Category Archives: Uncategorized

Conscience Sensitivity

Conscience Sensitivity

Pastor Don Carpenter

A Beautiful Mess / 1 Corinthians 8:1–13

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

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

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

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

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

We must have the right attitude

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

A. Knowledge is not enough

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

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

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

B. Knowledge inflates the ego

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

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

C. Ego exposes one’s lack of real knowledge

D. Love for God helps put everything into perspective

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

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

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

There are some things many Christians know

A. About other so-called gods

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

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

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

B. About inanimate objects

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

We must not cause the weaker brother to stumble

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

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

A. There are those who have weak consciences

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

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

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

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

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

C. These tender Christians can be stumbled by your actions

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Be Transformed

Be Transformed

Pastor Don Carpenter

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

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

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

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

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

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

Romans 8:29 KJV

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

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

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

Romans 12:2 KJV

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

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

Reject Conformity to this World.

1 Peter 1:14 KJV

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

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

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

1 John 2:15–17 KJV

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

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

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

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

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

Embrace Transformation to Christ’s Image

Change from the Inside Out

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

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

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

This Change Involves Constant Renewal of the Mind.

 Romans 12:2 (KJV)

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

Philippians 2:5 KJV

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

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

Galatians 5:16 KJV

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

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

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

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

2 Peter 1:3–4 KJV

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

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

Prove the Perfection of God’s Will

 Romans 12:2 (KJV)

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

John 7:17 KJV

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Oklahoma,” they answered.

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

“I teach at a seminary,” he replied.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The professor responded that it really was a great story!

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

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

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

Meditate on this truth and be transformed! 

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

Lot the Righteous?

Lot the Righteous?

Pastor Don Carpenter

Bible Boneheads / 2 Peter 2:7; Numbers 34:13; Deuteronomy 2:9

No matter what it looked like on the outside, Lot struggled with the wickedness around him and it bothered him. Don’t judge too harshly.

Do you guys remember the cartoon with Wiley Coyote and Ralph the sheep dog. I use to love that cartoon. Every morning Ralph and Wiley would meet at the time clock which was mounted on a tree. As they clocked in they would great each other and then they would go to their respective departments.

Ralph the sheep dog went to his post on the cliff and took his position as head of the sheep protection department. Wiley, true to his nature, would slink away in to the forest to plan his strategy as head of the sheep acquisition and consumption department.

As the day wore on Ralph sat patiently at his post with a protective eye looking over the flock as Wiley tried one scheme after another in hopes of making his quota of sheep for the day. However, no matter how hard he tried it seemed that poor Wiley’s plan was always thwarted by Ralph at the last moment. Inevitably as the day drew to a close just before the whistle blew, Wiley would pull out all the stops and slip into his sheep costume and meander into the fold with the hope of finally catching his prey only to realize after his pray was in fact none other than Ralph the sheep dog who had dressed himself up as a sheep in anticipation of Wiley’s scheme. Poor Wiley never caught a break.

Wiley’s sheep costume illustrates a tactic that is used by our enemy the devil. In fact in Matthew 7.15 Jesus warns us that in similar fashion Satan will send ravenous wolves into the fold dressed in sheep’s clothing to catch the sheep unaware and snatch them away by false teaching. As we learned last week Satan will do what ever he can to destroy the flock. Therefore, it is imperative that we have discerning spirits so that we can discern the motives of those who are among us.

However, our generation, as I’m sure it has been in generations past, I believe the greatest danger to the work of the Kingdom of God is not as much when wolves come in dressed as sheep, but it is when the sheep go in to the world dressed in wolves clothing. The greater problem in modern American Christianity is when “so called” Christians wear their sheep’s clothing on Sunday only to put on their wolves clothing on Monday.

As we finish our look at a Bible Bonehead named Lot, we come to an unexpected commentary about his life written by Peter. Certainly this guy did not look saved, and yet, God’s word calls him Righteous. Our text verses give us some insight and warning about how far a believer can wonder, yet still be a blood bought child of God.

The main lesson tonight is that when a believer chooses to surround himself with sin and compromise, he will be tortured until he gets out and gets right.

Lot Was Delivered

2 Peter 2:7 (KJV)

And delivered just Lot…

Because of God’s Character

2 Peter 2:9 KJV
The Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly out of temptations, and to reserve the unjust unto the day of judgment to be punished:

Genesis 18:23 KJV
And Abraham drew near, and said, Wilt thou also destroy the righteous with the wicked?

Genesis 18:25 KJV
That be far from thee to do after this manner, to slay the righteous with the wicked: and that the righteous should be as the wicked, that be far from thee: Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right?

Because of God’s Mercy

Genesis 19:16 KJV
And while he lingered, the men laid hold upon his hand, and upon the hand of his wife, and upon the hand of his two daughters; the LORD being merciful unto him: and they brought him forth, and set him without the city.

Because God Was Using Sodom and Gomorrah as Warnings to Others.

2 Peter 2:6 KJV
And turning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrha into ashes condemned them with an overthrow, making them an ensample unto those that after should live ungodly;

Lot Was Just – Righteous

2 Peter 2:7–8 (KJV)

And delivered just Lot, vexed with the filthy conversation of the wicked:

(For that righteous man dwelling among them, in seeing and hearing, vexed his righteous soul from day to day with their unlawful deeds;)

Genesis 15:6 KJV
And he believed in the LORD; and he counted it to him for righteousness.

