Archive for the ‘Ascension’ Category

In Jesus, The Church Is God’s New Humanity!


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Part B:

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Bible Verse: Acts 2:42 – 47 Romans 8


Introduction:

Because Jesus Christ, the Father’s Son has come and lived, and suffered, and died, and risen from the dead, and ascended into heaven, in our glorified humanity, sending the Holy Spirit to us,  a new world order has been inaugurated from the Father, through Jesus the Son, and in the Holy Spirit! A new humanity is breaking in and rising up in believers who share in the responses of Christ in the holy Spirit, through Jesus, and to the Glory of the Father! This New Humanity, or New Creation, breaking into our present is what it means to be a part of the Church, a part of the Father-Son-and-Holy-Spirit-God’s New Community!”

Theological Theme:

“There can be no doubt, however, that the New Testament is pervaded with the joyful sense of God’s actual presence in Jesus Christ, and with the realisation that the coming age has already broken into the present and overlaps it. That is precisely the good news of the gospel, that here and now in Christ Jesus God is present in all his royal power, not only to speak a word of pardon but actually to enact it and fulfil it in the liberation of the children of God.” – T.F. Torrance

Christ Connection:

“…when we do hear God’s voice through Jesus Christ, It calls us out of ourselves into community with God and man. And then individual Gospel and social Gospel become all one. We can’t separate them, without killing both, and running away from God…God was incarnate in Jesus Christ, and He created in the world a new community – the fellowship of the Holy Spirit – to draw us out of ourselves into community with God and man, for our own salvation and the salvation of the world.” – Donald Baillie

Missional Application:

“And if you, my friend, feel your heart pierced, in this your day and generation, by the woes of your fellows, that is perhaps the beginning of God’s work in your heart, saving you from yourself, drawing you out of yourself, into a life worth living, where you wiIl be lifted above your own temptations and defeats by the enthusiasm of the service of God and man, in the Community of the Holy Spirit. God is beginning that work in you – let Him have his way.” – Donald Baillie

The scriptures indicate what Salvation in Christ sounds and looks like in Acts 2:

36 Therefore let all the house of Israel know with certainty that God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Messiah.”

37 When they heard this, they were pierced to the heart and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, “Brothers, what should we do?” 

42 They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching, to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread, and to prayer.

43 Everyone was filled with awe, and many wonders and signs were being performed through the apostles. 44 Now all the believers were together and held all things in common. 45 They sold their possessions and property and distributed the proceeds to all, as any had need. 46 Every day they devoted themselves to meeting together in the temple, and broke bread from house to house. They ate their food with joyful and sincere hearts, 47 praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. Every day the Lord added to their number those who were being saved.”

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The Plot Against Paul!

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Bible Verse: Acts 23: 1-24


Introduction:

While in Jerusalem on a mission of mercy, Paul was judged for his resurrection hope, strengthened by Christ’s presence in prison, and preserved through a surprising plot twist. Even in prison, God was faithful to provide for Paul and lead His servant to be used where and how He desired. Paul demonstrated boldness, courage, and conviction because resurrection hope gives God’s people confidence to share the gospel no matter the consequences.

Theological Theme:

Resurrection hope through God [The Father-Son-Holy-Spirit] is the source of Christian courage.

Christ Connection:

Paul’s confidence in the midst of trying circumstances came from his belief that the God of his fathers was the God who had revealed His glory in the person and work of Jesus Christ. Paul believed that the faithfulness of God that was shown through the cross and resurrection of Jesus would sustain him through persecution and trial.

Missional Application:

God, through His Holy Spirit calls us to courageously testify to the gospel, even when the cost of telling the truth is high.

Conclusion:

What a difference the resurrection makes! It distinguishes Christians from non-Christians in every culture and context as it refurbishes our life pursuits, changes our old attitudes, and gives us hope to continue running the race even in the midst of despair. Because of the resurrection, Christians are thrice-born creatures: 1) we are born; 2) we are born again (John 3:7); and 3) one day, we will be born again, again. Our third birth will be just as physical as our first. That’s why archeologists will never discover Jesus’ skeleton. As the angel told Mary, “He is not here, but he has risen!” (Luke 24:6). And we will rise too (Rom. 8:11). Until then, let the resurrection become a source of courage and confidence as we live knowing one day “we will be like him” (1 John 3:2), and for all eternity we will see the Savior “face to face” (1 Cor. 13:12).

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Whoever Has Been Forgiven Much, Loves Much!

