Is This…That?

IS THIS THAT?

I. In Joel 2:28-32 God promised to pour out His Spirit on all flesh.

And it shall come to pass afterward That I will pour out My Spirit on all flesh; Your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, Your old men shall dream dreams, Your young men shall see visions. And also on My menservants and on My maidservants I will pour out My Spirit in those days. And I will show wonders in the heavens and in the earth: Blood and fire and pillars of smoke. The sun shall be turned into darkness, And the moon into blood, Before the coming of the great and awesome day of the Lord. And it shall come to pass That whoever calls on the name of the Lord Shall be saved. For in Mount Zion and in Jerusalem there shall be deliverance, As the Lord has said, Among the remnant whom the Lord calls.

A. Note: “All flesh” does not mean “all” flesh. Why? Because “All flesh is not the same flesh, but there is one kind of flesh of men, another flesh of animals, another of fish, and another of birds” (1 Cor. 15:39). God is certainly not talking about pouring His Spirit out on bulldogs, bass, birds, or baboons!

B. Neither is saying that He was going to pour out His Spirit on all “human” flesh. In fact, when Jesus promised to send the Spirit to the church He said: “And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever— the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you.” (John 14:16-17). Therefore God was not saying that He was going to pour His Spirit out on all “human flesh” because Jesus clearly said the Spirit would not be given to those in the world (the lost).

C. What then did He mean by “all flesh?” According to the context in Joel 2:28-32, it would be “whoever calls on the name of the Lord Shall be saved.” They would “all” be given the Holy Spirit. These are the ones “whom the Lord calls” (Joel 2:32). In other words, God was going to pour His Spirit on “whoever calls” on His name or on all of the saved.

D. Therefore the Spirit would be poured out on “all” Christians without regard to:

1. Race: “I will pour out My Spirit on all flesh.”
2. Sex: “Your sons and your daughters shall prophesy.”
3. Age: “Your old men shall dream dreams, Your young men shall see visions.”
4. Social Standing: “And also on My menservants and on My maidservants I will pour out My Spirit in those days.”

II. Peter said that the outpouring of the Holy Spirit on the church in Acts 2 was the beginning of the fulfillment of Joel’s prophesies.

But this is what was spoken by the prophet Joel: ‘And it shall come to pass in the last days, says God, That I will pour out of My Spirit on all flesh; Your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, Your young men shall see visions, Your old men shall dream dreams. And on My menservants and on My maidservants I will pour out My Spirit in those days; And they shall prophesy. I will show wonders in heaven above And signs in the earth beneath: Blood and fire and vapor of smoke. The sun shall be turned into darkness, And the moon into blood, Before the coming of the great and awesome day of the Lord. And it shall come to pass That whoever calls on the name of the Lord Shall be saved.’ (Acts 2:16-21).

A. Notice that Peter said “This is” what Joel had prophesied would happen. “This” Peter said is “That.” In other words, Peter said that the prophecy of Joel is being fulfilled…starting today! This is the beginning of that outpouring of the Holy Spirit on all believers (all flesh) just as God had promised and would last until the “coming of the great and awesome day of Lord” (His second coming; Heb. 9:28; Jude 1:6).

B. Peter said that those things God said would happen were beginning to come to pass in every detail.

1. The PLACE. There were in the right place. Joel said that deliverance would be in “Mount Zion” and “Jerusalem” which refers to church of which the Old Testament city of Jerusalem was a type (Joel 2:32; Heb. 12:22-24).

2. The PERIOD. It was the right period of time. It was in the “last days” referring to the Christian age. This is the time period when God was speaking to us through His Son and therefore the last dispensation of time on earth. “God, who at various times and in various ways spoke in time past to the fathers by the prophets, has in these last days spoken to us by His Son…” (Heb. 1:1-2). The “last days” began on the first Pentecost after the resurrection of Jesus (Acts 11:15) and will continue until the day of the Lord (2 Pet. 3:7).

3. The PEOPLE. The right people were there. It was Jewish males and females, young and old, men servants and maid servants. The promise was extended to the Gentile believers on this very occasion with these words from Peter: “Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. For the promise is to you and to your children, and to all who are afar off, as many as the Lord our God will call” (Acts. 2:38-39). The Gentiles were those referred to in the Bible as those “who once were far off” (Eph. 2:13). The promise of the outpouring of the Holy Spirit included all believing Gentiles because they were among those who would “call on the name of the Lord.”