Romans 4:3–5 KJV
For what saith the scripture? Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness.

Now to him that worketh is the reward not reckoned of grace, but of debt.

But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness.

“And delivered just Lot, vexed with the filthy conversation [manner of life] of the wicked.” He didn’t go for the way they lived; he hated it. He was a just man, which means that he was justified before God because he trusted God as Abraham did, although he didn’t lead a life like Abraham, one that was a testimony to the world. Lot stands on the page of Scripture as a saint of God who was justified because of his faith, but his life denied everything he believed and he never had a moment’s peace down here.

“For that righteous man dwelling among them, in seeing and hearing.” Just think of the filth that that man had to listen to! Very candidly, I do not believe that a child of God can continually engage in filthy conversation. Filthy conversation will lead to filthy action.

God said to this man, “Lot, you will have to get out of the city. I cannot destroy it with you in it.” You see, in the meantime there was a man named Abraham who was not criticizing Lot but was praying for him. That is a good lesson for many of us. There is a preacher, a friend of mine, who criticizes everything and everybody. One day he was criticizing an outstanding Bible teacher whom I respect and know that God has mightily used. I said to my friend, looking him right straight in the eye, “Have you ever prayed for him?” He turned red and said he hadn’t. I said, “Instead of criticizing him, why don’t you pray for him? If you think he is wrong, pray for him.”

Abraham prayed for the city of Sodom. He wanted his nephew Lot to be spared. Abraham asked God to spare the city for the sake of fifty righteous people. He finally got it down to ten righteous people, and then he stopped praying because he was afraid that Lot was not really a child of God. But Lot was, and God got him out. God said, “I cannot destroy the city until you get out.”1

1 McGee, J. V. (1991). Thru the Bible commentary: The Epistles (2 Peter) (electronic ed., Vol. 55, pp. 58–59). Thomas Nelson.

Lot Was Vexed

Psalm 119:158 KJV
I beheld the transgressors, and was grieved; Because they kept not thy word.

Two different Hebrew Words translated vexed in KJV.

2 Peter 2:7 (KJV)

And delivered just Lot, vexed with the filthy conversation of the wicked:

Vexed” is katapone? (?????????), “to tire down with toil, exhaust with labor, to afflict or oppress with evils.” The vile lives of the people of these two cities wore Lot down as his soul rebelled against the filth he saw always about him.1

1 Wuest, K. S. (1997). Wuest’s word studies from the Greek New Testament: for the English reader (Vol. 12, p. 51). Eerdmans.

Vexed -exhausted by, oppressed by Filthy Conversation.

1 Timothy 3:5 KJV
(For if a man know not how to rule his own house, how shall he take care of the church of God?)

The Greek term used here, meaning “lack of restraint,” occurs elsewhere in nt listings of sexual sin (e.g., Rom 13:13; 2 Cor 12:21; Gal 5:19; 1 Pet 4:3). The sexual misconduct of Sodom was so extensive that men from the city attempted to rape the angels visiting Lot (Gen 19:1–22).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 (2 Pe 2:7). Lexham Press.

Filthy” is aselgeia (????????), “unbridled lust, excess, wantonness, shamelessness.” The word is in the locative of sphere following the preposition en. (??.) Peter is referring to the behavior of the lawless in the sphere of unbridled lust.1

1 Wuest, K. S. (1997). Wuest’s word studies from the Greek New Testament: for the English reader (Vol. 12, p. 51). Eerdmans.

Vexed – Tortured

2 Peter 2:8 KJV
(For that righteous man dwelling among them, in seeing and hearing, vexed his righteous soul from day to day with their unlawful deeds;)

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

“Vexed” is basaniz? (????????), “to torment, to torture.” Strachan remarks: “It is somewhat peculiar that the active should be used. ‘He vexed, distressed his righteous soul.’ May it not be that in the use of the active a certain sense of personal culpability is implied? Lot was conscious that the situation was ultimately due to his own selfish choice.” Strachan translates, “day in, day out.”

Translation. For, in seeing and hearing, the righteous one having settled down permanently among them, day in, day out, tormented his righteous soul with their lawless works.1

1 Wuest, K. S. (1997). Wuest’s word studies from the Greek New Testament: for the English reader (Vol. 12, p. 52). Eerdmans.

Lot’s waning faith is unpacked for us a bit more in verse 8: “For as that righteous man lived among them day by day, his righteous soul was tormented by the lawless deeds he saw and heard.” What Lot saw and heard day in and day out took its toll on him. The exposure to the “lawless deeds” of the unprincipled people of his city literally tortured his spiritual nature. Lot was wearing down when God rescued him.1

1 Shaddix, J., & Akin, D. L. (2018). Exalting jesus in 2 peter, jude (2 Pe 2:6–8). Holman Reference.

Self Inflicted Wound Due to Personal Choice

Genesis 13:13 KJV
But the men of Sodom were wicked and sinners before the LORD exceedingly.

Dwelling” is egkatoike? (??????????), “to live in a home,” kata (????), “down,” and eg (en) (?? (??)) “in,” or “among.” Katoike? (????????) speaks of the act of settling down permanently. It was used of the permanent residents of a town as contrasted to the transients who lived there only for a time. Lot had settled down permanently among the inhabitants of Sodom.1

1 Wuest, K. S. (1997). Wuest’s word studies from the Greek New Testament: for the English reader (Vol. 12, p. 52). Eerdmans.

