Category Archives: Sunday Morning Sermons

The Great Exchange

The Great Exchange

Pastor Don Carpenter

Amazing Grace / 2 Corinthians 5:21; Isaiah 53

One evening a woman was driving home when she noticed a huge truck behind her that was driving uncomfortably close. She stepped on the gas to gain some distance from the truck, but when she sped up the truck did too. The faster she drove, the faster drove the truck.

Now scared, she exited the freeway. But the truck stayed with her. The woman then turned up a main street, hoping to lose her pursuer in traffic. But the truck ran a red light and continued the chase.

Reaching the point of panic, the woman whipped her car into a service station and bolted out of her auto screaming for help. The truck driver sprang from his truck and ran toward her car. Yanking the back door open, the driver pulled out a man hidden in the backseat.

The woman was running from the wrong person. From his high vantage point, the truck driver had spotted a would-be rapist in the woman’s car. The chase was not his effort to harm her but to save her even at the cost of his own safety.

Likewise, many people run from God’s provision of atonement on the cross, fearing what He might do to them. But His plans are for good not evil–to rescue us from the hidden sins that endanger our lives. (James S. Hewett, Illustrations Unlimited (Wheaton: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc, 1988) p. 37.)

God’s Amazing Grace not only rescues the sinner from condemnation, but from slavery to that sin. God’s unmerited favor not only wipes the ledger clean, and fills it with His righteousness, but He also takes a useless vessel and fashions it into a trophy of His Grace!

 1 Corinthians 15:10 (KJV)

 But by the grace of God I am what I am…

The Apostle Paul writes this anthem of praise! It is God’s Grace that not only saves, but also keeps us. It is God’s Amazing Grace that continues to work in us to fashion us to be made in the image of Christ.

Romans 8:29 KJV

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

So how exactly does this happen? How does God show His unmerited favor toward us and fashion us into a trophy of Grace? What did Paul mean by his statement? Let us unpack this statement bit by bit.

 1 Corinthians 15:10 (KJV)

 But by the grace of God I am what I am…

I Am Not What I Was

Dead in sin

Ephesians 2:1–2 KJV

And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins; 

Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience:

Condemned in sin

John 3:18 KJV

He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.

Known by sin

1 Corinthians 6:9–10 KJV

Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, 

Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God.

A Child of Sin

John 8:44 KJV

Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.

Jesus BECAME what I was!

Sin

2 Corinthians 5:21 KJV

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.

Condemned

Galatians 3:13 KJV

Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree:

Known as a transgressor (Sinner)

Isaiah 53:12 KJV

Therefore will I divide him a portion with the great, And he shall divide the spoil with the strong; Because he hath poured out his soul unto death: And he was numbered with the transgressors; And he bare the sin of many, And made intercession for the transgressors.

Jesus is Making Me Like He Is!

Philippians 1:6 KJV

Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ:

ALIVE to God

Romans 6:9–11 KJV

Knowing that Christ being raised from the dead dieth no more; death hath no more dominion over him. 

For in that he died, he died unto sin once: but in that he liveth, he liveth unto God. 

Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord.

John 10:10 KJV

The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.

A CHILD of God

Galatians 4:4–7 KJV

But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law, 

To redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons. 

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

Wherefore thou art no more a servant, but a son; and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ.

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.

Romans 8:17 KJV

And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.

A TROPHY of Grace

1 Timothy 1:15–16 KJV

This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief. 

Howbeit for this cause I obtained mercy, that in me first Jesus Christ might shew forth all longsuffering, for a pattern to them which should hereafter believe on him to life everlasting.

In a remote Swiss village stands a beautiful church – Mountain Valley Cathedral. It has high pillars and magnificent stained glass windows, but what makes it special is the most beautiful pipe organ in the whole region. People would come from far off lands just to hear the lovely tunes of this organ.

One something went wrong with the pipe organ. It releases the wrong tones and sounds of disharmony. Musicians and experts from around the world had tried to repair it. No one could find the fault. It was made unique, customised and no one really knows how to fit it. They gave up.

After some time, one old man came. “Why wasn’t the pipe organ used?”

“It’s not playing right,” says the church staff.

“Let me try.” Since it has been lying there, the staff reluctantly agreed to let the old man try his hand at it.

For two days the old man worked in almost total silence. The church worker was, in fact, getting a bit nervous.

Then on the third day – at noon – suddenly the music came. The pipe organ gives off the best music after so many years. The people in the village heard the beautiful music. They came to the church to see.

This old man was playing at the organ. After he finished, one man asked, “How did you fix it? How did you manage to restore this magnificent instrument when even the world’s experts could not?”

The old man said, “It was I who built this organ fifty years ago. I created it, and now I have restored it.”

…James S. Hewett, Illustrations Unlimited (Wheaton: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc, 1988) pp. 244-245.

That is what God did. It is He who created the universe, and that includes you and me.

• Sin destroyed this life. It is no longer good and perfect, cannot give out beautiful music.

• God sent Jesus into this world to restore it – to give us an abundant and eternal life.

(From a sermon by Christian Cheong, The Lord of Life, 6/28/2010)

He offers salvation as a free Gift of Grace. Once you accept that gift, He continues to allow His unmerited favor to flow into your life making you back into the perfect image o Himself you were originally created to be. Have you received that gift? Are you yielding to His continued work?  Are you basking in the splendor of His Amazing Grace?

Exported from Logos Bible Software, 12:33 PM May 4, 2023.

The Action of Compassion

The Action of Compassion

Pastor Don Carpenter

Facets of Compassion

Let’s suppose for a moment that it was Friday night and you wanted to go to a movie. You’re running late for the movie because you got home late, and then once you put down the keys, you forgot where you placed them. It was frustrating but you did find them. You finally jump into the car and you’re on way making good time until you come up behind a blue car. You are on a two lane road with a solid yellow line down the middle which means no passing. The car in front of you is doing twenty in a thirty five mile an hour zone. You want to grab some popcorn before going into the movie. You are starting to wonder, where did the person in front of you get her license. What’s going on in your mind at this point?

Would it make a difference to you, if you knew that woman was heading home from the hospital to an empty house. She had driven to the hospital an hour earlier. Her husband of 40 years and her only son had arrived at the hospital dead after being in an automobile accident. She didn’t have anyone she could call on to come and drive her home. She didn’t want to leave her car at the hospital. She was crying and driving 20 miles an hour in a 35 mph zone right in front of you.

If you had of known this information, you would have still been late for the movie, but you probably would have had some compassion. You probably would have prayed for her. What you would have done is that you would have put yourself in her place and thought what you would have needed if you had been her.

Last week we discovered that the English word “compassion” is packed with so much meaning, that there are 5 Greek New Testament words that are all translated the same way. Last week we looked at three of those words as we learned how to cultivate the feeling of compassion. We learned that it was a personal choice to feel compassion. We also saw that our feeling of compassion was tied into our perception of things. We need to see people through the eyes of Jesus in order to experience the feeling of compassion that Jesus had. We also saw that compassion came when we shared common experiences.

Today we will look at two words that move us to the action of compassion. As we examine these words we will discover that we have a story of compassion to share with others, a debt of compassion to pay forward, an example of compassion to follow. Let us take a closer look and see how we can put compassion into action.

We Have a Story of Compassion to Share With Others

Our Situation was hopeless – like the demoniac of the Gadarenes

Mark 5:1–5 KJV

And they came over unto the other side of the sea, into the country of the Gadarenes. 

And when he was come out of the ship, immediately there met him out of the tombs a man with an unclean spirit, 

Who had his dwelling among the tombs; and no man could bind him, no, not with chains: 

Because that he had been often bound with fetters and chains, and the chains had been plucked asunder by him, and the fetters broken in pieces: neither could any man tame him. 

And always, night and day, he was in the mountains, and in the tombs, crying, and cutting himself with stones.

Ephesians 2:1–2 KJV

And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins; 

Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience:

 • Every one of us were, and maybe still are, as hopelessly enslaved as that demoniac.  

 • Sin enslaves, whether it is the bottle, the bed, or the pride of life.  Every one of us were enslaved both to the lifestyle and consequences of sin.

Romans 3:12 KJV

They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one.

 • The ravages of sin will kill us if we are not delivered

James 1:13–15 KJV

Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man: 

But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. 

Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death.

Hope Appeared When Jesus Appeared

Mark 5:6–7 KJV

But when he saw Jesus afar off, he ran and worshipped him, 

And cried with a loud voice, and said, What have I to do with thee, Jesus, thou Son of the most high God? I adjure thee by God, that thou torment me not.

 • Our first encounter with Christ can be very unsettling.

 • To see His holiness is to see our wretched condition.

 • Jesus is not the enemy

Jesus Sets the Captive Free!

Mark 5:8–13 KJV

For he said unto him, Come out of the man, thou unclean spirit. 

And he asked him, What is thy name? And he answered, saying, My name is Legion: for we are many. 

And he besought him much that he would not send them away out of the country. 

Now there was there nigh unto the mountains a great herd of swine feeding. 

And all the devils besought him, saying, Send us into the swine, that we may enter into them. 

And forthwith Jesus gave them leave. And the unclean spirits went out, and entered into the swine: and the herd ran violently down a steep place into the sea, (they were about two thousand;) and were choked in the sea.

John 8:32 KJV

And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.

The Mission now is to show compassion by sharing the story of Christ’s compassion toward you.

 Mark 5:15–19 (KJV)

 And they come to Jesus, and see him that was possessed with the devil, and had the legion, sitting, and clothed, and in his right mind: and they were afraid. 

 And they that saw it told them how it befell to him that was possessed with the devil, and also concerning the swine. 

 And they began to pray him to depart out of their coasts. 

 And when he was come into the ship, he that had been possessed with the devil prayed him that he might be with him. 

 Howbeit Jesus suffered him not, but saith unto him, Go home to thy friends, and tell them how great things the Lord hath done for thee, and hath had compassion on thee.

Vine’s Complete Expository Dictionary of Old and New Testament Words Compassion, Compassionate

 eleeo (?????, 1653), “to have mercy

 • If you are born again, you have at least one story of compassion. God reached down to you in your wretched state and pulled you out. He HAD MERCY/ PITY/ COMPASSION

 • Someone in your life needs to hear that they too have hope because you found hope. Have compassion on them by sharing the story of the compassion Jesus had on you.

We Have a Debt of Compassion to Pay Forward  

We have a debt we cannot pay.

Matthew 18:21–25 KJV

Then came Peter to him, and said, Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? till seven times? 

Jesus saith unto him, I say not unto thee, Until seven times: but, Until seventy times seven. 

Therefore is the kingdom of heaven likened unto a certain king, which would take account of his servants. 

And when he had begun to reckon, one was brought unto him, which owed him ten thousand talents. 

But forasmuch as he had not to pay, his lord commanded him to be sold, and his wife, and children, and all that he had, and payment to be made.

Romans 3:23 KJV

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

Romans 6:23 KJV

For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Jesus Forgave Our Debt

Matthew 18:26–27 KJV

The servant therefore fell down, and worshipped him, saying, Lord, have patience with me, and I will pay thee all. 

Then the lord of that servant was moved with compassion, and loosed him, and forgave him the debt.

2 Corinthians 5:21 KJV

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.

Romans 5:8 KJV

But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.

