1. Exhortation to a Faithful Church (1 Thessalonians 3-4) John MacArthur

    49:00

    from John MacArthur / Added

    http://www.gty.org/resources/sermons/90-414 That was wonderful, thank you, Clayton, for leading us in all those musical prayers this morning, and because of the release of the book At The Throne of Grace, everything sort of centered around prayer. And that's wonderfully well-orchestrated by the Holy Spirit because this morning we're going to look at the prayer of the Apostle Paul for the Thessalonian church which we read a little bit earlier, a very fitting connection to the things that are going on. I do want to say thank you to my children who were so kind and gracious as to produce that book. They told me they wanted to do it. I was a little reluctant but they prevailed on me. And I only asked one thing and that was before you print those prayers, I need to look at them and make sure that the grammar is okay and that that's what I want to say. So there were some slight adjustments since...you're kind of freewheeling when praying, and we hope they'll be a wonderful blessing to you. I've never had a more wonderful tribute than what is written in there by my four children. I love them, they know that, profoundly and deeply. And this is a wonderful gift back to me. They're precious. Their spouses are equally precious, and their children as well. But this is a wonderful joy for me to have this. So thank you to my children, and I hope you'll be blessed and encouraged by these prayers as well. The two weeks that we have, last week and this week, before I go away again for three Sundays, to traverse Europe to visit all of our missionaries and preach about 26 times, and I'm sure they'll add another five or six on top of that when we get there. We have these two weeks in this little period of time and because you all have been focusing on me and focusing on finishing the New Testament and now focusing on the book of prayers, that was...it was my desire in my heart to turn that around and to thank you for all that this church is, all it has been, all it is and continues to be in my life by way of profound blessing. So last Sunday we looked at 1 Thessalonians 1 and 2. I chose this letter to spend these two weeks looking at it because this is a church that was a joy to its pastor. Paul says to them at the end of chapter 2, "You are our glory and joy. And you heard me read again in chapters 3 and 4 how delighted he is with them and how much joy they bring to his heart. This is a church that brought its pastor nothing but joy. There are no condemnations in this letter. There are no warnings in this letter. There are no threats in this letter. There are no exposures of sin in this letter. This church is the one church among those that Paul wrote to in the New Testament that he pastored, shepherded where there was nothing but joy in the ministry there. This is a rare church. But so is our church. And so last week I told you that you are the Thessalonian church of Southern California in this period of history. You have brought me unending joy, constantly joy....

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    • Present Effects of Future Resurrection (1 Corinthians 15:29-34) John MacArthur

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      from John MacArthur / Added

      http://www.gty.org/Resources/Sermons/90-410 We're looking at 1 Corinthians 15 tonight and we're going to be examining verses 29 to 34. We're taking this great chapter in chunks, as we work our way through it. And this, of course, is the great biblical chapter on resurrection, physical, bodily resurrection and all that is involved in that, namely eternal life. You will live forever in the presence of God as the very person that you are...perfected and given a perfected and glorified body so that you can dwell in the new heaven and the new earth and worship and glorify and serve the Lord as the very person that He made you to be and sought to make you into through His redemptive purpose. As we come to verses 29 to 34, let me read it for you and then we'll kind of work our way through it. Verse 29 begins, "Otherwise what will those do who are baptized for the dead? If the dead are not raised at all, why then are they baptized for them? Why are we also in danger every hour? I affirm, brethren, by the boasting in you which I have in Christ Jesus our Lord, I die daily. If from human motives I fought with wild beasts at Ephesus, what does it profit me? If the dead are not raised, let's eat, drink, for tomorrow we die. Do not be deceived. Bad company corrupts good morals. Become sober minded as you ought, and stop sinning, for some have no knowledge of God. I speak this to your shame." It's very powerful, very potent portion of Scripture. And perhaps at first reading, not at all clear exactly how it hangs together. But it is a very cohesive unit....