“Seeing” is blemma (??????) (from blepo (?????)), “a look, a glance.” It is used of the look of a man from without. The person looking is an onlooker but not a participant of the thing viewed.1

1 Wuest, K. S. (1997). Wuest’s word studies from the Greek New Testament: for the English reader (Vol. 12, p. 52). Eerdmans.

Conclusion:

This commentary in 2:7b–8 about Lot’s weakening defense likely is included for a couple of reasons. First, Peter wants to warn his readers about passive exposure to wickedness, especially of the sexual nature (see 1 Thess 4:1–8).

The portrayal of Lot provides a warning to a generation of people who will view without protest television material that, a generation ago, they would never have considered seeing at a movie. (Vaughn and Lea, 1, 2 Peter, 173)

We’ll never completely be able to avoid hearing and seeing everything that’s evil. But the default response to that predicament is not to throw up our hands and welcome the world into our lives and homes. When that happens, we stop crying out to God for his deliverance. Instead, we need to run from godlessness (cf. 1 Cor 6:18; 10:14; 1 Tim 6:11; 2 Tim 2:22), partly because of its devastating effects on our spiritual sensitivity and defenses. We must avoid settling in to our cultural climate. The biggest danger many of us face as believers is not being martyred for our faith but having our faith dulled by exposure to wickedness.1

1 Shaddix, J., & Akin, D. L. (2018). Exalting jesus in 2 peter, jude (2 Pe 2:6–8). Holman Reference.

Exported from Logos Bible Software, 1:12 PM April 20, 2022.

Exactly What Happened On Good Friday

Exactly What Happened On Good Friday

Pastor Don Carpenter

According to the Chicago Tribune, on June 22, 1997, parachute instructor Michael Costello, forty-two, of Mt.Dora, Florida, jumped out of an airplane at 12,000 feet altitude with a novice skydiver name Gareth Griffith, age twenty-one.

The novice would soon discover just how good his instructor was, for when the novice pulled his rip cord, his parachute failed. Plummeting to the ground they faced certain death.

But then the instructor did an amazing thing. Just before hitting the ground, the instructor rolled over so that he would hit the ground first and the novice would land on top of him. The instructor was killed instantly. The novice fractured his spine in the fall, but he was not paralyzed.

One man takes the place of another, takes the brunt for another. One substitutes himself to die so another may live. So it was at the cross, when Jesus died for our sins. (Choice Contemporary Stories and Illustrations, Baker Books, compiled by Craig Brian Larson, pg57).

Through out the centuries, believers have focused their meditations upon the events that led up to the death, burial, and resurrection of our Savior, Jesus Christ. This evening, we are going to take a few minutes and focus upon what actually did take place on the cross nearly 2000 years ago.

Introducing the Main Characters

Humanity – Hopelessly Condemned Sinners

Jeremiah 17:9 KJV
The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?

Romans 3:10 KJV
As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one:

Romans 3:23 KJV
For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;

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.

Jesus – the Sinless Lamb of God

He is perfect God

John 1:1–3 KJV
IN the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

The same was in the beginning with God.

All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.

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

1 Timothy 3:16 KJV
And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory.

He is sinless man

1 Peter 2:21–22 KJV
For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps:

Who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth:

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.

The Chinese character for “righteousness” is most interesting. It is composed of two separate characters—one standing for a lamb, the other for me. When “lamb” is placed directly above “me,” a new character—“righteousness” is formed.

This is a helpful picture of the grace of God. Between me, the sinner, and God, the Holy One, there is interposed by faith the Lamb of God. By virtue of his sacrifice, he has received me on the ground of faith, and I have become righteous in his sight.

Jesus Became Sin

2 Corinthians 5:21 (KJV)

For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin…

A. Jesus became our sin.

B. Jesus mediated, but did not forgive sin directly while He was on the cross.

  1. He had the power to forgive sin.

Mark 2:7–12 KJV
Why doth this man thus speak blasphemies? who can forgive sins but God only?

And immediately when Jesus perceived in his spirit that they so reasoned within themselves, he said unto them, Why reason ye these things in your hearts?

Whether is it easier to say to the sick of the palsy, Thy sins be forgiven thee; or to say, Arise, and take up thy bed, and walk?

But that ye may know that the Son of man hath power on earth to forgive sins, (he saith to the sick of the palsy,)

I say unto thee, Arise, and take up thy bed, and go thy way into thine house.

And immediately he arose, took up the bed, and went forth before them all; insomuch that they were all amazed, and glorified God, saying, We never saw it on this fashion.

  1. He mediated on the cross, perhaps because he was made to be our sin????

Luke 23:34 KJV
Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do. And they parted his raiment, and cast lots.

C. God could not look at the sin that He had become.

Matthew 27:45–46 KJV
Now from the sixth hour there was darkness over all the land unto the ninth hour.

And about the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani? that is to say, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?

D, He did this voluntarily

John 10:17–18 KJV
Therefore doth my Father love me, because I lay down my life, that I might take it again.

No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This commandment have I received of my Father.

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.

1 John 2:1–2 KJV
My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous:

And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.

We Can Become Christ’s Righteousness.

2 Corinthians 5:21 (KJV)

…that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.

