Godly Family

Zacharias and Elisabeth;

a Portrait of a Godly Family

There is an undeniable rarity found here in Luke chapter one exclusively. It is the family of Zachariah and Elisabeth, the parents of John the Baptist. I have found it necessary to consider them that we might be challenged in the area of our families. How desperately we need godly families!!! It was to the custodial care of this dear couple the Lord placed His messenger, the “forerunner” of the Messiah!

I. Faithful in Service vs. 5-9

Luke 1:5-9

5 There was in the days of Herod, the king of Judaea, a certain priest named Zacharias, of the course of Abia: and his wife was of the daughters of Aaron, and her name was Elisabeth.

6 And they were both righteous before God, walking in all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord blameless.

7 And they had no child, because that Elisabeth was barren, and they both were now well stricken in years.

8 And it came to pass, that while he executed the priest’s office before God in the order of his course,

9 According to the custom of the priest’s office, his lot was to burn incense when he went into the temple of the Lord.

Zacharias was a faithful priest while Elisabeth was a faithful WIFE!

II. Followers of the Scriptures vs. 6

…Walking in all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord blameless…

A. Dealing with Direct Commands “all the commandments”

Lived a Life in obedience to the direct commandments of God

εντολη entole

from 1781; injunction, i.e. an authoritative prescription:—commandment, precept.

(Commandments) *Obvious to the casual observer*

B. Dealt with Discernment of God’s will “…and ordinances…”

Lived a Life through godly Discernment of His will

δικαιωμα dikaioma

from 1344; an equitable deed; by implication, a statute or decision:—judgment, justification, ordinance, righteousness.

(Ordinances) *Only for the obedient seeker*

Ezr 8:21-23 Then I proclaimed a fast there, at the river of Ahava, that we might afflict ourselves before our God, to seek of him a right way for us, and for our little ones, and for all our substance. 22 For I was ashamed to require of the king a band of soldiers and horsemen to help us against the enemy in the way: because we had spoken unto the king, saying, The hand of our God is upon all them for good that seek him; but his power and his wrath is against all them that forsake him. 23 So we fasted and besought our God for this: and he was intreated of us.

*Note what Ezra led the people to do as the travelled to Jerusalem

III. Fervent in Prayer vs. 13

*Last message we considered the past prayer of this couple for a child… That prayer had no expiration date! This would have been that particular prayer they prayed as a couple for a child.

Matthew Henry says also:

If he means the prayers he was now making, and offering up with his incense, we may suppose that those were according to the duty of his place, for the Israel of God and their welfare, and the performance of the promises made to them concerning the Messiah and the coming of his kingdom: ‘This prayer of thine is now heard: for thy wife shall shortly conceive him that is to be the Messiah’s forerunner.’ Some of the Jewish writers themselves say that the priest, when he burnt incense, prayed for the salvation of the whole world; and now that prayer shall be heard.”

Luke 1:13 But the angel said unto him, Fear not, Zacharias: for thy prayer is heard; and thy wife Elisabeth shall bear thee a son, and thou shalt call his name John. John = “Jehovah is a gracious giver”

Luke 10:2 Therefore said he unto them, The harvest truly is great, but the labourers are few: pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he would send forth labourers into his harvest.

Prayer is…

The Answer to the overwhelming Harvest

Luke 11:1 And it came to pass, that, as he was praying in a certain place, when he ceased, one of his disciples said unto him, Lord, teach us to pray, as John also taught his disciples.

Asked by the disciples of the Lord

Luke 11:2 And he said unto them, When ye pray, say, Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done, as in heaven, so in earth.

Assumed by the Lord as normal Christianity

Luke 18:1 And he spake a parable unto them to this end, that men ought always to pray, and not to faint;

Expected by the Lord that men pray

Luke 22:40 And when he was at the place, he said unto them, Pray that ye enter not into temptation.

Luke 22:46 And said unto them, Why sleep ye? rise and pray, lest ye enter into temptation.

The Answer to the sin problem of our lives

IV. Filled with the Holy Ghost

This is significant, in that it indicates their individual Devotion and Surrender to the Lord!

vs. 67 Zacharias

And his father Zacharias was filled with the Holy Ghost, and prophesied, saying,…”

vs. 41 Elisabeth

And it came to pass, that, when Elisabeth heard the salutation of Mary, the babe leaped in her womb; and Elisabeth was filled with the Holy Ghost:”

Eph 5:18 And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit;

The issue here is not content, but control! It’s not how much of the Holy Spirit the Christian has, but it’s how much of the Christian the Holy Spirit has!

V. Their Faithful Son

Christians can choose to live their lives in a flippant way, blindly believing their children and lives will all turn out all right in the end, but this is not the reality. God give us godly families!

A. The “Occupation” of a godly family

The previous four points of our study show us the occupation of this family. They occupied their lives in the love, obedience, and service of the Lord.

B. The “Cultivation” within a godly family

The occupation of this family created the environment that God worked in! The hand of the Lord was with the son without hindrance of his family!

Luke 1:66 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 1:80 And the child grew, and waxed strong in spirit, and was in the deserts till the day of his shewing unto Israel.

C. The “Expectations” of a godly family

John would become the greatest man “born of women” yet in an earthly sense he was not wealthy, nor did he have possessions, in fact, he would be killed by a wicked ruler! His family’s expectations were indeed high for their son… They were “Heavenly high!”

Matthew 11:11 Verily I say unto you, Among them that are born of women there hath not risen a greater than John the Baptist: notwithstanding he that is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he.

Fear Not, For Thy Prayer Is Heard!

Fear Not, For Thy Prayer Is Heard!”

Luke 1:5-25

christian20fasting_thumb.jpg

Before God” Vs. 5-7

Their hearts were sick with sorrow, not with sin! Their disappointments made them better, not bitter!

These dear folks had an overwhelming Desire to have a child…..

These dear folks had an overwhelming Disappointment because they were unable…

These dear folks had an overpowering Devotion to the Lord and His service!

Prov 13:12 Hope deferred maketh the heart sick: but when the desire cometh, it is a tree of life.

Ps 34:18-19

18 The LORD is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart; and saveth such as be of a contrite spirit. 19 Many are the afflictions of the righteous: but the LORD delivereth him out of them all.

