One Lawgiver

September 25th, 2020

One Lawgiver

Pastor Don Carpenter / General

Slander / James 4:11–12

The Critic

A little seed lay on the ground,

And soon began to sprout.

“Now, which of all the flowers around,”

It mused, “shall I come out?

The lily’s face is fair and proud,

But just a trifle cold;

The rose, I think, is rather loud,

And then, its fashion’s old.

The violet is all very well,

But not a flower I’d choose;

Nor yet the Canterbury bell—

I never cared for blues,”

And so it criticized each flower,

This supercilious seed,

Until it woke one summer morn,

And found itself—a weed.

1 Michael P. Green, 1500 Illustrations for Biblical Preaching (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books, 2000), 87.

It is so easy to evaluate (judge) critique and slander each other these days. The sin is not unique to our time, but the ability to get on the internet and spew our judgmental ignorance and hatred to the entire world is. This evening as we meditate on our text passage, we will discover that the reason we dare not judge and slander other brothers and sisters in Christ is that there is A Lawgiver, it is not you or me, and there can be only one!

Do Not Slander Your Brother.

James 4:11 KJV

Speak not evil one of another, brethren. He that speaketh evil of his brother, and judgeth his brother, speaketh evil of the law, and judgeth the law: but if thou judge the law, thou art not a doer of the law, but a judge.

Do Not Lie About Him

1 Peter 3:16 KJV

Having a good conscience; that, whereas they speak evil of you, as of evildoers, they may be ashamed that falsely accuse your good conversation in Christ.

2 Timothy 3:3 KJV

Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good,

Proverbs 6:19 KJV

A false witness that speaketh lies, And he that soweth discord among brethren.

Do Not Broadcast Truth With Evil Intent.

Ephesians 4:31 KJV

Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice:

1 Timothy 3:11 KJV

Even so must their wives be grave, not slanderers, sober, faithful in all things.

Proverbs 11:13 KJV

A talebearer revealeth secrets: But he that is of a faithful spirit concealeth the matter.

Proverbs 18:8 KJV

The words of a talebearer are as wounds, And they go down into the innermost parts of the belly.

Proverbs 20:19 KJV

He that goeth about as a talebearer revealeth secrets: Therefore meddle not with him that flattereth with his lips.

Proverbs 26:20 KJV

Where no wood is, there the fire goeth out: So where there is no talebearer, the strife ceaseth.

If You Slander Your Brother, You Are Judging Your Brother.

James 4:11 KJV

Speak not evil one of another, brethren. He that speaketh evil of his brother, and judgeth his brother, speaketh evil of the law, and judgeth the law: but if thou judge the law, thou art not a doer of the law, but a judge.

Romans 14:14 KJV

I know, and am persuaded by the Lord Jesus, that there is nothing unclean of itself: but to him that esteemeth any thing to be unclean, to him it is unclean.

Matthew 7:1–2 KJV

Judge not, that ye be not judged. 

For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again.

Romans 2:1 KJV

Therefore thou art inexcusable, O man, whosoever thou art that judgest: for wherein thou judgest another, thou condemnest thyself; for thou that judgest doest the same things.

Romans 14:10–12 KJV

But why dost thou judge thy brother? or why dost thou set at nought thy brother? for we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ. 

For it is written, As I live, saith the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God. 

So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God.

If You Judge Your Brother, then You Are Judging and Slandering the Law.

James 4:11 KJV

Speak not evil one of another, brethren. He that speaketh evil of his brother, and judgeth his brother, speaketh evil of the law, and judgeth the law: but if thou judge the law, thou art not a doer of the law, but a judge.

Leviticus 19:16 KJV

Thou shalt not go up and down as a talebearer among thy people: neither shalt thou stand against the blood of thy neighbour: I am the LORD.

 It is thus the slandering damner who runs afoul of James’s words. Such a person is actually slandering and judging the Torah because he has usurped the role of God in the act of condemnation and has chosen to defy what God has said not to do. In this way, the slandering damner defies God and transfers authority from God’s Torah to himself.381 So, 4:11b’s words make sense only by assuming what is about to be said in 4:11c and 4:12a: that judgment belongs to God alone.1

1 Scot McKnight, The Letter of James, The New International Commentary on the Old and New Testament (Grand Rapids, MI; Cambridge, UK: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 2011), 363.

There Is Only One Lawgiver.

James 4:12 KJV

There is one lawgiver, who is able to save and to destroy: who art thou that judgest another?

4:12. Only One is above the Law. He alone has the right to modify or overrule it. God is the one Lawgiver and Judge. “Lawgiver” is a compound noun used only here in the New Testament (nomothet?s, from nomos, “law,” and tith?mi, “to set, place, constitute, or lay down”). God not only authored the Law; He also administrates the Law. He serves as both the executive and judicial branches of the divine government. God is King; He institutes and declares His Law. God is Judge; He upholds and enforces His Law.1

1 J. Ronald Blue, “James,” in The Bible Knowledge Commentary: An Exposition of the Scriptures, ed. J. F. Walvoord and R. B. Zuck, vol. 2 (Wheaton, IL: Victor Books, 1985), 831.

Only God Can Save Or Condemn

Matthew 10:28 KJV

And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.

Deuteronomy 32:39 KJV

See now that I, even I, am he, And there is no god with me: I kill, and I make alive; I wound, and I heal: Neither is there any that can deliver out of my hand.

How Dare You Presume God’s Role? Who Do You Think You Are?

But you—who are you to judge your neighbor? is another of James’ typical penetrating rhetorical questions. A humble attitude and just actions are essential for spiritual growth. James then went on to show how these qualities of life militate against empty boasting.1

1 J. Ronald Blue, “James,” in The Bible Knowledge Commentary: An Exposition of the Scriptures, ed. J. F. Walvoord and R. B. Zuck, vol. 2 (Wheaton, IL: Victor Books, 1985), 831.

The point is clinched with a devastating question. The disjunctive pronoun is sarcastic, emphasizing the sheer folly of the world to judge, while the vigorous proleptic you serves to widen the gulf between God’s judgment and man’s. “And who are you that pass judgment on another?” To which John Wesley replies: “A poor, weak, dying worm.” For James, as for us, however, the best answer is scornful silence.1

1 James B. Adamson, The Epistle of James, The New International Commentary on the New Testament (Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 1976), 178.

 A man was applying for the job of private secretary to Winston Churchill. Before introducing him, an aunt of Churchill’s told the man, “Remember, you will see all of Winston’s faults in the first five hours. It will take you a lifetime to discover his virtues.1

1 Michael P. Green, 1500 Illustrations for Biblical Preaching (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books, 2000), 87.

Do not slander your brother or sister in Christ. 

There is only one Lawgiver! Do not presume authority over your Brother of Sister. There is only one Lawgiver. Do not presume authority over the Law. There is only one law giver. It is not you. It is God, now let Him work!

Exported from Logos Bible Software, 11:22 AM September 25, 2020.

Wisdom Protocol

September 24th, 2020

Wisdom Protocol

Pastor Don Carpenter / General

James 1:5–8

The story is told of an old man whose grandson rode a donkey while they were traveling from one city to another. The old man heard some people mumbling, “Would you look at that old man walking, suffering on his feet, while that strong young boy is totally capable of walking?”

The criticism cut deeply, so he changed positions. The old man started riding the donkey while the boy walked. Sure enough others started grumbling. “Would you look at that—a healthy man riding the donkey and making that poor little boy suffer! Can you believe that?”

To avoid further criticism, the old man changed again. This time, he and the boy both hopped up on the donkey. They both started riding. You guessed it, people still criticized him. He could hear people saying, “Would you look at those heavy brutes making that poor donkey suffer.”

So he and his grandson jumped down and they both started walking. He thought, No one will criticize us for this. But people are fickle. He soon heard some people say, “Would you look at that waste-—a perfectly good donkey not being used.” The old man was at his wits’ end. What should he do? The old man decided to carry both the donkey and boy.

