The Hand of God
The references to God’s Hand in the Bible are a great study. Throughout the Word of God, allusions to the power, mercy and strength of the Lord’s hand occur in great numbers.
Here are a few you can apply to your own personal study..
1. The Mighty Hand of God.
Deuteronomy 3:24 "O Lord GOD, thou hast begun to shew thy servant thy greatness, and thy mighty hand: for what God is there in heaven or in earth, that can do according to thy works, and according to thy might?"
Isaiah 40:10 “Behold, the Lord GOD will come with strong hand, and his arm shall rule for him: behold, his reward is with him, and his work before him”
Not only is He a God who Possesses all power and strength, but our God gives of that power and strength to his people.
Psalm 68:35 "O God, thou art terrible out of thy holy places: the God of Israel is he that giveth strength and power unto his people. Blessed be God."
2. The Right Hand of God.
Mark 16:19 "So then after the Lord had spoken unto them, he was received up into heaven, and sat on the right hand of God."
Matthew 25:34 "Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world:"
Acts 7:55 "But he, being full of the Holy Ghost, looked up steadfastly into heaven, and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing on the right hand of God,"
3. The Covering Hand of God.
Isaiah 51:16 "And I have put my words in thy mouth, and I have covered thee in the shadow of mine hand, that I may plant the heavens, and lay the foundations of the earth, and say unto Zion, Thou art my people."
Psalm 139:5 "Thou hast beset me behind and before, and laid thine hand upon me."
4. God's Hand of Instruction.
Job 27:11 "I will teach you by the hand of God: that which is with the Almighty will I not conceal."
Revelation 7:17 "For the Lamb which is in the midst of the throne shall feed them, and shall lead them unto living fountains of waters: and God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes."
Hebrews 12:6 "For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth"
5. The Good Hand of God.
Nehemiah 2:8 "And a letter unto Asaph the keeper of the king's forest, that he may give me timber to make beams for the gates of the palace which appertained to the house, and for the wall of the city, and for the house that I shall enter into. And the king granted me, according to the good hand of my God upon me."
6. The Preserving Hand of God.
Ezra 8:31 "Then we departed from the river of Ahava on the twelfth day of the first month, to go unto Jerusalem: and the hand of our God was upon us, and he delivered us from the hand of the enemy, and of such as lay in wait by the way."
Psalm 121:5 "The LORD is thy keeper: the LORD is thy shade upon thy right hand."
Daniel 5:23 "...and the God in whose hand thy breath is, and whose are all thy ways...."
7. The Leading Hand of God.
Psalm 95:7 "For he is our God; and we are the people of his pasture, and the sheep of his hand. Today if ye will hear his voice,"
Psalm 139:10 "Even there shall thy hand lead me, and thy right hand shall hold me."
8. The Interceding Hand of God.
Hebrews 7:25 "Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them."
Hebrews 4:16 "Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.
Spencer Close, Bus Director, Sharon Baptist Church
Why the Church?
"Unchurched Christian" isn't a biblical category. Ask Paul, John, or Peter what they think about unchurched Christians, and they would have responded, “Why are you calling them Christians if they aren't a part of the church?”
The New Testament doesn't have a vision of the Christian life outside of the church, the local church. But there are many professing Christians today who seek to be committed to Christ with no commitment to the church. They don't believe in organized religion. They claim the church is full of hypocrites. They have experienced church hurt. They can't find a faithful, biblical church. They don't find the church necessary, supportive, or beneficial. So, they follow Christ but forsake the church.
It's wrong. It's unbiblical. It's non-Christian. You cannot have a high view of Christ and a low view of the church at the same time. Jesus declared, "On this rock, I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it" (Matthew 16:18). The church belongs to Jesus. Christ himself is building the church. And nothing can defeat the church of Christ.
Christ is the head of the church. And he does not have out-of-body experiences. To submit to the authority of Jesus Christ over your life is to live in fellowship with the church.
Pastor David Carroll - Senior Pastor, Sharon Baptist Church
Seeking God First
Text: I Samuel 30:1-19
Up to this point in the book I Samuel, David has been running from King Saul for some time and has taken up refuge in the land of the Philistines. There he has joined himself to Achish, the King of Gath, a Philistine. Over time, this king came to greatly revere David and gave him a city called Ziklag; it would be a safe-haven for the families of David and his men.
