Messages

Welcome to the home of our Sunday Sermons. We have included outlines and some notes as to help you in the study of the Word of God from our Sunday morning services. We believe that every part of God’s Word is His special “message” to us who believe and a call to salvation for the whole world. Our hope is that these messages will stir you to study and to grow in your everyday life and that they will draw you near and build up your faith in Jesus Christ. If you don’t know Jesus yet as Savior and Lord please check out our “Knowing God” page on this site. If you have questions please call or email us today!
                     For the Family at LCC –
                       pastor Rod Page

Our Fullness – Forgiveness & Freedom in Christ
Jesus our treasure – “don’t leave home looking for another – message from 11-12-17
Colossians 2:6-23

 

Christ’s Work in His Body, the Church – ready for anything…(message from 11-5-17)
That in all things Jesus might have first place!
Colossians 1: 24-2:3

Jesus the Image of God – a mechanism for transformation – message from 10-8-17

through JESUS alone we have access to and know about and can experience God. He is the Way, Life and Truth and through the agency of the Spirit and because of Jesus and through Him we can be transformed! Doctrine is good and so is it’s attainment but doctrine is also healthy – it brings correction and renewal in our minds and hearts that actually changes us. Today we shared on how this actually works itself out in examples from the Scriptures.

Image definition: 1. an image carved to be a symbol of something else – 2. that which has the same form not as a carved image but as a living image – see Hebrews 1:1-3

from Colossians 1:15 & selected Scriptures.
– 2 Corinthians 3:16-18; 4:6 – God in intimate fellowship with Him exposes our sin by His overwhelming glory and holiness.

Example: the sin of evil speech – Psalm 12

Example: the “converting aspect” of God’s Word – Psalm 19:7

Example: Isaiah 6 – the righteous prophet Isaiah in fellowship/vision of the Most High God has his sin exposed and dealt with.

Example: Job did not “sin with his lips” showing he was tempted by his wife to be foolish and relive his suffering by dying in sin by blaspheming God with his lips.

Example: Our prayer life changes us – is needed and commanded and even modeled by Jesus. Matthew 6:6-7; Matthew 14:2

The standard is holiness: example Eph. 4:29-32
God – our Savior is on our side to assist in the pursuit of holiness: Heb. 7:25-26

This theme runs throughout the Bible (Luke 8:21) and is picked up again in Colossians 1:21-22; 1:27-28

 

Jesus is Supreme and Sufficient – Jesus Our Savior
Colossians 1:13-15
Jesus is sufficient in many ways but none more needful than that of a Savior for us who have been caught in the power of darkness. For those who are born again, we have been transferred, transported, conveyed into the Kingdom of the Son of God’s Love.

 

There is Nothing
1 Kings 18:41-46
A timely exhortation from Pastor Gary Osborne from Berean Assembly of Spring Hill Florida.

The Saving Song of Jesus
Colossians 1:1-8
The Christian life is all about Jesus Christ being sufficient and supreme in all of our life.
1. we are sent by the Lord Jesus Christ
2. this book is about the identity of Jesus Christ
3. the object of our faith is Jesus Christ
4. The Song is the Gospel of truth about Jesus Christ
5. In Christ we will bear fruit

Personal Relationship Keys
Ephesians 6:21-24
Outline:
1. Know a variety of people & and a few trustworthy people well
2. The quality of our communication is based on love and faithfulness
3. Know that we are to comfort those we know
4. Know that Love with Faith brings Peace

 

The Full Armor of God – Pt. 2  
Ephesians 6:15-20

Review – in light of the “belt of truth and the breastplate of righteousness” from last week.
Armor 102 – Outline

  1. Feet shod with gospel prep
  2. Above all – take shield of faith
  3. Take helmet of salvation
  4. Take sword of the Spirit/Word
  5. Praying always


The Armor of God – Pt. 1
This sermon had technical problems and we have substituted a shortened podcast review of the message outline and text.

 

The Gospel Laid Out – Simply – Or Why the Death of Jesus Was Absolutely Necessary
Message from 8-6-17
Taking a break from our study in the book of Ephesians – we take a look at why Jesus had to die and what the benefits  are that the gospel brings to believers in Christ.

 

What is the Christian Life Really Like? –
Spiritual Warfare in Ephesians 6 – Part One
(note: do to a mechanical difficulty – the end of the message was cut off – we spend the last few minutes of the message reviewing the points below:
1. Be “capable” in God
2. Know your enemy (according to the Bible)
Hint #1 – watch out for devilish trickery (deceit)
Hint #2 – be aware that Satan’s #1 goal is to stop the progress of the gospel see Eph. 6:19-20)
Hint #3 Satan is organized – he is the head of a dangerous spiritual hierarchy – the implication is that he is serious so we must be serious.

During this message we went back and traced the giving over of the nations to idolatry and to worship of demons inherit in that idolatry. We looked at O.T. passages in Deuteronomy 32:8 and 4:19 – and ended at 1 Corinthians 10:19-20 – but also emphasized several times Colossians 2:15 for believers – Christ has defeated this enemy!

in application: beware of the devils’ tricks – and be strong in the Lord!

Keep other Scriptures in mind that deal with these powerful enemies:
1 Peter 5:8 Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a        roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour

    James 4:7  Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you

Finally again, be strong in the Lord – putting on the whole armor of God!
Next week – the armor!

 

Walking in Light – Message from 7-2-17
Ephesians 5:8-14
“You are light in the Lord” the apostle Paul declares! That is who you are dear fellow believer in Jesus Christ – Thankfully,  he breaks the awesome responsibility of bearing God’s light -down into bite size chunks:
1. goodness
2. righteousness
3. truth
Are these things we actually produce in and of ourselves? No – they are fruit of the Holy Spirit.
However walking in and being a light to others, even when filled with generous good works that compliment righteousness and truth, will cause problems: the light will manifest and expose the darkness – some will viciously oppose the light. But some will be awakened and Christ will give them light too! Praise God for His work in our lives – to bring light to us and then through us!

 

Walking in Love Means Not Walking Unclean But in Thanks to God –
 – Walking in Love Part Two –
Ephesians 5:3-7

Hard questions of obedience jump off the page of this text because they set a high bar of holiness on the very issues that are the reason for judgment on this current generations. Should this lead us to despair and giving up the fight because of our inability to keep God’s commandments? It should lead us to utter dependency on the immediate grace and provision that our loving Heavenly Father will provide through the means of His Spirit who lives in us and the washing capability of His Word. We must apply these means of grace. But, we must also summon courage to not shy away from proclaiming God’s Word on this high bar or the ugly sins that it talks about freely in this passage so we are aware of how high this bar is along with the need to completely rely on Abiding in Christ. This proclamation will not gain us acceptance in this world but will make us more enemies – enemies that we are commanded to love and share our life with in a self sacrificial manner. 

 

Walk in Parentified & Purified Love – Part One
Ephesians 5:1-2
Do you know the Father? Isn’t He wonderful? The Love of God seen in the gift we have as dear children of an infinitely loving Father is the only basis for Paul’s command to walk in love as Christ has loved us!

 

Kevin’s Sermon Notes in a Nutshell
Sermon from Kevin Bubna – from Great Harvest International Ministries
Mozambique, Africa – shared on 6-11-17

 

Give Place to the Devil & Make God Cry or Live Like Jesus – Ephesians 4:25-32
message from 6-4-17

 

God’s Church – Protected for Maturity in Love – Ephesians 4:12-16
message from 5-21-17

  We have a provision God has given his church – spiritual gifts not only for the individual but spiritual shepherds who protect and guide the saint,  through the teaching of God’s Word,  into maturity. Two equal errors can be avoided through all members doing their job and exercising their gifts, the lack of love can be corrected and the lack of a love for the truth at the same time. We must care equally about both! With the work of the Holy Spirit in us, helping each and every member do their part, we are building a house of love to the glory and honor of God!

