Saturday, December 29, 2007

2007-12-30 AM The Old Timers.mp3

The Old-Timers

Genesis 17:1-14; Luke 2:21-39 / Isaiah 40:1-8
Dr. Edwin P. Elliott

I. Joseph and Mary Brought Jesus to God

A. The Messiah must be fully God and fully man and must fulfill all the obligations revealed in Scripture. “But when the fullness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law, To redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons.” (Galatians 4:4-5)

B. The ritual process began with circumcision and naming. “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.” (Luke 2:21) [Matthew 1:21]

C. The parents scrupulously followed God’s instructions for the child. “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.” (Luke 2:22-24)

D. Circumcision was obligatory. “And he that is eight days old shall be circumcised among you, every man child in your generations, he that is born in the house, or bought with money of any stranger, which is not of thy seed.” (Genesis 17:12)

E. A period of rest and retirement for the mother followed, ending with a sacrifice at the Temple. “And in the eighth day the flesh of his foreskin shall be circumcised. And she shall then continue in the blood of her purifying three and thirty days; she shall touch no hallowed thing, nor come into the sanctuary, until the days of her purifying be fulfilled.” (Leviticus 12:3-4) [41st for a male, and the 81st for a female]

II. Simeon Was Waiting for the Presentation

A. Simeon displayed a righteous faith, communicated with God, and expected the Messiah. “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.” (Luke 2:25-26)

B. The Holy Spirit brought Simeon to the Temple when Joseph and Mary brought Jesus. “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,” (Luke 2:27-28)

C. Simeon acknowledged that God had kept His promise of a Savior. “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;” (Luke 2:29-31)

D. In the child, Simeon saw the fulfillment of the double promise to Abraham of a Savior for both Israel and the Gentiles. “A light to lighten the Gentiles, and the glory of thy people Israel.” (Luke 2:32)

E. The parents, who had grown accustomed to startling news from God, were amazed. “And Joseph and his mother marvelled at those things which were spoken of him.” (Luke 2:33)

F. Simeon foresaw Mary’s agony; the mother would stand in the crowd at the cross. “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.” (Luke 2:34-35) “Now there stood by the cross of Jesus his mother, and his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Cleophas, and Mary Magdalene.” (John 19:25)

G. The long-expected Redeemer would also be the terror of those who reject God; the hope of heaven includes the dread of hell. “And he shall be for a sanctuary; but for a stone of stumbling and for a rock of offence to both the houses of Israel, for a gin and for a snare to the inhabitants of Jerusalem. And many among them shall stumble, and fall, and be broken, and be snared, and be taken.” (Isaiah 8:14-15) “To the one we are the savour of death unto death; and to the other the savour of life unto life. And who is sufficient for these things?” (2 Corinthians 2:16)

H. Those who refuse to answer the call to heaven will answer the order to hell. “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not! Behold, your house is left unto you desolate.” (Matthew 23:37-38)

III. Anna Had Waited a Lifetime for the Messiah

A. The women of Asher were reputed to be the most beautiful in the world; God chose one of the beautiful women who had lived a long life of suffering and dedication to acknowledge His Son. “And there was one Anna, a prophetess, the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher: 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.” (Luke 2:36-37)

B. The hope of the hopeless, the guardian of widows and orphans, came to an old woman who believed against all worldly evidence that God would yet redeem His people. “And she coming in that instant gave thanks likewise unto the Lord, and spake of him to all them that looked for redemption in Jerusalem.” (Luke 2:38)

C. Here was the second witness to testify that God keeps His promises; no one ever lost by trusting God’s promises. [Solomon said] “Blessed be the LORD, that hath given rest unto his people Israel, according to all that he promised: there hath not failed one word of all his good promise, which he promised by the hand of Moses his servant.” (1 Kings 8:56)

2007-12-30 PM The End and the Beginning - Romans 16.mp3

The End and the Beginning

Romans 16:1-27
Dr. Edwin P. Elliott

I. Christianity Thrives Communally

A. Jesus appeared to His people when they gathered weekly. “Then the same day at evening, being the first day of the week, when the doors were shut where the disciples were assembled for fear of the Jews, came Jesus and stood in the midst, and saith unto them, Peace be unto you.” (John 20:19)

B. The regular communion of the saints has continued an article of faith and a necessity of normal Christian life. “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.” (Hebrews 10:25)

C. Paul concluded Romans with extensive personal references; the people of sovereign grace must be the people of communal interaction. “I commend unto you Phoebe our sister, which is a servant of the church which is at Cenchrea:” (Romans 16:1)

D. Christians must practice a communal intimacy foreign to the surrounding world. “Salute one another with an holy kiss. The churches of Christ salute you.” (Romans 16:16)

II. Self-Examination Extends to the Communion of the Saints

A. The necessary and normal unity of the church must not extend to welcoming disruptive and heretical practices; unity in Christ is first unity in truth. “Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them.” (Romans 16:17)

B. Jesus is the pattern for church life. “Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” (John 14:6)

C. Heresy and bad behavior repudiate Christ and close the door to heaven. “For they that are such serve not our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly; and by good words and fair speeches deceive the hearts of the simple.” (Romans 16:18) [Simple—innocent and unsuspicious or gullible]

D. Self-examination extends to the part a believer plays in the unity and integrity of the Community of Christ. “For your obedience is come abroad unto all men. I am glad therefore on your behalf: but yet I would have you wise unto that which is good, and simple concerning evil.” (Romans 16:19)

E. Let self-examination be done in the constant awareness that God’s great examination will soon come to pass. “And the God of peace shall bruise Satan under your feet shortly. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you. Amen.” (Romans 16:20)

III. The True Church Focuses on Christ

A. The God of sovereign grace will accomplish all which is necessary. “Now to him that is of power to stablish you according to my gospel, and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery, which was kept secret since the world began,” (Romans 16:25)

B. The message and the life of the church spread across the world; are you helping or hindering? “But now is made manifest, and by the scriptures of the prophets, according to the commandment of the everlasting God, made known to all nations for the obedience of faith:” (Romans 16:26)

C. Keep your eyes on Jesus and the things of the world will dim. “To God only wise, be glory through Jesus Christ for ever. Amen. Written to the Romans from Corinthus, and sent by Phoebe servant of the church at Cenchrea.” (Romans 16:27) [Phoebe was the radiant servant amanuensis.]

D. The gospel always focuses on Christ and the church always finds its substance and strength in Christ. “Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us, Unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen.” (Ephesians 3:20-21)

Turn your eyes upon Jesus, Look full in His wonderful face, And the things of earth will grow strangely dim, In the light of His glory and grace.

Through death into life everlasting He passed, and we follow Him there; Over us sin no more hath dominion—For more than conquerors we are!
[Helen H. Lemmel]

E. Christ is the beginning and the end of His community. “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.” (Hebrews 12:2)

Friday, December 21, 2007

2007-12-23 AM The Night Shift.mp3

The Night Shift

Isaiah 6:1-8; Luke 2:8-20 / Exodus 3:1-22
Dr. Edwin P. Elliott, Jr.

