Friday, November 3

Missing Reformation:
Psalm 74:9-11; Psalm 75:1; Psalm 76:1-2; Judges 16:20
Topics: Church; church government; reformation
Delivered: October 29, 2006

Psalm 74 is a sort of "brother Psalm" to Psalm 79. However, more likely during Hezekiah’s day than Nebuchadnezzar’s destruction of Jerusalem. In vv.9-11 the author asks for God-given tokens of His presence and power.

Three Key Things Missing

The Lord doing great things for us:
Psalm 75:1; 76:1-2

The Word of God preached in power among us.
• Not polished oratory, but to the saving of men’s souls and equipping them for service
• 1 Cor. 2:4
• 1 Thess. 1:5
• 1 Pet. 1:12
• Hebrews 2:4 <-- Key passage for understanding

Powerful answers to prayer
• Psalm 107:1-9
• Acts 4:23ff
• Psalm 28:1
• Note Herod at beginning and then at end of Acts 12, exp. vv. 24-25

The Church Seems Oblivious To This
• Judges 16:20 "and he wist not that the Lord was departed from him."
Our first job is to become convinced that something is wrong
Today most people in the church "wist not"
People in the cemetary commit no actual sins, but their lives are historically irrelevant today. Formality and correctness in the church is not vitality.

We Must Note The Connection Between Family Government And Church Government
• Church Government begins in the family. 1 Tim. 3:1-7
• Church reformation must be based upon family reformation.
• Weak family -> weak elders -> weak church
• The church needs warriors, but these warriors will be trained by masculine, heroic fathers and pastors, not by the seeker-friendly, the feminized, or the fearful (Rev. 21:8).
• Question we must ask ourselves: "What would we do if we were not afraid?"

Samson’s Dalliance With Sin Is Legendary. Judges 16
• Note that prior to v. 20, there were three times that Samson "got away" with flirting with Delilah but did not lose his strength.
• Psalm 66:18. We must live watchful, careful, circumspect lives that arise from daily personal and family worship.
• One reason men compromise at church or at work is that they have already compromised at home.

A Godly And Manly Ministry
• This is something a seminary cannot actually provide
• It requires mature Christian character and virtue
• It requires a man who loves God’s law and directs his life and the life of the church according to that law
• The very concept of ministry needs to be recast in biblical terms, e.g. the pastor has only one of the ministries of the church, and a good part of that ministry is to equip others for their ministries.

The Church Must Stop Placing Itself At Odds With The Family
• The pastor should be primarily concerned with training the men of the church and then they take it to their families and the rest of the world.
• Women’s ministries:
• If the older women can teach the younger women to love their husbands and children (Titus 2:3-5), without becoming busy-bodies (1 Tim. 5:13-15), then fine.
• The primary approach will be for men to teach their wives

The Home Must Not Place Itself At Odds With The Church, Either
• The family elder (husband/father) is not necessarily an ecclesiastical elder and should not attempt to usurp authority.
• A true church (technically) can have the formality of what our reformers required, yet lack the vitality.
• We want healthy churches.
• When women do not respect the office of pastor, it is usually because (or a sign that) they do not respect their husband’s authority either.
Richard Bacon, Sermon File, Ps 74:9-11.