Friday, September 16, 2011

040530@TBCAM Always in Rememberance - the Five Fundamentals


Take your Bible and turn with me to 2 Peter 1:12

2 Peter 1:
12 Wherefore I will not be negligent to put you always in remembrance of these things, though ye know them, and be established in the present truth. 13 Yea, I think it meet, as long as I am in this tabernacle, to stir you up by putting you in remembrance;

Today I want to “stir you up” by reminding you of some of the fundamental truths that we hold near and dear.  Too often our doctrine becomes little more than “theological lumber” laying around in a shed just taking up space. 

As we briefly review some FUNDAMENTAL TRUTHS, let’s look not only at their definition and meaning on Sunday, but, more importantly, let’s consider how they work themselves out in our lives Monday through Saturday.  I want to help you to take some of our “theological lumber” and build useful furnishings for your everyday walk with the Lord.

In the early 20th century conservative theologians responded to Modernism in mainline church denominations by defining some core beliefs that were essential to historic, orthodox Christianity.  The first of these is:

I. The fundamental truth of
the inerrancy of the Scriptures.
Lets continue reading this passage.  
Stop after verse 18 to comment on how incredible it must have been to see the transfigured Jesus.  What could be better?
Vs. 19 - more sure (beb'-ah-yos bevbaio ) same as translated in verse 10 “sure” JKV NKJV / certain NASV “make your calling and election sure
Vs 21 - From this verse we see that...

A) DEF-MEANING:  The Holy Spirit superintended the human authors that, through their individual personalities and different styles of writing ... they composed and recorded God’s Word to man without error.

1) The Bible is not the main ideas God wanted us to have.  It does not just contain words from God.  It is ALL words from the God who cannot lie.
2) We can see to what extent to which and to what detail the Apostle Paul understood inerrancy in Gal. 3:16.  In that verse he argues his point based on whether the word seed is singular or plural in Genesis 22:18.

B) SO WHAT? Applications to everyday life.  

1) ATTENTIVE OBEDIENCE -  What did the Apostle Peter observe about this more sure word of prophecy in verse 19? “...whereunto he do well that ye take heed...” [pros-ekh'- prosevcw to turn the mind to, attend to be attentive]  (which you do well to heed NKJV) (to which you do well to pay attention NASV) If these are the words of God, we should listen and obey.
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2) HOPE - The promises and proclamations of an almighty, unchanging, and faithful God give us hope in the midst of challenging circumstances.  Promises are a dime a dozen, but God’s Word will not fail.
In the seventh stage of John Bunyan’s allegory, Pilgrims Progress, Christian finds himself in the dungeon of Giant Despair.  He said to his companion, Hopeful,

“Brother what shall we do? The life that we now live is miserable. For my part, I know not whether it is best to live thus, or to die out of hand. My soul chooseth strangling rather than life, and the grave is more easy for me than this dungeon. Job. 7:15. Shall we be ruled by the giant?”

Bunyan continues the story a few lines later.

“Well, on Saturday, about midnight they began to pray, and continued in prayer till almost break of day.
Now, a little before it was day, good Christian, as one half amazed, brake out into this passionate speech: What a fool [I am] to lie in a stinking dungeon, when I may as well walk at liberty! I have a key in my bosom, called Promise, that will, I am persuaded, open any lock in Doubting Castle. Then said Hopeful, That is good news; good brother, pluck it out of thy bosom, and try.
Then Christian pulled it out of his bosom, and began to try at the dungeon-door, whose bolt, as he turned the key, gave back, and the door flew open with ease, and Christian and Hopeful both came out.”

When we despair and struggle with discouragement, the assurance that these are the true promises of God gives us hope.
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3) CONFIDENT FAITH     Consider Sarah in Genesis 18:10-14

--The Lord appeared to Abraham and promised that 80 year old Sarah would have a child.

--She did what any of us would do. She laughed.

--However,  according to Hebrew 11:11, she
11 Through faith also Sara herself received strength to conceive seed, and was delivered of a child when she was past age, because she judged him faithful who had promised.

--In Peter’s judgment, we have an even “...more sure word of prophecy...”

