Salvation by Grace Alone, Simple Family-Integrated Worship

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Articles, devotionals, study guides, and other writings from Pastor David Wise and other select writers.

Zeal Of Thine House Hath Eaten Me Up

“15) And when he had made a scourge of small cords, he drove them all out of the temple, and the sheep, and the oxen; and poured out the changers’ money, and overthrew the tables; 16) And said unto them that sold doves, Take these things hence; make not my Father’s house an house of merchandise. 17) And his disciples remembered that it was written, The zeal of thine house hath eaten me up.” (John 2:15-17)

Jesus Christ was consumed with zeal and passion for his house, and the church today should be consumed with zeal for his house as well. In his first trip to Jerusalem, Jesus was so consumed with zeal for God’s house that he purged it of everyone there for the wrong reason. As the disciples of Christ, we must follow Jesus’ example in all things in our life. We must follow Jesus and have a greater zeal and devotion for God’s house. The majority of Christianity today is lukewarm or frigidly cold in devotion to God and to the church. We might go through the motions or give the pretense of religion, but truly we are cold in our zeal for the church. We must heed the admonition to the lukewarm Laodicean church to “be zealous” (get hot, start boiling over) in service to God. Jesus Christ set the standard that we must follow. We must be passionately and zealously consumed with Jesus Christ and consumed with a zeal for God’s house.

Salvation Coming to Your House

“And Jesus said unto [Zacchaeus], This day is salvation come to this house, forsomuch as he also is a son of Abraham.” (Luke 19:9)

Zacchaeus was arguably public enemy number one in Judea since he was the chief of the publican tax collectors. He was despised as a traitor and probably universally hated in the community. However, we see the genuine repentance displayed by Zacchaeus, not just committing to act honestly going forward but to make full restitution for past offenses and even restore fourfold to everyone he had previously defrauded. As a result of his sincere and radical repentance, Jesus tells him that “salvation is come to his house today”. Salvation and deliverance come to our homes when we humbly repent of our sins and commit to honest service to Jesus Christ in our lives. There is a deliverance when the leaders of our households (especially the fathers) commit to serving Jesus Christ, not just in their lives in general, but commit to making Jesus Christ the Lord of their house as well. We can experience “salvation coming to our house” when we serve Jesus Christ in sincerity and devotion in our homes with our family.

Do All Things Work Together for Good?

“And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.” (Rom. 8:28)

The Holy Spirit gave God’s people some amazing, comforting truths in the eighth chapter of Romans. However, it has become commonplace in Christian culture today for Romans 8:28 to be used in a very broad and general sense to try to comfort God’s people, extending far beyond the immediate context of the verse. Oftentimes, well-meaning believers attempt to use Romans 8:28 to try to explain some bad circumstances that occur in life – a tragic sudden loss of a loved one, a terminal diagnosis is given, a global pandemic, wars, violence, crime and unrest, or any number of other bad things in this world. They attempt to teach in a very general way that “God is working all things together for your good”. This incorrect portrayal tells the struggling child of God that the Lord has caused this event, but it’s okay because ultimately God is using this – just like how supposedly God uses all things, all events in this life without exception – to work together for your ultimate good. While it is true that God’s motivation and goal in his actions are always the good of his children, scripture does not support that all events without exception are working together for our good.

God’s Faithfulness Through Temptation

“There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.” (1 Cor. 10:13)

It is a common Christian cliché today to say that “God will never put on you more than you can bear”. This verse in 1 Cor. 10:13 is typically used to support that statement. However, this verse does not teach that God will never put more on you than you can bear. Actually, a studious reading of this text will find that God typically will put on you more than you can bear by yourself. In the midst of those overwhelming situations, God has promised that he will give us a way of escape with grace sufficient to embolden us with God’s strength to be able to bear up under that trial. The same writer of 1 Cor. 10:13, the Apostle Paul felt that God had previously put on him more than he could bear; he had been “pressed out of measure, above strength, insomuch that we despaired even of life” (2 Cor. 1:8). Paul felt pressured beyond his own strength, pressed beyond what he could bear in and of himself. Moses, Job, and Elijah all felt their trials were too much to bear and requested God to take their life. It often takes fierce, apparently overwhelming, trials in our lives for us to be reminded of our own insufficiency and how dependent we truly are upon God for everything. Truly, without Christ we can do nothing (John 15:5). However, praise God in spite of our weakness that we are empowered to still do all things through Christ who strengthens us (Phil. 4:13). When the storms of life are raging, we trust God’s faithfulness and providence to empower us with sustaining strength and grace sufficient during our great times of need.

Does God Love the Whole World? Election & John 3:16

As Primitive, Original Baptists we strive to uphold the teachings of the original church as we see presented in the New Testament scriptures. One of the distinctive doctrines that we find in the scriptures that Primitive Baptists uphold is the doctrine of “unconditional election”. When some people first hear of the doctrine of election, I have seen it cause a good deal of anxiety and confusion when this doctrine is not properly understood. One of the first rebuttals I will usually hear against election is that “God could not have chosen a people to salvation before the world began because John 3:16 says that God loves the whole world and offers salvation to any that will believe in Jesus Christ.” It is true that John 3:16 does say that God loves the world. However, we will consider the rightly dividing of that verse in context to see that Jesus is not teaching Nicodemus that God loves everyone without exception, but that God loves the world without distinction, particularly that God has a people outside the natural Jewish nation among the Gentiles. I believe we will see that John 3:16 is not an invitation to eternal life to anyone that is willing to believe, but that verse is an assurance text to all that do believe that they already have eternal life through Jesus Christ. We want to have a thorough discussion together of how to properly reconcile the doctrine of unconditional election with the verse in John 3:16. We hope you can read this article with an open mind, considering the scriptures referenced, and study these things out for yourself to see if these things are so. “Consider what I say; and the Lord give thee understanding in all things.” (2 Tim. 2:7)

