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Guiding Star PDF

2 Timothy 3:14-17

 

Last time we were in an earlier part of chapter 3 talking about Following Closely. In contrast to the evil people and impostors that go from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived, Timothy is to chart a different course.

What follows in Paul’s letter is one of the most familiar passages on the nature of the Word of God we have. Before we even look at it, we need to make sure we don’t miss the point of the section. Paul is contrasting the kind of person Timothy is versus the common trend during the perilous times of these last days. And his emphasis is all about the life-changing impact the Word of the gospel has on a life in contrast to the effect of all deviations from it.

Remember that we are not just looking at a disembodied doctrine sbout the Word of God, but we are talking about the power of the Word of God to actually change people. When we drift from the Word we also drift from Christianity itself and its power.

14 But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have firmly believed, knowing from whom you learned it 15 and how from childhood you have been acquainted with the sacred writings, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. 16 All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, 17 that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.

 

You see the train of thought right at the beginning. In contrast to what these other men are, this is how you are to be. Here is the basis of it and you can see where it leads so you can be equipped for every good work.

We are reminded of Peter’s words in his last letter in 2 Peter 1:19: And we have the prophetic word more fully confirmed, to which you will do well to pay attention as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star arises in your hearts. What he is describing is a transformation that happens inside a person. He’s not talking about Christ’s second coming, but about Christ’s coming to an individual’s heart and taking possession. It happens as we pay attention to the Word of God and it dawns on us what that truth is and that truth leads us to Jesus. Then Jesus, the Morning Star, arises in our hearts, we are born again, and we have the life of God in the soul of man.

The Word of God is part of that amazing transformation of a human being. That is why it is so important to us. We don’t want to approach the Word of God in an academic, theoretical way, but in a dynamic way, understanding that it is given to change us.

I’ve called our message tonight Guiding Star, thinking of the passage from 2 Peter. In order to make our way through the darkness we need a reference point. The Word of God is that North Star we use to gauge whether we are on course or not.

Guiding Star

  • Protection (2 Timothy 3:14)
  • Power (2 Timothy 3:15)
  • Profit (2 Timothy 3:16)
  • Purpose (2 Timothy 3:17)

I. Protection (2 Timothy 3:14)

14 But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have firmly believed, knowing from whom you learned it

But as for you—in contrast to the deceived and the deceiving, what follows is the key difference maker. In perilous, fierce, difficult, dangerous times we survive by paying attention to what the Word actually says.

Continue in what you have learned—remain there, stay put. Paul is going to pass off the scene, but Timothy will likely live decades before he passes on to glory. He is to stay put, to continue, to remain true to what he has learned.

What you have learned—as a disciple learns. A disciple learns what the Master teaches so that the disciple can teach others. The disciple imitates the way the Master lives so the disciple can continue to live that way. As we think about making disciples and passing on the faith, we are talking about more than information. We are talking about a way of living, having this in our hearts to the degree that we are passing it on to others. If all we have is a theoretical knowledge and not the lifestyle we have totally missed the point of what it means to be a follower of Christ.

The “what” is the gospel, the Scripture and the worldview and life pattern it teaches—sola Scriptura. Scripture alone is the only authoritative rule of faith and practice, the drumbeat of both 1 and 2 Timothy amidst the swirl of deviations, substitutes, and distortions. We tend to think of these dangers as those that existed in different times and places and that it is a problem that only other times and denominations have. This is a human problem that exists throughout the last days. Everywhere there are people who name the name of Christ there is the danger of drift and the need to keep coming back to the Scriptures.

We need to be ruthlessly committed to this. When we talk about what is right and wrong to do, understand that the Scriptures alone are the court of final appeal. It is not to say there is not value in other things, as in what we have learned from mom and dad or how we did it in the old country, but that is always subservient to the rule of faith and practice, which is the Scriptures.

This is exactly what we are going through as we look at Bylaws, policy manuals, or operating procedures. We are trying to say, are we lining up our practice to the Scriptures? As we meet together or decide our goals for the church, are we always coming back to the Scriptures to test what we are doing?

This is precisely what Paul is saying to Timothy: continue, keep in the Scriptures what you have learned and have firmly believed. It is not just that Timothy was trained by Paul, but that he was fully convinced for himself. As we watch our children grow up and pass into adulthood, how many fail to transition to this level of faith as they go from child to adult? This is not just your daddy’s Christianity. It needs to be yours. You need to own it for yourself, and the sooner the better.

Knowing from whom (plural) you learned it… Timothy had learned the faith (the Gospel) from his mother, grandmother, and Paul himself while traveling with him. He had learned it in practical ways according to verse 10, where he had seen Paul suffer for the Lord and his dedication to the Lord.

The Scriptures are given to be lived not just studied. You find that throughout the Word of God: Psalm 1, Joshua 1, Matthew 28:20 (teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you), James 1:22 (doers and not hearers only).

The tendency in communities like ours is to assume we already know what the Scriptures say while failing to make sure we actually do what the Scriptures say. We do what we do because we think it is the right thing to do. How we have done it becomes the rule of faith and practice because we are sure that how we have done it is biblical. We have to keep coming back to test what we’re doing by the Scriptures because even what begins in line can drift and sometimes what we do had other reasons behind it at first or was in answer to other circumstances. Many deviations from the Word don’t start as intentional violations. They develop. They drift. They degenerate. And no generation gets every detail right. Satan takes advantage of wherever we get it wrong.

 

II. Power (2 Timothy 3:15)

15 and how from childhood you have been acquainted with the sacred writings, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus.

From childhood, from infancy, Timothy was exposed to the Scriptures. One of the greatest gifts you can give your children is to give them the very Words of God. Don’t just hand them a Bible, let the Word of God come from you to them.

Deuteronomy 6 commands: Love Yahweh your God with all your heart, soul, might. These words on your heart, teach them diligently to your children (engrave them in their hearts), when you rise up, lie down, walk along the way, sign on your hand (your work), frontlets between your eyes (your goals), doorposts of your house (reputation).

These Sacred writings or sacred letters (sacred abc’s) were given to Timothy from childhood. They have the power nothing else does. Nothing has the power to change people the ways the Scriptures do. The Holy Spirit uses the Word to illuminate us, convince us, regenerate us, cleanse us, and transform us. It has power. It is interesting to watch as you teach the Word of God to others, it usually is like the dawning of the day. As the Word begins to wash over the soul of a person, that person is transformed before your eyes and begins to take on characteristics more like Jesus.