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Main Bible Verses: Luke 7: 36-50 Acts 2: 36-41


Introduction:

The Father-Son-Holy-Spirit-God revealed in Jesus Christ is the God of Love and is therefore a forgiving God! In the birth, life, suffering, death, resurrection, and ascension of Jesus we see God at work to forgive and overcome sin, sending it away and reconciling all to himself. In the way Jesus lived, the things he said, and the way he thought and spoke we understand what forgiveness really is and means for human beings.

Theological Theme:

We are each and all called to participate in receiving God’s gift of forgiveness, and participate with Jesus in being reconciled back to his Father and our neighbors! This proclaims to us the Good News that forgiveness is first something God gives to us a gift which enables us to repent and then share his forgiveness with others. So, we don’t have to repent in order to be forgiven, rather we are forgiven and enabled to repent!

Christ Connection:

Jesus is the True and Fully Human Being. When we want to see and know most clearly what God’s love really looks like in a human being and what his purpose and plan is for us we look to Jesus Christ! WE LOVE because HE first LOVED US. WE FORGIVE BECAUSE HE HAS FORGIVEN US. What Jesus gave us was not only himself as an individual but, in and through the Holy Spirit, he gives us the opportunity to participate with him in his human nature.

“We put our trust in God because of who Jesus Christ is. And he himself is the grace of God towards us. He is the Gospel. He himself is our salvation. And we receive all the benefits of who he is as we trust in him and cast aside (repent of) all other rival objects of trust. We then enjoy our union and communion with him as our Lord and God. Our lives are united to Christ and we share in his life, we participate with him in all he is doing and will do in and through our relationship of trust or faith.” – Dr Gary Deddo

Jesus Christ took on our broken humanity, healed it and raised it up NEW so that he shared in his renewing humanity. He performed a great exchange. He shared in OUR POORNESS so that we could share in HIS RICHNESS! He shared in OUR BROKENNESS so that so that we could share in HIS HEALED HUMAN NATURE! He shared in the temptation of our unforgiving nature and, resisting it with his forgiving love, gives us the same opportunity to resist our unforgiving nature through receiving his forgiving love.

Missional Application:

We are called as Jesus’ disciples to encourage God’s children tore forgiven in order that they, too, might REPENT because of the forgiveness of their sins by God the Father and receive the Holy Spirit. They will then not only be saved FROM their sins but also be saved FOR God and sharing God and his characteristics with their neighbor.

Conclusion:

Overflowing love and forgiveness toward others is the natural response to God’s forgiveness of us and the appropriate consequence of faith in him. However, only those who realize the depth of their sin can appreciate the complete forgiveness that God offers them and the share that with others. Having received this forgiveness we believers seek to share it freely with others because, in Jesus Christ, God has forgiven and rescued the sinful human nature of all people, whether those people are extremely wicked or conventionally good, even as we were!

Do you appreciate the wideness of God’s mercy? Are you grateful for his forgiveness?  Are you grateful for God’s forgiveness given to us in Jesus Christ?” If so, you will become more and more forgiving of others. Having received this forgiving love of Jesus we are now being compelled as ambassadors who are appealing to others (as if Christ was appealing through us!) to “Be reconciled to God”. “Receive his forgiveness!” The compulsion to appeal to others in love “to repent, turn to Christ and be reconciled” should outmatch any anxious cry and plea to “turn before you burn” because God’s grace is greater than our sin! Although God’s grace through faith is what saves us, and NOT our good works toward our neighbors, our good works demonstrate faith in Christ and are honored by Christ, and actually come from Christ, and therefore can bear fruit in the lives of our neighbors as we participate in them!

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Our Father’s Hope For All: In The Faith Of Jesus Shared With Us! Part 10

Part 10 A:

Part 10 B:

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Main Bible Verses: Romans 14 Acts 2: 21-41


Theological Theme:

