Shalem India Pentecostal church, New Jersey.

Sunday Messages May 2010

May 02

Acts 17:16-34

Paul's Witness in Athens -2

 Introduction

·         My whole purpose of this series of sermon is to look at the content of Paul's message and see what we can learn and understand from his message to the people in Athens.

·         Apostle Paul was on his second missionary journey

·         We said the background of the account is that Paul was waiting in Athens for Silas and Timothy.

·         We also talked about the city of Athens.

·         The city was full of idols.

·         What was Paul's reaction?

·         We find four parts to Paul's reactions in our text. Luke tells us it very clearly:

1. What he saw in the city.

2. What he felt in the city.

3. What he did in the city.

4. What he said in the city.

·         Last week we talked about what Paul saw in the city.

·         Instead of being blind to the beauty of various idols and statues in the city, he was more oppressed by the wrongness of idol worship.

·         This is what he saw; a city submerged in its idols.

·         We said that anything that will not bring glory and honor to Jesus should not impress you and me.

·         Today we will look into the next reaction of Paul:

What he felt in the city?

·         He was greatly distressed.

·         The word 'distress' comes from the Greek word paroxyno, which means, 'to stimulate,' especially, 'to irritate, provoke, rouse to anger.'

·         It does not mean that Paul was provoked to anger and lost his temper, but rather 'a continuous, settled reaction to what he saw.'

·         The nature of Paul's emotion was same that of Yahweh.

·         When the Israelites made the golden calf at Mt. Sinai, it is written that they 'provoked the Lord God to anger.'

·         So Paul was provoked by the idolatry in the city.

·         He was provoked to anger, grief, and indignation, just as God is himself, and for the same reason, namely for the honor and glory of his name.

·         Scripture sometimes calls this emotion, ‘Jealousy.’

·         For example, it is written that Yahweh, ‘whose name is jealous, is a jealous God.’

·         What is this jealousy? This is not the jealousy that is characterized under sin.

·         To be jealous of someone who threatens to outshine us in beauty, intellect, or sports is sinful.

·         Why is it sinful? It is sinful because we cannot claim a monopoly of talent in those areas.

·         On the other hand, if a third party enters a marriage, the jealousy of the injured person, who is being displaced, is righteous, because the intruder has no right to be there.

·         It is the same with God, who says, “I am the Lord, that my name! You will not give my glory to another or my praise to idols.” (Is. 42:8).

·         God is our creator and Redeemer and he has the right to our exclusive allegiance and is jealous if we transfer it to any one or any thing else.

·         Paul was greatly distressed over the idolatry of Athens.

·         Paul talks about the godlessness and wickedness of people very clearly in Romans 1:18-25.

Application.

·         What about our attitude when we see people living in darkness?

·         Do we go with a “No Bothered” attitude and say, “Let them go to hell?”

·         The inward pain and horror, which moved Paul to share the good news with the idolaters, should similarly move us.

·         Today there are many Christians who deny the finality and uniqueness of Christ and reject the very concept of evangelizing and converting people.

·         How then, in the face of growing opposition to it, can Christians justify the continuance of world evangelization?

·         The commonest answer is to point to the Great Commission and obedience to it is very important for every Christian.

·         We must have compassion to people- a love for people, who do not know Jesus Christ, who are alienated from God and thereby lost.

·         But the highest incentive of all is zeal or jealousy for the glory of Jesus Christ.

·         There will never be a time in our lives when we will give glory and honor to anyone or anything else that is due only to God.

·         That is why we have to be very careful about loving anything or anybody more than Jesus-whether our children/wife/house/institution/profession/talents.

·         Whatever it may be, we should give first place to Jesus.

·         God has promoted him to the supreme place of honor, in order that every knee and tongue should acknowledge his Lordship.

·         Whenever we see people deny His rightful place in their lives, we should feel inwardly wounded, and jealous for His name.

·         That is what the Lord expects from each of us as His people.

Mathewphilip©2010

May 09

Acts 17:16-34

Paul's Witness in Athens -3

 Introduction

·         We are here to look at the content of Paul's message and see what we can learn from his Athenian's Address.

·         Apostle Paul was on his second missionary journey

·         We said the background of the account is that Paul was waiting in Athens for Silas and Timothy.

·         We also talked about the city of Athens.

·         The city was full of idols.

·         What was Paul's reaction?

·         We find four parts to Paul's reactions in our text. Luke tells us it very clearly:

1. What he saw in the city.

2. What he felt in the city.

3. What he did in the city.

4. What he said in the city.

·         First of all, we talked about what Paul saw in the city.

·         Instead of being blind to the beauty of various idols and statues in the city, he was more oppressed by the wrongness of idol worship.

·         This is what he saw; a city submerged in its idols.

·         We said that anything that will not bring glory and honor to Jesus should not impress you and me.

·         Then we looked at What he felt in the city?

·         Paul was greatly distressed over the idolatry of Athens.

·         What about our attitude when we see people living in darkness?

·         Do we go with a “No Bothered” attitude and say, “Let them go to hell?”

·         The inward pain and horror, which moved Paul to share the good news with the idolaters, should similarly move us.

