The Girdle of Truth – Ephesians 6:10-18

  There is an enemy of Christ who is out to destroy the Lord’s Kingdom and to silence His subjects. And that means you and I are in spiritual danger. The Satanic attack against us may be physical or it may be entirely spiritual. Probably most often it is a combination of the two. And they are designed to keep us from serving and bringing glory to the Lord. Satan cannot take the child of God from the Saviour, but he can destroy our service. And because of these assaults Paul reminds us to “put on the whole armor of God” – the Spiritual panoply. Each piece protects us against some aspect of the wiles of the Wicked One. And if we omit any aspect of our protection we are in danger of joining Achilles. In the “Iliad” the Greek writer, Homer, described a man named Achilles. According to the story Achilles’ mother so loved her son that she would do anything to protect him. Thetis had been told that the water of the river Styx would make her child immortal. So she carried him to the river and holding him by one heel she baptized him. She tried to “immerse” her baby in the water of the river but she failed in her purpose. By holding that heel the water couldn’t touch that small portion of her baby’s foot. Later during the Trojan war the heel of poor Achilles was hit by an arrow, and he died. Every Christian has an Achilles’ heel, but it may not be on his foot. The Bible teaches, and Bible believers know,...

The Panoply of God – Ephesian 6:10-12

  For years, one of the most popular writers in Christian circles has been a man named George Barna. According to Wikipedia, “Barna has written more than 50 books, mostly addressing cultural trends, leadership, spiritual development, and church dynamics. They include New York Times bestsellers and several award-winning books. He has sold more books based on survey research related to matters of faith than any author in American history. His work is frequently cited as an authoritative source by the media. Barna has been hailed as ‘the most quoted person in the Christian Church today’ and has been named by various media as one of the nation’s most influential Christian leaders.” He is quoted everywhere, and I have put some of his statements in the bulletin from time to time. While he might be helpful in some ways, we must remember that trends are not as important as Truths. I know what society is doing from what the Bible says as much as from what the news media says. And I’m not planning on changing my theology or my practice to suit the current trends. And besides, it appears to me that Barna sometimes dispenses conflicting opinions. In one statement he seems to be saying that Christianity is alive and well. And then in the next he seems to be saying that we’re in serious trouble. I suppose that, depending on your point of view, both statements are true. Clearly, Christianity is lagging behind other religions in its market position – market share. Cults and foreign religions are growing far more rapidly than Bible Christianity. So in this sense...

Submitting to Christ’s Mediatorial Rule – Isaiah 45:22-25

  Our study of Holy Scripture must never be a mere academic exercise – or for the sake of scholarship. Because, among other things one of the dangers in knowledge is pride. “I have memorized John Gill’s book, therefore I am more knowledgeable than you are. And since it is a theology book, I am even more spiritual than you.” Remember, a part of Satan’s temptation of Eve was in the area of knowledge. And when you stop to think about it, the suggested information was not bad or evil in itself. “Ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.” “And when she saw that it might make her wise, she took of the fruit and did eat.” To be able to fully explain all that there is to know about the Lordship of Christ, doesn’t necessarily make us better Christians or even better people. Did Adam and Eve learn more about good and evil? In a sense, yes, they did, but it was to their detriment, not betterment. If Bible doctrine doesn’t improve our relationship to the Lord, then it may be more dangerous than helpful. To know more of God’s holiness can be a blessing, but it can also be used of Satan to bring someone under conviction to the point of suicide. Bible doctrine is only properly understood when it renews our heart and sanctifies our conduct. And that includes what we might learn about the Mediatorial Lordship of Christ. What influence should this information and doctrine have on our heart and life? Remember, the devils also believe in God, in the deity of Christ,...

Mistakes People Make about the Lordship of Christ – Acts 5:27-32

  Are there any people living between the 49th parallel and the Rio Grande River, who suggest that Donald Trump is not the legal President of the United States? I can imagine that there are people, who for various reasons, make that kind of statement. But the fact remains that Mr. Trump is in the White House and he is wielding presidential powers. Similarly, there are a thousand times more people who say that Jesus Christ is not the Lord. They say that He is not the eternal Son of God. They claim that He is not the Messiah or the Saviour. They refuse to bow their knees before the Lord as King. But they will one day acknowledge Him – “I have sworn by myself, the word is gone out of my mouth in righteousness, and shall not return, That unto me every knee shall bow, every tongue shall swear” – Isaiah 45:23. “For it is written, As I live, saith the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God” – Romans 14:11. And Philippians 2:10 – “At the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” This is not the only mistake people make about the Lordship of Christ. There are at least three which are often made by religious people – even evangelical people. And it’s these mistakes that I’d like us to briefly consider this evening. Many people confuse...

