Higher ground
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HIGHER GROUND. Psalm 122:1-2. [By Ron Halbrook ] . HIGHER GROUND. Introduction 1. Psalm 121 The God of higher ground: Hills & mountains of Israel & Judah — Mt. Zion. Psalms 121 1 I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help.

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HIGHER GROUND

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Higher ground

HIGHER GROUND

Psalm 122:1-2

[By Ron Halbrook]


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HIGHER GROUND

  • Introduction

    1. Psalm 121 The God of higher ground: Hills & mountains of Israel & Judah — Mt. Zion


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Psalms 121

1 I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help.

2 My help cometh from the LORD, which made heaven and earth.

3 He will not suffer thy foot to be moved: he that keepeth thee will not slumber.

4 Behold, he that keepeth Israel shall neither slumber nor sleep.


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Psalms 121

5 The LORD is thy keeper: the LORD is thy shade upon thy right hand.

6 The sun shall not smite thee by day, nor the moon by night.

7 The LORD shall preserve thee from all evil: he shall preserve thy soul.

8 The LORD shall preserve thy going out and thy coming in from this time forth, and even for evermore.


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HIGHER GROUND

  • Introduction

    2. Psalm 48:1-3 God’s people secure in Mt. Zion


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Psalms 48

1 Great is the LORD, and greatly to be praised in the city of our God, in the mountain of his holiness.

2 Beautiful for situation, the joy of the whole earth, is mount Zion, on the sides of the north, the city of the great King.

3 God is known in her palaces for a refuge.


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HIGHER GROUND

  • Introduction

    3. Psalm 2:6-7Christ rules from Mt. Zion

Psalms 2:6-7

6 Yet have I set my king upon my holy hill of Zion.

7 I will declare the decree: the LORD hath said unto me, Thou art my Son; this day have I begotten thee.


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HIGHER GROUND

  • Introduction

    4. Rev. 21:10 From higher ground John saw the heavenly city of God

Rev. 21:10

10 And he carried me away in the spirit to a great and high mountain, and shewed me that great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God,


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HIGHER GROUND

  • Introduction

    5.The God of higher ground revealed the gospel of higher ground:

    • Calls us to higher ground

    • Examples to encourage us

    • Warns against false claims


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HIGHER GROUND

I. EXHORTATION: Aim for Higher Ground

A. The Father Calls Us to Higher Ground

1 Pet. 1:14-16


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1 Pet. 1:14-16

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.

Leave lowlands of lusts & ignorance

God: high & holy ground

Examine every aspect of our lives


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HIGHER GROUND

I. EXHORTATION: Aim for Higher Ground

B. Christ Calls Us to Higher Ground

  • Heb. 4:15-16 Christ our perfect example


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Heb. 4:15-16

15 For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.

16 Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.


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HIGHER GROUND

I. EXHORTATION: Aim for Higher Ground

C. The Holy Spirit Calls Us to Higher Ground

  • 1 Cor. 2:9-13 The words of the Spirit transcend man’s natural limitations


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1 Cor. 2:9-13

9 But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.

10 But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God.

11 For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God.


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1 Cor. 2:9-13

12 Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God.

13 Which things also we speak, not in the words which man's wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual.


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HIGHER GROUND

I. EXHORTATION: Aim for Higher Ground

D. The Gospel Calls Us to Higher Ground

  • Tit. 2:11-14


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Tit. 2:11-14

11 For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men,

12 Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world;

13 Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ;

14 Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.


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HIGHER GROUND

I. EXHORTATION: Aim for Higher Ground

D. The Gospel Calls Us to Higher Ground

  • Tit. 2:11-14

    • Salvation from past sins

    • Learn to deny ungodly living

    • Learn to use our talents for Christ

    • Hearts set on heaven


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HIGHER GROUND

II. EXAMPLES: Reaching Higher Ground

A. The Samaritan Woman

  • Jn. 4:16-18, 22, 25-26


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Jn. 4:16-18

16 Jesus saith unto her, Go, call thy husband, and come hither.

17 The woman answered and said, I have no husband. Jesus said unto her, Thou hast well said, I have no husband:

18 For thou hast had five husbands; and he whom thou now hast is not thy husband: in that saidst thou truly.

Jn. 4:22

22 Ye worship ye know not what: we know what we worship: for salvation is of the Jews.


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Jn. 4:25-26

25 The woman saith unto him, I know that Messias cometh, which is called Christ: when he is come, he will tell us all things.

26 Jesus saith unto her, I that speak unto thee am he.


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HIGHER GROUND

II. EXAMPLES: Reaching Higher Ground

A. The Samaritan Woman

  • Jn. 4:16-18, 22, 25-26

    • Living in sin & ignorance, seeking the Savior who leads to higher ground

    • She found him & called others Jn. 4:28-30, 39


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Jn. 4:28-30

28 The woman then left her waterpot, and went her way into the city, and saith to the men,

29 Come, see a man, which told me all things that ever I did: is not this the Christ?

30 Then they went out of the city, and came unto him.

39 And many of the Samaritans of that city believed on him for the saying of the woman, which testified, He told me all that ever I did.