·         Whenever we see people deny God's rightful place in their lives, we should feel inwardly wounded, and jealous for His name.

 ·         Today we will look at the next point:

What he did in the city?

·         Paul reasoned with them.

·         Paul's reaction to the city's idolatry was not only negative but also positive and constructive.

·          

·         He did not merely throw up his hands in despair, or weep helplessly like,

·         "Oh! My God! What is this? I can't do anything with this people. I alone cannot speak to these ignorant foolish people."

·         No! He did not do like that, but he shared with them the good news of Jesus.

·         We see him speaking to three groups of people:

1.      First, he went to the Synagogue, that is the center of religious life, on the Sabbath and "reasoned there with both Jews and God-fearing people.

2.      Secondly, he went to the market place, that is the center of public life - and argued there with 'casual passers-by' daily.

3.      Third group was the Epicurean and Stoic philosophers - the intellectuals.

·         They began to dispute with him.

·         These were contemporary, but rival systems.

·         The Epicureans are called 'Philosophers of the garden' founded by Epicurus.

·         They considered that

·         The gods are so remote - so far from men and no interest in human life and no influence on human affairs.

·         The world was due to chance -a random concourse of atoms.

·         There would be no survival of death and even no judgment.

·         So human beings should pursue pleasure, especially the serene enjoyment of a life detached from pain, passion and fear.

·         The Stoics founded by Zeno acknowledged the supreme god, but in a pantheistic way.

·         They considered that

·         The world was determined by fate.

·         Human beings must pursue their duty resigning themselves to live in harmony with nature and reason.

·         So Epicureans emphasized chance, escape and the enjoyment of pleasure.

·         Stoics emphasized fatalism, submission and the endurance of pain.

·         In Paul's later speech we see him encountering these philosophers, emphasizing

·         The caring activity of a personal creator.

·         The dignity of human beings as his offspring.

·         The certainty of judgment.

·         And the call to repentance.

·         Today I think the nearest equivalent to the Synagogue is the church - the place where religious people gather.

·         There is still an important place for sharing the gospel with church-goers, God fearing people on the fringe of the church, who may attend services only occasionally.

·          People come with various needs.

·         We must present to them Jesus as the only one who can meet their needs.

·         The equivalent to 'market place' will vary in different parts of the world.

·         It may be a part, city square, street corner, shopping complex or a cafeteria - wherever people meet when they are at leisure.

·         As for the philosophers, there will be occasions that we confront the intellectuals.

·         Neither church evangelism nor street evangelism would be appropriate for them.

·         As Peter says in 1 Pet 3:15, We must always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have.

·         We must give an answer to the questions and aspirations of the intellectuals regarding the gospel.

·         Peter exhorts us to do this with gentleness and respect.

·         There is an urgent need for more Christian thinkers who will dedicate their minds to Christ, not only as pastors and teachers but also as authors, journalists, dramatists and broadcasters, as television script-writers, producers, artists and actors who use a variety of art forms in which to communicate the gospel.

·         Christ calls us to humble, but not to stifle our intellect.

Conclusion

·         What is the whole thing we talk about.

·         It is all about what Paul did in the city of Athens.

·         He reasoned with all class of people - the religious group, the common folks, and the intellectuals.

·         We see the importance of sharing the gospel with all classes of people.

·         May the Lord help us to do our best for the propagation of the gospel!

Mathewphilip©2010

May 16

Acts 17:16-34

Paul's Witness in Athens -3

 

Introduction

·         We are here to look at the content of Paul's message and see what we can learn from his Athenian's Address.

·         Apostle Paul was on his second missionary journey

·         We said the background of the account is that Paul was waiting in Athens for Silas and Timothy.

·         We also talked about the city of Athens.

·         The city was full of idols.

·         What was Paul's reaction?

·         We find four parts to Paul's reactions in our text. Luke tells us it very clearly:

1. What he saw in the city.

2. What he felt in the city.

3. What he did in the city.

4. What he said in the city.

·         First of all, we talked about what Paul saw in the city.

·         Instead of being blind to the beauty of various idols and statues in the city, he was more oppressed by the wrongness of idol worship.

·         We said that anything that will not bring glory and honor to Jesus should not impress you and me.

·         Then we looked at what he felt in the city?

·         Paul was greatly distressed over the idolatry of Athens.

·         Whenever we see people deny God's rightful place in their lives, we should feel inwardly wounded, and jealous for His name.

·         Last week we found, what he did in the city.

·         Paul reasoned with three groups of people.

·         First, he went to the Synagogue, that is, the center of religious life.

·         Secondly, he went to the market place, that is the center of public life.

·         Third group was the Epicurean and Stoic philosophers - the intellectuals.

·         We found out the importance of bearing witness to all soHe reasoned with all class of people - the religious group, the common folks, and the intellectuals.

·         We see the importance of sharing the gospel with all classes of people.

 ·         Today we will look into the last point:

What Paul said in Athens (vv. 18-34)

·         I think Paul’s evangelistic dialogue might have continued for many days.

