Righteous Soul Winning

Righteous Soul Winning

Pastor Don Carpenter

Soul Winning: So Much More Than Evangelism / Proverbs 11:30

In the mid 1800’s Charles Spurgeon, the Prince of Preachers, used our text verse to coin a term “Soul Winner”. Soul winning became a verb synonomous with evangelizing. When ever we think of someone who has a passion to share the Gospel with the lost, we call that person a “Soul Winner”. Revivals, Missions Conferences and Bible Conferences have used our text verse as a rallying cry to stir up believers to get involved in evangelism.

Those of us who have been saved a while can agree that Satan knows Scripture too and he knows how to corrupt and manipulate us to miss the mark. Everything he does is to counterfeit the real. This passage is no different. He has used superficial understanding and fleshly motives to corrupt what God is trying to communicate here. This is the reason we are going to take 9 weeks to examine the Biblical Concept of Soul Winning. It is so much more than evangelism.

A word of caution is in order at this point. We are going to get deep into the weeds of words, meanings, understanding and misunderstanding of concepts and practices. If you are only casually listening, there is a real danger you will misunderstand the material. I strongly suggest you take notes, go to forum.ebcct.org to review my notes, and re-watch our recorded live feed on Facebook. The truths we will discover in the next couple of months will help you in every facet of your relationships with others.

As we take this verse apart, we will ask and answer three questions that are vital to us understanding this verse. Once we do that we will discover a truth from this verse that is often ignored and that will help us tie it all together.

 Proverbs 11:30 (KJV)

 … he that winneth souls is wise.

What Is A “Winner”?

laqach (??????, 3947), “to take, receive, take away.” This word occurs in all Semitic languages and in all periods of Hebrew. It occurs about 965 times in the Old Testament.

Primarily this word means “to take, grasp, take hold of,” as when Noah reached out and “took hold of” the dove to bring it back into the ark (Gen. 8:9)1

1 Vine, W. E., Unger, M. F., & White, W., Jr. (1996). In Vine’s Complete Expository Dictionary of Old and New Testament Words (Vol. 1, p. 255). T. Nelson.

What Is A Soul?

nepesh (???????, 5315), “soul; self; life; person; heart.” This is a very common term in both ancient and modern Semitic languages. It occurs over 780 times in the Old Testament and is evenly distributed in all periods of the text with a particularly high frequency in poetic passages.

Mind

Vine, W. E., Unger, M. F., & White, W., Jr. (1996). In Vine’s Complete Expository Dictionary of Old and New Testament Words (Vol. 1, p. 237). T. Nelson.

Genesis 23:8 KJV

And he communed with them, saying, If it be your mind that I should bury my dead out of my sight; hear me, and intreat for me to Ephron the son of Zohar,

Deuteronomy 18:6 KJV

And if a Levite come from any of thy gates out of all Israel, where he sojourned, and come with all the desire of his mind unto the place which the LORD shall choose;

 Deuteronomy 28:65 (KJV)

 And among these nations shalt thou find no ease, neither shall the sole of thy foot have rest: but the LORD shall give thee there a trembling heart, and failing of eyes, and sorrow of mind:

 Jeremiah 15:1 (KJV)

 Then said the LORD unto me, Though Moses and Samuel stood before me, yet my mind could not be toward this people: cast them out of my sight, and let them go forth.

 Ezekiel 23:18 (KJV)

 So she discovered her whoredoms, and discovered her nakedness: then my mind was alienated from her, like as my mind was alienated from her sister.

 1 Samuel 2:35 (KJV)

 And I will raise me up a faithful priest, that shall do according to that which is in mine heart and in my mind: and I will build him a sure house; and he shall walk before mine anointed for ever.

 2 Samuel 17:8 (KJV)

 For, said Hushai, thou knowest thy father and his men, that they be mighty men, and they be chafed in their minds, as a bear robbed of her whelps in the field: and thy father is a man of war, and will not lodge with the people.

Heart

Exodus 23:9 KJV

Also thou shalt not oppress a stranger: for ye know the heart of a stranger, seeing ye were strangers in the land of Egypt.

 Leviticus 26:16 (KJV)

 I also will do this unto you; I will even appoint over you terror, consumption, and the burning ague, that shall consume the eyes, and cause sorrow of heart: and ye shall sow your seed in vain, for your enemies shall eat it.

 Deuteronomy 24:15 (KJV)

 At his day thou shalt give him his hire, neither shall the sun go down upon it; for he is poor, and setteth his heart upon it: lest he cry against thee unto the LORD, and it be sin unto thee.

 2 Samuel 3:21 (KJV)

 And Abner said unto David, I will arise and go, and will gather all Israel unto my lord the king, that they may make a league with thee, and that thou mayest reign over all that thine heart desireth. And David sent Abner away; and he went in peace.

 Psalm 10:3 (KJV)

 For the wicked boasteth of his heart’s desire, And blesseth the covetous, whom the LORD abhorreth.

 Proverbs 23:7 (KJV)

 For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he: Eat and drink, saith he to thee; But his heart is not with thee.

So to review – to win is to snatch, grab hold of , take or take away. A Soul is not just a person, but in this context it is ones heart and mind. So the act of soul winning is not limited to getting someone to bow their head and to repeat a prayer… it is the act of snatching someone’s heart and mind and capturing it. This kind of thing takes skill. This leads us to a somewhat startling question and answer.

Is It Possible To Be A Wicked Soul Winner? YES!

2 Samuel 15:6 KJV

And on this manner did Absalom to all Israel that came to the king for judgment: so Absalom stole the hearts of the men of Israel.

Proverbs 6:24–25 KJV

To keep thee from the evil woman, From the flattery of the tongue of a strange woman. 

Lust not after her beauty in thine heart; Neither let her take thee with her eyelids.

So it is possible to “win” a “soul” – to catch or snare them, in order to fulfill ones personal lusts for money power or influence. It is possible to be wicked soul winner.

We Independent Fundamental Baptists have “soul winning” clinics and courses dedicated to teach folks how to trick people into praying a prayer and then boasting on the numbers of souls “won” when in reality, the tricks employed did not lead them to true salvation, but rather tricked them into an outward symbol with no inward reality. So what is the missing factor? What truth will bring us away from a fleshly wicked trickster approach at manipulating the gullible to seeing genuine Godly influence and conversion? The answer is found in the first part of this verse … the part that is often ignored or glossed over.

 Proverbs 11:30 (KJV)

 The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life; And he that winneth souls is wise.

Godly Soul Winning Is The Fruit Of True Righteousness.

Discern Between Earthly and Heavenly Wisdom

James 3:13–18 KJV

Who is a wise man and endued with knowledge among you? let him shew out of a good conversation his works with meekness of wisdom. 

But if ye have bitter envying and strife in your hearts, glory not, and lie not against the truth. 

This wisdom descendeth not from above, but is earthly, sensual, devilish. 

For where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work. 

But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy. 

And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace of them that make peace.

If we take tree of life as indicated above, this line may be expressed, for example, “The good person’s fruit is a tree that gives long life.” Using non figurative language we may say, for example, “The acts of a good person are a source of life” or “What a good person does gives life to others.” We may also say, for example, “The way honest people live gives life to others.”1

1 Reyburn, W. D., & Fry, E. M. (2000). A handbook on Proverbs (p. 260). United Bible Societies.

H. A. Ironside, a famous preacher and commentator from the early 1900’s said this

 … all who are truly wise according to God will be channels of blessing to others—winners of souls. Searching is the truth here stated. Wisdom consists not in the knowledge of Scripture, or divine principles, precious as such are and must be; but in the ability to walk in the power of these things, and to so minister to men and women, yea, and children too (preeminently, one might say), that they shall be won for Christ and His truth. Tested by this, how few are the wise! It is evident that soul-winning is not the slipshod business many would make it out to be—the mere hit-or-miss ministry that is so common to-day. On the contrary, it is a divine science, requiring much earnest preparation of heart in the presence of God; careful study of the need of the souls of men and of the truth of the Scriptures as given to meet that need.1

1 Ironside, H. A. (1908). Notes on the Book of Proverbs (pp. 128–129). Loizeaux Bros.

Jesus Said His Disciples Would Catch Men

Luke 5:10 KJV

And so was also James, and John, the sons of Zebedee, which were partners with Simon. And Jesus said unto Simon, Fear not; from henceforth thou shalt catch men.

