Archive for the ‘God’s Gift’ Tag

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.

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

Part 9A:

Part 9B:

Full Message:


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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

Full Message:


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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:

Full Message:


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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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Living By The Spirit!

Full Message:


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Main Bible Verse: Ephesians 1: 13 – 14


Introduction:

How are we supposed to be living our lives in these times?

Scripture reminds us that we are sealed with the Holy Spirit who is the guarantee of our inheritance. “And you also were included in Christ when you heard the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation. When you believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession—to the praise of his glory.” Ephesians 1: 13-14

Theological Theme:

These times bring insecurity but God’s [Father, Son and Holy Spirit] great desire for His people is that we feel secure in His love and power. Therefore, the perspective we have of this life should not change as the Spirit leads us to Jesus Christ.  

God wants us to have an abundant life but we need to ask “what is our TRUE inheritance and what are we supposed to learn?’ Everything in this life may be unstable – We live in some very unstable times in our society but we are to live by The Spirit and not by our own ways.

Christ Connection:

John 3: 16 – God so LOVED US that he gave us JESUS. He is so passionate to having a people for His own possession that He gave us Jesus/His Son so we can be His possession, who live forever for the praise of His glory.

“By giving us the Holy Spirit, God seals or stamps us as his own at our conversion. And then the Holy Spirit continues to testify, authenticating the reality of this relationship by making us more and more like Jesus. The God who has thus authenticated this relationship will most certainly protect his people through trials and difficulties.” – Erik Raymond

Missional Application:

God sends us His Holy Spirit as a preserving seal to lock in our faith – as an authenticating seal to validate our son-ship, and as a protective seal to keep us out of destructive forces. God wants us to feel secure and safe in His love and power.

Conclusion:

If we are having insecurity issues in understanding that we are to LIVE BY THE SPIRIT and WALK ACCORDINGLY, then we need to read scripture and remind ourselves, “The Spirit gives life; the flesh counts for nothing. The words I have spoken to you—they are full of the Spirit and life.”Acts 14: 22    and we need be in fellowship “strengthening the disciples and encouraging them to remain true to the faith….”John 6: 63

Circumstances will dictate other thoughts and you can forget who you are in Christ, what The Father did through His Son, and what that means for YOU but no matter how hard you are on yourself we have to be reminded that God has CHOSEN YOU and has REDEEMED YOU!

“To be sealed with the Holy Spirit is the gracious gift of God, whereby he demonstrates the authenticity of the believer’s relationship with him and his authority, ownership, and commitment to his people.” – Erik Raymond

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Toward An Enduring Identity!

Part A:

Part B:

Full Message:


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Main Bible Verses: 1 Peter 2: 1-17


Introduction:

We are each a part of the body of Christ. Chosen by God, receivers of great mercy, we have been given a new identity that we are to work out in our lives. With Christ as our foundation and example, we’ve also been given a new purpose and calling to be set apart for the work and glory of God.

Theological Theme:

The church is a sign and instrument of the kingdom of God—Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, constituted and commissioned by Jesus Christ.

Each of the four preceding descriptions of the church—a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, and a people for God’s possession— reminds us that we are fundamentally different from the world. We are, as Peter put it, strangers and exiles in this world. This is our new identity in Christ, and it is from this identity that our changed behavior should flow. Who we are should always be the root of our behavior.

Christ Connection:

The early Christians faced persecution and experienced suffering for their faith in Christ. Peter reminded them of their identity as God’s people—formed by Christ and sent out on His mission. United to Christ, the One who suffered for us on the cross, Christians can expect God to use suffering to make us into the image of His Son.

