This is sermon #13 in the Psalm series. In this sermon on Psalm 13 Dave preaches on casting burdens on the Lord and praising the Lord through trials and difficulty.
This is sermon #82 in the Luke series. In this sermon on Luke 20:9-18 Dave preaches on the exclusivity of Christ, leadership that glorifies God, dealing with persecution, the purpose of Jesus coming to die and the way God deals with sinners.
King Solomon: The Temptations of Money, Sex, and Power is written by Philip Graham Ryken, the President of Wheaton College. In this book, Dr. Ryken explores the three themes of the life of Solomon: the love of money, the pleasures of sex, and the powers of an earthly kingdom. This is a well-written, biblical, Christ-centered, Gospel-saturated book that gets right to the point by addressing the heart of the matter man’s sin and the hope of the Gospel.
One of the things I appreciated most about Dr. Ryken’s approach whether he is preaching, teaching or writing is that he gets right to the point and helps the reader understand what he is saying. The life of Solomon has much to teach us but nothing greater than how his life points to Christ. Jesus makes this point in Luke 11:31, “Behold, something greater than Solomon is here.” Solomon teaches us both what a life that fears God and a life that doesn’t fear God looks like. Solomon’s life also shows us what a life lived for pleasure for the sake of itself looks like.
Even with all that one can learn from the life of Solomon ultimately there is one greater than Solomon who has a greater kingdom than did Solomon. The kingdom greater than Solomon’s kingdom is the kingdom of the Lord Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ is greater than Solomon as Jesus is the risen King, the true and righteous Solomon of the believer’s salvation. By the power of His resurrection, the believer can serve God to the end of one’s days. After death, the believer will rise with Solomon and all the children to offer the Savior an eternity of praise.
I recommend you pick up King Solomon: The Temptations of Money, Sex and Power by Dr. Ryken and learn from the wisdom, sin and folly of Solomon. Reading this book will help you to learn how your own pursuit for money, sex, and power needs to be viewed through the lens of the Bible for the sake of the advancement of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Ultimately this book will help you address heart attitudes you have towards money, sex and power issues that affect touch on every sphere of the believers’ life. Addressing issues of the heart is never easy, but Dr. Ryken as a skilled Pastor, and scholar does so masterfully in this book, which is why I recommend you pick it up so that you can grow even more in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Crossway as part of their Blogger Review Program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commision’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
Day of War is written by Cliff Graham a chaplain in the United States Army National Guard, and graduate of Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary. Day of War is the first book in a series titled Lion of War. This book explores a man named Beniah and David’s mighty men of Israel in 2nd Samuel 23 and 1 Chronicles 11. This book is a novel not a verse by verse treatment of 2nd Samuel 23 and 1st Chronicles 11.
As I read this book I was encouraged by the courage David’s men took in the face of many battles, great danger. I was reminded in reading this book that the Christian life is a life of war against the flesh, the devil and the world. Reading this book will help you appreciate not only the struggles David’s men went through on his way to being the King of Israel, but it will also help you to understand and frame your own struggles in light of the war you are engaged in presently as a believer living in a sinful world.
Reading fiction has never been my favorite genre to read as I prefer reading biblical and theological treatments, but I am slowly warming up to this genre. For a long time now, my wife has been encouraging me to read fiction not to get away from reading biblical and theological books but to get a break from all the heavy reading. I am thankful I listened to her advice, because Day of War is a well-written book and engaging book. Reading fiction I’ve noticed has helped my reading of other genres also.
