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Pastor Scott Markle

Member Since 27 Dec 2012
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#394395 A Response To Brother "prophet1"

Posted by Pastor Scott Markle on 23 November 2014 - 02:49 PM

First, to the moderators I must acknowledge that I had no real clue where best to place this thread.  If it is in the wrong place, I am more than willing for a correction to be made.

 

Second, to all I give an explanation for this thread.  In the thread on Matthew 24, I employed the phrase "holy of holies" in one of my postings.  In response to this, Brother "Prophet1" presented the following reproof --

 

Holy is an adjective.

There can be no such thing as "Holies".

Try using the Scripture, instead of parroting men.

The Scripture calls it the "Most Holy Place".

The Scripture doesn't use the word "rapture", which in English is an abstract and not a concrete noun, so it couldn't possibly be the name of an event.
In fact, by definition, rapture is imagined.

Satan has more than one trick up his bejewelled sleeve, and extra-Biblical terms is one of them.

You've dashed your foot against a stumbling stone, and fallen into Rome's mire, Brother. 

Of course, I'll be ridiculed and chided for this post, but, no matter.

The children of Light are watching,
His sheep hear His voice. 

 

It is my intention to provide a response to this reproof against me by Brother "Prophet1."  However, I did not wish to hijack the other thread and thereby to turn it aside from its primary focus upon Matthew 24.  Thus I am presenting my response in a new thread posting.

 

Third, to Brother "Prophet1" I would first present my intention with this posting -- (1) to acknowledge a fault, (2) to present a defense, and (3) to return a reproof.

 

1.  My acknowledgement of fault -- I must acknowledge that in the King James translation the phrase "holy of holies" is never employed.  Furthermore, I must acknowledge that the King James translation does indeed employ the phrase "the most holy place" for the innermost holy place of tabernacle/temple.  Therefore, I will acknowledge that for the sake of Biblical precision and Biblical understanding, it would have been better that I employed the phrase "the most holy place;" and I shall pursue such a change in the future.  (However, I do also recognize the truth of Brother "Beameup's" posting #45 concerning the Hebrew as God the Holy Spirit originally moved the Old Testament writers to communicate.  As such, I recognize that in Hebrew an adjective can be used as a substantive (in the place of a noun), and that the doubling of the Hebrew adjective for "holy" would present such a meaning as "the holy place of holy places."  With this understanding in mind, I am unwilling to acknowledge any doctrinal error on my part; and thus I am unwilling to acknowledge any sin as having been committed.)

 

2.  My presentation of defense -- You declared that there is no such thing in the English language as the noun "holies."  This is not strictly accurate.  In the Webster's New World College Dictionary 4th edition, the word "holy" includes the following within its definition presentation -- "n., pl. --lies a holy thing or place."

 

3.  My return of reproof -- In your reproof against me, you made the following statement, "Satan has more than one trick up his bejewelled sleeve, and extra-Biblical terms is [are] one of them."  Now, the doctrinal truth concerning Satan certainly is a matter of Biblical doctrine.  Yet in God's Holy Word there is no indication whatsoever that Satan has a "bejeweled sleeve."  In fact, the word "bejeweled" is not found anywhere whatsoever throughout the entirety of the King James translation.  Furthermore, in God's Holy Word there is no indication whatsoever that Satan even has sleeves.  In fact, the word "sleeve" is not found anywhere whatsoever throughout the entirety of the King James translation.  Therefore, as my return of reproof, I shall "parrot" a reproof that I recently encountered, "Try using Scripture.  Satan has more than one trick . . . , and extra-Biblical terms is [are] one of them."  Indeed, the thrust for this return of reproof is not that I myself actually believe it is an inherent sin to employ doctrinal terms that are not strictly found in the King James translation.  Rather, the thrust for this return of reproof is that if you intend to reprove others on the ground of this position, I would counsel you to remain strictly consistent in your own communication, lest your contradiction to yourself create damage to your credibility.

 

 

(Edited to correct typographical errors.)




#394322 Matthew 24

Posted by Pastor Scott Markle on 22 November 2014 - 02:11 PM

Thank you, Scott & Geneva, for carefully reasoned posts to explain your understanding of the passage.

 

Like Geneva, I find it strange that you do not see the temple timing destruction in the Lord's answer. If we read Mat. 23 before 24 . . .

 

Brother "Covenanter,"

 

With this posting I do not intend to deliver my response to the substance of your posting.  I do yet intend to do so; however, I will require a certain amount of time in order to present that response in the manner that I am presently considering.  On the other hand, I am making this posting in order to present a defense of my approach in my first posting and in order to present an acknowledgement of fault on my own part.  

 

First, my defense of self -- In my first posting, I was seeking first to answer the question of the original posting directly according to the context of Matthew 24.  That the direct audience for our Lord's teaching in Matthew 23 was both the multitudes (including the religious leaders of Judea) and Christ's disciples is to be acknowledges according to the Biblical record, as per Matthew 23:1.  However, that there is a change in direct the audience for our Lord's teaching from Matthew 23 to Matthew 24 should also be acknowledged according to the Biblical record, as per Matthew 24:3.  Furthermore, in my first posting I was seeking to present the focus of our Lord's answer unto the disciples' question (in Matthew 24:3) as it is recorded in Matthew 24:4-31.  That there are parallel passages to be considered in both Mark and Luke is to be acknowledged.  However, dealing with those parallel passages was the thrust of my posting.  Indeed, in the opening line of my second paragraph concerning Matthew 24:4-31, I did make the statement, "What then do we find in our Lord's answer as presented in Matthew 24:4-31.  To me, it is worthy of note that throughout this passage . . . ."

 

Second, my acknowledgement of fault -- In presenting my first posting concerning Matthew 24;1-21, I did recognize that there was a parallel passage in Mark 13; and I did take it into some small amount of consideration (since a significant amount of consideration thereto was not my primary purpose).  However, I did not at all recognize that there was a parallel passage in Luke 21.  This was a fault on my part, and I do acknowledge it as such.  In a future posting (as time will permit), I do intend to remedy this fault on my part.




#394319 Matthew 24

Posted by Pastor Scott Markle on 22 November 2014 - 01:49 PM

 

I disagree. Compare this section of verses - [Luke 19:39-44] 

With this - [Matthew 24:2]

 

In my opinion describing, in Matthew 24, the following way - [Matthew 24:15-21]

Sounds like the same situation to me.

