Archive for the ‘All Are Included In Christ’ Tag

What Are You Doing For Christ’s Sake? Part 2

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Bible Verses: Colossians 3:17, 23


Introduction:

Jesus, in his person and work, as God the Son who comes to live inside our humanity IS who and what it means for humans to glorify God and enjoy Him forever as human beings! He is the One true human being Whom the Father envisioned we would all share in to know him, glorify him, and enjoy him forever, in the communion of the Holy Spirit! To live as distinct persons from Jesus but in union with him, sharing in his character in the communion of the Holy Spirit, is what it means to be a real human being! This is what Christians mean when we say that Jesus is the Way, the Truth and the Life, and that we have received him in the Spirit! Jesus is the Way to the Father, the Truth of the Father, and the Life of the Father in flesh. His claim to fame as a human being is his claim of being free for obedience, in relationship with His Father. As the True Human Being, he loves the Father with all of His heart, soul, mind and strength and, at the Father’s direction and pouring out of the Holy Spirit upon him, he loves his neighbor as himself, and more than he loves himself! This means that most of Jesus’ life is spent on attending to others in love and that he is not primarily self-centered, loving himself! He is primarily Father-centered and then centered on others at the direction of the Father.

Because Jesus sends us his Spirit that we might participate with him in his human life, the question then comes to us, and instructs us: SO, WHO ARE YOU BEING, AND WHAT ARE YOU DOING, AND WHAT WILL YOU DO WITH CHRIST FOR CHRIST AND THE FATHER’S SAKE?

Theological Theme:

The heart and foundation of God’s Good News is Jesus Himself in our place as our Human Substitute and Representative Who glorifies and honors the Father in loving relationship! He sends the Holy Spirit to us so that we can now 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, Know God, Serve God, Have Jesus’ Peace and to share in Jesus’ actual Joy! Authentic, zestful, vibrant human life is for us to actually share with Jesus in His worship of God the Father in the Holy Spirit!

WHAT WILL YOU DO WITH CHRIST FOR CHRIST’S SAKE?! (THE FATHER’S SAKE?!)

Christ Connection:

You were created by the Father-Son-Holy-Spirit-God, you did not create yourself! The Father God says to you: I made you for me, to be aligned and matched up with me, and to dwell with me forever! I am of a particular way and type and style, utterly unique and incomparable – in all the best ways ever! Though you are not me, nor ever will be me, you are designed in such a way as to match up with me perfectly in my relationship as Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Because you each and all have sinned and turned from me, falling short of my glory, in grace and mercy, in compassion and at forgiveness, and at great cost to Myself, I have assumed and taken on your fallen human nature in My Son, Jesus!

Jesus continues his Father’s word to us saying, in essence: “In being human I have lived your life in alignment with our Father. In suffering, and at great cost to myself. I say to you that I have borne the cost of your turning from me by taking on your rejection and its consequences into myself, rejecting your rejection of me, and I have bent your fallen human nature into full and willing submission to my Father! In dying, I died your death, killing that which was killing you! Where evil had entrenched itself in you, and in places and ways you’ll never know, I have obliterated evil at its very being and source, and freed you from its bondage and malevolent presence and power. I have undone and am undoing what evil has done with lies and deception to undermine your great purpose to be eternally with me and my Father in the Holy Spirit as our adopted sons and daughters! In rising from the tomb on the 3rd day as THE resurrection, I have raised up and vivified and enlivened your humanity, renewing it in my own risenness. I have set your life and all of creation, personal and impersonal, on a whole new basis, a life of New Creation in Me! I have ascended and remain ascended right now with your reconciled and redeemed human nature and, in Me, you have complete and total victory over all the powers and principalities, over all pandemics, prejudices, and brutalities of every kind including police brutalities! In me and in my grace alone you have total victory over all broken Governments and powers, even if for awhile you must suffer and even die. 

The Holy Spirit of Jesus says to you “I mean what I inspired in Colossians 1:24 ‘You serve the Lord Jesus Christ’, the one and only Son of the Father Who is at the very center of your life’s being and activity, urging you to let go of your right to yourself and encouraging you to surrender all your rights to me! Let me love you and bless you, and free you from your self-centeredness and into Jesus’ overflowing life of Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness, Gentleness, and Self-Control! You can trust Me because I empower you! Will you trust me and BE empowered?!”

Missional Application:

As we share with other family, friends and neighbors this Good News of Jesus, we invite them as the Spirit guides to join us in having communion with the Lord even now – to sup with him and the Father in the Holy Spirit, and in His Faith, Hope and Love!

Here is a helpful thing to remember about the Lord’s Supper (or Communion, or the Eucharist), taken from Grace Communion International’s “We Believe” curriculum exploring the core beliefs of our Christian faith:

8.9 What is required of people when they come to receive the Lord’s Supper?
That in response to the proclamation of the Word of God, they come to receive the grace of God made available to all through Jesus Christ. They are to come to the Table with open hearts ready to be identified with Christ, ready to depend upon him, ready to follow him, ready to give up whatever stands in the way of living out of trust in him and in his Word to them. Coming to his Table, they will have repented of their sins and be ready to leave behind any sin that might be revealed even at the Table. They will come intending to follow the lead of the Holy Spirit to depend on Christ and his faithfulness. Above all, they will receive Christ anew, rejoicing in the gift of communion they can have with him and through him with the Father and the Spirit. They will do so looking forward to Jesus’ return and the coming of the fullness of the kingdom of God. (1 Cor. 11:27-32)

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Acting Out Jesus’ Faith Through Love!

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Bible Verses: James 2: 1-13 Jude 1: 20-25  Galatians 3:26  


Introduction:

God has called us to a life of holiness—to be a people set apart for the glory of God. [“So in Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith,” –Galatians 3:26 ], However, we were not saved to separate ourselves and settle around those with whom we are most comfortable. God’s kingdom will be filled with people from every tribe, tongue, and nation. The sounds of our eternal home will be permeated with beautiful, joyous voices of diversity. What better place to get ready for that glorious day than in our churches now?

“When the gospel enables us to live in love, even though we may have nothing else in common save Christ, it is a testimony to its power to transform a group of sinful, self-centered people into a loving community united by a common relationship with Jesus Christ.” –Mark Dever and Paul Alexander

Theological Theme:

God [Father-Son and Holy Spirit] has called Christians to speak and act as those who will be judged by the law of freedom.

It should be inconceivable for a Christ-follower to treat someone differently depending on his appearance as it is inconsistent with the character of the God whom we serve and to whom we bear witness. Romans 2:11 tells us that God shows no partiality. As image-bearers of God, salt and light to the world around us, our treatment of people should never depend on how they look, what they do or don’t believe, or what they can or can’t do for us.

Christ Connection:

We are to be set apart through our Christlike character, our mission-minded actions, and our biblical beliefs—all of which should drive us toward those who need Christ, regardless of their skin color, economic status, or political beliefs. Our individual lives are meant to be satellites of God’s glory to all people, reflecting the hope of the gospel and the message of mercy we ourselves have experienced.

When the early church was showing favoritism, James reminded believers of their identity in light of God’s mercy and judgment. The way we show our faith in Jesus Christ is by keeping the royal law and heralding His mercy over judgment, a mercy seen most clearly in the death of Jesus in our place. Because God has shown mercy to us through Jesus Christ, we are to show mercy to others.

Missional Application:

God, through his Holy Spirit calls us to show mercy, not partiality, by remembering that we are people who will be judged by God.

You and I are ambassadors of Christ—His representatives. And though there is great diversity within the global kingdom of God, there should be consistency within every family member of God. You, I, and the Christian halfway around the world ought to have the likeness of Christ in us, visible to a watching world. As the Spirit of God works within us to bring forth the fruit of our salvation, we bear the brand and “flavor” of our Savior. When we flesh out the work of the gospel—the internal transformation of our heart—our external attitudes and actions begin to bear the mark of a true Christian. The inward realities of our newfound righteousness become more and more apparent to those around us. And the more people see Jesus in us, the more He receives glory through our lives.

Conclusion:

Our existence, both now and for eternity, is to display the splendor and majesty of our King. But so many Christians are missing out on the opportunity to spread His fame to every soul around us, regardless of what they look like or act like. Let’s ready ourselves to spread the hope of Christ to all who cross our paths. Let’s let go of our sinful ways and instead embrace the impartiality of God. May we herald the holiness of our God through actions and attitudes laced with mercy and grace to the lost and dying world around us.

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To Live Is Christ, To Die Is Gain!

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Part B:

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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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Once “Works FOR God”, Now “Fruit FROM God!” (And by ‘God’ we mean The Father, Son, and Holy Spirit – God)

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Bible Verses: Galatians 3: 27-29, Galatians 5: 16-26


Introduction:

It’s possible to coerce or even force someone to do something, but for an action to be meaningful and fulfilling, it must be done because the person wanted to. This is the key difference between behavior modification and heart change, changing our actions versus changing our motivations underneath our actions. In the letter to the Galatians, especially concerning the fruit of the Spirit in chapter 5, Paul taught on GRACE, WORKS, and PERSONAL TRANSFORMATION in the light of the gospel. What we do certainly matters, but WHY we do what we do matters even more.