4. The PROOF. The right proof was provided. The “sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind,” the “tongues as of fire” (Acts 2:2-4), and the other miraculous manifestations of the Spirit on that day verified that the Holy Spirit was beginning to be poured out on “all flesh” or “whoever calls on the name of the Lord” (Acts 2:21). The miraculous signs confirmed that what was happening was from God (Mk. 16:20).

5. The PROMISE. The right promise was beginning to be fulfilled and was extended to “all” who “call on the name of the Lord” (Acts 2:21). In Acts 2:38-39 Peter promised the “gift of the Holy Spirit” to all would “repent and be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ.” Observe carefully that the promise was made to “you (the Jews present that day) and to your children (any descendants the Jews may have) and to all (not some, or many, or most, but to ALL) who are afar off (Gentile believers) and “even as many as the Lord our God will call.” This sounds like “all flesh” to me! All of those who were baptized received the “remission of sins” and the “gift (filling) of the Holy Spirit.”

III. The coming of the Baptism (filling) of Holy Spirit on all of the believers on the Day of Pentecost was the beginning of the fulfillment of Joel’s prophecy that God would pour out His Spirit on all flesh (all believers) and would continue until the coming of the “day of the Lord.”

A. It is important to understand that the “baptism of Holy Spirit” is simply being “filled with the Spirit.” Luke makes that perfectly clear in the following verses:

1. In Acts 1:5 Jesus promised His disciples, “for John truly baptized with water, but you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.”

2. A few days later in Acts 2:4, in fulfillment of the promise of Jesus, Luke records: And they were “all” filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave the utterance.

3. Therefore their being “filled” with the Holy Spirit was their being “baptized with/in” the Holy Spirit.”

B. The word “baptized” with/in the Spirit conveys the idea of “immersed in,” “river,” “outpouring,” “overflowing,” or “flood.”

C. Time and again God promised to “pour” His Spirit out on all believers. (Jn. 7:37-39; Titus 3:3-6).

Special Note: For one to seek to limit the promise of the “baptism” or “filling” of the Spirit on “all flesh” to only the twelve apostles on Pentecost (Acts 2) and the house of Cornelius (Acts 10) makes no sense to me. (Even though this is what I was taught, what I taught others, and what I believed myself for years.) But “all flesh” may mean “all” of some flesh (meaning all believers rather than animals or unbelievers) but it cannot mean just “some” of “all flesh” (meaning only some of the believers). God surely could have said He was going to pour out His Spirit on “some” or a “few” or “many” or even “most,” but instead He said He would pour out His Spirit on “all” flesh. “All” must refer to “all” of some group. Remember that in the context He pinpoints specifically who the “all flesh” would be and that is, “whoever calls on the name of the Lord.” Therefore “whoever calls” is included in “all flesh.” The words “all flesh” in Joel included Jewish daughters and maidservants” which certainly includes more that just the apostles since none of the apostles were women. When the Bible says that “they were all filled with the Holy Spirit” (Acts 2:4) it surely means that all of the disciples who were present that day received the Spirit including the apostles, women, the Lord’s brothers, as well as others (Acts 1:13-2:1-4). In my judgment it simply cannot mean that only the apostles were “filled with the Spirit,” but all of the other believers were simply left out! If they did not receive the indwelling/filling of the Spirit then they did not belong to Christ (Rom. 8:9). Thank God for Jesus! (2 Cor. 9:15).

Wayne Dunaway
gandpministries.wordpress.com

MDR Question: Husband Walks Out!

A Marriage Question: Brother Wayne, my husband who is not a Christian has walked out of our marriage. There does not seem to be anyone else. He just decided he doesn’t want to be married any longer. He refused to go to counseling and walked out on me and the children. He had been pulling away for years and finally decided to leave for good. I have heard about your book on divorce and remarriage, but do not have it, and do not know what to do now. I am in complete turmoil and fear of having to live alone for the rest of my life. I was brought up in a very conservative Church of Christ so you most likely know what I have been taught. What am I to do? Can I ever get married again?

My response: I believe that the Bible is very clear about what must be done in some/most of these cases. LET. HIM. WALK!!! And while I certainly would not make the decision for you, because that is between you and God, I do believe that you need to know what the Bible says, then make up your own mind. But some things are obvious. We cannot keep people in our lives that refuse to be kept in our lives. One cannot stay married to someone who has deserted the marriage. In those cases where it cannot be saved, then the deserted party must recognize that the “marriage is over”…and seek God’s help in getting “over the marriage.” When a “relationship is over”…seek God’s help in getting “over the relationship.” Paul is very clear about what some should do when in this very situation. Read it yourself.

