Archive for the ‘Scripture Paraphrases’ Category

The Preeminence Of Jesus Christ!

Part A:

Part B:

Full Message:


Bible Verses: Colossians 1:15-24 2: 3


Introduction:

What is the outlook you have in your life? Do you see Jesus?

How and what we see is so important for the life we live today, the relationships we have, and to the words we speak today. Our outlook/view is so important to our walk, ministry and testimony.

“We should be focused on The Father, Son and Holy Spirit and The God who is revealed in Jesus”

“We should be (given the context of the lives that we live today, given all things that we’re going through, through the tears, celebration, through the relationships, through the work and through the worry) focused on Jesus, who is supreme, who is central, and who is sufficient in and for all things, and for all times.”

Paul wrote the letter to the church at Colossae when he learned through Epaphras that heretical teachings were running through the church. Paul’s letter pointed the church to the person and work of Jesus Christ. The cross of Christ is not merely a theory for theologians to ponder; it’s a real-life, realtime reality that heals, restores, and reconciles. Through the cross, Christ reconciled us to the Father, reconciles all things in Himself, and reconciles us to one another.

Paul focuses on the reconciling work of Jesus and focuses our attention on reconciling in 3 different areas in our lives:

1. Christ is preeminent in His reconciling all things. (Col. 1:15-20).

2. Christ is preeminent in His reconciling us to God. (Col. 1:21-23).

3. Christ is preeminent in His reconciling us to one another. (Col. 1:24–2:3).

Theological Theme:

Through His work on the cross, Christ is restoring the world and reconciling us to God [Father-Son-Holy Spirit] and to one another.

Christ Connection:

Jesus is the preeminent one. Growth and maturity are firmly established on that precept.

“For everywhere He is first; above first; in the Church first; for He is the Head; in the Resurrection first.” –John Chrysostom

In prison, Paul encouraged God’s people by proclaiming the magnificence of Christ—His identity as God’s Son and His work on the cross to reconcile us to God. Christian growth and maturity does not take place through moving beyond the gospel to other Bible teaching but through continually refocusing our attention on Christ—who is the focus of the Scriptures and the head of the church

Missional Application:

God, through His Holy Spirit, calls us, as those who have been reconciled to God, to be heralds of reconciliation to the world.

Conclusion:

Just as Christ is preeminent in His reconciling creation, He is preeminent in His reconciling us to God, which He accomplished through taking on flesh and then laying His life down on our behalf. Because of the blood He shed on the cross, we are no longer alienated, hostile, and evil. That is the old person who has been put to death with Christ on the cross. In that person’s place, we have received new life, new identity, in Christ. And it is this new person who has been declared holy, faultless, and blameless whom Christ presents to the Father. This is the fundamental change of Christ’s reconciliation. He has undone sin’s curse. He has restored that which was broken. He has made right that which was wrong. He, not us, has accomplished this work of reconciliation. And this is why He receives all the glory of our salvation.

By the cross, Christians enter into a personal relationship with the Man of Nazareth who, being fully God and fully man, suffered with us, suffered for us, and suffers through us as we “weep with those who weep” (Rom. 12:15). The beams of the cross point us upward (Christ), downward (grounded in the faith), and outward (loving others). Be careful to keep those three beams together, for if we become deficient in one, the others will fall apart. May we proclaim a whole redemption through a whole Christ to a world that is not yet whole.

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Becoming An Ethically Responsible Christian Disciple! Part 4 (Our Christian/ Biblical Worldview)

Part 4A:

Part 4B:

Full Message:


Bible Verses: Colossians (various scriptures)


Introduction:

In Jesus, God’s Elect One, you and every other person you know have been elected/chosen to be at the highest place of honor and privilege possible for a human being, participating with Jesus in his union and relationship with His Father, in the Holy Spirit. In fact, all of what it means to be truly and fully human is seated, truly and mysteriously, with the Father, and in Jesus who share in our humanity. Jesus represents and substitutes for each and all of us human beings before the Father not so we don’t have to participate but so that we can, with him!

