Luke 19:1-10, Jesus and Zacchaeus

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Jesus, Thank You. Thank You for seeking and saving the lost.

Luke 19:1-10, Jesus and Zacchaeus

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This podcast is a ministry of Harpeth Baptist Church in Kingston Springs, TN“Holding Forth the Word of Life.” 

Feel free to contact us:
1011 Butterworth Road
Kingston Springs, TN
615-378-1136
http://www.harpethbaptist.org

 

Luke 23:33-49, Jesus’ Crucifixion

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Jesus, Thank You! Thank You for Your Divine Forgiveness to us, unworthy sinful people. Thank You for Eternal Security and Immediate Access. Now, please bless this time as we spiritually dine on the remembrance of
these things.

Luke 23:33-49, Jesus’ Crucifixion

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This podcast is a ministry of Harpeth Baptist Church in Kingston Springs, TN“Holding Forth the Word of Life.” 

Feel free to contact us:
1011 Butterworth Road
Kingston Springs, TN
615-378-1136
http://www.harpethbaptist.org

 

2 Peter 3:8-14, The Return of Christ

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Peter builds upon his comments on scoffers with more information about the return of Christ. He is clear, that day will come. He points out that the delay is simply God being patient. He gives instructions for believers while waiting.

2 Peter 3:8-14, The Return of Christ

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This podcast is a ministry of Harpeth Baptist Church in Kingston Springs, TN“Holding Forth the Word of Life.” 

Feel free to contact us:
1011 Butterworth Road
Kingston Springs, TN
615-378-1136
http://www.harpethbaptist.org

 

2 Peter 3:1-7, Scoffers

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Peter writes to comfort the church while facing false teachers and accusers. The prophets told us these people would come, questioning Jesus’ promise to return and God’s judgment in the end. As the scoffer speaks, we are reassured that the prophets were true. Thus, scripture is true. Jesus is Who He claimed to be, & He is soon returning!

2 Peter 3:1-7, Scoffers

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This podcast is a ministry of Harpeth Baptist Church in Kingston Springs, TN“Holding Forth the Word of Life.” 

Feel free to contact us:
1011 Butterworth Road
Kingston Springs, TN
615-378-1136
http://www.harpethbaptist.org

 

Nehemiah 6:15-16, The Wall is Finished

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How is your wall coming? You’ll probably be glad when it’s finished… It might seem like it is taking forever to build… I promise it will be worth it. Especially when you hear/realize “It had to be God.”

Nehemiah 6:15-16, The Wall is Finished 

 

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This podcast is a ministry of Harpeth Baptist Church in Kingston Springs, TN“Holding Forth the Word of Life.” 

Feel free to contact us:
1011 Butterworth Road
Kingston Springs, TN
615-378-1136
http://www.harpethbaptist.org

 

New Service Times

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Exciting news from Harpeth Baptist Church!  Now that we are in our new auditorium we will go back to just 1 Sunday morning worship service.  Beginning on 10/20 we will have only a 10:30 AM service. Here is a full list of all of our Service Times:

Service Times

Sunday

8:45 AM Breakfast Fellowship
9:15 AM Sunday School Groups
10:30 AM Morning Worship
6:00 PM Evening Worship

Wednesday

7:00 PM Men’s & Women’s Bible Study | KID Connect | Teen Connect

We hope you will join us!

HARPETH BAPTIST CHURCH
1011 Butterworth Road
Kingston Springs, TN 37082
615-378-1136

www.harpethbaptist.org

2 Peter 2:17-22, The Impact of False Teachers on Others

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False teachers are pointed out in scripture, and so is their impact on others. They leave those they betray with unfulfilled promises. They offer liberty but instead lead them into legalism. They can only ever give them a religion, never true regeneration.

2 Peter 2:17-22, The Impact of False Teachers on Others

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This podcast is a ministry of Harpeth Baptist Church in Kingston Springs, TN“Holding Forth the Word of Life.” 

Feel free to contact us:
1011 Butterworth Road
Kingston Springs, TN
615-378-1136
http://www.harpethbaptist.org

 

2 Peter 2:10-16, False Teachers Part 2)

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There are counterfeits and imitators around the church. These false teachers are bold and arrogant. They promise freedom but deliver slavery. They are immoral, they are smooth talkers, and they try to get others to fall into their own immorality. Peter is clear, they will pay the price for their evil deeds.

2 Peter 2:10-16, False Teachers (Part 2)

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This podcast is a ministry of Harpeth Baptist Church in Kingston Springs, TN“Holding Forth the Word of Life.” 

