Monthly Archives: April 2016

This is Where I Stand…I Refuse to Fight…

Let me be clear right off. I refuse to fight over this issue.  My stance is what it is. It is not bigotted, nor is it “intolerant” or “fearful” of those who prefer a different sexual lifestyle.  I do not hate the homosexual or any part of that community.  I simply disagree with their lifestyle choice. Since when is it wrong to disagree with people? There are a lot of things in life that I disagree with and yet I am not considered bigotted for my disagreement. For one,  I disagree with the lifestyle and the politics of Donald Trump, and yet I am not labelled a “bigot” or a “politi-phobe“. I simply have the right to express my disagreement with his lifestyle, position and politics. It is the same with many other issues such as divorce. I do not like or agree with divorce for simply any old reason at all. And yet I am not categorized as a “divorce-a-phobe“. Can I not hold to that opinion?  Can I not own a viewpoint that is based upon my own personal convictions? Or must it be dictated to me by special interest groups that happen to have political clout and sports  and rock star status? I doubt that Bruce Springsteen and Bryan Adams will come to my aid when my beliefs, choices and convictions are attacked.

I think everyone knew that this would be contentious.  Everyone in their right mind knew that the lobbyists of the GLBTQ community will not rest until they have quietted anyone and everyone who opposes them. While at the same time there are those who are militantly opposed to the legislation and are looking for a confrontation on the issue.

Currently, there are a number of states down in the U.S. who have legislated protection for religious groups to practice their faith without being forced to compromise their civil rights, personal faith and convictions.  To me this makes perfect sense. Even with the  writing of this blog I know I will be castigated as a”homophobe” or a “bigot” and an “intolerant” Christian pastor. But please know that nothing could be further from the truth. I ask simply for respectful dialogue and clear and respectful thinking on these issues.

I, as a Christian, simply adhere to a different authority, the authority of the God of the Bible. I choose to obey Him as He has directed my beliefs that are found in the Bible, as countless millions have done throughout the history of the world. And yet, today, there are those who say, that I should not be allowed to do this, or to even have the freedom to do that.  Well who, then, is being intolerant?

So, as a Baptist pastor, and one who is given the responsibility, opportunity and privelige to perform marriage ceremonies in the province of Ontario…I take each marriage ceremony very seriously. And so, as a matter of personal conviction, I cannot in good conscience formalize and bless a relationship that God has clearly forbidden. But the real issue at hand is…why are religious people or the the church considered to be the intolerant ones of the rights of gay people…but it is not considered intolerant of the Gay  and Lesbian (GLBQT) community to disagree with the position of the Church?

I honestly do not see any other way to pave over this issue and bring a harmonious resolution.  In almost every community there are churches who do provide those same services to the GLBTQ community that they are seeking. Why then are those of us who choose not to marry these individuals considered to be intolerant? Why is there a target of accusation on our backs? As nations, Canada and the United States were both founded upon the right to religious freedom…however that is expressed. This means that the Mormon has every right as the Baptist as the Unitarian and as the Jehovah Witness to practice their faith driven lifestyle as much as the Gay and Lesbian individual have the freedom to practice their chosen lifestyle. The GLBTQ individual does not agree with what I believe…and yet I do not accuse them of bigotry toward me and my commnity of faith. And at the same time,  I do not agree with what they believe…hence we have the beauty of religious freedom… the freedom to choose according to our own conscience.

The Biblical church will always have their belief system based upon the Bible which is their ultimate authority. You take that belief system away and you are subjugating their freedom to practice according to their conscience. What kind of a world will be the result?  The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms should protect those who choose to follow their authority of their faith. Be it the Bible, the Koran or any other standard of authority.  It is not intolerant, it is not racist or bigotted. It should be loving and yet disagreeing. In a civilized society there is nothing wrong with that.

This my dear friends is where I stand.

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“The Precious Blood of Jesus”

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1 Peter 1:18-19
Knowing that you were not redeemed with corruptible things…but with the precious blood of Christ…”
Some may consider this an unpopular subject. “Pastor David…we need sermons on morality, how to live upright, good feeling kind of sermons! Why would anyone consider speaking on “atonement”…the subject of a sacrifice covering sins? Why “the blood of Christ”? We know that without blood there can be no life in the body! So in case you were wondering, I am glad you asked! There are 427 references to the blood of Christin the Bible 30x in NT…22 sermons in Acts by 4 preachers all deal with the death & resurrection of the Lord Jesus.

So why do we sing about “the precious blood of Jesus Christ”? Why is blood so necessary?
Why do we have a preoccupation with blood and with what happened on the cross…are we morbid?  Do we have a sick fascination about death caused by an ancient form of execution?  We actually celebrate with reverence the precious blood of Jesus…we focus on this perfect sacrifice that was made on our behalf for our sin…here at the Lord’s Table. Not just the blood from the nails piercing the hands and feet…the crown of thorns that was forced onto His head…wounds from the stripes of the Roman scourge…and after He died the blood and water that spilled from His side…His precious blood was spilled for you and me. So…Why is the blood of Jesus Christ so precious?

