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Pastor Scott Markle

Member Since 27 Dec 2012
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#391767 Shepherding The Flock - Audio Sermon - A Chief Corner Stone, Elect, Precious

Posted by Pastor Scott Markle on 20 October 2014 - 01:35 PM

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#391503 Shepherding The Flock - Be Ye Doers Of The Word – James 1:22-25

Posted by Pastor Scott Markle on 16 October 2014 - 09:10 AM

Weekly Sermon

(For those who have been consistently following this blog, you will find that the following message does not quite follow in the flow of my James 1 study.  This is true because it was prepared and preached years before that verse-by-verse study through James 1 began.  Nevertheless, I believe that it is of value to present in this place.) 

James 1:21-25 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.  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.”

In James 1:21 we who are the children of God are instructed to receive with meekness the truth and teaching of God’s holy Word.  Rather than reject that truth and teaching, we are to receive that truth and teaching.  Yea, we are to receive it with all readiness of mind.  However, simply receiving the truth and teaching of God’s holy Word is not enough.  Having received that truth and teaching with meekness and with all readiness of mind, we must then take another step with it.  Thus the instruction of verse 22 is given to us, “But be ye doers of the Word, and not hearers only.”  In fact, concerning this matter James 1:22-25 presents us with a pointed command, a powerful warning, and a precious promise.  

The Pointed Command 

As we have already noted, that command and instruction is given to us in the opening portion of verse 22 – “But be ye doers of the Word, and not hearers only.”  Now, with this pointed command our Lord divides every true believer, every true child of God, into one of two categories.  On the one hand, there are the doers of the Word.  On the other hand, there are the hearers only.  On the one hand, there are those who obediently do those things that they hear from God’s holy Word.  Whereas, on the other hand, there are those who only hear the things that they ought to do, but do not actually do them.  On the one hand, there are those who actually heed the truth and teaching of God’s holy Word.  On the other hand, there are those who only hear the truth and teaching of God’s holy Word.  Furthermore, with the pointed command and instruction of this verse our Lord clearly indicates in which of these categories He Himself would have us to be.  For He Himself is the One who pointedly commands us, saying, “But be ye doers of the Word, and not hearers only.”  Brethren, our Lord Himself would have us to be those who both hear and heed the truth and teaching of His Word.  In fact, no matter how much time and effort we may put into hearing and learning God’s Word, if we are hearers only, and not doers also, then our Lord is not at all pleased with our lives.  So then, my beloved brethren, I would ask – Of all those truths and teachings that we have learned from God’s Word, are we actually and obediently doing them in our daily living?  Are we doers of the Word, or are we hearers only?  Our Lord is looking for doers of the Word.

The Powerful Warning 

This warning begins with the closing phrase of verse 22; for we read, “But be ye doers of the Word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.”  Our Lord delivers this powerful warning to those who are hearers only.  And our Lord’s warning to such hearers only is that they are deceiving themselves by only hearing, and not doing the things of God’s Word.  Furthermore, our Lord does not present this warning as a possibility, or even as a probability.  Rather, He presents this warning as a certainty.  This is the certain truth of our Lord, brethren – Concerning those things that we have already heard and learned from God’s holy Word, if we are not actively seeking to heed and obey them, then we are without question spiritually self-deceived.

Now, in order that we might understand this warning more clearly, our Lord gives us an illustration of the point in verses 23-24.  There we read, “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.”  In this illustration our Lord refers to a man who fully examines his physical face in a mirror.  He fully examines his appearance and takes definite note of those things that are “messed up” and need to be changed.  He takes notice that his face is dirty and needs to be washed.  He takes notice that his teeth are grimy and need to be brushed.  He takes notice that his whiskers are scraggly and need to be shaved or trimmed.  He takes notice that his hair his awry and needs to be combed.  Yet having seen and taken definite notice of these things, he walks away from the mirror without doing a single thing.  In fact, having walked away without doing a single thing, he continues throughout the rest of his day, forgetting how “messed up” he looks and acting as if everything is just fine with his appearance before others. 

