Why Should We Keeping Meeting Together?—Hebrews 10:23-25

20150329FBCAM [Anniversary Sunday]

Levi Durfey

 

INTRODUCTION

 

Today is Anniversary Sunday. Eighty-four years ago, in the Spring of 1931, three men: an evangelist and a missionary from Miles City, with a musician from Sweden, came to Baker and led a two-week evangelistic service. 

 

The messages warmed the hearts of several individuals, and with the help of a pastor from Miles City, they formally established the First Baptist Church of Baker in March of 1931. 

 

The very first Anniversary Sunday happened the next year, making this day an eighty-four year tradition of the church.

 

Originally, the church met in Graingers Hall (located a couple buildings to the North of Wells Fargo) on the top floor. One of the first members remembered that she was baptized in a horse trough that someone hauled into Graingers Hall.

 

By the end of 1934 the church had a basement built (with a dirt mound on top of it) that would serve as it’s home until the top half could be built following World War II. When the first pastor left in 1938, the church had grown from 17 to 200 members and were meeting in the original basement.

 

Why was church so important to them? Sure, the evangelistic meetings had lifted them closer to the Lord, but why not just go home and pray and study there?

 

In Hebrews 10:23-25 we find the answer to the question: why should we keep meeting together? In these verses, we’ll see our mission, our method, and our motivation.

 

23 Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised;) 24 And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works: 25 Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching. (Hebrews 10:23–25) Continue reading

The Fifth Commandment—Exodus 20:12

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Levi Durfey

 

1 And God spake all these words, saying, 2 I am the LORD thy God, which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. 3 Thou shalt have no other gods before me.

 

4 Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth: 5 Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me; 6 And shewing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments.

 

7 Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD thy God in vain; for the LORD will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain.

 

8 Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. 9 Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work: 10 But the seventh day is the sabbath of the LORD thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates: 11 For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the LORD blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it.

 

12 Honour thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee.

13 Thou shalt not kill.

14 Thou shalt not commit adultery.

15 Thou shalt not steal.

16 Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour.

17 Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor any thing that is thy neighbour’s.

 

INTRODUCTION

 

We are in the midst of a national family crisis, are we not? We could spend all day listing elements of the crisis—the overturning of traditional marriage, no-fault divorce, babies born out of wedlock, and so on. 

 

The fifth commandment tips us to another cause—the lack of respect for authority. For the last 50 years or so, we’ve seen a diminishing respect for authority in our nation. Continue reading

Temples And Slaves—1 Corinthians 6:19-20

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Levi Durfey

 

INTRODUCTION

 

I’ve found in my Christian walk that there are key passages in the Bible that I keep coming back to again and again for encouragement to keep running the race. 

 

  • There’s Romans 12:1-2 about being a living sacrifice, not conforming to the world, and being transformed.
  • There’s Hebrews 12:1-2 about laying aside every weight and sin and running the race set before me.
  • Psalm 1 encourages me to delight in God’s Word and avoid the ways of sinners.
  • Matthew 6:19-21 reminds me not to store up treasures on Earth, but in Heaven.

 

These verses that we’ll look at now, 1 Corinthians 6:19-20, are also verses that help me direct my life—and will even more so now that I have studied them closely.

 

We have been looking at what the Bible says about our bodies in 1 Corinthians 6:12-20. The issue in Corinth had to do with immorality with harlots, but the principles we are learning can be applied to many areas.

 

19 What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? 20 For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s. (1 Corinthians 6:19–20)

 

If you are a Christian, these verses teach that… Continue reading

Keep Your Body For Christ—1 Corinthians 6:15-18

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Levi Durfey

 

INTRODUCTION

 

This last part of 1 Corinthians 6 has turned out to be a sermon trilogy on the Christian’s body. Let’s read through the passage again and, as we do, review what we already covered. 

 

First, remember that the central issue in these verses was that some of the Corinthian believers were sleeping with temple prostitutes (Temple prostitution was thought to be a way to gain good fortune or favors from the gods).

 

Now, don’t think that because you don’t sleep with prostitutes, that this passage has no relevance. The application of this passage covers many things that we do with our bodies: from sexual immorality to drinking and drugs to overeating.

 

Temple prostitution? How could they do such a thing? Part of it had to do with cultural blindness. People, including Christians, in every culture are blind to certain aspects of their culture. They can’t see them as sins, but just the what everybody does. We, also, are often blind to sins because our culture treats them as normal.

 

That’s why Paul doesn’t just say, “Don’t sleep with prostitutes, stupid.” Instead, he explains why it is wrong, and he counters the excuses that they used to justify their behavior. Their excuses were in the form of two slogans, or catch-phrases, that they used.

 

12 “All things are lawful unto me,” [this was the first slogan, it should be quotes—they felt like they had the freedom as Christians to do whatever they wanted; Paul counters first by saying,] but all things are not expedient: [not everything is beneficial or helpful to me, or to the others around me; e.g., a teenager gains the freedom to drive, but high speeds aren’t helpful to themselves or others around them]

 

“all things are lawful for me,” [Paul’s second counter statement is] but I will not be brought under the power of any. [Sometimes a Christian allows their freedom to put them into bondage. They go from “I am free to do this,” to “I must do this.” Just look at a kid who gets an iPad for a birthday…they become consumed with their new freedom].

 

13 [Another slogan they used was,] “Meats for the belly, and the belly for meats:” [in other words, do what comes naturally. If you love to eat, then eat. Sex? Sure, do it as much as and with who you want, it’s the natural thing to do]. but God shall destroy both it and them. Now the body is not for fornication, but for the Lord; and the Lord for the body. 14 And God hath both raised up the Lord, and will also raise up us by his own power [Just because it comes naturally, doesn’t mean we should do it. We will answer to God for what we do in the body. He will resurrect our bodies, which indicates that our bodies are important and should be cared for properly].

