28 July 2011

John 13:17

John 13:17 If ye know these things, happy are ye if ye do them.

Came across this verse this morning, and it seems to be a good follow up to the post on “Heart, Doctrine, & Life.”

1.  If ye know these things…

In order to do what is right (and thus be happy), I have to first know what is right.  In order to be a doer of the word (who is blessed in his deed), I have to first be a hearer of the word (James 1:22-25).  In order to believe the word of truth (and be saved), I must first hear the gospel (Ephesians 1:13; Romans 10:14).

Romans 10:17 So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.

2.  Happy are ye if ye do them.

But if I want to live a happy and blessed Christian life, I can’t stop with hearing the word of God.  I’ve got to be a doer of the word and a doer of the work (James 1:22-25).  I have to trust God enough to obey what He says (Ephesians 1:13; Romans 10:16).  Otherwise, the truth that I’ve heard is rendered unprofitable (Hebrews 4:2). 

1 Thessalonians 2:13 For this cause also thank we God without ceasing, because, when ye received the word of God which ye heard of us, ye received it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God, which effectually worketh also in you that believe.

26 July 2011

The Purpose of Biblical Separation

Leviticus 27:14 And when a man shall sanctify his house to be holy unto the LORD…

Allow me to spiritualize this passage in order to point out some important Bible truths. 

1.  Our churches (1 Timothy 3:15), our homes (Ephesians 6:4), our individual bodies (2 Corinthians 5; 1 Corinthians 6:19-20) must be sanctified; we must be set apart; we must be separate from this world (2 Corinthians 6:14-18; Ephesians 5:11). 

2.  But sanctification does not equal holiness.  We must be sanctified so we can be holy.  Being separate doesn’t make me holy, but I can’t be holy if I’m not separate.  Sanctification is a necessary step in the path toward holiness. 

3.  We need to be holy so we can serve God.  We can’t stop with being separate from the world.  We must be separated unto the Lord (Nehemiah 10:28).  We can’t stop with not being conformed to the world (Romans 12:1-2).  We need to be conformed to the image of Jesus Christ (Romans 8:28-29). 

There’s a purpose behind being separate.  It’s so we can be holy.  And there’s a purpose behind striving for holiness.  It’s because our God is holy (1 Peter 1:13-16), and we want to be like Him and please Him. 

So God help us sanctify our house to be holy unto the Lord. 

18 July 2011

Heart, Doctrine, & Life

Titus 2:1 But speak thou the things which become sound doctrine:

Titus 2 goes on to talk about practical matters of Christian conduct and character.  The principle that’s important for us to understand is that the right doctrine leads to the right life.

Again in 2 Timothy 3:16-17 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.

In the absence of Bible doctrine, I as a Christian cannot become what I am supposed to be for the Lord.

But there’s another factor in this equation.  To have the right life, the right character, the right conduct, the right walk before the Lord, you’ve got to have to the right doctrine.  But what takes you from right doctrine to the right life is a right heart. 

Romans 1-11 is heavily doctrinal, dealing with man’s lost condition; God’s remedy; the way of salvation; the condition of the saved man; future of the nation of Israel. 

Romans 12-16 are highly practical dealing with the practical outworking of the truths of chapters 1-11. 

And it all hinges on Romans 12:1-2 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

What translates the doctrine of chapters 1-11 to the life of chapters 12-16?  Understanding God’s mercy; presenting your body a living sacrifice; not conforming to the world; being transformed by the renewing of your mind. 

                right doctrine + right heart = right life

It is also true that:

                wrong doctrine + right heart = wrong life

How are you going to please God if you don’t know what pleases Him?  How are you going to live by the Bible if you don’t know what the Bible says?  How are you going to worship God if you don’t know the truth?  How are you going to serve the Lord if you don’t know what type of service He desires?  You can’t have the right life without the right doctrine. 


                right doctrine + wrong heart = wrong life

You can have all the truth you want, but Hebrews 4:2 the word preached did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in them that heard it.  Think of Jonah.  A member of God’s select nation.  A prophet.  He claimed to fear the God of heaven.  But his heart was rotten, and so was his life. 


