Archive for February, 2021

Prepare for Worship Sunday February 28

Saturday, February 27th, 2021

Attention Families! In order to help you prepare yourself and your families for worship tomorrow morning, please review the following verses and hymns. It would be wise to sing them with your kids before church. Just another way to get everyone involved.February 28, 2021 AM Service

“Saying, I will declare thy name unto my brethren, in the midst of the church will I sing praise unto thee.” (Hebrews 2:12, KJV)

Doxology Hymn # 554
Hymn # 60 O Worship The King

“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. Above it stood the seraphims: each one had six wings; with twain he covered his face, and with twain he covered his feet, and with twain he did fly. And one cried unto another, and said, Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord of hosts: The whole earth is full of his glory.” (Isaiah 6:1–3, KJV)
Hymn # 55 Holy, Holy, Holy!

“Behold, how good and how pleasant it is For brethren to dwell together in unity!” (Psalm 133:1, KJV)
Hymn # 75 The Family of God
Hymn The Longer I Serve Him (The Sweeter He Grows)
Hymn For God So Loved The World

Peace In The Building

Friday, February 26th, 2021

Pastor Don Carpenter

When In Doubt / Romans 14:19–23

We have discovered some powerful things in our study of Romans 14. We learned that when it comes to things the Bible is not clear on, folks may come to different conclusions and that is ok. We have learned that we should not judge another man’s servant. We have discovered that God is evaluating our actions even in extra biblical matters so we have enough to worry about to mess with judging others. We saw that there is no longer anything unclean or common that cannot be used for good for God, but if someone has a weaker conscience, it is unclean to them.

Tonight we will see the conclusion of this chapter. Paul uses a conclusion connective, “therefore” to bring everything down to a conclusion and application. He admonishes us that when it comes to extra biblical, doubtful disputations we should follow after peace, edification, and stability. This will give us peace in the building.

Follow After Peace

Romans 14:19 KJV

Let us therefore follow after the things which make for peace, and things wherewith one may edify another.

“Follow” is di?k? (?????), “to run swiftly in order to catch some person or thing, to run after, to pursue,” metaphorically, “to seek after eagerly, earnestly endeavor to acquire.” 1 

1 Kenneth S. Wuest, Wuest’s Word Studies from the Greek New Testament: For the English Reader 

14:19 what promotes peace The Greek phrase used here, ta t?s eir?n?s, refers to actions that do not cause hostility but create harmonious relationship between believers.1 

1 John D. Barry, Douglas Mangum, Derek R. Brown, et al., Faithlife Study Bible (Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press, 2012, 2016), Ro 14:19. 

Romans 12:18 KJV

If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men.

Psalm 34:14 KJV

Depart from evil, and do good; Seek peace, and pursue it.

Psalm 133:1 KJV

Behold, how good and how pleasant it is For brethren to dwell together in unity!

Matthew 5:9 KJV

Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.

2 Corinthians 13:11 KJV

Finally, brethren, farewell. Be perfect, be of good comfort, be of one mind, live in peace; and the God of love and peace shall be with you.

James 3:17–18 KJV

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

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

1 Peter 3:11 KJV

Let him eschew evil, and do good; let him seek peace, and ensue it.

Follow After Edification

Romans 14:19 KJV

Let us therefore follow after the things which make for peace, and things wherewith one may edify another.

oikodomeo (?????????, 3618), lit., “to build a house” (oikos, “a house,” domeo, “to build”), hence, to build anything, e.g., Matt. 7:24; Luke 4:29; 6:48, rv, “well builded” (last clause of verse); John 2:20; is frequently used figuratively, e.g., Acts 20:32 (some mss. have No. 3 here); Gal. 2:18; especially of edifying, Acts 9:31; Rom. 15:20; 1 Cor. 10:23; 14:4; 1 Thess. 5:11 (rv). In 1 Cor. 8:101 

1 W. E. Vine, Merrill F. Unger, and William White Jr., Vine’s Complete Expository Dictionary of Old and New Testament Words (Nashville, TN: T. Nelson, 1996), 82. 

Acts 20:32 KJV

And now, brethren, I commend you to God, and to the word of his grace, which is able to build you up, and to give you an inheritance among all them which are sanctified.

Acts 9:31 KJV

Then had the churches rest throughout all Judaea and Galilee and Samaria, and were edified; and walking in the fear of the Lord, and in the comfort of the Holy Ghost, were multiplied.

1 Corinthians 10:23 KJV

All things are lawful for me, but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me, but all things edify not.

Ephesians 4:29 KJV

Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.

Follow After Stability

Don’t Tear Down What God is Building

Romans 14:20 KJV

For meat destroy not the work of God. All things indeed are pure; but it is evil for that man who eateth with offence.

Commenting on the words, “All things are pure,” Denney says, “This is the principle of the strong, which Paul concedes; the difficulty is to get the enlightened to understand that an abstract principle can never be the rule of Christian conduct. The Christian, of course, admits the principle, but he must act from love. To know that all things are clean, does not (as is often assumed) settle what the Christian has to do in any given case. It does not define his duty, but only makes clear his responsibility. Acknowledging that principle, and looking with love at other Christians, and the effect of any given line of conduct on them, he has to define his duty for himself. All meat is clean, but not all eating.1 

1 Kenneth S. Wuest, Wuest’s Word Studies from the Greek New Testament: For the English Reader, vol. 2 (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1997), 240. 

It is evil (intentionally hurtful) to the one who eats with offence 

Explaining the words, “It is evil for that man who eateth with offense,” the same authority says; “Sin is involved in the case of the man who eats with offense. Some take this as a warning to the weak: but the whole tone of the passage, which is rather a warning to the strong, and the verse immediately following, which surely continues the meaning and is also addressed to the strong, decide against this. The man who eats with offense is therefore the man by whose eating another is made to stumble.”1 

1 Kenneth S. Wuest, Wuest’s Word Studies from the Greek New Testament: For the English Reader, vol. 2 (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1997), 240. 

It Is Better to Curtail Your Freedom than to Stumble Your Brother

Romans 14:21 KJV

It is good neither to eat flesh, nor to drink wine, nor any thing whereby thy brother stumbleth, or is offended, or is made weak.

The issue here is not eating meat or drinking wine per se, but that Gentile meat (suspected of having been offered to idols or not having the blood properly drained) and Gentile drink (some of it possibly used for libations to gods) were suspect to Jews. But like a good rhetorician, Paul calls his readers to concede his point even in the most extreme case, requiring abstinence from all meat or wine (and if it applies to the extreme, “how much more”—following a standard style of argument—to all lesser cases). (Although some Jewish groups abstained from wine for periods of time—Num 6:3; cf. Jer 35:5–6—diluted wine was a normal part of meals; thus the language here is probably hyperbolic; see comment on Jn 2:9–10.)1 

1 Craig S. Keener, The IVP Bible Background Commentary: New Testament (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1993), Ro 14:20–21. 

Make Private Stands In Private In Faith

Romans 14:22–23 KJV

Hast thou faith? have it to thyself before God. Happy is he that condemneth not himself in that thing which he alloweth. 

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

Surely conscious limitation for the sake of others is the Christian approach. If we do not exercise it, we may well ?nd that something that we genuinely thought to be permissible has brought ruin to someone else! It is surely better to make this deliberate limitation than to have the remorse of knowing that what we demanded as a pleasure has become death to someone else. Again and again, in every sphere of life, Christians are confronted by the fact that they must examine things not only as they affect themselves, but also as they affect other people. We are always in some sense one another’s keepers, responsible not only for ourselves but for everyone who comes into contact with us. ‘His friendship did me a mischief,’ said Robert Burns of the older man he met in Irvine as he learned the art of ?ax-dressing. God grant that no one may say that of us because we misused the glory of Christian freedom!1 

1 William Barclay, The Letter to the Romans, 3rd ed. fully rev. & updated., The New Daily Study Bible (Louisville, KY; London: Westminster John Knox Press, 2002), 228–229. 

Exported from Logos Bible Software, 12:59 PM February 26, 2021.

Sing With Your Family

Friday, February 26th, 2021

Sing With Your Family

Pastor Don Carpenter

The Children of Israel were undergoing a huge religious and cultural change. They had been brought out of the slavery of Egypt (which is a picture of the world from which we have been saved) and taught to walk in the wilderness with God. Deuteronomy was written as a spiritual recap of Israel’s spiritual journey. Our passage is the foundation of that change. Love God with everything you have, meditate on His words, and teach your children to do so every chance you get.

Deuteronomy 6:5–7 KJV

And thou shalt love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might. 

And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart: 

And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up.

