Preaching Outline through First Timothy, Message Two

Exposition of 1 Timothy, Message 2

A. Introduction of the Epistle 1:1-2

1. Identification.

1 Timothy 1:1 Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the commandment of God our Saviour, and Lord Jesus Christ, which is our hope;

Last week we learned the backgrounds of the writer and the recipient of this letter.

a. We learned through Paul of –

1). His appointment – an Apostle
2). His authority – God…
His appointment and authority were from the Lord, which brought forth –

3). His admission. – “…which is our hope.” Our expected end, our hope is in God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ!

1 John 3:2 Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.

b. We also learned about Timothy, that he was –

1). The partner in ministry – “…my own son in the faith…”

We saw through his life the pattern of God working in us –

Convicted by the Word of God,
Converted by the Word of God,
Consecrated by the Word of God,
Commissioned by the Word of God,
Convinced by the Word of God –

Timothy was now –

2). The pastor at Ephesus – refer to 1:3 Placed in authority –
Timothy was working out the plan of God for a pastor –
Ephesians 4:11-16 And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ: ….. But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ: From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love.

This is difficult work – the strength for which is only found in the Lord. Paul encouraged Timothy in this truth by the next statement of that which is found only in God. Paul explains that which he has declared of God’s –

2. Intercession: “…our hope…” Our expected end – what to look forward to along the way:

1 Timothy 1:2b “…Grace, mercy, and peace, from God our Father and Jesus Christ our Lord.”

a. Grace, Living grace needed for each day. We read of the application of the wonderful grace of God in the following verses. So different than what we had without Him! –

2 Corinthians 4:7-16 But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us. We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; Persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed; Always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our body. For we which live are alway delivered unto death for Jesus’ sake, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our mortal flesh. So then death worketh in us, but life in you. We having the same spirit of faith, according as it is written, I believed, and therefore have I spoken; we also believe, and therefore speak; Knowing that he which raised up the Lord Jesus shall raise up us also by Jesus, and shall present us with you. For all things are for your sakes, that the abundant grace might through the thanksgiving of many redound to the glory of God. For which cause we faint not; but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day.

This is grace in action – grace in life! It is so important to know that God is working in us even when we are at our lowest point in life – He is there to pick us up and help us to go forward!

Do you really think that Superman would really be an encouragement to his family, friends, or community? He cannot be touched as we are! He does understand weakness even though he has knowledge of it. Do you believe that anyone around you would be encouraged by you if you had no capability of care or compassion for what they are going through? God strengthens us in our troubles so He can use us to encourage others! What He does for us, He will do for them! Does Jesus understand us? Yes, because even as the God/man He is not Superman. We read of Jesus –

Philippians 2:5-11 Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

Hebrews 4:14-15 Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession. For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.

How true are the words of the gospel song –

Once I was straying in sin’s dark valley, No hope within could I see
They searched through Heaven, And found a Savior
To save a poor lost soul like me.

Chorus
Oh, what a Savior, oh hallelujah, His heart was broken on Calvary
His hands were nail scarred, His side was riven
He gave His life-blood for even me.

Along with grace we are introduced to –
b. Mercy, Paul realized the mercy of God in his own life and commended the same to Timothy –

1 Timothy 1:13 Who was before a blasphemer, and a persecutor, and injurious: but I obtained mercy, because I did it ignorantly in unbelief.

The common definition of mercy and grace is as follows:
Mercy is God withholding judgment which man deserves.
Grace is providing man with love that he does not deserve “unmerited favour”.

If mercy is only God withholding judgment that I deserve, do I not receive mercy when I have not done anything wrong? I have not caused the problem in my life, but I still need the Lord to hold back the trouble and keep me from being crushed!

A common answer to this thought is “We are sinful people living in a sinful world and we deserve everything that comes to us! While this statement is true, it does not take into account God’s love!

While considering this definition, my attention was drawn to the story told by Jesus to teach of man’s responsibility to man. In Luke 10:37 where the Samaritan identified his neighbor through having mercy on him –

Luke 10:37 And he said, He that shewed mercy on him. Then said Jesus unto him, Go, and do thou likewise.

The point being that the man that was beaten and robbed had done nothing to deserve his plight. He simply happened to be the person chosen by evil men to rob.
The situation of the Samaritan showing mercy on the stranger has nothing to do with the stranger deserving judgment and that judgment being held off for a time. While the common definition is true, differences are noted at times in the use of the word. We must, as always, keep with the context, and in doing so, we conclude that often mercy provides the opportunity for grace to operate in the lives of men.

We should admit then that we have received mercy from God and that mercy should overflow through us to others –

James 3:17 But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy.

We remember Jeremiah’s words –

Lamentations 3:22-24 It is of the LORD’S mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness. The LORD is my portion, saith my soul; therefore will I hope in him.
And so we discover that grace and mercy introduce into our lives –

c. Peace, that which only can come from God.

“The LORD is my portion, saith my soul; therefore will I hope in him.”