In his life and in relationship with His Father Jesus overcame the old humanity filled with sin, hate, prejudice, brutality and evil, and pulled off a life of New Humanity. He now shares this New Humanity with us by pouring out the Holy Spirit on us! Through the Spirit he shares with us his faith in what he has done so that our ultimate faith is not even in our own faith or beliefs but only in him and his faith on our behalf. We are therefore less judgmental of our brothers and sisters and absolutely demanding of our own way, rather we trust Jesus for every person because, in him, we still stand and are saved by his grace. Will we share in this faith of Jesus and live in his unity?
Romans 14 “Welcome anyone who is weak in faith, but don’t argue about disputed matters. 2 One person believes he may eat anything, while one who is weak eats only vegetables. 3 One who eats must not look down on one who does not eat, and one who does not eat must not judge one who does, because God has accepted him. 4 Who are you to judge another’s household servant? Before his own Lord he stands or falls. And he will stand, because the Lord is able to make him stand.
5 One person judges one day to be more important than another day. Someone else judges every day to be the same. Let each one be fully convinced in his own mind. 6 Whoever observes the day, observes it for the honor of the Lord. Whoever eats, eats for the Lord, since he gives thanks to God; and whoever does not eat, it is for the Lord that he does not eat it, and he gives thanks to God. 7 For none of us lives for himself, and no one dies for himself. 8 If we live, we live for the Lord; and if we die, we die for the Lord. Therefore, whether we live or die, we belong to the Lord. 9 Christ died and returned to life for this: that he might be Lord over both the dead and the living. 10 But you, why do you judge your brother or sister? Or you, why do you despise your brother or sister? For we will all stand before the judgment seat of God. 11 For it is written, As I live, says the Lord, every knee will bow to me, and every tongue will give praise to God. 12 So then, each of us will give an account of himself to God.” – Christian Standard Bible

Christ Connection:

Just as in Christ, our sin nature was put to death and we were given new life in him through his forgiveness and reconciliation, so, as we are united to him in the Spirit as his brothers and sisters,The church dies to its own righteousness and lives solely by the righteousness of God alone. Because they have died to their sinful nature and live as forgiven sinners, the saints proclaim God’s forgiveness and reconciliation to the world.  Christians are called not only to proclaim forgiveness but also to bear the sins of fellow Christians. “Thus the call to follow Christ always means a call to share the work of forgiving men their sins. Forgiveness is the Christlike suffering which it is the Christian’s duty to bear.”47 True preservation of the community does not come through judging and fighting for recognition but through confession, forgiveness, and repentance.” – Dietrich Bonhoeffer

Missional Application:

As Dietrich Bonhoeffer also wrote,The only way in which the church can defend her own territory is by fighting not for it but for the salvation of the world.”  A church that fights for the world, not its own preservation, is a community characterized by forgiveness and repentance.”

Because the Life, Crucifixion, Death, Resurrection and Ascension of Jesus proclaims the absolute and complete healing of our human nature from sin and corruption, it means that Christians carry forth the same message to our world today that the Apostle Peter proclaimed nearly 2000 years ago:

Acts 2: 32 “God has raised this Jesus; we are all witnesses of this. 33 Therefore, since he has been exalted to the right hand of God and has received from the Father the promised Holy Spirit, he has poured out what you both see and hear. 34 For it was not David who ascended into the heavens, but he himself says: The Lord declared to my Lord, ‘Sit at my right hand 35 until I make your enemies your footstool.’ 36 “Therefore let all the house of Israel know with certainty that God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Messiah.” 37 When they heard this, they were pierced to the heart and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, “Brothers, what should we do?” 38 Peter replied, “Repent and be baptized, each of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. 39 For the promise is for you and for your children, and for all who are far off, as many as the Lord our God will call.” 40 With many other words he testified and strongly urged them, saying, “Be saved from this corrupt generation!” 41 So those who accepted his message were baptized, and that day about three thousand people were added to them.

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Our Father’s Hope For all: In Jesus’ Body Being His Church! Part 9

Part 9A:

Part 9B:

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Main Bible Verse: Acts 2


Introduction:

The Father has poured out His Spirit upon all that all will receive Jesus as Lord, personally, receiving His invitation that He might indwell them. Jesus, in His Father’s mission continues to go out in the power of the Spirit, drawing every person, everywhere, to Himself, and with the special participation of believers, His Church! Jesus, through His Church, still has an earthly and historical Body unified in the Spirit that worships Him, witnesses to Him, and joins Him in the ministry of calling all to trust Him as Lord and Savior in Relationship!

Theological Theme:

Even In the middle of pandemic, prejudice, police brutality, panic and pandemonium, Grace and Peace is upon us from God our Father through the Lord Jesus Christ! Jesus is the One Who baptizes in the Holy Spirit that we might participate with Him in His Life and relationship of Love with the Father! His is not just any old kind of love but Love as it has been revealed in the life, words and deeds of Jesus Christ as attested to in holy scripture. Jesus Christ is the Revelation of Who God is! Jesus Christ is the revelation of what it means to be a Real human being and, through His Holy Spirit, is intent to share his humanity with us that we might be more truly and fully human, glorifying our Father!

