Definition and Existence of God

January 24th, 2019

Part I THEISM

  • The belief in a supernatural power or supernatural powers
  • The belief in the existence of but one God – This view includes monotheism, pantheism and deism but excludes atheism, polytheism, and henotheism.
  • The belief in a personal God who is both transcendent and immanent and exists in only person.
  • The belief in one personal God, both immanent and transcendent who exists in three personal distinctions.

The Definition and Existence of God

  1. Definition of God
  1. Erroneous definitions
  1. The eternal mind, the cause of good. – Plato
  • The first ground of all being – Aristotle
  • The moral order of the universe – Fichte
  • The absolute spirit without consciousness until it becomes conscious in the thoughts of man – Hegel
  • The creative force and energy behind the universe – Henry Sloane Coffin
  • Biblical names for God.
  1. Elohim – God the most High God (plural)
  • Jehovah – I AM
  • Adonai – Lord
  • Theological definition:  “God is the infinite and perfect Spirit in whom all things have their source, support, and end.”  – Strong
  1. The Existence of God
  1. The belief in the existence of God is intuitive.

Romans 1:19-20

19 Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them.  20 For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse: 

Romans 2:15

15 Which shew the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and their thoughts the mean while accusing or else excusing one another;)  

  • The existence of God is assumed by scriptures

Genesis 1:1

In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.

  • Arguments for the existence of God
  1. Cosmological argument – everything that begun must have an adequate cause.

Hebrews 3:4

4 For every house is builded by some man; but he that built all things is God.

  • Teleological argument – order and useful arrangement in a system imply intelligence and purpose in the organizing cause.
  • Ontological argument – the very ideal of God is proof of His existence.  Men have an intuitive idea of God.
  • The moral argument – every man has a sense of moral obligation, a sense of right and wrong.
  • Congruity – the existence of God best explains the facts of our moral, mental, and religious nature as well as the material nature of the universe.

January 19th, 2019
January 20 Services are cancelled due to snow and ice storm.

The Delusion of Isolation

January 12th, 2019

1 Kings 19:1–19

Often we are most tempted to give up and give in when we believe everyone else already has.  We must remember that God always reserves a remnant of believers to follow him.  You are not alone!

Tom Hanks is a gifted actor.  I have seen him play a diverse type of characters over the years, and in every role he turns in an impressive performance.  One of my favorite examples of his acting skills is the movie Castaway.  By the way, I cant believe that it is a 19 year old movie!  For over an hour Tom Hanks is alone with no other actors.  He portrays a Fed Ex man whose plane went down in the Caribbean.  He was able to get to a deserted island and he was forced to survive for 4 years before we was eventually rescued.  The movie shows how man was not meant to be alone.   The agony of loneliness was vividly portrayed by this masterful actor.

Loneliness is one of the greatest tools in the Devil’s arsenal.  With this weapon he causes many strong men to become weak, afraid, faint, even to the point of death.

Last week we saw that folks become discouraged when they confuse Karma with Grace.  They get bitter at God when they mistakenly think that He has mistreated them by not giving them what they deserved.  We discovered that Grace actually deliver us from what we deserve and gives us what we don’t deserve.

This week as we continue our series on Failing Faith, we will look at another tool Satan uses to destroy believers. As we consider the tactics of our enemy, we must remember that nothing can separate us from the love of God.  As believers, we can never be alone.  So the only thing Satan can do is to try to deceive us with the illusion of isolation.

Elijah had just gone through an epic spiritual battle.  The people of Israel were being seduced by the false god, BAAL.  The prophet prayed that it would not rain for three and a half years.  He had a show down asking for the real God to rain down fire on the altar they prepared.  Baal failed, Jehovah God did not!  The scorched soot stained spot on the ground stood as a testimony that the real God answered with fire!  After that the drought ended.  450 prophets of Baal were killed.  Rain came!  Victory was sweet…. but there was a counter attack.   Elijah was made blinded by the delusion of isolation.