Philippians 4:6-7 Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

The peace of God comes after we have peace with God –

Ephesians 2:15-16 Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; for to make in himself of twain one new man, so making peace; And that he might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby:

And so we see the importance of the Lord’s admonition –

Luke 9:62 And Jesus said unto him, No man, having put his hand to the plough, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.

– do not look back! Why? Because Grace, Mercy, and Peace of in front of us!

Are troubles ahead for us? Yes, but we have mercy, grace, and peace with us in our Lord Jesus Christ. We have help!

Posted in Lesson outlines | Leave a comment

Lessons from Isaac, How to Destroy Your Family

Lessons from Isaac.

Isaac was blessed of God as the ‘Seed of Promise’. We are careful to acknowledge God’s blessings in his life. He was obedient to his father, Abraham, and willingly submitted to him. We note his respect and obedience in the offering on Mount Moriah and also in the reception of his bride, Rebekah. He trusted God and he trusted Abraham’s faith in God. We should learn from this trust, but God has shared not only Isaac’s obedience but also his disobedience. We should learn from both. We note his patience in that he waited 40 years before marrying and then another 20 years before children were born. In these things we see his passive nature. He also displayed this nature in his relationship to the people among whom he lived. He was non combative (Sometimes to a fault). When the men of Gerar claimed the wells of water he had dug – he just moved and dug new ones. He did not present a good testimony to his wife, his sons, nor his servants when, because of the fear of personal injury, he lied about Rebekah being his wife, rather saying that she was his sister.

Genesis 26:1-4 And there was a famine in the land, beside the first famine that was in the days of Abraham. And Isaac went unto Abimelech king of the Philistines unto Gerar. And the LORD appeared unto him, and said, Go not down into Egypt; dwell in the land which I shall tell thee of: Sojourn in this land, and I will be with thee, and will bless thee; for unto thee, and unto thy seed, I will give all these countries, and I will perform the oath which I sware unto Abraham thy father; And I will make thy seed to multiply as the stars of heaven, and will give unto thy seed all these countries; and in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed;

Even though he had the promise of God, he failed in his courage –

Genesis 26:7 And the men of the place asked him of his wife; and he said, She is my sister: for he feared to say, She is my wife; lest, said he, the men of the place should kill me for Rebekah; because she was fair to look upon.

Note that he learned this from his father Abraham. His lie was found out and he was humiliated before the ungodly people of the land, who had more integrity than Isaac did.

The struggles in the family were caused simply because of his disobedience to the will of God.

He did not surrender his will to God’s will and did not accept the responsibility given to him by God to be:
I. A strong husband.

Rebekah could not trust Isaac to obey the Lord. She believed that deceiving him was the only way to accomplish the will of God in their lives. She did not even mention discussing the situation with him, reminding him of the message God had given to them at the birth of their sons.

Genesis 25:22-23 And the children struggled together within her; and she said, If it be so, why am I thus? And she went to inquire of the LORD. And the LORD said unto her, Two nations are in thy womb, and two manner of people shall be separated from thy bowels; and the one people shall be stronger than the other people; and the elder shall serve the younger.

He did not accept the responsibility given to him by God to be –

II. A strong father to his sons.

He did not instruct them to know and do God’s will.

A. Esau

1. He was worldly and willful.
2. He had no respect for God or his parents.

Genesis 25:33-34 And Jacob said, Swear to me this day; and he sware unto him: and he sold his birthright unto Jacob. Then Jacob gave Esau bread and pottage of lentiles; and he did eat and drink, and rose up, and went his way: thus Esau despised his birthright.

3. He had been the preferred son of his father because of his physical abilities instead of having a spiritual character.

Genesis 25:27-28 And the boys grew: and Esau was a cunning hunter, a man of the field; and Jacob was a plain man, dwelling in tents. And Isaac loved Esau, because he did eat of his venison: but Rebekah loved Jacob.

We must note that favour without discipline will produce contempt. Isaac had done everything he could to ignore the command of God and bless Esau making him the leader of the family. Even though that Esau knew this, he had no respect for his father. Isaac knew that Esau had a rebellious spirit, yet he failed to correct him.

Genesis 26:34-35 And Esau was forty years old when he took to wife Judith the daughter of Beeri the Hittite, and Bashemath the daughter of Elon the Hittite: Which were a grief of mind unto Isaac and to Rebekah.

Note also –

Genesis 28:8-9 And Esau seeing that the daughters of Canaan pleased not Isaac his father; Then went Esau unto Ishmael, and took unto the wives which he had Mahalath the daughter of Ishmael Abraham’s son, the sister of Nebajoth, to be his wife.

B. Jacob

1. He was worldly and wily. He was prepared to use Esau’s weaknesses against him.

Genesis 25:29-31 And Jacob sod pottage: and Esau came from the field, and he was faint: And Esau said to Jacob, Feed me, I pray thee, with that same red pottage; for I am faint: therefore was his name called Edom. And Jacob said, Sell me this day thy birthright.

