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Escaping the Wrath of God — Genesis 6:9-22

Posted by on Jun 13, 2017 in Christian | 0 comments

Escaping the Wrath of God — Genesis 6:9-22

The backdrop for today’s passage is the understanding that all mankind have sinned and are under the punishment of the wrath of God.  If you only picture God as some type of loving father figure who openly embraces all of mankind without exception and without regard for their character or conduct, you will not be able to identify with this passage.  Here in Genesis 6 we see God about to devastate His creation; to lay waste to all of mankind and all air breathing creatures; to overwhelm the entire world with a catastrophic flood that is inescapable.  And He is justified in doing so because of man’s corruption and violence.  The only exception is that God in His sovereign grace has chosen to spare Noah and his family from His coming wrath.

Is this a picture of God that is consistent with your view of God or have you created your own version of God after your own imagination?  Bernie Sanders – this week interrogating budget office nominee Russell Vought (from Wheaton college) – who wrote: “Muslims do not simply have a deficient theology. They do not know God because they have rejected Jesus Christ his Son, and they stand condemned.”  Do you think that people who are not Christians will be condemned – all Muslims; all Jews – if you say Yes you are against religious pluralism and not fit for public office even though the Constitution says “no religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States.”  This is a big deal / This would disqualify, according to Sanders, any true believer from ever holding office. [Pence] Not only that … what does every religion say about those who are not adherents to its faith?

The key question is how can anyone escape God’s wrath?  Today’s world bears all of the characteristics of the depravity common in the days of Noah.  We reviewed that last week.  We see corruption all around us.  We see violence all around us.  We understand that all have sinned and are deserving of God’s judgment in hell for all of eternity.

But all is not lost.  The flood was both divine judgment brought against the wickedness of mankind and divine salvation by which the human race was delivered to live on in the world.  Satan was doing everything in his power to have his seed destroy the seed of the woman; but God would be faithful to His promise to provide the Messiah who would come as the seed of the woman to redeem fallen mankind.

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Ticking Time Bomb — Genesis 6:1-8

Posted by on Jun 4, 2017 in Christian | 0 comments

Ticking Time Bomb — Genesis 6:1-8

If you like action movies like I do, no doubt you have seen many times the scenario where the bomb squad is called in to try to defuse a ticking time bomb.  The red light counting down the remaining minutes and seconds flashes on the device as the experts try to work their magic under intense pressure.  The beads of sweat pouring down from the forehead make it difficult to see.  The expression on everyone’s face is one of panic and horror.  The effects of the imminent explosion would cause unbelievable devastation.  Here in Genesis Chapter 6 as we approach the devastation of the universal Flood of Noah’s day, we see that there are only 120 years left to tick down.  That might sound like a lot of time.  But in this case there will be no efforts at diffusion and no escaping the catastrophic impact of God’s judgment.  The time clock has been set and this bomb is going to go off.  That much is certain no matter how you answer the interpretative challenges of this much-debated passage.

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Walking with God — Genesis 5

Posted by on May 22, 2017 in Christian | Comments Off on Walking with God — Genesis 5

Walking with God — Genesis 5

Last week I appreciated the opportunity to visit Jenny and attend Capitol Hill Baptist Church and listen to Pastor Mark Dever.  I happened to receive this week via email an article by him that serves as a good introduction to our study today of Genesis 5.

Article by Mark Dever: How Not to Think About Death Like a Secularist:

Allow me to introduce you to Secular Sam.

Secular Sam is very successful. He has a good job, a nice girlfriend, a beautiful apartment, a new car, and excellent health. He’s humorous, intelligent, and personable. Secular Sam is also a Christian, and actually quite an active one. He has an evangelical background (though he’s chosen to leave behind some of the embarrassing bits of it), is theologically conservative, and believes in the authority of Scripture.

Indeed, he’s even come to see Scripture as the most satisfying explanation for all kinds of phenomena, from the origin of the world to the meaning of life. Sam, being a student of Scripture, can realistically examine humanity’s sinfulness. He can even confute his secular friends with historical evidence for the resurrection. He knows that all of life is under the scrutiny of God’s Word—not just religion, but also business, philosophy, ethics, economics, and law.

What is it, then, that makes Secular Sam so secular? Sam is secular because he expects to wake up in his bed tomorrow morning. He’s never even heard of what his grandparents called the “blessed hope.” Sam’s hopes and concerns, even about his own spiritual life, are all contained in this seculum (the Latin word from which we get “secular”)—that is, this age and this life. Sam assumes tomorrow will be just like today, which has some serious implications for the way he thinks about today.

Christians should have in the front of their thinking “the blessed hope

Titus 2:13  “looking for the blessed hope and the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Christ Jesus

1 Thess 4:17  “We who are alive and remain will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, an so we shall always be with the Lord”

DEATH DOES NOT DOMINATE LIFE FOR THOSE WHO WALK WITH GOD

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No Wieters . . . No Worries!

Posted by on May 21, 2017 in Baltimore Orioles, Sports | Comments Off on No Wieters . . . No Worries!

