our church be instrumental in the starting of other churches of Christ – churches even more important than ourselves? Why can’t our Heavenly record declare that we were used of God to sponsor several missionaries? Perhaps other churches might some day send ambassadors to investigate the exciting things taking place here in Post Falls, just as Jerusalem did with Antioch. If it be the will of God, there is no reason why Calvary Independent Baptist Church could not become the Antioch Baptist Church of the American Northwest. It might not be in my lifetime, but somewhere in God’s time, it would be wonderful. But, as has been pointed out several times, there are things about Antioch which we don’t find in our church and perhaps never will. For example, there was a spiritual “revival” and multitudes were being born into the family of God. Acts 11:21 – “The hand of the Lord was with them: and a great number believed, and turned unto the Lord.” So it appears that that church in Syria was much larger than we are. Is size a criteria to becoming a second Antioch? As those new believers grew in the things of God, the church grew in its organization and ministry. That church had a significant number...

The Forty Days of Elijah – I Kings 19:1-15a

  Elijah was one of the truly great men of God. No one should try to deny this. At the end of his life “Elijah went up by a whirlwind into Heaven, and Elisha saw it.” Then about 920 years later there he was with Moses meeting with Christ Jesus at the transfiguration. Both James and Paul speak well of him. However – James does point out “Elias was a man subject to like passions as we are.” And that is why I’ve chosen him for inclusion in this series. In the chapter before our text – I Kings 18 – we have one of the great spiritual victories in ancient history. At the command of God Elijah went to Mt. Carmel and confronted 450 prophets of the false god Baal. There ensued a battle between Jehovah and the ambassadors of Satan with Elijah as the Lord’s sole soldier. Before the eyes of a large number of Israelites, Elijah called down fire from heaven to consume an impossibly wet sacrifice. There may have been a battle between God and Baal, but it wasn’t a fair fight. Baal may be called “a god” but he was nothing but empty air, while Jehovah clearly demonstrated His Almighty power. The people were forced by the circumstances of the victory to cry out, “The LORD (Jehovah), he is God, the LORD, he is God.” Elijah then commanded the execution of those false prophets, and the people carried out his order. Wicked King Ahab cowered and was put in his place. But his more wicked wife, Jezebel, who was made of tougher stuff, shot...