   And it is the same time in each book.
 
I would like to also add, in support of this statement - [Luke 21:20-24]

 

Brother Pittman,

 

When you presented your posting last night, I did not have the time to respond thereto.  It was my intent to deliver a response some time today as time might permit.  Since that time, you have edited your posting to add the passage from Luke 21:20-24 and Brother "Covenanter" has also presented his posting wherein he also brought forward the teaching of Luke 21:20-22.  This causes a small difficulty for me.  Do I now respond as I originally intended to your posting as it was originally delivered, without a consideration of your edited addition and of Brother "Covenanter's" posting; or do I attempt to respond unto all of these as a single unit?  First, I will acknowledge that there is a form of "dove-tail" between the passages that you originally included in your posting and Luke 21:20-24 (as added by you and presented by Brother "Covenanter.")  However, I do indeed intend in this posting to present my initial thoughts of response to your posting as it originally was presented (without a consideration of Luke 21:20-24).  On the other hand, I also do intend to provide a more thorough response concerning Luke 21:20-24 and its relationship to Matthew 24:1-31.  Also in this posting I intend to make some small parenthetical references to your addition and Brother "Covenanter's" presentation of Luke 21:20-24, which I shall present in a different color scheme for the purpose of recognition.  I pray that this method of presentation will be acceptable and understandable.

__________________________________________________

 

It appears from your posting that you would see an equivalency between the following three passages -- Luke 19:39-44; Matthew 24:2; and Matthew 24:15-21.  Even so, I wish to present some thoughts concerning the teaching of these passage and concerning the relationship of these passages to one another, wherein they do and wherein they do not present a direct connection to each other.

 

Luke 19:39-44 -- "And some of the Pharisees from among the multitude said unto him, Master, rebuke thy disciples. And he answered and said unto them, I tell you that, if these should hold their peace, the stones would immediately cry out. And when he was come near, he beheld the city, and wept over it, Saying, If thou hadst known, even thou, at least in this thy day, the things which belong unto thy peace! but now they are hid from thine eyes. For the days shall come upon thee, that thine enemies shall cast a trench about thee, and compass thee round, and keep thee in on every side, And shall lay thee even with the ground, and thy children within thee; and they shall not leave in thee one stone upon another; because thou knewest not the time of thy visitation."

 

Luke 19:41-44 presents our Lord's grief over the city of Jerusalem, as per verse 41 -- "And when he was come near, he beheld the city, and wept over it."  Then in verses 42-44 our Lord delivered a pronouncement of judgement upon that city.  Throughout this pronouncement our Lord employed the third person, singular pronouns "thee," "thou," "thy," and "thine" a significant number of times.  Grammatically, the antecedent for these pronouns is found in the phrase "the city" as presented in verse 41.  As such, our Lord spoke unto and concerning the city of Jerusalem as a singular, personified individual.  What about the inhabitants of the city?  These our Lord referenced in verse 44 as the children of the city within "her."  (Note: I here employed the feminine pronoun "her" since that is the gender by which we usually personify a city.  I do recognize that our Lord Jesus Christ did not directly specify a gender in His personification.)   So then, what is involved in our Lord's prophetic ("For the days shall come upon thee . . .") pronouncement of judgment upon the city of Jerusalem?

 

1.  The enemies of Jerusalem shall surround the city with a military siege, as per verse 43.

2.  The enemies of Jerusalem shall conquer the city and tear it down to the ground, as per the opening line of verse 44.

3.  The enemies of Jerusalem shall lay the inhabitants of the city down to the ground with death, as per the second line of verse 44.

4.  The enemies of Jerusalem shall so tear down the city that no two stones of the city will remain one upon the other, as per the third line of verse 44.

 

 

Matthew 24:2 -- "And Jesus said unto them, See ye not all these things? verily I say unto you, There shall not be left here one stone upon another, that shall not be thrown down."

 

In Matthew 24:1 it is recorded that one of Jesus' disciples directed His gaze upon the physical wonderment of the Temple buildings.  Verse 2 records our Lord's response.  It is worthy of note that our Lord does not at all focus upon the physical wonderment of the Temple buildings, but rather upon the coming destruction of those very Temple buildings.  Specifically, our Lord prophetically proclaims the judgment that the Temple buildings would experience such destruction that no two stones of the Temple buildings would remain one upon the other.  

 

What then are the connections and differences between Luke 19:33-44 & Matthew 24:2.  First, the difference -- Luke 19:33-44 only speaks specifically concerning the city of Jerusalem, not concerning the Temple in Jerusalem; whereas Matthew 24:2 only speaks specifically concerning the Temple in Jerusalem, not concerning the city of Jerusalem.  However, it is to be acknowledge that in speaking concerning the city of Jerusalem, the statements of Luke 19:33-44 by definition must also include the Temple in the city of Jerusalem.  On the other hand, the connection -- Both passages indicate that the coming destruction of judgment will cause no two stones to remain standing one upon the other.  As such, I am compelled to acknowledge that these two passages are indeed speaking concerning the same event of judgment upon Jerusalem and the Temple therein.  (Thus far, I believe that we would be in agreement.)

 

 

Matthew 24:15-21 -- "When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoso readeth, let him understand:) Then let them which be in Judaea flee into the mountains: Let him which is on the housetop not come down to take any thing out of his house: Neither let him which is in the field return back to take his clothes. And woe unto them that are with child, and to them that give suck in those days! But pray ye that your flight be not in the winter, neither on the sabbath day: For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be."

 

Throughout this passage we find one reference to the Temple in Jerusalem, through the phrase "in the holy place" as employed in verse 15.  Herein there is no reference to the destruction of that Temple, and no statement to indicate that no two stones would be remaining one upon the other.  Rather, there is a reference to some "abomination of desolation" that will "stand in the holy place" (probably, the Holy of Holies) within the Temple.  As such, this reference implies the necessity for the Temple itself to be standing (not destroyed) in order for this event to occur.  (Now, one might contend that the destruction of the Temple buildings will occur immediately after this event.  However, the actual statements of Matthew 24:15-21 make no direct statement concerning this.)  In addition, although Matthew 24:16-21 does instruct the inhabitants in the land of Judaea at that time to flee unto the mountains, there is no direct reference at all in this passage to the city of Jerusalem itself or to that cities destruction.  As such, a direct connection between Matthew 24:15-21 and Matthew 24:2/Luke 19:41-44 is lacking in the direct statements that they actually present.  