 

 God’s Provision for the Church Part II – Evangelists, Pastors and Teachers – Ephesians 4:11
message from 5-14-17

Evangelists spread the Gospel – Pastor’s and Teacher’s Teach It!

 

God’s Provision for the Church – Part I – Apostles and Prophets – Ephesians 4:1-12
message from 5-7-17

 

Panting After God  – Psalm 42 – the Wonderful Interior Life
message from 4-23-17

 

The Resurrection Proclamation – Selected Scriptures – message from 4-16-17
Outline:
1. The promise of resurrection
2. The fulfillment of resurrection
3. The Resurrections implications
The gospel according to the Scriptures is the Death, Burial and Resurrection- these cannot be separated or compromised. There is power in the gospel! The applications are endless.
To ignore it though comes with a dire warning. The same resurrected Lord is coming as the judge who will reign in righteousness. Are you ready!?

 

Called to Walk Worthy of our Calling – 
Ephesians 4:1-6 – message from 4-2-17 (this is a partial message due to a technical problem with the recording)
Outline:
The Nuts and Bolts of Walking in a Manner Worthy of our Calling
1. Be a prisoner of the Lord as Paul was
2. Be Humble as Jesus was (gentle, long-suffering, bearing with one another in love)
3. Endeavor to Maintain Unity – As We Are One! – (ie. be quick to do “unity work” well)

 

Humbly Graced – The Purpose of the Mystery: To Extol the Unsearchable Riches of Christ – Ephesians 3:8-13 – message from 3-19-17- 
1. humbled by Great Grace
2. humbled by the Riches of Christ
3. humbled by a Rich Fellowship
4. humbled by the Grand Purpose of Witness to Principalities and Powers
Application: be bold in your confident access – don’t lose heart at the suffering of those around you.

Motivations – Mystery – Might
Ephesians 3:1-7 – Message from 3-12-17
In this message, as the mystery of God’s plan is revealed we will discover:
1. The Dispensation of God’s Grace

2. The Mystery of Christ

3. The Ministry of God

 

Without and With
Sermon from 2-12-17 – Ephesians 2:11-18
Without Christ
1. unmarked by God – unauthorized and unsealed
2. without Christ – devoid of Him
3. Illegal aliens – no rights of knowing God and enjoying the benefits of knowing Him
4. without hope

With Christ
1. near by the blood of Christ
2. He Himself accomplished this
3. all enmity is gone
4. reconciled to God – in relationship to Him
5. Access by One Spirit – we all together can access the throne of God – great privilege brings great responsibility.

There is great responsibility that comes with these benefits – see 2 Corinthians 5:18-19 – to reconcile others as we have been.

 

the main thing
Sermon from 2-5-17 – Ephesians 2:4-10
1. Who we are in Christ
2. Where we are going in Him

 

Hope, Wealth, and Power Part II – The Exceeding Great Power of God Toward Us
Sermon from 1-29-17 – Ephesians 1:19-2:3
We have this power given to us as in Him in three ways:
1. Raised in Him
2. Exalted in Him
3. Overcoming in Him

 

Hope, Wealth, and Power – Part I
Message from 1-22-17 – Ephesians 1:15-22

Later in the life of the church at Ephesus, Jesus Himself rebukes them for losing their first love. This was a church with discernment and a love for the truth but they lost what Paul commends them for in this passage; “your love for all the saints.” How could they have stemmed this tide? Maybe the “facts” that Paul prayed to God they would really know and experience would have fit the bill. Hope and provision and the power of God are the weapons we can use to keep the flame of love burning brightly. God has certainly provided all things we need for life and godliness. Praise His gracious and loving Name! Here is the simple outline we followed for this message:

  1. the hope of His calling
  2. the wealth of our inheritance
  3. the power of God (this will be the second part of this message)

 

The Last Will & Testament of God
Message from 1-15-17 – Ephesians 1:11-14
The blessings of God include a wonderful inheritance and the gift of the Holy Spirit  that authenticates and protects us in our daily lives. This is seen as part of God’s plan. How does God carry out that plan? What does it mean for God to work out all things in accordance to His will? Listen and find out – God’s Word is clear and helpful and lead us into truth!

The Mystery of Redemption
Message from 1-8-17 – Ephesians 1:7-10
  I. The Blessing of Redemption
II. The Mystery of Revealed
III. The Purpose of the Mystery

The biggest blessing of our spiritual life (see verses 1-3) is our redemption! Praise God our sins are forgiven in Christ according to His plan to adopt a people for Himself via their faith in His Son!

A Dynamic Life in the Lord
Message from 1-1-17 – Ephesians 1:1-6
The believers in Ephesus had quite a background in paganistic devotion to the false religion of Artemis. With a sin nature and the desire to worship hard wired into them(see Ecclesiastes 3:11 the search for “eternity” is a search for the true God who alone is eternal) they fell completely into adoration for this false god of fertility and the hunt; also known as Diana of the Ephesians in the Latin. Their culture and economy were enmeshed in the religion that was centered in their very city. Paul had intense opposition to the gospel from the beginning of his preaching in Ephesus and several characteristics of their everyday life are addressed in this letter. Being of such a Gentile persuasion and yet being exposed to Jewish people and ideals – Paul means to impart the knowledge that solved the mystery of how God would offer salvation to a world so lost in sin: they keys of this passage are that all who are in Christ are:

  1. Chosen by God “in Christ” and blessed with every spiritual blessing
  2. Included in the “beloved” and accepted by God 
  3. Saved (men are “in Christ”) through faith by believing after hearing the gospel – Ephesians 1:13 (this is the how “individually” or the mechanism of being made ‘elect’)
  4. Then they are sealed by the Holy Spirit in Christ vs 13

We are no better in our day and times. The Bible clearly teaches that in the last days spirits would teach “doctrines of demons” (1 Timothy 4:1) and the modern church is beset by false teaching. The world itself is fully under the sway of the wicked one. We may be more sophisticated than in Ephesus but we are even more enmeshed in the lies of the enemy than at any time in history. Only in Jesus Christ is there hope of salvation and victory. For those in Christ we have every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places at our disposal in order to fight against the enemy’s schemes and overcome his temptations in our own lives so we can then proclaim the powerful gospel by lives and tongues holy unto to the Lord.

My prayer is that our church, though small in number will live a dynamic life in the Lord together, so that we will have a strong gospel witness in Lewiston and Trinity county, and northern California. That a revival would start in our hearts based on Jesus Christ and His gospel and truth that will spread like a fire throughout this land.

For further study read Acts 19:23-37 and Ecclesiastes 3:11-15.

 

Christmas In A Person
Hebrews 2:14ff & Luke2 
  Our Lord’s suffering began from the time He was begotten in Mary’s womb. He lowered Himself to our level in many respects. This was to portend the great suffering He endured paying for our sins on the cross. Our Lord’s humble birth and life is the greatest example of love the world has ever seen. Oh what love the Father bestowed on us! What a merciful and faithful High Priest we have because He not only became like us but He suffered in the flesh and was tested like no other in history. Surely He is able to carry our sorrows and give grace to us in our time of testing or trial. God be praised for such a great gift.

