<![CDATA[Valley Forge Baptist Church - Blog]]>Thu, 18 Jan 2018 04:20:58 -0800Weebly<![CDATA[No Reason...No Harm]]>Wed, 17 Jan 2018 18:36:09 GMThttp://vfbaptist.org/blog/no-reasonno-harm
     I have heard again and again voices of different men who claim that there are various ample reasons to think of justification for viewing different races in negative reasons and thus having various reasons for treating them in various derogatory ways.  While there are certainly some groups, not many certainly, but some who have set themselves up and over others, there is a very good and definite justification for those who name the name of Christ to be sure that they both view and treat all others in a just and godly fashion. 
     I have never appreciated the men who stand in pulpits and shout at a congregation concerning some political cause, the godly treatment of those around it seems, quite plainly, is indeed a Biblical priority!!  Our own perceptions, gathered from personal and unfounded reasons and ideas, are placed, by Solomon the class of “all things to be avoided”.  Unless we are speaking of someone who has done real and tangible damage or wrong, Solomon, speaking as Prophet of God, tells us that we must not do them damage!
     This is not to say that there is never a cause to set ourselves against others.  There sure are.  Our national forefathers set themselves against England in order to obtain our national freedom and identity.  There are, at times, justification for conflicts (we will not go into them here) but we, as believers, MUST take great care that we are not stepping across the line Solomon draws (and of which there is other evidence in God’s Word) and heading in our own, selfish direction.  Care must be exercised in personal matters here as well!  We must exercise the command of our Lord to be sure and to Love one another and He has loved us!
     Granted, all of this is not a simple and easy thing to get a grasp on...but it is surely something that we should ponder with an aim to getting hold of! 
     Oh!  One last thing to throw into the mix... I can’t help but believe that Solomon is ONLY speaking of “physical” harm.  We can do physical harm in quite a number of other ways as well and they are to be things that we take care NOT to do as well!
     I am fully ready and willing to admit that I have gone off crooked and even wildly astray in this matter, but I saw it and thought over it a bit and just wanted to be sure that I have given it its’ due!  I don’t even pretend to think that I have the final understanding here.  Comments are welcome!

<![CDATA[I Wills – from Ezekiel]]>Thu, 11 Jan 2018 17:09:18 GMThttp://vfbaptist.org/blog/i-wills-from-ezekielby Pastor Bill Farrow
Ezekiel 34:16

     There are quite a number of statements by Ezekiel that lay out for us a very (very) good pattern for the walk and doings of those who know and love the Lord.
He starts the passage we are viewing by telling us in verse 15 that He “…will feed His flock”. In contrast to self-indulgent leaders who took advantage of the sheep, God will meet the needs of His sheep (people). This is clearly reminiscent of Ps. 23 and will be fulfilled by the Good Shepherd (John 10:1ff.), who will reign as Israel’s Shepherd.
     Because God sent him to preach to Israel and to deliver the promise of their restoration to the place of favor at the time of the end.  It is marvelous to see the great extent that God will go to accomplish and fulfill His promise to His people.
  1. I will feed My flock, and
  2.  I will make them lie down,
  3. I will seek what was lost and
  4. (I will) bring back what was driven away,
  5. (I will) bind up the broken and strengthen what was sick; but
  6.  I will destroy the fat and the strong, and
  7. (I will) feed them in judgment.
     From here, not to mention all of the rest of the Scripture (Old and New Testaments) it is clear that wishes for us to emulate Him in the way we live and act in the world.  It is clear that this imitating and following after our Lord and God is much more than just acting in a godly fashion.
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Ezekkel 34:16 -"I wills" – from Ezekiel
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<![CDATA[The Problem of Evil]]>Wed, 03 Jan 2018 16:58:13 GMThttp://vfbaptist.org/blog/the-problem-of-evilMultiple Scripture Passages
    One of the most common excuses given by those who reject the God of the Bible is the issue of evil in the world. Skeptics and theological liberals ask, “How can the God portrayed in the Bible as good, holy, and loving allow massive injustices and evil in the world?” Some ask, “How can an all-powerful God be loving and tolerate all of the effects of evil which inflict so much suffering around the world?” In fact, many skeptics and theological liberals believe this dilemma backs Christians into an impossible position.
     Their argument boils down a simplistic syllogism: “The biblical God is a loving, benevolent, holy, all-knowing, all-wise, and omnipotent Sovereign who created everything in the universe. If such a God exists, everything should be perfect and good.