Theological Theme:

Because of the Reality of Jesus in our humanity, now glorified, we are invited and urged to share more deeply in in the humanity of Christ by the Spirit Christ than in the divided humanity of those who reject God! In the worshipful and relational way of Jesus, we who trust and believe in him, prioritize and live out the Great Command to love God with our all, first, and then, at His direction and lead in the Spirit, to love our neighbors as ourselves.

As the late George MacDonald has written: “God can no more than an earthly parent be content to have only children: he must have sons and daughters—children of his soul, of his spirit, of his love—not merely in the sense that he loves them, or even that they love him, but in the sense that they love like him, love as he loves. For this he does not adopt them; he dies to give them himself, thereby to raise his own to his heart; he gives them a birth from above; they are born again out of himself and into himself.” ― George MacDonald

Christ Connection:

There is a call from the Father for us to be different and to be transformed in Christ in the Holy Spirit; to begin and keep becoming and growing up in Him, right here and right now! To keep sharing in the mind of Christ about our world, that we are forever going to be relating with and oversee with Jesus in a larger more fulfilling way! We’re not in a pretend mode right now just because everything here on earth will one day be transformed! In believers, and by the Holy Spirit, Jesus has an earthly body that still resides in our present history, interacting with his Father and our neighbors in love. Obeying Jesus right now is as vital as it was vital when he actually walked the earth in his distinct human body because he is the Risen Lord and still has an ongoing and present ministry!

Missional Application:

Jesus, being our Great Ethic, has pointed out what it means to participate with him in relation to God and our neighbor:

A lawyer asked [Jesus] a question to test him. “Teacher, which commandment in the law is the greatest?” He said to him, “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the greatest and first commandment. And a second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.” (Matt. 22:35-40, NRSV)

As Dr. Gary Deddo points out in his article “Theological Ethics”:

“When we love God with all we are and have, there shines forth a reflection of it towards those who are not God. We love God because God first loved us (1 John 4:19). Our love for God is a response, the right and appropriate response, to God’s love for us. We first receive God’s love and we first love God. When we love the neighbor in the way God would have us, then like Jesus, we are passing on to others what we have received from God. Think of the offering of the Lord’s Supper and Paul’s words: “For I received from the Lord what I also handed on to you” (1 Cor. 11:23). In God’s economy, we can pass on only what we have first received. First things must remain first, otherwise, as C.S. Lewis reminds us, we will lose both the first and the second things.”

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Becoming An Ethically Responsible Christian Disciple! Part 3 (Our Christian/ Biblical Worldview)

Part 3A:

Part 3B:

Full Message:


Bible Verses: Colossians (various scriptures)


Introduction:

“How Do I Become An Ethically Responsible Christian Disciple?” That is the question this series is trying to answer as it lays the foundations of this sermon firmly on THE Foundation of Jesus Christ, Himself, in his Person and Work. As we face the “waves and pounding surf” of the bad philosophies and false ideas and ideologies of this world, we need not be shaken because our house is built upon a rock, THE Rock, Jesus Christ! We are encouraged by the Lord Jesus to be careful how we build. The Lord Jesus Christ in calling you to Himself in His relationship with His Father does so that you might know Him and, incredibly, share in his very mind with him! NOT sharing in a mind like his, but sharing in his very own mind, in the Spirit!

Theological Theme:

“Ethics” is a way of understanding how we are to relate to our neighbors, horizontally, in the light of Who Jesus is and Who we are in Him, as we seek to glorify the Father with Jesus! As those who trust him, Jesus Christ is our Ethic! When we are directly relating to God, that’s worship. When we are relating directly to our neighbor for God’s sake, that is ethics, or witnessing to and participating with the God we worship in His love toward others.

Christ Connection:

In one paradoxical way of putting it, Christian ethics are really the end of ethics as we once thought of them! We’re no longer centered on proclaiming a nice, neatly-packaged system of rule-keeping, laws or instructions, as if that is what the bible/Christian life primarily is. We’re now centered solely on the Rule-Keeper, the Law-Giver, and THE Loving Instructor – Jesus Christ, Himself! He is our Ethic! In an intimate relationship with Him he guides and leads us by the Holy Spirit, even in the minutiae of everyday living, that we might participate with Him in glorifying His Father in a human way! In Jesus we are becoming a repetition of Jesus and His Father in an earthly way by the Spirit!