 

Christmas To People
Selected Scriptures in Luke and Matthew – Message from 12-18-16
God has given in His Word several models of people who witnessed Jesus’ first coming for us to consider. Jesus came to real people and had a tremendous affect on them individually.  We can be inspired and instructed by looking at what happened to them and how Jesus’ birth impacted them, and what their response was.

Christmas Through Prophecy
Isaiah 1-7 – Message from 12-11-16
Through a proper perspective of the warnings of the prophetic account, the love of God is actually magnified in our sight. When we understand the darkness of the times we live in according to God’s Word, we appreciate the height and depth of the love of God and are compelled to live for –  the gospel!

Re-Action to Me-Action – Lessons in Serving a Loving God
Jonah 3-4 – Message from 12-4-16
Unfortunately there is no audio available for this weeks message – but here are the main points we shared from Jonah 3-4

  1. God’s Message was for the whole world – Jonah was not a big enough man to get in God’s Way for the whole world to know of His salvation plan – Judgement is the warning we must be willing to announce so the way can be prepared for salvation.
  2. The Method of a person coming to God is simple repentant faith in Him. This is method is not a “work” we do but a response to the gospel message – this is fully realized in the N.T. as simple faith in Christ that involves turning from sin and turning to God (repentance) is all it takes to begin a relationship with God. see Titus 3:5-8; Acts 26:19-23; John 6:29
  3. Simple faith in the God of salvation results in a miracle – changed and transformed lives. If it worked for the horribly awful Ninevites anyone can be changed!
  4. Sadly we must watch out for sin even as we spend our lives taking the Message of salvation and explaining the method of coming to God. Jonah still had attitude problems which God mercifully dealt with.

Applications: what ideas and attitudes in me do I need God’s help in sorting out and replacing with truth? Am I secretly prejudice? Do I care about the world the way God does?These are simple but profound questions that we must ask on a regular basis.

Jonah is a marvelous picture of a God who pursues us even in our sin in order to rescue us and reform us and carry out His plan to bring salvation to the ends of the earth. We must not walk encumbered by anything that is not of God – we must have “light” shoes that do not trip us or slow us down in this effort. see Hebrews 12:1 and Ephesians 6:15

Recap:

  1. God’s Message
  2. God’s Method
  3. God’s Miracle
  4. Get rid of “Me-Action”

 

Sea-Action to Knee-Action – Lessons in Serving a Loving God
Jonah 1-2 – Message from 11-27-16

Does a servant of God receive a pass because he has served God faithfully in the past?
Does God really care about hostile sinners who are the enemies of God’s people? Was the great fish an underwater prison or meant for the prophet’s good?
To what degree will God go to secure His servant’s obedience in spreading the gospel in our day? These are the issues that come up in a careful examination of the wonderful, exciting and action packed and historical account of the life of Jonah.
Only listen on to your own peril…or is it to your own salvation?

 

Content, Can-Do Care-Givers
Philippians 4:10-20

Paul had learned the “secret” of serving God for the long haul – being content in whatever circumstances he found himself in. He really knew how to abound and to be abased because He also knew the power of Christ that promises to be our strength. His desire was for the love and care that Jesus has for us to be a reality in the life of the church. He desired for them to care and then as God gives opportunity for that care to flourish and come to bloom for the glory of God. In Christ alone we can do all that God calls us to do. What a great finish to a great portion of God’s Word! Truly this is a book that leads us from glory to glory and in its precious truths we find His joy which is also our strength!

 

Acting in Unity & Thinking Right -Spiritually Speaking – Part II
Philippians 4:2-9

It is possible to live a dynamic Christian life according to the Word of God and the examples of Paul and Moses (see Hebrews 11:24-28) and a host of others who were not perfect but made an impactful and powerful difference in their times. Of course, Jesus is the supreme example whose life and trust of His Father and His High Priestly work give us the courage and power we need to move on towards having a dynamic life for the glory of God.

“As a man thinks in his heart so is he” the Proverbs say. In the closing verses of this powerful letter Paul prescribes six corrective lenses to guide our thinking and ultimately our doing. Join us as we look at the heavenly prescription to “think right” in a world that is out of whack in thinking and doing, and should be hungry for a glimpse of a truly powerful and God centered life, where the peace of God is with His people. 

 

 

Acting in Unity & Thinking Right -Spiritually Speaking – Part I
Philippians 4:2-9

Paul corrects a real life situation to restore unity between two sisters in the church in Philippi. He implores them to be of the same mind, asks the church to help, and then outlines the spiritual work that can be employed by all of us in the midst of conflict. Since conflict is inevitable even among Christians – we must know these truths and put them into practice. They will allow our church to act in unity and help us individually to think right spiritually speaking.

 

Standing Fast to the Pattern – Philippians 3:17-4:1
Message from 10-16-16

I. Standing Fast to the Pattern
 a. Paul a pattern – and pattern maker – Timothy & Titus
b. Jesus was the ultimate pattern – and showed how to be…

II. Stand Against the False Pattern
a. may will be enemies of the Cross
b. not a cause for anger but “weeping”
c. enemies of the “cross” = denigrating the gospel in some way – that is the enemies target
d. know them by their fruits – their god is their own fleshly desires – their glory is their shame – they set their minds on earthly things

III. Know Your Home Town – Citizens of Heaven
a. our rights are determined by our citizenry – we don’t have a president we have a king
b. That king is coming back. BE EAGER BEAVER WAITERS….draw close to God and He will draw close to you and that will make you an eager beaver waiter of Jesus Christ’ return.
c. That’s when the amazing work of transformation will happen – our lowly body will be made new. That is such hope…We will be made like Him!
d. all things will be submitted to Him

IV. Stand Fast in the Lord  –(Phil 2:13  for it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure.)

1. Follow the Pattern – of Jesus – who was steadfast all the way to the Cross
2. Stand against the Enemies of the Pattern (the cross of Christ)
3. He is the King – He will sustain us and strengthen us and we must avail Him of His promise to strengthen all who wait on Him.

 

Pressing On in Joy Together Toward the Prize – Philippians 3″12-16
Message from 10-9-16

Here is an outline for the message that provides a:

A Mechanism for Joy
I. Not Perfected but Pressing ON
II. Forgetting and Forward Reaching
III. Mature Believers Think Alike
IV. Matures Believers Walk Alike

This is our responsibility – to think and act in a way that leads to having the mind of Christ. This will be completed of course in glory when Christ perfects me. Though I have to realize that I must not settle for anything else but all that Jesus has for me and that includes growing up into Him in all things. So, I must stretch towards the mark – the prize of the upward call! Praise the Lord for His grace that allows second chances and turn arounds!

 

Rejoice in the Lord – ‘All In” – Philippians 3:4-11
Message from 10-2-16

Paul gives his own testimony of salvation and his philosophy of life – that left no dependence on the flesh – his confidence had been ripped from his own birthrights, religious accomplishments and his fleshly zealotry. Now he had Christ and that was supremely enough! What a testimony and what a life – to know Him and the power of His resurrection – and looking forward to the day when that which God starts in us will finally be finished!

Rejoice in the Lord & Be Safe – Philippians 3:1-3
Message from 9-25-16

The joy of the Lord is our strength and this letter is called a book of joy. Yet, joy is mentioned only four times but “rejoice” is mentioned ten times. What is the difference? Joy is a descriptor or a noun but rejoice is usually a command. We must re-member to rejoice in spite of great opposition that will come against us knowing we have all that we need in Christ because of what He has accomplished in us by His Holy Spirit who lives in us. We must beware of the danger and face it and at the same time never lose sight of our Savior’s work done down deep in our heart – worshipping Him through it all. This rejoicing will be based in solid hope and will veer us away from putting vain confidence in our own fleshly abilities.