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B) SO WHAT? (continued)

4) A FIRM FOUNDATION - When you pick up your English Bible on Monday you can have the full assurance that you are reading the words of God.  While no translation can pick up all the subtle nuances of an original language, our English Bible is a good rendering of the inerrant Word of God!
The ability to confidently study and stand on the firm foundation of God’s inerrant Word. ---It provides a foundation and defense against “false teachers” and “destructive heresies.” [ 2 Peter 2.1 NASV]
--It is the basis for a maturity in our understanding of the Faith that keeps us from being “carried about with every wind of doctrine.” [Eph. 4.14 KJV] .
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Read 2 Peter 2:1-2 and follow with the TS.

TRANS.  SENT.  A central focus of these false prophets (or teachers) is the person and character of the Lord Jesus Christ.  That brings us to the second ...

II. The fundamental truth of
the virgin birth, miracles, and deity of Christ

A) DEF/MEANING  There are many good definitions of miracles.  One good one is ...
A miracle is God’s intervention in the natural working of events to accomplish His purpose.

--Some deny our Lord’s miracles  based on the prejudgment or prejudice  that nothing can break or alter the natural course of events.
--The issue of Christ’s miracles and birth cut right to the heart of who the Lord Jesus Christ really is. 
--Is he a remarkable human genius to be studied and respected or is he also the Creator, Sustainer, and coming Judge of the universe?  His miracles authenticate His claims to be God--not a god, but the God.

B) SO WHAT? Applications to everyday life. 

How do miracles done a couple thousand years ago effect my life this week?

1) The virgin birth is a pivotal  issue.

Larry King, the CNN talk show host, was once asked who he would most want to interview if he could choose anyone from all of history. He said, "Jesus Christ." The questioner said, "And what would you like to ask Him?" King replied, "I would like to ask Him if He was indeed virgin-born. The answer to that question would define history for me."
--from Just Thinking, RZIM, Winter 1998     
      

--The announcement of Christ’s birth by Gabriel to Mary in Luke 2:26-35 (esp 34-36) shows why the virgin birth is so central to the discussion of who Jesus is.
--When Gabriel told Mary she would have a child, there was an obvious question, How can this be?”
--v. 35 The Holy Spirit would come upon her and overshadow her causing her to become pregnant. 

There are few if any changes that happen to a person that are more dramatic than when a woman has a baby.  If God could do that kind of work in Mary’s physical body, what can he do in your life?  The virgin birth demonstrates that the Lord Jesus Christ is special, but it also shows the dramatic change that the power of God can bring to your life. 

This is God. There are no limitations.  If you believe that the Holy Spirit can do this in the life of Mary, what can you believe he can do in your life.  Are you willing to say to God, “Behold your servant.  Be it unto me according to Thy word?”

Surrender to His will and he will give you life more abundant.
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2) The whole issue of Christ’s miracles giving evidence to His divinity is illustrated by His confrontation with certain of the Scribes and Parisees in Luke 5.17-26  (Matthew 9.2-8; Mark 2.3-12).

--v. 18-20a  A man with palsy was brought in faith.     [par-al-oo-tee-kos' paralutikov├č]  Used nine time in the N.T. Seven of this man and two of others who were brought to Jesus or were grievously tormented.  This was a tough case.
--v. 20 Jesus addressed the man’s greatest need.  He forgave his sins.
--v. 21  Who can forgive sins but God?  The implied answer is, “No noe.”
--v. 22  Which is easier to say, “You are forgiven,” or “Get up and walk.”?  Who knows if he has really been forgiven, but the walking will be obvious to all.
--v. 24-26  The miracle proved Christ’s power to forgive.

Occasionally some are plagued with excruciating guilt over some dark sin. You can’t forgive yourself and cannot imagine that God would be able to forgive you.  The Almighty God who can heal anyone and work stupendous miracles is also almighty to forgive. 

Your feeble power to forgive may not be up to the task, but God’s is.  The Bible records forgiveness for some remarkable sinners, like Manassah in 2 Chronicles 33,  who experienced God’s forgiveness when he humbled himself and prayed to God.
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3) Christ’s divinity calls attention to his authority over us and our obligation to follow, serve, worship, and obey him.

--In Luke 20.1-8 the chief priests and scribes challenged Jesus authority. The Lord’s response was very instructive.
--Read passage and note verse 5.  If  the Lord Jesus Christ is God, why haven’t you believed in him?   He came to seek and to save the lost.

--In John 5.23b-24 Jesus said, He that honoureth not the Son honoureth not the Father which hath sent him. 24 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life.

TRANS STATEMENT:  Jesus, as a man, has walked through all the trials and heartaches common to us and can be "moved with the feelings of our infirmities."  And Jesus, as God, is able to do something about our infirmities.    The fact that Jesus was man and God also makes it possible to Him to die for us.  That brings us to our next fundamental truth ...

