Monday, February 22, 2010

Memorization Monday - Promised Blessings - Inheritance

Titus 3:7 "that having been justified by His grace we should become heirs according to the hope of eternal life."

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Hymn of the Week -- All Praise to Him

All praise to Him Who reigns above
In majesty supreme,
Who gave His Son for man to die,
That He might man redeem!


Blessèd be the Name! Blessèd be the Name!
Blessèd be the Name of the Lord!
Blessèd be the Name! Blessèd be the Name!
Blessèd be the Name of the Lord!

His Name above all names shall stand,
Exalted more and more,
At God the Father’s own right hand,
Where angel hosts adore.

Redeemer, Savior, Friend of man
Once ruined by the fall,
Thou hast devised salvation’s plan,
For Thou hast died for all.

His Name shall be the Counselor,
The mighty Prince of Peace,
Of all earth’s kingdoms Conqueror,
Whose reign shall never cease.


Blessèd be the Name! Blessèd be the Name!
Blessèd be the Name of the Lord!
Blessèd be the Name! Blessèd be the Name!
Blessèd be the Name of the Lord!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Biblical Manhood - Gender Roles Part 4

The wife’s role is home-centered and supportive. The woman was created as a helper, suitable for Adam. (Genesis 2:20) See also 1 Corinthians 11:9 where Paul writes that she was created for man and not the other way around. She is to have the wonderful ability to support and help him in his calling in life.

Titus 2:4-5 gives a list of roles and attitudes that young women are to be taught by older women in their lives. Among these is “keeper at home”. The word literally means “homeworker”. First Timothy 5:14 advises young women to marry, bear children and manage the home.

In 1 Timothy 5:10 there is a description of the characteristics that women should have if they would be worthy of being supported by the church in their old age. Notice what types of things are part of the condition for support. She is to be the wife of one man and to be well reported for her good works, charity, taking care of the elderly, orphans, etc. Her focus is to be on those kinds of activities.

Husbands, you need to make sure that your wife has the time and resources to carry on this kind of role. She should be supporting you in your calling. She should be caring for your children and the needs of the household. Following that she should be involved in hospitality and ministering to other women and children and those in need such as the poor, shut-ins, etc. From this you can see that if your wife is to fulfill her responsibility, she needs time and energy. That is why it is primarily your responsibility to meet the basic needs of support, protection and maintenance of your home and property. Don’t put these additional burdens on her and divert her from the focus God has for her.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Biblical Manhood - Gender Roles Part 3

Continuing our study of biblical roles for men and women, we find that the role of leadership in the church is given to men. 1 Timothy 2:11, 12 says that the woman is to learn in silence and is not to be in the role of teaching men.

1 Corinthians 14:34, 35 says that women are to have a silent role even to the extent that if they have a question, they are to ask their husband at home. This keeps the roles in the right order. If the wife were to go to some other man such as a pastor or teacher, she would be coming out from under the leadership of her husband and would be showing disrespect for that leadership. Going to her husband with questions also encourages the man to get busy studying and learning and growing in his relationship with God so that he can be all that he should be as a spiritual leader for his wife.

Man’s leadership role is to be carried out with a servant spirit. Consider the following examples of Christ. Jesus washed the disciples’ feet. Christ said that He came as one who serves, even though He is the Lord of all. We are to have the same mind that Jesus had when he humbled himself to come here and take the role of a servant, even going to death for us. (John 13:12-17; Luke 22:26, 27; Philippians 2:5-8)

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Biblical Manhood - Gender Roles Part 2

We are examining the biblical roles given to men and women. We ended the last article discussing the fact that man’s headship is a federal one. He is responsible for what happens in the family.

The husband is also the spiritual leader or “priest” of the home. He is not literally a priest because each person in the family has a direct relationship with God, but he ministers some priestly functions for his family.

Look at Job’s example. In Job 1:5 we find Job praying for his children as they went about their daily activities in case they may be tempted to stray from following the Lord.

Abraham erected altars to the Lord on behalf of his wife and children. Noah did the same thing. (See Genesis 8:20; 12:7; and 13:4, 18)

There needs to be preparation for this role. This preparation should happen in childhood and then especially in the teen years so that when a man is grown, he will be able to assume these responsibilities. This is why the main thing to be taught to young men according to Titus 2:6 is to be sober minded – that is he should be self controlled and focuses. This begins to wean him away from childish things.

