Bethel Baptist Church
20.10.11 Morning Worship
      • Download

        Family Movie Night

        October 16, 2020 - 6:00 PM - 8:00 PM
        Movie: Lion King (2019) Bring a movie snack to share.
  • God Leads Us Along
  • His Robes for Mine
      • 1 Corinthians 10:31–11:1ESV

  • Jesus, I my cross have taken
  • For the Sake of His Name
  • Follow, I will follow thee
  • INTRODUCTION:
    There are times when life throws us a curve ball.
    Times of uncertainty.
    Times of trouble.
    Perhaps that is a person whom we find ourselves embroiled in conflict with.
    Or that unexpected trial we face.
    Or a period when we have to wait for God’s answer to prayer.
    This year, many of us have faced a curve ball.
    I have heard more people wish this year was over, than I can remember in past years.
    I have heard more people concerned about their country this year, then in years past.
    I have heard more people frustrated with the personal impact of this year, then I can remember in years past.
    You might call this year, a troublesome time.
    So I have been praying for a while,
    about what text might be beneficial to us.
    What does God’s word say about honoring him in troublesome times?
    Today we are beginning a new Series,
    a semi-topical series .... That I hope will encourage us to honor God in these troublesome times.
    I think one of the defining Characteristics of a mature Christian -
    is how they respond to adversity, to uncertainty.
    Are you responding to troublesome times with a mature Christian response?
    When a lost person or an immature Christian responds to adversity -
    What is their response?
    They feel Crushed.
    Driven to despair.
    Abandoned and alone.
    Utterly cast down
    And they want to give up.
    That is the natural, flesh response to adversity and uncertainty.
    But on the other hand,
    - a mature Christian will look to the surpassing power of Christ and thus manifest an unmovable, unshakable faith.
    Consider, 2 Cor 4:7-12:
    2 Corinthians 4:7–12 ESV
    But we have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us. We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; always carrying in the body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our bodies. For we who live are always being given over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh. So death is at work in us, but life in you.
    I challenge us -

    Christ must be the power of our immovable faith.

    And from this text -
    We will examine the mature Christians response to affliction and the power source of their response.
    **** PRAY******PRAY **** PRAY******PRAY **** PRAY******PRAY
    First, consider,

    (1) The Christians response to affliction: Immovable. (2 Cor 4:8-9)

    Bertrand Russel, mocked at such immovable faith.
    > He was a famous English atheist philosopher of the first half of the 20th Century.
    In his preface to his collection of his essays published under the title
    Why I Am Not a Christian (ed. Paul Edwards; George Allen & Unwin, 1957),
    Bertrand Russell wrote: “It is thought virtuous to have faith—that is to say to have a conviction which cannot be shaken by contrary evidence” (p. xii).
    Stott/SOURCE: Bertrand Russell, Why I Am Not a Christian, ed. Paul Edwards (George Allen & Unwin, 1957), xii.
    He viewed faith as an irrational conviction.
    When we think about having immovable belief that there is a God, Jesus is his son, and we are saved from our sins by that son, we think about believing ...
    - no matter how were mocked
    - No matter how much supposed contrary evidence is presented
    We are unmovable in our faith.
    But I would suggest,
    the greatest challenge to a Christian’s faith is not believing in God when so many people proclaim there is no God.
    For most Christians, the Bible gives us all the evidence we need.
    I would suggest the greatest challenge to a Christians faith,
    Being immovable in your faith when you’re world and your dreams are shattered.
    After all – How did Satan attack Job?
    Did he send him an educated philosopher, who can convince him that there was no God.
    What did he send him?
    A catastrophe that shattered his world and his dreams.
    You could paraphrase Bertrand Russel this way,
    Faith is believing in God even when everything says
    you will be destroyed
    you are forsaken
    you are utterly cast down.
    The thoughts of lost person.
    An immature Christian.
    And lets admit - we are struggle with this.
    Why is depression, loneliness, and fear so high even among Christians?
    Because one of the greatest challenges to our faith - is understand how a good God could allow us to suffer dearly.
    How many people walked away from God,
    not because of scientific evidence,
    but because of shattered hopes and dreams?
    We all struggle when are faced with trials -
    troublesome times
    But what should our response be?
    Paul describes the suffering Christian this way -
    2 Corinthians 4:8–9 ESV
    We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed;
    “We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed”

    We are:

    (a) Not overwhelmed.

