Friday, June 01, 2018

Our National Feast

The Lord promised to make Abraham a great nation. He has done so. The New Testament tells us that all those who have faith like Abraham are children of Abraham. The promises to Abraham always looked forward to the day when God’s promises would be fulfilled in the Earth through Jesus Christ.
         Can we now count the number of God’s people? In the living and the dead, the number is in the many billions, like the stars in the heavens and the sand on the sea. We are that great nation and this meal is our national feast.

Transforming Food

Our Father, we are pleased that You have invited us to Your Table to sit down to this meal with You, with Your Son, and with Your Holy Spirit. As we eat this bread and drink this wine, transform us into the image of Your Son. Remind us that our sins are nailed to the cross and that we are raised to new life in the risen Lord Jesus. Fill us and empower us to live righteous and holy lives through the power of Your Holy Spirit. Amen. 

Thanks

O, Lord our God, we give You thanks for all things, for we know that for us all things work together for good. You grace and kindness is extended to us, even in the midst of sorrows and suffering. You are a good Father and so we rest in Your goodness towards us through Your Son. We give a portion of our earnings to You to express that we give You our whole selves. Build Your kingdom through us we pray. Glory be to You, now and ever. Amen.

God's Forgetfulness

It is good to remember God’s forgetfulness. In reality, He does not forget. He knows all things. But as far as our sins go, if we are found in Christ Jesus, then our Heavenly Father chooses to not remember them against us. 
         It is good for us to confess our news sins to Him. We should always be convicted of our sins and quick to confess and repent. But we should not live in a state of regret reminding ourselves of our past sins. God has cast them away from us as far is the east is from the west and He chooses to no longer hold them against us. We should forget them, too, as we stand before Him in this peaceful state of grace.

Praise

         Our Father, Your Son was with You in the beginning. He was the Word through which You spoke all things into existence. He became flesh and dwelt among us. All things were made by Him and without Him, nothing was made. In Him is life and that life is the light of men. His light shines in the darkness even though men cannot comprehend it. Jesus is the light of the world for every man. Every man that believes on His name is given power to become a son of God. These men, women and children are born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but are born by You through the power of Your Holy Spirt. We glorify You for all of this, through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.

Monday, May 14, 2018

God's Memorial

God remembers us like He remembers His promises in the rainbow. It was His memorial, His mnemonic device. He has given other symbols to remember. He looks upon the bread and wine and remembers the obedience of His Son, even to death on a tree. And as He looks at these symbols, He remembers us who are in His Son.
         This meal is not just something that we do to remember God but something that God does to remember us. This should be very encouraging to us. As long as God looks upon these memorials, He will never forget His promises to us. Take courage. Eat and drink knowing that your God in Heaven is a covenant keeping God. He will never leave you nor forsake you. He has promised in His own dear Son.

Seated in Heaven

Dear Saints, We have humbled ourselves before God as sinners. We were born as sinners and still sin, even in our state of grace. We must continue to acknowledge that our only hope in life and death is the Lord Jesus Christ. And having done this and having cast all our sins on Him on the cross, we rise up before the Lord cleansed in the blood of Christ.
Thus, the Father receives us and bids us to stand before Him and draw near. He proclaims us His children and is glad to receive us into His presence with rejoicing. He has prepared the perfect lamb and bids us to a feast of rejoicing. We were not fit even to be servants of the Lord but He has made us sons and daughters. He has seated us with Jesus at His own right hand and pronounced upon us an eternity of blessing.

Tuesday, May 08, 2018

Ten Words

We like to flatter ourselves that we are not like the other sinners. We might do little sins but not the big ones, stealing, adultery, idolatry. But the Ten Words really cover all sins. To some degree, we have sinned in these big ways. Jesus said that to look upon a woman with lust in your heart is to commit fornication. He also said that anger at your brother is murder in the heart. 
We erect idols, tell great big little white lies, steal ideas and time and time really is money. We make light of the day of worship. We show disrespect and dishonor to our parents and to others to whom honor is due. We do a lot of these sorts of things.
But thanks be to God that grace and truth come through Jesus Christ. He is the truth and when He reveals these truths to us, we do not have to despair. We cling to Him and plead the blood of Jesus Christ, shed for sinners. And God is faithful and just to forgive repentant sinners. So, let’s be that. Saints, that are repentant, forgiven, sinners.