I. God Uses Shepherds

A. Moses kept sheep when God called him to lead Israel from Egyptian slavery to the Holy Land. “Now Moses kept the flock of Jethro his father in law, the priest of Midian: and he led the flock to the backside of the desert, and came to the mountain of God, even to Horeb.” (Exodus 3:1)

B. The revelation and the call to serve God came through the Angel of the Lord as Moses was faithfully performing his responsibilities as a shepherd. “And the angel of the LORD appeared unto him in a flame of fire out of the midst of a bush: and he looked, and, behold, the bush burned with fire, and the bush was not consumed.” (Exodus 3:2) “He that is faithful in that which is least is faithful also in much: and he that is unjust in the least is unjust also in much.” (Luke 16:10)

C. David was keeping sheep in Bethlehem when God began to use him for holy purposes. “Wherefore Saul sent messengers unto Jesse, and said, Send me David thy son, which is with the sheep.” (1 Samuel 16:19)

D. Shepherds were also part of the nativity story. “And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.” (Luke 2:8)

E. Temple shepherds tended sacrificial sheep in Bethlehem; such people should attend the arrival of the Lamb of God. “And looking upon Jesus as he walked, [John the Baptist] saith, Behold the Lamb of God!” (John 1:36)

II. At the Nativity, God Sent Angels to His Shepherds

A. Shepherds were working the night shift near Bethlehem when God began to announce the birth of the Savior. “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.” (Luke 2:9)

B. Once more God had good news for the shepherds. “And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.” (Luke 2:10)

C. The Savior has arrived just as the prophet has said He would. “For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.” (Luke 2:11) “For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this.” (Isaiah 9:6-7)

D. Here is the evidence; God’s messages consistently prove true. “And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.” (Luke 2:12) “Who hath believed our report? and to whom is the arm of the LORD revealed? For he shall grow up before him as a tender plant, and as a root out of a dry ground: he hath no form nor comeliness; and when we shall see him, there is no beauty that we should desire him.” (Isaiah 53:1-2)

E. The hills exploded with heavenly joy; just as God had said they should. “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.” (Luke 2:13-14) “Bless the LORD, ye his angels, that excel in strength, that do his commandments, hearkening unto the voice of his word. Bless ye the LORD, all ye his hosts; ye ministers of his, that do his pleasure.” (Psalm 103:20-21)

III. The Shepherds Became Witnesses of the Nativity

A. The shepherds did what the situation demanded; taking God at His word is always appropriate. “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.” (Luke 2:15)

B. When they obediently investigated, the shepherds found precisely what God had told them to expect; God keeps His promises to His servants. “And they came with haste, and found Mary, and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger.” (Luke 2:16) “Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might; for there is no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom, in the grave, whither thou goest.” (Ecclesiastes 9:10)

C. Once more God used shepherds to tell His story of redemption and release. “And when they had seen it, they made known abroad the saying which was told them concerning this child.” (Luke 2:17)

D. People were impressed. “And all they that heard it wondered at those things which were told them by the shepherds.” (Luke 2:18)

E. Mary preserved the story of this connection with the God of history and hope. “But Mary kept all these things, and pondered them in her heart.” (Luke 2:19)

F. The shepherds would not stop telling the story and neither should believers today. “And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told unto them.” (Luke 2:20)

Thursday, December 20, 2007


Psalm 21

I. Remember the Victories of Christ

A. The psalmist speaks of Christ’s ultimate victory. “To the chief Musician, A Psalm of David. The king shall joy in thy strength, O LORD; and in thy salvation how greatly shall he rejoice!” (Psalm 21:1)

B. King Jesus brings perfect and perpetual peace. “Thou hast given him his heart’s desire, and hast not withholden the request of his lips. Selah.” (Psalm 21:2) “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.” (John 14:27)

C. God the Father will eventually show everyone that Jesus is king. “For thou preventest him with the blessings of goodness: thou settest a crown of pure gold on his head.” (Psalm 21:3) [prevent—come before or prepare in advance]

1. Scripture leads to the final triumph of Christ. “After this I looked, and, behold, a door was opened in heaven: and the first voice which I heard was as it were of a trumpet talking with me; which said, Come up hither, and I will shew thee things which must be hereafter. And immediately I was in the spirit: and, behold, a throne was set in heaven, and one sat on the throne.” (Revelation 4:1-2)

2. God will bring a people unable to bring itself and He will do whatever must be done to establish that final order described in Revelation. “And I will bring the blind by a way that they knew not; I will lead them in paths that they have not known: I will make darkness light before them, and crooked things straight. These things will I do unto them, and not forsake them.” (Isaiah 42:16)

D. God’s sovereign grace will produce the unending kingdom; God gives more than His people ask. “He asked life of thee, and thou gavest it him, even length of days for ever and ever.” (Psalm 21:4) “For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this.” (Isaiah 9:6-7)

E. The Resurrection and Ascension introduced the kingdom. “His glory is great in thy salvation: honour and majesty hast thou laid upon him.” (Psalm 21:5) “And declared to be the Son of God with power, according to the spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead:” (Romans 1:4)

F. An eternal prize reduces the importance of present problems. “For thou hast made him most blessed for ever: thou hast made him exceeding glad with thy countenance.” (Psalm 21:6) “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.” (Hebrews 12:2)

II. The Future Will Be Filled with Victories

A. What God settles remains settled for ever; the turbulence of human kingdoms will pass away before King Jesus. “For the king trusteth in the LORD, and through the mercy of the most High he shall not be moved.” (Psalm 21:7) “Some trust in chariots, and some in horses: but we will remember the name of the LORD our God. They are brought down and fallen: but we are risen, and stand upright.” (Psalm 20:7-8) “LAMED. For ever, O LORD, thy word is settled in heaven.” (Psalm 119:89)

B. No pockets of resistance will hold out for sin and rebellion in the coming kingdom. “Thine hand shall find out all thine enemies: thy right hand shall find out those that hate thee.” (Psalm 21:8) “It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.” (Hebrews 10:31)

C. The settling of accounts will be terrible and total. “Thou shalt make them as a fiery oven in the time of thine anger: the LORD shall swallow them up in his wrath, and the fire shall devour them. Their fruit shalt thou destroy from the earth, and their seed from among the children of men.” (Psalm 21:9,10) “But who may abide the day of his coming? and who shall stand when he appeareth? for he is like a refiner’s fire, and like fullers’ soap:” (Malachi 3:2)

D. Evil holds an unnaturally high opinion of itself which history demonstrates is unable to prevail against Providence. “For they intended evil against thee: they imagined a mischievous device, which they are not able to perform. Therefore shalt thou make them turn their back, when thou shalt make ready thine arrows upon thy strings against the face of them.” (Psalm 21:11-12) “Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me; And shewing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments.” (Exodus 20:5-6)

III. Praise the Victorious King

A. Praise God for the King and the coming kingdom. “Be thou exalted, LORD, in thine own strength: so will we sing and praise thy power.” (Psalm 21:13)

B. The final settlement will be impressive. “Then the Lord awaked as one out of sleep, and like a mighty man that shouteth by reason of wine. And he smote his enemies in the hinder parts: he put them to a perpetual reproach.” (Psalm 78:65-66)

