Don’t Join the Gang

Hello again! This past Sunday, Pastor Alan continued his lessons in the book of Proverbs by taking us through an overview of the first 9 chapters before going in depth in chapter 1. To listen to this wonderful teaching, simply click play on the audio player below. Also included is his outline with links to the verses he references. Enjoy!

Proverbs 1:1-9:18

  1. Title and Preamble Proverbs1:1-7
     Writer:  Solomon Proverbs 1:1
     Genre:  Proverbs – wise sayings with moral instruction
     Purpose:  The benefits we looked at last Sunday. Proverbs 1:2-6
     Recipients:  Youths needing training.  We all need moral training though.
     Foundation:  The distinction of Hebrew wisdom is the fear of “I AM” Proverbs 1:7 
  2. Prologue Proverbs 1:8-8:36
     Ten lectures on wisdom and two additional sermons by Lady Wisdom to easily induced youths.  We will look at part of these today.
  3. Epilogue Proverbs 9:1-18 (to the first section)
     Two invitations, one by Lady Wisdom the other by Madame Folly, to unsuspecting youth to enter their houses.
     Note:  Chapters 1-9 are a sort of roadmap to understanding the rest of the book of Proverbs.
  4. Today’s Message:  Don’t Join the Gang
    (the lure of peers and the quest for belonging and identity) Proverbs 1:8-19

    Lecture 1 of 10 – Introduction, main lesson, conclusion

    I. IntroductionProverbs 1:8-9
       An address:  my son
       An Admonition:  to listen (shema – Deuteronomy 6:4)
       Listen to your mother and father (both parents are to teach) – Deuteronomy 21:18-21
       Motivation:  If one listens to a parent’s instruction and teaching it will be a victory wreath.  A way to live above your enemy.  A life of victory, power, and order.  The idea of order is symbolized by the necklace.

    II. Main Lesson: Proverbs 1:10-18
       The warning here is against the lure of easy money and seduction by peers.  The warning is also against the naive idea of a community where all will share their ill-gained money equally.  Sound like some political narratives of today?  The real underlying problem is they have no fear of the Lord and no regard for law.
      1.  How to respond:  Don’t yield!  Proverbs 1:10.
      2.  Why not to yieldProverbs 1:11-14
           – An environment of violence and greed. All of it is premeditated with the intent of taking others’ possessions.
      3. An elaboration on “don’t yield” Proverbs 1:15-18
          Don’t even entertain the temptation.  It will drag you away. James 1:14-15
          Understand the maxim of what you sow you shall reap.  You sow a lifestyle of greed, violence and death, you will eventually become its victim.  Gangsters always turn on one another.  They don’t have the innate sense of danger that even a bird’s brain has (Proverbs 1:17).

    Conclusion:  A moral maxim. Proverbs 1:19.
    Greedy gain at the cost of others will take the life of the one who gets it.  A rip-off artist will be ripped apart.  Violence breeds violence. 
    Matthew 26:52, 1 Timothy 6:10, 2 Timothy 3:1-5

    Sources:  Proverbs:  A Shorter Commentary by Bruce Waltke and Ivan D. V. De Silva
    God’s Wisdom for Navigating Life by Timothy and Kathy Keller.

Wise Words for Living in a Wicked World

Hello! Since Pastor Alan finished our tour through the Gospel of John, he has now begun a wonderful series on the Book of Proverbs. To listen to the first message in this series, simply click play on the audio player below. Also included is the outline of the message with links to the verses referenced. Enjoy (I know I did)!

Wise Words for Living in a Wicked World

Proverbs 1:1-2:22

  1. Introduction
    • It is absolutely necessary to gain wisdom.
      • Other words for wisdom used in Proverbs: moral instruction, prudence, righteous living
    • One way to gain wisdom is to absorb the Proverbs into our lives.
    • The starting point of wisdom is the fear of the Lord. (Proverbs 1:7)
    • Those who say there is no God are described as fools, wicked, and corrupt. (Psalm 10:4, Psalm 14:1)
  2. Author of Proverbs
    • Most, but not all of Proverbs, was written by Solomon (who asked God for wisdom – 1 Kings 3:4-28). He spoke 3,000 proverbs (1 Kings 4:32).
    • The actual “proverbs” are found from Proverbs 10:1-22:16.
  3. Daily Proverbs
    • The book of Proverbs is 31 chapters long. So, if you read one chapter a day, it makes for a great monthly Bible reading plan.
  4. What is a proverb?
    • The Hebrew word is mashal and it essentially means a wise, short saying condensing wisdom into a brief form to aid memory.
    • Sometimes the saying can be enigmatic (puzzling, like a riddle).
    • Some of Pastor Alan’s favorites:

The Benefit of Proverbs (Proverbs 1:2-9, 2:1-8)