Do you ever at your wits’ end not know what to do? This old man tried to make wise decisions but ended up carrying a monstrous burden. Why? He looked to his own knowledge to resolve his problem of receiving criticism. He needed more insight than he had.

Life is complicated. Often we are given confusing information or conflicting input. COVID has served as a mighty illustration of that point. Wear a mask… don’t wear a mask… and the statistics slung by folks from all sides make me dizzy.  

So we go to the Bible. We can get absolute truth from the Bible! But what if there is a subject we need to address that is not specifically addressed by the Bible? COVID protocol is not a scriptural topic. Sure, you could read things into passages, but you know and I know that you cannot honestly say the Bible gives clear direction about masks, vaccines, or social distancing. What about non COVID stuff? Should you take that job? Should you date? Should you marry? Should you buy a car or wait?

James tells us in chapter 1 and verse 4 that it is possible to be perfect and entire, wanting nothing. But wait! I don’t know what to do here! James, through the Holy Spirit, tells us that it is possible to get specific Wisdom from God fashioned specifically for you in your specific situation. In order to know from God what is the best choice to make you need to follow Wisdom Protocol.

Ask For Wisdom From God.

James 1:5 KJV

If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.

  • Ask The Giving God

• Acknowledge your lack of wisdom

 • Ask and search the scriptures.

 • If your “answer” conflicts with Scriptures then it is not God’s Answer.

 • If your “answer” conflicts with someone else’s choices, recognize that God can lead different folks differently.

Romans 14:4 KJV

Who art thou that judgest another man’s servant? to his own master he standeth or falleth. Yea, he shall be holden up: for God is able to make him stand.

Ask The Gracious God.

 God gives his wisdom to men not only just for the asking but also without chiding a man for his previous sins, many of which the man may not even know he has committed.

 – James B. Adamson

Proverbs 10:22 KJV

The blessing of the LORD, it maketh rich, And he addeth no sorrow with it.

Ask For Wisdom In Confidence.

James 1:6–7 KJV

But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed. 

For let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord.

Hebrews 11:6 KJV

But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.

 • Ask in faith – confidence in prayer

 • Ask without wavering

Doubting (?????????????). Compare Matt. 21:21. Not equivalent to unbelief, but expressing the hesitation which balances between faith and unbelief, and inclines toward the latter. This idea is brought out in the next sentence.1

1 Marvin Richardson Vincent, Word Studies in the New Testament, vol. 1 (New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1887), 725.

 The doubter is like “a sea of waves,” now wind-driven toward the southeast, and now toward the northwest, with nothing that could sensibly be called progress. Though we know there could be a storm on the Lake, we are here assuming no more than normal winds and their effects on the waters.  – James B, Adamson

The most famous doubter of all time is Thomas. Through history Judas has been the only disciple criticized more than Thomas. Tradition has given him a new name: “Doubting Thomas.” He wanted proof that Jesus was resurrected from the dead.

But can you blame him? When the resurrected Christ appeared to some of his disciples, Thomas was not there. Can you imagine seeing someone die, knowing he was buried, and then hearing from friends that they had seen him alive? You might feel sympathetic toward them, expecting them to get over it in time. If they keep telling you on and on and on, you might feel a need to confront them. That was the situation for Thomas.

In recent years, many Christians have been more sympathetic to Thomas. They have recognized that if they had been in the same position they may have had the same doubts. In his position, I have almost no doubt that I would have been a doubter. My nickname might have become, “Doubting Mark.”

 Devotional writer Selwyn Hughes wrote “Those who doubt most, and yet strive to overcome their doubts, turn out to be some of Christ’s strongest disciples.” Thomas was transformed, saying, “My lord and my God!” That does not hit us as powerfully as it would hit the original disciples. Before that day, they called Jesus rabbi, meaning teacher. They called him Christ, meaning the anointed one. The called him the son of the living God. No one, before Thomas, had called Jesus, “God.” Jewish leaders would not have hesitated to pass the death sentence on Thomas for blasphemy. It was an incredible and dangerous thing to say.

 The Bible says that the one who had been most honest about his doubts was the first to call Jesus, “God.” There are traditions that say he was the disciple who traveled furthest to tell others about Christ. Tradition teaches that he proclaimed the gospel in Babylon, Persia, and all the way to India. There are Christian churches in southern India claiming to trace their heritage to Thomas.

Ask In Stability

James 1:8 KJV

A double minded man is unstable in all his ways.

Double-minded (???????). Peculiar to James, here and ch. 4:8. Not deceitful, but dubious and undecided.

Unstable (???????????). Only here in New Testament. The kindred ???????????, confusion, is found ch. 3:16, and elsewhere.1

1 Marvin Richardson Vincent, Word Studies in the New Testament, vol. 1 (New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1887), 727.

God is not pleased with a double-minded (lit., “two-souled,” dipsychos; cf. 4:8) man who is unstable in all he does, like an unsteady, staggering drunk. The answer from God depends on assurance in God.1

1 J. Ronald Blue, “James,” in The Bible Knowledge Commentary: An Exposition of the Scriptures, ed. J. F. Walvoord and R. B. Zuck, vol. 2 (Wheaton, IL: Victor Books, 1985), 821.

When the Spanish explorer Hernando Cortez landed at Vera Cruz, Mexico in 1519 he was intent on conquest. To assure the devotion of his men, Cortez set fire to his fleet of eleven ships! With no means of retreat, Cortez’s army had only one direction to move, into the Mexican interior.

Cortez understood the price of commitment—and he paid it. He did not want his soldiers to possess a divided loyalty (a double minded man!, Lk 16:13, Mt 6:24, James 1:8).

Have you settled the issue of who is Lord of your heart?

Have you “burned down the ships” and left the old ways of the world behind you?

Can you say, “I HAVE DECIDED TO FOLLOW JESUS……NO TURNING BACK!”

God really does answer prayer! God really does give wisdom! God really does lead individually. I know we would rather have someone just tell us every little detail of the Christian life, but that is not God’s design. He wants you to come to Him, the Giving God. He wants you to come to Him in confidence. He wants you to get rid of the instability of hesitation, but come to Him in the rock solid stable expectancy that He will give you the wisdom you are asking for. This is Wisdom Protocol.

Exported from Logos Bible Software, 12:10 PM September 24, 2020.

Embrace The New Now

September 23rd, 2020

Embrace The New Now

Pastor Don Carpenter / General

Not From Around Here: The Strange and Complicated Life of a Sojourner / Conversion / 1 Peter 4:3–6

 In England there is a paper factory that makes the finest stationery in the world. One day a man touring the factory asked what it was made from. He was shown a huge pile of old rags and told that the rag content was what determined the quality of the paper. The visitor wouldn’t believe it. In weeks he received from the company a package of paper with his initials embossed on it. On the top piece were written the words “Dirty rags transformed.”

The same is true of the Christian life. It is a process of transformation from what we were into something new and wonderful.1

1 Michael P. Green, 1500 Illustrations for Biblical Preaching (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books, 2000), 81.

Last week we discovered that we should arm ourselves with the mind of Christ in order to endure sufferings and live right. In tonight’s passage, we see that Peter turns the focus on how we should view our past before Christ. In light of the salvation that was purchased for us we are to vigorously live in the now because we have wasted enough time in the past, our former friends will not understand us, and our future is secure. As believers we are to embrace the new now.

Embrace the New Now Because Our Past Deeds Were a Waste.

1 Peter 4:3 KJV

For the time past of our life may suffice us to have wrought the will of the Gentiles, when we walked in lasciviousness, lusts, excess of wine, revellings, banquetings, and abominable idolatries:

 • lasciviousness

Then the apostle enumerates some of the sins which were part of that world out from which they were separated. “Lasciviousness” is the translation of a word which refers to actions that excite disgust and shock public decency. In the New Testament, the prominent idea in the word is that of sensuality.1

1 Kenneth S. Wuest, Wuest’s Word Studies from the Greek New Testament: For the English Reader, vol. 11 (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1997), 112.

