Monthly Archives: November 2007

The Statues We Build

Consider Colossians 3:16: “Let the word of Christ richly dwell within you, with all wisdom teaching and admonishing one another with psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with thankfulness in your hearts to God .” As we have thought through 2 Timothy, we have seen how the Word produces in us thankfulness that is unlike the thankfulness of the world. After all, Paul was in prison, about to be executed and yet he was thankful (and even rejoicing) for the gospel. We’ve seen that biblical success really has nothing to do with a life that is free from suffering, shame and failure. Thus, struggles, failures and valley’s will most certainly come–How will we survive?

The Apostle Paul was not the first to endure suffering and failure. We’ve seen how these things characterized David’s life, and yet he was continually rescued and sustained by God. We’ve seen David’s great sin and the consequences of that sin come to the surface over and over again. David’s own son conspired against him and caused him to flee Jerusalem. Yet, all the while, Yahweh was working for David, despite his failures and inadequacies. We’ve seen Yahweh thwart the counsel of those who sought David’s life and protect him when enemies were knocking on the door !

This Sunday, we will be considering Absalom’s Demise from 2 Samuel 18 . David had given clear instructions that Absalom was not to be hurt. Would Joab follow these instructions, or carry out his own will? If Absalom were to perish, how would he be remembered? We’ll see that he had already set up a monument for himself. Will this be how people remember this man who was to be the heir of the throne? How will you be remembered? Are you spending time building statues dedicated to yourself? Maybe this will become more clear as you think on these questions this week: “What am I most thankful for? What is it that I can’t do without? Could I survive without this thing or this person? And then, is this treasure that I cannot part with Jesus Christ?”

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Confidence to Stand–The End Is Near

How will people remember you? We read in Philemon of a man named Demas who is described as a fellow worker with the Apostle Paul. He apparently was important to Paul’s ministry because he is again mentioned in Colossians as bringing greetings. This seems to be a young man who has great potential to be used by God. But notice how Paul remembers this one time companion as he writes his last words to Timothy:

For Demas, in love with this present world, has deserted me and gone to Thessalonica…”

Join us this week as we consider having Confidence to Stand, from 2 Timothy 4:9-22. What could have happened that all have now deserted the Apostle, except for faithful Luke? Notice, however that Paul does not instruct Timothy to make Demas’ life miserable. Paul mentions by name others who have harmed and betrayed him as well. How do you approach those who seek to cheat you? Notice Paul’s responses in this regard: ” the Lord will repay him… (v.14)” and “all deserted me…but may it not be counted against them…(v.16)” Paul is quick to forgive, leaving room for God to judge. Tell me, do you handle things this way, or are you sometimes the judge, jury and executioner all wrapped up into one? Join us this week as we consider again the last words of a man that spent his life (poured it out as a drink offering) for others.

Looking to the Reward with you!

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Redeemer Institute Audio Now Available!

The audio messages from the recent Redeemer Institute Seminar concerning the Local Church are now available.

Session I: What Is The Church?

Session II: How Does the Church Militant Wage Her War?

Stay tuned for an entire website dedicated to the Redeemer Institute that will contain all current and future audio messages, as well as dates and topics of future seminars!

(HT: Justin Seale, Chris Caldwell)

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Living and Dying Well

A memorable line by Frederick Langbridge pictures two men who are both in prison but are a universe apart in their thoughts:

Two men looked through the bars.
One saw mud, the other, the stars.

I don’t think Langbridge was talking about having a positive attitude or always looking on the brighter side of things. I think we was referring to perspective . We’ve spent several weeks getting Paul’s unusual perspective from the inside of the prison in Rome in which he resides. Surprisingly, he is thankful, humble and filled with joy! How could this be? What is it that causes Paul to see stars instead of mud and immediate disappointment?

Join us this week as we consider Living and Dying Well, from 2 Timothy 4:5-8 . Paul immediately draws out a contrast between his vision for Timothy’s ministry and the “ear tickling” that is so common in the last days (our days). Timothy must be sober, able to endure hardship all the while doing the work of an evangelist! What is the work of an evangelist? What does it mean for Timothy to fulfill his ministry? Thankfully Timothy has had a model to look to for biblical, faithful gospel ministry. In verses 6-8 Paul considers his current status, his past success as well as his future reward!

