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The Psalms were a huge part of the early church’s life and worship together. They were meant to be a huge part of our church life and worship as well. This is made clear by at least three of the apostle Paul’s directives: First in I Corinthians 14:26, in the general context of the operation of the gifts of the Holy Spirit when we gather together corporately, he explained, “What is the outcome then, brethren? When you assemble, each one has a psalm, has a teaching, has a revelation, has a tongue, has an interpretation. Let all things be done for edification.” Next in Ephesians 5:18-21, again in the context of gathering for corporate worship with other believers, Paul commands, “And do not get drunk with wine, for that is dissipation, but be filled with the Spirit, speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody with your heart to the Lord;….”. Finally in Colossians 3:14-17, again in the context of body life, Paul commands, “……Let the word of Christ richly dwell within you, with all wisdom teaching and admonishing one another with psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with thankfulness in your hearts to God…”. Please note the psalms are always mentioned first. And when you get a chance, note how many times Paul quotes the Psalms in his epistles. They obviously were a significant part of his life and ministry. May they ever be more a part of ours!

The Blessing of Forgiveness and Cleansing of Sin & God’s mercy toward we sinners:     

                       Psalm 32:1,2 “How blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, Whose sin is covered! How blessed is the man to whom the Lord does not impute iniquity, And in whose spirit there is no deceit!”                                                                                      

Psa. 86:5 “ For You Lord are good, and ready to forgive, And abundant in lovingkindness to all who call upon You.”                                                                    

Psalm 103:3 “Who pardons all your iniquities…”                                                                     

Psa. 103:10 “He has not dealt with us according to our sins, Nor rewarded us according to our iniquities.”                                                                                                     

Psa. 103:12 “As far as the east is from the west, So far has He removed our transgressions from us.”

Our posture towards God and sin:                                                                                    

Psa. 34:18 “The Lord is near to the brokenhearted And saves those who are crushed in spirit.”                                                                                                                       

Psa. 51:17 “The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; A broken and a contrite heart, O God, You will not despise.”

Prayers for forgiveness, cleansing, healing, mercy re: our sin:                                    

Psa. 25:7 “Do not remember the sins of my youth or my transgressions; According to Your lovingkindness remember me, For Your goodness’ sake, O Lord.”                               

Psa. 25:18 “Look upon my affliction and my trouble, And forgive all my sins.”                  

Psa. 32:5 “I acknowledged my sin to You, And my iniquity I did not hide; I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the Lord”; And You forgave the guilt of my sin.”

Psa. 39:8 “Deliver me from all my transgressions; Make me not the reproach of the foolish.”                                                                                                                               

Psa. 41:4b “As for me, I said, “Oh Lord, be gracious to me; Heal my soul, for I have sinned against You.”                                                                                                            

Psa. 51:1 “Be gracious to me, O God, according to Your lovingkindness; According to the greatness of Your compassion blot out my transgressions.”                                    

Psa. 51:2 “Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity  And cleanse me from my sin.”     

Psa. 51:7 “Purify me with hyssop, and I shall be clean; Wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.”                                                                                                                   

Psa. 51:8 “Make me to hear joy and gladness, Let the bones which You have broken rejoice.”                                                                                                                                 

Psa. 51:9 “Hide your face from my sins And blot out all my iniquities.”                         

Psa. 51:10 “Create in me a clean heart, O God, And renew a steadfast spirit within me.”                                                                                                                      

Psalm 51:11 “Do not cast me away from Your presence And do not take Your Holy Spirit from me.”                                                                                                                

Psalm 51:12 “Restore to me the joy of Your salvation And sustain me with a willing spirit.”                                                                                                                              

Psalm 51:14 “Deliver me from bloodguiltiness O God, the God of my salvation; Then my tongue will joyfully sing of Your righteousness.”                                             

Psalm 51:15 “O Lord, open my lips That my mouth may declare Your praise.”    

Psalm 79:8 “Do not remember the iniquities of our forefathers against us; Let Your compassion come quickly to meet us, For we are brought very low.”            

Psalm 79:9 “Help us, O God of our salvation, for the glory of Your name; And deliver us and forgive our sins for Your name’s sake.”

Prayers for illumination/revelation of sin & blind spots:                                                             

Psa. 19:12 “Who can discern his errors? Acquit me of hidden faults.”                               

Psa. 19:13 “Also keep back Your servant from presumptuous sins; Let them not rule over me; Then I will be blameless, And I shall be acquitted of great transgression.”

Psa. 26:2 “Examine me O Lord, and try me; Test my mind and my heart.”                   

Psa. 139:23,24 “Search me, O God, and know my heart; Try me and know my anxious thoughts; And see if there be any hurtful way in me, And lead me in the everlasting way.”

