Monday, August 24, 2009

What is our Liberty?

Galatians 2:4-5 says, “And that because of false brethren unawares brought in, who came in privily to spy out our liberty which we have in Christ Jesus, that they might bring us into bondage: To whom we gave place by subjection, no, not for an hour; that the truth of the gospel might continue with you.” The false brethren spoken of here are those who had questioned the “liberty” of the believers at Antioch. In other words, Paul didn’t give these guys the time of day.

In Paul’s ministry, he had met a lot of these guys. He spoke of them in 2 Corinthians 11:26 when he said, “in journeys often, in perils of waters, in perils of robbers, in perils of my own countrymen, in perils of the Gentiles, in perils in the city, in perils in the wilderness, in perils in the sea, in perils among false brethren;”

Make no mistake about it. They are still around today. Peter spoke of them in 2 Peter 2:1-3 when he said, “But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction. And many shall follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of. And through covetousness shall they with feigned words make merchandise of you: whose judgment now of a long time lingereth not, and their damnation slumbereth not.”

What is our liberty? No more bondage to the Law (3:25, 5:1, 4:9)! In contrast to the two commands of Christ, (love the Lord your God with all of your heart, soul, and mind and your neighbor as yourself), the Pharisees had developed a system of 613 laws, 365 negative commands and 248 positive laws...By the time Christ came it had produced a heartless, cold, and arrogant brand of righteousness. As such, it contained at least ten tragic flaws. (1) New laws continually need to be invented for new situations. (2) Accountability to God is replaced by accountability to men. (3) It reduces a person's ability to personally discern. (4) It creates a judgmental spirit. (5) The Pharisees confused personal preferences with divine law. (6) It produces inconsistencies. (7) It created a false standard of righteousness. (8) It became a burden to the Jews. (9) It was strictly external. (10) It was rejected by Christ.

They try to put us back under the Law even today. Jesus told the Pharisees in Matt 23:25 you are “Blind guides, who strain out a gnat and swallow a camel!” This illustration reminded me of what it is like trying to live under bondage. “Professional golfer Tommy Bolt was playing in Los Angeles and had a caddy with a reputation of constant chatter. Before they teed off, Bolt told him, "Don't say a word to me. And if I ask you something, just answer yes or no." During the round, Bolt found the ball next to a tree, where he had to hit under a branch, over a lake and onto the green. He got down on his knees and looked through the trees and sized up the shot. What do you think?" he asked the caddy. "Five-iron?" "No, Mr. Bolt," the caddy said. "What do you mean, not a five-iron?" Bolt snorted. "Watch this shot." The caddy rolled his eyes. "No-o-o, Mr. Bolt." But Bolt hit it and the ball stopped about two feet from the hole. He turned to his caddy, handed him the five-iron and said, "Now what do you think about that? You can talk now." "Mr. Bolt," the caddy said, "that wasn't your ball." Legalism takes all of the fun out of being a child of the King.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

The Lord is Faithful

The Bible says in Daniel 1:13-15: “Then let our countenances be looked upon before thee, and the countenance of the children that eat of the portion of the king's meat: and as thou seest, deal with thy servants. So he consented to them in this matter, and proved them ten days. And at the end of ten days their countenances appeared fairer and fatter in flesh than all the children which did eat the portion of the king's meat.” The Lord proves faithful to Daniel. You know, it’s far better to please God, than to please the world. God will always prove Himself faithful if you do it His way.

There is no better example of this than Noah. I heard Adrian Rodgers say one time that it is better to be in the right and in the minority than to be wrong and in the majority. He also said when speaking of Noah, “He went into the ark in the minority, but he came out in the majority!” We would all do well to remember that.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

The Gospels

The Gospels cover a period of about thirty-five years. They open with an announcement in the Temple of God (Lk. 1:11-20) and close with the ascension of the Son of God (Lk. 24:51). As the Old testament began with man made in the image of God (Gen. 1:26), the Gospels open up with God made in the image of man (Jn. 1:14). The man made in the image of God was defeated by Satan in a garden (Gen. 2:8), but the God made in the image of man defeated Satan in a garden when He submitted to His Father’s will (Lk. 22:39-42). Prior to the Gospels, sheep died for shepherds (Ex. 12:1-13), but now the Shepherd was going to die for the sheep (Jn. 10:11). At his birth he was offered gold, frankincense, and myrrh by wise men who worshipped him (Mt. 2:11), while at his death he was offered thorns, vinegar, and spittle by wicked men who ridiculed him (Mt. 27:29, 34, 26:67). The Gospels describe Jesus saving sinners under a tree (Jn. 1:48), up a tree (Lk. 19:4-5), and on a tree (Lk. 23:43). Looking forward to my study through the book of Matthew with the students!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Gathering on Sunday

The Bible teaches that the early church always worshipped on Sunday. It says in Acts 20:7, “And upon the first day of the week, when the disciples came together to break bread,…” They were gathering for communion and Bible study on Sunday.

