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Showing posts from June, 2006

ALL ABOARD!

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Taking a break from the blog world...This week is MZBC Camp week!

Our Spiritual Battle (part 4)
Stand against the wiles of Satan

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"Put on the whole armor of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil." (Eph. 6:11)

We are armed for victory. Putting on the panoply of God is the only way we can be guaranteed of winning the spiritual battle. The idea of standing is that we don't lose ground to Satan and his forces.

"In the day of battle, Roman soldiers were to stand their ground, not retreat. As long as they stood together on a flat, open field and did not break ranks, their legions were considered virtually invincible." (C. Keener - IVP Bible Background Commentary).

The word 'wiles' means scheme or "trickery" (Stong). Satan has stratagems and methods whereby he plots to defeat Christians who are ill prepared via neglegence in putting on the whole armor of God. Therefore, putting on God's complete armor is not an option, it is an imperative, it is an absolute necessity.

William Gurnall in his classic work "The Christian in Complete Armour" say…

Our Spiritual Battle (part 3)
Put on the whole armor of God

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"Put on the whole armor of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil." (Eph. 6:11)

God has provided for us everything we need to fight the spiritual battle and come out victorious. In Charles Wesley's song "Soldiers of Christ, Arise" he took the word from this verse and transliterated it to fit in his song: "And take, to arm you for the fight, the panoply of God;"

The words "whole armor" as it appears in the King James is one word in the Greek (πανοπλία) or panoplia. Of course the Translators were faithful in translating the word and so we have 'whole armor' in the KJ. We are to take the whole armor or the complete armor, Strong says "full armor." This 'whole armor' of God is something that we are commanded to "put on." Once again, if a Christian is loosing the spiritual warfare, it is ultimately because of his own choosing. What ever happened in the past, whatever abuses and sufferin…

Our Spiritual Battle (part 2)
Be strong in the Lord

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"Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might." (Eph. 6:10)

Since we are truly facing spiritual opposition, we need to be strengthened. We need strength. Where do we find strength? The answer of course is in the Lord. Christians tend to forget that we need God's strength to live our lives (I say 'Christians' - but I really think of myself in particular). It is so easy to rest in our own wisdom and abilities (as though we posses the answers and know exactly what to do). The results are futile. Paul describes the lost man or the unregenerate man as being in the flesh and cannot please God in Rom. 8:8, and yet by application we try to live the Christian life through the power of the flesh at times and we know that God is not pleased. James describes wisdom (not from above) as being earthly, sensual and devilish (James 3:15). Understanding that strength comes from the Lord will help us see the importance of taking serious spiritual exerci…

Our Spiritual Battle (part 1)
Wrestling not against flesh and blood

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"For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places." (Eph. 6:12)

Behind every opposition to Christianity is an organized heirarchy of evil. It is very easy to lose sight of the spiritual warfare which is taking place in the 'heavenly places.' While we may not sincerely understand every detail about this great battle, this passage should remind us about what is really behind the opposition towards our service for the Lord. I attended a Catholic highschool and there were times when it was not easy being a born again believer in the school. I remember sitting in Physics class, my senior year, and being lectured by my teacher in class (I respect him highly because he really is a tremendous teacher) not about physics but rather about religion. He was awfully upset (with me in particular - however, he wanted the whole class' attention) sinc…

Our 2nd Year Anniversary!

"But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you." (Matt. 6:33)

TODAY, my wife and I celebrate our second year anniversary. I praise the Lord for giving me such a wonderful wife. I am sincerely overwhelmed by God's goodness in my life first in giving me Salvation by sending His only begotten Son; and second in granting to me all that I have. I have a good wife, a good Pastor, a good church, a good vocation. I have truly been blessed of God. I sure don't regret seeking first His kingdom.

"Systematic Skimming or Pre-reading" (An interesting read)

Exerpts from Adler and Van Doren's "How To Read A Book." A TOUCHSTONE Book published by Simon and Shuster (C) 1972; (taken from pages 32-36)

"First, you do not know whether you want to read the book. Second, let us assume - and this is very often the case- That you have only a limited time in which to find all this out."
"Giving a book this kind of quick once-over is a threshing process that helps you to separate the chaff from the real kernels of nourishment."
"The habit of skimming should not take much time to acquire. Here are some suggestions about how to do it."

1. Look at the title page and, if the book has one, at its preface. Read each quickly. Note especially the subtitles or other indications of the scope or aim of the book or of the author's special angle on his subject. Before completing this step you should have a good idea of the subject, and, if you wish, you may pause for a moment to place the book in the appropriate category…

Some observations on portions of Psalm 119

"Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee." (v.11) - Hiding God's Word in our hearts is a sure remedy from sin. We need to make sure that we treasure it and store it deep in our hearts. Memorizing Scripture is part of this, applying Scripture truths is the other half. The idea of hiding here is to reserve or to lay up (Strong).

"I will delight myself in thy statutes: I will not forget thy word." (v.16) - If you delight in the Bible you most likely won't forget it and its teachings. Strong says: to be oblivious to it either from memory or want of attention. Many Christians make bad decisions and a major reason they come to such decisions is because they are oblivious to what God says in the Bible. The reason they are oblivious is because they are not delighting in the Word.

