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This coming weekend is Memorial Day weekend. As our nation remembers those who died in service to our country, let us remember how important it is to make the gospel clear to everyone, since every human is accountable to Him who claims, "I am the first and the last, and the living one. I died, and behold I am alive forevermore, and I have the keys of Death and Hades" (Revelation 17b-18). It is right that we remember those who died in service of our well-being. It is essential that we worship and obey our King Jesus, who is the Sovereign Lord Who decides who lives and who dies. It is crucial that we remember that the Lord Jesus has conquered death, hell, and the grave!
As we continue our journey through Romans in the Sunday Morning sermons, let us learn the lessons given to us in Romans 9 - 11. The first 8 verses of chapter 9 give us structure to understand the topic in these three chapters: Paul's Heart (vv 1-3); Israel's Status (4-5, 6b-8); and God's Sovereignty (6a). In preparation for this coming Sunday, reread the post below for preparing for May 17. But especially review the following passages in which the covenants and promises that belong to Israel are found . . .
There are many, many other passages in which God makes promises to Israel, but in these that are listed, note exactly what He says He will do.
Note the entire list of what Paul says belongs to the Israelites in Rom 9:4-5.
And certainly note the identification of Christ the Messiah as God over all, blessed forever at the end of verse 5! Jesus is Lord!
I look forward to worship with my brothers and sisters at DRBC this coming Lord's Day!
Soli Deo Gloria!
Key thoughts on Titus 1 . . .
1. Paul's Identity: servant/slave of God; apostle of Jesus Christ (vs 1a)
2. Paul's Task: evangelism, edification, encouragment (vss 1b-3)
3. Titus: Paul's true spiritual son; at work in the field--Crete (4)
4. Priority Need for Titus: Elders in every town/place
DRBC DISTINCTIVE: PLURALITY OF ELDERS
5. Qualification of Elders (5-9; also see 1 Timothy 3:1-7). Note the interchangeable use of the word "overseer" with "elder" in verse 7. The terms "pastor," bishop," and "elder" all refer to the same office, each emphasizing a different aspect of leadership. Verses 6-8 focus on his character; verse 9 focuses on what he must be able to do.
6. The Need for Elders, So Qualified (10-16). Many false teachers who must be silenced by the instruction and correction of the sound doctrine of the Word of God (10-11). Note that faithful ministry as elders will lead to opposition of the enemies of God (circumcision party, Judaizers, legalists, prevailing cultural context, those attracted to Jewish myths and commands of men). Note also the gospel implications of verses 15-16: the issue is whether or not sinners have had their hearts changed by the truth of the gospel! Works can never earn salvation, but they can certainly expose those who have never been saved.
Application Questions . . .
1. Paul's first instruction to Titus in the body of his letter is to establish elders in every place. What does this imply about the importance of solid leadership?
2. Does your regard for solid leadership reflect this priority?
3. According to the list of qualifications in vss 5-9, is the priority in the selection of elders on character and faithfulness or popularity and personality?
4. How do you reflect this biblical priority in the way you interact with elders and leaders?
5. Should an elder expect that sound doctrine will bring about conflict and contrast?
6. If we note that a particular culture is full of sinners and characterized by sinful behavior, do we have the right to be prejudiced against the people of that culture?
7. Can a sinner (defiled and unbelieving) earn his way into God's favor through good works?
8. Is a redeemed sinner regarded as pure on the basis of the purity of his works?
DRBC Small groups meet regularly. These groups are excellent sources for conversation about these issues and more. All are invited to participate. Contact DRBC for info.
Soli Deo Gloria!
Happy Resurrection Day!
Everything that New Testament Christianity teaches depends on the resurrection of Jesus the Christ! In 1 Corinthians 15:19, Paul wrote (under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit), "If in Christ we have hope in this life only, we are of all people most to be pitied." In other words, if there is no afterlife, no heaven, no relationship with God as our Father after this life, then Christianity does not deliver on its promises. He had just explained the reason for this conclusion in his previous statements. 1 Corinthians 15:14 says, "And if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is in vain and your faith is in vain." Even more pointedly, he wrote in 1 Corinthians 15:17, "And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile and you are still in your sins."
These verses bring us to the heart of Christianity: that Christ has paid the just penalty for the sins of His people, having taken their sins upon Himself, and that His righteousness, as the One Who has conquered death and hell, has been counted for His people. This legal transaction allows sinners to be justly forgiven for their sins, and makes them worthy to be in the presence of God, because Jesus is worthy!
Don't be mistaken into thinking that the value of Christianity is simply how sincere a believer's faith might be or how ethical (relatively) a believer's faith might cause him/her to be. New Testament Christianity is about the objective reality of Christ's death, burial, resurrection, and perfect righteousness provided so that the people of God might be saved, sanctified, and ultimately glorified! Paul himself has told us that if Christ did not truly and objectively rise from the dead, then our faith is futile. So, let us sincerely believe in the resurrection of Christ, and let us see the value of that in the Truth of the Resurrection!
In John 11:25-26, Jesus explained this Truth to Martha (the sister of Lazarus), "I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in Me, though he die, yet shall he live, and everyone who lives and believes in Me shall never die. Do you believe this?"
He is Risen! Soli Deo Gloria!
It works great as you can:
1.) Read off your phone while waiting in line at the store
2.) Read first thing in the morning and last thing at night - IF you keep your phone near your book like I do :-)
3.) Allows different family members to read the different translations from their phones as you sit together. This is great because some of the different ways that verses get translated provide a springboard to deeper investigation, conversation and if need be - it makes the father have to go hit the books so to speak, to get a clearer answer when he doesn't know why one group translated a certain way vs. another translator or group of translators.
In other words - it helps to see different ways a verse has been and POSSIBLY can be translated.
An example is the way the ending of Hebrews 1:2 is translated by different committees or groups.
It says - "and through whom He made...
(1) the world - NASB
(2) the worlds - KJV
(3) the universe - NIV
(4) the ages - YLT
There are some presuppositions that one has to have - and cautions to have in place when doing this - but I won't elaborate on that in this email.
Anyway, all one has to do is to go to their phone and:
1.) On their phone Internet browser, type in PASSAGE and TRANSLATION abbreviation (as an example - Romans 8:1-17 ESV)
Note - for some reason it doesn't come up with the complete cha
2.) Click on the first occurrence of a result from www.biblegateway.com
3.) You should get the section that is in the translation you wanted.
4.) THEN - after you've read the passage in whatever translation you started with, there's a little box you can click to change the translation to another one - and up it pops - then you read that one - and then pick another one.
I do this repeatedly during the day - and it is GREAT!"
Soli Deo Gloria!
Soli Deo Gloria!