Monday, February 15, 2010

memorization Monday - Promised Blessings - Inheritance

I Peter 1:3, 4 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant mercy has begotten us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled and that does not fade away, reserved in heaven for you.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Hymn of the Week --Sing Praise to God

1. Sing praise to God who reigns above,
the God of all creation,
the God of power, the God of love,
the God of our salvation.
With healing balm my soul is filled
and every faithless murmur stilled:
To God all praise and glory.

2. The Lord is never far away,
but through all grief distressing,
an ever present help and stay,
our peace and joy and blessing.
As with a mother's tender hand,
God gently leads the chosen band:
To God all praise and glory.

3. Thus all my toilsome way along,
I sing aloud thy praises,
that earth may hear the grateful song
my voice unwearied raises.
Be joyful in the Lord, my heart,
both soul and body bear your part:
To God all praise and glory.

4. Let all who name Christ's holy name
give God all praise and glory;
let all who own his power proclaim
aloud the wondrous story!
Cast each false idol from its throne,
for Christ is Lord, and Christ alone:
To God all praise and glory.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Biblical Manhood - Gender Roles Part 1

This series on Biblical Manhood is taken from a series of Sunday School lessons that I taught to a group of men ages 14 to 40. If you would like to see the entire printed lessons, please check out this page for a list of all of the pdf and audio files for these lessons:

The next area we want to study is that of the biblical roles of men and women. This is a somewhat controversial topic these days given the pressure put on us by the philosophy of the world. Just as in any other attempt to follow God’s ideal, the world system, the flesh and the devil all work against it.

So let’s exam what God has to say.

God has given the man the headship in the home and leadership of the church. Ephesians 5:23 tells us that the man is the head of the wife just as Christ is the head of the church. The husband is the one primarily responsible for supplying the family needs such as clothing, shelter and food.

When God cursed Adam and Eve because of their sin, Eve’s curse in Genesis 3:16 was related to child bearing. Adam’s curse according to the next verse was related to his work in the field outside of the home.

The headship of the man is a federal headship. That means that the man answers for the household. Notice that when God went looking for Adam and Eve after the fall, he looked for Adam and spoke to Adam. He was the representative of the family and is the one who had to answer to God for what happened. There is a very good book outlining the idea of the Federal Husband. You can read about it on Amazon here:

Friday, February 12, 2010

Biblical Manhood - Sexuality Part 12

Finally, the last strategy in our battle against sexual immorality is to focus on Grace not law.

Sometimes people focus on the fact of God’s grace in the area of forgiveness and they sin frequently but claim God’s forgiveness just as frequently. Their behavior is very little different than that of unsaved people. God tells us in Titus 2 that the grace of God teaches us to deny ungodliness and worldly lusts and to live righteously and godly in this present world. If someone isn’t being taught those things but just continues on in his old ways, there is a question as to whether he actually has the grace of God in his life or not. This is a very serious issue each one of us should face in our own lives. Jesus said that not everyone who called Him Lord was saved.

So when I speak of grace, I’m not talking about what some call “cheap” grace. God’s grace changes people. It doesn’t leave them the same.

How then do we focus on grace rather than law in our pursuit of victory? I don’t have the time or space to draw this all out for you, but Romans 2:4 tells us that it is the goodness of God that leads to repentance. Titus 2:12 says that God’s grace teaches us to deny ungodliness.

Scripture also teaches that the law gives sin its power. The law is not sin and is good, but its purpose is to show how far short we come, not to enable us to do right. Look at Romans 7:7-12 for example. Paul says that he would not have known covetousness had it not been for the law. Once the law came, sin revived and “I died”.

See also 1 Corinthians 15:56 as well as Colossians 2:21-23. In the latter passage it speaks of human commandments. Sometimes we create our own set of commandments thinking that these will protect us, but notice that they are of no value against the indulgence of the flesh.

Focusing on the grace of God and His mercy and forgiveness will lead us in the direction away from the bondage of sin.

Habits are formed by repeatedly behaving in a certain way. You can create good righteous habits by making moment by moment decisions to do the right thing. You may not able to make a commitment to never look at pornography again, but you can make a decision not to look at it right now. In five minutes you can make the same decision again and little by little a good habit will form.

