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And He Himself gave some to be....evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ...
- Ephesians 4:11-12

THIS BLOG HAS MOVED TO www.timeintheword.org

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Location: The Hill Country of Texas

Pastor - Providence Reformed Baptist Church
Director - TIME in the Word Ministries

Sunday, June 24, 2007

The Privilege of Prayer and the Covenant Cut

Jonathan's sermons continuing in his series Bible Basics and Genesis are now available online.

Title: The Privilege of Prayer

Text: Matthew 6:5-13

The Lord's prayer is often misunderstood, but it is a vital pattern for us as we seek to pray to God. In this message we take a brief look at the components of the prayer, and the Lord Jesus' comments that precede it, and we ask whether our prayers reflect our Saviour's pattern, and whether we have that living relationship with God which means that we truly can pray as He has taught us.

Title: The Covenant is "Cut"

Text: Genesis 15

As we continue to consider the life of Abram, we come to this chapter which comprises two main parts: 1. The Promise Believed and 2. The Covenant 'Cut'. We consider the wonderful subject of justification by faith alone, and we see God's gracious dealings with Abram as He binds himself to keep His promises. We conclude that delay and suffering can often be part of God's plans, and we rejoice that even death is no barrier to peace and blessing for those who believe.

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Saturday, June 23, 2007

Phillip's Phunnies: Word Problems

A merry heart does good, like medicine... - Proverbs 17:22

Word problems are not the result of an inability to communicate, but are a tool used to test our math skills. When it comes to communicating (or doing math) it is easy to get frustrated. Here are a few examples of failing to communicate correctly when answering tricky word problems:


Friday, June 22, 2007

Woe is me if I do not preach the gospel! (1 Cor 9:16)

This is a message from Kirk Cameron (The Way of the Master Radio) that was directed to pastors at last week's annual Southern Baptist Convention:

Can I speak to you from my heart for a moment? I realize that, theologically, I’m not worthy to wash your socks. But imagine this scenario with me, if you will: Imagine I’m a “seeker”- I’m a non-Christian, sitting in your church week after week after week listening to you. Am I ever going to hear the message that will save my soul from Hell? Will you ever tell me the truth clearly enough so that I realize that my sin has made me an enemy of God: that I am currently on the path that leads to destruction, with the wrath of God dwelling upon me, and that unless I repent and put my faith in the Savior, I will perish? Or have you decided that it’s better to simply entertain me, and on Sundays I can come to have my “felt needs” met with good music and good advice? Pastor, while I would appreciate that, it’s the ultimate betrayal of my trust in you if you don’t tell me the truth. Will I ever hear the words “repent,” “surrender,” “turn to the Savior,” “be born again”? If you don’t tell me those things, how will I ever know to do it?Please don’t leave it up to the Wednesday night small-group leader. They’re taking their cues from you. You’re leading the flock.

And now I speak to you as a Christian. If you and I fail to teach the whole counsel of God, and we don’t warn sinners to flee from the wrath to come, and run to the love of Christ on the Cross to save their soul, we make a terrible mistake. It doesn’t matter how happy a person is- how much a sinner is enjoying the pleasures of sin for a season- without the righteousness of Christ, he’ll perish on the Day of Judgment. The Bible says, “Riches profit not on the Day of Wrath, but righteousness delivers from death.” You see, that’s how Kirk Cameron realized he needed a Savior. I had riches, but I knew that it was the righteousness of God that I needed in order to be saved from my sin.


Thursday, June 21, 2007

Q & A: Degrees of Sin

I was recently given an opportunity to reply to a list of questions asked of a group of pastors. I want to share a few of these this week and I hope these questions and my answers provoke thought and further study of the Word of God.

Here is today's Q & A:

Are there degrees of sin?

Proverbs 6:16-19 gives us our first clue, followed by the fact that the OT law gave different punishments for different sins. All sin is wickedness and horrid. All sin earns the wage of death (Rom 6:23). But all sin is not equal in the eyes of God. Some He hates more than others!

