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November 5, 2021 12:00 am
Summarize the ministry passion of AW Koser diversity quoted the very beginning of one of his most famous books serves as his life.
Verse set your mind on the things above. None of the things that are on earth you die in your life is hidden with Christ in God.
Christ, who is our life, is revealed. You also will be revealed with him in glory. To see Jesus Christ exalted was driving glad that you're able to set aside time to join us. One of the ways God has blessed us is through the Christian heroes who have gone before us today. Stephen David continues through a series entitled legacies of light. One of the great men of our Christian history is a W tells her his books and sermons give us a high view of God and help us know God more clearly and accurately. Today you will be blessed and encouraged. As we look at the life and ministry of a W tells her few writers have magnified the Church's perspective of God like toes are and I know you'll enjoy this lesson.
Now here's the there are a couple of text that I want to highlight. As we look at to get a biography tonight, so take your Bibles and turn the acceptor to look there at one particular verse and then over to Colossians chapter 3, eventually. If you are familiar with those inaugural days of the New Testament.
And certainly this day of Pentecost you're aware that the apostle Peter stood and delivered the sermon that would effectively launch the New Testament church era and in that message he delivered an invitation. It was the first of its kind to potential New Testament Christian.
It was actually a quote there in verse 21 from the prophet Joel where Peter uses this in his sermon, and invites them. He says this and it shall be that everyone who calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.
That great verse that's a wonderful text. We actually are given the full manuscript of Peter's sermon. In fact the writer here actually makes the comment that with many other words, Peter kept on exhorting his audience to be saved, look there. Verse 40 that's what he writes. And with many other words he solemnly testified and kept on exhorting them saying be saved from this perverse generation, so when I told what those words were were just told that with many more word.
He continued to preach and deliver this exhortation and this invitation goes on the ad.
Of course the about 3000 people believe the gospel bound up and delivered in that sermon, the man that they had crucified had resurrected from the dead fact with what we have learned this morning in our study. Look at the significance of verse 36 therefore let all the house of Israel know for certain that God has made him both Lord and what Christ same person. This Jesus whom you crucified, while the stunning news that this one was indeed both sovereign Lord and anointed Messiah. And of course thousands believe they accepted the invitation and effectively called upon the name of the Lord and were saved. It was this text and this invitation that would be acted upon, some 1900 years later, in the hard life of a of a farmboy named Ayden Wilson Koser Biden was born in 1897 in a small farming community in Western Pennsylvania and his family was extremely poor struggle to make ends meet.
Back when he was 15 years of age toes.
Her family moved to Akron Ohio and in an attempt to land jobs in that growing automobile industry in this particular industry was the tire industry. In fact, I got a job at Goodyear back in the early 1900s.
One afternoon, in fact it was 1912. I was walking home from his job from Goodyear and he overheard a street preacher exhorting the crowd from this text to call upon the Lord and be saved. Now, toes, or do enough of the gospel to be convicted. In fact, the spirit of God, he said, convicted him at that moment, but he went home and and and immediately climbed up into the attic of their house and fell on his knees and called upon God to save them. He knew immediately that he was different. He would often write that he knew instinctively that Christians were supposed to be different than anybody else. He would later write this. Are you willing to live with the fact that you as a Christian, are an odd number you feel love for one you've never met you talk every day to someone you can't see and expect to go to heaven because of what somebody else's done already for you.
How different can you be well put.
So AW toes or his life began in Christ, and he began to grow in love. The study he'd be out of step with his world. In fact, he would be out of step with the majority opinion of the rest of the Christian community is ministry was almost prophetic heat he was calling people to a different kind of of life took to break free from the status quote he considered himself a prophet, not receiving revelation from God, but declaring revelation from God with power seven years after that event.
When he was saved in his attic at the age of 22 without any formal training. He began 44 years of pastoral ministry. He was later all elected editor of that denominations magazine called the alliance weekly in his and that's what he really began to to impact the world's first article appeared on June 3, 1950. Those articles immediately challenged would be a nice word the status quo of the church, infecting his first editorial toes around the sort of signaled the direction he would take and I quote it will cost something to walk slow in the parade of the ages, while excited men of time rush about confusing motion with progress. Koser, 44 years of ministry he would continually call the church of the individual Christian to another Reformation. A key phrase.
He loved to use it constantly warned the church of her spiritual decline visiting. He wrote this he said until we have a Reformation all her books and all our schools and our magazines are only the working of bacteria in a decaying church. If you could summarize the ministry passion of AW toes are the verse that he quoted at the very beginning of one of his most famous books. Sort of serves as his life. Verse that's Colossians chapter 3 might turn their idols. We go through these, you might feel the freedom to write the last name of the individual next to their text and remind you, perhaps in an encouraging way right toes or by verse one Paul is writing to the Colossians, and he says therefore, if literally, since since you have been raised up with Christ, keep seeking the things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. Set your mind on the things above. None of the things that are on earth for you died in your life is hidden with Christ in God. And when Christ, who is our life, is revealed, then you also will be revealed with him in glory. To see Jesus Christ exalted, seated sovereign to see God majestic and glorified for that said be your vision was his passion.
