Between Two Kingdoms—Daniel 3:1-27

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Levi Durfey

 

INTRODUCTION

 

Every Christian lives, in a sense, between two kingdoms. We are born into this world’s kingdom. In many ways, it has power over us. It may be a government that we live under. It may be temptations to sin. It could be the fear of leaving this world’s kingdom.

 

On the other hand, when we are born again, we become citizens of another kingdom. We are born into God’s kingdom. We are given a new destiny—being coheirs with Christ for eternity.

 

But now—now it’s difficult. We are between two kingdoms. The world’s kingdom is visible to us. It has a powerful influence in our lives and how we make decisions. God’s kingdom is infinitely more powerful, but it’s not visible. We have to live by faith.

 

Therein lies the rub: we see the world every moment of our lives. It’s power over us is constant and it’s visible. But as Christians, we know that we are live as citizens of God’s kingdom. Yet it’s not visible. Often, we pray for something, and nothing happens or the opposite happens.

 

We struggle with…

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Christ’s Body — 1 Corinthians 12:12-30

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Levi Durfey

 

INTRODUCTION

 

The human body is simply an amazing piece of God’s engineering design. It’s taken us thousands of years to figure out how God wired our bodies to function. 

 

Take breathing, for instance—the nose and mouth are the entrance for the air into our bodies. But then what? The air has to go to the lungs. The lungs take the oxygen from the air and pass it to the red blood cells. Where do the red blood cells come from? Our bone marrow—our bones help us to breath! 

 

These red blood cells travel all over the body giving oxygen to the other cells that need it. The red blood cells travel through a system of arteries, veins, and capillaries that, if you laid them end to end they would stretch around the Earth four times. 

 

Of course, to get the blood cells moving, we need the heart—that amazing little pump that beats faithfully 42,000,000 times a year. Without it, the oxygen we breath in through the nose would go nowhere.

 

It’s amazing how the parts of our bodies are designed by God to work together. If one part does not do it’s work, what happens? We get in serious trouble. The nose, lungs, bone marrow, blood cells, and heart are all necessary for us to breath.

 

By the way, this is one argument against evolution. Everything has to function correctly from day one in order for the body to survive. You can’t have the lungs evolve over time, because the body wouldn’t survive for them to evolve. This argument is call irreducible complexity.

 

At any rate, Paul compares the body of Christ—which consists of every Christian—to the human body to make a vital point. Like with the human body, every member of Christ’s body is important, needed, and should be cared for. Turn to 1 Corinthians 12—

 

The first thing this passage teaches us about Christ’s body is that…

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The Guilt Of Abortion And The Abundant Pardon Of God—Isaiah 55.6-9

20160124FBCAM [Sanctity of Life Sunday]

Levi Durfey

 

THE GUILT OF ABORTION

 

Abortion is wrong, and the Bible is very clear about that. I am not going to go into much detail about why here, but I think the Bible’s biggest argument against abortion is in the first chapter of Genesis.

 

27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them. (Genesis 1:27)

 

Every human is made in the image of God and is therefore valuable at any stage of life—whether in the womb or confined to a nursing home bed with Alzheimer’s. God did not make us the same as animals; he made us in his image; he made us special. David would proclaim in Psalm 139— 

 

13 For thou hast possessed my reins: Thou hast covered me in my mother’s womb. 14 I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: Marvellous are thy works; And that my soul knoweth right well. (Psalm 139:13–14)

 

Our society is inconsistent in their value of a human being. We have fetal homicide laws that make it murder for someone to kill a baby in the womb by, for example, killing the mother, but abortion isn’t murder.

 

Doctors will move heaven and earth to save babies that are 22 weeks premature and weigh less than a pound. But in the next room, they will abort a baby the same gestation.

 

The Bible says that all human life is special and valuable, no matter how old or in what condition.

 

Now, the reason I bring this up is because there are thousands upon thousands of women and men, who have been involved in an abortion and have come, later, to see the Biblical truth and experience great guilt.

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Spiritual Gifts—1 Corinthians 12:1-11

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Levi Durfey

 

INTRODUCTION

 

In the kid’s book, Frog and Toad Together, we find a good illustration of what happens when a person thinks that they are more gifted than others.

 

Toad was asleep, and he was having a dream. He was on a stage, and he was wearing a costume. Toad was looking into the dark. Frog was sitting in the theatre.

 

A strange voice from far away said, “PRESENTING THE GREATEST TOAD IN THE WORLD!” Toad took a deep bow. Frog looked smaller as he shouted, “Hooray for Toad!”

 

“TOAD WILL NOW PLAY THE PIANO VERY WELL,” said the strange voice. Toad played the piano, and he did not miss a note. “Frog,” cried Toad, “can you play the piano like this?” “No,” said Frog. It seemed to Toad that Frog looked even smaller.

 

“TOAD WILL NOW WALK ON A HIGH WIRE, AND HE WILL NOT FALL DOWN,” said the voice. Toad walked on the high wire. “Frog,” cried toad, “can you do tricks like this?” “No,” peeped Frog, who looked very, very small. 

 

“TOAD WILL NOW DANCE, AND HE WILL BE WONDERFUL,” said the voice. “Frog, can you be as wonderful as this?” said Toad as he danced all over the stage. There was no answer. Toad looked out into the theatre. Frog was so small that he could not be seen or heard. “Frog, what have I done?” cried Toad.

 

Then the voice said, ”THE GREATEST TOAD WILL NOW..,”

“Shut up!” screamed Toad. “Frog, Frog, where have you gone?” Toad was spinning in the dark. “Come back Frog,” he shouted. “I will be lonely!” 

 

“I am right here” said Frog. Frog was standing near Toad’s bed. “Wake up, Toad” he said. “Frog is that really you?” said Toad, “And you your own right size?” asked Toad. “Yes, I think so,” said Frog.

 

Toad looked at sunshine at the sunshine coming through the window. “Frog,” he said, “I am so glad that you came over.” “I always do,” said Frog. Then Frog and Toad ate a big breakfast. And after that they spent a fine, long day together.[1]

 

We begin a section in 1 Corinthians about spiritual gifts. Paul has to write to them about spiritual gifts because some of the Corinthian Christians had exalted some of the spiritual gifts, especially speaking in tongues and prophecy, and used them as badges of honor—something like what Toad was doing with Frog in the children’s story. 

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The Lord’s Supper—1 Corinthians 11:17-34

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Levi Durfey

 

INTRODUCTION

 

I read a story about a boy who was riding his bike when he was struck and killed by a speeding car. The older brother remembered how, later, his father went out and picked the boy’s mangled bicycle out of the ditch—a man of few tears—he wept profusely as he took it to a place behind the shed that was out of the way. Over the years, when the father would go behind the shed for a piece of scrap or whatever, seeing the bike would bring back memories of his son.

 

As I thought about the story, I wondered: What would have happened if some kids had found the mangled bike behind the shed and had tried playing with it? I imagine that the father would have told them to stop and put it back. It would have been disrespectful to the memory of his son.

 

When my father died, in the days following, no one old enough to know what was going on sat in his chair. There was no discussion about it, everyone just knew—it would be disrespectful to do so.

 

The Lord’s Supper was given by Jesus for us to do, to remember him. Some in the Corinthian church, however, were treating the Lord’s Supper, and thus the memory of the Lord, with disrespect.

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