Summary, Part 4 (final) 4. ITS MANNER. Saving faith has three components: knowledge, assent, and its essence, which is trust. We cast our whole soul upon the Lord Jesus Christ. Our peace will only be as strong as our faith. The Lord again: âLet not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in meâ (JOHN 14:1). ROMANS 15:13: âNow the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace IN BELIEVING, that ye may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost.â Others may not be able to see our faith, but they can see our peace. Our peace is unique because it is in the Lord, and OF the Lord. CONCLUSION. TO THE LOST: there is truth in âKnow God, know peace; no God, no peace.â The untranquil heart belongs to he who doesnât know the Lord. TO THE WEAK IN FAITH: little faith knows little peace. It also slanders God and scatters your faith. Has God ever failed you? Has He ever not kept a promise? Has He ever shown Himself unworthy of your trust? Again, your peace is only as strong as your faith. TO THEY WHO ENJOY THIS PEACE: you may join David in PSALM 84:12: âO LORD of hosts, blessed is the man that trusteth in thee.â
Summary, Part 3 3. ITS PEOPLE. They are called the steadfast of mind. The ancient Hebrew gave the mind a much broader function than the Occidental. The mind was considered to be the whole person. So âsteadfast of mindâ implies a steady person, leaning his full weight on the Rock of God. Davidâs psalms reflect such a person. In PSALM 62:1-2, he declares God to be his only rock and salvation. Consequently, âI shall not be greatly moved.â Peace for David was not just an absence of trials, but Godâs presence in his trials. True peace is not conditioned upon agreeable circumstances, but upon calmness and serenity in the midst of a storm. Saving peace is covenant love. [On the topic of saving peace, I recommend *A Lifting Up for the Downcast* by William Bridge. âIM] What we have is just a taste of the peace Jesus had as He went through with His Passion for our sake. He said, âPeace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraidâ (JOHN 14:27).
Summary, Part 2 For the Old Testament Hebrew, peace meant all of Godâs blessings, external and internal. It included a sense of calm within turbulence, closure with the past, acceptance of the future, communion with God, cheerful resignation to His will (*Whateâer My God Ordains is Right*: âWhateâer my God ordains is right:/His holy will abideth;/I will be still whateâer He doth;/And follow where He guideth;/He is my God; though dark my road,/He holds me that I shall not fall:/Wherefore to Him I leave it all.â), and forbade rashness and despair. 2. ITS AUTHOR. Verse 7 tells us that He is upright: He weighs and considers. He is also a leveler: He straightens the paths of righteousness. In verse 10, we read of His majesty. Unbelievers donât see it because they canât. The favor and patience the wicked can be shown will not help them see their authors. In verses 5, 11, and 14 we see that He is omnipotent. He not only destroys His enemies, but He blots them from memory. His zeal for His people puts His enemies to shame. In verses 3, 12, and 15 we see that He is ever-gracious. Despite our fallenness, God sees the perfection of Christ imputed to us. In verses 4 and 16, we see that He is our great deliverer. He is utterly reliable and durable.
Summary, Part 1 ROMANS 15:4: We are not to ignore the Old Testament; it was written also for us for our instruction. ISAIAH 26:3 shows the inhabitants of the City of God to be a calm, serene people. If we are not so, then we are living beneath our privileges. The City of Man knows no such peace; we can see it in the news and all around us in the secular world. Isaac Watts, *Our God, Our Help*: âThe busy tribes of flesh and blood,/With all their lives and cares,/Are carried downwards by thy flood,/And lost in following years.â In the present verse, we see FOUR CHARACTERISTICS OF CALMNESS AND SERENITY: 1. ITS NATURE. In verse 11, we see the shame of the City of Man, and its bondage in verse 13. But in the City of God, we have âpeace squaredâ. Rather than live for ourselves, we live for God. Verse 12: âLORD, thou wilt ordain peace for us: for thou also hast wrought all our works in us.â In ROMANS 5:1, Paul says that peace with God through Christ comes with justification by faith. We stand with it: it characterizes our life. From here to glory there will be problems, but we exalt in our tribulations: they bring perseverance with the grace of hope. In the City of Man, however, we see in ISAIAH 57:20-21 we see the tossing sea of the wicked.
