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Part 01 Prolegomena
What The Bible Says Good Samaritan's Penny Pulpit by Pastor Ed Rice
What The Bible Says Good Samaritan's Penny Pulpit by Pastor Ed Rice
What The Bible Says - Good Samaritan's Penny Pulpit by Pastor Ed Rice
4 Truths I Have Embraced during My Transition into the Senior Pastorate On June 17, 2018, Harvest Baptist Temple of Medford, OR, celebrated forty-one years of ministry. It was also the day that the founding pastor, Dr. Bob Gass, entrusted the heritage and history of that ministry to me. For us, it was a historic event. By the grace of God this was the first senior pastor transition in a forty-one year history.Although it is my desire to wait another thirty years or so until the next transition, I learned that there are truths of preparation that I must embrace even now before the next transition. Preparing to transition is more about dependence than preparation. It begins and ends with a total dependence on God. There are four major areas of dependence I learned during the transition that I have immediately embraced.1. Dependence on PrayerI have four children and every day since we first found out that my wife was pregnant with our first child, I have prayed for their future spouse(s). Since June 17, 2018, I have faithfully prayed for the next senior pastor of Harvest Baptist Temple. Obviously, I don't know who that is, but the absence of a specific name from my prayer doesn't hinder me from praying for my children's future spouses. The same is true with my church; the absence of a specific name shouldn't hinder me from praying for Harvest's future pastor(s). You may be starting a pastoral ministry or in the twilight of a pastoral ministry. It's never too late to start and commit to praying for the next man.2. Dependence on PowerEvery day of my life I depend on the power of the Holy Spirit for guidance and direction. Why should a major transition be any different? Psalm 37:23 says, “The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord: and he delighteth in his way.” Psalm 32:8 says, “I will instruct thee and teach thee in the way which thou shalt go: I will guide thee with mine eye.”If I rely on God's power and guidance to live a life of sacrificial service everyday of my life… If I rely on God's power and guidance for unction for every message I preach… If I rely on God's power and guidance for every decision in the day to day operations of the ministry, then should I not rely on God's power and guidance for the next transition? God already has a man; I just have to get in the path of the will of God and get my pride and self out of the way of the will of God in order to be totally dependent on His power and guidance through the transition.3. Dependence on PromiseThere are no more sure words than these, “The promises of God are sure.” If God is limited by His Word, then every Word spoken by God is sure. God has promised by His own words to perpetuate His church. It was Jesus who said, “I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.” If Jesus made that statement, then He alone is fully responsible for the perpetuation of His church.We can do all we want to prepare, plan, and prosper a transition, but it is the Lord's work. His blessing is absolutely essential. Even while understanding this truth, it is prudent for a pastor to always keep his eyes open for the next potential pastor. Maybe it is someone in the family, but don't put parameters on the Lord. It could be someone that you have followed through the years that you have seen grow in pastoral ministry. It may be that current “problem” child in children's church… you never know who the Lord will choose to use.4. Dependence on ProvisionGod always provides. Where there was Moses… there was Joshua. Where there was Elijah… there was Elisha. I'm reminded of the name Abraham called the place where he was called to sacrifice Isaac (Jehovah-Jireh “God, my Provider”). God provided a ram to take Isaac's place as a sacrifice. God provided the Lamb to take our place as a sacrifice. If God can provide the Lamb, then God can provide a man. Hudson Taylor said, “God's work done in God's way will never lack God's supply.”Since it is ultimately the Lord's work, then the Lord will supply. It's sad that while we are willing to trust the Lord with the future of our eternity, sometimes we struggle to trust the Lord with the future in our earthly ministry. If God can be trusted to secure our eternity, then God can be trusted to secure our today. This includes provision in transitions for the ministry and the future of the ministry that He has called us to.Transition is just another opportunity to depend on God. Dependence on God is faith in God and “...without faith it is impossible to please Him.” We must be diligent and keep our eyes open, but our sufficiency in transition is directly related to our dependence on God. 2 Corinthians 3:5 reminds us, “Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think any thing as of ourselves; but our sufficiency is of God.”
