THROUGH THE BIBLE IN THREE YEARS

PLANNING FOR 2003
(CHB 12-29-02AM)

TEXT: Eph. 3:3-12

INTRO: You know, sometimes, older people don’t HEAR exactly what’s SAID.
Morris, an 82 year-old widower, went to the Doctor to get a physical. A few days later the doctor saw Morris walking down the street with a gorgeous young lady on his arm. The doctor approached Morris, and said, "You're really doing great, aren't you?" Morris replied, "Just doing what you said, Doctor: 'Get a hot mamma and be cheerful.'" The Doctor said, "I didn't say that. I said you got a heart murmur. Be careful."
One older fella said to the other, “I got a new hearing aid, I can hear really well now.” The other guy said, “That’s good. What kind is it?” The first fella said, “It’s almost 5 O’clock!”
Not only do older people not always HEAR exactly what’s SAID, but they FORGET too!
The preacher was invited to supper by an elderly couple. He noticed that the man used terms of endearment with every statement he made to his wife. He used, “honey, dear, my love, precious, sweetheart,” etc. The lady went into the kitchen for something, and the pastor thought he’d compliment the man. He said, “I’m sure glad to see that your love for your wife is still expressed by terms of endearment after all these years of marriage.” The man leaned over and whispered, “Well, to tell ya the truth, I forgot her name 10 yrs. ago!”
Now, you folk know that I always tell jokes. But you also know that I USE those jokes to make a point. What I want to point out here, is that older CHRISTIANS are much like older PEOPLE. We don’t always HEAR exactly what’s being SAID by our Lord, and we don’t always REMEMBER what He teaches us.
As we begin to look forward to a new year, I want us in this church to focus upon what God has SAID, and REMEMBER what we are to DO!
To do that, let us consider THREE things about this Bible today:
1. Who The Bible Says God IS,
2. What The Bible Says God Has DONE,
3. What The Bible Says God WANTS US To Do.

*******TEXT*******

I. WHO THE BIBLE SAYS GOD IS

  1. In the O.T. there was a mystery about God. The Bible is God’s rev. of Himself.
  2. In the “beginning,” God is known as CREATOR . (Gen. 1:1)
  3. Then there is the rev. of God as SAVIOR (Gen. 3:21 -- “coats of skin.”)
  4. There is the rev. of God as HOLY and detesting sin (Gen. 6:5-6 “"And God SAW that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. And it REPENTED the Lord that He had made man on the earth, and it GRIEVED Him at His heart!”)
  5. Then there is the rev. of God’s ELECTION -- He called NOAH -- who was HUMBLE and OBEDIENT. (Gen 6:8 “But Noah found GRACE...”)
  6. So God is CREATOR, SAVIOR, and HE ALONE decides Who shall be saved. And God DECIDES that based on our WILLINGNESS to be HUMBLE & OBEDIENT. (Rom. 10:9-10) (Acts 2:38-39)

II. WHAT GOD HAS DONE

  1. In the O.T. God chose Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Israel....
  2. Then God INSTITUTED a CHURCH of BELEIVERS.
  3. The BELIEVERS were to come & SACRIFICE -- make offerings. God sent Moses with the LAW. The LAW instituted OBEDIENCE and EXPECTATION.
  4. These sacrifices were SYMBOLS of God as Savior, Who would come into the world to PAY and ATONE for man’s sins. (Ex. 12 -- PASSOVER) If they were WILLING and OBEDIENT, they killed the little lamb, and placed the blood on the doorposts of their homes. When God saw the BLOOD, they were SAVED from the “death angel” who PASSED OVER Egypt that night!
    NOTE: It was NOT the law that saved! It was man’s OBEDIENCE to GOD!
  5. This was a PREVIEW, if you will, of God coming in Christ Jesus to be the SACRIFICE for our sins.
    And the ELECTION of God was REVEALED in Christ Jesus! It would not ONLY include the Jews - but ANYONE who would come willingly to the cross, trusting JESUS as Savior, and allowing His blood to be the cleansing for their sins! (Rom. 6:23, John 3:16)
  6. God established a BLOOD COVENANT in the O.T. It required a PERFECT sacrifice “without blemish.”
    JESUS IS THAT PERFECT LAMB. ((John the Baptist .. Jhn 1:29, 36))
  7. And because of JESUS, YOU and I can be OBEDIENT to God and JOIN in His BLOOD COVENANT for salvation ((text -- vs 6))

THAT’s WHO God is: A LOVING God, Who creates man, gives man free will, then offers REDEMPTION at the price of HIS OWN BLOOD!!

III. WHAT GOD HAS SAID WE ARE TO DO

  1. FIRST -- if you have never trusted and surrendered to Jesus -- THAT’S what God says to DO NOW (Luke 9:23, 2Cor. 6:2 “..now is the accepted time...”)
  2. SECOND -- if you have trusted Jesus & surrendered to Him, then you are to GROW and become TEACHERS of His Word!!
  3. God made this a condition of His covenant with Israel in the O.T. (Deut. 6:7)
    The people of Israel were to make God’s WORD the CENTRAL FOCUS of their lives!
  4. And when Jesus came, He CONTINUED that in the N.T. of His BLOOD!! (John 8:30-32)
    Jesus did away with the CONDEMNATION of the law, BUT - He did not do away with the FOCUS on it for our EDUCATION!
  5. The disciples (apostles) CONTINUED that train of thought - as in our text: (text -- vss 7-12)
    Peter said, (2Pet. 3:18)
    Paul said, (2Tim. 2:1-2)
    The writer of Hebrews said,
    12 For when for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again which be the first principles of the oracles of God; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat. 13 For every one that useth milk is unskilful in the word of righteousness: for he is a babe. 14 But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil. (Heb. 5:12-14)

CONCLUSION:

My friends, please hear the CONCLUSION today! It is not my conclusion, but it is the TEACHING OF GOD’S WORD FROM COVER TO COVER for those who BELIEVE!
Disciples of Jesus Christ are BORN TO GROW!!
HEAR it today, and REMEMBER it EVERY day!!

The Word of God is supposed to be the CENTRAL FOCUS of the Christian’s LIFE!! We are to LEARN it, SHAPE OUR LIVES with it, and TEACH OTHERS!!!
The Word of God oughta be the main topic of our conversation with our children, and our children in the Lord through the church! We should talk about it ALL DAY LONG!
It is the WORD OF GOD that has power to CREATE! God SPOKE the worlds into existence! (Gen. 1:3)
It is the WORD OF JESUS CHRIST that has power to CREATE a “born-again Christian” (Rom. 1:16).
It is the WORD of God that Jesus promised we would receive help from His Holy Spirit to LEARN (John 15:26).

May it be, that in 2003, YOU will HEAR God’s Word, REMEMBER God’s Word, and TEACH God’s Word!!
5 Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: 6 Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: 7 But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: 8 And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. ((Philippians 2:5-8))

TEXT: VSS 10-12

INVITATION:

Have YOU been "humble and obedient," and surrendered to Jesus Christ?
Christians, are YOU being "humble and obedient?"
Is God's Word the FOCUS of your life?