Feel free to contact us:
1011 Butterworth Road
Kingston Springs, TN
615-378-1136
http://www.harpethbaptist.org

 

2 Peter 2:1-9, False Teachers (Part 1)

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There are counterfeits and imitators around the church. Peter describes false teachers here, he reveals their coming destruction, but best of all…he writes to the church of their deliverance! Let’s consider False Teachers, but with a confidence that only God can give.

2 Peter 2:1-9, False Teachers (Part 1)

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This podcast is a ministry of Harpeth Baptist Church in Kingston Springs, TN“Holding Forth the Word of Life.” 

Feel free to contact us:
1011 Butterworth Road
Kingston Springs, TN
615-378-1136
http://www.harpethbaptist.org

 

2 Peter 1:16-21, Prophecy

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The Word of God is Trustworthy. We do not follow a myth, we follow the words from the mouth of God, delivered by the Holy Spirit. Go with me through these verses as we consider: Prophecy.

2 Peter 1:16-21, Prophecy

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This podcast is a ministry of Harpeth Baptist Church in Kingston Springs, TN“Holding Forth the Word of Life.” 

Feel free to contact us:
1011 Butterworth Road
Kingston Springs, TN
615-378-1136
http://www.harpethbaptist.org

 

James 5:19-20 – Restoration

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Brethren, if any of you do err from the truth, and one convert him; Let him know, that he which converteth the sinner from the error of his way shall save a soul from death, and shall hide a multitude of sins.

Believers in Trouble

We began our study in James stating that the goal of faith in the Lord is maturity. But, as James indicated earlier, everyone stumbles in many ways. “In many ways, we offend all”

Previously we looked at the temptation of the churches being written to disrespect the poor and avoid the sick. James writes as if the same temptation exists to leave the wandering believer on their wrong path. Just as the church should:

  • Treat the rich and poor the same.
  • Pray for healing of the sick.
  • We should try to restore the brother in sin.

James’ final words involve a ministry of bringing back, of restoration.

As a believer, we should never condemn. We should see the wayward and try bringing them to effective restoration through the mercy of God.

Believers who Help

James reminds his readers of the purpose of trials at the beginning of his letter. Here in the conclusion, he reminds them of the purpose of restoration. These believers were to help others who had strayed into sin.

As tough as a task like this is, it is one a believer should want reciprocated when roles reversed. We are all subject to Double-Mindedness. We are all subject to self-deception.

Much is at stake in the sinner’s need for restoration. His or her very life “shall save a soul from death”. Believers who wander from the truth have been led into sin by their own evil desires, and the end of this process is death.

Death. What did James mean by this? He may have been thinking about the Lord ending the life of the backslider as a punishment for sin. We don’t like to hear it, but there is such a thing as sin that leads to death. “If any man see his brother sin a sin which is not unto death, he shall ask, and he shall give him life for them that sin not unto death. There is a sin unto death: I do not say that he shall pray for it.” (1 John 5:16-17) All unrighteousness is sin: and there is a sin not unto death.

When we go about the business of restoration, we don’t always know what we are achieving. We may be saving that person from an early grave! Death. James might have had something else in mind. He might have been suggesting that a backslidden condition is like a spiritual deadness in the heart. In this case, the one who reclaims a backslider is rescuing him or her from that deadness. Whatever James had in mind, it’s apparent that backsliding is a very serious thing indeed. It is also apparent that anyone who helps the backslider is doing a wonderful thing.

Like Elijah, who put himself out there to bring Israel back from their sin, the brother who restores another lays aside self for the sake of the other’s life. If backsliding is turning from the truth, to convert the backslider is to turn them back towards the truth.

Hide a multitude of sins. One author suggests that the word ‘hide/cover’ takes us back to the Ark of the Covenant and the mercy seat of the Old Testament. The ark was a box in which the Law of Moses was placed. Above the box were stationed cherubim, who represented God himself. If the ark consisted of nothing more, it would have done nothing but give testimony to an awesome reality, namely, God taking note of our disobedience to his holy law.

But there was another part of the ark. Thank God it was there! The mercy seat! The mercy seat was a flat gold plate that sat between the box and the cherubim. When the high priest of Israel made atonement for the sins of the people, he would take the blood of a sacrifice and sprinkle it on the mercy seat. The blood of the mercy seat covered the broken law! It was as if God could not see the sin because of the blood!

