10 episodes

Serving Novato, Marin County, California and the World Wide Web. This feed broadcasts the latest reformed sermons and Sunday schools from Trinity Presbyterian Church (OPC) in Novato, CA. Our sermons seek to exposit Scripture, preaching Christ and the cross, and understanding the impact and demand of the Word on our lives.

Reformed Sermons and Sunday Schools at Trinity Presbyterian Church (OPC) in Novato, CA Rev. W. Reid Hankins

    • Christianity

Serving Novato, Marin County, California and the World Wide Web. This feed broadcasts the latest reformed sermons and Sunday schools from Trinity Presbyterian Church (OPC) in Novato, CA. Our sermons seek to exposit Scripture, preaching Christ and the cross, and understanding the impact and demand of the Word on our lives.

    I Will Follow You

    I Will Follow You

    Sermon preached on 1 Kings 19:19-21 by Rev. W. Reid Hankins during the Morning Worship Service at Trinity Presbyterian Church (OPC) on 02/16/2020 in Novato, CA.







    Sermon Manuscript



    Whom do you follow? Life is full of followers and leaders. Sometimes you might be a follower in one context and a leader in another. But in terms of our relationship with the LORD, we are told whom to follow. We are to follow Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior. The gospels are full of Jesus calling people to follow him, and disciples described as those who followed Jesus. Well, in today’s passage in 1 Kings, we find this theme with Elisha beginning to follow Elisha. And as we consider this with Elijah and Elisha, we’ll have a chance to reflect on what such following look like when it comes to the kingdom of God.



    So, we begin in our first point by looking at Elijah’s call to Elisha. Last week’s passage ended with God instructing Elijah to anoint Elisha as his successor. So then, we immediately see next Elijah calling Elisha to follow him. Though, interestingly, that’s not the language that Elijah uses. In fact, Elijah doesn’t use any words at all. We see in verse 19, that Elijah proceeds to find the Elisha that God had told him about. He then passes by Elisha and casts his cloak upon Elisha. Now clearly, Elisha understood that as a call to follow Elijah. Verse 20 shows Elisha stating that back to Elisha in such terms. But interestingly, Elijah doesn’t say, “follow me.” He instead passes by and throws his cloak upon Elisha.



    It’s generally thought that prophets had a prophetic mantle or cloak that they wore when they prophesied. Zechariah 13:4 seems to describe such a practice, and it sounds like they were typically a hairy garment. Such prophetic mantles were likely distinguishable from other garments that normal, non-prophet people wore. It’s like today how some pastors wear Genevan robes to preach in. If after the service the pastor came up to a young man and put the robe on him, he’d probably think the pastor is telling the man he should pursue the ministry. So then, that’s apparently what Elisha thinks here, that Elijah putting his prophet’s mantle on him means that Elijah is calling him to follow in his footsteps as a prophet.



    I think we should clarify, that at this point, this calling to Elisha is clearly about preparation for such a ministry. Elisha would not immediately begin to serve as a prophet himself. Elisha understands this since he says in verse 20 he speaks of following Elijah. Like how Jesus used that language in the New Testament, to follow a teacher or prophet is to become their disciple, and also frankly his servant. In this context, it seems that it has in view a sort of apprenticeship, where as a student or disciple you learn and serve the prophet for the purpose of eventually succeeding him. But for now, Elisha would be called into this role of following Elijah as a student and as a servant. In fact, it’s this service role that is emphasized in how our passage ends. It describes Elisha beginning this role of following Elisha in terms of him “assisting” Elijah. The Hebrew here for “assisting” is literally that Elisha “served” or “ministered to” Elijah. This is confirmed later on in the description of King Jehoshaphat in 2 Kings 3:11 where he describes Elisha the prophet as someone who in the past who “poured water on the hands of Elijah.” This fits well with the ongoing record here in 1 Kings, for while Elijah calls Elisha here, we’ll continue to see Elijah as the one doing prophetic ministry for the next several chapters. It won’t be until 2 Kings 2 when Elijah ascends up into heaven that then Elisha begins to really serve as a prophet. Prior to that, he apparently was a servant and disciple of Elij

    • 40 min
    Christian Baptism, Part 2

    Christian Baptism, Part 2

    Sunday School class led by Mr. Jim Wright at Trinity Presbyterian Church (OPC) on 02/16/2020 in Novato, CA. This week we completed a two week miniseries on Baptism.

