God’s Presence: His Salvation Message Proclaimed
2 February 2014
I am often amazed at the change I see take place in the lives of people, when they make the choice to follow Christ. It’s as if they had been waiting for someone to tell them how to be saved, according to the Bible. When they hear God’s salvation message---the gospel---they embrace the message and, often, become quite excited about discovering what Christ did for them at Calvary. They become desirous to show their gratitude for what God has done for them in Christ, and become zealous in doing good works. One of those works is the willingness to tell others about God’s salvation message, desiring to see people saved from eternal torment. This kind of thinking closely parallels the desire that Queen Esther and Mordecai had for the Jews in Persia. The Jews had been given a death decree and they were awaiting its date of execution, while in a state of mourning in sackcloth and ashes. Esther was aware of their plight, and was demonstrating a strong degree of sorrow before her king, and was pleading for their deliverance. If you have your Bible with you, please turn with me to the book of Esther. Our study today will be in the eighth chapter. Specifically, we will be studying verses nine through fourteen.
It was a desperate situation for the Jews in Persia. They were in a severe state of mourning, fearing that their lives would soon be over. What they did not know, however, is that God was working on their behalf to bring change to their situation. Queen Esther has appeared before the king---her husband---and has asked for her life and the lives of her people. In His providential way, God enabled the king to see that Haman, his most trusted political advisor, had constructed a plan to kill all of the Jews, and had deceitfully gained the king’s approval to do it. Haman had not realized that the queen was a Jew. Ultimately, Haman was put to death for his evil deception, and Haman’s estate was handed over to Esther and Mordecai. Additionally, Mordecai received the king’s signet ring, taking over Haman’s role as second to the king in authority. This unfolding of events---however---did not eliminate the death decree against the Jews. Esther once again addressed the king, asking for the revocation of the decree Haman had constructed. The king gives permission to Esther and Mordecai to craft a new decree that would supersede Haman’s decree. This brings us to the text for our study today.
SCRIPTURE: Esther 8:9-14
CTS: 3 integral parts of God’s salvation message.
The proclamation of God’s salvation message includes:
I. CONTEXT OF THE MESSAGE (VV. 9-10)
Now that Esther and Mordecai have been given authorization to write a new decree, the author of Esther identifies what took place in the process of putting the message together. There is a specific note to make, as we consider the text of study for today. Comparing it to Esther 3:12-15, the text appears to be a replication of the decree published by Haman. Haman’s decree, however, was for the specific purpose of destroying the Jews. Mordecai’s decree would be one of salvation for the Jews.
The text in verse nine identifies the king’s scribes being brought together for constructing the decree being developed by Mordecai (9a). Notice God’s providence again, as the text unfolds. Mordecai’s decree was written on the twenty third day of the third month. In essence---once the decree was published---the Jews had approximately eight months to prepare themselves to comply with the decree being published by Mordecai. Notice that---in contrast to Haman’s addressees---Mordecai included the Jews in the addressee list of the letters he wrote. In fact, they are the first people group mentioned in the addressee list (9b). Additionally, they were included in the list of those who had letters specifically written in their script and language (9d). Every Jew was made aware of his or her responsibility in complying with the decree. The beautiful aspect about this salvation decree is that it was backed by the king’s authority (10a). To ensure that the message would get to all of its intended recipients in a timely manner, the best horses in Persia---the king’s---were used to deliver the letters (10b).
The beautiful truth for believers in Christ today is that God has already constructed a salvation message that is applicable to every tribe, tongue, and nation and applicable to every generation. The truth is that every person born into this world is born under the curse of sin. Every person is a sinner (Rom. 3:23). Understandably, God provided a way for sinners to be cleansed of all their sin through the shed blood of His Son Jesus Christ (John 3:16, Rom. 5:8, Col. 2:15). God’s salvation message is applicable to everyone who will believe that Jesus is God’s Son and choose to accept Him as Lord and Savior (John 1:12-13). In following the text of study for today, if the message has already been written, the need now is to deliver it to the nations. Let’s think---for a moment---of how we can get the message out to the world, enabling many to escape the coming eternal torment for those who don’t believe in Christ.
The salvation message today – To clarify God’s salvation message, a few scriptures are most appropriate to share. Jesus told His disciples after His resurrection to remain in Jerusalem until receiving the Holy Spirit. It would be Holy Spirit who would enable the apostles / disciples to spread His message of salvation. Once they had received His power, they were to share the salvation message of God with everyone in the world (Acts 1:8). Additionally, we should not be ashamed of the gospel, for it is God’s power to salvation for all men (Rom. 1:16). Scripture also teaches that salvation is for anyone who calls on the name of the Lord (Rom. 10:13). Finally, the salvation message cannot be earned. Salvation in Christ is a free gift from God (Rom. 6:23b; Eph. 2:8-9).
The point of application for every believer in Christ is to believe that there is no resource outside the Bible that offers eternal salvation. God’s salvation message is the message of the Bible. We, as believers in Christ, must embrace the fact that there is no other way for man to make peace with God.
As indicated by the text. Mordecai constructed a decree that every person in the Persian Empire had to hear. He was careful to ensure that every conceivable script and language was addressed. The author was careful to explain what the content of that message was in verses eleven through thirteen. This leads us to the next point in our message. The proclamation of God’s message includes the consideration of and the content of the message. Look with me at verse eleven.
II. CONTENT OF THE MESSAGE (VV. 11-13)
The nature of Mordecai’s decree was one of self defense. Verse eleven identifies that the Jews were authorized to assemble together (11a), to defend themselves (11a), to destroy those seeking to destroy them (11b), and to plunder the spoil of their enemies (11c). The interesting point to note here is the similarities of the decree constructed by Mordecai and the decree Haman had written in chapter three of Esther. The instruction for the Jews was the same as for those who were authorized to attack the Jews. Additionally, the decree would be executed on the same day as the decree published by Haman (12). The decree was issued as law in every province, enabling the Jews to defend themselves on the day Haman’s decree went into effect (13). Mordecai’s decree had given God’s people hope.
As for the follower of Christ, there is no need to prepare for defense against those who persecute and wish to destroy God’s people. God’s message of salvation---at this point in time---is spiritual in nature. When a person accepts the contents of God’s message of salvation as truth---and acts upon it---that person is saved from eternal torment. In other words, once a person accepts and acts upon God’s message of salvation, not even physical death can separate the believer in Christ from God. As stated by the apostle Paul, to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord (2 Cor. 5:6-9). In regards to physical protection, let us thank God that He has given us our civil government to keep evil from overrunning the righteous (Rom. 13:1-7). Believers in Christ, therefore, have no reason to fear what man may do to them. Whether they live or die, they are safe in the spiritual protection of Almighty God (Rom 8:31-39).
Content of our message - Rather than spreading a message approving physical defense against evil, the content of the message being spread by believers in Christ is one of simple belief. If a person receives the message of the gospel, God enables that person to become a son of God (John 1:12-13).
The point of application for the believer in Christ is to honor the message of the gospel. Believers must be careful to avoid adding any additional requirements for people to experience salvation.
With the message of salvation for the Jews in Persia written, the only thing left was to get it out to those living in fear of physical destruction. This brings us to the final point of our message for today. The proclamation of God’s salvation message includes communication of the message. Look with me at the last verse of our text.
III. COMMUNICATION OF THE MESSAGE (VS. 14)
The text provides us a similar, yet different thought concerning the spreading of Mordecai’s decree. Mordecai’s letters---just like Haman’s---were sent out to all the provinces by couriers. The mode of travel---based upon the reporting of the text---was a bit different. The couriers carrying Mordecai’s message rode on “royal steeds.” The text appears to say that the horses---being the king’s---were the surest mode of transportation in getting the message out to its recipients. The verse also asserts that the couriers moved quickly, being impelled by the king’s command (14ab). As the couriers went out, a copy of the decree was handed out at the citadel in Susa (14c). The idea implied is that the message could not be spread fast enough to alleviate the fear and hopelessness felt by the Jews in Persia.
The text of our study is a challenge for believers in Christ to get the message of the gospel out to a world that is heading in the direction of eternal torment, separated from God by their sins. They are actual enemies of God. Things can change for many of them---however---if they hear the message of the gospel and choose to respond. Scripture teaches us that we know not the day or hour of our Lord’s return. As followers of Christ, we must be living our lives for the glory of Christ, looking prayerfully for opportunities to share God’s message of the gospel with others. As God brings opportunities our way, He will give us the strength and courage to share His life saving message.
The point of application for the believer in Christ is to recognize that every believer in Christ is a courier of God’s gospel message. It is every believer’s responsibility to share the gospel as God gives us the opportunity.
My hope is that if you have been listening to this message or have read this manuscript, God has made you aware of a few things. If you don’t know Jesus as your Lord and Savior, now is the time to respond to God’s invitation to become His child. Pray and tell God that you believe that Jesus is His Son and that Jesus paid the price for your sins. Admit to God that you are a sinner. Ask for the forgiveness of your sins and for God to take control of your life. In doing so, your eternal future is secure with God. You will become His courier of the gospel to others. Please respond to God’s beckoning call today.
If you know Christ as your Savior, ask God to give you His strength and courage to be a faithful zealous courier and deliverer of His gospel message to others. He is counting on us to get the message out.
As we conclude, let me share a few important thoughts for you to ponder. First, the text reveals that the king gave Esther and Mordecai the authority to draft a decree that would enable the physical salvation of God’s people throughout the kingdom of Persia. Additionally, they were aware of their responsibility to get the message to everyone, and took action upon that awareness.
As believers in Christ, we have the same responsibility for the spiritual salvation of many. We have the message. Let us take the message seriously, and prayerfully seek to share God’s gospel message with others as often as possible. God has assured us that He will be with us as we carry out His mission (Matt. 28:19-20).
REFERENCES (page 1)
Acts 1:6-8 New King James Version (NKJV)
6 Therefore, when they had come together, they asked Him, saying, “Lord, will You at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?” 7 And He said to them, “It is not for you to know times or seasons which the Father has put in His own authority. 8 But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me[a] in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”
Romans 1:16 New King James Version (NKJV)
16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ,[a] for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek.
Romans 10:13 New King James Version (NKJV)
13 For “whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.”[a]
Ephesians 2:8-9 New King James Version (NKJV)
8 For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, 9 not of works, lest anyone should boast.
John 1:12-13 New King James Version (NKJV)
12 But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name: 13 who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.
Matthew 28:19-20 New King James Version (NKJV)
19 Go therefore[a] and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen.[b]
INTRODUCTION: THE IMPACT OF THE GOSPEL MESSAGE
BACKGROUND THOUGHT: ESTHER & MORDECAI FREE TO DECREE
SCRIPTURE: ESTHER 8:9-14
TITLE OF MESSAGE: GOD’S PRESENCE: HIS SALVATION MESSAGE PROCLAIMED
CTS: 3 INTEGRAL PARTS OF GOD’S SALVATION MESSAGE
THE PROCLAMATION OF GOD’S SALVATION MESSAGE INCLUDES:
I. CONTEXT OF THE MESSAGE (VV. 9-10)
• EXPLANATION: MORDECAI CONSTRUCTED A MESSAGE OF HOPE
o COMPOSED LETTERS ON THE 23RD DAY OF THE 3RD MONTH (9A)
JEWS WOULD HAVE 8 MONTHS TO PREPARE FOR DEFENSE
o LETTERS TO EVERYONE IN THE PERSIAN EMPIRE (9BCD)
NOTE: JEWS ARE HIGHLIGHTED IN THE PROCESS
• 1ST IN LIST OF ADDRESSEES (9b)
• LETTERS TO JEWISH ACCORDING TO SCRIPT & LANGUAGE
o POSSESSED THE KING’S AUTHORITY (10A)
o ARRANGED FOR THE IMMEDIATE TRANSPORT THE LETTERS (10B)
• ILLUSTRATION: THE SALVATION MESSAGE TODAY
(ACTS 1:6-8; ROM 1:16; ROM 10:13; EPH 2:8-9)
• APPLICATION: GOD HAS WRITTEN HIS LETTER FOR ALL NATIONS
II. CONTENT OF THE MESSAGE (VV. 11-13)
• EXPLANATION: THE KING APPROVED THE JEWS TO USE SELF DEFENSE
o JEWS IN EVERY CITY WERE PERMITTED:
TO ASSEMBLE (11A), TO DEFEND THEMSELVES (11A),
TO DESTROY THOSE SEEKING TO DESTROY THEM(11B)
TO PLUNDER THE SPOIL OF THEIR ENEMIES (11C)
o DATE OF THE EVENT: 13TH DAY OF THE 12TH MONTH (12)
o THE EDICT BECAME LAW EVERYWHERE: JEWS PREPARED (13)
• ILLUSTRATION: CONTENT OF OUR MESSAGE TODAY (JOHN 1:12-13)
• APPLICATION: HONOR THE CONTENT OF GOD’S GOSPEL
III. COMMUNICATION OF THE MESSAGE (VS. 14)
• EXPLANATION: MORDECAI SENT THE MESSAGE OUT TO ALL
o THE COURIERS WERE SENT ON THE KING’S BEST HORSES
• APPLICATION: WE ARE GOD’S COURIERS FOR HIS GOSPEL
• THE KING GAVE AUTHORITY FOR ESTHER AND MORDECAI TO SAVE MANY
• THE KING OF KINGS HAS GIVEN BELIEVERS AUTHORITY TO REACH MANY WITH THE GOSPEL: HIS WORD & HIS HOLY SPIRIT’ POWER (MATT 28:19-20)
Esther 8:9-14 New American Standard Bible (NASB)
9 (A)So the king’s scribes were called at that time in the third month (that is, the month Sivan), on the twenty-third [a]day; and it was written according to all that Mordecai commanded to the Jews, the satraps, the governors and the princes of the provinces which extended (B)from India to [b]Ethiopia, 127 provinces, to (C)every province according to its script, and to every people according to their language as well as to the Jews according to their script and their language. 10 He wrote in the name of King Ahasuerus, and sealed it with the king’s signet ring, and sent letters by couriers on (D)horses, riding on steeds sired by the royal stud.