Christ is Lord Both Now And For Ever – I Corinthians 15:22-47

  In 1 Corinthians 15:45 Jesus is called “the last Adam. “ The word “last” is the Greek word from which we derive “eschatology” or the doctrine of last things. You could say that Christ is the “eschatological Adam.“ The first Adam surrendered himself to the prince of darkness who rules over this present evil age. The last Adam has come to defeat that prince of darkness and to bring forth the age to come. My point tonight is there is an overlapping between the age in which we live and the age which is to come. Satan is still the god of this world, and Christians still wrestle with their Adamic fallen nature. On the other hand, the last days are already here and have been for some time now. Eschatology isn’t something off in the distance, we are within its borders today. “God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds” – Hebrews 1:1-2. Hebrews 6:5 reminds us that we have “tasted the good word of God, and the power of the world to come.” On the Day of Pentecost as Peter was preaching, he reached back into the prophesy of Joel and declared that both the trials and blessings of the last days have arrived. You might say that we are living in the period of the “already, but not yet.” The first step toward the last step – the...

The Extent of Christ’s Lordship – Revelation 17:7-14

  Three weeks ago, I brought to your attention, something special about the Lordship of Christ. It was that His Lordship was enhanced and changed when He completed the work of redemption. After Christ’s exaltation, the Father made Him Lord in ways He was not Lord before. In addition to his original and innate “ontological” Lordship was an added “mediatorial” Lordship. Then we considered how Adam and David were each promised a specific kind of lordship – dominion. Adam was the head of a race of people – the entire human race, to be exact. When he chose to sin against God, he did so as the representative of all his heirs. And similarly, Christ came into the world as the head of the people whom the Father gave to him. And Christ died paying the sin penalty for all of His people, eternally redeeming them. Then the Holy Spirit added David as another picture of Christ – actually as a father of Jesus Christ. As David was made a king, Christ is a king. As David ruled over Israel and a number of heathen nations, Christ is the true king of his people. But he is also King of all kings and the Lord of all creation. Christ’s special dominion as Federal head and King of kings was given to Him at the completion of His work of redemption. Some of that dominion will be more fully applied during the Millennium and later, but some of it is for this moment and forever. Even though all things are under God’s triune dominion, I Corinthians says, now that the...

David and Christ – Acts 2:29-36

  I said last Sunday afternoon that among the many types of Christ in the Old Testament two men make particularly important statements about the Lord. And I want to capitalize that word LORD, because the lesson I am trying to emphasize is this – Jesus Christ is the sovereign King over all things both by His divine nature AND through the covenant between the Father and the Son. In Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross, with the Father’s approval proved by the resurrection, Jesus has been made Lord in a special way which did not exist earlier. “There was given him dominion, and glory and a kingdom” – Daniel 7:14. Christ “is gone into heaven, and is on the right hand of God; angels and authorities and powers being made subject unto him” – I Peter 3:22. The God Man has authority and Lordship which is different from being simply – God. AFTER Christ “became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross… God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name.” He was exalted and given a name which He didn’t have before. That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” These and other scriptures declare that this particular Lordship belongs to Christ as a result of what He accomplished on the cross. As we saw last week, Adam depicts Christ’s Lordship in that both are heads...

Adam and Christ – Romans 5:12-18

  There are several people in the Old Testament who are types or pictures of Christ. Joseph for example, has to be one of the most perfect and lovely, depicting our Lord in several ways. But there are two other men, both mentioned in the New Testament, who are particularly important theologically. They aren’t just types of Christ, they are much more than that. They link up to our thoughts from last Sunday night – they emphasize Christ’s Mediatorial Lordship. The man I’d like to consider this afternoon is Adam. It isn’t some smart theologian who decided that Adam’s life and Christ’s are related. Unless you want to say that Paul was that smart theologian. Romans 5 ties together Adam and the Lord Jesus. “Death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over them that had not sinned after the similitude of Adam’s transgression, who is the figure of Him that was to come.” “For if by one man’s offence death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ.)” “For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous.” In I Corinthians 15 Paul calls Christ the “second man” and the “last Adam.” “So it is written, The first man Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam was made a quickening spirit. Howbeit that was not first which is spiritual, but that which is natural; and afterward that which is spiritual. The first man is of the earth, earthy: the...

