Archive for the ‘Participation with Jesus Christ’ Tag

Grace To A Runaway Slave!

Part A:

Part B:

Full Message:


Bible Verse: Philemon 8-22


Introduction:

In his short letter to Philemon, Paul made an appeal for oneness and unity in Jesus Christ. He placed himself in the middle of a broken relationship between Philemon, a slave master, and Onesimus, a runaway slave. Contained within this story of reconciliation, grace, and de-exaltation is the gospel itself. A slave himself, Paul urged Philemon to consider love—not law, duty, or obligation. His instruction to receive Onesimus as a brother, not a slave, challenges us to evaluate our pride and align our perspectives of others with Christ’s perspective. In this letter, Paul helps us reflect on the racial, radical, and redemptive reconciliation Christ offers.

“The salvation secured by Christ in the gospel is more comprehensive than justification alone: it brings repentance, wholeness, love for brothers and sisters in the Christian community.” –D. A. Carson

Outline:

1. Appealing to Love, Not Obligation (Philem. 8-14)

Like Philemon, love is to be our motivation for obeying God in all things. We can easily fall into the trap of obeying God primarily out of obligation. We obey because we have to. We know we should. While this is certainly true—God has given us commands, not suggestions in Scripture— obligation cannot be what prompts our obedience. Love must be.

Jesus said, “If you love me, you will keep my commands (John 14:15). Love fuels obedience; obedience verifies love. A steady diet of love fattens obedience, but obligation will starve it at some point. This is why Jesus fused the two together. Our love for God produces obedience that pleases Him and also brings Him glory as the world around us sees us joyfully obey.

2. Accepting a Brother, Not a Slave (Philem. 15-17)

Love all men, even your personal enemies, not because they are brothers but in order that they may be brothers, in order that you may always burn with brotherly love, whether for one already become a brother or for an enemy so that by [your] loving he may become a brother.” –Augustine

3. Anticipating Grace, Not Duty (Philem. 18-22)

If we as Christians only obey God out of a sense of obligation or duty, then we commit the sin of the Pharisee: righteousness without right-heartedness. God desires that our obedience come from the heart.

After committing adultery with Bathsheba, David discovered, “The sacrifice pleasing to God is a broken spirit. You will not despise a broken and humbled heart, God” (Ps. 51:16-17). God cannot overlook a broken heart. He collects them, tends and mends them. Duty is a harsh master, but through the cracks of a broken spirit, the Holy Spirit enters into us and distributes grace to every limb. Paul had a broken heart when he penned his letter—a heart that Philemon could heal by demonstrating the grace of Christ to Onesimus. “Refresh my heart in Christ,” he instructed (Philem. 20).

Theological Theme:

Christian reconciliation models the cross of Christ.

Contained within this story of reconciliation, grace, and de-exaltation is the gospel itself – a gospel that regardless of background, skin color, class, or cultural difference unites God’s [Father-Son-Holy Spirit] family members and demonstrates the reconciling power of the cross. Christian unity is not about sameness; it’s about oneness.

Christ Connection:

When Paul appealed to Philemon on behalf of the runaway slave Onesimus, he placed himself in the middle of their broken relationship. In order to make peace, he volunteered to pay Onesimus’ debt. Through this action, Paul modeled Jesus Christ, who is the peacemaker between God and sinful humanity. By volunteering to pay our debt, Jesus reconciled us to God and to each other.

Missional Application:

God, through his Holy Spirit, calls us to live as peacemakers who reflect the heart of our crucified Savior.

Conclusion:

Jesus once promised that He would “go away and prepare a place for you” (John 14:3).

After the toils of life are over, God will declare your emancipation also. Like Paul, you will escape “this body of death” (Rom. 7:24) and abscond to your mansion in glory—a home where “neither moth nor rust destroys” and “where thieves don’t break in and steal” (Matt. 6:20). This future home is what should motivate us today. Because we anticipate entering Christ’s presence and basking in His love and grace as His brothers and sisters, we give to others today what we will receive then. It is the least we, all former slaves to sin who are now one family in Christ, can do for one another.

“We have but one leading aim, to which it is our deliberate and unreserved desire that every thing else in which we are concerned may be subordinate and subservient—in a word, that we are devoted to the Lord, and have by grace been enabled to choose him, and to yield ourselves to him, so as to place our happiness in his favor, and to make his glory and will the ultimate scope of all our actions.” –John Newton

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The Preeminence Of Jesus Christ!

Part A:

Part B:

Full Message:


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


Introduction:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Theological Theme:

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

Christ Connection:

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

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

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

Missional Application:

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

Conclusion:

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

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

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The Most Important Priority For Everyone Everywhere! Part 1 (Our Christian/Biblical Worldview)

Part 1A:

Part 1B:

Full Message:


Bible Verses: Colossians ( Various Scriptures)


Introduction:

Over the past few Gospel messages we’ve been sharing in the mind of Jesus Christ by reading through the book of Colossians and seeking to grasp all that the Father inspired to be written for the Christians living there under His leading! We have been beholding the complexity of the Father, Son and Spirit’s oversight and purpose for everything, everywhere! Understanding His loving care and concern for our faith, hope and love in Him!  Trusting Him for His loving care and concern for His Church, His Kingdom, and the World at large. Receiving His loving care and concern for all created things as Reconciler and Redeemer of each and all of us who have been negatively impacted by evil and are in a state of recovery from the Fall in Christ our Lord!