11 [c]In them the king granted the Jews who were in each and every city the right (E)to assemble and to defend their lives, (F)to destroy, to kill and to annihilate the entire army of any people or province which might attack them, including children and women, and (G)to plunder their spoil, 12 on(H)one day in all the provinces of King Ahasuerus, the thirteenth day of the twelfth month (that is, the month Adar). 13 (I)A copy of the edict to be [d]issued as law in each and every province was published to all the peoples, so that the Jews would be ready for this day to avenge themselves on their enemies.
14 The couriers, hastened and impelled by the king’s command, went out, riding on the royal steeds; and the decree was given out at the citadel in Susa.
a. Esther 8:9 Lit in it
b. Esther 8:9 Lit Cush
c. Esther 8:11 Lit Which
d. Esther 8:13 Lit given
A. Esther 8:9 : Esth 3:12
B. Esther 8:9 : Esth 1:1
C. Esther 8:9 : Esth 1:22; 3:12
D. Esther 8:10 : 1 Kin 4:28
E. Esther 8:11 : Esth 9:2
F. Esther 8:11 : Esth 3:13
G. Esther 8:11 : Esth 9:10
H. Esther 8:12 : Esth 3:13; 9:1
I. Esther 8:13 : Esth 3:14
David and Deb Barton are missionaries to Papua, New Guinea, working with Wycliffe Bible Translators, taking the Bible (in the native languages of the villages they visit) to the bible-less peoples of Papua, New Guinea. They gave the church an update on their ministry, as well as David presenting a message from Exodus 4.
â€¢ EXPLANATION: STEWARDSHIP IS THE HALLMARK OF A BELIEVER
â€¢ THE ATTITUDE OF GIVING (SEE NOTES)
â€¢ THE BENEFITS OF GIVING (SEE NOTES)
â€¢ DISCIPLESHIP IS GODâ€™S WAY OF LIFE FOR THE BELIEVER IN CHRIST
â€¢ PURSUING DISCIPLESHIP ENABLES BELIEVERS TO GLORIFY GOD
â€¢ DISCIPLESHIP IS BEST EXPERIENCED WITHIN CHURCH MEMBERSHIP
REFERENCES (page 1)
Galatians 3:26-28 New King James Version (NKJV)
26 For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus. 27 For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. 28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus.
2 Timothy 2:15 New King James Version (NKJV)
15 Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.
Deuteronomy 17:19 New King James Version (NKJV)
19 And it shall be with him, and he shall read it all the days of his life, that he may learn to fear the Lord his God and be careful to observe all the words of this law and these statutes,
Job 23:12 New King James Version (NKJV)
12 I have not departed from the commandment of His lips;
I have treasured the words of His mouth
More than my necessary food.
Acts 17:11 New King James Version (NKJV)
11 These were more fair-minded than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness, and searched the Scriptures dailyto find out whether these things were so.
Proverbs 7:23 New King James Version (NKJV)
23 Till an arrow struck his liver.
As a bird hastens to the snare,
He did not know it would cost his life.
James 5:16 New King James Version (NKJV)
16 Confess your trespasses[a] to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.
Hebrews 10:24-25 New King James Version (NKJV)
24 And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works, 25 not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching.
5 REASONS TO ACTIVELY FELLOWSHIP:
1. I belong in Godâ€™s family with other believers (Rom 12:5)
2. I need to grow spiritually (Eccl 4:9-10, 12)
3. I need accountability to grow spiritually (Prov 27:17)
4. Fellowship is a witness to the world (John 13:34-35)
5. I am obligated to every other Christian (1 Pet 4:10)
Luke 6:38 New King James Version (NKJV)
38 Give, and it will be given to you: good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over will be put into your bosom. For with the same measure that you use, it will be measured back to you.â€
THE ATTITUDE OF GIVING:
1. Give willingly
2. Give joyfully
3. Give sacrificially
4. Give generously
THE BENEFITS OF GIVING
1. Giving draws me closer to God
2. Giving is the antidote to materialism
3. Giving strengthens my faith
4. Giving is an investment for eternity
5. Giving blesses me in return
6. Giving makes me happy
Matthew 28:19-20 New American Standard Bible (NASB)
19 [a](A)Go therefore and (B)make disciples of (C)all the nations, (D)baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit,20 teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, (E)I am with you [b]always, even to (F)the end of the age.â€
a. Matthew 28:19 Or Having gone; Gr aorist part.
b. Matthew 28:20 Lit all the days
A. Matthew 28:19 : Mark 16:15f
B. Matthew 28:19 : Matt 13:52; Acts 1:8; 14:21
C. Matthew 28:19 : Matt 25:32; Luke 24:47
D. Matthew 28:19 : Acts 2:38; 8:16; Rom 6:3; 1 Cor 1:13, 15ff; Gal 3:27
As we begin to give our church covenant consideration in regards to how we are to honor it, Iâ€™d like to share a few passages of scripture to give us the frame of mind that give purpose to honoring it. Jesus gave His disciples valuable counsel in regards to how people would know that they were His disciples. He identified that they must have love for one another (John 13:34-35). Jesus also gave them the depth of the love they were to show for each other. Their love should be characterized by a willingness to lay down their lives for their friends (John 15:12-14). The apostle Paul also emphasized the importance of love in what we do. He identifies that acts of service without being driven by love are meaningless (1 Corinthians 13:1-7). As demonstrated by these passages, love is of the utmost importance when it comes to living responsible lives before God and others (Christian or not). In choosing our text for today, our Lord led me to a chapter from the book of Romans that addresses the behavior of the believer in Christ. If you have your Bible with you, turn with me to Romans 12. We will be studying the entire chapter.
If you were to read the book of Romans, you would find that the first eleven chapters of the book are addressing the basic doctrine of faith in Christ, as well as the magnificence of Godâ€™s compassion demonstrated upon mankind. Chapter twelve introduces the practical application of the doctrine that has been presented. If someone has just placed their faith in Christ, this would be a wonderful starting place for discovering how to live what you believe. It certainly is not a black and white set of rules that must be followed to please God. However, when a believer allows Godâ€™s Holy Spirit to have control of his or her life, and strives to honor God with a life of loving service in word and deed, these perceived rules become life principles that enable the believer to bring glory to God and blessing into the believerâ€™s life.
SCRIPTURE: Romans 12:1-21
CTS: 3 principles that enable the honoring of Godâ€™s covenant.
How Can I Honor God Through a Church Covenant?:
I. COMMIT YOUR BODY AND MIND TO GOD (VS. 1-2)
Paul begins the chapter by highlighting that what he is about to say is a direct result in view of what he has just explained. In other words, Paulâ€™s pretext identifies that everything that happens in this life is about God, not about man. Therefore, while we have the mercies of God abiding upon us, believers are urged to present their bodies in total commitment to and holy sacrificial service for God (1a&b). Paul identifies this behavior as acceptable to God, and that it is the appropriate service of worship before God.
Additionally, the believer in Christ is called not to allow the world to be his or her source of influence (2a), but to be renewed by the transformation of the mind (2b). In other words, the ways and teachings of this world are to be exchanged for the righteous teachings of God (the Bible). In doing this, the believer will better understand what Godâ€™s will is for his or her life in this world. Only Godâ€™s will is good, acceptable, and perfect (2c).
It is interesting that these two verses are at the beginning of the instruction of how to apply Godâ€™s word to daily life. Its as if they are the foundation that enables the believer to live out the instruction in the remainder of the chapter.
Colossians 3:1-2 â€“ Paul gives an excellent assertion of how the believers in Colossae should think and act in the midst of heretical rituals and temptations. If they belong to Christ, they are to set their minds on the things above and seek them.
The point of application for every believer in Christ is to seek God for wisdom and strength at all times. If we are not subjecting ourselves to God, we are subjecting ourselves to Satan.
If you do not know Christ as your Savior, you can today. Everyone who comes to Christ must be willing to personally offer their body as a living sacrifice to God (live in obedience to Him through His power) and allow Godâ€™s word to penetrate their minds (turning away from the teaching of the world to the teaching of Christ). Such change cannot happen without the power of God through faith in Christ. I hope that you will pray and ask God to save you from your sin and experience the change of your mind and life activity from a life of meaninglessness to a life of abundant joy (John 10:10) and hope for your future.
When God draws a person into His kingdom, his purpose is not for them to isolate themselves from everyone and everywhere, awaiting His return. God intends for the new believer to be connected with His church, the believerâ€™s new family. This leads us to the next point of our message. Godâ€™s covenant within His church is honored, as you connect yourself with His body.
II. CONNECT YOURSELF TO HIS BODY (VV. 3-8)
When a believer allows God to live through him and for the mind of the believer to be transformed, God gives the believer a gift(s) to be used for encouraging His body, the church, and to be intimately connected with the body in fulfilling its mission on Earth until He returns.
Paul warns that no one is to think of himself to be any more of use to God than other members of Godâ€™s body (3a). The believer is to think with sound judgment (3b), according to the measure of faith God has given the believer (3c). Paul is not speaking of the maturity of oneâ€™s faith, but of how God has gifted each believer differently (4), designing the gifts to complement each other. Such a design fosters interdependence and unity in the body (5). Each believer is to exercise his or her gift(s) according to the grace given by God (6a&b). Paul then provides a few examples of the many gifts God bestows upon those who call upon His name for salvation (prophecy (6c), service (7a), teaching (7b), exhortation (8a), material giving (8b), diligent leadership (8c), and Mercy (8d)). Thus, Paul demonstrates that Godâ€™s expectation of a believer is to actively be involved in His body (actively exercising their God-given gift) in humility, striving for unity. Each person in the body is functioning in dependence upon God for grace in the use of their gift and upon fellow believers in the body for assistance in their walk where they are not gifted.
The human body â€“ The human is the simplest, yet most sophisticated demonstration of how many different parts work together for common purposes. Every part works together with other parts to do what is necessary for the needs of the body to be met. If a part of the body is injured, other parts of the body nurture the injured part back to health. When all of the parts are working together well, much is accomplished. So it is when the body of Christ is united in its efforts to accomplish Godâ€™s mission for the church.
The point of application for the believer in Christ is to strive for unity in the body of Christ with Godâ€™s Spirit in humility. The church covenant helps to enable the humble unity to be identified and to take place.
When a person yields his body to God as a living sacrifice and submits to the renewing of his mind, he not only is united with the body of Christ, but also has a consciousness to love others. This brings us to the final point of the message. Godâ€™s covenant in the church is honored as you consciously love others.
III. CONSCIOUSLY LOVE OTHERS (VV. 9-21)
Paul identifies that the love that flows through a believer in Christ is one that is without hypocrisy (9a). Such love consists of rejecting of evil (9b) and clinging to what is good (9c). Such loves involves being totally devoted to loving others in the body (10a), giving preference to one another in honor (10b), and being diligent in the effort of serving others (as to the Lord) (11). Paul turns, for a moment, to personal qualities of this love. This love also involves rejoicing in hope (the hope one has in Christ) (12a), willing to persevere in tribulation (12b), and being devoted to prayer. There is also a determined effort in looking for needs to meet, as well as being hospitable to others in the body of Christ (13).
For a brief moment, Paul begins to point to another area where love is to be shown, toward those who are evil (14). Paul calls for the believer to bless those who persecute the believer. Retaliating comments are not part of the believerâ€™s vocabulary. Additionally, in looking down at verse 17a, we see Paul advising never to pay evil for evil to anyone (believer or unbeliever). Instead, the believer is to do what is right in the sight of all men (17b). If possible, Paul identifies that believers should strive to be at peace with all men (18).
Verses 19-20 explain why believers should not pay evil for evil. Those who practice evil will answer to Godâ€™s wrath. God is the One who will repay those who are evil toward believers. The idea of blessing those who persecute is that they may come to their senses because of the believerâ€™s loving response and repent of their sinful behavior (20). Believers are not to dwell upon the thought of their adversaries having hot coals poured on their heads. The way for believers to overcome evil is through the believer doing good (21).
Touching on his comments made earlier about rejoicing and persevering, Paul challenges believers to rejoice with those who rejoice (15a), and to weep with those who weep (15b). In order to do these things, the believer would need to have somewhat of a close relationship with those rejoicing or weeping. Connected with this thought is Paulâ€™s assertion for the believers to be of the same mind toward each other without the presence of haughtiness (prideful spirit) and without respect of persons (associating with the lowly) (16).
The point of application for the believer in Christ is to be Godâ€™s love to others. Believers in Christ should not be at war with each other or unbelievers. Believers in Christ strive for unity in the body, as well as striving to be at peace with all men.
Paul demonstrated in the text today that with a life of holy sacrificial service and a renewed mind in Godâ€™s righteousness, believers will be known for their unity, love for each other and love for those who are evil.
The application of our text today coincides with the covenant adopted by our church membership. In other words, as we seek to reaffirm our commitment to the church covenant, God love will flow between us and toward those who come our way.
REFERENCES (page 1)
John 13:34-35 New King James Version (NKJV)
34 A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another. 35 By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.â€
John 15:12-14 New King James Version (NKJV)
12 This is My commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. 13 Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down oneâ€™s life for his friends. 14 You are My friends if you do whatever I command you.
1 Corinthians 13:1-7 New King James Version (NKJV)
1 Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I have become sounding brass or a clanging cymbal. 2 And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing.
4 Love (K)is patient, love is kind and (L)is not jealous; love does not brag and is not (M)arrogant, 5 does not act unbecomingly; it (N)does not seek its own, is not provoked, (O)does not take into account a wrong suffered, 6(P)does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but (Q)rejoices with the truth; 7 [b](R)bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
Colossians 3:1-2 New King James Version (NKJV)
1 If then you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God. 2 Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth.
