At this point in First Samuel, David has reached a point of deep desperation. In the eyes of his own king, he is a threat to be hunted down and killed. So in this text, David takes the daring step of attempting to hide in the hometown of Goliath — the city of Gath. As David is quickly discovered, he must work through overwhelming fear to trust in the Lord and walk the path of deliverance out of a very deadly situation, the perspective of which he recounts in Psalms 56 and 34.
Every true church is an embassy of the kingdom of Christ, and if the church is an embassy, we are all ambassadors. Because of our new identity in Jesus, our priorities, attitudes and actions are to bear out a divine ethic of love that results in all glory being given to Christ. This ethic of love is evidenced in our corporate prayers, how we show hospitality, the way we serve one another, and the affection and love we share with one another. As the church embodies these traits faithfully, the lost will be drawn to this display of the glory of Christ.
Paul was about to take a 2,000 mile detour in the opposite direction of Rome in order to deliver a love offering from the Gentile churches in Macedonia and Achaia to the suffering mother church in Jerusalem. The journey was fraught with a couple significant challenges, and Paul knew how important the prayers of the saints were for his travels and ministry. His words in this closing text of Romans 15 provide an opportunity for us to consider (1) Our dependence upon Christ, (2) The importance of our joining together in prayer, and (2) the priority of our life together in the body of Christ.
In these three verses of Romans 12, we have 8 traits that are the practical expressions of the love and devotion which Paul set before us in verses 9 and 10. These are not just the character traits that belong to super-saints, but the traits that are to be embodied by every true child of God. In Christ, who is the perfect example of all of these, we are fully capable of manifesting all of them.
This is the third of four sermons on the public means of grace as we seek to apply Paul’s admonition to be transformed by the renewing of our minds. Praise and Prayer are God-given means of of exalting Christ and expressing our dependence upon Him. The content of prayer and praise is to be Scripture. This is the heart of the regulative principle applied in practical form: Scripture gives us everything we need for worship. Thus, teaching and admonishing happens even when we sing.
As Paul continues his transition to the ethical and moral instructions of Romans 12-15, he develops further in verse 2 what is entailed in being living sacrifices that are acceptable to God. First, to not be conformed to this world means we must be like Christ — striking a balance between being in the world but not of the world. Second, we must submit to and join with the Holy Spirit as He works both inwardly and outwardly upon us. We must pursue the Person and truth of Christ, praying for the humility to embrace that truth and glory in that truth when it is set before us.
In this first sermon of our “Flourish in Faith” mini-series, we learn from Paul’s experience of suffering that our heavenly Father blesses us with challenges and afflictions to bring us back to Himself. God works through adversity to shatter any sense of self-reliance, to show us that we are truly weak, and to help us see that every other earthly support will fail us. The result is that we trust in Him rather than ourselves, and this trust is poured out in renewed hope and fervent prayer.
In this sermon, Dr. Don Whitney discusses the essential marks of true, biblical revival taken from Acts, chapter two. In this sermon, he shares that the evidences of true revival reveal God’s might, place a renewed emphasis on Christ, are accompanied by dramatic results, and result in sacrificial devotion to God.
What happens when we are so weighed down by the weight of our sufferings that we do not even know the words to pray? What happens when, in our human wisdom, we do not know what is the best option to pray for? The answer is, when we cannot pray or do not know what to pray, we can trust that the very Spirit of Almighty God is making deep intercessions for us. Though we are weak, He composes in our hearts deep groanings that are perfectly aligned with the will of our Father.
How does Christ bring His disciples to Himself? What is the content of faithful preaching? In these words, the Gospel of John teaches us about the importance of preaching Christ, communion with Christ, and personal evangelism.