I Feel All Alone and Ashamed – I Failed to Make A Difference.

1 Kings 19:4 KJV 1900

But he himself went a day’s journey into the wilderness, and came and sat down under a juniper tree: and he requested for himself that he might die; and said, It is enough; now, O Lord, take away my life; for I am not better than my fathers.

•    After great spiritual victory we are often vulnerable to the greatest spiritual attack.

•    Elijah expected a nation wide revival after such a great demonstration of God’s power… instead the queen had vowed to destroy him in 24 hours. 

•    After 3 1/2 years of struggle and after the showdown with the prophets of Baal, he thought it must be over… but apparently it was not.

•    Elijah ran to Beersheba in the extreme southern part of Judah… about 103 miles.

•    He was disappointed, exhausted, and spent.

•    In a moment of human weakness he longed for death.

•    He did not dare take his own life.

•    He did tell God he had had enough.

•    That all came from a belief that he was no better than his fathers… he was no more effective in ridding the land of Baal idolatry than they were.  Since he was a failure, there was no reason to continue.

•    An angel came to feed him and prepare him for a journey.  200 miles to the same Mount where Moses met God.

•    There was still more for Elijah to do.

God still sends His messengers today – pastors… leaders.. friends

•    Take your rest

•    Take your food

•    There is still a journey ahead of you…. God is not done with you.

I Feel All Alone and Afraid- Everyone is Against Me

1 Kings 19:9 KJV 1900

And he came thither unto a cave, and lodged there; and, behold, the word of the Lord came to him, and he said unto him, What doest thou here, Elijah?

1 Kings 19:10 KJV 1900

And he said, I have been very jealous for the Lord God of hosts: for the children of Israel have forsaken thy covenant, thrown down thine altars, and slain thy prophets with the sword; and I, even I only, am left; and they seek my life, to take it away.

•    Elijah was directed to the mount of God, not to the cave or fear and isolation.

•    This time God’s voice came, not just His messenger.

•    The revelation was a question:  “What are you doing here?”

•    I have been jealous for God

•    Israel has turned from Your covenant

•    Israel has thrown down your altars

•    The prophets have been killed

•    I am the only one left.

Are you in a cave of isolation rather than meeting with God?

•    You feel like you are the only believer truly standing

•    Our church is the only one without compromise.

•    When directed to the place to meet God (church) you are curled up isolated in your mind and heart, not talking to anyone or open to any intervention….God gives you the same command as He gave Elijah… stand upon the mount before the Lord.

King James Version Chapter 19

And he said, Go forth, and stand upon the mount before the LORD.

I Feel Alone and I am Wrong- I AM NOT ALONE

•    God can reveal Himself in many different ways, but He is tenderest when we need that the most.

And, behold, the LORD passed by, and a great and strong wind rent the mountains, and brake in pieces the rocks before the LORD; but the LORD was not in the wind:

•    Sometimes God is seen in the midst of storms and tempest… not this time

King James Version Chapter 19

and after the wind an earthquake; but the LORD was not in the earthquake

•    Sometimes God is seen in the midst of instability and crumbling foundations… but not this time

King James Version Chapter 19

And after the earthquake a fire; but the LORD was not in the fire:

•    Sometimes God is seen in fiery trials that burn the impurities out of our lives… but not this time.

...and after the fire a still small voice. 13 And it was so, when Elijah heard it, that he wrapped his face in his mantle, and went out, and stood in the entering in of the cave.

•    God, in His tenderness knows that his exhausted and bewildered servant that thinks he is alone needs a still small voice.  When you hear it… come to the opening of the cave…there is something life changing about to happen!

King James Version Chapter 19

What doest thou here, Elijah?

•    God asked the convicting question again in a still small voice.  The truth cut through… you are in the wrong place.  I’ve still got stuff for you to do.

•    In verses  15-17 Elijah recieved instruction.  You are not be be ashamed… I have work for you

•    You do not have to be afraid … I have work for you to do.