    • 42 min
    What Are You Doing Here, Elijah?

    What Are You Doing Here, Elijah?

    Sermon preached on 1 Kings 19:9-18 by Rev. W. Reid Hankins during the Morning Worship Service at Trinity Presbyterian Church (OPC) on 02/09/2020 in Novato, CA.







    Sermon Manuscript



    When I first began ministry here at Trinity back at the end of 2007 a lot of church members kept coming up to me and saying that they hoped I don’t get discouraged. Of course, I understood what they meant. Ministry here in Marin county is hard. This is rocky soil. There are so few churches here, so few people who go to church, and generally an attitude among the population that they don’t need the LORD. I would imagine those church members were concerned that I might get discouraged because they too have struggled with discouragement as Christians in this area. I think most of us are here in a church like this because we are excited for the LORD and our jealous for the Lord’s Word and want to see our community here embrace it. It can be discouraging – even lonely — when so many around us reject, ridicule, or even disparage our faith.



    Well, I hope you see how we can relate to the prophet Elijah here. He had such high hopes for ministry in Israel. After that climactic victory on Mt. Carmel he surely expected major revival in the land. But then in last week’s passage we saw his hopes dashed as King and Queen Ahab and Jezebel redouble their efforts to persecute Elijah and the faith. It left Elijah discouraged and despairing even unto death. But then God sent an angel to minister to him. Ultimately Elijah journeys to where he is at here in our passage for today. He came to Mt. Sinai, aka Mt. Horeb, back to where God began everything in terms of covenanting with Israel as a nation. Why did Elijah come in such circumstances back to Mt. Sinai? That is what we’ll have a chance to consider today.



    Let’s begin by observing that a lot of this should look familiar. It should remind us of Moses at Mt. Sinai so long before. We should not be surprised to find a prophet in the future look like Moses and in so many ways resemble Moses’ ministry. Moses himself predicted that one day God would raise up a prophet like himself to minister to God’s people. Surely, Elijah was the greatest candidate to date to be the fulfillment of that promise. Elijah seems to have had such a personal and revelation-rich relationship with the LORD like Moses. And Elijah’s ministry also came in power with signs and wonders like how Moses had done, not only in confronting Pharaoh, but even afterward in leading the people through the wilderness to here at Mt. Sinai. God’s supernatural workings through Elijah likewise served to not only confront an oppressive king, but even most recently ministered supernaturally to him in the wilderness on his own personal journey to Mt. Sinai.



    Then, like Moses, Elijah went 40 days without food in conjunction with meeting the LORD on Mt. Sinai. That’s verse 8 of last week’s passage as Elijah journeyed to Mt. Sinai. It contrasts with Exodus 34:28 where we see that Moses fasted for 40 days while on Mt. Sinai receiving the law from God. Of course, the fact that Elijah is on the mountain at all meeting the LORD looks like Moses. Remember, back at Moses’ day the everyday Israelite was instructed to not go up the mountain, not even to touch it, Exodus 19:12. The reason why, of course, was because of the Lord’s awesome presence on the mountain. And it is that presence that is again seen on this mountain, with Elijah, in Moses-like role, experiencing God’s presence there on the mountain.



    The connection with Moses might also be intended to be brought out in verse 9’s reference to a cave. While translators seem to universally translate that as “a cave” that Elijah came to, commentators like to regularly point out that the literal Hebrew i...