Monday, December 10, 2007

2007-12-09 PM The Plan For Outsiders - Romans 15 Part 1.mp3

The Plan for Outsiders

Romans 15:1-21
Dr. Edwin P. Elliott

I. Outsiders Represent Opportunity

A. People who have the strength which inherently develops from understanding the gospel need to have consideration for those who do not; Paul had laid the platform for this analysis as he developed the interaction of Jews and Gentiles. “We then that are strong ought to bear the infirmities of the weak, and not to please ourselves.” (Romans 15:1)

B. The welfare of the less developed believer must be the object of the experienced believer. “Let every one of us please his neighbour for his good to edification.” (Romans 15:2)

C. Paul’s approach is simply an application of the pattern demonstrated by the Savior Who suffered as a substitute for His people to secure redemption for them. “For even Christ pleased not himself; but, as it is written, The reproaches of them that reproached thee fell on me.” (Romans 15:3)

D. The Scriptures are filled with such instructive patterns. “For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope.” (Romans 15:4)

1. All Scripture is instructional.All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:” (2 Timothy 3:16)

2. As believers learn, they must teach in turn. “Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort; Who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God. For as the sufferings of Christ abound in us, so our consolation also aboundeth by Christ. And whether we be afflicted, it is for your consolation and salvation, which is effectual in the enduring of the same sufferings which we also suffer: or whether we be comforted, it is for your consolation and salvation.” (2 Corinthians 1:3-6)

E. The unity which results from mentoring glorifies God. “That ye may with one mind and one mouth glorify God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.” (Romans 15:6)

II. God’s Instructional Process Requires Outsiders

A. In gathering and accepting outsiders, believers replicate the outreach of the Savior. “Wherefore receive ye one another, as Christ also received us to the glory of God.” (Romans 15:7)

B. What Christ did actually fulfilled God’s promises to the ancients and set in process the conversion of the Gentiles or outsiders. “Now I say that Jesus Christ was a minister of the circumcision for the truth of God, to confirm the promises made unto the fathers: And that the Gentiles might glorify God for his mercy; as it is written, For this cause I will confess to thee among the Gentiles, and sing unto thy name.” (Romans 15:8-9) [v9 from Psalm 18:49]

C. The prophets laid out the pattern and process, projecting the world religion Christianity has become. “And again he saith, Rejoice, ye Gentiles, with his people. And again, Praise the Lord, all ye Gentiles; and laud him, all ye people. And again, Esaias saith, There shall be a root of Jesse, and he that shall rise to reign over the Gentiles; in him shall the Gentiles trust.” (Romans 15:10-12) [v10 from Deuteronomy 32:43; v11 from Ps 117:1; v12 from Isaiah 11:10 in LXX]

D. Faith in God develops hope. “Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost.” (Romans 15:13)

III. Paul Took the Gentile Mission Personally

A. Paul believed his audience could do what he asked. “And I myself also am persuaded of you, my brethren, that ye also are full of goodness, filled with all knowledge, able also to admonish one another.” (Romans 15:14)

B. Ministering on the edge of the faith and the hope which develops from it is a privilege. “Nevertheless, brethren, I have written the more boldly unto you in some sort, as putting you in mind, because of the grace that is given to me of God, That I should be the minister of Jesus Christ to the Gentiles, ministering the gospel of God, that the offering up of the Gentiles might be acceptable, being sanctified by the Holy Ghost.” (Romans 15:15-16)

C. Paul’s life became fulfilling as he lived out what he had learned from Jesus. “I have therefore whereof I may glory through Jesus Christ in those things which pertain to God.” (Romans 15:17)

D. Paul strove to emphasize what Christ had done through him and to ignore things which he might have done himself or which Christ might have accomplished in some other way. What has God done through me? “For I will not dare to speak of any of those things which Christ hath not wrought by me, to make the Gentiles obedient, by word and deed, Through mighty signs and wonders, by the power of the Spirit of God; so that from Jerusalem, and round about unto Illyricum, I have fully preached the gospel of Christ.” (Romans 15:18-19)

E. Paul’s ambition was to take the gospel where it was not known. “Yea, so have I strived to preach the gospel, not where Christ was named, lest I should build upon another man’s foundation:” (Romans 15:20)

F. Knowing that one is doing what God proposes is a powerful motive; every believer should share in Paul’s ambition. “But as it is written, To whom he was not spoken of, they shall see: and they that have not heard shall understand.” (Romans 15:21) [Isaiah 52:15 LXX]

Friday, December 7, 2007

2007-12-09 AM His Name Is John.mp3

His Name Is John

Genesis 21:1-8; Luke 1:57-80 / Habakkuk 2:1-14
Dr. Edwin P. Elliott

I. John’s Birth Was Extraordinary

A. Elizabeth, John’s mother, was past childbearing age, but nothing is impossible with God; the entire nativity story is supernatural. “And, behold, thy cousin Elisabeth, she hath also conceived a son in her old age: and this is the sixth month with her, who was called barren.” (Luke 1:36)

B. The human condition was too terrible for any ordinary solution; nativity is no ordinary story. “For with God nothing shall be impossible.” (Luke 1:37)

C. Reliable witnesses recognized the wonderful character of John’s birth. “Now Elisabeth’s full time came that she should be delivered; and she brought forth a son. And her neighbors and her cousins heard how the Lord had shewed great mercy upon her; and they rejoiced with her.” (Luke 1:57-58)

D. John’s circumcision and naming caused a great stir; the extraordinary baby received an extraordinary name. “And it came to pass, that on the eighth day they came to circumcise the child; and they called him Zacharias, after the name of his father. And his mother answered and said, Not so; but he shall be called John.” (Luke 1:59-60) [Names followed covenantal patterns in Biblical culture.]

Zacharias--Remembered of Jehovah
John--Jehovah Is A Gracious Giver

E. Zacharias was adamant about the name; he had learned the drawback to crossing God. “And the angel answering said unto him, I am Gabriel, that stand in the presence of God; and am sent to speak unto thee, and to shew thee these glad tidings. And, behold, thou shalt be dumb, and not able to speak, until the day that these things shall be performed, because thou believest not my words, which shall be fulfilled in their season.” (Luke 1:19-20) “And he asked for a writing table, and wrote, saying, His name is John. And they marveled all. And his mouth was opened immediately, and his tongue loosed, and he spake, and praised God.” (Luke 1:63-64)

F. Eye witnesses were deeply impressed. “And fear came on all that dwelt round about them: and all these sayings were noised abroad throughout all the hill country of Judaea. And all they that heard them laid them up in their hearts, saying, What manner of child shall this be! And the hand of the Lord was with him.” (Luke 1:65-66)

II. The Silent Priest Became the Prophetic Father

A. The Holy Ghost delivered a message through the believer who formerly had been silenced by unbelief. “And his father Zacharias was filled with the Holy Ghost, and prophesied, saying,” (Luke 1:67)

B. The time of the promised Deliverer had arrived. “Blessed be the Lord God of Israel; for he hath visited and redeemed his people, And hath raised up an horn of salvation for us in the house of his servant David;” (Luke 1:68-69)