These six things the LORD hates,
Yes, seven are an abomination to Him:
A proud look,
A lying tongue,
Hands that shed innocent blood,
A heart that devises wicked plans,
Feet that are swift in running to evil,
A false witness who speaks lies,
And one who sows discord among brethren.

The Law, foundationally, teaches us about the character of God. It shows us what mark we have missed (all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God). It reveals His nature. And in His very nature, God reactes differently to some sins.

So while all sin is sin, there are degrees to how sinful a sin is. This can be demonstrated by the fact that there are degrees of differing punishments based upon the sin, degres of what is required to atone for sins when we compare the OT sacrifices, degrees of accountability (James 3:1; Luke 12:48), and even degrees of blessing in heaven and degrees of judgment and punishment in hell (Deut 32:22; Matt 23:15; Ps 62:12; Rom 2:6; 2 Cor 5:10; 1 Cor 3:12-15)

The last and most graphic example of degrees of sin of course is the fact that while Jesus died to forgive the sins of His people there is one sin that is unpardonable! (Matt 12:31-32; Mark 3:28-30; Luke 12:10)

So there are at the very least 2 degrees of sin - forgiveable, and unforgiveable!

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Q & A: The Hope of Eternal Life

I was recently given an opportunity to reply to a list of questions asked of a group of pastors. I want to share a few of these this week and I hope these questions and my answers provoke thought and further study of the Word of God.

Here is today's Q & A:

What is the Scriptural Basis for your salvation and hope of eternal life?

My Scriptural basis and hope of eternal life is based upon the finished work of Jesus Christ as my substitute. I was born a sinner by nature, as is every person (Rom. 3:23) except Christ (Heb. 4:15). As such I was dead in sin and guilty before a holy God, deserving only death (Rom 6:23), eternal torment (Luke 16:24), and judgment in the lake of fire forever (Rev. 20:15). However, solely by His grace (Eph 2:8), God through the work of the Holy Spirit and His Word convicted me of my sin (Rom. 1:16-17), effectually called me to new life (Rom. 8:30), regenerated me (Eph 2:1), and gave me the free gifts of repentance (Acts 5:31; 11:18) and faith (Rom 10:17; Eph 2:8-9). At the point in time that I repented of my sin and trusted Christ I was justified before God by faith alone (Rom 5:1) as the righteousness of Christ was imputed to me (Rom. 4:23-35). Further, by His death on the cross Jesus has paid my debt (Col 1:19-20; 2:13-14), bearing the full wrath of God for all my sin through the sufferings of the Garden (Luke 22:44), the crucifixion (Luke 23:33-47), and in the suffering of separation from the Father while on the cross wherein He cried out, “My God, My God, Why have You forsaken Me?” (Psalm 22:1; Matt. 27:46). His cry from the cross, “It is finished” (John 19:30) declared the price for my redemption secured (1 Cor. 6:19-20), and upon my conversion the Holy Spirit indwelt me and seals me (Eph 1:14) as a guarantee of the final and complete redemption of my spirit and body at glorification (Rom 8:30). His resurrection proves that God’s justice has been satisfied and that He has conquered both sin and death (1 Cor 15:54-57), thereby giving me freely eternal life with Him in the New Heavens and New Earth (2 Peter 3:13). Further, the Holy Spirit bears witness with my spirit that I am a child of God (1 John 5:10), giving me assurance (1 John 5:13), peace (Phil 4:7) , fruit to bear (Gal 5:22-23), and faith that leads to good works (James 2:26; Eph 2:10) performed in obedience to and out of love for the Lord Jesus Christ (John 14:15, 21).

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

June 19, 1834 - Charles H. Spurgeon

Charles Haddon Spurgeon
June 19, 1834 - January 31, 1892

In remembering this,
the birthday of the Prince of Preachers,
be sure and visit the
Spurgeon Biography Page
Pilgrim Publications.


Q & A: Abortion

I was recently given an opportunity to reply to a list of questions asked of a group of pastors. I want to share a few of these this week and I hope these questions and my answers provoke thought and further study of the Word of God.

Here is today's Q & A:

What is your view on abortion?

Abortion is in every case the murder of an innocent human being. We in the church need to be reminded that Jesus loves the little children.....