Grace and Truth

We must remember the Lord’s Grace and Truth. We Christians love the truth, even if it sometimes makes us miserable for a time. The truth reveals the glory of the Lord Jesus, the awesome power and holiness of our Father, the comforting and convicting work of the Holy Spirit.
         These things are both wonderful and fearful. God knows the truth about us and that might frighten us. But then we turn to His kindness, grace and mercy in Jesus Christ, and we are comforted and emboldened to come and sit down and eat with the Creator and Lord of the Universe. 
         We love the truth because Jesus, Himself, is the way, the truth and the life. And in His name, the truth of God’s grace is manifested in us in great glory.

Friday, May 04, 2018

Genesis 7-8 Sermon Notes

Genesis 7:1-8:22
Saved by the Ark
4/29/2018
Lynchburg, Virginia

EXHORDIUM
         We saw in previous sermons from Genesis, that God created the universe about 6000 years ago. He created all that we see, the sun and moon and stars, the earth and sky and sea, all the flora and fauna and mankind to subdue and rule the earth.
         Adam and Eve sinned. Sin and death entered the world and this was personified tragically in the person of Cain, who killed Abel. After that, God gave Eve a son, Seth, to replace Abel. But the Cainites persecuted the Sethites. Eventually, the godly seed is mixed with the rebellious ones and the result is an Earth filled with violence and men, women and children whose thoughts are only evil continually. 
         God regrets that He has made man and decides to wash the evil men and their sins off the face of the Earth through a flood. There is only one righteous man on the Earth, Noah, who can find no rest in the Earth. His righteous soul is vexed by the sins of man.
         God determines to destroy the Earth and kill all men, women and children and all the animals of the Earth. God saves Noah and his family and all the animals in an ark. 
         Noah builds the ark over a 100 year period of time, all the while preaching repentance to his friends and neighbors. But they do not heed him and the judgment of God comes in the flood.
         Like previous sermons, we should see the manifold grace of God in these events. We should also see His awesome power and His willingness to punish sinners.
         In God’s statements about men, we should learn that all mankind is guilty before God and deserving of God’s wrath and curse. We see this play out in the flood. While humanity was at its worse at this time, we can still see how wicked man is, especially when man is separated from God, His Word, His Son, His Spirit. In such a state, mankind is wholly undeserving of God’s favor. Thus, man must be a recipient of God’s grace and mercy.

Benediction

Dear Saints, Receive the charge and benediction of the Lord.
Jesus is risen from the dead. All authority in Heaven and Earth belong to Him. Therefore, go out into the world in His name until every knee bows and every tongue confesses that Jesus Christ is Lord. The grace and peace of the Lord Jesus go with you all. Amen

A Sweet Savor

Noah sacrificed to God and the Lord smelled a sweet savor. If the Lord received Noah’s offering, how much more will He receive ours? We offer Him the only perfect and permanent sacrifice, the Lord Jesus Himself.
         And in Jesus, we offer the sacrifice of praise. Our prayers ascend into Heaven, where our Father receives them as a sweet smelling aroma, and He is pleased with us. 
         And then we come to this meal, the meal of thanksgiving, where we remember the Lord’s kindness to us in Jesus and offer thank offerings to Him and the Lord gladly receives a humble and thankful heart. It is a sweet savor to Him.

Freely Forgiven

Our Father in Heaven, we come to this Table believing in the risen and living Lord Jesus. We are His witnesses in the Earth that He was raised from the dead, the victor over death. We remember also His death for us sinners, that we might be freely forgiven in His name and welcome into Your presence. He is our elder brother, You are our Father and the Holy Spirit is our Comforter. Thank you, Father, for all of Your glorious work through Your Son, our Savior. Amen. 

