June 9, 2021, 3:34 PM



T23 – FOR WEEK OF 6/7/21



On the Heights – God’s Marvelous Mountains! #1

· Perhaps you, like me, love the Mountains. – Adirondacks this summer.

· Many mountains are majestic and beautiful.

· Indeed, many mountains are mentioned in the Bible including Mount Ararat, Mount Horeb (Sinai), Mount where Sermon the Mount was preached.

· Mountains in the Bible are often special places used by God to share special blessings.

· When we have a special encounter with God we often call it, “A Mountain Top Experience”.

· Over the next five Sundays I’d like us to dwell on the heights and learn from God’s Marvelous Mountains:

  1. Moriah – The Mountain of Faith
  2. Carmel – The Mountain of Power
  3. Transfiguration – The Mountain of Glory
  4. Calvary – The Mountain of Love
  5. Olives – The Mountain of Promise

This morning we go to the Mountain of Faith with Abraham, who was already “the friend of God” and “the Father of Faith”. He already had many ups and downs in his faith walk, as we will also.

  • He was “up” as he heeded the call of God Genesis 12:1-3
  • He was “down” twice as he claimed Sarah was his “sister” and not his wife.
  • He was up when he let his nephew Lot chose where to settle and then rescued him from captivity and prayed that he would be spared judgment as God punished wicked Sodom and Gomorrah.
  • He was up when he paid tithes to Melchizedek, a type of Christ. Genesis 14:18-20
  • He was up when he believed the promise of God that he would have a son. Genesis 15:1-6
  • He was “down” when he and Sarah decided to “help” God. Hence the birth of Ishmael. Problems ever since. Genesis 16:1-4 etc.
  • He was up with the birth of his son, Isaac, and the separation of Ishmael. Genesis 21:6-12

At this time, it seems that Abraham’s life is settled. He has had his “ups” and “downs”. Isaac was the heir, Ismael was gone, and I imagine he was thinking he could just live out the rest in peace, a wealthy and contented old man. God had seen him through many tests and trials, which he had navigated over all by faith.

But just when Abraham probably expected it least, God gave him the test of his life. The one God had been preparing him for, for years. I think he was blind-sided, but all his previous adventures in faith had him prepared.

We must remember, that just like Abraham, our faith will be tested so that we will mature and become more Christ-like. And just when we may think the trials are over, the Lord may allow a new test in our lives. Romans 5:3-4

Let’s see now how the Mountain of Abraham’s greatest test, became Abraham’s Mountain of faith.


Abraham was available to do as God asked, though he would not have understood or liked it. Proverbs 3:5-6


Abraham indeed believed that God would intervene on his behalf. Hebrews 11:17-19


Abraham tried to do what God told him. He lifted up the knife to take his own son's life. Matthew 26:39

GOD'S ACTION - Vss. 11-12

God intervened to stop Abraham. He did not intervene for His own Son.


A ram was available for sacrifice. 2 Corinthians 5:21

GOD'S APPROVAL - Vss. 15-18

God promises blessing upon Abraham and his seed.

God promises blessing on us as we live out our lives by faith. James 2:21-23, Galatians 3:7-9, John 15:4-5, 7


First Baptist Church of New Holland PA - Sermons (




There was a drinking party.  King Belshazzar called for the sacred vessels taken out of the Temple in Jerusalem.  While desecrating the sacred vessels the people also praised their false Gods. The true God was obviously being rejected.


This was a time of fear and confusion.  The fingers of a man's hand appear and write on the wall.

This was also a time when others couldn't help.  The Queen Mother remembered Daniel after all the wise men of Babylon could not tell the king the meaning of the writing on the wall.  Isn't it interesting how often people turn to God only after all other possible sources of help have been depleted?


Compliment - Vss. 13-16 - The king had heard of Daniel and his ability.  He offered great reward if Daniel would interpret the writing on the wall.

Comparison - Vss. 17-23 - Daniel tells the story of Nebuchadnezzar who had been disciplined by God and repented, humbling himself before God. (See Daniel 4.) By contrast, Belshazzar rebelled against God and hadn't repented.

Condemnation - Vss. 24-31 - The handwriting on the wall was interpreted. Belshazzar is judged and found wanting. His kingdom was taken from him.



  • What are the qualities of an ideal (not perfect) child?
  • What are the qualities of an ideal Child of God?
  • Why is loving Jesus a challenge? Mark 12:28-34
  • In this section of the Upper Room Discourse, Jesus gives us some thoughts on loving Him and the Father.

CONDITION – John 14:15, 21-24

  • What are some things that love for another person has motivated you to do?
  • What specific things have you done in obedience out of love for Jesus?
  • Do you think there is a difference between keeping Christ’s commands, and keeping His Word?

COOPERATION – John 14:16-18, 25-26

  • The Holy Spirit is inside of us and guides, strengthens, teaches, protects, and enables us to love and obey!