 • lusts

The Greek word translated “lusts” is not limited to the sense of a sexual desire, but has the unrestricted sense of a passionate desire, here a sinful one, as the context indicates.1

1 Kenneth S. Wuest, Wuest’s Word Studies from the Greek New Testament: For the English Reader, vol. 11 (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1997), 112.

 • excess of wine

The words “excess of wine” are the translation of a Greek word made of two words, “wine” and “to bubble up or overflow.1

1 Kenneth S. Wuest, Wuest’s Word Studies from the Greek New Testament: For the English Reader, vol. 11 (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1997), 112.

 • revellings

“Revellings” is the translation of a word which meant at first, “a village merrymaking.” Then it came to mean “a carousal” such as a party of revellers parading the streets, or revels held in religious ceremonies, wild, furious. and ecstatic.1

1 Kenneth S. Wuest, Wuest’s Word Studies from the Greek New Testament: For the English Reader, vol. 11 (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1997), 112.

 • banquetings

“Banquetings” is from a Greek word speaking of drinking bouts possibly held in connection with pagan religious rites such as Paul speaks of in I Corinthians 10:14 where he forbids Christians to drink the cup of demons.1

1 Kenneth S. Wuest, Wuest’s Word Studies from the Greek New Testament: For the English Reader, vol. 11 (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1997), 112.

 • abominable idolatries

The Greek word translated “abominable” means “contrary to law and justice, illicit, criminal.” These idolatries were forbidden by Roman law. They must have been pretty bad1

1 Kenneth S. Wuest, Wuest’s Word Studies from the Greek New Testament: For the English Reader, vol. 11 (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1997), 112.

Embrace The New Now Because Our Old Friends Will Not Understand.

1 Peter 4:4 KJV

Wherein they think it strange that ye run not with them to the same excess of riot, speaking evil of you:

 • Your new choices are seen as strange. You are headed in different directions.

2 Corinthians 6:14–17 KJV

Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? 

And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel? 

And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. 

Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you,

 • You no longer hang out with the same type of folks.

Psalm 1:1 KJV

Blessed is the man That walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, Nor standeth in the way of sinners, Nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful.

 • Same excess of riot

The word “excess” is the translation of a Greek word meaning literally “a pouring forth or an overflowing.” It was used in classical Greek of the tides which fill the hollows. Alford translates it by the word “slough,” a state of moral degradation or spiritual dejection into which one sinks or from which one cannot free one’s self.1

1 Kenneth S. Wuest, Wuest’s Word Studies from the Greek New Testament: For the English Reader, vol. 11 (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1997), 112.

 • Now they speak evil of you

The people of the world, the former associates of these Christians to whom Peter is writing, thought it a thing foreign to the natures of these Christians when they did not run any more in a troop like a band of revellers with them in the same slough of dissoluteness. They did not realize that their totally depraved nature which before salvation had given them a love for sinful things, now had its power over them broken, and that another nature, the divine nature, had been given them as their new motivating principle of life which caused them to hate the things they once loved and love the things they once hated.1

1 Kenneth S. Wuest, Wuest’s Word Studies from the Greek New Testament: For the English Reader, vol. 11 (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1997), 113.

A young girl who had recently become a Christian asked the famous Baptist Preacher Charles Spurgeon…”What friends do I need to give-up now?” The Prince of Preachers replied “Hey, you do not have to give up any of your friends, they would give you up” 

Embrace The New Now Because Your Future Is Secured.

1 Peter 4:5–6 KJV

Who shall give account to him that is ready to judge the quick and the dead. 

For for this cause was the gospel preached also to them that are dead, that they might be judged according to men in the flesh, but live according to God in the spirit.

 • You will not face the Great White Throne.

Revelation 20:11–12 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.

 • You will face the Bema Seat

1 Corinthians 3:12–14 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.

Sometimes we can be seduced by distorted memories of the past. Like the Israelites who longed for the fleshpots of Egypt, we can sometimes look backward. Live in the New Now! We wasted enough of our bodies souls and time in the corruption of the past. Live in the new now. Our old friends no longer share the same things in common. Live in the new now! We no longer are piling up judgement but are now accruing rewards. Live in the now now!

The Spirit of…

September 18th, 2020

The Spirit of…

Pastor Don Carpenter / General

Fear; The believers pray for boldness; Boldness; Love; Sober / 2 Timothy 1:7

Wolf eels, which grow to be approximately six feet long, live in the cold waters of the northern Pacific Ocean in rocky dens on the sea floor. They have large, almost human-size eyes and formidable teeth, which give them a fierce appearance.

It is no wonder that for years, many marine scientists and divers believed them to be predatory and vicious. A recent discovery, however, has debunked that myth forever. Wolf eels actually use their long, sharp teeth to crack the shells of mollusks in order to get the meat inside. They do not bother humans at all. In fact, they are so docile that some have even played with the divers who studied them.

Something that looked fearful turned out not to be worthy of fear at all. Appearances can be deceiving, especially in spiritual matters. Peter was fine until he put his eyes on the waves at his feet and allowed the seeming impossibility of walking on water to rule his belief.

1 Charles F. Stanley, On Holy Ground (Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers, 1999), 9.

Fear of what might be is crippling believers today. What of COVID? What of BLM? What of the elections?  

In his second letter to preacher boy, Timothy, the Apostle Paul spends some time encouraging him to step up to the battle of truth to which he was called. In our passage this evening, we find Paul talking about Timothy’s disposition. The term “spirit of” was not talking about a living spiritual entity, but rather a mindset. God has equipped the believer with truth and fruits of the Holy Spirit. He no longer needs to have the spirit of fear or a disposition of fear. In Christ the believer has the spirit of power, of love and of a sound mind.

Believers are not Given the Spirit of Fear

2 Timothy 1:7 KJV

For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.

The word “spirit,” used with “fear,” is best understood as referring to a disposition of the mind, thus, a spirit of fear. “Fear” is deilia (??????), “fearfulness, timidity.” 1

1 Kenneth S. Wuest, Wuest’s Word Studies from the Greek New Testament: For the English Reader, vol. 8 (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1997), 118–119.

Romans 8:15 KJV

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.

He was a professional thief. His name stirred fear as the desert wind stirs tumbleweeds. He terrorized the Wells Fargo stage line for thirteen years, roaring like a tornado in and out of the Sierra Nevada’s, spooking the most rugged frontiersmen. In journals from San Francisco to New York, his name became synonymous with the danger of the frontier.

During his reign of terror between 1875 and 1883, he is credited with stealing the bags and the breath away from twenty-nine different stagecoach crews. And he did it all without firing a shot.

His weapon was his reputation. His ammunition was intimidation.

A hood hid his face. No victim ever saw him. No artist ever sketched his features. No sheriff could ever track his trail. He never fired a shot or took a hostage.

He didn’t have to. His presence was enough to paralyze.

Black Bart. A hooded bandit armed with a deadly weapon. What was his deadly weapon? One word, it was FEAR!

Fear has prevented many Christians from experiencing the blissful happiness that Jesus is defining in the beatitudes. Fear of death, fear of failure, fear of God, fear of tomorrow – and the list goes on and on. Fear’s goal is to create a cowardly, joyless soul. He wants you to take your eyes off the mountain peak and settle for the dull existence of the flat lands.

And by the way, remember Black Bart? As it turns out, he wasn’t anything to be afraid of, either. When the hood came off, there was nothing to fear. When the authorities finally tracked down the thief, they didn’t find a bloodthirsty bandit from Death Valley; they found a mild-mannered druggist from Decatur, Illinois. The man the papers pictured storming through the mountains on horseback was, in reality, so afraid of horses he rode to and from his robberies in a buggy. He was Charles E. Boles – the bandit who never once fired a shot, because he never once loaded his gun. 

Paul Harvey’s The Rest of the Story; (New York, NY: Bantam, 1977) Page 117

Believers are Given the Spirit of Power

2 Timothy 1:7 KJV

For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.

