All posts by JT

Christian. Husband. Dad. 911 dispatcher. Baseball fan. Horror nut. Music nerd. Bookworm. Time Magazine's 2006 Person of the Year.

The Motivation Behind Our Actions (Matthew 6:1-18)

The Motivation Behind Our Actions (Matthew 6:1-18)

Matthew 6:1-18

I. Giving (Matthew 6:1-4)

    A. Do not seek publicity
    B. Others may cite your deeds to motivate others, but we should not publicize them for ourselves (Mark 12:41-44; Acts 4:36-37)
    C. God is the rewarder

II. Prayer (Matthew 6:5-15)

    A. Our personal prayers should be private petitions, not public proclamations (Matthew 6:5-8; Luke 18:10-14)
    B. The model prayer (Matthew 6:9-13; 1 John 1:8-9)
    C. The condition of forgiveness (Matthew 6:14-15)

III. Fasting (Matthew 6:16-18)

    A. Denying oneself food to focus on spiritual matters
    B. Practiced by the early church (Acts 13:2-3; 14:23)
    C. Jesus’ point: whatever you do, do it for God, not to draw attention to yourself!

The Christian Walk (Ephesians 5:1-17)

The Christian Walk (Ephesians 5:1-17)

Ephesians 5:1-17

I. Walk in love

    A. Imitate the love of Christ’s sacrifice (Ephesians 5:1-2; Rom 12:1-2)
    B. There are activities “not fitting for saints” (Ephesians 5:3-5; 1 Corinthians 6:9-11; Galatians 5:19-21)
    C. “Let no one deceive you” (Ephesians 5:6-7)

      1. Jesus was a “friend of sinners” (Luke 7:34)
      2. But He had the aim of teaching and converting, not “partying with them” – our aim must be the same (Matthew 5:13-16)

II. Walk in light

    A. Bearing the fruit of the Spirit “in all goodness, righteousness, and truth” (Ephesians 5:8-10; Galatians 5:22-23)
    B. No fellowship with darkness (Ephesians 5:11)
    C. Responsibility to expose darkness (Ephesians 5:12-14)

III. Walk in wisdom

    A. “Circumspectly” – “exactly, accurately, diligently” (Ephesians 5:15)
    B. “Redeeming the time” – taking advantage of opportunities as presented, as you do not know how many opportunities remain! (Ephesians 5:16)
    C. “Understand” (Ephesians 5:17; 3:4; 2 Timothy 2:15; 3:16-17)

The Highway of Holiness (Isaiah 35)

The Highway of Holiness (Isaiah 35)

Isaiah 35

I. Transformation of the wilderness (Isaiah 35:1-2)

    A. Contrast with the destruction of Isaiah 34
    B. Nature rejoices with man at repentance

II. Encouragement of the weak (Isaiah 35:3-4)

    A. Encouragement needed (Lk. 22:32; Rom. 15:1-2; Gal. 6:1-2; Acts 14:21-22)
    B. Fulfilled in Christian dispensation (Hebrews 12:12-13)
    C. “Do not be afraid!” (Gen. 15:1; Exo. 14:13; Deut. 20:1-3; Josh. 1:9; etc.)
    D. New Testament encouragement (Phil. 4:6; 2 Tim. 1:7; 2 Thes. 1:6-9)

III. Physical and spiritual healing (Isaiah 35:5-7)

    A. Jesus’ answer to John the Baptizer (Matthew 11:3-5)
    B. Spiritual application (Revelation 22:17)

IV. The Highway of Holiness (Isaiah 35:8-10)

    A. The Way (Matt. 7:13-14; John 14:6; Acts 9:2; 19:9, 23; 22:4; 24:14, 22; 16:17; 18:25-26)
    B. “Fool” is evil (Prov. 1:7; 24:7; 10:8, 10; 14:3; 12:15; 15:5; 20:3; 27:22; 29:9; Isaiah 19:11; Jeremiah 4:22; Hosea 9:7; Micah 2:11)
    C. The redeemed and ransomed (Acts 2:41, 46; 8:8, 39; 16:34)