All of this was designed, of course, to picture the redeeming work of the Lord Jesus. The blood that he shed on the cross covers the sins of all those who believe in him. But that same blood also covers the sins of Christians who sin.

This same work is accomplished when believers practice biblical restoration and hide a multitude of sins.

Conclusion: This brings us to the end of our study of James. His emphasis has been spiritual maturity. This would be a good time for us to examine our own hearts to see how mature we really are.

Here are a few questions to assist you:

  1. Am I becoming more and more patient in the testings of life?
  2. Do I play with temptation or resist it from the start?
  3. Do I find joy in the Word of God, or do I just study and learn it?
  4. Are there any prejudices that shackle me?
  5. Am I able to control my tongue?
  6. Am I a peacemaker rather than a troublemaker? Do people come to me for spiritual wisdom?
  7. Am I a friend of God or a friend of the world?
  8. Do I make plans without considering the will of God?
  9. Am I selfish with money? Am I unfaithful in the paying of my bills?
  10. Do I depend on prayer when I find myself in some kind of trouble?
  11. Am I the kind of person others seek for prayer support?
  12. What is my attitude toward the wandering brother? Do I criticize and gossip, or do I seek to restore him in love?

Pastor Chance Strickland

Harpeth Baptist Church
Kingston Springs, TN

http://www.harpethbaptist.org

2 Peter 1:12-15, Remembrance

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Remembrance was important to Peter in the lives of the church. A church full of Christians living with the authority of the Word of God as their basis is not likely to fall prey to apostasy. His purpose is to show the importance of knowing God’s Word and relying on it completely. The Christian who knows what he believes and why he believes it will rarely be seduced by the false teachers and their devious doctrines.

2 Peter 1:12-15, Remembrance

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This podcast is a ministry of Harpeth Baptist Church in Kingston Springs, TN“Holding Forth the Word of Life.” 

Feel free to contact us:
1011 Butterworth Road
Kingston Springs, TN
615-378-1136
http://www.harpethbaptist.org

 

James 5:17-18 – The Potential of Prayer

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Elias was a man subject to like passions as we are, and he prayed earnestly that it might not rain: and it rained not on the earth by the space of three years and six months. And he prayed again, and the heaven gave rain, and the earth brought forth her fruit.

The Potential of Prayer

James uses Elijah as his illustration of what prayer can accomplish. Elijah pronounced for the Lord that rain would cease until he said it should rain again. Elijah, 3 years later, is told by God to call for rain.

You and I may never cause the rain to cease. Using Elijah as our example here we should note that his prayer was a prayer for his nation. He wasn’t praying for personal gain or preference. Of course, his prayer would directly benefit him. But, it would also benefit all others in the land. “If the Lord will…” (Cf. 4:15)

It probably isn’t God’s will for us to perform this exact same work today. We probably shouldn’t march into Nashville to tell the Governor that it isn’t going to rain again until we pray for it. This was a very useful tool in it’s time that gives us the modern church a better understanding of the potential power of prayer.

Even if we wanted this or something as powerful to happen, God would have to will it. Notice, Elijah’s prayers were powerful. But, He was simply praying as commanded by God. God’s will was for the rain to cease in this case.

To determine the potential of our prayers, we must be in tune with the will of God through His Word. We could pray and fast until the day we die for something outside God’s will and accomplish no more than the prophets of Baal.

What is it that God wants you praying for? It may not be for the rain to cease. But, no matter how small a thing it seems to us right now, we should always be aware of the potential of our prayers. Just because our prayers may not stop rain doesn’t mean we cannot change the world. Our cries to a heavenly father have the potential to have Him intervene on our behalf.

Especially given in a situation like Elijah’s with a national prayer. What powerful national prayers could we have right now? Abortion, Economy, Pornography, etc.

Elijah was not only believing in his praying, but he was persistent. “He prayed … and he prayed again” (James 5:17–18). On Mt. Carmel, he continued to pray for rain until his servant reported “a cloud the size of a man’s hand.”

Too many times we fail to get what God promises because we stop praying.  It is true that we are not heard “for our much speaking” (Matt. 6:7); but there is a difference between vain repetitions and true-believing persistence in prayer.

Our Lord prayed three times in the Garden. Paul prayed three times that his thorn in the flesh might be taken from him. Elijah was determined and concerned in his praying. “He prayed earnestly” (James 5:17). The Greek here is “and he prayed in prayer.” Do you pray in your prayers? Or do you just some say religious words?

A church member was “praying around the world” in a prayer meeting, and one of the men present was growing tired of the speech. Finally, the man cried out, “Ask Him something!” That is what prayer is all about: “Ask Him something!”

