Dr. David Donovan and his wife Shirley head up a medical mission to the Niger Delta called New Foundations. In this teaching, David shares from the Word of God on a hugely important topic - The Greatness of God.
1 Kings 18:17-20
The single greatest need of the present hour and any hour is for God to break through into the midst of His people!! It’s one thing for a man to break through — he’s had breakthroughs in all manner of varying contexts. Gunpowder in the 10th century, the compass in the 12th. The steam engine in 1712, and Refrigeration in the 1850s. The airplane in 1903, Penicillin in 1928, the Internet in the 1960s — friends, the list could go on!! I don’t doubt and nor do I limit the many ingenious breakthroughs on the part of man — but none can compare to what takes place when God breaks through!! When God breaks through, no one can stay His hand; when God breaks through, it’s like the walls of a dam giving way — who can stand against the mighty deluge?
This sermon is an exhortation to seek the face of God for authentic fire in this desperate hour of apostasy.
There are only two places in all of Sacred Scripture, where the phrase “dead works” appears. The first is in Hebrews 6:1; “Therefore leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on unto perfection; not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith toward God (Heb. 6:1). The second comes later on in the ninth chapter of the very same epistle, “How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?” (Heb. 9:14). There have been various different opinions offered by commentators as to what this phrase “dead works” might mean, ranging from the absurd to the reasonable, to what I believe is the correct interpretation.
In this sermon, we explore the meaning of the phrase “repentance from dead works” and exhort believers to a true and living faith springing out of love for Christ!!
There’s not a one of us that has not heard the familiar saying, “Where the rubber meets the road”. In all manner of varying contexts, this idiom speaks sounds aloud its truth. I think of the Olympian — the 100 m sprinter. Four long years he has poured his life into training — six hours a day, six days a week; what he eats and drinks, what time he goes to sleep, what time he rises again; his whole life is one of complete discipline in order to run a 10-second race. All that training and discipline is good and well — it’s indispensable; but how many know, it is in the race where the rubber meets the road?! Medals are not won in the gym but on the track! Take the soldier. He never stops training and preparing for war, but again, how many know, wars are not fought and won on the field of training but on the field of battle?! Many a well-trained army had it won on paper only to find that when it came for the rubber to meet the road, they were outsmarted, outfought, and lost the battle miserably!!! In other words, it’s one thing to have theory/textbook principles and it’s another thing to convert that knowledge into experimental practice!! One does not equal the other!! Yet there are some today who fancy that because they are well-taught and well-trained in theology, even at an academic level, this makes them experts in Christianity.
The call and the challenge of this sermon is for the rubber of our theology to meet the road of our experience.
“A Psalm of David, when he was in the wilderness of Judah. O God, thou art my God; early will I seek thee: my soul thirsteth for thee, my flesh longeth for thee in a dry and thirsty land, where no water is” (Ps. 63:1).
David’s present physical environment was a perfect picture of how he felt inwardly. Apart from the presence of God in exile — the Ark being left behind in Zion, David purposed with all his heart to not lose the vital reality of his relationship with God!! His soul longed for God! He longed to be in the presence of His God in the tent of His dwelling place.
I don’t know about you, but as a pilgrim walking through this world, I feel so often that I’m treading through a wilderness land. All around me, consumerism flaunts and struts its pomp! The glittering lights, the frills, and the trinkets. I feel like a man in exile — outside the city walls of Zion!! The cares of this life and the business of the day which beckons us on every hand, if we’re not careful, can leave us spiritually parched (I speak for myself). This sermon is a call to return to the fountainhead of life. Jesus said, “If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink” (Jn. 7:37).