C. The faithful expected a Savior because God had made a promise and repeated it across the ages. “As he spake by the mouth of his holy prophets, which have been since the world began: That we should be saved from our enemies, and from the hand of all that hate us; To perform the mercy promised to our fathers, and to remember his holy covenant;” (Luke 1:70-72) “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; Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high;” (Hebrews 1:1-3)

D. Zacharias preached sovereign grace and growing holiness. “The oath which he sware to our father Abraham, That he would grant unto us, that we being delivered out of the hand of our enemies might serve him without fear, In holiness and righteousness before him, all the days of our life.” (Luke 1:73-75) “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.” (Ephesians 2:8-10)

III. John Would Proclaim an Extraordinary Message

A. John would get to be a preacher of grace, hope, and fresh starts in life. “And thou, child, shalt be called the prophet of the Highest: for thou shalt go before the face of the Lord to prepare his ways; To give knowledge of salvation unto his people by the remission of their sins,” (Luke 1:76-77)

B. The good times will come. “Through the tender mercy of our God; whereby the dayspring from on high hath visited us, To give light to them that sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace.” (Luke 1:78-79) “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 2:4-5)

C. God had promised the impossible and He was beginning to deliver on the promise through John. “And I will bring the blind by a way that they knew not; I will lead them in paths that they have not known: I will make darkness light before them, and crooked things straight. These things will I do unto them, and not forsake them.” (Isaiah 42:16)

D. People who grow strong in the Spirit preach powerful messages of hope, preparing the way for the One Who gives eternal hope. “And the child grew, and waxed strong in spirit, and was in the deserts till the day of his shewing unto Israel.” (Luke 1:80) “The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make his paths straight. John did baptize in the wilderness, and preach the baptism of repentance for the remission of sins.” (Mark 1:3-4)

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

2007-12-05 Seek Help Where It Can Be Found - Psalm 20.mp3

Seek Help Where It Can Be Found

Psalm 20
Dr. Edwin P. Elliott

I. Rulers Need Spiritual Support

A. Believers can bless those in authority by asking God to hear in difficult times; David sought prayer partners to defend the nation. “To the chief Musician, A Psalm of David. The LORD hear thee in the day of trouble; the name of the God of Jacob defend thee;” (Psalm 20:1) “For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.” (Matthew 18:20)

1. Christ, our King, sought such support from the Apostles on the night of the betrayal and then turned in prayer to the Father. “Then saith he unto them, My soul is exceeding sorrowful, even unto death: tarry ye here, and watch with me. And he went a little further, and fell on his face, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt.” (Matthew 26:38-39)

2. God is the defense of those who trust in Him. “The LORD is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; my God, my strength, in whom I will trust; my buckler, and the horn of my salvation, and my high tower.” (Psalm 18:2)

B. Help from God’s house is better than any other kind. “Send thee help from the sanctuary, and strengthen thee out of Zion;” (Psalm 20:2)

1. Solomon taught the people to turn to God for help in the face of trouble. “If thy people go out to battle against their enemy, whithersoever thou shalt send them, and shall pray unto the LORD toward the city which thou hast chosen, and toward the house that I have built for thy name: Then hear thou in heaven their prayer and their supplication, and maintain their cause.” (1 Kings 8:44-45)

2. Believers know that their protection is God’s concern; if God is with people, their enemies are defeated from the start. “For the Lord GOD will help me; therefore shall I not be confounded: therefore have I set my face like a flint, and I know that I shall not be ashamed. He is near that justifieth me; who will contend with me? let us stand together: who is mine adversary? let him come near to me. Behold, the Lord GOD will help me; who is he that shall condemn me? lo, they all shall wax old as a garment; the moth shall eat them up.” (Isaiah 50:7-9) “What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us?” (Romans 8:31)

C. It helps to be on good terms with God before approaching Him. “Remember all thy offerings, and accept thy burnt sacrifice; Selah.” (Psalm 20:3)

1. God dramatically accepted Israel’s sacrifice when the nation began. “And there came a fire out from before the LORD, and consumed upon the altar the burnt offering and the fat: which when all the people saw, they shouted, and fell on their faces.” (Leviticus 9:24)

2. In the revival under Elijah, God also vividly consumed the sacrifice. “Then the fire of the LORD fell, and consumed the burnt sacrifice, and the wood, and the stones, and the dust, and licked up the water that was in the trench.” (1 Kings 18:38)

D. Believers can count on getting what they want from God when they have submitted their wills to God. “Grant thee according to thine own heart, and fulfill all thy counsel.” (Psalm 20:4)

II. Help Against Disaster Comes from Heaven

A. As long as Jesus remains High King, believers can expect to prevail. “We will rejoice in thy salvation, and in the name of our God we will set up our banners: the LORD fulfill all thy petitions.” (Psalm 20:5)

B. Prayer has a way of encouraging confidence. “Now know I that the LORD saveth his anointed; he will hear him from his holy heaven with the saving strength of his right hand.” (Psalm 20:6)

III. Acknowledge God’s Sovereignty in Prayer

A. Christian confidence contrasts starkly with what assures the dying world. “Some trust in chariots, and some in horses: but we will remember the name of the LORD our God.” (Psalm 20:7)

B. Earthly hope leads to despair and destruction; righteous hope overcomes. “They are brought down and fallen: but we are risen, and stand upright.” (Psalm 20:8)

C. The final victory has already been announced in heaven. “Yet have I set my king upon my holy hill of Zion. I will declare the decree: the LORD hath said unto me, Thou art my Son; this day have I begotten thee. Ask of me, and I shall give thee the heathen for thine inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for thy possession. Thou shalt break them with a rod of iron; thou shalt dash them in pieces like a potter’s vessel. Be wise now therefore, O ye kings: be instructed, ye judges of the earth.” (Psalm 2:6-10)

D. The end result is always in God’s hands. “Save, LORD: let the king hear us when we call.” (Psalm 20:9) “Seek ye the LORD while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near: Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the LORD, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon. For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts. For as the rain cometh down, and the snow from heaven, and returneth not thither, but watereth the earth, and maketh it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower, and bread to the eater:” (Isaiah 55:6-10)

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

2007-11-28 A Three Strand Rope - Psalm 19.mp3

A Three Strand Rope

Psalm 19
Dr. Edwin P. Elliott

I. God Appears in Creation, Scripture, and Experience

A. God establishes truth through multiple witnesses. “At the mouth of two witnesses, or three witnesses, shall he that is worthy of death be put to death; but at the mouth of one witness he shall not be put to death.” (Deuteronomy 17:6)

B. Multiple witnesses share their strength with each other. “And if one prevail against him, two shall withstand him; and a threefold cord is not quickly broken.” (Ecclesiastes 4:12)

When the psalms are learned and understood, they become the instruments of meditation and reflection; thoughts, words, and actions begin to conform to the mind of God.

II. Creation Reveals a God

A. Creation points to a creator; science so-called which does not point to God is partial at best and probably false. “To the chief Musician, A Psalm of David. The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handywork.” (Psalm 19:1) “O Timothy, keep that which is committed to thy trust, avoiding profane and vain babblings, and oppositions of science falsely so called:” (1 Timothy 6:20) [Science is knowledge derived from observations, of and deduction from, facts.]

