We must now explain Samuel's speech to the people of Israel, in which he reminds them that they were still free to withdraw from their plans and to change their original intention to seek a king. Then he says that the king who will reign over them will take their sons for his own purposes and will cause much plundering and robbery. As we said in our last Sermon, these words show that the Lord does not give kings the right to use their power to subject the people to tyranny. Indeed, when the liberty to resist tyranny seems to be taken away by princes who have taken over, one can justly ask this question: since kings and princes are bound by covenant to the people, to administer the law in truest equality, sincerity, and integrity; if they break faith and usurp tyrannical power by which they allow themselves everything they want: is it not possible for the people to consider together taking measures in order to remedy the evil? A difficult question indeed, which in this time is neither pleasant to consider in detail, nor is it even expedient to do so. For we have seen in any today who seek an occasion of changing things and allow themselves to go too far in agitating and overthrowing powers and authorities. These matters should be dealt with very soberly. Therefore, it behooves us to be content with what the Sacred Scripture teaches us, that God certainly punishes those who do not merit a good government by leading them into tyranny under bad princes.
Every human being has in some way benefited from the undeserved, incomparable sufferings and death of Jesus Christ. Hence, He can be called, "the Savior of all men, especially of believers," I Tim. 4:10. Therefore, we, as Christians, are able to endure patiently any unjust persecution for Christ, which God has willed that we undergo, I Pet. 3:17; because, when we do, we are like Christ, close to Christ, and a benefit to other people.
1 Peter 3:18-22, which focuses on the consequences of Christ's suffering, is one of the most difficult passages in the whole Bible to interpret correctly; but, as we learn how to interpret it, we will be sharper in interpreting any other biblical text. Furthermore, what we will learn from this text is worth the time, effort and struggle put into the interpreting of it. Having seen the nature of Christ's suffering - penal, vicarious, and propitiatory; and the purpose of His suffering - to bring us to God in knowledge, favor, resemblance and communion; we are now in a position to consider the consequences of those sufferings COSMICALLY, SPIRITUALLY, PERSONALLY, INDIVIDUALLY, AND ETERNALLY.
A 75 percent growth in the last three years combined with phenomenal test scores attest to the success of Westminster Christian Academy, now one of the three largest Christian schools in Louisiana.
Headmaster Mark Stout says that Westminster's success is a result of a reliance on God, an insistence on excellence, and service to the community.
These old-fashioned virtues are as fresh at Westminster as the wildflowers that grow in the fields surrounding its campus. Three years ago, 45 students were enrolled in high school there, Stout said. This year, there will be 145. There were 25 in last year's graduating class.
The Bible specifically gives instruction on how the tongue is and is not supposed to be used. It is very important to think before one speaks. Many students, even in Christian schools have problems, because they make improper use of their tongue. Whether it be profanity, slander, disrespect, or lying, they all play their role in destroying Christ's temple, which consists of His people.
I woke early this morning, slipped into my old terry-cloth robe and sat on my front porch steps with my steaming cup and Bible. The flowers in my window-boxes were still nodding, not even the mockingbirds were up commanding the neighborhood yet. I tried to inhale this quietness into my heart. I will need it today. "Lord of the morning," I prayed, "here in Your garden, come and meet this day's needs before I do. Nest in my heart the weapons from your Word I will need to fight today's battles."
As I read a passage in Thessalonians reminding me of God's faithfulness to us in the midst of an evil world, I started thinking about how difficult it is to "flee evil" today. We run into it even in the institutions where we should be "safe". Churches, homes, schools - there is no place to hide from the corruption of sin.
The worship of God is the highest calling of man. It is the fulfillment of the very purpose of our existence, for God has created all things to bring Him glory (Rev. 4: 11) and man alone of the creatures of the earth has the capacity to worship. Worship is of two varieties: There is generic worship, which is the honor and dedication to God evident in our day-to-day affairs. It is living for God in all of life. Then there is specific worship, which is the setting apart of a specific time and place for the formal, corporate praise of God.
As Christians we ought to be concerned to worship God as Christ commanded "in spirit and in truth" John 4:24). But what does such mean? A close look at the episode recorded in Zechariah 7 will uncover the principle of specific worship "in spirit and truth" being applied.