Comments on: Luke 1:5-25

2. That they had been long childless, v. 7. Children are a heritage of the Lord. But there are many of his heirs in a married state, that yet are denied this heritage; they are valuable desirable blessings; yet many there are, who are righteous before God, and, if they had children, would bring them up in his fear, who yet are not thus blessed, while the men of this world are full of children <Ps. 17:14>, and send forth their little ones like a flock, <Job 21:11>. (Matthew Henry’s Commentary)

I. Picture of Faithfulness (Zacharias) Devotion vs.5-13

A. His Prayer …Elisabeth was barren…

B. His Perseverance …while…

C. His Performance of Duty …he executed the priests office before God…

D. His Place of Service …his lot…

E. His Payment or Reward …fear not…thy prayer is heard…

Heb 6:9-11

9 But, beloved, we are persuaded better things of you, and things that accompany salvation, though we thus speak. 10 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. 11 And we desire that every one of you do shew the same diligence to the full assurance of hope unto the end:

F. His Promise …Thy wife… shall bear thee a son…

II. Picture of Frailty Doubt vs.18-20

Can we deduce today something from this text? As we witness the reaction of Zacharias to the announcement of Gabriel we can gather a few things of his prayer that was being answered….

It was a prayer prayed in faith…

It was a prayer prayed in the past…

It was a prayer that an answer was so delayed that the hope of the answering was deferred… yet they remained faithful!

A. Frailty of His Flesh

Matt 26:40-41

40 And he cometh unto the disciples, and findeth them asleep, and saith unto Peter, What, could ye not watch with me one hour? 41 Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.

Mark 14:38 Watch ye and pray, lest ye enter into temptation. The spirit truly is ready, but the flesh is weak.

Our Flesh is not saved, and our flesh will not nor can it serve the living God!

B. Frailty of His Faith

Matt 6:27-30

27 Which of you by taking thought can add one cubit unto his stature? 28 And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin: 29 And yet I say unto you, That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. 30 Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which to day is, and to morrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith?

Matt 8:24-27

24 And, behold, there arose a great tempest in the sea, insomuch that the ship was covered with the waves: but he was asleep. 25 And his disciples came to him, and awoke him, saying, Lord, save us: we perish. 26 And he saith unto them, Why are ye fearful, O ye of little faith? Then he arose, and rebuked the winds and the sea; and there was a great calm. 27 But the men marvelled, saying, What manner of man is this, that even the winds and the sea obey him!

Matt 14:29-31

29 And he said, Come. And when Peter was come down out of the ship, he walked on the water, to go to Jesus. 30 But when he saw the wind boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink, he cried, saying, Lord, save me. 31 And immediately Jesus stretched forth his hand, and caught him, and said unto him, O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt?

Matt 16:7-9

7 And they reasoned among themselves, saying, It is because we have taken no bread. 8 Which when Jesus perceived, he said unto them, O ye of little faith, why reason ye among yourselves, because ye have brought no bread? 9 Do ye not yet understand, neither remember the five loaves of the five thousand, and how many baskets ye took up?

See the imperfect prayers of the church answered perfectly by the Lord… See Acts12:1-17

An Undefeatable Resource (vs. 5) “But Prayer!”

See verse 15 and 16 ~ Imperfect Prayer ~ Though their faith was not PERFECT the PRACTICE of prayer and the miraculous answering of that prayer PERFECTED their faith!!!!

The church at Jerusalem was experiencing terrible persecution BUT PRAYER… The Apostle James had been put to death by the sword of Herod BUT PRAYER… The Apostle Peter was sleeping in the prison house awaiting execution… BUT PRAYER!

A. The Persistence ~ Without Ceasing:

Luke 18:1 And he spake a parable unto them to this end, that men ought always to pray, and not to faint; ~ Persistent Prayer Of the Church; Many were gathered together

B. The Participation ~ of the church

Matthew 18:19-20 Again I say unto you, That if two of you shall agree on earth as touching any thing that they shall ask, it shall be done for them of my Father which is in heaven. 20 For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them. ~ Unified Prayer

C. The Imperfection ~ apparent weak faith

Acts 12:15 and 16 And they said unto her, Thou art mad. But she constantly affirmed that it was even so. Then said they, It is his angel. 16 But Peter continued knocking: and when they had opened the door, and saw him, they were astonished.

Mark 9:17 And one of the multitude answered and said, Master, I have brought unto thee my son, which hath a dumb spirit;

Mark 9:23-24 Jesus said unto him, If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth. 24 And straightway the father of the child cried out, and said with tears, Lord, I believe; help thou mine unbelief.

Romans 8:26-27 Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. 27 And he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God.

Hebrews 4:15-16 For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. 16 Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.

*We have not to fear or wonder if our audience will be accepted! We are not as Esther, who took her life into her hands to appear before the king! (Esther 4:18-23) Our God has put forth His terms in which He will Hear!!!!!*

Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.”

we may obtain” ~ this is not an endeavor in vain if we go in such a way that we may obtain!

“may” speaks of possibility where it once was not possible!

Ephesians 2:11-13 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; 12 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: 13 But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ.

Hebrews 10:19-20 Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus, 20 By a new and living way, which he hath consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say, his flesh;

“may” speaks of opportunity where once there was none!

The old timers spoke of “Praying Ground.” By this term they meant keeping yourself constantly in the clearest and purest terms possible with the Lord!

Only the “righteous” can stand there:

John 10:14-15 I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine. 15 As the Father knoweth me, even so know I the Father: and I lay down my life for the sheep.

1 Peter 3:12 For the eyes of the Lord are over the righteous, and his ears are open unto their prayers: but the face of the Lord is against them that do evil.

Romans 10:3 For they being ignorant of God’s righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God.

2 Corinthians 5:21 For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.

and only on God’s Terms:

God’s terms touch my WALK…

Psalms 66:18 If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me:

Isaiah 1:14-18 Your new moons and your appointed feasts my soul hateth: they are a trouble unto me; I am weary to bear them. 15 And when ye spread forth your hands, I will hide mine eyes from you: yea, when ye make many prayers, I will not hear: your hands are full of blood. 16 Wash you, make you clean; put away the evil of your doings from before mine eyes; cease to do evil; 17 Learn to do well; seek judgment, relieve the oppressed, judge the fatherless, plead for the widow. 18 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.