Thanksgiving

Our Father, during Easter season, we celebrate the glory of the Resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ. We thank You that You did not forsake Him but raised Him from the dead that we might have life in Him. You have provided for us completely through Jesus Christ. We give You thanks in His name. We pray that You would keep us in the palm of Your hand and deliver us from every foe. Use our gifts and talents to expand the kingdom of our Lord to the ends of the Earth, to the glory and honor of the Lord Jesus. Amen.

Thursday, May 03, 2018

God's Olive Branch

We hold out the olive branch when we want to make peace. It is a sign that the troubled waters are over, that the issues that divide us can cease, that we have given up our sinful struggle and that we desire to settle down and rest. 
This is what happens when we confess our sins and repent. God hears us. He forgives. He holds His olive branch out to us. Take it. Stop striving. Settle down. Rest.

Confession

Our Father in Heaven, we confess that we are sinners in need of forgiveness. We have sinned against You in many ways. We have been prideful, thinking too highly of ourselves. We have not loved others as we should. Forgive us, O Lord. Clothe us in Your Son Jesus that we may stand before You, in His name, without fear of condemnation.  Amen.

Praise

Our Father in Heaven, we praise You this day for the empty tomb. It was fitting that our Lord Jesus should die for us but death could not hold Him. He was raised from the dead by Your Holy Spirit, that same Spirit that dwells in us. Father, we also praise You that through the cross, Jesus has defeated the devil, and in the Resurrection, He is declared the victor over death. And so, we, too, are victors over the devil and are risen with Jesus to a new and everlasting life. Praise You Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Amen.

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Genesis 6 Sermon

Genesis 6:1-22
Sermon Notes
Listen
God Keeps Covenant
April 22, 2018
Lynchburg, Virginia

EXHORDIUM
         In just a few chapters of the opening of the Bible, we have seen God’s amazing work in speaking the world into existence. He created everything that we see. He is the ruler over all things. And He created mankind to rule the earth under Him. But in very short order, man failed to obey God and fell into rebellion.
         But God chose Seth to replace the murdered Abel so that the promise of God would prevail. But even here, mankind was not able to obey God. They rebelled and the righteous line of Seth mixed with the rebellious line of Cain and the result was horrible violence and wickedness on the Earth. 
         It did not take long for this rebellion to fill the whole earth. Once the righteous line had been infected, it spread to all men. It is difficult for us to imagine how horrible that old world was. Think of some of the horrible places of the Bible. Sodom, where there was grotesque wickedness. Jericho, where the enemies of God persecuted God’s people. Even in Benjamin, where God’s people had been decayed to the point of vileness. Throughout the old testament, God’s people mixed with various pagans who worshipped false gods and sacrificed their own children by burning them in the fire. 
         So, even many years after the flood, when God had established His laws and worship in the land of Canaan, His people were horribly wicked. Now, imagine a world that was all of that all the time, no end in sight and no clear laws, lawgiver, or law keeper to police the land. That was the antediluvian world. That is a world without

Doing God's Commands

This do ye. This is something we can do. God said to do it and we do. Noah did God’s command. Our task is much easier than his. This do, as oft as you eat this bread and drink this cup in remembrance of Me.
Remember Jesus. Remember His perfect work. Remember that He was innocent. Remember that He took your place. Remember that He fulfilled God’s will for you. Remember that your sins are forgiven in Him. Remember that He rose from the dead so that you can be made alive by His Spirit. This meal reveals both your weakness and His strength, both good things to remember. At least remember these things once a week but you can do even better than that.
         We break bread on the Lord’s day and remember His death. You break bread every day. So, remember every day. Remember the Lord’s broken body for you. Remember the Lord in your libations, that He was poured out for you. And rest in Him.