INTRODUCTION: SCRIPTURAL LOVE (JOHN 13:34-35, 15:12-14, 1COR 13:1-7)
TITLE OF MESSAGE: Characteristics of a Church Covenant
CTS: 3 PRINCIPLES THAT ENABLE THE HONORING OF GODâ€™S COVENANT
How Can I honor God through a Church Covenant?:
I. COMMIT YOUR BODY AND MIND TO GOD (VV. 1-2)
â€¢ EXPLANATION: SUBMIT YOURSELF TO GOD
o BODY â€“ AS A LIVING SACRIFICE
o MIND â€“ TRANSFORMED (FROM WORLD TO RIGHTEOUSNESS)
â€¢ ILLUSTRATION: COLOSSIANS 3:1-2
â€¢ APPLICATION: SEEK GOD FOR WISDOM & STRENGTH ALWAYS
II. CONNECT YOURSELF TO HIS BODY (VV. 3-8)
â€¢ EXPLANATION: GOD HAS GIFTED; USE IN HUMILITY
o MEASURE OF FAITH â€“ DIFFERENT GIFTS
o DIFFERENCES WORK AS ONE â€“ WE NEED EACH OTHER
â€¢ ILLUSTRATION: HUMAN BODY FUNCTION - INTERDEPENDENCE
â€¢ APPLICATION: STRIVE FOR UNITY IN HUMILITY
III. CONSCIOUSLY LOVE OTHERS (VV. 9-21)
â€¢ EXPLANATION: LOVE FOR BELIEVERS AND UNBELIEVERS
o LOVING BELIEVERS:
ï‚§ LOVE WITHOUT HYPOCRISY (9A)
â€¢ EJECT EVIL / CLING TO GOOD (9B&C)
ï‚§ DEVOTION TO EACH OTHER OUT OF LOVE (10A)
ï‚§ GIVE PREFERENCE TO EACH OTHER IN HONOR (1OB)
ï‚§ BE DILIGENT (11)
ï‚§ REJOICE / PERSEVERE / DEVOTED (12)
ï‚§ MEETING NEEDS (13)
o LOVING UNBELIEVERS:
ï‚§ BLESS PERSECUTORS (14, 17-20)
ï‚§ SENSITIVITY TO OTHERS â€“ REJOICE / WEEP (15)
ï‚§ UNITY OF MIND â€“ AVOID PRIDE â€“ ASSOCIATE W/ LOWLY (16)
ï‚§ OVERCOME EVIL WITH GOOD (21)
â€¢ APPLICATION: BE GODâ€™S LOVE TO OTHERS
â€¢ WITH A SACRIFICIAL BODY & TRANFORMED MIND, BELIEVERS CAN LOVE
â€¢ OUR CHURCH COVENANT REFLECTS GODâ€™S LOVE; HONOR IT
Excerpt from New Hope Christian Fellowshipâ€™s constitution (adopted 12 Dec 2010)
Article V â€“ Member Responsibilities
We the members of New Hope Christian Fellowship, having received Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, and having been baptized by immersion following our profession of faith, relying on Godâ€™s grace and the power of the Holy Spirit, and with the Bible as our guide:
Will walk harmoniously together in Christian love, seeking to edify and uphold one another in the spirit of unity and the bonds of peace. (Rom. 14:19; I Thess. 5:11)
Will pray for one another, sharing in each otherâ€™s joys and bearing one anotherâ€™s burdens and sorrows. (Gal. 6:2; Rom. 8:26; Col. 1:9; I Thess. 5:25)
Will observe church ordinances of Believerâ€™s Baptism and the Lordâ€™s Supper, in accordance with the scriptures. (Mat. 28:19; Acts 2:38; Gal. 3:27; Acts 2:41; 8:13; 16:15; Luke 22:15-19; I Cor. 11:24-25)
Will endeavor to attend worship services faithfully, to regularly study Godâ€™s word, and to adhere to the principles of doctrine and discipline as delineated in our statement of faith. (Heb. 10:25)
Will contribute our offerings regularly and cheerfully to the support of the ministry, the expenses of the church, the relief of those in need, and the spreading of the gospel at home and abroad. (2 Cor. 9:7)
Will support the ministry through use of our God-given gifts and talents for the work of the church, the assistance of one another, and the furtherance of the gospel. (Luke 4:18; Mark 10:29)
Agree to encourage personal and family devotions, and to educate our children according to our faith. We will strive to teach by example, denying ungodly practices or attitudes while aspiring to godliness and holy living. (2 Tim. 2:15)
Will seek the salvation of unbelievers by word and example, striving to be just in our dealings, reliable in our responsibilities, and caring toward others. (Acts 1:8)
Will be affectionate toward and watch out for one another, being slow to anger and quick to forgive; always eager for reconciliation and seeking it without delay. (Prov. 16:32; 2 Cor. 6:6, Col. 3:12; 2 Pet. 1:7)
Romans 12 New American Standard Bible (NASB)
1 Therefore (A)I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to (B)present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice,[a]acceptable to God, which is your [b]spiritual service of worship. 2 And do not (C)be conformed to (D)this[c]world, but be transformed by the (E)renewing of your mind, so that you may [d](F)prove what the will of God is, that which is good and [e]acceptable and perfect.
3 For through (G)the grace given to me I say to everyone among you (H)not to think more highly of himself than he ought to think; but to think so as to have sound judgment, as God has allotted to (I)each a measure of faith. 4 For (J)just as we have many members in one body and all the members do not have the same function,5 so we, (K)who are many, are (L)one body in Christ, and individually members one of another. 6 Since we have gifts that (M)differ according to the grace given to us, each of us is to exercise them accordingly: if (N)prophecy,[f]according to the proportion of his faith; 7 if [g](O)service, in his serving; or he who (P)teaches, in his teaching;8 or he who (Q)exhorts, in his exhortation; he who gives, with [h](R)liberality; (S)he who [i]leads, with diligence; he who shows mercy, with (T)cheerfulness.
9 Let (U)love be without hypocrisy. (V)Abhor what is evil; cling to what is good. 10 Be (W)devoted to one another in brotherly love; [j]give preference to one another (X)in honor; 11 not lagging behind in diligence, (Y)fervent in spirit, (Z)serving the Lord; 12 (AA)rejoicing in hope, (AB)persevering in tribulation, (AC)devoted to prayer, 13(AD)contributing to the needs of the [k]saints, [l](AE)practicing hospitality.
14 (AF)Bless those who persecute [m]you; bless and do not curse. 15 (AG)Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep. 16 (AH)Be of the same mind toward one another; (AI)do not be haughty in mind, but[n]associate with the lowly. (AJ)Do not be wise in your own estimation. 17 (AK)Never pay back evil for evil to anyone. [o](AL)Respect what is right in the sight of all men. 18 If possible, (AM)so far as it depends on you,(AN)be at peace with all men. 19 (AO)Never take your own revenge, beloved, but [p]leave room for the wrath of God, for it is written, â€œ(AP)VENGEANCE IS MINE, I WILL REPAY,â€ says the Lord. 20 â€œ(AQ)BUT IF YOUR ENEMY IS HUNGRY, FEED HIM, AND IF HE IS THIRSTY, GIVE HIM A DRINK; FOR IN SO DOING YOU WILL HEAP BURNING COALS ON HIS HEAD.â€ 21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.
a. Romans 12:1 Or well-pleasing
b. Romans 12:1 Or rational
c. Romans 12:2 Or age
d. Romans 12:2 Or approve
e. Romans 12:2 Or well-pleasing
f. Romans 12:6 Or in agreement with the faith
g. Romans 12:7 Or office of service
h. Romans 12:8 Or simplicity
i. Romans 12:8 Or gives aid
j. Romans 12:10 Or outdo one another in showing honor
k. Romans 12:13 Or holy ones
l. Romans 12:13 Lit pursuing
m. Romans 12:14 Two early mss do not contain you
n. Romans 12:16 Or accommodate yourself to lowly things
o. Romans 12:17 Lit Take thought for
p. Romans 12:19 Lit give a place
A. Romans 12:1 : 1 Cor 1:10; 2 Cor 10:1-4; Eph 4:1; 1 Pet 2:11
B. Romans 12:1 : Rom 6:13, 16, 19; 1 Cor 6:20; Heb 13:15; 1 Pet 2:5
C. Romans 12:2 : 1 Pet 1:14
D. Romans 12:2 : Matt 13:22; Gal 1:4; 1 John 2:15
E. Romans 12:2 : Eph 4:23; Titus 3:5
F. Romans 12:2 : Eph 5:10, 17; Col 1:9
G. Romans 12:3 : Rom 1:5; 15:15; 1 Cor 3:10; 15:10; Gal 2:9; Eph 3:7f
H. Romans 12:3 : Rom 11:20; 12:16
I. Romans 12:3 : 1 Cor 7:17; 2 Cor 10:13; Eph 4:7; 1 Pet 4:11
J. Romans 12:4 : 1 Cor 12:12-14; Eph 4:4, 16
K. Romans 12:5 : 1 Cor 10:17, 33
L. Romans 12:5 : 1 Cor 12:20, 27; Eph 4:12, 25
M. Romans 12:6 : Rom 12:3; 1 Cor 7:7; 12:4; 1 Pet 4:10
N. Romans 12:6 : Acts 13:1; 1 Cor 12:10
O. Romans 12:7 : Acts 6:1; 1 Cor 12:5, 28
P. Romans 12:7 : Acts 13:1; 1 Cor 12:28; 14:26
Q. Romans 12:8 : Acts 4:36; 11:23; 13:15
R. Romans 12:8 : 2 Cor 8:2; 9:11, 13
S. Romans 12:8 : 1 Cor 12:28; 1 Tim 5:17
T. Romans 12:8 : 2 Cor 9:7
U. Romans 12:9 : 2 Cor 6:6; 1 Tim 1:5
V. Romans 12:9 : 1 Thess 5:21f
W. Romans 12:10 : John 13:34; 1 Thess 4:9; Heb 13:1; 2 Pet 1:7
X. Romans 12:10 : Rom 13:7; Phil 2:3; 1 Pet 2:17
Y. Romans 12:11 : Acts 18:25
Z. Romans 12:11 : Acts 20:19
AA. Romans 12:12 : Rom 5:2
BB. Romans 12:12 : Heb 10:32, 36
CC. Romans 12:12 : Acts 1:14
DD. Romans 12:13 : Rom 15:25; 1 Cor 16:15; 2 Cor 9:1; Heb 6:10
EE. Romans 12:13 : Matt 25:35; 1 Tim 3:2
FF. Romans 12:14 : Matt 5:44; Luke 6:28; 1 Cor 4:12
GG. Romans 12:15 : Job 30:25; Heb 13:3
HH. Romans 12:16 : Rom 15:5; 2 Cor 13:11; Phil 2:2; 4:2; 1 Pet 3:8
II. Romans 12:16 : Rom 11:20; 12:3
JJ. Romans 12:16 : Prov 3:7; Rom 11:25
KK. Romans 12:17 : Prov 20:22; 24:29; Rom 12:19
LL. Romans 12:17 : 2 Cor 8:21
MM. Romans 12:18 : Rom 1:15
NN. Romans 12:18 : Mark 9:50; Rom 14:19
OO. Romans 12:19 : Prov 20:22; 24:29; Rom 12:17
PP. Romans 12:19 : Deut 32:35; Ps 94:1; 1 Thess 4:6; Heb 10:30
QQ. Romans 12:20 : 2 Kin 6:22; Prov 25:21f; Matt 5:44; Luke 6:27
INTRODUCTION: WHY CONFESSING IS GOOD FOR YOU (PSALM 32:1-11)
SCRIPTURE: NEHEMIAH 9:1-5
BACKGROUND THOUGHT: GODâ€™S WORD HAS BROUGHT CHANGE
TITLE OF MESSAGE: BUILDING OUR TOMORROWS: CONFESSING SIN
CTS: 3 TRUTHS CONCERNING THE CONFESSION OF SIN TO GOD
HOW DOES CONFESSING SIN ENABLE CHURCH GROWTH?:
I. CONFESSING SIN SHOWS YOUR NEED FOR GOD (VV. 1-2)
â€¢ EXPLANATION: THE JEWS UNDERSTOOD THEIR PAST & NEED FOR GOD
o THEIR HUMILITY AND DESIRE FOR REPENTANCE SHOWED:
ï‚§ IN THEIR DIET â€“ THEY FASTED (1A)
ï‚§ IN THEIR DRESS â€“ THEY DRESSED IN SACKCLOTH & ASHES (1B)
ï‚§ IN THEIR BEHAVIOR:
â€¢ SEPARATED FROM ALL FOREIGNERS (2A)
â€¢ STOOD (1/4 OF THE DAY) (3 HOURS?!) (2B) (12 HR DAY)
â€¢ CONFESSED THEIR SINS & FATHERS INIQUITIES (2C)
o SEE NOTES FOR EXAMPLES
o CONFESSION BRINGS HEALING
ï‚§ 2 CHRON 7:14; 1 JOHN 1:9; ROM 10:9-10
II. CONFESSING SIN IS DIRECTED BY GODâ€™S WORD (VS. 3AB)
â€¢ EXPLANATION: HEARING GODâ€™S WORD ENABLED CONFESSION
o Â¼ OF THE DAY â€“ THE PEOPLE HEARD GODâ€™S WORD (3A)
o Â¼ OF THE DAY â€“ THEY CONFESSED THEIR SINS (3B)
III. CONFESSING SIN LEADS TO WORSHIP OF GOD (VV. 3C - 5)
â€¢ EXPLANATION: THE JEWS CONFESSED & WORSHIPPED GOD
o Â¼ OF THE DAY â€“ THE CONFESSED AND WORSHIPPED GOD (3C)
o THE PRIESTS LED GODâ€™S PEOPLE IN CRYING OUT TO GOD (4)
o THE PRIESTS THEN CALLED ON THE PEOPLE TO BLESS GOD (5)
â€¢ CONFESSING SIN TO GOD AND ONE ANOTHER ENABLES HEALING
â€¢ CONFESSING SIN INSPIRES WORSHIP OF GOD
â€¢ CONFESSING SIN RESULTS IN GODâ€™S BLESSING
â€¢ CONFESSING SIN INSPIRES PURITY AND GROWTH OF THE CHURCH
â€¢ CONFESSING SIN BEGINS WITH SALVATION
REFERENCES (page 1)
Examples of sins committed by the forefathers of the Jews (vv. 16-17):
1. Became arrogant
3. Did not obey
4. Refused to listen
5. Failed to remember the miracles
6. Appointed a leader in order to return to their slavery
In spite of their behavior, God behaved as a â€œforgiving God, gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and abounding in love; and you did not forsake them (17).â€
Other moments of rebellion:
40 years in the wilderness â€“ God provided for them (vv. 19-21)
Entrance into the promised land (they forgot God) â€“ God blessed righteousness (vv. 22-25)
The steady pattern of life for Israel â€“ sin, judgment, confess, repent, blessing, sin, etc. (26-31)
1. They were disobedient and rebelled
2. They put Your law behind their backs
3. They killed Your prophets
4. They committed awful blasphemies
5. They again did what was evil in Your sight
6. They became arrogant and disobeyed Your commands
7. They paid no attention
Yet, God was merciful and gracious toward His people (vs. 31)
2 Chronicles 7:14 New King James Version (NKJV)
14 if My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.
