Tuesday, 9/7/21 – Pressing on… A Father’s Promise

A Father’s Promise

A wealthy father promises his 14-year-old son, “On your eighteenth birthday I will buy you a car!” To this the young lad moaned, “That’s four years from now! I know: I will build a car myself!” Immediately the boy set to work. He gathered bits of metal here and there… empty tin cans, discarded appliances, bits of metal shelving, whatever he could find. “When I gather enough I will melt it all down to shape into an auto,” he thought to himself.

He gathered also any old car parts he might chance upon. He scoured accident sites for useful bits, pulled out discarded retreads from the dumpsters and piles behind service stations. By the time he was fifteen a huge pile of metals, plastics, rusted auto parts and rubber hosing mounted in the yard.

At about this time the boy’s father, amused by all this, gifted his son with a book… a very big book. The book described the process of automobile construction with pictures and sketches of the operations of a huge auto manufacturing plant.

The boy was both thrilled and dumbfounded! “Wow! That’s a lot more work that I imagined,” he thought, “but it does show me more precisely what I must do,” so he was grateful.

Soon the boy realized he need some very big and complex equipment to melt metal, shape forms, and install components. “I’ll need a lot of money to build those,” he reasoned. So… he got a paper route!

Well, you can imagine how all this turned out. It wasn’t long before the boy threw up his hands and sighed, “I can’t do it! I just can’t do it!” The boy was very sad. But the boy’s father was not surprised at all.

Finally the big day came, the fullness of time had arrived! It was the boy’s eighteenth birthday. “You no longer need to keep trying to build a car yourself,” said the father. “Here is the car I promised you so long ago!”

“But what about the book with all the instructions that you gave me?” asked the boy. “Why did you give me that?” The father answered, “I knew you could never succeed at making a car yourself,” he said. “I gave you that book and let you try so you would learn how impossible it was, and finally come to rely upon my promise.”

This is essentially the story of Galatians 3:15-25, Pastor Andrew’s text this past Sunday. The salvation of God is ours only by trusting upon the Father’s promise, that “Seed” promised through Abraham: Jesus, the God-man Christ. The Mosaic Law came only to demonstrate our personal inability to be righteous (holy) by personal effort. The Father knew all along we could not succeed. Salvation comes only when one relies fully upon the promised Messiah of God!

More tomorrow…

To hear Pastor Andrew’s Sunday message, go to the Facebook page of Lincoln Baptist Church, or link to the livestream from the church website.

Wednesday, 9/1/21 – Pressing on… Proper Posture

Proper Posture

In Psalm 1 David writes,

Blessed is the one who does not walk in step with the wicked or stand in the way that sinners take or sit in the company of mockers” (Psalm 1:1)

Here we are warned not to walk, stand, or sit as unbelievers do. Walking has to do with doing, doing as those not yet in the faith may do. Standing suggests though we may not be participating in their ways we are still in their company, perhaps chatting… hobnobbing, maybe trying to “fIt in.” Sitting is here more a from the sidelines thing… mocking, pointing the finger, perhaps being smug.

Though these three postures describe a lessening degree of involvement with the worldly-minded they are all defined as associations a believer must avoid. Certainly we must associate with the lost – how else may we be a light to them? But we must not follow in their ways. We come to bring light to them not to allow their darkness to snuff out our flame.

In his epistle to the Ephesians Paul follows a similar ordering: walk… stand… sit. But Paul speaks positively. He tells us what we must do in these postures:

You used to walk godlessly, he says (Eph. 2:2), as sinners (4:17), but now walk in “good works” (2:10), “worthy” of your calling (4:11), “in love” (5:2), “as children of light” (5:8), and with caution (5:15). He tells us how to stand also, fully armoured and wary of the devil (6:11), remaining erect after having done all your calling (6:13), protected by truth, righteousness, and all other protections and weaponry of God (6:14).

Clearly now is a time for actions and resolve. Later comes the resting and rejoicing. God has “raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus” writes Paul (2:6). For God that time has already come, it is a sure thing, but for us that time is not yet. Now is our time of confidence… of faith and trust in our Commander. Now we walk rightly, stand firmly and press on…

And this too is what the Apostle urges the Galatians: Do not walk with the Judaizers, those who would add works to faith, do not try to add flesh to Spirit, but walk rightly… walk by faith, stand by FAITH, and give glory to God!

Press on…

To hear Pastor Andrew’s Sunday message, go to the Facebook page of Lincoln Baptist Church, or link to the livestream from the church website.

Tuesday, 8/31/21 – Pressing on… Standing by Faith

Standing by Faith

We do like to sit, don’t we? Go to a meeting and there’s a Chair person, have a secret and there’s a Stool pigeon, take a rest and you’re a Couch potato, and even if you do nothing at all you’ll be a Bench warmer!

But when it comes to Truth a Christian must know how to Stand. In Galatians 3 Paul tells us we stand by FAITH! This truth leapt out at Martin Luther one day as he read in Romans…

For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes: first to the Jew, then to the Gentile. For in the gospel the righteousness of God is revealed—a righteousness that is by faith from first to last, just as it is written: ‘The righteous will live by faith.’” (Rom. 1:16-17).

Here Paul defines the “crux” [interesting word] of the gospel, from the Old Testament (Covenant) prophet Habakkuk to the New Testament (Covenant) fulfillment in the sacrifticial atonement of Christ, and that truth is this: “The righteous will live by faith.” (Hab. 2:4; Rom. 1:17).

The gospel is salvation by FAITH—faith ‘sola’ scrawled Luther! Faith alone! “…a righteousness that is by faith from first to last,” or as other translations have it “…from faith to faith. Faith through and through!

This revelation spawned the protestant reformation in the early 16th Century. It is the central truth of the New Covenant. The Old taught us what God required and the New provided that requirement in Christ. The Old showed us our righteousness was but filthy rags (Isa. 64:6) and the New clothed us in the righteousness of God (Isa. 61:10; Rom. 3:21-22; Eph. 6:14)!

And this is what Paul preached to the Galatians and now scolds them for forgetting. Old Covenant teachers had come on the scene and convinced them to continue in the Old Covenant ways, the fruitless and impossible ways of self effort, law and inadequate self righteousness.

Paul was incensed! “Are you so foolish?” he asks. “After beginning by means of the Spirit, are you now trying to finish by means of the flesh?” (Gal. 3:3). “The flesh,” i.e. in Greek the “sarx,” that sinful state of human beings, that nature within us that opposes the Spirit of God.

He shows that the way of faith was always God’s plan, from Abraham to eternity, and he cites again those same words of Habakkuk, “The just shall live by faith” – sola!

Stand up believer! Stand tall. Raise your arms and praise the King! It is He Who now sits…. He sits at the right hand of the Father (Col. 3:1; Heb. 12:2)… interceding for our sins (Rom. 8:34).

More tomorrow…

To hear Pastor Andrew’s Sunday message, go to the Facebook page of Lincoln Baptist Church, or link to the livestream from the church website.