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Inglesia del Nazareno Communidad de la Esperanza

Sermon Notes


July 13, 2014 | PARTING THE RIVER


Dr.  Burnie R.  Burnside


Joshua 3:14-17


All of us have raging rivers that we must cross if we are to possess all the promises of God for our lives.  This passage illustrates three distinct processes in our lives.



It illustrates the process of entire salvation.


A. All have sinned and need to be freed.


B. We must depend on the grace of God to put to death our willful transgressions.


C. Having been delivered from sin’s slavery, we too wander in a spiritual wilderness, until we become aware of God's desire that we possess the Promise of His Holy Spirit (entire sanctification). And we must all be willing to cross the Jordan into the sanctified life.



This passage illustrates the process of problem solving.


A. First, we must put God first in our life - move the ark of the covenant from behind to the front.


B. Then we must cross on solid ground and carry our own ministry (stones) for the Lord.


C. Having done so, we build memorials of our victories in the Lord.



This passage also illustrates the process of faith process. Spiritual Victory Always Begins With Faith (3:14-17).


Faith means believing God's Possibilities: "So when the people broke camp to cross the Jordan, the priests carrying the ark of the covenant went ahead of them" (v. 14-15a).


Faith means acting is spite of the obstacles to be overcome"Now the Jordan is at flood stage all during harvest. Yet as soon as the priests who carried the ark reached the Jordan and their feet touched the water's edge, the water from upstream stopped flowing. It piled up in a heap a great distance away" (vv. 15-16).


In order to help others, who seek spiritual victory we must stand firm"The priests who carried the ark of the covenant of the LORD stood firm on dry ground in the middle of the Jordan, while all Israel passed by until the whole nation had completed the crossing on dry ground" (v. 17).


"Moses answered the people, "Do not be afraid. Stand firm and you will see the deliverance the LORD will bring you today. The Egyptians you see today you will never see again” (Exodus 14:13).


II Chron 20:  faith (stand firm) and spiritual warfare.


 "Now I know that the LORD saves his anointed; he answers him from his holy heaven with the saving power of his right hand. Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the LORD our God. They are brought to their knees and fall, but we rise up and stand firm" (Psalms 20:6-8).


"...If you do not stand firm in your faith, you will not stand at all.'" (Isaiah 7:9).



Strong faith in God does not come all at once.  It is often gained through willing submission to His love and goodness in the midst of trial.


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