Summary, Part 5 (final) B. EVERY WIFE AND MOTHER NEEDS THE GRACE OF GOD TO BE HOPEFUL AMIDST HER TRIALS. We never need a perfect scenario, but a perfect God. 1. If you would experience help amidst your trials, fix your hope upon the gracious rule of a sovereign God. He knows what is best for you, dear mother. 2. If you would experience help amidst your trials, do not allow your challenges to make you bitter. To do so is to think you know better than God. Trials that donât make you bitter can make you better. 3. If you would experience help amidst your trials, learn to nurture your hope by frequent, fervent, believing prayer. Our hope deflates when we are not in the habit of prayer. Prayer makes you an overcomer. 4. If you would experience hope amidst your trials, dedicate the object of your hope to the glory of God. Do your goals glorify God, or are they just for you? Do you serve God better with it or without it? Is your hope self-centered or God-centered?
Summary, Part 4 III. ABIDING MESSAGES. A. EVERY WIFE AND MOTHER FACES PECULIAR DOMESTIC TRIALS ORDAINED BY GOD. 1. Do not wish for nor expect that you will be exempt from domestic trials or you will be sorely disappointed and sadly disillusioned. God had one Son without sin but none without suffering, and so will conform you more to Christ in your sufferings; they are tailor-made for you. 2. Expect that you will face trails from the limitations, sins, and failures of your husbands. âI doâ must become âI willâ because with Godâs grace, âI canâ. 3. Expect your children to bring difficult if not bitter trials into your home. 4. Do not seek to escape from your domestic trials. ââTill death do us part.â God has given you a husband to live withâto love and serve and perhaps children to be raised for His glory. 5. Because your trials may leave you feeling helpless, you must seek your hope not in different circumstances, but in the Lord. Circumstances and the people in them are never perfect, not even close, but God always is.
Summary, Part 3 God rewards hope sometimes by giving us the desire of our heats and sometimes by granting us the grace of contentment in our situation: a win-win situation either way 2. She refused to retaliate against her rival, but instead resigned her to the Lord. She may have confessed her bitterness, but also asked for the grace to not respond in kind. Because hope is a grace, it is opposed to carnal self-vindication and retaliation. 3. She believed that God could change her present situation if He wished. She didnât wish for Peninnah to be removed, but for her womb to be opened. Hannah teaches us that âhope can see Heaven through the thickest cloudsâ (Thomas Brooks). B. HANNAH NURTURED HER HOPE BY FREQUENT, FERVENT, BELIEVING PRAYER. Hope is not a static grace but it makes people pray, even to the faith of moving the hand of God (PSALM 55:2, 42:11). Hannah teaches us that hope is kept alive by prayerâpersevering, fervent, believing prayer. C. HANNAH DEDICATED THE OBJECT OF HER HOPE TO THE GLORY OF GOD. Samuel had a much better chance of a Godly life under someone like Hannah than near the priesthood of that day. Like God the Father, a mother who first gives her son to the Lord will give Him everything else.
Summary, Part 2 2. Hannahâs husband failed to fully empathize with her plight. That started when he introduced Peninnah into their family. Violating Godâs word in an attempt to thwart Godâs will is a prescription for problems. 3. Hannahâs husband failed to fully take the spiritual lead in the home. Itâs hard to imagine Elkanah corralling that situation. God ordered a one man-one woman marriage even before the Fall and especially after it. We see the sometimes irreversible consequences of domestic mistakes. Some scars must be borne all our days. C. HANNAHâS SEARCH FOR PASTORAL COMPASSION SEEMED HOPELESS. Eliâs response to her prayers could have only added to her frustration. Pastoral failure to empathize with oneâs trials only deepens their grief. Failure to read a situation in full will often only exacerbate problems. II. HOW HANNAHâS PERSEVERING HOPE PREVAILED OVER PROVIDENTIAL CHALLENGES. Hannah showed her gratitude by naming her son Samuel (âheard by Godâ) and dedicated him to God. A. HANNAH FIXED HER HOPE UPON THE GRACIOUS RULE OF A SOVEREIGN GOD. 1. She did not allow dark providence to dim her hope, even though He never even promised her a child. Hope keeps us from self-pity and the truth of a beneficent God.