1 John 1:9 New King James Version (NKJV)
9 If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
Romans 10:9-10 New King James Version (NKJV)
9 that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.
Nehemiah 9:1-5 New American Standard Bible (NASB)
The People Confess Their Sin
9 Now on the twenty-fourth day of (A)this month the sons of Israel assembled (B)with fasting, in sackcloth and with (C)dirt upon them.2 The[a](D)descendants of Israel separated themselves from all foreigners, and stood and (E)confessed their sins and the iniquities of their fathers.
3 While (F)they stood in their place, they read from the book of the law of the LORD their God for a fourth of the day; and for another fourth they confessed and worshiped the LORD their God.
4 (G)Now on the Levitesâ€™ platform stood Jeshua, Bani, Kadmiel, Shebaniah, Bunni, Sherebiah, Bani and Chenani, and they cried with a loud voice to the LORD their God.
5 Then the Levites, Jeshua, Kadmiel, Bani, Hashabneiah, Sherebiah, Hodiah, Shebaniah and Pethahiah, said, â€œArise, bless the LORD your God forever and ever!
O may Your glorious name be blessed
And exalted above all blessing and praise!
a. Nehemiah 9:2 Lit seed
A. Nehemiah 9:1 : Neh 8:2
B. Nehemiah 9:1 : Ezra 8:23
C. Nehemiah 9:1 : 1 Sam 4:12
D. Nehemiah 9:2 : Ezra 10:11; Neh 13:3
E. Nehemiah 9:2 : Prov 28:13; Jer 3:13
F. Nehemiah 9:3 : Neh 8:4
G. Nehemiah 9:4 : Neh 8:7
Why Confessing Is Good for You
New research shows why taking full responsibility feels better.
Posted Jan 19, 2015
When you do something wrong, there are two typical reactions that pull in opposite directions. On the one hand, you might want to hide what you have done. If nobody finds out, then it may feel like you didnâ€™t do it at all. On the other hand, you might just want to confess what you have done wrong. That gets the problem out into the open and helps people to move forward.
A middle ground between these possibilities is the partial confession.
In a partial confession, you admit to what you did wrong, but donâ€™t admit to the full extent of it. The partial confession seems like a great compromise: You get the benefit of admitting what you have done, but you can make your transgression seem less extreme than it was.
A paper in the February, 2014 issue of the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology by Eyal Peer, Alessandro Acquisti, and Shaul Shalvi suggests that partial confessions may actually be worse than either a full confession or not confessing at all.
First, one study looked at whether people have a tendency to make partial confessions. Participants in an on-line study performed a variety of tasks. In one task, they went to another website that allowed people to flip a virtual coin and predict how the coin would come out. They were asked to flip the coin 10 times. Then, they were told to report the number of guesses they got right. They got paid 10 cents for each correct guess.
Although the participants didnâ€™t know it, their actual predictions and coin flips were monitored, so the experimenters knew whether a particular participant told the truth or cheated. Overall about 35 percent of the participants over-reported the number of flips they predicted correctly. (Almost nobody under-reported the number of correct guesses, so this is cheating and not bad memory.)
Later in the study, participants were given a chance to confess whether they cheated. They were told that they would be paid based on what they reported even if they now admitted they had cheated. They were also told that there would be no negative consequences of admitting that they had cheated.
Only about 18 percent of the participants who cheated confessed. Of those who did confess, the ones who cheated most were also the ones most likely to give partial confessions. That is people who over-reported by just a few guesses tended to give a full confession, while those who over-reported a lot tended to give a partial confession.
INTRODUCTION: IS IT POSSIBLE TO KEEP A COVENANT WITH GOD?
ABRAHAMâ€™S EXAMPLE: GENESIS 15:5-21
TITLE OF MESSAGE: BUILDING OUR TOMORROWS: COVENANT WITH GOD
BACKGROUND THOUGHT: GODâ€™S WORD MOVED HIS PEOPLE TO CONFESSION
SCRIPTURE: NEHEMIAH 9:38 / 10:28-39
CTS: 2 TRUTHS CONCERNING GODâ€™S COVENANT WITH HIS CHURCH
HOW IS A COVENANT WITH GOD IMPORTANT TO THE CHURCH?:
I. A COVENANT WITH GOD SHOWS COMMITMENT (9:38)
â€¢ EXPLANATION: CONFESSING SIN LEADS TO REPENTANCE
o â€œNOW BECAUSE OF ALL THIS. . .â€ (38A) (AWARENESS OF SIN)
o THE PEOPLE SIGNED AN AGREEMENT (2BC) (SEE WIERSBE NOTES)
II. A COVENANT WITH GOD INSPIRES ACTION (10:28-39)
â€¢ EXPLANATION: THE NEW COVENANT INCLUDED ACTION
o EVERYONE WHO UNDERSTOOD COMMITTED TO THE OATH (28-29A)
o TO A CURSE AND OATH (29BCDE):
ï‚§ TO WALK IN GODâ€™S LAW (29B)
ï‚§ TO KEEP AND OBSERVE ALL OF GODâ€™S COMMANDMENTS (29CDE)
o TO PURITY WITHIN THE NATION (30)
o TO HONOR THE SABBATH (31) (DEUT 15:1)
o TO REGULARLY CONTRIBUTE TO THE TEMPLE (32-39)
ï‚§ FUNDING (32-33)
ï‚§ LOGISTICAL NEEDS OF THE TEMPLE (34-36)
ï‚§ FIRST FRUITS OF ALL THEY HAD (FOOD, DRINK, OIL, ETC)
â€¢ GODâ€™S WORD POINTS BELIEVERS TO CONFESSION AND REPENTANCE
â€¢ GODâ€™S PERSUASION TO CONFESS WILL ALWAYS LEAD TO REPENTANCE
â€¢ REPENTANCE INCLUDES VERBAL COMMITMENT BACKED BY ACTION
â€¢ GOD ENABLES CONFESSION, COMMITMENT, AND ACTION
â€¢ CONFESSION, COMMITMENT, AND ACTION BRINGS GLORY TO GOD
REFERENCES (page 1)
Warren W. Wiersbe, Be Determined
Should believers today bind themselves with oaths as they seek to walk with the Lord and serve Him? Probably not. Our relationship to the Lord is that of children to a Father, and our Father wants our obedience to be based on love. I donâ€™t know of any examples in the New Testament of believers taking oaths of obedience to the Lord. Our obedience should be a joyful response to all that He has done for us in Christ (Col. 3:1ff). We donâ€™t succeed as Christians because we make promises to God, but because we believe the promises of God and act upon them. Oaths are often based on fear (â€œI had better do it or God will judge me!â€), and fear is not the highest motivation for godly living, although it does play a part (2 Cor. 7:1).
Deut 15:1-2 New American Standard Bible (NASB)
The Sabbatic Year
15 â€œ(A)At the end of every seven years you shall [a]grant a remission of debts. 2 This is the manner of remission: every creditor shall release what he has loaned to his neighbor; he shall not exact it of his neighbor and his brother, because the Lordâ€™s remission has been proclaimed.
Nehemiah 9:38 New American Standard Bible (NASB)
A Covenant Results
38 â€œ[a]Now because of all this
(A)We are making an agreement in writing;
And on the (B)sealed document are the names of our leaders, our Levites and our priests.â€
a. Nehemiah 9:38 Ch 10:1 in Heb
A. Nehemiah 9:38 : Neh 10:29
B. Nehemiah 9:38 : Neh 10:1
Nehemiah 10:28-39 New American Standard Bible (NASB)
Obligations of the Document
28 Now (A)the rest of the people, the priests, the Levites, the gatekeepers, the singers, the temple servants and (B)all those who had separated themselves from the peoples of the lands to the law of God, their wives, their sons and their daughters, all those who had knowledge and understanding, 29 are joining with their[a]kinsmen, their nobles, and are [b](C)taking on themselves a curse and an oath to walk in Godâ€™s law, which was given through Moses, Godâ€™s servant, and to keep and to observe all the commandments of [c]GOD our Lord, and His ordinances and His statutes; 30 and (D)that we will not give our daughters to the peoples of the land or take their daughters for our sons. 31 As (E)for the peoples of the land who bring wares or any grain on the sabbath day to sell, we will not buy from them on the sabbath or a holy day; and we will forego the crops the (F)seventh year and the (G)exaction of every debt.
31 As (A)for the peoples of the land who bring wares or any grain on the sabbath day to sell, we will not buy from them on the sabbath or a holy day; and we will forego the crops the (B)seventh year and the(C)exaction of every debt.
32 We also [a]placed ourselves under obligation to contribute yearly (D)one third of a shekel for the service of the house of our God: 33 for the (E)showbread, for the continual grain offering, for the continual burnt offering, the sabbaths, the new moon, for the appointed times, for the holy things and for the sin offerings to make atonement for Israel, and all the work of the house of our God.
34 Likewise (F)we cast lots (G)for the supply of wood among the priests, the Levites and the people so that they might bring it to the house of our God, according to our fathersâ€™ households, at fixed times annually, to burn on the altar of the Lord our God, as it is written in the law; 35 and that they might bring the first fruits of our ground and (H)the first fruits of all the fruit of every tree to the house of the Lord annually, 36 and(I)bring to the house of our God the firstborn of our sons and of our cattle, and the firstborn of our herds and our flocks as it is written in the law, for the priests who are ministering in the house of our God. 37 (J)We will also bring the first of our [b]dough, our contributions, the fruit of every tree, the new wine and the oil(K)to the priests at the chambers of the house of our God, and the (L)tithe of our ground to the Levites, for the Levites are they who receive the tithes in all the rural towns. 38 (M)The priest, the son of Aaron, shall be with the Levites when the Levites receive tithes, and the Levites shall bring up the tenth of the tithes to the house of our God, to the chambers of (N)the storehouse. 39 For the sons of Israel and the sons of Levi shall bring the (O)contribution of the grain, the new wine and the oil to the chambers; there are the utensils of the sanctuary, the priests who are ministering, the gatekeepers and the singers. Thus (P)we will not[c]neglect the house of our God.
INTRODUCTION: HAVE YOU DEDICATED YOUR LIFE TO GOD?
TITLE OF MESSAGE: BUILDING OUR TOMORROWS: DEDICATION TO GOD SCRIPTURE: NEHEMIAH 12:27-47
BACKGROUND THOUGHT: THE MISSION IS ACCOMPLISHED; NOW WHAT?
CTS: 3 WAYS DEDICATION TO GOD INFLUENCES CHURCH GROWTH
HOW DOES DEDICATION TO GOD EFFECT CHURCH GROWTH?:
I. DEDICATION TO GOD MUST BE INITIATED (VV. 27-30)
â€¢ EXPLANATION: NEHEMIAH INITIATED A CELEBRATION
o THE LEADERSHIP SOUGHT GIFTED PEOPLE TO LEAD (27A)
â–ª LEVITES TO SING AND PLAY INSTRUMENTS (27BC-29)
o THE PRIESTS LED IN PURIFICATION FOR THE CELEBRATION (30)
II. DEDICATION TO GOD MUST BE ORGANIZED (VV. 31-43)
â€¢ EXPLANATION: NEHEMIAH ORGANIZED TWO WORSHIP CHOIRS
o THE STEPS TO ORGANIZATION:
â–ª CALLED THE LEADERSHIP TO THE TOP OF THE WALL (31A)
â–ª APPOINTED TWO GREAT CHOIRS (31B)
â€¢ 1/2 TO THE RIGHT W/ EZRA (31C-37)
â€¢ 1/2 TO THE LEFT W/ NEHEMIAH (38-39)
â–ª THE TWO CHOIRS WENT INTO THE HOUSE OF GOD (40A)
â–ª THE LEADERSHIP WENT IN WITH THE CHOIRS (40B-42)
o EVERYONE PARTICIPATED IN WORSHIP (43)
â–ª GREAT SACRIFICES OFFERED ON THAT DAY (43a)
â–ª REJOICING BY ALL BECAUSE GOD HAD GIVEN THEM JOY (43B)
III. DEDICATION TO GOD MUST INCLUDE THE CHURCH (VV. 44-47)
â€¢ EXPLANATION: LEADERS WERE APPOINTED FOR THE TEMPLE:
o OPERATIONS OF THE TEMPLE (44AB)
o CARE FOR THE PRIESTS AND LEVITES (44CD)
â–ª REASON FOR PRIESTLY CARE:
â€¢ JUDAH REJOICED OVER THE PRIESTS AND LEVITES (44E)
â€¢ PRIESTS AND LEVITES HONORED THE LAW (45-46)
â€¢ THE PEOPLE HONORED & CARED FOR GODâ€™S LEADERSHIP (47)
â€¢ DEDICATION OF NEW HOPEâ€™S ACHIEVEMENTS TO GOD:
o GLORIFIES GOD
o DEMONSTRATES OUR DEPENDENCE ON GOD
o PRESERVES OUR HUMILITY BEFORE GOD
o PLACES OUR CHURCH IN GODâ€™S HANDS TO CHANGE OUR WORLD
REFERENCES (page 1)
Simple Definition of dedication
: a feeling of very strong support for or loyalty to someone or something : the quality or state of being dedicated to a person, group, cause, etc.