Wise—The book of Proverbs is devoted to skillful living, but a particular kind of wisdom.

Unto salvation—That is another word we are used to using. It has the idea of deliverance. We need to be rescued and need healing. Salvation is that way. We are rescued from the death-plague of sin, from the death sentence where we deserve the wrath of God forever.  

Through faith (reliance)—Not through our works, not wining favor with God, but reliance on Christ.

In Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed One) Jesus—Yahweh Saves—the God-man Savior.

I like to call Him the Savior-King. Savior goes with Jesus, King goes with Messiah.

We have come to salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. In that phrase in verse 15 you have the summation of all the Scriptures. The main story is the gospel and the chief Hero is Jesus Christ.

It is possible to use the Bible to teach all kinds of things that may or may not be true, but are not saving. You can take biblical principles on how to handle your money, how to rear your family, historical facts, scientific facts, memory verses—but all this must lead to the point of it all. If you’re not getting to the gospel you’ve missed the point of the Scriptures. If you’re not talking about Jesus, you’re not talking about the gospel. That is why Jesus would say to search the Scriptures because they testify of Me. As we plow through them they will lead us to Jesus Christ as the promised Savior-King.

As you share the Gospel with others and as the Word runs through your life, make sure you are beating a path toward Jesus. Makes sure you are tying it all together so people understand what the Bible is really for.

 

III. Profit (2 Timothy 3:16)

16 All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness,

All Scripture is God-breathed. It is like God talking. These are the Words of God. The very writings themselves are God-breathed. It is not just that God breathed these ideas and someone wrote them down. The actual product, the writings themselves, are breathed out by God. God is so masterful He can use the vocabulary of a fisherman, or a farmer, or a Pharisee. He can use a doctor or a tax collector and use their way of expressing things and have them write down the very words He wanted written. All Scripture (no exception) is God-breathed.

2 Peter 1:20-21: knowing this first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture comes from someone's own interpretation. 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.

God-breathed, and therefore profitable. What follows answers what we hope to gain by giving attention to the Word of God. It is important for us to understand what we should expect to derive from God’s Word, whether we are reading and studying it for ourselves, or listening to someone else teach or preach it.

We don’t come to the Word of God just for general uplift and encouragement. What the Word of God is going to do in our life is much more comprehensive than that. Paul breaks it down for us. It is profitable for:

Instruction (doctrine)—There is much for us all to learn. We never have a full understanding of everything—in our minds or in our living. So we must never come to the Word with a spirit of “I already know all this.” Such an approach blinds us to the message of God’s Word to us and hardens our hearts from changing in ways the Spirit of God is calling for.

This is especially difficult for us. As a church family we have many folks who teach the Word of God and who have been exposed to it for a long time. It is easy to come to a service where someone else is teaching and put on our critique hats. The Word of God is not here for us to critique. No matter how it is being delivered to you, it is not the object of critique. The Word of God critiques us. We need to be sure that whatever is being taught is according to the Word, but we never need to adopt the spirit that our hearts are hard to what is being taught because we are giving a score on how it is being taught.

There are some common errors regarding this first truth that it is profitable for instruction. Some have made the erroneous claim that some portions of God’s Word are not for doctrine—like Ecclesiastes or history portions like Acts. It is not uncommon to hear people dismiss an entire sermon on the basis that the ancient text has no bearing on our world today. If we go there then none of it has any bearing on our world because all of it was finished roughly 2,000 years ago. This is an ancient text that has timeless application.

It is not that these portions of God’s Word are not suitable for instruction. Rather, deriving the instruction requires appropriate care to avoid misinterpreting what God is teaching in those passages. It is not magic. There are standards of interpretation in line with the “historical-grammatical” methods that lead to accurate interpretations.

Reproof—The first is easier for us. We expect to get some instruction. Reproof confronts and rebukes us. It is easy to disregard the Scriptures that confront us and tell us we are in the wrong. Yet part of what the Scriptures do is to rebuke or reprove us.

If we are reading, we may just skip over it and head to one of our favorite themes.

If we are teaching or preaching, it is a great temptation to skip over such a passage or treat it lightly, giving no application to our hearers lest we stir up trouble for ourselves.

If we are listening to teaching or preaching on such a text, our natural reaction is to dodge the confrontation with the excuse that that is just the preacher’s interpretation, or to bristle at it as the preacher’s personal agenda or that he is just being harsh. There is no question that fallible men are not always going to say it right. Don’t just assume that someone trying to be faithful to the Word of God wades into your life that he has it out for you. Recognize that the Word will rebuke you.

We all come to the Scriptures with our own interpretations, our own backgrounds, biases, hang-ups, and blind spots. Humbling ourselves under the authority of God’s Word and letting it say what it actually says can be very difficult even when we are sincerely desirous of doing so.

That is why Paul has admonished Timothy in 2 Timothy 2:15: Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth.

Correction

Set back in place whatever is out of sync with God’s revealed will. Another word for correction is change. Good change is good. No change is bad. If we are not changing in response to God’s Word on a regular basis, we are not gaining the profit from it that its very nature as God-breathed Words should produce in us.

Training in Righteousness—This is practical discipline (the word we get “pediatrics” from) so that we can live according to God’s perfect standards.

Think of all the positive and negative tasks necessary to training a child in a way that he or she grows into a responsible, productive adult. That is what the Bible does in our lives. It is not just an encyclopedia of theological facts, but a training tool for everyday living according to the will of God Himself.

Just knowing is not nearly enough. “Life by the Book” tries to capture this truth, that the Bible is not just for study and contemplation. It is to be applied and lived out by the power of the Spirit.

James addresses this in James 1:18-22:

18 Of his own will he brought us forth by the word of truth, that we should be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures. 19 Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger; 20 for the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God. 21 Therefore put away all filthiness and rampant wickedness and receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls. 22 But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.

When he talks about being quick to hear, slow to speak, and slow to anger, he is not just talking generically. He is talking about how we respond to the Word of God and its ability to actually change us into doers of the Word and not hearers only.

 

IV. Purpose (2 Timothy 3:17)

17 that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.

The “of-God” man—his life is marked by his relationship to God. He needs to be complete—fit, capable, proficient, and able to meet all the demands. That’s what the Word of God does for him.

