Jump to content

Pastor Scott Markle

Member Since 27 Dec 2012
Offline Last Active Yesterday, 07:04 AM
-----

#389483 Shepherding The Flock - I Will Extol Thee, O Lord - Psalm 30:1-12

Posted by Pastor Scott Markle on 29 September 2014 - 01:36 PM


Please share this post with others:


View the full article


#388774 Shepherding The Flock - Which Is Able To Save Your Souls - James 1:21-22 (Pa...

Posted by Pastor Scott Markle on 24 September 2014 - 11:40 AM

Weekly Sermon

This sermon is a companion to two previous sermons:  Which Is Able to Save Your Souls - James 1:21-22 (Part 1) 
                                                                                        Which Is Able to Save Your Souls - James 1:21-22 (Part 2)   
James 1:21-22 reads, “Wherefore lay apart all filthiness and superfluity of naughtiness, and receive with meekness the engrafted word, which is able to save your souls.  But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.”

In the opening portion of this paragraph (verses 19-20), we receive an exhortation concerning right relations with those around us.  As a whole, this exhortation indicates that we should deny the ways of selfishness in the manner that we relate to one another.  Yet selfishness is the natural principle of our hearts.  Thus in order to deny our selfishness and in order to relate aright toward one another, we must be delivered from the natural characteristic of selfishness in our hearts and from the spiritual corruption that flows out of it.  Yea, our soul, our inner man, needs deliverance from its own, naturally selfish and sinful desires.

So then, by what means can we obtain this spiritual deliverance from the natural corruption of selfishness in our hearts?  James 1:21 gives the answer, saying, “Wherefore lay apart all filthiness and superfluity of naughtiness, and receive with meekness the engrafted word, which is able to save your souls.”  The conjunction “wherefore” with which this verse begins connects it directly to the exhortation of verse 19 and the explanation of verse 20.  Because self-denial in our relations with others is not natural to our selfish hearts, and because the wrath that naturally flows out of our selfishness does not produce the righteousness of God, we need to be delivered from the selfish corruption of our hearts and to be transformed unto the spiritual character of righteousness.  Even so, the closing line of James 1:21 reveals that the Holy Word of God is able to accomplish this deliverance for our souls. 

Yet this verse does not specifically refer to God’s Word as the Holy Word of God, but as the engrafted Word of God.  In so doing, it indicates that the message of this verse is for those who are already saved eternally through faith in Christ.  The Word of God is not engrafted (or, implanted) in the hearts of lost sinners.  The Word of God is only engrafted (or, implanted) in the hearts of God’s children.  Therefore, the deliverance about which this verse speaks in this context must not be viewed as the salvation of our eternal souls from eternal condemnation to hell.  Rather, the deliverance about which this verse speaks in this context must be viewed as the salvation of our inner character from the corruption of selfishness. 

Grammatically, James 1:21-22 can be divided into three parts, each providing us with an instruction.  First, there is the preparatory instruction to repent of sin – “Wherefore lay apart all filthiness and superfluity of naughtiness.”  Then there is the central instruction to receive the Word – “And receive with meekness the engrafted word, which is able to save your souls.”  Finally, there is the extended instruction to respond in obedience – “But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.”  Thus the path of deliverance from the selfish corruption of our hearts and of transformation unto the spiritual character of righteousness can be summarized with three words of instruction – repent, receive, respond.  Central to all of this is our relationship toward God’s Word.  We must repent of anything contrary to God’s Word.  We must receive the truth and wisdom of God’s Word.  We must respond obediently to the instruction of God’s Word.  In the first two parts of the message, we considered the first two of these truths – that we must repent and that we must receive.  Now in this third and final part of the message, let us consider the third of these truths – that we must respond.

We must respond to God’s Word in obedience.

Third, for the deliverance and transformation of our souls (of our inner character), we must respond to God’s Word in obedience to follow God’s will.  James 1:22 delivers the in-struction, “But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.”  Having repented of our sinfulness and having received God’s Word with meekness, we must then respond to God’s Word with obedience.  We must be “doers of the word, and not hearers only.”  This instruction connects to the previous instruction of verse 21 with the contrasting conjunction “but.”  Yet this instruction is not set in direct contrast with the previous instruction of verse 21.  Rather, this instruction is set in contrast to the false belief that receiving the Word is an end in itself.  Receiving the truth of God’s Word with meekness is of great importance to our Christian walk.  Yet receiving the truth of God’s Word is not enough in itself.  Rather, receiving the truth of God’s Word leads directly to the responsibility of obedience to the truth of God’s Word.  Even so, the contrasting conjunction “but” with which this instruction begins places this instruction in direct contrast and direct opposition to any hearing of the Word that does not result in active doing of the Word.

Indeed, a readiness of mind and an attentiveness of heart to the truth of God’s Word is necessary.  Yet the truth of God’s Word has not truly been received with meekness until it is put into practice.  The truth and teaching of God’s Holy Word is practical by its very nature.  In fact, the Lord our God gave us His Word with the specific intent that we should be corrected by it from our unrighteous conduct and that we should be instructed by it unto righteous conduct.  Even so, Deuteronomy 29:29 declares, “The secret things belong unto the LORD our God: but those things which are revealed belong unto us and to our children for ever, that we may do all the words of this law.”  Obedience to God’s Word is one of the most foundational responsibilities of our daily Christian walk.  It is the great desire of the Lord our God for our lives.  Even so, in Deuteronomy 5:29 our Lord proclaimed, “O that there were such an heart in them, that they would fear me, and keep all my commandments always, that it might be well with them, and with their children for ever!”  Indeed, active obedience is the whole reason that we are to receive God’s Word, and learn God’s Word, and meditate on God’s Word.  Even so, Joshua 1:8 states, “This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, [Why?] 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.”

Yet the instruction of James 1:22 is not simply that we be doing the Word, but that we be doers of the Word.  The focus of the instruction is not simply upon our activity of doing, but is even more upon our character as doers.  It is not a focus simply upon what we do, but more upon who we are.  It is not a focus simply upon the performance that we are to do, but more upon the person that we are to be.  Obedient doing of God’s Word must become a foundational characteristic of our hearts and lives.  It must become an integral part of our very character.  We must be characterized by obedience.  We must be characterized by responding to the truth of God’s Word with obedient doing.  Yea, we must continually pursue after being doers of the Word.  We must continually and systematically pursue after an obedient character every step of our daily walk.  Obedient doing of God’s Word must be our habitual occupation and our primary business in everything that we do, whether it be an activity of religion, an activity of responsibility, an activity of relationship, or an activity of recreation.  In everything, we should be known by all as doers of God’s Word.  Yea, we should be known as doers always.

         On the other hand, we should not be hearers only.  Certainly, we should be hearers attentively.  Yet we should never be hearers only.  We should never allow hearing the Word to become an end in itself.  The idea of a “hearer only” is that of an auditor.  It is that of an individual who only attends a class to hear the information of the class, but who does not join the class and thus become accountable for the requirements of the class.  We are not to be “auditors” of God’s Word.  We are not simply to audit the teaching of God’s Word.  Rather, we are faithfully to apply the teaching of God’s Word unto our daily lives.  We are not simply to expose ourselves unto the teaching of God’s Word in order to fill our minds with Biblical information.  Rather, we are to delight ourselves in the teaching of God’s Word in order to transform our character unto righteous living.  Indeed, favorable and frequent hearing of God’s Word is of no spiritual value in our lives if it is not followed by fervent and faithful doing of God’s Word.  Certainly, we cannot possibly grow forward in our Christian walk without feeding daily upon the truth and teaching of God’s Word.  Yet our reception of God’s truth will only be spiritually effective in our hearts and lives as we respond to it with obedience.

In Matthew 7:24-27 our Lord Jesus Christ made this abundantly clear, saying, “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.  And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand: and the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it.”  To be a hearer only, and not a doer also, is the way of the spiritual fool.  It is the foolishness of building our lives upon sand without spiritual foundation.  A strong spiritual foundation does not come from knowing the truth of God’s Word.  Rather, a strong spiritual foundation comes from obeying the truth of God’s Word.  Thus to be a hearer only, and not a doer also, will bring our lives to spiritual ruin.  Indeed, great will be the spiritual fall and failure of our lives.

Even so, those who are hearers only engage in self-deception.  They engage in the fallacy of thinking that mental assent and attentiveness to God’s Word is all that is required.  They come to a false conclusion by false reasoning.  Yea, they lead themselves astray from the path of truth by their own false reasoning.  They yield to the temptation of thinking that they have a faithful walk with God simply because they frequently and favorably hear the message of God’s Word.  They yield to the temptation of thinking that great knowledge of God’s truth equals a spiritual walk, and they become self-satisfied with their growth in knowledge.  Yet although their heads may be filled with an abundance of Biblical information, if they are not actually walking in faithful, fervent obedience, their true relationship with God is far different than they imagine it to be.  Hearers only convince themselves that much hearing produces spiritual transformation.  Yet much hearing without obedient doing only produces self-delusion.  Such individuals deceive themselves into thinking that they have truly received the Word because of their much hearing.  Yet they have not truly received God’s Word at all, for they have not allowed it to take deeper root in their hearts so as to govern their character and guide their conduct.  Indeed, they may honor the Lord with their mouth; but their heart is far from Him.  Yea, they may think that they are under the favor of the Lord because of their much hearing.  Yet in truth they are under the chastening of the Lord because they have forsaken obedience.

Our Lord’s favor is not poured out for our frequent hearing, but for our faithful obeying.  Even so, in John 14:23-24 our Lord Jesus Christ declared, “Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him.  He that loveth me not keepeth not my say-ings: and the word which ye hear is not mine, but the Father’s which sent me.”  Again in John 15:10 He declared, “If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father’s commandments, and abide in his love.”  Yet again in John 15:14 He declared, “Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you.”
Please share this post with others:


View the full article


#388624 Shepherding The Flock - Audio Sermon - Whoso Confesseth & Forsaketh His...

Posted by Pastor Scott Markle on 22 September 2014 - 12:45 PM

Please share this post with others:


View the full article


#388175 Way Of Life - Friday Church New Notes, Volume 15, Issue 38

Posted by Pastor Scott Markle on 19 September 2014 - 08:16 AM

The wisdom and pride of man leads only to foolishness and destruction!

 

Even so, God's Holy Word is found to be true yet again:

 

Romans 1:20-25 -- "For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse: because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened.  Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, and changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things.  Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves: who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen."




#387999 Shepherding The Flock - Which Is Able To Save Your Souls – James 1:21-22 (Pa...

Posted by Pastor Scott Markle on 18 September 2014 - 01:45 PM

Weekly Sermon

This sermon is a companion to a previous sermon:  Which Is Able to Save Your Souls - James 1:21-22 (Part 1)     

James 1:21-22 reads, “Wherefore lay apart all filthiness and superfluity of naughtiness, and receive with meekness the engrafted word, which is able to save your souls.  But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.”

In the opening portion of this paragraph (verses 19-20), we receive an exhortation concerning right relations with those around us.  As a whole, this exhortation indicates that we should deny the ways of selfishness in the manner that we relate to one another.  Yet selfishness is the natural principle of our hearts.  Thus in order to deny our selfishness and in order to relate aright toward one another, we must be delivered from the natural characteristic of selfishness in our hearts and from the spiritual corruption that flows out of it.  Yea, our soul, our inner man, needs deliverance from its own, naturally selfish and sinful desires.

So then, by what means can we obtain this spiritual deliverance from the natural corruption of selfishness in our hearts?  James 1:21 gives the answer, saying, “Wherefore lay apart all filthiness and superfluity of naughtiness, and receive with meekness the engrafted word, which is able to save your souls.”  The conjunction “wherefore” with which this verse begins connects it directly to the exhortation of verse 19 and the explanation of verse 20.  Because self-denial in our relations with others is not natural to our selfish hearts, and because the wrath that naturally flows out of our selfishness does not produce the righteousness of God, we need to be delivered from the selfish corruption of our hearts and to be transformed unto the spiritual character of righteousness.  Even so, the closing line of James 1:21 reveals that the Holy Word of God is able to accomplish this deliverance for our souls. 

Yet this verse does not specifically refer to God’s Word as the Holy Word of God, but as the engrafted Word of God.  In so doing, it indicates that the message of this verse is for those who are already saved eternally through faith in Christ.  The Word of God is not engrafted (or, implanted) in the hearts of lost sinners.  The Word of God is only engrafted (or, implanted) in the hearts of God’s children.  Therefore, the deliverance about which this verse speaks in this context must not be viewed as the salvation of our eternal souls from eternal condemnation to hell.  Rather, the deliverance about which this verse speaks in this context must be viewed as the salvation of our inner character from the corruption of selfishness. 

Grammatically, James 1:21-22 can be divided into three parts, each providing us with an instruction.  First, there is the preparatory instruction to repent of sin – “Wherefore lay apart all filthiness and superfluity of naughtiness.”  Then there is the central instruction to receive the Word – “And receive with meekness the engrafted word, which is able to save your souls.”  Finally, there is the extended instruction to respond in obedience – “But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.”  Thus the path of deliverance from the selfish corruption of our hearts and of transformation unto the spiritual character of righteousness can be summarized with three words of instruction – repent, receive, respond.  Central to all of this is our relationship toward God’s Word.  We must repent of anything contrary to God’s Word.  We must receive the truth and wisdom of God’s Word.  We must respond obediently to the instruction of God’s Word.  In the first part of the message, we considered the first of these truths – that we must repent.  Now in this second part of the message, let us consider the second of these truths – that we must receive.

We must receive God’s Word with meekness.

Second, for the deliverance and transformation of our souls (of our inner character), we must receive God’s Word with meekness to learn God’s ways.  The closing portion of James 1:21 delivers the instruction, “And receive with meekness the engrafted word, which is able to save your souls.”  Having repented of our sinfulness, we must receive God’s truth.  Having put off the filthiness and naughtiness of our selfishness, we must then be renewed in the spirit of our mind through the transforming power of God’s Word (Ephesians 4:22-23).  Indeed, it is the truth of God’s Holy Word that is able to deliver our souls (our inner character) from the sinful corruption of our selfish flesh; and it is the truth of God’s Holy Word that is able to convert our souls (our inner character) unto the pure righteousness of our Lord Jesus Christ.  “The law of the LORD is perfect, converting the soul: the testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple” (Psalm 19:7). 

