THE HARRIS AND MOORE EXPEDITION THROUGH THE BIBLE

Tune in tonight (and each Monday) to the Harris and Moore Expedition Through the Bible at 6:00pm CST at http://www.harrisandmoore.org. Tonight will be our final lesson of the significance of being a Christian.

You have heard what men have said – now listen to what the Bible has to say.

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THE HARRIS AND MOORE EXPEDITION THROUGH THE BIBLE

Join us tonight at 6:00pm CST (and each Monday) on the Harris and Moore Expedition Through the Bible at http://www.harrisandmoore.org as we discuss important biblical topics.

You have heard what men have said – now listen to what the Bible has to say.

Tom Moore
http://www.fromthepreacherspc.org
http://www.harrisandmoore.org
http://www.parkheightscoc.com

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THOSE WHO GO TO WAR AND THOSE WHO STAY WITH THE BAGGAGE

THOSE WHO WAR AND THOSE WHO TARRY WITH THE BAGGAGE
1 Samuel 30:21-25

INTRODUCTION
A. The background of David’s pursuit of the Amalekites – cf. 1 Samuel 29, 30:1-20
1. David had been fleeing from the wrath of Saul and had been living among the Philitines
a. In 1 Samuel 29 David was encamped with the Philistines in Aphek ready to fight in Jezreel to capture this strong hold
b. One of the princes of the Philistines voiced disapproval of David being among them thinking that he would turn on them in battle since he was an Israelite
c. So king Achish sent David back to Ziklag
d. On his way back he had received word that the Amalekites had burned Ziglag and had taken captive all of their families
e. David then goes to retrieve their families leaving some of the men behind because they were weary from the travel – who stayed with the baggage
f. David return in victory having retrieved all the families and acquired a nice booty
2. 1 Samuel 30:21-25
a. Notice particularly the ordinance established in Israel…
b. “…for as his share is that goeth down to the battle, so shall his share be that tarrieth by the baggage: they shall share alike.” (1 Sam 30:24)
3. There are some similarities between David’s statute and what is true with regards to our service as Christians today…
a. For we too are engaged in a battle
b. Though our battle is a spiritual one
1) 1 Timothy 6:12
2) Ephesians 6:12-13
3) 2 Corinthians 10:3-6
B. In this lesson, I would like to point some of these similarities; beginning with the idea that…
DISCUSSION
A. GOD’S ARMY REQUIRES TWO FORMS OF SERVICE
1. Any military venture is dependent upon both support and battle forces
a. Much military planning revolves around how to support those at “the front”
b. For military leaders learned long ago:
1) “Men won’t fight on an empty stomach”
2) “Men won’t march without shoes”
c. Many battles have been won by the efficiency of the support forces in keeping up with those on the front line
d. This was one reason why Eisenhower was such a great general…he was a logistical genius
2. The same is true with God’s army and the battle we face
a. Two forms of service are required:
1) There are the “fighters”, and the “guards of the baggage”
2) That is, there are the “teachers” and “those that support them”
b. This truth is well illustrated in the New Testament
1) During Christ’s own ministry – cf. Luke 8:1-3
2) In the case of Paul, who was supported by:
a)  Churches – 2 Corinthians 11:8-9; Philippians 4:15-16
b)  Individuals – e.g., Gaius (Rom. 16:23), Epaphroditus (Phil. 2:25), Philemon (Phile 22)
c. Yes, to carry out God’s battle, there must be “preachers” and “supporters”
1) A logical and essential part in the saving of souls – cf. Romans 10:13-15
2) God’s army requires both…
a) Those who are willing to serve at “the front”
b) Those who are willing to serve at “the base”
d. As we examine this concept further, one might ask “Which service is more important?” Well…
B. BOTH SERVICES ARE EQUALLY IMPORTANT
1. This is certainly true in physical warfare
a. One might think the men on the front are the “most important”
b. While we cannot discount their importance, battles have been won or lost based upon logistical support!
2. This is just as true in the body of Christ
a. In Romans 12:3-8, we learn that in the body of Christ (the church)…
1) There are many members
2) The members do not have the same function!
b. In Ephesians 4:15-16, we learn that growth depends upon “the effective working by which every part does its share”
c. In 1 Corinthians 12:12-22, Paul stresses that all the members and their diverse functions are vital!
1) No one can say that they themselves are not important – 1 Corinthians 12:12-19
2) No one can say that others are not important – 1 Corinthians 12:20-22
3. Failure to realize this truth can be disastrous!
a. It can leave many brethren disappointed, apathetic, and fruitless!