1 John 1:8-9 If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. 9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

Isaiah 59:1-2 Behold, the LORD’S hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; neither his ear heavy, that it cannot hear: 2 But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear.

God’s Terms according to His WILL…

1 John 5:14-15 And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us: 15 And if we know that he hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of him.

III. Picture of Fulfillment (God is Faithful!) Delight! Vs.13-25

A. Prayer Answered

B. Purpose Realized

Gen 15:2-4

2 And Abram said, Lord GOD, what wilt thou give me, seeing I go childless, and the steward of my house is this Eliezer of Damascus? 3 And Abram said, Behold, to me thou hast given no seed: and, lo, one born in my house is mine heir. 4 And, behold, the word of the LORD came unto him, saying, This shall not be thine heir; but he that shall come forth out of thine own bowels shall be thine heir. (Isaac)

Gen 25:21 And Isaac intreated the LORD for his wife, because she was barren: and the LORD was intreated of him, and Rebekah his wife conceived. (Jacob)

Gen 30:22-24

22 And God remembered Rachel, and God hearkened to her, and opened her womb. 23 And she conceived, and bare a son; and said, God hath taken away my reproach: 24 And she called his name Joseph; and said, The LORD shall add to me another son. (Joseph)

1 Sam 1:15-18

15 And Hannah answered and said, No, my lord, I am a woman of a sorrowful spirit: I have drunk neither wine nor strong drink, but have poured out my soul before the LORD. 16 Count not thine handmaid for a daughter of Belial: for out of the abundance of my complaint and grief have I spoken hitherto. 17 Then Eli answered and said, Go in peace: and the God of Israel grant thee thy petition that thou hast asked of him. 18 And she said, Let thine handmaid find grace in thy sight. So the woman went her way, and did eat, and her countenance was no more sad.

1 Sam 1:20 Wherefore it came to pass, when the time was come about after Hannah had conceived, that she bare a son, and called his name Samuel, saying, Because I have asked him of the LORD. (Samuel)

C. Revealed the Son anticipated vs.13-14

D. Revealed the Savior that was long awaited vs. 17

From the Very First

The Gospel According to Luke

Introduction

Luke 1:1-4

surely believed

Col 4:14

14 Luke, the beloved physician, and Demas, greet you.

2 Tim 4:9-11

9 Do thy diligence to come shortly unto me:

10 For Demas hath forsaken me, having loved this present world, and is departed unto Thessalonica; Crescens to Galatia, Titus unto Dalmatia.

11 Only Luke is with me. Take Mark, and bring him with thee: for he is profitable to me for the ministry.

It could be thought that Luke was UNLIKELY

Luke was not one of the 12 disciples.

Luke was not even a preacher!

It could be noted that Luke was almost UNNOTICED

Luke was a minister to Paul…Always in the background.

*Referred to only with plural pronouns in the first person.*

See Acts16:10

Yet the Scripture portrays that Luke was UNMOVEABLE

Luke was with Paul to the end (even in the prison house).

Luke 1:1-4

1 Forasmuch as many have taken in hand to set forth in order a declaration of those things which are most surely believed among us, 2 Even as they delivered them unto us, which from the beginning were eyewitnesses, and ministers of the word; 3 It seemed good to me also, having had perfect understanding of all things from the very first, to write unto thee in order, most excellent Theophilus, 4 That thou mightest know the certainty of those things, wherein thou hast been instructed.

I. Written From Conviction: Vs. 1-2

Conviction is not merely a “take it or leave it” mental assent of truth. Conviction is truth, searched out and settled in the heart and mind.

CONVICTION, n.

1. The act of proving, finding or determining to be guilty of an offense charged against a person before a legal tribunal; as by confession, by the verdict of a jury, or by the sentence of other tribunal, as in the summary convictions before commissioners of the revenue.

2. The act of convincing, or compelling one to admit the truth of a charge; the act of convincing of sin or sinfulness; the state of being convinced or convicted by conscience; the state of being sensible of guilt; as, the convictions of a sinner may be temporary, or lasting and efficacious. By conviction, a sinner is brought to repentance. Men often sin against the conviction of their own consciences.

Conviction illustrated in the lives of God’s people: See Daniel 3:13-18

Da 3:13-18 Then Nebuchadnezzar in his rage and fury commanded to bring Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. Then they brought these men before the king. 14 Nebuchadnezzar spake and said unto them, Is it true, O Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, do not ye serve my gods, nor worship the golden image which I have set up? 15 Now if ye be ready that at what time ye hear the sound of the cornet, flute, harp, sackbut, psaltery, and dulcimer, and all kinds of musick, ye fall down and worship the image which I have made; well: but if ye worship not, ye shall be cast the same hour into the midst of a burning fiery furnace; and who is that God that shall deliver you out of my hands? 16 Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, answered and said to the king, O Nebuchadnezzar, we are not careful to answer thee in this matter. 17 If it be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of thine hand, O king. 18 But if not, be it known unto thee, O king, that we will not serve thy gods, nor worship the golden image which thou hast set up.

Conviction illustrated in David and the implements he chose to take forth to the battle with Goliath.

1Sa 17:39 And David girded his sword upon his armour, and he assayed to go; for he had not proved it. And David said unto Saul, I cannot go with these; for I have not proved them. And David put them off him.

A. Common to all saints “Those things which are most surely believed among us”

* This conviction should not be rare, but should be shared by all true Believers*

B. Commentary of the Savior See vs. 2 also Acts 1:1

C. Contemporary of great men vs. 2

Stephen (the first deacon / martyr)

Apostle Paul

*On the surface it would seem that Luke wrote from second-hand Information. Vs.3

*On the surface it would appear that Luke wrote out of self-motivation. Vs.4

II. Written By Inspiration: Vs. 3

Having had perfect understanding of all things from the very first,”

from the very first”

509 anothen (an’-o-then);

from 507; from above; by analogy, from the first; by implication, anew:

KJV– from above, again, from the beginning (very first), the top.