He also needs to be equipped. This is an intensified form of the previous word. It is completely outfitted in a state of constant readiness.

When Navy Seals are trained they have been conditioned and trained to do what they do. They also have been equipped with everything they need to do it.

The Word of God not only makes us fit and proficient, it also equips us. Our war is not to kill people and break things, but is for every good work. Unlike those disqualified from the faith whose works are worthless for good, we want to be proficient and equipped for every good work. The goal then is not intellectual capability, but active good work in the lives of others for the sake of Christ and His gospel. People who live their life on mission rather than for themselves.

People who live this way are more rare in the history of Christendom than you would think or want because the deviations are so common. As Paul prepares to pass off the scene, this danger is his great concern. Every generation must face the reality that the danger remains. There is a call to every one of us to follow the Guiding Star for our protection, for our power, for the profit that it brings us that we might fulfill the purpose of God for our lives.

LifeGroup Questions

Teaching

What does this passage contribute to our understanding of God?

What does this passage contribute to our understanding of man?

What does this passage contribute to our understanding of the Scriptures? What benefits of the Scriptures are shared in our text? What is the purpose of the Word of God?

Reproof

How does this passage encourage us to respond to the Scriptures? How closely does this resemble the everyday practice of your life?

Correction

How do we apply the gospel to our failures in the areas just discussed in the reproof section?

After considering the gospel, what are some practical ways to begin to apply the truths of these passages?

Training in righteousness

How must our thinking be renewed if we are to be transformed by these texts?

What must be put off from and put onto our lives if we are to be transformed by these texts?

Prayer

For what from these texts can we rejoice?

For what from these texts can we repent?

For what from these texts can we request, both for ourselves and others?

 

Pastor Drew Conley

Hampton Park Baptist Church

Greenville, SC

December 7, 2014

 
Infamy PDF

 

2 Samuel 11

 “A hard-drinking, hard-living sailor stationed at Pearl Harbor nearly died on Sunday, December 7, 1941. When the Japanese attacked that morning, he was working in one of the airplane hangars. He did not make it into the bunker before the bombs hit. When he woke up, the hangar was destroyed and he had multiple wounds, including shrapnel one inch from his carotid artery. By God’s grace, he survived. He was only 18 years old. And he was lost.

 

Fifteen years later still serving in the Navy, Fred trusted Jesus Christ as his Savior and Lord. He was away from home on assignment, so he mailed a letter to his wife, Toni, to tell her of what God had done in his life. She also sent him a letter that week sharing that a friend had invited her to a Bible study and that she had become a Christian. Their letters passed one another in the mail.

 

I knew Fred and Toni in their retirement years, after serving the Lord as missionaries in Vietnam. They were amazing prayer warriors. They were a great encouragement. Every Pearl Harbor Day they would pass out tracts sharing Fred’s testimony to men and women in the Veterans Hospital in Columbia, South Carolina. They are now both with their Lord.”

                                                                                 (Fred and Toni Zoeller testimony)

This year Pearl Harbor Day has fallen on a Sunday once again, a day President Roosevelt called “a day of infamy.” Today is that day.

There is actually another day of infamy even better known by more people and with fallout that impacted a nation and still impacts the world. It was the sin of David, a man after God’s own heart, committing adultery with Bathsheba, the wife of one of his mighty men. When you mention David from the Bible, two other names instantly surface: Goliath and Bathsheba.

This raises serious questions: Is David a fake? Was he just pretending all along? Is it even possible for a genuinely godly man to behave in such an ungodly manner? If the man after God’s own heart can fall in this way, who of us is not at risk? What in the world happened and why? How can we avoid such a disaster – such a day of infamy -- in our own lives? What does God think about all this and how will He handle it?

In the spring of the year, the time when kings go out to battle, David sent Joab, and his servants with him, and all Israel. And they ravaged the Ammonites and besieged Rabbah. But David remained at Jerusalem.

It happened, late one afternoon, when David arose from his couch and was walking on the roof of the king's house, that he saw from the roof a woman bathing; and the woman was very beautiful. And David sent and inquired about the woman. And one said, “Is not this Bathsheba, the daughter of Eliam, the wife of Uriah the Hittite?” So David sent messengers and took her, and she came to him, and he lay with her. (Now she had been purifying herself from her uncleanness.) Then she returned to her house. And the woman conceived, and she sent and told David, “I am pregnant.”

So David sent word to Joab, “Send me Uriah the Hittite.” And Joab sent Uriah to David. When Uriah came to him, David asked how Joab was doing and how the people were doing and how the war was going. Then David said to Uriah, “Go down to your house and wash your feet.” And Uriah went out of the king's house, and there followed him a present from the king. But Uriah slept at the door of the king's house with all the servants of his lord, and did not go down to his house. 10 When they told David, “Uriah did not go down to his house,” David said to Uriah, “Have you not come from a journey? Why did you not go down to your house?” 11 Uriah said to David, “The ark and Israel and Judah dwell in booths, and my lord Joab and the servants of my lord are camping in the open field. Shall I then go to my house, to eat and to drink and to lie with my wife? As you live, and as your soul lives, I will not do this thing.” 12 Then David said to Uriah, “Remain here today also, and tomorrow I will send you back.” So Uriah remained in Jerusalem that day and the next. 13 And David invited him, and he ate in his presence and drank, so that he made him drunk. And in the evening he went out to lie on his couch with the servants of his lord, but he did not go down to his house.

14 In the morning David wrote a letter to Joab and sent it by the hand of Uriah. 15 In the letter he wrote, “Set Uriah in the forefront of the hardest fighting, and then draw back from him, that he may be struck down, and die.” 16 And as Joab was besieging the city, he assigned Uriah to the place where he knew there were valiant men. 17 And the men of the city came out and fought with Joab, and some of the servants of David among the people fell. Uriah the Hittite also died. 18 Then Joab sent and told David all the news about the fighting. 19 And he instructed the messenger, “When you have finished telling all the news about the fighting to the king, 20 then, if the king's anger rises, and if he says to you, ‘Why did you go so near the city to fight? Did you not know that they would shoot from the wall? 21 Who killed Abimelech the son of Jerubbesheth? Did not a woman cast an upper millstone on him from the wall, so that he died at Thebez? Why did you go so near the wall?’ then you shall say, ‘Your servant Uriah the Hittite is dead also.’”