Attitudes today that stem from feminism and liberalism have given birth to ideas that children are a curse, a burden, a bother, a chore, a mistake, an accident, and therefore undesirable. Children we are taught - whether we know it or not - intrude upon our personal liberty. They infringe on our rights over our own lives and our own bodies.

We must understand and embrace these following points as truth, because this is what the Bible tells us about children:

1. God gives children as a blessing (Psalm 127:3).

2. God causes conception and crafts each child in the womb (Psalm 139:13-16).

3. God even causes the time of delivery and birth for each child (Isaiah 66:9).

And each child is just that, a living human being from the moment of conception.

So the church must minister to women who are pregnant. We must help them with health care and a clear review of their option for keeping the baby or putting the baby up for adoption. We must meet her physical, emotional, and spiritual needs. We must SACRIFICE so that these babies are not killed in the womb!

We must not ever be tempted to stoop to violence by killing abortionists – this is just the same as killing the baby. It is murder. So what must we do? Protest. Counsel. Pray!! Help. Minister. Speak out.

In this particular battle I have worked in Crisis Pregnancy Centers, written material for counseling for women and men before and after abortions, spoken to youth groups about sexual purity and about abortion, written curiculuum for a high school for teaching teens about the right and wrong way to view dating/courting, marriage, sex and children. As a recent example, I wrote an article posted on the internet about this very topic titled “How Many More?”

I also believe that God is judging our country because of the slaughter of these children and I pray daily that He will end this plague in our land and restore us to Himself.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Q & A: Savior and Lord

I was recently given an opportunity to reply to a list of questions asked of a group of pastors. I want to share a few of these this week and I hope these questions and my answers provoke thought and further study of the Word of God.

Here is today's Q & A:

Can a person have Christ as his Savior without submitting to Him as Lord?

No. Jesus is Lord. We do not make Him Lord. He is Lord. And the gospel is an invitation and a command that begins with the word, “Repent”. This was the first message Jesus preached (Mark 1:14-15) and the first John the Baptist (Luke 3:7-8) preached. Peter preached repentance at Pentecost (Acts 2:38). Paul preached repentance (2 Cor 7:10). And in fact, Jesus’ last words to the Church include the necessity of repentance! (see Rev. 2:5, 16; 3:3, 19). So our response in obeying the gospel command to repent and believe starts with our turning from sin and to Christ in faith. Without conviction and repentance there is no conversion. And without obedience and fruit there is no salvation. Jesus says that we know the truth about a man by the fruit we see in his life (Matt 7:20), and the fruit we look for is the fruit of the Spirit (Gal 5:22-23). Jesus makes this all clear when He asks, “Why do you call Me ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do the things which I say?” (Luke 6:46)

Note: This does not mean that our works or fruit save us, but only illustrates the point that saving faith is faith that works.

Friday, June 15, 2007

More from Genesis

Jonathan Hunt has been continuing his series of messages from Genesis, covering chapters 10-12. These next three messages are now available online at the following links:

Confusion at Babel - Gen. 11:1-9

At Babel, the people rebelled against the will of God, and He acted decisively to end their plans, creating many languages. In the New Testament era, God enacted a dramatic reversal of this at Pentecost, and the Church looks forward to Heaven, where people of 'every tongue' will gather round the throne. Challenges abound as we consider these issues.

By Faith, Abraham - Gen. 12

Abraham is held up to us as a great example of faith - but he was not a superhuman, and we can follow his example of living by faith. In this message we examine God's announcement of his Covenant with Abraham, Abraham's Faith, and also his failure in Egypt. Above all, we remind ourselves that when 'I AM' says 'I WILL', we should take Him at His word, and that the focus of our lives should be Heaven.

Lot's Choice, Abram's Reward - Genesis 13-14

There is much we can learn from the poor choice of Lot, and the principled actions of Abram. We review Lot's disastrous move to Sodom, and the consequences of failing to separate from sin, and we consider Abram's heroic rescue of Lot, which brings blessing to all the local nations. Throughout these events we see Abram's solid dependence upon God, and God's kindness to him.