                1.  right doctrine + right heart = right life
                2.  wrong doctrine + right heart = wrong life
                3.  right doctrine + wrong heart = wrong life

The best alternative is obviously #1.  But between #2 and #3, I believe you’d be better off with wrong doctrine and a right heart than right doctrine and a wrong heart, and here’s why.  If you’ve got a right heart, the doctrine is easy to correct.  If you have a right heart, you’ll respond properly to the right doctrine.  But if you have the right doctrine and a wrong heart, that’s not as easily corrected.  It’ll take a work of the Holy Spirit to break your hardened heart. 

Proverbs 4:23 Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.

13 July 2011

Immodestly Defined

1 Timothy 2:9-10 In like manner also, that women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with shamefacedness and sobriety; not with broided hair, or gold, or pearls, or costly array; But (which becometh women professing godliness) with good works.

Here is THE passage in the NT (though not the only principle in the word of God) on dress codes, proper attire, how a Christian lady is to adorn herself.  And the passage centers on the principle of modesty.  (Sort of.  It more so centers on the adornment of good works – cp. 1 Peter 3:3-5 – but as far as apparel goes, modesty is the standard).

So if we want to please God and if we want to obey His word, then what we need to figure out is what it means to be modest.  Sounds easy enough. 

What makes somewhat it difficult is the fact that this is the only time the word is used in scripture.  Not only that, but the word associated with it – shamefacedness – is used only here as well.  It’s not that “modest” is an uncommon word.  Anybody who wants to know what it means can figure it out fairly easily.  But because the word appears only here in 1 Timothy 2, many have mistakenly based their definitions for the term on “the Greek” or their own personal standards and convictions. 

Having said that, let’s look at the definition in Noah Webster’s 1828 Dictionary.

1.       Proper; restrained by a sense of propriety; hence, not forward or bold; not presumptuous or arrogant; not boastful.
2.       Not bold or forward.
3.       Not loose; not lewd.
4.       Moderate; not excessive or extreme; not extravagant.

The definitions match 1 Timothy 2.  Modest apparel, then, is conservative; not sensual; does not draw improper attention to oneself.  Modest apparel is not extravagant, does not reveal one’s flesh, does not draw attention to one’s body in a bold, forward, loose, lewd, improper, or boastful way.

Now the purpose of this post isn’t so much to come up with a dictionary definition for modesty as it is to describe what so commonly passes for “modest” among so many so-called Christians that just doesn’t hold up to the Biblical definition.

Our approach in preaching and teaching the word of God is to emphasize biblical principles and allow the Holy Spirit to work out the details.  For a number of reasons, I believe that is a good approach.

But every now and then, it seems like there are those just don’t get it.  Most of the time, it’s obviously because they don’t want to get it.  If that’s you, there’s really no way to help you until you get your heart right.  But every now and then, there are some people who seem to genuinely care about what the Bible says but for whatever reason lack the wisdom that is necessary to apply Biblical principles to the reality of daily life. 

For those of you who might fall into the second category, what I want to give you is a small list of things that don’t qualify as modest apparel, and why (without going into detail that would be better left for a lady to discuss).  Here we go.

·         A bikini.  To me, that seems like it should go without saying, but there are people who go to the same church I go to (and probably some in yours) who don’t seem to understand that.  So let’s get this out there in the open.  I’m 100% certain that God is not OK with a Christian girl or a Christian woman wearing a bikini in any type of public setting.  To expose your flesh in such a manner is loose, lewd, bold, forward, and immodest to the utmost degree. 

·         A one-piece bathing suit.  Too many Christians seem to define modest as one step above the standard of the world.  It’s some sort of comparative or relative modesty.  Like a one-piece is OK because it’s not a bikini.  But the word of God sets the standard.  “What’s wrong with a one-piece?”  High legs.  Low neck.  Form-fitting.  There is nothing proper about the attention it draws to the one who’s wearing it. 