Enlist the help of another person who will help you be accountable. If you can’t find accountability in your spouse or dad, there are men in your church who would be very willing to help. It takes courage to ask, but as we’ve learned already, it is virtually a life and death decision on several levels.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Biblical Manhood - Sexuality Part 11

Yet another strategy in the battle against sexual immorality in our lives is to recognize and live by the truth of 2 Corinthians 5:17. We are new creations. The old has passed away and all things have become new.

Consider these passages. I’ll just give them to you with a few comments and leave it to you to dig into them.

Romans 13:11-14 It’s time to wake up; the day is at hand. Since the day is at hand, we are to get rid of the dark, the old life, and put on the armor of light. Then take note of the whole list of things which need to be abandoned. Finally put on the Lord Jesus Christ and don’t make any provision for the flesh.

Notice the step of putting on Christ. This is a command. We need to make it a conscious action to ask God to help us put on Christ. We need to consciously put off the old and put on the new by faith.

1 Peter 4:1-4 In effect, since Christ suffered for us and we are in Him, we should have the same mind He had and put the past behind us. We “no longer should live the rest of our time in the flesh for the lusts of men, but for the will of God.” We have spent enough time in the old ways. It’s time to move forward for Christ.

Someone who has died is free of the temptation of sin. Peter’s argument here as well as Paul’s in Romans is that since we died with Christ, we should consider ourselves dead to sin. Our death has arrived, we are on the other side of it being raised with Christ and therefore we should reject sin’s attempts to have control.

Ephesians 4:17-24 We should no longer walk like the pagans. They have given themselves over to these sexual life-styles, but it is not that way for us as Christians. We need to put off that kind of life and be renewed in the spirit of our minds. We are to put on the new man which is created in true righteousness and holiness.

2 Corinthians 6:9-11 Paul asks us if we realize that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of heaven. Then he gives us a list of the kind of life-styles that will not make it to heaven. Then comes the word that this is what you were. God’s salvation changes us from what we were to something new.

Probably the most important thing to do is to immerse yourself in Scripture considering the passages listed here and meditate on them thoroughly and regularly.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Biblical Manhood - Sexuality Part 10

Another strategy in the battle against sexual immorality in our lives is to flee. Second Timothy 2:2 tells us to flee youthful lusts. Sometimes God calls on us to stand and resist, but in this case the command is to flee. Flee by putting into practice the things discussed in this series of articles and flee to Christ and his Word. When a person flees, he is usually doing so out of fear. These are a group of sins that can take you down, so flee! They are against your body and they make war against your soul. (I Peter 2:11, Prov 6:27, I Corinthians 6:18)

Remember the story of Joseph? His master’s wife constantly enticed him to sleep with her and finally she caught a hold of him when her husband was gone. Joseph ran out of the house leaving his coat in her hands. This would have been the perfect opportunity to indulge his lusts, but instead he did the right thing and obeyed God even though the immediate consequence was to be put in prison.

Sometimes fleeing means to turn off the TV or use your computer right out in the open. Other times it means cancel your Internet service altogether or remove the TV from the house. Jesus said that it would be better to cut off our right hand rather than risk going to hell. (Matthew 5:30) We assume that is an exaggeration to make a point, but we not only won’t cut off our hand, we won’t even take much less drastic steps to shield ourselves from sin! Are we ever going to take any of this seriously?

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Fellowship Broken at the Cross

Sunday evening as our pastor was preparing us for the Communion service, he was reviewing the events of the torture and crucifixion of Jesus Christ. These stories are familiar to us and so there is the tendency to hear the words, but not really think about what is being said and the reality involved. Pastor then mentioned the separation that occurred between Jesus and God the Father as Christ became sin for us. Jesus cried out, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me!” We all acknowledge with our minds the fact that God turned away from Jesus as He hung there because God is of too pure eyes to behold evil and here was His beloved Son becoming the very epitome of evil for our sake.

Hold that thought a moment as I review another train of thought I was pursuing a couple of weeks ago. In preparation for my Sunday School lesson I was thinking about the fact that there was love and communication among the persons of the trinity from eternity past. Jesus says in John 17:21 and following: “…that they all may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be one in Us, that the world may believe that You sent Me.” And then verse 23, “I in them, and You in Me, that they may be made perfect in one, and that the world may know that You have sent Me, and have loved them as You have loved Me.” And then in verse 24, “…for You loved Me before the foundation of the world.”