God has graciously provided a solid foundation for us to experience His goodness for eternity. That foundation was laid through Christ’s obedient life, sinless sacrifice, and powerful resurrection, and by faith in Him, we can stand firm on it……Peter teaches about the enduring, living hope we have through Christ. He records glorious truth after glorious truth about the gospel—the work of Christ on our behalf so that we might enter into a permanent relationship with God…..Since the great mercy of God has rescued us and given us a living hope and an imperishable inheritance, therefore, we take action. It’s important to understand that if the sole purpose of salvation were to rescue you from eternal damnation, there would be no reason for you to continue to exist in this world. Our lives are about more than our individual deliverance. We remain on this earth to be stones of grateful testimony who declare the salvation of our glorious Lord to every one who will hear.

Missional Application:

God, through his Holy Spirit calls us to be an otherworldly people for the good of this world, to stand against the world for the sake of the world.

One key to living out our new identity and purpose is to understand our new citizenship. We cannot live out the call to be holy with one foot immersed in the patterns and conduct of the world and another in the lifestyle of Christianity. This is a false reality for the two are incongruent with one another. Even the goodness of the world and the social norms that might jive with our biblical worldview cannot be our goal. The world does good in order to be seen as good. The Christian does good in order to point to our good God.

“Advance in the Christian life comes not by the work of the Holy Spirit alone, nor by our work alone, but by our responding to the grace the Holy Spirit initiates and sustains.” –Donald S. Whitney

Conclusion:

We have been saved with a great purpose. Yes, we personally benefit from the rescue we’ve received, but ultimately, our salvation is not about you and me. The glorious reality of our redemption is to be proclaimed for the sake of those who still yet need it, all for the glory of our Redeemer. Therefore, we must take seriously our calling to live an otherworldly life. With our feet firmly planted on the bedrock of Christ’s character and provision, we get to live out our calling as a child of God, with all the hope of an eternal future with our glorious King.

Our Father’s Hope For All: In The Forgiveness Of Sin! pt.6

Part 6A:

Part 6B:

Full Message:


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Main Bible Verses: Luke 24 Luke 7: 36-50


Introduction:

“Our Father’s hope for all: In The Forgiveness Of Sin” has primarily to do with relationship and how relationships work. It is not some static fact apart from actual relationship. When we say Resurrection, we mean God’s forgiveness resulted not only in the sending away of sin but RELATIONSHIP with JESUS in a RENEWED HUMAN NATURE by the Spirit. This message focuses in on the forgiveness/reconciliation that is ours because of Jesus, The Resurrection.

Theological Theme:

The Gift God gives us is The Gift of Himself. God doesn’t have anything else to give humanity but Himself, so the gift you have been given in The Gospel is God -The Father, Son and Spirit and relationship with Him. This is why Jesus personalized Resurrection saying that HE IS THE RESURRECTION – John 11:25.

John 3:16

Christ Connection:

The primary thing Jesus has been proclaiming is HIMSELF and Who HE IS. Because He is God the Son, the only begotten of The Father, then when He is with us, in our humanity, He is God with us, God for us, for our humanity!

What The Resurrection is proclaiming:

  • Jesus is God The Father for us (since He is One with the Father).
  • Jesus is The Holy Spirit in us (since the Spirit is One with He and the Father).
  • Jesus is God, having done something to our human nature. Jesus is literally inside our human nature and so God is intimate with us by the Holy Spirit in our human nature.
  • Jesus is God, transforming our human nature up close and personal – personalizing and humanizing us.

When we say JESUS, we are saying that in Him and because of His union with us as His creation, there is now a reconciled relationship that God has with all with creation. For Jesus to become human and to touch and heal humanity means that what God created but had fallen into sin has now been made right again, in Him, so that we can have hope now and fulfillment at Jesus’ Final Appearing! We receive in Christ the complete forgiveness of sin and at the same time the complete healing of the proper relationship between God and man, and all creation.

“The Gospel is as inclusive as Jesus’ Humanity” – Bobby Grow

Missional Application:

What sin is:

Because God is a relationship and has called us into His relationship, sin means our not believing in Him, the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Sin is our not trusting, or relating with Him. Sin is turning to something else other than The Father, Son and Spirit for your identity, for guidance in your life, for strength in your trials, etc. Sin is also the horrible motive of seeking to put God to death. Sin according to the scriptures is lawlessness meaning that it corrupts every part of our humanity in word and deed, and everything in between..