A. God grants mercy (not getting what we deserve) to those who come to Him.

Psalm 51:1 KJV
Have mercy upon me, O God, according to thy lovingkindness: According unto the multitude of thy tender mercies blot out my transgressions.

B. God grants grace (God’s Riches AT Christ’s Expense) for those who trust Jesus for salvation.

  1. Righteousness credited to our account.

Genesis 15:6 KJV
And he believed in the LORD; and he counted it to him for righteousness.

Romans 4:3–5 KJV
For what saith the scripture? Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness.

Now to him that worketh is the reward not reckoned of grace, but of debt.

But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness.

  1. The faith of Jesus credited to our account. Romans 3:21–22 (KJV) But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets; Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference: Galatians 2:16 (KJV) Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified. 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.

If we look through a piece of red glass, everything is red. If we look through a piece of blue glass, everything is blue. If we look through a piece of yellow glass, everything is yellow, and so on.

When we believe in Jesus Christ as our Savior, God looks at us through the Lord Jesus Christ. He sees us in all the white holiness of his Son. Our sins are imputed to the account of Christ and his righteousness to our account.

So how about you? Tonight we reflect on the most consequential spiritual events of History. Jesus became your sin so you can become His righteousness. Have you by faith accepted that free Gift? He waits for you right now.

Exported from Logos Bible Software, 4:38 PM April 15, 2022.

Anchored to Hope in a Stormy World

The storms of life’s heartaches sometimes seem overwhelming. God’s Word offers hope that transcends the grave! Join us each Sunday at 11 am as we discover life changing truths to which we can anchor our souls! Will we see you in church this Sunday?

Duty Bound

Duty Bound

Pastor Don Carpenter

2021 Bible Reading Challenge

When DAVE THOMAS died in early 2002, he left behind more than just thousands of Wendy’s restaurants. He also left a legacy of being a practical, hard-working man who was respected for his down-to-earth values.

Among the pieces of good advice that have outlived the smiling entrepreneur is his view of what Christians should be doing with their lives. Thomas, who as a youngster was influenced for Christ by his grandmother, said that believers should be “roll-up-your-shirt sleeves” Christians.

In his book Well Done, Thomas said, “Roll-up-your-shirtsleeves Christians see Christianity as faith and action. They still make the time to talk with God through prayer, study Scripture with devotion, be super-active in their church and take their ministry to others to spread the Good Word.” He went onto say they are “anonymous people who are doing good for Christ may be doing even more good than all the well-known Christians in the world.”

That statement has more meat in it than a Wendy’s triple burger. Thomas knew ab out hard work in the restaurant business; and he knew it is vital in the spiritual world also.

Let’s Roll-up-our-shirt sleeves, there is plenty to do.

(Source: Dave Branon, Our Daily Bread. From a sermon by Dennis Davidson, Authentic Faith Works, 10/26/2009)

_____

The Apostle Paul wrote the book of Romans as a treatise on Salvation, how to obtain it and what to do with it once you have. In Chapter 15, Paul is summarizing the life of a believer. In verse one he uses a word that characterizes that summary. The word is “ought”.

Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament based on Semantic Domains 71.25 ??????

71.25 ??????c: to be obligatory in view of some moral or legal requirement—‘ought, to be under obligation.’

God has much to say about how we are to behave in this world. This passage in a simple summary of our obligations as followers of Christ. These are the building blocks of character. These are the things to which we are duty bound to pursue.

We Ought to Bear The Infirmities of the Weak

Romans 15:1 KJV

We then that are strong ought to bear the infirmities of the weak, and not to please ourselves.

We That Are Strong(er)

Refers to believers who confidently trust that they no longer have to adhere to the religious rules they practiced before coming to Christ. Freedom in Christ clears their conscience (see 14:1).1

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

to bear Paul encourages more than just tolerance; he wants the strong to be sympathetic toward the weak, even willing to restrict their freedom to prevent the weak from acting against their consciences. This is an opportunity for the strong to demonstrate the love of Christ and the unity of the Spirit.

Infirmities of the weak

“Infirmities” is asthen?ma (????????), used of physical or mental weakness.

the weak Refers to those who are unconfident about what they can or cannot eat. See note on 14:1.1

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

1 Thessalonians 5:14 KJV

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

 The Christian fellowship should be marked by the consideration of its members for each other. Always their thoughts should be not for themselves but for each other. But this consideration must not degenerate into an easy-going, indulgent lack of concern. It must always be designed for the good and for the upbuilding in the faith of the other person. It is not the toleration which tolerates because it is too lazy to do anything else. It is the toleration which knows that people may be won much more easily to a fuller faith by surrounding them with an atmosphere of love than by attacking them with a battery of criticism.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), 230.

We Ought to Seek to Build Up Our Neighbor First.

Romans 15:2–3 KJV

Let every one of us please his neighbour for his good to edification. 

For even Christ pleased not himself; but, as it is written, The reproaches of them that reproached thee fell on me.

John 6:38 KJV

For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me.

1 Corinthians 10:24 KJV

Let no man seek his own, but every man another’s wealth.

Philippians 2:4 KJV

Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others.

 Joni Eareckson Tada recently told a story commenting on Romans 15:1-2: “We who are strong ought to bear with the failings of the weak and not to please ourselves. Each of us should please his neighbor for his good, to build him up.”

