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Sermon #151 — Romans Series
Title: “Comfort of the Scriptures”
Text: Romans 15:4
Subject: Ten Bible Words that Give Me Comfort
Date: Sunday Morning — August 5, 2018
Reading: 1 Thessalonians 5:1-24
(1 Thessalonians 5:1-24) Of the times and the seasons, brethren, ye have no need that I write unto you. (2) For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night. (3) For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape. (4) But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief. (5) Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness.
(6) Therefore, let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch and be sober. (7) For they that sleep sleep in the night; and they that be drunken are drunken in the night. (8) But let us, who are of the day, be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love; and for an helmet, the hope of salvation. (9) For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ, (10) Who died for us, that, whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with him. (11) Wherefore, comfort yourselves together, and edify one another, even as also ye do.
(12) And we beseech you, brethren, to know them which labour among you, and are over you in the Lord, and admonish you; (13) And to esteem them very highly in love for their work's sake. And be at peace among yourselves.
(14) Now we exhort you, brethren, warn them that are unruly, comfort the feebleminded, support the weak, be patient toward all men. (15) See that none render evil for evil unto any man; but ever follow that which is good, both among yourselves, and to all men. (16) Rejoice evermore. (17) Pray without ceasing. (18) In everything give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you. (19) Quench not the Spirit. (20) Despise not prophesyings. (21) Prove all things; hold fast that which is good. (22) Abstain from all appearance of evil.
(23) And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. (24) Faithful is he that calleth you, who also will do it.
Here are five facts of which I am absolutely certain. They are true of me. And they are true of you. These things are not questionable or debatable. You may not like them. You may not even acknowledge them. But, in your heart, you know they are all true. You would be wise to lay them to heart.
1. I know that God is.
My own conscience, the world around me, reason, and the Word of God, all convince me that God is.
Looking at this world and God’s creatures upon it, no one can honestly accept the notion of evolution. It is contrary to all reason. Only a deliberately ignorant fool could deny the hand of God in creation.
There is a God in heaven who is holy, righteous, just, and true. He is our Creator and Benefactor. All things are naked before his eyes. He sees all and knows all. And one day I must stand before him in judgment.
2. I know that I am a guilty sinner.
This is one thing we all have in common. This is the deadly plague and disease of our race. We are not just weak and impaired, we are guilty and sinful. Our sin is fourfold.
We are a constant mass of sin. We have sinned. We are sinning. And we will sin. Sin is mixed with everything we do. Even as believers, we are sinners. We have nothing in us or about us by nature that is good and righteous. We continually sin in principle, in thought, and in deed, because we are sinners at heart. We must see sin in its true character. That which is highly esteemed among men is an abomination to God. God looks upon the heart. And in that heart, he sees sin, nothing but sin! And he hates it.
3. I know that if God sends me to hell, he would be perfectly just and righteous in doing so.
It does not surprise me at all to know that God sends men to hell. The wonder to me is that he does not send all men to hell. Hell is what we have earned and merited. Hell is what we deserve. Anything short of everlasting hell is mercy.
4. I know that God can either save me or damn me. It’s up to him and up to him alone.
I have no merit before him. I have nothing to win his favor. But I know that it is within the range of his righteous power to save me, if he will. It is up to him.
5. And I know that unless God himself intervenes to save me, I will surely perish in hell.
“Salvation is of the Lord.” — “It is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that showeth mercy.” — I cannot save myself. I cannot add anything to my salvation. And I cannot contribute anything toward my salvation. I am not only guilty, I am also helpless.
I must have a Divine Mediator, a Surety, a Daysman, a mighty Substitute who can suffer in my place and satisfy the demands of God’s holy law, or I must perish.
Where can such a foul, sinful, guilty, and helpless creature as I am find hope? — Paul tells us. “Whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the Scriptures might have hope” (Psalm 119:49, 81).
(Psalm 119:49) Remember the Word unto thy servant, upon which thou hast caused me to hope.
(Psalm 119:81) My soul fainteth for thy salvation: but I hope in thy Word.
Proposition: The Word of God was written to give comfort and hope to sinful men.
Here are ten Bible words that give me comfort and hope. These ten words have been inscribed upon the pages of Holy Scripture by God the Holy Spirit to give comfort and hope to sinful men and women like you and me. Let me share these ten words with you.
The first word is found in Matthew 1:23. Sinner, though I am, I have hope because God sent his Son into this world and called his name – “Emmanuel.”