 

The past 2 games, Wellington Castillo has gone yard repeatedly to give the Orioles 2 victories over the despised Blue Jays.  When you compare his production this year to that of Matt Wieters who departed for the big buck contract with the Nationals, the GM of the Orioles has to be pleased.  Wieters was a fan favorite and a solid performer, but the Orioles don’t suffer at all in the transition to Castillo.

Wizards Snatch Victory From Jaws of Defeat — Wall Hits Game Winner — 92-91

Posted by on May 12, 2017 in Sports | Comments Off on Wizards Snatch Victory From Jaws of Defeat — Wall Hits Game Winner — 92-91

With the clock ticking down and the Wizards’ season about to be snuffed out, John Wall rose up and hit a game-winning three point shot after both he and Bradley Beal struggled from long distance all night.  This game 6 against the Celtics looked all night like the type of game that a Washington D.C. franchise was going to fritter away.  Poor owner Ted Leonsis had to wondering if his life was more defined by AWOL than AOL as the characteristic DNA of his club was not in evidence until the fourth quarter.  Even then the team was down by 5 and the Celtics had the ball with about 1 minute to play.  It looked hopeless.  But Beal hit a clutch three pointer and they closed down on Isaiah Thomas on defense to give themselves a fighting chance at the end.

Here are some of the indicators early on in the first half especially that had me worried:

  • The Wizards were missing their free throws
  • They could not hit on any three point buckets
  • They looked slow to the ball and were out-hustled on some 50-50 balls
  • Marcin Gortat got in early foul trouble and had to sit most of the first half
  • The Celtics played one of their poorest offensive halves of the playoffs and still they led the Wizards by 1 at the intermission
  • I didn’t like the body language of the Wizards — despite the home crowd, it did not look like we had the enthusiasm and energy I expected

But unlike their hockey counterparts, the Wizards buckled down in the second half and battled right to the final buzzer.  When clutch Al Horford drained a 16 foot shot off the backboard from a severe angle to take a 2 point lead, things looked bleak.  But Wall showed the character and toughness of a leader to step up and hit the game winner.  Now the pressure is off the Wizards and maybe they can find their long distance shooting on Monday night to advance to the next round.  Win or lose Monday — they made a statement tonight that they won’t back down from anyone.  This win was all about heart and guts.

Capitals Continue Pattern of Playoff Disappointments — Losing Seventh Game to the Penguins

Posted by on May 11, 2017 in Sports | Comments Off on Capitals Continue Pattern of Playoff Disappointments — Losing Seventh Game to the Penguins

Capitals Continue Pattern of Playoff Disappointments — Losing Seventh Game to the Penguins

This picture of Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin in a defensive trailing position — unable to stop the first goal scored in the decisive seventh game last night by Bryan Rust — says it all.  When the chips have been down in the key playoff situations, the Capitals have been unable to get the job done.  Ovechkin was a negative factor on the critical second clinching goal as well — failing to clear the puck with a weak one-handed swipe where he needed to drive aggressively to the puck and get it out of the zone with a forceful two-handed stab.  Where his counterpart Crosby seems to shine in these critical games, Ovechkin seems mired in his reputation as “The Great 8” who doesn’t always look great in these key playoff moments.  The best scoring chance for the Capitals was a shot by Ovechkin that somehow Fleury turned aside with the upper shaft of his stick.  Overall it seemed like the Capitals were the better team.  But when it came to lucky bounces and character and toughness . . . somehow the defending Stanley Cup Champion Pittsburgh Penguins found a way to move on to the next round.  Ugh!!

Seed of the Serpent vs. Seed of the Woman

Posted by on May 10, 2017 in Christian | Comments Off on Seed of the Serpent vs. Seed of the Woman

Seed of the Serpent vs. Seed of the Woman

Keeping the title the same these past 3 weeks:

SIN MAKES A MESS . . . BUT GOD MAKES A WAY

Not because my creative juices have dried up … but really this is the story of all of Scripture.  Think of our own lives and the way that God has made for each of us.

Importance of the promise of Gen. 3:15 underlies this entire chapter.  We are going to track this enmity and warfare between the seed of the serpent and the seed of the woman.

Structural signposts in the text:

3 sections – each introduced by the formula: “had relations with

:1-16    Cain and Abel

:17-24  Seed of the serpent – line of Cain

:25-26  Seed of the woman – replacement line of Seth (after murder of Abel)

Remember that Genesis is the book of beginnings … of origins.  Here just in chapter 4 alone we see the origins of:

  • Procreation – first children born
  • Death and Murder – plenty of that surrounds us here today – spread and intensification of sin = one of the major themes of chap. 4
  • Construction of first primitive settlement – not a city with skyscrapers like we know it today – but a primitive village where families could dwell together
  • Initial Cultural accomplishments in a wide variety of arenas

CULTURE MAY DEVELOP IN WAYS THAT SEEM IMPRESSIVE, BUT THE ONLY HOPE FOR DEPRAVED MANKIND LIES IN CALLING ON THE NAME OF THE LORD

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Sin Makes a Mess . . . But God Makes a Way — Genesis 3:16-24