Yea, our Lord declares that those who are hearers only, and not doers also, are like this man.  They look into the spiritually pure mirror of God’s holy Word, and it brings them face to face with those things that are spiritually “messed up” in their hearts and lives.  The true and holy Word of God clearly reproves and rebukes these things, and they have a clear understanding that such things need to change.  Yet they walk away from mirror of God’s Word without doing a single thing about their “messed up” spiritual condition.  They walk away without making a single change according to the truth and teaching of God’s Word.  And then, having walked away without doing a single thing or making a single change, they continue throughout their Christian walk, forgetting how spiritually “messed up” their hearts and lives really are and acting as if everything is just fine with their spiritual condition before the Lord their God.  They are hearers only.  Yea, they are forgetful hearers.  Yea, the Lord our God declares that they are self-deceived hearers.  Oh, brethren, I do wonder – How many times have we received some message of God’s Word, whether in our private devotional time, or in some public preaching or teaching time, or in some particular counseling time, and have immediately forgotten everything that we heard and learned when we walked away?  Oh, how quickly do we become hearers only, deceiving our own selves! 

Yet there is one further truth that must be noted concerning this matter of self-deception.  It has to do with the nature of deception itself.  It is that the more and more we remain in the quicksand of deception, the deeper and deeper we will sink into that deception.  The more time that we allow our hearts to remain in deception, the more deeply deceived our hearts will become.  Even so, the more time that we allow our hearts to remain in self-deception, the more self-deceived our hearts will become – until our hearts even become dull of hearing the truth and teaching of God’s Word and become hardened against the truth and teaching of God’s Word.  So then, brethren, let us beware that we not enter this quicksand of self-deception.  Yea, let us beware that we not be hearers only, deceiving our own selves.

The Precious Promise

This promise we find at the end of verse 25; for we read, “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.”  Oh, what a precious promise – “This man shall be blessed in his deed”!  Oh, how we desire the hand of our Lord’s blessing to be opened unto us and the blessings of our Lord grace to be poured out upon us!  Oh, how we desire that our Lord might bless us in our lives and labors.  And such is certainly promised to us if we will meet the prerequisite that our Lord sets before us.  So then, what is that prerequisite?  In this verse we find four elements that make up that prerequisite.  First, we find that we must look into the truth and teaching of God’s holy Word.  For the opening line of the verse states, “But whoso looketh into the perfect Law of liberty . . ., this man shall be blessed in his deed.”  Now, this word “looketh” has the idea, not of some hurried, half-hearted glance, but of a focused, fervent examination.  It has the idea of one who stoops down to take a closer look and to make a more intensive study of something.  Such is the manner in which we are to come to the truth and teaching of God’s holy Word.  Second, we find that we must continue in the truth and teaching of God’s holy Word.  For the verse continues, saying, “But whoso looketh into the perfect Law of liberty, and continueth therein . . ., this man shall be blessed in his deed.”  Occasional, sporadic times of intensive study are not enough.  Rather, we must search the truth and teaching of God’s Word daily and must meditate therein day and night.  Third, we find that we must not be forgetful of the truth and teaching of God’s holy Word.  For the verse continues yet the more, “But whoso looketh into the perfect Law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer . . ., this man shall be blessed in his deed.”  Rather and finally, we find that we must be faithfully obedient to the truth and teaching of God’s Word.  For the verse continues in full, 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.”  Brethren, our Lord’s blessing is promised to those who study His Word, meditate in His Word, and obey His Word.  If we do not come to the point of obedience, we shall find no blessing.  If we would received our Lord’s blessing upon our lives and labors, then we must not be forgetful hearers, but must be faithful doers of His Word.
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#391302 Shepherding The Flock - Audio Sermon - Trust In The Lord, And Do Good

Posted by Pastor Scott Markle on 14 October 2014 - 12:26 PM

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#391018 Questions For Ifb On Several Issues

Posted by Pastor Scott Markle on 13 October 2014 - 08:32 AM

Indeed, iron does sharpen iron; however, it does not happen when iron is banging against iron.




#390844 Shepherding The Flock - Introducing A New Ministry Product - Verse Card Magnets

Posted by Pastor Scott Markle on 11 October 2014 - 08:42 PM

How neat...I didn't know you preached in chapel...Amen!

 

Indeed.  I and my wife had a blessed time in chapel and then also at lunch with Pastor and Mrs. Damron.




