In 1 Corinthians 1, the apostle Paul realistically predicted the reaction of most people to the message of the cross. He wrote, “For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing” (18). Many times when I have preached a simple lesson on some aspect of truth, I will be asked by a brother or sister in Christ, “How can anyone in their right mind reject such an obvious truth?” The answer is given by Paul, it is foolishness to them. They reject the message and proofs supplied by God, preferring instead their own ideals and opinions. As Paul continued, “For Jews request a sign, and Greeks seek after wisdom; but we preach Christ crucified, to the Jews a stumbling block and to the Greeks foolishness.” (22-23).
In contrast, to those “who are being saved”, the message of the cross is “the power of God” (18). In verse 24, the preaching of “Christ crucified” is said to be to “those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God” (24).
Continue reading » The Power of God’s Foolishness
The Psalmist wrote in Psalm 11:2-3:
“The works of the Lord are great, studied by all who have pleasure in them. His work is honorable and glorious, and His righteousness endures forever.”
God’s works are indeed great, honorable, glorious and enduring. This is seen in His creation (cf. Genesis 1; Ecclesiastes 1:4-7), and especially in His redemptive work. He determined to redeem men before His creative work was even begun (cf. Ephesians 1:3-6). Later in his epistle to the Ephesians, Paul indicated that God’s eternal purpose to redeem men was accomplished in the sending of His son. “according to the eternal purpose which He accomplished in Christ Jesus our Lord, in whom we have boldness and access with confidence through faith in Him” (3:11-12).
The question is, do you have pleasure in God’s work? The Psalmist notes that if you do, you will study them! As always, our true view of things is found in our priorities. Too often claims of devotion and interest are made, when the actions reveal apathy and disinterest.
The Psalmist wrote, “The works of His hands are verity and justice; all His precepts are sure. They stand fast forever and ever, and are done in truth and uprightness. He has sent redemption to His people; He has commanded His covenant forever; Holy and awesome is His name” (11:7-9)
It is worth our time and effort to examine His works. “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom; a good understanding have all those who do His commandments” (111:10).
The Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade is not the same as it used to be. Nowadays it serves as a way for current pop stars to sing snippets of their latest songs. It’s good advertising, I suppose, but kind of awkward to see the artist standing on a float that has nothing to do with his or her song, obviously lip synching for 35 or 40 seconds.
This morning Debbie had the parade on, and since the football game hadn’t started, I was watching. A young singer, Rachel Platten, was singing a portion of her song, “Stand by You.” Here is a portion of the lyrics:
Even if we’re breaking down, we can find a way to break through
Even if we can’t find heaven, I’ll walk through Hell with you
Love, you’re not alone, cause I’m gonna stand by you
Even if we can’t find heaven, I’m gonna stand by you
Continue reading » In the News: “Stand by You”
Invitation delivered by: Stan Cox
Paul, in Colossians 3:18-25, gives numerous exhortations, emphasizing that a man’s standing with God is dependent upon his obedience. There are no exceptions to this, because God does not show partiality.
In order to fight the good fight of faith (cf. 1 Timothy 6:6), we must first identify the enemy, and second utilize all of the help and weapons at our disposal.
The lesson takes its premise from Psalm 16:8. We are helped in setting the Lord before us by:
In so doing we receive “fullness of joy” and “pleasures forevermore” (Psalm 16:11).
The Psalmist provided some interesting insight into the motivation of wicked men in Palm 36:1-2:
“An oracle within my heart concerning the transgression of the wicked: There is no fear of God before his eyes. For he flatters himself in his own eyes, when he finds out his iniquity and when he hates.”
The wicked man does not fear God. It may be that he is in denial concerning the existence of God. It may be that as judgment will come in the final day, he erroneously thinks he is getting away with his wickedness. It may be he has a false impression concerning his own abilities, or holds to the false perception that God is impotent. Whatever the reason, the fear of God in no way constrains him.
The wicked man flatters himself. He thinks more highly of himself than he ought. It may be that others flatter him as well, building him up to a degree that he begins to believe his “press.”
But, the wicked man is a fool! The wise man of Proverbs wrote, “For the perverse person is an abomination to the Lord, but His secret counsel is with the upright. The curse of the Lord is on the house of the wicked, but he blesses the home of the just” (Proverbs 3:32-33).
Don’t be foolishly prideful, and rail against God. Instead, heed His will, and received the blessings that come upon the home of the just.
Invitation delivered by: Stan Cox
In 1 Corinthians 9:3-16, the apostle notes that the preacher is worthy of support. But, Paul’s motivation was not money. As he wrote, “woe is me if I do not preach the gospel! (16).
The lesson identifies four danger signs that signify the possibility one may fall from grace:
* Isolating onself from God’s people
* Listening to bad counsel
* Being corrupted by ungodly companions
* A faltering prayer life
This question is commonly asked, and is answered scripturally in this sermon by referencing the work of the evangelist, the deacon, and the required service (ministry) of every Christian.
In Exodus 14, God’s people were fleeing the wrathful Egyptians, and were hemmed in by the Red Sea. They cried out in fear, saying, “…it would have been better for us to serve the Egyptians than that we should die in the wilderness” (vs. 12).
Moses responded to their cries, saying, “Do not be afraid. Stand still, and see the salvation of the Lord, which He will accomplish for you today. For the Egyptians whom you see today, you shall see again no more forever. The Lord will fight for you, and you shall hold your peace” (vs. 13-14).
God indeed did deliver Israel from her enemies. He parted the waters, and after the Israelites had crossed the sea safely, God utterly destroyed the army of Pharaoh. “Then the waters returned and covered the chariots, the horsemen, and all the army of Pharaoh that came into the sea after them. Not so much as one of them remained” (vs. 28).
Continue reading » “Stand still, and see the salvation of the Lord”
Sermon 9 of 9 by Carl Allen.
Brother Allen examines numerous scriptures that affirm that Jesus Christ, while on earth, was God incarnate.
Lesson 8 of 9 by Carl Allen.
In this lesson, brother Allen discusses the lust of the flesh and the fruit of the Spirit in Galatians 5, as he exhorts us to develop and mature the inward man of 2 Corinthians 4:16.