22 So the messenger went and came and told David all that Joab had sent him to tell. 23 The messenger said to David, “The men gained an advantage over us and came out against us in the field, but we drove them back to the entrance of the gate. 24 Then the archers shot at your servants from the wall. Some of the king's servants are dead, and your servant Uriah the Hittite is dead also.” 25 David said to the messenger, “Thus shall you say to Joab, ‘Do not let this matter displease you, for the sword devours now one and now another. Strengthen your attack against the city and overthrow it.’ And encourage him.”

26 When the wife of Uriah heard that Uriah her husband was dead, she lamented over her husband. 27 And when the mourning was over, David sent and brought her to his house, and she became his wife and bore him a son. But the thing that David had done displeased the Lord.

It is a shame that one in the Bible whom we have come to love and respect fell to the sins of adultery and murder. This chapter gives us insight into how such a sin becomes a part of a life of a man who is genuine godly. This chapter is really for us, for those who claim to know Jesus Christ and try to live for Him. We expect those who are serving the devil to engage in such sins, but for those who are serving the Lord to do so was indeed a great tragedy and a great dishonor to the Lord. So how can we shape our lives to avoid the path that David took?

  • Idle Indulgence (2 Samuel 11:1-2)
  • Reckless Pursuit (2 Samuel 11:3-5)
  • Escalating Cover-Up (2 Samuel 11:6-27a)
  • Supreme Issue (2 Samuel 11:27b)

I. Idle Indulgence (2 Samuel 11:1-2)

Spring was the time of year kings went forth to battle. David was a king, but he was not in the battle with his servants and all Israel. He remained at Jerusalem, not for some urgent business, but for rest and relaxation and he had way too much idle time. There is a time for that, but the text makes clear that this was not the time.

Being where we ought to be and doing what we’re supposed to be doing is how we cut off temptation at the pass. So often the great sins start with small indulgences, not with great sins. David didn’t set out that day to commit adultery, but he set himself up for it.

This is not the only area of indulgence that led to David’s fall. As David grew stronger and stronger against the house of Saul, he multiplied wives to himself (2 Samuel 3:2-5). After he was anointed king of all Israel, he took more wives and concubines (2 Samuel 5:13). He had 18 in all.

In the ancient world multiplying wives and concubines was customary for any powerful man, especially a king. Doing so sealed political alliances and displayed power and wealth. It was a sign of success. David has reached the pinnacle of his career. He has greater power than ever to do good or to do evil, and a seeming lack of accountability to anyone until it was too late.

Success is not always what it’s cracked up to be. It can bring with it temptations that others do not have to deal with. Time off from normal duties sounds like welcomed relief to us all, but such freedom can leave us more vulnerable than ever to expressing the sin nature of the human heart. Have you ever considered that one of the greatest blessings in your life may be that God has not granted you overmuch success and that He has not relieved you from the burdens of a stressful life? That could be a protection for you rather than a curse because success and idleness increase our ability and opportunity to give reign to our flesh.

One of the great dangers for us in our teenage years is precisely this: we have too much capacity of an adult, but usually not the responsibility and work load of an adult. There is a temptation to turn our strength not to work but to play, not to serving the needs of others but to satisfying the desires of self. What grown man has the time to game for hours on end? What grown man with the responsibilities of a family has time to hang out with friends until the wee hours of the night?

If you are in your teenage years and have grown tall and have developed to the point that you feel the surge of what being an adult would feel like and want that freedom, let me encourage you to use your new found strength to serve God and others, not just to serve yourself.

To multiply wives was an acceptable cultural practice, but it was wrong. God had clearly forbidden Israel’s king to multiply wives to himself (Deuteronomy 17). His design for marriage was one man, one woman in lifelong faithful love to one another and that trumped any culturally acceptable practice. David’s violation of being a one-woman man brought nothing but trouble for the man after God’s own heart.

Polygamy is not generally accepted in our culture today. It would not be a status symbol to parade out 18 wives and concubines. It would not be received well. Yet there are plenty of other sexual sins that are culturally acceptable and commonly practiced. Adultery and multiple divorce, pornography, homosexuality, unclean literature, songs, and movies fill the lives of many believers, along with the people of the world. We participate in the unfruitful works of darkness because it is customary to do so, but we also pay the price in coldness toward God, in families torn apart, and in powerless churches.

One more observation regarding culture: In the Middle East the roof top was a common place to relax in the cool of the evening. Bathsheba had to know that where she chose to bathe was visible from the palace roof. The text does not reveal her motive. It may have been no more than carelessness. Her unwise choice does not absolve David from responsibility for his actions, and the text lays the blame clearly on him. Still Bathsheba uncovered herself where she could be seen by the king, and when he sent for her, she consented.

If we care about one another as brothers and sisters in Christ, we will do what we can to reduce temptation for them. We will maintain appropriate boundaries. We will keep covered what ought to be covered. The world thinks of women’s fashion as a means of seduction. The godly sister in Christ refuses to use her clothing that way. She belongs to God. She belongs to her husband (present or future), not to the eyes of the king—even if his name is David and he’s the man after God’s own heart. Never forget that even a genuinely godly man like David can desire and do ungodly things. If David can fall, anyone can. As a church body we want to recognize how fallen we all are and to look out for one another. On one hand we take responsibility for being careful about idle indulgences, that we make good use of our time, and that we number our days, and that we apply them to wisdom. We also think about our relationships with others. From all indications Bathsheba was a believer. She was a daughter of the oath, married to a husband that evidently had trusted the God of Israel. She should have been treated like a sister, not a prostitute. In terms of her relationship to David, we do not know what was going on psychologically but we do know that carelessness was a part of what happened. Don’t set yourself up to sin.

It is wise to give accountability for where you are. Avoid having big blocks of time when no one knows where you are or what you are doing. That will be a great protection for you in not yielding to the sins of the flesh.

II. Reckless Pursuit (2 Samuel 11:3-5)

And David sent and inquired about the woman. And one said, “Is not this Bathsheba, the daughter of Eliam, the wife of Uriah the Hittite?” So David sent messengers and took her, and she came to him, and he lay with her. (Now she had been purifying herself from her uncleanness.) Then she returned to her house. And the woman conceived, and she sent and told David, “I am pregnant.”