·         He got an opportunity to present the gospel to the world-famous supreme council of Athens, the Areopagus.

·         How did this come about?

·         The Epicurean and Stoic philosophers reacted to his message in two ways.

·         Some of them insulted him. They asked, “What is this babbler trying to say?”

·         Babbler is a slang used specially for teachers.

·         Others remarked, “He seems to be advocating foreign gods.”

·         Luke states, because Paul was preaching the good news about Jesus and the resurrection.

·         They thought Jesus is one god and resurrection is another god.

·         When he got the opportunity to preach the gospel, he went on to proclaim the living and true God in five ways:

1.      God is the Creator of the Universe (v.24)

·         This view of the world is very different from either the Epicurean emphasis on a chance combination of atoms or the pantheistic idea of Stoics.

·         Paul said, God is both the personal Creator of everything that exists and the personal Lord of everything he had made.

·         So any attempt to limit or localize the Creator God, to imprison him within the confines of manmade buildings, structures, or concepts, is ridiculous.

 2.      God is the Sustainer of Life (v.25)

·         God is not a God who created everything and then left his creation.

·         He continues to sustain the life, which he has created.

·         He continues to supply our needs.

·         So it is foolish to think that he who sustains life should himself need to be sustained.

·         It is also funny to suppose that he who supply our needs should himself need our supply.

·         Any attempt to tame or domesticate God, to reduce him to the level of a household pet on us for food, shelter, oil, light and money, is again ridiculous.

·         We depend on God; he does not depend on us.

 3.      God is the Ruler of all Nations (vv. 26-28)

·         God cannot be held responsible for the oppression or aggression of individual nations.

·         Still both the history and the geography of each nation are ultimately under his control.

·         Why God established nations and put people in it?

·         His purpose is that the human beings he has made in his own image might seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him.

·         Yet this hope is unfulfilled because of human sin.

·         Sin alienates people from God.

·         Any attempt to blame God for alienation, or to regard him as distant, unknowable, uninterested is again ridiculous.

·         Because he is not far from each of us.

·         It is we who are far from him.

 4.      God is the Father of human beings (v.29)

·         In redemption terms, God is the Father only of those who are in Christ, and we are his children only by adoption and grace.

·         But in creation terms, God is the Father of all humankind.

·         All are His offspring.

·         All receive their life from Him and Him alone.

·         Since we are his offspring, our beings derive from him and we depend on him.

·         So it is illogical to think of God as like gold or silver or stone, which are lifeless in themselves and which owe their being to human imagination and art.

·         Any attempt to demote God to some image made by man’s design and skill and to bring him under our control is foolishness.

·         That means there is no logic in idolatry.

·         Instead of humbly acknowledging that God has created and reles us, we presume to imagine that we can create and rule God.

·         Paul in Rom 1:22&23, “Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like mortal man and birds and animals and reptiles.”

5.      God is the Judge of the World (vv.30-31)

·         Paul addresses their ignorance.

·         By writing ‘To an unknown God’ in their alter inscription, Athenians have acknowledged that they are ignorant of God.

·         Paul is giving evidence of their ignorance.

·         Now he declares such ignorance to be accountable, because God has never left himself without testimony.

·         On the contrary, he has revealed himself through the natural order, but human beings suppress the truth by their wickedness.

·         In the past God overlooked such ignorance – it is not that he did not notice it, but in his mercy he did not bring judgment.

·         But now he commands all people everywhere to repent.

·         Why? Because of the certainty of the coming judgment.

·         We find three facts about God’s judgment:

1.      It will be universal: He will judge the world. Nobody will be able to escape.

2.      It will be righteous: He will judge the world with justice. All secrets will be revealed.

3.      It will be definite: It is because already the day has been set and the judge has been appointed.

·         The day has not been disclosed, but the identity of the juge has been revealed.

·         God has committed the judgment to His Son.

 Conclusion

·         So the challenge that comes to is this:

·         We must proclaim God in his fullness as Creator, Sustainer, Ruler, Father and Judge.

·         People already know these things about God by natural or general revelation, and that their ignorance and idolatry are therefore inexcusable.

·         Idols are not limited to primitive societies; there are many sophisticated idols too.

·         An idol is a god-substitute

·         Any person or thing that occupies the place which God should occupy is an idol.

·         Covetousness is idolatry.

·         Ideologies can be idolatry.

·         So also the fame, wealth and power, sex food, alcohol and other drugs, parents, spouse, children and friends, work, recreation, television, games and possessions, even church, religion and Christian service. May be the education, degree, automobiles and profession.

·         I am afraid, and wonder! Who knows? We may be in one of these categories.

·         So our eyes are blind towards the idolatry of others.

·         It is my prayer that the Lord may open our eyes to see first of all our own lives whether there is any kind of idol in it.

·         Then the Lord will help us to see, feel and speak to the idolatrous cities of the contemporary world.

 Mathewphilip©2010 

 

May23

Hebrews 4:12

The Power of God’s Word -1

 Introduction

·   Never underestimate the power of words.

·   In 1924, Adolf Hitler started writing his book called Mein Kampf, which means “My Struggle”

·   Some people ignored the book and some others laughed at it.