But if the UNBELIEVER departs, LET HIM DEPART; a brother or a sister is not under bondage in such cases. But GOD HAS CALLED US TO PEACE. (1 Corinthians 7:15; NKJV).

God has called us to “peace”—not to persistent punishment, self condemnation, and self abuse, or to a life time of celibacy because a former marriage partner decided to walk out of the relationship. If a mate has “walked out” then in most cases all we can do is “LET’EM WALK!”

Is it a sin for you to marry if you are divorced? You decide! You do not need any help from me or from anyone else to understand what God has said. All you really need to know is what He said and where He said it. The main ones who need “help” in understanding this are those who have been taught by those who have misunderstood this. Read what God said about those “loosed from” (which, in my judgment, must include those divorced) a mate.

Are you bound to a wife? Do not seek to be loosed. ARE YOU LOOSED FROM a wife? Do not seek a wife. But even IF YOU DO MARRY, you have NOT SINNED; and if a virgin marries, she has not sinned. (1 Corinthians 7:27-28; NKJV).

It is not a sin for a deserted partner to marry because a believer is “not under bondage” to a mate or marriage that no longer exists because one party chooses to walk out (1 Cor. 7:15). If some of your friends or Church members need help “understanding” this, then it is obviously a situation where more help is needed than we are qualified to give them. We can “explain it” to them…but we cannot “understand it” for them. Paul clearly says that those “loosed from” a mate have “not sinned” if they “marry.” That must include those who have been deserted by an unbelieving mate because Paul had just dealt with that earlier in this very chapter. Sometimes the best way to “get over” an unfaithful mate…is to find a faithful one. But again, your decision about what you should do is between you and Jesus. Reading my book, reading this response, or listening to others may help, but your decision needs to be based on what “you understand” the “Bible” to teach. Pray, ponder, and then practice what Jesus teaches and leads you to do. I would believe that if it is God’s will that “you marry”…then He will bring someone into your life that will “marry you.”

I deal with this in chapter 10 and chapter 24 of my book on MDR. Also in Appendix 6 I quote from some of the best minds, and at one time some of the most respected men in the Church of Christ, who also understood 1 Corinthians 7:15 exactly as it is written. If you want a copy of my book, send me your address and I can send it to you. I actually wrote it to help people like you. I will also be praying for you and your family. God bless! Thank God for Jesus!

Wayne Dunaway
gandpministries.org

The “World To Come” Is Not Here Yet!

THE “WORLD TO COME” IS NOT HERE YET!

The “world to come” is not here yet and no one is there yet. The “world to come” is the “new heaven and new earth” that God promised to “create” for the saints in the Old Testament as well as the saints in the New (Isa. 65:17ff; Rev. 21:1ff). Many of us believe that there is something “better” awaiting the “disembodied spirits” of saints who die other than just departing to be with Jesus at death. Some believe that when believers die today their spirits go to a “hadean” realm (which is a waiting place where the righteous go at death) and then, after the judgment, these will go into something “better” which is the “mansion” in heaven that Jesus is preparing (Jn. 14:1-2). Others believe that at death the “spirits” of the saints go directly into heaven, but after the judgment there will still be something “better” in heaven in our glorified bodies. The main difference I see in the views is simply what we call the “place” and perhaps where it is located since both views stress that there is something “better” coming in the “resurrected body” of a believer after the judgment. Paul indicated that we desire to be “clothed” with our resurrection bodies and “not be found naked” which indicates that we look forward to something “better” than being a “disembodied spirit” (2 Cor. 5:1-4).

