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]

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