·   But for every word in Mein Kamf, 125 people died in World War II.

·   That much was the influence of every word written by Adolf Hitler in his book.

·   The words which we speak are powerful.

 For Example:

·   A physician speaks, and a personal has surgery or he goes home from the hospital.

·   A Judge speaks, and a man is condemned or set free.;

·   A government official speaks, and millions of rupee can be spent or withheld.

·   In our personal lives we know the power of words – words that can bless others and words that can cut and hurt them.

·   Never underestimate the power of words!

·   It it’s so; I just want to put a fact before you to think.

·   If the words of the people of this world are so powerful, how much more powerful is God’s Word!

·   That’s why it is very important for us as Christians to know the meaning of Bible words

·   We need to understand these words and how they apply to our lives.

 For example,

·   An electronic engineer designs those little chips that run the computers.

·   He has to learn a very special vocabulary to do his job.

·   A mechanic knows how to run machines and fix things.

·   He has to learn a special vocabulary to do his job.

·   Being Christian believers we have to learn a special vocabulary to be able to handle the Word of God.

·   Some Christians say, “Don’t bother me with doctrines; just give me the beautiful devotional thought of the Bible.”

·   But if devotion is not based upon correct doctrine, it is shallow, and it is not going to accomplish anything.

·   As Christians we must study God’s Word, specially many key words in the Bible that are so powerful in its meaning.

·   We may not be able to look at various key words in the Bible and study all of them today.

·   What I want to do is to see why God’s Word is so powerful and why we need to study and understand the Word of God.

 I. God’s Word is Lamp and Light (Ps. 119:105)

“Your word is a lamp to my feet, And a light for my path.”

·   What does a light do?   It enables us to see.

·   When we understand these key words in the Bible, they are like lamps that guide us throughout the Scripture and throughout the Christian life.

·   God has revealed truth to us in words.

·   Revelation is the act of making something known that was previously unknown.

·   This revelation of God is on the basis of truth.

·   People are so desperate about the truth because there are many voices of truth in the present world.

·   Three avenues can be seen among people:

 1.Reason: those who think that the best way to truth is reason – what one’s mind feels is the truth.

 2.Experience: Those who think that a person’s life experience is the guide to truth – Such people do not consider much of their past and future, but the experience at the present moment.

 3.Tradition: tradition is the one that leads to truth.  This affirms human authority; this is predominant in religion. These can be both written and oral traditions that are passed on to generations.

 ·   The matter of the fact is that these three failed, because unregenerate people cannot have always the right reason. Their reason can be wrong because of sin.

·   One cannot establish a doctrine out of his or her own experience, because experiences differ from person to person due to different cultural, social and religious background.

·   There are a lot of distortions and exaggerations in tradition because of the timeframe it is passed on. And also one person’s tradition cannot be followed by other person.

 ·   When these three failed, there came the fourth one: Divine revelation 

·   The reason, experience, and tradition will confuse people, but divine revelation (God’s Word) will confirm people.

·   The Word of God is a lamp.

·   It is described as a light on a path in darkness.

·   It shows us how to follow the right way and avoid the wrong way.

·   So God’s Word is needed for us to live in this dark world.

 II. God’s Word is Food (Matthew 4:4)

Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.

·         God’s Word is not only light, but also food.

·         What does the food do?

·         Food helps us grow.

·         How to grow?   1 Pet 3:18 – grow in grace and knowledge of our Lord.

·         If we grow in the knowledge of the Word of God we can grow in our Christian life.

·         It is possible to grow in knowledge and not in grace.

·         But the Lord wants us to grow in both.

·         Jeremiah said that he ate the Word of God (15:16)

·         Job said, I have treasured the words of his mouth more than my daily bread (23:12)

·         In Hebrews we see God’s Word is milk and meat (5:11-14)

·         We need God’s Word not only as light to guide us, but also as food to nourish our spiritual life.

 Conclusion

Let’s thank God for His revelation.

He has spoken to us His word which is a lamp and food.

So every day we need to carry this in our hearts which will illuminates our thoughts and actions.

Every day we must eat it so that we will grow in knowledge and wisdom.

Mathewphilip©2010 

June 05

Hebrews 4:12

The Power of God’s Word -2

 Introduction

·   Never underestimate the power of words.

·   The words which we speak are powerful.

·   With our words, we can either build up a person or destroy an individual.

·   Many of us are victims of the power of words from time to time.

·   If our words are powerful, how much more powerful is God’s Word!

·   That’s why it is very important for us as believers to read and understand God’s Word.

·   Why we need to study and understand God’s Word?

·   Last week, we looked into two factors as to why God’s Word is so powerful.

 First of all,

God’s Word is Lamp and Light (Ps. 119:105)

·   The Word of God is a lamp.

·   It is described as a light on a path in darkness.

·   It shows us how to follow the right way and avoid the wrong way.

·   So God’s Word is needed for us to live in this dark world.

Secondly,   

God’s Word is Food (Matthew 4:4)

Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.

·         God’s Word is not only light, but also food.