God & our sin:                                                                                                                      

Psa. 14:1-3 “The fool has said in his heart,”There is no God.” They are corrupt, they have committed abominable deeds; There is no one who does good. The Lord has looked down from heaven upon the sons of men To see if there are any who understand, Who seek after God. They have all turned aside, together they have become corrupt; There is no one who does good, not even one.”  (cf. Psa. 53:1-3)   

Psa. 65:3 “Iniquities prevail against me; As for our transgressions, You forgive them.”                     

Psa. 65:5 “O God, it is You who knows my folly, And my wrongs are not hidden from You.”                                                                                                                                  

Psa. 90:8 “You have placed our iniquities before You, Our secret sins in the light of Your presence.”                                                                                                            

Psa. 103:10 “He has not dealt with us according to our sins, Nor rewarded us according to our iniquities.”                                                                                                  

Psa. 130:3,4 “If you, Lord, should mark iniquities, O Lord, who could stand? But there is forgiveness with You, That You may be feared.”                                                   

Psa. 130:8 “And He will redeem Israel From all his iniquities.”                                      

Psa. 143:2 “And do not enter into judgment with Your servant, For in Your sight no man living is righteous.”

Intimacy with God and call to Holiness:                                                                          

Psa. 15:1-5 “O Lord, who may abide in Your tent? Who may dwell on Your holy hill?…”

Guarding Against Sin:                                                                                                       

Psa. 39:1 “I said, “I will guard my ways That I may not sin with my tongue; I will guard my mouth as with a muzzle While the wicked are in my presence.”                  

Psa. 119:11 “Your word I have treasured in my heart, That I may not sin against You.”

Sin’s Consequences:                                                                                                                     

Psa. 31:10 “For my life is spent with sorrow And my years with sighing; My strength has failed because of my iniquity, And my body has wasted away.”                               

Psa. 32:3,4 “When I kept silent about my sin, my body wasted away  Through my groaning all day long. For day and night Your hand was heavy upon me; My vitality was drained away as with the fever heat of summer.”                                                        

Psa. 38:3-10 “There is no soundness in my flesh because of Your indignation; There is no health in my bones because of my sin. For my iniquities are gone over my heard; As a heavy burden they weigh too much for me. My wounds grow foul and fester Because of my folly……..”                                                                                   

Psa. 38:18 “For I confess my iniquity; I am full of anxiety because of my sin.”              

Psa. 40:12 “For evils beyond number have surrounded me; My iniquities have overtaken me, so that I am not able to see; They are more numerous than the hairs of my head.”                                                                                                                          

Psa. 41:4 “As for me, I said, “O Lord, be gracious to me; Heal my soul, for I have sinned against You.”                                                                                                                         

Psa. 65:3 “Iniquities prevail against me; As for our transgressions, You forgive them.”

Psa. 66:18 “If I regard wickedness in my heart, The Lord will not hear;”               

Psa. 107:17 “Fools, because of their rebellious way, And because of their iniquities, were afflicted.”

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In preparation for our Good Friday service, I sensed the need to put on one sheet as many of the purpose statements as I could find of why Jesus had to die on the cross. Like so many other things in the kingdom, we tend to think we know this, and tend to be a bit simplistic in talking about it to others. May meditation on these purpose statements result in greater devotion to Him, and greater effectiveness in speaking of the cross to others.

  

Romans 8:3,4 “For what the Law could not do, weak as it was through the flesh, God did: sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and as an offering for sin, He condemned sin in the flesh, so that the requirement of the Law might be fulfilled in us, who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.” 

Romans 14:9 “For to this end Christ died and lived again, that He might be Lord both of the dead and of the living.”

II Corinthians 5:15 “And He died for all, so that they who live might no longer live for themselves, but for Him who died and rose again on their behalf.”

II Corinthians 5:21 “He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.”

Galatians 1:4 “Who gave Himself for our sins so that He might rescue us from this present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father, to whom be the glory forever more. Amen.”

Galatians 4:4,5 “But when the fullness of the time came, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the Law, so that He might redeem those who were under the Law, that we might receive the adoption as sons.”

Ephesians 2:15,16 “by abolishing in His flesh the enmity, which is the Law of commandments contained in ordinances, so that in himself He might make the two into one new man, thus establishing peace, and might reconcile them both in one body to God through the cross, by it having put to death the enmity.”

I Thessalonians 5:9,10 “For God has not destined us for wrath, but for obtaining salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, who died for us, so that whether we are awake or asleep, we will live together with Him.”

I Timothy 2:5,6 “For there is one God, and one mediator also between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who gave Himself as a ransom for all, the testimony given at the proper time.”