•    You do not have to feel like you are alone… You are not!

1 Kings 19:18 KJV 1900

Yet I have left me seven thousand in Israel, all the knees which have not bowed unto Baal, and every mouth which hath not kissed him.

Conclusion:

Oh believer friend.  Have you slipped into deep dark depression thinking that you have failed to make a difference and that there is no reason to continue?  Listen to God’s messenger, you need strength… eat, rest and get ready for the journey God has for you.  Are you hiding in a cave isolated and afraid?  Listen to the voice of God that calls you into His presence.  You have heard God in the wind before and He has calmed your storms.  You have heard God in the earthquake before and He has brought stability.  You have heard God in the fire before and He has refined you.  But today He comes to you at this very moment in a still small voice.

“What are you still doing here?  I have work for you.  Your isolation is just a delusion.  You are not alone!

The Possibility and Divisions of Theology

January 4th, 2019

The Possibility of Theology

  1. Revelation of God

“Revelation is that act of God whereby he discloses himself or communicates truth to the mind, whereby he makes manifest to his creatures that which could not be known in any other way.”  – Thiessen

  1. General Revelation
  • In nature
  • In history
  • In conscience
  • Special Revelation – “Those acts of God whereby He makes Himself and His truth known at special times to specific peoples.”
  • Miracles
  • Fulfilled prophecy
  • The person of Christ

John 14:9

9 Jesus saith unto him, Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip? he that hath seen me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou then, Shew us the Father?

  • Scriptures
  • Personal experience
  • Endowments of Men – How does man come into possession of this revelation?
  • Mental endowments – properties of reason
  1. 2. Reason is the organ or capacity for knowing truth
  • Reason must judge the credibility of a representation.
  • Reason must judge evidence
  • Reason must organize facts into a system
  • Spiritual endowments
  1. Man has an intuitive knowledge of God
  • A believer enters into a special personal fellowship with God.

Romans 8:15

15 For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father.

1 Corinthians 1:9

9 God is faithful, by whom ye were called unto the fellowship of his Son Jesus Christ our Lord.

Galatians 4:6

6 And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father.

1 John 1:3

3 That which we have seen and heard declare we unto you, that ye also may have fellowship with us: and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ.

  1. The Divisions of Theology
  1. Exegetical Theology – occupies itself directly with the study of biblical text and such related subjects as help in the restoration, orientation, illustration and interpretation of that text.
  • Historical Theology – Traces the history of God’s people in the Bible and of the church since the time of Christ.
  • Systematic Theology – Takes the materials furnished by exegetical and historical theology and arranges them in a logical order under the great heads of theological study.
  • Practical Theology – Treats the application of theology in the regeneration, sanctification, edification, and service of men.

Karma or Grace?

January 4th, 2019

Pastor Don Carpenter / General

Failing Faith / Saved by Works; Faith / Mark 10:17–31

Michael and I grew up in the same church and ran in the same Christian circles for most of our lives. We both understand each other, in an ancient sort of way, when we discuss faith. Up until the end of high school, our religious experiences were nearly identical. He knew exactly where I was coming from when I talked to him about how I felt my faith changing, failing. “Sometimes I wonder if what we were taught—what we were exposed to—doesn’t work out here in the real world.” Michael laughed before responding with a hint of anxiousness. “Bro, you don’t even know.” After I became a pastor, it took Michael sometime before he felt he could be honest with me about God. Now he wasn’t afraid to talk about what his faith—or lack thereof—looked like now. “I’m tired of a Christianity that tries to tie a neat bow on everything,” I nearly growled.