Christ Connection:

“The church is commanded to lift up its head in joy, for its ‘redemption is drawing near’ Meantime in all its waiting and expectation the church is commanded by its Lord to lift up its head in thanksgiving and joy, for its ‘redemption is drawing near’. The church of the risen Lord has no right to be a prophet of gloom or despair, for this world has been redeemed and sanctified by Christ and he will not let it go. The corruptible clay of our poor earth has been taken up in Jesus, is consecrated through his sacrifice and resurrection, and he will not allow it to sink back into corruption. Hence the whole creation groans and travails waiting for the manifestation of the sons of God, looking forward with eager expectation to the hour of final liberation and renewal in the advent of its risen saviour.” – Thomas Torrance, Atonement: The Person and Work of Christ, page 348 (Chapter: The Nature of the Resurrection Event)

Missional Application:

“The church must learn to take into its mouth the good news of the resurrection and new creation, for that must be its primary note, one of limitless joy and thanksgiving. That is how the church began its mission at Pentecost where the dominant emphasis in all its preaching was the resurrection of the crucified Christ and the astounding fact that because of Christ the Spirit of God himself was poured out upon men and women. They knew that the last times had overtaken them and that they were caught up in the onward and outward thrust of the resurrection of Christ toward the new creation in which all nations and peoples and all times would be brought to share. The involvement of the church in the suffering of mankind must never be allowed to stifle that supreme note of resurrection triumph or to smother the eschatological joy at the astounding events that have broken into history and pledged for mankind the final day of regeneration.” – Thomas Torrance, Atonement: The Person and Work of Christ, page 348 (Chapter: The Nature of the Resurrection Event)

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Our Father’s Hope For All: In Relationship With The Trinity! Part 8

Part 8A:

Part 8B

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Main Bible Verses: John 14: 15-26 Romans 12 Romans 13


Introduction:

“The Triune God of love brought his creation into being for the sake of loving fellowship. Created in the image of God, we humans are able to exist in a fellowship of covenant love (agape) with our Creator and each other. However, through Adam and Eve (representing all humanity), the power of evil got a foothold in God’s good creation, reaching down into the roots of human nature. Foreseeing this tragedy, God began to implement his plan to rescue humanity and bring final judgment upon evil. These goals would be achieved by God working in and through the Son of God incarnate as Jesus Christ, and the subsequent ministry of the Holy Spirit in and through the church…….

We receive all that Christ has done for humanity by participating in the ongoing ministry of the Holy Spirit. Beginning in Acts, the New Testament tells the story of the church’s participation in the Spirit’s ministry (and so the mission of God) during the time stretching from Jesus’ resurrection-ascension and sending of the Holy Spirit to Jesus’ promised return in glory. During this “time between the times” the church is given a down payment (first fruits) of the Spirit so that during this present evil age (when evil has not yet fully passed away and the kingdom is not yet fully manifested) the church can embody signs of the coming fullness of Christ’s triumphant reign in a new heaven and new earth.

As the church waits in hope for the age to come, it grows up into Christ, sharing in his glorified humanity. During this time, the Spirit frees and enables the church to worship God, witness to Christ and his coming kingdom, and participate in his mission to take the gospel to the far corners of the earth as God, by the Spirit, draws all people to himself. As God’s ambassadors of reconciliation, the church has the privilege of sharing in God’s redemptive mission, so that all might be reconciled to God.” ―The Church and Its Ministry, by Gary Deddo

Theological Theme:

God IS Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Love is not just a generic word or concept about a fuzzy feeling or sentiment you have. Love is bound up in the fact that God-Father-Son-Holy-Spirit IS LOVE. So love is this personal relationship with the ONE God Being in Three persons and the Three Persons in ONE God Being.

“The Christian God is a fellowship, a communion. This triune God has his being by being in relationships of holy loving. Those relationships are, in particular, eternally begetting, being begotten, and proceeding — each a unique form of holy, loving exchange. Those are the key words we have in allowing us to point to the amazing reality of who God is.” -Gary Deddo

“As God is in eternal loving relationship as Father, Son and Holy Spirit, so also he has made us to be in loving relationship with him and one another. As the Holy Spirit unites the divinity and humanity of Christ, so the Spirit also unites us to the Son so that we are united with each other as the body of Christ.” ―Eric Wilding – Grace Communion International

Christ Connection:

In the body of Jesus Christ, the Father, Son and Spirit is united with humankind. All humanity is accepted by God and the world is reconciled to God in Him. In the body of Jesus Christ, God took on the sin of all the world and bore it 2000 years ago. There is no part of the world, no matter how lost or Godless that has not been forgiven and accepted by God in Jesus Christ – reconciled to God in Jesus Christ.

