Ron Dart 1990 Sermons

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1990 Christ and the Serpent
The bronze serpent – why? Dart looks at the serpent and relates it to the serpent in the Garden of Eden (as a rebellion against leadership), King Hezekiah (became an idol), and John 3 (people were to acknowledge that their suffering was due to their sin). Given the importance of the cross of Christ (including His suffering, humiliation, and death), some have neglected it for the symbol of the cross (as Israel turned the serpent into an idol).
1990 First Born in the Passover
A thorough look at birthright, firstborn, and inheritance from Abraham to the resurrection. Includes the law and examples such as Isaac/Ishmael, Jacob/Esau, Israel/Gentiles and how all this ties in to the Passover.
1990 Gifts of the Spirit
What are spiritual gifts? Who has them? Why are they given? How can you tell the true from the false? A spiritual gift from God is not for you, it is for others. Gifts are distributed to according to the will of God throughout the church, for the purpose of building the church, making individuals more like Christ. It is not for division. Beware of unworthy motives. Gifts are distributed widely; they do not all fall upon one man, neither does one gift fall upon all men. But they do work together. If we have a gift, or the spirit moves us, just do it. You don't have to figure it out, God has already. If a spiritual gift is used to divide or cause strife, it is not of God. Spiritual gifts are given not to control, but to serve. By their fruits you will know them.
1990 Mustard Seed Faith
Dart addresses the issue of faith. What is it? Can you measure it? Does it come and go? Is it a gift? Or is there something we can do about it? Is it belief? Jesus rebuked people for their lack of faith or belief, indicating these people were somehow at fault. It seems that if we do not believe, if we do not have faith, we have only ourselves to blame. So, what do we do about it? 1) Take no anxious thought; don't worry. 2) When you have put something in God's hands, dwell on the good ways it can work out, not the bad. 3) The most destructive thing to faith is the human imagination, which we have control over. 4) Do not harden your heart. Instead, trust God. Expect. God will bring forth the good. Don't practice a lack of faith by worrying. "They could not enter in because of unbelief" -- something they could have corrected. "Rejoice in the Lord always!" The power of positive thinking is the bottom line of faith – Jesus & Paul both support this idea. Why would Jesus criticize the disciples for their unbelief and lack of faith, if it wasn't within their power to do something about it? Choose wisely what thoughts you dwell upon.
1990 Power and Corruption
Dart examines Matthew 8-12, looking at the concept of power, what it was used for and why. Power – is it energy? Authority? Strength? Ability? Jesus had all these traits of power and Matthew 8 & 9 show the tremendous power Jesus had over many things, even death. Jesus also had power in His teachings, and called His disciples and gave them power and told the to do many of the same miracles. "Jesus will never tell you to do something without giving you the power to do it."
1990 Service
The church is a service organization. Just keeping busy is not enough if not in service. Church government is a matter of service rather than of rulership or control. There is no gain from providing a service that nobody needs. Dart looks at the church from the point of being a service business. What would "customers" need from us? What the "customer" wants and needs that we offer is a relationship. If they get that, they become a member, if not, it may be our fault. We're all part of the "store" in providing customer service. Jesus established this service mentality right off the bat by saying that you should not lord it over as the gentiles do, but should be a servant. Humble yourself, take on the form of a servant, as Jesus did, washing one another's feet. Service is not just about "religious" needs.
1990 The Power of Hope
Dart discusses his experience in the CGI ministry prayer sessions and how they wearied him. Does God weary of our prayers? He is compassionate; He cares; does He weary? Philippians 4:6, bring your prayers with thanksgiving. Be anxious for nothing. What does "saved in hope" mean? A positive anticipation. If you believe, all things are possible. When God has given us every reason to trust Him, and then we don't, why would He intervene for us? The value of appreciation and positive anticipation are exhibited in Psalm 23, a source of encouragement; that God cares. Do we say, "Nothing ever works out for me"? Or do we expect great things from God? Do we delight ourselves in God? Commit yourself to God and He will bring it to pass. Pray fervently to God; do your part; then leave it in God's hands. Don't worry – have an expectation that God will deliver- hope, faith, belief. Start making plans accordingly. God takes pleasure in the prosperity of His servant. Rejoice always, pray with thanksgiving, dwell on the positive. Practice this way of thinking.