1. dunamis (???????, 1411) is (a) “power, ability,” physical or moral, as residing in a person or thing; (b) “power in action,” as, e.g., when put forth in performing miracles. It occurs 118 times in the NT. It is sometimes used of the miracle or sign itself, the effect being put for the cause, e.g., Mark 6:5, frequently in the Gospels and Acts. In 1 Cor. 14:11 it is rendered “meaning”; “force” would be more accurate. Cf., the corresponding verbs, B, 1, 2, 3 and the adjective C. 1, below. See abundance, deed, might, power, strength, violence, virtue, work.1

1 W. E. Vine, Merrill F. Unger, and William White Jr., Vine’s Complete Expository Dictionary of Old and New Testament Words (Nashville, TN: T. Nelson, 1996), 2.

1 Corinthians 2:4 KJV

And my speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of man’s wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power:

…force of character, which if not natural, may be inspired by consciousness of a divine appointment,1

1 Kenneth S. Wuest, Wuest’s Word Studies from the Greek New Testament: For the English Reader, vol. 8 (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1997), 119.

Of power (????????). Found in all the Pauline Epistles except Philemon. In Pastorals only here, ver. 8, and ch. 3:5. Not used by our writer in the sense of working miracles, which it sometimes has in Paul. Here, the power to overcome all obstacles and to face all dangers. It is closely linked with the sense of ???????? boldness.1

1 Marvin Richardson Vincent, Word Studies in the New Testament, vol. 4 (New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1887), 290.

The Spirit of Power that we receive is not like the human power that we recognize as strong. It’s a power unlike anything we can do on our own.

A young man growing up in the wrong part of Houston became a bully. He would get in fights in school, in the neighborhood, and began mugging people to get spending money. He even beat up people just for the sake of doing it.

He learned to box, and became pretty good at it. He began to make a lot of money and could have almost anything he wanted. One day, during his training session for an upcoming bout, he heard his mom talking to his sister on the telephone about his favorite nephew. The young boy had had a seizure and now lay in a coma in the hospital. Doctors said he would probably die, but that if he came out of the coma he wouldn’t be able to move his limbs, or speak, or do any of the human functions we consider part of living.

He ran into the room where his mom was on the phone and shouted, “Momma, call the hospital and tell those doctors to give him the best of everything. Tell them I’ll take care of all the bills, to fly in the best doctors from wherever they have to. Tell them who I am, and that I’ll take care of everything — whatever it costs.”

His mom spoke to the doctors, and then told him, “Son, you’re just going to have to pray.”

He realized then how grave the situation was. When someone tells you the only thing you can do is pray, things are looking pretty bad.

Then it hit him. All of his money, his fame, his influence, his friends — none of that could solve this problem. It was out of his hands, out of the doctor’s hands, out of everyone’s hands. For the first time, he was totally powerless.

And for the first time, George Foreman dropped to his knees and prayed.

He wasn’t sure God existed, but he knew that when all else failed, people prayed. He asked God, if he really existed, to help his nephew. Then he got back in bed. A few seconds later, he got back on his knees and offered to give up all his wealth if God would heal his nephew. Then he got back in bed again. A few seconds later he got back on his knees a third time and got angry at God for letting this happen to his nephew, a child who hadn’t experienced life yet. George told God to take his life instead. Let the boy live and take George’s life instead.

The next morning George’s sister called from the hospital. His nephew had woken up and could move his eyes, but the doctors said he wouldn’t ever walk again.

She called later that day, and the boy had begun moving his toes. The next day the boy was talking, and a week later he was on his way home, “walking, talking, and back to normal.” The doctors had no logical explanation. But George Foreman knew God had just given him a miracle.

Three months later in March 1977, George Foreman died in his locker room after fighting Jimmy Young. He collapsed in a heap, and entered what he describes as “a deep, dark void, like a bottomless pit.”

In his book, God in My Corner — A Spiritual Memoir, George wrote “I knew I was dead, and that this wasn’t heaven. I was terrified, knowing I had no way out. Sorrow beyond description engulfed my soul, more than anyone could ever imagine. If you multiplied every disturbing and frightening thought that you’ve ever had during your entire life, that wouldn’t come close to the panic I felt. …

“ I screamed with every ounce of strength in me, ‘I don’t care if this is death. I still believe in God.’

“Instantly, what seemed to be like a giant hand reached down and snatched me out of the terrifying place. Immediately, I was back inside my body in the dressing room.”

George accepted Jesus as his Lord and Savior, and devoted himself to being a disciple of Jesus Christ. He realized his human power, his money, his prestige, were worthless in the next life, and meant to be used as tools to lead others to Jesus during this one.

He went on to win the Heavyweight Championship of the World twice. He was ordained as an evangelist in the Church of the Lord Jesus Christ and became pastor of a small church. He also became involved in prison and hospital ministries.

You probably know him best for the George Foreman Grills that continue to sell around the world. And he recently baptized his own 23-year-old daughter who finally decided to dedicated her own life to Jesus.

That’s God’s idea of power.

Believers Have Been Given a Spirit of Love.

2 Timothy 1:7 KJV

For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.

Romans 15:30 KJV

Now I beseech you, brethren, for the Lord Jesus Christ’s sake, and for the love of the Spirit, that ye strive together with me in your prayers to God for me;

The second mark of the Spirit is “love” (1:13; 2:22; 3:10; see on 1 Tim 1:5). This is one of several components characteristic of authentic Christian existence as portrayed in these letters that Timothy is especially to pursue and exhibit. It often occurs alongside “faith,” identifying the observable dimension of Christianity as service to others done in the power of the Spirit (cf. Gal 5:6; 22–23; 1 Tim 2:15 note).1

1 Philip H. Towner, The Letters to Timothy and Titus, The New International Commentary on the New Testament (Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 2006), 462.

1 John 4:16–19 KJV

And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him. 

Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment: because as he is, so are we in this world. 

There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love. 

We love him, because he first loved us.

One summer night during a severe thunderstorm a mother was tucking her small son into bed. She was about to turn the light off when he asked in a trembling voice, “Mommy, will you stay with me all night?” Smiling, the mother gave him a warm, reassuring hug and said tenderly, “I can’t dear. I have to sleep in Daddy’s room.” A long silence followed. At last it was broken by a shaky voice saying, “The big sissy!”

Believers Are Given the Spirit of a Sound Mind.

2 Timothy 1:7 KJV

For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.

???????????b, ?? m; ?????????b, ?? f: to behave in a sensible manner, with the implication of thoughtful awareness of what is best—‘moderation, sensibility.’

???????????b: ?????? … ?????? ??? ??????????? ‘(his) Spirit … (fills us) with love and moderation’ 2 Tm 1:7. For another interpretation of ??????????? in 2 Tm 1:7, see 32.34.

?????????b: ?? ?????? ??? ????? ??? ??????? ???? ?????????? ‘in faith and love and holiness with sensibility’ 1 Tm 2:15.1

Third in the list is a quality that can be viewed from several perspectives as either “self-discipline,” “self-control,” “discretion,” “moderation,” or “prudence.” The word group to which this term belongs is also integral to the interpretation of the Christian life in these three letters, and it was a dominant feature in secular ethical thought (see 1 Tim 2:9 Excursus). It depicts the self-control over one’s actions and thoughts that prevents rash behavior and aids balanced assessment of situations. In this context, it would apply to Timothy’s appraisal of the situation of opposition and confrontation and allow him the clarity of thought necessary to trust in the invisible God despite the threats of very visible opponents.1

1 Philip H. Towner, The Letters to Timothy and Titus, The New International Commentary on the New Testament (Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 2006), 462.

1 Timothy 4:7 KJV

But refuse profane and old wives’ fables, and exercise thyself rather unto godliness.

Of a sound mind (???????????). N. T.o. oLXX, oClass. Not self-control, but the faculty of generating it in others or in one’s self, making them ???????? of sound mind. Comp. Tit. 2:4. Rend. discipline. See on ?????????, 1 Tim. 2:9.1

1 Marvin Richardson Vincent, Word Studies in the New Testament, vol. 4 (New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1887), 290.