B. Meticulous observation of the world helps people understand what God has made and how it works; discovery of reliable patterns undermines the infidel doctrine of chance. “Day unto day uttereth speech, and night unto night sheweth knowledge.” (Psalm 19:2)

C. All forms of intelligence eventually return to the concept of intentional origin and pattern. “There is no speech nor language, where their voice is not heard.” (Psalm 19:3)

D. Evidence for creation stretches across all forms of science and every direction of scientific research; meaning and purpose appear at all levels. “Their line is gone out through all the earth, and their words to the end of the world. In them hath he set a tabernacle for the sun,” (Psalm 19:4)

1. Paul (Romans 10:8) quotes from the Septuagint, as he uses sound, rather than line, but the meaning is the same.

2. Just as Scripture interlaces and cross-confirms, technical observations display self-supporting patterns which mount into larger and larger levels of understanding toward God. “For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little:” (Isaiah 28:10)

E. Reality presses its case with enthusiasm. “Which is as a bridegroom coming out of his chamber, and rejoiceth as a strong man to run a race.” (Psalm 19:5)

F. Unbiased observation turns the open mind to the Creator. “His going forth is from the end of the heaven, and his circuit unto the ends of it: and there is nothing hid from the heat thereof.” (Psalm 19:6) “For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse: Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools,” (Romans 1:20-22)

III. Scripture Reveals the True God

A. Scripture clarifies knowledge, drawing connections, becoming the entirely reliable guide to faith and practice. “The law of the LORD is perfect, converting the soul: the testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple.” (Psalm 19:7)

B. Just as old or bleary-eyed men and those with weak vision, if you thrust before them a most beautiful volume, even if they recognize it to be some sort of writing, yet can scarcely construe two words, but with the aid of spectacles will begin to read distinctly; so Scripture, gathering up the otherwise confused knowledge of God in our minds, having dispersed our dullness, clearly shows us the true God. [Calvin’s Institutes: Bk. 1, Ch. 1, P. 10] “The statutes of the LORD are right, rejoicing the heart: the commandment of the LORD is pure, enlightening the eyes.” (Psalm 19:8)

C. The proper respect for God which Scripture cultivates always leads to righteousness. “The fear of the LORD is clean, enduring for ever: the judgments of the LORD are true and righteous altogether.” (Psalm 19:9) “But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.” (Matthew 15:9)

D. True knowledge of God is more valuable than any other earthly treasure or joy. “More to be desired are they than gold, yea, than much fine gold: sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb.” (Psalm 19:10)

E. Knowledge of Scripture brings more reward than any other form of knowledge. “Moreover by them is thy servant warned: and in keeping of them there is great reward.” (Psalm 19:11)

IV. Experience Confirms the Grace of My God

A. People who understand what God does and says come to understand their overwhelming need of the Savior. “Who can understand his errors? cleanse thou me from secret faults.” (Psalm 19:12)

B. As people grasp the terrible consequences of ignorant presumption, a passion for holiness emerges. “Keep back thy servant also from presumptuous sins; let them not have dominion over me: then shall I be upright, and I shall be innocent from the great transgression.” (Psalm 19:13)

C. People who understand reality find hope and strength in the Redeemer. “Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O LORD, my strength, and my redeemer.” (Psalm 19:14)

Sunday, November 25, 2007


2007-11-25 PM Thanksgiving.mp3


1 Thessalonians 5:1-28; John 11:28-44 / Psalm 50:1-23
Dr. Edwin P. Elliott

I. Thank God Appropriately

A. In everything rejoice. “Rejoice evermore.” (1 Thessalonians 5:16) “But I rejoiced in the Lord greatly, that now at the last your care of me hath flourished again; wherein ye were also careful, but ye lacked opportunity. Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content. I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me. Notwithstanding ye have well done, that ye did communicate with my affliction.” (Philippians 4:10-14)

B. Shift every problem to God. “Pray without ceasing.” (1 Thessalonians 5:17) “And [Jesus] spake a parable unto them to this end, that men ought always to pray, and not to faint;” (Luke 18:1)

C. Never hoard discontent; God is in charge even when the situation seems utterly unattractive. “In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.” (1 Thessalonians 5:18) “Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.” (Philippians 4:6)

D. A bad attitude stresses a believer’s relationship with God. “Quench not the Spirit.” (1 Thessalonians 5:19) “Cast me not away from thy presence; and take not thy holy spirit from me.” (Psalm 51:11)

E. Give appropriate respect to everything God says. “Despise not prophesyings.” (1 Thessalonians 5:20) “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) “He therefore that despiseth, despiseth not man, but God, who hath also given unto us his Holy Spirit.” (1 Thessalonians 4:8)

F. Develop a personal relationship with God; experiment. “Prove all things; hold fast that which is good.” (1 Thessalonians 5:21)

G. A thankful person will avoid anything which casts a shadow on God. “Abstain from all appearance of evil.” (1 Thessalonians 5:22)

II. Jesus Followed the Pattern, Thanking His Father

A. The story of Lazarus presents Jesus thanking His Father. “When Jesus therefore saw her weeping, and the Jews also weeping which came with her, he groaned in the spirit, and was troubled, And said, Where have ye laid him? They said unto him, Lord, come and see.” (John 11:33-34)

B. Death is life’s ultimate sorrow. “Jesus wept. Then said the Jews, Behold how he loved him!” (John 11:35-36)

C. Jesus Himself would soon be lying in a cave dead; death casts a shadow over all human hopes and ambitions. “Jesus therefore again groaning in himself cometh to the grave. It was a cave, and a stone lay upon it. Jesus said, Take ye away the stone. Martha, the sister of him that was dead, saith unto him, Lord, by this time he stinketh: for he hath been dead four days.” (John 11:38-39)

D. Jesus uttered the great thanksgiving; God hears and responds through the most distressing conditions. “Then they took away the stone from the place where the dead was laid. And Jesus lifted up his eyes, and said, Father, I thank thee that thou hast heard me.” (John 11:41)

E. Thank God; what is impossible with people is possible with God. “And he that was dead came forth, bound hand and foot with grave clothes: and his face was bound about with a napkin. Jesus saith unto them, Loose him, and let him go.” (John 11:44)

III. All Creation Will Join in Thanksgiving

A. God is sovereign over all things and He will express that sovereignty indisputably. “A Psalm of Asaph. The mighty God, even the LORD, hath spoken, and called the earth from the rising of the sun unto the going down thereof. Out of Zion, the perfection of beauty, God hath shined. Our God shall come, and shall not keep silence: a fire shall devour before him, and it shall be very tempestuous round about him.” (Psalm 50:1-3)

B. Every possible resource is at God’s command; He needs nothing. “For every beast of the forest is mine, and the cattle upon a thousand hills. I know all the fowls of the mountains: and the wild beasts of the field are mine. If I were hungry, I would not tell thee: for the world is mine, and the fullness thereof.” (Psalm 50:10-12)

C. God takes pleasure in the thankful confidence of His people; simply trust Him. “Will I eat the flesh of bulls, or drink the blood of goats? Offer unto God thanksgiving; and pay thy vows unto the most High:” (Psalm 50:13-14)