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      • What If There Is No Resurrection? (1 Corinthians 15:12-20) John MacArthur

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        from John MacArthur / Added

        http://www.gty.org/Resources/Sermons/90-408 Now I know tonight we're going to be looking at 1 Corinthians 15 as we continue through this great resurrection chapter. But to begin with, I want you to turn in your Bible to the seventeenth chapter of Acts...the seventeenth chapter of Acts because I think it gives us a good setting for what we're going to see in Paul's letter to the Corinthians. In the seventeenth chapter of Acts, the Apostle Paul comes to the religious focal point of the ancient world of his day. He comes to Athens. And it is in Athens that there are many philosophers and many religions, and many gods. In fact, in verse 16 of Acts 17 it says that, "He observed the city of Athens and that it was full of idols." There were in Athens, along with all the idols, there were the priests and priestesses that were associated with those idols and their various religions. And on top of that, there were all kinds of philosophers, as verse 18 indicates. There were Epicurean and Stoic philosophers as well as many others. Now Paul walks into this milieu of religions and what he says to them is very, very important. Verse 18, "And some of the Epicurean and Stoic philosophers were conversing with him. Some were saying, 'What would this idol babbler which to say?' Others, 'He seems to be a proclaimer of strange deities.' Why? 'Because he was preaching Jesus and the resurrection.' And they took him and brought him into the Areopagus saying, 'May we know what this new teaching is which you are proclaiming?'" What he was proclaiming was resurrection. For them with all their myriad religions and philosophies, this was new teaching. In fact, they go on to say, "You're bringing some strange things to our ears, so we want to know what these things mean." Down in verse 22, "Paul stood in the midst of the Areopagus and said, 'Men of Athens, I observe that you are very religious in all respects." Then in verse 23 he refers to the fact that they even have an altar identified as the altar TO THE UNKNOWN GOD, just in case in all of them they missed one. "He introduces them to the true and living God, the God who made the world and all things in it, the One who is the Lord of heaven and earth, does not dwell in temples made with hands, nor is He served by human hands as though He needed anything since He Himself gives to all people life and breath and all things and He made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined their appointed times and boundaries of their habitation, that they would seek God if perhaps they might grope for Him and find Him though He is not far from each one of us, for in Him we live and move and exist as even some of your own poets have said, for we also are His children. Being then the children of God, says Paul, we ought not to think of the divine nature, like gold or silver or stone, an image formed by the art and thought of man, therefore having overlooked the times of ignorance, God is now declaring to all men to all people everywhere that they should repent, because He has fixed a day in which He will judge the world in righteousness through a man whom He has appointed, having furnished proof to all men by raising Him from the dead." Now he's been preaching the resurrection. This is new to them, a physical, literal, bodily resurrection, that is new to them. Of all the religions that are there, apparently none of them declared a resurrection. It was new teaching....

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        • The Indispensable Ministry of the Holy Spirit (Romans 8:5-11) John MacArthur

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          from John MacArthur / Added

          http://www.gty.org/resources/sermons/90-418 Well I welcome you, this morning, to our church and to the wonderful fellowship of the people of God here. Our fellowship is around the Word of God and we are currently in a series looking at the life of the believer as impacted by the Holy Spirit. We've been saying in this somewhat brief series that the Holy Spirit perhaps the most invisible member of the Trinity in terms of people's thinking and knowledge. We all understand a lot about God, there's an awful lot of emphasis on the attributes of God and the works of God. We certainly emphasize Christ and all of His work and His person and character and His life. And just to balance out, understanding that each member of the Trinity is equally worthy with each other member of the Trinity. I want to help you to worship the Triune God in a more full way, to help you understand the true work of the Holy Spirit. But it isn't just that. It isn't, as I've been saying to you, it isn't just the fact that we have not as much a focus or concentration on the person of the Holy Spirit, though He is worthy of equal praise. It is that what is attributed to the Holy Spirit is certainly unworthy of His name. There is a blasphemy of the Holy Spirit that goes on all the time. People are more reluctant to blaspheme God the Father, or even Christ the Son, but seems to be open season on the Holy Spirit....