1) If we are not careful, we can overemphasize one work to the neglect of others
a)  E.g., stressing evangelism to the neglect of edification and benevolence (despite the warning of James 3:1, and the implication of 1 Corinthians 12:29)
b)  This can make some feel that only one kind of work is worthy, noble, or important
2) With such a misconception, some may involve themselves in a work for which they are not suited
a) When failure comes, they become disappointed
b) Unless shown alternative ways to serve, they can become apathetic and fruitless
b. It often hinders the Lord’s cause in spreading the gospel!
1) Lack of support has hindered many foreign or smaller works where evangelists were unable to raise support
2) If those “at the base” don’t appreciate the importance of their support, the Lord’s body becomes handicapped in its ability to function!
c. Realizing the importance of both kinds of service, let no one despise one type of service over another!
d. Let’s find wherever we can best serve the Lord, and do so properly, which leads to our next point…
C. BOTH SERVICES DEMAND THE SAME GOAL, SACRIFICE, AND ZEAL
1. In the case of David and his men…
a. The men “at the baggage” (or, at the base) weren’t there because they were lazy or scared
1) Though exhausted, they were just as motivated as those who went on
2) Their families had been kidnapped, too!
b. Someone had to stay with the baggage, or the rest of the force might not have caught up with the enemy
1) Staying behind was a form of sacrifice, when it was your family out there somewhere in the hands of the enemy!
2) With the same goal, sacrifice, and zeal as those who pursued the enemy, they did their job of guarding the baggage!
2. To fulfill our roles in the Lord’s army, all need the same goal, sacrifice, and zeal!
a. What is our “goal”?
1) “that in all things God may be glorified through Jesus Christ” (1 Pt. 4:11)
2) To glorify God, whether in our service or in our teaching!
3) A goal like this can transform even secular or mundane service into a sacred and important one!
a)  E.g., providing baby-sitting services so the parents can be free to visit and teach others
b)  E.g., working as a common laborer so as to be able to support preachers in a foreign country
b. What kind of “sacrifice”?
1) “as good stewards of the manifold grace of God” (1 Pt. 4:10)
2) Each person has a gift (or more), an ability, given to him by God’s manifold grace
a)  As stewards, we will one day give an account – cf. Matthew 25:14-30
b)  We may not have the same talent, or number of talents, but we are expected to do the best with what we have!
c)  We certainly shouldn’t squander what has been given to us!
3) While we may serve in different capacities, we should have the same sense of sacrifice!
a) Some believe preachers should be willing to sacrifice more than others
b)  Is such a view consistent with what we are learning here?
(1) Should the “quartermasters” back at the base be squandering what may have been given them to support the “soldiers” at the front?
(2) Should we not all have the same willingness to sacrifice if the need is there?
(3) If brethren “at the base” sacrificed as much as they expected those to do who are “at the front”, would there not be more good things being done?
c. What kind of “zeal”?
1) “as with the ability which God supplies” (1 Pt. 4:11)
2) Whatever our ability, whatever our service, God gives us the strength to do it!
3) Shall we be slack with what God has given us?
4) We should be zealous to utilize what we have in a manner worthy of God’s gracious gift!
d. It is not so much what service we render to God, but how we do it.
e. And what sacrifice or zeal might be expected of one should be expected of all, for we seek the same goal!
3. Finally, let’s quickly note the point that…
D. BOTH SERVICES RECEIVE THE SAME REWARD
1. We saw where David made this a law in Israel
a. “…they shall share alike” (1 Sam. 30:24-25)
b. Whether they stayed by the supplies, or served in the battle
2. The principle is repeated in the New Testament
a. Jesus taught it in Matthew 10:41-42
b. Illustrated with regards to deacons, who are servants of the church – 1 Timothy 3:13
3. This should help us in our zeal and sacrifice
CONCLUSION
A. Too often, the Lord’s battle is hindered by the lack of support…
1. Some may be willing to go and teach
2. But others may not be willing to send and support
B. Yet we have seen that both forms of service…
1. Are equally important
2. Require the same goal, sacrifice, and zeal
3. Receive the same reward
C. Wherever we may serve in the Lord’s “army”, whether “At The Front Or At The Base”, let’s do it as good stewards and with great zeal!
D. Speaking of the Lord’s “army”, have you been “enlisted” by the Lord yet (2 Tim. 2:3-4)
E. Through the precious gospel of Christ, God is calling all who will come to Him (2 The. 2:14)