Posted by on Apr 30, 2017 in Christian | Comments Off on Sin Makes a Mess . . . But God Makes a Way — Genesis 3:16-24

Sin Makes a Mess . . . But God Makes a Way — Genesis 3:16-24

Sin makes a mess … there’s no way to sugarcoat that awful reality.  It has been like that since the Fall of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden.  There are always consequences for our sinful choices.  What might seem pleasurable for a moment can turn into a lifelong struggle against obstacles and bondage.  Think of the choices that lead someone into the devastating lifestyle of addiction.  We heard this week of a family friend that is in treatment for cocaine addiction.  He was raised in a Christian family but he made a series of bad choices.  God has said that He will not be mocked – whatever a man sows … that shall he also reap.  There is no getting away with sin.  Sin makes a mess.

I spent some early years when we first moved to Baltimore working in a ministry with a gifted Christian counselor.  What struck me as couples or individuals would come into the office in desperate situations seeking hope and deliverance was what a tangled mess sin makes of our lives.  It is like a ball of twisted yarn.  You can pull on one thread and seemingly make some progress but it is so difficult to straighten out a life gone down the wrong path.

But we are also going to see in this passage, that God makes a way.  Where man tries to cover up his sin with the futile attempts of a patchwork of fig leaves, God provides the seed of the woman to offer up His sinless life as a sacrifice for sin.  Only God can clothe us with the righteousness of Jesus Christ and by His grace shower undeserving sinners with His grace and compassion and mercy and forgiveness.  We are all undeserving sinners.  We are all in bondage to sin and guilt and death apart from the salvation offered freely by a gracious God.

This morning we get back to the roots of humanity – the origin of sin in the human race and some of its devastating consequences.  But we will also witness the grace of God at work behind the scenes.

SIN LEADS TO GUILT . . . AND GUILT CHANGES EVERYTHING – PART 2

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Where are You . . . What Have You Done? Genesis 3:8-15

Posted by on Apr 24, 2017 in Christian | Comments Off on Where are You . . . What Have You Done? Genesis 3:8-15

Where are You . . . What Have You Done?  Genesis 3:8-15

Definition of Guilt: the fact or state of having committed an offense, crime, violation, or wrong, especially against moral or penal law; culpability: — Accompanied by a sense of shame and regret and the experiencing of the consequences

Guilt is like the red warning light on the dashboard of the car (the engine warning light).  You can either stop and deal with the trouble, or ignore the light by disabling it or putting tape over it.

As we get back into the early chapters of Genesis and study the consequences of the Fall … it is amazing how dramatic are the changes reflected in our text.

  • Changes in man’s emotions and intellect and will
  • Changes in man’s environment
  • Changes in man’s relationships – on both a vertical and horizontal plane

One of the most famous Scripture passages regarding Guilt is the tragic sin of Saul recorded in

1 Samuel 15 – led to the Lord rejecting Saul as king over the nation of Israel.

  • Clear command of God (:3)
  • Clear disobedience of that command (:8-9)
  • Guilty conscience leading to false protestations of innocence (:13)
  • Clear indictment (:14)
  • Blame shifting (:15ff)
  • Tragic Consequences of Sin and Guilt
  • Forced Admission of Guilt (:24)

Think of how this sequence of events plays itself out in how we confront our young children with their acts of disobedience.

SIN LEADS TO GUILT . . . AND GUILT CHANGES EVERYTHING

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The Christian Approach to Easter — Mark 16:1-8

Posted by on Apr 19, 2017 in Christian | Comments Off on The Christian Approach to Easter — Mark 16:1-8

The Christian Approach to Easter — Mark 16:1-8

Driving through Ellicott City Friday morning, I saw a small group of religious pilgrims following behind a man bearing a wooden cross who was leading them along Main Street.  This was the way they had chosen to mark the historic remembrance of Christ’s Crucifixion.  As I drove by I had no way to tell whether these were genuine believers or simply people caught up in the rites and symbols of religious observance.  Casual Worship

Too much casual worship taking place today all around the world – worship that is caught up in the externals of rites and symbols rather than in heartfelt repentance of sin and genuine faith in the Lordship of Jesus Christ in our lives.  Are people worshiping the True Jesus or an image that they have created to satisfy their religiousity?

Implications of the Resurrection of Jesus Christ:

Steven Lawson:  (great resource for this text – borrowed extensively)

  • Validated the perfection of His sacrifice for our sins; completion of mission of redemption; provided just basis for forgiveness of sins

  • Father had accepted His payment in full; propitiation

  • Authenticated the claims of Jesus

  • Guarantees that God is sovereign over all of men’s affairs and of all history

  • Jesus had triumphed over death and sin and Satan;

  • guarantees there will be a final judgment because God has raised the Judge from the dead; greatest message for every believer and should strike terror into every unbeliever;

  • dominated message of early apostles

OUR APPROACH TO THE REALITY OF THE RESURRECTION OF JESUS CHRIST CANNOT BE ONE OF CASUAL WORSHIP

4 ASPECTS OF THE CHRISTIAN APPROACH TOWARDS EASTER:

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