This Involves a Conversion of Thought.

James 5:19–20 KJV

Brethren, if any of you do err from the truth, and one convert him; 

Let him know, that he which converteth the sinner from the error of his way shall save a soul from death, and shall hide a multitude of sins.

So what have we learned this evening?

 • To win is to catch, grab hold of, snatch, take.

 • A Soul is one’s heart and mind.

 • To win a soul not not limited to evangelism.

 • It is possible to be a wicked soul winner.

 • Godly soul winning starts with a person already made righteous, following godly motives and tactics, reaching out in love to influence a heart and mind for good.

James 3:17–18 KJV

But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy. 

And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace of them that make peace.

In the next 8 weeks we will examine how to follow James 3:17-18 as we seek to capture hearts and minds or God’s glory. We will learn to:

 • Speak Graciously

 • Teach Meekly

 • Answer Softly

 • Live Peacefully

 • Love Truthfully

 • Communicate Sensitively

 • Reach out Sympathetically 

 • Persuade Passionately

May God be with us all as we hone the art of righteous soul winning.

Exported from Logos Bible Software, 2:03 PM August 3, 2022.

Faith Promise Giving Is Biblical

Faith Promise Giving is Biblical

Pastor Don Carpenter

Giving 101 / 2 Corinthians 9:1–8

Matthew 9:28–29 KJV

And when he was come into the house, the blind men came to him: and Jesus saith unto them, Believe ye that I am able to do this? They said unto him, Yea, Lord. 

Then touched he their eyes, saying, According to your faith be it unto you.

2 Corinthians 9:6–7 KJV

But this I say, He which soweth sparingly shall reap also sparingly; and he which soweth bountifully shall reap also bountifully. 

Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver.

When we let go of money, we are letting go of part of ourselves and part of our security. But this is precisely why it is important to do it. It is one way to obey Jesus’ command to deny ourselves.… When we give money, we are releasing a little more of our egocentric selves and a little more of our false security.… Giving frees us to care. It produces an air of expectancy as we anticipate what God will lead us to give. It makes life with God an adventure in the world, and that is worth living for and giving for.

Richard J. Foster, quoted in “Reflections,” Christianity Today (6-12-00)

You have heard the term “Faith Promise Missions” from time to time. This evening we are going to explain exactly what we mean by that, where we get it in the Bible, and why giving sacrificially to Faith Promise will help to protect and increase your financial ability to serve God. The blind came to Jesus and He told them that the blessings that they would receive would be in direct proportion to their faith in Him. I believe that this same principle applies to our finances. God blesses us according to our faith, this is the premise of faith promise giving.

Faith Promise Giving is not Tithing

A. Tithing was done before the Law and commanded by Jesus, therefore it was not done away with after Calvary.

Genesis 14:20

Genesis 28:21-22

Matthew 23:23

B. Specific directions and promises correspond with tithing.

Malachi 3:8–11 KJV

Will a man rob God? Yet ye have robbed me. But ye say, Wherein have we robbed thee? In tithes and offerings. 

Ye are cursed with a curse: for ye have robbed me, Even this whole nation. 

Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, That there may be meat in mine house, And prove me now herewith, saith the LORD of hosts, If I will not open you the windows of heaven, And pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it. 

And I will rebuke the devourer for your sakes, And he shall not destroy the fruits of your ground; Neither shall your vine cast her fruit before the time in the field, saith the LORD of hosts.

1. A Tithe is 10%

2. To withhold a tithe is to rob God.

3. To withhold a tithe is to bring a curse on your finances.

4. To obey God and give tithes brings God’s blessings.

5. Tithes Go into God’s house.

6. Offerings are something given that is different than tithes.

7. The Church is God’s house this side of Calvary.

1 Timothy 3:15 KJV

But if I tarry long, that thou mayest know how thou oughtest to behave thyself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth.

Faith Promise Giving Supports works Outside the Local Church.

The Church of Macedonia gave in spite of their poverty to support Paul and the other missionaries with him.

2 Corinthians 8:1–4 KJV

Moreover, brethren, we do you to wit of the grace of God bestowed on the churches of Macedonia; 

How that in a great trial of affliction the abundance of their joy and their deep poverty abounded unto the riches of their liberality. 

For to their power, I bear record, yea, and beyond their power they were willing of themselves; 

Praying us with much intreaty that we would receive the gift, and take upon us the fellowship of the ministering to the saints.

1. They were very poor

2. They were sacrificially giving to mission support.

3. Their gift was a way to join in fellowship with the missionaries.

Paul uses the Church of Macedonia to encourage the Corinthian church to continue the same practice.

2 Corinthians 9:1–5 KJV

For as touching the ministering to the saints, it is superfluous for me to write to you: 

For I know the forwardness of your mind, for which I boast of you to them of Macedonia, that Achaia was ready a year ago; and your zeal hath provoked very many. 

Yet have I sent the brethren, lest our boasting of you should be in vain in this behalf; that, as I said, ye may be ready: 

Lest haply if they of Macedonia come with me, and find you unprepared, we (that we say not, ye) should be ashamed in this same confident boasting. 

Therefore I thought it necessary to exhort the brethren, that they would go before unto you, and make up beforehand your bounty, whereof ye had notice before, that the same might be ready, as a matter of bounty, and not as of covetousness.

1. Paul is encouraged by the openness to missionary giving.

2. Compliance by the Corinthian Church had a direct effect on their testimony in the region.

Faith Promise Giving taps directly into the Promises of God.

You reap as you sow

2 Corinthians 9:6 KJV

But this I say, He which soweth sparingly shall reap also sparingly; and he which soweth bountifully shall reap also bountifully.

Philippians 4:15–17 KJV

Now ye Philippians know also, that in the beginning of the gospel, when I departed from Macedonia, no church communicated with me as concerning giving and receiving, but ye only. 

For even in Thessalonica ye sent once and again unto my necessity. 

Not because I desire a gift: but I desire fruit that may abound to your account.

Matthew 9:29 KJV

Then touched he their eyes, saying, According to your faith be it unto you.

This giving is not tithing because the individual determines the amount that you give.

 2 Corinthians 9:7 (KJV)

 Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver.

*** This is the very act of faith promise giving***

***Have you purposed to give above the tithe?***

***Should you adjust that faith promise now?***

God will increase His grace toward those that need it.

2 Corinthians 9:8 KJV

And God is able to make all grace abound toward you; that ye, always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work:

Eternal souls are impacted by your faith or lack of it.

Romans 10:13–17 KJV

For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. 

How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher? 

And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things! 

But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Esaias saith, Lord, who hath believed our report? 

So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.

1. To call upon the Lord, one must believe.

2. To believe, one must hear.

3. To hear, there must be a preacher.

4. To have a preacher, he must be sent.

5. Some missionaries will be hindered if we fail to meet our financial commitments.

6. There are many more mission fields that are waiting for preachers.

7. We need to send more missionaries, not just maintain the ones we have.

8. What are you willing to do regarding this need?

9. God will directly bless you according to your faith.

Leadership Magazine carried a story about four young men, Bible College students, who were renting a house together. One Saturday morning someone knocked on their door. And when they opened it, there stood this bedraggled-looking old man. His eyes were kind of marble-ized, and he had a silvery stub of whiskers on his face. His clothes were ragged and torn. His shoes didn’t match. In fact, they were both for the same foot. And he carried a wicker basket full of unappealing vegetables that he was trying to sell.