 

(Now, here is the point at which I must acknowledge the addition of Luke 21:20-24 into the discussion.  Indeed, I am compelled to acknowledge a direct connection between Luke 21:20-24 and Luke 19:41-44/Matthew 24:2.  Furthermore, I am compelled to acknowledge that Luke 21:5-ff stands as a parallel passage to Matthew 24:1-ff.  Thus I can understand that manner by which you have made the connection between Matthew 24:15-21 and Luke 19:41-44/Matthew 24:2, that is -- through their connection to Luke 21:20-24.)




#394173 Shepherding The Flock - A New Verse Card & Magnet For Thanksgiving

Posted by Pastor Scott Markle on 21 November 2014 - 12:55 PM

The following presents the front and back of the verse card. 
The magnet would then be of the front of the verse card.
Picture
Picture

To purchase this memory verse cards or its corresponding magnet, you may go to the following page:
Premium Quality Verse Cards


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#394171 Shepherding The Flock - Audio Sermon - Wisdom Crieth Without (Part 2 Of 4)

Posted by Pastor Scott Markle on 21 November 2014 - 10:20 AM

Indeed, if we believers do not learn the Biblical process of repentance for our own daily walk, we will continually be walking after our sinful flesh, never returning unto a walk after the Holy Spirit.  Since we commit sin regularly (even daily, yea even multiple times per day, which is not at all to be justified simply because it is so regular, and since everyone else is doing it also), the Biblical process of repentance for the believer's daily walk is actually a spiritual basic for the Christian life (just like daily Bible study and meditation, a constant prayer life, walking by faith, etc.).  It is a spiritual shame (and to our spiritual downfall) that we do not possess a better understanding and grasp of this Biblical truth and spiritual reality.

 

In preaching and teaching, I have been known to pose the following case --

 

1.  How many of you have committed a sin of any kind at least once each day this past week?

 

2.  When you committed that sin, did it break you fellowship with God your heavenly Father and with Jesus Christ your Lord and Savior, so that you ceased to walk in the light of their fellowship and began to walk in the darkness of your sinful flesh?  Indeed, you did; for God's Word declares this to be so.  Indeed, this is true no matter what the sin may have been.

 

3.  What is the only way to deal with that sin in order that you might be forgiven and cleansed by God and in order that you might be restored unto fellowship with God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ?  According to God's Holy Word, the only way is through broken-hearted repentance of that sin.

 

4.  Did you come to Biblical repentance of those sins that you committed each of the days over this past week?  If you did not, then you are not yet forgiven, not yet cleansed, and not yet in a right fellowship with God your heavenly Father and with Jesus Christ your Lord and Savior.  On the other hand, if you did, then at the very moment of your repentance, by the abundant grace and mercy of God, you were immediately forgiven, immediately cleansed, and immediately restored to fellowship.

 

Indeed, I would proclaim with great force -- We believers will NEVER experience a Biblical, Holy Spirit revival until we learn the Biblical process of repentance for our daily walk!!!




#394007 Shepherding The Flock - Pure Religion And Undefiled Before God – James 1:27

Posted by Pastor Scott Markle on 18 November 2014 - 03:56 PM

Weekly Sermon

James 1:27 reads, “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.” 

As we have previously noted, James 1:26-27 presents a clear contrast between a faulty religious life that is lacking in spiritual substance and a faithful religious life that is rooted in spiritual substance.  This contrast is seen in that verse 26 closes with the statement, “This man’s religious is vain;” whereas verse 27 opens with the statement, “Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this.”  Even so, verse 26 presents the case of a religious life that is vain, being spiritually profitless; whereas verse 27 presents the case of a religious life that is valuable, being spiritually pure.  Therefore, as we focus our attention upon verse 27, we observe more closely the case of a religious life that is valuable, being spiritually pure – “Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this.”

Grammatically, this verse can be divided into three parts.  First, there is the declaration of God’s classification for pure religion – “Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this.”  Second, there is the description of loving compassion in pure religion – “To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction.”  Third, there is the description of separated character in pure religion – “And to keep himself unspotted from the world.”

The Substance of Acceptable Religion

In the opening four words, James 1:27 begins with a declaration concerning the spiritual substance of acceptable religion.  Thereby we learn that an acceptable religion is a spiritually “pure religion and undefiled.”  As we have noted, in this context the word “religion” refers specifically to a diligent observance and dedicated performance of religious activities, duties, and services.  Thus an acceptable religious life, an acceptable observance and performance of religious activities, duties, and services, must be rooted in a spiritually pure and undefiled substance of character.  These two descriptive words “pure” and “undefiled” are synonyms, the first giving the description from the positive perspective and the second giving the description from the negative perspective.  The combination of these two synonyms strongly emphasizes the necessity for a religious life that is rooted in the spiritual substance of a godly character.  To be acceptable, our religious life must be rooted in the Spirit-filled purity of a heart that is truly in righteous fellowship with the Lord.  To be acceptable, our religious life must be undefiled by any selfish motivations and hypocrisies of the flesh. 

The Standard for Acceptable Religion

As that opening line of James 1:27 continues, it presents a declaration concerning the spiritual standard for acceptable religion.  “Pure religion and undefiled” is that which is viewed as such “before God and the Father.”  It is not our own view concerning the spiritually pure and undefiled character of our religious life that matters.  It is the view of God our heavenly Father that truly matters.  If He does not approve of our religious life, then it really does not matter if we ourselves or anyone else approves thereof.  Indeed, our religious life may appear pure and undefiled outwardly before others.  Yet the Lord our God examines the true substance of our character and motivation.  His standard is THE standard.  Thus to be truly acceptable, our religious life must be rooted in a character and motivation of heart that pleases Him.  As our Creator God, He is the authoritative Judge of our heart character and of our religious life.  As our Heavenly Father, He is the gracious Savior who is ever worthy of our righteous priority in heart and of our pure religion in worship. 

The System in Acceptable Religion

The opening portion of James 1:27 declares, “Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this.”  Herein the phrase “is this” introduces the system in acceptable religion.  Now, this verse does not present an exhaustive list of the activities, duties, and services in “pure religion and undefiled before God.”  Yet it does present two of the essential elements in “pure religion and undefiled before God.”  Indeed, these two elements are often neglected.  Yet these essential elements are so characteristic of “pure religion and undefiled before God” that without them there can be no genuine claim to such a pure and undefiled religious life. 