Summary, Part 1 In 1 SAMUEL 1, Hannah used her hope in her trials. Every wife can learn from her hope, as there is no such thing as a perfect husband. I. THE PROVIDENTIAL CHALLENGES TO HANNAHâS HOPE. She was married to Elkanah, a worshipping man in an ungodly time. Though a Levite, he apparently was not a priest. A. HANNAHâS YEARNING FOR THE GIFT OF MOTHERHOOD SEEMED HOPELESS. Elkanah may have married Hannah first, then Peninnah when Hannah couldnât give him children. In Hannahâs culture, barrenness came with a stigma, seen as Godâs judgment. Women with sore providential trials are especially vulnerable to discouragement. B. HANNAHâS DESIRE FOR THE BLESSING OF A HAPPY MARRIAGE SEEMED HOPELESS. Imagine sharing your husband with another woman, whether literally or another in his heart. Coupled with her ongoing barrenness, one can only imagine Hannahâs misery. 1. Hannahâs husbandâs marriage to another woman invited family strife. We should remember that whenever we challenge Godâs order. Despite the double portion he granted Hannah (verse 5), there is no evidence in the text that Elkanah ever stood up to Peninnah for Hannah. Refusal to trust the Lordâs wisdomâdoubting that He knows what is best for usâwill surely lead to heartache, if not also to sin.
Summary, Part 5 (final) 3. Only those who are right before God and faithful to God will go to be with God. 2 PETER 3:14: âWherefore, beloved, seeing that ye look for such things, be diligent that ye may be found of him in peace, without spot, and blameless.â
Summary, Part 4 Coupled with verse 3, we see the doctrines of Godâs preservation and the individual perseverance, and how the former is for the sake of the latter. His faith may waver, his besetting sins may keep troubling him, but God keeps us anyway, gently onward and upward. REVELATION 14:12: âHere is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus.â 5. THE REWARD OF THIS RIGHTEOUSNESS. Entrance into the holy City. 2 PETER 3:13: âNevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness.â PSALM 118:19-20: âOpen to me the gates of righteousness: I will go into them, and I will praise the LORD: This gate of the LORD, into which the righteous shall enter.â This is David, perfectly squaring with New Testament revelation, connecting righteousness to Christ and the righteousness He imputed to His people. REVELATION 22:14: âBlessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city.â CONCLUDING OBSERVATIONS: 1. We must first be made right before God before we can become righteous. We typically get this backwards. 2. Jesusâ faithfulness (not ours) is the foundation of our righteousness before God.
Summary, Part 3 1 PETER 2:6-9: the Church, like the Jews, is chosen and peculiar. But as the Jews cast away the Rock of Christ, It became the cornerstone of the Church. How does the Church demonstrate its faithfulness? a) by its faithfulness in worship: engaging heart, mind, and soul in the Spirit, heeding Scripture, and glorifying God. ISAIAH 66:2: The Lord looks through His grand creation to the individual who worships Him. b) by faithfulness to Godâs truth. The Bible is Godâs sole, written revelation, and is our sole, final authority for truth. It includes testifying to the truth of the Gospel regardless of the worldâs objections. c) by faithfulness to Godâs commands. Not our will, but His be done. Faithfulness to all His commands keeps us clear of legalism and license. It means living faithfully in Christ Jesus. d) by faithfulness to Godâs Church. Christians are members of one another. We are as faithful to the Head as we are to the Body. We must not only practice regular engagement in the Church, but holy engagement. 4. THE PERSERVERANCE OF THIS RIGHTEOUSNESS, which means maintaining faithfulness. Note âremainâ in ISAIAH 26:2 (or âkeepethâ in the KJV): their faithfulness was ongoing.