(Matthew 1:21-23) And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins. (22) Now all this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying, (23) Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us.
Emmanuel means, “God with us.” If God had meant to condemn the world, he would never have sent his Son into the world (John 3:14-17).
(John 3:14-17) As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up: (15) That whosoever believeth in him should not perish but have eternal life. (16) For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. (17) For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.
Surely, God means to have mercy upon men, since he has clothed his Son with our nature! The Son of God assumed man’s nature, so that he might redeem and save fallen men (Hebrews 2:9-18).
(Hebrews 2:9-18) We see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honour; that he by the grace of God should taste death for every man. (10) For it became him, for whom are all things, and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons unto glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings. (11) For both he that sanctifieth and they who are sanctified are all of one: for which cause he is not ashamed to call them brethren, (12) Saying, I will declare thy name unto my brethren, in the midst of the church will I sing praise unto thee. (13) And again, I will put my trust in him. And again, Behold I and the children which God hath given me. (14) Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil; (15) And deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage. (16) For verily he took not on him the nature of angels; but he took on him the seed of Abraham. (17) Wherefore in all things it behoved him to be made like unto his brethren, that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people. (18) For in that he himself hath suffered being tempted, he is able to succour them that are tempted.
Well may sinners rejoice that more than 2000 years ago Jesus (the Christ) was born in Bethlehem. It gives us hope. Our Savior’s name is “Jesus.” He has come to save. And his name is “Emmanuel.” He is God able to save.
The second word that gives comfort and hope to my soul is “grace” (Ephesians 2:8-9).
(Ephesians 2:1-10) And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins; (2) Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience: (3) Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others. (4) But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, (5) Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) (6) And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus: (7) That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus. (8) For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: (9) Not of works, lest any man should boast. (10) For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.
It gives comfort and hope to my heart to know that salvation is purely a matter of Divine grace. Others may take comfort in their works or their imaginary goodness, but honesty compels us to flee from such delusions.
Since God saves sinners entirely by grace, without any consideration or expectation of merit on their part, there might be hope for me.
Here are some comforting facts about Divine grace as it is spoken of in the Book of God.
A third word which troubles many people gives me a comforting hope. The word is “election” (1 Thessalonians 1:4).
(1 Thessalonians 1:4) Knowing, brethren beloved, your election of God.
The Bible word “election” tells me that there are a people in this world loved and chosen of God. It tells me that some of Adam’s fallen race are ordained unto eternal life. All deserve to go to hell, but God has graciously chosen some to be the objects of his grace. It may be that I am among those people. God is going to save a people.
There are some things which clearly identify God’s elect.
The fourth word that gives me comfort and hope is found in Hebrews 7:22. The word is “surety.”
(Hebrews 7:22) By so much was Jesus made a surety of a better testament.
By God’s own oath, Jesus Christ was made the Surety of the Covenant of God’s Grace. A surety is one who assumes responsibility for another (Genesis 43:8-9; 44:32).
(Genesis 43:8-9) And Judah said unto Israel his father, Send the lad with me, and we will arise and go; that we may live, and not die, both we, and thou, and also our little ones. (9) I will be surety for him; of my hand shalt thou require him: if I bring him not unto thee, and set him before thee, then let me bear the blame forever.
(Genesis 44:32) For thy servant became surety for the lad unto my father, saying, If I bring him not unto thee, then I shall bear the blame to my father forever.
The Lord Jesus Christ, God’s Son, voluntarily agreed to become our Surety in the Covenant of Grace. He assumed all responsibility for the welfare and eternal salvation of his people.
Though I am a guilty sinner, deserving of hell, I have hope, because I rest my soul’s eternal welfare upon the work of another, God’s anointed Surety, Jesus Christ.
Here is a fifth word in the Bible that gives comfort and hope to this sinful man – “Redeemed” (Galatians 3:13).
(Galatians 3:13-14) Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is everyone that hangeth on a tree: (14) That the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ; that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.
The Lord Jesus Christ, by his once for all sacrifice at Calvary, has accomplished the eternal redemption of his people. He did not simply make men redeemable. He redeemed us. He paid the price of his blood and bought us out from under the curse and penalty and bondage of the law.
Every sinner who trusts Christ alone was redeemed by Christ. Therefore, I have hope. He must have redeemed me, because I am a sinner without anything to trust but him.
“Forgiveness” is the sixth word that gives me comfort and hope (Psalm 130:4). God for Christ’s sake does forgive sin.