I encourage you to read Day of War in order to be reminded afresh that the Christian life is a life of war against the flesh, the world and the devil. The Christian is no longer in bondage to sin, but now serves a new lord– Jesus Christ and is a new creation because of Jesus death, burial and resurrection. As a result of being a new creation in Christ the believer can serve Jesus our Risen Savior who defeated death and now empowers believers to live lives empowered by the Holy Spirit in order to engage as His soldiers in the work of the Great Commission. I recommend you pick up Day of War by Cliff Graham and be encouraged that the Lord we serve is truly victorious over sin and death, and now empowers His people to serve in His power for the sake of the advancement of the Gospel for His glory.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Zondervan as part of their Blogger Review Program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commision’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
This is sermon #81 in the Luke series. In this sermon on Luke 19:41-20:8 Dave preaches on the justice of God, zeal for the worship of God, prayer, and dealing with religious people.
John in 1st John 5:1-5 introduces the subject of the victorious Christian life. While the Bible uses many terms to describe what christens are (believers, friends, brothers, sheep, saints, soldiers, witnesses, etc), John highlights one particular term in this chapter: the overcomer (v.4) Of the 24 times the word occurs in the New Testament, John uses it 21 times. Several different forms of this term appear in these verses emphasize the victorious nature of the believer.
Saving faith is the first characteristic of an overcomer. The term “believers” conveys the idea of continuing faith, making the point that the mark of genuine believers is that they continue in faith throughout their whole life. Saving faith is not simply intellectual acceptance, but whole-hearted dedication to Jesus Christ that is permanent. The object of the believer’s faith s Jesus Christ, particular that he is the promised Messiah or Anointed One whom God sent to be the Savior from sin. Whoever places faith in Jesus Christ as the only Savior has been born again and, as a result, is an overcomer (v.5).
Born of God is a reference o the new birth and is the same word that Jesus used in 1 John 3:7. The tense of the Greek verb indicates that ongoing faith is the result of the new birth, and therefore, the evidence of the new birth. The sons of God will manifest the reality that they have been born again by continuing to believe in God’s Son, the Savior. The new birth brings us into a permanent faith relationship with God and Christ. Love is the second characteristic of the overcomer. The overcomer not only believers in God, but loves both God and fellow believers. The moral test is again in view.
John repeats “obey keep his commandments” twice in 1 John 5:2-3. Obedience is the third characteristic of an overcomer. In these five verses, John weaves faith, love and obedience all together inextricably. They exist mutually in a dynamic relationship, as the genuine proof of love is obedience, so the genuine proof of faith is love. The word “keep” conveys the idea of constant obedience (John 8:31-32; 14:15, 21; 15:10). “His burdens are not burdensome” in contrast to the burdensome man-made religious traditions of the Jewish leaders (Matthew 23:4), the yoke of Jesus is easy and the burden light (Matt. 11:30).
John clearly defines who these overcomes are in v.4. The overcomers are all who believe that Jesus is God’s Son, and all that means. The overcomers are believers all of them. The word overcomers comes from a Greek word meaning “to conquer,” “to have victory,” “to have superiority” or “conquering power.” The word reflects a genuine superiority that leads to overwhelming success. The victory is demonstrable; it involves overthrowing an enemy so that the victory is seen by all. Jesus also uses this word to describe himself (John 1:33). Because of believers’ union with Christ they too partake in his victory (Rom. 8:37; 2 Cor. 2:14). The word overcomes in the original language conveys the idea that the believer has continual victory over the world.
The word “the world” in 1 John 5:4-5 refers to Satan’s worldwide system of deception and wickedness. Through Christ and his provision of salvation, the believer is a victor (5:5) over the invisible system of demonic and human evil that Satan operates to capture men’s souls for hell. John repeats the reference to overcoming the world three times-to press it home. Faith in Jesus Christ and dedication of one’s life to him makes one an overcomer. John repeats the truth for emphasis.
Heroes are usually public idols. The younger generation especially adores and imitates successful men and women. The Bible portrays its heroes too. Think of David after he killed Goliath. At that time, the women in Israel sang songs in his honor: “Saul has slain his thousands and David his tens of thousands” (1 Samuel 18:17). As he walks through the gallery which features the portraits of the heroes of faith, the writers of Hebrews points to numerous people (Heb. 11:4-32). When we look at these heroes, we tend to regard them as being superhuman. But these men and women were ordinary people who had to face trials and temptations that all of us encounter. What then makes them great? Their faith in God made them conquer, and their enduring faithfulness to the truth of God’s Word made them victorious.