Hebrews 2:9 “But we do see Him who has been made for a little while lower than the angels, namely, Jesus, because of the suffering of death crowned with glory and honor, that by the grace of God He might taste death for everyone.”

Hebrews 9:26 “Otherwise, He would have needed to suffer often since the foundation of the world; but now once at the consummation of the ages He has been manifested to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself.”

Hebrews 13:12 Therefore Jesus also, that He might sanctify the people through His own blood, suffered outside the gate.”

I Peter 2:24 “and He Himself bore our sins in His body on the cross, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness; for by His wounds you were healed.”

I Peter 3:18 “For Christ also died for sins once for all, the just for the unjust, so that He might bring us to God, having been put to death in the flesh, but made alive in the spirit;”

I John 3:5 “And you know that He appeared in order to take away sins; and in Him there is no sin.”

I John 4:10 “In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins.”

I John 4:14 “We have seen and testify that the Father has sent the Son to be the Savior of the world.”

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In preparation for Holy Week, I sensed the need for a tool to help us in our meditations on the greatness of our sin that required and led to the greatness of His sacrifice. Very easy to overlook or take for granted the greatness of His salvation and deliverance from the greatness of our sin and lostness.  Thus the notes that follow: (btw – I’ve had great difficulty of late trying to figure out the new wrinkles to this software. Thus the strange outline) 🙂

I. With respect to the understanding

A. Blindness

  1. We were spiritually blind a. Isa. 42:6,7 “a light….. to open blind eyes” b. Rev. 3:17 “…and you do not know that you are …blind…” c. II Cor. 4:4 “..the god of this world has blinded the minds…”

2. We were in darkness a. Prov. 4:19 “the way of the wicked is like darkness….”

b. Eph. 4:18 “being darkened in their understanding”

c. Col. 1:13 “For He rescued us from the domain of darkness…”

B. Defilement and futility

  1. We were defiled (Titus 1:15) “..their mind and conscience are defiled.”

2. We were futile  (Romans 1:21) “…they became futile in their speculations..” Eph. 4:17 “..in the futility of their mind,

II. With respect to our flesh

A. Indulging without restraint

  1. The lusts of our flesh was our life

a. Eph. 2:3 “..lived in the lusts of our flesh, indulging the…”

b. Eph. 4:19 “..over to sensuality..of every kind of impurity..”

III. With respect to our wills

A. Enmity with God

  1. Rom. 8:7 “the mind set on the flesh is hostile toward God…”

2. Jas. 4:4 “..friendship with the world is hostility toward God..”

3. Jude 1:11 “…and perished in the rebellion of Korah.”

B. Hatred of God

  1. Rom. 1:30 “haters of God”

2. John 7:7 “..but it hates Me because I testify of it that its deeds…”

3. John 15:18,23,24 “..you know that it has hated Me….”

C. Hardness of heart

  1. Matt. 19:8 “Because of your hardness of heart Moses….”

2. Eph. 4:18 “ because of the hardness of their heart;”

D. Aversion/Reluctance/Obstinance

  1. John 5:40 “and you were unwilling to come to Me so that you..”

2. Rev. 2:21 “…she does not want to repent of her immorality.”

3. Deut. 31:27 “For I know your rebellion and your stiff neck”

4. Acts 7:51 “You men who are stiff-necked….”

5. Rom. 10:21 “..Stretched out My hand to a ..obstinate people”

6. Titus 1:16 “..being detestable and disobedient and worthless for any good deed”

E. Bondage

  1. Jer. 13:23 “….who are accustomed to doing evil”

2. John 8:34 “..everyone who commits sin is the slave of sin”

Principles:

If the evil one brings up your sins, it is to condemn you (Rom. 8:1)

If the Holy Spirit brings up your sins, it is to cleanse and free you (I Jn. 1:9; Gal. 5:1)

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We are doing a six week or so sermon series on the Holy Spirit here at The Well – Los Osos, so I thought it might be helpful to see what leaders of the church down through the ages have said about the Holy Spirit. Enjoy!