John 3:16 KJV

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

We Must Put Compassion into Action by Forgiving the Debt of Others.

 Matthew 18:28–33 (KJV)

 But the same servant went out, and found one of his fellowservants, which owed him an hundred pence: and he laid hands on him, and took him by the throat, saying, Pay me that thou owest. 

 And his fellowservant fell down at his feet, and besought him, saying, Have patience with me, and I will pay thee all. 

 And he would not: but went and cast him into prison, till he should pay the debt. 

 So when his fellowservants saw what was done, they were very sorry, and came and told unto their lord all that was done. 

 Then his lord, after that he had called him, said unto him, O thou wicked servant, I forgave thee all that debt, because thou desiredst me: 

 Shouldest not thou also have had compassion on thy fellowservant, even as I had pity on thee?

Matthew 6:12 KJV

And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.

Ephesians 4:32 KJV

And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.

“Compassion is the sometimes fatal capacity for feeling what it is like to live inside somebody else’s skin.

It is the knowledge that there can never really be any peace and joy for me until there is peace and joy finally for you too.”

SOURCE: Frederick Buechner, “Wishful Thinking.” Harper and Row Publishers, New York, 1973.

We Have an Example of Compassion to Follow  

Jesus Our High Priest Was also our Example

 Hebrews 5:1–2 (KJV)

 For every high priest taken from among men is ordained for men in things pertaining to God, that he may offer both gifts and sacrifices for sins: 

 Who can have compassion on the ignorant, and on them that are out of the way; for that he himself also is compassed with infirmity.

 Dictionary of Biblical Languages with Semantic Domains: Greek (New Testament)

 ??????????? (metriopathe?): deal gently with 

Wuest’s Word Studies in the Greek New Testament III. Exegesis of the Letter

Metripatheo (??????????) means to be moderate or tender in judgment toward another’s errors. It speaks of a state of feeling toward the ignorant and the erring which is neither too severe nor too tolerant. The high priest must be careful lest he become irritated at sin and ignorance. He must also take care that he does not become weakly indulgent.

 • Toward the ignorant

 • Toward the wayward

 • Because you are surrounded by your own weakness.

Our Compassion on Doubters Can Make a Difference in their Rescue

Jude 22–23 KJV

And of some have compassion, making a difference: 

and others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire; hating even the garment spotted by the flesh.

 Look at sinful men as mad, and you will pity them and bear with them.

 Charles Spurgeon

Conclusion:

We live in a cold cruel world, but we have been called, as Christ Followers, to feel and practice the same compassion He modeled for us. We have a story of compassion to share. We have a debt of compassion to pay forward. We have an example of compassion to follow. May God help us as we put our feelings of compassion into action.

Exported from Logos Bible Software, 11:55 AM March 9, 2023.

You Came Down To My Level

You Came Down to my Level – Praise Beyond Expectation

Pastor Don Carpenter

Praise Eruption / Psalm 138:6–8

 William Barclay told of a bright young woman who contracted a crippling disease that left her partially paralyzed. She had been an outdoor person, loving sunshine and sports, but now her world had turned into shadows. One day a friend brought her a book on the theme of Christian joy, written in a vivid, radiant style. As the girl took the book in her gnarled fingers, she spoke quietly, “Certainly, I know this book.”

 Her friend replied, “Have you read it before?”

 “Yes,” replied the cripple. “You see, I wrote it.”

Jones, G. C. (1986). 1000 illustrations for preaching and teaching (p. 277). Broadman & Holman Publishers.

Welcome to the final sermon on Psalm 138: “Praise Eruption”. This God inspired song was written as an explosive emotional response to the ever increasing amount of skeptics, heathen, and doubters that plagued the Psalmist on a regular basis. As we reflect on this Psalm, we can learn from David. We saw his initial response to the opposition was a bold declaration of intent to praise. As he moved from that we say him give a detailed personal account of God’s hearing, answering, and delivering during an evil day. Last week we saw how the psalmist who was also a prophet, reflected upon a day when all the kings would be believing kings. He told of a day yet to come when every knee would bow and every tongue would sing praise. Today as this song reaches a climatic end, David focuses on a compare and contrast device. He tells us about the reasons that hope and praise would be unlikely, but shows that God comes through anyway. Many of us can echo this same sentiment back to God with a heart erupting with praise… Oh God You Came Down to My Level! We can offer an anthem of praise beyond expectation!

Even Though God Is High…

 Psalm 138:6 (KJV)

 Though the LORD be high…

Psalm 113:5 KJV

Who is like unto the LORD our God, Who dwelleth on high,

Isaiah 6:1 KJV

In the year that king Uzziah died I saw also the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up, and his train filled the temple.

Yet He Has Respect to the Lowly

 Psalm 138:6 (KJV)

 Though the LORD be high, yet hath he respect unto the lowly: 

John Phillips in his commentary makes this observation:

 “Though the Lord be high, yet hath He respect unto the lowly: but the proud He knoweth afar off.” How high He is. “I saw … the Lord … high and lifted up,” said Isaiah. He is higher than the highest heaven, His throne is exalted above the stars. Between Him and the highest archangel of glory is a gulf so vast as to be infinite.

 How lowly we are. When Isaiah saw the Lord he became aware at once of his own despicable condition. “Woe is me,” he said, “I am undone.” Prophet that he was, gifted man that he was, confident before kings as he was, one glimpse of the Lord and Isaiah was filled with a sense of his unworthiness and shame. Even his lips, the words he spoke, horrified him. Yet the Lord had respect for him and lifted him up.1

1 Phillips, J. (2012). Exploring Psalms 89–150: An Expository Commentary (Vol. 2, Ps 138:6). Kregel Publications; WORDsearch Corp

Isaiah 57:15 KJV

For thus saith the high and lofty One That inhabiteth eternity, whose name is Holy; I dwell in the high and holy place, With him also that is of a contrite and humble spirit, To revive the spirit of the humble, And to revive the heart of the contrite ones.

James 4:6 KJV

But he giveth more grace. Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble.

1 Peter 5:6 KJV

Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time:

He Still Sees What the Proud Are Up To

 Psalm 138:6 (KJV)

 Though the LORD be high, yet hath he respect unto the lowly: But the proud he knoweth afar off.

But the proud. Those of lofty rank, and of lofty feelings;—the haughty.

 He knoweth afar off. From afar. Though he is exalted,—though he is in heaven,—yet he is not so far removed but that he sees them, and knows them altogether. Distance from him is no protection for them; nor can the wicked hope to escape notice from the fact that God reigns over distant worlds.1

1 Barnes, A. (1870–1872). Notes on the Old Testament: Psalms (Vol. 3, p. 289). Blackie & Son.

Psalm 1:6 KJV

For the LORD knoweth the way of the righteous: But the way of the ungodly shall perish.

Even Though I Walk In The Middle of Trouble…

 • David turns his words back to addressing God personally in praise.

 Psalm 138:7 (KJV)

 Though I walk in the midst of trouble…

But the proud. Those of lofty rank, and of lofty feelings;—the haughty.

He knoweth afar off. From afar. Though he is exalted,—though he is in heaven,—yet he is not so far removed but that he sees them, and knows them altogether. Distance from him is no protection for them; nor can the wicked hope to escape notice from the fact that God reigns over distant worlds.1

1 Barnes, A. (1870–1872). Notes on the Old Testament: Psalms (Vol. 3, p. 289). Blackie & Son.

 • I know how this will turn out- a declaration of worship directed to God himself.

You (God) will revive me

Psalm 119:50 KJV

This is my comfort in my affliction: For thy word hath quickened me.

He has nothing to worry about. His despondency and despair will be banished the moment he sees the situation in the light of God’s omnipotence and omniscience. No matter that he walks in the midst of trouble—an all-powerful, all-knowing, all-loving God is with Him.1

1 Phillips, J. (2012). Exploring Psalms 89–150: An Expository Commentary (Vol. 2, Ps 138:7a). Kregel Publications; WORDsearch Corp.

You (God) Will Rescue Me

 Psalm 138:7 (KJV)

 Though I walk in the midst of trouble, thou wilt revive me: Thou shalt stretch forth thine hand against the wrath of mine enemies…  

Psalm 91:2 KJV

I will say of the LORD, He is my refuge and my fortress: My God; in him will I trust.

God will stretch out His hand against the wrath of His enemies. The stretching forth of God’s hand is a well-known Old Testament synonym for judgment. No power in the universe can withstand the stretching out of God’s hand.

It was stretched out in the days of Daniel, when proud Belshazzar mocked the living God by using the sacred vessels of the temple for a drunken feast. What a display of pomp and world power was manifested in the palace that night. Everyone who was anyone was there: the great of the land, lords and ladies, the chiefs of the military. What a feast! What revelry! What ribald mocking of Jehovah! What scenes of debauchery! Then suddenly, silently, out of the sleeve of the night came the outstretched hand of God. Across the palace wall that hand moved, leaving behind it a message none could read. That was all it took to reduce proud Belshazzar’s pride. God is able to humble the haughtiest of persons.1

1 Phillips, J. (2012). Exploring Psalms 89–150: An Expository Commentary (Vol. 2, Ps 138:7a–b). Kregel Publications; WORDsearch Corp.

Your (God’s) Right Hand Will Save Me.

 Psalm 138:7 (KJV)

 Though I walk in the midst of trouble, thou wilt revive me: Thou shalt stretch forth thine hand against the wrath of mine enemies, And thy right hand shall save me.

Matthew 25:41 KJV

Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels:

Psalm 20:6 KJV

Now know I that the LORD saveth his anointed; He will hear him from his holy heaven With the saving strength of his right hand.

Even Though I am Flawed…

Psalm 138:8 KJV

The LORD will perfect that which concerneth me: Thy mercy, O LORD, endureth for ever: Forsake not the works of thine own hands.

Isaiah 42:16 KJV

And I will bring the blind by a way that they knew not; I will lead them in paths that they have not known: I will make darkness light before them, And crooked things straight. These things will I do unto them, and not forsake them.

Here is the ultimate secret of God’s seeming delays in delivering us from the apparent triumph of the enemy: He is working on us. He uses adverse circumstances to perfect us, to accomplish some wise and wonderful purpose He has in mind for us.11 Phillips, J. (2012). Exploring Psalms 89–150: An Expository Commentary (Vol. 2, Ps 138:8)

You (God) will Finish the Work You Started In Me.

 Psalm 138:8 (KJV)

 The LORD will perfect that which concerneth me: Thy mercy, O LORD, endureth for ever: Forsake not the works of thine own hands.

Philippians 1:6 KJV

Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ:

1 Peter 5:10 KJV

But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you.

The Lord will perfect that which concerneth me. He will complete what he has begun. He will not begin to interpose in my behalf, and then abandon me. He will not promise to save me, and then fail to fulfil his promise. He will not encourage me, and then cast me off. So of us. He will complete what he begins. He will not convert a soul, and then leave it to perish. “Grace will complete what grace begins.” See Notes on Phil 1:6.11 Barnes, A. (1870–1872). Notes on the Old Testament: Psalms (Vol. 3, p. 289). Blackie & Son.

Your (God’s) Mercy Endures Forever

 Psalm 138:8 (KJV)

 The LORD will perfect that which concerneth me: Thy mercy, O LORD, endureth for ever: Forsake not the works of thine own hands.