Therefore, we are commanded to receive God’s Word of truth.  If the truth of God’s Word is to be effective in delivering our character from sinful corruption and in transforming our character unto Christ’s righteousness, it must be received.  We must not be dull of hearing and hard of heart against God’s Word.  Rather, we must incline our ears unto the wisdom of God’s Word and apply our hearts to the understanding of God’s will (Proverbs 2:2).  We must not stop our ears against God’s Word and turn our hearts away from God’s Word.  Rather, we must open our ears toward God’s Word and focus our hearts upon God’s Word.  We must not refuse to receive the commands and corrections of God’s Holy Word.  Rather, we must be ready to receive the commands and corrections of God’s Holy Word.  We must not resist the truth of God’s Word.  Rather, we must receive the truth of God’s Word.  Yea, we must receive the truth of God’s Word with a spirit of meekness, not with hardness of heart, but with humility of heart, not with stubbornness of heart, but with submission of heart. 

Those who will not hear and receive the truth of God’s Word are described by our Lord as a rebellious people.  In Isaiah 30:9 our Lord declared concerning His people Israel, “That this is a rebellious people, lying children, children that will not hear the law of the LORD.”  Even so, such a rebellious refusal to hear and receive the truth of God’s Word will kindle a great wrath from the Lord our God against us.  In Zechariah 7:11-13 our Lord declared concerning His rebellious people, “But they refused to hearken, and pulled away the shoulder, and stopped their ears, that they should not hear.  Yea, they made their hearts as an adamant stone, lest they should hear the law, and the words which the LORD of hosts hath sent in his spirit by the former prophets: therefore came a great wrath from the LORD of hosts.  Therefore it is come to pass, that as he cried, and they would not hear; so they cried, and I would not hear, saith the LORD of hosts.”  Indeed, just as our Lord’s wrath was kindled against them, even so it will be kindled against us when we refuse to hear and receive the truth of His Holy Word.

On the other hand, Psalm 25:9 proclaims, “The meek will he guide in judgment: and the meek will he teach his way.”  So then, what does it mean to receive the Word with a heart of meekness?  It means that we must deny our own self-will and must desire our Lord’s true Word.  It means that we do not argue against the teaching, reproof, correction, and instruction of God’s Word, but that we humbly accept the teaching, reproof, correction, and instruction of God’s Word.  It means that we do not despise the teaching, reproof, correction, and instruction of God’s Word, but that we desire and even delight in the teaching, reproof, correction, and instruction of God’s Word.  It means that we do not twist the teaching of God’s Word to conform unto our thinking, but that we be teachable in relation to God’s Word that it may transform our thinking.

To receive God’s Word with meekness means that we receive the truth of God’s Word with an absolute conviction of its divine origin, “as it is in truth, the word of God” (1 Thessalonians 2:13; 2 Timothy 3:16).  It means that we receive the truth of God’s Word with unwavering belief in its absolute truth (Psalm 19:9; 119:128).  It means that we receive the truth of God’s Word with a ready mind to learn its wisdom (Acts 17:11; Proverbs 2:1-4).  It means that we receive the truth of God’s Word with a daily diligence to study its teaching (Acts 17:11; 2 Timothy 2:15).  It means that we receive the truth of God’s Word with a hungry desire to grow spiritually thereby (1 Peter 2:2; Psalm 119:131).  It means that we receive the truth of God’s Word with a loving delight to mediate therein continually (Psalm 1:2; 119:47-48).  It means that we receive the truth of God’s Word with a yielded response to its piercing correction (Hebrews 4:12; Psalm 19:10).  It means that we receive the truth of God’s Word with a humble submission to its divine authority, observing “to do according to all that is written therein” (Joshua 1:8). 

Now, James 1:21 indicates specifically that the content which we are to “receive with meekness” is “the engrafted word.”  Certainly, this “engrafted word” is a reference to the Holy Word of God.  Yet with this reference to God’s Word as “the engrafted word,” we are brought to an illustration of spiritual truth.  When we placed our faith in the Lord Jesus Christ as Savior, God the Holy Spirit regenerated our spirit and came to indwell us permanently.  At that moment of regeneration and indwelling, God the Holy Spirit engrafted (or, implanted) the seed of God’s Word into our hearts.  Yea, at the moment that we received the gospel of Christ through faith, the seed of God’s Word spiritually germinated in our hearts by the power of the Holy Spirit and began to take root therein.  At that moment the Lord our God, through His Holy Spirit, put His Word in our inner man and wrote His Word in our hearts (Jeremiah 31:33).  Thus the living seed of God’s Word is already implanted in the hearts of us who are God’s children.  Yea, it is already implanted in our hearts as a vital element of our new spiritual life in Christ.

Yet we are instructed to “receive with meekness” that which is already implanted.  Why is it necessary for us to receive that which we already have?  It is necessary to continue receiving “the engrafted word” in order that it may continually take deeper root within our hearts as the governing principle of our hearts and lives.  Having received the gospel truth through faith, we are not done with the truth of God’s Word.  Rather, we have just begun with the truth of God’s Word.  The seed of God’s Word has now become a principle of correction, instruction, and direction in our hearts for our lives.  Thus we must yield ourselves more and more to be governed, guided, and guarded thereby.  Yea, we must yield ourselves more and more to be transformed in character thereby.  We must allow the truth of God’s Word to become more and more rooted as the governing principle of our hearts so that we might bring forth the fruit of righteousness in our lives.

We must not neglect the truth of God’s Word, hardening our heart as stone against it and allowing it only to take shallow root in our hearts, so that we spiritually wither in time of tribulation and testing (Luke 8:6, 13).  We must not be distracted from the truth of God’s Word, refusing to separate ourselves from that which it reproves and allowing it to be choked out by the “cares and riches and pleasures of this life,” so that we spiritually bring forth no fruit unto maturity (Luke 8:7, 14).  Rather, we must purposefully open our hearts toward the truth of God’s Word, maintaining “an honest and good heart” of humble submission toward it and allowing it to develop and direct our character, so that we bring forth much spiritual fruit unto righteousness for our Lord’s glory (Luke 8:8, 15).  We must welcome the transforming work of God’s Word in our hearts, receiving it with meekness.
Please share this post with others:


View the full article


#387840 Shepherding The Flock - Audio Sermon - Attractive In God's Sight 

Posted by Pastor Scott Markle on 17 September 2014 - 01:22 PM

Please share this post with others:


View the full article


#386855 Shepherding The Flock - Which Is Able To Save Your Souls – James 1:21-22 (Pa...

Posted by Pastor Scott Markle on 10 September 2014 - 01:47 PM

Weekly Sermon

James 1:21-22 reads, “Wherefore lay apart all filthiness and superfluity of naughtiness, and receive with meekness the engrafted word, which is able to save your souls.  But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.”

In the opening portion of this paragraph (verses 19-20), we receive an exhortation concerning right relations with those around us.  As a whole, this exhortation indicates that we should deny the ways of selfishness in the manner that we relate to one another.  Yet selfishness is the natural principle of our hearts.  Thus in order to deny our selfishness and in order to relate aright toward one another, we must be delivered from the natural characteristic of selfishness in our hearts and from the spiritual corruption that flows out of it.  Yea, our soul, our inner man, needs deliverance from its own, naturally selfish and sinful desires.

So then, by what means can we obtain this spiritual deliverance from the natural corruption of selfishness in our hearts?  James 1:21 gives the answer, saying, “Wherefore lay apart all filth-iness and superfluity of naughtiness, and receive with meekness the engrafted word, which is able to save your souls.”  The conjunction “wherefore” with which this verse begins connects it directly to the exhortation of verse 19 and the explanation of verse 20.  Because self-denial in our relations with others is not natural to our selfish hearts, and because the wrath that naturally flows out of our selfishness does not produce the righteousness of God, we need to be delivered from the selfish corruption of our hearts and to be transformed unto the spiritual character of righteousness.  Even so, the closing line of James 1:21 reveals that the Holy Word of God is able to accomplish this deliverance for our souls.