The boys felt sorry for him and bought some of his vegetables just to help him out. Then he went on his way. But from that time on, every Saturday he appeared at their door with his basket of vegetables. As the boys got to know him a little bit better, they began inviting him in to visit a while before continuing on his rounds.

They soon discovered that his eyes looked marble-ized not because of drugs or alcohol, but because of cataracts. They learned that he lived just down the street in an old shack. They also found out that he could play the harmonica, that he loved to play Christian hymns, and that he really loved God. So every Saturday they would invite him in, and he would play his harmonica and they would sing Christian hymns together.

They became good friends, and the boys began trying to figure out ways to help him. They finally collected a bunch of clothes and secretly left it all on his doorstep, no note attached or anything. The following Saturday morning, the story says, right in the middle of all their singing and praising, he suddenly said to them, “God is so good!” And they all agreed, “Yes, God is so good.”

He went on, “You know why he is so good?” They said, “Why?”

He said, “Because yesterday, when I got up and opened my door, there were boxes full of clothes and shoes and coats and gloves. Yes, God is so good!” And the boys smiled at each other and chimed in, “Yes, God is so good.”

He went on, “You know why He is so good?” They answered, “You already told us why. What more?” He said, “Because I found a family who could use those things and I gave them all away.”

2 Corinthians 9:6–7 KJV

But this I say, He which soweth sparingly shall reap also sparingly; and he which soweth bountifully shall reap also bountifully. 

Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver.

By faith, what are you willing to promise to give above the tithe to meet the tremendous needs on the mission field?  

 Matthew 9:29 (KJV)

 …According to your faith be it unto you.

Exported from Logos Bible Software, 11:43 AM July 27, 2022.

Tithing or Tipping?

Tithing or Tipping

Pastor Don Carpenter

Giving 101 / Malachi 3:8–12

Once upon a time, last week, I picked up my son after football and he was hungry. So he and I stop at Burger King to pick up a snack. Well I bought for my son two of his basic food groups, Chicken Nuggets and French Fries. After going through the drive through, tossing in the bag of food in front seat of the car, I then do what any good Dad would do, I reach over to the bag with the food to grab a couple of fries, just to taste. With my son’s lightning quick reaction, he reaches over and slaps my hand and says, “Don’t touch my French Fries.”

I’m thinking that my son is being just a little bit selfish and stingy. I know who bought the French Fries and I’m really the true owner of the fries. I know also that my son belongs to me. I could get angry and never buy him any more French Fries to teach him a lesson, or I could “cover him in more French Fries than he could ever hope to eat.” Both options are well within my power to do. So I’m thinking, “Why is my child so selfish, I have given him a whole package of French Fries; I just want one French Fry…

Isn’t that the way we tend to be with all our things and with all our money and all our possessions? God owns it all, but we begrudging will give up only a French Fry or two, just so He will continue to bless us.

The American way is to say “I pulled myself up by my own bootstraps,” and “I worked hard for all I have.” Do we realize it is God who gives, it is God who gives the opportunity and ability to work. It is God who ultimately owns all that we have and all that we are.

This morning we start a new series “Giving 101”. In this three week series we will explore what tithing is and why it still applies to believers today. Next we will discover the Biblical concept of faith promise giving. Finally we will look at the responsibility of alms giving.

Giving Americans donate $295 billion a year to charity, with just under a third of it ($97 bn.) to religious organizations. On average, Christians are giving about 2.5% of their income to churches.

(CBS News 3/5/08)

It is easy to wring our hands when considering the increase of gas and oil prices. It is easy to look at the numbers in the bulletin that fall short every month and hope that the board does something to make it all ok. This morning we are going to look at our personal responsibility to make sure that we are doing at least the minimum of what God requires.

I have a hypothetical question for the members of Evangelical Baptist Church. If your giving were made a matter of public record, I imagine you would be upset, as would I. But, the real question is why would you be upset? Some would be bothered because their generosity is best shown in private between them and God. Others would be upset because then their sin of not tithing would be publicly known. I have a news flash for everyone. God knows who is tithing and who is not tithing right now. He has promised to reward accordingly.

This morning we are going to review this subject. Did you know that if you give money in the plate when it comes by, that is not necessarily tithing? Did you know that if you give money to a ministry other than your local church that is not tithing? Did you know that if you make $ 400.00 in a week and put a five dollar bill in the plate, you are not tithing, but you are tipping? This morning, please listen to some truth that just may help you get great blessing upon you and your family. Let us learn the difference between tithing and tipping.

Why tithe? Because tithing is mentioned throughout the entire Bible

Tithe = maasar = tenth part

A. Abraham tithed

Genesis 14:20 KJV

And blessed be the most high God, which hath delivered thine enemies into thy hand. And he gave him tithes of all.

B. It is commanded in the Law

Leviticus 27:30–34 KJV

And all the tithe of the land, whether of the seed of the land, or of the fruit of the tree, is the LORD’s: it is holy unto the LORD. 

And if a man will at all redeem ought of his tithes, he shall add thereto the fifth part thereof. 

And concerning the tithe of the herd, or of the flock, even of whatsoever passeth under the rod, the tenth shall be holy unto the LORD. 

He shall not search whether it be good or bad, neither shall he change it: and if he change it at all, then both it and the change thereof shall be holy; it shall not be redeemed. 

These are the commandments, which the LORD commanded Moses for the children of Israel in mount Sinai.

C. It is a sign of honor

Proverbs 3:9–10 KJV

Honour the LORD with thy substance, And with the firstfruits of all thine increase: 

So shall thy barns be filled with plenty, And thy presses shall burst out with new wine.

D. It is a sign of revival

2 Chronicles 31:1-6,12

E. It is a sign of restoration

Nehemiah 10:37-38 

F. Jesus commanded tithing

Matthew 23:23 KJV

Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have omitted the weightier matters of the law, judgment, mercy, and faith: these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone.

Why tithe? Because of the severity of the sin of not tithing

A. Not tithing is robbing God

Malachi 3:8 KJV

Will a man rob God? Yet ye have robbed me. But ye say, Wherein have we robbed thee? In tithes and offerings.

Notice God’s Word does not say you are “stealing”, but “robbing” The following are dictionary definitions of the two terms:

1. Steal = “to take or appropriate (another’s property, ideas, etc) without permissions, dishonestly, or unlawfully, especially in a secret or surreptitious manner”

2. Rob = “to take personal property, money, etc from unlawfully by using or threatening force and violence”

B. Not tithing brings a curse

Malachi 3:9 KJV

Ye are cursed with a curse: for ye have robbed me, Even this whole nation.

1. Curse = “a pronouncement of judgment on those who break covenant” “The revelation of God’s justice in support of His claim to absolute obedience.” – Vine

2. Does not come without a reason – because if you do not tithe, it is like you have a gun to God’s head

Proverbs 26:2 KJV

As the bird by wandering, as the swallow by flying, So the curse causeless shall not come.

3. Disagreement with the church or pastor does not remove your responsibility to tithe.

4. Disagreement with the church or pastor does not protect you from the curse that comes from robbing God.

C. Sacrificial giving only is not tithing

1. Tithing is giving the tenth part – automatically

Leviticus 27:30-34 

2. It is a matter of obedience

Why tithe? Because of the extent of God’s blessings

Malachi 3:10–12 KJV

Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, That there may be meat in mine house, And prove me now herewith, saith the LORD of hosts, If I will not open you the windows of heaven, And pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it. 

And I will rebuke the devourer for your sakes, And he shall not destroy the fruits of your ground; Neither shall your vine cast her fruit before the time in the field, saith the LORD of hosts. 