 

Obedience Towards Being Shining Lights Part 3 – Real Life Examples – Phil. 2:19-30
Message from 9-18-16

Paul encouraged the church at Philippi to work out there salvation in fear and trembling knowing that it was God who works in them to will and to do for His good pleasure. God has done His part and we must do ours with the strength and motivation that He provides as the provision and portion for each day. He is sufficient for all these things and in 2 Peter 1:3-4 say that God has given us His divine power and given us all things that pertain to carrying out this life of being shining lights.

In this portion of God’s Word we discover what characteristics the Holy Spirit wanted to bring out as He put the spotlight on two of Paul’s most trusted partners in the Gospel. We also learn that at the end of the day Paul gave them away! What a blessing to give back to Him who has given us all things in the first place! That is glory and in all these things we can rejoice exceedingly.

When we apply this passage to our life and imitate these everyday hero’s of the faith we are really emulating Christ and becoming an epistle (letter) to all we meet. May God bless you as you listen and learn by the leading of the Holy Spirit and then obey the Word for today.

below are some of the cross references from today’s message:
Philippians 2:15
Philippians 2:17-18
2 Peter 1:2-4
2 Corinthians 3:2-3
2 Timothy 1:7
2 Timothy 3:10
2 Timothy 4:1-5
2 Corinthians 12:9-10

 

Obedience Towards Being Shining Lights Part 2  To Will & To Do – Phil. 2:12-18 
Message from 9-11-16

The engine behind our keeping the high bar of  “blameless and harmless” obedience – including no complaining, (murmuring) or disputing (arguing) and being real shining lights carrying and living the gospel of God into a dark and evil and perverse generation – is God Himself. He has given everything we need – the will and the “do” – the want to and the energy to carry out our responsibilities to “work out our own salvation with fear and trembling.”  Although it sounds contradictory in nature – we work in concert with His power. What an amazing mystery of His love and grace!

Here are the portions of God’s Word that prove to us that God gives us everything we need to accomplish His will in our lives:
2 Corinthians 9:8
1 John 4:7-11
1 John 4:19
Romans 5:3-5
Romans 8:35
Luke 11:13
Ephesians 5:1-18
2 Peter 1:3-4
Acts 1:8
Ephesians 3:16-19

 

Obedience Towards Being Shining Lights – Philippians 2:12-18 Part 1
Message from 9-4-16

The Philippian church was a mature group of believers who had endured persecution and yet were still givers in the midst of their poverty. They brought much joy to the apostle who had founded the church – Paul loved them. He called them “beloved.”

In today’s message we looked at the problem, even among mature believers of complaining and disputing. We know that in this church of Philippi that two sisters would be later exhorted to “get along” by being of the same mind in the Lord. Maybe their problems started as a murmuring against each other and ended up in a dispute. We also looked at how the Lord fought the temptation to dispute with His Father by holding fast to the Word in Matthew 4 – we sought to dig out the truth that God’s Word to us as His children is that He is our provider, He is the One who provides our daily bread. We can trust Him for this – we must not panic but stand in the victory that Christ accomplished in His defeat of sin.

Next week, Lord willing we will zero in again on the source of our strength to obey – the God who works in us “both to will and to do” of His good pleasure.

 

Living Together in Jesus – The Great Descent – Philippians 2:6-11
Message from 8-21-16
Slides from the Message

Christ came all the way down from His glory in heaven to be made in our likeness, become a servant and give His life as a ransom by dying on the cross. He is the model and the object of all of our worship. By following Him we can be the person He commands us to be in being of one mind, esteeming others better than ourself, thinking of others besides ourselves and fostering love and unity in the Body of Christ. If the glorious Lord Jesus who was eternally God came so low to serve us by dying for our sins we can humble ourselves and serve and love one another as we ought.

 

The Call to Being of One Mind – the Mind of Christ – Part I – Philippians 2:1-11
Message from 8-7-16
Based on the appeal that we have much consolation, fellowship in the Spirit, comfort of love, and affectionate mercy,  all in and through Christ – we are to strive to be like minded having the same love, and of one accord – all things that will culminate in us being of One Mind and that is the Mind of Christ (see vs 5-11). This is done by fighting against selfish ambition and pride (conceit) and making the choice to be lowly minded, esteeming others better than ourselves and looking out for the interests of others besides our own.

 

Staying Steadfast – Hebrews 6 & Selected Scriptures
Message from 7-31-16
We are commanded to be steadfast believers.
below are Scriptures that say so:

Acts 2:42
Romans 6:6
2 Timothy 2:13
Romans 12:12
1Peter 5:9
2Peter 3:17-18
1 Corinthians 15:58
Luke 9:62
Hebrews 3:14

FROM HEBREWS 6 WE LEARN 4 STEPS TOWARD THE STEADFAST LIFESTYLE REQUIRED OF A DISCIPLE:

  1. BANK ON HIS WORD – doubly true by promise and God’s oath
  2. PRAY STEADFASTLY – Abraham grew in faith towards endurance – we can grow as we beseech the Lord and endure in prayer. See also Luke 18
  3. JESUS HIMSELF IS OUR ANCHOR – Jesus is our hope and hope anchors us to Him who is our true “steadfastness.”
  4. LIVE IN THE FLOW OF HIS PRESENCE – God’s purposes, His presence, His cleansing illustrated by the flow of water.

THE RIVER OF GOD WE HAVE IN CHRIST IS 1ST CLEANSING AND THEN 2ND “CARRYING”…
God’s Provision as a River: 
Psalms 36:9; Ezekiel 47; 1 John 1:7; Hebrews 9:14; Zechariah 1:13; Joel 3:18; Zechariah 14:8-9; John 7:38; Romans 6:1-4

Conclusions: We can grow as we “swim” in the great river of God’s presence that flows from His very throne room – the Sanctuary – it takes effort on our part but there is continual cleansing, carrying us through towards being sanctified and being more and more in His will. Living in Him we become steadfast and faithful to the very end! This brings great glory to our King and Lord and Savior and Master!

 

 Exalted by the Humbled Lord – Intro to Philippians 2:1-11
Message from 7-24-16
Our Lord sets the example as He was glorified in obeying His Father’s will in all things and secondly by being glorified as He laid down His life for us! The path to glory is obeying and laying down our lives for others.

 

 Our Deportment & Their Destruction – Philippians 1:27-30
Message from 7-17-16
Our conduct as believers must match the reality of the gospel revealed in the New Testament. In this way we become proof to unbelievers that something is desperately wrong – that what we proclaim in the gospel, buttered by our confidence when others would be fearful and being backed up by our life proves what we say is true –  that they are in need of a Savior! Our Deportment shows that their Destruction is real…we can therefore, expect suffering at the hands of unbelievers. How do we pull this off? Not in our strength but in His – the power of the Holy Spirit is the only way!

 

Our Desire and Indispensability – Philippians 1:22-26
Message from 7-10-16
The question we ask is what is my over-arching desire in life. Is it to be with Christ and to work for Christ wherever He calls me today? Paul answers the questions and subjugates his desires to have a fruitful ministry to others to see progress and joy become a reality in their life. Because of Paul’s desire to depart and be with Christ he had an initial conflict in his mind. But his desire to be fruitful and obedient and faithful – he found the mind of Christ in his life – to stay and continue to bless the believers and continue to proclaim the gospel. He put off a noble desire and poured out his life on the altar of sharing Christ with others and seeing them abundant in joy and progressing in their faith.

