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Summary, Part 4 (final) b. BY ENCOURAGING ANSWERS TO OUR PRAYERS. Ps 86:17 â It is so uplifting to receive answers to prayers. c. BY DIRECTING OUR ATTENTION TO HIS WORD. Ps 119:50, 52 â Remembrance of biblical judgments of old and promises for the future are comforting. Ps 119:76 â Even our eyes falling upon Scripture just at the right moment bring tremendous comfort. Ps 94:19 â They can also bring tremendous perspective in times of agitation. Ps 27:13 â Godâs promises of future blessings can bring us through any trial. Ps 119:82 â Godâs word was Davidâs comfort. Jer 15:16 â Jeremiah savored what the sweetness of the word did for him. Rom 15:4 â Paul drew on Scriptureâs older lessons for hope in his own afflictions. E. OUR COMFORT IS EXCLUSIVE [53:55]. His comfort is exclusively for His people. Though He bestows everyone with the common graces, His personal graces come only to Christians. OBSERVATION [55:10]: How vain are the attempts of men to find hope apart from Christ and His word. Thatâs why the Bible is not a comfort to those without Him. Like Jobâs friends, the worldâs comforts only leave us unsatisfied, empty, and unsaved, and often even worsen our afflictions. From what do you seek comfort in this uncomfortable world? We must not look to the creation, but to the Creator.
Summary, Part 3 C. OUR COMFORT IS CONTINUAL [32:03]. He is not just the Father of mercy, but the Father of mercies. Weâve failed ourselves before, but He never failed us. His comforts attend our trials. He who ordained our trials will sustain us in our afflictions. Lam 3:22-23 â His lovingkindesses never cease because His compassions never fail. When we cling to sin or doubt His love, His eye is still upon us; we will not experience comfort then, but we will be restored upon repentance. D. OUR COMFORT IS SUITABLE [38:38]. His comforts are perfectly suited to each Christian. 1. IN ITS TIMING [39:16]. He comforts us IN our affliction: not before when we donât need it, not after when weâve already received it. Even when weâve exhausted our resources, He comes in the nick of time to show us true comfort, usually in ways we donât expect and perfect in every way. 2. IN ITS APPLICATION [41:00]. He fits His comforts to our trials. 1 Cor 10:13 â He does not tempt us beyond what we are able to bear. When a trial comes, it is practical to give it to Him. He may not remove it, but He will empower us to endure it. a. THROUGH THE MINISTRY OF OTHER BELIEVERS. 2 Cor 7:5-7 â He also comforts us through other believers, even their mere presence, and also by their good reports.
Summary, Part 2 Some things about His comfort: 1. HE DOESNâT COMFORT US BY PROTECTING US FROM AFFLICTION [17:55]. He consoles us in it. If He withheld afflictions, how could He comfort us? 2. FEAR OF MAN PREVENTS US FROM KNOWING GODâS COMFORT [18:55]. Is 51:12 â What do we say of our faith if we donât go to God when man afflicts us (cf. Rom 8:31). 3. GODâS FATHERLY MERCIES ARE MOTHERLY IN THEIR TENDERNESS [21:18]. Is 66:13 â Made in the image of a tender God, women show a greater capacity for tenderness. B. OUR COMFORT IS EFFECTUAL [22:55]. God comforts us in all our afflictions. His comforts are not potential or sporadic but actual and regular. Is 51:13 â a striking passage of Godâs comfort in a most unlikely place. Our trials are the grounds for His blessings. Weâve seen His comforts in our past afflictions, so what makes us doubt them now? Cf. Heb 2:18, 4:15-16.
Summary, Part 1 Continuing from last week, II. THE BLESSED CHARACTERISTICS OF OUR COMFORTS (vv. 3-4) [starting at 5:30 of the audio]. Christians suffer affliction, and only a false gospel teaches otherwise. Jesus promised that we would suffer them. Paul said that through them we will enter the Kingdom of God. Without them, why would need Godâs mercies and comforts? He does not provide them through material things, but through spiritual things. People who believe that find spiritual emptiness. Comfort comes from contentment for our providential situation, and so we accept hardship. Spiritual blindness also keeps us from His comfort; wallowing in self-pity is often mistaken for spiritual cleansing. It is not. Spiritual self-reliance is another pitfall; God will only bring us down to show us our weakness and utter need for Him. 2 Cor 4:8-12 â despite all our afflictions, we are not ruined; rather, we are sustained by the life of Christ. The gospel is not just a word, but a word with power. Five points about our comfort: A. OUR COMFORT IS PERSONAL [17:00], meaning that it comes from a personal God. Our comforts donât just happen, but come from the one who comforts us.