(Psalm 130:1-8) Out of the depths have I cried unto thee, O LORD. (2) Lord, hear my voice: let thine ears be attentive to the voice of my supplications. (3) If thou, LORD, shouldest mark iniquities, O Lord, who shall stand? (4) But there is forgiveness with thee, that thou mayest be feared. (5) I wait for the LORD, my soul doth wait, and in his word do I hope. (6) My soul waiteth for the Lord more than they that watch for the morning: I say, more than they that watch for the morning. (7) Let Israel hope in the LORD: for with the LORD there is mercy, and with him is plenteous redemption. (8) And he shall redeem Israel from all his iniquities.
“But there is forgiveness with thee, that thou mayest be feared!” (Psalm 130:4) — “Forgiveness!” — What a great word this is from our God!
Since God forgives sin, there is hope for sinners. Child of God, get hold of this truth. In Christ we have the forgiveness of sin! God will not charge us with sin, neither now nor in eternity!
But don’t stop there. There is another Bible word that is equally precious, comforting, and full of hope. That word is “imputed” (James 2:23).
(James 2:23) And the scripture was fulfilled which saith, Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness: and he was called the Friend of God.
Just as Christ was made sin for us we are made the righteousness of God in him (2 Corinthians 5:21). All who believe on the Lord Jesus Christ have his very righteousness imputed to them because we are made the very righteousness of God in Christ. God, looking on us in Christ, declares that we are righteous; and we are. And where God has imputed righteousness, he will not impute sin (Romans 4:6-8).
(Romans 4:6-8) Even as David also describeth the blessedness of the man, unto whom God imputeth righteousness without works, (7) Saying, Blessed are they whose iniquities are forgiven, and whose sins are covered. (8) Blessed is the man to whom the Lord will not impute sin.
Catch this eighth Bible word and rejoice in comfort and hope. The word is “accepted” (Ephesians 1:6).
(Ephesians 1:3-7) Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ: (4) According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love: (5) Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will, (6) To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved. (7) In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace.
God has made us “accepted in the Beloved.” It is his work! The believer’s acceptance in Christ never changes.
To be accepted in Christ is to be favored and honored by God, and to be well-pleasing in his sight. In myself, I am totally unacceptable to God. But in Christ, I am accepted.
The ninth word which gives me comfort and hope is found in 1 Corinthians 15 — “Resurrection”
(1 Corinthians 15:19-23) If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable. (20) But now is Christ risen from the dead and become the firstfruits of them that slept. (21) For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead. (22) For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive. (23) But every man in his own order: Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ's at his coming.
I live in hope of the resurrection. The day is coming when our risen Lord will return to this earth, and this body shall be raised from the dead. The resurrection of the dead fills me with comfort, hope, and expectation (Job 19:25-27).
(Job 19:25-27) I know that my redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth: (26) And though after my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God: (27) Whom I shall see for myself, and mine eyes shall behold, and not another; though my reins be consumed within me.
The tenth Bible word that gives me a steadfast and confident hope is the word “satisfied” (Isaiah 53:11).
(Isaiah 53:10-11) It pleased the LORD to bruise him; he hath put him to grief: when thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see his seed, he shall prolong his days, and the pleasure of the LORD shall prosper in his hand. (11) He shall see of the travail of his soul and shall be satisfied: by his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many; for he shall bear their iniquities.
I know that when God is finished with this world and he creates all things new, there will be great satisfaction in heaven.
(Jeremiah 31:34) And they shall teach no more every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the LORD: for they shall all know me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them, saith the LORD: for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.
(Psalm 65:4) Blessed is the man whom thou choosest, and causest to approach unto thee, that he may dwell in thy courts: we shall be satisfied with the goodness of thy house, even of thy holy temple.
(Psalm 16:10-11) For thou wilt not leave my soul in hell; neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption. (11) Thou wilt shew me the path of life: in thy presence is fulness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore.
(Psalm 17:15) As for me, I will behold thy face in righteousness: I shall be satisfied, when I awake, with thy likeness.
The message of this Blessed Book is a message of comfort and hope for sinners. It gives comfort and hope to sinners who believe on Christ. It gives comfort and hope to sinners in Christ. But to you who are out of Christ, to you who will not believe, there is no comfort and no hope.
Take these ten words home with you. They are sweet and precious and full of comfort and hope for needy sinners.
This is what I am saying, rest your soul entirely and alone upon the merits of Christ the Lord.
Illustration: “He who gets the son gets all.”