: a message at the beginning of a book, song, etc., saying that it was written or is being performed in order to honor or express affection for someone
: the act of officially saying that something (such as a new building) was created for a particular purpose (such as worship) or to remember or honor a particular person
Nehemiah 12:27-47 New American Standard Bible (NASB)
Dedication of the Wall
27 Now at the dedication of the wall of Jerusalem they sought out the Levites from all their places, to bring them to Jerusalem so that they might celebrate the dedication with gladness, with hymns of thanksgiving and with songs (A)to the accompaniment of cymbals, harps and lyres. 28 So the sons of the singers were assembled from the district around Jerusalem, and from (B)the villages of the Netophathites, 29 from Beth-gilgal and from their fields in Geba and Azmaveth, for the singers had built themselves villages around Jerusalem. 30 The priests and the Levites (C)purified themselves; they also purified the people, the gates and the wall.
Procedures for the Temple
31 Then I had the leaders of Judah come up on top of the wall, and I appointed two great [a]choirs, [b](D)the first proceeding to the right on top of the wall toward (E)the Refuse Gate. 32 Hoshaiah and half of the leaders of Judah followed them, 33 with Azariah, Ezra, Meshullam, 34 Judah, Benjamin, Shemaiah, Jeremiah, 35 and some of the sons of the priests with trumpets; and Zechariah the son of Jonathan, the son of Shemaiah, the son of Mattaniah, the son of Micaiah, the son of Zaccur, the son of Asaph, 36 and his [c]kinsmen, Shemaiah, Azarel, Milalai, Gilalai, Maai, Nethanel, Judah and Hanani, (F)with the musical instruments of David the man of God. And Ezra the scribe went before them. 37 At (G)the Fountain Gate they went directly up (H)the steps of the city of David by the stairway of the wall above the house of David to (I)the Water Gate on the east.
38 (J)The second [d]choir proceeded to the [e]left, while I followed them with half of the people on the wall, (K)above the Tower of Furnaces, to (L)the Broad Wall, 39 and above (M)the Gate of Ephraim, by (N)the Old Gate, by the (O)Fish Gate, (P)the Tower of Hananel and the Tower of the Hundred, as far as the Sheep Gate; and they stopped at (Q)the Gate of the Guard. 40 Then the two choirs took their stand in the house of God. So did I and half of the officials with me; 41 and the priests, Eliakim, Maaseiah, Miniamin, Micaiah, Elioenai, Zechariah and Hananiah, with the trumpets; 42 and Maaseiah, Shemaiah, Eleazar, Uzzi, Jehohanan, Malchijah, Elam and Ezer. And the singers [f]sang, with Jezrahiah their leader, 43 and on that day they offered great sacrifices and rejoiced because (R)God had given them great joy, even the women and children rejoiced, so that the joy of Jerusalem was heard from afar.
44 On that day (S)men were also appointed over the chambers for the stores, the contributions, the first fruits and the tithes, to gather into them from the fields of the cities the portions required by the law for the priests and Levites; for Judah rejoiced over the priests and Levites who [g]served. 45 For they performed the [h]worship of their God and the service of purification, together with the singers and the gatekeepers (T)in accordance with the command of David and of his son Solomon. 46 For in the days of David and (U)Asaph, in ancient times, there were [i](V)leaders of the singers, songs of praise and hymns of thanksgiving to God. 47 So all Israel in the days of Zerubbabel and Nehemiah gave the portions due the singers and the gatekeepers (W)as each day required, and (X)set apart the consecrated portion for the Levites, and the Levites set apart the consecrated portion for the sons of Aaron.
a Nehemiah 12:31 Lit thanksgiving choirs
b Nehemiah 12:31 Heb and processions to the right
c Nehemiah 12:36 Lit brothers
d Nehemiah 12:38 Lit thanksgiving choir
e Nehemiah 12:38 Lit front
f Nehemiah 12:42 Lit caused their voices to be heard
g Nehemiah 12:44 Lit stood
h Nehemiah 12:45 Lit service
i Nehemiah 12:46 Lit heads
end of footnotes
A Nehemiah 12:27 : 1 Chr 15:16, 28
B Nehemiah 12:28 : 1 Chr 9:16
C Nehemiah 12:30 : Neh 13:22, 30
D Nehemiah 12:31 : Neh 12:38
E Nehemiah 12:31 : Neh 2:13
F Nehemiah 12:36 : Neh 12:24
G Nehemiah 12:37 : Neh 2:14
H Nehemiah 12:37 : Neh 3:15
I Nehemiah 12:37 : Neh 3:26
J Nehemiah 12:38 : Neh 12:31
K Nehemiah 12:38 : Neh 3:11
L Nehemiah 12:38 : Neh 3:8
M Nehemiah 12:39 : Neh 8:16
N Nehemiah 12:39 : Neh 3:6
O Nehemiah 12:39 : Neh 3:3
P Nehemiah 12:39 : Neh 3:1
Q Nehemiah 12:39 : Neh 3:25
R Nehemiah 12:43 : Ps 9:2; 92:4
S Nehemiah 12:44 : Neh 13:4, 5, 12, 13
T Nehemiah 12:45 : 1 Chr 25:1
U Nehemiah 12:46 : 2 Chr 29:30
V Nehemiah 12:46 : 1 Chr 9:33
W Nehemiah 12:47 : Neh 11:23
X Nehemiah 12:47 : Num 18:21
INTRODUCTION: GIVING WITHOUT EXPECTING RETURN (LUKE 6:34-36)
SCRIPTURE: NEHEMIAH 5:1-15
TITLE OF MESSAGE: BUILDING OUR TOMORROWS: SACRIFICIAL CARE
BACKGROUND THOUGHT: EXTERNAL / INTERNAL DISCOURAGEMENT
CTS: 3 WAYS TO STIMULATE UNITY WITHIN THE CHURCH
WHAT HELPS STIMULATE UNITY WITHIN THE CHURCH?:
I. AVOID ABUSING THE MISFORTUNE OF OTHERS (VV. 1-6)
• EXPLANATION: JEWS WERE ABUSING EACH OTHER WITH USURY
o MOST SOCIAL CLASSES WERE EFFECTED (SEE GETZ NOTES) (1-5)
o NEHEMIAH BECAME VERY ANGRY (6)
o OBSERVATIONS ABOUT THE SITUATION (WIERSBE)
II. ACTIVELY HONOR GOD IN CARING FOR OTHERS (VV. 7-13)
• EXPLANATION: NEHEMIAH TOOK ACTION AGAINST THE ABUSE
o “I CONSULTED WITH MYSELF” (7A) – POSSIBLY PRAYED
o DEFINITION OF USURY
o NEHEMIAH CONFRONTED THOSE COMMITTING ABUSE (7B)
o NEHEMIAH GATHERED A GREAT ASSEMBLY AGAINST THEM (7C)
o NOTE: MATTHEW 18:15-20; GALATIANS 6:1-2
? ACTING LIKE THE GENTILE NATIONS; NO RESPONSE (8)
? YOUR CONDUCT: NOT WALKING IN THE FEAR OF GOD (9)
o NEHEMIAH WAS SETTING THE EXAMPLE FOR THEM (10A)
o NEHEMIAH HUMBLY REQUESTED: LEAVE OFF THIS USURY (10B)
o HOW TO ABANDON THE USURY (11) (SEE NOTE ON JUBILEE)
o REPENTANCE INITIATED (12-13)
III. ALWAYS HAVE A REVERENTIAL FEAR OF GOD (VV. 14-15)
• EXPLANATION: NEHEMIAH IDENTIFIED THE MOTIVE FOR HIS ACTIONS
o NEHEMIAH’S EXAMPLE SHOWED CONCERN FOR OTHERS (14-15B)
o NEHEMIAH’S MOTIVE FOR BEHAVIOR: FEAR OF GOD (15C)
• NEHEMIAH’S MOTIVE FOR LEADERSHIP & BEHAVIOR: FEAR OF GOD
• DISUNITY IN THE CHURCH WARRANTS OUR SACRIFICIAL LOVE
REFERENCES (page 1)
Luke 6:34-36 New King James Version (NKJV)
34 And if you lend to those from whom you hope to receive back, what credit is that to you? For even sinners lend to sinners to receive as much back. 35 But love your enemies, do good, and lend, hoping for nothing in return; and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High. For He is kind to the unthankful and evil. 36 Therefore be merciful, just as your Father also is merciful.
Easton's Bible Dictionary - Usury
Usury [N] [S]
the sum paid for the use of money, hence interest; not, as in the modern sense, exorbitant interest. The Jews were forbidden to exact usury (Leviticus 25:36 Leviticus 25:37), only, however, in their dealings with each other (Deuteronomy 23:19 Deuteronomy 23:20). The violation of this law was viewed as a great crime (Psalms 15:5 ; Proverbs 28:8 ; Jeremiah 15:10). After the Return, and later, this law was much neglected (Nehemiah 5:7 Nehemiah 5:10).
Gene A. Getz in The Bible Knowledge Commentary
First, the people face a food shortage. They said they needed to get grain for food to keep themselves and their families alive (v. 2). The work on the wall hindered their tending their crops. And this crop failure was called a famine. Second, others had grain (buying it from others), but to get it they had to mortgage their fields … vineyards, and homes (v. 3). Third, others, not wanting to mortgage their property, had to borrow money from their Jewish brothers to pay property taxes to King Artaxerxes (v. 4). This problem was compounded by the fact that they were charged exorbitant interest rates by their own Jewish brothers. This led to a fourth problem. To repay their creditors they had to sell their children into slavery (v. 5; cf. Ex. 21:2–11; Deut. 15:12–18). This of course left them in a hopeless state.
All these difficulties created an internal crisis in Judah. And they meant “double trouble” for Nehemiah. Not only were their enemies a constant threat to their security and state of well-being, but now many Jews were actually taking advantage of other Jews. Morale, which was already low (Neh. 4:10–12) because of external pressures, physical exhaustion, and fear, now took another plunge because of these internal problems.
Warren W. Wiersbe, Be Determined
Why didn’t Nehemiah know about this scandalous economic problem sooner? Probably because he was so immersed in the one thing he came to do—the rebuilding of the walls—that he had no time to get involved in the internal affairs of the community. His commission as governor was to repair the walls and restore the gates, not to reform the community. Furthermore, Nehemiah had not been in the city long enough to learn all that was going on.
It is important to note that the building of the wall did not create these problems; it revealed them. Often when a church enters into a building program, all sorts of problems start to surface that people didn’t even know were there. A building program is a demanding thing that tests our faith, our patience, and our priorities; and while it brings out the best in some people, it can often bring out the worst in others.
Warren W. Wiersbe, Be Determined (Year of Jubilee)
One reason for the “Year of Jubilee” (Lev. 25) was to balance the economic system in Israel so that the rich could not get richer as the poor became poorer. All debts had to be forgiven in the fiftieth year, all land restored to its original owners, and all servants set free.
INTRODUCTION: “TOO CLOSE” BY DAVID MCCASLAND (ODB.ORG)
SCRIPTURE: NEHEMIAH 6:1-14
BACKGROUND THOUGHT: DISCOURAGEMENT ABATED; UNITY REVIVED
TITLE OF MESSAGE: BUILDING OUR TOMORROWS: KEEPING OUR FOCUS
CTS: 3 CAUSES OF DISTRACTION FROM BUILDING GOD’S KINGDOM
WHAT DISTRACTIONS HINDER PERSONAL OR CHURCH GROWTH?:
I. WORLDLY TEMPTATIONS (VV. 1-4)
• EXPLANATION: OUTSIDERS INVITED NEHEMIAH TO MEETINGS
o NEHEMIAH’S MISSION WAS ALMOST COMPLETE (1)
o NEHEMIAH’S OPPONENTS INVITED HIM TO MEET WITH THEM (2AB)
o NEHEMIAH KNEW THEIR DESIRE TO HARM HIM (2C) (PROV 4:14-17)
o NEHEMIAH COMMUNICATED THROUGH STRATEGY (3-4)
II. GOSSIP NETWORKS (VV. 5-9)
• EXPLANATION: OUTSIDERS ATTEMPTED TO START GOSSIP
o SANBALLAT SENDS AN “OPEN LETTER” TO NEHEMIAH (5)
o THE LETTER MADE FALSE ACCUSATIONS ABOUT NEHEMIAH (6-7)
o NEHEMIAH IMMEDIATELY REFUTES THE ALLEGATIONS (8)
o NEHEMIAH KNEW THE EFFORTS WERE TO FRIGHTEN THEM (9A)
o NEHEMIAH CALLS UPON GOD FOR STRENGTH (9B)
III. GODLY PEOPLE (VV. 10-14)
• EXPLANATION: OUTSIDERS HIRED RELIGION TO DISTRACT
o SHEMAIAH ATTEMPTS TO GIVE A MESSAGE FROM GOD (10)
o NEHEMIAH QUESTIONED THE MESSAGE (11)
? SHOULD I FLEE? (11A); SHOULD I GO TO THE TEMPLE? (11B)
o NEHEMIAH KNEW THE MESSAGE WAS FALSE (12-13)
o NEHEMIAH PRAYS TO GOD ABOUT HIS ENEMIES (14)
• NEHEMIAH DID NOT ALLOW PEOPLE OR EVENTS TO DISTRACT HIM
• NEHEMIAH KEPT IN CONTACT WITH GOD
• NEHEMIAH KEPT HIS FOCUS ON THE MISSION (WALL / GLORIFY GOD)
• WE MUST KEEP PERSONAL AND CHURCH FOCUS ON CHRIST
• FOCUS ON CHRIST AND HIS WORD WILL ENABLE GROWTH
REFERENCES (page 1)
Proverbs 4:14-17 New King James Version (NKJV)
14 Do not enter the path of the wicked,
And do not walk in the way of evil.