Isaac was very wealthy and managed a large camp with many servants. Is it reasonable that Jacob would be the only person preparing a meal. Provisions for such a large camp would be readily available, especially to Esau, the son of the master. Why would he insist that Jacob give him the food that he was preparing. The answer is simple – Esau would bully Jacob as a matter of course. Jacob was chosen by God to follow Isaac as the head of the family. Esau knew that Isaac wanted to place him above Jacob and Esau would take every opportunity to pressure Jacob. Jacob was prepared this time to turn the situation on Esau. Through this account we learn of Esau’s complete disregard for the command of God.

2. He had no respect for God or his parents.
3. He did not trust his father and had no confidence that Isaac would obey the Lord and bless him as the head of the family.

Genesis 27:24 And he said, Art thou my very son Esau? And he said, I am.

Genesis 27:35 And he (Isaac) said, Thy brother came with subtilty, and hath taken away thy blessing.

Isaac’s prescription for problems in the family:
Disobeyed God
Disappointed his wife
Divided his children

Genesis 27:41 And Esau hated Jacob because of the blessing wherewith his father blessed him: and Esau said in his heart, The days of mourning for my father are at hand; then will I slay my brother Jacob.

Through God’s mercy and grace, the family was restored, but only after years of hardships – Genesis 35:29 And Isaac gave up the ghost, and died, and was gathered unto his people, being old and full of days: and his sons Esau and Jacob buried him. (180 years old)

Posted in Lesson outlines | Leave a comment

Preaching Outline through First Timothy Message One

Exposition of 1 Timothy

A. Introduction of the Epistle 1:1-2

This introduction reveals the truth that we all make choices in life and these choices influence others. We may never even know how we have helped others in living a life that honours God. As we begin this letter, we note the identification of the writer and the recipient. –

1. Identification.

1 Timothy 1:1 Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the commandment of God our Saviour, and Lord Jesus Christ, which is our hope;

a. The writer – Paul identified himself and then his position presenting –

1). His appointment – an Apostle

Refer to Acts 9:15 But the Lord said unto him, Go thy way: for he is a chosen vessel unto me, to bear my name before the Gentiles, and kings, and the children of Israel:

Chosen by the Lord and making his choice to obey the Lord. He could have refused!! His life was not going to be easy!

Colossians 1:27 To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory:

2). His authority – God…

1 Corinthians 9:1 Am I not an apostle? am I not free? have I not seen Jesus Christ our Lord? are not ye my work in the Lord?

His appointment and authority were from the Lord, which brought forth –

3). His admission. – “…which is our hope.” Our expected end, our hope is in God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ!

2 Timothy 1:12 For the which cause I also suffer these things: nevertheless I am not ashamed: for I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day.

Paul was absolutely confident in the promises of God –

John 6:37-40 All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out. For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me. And this is the Father’s will which hath sent me, that of all which he hath given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day. And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day.

We, along with Paul, can believe the promises of God –

John 10:27-30 My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father’s hand. I and my Father are one.

And so we serve Him faithfully in confidence!

We also see faithful service in the life of –

b. The recipient is Timothy

1 Timothy 1:2a “Unto Timothy, my own son in the faith…”

1). The partner in ministry – “…my own son in the faith…”

a). Introduced to the Lord through the Gospel preached by Paul and Silas
b). Influenced by their dedication and service to the Lord.

2 Timothy 3:10-11 But thou hast fully known my doctrine, manner of life, purpose, faith, longsuffering, charity, patience, Persecutions, afflictions, which came unto me at Antioch, at Iconium, at Lystra; what persecutions I endured: but out of them all the Lord delivered me.

c). Included in the ministry, preaching the Word of God to the world.

Timothy had come to a time of decision in his life: which path would he follow? Would he stay in Lystra working and ministering or would he step out by faith to do more in the service of the Lord. We know that he was a faithful servant at the time Paul and Silas came through on the second missionary journey.

Acts 16:2 Which was well reported of by the brethren that were at Lystra and Iconium.

He had to ask himself this question – “what is truly important”. Does God want me to do more?
William Carey, the British missionary to India – While still in England, he used to go about from village to village proclaiming the Gospel of Jesus Christ to the people. One day a friend reportedly came to him and said, “I want to speak to you very seriously :”Well,” said Carey, “What is it?” His friend said, “By your going about talking to people as you do you’re neglecting your business. If you only attended to making shoes more than you do, you would have a better business and could prosper far better than you are. But as it is you are simply neglecting your business.”
To which Carey replied, “Neglecting my business? My business is to extend the Kingdom of God. I only cobble shoes to pay expenses!”

William Carey was convinced, as was Timothy about 1,800 years before him, that he must give his life to do more and give himself wholly to the preaching of the Gospel.

They were in the same position as were Peter, Andrew, James, and John who were disciples of Jesus already when he called them at the seashore to do more than they were able to do as they were –

Matthew 4:18-22 And Jesus, walking by the sea of Galilee, saw two brethren, Simon called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea: for they were fishers. And he saith unto them, Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men. And they straightway left their nets, and followed him. And going on from thence, he saw other two brethren, James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother, in a ship with Zebedee their father, mending their nets; and he called them. And they immediately left the ship and their father, and followed him.