And all nations shall call you blessed: For ye shall be a delightsome land, saith the LORD of hosts.

A. Meat in the house of God

1 Timothy 3:15 KJV

But if I tarry long, that thou mayest know how thou oughtest to behave thyself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth.

B. Windows of Heaven opened – God dares you to prove Him!

C. Not enough room to receive the blessings

D. The devourer will be rebuked

The story is told of a family in church that run a family farm, and they don’t have health insurance. The wife began having heart problems, and had to be hospitalized as well as several trips to the emergency room. The medical bills totaled as much as their yearly income. However, they paid their tithe, and paid the bills one at a time as they came in. At the end of the year they were all paid. They discovered God had doubled their farm income from the previous year.

Tithing is a specific kind of giving. It is something that is a set number. 10% is not ours. It already belongs to God. To mess with that is a very serious offence. Thank God for His grace. Let us not take advantage by tipping when we should be tithing.

Exported from Logos Bible Software, 1:27 PM July 13, 2022.

Hope For America

Hope For America

Pastor Don Carpenter

July 4th / Lamentations 3:21–26

As far back as I can remember, when July 4th rolled around, preachers, including myself, would often lament the sorry state of our nation and wonder out loud how much longer we had before God’s heavy hand of judgement would fall. I was just a boy when the Supreme Court made an unprecedented decision to legislate death from the bench, not only legalizing abortion, but providing legislative guidance on how it should be carried out. Since then millions upon millions of innocent babies were burned, ripped up, mutilated, and even sold for body parts all in the name of freedom. Every year America had more and more innocent blood on her hands. Every year preachers would warn and lament the sorry state of our Great Nation.

Last week, the unthinkable happened. The Supreme Court reversed Roe V Wade, the case that allowed for the silent holocaust of abortion in the United States. I must confess, I never thought that would ever happen. I stand before you rebuked for my lack of faith.  

So does this mean that America has hope now because the court made it possible to stop abortion through legislation? Yes America has hope, but not because of what we have or have not done. America’s hope never did lie in a political party or ideal. It did not rest in the Moral Majority of Jerry Falwell. It did not rest in the Tea Party of the 1990’s. It did not lie in Rush Limbaugh and other conservative outlets. It did not lie in any political party, and it did not lie in Donald Trump or any other politician.

In the midst of national moral failure and impending Judgement, the prophet Jeremiah was meditating and recalled that hope rests in who God is, and those virtues are demonstrated anew and afresh with every sunrise.

As we celebrate the 246th Birthday of the United States of America, let us meditate on the Goodness of God and reflect on the fact that the demonstrations of that goodness are new every morning.

Recall These Truths on Purpose

Lamentations 3:21 KJV

This I recall to my mind, therefore have I hope.

Charles Spurgeon, the prince of preachers had this to say about the use of memory to fan the flame of hope:

 Memory is very often the servant of despondency. Despairing minds call to remembrance every dark foreboding in the past, and every gloomy feature in the present. Memory stands like a handmaiden, clothed in sackcloth, presenting to her master a cup of mingled gall and wormwood. Like Mercury, she hastes, with winged heel, to gather fresh thorns with which to fill the uneasy pillow, and to bind fresh rods with which to scourge the already bleeding heart. There is, however, no necessity for this. Wisdom will transform memory into an angel of comfort. That same recollection which may in its left hand bring so many dark and gloomy omens, may be trained to bear in its right hand a wealth of hopeful signs. She need not wear a crown of iron, she may encircle her brow with a fillet of gold, all spangled with stars.

J Vernon McGee posed and answered the following question:

 Was Judah’s deliverance from such a fate due to something in them? No, it was all due to the faithfulness of God. He had promised Abraham that He would make a nation come from him—and this was the nation. He had promised Moses that He would put them into the land. He had promised Joshua that He would establish them there. He promised David that there would come One in his line to reign on the throne forever. The prophets all said that God would not utterly destroy this people but that He would judge them for their sin. God is faithful. He has judged them, but He will not utterly destroy them. A faithful remnant has always remained, and ultimately they will become a great nation again.

1 McGee, J. V. (1991). Thru the Bible commentary: The Prophets (Jeremiah/Lamentations) (electronic ed., Vol. 24, p. 206). Thomas Nelson.

God’s Mercies Are New Every Morning

 Lamentations 3:22 (KJV)

 It is of the LORD’s mercies that we are not consumed…

Mercy – Hesed

In general, one may identify three basic meanings of the word, which always interact: “strength,” “steadfastness,” and “love.” Any understanding of the word that fails to suggest all three inevitably loses some of its richness. “Love” by itself easily becomes sentimentalized or universalized apart from the covenant. Yet “strength” or “steadfastness” suggests only the fulfillment of a legal or other obligation.

The word refers primarily to mutual and reciprocal rights and obligations between the parties of a relationship (especially Yahweh and Israel). But checed is not only a matter of obligation; it is also of generosity. It is not only a matter of loyalty, but also of mercy. The weaker party seeks the protection and blessing of the patron and protector, but he may not lay absolute claim to it. The stronger party remains committed to his promise, but retains his freedom, especially with regard to the manner in which he will implement those promises. Checed implies personal involvement and commitment in a relationship beyond the rule of law.

1 Vine, W. E., Unger, M. F., & White, W., Jr. (1996). In Vine’s Complete Expository Dictionary of Old and New Testament Words (Vol. 1, p. 142). T. Nelson.

 • We deserve to be consumed for what we have done.

  • Abortion

  • Corruption

  • Violence

  • Perversion

  • Truth Suppression

Every morning America and Americans wake up intact is a new demonstration of God’s mercy. And God Does Not Change!

Malachi 3:6 KJV

For I am the LORD, I change not; Therefore ye sons of Jacob are not consumed.

 • The overturn of Roe V Wade is a demonstration of God’s mercy.

God’s Compassions Are New Every Morning.

Lamentations 3:22 KJV

It is of the LORD’s mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not.

Compassions =

racham (??????, 7355), “to have compassion, be merciful, pity.” The words from this root are found 125 times in all parts of the Old Testament. The root is also found in Assyrian, Ethiopic, and Aramaic.

 The verb is translated “love” once: “I will love thee, O Lord …” (Ps. 18:1). Racham is also used in God’s promise to declare His name to Moses: “I will make all my goodness pass before thee, and I will proclaim the name of the Lord before thee; and will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and will show mercy on whom I will show mercy” (Exod. 33:19). So men pray: “Remember, O Lord, thy tender mercies and thy loving-kindnesses” (Ps. 25:6); and Isaiah prophesies messianic restoration: “… With great mercies will I gather thee.… But with everlasting kindness will I have mercy on thee, saith the Lord thy Redeemer” (Isa. 54:7–8). This is the heart of salvation by the suffering Servant-Messiah.

1 Vine, W. E., Unger, M. F., & White, W., Jr. (1996). In Vine’s Complete Expository Dictionary of Old and New Testament Words (Vol. 1, p. 43). T. Nelson.

Psalm 78:38 KJV

But he, being full of compassion, forgave their iniquity, and destroyed them not: Yea, many a time turned he his anger away, And did not stir up all his wrath.

God’s Faithfulness Is New Every Morning

Lamentations 3:23 KJV

They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness.

Psalm 89:1 KJV

I will sing of the mercies of the LORD for ever: With my mouth will I make known thy faithfulness to all generations.

Again Dr. J Vernon McGee is spot on:

 Was Judah’s deliverance from such a fate due to something in them? No, it was all due to the faithfulness of God. He had promised Abraham that He would make a nation come from him—and this was the nation. He had promised Moses that He would put them into the land. He had promised Joshua that He would establish them there. He promised David that there would come One in his line to reign on the throne forever. The prophets all said that God would not utterly destroy this people but that He would judge them for their sin. God is faithful. He has judged them, but He will not utterly destroy them. A faithful remnant has always remained, and ultimately they will become a great nation again.

