Every year I try to read 52 books. Once the holidays hit the pace slows considerably. With a move from Kentucky to Georgia, I still managed the following.
Attached are my rough draft notes from the sermon for Sunday, November 17th, 2019. Please realize that these will differ from what was actually presented, But as in times before, I share them with you for the purpose of your own Bible study.
Love For God
November 17, 2019
Exo 20:3-7 “You shall have no other gods before me. (4) “You shall not make for yourself a carved image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth. (5) You shall not bow down to them or serve them, for I the LORD your God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and the fourth generation of those who hate me, (6) but showing steadfast love to thousands of those who love me and keep my commandments. (7) “You shall not take the name of the LORD your God in vain, for the LORD will not hold him guiltless who takes his name in vain.
God is a jealous God. Idolatry has no place.
We turn to the admonitions of Exodus, to love God as He should be loved.
He is to be loved from a pure heart.
1Ti_1:5 The aim of our charge is love that issues from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith.
2Ti_2:22 So flee youthful passions and pursue righteousness, faith, love, and peace, along with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart.
1Pe_1:22 Having purified your souls by your obedience to the truth for a sincere brotherly love, love one another earnestly from a pure heart,
Our focus today is Colossians 3:14-15 Love for God vs Idolatry & Lust
Put on love
Let peace rule your hearts
Love for God vs Idolatry & Lust
God puts it this way;
Jer 2:13 for my people have committed two evils: they have forsaken me, the fountain of living waters, and hewed out cisterns for themselves, broken cisterns that can hold no water.
Idolatry (Methods) Lust(Demands)
Anger to get Power/control/peace
Sex/Porn fantasizing Respect and dominance
Gossip manipulating To be feared and idolized
Education seeking approval and competency
Perfection to say that you Are better than others
We want Idols, wherein I do X and you provide for me Y
Idolatry & Lust are the method and motivation to a craving desire of the self.
It is replacing God with some aspect of creation, Broken cisterns.
Idolatry replaces God for
- Joy and Satisfaction
- Solutions to life
- Strength to be
- Sanctification to grow and change
This is why battling temptation is hard.
To not battle is to give in.
Christians hate sin and long for God.
Therefore, we do engage in the battle of the spirit over the flesh.
It is easier to turn to things for temporary pleasures rather than glorify God by holding out and fighting.
We turn to (List from Dr. Nicholas Ellen)
People, places, products, perspectives, positions, power, platforms, politics, money, medication, media and ministry.
God calls idolatry harlotry.
Jer 3:6-8 The LORD said to me in the days of King Josiah: “Have you seen what she did, that faithless one, Israel, how she went up on every high hill and under every green tree, and there played the whore? (7) And I thought, ‘After she has done all this she will return to me,’ but she did not return, and her treacherous sister Judah saw it. (8) She saw that for all the adulteries of that faithless one, Israel, I had sent her away with a decree of divorce. Yet her treacherous sister Judah did not fear, but she too went and played the whore.
In judgement, He destroyed Israel and Judah for chasing false idols and looking like the people of the land.
We must repent. This is very much the church today.
To fail to turn to God is a failure to glorify Him. It is glorifying to creation rather than the creator. It is being in control rather than submitting to and loving God.
Lusting is a heart issue. It is a craving to be self-governing.
It is worship without God. self-pleasing, self-glory. It is what Satan offered Adam and Eve as well as Jesus.
Jas 1:12-15 Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him. (13) Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am being tempted by God,” for God cannot be tempted with evil, and he himself tempts no one. (14) But each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire. (15) Then desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin, and sin, when it is fully grown brings forth death.
Gal 6:7-8 Do not be deceived: God is not mocked, for whatever one sows, that will he also reap. (8) For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life.
What do we lust for?
Acceptance, approval, security, freedom from hurt, to be served or significant, to be loved by peers and people, to be famous and favored, to have revenge.
These heart desires are evidenced by
Motivations, mindset/worldview/values, talk/speech, thoughts/meditations, what we keep or give, treatment of people, use of time and money.