·         Just like food helps us to grow, God’s Word helps us to grow in grace and knowledge of our Lord.

·         If we grow in the knowledge of the Word of God we can grow in our Christian life.

·         We need God’s Word not only as light to guide us, but also as food to nourish our spiritual life.

 Today we will look into two other factors as to why the Word of God is important for us:

 III. God’s Word is Tool (Jeremiah 23:29)

Is not my word …and like a hammer that breaks a rock in pieces?

·         God’s Word is a tool for building.

·         Sometimes God’s Word has to break down before it can build up.

·         It is a tool for breaking down the old life and building up the new life in Christ Jesus.

·         If we want to build up our life, we must use different tools, and the greatest tool of all is God’s Word.

·         It enables us to build the Church of God.

·         Church history proves that when there was preaching and teaching of God’s Word, the Church grew with a strong missionary and evangelistic outreach.

·         The Word of God is light, which enables us to see. 

·         The Word of God is food, which helps us grow

·         And the Word of God is like a tool that enables us to build ourselves and others.

 IV. God’s Word is a Weapon (Heb. 4:12; Eph.6:17)

The Word of God is living and active and sharper than any

Double-edged sword / The sword of the Spirit which is the Word of God.

·         The Christian life is not a play ground, but a battlefield.

·         We have to fight the enemy.

·         There are false prophets and false teachers around us.

·         There are false religions that are trying to make merchandise of us.

·         Satan is out to get each of us.

·         The whole world is out to get us.

·         It is important for you and me to understand that the Word of God is a weapon to fight the battle.

·         Paul says, “Our fight is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.”

·         Then the Word of God is a discerner of the thoughts and the intents of the heart."

·         So our works are to be judged and the Word of God is the discerner of the thoughts and the intents of the heart.

·         When we stand before the Lord and our works are brought before Him.

·         Those works are going to be judged, but they're going to be judged not as to what I did or didn't do, but what motivated me to do it.

 Conclusion

·         As we continue to study God’s Word, it is my prayer that the good Lord may help us

·         To guide our path by God’s Word

·         To nourish our spiritual life

·         To build our life on solid foundation

·         To fight the good fight. 

Mathewphilip©2010 

June13

Scripture: Romans 13:1-7

Subject: Submission to the Authorities.

Theme: Why we must submit to the authorities?

 INTRODUCTION

Lead Sentence: There are authorities and positions set in the world and people are to submit to them.

Examples: 1. Government: Elected authorities are ruling the country

2. Management systems: Manager and subordinates

3. Organisations: The leaders and the people working under them.

Sermonic explanation: God has set authorities in the world and we are to submit to them.

Proposition: The teaching given in this passage is the truth that we must submit to the authorites.

Transitional sentence: Let us consider the reasons why we must submit to the authorities.

BODY

 1. We must submit to the authorities because the authorities that exist have been established by God (vv. 1-3)

A.    What is authority?  The right and power to give orders. (eg. Military).

B.     What are some of the authorities?

      (a) Government/kingdom – President/Prime minister and cabinet ministers

      (b) Church – Jesus as the head and leadership gifts (Eph 4:11)                      

      (c) Family – husband as the head of the family

C.     Why God has established authority? For the smooth function.

D.    How we must submit to the authorities?

(a)    Without rebelling against the authority (v.2)

Illustration of Korah’s rebellion (Numb 26:10); Illustration of Miriam’s rebellion.

(b)   We must submit without fear. – Our submission and obedience to authorities must come out of love and reverence.

Who are really afraid of authorities? Those who do wrong.

E.     Application: Submitting to authorities means submitting to God

 2. We must submit to the authorities because they are God’s servants (v.4)

A.    What do we mean by God’s servants? –appointed to serve on behalf of God

B.     What do they do as God’s servants?

(a)    As God’s servants they are supposed to do good to people.

(b)   As God’s servants they act as the agents of God’s wrath bringing punishment on the people who do wrong.

C.     Application: Since leaders are authorised to punish and discipline, we must obey the authorities.

 3. We must submit to the authorities because of our conscience (v. 5-7)

A.    What do we mean by conscience? -Good conscience

B.     What does our conscience say? –They are God’s servants/They give their full time to governing/They can’t do their job without our cooperation and support.

C.     What do we have to give to them since they serve us?

–        We must give them what we owe to them: taxes, reverence, respect, honour and everything (v.6)

–        We must give what is due to the government  (Mtt. 21:22)

–        We must give what is due to God and his servants (1 Cor. 9:14).

D.    Application: We must posses a good conscience to pay faithfully all the taxes to the government and tithes to God.

 CONCLUSION: Summary type conclusion.

All of us are under certain authorities.

Let's submit to them as if they have been established by God.

As God's people, we must be faithful in giving our taxes, tithes, and offerings.

We must give them due respect and obey as if we obey the Lord.

Hebrews 13:17 – We must submit to the authorities so that their work will be a joy.

Mathewphilip©2010 

July 04, 2010

 

 

Scripture: Matthew 20:1-16

Subject: The Parable of the Workers in the Vineyard.

Theme: In the Kingdom of God, People receive what they need and are promised.