John 3:31 He that cometh from above is above all: he that is of the earth is earthly, and speaketh of the earth: he that cometh from heaven is above all.

John 19:11 Jesus answered, Thou couldest have no power at all against me, except it were given thee from above: therefore he that delivered me unto thee hath the greater sin.

James 1:17 Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.

The Author: God the Holy Spirit The Writer: Luke

2 Tim 3:16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:

2 Pet 1:20-21

20 Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. 21 For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.

III. Written For Conviction: Vs. 4

That thou mayest know the certainty of those things”

A. The Word of God brings conviction to the sinner…..

B. The Word of God builds conviction in the saint!

1. Saved II Tim. 3:14-15

2. Sure I John 5:13-15

3. Strong Rom. 4:17-20

4. Standing Eph. 6:10-18, I Cor. 16:13

 

Christ Jesus, to the glory of God!

“Christ Jesus, to the glory of God!”

 cross

Philippians 2:5-11

“Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: 6 Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: 7 But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: 8 And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. 9 Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: 10 That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; 11 And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”

I. His “form” vs. 5-7

“Who being”

Consider the nature of His identity: The descriptive word used is “form” in our English Bible is a translation of the Greek:

Strong’s Greek Dictionary: μορφη morphe mor-fay’

perhaps from the base of 3313 (through the idea of adjustment of parts); shape; figuratively, nature:—form. *Used three times in the New Testament. (Mark 16:12; Phil. 2:6,7)

In using the same word we see what is known as the Hypostatic Union, the union of Deity and Humanity found only and exclusively in the Lord Jesus Christ!

A. The form of God

Joh 1:1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

B. The form of a servant

Isa 42:1 Behold my servant, whom I uphold; mine elect, in whom my soul delighteth; I have put my spirit upon him: he shall bring forth judgment to the Gentiles.

II. His “frame” vs. 7

“He made himself” and “was made”

Ps 103:14 For he knoweth our frame; he remembereth that we are dust.

Heb 11:3 Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear.

Heb 10:5 Wherefore when he cometh into the world, he saith, Sacrifice and offering thou wouldest not, but a body hast thou prepared me:

A. Made Himself of no reputation

B. Made in the likeness of men

Heb 2:14-17 Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil; 15 And deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage. 16 For verily he took not on him the nature of angels; but he took on him the seed of Abraham. 17 Wherefore in all things it behoved him to be made like unto his brethren, that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people.

III. His “fashion” vs. 8

Strong’s Greek Dictionary: σχημα schema skhay’-mah

from the alternate of 2192; a figure (as a mode or circumstance), i.e. (by implication) external condition:—fashion. (I Cor. 7:31 and Phil. 2:8)

A. He humbled Himself

2Co 8:9 For ye know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that, though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, that ye through his poverty might be rich.

B. He became obedient to death

(…even to the death of the cross)

Heb 5:7-10 Who in the days of his flesh, when he had offered up prayers and supplications with strong crying and tears unto him that was able to save him from death, and was heard in that he feared; 8 Though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered; 9 And being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him; 10 Called of God an high priest after the order of Melchisedec.

IV. His “fame” vs. 9

A. God hath highly exalted Him

He is higher than the kings of the earth: Ps. 89:27

His ways are higher than our ways: Is. 55:9

He is higher than the heavens: Heb. 7:6

He is higher than the highest: Ecc. 5:8

B. God hath given Him a name

Ac 4:11-12 This is the stone which was set at nought of you builders, which is become the head of the corner. 12 Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.

V. His “future” vs. 10-11

A. Every knee should bow “submission”

Ps 66:3 Say unto God, How terrible art thou in thy works! through the greatness of thy power shall thine enemies submit themselves unto thee.

B. Every tongue should confess “confession”

Ro 14:11-12 For it is written, As I live, saith the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God. 12 So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God.

In the description of the Lord Jesus Christ, the “God-Man” as we find in Philippians chapter 2 culminates in verse 11 with this phrase “…to the glory of God the Father.”

It would behoove us to note the example set forth by the Almighty as He stepped into this temporal world to take upon Himself flesh, to be made in the likeness of men, and making Himself of no reputation to be made into the form of a servant, that He by the grace of God should taste death for every men. The Lord Jesus humbled Himself to the lowest of places that He might reveal to us the highest of purposes…“to the glory of God the Father!”

This is the highest purpose for which any creature of God can attain! The Lord Jesus taught us that the way up is down. The way to honor is humility! The way to greatness is through servant hood! May success be defined in us by the glory of God! LET THIS MIND BE IN YOU!

 

A Celebration of Victory!

A Celebration of Victory!

Psalm 68

 Psalm 68

As important as the conduct of God’s people is, the context of this conduct is often more important!

The Occasion of the Psalm is not given, but it is thought by some and indeed appropriate for the occasion to be the returning of the ark to Jerusalem by King David. Notice the likeness of David’s Psalm 68 and the prayers of Moses (Num. 10:35-36). Notice also the precession that brought the ark to Zion is also described in vs. 25-27 of the Psalm. The ark was representative of the presence of the Lord in the midst of His people Israel.

The ark had lost during a time of no vision as described in I Samuel 3:1. It was a time of apathy and apostasy, God’s people had come to depend upon and dedicate themselves to the furnishings and trappings of the service of God rather than to God Himself (I Samuel 4:3-4). In such a state, God’s people haven’t a chance before their enemies! Israel suffered a devastating defeat and the ark was taken (I Samuel 4:10-11).

David, as king, had brought a revival to the throne of Israel. As the king, he attempted to bring back the ark, and with it the token of God’s presence in the kingdom. On the first attempt David neglected proper dedication to the word of God and disobeyed God’s instructions for transporting the ark. Tragedy resulted in the death of Uzzah the priest (2 Samuel 6:6-7). It is always more difficult to return to a close walk with God than it is to fall away! The occasion of the Psalm comes at the second and successful attempt to bring back the ark. The Psalm comes from inspiration of the Holy Spirit through the instrument of a devoted servant and a nation newly renewed in dedication to Him! As it is much more difficult to return to a close walk with the Lord than it is to fall away from Him, this Psalm and the account of David and Israel as recorded in 2 Sam. 6:12-19 demonstrates the glory and blessing of that renewed closeness to the Lord!

