Vision & Blessing

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Called as Pastor of FBC Bagdad five years ago yesterday.
Proverbs 29:18 ESV
18 Where there is no prophetic vision the people cast off restraint, but blessed is he who keeps the law.
We must continually place ourselves under the authorities set over us by God, or we will eventually walk out from under authority and do what is right in our own sight.
True joy is deeply rooted in knowledge of God’s law.
We will see five exhortations for each of these. Five exhortations for obedience to the spiritual authority God has placed over us, and five exhortations for blessing in that obedience.

Where there is no prophetic vision the people cast off restraint

Imagine we woke up tomorrow and every speed limit sign, stop sign, and traffic signal was gone. Every sign indicating street names, points of yielding traffic, one way roads, merge lanes, pedestrian crossings, construction zones… all of it gone. Every lane marker. Every railroad warning and barrier. Every “no parking” sign. Every weight limit sign. Every school zone and warning of children at play.
Not only that, but no city police officer, county sheriff, or state highway patrolman cared to stop traffic violations any more.
There are many in our world that say we need to be treated as adults and trusted to be responsible. That the elimination of rule of law is better for society. That personal freedoms should never be restricted or regulated by government.
Yet I observe that within the past two weeks traffic backed up for more than two miles on Nine mile road and Guidy lane in Pensacola because the traffic light stopped functioning as it was supposed to and reset to flashing yellow for those driving east to west, and flashing red for southbound traffic from Guidy lane.
The first three:
Hebrews 13:7–9 ESV
7 Remember your leaders, those who spoke to you the word of God. Consider the outcome of their way of life, and imitate their faith. 8 Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever. 9 Do not be led away by diverse and strange teachings, for it is good for the heart to be strengthened by grace, not by foods, which have not benefited those devoted to them.
1. Remember your leaders
a. The message they spoke
b. Their way of life
Titus 2:1 ESV
1 But as for you, teach what accords with sound doctrine.
This is a capstone to teaching about the qualifications of elders within the church.
2. Imitate their faith
Paul expressed this in 1 Cor 11:1 as
1 Corinthians 11:1 ESV
1 Be imitators of me, as I am of Christ.
This is why leaders are held to a higher standard, because they are meant to be the example to be followed and emulated.
This principle was in place at the very founding of the church.
Acts 2:42 ESV
42 And they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers.
3. Do not be led away by strange teachings
Our world is filled with bodies of people who claim to follow Christ and yet pervert His words
Galatians 1:6 ESV
6 I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting him who called you in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel—
As you deepen in your faith you must come face to face with bad doctrine and rebuke it.
Illustration: Being challenged as a young believer that if one is saved they must speak in tongues.
Mark 16:15–18 ESV
15 And he said to them, “Go into all the world and proclaim the gospel to the whole creation. 16 Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned. 17 And these signs will accompany those who believe: in my name they will cast out demons; they will speak in new tongues; 18 they will pick up serpents with their hands; and if they drink any deadly poison, it will not hurt them; they will lay their hands on the sick, and they will recover.”
How can we possibly know how to rebuke tongues of salvation, prosperity gospel, unitarianism, praying to saints, indulgences, decisional and baptismal regeneration (or the ideas that by your own actions you are justified)?
Wednesdays we are finishing our series on Creeds, Catechisms, and Confessions with the Second London Baptist Confession of 1689. It is a study that requires work, but it is rich, informative discussion that helps us stand firm on good doctrine that is backed up by scripture.
Hebrews 13:17 ESV
17 Obey your leaders and submit to them, for they are keeping watch over your souls, as those who will have to give an account. Let them do this with joy and not with groaning, for that would be of no advantage to you.
4. Obey your leaders and submit to them
1 Peter 5:5 ESV
5 Likewise, you who are younger, be subject to the elders. Clothe yourselves, all of you, with humility toward one another, for “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.”
If you are a church member, you are called to place yourself before the pastors of the church for instruction, and before the membership of the church for accountability.
Hebrews 13:18 ESV
18 Pray for us, for we are sure that we have a clear conscience, desiring to act honorably in all things.
5. Pray for your leaders
How do you pray for the ministers in your church?
2 Thessalonians 3:1–2 ESV
1 Finally, brothers, pray for us, that the word of the Lord may speed ahead and be honored, as happened among you, 2 and that we may be delivered from wicked and evil men. For not all have faith.

Blessed is he who keeps the law

Psalm 1:1–2 ESV
1 Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers; 2 but his delight is in the law of the Lord, and on his law he meditates day and night.
Blessed - In the Hebrew, the root is the same as HAPPY/HAPPINESS. We see this concept of deep joy and happiness throughout the scriptures.
Luke 1:42 ESV
42 and she exclaimed with a loud cry, “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb!
Genesis 30:13 ESV
13 And Leah said, “Happy am I! For women have called me happy.” So she called his name Asher.
John 20:29 ESV
29 Jesus said to him, “Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”
Ephesians 1:3 ESV
3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places,
One more: What we just read in Hebrews 13 speaks of the joy that is brought to your leaders
Hebrews 13:17 ESV
17 Obey your leaders and submit to them, for they are keeping watch over your souls, as those who will have to give an account. Let them do this with joy and not with groaning, for that would be of no advantage to you.
Flee from ungodly teaching
Confess your sins before God and stand on the Solid Rock of Christ
Let your speech be seasoned with grace
Delight in the scriptures, for within them God reveals our salvation
Study the scriptures, for they are the divinely preserved Word of the God we love
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