Psalm 136:1 KJV

O give thanks unto the LORD; for he is good: For his mercy endureth for ever.

Psalm 100:5 KJV

For the LORD is good; his mercy is everlasting; And his truth endureth to all generations.

Jeremiah 32:40 KJV

And I will make an everlasting covenant with them, that I will not turn away from them, to do them good; but I will put my fear in their hearts, that they shall not depart from me.

We Are the Work of Your (God’s) Hands

 Psalm 138:8 (KJV)

 The LORD will perfect that which concerneth me: Thy mercy, O LORD, endureth for ever: Forsake not the works of thine own hands.

 • Therefore the prayer that reveals frail faith will not only be tolerated, but answered in the affirmative.

Prayer is one of the means—and an essential means—by which the saints are to be kept unto salvation. The doctrine of the “perseverance of the saints,” is not inconsistent with prayer, but rather prompts to it; and he who professes to rely on that doctrine, and feels so safe that he does not need to pray, and does not pray, gives certain evidence that he has never been converted, and has no true religion.11 Barnes, A. (1870–1872). Notes on the Old Testament: Psalms (Vol. 3, p. 290). Blackie & Son.

Psalm 100:3 KJV

Know ye that the LORD he is God: It is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves; We are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.

Psalm 64:8 KJV

So they shall make their own tongue to fall upon themselves: All that see them shall flee away.

Psalm 119:49 KJV

ZAIN. Remember the word unto thy servant, Upon which thou hast caused me to hope.

Ephesians 2:10 KJV

For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.

Isaiah 64:8 KJV

But now, O LORD, thou art our father; We are the clay, and thou our potter; And we all are the work of thy hand.

Pastor John Phillips tells the following story:

Years ago I met a potter who made his home in Bethlehem. His little place was on a side road off the beaten track where he had found a field of suitable clay. I went in and there he was with a piece of clay in his hands. He was working it over, holding it first in this hand, then in that, as he punched and pounded it. It was cold, hard, stiff, and he was making it warm, soft, malleable.

Next he put that piece of clay on his wheel, drew up his stool, moistened his hands, and went to work. For awhile he exerted pressure on that clay with his hands from the outside, and that outside pressure made it grow. The clay grew taller and taller as he kept the pressure on. Without that pressure it would have remained a shapeless lump, but with it the clay grew.

Then he moistened his hands again and with his thumb made a hollow in the top of that clay cylinder. As soon as the hollow was deep enough he began pressing inward and downward with his fingers until he could get his whole hand inside the cavity. He was now putting pressure on the inside. That inside pressure gave the clay shape and form and capacity. Without it, it would have remained a cylinder of clay, incapable of holding anything.

The potter then took his vessel off the wheel and put it in the furnace, a very primitive furnace, fired by pieces of wood. I didn’t stay for the whole process, but for hour after hour that clay was there, in the furnace and the heat. All the time the potter was there, feeding the furnace, knowing just how hot to keep it. He never allowed it to get too hot or too cold. At last it was finished. The potter took out the finished piece and put it on display on a shelf outside his shop—a tribute to the skillful-ness of his hands. All through that process the potter was perfecting his work; now it was on display. That is what David discovered: “Thou wilt perfect that which concerneth me; Thy mercy, O Lord, endures for ever. Forsake not the works of Thine hands.” – John Phillips

It is true, this world is no friend of the truth or of the real God. Our response that opposition must be like King David… let us make a declaration of intent to praise. Let us tell the story of our day of deliverance. Let us remember that one day every knee will bow and every king shall sing praises. Let our hearts burst with praise when we realize that the High God came down to our level and gave us a reason to praise beyond expectation.

Exported from Logos Bible Software, 1:52 PM February 23, 2023.

World Wide Praise

World Wide Praise

Pastor Don Carpenter

Praise Eruption / Psalm 138:4–5

 A little five-year-old girl had been attending the church kindergarten. Each day before the children were dismissed, the teacher had them sing the Doxology, which the little five-year-old loved to sing, but in her own words. “Praise God from whom all blessings flow. Praise Him all creatures, here we go!”

—Christian Parent

1 Tan, P. L. (1996). Encyclopedia of 7700 Illustrations: Signs of the Times (p. 244). Bible Communications, Inc

It is good to teach the children to praise, even if they do not fully understand. Bible believers are faced with skepticism and opposition on every side. The Biblical response is to PTLA! Praise the Lord Anyway! God manifests His presence in praise! 

 God reaches the world as His people open up and passionately praise Him!

Welcome to the third message in our series through Psalm 138 entitled “Praise Eruption!” So far we have seen David’s response to the doubt, paganism, and idolatry of his day first by making a bold declaration of intent to praise. This praise would be so clear and passionate as to serve notice to all the false gods who the real God really is.  

Psalm 138:1–2 KJV

I will praise thee with my whole heart: Before the gods will I sing praise unto thee. 

I will worship toward thy holy temple, And praise thy name for thy lovingkindness and for thy truth: For thou hast magnified thy word above all thy name.

David’s next response was to recount his experience during the Evil Day. He cried out to God, God answered, and God strengthened his very soul. 

Psalm 138:3 KJV

In the day when I cried thou answeredst me, And strengthenedst me with strength in my soul.

This morning we will discover that in the next layer of David’s praise eruption, the sweet psalmist told of a time, yet in the future, when the world’s leadership would someday praise God along with the rest of the believers. Think of that my friends. As the Gospel spreads, both the lowly and the affluent are won to the truth. Everyone that encounters faith in Christ bows the knee and the ground is level at the foot of the cross.

All the Kings Will Praise God

 Psalm 138:4 (KJV)

 All the kings of the earth shall praise thee, O LORD, When they hear the words of thy mouth.

Psalm 72:11 KJV

Yea, all kings shall fall down before him: All nations shall serve him.

Psalm 102:15 KJV

So the heathen shall fear the name of the LORD, And all the kings of the earth thy glory.

Albert Barns makes this observation:

 All the kings of the earth shall praise thee, etc. That is, kings, princes, and rulers shall learn the words of promise; shall be made acquainted with the words which thou hast graciously spoken, and with their fulfilment, and shall be led to praise thee. This refers to a time, of which frequent prophetic mention is made in the Scriptures, when kings and rulers shall be converted to the true religion, and when they shall act an important part, by their example and influence, in maintaining and diffusing it. Comp. Ps. 68:31, 32; Isa. 49:23.11 Barnes, A. (1870–1872). Notes on the Old Testament: Psalms (Vol. 3, p. 288). Blackie & Son.

The great preacher, Charles Spurgeon, preached these words about this passage:

 According to the connection this is spoken of kings. “All the kings of the earth shall praise thee, O Lord, when they hear the words of thy mouth. Yea, they shall sing in the ways of the Lord.” It will be a novel spectacle to see kings singing in the ways of the Lord. As a rule they have not much troubled themselves therewith, but they have often troubled those who love the ways of God, and opposed them, both by their laws and by their example. There will be another order of things in the earth yet. These days will be shortened for the elect’s sake, and the time shall come when kings shall fall down before the King of kings, and all people shall call Jesus blessed. Oh that the time may speedily arrive when a choir of kings shall with loud voice magnify the name of the Lord.11 Spurgeon, C. H. (1881). Singing in the Ways of the Lord. In The Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit Sermons (Vol. 27, p. 473). Passmore & Alabaster.

The Kings Will Praise In Response to Hearing God’s Word

 Psalm 138:4 (KJV)

 All the kings of the earth shall praise thee, O LORD, When they hear the words of thy mouth.

 37 The power of the word is not in people’s ability to summarize the message they’ve heard. Rather it is the power of God’s word piercing the soul.

 R. C. Sproul

 Saved from What? (2002)

Malachi 1:11 KJV

For from the rising of the sun even unto the going down of the same My name shall be great among the Gentiles; And in every place incense shall be offered unto my name, and a pure offering: For my name shall be great among the heathen, saith the LORD of hosts.

Pastor John Phillips said this in his commentary about this verse:

 The kings of the earth will hear the words of His mouth, as David says. They will say, “Never man spake like this man.” They will come, like the queen of Sheba, from the ends of the earth to see Him, to listen to Him. Each will return saying, “Behold, the half was never told me.”11 Phillips, J. (2012). Exploring Psalms 89–150: An Expository Commentary (Vol. 2, Ps 138:4–5). Kregel Publications; WORDsearch Corp.

Psalm 102:15–16 KJV

So the heathen shall fear the name of the LORD, And all the kings of the earth thy glory. 

When the LORD shall build up Zion, He shall appear in his glory.

The Kings Will Sing In Response to God’s Revealed Glory

Psalm 138:5 KJV

Yea, they shall sing in the ways of the LORD: For great is the glory of the LORD.

 God’s glory is and must forever remain the Christian’s true point of departure. Anything that begins anywhere else, whatever it is, is certainly not New Testament Christianity.1

 A. W. Tozer

 • There is coming a Day when all will turn to THE KING

Isaiah 57:15 KJV

For thus saith the high and lofty One That inhabiteth eternity, whose name is Holy; I dwell in the high and holy place, With him also that is of a contrite and humble spirit, To revive the spirit of the humble, And to revive the heart of the contrite ones.

This is looking forward to a time when Jesus reigns as King of Kings and the whole world will acknowledge it!

Philippians 2:9–11 KJV

Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: 

That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; 

And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

John Phillips masterfully captured the thought of this verse:

 And they will sing! When the rulers of the world meet in conference now, they do not open their sessions with song. They neither sing nor pray. There is not much to sing about and most of them do not believe in prayer. The rulers and delegates of the nations meet to discuss the storm clouds that hang, now here, now there, over the world, or to discuss this crisis or that outrage or this famine or that economic woe. What with the hostilities, rivalries, and jealousies of both superpowers and lesser powers, there is not much to sing about (though there is plenty to pray about) when the nations convene in conference. They squabble now. They will sing then.11 Phillips, J. (2012). Exploring Psalms 89–150: An Expository Commentary (Vol. 2, Ps 138:4–5). Kregel Publications; WORDsearch Corp.

 • They will respond to the revealed Glory of King Jesus.

For great is the glory of the Lord. Great is his character; great his dignity; great his honour; and all this will be seen to be so when those of most exalted rank thus worship and adore him. The most lofty on earth shall acknowledge that there is one who is more exalted than they are, and their own dignity and splendour shall thus contribute to deepen the impression of the honour and glory of God.11 Barnes, A. (1870–1872). Notes on the Old Testament: Psalms (Vol. 3, p. 289). Blackie & Son.

 • By lifting up the name of the Lord in praise, and testimony, even the high and lofty of this world will hear our voices and see the glory of God, and turn to Him in the midst of our praise. Charles Spurgeon preached this admonition over 150 years ago:

 Well, dear brethren, that time has not come yet, and therefore let us sing all the more. If the kings have not begun to sing, let us sing. And well we may. We have full permission to do it, for the next verse encourages us—“Though the Lord be high, yet hath he respect unto the lowly.” He will be just as pleased with the song of the peasant as with that of the prince, with the psalm of the workman as with that of the monarch. We, too, may come, though obscure and unknown, and we may bring our two mites which make a farthing; and if they are all the praise our soul can give, the Lord will count that we have not given less than kings themselves. Let us make up for royal silence.