“Maybe that’s cool for a church bubble or something like that, but not here.” I stopped pacing and leaned against the wall in my office. The head on a Star Wars bobble head Dad gave me bounced on my bookshelf as I slid toward the ground. Its face wobbled up and down as I spoke. “You know what a pastor told me after Dad was diagnosed?” I looked down at the ground before continuing. “He told me that the key to my father’s healing might just be me owning up to the correction God was trying to do in my own life.” “[Expletive] that guy,” barked Michael. “Yeah . . . forget that guy.” “It’s fake,” Michael’s voice carried a side of bitterness. “I don’t know how many times someone told me that if I were good, I’d have everything I’d ever wanted. Well then why do I look around at all the good people in my life and watch them suffer the most?” “I was thinking the other day; out of all the friends we grew up with in church,” I quickly replied in the heat of the moment. “How many are still there?” The line hummed with silence before Michael replied. “Not me.”

Bearden, Wade. Failing Faith: When What You Thought You Knew about God Doesn’t Work in the Real World (p. 10). Kindle Edition.

This kind of bitter disappointment causes many unbelievers to reject Christ and many believers to give up and quit serving Christ. 

One of the reasons for this is a misunderstanding of what God offers.  Non Christian world views have been melded with Christian ones over the years distorting the truth of pure Christianity.  One of those distortions is that of Karma.

Karma is a concept in many Eastern religions where the universe pays us for what we have done… if we do good… we receive good Karma… if bad, then we receive bad Karma. Karma is getting what we deserve. Like much o the Devil’s lies, it is laced with truth.

Galatians 6:7–8 KJV 1900

Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting.

So, when the law of sowing and reaping is mixed with Karma, we start to look at the good in our life from a view of entitlement.  I have a job because I deserve it.  I have a car a home, a wife, kids that love me because I deserve it… God owes me that much.

In our Scripture reading this morning we read a story about a rich man who had a similar view.  He was rich because he deserved to be.  He just wanted to take it to the next level and schmooze his way into eternal security by talking to a very connected Holy man, Jesus.  He would give him the inside scoop on exactly what he had to do to further advance his cause from this life to the next.

This morning we are going to contrast the concept of Karma where we get what we deserve, with Grace where we get what we don’t deserve.  We will find that Jesus offers a much better deal when it comes down to Karma VS Grace.

Karma Often Seems to Work: The Delusion of Deserving Good

•    God’s Blessing is validation of one’s self righteous delusion. – The rich man trusted in riches as evidence of God’s blessing.

Mark 10:24 KJV 1900

And the disciples were astonished at his words. But Jesus answereth again, and saith unto them, Children, how hard is it for them that trust in riches to enter into the kingdom of God!

•    Flattery indicates one’s confidence in his own standing. “Good Master”

Good= benefit

Philemon 14 KJV 1900

but without thy mind would I do nothing; that thy benefit should not be as it were of necessity, but willingly.

•    The rich man’s question shows his Karma confidence… what good thing must I do

 agathos (??????) describes that which, being “good” in its character or constitution, is beneficial in its effect – Vine

•    Jesus dropped a truth bomb that prepared the rich man for the truth he was going to learn about himself… there is none good but God.

Mark 10:18 KJV 1900

And Jesus said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God.

•    With Karma, the standard you embrace becomes the standard that condemns you.

Romans 3:19 KJV 1900

Now we know that what things soever the law saith, it saith to them who are under the law: that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God.

Romans 3:20 KJV 1900

Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin.

Karma Cannot Fix What Is Broken: The Reality of Deserving

•    Karma creates the illusion of self- awareness.

Mark 10:20 KJV 1900

And he answered and said unto him, Master, all these have I observed from my youth.

At the beginning of her “Out of the Woods” music video, Taylor Swift is standing on a beautiful beach. “Vines begin to surround her as she slowly makes her way through a dark forest. As she sings of heartbreak and despair, she’s haunted by

both the forest and a series of wolves. The pack tears her dress, pursuing her to the top of a mountain in the middle of a snowstorm. The situation grows worse as Swift later

struggles through a swamp, a desert, and a firestorm—sounds like a day in Texas.

When she finally reaches the beach again, she approaches her former self, and gently

touches her shoulder. The video ends with the words: ‘She lost him, but she found herself. And somehow that was everything.’