One night I was certain that I was about to become the victim of a home invasion.

Something had awakened me. I heard a strange noise and became even more alert. As I slowly looked around with my heart thumping I saw him! He was standing there looking at me. I wasn’t sure what to do. I didn’t think he knew I was awake, and I knew I had to act fast. I slowly tensed my muscles like coiled springs and leaped at him throwing a mighty punch!

It was amazing! I completely knocked that jacket off the chair I had thrown it on before going to bed. After I turned on the lights I felt silly.

It is amazing how our perceptions can be off. Often the things we fear might be, are nothing in reality.

We are navigating perilous times, but God has not given us a fearful disposition. He has given us a disposition that can overcome obstacles. God has given us a disposition toward love, not fear. God has given us a disposition of sober thinking. We are to be disciplined, not panicked in our responses. This is the spirit which we have been given.

Exported from Logos Bible Software, 11:38 AM September 18, 2020.

Christians in the Midst of Crisis

September 17th, 2020

Christians in the Midst of Crisis

Pastor Don Carpenter / General

Mission; Mercy and Compassion; Comfort / 1 Thessalonians 5:14

As calls to crisis hotlines spike amid the coronavirus, those who respond feel the strain

Suzanne Hirt

USA TODAY NETWORK

June 15, 2020

Thousands of anxious, stressed, isolated and uncertain callers are flooding helplines nationwide. They are teenagers and senior citizens. They have lost jobs, homes and relatives. Some express suicidal thoughts or fears that their positive COVID-19 test is a death sentence. Others reach out in the throes of a panic attack.

“Our phones are ringing off the hook,” said Honberg. “We stay busy. You hang up and it rings again.”

The dramatic increase is straining the licensed social workers and volunteers who strive to support callers’ mental and emotional health even as the pandemic takes a toll on their own lives and families.

In an April survey of crisis providers nationwide, nearly half of the 93 call centers that responded reported an increase in call volume, and almost as many said their workforce was overwhelmed. Many cited burnout, fatigue and mental or physical health concerns. 

The Alliance, known as NAMI, reported a 65% jump in HelpLine calls, callbacks and emails for the period of March 1 to April 30 from last year’s numbers in the same time span. Callers in the past typically wanted information or resources for a loved one, but now, four times as many people are reaching out about their own needs.

The Disaster Distress Helpline, a sub-network of the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline that offers emotional support to people in need after natural and human-caused disasters, saw an 890% spike in call volume in April compared with April 2019.

The Crisis Text Line, which provides round-the-clock support via text messages with a trained crisis counselor, had 9,854 counselors active during a 28-day period ending May 29 – more than double the number that were active in the 28 days before the pandemic, CEO Nancy Lublin said. 

“It’s stressful to think that there are people calling us and we can’t take their call immediately because we’re already on the phone with somebody,” said Rose Andre, a staff member at the Colorado Crisis Hotline, which also answers National Suicide Prevention Lifeline calls that originate from a Colorado area code. “We’re all feeling that chaos.”

COVID is not the only stress we are facing, our nation is plagued with racial tensions, police abuse of power, hatred for the military, disdain for law and order, a mistrust of the electoral system, and a general feeling of anxiety and hopelessness.

Beside all this people are carrying personal issues, like health threats, relationship problems, financial pressures, and other things. Everywhere you go people are hurting. I think based upon the article we just shared, the nation is in crisis.

Right in this room there are folks who are hanging on to sanity by a thread. Now more than ever we Christians need to serve as selfless Crisis workers. We must give warning, comfort, support, and patience to folks all around us.  

The Apostle Paul in his letter to the Thessalonian believers gave them a similar exhortation.  When everything seems to be falling apart, we need to get our eyes off of ourselves and look on the needs of others. We need to be ready with a word that will comfort and rescue the person next to us. We need to be ready willing, and prepared to be used as Christians in Crisis.

Warn The Unruly

1 Thessalonians 5:14 KJV

Now we exhort you, brethren, warn them that are unruly, comfort the feebleminded, support the weak, be patient toward all men.

 • Warn those who are idle.

In this context, warn implies a strong admonition not to behave in a particular way. A satisfactory translation may be simply “tell those who are idle that they must not be so,” “tell those lazy people that this is not right,” or “speak strongly to the lazy persons.”

Ellingworth, P., & Nida, E. A. (1976). A handbook on Paul’s letters to the Thessalonians (p. 119). New York: United Bible Societies.

 • Warn the disorderly

Admonish the disorderly (?????????? ???? ???????? [noutheteite tous ataktous]). Put sense into the unruly mob who break ranks (? [a] privative and ?????? [taktos], verbal adjective of ????? [tass?], to keep military order). Recall the idlers from the market-place used against Paul (Acts 17:5). This is a challenging task for any leader

Robertson, A. T. (1933). Word Pictures in the New Testament (1 Th 5:14). Nashville, TN: Broadman Press.

 • Warn the unruly

Them that are unruly (???? ????????). N. T.o. The A. V. is more vigorous and less stilted than Rev. disorderly. From ? not and ??????? draw up or arrange. Those who are out of line. Comp. the adverb ??????? disorderly, 2 Th. 3:6, 11. Probably referring to the idlers and busybodies described there.

Vincent, M. R. (1887). Word studies in the New Testament (Vol. 4, pp. 48–49). New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons.

2 Thessalonians 3:11 KJV

For we hear that there are some which walk among you disorderly, working not at all, but are busybodies.

A group of 49 students and staff from Royd’s Comprehensive Middle School in England went on a week-long outdoor trip. One morning, a teacher took a small group on a river walk. She had never seen the water higher, so she led the kids through the dangerous river, instead of walking behind as usual. One of the boys slipped while trying to cross the swollen river, and needed help to get out.

Later that day another group and another teacher go on the same walk. This time, Rochelle and Hannah, two 13 year old girls, are swept away to their deaths in the flooded stream. One of the girls laughed as she slipped in the water. She thought she looked silly–her friends laughed with her. She had no idea of the danger she was really in.

Ms. Nicholson was asked why she had not warned the later groups. Her answer: She didn’t think anyone would answer the phone at the youth hostel where they were staying. She didn’t think anyone would listen.

SOURCE: SermonCentral staff. Citation: Stokes, Paul. River Fear Not Passed on by Walk Teacher. UK Telegraph, Feb 21,2002. 

Comfort the Feebleminded

1 Thessalonians 5:14 KJV

Now we exhort you, brethren, warn them that are unruly, comfort the feebleminded, support the weak, be patient toward all men.

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

oligopsuchos (??????????, 3642), lit., “small-souled” (oligos, “small,” psuche, “the soul”), denotes “despondent”; then, “fainthearted

the timid (oligopsychous, lit., “short of soul”) need encouragement. These fainthearted people tend to become discouraged and despondent more easily than most. They need cheering up, stimulation to press on, and extra help to live the Christian life. (Interestingly the verbs in these two commands [parakaloumen and paramytheisthe] are in the same order as the first two participles in 2:12.)

Constable, T. L. (1985). 1 Thessalonians. In J. F. Walvoord & R. B. Zuck (Eds.), The Bible Knowledge Commentary: An Exposition of the Scriptures (Vol. 2, p. 708). Wheaton, IL: Victor Books.

A literal translation of encourage the timid could result in precisely the wrong meaning, namely, “encourage the timid to be more timid.” A more satisfactory equivalent may be found in a rendering such as “give courage to those who are fearful,” “take away the fear from those who are afraid,” or “give confidence to those who are afraid.”

Ellingworth, P., & Nida, E. A. (1976). A handbook on Paul’s letters to the Thessalonians (p. 119). New York: United Bible Societies.

A little girl lost a playmate in death and one day reported to her family that she had gone to comfort the sorrowing mother. “What did you say?” asked her parents. “Nothing,” she replied. “I just climbed up on her lap and cried with her.

1 Michael P. Green, 1500 Illustrations for Biblical Preaching (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books, 2000), 70.