Later, in chapter 30, as David and his band were returning from Jezerel, the Amalekites had invaded the south and destroyed Ziklag. They burned the city and took all their wives, children, animals and substance.
David and his men were devastated when they returned to see the city burned and all their loved ones taken away. Yet David, in an act of great faith, responds with remarkable restraint and godly wisdom! He stops at that moment and asks the Lord this question, “Shall I pursue after this troop? shall I overtake them?”
Rather than trusting in his own heart, which surely was full of rage and wrath over what had taken place, David first seeks the Lord in the matter.
What a question! Certainly, God would approve of him going to rescue his family, but David rightly goes to the Lord in prayer, seeking him first.
This is wisdom!
Even when the answer seems obviously apparent, you and I should still seek God for the answer. Our dependence upon our Savior doesn’t stop at our salvation. The Lord Jesus Christ, at all times, wants to be involved in every aspect of our lives. He desires to supply our every need; we only need to ask Him and depend upon Him.
The Bible tells us in I Peter 5:7, “Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.”
As a result of David’s appeal to the Lord, God granted him and his men a great victory in the end. As they went on to pursue after the Amalekites, they came to find all their loved ones alive and well. Even all the animals and all their substance; Nothing was lost. Not a single thing was hurt or missing.
By God’s grace and goodness, David recovered all!
David’s response to this tragedy teaches us a great truth. If we will seek out the wisdom of God first, we will have triumph over the uncertainty and weaknesses of our own understanding.
Seek the Lord first; He will always lead you in a right way!
“Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding; In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.”
- Spencer Close, Bus Ministry Director, Sharon Baptist Church
Pastor Sabbatical Update 3
What a fast and furious couple of weeks it has been since my last update. Diana and I had as wonderful time with our sons and their family the third week of June. There was laughter, love, and excitement for everybody. The grandchildren spent most of the days and nights in the pool. Even little Emma has become quite a good little swimmer, with her vest on. After the first few hours, she was jumping in the water on her own accord and wasn't afraid to put her head under water. On Wednesday we were able to go to Bush Gardens with the family, thanks in part to the generous gift of tickets to veterans from the park. Let me just say the Vorbotlen is a scary roller coaster to ride, but the ride is worth every minute of it. Yes, I screamed like a little girl and am not ashamed to admit it.
The last two weeks were spent a Pleasure Island Bible Camp near Blacksburg, VA. I look forward to this time of renewing old friendships and fellowshipping with campers. During the Junior week nine decisions were made for Christ. Five others made decisions to surrender their life to Christ to be used as He desires. One of those children was from our church. So far at Teen camp over ten young people have trusted Christ as their personal Savior. One of our own teens received assurance of their salvation and now has no doubts that she is a child of the King. Praise the Lord! Thank you for giving to make all this possible and the week is still not over.
The theme of this year's camp is The Old Path's.
Jeremiah 6:16a "Thus saith the LORD, Stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls."
You may be thinking, Pastor Carroll, what are the Old Paths? Quite simply, the Old Paths are the ways of God that are found in the Word of God and then lived out by faith.
The Psalmist writes in Psalms 25:4-5 "Shew me thy ways, O LORD; teach me thy paths.  Lead me in thy truth, and teach me: for thou art the God of my salvation; on thee do I wait all the day."
These Old Paths contain the Old Path of conversion, of reconciliation with God, of personal acceptance of Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour. The Old Path of belief in the Bible as the inspired Word of God, as our sufficient guide for faith and practice. The Old Paths of modesty, of purity, and separation from the world, and holy and Godly living. The Old Paths of soulwinning and evangelism as a means to reach people with the Gospel of Christ and grew the local New Testament Baptist Church.
It's my hope and prayer as your Pastor that you will desire to stay on the Old Paths that have been laid before us.
Proverbs 22:28 "Remove not the ancient landmark, which thy fathers have set."
As a way of closing this update, let me say thank you for the great work that everybody did to make VBS a success. Souls were saved, lives were rededicated to the Lord, new friendship were made, and old ones were renewed. Diana and I anxiously await our return from Sabbatical on August 14th.