This would be his driving passion in life effect eroding in his book the knowledge of the holy which you are to write that down somewhere and read that he writes this so necessary to the church is a lofty concept of God that when that concept in any measure, decline the church with her worship and her moral standards declines along with it. The first step down for any church is taken when it surrenders its high opinion of God, and we do the greatest service to the next generation of Christians by passing on to them on dim and undiminished, that noble concept of God, he would sell several million copies of his book. By the way, and give all the money away that created problems for his family and will talk about that in a moment but toes are obviously and passionately believe in this exalted vision of Christ, to whom every believer must entirely surrender if IT coined the term Lordship before the term Lord to begin calling. He was the first to use it. Any use that often. Koser was often offensive to anyone who fell short of this vision of a high, lofty God, he would write so much of what passes for New Testament Christianity is a little more than truth sweetened with a little music and made palatable by religious entertainment.
He was offended a Holiness church. He been invited to preach on Sunday morning before he spoke.
The service packed to the walls was in his view, nothing less than a service pandering after silly music and other forms of entertainment. So it is turned up, preach came. He got up and left without any warmth or introduction said whatever happened to the holiness of God to you Holiness people. He then set his sermon aside and proceeded to preach on the holiness of God. No wonder he said that later life he preached himself off every platform in the country. Keep in mind, toes, or is challenging a church 50 years ago would he say today.
Imagine what he would say to our generation to the world of Christians 50 years ago toes a road I quote the church has sold out the carnal methods, carnal philosophies, carnal viewpoints, carnal gadgets and lost the glory of God in our midst.
We are starving generation that is never seen glory of God that is painful enough to hear Koser's criticism becomes even sharper. He would write the church today is limping from one gimmick to another.
Like so many drunks in a fall at exactly the most popular way to communicate your point, but point is well taken. It wasn't all criticism he preached and wrote of biblical solutions. He would write these powerful words to regain her lost power.
The church must have a transforming vision of God. Nothing utilitarian God who is having a lot of popularity today is chief claim to men's attention is his ability to bring them success. The God we must learn to know is the majesty and the heaven, who sits upon the circle of the earth who stretches out the heavens as a curtain who brings out his starry host by number and calls them all by name through the greatness of his power again. Continue can you hear the echo of Colossians 3 to see Christ exalted in the glory of God enthroned. I have the tried and I'll try each week to summarize the legacy of these individuals and that it's it's impossible to summarize the legacy of AW toes are but there are at least three aspects of his ministry that continued to demand another hearing.
Another challenge and another evaluation for us as an assembly for us in this generation we give you two or three of them. One relates to the matter of preaching and teaching. So for all the teachers and preachers. These are important words and and for the congregation to accept nothing less than he said that the lack of genuine exposition of Scripture is oftentimes nothing more than the teachers unwillingness to get himself into trouble. The powerful statement I think will skip over that verse you know I think will avoid the chapter to get us into trouble. Koser would remind those who teach the word of God and the focus especially on preachers. He said preachers are not diplomats delivering compromises. They are prophets delivering ultimatums. That's because he would note the purpose of genuine exposition is application biblical preaching desires nothing less than moral reform he would write. I quote no one is better off by simply knowing more about God knowing that God in the beginning, created heavens and the earth.
The devil knows that. So today, having Judas Iscariot, no one is better for just knowing that God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son to die for the redemption in hell. There are millions who will know that the purpose behind all doctrine and the preaching of it is to secure moral action and not just biblical knowledge for the sake of knowledge back. Toes are once shocked his world. He may have heard, this quote is a familiar one, but he shocked as well by writing in this way the devil he said is a better theologian than any of us, yet he remains the devil as I read through pages and pages of Koser's comments on the pulpit. The pastor became pretty obvious to me that he would have little patience with the contemporary preaching of our generation that skips the one favorite verse after another where the audience is sovereign and the consumer mentality plagues the church platitude after platitude, avoiding the hard passages heart doctrine anything doctrinally divisive, effectively encouraging a growing biblical illiteracy in the church, applauding knowledge without application or action or conviction or purity. What one final legacy without a doubt this is most critical contribution of AW toes are. It's the end it's the most obvious one course we've Artie talked about it in and through his writings. It would be the exaltation of Jesus Christ, his ability to write in such a way that you read a few lines and your perspective of God is in immediately magnified improved elevated on one occasion he he spent all night awake as the train he was on travel from Chicago to Texas. He had asked the reporter for a small table to be brought to his room and there in that little compartment.