We have already discovered that besides reading the Bible, and teaching its principles, singing communicates truth that finds its way deep into our souls. My dad was not good about having a regular family altar time. Oh he tried from time to time to gather the family after supper, read the Bible talk about it and pray, but these times were very rare. My dad felt that he had failed in raising us under the nurture and admonition of the Lord.

I have been thinking about that lately. He took us to church 4+ times a week. We prayed before every meal. And what I remember most is the music. Most of my childhood mornings were spent with WCRF Moody Bible Institute Radio playing in the background as we had breakfast and got ready for school. I remember “Uncle Bob” Divine telling us it was time to march around the breakfast table as he played songs like “I have Christ in My Heart” by the Hawaiians. I remember mom and dad sing “Got Any Rivers” in sweet harmony every once and a while. I remember hearing “Onward Christian Soldiers” on the radio and then requesting it the next Sunday evening as a 6 year old. When we got older, Saturday nights was gospel sing night in rural northern Ohio. We would look in the Rural Urban, a weekly paper, and see which churches were having a sing. Once and a while dad would take us to hear folks sing music that had more twang than the large GARBC church in which I was raised. I remember hearing my mom whistle or sing “In the Garden” when it would come on the radio in the afternoon as she prepared supper. I remember as a small child, before our evening prayers, mom or dad would sing whatever hymn we would request. I remember “Into my Heart was one of my favorites, even before I knew what it meant. I remember the night I got saved as a 6 year old boy dad shared this verse:

Revelation 3:20 KJV

Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.

When I made the decision to quit trusting my efforts and trust in what Jesus did on the cross, I repeated a prayer after dad where I asked Jesus into my heart… and it clicked! OHHH  that’s what that means. The Wednesday night I got saved after Supper, then went to prayer meeting, I requested that song before bed and sang it with dad. Come into my heart Lord Jesus.

No, dad did not have the regular family altar time he thought that he should have. But we still heard about the truth from morning until bed time. Today I am going to specifically address families with children or grandchildren, but I believe everyone would benefit when we learn to sing with family.

Singing With Your Family Gets The Right Questions Asked and Answered. 

Exodus 12:26–27 KJV

And it shall come to pass, when your children shall say unto you, What mean ye by this service? 

That ye shall say, It is the sacrifice of the LORD’s passover, who passed over the houses of the children of Israel in Egypt, when he smote the Egyptians, and delivered our houses. And the people bowed the head and worshipped.

Deuteronomy 32:7 KJV

Remember the days of old, Consider the years of many generations: Ask thy father, and he will shew thee; Thy elders, and they will tell thee.

Joshua 4:6–7 KJV

That this may be a sign among you, that when your children ask their fathers in time to come, saying, What mean ye by these stones? 

Then ye shall answer them, That the waters of Jordan were cut off before the ark of the covenant of the LORD; when it passed over Jordan, the waters of Jordan were cut off: and these stones shall be for a memorial unto the children of Israel for ever.

 • Songs help train children in the language of the faith.

 • Your faith must be evident in order to get children to ask the right questions.

 • You need to be prepared with answers.

 • You can prime the pump by explaining certain phrases… “ransomed in Glory” Why would you need a thousand tongues to sing? What in the world in an Ebeneezer?

Singing the gospel changes hearts, and singing the gospel prepares hearts. Singing is of course not a magical formula that will guarantee deep faith in a child, but it is a way to sow and water the Word of God in their heart. If a child does walk through a rebellious season, what do you want them to remember about the Christian faith, calling and inviting them back? Fill their memories up now with the gospel, through songs that will keep singing to them through the years to come.

While our faith must be taught, it is also “caught” in our homes, through what our kids see and hear from us. And singing is catchy. So sing with your kids. You don’t need to be able to sing well. Our singing always remains more important than the sound it makes. -Getty

Singing Trains a Child’s Appetite.

Psalm 78:2–4 KJV

I will open my mouth in a parable: I will utter dark sayings of old: 

Which we have heard and known, And our fathers have told us. 

We will not hide them from their children, Shewing to the generation to come The praises of the LORD, and his strength, And his wonderful works that he hath done.

 • Have a heart for singing. If something has taken the song from your heart, get on your knees and search out why, then confess it before God.

Psalm 51:12 KJV

Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation; And uphold me with thy free spirit.

In an essay on writing for children, Lewis also suggested that children don’t learn like a train going from station to station but rather as a tree grows by adding rings. Kids add and build on what they already know, and so do adults; so we must take care to try and make those first key rings of growth healthy and strong, providing a solid foundation a child can build on. We consider the balance of the content they sing and what vision of God those songs are growing in their minds. 

Sing! How Worship Transforms Your Life, Family, and Church

 • Do not patronize or underestimate what your children can sing or understand.

 • Take time to explain the “thees and thous”

 • Give them a little more than they can grasp and help them grow into it, like you would buy sneakers for a child one size too big, knowing they will grow into it.

Singing Can Still Reach Teens, Even if You Just Start Now.

Ephesians 6:4 KJV

And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.

 • Show and tell them why it is important.

 • Make it fun and attractive.

 • Play good songs at home. There are many options to stream good stuff during routine chores and activities.

 • Don’t be scared of your kids, parent them.

Singing Should Bring the Sound of Church Home So Your Children Will Be At Home In Church.

 • Home should be the foundational space preparing for the singing we do on Sunday.

 • This Links our personal home with our church home

 • This links our homes to our future kid’s homes, training the next generation.

 • Singing is transformative.

 • Singing can restore and revive a family.

 • Singing at home can train us to be comfortable and confident when sharing our faith.

 • We influence the music of our church tomorrow by the appetites we develop and train in our homes today.

Ten Practical Ideas To Sing With Your Family

Use All The Help and Opportunities You Can Get

 • Sing to yourself

 • Stream good stations or personal play lists though out the day.

 • Ask your children what songs they enjoy in church and sing them at home.

 • Aim to have truth sung in the spaces where life takes place.

Teach Your Kids Songs You Want Them To Grow Old With

Actively make a list of the songs you would like your kids to know throughout their lives, that clearly and richly teach the faith. Then play them in the car and around the house; sing them yourself as you go about your day, and draw attention to them when they are sung on a Sunday. 

  Sing! How Worship Transforms Your Life, Family, and Church

Talk About What You Are Doing And What The Songs Mean

 Use a lyric as a conversation starter about faith. We teach our girls a hymn of the month. When we learned “Holy, Holy, Holy,” we had some fun with cherubims and seraphims! We recommend Joni Eareckson Tada and Bobbie Wolgemuth’s series Hymns for a Kid’s Heart for helping with this.

Sing! How Worship Transforms Your Life, Family, and Church  

Prepare For Sunday Services

 • Check on by Thursday evenings we will try to have the order of Sunday’s service posted. You can look at the songs and sing them with your children before Sunday so that they are ready and familiar with the tunes and words.

 • Talk about or sing the songs you sang on Sunday after church, especially on the drive home.

Model Passionate Participation in the Services.

 • When at church remember other members and your children are watching.

 • Stand beside your children and sing with them.

 • Children need to see other parents and kids older than them singing, to that they see it is not a childish thing to do.

 • Sit somewhere in church where your children are surrounded with strong singing. That way your kids can see that this is something that folks outside your family does.

Grow the love for hearing and joining the voice of the congregation, so much so that church would be strange to them if they didn’t hear that sound. They should come to church expecting to sing.

  Sing! How Worship Transforms Your Life, Family, and Church  

Be Aware of All The Music Your Kids Are Into

There are ultimately no neutral lyrics. All songs share a message about how we should view the world. So we should be listening, discussing, and understanding what our kids are into. It’s not that we ban everything that does not explicitly teach the gospel! We love and play all sorts of music with our kids. But we want to equip our kids to listen with discernment and thoughtfulness. 

Sing! How Worship Transforms Your Life, Family, and Church  

If Your Kids Are Into Music, Encourage Them

Ephesians 4:7–8 KJV

But unto every one of us is given grace according to the measure of the gift of Christ. 

Wherefore he saith, When he ascended up on high, he led captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men.

When We Have A Children’s Choir, Support It

Psalm 8:2 KJV

Out of the mouth of babes and sucklings hast thou ordained strength Because of thine enemies, That thou mightest still the enemy and the avenger.

 • It is an encouragement to the children

 • It is an encouragement to the congregation.

Cultivate High Opinions of All Types of Art

Some of the issues in church music today are not that a certain style isn’t quite right but rather that we are too narrow and maybe even too boring in our expression. Inspire your kids with different instruments, sounds, and languages, and by speaking positively about all these things yourself. Teach them to be lifelong students of discovery in this amazing creation God has built all around us and in us. 

