Archive for the ‘repentance’ Tag

No One Can – Except The Lord Jesus!

Part 1A

Part 1B


Scripture: 1 Corinthians 3:16


Introduction:

We’re in the season of Lent, biblically, walking with the historic Jesus as he fights for us against everything that is against us, including the evil that exists in this present evil age! And rather than just focusing on “giving something up” or even “taking something in”, we proclaim to you the Gospel of Someone, namely Jesus, and the Father-Son-Holy-Spirit-God revealed in Him. We proclaim not ideas to you but Someone Who loves you, meets you, and acts on your behalf that you might know Him, call on Him and participate in His action with Him! And in announcing Him we announce His Kingdom that is breaking in now and that will take over everything fully someday! And we do it with him as a source of your encouragement, and reorientation, and warning! We keep calling on you in participation with him to repent and believe this Good News and to enter, by grace through faith, this active relationship with Jesus and the Father you were created for!

Theological Theme:

In Jesus’ conception, life, suffering, death, resurrection and ascension we see the great mercy of God to give us all time to see him, to learn of him, accept him, know him, rethink/act, and join sides with him before he returns for His final judgment! There is coming a point-of-no-return for everyone, including you, at some point! And the questions stand before you: 1.) Who do you say Jesus is? And Whose are you? and Whose world/creation is this?

Christ Connection:

In the light of Who Jesus is Revealed to be, and what he has accomplished on our behalf that
every person might share in his relationship with his Father by the Spirit (John 17:3, John 16:13-
15), you must not underestimate the priority of the Who question. As “Christ”ians we don’t
believe that just anyone could be and do who Jesus is and what he did in his birth, life, suffering
and death, resurrection, ascension and coming again. We don’t believe that just anyone
could achieve the same outcome/s. Jesus is the unique and only Begotten of the Father
(John 3:16). He is the only human Mediator between God and man (1 Tim 2:5). He is the only
one to whom every knee will bow and tongue confess that he is Lord (Phil 2:9-11) This
“Who” is in contrast to the popular “What?”, “How?”, “When?”, “Where?” and “Why?
questions that often claim priority in our lives. (You know what we mean: What will be done about these
troubling political and social issues!? How long will the world continue to suffer racial
discrimination and injustice!? When will this physical, mental or emotional pain end!? Where is that stimulus check??? Where is the man or woman with the real leadership solution to this COVID mess, and why is it taking so long to get understood, organized and solved!? (this year we especially felt the pressure of those questions and issues.)

Missional Application:

Because this is the Son’s world, the Father’s world, and the world of the Holy Spirit, and They, in Christ have done everything to give us life and godliness – and have done everything to pull off every good thing for us, we share this Good News with everyone we can, inviting them to place their trust in God and be his fully devoted son or daughter by the Spirit, in participation with Jesus!

Photos compliments: quotesbeste.blogspot.com, Dr. Gary Deddo,

JESUS: The Most Important PERSON and TASK For Everyone! Part 5 (Jesus’ Crucifixion / The Biblical Worldview)

Part 5A:

Part 5B:

Full Message:


Bible Verses: Mark 15 Psalm 22 Isaiah 53


Introduction:

On this Transfiguration Sunday we are reminded that the Whole God Father Son and Holy Spirit loves you/us so much that he has suffered for you/us in the Life of the Son made flesh! The Father-Son-Holy-Spirit-God loves you so much that together, in Their utter Oneness, Each distinct Person somehow shares in the humanity of the Son of God in Jesus (only the Son became human!), having suffered for you and having resisted all evil and every temptation on your behalf and in your place! In Jesus, Who sustains you from within his own human nature, you have victory over all evil principalities and powers. Even your present sufferings cannot and will not prevent you from receiving your victory in Christ! Christ’s victory is so full of the glory and love of God that you will consider your present sufferings to be light in comparison to the glory you will receive! Whereas sin and evil have no future, you have an immortal and eternal life to look forward to with Jesus in His eternal relationship with the Father Son and Holy Spirit. Jesus Transfiguration is a picture of our transformation in Him!

Theological Theme:

On one hand is the non-relational, unfeeling god of our sinful imaginations; the God more interested in law and punishment and sin than he is interested in us. On the other hand is the One and only True God – Father-Son-Holy-Spirit – Merciful and compassionate! The Relational, loving God revealed in the Person of Jesus! The triune God WITH US & FOR US despite our sin! The God Who includes us all in His Life & Love, permanently, in Jesus – Who atoned for the sins of the world!