Yet this verse does not specifically refer to God’s Word as the Holy Word of God, but as the engrafted Word of God.  In so doing, it indicates that the message of this verse is for those who are already saved eternally through faith in Christ.  The Word of God is not engrafted (or, implanted) in the hearts of lost sinners.  The Word of God is only engrafted (or, implanted) in the hearts of God’s children.  Therefore, the deliverance about which this verse speaks in this context must not be viewed as the salvation of our eternal souls from eternal condemnation to hell.  Rather, the deliverance about which this verse speaks in this context must be viewed as the salvation of our inner character from the corruption of selfishness. 

Grammatically, James 1:21-22 can be divided into three parts, each providing us with an instruction.  First, there is the preparatory instruction to repent of sin – “Wherefore lay apart all filthiness and superfluity of naughtiness.”  Then there is the central instruction to receive the Word – “And receive with meekness the engrafted word, which is able to save your souls.”  Finally, there is the extended instruction to respond in obedience – “But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.”  Thus the path of deliverance from the selfish corruption of our hearts and of transformation unto the spiritual character of righteousness can be summarized with three words of instruction – repent, receive, respond.  Central to all of this is our relationship toward God’s Word.  We must repent of anything contrary to God’s Word.  We must receive the truth and wisdom of God’s Word.  We must respond obediently to the instruction of God’s Word.  So then, in this first part of the message, let us consider the first of these truths – that we must repent.

We must repent of our sinfulness for preparation.

First, for the deliverance and transformation of our souls (of our inner character), we must repent of our sinfulness for preparation to receive God’s Word.  The opening portion of James 1:21 delivers the instruction, “Wherefore lay apart all filthiness and superfluity of naughtiness.”  Herein our sinful corruption is described in a two-fold manner.  The first description, “all filthiness,” is more general, for the word “filthiness” refers to any type of spiritual defilement and impurity in our hearts and lives.  This description is certainly given from the perspective of God’s holiness.  In the light of God’s holiness, all sin of any kind is utter filthiness.  Thus our sinful character and conduct is a great offense and hateful abomination in our Lord God’s sight.  Yea, in His sight our sinfulness rests upon us and defiles us like a disgustingly vile garment.  Yet this filthiness does not take hold upon us accidentally from without.  Rather, this filthiness flows directly out of the selfish corruption of our own hearts.  Indeed, the behavior that comes forth from our selfish hearts is that which truly defiles us spiritually (See Matthew 15:18-20). 

The second description of our sinful corruption, “superfluity of naughtiness,” is more specific.  The word “superfluity” refers to that which overflows in super-abundance.  The phrase “of naughtiness” then indicates the source for that overflowing super abundance.  Finally, the word “naughtiness” refers to a malicious spirit that motivates us to behave against others.  In fact, the Greek word that is here translated as “naughtiness” is most often translated as “malice” or “maliciousness” throughout the rest of the New Testament.  This word “naughtiness” (or, maliciousness) is a word that speaks of motivation and intention in the mindset of our hearts.  It refers to a mindset of meanness that strikes out against others and that pursues the harm of others.  In fact, this naughtiness overflows directly from the selfish wrath that so often floods our hearts.  Indeed, our selfish wrath does not and cannot produce the righteousness of God in our lives.  Rather, our selfish wrath produces an overflowing abundance of naughty meanness and maliciousness in our lives. 

Concerning this sinful filthiness that flows out of the selfish corruption of our hearts and concerning this abundant naughtiness (maliciousness) that overflows out of the selfish wrath of our hearts, we are instructed to lay it all apart from us.  We must strip it off and cast it away like a disgustingly filthy and vile garment.  Indeed, this is a common instruction in God’s Word.  In Romans 13:12 the instruction is given, “The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light.”  Again in Ephesians 4:22-24 the instruction is given, “That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts; and be renewed in the spirit of your mind; and that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.”  Yet again in Colossians 3:8 the instruction is given, “But now ye also put off all these; anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy communication out of your mouth.”  And yet again in Hebrews 12:1 the instruction is given, “Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us.”  Finally, in 1 Peter 2:1 the instruction is given, “Wherefore laying aside all malice, and all guile, and hypocrisies, and envies, and all evil speakings.”

How then do we strip off and cast away this sinful filthiness and abundant naughtiness?  We do so through broken-hearted repentance thereof.  In broken-hearted repentance, we must confess all such filthiness and naughtiness unto the Lord our God, that through the almighty power of His abundant grace, He might cleanse away the filthiness and cut away the naughtiness.  This we must do definitely, immediately, and completely.  We must not simply seek for theses selfish, sinful corruptions of our heart to be restrained.  Rather, we must seek for them to be removed with a desire that they never return.  As Isaiah 30:22 indicates, we must seek that they be cast away from us “as a menstruous cloth,” forcibly saying, “Get thee hence, and never come back.”  This we must do, not just concerning some, but concerning all the sinful filthiness and abundant naughtiness of our hearts and lives.

Now, through this repentance of our sinfulness, we prepare ourselves to receive the truth of God’s Word.  The contextual order of the instructions in James 1:21 indicate that the repentance of our sinfulness must precede our reception of God’s Word in preparation for it.  (In fact, in the Greek the instruction to “lay aside all filthiness and superfluity of naughtiness” is a participial phrase that connects closely with the central instruction to “receive with meekness the engrafted word” and that partakes of its imperatival force.)  In like manner, 1 Peter 2:1-2 reveals the same need of repentance for preparation to receive God’s Word.  “Wherefore laying aside all malice, and all guile, and hypocrisies, and envies, and all evil speakings, as newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby.”  The truth and wisdom of God’s Holy Word must be discerned spiritually (1 Corinthians 2:14; Psalm 119:18).  Yet when sin is in our hearts, we are not in a Spirit-filled mindset, but in a selfish, sinful mindset.  In such a mindset, our ears are dull of hearing and hearts are dull of receiving.  Therefore, before the transforming work of God’s Word can be effectively received into our hearts, we must remove this barrier of spiritual dullness through the repentance of our sinfulness.
Please share this post with others:


View the full article


#386704 Shepherding The Flock - Audio Sermon - Therefore My Spirit Is Overwhelmed

Posted by Pastor Scott Markle on 09 September 2014 - 10:59 AM

Please share this post with others:


View the full article


#385292 Shepherding The Flock - The Wrath Of Man – James 1:20

Posted by Pastor Scott Markle on 02 September 2014 - 12:30 PM

Weekly Sermon

James 1:20 reads, “For the wrath of man worketh not the righteousness of God.”

In James 1:29 we receive a three-fold exhortation concerning right relations with other people – “Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath.”  Verse 20 then adds an explanation for the Biblical exhortation that we should be “slow to wrath” – “For the wrath of man worketh not the righteousness of God.”  This truth is presented as an explanation of warning, in order to motivate us to follow the exhortation to be “slow to wrath.”  Grammatically, this verse provides a contrast between “the wrath of man” and “the righteousness of God,” a contrast that turns on the negative verb “worketh not.”  Indeed, “the wrath of man” (or, selfish wrath) and “the righteousness of God” are never in union with one another; for “the righteousness of God” is never produced through “the wrath of man.”  Rather, “the wrath of man” (or, selfish wrath) always moves in opposition to “the righteousness of God.”  Even so, this explanation warns us against the practice of selfish wrath in our lives.  Let us then consider the problem of selfish wrath and the product of selfish wrath.