Summary, Part 4 (final) WHAT SHOULD OUR RESPONSE BE TO THE MERCIES OF GOD, ESPECIALLY HIS GOSPEL MERCIES? [42:23] 1. GREAT GRATITUDE. We should be a grateful people, not a grumbling one (Ps 145:9-10). 2. A LIFE WHOLLY CONSECRATED TO GOD. We must be dedicated to pleasing Him in every aspect. Great mercy requires a holy life. 3. GREAT CONFIDENCE AND TRUST IN THE LORDâS PRESERVING POWER. Ps 40:11 â We are not preserved by our own fleshly strength and power. 4. SINCERE REPENTANCE AND OPEN CONFESSION OF SIN. Ps 51:1 â David learned to not hide anything from God. 5. URGENT, BELIEVING PRAYER. Ps 69:16 â We must know our weakness and our utter need for God.
Summary, Part 3 B. A NAME OF COMPASSION: HE IS THE SOURCE OF MERCIES [30:03]. Paul calls God the âFatherâ of mercies because He is the source of every mercy (Jas 1:17). With God, mercy is not an emotion as it is with men, but a perfection. He is 100% mercy, and we as Christians are to reflect it toward others (Col 3:12-13). The heart of God is filled with sympathy, mercy, and pity for His beloved children. Humility is the opposite of pride. God shows this by stooping low to give us mercy. His mercies, like Himself, are great (Ps 119:156). 2 Sam 24:14 â His mercies are great when He must chasten His children (cf. Heb 12:6, Ps 51:1). His mercies are also rooted in His eternal covenant love (Ps 25:6, Ps 103:4).
Summary, Part 2 A. A NAME OF KINSHIP: HE IS FOUNDER OF OUR COVENANT MERCIES IN HIS SON [23:25]. We are united to God by a family relationship. But this relationship is not original, but derived. God is our Father because He is first the Father of Jesus Christ. We are His children not by nature, but by adoption (Eph 1:5). You out of all people in the world, you are His beloved children (Ps 103:13, 2 Cor 1:3). Because we are sinners, and because we live in a fallen world, we need Godâs mercy, which is free favor for the miserable. Because we are Godâs children in a hostile world, we need God to comfort us in our many distresses. God does not bestow these blessings of fatherly love and care upon His beloved children, but imparts them through our mediator, the Lord Jesus Christ (cf. Rom 8:32). If Christ is not our savior, then God is not our Father.
Summary, Part 1 We are but dust. As sinners, we need Christâs tender mercies every moment. Paul was a man well-acquainted with grief and affliction, yet he had a heart to give the gospel to those who mistreated him. God perfects His people through trials: they equip us to administer comfort, as we have received comfort. First, Paul speaks openly of his trails because he had developed an intimate relationship with the Corinthians; he had been with them for eighteen months. Second, in 2 Corinthians especially, Paul speaks of the paradoxes of the Christian life and of the gospel ministry. His own trails enabled him to triumph. 2 Cor 4:7-12 â God brings us what seems hostile to our happiness, but it is meant for our good and for His glory (cf. 2 Cor 6:3-11, 11:23-30, 12:7-10). I. THE ADORABLE AUTHOR OF OUR COMFORTS (v. 3) [starting at 19:10 of the audio]. Paul points out his trials, but only to direct us to the comforting God behind them. We find four different names for our merciful, comforting God.