Danger of Rumors & False Assumptions

“11) And the children of Israel heard say, Behold, the children of Reuben and the children of Gad and the half tribe of Manasseh have built an altar over against the land of Canaan, in the borders of Jordan, at the passage of the children of Israel. 12) And when the children of Israel heard of it, the whole congregation of the children of Israel gathered themselves together at Shiloh, to go up to war against them.” (Josh. 22:11-12)

In this lesson among the eastern and western tribes of Israel, we see the danger of rumors and imposing false assumptions on those rumors. The people of God get to the brink of war just because they imposed their own assumptions on others’ actions and did not follow the biblical command to verify this information by asking the people directly. Once they actually got around to asking the eastern tribes and getting an explanation, they understood it was a reasonable decision, and the conflict was resolved. All of this conflict was created because they did not ask the people directly and attempt to reconcile the issue before escalation. Unfortunately, even today the world and God’s people are not any different. We assume we know “why” others do something, impose our own false assumptions upon what we heard, and then create conflict based on totally wrong information. What is the remedy for this danger of rumors and false assumptions? Simply follow the scriptural pattern to ask the offending parties directly for an explanation before we assume anything regarding their actions. Our speech needs to minister grace and edification to our hearers, and gossip and unverified rumors need to cease when they reach our ears.  

Labouring Fervently in Prayer

“Epaphras, who is one of you, a servant of Christ, saluteth you, always labouring fervently for you in prayers, that ye may stand perfect and complete in all the will of God.“ (Col. 4:12)

We see here an amazing example of Epaphras, a minister (maybe the pastor) at the church at Colossae, of the tenacity and laboring of his prayers for others. Sometimes we feel like our prayers are not effectual, but actually, the scriptures clearly affirm that the “effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man (and woman) availeth much” (James 5:16). Some of the most significant impact we can have on the kingdom is by laboring in prayer for our fellow kindred in the church. Some older people who are physically limited, in nursing homes or even bedridden, might feel that they might not have anything left to do in the kingdom. Well, there are no physical limitations that prevent anyone from laboring fervently in prayer for the saints. I believe some of the most diligent, devoted, and tenacious “prayer warriors” have been old sisters who can’t even attend church anymore, but they are still laboring in the kingdom in fervent prayers for the church. Notice Epaphras was not laboring for himself but laboring “for you”, for the saints in the Colossian church, in prayer. Our prayers need to be more “selfless” and “others-centered” than selfish and self-centered. Part of the community of the church is other saints bearing one another’s burdens, and we need to pray more diligently “for others” and help bring their burdens to the Lord for healing and relief.

Spread It Before The Lord

“And Hezekiah received the letter of the hand of the messengers, and read it: and Hezekiah went up into the house of the Lord, and spread it before the Lord.” (2 Kings 19:14)

When facing the blasphemous threat of the king of Assyria, Hezekiah shows us the proper pattern of prayer to spread our troubles before the Lord in prayer. We need to go into the house of the Lord, the church, and spread our cares and concerns to the Lord in prayer. There is no need for us to have pretense before God in prayer, to try to present ourselves better to God or act like we have it all together. We need to be fully open and honest to our God because he knows the thoughts and intents of our hearts anyway. Spread all our cares and concerns before our loving Heavenly Father, and God will answer our prayer and defend his people, as he did with Judah by destroying both the Assyrian army and king Sennacherib as well.

Our Eyes Are Upon Thee

“O our God, wilt thou not judge them? for we have no might against this great company that cometh against us; neither know we what to do: but our eyes are upon thee.” (2 Chron. 20:12)

When facing perilous circumstances and a strong approaching enemy, Jehoshaphat sets a great example for seeking God and how we ought to respond to challenging times in our lives. He acknowledged in a natural, military sense, Judah had no might to defend themselves against this great company of armies. They don’t know what to do, but their eyes are fixed upon Jehovah God for deliverance. There are many times in our lives when we feel helpless and don’t know what we ought to do. During those times of desperation, we need to seek God in prayer, confessing our lack of clarity and not knowing what to do, but affirming our eyes are fixed upon God for deliverance and mercy. When we don’t know what to do, that is the time we need to turn our eyes to God in faith in prayer for deliverance.

Proverbs Topical Verse Summary

There is tremendous value for God’s people in studying the wisdom of the book of the Proverbs. However, a large portion of the book is very sporadic with short proverbs jumping from one topic to another very quickly, many times changing from one verse to the next. I have attempted to summarize the book of Proverbs based on major topics that are very prevalent in the book to help aid in my study of this book (and hopefully your study as well). This topical verse summary is no substitute for reading this book verse by verse as it was inspired by the Holy Spirit. In addition to that expositional reading, we hope this topical grouping of the book will help us see the Proverbs’ treatment of major topics all grouped together instead of finding these verses sprinkled all throughout the book.

Click here to download a PDF copy of Proverbs Topical Verse Summary

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