- Pastor Carroll, Senior Pastor, Sharon Baptist Church
Pastor Sabbatical Week 2
I can hardly believe that is has been two weeks since the start of my sabbatical. I do miss each and every one of and pray for you regularly. This week I've read a book entitled, Forgotten Salvation & Martyrs by Ronnie Brown, while visiting with my mother in PA. As I read about the salvation decision of men and women, I couldn’t help but be remined that God can save the vilest of sinners and the very pious steeped in their religion. God is "not willing that any should perish but have everlasting life." (John 3:26b)
Each of the stories of these testimonies followed a similar pattern but under different circumstances. That same pattern is available to any sinner who desires to be saved today. It begins with conviction. The understanding that you have sinned against a righteous and Holy God. That conviction come from the Holy Spirt of God. In John 6:44a Jesus states, "No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him." This conviction should bring about a Godly sorrow for our sin. Our sin must become a burden, a weight, we no longer desire to carry. We must see it’s offensive, a stench in God’s nostrils. Godly sorrow leads to us viewing sin the way God does.
We then must confess our sins to God. Conviction of our sins should bring about repentance or turning from our sin to God.
Romans 10:9-10 "That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.  For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation."
That confession should push us to the point of turning from our sin and serving A Holy God in holiness. Just because we repent doesn’t mean the temptation to sin won’t happen again in our lives. We have to choose holiness and righteousness daily. When I repented of my sin, I intentionally decided to walk in holiness daily. That decision required that I change who I saw, where I went, who I invited into my home, the music to which I listened, and the movies I watched. I had to guard my heart, my eyes, my ears, and my mind every day. You may have to do the same things.
Romans 6:22 "But now being made free from sin, and become servants to God, ye have your fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life."
Our salvation brought on by the conviction of the Holy Spirit, leading us to confess or sin to God by repentance, should bring us to a point in our lives where we desire to live a Holy life for God. Separated from the world, but drawn close to God by our regular communion with Him. Giving us the power to live a Holy life, "Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy." 1 Peter 1:16.
2 Corinthians 7:1 "Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God."
- Pastor David Carroll, Senior Pastor, Sharon Baptist Church
Sabbatical Week 1
Merci, Danke, Gracias, σας ευχαριστώ (that one was for Pastor James).
Thank you for the allowing me the opportunity to take this sabbatical. I already miss the times we share in the services, and the fellowship we have in Christ.
The first week of sabbatical was a busy time. I had some last-minute details to take care of for the church before embarking full time on my sabbatical. I then turned my attention to my "honey-to-do" list that I needed to finish before our guests arrived on Tuesday. I'm writing this sabbatical update from my mother's house in Pennsylvania. It has been good to visit with her and "catch-up" on life. It's been too long since I spent time with my mom. I feel that I have really begun the "rest," which is part of my sabbatical goals.
This week I have read (outside of my Bible reading), The Unbreakable Brain by Dr. Will Mitchell. What a great book! It's subtitled Shield Your Brain From Cognitive Decline…For Life. I have learned a lot about how the brain and memory functions. I also know now that diabetes and dementia are interconnected, and a lot of other useful things. Prayerfully, I will move them from my head to my heart (like we should do with the Word of God) and make applications to my life.
As I truly began to rest it allowed me to reflect and I came to this conclusion,
Instead of allowing the position of Senior Pastor to form the basis of who I am, I need to allow my position in Christ to shape my identity.
Galatians 2:20 "I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me."
Because He loved me and gave himself for me, and now lives in me, my position in this life (the world) doesn't make up my identity. My identity is who I am in Christ. My position is not found in this world, but in heaven.
Ephesians 2:6 "And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus:"
I'm a child of God; God in me and for me. My position and identity in Christ is sufficient to sustain me no matter what title I may hold here on earth.
Having said that, I'm well aware of John 15:16 which states, "Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you" (that's my life verse).
And 1 Timothy 3:1 which states, "This is a true saying, If a man desire the office of a bishop, he desireth a good work."
I'm thankful for the position God has called me to as the Pastor of Sharon Baptist Church, but that position no longer defines who I am in this world, Christ has already determined that for me.