Php 3:17-20 Brothers, join in imitating me, and keep your eyes on those who walk according to the example you have in us. (18) For many, of whom I have often told you and now tell you even with tears, walk as enemies of the cross of Christ. (19) Their end is destruction, their god is their belly, and they glory in their shame, with minds set on earthly things. (20) But our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ,
Jas 3:13-18 Who is wise and understanding among you? By his good conduct let him show his works in the meekness of wisdom. (14) But if you have bitter jealousy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast and be false to the truth. (15) This is not the wisdom that comes down from above, but is earthly, unspiritual, demonic. (16) For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there will be disorder and every vile practice. (17) But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere. (18) And a harvest of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace.
Gal 5:16-21 But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. (17) For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh, for these are opposed to each other, to keep you from doing the things you want to do. (18) But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law. (19) Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, (20) idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, (21) envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.
Questions to ask yourself?
Are you willing to sin to get it?
Do you attempt to hide it?
Do you justify your actions by saying “God will understand?”
Do you hear yourself saying, “Just one more time?”
But let’s find our hope
Col 3:1-17 If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. (2) Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. (3) For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. (4) When Christ who is your life appears, then you also will appear with him in glory. (5) Put to death therefore what is earthly in you: sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry. (6) On account of these the wrath of God is coming. (7) In these you too once walked, when you were living in them. (8) But now you must put them all away: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and obscene talk from your mouth. (9) Do not lie to one another, seeing that you have put off the old self with its practices (10) and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of its creator. (11) Here there is not Greek and Jew, circumcised and uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave, free; but Christ is all, and in all. (12) Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, (13) bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. (14) And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. (15) And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful. (16) Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God. (17) And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.
Rom 8:1-6 There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. (2) For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death. (3) For God has done what the law, weakened by the flesh, could not do. By sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and for sin, he condemned sin in the flesh, (4) in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit. (5) For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit. (6) For to set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace.
In order to help the listener keep up with the sermon, I am providing these rough notes for your further study.
Who is Jesus?
Lord’s Supper (Sunday, Sept 15, 2019)
Remember and know the Lord
You can only remember what you know and have experienced. (Steadfast continuance v23)
Value in meditation/remembrance
Col 1:15-17 He is the image of the invisible God, Represents God, a revelation to man.
the firstborn of all creation.
(16) For by him all things were created, Authority/Sovereignty
in heaven and on earth, Dominion
visible and invisible,
whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities— Empowered to do His will (Romans 13)
all things were created through him and for him.
(17) And he is before all things, Governrn before place and time existed
and in him all things hold together. Laws of physics
Col 1:18 And he is the head of the body, Individual as well as collective churches
The church. Christ dies to create the church. He loves her.
He is the beginning, He is the cause of the church existing
the firstborn from the dead, Birthrights/from the dead (Overcame death)
that in everything he might be preeminent.
Overcoming death As seen in The LWW; “It means that though the Witch knew the Deep Magic, there is a magic deeper still which she did not know. Her knowledge goes back only to the dawn of time. But if she could have looked a little further back, into the stillness and the darkness before Time dawned, she would have read there a different incantation. She would have known that when a willing victim who had committed no treachery was killed in a traitor’s stead, the Table would crack and Death itself would start working backwards.”
―Aslan describing the Deeper Magic (Chapter 15).[src]
Work of Christ (19-22)
Col 1:19-22 For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell,
Jesus sacrifice a choice by God (Rom 5) Pleased indicates an INTENTION to do such a thing. Reflects the nature of God.
(20) and through him to reconcile to himself all things,
to reconcile, to set up a relationship of peace not existing before, in that apokatallássō is the restoration of a relationship of peace which has been disturbed. It is opening the relationship to understanding its depths. The testing provides evidence. Fear is removed, love is verified.
Whether on earth or in heaven, Unlimited extent of His grace.