 She writes, “My husband, Ken, serves as a track-and-field coordinator for Special Olympics. There is always band music, colorful banners, and flags everywhere. Scattered across the infield are teams of mentally handicapped young people.

 “A few years ago at the games, Ken blew his whistle to signal the contestants for the 50-yard dash. A Down’s syndrome girl with thick glasses and a short, stocky boy in baggy shorts were the first to line up. There was a moment of stillness, then a bang from the starting gun. Off they sprinted–six contestants bobbing and weaving down the track.

 “Suddenly the boy in baggy shorts began running toward his friends in the infield. Ken blew his whistle to direct him back to the track, but it was no use. At that point, the Down’s syndrome girl, who was just a few yards from the finish line, turned around, ran toward him, and gave him a big hug. Together they got back on the track and completed the race arm-in-arm, long after the rest of the contestants had crossed the finish line.”

 She ends by saying, “We must run the race not to please ourselves, but to please the Lord. That often means taking time to stop and put our arms around a weaker friend who needs to get back on track. Have you watched a fellow believer get spiritually confused, and yet you’ve kept on going? Jesus doesn’t seems as preoccupied with ‘winning’ as we do. The important thing is how we run the race. And we are called to run it, bearing with the failings of those who are weak.”

(From a sermon by Rodney Buchanan, Christ’s Prayer for the Church, 6/6/2011)

We Ought to Read and Learn From the Book

Romans 15:4 KJV

For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope.

1 Corinthians 9:10 KJV

Or saith he it altogether for our sakes? For our sakes, no doubt, this is written: that he that ploweth should plow in hope; and that he that thresheth in hope should be partaker of his hope.

 The Christian fellowship should be marked by the study of Scripture; and, from that study of Scripture, Christians draw encouragement. Scripture, from this point of view, provides us with two things. (a) It gives us the record of God’s dealing with a nation, a record which is the demonstration that it is always better to be right with God and to suffer than to be wrong with society and to avoid trouble. The biblical history of Israel is the demonstration in the events of history that ultimately life turns out well for the good, but evil comes to the wicked. Scripture demonstrates not that God’s way is ever an easy way, but in the end it is the only way to everything that makes life worthwhile in time and in eternity. (b) It gives us the great and precious promises of God. It is said that the great preacher Alexander Whyte sometimes had a habit of uttering one text when he left a home during his pastoral visitation; and, as he uttered it, he would say: ‘Put that under your tongue and suck it like a sweetie.’ These promises are the promises of a God who never breaks his word. In these ways, Scripture gives to those who study it comfort in their sorrow and encouragement in their struggle.

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), 230–231.

1 Corinthians 10:11 KJV

Now all these things happened unto them for ensamples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come.

2 Corinthians 3:12 KJV

Seeing then that we have such hope, we use great plainness of speech:

2 Timothy 2:25 KJV

In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth;

We Ought to Be Like Minded Toward Each Other

Romans 15:5 KJV

Now the God of patience and consolation grant you to be likeminded one toward another according to Christ Jesus:

Ezekiel 11:19 KJV

And I will give them one heart, and I will put a new spirit within you; and I will take the stony heart out of their flesh, and will give them an heart of flesh:

A number of years ago in Canada, a little two-year-old girl wandered away from her neighborhood. It was a cold, winter day. Her parents alerted the neighbors and they saw some tracks in the snow, but there were a lot of other tracks, so for several hours the searchers went in all different directions calling her name. They didn’t find her. A little before sunset one of the men said, “Instead of all working separately, let’s join hands and form a long line and walk through the field together. That way we cannot miss a square foot.”

That’s what they did. They joined hands and together walked as one long line calling that little girl’s name. Tragically, they found her frozen body curled up. One of the men said with great anguish, “Oh, if we had only joined hands sooner.

We Ought To Unite in Praise With One Voice

Romans 15:6 KJV

That ye may with one mind and one mouth glorify God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Jeremiah 32:39 KJV

And I will give them one heart, and one way, that they may fear me for ever, for the good of them, and of their children after them:

Psalm 102:18 KJV

This shall be written for the generation to come: And the people which shall be created shall praise the LORD.

 The Christian fellowship should be marked by praise. It is no bad test to apply to people to ask whether the main accent of their voices is one of grumbling discontent or cheerful thanksgiving. ‘What can I do, who am a little old lame man,’ said Epictetus, ‘except give praise to God?’ Christians should enjoy life because they enjoy God. They will carry their secret within them, for they will be sure that God is working all things together for good.

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), 232.

Exported from Logos Bible Software, 11:31 AM December 1, 2021.

Wounded: Handle With Care

Wounded: Handle With Care

Pastor Don Carpenter / General

Matthew 12:20

Richard L. Dunagin of Denton, Texas, writing in Leadership Journal, said that his children won four free goldfish at the school carnival, necessitating a Saturday morning family outing to find an aquarium. The first several they found were too expensive, but then he spotted a used one right in the middle of the aisle: A discarded ten-gallon tank complete with gravel and filter. It was five dollars.

“Of course, it was nasty dirty, but the savings made the two hours of cleanup a breeze. Those four new fish looked great in their new home, at least for the first day. But by Sunday one had died. Too bad, but three remained. Monday morning revealed a second casualty, and by Monday night a third goldfish had gone belly up.

