Central Baptist Church
Sunday, January 26, 2020

Morning Worship Sermon

 
HOLDING UP THE JOURNEY
 
NUMBERS 12:1-16
 
   I PETER 1:13-16
 
 
 
Numbers 12:1-16  "And Miriam and Aaron spake against Moses because of the Ethiopian woman whom he had married: for he had married an Ethiopian woman. 2  And they said, Hath the LORD indeed spoken only by Moses? hath he not spoken also by us? And the LORD heard it. 3  (Now the man Moses was very meek, above all the men which were upon the face of the earth.) 4  And the LORD spake suddenly unto Moses, and unto Aaron, and unto Miriam, Come out ye three unto the tabernacle of the congregation. And they three came out. 5  And the LORD came down in the pillar of the cloud, and stood in the door of the tabernacle, and called Aaron and Miriam: and they both came forth. 6  And he said, Hear now my words: If there be a prophet among you, I the LORD will make myself known unto him in a vision, and will speak unto him in a dream. 7  My servant Moses is not so, who is faithful in all mine house. 8  With him will I speak mouth to mouth, even apparently, and not in dark speeches; and the similitude of the LORD shall he behold: wherefore then were ye not afraid to speak against my servant Moses? 9  And the anger of the LORD was kindled against them; and he departed. 10  And the cloud departed from off the tabernacle; and, behold, Miriam became leprous, white as snow: and Aaron looked upon Miriam, and, behold, she was leprous. 11  And Aaron said unto Moses, Alas, my lord, I beseech thee, lay not the sin upon us, wherein we have done foolishly, and wherein we have sinned. 12  Let her not be as one dead, of whom the flesh is half consumed when he cometh out of his mother's womb. 13  And Moses cried unto the LORD, saying, Heal her now, O God, I beseech thee. 14  And the LORD said unto Moses, If her father had but spit in her face, should she not be ashamed seven days? let her be shut out from the camp seven days, and after that let her be received in again. 15  And Miriam was shut out from the camp seven days: and the people journeyed not till Miriam was brought in again. 16  And afterward the people removed from Hazeroth, and pitched in the wilderness of Paran. '
 
 
 
I Peter 1:13-16 -  "Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ; 14  As obedient children, not fashioning yourselves according to the former lusts in your ignorance: 15  But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation; 16  Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy."
 
 
          Numbers 12 contains many different sermons :
 
 
 
“The Issue Is Never The Issue”
 
Numbers 12:1 -  "And Miriam and Aaron spake against Moses because of the Ethiopian woman whom he had married: for he had married an Ethiopian woman."
 
         
          The charge Aaron and Miriam brought against Moses was that he married an Ethiopian woman.
          Now that was not the issue, the issue was the fact that they wanted to usurp the authority of Moses.  They wanted the leadership position.
 
 
 
 
“When God Calls A Meeting”
 
Numbers 12:4 -  "And the LORD spake suddenly unto Moses, and unto Aaron, and unto Miriam, Come out ye three unto the tabernacle of the congregation. And they three came out"
 
          Folks, when God calls a meeting, you're going whether you want to or not!
 
          Today I want us to look at this passage of scripture from the viewpoint of :
 
 
“Holding Up The Journey”
 
Aaron and Miriam didn't think Moses was doing things just right.  After all, he went and married that Ethiopian woman and they just didn't appreciate it at all!
 
Looking back you will see that the only thing Miriam had done was to lead the women in a song and dance in Exodus 15:20-21.
 
Numbers 12:2 "And they said, Hath the LORD indeed spoken only by Moses? hath he not spoken also by us?"
 
 
"What makes Moses so special?  Can't God speak through us also?  We'll just do things the way we want to do them."
 
 
 
Numbers 12:2 "And the Lord heard it." 
 
 
God heard the thoughts of their hearts before they even spoke.  Folks God knows my heart and He knows your heart, and He knows our words before they are ever spoken.  "And the Lord heard it!"
 
As a result of this Miriam was afflicted with leprosy and placed outside the camp for 7 days and the whole nation came to a standstill and had to wait on her.
 

          All because of one person the journey of the whole nation was held up!
 
What does all this have to do with you and I.  Surely one person could not hold up an entire nation. 
 
Well it's happening in Washington right now as the actions of one leader there is causing this nation to grind to a halt, and what is the reason - she simply wants the position of president!   
 
 
          Yes, and one person can hold up an entire Church!  One person can prevent the cause of Christ from advancing.
 
 
 
I Peter 1:13-16 "Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ; 14  As obedient children, not fashioning yourselves according to the former lusts in your ignorance: 15  But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation; 16 Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy.."
 
 
"Be ye holy; for I am holy!"
 
Folks when we are not striving for holiness we're liable to hold up the journey of the whole church.
 
 
“Be ye holy; for I am holy!”
 
I want you to see first of all that this is not a request but a command.
 