11 Spurgeon, C. H. (1881). Singing in the Ways of the Lord. In The Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit Sermons (Vol. 27, p. 473). Passmore & Alabaster.

Exported from Logos Bible Software, 1:38 PM February 16, 2023.

Whole-Hearted Praise: A Declaration of Intent

Pastor Don Carpenter

Praise Eruption / Psalm 138:1–2

 Praise is a natural and necessary response to fully enjoy the object that is praised. For example, when watching a football game on television, it is a natural response to praise a tremendous play. To shout WOW! after an acrobatic catch in the end zone is not only natural, but necessary to fully enjoy the spectacular play. If you do not believe that it is necessary, the next time you watch a football game try to not express yourself at all. You will quickly find that you do not enjoy the action nearly as much as you do when you have the freedom to express yourself in praise and excitement.

1 Michael P. Green. (2000). 1500 illustrations for biblical preaching (p. 270). Baker Books.

A healthy and passionate praise life is essential for a believer to live up to their potential as a Christ -follower. Jesus explains that to the woman at the well.  

John 4:24 KJV

God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.

Today we start a four week series on Psalm 138 entitled “Praise Eruption”. In this passage, David gives us a clear path to having the right attitude directing praise back to God where it belongs.

It is interesting to note that David was responding to an onslaught of criticism, attacks and ridicule from unbelieving idol worshippers. We certainly know what it is like to try to serve God in a culture that is becoming more and more hostile to Bible truth. This morning we will see that our response does not need to be one of hostility toward unbelievers, or isolation from critics. We can follow the Sweet Psalmist’s example and embrace whole hearted praise.

In the first two verses of Psalm 138, David sets to music his declaration of intent.

I Will Praise Thee With My Whole Heart

 Psalm 138:1 (KJV)

 I will praise thee with my whole heart…

 • Praise is directed to none else but God

Psalm 95:3 KJV

For the LORD is a great God, And a great King above all gods.

Psalm 96:4 KJV

For the LORD is great, and greatly to be praised: He is to be feared above all gods.

Barnes Notes puts it this way:

 I will praise thee with my whole heart. Reserving nothing in my heart to give to idols or to other gods. All that constitutes praise to God as God, he would address to him alone. He would use no language, and cherish no feeling, which implied a belief that there was any other God; he would indulge in no attachment which would be inconsistent with supreme attachment to God, or which would tend to draw away his affections from him. See Notes on Ps. 9:1.1

1 Barnes, A. (1870–1872). Notes on the Old Testament: Psalms (Vol. 3, p. 287). Blackie & Son.

 • This praise must be without distraction

 • This praise must be with passion

John 4:24 KJV

God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.

 • This praise must be with a clean heart

Hebrews 12:1 KJV

Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us,

So when we approach worship in the church, the house of God, let us prepare ourselves for whole hearted worship so that we can tap into our own passion witnessed by the Holy Spirit that dwells within us so that everyone present will know that this is much more than a ritualistic rote experience.

I Will Sing Praise Unto Thee

 Psalm 138:1 (KJV)

 …Before the gods will I sing praise unto thee.

 • Before the gods

Psalm 97:7 KJV

Confounded be all they that serve graven images, That boast themselves of idols: Worship him, all ye gods.

Psalm 96:5 KJV

For all the gods of the nations are idols: But the LORD made the heavens.

Charles Spurgeon in his sermon “Open Praise and Public Confession” gives us this bit of wisdom on this passage:

 Sing with whole-hearted praise: “I will praise thee with my whole heart: before the gods will I sing praise unto thee.” This seems a very singular thing to do; here is a man indignant with these false gods, one would suppose that he would begin to argue on behalf of the true God, that he would raise a controversy on behalf of Jehovah; but he does nothing of the kind. At least, this is not the first thing that he does; but he begins to praise God, and to sing that praise aloud: “I will praise thee with my whole heart: before the gods will I sing praise unto thee.”

 This was a very singular method of procedure, yet a very wise one; for, first, his song would openly show his contempt for the false gods. What does it matter to him what these idols really are? Men call them gods; so, for the nonce, he calls them gods, too; and he begins to sing, not to them, but to his own God, the only living and true God. He pitches the tune, he lifts up the strain, he sings a psalm, and this is the theme of his music: “Glorious art thou, O Jehovah!” And he does this in the very presence of the idol gods and their worshippers; as much as to say, “I take so little notice of them all that I will not even be disturbed about them. I was singing the praises of Jehovah, and I shall go on singing them. I was full of holy joy, and I intend still to be so. These gods of the heathen are nothing, but our God made the heavens; therefore, I will not rob him of his glory, or deprive him of his full revenue of praise, by turning aside even for a single moment to pay any attention to these mere blocks of wood and stone.” It was a wise way of acting on the part of David, and it was also a generous way, because he did not in words pour contempt upon the idols, but he showed his contempt for them by presenting his praise to Jehovah alone.1

1 Spurgeon, C. H. (1899). Open Praise and Public Confession. In The Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit Sermons (Vol. 45, pp. 13–14). Passmore & Alabaster.

 • Others will hear

Psalm 40:3 KJV

And he hath put a new song in my mouth, even praise unto our God: Many shall see it, and fear, and shall trust in the LORD.

 “Before the gods [the elohim] will I sing praise unto Thee.” The word elohim in this context means the rulers, rather than “gods.” David had nearly always borne fearless testimony before rulers—before Saul, before Goliath. The only time David was ashamed to bear testimony for God was when he pretended to be mad before Ahimelech, king of Gath—but David was in a backslidden condition at that time or he would not have gone to Gath in the first place1

1 Phillips, J. (2012). Exploring Psalms 89–150: An Expository Commentary (Vol. 2, Ps 138:1b). Kregel Publications; WORDsearch Corp.

I Will Worship

 Psalm 138:2 (KJV)

 I will worship toward thy holy temple…

 • Toward thy holy temple

In verse 2a toward thy holy Temple may indicate, as Dahood thinks, that the psalmist is not in Jerusalem but in some foreign country, and is bowing in the direction of Jerusalem. But verse 1a seems to indicate that he is in Jerusalem (see also comments on 5:7).1

1 Bratcher, R. G., & Reyburn, W. D. (1991). A translator’s handbook on the book of Psalms (p. 1119). United Bible Societies.

 • Worship is directed somewhere specific…. where God is, not where God is not.

Zechariah 1:3 KJV

Therefore say thou unto them, Thus saith the LORD of hosts; Turn ye unto me, saith the LORD of hosts, And I will turn unto you, saith the LORD of hosts.

 • Worship does not have to be in a place, but directed toward a place.

1 Corinthians 3:17 KJV

If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are.

I Will Praise Thy Name

 Psalm 138:2 (KJV)

 … And praise thy name for thy lovingkindness and for thy truth: For thou hast magnified thy word above all thy name.

 • Not just any name

Acts 4:12 KJV

Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.

Psalm 115:1 KJV

Not unto us, O LORD, not unto us, But unto thy name give glory, For thy mercy, and for thy truth’s sake.

Philippians 2:9 KJV

Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name:

 • For thy lovingkindness

Psalm 63:3 KJV

Because thy lovingkindness is better than life, My lips shall praise thee.

Micah 7:18–20 KJV

Who is a God like unto thee, that pardoneth iniquity, And passeth by the transgression of the remnant of his heritage? He retaineth not his anger for ever, Because he delighteth in mercy. 

He will turn again, he will have compassion upon us; He will subdue our iniquities; And thou wilt cast all their sins into the depths of the sea. 

Thou wilt perform the truth to Jacob, and the mercy to Abraham, Which thou hast sworn unto our fathers from the days of old.

 • For thy truth – the existence of absolute truth

John 1:17 KJV

For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ.

 • For thy word which is magnified above all they name.

John 17:17 KJV

Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.

Author and Christian Apologist C.S. Lewis said this:

“It is not out of compliment that lovers keep on telling one another how beautiful they are; the delight is incomplete till it is expressed. It is frustrating to have discovered a new author and not to be able to tell anyone how good he is; to come suddenly, at the turn of the road, upon some mountain valley of unexpected grandeur and then to have to keep silent because the people with you care for it no more than for a tin can in the ditch; to hear a good joke and find no one to share it with” (C. S. Lewis, Reflections on the Psalms [New York: Walker & Co., 1985], p. 95).9991

1 Michael P. Green. (2000). 1500 illustrations for biblical preaching (p. 270). Baker Books.

Conclusion:

We live in a world full of sinners and skeptics, people who hate the name and message of Jesus Christ. This darkness and oppression can start to quench the fire in a believer’s heart. We must be like David and make a declaration of intent…

 • I will praise thee!

 • I will sing praise before the false gods and doubters!

 • I will direct my worship toward the house of God!

 • I will praise the Name of Jesus – the only source of Salvation

And this is our intent… to serve notice to the world that we will not stop until we are fully involved in whole hearted praise.

Exported from Logos Bible Software, 2:28 PM January 31, 2023.

Redeemed

Redeemed

Pastor Don Carpenter

White As Snow (Sermon Kit) / Colossians 1:11–14; Ephesians 1:6–8

Jeannette George tells a story about an experience she had on a short flight from Tucson to Phoenix. Across the aisle from her sat a young woman and her baby, both dressed in white pinafores. The baby had a little pink bow where there would eventually be hair. The mother was smiling, as the baby kept saying “Dada, Dada,” every time someone walked down the aisle.

The mother said Daddy was waiting for them after they had been gone for a few days. She was so adorable – quiet – that all passengers enjoyed watching her.

Unfortunately, there was a lot of turbulence, making the flight extremely rough, which of course was hard on the baby. But the mother had some fruit and a little Thermos with orange juice in it. Every time the baby cried the mother fed her a little bit more orange juice and a little more fruit.

While this seemed like a good idea at the time, the turbulence seemed to spread from the air around the plane right down to that baby’s gastro-intestinal system, and pretty much all of the fruit that had gone down came up.

However, the process of coming up was considerably messier than the process of going down had been. It also seemed to have increased in volume tremendously between the going down and the coming up, so that not only were the baby and the mother pretty much covered in it, but so were most of the passengers within a significant radius of the baby, including Jeanette George, who was telling the story.

Fortunately for the mortified mother, all of the passengers were gracious and tried to help her and tell her it was OK. After all what could she do about it?? The baby was crying, and she looked awful. Even though they didn’t cry, her fellow passengers looked – and smelled – pretty awful, too. The mother was so sorry about it.

As soon as they landed, the baby was fine and returned to calling: “Dada, Dada.” The rest of the passengers didn’t recover quite so quickly, being covered as they were in pre-digested fruit. Ms. George said, “I had on a suit, and I was trying to decide whether to burn it or just cut off the sleeve. It was really bad.”

Waiting for the plane was a young man who had to be “Dada.” He was wearing white slacks, a white shirt, and he carried white flowers. Now what do you think that clean Daddy all dressed in white did when he saw his baby who had that sticky, smelly stuff all over her clothes and her face and her hair?

He ran to the young mother, who handed the baby over pretty quickly so she could go get cleaned up. That Daddy picked up that baby, and he hugged her and he kissed her and he stroked her hair. As he held her close, he said, “Daddy’s baby’s come home. Daddy’s baby’s come home.”

All the way to the luggage claim area, he never stopped kissing that baby and welcoming her back home.