Also be sure to check out his latest evangelistic messages:

The Challenge of the Ascension - Luke 24:50-53

Many overlook the ascension of Jesus Christ - but it was an event that caused his disciples great joy. Why was that? Have we faced up to the reality that Christ has ascended to Heaven - and will return?

The True Power of Pentecost - Acts 2

When the Holy Spirit came down at Pentecost, amazing things happened to the Apostles. They spoke in many languages to the crowds who gathered. How do we react when we hear the gospel? Are we like the crowds? Have we experienced the true power of Pentecost - lives transformed by faith in Jesus Christ?

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Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Iniquity and the Sacred Meeting

Here is the audio and a few notes from the message I preached at Grace Baptist Church in Gainesville, Florida, this last Sunday.

Iniquity and the Sacred Meeting - Isaiah 1:10-20

This text teaches us about the purpose of worship, the practice of worship, the preparation for worship, and the provision for worship. We also learn to evaluate our motivation for worship, whether we worship for what we can get from God or what we can give to God. In summary we learn that with the right heart attitude, church is not something we do, church is not somewhere we go, but church is what WE ARE, and we must never confuse the physical building for the spiritual body.

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Monday, June 04, 2007

An Update

So where have I been recently? Good question! If you find the answer please let me in on it.

Seriously, I do covet you prayers. My workplace (outside the church) has found it advantageous to the bottom line to cut back on the number of employees at our location and the result is that the work gets split between fewer and fewer people. The hours and work have been hard, hot, and long. As Jonathan Hunt pointed out in a message from Genesis recently, "Hard work is the result if sin!" Thanks, Jonathan! I appreciate the reminder. I think. :)

But my attention and energy has also been directed toward seeking out where the Lord is sending us next ministering to His Body and we may well find out this month. I have spent the last 2 weeks preparing a message that I will preach at an undisclosed location on Sunday, June 10. After several days of visiting with pulpit committee members and then after preaching Sunday the committee will seek to know the will of God regarding whether or not I will be asked to come be their pastor! So pray for me as I continue to prepare and as we travel and I preach Sunday. I will certainly tell you more when I am able.

In the mean time, here is the outline for the message I will be preaching from Isaiah 1:10-20 titled Iniquity and the Sacred Meeting (audio available next week):

I. The Purpose of Worship – vs. 10-11
A. Hear the Word of the Lord (vs. 10)
1. Preaching
a. Salvation – Rom 1:16-17; 10:17
b. Sanctification – John 17:17
c. Sound Doctrine – 2 Tim 3:16-17; 4:1-5
2. Praise – Eph 5:18-19
B. Give Glory to God (vs. 11)
1. Thanks – 1 Thess. 5:16-18
2. Offerings – 2 Cor 8:1-7
3. Things that “delight” God – Rom 12:1-2; 1 Cor 6:20
II. The Practice of Worship – vs. 12-15 (iniquity = good things/wrong motive)
A. Worship that Displeases God – Amos 5:21-24; Zech 7:4-7
B. Having a Form of Godliness – 2 Tim 3:1-5
C. Lips vs. Heart – Mark 7:6-7
III. The Preparation for Worship – vs. 16-17
A. Put Away Evil (Repent) – Eph 4:17-24
B. True Religion – James 1:27
C. Spirit and Truth – John 4:19-24
D. Reverence – Ps 95:6-7; 96:8-9 – (chief quality of worship)
IV. The Provision for Worship – vs. 18-20
A. The Forgiveness of Sins – (vs. 18) – Col 1:13-14
B. The Foundation and Cornerstone - 1 Peter 2:1-5; Eph 2:19-22
C. The Fellowship of the Body – 1 Cor 3:16; 2 Cor 6:16
D. For the Mouth of the Lord has Spoken (vs. 20) – frame worship with the Word of God
Application: Acts 2:40-47
Church is not something you do (rote ritual, Amos 5).
Church is not somewhere you go (spirit and truth, John 4)
Church is what you ARE – we must not mix iniquity with the sacred meeting, nor can we allow ourselves to confuse the building for the Body!