 

 

Living and Dying for the Gospel – Philippians 1:20
Message from 7-3-16
Our Deliverance and Destiny is to live and die (which is gain) for the gospel so that God is glorified in our bodies. Paul opens himself up to expose his heart and models a disciple for us today. We are to be missionaries as Paul was – near the end of the message we shared a portion of the account of the Mahon’s –  missionariesthumb_IMG_1765_1024
in South Africa in the early 1900’s from the book “When God Makes a Missionary.”

This real life account shows how God takes us where we are, teaches us to depend fully on Him, then pours out His grace and love and power through those vessels. Our prayer is that we would allow God to work in us through the difficulties of life that He allows, that we will be soft clay in His hands and then see Him do wonderful things for the cause of the gospel in our day as we faithfully proclaim the good news wherever He leads, our only goal is that Jesus is magnified in our bodies by living and dying for His sake!

 

Behold I Come Quickly Part 2 – A Discipleship Lifestyle via Jesus – Matthew 5:1-12
Message from 6-26-16
Two weeks ago we had a stirring message by Kevin Bubna – missionary to Mozambique, reminding us of our great commission to make disciples and the need to “run” with the Gospel due to the late hour of the days we live in. His message was titled, “Behold I Come Quickly.” Today’s message was motivated by the real life ministry that is going on across the seas on mission fields that are seeing N.T. discipleship bear significant fruit for the Kingdom of God. It is hard work – it starts with obeying  all of the words of our Lord (see John 14:23-24) – but today’s message is a foundational plea to obey our Lord’s teaching in Matthew in hope that the obedient lifestyle modeled by our Lord and carried out by the original disciples in Acts will be a reality right here where we live. 

 

Prayer and the Supply of God – Philippians 1:19 & Selected Scriptures
Pastor Rod
Message from 5-29-16
Slides Link (points and Scripture verses from the message)

Thankful – Prayerful- Confidence – Abounding in Love  – Philippians Overview
Message from 5-8-16

Philippians 1:3-11
Outline:
1. Thankful
2. Prayerful
3. Confident
4. Abounding in Love

 

the Big Picture of Joy  – Philippians Overview
Message from 5-1-16
Philippians 1:1-2
Outline:

  1. know who you are in Christ as douloi & hagiois (slaves&saints)
  2. know the reality of God’s grace and peace
  3. see things from God’s Sky Box (have the mind of Christ among yourselves)

 

Pray – Sing – Call – How to Talk in N.T. Times
James 5:13-20
Message from 4-24-16

  1. Pray – when you are suffering
  2. Sing – when you are cheerful
  3. Call – when you or others are really hurting for the elders of the church…

Communication is something we all hear about a lot in these days…James closes his letter with a call for us to talk to God and to others – in a holy conversation…praying and praising and calling for help when we need it. Our Shepherd and those of the church care for the everyday needs and hurts of the Body.  Our call to the world is the call of healing in salvation – the clarion call of the gospel of good news.

The Jewish people were “used” to bad shepherds who did not care about them or their hurts or their “hallelujahs” either one. Ezekiel 34 tells of these uncaring wolves in sheep clothing…men the Apostle Paul warns as about as well in his letters. But we are praying for the church in America – that God in His mercy and grace would raise up pastors and ministers (all in the Body of Christ) who have authority to proclaim the Gospel of peace…the only good news that can truly heal and set free every man.

James is a powerful and practical book – that ends with a tender call to reach out to those who are hurting in the Body and out in the world…knowing that:
“whoever brings back a sinner from his wandering will save his soul from death and will cover a multitude of sins.”

 

Three Big Pitfalls: Part III – The Impatience Pitfall (refusing to live by God’s Wisdom)
James 5:7-12 – Sermon from 4-17-16
Outline:
A. The “extent” of our patience

B. The “excess” that results from our patience 

C. The “establish” state of the heart

D. The “empty” fallback of the flesh

 

Three Big Pitfalls: I. The Pitfall of Boastfulness
James 4:13-17 – Sermon from 4-3-16
Outline:
I. You Say about…

II. You Presume on…

III. You Should say…

Easter Message: What Difference Does it Make?
The Resurrection of Jesus Christ: Fighting the enemy of apathy…
(just in case you want to see the cat ‘apathy’ video – link here )

Sermon Outline: We must know…
1. Who did Jesus choose to reveal Himself to (who is the resurrection truth meant for)?

2. How should the facts of the resurrection affect us? (what does the Bible?)

3. Practically how should we live in light of the resurrection?

Digging Deeper
1. Who Jesus chose….  Jesus appeared to __ __ __ __     __.

Jesus also appeared to over __ __ __ at once. What does this mean?

2. How should the facts of the resurrection affect us?

What are the indisputable facts?

1.

2.

3.

4.

5.

6.

How did it affect people’s lives?

3. How should we then live?

a. we are witnesses – the resurrection is part and parcel of the gospel…

b. walk in power and fellowship with God…
“that I may know Him and the
__ __ __ __ __ of His resurrection” Phil. 3:10

The Danger of Self-Centered Living
James 4 – Part II –  – Sermon from 3-13-16 – James 4:11ff

Two important elements James wants to deal
with in the batttle:
1. slandering our brother 2. boastful arrogance

The Danger of Self-Centered Living
James 4 – Part I – Battling Hedonism! – Sermon from 3-6-16 – James 4:1-10

Outline:
I. Self-Centered People & the Cause of Fights and Quarrels

II. Self Centered People link arms with the world.

III. Antidote: Beating Self-Centered Living

 

Warning & Wisdom for Talkers
A JESUS Revolution Manifesto
James 3 – Part II – All of Us
Sermon from 2-28-16 – continuing the battle for joyful steadfastness…James continues to warn and give wisdom for bridling our tongue/speech. 

OUTLINE:
I. from last week – Warning about teaching vs 1-2
2. Power of the tongue vs 3-4
3. Danger of the tongue vs 5-8
4. Dualism of the tongue vs 9-12

Applications: The real “tongue” for all believers is the Word of Jesus introduced in the Bible: Isaiah 49:1-2 Jesus, the servant has a sharp sword for a tongue –
this is fulfilled in Hebrews 4:12 – and applied in 1 Corinthians 13 love – better than the tongues of men and of angels.

If you seek to share the Word of God –
– live a holy life –
– know what you are talking about –
– speak w/ Grace & Truth & Fire
-Live IT!

DON’T FORGET TO Pray for all believers and especially for pastors/teachers/Elders & Bible Study Leaders, FLOCK teachers, youth leaders, VBS teachers and ALL OF US! 

 


Warning & Wisdom for Talkers
A JESUS Revolution Manifesto
James 3 – Part I – Teachers
Sermon from 2-21-16 – continuing the battle for joyful steadfastness…James exhorts us to take control of our mouths. This opening salvo is aimed at those who teach in the Body of Christ.