David involves others in his sin, asking about who this woman is. The answer is surely intended to make David think before he commits an unholy act. She is someone’s daughter. She is someone’s wife. She is the wife of one of your mighty men—valiant in war, and a believer in Yahweh though he is of Hittite descent. (Young men, remember that when you are on a date, you are with someone’s daughter.) David was about to behave like the pagan ancestry of Uriah. Uriah will display the loyal faithfulness that we expect to see from David. David sins against Uriah despite 18 reasons not to —18 wives and concubines. David wants one more—a woman that belongs to someone else.

Until you are married to a woman, she belongs to someone else. Sometimes we think if we just had more our appetites would be satisfied—more money, more pleasure, more influence, more authority, more recognition. But 18 women could not satisfy David’s desire. The human heart is never satisfied. “More” does not satisfy sinful desire; if anything, it only enlarges our appetite.

A German theologian and pastor who watched the Nazis rise to power wrote about how temptation seizes the human heart:

“In our members there is a slumbering inclination toward desire, which is both sudden and fierce. With irresistible power, desire seizes mastery of the flesh. All at once a secret, smoldering fire is kindled. The flesh burns and is in flames. It makes no difference whether it is sexual desire, or ambition, or vanity, or desire for revenge, or love of fame and power, or greed for money . . . .

At this moment God is quite unreal to us. He loses all reality, and only desire for the creature is real. The only reality is the devil. Satan does not here fill us with hatred of God, but with forgetfulness of God. . . . The lust thus aroused envelopes the mind and will of man in deepest darkness. The powers of clear discrimination and of decision are taken from us. . . .

It is here that everything within me rises up against the Word of God. . . . Therefore the Bible teaches us in times of temptation in the flesh, there is one command: Flee! Flee fornication. Flee idolatry. Flee youthful lusts. Flee the lusts of the world. There is no resistance to Satan in lust other than flight. Every struggle against lust in one’s own strength is doomed to failure.” (Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Temptation, quoted by Swindoll, David, 185-86)

III. Escalating Cover-Up (2 Samuel 11:6-27a)

The bulk of the passage is devoted to David’s desperate efforts to cover-up his sin. It did not work anymore than Adam and Eve’s efforts did to cover up their sin before God with fig leaves, but our natural reaction to sinning is to try to hide our sin and to escape its consequences.

Despite all his efforts David can’t get Uriah to spend a night with his wife, so that there would be a plausible explanation for why she was expecting a child. David even gets him drunk. But Uriah was more faithful drunk than David was sober.

So David turns to ruthless opportunist Joab to see to it that Uriah is left exposed in battle so that he is killed. After the required time of mourning, David takes Bathsheba as his wife. The conspiracy had worked, and the sin was buried.

God seemed to have vanished altogether. There was no mention of Him through the whole sordid tale. Darkness reigned. Faithful Uriah moldered in a grave. David added another wife to his collection of women. Cynicism festered among servants of the king, but still no one said a word. Not even God. But “the silence of God does not mean the absence of God” (Davis, 146). Nor does it mean that He will sit idly by forever.

Uriah’s death could not cover David’s guilt. Marrying Bathsheba didn’t fix the problem either. Servants knew. Joab knew. More significant than all that, God knew. No wonder David spent sleepless nights wrestling with his defiled conscience (Psalm 32). However we may try to cover our sins, however we may rationalize and redefine reality, the truth of the matter remains crystal clear to the Lord. Somehow we must come to understand that every effort we make to cover up or to escape the consequences of sin will fail. Every time I choose to sin against God, it marks me and who I am. It changes me. It cripples me. So the whole notion that we can live in a way that the outside is clean no matter what is going on in our lives is a lie to keep us shackled in our sin. The supreme issue is that what David had done displeased the Lord.

IV. Supreme Issue (2 Samuel 11:27b)

But the thing that David had done displeased the Lord.

Lit., what David had done was evil in the sight of Yahweh.

Contrast David’s words to Joab in verse 25:

25 David said to the messenger, “Thus shall you say to Joab, ‘Do not let this matter displease you, for the sword devours now one and now another. Strengthen your attack against the city and overthrow it.’ And encourage him.”

Lit., “Do not let this matter be evil in your sight.”

David does not seem mindful of God at all through the whole episode. But God is mindful of David. Yahweh had seen all the evil that David had done.

That the Lord sees everything and judges good and evil was David’s greatest danger, but it was also his only hope. More than anything else he needed for someone to confront his sin for what it was and deal with it. Else there would be no repentance, no restoration, no joy in the Lord, and David’s sin against Bathsheba, against Uriah, and against God would be the final defining act of his career.

Nothing is hidden from God. We tend to worry a lot about how other people see us—and when we sin, whether they see us sin. We want to save face. We have so much concern over appearances instead of reality, over our reputation rather than our character. God sees you, and He knows exactly what’s going on. If you are His servant, then it is at that level you must exercise concern.

God testifies that the human heart is deceitful and incurably sick. It doesn’t matter how much we may dress up for Sunday or how many hymns we sing or how many sermons we preach. Our hearts are wicked beyond our ability to understand. Only God knows completely what is in our hearts. Yet He still loves us enough to save us at huge cost to Himself. David doesn’t just need a judge (and God will judge him for his sin). He needs a Savior! He needs a Savior strong enough to rescue him from the sins of murder and adultery. The fact is that every human being has more than enough sin in our hearts and on our record to condemn us to the flames of hell forever. We would deserve every hour we spent there through eternity. Every one of us needs a Savior!

God will rescue David. On what basis would God rescue an adulterer and murderer? He will rescue Him because David’s offspring will be that Savior we all need. The real significance of David’s life is not that he took down Goliath. The real significance of David’s life is that he is the ancestor of the Messiah, the Lord who will rescue His people from their sins. David, the man after God’s own heart, is not nearly good enough to be Savior or everlasting King, but the son of David, Jesus Christ, is. If there is anything we should learn from David’s fall to sin is to see ourselves there and see that we need the same Savior he needed: Jesus Christ.

If sexual sin has you shackled and imprisoned, there is One who can rescue you from your sin, but only One. If some other sin has you by the throat, if you sense your guilt before God, there is only One who can rescue you. You could never make up the difference with cover up. You need to be cleansed in your heart. Only God can do that, and the only way He does it is through Jesus Christ.

There is no reason that you should be a slave to sin if you belong to Jesus. As long as you are, it is infamy when it ought to be praise.

LifeGroup Questions

Teaching

What does this passage contribute to our understanding of God?

What does this passage contribute to our understanding of man?