The potential power in prayer is the greatest power in the world. History shows how mankind has progressed from manpower to horsepower, and then to dynamite and TNT, and now to atomic power. But greater than atomic power is prayer power. Elijah prayed for his nation, and God answered prayer. We need to pray for our nation today, that God will bring holiness and revival, and that “showers of blessing” will come to the land.

Pastor Chance Strickland

Harpeth Baptist Church
Kingston Springs, TN

http://www.harpethbaptist.org

2 Peter 1:5-11, Growing in the Faith

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What does growth in the faith (Christian Maturity) look like? Grow in the faith — Don’t just remain a babe after being born again. Add these things to your faith, have them increase in your life, practice them over and over. It will provide assurance of your salvation, it will give you the confidence to perform the tasks God intends for you. You will Grow in Grace.

2 Peter 1:5-11, Growing in the Faith

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This podcast is a ministry of Harpeth Baptist Church in Kingston Springs, TN“Holding Forth the Word of Life.” 

Feel free to contact us:
1011 Butterworth Road
Kingston Springs, TN
615-378-1136
http://www.harpethbaptist.org

 

James 5:13-16 – The Practice of Prayer

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Is any among you afflicted? let him pray. Is any merry? let him sing psalms. Is any sick among you? let him call for the elders of the church; and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord: And the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up; and if he have committed sins, they shall be forgiven him. Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.

Afflicted

Those afflicted should seek God’s comfort through prayer.

  • Psalm 27:14 “Wait on the LORD: Be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: Wait, I say, on the LORD.”
  • Psalm 55:22 “Cast thy burden upon the LORD, and he shall sustain thee: He shall never suffer the righteous to be moved.”
  • Jonah 2:7 “When my soul fainted within me I remembered the LORD: And my prayer came in unto thee, into thine holy temple.”
  • Philippians 4:6 “Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.”
  • 1 Peter 5:7 “Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.” 

This private prayer would keep them from public grumbling. This prayer of the sufferer should be a prayer for wisdom and wholeheartedly asking in faith.

Also, James asks is anyone merry? Normally a happy perky person would anger someone afflicted. The solution is to sing psalms. No matter the mood, singing praises together keeps harmony among believers.

Sick

James directs those who are “sick,” to call for the elders of the church for strength, support, and prayer. Those of these churches had the temptation to:

  • Show disdain for the poor.
  • Ignore their needs for food and clothing.
  • Threaten their physical survival by withholding their fair wages.

This is the same temptation to neglect fellow believers who are sick. Believers who are sick should receive special attention from the whole congregation. This verse presents a simple three-part pattern that can be followed on behalf of the sick.

  • First, the sick one should call the elders. The elders can’t help if they aren’t told! Also, the elders aren’t instructed to make the first move, the sick is.
  • Second, the elders anoint the sick with oil. Probably rubbing oil into wounds of those physically bruised and battered by persecution. Could be a reference to ceremonial anointing. Either way, the point is the elders would be encouraging, comforting, and strengthening the believer.

Does the oil heal?  Why then use it? Ceremony. Sometimes humbling oneself to the point of following a Bible ritual outwardly shows faith in God to heal and utter selflessness to help.

The elders do this. Elders? In the churches James is writing to this would have been those put in charge by the apostles. What about the modern church? Would this be Deacons, Stewards, Ordained, Leaders?

  • Third, they should pray over the sick for healing. During anointing, the elders should pray. Of course, regularly anyone in the church can pray for anyone who is sick. This should more often be the case. Rather than a healing line.

Some prefer to pray for healing, others prefer to pray for “God’s will”. In 4:15 James instructs to operate, “If the Lord will…”. “Lord, if it be thy will, heal….”. Being cautious of the fact we shouldn’t obligate God to do something he hasn’t promised.

This would all be done is who’s name? The name of the Lord. This explains the order of the process. If I go to a sick man and pray and he is healed, I may get some of the glory for going to him. However, if the sick comes to the church to pray and we pray and he is healed, God gets all the glory.

Prayer of faith

The prayer offered on their behalf by the elders. Save is very confusing in this verse. Sodezo, the same word is used here and in verses 5:20, 4:12, 2:14, and 1:21. Sodezo means save, heal, and preserve. Leaving a multitude of uses for this one word.

Some would argue that the author is saying that physical healing if off the table here and that the goal is to be sure a sick person is saved. Others would ignore salvation altogether here and deal only with physical healing.