Summary, Part 2 JEREMIAH 33:16: A prophecy of Christâs return, in which Jerusalem itself is called âThe Lord our righteousness.â Spiritual Jerusalem will itself have imputed righteousness. ROMANS 3:22: the righteousness of God is unto all who believe (without regard to all earthly distinctions) by the faith OF Jesus Christ. 1 CORINTHIANS 1:30: we are in Christ by His doing, not ours. 2 CORINTHIANS 5:21: God imputed to Christ our unrighteousness, Who in turn imputed His righteousness to us. Paul speaks of his own example of this in PHILIPPIANS 3:9. ROMANS 5:19: by one manâs sin we fell, and by anotherâs obedience we are saved. 3. THE FRUIT OF THIS RIGHTEOUSNESS. ISAIAH 26:2: the Christian fruit is faithfulness. This term [âeimunâ in Hebrew] is used only four other times in the Old Testament: applying to nations as a measure of their righteousness (DEUTERONOMY 32:20), individuals contrasted to the bad (PROVERBS 13:17), the false (PROVERBS 14:5), and the rare individual (PROVERBS 20:6). A Christianâs credibility is demonstrated in his faithfulness to God. He is not just loyal with his lips, but with his life. MATTHEW 21:42-43: Jesus takes the Kingdom of God away from the Jewish nation, who failed to become that faithful nation, and gives it to the Jews and Gentiles who believe in Christ.
Summary, Part 1 The City of Man is only strong in its own imagination. ISAIAH 26:2: âOpen ye the gates, that the righteous nation which keepeth the truth may enter in.â This does not refer to the return to Jerusalem from Babylon: the Jews did not satisfy the name of a righteous nation, and the city of Jerusalem did not suit the description of the City of God. Who they are can be inferred from five characteristics of their righteousness: 1. THE NEED FOR THIS RIGHTEOUSNESS. It is needed because of legal condemnation before God, something under which we were born, and to which we have added with our sins. In ISAIAH 25:8, we see that God will remove their reproach from all the earth, something we cannot do ourselves. The City of Godâs citizens are not natively righteousness. They obtain their righteousness from their Lord. 2. THE ROOT OF THIS RIGHTEOUSNESS. Defined: Christâs righteousness. We donât make ourselves good enough, because thatâs not possible. The perfect righteousness that God demands can only come from a perfect Lord. ISAIAH 26:12: âLORD, thou wilt ordain peace for us: for THOU ALSO HAST WROUGHT ALL OUR WORKS IN US.â The King Himself has provided the grounds for his people. JEREMIAH 23:5-6: A prophecy of the coming Christ, called âOUR righteousnessâ.
Summary, Part 5 (final) 3. BE CAREFUL WHO YOU HEAR (2 TIMOTHY 4:3-4: âFor the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they HEAP TO THEMSELVES TEACHERS, HAVING ITCHING EARS; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.â Note that âteachersâ is plural; a common result of resisting soundness is a resistance to submitting to the teaching and ministry of one trusted pastor at a given time. Richard Baxter offered a twofold measure of good preaching: the matter, which should be clear and distinct, and the manner, which should be lively and convincing. Most Christians have their favorite preachers, but all must always listen for the voice of Christ in any preaching they hear. The Corinthian church were dividing into groups with favorite preachers, and Paul had to sort it out (1 CORINTHIANS 1:10-16). Such an approach is not Christ-honoring but pastor-honoring, and stunts spiritual growth. TO BE CONTINUED NEXT LORDâS DAY.
Summary, Part 4 C. FIVE SUBORDINATE POINTS TO TAKING OUR SOBER RESPONSIBILITY SERIOUSLY: 1. BE CAREFUL WHAT YOU HEAR (MARK 4:24: âAnd he said unto them, Take heed WHAT ye hear: with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you: and unto you that hear shall more be given.â) Jesusâ caution immediately followed Markâs parallel of the Parable of the Sower. The better we hear, the more we will be given to hear. We must avoid an Athenian, indiscriminate hunger of new ideas (ACTS 17:21) and adopt the Scripture-honoring, searching, Berean example (ACTS 17:11). As they were ideal searchers of Scripture, we must be Berean hearers of preaching. 2. BE CAREFUL WHY YOU HEAR (HEBREWS 4:2: âFor unto us was the gospel preached, as well as unto them: but the word preached DID NOT PROFIT THEM, NOT BEING MIXED WITH FAITH in them that heard it.â) People go to church for different reasons. Joshua and Caleb heard for the right reasons, but most of the Hebrews did not, and perished in the wilderness. WHY did the people go out to see John the Baptist? WHY do you listen to sermons? Even in Biblical churches, some attend and âsit throughâ the sermons because theyâre there for reasons other than Biblical edification.