1 McGee, J. V. (1991). Thru the Bible commentary: The Prophets (Jeremiah/Lamentations) (electronic ed., Vol. 24, p. 206). Thomas Nelson.

God’s Goodness Is New Every Morning

Lamentations 3:24–26 KJV

The LORD is my portion, saith my soul; therefore will I hope in him. 

The LORD is good unto them that wait for him, to the soul that seeketh him. 

It is good that a man should both hope and quietly wait for the salvation of the LORD.

Psalm 52:1 KJV

Why boastest thou thyself in mischief, O mighty man? The goodness of God endureth continually.

“Though no one can go back and make a brand new start, anyone can start from now and make a brand new ending.”

 • God Is Good To Those Who Wait For Him.

Psalm 40:1 KJV

I waited patiently for the LORD; And he inclined unto me, and heard my cry.

Isaiah 30:18 KJV

And therefore will the LORD wait, that he may be gracious unto you, And therefore will he be exalted, that he may have mercy upon you: For the LORD is a God of judgment: Blessed are all they that wait for him.

Isaiah 40:31 KJV

But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; They shall mount up with wings as eagles; They shall run, and not be weary; And they shall walk, and not faint.

Psalm 27:14 KJV

Wait on the LORD: Be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: Wait, I say, on the LORD.

Psalm 37:9 KJV

For evildoers shall be cut off: But those that wait upon the LORD, they shall inherit the earth.

Isaiah 25:9 KJV

And it shall be said in that day, Lo, this is our God; We have waited for him, and he will save us: This is the LORD; we have waited for him, We will be glad and rejoice in his salvation.

Psalm 37:34 KJV

Wait on the LORD, and keep his way, And he shall exalt thee to inherit the land: When the wicked are cut off, thou shalt see it.

Roger Simms, hitchhiking his way home, would never forget the date—May 7. His heavy suitcase made Roger tired. He was anxious to take off his army uniform once and for all. Flashing the hitchhiking sigh to the oncoming car, he lost hope when he saw it was a black, sleek, new Cadillac. To his surprise the car stopped. The passenger door opened. He ran toward the car, tossed his suitcase in the back, and thanked the handsome, well-dressed man as he slid into the front seat. “Going home for keeps?” “Sure am,” Roger responded. “Well, you’re in luck if you’re going to Chicago.” “Not quite that far. Do you live in Chicago?” “I have a business there. My name is Hanover.” After talking about many things, Roger, a Christian, felt a compulsion to witness to this fiftyish, apparently successful businessman about Christ. But he kept putting it off, till he realized he was just thirty minutes from his home. It was now or never. So, Roger cleared his throat, “Mr. Hanover, I would like to talk to you about something very important.” He then proceeded to explain the way of salvation, ultimately asking Mr. Hanover if he would like to receive Christ as his Savior. To Roger’s astonishment the Cadillac pulled over to the side of the road. Roger thought he was going to be ejected from the car. But the businessman bowed his head and received Christ, then thanked Roger. “This is the greatest thing that has ever happened to me.” Five years went by, Roger married, had a two-year-old boy, and a business of his own. Packing his suitcase for a business trip to Chicago, he found the small, white business card Hanover had given him five years before. In Chicago he looked up Hanover Enterprises. A receptionist told him it was impossible to see Mr. Hanover, but he could see Mrs. Hanover. A little confused as to what was going on, he was ushered into a lovely office and found himself facing a keen-eyed woman in her fifties. She extended her hand. “You knew my husband?” Roger told how her husband had given him a ride when hitchhiking home after the war. “Can you tell me when that was?” “It was May 7, five years ago, the day I was discharged from the army.” “Anything special about that day?” Roger hesitated. Should he mention giving his witness? Since he had come so far, he might as well take the plunge. “Mrs. Hanover, I explained the gospel. He pulled over to the side of the road and wept against the steering wheel. He gave his life to Christ that day.” Explosive sobs shook her body. Getting a grip on herself, she sobbed, “I had prayed for my husband’s salvation for years. I believed God would save him.” “And,” said Roger, “Where is your husband, Mrs. Hanover?” “He’s dead,” she wept, struggling with words. “He was in a car crash after he let you out of the car. He never got home. You see—I thought God had not kept His promise.” Sobbing uncontrollably, she added, “I stopped living for God five years ago because I thought He had not kept His word!”

Is there hope for America? YES! Not because of the politicians, the Court, or even this recent ruling. There is hope for America because there is hope in God. As long as there are believers in the land, God in interested in the land! The same God that delivered a rag tag bunch of colonists from the most powerful army and navy in the world, is still at work today. God still hears and answers prayers. God’s promise to believers still rings true.

2 Chronicles 7:14 KJV

If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.

Hope rests in an unchanging God. His mercies, compassions, faithfulness, and goodness are new every morning. Every day we see we did not get what we deserve, serves as evidence that we are also recipients of what we do not deserve, the abundant Grace of Almighty God. That is why there is Hope for America.

Exported from Logos Bible Software, 6:56 PM June 30, 2022.

Conscience Sensitivity

Conscience Sensitivity

Pastor Don Carpenter

A Beautiful Mess / 1 Corinthians 8:1–13

As we continue our study of Paul’s epistle to the struggling church at Corinth, we enter into a new area of concern – the treatment of newborn Christians, or weaker brothers.

So far we have seen Paul rebuke the carnality of division in chapters 1-4. We saw the importance of the church’s testimony and purity in chapters 5-6. We have also learned how men and women are to relate to each other as Christians.

Today we study the subject of disputable matters. We will discover that just because our consciences are free about a matter does not meat that we are automatically free to act on such a matter. Let us learn how to treat the weaker brother, or the one with more convictions that you have.

In the present passage, he uses a much simpler argument. He says that, in Corinth, there were people who all their lives, up until now, had really believed in the gods of Greece and Rome; and they could not quite rid themselves of a lingering belief that an idol really was something, although it was a false something. Whenever they ate meat offered to idols, they had qualms of conscience. They could not help it; instinctively they felt that it was wrong. So, Paul argues that, if you say that there is absolutely no harm in eating meat offered to idols, you are really hurting and bewildering the conscience of these people who had a simpler view of the situation. His ?nal argument is that, even if a thing is harmless for you, when it hurts someone else, it must be given up, for Christians must never do anything which causes someone else to stumble.1

1 Barclay, W. (2002). The Letters to the Corinthians (3rd ed., p. 89). Westminster John Knox Press.

We must have the right attitude

Meat was offered to idols before being served in temples’ dining halls (often as part of worship) or being used for communal meals; some of the meat served at the marketplace had been offered to idols. One who ate in a temple would know the source of the meat; one who ate at a pagan friend’s home could never be certain. In pagan cities with large Jewish populations, Jews normally had their own markets.

Palestinian Jewish teachers debated what to do in many cases of uncertainty (such as untithed food), but would never have taken a chance on food that might have been offered to an idol. They believed that Jews outside Palestine unwittingly compromised with idolatry when invited to pagans’ banquets for their sons, even if they brought their own food. Following such teachings strictly (as some did) would have greatly circumscribed their relationships with pagan colleagues. The matter was more troubling for Christians converted from pagan backgrounds: could they meet over lunch with business associates or fellow members of their trade guild, or attend a reception in a temple for a relative’s wedding?

In chapters 8–10, Paul works on an elaborate compromise between two factions in the Corinthian church. The more educated and socially elite group, who unlike the poor ate meat regularly and not just when it was doled out at pagan festivals, had well-to-do friends who would serve meat. They probably represent the liberal faction, who consider themselves “strong” and the socially lower group “weak.”1

1 Keener, C. S. (1993). The IVP Bible background commentary: New Testament (1 Co 8:1–13). InterVarsity Press.

1 Corinthians 8:1–3 KJV
Now as touching things offered unto idols, we know that we all have knowledge. Knowledge puffeth up, but charity edifieth.