We’ve been seeking to understand and have God’s view of what it means to live in and amongst all this complexity, even as the Colossian church members were, too! We are hearing the call of the Lord to continue to let the Truth of our Being (Jesus Christ!) be the Way of our Being, participating with him in his earthly historical life!

Theological Theme:

In Astounding and Inclusive Love the Father has sent and given humanity His Son and Word (Jesus), and gives us His Holy Spirit, that all of humanity might share in His Fellowship as Father, Son and Spirit! How do we receive, trust and live out this relationship in the complex situation going on around us? How do we honor and love God and neighbor while we are still in a becoming state of being more like Jesus? In Colossae, and like us, they were believers who are seeking to relate with Jesus and seeking to understand the Jewish/Christian connections of faith in Jesus Christ! At the same time they are also working, living, and breathing in a particular secular culture that had businesses, educational institutions, gossip, industry, various religions, and therefore various idols and powerful influences that threatened to attack and undermine their faith and trust in Christ!

“Human beings are fallen and therefore subject to temptation and being deceived by evil influences. Fallen, we are also inveterate self-justifiers seeking to maintain our own autonomous righteousness (ethics) apart from the gift of God received by repentance and faith upon hearing the proclamation of the Gospel of Jesus Christ by the ministry of the Holy Spirit.” – Dr. Gary Deddo.

Abba, Father, help and save us through this tension through our Lord Jesus Christ, by Your Spirit!

Christ Connection:

The Good News of the Gospel is that Christ has already overcome this tension, and our fallenness, through his obedience to His Father by the Spirit, from inside our broken human nature. He has turned our human nature around and back to the Father! From his place of Ascension as a glorified human being he now sends, and we receive freely, the Holy Spirit he sends from the Father, giving us a share in his overcoming power through his very own faith and trust poured out in us!

“For the Lord touched all parts of creation, and freed and undeceived them all from every deceit.”
― St. Athanasius, On the Incarnation

Missional Application:

Jesus is the only hope for all, not just Christians! As Jesus encounters and empowers us believers in our relationship with him, we call upon pre-believers to place their faith and trust in Jesus by the Spirit – calling on them to repent, be baptized, deny themselves and pick up their cross, following Jesus!

“The problem of pursing a life of moral faithfulness is not simply a matter of discerning what God’s will is—as if simply knowing it, figuring it out, takes care of it. The barriers are much greater. No earnest pursuit of moral faithfulness to Jesus Christ will come to fruition unless the Holy Spirit in conjunction with the Word of God, breaks down our resistance to the Word and the Spirit and kills our self-justifying pride that resists repentance and faith in Jesus Christ and his Word.” – Dr. Gary Deddo

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

Part 4A:

Part 4B:

Full Message:


Bible Verses: Colossians (various scriptures)


Introduction:

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

Theological Theme:

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

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

Christ Connection:

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

Missional Application:

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

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

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

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

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

Part 3A:

Part 3B:

Full Message:


Bible Verses: Colossians (various scriptures)


Introduction:

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

Theological Theme:

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

Christ Connection:

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

Missional Application:

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

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

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Becoming An Ethically Responsible Christian Disciple! Part 2 (Our Christian/ Biblical Worldview)

Part 2A:

Part 2B:

Full Message:


Bible Verses: Colossians (various scriptures)


Introduction:

Because Jesus Himself is our Ethic (our humanity living properly among his neighbors and glorifying the Father), ethics is the free gift of God given to us in Jesus Christ. Christian ethics are not a way to earn God’s love or a way to earn salvation through human works and achievements. It is the gift of participating with Jesus in his human life by Grace! Jesus is God’s Grace to us! Ethics is what it means to participate with Jesus in living his life in this world by the Spirit!

Theological Theme:

You begin life as a child but only so you can grow up into an adult. Similarly, through your union and participation with Jesus, by the Spirit, you are in the state of growing up and becoming a little Christ who glorifies the Father.

Christ Connection:

Jesus is the One Who stands in our human place and lives life in this world with our human nature and on our behalf in a renewing way that brings and gives us revitalized human life, destroying sin completely. He Himself, then, is our Ethic. He is the way we are called to live! Jesus is our proper human response to God and our neighbor! He is the only true Learner of God, and the only human fully obedient to the Father, AND he was and is this so that we might participate with him, glorifying the Father!

Missional Application:

As members of Christ and as people in this world, Christians have a dual citizenship. We have a complex responsibility – the response-ability of Christ, by the Spirit, to be equipped for the works of Christ’s service in the spheres of the Church, the Kingdom, and the State. The goal and mandate is to prioritize our relationship with God, and then, at his direction and under his authority over all, to love everyone, pointing them, through his mission, to him that they too may be in union and participation with him.

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

Part 2A:

Part 2B:

Full Message:


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!

Part A:

Part B:

Full Message:


Watch On YouTube!

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!

Part A:

Part B:

Full Message:

Watch On YouTube

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 Slaves, Now Children!

Part A:

Part B:

Full Message:


Watch On YouTube

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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