Call to Worship for April 28th, 2019

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Click here to see what is planned for this Sunday including message text, songs for each service, special music, and scriptures associated with our songs!

 

 

 

Our special song this week is All I Have Is Christ.

 

Praise ye the LORD. I will praise the LORD with my whole heart, in the assembly of the upright, and in the congregation.  Psalms 111:1

 Call to Worship is a weekly post to help prepare our hearts for corporate worship in our Sunday morning service. 

 

James 2:12-13 – The Appeal to Avoid Partiality

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So speak ye, and so do, as they that shall be judged by the law of liberty. For he shall have judgment without mercy, that hath shewed no mercy; and mercy rejoiceth against judgment.

The Appeal to Avoid Partiality

So speak and so do

James 1:22 “But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.” Here James again reminds them to be doers.

Shall be Judged

The majority of verses 12 and 13 deals with coming judgment. Let’s look at that first then at other parts of the verses. Most every statement of faith contains a statement about the return of Jesus Christ and the final judgment. None of us completely agree on the details of future events, but the certainty of them none denies. In spite of this none of us would deny the importance of a final judgment.

Both Jesus and Paul assured us that Christian believers will never be judged for their sins; John 5:24 says “Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life.” And according to Romans 8:1, “There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.”

But our works will be judged and rewarded accordingly. Our words will be judged. What we say to people, and how we say it, will come up before God. Even our careless words will be judged. Matthew 12:36, “But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment.” The words we speak come from the heart; so when God judges the words, He is examining the heart.

James contrasted two attitudes

Showing mercy to others and refusing to show mercy. If we have been merciful toward others, God can be merciful toward us. However, we mustn’t twist this truth into a lie. It does not mean that we earn mercy by showing mercy because it is impossible to earn mercy. If it is earned, it is not mercy!

The Law of Liberty

We shall be judged “by the Law of liberty.” The “Law of liberty” is the law of Christ. The Lord Jesus said, “If ye love me, keep my commandments.” -John 14:15

What is His commandment? “This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you.” -John 15:12

Liberty does not mean license. License (doing whatever I want to do) is the worst kind of bondage. Liberty means the freedom to be all that I can be in Jesus Christ. “License is confinement; liberty is fulfillment.”

The Word is called “the Law of liberty”

God’s Word can change our hearts and give us the desire to do God’s will. Thus, we obey from inward compulsion and not outward constraint.

Mercy rejoiceth against judgment, v. 13

The person whose life is characterized by mercy is ready for the day of judgment. They will escape the charges that justice might bring against them because of God’s mercy. By showing mercy to others we give proof of having received God’s mercy.

Pastor Chance Strickland

Harpeth Baptist Church
Kingston Springs, TN

http://www.harpethbaptist.org

Matthew 28:1-15, The Resurrection

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He is not here, for he has risen, as he said. It proves that Jesus is God’s son. It verifies the truth of scripture. It assures our own future resurrection.

Matthew 28:1-15, The Resurrection

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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

 

Call to Worship for April 14th, 2019

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Click here to see what is planned for this Sunday including message text, songs for each service, special music, and scriptures associated with our songs!

 

 

 

Our special song this week is The Lord is My Salvation.

 

Praise ye the LORD. I will praise the LORD with my whole heart, in the assembly of the upright, and in the congregation.  Psalms 111:1

 Call to Worship is a weekly post to help prepare our hearts for corporate worship in our Sunday morning service. 

 

James 2:8-11 – The Occasion to Sin

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If ye fulfil the royal law according to the scripture, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself, ye do well: But if ye have respect to persons, ye commit sin, and are convinced of the law as transgressors. For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all. For he that said, Do not commit adultery, said also, Do not kill. Now if thou commit no adultery, yet if thou kill, thou art become a transgressor of the law.

The Occasion to Sin

Royal law or “sovereign law”: the idea is that this law is supreme or binding. What is the Royal Law? Love your neighbor. If you fulfill this, you do well. According to the scripture, this most likely is written in reference to Leviticus 19:18 which states, “Thou shalt not avenge, nor bear any grudge against the children of thy people, but thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself: I am the LORD..”

This same law is given throughout scripture: Matthew 22:39 says, “And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.” And in Romans 13:9, “For this, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not kill, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness, Thou shalt not covet; and if there be any other commandment, it is briefly comprehended in this saying, namely, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.” Lastly, according to Galatians 5:14, “For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this; Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. “

Love thy neighbor as thyself. This is the Royal law. This law, when combined with the command to love God, summarizes all the Law and the Prophets. “James is not advocating some kind of emotional affection for one’s self, for self-love is clearly a sin;” Though the fact of self being primary is evident. The command is to pursue meeting the physical health and spiritual well-being of our neighbor.

Pastor Chance Strickland

Harpeth Baptist Church
Kingston Springs, TN

http://www.harpethbaptist.org

Matthew 21:1-11, The Triumphal Entry

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Jesus enters Jerusalem to begin the week leading to His death. The most important life ever lived was that of Jesus Christ. The most important part of that life was the week that ended it. All of this began with Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday.

Matthew 21:1-11, The Triumphal Entry

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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

 

Call to Worship for April 14th, 2019

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Click here to see what is planned for this Sunday including message text, songs for each service, special music, and scriptures associated with our songs!

 

 

 

Our special song this week is Jesus Shall Reign.

 

Praise ye the LORD. I will praise the LORD with my whole heart, in the assembly of the upright, and in the congregation.  Psalms 111:1

 Call to Worship is a weekly post to help prepare our hearts for corporate worship in our Sunday morning service. 

 

James 2:5-7 – Man’s Inconsistency with God’s Impartiality

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Hearken, my beloved brethren, Hath not God chosen the poor of this world rich in faith, and heirs of the kingdom which he hath promised to them that love him? But ye have despised the poor. Do not rich men oppress you, and draw you before the judgment seats? Do not they blaspheme that worthy name by the which ye are called?

Man’s Inconsistency with God’s Impartiality

Listen! From verse 4’s example of partiality, James demands the attention of the reader to make the case for the poor. We see the partiality and how we humans would have the lesser sit on the ground underfoot, while commanding attention in a scornful manner, “Hearken!”

The Kingdom

Those over whom Christ rules presently, as well as its future millennial and eternal glory. We may have the poor sit on the floor. God has chosen them as heirs. They are now children of the King who would inherit the kingdom. Luke 6:20 says, “And he lifted up his eyes on his disciples, and said, Blessed be ye poor: for yours is the kingdom of God.” Of course the rich would inherit as well, but the point being made here is that both would.

Therefore, man’s partiality is inconsistent with God’s impartiality. “How then can other believers force these poor to sit at their feet like conquered victims?” “Instead, every effort should be made to ennoble the poor and to rejoice in salvation together with them.”

Despised

Oppressed or literally “to tyrannize” rather than make effort to rejoice together in the coming kingdom and inheritance of incorruptible things. James writes that the poor were being despised in the church. Then he gives an example of what would happen in the world (rich vs. poor) to illustrate his view of what was happening in the church.

Draw you before the judgment seats

Drag you into court–a reference to civil court. Don’t the rich of the world drag you into court? Most likely for debt. The poorest of the poor could hardly afford to live. Money lending was a plentiful business. If a creditor met a debtor on the street he could drag him by the neck of his robe into the court. This was a common practice of the rich on the poor. There was no sympathy. Now, remember here, James is not condemning the rich, if anything their lack of sympathy. An unpaid debt should be called in whether rich or poor. The issue was that the rich were brutal in their handling. But, in reality, he is condemning the church for acting similarly at gatherings.

Blaspheme that worthy name

Probably a reference to religious courts. Wealthy Jewish opponents of Christ were harassing these poor Christians slandering the name of Christ. Slander is the use of blaspheme here not blaspheme as in the Holy Spirit.

By the which ye are called

Called – the same word used for a wife taking her husband’s name in marriage. Also, a son being called after father. The first church at Antioch had followers first called Christians. Most likely called this in jest or as a nickname. The Christians gladly took the name of Christ. As a child, we take the name of our father. As a bride, we take the name of our groom. The wealthy heathen would blaspheme this name.

Pastor Chance Strickland

Harpeth Baptist Church
Kingston Springs, TN

http://www.harpethbaptist.org

1 Peter 3:1-7, Husbands and Wives

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Man looks on the outside, but God looks on the heart. Certainly, we are entering a space today which is most intimate, important, and greatly effects: the home, the church, and the individual spiritual life. If both spouses can learn to imitate Jesus’s submission, obedience, and desire to serve others, there will be victory and joy in all the areas of life affected.

1 Peter 3:1-7, Husbands and Wives

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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

 

Call to Worship for April 7th, 2019

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Click here to see what is planned for this Sunday including message text, songs for each service, special music, and scriptures associated with our songs!

 

 

 

Our special song this week is Jesus, Thank You.

 

Praise ye the LORD. I will praise the LORD with my whole heart, in the assembly of the upright, and in the congregation.  Psalms 111:1

 Call to Worship is a weekly post to help prepare our hearts for corporate worship in our Sunday morning service. 

 

James 2:1-4 – The Principle of Impartiality

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My brethren, have not the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory, with respect of persons. For if there come unto your assembly a man with a gold ring, in goodly apparel, and there come in also a poor man in vile raiment; And ye have respect to him that weareth the gay clothing, and say unto him, Sit thou here in a good place; and say to the poor, Stand thou there, or sit here under my footstool: Are ye not then partial in yourselves, and are become judges of evil thoughts?

The Principle of Impartiality

An attribute of God that is not spoken of often is His impartiality. Impartiality is a serious and recurring theme in Scripture. God is absolutely impartial in His dealings with people. And in that way, as with His other attributes, He is unlike us. Humans, even Christians, are not naturally inclined to be impartial.

We tend to put people in categories, ranking them by:

  • Their looks,
  • Their clothes,
  • Their race or ethnicity,
  • Their social status,
  • Their personality,
  • Their intelligence,
  • Their wealth and power,
  • The kind of car they drive,
  • The type of house and neighborhood they live in.

But all of those things are non-issues with God. They are of no significance or meaning to Him whatsoever.

The Principle of Impartiality

This is not referring to faith in the act of believing. This refers to the entire Christian faith, “Our Faith.” It says in Jude 3, “Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints.”

The Lord of glory

Christ is the One who reveals the glory of God. In His incarnation, He showed only impartiality. As stated in Matthew 22:16 “And they sent out unto him their disciples with the Herodians, saying, Master, we know that thou art true, and teachest the way of God in truth, neither carest thou for any man: for thou regardest not the person of men.

Consider the variety of people included in His genealogy, His choice of the humble village of Nazareth as His residence, and His willingness to minister in Galilee and Samaria, both regions held in contempt by Israel’s leaders.

Respect of persons

This originally referred to raising someone’s face or elevating the person. It came to refer to exalting someone strictly on: a superficial, external basis, such as appearance, race, wealth, rank, or social status.

An Example of Partiality

Gold ring

Jews commonly wore rings, but few could afford gold ones. There are some reports that in their day the wealthiest wore rings on every finger but the middle one to show off their economic status. Some ancient sources indicate that there were even ring rental businesses.

Goodly apparel

This refers to bright, shining garments. Goodly apparel is used of the gorgeous garment Herod’s soldiers put on Jesus to mock Him. Also used when describing the apparel of an angel. It can also refer to bright, flashy color and to brilliant, glittering, sparkling ornamentation. James is not condemning for this flashy dress, but rather the church’s flattering reaction to it. It is okay to dress nice. It is okay to wear gold rings. Some would take this out of context and build a non-biblical principle out of it.

A poor man

There were people of means in the early church. In 1 Timothy 6:17–19, it says “Charge them that are rich in this world, that they be not highminded, nor trust in uncertain riches, but in the living God, who giveth us richly all things to enjoy; That they do good, that they be rich in good works, ready to distribute, willing to communicate; Laying up in store for themselves a good foundation against the time to come, that they may lay hold on eternal life.”

Sit in a good place

A more comfortable, prominent place of honor. The synagogues and assembly halls of the first century sometimes had benches around the outside wall and a couple of benches in front. Most of the congregation either sat cross-legged on the floor or stood. There were a limited number of good seats; and they were the ones the Pharisees always wanted. As stated in Mark 12:38–39, “And he said unto them in his doctrine, Beware of the scribes, which love to go in long clothing, and love salutations in the marketplaces, And the chief seats in the synagogues, and the uppermost rooms at feasts”

Partial in yourselves

The true nature of the sin in this passage was internally seeing one human as better than another; not the goodly apparel, golden rings, being rich or that he was given a good seat. The pharisees in Matthew 12 wouldn’t be sinning by sitting in the better seat. They would sin by thinking they deserved to get the seat while others sat on the floor.

Judges of evil thoughts

James feared that his readers would behave just like the sinful world by catering to the rich and prominent while shunning the poor and common. We should look after the poor and rich alike.

Some would preach this as “Shun the rich” and “Cater to the poor.” However, wouldn’t this make God also partial?

Pastor Chance Strickland

Harpeth Baptist Church
Kingston Springs, TN

http://www.harpethbaptist.org

1 Peter 2:18-25, Suffering Unjustly

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Christ is our example of submission through suffering. Unfairness is Expected, Christ is
our Example, and Christ is our Safety.

1 Peter 2:18-25, Suffering Unjustly

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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

 

Call to Worship for March 31st, 2019

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Click here to see what is planned for this Sunday including message text, songs for each service, special music, and scriptures associated with our songs!

 

 

 

Our special song this week is Jesus, Thank You.

 

Praise ye the LORD. I will praise the LORD with my whole heart, in the assembly of the upright, and in the congregation.  Psalms 111:1

 Call to Worship is a weekly post to help prepare our hearts for corporate worship in our Sunday morning service. 

 

James 1:19-27 – Receiving the Truth of the Word

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Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath: For the wrath of man worketh not the righteousness of God. Wherefore lay apart all filthiness and superfluity of naughtiness, and receive with meekness the engrafted word, which is able to save your souls. But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves. For if any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass: For he beholdeth himself, and goeth his way, and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was. But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed. If any man among you seem to be religious, and bridleth not his tongue, but deceiveth his own heart, this man’s religion is vain. Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world.

Receiving the Truth of the Word

God gave us 2 ears and only 1 mouth! We should hear the Word and pursue its truth to know God’s will and to know God’s Word better. We should be swift in doing so. “I understand I am here to speak and you are here to listen. Let’s hope we both finish at the same time.” Hearing the Word develops knowledge of the Word. We should be cautious speaking this knowledge…i.e. teaching, preaching, etc.

Reacting to the Truth of the Word

James says professing believers are to be “doers.” He didn’t just speak of certain actions—doing this or doing that. No, doers all around. Also, they weren’t solely hearers. It is not the hearing, but the doing that brings the blessing. Professing Christians who are content with only hearing the Word have made a spiritual miscalculation.

Hearers only see themselves while hearing. Unless they act promptly after they hear the Word, they forget the changes and improvements they need to make. In both the Old and New Testaments, God’s revealed, inerrant, sufficient, and comprehensive Word is called “law.” The presence of His grace does not mean there is no moral law to obey. We are enabled by the Spirit to keep this law. We are freed from sin’s bondage and enabled to obey God.

Pastor Chance Strickland

Harpeth Baptist Church
Kingston Springs, TN

http://www.harpethbaptist.org

1 Peter 2:11-17, Fear God, Honor the King (Part 2)

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The church has good reasons for submitting to man’s authority. Peter begins with the admonition to resist strong desires that are not in line with God’s will. Fleshly lusts cover a broad spectrum of potential sins! An important consideration, given all of this, is, “Why?” Why should we struggle so to abstain, rather than indulge?

1 Peter 2:11-17, Fear God, Honor the King (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

 

Call to Worship for March 24th, 2019

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Click here to see what is planned for this Sunday including message text, songs for each service, special music, and scriptures associated with our songs!

 

 

 

Our special song this week is Be Thou My Vision.

 

Praise ye the LORD. I will praise the LORD with my whole heart, in the assembly of the upright, and in the congregation.  Psalms 111:1

 Call to Worship is a weekly post to help prepare our hearts for corporate worship in our Sunday morning service. 

 

James 1:17-18 – Consider God’s Goodness

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Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning. Of his own will begat he us with the word of truth, that we should be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures.

Consider God’s Goodness

A very easy way to fall into temptation is to forget how good God is to us. If we ever get an eye for the far country…eventually, it will seem so much better than our “boring” Christian life. “It is better to be hungry in the will of God than full outside of the will of God.” Once we start to doubt God’s goodness, Satan’s offer will entice us all the more.

Handle your Temptation – Consider God’s Goodness:

God gives only good gifts. Everything good in this world comes from God. If it didn’t come from God, it isn’t good. If it comes from God, it must be good, even if we don’t see the goodness in it immediately.

The way God gives is good.  It’s possible for someone to give us a gift in a manner that is less than loving. This can diminish the value of a gift. When God gives us a blessing, He does it in a loving, gracious manner. What He gives and how He gives are both good.

He gives constantly. God does not give occasionally; He gives constantly.

God doesn’t change. It is impossible for God to change. He cannot change for the worse because He is holy; He cannot change for the better because He is perfect. We should never question His love or doubt His goodness when difficulties come or temptations appear. 

The first barrier against temptation is a negative one: the judgment of God. This second barrier is positive: the goodness of God. Fear of God is a healthy attitude, but the love of God must balance it.

Consider God’s Nature

When tempted:

  • Look ahead and consider God’s judgment
  • Look behind and consider God’s goodness
  • Look within and consider God’s nature in the new you.

It is gracious. We didn’t earn it nor do we deserve it; God gave us spiritual birth because of His own grace and will.

It is divine. Nicodemus thought he had to reenter his mother’s womb to be born again, but he was wrong. This birth is not of the flesh: it is from above. It is the work of God.

It is through God’s Word. The Spirit of God uses the Word of God to bring about the miracle of the new birth.

It is the finest birth possible. We are “a kind of firstfruits of His creatures,” The word firstfruits would be meaningful to those converted Jews being written to. The Old Testament Jews brought the firstfruits to the Lord as the expression of their devotion and obedience. “Honor the Lord with thy substance, and with the firstfruits of all thine increase” (Prov. 3:9). Of all the creatures God has in this universe, Christians are the very highest and the finest! For this reason, it is beneath our dignity to accept Satan’s bait or to desire sinful things. A higher birth must mean a higher life.

A Sunday School child explained the matter in simple terms. “Two men live in my heart: the old Adam and Jesus. When temptation knocks at the door, somebody has to answer. If I let Adam answer, I will sin; so I send Jesus to answer. He always wins!”

Pastor Chance Strickland

Harpeth Baptist Church
Kingston Springs, TN

http://www.harpethbaptist.org

1 Peter 2:11-17, Fear God, Honor the King (Part 1)

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The church has good reasons for submitting to man’s authority. Peter begins with the admonition to resist strong desires that are not in line with God’s will. Fleshly lusts cover a broad spectrum of potential sins! An important consideration, given all of this, is, “Why?” Why should we struggle so to abstain, rather than indulge?

1 Peter 2:11-12, Fear God, Honor the King (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

 

Call to Worship for March 10th, 2019

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Click here to see what is planned for this Sunday including message text, songs for each service, special music, and scriptures associated with our songs!

 

 

 

Our special song this week is All I Have Is Christ.

 

Praise ye the LORD. I will praise the LORD with my whole heart, in the assembly of the upright, and in the congregation.  Psalms 111:1

 Call to Worship is a weekly post to help prepare our hearts for corporate worship in our Sunday morning service. 

 

Secret Church 2019

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What is Secret Church? Secret Church is a unique, one-night event taught by David Platt. We will meet with other believers around the world through a live simulcast, for intense study of God’s Word – 6+ hours with breaks – including times of prayer and worship.

When is it? Friday, April 26, at 6:00pm

What is this Year’s Topic? Prayer, Fasting and the Pursuit of God

Our culture is constantly telling us that we can achieve anything we set our mind to. Sadly, many followers of Christ and many churches have adopted this self-sufficient mindset, relying on their own wisdom and abilities instead of relying on God. But what if we were never intended to be self-sufficient? And what if God has designed us so that our greatest satisfaction is found as we depend on Him fully for everything we need?

In Secret Church 2019 we’ll take an in-depth look at the Bible’s teaching on prayer and fasting. We’ll see that our inabilities and weaknesses are the very place where God meets us with His strength and sufficiency. We’ll also see that faithfulness to the mission of Christ requires depending on the Spirit of Christ. Through prayer and fasting, we demonstrate our need for God’s power and our desire for His glory.

Where is it? Harpeth Baptist Church via live simulcast.

What can we expect from the evening? A fast-paced, intense study of God’s Word, mixed in with times of prayer and worship, and lots of snacks of course!

 

Sign-up here or at the church before April 1:

James 1:13-16 – Handling Temptation

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Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man: But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death. Do not err, my beloved brethren.

The Warning

While writing to give comfort during trials, James writes a strict warning. God does test us, but He cannot tempt us. He is too holy to be tempted and too loving to tempt others.

Here are some example scenarios:

1.  Exams in School: It is not wrong to pass an exam, this is a good thing. It is wrong to cheat to pass the exam. Doing a bad thing to accomplish a good thing is still a bad thing. God cannot tempt, while He does test.

2. A friend asked me to pray with him regarding his sin. He knew he had sinned, and shouldn’t have. He’s willing to admit it to God and ask forgiveness. After, he says, “You know…I guess if we never sin we might forget how gracious God is.” I quickly reminded him that God doesn’t lead us to sin to help us remember how much we need him. My friend was trying to confuse or justify his temptation to sin within with a test to prove without. Therefore, James writes the warning here to fend off those who might try to apply his point earlier in the chapter with their own inner conflict with sin.

How then do we:

Count temptation “without”…. all joy while still…

Handling temptation “within”…. without sin?

Consider God’s Judgment

James is writing to God’s scattered people, not His sheltered people. “God does not want us to yield to temptation, yet neither can He spare us the experience of temptation.”

So first, to handle temptation: Consider God’s Judgement. We think of sin as one act, God sees it as a process. Adam committed one act of sin. Yet, that act brought: sin, death, and judgment on all of us.

Here in James, we get this process of sin in 4 stages:

Desire. The word lust means any kind of desire, and not necessarily sexual passions. The normal desires of life were given to us by God and, of themselves, aren’t sinful. Without these desires, we couldn’t function. Unless we felt hunger and thirst, we wouldn’t eat and drink, and we would die. Without fatigue, we would never rest and would eventually wear out. It’s when we want to satisfy these desires in ways outside God’s will that we get in trouble. Eating is normal; gluttony is a sin. Sleep is normal; laziness is a sin. Some try to be “spiritual” by denying these normal desires or seeking to suppress them. This only makes them less than human. The secret is in constant control. These desires must be our servants, not masters.

Deception. No temptation appears as a temptation; it always seems more alluring than it really is. James used two illustrations from the world of sports to prove his point. Drawn away carries with it the idea of the baiting of a trap. Enticed…“to bait a hook.” The hunter and the fisherman have to use bait to attract and catch their prey. No animal is deliberately going to step into a trap and no fish will knowingly bite at a hook. The idea is to hide the trap and the hook. Temptation always carries with it some bait that appeals to our natural desires. The bait hides the fact that yielding will bring sorrow and punishment. “The bait keeps us from seeing the consequences of sin.” When Jesus was tempted by Satan, He dealt with the temptation on the basis of the Word of God. Three times He said, “It is written.” When you know the Bible, you can detect the bait and deal with it decisively. This is what it means to walk by faith and not by sight.

Disobedience. Disobedience moves from desire/deception to will. We lust…desire. We are deceived…baited. James changes the picture from hunting and fishing to the birth of a baby: Desire conceives a method for taking the bait. The will acts; and the result is a sin. The baby is born, and just wait until it matures! Lust=Sin=Death. All of this from simple disobedience. But notice, not just one act…a process.

Death. Disobedience gives birth to death, not life.  It may take years for the sin to mature, but when it does, the result will be death. If we will only believe God’s Word and see this final tragedy, it will encourage us not to yield to temptation. So James gives us four stages of God’s judgment. When faced with temptation, take your eyes off the bait and look ahead to see the consequences of sin: the judgment of God.

“For the wages of sin is death” (Rom. 6:23)

Pastor Chance Strickland

Harpeth Baptist Church
Kingston Springs, TN

http://www.harpethbaptist.org

1 Peter 2:4-10, Precious to God

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The redeemed are precious to God though rejected by men. So far in 1 Peter, the message has been clear that we are sojourners here. As those who do not belong, we can at times be (or feel) rejected of men. But, the text will help us to see just how precious we are to God.

1 Peter 2:4-10

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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

 

Call to Worship for March 3rd, 2019

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Click here to see what is planned for this Sunday including message text, songs for each service, special music, and scriptures associated with our songs!

 

 

 

Our special song this week is How Deep the Father’s Love For Us.

 

Praise ye the LORD. I will praise the LORD with my whole heart, in the assembly of the upright, and in the congregation.  Psalms 111:1

 Call to Worship is a weekly post to help prepare our hearts for corporate worship in our Sunday morning service. 

 

James 1:12 – Blessed

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Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him.

Blessed

True happiness comes from going through the trial, not avoiding it or getting out of it. Blessed means happy. 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.

Endureth

Going through the trial will be painful. But the end will be victorious. According to 1 Peter 1:6-8, “Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations: That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ: Whom having not seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory:”

Those who tried “passed the test.” Once the enduring is over and the test is passed through the wisdom of God, faith will be seen as genuine. Any believer having been tried and tested but having endured will cry “BLESSED”!

Crown of Life

We need to be careful not to confuse what is being said here. “…when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life…” This text does lean the same direction as Matthew 24:13 “But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.” However, neither verse nor James himself, are meaning that the way to be saved is to persevere to the end. The ones who persevere are the same ones who are saved. This does not suggest that our perseverance secures our salvation.

Scripture everywhere teaches precisely the opposite: God, as part of His saving work, secures our perseverance. True believers “are protected by the power of God through faith for … salvation” According to 1 Peter 1:5 “Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.” The guarantee of our perseverance is built into the New Covenant promise. Jeremiah 32:40 states “And I will make an everlasting covenant with them, that I will not turn away from them, to do them good; but I will put my fear in their hearts, that they shall not depart from me.” Those who do fall away from Christ give conclusive proof that they were never truly believers to begin with. According to 1 John 2:19 “They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would no doubt have continued with us: but they went out, that they might be made manifest that they were not all of us.” But, the text clearly says that those who endure temptation when they are tried shall receive the Crown of Life.

The Crown of Life or “the crown which is life” was the wreath put on the victor’s head after ancient Greek athletic events. It denotes the believer’s ultimate reward, eternal life, which God has promised to him and will grant in full at death or at Christ’s coming. The Sinner is not saved by enduring trials; the Believer is rewarded for enduring trials.

Love

Love is the spiritual motivation behind every instruction so far in this chapter. Why do we have a joyful attitude as we face trials? Because we love God, and He loves us, and He will not harm us. Why do we have an understanding mind? Because He loves us and has shared His truth with us, and we love Him in return. Why do we have a surrendered will? Because we love Him. Where there is love, there is surrender and obedience. Why do we have a believing heart? Because love and faith go together. When you love someone, you trust him, and you do not hesitate to ask him for help. Love is the spiritual force behind the instruction James gives us. If we love God, we will have no problem. Love  keeps us faithful to the Lord.

The double-minded person (James 1:8) is like an unfaithful husband or wife: He wants to love both God and the world. James admonished, James 4:8, “Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded.” The Greek word translated purify literally means “make chaste.” The picture is that of an unfaithful lover. The Christian who loves God, and who knows that God loves him, will not fall apart when God permits trials to come. He is secure in God’s love. He is not double-minded, trying to love both God and the world. Lot was double-minded; when trials came, he failed miserably. Abraham was the friend of God; he loved God and trusted Him. When trials came, Abraham triumphed and matured in the faith.

This is a promise from Jesus Christ.

Pastor Chance Strickland

Harpeth Baptist Church
Kingston Springs, TN

http://www.harpethbaptist.org