It is in this place of renewal and rededication comes this Psalm where God’s works are remember and His way will be realized in the life of His people!

The names of God the Hebrews recognized

Elohim Spelled “God” and used most in the Psalm to address God. (vs. 1; 2; 3; 4; 5; 6; 7; 8; 9; 10; 15; 16; 17; 18; 21; 24; 25; 28; 31; 32; 34; 35)

Elohim is the plural form of the name “El” which means “strong one.” Interestingly the name “elohim” is used of false gods as well, but not capitalized. In the case of the true God, as the plural form, indicative of the Trinity

JAH Spelled “JAH” vs. 4 and “LORD” vs. 18

JAH” is a sacred name of God meaning “The LORD most vehement.” The English Bible has the spelling “JAH” taking place only here in the Scriptures.

Adoni Spelled “Lord” vs. 11; 17; 19; 20; 22; 26

Adoni is also a plural form that means “master and owner”

Shaddai Spelled “Almighty” vs. 14

Shaddai” Another word much like Shaddai, and from which many believe it derived, is shad meaning “breast” in Hebrew (some other scholars believe that the name is derived from an Akkadian word Šadu, meaning “mountain,” suggesting strength and power). This refers to God completely nourishing, satisfying, and supplying His people with all their needs as a mother would her child.

Jehovah Spelled “LORD” vs. 20 and “GOD” vs. 20

Jehovah comes from a verb which means “to exist, be.” This, plus its usage, shows that this name stresses God as the independent and self-existent God of revelation and redemption

(Gen. 4:3; Ex. 6:3 (cf. 3:14); 3:12).

El Spelled “God” vs. 19; 20; 24; 35

EL” means “strong one”

The nation that had so much experience with the Lord, knew Him in great intimacy as reflected in the five different names of God used in the Psalm!

The Divisions of the Psalm:

I. Exaltation of the God of Israel in her Experience

(Israel’s Past)

A. The Providence of God Vs. 1-7

1. The punishment of His Enemies vs. 1-2

“Let the wicked perish”

2. The Protection of His People vs. 3-7

“let the righteous rejoice”

~ Selah

Interwoven in the Psalm are the works of God in the Nation of Israel. The first one is sung in verse 6: expressing how God brought out the Jewish slaves from the iron furnace of Egypt!

B. The Power of God Vs. 8-19

1. In His Goodness vs. 7-14

“Prepared of thy goodness”

2. In his Greatness vs. 15-19

“The Lord is among them”

~ Selah

The Power of God is celebrated as the works of God continue in the Hymn, giving a literal historical remembrance of God’s work on behalf of His people!

Vs. 6 “He bringeth out those bound” Deut. 4:20

The deliverance from Egypt”

Vs. 7 “The wilderness” Ex. 13:21-22

Includes the Red Sea to Mt. Sinai

Vs. 8 “Sinai” Ex. 19:1

Where God gave Israel the Law

Vs. 9 “when it ‘thine inheritance’ was weary”

From Numbers 14 when God sentenced them to wilderness wandering until Joshua 1 when the Lord took them into the Promised Land under Joshua.

Ne 9:21-23 Yea, forty years didst thou sustain them in the wilderness, so that they lacked nothing; their clothes waxed not old, and their feet swelled not. 22 Moreover thou gavest them kingdoms and nations, and didst divide them into corners: so they possessed the land of Sihon, and the land of the king of Heshbon, and the land of Og king of Bashan. 23 Their children also multipliedst thou as the stars of heaven, and broughtest them into the land, concerning which thou hadst promised to their fathers, that they should go in to possess it.

Vs. 10 “dwelt therein”

Israel dwelt in their land and prospered into a nation. At the point in time when the Psalm was given, Israel had seen to date her greatest realization of the blessings of God in her own land under David her king:

2Sa 5:9-10 So David dwelt in the fort, and called it the city of David. And David built round about from Millo and inward. 10 And David went on, and grew great, and the LORD God of hosts was with him.

II. Exaltation of the God of Israel in her Expectation

(Israel’s Prophecy)

A. The Progress of God Vs. 20-32

1. Expectation of His Promises vs. 19-23

“I will bring”

2. Exultation of His People vs. 24-32

“Bless ye God in the congregation”

~ Selah

At verse 20 the tense has changed and David’s praise turns to prophesy!

B. The Program of God Vs. 31-35

1. Subjugation of all Opposition vs. 31

“Princes shall come”

2. Sovereignty Celebrated vs. 32-35

Ye kingdoms of the earth”

The Works of God Remembered

Let this Mind be in You

Let this Mind be in You

1-5

Text:

Philippians 2:1-5

If there be therefore any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any bowels and mercies, Fulfil ye my joy, that ye be likeminded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind. Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves. Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others. Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus:”

The word translated “mind” in our text also translated “savourest” in Matt. 16:23 and Mark 8:33 where the Lord rebukes Peter. In Romans 14:6 it is translated “reguardeth” in reference to men regarding days. In I Cor. 4:6 The Holy Spirit uses it to warn men not “to think” of men above that which is written. In I Cor. 13:11 it is translated “I understood.” Later in Philippians 4:2 it is translated “your care” and “ye were careful.” Finally, in Col. 3:2 it is translated “set your affections.”

When we consider the usage of this Greek word and the translations into English we come up with a word picture and with that word picture a better understanding of our text, as this word appears three times here in the five verses. In verse 2 it is “ye be likeminded” and “mind” and in verse 5 it is “Let mind be.”

The word describes what we savor, that is our tastes and interests. The word means regard, as in what we deem of importance or valuable. The word means to esteem as to what and who we hold in regard. The word means to comprehend and grasp. The word means to carefully consider and meet the needs of another. The word means to place your affections and desires upon something. You see, this is a very important subject, for the mind of the church will affect its desires, direction, dedication, and drive…

Our goal today is to identify biblically the mind that is to be in the church. We are recognizing that the book of Philippians was written to the church at Philippi (see 1:1). This being the case, it important for context for us to remember here in chapter two Paul entreats the church “Let this mind be in you, which was in Christ Jesus! We are discussing this morning, the church having the very mind of Christ!