Also, we have to notice there are two parts to James’ writing here, Prayer and Faith. We pray to be healed, we have faith for Salvation is another take on this verse. James answers both.

  • The Lord shall raise him up.
  • Sins shall be forgiven him.

The easy error to make here is elders can pray over you and forgive your sin. If you are healed your sin was also forgiven. The most effective application is we pray to be healed when sick. For this to be effective our sins must be out of the way first. Therefore, a sick person coming to be healed would also ask forgiveness for sin during the process.

Confess your faults

The “confessing” that James wrote about is done among believers. He was not suggesting confessing our sins to a preacher or priest. We confess our sins first of all to the Lord. We also confess them to those who have been affected by them. We should never confess sin beyond the circle of that sin’s influence. 

Private sin requires private confession. Public sin requires public confession. “It is wrong for Christians to “hang dirty wash in public,” for such “confessing” might do more harm than the original sin.”.

Mutual honesty, openness, and sharing of needs will enable believers to uphold each other in the spiritual struggle. Go to each other and confess faults.  This is a time to pray, not prey. “The confession of sin entails humble honesty about the fact of having committed sin, not a public retelling of the details of the act.”

Effective prayer comes via energetic and passionate prayers of godly people and can accomplish much.

Pastor Chance Strickland

Harpeth Baptist Church
Kingston Springs, TN

http://www.harpethbaptist.org

2 Peter 1:1-4, Grace and Peace Multiplied (Part 2)

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We consider God’s Divine Power and Promises which further develop the thought of Grace and Peace being multiplied in our lives. This is what God intends for you Christian. Not, “just enough” or a little bit. He has great and precious allotted for you, embrace it!

2 Peter 1:1-4, Grace and Peace Multiplied (Part 2)

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This podcast is a ministry of Harpeth Baptist Church in Kingston Springs, TN“Holding Forth the Word of Life.” 

Feel free to contact us:
1011 Butterworth Road
Kingston Springs, TN
615-378-1136
http://www.harpethbaptist.org

 

James 5:12 – The Passage

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But above all things, my brethren, swear not, neither by heaven, neither by the earth, neither by any other oath: but let your yea be yea; and your nay, nay; lest ye fall into condemnation.

The Passage

Above all things. Or “especially.” Notice he leads in with “but” leaving us to attach this to previous commands. James stresses again that our speech provides the most revealing glimpse of our spiritual state.

Swear not. The Jews were known for using various oaths to back up their statements. They were ever careful not to use the name of God in their oaths, lest they blaspheme. So, they would swear by heaven, or earth, or Jerusalem, or even by their own heads! But Jesus taught that it is impossible to avoid God in oaths.

  • Neither by heaven. Heaven is His throne.
  • Neither by the earth. Earth is His footstool.
  • Neither by any other oath.

Jerusalem is the “city of the great King.” Your head…“Thou canst not make one hair white or black” (Matt. 5:36).

Let your yea be yea. Mean yes when you say yes. Mean no when you say no. True Christian character requires few words. “The person who must use many words to convince us, has something wrong with his character and must bolster this weakness by using words.” “If you are a true Christian, with integrity, then all you have to say is yes or no and people will believe you.”

James warns that anything more than this is evil. “Lest ye fall into condemnation.”

The Principle

James’ teaching is simply a resounding of what he experienced Christ teaches.

Proverbs 22:1 “A good name is rather to be chosen than great riches, And loving favour rather than silver and gold.”

Ecclesiastes 7:1 “A good name is better than precious ointment; and the day of death than the day of one’s birth.”

Basil Miller reported that at the end of the American Civil War, General Robert E. Lee was broke, as were many of his countrymen. Money was scarce. About that time a state lottery offered him ten thousand dollars a year for the use of his name. He replied, “Gentlemen, my name is all I have left, and that is not for sale.” Your name is all you have: character, integrity, honesty.

The Practical Use

J. Vernon McGee wrote of his father: “I can remember when my dad went to the bank one year to borrow money to get his cotton gin started. The banker was busy and said to my dad, “Go ahead and take the money.” My dad said, “But I haven’t signed the note.” I never shall forget what the banker said, “If you say you will repay it, that is just as good as if you have signed a note. So come in later and sign up.”

The practical use for what James writes is just that. If we say we are going to do something, we should. J.P. Morgan was once asked what he thought was the best bank collateral.  He replied, “Character.” Even Andy was able to let prisoners out to plant trusting they would return to finish their sentence.

