3/24 Fundamental Thoughts - Sermons


Matthew 17:1-13  And after six days Jesus taketh Peter, James, and John his brother, and bringeth them up into an high mountain apart,  (2)  And was transfigured before them: and his face did shine as the sun, and his raiment was white as the light.  (3)  And, behold, there appeared unto them Moses and Elias talking with him.  (4)  Then answered Peter, and said unto Jesus, Lord, it is good for us to be here: if thou wilt, let us make here three tabernacles; one for thee, and one for Moses, and one for Elias.  (5)  While he yet spake, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them: and behold a voice out of the cloud, which said, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; hear ye him.  (6)  And when the disciples heard it, they fell on their face, and were sore afraid.  (7)  And Jesus came and touched them, and said, Arise, and be not afraid.  (8)  And when they had lifted up their eyes, they saw no man, save Jesus only.  (9)  And as they came down from the mountain, Jesus charged them, saying, Tell the vision to no man, until the Son of man be risen again from the dead.  (10)  And his disciples asked him, saying, Why then say the scribes that Elias must first come?  (11)  And Jesus answered and said unto them, Elias truly shall first come, and restore all things.  (12)  But I say unto you, That Elias is come already, and they knew him not, but have done unto him whatsoever they listed. Likewise shall also the Son of man suffer of them.  (13)  Then the disciples understood that he spake unto them of John the Baptist.

INTRODUCTION:  When we read these verses, at least in my mind, I wonder if we as Christians could witness the “Transfiguration” as these Disciples did, would we be better Christians.
              For us to know we heard God speak.  Then witness, the glorification of Jesus’ body with utter fear and awe.  To actually see Moses and Elijah, what a day that would be. 
              How long would the euphoria last?  Could it possibly be a week or a month or until eternity before we lost that zeal for God that we acquired? 
              Do we need such manifestations to support us in the hour of sor­row and trial?  When we come to this mount are we apt to be so blinded with the “glory of the light” that we cannot see the helpful lessons we might learn. 

We might learn that-

I.            TO BE ALONE WITH THE LORD IS A   GLORIOUS       PRIVILEGE.                                                                   (vv 1-2)

Matthew 17:1-2 a  And after six days Jesus taketh Peter, James, and John his brother, and bringeth them up into an high mountain apart,  2  And was transfigured before them:

Luke 9:28  And it came to pass …he took Peter and John and James, and went up into a mountain to pray.

A.              While Alone With Him,
1.           They beheld His glory,
              i.            Eye-witnesses of His majesty. 
                             2.           If we would know Jesus Christ
                                           i.            In all His glorious fullness,
                             3.           Let us be much alone with Him
                                           i.            In our mount of prayer. 

B.              We Hope To Be Alone With Him In Eternity;
              1.           Why not seek His presence now?

              A.           Than Men See Him To Be.  

Matthew 17:2  And was transfigured before them: and his face did shine as the sun, and his raiment was white as the light.

                             1.           There was a double glory,
                                           i.            That which shone out of Heaven  from the Father,
ii.               And that which shone out of Himself
a.             As the image of the Father. 

C.              The Carnal Eye Saw No Beauty In Him,
              1.           He is glorious,
                             i.            Regardless. 

D.              The Hidden Glory Of Christ,
              1.           His glorification
                             i.            The hidden glory of the Christian, 
                                           a.           We will also be glorified

              E.           The Same Lord
                            1.           Who has transfigured our souls
                                           i.            Will one day transfigure our bodies

2 Corinthians 3:18  But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.

1 John 3:1-2  Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not.  (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.

III.         THE DEATH OF CHRIST                                                 (v 3)

Matthew 17:3  And, behold, there appeared unto them Moses and Elias talking with him.

Luke 9:30-31  And, behold, there talked with him two men, which were Moses and Elias:  (31)  Who appeared in glory, and spake of his decease which he should accomplish at Jerusalem.

              A.           The Most Important Subject Under Heaven.
                             1.           Jesus’ Glorification 
                             2.           His impending death on the Cross

              B.           Consider The Subject Of Their Discussion
                             1.           One appointed to die on a cross. 

              C.           Consider, What Moses and Elijah would think
                             1.           Of those today who deny the atoning death of Jesus?

IV.         THE GLORY OF THE LORD                                           (v 6)
              A.           In Our Present State
                             1.           Can only be barely appreciated. 
                             2.           That voice of God terrified them. 

Matthew 17:6  And when the disciples heard it, they fell on their face, and were sore afraid.

V.           ONLY THE LORD IS SUFFICIENT                             (vv 7-8)
                  A.           To Comfort A Troubled Heart.