“Without the Spirit we can neither love God nor keep His commandments.” – Augustine

“It is the Spirit that sheds the love of God abroad in their hearts, and the love of all mankind; thereby purifying their hearts from the love of the world, from the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eye, and the pride of life. It is by Him they are delivered from anger and pride, from all vile and inordinate affections.” – John Wesley

“The Holy Spirit illuminates the minds of people, makes us yearn for God, and takes spiritual truth and makes it understandable to us.” – Billy Graham

“The church becomes irrelevant when it becomes purely a human creation. We are not all we were made to be when everything in our lives and churches can be explained apart from the work and presence of the Spirit of God.” – Francis Chan

“The Christian’s life in all its aspects—intellectual and ethical, devotional and relational, upsurging in worship and outgoing in witness—is supernatural; only the Spirit can initiate and sustain it. So apart from him, not only will there be no lively believers and no lively congregations, there will be no believers and no congregations at all.” – J. I. Packer

“Trying to do the Lord’s work in your own strength is the most confusing, exhausting, and tedious of all work. But when you are filled with the Holy Spirit, then the ministry of Jesus just flows out of you.” – Corrie Ten Boom

“Children of God should not make a general confession by acknowledging their innumerable sins in a vague manner, because such confession does not provide conscience opportunity to do its perfect work. They ought to allow the Holy Spirit through their conscience to point out their sins one by one. Christians must accept its reproach and be willing, according to the mind of the Spirit, to eliminate everything which is contrary to God.” – Watchman Nee


“We need, men so possessed by the Spirit of God that God can think His thoughts through our minds, that He can plan His will through our actions, that He can direct His strategy of world evangelization through His Church.” – Alan Redpath


“To the individual believer indwelt by the Holy Spirit there is granted the direct impression of the Spirit of God on the spirit of man, imparting the knowledge of His will in matters of the smallest and greatest importance. This has to be sought and waited for.” – G. Campbell Morgan


“The Spirit-filled life is not a special, deluxe edition of Christianity. It is part and parcel of the total plan of God for His people.” – A. W. Tozer


“Christians ought to eliminate their folly. They ought to adopt God’s view of the absolute impossibility for their natural walk to please Him. They must dare to allow the Holy Spirit to point out to them every corruption of the soul life. They must exercise faith in believing God’s estimation of their natural life and must wait patiently for the Holy Spirit to reveal in them what the Bible says of them. Only in this manner will they be led in the way of deliverance.” – Watchman Nee


“If you do not understand a book by a departed writer you are unable to ask him his meaning, but the Spirit, who inspired Holy Scripture, lives forever, and He delights to open the Word to those who seek His instruction.” – Charles Spurgeon


“Confusion and impotence are the inevitable results when the wisdom and resources of the world are substituted for the presence and power of the Spirit.” – Samuel Chadwick


“We declare, upon Scriptural authority, that the human will is so desperately set on mischief, so depraved, and so inclined to everything that is evil, and so disinclined to everything that is good, that without the powerful, supernatural, irresistible influence of the Holy Spirit, no human will ever be constrained towards Christ.” – Charles Spurgeon


“The root-trouble of the present distress is that the Church has more faith in the world and the flesh than in the Holy Ghost, and things will get no better till we get back to His realized presence and power.” – Samuel Chadwick

“Read whatever chapter of scripture you will, and be ever so delighted with it – yet it will leave you as poor, as empty and unchanged as it found you unless it has turned you wholly and solely to the Spirit of God, and brought you into full union with and dependence upon him.” – William Law


“I can say, through the power of the Spirit that wherever God can get a people that will come together in one accord and one mind in the Word of God, the baptism of the Holy Ghost will fall upon them, like as at Cornelius’ house.” – William J. Seymour


“If the Holy Spirit was withdrawn from the church today, 95 percent of what we do would go on and no one would know the difference. If the Holy Spirit had been withdrawn from the New Testament church, 95 percent of what they did would stop, and everybody would know the difference” – A. W. Tozer


“Forms and rituals do not produce worship, nor does the disuse of forms and rituals. We can use all the right techniques and methods, we can have the best possible liturgy, but we have not worshipped the Lord until Spirit touches spirit.” – Richard J. Foster

  • “Since the days of Pentecost, has the whole church ever put aside every other work and waited upon Him for ten days, that the Spirit’s power might be manifested? We give too much attention to method and machinery and resources, and too little to the source of power.” – Hudson Taylor


“Oh! yes, (the prayer meeting) is the place to meet with the Holy Ghost, and this is the way to get His mighty power. If we would have Him, we must meet in greater numbers; we must pray with greater fervency, we must watch with greater earnestness, and believe with firmer steadfastness. The prayer meeting…is the appointed place for the reception of power.” – Charles Spurgeon

“What the Church needs to-day is not more machinery or better, not new organizations or more and novel methods, but men whom the Holy Ghost can use men of prayer, men mighty in prayer. The Holy Ghost does not flow through methods, but through men. He does not come on machinery, but on men. He does not anoint plans, but men, men of prayer.” – E.M. Bounds

“The Holy Spirit as the Spirit of Power helpeth our infirmity in prayer. The Holy Spirit as the Spirit of Life ends our deadness in prayer. The Holy Spirit as the Spirit of Wisdom delivers us from ignorance in this holy art of prayer. The Holy Spirit as the Spirit of Fire delivers us from coldness in prayer. The Holy Spirit as the Spirit of Might comes to our aid in our weakness as we pray.” – Leonard Ravenhill