Summary, Part 3 (final) III. ALL THE PROMISES AND ALL THE WARNINGS OF THE BIBLE APPLY ALSO TO THE YOUNG (30:44). Our sin problem is a human problem: the newborn has it as much as the elderly. No one is born a Christian or inherits it from family or anyone but God. We must each come to Christ alone. No matter how much one gains before he comes to faith, it doesnât amount to a penny of spiritual wealth. Moses gave up the life of Egyptian royalty for a life with God and His people (Heb 11:24-26). All in earth, no matter how enchanting, passes away. If we never leave a name here, but the only place to have one is in the Book of Life in heaven. IV. NOT KNOWING HOW LONG YOU WILL LIVE URGES YOU TO COME TO CHRIST WHEN YOU ARE YOUNG (38:11). Children are practically unaware of their mortality, but adults tend to lose sight of it, too. We must live every day as though it were the last. A small casket is a most sobering reminder. Do we have the hope of going to be with Christ in glory at our death? We cannot do anything to save ourselves; only Christ can save. The Bible makes it clear that He will not turn away anyone who seeks Him with a whole heart.
Summary, Part 2 II. THERE IS NO BETTER TIME TO COME TO CHRIST THAN WHEN YOU ARE YOUNG (16:49). A. YOU ARE NOT SO HARDENED IN THE WAYS OF SIN WHEN YOU ARE YOUNG. With age, the heart becomes more set in its evil ways. B. YOU HAVE FEWER EVIL COMPANIONS TO INFLUENCE YOU WHILE YOU ARE YOUNG (19:12). As we get older, we meet more people who love sin and hate Christ. âBad company corrupts good morals.â We need salvation to also not be another bad influence. Without it, we go deeper and deeper into sin. C. YOU DONâT HAVE AS MANY RESPONSIBILITIES TO DISTRACT YOU WHEN YOU ARE YOUNG (24:00). Careers, marriage, and children can be tremendous spiritual distractions when we enter into them unsaved. The unregenerate heart does not become more tender towards God with age. As one who gathered the stats on the matter said, âEvery day, less likelyâ. Is 55:6 â note the word âwhileâ. Cf. 2 Cor 6:2.
Summary, Part 1 Youth are often told that they need to wait: for driving, college, work, marriage, etc. But the Bible says that they are always ripe for salvation. They are called to come to Christ immediately. We examine four ideas behind this command. I. CHRIST URGES ALL YOUNG PEOPLE TO COME TO HIM TO BE SAVED (starting at 3:07 of the audio). Ecc 12:1 â with age comes more worries and stubbornness. We become more aware of our mortality and less about our eternity. And this is only those of us who get to live full lives. Christ deserves the best of your time. It is a great blessing when one can talk about the Christ of oneâs youth. God delights to save children. Timothy was saved as a young child (2 Tim 3:15) as were Daniel, David, Samuel, and Isaiah (2 Chr 34:3). You donât have to be an adult to come to Christ. Nor do you need to be a âgood personâ; such people donât see a need for salvation (cf. Mt 9:12-13, Jer 29:13). Mk 10:14-15- Christ is not saying that children will be in Heaven because theyâre children, but because they seek Him wholeheartedly.
Summary, Part 5 (final) THIRD, let us honestly acknowledge and repent of our tendency due to remaining sin toward rebellion, both against Christ and against His rulers in this world. FOURTH, let us seek to honor our profession of faith in Christ by showing our due submission to the rulers he places over us. John the Baptist commanded the tax collectors to repent, but not to leave their jobs. FIFTH, let us realize that submission to civil authorities is not just a matter of obedience to God; it is also a matter of worship (1 Pet 2:13). SIXTH, if we want to be happy and have a good conscience, let us obey God by submitting to the authorities God has place over us. Much trial and trouble is traceable to rebellion. We are all born into the world with such a heart. Do we submit to Jesus Christ first and foremost and trust Him with those He has put over us?
Summary, Part 4 4. ILLUSTRATIONS FROM BIBLICAL HISTORY OF LEGITIMATE CIVIL DISOBEDIENCE (43:04). a. The Hebrew midwives. They had the sixth commandment on their hearts even before it was given at Sinai. b. Daniel and his three friends. They didnât want to be a part of a sacrifice to idols. c. The Apostles and the early church. They had the Great Commission. Who is man to forbid it? B. ANSWERING TWO OBJECTIONS TO THESE DEDUCTIONS (46:03). 1. âWE MUST NEITHER SUBMIT TO WICKED RULERS NOR OBEY UNJUST LAWSâ. Nero reigned while Paul and Peter wrote epistles, yet they argued for this submission. Few rulers have ever been truly righteous. 2. âWE MUST SUBMIT TO WICKED RULERS EVEN WHEN THEY REQUIRE OBEDIENCE TO LAWS THAT CONTRADICT GODâS LAWâ. These are the secularist arguments against us. Many of them have put the state in place of God. They donât think through their implications. C. CONDLUDING PRINCIPLES FROM KIM DAVISâ CIVIL DISOBEDIENCE APPLIED (51:14). FIRST, let us conscientiously own our duty before God to submit to the civil authorizes He has placed over us. SECOND, let us be very slow to conclude that obedience to God requires disobedience to the civil authorities He has placed over us.