Missional Application:

The Father sent his Son Jesus into the world because of his great love for the world. John 3:16. This love for the world is what we seek to participate in both within and outside the Church in participation with Jesus and the Father. This quote from Henri Nouwen is written with just this kind of love for others in mind:

“For Jesus, there are no countries to be conquered, no ideologies to be imposed, no people to be dominated. There are only children, women and men to be loved.” — Henri Nouwen

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Once Faithless, Now Faith-Filled!

Part A:

Part B:

Full Message:


Bible Verse: Hebrews 11: 1-12


Sermon Summary:

Are we living by faith? How do we live our lives as righteous people by faith? Romans 1: 17

“If we’re living our lives faith-filled, then we’re living out who we really are and understanding what we’ve been given in the newness of the life we’ve been given (in Christ) – We’ve been given reconciliation!”

“Our circumstances don’t dictate God’s love towards us and that’s what we’ve been clothed with – HIS LOVE! THAT is who we really are. So despite our circumstances we can really walk in this faith-filled life because of Jesus and who HE is. So we have to understand who he is and know who we are in him.”

“By faith, believers can live a life of sacrifice and consider mistreatment, torture and abuse from the world as worth suffering for Christ’s sake. Faith in Christ does not guarantee a carefree life but a life that is full of trouble and includes many demands to leave behind worldly pleasures and walk with God according to his will.”  –Tesfaye Kassa

  • We have to know WHAT faith is. – “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen”- Hebrews 11: 1-3(CSB)

“Faith is the connecting power into the spiritual realm, which links us with God and makes Him become a tangible reality to the sense perceptions of a person. Faith is the basic ingredient to begin a relationship with God.

Faith is the assurance that the things revealed and promised in the Word are true, even though unseen, and gives the believer a conviction that what he expects in faith, will come to pass. Faith is the tangible essence of what is hoped for – so tangible that the faith itself, is the evidence/reality of those things that are not yet visible. In other words, it becomes so tangible that you now possess it. It becomes a reality in the spiritual realm.” – Wikibooks

  • When it comes to faith, we have to know HOW to find it. – Romans 10: 17(CSB)

”Are you hearing about Christ? Faith comes by hearing the message about Christ!”

When we understand the WHO, WHAT and HOW of faith, then we can begin to LIVE by the faith of Jesus Christ! – Hebrews 11: 4-12

Theological Theme:

“By defining faith…as ‘assurance’ and ‘conviction,’ the author indicates that biblical faith is not a vague hope grounded in imaginary, wishful thinking. Instead, faith is a settled confidence that something in the future—something that is not yet seen but has been promised by God—will actually come to pass because God will bring it about. Thus biblical faith is not blind trust in the face of contrary evidence, not an unknowable ‘leap in the dark’; rather, biblical faith is a confident trust in the eternal God who is all-powerful, infinitely wise, eternally trustworthy—the God who has revealed himself in his word and in the person of Jesus Christ, whose promises have proven true from generation to generation, and who will ‘never leave nor forsake’ his own”–David W. Chapman

Jesus is the source and perfecter of our faith. “We can’t be anchored in anything or anyone else. God [Father-Son-Holy Spirit] IS THE SOLD ROCK – an immovable foundation!”

Christ Connection:

To the author of Hebrews, faith is the “reality” and “proof” of the existence of something that at the moment cannot be seen. This is why in Romans 4, Paul said that the Old Testament patriarchs were justified by their faith in the promise—a promise that was yet to be seen. These Old Testament saints hadn’t seen the object of their salvation (yet), but they trusted in God’s promise to one day provide it, which He did in Jesus Christ.

All the examples of faith in Scripture pale in comparison to the life of Jesus Christ, who for the joy that lay before Him endured a cross and despised the shame. Because of His work, the faith and hope of all who have gone before us will be fulfilled when He returns. We have assurance of the reliability of God’s promises.

