Morning Outline: Luke 6:37-45
The importance of Scripture in Context:
We must remember that Jesus did not speak in Bible verses. He spoke in whole sermons.
To understand this verse, one that gets applied to any and every situation today, we need to put it alongside the rest of the Scripture:
1: This is part of His overall message
2: Nowhere does Jesus ever minimize sin. Keep in mind that He wrote the Book on it.
3: You must consider the whole situation:
A. The role of judges: not just to bring fairness but to determine guilt and mete out punishment
B. The application of standards is not the same as judgment: if you are striving to hold yourself to a Biblical standard, it is not hypocrisy to express that standard
4: This is also focused on within the community of the committed. Jesus is pointing out that within the faith, there is to be no sense of superiority
Because we are all sinners in need of the grace of God.
That is the point here---we are all born bearing bad fruit, carrying planks, and blind, bound not for a small pit but a big one! An eternal one.
6. Yet we are still responsible for two important things:
A. Getting the planks from our own eyes
B. Evaluating the fruit of trees
1. Our fruit first
2. The fruit of others
7. That evaluation of fruit does not enable us to determine who sees what eternity--that judgment belongs to God
It does allow us to recognize that someone is or is not:
Living according to the Word of God
Living such that they should be an influencer of our lives
The verse about judgment cannot be dealt with without verse 45: that the good man brings out good treasure and the evil man, evil based on what is in their hearts--
God alone can judge the heart, whether there is any spark of good in it, but man can see the fruit and hear the words--
Do not be fooled by surface appearances, but see what comes out over time.
This is exactly the opposite of us deciding who goes to heaven and hell---it is about us not deeming anyone unfit to share the Gospel with.
Evening Sermon Outline:
2 Timothy 2:15--Study the Word! July 1 2012 PM
Be diligent to present yourself approved to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed, accurately handling the word of truth.
As followers of Christ, our guide is the Bible. We may add additional texts or helps along the way, but none of these either rises to the importance of the Bible or overrules the Bible. The first, most important thing that we do is to follow the Bible.
Yet that carries with it a complication, a two-sided danger, as it is. The first danger is that we will over-study the text. You find people like this, often on either the internet or in church pulpits. They can parse words down to the finest point, give you exactly the Tense-Voice-Mood, Case-Gender-Number, and then break down the syntax.
This is not the danger that most of us face, though. In all honesty, even with the stack of books as high as your eye that I own, it is not even my most common danger. Rather, the greater danger for most of us is that we do not study at all. We read until we find a verse that sounds good, take that one-liner and settle down.
Beyond keeping our faith shallow, this runs us into dangerous ground. Consider:
Matthew 27:5 "Judas went out and hanged himself"
Luke 10:37 "Go and do thou likewise"
We must do more than just read it and live on the surface of the text.
We must diligently study and prepare and strive to understand the Word.
We must be ready, in the midst of this ungodly world, to explain what Scripture means rather than just hope we can spout a few long-forgotten verses and hope that does the trick.
Here are some key portions of studying the Bible:
1. Read it. Honestly, read the text itself. Do not just read the verses that someone links on Facebook but get your own Bible out and read it. That's the first, most critical step. If we're not doing that, nothing else helps.
2. Pray for God's guidance. Unlike any other writings, the author not only is available, but dwells within Believers
3. Remember these critical facts:
A. Scripture was written, originally, to people in a different time and culture. We need to try to understand some of that culture to understand what was happening.
1. For example, there are things not in the Bible: nothing about driving cars or paving roads! Nothing about mechanization or even hunting opossums--why? Not relevant in the original situation.
2. As such, be careful arguing about things the Bible does not say--when you want to examine what God has to say about an issue, you must find the principle and concept rather than assume silence means God has nothing to say about it!
B. While Scripture presented in parts, we do not receive it in portions--we do not have to examine Romans without Mark, Isaiah without Revelation
C. We need to study and learn for ourselves, but we can consult for help!