Not every believer will be called of God to go to a far country and share the gospel, but every believer is called to do more than they are doing right now! We are to increase.

Now Paul acknowledged the Lord’s particular calling in Timothy’s life and we see –

Acts 16:3 “Him would Paul have to go forth with him …”

Timothy had grown in the Lord through the ministry with the missionaries, working along side of Paul, Silas, Luke, Titus, and others, ministering with them and also sent out individually to fulfil the commission –
1 Thessalonians 3:2 And sent Timotheus, our brother, and minister of God, and our fellowlabourer in the gospel of Christ, to establish you, and to comfort you concerning your faith:

This is how God works –

Convicted by the Word of God,
Converted by the Word of God,
Consecrated by the Word of God,
Commissioned by the Word of God,
Convinced by the Word of God –

Timothy was now –

2). The pastor at Ephesus – refer to 1:3 Placed in authority –

“…abide still at Ephesus, when I went into Macedonia, that thou mightest charge some…”

He was doing more in the service of the Lord than he had been doing and now, Paul is writing to him and telling him how to increase his service – do more. We will see that Timothy was still young in age and in the ministry. He had told Paul how he had some problems which made the ministry difficult and it may have been that he thought that some of the work seemed unreasonable. Paul had answered him and all of us in a very familiar passage from the letter to the Romans:

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.

Where are you in this plan today? Are you in the plan at all – are you saved?
Are you doing more today than your were this time last year?
Are you using your talents to encourage and build up others?
What is our reasonable service? We must work together to accomplish the will of God.

Posted in Lesson outlines | Leave a comment

Life Lessons from the Unnamed Prophet of 1 Kings 13

Life Lessons from the Unnamed Prophet of 1 Kings 13
We should learn:
Believe God’s Word to you.
Confirm changes along the way through prayer and Bible study.
Do not place trust in anyone that contradicts God’s Word!

In order to understand God’s purpose for this prophet, we need to review the actions of King Jeroboam, ruler of the Northern Tribes. The nation of Israel had been divided due to the sin of King Solomon. The Southern Tribes would continue to be ruled by the house of David according to God’s unconditional promise, while the Northern tribes would be ruled by the house of Jeroboam based on a conditional promise, as long as they obeyed the Lord.
Jeroboam turned from obeying God almost immediately. His desire to establish himself as king, not understanding that God had already accomplished this, overcame any fear of God he may have had. He became afraid of man and what they would do so he set up a system of worship to satisfy the Northern tribes.

Rehoboam was offering sacrifices at this idolatrous altar in Bethel when the Prophet sent by God confronted him for his sin. We will take up the account in chapter 13 from this point. We see first the –

I. Promotion of idolatry by King Rehoboam.

1 Kings 12:27-31 If this people go up to do sacrifice in the house of the LORD at Jerusalem, then shall the heart of this people turn again unto their lord, even unto Rehoboam king of Judah, and they shall kill me, and go again to Rehoboam king of Judah. Whereupon the king took counsel, and made two calves of gold, and said unto them, It is too much for you to go up to Jerusalem: behold thy gods, O Israel, which brought thee up out of the land of Egypt. And he set the one in Beth-el, and the other put he in Dan. And this thing became a sin: for the people went to worship before the one, even unto Dan. And he made an house of high places, and made priests of the lowest of the people, which were not of the sons of Levi.

Rehoboam turned a true story, and it is true that the lie of the golden calf bringing them out of Egypt had been part of their history, into an idolatrous counterfeit religion. He would be described by the Lord from this time in history onward as the man who caused Israel to sin.
The courage of the Lord is seen invested in His man through the –

II. Prophecy against the false Gods.

1 Kings 13:1-3 And, behold, there came a man of God out of Judah by the word of the LORD unto Beth-el: and Jeroboam stood by the altar to burn incense. And he cried against the altar in the word of the LORD, and said, O altar, altar, thus saith the LORD; Behold, a child shall be born unto the house of David, Josiah by name; and upon thee shall he offer the priests of the high places that burn incense upon thee, and men’s bones shall be burnt upon thee. And he gave a sign the same day, saying, This is the sign which the LORD hath spoken; Behold, the altar shall be rent, and the ashes that are upon it shall be poured out.

These words were both prophetic, being perfectly fulfilled through King Josiah three hundred and sixty years later, and in the present with the –

III. Proof of God’s judgment exacted upon the king and the altar –

1 Kings 13:4-6 And it came to pass, when king Jeroboam heard the saying of the man of God, which had cried against the altar in Beth-el, that he put forth his hand from the altar, saying, Lay hold on him. And his hand, which he put forth against him, dried up, so that he could not pull it in again to him. The altar also was rent, and the ashes poured out from the altar, according to the sign which the man of God had given by the word of the LORD.