Are we who are common people able to claim victory? Yes here is the reason: The word overcome is significant in the seven letters Jesus instructed John to write to the seven churches in Asia Minor. Note that at the conclusion of each letter Jesus specifically addresses “him who overcomes” (Rev. 2:7, 11, 17, 26; 3:5, 21, 21). Jesus directs his words to common people who are members of local churches. When they are faithful to the end, they indeed are heroes of faith.
This is sermon #12 in the Psalms series. In this sermon on Psalm 12 Dave preaches on living out a biblical worldview in an ungodly world, trusting the promises of God, and growing in personal holiness unto the Lord.
This is sermon #80 in the Luke series. In this sermon on Luke 19:28-40 Dave preaches on the nature of worship, stewardship, and serving the Lord in humility, gentleness and peace.
This is sermon #11 in the Psalm series. In this sermon Dave preaches on dealing with difficult trials and situations, and taking refuge in the Lord.
As the calmness of the inland lake, reflecting the beauty of the rising sun, follows the turbulence of warring winds and tempestuous billows, so, in principle, “the peace of Christ” (Col. 3:15) had displaced the restlessness which formerly characterized the Colossians when they lived apart from Christ as described in Colossians 3:5-9. For beauty of style and direct appeal to the heart, the present situation is unsurpassed. The same can be said about its practical value. If the Colossians will only live the life that is portrayed in such a graphic and yet simple manner in these few lines, their problems will be solved. The problems can only be solved by the strength imparted by God through the means of complete reliance on the sustaining power of His sovereign, transforming grace, will they be able to heed the directions given in Colossians 3:12-17.
Explanation of Colossians 3:12-17
Paul (Colossians 3:12-17) calls the Colossians to a holy lifestyle, consistent with their new identity as sons and daughters of God. As God’s chosen ones, these people are holy, that is, “set apart” for the Lord and for his work. The phrase “then”, in Colossians 3:12, means that in view of what God has done through Jesus Christ for the believer, Paul described the behavior and attitude God expects in response in Colossians 3:12-17. Believers have been chosen by God and stand before him as his beloved holy ones. The phrase “God’s chosen” in Colossians 3:12 designates Christian’s as those who have been chosen by God. No one is converted solely by his or her own choice, but only in response to God’s effectual, free, uninfluenced, and sovereign grace.
The phrase “beloved” refers to the fact that election means believers are the objects of God’s incomprehensible special love (John 13:1; Eph. 1:4-5). “Compassionate hearts: is a Hebraism that connotes the internal organs of the human body and is used figuratively to describe the seat of emotions. “Kindness” refers to a goodness towards others that pervades the entire person, mellowing out all harsh parts. “Humility” is the perfect antidote to the self-love that poisons human relationships. “Meekness” is the willingness to suffer injury or insult rather than to inflict such hurts. “Patience” is the opposite of quick anger, resentment, or revenge , and thus epitomizes Jesus Christ. It endures injustice and troublesome circumstances with hope for coming relief.
The phrase “bearing with one another” in Colossians 3:12 does not mean that Christians are to tolerate false teaching, but that believers should be tolerant of one another. The phrase “as the Lord has forgiven” in Colossians 3:13 means that because Christ is the model of forgiveness and has forgiven all of the believers sin’s totally (Col. 1:14), believers must be willing to forgive others. Perfect harmony is possible for believers in Christ, because supernatural love is poured into the hearts of believers and is the adhesive of the church.
The phrase “the word of Christ” refers to the teaching about Christ as well as the words of Christ himself, which were parts of the oral traditions passed on to believers in the early years after Christ ascended to heaven before the Gospels had been written. Psalms and hymns and spiritual songs is one means of teaching and admonishing. Corporate worship has a teaching function through the lyrics of its songs. This was especially important in the oral culture of Paul’s day. The phrase “do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus” means to act consistently with who He is and what He wants (1 Cor. 10:31).