Ms. George thought, Where did I ever get the idea that my Father God is less loving than a young daddy in white slacks and white shirt with white flowers in his hand? [Jeannette Clift George, “Belonging and Becoming,” Preaching Today, Tape No. 93.]

Today is week three of our four week series, White as Snow. If you were with us a couple of weeks ago you’ll remember the title of our series comes from the prophet Isaiah who said to the Israelites; “Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be white as snow.”

Isaiah, through the inspiration of the Spirit, was speaking about the innumerable sins of God’s people. In fact, he said their transgressions were so numerous that they were weighed down by sin. And yet, even in the midst of this reality, Isaiah was able to prophesy their sins, which were red like scarlet, would someday become white as snow.

But why could he say that? How would this come to be? What plan did God have in place to work this reality into His people?

These are good and right questions. And of course we now know the plan was in fact Jesus. Last week, we talked about God becoming human to be with us through the incarnation of Christ. This week, we turn our attention to the purpose of Christ on earth… the reason He came in the first place.

The good news is, this is the perfect time of year to consider again why it matters God put on flesh and dwelt with us. Why it matters that God sent His one and only son so that all who believe in Him might have eternal life.

John 3:16–17 KJV
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.

Jesus didn’t come just to hang out with us, have a fish fry, and host some dinner parties. No, no, the plan was always bigger than that. The plan was nothing less than the redemption of mankind.

Yes, Christ is not only God’s great gift to us, or the perfect High Priest…. He’s also our redeemer.

Baker Encyclopedia of the Bible Redeemer, Redemption
Redeemer, Redemption. English words derived from a Latin root meaning “to buy back,” thus meaning the liberation of any possession, object, or person, usually by payment of a ransom. In Greek the root word means “to loose” and so to free. The term is used of freeing from chains, slavery, or prison. In the theological context, the term “redemption” indicates a freeing from the slavery of sin, the ransom or price paid for freedom. This thought is indicated in the Gospels, which speak of Christ who came “to give his life as a ransom for many”

Matthew 20:28 KJV
Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.

Redemption can also lose some of it’s beauty and power when we think about redeeming things like buy one get one (BOGO) free coupons or raffle tickets for cheap toys and prizes. Truth be told, for those of us who believe, redemption is so indescribably precious because our redemption IS Jesus. He is the one in and through whom it is even possible for us to think about being redeemed and freed from the kingdom of sin and darkness.

Purchased Freedom From Darkness and Bondage.

Colossians 1:10–14 KJV
That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God;

Strengthened with all might, according to his glorious power, unto all patience and longsuffering with joyfulness;

Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light:

Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son:

In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins:

• We do right as those who have already been set free, not in order to merit freedom.

• Free to live in the Light empowered by His power.

• Free to live with longsuffering

• Free to live with joyfulness- in spite of our previous status as blinded slaves

• Free to be partakers of the inheritance of light.

• Free from the power of darkness

• Free from the condemnation and darkness of sin!

Light and dark are obviously an image of good and evil. In the Bible, light is often associated with God, goodness, hope, and generally positive things… And darkness, the opposite. But this isn’t just a convenient metaphor, light and dark do have power, for both good and evil… Listen to these words from author Joan Chittister;

“??Psychologists tell us that one of the most difficult conditions a person can be forced to bear is light deprivation. Darkness, in fact, is often used in military captivity or penal institutions to break down an individual’s sense of self. Once a person becomes disoriented, once they lose a sense of where they are, and what it is that lurks in the dark around them, or where the next crevasse or wall or attack may be coming from—once they can no longer feel in control of their physical surroundings—a person loses a sense of self.

Every shred of self-confidence shrivels. The giant within them falls and they become whimpering prey of the unknown. The natural instinct to be combative is paralyzed by fear. The spirit of resistance weakens. The prisoner becomes more pliable, more submissive, more willing to take directions.

It disarms a person, this falls into the sinkhole of sensory deprivation. It can drive them to madness. It is, every military knows, an effective technique. Nothing does more than darkness to isolate us from the sense of human support and understanding which, whether we’re commonly conscious of it or not, is the human being’s main source of self-definition. Indeed, darkness separates us from reality. It disorients a person both physically and psychologically.[1]”

Joan Chittister, Between the Dark and the Daylight, 2015, p. 17-18. The Crown Publishing Group.

Darkness separates us from reality. Darkness disorients a person, breaks them down, disarms them, and eventually swallows them whole. Well that doesn’t sound very pleasant does it? And yet, as you hear darkness described, there’s something about it that makes sense, and it also makes sense that the only antidote to darkness is light. And this reality is something the Bible has an awful lot to say about.

Paul is writing here to the church at Colossae with an amazingly encouraging word about light, darkness, and redemption. Those who abide in the kingdom of light have been freed from the dominion of darkness. And this is WHY Paul can say with confidence that we have been transferred from darkness to the kingdom of light, the kingdom of God’s beloved Son, Jesus. In whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.

And there it is, JESUS. The one in whom we find our redemption. One commentator reminds us, “redemption meant freeing a slave by paying a price for that slave.[1]” It was Jesus who paid the price for you and I. He traded His very life so you and I might find an eternal life of freedom as members of the kingdom of light.

• [1] Craig Keener, Biblical Background Commentary: New Testament, p. 571. IVP Academic

Darkness is my point of view, my right to myself; light is God’s point of view.

Oswald Chambers

Purchased Freedom to Experience the Glory of God’s Grace!

Ephesians 1:6–8 KJV
To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved.

In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace;

Wherein he hath abounded toward us in all wisdom and prudence;

• Made us accepted

• Made us Forgiven

• Made us to continue to discover the depths of the riches of His grace… more and more every day.

There it is, again, JESUS. The one in whom our redemption comes. The one through whom the riches of grace flow from the Father. The one through which a river flows of lavish love. The Father spared no expense and holds nothing back… As the apostle Paul says in 2 Corinthians 1:20; “For no matter how many promises God has made, they are “Yes” in Christ. And so through him the “Amen” is spoken by us to the glory of God.”

All the promises of God find their yes in Christ. And what more can we do but muster up a hearty “amen” in response to it all? What more can we do but simply receive the extravagant love?

Actually we’ll talk about this more next week, but for today I think it’s good for us to simply sit and receive this indescribable gift we have been given.

Grace is but glory begun, and glory is but grace perfected.

Jonathan Edwards

Purchased Freedom to Walk in the Light

• In this life.

John 1:6–9 KJV
There was a man sent from God, whose name was John.

The same came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all men through him might believe.

He was not that Light, but was sent to bear witness of that Light.

That was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world.

1 John 1:5–7 KJV
This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all.

If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth:

But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.

• In the life to come

Revelation 21:22–25 KJV
And I saw no temple therein: for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are the temple of it.

And the city had no need of the sun, neither of the moon, to shine in it: for the glory of God did lighten it, and the Lamb is the light thereof.

And the nations of them which are saved shall walk in the light of it: and the kings of the earth do bring their glory and honour into it.

And the gates of it shall not be shut at all by day: for there shall be no night there.

No night, no darkness, no need for the sun or the moon as the light of Christ perpetually shines on His kingdom. Sounds pretty amazing doesn’t it? This, to me, is the picture of extravagant goodness we look forward to as believers. Jesus didn’t just come to dwell with us, and it wasn’t only about freeing us from the slavery of darkness and sin. Redemption also means being set free to experience the manifold goodness and unbridled lavishing of love that God the Father has for us through His son.

Can we go back in time for a moment? Let’s jump back 2 weeks ago to when we started our series and we jumped right in with the prophet Isaiah. I want to take a little time to revisit the ancient prophets’ words as we simultaneously sit in the reality of redemption that we’ve been discussing today.

In Isaiah chapter 1 the prophet is sharing with God’s people just how disgusted God is with their sin. He says things like, “I cannot bear your worthless assemblies,” and “When you spread out your hands in prayer, I hide my eyes from you.” “Your hands are full of blood,” he says, which is another way of saying, “You’re guilty!”

All of that leads up to Isaiah 1:18 which, as I’m sure you now know says, “Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be white as snow.” But the part of this verse that I haven’t been quoting yet is the very beginning of it, which says, “Come now, let us settle the matter.” And in ancient terms this was a legal way of saying let’s balance our differences and reach an agreement. Let’s “settle up,” is a very common way of saying, “Let’s figure out what you owe me.”

And that’s where you’ve just got to love the heart of God the Father who then says, “Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be white as snow.” Instead of saying, you owe me this and this and this for all your egregious sins God says through Isaiah that the stain of sin on their lives will be made clean. Or another way to say that is you’re forgiven.

You’re redeemed… I’ve settled the debt and set you free.

Conclusion

You’re free.

Think about this statement for a moment today. Free from your past life of sin. Free from the darkness. Free from shame and guilt. Your debt has been settled and you’re free.

I don’t know about you but the holiday season can often feel to me like an overly rushed, exhausting reminder of all the things I don’t have and can’t do. Songs of joy and cheer often feel forced or even coerced from my mouth as I know I should be full of Christmas cheer… but sometimes I’m just emptied of it all.

Maybe you can relate.

And if you can relate, then I hope you can also relate to the amazing peace and calm that comes when you stop to consider that for everything you don’t have and can’t do there is something you do have that is more valuable and important than anything that Amazon has for sale.

You probably guessed it, JESUS.

In whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of our sins. In whom all the promises of God are yes. In whom we have a constant companion, He is Immanuel. God with us.

And because of Christ, our debt has been completely settled. We stand before God as white as freshly fallen snow.

No more guilt, no more shame, no more striving to accomplish things you and I could never do on our own in the first place.

Take some time this coming week to consider all you’ve been set free from. Count the blessings and the cost of redemption. And if you haven’t ever accepted Christ as Lord and Savior, then this is as good a time as any. You will never know a more extravagant and lavish love than that of Christ. Give Him room in your life. Give Him a chance.

And when all else fades away, give me Jesus.

Exported from Logos Bible Software, 1:41 PM December 14, 2022.

Sins Like Scarlet

Sins Like Scarlet

Pastor Don Carpenter

White As Snow (Sermon Kit) / Isaiah 1:18; Romans 3:23

 Our Heavenly Father is an incredible artist. There are not many scenes more beautiful than the blanket of the season’s first significant snowfall. As a boy I remember waking up and looking out my window at the pristine white back yard completely untouched… for a moment it stood without any footprints… just perfect, white and undisturbed.

As we venture headlong into the Christmas season, we’ll be starting a new four week series called White as Snow. A fitting name for the season, but believe me this isn’t going to be a cute series about snowmen, snowball fights, and sledding down steep hills. No, this is an important time of year to talk about things like sin, salvation, and our beloved savior, Jesus.

As we inch closer and closer to Christmas morning it’s important to consider the eternal importance of the birth of Christ. Why did God send His only Son and what did Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection accomplish? What is the lasting impact and why did God choose to use people like us to build His church?

Obviously these are deeply profound questions… A far cry from the questions many of us are asking this holiday season.

? “Will Target ever get those video game systems back in stock?”

? “Why does Prime 2-day shipping keep taking 5 days? Who’s in charge over there?”

? “I sure hope my spouse/significant other/family/friends/etc.. were listening when I dropped all those hints about my Christmas presents.”