15 Avoid it, do not travel on it;
Turn away from it and pass on.
16 For they do not sleep unless they have done evil;
And their sleep is taken away unless they make someone fall.
17 For they eat the bread of wickedness,
And drink the wine of violence.
Nehemiah 6:1-14 New American Standard Bible (NASB)
6 Now when it was reported to Sanballat, Tobiah, to Geshem the Arab and to the rest of our enemies that I had rebuilt the wall, and that no breach remained in it, (A)although at that time I had not set up the doors in the gates, 2 then Sanballat and Geshem sent a message to me, saying, “Come, let us meet together at [a]Chephirim in the plain of(B)Ono.” But they were planning to [b]harm me. 3 So I sent messengers to them, saying, “I am doing a great work and I cannot come down. Why should the work stop while I leave it and come down to you?” 4 They sent messages to me four times in this manner, and I answered them in the same way.
5 Then Sanballat sent his servant to me in the same manner a fifth time with an open letter in his hand. 6 In it was written, “It is reported among the nations, and [c]Gashmu says, that (C)you and the Jews are planning to rebel; therefore you are rebuilding the wall. And you are to be their king, according to these reports. 7 You have also appointed prophets to proclaim in Jerusalem concerning [d]you, ‘A king is in Judah!’ And now it will be reported to the king according to these reports. So come now, let us take counsel together.” 8 Then I sent a message to him saying, “Such things as you are saying have not been done, but you are (D)inventing them [e]in your own mind.” 9 For all of them were trying to frighten us, [f]thinking, “[g]They will become discouraged with the work and it will not be done.” But now, (E)O God, strengthen my hands.
10 When I entered the house of Shemaiah the son of Delaiah, son of Mehetabel, (F)who was [h]confined at home, he said, “Let us meet together in the house of God, within the temple, and let us close the doors of the temple, for they are coming to kill you, and they are coming to kill you at night.” 11 But I said, “(G)Should a man like me flee? And could one such as I go into the temple [i]to save his life? I will not go in.”12 Then I perceived [j]that surely God had not sent him, but he uttered his prophecy against me because Tobiah and Sanballat had hired him.13 He was hired for this reason, (H)that I might become frightened and act accordingly and sin, so that they might have an evil report in order that they could reproach me. 14 (I)Remember, O my God, Tobiah and Sanballat according to these works of theirs, and also Noadiah (J)the prophetess and the rest of the prophets who were trying to frighten me.
a. Nehemiah 6:2 Another reading is, one of the villages
b. Nehemiah 6:2 Lit do evil to me
c. Nehemiah 6:6 In v 1 and elsewhere, Geshem
d. Nehemiah 6:7 Lit you, saying
e. Nehemiah 6:8 Lit from your heart
f. Nehemiah 6:9 Lit saying,
g. Nehemiah 6:9 Lit Their hands will drop from
h. Nehemiah 6:10 Lit shut up
i. Nehemiah 6:11 Lit and live
j. Nehemiah 6:12 Lit and behold God
A. Nehemiah 6:1 : Neh 3:1, 3
B. Nehemiah 6:2 : 1 Chr 8:12
C. Nehemiah 6:6 : Neh 2:19
D. Nehemiah 6:8 : Job 13:4; Ps 52:2
E. Nehemiah 6:9 : Ps 138:3
F. Nehemiah 6:10 : Jer 36:5
G. Nehemiah 6:11 : Prov 28:1
H. Nehemiah 6:13 : Neh 6:6
I. Nehemiah 6:14 : Neh 13:29
J. Nehemiah 6:14 : Ezek 13:17
“Too Close!” by David MCCasland 2 Apr 16
I grew up in Oklahoma where severe weather is common from early spring through the end of summer. I recall one evening when the sky boiled with dark clouds, the TV weather forecaster warned of an approaching tornado, and the electricity went out. Very quickly, my parents, my sister, and I climbed down the wooden ladder into the storm cellar behind our house where we stayed until the storm passed by.
Today “storm chasing” has become a hobby for many people and a profitable business for others. The goal is to get as close as possible to a tornado without being harmed. Many storm chasers are skilled forecasters with accurate information, but I won’t sign up for a tornado tour anytime soon.
In moral and spiritual areas of my life, however, I can foolishly pursue dangerous things God tells me to avoid because of His love for me, all the time believing I won’t be harmed. A wiser approach is to read the book of Proverbs, which contains many positive ways to elude these snares of life.
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding,” Solomon wrote. “In all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight” (Prov. 3:5-6).
Our Lord is the master of the adventure of living, and following His wisdom leads us to fullness of life.
Father, Your wisdom leads us along the path of life.
Help us to follow Your guidance today.
How can you trust the Lord today?
Every temptation is an occasion to trust God.
INTRODUCTION: THE MOST PRIZED POSSESSION? (PS 19:10, 119:11, 105)
SCRIPTURE: NEHEMIAH 8:1-12
BACKGROUND THOUGHT: WALLS AROUND JERUSALEM REBUILT & SECURE
TITLE OF MESSAGE: BUILDING OUR TOMORROWS: CLINGING TO GODâ€™S WORD
CTS: 2 REASONS TO PURSUE KNOWING GODâ€™S WORD
WHAT RELEVANCE DOES GODâ€™S WORD HAVE TO CHURCH GROWTH?:
I. THE BIBLE IS THE KEY TO GROWTH AND REVIVAL (VS. 1-8)
â€¢ EXPLANATION: THE PEOPLE KNEW WHAT THEY NEEDED
o THE PEOPLE GATHERED TOGETHER (1A)
o THEY ASKED EZRA TO BRING THE BOOK OF THE LAW (1B)
o EZRA CARRIED OUT THEIR REQUEST; EVERYONE WAS THERE (2AB)
o THE DAY OF READING: FIRST DAY OF SEVENTH MONTH (2C)
ï‚§ DAY FOR BLOWING TRUMPETS (NUM 29:1)
o EZRA READ THE BOOK @ THE WATER GATE
ï‚§ IN THE PRESENCE OF MEN, WOMEN, & CHILDREN (3A)
ï‚§ ALL OF THE PEOPLE WERE ATTENTIVE TO THE READING (3B)
ï‚§ NOTE: SIGNIFICANCE OF WHERE THE READING TOOK PLACE
ï‚§ EZRA STOOD ON A PODIUM TO READ THE BOOK (4A)
ï‚§ 12 PRIESTS STOOD ON THE PODIUM WITH EZRA (4B)
ï‚§ AS EZRA OPENED THE BOOK, THE PEOPLE WORSHIPPED (5-6)
ï‚§ LEVITES PROVIDED UNDERSTANDING (7-8)
II. THE BIBLE STIRS GODâ€™S PEOPLE TO OBEDIENCE (VV. 9-12)
â€¢ EXPLANATION: THE PEOPLE WERE MOURNING
o LEADERS HIGHLIGHTED THE DAY AS BEING HOLY TO GOD (9A)
o THE PEOPLE WERE BROKEN BY THE READING OF GODâ€™S WORD (9B)
o NEHEMIAH PROVIDED GUIDELINES FOR CELEBRATING (10AB)
o THE JOY OF THE LORD IS YOUR STRENGTH (10C)
o THE LEVITES REPEATED THE LEADERSHIP GUIDANCE (11)
o THE PEOPLE OBEYED, UNDERSTANDING GODâ€™S WORD (12)
â€¢ GODâ€™S WORD INSPIRED AND ENABLED REVIVAL IN NEHEMIAHâ€™S DAY
â€¢ GODâ€™S WORD WILL DO THE SAME FOR HIS CHURCH TODAY
â€¢ REVIVAL IN THE CHURCH WILL ENABLE GROWTH
â€¢ ARE YOU HUNGRY FOR GODâ€™S WORD TO REVIVE YOUR SOUL?
â€¢ ARE WE HUNGRY FOR GOD TO REVIVE NEW HOPE FOR GROWTH?
REFERENCES (page 1)
Psalm 19:10 The Message (MSG)
10 Godâ€™s Word is better than a diamond,
better than a diamond set between emeralds.
Youâ€™ll like it better than strawberries in spring,
better than red, ripe strawberries.
Psalm 119:11 New King James Version (NKJV)
11 Your word I have hidden in my heart,
That I might not sin against You.
Psalm 119:105 New King James Version (NKJV)
105 Your word is a lamp to my feet
And a light to my path.
Numbers 29:1 New King James Version (NKJV)
Offerings at the Feast of Trumpets
29 â€˜And in the seventh month, on the first day of the month, you shall have a holy convocation. You shall do no customary work. For you it is a day of blowing the trumpets.
The New American Commentary
The fall season of festivals commenced with the Day of the Blowing [of Trumpets], later called Rosh Ha-Shanahâ€”The New Year. This instrument was the ramâ€™s horn (Å¡Ã´pÄr) rather than the silver trumpets blown over the burnt and fellowship offerings at other festivals (Num 10:1â€“10). Ethanim, the seventh month of the Hebrew calendar (Teshritu or Tishri of Babylonian derivation), accommodated two other important holy days, the Day of Atonement and the Feast of Booths, making it the most festive (or commemorative) time of the year. In late postexilic times the ten days through Yom Kippur were set apart for penitence and personal remorse, followed by the week-long Feast of Booths beginning on the fifteenth, a total of eighteen days of remembrance and celebration. Rosh Ha-Shanah today is considered the second most holy day of the Jewish calendar.
Nehemiah 8:1-12New American Standard Bible (NASB)
Ezra Reads the Law
8 And all the people gathered as one man at the square which was in front of (A)the Water Gate, and they [a]asked (B)Ezra the scribe to bring(C)the book of the law of Moses which the Lord had [b]given to Israel.2 Then (D)Ezra the priest brought the law before the assembly of men, women and all who could listen with understanding, on (E)the first day of the seventh month. 3 He read from it before the square which was in front of (F)the Water Gate from [c]early morning until midday, in the presence of men and women, those who could understand; and all the people were attentive to the book of the law. 4 Ezra the scribe stood at a wooden podium which they had made for the purpose. And beside him stood Mattithiah, Shema, Anaiah, Uriah, Hilkiah, and Maaseiah on his right hand; and Pedaiah, Mishael, Malchijah, Hashum, Hashbaddanah, Zechariah and Meshullam on his left hand. 5 Ezra opened (G)the book in the sight of all the people for he was standing above all the people; and when he opened it, all the people (H)stood up. 6 Then Ezra blessed the Lord the great God. And all the people answered, â€œ(I)Amen, Amen!â€ while lifting up their hands; then (J)they bowed low and worshiped the Lord with their faces to the ground. 7 Also Jeshua, Bani, Sherebiah, Jamin, Akkub, Shabbethai, Hodiah, Maaseiah, Kelita, Azariah, Jozabad, Hanan, Pelaiah, the Levites, explained the law to the people while the people remained in their place. 8 They read from the book, from the law of God, [d]translating to give the sense so that they understood the reading.
â€œThis Day Is Holyâ€
9 Then Nehemiah, who was the [e](K)governor, and Ezra (L)the priest and scribe, and the Levites who taught the people said to all the people, â€œ(M)This day is holy to the Lord your God; (N)do not mourn or weep.â€ For all the people were weeping when they heard the words of the law.10 Then he said to them, â€œGo, eat of the fat, drink of the sweet, and(O)send portions to him who has nothing prepared; for this day is holy to our Lord. Do not be grieved, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.â€11 So the Levites calmed all the people, saying, â€œBe still, for the day is holy; do not be grieved.â€ 12 All the people went away to eat, to drink,(P)to send portions and to [f]celebrate a great festival, (Q)because they understood the words which had been made known to them.
a. Nehemiah 8:1 Lit said to
b. Nehemiah 8:1 Lit commanded
c. Nehemiah 8:3 Lit the light
d. Nehemiah 8:8 Or explaining
e. Nehemiah 8:9 Heb Tirshatha, a Persian title
f. Nehemiah 8:12 Lit make a great rejoicing
A. Nehemiah 8:1 : Neh 3:26
B. Nehemiah 8:1 : Ezra 7:6
C. Nehemiah 8:1 : 2 Chr 34:15
D. Nehemiah 8:2 : Deut 31:9-11; Neh 8:9
E. Nehemiah 8:2 : Lev 23:24
F. Nehemiah 8:3 : Neh 8:1
G. Nehemiah 8:5 : Neh 8:3
H. Nehemiah 8:5 : Judg 3:20; 1 Kin 8:12-14
I. Nehemiah 8:6 : Neh 5:13
J. Nehemiah 8:6 : Ex 4:31
K. Nehemiah 8:9 : Neh 7:65, 70
L. Nehemiah 8:9 : Neh 12:26
M. Nehemiah 8:9 : Neh 8:2
N. Nehemiah 8:9 : Deut 12:7, 12
O. Nehemiah 8:10 : Deut 26:11-13
P. Nehemiah 8:12 : Neh 8:10
Q. Nehemiah 8:12 : Neh 8:7, 8
INTRODUCTION: THE IMPORTANCE OF SHOWING APPRECIATION
SCRIPTURE: 1 CHRONICLES 16:8-16
BACKGROUND THOUGHT: DAVID HAS BROUGHT THE ARK TO JERUSALEM
TITLE OF MESSAGE: THE WAY TO EXPRESS THANKSGIVING TO GOD
CTS: 2 TRUTHS TO ENHANCE YOUR THANKSGIVING TOWARD GOD
HOW CAN I SHOW THANKSGIVING TO GOD FOR MY LIFE?:
I. RECOGNIZE THE NEED TO GIVE HIM THANKS (VS. 8)
â€¢ EXPLANATION: DAVID CALLS FOR THANKSGIVING TO GOD
o GIVE THANKS TO GOD (8A) (PS 100:4, PHIL 4:6, COL 2:6-7)
o TELL OTHERS THE REASON FOR YOUR THANKSGIVING (8B)
II. RESOLVE TO GIVE THANKS IN MULTIPLE WAYS (VV. 9-16)
â€¢ EXPLANATION: DAVID TELLS HOW TO SHOW THANKS TO GOD
o WITH THE MOUTH â€“ SING / TESTIFY ABOUT OUR LORD (9)
o SEEKING THE LORD = GLADNESS (10); STRENGTH (11) (COL 3:1-4)
o REMEMBER: HIS DEEDS (12-14) AND HIS COVENANT (15-16)
ï‚§ DEUT 8:17-19
â€¢ AN ATTITUDE OF THANKSGIVING BEGINS WITH FAITH IN CHRIST
â€¢ THANKSGIVING IS RENEWED, AS WE CHOOSE TO GIVE THANKS
â€¢ THANKSGIVING IS MORE THAN WORDS, . . . IT INCLUDES ACTION
â€¢ PRAY FOR GOD TO GIVE YOU A LIFE OF THANKSGIVING
REFERENCES (page 1)
Psalm 100:4 New King James Version (NKJV)
4 Enter into His gates with thanksgiving,
And into His courts with praise.