Jesus Christ is Lord – Romans 10:6-10

  You have heard me say many times that I view the word “Lord” in the New Testament as being equivalent to “LORD” in the Old Testament. When Christ is said to be “Lord” – depending on the context, the Spirit is saying that He is “Jehovah.” This evening I would like to take that thought back one step and then forward two steps. Once again, my mental juices have been stirred by another book sent to me by Brother Ron Crisp. He and Daniel Chamberlin collaborated on a book they called “Jesus is Lord.” Much of this message, and perhaps one or two to follow, come from my consideration of their thoughts. When the Old Testament word “LORD” is found in all capital letters, it is the Hebrew “Jehovah” or “Yawheh.” But in the Greek, “Lord” is “kurios” which could speak of either God or some powerful man. As a title, it was used of those who had authority or ownership. Sometimes it was the same as our word “sir.” But Bible students must remember that the doctrinal meaning of a word, especially when applied to Christ, does not come from a dictionary or a lexicon but from its unique context in the Scriptures. The Bible declares that Jesus Christ is God. BUT He is also more and less than that – He is our Master – our King. And when the saints of the New Testament spoke of the Lord Jesus Christ, it was in both contexts. What I would like us to do this evening is try to appreciate that more fully. Is this important? Without...

God’s Knowledge – Psalm 147

  A good test of our spiritual condition might be how we respond to meditations upon the Person of God. A couple of weeks ago, I told you that the message for that day, came from an edited version of Stephen Charnock’s “Discourses on the Existence and Attributes of God.” I was reading a book sent to me by an acquaintance – I’ll now call him a friend – and I was enthralled. Since that time, I have brought several more lessons stemming from my reading in that book, although they have not come quite so directly as that first one. How has your heart responded to lessons on the eternality or the spirituality of Jehovah? If you’ve thought that these messages were a waste of time, then you need to look into your soul. Is there spiritual life there at all? Or are you a Christian so caught up in the world that there is no room for the Lord? I admit that my communication skills might not match Charnock’s or Chamberlin’s, but the subject matter speaks for itself. There is nothing that thrills my heart as much as when one of you comes to me excited about things of God – whether it has come from a message heard here, or from something you’ve read elsewhere. We probably won’t have many more messages like the past two or three weeks, but here is another. Consideration of God’s KNOWLEDGE should give us all spasms of ecstacy – and conviction. Look at Psalm 147:5 once again – “Great is our Lord, and of great power: his understanding is infinite.”...

How the Spiritual God Should be Worship – John 4:4-23

  Christ Jesus told the Samaritan woman that since God is a spirit, His worship must be of a spiritual nature. Since God is a spirit, fellowship with Him must involve our spirit, not our flesh. Worship must suit the nature of the Object worshiped. And so for us, it is not so much about a loud band as it is an elevated soul. It’s not so much a bended knee as a broken heart; not so much an actor’s voice as a groaning spirit. We are not to use the ceremonies of the Jews, nor the new styles of the Samaritans. If Jehovah was a physical being, images and physical worship might be suitable, but God is a Spirit. There was an Old Testament style of worship, but there is now a New Testament worship. And this new worship is based upon the spiritual nature of God linked to the spiritual nature of the saint. God is a spirit, and His other perfections and attributes tell us what kind of spirit He is. This means that whether we adore His goodness or His patience, His justice or His wisdom, that He is a spirit governs how we worship Him. And this should protect us from carnality and frivolity. Doesn’t man’s inner voice demand that we worship must be spiritually? Not even idolaters claim to be worshiping the idol in front of them, but rather what the idol represents. Romans 1 teaches that in perverting worship, man goes against his better understanding. Idolatry is not so much a sin of ignorance, but a sin against light which God created...