“Swift’s video does provide an interesting window into twenty-first-century pop culture philosophy. Finding true peace means finding yourself. You alone hold the answer to meaning and purpose in this life”

(Bearden, Failing Faith, 25).

•    Jesus’ words shattered the illusion of self awareness.

•    These words of rebuke poured out of a heart of love from our Savior, not a heart of rejection opr hatred.

Mark 10:21 KJV 1900

Then Jesus beholding him loved him, and said unto him, One thing thou lackest: go thy way, sell whatsoever thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, take up the cross, and follow me.

Mark 10:22 KJV 1900

And he was sad at that saying, and went away grieved: for he had great possessions.

James 2:10 KJV 1900

For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all.

James 2:11 KJV 1900

For he that said, Do not commit adultery, said also, Do not kill. Now if thou commit no adultery, yet if thou kill, thou art become a transgressor of the law.

•    Jesus invited him to come – away from his Karma based works and to Faith based belief.

John 3:16 KJV 1900

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.

•    Jesus invited him to take up his cross- publicly confess his guilt and lack

Romans 10:9–10 KJV 1900

That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.

•    Jesus invited him to follow Him.

Matthew 16:24 KJV 1900

Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.

•    The rich man made his choice… he continued to trust Karma…after all look at all the tangible evidence that it was working for him…

Mark 10:22 KJV 1900

And he was sad at that saying, and went away grieved: for he had great possessions.

Karma Fails But Grace Prevails: The Gift of God Transcends our Merit.

•    Jesus used this sad occasion to teach the disciples these things:

•    It is hard for those that are comfortable to realize that they have a lack.

•    It is impossible for someone who trusts in riches to trust in Christ. – especially when the reason they trust in riches is that the riches are in inaccurate “proof” that their karma is working.

•    The eye of the needle in context is not talking about something that is hard, but rather something that is impossible. 

Mark 10:27 KJV 1900

And Jesus looking upon them saith, With men it is impossible, but not with God: for with God all things are possible.

•    ?Trust in Christ and the Gospel yields rewards  Mark 10:28-31 Trust in Christ and the Gospel yields both temporal and eternal benefit.

Then Peter began to say unto him, Lo, we have left all, and have followed thee. And Jesus answered and said, Verily I say unto you, There is no man that hath left house, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my sake, and the gospel’s, But he shall receive an hundredfold now in this time, houses, and brethren, and sisters, and mothers, and children, and lands, with persecutions; and in the world to come eternal life. But many that are first shall be last; and the last first.

(Mark 10:28–31, KJV 1900)      

“In his book The Prodigal God, pastor and writer Timothy Keller relays a conversation he had with a young woman about grace. The woman had grown up in a church that taught God only accepts those who lived good, ethical lives. Upon hearing Keller teach about grace—that God’s gift of salvation is completely free even to those who are immoral—the woman expressed fear. Keller asked her about it.” Her reply was telling:

“‘If I was saved by my good works—then there would be a limit to what God could ask of me or put me through. I would be like a taxpayer with rights. I would have done my duty and now I would deserve a certain quality of life. But if it is really true that I am a sinner saved by sheer grace—at God’s infinite cost—then there’s nothing he cannot ask of me.’” (Bearden, Failing Faith, 16). (Quote from Timothy Keller, The Prodigal God:

Recovering the Heart of the Christian Faith [New York: Dutton, 2008], 121).

Conclusion:

Are you living under Karma or under Grace.  If you are trying to merit Heaven based on your deeds, your Karma will try you and find you wanting.  Jesus looks at you lovingly and says “One thing thou lackest”… righteousness.

Romans 3:10 KJV 1900

As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one:

He wants to give you His righteousness if you trade your works for His.