·         Short shorts (dresses, skirts, etc).  No one (well, almost no one) would contend that it’s OK to leave your bedroom completely naked.  Then why in the world would you walk out your door with a skirt 2 inches above your knee, or even worse a pair of shorts halfway up your thigh?  Because you define nakedness differently than God does.  (See Isaiah 47:1-3; Exodus 28:41-43).  God says to uncover your thigh is to uncover your nakedness and allow your shame to be seen.  And it doesn’t matter if it’s the lake, the beach, the gym, the mall, or the house next door.  The definition doesn’t change. 

If you’re a Christian woman or girl and you wear (or a Christian father and you allow your daughter to wear) any of the above, either (1) you know it’s immodest, but you do it because you don’t care; or (2) don’t think it’s immodest because you’re more influenced by the world than the word of God.   The solution to either is the same, and it’s simple.  Repent, and start obeying the word of God.

Along the same lines are the low shirts, the tight shirts, the not-quite-long-enough shirts, the spaghetti strap shirts, and the strapless shirt or dress.  I’m not real comfortable explaining why all those are immodest, but I think you can figure it out.  If not, seek out a godly lady who can help you (Titus 2:3-5).

Here’s the point.  1 Corinthians 10:31 Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.  As Christians, everything in our lives ought to be about glorifying God.  Back to 1 Timothy 2, what glorifies God is when a Christian lady adorns herself in modest apparel AND good works.  So modest apparel doesn’t cover for a lack of good works, and good works don’t excuse you from dressing modestly.  God wants both. 

Two more points to wrap up this lengthy post:

1.  Guys, it’s important that you’re modest, too.  So keep your shirt on.  Again, it’s not OK to go out naked, right?  Since when is the definition of naked different for a guy than a girl?  Do a Bible study on Ezekiel 23:8-18 and John 21:7 then report back on the Biblical reason why it’s OK for you to be bare-chested in public.

2.  Yes, it is possible for a woman to be just as immodest in a skirt or a dress as it is for a woman to be immodest in a pair of pants.  But if you have to bring this point up every time somebody talks about clothing (a) that might just be conviction, and (b) you need to understand the fact that it’s possible to be immodest in modest clothes doesn’t mean that it’s possible to be modest in immodest clothes.  Read that again and think about it for a minute. 

Happy Summer 
Click here for a sermon on “Principles of Proper Attire”

07 July 2011

Do You Love Strife?

Proverbs 17:19-20 He loveth transgression that loveth strife: and he that exalteth his gate seeketh destruction. He that hath a froward heart findeth no good: and he that hath a perverse tongue falleth into mischief.

A couple of brief points to make from these verses that are particularly pertinent for us Independent Baptists.

1.       He loveth transgression that loveth strife.  So to love strife (see Philippians 1:15) is to love transgression – you know, like, sin. 

2.       He that hath a froward heart findeth no good.  So if all you can see is the bad in everything, it means you have a froward heart.

That’s what God said.  Just something to think about.

04 July 2011

Custom Tract Source

Happy 4th of July!

Hope the weekend provides you some opportunities to exercise the freedoms the holiday commemorates.  The Lord blessed us Saturday, and we had 74 faithful saints from THE BIBLE Baptist Church stand up for Jesus at the Daytona Speedway with gospel tracts, gospel t-shirts, gospel signs, and gospel preaching.

This afternoon we’ll have groups passing out tracts and preaching the gospel at two local fireworks shows.  Praying that the Lord will give us liberty, boldness, compassion, open doors, and souls saved for the honor and glory of Jesus Christ.

We’ll be passing out this tract, printed by the guys at Custom Tract Source


Take a look at some of the other tracts they’ve helped us design for our evangelism efforts at the Daytona Speedway, University of Florida football games, arts festivals, fireworks shows, and holiday parades.

RACING IS NOT A SIN (front/back)
COEXIST (front/back)
FREEDOM (front/back)
WHY JESUS CAME (front/back)

And here are some of their designs that we’ve had customized with our own message.

HOPE (front/back)
ARE YOU A GOOD PERSON? (outside/inside)
YOUR LIFE (front/back)
LIFE OR DEATH (front/back)

I’d encourage you to stop by their website and think about customizing one of their tracts (careful, they’re not all KJV) or enlist their help in designing one of your own. 

Isaiah 55:11 So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.