  Sing! How Worship Transforms Your Life, Family, and Church  

Sing Today!

There may never be a perfect day to start singing truths with your kids. But there is today. They are not too old. They are not too young—we have been surprised that even our two-year-old knows several songs well. (Remember the ancient motto—“Give me a child until they are seven and I will show you the man.”) Don’t wait. We were kick-started into this by a hilarious experience at Wilberforce School (New Jersey) when the kids wanted to perform one of our songs (they began by explaining how they used different hymns to help teach the kids the faith), and our daughter Eliza (four at the time) jumped up to join the choir and of course, was the only child who didn’t know all the words—an embarrassing parenting moment!

  Sing! How Worship Transforms Your Life, Family, and Church  

Exported from Logos Bible Software, 11:20 AM February 26, 2021.

Acceptable to God and Approved of Men

Friday, February 19th, 2021

What You Need to Know

Pastor Don Carpenter

When In Doubt / Romans 14:14–18

Ken Walker writes in Christian Reader that in the 1995 college football season 6 foot 2 inch, 280-pound Clay Shiver, who played center for the Florida State Seminoles, was regarded as one of the best in the nation. In fact, one magazine wanted to name him to their preseason All-America football team. But that was a problem, because the magazine was Playboy, and Clay Shiver is a dedicated Christian. 

Shiver and the team chaplain suspected that Playboy would select him, and so he had time to prepare his response. Shiver knew well what a boon this could be for his career. Being chosen for this All-America team meant that sportswriters regarded him as the best in the nation at his position. Such publicity never hurts athletes who aspire to the pros and to multimillion-dollar contracts. 

But Shiver had higher values and priorities. When informed that Playboy had made him their selection, Clay Shiver simply said, “No thanks.” That’s right, he flatly turned down the honor. “Clay didn’t want to embarrass his mother and grandmother by appearing in the magazine or give old high school friends an excuse to buy that issue,” writes Walker. Shiver further explained by quoting Luke 12:48: “To whom much is given, of him much is required.” 

“I don’t want to let anyone down,” said Shiver, “and number one on that list is God.”1 

1 Craig Brian Larson, 750 Engaging Illustrations for Preachers, Teachers & Writers (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books, 2002), 89–90. 

The Bible has black and white moral absolutes, however there are some more nuanced things to consider. Tonight’s passage gives us some clear principles we must know in order to be both acceptable to God and approved of men.

There is Nothing Unclean of Itself

Romans 14:14 KJV

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

 • I know and am persuaded 

“Know” is oida (????), “absolute, positive knowledge.” “Am persuaded” is peith? (?????) in the perfect tense. Paul’s reasoning had gone on through a process to a point where it was complete, with the result that he had come to a finished persuasion that was permanent. He stands persuaded. He could not be budged from his conviction, so sure was he of the truth of the matter. 1 

1 Kenneth S. Wuest, Wuest’s Word Studies from the Greek New Testament: For the English Reader, vol. 2 (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1997), 236. 

Unclean (??????). Lit., common. In the Levitical sense, as opposed to holy or pure. Compare Mark 7:2, “With defiled (??????? common), that is to say, with unwashen hands.” See Acts 10:14.1 

1 Marvin Richardson Vincent, Word Studies in the New Testament, vol. 3 (New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1887), 169. 

The context has to do with religious scruples regarding animal flesh and a vegetarian diet, with the keeping of one day as against another in a special observance. Paul’s declaration is “in the Lord.” That is, it finds its source in the Lord, not merely in his reason. Denney comments; “In principle, the apostle sides with the strong. He has no scruples about meats or drinks or days.” Commenting on the phrase “in the Lord,” he says; “It is as a Christian, not as a libertine, that Paul has this conviction; in Christ Jesus he is sure that there is nothing in the world essentially unclean; all things can be consecrated and Christianized by Christian use.” Speaking of the word koinon (??????) (common) he says; “It is the opposite of hagion (?????) (holy), and signifies that which is not and cannot be brought into relation to God.… Though there is nothing which in itself has this character, some things may have it subjectively, i.e., in the judgment of a particular person who cannot help (from some imperfection of conscience) regarding them so, to him (ekeinos (???????) that one, emphatic) they are what his conscience makes them; and his conscience (unenlightened as it is) is entitled to respect.”1 

1 Kenneth S. Wuest, Wuest’s Word Studies from the Greek New Testament: For the English Reader, vol. 2 (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1997), 237. 

If someone esteems something unclean 

What Paul wants the “strong” to realize is that people differ in their ability to internalize truth. The fact that Christ’s coming brought an end to the absolute validity of the Mosaic law (cf. 6:14, 15; 7:4), and thus explicitly to the ritual provisions of that law, was standard early Christian teaching. And, at the intellectual level, the “weak” Christians may themselves have understood this truth. But Paul wants the “strong” in faith to recognize that people cannot always “existentially” grasp such truth—particularly when it runs so counter to a long and strongly held tradition basic to their own identity as God’s people1 

1 Douglas J. Moo, The Epistle to the Romans, The New International Commentary on the New Testament (Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 1996), 853. 

It is unclean to him… so uncleanness is relative. 

Your Liberty Could Cause Someone to Stumble

Romans 14:15 KJV

But if thy brother be grieved with thy meat, now walkest thou not charitably. Destroy not him with thy meat, for whom Christ died.

If you grieve your brother with your liberty you are not walking in love. 

Precisely because foods do not matter, one should be willing to forgo eating them for the sake of what does matter: preserving the unity of the body of Christ. Paul is not telling Gentiles to keep kosher; but he is telling them not to try to talk Jewish Christians out of doing so.1 

1 Craig S. Keener, The IVP Bible Background Commentary: New Testament (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1993), Ro 14:15–16. 

Don’t put a stumbling block in the way of a brother (v. 13b), … “for” this is just what you are doing—by insisting on exercising your freedom to eat food, you bring pain to your fellow believer and thereby violate the cardinal Christian virtue of love. The “pain” that the “strong” believer causes the “weak” believer is more than the annoyance or irritation that the “weak” believer might feel toward those who act in ways they do not approve. Its relationship to the warnings about spiritual downfall in vv. 13b and 15b show that it must denote the pain caused the “weak” believer by the violation of his or her conscience. The eating of the “strong,” coupled with their attitude of superiority and scorn toward those who think differently, can pressure the “weak” into eating even when they do not yet have the faith to believe that it is right for them to do so. And by doing what does not come “out of faith,” the “weak” sin (v. 23) and suffer the pain of that knowledge. In behaving as they are, then, the “strong” are ignoring what Paul has set forth in 12:9–21; 13:8–10 as basic to Christian conduct: love for “the neighbor.”1 

1 Douglas J. Moo, The Epistle to the Romans, The New International Commentary on the New Testament (Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 1996), 853–854. 

Paul’s advice is clear. It is a Christian duty to think of everything, not as it affects ourselves only, but also as it affects others. Note that Paul is not saying that we must always allow our conduct to be dictated by the views of others; there are matters which are essentially matters of principle, and in them individuals must take their own way. But a great many things are neutral and indifferent; a great many things are in themselves neither good nor bad; a great many things are not essential parts of life and conduct but belong to what we might call the extras of life. It is Paul’s conviction that we have no right to give offence to those who are more scrupulous about such things by doing them ourselves, or by persuading them to do them.1 

1 William Barclay, The Letter to the Romans, 3rd ed. fully rev. & updated., The New Daily Study Bible (Louisville, KY; London: Westminster John Knox Press, 2002), 223–224. 

Do not destroy your brother with your meat 

Do not destroy Paul warns the strong that, in some circumstances, their freedom might cause distress for the weak. Christ did not die for only those strong in their faith, but for all who call on Him as Lord (see Rom 14:9 and note).1 

1 John D. Barry et al., Faithlife Study Bible (Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press, 2012, 2016), Ro 14:15. 

Life must be guided by the principle of love; and, when it is, we will think not so much of our right to do as we like as of our responsibilities to others. We have no right to distress another person’s conscience in the things which do not really matter. Christian freedom must never be used as an excuse for riding roughshod over the genuine feelings of others. No pleasure is so important that it can justify bringing offence and grief, and even ruin, to others. As St Augustine used to say, the whole Christian ethic can be summed up in a saying: ‘Love God, and do what you like.’ In a sense, it is true; but Christianity consists not only in loving God but also in loving our neighbour as ourselves.1 

1 William Barclay, The Letter to the Romans, 3rd ed. fully rev. & updated., The New Daily Study Bible (Louisville, KY; London: Westminster John Knox Press, 2002), 224. 

Do not let your good be evil spoken of. 

