We Owe God Our Service

The Awesome Nature of God
Psalm 139
March 24, 2013

In our final message in this series on the doctrine of God, we revisit David’s suffering at Ziklag once more (1 Sam. 30:1-10). He and his men have lost their homes.  Their families have been kidnapped.  David is a powerful warrior.  He has the ability to hunt down the raiders who did this.  By the ethic of his culture, he has an obligation to destroy the raiders.  But David sees higher obligations.

We have been looking at David’s concept of God in Psalm 139.  God is the creator and sustainer of life. He is not limited by space or time and his knowledge is perfect.  He is a triunity and he works to accomplish his purposes.  As David contemplates Yahweh, he expresses the only possible conclusion: David is obligated to serve God.

As Christians we believe that we owe God our service, and this is stated in our proposed statement of beliefs.  In today’s sermon we will be asking, “What kind of service should we be giving to God?  And, is ours the service of Christians or of pharisees?”

Published in: on March 29, 2013 at 12:43 am  Leave a Comment  

The Triune God’s Plans

The Awesome Nature of God
Psalm 139
March 17, 2013

Christians in our community and our culture are facing many imminent challenges.  How we face them will inevitably be a matter of our beliefs – our doctrine.  It is important that we be prepared to respond with clarity, grace, and firmness.  We must not be afraid of these challenges, but see them as opportunities to tell of the grace and truth of Christ.

Today we continue our study of the doctrine of God presented in our proposed doctrinal statement.   Again we begin with Psalm 139.  Here David addresses himself specifically to Yahweh.

David is calling God by name.  This is use of the name of God is not a matter of indifference in the Psalms.  Calling on the name of Yahweh is one of the oldest forms of worship recorded in the Bible (Genesis 4.26).

Given that this name is so important, what does David mean when he uses it? What concept of God does the name carry? This morning we will see that David understands Yahweh as triune, with a purpose for David and human history.

Published in: on March 29, 2013 at 12:41 am  Leave a Comment  

God Beyond Compare

The Awesome Nature of God
Psalm 139
March 10, 2013

Today we continue our examination of our proposed statement of beliefs, with our series on the doctrine of God based upon the testimony of David in Psalm 139.  Our focus this week is on the statement:

“He is holy (Isaiah 6:3). God is not limited by space, time, or imperfection, and his knowledge is infinite (Psalm 139:1-12).”

In Ziklag, David and his men discover that their homes have been burned and their families taken (1 Samuel 30.1-10). David turns to God with a very specific question: should he pursue the raiders?

What kind of God does David have to worship in order to ask a question like this and expect an answer?

This morning we study the attributes of God that raise him beyond comparison with any other being.

Published in: on March 29, 2013 at 12:35 am  Leave a Comment  

Our Creator

The Awesome Nature of God
Psalm 139
March 3, 2013

David’s home has been destroyed and his family kidnapped by raiders. His comrades have also lost their homes and families, and they’re ready to kill him. The whole disaster is really David’s fault, and he knows it. What does he do? He prays to Yahweh (1 Samuel 30: 1-10).

The text says that David “strengthened himself in the Lord his God,” while everyone else was “bitter in soul” (v 6). What kind of God did David have?

What kind of God do you have?

Today, in our continued study of our proposed statement of beliefs, we begin a four-week survey of the doctrine of God based on the testimony of David in Psalm 139.

Our great problem as evangelicals today is that we are worshiping a pathetic God, one we have reduced to fit our understanding and have made the genie that serves our desires. It is of first importance that we repent as a church and proclaim the following teachings:

2.  God created everything (Genesis 1:1) and all life depends on him (John 1:1-3). He is holy (Isaiah 6:3). God is not limited by space, time, or imperfection, and his knowledge is infinite (Psalm 139:1-12). He is the eternal, loving unity of three Persons—Father, Son, and Holy Spirit (John 15:26). With all power and wisdom, God moves everything toward his goal (Isaiah 40): to live with human beings and to make everything new (Revelation 21:1-4). There is only one God (Exodus 20:3). We owe him our service (Romans 1:18-23).

Our focus in today’s sermon will be on the first of these assertions: God created everything and all life depends upon him.

Published in: on March 11, 2013 at 6:11 am  Leave a Comment  

The Bible Has Ultimate Authority

God Spoke for Himself
2 Peter 1
Matthew Raley (2-24-13)

Today  as we wrap up our series on the doctrine of scripture as presented in our proposed Statement of Beliefs, we will be focusing on the statement, “Because the Bible comes from God, it is the authority over all human knowledge and behavior.”

Authority means the right to command.  Someone who has power is able to give commands, but may not have the right – a mugger who has a gun for instance.  The person with legitimate authority has a warrant to instruct, to assign, to give orders.

In today’s message we will be asking, “Who is it that has the right to command us, and what does it mean that the Bible claims ultimate authority over all of human life?”

Published in: on March 11, 2013 at 6:08 am  Leave a Comment  

The Bible Reveals Events

God Spoke for Himself
2 Peter 1
Matthew Raley (2-17-13)

God’s message to human beings through the Bible is, “Trust me.” He revealed his plan for salvation, and documented its completion through witnesses over the course of many centuries. When we say we believe the Bible, we’re saying that God is right and that what he says is absolutely certain.

In this morning’s message, we focus on a specific point: God spoke about historical events.  The scriptures reveal events which God brought about to fulfill his plan to save the world. So, when we talk about the scriptures, we are talking about God’s shaping power.  If we remove the events, we are stripping the Bible of its power because it is by God’s power in history that we are saved.

Published in: on March 11, 2013 at 6:07 am  Leave a Comment  

How Revelation Worked

God Spoke for Himself
2 Peter 1
Matthew Raley (2-10-13)

In today’s message we continue the examination of our proposed statement of beliefs which we beganlast week.  Our focus will be on the following assertion from that statement:

“[God] moved the authors to choose every word in their original writings (2 Peter 1:16-21) in order to reveal his plan for the world completely and without error (2 Timothy 3:15-17). Because the Bible comes from God, it is the authority over all human knowledge and behavior (John 12:47-50; Hebrews 4:12-13). We are called to believe what it teaches, obey what it commands, and trust what it promises.”

Today we will be asking one simple question: What does the Bible claim about itself? We are asking how the Bible characterizes its writings, and what sort of argument it makes to gain your belief.

This question may not seem important. We live in a time when most people have abandoned the priority of forming beliefs based on arguments. But as we saw last week, the biblical writers assert that their statements are factual, that they describe events as they really occurred. If you believe that the Bible is true, you need to understand what reasons the Bible gives for that belief.

To understand the sort of argument the Bible makes, let’s imagine two men living in a time 2,000 years in the future. One claims that Americans two millennia ago used to put a small airplane on top of a big one and fly it around their country. The other replies, “How stupid! They would never do such a thing: they would just fly the smaller airplane by itself.” The first produces a photograph. The second answers that Americans had this thing called Photoshop. They obviously faked it.

In the face of such skepticism, how would the first person prove his case? Chances are he would mine the sources available to him to say, “Many witnesses testify to this practice. Engineers made plans for the big plane to carry the little one. Government memos talk about it. Newspapers and photojournalists recorded the practice over three decades.”

Today we will find that Bible’s argument is much like this, though its central claim is vastly more important. Many witnesses over a long period of time testify to the same thing.  Those many witnesses deserve to be believed.

 

Published in: on March 11, 2013 at 6:06 am  Leave a Comment