#390841 Shepherding The Flock - Introducing A New Ministry Product - Verse Card Magnets

Posted by Pastor Scott Markle on 11 October 2014 - 08:26 PM

Are you the same Pastor we just had in chapel recently at Fairhaven?

 

Yes sir, that would be me.  I pray that the message was spiritually edifying to you and to the other students (both high school and college).




#390788 Shepherding The Flock - Introducing A New Ministry Product - Verse Card Magnets

Posted by Pastor Scott Markle on 11 October 2014 - 12:34 PM

At Shepherding the Flock Ministries, any premium quality verse card can now be produced also as a verse-card
sized magnet.  The magnets that we presently have in stock are as follows:

Picture
Picture
Picture

To purchase these memory verse cards, you may go to the following page:
Verse Card Magnets

(Note:  If you wish to acquire a verse card magnet of another verse card that has not yet been made available as a magnet, simply make the request through our contact page and arrangements will be made to fulfill your request.)



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#390725 Shepherding The Flock - And Not Hearers Only – James 1:22-24

Posted by Pastor Scott Markle on 10 October 2014 - 02:17 PM

Weekly Sermon

James 1:22-24 reads, “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.”

In James 1:21-22 God’s Word presents a three-fold instruction for the transformation of our spiritual character unto the righteousness of Christ.  First, we are instructed to repent of all our sinfulness.  In the opening portion of James 1:21, the instruction is given, “Wherefore lay apart all filthiness and superfluity of naughtiness.”  Second, we are instructed to receive God’s Word with meekness.  In the closing portion of James 1:21, the instruction is given, “And receive with meekness the engrafted word, which is able to save your souls.”  Third, we are instructed to respond unto God’s Word with obedience.  In James 1:22 the instruction is given, “But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.”

The third of these instructions is presented, not only as an instruction concerning what we ought to do, but also as an admonition concerning what we ought not to do.  We are to be faithful doers of God’s Word, but we are not to be hearers only of God’s Word.  In fact, this admonition against being hearers only extends from James 1:22-24.  Grammatically, this passage can be divided into three parts.  First, there is the imperative about our responsibility – “But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only.”  Then there is the illusion about which we must beware – “Deceiving your own selves.”  Finally, there is the illustration about the hearer only – “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.”

The Imperative about Our Responsibility

In the opening portion of James 1:22, the imperative about our responsibility is given, “But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only.”  As we have already noted, this imperative is presented in two parts.  The first part is positive concerning that which we ought to do.  The second part is negative concerning that which we ought not to do.  Positively, we ought to be doers of God’s Word.  Grammatically, this verse does not instruct us, “But be ye doing the Word.”  Rather, this verse instructs us, “But be ye doers of the word.”  Certainly, we are to be obediently doing what God’s Word requires of us.  Yet the emphasis of this verse is not upon our conduct of doing, but is upon our character as doers.  This is the imperative for our daily Christian walk.  From the very character of our hearts, we are to be characterized as doers of God’s Word.  Doing God’s Word must not just be a part of our conduct, it must be a part of our character, so much that we may be described as doers of God’s Word.  Indeed, this characteristic must be our continual pursuit.  We must ever pursue being and becoming more and more characterized as doers who are doing God’s Word.  Doers of God’s Word must characterize who we are more and more throughout our growth in spiritual maturity.  This is the positive part of the instruction in James 1:21.

On the other hand, negatively we ought not to be hearers only of God’s Word.  Certainly, we are to be hearers of God’s Word; but we are not to be hearers only of God’s Word.  We are not to be those who are only hearers, but not also doers.  We are not to be characterized as believers who hear much, but obey little.  This is also an imperative for our daily Christian walk.  We must not be satisfied with frequenting the preaching and teaching service and with frequenting personal Bible study times only for hearing, learning, and knowing God’s Word.  God forbid!  We must not stop at only hearing, learning, and knowing God’s Word.  Rather, we must go forward in faithfully applying, obeying, and doing God’s word.  We must be “doers of the word, and not hearers only.”

