Friday, February 24, 2012

Cities of Refuge

Hebrews 6:18, "...Who have fled for refuge to lay hold upon the hope set before us."

The writer of Hebrews was speaking of the assurance of eternal salvation in 6:13-20 and mentions our strong encouragement because of God's promise, God's oath, and God's Son.

Hebrew 6:18 mentions the phrase "fled for refuge." This is fulfillment in Christ of a Old Testament type.

The phrase “fled for refuge” suggests the Old Testament “cities of refuge” described in Num. 35:9 and Joshua 20:1-9.

God appointed six cities, three on each side of the Jordan, into which a man could flee if he had accidentally killed someone.

The elders of the city would investigate the case. If they determined that it was indeed manslaughter and not murder, they would permit the man to live in the city until the death of the high priest. Then he could return to his home. The members of the slain man’s family could not avenge themselves so long as the man remained in the city.

We have fled to Jesus Christ, and He is our eternal refuge. As our High Priest, He will never die (Heb. 7:23-25); and we have eternal salvation. No avenger can touch us, because He has already died and rose from the dead.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Lessons Learned at the Hospital

1. Faith has to be tested and stretched to be to enduring faith [James 1:2-4].

2. Suffering, sickness, and death come about from the fall of man into sin [Gen. 2:16-17].

3. We live in frail temporary bodies that are for earth and not heaven [Phil. 3:21].

4. We go through trials so we can be a channel of comfort to others when they go through trials [2 Cor. 1:4].

5. “For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive” 1 Cor. 15:22

6. Faith in God, a loving family and friends, and a praying church family, is “priceless.”

Thursday, February 9, 2012

The Preachers Authority

Titus 2:15, "These things speak, and exhort, and rebuke with all authority. Let no man despise thee."

This single verse is one of the strongest statements in Scripture on the spiritual authority of men whom God calls to minister His Word and shepherd God’s people.

The religious leaders asked Jesus in Mark 11:28, “By what authority doest thou these things? And who gave thee this authority to do these things?”

Jesus replied on one occasion in John 7:16-17 “My doctrine is not mine, but His that sent me.” John 8:28b, “…I do nothing of myself; but as my Father hath taught me, I speak these things.”

If Jesus spoke only those things received of the Father, how much more should we speak only on the authority of Scripture.

I want to share 2 aspects of spiritual authority:

1. The Sources of False Authority.

A. Personal authority.

Some pastors assume authority over people in choices and issues and become dictators. The Pastor feels like he is to run the life of the believer.

Others claim to be their own authority with no submission or obedience to God’s Word.

B. Church authority.

The Roman Catholic system has claimed to be the only true church and stands above scripture rather than under it.

It is the sole reliable interpretation of scripture but channel thru which God speaks ex-cathedra thru the Pope. Church councils and papal decrees hold the same as authority as the Bible.

The priests have authority to forgive sins and even in an unconscious state, the priest can forgive thru last rites.

C. Experiential authority.

I believe it is right, or I feel its right. Feeling and emotion do not discern biblical truth. I can’t find a Scripture, but this is my opinion.

Some say,"I had an experience…"

2. The Source of True Authority.

The preacher is called to accurately interpret and proclaim Biblical truth (2:1) and things pertaining to holiness (2:2-14) with strong authority.

The preacher must put himself out of the way and let God’s Word speak thru him? Mannerisms, style, eloquence are not important but preaching the Word and letting the Scripture speak is important.

The 3 tasks of the preacher are to preach the Word for understanding, belief, and obedience.

1. Speak with authority. “Speak”

Utter the Word of God. Preach the Word. Speak as one who commands authority. Be a commanding proclaimer, faithful expositor, and a passionate preacher.

He is to make clear God’s truth so that those who hear will understand by the illumination of the Spirit. Faithful preaching gives knowledge of the truth and does not entertain.

Tell them what you’re going to tell them, tell them what you are telling them, and tell them what you told them. Tell them what they don’t want to hear, and tell them to do what they don’t want to do.

2 Timothy 1:13, “Hold fast the form of sound words, which thou hast heard of me.”

2 Timothy 4:2, “Preach the Word; be instant in season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine.”
This carries the idea of hearing. This is the responsibility of the hearers.

Titus 2:1

2. Encourage for belief. “Exhort”

Say it like you believe it and they will believe it to. This carries the idea of beseeching, entreating, and pleading. It involves more than stating and explaining truth, but to persuade hearers to not only understand but believe God’s truth.

I Timothy 4:13, “Till I come, give attendance to reading, to exhortation, to doctrine.”

This carries the idea that those who hear are called to understand the truth.

3. Rebuke for obedience. “Rebuke”

This means to convince or correct to turn from a wrong behavior or belief. The sin must be exposed so conviction can come.

2 Timothy 3:16, “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness.”

This carries the idea that those who hear are to understand and obey the Word.

4. Don’t be intimidated. “Despise”

Don’t apologize for truth and truth-telling. The Believer or non-believer should be allowed to reject God’s truth.

Despise, disregard, or disrespect? Thinking around something,
usually for the purpose of evasion and denial.

Luke 10:16, “He that hearth you heareth me; and he that despiseth you despiseth me; and he that despiseth me despiseth him that sent me.”


In these days we don’t need wimpy preachers with a watered down message.

We need men who will proclaim the truth with authority, and call for understanding, belief, and obedience.

Why? Our authority does not come from our position, but from the authoritative Scripture.

That is our authority. We have no authority outside of Scripture.