"Thy testimonies also are my delight and my counselors." (v.24) - That is at least 66 counsilors. What a great metaphor for the Word of God.

"Teach…

What is the Bible called?
A Psalm 119 Survey (part 2)

Some observations about the various names that the Bible is called in Psalm 119.

1. The Law of the LORD - v.1; '...is truth' v.142

2. His Testimonies - are described in this Psalm as 'righteous and very faithful.' God has 'founded them forever' in v. 152.

3. Thy Precepts

4. Thy Statutes

5. Thy Commandments - in v. 151 'are truth.'

6. Thy Judgments - are righteous; 'of thy mouth'; 'are good' v. 39; 'of old' v.52; 'are right' v.75; are 'upright' v.137.

7. Thy Word - 'very pure' v.140; 'is true' v. 160

8. Ordinances

What to do with the Bible ?
A Psalm 119 Survey

Here is a Psalm which explains the beauty and excellence of the Word of God. The Masorah (according to Gill) calls this Psalm "The Great Alphabet" obviously since each division is broken down into 22 parts each corresponding to the Hebrew letters. This Psalm teaches us a lot of what we should do with the Word of God. When you think of the question: "what are we to do with the Bible?" in Psalm 119 there are at least 42 things we can do with it. Some of what is enumerated can be synonymous with each other, however it is helpful to list them all nonetheless.
1. Walk in it – v.1

2. Keep it – v.2, v.4, v.5, v.8,v.17, v.22, v.33, v.34, v.44, v.55, v.56, v.57, v.60, v.63, v.67, v.69, v.88, v.100, v.101, v. 106, v.115, v.134, v. 136, v.145, v.146, v. 167, v.168

3. Respect it – v.6, v.117

4. Learn it – v.7 (the word is actually 'learned')

5. Taking Heed to it– v.9

6. Not Wander from it – v.10

7. Hide it in your heart – v.11

8. Declare it – v.13

9. Rejoice in it – v…

Railroad ties to Wisdom

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"The proverbs of Solomon the son of David, king of Israel;" (Prov. 1:1)

June 26-30th in our church calendar is Mt. Zion Camp Week. This year's theme is "All Aboard" (Train theme). Our main camp speaker this year is Dr. Gary Webb who is Pastor of Calvary Baptist Church in Carrboro, NC. I am certainly looking forward to some good preaching. In the morning session I will be speaking to the Junior campers on Tues. and Wed. and Pastor Roger Bottrell of Maranatha Baptist Church in Lyons, NY will be speaking to them on Thu. and Fri.
I have been praying about it and studying the book of Proverbs and many of its prominent themes in preparation for the opportunity to preach God's Word to the Junior campers.
Verse 4b of Proverbs 1 says: "To give...to the young man knowledge and discretion." While part of being young among other things is a lack of knowledge and discretion and part of being old (or mature) should be the ability to give wise counsel. The combinat…

Same sex marriage..."Out of Order"

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As our country drifts farther away from God, we find our Senators debating the issue of a constitutional amendment banning 'same-sex marriage.' "Same-sex marriage" sounds like 'legalized sodomy.' The debate as one could only imagine is going to be uphill, regardless of which party is in power. Same sex marriage now, and what later? Legalized prostitution? Legalized polygamy? Legalized incest? Legalized beastiality? There are verses in the Bible that point to the fact that homosexuality is a sin (Rom. 1:24-27; 1 Cor. 6:9-11) however the Genesis account provides for us a clear testimony of what God thinks about what marriage is. We call this 'The Creation Order.' Here we find that God designed one woman for one man (i.e. Eve for Adam):
"And the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, and he slept: and he took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh instead thereof; And the rib, which the LORD God had taken from man, made he a woman, and br…

Consider the Love of God
God's Love Is Eternal

"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." (John 3:16)

Everlasting means it will never end. The eternal security of the believer is a clear Bible teaching even from this verse of scripture. A born again believer will never lose Salvation. There are many people who struggle with this doctrine. I for one thought that if any man thinks he is good enough for Heaven that he is surely bound for Hell. Afterall, the worse kind of sinner is the one who thinks he's got it all made. My problem was that I had my eye on the sinner instead of the Savior. I realized that I was not trusting in Christ alone. I knew Jesus, but I relied on my own good works to hopefully get me to Heaven one day. After reading John and 1 John, I remember feeling the convicting element of the Holy Spirit, and I fully trusted in Christ alone. For the first time I understood, sinners don't deserve Heaven, it…

Consider the Love of God
God's Love Is Assuring

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"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." (John 3:16)

A Born again child of God can be certain about where he is going to spend eternity. Sadly, many are assuming that they are on their way to Heaven, but genuinely don't care about God, the Bible, church, or spiritual things. They may have knowledge but knowledge does not save. They may even have 'faith' but even the devils believe and we know that won't do them any good. Assurance of Salvation is not just mere assumption. Salvation is more than just a feeling or a mental accent. A saved individual has 'life' in him. He has a relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ.