John, obviously to any reader, was led by God to spend a great amount of his writing on the concept of eternal life.  From Jn. 2:23 through 17:26 he records for us the ministry of the Son of God and the topic of his imparting eternal life and describes what it is and what it does.
‘Many people saw the miraculous signs He was doing and trusted in His name’ (Jn. 2:23). 
          In His interview with Nicodemus, a rigid moralist and a Sanhedrin member, 
1.      In v1, Jesus showed the necessity of regeneration, ‘You
must be born again,’ 
2.      In v7, and the necessity of His death to accomplish a basis for this spiritual transaction, ‘so the Son of Man
must be lifted up,’ 
3.      Then in v14, in a most solemn fashion (‘I tell you the truth,’ vv3, 5) Jesus declared that no one can ‘see,’ (v3), or enter, the kingdom of God unless he is ‘born of water’ (figure of the cleansing Word, Eph 5:26; Jas 1:18; 1 Pet 1:23;) and of the Spirit (the Holy Spirit, the Agent in regeneration), v5.

          This is a supernatural imparting of eternal life on the basis of Christ’s death, typified by the Mosaic serpent in the wilderness, 14 (see Num 21:5–20; 2 Cor 5:21). The theme of John’s gospel is clearly displayed in one of the most famous verses in all of the Bible - verse 16.
16 For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. 
          Just by way of a beginning to our thinking on this wonderful verse we can say by way of a summary that this single verse is actually a fabulous summary  in and of itself of the gospel, and really of the entire Bible. 
          The very first word we see is “
For” and it connects v. 16 to v. 15 and explains what happened to make it possible that someone can “have eternal life” (v. 15), that is, through believing in Christ. 
         And so, “For” or because “
God so loved the world” which is an astounding statement in that context because the OT and other Jewish writings had spoken only of God’s love for his people Israel. God’s love for “the world” made it possible for “whosoever” (v. 15) believes in Christ, not Jews alone, to have eternal life.
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A Psalm of David When He Fled from Absalom His Son.
1      Lord, how they have increased who trouble me!
Many
are they who rise up against me. 
2      Many are they who say of me,
There is no help for him in God.”
Selah

3      But You, O Lord, are a shield for me,
My glory and the One who lifts up my head. 

4      I cried to the Lord with my voice,
And He heard me from His holy hill.

Selah

5      I lay down and slept;
I awoke, for the
Lord sustained me. 
6      I will not be afraid of ten thousands of people
Who have set
themselves against me all around. 
7      Arise, O Lord;
Save me, O my God!
For You have struck all my enemies on the cheekbone;
You have broken the teeth of the ungodly. 

8      Salvation belongs to the Lord.
Your blessing
is upon Your people.
Selah
I.   Introduction
          Psalm 3 is basically talking about the matter of having a “Peaceful trust in God”. In this time of deep and awful anguish for David, a time when his son Absalom rebelled against him, this wonderful Psalm lays out for us a powerful example of how the godly man can sort these matter out, seeing them in a godly, and so, right and God glorifying manner.
           ·  Absalom rebelled against him, 1–2, 
           ·  David found God as his glory, as his shield (protector) and as his encourager, 2–3; 
           ·  as the One who answered his prayers, 4; and 
           ·  as the One who gave him peace and deliverance, 5–8.
          King David is especially interesting and instructive to believers in that he does not simply speak about the good times and aspects of his life in the Psalms.  Of course, David was a Prophet of God and wrote under the inspiration of God’s Holy Spirit, but it is interesting and instructive that all of life, every part, is a part of his narrative here in Psalms.  The transparency that is a part of David’s life (that is to the readers of the Bible - not necessarily to all those whom David came in contact with) is a marvelous example for us in the way in which we ought to see that we present ourselves to those around us.
          We could give a brief outline of the Psalm in this fashion:
          1.      The Psalmist’s Predicament (3:1, 2)
          2.      The Psalmist’s Peace (3:3–6)
          3.      The Palmist’s Prayer (3:7, 8)
I.          The Psalmist’s Predicament (3:1, 2)
               1  Lord, how they have increased who trouble me! 
               Many are they who rise up against me. 
               2  Many are they who say of me, 
               “
There is no help for him in God.” 
                              Selah 
          This first part of the Psalm speaks of David’s experience, what he has seen.  It seems to lay out the desperate situation he faces, underscored with its 2x repetition of many. We should notice also that he uses the plural “they” 3x in these first two verse.  The general description here ties in well with 2 Sam. 15:12–13 (“many”) and 16:8 (“no salvation for him”).
         Note that verse 1 pretty much speaks of protection from earthly enemies and prefigures protection from the ultimate evils of Satan, sin, and death (Heb. 2:14–15). God the Father delivered Christ from his enemies in his resurrection (Acts 3:13–15), and that is the basis for our deliverance (Rom. 4:25).  You and I will one day see that same deliverance at the time we emerge from our earthly existence and walk into our eternity with our Lord and Master in glory.  
         I do want to note that David is very detailed about that which he has concern about and which is ‘afflicting” him.  He first uses the word “trouble” him which identifies the ones spoken of as his “adversaries”.  It is indeed a plural noun and looks at the target in view in a general fashion including all of those who set themselves against him (David).  He says that they have “increased”.  The interesting thing here is that this surely seems as though he is saying that the number of the ones in view has (and may still be) increased.  There are more of them now than there we some bit ago.  However, this may not, strictly speaking, be the case.  It may be that David is saying that the actual afflictions are what is in view.  However, looking at the second part of the verse, it is indeed talking about the number of people in view, which will complicate the number of afflictions.  
         We clearly see a double reference (at the end of verse 1 and at the beginning of verse 2) to multiple persons (“many”).  There were a number of people that had set themselves and had even taken active steps in opposing and attacking David.  
          It is also interesting that David uses a unique word at the end of verse 1.  An increased number of people have troubled him and also an increased number have “risen up” against him.  The word used for “rise up” is the Hebrew word “qa̅mîm” referring to the active action of rebellion.
 

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 Pastor Bill Farrow  
1 Paul, a bondservant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle, separated to the gospel of God 2 which He promised before through His prophets in the Holy Scriptures, (Romans 1:1–2)
          The introduction of the Pauline Epistles virtually always begin with a proclamation of the authority of Paul to address the recipients of the given letter.  The point is to establish both his authority to address them and his qualifications to do so.  He often does this by citing the Lord Jesus Christ as the One Who has called him to the office he fulfills. 
          Here, Paul speaks of himself in four fashions as he describes himself as the author of the epistle,

1 Paul, a bondservant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle, separated to the gospel of God which He promised before through His prophets in the Holy Scriptures, 

           We can say at least 4 things about what Paul says about his mission for the Lord here in these first two verse:

1.     The Sender of the Epistle
1 Paul, a bondservant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle, separated to the gospel of God which He promised before through His prophets in the Holy Scriptures,

          Just to start we ought to note that “Paul” would have been regarded as a sort of “surname” or second name at the time of the writing.  It was an added name, and can be regarded as derived from his occupation or other aspect of his circumstances.  In our present time we think of the surname as a name borne in common with other members of ones’ common family, but it can also be a name given as a second name given to someone such we find in Mark 3:16 where Jesus speaks Peter in this fashion in the same fashion...

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Pastor Bill Farrow
 “Then shalt thou understand the fear of the Lord, and find the knowledge of God.” - Proverbs 2:5.
          It seems as though one of Solomon’s primary concerns, as he writes for us, is that we, in seeing the different issues that we face and deal with during life, are able to be clearly seen and that we can effectively deal with and sort out the issues we face as believers and effective servants of God.  He repeatedly tells us that a couple of the foundational things to doing is that we “understand” them and that in dealing with them we find the “knowledge of God” as a result.
           It is clear that the Bible ties both understanding and wisdom together.  “Wisdom” is the more poetic form of the idea and also the more athletic or active of the two as well.  Understanding points to the mental embracing of whatever it is in view.  Wisdom speaks of the more applicational view of that same idea or issue.  Job 28:28 is one of the  more famous of the ideas concerning the both of them and speaks clearly of what we are talking about:

28     And to man He said,
‘Behold, the fear of the Lord, that
is wisdom,
And to depart from evil
is understanding.’ ”
         It is the “fear of the Lord” that makes the issues at hand clear and perceptible; BUT it is the putting of those truths into action, “departing from evil” that demonstrates true understanding of those same truths.  Solomon says virtually the same thing in Proverbs 15:33:
33     The fear of the Lord is the instruction of wisdom,
And before honor
is humility.
          Once again we see the fact that understanding brings action that is based on the wisdom coming from whatever truth is in view.  This is the first result of heeding wisdom that enables one to understand the fear of the Lord (v. 5). It is interesting that this knowledge is very clearly possible only because the Lord gives it to the upright (vv. 6, 7). Thus, while wisdom is to be sought diligently and cultivated in practice, it is not something merited by the actions of an individual. (On wisdom’s foundation in God’s gracious covenant, think through the proverbs ideas of Purpose, Occasion, and Background, all of which lend meaning to just WHY it is we ought to persevere the idea of understanding which, in turn leads to wisdom) Verse 8, btw, states that the purpose of the gifts of understanding and wisdom are to protect the paths of the saints.
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          Throughout the fall of 2016 we looked at the first three “sections” of this series on the “Theology of God” of “What do we know about God” from a Biblical point of view?  So many sad and frustrated people, in our day and age, believe they have knowledge of Who God is and what He is like.  Again, sadly, their conclusions are more rooted in what they already think and what they “want” him to be like.  They end up recreating God more in their own image than they do having any real knowledge of Who, the late Francis Schaeffer, the late theologian said was “The God Who is there”.  It is, indeed one of the great, and extremely disastrous tendencies of man to seek to serve a god more like their own nature and tendencies that One that is revealed in the Word that He sent through the Prophets and Apostles.  
           We went through some 12 character qualities that the Bible puts forth the speak of what God is like:

  1. God is Light
  2. God is Love
  3. God is Invisible
  4. God is Unsearchable
  5. God is Inscrutable
  6. God is Eternal
  7. God is Immortal
  8. God is Omnipotent
  9. God is Omniscient
  10. God is Omnipresent
  11. God is Immutable
  12. God Alone Is Wise
          That brings us to another set of Character Qualities that we see the Bible describe as belonging to our Lord and Master. 

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Pastor Bill Farrow
   For this reason we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to ask that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding; 10 that you may walk worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing Him, being fruitful in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God; 11 strengthened with all might, according to His glorious power, for all patience and longsuffering with joy; 12 giving thanks to the Father who has qualified us to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in the light. 13 He has delivered us from the power of darkness and conveyed us into the kingdom of the Son of His love, 14 in whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins.

15 He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. 16 For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created through Him and for Him. 17 And He is before all things, and in Him all things consist. 18 And He is the head of the body, the church, who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in all things He may have the preeminence.  (Col. 1:9-18)
1.    Introduction
In a sermon on “Enoch walked with God,” Dr. Campbell Morgan gave the following illustration:
           ·       A little child gave a most exquisite explanation of walking with God. 
           ·       She went home from Sunday School, and the mother said, “Tell me what you learned at school.” 
           ·       And she said: “Don’t you know, Mother, one day they went for an extra long walk, and they walked on and on, until God said to Enoch, 
            ·       “You are a long way from home; you had better just come in and stay.”   And he went.”
            ·       So many think that walking with God is really a matter jus this simple.
            ·       Well, it IS simple, but it is NOT childlike…
            ·       Let’s think, this morning, about just how it is that we think over how we can pursue God this coming year…
            ·       This is NOT to imply that the past year has been a failure or a false profession…
            ·       Rather, as with all believers, I think you’ll agree that there is room for us to examine ourselves and see just what it is that we can do to draw closer to the Lord and pursue Him even MORE energetically…  
           ·       Wars Since 3600 B.C.
           ·       According to the Canadian Army Journal, a former president of the Norwegian Academy of Sciences, aided by historians from England, Egypt, Germany, and India came up with some fantastic figures and findings:
           ·       Since 3600 B.C. the world has known only 292 years of peace. During this period there have been 14,531 wars, large and small, in which 3,640,000,000 people have been killed. The value of the destruction would pay for a golden belt around the world 156 kilometers (97.2 miles) in width and 10 meters (about 33 feet) thick.
·       Since 650 B.C. there have been 1,656 arms races, only 16 of which have not ended in war. The remainder have ended in the economic collapse of the countries concerned.

           Sometimes I feel like my own Christian life is somewhat like this…  I struggle with the Lord, not in any detrimental sense, but because I fail to obey and pursue Him in the fashion that I ought…  I suspect that you are much the same
          What can we do to do away with those “wars” that afflict us and cause us to displease the Lord?

The first thing is…
1.    To Be Filled with The Knowledge of His Will (Col 1:9)

          9 For this reason we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and            to ask that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all wisdom and           spiritual understanding;

          ·       One of the interesting things that gives us bit of context for this passage is that knowledge and wisdom were offered by false teachers in Colossae.
          ·       Paul’s point here is that the one’s to whom he is speaking will listen to and take in ONLY that which comes from God!
          ·       “Spiritual” speaks of that which is given by God’s Holy Spirit.
          ·       It is imperative - for ourselves and for those for whom we Pray, that this is a part of our prayer.
          ·       There is much around us and strong temptation and reason for us to give in to and thus take in false knowledge

          We should note the petitions made here...
          ·       Paul’s prayer for the Colossians was continuous, (9 (cf. 3). 
          ·       The apostle intercedes for five things we ought to echo here:
          ·       Both for ourselves and for others:

1.     …for full knowledge of God’s will and spiritual perception, 9;
            that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all wisdom and spiritual  understanding

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