While we find encouragement from this cloud of witnesses, we ultimately find that the pinnacle of enduring faith belongs to Christ Jesus, and we should emulate Him.

Missional Application:

Once we are in Christ, we are not finished with faith. Faith is not just the key to unlock the door of salvation; it is how we continue to work out our salvation so God [Father-Son-Holy Spirit] can produce in us and through us the good works He has planned for us. Living by faith is difficult, but God has called us to look at the examples of faith in Scripture—most notably that of Jesus— and draw courage from them as we focus on Christ and fulfill His will for our lives.

Just as it is grace through faith that saves us from top to bottom, it is grace through faith that sustains us beginning to end. We do not start anew in Christ by faith and then embark on a great “good works” selfimprovement project. No, we “walk by faith”

God, through his Holy Spirit, calls us to draw courage from the example of the faithful through the centuries as we fulfill God’s will and focus on Christ.

Conclusion:

Do we see God as the author and finisher of our lives?

Do we see him as the one who directs our steps and says “go left and go right”?

Do we see him as the captain of our ships – the navigator?

Do we see faith, active in our lives despite the obstacles that seem insurmountable in our own lives?

Do we hear God’s “Yes” and God saying “Do” as something that is tangible in our lives to really mandate how we live in our lives?

We must keep our eyes on Jesus. Every good work must be submitted to the glory of Jesus. Every spiritual discipline must be conducted as a means of deepening our friendship with Jesus. Every religious book read, every theological idea explored, every biblical doctrine studied must have as its aim a stirring of our affections for Jesus. It is only by focusing on Jesus that we will be able to endure in the Christian life and have a faith that lasts to the finish line….Jesus gave us the greatest example of enduring faith when He trusted in the Father during His journey to the cross. Jesus trusted in the Father throughout the greatest evil, the greatest hardship, ever. And He did so with the joy that lay before Him—the joy of obeying the Father and glorifying Him. Ultimately, it is Jesus who is able to present us blameless before God’s glory without stumbling. Let us fix our eyes on Him to the very end.

 “The foundation of the Christian life is repentance and faith. You never move on from that, but you do want to build on it.” –Matt Fuller

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What Are You Doing For Christ’s Sake? Part 1

Part 1A:

Part 1B:

Full Message:

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Bible Verses: Colossians 3: 17, 23 Colossians 1


Introduction:

God-Father-Son-Holy-Spirit does what He does for the sake of the other, He is other-centered. The Father does what he does for His Son. His Son, Jesus does what He does for His Father. The Spirit does what He does for the Father and Son. God in Christ gives Himself through His Son and the Spirit for humanity and creation.

Jesus is what it means for humans to glorify God and enjoy Him forever. To live as distinct persons with the character of Jesus Christ, in the communion of the Holy Spirit, is what it means to be a real human being! This is what we mean when we Christians say that Jesus is the Way, the Truth and the Life! His claim to fame as a man is the claim of being free for obedience to His Father, Whom He loves with all of His heart, soul, mind and strength that he might love his neighbor more than he loves himself!

The question then comes to us, and instructs us: SO, WHO ARE YOU BEING, AND WHAT ARE YOU DOING, AND WHAT WILL YOU DO FOR CHRIST’S SAKE?!

Theological Theme:

The heart and foundation of the Gospel is to be response-able with Jesus, to the Father, in union and participation with him in the Holy Spirit This is what it means to Worship God. Worship is to share with Jesus in His worship of God by the Spirit!

WHAT WILL YOU DO WITH CHRIST FOR CHRIST’S SAKE?!

Christ Connection:

THE STANDARD FOR HUMAN LIFE IS CHRIST JESUS, AND CHRIST ALONE!

IN THE MOST FUNDAMENTAL AND PERSONAL AND RELATIONAL SENSE, THEOLOGY AND CHRISTOLOGY are not your standard for life, DOCTRINE is not your standard for life, being full of good works IS not your standard for life, Good morals and ethics are not your standard for life! The Church is not your standard for life! And certainly, if those good thing aren’t your standard for life, then resisting God, sinning, self-centeredness, and the way of the world apart from Christ are most definitely not your standard for life either! JESUS (PLUS NOTHING) IS YOUR STANDARD FOR LIFE!