“Breath in me, O Holy Spirit, that my thoughts may all be holy. Act in me, O Holy Spirit, that my work, too, may be holy. Draw my heart, O Holy Spirit, that I love but what is holy. Strengthen me, O Holy Spirit, to defend all that is holy. Guard me, then, O Holy Spirit, that I always may be holy.” – Augustine


Men ought to seek with their whole hearts to be filled with the Spirit of God. Without being filled with the Spirit, it is utterly impossible that an individual Christian or a church can ever live or work as God desires.” – Andrew Murray


“If revival is being withheld from us it is because some idol remains still enthroned; because we still insist in placing our reliance in human schemes; because we still refuse to face the unchangeable truth that, ‘It is not by might, but by My Spirit.'” – Jonathan Goforth


“The Holy Spirit cannot conquer the world with unbelief, nor can He save the world with a worldly Church. He calls for a crusade, a campaign, and an adventure of saving passion. For this enterprise He wants a separated, sanctified and sacrificial people.” – Samuel Chadwick


“O Holy Spirit, descend plentifully into my heart. Enlighten the dark corners of this neglected dwelling and scatter there Thy cheerful beams.” – Augustine


“Spirit filled souls are ablaze for God. They love with a love that glows. They serve with a faith that kindles. They serve with a devotion that consumes. They hate sin with fierceness that burns. They rejoice with a joy that radiates. Love is perfected in the fire of God.” – Samuel Chadwick


“The chief danger of the Church today is that it is trying to get on the same side as the world, instead of turning the world upside down. Our Master expects us to accomplish results, even if they bring opposition and conflict. Anything is better than compromise, apathy, and paralysis. God, give to us an intense cry for the old-time power of the Gospel and the Holy Ghost!” – A. B. Simpson


“Wise leaders should have known that the human heart cannot exist in a vacuum. If Christians are forbidden to enjoy the wine of the Spirit they will turn to the wine of the flesh….Christ died for our hearts and the Holy Spirit wants to come and satisfy them.” – A. W. Tozer


“It is impossible to overestimate the importance of being filled with the Spirit.” – Smith Wigglesworth


“The church that is man-managed instead of God-governed is doomed to failure. A ministry that is college-trained but not Spirit-filled works no miracles.” – Samuel Chadwick

Much of today’s church relies more on a book the early church didn’t have, than the Holy Spirit they did. – Bill Johnson

If you engage with the Holy spirit because you want to merely be effective in ministry, then you’re developing professional intimacy and what do we call people who are intimate as a profession? – Bill Johnson

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My objective below was to try to find as many scriptures as I could that speak to the authority and reliability of scripture. Like many of my surveys from Genesis to Revelation, this is not exhaustive. And I’m sure I will add to it over time. But hopefully there is enough below to help one see that you can bank your life and eternity on the scriptures.

Old Testament:

 “Everything that I command you, you shall be careful to do. You shall not add to it or take from it.  Deut. 12:32

The words of the Lord are pure words, like silver refined in a furnace on the ground, purified seven times.  Psalm 12:6

The law of the Lord is perfect, reviving the soul; the testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple; the precepts of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart; the commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes; the fear of the Lord is clean, enduring forever; the rules of the Lord are true, and righteous altogether. More to be desired are they than gold, even much fine gold; sweeter also than honey and drippings of the honeycomb. Moreover, by them is your servant warned; in keeping them there is great reward.  Psa. 19:7-11

“Your testimonies are fully confirmed…..” Psalm 93:5a

“….All His precepts are sure.” Psalm 111:7

 “All Your commandments are faithful;…” Psalm 119:86

 “Forever, O Lord, Your word is settled in heaven.” Psalm 119:89

“…Your commandment is exceedingly broad.” Psalm 119:96

“…..that I will keep Your righteous ordinances.” Psalm 119:106

“My eyes fail with longing for Your salvation  And for Your righteous word.” Psalm 119:123

“Therefore I esteem right all Your precepts concerning everything, I hate every false way.” Psalm 119:128

“Righteous are You, O Lord, And upright are Your judgments.”  Psalm 119:137

“You have commanded Your testimonies in righteousness And exceeding faithfulness.” Psalm 119:138

“Your word is very pure, Therefore Your servant loves it.” Psalm 119:140

“Your righteousness is an everlasting righteousness, And Your law is truth.” Psalm 119:142

“Your testimonies are righteous forever;….” Psalm 119:144

“You are near, O Lord, And all Your commandments are truth.”  Psalm 119:151

“Of old I have known from Your testimonies  That You have founded them forever.”  Psalm 119:152

