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)

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