When I say all that out loud I’m struck by how trivial it all sounds. These are truly small problems compared to the issues many families around the world are facing this Christmas. But, then again, that’s kind-of the point of our gathering together. That’s the point of a series like White as Snow.

As we turn our eyes to Christ today we’ve also got to recognize there’s something else in the picture. Something that none of us want to talk about but all of us struggle with… If you’re thinking, “New Year’s Resolutions” right now you’d be close, but that’s not quite it.

What I’m referring to is sin. It’s something we’ve got to talk about if we’re also going to talk about the amazing reality of Christ in our lives. But, Praise God, one simply has to open their Bible to see God’s unique answer to the sin problem. Let us discover from God’s Word Three Absolute Truths about Sin that serves as the foundation for the wonderful Christmas story.  

Sin Stains

Isaiah 1:4 KJV

Ah sinful nation, a people laden with iniquity, A seed of evildoers, children that are corrupters: They have forsaken the LORD, They have provoked the Holy One of Israel unto anger, They are gone away backward.

If you’re not familiar with the major prophets of God, like Isaiah, Jeremiah, and Ezekiel, then this is a good introduction. As seen in this one verse, God is speaking through the mouth of Isaiah to pronounce judgment and condemnation on the people of Israel. He calls them “sinful people” who are bent over by the weight of their sin (guilt), and that’s just the start of it. He calls them an entire group of evildoers given to lives of corruption who have forsaken their God, spurned Him, and turned their backs on Him. And all of that is just one verse, just one breath from the mouth of Isaiah.

As hard as it is to hear God speak of His people like that, it’s even harder to acknowledge it’s all true. God’s people turned their back on Him, they buried themselves beneath lives of sin.

And who are we to believe we are any different?

Sin is:

 • Any Thought Word or Deed done that God says we should not do that we do anyway.

 • Any Thought, Word, Deed that God says we should do that we do not do.

Sin Infects Everyone

Proverbs 16:25 KJV

There is a way that seemeth right unto a man, But the end thereof are the ways of death.

Romans 3:19 KJV

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 3:23 KJV

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

Galatians 3:22 KJV

But the scripture hath concluded all under sin, that the promise by faith of Jesus Christ might be given to them that believe.

1 John 1:8 KJV

If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.

1 John 1:10 KJV

If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.

Sin Brings The Label of Condemnation

1 Corinthians 6:9–10 KJV

Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, 

Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God.

Sin Brings the State of Condemnation

 Romans 6:23 (KJV)

 For the wages of sin is death…

John 3:18 KJV

He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.

Sin Stains Are Impossible to Remove

The Law Won’t Do It

Romans 3:19–20 KJV

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. 

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.

James 2:10–11 KJV

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

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.

Any Good Deed Becomes Contaminated By Our Filthy Sin

Isaiah 64:6 KJV

But we are all as an unclean thing, And all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; And we all do fade as a leaf; And our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away.

BUT…

With God the Impossible is Possible!

 Genesis 18:14 (KJV)

 Is any thing too hard for the LORD?…

Luke 1:37 KJV

For with God nothing shall be impossible.

God Can Make Sin Stains White as Snow.

We Have The Promises to Prove It

Micah 7:19 KJV

He will turn again, he will have compassion upon us; He will subdue our iniquities; And thou wilt cast all their sins into the depths of the sea.

Psalm 51:7 KJV

Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean: Wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.

1 Corinthians 6:9–11 KJV

Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, 

Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God. 

And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.

Isaiah 1:4 KJV

Ah sinful nation, a people laden with iniquity, A seed of evildoers, children that are corrupters: They have forsaken the LORD, They have provoked the Holy One of Israel unto anger, They are gone away backward.

Matthew 11:28 KJV

Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.

We Have God’s Explanation of How This Is Possible.

 Isaiah 1:18 (KJV)

 Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD: Though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; Though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.

 • Jesus is perfectly white/ sinless

Hebrews 4:15 KJV

For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.

Mark 9:2–3 KJV

And after six days Jesus taketh with him Peter, and James, and John, and leadeth them up into an high mountain apart by themselves: and he was transfigured before them. 

And his raiment became shining, exceeding white as snow; so as no fuller on earth can white them.

 • Jesus became our sin so we could become His righteousness – or white-ness

2 Corinthians 5:21 KJV

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.

 • Upon belief we do not just have our garments washed but scotch guarded by the Blood of Jesus… standing in His righteousness.

John 3:16 KJV

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

Titus 3:5 KJV

Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost;

Revelation 7:14 KJV

And I said unto him, Sir, thou knowest. And he said to me, These are they which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.

As you dwell on that thought for a moment listen to the words of the late preacher Charles Spurgeon;

“The Lord does not deny the truth of what the sinner has confessed, but he says to him, ‘though your sins be as scarlet’, I meet you on that ground. You need not try to diminish the extent of your sin, or seek to make it appear to be less than it really is, it is all that, and probably far more. Your deepest sense of your sinfulness does not come up to the truth concerning your real condition; certainly, you do not exaggerate in the least. Your sins are scarlet, and crimson; it seems as though you have put on the imperial robe of sin, and made yourself a monarch of the realm of evil. That is how a man’s guilt appears before the searching eye of God.”

So my friends, lets reason together. Your sins are as scarlet. They stain every fiber of your being. There is no getting that stain out. Communion won’t make it fade. The waters of Baptism will only be fouled bur attempt to absolve yourself through dead works. Every work, rite, or ritual will fall short. But… with God it is possible to be made clean. Will you turn your trust from your works and onto the finished work of Jesus on the cross, ask Him to Save you, and be made White as Snow?

Exported from Logos Bible Software, 1:36 PM November 30, 2022.

What You Need To Slay Your Giant

What You Need To Slay Your Giant

Pastor Don Carpenter

Five Smooth Stones (Sermon Kit) / 1 Samuel 17:32–40

We’ve probably all heard the expression, “This is going to separate the men from the boys!” Those words are said when about something that involves danger and risk. Things that take courage and a willingness to sacrifice. Things that are grueling and gut-wrenching. Things that require maturity and perseverance, not just boyish enthusiasm and energy.

David may have been the smallest boy in the camp that day, but he was the biggest man on the battlefield. Why? Because he had superior armor and weapons? No… Because he faced his challenge with faith. And he had long before learned the lesson… that… The challenge before you is never as great as the power behind you.

I am excited you decided to join us once again for the third week of our sermon series, “5 Smooth Stones.”Throughout this series we’ve focused on the story of David and Goliath.

It’s a well-known story, but one we have spent time unpacking and learning more from. Today, we land in the part of the story that mentions these 5 smooth stones that David uses to slay Goliath (spoiler alert). There is an important, overarching concept that we must learn today: God wants to use what you have.

It’s tempting to look at other people’s lives whether in person or even on social media, and wish you had what they had. It’s enticing to believe that if you had a better paying job, or a different zip code, or a bigger house that you would finally be able to serve God in the ways that both you and HE want.

This condition is not a unique one, and something that many of us understand all too well. As we’ll learn today from our passage, this is a human condition that goes back hundreds and thousands of years

 2 Peter 1:3 (KJV)

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

The Bible makes it clear that God has given all of His people different gifts. The Holy Spirit helps us see and learn what these gifts are, and how God is trying to use them in our lives, and in the world as a whole.

How differently this story would have gone if David would have spent his time envying those around him in the Israelite army, or even the physical strength of Goliath. Instead, David was focused on what he had. In this case, it was 5 smooth stones and a sling.

Our reading this morning was from 1 Samuel 17:32-40. There’s a lot going on in this passage. But there are three specific things I want us to highlight this morning in regard to the call upon David’s life to fight Goliath. I believe each of these things are crucial in our own lives as we seek to understand the call, the will, and the giftedness that God has given each and everyone here today. Let us discover together what you need to slay your Giant.

Focus that blocks out the distractions

1 Samuel 17:32–33 KJV

And David said to Saul, Let no man’s heart fail because of him; thy servant will go and fight with this Philistine. 

And Saul said to David, Thou art not able to go against this Philistine to fight with him: for thou art but a youth, and he a man of war from his youth.

 • Others were afraid – fail = collapse

 • Others were sure of David’s failure

 • Others are confident that the enemy will win

 Faith is not in itself a meritorious act; the merit is in the One toward Whom it is directed. Faith is a redirecting of our sight, a getting out of the focus of our own vision and getting God into focus.

 A. W. Tozer

At the beginning of this passage, David declares that he will indeed go and fight Goliath. But as soon as he says this, Saul responds with these words: “You are not able to go out against this Philistine and fight him; you are only a young man, and he has been a warrior from his youth.”Sounds like a voice that would hold you back, right?

Last week we talked about those who will try to hold us back and look down upon us. There are many in our lives that, regardless of what we do, will try to keep us from where we need to go. This will often come in the form of doubt. Similar to what 1 Timothy says, as we referenced last week, Saul seemed to be looking down on David because of his youth. And so what is David supposed to do with all of this? His brother won’t have it, others simply ignore him, and Saul doesn’t think he has any chance at success.

But to David, this is all just “white noise” in the midst of God’s clear call and command.

You see, in a spiritual sense, there will be many voices around you begging for airtime in your life. If you aren’t careful, you can get bogged down and overwhelmed by them. This is why it is so important that we “learn to discern” God’s voice from others.

We have to learn how to sort through the different voices in our life, with the help of the Holy Spirit. This requires us to ask certain questions of the voices we hear. For example, you could ask questions like, “Does this voice actually care about me? Is this a Godly voice? Does this voice hold wisdom?” It’s questions like these that help us discern which voices to ultimately listen to and trust.

In David’s life and story, it is clear from the next verse that he was able to shake off the words from Saul and others to stay focused on what God was inviting him into.

Confidence that comes when past victories are remembered.

1 Samuel 17:34–37 KJV

And David said unto Saul, Thy servant kept his father’s sheep, and there came a lion, and a bear, and took a lamb out of the flock: 

And I went out after him, and smote him, and delivered it out of his mouth: and when he arose against me, I caught him by his beard, and smote him, and slew him. 

Thy servant slew both the lion and the bear: and this uncircumcised Philistine shall be as one of them, seeing he hath defied the armies of the living God. 

David said moreover, The LORD that delivered me out of the paw of the lion, and out of the paw of the bear, he will deliver me out of the hand of this Philistine. And Saul said unto David, Go, and the LORD be with thee.

 • The threat came after one in my care

 • I faced it head on

 • I delivered the sheep

 • I was then threatened personally

 • I caught him by the beard and killed him

 • Goliath will be like that

 • Because he defied the armies of the living God

Joshua 4:24 KJV

That all the people of the earth might know the hand of the LORD, that it is mighty: that ye might fear the LORD your God for ever.

2 Kings 19:19 KJV

Now therefore, O LORD our God, I beseech thee, save thou us out of his hand, that all the kingdoms of the earth may know that thou art the LORD God, even thou only.

2 Chronicles 20:15 KJV

And he said, Hearken ye, all Judah, and ye inhabitants of Jerusalem, and thou king Jehoshaphat, Thus saith the LORD unto you, Be not afraid nor dismayed by reason of this great multitude; for the battle is not yours, but God’s.

Psalm 124:8 KJV

Our help is in the name of the LORD, Who made heaven and earth.