The first essential element of pure and undefiled religion presented in James 1:27 concerns the principle of loving compassion toward the needy.  “Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction.”  Being the two categories of individuals who were the most likely to experience the greatest level of affliction and need in that day, the “fatherless [orphans] and widows” are presented herein as a representative for any and all who are needy and helpless in affliction.  In this context, the word “visit” means more than just making a social call to see such needy individuals and to speak a word of comfort unto them.  Rather, it means going forth to help such individuals “in their affliction.”  Indeed, it means going forth with a personally active and practically beneficial involvement to help relieve their need.  In addition, it means helping them although it is very likely that they shall never be in a position to return the favor.  As such, this element of pure and undefiled religion deals with our spirit of loving, sacrificial compassion toward others in their need.  Even so, in 1 John 3:16-18 the instruction is given, “Hereby perceive we the love of God, because he laid down his life for us: and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.  But whoso hath this world’s good, and seeth his brother have need, and shutteth up his bowels of compassion from him, how dwelleth the love of God in him?  My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth.”  Now, such loving compassion toward the needy is an essential element of “pure religion and undefiled before God,” and without it there can be no genuine claim to such a pure an undefiled religious life.

The second essential element of pure and undefiled religion presented in James 1:27 concerns the principle of separated character from the world.  “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.”  Herein the word “world” refers to the evil system of this world in its ungodly philosophies, priorities, practices, and pursuits.  It is a system of ungodliness that pervades every aspect of the human culture around us and that is governed by “the prince of this world,” the devil himself. (John 14:30)  As such, this present evil world is utterly selfish in its foundational essence and is completely contrary to the Lord our God and His way of righteousness.  Even so, 1 John 2:16 reveals the truth, “For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.”  In addition, James 4:4 pronounces the rebuke, “Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God?  Whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.”  Certainly we believers dwell in this world physically.  Yet we are not to be of this world spiritually.  We are never to be conformed unto the ungodliness of this world’s evil system. (Romans 12:2)  Rather, we are faithfully and fervently to guard ourselves, in both our attitudes and our actions, against this world’s ungodly pollution.  We are to be holy “in all manner of conversation,” in every aspect of our character and our conduct. (1 Peter 1:15)  We are to be “denying ungodliness and worldly lusts” and to “live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world.” (Titus 2:12)  Yea, keeping ourselves “unspotted” by any of this world’s ungodly pollution is our constant, continual responsibility before the Lord our God.  Indeed, it is the responsibility of each believer to keep his own self “unspotted from the world.”  Therefore, we must be constantly, consistently, continually, and carefully vigilant to guard ourselves spiritually; for this present evil world is constantly, consistently, continually, and characteristically seeking to corrupt us spiritually.  Furthermore, whenever we do become “spotted” with the selfish, sinful pollution of this world, we must quickly cleanse our hands and purify our hearts. (James 4:8)  Yea, we must be cleansed through the humble confession of broken-hearted repentance; for “if we confess our sins, he [God our heavenly Father] is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” (1 John 1:9)  Now, such separated character from the world is an essential element of “pure religion and undefiled before God,” and without it there can be no genuine claim to such a pure and undefiled religious life.
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#393949 Shepherding The Flock - Audio Sermon - Wisdom Crieth Without (Part 2 Of 4)

Posted by Pastor Scott Markle on 17 November 2014 - 11:12 AM

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#393705 Shepherding The Flock - This Man’S Religion Is Vain – James 1:26

Posted by Pastor Scott Markle on 12 November 2014 - 02:00 PM

Weekly Sermon

James 1:26 reads, “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.”

As we have previously noted, James 1:26-27 presents a clear contrast between a faulty religious life that is lacking in spiritual substance and a faithful religious life that is rooted in spiritual substance.  This contrast is seen in that verse 26 closes with the statement, “This man’s religious is vain;” whereas verse 27 opens with the statement, “Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this.”  Even so, verse 26 presents the case of a religious life that is vain, being spiritually profitless; whereas verse 27 presents the case of a religious life that is valuable, being spiritually pure.  Therefore, as we focus our attention upon verse 26, we observe more closely the case of a religious life that is vain, being spiritually profitless – “This man’s religion is vain.” 

Grammatically, this verse can be divided into four parts.  First, there is the condition of spiritual appearance – “If any man among you seem to be religious.”  Second, there is the contrast of selfish communication – “And bridleth not his tongue.”  Third, there is the condemnation of self-deception – “But deceiveth his own heart.”  Finally, there is the confrontation of spiritual emptiness – “This man’s religion is vain.”

The Spiritual Appearance

The opening line of James 1:26 presents the condition of spiritual appearance, saying, “If any man among you seem to be religious.”  In this context, the word “if” indicates, not a rare possibility, but a common reality.  As such, the scenario of this statement is Biblically assumed to be an actual case and an existing problem among us as believers.  Yet the phrase “any man” (or, any individual) indicates that the warning of this verse is not specifically pointed to a specific category, but is generally proclaimed to us all.  Indeed, the spiritual fault that is revealed in this warning can overtake any one of us at any given point throughout our Christian walk.  Yea, we all must ever be spiritually vigilant lest we “seem to be religious,” but possess a religious life that is spiritually vain in our Lord’s sight.  As we have noted, in this context the words “religious” and “religion” refer specifically to a diligent observance and dedicated performance of religious activities, duties, and services.  Thus due to such a diligent observance and dedicated performance of religious activities, duties, and services, we may meet the condition of spiritual appearance.  In doing these things, we may “seem to be religious.” 