 “Thus in this oneness, Jesus Christ is the Mediator, the Reconciler, between God and man. Thus He comes forward to MAN on behalf of GOD calling for and awakening faith, love and hope, and to GOD on behalf of MAN, representing man, making satisfaction and interceding. Thus He attests and guarantees to God’s free GRACE and at the same time attests and guarantees to God man’s free GRATITUDE.” ―Karl Barth, The Humanity of God

“Because Christ has taken humanity into himself, we are partakers and participants in the divine nature with him. Because we are in Christ, because he is both the Son of God and the perfect human with us and for us in our humanity, we share in his perfect relationship with the Father. In Christ, we are the beloved children of the Father, in whom he is well pleased. And because we are united with Christ in his humanity, we share in the Trinity’s grace, love and communion.” ―Eric Wilding ―Grace Communion International

Missional Application:

We share in all that Jesus gives us by the Holy Spirit. “So we can say that the Holy Spirit humanizes by making us share in the glorified humanity of Jesus Christ

“The Holy Spirit’s ministry is to deliver to us all the benefits of the work of Christ……When the Spirit acts, he acts in unity with the Father and the Son, bringing our worship all together in the fellowship of the Trinity….

Thus, we understand that when the Spirit of Jesus comes upon us, he enables us to respond fully to the truth and reality of who God is and who we are in relationship to God with all we are and have. If there is part of us that is not yet responding, whether it be body, mind or heart, the Holy Spirit works to bring us to the point that we respond in all that we are. The Spirit does not divide us. Rather, he heals and makes us whole, giving us human integrity before our Lord and God.” ―Gary Deddo

Conclusion:

“The doctrine of the Trinity means that relationship, that fellowship, that togetherness and sharing, that self-giving and other-centeredness are not afterthoughts with God, but the deepest truth about the being of God. The Father is not consumed with Himself; He loves the Son and the Spirit. And the Son is not riddled with narcissism; he loves his Father and the Spirit. And the Spirit is not preoccupied with himself and his own glory; the Spirit loves the Father and the Son. Giving, not taking; other-centeredness, not self-centeredness; sharing, not hoarding are what fire the rockets of God and lie at the very center of Gods existence as Father, Son and Spirit.”
— C. Baxter Kruger —

Our Father’s Hope For All: In God The Holy Spirit! Part 7

Part 7A:

Part 7B:

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Main Bible Verses: Luke 24: 44-49 Acts 1: 1-11


Introduction:

“Meantime in all its waiting and expectation the church is commanded by its Lord to lift up its head in thanksgiving and joy, for its ‘redemption is drawing near’. The church of the risen Lord has no right to be a prophet of gloom or despair, for this world has been redeemed and sanctified by Christ and he will not let it go. The corruptible clay of our poor earth has been taken up in Jesus, is consecrated through his sacrifice and resurrection, and he will not allow it to sink back into corruption. Hence the whole creation groans and travails waiting for the manifestation of the sons of God, looking forward with eager expectation to the hour of final liberation and renewal in the advent of its risen savior. The church must learn to take into its mouth the good news of the resurrection and new creation, for that must be its primary note, one of limitless joy and thanksgiving. That is how the church began its mission at Pentecost where the dominant emphasis in all its preaching was the resurrection of the crucified Christ and the astounding fact that because of Christ the Spirit of God himself was poured out upon men and women. They knew that the last times had overtaken them and that they were caught up in the onward and outward thrust of the resurrection of Christ toward the new creation in which all nations and peoples and all times would be brought to share. The involvement of the church in the suffering of mankind must never be allowed to stifle that supreme note of resurrection triumph or to smother the eschatological joy at the astounding events that have broken into history and pledged for mankind the final day of regeneration.” – Thomas Torrance

Theological Theme:

‘Truly our fellowship (koinonia) is with the Father and with his Son Jesus Christ.’ The early church fathers expressed this by saying that he who was the eternal Son of God by nature became Son of Man, our brother, that we ‘sons (children) of men’ might become ‘sons of God’ by grace–in him and through union with him. Thus, whether we are Jews or Gentiles, ‘through Christ Jesus, we both have access by one Spirit to the Father’ (Eph. 2:18).” –James B. Torrance

Christ Connection:

Our consolation is that God has become man in Jesus, and has taken up our Fallen Human nature that we might share in his healed human nature! And Jesus making it through His human life and having the victory means your making it through and having the victory IN HIM! In the very birth, life, suffering, death, resurrection, ascension and final appearing of Jesus we see that God has not allowed anything that He cannot redeem, perfect and make it work out for His good purposes! Therefore Jesus ascends to the right hand of the Father and sends us His Spirit that He might return in the Spirit with Whom He is One. In and through the Spirit Jesus remains here with us till he returns bodily to transform these mortal bodies into glorious and immortal bodies, strengthening us to participate with him in hope.