Do you view your life as a fight of faith? Have you ever been in a fight? There are usually no “time-outs,” or lessons on fighting fair. The fight begins and rages on until someone hits the ground! That seems to be alot like Paul’s life. What about you? Are you constantly fighting against sin and evil? Are you always praying for opportunities to share the good news with people who are headed to hell? What course has God laid out for you? Why do you think it is significant that Paul receives a “crown of righteousness” on the last day? Are you longing for His appearing?

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Do You Have a High View of Scripture?

What does it mean to have a high view of Scripture? Does it mean that you believe in the inerrancy of the Bible? Does it mean that you think the Bible is truly inspired by God? Is that enough? All the words that we have in the Holy Scriptures are precious, but there is something about these last lines in Paul’s’ second epistle to Timothy that seem extremely weighty. These are indeed the words of a dying man. These last few verses are what Paul wanted to communicate to Timothy and the church at Ephesus before he died. And it is in these precious last words that we receive one of the most famous and encouraging verses in all of the Bible!

So, I hope that you will join us us this week as we consider Paul’s instruction to Timothy to Preach the Word, from 2 Timothy 3:16-4:5. Paul expounds on the value and authority of the Bible, only to encourage Timothy to utilize this tool that is able to make us wise unto salvation. The church at Ephesus is experiencing the consequences of living in the last days when people (even in the church) are driven by self-interest, deception and a desire to be rich. It’s interesting that Paul does not tell Timothy that he needs to change the worship style or the ambiance in the worship auditorium. He does not tell this young pastor to “tell more stories,” or “try to make the Bible relevant for the people.” He does not say that Timothy should convince the church that the Bible is a sword, but in fact he should begin cutting away! Preach the Word, Paul tells Timothy!

Paul warns Timothy of a time when people will not want to hear the Word of God, but rather something that “peps them up,” or in Paul’s wording “tickles their ears.” Now, if you’re reading this, you probably would agree with verses 16 and 17 of chapter 3. You probably would say that the Bible is inspired by God and inerrant. However, what about the next phrase about the “usefulness” of Scripture? Do you find the Bible profitable? You see, there’s more to having a high view of Scripture than saying “I have a high view of Scripture.” How does your view of inerrancy benefit your daily life? Join us this week as we seek to be reminded of the treasures that await us in the pages of Scripture!

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Redeemer Institute Seminar–This Saturday, November 10th

    The Local Church: God’s Program for Evangelism and Discipleship

    Dr. Jim Hamilton
    Asst. Prof. of Biblical Studies, SWBTS Houston
    Elder, Baptist Church of the Redeemer

If you’d like to see an invitation to the conference from Jim Hamilton, click here.

Session I: 9:00 to 10:20am: What Is the Church?

  • Whose idea was the church?
  • Who do we let into the church?
  • Who should lead? (What is an elder, anyway?)
  • Who should serve? (Just what is a deacon?)
  • Who should be excluded? Why? (What does regenerate church membership mean?)
  • Does the church have any stated roles? (What is congregationalism?)
  • Where do we go for answers to these questions?
  • Can the church decide these issues for itself? (Does the Bible have anything to say?)
  • When is a church “apostate”? What keeps a church from being “apostate”?

    Session II: 10:30 to 11:50am: How Does the Church Militant Wage Her War?

  • Does Jesus care about any of this “church” stuff?
  • Did Jesus do “expository preaching”?
  • What if the leadership doesn’t teach the Bible? (Can formative discipline happen?)
  • What if the leadership won’t confront sin? (Can corrective discipline happen?)
  • What does it mean for the church to be God’s discipleship program?
  • What does it mean for the church to be God’s evangelism program?
  • Does this have anything to do with missions?
  • How should the church influence the culture? (Are we just another interest group?)
  • What difference does the church’s corporate witness make?

      Date: Saturday, November 10, 2007 from 9am to noon
      Place: FBC Missouri City, 2106 Fifth street, Missouri City, TX 77489
      For details, please see http://www.bcredeemer.org
      Contact: Travis Cardwell (832) 655-2515, travis@bcredeemer.org

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