Sermon: An Old Testament Gaze at the Cross Psalm 22

An Old Testament Gaze at the Cross

Psalm 22

Truth Taught- Jesus suffered and died to bring people from every nation and every generation to the Father

Introduction

As we turn our attention this morning to Psalm 22 there are a few things we must see by way of introduction in order to capture the full meaning and intention of this Psalm. This is the supreme example of David serving as God’s prophet. David had times in his life when he suffered and no doubt felt like God had forsaken him but nothing in King David’s life could compare to the suffering he describes here in this lament. As Charles Spurgeon wrote, This is beyond all others the Psalm of the cross.

Jesus Christ connects His suffering and death to the words of this Psalm. So, we should understand His death in light of Psalm 22. Jesus’ suffering would be the suffering not only of physical pain and torture but the suffering of being forsaken by His Heavenly Father. As Jesus bore the sins of His people on the cross the Father would in fact turn His head away. He would be far off and God would abandon Jesus. But then in a miracle of reconciliation Jesus’ death would be the event to reverse sin and the curse for all of God’s people. Because of His atoning death, the nations will turn to God and the Abrahamic Covenant would be fulfilled by Jesus’ death.

1 Peter 1:10–12 (ESV)

10 Concerning this salvation, the prophets who prophesied about the grace that was to be yours searched and inquired carefully, 11 inquiring what person or time the Spirit of Christ in them was indicating when he predicted the sufferings of Christ and the subsequent glories. 12 It was revealed to them that they were serving not themselves but you, in the things that have now been announced to you through those who preached the good news to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven, things into which angels long to look.

This Psalm is so Christocentric that the writer of Hebrews actually quotes from Psalm 22 in Hebrews 2:12 attributing the words not to David but to Jesus, Himself.

The division of this Psalm is very straight forward the first half is Jesus’ cry for help and the second half in Jesus’ song of praise.

Jewish and Hebrew scholars tell us that there was an ancient practice of quoting the first verse of a Psalm as a way of intending that the entire Psalm be in focus. Whether Jesus does this because He was too fatigued to quote the whole or died before He could quote the whole we are to take the entire Psalm as picturing in prophetic language the cross event.

Prayer

  1. Jesus’ Lament: God, Why are You So Far From Saving Me?

22 To the choirmaster: according to The Doe of the Dawn. A Psalm of David.

   My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?

Why are you so far from saving me, from the words of my groaning?

   O my God, I cry by day, but you do not answer,

and by night, but I find no rest.

   Yet you are holy,

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Sermon: The Joyful Victory of King Jesus Psalm 21

The Joyful Victory of King Jesus

Psalm 21

Truth Taught- King Jesus has Defeated His Enemies Through God’s Great Power and His People are Joyful

Introduction

When we pray we often pray that the Lord would do something that we cannot do ourselves. In dependence upon Him and His power we pray. We pray for spiritual victory, we pray for victory over perhaps a certain sin, we pray for healing or care in some area where we need care. No matter what we pray there is a common denominator and that is that God in His great power can do what we ask.

Psalm 21 is a Psalm of King David as he has gained victory over his enemies. The historical context of Psalm 21 is the general history of war during David’s reign as King of the United Kingdom of Israel and Judah. God’s people during the time of King David lived in a very dangerous era. David was a warrior king and war was part of the beginning of his kingdom.

When King David was victorious there was great celebration as the people would come and greet their great king as he returned from battle. They praised God for saving their king because as the king goes so goes the people.

David rejoices in the Lord’s power and further acknowledges his trust in Him. As David knows, his victories have not been gained through military might and superior strength of arms but through faith in God and dependence on Him. God has the power to defeat all David’s enemies not David.

This Psalm is God’s response to King David’s prayer in Psalm 2. While David prayed that God would give him the nations there would be a future fulfillment that would be much greater than anything that God would give King David. So, this Psalm points forward to the Greater Future King, namely, Jesus Christ also a Warrior King. Who also was victorious over His enemies and will be ultimately victorious as the Warrior King at His second coming. David’s Kingdom had a beginning but God promised David that it would not have an ending. The Davidic Throne would endure forever. This is why the Psalms are shadows in David’s day and realities in Jesus’ day.