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          • The Persistence of Love, Part 2 (1 Corinthians 13:8-13) John MacArthur

            52:29

            from John MacArthur / Added

            http://www.gty.org/Resources/Sermons/90-406 We're going to bring to finish our brief look at 1 Corinthians chapter 13. Take your Bible and open to 1 Corinthians chapter 13, well known as the love chapter. And in a sense, we're just going to kind of wrap up the finish and perhaps this will be a little bit more like a lesson on how to interpret the Bible than a sermon, and you'll find out what I mean by that when we get to the point we're going to be making. But maybe I could teach you not only what the text is saying, but teach you the process that one goes through to discern that when you're dealing with something that isn't necessarily apparently clear immediately on the surface. So we'll get to that in just a moment. But let me read the chapter for you because I want it to be in your mind, this great chapter on love. "If I speak with the languages of men and of angels, but do not have love, I have become a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and know all mysteries and all knowledge and if I have all faith so as to remove mountains but do not have love, I am nothing. And if I give all my possessions to feed the poor and if I surrender my body to be burned but do not have love, it profits me nothing. Love is patient, love is kind, and is not jealous. Love does not brag and is not arrogant, does not act unbecomingly. It does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered. Does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth, bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails. But if there are gifts of prophecy, they will be done away. If there are languages, or tongues, they will cease. If there is knowledge, it will be done away for we know in part and we prophesy in part. But when the perfect comes, the partial will be done away. When I was a child, I used to speak like a child, think like a child, reason like a child. When I became a man, I did away with childish things. For now we see in a mirror dimly but then face-to-face. Now I know in part, but then I will know fully just as I also have been fully known. But now faith, hope, love abide these three, but the greatest of these is love."...

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            • The Persistence of Love, Part 1 (1 Corinthians 13:8-13) John MacArthur

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              from John MacArthur / Added

              http://www.gty.org/Resources/Sermons/90-405 We're looking at 1 Corinthians chapter 13...1 Corinthians chapter 13, back to the great love chapter and what fascination this chapter holds for us. We have already studied the first two emphases, the prominence of love in the first three verses; the perfections of love in the next four verses, verses 4 through 7. And now we come to the permanence of love...the permanence of love. And Paul opens this section on the permanence of love in verse 8 with a familiar grand climactic statement, "Love never fails." We have already learned that if you could speak the languages of men and angels and didn't have love, you'd be a noisy gong and a clanging cymbal. If you had the knowledge of prophecy and the gift to communicate and knew all mysteries and all knowledge and had all faith, those are all hyperbolic expressions, enough faith to move mountains but were void of love, you would be nothing. And if you made the ultimate sacrifice of giving all your possessions to feed the poor and surrendering your own body to be burned, it wouldn't profit you anything apart from love. Such is the nature of love that it is the preeminent virtue....

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              • The Perfections of Love, Part 2 (1 Corinthians 13:4-7) John MacArthur

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                from John MacArthur / Added

                http://www.gty.org/Resources/Sermons/90-404 Let's open the Word of God to chapter 13 of 1 Corinthians. We're talking about the perfections of love...the perfections of love. This particular chapter is about how Christians love each other. It's not so much about loving God, it's not so much about husbands loving your wives, or wives loving your husbands, although all these characteristics of love apply to every single relationship. This is more about loving in the church, loving in the life of the church. The whole 1 Corinthian letter is about conduct in the church, about how you act in the church, about how you conduct your behavior among fellow believers. This chapter is notable, concise, profound, rich, complete and very familiar to us. But I want to read it again because I always want you to know this chapter and have it accessible in your memory. "If I speak with the tongues and of angels, but do not have love, I have become a noisy gong or a clinging...clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy, and know all mysteries and all knowledge; and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. And if I give all my possessions to feed the poor and if I surrender my body to be burned, but do not have love, it profits me nothing. Love is patient, love is kind, and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant, does not act unbecomingly. It does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered, does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails; but if there are gifts of prophecy, they will be done away. If there are tongues, or languages, they will cease; if there is knowledge, it will be done away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part; but when the perfect comes, the partial will be done away. When I was a child, I used to speak like a child, think like a child, reason like a child; when I became a man, I did away with childish things. For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face; now I know in part, but then I will know fully just as I also have been fully known. But now faith, hope, love, abide these three; but the greatest of these is love."...