He began writing away.
Eventually, the Porter became a little worried. The light was on the toes or hadn't come to the dining car.
He knew he had eaten and so we knocked on his door and any said friend would you like me to bring you some supper Koser never looked up just mumbled yes, bring me some toast and tea please.
At the end of the train ride toes or walked into the station with a rough draft under his arm completed started and finished that night with a book entitled the pursuit of God. It would sell more than a million copies. But more importantly, it would reveal the very nature of God was being lost. He believed in his generation and if you will read it, you will discover that we are losing it. Still in this he would write God is never surprised God is never amazed he never wonders about anything he doesn't need information and as he's drawing it out of someone. As he did with Adam in the garden when he asked Adam where are you God has never learned from anyone. God cannot learn. Could God at any time or in any manner receive into his mind, knowledge that he did not possess and had not possessed from eternity, he would be less than himself to think of a God who must sit at the feet of a teacher, even though the teacher be an archangel is to think of someone other than the most high God, maker of heaven and earth. God knows effortlessly.
All matters, all relations all causes all thoughts all mysteries all feelings, all desires every unaudited secret. God never discovers anything.
How's that for refreshed vision of the omissions of God. The truth is like any reader of biography and I hope you are, the more you learn about someone, the more you discover what ought to be emulated and what needs to be forgotten.
Even the apostle Paul would put it this way. Be imitators of me as I imitate Christ, and I was no just follow me because I'm an apostle for the sake of imitating me imitate me only insofar as you see me imitating Christ.
So we have to be careful. No Christian from the past or the present should be shown as perfect. He was well aware of the shortcomings not aware of other shortcomings.
One author wrote an and I struggled in fact, even with this statement, but he wrote the toes are battled depression. He may very well have, but the more I read of him.
The more I wonder if it was something more akin to struggling with this deep sense of introspection that can come across looking similarly he often seemed muddled and in a painfully silent fog as if no one else was around. It wasn't unusual for him to come to the family dinner table and not say a word.
The entire dinner with everyone else at the table awkwardly afraid to do so themselves. It was an imposing man while he commended his wife's gift of hospitality.
He really didn't like it when she used it. What's worse, even if used allows wife's family to visit their home felt it distracted him. It was a decision that brought a great deal of hurt and frustration to that family. As you can well imagine all that one of his children didn't understand him, felt estranged and never felt close to him except his youngest daughter, toes, or is proof that while it's possible to seek God in fresh and intimate ways. It's possible to miss seeing other people around you at the same time. The old adage, the cobblers wife has know what shoes is too often true in some ways it was true in the life of AW toes are we here was a man whose mind and affections were so set on Christ above that he missed some things that needed attention on earth below. The truth is, were all more like him than we knew our we all have blind spots.
We need each other to share those to help us along. I think people were afraid his wife was his children, his associates to challenge AW toes or's advice and perspective still rings true for the average Christian, the opposite is true. So much of our affection.
So much of our attention is based on the things of earth that the things of Christ are never pursued with passion. We care more about our car. Then Christ may not many of us are going to err on the side of toes or we think about how many of us would give away thousands of dollars in royalties only to be forced to ride a bus with your six kids in tow was understand I I I think he should've bought a car having a Chevy pickup would've been perfect for him.
But as one where is the road of him. He wrote these words toes or was in so many ways. A man who walked to the beat of a different drummer. He simply wanted God more than anything else and he was never content with where he was in his pursuit of the glory of God. I'd like to err more on that side more often. This into a prayer he composed when I close with this.
Oh God, I have tasted like goodness and it has both satisfied me and made me thirsty for more. I am painfully aware of my need for further rights. I am ashamed of my lack of desire I want to want.
I long to be filled longing.
I thirst to be more thirsty. Still, show me thy glory. I pray the so I may know the D begin in mercy a new work. Love. Give me grace to rise following the up from this misty low land where I wonder so Jesus powerful prayer from a godly man. AW toes are.
I hope this time in God's word has blessed you and help get your day off to a great start. This is wisdom for the heart. The Bible teaching ministry of Stephen Davey Stevens working through a series called legacies of light. He's looking at biographies from our Christian history if you'd like to listen to today's lesson again or share it with a friend. You'll find it on our website which is wisdom online.org. You'll also find it on our smart phone app that you can install to your Apple or android phone. Of course there are other ways for you to interact with our ministry as well. If you'd like to send Stephen a note you can address your email to email@example.com you can also write to us. If you address your card or letter to wisdom international PO Box 37297 Raleigh, NC 27627. That's all for today, but please join us next time. For more wisdom for the heart