Wednesday, May 14, 2008

The Saved Sinner

1. Psalm 32

I. Sin

A. Forgiveness is a marvelously refreshing thing. A Psalm of David, Maschil. Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered. (Psalm 32:1) Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean: wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow. Make me to hear joy and gladness; that the bones which thou hast broken may rejoice. (Psalm 51:7-8)

B. Gods perspective determines how people live in this world and the one to come; does God think of a persons sin or does He see a persons Savior? Blessed is the man unto whom the LORD imputeth not iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no guile. (Psalm 32:2) [bvx chashab means to think, plan, esteem, calculate, invent, make a judgment, imagine, or count.]

C. When the joy of salvation spreads, people share what God has done in their lives. Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation; and uphold me with thy free spirit. Then will I teach transgressors thy ways; and sinners shall be converted unto thee. (Psalm 51:12-13)

II. Repentance

A. Failure to deal with sin destroys from the inside; the problem will display itself physically, mentally, and spiritually. When I kept silence, my bones waxed old through my roaring all the day long. (Psalm 32:3) [See Nathans message in 2 Samuel 12 and the Prodigal Son in Luke 15.] Have mercy upon me, O LORD, for I am in trouble: mine eye is consumed with grief, yea, my soul and my belly. For my life is spent with grief, and my years with sighing: my strength faileth because of mine iniquity, and my bones are consumed. (Psalm 31:9-10)

B. God will not let a sinner He loves live in contentment with sin. For day and night thy hand was heavy upon me: my moisture is turned into the drought of summer. Selah. (Psalm 32:4) For mine iniquities are gone over mine head: as an heavy burden they are too heavy for me. My wounds stink and are corrupt because of my foolishness. (Psalm 38:4-5)

C. Repentance demands confession and after that life improves; knowledge of forgiveness revives the soul. I acknowledged my sin unto thee, and mine iniquity have I not hid. I said, I will confess my transgressions unto the LORD; and thou forgavest the iniquity of my sin. Selah. (Psalm 32:5) And David said unto Nathan, I have sinned against the LORD. And Nathan said unto David, The LORD also hath put away thy sin; thou shalt not die. (2 Samuel 12:13)

D. Repentant people become people of prayer; He Who saves souls can certainly solve problems. For this shall every one that is godly pray unto thee in a time when thou mayest be found: surely in the floods of great waters they shall not come nigh unto him. (Psalm 32:6) O magnify the LORD with me, and let us exalt his name together. I sought the LORD, and he heard me, and delivered me from all my fears. They looked unto him, and were lightened: and their faces were not ashamed. (Psalm 34:3-5)

E. When repentant believers turn to God, they find Him a secure refuge rather than an avenging judge. Thou art my hiding place; thou shalt preserve me from trouble; thou shalt compass me about with songs of deliverance. Selah. (Psalm 32:7) And the LORD God called unto Adam, and said unto him, Where art thou? And he said, I heard thy voice in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked; and I hid myself. (Genesis 3:9-10) The wicked flee when no man pursueth: but the righteous are bold as a lion. (Proverbs 28:1)

III. Confession

A. God instructs those who turn to Him in repentance and then He teaches them so that in turn they can teach other sinners seeking help. I will instruct thee and teach thee in the way which thou shalt go: I will guide thee with mine eye. (Psalm 32:8)

B. People who refuse to listen to the message of grace oppose themselves like stubborn animals. Be ye not as the horse, or as the mule, which have no understanding: whose mouth must be held in with bit and bridle, lest they come near unto thee. (Psalm 32:9) A whip for the horse, a bridle for the ass, and a rod for the fools back. (Proverbs 26:3)

IV. Forgiveness

A. Sorrow and mercy are equally available to people; choose the path of mercy. Many sorrows shall be to the wicked: but he that trusteth in the LORD, mercy shall compass him about. (Psalm 32:10) Many are the afflictions of the righteous: but the LORD delivereth him out of them all. (Psalm 34:19)

B. When people understand how God deals with those whom He saves, they begin to rejoice. Be glad in the LORD, and rejoice, ye righteous: and shout for joy, all ye that are upright in heart. (Psalm 32:11) The righteous shall be glad in the LORD, and shall trust in him; and all the upright in heart shall glory. (Psalm 64:10)

Is It Party Time?

1. Proverbs 30:20-33; Mark 2:18-22 / Psalm 45:1-17

I. Jesus Did Not Conform To Expectations

A. Jesus did not teach His disciples to do all ppropriately religious things. And the disciples of John and of the Pharisees used to fast: and they come and say unto him, Why do the disciples of John and of the Pharisees fast, but thy disciples fast not? (Mark 2:18)

B. Compared to other religious disciples of the time and place, the followers of Jesus seemed to be party people. And they said unto him, Why do the disciples of John fast often, and make prayers, and likewise the disciples of the Pharisees; but thine eat and drink? (Luke 5:33) I fast twice in the week, I give tithes of all that I possess. (Luke 18:12)

