Introduction: Notes that became a Sermon
1. **Isaiah 59:2**
- **Verse**: "But your iniquities have separated you from your God, And your sins have hidden His face from you, So He will not hear."
- **Context**: This chapter discusses the gap between God and the Israelites due to their sinful behaviors.
- **Exposition**: The term "your iniquities have separated you from your God" paints a vivid picture of the cosmic disconnection that ensues when Sin is involved. The Hebrew term for "separated," "badal," means to divide or sever. It's as if a chasm opens, and God's face—His presence and favor—is hidden, affecting our spiritual relationship and earthly well-being.
2. **Proverbs 10:9**
- **Verse**: "He"who walks with integrity walks securely, But he who perverts his ways will become known."
" - **Context**: Proverbs 10 is a part of the wisdom literature that contrasts righteous living with wicked behaviors.
- **Exposition**: "He"who walks with integrity securely encapsulates the holistic sense of well-being accompanying a life of integrity. The Hebrew term for secure is the Hebrew word "etach," which implies a sense of confidence and fearlessness. Conversely, "he who perverts his ways will become known" serves as a dire warning that no sin remains hidden; it will be exposed and lead to disgrace.
3. **1 Peter 2:12**
- **Verse**: "Having your conduct honorable among the Gentiles, that when they speak against you as evildoers, they may, by your good works which they observe, glorify God in the day of visitation."
- **Context**: Peter is writing to Christians scattered across Asia Minor, encouraging them to live righteously among non-believers.
- **Exposition**: "Having your conduct honorable among the Gentiles" speaks to the early Christian community's need to act as God's ambassadors. Peter asserts that even if they accuse you as "evildoers," your consistent godly character will serve as a live testimony, leading them to "glorify God in the day of visitation"—a reference to Christ's second coming.
4. **Psalm 32:3**
- **Verse**: "When I kept silent, my bones grew old Through my groaning all day long."
- **Context**: David is expressing his experience with guilt and forgiveness. Before he confessed his Sin, he experienced turmoil.
- **Exposition**: "When I kept silent, my bones grew old" speaks to the corrosive effect of Sin that is not dealt with. The "bones" symbolize the very core of our being. David implies that unconfessed sin or moral compromise eats away at our internal peace, leading to emotional and spiritual '"decay.'
### Blessings of Standing Firm
1. **1 Peter 1:7**
- **Verse**: "That the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ,"
- **Context**: Peter addresses the various trials Christians will go through, emphasizing their role in proving the genuineness of their Faith.
- **Exposition**: "Being much more precious than gold that perishes" uses a metaphor comparing Faith to gold but notes its imperishable quality. The "tested by fire" aspect suggests that trials aren't accidental but are providential tools God uses to refine us for His glory, especially "at the revelation of Jesus Christ."
2. **John 16:33**
- **Verse**: "These things I have spoken to you, that you may have peace in Me. You will have tribulation in the world, but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world."
- **Context**: Jesus is preparing His disciples for His imminent departure (His death, resurrection, and ascension), providing them with final encouragements and warnings.
- **Eposition**: "In the world, you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world" offers a stark but hopeful reality. Jesus acknowledges the tribulations but declares His victory over the world. This dual assurance tells us that we can overcome because Jesus already has, turning trials into stepping stones rather than stumbling blocks.
3. **Romans 5:3-4**
- **Verse**: "And not only that, but we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance; and perseverance, character; and character, hope."
- **Context**: Paul describes the benefits of justification by Faith, including peace with God and a future hope that does not disappoint.
- **Exposition**: Paul suggests that tribulation produces a domino effect of Spiritual growth—from perseverance to character and from character to hope. Each step builds upon the other, with "hope" as the culmination. It's not a blind hope but one rooted in the proven character of God and demonstrated through our refined character.
4. **Philippians 2:15**
- **Verse**: "That you may become blameless and harmless, children of God without fault amid a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world,"
- **Context**: Paul is encouraging the Philippians to be unified and to live in a manner worthy of the Gospel.
- **Exposition**: The phrase "children of God without fault" underscores the call to sanctification. The surrounding "crooked and perverse generation" heightens the contrast and the need for Christians to "shine as lights," serving as moral and Spiritual beacons. This isn't just for individual piety but serves a missional purpose, becoming a communal witness to the Gospel's transformative power.