COMMUNION – John 14:21-24

  • How does Jesus manifest Himself to us now?
  • How will Jesus manifest Himself to us in the future? 1 John 3:2-3

CALM – John 14:27

  • If we love Jesus, we will obey. Philippians 4:6-7
  • If we obey Philippians 4:6-7, we will have peace.




  • What kinds of pressure have you heard of, seen, or experienced placed on Christians when Christians desire to share their faith or express a Biblical position on issues?
  •  Is this pressure normal?  Why? John 16:2-3, 2 Timothy 3:12

From the beginning, Christians have had to learn to handle pressure because of their faith.

In Acts 3:1-4:4, we saw that Peter and John had healed a man who had been handicapped for over 40 years. This resulted in another evangelistic message from Peter.  In the passage before us, Peter and John are forced to handle the pressure that followed this healing and message.


  • Vs. 1-2 - There is a rule of thumb in ministry. If Satan tries to oppose what you are doing, chances are you are having an impact for God. 
  • The Sadducees were the Liberal Branch of Judaism of that day. According to the Bible Knowledge Commentary:
  1. They did not believe in a bodily resurrection, angels, or spirits.
  2. They were loyal to the Roman government.
  3. They wanted to maintain the status quo.
  4. They tended to associate with the wealthy class.
  5. They only believed in the Pentateuch.
  • Vs. 3 – It was late in the day, so they held Peter and John.


  • Opposition will not stop the work of the Spirit of God. God’s Word will always accomplish God’s purposes. Isaiah 55:10-11


  • Vs. 5 – The official ruling body of the Jews was the Sanhedrin, consisting of rulers, elders, and scribes.
  • Vs. 6 – Annas and his relatives served as the High Priests. Caiaphas was officially High Priest. We are told that the family of the High Priest was present.
  • Vs. 7 – The council asks by what power or in whose name did the apostles work the miracle. This was an opportunity to witness, and they were ready. 1 Peter 3:15
  • Vs. 8 – The Holy Spirit took over! This is what Jesus promised! Luke 12:11-12, Acts 1:8
  • Vs. 9 – Notice Peter’s restatement of the charges, hinting there was no reason for the trial.
  • Vs. 10 – Peter is very concise, giving the glory and claiming the authority of Jesus, whom they crucified, and God raised from the dead.
  • Vs. 11 – Psalm 118:22
  • Vs. 12 – Why is this verse important and what other verses support it?
  • What do we learn from Peter’s defense?


  • Vs. 13 – The Sanhedrin marveled at Peter and John’s boldness, lack of formal education, and that they were laymen.
  • They also noted that they had been with Jesus, and perhaps, that they were doing exactly what Jesus did. John 14:12
  • Vs. 14 – Evidently, the healed lame man had also been arrested. He was such a fixture at the temple that they probably recognized him, and could not discredit the miracle.
  • Vss. 15-17 – They could not deny the miracle, but they wanted to silence Peter and John.
  • When Jesus changes a life through salvation, the change cannot be denied. It will not stop people from trying to silence the testimony for Jesus. How serious was this threat?
  • Vs. 18 – Given current trends in our country, it is possible that attempts will be made to silence all preaching of the Gospel.


  • Vs. 19 – Notice how clearly the issue is stated here. “What is more important, listening to you or to listen to God? You judge for yourselves.”
  • Vs. 20 – They are saying, “We have seen and heard too much to be silent! We must obey God!”
  • What are some of the things Peter and John saw and heard that prompted them to be bold speakers?
  • When is it time for us to be obstinate in matters like this?


  • They were obligated to release Peter and John without punishment.
  • They could only threaten because God was being glorified for a great miracle among the people.
  • Also, the man healed was over 40 years old.



If we as a church are going to be the best possible help to our missionaries, and if we are going to reach our own community for Christ, we need a mindset for missions.  We need to have the right Biblical perspective for reaching people with the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  I am not saying that anyone of us will be a full time missionary, although that is possible.  I am saying that if we have a missions mindset we will be more effective in our service for Christ and our missionaries.

In Romans 1:13-17, I believe that the Apostle Paul reveals to us his own personal mindset for missions. Paul, a missionary himself, shows what it is like to have a heart for missions.   

In looking at this passage I found five questions that we can ask that will help us determine if we too have a mindset for missions. 


Have you noticed that we don't always get what we want?  Even when what we want is good, God doesn't always give it to us, or he makes us wait until His timing is perfect.

Paul wanted to go to Rome.  However, God did not allow Paul to go to Rome at that point in his ministry.  He would later arrive in Rome as a prisoner. As a prisoner, he would win many to Christ, especially soldiers.