C. Even when it is appropriate to fast, Jesus taught that such things ought to be done in private and focused on the spirit rather than on display. Moreover when ye fast, be not, as the hypocrites, of a sad countenance: for they disfigure their faces,that they may appear unto men to fast. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward. But thou, when thou fastest, anoint thine head, and wash thy face; That thou appear not unto men to fast, but unto thy Father which is in secret: and thy Father, which seeth in secret, shall reward thee openly. (Matthew 6:16-18)

D. Everything in life has its appropriate time. To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven: A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted; (Ecclesiastes 3:1-2)

E. While Jesus Himself was with them, it was not yet time for fasting, even in private. And Jesus said unto them, Can the children of the bridechamber fast, while the bridegroom is with them? as long as they have the bridegroom with them, they cannot fast. (Mark 2:19)

II. Some Things Cant Coexist

A. In spiritual matters it is far worse than just useless to attempt to mix incompatible things. No man also seweth a piece of new cloth on an old garment: else the new piece that filled it up taketh away from the old, and the rent is made worse. (Mark 2:21)

B. The new spirit of the Christian cannot fit into the old life of the unbeliever. And no man putteth new wine into old bottles: else the new wine doth burst the bottles, and the wine is spilled, and the bottles will be marred: but new wine must be put into new bottles. (Mark 2:22) Leather skin bottles expanded with fermentation, but after expanding they would not expand again with more fermenting wine.

C. There must be one ultimate focus in life; man's chief end is to glorify God, and to enjoy Him for ever. No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon. (Matthew 6:24) Whom have I in heaven but thee? and there is none upon earth that I desire beside thee. My flesh and my heart faileth: but God is the strength of my heart, and my portion for ever. (Psalm 73:25-26)

D. Jesus dealt with the struggle presented by having more than one ultimate goal in life during the temptation at the start of His ministry. Then saith Jesus unto him, Get thee hence, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve. (Matthew 4:10)

III. Put New Wine in New Bottles

A. Christ makes all things new; new faith cannot be forced into an old lifestyle. And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And he said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful. (Revelation 21:5)

B. Prepare for the new life. Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. (2 Corinthians 5:17) And I will give them one heart, and I will put a new spirit within you; and I will take the stony heart out of their flesh, and will give them an heart of flesh: (Ezekiel 11:19)

C. Put on the new life. And be renewed in the spirit of your mind; And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness. Wherefore putting away lying, speak every man truth with his neighbour: for we are members one of another. Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath: Neither give place to the devil. Let him that stole steal no more: but rather let him labour, working with his hands the thing which is good, that he may have to give to him that needeth. (Ephesians 4:23-28)

D. Get on with the new life. As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby: (1 Peter 2:2)

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Even Tax Collectors Can Be Saved

Isaiah 65:1-16; Mark 2:13-17 / Isaiah 55:1-13

I. Follow Me

A. When people arrived, Jesus taught. And he went forth again by the sea side; and the entire multitude resorted unto him, and he taught them. (Mark 2:13)

1. Jesus is the wisdom of God. But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption: (1 Corinthians 1:30)

2. Heavenly wisdom continually calls out to the world; the problem is that people do not want heavenly wisdom. Wisdom crieth without; she uttereth her voice in the streets: She crieth in the chief place of concourse, in the openings of the gates: in the city she uttereth her words, saying, How long, ye simple ones, will ye love simplicity? and the scorners delight in their scorning, and fools hate knowledge? (Proverbs 1:20-22)

3. Wisdom other than that from heaven is self-destructive. For it is written, I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and will bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent. Where is the wise? where is the scribe? where is the disputer of this world? hath not God made foolish the wisdom of this world? (1 Corinthians 1:19-20)

B. Jesus called a tax collector and the man followed Him; in that time and place such people were not expected to be interested in religion. And as he passed by, he saw Levi the son of Alphaeus sitting at the receipt of custom, and said unto him, Follow
And he arose and followed him. (Mark 2:14)

C. The tax collector held a party to introduce Jesus to his fellow tax collectors and other socially undesirable people; new believers are likely to know other people who might be prospects for the gospel. And it came to pass, that, as Jesus sat at meat in his house, many publicans and sinners sat also together with Jesus and his disciples: for there were many, and they followed him. (Mark 2:15)

II. People Did Not Like the Implications

A. Why should Christians take an interest in undesirable people? And when the scribes and Pharisees saw him eat with publicans and sinners, they said unto his disciples, How is it that he eateth and drinketh with publicans and sinners? (Mark

B. There have always been people who thought religion was for people who appeared righteous rather than for people who needed to become righteous.Which say, Stand by thyself, come not near to me; for I am holier than thou. These are a smoke in my nose, a fire that burneth all the day. (Isaiah 65:5)

C. In another place Jesus told a parable presenting the situation from Gods perspective. What man of you, having an hundred sheep, if he lose one of them,doth not leave the ninety and nine in the wilderness, and go after that which is lost, until he find it? And when he hath found it, he layeth it on his shoulders, rejoicing. And when he cometh home, he calleth together his friends and neighbours, saying unto them, Rejoice with me; for I have found my sheep which was lost. I say unto you, that likewise joy shall be in heaven over one sinner that repenteth, more than over ninety and nine just persons, which need no repentance. (Luke 15:4-7)