The Good News of The Gospel is that Jesus, as both God and Man in one person, is and always be, and should be at the center of your life. Jesus is your Lord and Savior who accepts you unconditionally where you are, no matter how foul, bad, rebellious you are or have been, but only to take you where he is going and to make a little Christ of you!

THE standard for your life is Jesus Christ alone and as such does warn us about rejecting him and his Father and the Holy Spirit. He does, in the Holy Spirit, teach us not to sin and he does help us become other centered rather than self-centered. As THE standard, Jesus Christ tells us that we do have victory over the spirit of the world and the world itself through our faith in him – Jesus Christ – THE standard, THE way, THE truth and THE life!

JESUS + NOTHING is YOUR standard for life so:

Q: What are you doing by the Spirit in the Father’s grace for Christ’s sake?

A: Your responses and participation with Jesus in his faith, hope and love by the Spirit is the Father’s gift to you that he might be glorified – reflected in your life to your ultimate joy! 1 Cor 13

Missional Application:

Jesus was sent to us by the Father to participate with him in his mission to draw everyone in the world to His Father and Himself. Jesus sends us the Holy Spirit that we may participate with him in going out beyond ourselves to others who do not know and receive him. WHAT WILL YOU DO FOR CHRIST’S SAKE?!

The ministry of the Holy Spirit is personal and personally transforming—it is dynamic and interactive, bringing about receptivity, responsiveness and participation. And the result is that we are on a journey towards spiritual maturity and full sanctification, being changed into the likeness of Christ. But this journey is not automatic, causal, or impersonal. It is not mechanically imposed on all believers, much less on all human persons (including non-believers). Since personal (subjective) receptivity and participation do make a difference, much of the New Testament indicates the differences it makes and encourages, exhorts and even commands us to be receptive to the Word of God and the ministry of the Spirit out of trust in God’s faithfulness through the Son and in the Spirit.” – Dr Gary Deddo

Conclusion:

Our personal response (or lack thereof) to God cannot undo the fact that Jesus is and remains Lord and Savior of all. The character and purpose, mind and heart of God remain just as they have been revealed in Christ. The finished work of Christ is never undone—God remains, in Christ, reconciled to all people, no matter their response. He has and holds out forgiveness for them, is ready to receive them back into fellowship with him, and in that sense accepts them. However, while God accepts them, he does not accept their rejection, their sin, their rebellion, but accepts them in order to do away with what is against them and against their participation in the reconciliation accomplished for them in Christ. Nothing changes that reconciliation (with all it means), not even a person’s complete or partial rejection of God’s gift. However, our personal response (participation) does affect the quality of our lived relationship with God and thus our personal experiencing of the benefits of Christ.– Dr Gary Deddo

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To Live Is Christ, To Die Is Gain!

Part A:

Part B:

Full Message:

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Bible Verse: Philippians 1


Introduction:

You exist because the Father of our brother, Jesus Christ, is determined to love you, and refuses to let any of us go! Nothing going on can outmatch or outwit the the Holy Spirit in His love for you and us! Indeed not! He came to save and empower you, and God alone has raised up and called a Church to be a peculiar people to keep witnessing to Him, even at the cost of its suffering and dying! As we do this we are salt and light that preserves and illuminates God’s cause and purposes on the earth.

Theological Theme:

Because God made and oversees the entire world, Christians can and should be involved in politics and can even, by God’s leading, participate in the organizations of this world such as Black Lives matter. We can be in but NOT OF the world as we seek to witness to it about Jesus Christ. In a relationship with the Father we can discern how we should vote as Christians and how it is we are to support a cause, whether Black Lives Matter or any other cause! 

Christ Connection:

As the King of all who is both God and Man in one person we are for and against politics in this world! We’re FOR Jesus who is King of all, and we’re therefore against all that Jesus is against, and against that which is against him! Primarily Jesus is against all that are against Him because he is for them! To be against Jesus is to be against ourselves!