Victory In Verse
“And for me, that utterance may be given unto me, that I may open my mouth boldly, to make known the mystery of the gospel, For which I am an ambassador in bonds: that Therein I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak” Ephesians 6:19,20
One of the great American ships that dominated the high seas in the heyday of transatlantic travel was the SS United States, better known as the “Big U." The Big U was a passenger liner that was not only built for comfort, but for speed, setting and retaining the fastest transatlantic crossing for an ocean liner at 3 days, 10hrs and 40min. She was the last of her kind in the grand age of ocean travel as the celebrated days of crossing the Atlantic by liner would come to a close. The convenience and speed of air travel would quickly usher in the end of that era.
Today the ‘’Big U” has long been out of service and is only a shadow of what it used to be. As She sits idly tied to her moors in the city of Philadelphia, time and the elements have had their way, bathing her steel with rust and corrosion.
In comparison, as you look at the current state of that grand ship, it somewhat resembles that of a once vibrant and active Christian or Church, one that was on the move, bold, committed, serving; setting records with the Lord if you will.
But now it seems we have entered into a new era as well.
Door to door evangelism and Soul-Winning efforts have been replaced with live stream services and casual Christianity. That ‘grand ship’ now finds itself moored to the docks of silence and stillness; weather beaten by the cares of life and the rudiments of the world. So many of us in the Lord seem to be aimlessly adrift in the seas of distractions, doubt and discouragement.
Yet, Praise the Lord, in both cases there is cause for hope.
As for the “Big U”, it’s encouraging to know that a conservatory group has dedicated itself to one day seeing their beloved ship restored and returned to service on the high seas; to once again fulfill her role as the world’s “flagship” in ocean travel. They envision a day when her powerful engines would again stir the waters beneath her decks and those decks would be filled with happy passengers. Nevertheless, with this vision comes the reality that it takes willing resources, unyielding determination and great sacrifice to see it come to pass.
And for the idle Christian, the still Church, you are not without hope nor without an Advocate. No matter what era or state we find ourselves in, or however far we may have drifted from the Lord and His Great Commission, we can know, with all certainty, that Jesus is still in the business of ‘restoration’. We can know again the joy of serving Christ in sharing the good news of the word of God with a lost and dying world. And Just as that great ship has it’s hope in those that love her, so do we have the sure mercies of God, with rest and hope in the one that Loves us to the uttermost, the Lord Jesus Christ.
Be assured dear Christian, your Savior is far more willing, far more determined and far more capable in the work of restoration than any human or earthly effort could ever be. Jesus promises that He will “never leave nor foresake thee”. He also says, “Behold I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me”. The seasons may change; the times may change, yet the Lord declares, “I change not”! “Jesus Christ, the same yesterday, and to day, and forever”
What a comfort to know God’s promises!
So along with those that would love to see that great ship cast off her lines and set sail again, let us pray as God’s people, that His servants, His Church and all those that labor and have labored for the cause of Christ, would likewise cast off their lines from the bounds of idleness and complacency to once again serve the Lord to the fullest, realizing again their call and purpose in the Lord; to be the “flagship” of the Gospel as the Ambassadors of the Lord Jesus Christ.
- Spencer Close, Bus Director, Sharon Baptist Church
To All The Flock
As we continue to look at what the Word of God has to say about the local church, I would like us to consider Acts chapter 20 and verse 28. In this particular chapter, Paul is speaking to a specific group of people (the Ephesian elders). Paul is on his way to Jerusalem and though he does not know exactly what will take place when he arrives there, he does understand that the Holy Spirit has been warning him that he will be bound and arrested (Acts 20:23; Acts 21:11).
The Scriptures really give us a strong indication that Paul may have thought this was the end of His time here upon this earth (Acts 21:13; II Timothy 4:6). It is for this reason that this particular verse is so weighty. Oftentimes people in their last days communicate the most important subjects. Our Lord Jesus Christ for instance, before He ascended back to the Father, gave to the disciples the ‘Great Commission’ in its five facets.