“But it is evident that there is much evil in the world. Therefore,” they say, “the biblical God does not exist.”
     But does the presence of evil truly disprove the God of the Bible? Is that really all it takes to upend biblical Christianity?
     In reality, the syllogism shows no understanding of what Scripture teaches about evil. The only thing it actually proves is that the person making the argument hasn’t read much of the Bible—or simply doesn’t recognize the authority of God’s Word.
Nevertheless, many evangelical Christians are stymied by arguments like that. They think of the problem of evil as a “fourth and forty on the ten‑yard line” (to borrow an expression from gridiron football). They believe the only good option available to them is to punt—to kick the argument as far away as possible. They might quote Deuteronomy 29:29, which says, “The secret things belong to the Lord our God.”
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<![CDATA[I Am the Bread of Life]]>Fri, 29 Dec 2017 02:51:48 GMThttp://vfbaptist.org/blog/i-am-the-bread-of-lifePastor Bill Farrow
John 6:48
       There are a number of passages in the Gospels and in the rest of the Bible; verses that the vast majority of believers are familiar with and which a good many of children of God love and cherish.  This verse in John 6:48 is one of the fabulous verses.  It is also one of the more powerful and instructive verse for believers to ponder and see to it that they have taken into both the hearts and minds.
       This isn’t meant to be a poetic saying that is primarily a visual idea that just kind of “floats around” in our minds and hearts and encourages and cheers us as to God’s place in our lives.  Rather, it is meant to give us a foundational picture of just where it is that we, as God’s children, draw our fundamental sustenance and power in life.
       Just as “bread”, speaking metaphorically, is needful and even essential to our living as human beings, so also is our walking with and growing to knowing Christ as fully and intimately as possible is essential to persisting and growing in Christ as serving Him.  Just as literal bread (food) is needful to our human lives, so also taking in the Lord Jesus, His wisdom, and coming to know Him more and more is essential to becoming more and more developed as His servant!  It is very beneficial for us to know and develop in this truth!!
<![CDATA[A Vision Concerning Judah and Jerusalem]]>Wed, 20 Dec 2017 00:50:47 GMThttp://vfbaptist.org/blog/a-vision-concerning-judah-and-jerusalemPastor Bill Farrow
The vision of Isaiah the son of Amoz, which he saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem in the days of Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah, kings of Judah. (Isaiah 1:1)
     The Book of Isaiah derives its’ title from the author, of course the Prophet Isaiah whose name means “The Lord is Salvation,” and is, in fact, similar to the names Joshua, Elisha, and even Jesus!  Interestingly, the Book of Isaiah is directly quoted in the NT over 65 times, far more than any other of the OT Prophets and it is actually mentioned by name over 20 times.  Isaiah, the son of Amoz, ministered in and around Jerusalem as a prophet to Judah during the reigns of 4 kings of Judah:
  • Uzziah (Called Azariah in 2 Kings)
  • Jotham
  • Ahaz
  •  Hezekiah
     He did this service from c. 739-686 BC.  It seems apparent that he came from a family of some social rank, because it appears that he had easy access to king (cp. 7:3).  He was married and had at least two sons who bore symbolic names:
  • “Shear-jashub” meaning “a remnant shall return” (7:3)
  • “Maher-shalal-hash-baz” meaning “hasten the spoil, hasten the prey” (8:3)
     It is very telling that when, in the year of King Uzziah’s death (@739 B.C.), he responded with a cheerful readiness, though he knew from the very beginning that his ministry would be one of fruitless warning and exhortation (6:9-13).  Having been reared in Jerusalem, he was a very appropriate choice as a political and religious counselor to the nation itself.
     The Scripture makes it clear that Isaiah was a contemporary of both Hosea and Micah.  His writing style has no rival in the versatility of expression, brilliance of imagery, and even richness of vocabulary.  The early church Father, Jerome likened him to Demosthenes, the legendary Greek orator.  His writing features a range of 2,186 different words, compared to 1,535 in Ezekiel, 1,636 in Jeremiah, and 2,170 in Psalms.  Interestingly, 2 Chron. 32:32 tells us that he wrote a biography of King Hezekiah as well.  We know that Isaiah lived until at least 681 B.C. when it seems clear that he wrote the account of Sennacherib’s death (cf. 37:38).  Tradition holds that Isaiah met his death under King Manasseh (c. 695-642 B.C.) by being cut in two by a wooden saw (cf. Heb. 11:37).

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<![CDATA[You Turned My Mourning Into Dancing]]>Mon, 11 Dec 2017 01:50:51 GMThttp://vfbaptist.org/blog/you-turned-my-mourning-into-dancingPastor Bill Farrow
     One of the things that David excelled at was in expressing and emphasizing all of the wonderful things that his God had done for him as time passed.  He was just excellent at describing how God intervenes in the believer’s human experience and turns it into that which can bring God glory and honor as we take it and put it to use as praise and worship.  It is good for us to note how specific David is at times in point us to the specific matters that he is grateful and gladdened by.  He also takes care to show us how God deals with our emotions and moods, those normal aspects of our daily lives, as we look to Him for their solution and reconciliation in our walk as his servant.  He takes especial care to remind us/teach us that it is by His hand that true joy and gladness comes to be enjoyed in believers’ lives! 
     O Lord, we ask that You, as You did in the life of your son and Prophet David, will be mindful of our needs and burdens and that You will “lift us” from what bears us down up into the joy that he (David) describes as “dancing” which speaks not of being merely pleased but of the overwhelming joy that causes one to leap around with their joy!  Likewise, we ask that you will take the paltry things in which we have managed to cloth ourselves and in which the world and society in which we live has foisted upon and that You will cloth us with great gladness – a contentment and satisfaction due to our focus with our Father and Master.  Let us say as David did, with surety and a definite voice:
You have turned for me my
Mourning into dancing
You have loosened my sackcloth and
Clothed me with gladness (Psalm 30:11)

O Lord – We bless You for your caring for Your Children and for the fact that You see and respond in our experiences day by day!

<![CDATA[But God Remembered Noah]]>Sat, 09 Dec 2017 14:14:55 GMThttp://vfbaptist.org/blog/but-god-remembered-noah

     This proclamation of the Scripture has always thrilled my heart!  Ir seems to me that there is very real and definite parallel between the “remembering of” and subsequent rescuing him from the effects of Judgment bestowed on Noah’s surrounding population and God’s rescuing of believers by faith in the finished work of the Lord Jesus Christ.  God created man and the sin of Adam soiled the race and required God to take action.  But like with Noah at the time of the flood, Judgement was NOT God’s final intent - He intended solution for those who were His as well.  It is good and profitable for us to keep in our minds that like “God Remembered Noah” - in Christ, He will remember all who receive Christ by grace through faith.

<![CDATA[A Hardened Neck]]>Tue, 05 Dec 2017 16:57:05 GMThttp://vfbaptist.org/blog/a-hardened-neckPastor Bill Farrow
“He that being often reproved and hardens his neck;
​shall suddenly be destroyed, and that without remedy.” 
(Proverbs 29:1)
     As is many times the case in Solomon’s writing here in Proverbs, the short passage in 28:28 through 29:1 has what is called an “inclusion” (the formal word for what can be understood as literary “bookends”). It addresses the idea of how a society thrives or suffers when, respectively, success comes to the righteous or to the wicked (28:28 and 29:2). Also, 28:28 ends with the righteous increase and 29:2 begins with when the righteous increase, leading us  to see that the latter verse (29:2) complements the former (28:28). Only one proverb (29:1) is between these two; that would seem to indicate that people who obstinately refuse to turn from evil and folly will be ruined. Why is it placed here? It may serve to reassure the reader that eventually the wicked will fall. It seems to clearly say that the man who is often reproved, yet stiffens his neck may be standing for Israelite society as a whole; the whole population can be warned to repent and can suffer for not doing so.  We might conclude then, that Solomon say his nation as “hardening” their necks as a unit! 
He that being often reproved and hardens his neck (29:1a)
     “He that” (or “He who”) is a form used by Solomon to speak to a group both general and definitely existing.  Solomon is thinking of a group of Israelites that he knows, of a certainty, exists in His audience.  Likewise, it speaks of a group that he wishes to speak of the nation as a whole and does not intend to be speaking of any particular person.
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<![CDATA[God’s Preparation for Us!]]>Tue, 05 Dec 2017 00:18:02 GMThttp://vfbaptist.org/blog/gods-preparation-for-usPastor Bill Farrow
Exodus 28:4
     One of the most gladdening and encouraging things in my walk with the Lord is knowing that God has and does supply all that is needful and can enable me (read “us”) to do whatever is needful to be obedient and to bring Him glory and pleasure as we seek His will. 
  1. He protects us, enables to stand and do His works,
  2. He gives us the tongue and voice needful to give the praise that is pleasing to Him and is that “sweet-savor” offering that He so richly deserves. 
  3. He clothes us in the raiment needful to walking in holiness and righteousness before the world and fellow believers. 
  4. He, by His Spirit, enables us to understand what He has said in His Word and to apply it to our lives, as well and to be of use to those around us.
  5. He gives us courage and strength to stand and witness before a lost and even (at times) antagonistic and proud unsaved world.
  6. More than anything He has given us hope and the knowledge of the marvelous and sure hope that lies before is WHEN (not if) we join Him in glory!!
     We do not just “go along”, we walk in the sure knowledge of all that God has provided for us as one of His children!!! Amen ands Glory to our Master and Lord!!
<![CDATA[November 29th, 2017]]>Thu, 30 Nov 2017 00:57:54 GMThttp://vfbaptist.org/blog/november-29th-2017
by Pastor Bill Farrow
     This very famous and powerful statement by Paul to the Church here to the Corinthians comes right on the heels of his statement in the prior verse:
12 Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall.
     Paul’s point in this part of 1 Corinthians brings to a summation that despite God’s grace, several things were true of God’s people:
  • Israel fell into idolatry, 5, 7, 8 (cf. Ex 32:6; Num 25:1, 9);
  • They tempted the Lord, 9 (cf. Ex 17:2, 7; Num 21:6);
  • They complained, murmuring against God, 10 (Num 14:2); and
  • They were, as a national group, destroyed, 9–10 (cf. Num 25:1–9).
  • Verse 8 says 23,000 fell ‘in one day’ via God’s judgment (cf. Num 25:9 which actually yields a total of 24,000 having included the 1,000 Israelite leaders whose execution is recorded in Num 25:4).
     The warning against proud self-sufficiency follows all of this, (v12), together with this encouragement to trust God, followed by an injunction to flee from idolatry, 13–14. Finally, we see an appeal being made in verse 15 to a wise course.

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The Faithfulness of God to the Tempted
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