Monday, March 22, 2010

Revival Services

We at Trinity are in what we hope will be genuine revival this week, March 21-24, 2010. I know that Christians are to live in revival 365 days a year, but due to our flesh, we need to be "re-vived."

My dear friend, Pastor Joey Harris from God's Way Baptist Church in Adel is our guest preacher. I had made a commitment to have only expository preachers in the pulpit at T.B.C. He preaches the Biblical text in its Biblical context, not perverting the intent and flow of the oringinal author.

Sunday morning he preached on "How to Live a Separated Life" from 1 Cor. 6:14-18. He challenged us to the truth that you can't experience revival till you are separated from the world. In one sense we are separated at salvation in position, but we must practice separation.

Sunday night he preached a message to the lost from the demon-possessed man in the fifth chapter of Mark. He made some comparisons and contrasts to the lost man and the demon-possessed man. Our children sang Sunday night and Kaleb Smith blessed our hearts with a song about being made more like Jesus "little by little."

Monday night the Brooks family was with us and as always, sang from their hearts true Biblical songs. Bro. Joey preached on commitment and the lack of it. Many go away because they never had genuine faith. Our choices reveal what we love and what we put first in our lives.

Tuesday night Bro. Joey's wife, Missy, sang two songs and then Bro. Joey preached on how to protect your church from wolves from without and within. His text was Acts 20:28-32. If Satan can't get to the church from without, he will attack from within.

Wednesday night Bro. Joey preached on how to be sure you are saved from 1 John. Certainly an honest examination of 1 John would reveal to anyone their genuineness of salvation or lack thereof. Bro. Joey preaches the same on this subject that I do- the evidence of a changed life is a great indicator of spiritual life.

Bro. Joey has been a blessing and a source of affirmation that expository preaching is the only true Biblical preaching that fulfills the preachers command to 'preach the Word."

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

The Perfect is Coming

1 Cor. 13:8-13

Context: After having shared that Love is permanent and will not fail [vv. 1-7], Paul now shares that spiritual gifts will cease; some gifts now and others later.

1. Spiritual gifts are temporary, partial, and elementary [v. 8].

Note that He says that tongues will cease and prophecy and knowledge shall fail or vanish away. “Vanish away” in verse 8 and 10 means to abolish gradually. Prophecy and knowledge will one day be made inoperative. The verb is passive which means something or someone will cause them to stop. That something is the coming of “the perfect” [v. 10].

“Cease” in regards to tongues means “to stop, to come to an end.” The Greek means tongues will cease in a self-causing action. God gave the gift of tongues a built-in stopping place. Many believe it ceased at the end of the apostolic age.

Prophecy and knowledge will be stopped by something outside themselves. They both will end when the perfect comes [v. 10]. Tongues are not mentioned in relation to the perfect coming [v. 10].

2. Prophecy will vanish when the perfect comes [vv. 9-10].

Both prophecy and knowledge are partial now, and represent all gifts that will be done away when the perfect comes.

We as God’s servants know and prophesy in part. When the perfect comes we will no longer need a Bible, preaching or teaching, and prophecy, because we will be in the presence of the Living Word.

3. What is the perfect [v.10]?

A. The perfect is the completion of the Scripture.

How would the Corinthian believers have understood the perfect, certainly not as the Scripture, but moral and spiritual perfection? If the perfect refers to Scripture, then prophecy and knowledge have already ceased. Prophecy will be active in the Kingdom age [Joel 2:28; Acts 2:17]. Scripture does not allow us to see “face to face” [v. 13].

B. The perfect is the rapture.

If prophecy and knowledge they are done away with after the rapture then they could not be present in the tribulation and Kingdom age. Paul clearly states that once done away with, they will end permanently.

C. The perfect is the second coming.

The Greek word “perfect” is in the neuter, which means it can’t refer to a person. You still have the problem of prophecy in the Kingdom age [Isa. 11:9; 29:18; 32:3-4].

D. The perfect is the eternal state.

If the others are not the perfect, then it leaves only one possibility. Spiritual gifts are for time, but love is for eternity. The eternal state allows for knowledge and prophecy in the Tribulation and Kingdom age. Only in heaven will we see God “face to face,” and be known as we are known.

4. Gifts are elementary [vv. 11-12].

Paul compares the believer’s earthly life to what they will be like in heaven. We will be complete and mature in heaven. Now we are spiritually childish, imperfect, and limited. We see in God’s Word dimly, but in heaven we will see completely and fully.

Conclusion: Spiritual gifts are temporary, but love is eternal. It will last in the eternal state.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Eternal Security

In Phil. 1:6 we have one of the most definitive Scriptures in the Bible on the doctrine of eternal security, or what I like to call, perseverance of the saints or preservation of the saints.

"Being confident of this very thing, that He which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ."

Eternal life is a present possession, not something we hope to gain at the end of our life. I believe eternal security and sovereign grace are closely related. If it were not for sovereign grace our salvation would not be eternal.

There are several passages in the Scriptures that are dear to me in regards to eternal sacurity. Here are a few [John 5:24; 10:27-28; Rom. 8:1,29-30; 11:29; 1 Tim. 1:12; Heb. 7:25; 12:1-4; 1 Peter 1:5; Jude 24].

Let me make a few observations from this passage in Phil. 1:6:

1. What is the "good work?" Some would have us believe that it is a project or material work as the prosperity gospel preachers proclaim [Oral Roberts], while others believe Paul is talking about the monetary gift the Philippians' gave Paul. Neither of these fit the verse.

2. Paul is talking about the work of salvation that God began in us and will complete it till Jesus comes again and we are glorified. Regeneration, sanctification and glorification are the three tenses of salvation. Note the reference to their fellowship in the Gospel [v. 5], and confirmation of the gospel [v. 7]. Note that it is a work "in" you.

3. Salvation is God's work from start to finish. He began it and will perform it [perfect, fully accomplish it].

4. God is still doing a work in you. We have not reached the "day of Christ" yet. We are in the process of becoming like Christ [sanctification]. As the song says, "He is still working on me."

5. God will complete the work He began. No true Christian will fall away or quit believing. He began it, He gave us the faith to believe [Eph. 2:89] and He will fully accomplish His purpose in His work of salvation. I like Rom. 8:29-30, it is full of "He" and absent of "me." He begins with those He foreknew to the past tense "has glorified." Some call this the unbreakable chain of redemption. All those foreknew will be glorified.

Thank God for so great a salvation! Even so, come, Lord Jesus!