Notwithstanding, Paul was very diligent not only to see people saved and local churches planted, he consistently cared for these fledgling New Testament churches as well as the individuals in these local assemblies. We read in the book of Acts and the epistles that Paul visited and wrote to these assemblies and individuals and wherever possible physically visited and met with them face to face. Paul understood the importance and need for the care of the flock. Against that background we can now proceed to look at this verse in greater detail. The Bible says:
“Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood. For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock. Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them. Therefore watch, and remember, that by the space of three years I ceased not to warn every one night and day with tears.” (Acts 20:28-31)
Paul in this verse makes 3 statements of specific duties for these under-shepherds along with two statements of fact that we would do well to understand.
The first specific duty for the pastor is to attend to his own spiritual wellbeing. Paul, by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, makes clear with strong language that they are to “Take heed…” to their own spiritual welfare. Certainly, we understand that a pastor must have a vibrate fellowship with the Lord Jesus Christ.
But notice secondly, the pastor is to attend to the spiritual wellbeing of all the flock. Who is the flock? The flock are the saved members of a local church. In this case, it was those that were in Ephesus and the areas surrounding Ephesus (Acts 20:17). This presents a problem indeed for those who will not assemble to the church house. How is a pastor to gauge and attend to the spiritual wellbeing of individuals who are not presently active with the local church? Does live stream meet this need? (Can individuals ‘bear one another’s burdens’ who are not engaged in corporate prayer? Can individuals participate in the evangelistic activities of the local church if they are not there? Can individuals interact with their local brothers and sisters in Christ if they are not there? Can individuals vote or participate in the mission's program or any number of business matters of the local church if they are not there?) Someone may be able to do some of these things by phone, by visiting others and by their own individual efforts. The likelihood of this taking place outside of the local assembly is improbable and most likely doomed to fail because it is attempted individually.
Notice that Paul presents the first of two fact statements coupled with this injunction. He states, “…over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers…” Ponder the weight of that responsibility. Our Almighty God has specifically and providentially chosen these men for this task and therefore will hold them accountable.
Let us continue and see the third specific duty for the pastor. The verse goes on to state that the pastor is to “…feed the church of God…” This denotes the duty of the pastor to attend to the spiritual nourishment of all the flock. We understand from the Word of God, that “…Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.” (Matthew 4:4) We also understand that Jesus Christ Himself is the Bread of life. (John 6:48 – We must never think that all we need our Savior for is the moment of Salvation… ‘the day I got saved’... but He is and always will be the Bread of life.) Because of this, the corporate worship of our God and Savior Jesus Christ has a vital role in the life of a Christian. Think about how the service of the local church is structured. We sing together about our wonderful God, praising Him for who He is and what He has said. We pray together to our wonderful God, speaking to Him enjoined together as one body of believers. We give of our tithes and offerings as an act of submission to our wonderful God and Savior corporately. We listen together to His Holy Word as we desire to here from and be instructed by Him. We humbly come to an altar in a physical and spiritual act of submission sacrificing ourselves which is our reasonable service (Romans 12:1,2). All of this is led by the pastor because of the injunction to “…feed the church of God…” These are not just things we do to check off a box of attendance, but are a purposeful and integral part of the Christian’s life.
I would like to close by mentioning the second fact statement that should move us greatly. It is simply this: this local church called Sharon Baptist Church in the town of Hampton, VA has been purchased by our Lord Jesus Christ with His blood. This was mentioned by Paul because of the importance in the caretaking of this local body. The all-encompassing motivation in our lives is the love of our God and Savior Jesus Christ. We are of great value because of the price that He paid. The local assembling of believers for the corporate worship of Him is vital and important because He has made it important by the price that He paid for us. Praise the Lord for His graciousness to us!
- Pastor James, Associate Pastor, Sharon Baptist Church
Dwelling in the House of God
Many times, when we consider church attendance one main verse comes to mine (Hebrews 10:25 "Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching."). That familiar verse has been spoken about often and because of this we may think this is the only verse in the Bible that speaks about our gathering together as a local body of believers: church.
We have come to a period of time in history where many are forsaking the house of God, and because of this they are missing out on God’s best for their lives. (And yes, when I say forsaking, I am speaking about those who choose not to personally individually physically gather with other believers at a specific time for a specific purpose. The definition for a local church necessarily calls for us to be gathered together, not in a virtual sense, but in a physical sense. The building is not necessary, but God’s people being together is necessary.)