    • 43 min
    Christian Baptism, Part 1

    Christian Baptism, Part 1

    Sunday School class led by Mr. Jim Wright at Trinity Presbyterian Church (OPC) on 02/09/2020 in Novato, CA. This week we began a two week miniseries on Baptism.

    • 44 min
    His Face Between his Knees

    His Face Between his Knees

    Sermon preached on 1 Kings 18:41-19:8 by Rev. W. Reid Hankins during the Morning Worship Service at Trinity Presbyterian Church (OPC) on 02/02/2020 in Novato, CA.







    Sermon Manuscript



    I’ve always been struck by how James in the New Testament points to Elijah’s example of prayer as a way to encourage our prayer life. In James 5:17 it says that Elijah was a man with a nature like our own. It says he prayed fervently that it might not rain and it didn’t rain – for three and a half years! And then James says he prayed again and it rained! Well, here in today’s passage we have the record in 1 Kings of Elijah’s fervent prayer for the rain to come back. And so, I think it will be appropriate for us to consider today’s passage in light of the theme of prayer. I must admit that I’m running the risk in doing so of betraying good hermeneutical practices. Normally you don’t use another passage to impose a structure or theme on the passage you are preaching. Rather, you want to start with the passage and let its message speak for itself. Yet, as I reflect on James’ point about Elijah’s prayer here, I’ve come to appreciate that there is a point about prayer here that we don’t want to miss.



    Let us then begin in our first point by considering Elijah’s prayer for rain. Notice how this starts out. Before Elijah prays for the rain, he tells Ahab to eat and drink for rain is coming. We should see all this in light of the rest of chapter 18. Remember, the chapter began with God commanding Elijah to go show himself to King Ahab because he was going to send rain again. But then Elijah has this dramatic confrontation with the prophets of Baal. Ahab and many Israelites witnessed on Mount Carmel that decisive faceoff. There it was shown that Baal was no god and the LORD was the real, one true God. That was part one in God’s confrontation with Baal. The prophets of Baal had touted Baal as the God of the storm, but it was the prophet of the LORD who declared no rain for three and a half years. The showdown on Mount Carmel only further highlighted that Baal was indeed powerless. But now the final act remained – to show that the LORD God could turn the rain back on because he, and not Baal, was the real God of the storm.



    So then, while Ahab goes up to eat and drink, Elijah goes up to the top of Mount Carmel with his servant and he begins to pray. He prays in humility and he prays fervently. Notice his posture. He bows himself down; he puts his face between his knees. There is no one posture required for prayer in Scripture, but posture in prayer can communicate something about one’s demeanor in the prayer. This is a prayer where Elijah is crying out to the LORD for mercy. He’s interceding on behalf of a people who were guilty of much sin against the LORD. But now he prays on their behalf after their apparent return to the LORD when they saw the fire from heaven consume the sacrifice. The people had been living in the uncleanness of the worship of false gods; but now they had returned to say that the LORD, he is God! Elijah now then prays for the LORD’s mercy to them to return the rain upon them. That’s how these things were to work. The people were to turn back from their sin and call to God that he might lift the covenant curses and return the people to a state of blessedness.



    Well, Elijah prays. And he prays. And he prays some more. Seven times he prays and seven times he sends his servant to check the horizon for rain. Finally, on that seventh time the servant reports that a rain cloud is on the horizon. It’s in the shape of a man’s hand – clearly a sign of God’s work in answer to Elijah’s prayer. Elijah then sends a message to Ahab to get in his chariot and head out quickly before the rain hits.

    • 40 min
    Biblical History: King David’s Rise

    Biblical History: King David’s Rise

    Sunday School class led by Rev. W. Reid Hankins at Trinity Presbyterian Church (OPC) on 02/02/2020 in Novato, CA. This week we continued our survey of the history recorded in the Bible, focusing on the positive upward spiral of King David during his reign.

    • 43 min

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