Matthew 17:7-8  And Jesus came and touched them, and said, Arise, and be not afraid.  (8)  And when they had lifted up their eyes, they saw no man, save Jesus only.

              B.           The Living Word of God
                             1.           When it touches,
                                           i.            The sorrowful or terrified soul,
                                                          a.           It is enough. 
                                                          b.           (It’s all that is required)
                             2.           If all else should fail,
                                           i.            The Touch,
                                           ii.           The Word,
                                                          a.           Of Jesus is sufficient

VI.         THE RESURRECTION OF THE LORD                        (v 9)
              A.           Is The Foundation Of The Gospel.

Matthew 17:9  And as they came down from the mountain, Jesus charged them, saying, Tell the vision to no man, until the Son of man be risen again from the dead.

              B.           The Gospel of His Glorification
                             1.           Must come after the Gospel of the Cross. 

1 Corinthians 15:14  And if Christ be not risen, then is our preaching vain, and your faith is also vain.

              C.           But Christ Is Risen;
                             1.           Now tell of His Glory   
                                           i.            Your faith is real

VII.        TO HEAR THE WORD OF THE LORD                           (v 5)
              A.           Is A Divine Com­mand.

Matthew 17:5  While he yet spake, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them: and behold a voice out of the cloud, which said, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; hear ye him.

              B.           Father is “well pleased
                    1.           Hear the Voice of His Word. 
                             2.           He is a great Teacher come from God,
                                           i.            His with God's message to sinful
                             3.           The voice of His works.
John 5:36  But I have greater witness than that of John: for the works which the Father hath given me to finish, the same works that I do, bear witness of me, that the Father hath sent me.

                             4.           His works of miracle and mercy. 

John 14:11  Believe me that I am in the Father, and the Father in me: or else believe me for the very works' sake.

CONCLUSION:  We have read this story of Jesus’ transfiguration, the descriptions given within the text, allows for our imaginations to wander.
              However, I don’t believe that was the purpose of our being told three times about His transfiguration.

2 Chronicles 7:14  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.
              God was showing us three transfigurations, one we will witness at our Salvation, the second when God calls us Home, or when He calls His Church Home.  This third is the possibility of the Christians ability to change Governments and to cause the land to be healed, by transfiguration.
              I read a quote this morning stated by Dr. Larry Groves, he said; “If you love God’s Word, the world will not love you.”  We are not of this world, why do we walk with them.
              I watched Glenn Beck’s “Redeeming Honor” this last Saturday.  I heard Jesus invoked more than I have ever heard on secular TV.  The whole program felt to me based on 2 Chronicles 7:14.  It was probably the NIV version, maybe all I saw wasn’t what I would overall agree with.  Yet, the focus was as a Human Race, we need to get first back to God, then look to our Nation.  It is a transfiguration we as Christians need, that of getting ourselves back to God.
              This transfiguration we read about is a description of His Holiness, His Power, and it defines who He is.  It also shows us what we have in store.  If we are greeted at a Pearly Gate, I don’t know for sure who will be greeting us, but my mind tells me Moses and Elijah, not necessarily Peter as all the stories relate.  Of course we do not know, just an un-necessary thought.
              What is your thought?  If you could go to that mountain top and witness what Peter, James, and John saw, would God speak to you or would He shun you as an unknown?
              We as Christians must know God is greater than all the greatest things we know of, He is Majesty, He is Almighty, and He is the Eternal, the Everlasting.
              Would seeing Jesus transfigured (Glorified) change your attitude towards His Church?  Would it make our absences less, our giving more, our smile greater? Would it cause you to praise Him daily, only to find in a few weeks, may be months all that praise has diminished, to an occasional day?  Would it be gone, like the important news stories, until the next important story? 
              We as Christians are a fickle lot and may be as the LORD called the Hebrew children, stiff-necked.  We must get past our thin skin and worship our Lord.  Most here have preconceived ideas, right or wrong; we need to know from our Bible.
              What are we, we are His servants, yet at times it seems we make Him our servant.  If you worked as hard at work as you do for the Lord, how long would it take your boss to fire you? 
              Jesus has promised us eternal Salvation and we know we can’t be fired from Him, just like a tenured union employee or a College Professor cannot be fired, consequently effort is not required.

[1] adapted from “Handfuls On Purpose” James Smith, Eerdmans Publishing Company, Series I, Pages 165

3/23 Fundamental Thoughts - Sermons

“The Blessed Man”

Psalms 1:1-6  Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful.  (2)  But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night.  (3)  And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.  (4)  The ungodly are not so: but are like the chaff which the wind driveth away.  (5)  Therefore the ungodly shall not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous.  (6)  For the LORD knoweth the way of the righteous: but the way of the ungodly shall perish.