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HIGHER GROUND

II. EXAMPLES: Reaching Higher Ground

B. The Woman Taken in Adultery

  • Jn. 8:3-11


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Jn. 8:3-11

3 And the scribes and Pharisees brought unto him a woman taken in adultery; and when they had set her in the midst,

4 They say unto him, Master, this woman was taken in adultery, in the very act.

5 Now Moses in the law commanded us, that such should be stoned: but what sayest thou?

6 This they said, tempting him, that they might have to accuse him. But Jesus stooped down, and with his finger wrote on the ground, as though he heard them not.


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7 So when they continued asking him, he lifted up himself, and said unto them, He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her.

8 And again he stooped down, and wrote on the ground.

9 And they which heard it, being convicted by their own conscience, went out one by one, beginning at the eldest, even unto the last: and Jesus was left alone, and the woman standing in the midst.

10 When Jesus had lifted up himself, and saw none but the woman, he said unto her, Woman, where are those thine accusers? hath no man condemned thee?

11 She said, No man, Lord. And Jesus said unto her, Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more.


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HIGHER GROUND

II. EXAMPLES: Reaching Higher Ground

B. The Woman Taken in Adultery

  • Jn. 8:3-11

    • Witnesses implicated in the sin, not competent to execute her

    • Jesus leads her to higher ground


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HIGHER GROUND

II. EXAMPLES: Reaching Higher Ground

C. Peter

  • Matt. 16:22-23 Slow to learn, rash talk

  • Matt. 26:34-35 Promised fidelity, failed when tested

  • Gal. 2:11 Rebuked for compromise

  • Jn. 21:19 Grew, reached higher ground, died for Christ


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HIGHER GROUND

II. EXAMPLES: Reaching Higher Ground

D. Simon the Sorcerer

  • Acts 8:12-13 Baptized into Christ

  • Acts 8:18-19 Relapsed into old sins

  • Acts 8:22-24 Reached higher ground


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HIGHER GROUND

II. EXAMPLES: Reaching Higher Ground

E. Cornelius

  • Acts 10:1-2 Sincere, moral, but lost

  • Acts 10:24, 33 Ready to hear the gospel

  • Acts 10:48 Baptized into Christ


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HIGHER GROUND

II. EXAMPLES: Reaching Higher Ground

F. Paul

  • Acts 26:9-11 Fought Christ & Christians

  • Phil. 3:7, 13-14 Gave up honors, friends, & family in false religion for higher ground


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Phil. 3:7

7 But what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ.

Phil. 3:13-14

13 Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before,

14 I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.


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HIGHER GROUND

III. ERRORS: False Claims of Higher Ground

A. Sin Claims to be “Modern”

  • Jn. 8:44 Sin as old as Satan


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Jn. 8:44

44 Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.


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HIGHER GROUND

III. ERRORS: False Claims of Higher Ground

A. Sin Claims to be “Modern”

  • Jn. 8:44 Sin as old as Satan

    • Deceives every generation: sin “new” & “better” way of life

    • “Not limited by 1st century morality”

    • Rom. 1:18-32 No new sin but new disguises & aliases

    • Rom. 6:23 Same guilt & punishment


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HIGHER GROUND

III. ERRORS: False Claims of Higher Ground

B. Error Claims to be “Progress”

  • 2 Jn. 9 Progress within or outside the doctrine of Christ?

9 Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God. He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son.


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HIGHER GROUND

III. ERRORS: False Claims of Higher Ground

B. Error Claims to be “Progress”

  • 2 Jn. 9 Progress within or outside the doctrine of Christ?

    • Transgress, go onward, go on forward

    • Error claims to improve the original


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HIGHER GROUND


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“TRUE PROGRESS”

(J.W. McGarvey)

What, then, is the progress objected to?

Briefly, it is this: it is that which begins with a melodeon in the Sunday School, and progresses toward a grand organ in the church; which begins with a relaxation of discipline, and progresses toward no discipline at all; which begins with belittling the eldership, and progresses toward a pastorship as a substitute;


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which begins by declaring the unbaptized in the kingdom, and progresses towards the reception of them into the church; which begins by scouting the demand for soundness in the faith, and progresses to all manner of unsound teaching; which, in short, begins at the same point of departure with the sects, and aims to progress up to them all, and finally, beyond them all in unauthorized teaching and practice. —This, and this only is the progress condemned.


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True progress is still backward— backward toward the apostles, toward the doctrine, the terms of pardon, the worship and the discipline which they instituted. Push your progress in this direction if you wish to have a hard fight for every inch of ground you gain. If you would sail smoothly on the current, let your progress be in whatever direction the popular current flows. (Apostolic Times, Oct. 26, 1871, p. 228)


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HIGHER GROUND

  • Invitation

    1. Psalm 121 The God of higher ground: Mt. Zion

Psalms 121

1 I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help.

2 My help cometh from the LORD, which made heaven and earth.


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HIGHER GROUND

  • Invitation

    2.The God of higher ground revealed the gospel of higher ground:

    • Calls us to higher ground

    • Examples to encourage us

    • Warns against false claims


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HIGHER GROUND

  • Invitation

    3. We all can reach higher ground in Christ:

    • Faithful Christian: grow

    • Erring Christian: repent & pray (Acts 8:22)

    • Sinner in the world: believe, repent, confess Christ, be baptized (Acts 2:38)


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HIGHER GROUND

  • Invitation

    4. Rev. 21:10 From higher ground John saw the heavenly city of God

Rev. 21:10

10 And he carried me away in the spirit to a great and high mountain, and shewed me that great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God,


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