Missional Application:

“On the basis of the eternal will of God we have to think of every human being, even the oddest, most villainous or miserable, as one to whom Jesus Christ is Brother and God is Father; and we have to deal with him on this assumption. If the other person knows that already, then we have to strengthen him in that knowledge. If he does not know it yet, or no longer knows it, our business is to transmit this knowledge to him. On the basis of the knowledge of the humanity of God no other attitude to any kind of fellow man is possible. It is identical with the practical acknowledgement of his human rights and his human dignity. To deny it to him would be for us to renounce having Jesus Christ as Brother and God as Father.” – Karl Barth, The Humanity of God, p. 53. Atlanta: John Knox Press, 1982.

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Marriage: Profound Mystery About Christ And The Church! pt.1

Part 1A:

Part 1B:

Full message:


Scripture: John 14:6 1 Cor 6:17 Ephesians 5:31-32


This Message Series:

Living Into This Challenging Christian Life With Jesus! #12

Introduction:

 “Paul’s governing insight was that all relationships between persons or groups of persons are to be informed, moved and regulated and so disciplined by God’s agapē love, provided as a gift of grace to his people. This love purifies and cleanses and repurposes the natural loves: family love, marital love and friendships. That love is first demonstrated in the relationship between the Triune Persons, seen concretely in Jesus in his relationship with the Father. Secondly, it is seen in Jesus’ words and deeds towards all he came in contact with. That love culminated in Jesus giving his life for us in his crucifixion and resurrection, ascension and promised return. So, every word and act of the members of his body in relationship to each other are to be moved and measured by conformity to and even sharing in God’s kind of love……it is only as we share in and live out of our relationship to Christ and his love that we are able to relate to one another in ways that bring about a fruitful unity and diversity in loving relationship, fellowship and communion.” —Gary Deddo

Theological Theme:

“Christian marriage is grounded in God‘s [Father, Son and Holy Spirit] own creative activity. The basic unit of creation is not the individual human being, male or female, but Man and Woman as one Man, one flesh. ln marriage God completes His creative act. in making man and woman one flesh and through them creating new life. When a man and woman marry they partake of God‘s creative completion of their being. and so in marriage man and woman do not have to do only with one another, but have to do with their Creator. “—T. F. Torrance

Christ connection:

“Jesus Christ is the one Word of God in, by and for whom humanity is constituted. He alone reveals God’s will for human life and flourishing. Consequently, marriage ought primarily to be understood christologically. The Church therefore rejects as false all efforts to ground its doctrine and ethics in sources apart from and besides this one Word of God. Such efforts threaten to turn an institution or relationship into an idol, an anti-Christ.”Jason Goroncy

When it comes to identity, you are not the sinful acts you perform. Your identity is firmly grounded in Christ. In Christ, you are a true person and human being. That is who you REALLY are. The attacks we experience in our day are not just on us and our family, on nature, on creation, on the universe or on the church. It is an attack on Jesus Christ, the Lord of heaven and earth. When we have received the Spirit of God, we’re in union with Jesus Christ and have been sealed with the Holy Spirit so, by nature of that union, that attack is coming at us too.

Therefore, when we talk about ANY challenge of life, Jesus is the answer and because HE is also the LIGHT, and the WAY, we MUST talk about ALL subjects, more specifically, Marriage, Singleness and Sexuality only in the light of HIM. 

Missional Application:

As Christians we worship the Father, through the Son, in the power of the Spirit. We then witness to him that all may turn to Him, receive his Spirit and live in union and communion with Him. We seek in His power to glorify Him in every part of our nature and in every relationship!

“This ongoing ministry of the Holy Spirit is essential for our participation in relationship with God on the basis of Christ’s ministry. The Spirit is the one who, in the proclamation and our hearing of the Word, gives us freedom to respond, who delivers to us the desire and willingness to repent, believe and trust Christ, and thus to receive the forgiveness God has, in Christ, already extended to us, and to receive the power to become and live as the adopted children of God that believers are….

Most particularly, life in the Spirit of Christ looks like a joyful, free “obedience of faith” in God through Christ that works itself out in following the many commands, imperatives and exhortations and correctives addressed to the church found throughout the New Testament. It involves a deliberate and purposeful participation in ministry as worship and witness that follows the patterns and priorities set out in the New Testament as enabled and gifted by the Holy Spirit. We can summarize all this under the heading of the Great Commandments of love for God (with all we are and have) and love for our neighbors (as God’s representatives)” —Gary Deddo

Conclusion:

1) Christian Marriage has to do with both people worshipping The Lord in a covenant.

2) A marriage is not just about the marriage itself- “the happening”.