And if any man think that he knoweth any thing, he knoweth nothing yet as he ought to know.

But if any man love God, the same is known of him.

A. Knowledge is not enough

1 Corinthians 6:12 KJV
All things are lawful unto me, but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me, but I will not be brought under the power of any.

Likely another slogan used by the Corinthians (compare 6:12; 7:1). This knowledge may refer to general knowledge about idols or to knowledge given by the Spirit. They used this knowledge to justify consuming meat sacrificed to idols.1

1 Barry, J. D., Mangum, D., Brown, D. R., Heiser, M. S., Custis, M., Ritzema, E., Whitehead, M. M., Grigoni, M. R., & Bomar, D. (2012, 2016). Faithlife Study Bible (1 Co 8:1). Lexham Press.

B. Knowledge inflates the ego

8:2 If anyone thinks he knows anything Some Corinthian believers assumed that knowledge was the true sign of spirituality. They did not understand that knowledge without love indicates a lack of knowledge.1

1 Barry, J. D., Mangum, D., Brown, D. R., Heiser, M. S., Custis, M., Ritzema, E., Whitehead, M. M., Grigoni, M. R., & Bomar, D. (2012, 2016). Faithlife Study Bible (1 Co 8:2). Lexham Press.

C. Ego exposes one’s lack of real knowledge

D. Love for God helps put everything into perspective

Ephesians 4:15 KJV
But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ:

It has well been said, “Truth without love is brutality, but love without truth is hypocrisy.” Knowledge is power and it must be used in love. But love must always be controlled by knowledge (see Paul’s prayer in Phil. 1:9–11). The strong believers in the church had knowledge, but they were not using their knowledge in love. Instead of building up the weak saints, the strong Christians were only puffing up themselves1

1 Wiersbe, W. W. (1996). The Bible exposition commentary (Vol. 1, p. 595). Victor Books.

There are some things many Christians know

A. About other so-called gods

1 Corinthians 8:4–6 KJV
As concerning therefore the eating of those things that are offered in sacrifice unto idols, we know that an idol is nothing in the world, and that there is none other God but one.

For though there be that are called gods, whether in heaven or in earth, (as there be gods many, and lords many,)

But to us there is but one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we in him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we by him.

B. About inanimate objects

1 Corinthians 8:8 KJV
But meat commendeth us not to God: for neither, if we eat, are we the better; neither, if we eat not, are we the worse.

We must not cause the weaker brother to stumble

. The word conscience simply means “to know with,” and it is used thirty-two times in the New Testament. Conscience is that internal court where our actions are judged and are either approved or condemned (Rom. 2:14–15). Conscience is not the law; it bears witness to God’s moral law. But the important thing is this: conscience depends on knowledge. The more spiritual knowledge we know and act on, the stronger the conscience will become.1

1 Wiersbe, W. W. (1996). The Bible exposition commentary (Vol. 1, p. 595). Victor Books.

A. There are those who have weak consciences

1 Corinthians 8:7 KJV
Howbeit there is not in every man that knowledge: for some with conscience of the idol unto this hour eat it as a thing offered unto an idol; and their conscience being weak is defiled.

B. “Weak” in this passage is not necessarily inferior, but rather more tender

Some Christians have weak consciences because they have been saved only a short time and have not had opportunity to grow. Like little babes in the home, they must be guarded carefully. Other saints have weak consciences because they will not grow. They ignore their Bibles and Christian fellowship and remain in a state of infancy (1 Cor. 3:1–4; Heb. 5:11–14). But some believers remain weak because they are afraid of freedom. They are like a child old enough to go to school, who is afraid to leave home and must be taken to school each day.

The conscience of a weak Christian is easily defiled (1 Cor. 8:7), wounded (1 Cor. 8:12), and offended (1 Cor. 8:13). For this reason, the stronger saints must defer to the weaker saints and do nothing that would harm them. It might not harm the mature saint to share a feast in an idolatrous temple, but it might harm his weaker brother. First Corinthians 8:10 warns that the immature believer might decide to imitate his stronger brother and thus be led into sin.1

1 Wiersbe, W. W. (1996). The Bible exposition commentary (Vol. 1, p. 595). Victor Books.

C. These tender Christians can be stumbled by your actions

1 Corinthians 8:9–10 KJV
But take heed lest by any means this liberty of yours become a stumblingblock to them that are weak.

For if any man see thee which hast knowledge sit at meat in the idol’s temple, shall not the conscience of him which is weak be emboldened to eat those things which are offered to idols;

  1. Your actions can cause them to sin against their own consciences

James 4:17 – Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin.

Romans 14:23 – And he that doubteth is damned if he eat, because he eateth not of faith: for whatsoever is not of faith is sin.

  1. Tender Christians can have their lives destroyed by a cascading spiral into sin

1 Corinthians 8:11 KJV
And through thy knowledge shall the weak brother perish, for whom Christ died?

  1. If you cause a weaker brother to stumble, you sin against Christ

1 Corinthians 8:12 KJV
But when ye sin so against the brethren, and wound their weak conscience, ye sin against Christ.

  1. It is better to give up what is lawful than to cause someone to stumble

1 Corinthians 8:13 KJV
Wherefore, if meat make my brother to offend, I will eat no flesh while the world standeth, lest I make my brother to offend.

It is important to note that the stronger believer defers to the weaker believer in love only that he might help him to mature. He does not “pamper” him; he seeks to edify him, to help him grow. Otherwise, both will become weak.

We are free in Christ, but we must take care that our spiritual knowledge is tempered by love, and that we do not tempt the weaker Christian to run ahead of his conscience. Where knowledge is balanced by love, the strong Christian will have a ministry to the weak Christian, and the weak Christian will grow and become strong.1

1 Wiersbe, W. W. (1996). The Bible exposition commentary (Vol. 1, p. 596). Victor Books.

Exported from Logos Bible Software, 12:35 PM June 9, 2022.

Be Transformed

Be Transformed

Pastor Don Carpenter

COLLIDE – Prepare for Impact (sermon central) / Romans 12:2

When you first met “J.E.”, you could tell he was a very angry man. In fact, at age 54 he’d been an angry person for many years. In a Bible study that night, many questions had been raised in his mind. Talking with the leader afterward, J.E. said, “I asked Jesus to be my Savior when I was 9 years old. But nobody ever taught me about who I am in Christ, that I’m accepted by God or that Christ lives in me.”

“What were you taught?” the Bible study leader asked.” “Where I grew up, we heard all the time about how perfect Christ was and about how we should learn to live like Him – if we didn’t, God would judge us.” J.E. went on, “It didn’t take me long, I’d say in my teen years, to figure out that I was never going to cut it. So I gave up trying. I guess I’ve been living in guilt and running from God ever since. Off and on through the years I tried to go back to church, but I just got more guilt piled on top of me. I’ve sat under so many teachers who made me fearful that I was afraid to turn in any direction because God was going to get me. This is the first Bible study I’ve ever attended that gave me any hope” J.E. concluded.

At that point, J.E. was 54 years old. That means, even though he had been born again through trusting Jesus Christ at a young age, he had spent at least 35 years running away from God. Tragically, his experience isn’t that unusual. Thousands of people who sincerely responded to the gospel message they were taught spend years thrashing around trying to make it work, but without success. In fact, I believe the reason so many Christians struggle in living the Christian life is their lack of understanding their Identity in Christ.

(This illustration came from the book “Growing in Grace” by Bob George pages 59-60)

We will never be able to have a lasting impact for Christ on the world around us until we learn to embrace the change for which we have been predestinated.

Romans 8:29 KJV

For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.