Tom Moore
http://www.fromthepreacherspc.org
http://www.harrisandmoore.org
http://www.parkheightscoc.com

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THE HARRIS AND MOORE EXPEDITION THROUGH THE BIBLE

Tune in tonight (and each Monday) at 6:00pm CST to The Harris and Moore Expedition Through the Bible at http://www.harrisandmoore.org

Tonight we are continuing our study of the significance of being a Christian.

You have heard what men have said – now listen to what the Bible says.

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THE HARRIS AND MOORE EXPEDITION THROUGH THE BIBLE

Join us tonight (and each Monday) on the Harris and Moore Expedition Through the Bible at 6:00pm CST at http://www.harrisandmoore.org

We are discussing the significance of being a Christian.

You have heard What men have said – now listen to what the Bible has to say.

Tom Moore
http://www.fromthepreacherspc.org
http://www.harrisandmoore.org
http://www.parkheightscoc.com

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The “Insufficiency” of the Scriptures

THE “INSUFFICIENCY” OF THE SCRIPTURES
John 5:37-40

INTRODUCTION
A. The all-sufficiency of the Scriptures is an important doctrine
1. For the Scriptures are completely adequate – 2 Timothy 3:16-17
2. God has provided all that we need for life and godliness – 2 Peter 1:3
3. We do not need further revelation – we have the faith delivered “once for all” to the saints – Jude 3
4. Thus we have that which is able to build us up and give us our inheritance – Acts 20:32
B. Yet there can come a time when the Scriptures are insufficient
1. When despite its power, the Word of God is unable to save
2. When despite diligent study, it does not benefit those who search through it
3. There can be a time when the Scriptures are insufficient!
C. We find such an occasion in the gospel account of John
1. When Jesus was confronted by unbelieving Jews – John 5:16-18
2. These unbelieving Jews had rejected various sources bearing witness to Jesus – John 5:33-36
D. In what serves as our text (Jn. 5:37-40), we learn when and how the Scriptures can be insufficient, as it proved to be in the case of the Jews…
DISCUSSION
A. HOW THE SCRIPTURES PROVED INSUFFICIENT FOR THE JEWS
1. They Diligently Searched The Scriptures
a. As indicated in John 5:39
1) The KJV has Jesus commanding them to search the Scriptures
2) The ASV, NKJV, NASB has Jesus acknowledging their study of the Scriptures – which seems to be the sense here
b. The Jews were diligent students of the Scriptures
1) Moses was read in the synagogues every Sabbath (Acts 15:21)
2) “Hillel used to say, ‘More law, more life…He who has gotten himself words of law has gotten himself the life of the world to come’ (Talmud). In their zeal for the Scriptures the Jews had counted every letter of them, expecting to find life in the laws and precepts…” – McGarvey’s Fourfold Gospel
c. One could hardly be a more diligent student of the Scriptures than the Jews!
2. Yet The Scriptures Did Not Benefit Them
a. They were unwilling to believe in Him of whom the Scriptures testified – John 5:39-40
b. Failing to believe in Jesus led to the Father’s Word not abiding in them – John 5:38
c. Unwilling to believe in Him of whom the Scriptures testified, the Scriptures proved insufficient to be the Word of life for them!
3. How sad that many Jews who had the benefit of receiving “the oracles of God” (Rom. 3:1-2) and studied them so diligently fell short of receiving their true benefit. Yet the same occurs often today…
B. HOW THE SCRIPTURES CAN BE INSUFFICIENT FOR US TODAY
1. We May Be Diligent Students Of The Scriptures
a. Indeed we should be diligent students of the Word!
1) The gospel is God’s power to save – Romans 1:16
2) The Word of God is living and powerful – Hebrews 4:12
3) The Word is able to save our souls – James 1:21
4) The Word is able to make one born again – 1 Peter 1:22
5) The Word is able to help us grow – 1 Peter 2:2
6) The Word is able to give us that inheritance among those sanctified – Acts 20:32
b. Many people are diligent students of the Word!
1) Every denomination has its scholars, people well-versed in the Word
2) People read the Bible daily, study it in church frequently
3) Some can even quote entire sections from memory
c. Many are like the Berean Jews in their study of the Scriptures – Acts 17:11
2. Yet The Scriptures Will Not Benefit Us…
a. If we do not have faith – Hebrews 4:1-2
1) We may come short of our promised rest
2) Like the Israelites who fell in the wilderness
b. If we are not doers of the Word
1) If we are only hearers, we deceive ourselves – James 1:21-25
2) If we are only hearers, we will not stand in times of trial – Matthew 7:24-27
c. Unless we believe and obey the Word of God, it remains insufficient to save us!
CONCLUSION
A. The Word of God is truly all-sufficient
1. To do the work God designed it do – Isaiah 55:10-11
“For as the rain cometh down and the snow from heaven, and returneth not thither, but watereth the earth, and maketh it bring forth and bud, and giveth seed to the sower and bread to the eater; so shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.”
2. To bear fruit in the noble and good heart – Luke 8:11, 15
B. Yet “people of the Book” (as the Koran calls Jews and Christians) should take heed…
1. The Word cannot bear fruit in some hearts – Luke 8:12-14
2. We must let the Word lead us to Him Who is the giver of life – John 5:40
C. Indeed, “the all-sufficiency of the Word” must be understood in its context, for the Word alone does not save.
1. To be saved we also need faith (Jn. 8:24), we need blood (Eph. 1:7), we even need water (Eph. 5:26), the last being an allusion to baptism where the Word, God’s grace, Christ’s blood and our faith comes together to provide remission of sins!
2. Acts 2:38
3. Acts 22:16