1990 The Winners
Revelation 2, 3, and 21 all talk about overcoming. Jacob persisted and prevailed. God not only expects us to battle, He expects us to win. Jesus overcame Satan. Parables on overcoming -- winning and losing. Very inspiring. Laziness and sloth are things God won't abide. Why was David a man after God's own heart? Is competition wrong? It is not enough to avoid losing -- to just hang on. No, we must win! No excuses -- just do it. Endure, yes, but endurance is active, not just hunkering down. Carry your cross actively.
1990-03-18 Your Hostility Quotient
Dart discusses the psychology of hostility in the context of the Bible and common human experiences. Anger, how it happens, why it happens. Why is it hard to pray, when it is so easy? Hostility, resistance, resentment, enmity toward God. People don't like restraint. After baptism, there is even more restraint. Don't get hostile with anyone who hasn't done you any harm. You cannot enter the kingdom of God with hostility. The role of the tongue in hostility, and how it follows the heart. How this can be overcome and the consequences if it can't.
1990-04-15 Financial Planning
How do you leave an inheritance to your children's children? How can we be a good steward of the things that God has given us? Dart sharply criticizes credit, asking whether you would rather pay other people or have them pay you? The positive psychology of paying cash. How much better off you will be by not going into debt. This is all in your control, your choices.
1990-06-16 Caretaker or Savior?
When you sin, God will forgive you upon repentance, but He may not remove the consequences. Whatever a man sows, he will reap. God's objective is salvation, and the lessons learned through consequences may be useful to that end. Our job is to bear our burden and wait on Jesus to do what we can't. It is not for Jesus to do for us what we can do for ourselves. We may just want relief from our burdens, a caretaker, when what we really need is salvation. The problem with that is, once forgiven, we have a responsibility for our behavior, not just relief from the consequences.
1990-07-21 Marriage - Who Leads?
Starting at Genesis, Dart looks at marriage. Sin led them to hide from each other, as well as from God. It kept their children from ever becoming would they could have become. Was Adam the leader even before he sinned? What about a long-haired man? A woman' head covering? The responsibility of the husband/father and why? How to lead. Some relationship principles of marriage. We need to learn our responsibilities and let other's learn theirs.
1990-08-11 The Next Temple
Given in the context of the first Gulf War. Dart speaks on the politics, history, and religion in the Middle East. He expounds on the prophecies of Luke21 and Daniel 11, the tribulation, King of the North and King of the South. It would seem that the sacrifices must be resumed, requiring an altar and a priesthood -- and a temple? -- a tabernacle? Why the Jews haven't built one already and what might trigger them to do so.
1990-09-08 Is God Essential?
Are the holy days required of the Christian? Is the Sabbath? Does our form of worship really matter? Dart shows how, if you begin to minimize God's commands and statutes, if you excuse some, or think them non-essential, you are moving toward the latter-times failings of men outlined in 2 Timothy 3. This is what has happened to much of society today.
1990-09-20 Day of Atonement
Dart begins by discussing what happened with Aaron’s sons, and a discussion of the general priesthood duties. He then goes through the Leviticus 16 ceremony in detail, explaining each step and how it relates to Jesus Christ. Uncleanliness is not necessarily sin. While Dart does not ascribe to the theory that the Azazel goat also represents Christ, he does offer an explanation as to why, after the sins have been washed, they are still present to be laid on the head of the second goat. Fasting is discussed. Atonement is addressed in the book of Hebrews. Forgiveness, conscience, and consequences. Dart wonders: Were some of the Old Testament practices God’s intent from the beginning? Or regulations of man’s traditions? For example, were animal sacrifices really God’s idea? Or were they God’s regulation of, and use, of human customs to accomplish His own ends? It seems men started sacrificing before God instructed them on it. God had no intention to have a king, yet there are laws about kings. God had no intention of having a temple, yet there are laws about the temple. Slavery may be similar.
9063 Staying Power
The general theme is endurance, and Dart enhances it with excellent Biblical stories that inspire us to endure to the end no matter what and to be grateful in all things. Is endurance necessarily passive? Dramatic examples from Jesus. You've not only got to endure the rough times, but the times where nothing happens. A time will come when only the things that cannot be shaken will remain standing... only the ones who endure.
90RFR Reflections on Friendship
Dart gives many excellent insights on friendship. What they are; how they evolve. Friendship is built on trust. Trust is built by performance over time. Disclosure is part of building trust. Some relationships end when the usefulness of it has ended – these are not really friendships. Dart discusses many relevant proverbs. Our responsibilities as friends. Actually caring for one another expands an acquaintance to friendship. If we are friends with Christ, we will give up our lives for Him. After all, He gave up His life for us.