However, the one unchanging Truth of the universe is God and His love revealed in Jesus Christ. God is interested in us and in a restored relationship no matter that we have sinned and despite that we have done everything to mess up our relationship with Him. In His fantastic mercy and grace He has placed into the universe, and into His creation in Jesus Christ, THE FULLNESS OF THE FATHER SON AND SPIRIT IN FLESH! So Law in The New Testament is actually the Love of The Father, Son and Holy Spirit Revealed in the human nature of the Son. Since everyone has sinned, and Christ has undone our sin, every human has been forgiven of their sin and reconciled to God in Jesus Christ and, therefore, are each and all called to put their trust in Jesus and receive this forgiveness and reconciliation freely given to us!

Conclusion:

In The Resurrection Season, God The Father proclaims to you through His Son and in the Holy Spirit the forgiveness of all of your sins. Luke 24: 1-8

God wants all to participate in what Christ has done for us and to receive what is already theirs in Christ – THE FORGIVENESS OF SIN. The reason your sins are forgiven in Christ is because Jesus is “THE ONE FOR THE MANY”. Knowing Christ in His Resurrection means knowing the forgiveness of ALL your sins. Hear and receive this hope and proclamation of THE COMPLETE forgiveness of your sins because of Jesus, THE Resurrection, and because of Jesus’ Resurrection, bodily, from the dead!

“….Despite man’s sin, God is with him, the One who was in Jesus Christ reconciling the world, drawing man unto Himself in merciful judgment. Man’s evil past is not merely crossed out because of its irrelevancy. Rather, it is in the good care of God. Despite man’s life in the flesh, corrupt and ephemeral, God is with him. The victor in Christ is here and now present through His Spirit, man’s strength, companion, and comfort. Despite man’s death God is with him, meeting him as redeemer and perfecter at the threshold of the future to show him the totality of existence in the true light in which the eyes of God beheld it from the beginning and will behold it evermore. In what He is for man and does for man, God ushers in the history leading to the ultimate salvation of man.” ― Karl Barth, The Humanity of God

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Our Father’s Hope For All: In Jesus’ Reconciliation! pt. 5

Part 5A:

Part 5B:

Full Message:


Main Bible Verse: 2 Corinthians 5: 1-21


Introduction:

Celebrating Jesus as Our Resurrection

“Our Father’s Hope For All” emphasizes what Jesus’ reconciliation is for all, what it accomplished for all and how we, by the Grace of the Holy Spirit shared with us, can participate in what Jesus has done for all to the glory of God our Father.

According to T.F. Torrance (1992): “As our Representative and Substitute, Jesus Christ is our human response to God.’- T.F. Torrance: Union with Christ through the Communion of the Spirit

Theological Theme:

God – Father, Son and Holy Spirit, sent Jesus Christ to humanity so that whomever believes in him, trusts and receives Him, would not perish due to trusting in Jesus and in His power by The Holy Spirit. “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” – John 3: 16

“God loves you so utterly and completely that he has given himself for you in Jesus Christ his beloved Son, and has thereby pledged his very being as God for your salvation. In Jesus Christ God has actualised his unconditional love for you in your human nature in such a once for all way, that he cannot go back upon it without undoing the Incarnation and the Cross and thereby denying himself. Jesus Christ died for you precisely because you are sinful and utterly unworthy of him, and has thereby already made you his own before and apart from your ever believing in him. He has bound you to himself by his love in a way that he will never let you go, for even if you refuse him and damn yourself in hell his love will never cease. Therefore, repent and believe in Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior.”- (T. F. Torrance, “The Mediation of Christ,” 94)

Christ Connection:

Jesus Christ is “The Center Of The Center (of everything in Creation).” He is the world’s Lord and Savior. When you want to understand the central purpose for everything, you must look to Jesus Christ because, apart from Him, we can’t know anything as it should be known. We can’t know His Father, and we can’t know anything about his Holy Spirit, and we can’t even really know anything about ourselves or Creation.

Jesus is the Mediator between God and man. He is the One who mediates our humanity to God and who mediates God to fallen man. In total dependence we look to Him, look at life through Him, and receive along with Him His Father in the Spirit. Empowered by Him we look with Him beyond our own self-centeredness first to his Father and then in that love to our neighbors – loving them as we love ourselves and with the very love with which Jesus has loved us.

What Jesus did and does as The Resurrection is so that we might have a share in HIS LIFE, HIs Resurrection.

A life first filled with Jesus’s relationship with His Father in the Spirit. And then a life filled with his love for everyone and everything else.

Our identity lies only in Jesus Christ who has taken up our cause, our humanity, our human nature and Who alone has put us right before God, sending His Spirit that we might trust Him as the one and only source of life. JESUS – the center and core of our personal identity!

We are being encouraged by Jesus Christ, The Resurrection, to receive our new humanity in these feeble bodies now, while also looking with hope to the complete renewal of our human bodies in the future at His return. We are encouraged by our Father to prepare for the resurrected life in which we will be even more gloriously and fully human, in a human body, just like Jesus.

Jesus judged sin in sinful flesh. He killed sin thoroughly and by his life, suffering, death and resurrection. On the third day he raised up a new human nature and a new body in His resurrection. It is a humanity that is totally responsive to The Father in The Holy Spirit. This is what it really means to be a human being; what Jesus did, how He lives and responds in His human flesh.

Torrance (1986) writes: “Jesus Christ… embodies in himself what he mediates, for what he mediates and what he is are one and the same. He himself in the wholeness of his Person, Word and Act, is the content and reality of divine Reconciliation. He is the Propitiation for our sins; he is our Redemption; he is our Justification. It is in this identity between Mediator and Mediation that the living heart of the Gospel is to be found.” (pp. 475, 476)

Missional Application:

Every human everywhere has a great need for The Holy Spirit. The Spirit is the actual bond of love between the Father and the Son through whom it is possible for us to share in the love of the Father and Son. The Holy Spirit is also God of God and He is the One who makes Jesus and The Father known to us. He is the One who enables each person and all of us to trust Jesus. He is the One who empowers us to live with Jesus and to love our neighbors. In this time period where we can’t see Jesus, Jesus sends his Spirit to us to be an Advocate for us, to teach us what Jesus is doing so we can participate with Jesus, share in His power, and live transformed. We not only receive the Spirit personally, but encourage everyone else to do the same, for God desires all to be saved and to share in his love and life!

Conclusion:

When we declare that ALL are included, we are affirming:

Jesus Christ is Lord and Savior of ALL humanity.

Jesus Christ died to redeem ALL. He has atoned for the sin of EVERY single person. Through what He did God reconciled ALL people to Himself in Christ.

Jesus Christ is The Mediator between God and humanity.

Jesus Christ has made ALL His own by virtue of His redeeming work. He is for ALL and against NONE.

Jesus is The Judge of ALL so that none might experience the condemnation. His saving is done on behalf of ALL and that work includes His Holy and righteous responses to The Father in The Spirit. Responses characterized by repentance, faith, hope, love, praise, prayer, worship and obedience.

Jesus is in Himself EVERYONE’S justification and sanctification.

Jesus is EVERYONE’S substitute and representative.

Jesus is EVERYONE’S hope and life including eternal life.

Jesus is EVERYONE’S profit, priest and king.

ALL PEOPLE have been included in God’s love and life in and through Jesus Christ by The Holy Spirit.

