Archive for the ‘Reconciled To God’ 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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Our Father’s Hope For All: In Relationship With The Trinity! Part 8

Part 8A:

Part 8B

Full Message:


Watch On YouTube

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 —

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