“We called in an expert, a member of our church who had a 30-gallon tank. It didn’t take him long to discover the problem: I had washed the tank with soap, an absolute no-no. My uninformed efforts had destroyed the very lives I was trying to protect.

“Sometimes in our zeal to clean up our own lives or the lives of others, we unfortunately use “killer soaps”—condemnation, criticism, nagging, fits of temper. We think we’re doing right, but our harsh, self-righteous treatment is more than they can bear.”

It is a wonderful thing to be a blood-bought, born again Christian. There is nothing that the devil can do that will erase salvation! But… there are many Christians who feel that they are no longer useful to our Savior. We have been led to believe that God has sees our failure and has put us on the shelf, never to be used for his glory. It is a horrible feeling to believe that God has discarded you!

Our passage this evening is a quotation from Isaiah 42:1-4. The prophet is explaining how the messiah will be recognized. One distinct characteristic is that he will not get rid of the weak and broken. This morning let us meditate on this truth: Where there is life, there is hope… and we are not dead yet!

The Great Physician Will Not Break the Bruised 

Matthew 12:20 KJV

A bruised reed shall he not break, and smoking flax shall he not quench, till he send forth judgment unto victory.

A. Small stick with a crack or weak spot- not a mighty oak tree.

 1. Not much good for building

 2. Still had life in it

B. Bruised= an outward sigh of an inward hurt

 1. Personal failure

 2. The failure and hurt of others toward you

C. This bruise captivates the soul- Jesus sets you free!

Luke 4:18 KJV

The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised,

D. David’s soul was bruised after his sin

 1. Guilt

Psalm 51:5 KJV

Behold, I was shapen in iniquity; And in sin did my mother conceive me.

Psalm 51:7 KJV

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

2. Lost joy

Psalm 51:12 KJV

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

3. Broken heart

Psalm 51:17 KJV

The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: A broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise.

E. God heals the bruised heart

 1. God is greater than your heart

1 John 3:20 KJV

For if our heart condemn us, God is greater than our heart, and knoweth all things.

2. God heals the broken heart

Psalm 147:3 KJV

He healeth the broken in heart, And bindeth up their wounds.

    Hearts are flowers; they remain open to the softly falling dew, but shut up in the violent downpour of rain.—Jean Paul Richter

The Great Physician Will Fan The Flicker of Life

Matthew 12:20 KJV

A bruised reed shall he not break, and smoking flax shall he not quench, till he send forth judgment unto victory.

A. The picture

 1. A little light

 2. A little heat

 3. A lot of irritating smoke.

B. Peter 

 1. Proclaimed his loyalty to Christ 

 Matthew 26:33–35 KJV

 Peter answered and said unto him, Though all men shall be offended because of thee, yet will I never be offended. 

Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, That this night, before the cock crow, thou shalt deny me thrice. 

Peter said unto him, Though I should die with thee, yet will I not deny thee. Likewise also said all the disciples.

 2. Peter denied Christ and wept bitterly

Matthew 26:73–75 KJV

And after a while came unto him they that stood by, and said to Peter, Surely thou also art one of them; for thy speech bewrayeth thee. 

Then began he to curse and to swear, saying, I know not the man. And immediately the cock crew. 

And Peter remembered the word of Jesus, which said unto him, Before the cock crow, thou shalt deny me thrice. And he went out, and wept bitterly.

 3. Peter was greatly used after he was filled with the Holy Ghost.

 Acts 2:41 KJV

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

Jesus will bring judgment to victory

Matthew 12:20 KJV

A bruised reed shall he not break, and smoking flax shall he not quench, till he send forth judgment unto victory.

 A. Victory over emotions

1 John 3:20 KJV

For if our heart condemn us, God is greater than our heart, and knoweth all things.

2 Corinthians 10:4–5 KJV

(For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;) 

Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;

 B. Victory over the flesh

Romans 6:6–11 KJV

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

For he that is dead is freed from sin. 

Now if we be dead with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with him: 

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.

C. Victory over guilt

Romans 8:1 KJV

There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.

Romans 8:31 KJV

What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us?

Romans 8:33 KJV

Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God’s elect? It is God that justifieth.

D. Victory over death

1 Corinthians 15:55–57 KJV

O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory? 

The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law. 

But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

Jerry Bridges suggests these five strategies for obeying the biblical injunctions about gentleness:

  •   Actively seek to make others feel at ease. Be sensitive to other’s opinions and ideas, welcoming opinion.

  •   Show respect for the personal dignity of the other person. When you need to change a wrong opinion, do so with persuasion and kindness rather than domination or intimidation.

  •   Avoid blunt speech and abrupt manner. Be sensitive to how others react to your words, considering how they may feel. When it is necessary to wound, also include encouragement.

  •   Don’t be threatened by opposition; gently instruct, asking God to dissolve the opposition.

  •   Do not belittle or degrade or gossip about a brother who has fallen—instead grieve and pray for his repentance.

Robert J. Morgan, Nelson’s Complete Book of Stories, Illustrations, and Quotes, electronic ed. (Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers, 2000), 339.

What was cast away because of external circumstances had great value inside. Jesus not only sees our warn exterior, but also sees who we are and who we can become in Him. There is still life, there is still hope. Let us learn from our Great Physician. When we come upon the wounded, handle with care.

Exported from Logos Bible Software, 6:01 PM October 12, 2021.