What does this passage contribute to our understanding of sin? What serious warnings and precious comforts can we take from this story for our own lives?

What can we learn from the suspect (at best) and sinful decisions that David made in this passage that contributed to his sinking deeper and deeper into sin?

What are some of the damaging results of David's escalating attempts at cover-up in this passage?

Reproof

What are some reasons that we choose attempting to cover-up our sin rather than immediately confessing and repenting of sin? What may this reveal about our priorities?

Personal question

 Are there reckless pursuits in your life right now that are leading you (or have already led you) into sin? How do you think God would have you deal with those situations? 

Correction

How do we apply the gospel to our failures in the areas just discussed in the reproof section?

After considering the gospel, what are some practical ways to begin to apply the truths of these passages?

Training in righteousness

How must our thinking be renewed if we are to be transformed by these texts?

What must be put off from and put onto our lives if we are to be transformed by these texts?

Prayer

For what from these texts can we rejoice?

For what from these texts can we repent?

For what from these texts can we request, both for ourselves and others?

 

Pastor Drew Conley

Hampton Park Baptist Church

Greenville, SC

December 7, 2014

 

 
The Sure Mercies of David: Grateful Song and Desperate Plea PDF

Psalm 89

The book of Psalms gives us great instruction about praising the Lord through all the ups and downs of life. I would encourage you, if you are not in the habit of being in the Word of God each day, especially if you are a young person, the book of Proverbs was written for folks your age. For all of us it is a book of wisdom from God. Since there are 31 Proverbs, there would be one for each day in the month. Another thing you might want to add, particularly as we get older, is the Psalms. They help us turn our thoughts toward the Lord. Proverbs and Psalms are helpful for wisdom as well as for praising the Lord.

Psalm 89:

I will sing of the steadfast love of the Lord, forever;with my mouth I will make known your faithfulness to all generations. For I said, “Steadfast love will be built up forever;in the heavens you will establish your faithfulness.” You have said, “I have made a covenant with my chosen one;I have sworn to David my servant: ‘I will establish your offspring forever,and build your throne for all generations.’” Selah Let the heavens praise your wonders, O Lord,your faithfulness in the assembly of the holy ones! For who in the skies can be compared to the Lord?Who among the heavenly beings is like the Lord, a God greatly to be feared in the council of the holy ones,and awesome above all who are around him? O Lord God of hosts, who is mighty as you are, O Lord, with your faithfulness all around you? You rule the raging of the sea; when its waves rise, you still them. 10 You crushed Rahab like a carcass; you scattered your enemies with your mighty arm. 11 The heavens are yours; the earth also is yours;the world and all that is in it, you have founded them. 12 The north and the south, you have created them;Tabor and Hermon joyously praise your name. 13 You have a mighty arm;strong is your hand, high your right hand. 14 Righteousness and justice are the foundation of your throne;steadfast love and faithfulness go before you. 15 Blessed are the people who know the festal shout, who walk, O Lord, in the light of your face, 16 who exult in your name all the day and in your righteousness are exalted. 17 For you are the glory of their strength; by your favor our horn is exalted. 18 For our shield belongs to the Lordour king to the Holy One of Israel. 19 Of old you spoke in a vision to your godly one, and said:“I have granted help to one who is mighty; I have exalted one chosen from the people. 20 I have found David, my servant; with my holy oil I have anointed him, 21 so that my hand shall be established with him;my arm also shall strengthen him. 22 The enemy shall not outwit him; the wicked shall not humble him. 23 I will crush his foes before him and strike down those who hate him. 24 My faithfulness and my steadfast love shall be with him,and in my name shall his horn be exalted. 25 I will set his hand on the sea and his right hand on the rivers. 26 He shall cry to me, ‘You are my Father, my God, and the Rock of my salvation.’ 27 And I will make him the firstborn, the highest of the kings of the earth. 28 My steadfast love I will keep for him forever,and my covenant will stand firm for him. 29 I will establish his offspring forever and his throne as the days of the heavens. 30 If his children forsake my law and do not walk according to my rules, 31 if they violate my statutes and do not keep my commandments, 32 then I will punish their transgression with the rodand their iniquity with stripes, 33 but I will not remove from him my steadfast loveor be false to my faithfulness. 34 I will not violate my covenantor alter the word that went forth from my lips. 35 Once for all I have sworn by my holiness; I will not lie to David. 36 His offspring shall endure forever, his throne as long as the sun before me. 37 Like the moon it shall be established forever,a faithful witness in the skies.” Selah 38 But now you have cast off and rejected; you are full of wrath against your anointed. 39 You have renounced the covenant with your servant;you have defiled his crown in the dust. 40 You have breached all his walls; you have laid his strongholds in ruins. 41 All who pass by plunder him; he has become the scorn of his neighbors. 42 You have exalted the right hand of his foes; you have made all his enemies rejoice. 43 You have also turned back the edge of his sword,and you have not made him stand in battle. 44 You have made his splendor to cease and cast his throne to the ground. 45 You have cut short the days of his youth; you have covered him with shame. Selah 46 How long, O Lord? Will you hide yourself forever?How long will your wrath burn like fire? 47 Remember how short my time is!For what vanity you have created all the children of man! 48 What man can live and never see death?Who can deliver his soul from the power of Sheol? Selah 49 Lord, where is your steadfast love of old,which by your faithfulness you swore to David? 50 Remember, O Lord, how your servants are mocked,and how I bear in my heart the insults of all the many nations, 51 with which your enemies mock, O Lord,with which they mock the footsteps of your anointed. 52 Blessed be the Lord forever! Amen and Amen.

 

This Psalm is called a Maskil—a Psalm of Instruction. So much of it is devoted to high praise to the Lord, but yet it ends on this pleading, somber note. It is a combination of what we would not usually put together: a time of praise and then a time of mourning. That is exactly what this Psalm does. How fitting it is since we live in a world dominated by death and sin and struggles, where the Lord often seems so far away.

This Psalm is instructive. For one thing it rehearses God’s covenant with David as the key to viewing human history, including our own lives. The Psalmist praises God for the character and power He manifests in heaven and on earth to make good on His promises. But then he ends describing his own desperate days and begging for God’s rescue in keeping with the very promises that are the Psalmist’s joy and hope.