During the 1983 National Spelling Bee held in Washington, D. C., thirteen-year-old Andrew Flosdorf of Fonda, New York, eliminated himself from the contest when he informed the judges he had misspelled “echolalia”. The judges had failed to catch the error. When questioned as to why he turned himself in, he straightforwardly replied, “I didn’t want to feel like a slime.”.

Above all things, let you yea be yea and your nay be nay.

A little boy was asked by his Sunday School teacher to define a lie. He said, “A lie is an abomination to the Lord, and an ever-present help in time of trouble.” Like many in our day, he had his Scriptures as well as his moral values confused.

Pastor Chance Strickland

Harpeth Baptist Church
Kingston Springs, TN

http://www.harpethbaptist.org

Philippians 2:16-18 Rejoicing in All

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Do you rejoice in all, or are you facing something that has taken your joy? I submit to you today that in all of life’s circumstances… In pain, in suffering, in loss, in death, in prison, and in uncertainty. The salvation process is going on for those who trust God. Rejoicing in All is to rejoice in our present circumstance and to rejoice with others.

Philippians 2:16-18 Rejoicing in All

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This podcast is a ministry of Harpeth Baptist Church in Kingston Springs, TN“Holding Forth the Word of Life.” 

Feel free to contact us:
1011 Butterworth Road
Kingston Springs, TN
615-378-1136
http://www.harpethbaptist.org

 

James 5:7-11 – Patience of the Poor

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Be patient therefore, brethren, unto the coming of the Lord. Behold, the husbandman waiteth for the precious fruit of the earth, and hath long patience for it, until he receive the early and latter rain. Be ye also patient; stablish your hearts: for the coming of the Lord draweth nigh. Grudge not one against another, brethren, lest ye be condemned: behold, the judge standeth before the door. Take, my brethren, the prophets, who have spoken in the name of the Lord, for an example of suffering affliction, and of patience. Behold, we count them happy which endure. Ye have heard of the patience of Job, and have seen the end of the Lord; that the Lord is very pitiful, and of tender mercy.

The husbandman or farmer

The farmer plants the seed and prepares the soil but doesn’t reap a crop immediately. God sends the rain to water the soil and then comes the harvest. The farmers of those days were dependent on two ‘rains’. The ‘early’ rain came at planting time in October. The ‘latter’ rain came at harvest time in April or May. Without those rains, the farmer had no hope of raising a good crop.

But the farmer couldn’t force it to rain. All he could do was wait for the rains to come. He had to depend on the God who had ordained those rains to send them at the proper time.

Just as the farmer was to be patient, James instructs his audience to be patient. We too must trust God in times where we have no control. We can’t make it rain. But, we can trust God who created rain…to send the rain when the time is right. Until then we must be patient, knowing that “in due season we shall reap, if we faint not” (Gal. 6:9).

The judge

Their trials had made some of the Christians critical, and complainers emerged in the church. James reminds them that they are not to judge. Christ, the Judge, is at the door! He hears what is said. He will come quickly and make things right. Murmuring and complaining is a serious sin. If we would remember that Christ is coming, we wouldn’t complain and criticize.

The prophets

James refers these Christians to the OT believers, who suffered yet left their trials with God and won the victory. The prophets suffered when they had done no wrong. They were harshly treated for declaring the word of God.

Think about how these men suffered!  For over forty years, Moses had to endure complaining and grumbling people. Jeremiah, the weeping prophet, was thrown into the mud of an empty cistern. Daniel was cast into a lions’ den. Zechariah, sealed his testimony with his blood, as he was put to death in the temple (2 Chr. 24:20–22).

James writes of the prophets to urge his readers to be patient when they themselves were suffering for doing good.

In verse 11, Job is his primary example. Job, was very devoted to the Lord, and very prosperous. The devil came along and suggested that Job was faithful only because he was blessed. If his blessings were removed, his devotion would vanish! The Lord allowed Satan to test Job. So he did! Job lost his family, his health and his possessions. In the end, Job still had his faith, proving the devil wrong.

Writing of Job and ‘seeing the end of the Lord’, James gives a wonderful testament for patience. In Job, ‘the end’ was to show ‘that the Lord is very pitiful, and of tender mercy’. By reminding his readers of Job, James was calling them to trust God. They were to have a good purpose even in the midst of circumstances that they didn’t understand.

Pastor Chance Strickland

Harpeth Baptist Church
Kingston Springs, TN

http://www.harpethbaptist.org

2 Peter 1:1-2, Grace and Peace Multiplied

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How can grace and peace be multiplied in life? Peter places emphasis on the knowledge of God. The word know or knowledge is used at least thirteen times in just 3 chapters. Knowledge is more than an intellectual understanding of truths.