In the Bible, marriage is placed within the structure of the Covenant between God and man in which God revealed the inner basis and purpose of the creation. Marriage involves people in a way of life that is rooted beyond itself in the eternal Will and Truth of God and because in the sexual union of man and woman in marriage they are concerned with God‘s act, sexual acts outside that union are a sin against the Lord. Those who indulge in them are playing with God, and prostituting to their own selfish ends God’s creative act which constitutes the basic unity of man.” – T.F. Torrance

Psalm 51: 4 “Against you, and you alone, have I sinned; I have done what is evil in your sight. You will be proved right in what you say, and your judgment against me is just.”

Sin is sin against The Lord who created it the way HE wanted it to run, as a mirror image of HIM. If you indulge in something against the way of The Lord you are adhering to your own selfish ends and going against God’s creative acts which constitute the basic unity of man.

The way God designed creation it is what brings people together and holds us together and makes us whole. To do anything contrary to that is to destroy one another and to destroy the unity which we are seeking to have in Christ.

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Toward Faithfulness In The Gospel!

Audio – Part A: 

Audio – Part B: 

Full Message:


Scripture: Galatians 2:11-21 Romans 6: 4   Isaiah 55 Matthew 18


Introduction:

Are you living life well in Christ so that people know who Christ is by how you are living?

As a part of his ministry to the church, the apostle Paul wrote letters to churches to teach, encourage, and rebuke. In a rebuke to the Galatian churches, he shared how he confronted the apostle Peter for being two-faced, or hypocritical. Peter acted one way with one group of Christians and another way with a different group. Peter’s hypocrisy wasn’t a small problem though. When he chose to separate himself from Gentile believers, he implicitly denied the truth of the gospel by his actions. This was why Paul had to step in and challenge Peter to reflect the truth of the gospel to others through his actions. Paul’s challenge reminds us that our salvation rests in our faith in Christ alone. Christ’s death in our place, followed by His resurrection, is the basis of our salvation, not our own works.

Theological Theme:

It matters how we live this life in Christ because it matters to God —[Father, Son and Holy Spirit]. We have been called to a new life, we have been called to live a faithful life in the gospel because it is the only way to live out this challenging life. When we’re not immersed in the gospel, other things can become our truth therefore when the truth of the gospel is at stake, we must take a strong stand.

1) Faithful living in the gospel requires us to speak the truth in love to one another in line with the gospel!

Christ Connection:

When Peter chose to separate himself from Gentile believers, he implicitly denied the truth of the gospel by his actions. Paul’s challenge reminds us that Christ alone is the source of our salvation and faith is the sign of it. Christ’s death in our place is the basis of our salvation, not our own works.

2) Faithful living in the gospel means we’re justified by faith in Christ and not by any actions of our own!

“The gospel is the good news, that the privilege of getting right with God (what Justification means) was purchased when Christ died for our sins and rose again and that the only way to enjoy this privilege is to live by faith IN The Son of God who loves us and gave himself for us.” —Pastor Richard Andrews

“The gospel of justifying faith means that while Christians are, in themselves still sinful and sinning, yet in Christ, in God’s sight, they are accepted and righteous. So we can say that we are more wicked than we ever dared believe, but more loved and accepted in Christ than we ever dared hope—at the very same time. This creates a radical new dynamic for personal growth. It means that the more you see your own flaws and sins, the more precious, electrifying, and amazing God’s grace appears to you. But on the other hand, the more aware you are of God’s grace and acceptance in Christ, the more able you are to drop your denials and self-defenses and admit the true dimensions and character of your sin.” –Timothy Keller

Missional Application:

Worries about our image and people-pleasing can create conflict when we have to choose between pleasing ourselves or someone else instead of pleasing God. Relationships matter. Scripture teaches that. But when the truth of the gospel is at stake, we must take a strong stand.

God, through His Holy Spirit, calls us to stand our ground and refuse to compromise when the truth of the gospel is at stake.

“Self-image, the concept we have of ourselves, must begin not by looking in the mirror but by looking into the face of God.”  –Sam Storms

Conclusion:

3) Faithful living in the gospel is only possible when we are in Christ!

Peter’s hypocrisy in withdrawing from eating with Gentile believers in Antioch probably didn’t seem to be that big of a problem, but Paul saw it for what it really was—a threat to the gospel proclaimed and lived. For this reason, Paul was quick to confront Peter and remind him of the gospel—the gospel that has brought all who trust in Christ into one family of faith.

When we reflect on Paul’s rebuke of Peter, we need to see ourselves in the shoes of each one. Has God placed us as a “Paul” to help correct and guide someone else to live out and declare the gospel faithfully? Are we willing to take a bold and firm stand for truth because of our love for God and that person? Will we act on that?