We are continuing our series we started last week called, “Collide.” We kicked things off by looking into the biblical principle of standing firm in our faith. The world attempts to offer us a different set of values, one that includes things that are initially seductive, but ultimately inconsistent and difficult to stand on.

So how do we pursue the things of Christ? We allow ourselves to be led by the Holy Spirit into all truth. When we do, we will start to experience the abundant life Christ came to give us. But how do we keep that experience going day to day? I believe God desires three things from us as we move forward in life after we lay the foundation. The first one I want us to discuss today: being transformed.

Romans 12:2 KJV

And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

Within this one verse, I believe Paul gives us an equation. First, there is a subtraction, then an addition, and finally an outcome. I want us to break this down together to find the keys to transformation in our lives.

Reject Conformity to this World.

1 Peter 1:14 KJV

As obedient children, not fashioning yourselves according to the former lusts in your ignorance:

“Conformed” is sunsch?matiz? (????????????). Sch?matiz? (?????????) refers to the act of an individual assuming an outward expression that does not come from within him, nor is it representative of his inner heart life. The prefixed preposition sun (???) adds to the meaning of the verb the idea of assuming an expression that is patterned after some definite thing. The verb is present imperative with m? (??), the negative, which construction forbids the continuance of an action already going on. Paul exhorts the saints, “Stop assuming an outward expression which is patterned after this world, an expression which does not come from, nor is it representative of what you are in your inner being as a regenerated child of God.” One could translate, “Stop masquerading in the habiliments of this world, its mannerisms, speech expressions, styles, habits.”

Wuest, K. S. (1997). Wuest’s word studies from the Greek New Testament: for the English reader (Ro 12:2). Grand Rapids: Eerdmans.

1 John 2:15–17 KJV

Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. 

For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. 

And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.

The word “world” is ai?n (????), which Trench defines as follows: “All that floating mass of thoughts, opinions, maxims, speculations, hopes, impulses, aims, aspirations, at any time current in the world, which it may be impossible to seize and accurately define, but which constitute a most real and effective power, being the moral, or immoral atmosphere which at every moment of our lives we inhale, again inevitably to exhale,—all this is included in the ai?n (????) (age), which is, as Bengel has expressed it, the subtle informing spirit of the kosmos (??????) or world of men who are living alienated and apart from God.” The Germans have a word for it, the zeitgeist or spirit of the age. This masquerade costume which saints sometimes put on, hides the Lord Jesus living in the heart of the Christian, and is an opaque covering through which the Holy Spirit cannot radiate the beauty of the Lord Jesus. The world says to that kind of a saint, “The modernism of your appearance nullifies the fundamentalism of your doctrine.”

Wuest, K. S. (1997). Wuest’s word studies from the Greek New Testament: for the English reader (Ro 12:2). Grand Rapids: Eerdmans.

Embrace Transformation to Christ’s Image

Change from the Inside Out

Instead of masquerading in the habiliments of this age, Paul exhorts the saints to be transformed. The word is metamorphoomai (?????????????), which speaks of the act of a person changing his outward expression from that which he has to a different one, an expression which comes from and is representative of his inner being. The word is used in Matthew 17:2 where it is translated “transfigured.” The translation could read, “The manner of His outward expression was changed before them, and His face shone as the sun, and His clothing was white as the light.” The usual manner of our Lord’s outward expression during His humiliation was that of the Man Christ Jesus, a Man of sorrows and of grief, the itinerant preacher and teacher from Nazareth dressed in the homespun of a Galilean peasant. But here, our Lord allows the glory of the essence of His deity that came from His inner being as deity and was representative of Him as such, to shine through His human body. This radiance caused His face to shine and His garments to appear white as the sun.

Paul therefore says in effect to the saints, “Change your outward expression from that which you had before salvation, an expression which came from your totally depraved nature and was representative of it, to an expression which comes from your regenerated inner being and is representative of it.”

Wuest, K. S. (1997). Wuest’s word studies from the Greek New Testament: for the English reader (Ro 12:2). Grand Rapids: Eerdmans.

This Change Involves Constant Renewal of the Mind.

 Romans 12:2 (KJV)

 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind…

Philippians 2:5 KJV

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

The saint is to do this by the renewing of his mind. “Renewing” is anakain?sis (???????????), which Trench defines as “the gradual conforming of the man more and more to that new spiritual world into which he has been introduced, and in which he now lives and moves; the restoration of the divine image; and in all this so far from being passive, he must be a fellow-worker with God.” Thayer defines the word, “a renewal, renovation, complete change for the better.” That is, the change of outward expression is dependent upon the renovation, the complete change for the better of the believer’s mental process. This is accomplished through the ministry of the indwelling Holy Spirit, who when definitely, and intelligently, and habitually yielded to puts sin out of the believer’s life and produces His own fruit. He does that by controlling the mental processes of the believer. It is the prescription of the apostle. “Habitually be ordering your behavior within the sphere and by means of the Spirit, and you will positively not fulfil the desire of the flesh (evil nature)” (Gal. 5:16)

Galatians 5:16 KJV

This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh.

Oil was discovered on some Oklahoma property belonging to an elderly Indian. All his life he had been poverty stricken, just eking out a living. But the discovery of oil had suddenly made him a very wealthy man. The first thing he bought was a very big Cadillac. He wanted the longest car in the county, so he added four spare tires on the trunk. He would dress up in his new clothes and everyday he would take his Cadillac into the hot dusty little town nearby. He wanted to see everyone and he wanted everyone to see him. He was a friendly old soul. so when he was riding through town he would turn in all directions to wave at all the people as he rolled by. Interesting enough, he never ran into anybody nor into anything. The reason for this was that directly in front of that big beautiful auto was two horses harnessed to it and pulling it. There was nothing wrong with the car’s engine. It was because the old Indian had never learned to drive it. He had never learned how to insert the key into the ignition switch and turn it on. Under the hood was 100 plus horsepower ready and willing and raring to go, but the old Indian was content to use the two horsepower hooked to the front of the car.

The devil gets really happy (or as happy as a devil can get) when he can keep the believer chugging along in their Christian life on a two horse power faith level. At that rate, the spiritual progress is slowed down to a crawl, and this is what the devil is after in his warfare with us.

We need to be constantly meditating, not on our condemned state or on fear of condemnation, but of who we are in Christ.

2 Peter 1:3–4 KJV

According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue: 

Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.

Prove the Perfection of God’s Will

 Romans 12:2 (KJV)

 … that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

John 7:17 KJV

If any man will do his will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of myself.

“Prove” is dokimaz? (????????), “to put to the test for the purpose of approving, and finding that the thing tested meets the specifications laid down, to put one’s approval upon it.” As a result of the Spirit’s control of the mental processes of the saint, the latter is enabled to put his life to the test for the purpose of approving it, the specifications being that it conform to the Word of God, and thus, experiencing what obedience is to the Word, and finding out what it feels like to have the Word saturate and control the life, he sees that it really is the Word of God and puts his approval upon it. Our Lord Jesus was speaking of the same thing when He said, “If any man will to do His will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of myself” (John 7:17). “Perfect” is teleios (???????), “brought to its end, finished, wanting nothing necessary to completeness.”

Wuest, K. S. (1997). Wuest’s word studies from the Greek New Testament: for the English reader

As a Christian is transformed in his mind and is made more like Christ, he comes to approve and desire God’s will, not his own will for his life. Then he discovers that God’s will is what is good for him, and that it pleases God, and is complete in every way. It is all he needs. But only by being renewed spiritually can a believer ascertain, do, and enjoy the will of God.

Witmer, J. A. (1985). Romans. In J. F. Walvoord & R. B. Zuck (Eds.), The Bible Knowledge Commentary: An Exposition of the Scriptures (Vol. 2, p. 488). Wheaton, IL: Victor Books.