The Illusion about Which We Must Beware

 Indeed, we must beware the spiritual illusion that develops when we are hearers only, but not doers also of God’s Word.  The closing portion of James 1:22 alerts us concerning this illusion with the admonishing phrase, “Deceiving your own selves.”  Brethren, when we are hearers only of God’s Word, and not doers also, we quickly become self-satisfied and self-deceived in our hearing.  At such times, our selfish, sinful flesh begins to engage in the false reasoning that our frequent hearing of the Word is enough to make us spiritual.  At such times, we become satisfied with ourselves because of our hearing and learning of the Word; and we convince ourselves that our hearing and learning alone causes us to be in a righteous walk our Lord.  Yet the Lord our God Himself is not satisfied only with our hearing and learning of His Word.  He will not be satisfied with us until we are faithfully characterized as doers of His Word.  Thus our self-satisfaction with only hearing and learning God’s Word is a spiritual illusion, an illusion that we perpetrate against ourselves.  It is a false conception and false conclusion concerning our own spiritual character.  Yea, it is self-delusion and self-deception; and it will ultimately result in our spiritual destruction.  My beloved brethren, beware this spiritual illusion!  Beware this self-satisfaction with being a hearer only of God’s Word!  Beware this self-delusion and self-deception!  We are only right with the Lord our God when we are “doers of the word, and not hearers only.”  Yea, the Lord our God is only satisfied with our daily walk when we are characterized as “doers of the word, and not hearers only.”

The Illustration about the Hearer Only

Now, in order to emphasize and explain the admonition against self-deception, James 1:23-24 provides an illustration about those who are hearers only.  Therein we read, “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.”  This illustration begins with the phrase, “For if any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer.”  Therefore, this illustration is a Biblical description of any believer who is a hearer only of God’s Word, and not a doer also.  Even so, this illustration likens any hearer only to a man who beholds his natural (or, physical) face in a mirror.  Yet having truly beheld his face and taken note of its defects, he goes his way without making any changes or corrections.  Then having gone his way without making any changes or corrections, he immediately forgets about the defects upon his face and behaves throughout the day as if everything is perfectly acceptable.

Grammatically, this illustration reveals four characteristics of those who are hearers only of God’s Word, but not doers also.  First, we find that a hearer only does make contact with the truth of God’s Word.  The closing portion of James 1:23 states, “He is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass.”  The emphasis here is that this man actually comes to and makes contact with the mirror in order to behold the appearance of his physical face.  In like manner, the believer who is a hearer only of God’s Word does actually come to and make contact with the revealing truth of God’s Word.  He or she is not one who completely rejects or neglects the truth of God’s Word.  He or she is not one who forsakes the preaching and teaching services of the church, or one who neglects personal Bible study times.  Rather, he or she is one who does attend the services, does give attention to hear the message of God’s Word, and does spend personal time in God’s Word. 

Second, we find that a hearer only does experience conviction through the truth of God’s Word.  The opening portion of James 1:24 states, “For he beholdeth himself.”  The emphasis here is that this man actually takes notice concerning the condition of his face and concerning the defects upon his face that need to be corrected.  In like manner, the believer who is a hearer only of God’s Word does actually experience the convicting work of God’s Word, wherein God’s Word reveals those characteristics that need to be changed and corrected.  He or she is one who actually does hear and consider the reproving truth of God’s Word concerning his or her own character.  He or she is one who actually does recognize the need for change and correction and who actually does experience conviction of heart concerning this need for change and correction.

Third, we find that a hearer only then neglects correction in accord with the truth of God’s Word.  The opening portion of James 1:24 continues, saying, “For he beholdeth himself, and goeth his way.”  Herein there is no indication that this man put forth any effort to make any change upon the appearance of his physical face.  Yes, he considered the condition of his face and took notice of the things that needed to be changed and corrected.  Yet he beheld and went his way without putting forth any effort to make any changes or corrections.  In like manner, the hearer only of God’s Word neglects to put forth any effort in making changes or corrections in his or her character.  Although he or she actually does consider the reproof of God’s Word and actually does experience conviction of heart thereby, he or she does not actually do anything about it.  He or she beholds the spiritual need for change and correction, but puts forth no obedient effort for change and correction. Rather, having experience the convicting work of God’s Word, he or she goes away without obeying the Biblical requirement for transformation of character.  Thus he or she goes away still in disobedience and defilement.