Romans 14:16 KJV

Let not then your good be evil spoken of:

he “good” here refers to “Christian liberty, the freedom of conscience which has been won by Christ, but which will inevitably get a bad name if it is exercised in an inconsiderate, loveless fashion.” “Evil spoken of” is blasph?me? (?????????), “to speak reproachfully of, rail at, revile.” 1 

1 Kenneth S. Wuest, Wuest’s Word Studies from the Greek New Testament: For the English Reader, vol. 2 (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1997), 238. 

You Must Know What the Kingdom Is and Is Not

Romans 14:17–18 KJV

For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost. 

For he that in these things serveth Christ is acceptable to God, and approved of men.

It is Not Extra-biblical opinions and standards

It is Righteousness

There is righteousness, and this consists in giving to others and to God what is their due. Now, the very ?rst thing that is due to other people in the Christian life is sympathy and consideration; the moment we become Christians, the feelings of others become more important than our own. Christianity means putting others ?rst and self last. We cannot give to others what is due to them and do what we like. 

It Is Peace

There is peace. In the New Testament, peace does not mean simply absence of trouble; it is not a negative thing, but is intensely positive; it means everything that makes for our highest good. The Jews themselves often thought of peace as a state of right relationships between individuals. If we insist that Christian freedom means doing what we like, that is precisely the state we can never attain. Christianity consists entirely in personal relationships to other people and to God. The unrestrained freedom of Christian liberty is conditioned by the Christian obligation to live in a right relationship, in peace, with one another. 

It is Joy

There is joy. Christian joy can never be a sel?sh thing. It does not consist in making ourselves happy; it consists in making others happy. A so-called happiness which made someone else distressed would not be Christian. If anyone, in the search for happiness, brings a hurt heart and a wounded conscience to someone else, the ultimate end of that person’s search will be not joy but sorrow. Christian joy is not individualistic; it is interdependent. Joy comes to Christians only when they bring joy to others, even if it costs them personal limitation. 

When we follow this principle, we become the slaves of Christ. Here is the essence of the matter. Christian freedom means that we are free to do not what we like but what Christ likes. Without Christ, we are all slaves to our habits, our pleasures and our indulgences. We are not really doing what we like. We are doing what the things that have us in their grip make us do. Once the power of Christ enters into us, we take control of ourselves—and then, and only then, real freedom enters our lives. Then we are free not to treat others and not to live life as our own sel?sh human nature would have us do; we are free to show to everyone the same attitude of love as Jesus showed.

1 William Barclay, The Letter to the Romans, 3rd ed. fully rev. & updated., The New Daily Study Bible (Louisville, KY; London: Westminster John Knox Press, 2002), 225–226. 

Exported from Logos Bible Software, 7:39 PM February 19, 2021.

Sing With Heart and Mind

Friday, February 19th, 2021

Sing with Heart and Mind

Pastor Don Carpenter

Sing! / 1 Peter 3:15; Ephesians 5:19

According to Newsweek the stethoscope, commonly used by doctors to listen to one’s heart, is due to become obsolete. A new invention unveiled recently by the Heart Association is a microphone that can record the sound waves from within the heart on a mike’s ceramic plate. This tiny microphone can be slipped through the veins right up into the heart itself and the vibrations are amplified as sound or as a diagram on a picture tube.

What if there were a mic, not for your blood pump, but for your heart and soul? What kind of sounds would it pick up? Would your heart be always ready to give an answer, a testimony, a word of praise or encouragement? We are told to always be ready.

1 Peter 3:15 KJV

But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear:

We are made ready when we sanctify or set apart God in our hearts. We get ready by being in the word and in prayer every day. We get ready when we do not forsake the assembling of ourselves together in Church. We are also reminded that we can minister to our hearts, make sure they are ready, by singing both publicly and privately.

Songs are soul food. Songs are tools God uses to catapult truth from our brains into our very heart and soul. 

 Your heart and mind require a good, balanced diet of gospel truth that will build you up for your working week, your times of trial, and for each season of life. The lyrics of the songs we sing in our churches and repeat in our hearts find their way into shaping our priorities, our behavior, our loves . . . into the quiet space (or not so quiet, if you have kids) of the car journey on a Monday morning, into the language of our prayers as we fall asleep, into the answers we give “for the hope that [we] have” (1 Pet. 3:15). It always strikes us in church prayer meetings how often we hear people use phrases in their prayers that come straight from the hymns they sing. 

  The truth is that the songs we sing on Sunday stick with us—and so they shape us. It’s been said, rightly, that you have the people when you have their songs, perhaps even more than their sermons. That’s because truth soars on the air of a great melody. Just as food is not simply enjoyed just because it is edible, we don’t enjoy songs just because they contain truth, but because they are artistically beautiful and satisfying—they captivate us in a deeper and more durable way. Such songs thrill our minds and hearts. We can’t wait to sing them, and we never forget them. 

  Throughout the centuries the people of God have in huge measure learned their faith through what they sang together. Eat good soul food on a Sunday and you will find your soul growing and thriving through the week, and through your life. Here’s how that happens. 

1 Keith Getty and Kristyn Getty, Sing! How Worship Transforms Your Life, Family, and Church (Nashville, TN: B&H Books, 2017). 

Singing Takes Sunday’s Truths Into Monday 

 • Files away the messages of the lyrics into our hearts and minds

 • Motivate us.

 • Help us remember scripture

 • Help us when we want to communicate the Gospel to a friend.

• Every day we hear the sound of wisdom and of folly.

• Songs of the Lord helps us hear the right voice above the world’s song of seduction

Proverbs 4:23 KJV

Keep thy heart with all diligence; For out of it are the issues of life.

Nothing in my hand I bring Simply to the cross I cling Naked, come to Thee for dress Helpless, look to Thee for grace Foul, I to the fountain fly;Wash me Savior or I die (Augustus Toplady, “Rock of Ages,” 1763)

Philippians 2:7–11 KJV

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

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

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.

 • We were condemned and hopeless 

 • Hope came in the form of the Son of God

 • He made Himself nothing

 • How He became obedient to the death of the cross

 • How he conquered sin and death

Friends, if our singing is not impacting how we process life—if it is not strengthening us, training us, encouraging us, and comforting us, then we have not unwrapped the gift that singing is to us. We’ve been playing with the wrappings. 

Most of us sing at times in our week, or hum a tune that reminds us of its lyrics. Be singing what you sang on Sunday. Be singing the gospel. 

Singing Sustains You In Every Season of Life

We need to sing the whole counsel of God.

Acts 20:27 KJV

For I have not shunned to declare unto you all the counsel of God.

The Book of Psalms is the only Inspired Hymnbook. It is our guide and challenge as to what Hymns are to cover and what songs should be in our hearts.

A Vision of Who God is

Psalm 75:1–2 KJV

Unto thee, O God, do we give thanks, unto thee do we give thanks: For that thy name is near thy wondrous works declare. 

When I shall receive the congregation I will judge uprightly.

Psalm 23:1–2 KJV

The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want. 

He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: He leadeth me beside the still waters.

Psalm 15:1–2 KJV

LORD, Who shall abide in thy tabernacle? Who shall dwell in thy holy hill? 

He that walketh uprightly, and worketh righteousness, And speaketh the truth in his heart.

Psalm 2:1–4 KJV

Why do the heathen rage, And the people imagine a vain thing? 

The kings of the earth set themselves, And the rulers take counsel together, Against the LORD, and against his anointed, saying, 

Let us break their bands asunder, And cast away their cords from us. 

He that sitteth in the heavens shall laugh: The Lord shall have them in derision.

Psalm 29:1–3 KJV

Give unto the LORD, O ye mighty, Give unto the LORD glory and strength. 

Give unto the LORD the glory due unto his name; Worship the LORD in the beauty of holiness. 

The voice of the LORD is upon the waters: The God of glory thundereth: The LORD is upon many waters.

Psalm 56:8 KJV

Thou tellest my wanderings: Put thou my tears into thy bottle: Are they not in thy book?

How to Deal With Real Life

Psalm 13:1 KJV

How long wilt thou forget me, O LORD? for ever? How long wilt thou hide thy face from me?

Psalm 16:9–10 KJV

Therefore my heart is glad, and my glory rejoiceth: My flesh also shall rest in hope. 

For thou wilt not leave my soul in hell; Neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption.

Psalm 18:33 KJV

He maketh my feet like hinds’ feet, And setteth me upon my high places.

Psalm 103:14 KJV

For he knoweth our frame; He remembereth that we are dust.

Psalm 88:18 KJV

Lover and friend hast thou put far from me, And mine acquaintance into darkness.