The world can easily press us into their mold of being discouraged, defeated and living in fear of a God we imagine hates us. If you have trusted Jesus as Savior, things are different. Do not be conformed into the selfish and fearful way of the world. Be transformed from the inside out. You are already a new creature and God is continuing that work in you every day. Renew your mind with that truth every day!

A seminary professor was vacationing with his wife in Gatlinburg, TN. One morning, they were eating breakfast at a little restaurant, hoping to enjoy a quiet, family meal. While they were waiting for their food, they noticed a distinguished looking, white-haired man moving from table to table, visiting with the guests. The professor leaned over and whispered to his wife, “I hope he doesn’t come over here.” But sure enough, the man did come over to their table.

“Where are you folks from?” he asked in a friendly voice.

“Oklahoma,” they answered.

“Great to have you here in Tennessee,” the stranger said. “What do you do for a living?”

“I teach at a seminary,” he replied.

“Oh, so you teach preachers how to preach, do you? Well, I’ve got a really great story for you.” And with that, the gentleman pulled up a chair and sat down at the table with the couple .

The professor groaned and thought to himself, “Great … Just what I need … another preacher story!”

The man started, “See that mountain over there? (pointing out the restaurant window). Not far from the base of that mountain, there was a boy born to an unwed mother. He had a hard time growing up, because every place he went, he was always asked the same question, ’Hey boy, Who’s your daddy?’ Whether he was at school, in the grocery store or drug store, people would ask the same question, ’Who’s your daddy?’

He would hide at recess and lunchtime from other students. He would avoid going in to stores because that question hurt him so bad.

“When he was about 12 years old, a new preacher came to his church. He would always go in late and slip out early to avoid hearing the question, ’Who’s your daddy?’ But one day, the new preacher said the benediction so fast he got caught and had to walk out with the crowd.

Just about the time he got to the back door, the new preacher, not knowing anything about him, put his hand on his shoulder and asked him, Son, who’s your daddy?

The whole church got deathly quiet. He could feel every eye in the church looking at him. Now everyone would finally know the answer to the question, ’Who’s your daddy?’

“This new preacher, though, sensed the situation around him and using discernment that only the Holy Spirit could give, said the following to that scared little boy … “Wait a minute! I know who you are. I see the family resemblance now. You are a child of God. “

With that he patted the boy on his shoulder and said, “Boy, you’ve got a great inheritance. Go and claim it.”

“With that, the boy smiled for the first time in a long time and walked out the door a changed person. He was never the same again. Whenever anybody asked him, ’Who’s your Daddy?’ he’d just tell them, ’I’m a Child of God.’”

The distinguished! gentleman got up from the table and said, “Isn’t that a great story?”

The professor responded that it really was a great story!

As the man turned to leave, he said, “You know, if that new preacher hadn’t told me that I was one of God’s children, I probably never would have amounted to anything!” And he walked away.

The seminary professor and his wife were stunned. He called the waitress over & asked her, “Do you know who that man was who just left that was sitting at our table?”

The waitress grinned and said, “Of course. Everybody here knows him. That’s Ben Hooper. He’s the former governor of Tennessee!”

Meditate on this truth and be transformed! 

Exported from Logos Bible Software, 4:19 PM June 8, 2022.

It Is Appointed

It Is Appointed

Pastor Don Carpenter

Isaiah 24:2

A little girl crawled up in the lap of her Grandpa and cuddled close. Then she looked into Grandpa’s face with those big blue eyes of hers and said, “Grandpa, can you please make a sound like a frog?”

Grandpa thought for a moment, then smiled and said, “Ribbit. Ribbit.”

Suddenly, the little girl leaped from his lap and ran into the kitchen yelling as loud as she could, “Mommy, we are going to Disney World…we are going to Disney World…we are going to Disney World!!!”

The young mom hushed her child and said, “Honey, why do you think we are going to Disney World?” The little girl, gleaming with joy, blurted out, “You said we can go to Disney World when Grandpa croaks!”

In 2020 the world turned upside down. The COVID pandemic forever changed the way people in this generation think about a lot of things. Thank God that we have come a long way from lock downs and hoarding toilet paper. We can take a few minutes and consider what caused world wide hysteria on this level? I believe it was the universal confrontation with the inevitable, the fact of death. Our society is not as equipped to handle the sense of imminent threat of death. A Pew Research Study conducted in November 2021 found that one in six Americans did not believe in life after death at all. The Bible gives us haunting truth that we often try to suppress, but in the dark, in the quiet hours when all you hear in the screaming of your own conscience and the moaning of regret deep within your soul… this verse rings out and cannot be silenced.

Hebrews 9:27 KJV

And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment:

Today we are going to quit running. We are going to rationally and Biblically look at this issue. It Is Appointed.

It Is Appointed To All Men

Isaiah 24:2 KJV

And it shall be, as with the people, so with the priest; As with the servant, so with his master; As with the maid, so with her mistress; As with the buyer, so with the seller; As with the lender, so with the borrower; As with the taker of usury, so with the giver of usury to him.

Religious Status Will Make No Difference

 Isaiah 24:2 (KJV)

 And it shall be, as with the people, so with the priest…

Social Status Will Make No Difference

 Isaiah 24:2 (KJV)

 … As with the servant, so with his master; As with the maid, so with her mistress…

Financial Status Will Make No Difference

 Isaiah 24:2 (KJV)

 … As with the buyer, so with the seller; As with the lender, so with the borrower; As with the taker of usury, so with the giver of usury to him.

Christian Song Writer Steve Tayler wrote an interesting allegory comparing the promise of Hebrews 9:27 to what it would be like if a meltdown were to occur at London’s famous wax museum:

 • Meltdown at Madame Tussaud’s, the queen is losing face

Meltdown at Madame Tussaud’s, a national disgrace

 • It’s the middle of the night at the London shrine

Could have been the janitor, could have been divine

Someone said the thermostat never did work

Now we’ve got the temperature going berserk

 • Meltdown at Madame Tussaud’s, the queen is losing face

Meltdown at Madame Tussaud’s, a national disgrace

 • Celebrities, statesmen, history’s elite

They’re dripping in the hallways, they’re starting to secrete

They’re pouring out the pores, they’re shrinking on the spot

Someone take a photograph, get ’em while they’re hot

 • Meltdown at Madame Tussaud’s, the president looks alarmed

Meltdown at Madame Tussaud’s, a general’s been disarmed

There is more to that silly song, but you get the point. It is appointed unto men once to die… no exceptions.

Once To Die

Hebrews 9:27 KJV

And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment:

There will be no do overs

Romans 5:12 KJV

Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned:

Christ Offers Eternal Life after death.

John 3:16 KJV

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

You Know Its Coming, Get Your House In Order.

2 Kings 20:1 KJV

In those days was Hezekiah sick unto death. And the prophet Isaiah the son of Amoz came to him, and said unto him, Thus saith the LORD, Set thine house in order; for thou shalt die, and not live.

Once To Be Judged

Those Without Christ Will Be Judged Only On Actions.

Romans 3:23 KJV

For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;

Revelation 20:11–15 KJV

And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them. 

And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works. 

And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works. 

And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. 

And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.

Those In Christ Will Face A Rewards Based Judgement.

1 Corinthians 3:12–15 KJV

Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble; 

Every man’s work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is. 

If any man’s work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward. 

If any man’s work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire.

So there it is, the news we all know is true, but no one whats to think about it. Ignoring it does not make it go away. We are all going to die. It is appointed. We are all going to be judged. It is appointed. God in His love and mercy has provided so we need not face the second death, Hell, but can be assured of eternal life in Heaven. Jesus paid the price for our sin! Once you embrace that, get your house in order… and banish fear forever. Jesus has conquered sin and death. There is no reason to fear the fact of death… it is appointed.

Exported from Logos Bible Software, 5:18 PM May 17, 2022.