How the Spiritual God Should be Worship – John 4:4-23 Christ Jesus told the Samaritan woman that since God is a spirit, His worship must be of a spiritual nature. Since God is a spirit, fellowship with Him must involve our spirit, not our flesh. Worship must suit the nature of the Object worshiped. And so for us, it is not so much about a loud band as it is an elevated soul. It’s not so much a bended knee as a broken heart; not so much an actor’s voice as a groaning spirit. We are not to use the ceremonies of the Jews, nor the new styles of the Samaritans. If Jehovah was a physical being, images and physical worship might be suitable, but God is a Spirit. There was an Old Testament style of worship, but there is now a New Testament worship. And this new worship is based upon the spiritual nature of God linked to the spiritual nature of the saint. God is a spirit, and His other perfections and attributes tell us what kind of spirit He is. This means that whether we adore His goodness or His patience, His justice or His wisdom, that He is a spirit governs how we worship Him. And this should protect us from carnality and frivolity. Doesn’t man’s inner voice demand that we worship must be spiritually? Not even idolaters claim to be worshiping the idol in front of them, but rather what the idol represents. Romans 1 teaches that in perverting worship, man goes against his better understanding. Idolatry is not so much a sin of...

Our Lord’s Sample Prayer – Matthew 6:9-13

  For a couple of weeks, I have been thinking about this sample prayer. I thought I might incorporate it into the service last Tuesday, but it wasn’t the Lord’s will. However it was the Lord’s will that I spend some time meditating on it. As an example and guideline for prayer, it must be important. Just because the majority of Christianity abuse these words, that is no reason for us to avoid them. I don’t know how many times, I heard these or similar words, uttered in the Protestant church of my youth. And I have to admit that I am tempted to quote them in prayer from time to time. I don’t think the Lord would be upset with me if I did, because it would not be the vain repetition. But they weren’t meant to be memorized and recited. They were meant to be used instructionally – they are at the very least a framework for prayer. And for that reason, I’ve sought a word or two which could summarize each of the pieces of this model. We are probably better off memorizing and implementing the framework than we are the precise words. The Lord started with a call for FOCUS. “After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven…” There are a couple of things to keep in mind at this point. First, to think of God as the Heavenly Father was an utterly new concept. Did Abraham or David, Daniel or Elisha ever call upon Jehovah as their Father? Not to my recollection. Why? Was it a matter of their neglect...

Three Ears – Acts 7:54-58

  This is not the first time that I have preached on the subject of the human ear. I’ve done that in two sermons before, but the last time was many years ago. I thought about starting with an object lessons for tonight, but I think that we’re familiar enough with ears that it won’t be unnecessary. I was thinking about bringing an ear of sweet corn, an ear of Indian corn, and perhaps some feed corn. There are a great variety of ears in this world. The human ear is one of the most faithful and least appreciated parts of our bodies. Most of us don’t give our ears the least little thought until we get water in them. The exceptions, of course, are those who are losing their hearing for one reason or another, and then when we get either an infection or a tickle in them. So there they are, and speaking for myself, I actually look directly at them at least once a year. Of course I don’t wear earrings, and I don’t have to see if my ears match my tie or shoes. To further make my point, I have a little book in my library called “God’s Masterpiece, Man’s Body.” It has forty-four chapters on forty-four parts of the body, but there isn’t one chapter on the ear. And that is a shame because, it really is another of the great marvels of God’s creation. Whether or not man gives a lot of thought to ears, the Lord certainly does. Would you be surprised to learn that the words “ear” and “ears” are...

THE HOLINESS OF BEAUTY – Psalm 29:1-2

  I have just finished listening to a CD biography of William Tyndale by David Teems. It was so fascinating that I asked the library to find a hard copy so I could re-read what I had heard. Tyndale loved the Word of God and the English language which was still in its infancy. Listening to his translation of the Greek, sometimes I thought I was listing to the KJV which was published about 90 years later. Tyndale, although raised Roman Catholic, because he possessed God’s word, learned the truth. Both he and his biographer clearly and distinctly declared the gospel and the doctrines of salvation. I need to read more from the pen of that biographer to understand more fully the state of his soul. At times, while accurately expressing the gospel, I’m not sure he wasn’t merely quoting Tyndale. In other words, I can’t be sure of the biographer’s salvation. And furthermore, despite his love for Tyndale’s Bible, I wasn’t convinced that he was looking at it as the revealed Word of God. It was as though he merely considers it to be among the finest English literature ever written. He believes the Tyndale Bible, followed by the Authorized Bible, are the most beautiful English words ever written. I fully agree with him, but I go beyond him, declaring that the Bible is not merely the beautiful words of Tyndale. The King James Bible really is the greatest and most beautiful of all literature. And anyone, from a eight-year-old to a college professor, could do a lot worse than reading the Bible, whether he believes it to...