But at the same time, we need to look deeply within ourselves and see if we are living like Peter in any way. Are we asking the Holy Spirit to give us sight to see our blind spots, any prejudices or wrong views of others and any ways we are not declaring and living the gospel faithfully? Do we have people in our lives who will confront us in grace and truth when we succumb to hypocrisy, and are we listening to them?

May we be faithful Pauls and humble Peters as we strive to live holy lives in faith in the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Christ-Centered Clarity On Sex And Marriage! Part 2 (Our Christian Foundation)

Part 2A:

Part 2B:

Full Message:


Bible Verses: John 14: 6 Ephesians 1-3 Revelation 19: 9 James 4: 13


This Message Series:

Living Into This Challenging Christian Life With Jesus!

Introduction:

This series reinforces that the Christian Life is living out and manifesting the reality of our union and communion with the Father, through Jesus (the Son), and in the Holy Spirit in every part of our humanity! Our purpose in life is to be one with God! Despite our sin and weaknesses, the Lord strengthens us in our relationship with Him by the Spirit as we trust Him for it! When our Lord Jesus Christ reappears gloriously, we too will be glorified and fully blameless in Him! Until Jesus’ reappearing, the Christian life is a challenging life —lived out only in union and communion with the Father, through the Son and in the Holy Spirit!

Theological Theme:

The foundation, even for understanding and participating in marriage, is the Gospel of the Triune God! That foundation is stated in our primary mission, vision and strategy when we gather as the Church to worship God-Father-Son-Holy Spirit. A Christian Marriage is based on each partner having a relationship with The Father, through The Son, and in The Holy Spirit, therfore our Mission and Vision is to love and know Jesus Christ and love our neighbor as ourselves in participation with Jesus. We’re about worship and witnessing to that Good News in Christian marriage and we witness that good news in 2 ways—

  1. By meeting regularly with Christ’s Body, the Church.
  2. By witnessing to each other and reminding each other of The Father, Son and Holy Spirit through worshiping the Lord together by praying for each other, hearing His Word proclaimed in scripture together – and in responding to that word together in many and various ways, especially relationally.

This is the basics of Christian because in Jesus Christ it has been revealed that the Father-Son-and-Holy Spirit is The Way, The Truth and The Life. This bases a marriage as something that is not law-centered but grace and relationship-centered. It has more to do with relational obligations of grace rather than the static obligations of law.

Our primary understanding of God is that He is The Father, Son and Holy Spirit. He is a RELATIONSHIP of Three Persons in One God Being, and One God Being in Three Persons — The TRINITY. Christian marriage particpates in and mirrors this!

Christ Connection:

A Christian Marriage has no possibility of existence apart from Jesus Christ! We rehears Ephesians Chapters 1, 2 and 3 to rehearse the foundational Christian thought that Jesus has always been the plan and purpose of humanity and in marriage! We share the basic structure of God’s plan which is noted as: TRINITY (expressed above)-ADOPTION-INCARNATION-SECRET/ MYSTERY-EDUCATION

2. ADOPTION: God-Father-Son-and-Holy-Spirit created us so that we could share in Jesus’ life with His Father by the Holy Spirit and become participants in God’s divine nature.

3. INCARNATION— In Jesus Christ, God became man, while remaining God which revealed that God is so gracious that where we have each failed in our relationship and obligations toward God and each, Jesus Christ has overcome and prevailed so that it is possible for flesh to particpate with Jesus in The Holy Spirit.

4. SECRET/ MYSTERY— The great mystery and secret behind all of life is humanity’s adoption into God’s Love and Life through Jesus, by the Spirit, and all of Grace!

5. EDUCATION — This is the primary teaching and learning of life – to experience the Father by sharing in Jesus’ life with Him in the Spirit, and to share in this love with other human beings and all creation.

Missional Application:

One of the primary ways we love our neighbors in this fallen world (even in Christian marriage) is to proclaim the gospel of the Father-Son-and-Spirit-God in WORD and DEED to those who don’t know Him, telling them the Lord Jesus and that HE is their Lord and Savior too. We call them to surrender to the Triune God and LIVE INTO something, not make something up. ALL humanity is called to LIVE INTO God’s Love and Life. It is challenging because we are NOT GOD; but we are not to be discouraged because we are only called to PARTICIPATE in Jesus’ doing of it through The empowerment of the HOLY SPIRIT! The Father is urging us to recieve His relationship THROUGH JESUS CHRIST by THE HOLY SPIRIT!

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