Christ Connection:

Do you have this great vision of the Gospel before you????? You are being made fit for eternal life, and by God-Father-Son-Holy-Spirit you WILL be fit with the spiritual muscle of Jesus Who has transformed our human nature in His own, turning it back fully to the Father. Our Father does nothing halfway! In Christ and by the Spirit you are becoming who and what you really are and you will be that (or you won’t be at all!) The death of Jesus means the death of death, and a nature turned from God and corrupted now turned back to God in a glorified and permanent way.

Missional Application:

As believers in union with Jesus Christ, and in the light of Who He is and what He has done, we proclaim and witness to others not yet in spiritual union with Jesus that, as George Hunsinger has well-stated “There’s always more grace in God, than there is sin in us!”, therefore, repent and believe, receive the Good News and enter a trust relationship with the Father, through the Son and in the Holy Spirit!

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

Part A:

Part B:

Full Message:

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


Introduction:

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

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

Theological Theme:

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

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

Christ Connection:

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

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

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

Missional Application:

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

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

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

Conclusion:

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

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

Photo Compliments: http://www.antiochpeople.org

We are All One In Christ Jesus!

Part A:

Part B:

Full Message:

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Bible Verse: Galatians 3


Introduction:

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

Theological Theme:

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

Christ Connection:

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

Missional Application:

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

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

Photo Compliments: juniaproject.com

It’s Time For Jesus To Renew Your Mind!

Part A:

Part B:

Full Message:

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Bible Verse: Romans 12: 1-2


Introduction:

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

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

Theological Theme:

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

Christ Connection:

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

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

Missional Application:

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

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

Photo Compliments: https://dougaddison.com

Once Slaves, Now Children!

Part A:

Part B:

Full Message:


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


Introduction:

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

Theological Theme:

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

Christ Connection:

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

Missional Application:

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

Conclusion:

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

Photo Compliments: http://www.pandasecurity.com/

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


Part A:

Part B:

Full Message:


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


Introduction:

Because Jesus Christ, the Father’s Son has come and lived, and suffered, and died, and risen from the dead, and ascended into heaven, in our glorified humanity, sending the Holy Spirit to us,  a new world order has been inaugurated from the Father, through Jesus the Son, and in the Holy Spirit! A new humanity is breaking in and rising up in believers who share in the responses of Christ in the holy Spirit, through Jesus, and to the Glory of the Father! This New Humanity, or New Creation, breaking into our present is what it means to be a part of the Church, a part of the Father-Son-and-Holy-Spirit-God’s New Community!”

Theological Theme:

“There can be no doubt, however, that the New Testament is pervaded with the joyful sense of God’s actual presence in Jesus Christ, and with the realisation that the coming age has already broken into the present and overlaps it. That is precisely the good news of the gospel, that here and now in Christ Jesus God is present in all his royal power, not only to speak a word of pardon but actually to enact it and fulfil it in the liberation of the children of God.” – T.F. Torrance

Christ Connection:

“…when we do hear God’s voice through Jesus Christ, It calls us out of ourselves into community with God and man. And then individual Gospel and social Gospel become all one. We can’t separate them, without killing both, and running away from God…God was incarnate in Jesus Christ, and He created in the world a new community – the fellowship of the Holy Spirit – to draw us out of ourselves into community with God and man, for our own salvation and the salvation of the world.” – Donald Baillie

Missional Application:

“And if you, my friend, feel your heart pierced, in this your day and generation, by the woes of your fellows, that is perhaps the beginning of God’s work in your heart, saving you from yourself, drawing you out of yourself, into a life worth living, where you wiIl be lifted above your own temptations and defeats by the enthusiasm of the service of God and man, in the Community of the Holy Spirit. God is beginning that work in you – let Him have his way.” – Donald Baillie

The scriptures indicate what Salvation in Christ sounds and looks like in Acts 2:

36 Therefore let all the house of Israel know with certainty that God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Messiah.”

37 When they heard this, they were pierced to the heart and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, “Brothers, what should we do?”

42 They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching, to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread, and to prayer.

43 Everyone was filled with awe, and many wonders and signs were being performed through the apostles. 44 Now all the believers were together and held all things in common. 45 They sold their possessions and property and distributed the proceeds to all, as any had need. 46 Every day they devoted themselves to meeting together in the temple, and broke bread from house to house. They ate their food with joyful and sincere hearts, 47 praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. Every day the Lord added to their number those who were being saved.”