2 Corinthians 5:21 KJV 1900

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

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If you are a believer saved by Grace through faith plus nothing, it is still possible to be living under Karma not grace.  Why do you serve?  Why do you tithe?  Why do you come to church?… so God will be happy with me and bless me… that is Karma… you wrongfully imagine that your actions will merit you favor.  God grants favor IN SPITE OF what we deserve.  If we humbly hit our knees God be merciful to me… we access His grace, and are covered by His righteousness.  So what are you trusting in to draw close to Jesus, your efforts, or His Grace?

1 John 1:9 KJV 1900

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

In the battle of Karma VS Grace… Grace wins every time.

God’s First Responders Day 1

January 2nd, 2019

Introduction to Systematic Theology

  1.  Definitions and approach to Systematic Theology
  1.  Theology = theos – God / Logos – discourse
  1.  Doctrine of God

But in the broad and more usual sense, the term has come to mean all Christian doctrines, not only the specific doctrine of God, but also all the doctrines that deal with the relations God sustains to the universe. In this broad sense, we may define theology as the science of God and his relations to the universe.[1]

  • The science of God and His Works

Science may question the regularity even of the laws of nature, but the experienced believer in God sees in these apparent irregularities the intervention of God and the manifestation of his miraculous power. He maintains that while the apprehension of the divine revelation is progressive, the revelation itself is as stable as the righteousness and truth of God themselves. He, therefore, believes in the possibility of theology and of systematic theology, and he regards them with the same favor as did the ancients. Even the modern student who does not formulate his theological beliefs has fairly definite views with regard to the major questions in the field. The reason for this is found in his own mental and moral constitution[2]

  •  Systematic Theology vs. Biblical theology.
  1.  Biblical Theology = the study of various types of theology on a book by book basis through the Bible.
  2. Systematic Theology = breaks down Biblical theology into categories or systems to form a helpful overviews of various doctrines.
  •  Liberal presuppositions
  1.  The Word of God is not perfect.
  2. Truth is in a constant state of flux
  3. It is unsafe to form fixed views of theological truths.
  • Evangelical Presuppositions
  1.  There are constants to our universe.
  2. Evidence of these constants can be seen in nature and mathematics.
  3. There is a perfect, constant, infallible source of truth.

For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:” (Romans 1:20, KJV 1900)

  1.  The Nature of Theology
  1.  Theology and Ethics
  1.  Philosophical Ethics = developed on a purely naturalistic basis – no doctrine of sin.
  2. Christian Ethics = motivated by an affection for and willing submission to God.
  •  Theology and Religion
  1. In theology man organizes His thoughts concerning God and the universe.
  2. In religion man expresses in attitudes and actions the effects that those thoughts have produced in him.

In other words, in theology a man organizes his thoughts concerning God and the universe, and in religion he expresses in attitudes and actions the effects these thoughts have produced in him.[3]

  •  Theology and Philosophy
  1.  Theology begins with the belief in the eternal existence of God.
  2. Philosophy begins with the belief in the eternal existence of matter – denying special revelation from an eternal God.

To know a man’s philosophy is, therefore, to get possession of the key to understanding him and also to dealing with him (Acts 14:17; 17:22–31). But the Christian must recognize that philosophy will never bring a person to Christ. Paul writes, “The world through its wisdom   p 4  did not come to know God” (1 Cor. 1:21)[4]

To know a man’s philosophy is, therefore, to get possession of the key to understanding him and also to dealing with him (Acts 14:17; 17:22–31). But the Christian must recognize that philosophy will never bring a person to Christ. Paul writes, “The world through its wisdom   p 4  did not come to know God” (1 Cor. 1:21)[5]

  1.  Necessity of Theology
  1.  The Organizing instinct of the intellect.
  1.  Not content with the accumulation of facts.
  2. One must find a way to organize these findings into a system.
  •  Character of unbelief of this age.
  1.  Dangers threaten the Church from philosophy. – Colossians 2:8
  2. The Christian must be ready with a Biblical answer. 1 Peter 3:15
  •  The Character of Scripture.
  1.  The Bible is to the theologian what nature is to the scientist.
  2. There are certain passages focused on a particular theology.
  3. None of these themes are exhaustive in any one passage.
  4. It is necessary therefore that we gather truth and organize it into a system.
  •  The development of an intelligent Christian Character.
  1.  Theology must be more than mere theory.
  2. Theology must be the guide to intelligent thinking about religious problems and a stimulus to Holy living.
  •  Conditions for effective Christian Service.
  1.  Know Doctrine
  2. Preach Doctrine
  3. Live Doctrine