Summary, Part 3 3. Our level of interest and attentiveness and our resulting benefit is determined by our spiritual healthânot so much by the ability of the preacher. Jesusâ parables are a good example of this: those with ears to hear understand them, but the rest just hear them. Four types of hearers: a. Careless: hindered by a failure to digest the Word. He would rather watch the crows taking his seed away. b. Shallow: hampered by a failure to consider the Word. They appreciate the Gospel, but fail to consider the earthly price of salvation. c. Distracted: halted by distraction from the Word by the world. Very common; these people, dominated by their worldly affairs, fall upon a worldly view of the Bible rather than a Biblical view of the world. d. Good: helped by a prepared heart, receptive to the Word of truth. It is life to him. 4. It is of utmost importance that we who hear are as careful in our hearing as the pastor is in his preachingâif we would derive maximum benefit from the Word preached. The intense preacher manifests the eternal stakes at hand. The hearer should manifest the same.
Summary, Part 2 ACTS 14:1: Paul and Barnabas preached to the Jews, but with such holy conviction that Jews AND Greeks were saved. 4. Unsuccessful efforts should not be understood as a measure of the preacherâs ability and faithfulness. Many heard Jesus, the perfect preacher, and didnât get saved. 5. Such unsuccessful efforts should be understood in light of the preacherâs sphere of operations. The sower does not create the soil: God does. 6. But over time, a faithful preacher should expect that his sowing labors will not entirely be in vain. Good soil is to be found somewhere, and the Bible lists thirtyfold, sixtyfold, and hundredfold harvests on such ground, but not zerofold (MATTHEW 13:23). [Also remember that the harvest may be beyond the preacherâs awareness or time on earth. Search Ray Comfortâs inspiring âGeorge Street Testimonyâ. âIM]. B. OBSERVATIONS REGARDING THE HEARER. 1. All who hear the Word of God preached hear the same good Word. 2. Not all hearers come to preaching with the same interest or go away with the same benefit. The benefit we receive from the good Word is proportionate to our attentiveness and interest. We should be just as eager for understanding as the preacher is for communicating.
Summary, Part 1 JAMES 1:19-25: true blessing is not merely hearing the word, but hearing AND doing. Why do some get more out of Sunday service than others? Why do some get more benefit from mediocre preaching than from exquisite preaching? The church is less in need of eloquent preachers than of eloquent hearers. I. TAKE SERIOUSLY YOUR SOBER RESPONSIBILITY TO BE A CAREFUL HEARER. A careful hearer is one who hears and heeds the word of God. LUKE 8:4-15 is the Parable of the Sower (perhaps better thought of as a parable of the soils). A. OBSERVATIONS REGARDING THE PREACHER (SOWER). 1. The seed of the sowerâthe Word of Godâis good no matter the kind of heart into which it is cast. Good news is still good news even if it falls on bad ears. 2. The sowerâthe faithful preacherâis responsible to broadcast that good seed upon all types of soil. The Elect are scattered where God places them and the Gospel is an instrument of common grace, good for everyone to hear. 3. Though the sower is to do his best to sow productively, he is powerless to make hearts good to receive the good seed. WE preach, but GOD saves. As Richard Baxter said, we are not to preach as dying men to dying men, but with the heart-understanding that eternal souls are at stake. Because they ARE.
Interesting Title Since Pastor Nutter is one of my dearest pastor friends whose preaching I have sat under a time or two, I will just have to follow this series, but I don't know why. If you were Urian Oakes 1631 â July 25, 1681 of whom it was said that the hour glass was turned over in a single sermon four times, then I think falling off the wall while listening is justifiable. That would take some surviving. (Sabbath in Puritan New England, Alice M Earle, Page 79)