“The sum of Your word is truth, And every one of Your righteous ordinances is everlasting.”  Psalm 119:160

“Seven times a day I praise You, because of Your righteous ordinances.”  Psalm 119:164

“Let my tongue sing of Your word, For all Your commandments are righteousness.” Psalm 119:172

Every word of God proves true; he is a shield to those who take refuge in him. Do not add to his words, lest he rebuke you and you be found a liar. Prov. 30:5,6

The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God will stand forever. Isa. 40:8

New Testament:

For truly, I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not an iota, not a dot, will pass from the Law until all is accomplished.  Matthew 5:18

Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will not pass away.” Matthew 24:35

But all this has taken place to fulfill the Scriptures of the prophets.” Matthew 26:56

You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; and it is they that bear witness about me,  John 5:39

If he called them gods to whom the word of God came—and Scripture cannot be broken— John 10:35

Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth. John 17:17

“For whatever was written in earlier times was written for our instruction, so that through perseverance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope.” Romans 15:4

All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, II Tim. 3:16

For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.  Heb. 4:12

The grass withers, and the flower falls, but the word of the Lord remains forever.” And this word is the good news that was preached to you. I Peter 1:25

For no prophecy was ever produced by the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit. II Peter 1:21

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King David is the only person in scripture deemed as “a man after God’s own heart” (Acts 13:22). I suppose there are a number of reasons why God esteems him as such. But surely one of them is because of how much David loved and cherished the people of God. David felt about God’s people like God did, and therefore he longed for the next opportunity to worship and seek God with them.

The following scriptures serve to highlight this, and hopefully will stir us up to a greater love for and desire to worship with God’s people. Continue reading David’s Delight in the Gathered People of God, and Commitment to Corporate Worship

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These promises have been a great encouragement to me over the years to talk less and pray more, though I still need to talk less and pray more. I trust they will be an encouragement to you as well!

Matthew 6:6 “But when you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you.”

Matthew 7:7 “Ask, and it will be give to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.”
Matthew 7:8 “For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened.” Continue reading Jesus’s Prayer Promises

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One of the most glorious ongoing works of our great Savior Jesus Christ is that He is continually cleansing His church from all of our unrighteousness and defilement by His precious blood and by the intimate work of the Holy Spirit.

Our role is to cooperate with Jesus and with the Holy Spirit.

“Therefore, having these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all defilement of flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.” II Corinthians 7:1 Continue reading A Simple Tool for Cooperating with the On-going Cleansing Work of Christ

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I. For knowing Christ –
A. “Then beginning with Moses and with all the prophets, He explained to them the things concerning Himself in all the Scriptures.” Luke 24:27

B. “You search the Scriptures, because you think that in them you have eternal life, it is these that testify about Me.” John 5:39

II. For spiritual growth and sanctification –
A. “But He answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God.” Matthew 4:4 Continue reading The Supreme Value & Fruit From Bible Reading, Meditation & Study

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Greetings Husbands: I originally developed this as a pre-marital counseling tool minus the prayer requests. Then when I realized in June of 2017 that I was taking my wife for granted and not leading and pursuing her like I should, I turned this into a daily prayer tool. The transformation in me and in my marriage, has been significant. May the Holy Spirit use this tool to help you become the husband God called you to be!

I. We are to leave our parents and cleave to our wife and become one flesh – Gen. 2:24, Matt. 19:5 Eph. 5:31 Father, please help me honor, but leave and have good boundaries with my parents, and to ever more cleave to my wife and become one in every way with her.

II. We are to give our wife happiness – especially during our first year of marriage. Deut. 24:5 Father show me creative ways to make my wife happy all the days of our life together. Continue reading A Husband’s Job Description Prayer Tool

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It is absolutely critical for we disciples of Jesus Christ to be grounded in the truth of both our sin nature and our new nature or identity in Christ. Only when we are regularly reminded of how we were before Christ saved us, will we appreciate the greatness of His salvation. Only when we are regularly reminded of who we are in the flesh in the present, will we appreciate the greatness of His grace, and cleansing blood, and impartation of the life of Christ by His Spirit. I’m hoping this will especially serve us all in having more meaningful times at the Lord’s table. The following chart is given to that end. It is not exhaustive by any means. I have confined this study to the New Testament. Continue reading A Primer on Our Sin Nature vs. our New Nature/Identity in Christ

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I handed out this primer yesterday in our service as a resource for those longing to experience Christ more at His table!