INTRODUCTION:           I am of the opinion, we are all mightily blessed, but we, in our mind, discount the blessedness God has given.  In a lot of cases we even say we were “lucky” or “unlucky.”  I am not concerned that we “believe” in “luck.’  It is probably a hangover from our previous condition of relying on luck.  When we accepted Jesus in belief, luck should have left our vocabulary, but then again, a lot of things should have left as we realized our “new condition.”
              This Psalm shows us three entities that is used throughout the Psalms.
              1.)          The Righteous;
              2.)          The Ungodly;
              3.)          The only God.

I.            THE HAPPY MAN                                                              (vv 1-3)
A.              Avoids:
1.               Evil influences   

Proverbs 4:14  Enter not into the path of the wicked, and go not in the way of evil men.
2.               Evil deeds                         

Isaiah 59:8  The way of peace they know not; and there is no judgment in their goings: they have made them crooked paths: whosoever goeth therein shall not know peace.

3.               Evil attitudes                    

Psalms 26:4  I have not sat with vain persons, neither will I go in with dissemblers.
                                                      i.                (vain = idolaters)
                                                      ii.              (dissemblers = hypocrites)

              B.           Delights In God’s Word                                               (v 2)
Psalms 119:16  I will delight myself in thy statutes: I will not forget thy word.

              C.           God Causes Him To Prosper                                       (v 3)
Psalms 119:14  I have rejoiced in the way of thy testimonies, as much as in all riches.

II.           THE UNGODLY MAN                                                        (vv 4-5)
A.           Worthless                                                                    (v 4)

Matthew 13:38  The field is the world; the good seed are the children of the kingdom; but the tares are the children of the wicked one;

1.               Tares
              i.            Children of the wicked one
Isaiah 5:24  Therefore as the fire devoureth the stubble, and the flame consumeth the chaff, so their root shall be as rottenness, and their blossom shall go up as dust: because they have cast away the law of the LORD of hosts, and despised the word of the Holy One of Israel.

1.               The chaff of the world

Matthew 3:10-12  And now also the axe is laid unto the root of the trees: therefore every tree which bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.  (11)  I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance: but he that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire:  (12)  Whose fan is in his hand, and he will throughly purge his floor, and gather his wheat into the garner; but he will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire.

i.                To be devoured
ii.               Cast away

B.           His destiny                                                                    (v 5)          
Matthew 25:31-46  When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory:  (32)  And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats:  (33)  And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left.  (34)  Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world:  (35)  For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in:  (36)  Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me.  (37)  Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink?  (38)  When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee?  (39)  Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee?  (40)  And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.  (41)  Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels:  (42)  For I was an hungred, and ye gave me no meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me no drink:  (43)  I was a stranger, and ye took me not in: naked, and ye clothed me not: sick, and in prison, and ye visited me not.  (44)  Then shall they also answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, or athirst, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister unto thee?  (45)  Then shall he answer them, saying, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me.  (46)  And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal.

1.               To Stand at the left hand of God

Hebrews 9:27  And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment:

i.                To be cast into an everlasting Hell

III.         FOR THE LORD KNOWS                                                       (v 6)
A.              The Way Of The Righteous Man  

Nahum 1:7  The LORD is good, a strong hold in the day of trouble; and he knoweth them that trust in him.

1.               He knows our strength
2.               He knows our thoughts
3.               He knows our trust in Him

B.              The Way Of The Ungodly             

Proverbs 15:8-9  The sacrifice of the wicked is an abomination to the LORD: but the prayer of the upright is his delight.  (9)  The way of the wicked is an abomination unto the LORD: but he loveth him that followeth after righteousness.
1.               Those who have not accepted Jesus
              i.            They are wicked
              ii.           Their sacrifices are an abomination to                       the LORD

              C.           End Of The Wicked                                                     (v 6)

Philippians 3:18-19  (For many walk, of whom I have told you often, and now tell you even weeping, that they are the enemies of the cross of Christ:  (19)  Whose end is destruction, whose God is their belly, and whose glory is in their shame, who mind earthly things.)

1.               The enemies of the Cross
i.                Their end is destruction

Romans 6:23  For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

ii.               Death in the lake of fire
              a.           Is their wage
                             2.           They will never know
                                           i.            The Gift of God
                                                          a.           Jesus the Christ

Conclusion:         Which way have you chosen?  Remember God didn’t make your bed, then, tell you to lie in it.
              If you made a mess of your life, God will help
He gave you a choice; you are the one who chooses.
              God calls us, it is our decision to make the right choice.  So the answer is a question, where are you in the LORD?