    The Hope in Christ never takes us to point where I can’t carry on.
    “perplexed, but not driven to despair”

    (b) Not hopeless.

    Despair cannot be found in a person who truly understands Christs love.
    (Romans 8:31-39)
    “persecuted, but not forsaken”

    (c) Not abandoned.

    So often hurting people feel alone and abandoned.
    “No one understands.”
    “No one cares.”
    But for the Christian, that is not true.
    Because God always knows, and our father is always with us.
    “struck down, but not destroyed”

    (d) Not destroyed.

    Philippians 1:6 ESV
    And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.
    We know as Christians we will never face ultimate and total destruction,
    even as we are struck down.
    Because Christ has planned something else for us.
    Now,
    Where did Paul get these terms?
    Paul doesn’t write simply by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit,
    but he likely recalling his own personal experience of suffering.
    2 Corinthians 1:8 ESV
    For we do not want you to be unaware, brothers, of the affliction we experienced in Asia. For we were so utterly burdened beyond our strength that we despaired of life itself.
    He described it further -
    2 Corinthians 11:24–29 ESV
    Five times I received at the hands of the Jews the forty lashes less one. Three times I was beaten with rods. Once I was stoned. Three times I was shipwrecked; a night and a day I was adrift at sea; on frequent journeys, in danger from rivers, danger from robbers, danger from my own people, danger from Gentiles, danger in the city, danger in the wilderness, danger at sea, danger from false brothers; in toil and hardship, through many a sleepless night, in hunger and thirst, often without food, in cold and exposure. And, apart from other things, there is the daily pressure on me of my anxiety for all the churches. Who is weak, and I am not weak? Who is made to fall, and I am not indignant?
    How can Paul speak about such immovable faith,
    if he despaired himself?
    If he faced such incredible trials?
    Because those troublesome times taught him -

    (2) The Source of the Christians Strength.

    What kind of advice does the world give us about perseverance?
    Irwin C. Hansen,
    a former CEO of Porter Memorial Hospital, Denver:
    “All you need is a big pot of glue. You smear some on your chair, and some on the seat of your pants, you sit down, and you stick with every project until you’ve done the best you can do.” He then quotes this, “Average achievers stay glued to their chairs and postpone pleasure so they can reap future dividends.”
    John Stott, The Preacher’s Notebook: The Collected Quotes, Illustrations, and Prayers of John Stott, ed. Mark Meynell (Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press, 2018).
    Or I have heard people say,
    “just have faith.”
    I don’t mean faith in God.
    But just faith everything will work out.
    That Murphy’s law will magically disappear.
    You know those people have never counseled people whose lives have been shattered,
    because this answers are useless.
    In fact, often people who are truly suffering get mad at answers like that.
    Paul not only tells us to immovable,
    but he gives the true source of hope and strength.
    How do you find that inner strength - when your world and dreams are shattered?
    How do we get strength to keep moving forward?
    How do we endure the horrible?
    Consider the hope and strength of Paul.
    The first lesson in honoring God in troublesome times is that our strength is -

    (a) Not us, but God. (2 Cor 4:7)

    2 Corinthians 4:7 ESV
    But we have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us.
    “treasures in jars of clay” refers to the Gospel’s work in our souls while being contained by a fallen, worthless body.
    This becomes really obvious by the time we get to 2 Cor 5:1-10.
    But you can understand the imagery.
    God has placed us in bodies, that are broken and failing.
    “Jars of clay”
    So that God can demonstrate his surpassing power.
    We are literally designed,
    to desperately need God.
    The power and strength to endure troublesome times ...
    is literally not in us.
    - You don’t have what it takes to have immovable faith.
    - God designed it, so that you can’t do it.
    Instead, we find our strength from God.
    We find the strength to honor God, in troublesome times,
    from the one whom we seek to honor.
    The second part of our strength - is that God’s surpassing power comes through -

    (b) The Death and Resurrection (Life) of Christ. (2 Cor 4:10-12)