2 Peter 1:1-2, Grace and Peace Multiplied

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This podcast is a ministry of Harpeth Baptist Church in Kingston Springs, TN“Holding Forth the Word of Life.” 

Feel free to contact us:
1011 Butterworth Road
Kingston Springs, TN
615-378-1136
http://www.harpethbaptist.org

 

James 5:4-6 – Misused Wealth

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Behold, the hire of the labourers who have reaped down your fields, which is of you kept back by fraud, crieth: and the cries of them which have reaped are entered into the ears of the Lord of sabaoth. Ye have lived in pleasure on the earth, and been wanton; ye have nourished your hearts, as in a day of slaughter. Ye have condemned and killed the just; and he doth not resist you.

Depriving workers of their rightful wages

The Old Testament condemns the mistreatment of workers:

Leviticus 19:13 “Thou shalt not defraud thy neighbour, neither rob him: the wages of him that is hired shall not abide with thee all night until the morning.”

Deuteronomy 24:14–15 “Thou shalt not oppress an hired servant that is poor and needy, whether he be of thy brethren, or of thy strangers that are in thy land within thy gates: At his day thou shalt give him his hire, neither shall the sun go down upon it; for he is poor, and setteth his heart upon it: lest he cry against thee unto the LORD, and it be sin unto thee.”

Proverbs 3:27–28 “Withhold not good from them to whom it is due, When it is in the power of thine hand to do it. Say not unto thy neighbour, Go, and come again, and tomorrow I will give; When thou hast it by thee.”

This would have been taught in their churches, and also to them as children. But some were ignoring those commands.

The rich would not have been hurt by paying the wages. This was not a mandated rate, the rich set their own pay rate and were still not paying. This could have been viewed differently had their government mandated a minimum wage they could not afford. I have been on minimum wage and hoped for more. I have paid out minimum wage and struggled to. They had plenty from which to pay! And wouldn’t.

The workers, who lived from day to day and from hand to mouth, were hurt tremendously by not getting paid. James depicts the seriousness of the matter in terms of two cries going up to God:

  • The first is the cry of the unpaid wages. James pictures the money sitting there in the bank and crying out to because it has not been sent to the workers. That seems silly, money crying. Perhaps James is trying to show how silly they’re holding back the pay is.
  • The second is the cry of the workers themselves. It is the cry of anguish, as they sit down with their families to eat a crust of bread or nothing at all when they could have been eating a decent meal. Nothing plays on the emotions better than a family, with children, going without food.

James then reminds them that these cries do not go unnoticed. They are heard by ‘the Lord of Sabaoth’. The Bible uses many names for God. He is such a glorious being that no one name can do justice to him. The name James uses here means ‘Lord of hosts’. It tells us that God is surrounded by hosts of angelic beings and that he is greater than all of them. He is their Lord.

The God who is greater than all the hosts of heaven is certainly great enough to mete out justice to the cruel wealthy who inflict such pain and misery on their workers!

This leads us to the third misuse of wealth: hoarding, holding back wages, and…

Living in luxury and self-indulgence

Now there is nothing wrong with living in luxury when done honestly. Not too many years ago “indoor plumbing” was a great luxury! Perhaps a better way to put James’ tone here is not so much “living in luxury” as “wallowing in luxury”.

I think of the Rich Man in Luke. Here fared sumptuously every day. While poor Lazarus laid at his gate full of sores wanting just the crumbs from his table. He could have easily fed Lazarus a meal.

Here James is talking about people who use their wealth to pamper themselves while needs are on every hand. Needs that could be easily alleviated by some generosity.  But these people are oblivious to their needs.  Thinking only of themselves and their comfort, they go on buying and buying.

James has a devastating picture for them. “Ye have nourished your hearts, as in a day of slaughter.” They are fattening themselves for God’s judgment. A calf eats and eats without realizing that it is fattening itself for the day of slaughter. These wealthy are misusing their wealth and gorging themselves without realizing that there is ‘a day of slaughter’ coming.

They’ve hoarded, withheld pay from the poor, self-indulged instead of helping the poor, and finally…

Murdering the innocent

James tells them they have condemned and killed the just! We shouldn’t picture any of James’s readers going out with swords to murder. James has something far more subtle in mind but just as deadly!