Now, the word “seem” can refer either to that which seems true before others or to that which seems true unto one’s self.  Since the later condemnation of the verse is that this individual “deceiveth his own heart,” we conclude that this statement is intended to indicate that which this individual thinks concerning himself.  In this context this statement speaks concerning this individual’s opinion of himself.  Through his diligent observance and dedicated performance of religious activities, duties, and services, he thinks himself to be godly in character and right with the Lord.  He supposes that such a diligent observance and dedicated performance of a religious life fulfills his spiritual responsibility as a doer of God’s Holy Word.  Yet it is not our own assessment of our Christian walk that matters.  Rather, it is our Lord’s assessment that matters.  Even so, the Lord our God pronounces His assessment of this individual’s religious life in the conclusion of the verse, saying, “This man’s religion is vain.”  Often we believers, in our estimation of our own spiritual condition, substitute the apparent value of diligent, dedicated religious activity for the actual value of a transformed, godly character.  Often we have an external “form of godliness,” while denying the inward “power thereof.” (2 Timothy 3:5)  Often we draw nigh unto the Lord with our mouths and honor Him with our lips, while our heart is not right with Him. (Matthew 15:8) 

The Selfish Communication

Yet the opening line of James 1:26 does not reveal the entire scenario concerning this individual’s condition.  In fact, the conditional word “if” with which the statement begins encompasses a second description of his spiritual conduct.  As we have noted, the opening line of the verse presents the condition of spiritual appearance, saying, “If any man among you seem to be religious.”  Then the verse continues with the contrast of selfish communication, saying, “And bridleth not his tongue.”  Thereby a contrast is made between this individual’s perception of his spiritual condition and the revelation of his selfish communication.  Although he thinks himself to be godly in character and right with the Lord, yet his unbridled tongue reveals something different about his character and about his walk with the Lord.  Indeed, this individual is diligent and dedicated in religious activity.  Yet he possesses a glaring spiritual fault and failure.  This individual is characterized (as the present tense of the verb indicates) by an unbridled tongue.  Yea, the fault for this unbridled tongue is attributed directly to him; for he himself is presented as the one who “bridleth not his tongue.” 

Herein it is implied that our tongue is like a wild horse that must be strictly guided and guarded with a bridle lest it wildly run away with us.  Furthermore, it is implied herein that a characteristically unbridled tongue reveals an ungodly character.  This is founded upon the Biblical principle that “out of the abundance (or, character) of the heart the mouth speaketh.” (Matthew 12:34)  There is a direct spiritual connection between our mouths and our hearts, between our communication and our character.  Thus an unbridled tongue reveals that our character is not guided and governed by the Spirit of God, but by the selfishness of our flesh.  So then, what is the nature of an unbridled tongue?  James 1:26 does not provide a specific description thereof.  However, James 3:7-10 declares, “For every kind of beasts, and of birds, and of serpents, and of things in the sea, is tamed, and hath been tamed of mankind: but the tongue can no man tame; it is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison.  Therewith bless we God, even the Father; and therewith curse we men, which are made after the similitude of God.  Out of the same mouth proceedeth blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not so to be.” 

An unbridled tongue is one that runs wildly and destructively with selfish communication.  It may indeed speak blessing and honor toward and about the Lord God in religious services.  Yet biting and bitterness characterizes its communication toward and about others.  Such a tongue will be filled with the grievous communication of self-exaltation, carelessness, foolishness, harshness, complaining, backbiting, tale bearing, evil speaking, anger, malice, deception, etc.  It does not speak graciously, lovingly, or wisely.  It does not speak “that which is good to the use of edifying” and that which ministers God’s grace to the hearers. (Ephesians 4:29)  Yea, an unbridled tongue will be especially offensive when it is joined with a diligent, dedicated religious life.  In such a context, the unbridled tongue will often speak to undercut the religious conduct and spiritual character of others in order that its own conduct and character may look more favorable. 

The Self-Deception

Although the individual described in James 1:26 thinks himself to be godly in character and right with the Lord, the Lord our God through His Holy Word presents a condemnation of his self-deception, saying, “But deceiveth his own heart.”  Due to his diligent, dedicated religious activity, he may conclude that he is godly and righteous; yet his characteristic failure and fault of an unbridled tongue reveals that he has deceived “his own heart.”  He may or may not have deceived others through his diligent, dedicated religious life; but he certainly has deceived himself.  The evidence of his diligent, dedicated religious activity, upon which he has set his focus, is not in itself enough to prove a godly character.  In fact, the characteristic failure and fault of his unbridled tongue, having a direct connection to the character of his heart, proves an ungodly character.  Yea, the evidence of his unbridled tongue cancels out and overrules all the evidence of his diligent, dedicated religious activity.  Therefore, this individual deceives himself with a false estimation of his religious conduct.  By considering only his religious activity, he continually misleads and deludes himself thereby into a false view of spiritual reality.  Yea, he continually yields his heart to the spiritual delusion that a diligent observance and dedicated performance of religious activities, duties, and services is all that is required to define a godly character and to be right with the Lord.  Indeed, such an individual needs to quit congratulating himself concerning his religious activity, and needs to come unto conviction of his ungodly character. 

The Spiritual Emptiness

In the closing line, James 1:26 concludes the case with a confrontation of spiritual emptiness, saying, “This man’s religion is vain.”  The phrase “this man” refers specifically to the one whose case is described in the verse.  Yet having a direct connection to the phrase “any man” that is found in the opening line of the verse, the phrase “this man” refers to any one of us believers who fulfills the conditions of the verse.  For any of us who think ourselves to be religiously right with the Lord, but who do not bridle our tongues, our religious activity, no matter how diligent and dedicated it may be, is spiritually vain.  In such a case, our religious activity and service is spiritually unprofitable in our Lord’s estimation and shall not receive our Lord’s blessing.  In such a case, our religious activity and service is spiritually unprofitable for our walk with the Lord and for our ministry unto others.  In such a case, our religious activity and service is spiritually unprofitable because it is not rooted in a godly character, but is corrupted by an unbridled communication.  In such a case, our religious activity and service represents a faulty religious life because it is only a religious form without the spiritual reality.  In such a case, although we may esteem our religious activity and service highly, we actually need to come unto broken-hearted repentance of our ungodly character and our unbridled communication.
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#393495 Shepherding The Flock - Audio Sermon - Wisdom Crieth Without (Part 1 Of 4)

Posted by Pastor Scott Markle on 10 November 2014 - 11:21 AM

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#393343 Shepherding The Flock - Introducing The First Verse Card Variety Pack - Psal...

Posted by Pastor Scott Markle on 08 November 2014 - 02:29 PM

The "Psalm Set #1" verse card pack contains 14 premium quality verse cards, including one card for each of the verses in Psalm 1:1-6 & Psalm 19:7-14.
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#393181 Shepherding The Flock - If Any Man Among You Seem To Be Religious – James 1:...

Posted by Pastor Scott Markle on 06 November 2014 - 01:12 PM

Weekly Sermon

James 1:26-27 reads, “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.”