Warren Wiersbe makes the following observation regarding this passage:

It’s unfortunate that this dramatic account is considered primarily a children’s story or the basis for an allegory about defeating the “giants” in our lives. While there are many applications of a Bible passage, there is only one basic interpretation, and the interpretation here is that David did what he did for the glory of God. David came to the contest in the name of the Lord, the God of the armies of Israel, and he wanted Goliath, the Philistine army, and all the earth to know that the true and living God was Israel’s God (v. 46). Goliath had ridiculed Israel’s God and blasphemed His name, but David was about to set the record straight. David saw this as a contest between the true God of Israel and the false gods of the Philistines1

1 Wiersbe, W. W. (2001). Be successful (p. 94). Victor/Cook Communications.

 • Like David protected his sheep, the Good Shepherd will protect His sheep.

John 17:11–12 KJV

And now I am no more in the world, but these are in the world, and I come to thee. Holy Father, keep through thine own name those whom thou hast given me, that they may be one, as we are. 

While I was with them in the world, I kept them in thy name: those that thou gavest me I have kept, and none of them is lost, but the son of perdition; that the scripture might be fulfilled.

Hebrews 11:34 KJV

Quenched the violence of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, out of weakness were made strong, waxed valiant in fight, turned to flight the armies of the aliens.

Weapons that are your own and not another’s.

1 Samuel 17:38–40 KJV

And Saul armed David with his armour, and he put an helmet of brass upon his head; also he armed him with a coat of mail. 

And David girded his sword upon his armour, and he assayed to go; for he had not proved it. And David said unto Saul, I cannot go with these; for I have not proved them. And David put them off him. 

And he took his staff in his hand, and chose him five smooth stones out of the brook, and put them in a shepherd’s bag which he had, even in a scrip; and his sling was in his hand: and he drew near to the Philistine.

 • Saul gave David his armour.

 • Saul didn’t trust that armour enough to use it himself.

 • Assayed = fell short

 • Proved = tested

 • Five smooth stones

Some people believe that David chose five smooth stones so that if he missed his first shot, he could use one or all of the others. David did not intend to miss, friend. Then why did he select five stones? The answer is found in 2 Samuel 21:22: “These four were born to the giant in Gath, and fell by the hand of David, and by the hand of his servants.” Goliath had four sons, and David was sure they would come out when he killed their father. This is why David picked up five stones. That was the number he needed.1

1 McGee, J. V. (1991). Thru the Bible commentary: History of Israel (1 and 2 Samuel) (electronic ed., Vol. 12, p. 99). Thomas Nelson.

 • Placed in a shepherd’s bag – one he used often

 • The sling was in his hand and ready.

 • He came at the Philistine

“The line you succeed in will be of your own finding. The Davids in life do not slay the Goliaths of difficulty and temptation in another s armor, even though it be the kings, but with their own self-made weapons, though they be nothing more formidable than a sling and a stone.”

What if God is trying to help you see the miraculous things He can do in and through your life when you simply bring him the ordinary, everyday stuff you have to offer?

David put aside all the extra stuff Saul gave him and grabbed 5 stones and his sling. He added that to the faith he had developed over time serving God and his family in the wilderness and he walked out to battle Goliath. Through all the white noise, through the doubt, through the fear and into victory.

And all he had was all that God had already given him, and THAT is what was needed to slay a Giant.

Exported from Logos Bible Software, 1:09 PM November 16, 2022.

The Challenger

The Challenger

Pastor Don Carpenter

Five Smooth Stones (Sermon Kit) / 1 Samuel 17:1–11; 1 Peter 5:8

Death was handled differently in the ancient world. An archaeologist was digging in the Negev Desert in Israel and came upon a casket containing a mummy. After examining it, he called the curator of a prestigious natural history museum.

“I’ve just discovered a 3,000 year old mummy of a man who died of heart failure!” the excited scientist exclaimed.

To which the curator replied, “Bring him in. We’ll check it out.”

A week later, the amazed curator called the archaeologist. “You were right about the mummy’s age and cause of death. How in the world did you know?”

“Easy. There was a piece of paper in his hand that said, ‘10,000 Shekels on Goliath’.”

The story of David and Goliath is one of my favorite stories in the Bible. It shows that God can do anything with someone who will trust him to do so.

It’s a story about an unlikely hero named David, defeating a mighty giant and enemy named Goliath. But there is so much more to be learned from this story than a simple statement, “God is bigger than my giants.” While this is no doubt true, let’s unpack the whole story to see what we can learn.

As we kick off the series, first, we need to learn about the larger than life challenger, Goliath.

1 Samuel 17:1–3 KJV

Now the Philistines gathered together their armies to battle, and were gathered together at Shochoh, which belongeth to Judah, and pitched between Shochoh and Azekah, in Ephes-dammim. 

And Saul and the men of Israel were gathered together, and pitched by the valley of Elah, and set the battle in array against the Philistines. 

And the Philistines stood on a mountain on the one side, and Israel stood on a mountain on the other side: and there was a valley between them.

17:2 the valley of Elah This valley was in the Shephelah, the western foothills of Israel. It ran between Philistine territory in the west and Judah in the east. The Philistines were on the north side of the valley, and the Israelites on the south.1

1 Barry, J. D., Mangum, D., Brown, D. R., Heiser, M. S., Custis, M., Ritzema, E., Whitehead, M. M., Grigoni, M. R., & Bomar, D. (2012, 2016). Faithlife Study Bible (1 Sa 17:2). Lexham Press.

I Samuel to Esther Chapter 17

3. [In the middle of the broad open valley (v. 2) is a aeep trench (v. 3) with vertical sides, a valley within a valley: the sides and bed of the trench are strewn with water-worn pebbles. (Conder.)]

1 Samuel 17:4–7 KJV

And there went out a champion out of the camp of the Philistines, named Goliath, of Gath, whose height was six cubits and a span. 

And he had an helmet of brass upon his head, and he was armed with a coat of mail; and the weight of the coat was five thousand shekels of brass. 

And he had greaves of brass upon his legs, and a target of brass between his shoulders. 

And the staff of his spear was like a weaver’s beam; and his spear’s head weighed six hundred shekels of iron: and one bearing a shield went before him.

Goliath’s height is given in the text as about nine and a half feet. It is suspected that he is of the same stock as the Anakim, the giant inhabitants of the land that the Israelite armies were able to defeat in the conquest. The descendants of Anak are generally considered “giants,” though the description “gigantic” may be a more appropriate line of thinking. Champions of this size are not simply a figment of Israelite imagination or the result of embellished legends. The Egyptian letter on Papyrus Anastasi I (thirteenth century b.c.) describes fierce warriors in Canaan who are seven to nine feet tall. Additionally, two female skeletons about seven feet tall from the twelfth century have been found at Tell es-Sa’ideyeh in Transjordan.1

1 Matthews, V. H., Chavalas, M. W., & Walton, J. H. (2000). The IVP Bible background commentary: Old Testament (electronic ed., 1 Sa 17:4). InterVarsity Press.

Goliath’s armor. Goliath’s helmet was likely the typical Philistine feathered headdress known from Palestinian and Egyptian art. His body armor (“plaited cuirass”) was probably of a well-known Egyptian style of bronze scale armor that covered the entire body, weighing over 125 pounds. One of the best descriptions of scale armor comes from the Nuzi texts, where a mail coat was comprised of anywhere from seven hundred to over one thousand scales of varying sizes. These scales were sewn onto a jerkin of leather or cloth. The front and back were sewn together at the shoulders (with a space for the head) and probably reached to the knees. His greaves were probably made of molded bronze around the entire calf, padded inside with leather, a type known from Mycenaean Greece. His scimitar (niv: bronze javelin) was probably a heavy, curved, flat sword with a cutting edge on the outer side of the blade (see comment on Josh 8:18). His spear was something like a javelin, with an iron spear point that weighed over fifteen pounds. It may have been equipped with a ring for slinging, a type known both in contemporary Greece and Egypt. Although most of the weapons were made of bronze, the spear point was made of iron. Goliath’s shield was most likely a standing shield, which would have been larger that a round shield.1

1 Matthews, V. H., Chavalas, M. W., & Walton, J. H. (2000). The IVP Bible background commentary: Old Testament (electronic ed., 1 Sa 17:5–7). InterVarsity Press.

So the scene is set. Goliath, a seemingly unbeatable foe has a strategy that we have seen before.

1 Peter 5:8 KJV

Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:

2 Corinthians 2:11 KJV

Lest Satan should get an advantage of us: for we are not ignorant of his devices.

 The Enemy Will Question – Cause Doubt

1 Samuel 17:8 KJV

And he stood and cried unto the armies of Israel, and said unto them, Why are ye come out to set your battle in array? am not I a Philistine, and ye servants to Saul? choose you a man for you, and let him come down to me.

You see there are many attributes we could probably name that are behind these words from Goliath. However, there’s one I think is most important in relation to our own battles with the enemy: doubt. And doubt is an age-old tactic used by the evil one in our lives today.

Have you ever struggled with doubt?

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.

 We believe on evidence. Now the most foolish part of many men’s doubts, is, that they do not doubt on evidence.

 Mr. Fearing Comforted, Volume 5, Sermon #246 – Matthew 14:31

 Charles Spurgeon

The reality is, we all have this natural tendency to doubt from time to time. And the devil, the evil one, is the king of doubts. He is constantly planting doubt in our heads that leads us to question God. Even all the way back in Genesis, the first book of the Bible, this is exactly how he operated.

Genesis 3:1 KJV

Now the serpent was more subtil than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden?

Here, the evil one asks a simple question that causes doubt to slip into the minds of Adam and Eve. He is in the business of distracting folks like you and me from the truth. Therefore, we need to be aware of the questions we may be confronted with.

In the case of Goliath, can’t you just see the Israelite heads dropping after this question? “He’s right, we are wasting our time. We can’t defeat him. We can’t fight against him.” But, do you want to hear something wild? I think the Israelites would be completely accurate in their assumptions. They are right! They can’t defeat Goliath on their own.

However, there will soon be a warrior who rolls up to the scene and doesn’t try to fight his enemy with his own strength. This is something we can’t miss. Some of us have allowed discouragement and doubt to slip in because we have the wrong perspective on our battle. The Bible makes it clear we were never meant to fight the enemy on our own. In fact, if we try to do it all on our own, we will fail.

Joshua 1:9 KJV

Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the LORD thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest.

Interestingly enough, right after Goliath asks this question to the Israelite army, he makes a profound statement. He says, “I am the Philistine champion, but you are only the servants of Saul.”

The Enemy Will Condemn – Reproach

 1 Samuel 17:8 (KJV)

 And he stood and cried unto the armies of Israel, and said unto them, Why are ye come out to set your battle in array? am not I a Philistine, and ye servants to Saul? choose you a man for you, and let him come down to me.

Now, it’s clear, at least on paper, Goliath has the advantage. And therefore, he speaks with a tone of condemnation. He’s extremely confident going into this. However, there’s an important statement we can’t miss here, because it shows us a key tactic of the evil one in our lives as well. Goliath, when speaking about the Israelites, says, “you are only the servants of Saul.”

It was ancient custom for the king to allow other capable warriors to fight in his name… but the king was expected to step up if no one else could or would. Goliath was calling Saul out by name.