2 Samuel 7:12–13 (ESV)

12 When your days are fulfilled and you lie down with your fathers, I will raise up your offspring after you, who shall come from your body, and I will establish his kingdom. 13 He shall build a house for my name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever.

While David is the author and the one who prayed, his kingdom is but a shadow of the True King and His future eternal kingdom.

We know that ultimately Psalm 2 is focused upon God’s eternal King because all the earthly kings fight against Him, plotting in vain and setting themselves up against God’s anointed eternal King. In Psalm 2 the other thing we notice is that this anointed eternal King is also God’s Son in a very real sense. So, the King in the Psalms is ultimately Jesus Christ with David as the lesser king or the shadow of the One to come. David is truly writing not about himself but about another King greater than he. Many ancient Jewish commentaries went along with the Hebrew original when they spoke of the King in Psalm 2 as King Messiah and so also pointed forward to the True King whom we know as Jesus Himself.

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Book: Gleanings in Genesis A W Pink

Book: Gleanings in Genesis
A W Pink

Genesis 3
The curse

 

Sermon: God Will Surely Do It 1 Thessalonians 5:22-28

God Will Surely Do It

1 Thessalonians 5:22-28

Truth Taught- God Himself will sanctify all His people. He will surely do it!

Introduction

In this final section, often called a benediction of peace, we see the Apostle highlighting three of his main themes throughout the letter. This benediction is classic Paul in the sense of reminding his readers of what he has already taught them, telling them that he is praying for them, and asking that they pray for him as well. Paul was a man of prayer, he prayed without ceasing. He was a man of prayer like our Lord because he knew if anything was going to be accomplished through his ministry it had to be empowered by God. God’s power is available to us by prayer acknowledging our complete dependence upon Him.

Paul knew by experience that the Christian life is a life lived in complete and utter dependence on God and His grace. That’s exactly why we pray so much. We learned last time that we are to pray without ceasing, living in dependence on God 24/7. When we pray we are showing our dependence on God and asking Him to do for us what we cannot do ourselves.

The emphasis in this closing section is Paul’s prayer to God for the saints in Thessalonica that He would do something in them that they could never do for themselves. Paul prays that God would sanctify them completely.

Now the word “sanctify” here, the verb, is a common one, hagiazo.  It is used a number of times in the New Testament because this is a very common and basic principle of Christian life.  Noun forms of it appear also.  The noun form hagios translated usually by the word “holy”.  The verb means “to separate,” to separate, to set apart from.  And in this case to set apart from sin to holiness.  So when we see sanctify or sanctification or holy or holiness, all of those come from the same root.  They all have the idea of being separated, set apart.  Sanctification then is the process of being set apart from sin unto holiness.[1]

God’s ultimate priority for His people is that we are being set apart from sin and are becoming more and more like Jesus. It is His desire and will that we be sanctified.

1 Thessalonians 4:3 (ESV)

For this is the will of God, your sanctification.

Here is a wonderful example of God’s sovereignty and man’s prayers at work. Often times people will say, questioning God’s sovereignty, if God is sovereign then why do we pray? If God is going to do what He’s going to do then our prayers are pointless. To that I respond that God’s sovereignty and our prayers work together in an amazing way. It’s God’s will for the Thessalonian Christians to be sanctified. So, God wants to do this in them. He wants to make them more like Jesus. He places this in Paul’s mind and heart so that he prays for their sanctification, which is the exact thing God desires to accomplish in them. This is what praying in God’s will and in Jesus’ name looks like.

We can be sure that when we are praying for holiness and righteousness in our own lives and for other believers that we are praying in the will of God and those prayers will be answered because God desires to do this already.

John 14:13–14 (ESV)

13 Whatever you ask in my name, this I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. 14 If you ask me anything in my name, I will do it.

Prayer is not hard to figure out. If your prayers are not answered then you’re simply not praying in the name of Jesus and for the things He wants to accomplish in and through you. If your prayers are answered then you are praying in Jesus’ name and for the things God desires.

The real issue is that our prayers are more immature and selfish. God give me something or God I don’t like this thing please take it away. Instead we should be praying for things like sanctification while seeking Christ’s righteousness instead of most of the things we pray about.