With James 1:26-27 we come to the fifth paragraph of this epistle.  Again we remember that the Holy Spirit inspired purpose for this epistle is to provide pastoral counsel for a spiritually mature walk in the believer’s life.  Even so, this fifth paragraph gives counsel concerning an unbridled tongue in relation to a pure religious life.  The contextual situation and setting for the paragraph is established through the opening line of the paragraph -- “If any man among you seem to be religious.”  Consisting of only two sentences in two verses, this short paragraph presents a clear contrast between a religious life that is lacking in spiritual substance and a religious life that is rooted in spiritual substance.

Grammatically, this paragraph does not include any specific connectives to the previous paragraph.  Yet thematically this paragraph does possess a connection to the previous context.  In verse 21 the instruction was given that we should receive the truths of God’s Holy Word with meek submission, and the reason was given that we should do so because the truth of God’s Holy Word is able to deliver our inner character from its natural selfishness.  Yet in verse 22 the further instruction was given that we should then be obedient doers of God’s Word and work, and the warning was given that being only a hearer of God’s Word is spiritually self-deceiving.  Even so, in verse 25 the promise was given that not being “a forgetful hearer,” but being an obedient doer of God’s Word and work, is the way to spiritual blessing.  As such, these verses teach us that we must be transformed unto godliness in character through the truth of God’s Word and that our transformed character must display itself in obedient performance of God’s work.  In addition, these verses rebuke any manner and amount of hearing God’s Word that does not actually produce godly character and conduct as being a form of spiritual self-deception.

Now in verse 26 the warning is given concerning another form of self-deception.  In verses 22-25 the warning concerned the self-deception of an active hearing of God’s Word that does not produce an obedient doing of God’s work.  In verse 26 the warning concerns the self-deception of a religious doing of God’s work that is not rooted in a godly transformation by God’s Word.  Indeed, we are warned against being a hearer only of God’s Word without being a doer also of God’s Word.  Yet we are also warned against being a doer only of God’s Word without being transformed also by God’s Word.  Indeed, the external test that is presented by which we may determine the genuine transformation of our inner character from selfishness unto godliness concerns the bridling of our tongue.  Even so, verse 26 declares, “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.”  As such, we find another connection with the previous context.  In verses 19 the instruction was given that we must deny our natural selfishness in our relations with others, being “swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath;” and in verse 20 the reason was given that we must do so because selfish wrath and anger does not produce God’s righteousness.  Now in verse 26 the warning returns us to the matter of selfish communication through an unbridled tongue.

Focusing our attention upon the truths of James 1:26-27 themselves, we observe a clear contrast between a faulty religious life and a faithful religious life.  Indeed, verse 26 closes with the statement, “This man’s religious is vain;” whereas verse 27 opens with the statement, “Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this.”  In this context, the words “religious” and “religion” refer specifically to a diligent observance and dedicated performance of religious activities, duties, and services.  As such, these words refer to the external, outward conduct of an individual’s service for the Lord; whereas the words “godly” and “godliness” refer to the inward character of an individual’s service to the Lord.  Since outward service for the Lord is a necessary element of our walk with the Lord, these words “religious” and “religion” can be employed in a positive spiritual context.  However, since outward service can be accomplished apart from any inner spiritual commitment, these words can also be employed in a negative spiritual context.  In James 1:26-27 there is a contrast established between a religious life that is vain, being spiritually profitless, and a religious life that is valuable, being spiritually pure.  On the one hand, there is a religious life that is spiritually profitless because it is performed without the spiritual substance of godly character.  On the other hand, there is a religious life that is spiritually pure because it is rooted in the spiritual substance of godly character.

A Religious Life That Is Spiritually Profitless

James 1:26 presents the case of a religious life that is spiritually profitless, saying, “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.”  Such an individual as described in this verse thinks that he himself possesses a right relationship with the Lord simply because he is much involved in religious activities and services.  Yet God’s Word concludes that such an individual is deceiving his own heart, and that such an individual’s religious activities and services are spiritually vain (that is – spiritually empty and without spiritual profit).  Is this heavy rebuke delivered because the religious activities and services themselves are wrong?  There is no indication of this in the statement of the verse.  Indeed, this individual’s religious activities and services may all be good activities, such as daily Bible reading, daily prayers, faithful church attendance, faithful giving, regular ministry involvement, regular witnessing, etc.  The religious activities and services in themselves are not the problem.  Rather, the problem is stated to be that this individual “bridleth not his tongue.”  It is directly because of the selfish communication of an unbridled tongue that the Lord our God defines such an individual’s religious activities and services to be spiritually vain. 

Yet why is an unbridled tongue presented as the gauge for the Lord’s acceptance of our external religious activities and services?  The answer is revealed in Luke 6:45, wherein our Lord Jesus Christ declared, “A good man out of the good treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is evil: for of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaketh.”  The communication of our mouth has a direct spiritual connection to the character of our heart.  Therefore, the communication of our mouth is an excellent spiritual gauge for the true character of our heart.  On the one hand, an individual who is godly in heart character will speak forth in a godly, loving manner.  On the other hand, an individual who is ungodly in heart character will speak forth in an unbridled, selfish manner. 

Thus when an individual is characterized by the selfish communication of an unbridled tongue, such reveals that he possesses the selfish character of an ungodly heart.  Even so, in Matthew 12:34-37 our Lord Jesus Christ rebuked the Pharisees, saying, “O generation of vipers, how can ye, being evil, speak good things?  For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh.  A good man out of the good treasure of the heart bringeth forth good things: and an evil man out of the evil treasure bringeth forth evil things.  But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment.  For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned.”  In addition, any “good” religious activities and services that are founded upon the selfish character of an ungodly heart (as revealed by the selfish communication of an unbridled tongue) are defined by the Lord our God Himself as spiritually empty and profitless.  Even so, in Matthew 23:25-28 our Lord Jesus Christ rebuked the Pharisees, saying, “Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites!  For ye make clean the outside of the cup and of the platter, but within they are full of extortion and excess.  Thou blind Pharisee, cleanse first that which is within the cup and platter, that the outside of them may be clean also.  Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites!  For ye are like unto whited sepulchres, which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead men’s bones, and of all uncleanness.  Even so ye also outwardly appear righteous unto men, but within ye are full of hypocrisy and iniquity.”