The Problem of Selfish Wrath

In James 1:20 the problem of selfish wrath is defined with the phrase, “For the wrath of man.”  As in the case of the previous verse, the word “wrath” that is employed in this warning refers, not necessarily to an explosive, passionate outburst of angry temper, but to an inner, deeper spirit of resentment, which may reveal itself on occasion through angry outbursts.  Thus this Biblical warning concerns both our external actions and our inner attitude.  Yet this warning is not speaking of any spirit of wrath and anger, but of a specific category of wrath and anger.  It is speaking concerning that spirit of wrath and anger which finds its source, not in the Holy Spirit of God, but in the selfish heart of man.  It is speaking concerning that spirit of wrath and anger which finds its motivation in selfishness. 

Certainly, there is a godly anger and righteous indignation against sin.  Such godly anger and righteous indignation is always motivated by the glory of God and is always centered upon the holiness of God.  Again and again throughout God’s Word, we observe the Lord our God Himself expressing such godly anger and righteous indignation.  In fact, the closing portion of Psalm 7:11 declares, “And God is angry with the wicked every day.”  This is the spirit of wrath and anger that our Lord Jesus Christ experienced in Mark 3:5 – “And when he had looked round about on them with anger, being grieved for the hardness of their hearts, he saith unto the man, Stretch forth thine hand. And he stretched it out: and his hand was restored whole as the other.”  This is the spirit of wrath and anger that King Saul experienced in 1 Samuel 11:6 – “And the Spirit of God came upon Saul when he heard those tidings, and his anger was kindled greatly.”  This is the spirit of wrath and anger that Moses the man of God experienced in Exodus 32:19 – “And it came to pass, as soon as he came nigh unto the camp, that he saw the calf, and the dancing: and Moses’ anger waxed hot, and he cast the tables out of his hands, and brake them beneath the mount.”  In fact, this is the spirit of wrath and anger that is encouraged in Proverbs 25:23 – “The north wind driveth away rain: so doth an angry countenance a backbiting tongue.”

Yet James 1:20 is not speaking of this godly anger and righteous indignation against sin for the glory of the Lord.  Rather, it is speaking of selfish anger against that which annoys self or frustrates self from getting self’s way.  It is speaking concerning that spirit of wrath and anger that is rooted in selfishness and pride.  Even so, Proverbs 21:24 states, “Proud and haughty scorner is his name, who dealeth in proud wrath.”  It is speaking concerning that spirit of wrath and anger that is defined as a work of our selfish, sinful flesh.  Even so, Galatians 5:19-21 states, “Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.”  As such, it is often joined with bitterness, evil speaking, strife, hatred, and malice.  Thus God’s Word commands us to put away from us any spirit of selfish wrath and anger.  In Ephesians 4:31 the command is given, “Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice.”  Again in Colossians 3:8 the command is given, “But now ye also put off all these; anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy communication out of your mouth.”  

The Product of Selfish Wrath

Indeed, we must put away from us any spirit of selfish wrath and anger because “the wrath of man worketh not the righteousness of God.”  Selfish wrath and anger does not (yea, cannot) produce the righteousness of God.  The righteousness of God directly opposes our sinful nature.  Therefore, the spirit of wrath and anger that springs from our selfish nature cannot be the foundation for the righteousness of God in our hearts and lives.  Rather, selfish wrath and anger can only deaden and destroy the principle of God’s righteousness in our hearts and lives.  It never moves us to do that which is prescribed by our Lord and that which is pleasing to our Lord.  It never helps us to walk in the way of righteousness.  It never serves the cause of Christ.  Selfish wrath and anger never yields the fruit of righteousness in our own lives or in the lives of those whom we influence.  Indeed, “the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace of them that make peace” (James 3:18).  The fruit of righteousness never grows in the soil of selfish wrath and anger.

Rather, selfish wrath and anger always produces the unrighteousness of sin.  Selfish wrath and anger itself is a sinful attitude, for it violates our Lord’s standard of God-centeredness for our lives.  Furthermore, selfish wrath and anger moves us to even greater levels of unrighteousness in our behavior, whether in our spirit, in our words, or in our actions.  Selfish wrath and anger will give a place for our adversary the devil to manipulate and motivate our lives unto sin.  Even so, Ephesians 4:26-27 gives the warning, “Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath: neither give place to the devil.”  Selfish wrath and anger will exalt spiritual foolishness.  Even so, Proverbs 14:29 gives the warning, “He that is slow to wrath is of great understanding: but he that is hasty of spirit exalteth folly.”  Selfish wrath and anger will stir up strife and contention.  Even so, Proverbs 15:18 gives the warning, “A wrathful man stirreth up strife: but he that is slow to anger appeaseth strife.”  Selfish wrath and anger will lead to cruel and outrageous behavior.  Even so, the opening portion of Proverbs 27:4 gives the warning, “Wrath is cruel, and anger is outrageous.”  Indeed, selfish wrath and anger will result in an abundance of transgression against God and against others.  Even so, Proverbs 29:22 gives the warning, “An angry man stirreth up strife, and a furious man aboundeth in transgression.”  Let us then put away any and all selfish wrath and anger from our hearts and lives.
Please share this post with others:


View the full article


#385231 Shepherding The Flock - Audio Sermon - The Battle Over The Gospel

Posted by Pastor Scott Markle on 02 September 2014 - 07:41 AM

In accord with Brother Gary's stated permission above, I am presenting the following comments that he made on the sermon posting at my personal blog site --

 

Thank you for making me examine whose "Agenda" I am serving on a daily and moment by moment basis. I have for years been a soul winner going door to door, but of late I have been little more than doing track attack's and inviting to church. I have been "shinning the light with my hand over it". You can still see a little of the light through my fingers with the track and gospel message on it, but the full light is being hid and too easily Satan can blind them.



#385066 Shepherding The Flock - Audio Sermon - The Battle Over The Gospel

Posted by Pastor Scott Markle on 01 September 2014 - 12:39 PM

Please share this post with others:


View the full article


#382607 Shepherding The Flock - Swift To Hear, Slow To Speak, Slow To Wrath – James...

Posted by Pastor Scott Markle on 19 August 2014 - 02:01 PM

Weekly Sermon

James 1:19 reads, “Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath.”

As we have previously noted, the word “wherefore” with which James 1:19 begins indicates that the instructions of this verse are connected to and flow out from some truth in the previous paragraph (verses 12-18).  Even so, we have concluded that this connection is with the truth of verse 14.  This connection is with the truth that the cause of sinful temptation in our lives is the selfish desires of our own corrupt hearts.  The principle of selfishness is a natural characteristic of our hearts; and that principle of selfishness often corrupts our thoughts, attitudes, words, and actions.  This is especially true in our relationships with others.  For this very reason, the three-fold exhortation of verse 19 is delivered in quick succession in order to reveal our need to deny our selves and our selfishness in our relationship with others.  In our selfishness, it is natural for us to be slow to hear the opinions and concerns of others.  In our selfishness, it is natural for us to be swift to speak our own opinions and concerns to others.  In our selfishness, it is natural for us to be swift to wrath when things do not go our way.  Thus we are exhorted to deny our selfishness by being “swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath.” 