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Marriage: Profound Mystery About Christ And The Church! pt. 4

Part 4A:

Part 4B:

Full Message:


Main Bible Verses: John 14: 6 Ephesians 5 I Corinthians 6: 17


This Message Series:

Living Into This Challenging Christian Life With Jesus! #15

Introduction:

The gospel can be summarized as participation with Jesus Christ. There’s nothing we have to make-up, or anything apart from Jesus, but only something that Jesus gives to us as a gracious gift as we walk with Him while He lives and does His life in and through us.

In light of Jesus and what has revealed to us about himself and who we are, the Christian life is a life of repentance. We are in a season of Lent –which means we remember our need to be in “dust and ashes” about the way we thought life was apart from Christ. Lent, then, is about something all Christians do and that is, REPENT. To turn from our way of thinking and receive what God has to say about us.

(SIDE-NOTE: Scripture: Job 42: 16Lent has to do with ashes because throughout the Old and New Testament ashes means humility and repentance.)

In this series, we’re coming into repentance about marriage because we think marriage is primarily about a husband and wife, our humanity, our own subjective marriages, but Paul is causing us to take more seriously that marriage is primarily about Jesus Christ (The Bridegroom) and His Bride (The Church). That is what marriage is really about. All our marriages are really signs pointing away from themselves to Christ, so we should not see our marriages here as ideal but see them as a real and true participation with Christ on earth as a sign. A sign that JESUS is really present in our marriages to lead them into their ultimate fulfillment in Him.

“Relying on God has to begin all over again every day as if nothing had yet been done.”― C.S. Lewis

John 14: 1- 6

Theological Theme:

The primary goal of Jesus as The Way, The Truth and The Life is to be in relationship His Father (God-Father-Son-and-Holy Spirit). Jesus wants us to know His Father and His Father’s heart as He has always known and will know His Father so that we may be more in union with Him and the Father in the Spirit. When we see Jesus, we see the Father at work and repent of forgetting the Father and the Spirit, but rather remember God in His distinction and relationship.

Christ Connection:

1 Corinthians 8: 6

We were created in, through and by for Jesus Christ. Being a Christian means to be in Christ, in union with Christ by the Spirit. God is One in Being and Three in Person so when we talk about marriage relationships we are ultimately referring to union with God, and getting our definition of love from Who God is revealed to be. Love is a WHO, not a what.

SIDE-NOTE: 1 Cor 6: 13-17 Ephesians 5: 29. These set of passages are to remind us that we are in union with Jesus Christ (with God in Him!)

God – Father-Son and Holy Spirit’s true image in flesh is Jesus Christ, not us or our marriages. We are made in the image of God’s Image (Jesus!) as man and woman together. Jesus is the Father’s Son, (not just The Son), in The Spirit. Jesus is The Mediator between God and man. Jesus is the true humanity. Jesus is the Bridegroom, so marriage, scripturally, has something more to do with the relationship of Jesus to His Body to His Church, more than it does us to each other in our distinct marriages. JESUS is THE TRUE SUBMISSIVE HUMAN BEING AND HEAD OF HIS BODY. HE is THE RESPECTFUL ONE. WE participate with Him in HIS submission and respect of the other by the Spirit.

THE OBJECTIVE GOSPEL:

Diagram From Sermon:

What’s true of everyone in Jesus Christ:

God took on ONE human nature that was the same human nature of every human. Jesus became sin for us, without sinning to deliver us and our nature from sin.

The three qualities of God:

  1. God is distinct – Father, Son and Holy Spirit
  2. God is equal – No one is above the other. No specific roles.
  3. God is Unity – Act as one. Can’t break them apart.

God made marriage and love to reflect His relationship in The Trinity. (The Father-Son-and-Spirit relationship)

What we are founded on:

Before everything was created, God had already decided that He would pay the cost and be crucified and resurrected in Christ for our sins.