 

Introdution

·         This parable tells us a story involving absurd economics according to Kingdom standard.

·         Many of the details are given to add color to the story.

·         So such details are not to be pressed for theological meaning.

·         The point is that in the Kingdom, people receive what they need.

·         It is because our God knows what is the best for each one.

·         And also in the Kingdom, people receive what they are promised.

·         It is because the one who promised will never change his word.

·         There are a few things we learn from this parable.

 1.      What was happening here?

·         What happened here in the story was that people were pressing vine in the vineyard of a land owner. 

·         The whole thing is compared to the Kingdom of heaven.

·         So definitely it must be the Kingdom’s work.

·         Therefore this parable is to be interpreted in the light of God’s rule over his entire creation.

  2.      Who hired the workers here?

·         The one who hired workers was a man who was a land owner.

·         Here the Kingdom of heaven is likened to a landowner who went out early in the morning tyo hire men to work in his vineyard.

·         Our God is a great householder.

·         Ps. 24:1 says, “The earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it.”

·         It is He who owns everything and calls people in different times and in various ways.

·         God only called us from darkness to the marvelous light of the glorious gospel of Jesus Christ.

·         We are saved by grace.

·         God gave us gifts and talents and placed us in different arena of life, whether it is secular occupation or Christian work.

 3.      What was the wages promised here?

·         A denarius!

·         Each one was promised a fixed amount.

·         It is the Lord who promised, not a human being and so he will fulfill what was promised.

·         No one should expect more than what was promised.

·         We should also think that our God will ever do injustice.

·         This was the problem with the workers here in the parable.

·         They were looking on to other’s labor and reward.

·         Our responsibility is to keep looking on to what is promised to us and be responsible to what has been entrusted to us.

·         God will fulfill what he promised in his perfect time.

·         It is because he knows the best for us.

·         Our God is known for his generosity and justice.

 4.      Where are the workers hired from?

·         From the market places!

·         It is the place where daily workers wait for someone to come and pick up them for work.

·         These people were doing nothing. They were sitting there idle.

·         These workers who wait in market places have no guarantee that someone will give them a job.

·         I believe that God has called us and elected us from a condition of hopelessness and insecurity.

·         Apostle Paul wrote to Ephesians in chapter 2, think of your former ways… We were dead in our transgressions and sins.

·         We were following the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of air.

·         We were disobedient.

·         Our whole job was gratifying the cravings of our sinful nature.

·         Thank God for He has called us and put us in His vineyard.

 5.      When are the workers called for their job?

·         They are called and appointed in different times.

·         So are we!

·         Many started early and many later and many more are being added to the Kingdom.

  6.      What was their responsibility?

·         Their responsibility was to work in the vineyard for the whole day.

·         Our responsibility is to keep working as instructed.

·         We do not worry about seniority.

·         We need not to compare our work with others.

·         We need to do what has been given to us.

·         The Lord who sees in secret will reward you.

 

7.      What are they hired for?

·         To labor in the vineyard – digging, planting, fencing, watering, dressing, pruning, weeding and gathering fruits.

·         So also we are involved in different work in God’s Kingdom.

·         God has entrusted to us different gifts and talents.

·         Our responsibility is to do whatever is given to us.

·         There may be both big and small work.

·         We should never see any work so small.

·         All works are interrelated or interconnected for one purpose- the extension of God’s Kingdom

 8.      What was the problem here?

·         They compared their reward.

·         They complained and grumbled against the Land Lord.

·         It happens in our lives too.

·         I have been serving so long… he or she has just come.

·         I am lacking resources…

·         I am not respected or honored…

·         I am not given enough…

·         We should never complain.

·         We should never compare our reward with others’

·         Wait for the generous and just land owner, who is our God.

·         He will reward in due time.

·         We must also be careful not to grumble against God’s provision.

·         If we do so, we doubt God’s sovereignty, justice and generosity.

·         We should never be jealous over other’s provision, work or reward.

·         We should never fight for rights and privileges in God’s Kingdom.

·         Our God is faithful to give us what we need.

·         We must always be thankful to the Lord for the way he called us into his vineyard

·         The grateful are better off than the grumblers. 

 

 

July 4

 

 Scripture: Matthew 20:1-16

Subject: The Parable of the Workers in the Vineyard.

Theme: In the Kingdom of God, People receive what they need and are promised.

 

Introdution

·         This parable tells us a story involving absurd economics according to Kingdom standard.

·         Many of the details are given to add color to the story.

·         So such details are not to be pressed for theological meaning.

·         The point is that in the Kingdom, people receive what they need.

·         It is because our God knows what is the best for each one.

·         And also in the Kingdom, people receive what they are promised.

·         It is because the one who promised will never change his word.

·         There are a few things we learn from this parable.

 

1.      What was happening here?

·         What happened here in the story was that people were pressing vine in the vineyard of a land owner. 

·         The whole thing is compared to the Kingdom of heaven.

·         So definitely it must be the Kingdom’s work.

·         Therefore this parable is to be interpreted in the light of God’s rule over his entire creation.