Grammatically, James 1:19 begins with a loving address from a pastor’s heart -- “Wherefore, my beloved brethren.”  James employed this loving address both to obtain the attention of his readers for his exhortation and to open the hearts of his readers unto his exhortation.  Thereby he expressed his pastoral love for them as brethren in Christ and his pastoral burden for them concerning their growth in righteousness.  Then verse 19 continues with a three-fold exhortation for right relations -- “Let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath.”  Finally, verse 20 concludes with a Biblical explanation concerning selfish wrath -- “For the wrath of man worketh not the righteousness of God.”  In this message we shall focus our attention upon the three-fold exhortation for right relations.

Be Swift to Hear.

The first exhortation of verse 19 concerns the manner in which we listen to others -- “Let every man be swift to hear.”  Clearly this exhortation is delivered to every child of God.  Whereas the phrase, “my beloved brethren,” narrows the focus of this exhortation to God’s own children, the phrase, “let every man be,” extends the focus of this exhortation to all of God’s children.  So then, every one of us who are God’s own children have the responsibility before God our heavenly Father to be “swift to hear” in our relations with those around us.  Indeed, we have the God-given responsibility to be quick to listen and pay attention to the thoughts, suggestions, concerns, and input of others.  In our selfishness, we find it far easier to express our own input than to listen unto another’s input.  In addition, we find it far easier simply to ignore another’s input that to listen with concentration and patience.  Yet God’s holy Word commands us to be swift to listen unto the other’s input and slow to express our own.  In relating to others, the Lord our God desires that we give priority to the practice of listening over the practice of speaking.

Even so, the opening half of Proverbs 15:28 declares, “The heart of the righteous studieth to answer.”  A heart that is governed by our Lord’s righteousness is wise in communication and considerate toward others.  Such a righteous heart studies a matter through careful listening and then responds with a well-considered answer.  Such a righteous heart is diligent first to listen, to understand, and to consider.  Then such a righteous heart is careful to respond considerately, lovingly, and helpfully.  A heart that is governed by righteousness is clothed with humility, and in that humility it recognizes how little it truly knows and understands.  Thus a heart that is governed by righteousness will be slow to make judgment calls against others and slow to express personal opinions before others.  Rather, a heart that is governed by righteousness will be swift to seek after greater understanding through careful and attentive listening.  Even so, Proverbs 18:13 gives the warning, “He that answereth a matter before he heareth it, it is folly and shame unto him.”  Responding before careful and attentive listening is the way of selfish foolishness.  Such a practice will not enhance our testimony for the Lord, but will only bring shame upon our lives.  Such a practice will not help, but will only hinder the cause of our Lord Jesus Christ.  On the other hand, careful and attentive listening before responding is the way of righteous wisdom and will bring glory unto our Lord’s name.

Furthermore, being swift to hear means that we should be open and receptive to godly counsel and correction from others.  Even so, Proverbs 1:5 states, “A wise man will hear, and will increase learning; and a man of understanding shall attain unto wise counsels.”  Again Proverbs 15:31-32 proclaims, “The ear that heareth the reproof of life abideth among the wise.  He that refuseth instruction despiseth his own soul: but he that heareth reproof getteth understanding.”  Yet again Proverbs 10:17 declares, “He is in the way of life that keepeth instruction: but he that refuseth reproof erreth.”  Finally, Proverbs 13:18 warns, “Poverty and shame shall be to him that refuseth instruction: but he that regardeth reproof shall be honoured.”  Indeed, we should we swift to hear godly counsel and correction; for such is the way to abide in righteous wisdom, to get spiritual understanding, to walk the way of abundant life, and to be honored with our Lord’s favor.  Thus Proverbs 19:20 gives the instruction, “Hear counsel, and receive instruction, that thou mayest be wise in thy latter end.”  

Be Slow to Speak.

The second exhortation of James 1:19 concerns the manner in which we speak to others -- “Let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak.”  Again this exhortation is delivered unto every child of God.  Every one of us who are God’s own children have the responsibility before God our heavenly Father to be “slow to speak” in our relations with those around us.  Indeed, we have the God-given responsibility to be slow to express and speak forth our own thoughts, insights, interests, and complaints.  In our selfishness, we often think more highly than we ought to think of our own thoughts, insights, interests, and complaints.  Thus in such selfish pride, we imagine that our thoughts must be revealed, that our insights must be shared, that our interests must be communicated, and that our complaints must be heard.  Yet Proverbs 29:11 reveals the Biblical truth, “A fool uttereth all his mind: but a wise man keepeth it in till afterwards.”  

Even so, Proverbs 29:20 gives the warning, “Seest thou a man that is hasty in his words?  There is more hope of a fool than of him.”  It is the way of selfish foolishness to be hasty in uttering our mind.   Yea, to be hasty in uttering our mind will only bring forth sin and un-righteousness; for Proverbs 10:19 declares, “In the multitude of words there wanteth not sin: but he that refraineth his lips is wise.”  Out of the selfish corruption of our hearts, our tongues will be consuming fire and “a world of iniquity” (James 3:6).  Out of the selfish corruption of our hearts, our tongues will be “an unruly evil, full of deadly poison” (James 3:8).  Thus a multitude of unbridled, hasty words will only bring forth much sin and offense in our Lord’s sight and against those around us.  This is the reason that Proverbs 13:3 proclaims the Biblical truth, “He that keepeth [guards] his mouth keepeth [guards] his life: but he that openeth wide his lips shall have destruction.”  In like manner, Proverbs 21:23 proclaims, “Whoso keepeth [guards] his mouth and his tongue keepeth [guards] his soul from troubles.”  Being hasty in uttering our mind will bring forth sinful iniquity in our lives and spiritual destruction in our relationships.  Yet being “slow to speak” will protect our souls and our relationships from many troubles. 

However, being “slow to speak” is not the same as being never to speak.  Certainly in righteous wisdom we will be slow and careful about our words.  Yet in righteous wisdom we will speak -- the right words at the right times to minister God’s grace unto others.  Again we consider the Biblical truth of Proverbs 29:11 -- “A fool uttereth all his mind: but a wise man keepeth it in till afterwards.”  Yes, hastily uttering all our mind is the way of selfish, sinful foolishness.  Yet there is a time afterward when a Biblically wise individual, walking in the way of righteous wisdom, may speak forth the appropriate word.  Even so, Proverbs 15:2 declares, “The tongue of the wise useth knowledge aright: but the mouth of fools poureth out foolishness.”  Whereas the spiritual fool will speak forth with abundant, selfish foolishness, the individual of godly wisdom will speak forth with careful, righteous edification.  Thus Proverbs 15:23 exclaims, “A man hath joy by the answer of his mouth: and a word spoken in due season, how good is it!”  To this Proverbs 25:11 adds, “A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in pictures of silver.”  Finally, Proverbs 24:26 states, “Every man shall kiss his lips that giveth a right answer.”

Be Slow to Wrath.

The third exhortation of James 1:19 concerns the attitude in which we relate to others -- “Let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath.”  Yet again this exhortation is delivered unto every child of God.  Every one of us who are God’s own children have the responsibility before God our heavenly Father to be “slow to wrath” in our relations with those around us.  Indeed, we have the God-given responsibility to be slow in being provoked unto wrath in attitude and expression toward others.  Now, the word “wrath” that is employed in this exhortation does not necessarily refer to an explosive, passionate outburst of angry temper.  Rather, this word refers to an inner, deeper spirit of resentment, which may reveal itself upon occasion through angry outbursts.  Thus this Biblical exhortation not only concerns our external actions, but also our inner attitude.  Even so, we have the God-given responsibility not only to be slow unto outbursts of anger, but also to be slow unto a spirit of anger. 