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IN SEARCH FOR THE TRUE MEANING TO LIFE #1

THE TRUE MEANING TO LIFE #1
“Vanity of Vanities”

 
INTRODUCTION
A. I am sure that most people would agree that the ultimate goal of everyone is to be happy.
1. All sane people desire to experience as much pleasure, fulfillment, contentment, and joy as possible.
2. However, it is an ironic and unfortunate fact that the overwhelming majority of people are seeking happiness in the wrong places and from the wrong sources.

B. It is to our eternal benefit that God has preserved for us the experiences of Solomon to help us in our search for the true meaning to life.
1. When we consider the life of Solomon, we realize that no man has ever been more qualified to write about the subject of happiness and where it is and is not to be found.

2. Solomon possessed some unique qualifications as he searched for potential sources of happiness:
a. He excelled in wisdom and knowledge (1 Kgs. 4:29-34)
b. He had incredible material wealth (1 Kgs. 4:7, 21)
c. He had unlimited power (1 Kgs. 2:25, 31), and
d. He had unlimited opportunities for fleshly indulgence (1 Kgs. 11:1-3).

3. Solomon had everything at his fingertips – would he find the true meaning to life?

C. The theme of Ecclesiastes is stated in… Ecclesiastes 1:2

1. The word “vanity” is found 37 times in Ecclesiastes

2. “Vanity” is from the Hebrew word HEBEL and literally means breath, and is used metaphorically of anything frail or unsatisfying

3. Solomon uses the phrase “vanity of vanities” which mean vanity to the highest degree

D. Solomon raises a question in Ecclesiastes 1:3

1. Solomon asks, What advantage is there in a man’s labor “under the sun?”
a. “Under the sun” has to do with purely earthly things
b. Void of spiritual influence – lived apart from God

2. In other words, What real and lasting benefit is there from one’s labor in this physical life?

3. Consider this question … Matthew 16:26

E. Solomon gives us insight as to what is the true meaning to life as he draws conclusions from:

1. His observations regarding meaningless cycles of life, and

2. His own experiences as he sought to find this meaning through various avenues of the flesh

DISCUSSION
A. THE VANITY OF LIFE IS OBSERVED IN THE CYCLES OF LIFE
1. There is the weariness of one generation to the next
a. Ecclesiastes 1:4
b. Man is only here on this earth for a short time, and when he dies there is another to take his place
c. From “under the sun” the view is: While the constant succession of generations of men go on, the earth remains seemingly unchanged and immovable.
d. The point is: IF man was as permanent as the earth SEEMS to be – then there might be profit to a man’s labor
e. Solomon’s conclusion: Earthly labors are vanity because man comes and goes

2. There is the weariness of repetition
a. Ecclesiastes 1:5-7
b. The “sun” is another instance of the ever-recurring change in the face of an enduring sameness – rising and setting day by day, never resting. The sun makes no real process, all its work merely brings it back to the beginning, and there to start all over.
c. The “wind” is another example of motion continually repeated with no real progress. The wind is seemingly the freest of all created things – but is still bound by the weariness of repetition.
d. The “rivers” are another instance of an unvarying operation producing no tangible result. Rivers flow into the sea, the sea evaporates into the clouds, the clouds move over land and drop its moister into the rivers – and the process starts all over again.
e. Viewing things from “under the sun,” Solomon says, “Nature is nothing but a vicious cycle” – the weariness of repetition
f. We get up and to work, and we get up and go to work, etc ect…

3. There is the weariness of never being satisfied
a. Ecclesiastes 1:8
b. Man, like nature, is confined to a circle from which he cannot free himself
c. Despite all our labors, man is never truly satisfied – what satisfaction one may think he has obtained is only apparent and fleeting
d. Given time, they soon desire something else – man is never satisfied with what he has … Proverbs 27:20
e. We have this – we want that…

4. There is the weariness of there being nothing new under the sun
a. Ecclesiastes 1:9-11
b. Everything that has happened in the world will happen again – History always repeats itself
c. If something is thought to be new – it is only because we have forgotten what occurred before
1) What about our modern technological advances?
2) Well, what about the pyramids, or mummification?
d. Given enough time, future generations will forget what we are doing today, and only “rediscover” what had been learned again and again

5. Faced with what appears to be such meaningless cycles in life, Solomon now searches for the true meaning to life in another area

B. THE VANITY OF STRIVING FOR EARTHLY WISDOM AND KNOWLEDGE
1. Solomon prefaces his search
a. Ecclesiastes 1:12-15
b. Solomon, king in Israel, gave special attention and effort to the gaining all the knowledge he possible could. This was a task for which he knew that he was especially equipped – remember God had given him great wisdom
c. 1 Kings 3:5-15; 4:29-34; 10:1-7
d. Here is a man with probably the greatest ability ever known to mortal man, and he searches for the true meaning to life in knowledge “under the sun” – his conclusion, “all is vanity and a striving after wind.”

2. Solomon applies his wisdom
a. Ecclesiastes 1:16-17a
b. Solomon realizes the great wisdom and knowledge he has attained, and he applied it to things “under the sun”
c. He came to knowledge through observation, madness and folly – he gave himself to philosophy, all in search of the true meaning to life

3. Solomon’s conclusion concerning human wisdom
a. Ecclesiastes 1:17b-18
b. Solomon concluded that attaining human wisdom was like grasping for the wind – it did not provide the answer to his problem
c. Solomon also realized that such wisdom caused only grief and sorrow
1) The more wisdom and understanding of men that we acquire – the more we see its unsatisfactory nature
2) One becomes burden as they learn the things of life – the things that we have no control over are the things we often worry about

CONCLUSION
A. In Solomon’s search for the true meaning to life he begins with wisdom – he set his heart to know wisdom, and he found such wisdom to be “striving after wind” – vexation of spirit (KJV)
B. The true meaning to life is not found in human wisdom. The true meaning to life will not be found in philosophical attempts at life
C. Life from a worldly standpoint, “from under the sun,” is vanity
D. Ecclesiastes 12:13

Tom Moore
http://www.fromthepreacherspc.org
http://www.harrisandmoore.org
http://www.parkheightscoc.com

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