Delighting in our Heritage
Psalm 16: key verses 3 & 6- The entire text should be read.
Proposal - We can find delight or joy in the great cloud of witnesses that have preceded us in faith. Hebrews 12:1
a. Those who have gone before are an encouragement to us in what we have to face as well as what we need to dare and do.
Means of delight.
(1) The testimony of the saints.
(2) The victory of the saints.
(3) The heritage of the saints.
Even though we may delight in the heritage we have in the saints, our trust remains centered in the Lord. Psalm 16:1
a. Those who have gone before that we can most safely delight in exalt the Lord.
in word and deed. Many have sealed their testimony with their blood.
b. Emphasize that a saint is a believer, not someone pronounced so by some ecclesiastical power.
(1) The Testimony of the saints. Psalm 16:3
(a) Hebrews chapter 11 is called the great faith chapter. We should see it as complimentary to this text for it explains why we can delight in the saints of God.
(b) Faith is displayed by deeds. The testimony of deeds communicates faith to a lost world and to us.
(2) The victory of the saints.
(a) The victories of the saints are the direct result of faithfulness in word and deed.
(b) Through twenty centuries the Christian faith has not only endured but spread so that it effects all the world. Though the influences are many, there are three we will consider today:
(3) The heritage of the saints. Psalm 16:6
(a) The heritage of the saints is conveyed in two ways:
(a1) By what has been established;
(a2) By what has been written.
Since we have touched on the subject of the established heritage. In this sermon we will focus on the written heritage.
(b) Through books godly men and women from the past can come into our study and visit us sharing their heart and their knowledge. "For one to speak disparagingly of books written by gifted and godly servants of Christ, is to take issue with the Lord Himself, who not only gave these writers the gift of teaching, but also the desire and ability to sacrifice their time and energy to the onerous task of communicating their thoughts in writing."
(c) Though favorite writers may have sometimes erred in their interpretation of a text. (we all see as through a glass darkly) honest servants can broaden our view and help us to grow in the Lord.
(c1) When we get to know these people well, they become as dear friends who we feel we know as well as faithful brethren with whom we share a daily work in the Lord.
(c2) Voices long silent in death again become vocal from their books and patiently expound the deep things of God, which they learned through much prayer and intensive study of the word.
(d) I prefer writers of bygone days to works being produced today. Reasons:
(d1) The danger of modern books
i. Many teach positive error.
ii. Many reflect influences of errors like evolution.
iii. Modernism which denies inspiration and miracles.
iv. Many exalt denomination or its viewpoints.
v. Many deny fundamental doctrines.
Summary of the Heritage
When I get to heaven I will not have to get to know some saints of old because I have already come to know them through their works. I have come to understand why Paul wanted his manuscripts and parchments brought to him in prison.
As we learn to discriminate between the precious and the vile in this present world, we come to prefer and delight in those saints around us, we can also discriminate and delight in our heritage in the saints gone before. Both can assist us in preventing error by concentrating on the knowledge of the truth, so that we hold fast the form of sound doctrine (2Timothy 1:13)
Quote Robert Cecil: " I have a shelf in my library for tried authors; one in my mind for tried principles; and one in my heart for tried friends."
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