Note the serious change in attitude –

And the king answered and said unto the man of God, Intreat now the face of the LORD thy God, and pray for me, that my hand may be restored me again. And the man of God besought the LORD, and the king’s hand was restored him again, and became as it was before.
King Jeroboam, because of this public contest, was compelled to show appreciation to the prophet for his willingness to intercede with God in restoring his hand –

IV. Present offered to honour the prophet.

1 Kings 13:7-9 And the king said unto the man of God, Come home with me, and refresh thyself, and I will give thee a reward. And the man of God said unto the king, If thou wilt give me half thine house, I will not go in with thee, neither will I eat bread nor drink water in this place: For so was it charged me by the word of the LORD, saying, Eat no bread, nor drink water, nor turn again by the same way that thou camest.

We must give notice that six times in these verses the prophet of God has been directed by the Word of God. Everything that he has done up to this point has been in obedience to the instruction of God. Now we turn to a most important lesson as we read of the –

V. Prophet’s sin through disobedience.

A. The Conversation.

1 Kings 13:10-17 So he went another way, and returned not by the way that he came to Beth-el. Now there dwelt an old prophet in Beth-el; and his sons came and told him all the works that the man of God had done that day in Beth-el: the words which he had spoken unto the king, them they told also to their father. And their father said unto them, What way went he? For his sons had seen what way the man of God went, which came from Judah. And he said unto his sons, Saddle me the ass. So they saddled him the ass: and he rode thereon, And went after the man of God, and found him sitting under an oak: and he said unto him, Art thou the man of God that camest from Judah? And he said, I am. Then he said unto him, Come home with me, and eat bread. And he said, I may not return with thee, nor go in with thee: neither will I eat bread nor drink water with thee in this place: For it was said to me by the word of the LORD, Thou shalt eat no bread nor drink water there, nor turn again to go by the way that thou camest.

B. The Capitualtion.

1 Kings 13:18,19 He said unto him, I am a prophet also as thou art; and an angel spake unto me by the word of the LORD, saying, Bring him back with thee into thine house, that he may eat bread and drink water. But he lied unto him. So he went back with him, and did eat bread in his house, and drank water.

C. The Confrontation.

1 Kings 13:20-22 And it came to pass, as they sat at the table, that the word of the LORD came unto the prophet that brought him back: And he cried unto the man of God that came from Judah, saying, Thus saith the LORD, Forasmuch as thou hast disobeyed the mouth of the LORD, and hast not kept the commandment which the LORD thy God commanded thee, But camest back, and hast eaten bread and drunk water in the place, of the which the LORD did say to thee, Eat no bread, and drink no water; thy carcase shall not come unto the sepulchre of thy fathers. And it came to pass, after he had eaten bread, and after he had drunk, that he saddled for him the ass, to wit, for the prophet whom he had brought back.

It seems like a great kindness to give this prophet of God the ass to ride back home with. The man, his sons, nor his servants accompanied him to retrieve the ass, so he may have thought that he would not get very far –

D. The Consequences.

I Kings 13:24-26 And when he was gone, a lion met him by the way, and slew him: and his carcase was cast in the way, and the ass stood by it, the lion also stood by the carcase. And, behold, men passed by, and saw the carcase cast in the way, and the lion standing by the carcase: and they came and told it in the city where the old prophet dwelt. And when the prophet that brought him back from the way heard thereof, he said, It is the man of God, who was disobedient unto the word of the LORD: therefore the LORD hath delivered him unto the lion, which hath torn him, and slain him, according to the word of the LORD, which he spake unto him.

And the false prophet ended up getting his donkey back and burying the prophet of God in his own graveyard.

Why did the old man lie to the prophet? Possibly because of his own guilt for not being true to God. He wanted the prophet to be disobedient, as he was. We do not really know why, but we do have lessons to learn –

We should learn:
Believe God’s Word to you.
Confirm changes along the way through prayer and Bible study.
Do not place trust in anyone that contradicts God’s Word!

Posted in Lesson outlines | Leave a comment

Lessons from Haggai

Lessons from Haggai

Introduction

I. Writer – Haggai. ‘Festal’ – he may have been born on an important feast day.

II. Date. The date of this book is accurately fixed in the 520 B.C.

The four messages were presented during a four month period in this year.

III. Recipients. The Jews that returned from the captivity according to the decree of Cyrus. They followed Zerubbabel to rebuild the Temple in Jerusalem –

Ezra 1:1-3 Now in the first year of Cyrus king of Persia, that the word of the LORD by the mouth of Jeremiah might be fulfilled, the LORD stirred up the spirit of Cyrus king of Persia, that he made a proclamation throughout all his kingdom, and put it also in writing, saying, Thus saith Cyrus king of Persia, The LORD God of heaven hath given me all the kingdoms of the earth; and he hath charged me to build him an house at Jerusalem, which is in Judah. Who is there among you of all his people? his God be with him, and let him go up to Jerusalem, which is in Judah, and build the house of the LORD God of Israel, (he is the God,) which is in Jerusalem.

IV. Purpose. The Jews began the reconstruction soon after their arrival in Jerusalem, building the altar and restoring the sacrifices and offerings.