 

 

2.      Who hired the workers here?

·         The one who hired workers was a man who was a land owner.

·         Here the Kingdom of heaven is likened to a landowner who went out early in the morning tyo hire men to work in his vineyard.

·         Our God is a great householder.

·         Ps. 24:1 says, “The earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it.”

·         It is He who owns everything and calls people in different times and in various ways.

·         God only called us from darkness to the marvelous light of the glorious gospel of Jesus Christ.

·         We are saved by grace.

·         God gave us gifts and talents and placed us in different arena of life, whether it is secular occupation or Christian work.

 

3.      What was the wages promised here?

·         A denarius!

·         Each one was promised a fixed amount.

·         It is the Lord who promised, not a human being and so he will fulfill what was promised.

·         No one should expect more than what was promised.

·         We should also think that our God will ever do injustice.

·         This was the problem with the workers here in the parable.

·         They were looking on to other’s labor and reward.

·         Our responsibility is to keep looking on to what is promised to us and be responsible to what has been entrusted to us.

·         God will fulfill what he promised in his perfect time.

·         It is because he knows the best for us.

·         Our God is known for his generosity and justice.

 

4.      Where are the workers hired from?

·         From the market places!

·         It is the place where daily workers wait for someone to come and pick up them for work.

·         These people were doing nothing. They were sitting there idle.

·         These workers who wait in market places have no guarantee that someone will give them a job.

·         I believe that God has called us and elected us from a condition of hopelessness and insecurity.

·         Apostle Paul wrote to Ephesians in chapter 2, think of your former ways… We were dead in our transgressions and sins.

·         We were following the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of air.

·         We were disobedient.

·         Our whole job was gratifying the cravings of our sinful nature.

·         Thank God for He has called us and put us in His vineyard.

 

5.      When are the workers called for their job?

·         They are called and appointed in different times.

·         So are we!

·         Many started early and many later and many more are being added to the Kingdom.

 

 

6.      What was their responsibility?

·         Their responsibility was to work in the vineyard for the whole day.

·         Our responsibility is to keep working as instructed.

·         We do not worry about seniority.

·         We need not to compare our work with others.

·         We need to do what has been given to us.

·         The Lord who sees in secret will reward you.

 

7.      What are they hired for?

·         To labor in the vineyard – digging, planting, fencing, watering, dressing, pruning, weeding and gathering fruits.

·         So also we are involved in different work in God’s Kingdom.

·         God has entrusted to us different gifts and talents.

·         Our responsibility is to do whatever is given to us.

·         There may be both big and small work.

·         We should never see any work so small.

·         All works are interrelated or interconnected for one purpose- the extension of God’s Kingdom

 

8.      What was the problem here?

·         They compared their reward.

·         They complained and grumbled against the Land Lord.

·         It happens in our lives too.

·         I have been serving so long… he or she has just come.

·         I am lacking resources…

·         I am not respected or honored…

·         I am not given enough…

·         We should never complain.

·         We should never compare our reward with others’

·         Wait for the generous and just land owner, who is our God.

·         He will reward in due time.

·         We must also be careful not to grumble against God’s provision.

·         If we do so, we doubt God’s sovereignty, justice and generosity.

·         We should never be jealous over other’s provision, work or reward.

·         We should never fight for rights and privileges in God’s Kingdom.

·         Our God is faithful to give us what we need.

·         We must always be thankful to the Lord for the way he called us into his vineyard

·         The grateful are better off than the grumblers.

Mathewphilip©2010

 

 

July 11

 

Ephesians 1:3-14

Spiritual Blessings in Christ

 Introduction

·         This passage talks about the spiritual blessings we as believers  inherit in Christ Jesus.

·         Paul had spent three years in Ephesus, an important center of trade and the location of a famous temple to the goddess of Artemis.

·         As a result of his ministry many churches were established in the surrounding cities.

·         While he has imprisoned, Paul responded to the needs of these churches by writing this letter.

·         The teaching of Ephesians helps believers to understand how they fit into the eternal plan of God.

·         That plan is that all things in heaven and on earth will be brought together under one head -Christ.

·         What a privilege it is to be included in God's plan as part of the church, the body of Christ.

 The Purpose

·         The whole purpose of writing Ephesians is two-fold:

1. To reveal the mystery of the Church.

2. To establish the headship of Christ.

 The Message

·         Ch. 1:3-14 talk about the spiritual blessings in Christ.

·         Today people talk too much about material blessings.

·         There are people who make this as a doctrine (I mean prosperity theology) and go around advocating how every saint of God should experience all kinds of material blessings.

·         This section is often called a "doxology" because it recites what God has done is an expression of worship to honor him.

·         Paul speaks of the blessing we have through the Father in v.3.

·         Then he talks about the blessings that come through the Son in verses 4 to 13.

·         Finally he talks about the blessings through the Holy Spirit in v. 14.

 ·         Paul is explaining what God has done for us.

·         One of the greatest problems in the church arises from the fact that in the church we are always hearing "what we ought to be doing for God."

·         It is like, We ought to be praying more...

·         We ought to be reading the Bible more...

·         We ought to be giving more...