Prayer

1 Thessalonians 5:23–28 (ESV)

23 Now may the God of peace himself sanctify you completely, and may your whole spirit and soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. 24 He who calls you is faithful; he will surely do it.

25 Brothers, pray for us.

26 Greet all the brothers with a holy kiss.

27 I put you under oath before the Lord to have this letter read to all the brothers.

28 The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you.

  1. Prayer for Complete Sanctification

23 Now may the God of peace himself sanctify you completely, and may your whole spirit and soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. 24 He who calls you is faithful; he will surely do it.

  1. Who Sanctifies Us?

23 Now may the God of peace himself sanctify you completely…He will surely do it.

The Apostle is very clear that our sanctification like our salvation is not by works. We cannot in our own strength make our self like Jesus. We cannot be holy by hard work. We cannot achieve the Christlikeness by our self. So, Paul prays that God would make them holy.

His prayer is directed to God Himself. He uses a title for God here that is extremely fitting… the God of peace. The God of Peace denotes our God because He has brought peace between Himself and His people. He has taken the steps necessary to reconcile His elect to Himself.

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Sermon: Paul’s Short Commands for the Christian Life (Part 2) 1 Thessalonians 5:16-22

Paul’s Short Commands for the Christian Life (Part 2)

1 Thessalonians 5:16-22

Truth Taught- God gives us eight imperatives to strengthen our walk with Him through Jesus Christ.

 

Introduction

In this short section, just six verses, we have God giving us eight imperative commands to strengthen our walk with Christ. If we are to mature and be a healthy Christian these eight commands are very worthy of our consideration and application today.

How is your spiritual health? Are you growing as a Christian? Are you walking in Christ more and more each day? I pray we would all consider these imperatives and by grace seek to live them out each day to the glory of God and for our good.

Last time, we looked at the imperatives concerning how we live with and respond to one another in the context of the local Church. We saw that God is honored as we show respect to Church leaders, counsel other believers with appropriate biblical approaches, namely, admonishing, encouraging, and helping one another. So, we could categorize last week’s text how we respond biblically to people in the church.

Today, we will see how we are to relate biblically to God. How are we to be oriented toward God with our lives? How can we live a Godward life? These imperatives fix our spiritual compass, as it were, to dead north or right on God. These imperatives are not just things we do but things we do that flow from a life focused on God.

I want to pause here just a moment and say that sometimes if we are not where we need to be spiritually we shouldn’t sit around waiting until we feel like doing these things but sometimes we simply need to do them and in doing them we will meet God in a special way. What I’m saying is sometimes we just need to obey and do the things God commands whether we feel like it or not and once we begin doing them God will meet us and bless us for our obedience even if we are not entirely whole hearted in our doing them.

I desire to always be excited about God’s Word most of the time…I desire to be the man in Psalm 1 most of the time…

Psalm 1:1–3 (ESV)

Blessed is the man

who walks not in the counsel of the wicked,

       nor stands in the way of sinners,

nor sits in the seat of scoffers;

   but his delight is in the law of the Lord,

and on his law he meditates day and night.

   He is like a tree

planted by streams of water

       that yields its fruit in its season,

and its leaf does not wither.

       In all that he does, he prospers.

What should we do in the situation when we may not desire the things of God like we should?

Here’s an example, sometimes I’m tired perhaps and just don’t feel like reading the Bible. I begin to read anyway. God works and I read something that is exactly what I needed for that day. If I lived based on feelings I would have missed what God had for me. So my desire and joy in God’s Word is restored. Here, God gives us a battle plan to remain Godward in our focus and life.

Prayer

1 Thessalonians 5:16–22 (ESV)

16 Rejoice always, 17 pray without ceasing, 18 give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. 19 Do not quench the Spirit. 20 Do not despise prophecies, 21 but test everything; hold fast what is good. 22 Abstain from every form of evil.

  1. The Trilogy of Commands for a Consistent Godward Life

16 Rejoice always, 17 pray without ceasing, 18 give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.

This trilogy of commands, which may seem, at first, three separate commands, are actually interrelated and build on each other.