The exhortation, to be “slow to wrath,” possesses a natural connection with the previous two exhortations, to be “swift to hear” and “slow to speak.”  When in our selfishness we are not careful and attentive to hear the cause of another, we are prone to misunderstanding and to being provoked unto wrath in that misunderstanding.  Also when in our selfishness we are hasty in uttering our mind, yet find that others lack interest therein, we are offended in our selfish pride and are easily provoked unto selfish wrath thereby.  Also when others respond toward us with expressions of anger, for whatever reason, in our selfishness we are easily provoked to return wrath for wrath, especially with hasty and angry words.  Yet Ecclesiastes 7:8-9 declares and instructs, “Better is the end of a thing than the beginning thereof: and the patient in spirit is better than the proud in spirit.  Be not hasty in thy spirit to be angry: for anger resteth in the bosom of fools.”  In like manner, Proverbs 16:32 states, “He that is slow to anger is better than the mighty; and he that ruleth his spirit than he that taketh a city.”  On the other hand, Proverbs 25:28 states, “He that hath no rule over his own spirit is like a city that is broken down, and without walls.”

To be easily provoked unto selfish wrath and anger is the way of spiritual, sinful foolishness.  To be slow to wrath and anger is the way of righteous wisdom.  Even so, the opening half of Proverbs 14:17 declares, “He that is soon angry dealeth foolishly;” and verse 29 adds, “He that is slow to wrath is of great understanding: but he that is hasty of spirit exalteth folly.”  Whereas an individual of selfish foolishness will quickly express irritation, frustration, and complaint, and that with an angry, despiteful manner; an individual of righteous wisdom will hold his peace and pass over irritation, frustration, and complaint.  Even so, Proverbs 11:12 declares, “He that is void of wisdom despiseth his neighbour: but a man of understanding holdeth his peace.”  Again Proverbs 12:16 states, “A fool’s wrath is presently known: but a prudent man covereth shame.”  Yet again Proverbs 19:11 states, “The discretion of a man deferreth his anger; and it is his glory to pass over a transgression.” 

Certainly, there is a godly spirit of righteous anger and holy indignation against all defilement of sinful iniquity and against all dishonor of our Lord.  In fact, our Lord Jesus Christ expressed such righteous anger and holy indignation on a number of occasions (See Mark 3:5; John 2:14-17; Matthew 21:12-13).  In only stating that we must be slow to anger and wrath, the exhortation of James 1:19 allows for this truth.  Yet even in this, we must be very slow to anger and wrath; for the Lord our God Himself is slow to anger and wrath (See Psalm 103:8; 145:8; etc.)  Furthermore, we must be very slow to anger and wrath; “for,” as James 1:20 reveals, “the wrath of man [our selfish wrath] worketh not the righteousness of God.” 
Please share this post with others:


View the full article


#382547 Shepherding The Flock - Audio Sermon - A Parable Of A Good Man And A Bad Man

Posted by Pastor Scott Markle on 19 August 2014 - 08:11 AM

In accord with Brother Gary's stated permission above, I am presenting the following comments that he made on the sermon posting at my personal blog site --

 

Thank you Pastor Markle! There are several things I particularly liked about that sermon.

1. At 3:50 - No church yet. So many try to make even old testament passages as being to the church rather than to Israel. They inevitably fall into the error of "replacement theology" (I'm sure you know who I am talking about on OB) believing the church has replaced Israel and the promises given to them are now to the church.

2. At 13:30 I liked the point that the Pharisee prayed "to himself". It never made it to God and heaven.

3. Then you had to blow it with sacrilege when you revealed you don't like chocolate! Just kidding...lol

On a side note: I would like to learn how you posted that on OB in such a way that it was so easy to click and listen to without even leaving the page.

Your friend,
Bro. Garry
In His will. By His power. For His glory.



#382462 Shepherding The Flock - Audio Sermon - A Parable Of A Good Man And A Bad Man

Posted by Pastor Scott Markle on 18 August 2014 - 01:26 PM

Please share this post with others:


View the full article


#381950 Shepherding The Flock - My Beloved Brethren, Let Every Man Be – James 1:19-25

Posted by Pastor Scott Markle on 12 August 2014 - 11:58 AM

Weekly Sermon

James 1:19-25 reads, “Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath: for the wrath of man worketh not the righteousness of God.  Wherefore lay apart all filthiness and superfluity of naughtiness, and receive with meekness the engrafted word, which is able to save your souls.  But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.  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.  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.”

With James 1:19-25 we come to the fourth 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 fourth paragraph gives counsel concerning a right relating toward others out of a heart-character that is being spiritually transformed through a meek reception of and a faithful obedience to God’s Word of truth.  Thus we find in this para-graph instruction to relate aright toward others and to relate aright toward God’s Word. 

 The word “wherefore” with which James 1:19 begins indicates that the instructions of this verse are connected to and flow out from some truth in the previous paragraph (verses 12-18).  Because of the instructions that follow in verses 21-25 concerning our reception of and obedience to God’s Word, many see this connection as being with the truth in verse 18 that God our heavenly Father has begotten us “with the word of truth.”  Thus they conclude that the instructions of verse 19 are intended to reveal the response that we ought to have toward the truth of God’s Word.  Yet when this conclusion is applied to all three of the instructions in verse 19, it lacks Biblical validity.  Certainly it is Biblically valid to say that we should be “swift to hear” the message of God’s Word.  However, is it also Biblically valid to say that we should be “slow to speak” forth the message of God’s Word, or from a different perspective that we should be “slow to speak” against the message of God’s Word?  No, it is not Biblically valid to say that we should be “slow to speak” forth the message of God’s Word.  Rather, we should be ever ready to speak forth God’s Word of truth in love to evangelize lost sinners and to edify the fellow believers.  It is also not Biblically valid to say that we should be “slow to speak” against the message of God’s Word.  Rather, we should never speak against the message of God’s Word.  Furthermore, is it Biblically valid to say that we should be “slow to wrath” toward the message of God’s Word?  No, it is not Biblically valid; for we should never respond in wrath toward the message of God’s Word.

What then is the connection between the instructions of verse 19 and the truths of verses 12-18?  The primary truths of verses 12-18 are that those who endure temptation faithfully shall be blessed with the crown of life, that we should never falsely accuse the Lord our God of being the cause of sinful temptation, that the true cause of sinful temptation is the selfish desires of our own corrupt hearts, and that the Lord our God is the Source of every good and perfect gift, the great example being our spiritual new birth.  Verse 19 then indicates that we should behave in a manner of self-control and self-denial, being “swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath.”  What primary truth of verses 12-18 would lead to such instruction?  It is the truth that the true cause of sinful temptation is the selfish desires of our own corrupt hearts.  Because even as the children of God, we retain the selfish influences of our sinful flesh upon our hearts (See Romans 7:17-21; Galatians 5:17), the desires of our hearts are often motivated and corrupted by selfishness.  Therefore, as we relate to others, we must deny our selfish inclinations to listen unto others’ opinions little, to speak forth our opinions much, and to be provoked unto selfish wrath quickly.  Even so, James 1:19-25 provides a four-fold counsel concerning the manner by which we are to deal with the selfish, sinful corruption within our hearts.

We must relate toward others with self-denial.         