If you’re a Christian, you will obey because you want to obey, not because you have to. The Spirit of God living inside of us ensures it. We will bear good fruit. This doesn’t make us sinless, but it does make us sure of spiritual growth and it does make us more conscious and convicted of our sin. This Gospel-driven way of living means that we ourselves are a Gospel project, always being developed and shaped by the Gospel – Jesus! And it means that we are always acknowledging that the changes in us have not come primarily through our own efforts but through the Spirit of Christ working in us. We don’t get the glory. The Father does.

Theological Theme:

The fact that the gospel begins and ends with Jesus Christ, means that the gospel is PRIMARILY about the Father’s commitment to YOU! The Father receiving/ including YOU (our human nature) PERSONALLY into His love and life through Jesus and by the Spirit. The Father’s Faith and repentance on YOUR behalf in Christ. Secondarily it is about you being committed to Him and your faith and repentance towards Him.

Christians crucify the flesh and walk by the Spirit who, too, is God of GOD [ Father -Son and Holy Spirit]. The Spirit is the one poured out on Jesus Christ without limit, and the one who Jesus pours out on us human beings so that we might participate with Him in who He is and what He is doing. By the Spirit we participate with Jesus in His worship of The Father and in His witness to this world that His Kingdom is already in our midst, and that his rule and reign are yet coming in full!

Christ Connection:

In contrasting the works of the flesh with the fruit of the Spirit, Paul showed the Galatian church what it looks like to belong to Christ Jesus. To be crucified with Christ means to put away our fleshly passions and desires and to follow the Spirit.

Walking after Christ – with Christ, by the Spirit, means Christ leads and by the Spirit we follow Him and move in that same direction that He indicates. When we walk by The Spirit we go where He goes, we live how He lives and how He directs us to live. Walking by the Spirit can be frustrating but it doesn’t have to be that way because we have been gifted by God through Jesus and in the Spirit, to be able to see through the eyes of FAITH. If you are to walk by the Spirit you will need to spend more time with the Spirit, reading and studying and meditating on Jesus Christ through scripture by the Spirit. The Spirit mediates Jesus and Jesus will meet you in and through scripture by His grace.

“We are not to challenge and envy one another. We are to get down from our high chairs and start walking in the Spirit. The Christian life is not a balloon ascension with some great overpowering experience of soaring to the heights. Rather it is a daily walk; it is a matter of putting one foot ahead of the other, in dependence upon the Holy Spirit.” –J. Vernon McGee

Missional Application:

God calls us to follow the Spirit in humility as we develop Christian character that sets us apart from the world.

As the Holy Spirit produces the fruit of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control within us, we will also see that our external actions will change too. A person who is loving will act in love with others. A person who is joyful will act joyfully before others. Being leads to doing. And in this case, when we are changed to be more like God on the inside, we will live more like Him on the outside.

“It is in the midst of difficulties and hardships that we especially need the fruit of the Spirit, and it is in such times that God may especially work through us to touch other people for Christ. As we bear the fruit of the Spirit in our lives, others will see in us ‘the family likeness of his Son’ (Rom. 8:29, Phillips) and be attracted to the Saviour.” –Billy Graham

Conclusion:

The power of our obedience and the source of our holiness is not our own efforts but the effort of the Holy Spirit applying to our lives the finished work of Jesus Christ. It’s God who works in you to will and to work for His good pleasure! Your participation with Christ in his good works were ordained beforehand. The same gospel that empowers our conversion empowers our sanctification. It is Jesus who both authors and perfects our faith. It is God alone who is faithful both to start the work in us and to complete it. Jesus Himself is our Sanctification!

Of course, it’s not that we don’t expend any energy. We have to remember that “grace is not opposed to effort, but is opposed to earning.”  Instead, it is simply that the energy we use to obey from our hearts for the pleasure of God comes from God’s Spirit. Here is how Paul explained the source of righteousness in Galatians 5:22-26: “22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. 24 And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. 25 If we live by the Spirit, let us also keep in step with the Spirit. 26 Let us not become conceited, provoking one another, envying one another.”

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We are All One In Christ Jesus!

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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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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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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 God’s New Humanity!


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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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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:

Full Message:


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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.

Photo Compliments: https://dailyverses.net

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