3 Marks of Maturity from Colossians 3:12-17
The first mark is “whatever you do” in Colossians 3:17 is general, in contrast with the many specific rules and regulations which false teachers were trying to impose on the Colossians (Co. 2:16-23). Paul simply enunciates a comprehensive principle, and permits believers to work it out themselves in perfect freedom. Calvin comments that the believers aims ought to be set with the invocation of Christ and be subservient to his glory. The second mark is the Spirit (the Spirit-indwelt believer) operates in connection with the Word, that is, the revelation of the Lord Jesus Christ. Man is free only when he/she abides in Christ. Let him/her therefore always ask her/himself, “What shall I do, Lord?” (Acts 22:10). Let him/her diligently and prayerfully study the Scriptures. The final mark is the sovereignty or pre-eminence of the Lord Jesus in relation to the entire universe with all its events and in relation to the believer himself should be joyfully acknowledged. Therefore, he/she should do everything “in the name of the Lord Jesus.”
By accepting the counsel which Paul offers in Colossians 3:1-17, the Colossians will not only win victory upon victory in their battle with “the flesh” (2:23; 3:5-9), but will live a life of usefulness for the edification of the church and the benefit of their fellow men, to the glory of God. Let them accordingly be consistent, having been “raised with Christ”. Let them seek the things that are above, not those that are upon the earth, for their life “is hid with Christ in God.” It was heaven that gave them birth, for they were born from above. Their names are inscribed in heaven’s register. Their rights are secured in heaven; their interests are being promoted in heaven. Since they belong to heaven, let their lives be governed according to heavenly standards, and to heaven let their thoughts and prayers ascend, and their hopes aspire. Let them seek to obtain for themselves those heavenly gifts mentioned in verses 12-17. And since Christ “in them” is “the hope of glory” (Col. 1:27), it must be true that when Christ (who is) “our life” is manifested, then they too “will be manifested with him in glory.”
A radical break with former vices is therefore in order;tThese must be in fact be “put to death,” once and for all they must be “laid aside.” Since at their baptism the Colossians had publicly repudiated the old man with his evil deeds and had put on the new man, let them therefore now continue to do in practice what they had already done in principle. The Creator of the new man will enable them to do this, and this applies to all true believers. Here every class-distinction disappears completely, for Christ is “all and in all.”
In order to bid defiance to the forces of evil let them, however, not concentrate on evil. Let vice be conquered with virtue. Let evil be overcome with good. Let them therefore, having accepted Christ as their Lord and Savior, become imitators of him, so that all his marvelous virtues—a heart of compassion, kindness, lowliness, and above all love—may also be seen in them. Thus, they will be welded into a strong, spiritual unity. Let them be so filled with joy and gratitude as to pour forth their hearts in jubilation, singing not only the psalms of the “sweet singer of Israel”, but also hymns of praise and other spiritual songs.
Paul concludes the paragraph in Colossians 3:12-17 by laying down, not a set of detailed rules and regulations, but a basic principle, “And whatever you do in word or in deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.” Thus once more as often in this letter, Paul is directing the minds and hearts of the addressees to the only and all-sufficient Savior Jesus Christ, and via that sovereign Mediator, to God the Father.
Calvin, John, Commentary on Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, I & II Thessalonians, I & II Timothy, Titus & Philemon trans. William Pringle (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1949, reprint from 1610), 218.
Hendriksen, William, Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, and Philemon (Grand Rapids, Baker, 2007), 156.
 William Hendriksen, Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, and Philemon (Grand Rapids, Baker, 2007), 156.
 John Calvin, Commentary on Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, I & II Thessalonians, I & II Timothy, Titus & Philemon trans. William Pringle (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1949, reprint from 1610), 218.