James 1:19 gives the exhortation, saying, “Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath.”  As we have noted, this three-fold exhortation may be summarized in the requirement that we must relate toward others with self-denial.  Through the selfish influence of our sinful flesh, the character of the thoughts and intents of our hearts is corrupted by selfishness.  Thus in relating to others, our natural inclination is toward selfishness.  In such selfishness we are slow to hear others’ thoughts, opinions, feelings, and interests.  In such selfishness we are swift to speak forth our own thoughts, opinions, feelings, and interests.  In such selfishness we are swift to wrath when our thoughts, opinions, feelings, and interests are not honored and when we do not get our own way.  Therefore, in order to combat such selfishness from corrupting our relations toward others, we are exhorted to deny ourselves and our selfishness.  Indeed we must deny our natural selfishness by being swift to hear others’ communication.  Indeed we must deny our natural selfishness by being slow to speak our own mind.  Indeed we must deny our natural selfishness by being slow to be provoked unto wrath.  Selfishness must not be allowed to reign in our relations with others, whether it be with God or with others.  Selfishness must be denied.  Yea, selfishness must be put to death.

In verse 20 the explanation for the three-fold exhortation of verse 19 is revealed, “For the wrath of man worketh not the righteousness of God.”  When in selfishness we are slow to hear others’ communication, we often develop misunderstandings and are often provoked thereby unto selfish wrath.  In addition, when in selfishness we are swift to speak our own mind, yet are not heard and honored and do not get our own way, we are easily provoked unto selfish wrath.  Yea, when in selfishness we are swift to wrath, we are often swift to speak forth our wrath and are even less inclined to hear others’ communication.  Yet our selfish wrath does not produce God’s righteousness, either in our behavior toward others or in our influence upon a given situation.  When we do not deny our selfishness in relating to others, we are easily provoked unto selfish wrath; and through selfish wrath we bring forth unrighteousness in great offense against the Lord our God and in the overthrow of our spiritual influence upon others.  Where selfish wrath abounds, unrighteousness abounds.  Certainly this is not the will of our Lord.  On the other hand, James 3:17-18 declares, “But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy.  And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace of them that make peace.”

We must put away from ourselves all sinful behavior.

In order to deal with the selfish, sinful corruption within our hearts, the opening portion of James 1:21 gives the second exhortation, saying, “Wherefore lay apart all filthiness and superfluity of naughtiness.”  Herein the word “filthiness” refers to any type of spiritual defilement and impurity, whereby we are made spiritually filthy and offensive in God’s sight, like as a disgustingly filthy garment.  Even so, this filthiness flows directly out of the selfish corruption of our hearts.  Furthermore, the word “superfluity” refers to that which over flows in abundance.  Finally, the word “naughtiness” refers to a malicious spirit that motivates us to behave against others.  In fact, the Greek word that is here translated as “naughtiness” is most often translated as “malice” or “maliciousness” throughout the rest of the New Testament.  In this light, this naughtiness overflows directly from the selfish wrath that so often floods our hearts.  Now, the word “wherefore” with which this exhortation begins indicates that this exhortation is necessary because our selfish wrath does not produce God’s righteousness.  Selfishness is our natural inclination.  Selfish wrath is a common product of that selfishness.  Thus the sinful filthiness that flows from our selfishness and the abundant naughtiness (maliciousness) that overflows from our selfish wrath have already taken hold within every one of our hearts and lives.  If we would deal with this spiritual corruption, we must “lay apart” that which has already taken hold.  We must cast it aside.  We must put it away.  In broken-hearted repentance, we must confess all such filthiness and naughtiness unto the Lord our God.  This we must do that He, through the almighty power of His abundant grace, might cleanse away the filthiness and cut away the naughtiness.  Then by this very means, we prepare ourselves for the transforming work of God’s Word upon the character of our hearts.

We must receive with meekness all Scriptural truth.

In order to deal with the selfish, sinful corruption within our hearts, the closing portion of James 1:21 gives the third exhortation, saying, “And receive with meekness the engrafted word, which is able to save your souls.”  Now, the word “wherefore” with which verse 21 begins also encompasses this exhortation, indicating that this exhortation is also necessary because our selfish wrath does not produce God’s righteousness and because we need deliverance from the selfish corruption of our hearts that produces such selfish wrath.  Even so, it is through the power of God’s holy Word that the character of our souls may be delivered from the selfish, sinful corruption that exists therein.  “Wherewithal shall a young man [or, any individual] cleanse his way?  By taking heed thereto according to thy word” (Psalm 119:9).  God’s holy Word, the Law of the Lord, the perfect and powerful “law of liberty,” is that which is able to liberate our hearts and souls from selfish corruption and to convert our hearts and souls unto God’s righteousness (Psalm 19:7).  Indeed, our spiritual character needs to be transformed step-by-step, “from glory to glory,” unto the righteous image of our Lord Jesus Christ (2 Corinthians 3:17-18).  This spiritual transforming is accomplished by the renewing of our mind (Romans 12:2), and it is the truth of God’s holy Word, as employed by God’s Holy Spirit, that is able to renew the spirit of our mind in order that we may be spiritually transformed thereby.  Therefore, we are exhorted to receive the truth of God’s Word with meekness.  First, this means that we must receive the truth of God’s Word with all conviction of heart, whole-heartedly believing that every word thereof “is in truth, the word of God” (1 Thessalonians 2:13; 2 Timothy 3:16).  Second, this means that we must receive the truth of God’s Word with all diligence of effort, daily studying its teaching that we may know our Lord and His ways (Proverbs 8:34-35; 2 Timothy 2:15; Acts 17:11).  Third, this means that we must receive the truth of God’s Word with all readiness of mind, attentively ready to learn its wisdom that we may grow spiritually thereby (Proverbs 2:1-9; 1 Peter 2:2; Acts 17:11).  Fourth, this means that we must receive the truth of God’s Word with all meekness of soul, humbly submitting ourselves unto its authority without contradiction or complaint (James 1:21; Psalm 25:8-10, 12, 14; 32:8-9).  Yet only receiving the truth of God’s Word is not enough to deliver our souls from selfish corruption and to transform our souls unto God’s righteousness.

We must be doers of God’s Word with settled obedience.

Thus in order to deal with the selfish, sinful corruption within our hearts, James 1:22 gives the fourth and final exhortation, saying, “But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.”  Being “hearers only” of God’s Word is not enough to deliver and transform the character of our hearts.  We must be doers also of God’s Word.  In fact, being “hearers only” will not lead down the path of spiritual transformation, but down the path of self-deception.  We are deceiving ourselves when we are hearers only, without faithful obedience, and yet convince ourselves that we are being transformed in heart-character, growing in spiritual maturity, and walking in our Lord’s fellowship.  We are like a man who beholds “his natural face” in a mirror, observing the defects that need to be fixed, and then goes on his daily business without fixing anything, completely forgetting how offensive his appearance is to those around him.  Indeed, when we are “hearers only,” and not doers also, we may be convicted of the sinful faults in our character; and yet we go on our way without correcting these sinful faults, completely forgetting how spiritually offensive we appear in the sight of the Lord our God.  This is self-deception, and this will produce spiritual destruction.  On the other hand, when we are both hearers and doers of the Word, we will look into the truth of God’s holy Word each day with attentiveness and will continue in the truth of God’s holy Word throughout the day with obedience.  Then being not forgetful hearers, but doers of our Lord’s work, we shall be blessed in our work of righteousness.  When we delight and meditate day and night in the truth of God’s Word, so that we may “observe to do according to all that is written therein,” then we shall make our way prosperous and have good, spiritual success (Joshua 1:8).  Then we shall be transformed unto spiritual maturity and be “throughly furnished unto all good works” (2 Timothy 3:17).
Please share this post with others:


View the full article




The Fundamental Top 500IFB1000 The Fundamental Top 500