1Co 2:14-16 But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. 15 But he that is spiritual judgeth all things, yet he himself is judged of no man. 16 For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him? But we have the mind of Christ.

I. Rhetorical Truth: “If there be therefore…” Vs. 1

Rhetorical truths to enforce a Spiritual truth…

The truths presented are presented in a rhetorical manner by the world “if.” The truths are so great and magnificent, that for us to expound them from the Scriptures it would take a year of sermons upon each one and still we would not exhaust the proclamation and demonstration of these truths (Consolation in Christ, comfort of love, fellowship of the Spirit, bowels and mercies) throughout the volume of God’s Book! Thus, we will simply use the previous chapter of this small Epistle to demonstrate the absoluteness of each truth presented rhetorically…

If there be any consolation in Christ

Paul writes from prison, to a church that was founded under his ministry only after a serious beating and time in jail. He writes not in tones of regret and despondency, but in hope and celebration of the accomplishments of God through Christ in them!

Philippians 1:2 Grace be unto you, and peace, from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ.

If any comfort of love

The love Paul had for the Philippians and the Philippians for Paul obviously brought him comfort in his conflict!

Philippians 1:7 Even as it is meet for me to think this of you all, because I have you in my heart; inasmuch as both in my bonds, and in the defence and confirmation of the gospel, ye all are partakers of my grace.

If any fellowship of the Spirit

Through the prayers of the Philippians and the supply of the Spirit… Paul had an expectation and hope!

Philippians 1:18-20 What then? notwithstanding, every way, whether in pretence, or in truth, Christ is preached; and I therein do rejoice, yea, and will rejoice. 19 For I know that this shall turn to my salvation through your prayer, and the supply of the Spirit of Jesus Christ, 20 According to my earnest expectation and my hope, that in nothing I shall be ashamed, but that with all boldness, as always, so now also Christ shall be magnified in my body, whether it be by life, or by death.

If any bowels and mercies

It is truly miraculous how Christ completely changed the heart and life of Saul of Tarsus! Paul lived the Philippian church in the bowels of Jesus Christ!

Philippians 1:8 For God is my record, how greatly I long after you all in the bowels of Jesus Christ.

If these things exist and are a reality, which they are for the child of God and the church of Jesus Christ, then there should be a reality seen in the church of Jesus Christ!

II. Practical Truth

A. “That ye be…” Vs. 2 (Our “being”)

Be likeminded: “uniformity” of mind

Pr 23:6-7 Eat thou not the bread of him that hath an evil eye, neither desire thou his dainty meats: 7 For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he: Eat and drink, saith he to thee; but his heart is not with thee.

1. The same love “sameness of love”

2. In one accord “similar sentiment”

3. Of ONE MIND “singularity” of mind

B. “let…be done…” Vs. 3 (Our “doing”)

1. Negatively “let NOTHING be done through…

a. Strife

b. Vainglory

2. Positively “but let [everything be gone]”

a. In lowliness of mind

b. Let each esteem other

C. “look on…” Vs. 4 (Our “look”)

1. Negatively – “not on his own things”

2. Positively – “on the things of others”

3. Responsibility – “every man”

III. Powerful truth Vs. 5

“Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus:”

This is the key to the entire message! The mind of the church will determine the behavior of the church, the attitude of the church, the very heart of the church! The mind that should be in us is not mine, not yours, and not anyone else but Christ’s!

Anticipating His Government

Anticipating His Government

Let all the People Praise Thee

 lion-and-the-lamb

Psalm 67:1-7

To the chief Musician on Neginoth, A Psalm or Song.

1 God be merciful unto us, and bless us; and cause his face to shine upon us; Selah. 2 That thy way may be known upon earth, thy saving health among all nations. 3 Let the people praise thee, O God; let all the people praise thee. 4 O let the nations be glad and sing for joy: for thou shalt judge the people righteously, and govern the nations upon earth. Selah. 5 Let the people praise thee, O God; let all the people praise thee. 6Then shall the earth yield her increase; and God, even our own God, shall bless us. 7 God shall bless us; and all the ends of the earth shall fear him.

I. Petition vs. 1

Vs. 1 “God be merciful unto us, and bless us; and cause his face to shine upon us; Selah.”

The greatest needs of God’s people are not the physical and temporal needs that they have in this earthly experience. God is petitioned in verse one for these greatest of all blessings that could possibly be experienced by men.

A. Mercy The provision of God for His people

be merciful unto us”

Mercy is the provision of God for His people, the provision for their sins that they may be forgiven. It is the benevolence shown of the perfect and Holy one upon His imperfect children!

B. Blessing The promises of God for His people

bless us”

Blessing: that which is promised of God for His people for their obedience to Him. The blessing of God is not a mystery! God desires to bless His people!

C. Countenance The pleasure of God for His people

cause His face to shine upon us”

Anyone that has seen a child light up at the presence of their parents understands this phrase! The shinning of His face upon them is the demonstration of the pleasure of God in His children.

~Selah

II. Purposevs. 2-4

Vs. 2-4 “That thy way may be known upon earth, thy saving health among all nations. Let the people praise thee, O God; let all the people praise thee. O let the nations be glad and sing for joy: for thou shalt judge the people righteously, and govern the nations upon earth. Selah.”

The Psalms are the Hebrew Hymnal, to understand the Psalms we must understand them from the Hebrew viewpoint. To Israel was prophesied to be a blessing, to them was promised the land, to David’s seed was promised the kingdom. This Psalm is in anticipation of that Kingdom and the Government of God upon the Earth!

A. Present Desire of God

1. “That Thy way may be known upon the earth”

This morning as we preached Phil. 1:20 we preached on Paul’s statement “Christ shall be magnified in my body.” What a powerful truth and not so unrelated to the truths expressed here. God has always desired that men, all men would know Him and know His ways upon this earth!

2. “That Thy saving health among all nations”

De 4:5-7 Behold, I have taught you statutes and judgments, even as the LORD my God commanded me, that ye should do so in the land whither ye go to possess it. 6 Keep therefore and do them; for this is your wisdom and your understanding in the sight of the nations, which shall hear all these statutes, and say, Surely this great nation is a wise and understanding people. 7 For what nation is there so great, who hath God so nigh unto them, as the LORD our God is in all things that we call upon him for?