Psalm 16:11 KJV

Thou wilt shew me the path of life: In thy presence is fulness of joy; At thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore.

Over One Third of the Psalms are Laments

The Psalms tell us to sing when we’re happy. We have freedom to dance with exuberance, to shout loudly, to sing and play music with artistic excellence, to celebrate our victories. But we must not only sing songs that help us when we’re happy. We can also sing because we’re sad, and we must also sing of Christ when we’re sad. We have freedom to weep, to pour out our souls to a God who hears and who acts. We sing for our brothers and sisters in those moments or seasons when they cannot. We sing, as the Psalms train us, to help us bring all of our lives, failures, successes, losses, gains, dreams, and ambitions into gospel perspective. Our singing can prepare us for every season of life, and sustain us through every season of life. We don’t need a musical escape from our lives; we need to gaze on the Savior of our lives—our refuge and help and comfort. 1 

1 Keith Getty and Kristyn Getty, Sing! How Worship Transforms Your Life, Family, and Church (Nashville, TN: B&H Books, 2017). 

Singing Reminds You of What God Has Done In Your Life.

Lamentations 3:21–23 KJV

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

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

They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness.

Great is Thy faithfulness, O God my Father;there is no shadow of turning with Thee;Thou changest not, Thy compassions, they fail not;as Thou hast been Thou forever will be.Great is Thy faithfulness. Great is Thy faithfulness.Morning by morning new mercies I see;all I have needed Thy hand hath provided;great is Thy faithfulness, Lord, unto me.(Thomas Chisolm, 1923)1 

1 Keith Getty and Kristyn Getty, Sing! How Worship Transforms Your Life, Family, and Church (Nashville, TN: B&H Books, 2017). 

Singing Keeps Your Mind on Eternity

Jeremiah 17:7 KJV

Blessed is the man that trusteth in the LORD, and whose hope the LORD is.

 • Soon and very soon..

 • I’ll fly away

 • I’m kinda homesick for a country

 • It will be worth it all

 • Face to face I shall behold Him

 • I am Going to a City 

 • Someday the silver cord will break and I no more as now shall sing

Keith’s grandfather used to arrive at Sunday worship a good forty-five minutes early. He would sit down in the place where he always sat and would flip through his hymnal and pray as he prepared for the service. Those songs held him. They taught him. They rehearsed the truth for him. They kept him looking forward to what was eternally real—what had always been true from before the foundation of the world, and what would remain being true for the rest of his lifetime and beyond. And when he was in his nineties, and was unable to remember his own family’s names, much less accomplish even the most basic, everyday task, he could still recite or respond to the words and melodies of those hymns. 

Those were the songs he had sung and carried with him throughout his life. Locked inside the folds and wrinkles of his long-term memory, he was able to retrieve them when everything else had become confused. And they brought him considerable peace, even at the most difficult stages of his declining years. For him, as for many, life’s greatest battles were at the end. He had his songlist for that time prepared, and it carried him into glory. Like him, we need to sing the songs now that we want to grow old with—songs that will lift our hearts and sights to eternity and our eternal Lord when earthly life begins to slip from our hands. Like him, we need to sing those songs with others in our churches, that they, too, may look to eternity every day, including their last day. May we, like him, fall asleep with gospel songs on our lips and awake to the sounds of heaven singing.

* Material taken from SING by Kristyn and Keith Getty

Exported from Logos Bible Software, 11:42 AM February 19, 2021.

By Name: The Personal Personal Nature of Salvation

Wednesday, February 17th, 2021

Pastor Don Carpenter

2021 Bible Reading Challenge / Numbers 1:17–20

Jeff Greenfield is a news correspondent for ABC News. He lives in Salisbury, Connecticutt and has attended the same Memorial Day observance in his community for the last 15 years. He writes:

“At 10 a.m., the parade begins moving down Main Street. It is a small parade: two vintage cars, bearing the region’s oldest war veterans; the men and women who served in the military; the Salisbury Town Band; the Scouts; the Housatonic Day Care Center; the fire trucks from the volunteer fire departments in and around the Northwest Corner. We fall in line behind the fire trucks, and follow the parade to the cemetery. There’s a hymn, and a prayer, followed by a Scout who reads the Gettysburg Address, haltingly, shyly. Then come the names of the men who died in the World Wars, in Korea, in Vietnam. A minister recites the 23rd Psalm, a bugler plays taps (with another bugler far away playing the echo), the flag is raised from half-staff, and we all walk the few steps back to the Village Center. It is as artless, as unaffected a ceremony as can be imagined. There are no speech writers, no advance men measuring the best angles for TV (there is no TV) and by the end of it, I—along with many other allegedly sophisticated urban types, are in tears.

The men whose names have been read indeed gave what Lincoln called “the last, full measure of devotion”—some in wars whose purpose no one could doubt—some in wars whose purpose will never be clear, some for the folly and arrogance of the men in charge. When they fell, their deaths were a small part of a bigger story. But every Memorial Day, the lives they never got to live, and the people they left behind, are the only story that matters. That is why it matters that their names are uttered aloud before people who never knew any of them. That is why it matters that we were there this year—and will be there the next and the next and the next.

SOURCE: Jeff Greenfield. ABC News InFocus, May 28, 1997. 

Our 2021 Bible Reading Challenge has taken us to some material that could cause our eyes to glaze over. We read a census inspired by God. How can this get me closer to the image of Christ? Tonight we will discover that God is not just interested in the crowd and the nation, He is interested in each individual. He is an intensely personal shepherd. His Love is personal and intimate.

The Individual Is Expressed By His Name

Numbers 1:17 KJV

And Moses and Aaron took these men which are expressed by their names:

Numbers 1:18 KJV

And they assembled all the congregation together on the first day of the second month, and they declared their pedigrees after their families, by the house of their fathers, according to the number of the names, from twenty years old and upward, by their polls.

Numbers 1:20 KJV

And the children of Reuben, Israel’s eldest son, by their generations, after their families, by the house of their fathers, according to the number of the names, by their polls, every male from twenty years old and upward, all that were able to go forth to war;

Numbers 1:22 KJV

Of the children of Simeon, by their generations, after their families, by the house of their fathers, those that were numbered of them, according to the number of the names, by their polls, every male from twenty years old and upward, all that were able to go forth to war;

Numbers 1:24 KJV

Of the children of Gad, by their generations, after their families, by the house of their fathers, according to the number of the names, from twenty years old and upward, all that were able to go forth to war;

Numbers 1:26 KJV

Of the children of Judah, by their generations, after their families, by the house of their fathers, according to the number of the names, from twenty years old and upward, all that were able to go forth to war;

Numbers 1:28 KJV

Of the children of Issachar, by their generations, after their families, by the house of their fathers, according to the number of the names, from twenty years old and upward, all that were able to go forth to war;

Numbers 1:30 KJV

Of the children of Zebulun, by their generations, after their families, by the house of their fathers, according to the number of the names, from twenty years old and upward, all that were able to go forth to war;

Numbers 1:32 KJV

Of the children of Joseph, namely, of the children of Ephraim, by their generations, after their families, by the house of their fathers, according to the number of the names, from twenty years old and upward, all that were able to go forth to war;

Numbers 1:36 KJV

Of the children of Benjamin, by their generations, after their families, by the house of their fathers, according to the number of the names, from twenty years old and upward, all that were able to go forth to war;

Numbers 1:38 KJV

Of the children of Dan, by their generations, after their families, by the house of their fathers, according to the number of the names, from twenty years old and upward, all that were able to go forth to war;

Numbers 1:40 KJV

Of the children of Asher, by their generations, after their families, by the house of their fathers, according to the number of the names, from twenty years old and upward, all that were able to go forth to war;

Numbers 1:42 KJV

Of the children of Naphtali, throughout their generations, after their families, by the house of their fathers, according to the number of the names, from twenty years old and upward, all that were able to go forth to war;

 • Each name expressed an eternal soul

 • Each name expressed relationships

 • Each name expressed passions

 • Each name expressed human drama

 • Each name expressed joys and sorrows

 • Each name expressed hopes and dreams

 • Each name expressed failure and faith

 • Each name expressed sin and forgiveness

Psalm 103:14 KJV

For he knoweth our frame; He remembereth that we are dust.

His Sheep Are Known By Name

John 10:14 KJV

I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine.

Matthew 10:29–31 KJV

Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing? and one of them shall not fall on the ground without your Father. 

But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. 

Fear ye not therefore, ye are of more value than many sparrows.

3 John 14 KJV

but I trust I shall shortly see thee, and we shall speak face to face. Peace be to thee. Our friends salute thee. Greet the friends by name.