Over the next few weeks I would like to discuss some verses from the Word of God that speak to this all-important subject. It is my desire, that you would see how God places emphasis on His people coming together to worship Him and be equipped for His work.
I would like us to first consider the following verse out of the book of Psalms.
Psalm 84:4 states, “Blessed are they that dwell in thy house: they will be still praising thee. Selah.”
The inscription to this Psalm (Psalm 84) reads, “To the chief Musician upon Gittih, A Psalm for the sons of Korah.” Although the meaning of the word 'Gittih' is up for debate, we immediately understand that the sons of Korah were Levites. Their sacred responsibility was to minister in God’s house. In this case, this was a hymn written for them (the sons of Korah). The Levites had the great privilege of ministering not only in the Tabernacle, but the Temple as well. This was the place where God designated for His people, the nation of Israel, to meet with Him.
In verse 2 of this same Psalm, the psalmist expresses His yearning to be in the courts of the LORD. He cries out, (v2)“My soul longeth, yea, even fainteth for the courts of the LORD: my heart and my flesh crieth out for the living God.”
It is surely a sad state that we have come to when His people do not long to be gathered together and come to His house. The writer of this psalm well understood what a privilege it was in his day to be involved in the worship of God.
However, let us turn our attention back to the aforementioned verse. I want you to key in on the first word in verse 4. The Bible says, “Blessed are they dwell in thy house…” From this we discover, that there is a peculiar and special blessing attached with being in God’s house. Many will exclaim, “I am blessed,” when asked how they are doing. But I want you to notice that those who do not come to the house of God cannot claim this blessing. What is the blessing? Well notice the rest of the verse, the Bible states, “…they will be still praising thee. Selah.” (The word 'Selah' means 'to meditate', or 'stop and consider'. In this we understand that the psalmist is wanting to provide emphasis on this section.)
How many Christians today run on empty when it comes to praising God? They find themselves in a place where they have lost the joy of their Salvation. They discover that they have lost the joy of the Christian life. Why? Because they have forsaken God’s house.
Let me encourage you today, to attend to your spiritual needs with great emphasis and come dwell in His house.
- Pastor James, Associate Pastor, Sharon Baptist Church
How Much Greater Is Christmas For Us?
As we look back at the written Word of God, we are privileged to understand how blessed we are today. In the book of I Peter, the apostle wrote to those early Christians who forged on in perilous times (what a great example they have given us). They lived in a world that was hostile toward the name of Jesus of Nazareth.
Their longing was to be once again physically in the presence of their King in whom they had placed their trust. All of this sounds familiar, does it not? Much like us today they felt as though the Lord Jesus Christ would come soon. They were in great affliction and needed great comfort.
Here in I Peter chapter 1, Peter was moved by the Holy Ghost to pen these very words that give such a great reference to the birth, life, death, burial and resurrection of Christ.
Notice what Peter says,
v10 Of which salvation the prophets have enquired and searched diligently, who prophesied of the grace that should come unto you:
v11 Searching what, or what manner of time the Spirit of Christ which was in them did signify, when it testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ, and the glory that should follow.
v12 Unto whom it was revealed, that not unto themselves, but unto us they did minister the things, which are now reported unto you by them that have preached the gospel unto you with the Holy Ghost sent down from heaven; which things the angels desire to look into.
Our early predecessors, the prophets, had been blessed by God to prophesy concerning “…the grace that should come…” (v10)
They searched out the coming of the Messiah (v10,11) and also “…testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ…” (v11) as well as His resurrection. Yet even with all of that revelation they did not have the blessing of seeing His birth, His life, His death, His burial and His resurrection take place on this earth. Nor did they have the blessing of looking backward to see how Christ came, He lived, He died, was buried and is alive forevermore. Further we see they were not partakers in the same manner, as New Testament Christians “…of the Holy Ghost sent down from heaven…”(v12)
What a blessed Christmas you and I get to enjoy with the full knowledge of what has already taken place in that birth, life, death, and resurrection of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ! What a blessed Christmas to know the indwelling presence of the Holy Ghost! Never take for granted what God has blessed us with as you celebrate Christmas this year!
- Pastor James, Associate Pastor, Sharon Baptist Church
Sharon Baptist church is an independent, fundamental Baptist church located in Hampton, VA.
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