Outline of this message:
I. A Warning about Teaching vs 1-2
Jesus is First – grace and truth flowed
Teaching carries a “stricter judgment” – “Krima” forensic/stronger/closer
judgment……because there is a higher standard!
II. NEW TESTAMENT STANDARD FOR TEACHING (A STRICTER JUDGMENT)
Timothy and Titus set the standard for Elder/Teachers/Pastors
III. OLD TESTAMENT STANDARD FOR TEACHING (A PROPHETIC WARNING)
Ezekiel and Deut 13 – both are severe warnings for those speaking God’s Word
IV. A Prophetic Warning for our Days
2 Thessalonians 2 – a coming false teacher for all time…a strong delusion judgment.
V. Encouragement for those under teachers
1 John 2 – we all have an anointing and don’t “need” teachers (not dependent)

 


Saving Faith vs. Demon faith – The battle for Reasoned Steadfastness!
James 2:14-26
Sermon from 2-14-16 – connecting the “disconnect of unbelief” in 2 Timothy 3:7-8 (ever learning and never coming to a knowledge of the truth) to the disconnect of saying you have faith but not backing up with obedience.
James uses a “hyperbolic” illustration of someone not feeding a starving and freezing brother to point out the non-reasoned disconnect of saying you have faith and not “doing” it. Satan will try every way possible to trick our minds from believing the truth and if that does not work he will try to stop the obedience side of faith by disconnecting our minds from spiritual reason. To live outside of Jesus’ command to “love one another” is just such a disconnect. To show partiality in our obedience of His commands is just as bad. The intent of the author is to wake up believers who are lacking in mercy for all their brothers and motivate them towards being conformed to the image of Christ in sharing His love without partiality.

 


Steadfast Faith = Steadfast Love – The Battle for Impartial Mercy
Sermon from 2-7-16 on James 2:1-13 –
the power of God’s merciful love for one another cannot be held in a form of partiality.

 


No Lethargic Listeners – Connecting Knowing, Hearing and Doing in the Battle for Joyful Steadfastness
– Sermon from 1-31-16 on James 1:18-27 –


MANDATE – BLESSING – WARNING – BASELINE For a Real Faith
Sermon from 1-24-16 on James 1:9-17 –
…all of this for a steadfast joy and a wise servant of God!

 

Joyful and Wise Steadfastness Sermon from 1-17-16 on James 1:1-8
NEW SERIES ON JAMES – THE PROVERBS OF THE NEW TESTAMENT
Outline:
1. Count it all joy
2. Steadfastness in Joy
3. Wisdom to navigate life in joyful steadfastness comes by “asking” in faith.
Key Terms:
“meet” as in meeting various trials: to actually experience the pain and trauma of difficulties of all types.
“count” reckon or figure on
“joy” Greek word is 
chara – the actual experience of gladness
“steadfastness” hupomone  is the Greek word for joyful endurance – not just patient “putting” up with or patient holding back of anger – but joyful endurance
“wisdom” in this context it is a resource for applying Biblical knowledge and see trials as a blessing
  “ask” with the idea that you have a claim check in the promise of God of this text. No doubting allowed – because doubt means the opposite of steadfastness.
Key Cross References:
John 15:11 These things I have spoken to you that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be full – see also Romans 2:7 & 2 Thess. 1:4b

 

How to ReRail a DeRail Sermon from 1-10-16 on 2 Corinthians 12:20-13:14
Paul makes one final appeal to the beleaguered church at Corinth:

A. Paul’s Four-fold Fear 12:20-21 ( First… he was fearful (phobeo alarmed – 11:3 of them being like Eve deceived by Satan)

1. Paul was fearful that they would be continuing in known sin

2. Paul was fearful that God would humble him before them

3.  Paul was fearful that they would find him – not as you wish

B. The Need for Fear in Corinth 13:1-4

1. Third time is no charm 13:1

2. Court is now in session (witness called)

3. Justice is coming (I will not spare them)

4. Resurrection Power is part and parcel of the Apostolic Ministry

C. The Need for Sinful Believers to Examine Their Willful Disobedience & to Weigh It 

1. The test itself vs 5

2. Seeing and evaluating others vs 6

3. Don’t look on the outward appearance. Vs 7

4. True Apostolic Ministry is truth bound vs 8

5. True Apostolic Ministry cares about the weak being restored vs 9-10

Close: the heartfelt blessing the Apostle desires – vs 11-14

 

A Double Assault Taking and Protecting Gospel Ground
Sermon from 1-3-16 on 2 Corinthians 12:11-19
Paul defends his apostolic gospel ministry  by pointing out:

  1. The signs of His ministry
  2. His favor on the church at Corinth
  3. The apostle’s Fatherly love for them

How can we apply the truth of this passage of Scripture?

  • Being faithful when the Lord’s people come together
  • Being faithful to pray for the Lord’s people
  • Being faithful to witness to the truth of the Bible (this is the apostolic message Paul was defending) wherever God has us
  • Being faithful to encourage others in their walk – taking an active interest in other’s spiritual warfare. Being willing to say the truth in love
  • Being faithful to serve others with your gifts.

We as believers are involved in  just as harrowing an assault to keep the gospel ground that others have died to preserve. Jude calls it an epic, agonizing struggle for the “faith” once delivered to the saints. Paul was willing to defend the apostolic message when others were trying to pervert it – we must make an equally valiant  effort to protect and defend the powerful gospel mountain of truth from all who would assail her. Our enemy will never prevail against the truth, but he will sure try to subvert it…we are in a battle, and epic struggle for what Jesus died to deliver!

hillarystep_small
Hillary’s step – the final challenge on the 1953 assault on Mt. Everest.

 

Weakness Transformed Sermon from 12-27-15 on 2 Corinthians 12:1-10 –

I. Paul’s Real Experience of Revelation of Jesus vss 1-6a Hypothetically BOAST WORTHY!
II. PAUL’S Initial REASON for NOT Boasting: vs 6b focus on Paul’s testimony – his actions and words. Normal Christian modesty is in focus.
III. GOD’S ASSISTANCE in Paul learning to not boast in externals – vss 7-8 The thorn in the flesh – a messenger from Satan.
IV. SPIRITUAL GOLD: vss 9-10 Paul does reveal the word of the Lord in this instance: His weakness – transformed by God magnifies Christ
“My grace is sufficient for you”
“My power is made perfect in weakness”
“I will gladly boast of my weakness so that the power of Christ may rest upon me”
“for the sake of Christ then I am content my personal weakness and tribulation – both internal and external means of weakness are transformed by Christ into strengths.

 

Behold, This Way – Part 2 “the Battle” – Sermon from 12-20-15 on Matthew 1:18-2:18 –
Behold – the Pure and Proper Bloodline
Behold – the miracle Birth
Behold – the Battle

 

Behold, This Way – Part 1 
Sermon from 12-13-15 on Matthew 1:18-2:18 –
Behold – the Pure and Proper Bloodline
Behold – the miracle Birth
Behold – the Battle

 

Resolute Thanksgiving 
Sermon from 11-15-15 on 1 Thessalonians 5:18 “give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”
In light of the terrorist attacks in Paris (November 13th, 2015) and the decay & difficult conditions in the Middle East and throughout the world – as Christians we must set our face like a flint and be resolute in our thankfulness that God has a plan for history and for the believer… will bring all things to our good and sanctification.  Those in the world must wake up to their absolutely desperate condition without Jesus Christ as their Lord and Deliverer! To God be the glory!