His Sheep Are Called By Name

Acts 9:36 KJV

Now there was at Joppa a certain disciple named Tabitha, which by interpretation is called Dorcas: this woman was full of good works and almsdeeds which she did.

Luke 4:25–27 KJV

But I tell you of a truth, many widows were in Israel in the days of Elias, when the heaven was shut up three years and six months, when great famine was throughout all the land; 

But unto none of them was Elias sent, save unto Sarepta, a city of Sidon, unto a woman that was a widow. 

And many lepers were in Israel in the time of Eliseus the prophet; and none of them was cleansed, saving Naaman the Syrian.

His Sheep Are Given a New Name

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.

Genesis 32:28 KJV

And he said, Thy name shall be called no more Jacob, but Israel: for as a prince hast thou power with God and with men, and hast prevailed.

Revelation 2:17 KJV

He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the hidden manna, and will give him a white stone, and in the stone a new name written, which no man knoweth saving he that receiveth it.

Revelation 3:12 KJV

Him that overcometh will I make a pillar in the temple of my God, and he shall go no more out: and I will write upon him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, which is new Jerusalem, which cometh down out of heaven from my God: and I will write upon him my new name.

It is easy for us to see the crowd but not the individuals. Tucked away in this Old Testament passage is the truth that God sees us as individuals, loves us personally, and called us intimately. The Sweet Savior knows and loves you by name.

Exported from Logos Bible Software, 12:28 PM February 17, 2021.

Enough To Worry About

Saturday, February 13th, 2021

Enough To Worry About

Pastor Don Carpenter

When In Doubt / Romans 14:10–13

At the turn of the century, the world’s most distinguished astronomer was certain there were canals on Mars. Sir Percival Lowell, esteemed for his study of the solar system, had a particular fascination with the Red Planet.

When he heard, in 1877, that an Italian astronomer had seen straight lines crisscrossing the Martian surface, Lowell spent the rest of his years squinting into the eyepiece of his giant telescope in Arizona, mapping the channels and canals he saw. He was convinced the canals were proof of intelligent life on Mars, possibly an older but wiser race than humanity.

Lowell’s observations gained wide acceptance. So eminent was he, none dared contradict him.

Now, of course, things are different. Space probes have orbited Mars and landed on its surface. The entire planet has been mapped, and no one has seen a canal. How could Lowell have “seen” so much that wasn’t there?

Two possibilities: (1) he so wanted to see canals that he did, over and over again, and (2) we know now that he suffered from a rare eye disease that made him see the blood vessels in his own eyes. The Martian “canals” he saw were nothing more than the bulging veins of his eyeballs. Today the malady is known as “Lowell’s syndrome.”

When Jesus warns that “in the same way you judge others, you will be judged” and warns of seeing “the speck of sawdust” in another’s eye while missing the plank in our own (Matt. 7:1–3), could he not be referring to the spiritual equivalent of Lowell’s syndrome? Over and over, we “see” faults in others because we don’t want to believe anything better about them. And so often we think we have a first-hand view of their shortcomings, when in fact our vision is distorted by our own disease.

As we continue our study of Romans 14 entitled “When In Doubt”, we find that we cannot spend time focusing on judging out brother about extrabiblical nuances and personal applications because we will one day account for our own behavior, specifically our behavior toward the brother that we may have been judging. We should not spend time evaluating someone else and judging them based on our own extrabiblical preferences because we have enough to worry about.

Why Judge Your Brother Knowing What You Do?

Romans 14:10 KJV

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

  • You are judging another man’s servant 

Romans 14:4 KJV

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

  • Everyone comes up with different conclusions. 

Romans 14:5 KJV

One man esteemeth one day above another: another esteemeth every day alike. Let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind.

  • These are personal between them and the Lord 

Romans 14:6 KJV

He that regardeth the day, regardeth it unto the Lord; and he that regardeth not the day, to the Lord he doth not regard it. He that eateth, eateth to the Lord, for he giveth God thanks; and he that eateth not, to the Lord he eateth not, and giveth God thanks.

 • They answer to God not to you. 

 • So why would you set your bother at naught? 

Romans Chapter 14

 But why, &c. Since we are all subjects and servants alike, and must all stand at the same tribunal, what right have we to sit in judgment on others?

Thou judge. Thou who art a Jewish convert, why dost thou attempt to arraign the Gentile disciple, as if he had violated a law of God? comp. ver. 3.

Thy brother. God has recognised him as his friend (ver. 3), and he should be regarded by thee as a brother in the same family.

Or why dost thou set at nought. Despise (ver. 3); why dost thou, who art a Gentile convert, despise the Jewish disciple as being unnecessarily scrupulous and superstitious?

Thy brother. The Jewish convert is now a brother; and all the contempt which you Gentiles once cherished for the Jew should cease, from the fact that he is now a Christian. Nothing will do so much, on the one hand, to prevent a censorious disposition, and on the other, to prevent contempt for those who are in a different rank in life, as to remember that they are Christians, bought with the same blood, and going to the same heaven as ourselves.

We must all stand, &c. That is, we must all be tried alike at the same tribunal; we must answer for our conduct, not to our-fellow men, but to Christ; and it does not become us to sit in judgment on each other.

Why Would You Judge Your Brother When You Know You Will Be Judged?

Romans 14:11–12 KJV

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

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

Romans 2:16 KJV

In the day when God shall judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ according to my gospel.

Acts 17:31 KJV

Because he hath appointed a day, in the which he will judge the world in righteousness by that man whom he hath ordained; whereof he hath given assurance unto all men, in that he hath raised him from the dead.

1 Corinthians 3:13–15 KJV

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

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

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

Why Would You Judge Your Brother When You Should Be Helping Him?

Romans 14:13 KJV

Let us not therefore judge one another any more: but judge this rather, that no man put a stumblingblock or an occasion to fall in his brother’s way.

14:13) Robertson explains the words, “Let us not therefore judge one another any more,” as follows; “Let us no longer have the habit of criticising one another.” “Stumbling block” is proskamma (?????????), from proskopt? (?????????), “to cut toward or against, to strike against,” used of those who strike against a stone or other obstacle in the path, “to stumble” (Thayer.) Thus, proskamma (?????????) is a stumbling block, “an obstacle in the way which if one strike his foot against, he necessarily stumbles or falls, hence, that over which the soul stumbles” (Thayer). “Occasion to fall” is skandalon (?????????), “The movable stick or trigger of a trap, a snare, any impediment placed in the way and causing one to stumble or fall, any person or thing by which one is entrapped, drawn into error or sin” (Thayer).1 

1 Kenneth S. Wuest, Wuest’s Word Studies from the Greek New Testament: For the English Reader, vol. 2 (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1997), 236. 

Vine’s Complete Expository Dictionary of Old and New Testament Words Offence (Offense)

1. skandalon (?????????, 4625) originally was “the name of the part of a trap to which the bait is attached, hence, the trap or snare itself, as in Rom. 11:9, RV, ‘stumblingblock,’ quoted from Psa. 69:22, and in Rev. 2:14, for Balaam’s device was rather a trap for Israel than a stumblingblock to them, and in Matt. 16:23, for in Peter’s words the Lord perceived a snare laid for Him by Satan.

“In NT skandalon is always used metaphorically, and ordinarily of anything that arouses prejudice, or becomes a hindrance to others, or causes them to fall by the way. Sometimes the hindrance is in itself good, and those stumbled by it are the wicked.”*

In the days of the pioneers, when men saw that a prairie fire was coming, what would they do? Since not even the fastest of horses could outrun it, the pioneers took a match and burned the grass in a designated area around them. Then they would take their stand in the burned area and be safe from the threatening prairie fire. As the roar of the flames approached, they would not be afraid. Even as the ocean of fire surged around them there was no fear, because fire had already passed over the place where they stood.

When the judgment of God comes to sweep men and women into hell for eternity, there is one spot that is safe. Nearly two thousand years ago the wrath of God was poured on Calvary. There the Son of God took the wrath that should have fallen on us. Now, if we take our stand by the cross, we are safe for time and eternity.

The Blood of Jesus cleanses us from unrighteousness. Our brothers and sisters in Christ enjoy that same Grace. We do not need, then, to evaluate their every personal decision and standard. We have our own standing before God.

Exported from Logos Bible Software, 2:15 PM February 13, 2021.

Compelled to SING!