Photo Compliments: http://www.pinterest.com

In Jesus, The Church Is God’s New Humanity!


Part A:

Part B:

Full Message:


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Bible Verse: Acts 2:42 – 47 Romans 8


Introduction:

Because Jesus Christ, the Father’s Son has come and lived, and suffered, and died, and risen from the dead, and ascended into heaven, in our glorified humanity, sending the Holy Spirit to us,  a new world order has been inaugurated from the Father, through Jesus the Son, and in the Holy Spirit! A new humanity is breaking in and rising up in believers who share in the responses of Christ in the holy Spirit, through Jesus, and to the Glory of the Father! This New Humanity, or New Creation, breaking into our present is what it means to be a part of the Church, a part of the Father-Son-and-Holy-Spirit-God’s New Community!”

Theological Theme:

“There can be no doubt, however, that the New Testament is pervaded with the joyful sense of God’s actual presence in Jesus Christ, and with the realisation that the coming age has already broken into the present and overlaps it. That is precisely the good news of the gospel, that here and now in Christ Jesus God is present in all his royal power, not only to speak a word of pardon but actually to enact it and fulfil it in the liberation of the children of God.” – T.F. Torrance

Christ Connection:

“…when we do hear God’s voice through Jesus Christ, It calls us out of ourselves into community with God and man. And then individual Gospel and social Gospel become all one. We can’t separate them, without killing both, and running away from God…God was incarnate in Jesus Christ, and He created in the world a new community – the fellowship of the Holy Spirit – to draw us out of ourselves into community with God and man, for our own salvation and the salvation of the world.” – Donald Baillie

Missional Application:

“And if you, my friend, feel your heart pierced, in this your day and generation, by the woes of your fellows, that is perhaps the beginning of God’s work in your heart, saving you from yourself, drawing you out of yourself, into a life worth living, where you wiIl be lifted above your own temptations and defeats by the enthusiasm of the service of God and man, in the Community of the Holy Spirit. God is beginning that work in you – let Him have his way.” – Donald Baillie

The scriptures indicate what Salvation in Christ sounds and looks like in Acts 2:

36 Therefore let all the house of Israel know with certainty that God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Messiah.”

37 When they heard this, they were pierced to the heart and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, “Brothers, what should we do?” 

42 They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching, to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread, and to prayer.

43 Everyone was filled with awe, and many wonders and signs were being performed through the apostles. 44 Now all the believers were together and held all things in common. 45 They sold their possessions and property and distributed the proceeds to all, as any had need. 46 Every day they devoted themselves to meeting together in the temple, and broke bread from house to house. They ate their food with joyful and sincere hearts, 47 praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. Every day the Lord added to their number those who were being saved.”

Photo Compliments: http://www.redemptionchurch.org

Jesus Says To You, “You Know The Way Church!”

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Part B:

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Bible Verses: 1 Cor 8: 1 Luke 18: 9-14 Luke 12: 8 Acts 2:42-47


Theological Theme:

Jesus continues to share through His earthly Body – the Church – what he said in John 14: 1“Don’t let your heart be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in Me. 2 In my Father’s house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I am going to prepare a place for you? 3 If I go away and prepare a place for you, I will come again and take you to myself, so that where I am you may be also. 4 You know the way to where I am going.”5 “Lord,” Thomas said, “we don’t know where you’re going. How can we know the way?”6 Jesus told him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. 7 If you know me, you will also know my Father. From now on you do know him and have seen him.”

Christ Connection:

“While there were contenders, pretenders and usurpers who had no power nor will to create or give life, Jesus has overcome, has vanquished, all enemies who refused his reign. As the incarnate agent of the Father in the power of the Spirit, this Son opposes all that opposes his good creation and God’s good purposes for all creation. The strength of his opposition to all that would maim and destroy his good creation and deviate from his glorious ends is proportional to his love for his good creation. Were he not to oppose that which would undo his creation, he would not be its loving Lord. This Jesus with his heavenly Father and Holy Spirit is implacably opposed to all evil that distorts, twists and destroys life and loving relationships in fellowship first with him and in turn with each other and creation. To bring about his original ultimate purposes, all opposition to his rule and right must submit in repentance or be undone. Evil has no future in the kingdom of God.” – Gary Deddo

Missional Application:

Oh how relevant this message of Jesus is to the people of all times and our own times. A time in which the Holy Spirit is still being poured out upon men, women and children right in the middle of a wicked and corrupt generation! And Jesus’ disciples are still encouraged to call all of his brothers and sisters to repent because of the forgiveness of their sins in Him, a call to receive the Holy Spirit! And not only a call to be saved from their sins but to be saved FOR God and also saved for love toward their neighbor! [But who will believe our report and to whom will the arm of the Lord be revealed? John 12:38] = Those who will receive the great abundance of the Lord’s forgiveness!!!