The Good Shepherd In Action

The Good Shepherd In Action

Pastor Don Carpenter

2021 Bible Reading Challenge / Psalm 23:1–6

A farmer repeatedly invited his neighbor to come over to his orchard and pick some apples and make fresh, sweet apple cider. The neighbor kept turning down the offer. Finally, the farmer asked why the neighbor didn’t want to come to his orchard. He said, “I think you are prejudiced against my apples.” The neighbor answered by saying, “Well, to tell the truth, I have tasted a few of them and they are very sour.” The farmer asked, “Which apples have you eaten?” The neighbor answered, “Those apples alongside the fence by the road.” The farmer said, “Ah, yes—those are sour. I planted them to fool the boys who live around here. But if you will come into the middle of my orchard, you will find a different taste.”

In much the same way, people who only nibble on the outside of Christianity only get a taste of conviction of sin, purity, and denial of self. All they see are fuddy-duddies and goody-two-shoes who don’t have any fun. Those apples were planted to keep out the hypocrites and curiosity seekers. Christ is interested in people making a commitment—a whole hearted, jump-in-with- both-feet commitment to follow Him. But once you come to Christ, the fruit is sweet. The nearer to God; the sweeter the joy.

John 10:14 KJV

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

Sometimes it is heard to love a Savior we have never seen. Jesus tells us that He is the Good Shepherd. David wrote a song about the Good Shepherd. In this famous Psalm we will get to know our Savior more. I am sure you have heard many messages from this passage. This evening we are going to look at the verbs David uses to describe his relationship to the Shepherd. Tonight we will discover the Good Shepherd in Action.

The Lord Shepherds

Psalm 23:1 KJV

The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.

 The verb is a participle and means “is shepherding me.” Eastern shepherds guarded their sheep, led them, provided food and water for them, took care of them when they were weary, bruised, cut or sick, rescued them when they strayed, knew their names, assisted in delivering the lambs, and in every way simply loved them.1

1 Warren W. Wiersbe, Be Worshipful, 1st ed., “Be” Commentary Series (Colorado Springs, CO: Cook Communications Ministries, 2004), 95.

My Shepherd – An Intimate Personal Relationship.

John 10:27–28 KJV

My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: 

And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.

John 10:11 KJV

I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep.

Therefore I shall not want

 Genesis 22:14 (KJV)

 And Abraham called the name of that place Jehovah-jireh: as it is said to this day, In the mount of the LORD it shall be seen.

“I shall not want”—notice that David does not say, I have not wanted, but “I shall not want.” What is it that I need? Well, I need safety. I’m a sheep, a stupid little animal. Therefore, my Shepherd sees to it that I won’t want for protection. He protects me. When a little sheep says, “I shall not want” and “I shall never perish,” it is because it has a wonderful Shepherd.

1 J. Vernon McGee, Thru the Bible Commentary: Poetry (Psalms 1-41), electronic ed., vol. 17 (Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 1991), 135.

The Lord Leads

Psalm 23:2 KJV

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

The word translated “lead” in verse 2 means “to lead gently.” You cannot drive sheep. The sheep hear the shepherd’s voice and follow him, just as we listen to Christ in His Word and obey Him (John 10:3–5, 16, 27). If a sheep goes astray, the shepherd leaves the flock in charge of his helpers and goes to find the lost animal.

1 Warren W. Wiersbe, Be Worshipful, 1st ed., “Be” Commentary Series (Colorado Springs, CO: Cook Communications Ministries, 2004), 96.

To Green Pastures

He makes me lie down: the causative form of the verb “to lie down” does not have the sense of “he forces me to lie down,” as rsv he makes me lie down seems to say (also neb, njv, niv). The idea is that the shepherd finds a place (green pastures) where the sheep can lie down and rest. So njb “he lets me lie.”1

1 Robert G. Bratcher and William David Reyburn, A Translator’s Handbook on the Book of Psalms, UBS Handbook Series (New York: United Bible Societies, 1991), 232.

Beside Still Waters

“still waters”- Jehovah-Shalom, “the Lord our peace” (Judg. 6:24)

1 Warren W. Wiersbe, Be Worshipful, 1st ed., “Be” Commentary Series (Colorado Springs, CO: Cook Communications Ministries, 2004), 9

 Judges 6:24 (KJV)

 Then Gideon built an altar there unto the LORD, and called it Jehovah-shalom: unto this day it is yet in Ophrah of the Abi-ezrites.

Still waters translates “waters of quietness.” njv has “water in places of repose”; spcl “brooks of quiet waters.” Also possible is “refreshing streams.” This is not a stagnant pool, but a place where the fresh water flows gently, making it easy for the sheep to drink it. In some languages this is “streams of fresh water” or “rivers with good water.”1

1 Robert G. Bratcher and William David Reyburn, A Translator’s Handbook on the Book of Psalms, UBS Handbook Series (New York: United Bible Societies, 1991), 232.

To Paths of Righteousness

King James Version Psalm 23

He leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake

“paths of righteousness”—Jehovah-Tsidkenu, “the Lord our righteousness” (Jer. 33:16)1

1 Warren W. Wiersbe, Be Worshipful, 1st ed., “Be” Commentary Series (Colorado Springs, CO: Cook Communications Ministries, 2004), 95.