3. Let all the people praise Thee!

B. Promised Determination of God

 When God truly reigns upon the earth, all nations will be affected! “let the nations be glad and sing for joy”

1. O let the nations be glad and sing for joy

2. For thou shalt judge the people righteously

3. For thou shalt govern upon the earth

Through Moses God said:

De 26:16-19 This day the LORD thy God hath commanded thee to do these statutes and judgments: thou shalt therefore keep and do them with all thine heart, and with all thy soul. 17 Thou hast avouched the LORD this day to be thy God, and to walk in his ways, and to keep his statutes, and his commandments, and his judgments, and to hearken unto his voice: 18 And the LORD hath avouched thee this day to be his peculiar people, as he hath promised thee, and that thou shouldest keep all his commandments; 19 And to make thee high above all nations which he hath made, in praise, and in name, and in honour; and that thou mayest be an holy people unto the LORD thy God, as he hath spoken.

Through Nathan the Prophet:

2Sa 7:4-18 And it came to pass that night, that the word of the LORD came unto Nathan, saying, 5 Go and tell my servant David, Thus saith the LORD, Shalt thou build me an house for me to dwell in? 6 Whereas I have not dwelt in any house since the time that I brought up the children of Israel out of Egypt, even to this day, but have walked in a tent and in a tabernacle. 7 In all the places wherein I have walked with all the children of Israel spake I a word with any of the tribes of Israel, whom I commanded to feed my people Israel, saying, Why build ye not me an house of cedar? 8 Now therefore so shalt thou say unto my servant David, Thus saith the LORD of hosts, I took thee from the sheepcote, from following the sheep, to be ruler over my people, over Israel: 9 And I was with thee whithersoever thou wentest, and have cut off all thine enemies out of thy sight, and have made thee a great name, like unto the name of the great men that are in the earth. 10 Moreover I will appoint a place for my people Israel, and will plant them, that they may dwell in a place of their own, and move no more; neither shall the children of wickedness afflict them any more, as beforetime, 11 And as since the time that I commanded judges to be over my people Israel, and have caused thee to rest from all thine enemies. Also the LORD telleth thee that he will make thee an house. 12 And when thy days be fulfilled, and thou shalt sleep with thy fathers, I will set up thy seed after thee, which shall proceed out of thy bowels, and I will establish his kingdom. 13 He shall build an house for my name, and I will stablish the throne of his kingdom for ever. 14 I will be his father, and he shall be my son. If he commit iniquity, I will chasten him with the rod of men, and with the stripes of the children of men: 15 But my mercy shall not depart away from him, as I took it from Saul, whom I put away before thee. 16 And thine house and thy kingdom shall be established for ever before thee: thy throne shall be established for ever. 17 According to all these words, and according to all this vision, so did Nathan speak unto David. 18 Then went king David in, and sat before the LORD, and he said, Who am I, O Lord GOD? and what is my house, that thou hast brought me hitherto?

Through Isaiah the Prophet:

Isaiah 9:6-7 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, Counseller, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. 7 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.

Let the People praise Thee O God, Let all the people praise Thee”

~Selah

The thought that comes to mind is the unbelievers argument that God cannot possibly exist, or if He exists, not a good god for the conditions in the world. Wars, amines, diseases, and every malady of the earthy experience in blamed upon the Lord. The Millennial Kingdom demonstrates what the earth will be like when the effects of man’s fall will be removed by the benevolent King that shall rule over BOTH WICKED AND THE JUST in righteousness and on an earth free of the curse!

Romans 8:18-24 For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us. 19 For the earnest expectation of the creature waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God. 20 For the creature was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of him who hath subjected the same in hope, 21 Because the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God. 22 For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now. 23 And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body. 24 For we are saved by hope: but hope that is seen is not hope: for what a man seeth, why doth he yet hope for?

III. Prospect vs. 5-7

Vs. 5-7 “Let the people praise thee, O God; let all the people praise thee. Then shall the earth yield her increase; and God, even our own God, shall bless us. God shall bless us; and all the ends of the earth shall fear him.”

When God truly reigns upon the earth, all nature will be affected! “Then shall the earth yield her increase”

Isaiah 11:1-10 And there shall come forth a rod out of the stem of Jesse, and a Branch shall grow out of his roots: 2 And the spirit of the LORD shall rest upon him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the LORD; 3 And shall make him of quick understanding in the fear of the LORD: and he shall not judge after the sight of his eyes, neither reprove after the hearing of his ears: 4 But with righteousness shall he judge the poor, and reprove with equity for the meek of the earth: and he shall smite the earth with the rod of his mouth, and with the breath of his lips shall he slay the wicked. 5 And righteousness shall be the girdle of his loins, and faithfulness the girdle of his reins. 6 The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid; and the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; and a little child shall lead them. 7 And the cow and the bear shall feed; their young ones shall lie down together: and the lion shall eat straw like the ox. 8 And the sucking child shall play on the hole of the asp, and the weaned child shall put his hand on the cockatrice’ den. 9 They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain: for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the LORD, as the waters cover the sea. 10 And in that day there shall be a root of Jesse, which shall stand for an ensign of the people; to it shall the Gentiles seek: and his rest shall be glorious.

A. Promise

1. The earth shall yield forth her increase

2. God shall bless us

B. Prediction “all the ends of the earth shall fear Him”

Let the people praise Thee, O God; let all the people praise Thee

Christ shall be Magnified in my Body

Christ shall be magnified in my body

 Nail

Php 1:19-21 For I know that this shall turn to my salvation through your prayer, and the supply of the Spirit of Jesus Christ, 20 According to my earnest expectation and my hope, that in nothing I shall be ashamed, but that with all boldness, as always, so now also Christ shall be magnified in my body, whether it be by life, or by death. 21 For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.

The “crucified life” is not here declared, but demonstrated! The crucified life was clearly demonstrated by the Apostle Paul here in this epistle to the Philippians.

I. The Concept:

Magnifying the Excellent by the Earthen”

2Co 4:5-7 For we preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord; and ourselves your servants for Jesus’ sake. 6 For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. 7 But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us.

A. The Earthen Vessel of Christ’s Body: “Earthen Vessel”

This is ultimately speaking of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ Himself. A Vessel unto honor, what a treasure is in that Earthen Vessel, God manifest in the Flesh. He Who took upon Himself the very likeness of sinful flesh; yet, without sin. He was tested – tried – tempted in all points even as we are, yet without sin. He is the most unique one that ever lived; though He is Divine, Deity, very God; yet He was as Human as we are — He is the God-Man — both God and Man at both one and the same time. As Man, He knows our every trial and temptation that we can possibly experience.

He was so Human –– That He could thirst (woman at well, John 4)

Yet, So Divine that He can give us the water of life that we shall never thirst. He can make a well of water come forth into everlasting life.

Two times He asked for a drink: Woman at well, & the Cross ‘I thrist.’

So Human –– That He could Hunger,

Yet, So Divine that He could take a Lad’s Lunch (5 loaves- 2 fishes) and feed a hungry multitude of 5000 plus, with 12 basketfuls left over.

So Human –– That He could Sorrow, Weep real tears in sympathy with grieving Mary & Martha.

Yet, So Divine that a few moments later, He could cry out ‘Lazarus, come forth’ and the dead came forth bound hand and foot, ‘… loose him, let him go.’

So Human –– That He could be Betrayed by one His own, Judas — by the sacred token of love, a Kiss.

Yet, So Divine that later His words from the Cross were, ‘Father, forgive them for they know not what they do.’ (Luke 23:34).

So Human –– That He could Suffer, Bleed, & Die on the Cross (NOTE: God cannot die, but as Man He died that we might live.

Yet, So Divine that Death, Hell & the Grave could not hold Him.

Up from the grave He arose, mighty triumphant….’

So Human –– That He commanded His disciples (us) to ‘….witness of Him both in Jerusalem, Judaea, Samaria and unto the uttermost part of the earth.’

Yet, So Divine that He would endue them with Power to do it.

So Human –– That He will bear in His Body the Marks, scars, wounds of our sin for all eternity,

Yet, So Divine that He will give us a new body fashioned like His, but without the scars of sin.

So Human –– That He Knows our every need, and

Yet, So Divine that He can supply all your need according to His riches….

So Human –– That this Same Jesus will soon come back as He left,

Yet, So Divine that where He is, we shall be also, ‘In my Father’s house are many mansions: If it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you, And if I go and prepare a place for you, I WIIL COME AGAIN, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye maybe also.’ (John 14:2-3).        ~Pastor Paul Fedena

B. The Earthen Vessels of the Christians: “earthen vessels”

2 Corinthians 4:7 speaks of “vessels” plural. Meaning not specifically the Lord, though He is the example, but specifically the BELIEVER!

1. The Peculiar Depository! *Peculiar Place for such Treasure*

Rom 7:18

For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing:..

Ge 2:7 And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.

1 Cor 15:50 this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption.

Heb 2:14-15 then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same;that through death he might destroy himthat had the power of death, that is, the devil; And deliver themwho through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage.

2. The Profuse Endowment!

RESULTS OF SALVATION:

Salvation results in: A NEW BIRTH (Jn. 1:12, I Pet. 1:23), we are made the Children of God (by birth – Jn 3:3, I Pet. 1:23 and by adoption – Rom. 8:14-16); A NEW CREATURE(II Cor. 5:21, Eph. 2:10); A NEW POSITION (Eph. 2:6-7); A NEW PURPOSE (Eph. 2:10, Col. 3:1-3); A NEW CITIZENSHIP ( Eph. 2:19-20, Phil. 3:20, and II Cor. 5:20).

SECURITY OF SALVATION:

Salvation is eternal (Jn. 3:15-16; 5:24; 6:40; Acts 13:48; I Tim. 6:12; Heb. 5:9; I Jn. 1:2; 5:11). The security of the believer’s salvation is not dependent upon the believer, but it is dependent on the Savior (Jn. 6:40; 10:28-29; Rom. 8:33-39; Heb. 8:25; I Pet. 1:3-5; Eph. 4:30). The Holy Spirit SEALSthe believer until the day of redemption (Eph. 2:13; 4: 30). This seal secures the believer in his position in Christ until the believer is forever at home in heaven. The believer is SECUREDin salvation because he is kept by the power of God (Jn. 10:29-30; I Pet. 1:3-5).

Col 1:27 whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you,the hope of glory: * Person and presence of God Himself!

Rom 8:38-39 I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. * Personal love and attention of God!

3. The Powerful Investment

* God’s Investment in ME awaits a return in the lives of others!

Luke 6:45 good manout of the good treasure his heart bringeth forth that which is good;…

Phm 1:6 That the communication of thy faith may become effectual by the acknowledging of every good thing which is in you in Christ Jesus.

*Any and all “good” that we do as a Child of God is made possible as we draw from this investment that he has placed within us!*

John 9:5 As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.

Matt 5:14-16 Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid. Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.

2 Cor 3:2-3 Ye are our epistle written in our hearts, known and read of all men: Forasmuch as ye are manifestly declared to be the epistle of Christ ministered by us, written not with ink, but with the Spirit of the living God; not in tables of stone, but in fleshy tables of the heart.

II. The Contradiction:

My Body, the Earthen Vessel, the weakest and most frail of all vessels yet it is in this vessel of weakness God chooses to magnify Himself!

III. The Consideration:

What is it to magnify?

Magnify can mean to enlarge something that is small to make it appear larger (like a microscope magnifies small things). It can also mean to enhance an object that is far making it appear closer (Like a telescope magnifies distant things). Certainly the Christian serves not as a microscope, but as a telescope, to show forth the Glories of the King of kings and ruler of a distant Kingdom.

His Strength is magnified in weakness. (2 Cor. 12:9)

His Love is magnified in Death. (Rom. 5:8/2 Cor. 5:14)

His Grace is magnified in Salvation. (Eph. 2:5)

His Mercy is magnified in Forgiveness. (Eph. 4:32)