D. Give thanks. “And call upon me in the day of trouble: I will deliver thee, and thou shalt glorify me.” (Psalm 50:15)


Romans 13
Dr. Edwin P. Elliott

I. Obey Authorities

A. Authority structures exist because God produced them and uses them for His purposes. “Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God.” (Romans 13:1)

B. Reflect more on the hand wielding the hammer than on the hammer. “Whosoever therefore resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God: and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation.” (Romans 13:2)

C. The several spheres of authority and responsibility exist to maintain order, promote what is good, and discourage disorder, corruption, and evil. “For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the evil. Wilt thou then not be afraid of the power? do that which is good, and thou shalt have praise of the same: For he is the minister of God to thee for good. But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid; for he beareth not the sword in vain: for he is the minister of God, a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil.” (Romans 13:3-4)

D. Conscience, rather than fear, motivates the obedience of people who understand reality. “Wherefore ye must needs be subject, not only for wrath, but also for conscience sake.” (Romans 13:5)

E. Submission to civil authorities is simply an expression of the Christian relationship to all authorities. “For for this cause pay ye tribute also: for they are God’s ministers, attending continually upon this very thing. Render therefore to all their dues: tribute to whom tribute is due; custom to whom custom; fear to whom fear; honour to whom honour.” (Romans 13:6-7)

II. Show Proper Respect to Everyone

A. The law of love interprets all relationships. “Owe no man any thing, but to love one another: for he that loveth another hath fulfilled the law.” (Romans 13:8) “Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets.” (Matthew 7:12) “By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God, and keep his commandments. For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous.” (1 John 5:2-3)

B. Biblical love is the key to all human relationships and societal structures. “For this, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not kill, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness, Thou shalt not covet; and if there be any other commandment, it is briefly comprehended in this saying, namely, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. Love worketh no ill to his neighbour: therefore love is the fulfilling of the law.” (Romans 13:9-10)

III. Begin Now

A. There is no time to waste; Christians live in time, which moves inevitably toward God’s appointed goal. “And that, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep: for now is our salvation nearer than when we believed.” (Romans 13:11) “I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty.” (Revelation 1:8)

B. The end approaches quickly. “The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light.” (Romans 13:12) “Cast away from you all your transgressions, whereby ye have transgressed; and make you a new heart and a new spirit: for why will ye die, O house of Israel? For I have no pleasure in the death of him that dieth, saith the Lord GOD: wherefore turn yourselves, and live ye.” (Ezekiel 18:31-32)

C. Intentionally avoid everything which is inappropriate. “Let us walk honestly, as in the day; not in rioting and drunkenness, not in chambering and wantonness, not in strife and envying.” (Romans 13:13)

D. Pattern after Christ without regard to the world’s enticements. “But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfill the lusts thereof.” (Romans 13:14)

E. Lex rex; place all these Biblical instructions in the larger context of God’s sovereignty. “For the LORD is our judge, the LORD is our lawgiver, the LORD is our king; he will save us.” (Isaiah 33:22) “For the LORD your God is God of gods, and Lord of lords, a great God, a mighty, and a terrible, which regardeth not persons, nor taketh reward:” (Deuteronomy 10:17)

The 20th Century ignored the ultimate foundation of social order and millions died horribly. Darkness had settled on an occupied Europe. In Germany itself, the Jews were being sent in their millions to the gas chambers. It was all being done in the name of radical politics: [A] messianic, millennial idea, a socio-political ideal, the ultimate theology of politics.” [W. A. De Klerk]

Thursday, November 22, 2007

2007-11-21 PM Think Victory.mp3

Think Victory

Psalm 18
Dr. Edwin P. Elliott

I. Praise God for Victory

A. God makes Himself loveable; David responded by loving God back. “To the chief Musician, A Psalm of David, the servant of the LORD, who spake unto the LORD the words of this song in the day that the LORD delivered him from the hand of all his enemies, and from the hand of Saul: And he said, I will love thee, O LORD, my strength.” (Psalm 18:1)

B. God is all a believer really has or really needs. “The LORD is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; my God, my strength, in whom I will trust; my buckler, and the horn of my salvation, and my high tower. I will call upon the LORD, who is worthy to be praised: so shall I be saved from mine enemies.” (Psalm 18:2-3) “Saying, I will declare thy name unto my brethren, in the midst of the church will I sing praise unto thee. And again, I will put my trust in him. And again, Behold I and the children which God hath given me.” (Hebrews 2:12-13)

“No fearing or doubting with Christ on our side,
We hope to die shouting, ‘The Lord will provide.’” [from Spurgeon’s Notes]

C. God gives victory over death and all its causes. “The sorrows of death compassed me, and the floods of ungodly men made me afraid.” (Psalm 18:4)

D. David testifies of particular deliverances in verses 5 through 18. “In my distress I called upon the LORD, and cried unto my God: he heard my voice out of his temple, and my cry came before him, even into his ears. Then the earth shook and trembled; the foundations also of the hills moved and were shaken, because he was wroth.” (Psalm 18:6-7) Mary Queen of Scots stated she was more afraid of John Knox at prayer than of 10,000 soldiers ready for a fight.

“He that would be wise, let him read the Proverbs; he that would be holy, let him read the Psalms.” [from Spurgeon’s Notes]

II. David’s Faithfulness Increased His Confidence in God

A. God delivers His people because He delights in them. “He brought me forth also into a large place; he delivered me, because he delighted in me. The LORD rewarded me according to my righteousness; according to the cleanness of my hands hath he recompensed me.” (Psalm 18:19-20) “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.” (Ephesians 2:10)

B. A clear conscience in a matter, as David had in this dispute, strengthens a person and it does not show disrespect for grace. “For I have kept the ways of the LORD, and have not wickedly departed from my God. For all his judgments were before me, and I did not put away his statutes from me. I was also upright before him, and I kept myself from mine iniquity.” (Psalm 18:21-23) A student receives recognition for learning but the real honor goes to the teacher who successfully taught.

C. God protects those who seek protection in Him. “As for God, his way is perfect: the word of the LORD is tried: he is a buckler to all those that trust in him. For who is God save the LORD? or who is a rock save our God?” (Psalm 18:30-31)

III. Remember God’s Record as a Protector

A. God gave David his victories and narrow escapes. “He maketh my feet like hinds’ feet, and setteth me upon my high places. He teacheth my hands to war, so that a bow of steel is broken by mine arms. Thou hast also given me the shield of thy salvation: and thy right hand hath holden me up, and thy gentleness hath made me great.” (Psalm 18:33-35)

B. The victory always comes from God. “For thou hast girded me with strength unto the battle: thou hast subdued under me those that rose up against me. Thou hast also given me the necks of mine enemies; that I might destroy them that hate me.” (Psalm 18:39-40)

C. God gave David the kingdom and kept it in David’s hands. “As soon as they hear of me, they shall obey me: the strangers shall submit themselves unto me.” (Psalm 18:44)

D. Ultimately, David was speaking of his greater Son, the Messiah, Who would ultimately triumph over all. “The LORD liveth; and blessed be my rock; and let the God of my salvation be exalted. It is God that avengeth me, and subdueth the people under me. He delivereth me from mine enemies: yea, thou liftest me up above those that rise up against me: thou hast delivered me from the violent man. Therefore will I give thanks unto thee, O LORD, among the heathen, and sing praises unto thy name. Great deliverance giveth he to his king; and sheweth mercy to his anointed, to David, and to his seed for evermore.” (Psalm 18:46-50) “I have made a covenant with my chosen, I have sworn unto David my servant, Thy seed will I establish for ever, and build up thy throne to all generations. Selah.” (Psalm 89:3-4)

This sermon is a product of the Reformed Presbyterian Church, Rev. Dr. Edwin Elliott, Jr. Pastor, This message is available in MP3 format for downloading or in streaming audio for your listening pleasure at

Thursday, November 15, 2007

2007-11-18 PM Make God an Offer - Romans 12.mp3

Make God an Offer

Romans 12
Dr. Edwin P. Elliott, Jr.