I. Communion Passages: Jesus – Matthew 26:26-29; Mark 14:22-25; Luke 22:17-20; John 6:53-56; Luke – Acts 2:42. 20:7; Paul – I Cor. 10:21; I Cor. 11:20-22; I Cor. 11:23-29; (see full passages under “resources”)

II. Names of in Scripture: Lord’s Supper – I Cor. 11:20; Table of the Lord – I Cor. 10:21; Breaking of Bread – Acts 2:42 & 20:7; Sacrament & Eucharist are not found in the New American Standard Bible

III. A Prayer Before Holy Communion from the Agbia: “Lord, I am not worthy to have You come under my roof because I am a sinner, but only say the word; “your sins are forgiven” and my soul will be healed. I am barren and empty of any goodness; I have nothing but Your compassion, mercy and love to mankind. You descended from Your Heavenly Glory to our humility and consented to be born in a manger. O’ Holy Savior, do not reject my humble and miserable soul which is waiting for Your glorified coming. As You did not refuse to enter the leper’s house to heal him, please Lord, come into my soul to cleanse it. As You did not stop the adulteress from kissing Your feet, please do not prevent me from coming near You to receive Your Holy Body and Your Sacred Blood. May this Holy Communion banish every corruption and mortify all my evil desires. Help me to obey Your commandments and heal my soul and my body from every sin. May Your Spirit dwell within me and make me united with You, so I may live for the Glory of Your Name. Amen.” (The Agbia is the prayer book of the Egyptian Coptic Church, which was started 2,000 years ago by the apostle Mark). Continue reading Primer for Coming to the Lord’s Table/Partaking of Communion

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Matt. 26:26-30 – – “While they were eating, Jesus took some bread, and after a blessing, He broke it and gave it to the disciples, and said, “Take, eat; this is My body.” And when He had taken a cup and given thanks, He gave it to them, saying, “Drink from it, all of you; for this is My blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for forgiveness of sins. But I say to you, I will not drink of this fruit of the vine from now on until that day when I drink it new with you in My Father’s kingdom. After singing a hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives.”

Mark 14:22-26 – – “While they were eating, He took some bread, and after a blessing He broke it, and gave it to them, and said, “Take it; this is My body.” And when He had taken a cup and given thanks, He gave it to them, and they all drank from it. And He said to them, “This is My blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many. Truly I say to you, I will never again drink of the fruit of the vine until that day when I drink it new in the kingdom of God.” After singing a hymn, they went out to the Mt. of Olives.” Continue reading Communion Passages in N.T.

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When planning a wedding with a couple this list has come in handy.

Pre-processional (music)
Lighting of Candles
Processional (music)
Seating of Grandmothers
Seating of Parents
Pastor and Groomsmen enter
Bridesmaids enter
Bride and Father enter
Welcome/Greeting from Pastor
Opening Prayer
The Question: “Who gives this woman in marriage?”
Sermon about marriage directed to couple
Exchange of Vows
Exchange of Rings
Lighting of Unity Candle (inside only)
Communion to Couple (usually inside, and not very common)
Blessing/Pronouncement
Warning: “What God has joined together, let no man put asunder.”
Kiss
Introduction of new married couple
Recessional (music)
Announcement re: Reception
Songs, relevant poems, and scripture readings can be mixed in anywhere

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January 3, 2017

“To worship is to quicken the conscience by the holiness of God, to feed the mind with the truth of God, to purge the imagination by the beauty of God, to open the heart to the love of God, to devote the will to the purpose of God.” William Temple

“The theme of worship is far more central and significant in scripture than many Christians might imagine. Far from being a peripheral subject, it has to do with the fundamental question of how we can be in a right relationship with God and please Him in all that we do. Worship in the New Testament is a comprehensive category describing the Christian’s total existence. Worship is a subject that should dominate our live seven days a week.” David Peterson Continue reading Worship quotes

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One of the ways God chooses to bless and minister to people is through our words of blessing. Our words have power especially when spoken in faith and when spoken by the leading and power of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit had men record these for a reason. May He show you and I how to use them to bless others, and may tangible fruit result from our words of blessing.

Numbers 6:24-26 The Lord bless you, and keep you; The Lord make His face shine on you, And be gracious to you; The Lord lift up His countenance on you, And give you peace. Continue reading The Blessings of the Bible

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Because truth has such a transforming effect on the lives of Jesus followers, Satan is always trying to pervert or corrupt it. A great or sad example of that is how he has sought to pervert and twist the wonderful truths regarding the blood of Jesus. There is a whole genre now of movies and T.V. shows that are obsessed with blood,… anyone’s but Jesus’s that is.