We can and should also speak out about race but in the special Christian understanding that there is only one human race taken up by Christ into the Love and Life of the Father-Son-Holy-Spirit-God in Christ – Colossians 3:10-11! In him we have put on the new self. Those who walk with Christ in a trust relationship are being renewed in knowledge according to the image of our Creator. In Christ there is not Greek and Jew, circumcision and uncircumcision, barbarian, Scythian, slave and free; but Christ is all and in all. Because of that truth in Jesus we’re also against racism because all “isms” are idols – things abstracted from Jesus Christ!

Missional Application:

The goal of our Father for you is nothing less than a share in the life of Jesus Christ himself! The goal of our Father for y/our neighbors and all human persons is nothing less than a share in Jesus Christ himself; Nothing less than what God has revealed and fulfilled in Jesus Christ! Are you/we seeking his will or are you/we seeking y/our own will? Any starting or ending with ourselves is not the love of God, but is still self love. However, empowered by the holy Spirit we are called to trust in and participate with the self-giving God who reaches out to others, that they may know and relate with him too, so we live and share the Good News of Jesus and the God revealed in him in word and deed!

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We are All One In Christ Jesus!

Part A:

Part B:

Full Message:

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Bible Verse: Galatians 3


Introduction:

Jesus is the Anointed One, referring to the fact that He is the One Man Who has the Holy Spirit of God poured out on Him without measure, and is the One Who pours out the Holy Spirit on all flesh in Himself and upon all people outside Himself (possessing and assuming the human nature of all persons) that we might share in His union and communion with His Father!

Theological Theme:

The Father-Son-and-Holy-Spirit-God is the ground of ALL PEOPLE AND THINGS and the renewal of ALL THINGS IN JESUS CHRIST! As the Cosmic Christ He is fulfilling his promise to draw EVERYONE to himself through In the Holy Spirit, to the glory of the Father!

Christ Connection:

Jesus Christ is not only the anointed ONE, HE is also the ONE who pours out the SAME Holy Spirit on us, in flesh, as the Representative of ALL PEOPLE, and as the Substitute for ALL PEOPLE so that we can discover and become ourselves by the Holy Spirit’s empowerment. Jesus sends the Person of the Holy Spirit Who mediates Jesus to us so we can TRUST and relate with him, sharing in his union and communion with the Father;

Missional Application:

Because Jesus is alive as the Resurrection and continuing in his ongoing ministry to the Father, the Church enthusiastically remains on Mission with Him that all people would come to know, honor, glorify and enjoy his relationship with his Father forever and ever in the Spirit!!As Lesslie Newbigin has written: “Mission begins with a kind of explosion of joy. The news that the rejected and crucified Jesus is alive is something that cannot possibly be suppressed. It must be told. Who could be silent about such a fact? The mission of the Church in the pages of the New Testament is like the fallout from a vast explosion, a radioactive fallout which is not lethal but life-giving.”

The Church continues to call all people to repent and believe the Good News of Jesus because, realistically, the degree to which people are not found trusting Christ in a worship relationship and do not have him as their fundamental and primary vision is the degree to which something else, an idol and a false vision does have a grip on their minds, hearts and actions! The real problem is not that people don’t love their neighbors – the deeper problem is that people do not see or love God, the Father, Son and Spirit, with all their heart soul mind and strength! Nor do they trust or believe as primary that Jesus does stand in with and for them to make this so, on their behalf, and even if it doesn’t look like it! And the reason for that is that they have not yet received or need to receive even more deeply the Holy Spirit that Jesus sends!

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It’s Time For Jesus To Renew Your Mind!