Summary, Part 3 1. CLEAR STATEMENTS FORBIDDING IT. Prov 24:21-22 â consider Rehoboamâs folly. Mt 22:17-21 â Christians live in two spheres (cf. Mt 17:24-27 â we are residents on earth, but citizens of heaven). Rom 13:1-7 â we are commanded to be submit to ruling authority because God put it there. 1 Pet 2:13-17 â submitting to ruling authority is a way of worshipping God. 2. TEXTS THAT QUALIFY AND PERMIT IT (31:20). Acts 4:19-20, 5:27-29 â the state does not have the right to order Christians to disobey God. 3. DEDUCTIONS FROM THESE TEXTS (33:57): a. Civil rulers derive their authority ultimately from God and not from man. b. Submission to God requires obedience to civil rulers. c. Rebellion against civil rulers is rebellion against God. d. God has given civil rulers authority to reward righteous behavior and to punish wicked behavior. e. Submission is due civil rulers from Christians as liberated servants of God. f. Submission to civil rulers demonstrates the reality of a Christianâs profession. Rebellion hurts our witness. g. Submission to civil rulers results in a good conscience before God. There is nothing more terrible than a bad conscience.
Summary, Part 2 b. WHAT IS WRONG ABOUT HER CONVICTIONS (13:00): 1) that her name on a marriage license constitutes personal approval of homosexuality or homosexual marriage. Compliance is not necessarily agreement; 2) that she can serve the people of Rowan County by abdicating her sworn duty to enforce the law. She is still duty-bound to enforce the law. She could have also resigned. II. LARGER QUESTIONS SUGGESTED BY KIM DAVISâ CIVIL DISOBEDIENCE PONDERED (16:18). A. OF HER CONSTITUTIONAL LIBERTY ALLOWING IT. Her right to free speech allows her to speak freely on the matter, even as a government employee. But she does not have the right to refuse the due process that her office mandates. B. OF HER CONSCIENCE LEADING HER TO IT (20:04). Her voicing of her convictions is honorable, but she is not to be followed. III. A BIBILICAL RESPONSE TO KIM DAVISâ CIVIL DISOBEDIENCE PRESENTED (22:02). A. TEXTS THAT ADDRESS CIVIL (DIS)OBEDIENCE. The matter is settled by Godâs word, not by anyoneâs opinion.
Summary, Part 1 As Christians, we must always approach current events biblically. This is entailed in the charge to always be ready to give an answer (1 Pet 3:15), and includes clarity on our relationship to the state as Christians. I. THE IMPORTANT MATTER OF KIM DAVISâ CIVIL DISOBEDIENCE POSED (starting at 2:59 of the audio). A. THE OCCASION OF HER CIVIL DISOBEDIENCE (4:38). Ms. Davis, a county clerk with the duty and authority to issues marriage licenses for her county, refused on biblical grounds to issue same-sex marriage licenses after the Supreme Court ruling legalizing them. After defying a court order to do so, she was jailed and subsequently released with certain provisions. B. HER CONVICTIONS LEADING TO HER CIVIL DISOBEDIENCE (6:27). 1. STATED. She invoked Godâs authority in light of the Supreme Courtâs ruling and appealed to her mandate by popular election. 2. SCRUTINIZED (7:52). a. WHAT IS RIGHT ABOUT HER CONVICTIONS: 1) she views homosexuality as a sin (Lev 18:22, 1 Cor 6:9-10); 2) she understands that Godâs definition of marriage prohibits homosexual marriage (Mt 19:4-5); she wants to maintain a clear conscience (Rom 14:23, cf. Acts 24:16).