A Religious Life That Is Spiritually Pure

In contrast, James 1:27 presents the case of a religious life that is spiritually pure, saying, “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.”  Again we must remember that the word “religion” refers, not to an individual’s inner character, but to an individual’s outward conduct.  As such, this verse is not presenting the definition of godliness in character.  Rather, this verse is presenting a description concerning the manner in which godliness in character will display itself in outward conduct.  Indeed, this verse indicates that a religious life which is rooted in a godly character is defined by the Lord our God Himself as spiritually pure and undefiled.  Furthermore, this verse indicates that such a pure and undefiled religious life will display itself in a two-fold manner. 

First, a pure and undefiled religious life will display itself through a sacrificial compassion to help the needy in their need.  This is presented by the phrase, “To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction,” wherein the “fatherless and widows” represent the whole classification of the poor and needy.  A pure religious life that is genuinely rooted in a godly character will bear the fruit of godly love toward others, and this fruit of godly love toward others will be demonstrated by a sacrificial giving in personally helping to meet their needs.  Even so, 1 John 3:16-18 declares, “Hereby perceive we the love of God, because he laid down his life for us: and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.  But whoso hath this world’s good, and seeth his brother have need, and shutteth up his bowels of compassion from him, how dwelleth the love of God in him?  My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth.”

Second, a pure and undefiled religious life will display itself through a separated conduct to remain spiritually unspotted from worldliness.  This is presented by the phrase, “And to keep himself unspotted from the world,” wherein the word “world” refers to the selfish, ungodly philosophies and practices of this world.  A pure religious life that is genuinely rooted in a godly character will pursue after holiness in all manner of conduct, and this pursuit after holiness will be demonstrated by a separated guarding of one’s self from the influences of this present evil world.  Even so, 1 John 2:15-17 declares, “Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world.  If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.  For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.  And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.” 
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#393175 Way Of Life - When Was The Pre-Tribulation Rapture First Taught?

Posted by Pastor Scott Markle on 06 November 2014 - 01:56 PM

Definitely a worthy read.  I strongly encourage all to do so.




#393007 Shepherding The Flock - Audio Sermon - A Faithful Man Who Can Find?

Posted by Pastor Scott Markle on 04 November 2014 - 09:27 AM

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#392364 Shepherding The Flock - This Man Shall Be Blessed In His Deed – James 1:25

Posted by Pastor Scott Markle on 29 October 2014 - 01:51 PM

Weekly Sermon

James 1:25 reads, “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.”

In James 1:22 God’s Word delivers an instruction and an admonition concerning our right relationship toward God’s Word, saying, “But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.”  The positive instruction is that we are ever to pursue being doers of God’s Word.  The negative admonition is that we are never to be hearers only of God’s Word, deceiving our own selves thereby.  In order to emphasize and explain this admonition, James 1:23-24 presents an illustration concerning those who are hearers only of God’s Word, and not doers also, saying, “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.” 

Then in direct contrast to the hearers only of God’s Word, James 1:25 describes those who are doers also of God’s Word and pronounces a promise of the Lord’s blessing upon them, saying, “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.”  Grammatically, James 1:25 can be divided into four parts.  First, there is the description of daily study – “But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty.”  Second, there is the description of diligent submission – “And continueth therein.”  Third, there is the description of dedicated obedience – “He being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work.”  Finally, there is the declaration of divine blessing – “This man shall be blessed in his deed.”

The Daily Study

The first description that James 1:25 provides concerning the doer also of God’s Word is that he “looketh into the perfect law of liberty.”  The meaning of the verb “looketh” here indicates an individual who is stooping down in order to examine something more carefully, more closely, and more clearly.  Furthermore, the tense of the verb “looketh” here indicates that this individual practices this intent examination consistently as a habit of life.  Finally, the use of the preposition “into” here indicates that this individual engages in this examination with the specific purpose to acquire some spiritual insight from “the perfect law of liberty.”  He does not simply look atthe perfect law of liberty.”  Rather, he looks intothe perfect law of liberty” in order to obtain growth in spiritual understanding and wisdom.  Indeed, being doers also of God’s Word first requires that we engage in an intent, daily study into the truth of God’s Word.  This was the habit for which the Lord honored the believers at Berea.  In Acts 17:11 God’s Word proclaims concerning them, “These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.”  Just as the believers at Thessalonica did, they received the truth of God’s Word “with all readiness of mind” and all meekness of heart.  Yet they were more spiritually noble in that they also searched and studied the truth of God’s Word every day.  Yea, this is the manner in which we might walk under the approval of the Lord our God; for 2 Timothy 2:15 gives the instruction, “Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.”  Brethren, we must intently desire the truth of God’s Word, even as a baby intently desires its daily food.  “As new born babes,” we must “desire the sincere milk of the word, that [we] may grow thereby” (1 Peter 2:2).  It is true that the hearer only does make contact with the truth of God’s Word and does consider the message of God’s Word.  Yet the doer also comes to God’s Word more intently and with greater intention.  Yea, the doer also is even more careful and more consistent in his daily study of God’s Word.  He puts forth definite, deliberate effort to study the truth of God’s Word in order to obtain spiritual understanding thereby.

Yet we must not simply come to God’s Word in order to study its principles and promises for our knowledge.  Rather, we must specifically come to God’s Word in order to study its commands and counsels for our living.  In James 1:25 we find that the doer also of God’s Word looks into “the perfect law of liberty.”  Certainly, this phrase serves as a title for God’s Word of truth.  Yet this title also focuses our attention upon God’s Word as an authoritative law for our lives, as an authoritative standard by which our character and our conduct are to be governed.  Certainly, we should intently study God’s Word in order to learn all of its truth.  Yet we must do so not just to acquire the information of that truth, but even more so with the intention to be governed in our living by that truth.  Yet there is even something more.  We must engage in an intent, daily study of God’s Word, not only to receive its commands and counsels, but also to receive its convictions and corrections.  The illustrative picture of James 1:23-24 is that of a man beholding his physical appearance in a mirror in order to discover the defects and defilements upon his face.  Although the picture of this illustration is not specifically carried into James 1:25, it does possess contextual influence upon it.  Just as the man looked into the mirror in order to behold the defects and defilements upon his face, even so the doer also will look “into the perfect law of liberty” in order to behold the defects and defilements within his character and conduct.  Indeed, the doer also will not only look into God’s Word to acquire an understanding of God’s pure truth, but also to acquire an understanding of his own self.  He daily studies the truth of God’s Word, intently seeking for God’s Word to examine his spiritual character, discern his spiritual character, reprove his sinful characteristics, and correct those sinful characteristics.  He daily studies the truth of God’s Word, intently seeking to learn what is not right in his character and conduct and to learn how he may correct that wrong character and conduct.  He daily studies the truth of God’s Word, intently seeking to be transformed in character and conduct thereby.