 

 

Properly Prepped Part I –  Busy Watching 
Sermon from 10-25-15 on Selected Scriptures
1 Cor. 16:13-14 Be watchful, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong. Let all that you do be done in love.
Biblical Watchfulness
1. Watching & Praying
2. Watchful & Defending
3. Watching for Safety
4. Watching & Waiting

(link to the article on the 2015 Parliament of Religions)

 

 

“The Fight to Expand the Gospel” – Sermon from 10-11-15 on 2 Corinthians 10

Outlines for “The Fight to Expand the Gospel”
I. Confident Expanders of the Gospel 7-8 (Romans 14:7 for none of us lives or dies unto Himself)
A. Look around (God’s work is going forward in us – don’t look at just the external – look with spiritual eyes…) vs 7 (two ways to interpret “ta kata prosopon blepete” KJV is imperative “don’t look at the external” but Paul never uses this phrase in the imperative – it is in the indicative “look at what is obvious”
B. Boasting in building others up in their faith – it is worth boasting about –
Paul was super confident
II. Consistent Expanders 9-14
A. not frightening (bad use of authority) vs 9
B. not weak vs 10
C. consistent message vs 11
D. does’t fall into the trap of “comparing” vs 12 (which leads to boasting)
E. does boast in God’s Program 13 (the area of influence God had given them)
F. finishes what he starts vs 14
III. The Greatest Passion of Life is to push the Gospel Forward
A. not boasting in the work of others (stealing someone’s thunder)
B. his hope is – others faith on the increase and our God given stewardship of influence to be greatly enlarged
C. what his allies for is using them as a forward supply base so the gospel can be supported from them and move forward
IV. The Greatest Goal in Life is to See and know the Glory of God
A. see Jeremiah 9:23-24  Thus says the Lord: “Let not the wise man boast in his wisdom, let not the mighty man boast in his might, let not the rich man boast in his riches,  but let him who boasts boast in this, that he understands and knows me, that I am the Lord who practices steadfast love, justice, and righteousness in the earth. For in these things I delight, declares the Lord.” FIGHTINGTOEXPANDTHEGOSPELTITLE

 

 

 

 

“The Heart of Grace Giving” – Sermon from 9-27-15 on 2 Corinthians 8:16-9:15

Grace Giving Passage Outline:
– 2 Corinthians 8:16-9:15
An External Facet
– we all need to see tangible grace –
1. God uses men by design
2. God uses a team effort for safety
3. God desires earnest execution (because He cares for us)
4. Grace Giving is (or causes) a bridge from the Outward to the Internal

An Internal Effect
– we all need to see the supernatural –
1. Our part – sowing
2. God’s part – growing
3. Who God Wants
4. What we must do in response


Seeing Men Differently – 2 Corinthians 5:16-21
(click the link to see sermon recap for 8-9-15)

Grace Ministry in Faith, Affliction & The Second Coming – Clouds of Heaven
2 Corinthians 4:13-18cloudstext
(link above is to the Sermon Notes for Sunday 7-12-15)

 

 

 

Ministry of Mercy
2 Corinthians 4:1-6
(link above is to the Sermon Notes for Sunday 6-21-15)

Breaking the Back of Sin to Strengthen the Inner Man
Study in James 4:5:10
(link above is to the Sermon Notes for Sunday 6-14-15)

Glorious New Covenant Ministry Part II – Unveiled Freedom
2 Corinthians 3:9-18
(link above is to the Sermon Notes for Sunday 6-7-15)

Attraction or Promotion
(link above is to the Sermon Notes for Sunday 5-17-15 on 2 Corinthians 2:12-17)

Esther – A Strong & Godly Woman
(link above is to the Sermon Notes for Sunday 5-10-15)
some pics of the first three slides
IMG_7925_1024My Grandson Matthew – age 13

myteensface

persia

When…he was asked if he remembered to put on his deodorant!

persia

persia

Persia at the time of Ahasuerus & Esther

God’s Affectionate Love – Selected Scriptures
(Link above is to the Sermon Notes for Sunday 4-12-15)
Note: we scratched the surface of the intimate love of God shown
throughout the Bible and focused on our adoption as Sons and
subsequent relationship as brothers of the Son of God.

 

Way to Give – 1 Corinthians 16:1-4
(Link above is to Sermon Notes for Sunday 3/22/15)
Note: hope these notes are a blessing – as usual there may be more in them than got out in the message – God bless, Rod

A God Who Loves Fervent Prayer – -1 Samuel 1-2
(Link above is to Sermon Notes for Sunday 3/15/15)
Note: There is more at the end of these notes about application than I gave int the sermon – caution! It might be convicting – it is and was for me! God bless, Rod

In A Moment At the Last Trumpet 1 Corinthians 15:52-58
(Link above is to Sermon Notes for Sunday 3/8/15)

1 Corinthians 15:35-49 – How Are the Dead Raised?
(Link above is to Sermon Notes for Sunday 2/15/15)

1Cor15_21-28LivinginHope
(link above is to the pdf format with drawings etc.)

Living in the Light of Resurrection Hope

1 Corinthians 15:21-34 // Sermon Notes from February 8th, 2015

Review: Christ the First Fruits – is the promise of more to come! We are the harvest to follow. His resurrection is the basis for a large harvest.

Hope in What Christ Has Done

1 Cor. 15:21-28 vs. 21

By a man came death = lit. because of a man death (termination of life – or a death sentence) through man a resurrection (to stand up in death) to a dead body (nekros = body in the state of death) Therefore Christ cancels out (by taking on man and dying and being buried and rising again) what Adam started and we willingly have entered into – the death sentence that came in our inherited position in Adam. This is a change in Status – or of “being” that is going to be completed with a physical resurrection but has already started with a spiritual one. Jesus taught both aspects: now and later John 11:25-27 25 Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, 26 and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die. Do you believe this?” 27 She said to him, “Yes, Lord; I believe that you are the Christ, the Son of God, who is coming into the world.” Now: “I am” is present and this corresponds to “shall never die.” (this is a present “life” status brought about by Christ’s resurrection so I never will die spiritually speaking (die = separated from God death). Future: “Whoever believes” (“now” has a future reward) “yet shall he live.”

Clothed in Christ – now and ongoing Another way to look at this is that we are clothed in Christ in a future/on going way and in a completed status now way at the same time. Romans 13:14 commands us to “put on the Lord Jesus Christ” as we would put on clothing. This implies the continuing need to clothe ourselves with Christ. His teaching, His thinking, His mindset onto ourselves in an ever needful fashion. Galatians 3:27 simply says “for as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ.” That is a done deal. That is something already accomplished in Christ from the moment we are “baptized” (not the physical going under the water but “being brought (immersed totally) into Christ” at the moment of our new birth. In these two Scriptures – we have both aspects – the ongoing need of putting on Christ through our future on earth – and the already done, completely completed status of being clothed with all of Christ forever from the moment we come to Him in faith at salvation! First Fruits Principle Illustration: Christ’s own status – is resurrected. He left the clothes in the tomb. No death or death clothes can ever touch Him again. Because He is the first fruits – we are the resulting fruit – we have put on the raised – never to be touched spiritually with death – Christ now!!!!! Above we looked at Galatians 3:27 – vs. 26 above it says “in Christ Jesus you are all sons of God, through faith.” This says in the present we “are” all sons of God…through faith!!! Therefore Paul continues in Gal 3:28-29 we are all one in Christ NOW and we are the SEED of Abraham NOW! All because Christ the First Fruit has a harvest to follow in us!!!Born Out in a Christians Normal Everyday Life Col. 3:1 If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. 2 Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. 3 For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. 4 When Christ who is your life appears, then you also will appear with him in glory. Raised = to be roused from sleep – (different word used here than in 1 Corinthians 15) We were raised because like Christ we died with Him in our receiving of the gospel – death to self! Our life is now free to be fully hid in Christ’s agenda.

How to Be Born Again – Die to SELF and be RAISED UP NOW in Christ through…? (the how?) = the answer is ….simply through faith. Galatians 3:26 for in Christ Jesus you are all sons of God, through faith This has always been the way to God – modeled in Abraham – Gen. 15:6 And he believed the Lord, and he counted it to him as righteousness Repeated in Romans 4:3 “for what does the Scripture say, Abraham believed God and it was counted to Him as righteousness.” Scripture is driving home the concept that – though faith we come into a new/resurrected life in Christ. Jesus said “unless you become like a child” you can not enter the kingdom – a child has all of his faith in his parent. There is a connection of faith to being clothed with Christ (Gal. 3:27) It means dying to ourselves and putting our faith/trust/belief/reliance totally in Christ!