Summary, Part 3 (final) III. PAULâS CORRECTIVE TO PRIDE APPLIED [44:16]. 1. LET US RECOGNIZE AND REJOICE IN THE FACT THAT GOD MAKES US ALL TO DIFFER. He does this in two ways: 1. HIS PROVIDENTIAL DEALINGS. Pride causes us to grumble about our circumstances. But God gave them to us for our good. 2. HIS GRACIOUS DEALINGS. He saved us and made us new creatures. He holds us, disciplines us, and takes us into glory. 2. LET US GRATEFULLY ACKNOWLEDGE THAT ALL GIFTS COME FROM GOD [50:16]. All our natural talents, daily needs, accomplishmentsâŚwho gave them to us, and do we honor Him with them? 3. LET US CEASE BRAGGING ABOUT OUR GIFTS AND RATHER BOAST OF GODâS GRACE [52:43]. We are not the authors of our blessings. âI am what I am by the grace of Godâ (1 Cor 15:10).
Summary, Part 2 3. ITS BIBLICAL KNOWLEDGE (8:1-2) [20:38]. Their knowledge was theoretical, but impractical. Prideful knowledge makes us arrogant and cold. 4. ITS SPIRITUAL GIFTS (13:4) [23:52]. Such gifts mixed with pride can make one arrogant, but with love they become a source of humility and warmth. We run this risk with any gift (cf. Mt 6:3). 5. ITS FAVORITE PREACHERS (3:21, 4:6, 4:18-19) [29:11]. We canât glory in God when we glory in men. 6. ITS SPIRITUAL BLESSINGS (4:7) [32:21]. This includes everything not previously mentioned. Whatever their blessings, they received them with pride and expectancy, not humility and gratitude. II. PAULâS CORINTHIAN CHURCH CORRECTIVE [36:32]. A. ABOUT DIFFERENCES. âWho sees anything different in you?â What is the point of being set apart to remain the same and, in some cases, worse than the pagans? B. ABOUT GIFTEDNESS [40:42]. âWhat do you have that you did not receive?â Since the answer is ânothingâ, then in what were they boasting? C. ABOUT BRAGGING [43:01]. âYou boast as if you had not received it.â As all comes from God, all boasting belongs to Him as well.
Summary, Part 1 Pride is a most ruinous sin, often known as the mother of all sins. It was the sin that cast Lucifer from heaven. A proud church is an oxymoron, but the church at Corinth struggled with pride. I. CORINTHIAN CHURCH PROBLEMS [starting at 7:14 of the audio]. A. A PREACHER PROBLEM. Their preachers had taught a complicated and corrupt gospel (cf. 1 Cor 1). B. A PARTY PROBLEM [9:15]. Or a factional problem, where groups within the church were favoring certain preachers over others for reasons of personal interest. Favoring men causes us to forget our calling to be salt and light (1 Cor 3:4-6). We are merely servants; it is God who gives the increase. C. A PRIDE PROBLEM [12:28]. Pride is a hungry sin; it is never satisfied. We see a number of its sources of pride: 1. ITS EARTHLY BLESSINGS (1:26-31). We are natively proud, even when we donât have much. Yet everything we have is of God, not us. 2. ITS LIBERATED SEXUALITY (5:2, 6) [17:10]. A member was with his own stepmother, and the church actually praised it, even despite the disgust of the pagans around them.
Summary, Part 4 (final) B. APOSTATES ARE DIVISIVE (v. 19) [48:00]. The devil knows the tactic of divide and conquer better than men do (cf. Jn 10:12). LESSON: Beware those who rise up in the church and attempt to draw disciples away with their novel ideas. C. APOSTATES ARE SENSUAL (v. 19) [49:45]. âSensualâ is a more accurate translation of âpsuchekoiâ. Some versions translate it as âworldlyâ, and it is true that sensual people are so focused on worldly things that they cannot perceive the spiritual. But âsensualâ strikes closer to the root (cf. 1 Cor 2:14). LESSON: It is to be expected that sensual men will teach sensual doctrine; itâs all they understand. And sensual people will consume it. D. APOSTATES ARE UNSAVED (v. 19) [51:45]. This is the basic problem with them. The spirit that possesses them is not the holy one (cf. Rom 8:9). Is it any wonder that they lead unholy lives? LESSON: We are to test all teachers by their teaching and, if possible, by their living. CLOSING QUESTION: What of us who are not teachers? Do we live and believe what we expect from our teachers?