I too believe that there will be something “better” for believers after the judgment when we will be told by Jesus: “Come you blessed of my Father inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world” (Matt. 25:34). I believe that the Bible teaches that at death the “spirit” of the believer goes to heaven. For example, I believe that the Bible teaches that, like Elijah in Second Kings 2:11, our spirits go directly to heaven when we die into the “realm of the dead” (hades) which is somewhere “in heaven” where Christ is (Phil. 1:21-23). There are many “mansions” (NKJV) or “rooms” (ESV) or “dwelling places” (NASB) in the “Father’s house” and departed saints could be in any one of them with Jesus. I believe that our spirits remain there until the second coming at which time Jesus will bring “disembodied spirits” with Him to be reunited with our resurrected “bodies” and then we will be at the judgment, not to be judged but to be welcomed and rewarded (1 Thess. 4:14ff). It is then that we will receive the something “better” that God has always had in mind for us–which is life in “a new heavens and new earth” (2 Pet. 3:13ff). It is my understanding that we do not go into the “new heavens and new earth” until after we are in our “resurrected immortal bodies” (1 Cor. 15:35ff) and after the judgment (Rev. 20:11-22:5). It is then that we enter “the world to come.” The “world to come” is the world we enter after this “world” is destroyed (2 Peter 3:7-13). It is referred to in both the Old Testament and the New as the “new heavens and the new earth” (Isa. 65:17ff; 2 Pet. 3:13; Rev. 21-22). It is the “kingdom” that we will “inherit” (not re-inherit) after the judgment (Matt. 25:34). It is the “everlasting kingdom” of our Lord Jesus Christ into which an “entrance” will be “supplied” to us “abundantly” when the “day of the Lord” comes (2 Pet. 1:11; 3:10). This is the “world to come” where “all things” will be in subjection to man (as God intended in the beginning) as he reigns (Heb. 2:5-8) in the “new heavens and new earth” with “God and the Lamb” (Rev. 22:3-5). It is the “age it come” in contrast to “now in this time”—referring to time on this earth (Mk. 10:30). The “age to come” is referred to in both Testaments as a “new heavens and new earth” where all saints will dwell together eternally God and the Lamb (Isa. 65:17ff; 2 Pet. 3:13; Rev. 21-22:5). It is only fitting that God would refer to the “world to come” as a “new earth” because God “created” the present “earth” as the dwelling place for man in the beginning (Gen. 1-2). The glorified “heaven and earth” that God will “create” is referred to time and again in the Old Testament and promised to all of the faithful both then and now (Isa. 65:17ff; 2 Peter 3:13; Rev. 21-22:5). This is the “earth” that God promised when He said, “the meek shall inherit the earth” (Ps. 37:9, 11, 22, 29, 34; Matt. 5:5). God has promised all saints that this “inheritance shall be forever” (Ps. 37:18). The promise God made to Abraham and “his seed” (believers) is that they would be the “heir of the world” (Rom. 4:13). The “world” that they are “heirs” of (and “joint-heirs” with Christ) is the “world to come” —but it is not here yet and none are there yet. As Peter said, “Nevertheless we, according to His promise, look for a new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells” (2 Peter 3:13). This “inheritance” is in the “new earth” which will be somewhere “in heaven” (1 Pet. 1:4) in the “Father’s house” (Jn. 14:1-3). That is why the Holy Spirit referred to it as “new heavens and a new earth” in both Testaments (Isa. 65:17ff; 2 Pet. 3:13; Rev. 21-22). John saw the “New Jerusalem” (bride of Christ) coming down “out of heaven” (where the spirits of saints go at death) from God to dwell forever and ever in the “new heaven and new earth” after the first heaven and first earth passes away (Rev. 21:1-3). This is the reason that my ultimate desire and hope is living in the “new heaven and new earth” (the world to come) where the “tabernacle of God is with men” eternally just like in the Garden in the beginning.

Wayne Dunaway
gandpministries.org

SALVATION ISSUES

 

THE “ISSUE OF SALVATION” IS NOT THE “ISSUES”