Not long afterward, the Samaritans began to oppose the work –

Ezra 4:1-5 Now when the adversaries of Judah and Benjamin heard that the children of the captivity builded the temple unto the LORD God of Israel; Then they came to Zerubbabel, and to the chief of the fathers, and said unto them, Let us build with you: for we seek your God, as ye do; and we do sacrifice unto him since the days of Esar-haddon king of Assur, which brought us up hither. But Zerubbabel, and Jeshua, and the rest of the chief of the fathers of Israel, said unto them, Ye have nothing to do with us to build an house unto our God; but we ourselves together will build unto the LORD God of Israel, as king Cyrus the king of Persia hath commanded us. Then the people of the land weakened the hands of the people of Judah, and troubled them in building, And hired counsellers against them, to frustrate their purpose, all the days of Cyrus king of Persia, even until the reign of Darius king of Persia.

– and the zeal for the work declined. The people turned to building their own houses. Construction on the Temple stopped for 16 years. Consider this – a partially built Temple was a worse testimony than no temple at all. While the Israelites were captive in Babylon, everyone understood that they could not rebuild the Temple of the Lord in Jerusalem. Upon their return to Jerusalem, especially with the intention and finances to rebuild the Temple, their failure to complete the work was a bad testimony to the authority and power of God. They brought shame unto the name of God. Finally, the messages of Haggai and Zechariah encouraged the people to remember their purpose and continue in the work.
Haggai lived among the people and may have been disappointed in himself and the people for their failure to accomplish their purpose – to rebuild the House of God. The Lord often uses those who have a burden to do the will of God and are hungering and thirsting after righteousness.

We begin with –

I. Message One 1:1-12 First day of the sixth month

A. Reproof. 1:1-11

Refer to the ministry as recorded by Ezra –

Ezra 5:1-2 Then the prophets, Haggai the prophet, and Zechariah the son of Iddo, prophesied unto the Jews that were in Judah and Jerusalem in the name of the God of Israel, even unto them. Then rose up Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel, and Jeshua the son of Jozadak, and began to build the house of God which is at Jerusalem: and with them were the prophets of God helping them.

Ezra 6:14 And the elders of the Jews builded, and they prospered through the prophesying of Haggai the prophet and Zechariah the son of Iddo. And they builded, and finished it, according to the commandment of the God of Israel, and according to the commandment of Cyrus, and Darius, and Artaxerxes king of Persia.

1. Accountability 1:1,2 The Leadership is held responsible, but the people are not excused. We answer for ourselves! –
2. Accusation 1:3,4 The people had time to build nice houses and settle in.
3. Assess their lives. 5-11 They were to examine their situation and should remember the words of Solomon –
2 Chronicles 7:12-14 And the LORD appeared to Solomon by night, and said unto him, I have heard thy prayer, and have chosen this place to myself for an house of sacrifice. If I shut up heaven that there be no rain, or if I command the locusts to devour the land, or if I send pestilence among my people; If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.

B. Repentance and resumption of the work. 1:12-15

1. Repented at His Word 1:12
2. Received encouragement of the Lord. 1:13
3. Resumed working . 1:14,15

II. Message Two 2:1-9 Twenty first day of the seventh month

God does not judge His work based on man’s expectations. They were not to be disappointed in their service unto the Lord because the Temple did not seem that it would be as magnificent as that built by Solomon. The house itself becomes secondary when our eyes are focused upon the Occupant –

Haggai 2:7 And I will shake all nations, and the desire of all nations shall come: and I will fill this house with glory, saith the LORD of hosts.

Their present disappointment would be swallowed up by the future glory of God in His Temple.

III. Message Three 2:10-19 Twenty fourth of the ninth month

God desires a holy people as well as a holy temple. Haggai preached to the people. He –

A. Reminded them of the results of their disobedience. 2:10-17
B. Revealed to them His future blessing. 2:18,19

Even thought their circumstances remained the same as in the previous years when they had very little harvest, God would bless them with an abundance. They would have to trust Him as they could not see the evidence.

Haggai would have to have great confidence in the Lord and His Word to preach this message which would be able to be verified in the coming months. The preaching was in faith and the proof was coming!

IV. Message Four 2:20-23 Twenty fourth day of the ninth month

Haggai provoked Zerubbabel to finish the work the Lord had for him (Zerubbabel, my servant). God is in control, revealing both His will for the present and the future (the second coming and the establishment of His Kingdom)
Haggai proved to be the man for the time. He was faithful to God and presented the message in faith, trusting that God would be faithful unto Himself, as He always is.
We should learn from Haggai that we should never fear to present the Word of God. The world will mock the truth. Believers may doubt the truth. Preach it anyway. We should listen to the command given to Pastor Timothy –
2 Timothy 4:1-2 I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom; Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine.
As we consider lessons that we can learn from Haggai, we ask the following questions –
Do we seek holiness?
Do we hunger and thirst after righteousness?
Are we broken hearted over the condition of our testimony for the Lord (ourselves and others)?
Have we died to self, not being concerned about what the self-righteous will say?
John 12:24 Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit.