  • Jesus is our wisdom for marriage and dating relationships.
  • Jesus is our Repentance – The great cost of forgiveness has already been anticipated in God’s mind. God is not counting our trespasses against us because of Jesus, so repentance is possible by The Spirit.
  • Jesus is our sanctification – He is the one who has made everything clean and clear again.
  • Jesus is God’s costly Grace – Suffering is included in inclusion.
  • Jesus is God’s unconditional love in your marriages.
  • Jesus is your Righteousness. – Our right relationships. God’s grace is greater that greatest sin that can occur in you marriages. Ephesians 2

Missional Application:

BASIC OVERVIEW:

What we know about God – Father-Son and-Holy Spirit is that there are two ways to be whole as human beings and to live in that relationship.

  1. Married person – which points to the relationship Jesus is going to have with His Father when He is married to the bridegroom (Church)
  2. To live as Jesus did; as a single person.

Life in God’s image as human beings is FEMALE and MALE. As we all draw closer to The Father through Christ and by the Spirit as male and female, we get closer to each other.

Marriages and relationships between male and female are a witness and a sign to Father, Son and Spirit so you must be in relationship with the opposite sex in order to be a human person in the glory of God. We are not required to be in an intimate sexual relationship with the opposite sex to be in the image of God, or to be fully human, but we must be in relation with the opposite sex, like Jesus also was, to be in the image of Jesus and to glorify God as one.

Male and female relationships are a witness and sign to the relationship between The Father, Son and Holy Spirit. This is what it means to be a human individual (one in relationship with the opposite sex) – That is what love is.

Marriage is also a witness and a sign of the relationship between The Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Marriage includes sexual intimacy, and childbearing. Sex in this relationship points to the fact that God is not only One but He indwells the other without becoming the other.

Photo Compliments: https://fiercemarriage.com/

Toward Unity In Christ!

Part A:

Part B:

Full Message:


Scripture: 1 Cor 1:10-31


“Faithfulness in the gospel necessitates a unity and fellowship of the body,”—Pastor Richard Andrews

Introduction:

“Unity in the church is vital to the success of the mission God has called us to. That is why Paul says: “Whatever happens, conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ. Then, whether I come and see you or only hear about you in my absence I will know that you stand firm in one spirit, contending as one person for the faith of the gospel” (Philippians 1:27).” —Ted Johnston

The Bible tells us that we have an adversary in Satan, who prowls about like a lion seeking someone to devour (1 Pet. 5:8). Satan loves to attack the body of Christ—the church—because he knows if he can get us isolated from the “herd,” he can take us down, making our moments unproductive for the movement of the kingdom of God.

God has commissioned the church to take the message of the gospel to the nations. We are to live out the gospel so that His glory is clear and undeniable. He has purposed to use us—you and me, as part of the local church—to build the kingdom. When we are united through the cross, we stand as an undeniable force for the gospel. But if we are divided, at best, we become ineffective at carrying the message of the cross to the lost world around us. At worst, we steal the glory meant to be given to our King.

God’s heart for us is to be a unified, powerful front against the schemes of the evil one. Not only is unity a critical line of defense, it is also crucial to our offense of carrying the gospel to the nations.

“Satan always hates Christian fellowship. It is his policy to keep Christians apart. He delights in anything that can divide saints from one another. He attaches far more importance to godly relationships than we do. Since unity is strength, he does his best to promote separation.” –Charles H. Spurgeon

Theological Theme:

Unity in the church must be grounded in truth, by the cross of Christ, and for the glory of God—[Father-Son-Holy Spirit].

“We can’t think of relationship and unity unless we think of who The Father, The Son and The holy Spirit are and how they have always existed in perfect harmony and unity forever….that means as the adopted ones who have been called into this relationship, that we have been called to unity with The Father, The Son and The Spirit forever.”—Pastor Richard Andrews

“Only at the cross do we see the love of God without ambiguity. Here is God’s farthest reach, His most ambitious rescue effort. God personally came to our side of the chasm, willing to suffer for us and with us. At the cross His love burst upon the world with unmistakable clarity. Here at last we have found solid reasons to believe that there was a genuine connection between God and man.” –Erwin W. Lutzer

Christ Connection:

Paul addressed divisions in the Corinthian church by reminding believers that the gospel overturns human expectations and robs us of any ability to boast in our salvation. Jesus is our wisdom, righteousness, sanctification, and redemption; therefore, selfish boasting and divisions have no place among God’s people.