A few minutes ago, we spoke about doubt. But here, I want us to talk about trust. When we remove everything else, who do we trust? Who do we serve? Who do we look to? You see, it’s clear how prominent division is in our world. In fact, I would argue it is one of the most prominent tactics of the devil among God’s people. He will do whatever it takes to associate you with anyone but God. Some of us have associated ourselves with our denominational affiliation more so than our identity with Christ. Others of us are more inclined to look to a political leader than God Himself for our hope. And when we do, it only creates further division.

 … it cannot be denied that the way of the cross is unpopular and that it brings a measure of reproach upon those who take it.

 A. W. Tozer

The difference between the Israelite army and David, as we will see next week, is perspective on the situation. In our own lives, what kind of perspective do we have when we receive questions? When we hear a voice of condemnation, do we automatically just believe it to be true? If we claim to follow Jesus, that means we serve a risen Savior, One who is all-powerful. It’s important to remember this when we sense a false identity being thrown our way by the voice of condemnation.

The Enemy Will Strike Fear

1 Samuel 17:11 KJV

When Saul and all Israel heard those words of the Philistine, they were dismayed, and greatly afraid.

We already talked about how the devil wants to distract people like you and me from God. He will do whatever it takes to make that happen. One of his most prominent tactics, by using things like questions, doubts, and condemning words, is to strike fear.

1 John 4:17–19 KJV

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.

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.

Fear will often try to keep us from stepping out in faith.

Matthew 14:24–28 KJV

But the ship was now in the midst of the sea, tossed with waves: for the wind was contrary. 

And in the fourth watch of the night Jesus went unto them, walking on the sea. 

And when the disciples saw him walking on the sea, they were troubled, saying, It is a spirit; and they cried out for fear. 

But straightway Jesus spake unto them, saying, Be of good cheer; it is I; be not afraid. 

And Peter answered him and said, Lord, if it be thou, bid me come unto thee on the water.

This story is one of Peter taking an action step of faith. There are four crucial words spoken by Jesus, however, prior to Peter taking his step: “Do not be afraid.” Peter seemed to have the confidence he needed because of the voice he chose to listen to and trust. That’s the question we must be confronted with today: which voice are we listening to in order to trust?

___

The early American Indians had a unique practice of training young braves.

On the night of a boy’s thirteenth birthday, after learning hunting, scouting, and fishing skills, he was put to one final test.

He was placed in a dense forest to spend the entire night alone.

Until then, he had never been away from the security of the family and tribe.

But on this night, he was blindfolded and taken several miles away.

When he took off the blindfold, he was in the middle of a thick woods, and he was terrified.

Every time a twig snapped, he visualized a wild animal ready to pounce.

After what seemed like an eternity, dawn broke and the first rays of sunlight entered the interior of the forest.

Looking around, the boy saw flowers, trees, and the outline of a path.

Then to his utter astonishment, he beheld the figure of a man standing just a few feet away, armed with bow and arrow.

It was his father.

He had been there all night long.

Conclusion

The word of God shows us consistently what God’s voice actually sounds like. That’s why it is so important to spend time reading and studying it. In fact, I’ve heard it said we must “soak and bathe in the word of God.”

Exported from Logos Bible Software, 10:54 AM November 3, 2022.

Continued Prayer

Continued Prayer

Pastor Don Carpenter

Discipleship 101 / Acts 2:41–42; Acts 12:1–15

 Let me share this story to show you the position we have with the Lord in prayer. Billy Graham shares this story of an African mother who came to Christ and grew in her commitment and devotion to the Lord. She was a woman that prayed all the time and talked of her Jesus. As so often happens, however, this alienated her from her husband, and over the years he grew to despise and hate her new devotion to Christ. His anger and bitterness reached a climax when he decided to kill his wife, their two children and himself, unable to live in misery of conviction in his home. But he needed a motive to kill his family. So He decided that he would accuse her of stealing his precious keys – the keys on his chain were to the bank, the house, and the car. Early one afternoon he left his bank and headed for the Tavern. His route took him across a footbridge extended over the headwaters of the Nile River. He paused above the river and dropped the keys. He spent all afternoon drinking and carousing. Later that afternoon, his wife went to the fish market to buy the evening meal. She purchased a large Nile perch. As she was gutting the fish, to her astonishment, in it’s belly were her husband’s keys. She wondered how they could have gotten in the fish? What were the circumstances? She did not know; but she cleaned them up and hung them on the hook. Sufficiently drunk, the enraged African man came home that night and pounded open the front door shouting, “Woman, where are my keys?” Already in bed, she got up, picked them off the hook in the bedroom, and handed them to her husband. When he saw the keys, he was so shocked that by his own testimony he immediately became sober and was instantly on his knees sobbing, asked for forgiveness, and confessed Jesus Christ as his Lord and Savior. That African mother saved the life of her family because she understood her glorious position in prayer. Boldness before the Lord.

From a sermon by Tim Adams, Vision for Prayer, 12/1/2009

This is the last message in our “Discipleship 101” series. We have been looking at the zeal of the First Church at Jerusalem and have discovered several basic things the new believers did.

Acts 2:41–42 KJV

Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls. 

And they continued stedfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers.

Once becoming born again, these new Christians immediately made that decision very public by becoming Baptized and then joining their local church. After that they continued steadfastly – or- persisted obstinately in doctrine, fellowship/ partnership/ breaking of bread/ Communion, and in prayers. Today we will discover what helped unlock the power of God that allowed that tiny band of believers to grow into a Force of belief that “turned the world upside down”. We will learn the power of Continued Prayer.

Continue Steadfastly In Prayer 

A Greek-English Lexicon ????????????

????????????, Dor. ???????????? IG4(1).63.4 (Epid., ii B.C.):—persist obstinately in

 • Waiting for the Promised Power of the Holy Spirit

 Acts 1:14 (KJV)

 These all continued with one accord in prayer and supplication, with the women, and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with his brethren.

 • Latched on once they received it.

 Acts 2:42 (KJV)

 And they continued stedfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers.

 • Leaders made it a priority.

 Acts 6:4 (KJV)

 But we will give ourselves continually to prayer, and to the ministry of the word.

 • Weathering the Storms

 Romans 12:12 (KJV)

 Rejoicing in hope; patient in tribulation; continuing instant in prayer;

Continuing instant (????????????????). Compare Acts 1:14; 6:4. Rev., steadfastly for instant, which has lost its original sense of urgent (Latin, instare to press upon). Thus Latimer: “I preached at the instant request of a curate.” Compare A. V., Luke 7:4; Acts 26:7.

Vincent, M. R. (1887). Word studies in the New Testament (Vol. 3, p. 159). New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons.

 Let the kingdom be always before you, and believe steadfastly concerning the things that are invisible. Let nothing that is on this side the other world get within you. And, above all, look well to your own hearts and to the lusts thereof; for they are “deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked.” Set your faces like a flint; you have all power in heaven and earth on your side.

 John Bunyan

Continue In Prayer With One Accord

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

Accord-homothumadon (??????????, 3661), “of one accord” (from homos, “same,” thumos, “mind”)

 • Waiting For Power

 Acts 1:14 (KJV)

 These all continued with one accord in prayer and supplication, with the women, and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with his brethren.

 “The first rule of true prayer is to have heart and mind in the right mood for talking with God.”

 John Calvin

 • Bonding as a Body

 Acts 2:46 (KJV)

 And they, continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart,

 • Facing Adversity

 Acts 4:23–31 (KJV)

 And being let go, they went to their own company, and reported all that the chief priests and elders had said unto them. 

 And when they heard that, they lifted up their voice to God with one accord, and said, Lord, thou art God, which hast made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and all that in them is: 

 Who by the mouth of thy servant David hast said, Why did the heathen rage, and the people imagine vain things? 

 The kings of the earth stood up, and the rulers were gathered together against the Lord, and against his Christ. 

 For of a truth against thy holy child Jesus, whom thou hast anointed, both Herod, and Pontius Pilate, with the Gentiles, and the people of Israel, were gathered together, 

 For to do whatsoever thy hand and thy counsel determined before to be done. 

 And now, Lord, behold their threatenings: and grant unto thy servants, that with all boldness they may speak thy word, 

 By stretching forth thine hand to heal; and that signs and wonders may be done by the name of thy holy child Jesus. 

 And when they had prayed, the place was shaken where they were assembled together; and they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and they spake the word of God with boldness.

 • Uniting In Power

 Acts 5:12 (KJV)

 And by the hands of the apostles were many signs and wonders wrought among the people; (and they were all with one accord in Solomon’s porch.

Tertullian was an author and apologist in the late second and early third centuries AD. He wrote over 31 works on theology after his conversion in his mid-thirties. Also: Quintas Septimius Florens Tertullianus; Quintus Septimius Florens Tertullian (African Church Father); Septimius Tertullianus; Tertullien

 “One in mind and soul, we do not hesitate to share our earthly goods with one another. All things are common among us but our wives.”

 Tertullian

Continue to Pray For One Another

 • When Deliverance is Immediately Needed

 Acts 12:1–5 (KJV)

 Now about that time Herod the king stretched forth his hands to vex certain of the church. 

 And he killed James the brother of John with the sword. 

 And because he saw it pleased the Jews, he proceeded further to take Peter also. (Then were the days of unleavened bread.) 

 And when he had apprehended him, he put him in prison, and delivered him to four quaternions of soldiers to keep him; intending after Easter to bring him forth to the people. 

 Peter therefore was kept in prison: but prayer was made without ceasing of the church unto God for him.

 • For Boldness and Opportunity

 Colossians 4:2–4 (KJV)

 Continue in prayer, and watch in the same with thanksgiving; 

 Withal praying also for us, that God would open unto us a door of utterance, to speak the mystery of Christ, for which I am also in bonds: 

 That I may make it manifest, as I ought to speak.

 Ephesians 6:18–19 (KJV)

 Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints; 

 And for me, that utterance may be given unto me, that I may open my mouth boldly, to make known the mystery of the gospel,

 • For All Men -Especially Leaders

1 Timothy 2:1–2 KJV

I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men; 

For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty.

The New Testament Church was known as those that “turned the world upside down”. This power came because they were obstinately persistent in prayer. Do not discount our mid-week prayer service. The power of God is unleashed. Over and over our little band of prayer warriors have seen the hand of God in response to our corporate prayer… just like the early church did.

J. B. Phillips writes in the preface to The Young Church in Action, that one cannot spend several months in close study of this book, “without being profoundly stirred and, to be honest, disturbed. The reader is stirred,” he says, “because he is seeing Christianity, the real thing, in action for the first time in human history…Here we are seeing the Church in its first youth, valiant and unspoiled…a body of ordinary men and women joined in an unconquerable fellowship never before seen on earth.” But the reader is also disturbed, “for surely,” he adds, this “is the Church as it was meant to be. It is vigorous and flexible, for these are the days before it ever became fat and short of breath through prosperity, or muscle-bound by over organization. These men did not make acts of faith, they believed; they did not say their prayers, they prayed. They did not hold conferences on psychosomatic medicine, they simply healed the sick. By modern standards they may have been naïve, but perhaps because of their very simplicity, perhaps because of their readiness simply to believe, to obey, to give, to suffer, and, if necessary, to die, the Spirit of God found that he could work in them and through them, and so they turned the world upside down!

And that is Discipleship 101.

Exported from Logos Bible Software, 2:31 PM October 13, 2022.