III. The fundamental truth of
the Christ’s vicarious (substitutionary) atonement.

A) THE DEF. / MEANING

Vicarious means that something is ...
2. Endured or done by one person substituting for another: vicarious punishment.
3. a. Acting or serving in place of someone or something else; substituted. b. Committed or entrusted to another, as powers or authority; delegated..
[The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, Third Edition ]

“...the word atonement is used to refer to the atoning death of Christ through which the sinner is reconciled to God, restored to His favor.
To atone for means to make amends. “            -------Lehman Srtauss

2 Corinthians 5.21   “For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him. “
1 Peter 3.18    “For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit:

B) SO WHAT? Application to my life.
1)   APPRECIATE THE SERIOUSNESS OF SIN
--We don’t sin much anymore.  It is usually a case of poor judgment, a mistake, or some harmless indiscretion.
--Our sins have
alienated us  Colossians 1.21 
Made us the enemies of God   Romans 5.10
Condemned us to eternal death   Romans 6.23
Caused the Lord Jesus Christ immeasurable suffering  1 Peter 3.18

3) ACCEPT THE OFFER OF  SALVATION
--Christianity is not a religion of what we can do, but what Christ has DONE.
--Look at the example of the publican and pharisee in Luke 18:9-14.
--Is God fortunate to have someone such as yourself grace Him with your presence,
 or have you come to obtain mercy?
-- Lets look at 2 Corinthians 5.20-6.2   Don’t receive this offer of salvation and the vainly ignore it.  Now is the day for you to respond to God’s offer of salvation.
Hebrews 2:
Therefore we ought to give the more earnest heed to the things which we have heard, lest at any time we should let them slip. 2 For if the word spoken by angels [under the old covenant] was stedfast, and every transgression and disobedience received a just recompence of reward; 3 How shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation; which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed unto us by them that heard him;

4) THE SECURITY OF A PAYMENT COMPLETED
“It is finished”  John 19.30

3)   INSPIRE US IN OUR STRUGGLE AGAINST SIN

1 Peter 4:
1 Forasmuch then as Christ hath suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves likewise with the same mind: for he that hath suffered in the flesh hath ceased from sin; 2 That he no longer should live the rest of his time in the flesh to the lusts of men, but to the will of God.

--Hebrews encourages us to look unto the Author and Finisher of our faith as an example of our attitude about sin.
Hebrews 12:3-4
3 For consider him that endured such contradiction of sinners against himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds.
4 Ye have not yet resisted unto blood, striving against sin.

IV.  The fundamental truth of
The bodily resurrection of Christ

A) DEF MEANING
Jesus was not raised from the dead in some spiritual or mystical way.
His body was gone from the tomb.  He ate was able to be seen and touched.  It was a glorified physical body.

B) SO WHAT? Applications to everyday life. 

1) HOPE FOR THE NEXT LIFE
--Look at 1 Corinthians 15:17-20.  We have hope for our own resurrection.  The Lord Jesus Christ show it could be done.
--Death has lost its teeth.  1 Corinthians 15:51-55
--We have the hope and expectation to see other believers who have died before us. 1 Thessalonians 4:14-17

2) A NEW  PRIORITIES IN THIS LIFE
We have risen with Christ.  
Romans 6:
3 Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death? 4 Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.



If we are risen with Christ our priorities should revolve around what is important in heaven. Colossians 3:1-2

3) A NEW  POWER FOR THIS LIFE

We are not left to our own devises to live the Christian life. 



V. The fundamental truth of
The bodily, visible return of Christ

A) DEF / MEANING
In Acts 1:9-11 the disciples observed Jesus ascend up to heaven in His resurrection body.  The angels promised that he would return in like manner.

We look for the Lord Jesus Christ to return, not in some spiritual or mystical sense, but in the same what that he ascended.

B) SO WHAT? Applications to everyday life. 

1)  A PURIFYING HOPE
1 John 3:1-3  The hope and anticipation of Christ return works on us in several ways.  The excitement about and love for the Lord Jesus Christ that is created as we long for his return, causes us to pursue holiness.

2) AN EXPECTATION OF A REWARD
Revelation 22:
12 And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be.


3) A SOBER, PRAYERFUL WATCHING
1 Thess 5:1-9 esp 6-9



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