 

The Sure Mercies of David: Grateful Song and Desperate Plea

Song of God’s Steadfast Love (Psalm 89:1-4)

Praise for God’s Faithful Power (Psalm 89:5-13)

Gratitude from God’s Happy People (Psalm 89:14-37)

Grief over God’s Devastating Judgment (Psalm 89:38-45)

Plea for God’s Loving Rescue (Psalm 89:46-51)

 

I. Song of God’s Steadfast Love (Psalm 89:1-4)

I will sing of the steadfast love of the Lord, forever;with my mouth I will make known your faithfulness to all generations.

God’s people are a singing people because God inspires their song. Steadfast love in verse one is plural—referring not just to the loyal love of God as a character trait but rather to all the times He has proven it through history—“sure mercies” or “steadfast loves.” It would be like your counting your many blessings. The Psalmist will sing of all the ways God has shown His sure mercies and steadfast love to His people over the years. It’s an important thing to do, especially in desperate days.

We see the word again in the singular in verse 2. The dominant character trait the Psalms keep referring to is this love that never lets go. God is forever loyal, loving and kind. People are not that way. Even your best friends will let you down from time to time, but God is not like that. In Psalm 23 David wrote: “Surely goodness and steadfast love will pursue me all the days of my life.” God is intent and determined to bless you.

It is hard to measure how important God’s steadfast love for the believer is—in all the joys and heartaches, successes and failures, days of ease and days of hardships, in all the twists and turns of life here on earth, in all the eons of eternity. It is the bedrock of our security and hope, our strength and joy. It stirs us up and keeps us going. It never quits, and never gives up. It makes us sing, even in the darkest night.

It is no wonder the Psalmist says he will sing of God’s loyal “loves” forever! Sometimes we think God was more active in generations past and one day He will be more active again, but right now we are consigned to the gloomy present. This ought to be a common theme of how we talk to one another. It ought to be the theme of our song. Sometimes it is amazing how little the Lord enters into our conversations. God’s love for you is so overwhelming, intense and undying that it ought to be something you want to talk about. Look at what the Lord did for me! You can’t talk about what you aren’t thinking about, so it is important for us to meditate on it.

The Psalmist says the Lord’s steadfast love will be built up forever—it keeps growing with more and more instances of God’s proving His loyal love for us. If you buy milk at the grocery store you see a date on it. If you wait long enough it will not be good. There is no time-date stamp on God’s steadfast love for you or for any of His people. There is no cancellation policy. It is beyond the reach of any human power. God will establish His steadfast love in the heavens. It is not just an ethereal concept. He has also proven it on earth in the gritty realities of David’s life: You have said, “I have made a covenant with my chosen one;I have sworn to David my servant: ‘I will establish your offspring forever,and build your throne for all generations.’” Selah

God’s covenant with David is recorded in 2 Samuel 7. You remember that once David was established as King of Israel after years of danger and war, he wanted to build a house for God—a temple to house the ark of the covenant that David had brought back to Jerusalem, marking the revival of true religion after years of apostasy under King Saul. But God said no, I will build a house for you, a dynasty that will last forever.

David’s offspring to be established on the throne forever is what makes the promise so extraordinary. It could not merely be Solomon or the kings that ruled after him because they died. Ultimately this offspring is fulfilled in the Messiah, the chosen Anointed One, Jesus Christ, son of David, who will rule an everlasting kingdom. He will be the King of kings, Lord of lords.

So God’s covenant of steadfast love with David is for us, too. Why would the writer of this Psalm, Ethan the Ezrahite, care about what God promised to David if it had nothing to do with him? The reason it matters is that through David and David’s offspring all who are part of that kingdom would be blessed. God made that promise from the beginning. Anyone who has put their trust in Jesus the Messiah, offspring of David, steps into this zone of God’s steadfast love and God is undyingly loyal to you.

People that are part of that kingdom are part of a throne that will last forever. It’s for all generations. You can be part of this kingdom at 3, 4, 5 years old. Some of the most godly people in the Bible are that age. Who can forget Samuel? When the grownups were corrupt or weak and Samuel was talking to God because God was talking to him. 

He says Selah or pause and think about that. As you think about it, it makes you want to sing! I’m a part of an everlasting kingdom. I belong to a God that will never let me go. It puts a perspective on whatever you are going through right now.

The question is, are you part of that kingdom? Who is your King? You have to be trusting Jesus, the King. Don’t tell me you’re trusting Him if you won’t bow the knee to Him or obey Him. If you are living for money, what good will money do you 1,000 years from now? What are going to do for things that money can’t buy? The point is not how many things you have, the point is whether or not you have Jesus. If your king is not the Savior-King Jesus, you are cut off from the blessings of God’s steadfast love and the Messiah’s eternal kingdom. You are part of the kingdoms that are passing away. It’s a rat race that is going nowhere. But if you belong to the Savior-King you’ve got something that will last forever and carry you through the toughest times.

 

II. Praise for God’s Faithful Power (Psalm 89:5-13)

It’s one thing for a person to make a promise and another thing to keep it.

God is different. God’s faithful power is recognized among the hosts of heaven. (v.5-8) In verses 9-13 His power is proven in the history of earth. The angelic beings that hold council in the spirit world confess and affirm Yahweh’s amazing miracles (wonders) and they praise His reliability. He is beyond compare even among spirit beings far mightier than human beings. There is not an angel or a group of angels that can compare with God.

Holy ones reverence Yahweh of armies with awe for His might and reliability. Faithfulness is the very atmosphere in which He operates—it’s all around Him.

He demonstrates it on earth. Even the uncontrollable raging sea yields to His command. Centuries after the Psalmist penned these words, God in the Flesh muzzled the stormy sea with a word, and made the waves calm as glass.

Rahab refers to the ancient super power Egypt, humbled by the ten plagues, its armies drowned in the waters of the Red Sea as they pursued the fleeing Israelites of the exodus. The skies, including outer space, and earth are all God’s because He made them. He created north and south, the hills (Mt. Tabor—1900 feet high) and towering mountains (Mt. Hermon—9000 feet high). Everywhere you look, every day, there is evidence of His creative, sustaining power.

 

 

III. Gratitude from God’s Happy People (Psalm 89:14-37)

In this world, absolute power corrupts human beings absolutely. Not so, God. His throne is founded on righteousness and justice. Steadfast love and faithfulness are His advance guard announcing the coming King. Wherever you see those things you see the fingerprints of God.