Paul was hindered from going to Rome, but that did not stop him from serving God as a missionary where he was. And that did not stop Paul's desire to bear fruit in Rome as he did among other Gentiles.  I believe the fruit being referred to here is people coming to know Christ as Savior.

We might want to go on a short-term missions trip.

We might want to share Christ with a specific person or a specific people group. And God may seem to say, "no".

However, the most important thing is to serve Christ and share Christ with others right where we live.

Paul not only wanted to bear fruit in Rome, but wherever he was.

Wherever Paul went he tried to communicate the Gospel of Christ to Jew and Gentile alike.  He desired to see people saved.

My friend, you and I will not be fruitful in the area of witnessing for Christ unless we want to be.

I believe that every Christian is called to be a missionary.  Some are called to be missionaries on foreign soil or another part of their country.  Others, like us, are called to be missionaries right where they are.  Consider the pattern that Jesus gave for missions.

Acts 1:8

Many of us need to stay in Jerusalem to reach the people on our home turf, as well as to work and support those who are going on the road with the Gospel. 

  • You will not be a good ambassador for Jesus Christ unless you have a desire for people to be saved.
  • You will not be a good ambassador for Jesus Christ unless you desire to be used of God in bringing people to Christ.

Why should you have a desire to be fruitful in witnessing for Christ? John 3:17-18

So, what is your desire?

Is it to be usable as a missionary for Christ right where you are?

If it isn't your desire, why isn't it?


A debtor is someone who has an obligation. He owes someone something.

Paul considered himself a debtor.  He had an obligation to non-Jews.

There was good reason for Paul to feel this way.  Before Paul was saved, he was antagonistic to the Gospel. When God saved Paul, he saved him so that he would be a missionary to the Gentile.  This is what Jesus told Paul when he appeared to him on the Road to Damascus. Acts 26:16-18

And Paul, never got over the fact that Jesus saved him and gave him a ministry. 

1 Timothy 1:12-13

So we understand why Paul felt indebted to do missionary work.

But, why should we feel indebted?   

If you are a Christian, God has saved you from an eternity in hell. Out of appreciation, you should love Christ, and want others to know Him personally.  Christ loved you enough to save you. You should love Him enough to tell others what He has done for you.

If you are a Christian, you know something that other people don't know.  It is your obligation to tell them what you know. Psalm 107:2

We know that a person without Christ is in trouble.

Because of what we know, we are obligated to share that information with others.

1 Peter 3:15

My friend, do you feel any obligation, any debt because of what Christ has done for you and because of what you know that can help others?

AM I DEDICATED? - Vss. 15-16a  

There a lot of dedicated people around here.

  • There are people dedicated to hunting.
  • There are people dedicated to yard sales.
  • There are people dedicated to eating.
  • There are people dedicated to learning.
  • There are people dedicated to taking care of their children.
  • There are people dedicated to the internet.
  • There are people dedicated to their husbands and wives.
  • There are people dedicated to their friends.

Usually, a dedicated person:

  • Likes what he or she is dedicated to
  • Believes in what he or she is dedicated to
  • Persists at doing what he or she is dedicated to
  • Spends time doing what he or she is dedicated to
  • Talks about what he or she is dedicated to

Paul was dedicated to sharing Christ with others.

It showed in two ways.

First of all, Paul was eager to share.

That word "ready" in verse 15 means "eager".

Paul was eager to share what had made him free.

He wanted people to know about Christ, and because he was eager to share, he did it often.

Because Paul was eager to share Christ, he was dedicated, as the following verses show.

Acts 20:16-21

Paul was not only dedicated because he was eager, but because he was not ashamed of the Gospel of Christ.

If you are truly dedicated to Christ, you will not be ashamed of his Gospel.

Many times we fail to communicate the Gospel to our own family members, because we don't want them to get angry with us.

Many times we fail to communicate the Gospel to our friends because we don't want to lose their friendship.

Many times we fail to communicate the Gospel of Christ because we do not want to open ourselves up to ridicule.

What do you do when Christ is ridiculed in your presence?

What do you do when God gives you the opportunity to speak in his behalf?

Are you dedicated enough to be eager to share?

Are you dedicated enough to not be ashamed of the Gospel of Christ?


In other words, what is the source of my power?  On what am I relying for strength as I share the Gospel?

The Gospel of Christ is the power of God.

When you share the Gospel of Christ, you can expect God to work in his power.

That doesn't mean that everyone who hears the Gospel will be saved.  But it does mean that when you present the Gospel some will be saved. 1 Corinthians 2:1-5

My friend, when we share the Gospel of Christ, we have the power of God working on our side?  Are you using it as your dynamic?


Only righteous people go to Heaven.

There's only one problem. Nobody's righteous. Romans 3:10, Romans 3:23 So how can anybody get into Heaven if none of us our righteous?

The key word is "faith" in verse 17.

Jesus was righteous. Jesus did no sin.

Jesus died in your place on the cross of Calvary.