  1. To learn wisdom and moral instruction. (Proverbs 1:2a)
    • Learn: experiential learning or skillful acting upon what one knows.
    • Wisdom: to have moral skill that produces something of lasting value, leaving a moral legacy.
    • Moral Instruction: parental discipline or chastisement, verbal warnings, and moral training.
    • “Smart people learn from their own mistakes; wise people learn from the mistakes of others.”
  2. To discern wise counsel. (Proverbs 1:2b)
    • Discern: the ability to discern right from wrong by God’s law.
    • Wise Counsel: words of discernment. Literally, the ability to distinguish the rightness or wrongness of words of discernment.
  3. To receive moral instruction in skillful living. (Proverbs 1:3)
    • Moral instruction: parental discipline or chastisement, verbal warnings, and moral training.
    • Skillful Living: involves knowing and practicing righteousness, justice, & equity.
      • Righteousness: conforming to a standard of God’s law.
      • Justice: doing the right thing in light of God’s law.
      • Equity: the idea of walking in a straight line.
  4. To impart shrewdness to the morally naive, a discerning plan to the young person. (Proverbs 1:4)
    • Shrewdness: to be prudent/to not be naive/to not be simple-minded about what the world is all about. (Matthew 10:16)
    • Morally Naive: easily influenced, enticed, or misled.
    • Young person (son): one in need of training.
  5. To gain guidance and instruction. (Proverbs 1:5)
    • Guidance: a combination of two Hebrew words – for sailor and rope. It is the imagery of directing a ship, giving direction for your life.
  6. To discern — live by — the truths found in the Proverbs. (Proverbs 1:6)
  7. To realize how valuable the wisdom of the Proverbs is and to do what’s necessary to gain it. (Proverbs 2:1-4)

The Source Behind the Wisdom? (Proverbs 1:7-9)

  1. Fear of God
    • Wisdom helps us discern what is/is not sin & keeps us from sinning.
  2. The Proverbs are given in the backdrop of fearing God and listening to godly parents (of course, not all parents are godly). (Proverbs 1:8)

A Story of Restorative Power & a Review

And finally, the last of Pastor Alan’s messages on the Gospel of John teaches us restoration in Jesus. He also reminds us about all we’ve learned through this series of messages. To listen to this teaching, simply click play on the audio player below. I’ve also included the outline and links to the references. Enjoy!

A Story of Restorative Power & a Review

  1. Reminder of an Original Purpose (John 21:1-14)
    • Luke 5:1-11
    • What’s involved in being fishers of men? (Acts 1:6-8)
      • Don’t speculate more than you circulate. (v. 6)
      • Don’t be nationalistic, be global. (v. 8)
      • Don’t share/witness in your own strength, but rely on the Spirit (v. 8)
  2. Restored for a Love-Driven Purpose (John 21:15-17)
    • agape – unselfish/unconditional love
    • phileo – brotherly/filial love
    • If you love, you tend/feed others for the purpose of disciple-making (Matthew 28:16-20)
  3. Restored for a Risk-Involved Purpose (John 21:18-19)
    • For Peter, his restoration involved martyrdom
    • Every disciple of Jesus (except John) was martyred.
  4. Review

Jesus Appears to His Disciples

Two Sundays ago, Pastor Alan taught us about some of those important moments when Jesus appeared to His disciples from John chapter 20. To listen to this message, simply click play on the audio player below. Pastor Alan’s outline with links to the Scriptures he references can also be found below.

Jesus Appears to His Disciples

John 20:19-31

  1. Jesus Proclaims Peace to the Fearful Disciples
  2. Jesus’ Presence Produces Gladness in His Disciples
  3. Jesus, as the “Sent One,” Sends the Disciples
  4. Jesus Breathes the Holy Spirit into the Disciples
  5. Jesus Gives Authority to Forgive Sin to the Disciples
    • John 20:23
    • Is a factual statement:
      • We have been forgiven, so we must forgive others
  6. Jesus Interacts with Thomas
    • John 20:24-29
    • The question of seeing and believing
      • Seeing doesn’t necessarily bring about believing, but believing allows you to see)
      • 2 Corinthians 5:7
  7. What is Belief?
    • John 20:30-31
    • We are called to believe that Jesus is the Christ/Messiah/Anointed One
    • Jesus was anointed by the Spirit at His baptism
    • 1 John 2:18-23 – if you don’t believe in Jesus, you are – by definition – an antichrist.
    • Thomas should be called “Thomas the Proclaimer”
      • He was the first to say, “My Lord and my God!”

The Burial and Resurrection of Jesus

Good evening! Pastor Alan spent the last few weeks finishing up our studies in the Gospel of John. Below, you’ll find the first of three messages that wrap up his series. To listen to his message on John 19:38-20:18, simply click play on the audio player below. Also included is Alan’s outline and links to the verses he references. Enjoy!

The Death and Resurrection of Jesus

John 19:38-20:18

  1. Introduction
  2. The Emphasis on a Buried Physical Body
  3. The Emphasis on a Physical Resurrection
    • John 20:1-9
      • The grave had not been robbed – grave robbers don’t fold face cloths! (vs. 6-7)
      • An urgency to tell others. (vs. 2-4)
        • Should convict us!
      • A change of belief. (vs. 8-9)
        • Should change what you believe is the most important thing in your life.
  4. The Importance of Christ’s Ascension and Mary’s Devotion
    • John 20:11-18
    • Mary’s devotion is in response to what Jesus did for her.
    • The ascension of Christ establishes three things for us:
      • The sending of the Spirit (John 16:7)
        • The Spirit manifests Jesus to us and in us
        • The power of the Gospel is Christ alive in us, accomplished by the Spirit
      • The power of prayer
      • The surety of the future resurrection of the dead