    2 Corinthians 4:10–12 ESV
    always carrying in the body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our bodies. For we who live are always being given over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh. So death is at work in us, but life in you.
    Our weakness.
    Our sufferings.
    Our persecution.
    Our afflictions.
    Our despairs.
    All serve to make Christ’s life be manifested in our bodies.
    The source and strength - the power of God ...
    is found in the death and resurrection of Christ.
    We so often talk about the death of Christ savings us from our sins,
    And it does. Praise God for that.
    but equally so the death of Jesus and his resurrection become the power source of the Christian.
    Quite literally,
    - God puts us in a world that can hurt us.
    - with Bodies that are easily broken - jars of clay.
    Why?
    Because - he wants us to look to the only place we can find the strength to endure.
    Because - in his mercy, he wants it to be obvious that we can’t live without Christ.
    So perhaps you ask.
    Wonder.
    How do I know that I can have immovable faith?
    How can I -
    2 Corinthians 4:8–9 ESV
    We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed;
    Because you believe that Jesus Christ died on the cross, and rose again,
    to give you his life - the power of the resurrection.
    So now I want to circle back to our response to affliction.
    What is the Christians response to affliction?
    The Christians response to affliction is to be immovable.
    But particularly -

    (3) The Christians response to affliction: faith. (2 Cor 4:10-12)

    You might call it -
    Immovable Faith.
    Paul gives us an incredible calling -
    The when we are afflicted in every-way -
    We are not,
    (a) Not to be overtaken.
    (b) Not to be hopeless.
    (c) Not feel abandoned.
    (d) Nor fear destruction.
    Not because those are not things to be feared,
    but because we know God is so much bigger.
    We may be afflicted, perplexed, persecuted, and struck down.
    But we are still unshakable, immovable.
    Because we have faith in Christ.
    We trust God to give us surpassing power,
    through the death and life of Christ.
    We understand why God made us weak,
    and cling to the only place where we can get strength.
    Understand where this battle is fought -
    We often think the battle is the circumstances.
    >>> If I can just fix my circumstances.
    But so often the circumstances are beyond our control.
    There in God’s hands, but not ours.
    And thus the true battle for honoring God in troublesome times-
    is in what we believe and hope in.
    Do we look to Christ for the strength to endure,
    or do we look to ourselves?
    The mature Christians response -
    Is to be immovable.
    But particularly to live in the Immovable Faith in Christ.
    CONCLUSION:
    If you are hurting.
    You trying to hold on.
    You feel exhausted and worn out.
    Remember where you get the power to endure!
    It is not in you, but in Christ.
    2 Corinthians 4:7 ESV
    But we have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us.
    ILLUSTRATION:
    Josiah Spiers,
    founder of the Christian Special Service Missions (CSSM),
    wrote of the rough time converts might have.
    “A factory lad came to some services I was holding and was converted, and confessed Christ by putting texts of Scripture up in the factory, which so enraged the wicked men and lads that they knocked him down and kicked him shamefully, so that he was seriously bruised. ‘Will you give up Christ now?’ ‘No,’ replied the boy, ‘you may beat the life out of me if you like but you won’t get me to give up Jesus.’ ”
    John Stott, The Preacher’s Notebook: The Collected Quotes, Illustrations, and Prayers of John Stott, ed. Mark Meynell (Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press, 2018).
    That young, brand new believer - knew something often grown adults who have know Christ their whole lives have forgotten.
    That Jesus is the source of surpassing power,
    and thus he lived with immovable faith - even as he was beaten for believing in Jesus.
    I challenge us,
    - to Honor God in troublesome times,
    - by living in Immovable Faith.
      • 2 Corinthians 4:7–12ESV

      • 2 Corinthians 4:8–9ESV

      • 2 Corinthians 1:8ESV

      • 2 Corinthians 11:24–29ESV

      • 2 Corinthians 4:7ESV

      • 2 Corinthians 4:10–12ESV

      • 2 Corinthians 4:8–9ESV

      • 2 Corinthians 4:7ESV

  • A Passion for Thee
      • Download

        Family Movie Night

        October 16, 2020 - 6:00 PM - 8:00 PM
        MOVIE: Lion King (2019) Bring a movie snack to share.

Let us get to know you!

Please take a moment to send us your information so that we may stay connected with you. Your information is carefully managed and protected.
I am a:
Age:
How did you hear about us?