The real issue when it comes to salvation is not “the issues.” In the Church we talk about this is a “salvation issue” but that is not a “salvation issue.” Of course the “salvation issues” are always determined by the “issuer.” The issues change according to the one listing them and his/her list will usually change somewhat on some things as they study more and get older and wiser. It is usually predictable how the “issues” change depending on who the “issuer” is and what University, preacher school, paper, group, or Church “issued” them to the “issuer.”  In my judgment the only real “salvation” issue is whether or not we truly believe in (trust in/rely on) the sacrifice of Jesus for our sins –which faith is expressed in turning to Jesus in repentance and identifying with Him in baptism (Acts 2:36-39; Gal. 3:26-27). It is faith in Jesus pure and simple. Faith expressed in looking to Jesus for salvation (Heb. 12:1-2) and seeking to do His will for our lives as we understand it (Jn. 14:23). This is the “salvation issue.” A believer may be wrong on any number of the “issues” on the lists we issue, but if he/she has the “real issue” right (trust in Jesus), then I believe that salvation from sin has been issued. I am aware of course that there are verses such as Galatians 5:19-21 that say that those who “practice” such things as those listed will be lost. But even in those cases is there a difference in “practicing” them as a “way of life” and in participating in them because of ignorance and/or weakness? For example, “idolatry” is specifically mentioned as a “work of the flesh” that condemns one, but the weak brother in 1 Corinthians 8:4-12 believed in more than one god, did he not? Did this “issue” cause him to be lost at this point? “Envy” is also listed, but the Corinthian Church also struggled with that issue according to Paul (1 Cor. 3:3). Were they lost at that point when Paul wrote his first letter to them? If so, how do we explain First Corinthians 1:2? If we baptize an atheist because of his faith in Jesus without a chance to teach him the truth on any of the “issues” we understand the Bible to teach what is his condition while he is ignorant and/or weak when it comes to these issues? Is he lost? What if he never has a chance to learn any better, does he lose his salvation because he does not practice and/or avoid all of our “salvation issues?” If the ex-atheist who is born again is saved in spite of his ignorance and/or weakness then what about the faithful members of our Churches who have been members for a long time but are still “weak in the faith” or ignorant or simply misunderstand what the Bible teaches on any number of matters, will that “weakness” or “ignorance” or “misunderstanding” cause them to be lost? I have learned from my own experience that when we are “issues” oriented it is a never-ending battle of division, discord, distrust, dissention, and discouragement. Is what I am writing in this article a “salvation issue?” If it is and some don’t agree, guess what? I guess, according to the view of some, they are now left to wonder to themselves if they or “in” or “out!” If I am wrong about it, since Jesus has settled the “issue of salvation” for me (including my ignorance, honest misunderstandings, faults, failings, and shortcomings etc.) and I don’t rely on getting all of the “issues right” it is not really a concern for me as far as my salvation in Christ is concerned.  I seek to do right and teach about the “issues” as I understand them at any given point (changing as I learn more/better), but I know that I do not have anywhere near perfect knowledge of God’s will and I struggle with practicing all that I think I know now. Furthermore I have changed my mind on some “issues” I thought I understood then, but didn’t if I understand them now. By the way, I believe that Jesus will save all of us who have been “born again” and who trust in His sacrifice for our sins even if we haven’t developed any muscle and/or don’t know where/how to look for a shovel. Salvation in Jesus is a very simple matter that we have complicated by all of the issues we regard as issues added to the only real “salvation issue!” See Second Corinthians 11:3.

 

 Please don’t misunderstand; I am not saying that seeking to be right on all of the “issues” is not an important and worthy goal…but is being right on all of the issues essential? If being right on every doctrinal “issue” is necessary to our being saved, then no one is saved…including you or me…because no one has a perfect understanding of God’s will!! If we can be honestly mistaken about one of our doctrinal “issues,” then we can be “honestly” mistaken about them all! If not, why not? Furthermore when we really look at the “issues” listed in the “salvation issues” on the lists that we list, we issuers will usually leave out the issues that we have an issue with (pride, gluttony, worry, self-righteousness, divisiveness, fault-finding, lack of love, failing to pray as we should, failing to bear with others, failing to teach others, failing to make every effort to add the Christian graces, gentleness, meekness, being unmerciful, disrespect for our nation’s leaders, lust, complaining, criticizing, laziness, gossip, speaking evil of brethren, abusing our physical bodies, etc.) when we list the “salvation issues.” Do you suppose that inconsistent “issue” on our part could be a “salvation issue?” (I should not have brought that up, because it is bound to be added to someone’s list!) In short, I believe we need strive to be right about everything Jesus teaches and those of us who have received Him as LORD do that– based our degree of faith, level of intelligence, and state of growth. Obviously this needs to be our goal and our aim. But it is also very obvious that it is not necessary to be right about everything Jesus taught, as long as we are right about the salvation that Jesus brought! So far as I know the Ethiopian eunuch was saved without knowing anything that was written in any of the New Testament books from Romans to Revelation. But he believed in Jesus as the sacrifice for his sins and expressed that faith in being born again and he went on his way rejoicing without any help from us in figuring out all of the other “salvation issues” that we create along the way (Acts 8:26ff). I am not saying that he did not learn some things later, but I am asking what was condition while he was “ignorant” and/or “honestly mistaken” about some of the things he thought was right (as we all are now on some issues)?  The point is that we are not saved by being “right” on the issues but we are saved by being “made right” by the one who got all of the “issues” right. And that, in my judgment, is the “salvation issue!” See First Corinthians 1:30-31 and Second Corinthians 5:17-21. Fellowship, cooperation, errors, difficult subjects, baptism,  communion, music, worship, women’s role, work of the Holy Spirit, and other “issues” can and should be discussed by any/all believers, but the “salvation issue” has been/is settled for all of us who really believe while we are honestly and openly discussing these the other “issues.” Salvation is not in a “system of religion” or a certain set of rules, regulations, and requirements, put together like pieces of a jigsaw puzzle by certain groups or Churches, but salvation is in the sacrifice of a Savior (Act 4:13; 1 Cor. 15:1-4). Jesus is the Savior whom all true believers have received as Lord (Col. 2:6-12) and therefore He saves all of those who seek to do His will as they understand it at any given point in their spiritual lives.

 

Thank God for Jesus!

 

Wayne

ohatcheechurchofchrist.com

wdunaway@gmail.com   

CONFESSIONS OF A SERIOUS KILLER
(A STUDY OF PSALM 51)
Introduction:
1.  When studying Psalm 51 and Psalm 32 we must be familiar with the book of Second Samuel.
2.  The book of Second Samuel easily divides into three sections:
a.  David’s Triumphs (ch. 1-10).
b.  David’s Transgressions (ch. 11).
c.  David’s Troubles (ch. 12-24).
3.  David’s transgressions in Second Samuel 11 describe the problem that David is dealing with in Psalm 51 and Psalm 32.
4.  Actually, we can view the three sections as follows:
a.  David’s Problem for which he needed forgiveness (2 Sam. 11).
b.  David’s Prayer in which he asked for forgiveness (Ps. 51).
c.  David’s Praise in which he was thankful for forgiveness (Ps. 32).
5.  Psalm 51 deals with David’s prayer for forgiveness.
6.  According to Second Samuel 12:13 David said, when confronted by Nathan the prophet concerning his adultery with Bathsheba and his murdering of Uriah, “I have sinned against the Lord.”  But there was far more to his confession than just those words as is seen in Psalm 51.
7.  We will study the Psalm in three parts:
a.  David’s Confidence (Ps. 51:1-2).
b.  David’s Confession (Ps. 51:3-12).
c.  David’s Commitment (Ps. 51:13-19).
Body:
I.       David’s Confidence (Ps. 51:1-2).
A. Everything that David says in this Psalm is based on his confidence in the “loving kindness” and “tender mercies” of God (v.1). There was no doubt, worry, or wondering about God being merciful to him. He was certain and assured in his own mind that God would be merciful to him.

B. Jonah also knew that God is “a gracious and merciful God, slow to anger and abundant in loving kindness” (Jn. 4:2).  This is why he didn’t want to go to Nineveh.  He knew God would be abundantly merciful to the undeserving.

C. And because of David’s confidence he knew he could pray for God to:
a. “Have mercy on me” (v.1a)
b. “Blot out my transgressions” (v.1b).
c. “Wash me thoroughly from iniquity” (v.2a).
d. “Cleanse me from my sin.”

D. In Psalm 52:8 he wrote “I trust in the mercy of God forever and ever” (See also Psalm 13:5).

E. He knew that God would show His “marvelous loving kindness” and “save those who trust” in Him (Ps. 17:7).

F. Because we believe, we ask Him to “blot out” (v.1).
Because we know He is willing we ask Him to “wash” (12a).
Because we have confidence we ask Him to “cleanse” (v.2b).

G. David was confident that His God was compassionate and this led him to seek forgiveness.
II.      David’s Confession (Psalm 51:3-12).
A. David’s confidence led to David’s confession
.
B. The “goodness of God” leads us to “repentance” (Rom. 2:4).

C. In his confession we notice:
a. What he admitted (vs. 3-5).
1. It was “my transgressions,” “my sin,” “I sinned,” and “I was brought forth in iniquity” (vs. 3-5).
2. He did not blame his genes.  He did not blame his environment.  He did not blame Bathesheba. He did not blame his wives. And he did not blame God.
3. David knew what James later wrote, “each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed” (James 1:14).
4. Not many times in the Bible do you read, “I have sinned.”
5. Some Christians today seem to have trouble admitting that they sin.  They may have “faults,” or “make mistakes,” or “have weaknesses,” but simply admitting that they have sinned and are sinners seems to be extremely hard for some.
6. But “confessing our sins” and admitting that we sin is necessary for forgiveness (1 Jn. 1:9).
7. It is not “for ya’ll have sinned” but we “all” have sinned and come short of the glory of God (Rom. 3:23).
8. If we say we “have no sin” we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us (1 Jn. 1:8).
9. “God be merciful to me a sinner” (Lk. 18:13) can be said by the mature Christians as well as the beginner.
10. Remember that in First John 1:9 God says “If we confess (acknowledge, admit) our sins He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”
 b. What he asked (Psalm 51:7-12).
1. “Purge me…” (v.7a)
2. “Wash me…” (v. 7b)
3. “Make me…” (v. 8”
4. “Create in me…” (v. 10)
5. “Restore to me…” (v.12a)
6. “Uphold me…” (v. 12b)

D. David was confident that God could do all of these things but also that He would them.

E. We too can “come boldly to the throne of His grace that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need” (Heb. 4:16).        
                            
III.  David’s Commitment
A. David’s confidence led to David’s confession which led to his commitment. Note what he said:
1. Then I will teach transgressors your ways (v. 13).
2. My tongue shall sing of your righteousness (v. 14).
3. My mouth shall show forth your praise (v.15)
4. I will offer You the sacrifice You desire which is a “broken and contrite spirit” (vs. 16-17).
B. Because of God’s mercy we can also be forgiven when we turn to Jesus by confessing our need for forgiveness (Titus 3:3-6; 1 Jn. 1:9).

C. This should lead us to fulfill our commitment to love Jesus and to tell others about Him.
Wayne Dunaway

gandpministries.org

Covenant Sex or Sexual Covenant

A Question? Is marriage a “Sexual Covenant?”

Covenant Sex or Sexual Covenant?

It seems to me that marriage involves “covenant” sex but it is not a “sexual covenant.” The difference being that “covenant” sex means that sex is enjoyed by those already in a covenant relationship (marriage) and the covenant is there whether there is sex or not. A couple too old for sex can get “married” and be married companions and in a “one flesh” relationship for life even though they are not interested in having sex. However, a “sexual covenant” would mean that without sex there is no covenant. If marriage is a “sexual agreement/covenant” then without sex there is no agreement/covenant. If it is indeed a “sexual” covenant then there must be “sex.” One could not be in a “sexual” covenant without sex.

Malachi’s definition of marriage is, “She is your companion and your wife by covenant” (Mal. 2:14). A couple is married by an agreement or covenant. In other words, they are already married before they start on their way to the bed (the honeymoon). The “married bed” is undefiled, but if a couple get into the bed in order to have sex and they are not “already married” then that is fornication or adultery or both (Heb. 13:4). Mary was married to Joseph long before that had sex (Matt. 1:24-25). They are married before they have sex and they are still married when they are too old or unable to have sex for other reasons. But, of course, if marriage is indeed a “sexual” covenant then it cannot exist without the “sex.” However we are married “by covenant” or by “agreeing/pledging/vowing” to “commit” to each other to be marital “companions” for life and having sex is an expression and privilege of that commitment. But sex is not included in that “commitment.” We are committed to be marital companions and that is why people pledge to stay married “until death” and not just until they get to old to have sex…which does/will happen at some point…at least in most cases.

Furthermore, if marriage is a “sexual covenant” then the marriage “covenant” gets weaker and weaker the longer we are married, instead of stronger and stronger. But, as most married Christian couples will probably attest, our “commitment” to each other grows while our sexual desire diminishes…at least to some degree. If it is indeed a “sexual” covenant then in our first year or so of being together we were almost “totally committed” but as the years have gone by we are not nearly as committed to the “covenant” as we once were. And in some marriages there is very little or no commitment at all nowadays…due to age, disability and/or lack of sexual desire on the part of one or both parties. Believe it or not, when it comes to sex, some married couples can only sit on the side of the bed and sing…“Precious Memories!” But they are still married, because marriage is not a sexual covenant.
But don’t get me wrong, I believe that the Bible clearly teaches that sex is very important in marriage. As a matter of fact, sex is a very, very, very important part of the marriage “relationship.” But we must understand that it is not part of the marriage “covenant.” The marriage “covenant” (agreement, commitment) places a couple in a “relationship” (one flesh/family unit) where sex can be and should be enjoyed without guilt or shame. In fact, the first recorded command in the Bible that God gave to any man or woman is for married couples to have a lot of sex. “Be fruitful and multiply…” relates to married couples having sex (Gen. 1:28). One of the next things we learn from the first two chapters in Genesis is that married couples can and should sometimes/oftentimes be “naked” and not be ashamed (Gen. 2:25). Another important truth we learn early in the book of Genesis is that sex in marriage is intended for “pleasure” (Gen. 18:12). Furthermore, the Song of Solomon speaks plainly and pointedly about sexual intimacy in marriage. One of the main reasons for getting married is to have a legitimate relationship for sexual intimacy (1 Cor. 7:1-2). It is sinful for a marriage partner to withhold sex from a mate (1 Cor. 7:3-6). The marriage bed is an honorable place for sexual expression, exploration, and experimentation (Heb. 13:4). So please understand that I am by no means minimizing the importance of sex in a marriage, but I am emphasizing that the “covenant” (or commitment) is what makes sex in a marriage important. I believe in “covenant” or “marital” sex. What I do not believe is that “sex” is what “makes” or “consummates” a “covenant” or a “marriage.” Sex has nothing to do with whether a couple is married or not. According to the Bible it is the “covenant” (marriage) first and then the “sex.” I know how important it is, especially in the MDR discussion, to know what the Bible teaches about the “one flesh” relationship. I deal with these issues in Chapters 6 & 7 and in Appendix 1 & 2 of my book on MDR if you have it. If you not have my book you can get it from me or from Amazon. Of course, some good brethren will disagree and that is fine with me. I have to live with what I believe the Bible teaches at any point in time during my spiritual journey with Christ and so do they. I respect their “right” to be “wrong” on this as well as other subjects that they disagree with me on. (LOL) God bless and I hope this helps.Thank God for Jesus!

Wayne Dunaway
gandpministries.org 2/17/16

Beware of the "Dogs"

“Dog” Bite
I heard about a man who went to see his doctor because he was feeling absolutely terrible after being bitten by a stray dog. The doctor gave him a careful examination, left the room to look at some tests, came back in with a very somber expression on his face and said: “Sir I don’t know how to break this news to you, but you have rabies and you’re going to die very soon.” The man very calmly got out a piece of paper and began furiously writing. The doctor said: “What are you doing, making out your will?” He said, “No, I’m making out a list of people that I am going to bite!”
But if you BITE AND DEVOUR one another, beware lest you be CONSUMED BY ONE ANOTHER! (Galatians 5:15).
Obviously some in the “churches of Galatia” (Gal. 1:2) seemed to be consumed with seeking to destroy and devour each other. Some had been “bitten” by what Paul referred to as religious “dogs” (Phil. 3:2). He was referring to religious legalists who sought justification by “keeping the law” (Gal. 5:4). One warning that we need today is: “Beware of ‘Dogs’.” We today can be “bitten” by the same religious “animal” and wind up wanting to “bite and devour” other believers who don’t see it exactly as we do. When we think, as some did in Galatia, that we are saved by “keeping the law” we must insist that others do the same and therefore any violation of our interpretation of the “law” renders one’s soul in jeopardy.  But, as Paul says, religious “cannibals” will, sooner or later, eat each other up! Why? It is because no two people who study for themselves agree on “all” interpretations of all religious “laws.” And there is a big difference in “saved” people seeking to “keep the law,” and in one who seeks to “keep the law” in order to “be saved” or “stay saved.” There is also a big difference in seeking to “find faith” in other believers, and in seeking to simply “find fault” in what others believe. All of us who are honest obviously “think” we are “right” about what we believe or else we would change. It is it also quite obvious that none of us are even “right” about that particular point–much less all of the other things taught in the Bible. We who are “honest” but “misunderstand” some things ourselves need “mercy.” We also need to be “honest” with others who need “mercy” because they have some things they “misunderstand.” As Paul wrote very plainly,   “Knowledge puffs up, but love edifies” (1 Cor. 8:1). If a person has the right faith in Jesus, then Jesus will keep him/her righteous (2 Cor. 5:21). We all need to remember Paul’s words to the “religious legalist” in Galatia:  “I am not the one destroying the meaning of God’s grace. If following the law is how people are made right with God, then Christ did not have to die” (Gal. 2:21, ERV). “God bless us” as we seek to do His will for our lives as we understand it.
Wayne Dunaway

gandpministries.org