·         We ought to be witnessing more...

·         We ought to bring one more person next Sunday...

·         But the matter of the fact is that people miserably fail

·         So we slowly develop a congregation of frustrated guilt ridden saints.

·         The church has been emphasizing much to long what you ought to be doing for God, but the Bible doesn't emphasize that.

·         The Bible emphasizes what God has done for us.

 Look at v.3:

1. Praise be to God...

·         First , what God has done for us - God's work has to be first in my life. Then only what we should be doing for God.

2. Father of our Lord Jesus Christ...

·         It shows Jesus' relation to God, the Father - a unique relationship.

3. God has blessed us in the heavenly realms...

·         We have been made beneficiaries of every spiritual blessing that belongs to and comes from the heavenly realm.

·         We see Christ's exaltation and elevation over all other powers and titles.

·         When one is in Christ, he or she enjoys inheritance with Christ.

 Look at v. 4:

1. He chose us in Him...

·         Christ is the center of God's plan.

·         Divine election is a constant theme in Paul's letters.

·         In this passage it is emphasized in the following ways:

·         He chose us before the creation of the world (v. 4)

·         He predestined us to be adopted (v.5)

·         v. 11 says, "In him we were also chosen, [fn] having been predestined according to the plan of him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will."

·         He chose me before the foundation of the world simply means He chose me according to his foreknowledge.

·         God knows in advance whom he will chose.

·         Though God already knows who all will be saved, he does not make the choice for you and me.

·         Only thing is that he has left the door open for us so that it become our choice also.

·         He only knows in advance, that which we are going to choose.

 Conclusion

·         We must know that we are blessed by God in Christ Jesus

·         We are chosen by God.

·         We are make holy and blemeless.

·         We are love by God.

·         We became his adult sons and daughters.

·         We are given his glorious grace freely.

·         We are redeemed through the blood of Jesus.

 

 

July 25

 

Ephesians 1:3-14

Spiritual Blessings in Christ (2)

 Introduction

·         Our passage talk about the spiritual blessings in Christ.

·         Today people talk about blessings.

·         People want to be blessed at any cost.

·         Paul speaks of the blessing we have through the Father in v.3.

·         Then he talks about the blessings that come through the Son in verses 4 to 13.

·         Finally he talks about the blessings through the Holy Spirit in v. 14.

 

·         Last week we looked into vv. 3 and 4.

·         And we said that God has blessed us in the heavenly realms.

·         He has chosen us in Christ Jesus to be holy and blameless so that we may enjoy inheritance with Christ.

·         We have been made beneficiaries of every spiritual blessing that belongs to and comes from the heavenly realm.

·         Look at v. 5:

2. He predestined us...

·         God decided this choice in advance.

·         There are different opinions about it:

·         There are people who exalt the grace of God, like Calvinists, and say God has elected each person.

·         There are others who talk much about man's freewill and say it is our choice, like Armenians.

·         We have to see what the Bible says about it.

·         Bible says that the election of you and me is god's own initiative.

·         I am not in any way to be initiated into it.

·         After all what good is in me that he may elect me?

·         I am totally unworthy to be elected because of my sins.

·         How can then God elect me? No way!

·         What God has decided in advance was the grace of God freely available to mankind.

·         v. 6 says, " to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves."

·         redemption of mankind.

·         in accordance with the riches of God's grace,we have redemption through his blood and the forgiveness of our sins

·         That's what v. 6 says.

·         So, What he has predestined was the provision of the salvation for you and me.

·         God predestined that a group of people who call up on the name of God shall be saved.

·         So he gave us his glorious grace - freely given to us - so that we have redemption through his blood.

·         V. 13 says that you and I are included in Christ under the umbrella of predestination.

·         Therefore one can say, "I am elected by God, I am predestined by God."

 Salvation is unique and universal

·         Salvation that is accomplished on the Cross is not for certain ones.

·         It is for everyone.

·         God wants to choose everyone.

·         He is not a God of partiality, but a God of justice.

·         That is why the glorious grace of God is freely given to us.

·         The door is still open for everyone.

·         The Holy Spirit is at work with everyone, everywhere.

·         Jesus stands at the door of everyone and knocks.

·         It is our responsibility to go and make known to the people about the grace that is available.

·         V. 12 talks about the Jews

·         V. 13 talks about the gentiles.

·         There is no difference in Christ

·         Choice is for everyone.

·         In vv. 13 & 14 we read that we are marked with a seal- deposit/ down payment- as a guarantee for our inheritance.

Conclusion

·         We are blessed by God in Christ Jesus.

·         We are chosen by God.

·         We are made holy and blameless.

·         We are loved by god.

·         We became His adult sons and daughters.

·         We are given His glorious grace freely.

·         We are redeemed through the blood of jesus.

·         We are forgiven of our sins.

·         We are gen all wisdom and understanding.

·         We are able to know His will.

·         We have a living hope in Christ Jesus.

·         We are sealed with the Holy Spirit.

·         We are guaranteed for the inheritance with Christ Jesus.

·         What else we need as God's children!

·         How blessed we are in Christ Jesus!

 

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