It also says, when speaking of when the offering was to be taken that it was to be done on Sunday. 1 Corinthians 16:2 says, “Upon the first day of the week let every one of you lay by him in store, as God hath prospered him...” Clearly, the early church worshipped on Sunday. Now, I know that there are those within the church today who are convinced that we must all worship only on the Sabbath or Saturday. I’m not here to knock them in any way. However, I will go to Scripture on anyone who tries to put me back under the Old Testament Law. Jesus came and fulfilled the Law so that I would not have to. If I could have done it myself, Jesus would not have had to do it for me. When Jesus prayed in the garden, “O my Father, if this cup may not pass away from me, except I drink it, thy will be done” (Matthew 26:42); what He was in essence saying was, “Father, if this is not the only way for man to be saved, don’t make me do this.” Of course, God’s answer was delivered in the form of a kiss (Matthew 26:48-49).

Monday, August 10, 2009

Willfully Ignorant

I am amazed at how willfully ignorant people can be on the clear teaching about angels and demons (fallen angels) in the Bible. Do you know how many false religions and cults have been started because someone said that an angel came and told then something? The Apostle Paul said in Galatians 1:6-8, “I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel: Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ. But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed.”

That means that if an angel, heavenly or demonic, (it will be demonic) was to stand at the foot of your bed tonight and tell you something that is not in the Bible; don’t you believe it because he is lying and he is accursed by God.

Sunday, August 9, 2009


An Iranian invented a compass-like device engraved with the names of 150 cities, in Arabic. The devout Muslim turns the instrument until the needle indicates north, twists a dial to the name of the city he is in -- and the arrow points the way to Mecca, which Muslims face to pray five times a day. How many times a day do we intentionally pray?

Friday, August 7, 2009

The Word of God

The Word of God is compared to a two edged sword. As a two edged sword it represents the Word of God. Hebrews 4:12 says, “For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.” This verse shows us both the truth and the severity of the Word of God. If it is allowed to cut one way, it can be a surgical scalpel that the Master Physician uses to repair heal, remove, and restore. Ephesians 5:27 speaks of this process when it says, “That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word.”

However, the Word of God may also cut another way and be an instrument of judgment. The Bible says that when Jesus returns for the second time in Revelation 19:15 that “…out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron: and he treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God.” So, the Word of God can be both an instrument of healing and an instrument of judgment. It’s entirely up to us which way it will cut in our lives. Which way is it cutting in your life?

Thursday, August 6, 2009


Here is another distraction in the church today – eternal security of the believer or what some would rather call the perseverance of the saints. Whatever you chose to call it, it’s a bait and switch from the enemy. It’s taking our eyes off of the cross. It’s majoring in the minors. Yes, if you’re truly saved you’re always saved. Yes, if you persevere, than that means you’re saved. Yes, if you don’t persevere then you never were saved to begin with. My goodness, we’re saying the same thing. Let me ask you this while you’re arguing among yourselves, “When was the last time you personally led someone to Jesus?” I believe that all of our bickering breaks the heart of God because it takes our eyes off of him. Leave that stuff to the little professors to discuss over donuts in the teacher’s lounge at the college down the street. Lead people to Jesus!

Wednesday, August 5, 2009


This is taken from my commentary on Jude. "Listen mom and dad – it’s all well and good that little Johnny is enjoying the youth group and little Suzie is having a great time running around in the children’s ministry, but what about you? Are you getting fed? Are you growing in your walk with the Lord? Are you any closer to God today than you were yesterday? If you are not growing in your walk with the Lord, you cannot lead your children in their walks with the Lord either. For the love of God, find a church that teaches the Bible and stop looking to be entertained. Entertain your children at home. That is not the church’s job."

Andrews, TX

I will be speaking at the Calvary Baptist Church in Andrews, Texas Sunday morning at 10:45am. If you're in the area, drop by.