SHARPER THAN A SWORD

SERMONS

Hebrews 4:12-13 "For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. 13 And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are naked and open to the eyes of Him to whom we must give account."

All articles are written using the NKJV, unless otherwise noted! All articles are written by David Hicks, unless specified otherwise.

- That's Why?-

As most of you know, I have a secular job, that takes as much of my time as do my studies. I have worked with many of my colleagues for several years now, and without exclusion, they all know that I serve God. When questions of the Bible arise, I am sought. When tragedy strikes, I am asked to pray. However, the most frequent question I am asked is, why? Why do you spend so much time at worship and in study?

Early on in my life, the answer was usually a one line simple answer. The truth is, as my knowledge of the revelation of God increases, my motivation is enhanced by a true understanding. The same things that caused me to obey the Gospel many years ago still exist as motivation. However, they have advanced by growth in the word of God, to encompass what I want to share with you now! So, when asked why I serve God through the risen Savior, this is what I share:

 

The Apostle of Jesus Christ to the Gentiles (Paul) wrote to the Christians in Philippi ; and gave them an example of soul saving humility. This illustration was in the form of the Lord Jesus Christ, note:

 

Philippians 2:5-11 “Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, 6 who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, 7 but made Himself of no reputation , taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men. 8 And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross. 9 Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name, 10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, 11 and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”

 

I am not going to pretend to think that I truly comprehend the existence that Jesus had with God prior to His taking the form of a man; however, the scriptures do relate certain clues, note:

 

John 1:1 “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.”

 

John 17:5 “And now, O Father, glorify Me together with Yourself, with the glory which I had with You before the world was.”

Colossians 1:17 “And He is before all things, and in Him all things consist.”

 

Revelation 1:8 "I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End," says the Lord, "who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty."

 

As much as I cannot pretend to know the glory that the Savior knew before He became a man, I know exactly what it is to be a man. I know the temptation, the pain, the heart ache, and the disappointments. I know the lack of hope and the desire to know that there is more.

From the glory of heaven, Christ took on the form of man and all that comes with it. He was tempted (beyond anything that you or I could know – Matthew 4:1-11 ). He knew pain (far beyond anything we will ever experience – more on this later). He knew heart ache and disappointments (He was rejected by many, even by those in His home town and His family); He performed miracles (only to be called a devil); He brought them words of hope and life (yet, they wanted to lay hands on Him and kill Him!).

Yet, in this emptied form, He came. Not just to experience everything a man must endure in order to be a sympathetic High Priest on our behalf; but to humble Himself even further. He was to take on the form of man, to live pure and undefiled before His Father, and to become the Lamb of sacrifice for the sins of His creation.

 

Mark 10:45 “For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many."

 

Romans 5:8 “But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”

 

The Son of God emptied Himself of the Glory He had with the Father and came in the likeness of man. He then humbled Himself through obedience to the point of death, a death for you and me. He did this for me, when I was a sinner !

 

In Luke's account of the Lord in the garden at the Mount of Olives , he would record the Savior's state of mind just prior to His arrest and death, note:

 

Luke 22:44 “And being in agony, He prayed more earnestly. Then His sweat became like great drops of blood falling down to the ground.”

As Jesus contemplated the coming events, Luke records that the Lord knew anxiety, the likes of which caused perfuse sweat that resembled drops of blood. As Jesus prayed the Lord to let this cup pass from Him, what did He know of the will of God that must be accomplished in Him?

As Jesus was the word and the word was with God since the beginning; He was the vehicle by which God through the Spirit would reveal to His prophets the things that would pertain to the Messiah.

He was the vehicle by which the Spirit would reveal to David, the suffering, praise, and posterity of the Messiah over a thousand years prior to the events ( Psalms 22 . In this record; foreknowledge existed of how He would have to be forsaken by God, how He would have to endure the reproaches of men, and how he would have to be put to death by wicked men (the very men He came to save!).

He was the vehicle by which the Spirit would reveal to Isaiah, over seven hundred and fifty years prior to the events, the sin bearing Servant ( Isaiah 52:13 – 53:12 ). In this account; foreknowledge existed. He would relate to the prophet just how He would be rejected by men (His Deity, authority, name, and message). This rejection would lead to a horrible death; a death that would mare His visage more than any other man!