Support The Weak

1 Thessalonians 5:14 KJV

Now we exhort you, brethren, warn them that are unruly, comfort the feebleminded, support the weak, be patient toward all men.

Word Studies in the New Testament Chapter 5

Support (?????????). Comp. Matt. 6:24; Tit. 1:9. ???? against and ??????? to hold one’s self. The primary sense is, keeping one’s self directly opposite to another so as to sustain him.

“Weakness,” it should be noted, has very often been held in disdain by others, who think of themselves as the “strong”; however, Paul has here captured one of the marks of truly Christian faith, as it has been exhibited in full by our Lord himself in his earthly life.

Fee, G. D. (2009). The First and Second Letters to the Thessalonians (pp. 210–211). Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co.

In any case, it is clear that Paul’s use of the word weak, here as in Romans 14:1–2, does not imply any condemnation. Like the timid, the weak are people who need help, no doubt because they are immature or inexperienced. Since it is impossible to know precisely the meaning of weak in this context, it may be best to use a descriptive phrase which will fit with the meaning of “help,” for example, “help those who need help,” or “help those who are lacking in some way.”

Ellingworth, P., & Nida, E. A. (1976). A handbook on Paul’s letters to the Thessalonians (p. 119). New York: United Bible Societies.

The Joe Bayly family, in the course of several years, lost three of their children. In his book View from A Hearse, (Elgin, Ill.: Cook, 1973) Joe Bayly shared his honest feelings when one of his children died:

“I was sitting there torn by grief. Someone came and talked of God’s dealings, of why it happened, of hope beyond the grave. He talked constantly. He said things I knew were true. I was unmoved, except to wish he’d go away. He finally did.

“Another came and sat beside me. He didn’t talk. He didn’t ask me leading questions. He just sat beside me for an hour and more, listened when I said something, answered briefly, prayed simply, and left. I was moved. I was comforted. I hated to see him go.”

1 Michael P. Green, 1500 Illustrations for Biblical Preaching (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books, 2000), 70.

Be Patient With Everyone.

1 Thessalonians 5:14 KJV

Now we exhort you, brethren, warn them that are unruly, comfort the feebleminded, support the weak, be patient toward all men.

Be patient with everyone may be expressed idiomatically, for example, “speak softly to everyone,” “move slowly with everyone,” or negatively, “do not speak sharply to anyone,” or “do not shout at anyone.”

Ellingworth, P., & Nida, E. A. (1976). A handbook on Paul’s letters to the Thessalonians (pp. 119–120). New York: United Bible Societies.

That is, in human relationships more is needed than simply “being patient” with others, and Paul’s word here implies that “something more,” namely that they are to be “forbearing” toward, and thus “suffering long” with regard to, others in the believing community. Furthermore, this distinction between the two words regularly rendered as “patient/patience” in English is consistent in Paul’s own usage. “Patience” (hypomon?) is needed in trying situations; “forbearance [long suffering]” is what is required in interpersonal relationships—“with everyone.”

Fee, G. D. (2009). The First and Second Letters to the Thessalonians (pp. 211–212). Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co.

F.B. Meyer once said that when we see a brother or sister in sin, there are three things we do not know:

First, we do not know how hard he or she tried not to sin.

Second, we do not know the power of the forces that assailed him or her.

Thirdly, we also do not know what we would have done in the same circumstances.

Conviction and compassion – it’s not a binary concept of one or the other. It is both strength of conviction and depth of compassion that will enable us to be the salt of the earth and the light of the world that God has called us to be.

_____________

You are needed! Unruly folks need to hear your warnings. Feebleminded, timid, small -souled, despondent people need your comfort. Weak, immature, vulnerable people need to lean on you as you support them. Everyone needs you to be long tempered giving grace to folks who need it most. This is to be the behavior of Christians in the Midst of Crisis.

Exported from Logos Bible Software, 1:25 PM September 17, 2020.

Armed With The Mind of Christ

September 16th, 2020

Armed With The Mind of Christ

Pastor Don Carpenter / General

Not From Around Here: The Complicated Life of a Sojourner / Submission; Self-denial; Self-control / 1 Peter 4:1–2

The key to success in most things is the proper mindset. In martial arts we are taught that the body will do what the mind will allow. As we try to shine as lights in a very dark world, we are faced with many things that would dim our light. An effective Christian has learned to obtain and maintain the right mindset.  

The Apostle Peter has been telling his sojourners that Jesus is our example. This evening we will learn that in order to effectively glorify God in our lifestyle we must arm ourselves with the mind of Christ.

The Mindset of Christ’s Selflessness.

1 Peter 4:1 KJV

Forasmuch then as Christ hath suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves likewise with the same mind: for he that hath suffered in the flesh hath ceased from sin;

The words “suffered in the flesh” are in the same construction as the similar phrase “being put to death in the flesh” (3:18). In the latter expression we found that Peter was speaking of the fact that our Lord was put to death with respect to the flesh, thus suffering with respect to the flesh. This suffering was the result of unjust treatment. The same holds true in 4:1 where the Christian who has suffered in the flesh is the Christian who has suffered ill-treatment from the persecuting world of sinners. The fact that he has been persecuted is an indication of another fact, namely, that he has ceased from sin. The world directs its persecution against those who are living lives of obedience to God, thus those who have ceased from sin. The verb is passive. Literally, the Christian “hath got release” from sin. God broke the power of sin in his life when He saved him. Thus our reaction to unjust suffering should be that of a saint, not a sinner, since we have in salvation been released from sin’s compelling power.1

1 Kenneth S. Wuest, Wuest’s Word Studies from the Greek New Testament: For the English Reader, vol. 11 (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1997), 110–111.

_______________

Philippians 2:5–8 KJV

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

Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: 

But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: 

And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.

__________

A.W. Tozer nailed the nail on the head, saying, “In every Christians heart there is a cross and a throne and the Christian is on the throne till he puts himself on the cross; if he refuses the cross he remains on the throne. Perhaps this is at the bottom of the backsliding and worldliness among believers today. We want to be saved but insist Christ do all the dying.”

Arm Yourself With Christ’s Sinlessness.

1 Peter 4:1 KJV

Forasmuch then as Christ hath suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves likewise with the same mind: for he that hath suffered in the flesh hath ceased from sin;

Galatians 5:16–18 KJV

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

For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would. 

But if ye be led of the Spirit, ye are not under the law.

 Finally, the point is that once the Christian grasps this insight he will realize from the example of Christ in 3:18–22 that he must live for God now (which means a suffering in the flesh and thus a battling of sin), for that will lead to a parallel victory (a state of having ceased from sin).1

1 Peter H. Davids, The First Epistle of Peter, The New International Commentary on the New Testament (Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 1990), 149.

Romans 6:6–7 KJV

Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin. 

For he that is dead is freed from sin.

A wife came to the conclusion that carbonated drinks were having negative physical effects on her family and herself and so decided that they should give them up. But how would she convince her three-year-old daughter, who liked them so much, that it was necessary to stop drinking them?

As the wife was telling her husband of her decision, the little girl piped up to ask, “Mommy, we don’t like pop any more?” Mommy said “That’s right!”—and that was all it took.

Oh, for such a readiness to give up something when we learn that God does not want us to do it1

1 Michael P. Green, 1500 Illustrations for Biblical Preaching (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books, 2000), 335–336.

Arm Yourself With Christ’s Surrender.

1 Peter 4:2 KJV

That he no longer should live the rest of his time in the flesh to the lusts of men, but to the will of God.

As a result Christians who have adopted Christ’s mind-set have counted themselves dead to sin. They live the rest of their lives not for evil human desires, but rather for the will of God (cf. 2:15; 3:17; 4:19).1

1 Roger M. Raymer, “1 Peter,” in The Bible Knowledge Commentary: An Exposition of the Scriptures, ed. J. F. Walvoord and R. B. Zuck, vol. 2 (Wheaton, IL: Victor Books, 1985), 852.