 

And now, the passage we’ll look at in this sermon:

 

15 Know ye not that your bodies are the members of Christ? shall I then take the members of Christ, and make them the members of an harlot? God forbid. 16 What? know ye not that he which is joined to an harlot is one body? for two, saith he, shall be one flesh. 17 But he that is joined unto the Lord is one spirit. 18 Flee fornication. Every sin that a man doeth is without the body; but he that committeth fornication sinneth against his own body. 

 

19 What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? 20 For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s. (1 Corinthians 6:12–20)

 

Why is it wrong to sleep with a prostitute (or commit any sort of sexual immorality)? Because… Continue reading

The Fourth Commandment—Exodus 20:8-11

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Levi Durfey

 

1 And God spake all these words, saying, 2 I am the LORD thy God, which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. 3 Thou shalt have no other gods before me.

 

4 Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth: 5 Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me; 6 And shewing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments.

 

7 Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD thy God in vain; for the LORD will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain.

 

8 Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. 9 Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work: 10 But the seventh day is the sabbath of the LORD thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates: 11 For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the LORD blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it.

 

12 Honour thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee.

13 Thou shalt not kill.

14 Thou shalt not commit adultery.

15 Thou shalt not steal.

16 Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour.

17 Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor any thing that is thy neighbour’s.

 

INTRODUCTION

 

The Sabbath. It’s a topic that can instantly set Christians on edge. Should Christians observe the Sabbath or not? Aren’t we free from following the law? Can’t we do whatever we want on Sunday? Didn’t Christ give us a permanent rest in him (Hebrews 3:7-4:11)?

 

Some Christians have treated the Sabbath much like the Pharisees did in Bible times. If you read the “Farmer Boy” book from the Little House series, you will find that Almanzo Wilder’s family sat in their living room all Sunday Afternoon doing nothing.

 

Half-way between these extremes you will find the truth of the Sabbath, and once you find it, you’ll discover that it is gone forever in America. Continue reading

The Golden Rule—Matthew 7:12

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Levi Durfey

 

INTRODUCTION

 

For centuries, people have searched for concise ethical slogans—brief moral statements or catch-phrases that are easily remembered and passed on. Perhaps the most famous is Jesus’ Golden Rule.

 

12 Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets. (Matthew 7:12)

 

Most people know something about the Golden Rule. It has been called the centerpiece of Christian ethics—the most concise statement on how Christians should act toward other people. 

 

Before we talk about the Golden Rule, however, we need to discuss what some have called the Silver Rule.

 

Legend has it that the great Jewish Rabbi, Hillel, was approached one day by a Greek Gentile. He promised Hillel that he would convert to Judaism if he could teach him what Judaism was about…while standing on one foot! 

 

Hillel was up to the challenge and said to him, “Don’t do to others what you would hate to be done to you.” That is the Silver Rule.

 

Unfortunately for Hillel, it wasn’t very original. Confucius taught the same idea: “What you do not want done to yourself, do not do to others.” 

 

Ancient Greek Philosophers stated it this way, “Do not afflict on others the suffering that you avoid yourself.”

 

The Silver Rule is still used today…have you ever said, “I wouldn’t wish that on my worst enemy?” It is just another way of saying, “Don’t do to others what you would hate to be done to you.”

 

What is wrong with the Silver Rule? Well, nothing, in the sense that it doesn’t command you to do anything wrong, but it is lacking something.  Continue reading

Rebuking Reasons To Sin—1 Corinthians 6:12-14

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Levi Durfey

 

INTRODUCTION

 

The Corinthians were in a real mess in many ways. We’ve seen that already in our journey through this letter, and we’ll see more of it. 

 

In the last half of chapter six, the issue has to do with some of the believers sleeping with prostitutes in pagan temples. Temple prostitution in the ancient world was a supposed way of obtaining good fortune or blessing from the gods.

 

We aren’t going to cover the whole passage right now, but let’s read it all so we can see the context.

 

12 All things are lawful unto me, but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me, but I will not be brought under the power of any. 13 Meats for the belly, and the belly for meats: but God shall destroy both it and them. Now the body is not for fornication, but for the Lord; and the Lord for the body. 14 And God hath both raised up the Lord, and will also raise up us by his own power. 

 

15 Know ye not that your bodies are the members of Christ? shall I then take the members of Christ, and make them the members of an harlot? God forbid. 16 What? know ye not that he which is joined to an harlot is one body? for two, saith he, shall be one flesh. 17 But he that is joined unto the Lord is one spirit. 18 Flee fornication. Every sin that a man doeth is without the body; but he that committeth fornication sinneth against his own body. 19 What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? 20 For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s. (1 Corinthians 6:12–20)

 

It appears from verses 13, 15, 16, and 18 that some of the Corinthian believers were continuing to commit fornication with pagan temple harlots or prostitutes. 

 

Now, why on earth would they think that it would be okay to do such a thing? Part of it has to do with cultural blind spots. There are things in every culture that most of the people, even Christians, think is okay to do.

 

I am sure that if a Christian from a different part of the world visited us for a length of time, they would be shocked at some of the things that we do that could be morally questionable and yet we’re blind to it. 

 

Likewise, we might be shocked at what something that Christians in a different part of the world would think was fine.

 

Temple prostitution was so ingrained in the culture of Corinth, and the ancient world, that new believers sometimes had a hard time shaking it off. Continue reading