The happiest people on earth are those who experience His triumphal reign, living their lives in the light of His personal presence (His face), exulting in His revealed character, lifted high by His perfect righteousness. Their strength is in Him (v.17), as is their protection (v.18). You can’t be happy apart from Him. You certainly can’t be happy in opposition to Him. If you think you can find happiness somewhere else you are dreaming and have deceived yourself. What about your time with Him? There are lots of people that don’t know God who are sitting in pews like these. That doesn’t save you and doesn’t mean you have a connection to the God of heaven and earth.

Do you have a relationship to Him? To open His Word and feel like God is talking to you? Do you find joy in giving God praise?

God’s promise to David, anointing him, protecting him, establishing him, enabling him, giving him victory over his enemies, never abandoning him but staying close to him with faithfulness and steadfast love—reveals in human history God’s care for His people. Only the Messiah fulfills these promises fully. Yahweh will exalt him to first place, highest king of the earth. He will establish David’s offspring forever, his throne eternal as the heavens.

His steadfast love does not mean his people are free to forsake Him with no consequences (Illustration—a child receives punishment and correction from a loving parent). God will also be faithful in punishing the transgression of David’s descendants. When a parent corrects his child it does not mean he has stopped loving him. That connection is always there. God says He will remain steadfast in love to His covenant and never be false to His promise.

34 I will not violate my covenantor alter the word that went forth from my lips.
35 Once for all I have sworn by my holiness; I will not lie to David. 36 His offspring shall endure forever, his throne as long as the sun before me. 37 Like the moon it shall be established forever,a faithful witness in the skies. Selah

In times of correction we need to remember that God still loves us. Meditate on this fact, because in the days of devastating judgment, when the fulfillment of God’s promises seem so far away, you will need it.

You may even now be suffering the fallout from your own sins. You may feel abandoned by God, or that the door into His presence locked. But Jesus has unlocked the door, broken the bars of your prison. He bore God’s wrath in your place, died your death, and is risen to save. Which means that when you repent, a welcome, not a refusal, waits for you!

 

IV. Grief over God’s Devastating Judgment (Psalm 89:38-45)

The Psalmist describes being cast off, rejected because of God’s wrath against His anointed; covenant seemingly renounced, crown defiled in the dust, city walls breached, strongholds in ruins, plundered and scorned; foes exalted, enemies rejoicing; Israel’s weapons worthless, unable to stand in battle, splendor ended, throne cast to the ground, youth cut short, covered in shame.

Ethan the Ezrahite (the writer likely part of the guild called by the name of a contemporary of David) likely describes the devastating days Babylon conquered Judah rather than events during David’s time. The Psalmist knows that these unbearable calamities come from God (13 times he says: “You have” done such-and-such). God is the prime Mover. Babylon and the nations are but tools in His hand to punish His people for their forsaking God’s law and living in twisted rebellion.

It is one thing to know the theological realities of God’s wrath, quite another to experience it firsthand. It creates an agony that longs for rescue. When we are looking at how God is working in our lives we need to look not just on the bright side of the scale, but also on the dark side. Sometimes the hardest things you face are what mark His activity in your life. Heartache and calamity should drive us to Him not away from Him because of His steadfast love.

 

V. Plea for God’s Loving Rescue (Psalm 89:46-51)

We see a desperate desire: How long will you hide yourself? How long will your wrath burn? The Psalmist reminds God how short and disappointing an individual man’s life is and pleads for God to act. Death is coming and no man can deliver himself from the grave.

The very existence of God’s steadfast oath to David makes the mocking insults of the nations all the more unbearable. The Psalmist feels the bitter sting in his own heart. He feels the outrage because ultimately those who attack the people of God strike against God’s Anointed One Himself. When people deride Christians, they deride Christ because they are part of His body.

This is where the Psalm ends. Waiting. Pleading. Suffering.

The next words (v.52) are not part of this Psalm but are the finale to the third section of the Psalms. We are suddenly catapulted out of the mire of pain and humiliation to the 30,000 foot view of the general theme of all the Psalms: Blessed be the LORD forever! Amen and Amen.

While we wait for vindication, we cling to God’s steadfast love and faithful promises. Whatever is happening right now we will still render to God the credit due Him because it is indeed now and forever He deserves praise.

Someday today will be ancient history. The whole record of your life will go into the archives of God’s library—all of its joys and sorrows. Travel forward a billion years and all that will matter then is that you belong to God. The reality is, even in the worst of trials, that is all that matters. In the greatest of successes, that is all that matters. Do you belong to God? And in the trials of today you desperately need Him—His steadfast love and His faithful promises. Promises so powerful they raise the dead. Love so vast that nothing in heaven or earth, not life or death, can break His hold on you. You need that more than anything else you could desire. Don’t turn to anything or anyone less.

The Sure Mercies of David: Grateful Song and Desperate Plea—we can’t turn to anything else. That’s why the Bible keeps reminding us that His steadfast love is actually so. And so we sing of God’s steadfast love. We praise Him for His faithful power to make good on His promises. We are grateful because we belong to Him as His people, even when we suffer grief of devastating judgment and we plead for His loving rescue.

Where are you this morning? Do you belong to God? Does God belong to you? Can you sing a grateful song? Can you raise a desperate plea and know that God is hearing you because of the steadfast love of God for you?

LifeGroup Questions

Teaching

What does this passage contribute to our understanding of God?

His steadfast love?

        His supernatural power?

        His sovereignty over all things, including calamity?

What does this passage contribute to our understanding of man?

Reproof

True belief will be evidenced in a person's life. According to your responses to life, on a scale of 1-10, how much do you believe in the steadfast love of God? How about His supernatural power? His sovereignty over all things, including calamity?

Name some ways our lives would be different if we truly did believe wholeheartedly in the steadfast love, supernatural power, and sovereignty of God?

Correction

How do we apply the gospel to our failures in the areas just discussed in the reproof section?

After considering the gospel, what are some practical ways to begin to apply the truths of these passages?

Training in righteousness

How must our thinking be renewed if we are to be transformed by these texts?

What must be put off from and put onto our lives if we are to be transformed by these texts?

Prayer

For what from these texts can we rejoice?

For what from these texts can we repent?

For what from these texts can we request, both for ourselves and others?

 

Pastor Drew Conley

Hampton Park Baptist Church

Greenville, SC

November 30, 2014

 
Zachaeus: Seeking the Seeker PDF
This message was preached by one of our members, Jared Vanning. Only the audio version is available.
 
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