___________

In this verse, the apostle tells his readers why God breaks the power of the sinful nature at the moment the Christian is saved. It is in order that he should no longer live the rest of his earthly life in the sphere of the cravings (lusts) of men, but live in the sphere of the will of God. The word “lust” in Greek speaks of any strong craving, here, an evil craving.1

1 Kenneth S. Wuest, Wuest’s Word Studies from the Greek New Testament: For the English Reader, vol. 11 (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1997), 111.

_________________

On the other hand, since the flesh is weak and fallen, it is the mode of existence in which the evil impulse in human beings operates. Believers thus have a choice: (1) they can live their remaining time “for human desires,” or (2) they can live it “for the will of God.” The use of “desire” for this generalized “I want” within (“If it feels good, do it”) has already been noted by us earlier in 1 Peter (1:14; 2:11). What is unusual is his use of “human” to mean the same thing as “fleshly” (2:11) or “heathen” (4:3 = “will of the nations”). In other words, “human” means “unredeemed humanity.” Thus there is a clear choice between taking the path of least resistance to their natural desires and their committing themselves to follow God’s will, even if it entails suffering.1

1 Peter H. Davids, The First Epistle of Peter, The New International Commentary on the New Testament (Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 1990), 150.

___________

Andrew Murray put it this way, “Many Christians fear and flee and seek deliverance from all that would humble them. At times they may pray for humility but in their heart of hearts they pray even more to be kept from the things that would bring them to that place.”

Humility results in a life of dying to self which produces radical obedience and reckless abandon.

Jesus was humble and “obedient unto death…”

Exported from Logos Bible Software, 11:58 AM September 16, 2020.

Don’t Be A Dim Bulb

September 13th, 2020

Don’t Be A Dim Bulb

Pastor Don Carpenter / General

Testimony; Murmuring; Complaining / Philippians 2:14–15

 Last week something happened during Becky’s housecleaning that radially changed the appearance of our hallway. She had noticed that the light fixture had become quite dusty and all the bulbs were not working. After cleaning a substantial amount of dust from the glass and replacing a couple of bulbs, the hall was very bright. By removing the dust and dysfunctional bulbs, the light operated as it was supposed to and made a huge difference in what the hallway looked like.

Tonight we are going to talk about the dust of complaining and grumbling. The Bible tells us that when we murmur we are not blameless and harmless. We are not the bright lights that we need to be in a very dark world. As we examine our own lives, let us together resolve not to be a dim bulb.

Clean up the Dust

Do all things without murmurings and disputings: 

Murmur

?The word “murmurings” is the translation of a Greek word which means, “to mutter, to murmur.” It was used of the cooing of doves. It is an onomatopoetic word, that is, a word whose sound resembles its meaning. It is spelled, gongusmon (?????????). It refers, not to a loud outspoken dissatisfaction, but to that undertone murmuring which one sometimes hears in the lobbies of our present day churches where certain cliques are “having it out,” so to speak, among themselves. The word refers to the act of murmuring against men, not God. The use of this word shows that the divisions among the Philippians had not yet risen to the point of loud dissension. The word was used of those who confer secretly, of those who discontentedly complain. The word is found in a secular document reporting an interview between Marcus Aurelius and a rebel. A veteran present interposes with the remark, “Lord, while you are sitting in judgment, the Romans are murmuring.”

Wuest, K. S. (1997). Wuest’s word studies from the Greek New Testament: For the English reader (Php 2:14). Grand Rapids: Eerdmans.

????????? means “complaint” or “displeasure” expressed in murmuring, secret talk, or whisperings about someone (perhaps about leaders)—a kind of grumbling action that promotes ill will instead of harmony and goodwill (cf. Acts 6:1; 1 Pet 4:9;

Hawthorne, G. F. (2004). Vol. 43: Philippians. Word Biblical Commentary (143). Dallas: Word, Incorporated.

1 Corinthians 10:10 KJV

Neither murmur ye, as some of them also murmured, and were destroyed of the destroyer.

Jude 15–16 KJV

to execute judgment upon all, and to convince all that are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have ungodly committed, and of all their hard speeches which ungodly sinners have spoken against him. 

These are murmurers, complainers, walking after their own lusts; and their mouth speaketh great swelling words, having men’s persons in admiration because of advantage.

Dispute – debate/ suspicion/ doubt

?The word “disputings” is the translation of a Greek word that carries the ideas of discussion or debate, with the underthought of suspicion or doubt. The murmurings led to disputes.

Wuest, K. S. (1997). Wuest’s word studies from the Greek New Testament: For the English reader (Php 2:14). Grand Rapids: Eerdmans.

The World Is Dark Enough.

?The Philippians lived in a crooked and depraved generation (2:15). Again it seems that Paul had the unbelieving Israelites in mind. Moses had used similar words to describe Israel who had gone astray (cf. Deut. 32:5). Peter used the same terminology (“corrupt generation,” Acts 2:40) that Christ did (“perverse generation,” Matt. 17:17).

?The world today, like theirs, is unscrupulous and perverted. Most people have turned their backs on God and truth. In this kind of world God’s people are to “shine like stars” (Phil. 2:15; cf. Matt. 5:14–16). They are to be children of God without fault.

Lightner, R. P. (1985). Philippians. In J. F. Walvoord & R. B. Zuck (Eds.), . Vol. 2: The Bible Knowledge Commentary: An Exposition of the Scriptures (J. F. Walvoord & R. B. Zuck, Ed.) (656). Wheaton, IL: Victor Books.

?“Crooked” in the Greek has the idea of “crooked, perverse, wicked,” in the sense of turning away from the truth. “Perverse” has the idea of “distorted, having a twist.” It is a stronger word than “crooked.” “Shine” refers to the fact of appearing, not the act of shining. The word for “lights” is the translation of the Greek word used of the heavenly bodies such as the stars. How appropriate to speak of the saints as luminaries, since they are heavenly people.

Wuest, K. S. (1997). Wuest’s word studies from the Greek New Testament: For the English reader (Php 2:14). Grand Rapids: Eerdmans.

Church conflicts happen for pretty unusual reasons. In the 1890s there was a small Baptist church in Mayfield County, Kentucky. The church had just two deacons, and those two men seemed to be constantly arguing and bickering with each other. On a particular Sunday, one deacon put up a small wooden peg in the back wall so the pastor could hang up his hat. When the other deacon discovered the peg, he was outraged. “How dare someone put a peg in the wall without first consulting me!” The people in the church took sides and the congregation eventually split. Over a hundred years later, residents of Mayfield County still refer to the two churches as Peg Baptist and Anti-Peg Baptist.

Shine Brightly

Philippians 2:15 KJV

That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world;

Blameless

?Blameless (amemptoi, v. 15) means “above reproach.” This does not mean sinless perfection. The corporate testimony of the church is in view. All believers are called on to live out the salvation God has worked in them—to progress in their spiritual maturity. The people were to live so that those outside of Christ could not rightfully point an accusing finger at them. 

Lightner, R. P. (1985). Philippians. In J. F. Walvoord & R. B. Zuck (Eds.), . Vol. 2: The Bible Knowledge Commentary: An Exposition of the Scriptures (J. F. Walvoord & R. B. Zuck, Ed.) (656). Wheaton, IL: Victor Books.

Harmless

?“Harmless” in the Greek text has the idea of “unmixed, unadulterated.” It was used of wine without water, and metal without alloy. It means “guileless.”

Wuest, K. S. (1997). Wuest’s word studies from the Greek New Testament: For the English reader (Php 2:14). Grand Rapids: Eerdmans.

And harmless.—Christ’s own counsel. “Be harmless as doves.” Lit. the word means unmixed, unadulterated, and figuratively, artless. Of sophistries and the deep things of Satan he would rather they were in happy ignorance (Matt. 10:16; Rom. 16:19)

Barlow, G. (1892). Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, I & II Thessalonians. The Preacher’s Complete Homiletic Commentary (322). New York; London; Toronto: Funk & Wagnalls Company.

As Sons of God

Matthew 5:16 KJV

Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.