  1. Rejoice… Always

God commands us to always be joyful. This is an imperative that really means be joyful in times of struggle and trial. Non-Christians can be joyful when happy times come upon them but only the Christian and crazy people can be joyful during times of affliction. This rejoicing is not in life’s circumstances because if they were going to drive our rejoicing then we could never rejoice always. No, to rejoice always means we must have something admirable and consistent that is rejoice worthy. To dissect rejoicing is to discover that it is a sincere emotion or response to something worthy of joy. We cannot make our self joyful when there is nothing worthy of our rejoicing. So, it cannot be our circumstances because they forever are changing. To always be rejoicing means we have something that is joy worthy and this must always be worthy of joy.

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Sermon: Paul’s Short Commands for the Christian Life (Part 1) 1 Thessalonians 5:12-15

Paul’s Short Commands for the Christian Life (Part 1)

1 Thessalonians 5:12-15

Truth Taught- As Paul closes his epistle he gives us short commands for life in the local Church

Introduction

If a Church is to glorify God and be a light in a world of darkness the people within the Church must act in godly ways. If we are to have a good reputation in our community we must seek to respond to others with love seeking restoration and peace.

Prayer

1 Thessalonians 5:12–15 (ESV)

12 We ask you, brothers, to respect those who labor among you and are over you in the Lord and admonish you, 13 and to esteem them very highly in love because of their work. Be at peace among yourselves. 14 And we urge you, brothers, admonish the idle, encourage the fainthearted, help the weak, be patient with them all. 15 See that no one repays anyone evil for evil, but always seek to do good to one another and to everyone.

  1. We Ask You to Respect the Elders

12 We ask you, brothers, to respect those who labor among you and are over you in the Lord and admonish you, 13 and to esteem them very highly in love because of their work. Be at peace among yourselves.

Recent studies have indicated that the avg tenure of protestant pastors is about 3.6 years. Some studies have a little different outcome but the bottom line is pastoral tenure is not very long at any given place.

There are different reasons for a pastor leaving his church. Sometimes there are reasons that are mostly his fault. I know pastors who simply use their church, as a stepping-stone to something that, in their mind at least, is greater. Their goal to have the big church causes them to leave. Others leave because of infidelity or some other sin. Some leave because the hardship of ministry is simply too much for them.

Then there are churches that just simply cannot be pastored. I remember early on in my ministry looking for a church. I had a few opportunities to be called to go but I thank God because as badly as I wanted a church He was protecting me and my family from crazy people and very bad churches. Sometime I’ll have to tell you some of the horror stories but for now just let me say sometimes the reason a minister has a short tenure is because the church simply refuses to allow him to lead.

Under the heading we ask you brothers we have three admonitions.

Respect those who labor, who rule and who admonish. This list is speaking of the role of elder. The term rule may be a little too direct. It really means to lead. To lead with an aspect of authority. To admonish is to warn and to at time directly confront the church member who is going astray for the purpose of repentance and correction.

If the church members respect their elders then these tasks will go much better. It’s hard enough to hear a reproach but it goes much better if it is coming from an elder you respect. It’s hard to take correction but it would be much harder if the elder is not living a godly life.

How would you accept correction? How have you accepted it? Please understand when correction comes from an elder here, it’s coming in the spirit of love and of care for your soul.

In addition to respecting your elders, the Apostles writes that elders should be esteemed.

esteem them very highly in love because of their work

John Calvin notes that the esteem is not so much for the benefit of the leaders, but for the sake of the whole Church that those who govern faithfully should be held in esteem. The word esteem, here means to value and honor.

It’s important that we understand that the esteem is not only on an intellectual level but in love as well. This esteem should have connected to it a relational aspect as well. The bottom line here is this, congregations grow to maturity best when they respect and esteem their elders.

You have the responsibility to show your leaders respect and esteem and we, as your leaders must also strive to earn your respect and esteem. We also have a great responsibility to not be abusive, negligent, lazy, truthful ect.

Be at peace among yourselves.

Seek to love all within the church body. Love your leaders as they love you. Honor them by obeying heir counsel. Seek to live at peace together as God’s Church.

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Book: Gleanings in Genesis

Book: Gleanings in Genesis
A W Pink

Genesis 3
The Fall