As recently as ten years ago, it would have been unthinkable that The New York Times, the “grey lady,” the so-called “paper of record,” would run an article with the headline and sub-head, “My New Vagina Won’t Make Me Happy; And it shouldn’t have to.” But that’s what happened on November 25.Andrea Long Chu was “born a boy” (don’t ban me, Twitter—this is what Chu said). Chu’s op-ed began, “Next Thursday, I will get a vagina.” In other words, this biological male will undergo gender reassignment surgery.In a 1,200-word piece, Chu vigorously defends that choice. But by bluntly telling the truth about the prospects for patients after such surgery, Chu effectively debunks most of the mythology that underlies the transgender movement’s policy demands. There is nothing so dangerous to the sexual revolution as one of its advocates who admits the truth.Ryan Anderson of the Heritage Foundation, author of the most definitive conservative book on the transgender movement (When Harry Became Sally), has written a lengthy and detailed response to Chu’s piece in Public Discourse. (Chu had attacked Anderson by name.) But here is a condensed summary of Chu’s remarkable concessions.Myth: Gender reassignment surgery can make a man into a woman.In the third sentence, Chu admits that this surgery will not magically make him a woman: “Until the day I die, my body will regard the vagina as a wound.” Chu also essentially admits it will not make him look like a woman, saying, “When she [“my girlfriend”] tells me I’m beautiful, I resent it. I’ve been outside. I know what beautiful looks like.”Myth: Gender transition makes transgender people feel better.Chu: “I feel demonstrably worse since I started on hormones.”Myth: Gender transition alleviates “gender dysphoria.”Chu: “Like many of my trans friends, I’ve watched my dysphoria balloon since I began transition.”Myth: Allowing cross-gender hormone treatments and gender reassignment surgery is necessary to prevent transgender people from committing suicide.Chu: “I was not suicidal before hormones. Now I often am.”Chu also has a beef with the medical profession—practically all of it. Some doctors, like esteemed psychiatrist Paul McHugh of Johns Hopkins University, argue that gender transition treatments should not be offered because they fail to ease the suffering of transgender people. Others, who wish to affirm the latest ideologies, like those in the World Professional Association for Transgender Health (WPATH), argue these treatments should be available because they do ease suffering. Chu accuses both camps of “compassion-mongering”—“peddling bigotry in the guise of sympathetic concern.”Chu directly and explicitly attacks a core principle of medical ethics, known as “nonmaleficence”—the idea that doctors should “first, do no harm.” In its place, Chu substitutes the philosophy that I believe is at the core of the entire LGBT movement—one of radical personal autonomy.To Chu, the potential for harm from a gender transition is irrelevant: “I still want this, all of it. I want the tears; I want the pain. Transition doesn’t have to make me happy for me to want it.” Chu believes that “surgery’s only prerequisite should be a simple demonstration of want.”Ironically, the world that Chu envisions—where desire is all that matters—is very close to the world we already live in. If Chu wants gender reassignment surgery, can find a doctor willing and able to perform it, and is willing to pay for it, he can obtain it. Although I believe that there are serious ethical concerns about such procedures, virtually no one is trying to erect any legal barriers to people obtaining them voluntarily at their own expense. (This is in notable contrast to how the Left approaches the issue of sexual orientation change efforts, and now seeks to prevent even adults with unwanted same-sex attractions from obtaining such care.)The public policy concerns regarding transgenderism virtually all center around the efforts of the Left to force people to do things they do not want to do—affirm, celebrate, and subsidize (as payers of taxes or insurance premiums) such procedures. We can only hope that Chu’s admission that these procedures are elective and cosmetic—not “medically necessary,” as is usually claimed—will relieve the pressure for such a denial of the personal autonomy of those of us who choose not to publicly affirm the transgender movement.