III. The Gospel Is Designed for Undesirables

A. The undesirables were Jesus target audience. When Jesus heard it, he saith unto them, They that are whole have no need of the physician, but they that are sick: I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance. (Mark 2:17)

B. People who think they do not have problems do not look for answers. But when
Jesus heard
that, he said unto them, They that be whole need not a physician, but they that are sick. (Matthew 9:12)

C. People who do not feel the need for Jesus have been anesthetized to their own need; people who cannot feel pain are in constant danger and people who claim pain doesnt hurt are insane. And he said unto them, Ye are they which justify yourselves before men; but God knoweth your hearts: for that which is highly esteemed among men is abomination in the sight of God. (Luke 16:15)

D. Once the problem is recognized, it can be resolved. Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool. (Isaiah 1:18)

E. God pardons. 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. (Isaiah 55:7)

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

God Takes Care of His People

1. Psalm 31

Dr. Edwin P. Elliott, Jr.

I. Sometimes Confidence Is All Believers Have

A. In whom do you put your trust; David placed his confidence in God his Savior. To the chief Musician, A Psalm of David. In thee, O LORD, do I put my trust; let me never be ashamed: deliver me in thy righteousness.(Psalm 31:1)

B. God protects and leads His people because of Who He is. Bow down thine ear to me; deliver me speedily: be thou my strong rock, for an house of defence to save me. For thou art my rock and my fortress; therefore for thy names sake lead me, and guide me.(Psalm 31:2-3)

C. Believers entrust themselves to God in the assurance that He can save them from their enemies just as He saved their souls from judgment. Pull me out of the net that they have laid privily for me: for thou art my strength. Into thine hand I commit my spirit: thou hast redeemed me, O LORD God of truth.(Psalm 31:4-5)

D. Believers who trust in God place themselves in constant conflict with people who trust in the empty frauds of sin. I have hated them that regard lying vanities: but I trust in the LORD.(Psalm 31:6)

E. Believers take comfort in Gods record of providential care for them. I will be glad and rejoice in thy mercy: for thou hast considered my trouble; thou hast known my soul in adversities; And hast not shut me up into the hand of the enemy: thou hast set my feet in a large room.(Psalm 31:7-8)

II. Believers Act on Confidence

A. God listens whether the problem originates with oppression or sin; God is merciful. Have mercy upon me, O LORD, for I am in trouble: mine eye is consumed with grief, yea, my soul and my belly. For my life is spent with grief, and my years with sighing: my strength faileth because of mine iniquity, and my bones are consumed.(Psalm 31:9-10)

B. A sense of uselessness can be painful and discouraging. I was a reproach among all mine enemies, but especially among my neighbours, and a fear to mine acquaintance: they that did see me without fled from me. I am forgotten as a dead man out of mind: I am like a broken vessel.
(Psalm 31:11-12)

C. When all other directions seem closed, the time has arrived to turn to God earnestly. For I have heard the slander of many: fear was on every side: while they took counsel together against me, they devised to take away my life. But I trusted in thee, O LORD: I said, Thou art my God. My times are in thy hand: deliver me from the hand of mine enemies, and from them that persecute me.(Psalm 31:13-15)

D. God can transform any situation; the world is judging Gods interest in people who trust in Him. Make thy face to shine upon thy servant: save me for thy merciessake. Let me not be ashamed, O LORD; for I have called upon thee: let the wicked be ashamed, and let them be silent in the grave. Let the lying lips be put to silence; which speak grievous things proudly and contemptuously against the righteous.(Psalm 31:16-18)

III. God Does All Things Well

A. God does great things for people who trust in Him. Oh how great is thy goodness, which thou hast laid up for them that fear thee; which thou hast wrought for them that trust in thee before the sons of men!(Psalm 31:19)

B. Gods ways arent always obvious but they are entirely effective. Thou shalt hide them in the secret of thy presence from the pride of man: thou shalt keep them secretly in a pavilion from the strife of tongues. Blessed be the LORD: for he hath shewed me his marvellous kindness in a strong city.(Psalm 31:20-21)

C. Believers sometimes say the wrong things, but God always does what is best. For I said in my haste, I am cut off from before thine eyes: nevertheless thou heardest the voice of my supplications when I cried unto thee.(Psalm 31:22)

IV. Testify

A. God preserves His own; let the world know. O love the LORD, all ye his saints: for the LORD preserveth the faithful, and plentifully rewardeth the proud doer.(Psalm 31:23) And now, Israel, what doth the LORD thy God require of thee, but to fear the LORD thy God, to walk in all his ways, and to love him, and to serve the LORD thy God with all thy heart and with all thy soul,(Deuteronomy 10:12)

B. Employ the resources God gives; live with holy boldness. Be of good courage, and he shall strengthen your heart, all ye that hope in the LORD.(Psalm 31:24) Strengthen ye the weak hands, and confirm the feeble knees. Say to them that are of a fearful heart, Be strong, fear not: behold, your God will come with vengeance, even God with a recompence; he will come and save you.(Isaiah 35:3-4)

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