Be thankful to Him, and bless His name.
Philippians 4:6 New King James Version (NKJV)
6 Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God;
Colossians 2:6-7 New King James Version (NKJV)
6 As you therefore have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him,7 rooted and built up in Him and established in the faith, as you have been taught, abounding in it[a] with thanksgiving.
Colossians 3:1-4 The Message (MSG)
3 1-2 So if youâ€™re serious about living this new resurrection life with Christ, act like it. Pursue the things over which Christ presides. Donâ€™t shuffle along, eyes to the ground, absorbed with the things right in front of you. Look up, and be alert to what is going on around Christâ€”thatâ€™s where the action is. See things from his perspective.
3-4 Your old life is dead. Your new life, which is your real lifeâ€”even though invisible to spectatorsâ€”is with Christ in God. He is your life. When Christ (your real life, remember) shows up again on this earth, youâ€™ll show up, tooâ€”the real you, the glorious you. Meanwhile, be content with obscurity, like Christ.
Deuteronomy 8:17-19 New King James Version (NKJV)
17 then you say in your heart, â€˜My power and the might of my hand have gained me this wealth.â€™
18 â€œAnd you shall remember the LORD your God, for it is He who gives you power to get wealth, that He may establish His covenant which He swore to your fathers, as it is this day. 19 Then it shall be, if you by any means forget the LORD your God, and follow other gods, and serve them and worship them, I testify against you this day that you shall surely perish.â€ƒ
1 Chronicles 16:8-16 New American Standard Bible (NASB)
Psalm of Thanksgiving
8 (A)Oh give thanks to the LORD, call upon His name;
(B)Make known His deeds among the peoples.
9 Sing to Him, sing praises to Him;
[a]Speak of all His [b]wonders.
10 [c]Glory in His holy name;
Let the heart of those who seek the LORD be glad.
11 (C)Seek the LORD and His strength;
Seek His face continually.
12 (D)Remember His wonderful deeds which He has done,
(E)His marvels and the judgments from His mouth,
13 O seed of Israel His servant,
Sons of Jacob, His chosen ones!
14 He is the LORD our God;
(F)His judgments are in all the earth.
15 Remember His covenant forever,
The word which He commanded to a thousand generations,
16 (G)The covenant which He made with Abraham,
And His oath to Isaac.
a. 1 Chronicles 16:9 Or Meditate on
b. 1 Chronicles 16:9 I.e. wonderful acts
c. 1 Chronicles 16:10 Or Boast
A. 1 Chronicles 16:8 : 1 Chr 16:8-36; Ps 105:1-15
B. 1 Chronicles 16:8 : 1 Kin 8:43; 2 Kin 19:19
C. 1 Chronicles 16:11 : Ps 24:6
D. 1 Chronicles 16:12 : Ps 103:2
E. 1 Chronicles 16:12 : Ps 78:43-68
F. 1 Chronicles 16:14 : Ps 48:10
G. 1 Chronicles 16:16 : Gen 12:7; 17:2; 22:16-18; 26:3
INTRODUCTION: THE IMPORTANCE OF INVESTIGATIONS
SCRIPTURE: LUKE 1:1-4
BACKGROUND THOUGHT: AUTHOR: PHYSICIAN / TIME WITH PAUL / GOSPEL
TITLE OF MESSAGE: INVESTIGATING JESUS: VERIFYING THE TRUTH
CTS: 2 FACTORS THAT CONFIRM THE TRUTH ABOUT JESUS CHRIST
WHAT EVIDENCE SUPPORTS THE TRUTH ABOUT JESUS CHRIST?:
I. THE TESTIMONY OF OTHER BELIEVERS (VV. 1-2)
â€¢ EXPLANATION: MANY SPOKE / WROTE ABOUT JESUS
o MANY SOUGHT TO COMPILE EVIDENCE OF JESUSâ€™ WORK (1)
o THE EVIDENCE CAME FROM EYE WITNESSES (2A)
o THE EYE WITNESSES WERE SERVANTS OF THE GOSPEL (2B)
ï‚§ 2 PETER 1:16-17; 1 JOHN 1:1-4; HEBREWS 2:1-4
II. THE INVESTIGATIVE TESTIMONY OF LUKE (VV. 3-4)
â€¢ EXPLANATION: LUKE WAS COMPELLED TO INVESTIGATE
o HE INVESTIGATED EVERYTHING FROM THE BEGINNING (3A)
o HE WROTE HIS RESULTS IN CONSECUTIVE ORDER (3B)
o HE WROTE TO FURTHER PERSUADE THEOPHILUS OF TRUTH (4)
â€¢ AS FOLLOWERS OF CHRIST, WE MUST SEEK GODâ€™S TRUTH
â€¢ GOD PROVIDES THE TRUTH WE NEED THROUGH HIS WITNESSES
â€¢ GODâ€™S WORD AND SPIRIT LED SERVANTS = RESOURCES OF THE TRUTH
â€¢ TRUST GODâ€™S WORD AS THE TRUTH â€“ HE WILL GUIDE YOU (PROV 3:5-6)
REFERENCES (page 1)
2 Peter 1:16-17 New King James Version (NKJV)
The Trustworthy Prophetic Word
16 For we did not follow cunningly devised fables when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of His majesty. 17 For He received from God the Father honor and glory when such a voice came to Him from the Excellent Glory: â€œThis is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.â€
1 John 1:1-4 New King James Version (NKJV)
What Was Heard, Seen, and Touched
1 That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, concerning the Word of lifeâ€” 2 the life was manifested, and we have seen, and bear witness, and declare to you that eternal life which was with the Father and was manifested to usâ€” 3 that which we have seen and heard we declare to you, that you also may have fellowship with us; and truly our fellowship is with the Father and with His Son Jesus Christ. 4 And these things we write to you that your[a] joy may be full.
Hebrews 2:1-4 New King James Version (NKJV)
Do Not Neglect Salvation
2 Therefore we must give the more earnest heed to the things we have heard, lest we drift away. 2 For if the word spoken through angels proved steadfast, and every transgression and disobedience received a just reward, 3 how shall we escape if we neglect so great a salvation, which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed to us by those who heard Him, 4 God also bearing witness both with signs and wonders, with various miracles, and gifts of the Holy Spirit, according to His own will?
Proverbs 3:5-6 New King James Version (NKJV)
5 Trust in the LORD with all your heart,
And lean not on your own understanding;
6 In all your ways acknowledge Him,
And He shall direct[a] your paths.
Luke 1:1-4 New American Standard Bible (NASB)
1 Inasmuch as many have undertaken to compile an account of the things [a](A)accomplished among us, 2 just as they were handed down to us by those who (B)from the beginning [b]were (C)eyewitnesses and [c](D)servants of (E)the [d]word,
3 it seemed fitting for me as well, (F)having [e]investigated everything carefully from the beginning, to write it out for you (G)in consecutive order, (H)most excellent (I)Theophilus; 4 so that you may know the exact truth about the things you have been [f](J)taught.
a. Luke 1:1 Or on which there is full conviction
b. Luke 1:2 Lit became
c. Luke 1:2 Or ministers
d. Luke 1:2 I.e. gospel
e. Luke 1:3 Or followed
f. Luke 1:4 Or orally instructed in
A. Luke 1:1 : Rom 4:21; 14:5; Col 2:2; 4:12; 1 Thess 1:5; 2 Tim 4:17; Heb 6:11; 10:22
B. Luke 1:2 : John 15:27; Acts 1:21f
C. Luke 1:2 : 2 Pet 1:16; 1 John 1:1
D. Luke 1:2 : Acts 26:16; 1 Cor 4:1; Heb 2:3
E. Luke 1:2 : Mark 4:14; 16:20; Acts 8:4; 14:25; 16:6; 17:11
F. Luke 1:3 : 1 Tim 4:6
G. Luke 1:3 : Acts 11:4; 18:23
H. Luke 1:3 : Acts 23:26; 24:3; 26:25
I. Luke 1:3 : Acts 1:1
J. Luke 1:4 : Acts 18:25; Rom 2:18; 1 Cor 14:19; Gal 6:6
INTRODUCTION: MISSION IMPOSSIBLE (MATTHEW 19:23-26)
SCRIPTURE: LUKE 1:5-25
BACKGROUND THOUGHT: LUKE PRESENTING A HISTORICAL BIO OF JESUS
TITLE OF MESSAGE: INVESTIGATING JESUS: PREPARING FOR HIM
CTS: 3 STEPS GOD TOOK TO PREPARE THE WORLD FOR JESUS.
HOW CAN YOU PREPARE OTHERS FOR JESUS?:
I. BELIEVE GOD CAN DO THE IMPOSSIBLE (VV. 5-17)
â€¢ EXPLANATION: GOD WAS PREPARING FOR HIS SONâ€™S ARRIVAL
o ZACHARIAS & ELIZABETH: RIGHTEOUS, YET BARREN (5-7)
o GOD ARRANGED A SPECIAL MESSAGE FOR ZACHARIAS (8-17)
ï‚§ GOD ARRANGED FOR A SPECIAL MEETING (8-10)
ï‚§ AN ANGEL APPEARED TO ZACHARIAS (11-12)
ï‚§ A SPECIAL MESSAGE GIVEN: YOU WILL BE EXPECTING (13)
ï‚§ HIS SON, JOHN, WOULD BRING JOY TO MANY (14-15)
ï‚§ MANY WOULD REPENT IN RESPONSE TO JOHNâ€™S MESSAGE (16)
ï‚§ HE WOULD MAKE THE PEOPLE READY FOR JESUS (17)
II. RESIST DOUBTING WHAT GOD CAN DO (VV. 18-23)
â€¢ EXPLANATION: ZACHARIAS QUESTIONED THE MESSAGE
o HE AND ELIZABETH WERE BEYOND CHILD BEARING YEARS (18)
o GABRIEL REASSURED ZACHARIAS & ADMONISHED HIM (19-20)
o THE CROWD KNEW SOMETHING SPECIAL HAD HAPPENED (21-22)
o WHEN ZACHARIASâ€™ MINISTRY WAS COMPLETE, HE WENT HOME (23)
III. TRUST GOD TO FOLLOW THROUGH (VV. 24-25)
â€¢ EXPLANATION: GOD DID WHAT HE SAID HE WOULD DO
o ELIZABETH BECAME PREGNANT (24)
o ELIZABETH NO LONGER GRIEVED OVER BEING BARREN (25)
â€¢ GOD DID THE IMPOSSIBLE TO PREPARE OTHERS FOR JESUS
â€¢ AS WE TRUST GOD, HE WILL ENABLE US TO DO THE IMPOSSIBLE
â€¢ AS WE SERVE GOD, HE WILL USE US TO PREPARE OTHERS FOR JESUS
REFERENCES (page 1)
Luke 1:5-25 New American Standard Bible (NASB)
Birth of John the Baptist Foretold
5 (A)In the days of Herod, king of Judea, there was a priest named [a]Zacharias, of the (B)division of [b]Abijah; and he had a wife [c]from the daughters of Aaron, and her name was Elizabeth. 6 They were both (C)righteous in the sight of God, walking (D)blamelessly in all the commandments and requirements of the Lord. 7 But they had no child, because Elizabeth was barren, and they were both advanced in [d]years.
8 Now it happened that while (E)he was performing his priestly service before God in the appointed order of his division, 9 according to the custom of the priestly office, he was chosen by lot (F)to enter the temple of the Lord and burn incense. 10 And the whole multitude of the people were in prayer (G)outside at the hour of the incense offering. 11 And (H)an angel of the Lord appeared to him, standing to the right of the altar of incense. 12 Zacharias was troubled when he saw the angel, and (I)fear [e]gripped him. 13 But the angel said to him, â€œ(J)Do not be afraid, Zacharias, for your petition has been heard, and your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and (K)you will [f]give him the name John. 14 You will have joy and gladness, and many will rejoice at his birth. 15 For he will be great in the sight of the Lord; and he will (L)drink no wine or liquor, and he will be filled with the Holy Spirit [g]while yet in his motherâ€™s womb. 16 And he will (M)turn many of the sons of Israel back to the Lord their God. 17 It is he who will (N)go as a forerunner before Him in the spirit and power of (O)Elijah, (P)TO TURN THE HEARTS OF THE FATHERS BACK TO THE CHILDREN, and the disobedient to the attitude of the righteous, so as to (Q)make ready a people prepared for the Lord.â€
18 Zacharias said to the angel, â€œHow will I know this for certain? For (R)I am an old man and my wife is advanced in [h]years.â€ 19 The angel answered and said to him, â€œI am (S)Gabriel, who [i](T)stands in the presence of God, and I have been sent to speak to you and to bring you this good news. 20 And behold, you shall be silent and unable to speak until the day when these things take place, because you did not believe my words, which will be fulfilled in their proper time.â€
21 The people were waiting for Zacharias, and were wondering at his delay in the temple. 22 But when he came out, he was unable to speak to them; and they realized that he had seen a vision in the temple; and he (U)kept [j]making signs to them, and remained mute. 23 When the days of his priestly service were ended, he went back home.