Finally, we find that a hearer only immediately forgets the corruption revealed by the truth of God’s Word.  The closing portion of James 1:24 states, “And straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was.”  Having departed from the mirror without putting forth any effort for change or correction, this man then completely forgets about the defects that needed to be changed and corrected.  In fact, he goes his way, behaving as if there is nothing defective about his face at all.  In like manner, the hearer only of God’s Word quickly forgets the correcting and convicting truth of God’s Word.  His or her heart is immediately distracted by selfish desires and worldly attractions.  Even so, the correcting and convicting truth of God’s Word passes out of the heart and mind as if it had never existed therein.  Thus he or she proceeds throughout his or her daily walk as if there is no spiritual defect or defilement in his or her character.  Yea, he or she then proceeds as if he or she is perfectly acceptable in the sight of the Lord our God.  This is the behavior of the hearer only.  In fact, according to the tenses of the verbs in James 1:24, this is the characteristic behavior of the hearer only.  So then, we are instructed and admonished, “But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only.”
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#390207 Shepherding The Flock - Audio Sermon - Our Heart Is Not Turned Back

Posted by Pastor Scott Markle on 06 October 2014 - 12:07 PM

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#389873 Shepherding The Flock - Newest Verse Cards - October 9, 2014

Posted by Pastor Scott Markle on 02 October 2014 - 12:49 PM

The newest verse cards in our verse card project are as follows:
To purchase these memory verse cards, you may go to the following page:
Premium Quality Verse Cards

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#389748 Shepherding The Flock - The Engrafted Word – James 1:21

Posted by Pastor Scott Markle on 01 October 2014 - 01:25 PM

Weekly Sermon

James 1:21 reads, “Wherefore lay apart all filthiness and superfluity of naughtiness, and receive with meekness the engrafted word, which is able to save your souls.”

James 1:21 instructs us to receive the truth and teaching of God’s Word with meekness of heart.  In so doing, this verse describes God’s Holy Word as “the engrafted word, which is able to save your souls.”  In fact, throughout James 1:18-25 we find a series of descriptions concerning God’s Word that reveal the wondrous treasure that the Lord our God has granted unto us in giving us His Holy Word.

The Truthful Word

First, we learn that God’s Holy Word is the truthful Word.  In the opening portion of James 1:18, God’s Word is described as “the word of truth” – “Of his [God the Father’s] own will begat he us with the word of truth.”  By its very nature, God’s Word is “the word of truth.”  By its very nature, it is the truthful Word.  Indeed, it is “true and righteous altogether” (Psalm 19:9).  From the beginning of Genesis to the end of Revelation, God’s Word is the truth (John 17:17).  It teaches the truth about the Lord our God and about our own selves.  It teaches the truth about righteousness and about sin.  It teaches the truth about heaven and about hell.  It teaches the truth about this present evil world and about our selfish rebellion against God.  It teaches the truth about our condemnation as wicked sinners and about God’s gift of eternal salvation.  It teaches the truth about our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and about His sacrificial death on the cross for us sinners.  It teaches the truth of God’s grace to save sinners and of our responsibility to receive that grace through faith alone in Christ.  God’s Holy Word is “the word of truth,” revealing the truth of the gospel and the truth for godliness.

The Regenerating Word

Second, we learn that God’s Holy Word is the regenerating Word.  Again from the opening portion of James 1:18, we find that the instrument with which God our heavenly Father begat us again spiritually was His Holy Word.  “Of his own will begat he us with the word of truth.”  Indeed, it is through the instrument of His Holy Word that the Lord our God draws us unto repentance of our sinfulness and unto faith in Christ our Savior.  Even so, Romans 10:17 declares, “So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.”  It is the message of God’s Word that is able to make us wise unto eternal salvation.  Even so, in 2 Timothy 3:15 the apostle Paul stated unto Timothy, “And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.”  It is the gospel of God’s Word that is the very power of God unto salvation for us as believers.  Even so, in Romans 1:16 the apostle Paul gave testimony, saying, “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.”  Yea, the gospel of God’s Word is the incorruptible seed of new spiritual life that is implanted into our hearts when we believe on Christ for salvation from sin.  Even so, 1 Peter 1:23-25 declares concerning us believers, “Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever.  For all flesh is as grass, and all the glory of man as the flower of grass.  The grass withereth, and the flower thereof falleth away: but the word of the Lord endureth for ever.  And this is the word which by the gospel is preached unto you.”  Indeed, God’s Holy Word is divinely alive and powerful (Hebrews 4:12).  Therefore, it is able to produce new spiritual life within us who receive the Lord Jesus Christ through faith as our personal and eternal Savior (John 6:63).