[1] Thiessen, H. C., & Doerksen, V. D. (1979). Lectures in systematic theology (p. 2). Grand Rapids, MI; Cambridge: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company.

[2] Thiessen, H. C., & Doerksen, V. D. (1979). Lectures in systematic theology (p. 1). Grand Rapids, MI; Cambridge: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company.

[3] Thiessen, H. C., & Doerksen, V. D. (1979). Lectures in systematic theology (p. 3). Grand Rapids, MI; Cambridge: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company.

[4] Thiessen, H. C., & Doerksen, V. D. (1979). Lectures in systematic theology (pp. 3–4). Grand Rapids, MI; Cambridge: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company.

[5] Thiessen, H. C., & Doerksen, V. D. (1979). Lectures in systematic theology (pp. 3–4). Grand Rapids, MI; Cambridge: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company.

New Sermon Series Sunday Mornings in January 2019

December 27th, 2018

In America, we often associate spiritual blessing with physical happiness. When life becomes difficult—through loss, divorce, depression, or grief—it can often make Christians either feel like their faith is a fraud, or lead them to believe that God is the One who is a fraud. Join us Sundays starting January 6 at 11:00 for this four-week series, that will, will empower individuals to cultivate a faith that will withstand the inevitable troubles of life

Attention EBC Ministry Leaders!

December 27th, 2018

Pastor Carpenter is planning 2019 Calendar. If you wish to schedule an event for your ministry, please submit your request to him at rev.don.carpenter@gmail.com before January 1, 2019.

Christmas Eve Candlelight Service December 24 @ 6:00pm

November 28th, 2018

Join our Church Family as we begin our Christmas celebration by focusing on the real reason for the season in this beautiful and traditional service.

Order in the Home: How to Keep Your Family On Track

October 4th, 2018

Order in the Home: How to Keep Your Family On Track

Pastor Don Carpenter / General

2018 Doers of the Word / Obedience; Leadership; Family: Fathers / Colossians 3:20–21; Ephesians 6:1–2

 

When I was a boy, I received an electric train set for Christmas.  It came with tracks, an engine, coal car, box cars, and a caboose.  All of this was powered by a transformer that had a gradual switch that would increase the speed of the train.  Dad helped me assemble the tracks and nail them to a particle board so I had a solid place to run my new toy.  I found that if I backed the engine up carefully, I could hook other cars and if I went forward I would take the whole train together.  One thing I liked to do is run the train faster and faster.  Once and a while, I would bump the board and cause one of the sets of wheels on one of the cars to jump the tracks.  The car would still be on, but not all the wheels would be lined up correctly.  The train would labor and spark as it tried to pull the cockeyed car along the track.  The Train soon would heat up and quit working for a while.  You see, if all the wheels were not aligned properly, the entire train was hindered.

As we continue to explore what the Bible teaches about being doers of the word, specifically how to live with the truth that we have been made alive in Jesus, we are studying our personal relationships.  We have discovered that to have the mind of Christ is to have an others -centered Christlike love for each other.  Last week we saw that The wife and the husband have a symbiotic relationship depending upon mutual surrender.  She surrenders to submit to him, and he surrenders to selflessly surrender to love her unconditionally, protecting, guiding and providing for her as Christ does the church.

A concept that is often difficult to embrace within the study of interpersonal relationships is the concept of personal boundaries.  We use phrases like “he made me to feel…”

“She is doing ___________________ so I am not able to do _________”

Our behavior toward others becomes dependent upon their behavior toward us.  This is not the Bible way.  Our behavior toward others is a direct response of obedience to God’s commandments, not a reflexive quid pro quo like the world does.

