This is the text of a message preached on Sunday, December 29, 2019, at South Charlotte Charlotte Baptist Church. Click here to listen to the audio recording of that message.
There is something that is common to all of mankind - We are forgetful. Does this describe you?
My mind is like the Bermuda Triangle. Information goes in and then it’s never found again!
Because of that, Peter gives us one of the responsibilities of a preacher; of the pastor:
2 Peter 1:12
Wherefore I will not be negligent to put you always in remembrance of these things, though ye know them, and be established in the present truth.
We must constantly be reminded of the Biblical truths that we have been taught because we are forgetful! So, as we close out this year, I wanted this message to serve as a reminder of some of the things that we have learned. But, instead of simply being reminded of what we have learned in this past year, let’s remind ourselves of the things that we have learned over the past 6, almost 7 years! Let’s look back at the themes which we have had as a church family over these past years.
Our theme in 2013 was...Sound Faith
But speak thou the things which become sound doctrine:
That the aged men be sober, grave, temperate, sound in faith, in charity, in patience.
The word sound that is used in this passage of Scripture means healthy. We should desire and strive to have a faith that is sound, healthy and vibrant. Sound faith is built upon sound doctrine. A solid, well-built home begins with a sold, well-built foundation. If there are flaws in the foundation, it will not be long before problems begin to appear in the actual structure.
Is your faith grounded upon God and God’s Word?
Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock:
This begins by putting your faith in Jesus Christ.
Sound doctrine is important because the truth is being - has always been - attacked. Don’t expect the attacks upon the truth of God and His Word to get any better in 2020. If anything they will continue to increase.
Sound doctrine is important because our greatest weapon is the truth
Satan knows that he will never be able to destroy the truth. Instead he will attack our faith in the truth. Satan will do everything that he can to cause us to doubt the truth. Don’t let go of the truth!
Unto the pure all things are pure: but unto them that are defiled and unbelieving is nothing pure; but even their mind and conscience is defiled.
The battle for our faith will be won or lost in our mind.
2 Corinthians 10:3–5 KJV 1900
For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh:
(For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;)
Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;
In all things shewing thyself a pattern of good works: in doctrine shewing uncorruptness, gravity, sincerity,
Sound speech, that cannot be condemned; that he that is of the contrary part may be ashamed, having no evil thing to say of you.
Sound doctrine is important because it will impact our behavior. In 2020, our behavior will either be conformed to God’s Word or we will seek to conform God’s Word to our behavior!
Our theme in 2014 was...Striving Together
Only let your conversation be as it becometh the gospel of Christ: that whether I come and see you, or else be absent, I may hear of your affairs, that ye stand fast in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel;
Often, Paul, in his letters, would address problems that the local church was facing. The church in Philippi was no different. We get a good indication from Philippians 2:3-5 of what those problems were.
Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves.
Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others.
Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus:
Their activities had wrong motivations.
They were prideful.
They were more concerned for their own affairs.
They did not have the mind of Christ - that of humility and service.
Notice what Paul goes on to say in vs. 13:
For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.
The work of the local church is God’s work and it is God that is at work - not us. We have the opportunity as part of a local, New Testament, Independent Baptist church, to be involved in the greatest work known to man – the proclamation of the Gospel of Jesus Christ!
Our theme in 2015 was...Step Out of the Boat
And Peter answered him and said, Lord, if it be thou, bid me come unto thee on the water.
And he said, Come. And when Peter was come down out of the ship, he walked on the water, to go to Jesus.
In today’s society, the phrase, “Walking on water,” is at times used as an example of an impossible task and at other times is used to refer to the performance of extraordinary tasks.
To God be the glory, great things He hath done, so loved He the world that He gave us His Son, Who yielded His life an atonement for sin, and opened the life-gate that all may go in.
We all understand that it is God that does great things but we must also remember & understand that God often uses men and women to accomplish those great things!
Noah and the building of the ark
Joshua and the battle of Jericho
Gideon and his 300 men defeated several hundred thousand Midianites
David defeated Goliath
Queen Esther saved the Jews from being slaughtered
Elijah on Mt. Carmel against the prophets of the grove and Baal
Will you be that one, who steps out of the boat this coming year, and is used of God to accomplish great things for the cause of Christ?