The Diligent Submission

The second description that James 1:25 provides concerning the doer also of God’s Word is that he “continueth therein.”  The meaning of the verb “continueth” here indicates an abiding near or with something.  In this context, it serves as a transitional element between the looking into God’s Word and the obeying of God’s Word.  Thus in this context the verb “continueth” indicates a two-fold practice of the doer also.  First, having established an intent, daily study of God’s Word, the doer also then abides in the truth of God’s Word.  Yea, he delights greatly in the truth and law of God’s Word so as to meditate therein day and night, all the day long (Psalm 1:2; 112:1; 119:47-48, 97).  In addition, he delights greatly in the truth and law of God’s Word so as to return thereto day after day, all his life long (Psalm 119:14-16, 111-112).  Second, having set his heart’s delight in God’s Word, the doer also then abides by the truth of God’s Word.  Yea, he gives it the full attention of his heart and governs his life faithfully thereby.  He observes “to do according to all that is written therein” (Joshua 1:8).  This characteristic of the doer also is presented in direct contrast to the hearer only who, through the mirror of God’s Holy Word, beholds the defects and defilements in his character and conduct, and yet goes away in his own way without putting forth any effort for change or correction.  The doer also does not go away from the convicting and correcting mirror of God’s Holy Word without making changes or corrections.  Rather, the doer also abides by the convicting and correcting mirror of God’s Holy Word with diligent submission to its convicting and correcting work.  He submits himself to obey the convictions, corrections, commands, and counsels of God’s Word; and he does so with spiritual diligence.  The doer also does not go away in his own way of selfishness.  Rather, the doer also abides faithfully in God’s holy way of righteousness.  He faithfully seeks to have his way spiritually cleansed and transformed by diligently taking heed to conform his way according to the standard of God’s Word (Psalm 119:9). 

The Dedicated Obedience

The third description that James 1:25 provides concerning the doer also of God’s Word is that he is “not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work.”  This description is obviously presented in direct contrast to the hearer only, who “goeth his way, and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was.”  The hearer only is “a forgetful hearer,” but the doer also is the very opposite.  He is “not a forget hearer, but a doer of the work.”  Through his daily study of God’s Word and his diligent submission before God’s Word, the doer also becomes characterized by dedicated obedience to God’s Word.  He does not allow his heart and mind to forget the principles and precepts, standards and statutes, commands and counsels of God’s Word (Psalm 119:16).  Rather, he gives “the more earnest heed” unto the truths of God’s Word so that they might not at any time slip away (Hebrews 2:1).  He diligently roots the truth of God’s Word into the character of his heart in order that he might be guarded from sinful ways and might be guided in spiritual wisdom (Psalm 119:11; Colossians 3:16).  He is not characterized by forgetful hearing, or even by mere talking.  Rather, he is characterized by faithful, dedicated, effectual, obedient doing of God’s Word and work.  Now, the change in wording between the instruction James 1:22 and the description of James 1:25 is worthy of notice.  Whereas verse 22 instructs us to be “doers of the word,” verse 25 describes such doers as “doers of the work.”  Even so, whereas verse 22 focuses our attention upon the standard of our obedience as doers of God’s Word, verse 25 focuses our attention upon the dedication of our obedience as doers of God’s work.  Indeed, the doer also is not a forgetful hearer, but a working doer.  He is characterized as a dedicated doer of God’s work according to the standard of God’s Word.  He does not go his own way and immediately forget God’s Word.  Rather, with dedicated faithfulness he runs in God’s way, doing God’s work according to God’s will as revealed in God’s Word (Psalm 119:32). 

The Divine Promise

In conclusion, James 1:25 pronounces a very emphatic promise of blessing concerning the doer also of God’s Word, saying, “This man shall be blessed in his deed.”  This verse begins with the word “whoso” in order to reveal that this divine blessing is freely available to any believer who will meet the three-fold requirement of daily study, diligent submission, and dedicated obedience.  This verse ends with the phrase “this man” in order to emphasize the absolute certainty of this divine promise for those believers who actually pursue the three-fold requirement of daily study, diligent submission, and dedicated obedience.  In addition, the phrase “this man” emphatically directs our attention upon such a doer also as one to be held forth for spiritual admiration and spiritual imitation.  Even so, this doer also, this doer of God’s Word and work, shall be blessed spiritually by God’s own hand.  Indeed, such a faithfully obedient doer of God’s Word and work shall receive “the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him” (James 1:12).  Yet the promise of James 1:25 does not speak concerning a divine reward in the future, but concerning a divine blessing in the present.  Such a doer also shall be blessed by God’s own hand “in his deed.”  Yea, he shall be blessed by God’s own hand in the process of his obedient doing as “a doer of the work.” 

First, his doing of God’s work itself shall be blessed.  As he engages in daily study of God’s Word, in diligent submission before God’s Word, and in dedicated obedience to God’s Word, then he shall make his way prosperous and shall have good success (Joshua 1:8).  Then his way of doing God’s Word and work shall be spiritually prosperous and successful to accomplish God’s purpose in his life and in others’ lives.  “And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper” (Psalm 1:3).  Second, he himself shall be blessed through his doing of God’s work.  Even so, in John 13:17 our Lord Jesus Christ declared unto his disciples, “If ye know these things, happy are ye if ye do them.”  Indeed, true spiritual joy, happiness, and peace is found only in the faithful doing of God’s Word and work.  Yea, all spiritual blessing is found only in the faithful doing of God’s Word and work.  “The law of the LORD is perfect, converting the soul: the testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple.  The statutes of the LORD are right, rejoicing the heart: the commandment of the LORD is pure, enlightening the eyes.  The fear of the LORD is clean, enduring for ever: the judgments of the LORD are true and righteous altogether.  More to be desired are they than gold, yea, than much fine gold: sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb.  Moreover by them is thy servant warned: and in keeping of them there is great reward” (Psalm 19:7-11).   Thus in Matthew 7:24-25 our Lord Jesus Christ proclaimed, “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: and the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock.”
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#392230 Shepherding The Flock - Audio Sermon - A Woman Worthy Of Praise (Parts 1...

Posted by Pastor Scott Markle on 27 October 2014 - 08:42 AM

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