Please keep in mind that the blood is a symbol of the perfect sacrificial death of the Lord Jesus Christ. “For the life of the flesh is in the blood, and I have given it to you upon the altar to make atonement for your souls; for it is the blood that makes atonement for the soul. Leviticus 17:11  God said that “the wages of sin is death”…death is the judgement for sin…Jesus paid that price for us! Jesus shed His blood…He died…so that you and I might be forgiven.
So as we focus on the blood of Jesus…it is the perfect sacrifice for our sins…His death on Calvary.
What is it about His BLOOD that makes it so precious to you and to me?
1. The Blood of Jesus Christ is Precious Because… IT REDEEMS… (1 Peter 1:19)
The word “redeem” means many things today. We speak of people “redeeming themselves after failure.” They have done something to bring their reputation back in line with honesty and success. We use “redeem” to refer to a coupon that is given to a retailer in order for us to receive a discount.

But to really know what it means we need to go all the way back to the Garden of Eden…to the time of the Fall… when Adam and Eve sinned…and sin nature was passed on to all their descendants…sin brought corruption on all creation…so now all creation groans…this is called the “curse”. And as a result , all creation groans because of the curse…it is in bondage to sin.

But even in Eden, God promised there would be a “Deliverer”. In other words, One who would “pay the price” to deliver mankind from the curse of sin. (Genesis 3:15 “He will bruise your head and you will bruise Him on the heel.”) All Scripture (66 books) point us to the coming Deliverer/Redeemer. the Lord Jesus…the living Word of God. So in the 1st Century Peter, the apostle wrote to the dispersed believers reminding them: “You were not redeemed with corruptible things, like silver or gold…but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot.” (1 Peter 1:19) When Peter wrote this “redemption” was well known…there over 60 million slaves in the Rome. They knew the reality of what was necessary for their freedom. A price had to be paid.

Many slaves had become believers in the Lord Jesus…they were now Christians and were part of local churches. They knew very well the word REDEMPTION. A slave in that day could purchase his freedom if he could collect enough money…or his master sell him to someone who would pay the price and set him free. Redemption was a precious thing in the first century.

So a working definition of “redeem” …means to…set free by paying a price. A slave could be set free with the payment of money…but be sure to…you and I are a slave/bondage to sin…What amount of money can purchase a sinner’s freedom? The answer? Only the precious blood of Jesus Christ can REDEEM us.

  • Galatians 3:13Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law, having become a curse for us…for it is written “Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree.””
  • Acts 20:28 Paul told pastors: “Shepherd the church of God…which He purchased with His own blood.”

Christ’s blood was the FULL PRICE of our redemption. He sets us free by paying the price for our freedom! Our freedom is paid for in full. Not only has He created…He has purchased/redeemed us back to Himself.

2. The Blood of Jesus Christ is Precious Because…IT CLEANSES
A second reason why the blood of Jesus is so precious…is because it CLEANSES! (PAST/PRESENT) Believe it or not, you and I actually need CLEANSING!…every one of us are sinners…we have sinned…we have broken God’s laws. We deserve death. Our hearts are stained with sin…therefore we need cleansing.How can we cleanse ourselves? Going to church, being religious, sticking up for the environment, NO. We cannot cleanse ourselves from sin. You can’t live a good enough life to cleanse yourself!

We can only be cleansed of our sin by the blood of Jesus Christ! When Jesus died on the cross…He took our sin upon Himself…He actually became sin for us…He died in our place.
And so, as a result, 1 John 1:7…the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from ALL sin.”
Revelation 1:5To Him who loved us and washed us from our sins in His own blood…”
Isaiah 1:18Though your sins are as scarlet they shall be white as snow…”
Because of Jesus’ blood there is no spot on the believer, no wrinkle…His blood removes the stains of sin. What does this look like? The moment you believe in your heart that Jesus died to redeem you from sins bondage…that very moment your sins which were scarlet became white as snow. This is good news for all mankind! (Hebrews 9:11-14)
He allows us to stand before God accepted in the Beloved…In Jesus Christ.
By His death on the cross…Jesus takes away our GUILT by His blood on the cross…
But also the PRESENT aspect…God cleanses us every day. Every day we need cleansing…
Before I fall asleep I can rehearse and think about those things I have done wrong in the day and I confess them to God. I agree with Him they are sinful…so I ask His forgiveness…and He cleanses me right then and there. Then there are other times when I am reading His Word and I am confronted by my sinfulness and I repent and confess them…When I stop and see what a great price was paid for my forgiveness…I am overwhelmed…God cleanses me from my sin!

When we confess our sins to Him…we are agreeing with Him that they are wrong…God does a cleansing work in our hearts. CLEANSING AGENTS…He does this by His Spirit (John 16) and His Word. Keep in mind the next time you plan to sin…that you are going to sin against a faithful and loving God. Don’t take lightly the grace of God. “What shall we say then? Shall we continue to sin that grace may abound? Absolutely not How shall we who died to sin still live in it? (Romans 6:1)(“Create in me a clean heart O God and renew a right spirit within me…” Psalm 51:10)
The blood of Jesus is precious because…it REDEEMS, CLEANSES and it also SAVES.