The Integrity of the New Man (Ephesians 4:25-32)

The Integrity of the New Man Ephesians 4:25-32

Ephesians 4:25-32

I. Integrity of trust (Ephesians 4:25)

    A. Do not lie (Leviticus 19:11; Matthew 5:37)
    B. Relationships are built on trust (Ephesians 4:15-16)
    C. Severe consequences of lying (Revelation 21:8; 22:15)

II. Integrity of emotion (Ephesians 4:26-27)

    A. Be angry at sin, but show love to the sinner (Psalm 97:10)
    B. Do not let anger fester (Matthew 5:25; 18:15; Galatians 5:20, 23; Titus 1:7)

III. Integrity of work (Ephesians 4:28)

    A. Do not steal (Exodus 20:15; Leviticus 19:11; Titus 2:10)
    B. Work not only helps the one who labors, but allows him to help others in need (2 Thessalonians 3:10-12; Acts 4:34-35)

IV. Integrity of speech (Ephesians 4:29-30)

    A. The old man’s mouth will be stopped (Romans 3:19), but the new man’s mouth will confess Christ (Romans 10:9-10)
    B. The “grain of salt” is the responsibility of the speaker, not the hearer (Col. 4:6)

V. Integrity of love (Ephesians 4:31-32)

    A. How we feel about our brethren matters (1 John 4:20-21)
    B. Love for the brethren is demonstrated through kindness, tenderheartedness, and forgiveness (Gal. 5:22; 1 Peter 3:8; Matt. 6:14-15)

From Tragedy to Triumph (Ephesians 4:17-24)

From Tragedy to Triumph Ephesians 4:17-24

Ephesians 4:17-24

I. The tragedy of the old man (Ephesians 4:17-19)

    A. “The futility of their mind” (Ephesians 4:17; Proverbs 1:7)
    B. “The blindness of their hearts” (Ephesians 4:18; Romans 1:18-23)
    C. “Work all uncleanness” (Ephesians 4:19; Mark 7:21-23)

II. The transition from old to new (Ephesians 4:20-21)

    A. Learning Christ through the example of others (1 Corinthians 11:1; 1 Timothy 4:12; 1 Peter 3:1-2)
    B. Hearing Christ through His inspired Scriptures (Romans 10:17; James 1:21)
    C. Taught by Christ by way of faithful disciples (Matthew 28:19-20; 2 Timothy 2:2)

III. The triumph of the new man (Ephesians 4:22-24)

    A. “Put off…the old man” (Ephesians 4:22)
    B. “Be renewed” (Ephesians 4:23; Romans 12:2)
    C. “Put on the new man” (Ephesians 4:24)

      1. Put on Christ in baptism (Galatians 3:26-27)
      2. Raised to walk in newness of life (Romans 6:4)
      3. Created in Christ Jesus for good works (Ephesians 2:10; Colossians 2:12)
      4. Living in “true righteousness and holiness” (Titus 2:12)

Equipping and Edifying in Love (Ephesians 4:7-16)

Equipping and Edifying in Love Ephesians 4:7-16

Ephesians 4:7-16

I. The Gifts (Ephesians 4:7-10)

    A. Grace available to all
    B. Our conquering King gives gifts (cf. Psalm 68:18)
    C. For the Son of God to ascend, He first had to descend (John 1:1-2, 14)

II. Equipping the Saints (Ephesians 4:11-14)

    A. Miraculous (first century): apostles and prophets
    B. Non-miraculous (until the end of time): evangelists and teaching pastors
    C. For the work of ministry (2 Timothy 4:5) and edification (Romans 15:2; Ephesians 4:29)
    D. Grounding the church in the doctrine of Christ (“one faith” Ephesians 4:5; Jude 3; 2 Timothy 3:16-17)

III. The Growth and Edification of the Body (Ephesians 4:15-16)

    A. By speaking the truth in love (“agape”)
    B. By unity – “joined and knit together” (Ephesians 4:1-3)
    C. By the “effective working” of the whole body – “every part does its share”
    D. The key to all of this is love – “agape