When we finally spoke face-to-face, his exact words were, “I get it. He's scratching an itch that I can't right now.”I remember the moment I felt an unmistakable attraction to a man who wasn’t my husband. It would mark the beginning of an infatuation that waxed and waned for nearly a year. He and I were both active in a local community organization. For at least six months, we had greeted each other and exchanged superficial pleasantries on a weekly basis without anything remarkable transpiring. But on this particular day, we had a long, substantive conversation. Through it, I discovered that we not only shared many of the same perspectives but also clicked well—to the point my heart rate increased and the hairs on my arms and the back of my neck stood up.I don’t know if he had felt any of the same things as I did. If so, he didn’t show it. Our parting was casual and friendly. We didn’t hug or shake hands. But as I got in my car, I couldn’t stop grinning. I was hyper-aware of all my senses.Looking back, it’s not surprising it happened. I was in the midst of a major identity shift that was changing the way I saw myself and how I fit in the world. After learning previously unknown stories of my family, I had come to embrace my Taiwanese heritage—a development that caused me to abandon many of my long-held beliefs about race, class, money, power, and social responsibility. The opinions and ideas that had once fostered solidarity between my husband, Peter, and me were now a source of friction.At home, I constantly felt hurt, misunderstood, and frustrated. I prayed about these negative feelings, but doing so didn’t magically erase the pain and isolation caused by not feeling seen or understood by my life partner. I still loved Peter and knew he loved me, but an ideological and personal chasm ...Continue reading...
Temple Baptist Church - 9-30-2018Romans 9:14-22Introduction:A. With each of these sermons, I need to reiterate the context. National! It is easy to look at these verses and interpret them as “stand alone verses,” and not take them in context. Keeping the context consistent, we rightly divide the Word of Truth.1. In the first message, we saw Paul's Burden for the Nation of Israel. Verses 1-4.2. We the second message, we saw God's Special Blessings upon the National of Israel. Verses 4-5.3. In the second message, we also saw God's selection of the Nation of Israel through the fathers, Abraham-Isaac-Jacob, and the rejection of the two first born sons: Ishmael, the son of Abraham, and Esau, the son of Isaac. God chose Isaac and Jacob through foreknowledge of what these men would ultimately be. B. Notice the Progression of Selection.1. Abraham had two sons by different mothers: Hagar and Sarah. Ishmael was the son of Abraham's flesh and Isaac was the son of God's Promise. God chose the younger over the elder.2. Isaac had two sons by the same mother: Esau and Jacob. Through foreknowledge of the choices of the sons, Esau would Despise the Birthright while Jacob would Desire the Birthright, God chose the younger over the elder. 3. Jacob had 12 sons and became the Father of the Nation of Israel, God's Elect Nation.a) Isaac, the seed through which the Promised Seed, Jesus Christ, would come.b) Jacob, though a supplanter, would become a man who desired the blessings of God.C. The context has not changed as it continues to deal with the Elect Nation of Israel.D. Tonight, we will look at some people mentioned in the text as they are keys to special Protection and Promises given to the Nation of Israel.1. God has providentially protected the Nation of Israel. Isaiah 54:17 No weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper; and every tongue that shall rise against thee in judgment thou shalt condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the LORD, and their righteousness is of me, saith the LORD.2. God has given special promises to the Nation of Israel. Ephesians 2:12 That at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world:1. Verse 14. God is not unrighteous! Why would the Holy Spirit even ask such a thing? Because some casual readers may think like the Calvinists, that God is some hateful, unrighteous Creator who makes some people live in hell for all eternity just because He can. GOD IS NOT UNRIGHTEOUS! Calvinism teaches that God is unrighteous, hateful, unloving, and a respecter of persons. That is not the God of the Bible!2. Now, in our text for tonight, we will look at three more individuals. Moses, Pharaoh, and the Potter.3. Verse 15. Why is Moses mentioned in this chapter? Because of the statement that follows: “I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion.” To fully understand what God meant when speaking this to Moses, you have to read the context in Exodus 33:12-19.Exodus 33:12-19 And Moses said unto the LORD, See, thou sayest unto me, Bring up this people: and thou hast not let me know whom thou wilt send with me. Yet thou hast said, I know thee by name, and thou hast also found grace in my sight. (13) Now therefore, I pray thee, if I have found grace in thy sight, shew me now thy way, that I may know thee, that I may find grace in thy sight: and consider that this nation is thy people. (14) And he said, My presence shall go with thee, and I will give thee rest. (15) And he said