 Jeremiah 33:16 (KJV)

 In those days shall Judah be saved, and Jerusalem shall dwell safely: and this is the name wherewith she shall be called, The LORD our righteousness.

Through Dark Valleys

King James Version Psalm 23

      Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,

   I will fear no evil: for thou art with me

The Lord Restores

King James Version Psalm 23

   He restoreth my soul:

shub (??????, 7725), “to return or go back, bring back.” This verb occurs in several Semitic languages (not in Phoenician-Punic and Ethiopic) including Ugaritic (1550–1200 B.C.) and in all periods of Hebrew. It occurs about 1,060 times in biblical Hebrew and about 8 times in biblical Aramaic (in the form tub).

The basic meaning of the verb is movement back to the point of departure (unless there is evidence to the contrary). In the first occurrence of this verb God told Adam that he and Eve would “eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return” (Gen. 3:19)1

1 W. E. Vine, Merrill F. Unger, and William White Jr., Vine’s Complete Expository Dictionary of Old and New Testament Words (Nashville, TN: T. Nelson, 1996), 203.

The Lord Comforts

King James Version Psalm 23

   I will fear no evil: for thou art with me;

   Thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.

Nacham may also mean “to comfort.” The refugees in Babylon would be “comforted” when survivors arrived from Jerusalem (Ezek. 14:23); 

Ezekiel 14:23 KJV

And they shall comfort you, when ye see their ways and their doings: and ye shall know that I have not done without cause all that I have done in it, saith the Lord GOD.

the connection between “comfort” and “repent” here resulted from the calamity God brought upon Jerusalem as a testimony to the truth of His Word. David “comforted” Bathsheba after the death of her child born in sin (2 Sam. 12:24); this probably indicates his repentance of what had happened in their indiscretion.

2 Samuel 12:24 KJV

And David comforted Bath-sheba his wife, and went in unto her, and lay with her: and she bare a son, and he called his name Solomon: and the LORD loved him.

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), 202.

With His Presence

“you are with me”—Jehovah-Shammah, “the Lord is there” (Ezek. 48:35)1

1 Warren W. Wiersbe, Be Worshipful, 1st ed., “Be” Commentary Series (Colorado Springs, CO: Cook Communications Ministries, 2004), 95.

 Ezekiel 48:35 (KJV)

 It was round about eighteen thousand measures: and the name of the city from that day shall be, The LORD is there.

With His Weapons

The use of rod and staff…The rod was a club worn at the belt, while the staff was a walking implement that doubled as a weapon in time of need (1 Sam 17:35) and guided and controlled the sheep. These were traditional tools of the shepherd, as is shown already in a cylinder seal inscription of the third millennium.

Victor Harold Matthews, Mark W. Chavalas, and John H. Walton, The IVP Bible Background Commentary: Old Testament, electronic ed. (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 2000), Ps 23:4.

The Lord Provides

King James Version Psalm 23

Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies

While My Enemies Watch

“presence of my enemies”—“Jehovah-Nissi, “the Lord our banner” (Ex. 17:15)

1 Warren W. Wiersbe, Be Worshipful, 1st ed., “Be” Commentary Series (Colorado Springs, CO: Cook Communications Ministries, 2004), 95.

 Exodus 17:15 (KJV)

 And Moses built an altar, and called the name of it Jehovah-nissi:

Goodness and Mercy

King James Version Psalm 23

   Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life:

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:

Eternal Security

King James Version Psalm 23

And I will dwell in the house of the LORD for ever

John 14:6 KJV

Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.

The Lord Anoints

King James Version Psalm 23

Thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.

With Oil – The Holy Spirit

“anoint my head”—Jehovah-M’Kaddesh, “the Lord who sanctifies” (Lev. 20:81

1 Warren W. Wiersbe, Be Worshipful, 1st ed., “Be” Commentary Series (Colorado Springs, CO: Cook Communications Ministries, 2004), 95.

 Leviticus 20:8 (KJV)

 And ye shall keep my statutes, and do them: I am the LORD which sanctify you.

My Cup Runs Over – Joy!

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 member of a certain church, who previously had been attending Services regularly, stopped going.

After a few weeks, the preacher decided to visit him. It was a chilly evening. The preacher found the man at home alone, sitting before a blazing fire.

Guessing the reason for his preacher’s visit, the man welcomed him, led him to a comfortable chair near the fireplace and waited…

The preacher made himself at home, but said nothing. In the grave silence, he contemplated the dance of the flames around the burning logs.

And after some minutes, the preacher took the fire tongs, carefully picked up a brightly burning ember and placed it to one side of the hearth all alone then he sat back in his chair, still silent. The host watched all this in quiet contemplation. As the one lone ember’s flame flickered and diminished, there was a momentary glow and then its fire was no more.

Soon it was cold and dead. Not a word had been spoken since the initial greeting.

The preacher glanced at his watch and realized it was time to leave. He slowly stood up, picked up the cold, dead ember and placed it back in the middle of the fire.

Immediately it began to glow, once more with the light and warmth of the burning coals around it. As the preacher reached the door to leave, his host said with a tear running down his cheek, “Thank you so much for your visit and especially for the fiery sermon. I shall be back in church next Sunday…”

___

Our Savior is in action keeping His beloved sheep safe, fed, watered, rested and guided. Let us endeavor to follow close to the Good Shepherd.

Exported from Logos Bible Software, 5:50 PM June 23, 2021.