Taking His offer of new-resurrection clothes (Christ) is illustrated by Jesus in Matthew’s gospel. Matthew 22:1-14

And again Jesus spoke to them in parables, saying, 2 “The kingdom of heaven may be compared to a king who gave a wedding feast for his son, 3 and sent his servants to call those who were invited to the wedding feast, but they would not come. 4 Again he sent other servants, saying, ‘Tell those who are invited, “See, I have prepared my dinner, my oxen and my fat calves have been slaughtered, and everything is ready. Come to the wedding feast.” ’ 5 But they paid no attention and went off, one to his farm, another to his business, 6 while the rest seized his servants, treated them shamefully, and killed them. 7 The king was angry, and he sent his troops and destroyed those murderers and burned their city. 8 Then he said to his servants, ‘The wedding feast is ready, but those invited were not worthy. 9 Go therefore to the main roads and invite to the wedding feast as many as you find.’ 10 And those servants went out into the roads and gathered all whom they found, both bad and good. So the wedding hall was filled with guests. 11 “But when the king came in to look at the guests, he saw there a man who had no wedding garment. 12 And he said to him, ‘Friend, how did you get in here without a wedding garment?’ And he was speechless. 13 Then the king said to the attendants, ‘Bind him hand and foot and cast him into the outer darkness. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’ 14 For many are called, but few are chosen.” The wedding garments would have been offered at the door to the feast. By faith the other’s who had accepted by faith the invitation and by faith accepted the offer were clothed properly. The harsh punishment dealt at the end showed this man had refused to come in the way – though faith – the only way possible to be there in the king’s presence. We are born under what theologians call a “federal head” in our representative Adam. We are anthropoid – mankind – and being born in the line of Adam – that is our fate. We are therefore clothed in the death that came upon Adam and the whole race of humanity. These clothes are not acceptable. There is no death in the kingdom of our king. Thankfully Christ has made a way. His death, burial and resurrection is the first fruit because it makes a way to be clothed in newness of life that is Christ!!! By faith alone – we come to Him and then are made partakers in the Second Adam – 1 Corinthians 15:21:b “by a man has come also the resurrection of the dead”Jesus pronounced in John 14 that He alone – was “The Way” and “the truth” and the “life” and that comes because of what He accomplished on calvary and in the resurrection!!! The “clothes” of Christ are now available. It is free, the only requirement is simple faith in Him! The Future Hope Executed vs. 23 – then at His coming those who belong to Christ.” 1. – our physical raising will be completed in the future – a blessed hope at His coming. vs. 23 2. – This is followed by the “end” when Jesus will destroy every rule and authority.vs. 24 3. – all enemies under Jesus’ feet vs. 25 4. – death destroyed vs. 26 5. – divine order of Christ’ victory being accomplished in His father – vs. 27-28 6. – God is all in all – God wins completely and thoroughly!!!

The Futility of Not Living in these Truths/Hope

1 Cor. 15:29-34 vs, 29 otherwise – it is possible even as believers – coming to terms with God by faith – to slip back into less than we are called to be in our daily lives. Paul explains that he dies daily vs. 31 – that he has fought the beasts of persecution (vs. 32) that his sole motivation is the edification of God’s people vs. 31 and that he is in danger at every moment of his existence in verse 30 – All of these truths are needed as a backdrop for a very curious statement in verse 29 “what do people mean by being baptized on behalf of the dead?” Why are they needed? Because if this is some doctrine (like the Mormons – then we are in the dark because it is not taught anywhere else in Scripture. What does it mean? I believe that it is a true statement here, rather than an argument using aberrant practices of “others” (seen in the 3rd person plural of ‘people” in verse 29) as was true of some in the area of Corinth at that time. Why do I believe it is true? I believe that the baptism that Paul was referring to was not the physical act of immersion in water – because Paul uses baptized as a metaphor for salvation. (like Galatians 3:27) So following the Paul’s logic here – those saved in Christ are coming to Christ because (on behalf of) those who have died as martyr’s ahead of them. Seeing people whose faith is genuine and their love for the Lord so real that they are willing to lay down their lives for the sake of the gospel – their blood being the seedbed of real fruit – is a strong argument for the fact that the resurrection is true. It has changed history proving that Christ’s life and death were genuine. This line of reasoning goes perfectly with Paul’s next statements about dying daily, being in danger and the futility of that if the resurrection is not also a reality. Real sinners have come to faith in light of the genuine-ness of those before them who have given their lives for the sake of those who would follow them in faith.

Flags of our Fathers Think of it like this – in the confederate vs. union battles in the Civil War – the regimental flags were all important on the battle field. In the smoke and confusion of a battle in those days – men looked for the position of their own unit by seeing their own flag. The flag bearer was vulnerable and unarmed. He was a target of the enemy and sometimes was taken out in order to demoralize the men. If it went down – another by faith would leave his weapons and take up the position of flag bearer. Another’s death meant another’s “stepping up” and taking the role. Paul is saying – look at he trail of blood – and the results. How can we live in mediocre and infantile Christianity in light of this – because this trail of of blood and faith is proof that the resurrection reality – that it’s hope is real and based on fact. Also – our own suffering is proof. Paul accounted himself as dead already for the sake of the gospel and this gave him the ability to not sweat the dying daily that he was experiencing.

This was painful but made possible. Illustrated in 2 Corinthians 1:8-9 “for we do not want you to be unaware, brothers of the affliction we experienced in Asia. For we were so utterly burdened beyond our strength that we despaired of life itself.” Paul knew the angst of desperation. What was the solution? vs. 9 felt could be translated “in ourselves we knew that we had received the sentence of death” Paul took the knowledge that he had died and his life was hidden in Christ (Col. 3:3) as the very truth needed to combat the “despair” of death type pain that he was called to bear on behalf of the believers and on behalf of those who would come to Christ by witnessing his death daily and his eventual death as a martyr. (probably in the mid 60’s during Nero’s reign) Paul’s thinking is our model – I have died and my life is hidden in Christ so that the daily dying pain is manageable in this light. My future is certain and if God can use my dying to self and dying to comfort and my hidden life for His glory then I can endure it!!! Even if I die it will be used to cause other’s to by faith pick up the Flags of our Fathers in the faith and carry it forward to victory. “I die every day” is testament to the vitality wrought in Christ’s resurrection that is powerful still in me!

The futility of setting our minds on the things of this earth leads to some saying in the Corinthians church, “we might as well party – i.e.. eat, drink for tomorrow we die. This is juvenile Corinthian thinking. Paul had called them immature…babes in Christ and is calling on them for repentance and renewal and revival of who they are in Christ. Paul closes this section of the letter with a strong exhortation: Wake up from your drunken stupor! Don’t hang out in your minds with the corrupt of this world. Don’t have fellowship with those living in the old dead life!!!!!! Stop sinning! You should be ashamed. Paul is scolding them as a loving Father would to a stubborn child. He loves them enough to risk losing them with these tough words. He tells them – “some have no knowledge of God” and this could mean both the fact that the truly dead sinners are longing to see you exhibit a knowledge of God and they are not seeing it. It also could mean they – the Christians in Corinth – were through callousness and spiritual lethargy losing their conscious knowledge of God in their everyday life. God deliver us from this thinking and deliver us to the reality of a risen Lord Jesus Christ.

He is our hope – Christ in you the hope of Glory!

Amen