The gospel is summed up in 1 Corinthians 15:3-4.

To believe the Gospel to depend on the fact that a righteous God died in your place. And because God the Son died in your place, God the Father, will make declare you righteous when you place your faith in Christ.   

Romans 5:1, Romans 1:17 -  Are you depending on Christ for your salvation?

And Christian are you depending on Christ for daily strength?

You must continue to live by faith after being saved!



Any pastor or special speaker who announces that he will be speaking on holiness will probably not get a large turn out. It is not a popular subject.  Although it is not a popular subject, it is still a Bible doctrine for today, and any true preacher of the Gospel will need to talk about practicing holiness or holy living.

1 Peter 1:15a says "But as he which hath called you is holy..." Our holy God is the one who has called us to salvation through faith in his Son. He has justified us and made it so we are without condemnation in Christ. Revelation 22:17, Romans 10:13, Romans 5:1, Romans 8:1

God has declared us to be a "holy nation" in 1 Peter 2:9. God views our position as "holy", or set apart for him. Because I have been called by God to salvation and have been declared holy or set apart in my position, I am also to practice a separated or holy life (1 Peter 1:15-16). This does not mean that I'll be sinless in this life, but it does mean that I will live a life that strives to be holy (1 John 1:8-10). Those who serve a holy God are to practice holiness.

As we perfect holiness we develop a life that is:


The way we think is to bring honor and glory to the Lord.


We are to respond to God as obedient children.


As we reverence God, we will be careful about our behavior.






What are some things you wish or hope for in the lives of your children or grandchildren 18 and under?

  • What are some things you wish or hope for in your adult children?
  • What are some things you hope for your Christian friends?
  • Are our wishes for others always spiritual? Why or why not?
  • What qualities made Paul a great pastor?

We continue to see the heart of Paul tonight as we examine the third and fourth prayers that Paul prayed for the churches he pastored.  These are also prayers we can pray for our church and for our Christian friends.

1. PRAY FOR PERCEPTION - Ephesians 1:15-23

2. PRAY FOR POWER - Ephesians 3:14-21

3. PRAY FOR PERFORMANCE - Philippians 1:3-11

· According to verses 3-7 thanksgiving is a key ingredient in praying for others.  What are some of the things Paul was thankful for?

  • According to verse 8, what must we do to imitate Paul?

I see this prayer as a prayer for action!

· How is Christianity a proactive religion?

  • Why do Christians often act like Christianity isn’t proactive?

1. Abounding in love - Vs. 9

· What are some of the ways that Christians could love other Christians better?

· What hinders us from loving other Christians better?

· Why is love for God and other Christians something we should desire for others as we pray?

· How does knowing God help us love others better?

· How does knowing others’ character and needs help us to love others better?

  • How does discernment or judgment help us love others?

2. Abounding in choice and Godly living - Vs. 10

· What’s the difference between “good” and “excellent”?

· Why should we not settle for the good or want our brothers and sisters in Christ not to settle for that which is good?

· When pottery was made in Bible times it often developed cracks.  Some dealers would plug the cracks with hard wax.  The plugged cracks were often undetectable except when exposed to sunlight.  Reputable dealers would advertise their pottery as “sine cera” or without wax.

· There should be no impurities in our lives.  There should be no hidden agendas or sins that are dishonoring to the Lord.

· How can a Christian be an offense to other Christians?

  • How can a Christian be an offense to unbelievers?

3. Abounding in fruitfulness - Vs. 11

· In what ways should Christians be fruitful?

· According to this verse what is the only way that we can hope to be fruitful?

  • What happens when we are truly fruitful?

4. PRAY FOR PERSEVERANCE - Colossians 1:9-14

The Christian life is not a sprint but a marathon. We need to pray that other Christians "hang in there".

1. Knowing His will - Vs. 9

· Why is it important to know God’s will?

· Why do we often not consider what God’s will is?

· How do we go about knowing God’s will?

  • Why are wisdom and spiritual understanding keys to knowing Gods will?

2. Walking worthily - Vs. 10a

· What’s the difference between being worthy and walking worthily?

· What are some things we will do when we walk worthily of Christ?

  • How do we know when we are walking worthily?

3. Being fruitful - Vs. 10b

4. Knowing God - Vs. 10c

· Why do we all need to know God better?

  • How should we go about knowing God better?

5. Enduring with:

  1. patience – Vs. 11
  • Why do Christians need patience during trying situations?
  1. longsuffering – Vs. 11

· Why are we sometimes patient with situations and impatient with people?

  • Why do others deserve us to be longsuffering?
  1. joyfulness – Vs. 11
  • How does joyfulness in hard times distinguish us as Christians?
  1. thanksgiving  - Vss. 12-14

· How does being thankful help us to endure?

  • What is the bottom line key to endurance according to verse 11?


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