unto him, If thy presence go not with me, carry us not up hence. (16) For wherein shall it be known here that I and thy people have found grace in thy sight? is it not in that thou goest with us? so shall we be separated, I and thy people, from all the people that are upon the face of the earth. (17) And the LORD said unto Moses, I will do this thing also that thou hast spoken: for thou hast found grace in my sight, and I know thee by name. (18) And he said, I beseech thee, shew me thy glory. (19) And he said, I will make all my goodness pass before thee, and I will proclaim the name of the LORD before thee; and will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and will shew mercy on whom I will shew mercy. (God's mercy was to the Nation of Israel. Though they were not a perfect people, God had selected them as His nation and separated them from all other nations. The statement quoted in Hebrews, if properly interpreted, is meant for Israel as a nation. A peculiar people. It is not meant to be for an individual.)4. Verse 16. God's mercy to nations is not to those who do the best or most, it is to the nation of God's choosing. God's sovereign will in the selection of a nation for His own was His choice to make.5. Verse 17-18. Now we find another individual, though not named. Pharaoh was a name like Emperor that was given to the man sitting upon the throne of Egypt. As goes the Pharaoh, so goes Egypt. Now for a little history.1. Joseph was sold into bondage but ascended to the second most powerful man in Egypt.2. Jacob, called Israel, and family came to Egypt to live during the great famine.3. Joseph was 17 when he arrived in Egypt and 110 when he died. Quickly, after the death of Joseph, a new Pharaoh came to power who feared the Nation of Israel and put the nation in bondage.Exodus 1:7-8 And the children of Israel were fruitful, and increased abundantly, and multiplied, and waxed exceeding mighty; and the land was filled with them. (8) Now there arose up a new king over Egypt, which knew not Joseph.4. The Nation of Israel remained in Egypt 430 years with close to 350 years in extreme bondage.5. The Nation cried out because of the cruelty of their taskmasters (the nation of Egypt) and God send a deliverer, Moses.Deuteronomy 4:20 But the LORD hath taken you, and brought you forth out of the iron furnace, even out of Egypt, to be unto him a people of inheritance, as ye are this day.6. Nothing says that Pharaoh was reprobate from his birth, but like the other Pharaohs who kept Israel in bondage, he was a hardened man who hated Israel and Israel's God. God raised him up to sit upon the throne because he would not let the Nation of Israel go. God took the heart of a hardened, wicked, God denying, Israel hating man and finalized the hardening process.7. This was done so that God could show His power in Protection and Promise. God brought them out so that He could bring them into the Promised Land.8. Mercy upon Israel and hardening and judgement upon Egypt.6. Verses 19-23. Now, off to the Potter's House.1. Verse 20. “The thing formed” is not an individual person for a nation. “The thing formed” is now asking “him that formed it” a question, “Why hast thou made me thus?” 2. Verse 21. Israel became marred upon the wheel. Israel may have been God's chosen people, but down through the ages they had rebelled against God, hardening their hearts against Him. He therefore had no choice but to direct His wrath against them. An honored vessel turned into a vessel of dishonor.Jeremiah 18:1-10 The word which came to Jeremiah from the LORD, saying, (2) Arise, and go down to the potter's house, and there I will cause thee to hear my words. (3) Then I went down to the potter's house, and, behold, he wrought a work on the wheels. (4) And the vessel that he made of clay was marred in the hand of the potter: so he made it again another vessel, as seemed good to the potter to make it. (5) Then the word of the LORD came to me, saying, (6) O house of Israel, cannot I do with you as this potter? saith the LORD. Behold, as the clay is in the potter's hand, so are ye in mine hand, O house of Israel. (7) At what instant I shall speak concerning a nation, and concerning a kingdom, to pluck up, and to pull down, and to destroy it; (8) If that nation, against whom I have pronounced, turn from their evil, I will repent of the evil that I thought to do unto them. (9) And at what instant I shall speak concerning a nation, and concerning a kingdom, to build and to plant it; (10) If it do evil in my sight, that it obey not my voice, then I will repent of the good, wherewith I said I would benefit them. (Israel would not yield to the work of God and was marred in His hand. They have paid dearly for their rebellion. One day, God's Elect Nation of Israel will once again be wrought on God's wheel as a glorious, obedient nation again.)3. We all have heard the song that says that He didn't throw the clay away. The proper interpretation is not to the individual, it is to the House of Israel! In these verses, God is showing the setting aside of the marred vessel of Israel because of their national rejection of the Messiah (Israel still rejects Jesus Christ), while calling out a Gentile Bride. Then, when God is ready, He will make a new vessel of the Nation of Israel.