By implication the Holy Spirit, as the third person of the trinity, was involved in that loving relationship also. Paul refers to the love of the spirit in Romans 15:30 and of course the fruit of the Spirit is love in Galatians 5:22 so even though there is no direct statement that the Spirit loved Christ or that He loved the Father, it seems evident that that relationship was there.

Now back to the communion message. Even though I have thought about the fact that God turned His face away from His Son on the cross, I had never thought of the fact that the fellowship and love relationship within the God-head was somehow temporarily fractured. I’m not a theologian so I don’t want to draw too many conclusions or say something that is not theologically and biblically correct, but it just struck me that it was more than what I usually pictured. I usually pictured God turning His head away from the sin-bearer for the appropriate amount of time and then continuing forward with the plan. But now I’m struck with the thought that there is a cosmic disruption of the love and communication that has always taken place within the God-head. Maybe it would be better to say the communion rather than love because maybe it’s not right to say that God did not love the Son during that time, but I think you can see what I’m driving at. What had been an eternal oneness in fellowship, communication and communion was disrupted for the first time ever.

That makes it all the more emphatic and amazing to me that God loved the world so much that He gave His only begotten son so that whoever believes in Him would not perish, but have everlasting life.

I welcome your thoughts and comments.

Monday, February 08, 2010

Memorization Monday - Inheritance

Romans 8:16, 17 The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs -- heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him, that we may be glorified together.

Sunday, February 07, 2010

Hymn of the Week -- Rejoice the Lord is King

1. Rejoice, the Lord is King!
Your Lord and King adore;
mortals, give thanks and sing,
and triumph evermore.
Lift up your heart,
lift up your voice; rejoice;
again I say, rejoice.

2. Jesus the Savior reigns,
the God of truth and love;
when he had purged our stains,
he took his seat above.
Lift up your heart,
lift up your voice; rejoice,
again I say, rejoice.

3. His kingdom cannot fail;
he rules o'er earth and heaven;
the keys of earth and hell
are to our Jesus given.
Lift up your heart,
lift up your voice; rejoice,
again I say, rejoice.

4. Rejoice in glorious hope!
Jesus the Judge shall come,
and take his servants up
to their eternal home.
We soon shall hear
th'archangel's voice; the trump of God
shall sound, rejoice!

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Biblical Manhood - Sexuality Part 9

Another front in the battle against sexual immorality is our control of our eyes. Job said in Job 31:1 that he had made a covenant with his eyes that he would not look on a woman. Jesus told us that to look on a woman with lust is the moral equivalent of committing adultery so this is not an insignificant thing. It makes some guys chuckle to think that we are “worried” about such little things, but if God takes it seriously, so should we.

David, in Psalm 101:3 says that he had made a pledge to set no wicked thing before his eyes. Both of these men provide good examples for us to follow. For most of us, temptation is strongest through the eyes. Therefore we have to purpose to avoid situations where temptation through the eyes would be a problem for us.

You need to decide whether you are serious about this or not. You know the kind of things that you see or think about that stirs your lusts and then you need to take an honest look at ways to limit those influences in your life.

Here are some possible areas:

TV and videos. Do you need to consider limiting your viewing time as well as content. Many Christians I know don’t watch programs that are unsuitable for their children. If your twelve year old shouldn’t watch it, then maybe you shouldn’t either.

Be careful not to be in areas were immodesty is prevalent – places such as beaches and water parks.

Magazines – Many men can’t safely browse through some of the popular magazines because of the immodest content.

Internet – Make sure everyone can see what you’re doing. Help your children out by making sure that you have access to their accounts and browsing history. If your children have Facebook or other similar social media, make sure that you are one of their friends.

Paul gives us summary advice when he tells us in Romans 13:14 not to make any provision for the flesh to fulfill its lusts. To make provision for something means to lay up supplies for something. We shouldn’t be setting up a storehouse of opportunities for our lust.

Monday, February 01, 2010

Memorization Monday - Promised Blessings - Rewards

2 Timothy 4:8 Finally, there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, will give to me on that day, and not to me only but also to all who have loved his appearing.