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                • The Perfections of Love, Part 1 (1 Corinthians 13:4-7) John MacArthur

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                  from John MacArthur / Added

                  http://www.gty.org/Resources/Sermons/90-403 We have begun a fresh new look at 1 Corinthians chapter 13, the great love chapter. As I look back over the 40-plus years of ministry of the Word of God here at Grace Church, I have decided that on Sunday nights we're going to continue to look at some of the highlight texts of Scripture and some of the highlight doctrines that we have studied through the years. We've been doing that for a number of years now and going over these great themes and great doctrines of Scripture, great sections. And certainly 1 Corinthians 13 is one of those. This chapter on love is the greatest that has ever been written on the subject of love. It is the sunum bonum of chapters on love and it is the highpoint of our Christian experience to demonstrate love to one another. This is not really about marital love, although it encompasses that. It's not about family love, phileo love, although it encompasses that. It really is about love in the church. It's about loving each other in the body of Christ. We all know that God is love and we have been given the capacity to love because He loved us first. John says we love Him because He first loved us. We also know that the Apostle Paul reminds us that the love of God has been shed abroad in our hearts. We follow the divine pattern in loving and we have a capacity to love granted to us by the Holy Spirit. We should be best known by our love, "By this shall all men know that you're My disciples, that you have love for one another," Jesus said to the Apostles gathered in the Upper Room on the night of His betrayal. And Paul also adds that love is the fulfilling of the whole Law....

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                  • Love: The Greatest Thing (1 Corinthians 13:1-3) John MacArthur

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                    from John MacArthur / Added

                    http://www.gty.org/Resources/Sermons/90-402 Let's turn in the Word of God to the thirteenth chapter of Paul's letter to the Corinthians, 1 Corinthians chapter 13. As I mentioned this morning, over the next number of months I want to do some...some great chapters in the Scripture, some in the New and some in the Old Testament, some familiar portions of Scripture, some perhaps less familiar but significant chapters of the Bible and in a sense hit the mountain peaks as we take a look at God's glorious revelation. First Corinthians chapter 13 has been determined by some to be the deepest and the purest and the strongest aspect of spiritual life about which the Apostle Paul ever wrote. Some have dubbed it Paul's hymn of love. It is a glorious chapter. It is a beautiful chapter, a magnificent one, but more importantly, it is highly instructive, so much so as to be critical for all of us who are engaged in ministry. Let me read these thirteen verses to you and you follow as I read. "If I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but do not have love, I have become a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and know all mysteries and all knowledge; and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. And if I give all my possessions to feed the poor and if I surrender my body to be burned but do not have love, it profits me nothing. Love is patient, love is kind, it is not jealous; love does not brag, it is not arrogant, it does not act unbecomingly, it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered, does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails; but if there are gifts of prophecy, they will be done away; if there are tongues, they will cease; if there is knowledge, it will be done away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part but when the perfect comes, the partial will be done away. When I was a child, I used to speak like a child, think like a child, reason like a child; when I became a man, I did away with childish things. For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face; now I know in part but then I will know fully just as I also have been fully known. But now faith, hope, love, abide these three; but the greatest of these is love."...

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                    • Sovereignty and Freedom (Selected Scriptures) John MacArthur

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                      from John MacArthur / Added

                      http://www.gty.org/Resources/Sermons/90-399 Well, we are alerted throughout this series that every time you come to a service at Grace Church, you're going to hear about an attribute of God. We want you to know our all glorious God. We want you to know all that you can know about Him, all that is revealed on the pages of Scripture. And the emphasis that we have for this morning is on the sovereignty of God. Simply stated, Psalm 103 verse 19 says, "His sovereignty rules over all." And we saw that demonstrated, didn't we, in the passages that we read earlier from Isaiah and from Daniel. God is the absolute ruler of this world and the entire universe. God is the one who decrees all things, who purposes all things and who accomplishes all things that He decrees and purposes. He is simply in charge of absolutely everything. Through the years, of course, we have studied the Scripture long enough and deeply enough to be very familiar with the sovereignty of God. So in order to address that subject in a way that perhaps is not redundant, I want to approach the subject of the sovereignty of God from the standpoint of the question...does the truth of divine sovereignty eliminate human will...eliminate human will, human volition?...

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