Grieving the Spirit

Eph. 4:30 And grieve not the Holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption.
As Calvinists, who believe in the absolute sovereignty of God, we ought not make the mistake of being stoics. Yes, God knows the end from the beginning. Yes, His decree has gone out before the foundation of the world. Yes, the Lord works all things for the good of those that love Him and are called according to His purposes. These are comforting doctrines. 
But we must not become indifferent to sin, either in our own lives or the lives of others. We know that Jesus is in Heaven ruling Heaven and Earth. He is not ringing His hands in panic about His next option. But this does not mean that He is in anyway indifferent to rebellion on the earth or sin in the lives of His people.
The Father is grieved by sin. The Holy Spirit is grieved when His people turn away from Him committing sins. Jesus marveled at unbelief. He was angry with sinners in the Temple. He made a chord of whips and whipped them out of the courtyard. And we should do the same thing to the sins in our lives. Mortify them. Put them to death. Nail them to the cross and walk away.
And then seek the mercy and grace of Jesus who is faithful and just to forgive all your sins. 

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Sustenance in Jesus

God has promised to provide for your every need. If you have been a Christian for any length of time, then you have known God’s provision, both to you personally and to others, who in extreme circumstances had the grace sufficient to make it through.
         This meal represents God’s promise of sustenance to you. In Christ, we possess all things. And this meal is God’s way of telling you that you are in Christ and Christ is in you. If that is the case, then He will provide for your needs in everything. And if that is the case, then this meal should be a great source of peace and comfort to you.

Patient and Kind

Love is patient. Love is kind. Love is also many other things but let’s start at the beginning. Patient and kind. How are you doing there? Are you patient with your husband? Patient with your wife? Moms, are you patient with the kids?
         Or, do you treat others with your own sense of urgency. Let’s get it done, now! 
         Love is also kind. Do you speak kindly with your spouse, with your children, to your parents? Why not? Is impatience making it difficult.
         Folks, let’s love one another by being patient and kind. If you have not been doing this, then confess and repent. Ask to grow in the Holy Spirit so that you learn to love the way a Christian should. You may also need to make restitution if you have been egregiously impatient or unkind.

Friday, March 30, 2018

Genesis 5 Sermon Notes

Genesis 5:1-6:3
Sermon Notes
Live Long and Prosper
March 25, 2018
Lynchburg, Virginia

EXHORDIUM
As we make our way through the early part of Genesis, we see many main themes of the Bible emerge.
God has made mankind in His image and giving him charge over all the Earth. Man is take dominion on the Earth, ruling the Earth like a fruitful garden.
However, Eve sinned and included her husband in the sin. Adam was the covenant head of mankind. His failure to protect his wife from sin and then to join her in the sin, plunged mankind into a fallen estate of sin and misery.
Thus, now the Earth itself was unruly and difficult to manage. Eve found that her childbearing created sons who were at enmity with one another, thus great pain in this childbearing.
Now, a fatal flaw is prevalent in man. Envy pokes its ugly head into everything. Man, who was made to take dominion on the Earth through husbandry and service, became one who would rather rule through domination and intimidation.
But God did not leave mankind without promise. He promised Eve that one day her seed would crush the head of the seed of the serpent. But these seeds both arise in her, Cain and Abel.
Another main theme that occurs here and continues throughout the course of the Bible is the seeming impossibility of the fulfillment of the promise.

Anticipate Resurrection

This Holy Week is full of all sorts of feelings and emotions. We look towards that most gruesome event, the cross, and we shudder to even go there. Even today, as we think about the Triumphal Entry, we shrink back from declaring it really to be a triumph. It was so short lived. But was it?
         Wasn’t it really the purpose? That a great one must be killed, the greatest one for the greatest number of people? And He was and His death was not the end of the story. Do not shrink away from the week, the adulation of the crowds, the scorn of the leaders, the complicity of the civil rulers, the torture, the death, the silent Saturday.

         When Jesus arises, this all gets brought into perspective. When He ascends to rule forever and ever, the adulation of the crowds is realized. His triumphal entry really was triumph. Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord. Hosanna in the highest.

Bread and Wine of Jesus

Our Father in Heaven, You are the Creator and Sustainer of all things and in You we live and move and have our being. We come to this Table as Your children and believe that Your promises to us in Christ Jesus are yay and amen. In Him, You hold out to us the scepter of life. When we reach out and touch Him, You speak peace to us and call us to draw near to You. We give You thanks and pray that as we partake of this meal of bread and wine, that by faith we would partake of Jesus Christ for life and health for our body and soul. Amen.