Photo Compliments: http://www.livingwatercloverdale.com

Whoever Has Been Forgiven Much, Loves Much!

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Part B:

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Main Bible Verses: Luke 7: 36-50 Acts 2: 36-41


Introduction:

The Father-Son-Holy-Spirit-God revealed in Jesus Christ is the God of Love and is therefore a forgiving God! In the birth, life, suffering, death, resurrection, and ascension of Jesus we see God at work to forgive and overcome sin, sending it away and reconciling all to himself. In the way Jesus lived, the things he said, and the way he thought and spoke we understand what forgiveness really is and means for human beings.

Theological Theme:

We are each and all called to participate in receiving God’s gift of forgiveness, and participate with Jesus in being reconciled back to his Father and our neighbors! This proclaims to us the Good News that forgiveness is first something God gives to us a gift which enables us to repent and then share his forgiveness with others. So, we don’t have to repent in order to be forgiven, rather we are forgiven and enabled to repent!

Christ Connection:

Jesus is the True and Fully Human Being. When we want to see and know most clearly what God’s love really looks like in a human being and what his purpose and plan is for us we look to Jesus Christ! WE LOVE because HE first LOVED US. WE FORGIVE BECAUSE HE HAS FORGIVEN US. What Jesus gave us was not only himself as an individual but, in and through the Holy Spirit, he gives us the opportunity to participate with him in his human nature.

“We put our trust in God because of who Jesus Christ is. And he himself is the grace of God towards us. He is the Gospel. He himself is our salvation. And we receive all the benefits of who he is as we trust in him and cast aside (repent of) all other rival objects of trust. We then enjoy our union and communion with him as our Lord and God. Our lives are united to Christ and we share in his life, we participate with him in all he is doing and will do in and through our relationship of trust or faith.” – Dr Gary Deddo

Jesus Christ took on our broken humanity, healed it and raised it up NEW so that he shared in his renewing humanity. He performed a great exchange. He shared in OUR POORNESS so that we could share in HIS RICHNESS! He shared in OUR BROKENNESS so that so that we could share in HIS HEALED HUMAN NATURE! He shared in the temptation of our unforgiving nature and, resisting it with his forgiving love, gives us the same opportunity to resist our unforgiving nature through receiving his forgiving love.

Missional Application:

We are called as Jesus’ disciples to encourage God’s children tore forgiven in order that they, too, might REPENT because of the forgiveness of their sins by God the Father and receive the Holy Spirit. They will then not only be saved FROM their sins but also be saved FOR God and sharing God and his characteristics with their neighbor.

Conclusion:

Overflowing love and forgiveness toward others is the natural response to God’s forgiveness of us and the appropriate consequence of faith in him. However, only those who realize the depth of their sin can appreciate the complete forgiveness that God offers them and the share that with others. Having received this forgiveness we believers seek to share it freely with others because, in Jesus Christ, God has forgiven and rescued the sinful human nature of all people, whether those people are extremely wicked or conventionally good, even as we were!

Do you appreciate the wideness of God’s mercy? Are you grateful for his forgiveness?  Are you grateful for God’s forgiveness given to us in Jesus Christ?” If so, you will become more and more forgiving of others. Having received this forgiving love of Jesus we are now being compelled as ambassadors who are appealing to others (as if Christ was appealing through us!) to “Be reconciled to God”. “Receive his forgiveness!” The compulsion to appeal to others in love “to repent, turn to Christ and be reconciled” should outmatch any anxious cry and plea to “turn before you burn” because God’s grace is greater than our sin! Although God’s grace through faith is what saves us, and NOT our good works toward our neighbors, our good works demonstrate faith in Christ and are honored by Christ, and actually come from Christ, and therefore can bear fruit in the lives of our neighbors as we participate in them!

Photo Compliments: https://sermons.faithlife.com

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