 
Leviticus 11:44-45 "For I am the LORD your God: ye shall therefore sanctify yourselves, and ye shall be holy; for I am holy: neither shall ye defile yourselves with any manner of creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. 45 For I am the LORD that bringeth you up out of the land of Egypt, to be your God: ye shall therefore be holy, for I am holy.."
 
 
"Holy" =  To be set apart for the use of God
                    To be set apart from sin to righteousness
 
 
Miriam had been set aside by God, she had been made holy but we see her masquerading in selfish pride and self-exaltation.  This brings us to the point of the message.  Masquerading Christians who are holding up the journey of the Church!
 
 
 
I. FIRST OF ALL THE CHURCH IS TO BE ON THE MOVE, ON THE OFFENSIVE!
 
 
I Peter 1:13 "gird up the loins of your mind."
 
 
A. Oriental robes worn by the men could impede their movement.  Israel was instructed to eat the Passover meal with their loins girded, synched up, ready to move out.
 
 
B. Peter is saying, put out of your mind all that would impede free action of the mind in connection with the Christian experience, things such as :
 
 
(1) Worry -
 
Psalm 37:1 "Fret not thyself..."
          Folks worry is like a rocking chair, it will give you something to do but it will get you nowhere.
 
(2) Fear -
 
II Timothy 1:7 "For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind."
 
 
 
          Whatever it is, turn it over to Jesus and let Him handle it, and remember :
I John 4:4 " Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world."
 
(3) Unforgiveness -
 
Matthew 6:14-15 "For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you: 15  But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses."
 
 
 
I John 1:9 "If we confess our sin, He is faithful and just to forgive us and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness."
 
 
(4) Jealousy -
 
Galatians 5:15 "But if ye bite and devour one another, take heed that ye be not consumed one of another."
 
 
Psalm 133:1 "Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity!"
 
 
(5) Impurity -
 
Galatians 5:16-21 "This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh. 17 For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would. 18 But if ye be led of the Spirit, ye are not under the law. 19 Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these;  Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, 20 Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, editions, heresies,
21 Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.."
 
 
          "Be sober" =  Exercise self-control, thereby being  able to see things without distortion.
 
 
          "Hope to the end" =  Not a maybe so hope, but a sure hope that's perfect, unchangeable, and without doubt.
 
 
II. THE CHURCH IS TO BE IDENTIFIABLE
 
We are to be obedient children of God!
 
 
I Peter 1:14 “As obedient children, not fashioning yourselves according to the former lusts in your ignorance:”
 
 
 
          "fashioning" =  To take on the outward appearance of something which is not representative of the inner man. 
 
 
It refers here to a child of God masquerading in the habits, mannerisms, dress, speech, expressions and behavior of the world out of which God has saved him!
 
 
 
- Speech 
 
James 3:5-6 "Even so the tongue is a little member, and boasteth great things.  Behold, how great a matter a little fire kindleth! 6 And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity: so is the tongue among our members, that it defileth the whole body, and setteth on fir the course of nature; and it is set on fire of hell.”
 
 
          Cursing, Dirty jokes, and Damaging words toward the Church and our fellow Christians.
 
 
This is the speech of the world but how many Christians are masquerading in this sort of speech?
 
 
- Dress
Mark 5:1-15 -  In these verses we see the story of Legion, the man who was demon possessed and ran naked through the tombs but look at V.15 at what happened after he came to Jesus :
 
 
 
(V.15) "And they come to Jesus and see Him that was possessed with the devil, and had the legion, sitting, and clothed and in his right mind and they were afraid."
 
It's time that Christians quit masquerading in the world, and put on some clothes and come to the feet of Jesus!
 
 
 
- Conduct
 
II Corinthians 5:17 "Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new."
 
This masquerading is holding up the journey of the Church!
 
Account of Miriam!
 
 
Numbers 12:15 - "And Miriam was shut out from the camp seven days; and the people journeyed not till Miriam was brought in again."
 

 
"And the people journeyed not!"
 
 
          One person can hold up the journey and how many Christians today are holding up the progress and advancement of God's Church?
 
 
 
God had delivered Miriam when she by faith trusted God for deliverance.  Not only deliverance from Egypt but also deliverance from this jealousy she is here displaying. 
 
 
Yet see her display this very thing God has delivered her from.  See her masquerading in jealousy and see the results!
 
 
 
Galatians 5:25 "If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit."
 
          When we walk in the Spirit our lives will demonstrate Christian mannerisms.
 
 
Galatians 5:22-24 "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, 23 Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. 24 And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts.”
 
 
If your here and you've never accepted Christ into your heart there is no better time to do so than right now.  All you have to do is confess you are a sinner, open your heart in repentance, and invite Christ in and He will come in!
 
 
          Every Christian here needs to pray, "Lord don't let me be a stumbling block but make me a stepping stone that leads the world to you!"