Last week we saw that wives are to submit even when husbands are boneheads.  It is that submission that God will use to expose that boneheadery and motivate the husband to repent and go in a different direction.  We also saw that husbands are to love and to not grow bitter with unforgiveness when the wife does not submit… or when she reacts with passive aggressive tactics.  We saw that since the husband is to love the wife like Christ loved the church, that authority he has over her is not to be used for personal gratification, but for the growth, prosperity, and protection of his wife.

Colossians 3:20–21 

Children, obey your parents in all things: for this is well pleasing unto the Lord. Fathers, provoke not your children to anger, lest they be discouraged.

 

Today we move onto another two way relationship, the relationship of children to parents and fathers to children.  We will see that each party has a specific function.  One can only accomplish their role, but cannot make compliance to that God given role conditional upon perceived compliance from the other.  In other words, a child is always to obey even if they think that father is provoking them and the father is to avoid provoking the child.  Each to mow their own lawn and control their own boundaries.  If parents and children simply obey the commands of scripture then the family train will remain on track.

Children Must Remain on Track

  • Obey

Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary (Eleventh Edition) Obey

1:      to follow the commands or guidance of
2:      to conform to or comply with

Proverbs 30:17 

The eye that mocketh at his father,

And despiseth to obey his mother,

The ravens of the valley shall pick it out,

And the young eagles shall eat it.

  • Honor

Vine’s Complete Expository Dictionary of Old and New Testament Words Honor

  1. time (????, 5092), primarily “a valuing,” hence, objectively, (a) “a price paid or received,”

Exodus 20:12 

Honour thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee.

Deuteronomy 5:16 

Honour thy father and thy mother, as the Lord thy God hath commanded thee; that thy days may be prolonged, and that it may go well with thee, in the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee.

So then the responsibility of the child still residing unter the authority, provision, and protection of the home is to unconditionally obey and honor.  This obedience should be

  • From the heart – not mere external compliance limited to what can be seen and enforced.
  • With a view of learning from the parents
  • Sweet submission to keep the wheels on track
  • Complete
  • Follow the spirit of the command not just the letter.
  • Realize that in doing so you honor God even if you think the parent may not be fair.
  • Let God deal with any perceived injustice. That is not your lawn to mow.

Fathers Must Remain on Track

Colossians 3:21 

Fathers, provoke not your children to anger, lest they be discouraged.

  • Do not Provoke

A Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament and Other Early Christian Literature, 3rd ed. ???????

??????? 1 aor. ???????; aor. pass. ptc. ?????????? 2 Macc 14:27; fut. pass. 3 sg. ????????????? Da 11:10, 25 (s. ????; Hom. et al.; Epict., Ench. 20; LXX; TestSol 4:6; 8:5 PC; TestDan 4:4) to cause someone to react in a way that suggests acceptance of a challenge, arouse, provoke mostly in bad sense irritate, embitter,

  • Do not Discourage

A Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament and Other Early Christian Literature, 3rd ed. ??????

?????? 1 aor. 3 sg. ???????? LXX (since Aeschyl., Thu. 5, 91, 1; PAmh 37, 7; 10 [II B.C.]; PGiss 79 III, 11; LXX, Philo; Jos., Bell. 6, 94, Ant. 9, 87; Just., D. 107, 3) to become disheartened to the extent of losing motivation, be discouraged, lose heart, become dispirited

The Greek word literally means to take away their heat… or passion… to at best encourage apathy and at worst stir up resentment and bitterness.

  • Be a good steward of your authority over your family
  • Teach.

Deuteronomy 6:6–7 

And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart: And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up.

  • Train with consequence both negative and positive.

Proverbs 22:6 

Train up a child in the way he should go:

And when he is old, he will not depart from it.

Hebrews 12:7

If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not?

Galatians 6:7–8

Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting.