Sunday Sermon Series – Love That Can Hate

Image may contain: textRomans 12:9-10

Let love be without hypocrisy. Abhor that which Is evil; cleave to that which is
good. In love of the brethren be tenderly affectioned one to another; in
honour preferring one another. (ASV) 

El amor sea sin fingimiento. Aborreced lo malo, seguid lo bueno. 10 Amaos los unos a los otros con amor fraternal; en cuanto a honra, prefiriéndoos los unos a los otros. (RVR 1960)


SERMON 

Love That Can Hate

Text: Romans 12:9-10 

ALEXANDER MACLAREN

(1826-1910)

This Scottish preacher was known as the ‘Prince of Expositors’ and “the supreme example of the Protestant expository preacher.” He was born in Glasgow, Scotland, the son of a merchant and lay preacher.  The family moved to Edinburgh, where as a 12 year old, MacLaren accepted Christ and was publicly baptized. He was educated at Glasgow University and Stepney College, a Baptist college in London. He became thoroughly grounded in Greek and Hebrew and learned to study the Bible in the original languages. This laid the foundation for his distinctive work as an expositor and for the biblical content of his preaching. He became a much sought after preacher and accepted the pastorate at Union Chapel in Manchester in 1858.  He was the pastor there for 45 years until 1903. His emphasis on exegeting the text was a lifelong hallmark.  He refused many preaching engagements in order to further his studies in the Word and was fundamental is his doctrine, never veering off the path of the historic truths.  He usually preached about 40 minutes, his voice strong and diction clear, his Scottish brogue making his words musical and penetrating. Almost always dividing his text into three parts, Robertson Nicoll said he served the Bread of Life “on a three pronged fork.”  He was a preacher who loved his craft, saying,  “I cannot ever recall any hesitation as to being a minister. It  just had to be.”  Along with Spurgeon, his sermons are the most read of the 19th century.  He was truly a man that today’s preacher would do well to study and emulate.

 

 

 

The Ultimate Sacrifice

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And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth. Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood, (KJV)

y de Jesucristo el testigo fiel, el primogénito de los muertos, y el soberano de los reyes de la tierra. Al que nos amó, y nos lavó de nuestros pecados con su sangre, (RVR 1960)

Yesterday we looked at Christ Jesus as the Ultimate Scapegoat today I would like to explore the need for blood specifically the blood of Christ to be apart of the Ultimate Sacrifice. 

Throughout the Bible every book points to that Ultimate Sacrifice of Christ at Calvary  We see as far back as Genesis 4:1-16 when Able’s blood sacrifice was acceptable unto the Lord and Cain’s was not. Leviticus 17:11 makes clear the Law and God’s view: For the life of the flesh is in the blood: and I have given it to you upon the altar to make an atonement for your souls: for it is the blood that maketh an atonement for the soul. God says only a blood sacrifice is an acceptable offering for atonement of mans sins.

Sacrifices “An offering made to God by killing and burning some animal upon an altar, as an acknowledgment of his power and providence, or to make atonement for sin, appease his wrath or conciliate his favor, or to express thankfulness for his benefits;” are a common practice among most all nations of the world. The Apostle Paul encountered this at Mars Hill Acts 17:16–34 where the Athenians were so superstitions they even offered sacrifices to an unknown god, just in case they had upset him (or her). 

The nation of Israel had a much different, as noted by the Law of God in Leviticus, set of beliefs. Yes, we can all agree that the Jewish people of the Old Testament did not know Jesus, per se, they did know God, and did know of a planned redeemer. They knew that their was one true Triune God, one way for atonement blood sacrifice and Faith in God.  

Chapter 11 of the Book of Hebrews reminds us that the blood sacrifice of the OT was not sufficient, it was by Faith that people were counted into the family of righteousness. Eventually God in His infinite Sovereignty and Grace sent His only begotten Son, John 3:16, so that mankind could have a better way and Christ became the Ultimate Sacrifice by the shedding of His Blood, Hebrews 9:11–18: 

 But Christ being come an high priest of good things to come, by a greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this building;

12 Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us.

13 For if the blood of bulls and of goats, and the ashes of an heifer sprinkling the unclean, sanctifieth to the purifying of the flesh:

14 How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?

15 And for this cause he is the mediator of the new testament, that by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions that were under the first testament, they which are called might receive the promise of eternal inheritance.

16 For where a testament is, there must also of necessity be the death of the testator.

17 For a testament is of force after men are dead: otherwise it is of no strength at all while the testator liveth.

18 Whereupon neither the first testament was dedicated without blood.

Without Christ’s Ultimate Sacrifice we would still be offering animal sacrifices today. (Can you imagine the outcry from PETA and others) I would hope this knowledge alone is enough to cause us to offer thanks and praise daily. 


Further Reading 

Alexander MacLaren’s Expositions of Holy Scripture Revelation 1:5

Walk Circumspectly

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Continuing his charge from Chapter 4 the Apostle Paul begins this one with more instructions on how believers are to live out their lives:

  • as followers of God, likened to as dear children
  • always walking in love
  • not being enticed by worldly ways (sins)
  • not being deceived with vain words
  • walk as children of light in the fruit of the Spirit 

Our main text comes about the half way point in the chapter but about two thirds of the way through Paul’s point of this section. Again here he is emphasizing our daily lives and how we should be living them out. So let us look at these verses a little more closely:

See then that ye walk (walk is used six times in this chapter alone and each time it is a reference to our daily life. Paul is saying See that you live) circumspectly, (circumspectly means accurately or precisely, here implying carefully among the worldly affairs of man) not as fools, but as wise,( I think this is self explanatory)

Redeeming (making wise and careful use of) the time, because the days are evil. (We live in an age of rampant sin, our time here on earth is limited, it needs not be wasted on frivolous things [worldly distractions] when it can be spent on furthering the Kingdom of God.)

For your edification on these verses, I am recommending Alexander MacLaren’sExpositions Of Holy Scripture. Please note it is rather lengthy so I have not posted the whole thing, I encourage you to follow the link and read it yourself.

REDEEMING THE TIME

Ephesians 5:15-16 Some of us have, in all probability, very little more ‘time’ to ‘redeem.’ Some of us have, in all probability, the prospect of many years yet to live. For both classes my text presents the best motto for another year. The most frivolous among us, I suppose, have some thoughts when we step across the conventional boundary that seems to separate the unbroken sequence of moments into periods; and as you in your business take stock and see how your accounts stand, so I would fain, for you and myself, make this a moment in which we may see where we are going, what we are doing, and how we are using this great gift of life.

My text gives us the true Christian view of time. It tells us what to do with it, and urges by implication certain motives for the conduct.

I. We have, first, what we ought to think about ‘the time.’

There are two words in the New Testament, both of which are translated time, but they mean very different things. One of them, the more common, simply implies the succession of moments or periods; the other, which is employed here, means rather a definite portion of time to which some definite work or occurrence belongs. It is translated sometimes season, sometimes opportunity. Both these renderings occur in immediate proximity in the Epistle to the Galatians, where the Apostle says: ‘As we have therefore opportunity let us do good to all men, for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not….’ And, again, it is employed side by side with the other word to which I have referred, in the Acts of the Apostles, where we read, ‘It is not for you to know the times or the seasons’-the former word simply indicating the succession of moments, the latter word indicating epochs or crises to which special work or events belong.

And so here ‘redeeming the time’ does not merely mean making the most of moments, but means laying hold of, and understanding the special significance of, life as a whole, and of each succeeding instant of it as the season for some specific duty. It is not merely ‘time,’ it is ‘the time’; not merely the empty succession of beats of the pendulum, but these moralised, as it were, heightened, and having significance, because each is apprehended as having a special mission, and affording an opportunity for a special work...

 

 

 

Called by Name

Isaiah 43:1 Fear Not I Have Redeemed You (red)

But now thus says the LORD, he who created you, O Jacob, he who formed you, O Israel: “Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine.
 Isaiah 43:1 (ESV)

While many focus on the “fear not” aspect of this verse I think the key is the last part I have called you by name, you are mine. Yes in context this verse is speaking to Israel (we were obviously not around) but taking the “Whole Counsel of God” come to understand it is applicable to us today. 

With that in mind lets take another look; the obvious Fear not, why because we (God’s chosen people, Jew and Gentile who from before the foundation of the world were laid Eph 1:4have been redeemed. Then things get real personal God says I have called you and not just any call but personally by name. Why does God do this and not just send a messenger after all He is pretty busy one would think running the universe; because you are mine (we are His).

Maybe it is just me, but that brings me comfort in knowing my God is a personal God, a God that knows me.  – Mike

MacLaren Expositions Of Holy Scripture

THY NAME: MY NAME

Isaiah 43:1. – Isaiah 43:7.

Great stress is laid on names in Scripture. These two parallel and antithetic clauses bring out striking complementary relations between God and the collective Israel. But they are as applicable to each individual member of the true Israel of God.

I. What does God’s calling a man by his name imply?

1. Intimate knowledge.

Adam naming the creatures.

Christ naming His disciples.

2. Loving friendship.

Moses, ‘I know thee by name, and thou hast found grace in my sight.’

3. Designation and adaptation to work.

Bezaleel- Exodus 31:2; Cyrus- Isaiah 45:3; Servant of the Lord- Isaiah 49:1.

II. What does God’s calling a man by His name imply?

1. God’s possession of him. That possession by God involves God’s protection and man’s safety. He does not hold His property slackly. ‘None shall pluck them out of My Father’s hand.’

2. Kindred. The man bears the family name. He is adopted into the household. The sonship of the receiver of the new name is dimly shadowed.

3. Likeness.

The Biblical meaning of ‘name’ is ‘character manifested.’

Nomen and omen coincide.

We must bring into connection with the texts the prominence given in the Apocalypse to analogous promises.

‘I will write on him the name of My God.’ That means a fuller disclosing of God’s character, and a clear impress of that character on perfected men ‘His name shall be in their foreheads.’

John Gill’s Commentary

I have called thee by thy name; with an effectual calling, which is of particular persons, and those by name, even the same that are redeemed by Christ; for whom he has redeemed by his precious blood, they are called by the grace of God to special blessings of grace, with a high, holy, and heavenly calling; and have no reason to fear anything, since they are the chosen of God; have a right to all spiritual blessings; all things work together for their good; they shall persevere to the end, and at last be brought to glory, to which they are called:

thou art mine; such as are redeemed by Christ, and called by his grace, they are his Father’s gift, and his own purchase; they voluntarily give up themselves to him, under the influence of his Spirit and grace; they are his by profession and possession; they are his portion, people, sheep, and spouse; and his interest in them, and theirs in him, serve to prevent fear; such need not fear wanting anything, nor any enemy, nor perishing, or miscarrying of heaven and happiness, to which fears they are subject.

 

 

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We cannot begin to understand this verse without first looking back what preceded it. All the way back to v.4 we see a list of Biblical men who lived their lives by Faith in God. They not only obeyed God, they were faithful to Him. There is a difference folks. Many people today are obediently going to church every Sunday but not faithful in all things (maybe it their Tithes and offerings or some hidden sin) to God. 

These men and women in Chapter 11 did not see the fulfillment of all of God’s promises in their lifetimes but their faithfulness pleased God so, He was not ashamed of them and has prepared an even greater home for them.

Alexander MacLaren has in my humble opinion a great commentary on this verse it starts like this:

“These are bold words. They tell us that unless God has provided a future condition of social blessedness for those whom He calls His, their life’s experience on earth is a blot on His character and administration. He needs heaven for His vindication. The preparation of the City is the reason why He is not ‘ashamed to be called their God.’ If there were not such a preparation, He had need to be ashamed”… 

I would encourage you to read the rest here: MacLaren Heb 11:16