As you contemplate His foreknowledge of the up-coming events, can there be any wonder as to His anxiety? An anxiety that led to great agony! This He endured for me, while I was a sinner !

 

Shortly after His time in the garden, having been betrayed by one of His own, He was arrested by a mob sent by the chief priests and elders of the people. They led Him bound as if a common criminal, first before Annas (the father-in-law of Caiaphas, who was high priest that year – John 18:12 ). Then He was led to Caiaphas and the Sanhedrin (all the while being ill treated, falsely accused, and bound – Matthew 26:57-68 ). At this point he is led before the governor; a Roman named Pilate (as the Jews did not have authority to put someone to death without Roman approval). After Pilate could find no fault in Him, he sent Him to Herod (the appointed king of the Jews). Herod interrogated Him, treated Him with contempt and mockery, and then sent Him back to Pilate ( Luke 23:6-12 ). Finally, Pilate not wanting to crucify an innocent man offered a choice to the people; I will release this innocent man or a criminal by their choice. They chose the criminal! With no alternative available to him in his own mind, Pilate sent the Lord to be crucified.

The soldiers of the governor took Jesus stripped Him and placed a scarlet robe on Him and a crown of thorns, and after mocking Him (“Hail, King of the Jews!), they stripped Him, put on His own clothes and led Him away to be crucified.

They forced Him to carry His own cross (until He could not, then made another carry it for Him). When finally they arrived at the accursed Place of the Skull, they crucified Him.

They nailed Him to an accursed tree; they dropped into a hole in the earth; which He created. He was left on the tree to suffer and writhe in pain, anguish, and constant ridicule until His eminent death.

Did He retaliate? Did He call down a legion of angels? Did He revile them in return? No! Instead He offered a prayer on their behalf, “ Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do.

I believe that the Apostle Paul said it best, note:

 

Romans 5:6-8 “For when we were still without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. 7 For scarcely for a righteous man will one die; yet perhaps for a good man someone would even dare to die. 8 But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” 

All this He suffered for me, while I was still a sinner!

After His death, He arose and presented Himself before many witnesses as proof of His Deity ( Acts 1:3 ; I Corinthians 15:1-8 ; Romans 1:4 ). After some forty days among His chosen, He was taken up into heaven. A short ten days later, as a sign that He had been made both Lord and Christ, His chosen received the promise He had made to them while He was still among them (The Holy Spirit – John 14,15,16 ; Acts 1:4 ). That day of Pentecost, before the Jews, the first sermon concerning the good news of Jesus Christ was preached.

A man approved by God, via signs and wonders; you Jews killed Him; Yet, God raised Him from the grave; that same God has made Him both Lord and Christ! As the realization hit the Jews that heard the Gospel that day, they were overwhelmed in their hearts and asked what must we do?

Peter acknowledged the great commission command they were charged to preach to the world, repent and be baptized for the remission of your sins. Many who gladly received this message of salvation were baptized (some three thousand, Acts 2:41 ).

It is within this act of faith, which Paul would describe to those who had already participated; that they had been made alive who were once dead, note:

 

Ephesians 2:1 “And you He made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins,”

 

I was once dead in my sins! However, because of the love of God and the determined love of Christ Jesus my Lord, a way has been provided for me to live again! I am no longer a servant of sin!

 

Romans 6:17-18 “But God be thanked that though you were slaves of sin, yet you obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine to which you were delivered. 18 And having been set free from sin, you became slaves of righteousness.”

 

Having been given all things that pertain to life and godliness, great and precious promises, and having escaped corruption; I can now be a partaker of the divine nature of Jesus Christ ( II Peter 1:1:4 ). He is my propitiation (continual mercy seat – I John 2:2 ); He is my light (His doctrine brings me to God – II John 9 ); He is my living hope and joy ( I Peter 1:3-6 ); He is my King ( Colossians 1:13 ); He is my worthy High Priest ( Hebrews 4:15 ) He is my pattern, note:

 

Hebrews 5:8-9 “though He was a Son, yet He learned obedience by the things which He suffered. 9 And having been perfected, He became the author of eternal salvation to all who obey Him,”

 

Knowing all this; is there anything He could ask of me, that I should not do exactly as He asks???

 

That's Why!