3. The Blood of Jesus Christ is Precious Because… IT SAVES
If we go back to the first Jewish Passover…the Jewish people as instructed by Moses took the blood of a spotless lamb and put it on the door posts and the lintels of their homes. So when the angel of death came to bring judgment on Egypt and secure their release…he would PASS OVER where the blood was spilt. The blood on the doorpost and lintels was all that was required!…NOTHING but the blood of the Lamb. They were saved from the God’s judgement on Egypt…destroying angel… passed over them, didn’t touch them! In the same way…God sees the blood of Jesus Christ shed on Calvary…and He passes over us…we are completely covered…we don’t get what our sin deserves. We are SAFE… saved… preserved from God’s wrath upon sin.
The Israelite on that fateful night was not partly saved…he was completely sLamb-on-a-rockaved. Exodus 12:13 God had said to them: “When I see the blood I will pass over you.”

Jesus is the Lamb of God…when God sees one who trusts in the blood…he is completely saved. We are saved only by the blood of Jesus Christ. There is therefore now no condemnation…

4. The Blood of Jesus Christ is Precious Because… IT SANCTIFIES
To “sanctify” = means to “set apart”…to “consecrate something as holy”… God has always required holiness. God had said: “Be holy as I am holy.” To fully understand this requirement…we need to go back to the Old Testament again…where the Jewish High Priest would take the blood of the sacrifices and sprinkle it on the instruments of the Temple…this was Ceremonial Cleansing…in the same way the Jewish priests were constantly washing themselves …to sanctify them…to set them apart for their holy ministry…

The same blood that redeems, cleanses, saves…sanctifies…also sets you and I apart to live holy lives.Through His perfect sacrifice upon the cross God …Jesus sanctifies you and I. Only Jesus can sanctify your heart…He cleanses your heart through the Spirit and the Word. Not sure who wrote this but it is true nonetheless: “There is no motive for holiness as great as that which flowed from the veins of Jesus.” Hebrews 10:19Therefore brethren having boldness to enter the holiest by the blood of Jesus

5. The Blood of Jesus Christ is Precious Because…IT SATISFIES
God is holy…and a holy God…demands justice. You break the law…you pay the penalty for breaking the law. God sets the rules…and He says “the soul that sins will die…” “…the wages of sin is death.”
So how can we stand? How can anyone have hope? Again it is only because of the blood of Jesus Christ. 1 John 4:9-10In this the love of God was manifested toward us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him. In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins.”

Your standard dictionary says “propitiation” means to appease someone who is angry…if you apply that here you get the wrong idea…you get the picture…of an angry God who has to be appeased for all that you do wrong. God is angry at sin…because He is holy…but the Bible reassures us that He is also loving….and He does what is necessary to satisfy His wrath. So the word “propitiation” means “…the satisfying the wrath of a holy God…and His holy law.” Romans 5:9 “…having now been justified by His blood we shall be saved from wrath through Him.”

6. The Blood of Jesus Christ is Precious Because…IT RECONCILES
When Adam and Eve sinned they basically declared war on God. But God did not declare war on them. Instead He provided continually ways for their sins to be covered. The Bible says apart from Christ we’re at war with God. Romans 8:7 “the carnal mind is enmity with God.” Man cannot negotiator bring any kind of peace…even if they are religious, moral, and upright living people. The only One who can reconcile God and man is the Son of God, Jesus Christ. It was not Jesus becoming flesh that reconciles…His miracles didn’t reconcile, His example didn’t reconcile God and man…ONLY through His sacrificial death upon the cross that peace was made. Colossians 1:19-22 “For it pleased the Father that in Him (Jesus) all the fullness should dwell, and by Him to reconcile all things to Himself, by Him, whether things on earth or things in heaven, having made peace through the blood of His cross.”

6. The Blood of Jesus Christ is Precious Because…...
In Revelation 12 there are believers who are experiencing great persecution for their faith. Revelation 12:11 “…they overcame Him by the blood of the Lamb….” They overcame Satan through the blood of the Lamb…in other words they knew in their hearts that nothing can rob them of their salvation which is in Jesus Christ alone. Believers in any age can rejoice…because the price that was paid is complete and victory is won! Satan has been defeated by the blood of Jesus Christ upon the cross! So it doesn’t matter what kind of opposition he throws at God’s people…the blood has already defeated that accuser of the brethren! Please remember that…He who fights with the precious blood of Jesus cannot know defeat. Trust its power!

The blood Redeems…Cleanses…Saves…Sanctifies…Satisfies…Reconciles and Overcomes. It never loses its effectiveness! Make sure dear reader… Are you trusting Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross by faith today? Are you washed in the blood of the Lamb?