James is referring to judicial “murder”. Taking away the means of making a living. The landowners controlled the courts. The poor without land could not oppose them. They had no way to use the system. So they were helpless. “…and he doth not resist you.” James says by taking away their ability to earn a living you are murdering these just people.

James’s words about murdering the just who are not able to resist make me think about Jesus. Although He was just in every way, He was murdered. And although He had the power to resist, He opened not His mouth. He willingly submitted to unjust treatment so He could provide eternal salvation for sinners.

If we ever conduct business in a “shark”-like way, we will be doing just what James is warning against here. If the only way to the top is to step over someone else, I don’t want to be at the top. If the only way you can do business is by mistreating others, go out of business.

Pastor Chance Strickland

Harpeth Baptist Church
Kingston Springs, TN

http://www.harpethbaptist.org

1 Peter 5:8-14, God will make you perfect

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Resist the Devil’s temptations and trust God for fulfillment.

1 Peter 5:8-14, God will make you perfect

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This podcast is a ministry of Harpeth Baptist Church in Kingston Springs, TN“Holding Forth the Word of Life.” 

Feel free to contact us:
1011 Butterworth Road
Kingston Springs, TN
615-378-1136
http://www.harpethbaptist.org

 

James 5:1-3 – HOARDERS!

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Go to now, ye rich men, weep and howl for your miseries that shall come upon you. Your riches are corrupted, and your garments are motheaten. Your gold and silver is cankered; and the rust of them shall be a witness against you, and shall eat your flesh as it were fire. Ye have heaped treasure together for the last days.

Listen Up

James introduces this chapter with a bit of a warning. He is writing to those with more than they need to live. James doesn’t condemn them for being wealthy. He condemns them for misusing their resources.

Unlike the believing rich in other congregations, these are the wicked wealthy. They profess the Christian faith. They have associated themselves with the church. But their real god is money. Furthermore, their love of money has led them to wrong the poor for more gain.

James writes in what seems like rage. He tells them to “weep and howl” at what is coming. James tells them to go ahead begin repenting as if the judgment has already arrived. Go ahead and repent now instead of waiting. He says that misery would come upon them. He writes to them as “ye rich men” not as “brothers”.

This “misuse” of wealth left James doubting their conversion. Whatever appearance these people had that suggested Christian faith, their actions were so worldly and destructive that the truth about them couldn’t be so. James here is willing to speak to believers as if they were not believers, their actions toward their brothers contradicted their own professed faith.

What does James’ warning mean if these people are still regarded as believers? Were they in danger of missing salvation? No. But they would learn that real believers do not act in the ways he lists ahead. James says, “Listen up…you claim to be saved, but your actions look otherwise.” “Judgment is coming for your actions.  If you are saved you should go ahead and repent and begin to get this right.” 

Your wealth is corrupted

This group was getting “ill-gotten gain” and hoarding it. We will discuss their methods, but just know it wasn’t through hard work it was fraudulent.  Showing their lack of trust in God and further their complete trust in self, riches, things they hoarded. They hoarded: money, clothes, precious pieces. These things are all fine to have. The issue here is twofold:

  • How they got it.
  • What their intentions were: “Ye have heaped treasure together for the last days.”

James writes to them to say that their “gain” is already beginning to waste away. Riches are corrupted. Garments are moth-eaten. Gold & Silver is cankered.

James was angry: First, due to their trusting riches before God while claiming to be people of faith. Second, especially those in the church, due to their stepping on and over the poor, to continue their gain.

He writes here to say this gain is fading. Right then wealth and possessions were going. It could be that literally, the very things they were working so hard to get were just decaying away. Also, by saying their “wealth is corrupt” James is letting them know that he knows how they obtained it. This type of gain is never permanent.

More likely he was looking ahead. You all are building up great wealth that will do very little for you in eternity. “You have heaped treasure together for the last days.” In fact, due to the corrupt manner in which you’ve gained this wealth, it probably will do very little for you much monger in this life.

Pastor Chance Strickland

Harpeth Baptist Church
Kingston Springs, TN

http://www.harpethbaptist.org

1 Peter 5:5-7, Pride vs. Humility (Part 3)

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God is all-sufficient, cast all upon Him. God cares for you. Cast all your care upon God. Whatever your need today — God is enough.

1 Peter 5:5-7, Pride vs. Humility

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This podcast is a ministry of Harpeth Baptist Church in Kingston Springs, TN“Holding Forth the Word of Life.” 

Feel free to contact us:
1011 Butterworth Road
Kingston Springs, TN
615-378-1136
http://www.harpethbaptist.org