I. Do the Reasonable Thing

A. As Christians grow in knowledge of God, an awareness of providence clarifies how God’s world works; act accordingly. “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.” (Romans 12:1)

B. The transformed mind inevitably moves toward the revelation of God and awareness that service to God is simply a form of sanctified self-interest. “And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.” (Romans 12:2)

II. Find a Place in the Larger Divine Plan

A. A Christian must consider gifts and abilities in the light of sovereign grace; God places the elect according to His plans. “For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith.” (Romans 12:3)

B. The parts of the body are related without being identical; the same principle applies to believers. “For as we have many members in one body, and all members have not the same office:” (Romans 12:4)

C. The church is no place for the “Peter Principle”; find an appropriate function and use every asset to fulfill that calling. “So we, being many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another. Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, whether prophecy, let us prophesy according to the proportion of faith;” (Romans 12:5-6)

D. Christians must offer to God what they have rather that what they might want to have or what they might see in other people. “Or ministry, let us wait on our ministering: or he that teacheth, on teaching; Or he that exhorteth, on exhortation: he that giveth, let him do it with simplicity; he that ruleth, with diligence; he that sheweth mercy, with cheerfulness.” (Romans 12:7-8)

III. In Everything Be Sincere

A. God calls believers to integrity. “Let love be without dissimulation. Abhor that which is evil; cleave to that which is good.” (Romans 12:9)

B. For a Christian, the fundamental career question is not, “What will help me become the best Christian?” but “What will advance the cause of Christ?” “Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honour preferring one another; Not slothful in business; fervent in spirit; serving the Lord;” (Romans 12:10-11)

C. Not one of the obligatory features of the Christian life factors into contemporary career development manuals. “Rejoicing in hope; patient in tribulation; continuing instant in prayer; Distributing to the necessity of saints; given to hospitality.” (Romans 12:12-13)

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

The Way Out

Psalm 17
Dr. Edwin P. Elliott

I. Ask God for Help

A. Believers turn to God because He knows and understands everything; when God determines matters, the solution is never merely superficial. “A Prayer of David. Hear the right, O LORD, attend unto my cry, give ear unto my prayer, that goeth not out of feigned lips. Let my sentence come forth from thy presence; let thine eyes behold the things that are equal.” (Psalm 17:1-2) “Beloved, if our heart condemn us not, then have we confidence toward God.” (1 John 3:21)

B. God knows the dark moments in a believer’s soul and He also knows when a believer genuinely wants to avoid contributing to the problem; the power is in the Word of God. “Thou hast proved mine heart; thou hast visited me in the night; thou hast tried me, and shalt find nothing; I am purposed that my mouth shall not transgress. Concerning the works of men, by the word of thy lips I have kept me from the paths of the destroyer.” (Psalm 17:3-4)

C. Appeal to God for help avoiding mistakes which compound life’s trials; no person has the strength to prevail alone. “Hold up my goings in thy paths, that my footsteps slip not.” (Psalm 17:5) “He will keep the feet of his saints, and the wicked shall be silent in darkness; for by strength shall no man prevail.” (1 Samuel 2:9)

D. Constantly remember that God listens; He has a personal interest in the lives of the people identified with Him. “I have called upon thee, for thou wilt hear me, O God: incline thine ear unto me, and hear my speech.” (Psalm 17:6) “Now therefore, O our God, hear the prayer of thy servant, and his supplications, and cause thy face to shine upon thy sanctuary that is desolate, for the Lord’s sake. O my God, incline thine ear, and hear; open thine eyes, and behold our desolations, and the city which is called by thy name: for we do not present our supplications before thee for our righteousnesses, but for thy great mercies. O Lord, hear; O Lord, forgive; O Lord, hearken and do; defer not, for thine own sake, O my God: for thy city and thy people are called by thy name.” (Daniel 9:17-19)

II. Ask for Mercy

A. God protects His own people. “Shew thy marvellous lovingkindness, O thou that savest by thy right hand them which put their trust in thee from those that rise up against them.” (Psalm 17:7)

B. Be specific; ask God for what the situation demands. “Keep me as the apple of the eye, hide me under the shadow of thy wings, From the wicked that oppress me, from my deadly enemies, who compass me about.” (Psalm 17:8-9)

C. Do not ignore enemies; see them for what they are and describe them to God. “They are enclosed in their own fat: with their mouth they speak proudly. They have now compassed us in our steps: they have set their eyes bowing down to the earth; Like as a lion that is greedy of his prey, and as it were a young lion lurking in secret places.” (Psalm 17:10-12)

III. Remember that God Is the Great Deliverer

A. Ask for what the situation demands; there is no point in asking for less when the full solution is available. “Arise, O LORD, disappoint him, cast him down: deliver my soul from the wicked, which is thy sword:” (Psalm 17:13)

B. People who only prosper in this world are still agents of God and subject to His direction; take the long perspective. “From men which are thy hand, O LORD, from men of the world, which have their portion in this life, and whose belly thou fillest with thy hid treasure: they are full of children, and leave the rest of their substance to their babes.” (Psalm 17:14)

C. When a person understands how Providence works, all kinds of problems shrink in importance. “As for me, I will behold thy face in righteousness: I shall be satisfied, when I awake, with thy likeness.” (Psalm 17:15)

1. Joshua based his life on the promises of God rather than the apparent advantages of the damned. “And if it seem evil unto you to serve the LORD, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.” (Joshua 24:15)

2. Relax; everything will sort itself out for the best in the end. “But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.” (2 Corinthians 3:18)

D. Remember the instruction of James. “Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.” (James 5:16)

Friday, November 9, 2007

2007-11-11 PM A Little Secret - Romans 11 Part 3.mp3

A Little Secret

Romans 11:25-36
Dr. Edwin P. Elliott

I. God Hasn’t Finished with Israel

A. The problem with old Israel is temporary; God had plans He has not finished. “For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits; that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fullness of the Gentiles be come in.” (Romans 11:25)

1. A single event may have multiple implications and consequences. “Who is wise, and he shall understand these things? prudent, and he shall know them? for the ways of the LORD are right, and the just shall walk in them: but the transgressors shall fall therein.” (Hosea 14:9)

2. Acknowledge God and submit to Him even when what He is doing isn’t obvious. “In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths. Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear the LORD, and depart from evil.” (Proverbs 3:6-7)