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Part B:

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Bible Verse: Romans 12: 1-2


Introduction:

“There is no point in playing down the staggering significance of the incarnation and resurrection. God the Creator of the universe, transcendent over all time and space, has himself become a creature within time and space, the man Jesus Christ… within the measures and limits’ of our human historical existence, he is at work in immeasurable love defeating the forces of darkness, irrationality and evil within creaturely being where they are…entrenched. The eternal Word-and-Reason of God has become human flesh, personally penetrating into and participating in…our existence!!” – T.F. Torrance, “Space, Time and Resurrection”

It is better to think of this Christian life mainly as something that God will pull off by grace and not something that you will pull off by works. The Father, through The Son, by The Spirit, meets us in the world in which we live right now. In the middle of the mess. The Father and The Son have broken into our chaos, along with The Holy Spirit and every BREAK-IN by Jesus is a BREAK-WITH the something else that was creating the chaos and holding us hostage.

Theological Theme:

Father, Son and Spirit God IN GRACE has given HIMSELF AS GRACE to be among us and to lead us from wherever he is right now. You are the beloved child of God in Jesus Christ. The beloved child the Father always wanted. This is not possible to believe and receive part from receiving the Hoy Spirit and having Spiritual union with Jesus Christ. Our Father is not discouraged that you, personally, have not yet fully received this truth about yourself but, encouragingly, He has made provision in His Son, Jesus Christ, to receive all those things on your behalf and in your place, so that you can trust him and grow up into Him, increasingly, by His grace!

Christ Connection:

We are being called by Jesus to have our minds renewed. “We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the Champion who initiates and perfects our faith. This is possible because he has gone before us and “Because of the joy awaiting him, he endured the cross, disregarding its shame. Now he is seated in the place of honor beside God’s throne.” – Hebrews 12:2, and he sends us the holy Spirit.

There is not a year on this earth or a political situation anywhere where Jesus is not human now and king of the universe. There is not a minute of pandemic and panic-filled life that Jesus is not the Savior of the whole world. Jesus meets us first as The Word, as The ONE who speaks to us, who lovingly comes to us and embraces us, who speaks a word of grace and love and goodness and gospel to us about Who he is and also who we are in him.

Missional Application:

We have the Person of the Holy Spirit of God. The very Spirit of the Father and Son. The Holy Spirit is the way that God is. He is God’s exact characteristics being God of God himself. He shares with us the characteristics of Jesus The Son who is always giving Himself in self-sacrificing, self-giving love for the other for the sake of the Father. The Spirit is the answer to the questions: “What has Jesus done for us and done on our behalf?” “What is He doing for us now?  “How will that reach us?” “How will we participate with Jesus and what He is doing to glorify His Father, to honor Him?”

 The answer is: He is poured out on the human race and from Whom we are given grace and power from Jesus to receive him. All people everywhere are continually encouraged to turn from their sin, turn to Jesus and relate with him in the communion of the Holy Spirit, becoming the saved and adopted children of God.

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Once Slaves, Now Children!

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Part B:

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Bible Verses: Romans 8: 12-20 Romans 8:31-39


Introduction:

God the Father changes us in Christ. In exploring Romans 8, we see that Christians have undergone a radical
transformation from being slaves of sin and fear to becoming children of God who can live with full
assurance and hopeful anticipation that God is making all things new.

Theological Theme:

God [The Father-Son-Holy-Spirit] delivers us from slavery to sin and death, and He gives us life through the Spirit.

Christ Connection:

God’s people are in the process of being conformed to the image of His Son. We have been adopted into His family, no longer slaves to sin but children of God who call Him “Father.” Because of Christ’s work on the cross, we are welcomed into God’s family and are now coheirs with Christ, eagerly awaiting the glorious future He has promised.

Missional Application:

The Father calls us to rely on the Spirit’s power to put to death the deeds of the body and to follow His commands as His children.

Conclusion:

“Wherever the Holy Spirit dwells, His holy presence creates a hunger for holiness. His primary task is to magnify Christ (see John 16:14-15), and it is He who gives the believer a desire to be like Christ. In our natural condition we have no such passion. But in the Christian, the Spirit of God begins to carry out the will of God to make the child of God like the Son of God (see Rom. 8:29). And He who began this good work in the life of the believer ‘will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus’ (Phil. 1:6).” –Donald S. Whitney

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In Jesus, The Church Is The Spirit’s New Community!


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Bible Verses: Acts 2: 42-47 1Cor 7: 17- 24


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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