Saturday, February 13th, 2021

Compelled to Sing

Pastor Don Carpenter

Sing! / 2 Corinthians 5:14–15

Human beings are interesting creatures. We respond with emotion, sound, laughing, crying, singing, shouting to stimuli around us. We naturally react viably and audibly to what we find out… we react to revelation. Kristyn Getty explains:

 We don’t have to be in a church building to understand we are wired this way. When Ireland beats England in rugby (always a beautiful occasion), Keith and his dad cheer till they’re hoarse. When we stand on the precipice of the Grand Canyon or at the jazz festival of Montreux at the foot of the French Alps, our eyes and hearts feast upon it. When we hear that a couple whom we love has become engaged, we exclaim our joy out loud. Praise is prompted by—compelled by—the revelation of something glorious.  

The Apostle Paul tells us that revelation motivates us, constrains us.

2 Corinthians 5:14–15 KJV

For the love of Christ constraineth us; because we thus judge, that if one died for all, then were all dead: 

And that he died for all, that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto him which died for them, and rose again.

Constraineth (???????). See on taken, Luke 4:38; Acts 18:5. It is the word rendered I am in a strait, Philip. 1:23. Compare Luke 12:50. The idea is not urging or driving, but shutting up to one line and purpose, as in a narrow, walled road.

1 Marvin Richardson Vincent, Word Studies in the New Testament, vol. 3 (New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1887), 320. 

Compelled to Sing In Response To Revelation

Let Freedom Sing!

John 8:32 KJV

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

John 8:36 KJV

If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.

Romans 5:8–9 KJV

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

Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him.

When Satan tempts me to despair And tells me of the guilt within Upward I look and see Him there Who made an end of all my sin,Because the sinless Savior died,My sinful soul is counted free,For God the just is satisfied To look on Him and pardon me.(Charitie L. Bancroft, “Before the Throne of God Above,” 1863)

 • Free from something free for something 

 • Free to run from what tore me apart and to that which makes me whole. 

“I think we delight to praise what we enjoy because the praise not merely expresses but completes the enjoyment; it is its appointed consummation.” – C.S. Lewis

Can’t Keep It Secret

Psalm 40:10 KJV

I have not hid thy righteousness within my heart; I have declared thy faithfulness and thy salvation: I have not concealed thy lovingkindness and thy truth from the great congregation.

 • Social Media – Like and Share

 • Not only do we know we should praise Him, but we can’t help it.

Steven Curtis Chapman Writes a Powerful song- Live Out Loud:

Imagine this I get a phone call from Regis

He says, “Do you want to be a millionaire?”

They put me on the show and I win with two lifelines to spare

Now picture this I act like nothing ever happened

And bury all the money in a coffee can

Well, I’ve been given more than Regis ever gave away

I was a dead man who was called to come out of my grave

And I think it’s time for makin’ some noise

Wake the neighbors, get the word out

Come on crank up the music, climb a mountain and shout

This is life we’ve been given, made to be lived out

So la la la la live out loud

Got to live out loud, now now now now

Think about this, try to keep a bird from singing

After it’s soared up in the sky

Give the sun a cloudless day and tell it not to shine

Think about this if we really have been given

The gift of life that will never end

And if we have been filled with living hope, we’re gonna overflow

And if God’s love is burning in our hearts well you know we’re gonna blow

There’s just no way to keep it in

Every corner of creation is a living declaration

Come join the song we were made to sing

Everybody sing

Every corner of creation is a living declaration

Come join the song we were made to sing

Every come on

Wake the neighbors, get the word out

So come on crank up the music, climb a mountain and shout

This is life we’ve been given, made to be lived out

Revelation and Response Throughout Scriptures:

A Song Of Deliverance

Exodus 15:1–2 KJV

Then sang Moses and the children of Israel this song unto the LORD, and spake, saying, I will sing unto the LORD, for he hath triumphed gloriously: The horse and his rider hath he thrown into the sea. 

The LORD is my strength and song, And he is become my salvation: He is my God, and I will prepare him an habitation; My father’s God, and I will exalt him.

 • First Song recorded in Scriptures

 • A Natural response to God’s mighty act

 • Song by 2 million voices!

A Song of Strength In Battle

 • Deborah

Judges 5:1–4 KJV

Then sang Deborah and Barak the son of Abinoam on that day, saying, 

Praise ye the LORD for the avenging of Israel, When the people willingly offered themselves. 

Hear, O ye kings; give ear, O ye princes; I, even I, will sing unto the LORD; I will sing praise to the LORD God of Israel. 

LORD, When thou wentest out of Seir, When thou marchedst out of the field of Edom, The earth trembled, and the heavens dropped, The clouds also dropped water.

 • Celebrating the Ark’s Return From the enemy

1 Chronicles 15:27–29 KJV

And David was clothed with a robe of fine linen, and all the Levites that bare the ark, and the singers, and Chenaniah the master of the song with the singers: David also had upon him an ephod of linen. 

Thus all Israel brought up the ark of the covenant of the LORD with shouting, and with sound of the cornet, and with trumpets, and with cymbals, making a noise with psalteries and harps. 

And it came to pass, as the ark of the covenant of the LORD came to the city of David, that Michal the daughter of Saul looking out at a window saw king David dancing and playing: and she despised him in her heart.

 • Song of faith as they entered battle… songs are armour for battle in this life – celebrating the sure victories in Christ.

2 Chronicles 20:21–22 KJV

And when he had consulted with the people, he appointed singers unto the LORD, and that should praise the beauty of holiness, as they went out before the army, and to say, Praise the LORD; for his mercy endureth for ever. 

And when they began to sing and to praise, the LORD set ambushments against the children of Ammon, Moab, and mount Seir, which were come against Judah; and they were smitten.

A Song of Assurance

Psalm 40:1–4 KJV

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

He brought me up also out of an horrible pit, out of the miry clay, And set my feet upon a rock, and established my goings. 

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. 

Blessed is that man that maketh the LORD his trust, And respecteth not the proud, nor such as turn aside to lies.

Psalm 31:19–21 KJV

Oh how great is thy goodness, which thou hast laid up for them that fear thee; Which thou hast wrought for them that trust in thee Before the sons of men! 

Thou shalt hide them in the secret of thy presence from the pride of man: Thou shalt keep them secretly in a pavilion from the strife of tongues. 

Blessed be the LORD: for he hath shewed me his marvellous kindness in a strong city.

Psalm 117:1 KJV

O praise the LORD, all ye nations: Praise him, all ye people.

Psalm 96:2 KJV

Sing unto the LORD, bless his name; Shew forth his salvation from day to day.

Psalm 105:2 KJV

Sing unto him, sing psalms unto him: Talk ye of all his wondrous works.

Meditating on who God is and all He has done triggers an authentic response of praise to God from our hearts and from our singing.

1 Keith Getty and Kristyn Getty, Sing! How Worship Transforms Your Life, Family, and Church (Nashville, TN: B&H Books, 2017). 

A Song of Hope – Sung By The Prophets

Ezra 3:10–13 KJV

And when the builders laid the foundation of the temple of the LORD, they set the priests in their apparel with trumpets, and the Levites the sons of Asaph with cymbals, to praise the LORD, after the ordinance of David king of Israel. 

And they sang together by course in praising and giving thanks unto the LORD; because he is good, for his mercy endureth for ever toward Israel. And all the people shouted with a great shout, when they praised the LORD, because the foundation of the house of the LORD was laid. 

But many of the priests and Levites and chief of the fathers, who were ancient men, that had seen the first house, when the foundation of this house was laid before their eyes, wept with a loud voice; and many shouted aloud for joy: 

So that the people could not discern the noise of the shout of joy from the noise of the weeping of the people: for the people shouted with a loud shout, and the noise was heard afar off.

Nehemiah 12:27–29 KJV

And at the dedication of the wall of Jerusalem they sought the Levites out of all their places, to bring them to Jerusalem, to keep the dedication with gladness, both with thanksgivings, and with singing, with cymbals, psalteries, and with harps. 

And the sons of the singers gathered themselves together, both out of the plain country round about Jerusalem, and from the villages of Netophathi; 

Also from the house of Gilgal, and out of the fields of Geba and Azmaveth: for the singers had builded them villages round about Jerusalem.

The Israelites sang during Ezra’s day when the foundation of the new temple was completed by the returning exiles (Ezra 3:10–13)—just as they sang when the walls were thoroughly rebuilt around Jerusalem under the leadership of Nehemiah (Neh. 12:27–29). They knew that it was God who had brought them back from exile, who had restored their hope and promised them future blessing. So they sang. Singing together marked both the rhythms of their daily life and the special occasions.1 

1 Keith Getty and Kristyn Getty, Sing! How Worship Transforms Your Life, Family, and Church (Nashville, TN: B&H Books, 2017). 

A Song That Sustains

Romans 8:38–39 KJV

For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, 

Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Acts 16:25 KJV

And at midnight Paul and Silas prayed, and sang praises unto God: and the prisoners heard them.