B. All the elect will eventually be saved in the same way—by grace. “And so all Israel shall be saved: as it is written, There shall come out of Sion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob: For this is my covenant unto them, when I shall take away their sins.” (Romans 11:26-27)

C. The disruption between the Jews and the Gentiles is the instrument of gathering elect Gentiles, but it is not an exclusion of elect Jews. “As concerning the gospel, they are enemies for your sakes: but as touching the election, they are beloved for the fathers’ sakes.” (Romans 11:28)

D. God does not change His mind; He will finish what He starts. “For the gifts and calling of God are without repentance.” (Romans 11:29)

II. Electing Love Is the Key

A. People who were utterly beyond hope entered the household of faith because the Jews in Paul’s time rejected the gospel. “For as ye in times past have not believed God, yet have now obtained mercy through their unbelief:” (Romans 11:30)

B. The salvation of the Jews will come in the same fashion when God is ready; the Gentiles will become instruments of saving Jews. “Even so have these also now not believed, that through your mercy they also may obtain mercy.” (Romans 11:31)

C. In all cases, the underlying reality is God’s electing grace; God has closed all other doors to Himself. “For God hath concluded them all in unbelief, that he might have mercy upon all.” (Romans 11:32)

D. No one is better or worse, because all have sinned; salvation must be by grace. “What then? are we better than they? No, in no wise: for we have before proved both Jews and Gentiles, that they are all under sin;” (Romans 3:9)

III. Praise God

A. God is too big and too gracious for human boxes and philosophical constructs. “O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out!” (Romans 11:33)

B. No one understands the inner mind and no one is large enough to instruct God.
“For who hath known the mind of the Lord? or who hath been his counselor?” (Romans 11:34)

1. God does not take orders. “Who hath directed the Spirit of the LORD, or being his counsellor hath taught him? With whom took he counsel, and who instructed him, and taught him in the path of judgment, and taught him knowledge, and shewed to him the way of understanding? Behold, the nations are as a drop of a bucket, and are counted as the small dust of the balance: behold, he taketh up the isles as a very little thing.” (Isaiah 40:13-15)

2. Christ, however, is the expression of the mind and purpose of God; Christ displays electing love. “For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him? But we have the mind of Christ.” (1 Corinthians 2:16)

C. God acts from Himself rather than from things foreseen in people. “Or who hath first given to him, and it shall be recompensed unto him again?” (Romans 11:35) “For who maketh thee to differ from another? and what hast thou that thou didst not receive? now if thou didst receive it, why dost thou glory, as if thou hadst not received it?” (1 Corinthians 4:7)

D. Everything in life takes its meaning from God; nothing is independent. “For of him, and through him, and to him, are all things: to whom be glory for ever. Amen.” (Romans 11:36)

E. Nothing is outside the gracious providence of God. “Thine, O LORD, is the greatness, and the power, and the glory, and the victory, and the majesty: for all that is in the heaven and in the earth is thine; thine is the kingdom, O LORD, and thou art exalted as head above all. Both riches and honour come of thee, and thou reignest over all; and in thine hand is power and might; and in thine hand it is to make great, and to give strength unto all.” (1 Chronicles 29:11-12)

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

2007-11-07 PM Genuine Joy.mp3

Genuine Joy

Psalm 16
Dr. Edwin P. Elliott

I. Grace Is Sufficient for Believers

A. The psalmist entrusted himself and his hopes to God; such confidence distinguishes believers. “Michtam of David. Preserve me, O God: for in thee do I put my trust.” (Psalm 16:1) “O love the LORD, all ye his saints: for the LORD preserveth the faithful, and plentifully rewardeth the proud doer.” (Psalm 31:23) [see John 17:1-26]

B. Ultimately God dominates the relationship He has with a believer; God providentially takes care of His people. “O my soul, thou hast said unto the LORD, Thou art my Lord: my goodness extendeth not to thee;” (Psalm 16:2)

1. People have nothing to give God. “Can a man be profitable unto God, as he that is wise may be profitable unto himself? Is it any pleasure to the Almighty, that thou art righteous? or is it gain to him, that thou makest thy ways perfect?” (Job 22:2-3)

2. Even if people did have something to give God, He would not ask for it. “For every beast of the forest is mine, and the cattle upon a thousand hills.” (Psalm 50:10) “If I were hungry, I would not tell thee: for the world is mine, and the fulness thereof.” (Psalm 50:12)

3. Jesus incorporated the psalmist’s doctrine into a parable. “So likewise ye, when ye shall have done all those things which are commanded you, say, We are unprofitable servants: we have done that which was our duty to do.” (Luke 17:10)

C. Affection for other saints redeemed by God becomes inevitable when reflecting on grace. “But to the saints that are in the earth, and to the excellent, in whom is all my delight.” (Psalm 16:3) “For God is not unrighteous to forget your work and labour of love, which ye have shewed toward his name, in that ye have ministered to the saints, and do minister.” (Hebrews 6:10)

D. In contrast, people who turn to other gods can expect multiplying disasters. “Their sorrows shall be multiplied that hasten after another god: their drink offerings of blood will I not offer, nor take up their names into my lips.” (Psalm 16:4)

E. Everything works out to the best for God’s people. “The LORD is the portion of mine inheritance and of my cup: thou maintainest my lot. The lines are fallen unto me in pleasant places; yea, I have a goodly heritage.” (Psalm 16:5-6)

II. Assurance Transforms into Joy

A. The psalmist praised God for the direction he received, particularly in the shadows of life. “I will bless the LORD, who hath given me counsel: my reins also instruct me in the night seasons.” (Psalm 16:7)

B. God provides stability and is the context for interpreting life. “I have set the LORD always before me: because he is at my right hand, I shall not be moved.” (Psalm 16:8)

C. Providence yields hope as God enables believers to glorify and enjoy Him forever. “Therefore my heart is glad, and my glory rejoiceth: my flesh also shall rest in hope.” (Psalm 16:9)

D. A believer knows that life will not end in the grave. “For thou wilt not leave my soul in hell; neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption.” (Psalm 16:10)

E. In God’s presence, the good times will never end. “Thou wilt shew me the path of life: in thy presence is fulness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore.” (Psalm 16:11)

III. Ultimately the Psalmist Is the Messiah

A. Peter interprets the psalm; this is the story of the Saviour. “For David speaketh concerning him, I foresaw the Lord always before my face, for he is on my right hand, that I should not be moved: Therefore did my heart rejoice, and my tongue was glad; moreover also my flesh shall rest in hope: Because thou wilt not leave my soul in hell, neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption. Thou hast made known to me the ways of life; thou shalt make me full of joy with thy countenance.” (Acts 2:25-28)

B. Paul identified this psalm as a prediction of Christ’s resurrection. “Wherefore he saith also in another psalm, Thou shalt not suffer thine Holy One to see corruption.” (Acts 13:35)

C. The substitutionary atonement and the resurrection are at the heart of the Christian Message. “Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand; By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain. For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:” (1 Corinthians 15:1-4)

D. Through Christ all believers will eventually be resurrected and enter a new and perfect world. “But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept. For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive. But every man in his own order: Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ’s at his coming.” (1 Corinthians 15:20-23)

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