Posted in Lesson outlines | Leave a comment

The Ministry of Elisha to Naaman the Syrian. A timely testimony

The ministry of Elisha to Naaman the Syrian. 2 Kings 5:1-19

Discovering the key event in the account of Naaman’s meeting with Elisha, the prophet of God.

The character of Elisha was testified to through his ministry unto the Lord in directing Naaman in simple belief in the power of God. We also learn through this account about the power of God over the unbelievers as well as believers. God gave the victory to Syria over the armies of Israel and he exalted Naaman as the commander of the Syrians in the victory.

We should note –

I. The triumph of Syria. Israel had been in a standoff with Syria.
Armed conflict often occurred due to the long standing tension between the countries.

A. King Ahab’s desire

1 Kings 22:1,2 And they continued three years without war between Syria and Israel. …And the king of Israel said unto his servants, Know ye that Ramoth in Gilead is ours, and we be still, and take it not out of the hand of the king of Syria?

Be aware and learn the lesson that bitterness will seek conflict and reject the wise counsel of God through His Word –

B. King Ahab’s determination, even though warned of God.

1 Kings 22:17 And he said, I saw all Israel scattered upon the hills, as sheep that have not a shepherd: and the LORD said, These have no master: let them return every man to his house in peace.

C. King Ahab’s death. Another proof that pride goeth before destruction –

1 Kings 22:34-38 And a certain man drew a bow at a venture, and smote the king of Israel between the joints of the harness: wherefore he said unto the driver of his chariot, Turn thine hand, and carry me out of the host; for I am wounded. And the battle increased that day: and the king was stayed up in his chariot against the Syrians, and died at even: and the blood ran out of the wound into the midst of the chariot. And there went a proclamation throughout the host about the going down of the sun, saying, Every man to his city, and every man to his own country. So the king died, and was brought to Samaria; and they buried the king in Samaria.

We turn now to the situation of the captain of the forces that oppressed Israel, Naaman. Notice –

II. The Trial of Naaman, captain of the host of Syria.

2 Kings 5:1 Now Naaman, captain of the host of the king of Syria, was a great man with his master, and honourable, because by him the LORD had given deliverance unto Syria: he was also a mighty man in valour, but he was a leper.

This great, honourable, mighty, valiant man had no close contact, no physical interactions, no comfort, and up to this time, no hope of a cure. We learn then why the Syrians were so excited at the prospect of healing!

III. The troubled King of Israel.

The following account gives us an idea of the expectations of the King of Syria and Naaman.

2 Kings 5:4-8 …And the king of Syria said, Go to, go, and I will send a letter unto the king of Israel. And he departed, and took with him ten talents of silver, and six thousand pieces of gold, and ten changes of raiment. And he brought the letter to the king of Israel, saying, Now when this letter is come unto thee, behold, I have therewith sent Naaman my servant to thee, that thou mayest recover him of his leprosy. And it came to pass, when the king of Israel had read the letter, that he rent his clothes, and said, Am I God, to kill and to make alive, that this man doth send unto me to recover a man of his leprosy? wherefore consider, I pray you, and see how he seeketh a quarrel against me. And it was so, when Elisha the man of God had heard that the king of Israel had rent his clothes, that he sent to the king, saying, Wherefore hast thou rent thy clothes? let him come now to me, and he shall know that there is a prophet in Israel.

The northern tribes had rejected the Lord. They were apostate, worshipping the gods of other nations and had turned their backs on Jehovah. At this time the Lord was judging the nation through His prophets and those nations surrounding them. God’s plan led to one purpose, “…and he shall know that there is a prophet in Israel.” There is only one God and He has a prophet in Israel! He was reminding Israel and the nations that He is in control.

IV. The trial of Naaman. 2 Kings 5:9-19

A. His supplication.

2 Kings 5:9-10 So Naaman came with his horses and with his chariot, and stood at the door of the house of Elisha. And Elisha sent a messenger unto him, saying, Go and wash in Jordan seven times, and thy flesh shall come again to thee, and thou shalt be clean.

B. His surprise. Notice his expectations from his reaction –

2 Kings 5:11-12 But Naaman was wroth, and went away, and said, Behold, I thought, He will surely come out to me, and stand, and call on the name of the LORD his God, and strike his hand over the place, and recover the leper. Are not Abana and Pharpar, rivers of Damascus, better than all the waters of Israel? may I not wash in them, and be clean? So he turned and went away in a rage.

Before God and His Prophet, Naaman’s position, power, prestige, and presents meant nothing! God has the highest position, God has all power, God is exalted above all creation, God owns all things. Naaman’s value is found in the grace of God, not in the things of man!