Compelled to Sing In Response to Salvation

Revelation 15:2–3 KJV

And I saw as it were a sea of glass mingled with fire: and them that had gotten the victory over the beast, and over his image, and over his mark, and over the number of his name, stand on the sea of glass, having the harps of God. 

And they sing the song of Moses the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb, saying, Great and marvellous are thy works, Lord God Almighty; just and true are thy ways, thou King of saints.

Kieth Getty Tells this story:

 We both grew up listening to the sounds of the Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir. There was a period in Kristyn’s life when her dad would play a short film of the testimony of one of the choir members, Calvin Hunt, every morning before they headed out for the day. Calvin’s life had been destroyed by crack cocaine and he had been living on the streets, estranged from his family, when he stumbled into Brooklyn Tabernacle Church one day, heard the gospel, and committed his life to Christ. The key moment in the interview was the one that showed him singing with the choir, his face shining and voice bursting with the lyrics: 

 There is a blood, a cleansing blood, that flows from Calvary And in this blood there’s a saving power For it washes white and makes me clean I’m clean, I’m clean, I’ve been washed in His blood. 

  Calvin didn’t need to be told to sing. Singing gives voice to a heart that deeply knows the gospel of grace. It is the overflow of a heart captivated by the gospel. In as many voices that join together to sing there are as many hearts that are called to know Christ as Lord and Savior. From that place there is a genuine and rich overflow of praise. This should reassure us. No matter how you are feeling, nor how good or bad a week you’ve had, you can lift your eyes to Jesus with relief, for He has washed you clean, and so you can sing wherever your life is at and whatever you are facing .

Exported from Logos Bible Software, 11:45 AM February 13, 2021.

Wednesday Prayer Meeting is IN PERSON Starting March 24!

Sunday, February 7th, 2021

With more and more people getting the COVID vaccine, and the continued decline in cases, The State of Connecticut has removed attendance restrictions for houses of worship. We are therefore discontinuing our Google meet services and replacing them with old fashioned in person meetings! We will continue to broadcast the sermons on Facebook live.

Fully Persuaded

Saturday, February 6th, 2021

Fully Persuaded

Pastor Don Carpenter

When In Doubt / Romans 14:5–11

 The story is told about a Catholic priest who was walking down an alley behind his church when a thief jumped out from behind some garbage cans and pressed the muzzle of his gun into the priest’s ribs. 

 The thief said, “Give me your wallet!” 

 Without hesitation, the priest went and reached for his wallet in the front pocket of his coat. It was then the thief got a glimpse of his collar. 

 “Are you a priest,” the thief asked? 

 “Yes I am,” said the priest. 

 “Well, put your wallet back,” the thief said. “I don’t rob priests. I am Catholic too.” 

 At that point, the relieved Catholic priest pulled out two cigars and offered one to the thief. The repentant thief responded, “Oh no, I could not do that. Smoking is wrong and I can’t believe you would do such an evil thing!” 

 Sometimes people have convictions about certain things, but fail to deal with the things that really matter in their lives. 

(Scott Kircher, cited in a sermon by Mark Opperman, Life, Love, and Liberty, 6/19/2012) 

It is interesting how we all tend to grab onto certain things and leave other things, sometimes things that are much clearer in scripture, alone.  

As we continue our series “When In Doubt” , tonight we are going to discover that good people can have different convictions and practices. We will discover that these convictions are unique both to the individual and to the individual’s relationship with God. We are going to learn to evaluate our own decisions carefully, while allowing others to come to other conclusions. When it comes to spiritual decisions, we must make them Biblically and prayerfully, and be fully persuaded.

Decisions Can Be Different Among Bible Believers.

Romans 14:5 KJV

One man esteemeth one day above another: another esteemeth every day alike. Let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind.

The precise time for festivals was such an important issue in Judaism that different Jewish groups broke fellowship with each other over the issue. (Not much later in history, different Christian groups followed suit.) Pagans had their own festivals, with different nations having their own ancestral customs and calendars. But Gentile writers especially reviled the Jewish sabbath. Romans reasoned that Jews were just lazy and wanted a day off from work. (This was not the first time in history that someone viewed Jewish worship in such terms—Ex 5:17.) Paul also alludes to the Jewish custom of giving thanks over food.1 

1 Craig S. Keener, The IVP Bible Background Commentary: New Testament (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1993), Ro 14:5–6. 

One Day Above Another

Exodus 31:12–17 KJV

And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, 

Speak thou also unto the children of Israel, saying, Verily my sabbaths ye shall keep: for it is a sign between me and you throughout your generations; that ye may know that I am the LORD that doth sanctify you. 

Ye shall keep the sabbath therefore; for it is holy unto you: every one that defileth it shall surely be put to death: for whosoever doeth any work therein, that soul shall be cut off from among his people. 

Six days may work be done; but in the seventh is the sabbath of rest, holy to the LORD: whosoever doeth any work in the sabbath day, he shall surely be put to death. 

Wherefore the children of Israel shall keep the sabbath, to observe the sabbath throughout their generations, for a perpetual covenant. 

It is a sign between me and the children of Israel for ever: for in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, and on the seventh day he rested, and was refreshed.

Each Day Alike

Colossians 2:14–16 KJV

Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross; 

And having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it. 

Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holyday, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath days:

Galatians 4:10 KJV

Ye observe days, and months, and times, and years.

Colossians 2:16 KJV

Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holyday, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath days:

Decisions Are Unique To You

Rom 14:5

… Let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind.

Fully Persuaded

“Fully persuaded” is pl?rophore? (??????????), “to be fully convinced or assured, to be persuaded.” Bengel, commenting on the words, “in his own mind,” says, “As a boat may pursue its course uninjured either in a narrow canal or in a spacious lake.”1 

1 Kenneth S. Wuest, Wuest’s Word Studies from the Greek New Testament: For the English Reader, vol. 2 (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1997), 233. 

 • You are responsible for the scriptures you know.

 • You are responsible for God’s personal leading in your life.

 • God does have direction for you, you need to seek it.

In Your Own Mind

Paul would have added something else to that: people should never make their own practice the universal standard for everyone else. This, in fact, is one of the curses of the Church. People are so apt to think that their way of worship is the only way. The New Testament scholar T. R. Glover quotes a saying: ‘Whatsoever thy hand ?ndeth to do, do it with thy might—but remember that someone thinks differently.’ We would do well to remember that, in a great many matters, it is a duty to have our own convictions, but it is an equal duty to allow others to have theirs without regarding them as sinners and outcasts.1 

1 William Barclay, The Letter to the Romans, 3rd ed. fully rev. & updated., The New Daily Study Bible (Louisville, KY; London: Westminster John Knox Press, 2002), 218. 

 • God expects you to make the call

 • God expects you to make the call for yourself… not others

Decisions Are Unique to Your Relationship With God.

Romans 14:6 KJV

He that regardeth the day, regardeth it unto the Lord; and he that regardeth not the day, to the Lord he doth not regard it. He that eateth, eateth to the Lord, for he giveth God thanks; and he that eateth not, to the Lord he eateth not, and giveth God thanks.

(import canvass)

(14:6) Denney explains, “The indifference of the question at issue, from the religious point of view, is shown by the fact that both parties, by the line of action they choose, have the same end in view—namely, the interest of the Lord … Thanksgiving to God consecrates every meal whether it be the ascetic one of him who abstains from wine and flesh (he who does not eat), or the more generous one of him who uses both (he who eats). The thanksgiving shows that in either case the Christian is acting to the glory of God (I Cor. 10:31), and therefore that the Lord’s interest is safe.” 1 

1 Kenneth S. Wuest, Wuest’s Word Studies from the Greek New Testament: For the English Reader, vol. 2 (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1997), 233–234. 

Decisions Are Not Made In A Vacuum

Romans 14:7–9 KJV

For none of us liveth to himself, and no man dieth to himself. 

For whether we live, we live unto the Lord; and whether we die, we die unto the Lord: whether we live therefore, or die, we are the Lord’s. 

For to this end Christ both died, and rose, and revived, that he might be Lord both of the dead and living.

1 Corinthians 6:19–20 KJV

What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? 

For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.

14:9 for this reason Here Paul reminds his audience that Christ’s death and resurrection should encourage believers to live for the Lord, not themselves. Christians should use their freedom in Christ to show love and respect to fellow believers since He died for all people—both the living and the dead, the strong and the weak.1 

1 John D. Barry, Douglas Mangum, Derek R. Brown, et al., Faithlife Study Bible (Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press, 2012, 2016), Ro 14:9 

Exported from Logos Bible Software, 1:36 PM February 6, 2021.