Featured Audio

Portrait of a Godless Culture: An Appeal to Repent of Sinful Boasting

Text: Jeremiah 1-9
Speaker: Mike Kelley
Date: February 28, 2010

We will be doing a fairly rapid overview of the first nine chapters and then drawing some application from near the end of chapter nine, where Jeremiah writes, “Thus says the LORD, “Let not a wise man boast of his wisdom, and let not the mighty man boast of his might, let not a rich man boast of his riches, but let him who boasts boast of this, that he understands and knows Me, that I am the LORD who exercises loving kindness, justice and righteousness on earth; for I delight in these things,” declares the LORD.” (9:23-24).

Jeremiah’s theme leading to these texts is that of judgment: A judgment precipitated by the sinful lifestyle and arrogant living of the kingdom of Judah. The modern day parallels to our own day are truly amazing: Truly there is “nothing new under the sun.”

Trickery, Treachery and Treason

Text: II Samuel 14:1-15:12
Speaker: Jim Newheiser
Outline: PDF
Date: February 21, 2010

In the previous chapter David began to experience the consequences of his sin as one son, Amnon, was guilt of gross sexual sin followed by his murder at the hands of his half brother Absalom.

The chapter ended with Absalom fleeing to his grandfather and living in exile.

This week’s passage begins with David’s General Joab tricking David into allowing Absalom back into Israel and the royal court.

Absalom’s return, however will prove to be disastrous as he through treachery steals the hearts of the people of Israel which ultimately leads to Absalom treasonously stealing David’s throne.

Again David is reaping what he has sown. It is sad to see the once mighty king being weak and indecisive until finally he is fleeing for his life.

The political intrigue of this chapter reflects what still goes on in nations (and churches) today.

You might ask: How can we find Christ in such a chapter?

You will be amazed!

Injustice, Vengeance and Estrangement

Text: II Samuel 13:19-39
Speaker: Jim Newheiser
Outline: PDF
Date: February 14, 2010

We are continuing in what is one of the ugliest sections in all of Scripture. Last week we studied the rape of Tamar by her half brother Amnon. This week we will examine the aftermath in which Tamar’s brother Absalom takes revenge and murders Amnon. This will result in estrangement between Absalom and his father David which will culminate in a civil war in Israel.

Why are such awful events recorded in the Bible? One reason must be that the Scriptures honestly portray human sin. Unlike worldly fiction (books, movies, TV) which often glamorizes immorality and vengeance, the Scriptures show the sordidness of the sin itself and the awfulness of sin’s consequences.

What happened in 2 Samuel 13 continues to happen daily in our world. Women are victimized. Human justice fails to act. Vigilantes take the law into their own hands and take their own revenge.

We as Christians must face these realities and offer hope.

Yesterday a sister at GBC sent an email to the church about a ministry in our county which serves ‘Tamars’, women who have been exploited.

We can be the savor of God’s grace in a fallen sinful world.

We also proclaim a gospel of a Savior who was abused for us so that our sins might be forgiven.

He is able to sympathize with and comfort those who have been victimized.

He also transforms us from being takers who once used other people to being able to reflect His love as we serve others.

He releases us from the tyranny of hateful vengeance to the freedom of trusting God to make all things right.

David’s Chastisement Continues: Amnon and Tamar

Text: II Samuel 13:1-19
Speaker: Jim Newheiser
Outline: PDF
Date: February 7, 2010

II Samuel is one of the most sordid chapters in the Bible (and one of the saddest).

Nathan had told Nathan that his sin would affect his house. Chapter 13 records the fulfillment through sexual immorality (rape and incest) and murder (vengeful fratricide) among David’s children.

All of this is leading up to the rebellion led by David’s son Absalom which will dominate the next several chapters.

This tragic chapter is full of practical application. Through Amnon we learn to distinguish between infatuation, lust and real love. We also are warned about the friends and counselors we choose.

Through Tamar we are given reasons to resist temptation. Through David we see how our sin can influence our children.

In contrast we are reminded that God offers us hope. He has a better way for us to find true romantic love – in a godly marriage. We are comforted knowing that He is the protector of those who have been oppressed (and the judge of their oppressors). We also remember how Christ was abused and afflicted for us, and that in Him we can be set free from bondage to sin (and the sins of our fathers).

Some might wonder whether we should speak of such ugly things in church. Everything recorded in Scripture is profitable for our instruction (II Tim. 3:16-17). The world is continually bombarding us with false messages about sexual matters. Passages like this speak to the realities which are occurring in our community and threaten our families. While the world makes sexual sin appear to be exciting and glamorous, the Bible portrays lust in all its ugliness and accurately warns of the consequences of doing evil. The Bible speaks of these things without breaching the bounds of propriety. I intend, as God helps me, to follow the Scriptural pattern as I present it to the congregation.

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