24 After these days Elizabeth his wife became pregnant, and she [k]kept herself in seclusion for five months, saying, 25 â€œThis is the way the Lord has dealt with me in the days when He looked with favor upon me, to (V)take away my disgrace among men.â€
a. Luke 1:5 I.e. Zechariah
b. Luke 1:5 Gr Abia
c. Luke 1:5 I.e. of priestly descent
d. Luke 1:7 Lit days
e. Luke 1:12 Or fell upon
f. Luke 1:13 Lit call his name
g. Luke 1:15 Lit from
h. Luke 1:18 Lit days
i. Luke 1:19 Lit stand beside
j. Luke 1:22 Or beckoning to or nodding to
k. Luke 1:24 Lit was hidden
A. Luke 1:5 : Matt 2:1
B. Luke 1:5 : 1 Chr 24:10
C. Luke 1:6 : Gen 7:1; Acts 2:25; 8:21
D. Luke 1:6 : Phil 2:15; 3:6; 1 Thess 3:13
E. Luke 1:8 : 1 Chr 24:19; 2 Chr 8:14; 31:2
F. Luke 1:9 : Ex 30:7f
G. Luke 1:10 : Lev 16:17
H. Luke 1:11 : Luke 2:9; Acts 5:19
I. Luke 1:12 : Luke 2:9
J. Luke 1:13 : Matt 14:27; Luke 1:30
K. Luke 1:13 : Luke 1:60, 63
L. Luke 1:15 : Num 6:3; Judg 13:4; Matt 11:18; Luke 7:33
M. Luke 1:16 : Matt 3:2, 6; Luke 3:3
N. Luke 1:17 : Luke 1:76
O. Luke 1:17 : Matt 11:14
P. Luke 1:17 : Mal 4:6
Q. Luke 1:17 : Luke 1:76
R. Luke 1:18 : Gen 17:17
S. Luke 1:19 : Dan 8:16; 9:21; Luke 1:26
T. Luke 1:19 : Matt 18:10
U. Luke 1:22 : Luke 1:62
V. Luke 1:25 : Gen 30:23; Is 4:1; 25:8
INTRODUCTION: STAR TREK: THE NEXT GENERATION: SPECIAL BIRTH
BACKGROUND THOUGHT: ISAIAH 7:14, 9:6, & GAL 4:3-5
SCRIPTURE: LUKE 1:26-38
TITLE OF MESSAGE: INVESTIGATING JESUS: HIS IDENTITY
CTS: 3 REASONS TO BELIEVE JESUS TO BE THE SON OF GOD
WHAT EVIDENCE SUPPORTS JESUS AS THE SON OF GOD?:
I. GOD SENT A MESSAGE TO MAN (VV. 26-29)
â€¢ EXPLANATION: AN ANGEL APPEARED TO A YOUNG TEENAGE GIRL
o AN ANGEL WAS SENT BY GOD TO AN UNIMPORTANT TOWN (26)
ï‚§ GABRIEL WAS SENT TO A TEENAGE VIRGIN IN NAZARETH
ï‚§ MARY WAS A DESCENDANT OF KING DAVID (27)
o GABRIEL GREETED MARY:
ï‚§ â€œFAVORED ONEâ€; â€œTHE LORD IS WITH YOUâ€ (28)
o MARY WAS VERY PERPLEXED AND CONFUSED
â€¢ APPLICATION: GOD HAS CHOSEN YOU TO SHARE HIS GOSPEL
II. GOD SPOKE OF JESUSâ€™ COMING BIRTH (VV. 30-35)
â€¢ EXPLANATION: GABRIEL MADE GODâ€™S PLAN KNOWN TO MARY
o DO NOT BE AFRAID; YOU HAVE FOUND FAVOR WITH GOD (30)
o GODâ€™S PLAN FOR MARY: BEAR A SON & NAME HIM JESUS (31)
o GODâ€™S PLAN FOR HER SON:
1. HE WILL BE GREAT (32A)
2. HE WILL BE CALLED THE SON OF THE MOST HIGH (32B)
3. GOD WILL GIVE HIM THE THRONE OF DAVID (32C)
4. HE WILL REIGN OVER THE HOUSE OF JACOB FOREVER (33A)
5. HIS KINGDOM WILL HAVE NO END (33B)
6. THE HOLY CHILD SHALL BE CALLED THE SON OF GOD(35B)
o MARY ASKED, â€œHOW IS THIS POSSIBLE, SINCE I AM A VIRGIN?â€ (34)
o GOD WOULD DO SO THROUGH HIS HOLY SPIRIT (35A) (TRINITY)
â€¢ APPLICATION: GODâ€™S DESIRE IS FOR US TO SHARE HIS GOSPEL
III. GOD SUPPLIED PROOF OF HIS TRUTH (VV. 36-38)
â€¢ EXPLANATION: GABRIEL PROVIDED PHYSICAL EVIDENCE OF MIRACLES
o ELIZABETH WAS EXPECTING A CHILD (IMPOSSIBLE) (36)
o NOTHING IS IMPOSSIBLE WITH GOD (37)
o MARY DECLARED HER WILLINGNESS TO BE USED BY GOD (38)
â€¢ APPLICATION: GODâ€™S GOAL: SHOW PROOF OF HIS SALVATION
REFERENCES (page 1)
Isaiah 7:14 New King James Version (NKJV)
14 Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a Son, and shall call His name Immanuel.[a]
Isaiah 9:6 New King James Version (NKJV)
6 For unto us a Child is born,
Unto us a Son is given;
And the government will be upon His shoulder.
And His name will be called
Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
Galatians 4:3-5 New King James Version (NKJV)
3 Even so we, when we were children, were in bondage under the elements of the world. 4 But when the fullness of the time had come, God sent forth His Son, born[a] of a woman, born under the law, 5 to redeem those who were under the law, that we might receive the adoption as sons.
â€¢ God has enlisted you to bear the glory of His Son to others
â€¢ God has established His plan of salvation in your heart
â€¢ God has enabled the impossible: your friends and loved ones to be saved
â€¢ God has equipped you to share his salvation plan with others; trust & obey
Luke 1:26-38 New American Standard Bible (NASB)
Jesusâ€™ Birth Foretold
26 Now in the sixth month the angel (A)Gabriel was sent from God to a city in Galilee called (B)Nazareth, 27 to (C)a virgin [a]engaged to a man whose name was Joseph, (D)of the [b]descendants of David; and the virginâ€™s name was [c]Mary. 28 And coming in, he said to her, â€œGreetings, [d]favored one! The Lord [e]is with you.â€ 29 But she(E)was very perplexed at this statement, and kept pondering what kind of salutation this was.
30 The angel said to her, â€œ(F)Do not be afraid, Mary; for you have found favor with God. 31 And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you (G)shall name Him Jesus. 32 He will be great and will be called the Son of(H)the Most High; and the Lord God will give Him (I)the throne of His father David; 33 (J)and He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, (K)and His kingdom will have no end.â€ 34 Mary said to the angel, â€œHow [f]can this be, since I [g]am a virgin?â€ 35 The angel answered and said to her, â€œ(L)The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of (M)the Most High will overshadow you; and for that reason (N)the [h]holy Child shall be called (O)the Son of God.
36 And behold, even your relative Elizabeth has also conceived a son in her old age; and [i]she who was called barren is now in her sixth month. 37 For [j](P)nothing will be impossible with God.â€ 38 And Mary said, â€œBehold, the [k]bond slave of the Lord; may it be done to me according to your word.â€ And the angel departed from her.
a. Luke 1:27 Or betrothed; i.e. the first stage of marriage in Jewish culture, usually lasting for a year before the wedding night. More legal than engagement
b. Luke 1:27 Lit house
c. Luke 1:27 Gr Mariam; i.e. Heb Miriam; so throughout Luke
d. Luke 1:28 Or woman richly blessed
e. Luke 1:28 Or be
f. Luke 1:34 Lit will
g. Luke 1:34 Lit know no man
h. Luke 1:35 Lit the holy thing begotten
i. Luke 1:36 Lit this is the sixth month to her who
j. Luke 1:37 Lit not any word
k. Luke 1:38 I.e. female slave
A. Luke 1:26 : Luke 1:19
B. Luke 1:26 : Matt 2:23
C. Luke 1:27 : Matt 1:18
D. Luke 1:27 : Matt 1:16, 20; Luke 2:4
E. Luke 1:29 : Luke 1:12
F. Luke 1:30 : Matt 14:27; Luke 1:13
G. Luke 1:31 : Is 7:14; Matt 1:21, 25; Luke 2:21
H. Luke 1:32 : Mark 5:7; Luke 1:35, 76; 6:35; Acts 7:48
I. Luke 1:32 : 2 Sam 7:12, 13, 16; Is 9:7
J. Luke 1:33 : Matt 1:1
K. Luke 1:33 : 2 Sam 7:13, 16; Ps 89:36, 37; Dan 2:44; 7:14, 18, 27; Matt 28:18
BACKGROUND THOUGHT: AN ANGEL TOLD MARY OF THE VIRGIN BIRTH
TITLE OF MESSAGE: INVESTIGATING JESUS: INDISPUTABLE EVIDENCE
CTS: 3 PIECES OF EVIDENCE SUPPORTING THE VIRGIN BIRTH OF JESUS
HOW CAN WE BE SURE THE VIRGIN BIRTH OF JESUS IS TRUE?:
I. PHYSICAL EVIDENCE (VV. 39-40)
â€¢ EXPLANATION: MARY PHYSICALLY VERIFIED GODâ€™S TRUTH
o MARY HURRIED TO ELIZABETHâ€™S HOME (39-40)
ï‚§ APPROXIMATELY A 40 MILE JOURNEY
II. SPIRITUAL EVIDENCE (VV. 41, 44)
â€¢ EXPLANATION: GODâ€™S HOLY SPIRIT GAVE MARY REASSURANCE
o MARYâ€™S VOICE CAUSED ELIZABETHâ€™S BABY TO LEAP (41A, 44)
o ELIZABETH WAS FILLED WITH THE HOLY SPIRIT (41B)
III. TESTIMONIAL EVIDENCE (VV. 42-45)
â€¢ EXPLANATION: ELIZABETH TESTIFIED TO MARYâ€™S MOTHERHOOD
ï‚§ PRONOUNCED BLESSINGS ON MARY (42)
ï‚§ DEMONSTRATED HUMILITY BEFORE MARY (43)
ï‚§ SPOKE OF HER CHILDâ€™S RESPONSE TO MARYâ€™S VOICE (44)
ï‚§ BLESSED IS MARY, BECAUSE SHE BELIEVED GODâ€™S MESSAGE (45)
â€¢ GODâ€™S PHYSICAL EVIDENCE OF HIS TRUTH IS THE CHURCH
â€¢ GODâ€™S SPIRITUAL EVIDENCE OF HIS TRUTH IS HIS SALVATION
â€¢ GODâ€™S TESTIMONIAL EVIDENCE OF HIS TRUTH IS YOU
REFERENCES (page 1)
Exodus 4:1-13 New King James Version (NKJV)
4 Then Moses answered and said, â€œBut suppose they will not believe me or listen to my voice; suppose they say, â€˜The LORD has not appeared to you.â€™â€
2 So the LORD said to him, â€œWhat is that in your hand?â€
He said, â€œA rod.â€
3 And He said, â€œCast it on the ground.â€ So he cast it on the ground, and it became a serpent; and Moses fled from it. 4 Then the LORD said to Moses, â€œReach out your hand and take it by the tailâ€ (and he reached out his hand and caught it, and it became a rod in his hand), 5 â€œthat they may believe that the LORD God of their fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, has appeared to you.â€
6 Furthermore the LORD said to him, â€œNow put your hand in your bosom.â€ And he put his hand in his bosom, and when he took it out, behold, his hand was leprous, like snow. 7 And He said, â€œPut your hand in your bosom again.â€ So he put his hand in his bosom again, and drew it out of his bosom, and behold, it was restored like his other flesh. 8 â€œThen it will be, if they do not believe you, nor heed the message of the first sign, that they may believe the message of the latter sign. 9 And it shall be, if they do not believe even these two signs, or listen to your voice, that you shall take water from the river[a] and pour it on the dry land. The water which you take from the river will become blood on the dry land.â€
10 Then Moses said to the LORD, â€œO my Lord, I am not eloquent, neither before nor since You have spoken to Your servant; but I am slow of speech and slow of tongue.â€
11 So the LORD said to him, â€œWho has made manâ€™s mouth? Or who makes the mute, the deaf, the seeing, or the blind? Have not I, the LORD? 12 Now therefore, go, and I will be with your mouth and teach you what you shall say.â€
13 But he said, â€œO my Lord, please send by the hand of whomever else You may send.â€
Judges 6:36-40 New King James Version (NKJV)
36 So Gideon said to God, â€œIf You will save Israel by my hand as You have saidâ€” 37 look, I shall put a fleece of wool on the threshing floor; if there is dew on the fleece only, and it is dry on all the ground, then I shall know that You will save Israel by my hand, as You have said.â€ 38 And it was so. When he rose early the next morning and squeezed the fleece together, he wrung the dew out of the fleece, a bowlful of water. 39 Then Gideon said to God, â€œDo not be angry with me, but let me speak just once more: Let me test, I pray, just once more with the fleece; let it now be dry only on the fleece, but on all the ground let there be dew.â€ 40 And God did so that night. It was dry on the fleece only, but there was dew on all the ground.
Luke 1:39-45 New American Standard Bible (NASB)
Mary Visits Elizabeth
39 Now [a]at this time Mary arose and went in a hurry to (A)the hill country, to a city of Judah, 40 and entered the house of Zacharias and greeted Elizabeth.
41 When Elizabeth heard Maryâ€™s greeting, the baby leaped in her womb; and Elizabeth was (B)filled with the Holy Spirit.42 And she cried out with a loud voice and said, â€œBlessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb!
43 And [b]how has it happened to me, that the mother of (C)my Lord would come to me? 44 For behold, when the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the baby leaped in my womb for joy. 45 And (D)blessed is she who [c]believed that there would be a fulfillment of what had been spoken to her [d]by the Lord.â€