Temple Baptist Church - 9-16-2018Romans 9:6-13Introduction:A. Tonight, we will look at Calvinism's “stronghold” for their damnable doctrine. When speaking of the Nation of Israel, there are three “Fathers” of the nation. The Fathers of Israel: Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.B. Verse 6 – Paul is explaining that Israel's (National) lost condition is not because of a failure with the Word of God. Israel was lost by choice, not by a failure of the Word of God. Just because they were a part of God's Elect Nation, that does not mean that they are saved.Romans 3:1-3 What advantage then hath the Jew? or what profit is there of circumcision? (2) Much every way: chiefly, because that unto them were committed the oracles of God. (3) For what if some did not believe? shall their unbelief make the faith of God without effect?John 19:14-15 And it was the preparation of the passover, and about the sixth hour: and he saith unto the Jews, Behold your King! (15) But they cried out, Away with him, away with him, crucify him. Pilate saith unto them, Shall I crucify your King? The chief priests answered, We have no king but Caesar.C. In our text, we will find these three men mentioned: Abraham in verse 7,Isaac in verse 9, and Jacob (Israel) in verse 13. The reason for mentioning all three of the Fathers of the Nation of Israel is to show how the nation began. The context is not about the individual but how God elected one nation to be His peculiar people.Acts 3:13 The God of Abraham, and of Isaac, and of Jacob, the God of our fathers, hath glorified his Son Jesus; whom ye delivered up, and denied him in the presence of Pilate, when he was determined to let him go.Deuteronomy 29:13 That he may establish thee to day for a people unto himself (The Nation of Israel), and that he may be unto thee a God, as he hath said unto thee, and as he hath sworn unto thy fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob.Acts 7:8 And he gave him the covenant of circumcision: and so Abraham begat Isaac, and circumcised him the eighth day; and Isaac begat Jacob; and Jacob begat the twelve patriarchs.Luke 13:28-29 There shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth, when ye shall see Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, and all the prophets, in the kingdom of God, and you yourselves thrust out. (29) And they shall come from the east, and from the west, and from the north, and from the south, and shall sit down in the kingdom of God. (The regathering of the Nation of Israel.)D. Twice in verses 7-13, we find God setting aside the firstborn son twice and elevating the second born. Let us look at the reasons why.1. Verse 7-9 – Abraham had two notable sons: Ishmael and Isaac. Ishmael, the child of Abraham's flesh and Isaac, the child of promise.a) Ishmael was the son of Hagar the Egyptian. The son of the flesh, not the son of faith.b) The faithlessness of Sarai. Genesis 16:1-2 Now Sarai Abram's wife bare him no children: and she had an handmaid, an Egyptian, whose name was Hagar. (2) And Sarai said unto Abram, Behold now, the LORD hath restrained me from bearing: I pray thee, go in unto my maid; it may be that I may obtain children by her. And Abram hearkened to the voice of Sarai.c) The birth of Ishmael, the son of Abraham's flesh. Genesis 16:15-16 And Hagar bare Abram a son: and Abram called his son's name, which Hagar bare, Ishmael. (16) And Abram was fourscore and six years old, when Hagar bare Ishmael to Abram.d) The blessing of Ishmael. Genesis 17:20 And as for Ishmael, I have heard thee: Behold, I have blessed him, and will make him fruitful, and will multiply him exceedingly; twelve princes shall he beget, and I will make him a great nation.2. Verse 9, we see the setting aside of Ishmael and the acceptance of Isaac as the promised seed through which the Nation of Israel and the Messiah, Jesus Christ would come.a) The Messianic rejection of Israel. Genesis 21:10 Wherefore she said unto Abraham, Cast out this bondwoman and her son: for the son of this bondwoman shall not be heir with my son, even with Isaac. (He was rejected because he was not the son of faith. b) Isaac was the son of Sarah, the promised seed, the seed of faith. Genesis 17:19 And God said, Sarah thy wife shall bear thee a son indeed; and thou shalt call his name Isaac: and I will establish my covenant with him for an everlasting