Without Rebuke

 Without rebuke.—Vulgate, “immaculatum.” The word is originally a sacrifiical term. It describes the victim in which the keen inquisitorial eye of the official inspector has found no fault. So (1 Pet. 1:19) of the Lamb of God, in the whiteness of spotless innocency. 

Barlow, G. (1892). Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, I & II Thessalonians. The Preacher’s Complete Homiletic Commentary (322). New York; London; Toronto: Funk & Wagnalls Company.

WHAT MAKES YOUR FACE SHINE?

A Hindu trader in India once asked a missionary, “What do you put on your face to make it shine?” With surprise the man of God answered, “I don’t put anything on it!” His questioner began to lose patience and said emphatically, “Yes, you do! All of you who believe in Jesus seem to have it. I’ve seen it in the towns of Agra and Surat, and even in the city of Bombay.”

Suddenly the Christian understood, and his face glowed even more as he said, “Now I know what you mean, and I will tell you the secret. It’s not something we put on from the outside but something that comes from within. It’s the reflection of the light of Christ in our hearts.”

Exported from Logos Bible Software, 1:10 PM September 13, 2020.

Sneaky Snake

September 10th, 2020

Sneaky Snake

Pastor Don Carpenter / General

Deceit; Apostasy / 2 Corinthians 11:1–4

 The story has been told of a woman who had acquired wealth and social prominence and decided to have a book written about her genealogy. The well-known author she engaged for the assignment discovered that one of her grandfathers was a murderer who had been electrocuted in Sing Sing. When he said this would have to be included in the book, the woman pleaded that he find a way of saying it that would hide the truth.

When the book appeared, the incident read as follows: “One of her grandfathers occupied the chair of applied electricity in one of America’s best-known institutions. He was very much attached to his position and literally died in the harness.”3161

1 Michael P. Green, 1500 Illustrations for Biblical Preaching (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books, 2000), 100.

Have you ever been duped? You thought that you fully understood what you were getting into only to find that you did not have all the information, or that the information was misrepresented to you?

It has been said that “The Devil is in the details”. Perhaps it is more accurate to say that “deception is in the details.”

In our passage this morning we read Pastor Paul’s letter to the Church at Corinth. He draws an allegory between the Church at Corinth and a virgin espoused to her husband. She is promised to him and is to remain pure. He is afraid that like Eve was deceived by the serpent, even so the church could be led away from her purity and defiled before becoming married to Christ. The impurity was not sinful action, but wrong doctrine.

Today, many Christians are vulnerable to this kind of deception. They hear words like Christ, Spirit and Gospel and assume that folks using these terms are teaching the same things that they were taught while in fact are being deceived. Satan is still at work. If he is not successful in seduction, he is very effective when he weaves his web of deception. This morning we are going to learn of the ways and dangers of Satan, the Sneaky Snake.

Pure Doctrine is Under Attack.

2 Corinthians 11:3 KJV
But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ.

Corruption Begins in the Mind.

The serpent enticed her by his cunning (panourgia, “trickery”

2 Corinthians 4:2 KJV
But have renounced the hidden things of dishonesty, not walking in craftiness, nor handling the word of God deceitfully; but by manifestation of the truth commending ourselves to every man’s conscience in the sight of God.

Corruption Continues When it is Tolerated.

2 Corinthians 11:4 KJV
For if he that cometh preacheth another Jesus, whom we have not preached, or if ye receive another spirit, which ye have not received, or another gospel, which ye have not accepted, ye might well bear with him.

Deceivers Look Like Preachers.

2 Corinthians 11:13–15 KJV
For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ.

And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light.

Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works.

Corruption Happens When You Move From Singular Truth

Your thoughts will be led astray: the verb led astray has a root meaning of “ruin,” “corrupt,” or “spoil.” In some languages a word such as “spoil” rather than “lead astray” may tie in better with the following words sincere and pure. As the next verse indicates, the implicit agent of the verb be led astray is “someone who preaches a different gospel from the one that Paul preaches1

1 Roger L. Omanson and John Ellington, A Handbook on Paul’s Second Letter to the Corinthians, UBS Handbook Series (New York: United Bible Societies, 1993), 193.

Beware of Another Jesus.

King James Version Chapter 11
4 For if he that cometh preacheth another Jesus, whom we have not preached,

Proverbs 4:27 KJV
Turn not to the right hand nor to the left: Remove thy foot from evil.

• A Jesus who hates sinners as well as sin.

John 1:14 KJV
And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.

John 8:4–11 KJV
They say unto him, Master, this woman was taken in adultery, in the very act.

Now Moses in the law commanded us, that such should be stoned: but what sayest thou?

This they said, tempting him, that they might have to accuse him. But Jesus stooped down, and with his finger wrote on the ground, as though he heard them not.

So when they continued asking him, he lifted up himself, and said unto them, He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her.

And again he stooped down, and wrote on the ground.

And they which heard it, being convicted by their own conscience, went out one by one, beginning at the eldest, even unto the last: and Jesus was left alone, and the woman standing in the midst.

When Jesus had lifted up himself, and saw none but the woman, he said unto her, Woman, where are those thine accusers? hath no man condemned thee?

She said, No man, Lord. And Jesus said unto her, Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more.

• A Jesus who would not be seen with sinners.

Luke 7:34 KJV
The Son of man is come eating and drinking; and ye say, Behold a gluttonous man, and a winebibber, a friend of publicans and sinners!

• A Jesus who does not call out and expose legalism and religious pride.

Luke 12:1 KJV
In the mean time, when there were gathered together an innumerable multitude of people, insomuch that they trode one upon another, he began to say unto his disciples first of all, Beware ye of the leaven of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy.

• A Jesus who does not seek and save that which is lost.

Luke 19:10 KJV
For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost.

Beware of Another Spirit.

King James Version Chapter 11
or if ye receive another spirit, which ye have not received

Acts 1:5–8 KJV
For John truly baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence.

When they therefore were come together, they asked of him, saying, Lord, wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel?

And he said unto them, It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father hath put in his own power.

But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.

• Another spirit working confusion not conversion.

1 Corinthians 14:33 KJV
For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints.

• A spirit causing fear or control.

Romans 8:15 KJV
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.

Beware of Another Gospel.

King James Version Chapter 11
or another gospel, which ye have not accepted,

Galatians 1:6–9 KJV
I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel:

Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ.

But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed.

As we said before, so say I now again, If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed.

• Grace not Works for Salvation.

Ephesians 2:8–9 KJV
For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:

Not of works, lest any man should boast.

Romans 11:6 KJV
And if by grace, then is it no more of works: otherwise grace is no more grace. But if it be of works, then is it no more grace: otherwise work is no more work.

• Grace not Works for Favor with God.

Romans 5:2 KJV
By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.

1 John 4:16–19 KJV
And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him.

Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment: because as he is, so are we in this world.

There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love.

We love him, because he first loved us.

In 1982, seven residents of the Greater Chicago area made an assumption that proved fatal. They all took a dose of Extra Strength Tylenol® that had been laced with potassium cyanide. What they thought was medicine proved to be poison. This crime, still being investigated as of this very week (February 2009), is still unsolved, in spite of the fact that one man went to prison for sending an extortion letter to Johnson & Johnson and is presumed to be the guilty party by many.

Imagine the horror of taking what you thought was beneficial and discovering, too late, that it was killing you!


Satan is subtil! Just because someone uses a King James Bible, or uses the same terms we use does not mean he is teaching the same thing. Jesus will always be a friend of sinners. He will always rebuke self righteous legalists. The Holy Spirit will always empower believers for soul winning without distracting them with a cacophony of chaos. The Gospel will always be by grace through faith. There will never be any work rite or ritual that we can perform in order to merit God’s love. If you start to believe differently, perhaps you are being influenced by the sneaky snake.

Exported from Logos Bible Software, 6:49 PM September 10, 2020.

Adult Sunday School Study Guides Available on Kindle

September 10th, 2020

Sunday School Resumes September 13 @9:45

September 10th, 2020

Masks are encouraged. Join us as we resume classes for all ages. We will kick things off with Rally Day filled with special activities.