Making peace by the blood of his cross. Ceasing hostilities (Remove wrath)
(21) And you, who once were alienated and hostile in mind, (Passively estranged & hostile rebels)
Doing evil deeds, Wicked influence (dragging others along)
(22) He has now reconciled (See above)
In his body of flesh by his death,
In order to present you holy and blameless In God’s presence consecrated
And above reproach before him, Not merely unaccused, but unaccusable
Our Response (23)
Col 1:23 if indeed you continue in the faith, Persevering not falling away
Stable and steadfast, Foundational/ seated mind and purpose
Not shifting from the hope of the gospel that you heard, Not falling away to other teaching
Which has been proclaimed in all creation under heaven, Staying in the Gospel.
And of which I, Paul, became a minister.
Ten Things to Do in a Hospital Visit
Often as ministers, deacons, or church members, we may make a visit to a church member who is in the hospital. Lately, I have given this some thought. Such visits can be a remarkable time for blessing, bringing comfort, and strengthening a person’s faith. Here are ten observations to help us all with those goals.
- Be sensitive to the situation. Get a feel for the patient’s condition, stresses, willingness to have visitors. While in the hospital myself, I had a well-meaning pastor friend come to visit. However, I was in great pain and being tended to by nurses. We actually had to ask him to leave. If a doctor comes in, you should excuse yourself from the room.
- Listen to the patient. This visit is about them. By listening you will be able to pick up on ways to bring about hope.
- Give them Scripture. Use the promises of God to weave hope throughout your conversation. This will help them in those moments that they will have in which to think about life. Scripture is the foundation of their greatest need, the spiritual side of life.
- Don’t stay too long. Be aware of the patient getting tired or uncomfortable. Some may be in a state to stay for a longer visit, but as a general rule, leave well before your welcome is worn out.
- Have compassion. Ask God to give you a sensitive heart to truly love the patient and empathize with them. Think through what they must be suffering, the fears, waiting, disruption of life, the chronic setbacks, and inabilities that they are going through will help you to better pray and minister.
- Bring materials from church for them to read. Often a bulletin from Sunday will make their day. Furnish a prayer sheet or a church magazine to help them with boredom and to give a spiritual compass to their thoughts.
- Keep things private. Ask permission to share their condition or requests. I have often had church members who do not want anyone to know that they are even in the hospital. Some conditions may be personal or embarrassing.
- Don’t barge in. Knock on the door. If there is no response, ask a nurse to go in before you do. Some ladies have wanted to fix their hair, adjust their sheets, and put on lipstick before guests come in. If you cannot see the patient for whatever reason, leave a card so they know you came by and are praying.
- Care for others in the room. Reach out to family members. Great fear may exist in the lives of those staying with the patient. Include everyone in conversations. If the room is shared, pray for the person in the other bed.
- Prayer ought to be the one thing that you do in a visit. Even if the patient is in ICU and unresponsive, stand in the room and do spiritual warfare for them. Pray and pray boldly.
Lately, I have been asked about the websites that I use. Week after week, I find that the list below is a good base to research when I have a need for news, doctrinal explanations, or even swag.
Apparel and Home Décor and other Swag
Again, in order to help the listener at Poplar Springs North Baptist Church, I submit these rough draft notes from the sermon. Often, the sermon with deviate from this text. You can find us online at psnbc.org
Jim was passionate about God. His whole life was reconciled to the fact that God had saved him and a world needed to be saved. He did EVERYTHING to the glory of God. School, speaking, sports all mattered to make him useful for the Kingdom. He almost did not marry because he thought he could serve God better as a single man.
Hungering for more than a mediocre existence, and believing the United States were well fed with the gospel, Jim moved to Ecuador on February 1, 1952. But on Oct 8, 1953 he would marry his equal, Elisabeth. There, in the jungle, along with friends Ed McCully, Roger Youderian, Pete Fleming, and their pilot, Nate Saint along with their wives and families, they sought to take the gospel to the Auca people, a savage tribe.
On January 8, 1956. Jim Elliot was the first of the five missionaries killed when he and Peter Fleming were greeting two of those attackers that showed themselves pretending they were interested in taking plane rides with them. Elliot’s body was found downstream, along with those of the other men, except that of Ed McCully which was found even farther downstream.
He gave his life, in love for the Father that others would know Him as well.
WHAT IS LOVE?
Wikipedia (Just for reference)
Ancient Greek philosophers identified five forms of love: essentially, familial love (in Greek, Storge), friendly love or platonic love (Philia), romantic love (Eros), guest love (Xenia) and divine love (Agape). Modern authors have distinguished further varieties of love: unrequited love, infatuated love, self-love, and courtly love. Asian cultures have also distinguished Ren, Kama, Bhakti, Mettā, Ishq, Chesed, and other variants or symbioses of these states. Love has additional religious or spiritual meaning. This diversity of uses and meanings combined with the complexity of the feelings involved makes love unusually difficult to consistently define, compared to other emotional states.
Today, we are looking at the love that Christ wants of the church.
Yesterday, much love. I am overwhelmed at the love that you all have shown my family.
Now today, I do not offer criticism, but I offer a target, a goal that Christ has set before us as Saints to reach.
Yesterday, your love for us impacted several people. They were overly impressed that so many FRIENDs would aid us.
Paul writes about the spirit of Christian love in 1 Corinthians 13.
1Co 13:1-13 If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. (2) And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. (3) If I give away all I have, and if I deliver up my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing. (4) Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant (5) or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; (6) it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. (7) Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. (8) Love never ends. As for prophecies, they will pass away; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will pass away. (9) For we know in part and we prophesy in part, (10) but when the perfect comes, the partial will pass away. (11) When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I gave up childish ways. (12) For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known. (13) So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love.
- Ability without love is annoying
- Power without a heart of love is not honorable
- Sacrifice without love is selfishness
- Love is not about self.
- Love is thinking about the other person for their joy more so than your own.
- Love loves growth in truth and sees falsehood as harm.
- Love deals with problems, setbacks, and the various stages of life with perseverance, bringing hope.
- Love looks to the future, expecting greater treasures ahead.
You have already demonstrated a love for the Saints, a love for the church body locally, and a love for Christ.
THREE MORE TYPES OF LOVE
Love expecting nothing in reward.
“If you love those who love you, what benefit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them. And if you do good to those who do good to you, what benefit is that to you? For even sinners do the same. And if you lend to those from whom you expect to receive, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners, to get back the same amount. But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return, and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, for he is kind to the ungrateful and the evil. Be merciful, even as your Father is merciful. (Luk 6:32-36)
- Love is its own return. We love others and benefit them because it brings us joy ourselves. Not a selfish love, but a love of unity, relationship.
- If sinners can love each other, our goal is to out-love them. Demonstrating, that the love of God is worthy, compelling, and transformative
Love your enemies
“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven. For he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? And if you greet only your brothers, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same? (Mat 5:43-47)
- Christian love requires action. We must initiate love especially to those who have wronged us, because the hope of our Master is greater that self-serving vengeance or insult.
- This love does not ignore the wrong, rather it acknowledges it and chooses to act in a way that shows the superiority of Christ.
Love the unloveable
And Jesus went throughout all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues and proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom and healing every disease and every affliction. When he saw the crowds, he had compassion for them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest.” (Mat 9:35-38)
- He was moved with compassion
- The church is to do the same, there is a harvest of sinners to love.
“To what then shall I compare the people of this generation, and what are they like? They are like children sitting in the marketplace and calling to one another, “‘We played the flute for you, and you did not dance; we sang a dirge, and you did not weep.’ For John the Baptist has come eating no bread and drinking no wine, and you say, ‘He has a demon.’ The Son of Man has come eating and drinking, and you say, ‘Look at him! A glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners!’ Yet wisdom is justified by all her children.” (Luk 7:31-35)
- Jesus was moved of heart for sinners. That is good news for me, for you, and all who call upon His name.
WHY THEREFORE LOVE?
Christ like love benefits others. It is sacrificial, messy, and costly. Think of the good Samaritan.
Love is a heart issue. The love you give reveals the condition of your heart.
Loving in Christian love is all about becoming like Jesus. It is what we hold onto rather than the old man, we put on the new. We identify with His sufferings in our suffering in order to let His spirit work in us to recognize pain, abandonment, ridicule, misunderstanding, gossip, slander, and all the ills that came upon our Lord.
Jim Elliot once said “He is no fool who gives up what he cannot keep to gain that which he cannot lose.”
Christian love is sacrificial because, ”while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.”
The love He has, has transformed our hearts, that we are now being made like Him. And that transformation comes only through loving as He has. Loving without expectation of return, loving enemies, and loving the unlovable.
To be on mission with God is to love without expectation of return, to love our enemies, and love the unlovable.
Below are my rough draft sermon notes from this past Sunday. There will be typos and errors, as well as deviations from the actual sermon preached. I share these with you as a means to help you go back over your own notes and study God’s Word.
Ten things Christ asks of His Church; Part One, To Joyfully Be Holy for He is Holy
Sunday April 28, 2019
God’s command to be holy for He is holy is the key to our joy and delight. It is the doorway to happiness.
Reading the Old Testament can be hard. There are many genealogies. But also, there are many commands for the Jewish people in regards to holy living. Much of this was to make them a peculiar people. They were not to be like those around them. They were called to live differently.
We too are called as Christians to live differently. Nothing can be so clear as to live a life separate from the world and devoted unto God. He calls us to be holy.
The sins that formerly caused us to fear and dread God, as well as His judgments are now gone, and replacing them is a joy in that same God, knowing that He has redeemed us, bought us back. The true mark of redemption is a love for our Redeemer that drives us to change. The essence of repentance is a change of heart that desires emphatically that we love and serve Him. Without this, you may be dry, but a greater peril still is that you may be unsaved.
But fear not, for in what God requires, He also provides.
The call to follow Christ is a call to holiness.
1Pe 1:3-16 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, (4) to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, (5) who by God’s power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. (6) In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, (7) so that the tested genuineness of your faith—more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire—may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ. (8) Though you have not seen him, you love him. Though you do not now see him, you believe in him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory, (9) obtaining the outcome of your faith, the salvation of your souls. (10) Concerning this salvation, the prophets who prophesied about the grace that was to be yours searched and inquired carefully, (11) inquiring what person or time the Spirit of Christ in them was indicating when he predicted the sufferings of Christ and the subsequent glories. (12) It was revealed to them that they were serving not themselves but you, in the things that have now been announced to you through those who preached the good news to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven, things into which angels long to look. (13) Therefore, preparing your minds for action, and being sober-minded, set your hope fully on the grace that will be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ. (14) As obedient children, do not be conformed to the passions of your former ignorance, (15) but as he who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, (16) since it is written, “You shall be holy, for I am holy.”
THE HOLINESS OF GOD
Think about the holiness of God for a moment.
Isaiah chapter 6 and the confrontation
- Picture this scene in Heaven Isa 6:1-7 In the year that King Uzziah died I saw the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up; and the train of his robe filled the temple.
- God’s holiness is the missing part of our understanding. Because of our sinful birth, we cannot see that which is spiritually discerned, unless God reveals it.
- It was God’s holiness that forbade Moses to approach the burning bush with shoes on.
- It was God’s holiness that gave Moses a glimpse of God’s shoulder only.
- It was God’s holiness that caused wrath to be poured out upon Christ on the cross.
Seeing God always brings death or purification
THE TEXT TELLS US… (Exegeting the scripture)
V1-4 An inheritance, reward, settling of scores against our sufferings, crown of life.
V6 Rejoice in the future
V7 Tests of this life are making us Holy, refining us.
Truly evidenced by being saved to display His holiness
Which are all part of being worshippers.
V8 Rejoice with eyes on Jesus results of the heart change we have
Salvation is a soul fixed upon Christ.
V10-12 Revelation reserved and reported, but now we know.
Prepared + Minds = Action
Sober minded (Correct doctrine)
For the future
V14 Do not go back to sinful ways as heirs are holy, be holy (Standard of living)
(List how plays out in the application)
V16 it is written, not new, but eternal
THUS, WE SEE IN THE BIBLE THAT……..
Holiness is what makes God so very different from man. (Holiness= justice & wrath, Love and atonement) God is to be served, He is not a servant.
God’s holiness affects all of His other attributes. It is what makes Him God.
Holiness affects His splendor. He is the only to be worshipped. So much so, that to worship anything else is a sin.
Thus, there needs to be justice for sinful acts, resulting in Hell. Hell is the continual wrath of God against the unholy. God must be just.
But, because He is holy, he is also a loving God, not a hater. His love then provides an opportunity for redemption. He is not obligated to redeem, but He chooses to. Thus, He is even more worthy of worship. In redemption, He displays His character of mercy and grace, to the underserved.
So in response, to those of us who have been redeemed, we seek a proper life. We seek to be holy as He is holy, thus displaying His glory and learning and growing in His delightful service. We delight in God.
THE CALL FOR US TO BE HOLY= APPLICATION
- Set Apart
- Morally Pure
- Active Worshipper
We often think of holiness as purity, but that purity follows a first priority of dedication of exclusiveness unto God. To be holy is to have a purpose. That purpose is wrought in the design of God that every knee bow and tongue confess Christ as Lord.
You were created for the purpose of glorifying God and enjoying Him forever.
Ps 86, Isaiah 60:21, Romans 11:36, ! Corinthians 10:30, Rev 4:11
Ps 16:5-11, Ps 44:15, IS 12:2, Luke 2:10, Philippians 4:4, Rev 21:3-4
God’s command to be holy for He is holy is the key to our joy and delight. It is the doorway to happiness.
We are to be holy, and that involves righteousness. The morality of our lives follows the repentant change of our redemption. Sanctification and justification call for change. Without change, we are not saved.
To be without change is to be without salvation. But we do not desire little change, but complete change. Spiritual growth is a sure sign of being alive.
Again, Our purpose is to glorify God and enjoy Him forever. This is best performed by consecration (Set apart) and having a devotion that affects our heart and thinking, thus resulting in fulfilling our active worship. To be a Christian is to be a verb. We worship God. We live abiding in Him. We express the welling up of emotions through the doctrine of His truth redeeming us.
A holy God, who is so holy, that by the mere eating of a piece of fruit would have to condemn all of his creation to hell is not to be taken lightly. We must understand the holiness of God to be a holy people of God. It is non-negotiable.
- God is so holy that to abate his wrath his only begotten son had to suffer the cross, otherwise for all of eternity all of creation and the people within would burn in the fires of hell crying out holy holy holy is God Almighty. That those suffering in hell would pay for their offense against who he is by having to suffer without end.
- To be holy is to be set apart, not just for special occasions, but for a continual example in action of devotion and purity to the worthiness of God.
- And are holiness shines greatly in the midst of a dark and dying world. It is our obligation, as believers, as new creations, to be ambassadors of that holiness that God would be glorified and that the Spirit would work through us that more might believe, through hearing the gospel and giving glory unto him who all glory is due.
- To take the holiness of God lightly is to reject him. God’s command to be holy for He is holy is the key to our joy and delight. It is the doorway to happiness.
Verses for Seeking Holiness
1Pe 1:14-16 As obedient children, do not be conformed to the passions of your former ignorance, (15) but as he who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, (16) since it is written, “You shall be holy, for I am holy.”
Rom 12:1-3 I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. (2) Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect. (3) For by the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think with sober judgment, each according to the measure of faith that God has assigned.
1Co 10:12-13 Therefore let anyone who thinks that he stands take heed lest he fall. (13) No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.
Eph 4:17-24 Now this I say and testify in the Lord, that you must no longer walk as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their minds. (18) They are darkened in their understanding, alienated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them, due to their hardness of heart. (19) They have become callous and have given themselves up to sensuality, greedy to practice every kind of impurity. (20) But that is not the way you learned Christ!— (21) assuming that you have heard about him and were taught in him, as the truth is in Jesus, (22) to put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires, (23) and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, (24) and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness.
Gal 5:16-25 But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. (17) For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh, for these are opposed to each other, to keep you from doing the things you want to do. (18) But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law. (19) Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, (20) idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, (21) envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. (22) But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, (23) gentleness, self-control; against such things, there is no law. (24) And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. (25) If we live by the Spirit, let us also keep in step with the Spirit.
Three things must be constant in order to help people with problems.
- Remember that this is the work of the Holy Spirit. You are an instrument for change in His hands.
- Scripture is therefore central to helping a person experience justification and sanctification. God receives glory and lasting change occurs when we disciple a person in love and humility with the power of the word of God. We must use Scripture, rather than opinions, methodologies, or fads in helping a person break free from sinful bondage.
- Always, always, always, bring the person hope through the gospel, through the work of the cross.
Much of this will overlap, need to be repeated often to the counselee, and should be the basis of each sequential step. We do not move onto the next step until the counselee is firmly grounded in the current step. Progress is to build upon the previous weeks journey.
Phase 1. Initial Assessment and meeting
- Goals; build hope, listen to the person before assessing the problem and formulating an opinion or advice. Build trust with them. The initial meeting may need to be an hour and a half to two hours. Longer for couples.
- Build hope. Share 1 Corinthians 10:13 as well as Romans 8:28
- Be quick to listen slow to speak, slow to prescribe a solution. Proverbs 18:13 &17,.Explain the counseling process
- Secure a commitment; to Honor God, do what God says, to do homework, and to attend a Bible teaching church every week.
- Investigate their salvation and spiritual maturity. John 14, Romans 8, 2 Cor 5:17
- For unsaved people, counseling becomes evangelistic rather than sanctification.
- Radical Amputation (For work with addictions and extreme issues) Matthew 5:29-30
Phase 2 Building Hope and researching root causes
- Goals: build hope and trust. Further understand the problem.
- Probe with questions as to their salvation. Discuss justification.
- Assess prayer life, Bible involvement, church participation.
- Assign Personal Data Inventory.
- Motivation is to honor God.
- Scripture memory.
- Christ and Your Problems by Jay Adams, an exposition of 1 Corinthians 10:13.
- Utilize the tool of homework.
- Work from truth rather than emotion.
Phase 3 Setting a course for the days ahead
- Evaluate Personal Data Inventory
- Pursue and understanding of the root cause of the symptoms.
- Ask Questions
- Look for compounding problems and the problem behind the problem (Presentation Problem)
Phase 4 Begin to teach on how sin affects us.
- Discuss habits and sanctification. (Put ons and Put offs) Romans 12:1-2
- Display and create an understanding of compounding problems.
- Discuss emotions, attitudes, values, behavior.
- Use Scripture to illustrate the power of the cross for change.
- Use questions to draw out of the counselee what you need to discuss.
Phase 5 Confront Sin
- Address sin issues.
- Confront the person in their sin.
- Use Scripture to discuss sin and its effects (Emotions, attitudes, values, behavior)
- Look for conviction of sin.
- Discuss repentance and the cross.
- Until the person is convicted of sin, they cannot move forward.
Phase 6 Repentance and change
- Discuss redemption.
- Discuss restoration and seeking forgiveness.
- Discuss Habits and how to change. Ephesian 4:28
- Radical amputation checkup
- Put off/Put On
- Provide support for change and hope.
- Discuss the means of sanctification
- Discuss the role of the Holy Spirit
- Behavior modification vs. heart change.
- Why people fail to change.
- Discuss the disciples role of prayer and Bible reading with memorization and application.
- Discuss the value of church attendance.
- Focus on the change of heart, not just actions.
- The goal is to honor God. Building an abiding relationship in Him.
- Emphasize abiding in Christ.
Phase 7 Letting Go When to Discontinue Counseling
- Give hope
- Review progress
- Is the tool box filled?
- Are there streaks of success?
- IS the thief no longer stealing but working to aid others?
- Are the biblical principals embraced?
- Is change and repentance embraced?
- Schedule followups.
https://biblicalcounseling.com/ The home of the Association of Certified Biblical Counseling
https://www.rpmministries.org/blog/ RPM is a great blog to encourage you and keep you up to date.
https://christiancounseling.com/ The Association of Biblical Counselors
http://www.faithlafayette.org/ministry4.aspx Faith Biblical Counseling Ministries
https://www.paultripp.com/ Paul Tripp
http://store.faithlafayette.org/ Associated with Faith Lafayette, IN this store has great resources at some of he lowest prices available
David Powlison’s Good and Angry, Redeeming Anger, Irritation, Complaining, and Bitterness, is a must read this week. So much good can come from reading this.
I am thoroughly benefiting from this book. Powlison’s writing has already taught me root causes of my issues with anger and has given, as promised, redemptive ways to work with mercy for justice. I wish I had read this when I was in my 20’s.
Here is a quick list of gold within.
Just for an insight, the author lists six common wavelengths in the spectrum of bad anger
- Irritability, anger on a hair trigger.
- Arguing is the disagreeable he said she said friction.
- Bitterness, how anger can last a long time. Recycling hurts, nursing grievances and grudges.
- Violence, sheer destructiveness.
- Passive anger, hides behind the surface.
- Self-righteous anger, Feels good to let it out.
Every year I attempt to read a book a week. Reading keeps us sharp, engaged, and relevant. As it has been said, “A person who will not read has no advantage over the person who cannot read.” To stop learning to to begin dying. Let me encourage you, read, Read what interests you, challenges you, and what encourages you.
- The Gospel and Mental Illness. Heath Lambert
- Right Thinking in a World Gone Wrong. John MacArthur editor
- The Lion, the Witch, And the Wardrobe. C S Lewis
- Communication and Conflict Resolution. Stuart Scott
- Leadership Pain. Samuel Chand
- Between the World and Me. Ta-Nehisi Coates
- The Heart of Addiction. Mark Shaw
- The prayer that turns the world upside down. Al Mohler
- Gospel Fluency. Jeff Vanderstelt
- Right Color Wrong Culture. Bryan Loritts
- A Vision for Preaching. Abraham Kuruvilla
- Collateral Damage. James Carroll
- On Guard. Deepak Reju
- John A Broadus. Ed David dockery. Roger duke
- Evangelism how to Share the Gospel Faithfully. John Macarthur ed.
- The Fish Can Sing. Halldor Laxness
- On Pastoring. H B Charles Jr.
- John MacArthur Servant of the Word and Flock. Ian Murray
- Getting The Blues. Stephen J Nichols.
- God in the Dock. C S Lewis
- The Holiness of God. R C Sproul
- A little book on the Christian life. John Calvin
- Mobilize to evangelize. Matt Queen
- Gospel Conversations. Robert Kellemen
- The Pastor’s Soul. Croft & Savastio
- Autobiography of John G Patton
- Turning Everyday Conversations into Gospel Conversations. Jimmy Scroggins and Steve Wright
- Porn and the Pastor. Jeffery Robinson, Garrett Kell eds.
- Did I say the right thing. Mitch Schultz
- Lessons from a Hospital Bed. John Piper
- On the Preparation and Delivery of Sermons. John A Broadus.
- Aesop’s Fables
- Widower to Widower. Fred Colby
- Syd Barret biography
- Toxic Soul. Jason & Jeremy Isaacs.
- A Christmas Carol. Charles Dickens