covenant, and with his seed after him.3. Verses 10-13 – Now, we come to Jacob and Esau. The context has not changed from the Nation of Israel to individuals. a) Jacob was Israel - Genesis 32:28 And he said, Thy name shall be called no more Jacob, but Israel: for as a prince hast thou power with God and with men, and hast prevailed.Genesis 46:2-4 And God spake unto Israel in the visions of the night, and said, Jacob, Jacob. And he said, Here am I. (3) And he said, I am God, the God of thy father: fear not to go down into Egypt; for I will there make of thee a great nation: (4) I will go down with thee into Egypt; and I will also surely bring thee up again: and Joseph shall put his hand upon thine eyes. (God promised to bring Jacob, Israel, back out of Egypt. He could not have been speaking of the man, Israel, because he died long before Israel's deliverance. They were in Egypt 430 years! God was speaking of the Nation of Israel.)b) Esau was Edom - Genesis 25:30 And Esau said to Jacob, Feed me, I pray thee, with that same red pottage; for I am faint: therefore was his name called Edom.Malachi 1:1-4 The burden of the word of the LORD to Israelby Malachi. (2) I have loved you, saith the LORD. Yet ye say, Wherein hast thou loved us? Was not Esau Jacob's brother? saith the LORD: yet I loved Jacob, (3) And I hated Esau, and laid his mountains and his heritage waste for the dragons of the wilderness. (4) Whereas Edom saith, We are impoverished, but we will return and build the desolate places; thus saith the LORD of hosts, They shall build, but I will throw down; and they shall call them, The border of wickedness, and, The people against whom the LORD hath indignation for ever.E. Before we look at the selection of the Nation of Israel in these verses, I need to deal with “Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated.”1. Hated is a comparative word. The classic example is found inLuke 14:26, “If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple.” (Our Lord is not commanding that we “hate” our mother and father, wife and children. To the contrary, we are commanded to love, respect, and honor our loved ones. “Hate” is a comparative word. Our love for Christ should be so great that our love for family grows dim in comparison.)2. The word “hate” in any form is used 190x in 179 verses in the Bible. Only two instances are linked with a specific name of a person and that person is Esau! In both instances, Esau is Edom or a nation!Malachi 1:3 And I hated Esau, and laid his mountains and his heritage waste for the dragons of the wilderness.Romans 9:13 As it is written, Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated.3. Nowhere does the Bible say that God ever hated anyone. He hates their deeds but not their persons, much less hating unborn children! God did not hate Esau personally.4. Throughout the Bible, the love of God for the world and sinners is consistent. “For God so loved the world” and “Who will have all men to be saved” is enough to undermine Calvinism. To interpret verse 13 as hating Esau before he was born and in an innocent condition is ludicrous!F. Now, what is the right interpretation, considering the context? Foreknowledge!1. Both Jacob, Supplanter, and Esau, Fornicator, were not the greatest men I have ever read about. Jacob stole the blessing and Esau, through spiritual fornication, would sold it.2. Why did God choose Jacob over Esau? Because, in the foreknowledge of God, He knew that:a) Jacob would Prize the Blessing. Though the “Supplanter” would receive the blessing through deceit, he was willing to suffer the consequences of exposure to obtain it. If Isaac had discovered Jacob's deceit, the chastisement would have been horrendous! In God's foreknowledge, He knew that Jacob would marry right, turn from his ways, and wrestle with God until the blessing came. Jacob became the father of the 12 tribes of Israel!b) Esau would Despise the Blessing. Esau was just an “old country boy” who loved to hunt and fish! But Esau would sell the blessing for a pot of pottage. In His foreknowledge, God knew that Esau would not only despise the blessing without repentance and but would also eventually marry the daughters of Ishmael. Esau became the father of EdomConclusion: Selection or Election and predestination are always found in the context of foreknowledge.
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