I guess that is your right if you work in Hollywood. But to be a disciple of Jesus, you must learn to relish and cherish the blood of Jesus. Jesus made this starkly clear in John 6:53, where He is quoted as saying, “….Truly, truly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you have no life in yourselves.” Continue reading The Blood of Jesus

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We cannot organize revival, but we can set our sails to catch the wind from heaven when God chooses to blow upon His people once again. Dr. G. Campbell Morgan

A revival is not a special service or a crusade or an evangelistic campaign. A revival is a refreshing from God, a reviving of existing spiritual life, a fire from Heaven, a moving of God’s Holy Ghost in and upon the lives of born again people.
 Tom Malone

A true revival means nothing less than a revolution, casting out the spirit of worldliness and selfishness, and making God and His love triumph in the heart and life. Andrew Murray Continue reading Quotes on Revival

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Prayer lays hold of God’s plan and becomes the link between His will and its accomplishment on earth. Amazing things happen, and we are given the privilege of being the channels of the Holy Spirit’s prayer.
Elisabeth Elliot

Any concern too small to be turned into a prayer is too small to be made into a burden. Corrie Ten Boom

Prayer must carry on our work as much as preaching; he preacheth not heartily to his people that will not pray for them.
Richard Baxter, 1615 – 1691

Groanings which cannot be uttered are often prayers which cannot be refused. Spurgeon Continue reading Quotes on Prayer

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These notes are one of the studies I do with pre-marital couples. The question I like to ask them is this: Why is the longest passage in the Bible about marriage in the book of Ephesians? Here’s the answer in a nutshell:

Understanding Ephesians vs. Other N.T. Books: Ephesians, like Romans, is more of a theological treatise than a personalized letter aimed at a specific congregation dealing with specific problems, questions or issues. Great thought went into presenting a complete package in the writing of Ephesians. Therefore it is imperative that in the pursuit of understanding any particular passage within Ephesians that we evaluate that passage in light of the whole of its teaching. Ephesians is a great example of the dictum, “The Whole is greater than the sum of its parts.”
Continue reading Marriage in light of the Big Picture in Ephesians

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Prov. 8:12-16 – “..by me kings reign…”
“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.” Prov. 9:10
1. Pray for our gov’t leaders to grow in their fear of the Lord.
2. Pray that our gov’t leaders will see the value of wisdom from above.

Prov. 14:34 “Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a disgrace to any people.”
1. Pray that our gov’t leaders will pursue righteousness, and flee from sin.
2. Pray that see the value of righteousness, and the destructiveness of sin. Continue reading Prayer Guide from Proverbs for Government Leaders

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When the devil is called the god of this world, it is not because he made it, but because we serve him with our worldliness. Simeon

The triumphant Christian does not fight for victory; he celebrates a victory already won. Captain Reginald Wallis

A blind, anemic, weak-kneed flea on crutches would have a greater chance of defeating a herd of a thousand wild stampeding elephants, than the enemy has of defeating God. Ray Comfort

We…are locked in a battle. This is not a friendly, gentleman’s discussion. It is a life and death conflict between the spiritual hosts of wickedness and those who claim the name of Christ. Francis A. Schaeffer Continue reading Spiritual Warfare Quotes

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Lots of talk out there about spiritual warfare these days. Seems best to me to start with what is very clear in scripture re: our responsibility. Encouraging to me from meditating on these commands that we have the power and authority in Christ to resist the most powerful supernatural being (other than Jesus Christ and His angels) in the Universe. Being familiar with the context of these passages is very helpful in obeying the commands. May he be an increasingly defeated foe!

1. “Therefore, my beloved, flee from idolatry….and I do not want you to become sharers in demons…” I Cor. 10:14-21

2. “….and do not give the devil an opportunity.” Eph. 4:27 Continue reading Commands in the New Testament to Believers Re: Satan & Demons

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We may never be martyrs but we can die to self, to sin, to the world, to our plans and ambitions. That is the significance of baptism; we died with Christ and rose to new life.
Vance Havner

Our justification from sins takes place at the point of saving faith, not at the point of water baptism, which usually occurs later. But if a person is already justified and has sins forgiven eternally at the point of saving faith, then baptism is not necessary for forgiveness of sins nor for the bestowal of new spiritual life. Baptism, then, is not necessary for salvation. But it is necessary if we are to be obedient to Christ, for he commanded baptism for all who believe in him.
WAYNE A. GRUDEM, Bible Doctrine

Baptism is rich in meaning. It suggests cleansing. When you are a disciple, you understand that you are cleansed by Christ. You understand that Christ died in your place on the cross, paying for your sins, fully forgiving you for all your wrongs. You are cleansed from guilt, and you are becoming a cleaner, healthier, more whole person.
BRIAN D. MCLAREN, More Ready Than You Realize
Continue reading QUOTES ON WATER BAPTISM

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