Our theme in 2016 was...Continue
2 Timothy 3:14
But continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them;
There are so many things which Satan can use to keep us from going forward: Fear, discouragement, temptation, comfort. The list is endless. And yet, we must press forward; we must keep going forward; we must not give in or give up. We must continue!
This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success.
To continue we must determine - we must re-commit - to be men and women of God’s Word! Paul told Timothy...
2 Timothy 3:16–17
All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:
That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.
While we, in a way, may take these verses for granted, we need to understand that even in the “Christian” community, there is a continued attack upon the Word of God!
The following was shared with me just yesterday and it is very concerning to me because, unfortunately, I believe that it is descriptive of many who call themselves Christians. What I am getting ready to share with you was published on a “Baptist” website.
Really? I’m afraid to say that in reality too much of Christianity is built upon divine mystery (whatever that is?!?!?) and not enough absolute authority! The absolute authority of God’s Word!
Excuse me? You cannot have one without the other! Where do we learn about Jesus, the Word? From the inspired and inerrant written Word of God!
The Bible stands though the hills may tumble. The Bible stands though the earth may shatter and crumble. I will plant my feet on its sure foundation, Though all around is sinking sand, the Bible stands.
May I say this? You can either stand upon the Word of God or you can be crushed by it!
Our theme in 2017 was...All In
Now as he walked by the sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and Andrew his brother casting a net into the sea: for they were fishers.
And Jesus said unto them, Come ye after me, and I will make you to become fishers of men.
And straightway they forsook their nets, and followed him.
Later, Peter said...
...Behold, we have forsaken all, and followed thee...
Have you forsaken all for Christ so that you might follow Christ?
Fanny Crosby, the great hymn writer, was talking to one of her neighbors, who was complaining bitterly of his poverty. He said, “If I had wealth I would be able to do just what I wish to do; and I would be able to make an appearance in the world.” Fanny Crosby replied, “Well, take the world, but give me Jesus.” From there, she penned these words:
Take the world, but give me Jesus, All its joys are but a name; But His love abideth ever, Through eternal years the same.
Are you willing to say, “Take the world, but give me Jesus?”
Our theme in 2018 was...Back to Basics
I don’t believe that we can be reminded enough to go back to basics: Loving God by loving others!
1 John 4:10–11
Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.
Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another.
Never has love been so convincingly demonstrated than on that day when Jesus Christ hung upon that old rugged cross.
On a hill far away stood an old rugged cross, the emblem of suff’ring and shame;
And I love that old cross where the Dearest and Best for a world of lost sinners was slain.
Have you experienced that love?
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
Are you sharing that love with others?
Our theme this year has been...Hope in Christ
Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost.
Hope: A desire of some good, accompanied with at least a slight expectation of obtaining it, or a belief that it is obtainable.
What do you have a desire for?
In this coming year, what do you desire to experience, to achieve, to obtain?
Delight thyself also in the Lord; And he shall give thee the desires of thine heart.
You have often heard me speak about this verse. However, we need to be reminded that before the Lord will give us the desires of our heart, we must delight ourselves in the Lord.
That word delight means to find great pleasure. Where do you find great pleasure? What gives you great pleasure?
Blessed is the man That walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, Nor standeth in the way of sinners, Nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful.
But his delight is in the law of the Lord; And in his law doth he meditate day and night.
For I delight in the law of God after the inward man:
Do you find great pleasure in God’s Word? Does God’s Word give you great pleasure?
How do you define “good?”
It is good for me that I have been afflicted; That I might learn thy statutes.
I don’t care how you define afflicted, most would not consider it to be good. But David said that it was a good thing. Why? So that he could learn God’s Word.
Psalm 34:8 KJV 1900
O taste and see that the Lord is good: Blessed is the man that trusteth in him.
The Lord does not simply do good; He is good! We will never find a better definition for good than this: The Lord is good!
We have reviewed a lot this morning? What did the Holy Spirit remind you of? How will you respond?