Oaths and Revenge (Matthew 5:33-48)

Oaths and Revenge Matthew 5:33-48

Matthew 5:33-48

I. Oaths

    A. Old Law prohibited lying (Matthew 5:33; Exodus 20:13; Numbers 30:2; Leviticus 19:11-12)
    B. Warning against flippant oaths (Matthew 5:34-36)
    C. “Let your ‘Yes’ be ‘Yes,’ and your ‘No,’ ‘No’” (Matthew 5:37)

II. Revenge

    A. Retaliation under the Old Law (Matthew 5:38; Leviticus 24:19-20)
    B. Rise above vengeance (Matthew 5:39-41; Romans 13:4; 12:19)
    C. Respond to genuine needs (Matthew 5:42; James 1:27; 2:14-17; 1 John 3:17; Matthew 25:35-45; Galatians 6:10)
    D. Love for enemies (Matthew 5:43-47; Leviticus 19:18; Proverbs 25:21-22)
    E. Strive to be better, and to be more like God (Matthew 5:48; Philippians 3:12-14)

One Baptism (Ephesians 4:5)

One Baptism Ephesians 4:4-6

Ephesians 4:5

I. Six different “baptisms” in the New Testament

    A. Baptism of John the Immerser (Mark 1:4-7; Acts 19:1-5)
    B. Baptism of the Holy Spirit (Mark 1:8; Acts 2:1-4)
    C. Baptism of suffering (Luke 12:50; 22:44; Hebrews 5:7)
    D. Baptism of fire (Matthew 3:11; 25:41, 46)
    E. Baptism for the dead (1 Corinthians 15:29)
    F. Baptism of the Great Commission (Matthew 28:18-20)

II. “There is one baptism” (Ephesians 4:5)

    A. Immersion (Acts 8:36-39; Romans 6:3-4; Colossians 2:12)
    B. Authorized by the Godhead (Matthew 28:19)
    C. For the purpose of the remission of sins (Acts 2:38; 22:16)
    D. For the purpose of salvation (Mark 16:16; 1 Peter 3:21)
    E. Places one “in Christ” (Galatians 3:27; Romans 6:3-4)

Lamps Without Oil (Matthew 25:1-13)

Lamps Without Oil Matthew 25:1-13

Matthew 25:1-13

I. Wasted Preparation

    A. Ancient east wedding custom
    B. The foolish tried to get by with minimum effort and ran out of oil

II. Individual Responsibility

    A. Though we are a part of the body that Jesus will save (Ephesians 5:23), we must individually work out our own salvation (Philippians 2:12-13)
    B. I must let my light shine (Matthew 5:14-16)
    C. The body is made up of individual members (Romans 12:4-5; 1 Corinthians 12:12-14, 27)

III. Proper Preparation

    A. Do not deny the power of personal godliness (2 Timothy 3:5)
    B. Do not doubt the power of God to provide (Genesis 22:7; John 1:29)
    C. Do not rely on minimal effort

      1. In living (Ephesians 4:1; 1 Corinthians 15:58; Luke 6:27-31)
      2. In giving (2 Corinthians 8:1-5; 9:6)
      3. In forgiving (Luke 6:32-36)

One Hope, One Faith (Ephesians 4:4-6)

One Hope One Faith Ephesians 4:4-6

Ephesians 4:4-6

I. Hope

    A. Desire + Expectation (Romans 8:23-25; 1 John 3:2-3)
    B. The Scriptures provide hope (Romans 15:4; Ephesians 1:18)
    C. Hope motivates purity (1 John 3:3)
    D. Hope rests in Jesus (Colossians 1:27; 1 Timothy 1:1)

II. Faith

    A. The faith – not a personal, subjective belief; rather, the system of faith revealed by the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 4:13; Galatians 1:23; 3:23-25)
    B. The Scriptures reveal the faith (Romans 10:17)
    C. Faith motivates obedience (Hebrews 11:6; James 2:14-26)
    D. Faith provides victory over the world (1 John 5:4-5)