The Engrafted (Implanted) Word

Third, we learn that God’s Holy Word is the engrafted (or, implanted) Word.  In the closing portion of James 1:21, we are instructed, “And receive with meekness the engrafted word, which is able to save your souls.”  When we respond to the gospel of God’s Word and receive the Lord Jesus Christ through faith as Savior, the incorruptible seed of God’s Holy Word is planted in our hearts by God the Holy Spirit.  Through our faith in Christ, the seed of God’s Word germinates and begins to take root within us.  Such is spiritually true for every single believer, so that the spiritual seed of God’s Word becomes an implanted part of our new spiritual nature to govern us, guard us, and guide us.  Yet we are instructed to continue receiving the truth of God’s Word with meekness, thus allowing it ever to take deeper root within our character.  Even so, as we allow the spiritual seed of God’s Word to take deeper root within our character, it will bring forth the fruit of righteousness in our lives.

The Transforming Word

Fourth, we learn that God’s Holy Word is the transforming Word.  Again from the closing portion of James 1:21, we find that the implanted Word of God is able to save our souls.  “And receive with meekness the engrafted word, which is able to save your souls.”  As we have previously considered, this truth is delivered to believers, to those in whom the Word of God is already implanted through faith in Christ for salvation.  Therefore, in this context the truth concerning the ability of God’s Word to save our souls is not referring to our eternal salvation from eternal condemnation, but is referring to our daily deliverance from sinful character.  It refers to the ability of God’s implanted Word to transform the character of our hearts.  Yea, it refers to the ability of God’s implanted Word to deliver our inner character from selfish corruption and to transform our inner character unto Christ’s righteousness.  Indeed, it is through the instrument of His Holy Word that the Lord our God prunes and purges away unprofitable elements from our lives.  Even so, in John 15:3 our Lord Jesus Christ proclaimed, “Now ye are clean [pruned and purged] through the word which I have spoken unto you.”  It is through the truth of God’s Word that we are able to grow spiritually.  Even so, 1 Peter 2:2 gives the instructions, “As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby.”  It is through the truth of God’s Word that the Lord our God sanctifies us unto His righteousness.  Even so, in John 17:17 our Lord Jesus Christ prayed unto the Father concerning His own, saying, “Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.”  Yea, the truth of God’s Word is “profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness” (2 Timothy 3:16).  Even so, thereby we are perfected unto spiritual maturity and “furnished unto all good works” and godly behavior (2 Timothy 3:17).

The Revealing Word

Fifth, we learn that God’s Holy Word is the revealing Word.  From James 1:23-24 we find that those who are only hearers of the Word, and not also doers of the Word are “like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass [or, a mirror]: for he beholdeth himself, and goeth his way, and straightway [immediately] forgetteth what manner of man he was.”  Then verse 25 speaks concerning those who are both hearers and doers of the Word, 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.”  Through this illustration we understand that God’s Word is like unto a spiritual mirror that reveals unto us our spiritual character.  As Hebrews 4:12 indicates, the divinely living and powerful Word of God is “sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.”  Indeed, having pierced and divided us unto the depths of our hearts, God’s Holy Word serves as a spiritual mirror to reveal the true character of our thoughts and purposes, of our attitudes and motivations, of our desires and priorities.  Yea, the spiritual mirror of God’s Word reveals to us what we truly are in character and what we need to change in our character.  Just as a mirror reveals the defilements upon our face, even so God’s Word reveals the corruptions in our character.  It rebukes and reproves us.  It corrects and convicts us.  It admonishes and instructs us. 