C. His submission 2 Kings 5:13-16

2 Kings 5:13-16 And his servants came near, and spake unto him, and said, My father, if the prophet had bid thee do some great thing, wouldest thou not have done it? how much rather then, when he saith to thee, Wash, and be clean? Then went he down, and dipped himself seven times in Jordan, according to the saying of the man of God: and his flesh came again like unto the flesh of a little child, and he was clean. And he returned to the man of God, he and all his company, and came, and stood before him: and he said, Behold, now I know that there is no God in all the earth, but in Israel:

In all of this the character of Elisha is revealed. He serves the Lord in simplicity determining that all glory is directed to the Lord who alone deserves it. He also teaches us that the world holds no reward for the service of the man of God.

…..now therefore, I pray thee, take a blessing of thy servant. But he said, As the LORD liveth, before whom I stand, I will receive none. And he urged him to take it; but he refused.

The King of Syria could not purchase the blessings of God! God’s blessings are not for sale!

2 Kings 5:5 And the king of Syria said, Go to, go, and I will send a letter unto the king of Israel. And he departed, and took with him ten talents of silver, and six thousand pieces of gold, and ten changes of raiment.

We must notice a most important lesson comes from the testimony given, that without which, none of these events involving kings, nations, armies, would have happened.

V The Testimony of the Maid of Israel. 2 Kings 5:1-4

2 Kings 5:1-4 Now Naaman, captain of the host of the king of Syria, was a great man with his master, and honourable, because by him the LORD had given deliverance unto Syria: he was also a mighty man in valour, but he was a leper. And the Syrians had gone out by companies, and had brought away captive out of the land of Israel a little maid; and she waited on Naaman’s wife. And she said unto her mistress,
Would God my lord were with the prophet that is in Samaria! for he would recover him of his leprosy. And one went in, and told his lord, saying, Thus and thus said the maid that is of the land of Israel.
This young captive servant trusted the Lord and remained –

A. Faithful in her service.
B. Faithful in her witness.
C. Faithful to her God despite her circumstances.

Only the Lord knows what events will take place because of your testimony!

Whatever our circumstances, will we be faithful witnesses for the Lord. Will you believe and testify that He is the answer to man’s need – salvation and life everlasting.

Posted in Lesson outlines | Leave a comment

Wednesday message Lessons from Onesimus in Philemon

The Epistle to Philemon
Lessons from Onesimus

I. Writer

The writer acknowledges himself to be Paul the Apostle. 1,9,19

II. Date and Place of writing

Paul wrote this letter about 60 A.D. from prison in Rome. The letter was written at the same time that he wrote to the church in Colosse.

III. Recipient

Philemon was a believer in Colosse who opened his house for the meeting of the church. Verse 2. It is possible that Archippus was his son and also was the pastor of this church, Colossians 4:17. Philemon had come to know Jesus Christ as his Saviour through the ministry of Paul, verse 19. Paul noted that he was writing not only as an Apostle, but a friend, “I Paul have written it with mine own hand…”.

IV. Occasion and circumstances

Onesimus, Philemon’s slave, had run away to Rome with, possibly, some stolen items. In Rome, Onesimus came into contact with Paul in the prison. No details are given about the circumstances of the meeting, but Paul did lead Onesimus to the Lord for salvation, verse 10.
Paul convinced Onesimus that he must return and reconcile with his master. Philemon is requested to receive him as a brother in Christ and forgive him.
Paul also expected to be released from prison and requested lodging for his anticipated visit.
The outline –

I. Salutation. 1-3
II. Appreciation for Philemon’s faithful service unto the Lord 4-7
III. Application for mercy toward Onesimus 8-21

Paul was older, he is in prison, and yet he is witnessing and seeing people saved! A challenge to all of us.

A. Introduction, possibly in prison because of Onesimus’ criminal character
B. Instruction in the truth of the Gospel. “…whom I have begotten in my bonds.”

Onesimus had become a servant of the Lord and was a blessing in the ministry in Rome –

Philemon 13 Whom I would have retained with me, that in thy stead he might have ministered unto me in the bonds of the gospel:

But he needed to get things right before moving on –

Matthew 5:23-24 Therefore if thou bring thy gift to the altar, and there rememberest that thy brother hath ought against thee; Leave there thy gift before the altar, and go thy way; first be reconciled to thy brother, and then come and offer thy gift.

Ephesians 4:28 Let him that stole steal no more: but rather let him labour, working with his hands the thing which is good, that he may have to give to him that needeth.

He needed to lay the foundation of truth and confidence in his life. Paul made –

C. Intercession for a changed man.

Onesimus had someone intercede for him in prayer to the Lord, now he had that same one to intercede for him to the men. Remember that Paul had someone to speak on his behalf – that others would give him a chance to live out his salvation and prove his new life in Christ.

2 Corinthians 5:17 Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.

Philemon 16 Not now as a servant, but above a servant, a brother beloved, specially to me, but how much more unto thee, both in the flesh, and in the Lord?

D. Invested in his future.

Onesimus became a trusted brother in Christ and Paul invested himself in his life. He gave of his own personal property to help Onesimus accomplish God’s will for his life –

Philemon 17-18 If thou count me therefore a partner, receive him as myself. If he hath wronged thee, or oweth thee ought, put that on mine account;

Posted in Lesson outlines | Leave a comment