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Sermons from Middle River Baptist Church

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Philippians 1:3-6 - Joyous Thanksgiving

In American Society we are tempted to domesticate the Gospel through secularization, self-indulgence, and pluralism. We don't want to abandon Christianity but we marginalize and privatize it. We are more concerned about being comfortable and secure than with the truth of the Gospel. Paul's thanksgiving was joyful in the fact that the Philippians did not marginalize the Gospel of Christ but in fact participated in it. Gospel Fellowship always exceeds all earthly fellowship because it is rooted in God in an eternal quest. We see Paul’s thanksgiving grounded in 3 things: 1) A Thankful Remembrance, 2) A Thankful Fellowship, and 3) A Thankful Confidence or Assurance. It is not your grip on God that has made the difference or will make the difference in your life, but God's grip on you. In these 3 verses you learn not to be confident in your goodness, character, history, perseverance, but in God. Paul's joy and thanksgiving comes not because he attended a hotdog fellowship with the Philippians but because they suffered for something Greater - the Gospel of Jesus Christ. It is God's work in us that is a cause for great thanksgiving. Is God Working in you so that you? If he is you will be participating in the Gospel.

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Philippians 1:1-2 - A Captive Joy

We normally think that Philippians is all about joy, and that is of course a major theme when it flashes forth 16 times. But it is sparked by the deeper themes of Paul’s letter. Philippians calls us to a particular kind of joy - a joy that was experience by Paul in Roman captivity facing a capital charge while his leadership was being contested. In this sermon we will look at acts 16 and see the journey Paul took to get to Philippi with his companions (Luke, Timothy, and Silas) including the Macedonia call by the Spirit of God. Secondly we will look at Paul's reception by 3 different people in Acts 16 when he arrives at Philippi. Finally, we will look at the occasion for this letter late in Paul's imprisonment at Rom (probably after 62 AD). My desire and prayer is that you will see the servant heart of Paul in fellowship with the Philippians Christians was based on making Christ the center of the letter and the motivation of His joy.

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2 Samuel 24 - Senseless Census

As we come to the final chapter in 2 Samuel we find some of our old nemeses of human strength and human success making us trust in ourselves. The author arranged these chapters so that right after the account of David's mighty men - Israel's strength, we find that David sinfully (even thought God incited him) counting Israel and Judah so that he might trust in the strength of his numbers. We must all remember that according to Hebrew thinking that whatever God permits is part of His plan. By allowing this census, God is viewed as having brought about the act. Let us, like David, not harden our hearts against the Spirit's convicting work. When we seek God's forgiveness from sin, we must not always expect the elimination of the consequences of that sin, nor should we think that forgiveness is without an atonement. David learns that even thought God's wrath is staid, it is not yet satisfied because David must build an alter a make sacrifice to the LORD for his people. It is only then that the famine ceases. You will find that it is only through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ on the cross that the mercy of God is available so that his wrath against you is staid and satisfied. Don't be a stranger to the covenants and promises of God by trusting your own strength ... Flee to Christ and trust Him today.

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2 Samuel 23:8-39 - Hail to the Cheifs

This passage is all about David's mighty men who with valor and loyalty supported David and his kingdom. We must understand that living in God's Kingdom is a community exercise. The church (the body of Christ) is an essential means of grace that God uses to sactify our hearts to keep on following the Lord. We all can learn the following principles from these men about how to keep our hearts from going astray from our Lord: 1) Give Credit to God for Victory, 2) Worship God in Difficulties, 3) Trust in God's provision, 4) Let sinful memories humble you. It is so easy for our hearts to drift away from Holiness and following the Lord Jesus. Make it your aim to guard your heart by noting the principle examples of these men who were loyal to David as you seek to live out your liife within the body of Christ for the honor of God.

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2 Samuel 23:1-7 - Last Words Looking Forward

Last words are funny things. Not everyone gets a chance to give them, but David's last words (whether they are what he spoke or his last will and testament, I do not know) are recorded in Chapter 23 for us. The unique thing that differs from other last words in the Old Testament is that David was trying to anticipate the future. It is not a blessing about a person but a prophecy about a kingdom. Chapter 22 looks back upon how Yahweh established the kingdom and chapter 23 looks forward to how Yahweh will consummate the kingdom. David's last words help all of us over come a confidence problem we have with the future and especially Biblical prophecy. Verses 1-7 center around a just ruler that perfectly fears the Lord, which is none other than Jesus Christ Himself, as the Writer gives you 3 characteristics of His final kingdom: Certainty, Attractiveness, and Exclusiveness. As you listen to the sermon I pray that you will start or recommit yourself to see Christ as the center of your confidence in Scripture. May you see Christ as the preeminent figure in your understanding of the future kingdom of God.

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