The Perfect Word

Sixth, we learn that God’s Holy Word is the perfect Word.  In the opening portion of James 1:25, God’s Word is described as “the perfect law” – “But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein.”  By its very nature, God’s Word is the perfect Word.  By its very nature, God’s Word is perfectly pure, without any defect.  By its very nature, God’s Word is perfectly righteous, without any corruption.  By its very nature, God’s Word is perfectly faithful, without any error.  “All scripture is given by inspiration of God;” and therefore, all Scripture is perfectly profitable for our lives (2 Timothy 3:16).  “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” (Psalm 19:7-8).  Yea, the truth of God’s Word is so wonderfully perfect that it is to be desired more than gold, yea more “than much fine gold.”  It is “sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb” (Psalm 19:10).  Indeed, the truth of God’s Word is perfectly sure wisdom for every aspect of our lives, unto which we would do well to take heed, “as unto a light that shineth in a dark place” (2 Peter 1:19).  It is a perfect guide unto our way and perfect light unto our path (Psalm 119:105).  The testimonies that our Lord has commanded in His Holy Word are perfectly righteous and perfectly faithful (Psalm 119:138).  Yea, the perfect righteousness of God’s Holy Word shall endure perfectly for ever (Psalm 119:144, 160).

The Authoritative Word

Seventh, we learn that God’s Holy Word is the authoritative Word.  Again in the opening portion of James 1:25, God’s Word is described as “the perfect law” – “But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein.”  This word “law” refers to the authoritative nature of God’s Word.  By its very nature, God’s Word is the authoritative law of God whereby our lives are to be governed and guided.  Even so, Deuteronomy 29:29 declares, “The secret things belong unto the LORD our God: but those things which are revealed [in God’s Holy Word] belong unto us and to our children for ever, that we may do all the words of this law.”  By its very nature, God’s Word is the authoritative law of God whereby our lives shall be judged.  Even so, James 2:12 declares, “So speak ye, and so do, as they that shall be judged by the law of liberty.”  Indeed, it is our responsibility to conform our lives unto the standard of God’s Holy Word.  It is our responsibility to obey its commands and to follow its counsels.  Yea, the Lord our God has commanded us to keep all His precepts diligently (Psalm 119:4).  We must view all the commands and counsels, precepts and principles, statutes and standards, instructions and admonitions of God’s Word as having an absolutely binding force upon our lives.  We must view all the teaching of God’s Word as authoritative law, and we must submit ourselves to keep that law “continually for ever and ever” and to observe that law with our whole heart (Psalm 119:34, 44).

The Liberating Word

Eighth and finally, we learn that God’s Holy Word is the liberating Word.  Yet again in the opening portion of James 1:25, God’s Word is described as “the perfect law of liberty” – “But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein.”  In transforming our character from selfish corruption, God’s Word liberates us from sinful conduct and from its destructive consequences.  Yea, it liberates our hearts and lives unto a blessed walk of fellowship with our Lord in the light of His righteousness.  Indeed, we experience this spiritual liberty as we look faithfully into God’s Word as diligent students and as we continue faithfully in God’s Word as obedient doers.  Even so, in Psalm 119:45 the psalmist proclaimed, “And I will walk at liberty: for I seek thy precepts.”  The truth and wisdom of God’s Holy Word, empowered by the grace of the indwelling Holy Spirit, liberates us from the bondage of selfish, sinful corruption that abides within our character.  Yea, the truth and wisdom of God’s Holy Word, empowered by the grace of the indwelling Holy Spirit,  liberates us from spiritual glory to spiritual glory unto the righteous character of our Lord Jesus Christ.  Even so, 2 Corinthians 3:17-18 declares, “Now the Lord is that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.  But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.”  Enabled by the grace of the indwelling Holy Spirit, we are able to allow the implanted Word of truth to take deeper and deeper root within our hearts; and as we allow the implanted Word of truth take deeper root within our hearts, it liberates our character to joyfully fulfill the righteousness of God’s law in our daily walk.  Thus we joyfully and gloriously find the spiritual liberty to see our Lord Jesus Christ’s own righteous character living in and through us (Galatians 2:20).  Thus we take our Lord’s yoke upon us, learning of Him through His perfect law of liberty; and thus we joyfully and gloriously find that His yoke is easy and His burden is light (Matthew 11:29-30).  Thus we joyfully and gloriously experience the truth of 1 John 5:3 – “For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous.”
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#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


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

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

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#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."






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