Tuesday, September 18, 2007


2007-09-23 AM Fellow Citizens.mp3

Fellow Citizens

Psalm 100:1-5; Ephesians 2:1-22 / Psalm 138:1-8

I. Without Grace People Are Dead

A. Christ changes people. “And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins;” (Ephesians 2:1)

B. Apart from Christ, people are part of something entirely unattractive. “Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience: Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others.” (Ephesians 2:2-3)

C. God is bigger than all of life’s shadows, stresses, and failures. “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)

II. Christ Makes Dead People Live

A. Christ turns decay into glory.
“And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus:” (Ephesians 2:6) “For thus saith the high and lofty One that inhabiteth eternity, whose name is Holy; I dwell in the high and holy place, with him also that is of a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite ones.” (Isaiah 57:15)

B. New life tells far more about God than about sinners. “That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus. 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.” (Ephesians 2:7-9)

C. God has good things in mind for people He brings to life. “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them. Wherefore remember, that ye being in time past Gentiles in the flesh, who are called Uncircumcision by that which is called the Circumcision in the flesh made by hands; That at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world:” (Ephesians 2:10-12)

D. In Christ, believers have peace with God. “But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ. For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us; Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; for to make in himself of twain one new man, so making peace;” (Ephesians 2:13-15)

III. All New People Become Citizens of New Jerusalem

A. Through Christ, there is one family of God; something bigger than the curse of Babel is now at work. “And that he might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby: And came and preached peace to you which were afar off, and to them that were nigh.” (Ephesians 2:16-17)

B. All believers have access to God in a single way. “For through him we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father.” (Ephesians 2:18)

C. Christians are the ultimate insiders – The Club For The Totally Cool. “Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints, and of the household of God;” (Ephesians 2:19)

D. Unlike any other group of insiders, this one focuses on Christ, a leader Who does not disappoint. “And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone;” (Ephesians 2:20)

E What Abraham and the Children of Faith have always sought is the City of God. “In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord: In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit.” (Ephesians 2:21-22)

F. The tragedy of the Garden ends in Christ and people become what God designed them to be – His friends and co-workers. “By faith Abraham, when he was called to go out into a place which he should after receive for an inheritance, obeyed; and he went out, not knowing whither he went. By faith he sojourned in the land of promise, as in a strange country, dwelling in tabernacles with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise: For he looked for a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God.” (Hebrews 11:8-10)

G. Homeless aliens have become the citizens of God’s own city. “And I John saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God.” (Revelation 21:2-3)

2007-09-16 AM Fear God, Honor the King.mp3

Fear God, Honor the King

Daniel 4:28-37; 1 Peter 2:17-25 / Proverbs 24:1-34

I. Christians Have a Social Policy

A. Peter stated the social policy which properly governs all Christians and enables the church to function in any culture.Honour all men. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honour the king.” (1 Peter 2:17)

B. When people do not understand the place of Providence in human affairs, they fail to understand what is taking place around them. “Be not thou envious against evil men, neither desire to be with them. For their heart studieth destruction, and their lips talk of mischief.” (Proverbs 24:1-2)

C. A society will prosper when it functions according to the pattern God sets for it. “Through wisdom is an house builded; and by understanding it is established: And by knowledge shall the chambers be filled with all precious and pleasant riches. A wise man is strong; yea, a man of knowledge increaseth strength. For by wise counsel thou shalt make thy war: and in multitude of counselors there is safety.” (Proverbs 24:3-6)

D. People praise and endorse social planning which excludes God, but the result of such planning is sin and when it fails (as it inevitably fails), the friends of the planners abandon and repudiate those whom they once followed enthusiastically. “The thought of foolishness is sin: and the scorner is an abomination to men.” (Proverbs 24:9) “To the chief Musician, A Psalm of David. The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God. They are corrupt, they have done abominable works, there is none that doeth good.” (Psalm 14:1)

E. In contrast to the sifting sands of popular culture, the right ordering of priorities will lead to success. “But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.” (Matthew 6:33)

II. The 5th Commandment Encapsulates Christian Social Policy

A. An entire social world-view is encapsulated; the Fifth Commandment requireth the preserving the honour, and performing the duties, belonging to every one in their several places and relations, as superiors, inferiors, or equals. “Honour thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee.” (Exodus 20:12)

B. All social relationships and obligations focus above all on Christ; the surface relationship should never obscure the ultimate relationship. “Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God. Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord.” (Ephesians 5:21-22)

C. Children often have difficult parents, but a Christian does not demand reciprocity in relationships; Christ is taking everything into account. “Children, obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right.” (Ephesians 6:1)

D. The worst work condition is still an opportunity to offer service to Christ. “Servants, be obedient to them that are your masters according to the flesh, with fear and trembling, in singleness of your heart, as unto Christ;” (Ephesians 6:5)

E. Even civil governments which have often been problems for believers hold their authority from heaven and will ultimately give account for what has been entrusted to them. “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) “And when they had brought them, they set them before the council: and the high priest asked them, Saying, Did not we straitly command you that ye should not teach in this name? and, behold, ye have filled Jerusalem with your doctrine, and intend to bring this man’s blood upon us. Then Peter and the other apostles answered and said, We ought to obey God rather than men.” (Acts 5:27-29)

F. None of these duties can be neglected safely. “Render therefore to all their dues: tribute to whom tribute is due; custom to whom custom; fear to whom fear; honour to whom honour. Owe no man any thing, but to love one another: for he that loveth another hath fulfilled the law.” (Romans 13:7-8)

G. God specifically repudiates any line of thought or action which results in the violation of His standard; truth demands more than the best logic. “For Moses said, Honour thy father and thy mother; and, Whoso curseth father or mother, let him die the death: But ye say, If a man shall say to his father or mother, It is Corban, that is to say, a gift, by whatsoever thou mightest be profited by me; he shall be free. And ye suffer him no more to do ought for his father or his mother; Making the word of God of none effect through your tradition, which ye have delivered: and many such like things do ye.” (Mark 7:10-13)

III. The Faithful Way Stands the Test of Time

A. Consider the account of Nebuchadnezzar. “And at the end of the days I Nebuchadnezzar lifted up mine eyes unto heaven, and mine understanding returned unto me, and I blessed the most High, and I praised and honoured him that liveth for ever, whose dominion is an everlasting dominion, and his kingdom is from generation to generation: And all the inhabitants of the earth are reputed as nothing: and he doeth according to his will in the army of heaven, and among the inhabitants of the earth: and none can stay his hand, or say unto him, What doest thou? At the same time my reason returned unto me; and for the glory of my kingdom, mine honour and brightness returned unto me; and my counselors and my lords sought unto me; and I was established in my kingdom, and excellent majesty was added unto me. Now I Nebuchadnezzar praise and extol and honour the King of heaven, all whose works are truth, and his ways judgment: and those that walk in pride he is able to abase.” (Daniel 4:34-37)

B. Take the advice of Paul over every political, cultural, or social alternative. “Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honour preferring one another; Not slothful in business; fervent in spirit; serving the Lord; Rejoicing in hope; patient in tribulation; continuing instant in prayer; Distributing to the necessity of saints; given to hospitality. Bless them which persecute you: bless, and curse not. Rejoice with them that do rejoice, and weep with them that weep. Be of the same mind one toward another. Mind not high things, but condescend to men of low estate. Be not wise in your own conceits. Recompense to no man evil for evil. Provide things honest in the sight of all men. If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men.” (Romans 12:10-18)

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