  • Unity is NOT in human personality.

As Christians, we have unity and purpose in Christ. (1 Cor. 1:10-17)

  • Unity is NOT found in human wisdom.

Our hope is in Him (Jesus Christ) and NOT in ourselves. 1Cor 1: 18-25 Proverbs 26: 12 ESV

The world’s wisdom sees the cross as foolishness, but God made the world’s wisdom foolish through the cross. The cross was God’s plan to provide forgiveness for sinners who could not find forgiveness on their own. It is through faith in what is preached about the cross—Christ crucified—that people can be saved. True wisdom is to recognize this and trust in Christ. True foolishness is to reject the cross.

  • Unity is NOT found in human accomplishments.

“Jesus is our everything. We are made strong by Christ in our weakness. In Him we accomplish and in Him we achieve.” —Pastor Richard Andrews 1Cor 1: 30

Gratitude and humility drive us toward unity together. When we truly grasp the depth of our sin and the breadth of God’s love for us, we will see people through the lens of this same love. When we rally around the work of Christ at the cross—an act of glorious grace from God—there is absolutely no room for boasting in anyone but God. Pride in any part of us is an act of forgetfulness. We cannot glorify God and ourselves at the same time. 1Cor 1- 26-31

“By the Father’s doing, believers have an identification ‘in Christ’. Because of this they possess the wisdom of God—Christ crucified, the very essence of wisdom. Through this wisdom, believers have justification at God’s court, sanctification that allows their entrance into his presence, and ultimate redemption.”  –F. Alan Tomlinson

Missional Application:

“God’s people are a diverse group. We come from varied backgrounds, races and economic and educational levels. We have different tastes, preferences and needs. How can such a diverse group have unity? By God’s Spirit that binds us together.” —Ted Johnston

God, through His Holy Spirit calls us to strive for unity in the church in order to showcase the beauty of the cross and the truth that Christ alone is the source of our salvation.

Too often we approach the body of Christ to be served by it. We’re tired and weary. Sad and lonely. Needy for refreshment and encouragement, significance and affirmation. The church does serve as the hands and feet of Jesus, and we should receive such ministry and love from the church, but if our mind-set is mostly about what we can get from the people of God instead of holding on to a humble heart of service, we have it all backward. Jesus Himself came not to be served but to serve (Mark 10:45), and this example of humility is what begins to unify us. So when we’re tempted to demand our own way and assert our preferences to serve our own needs, we miss the unifying purpose of the church: to glorify God and make known the name of His Son, Jesus, through a lifetime of Spirit-filled living.

Conclusion:

“It is hard to imagine, but Christians can actually find themselves doing things in the name of the gospel that are absolutely contrary to the gospel. Many Corinthian believers had fallen into such a predicament. They had aligned themselves against one another, using human wisdom and persuasive powers to support their divisive ways. Paul’s response to this situation cut straight to the heart of the matter. To divide the church on the basis of human wisdom is to oppose the gospel of Christ. The true gospel does not rely on human wisdom, but on the power of God received through faith in the death and resurrection of Christ.” –Richard L. Pratt Jr.

In 1 Corinthians 1:10-31 we are given direction and truth to guide our hearts and conduct toward unity. Our unity must be grounded in biblical convictions, not popular personalities. The wisdom and power this world has to offer cannot stand against the wisdom and power displayed at the cross, which shows us that our unity is furthered as we boast only in the wisdom and power of our glorious Lord.

Though we are loved, cherished, and highly valued through the sacrifice of Jesus, Christ walked obediently to the cross to glorify His Father first and foremost. We too must follow in the footsteps of Christ and walk in purposeful obedience to glorify the Father in our daily lives.

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