Sunday, June 23, 2013

I Will Save You

God's Unbroken Promises
I Will Save You
Acts 2:37-41



(Advance Slide #1)

I Will Save You!

(Advance Slide #2)
  • What does salvation really mean?
  • From what is one saved?
  • Why is salvation something that we should be concerned about?
    • Before the promise, "I Will Save You" can become precious to us, we must understand these questions.
(Advance Slide #3)

But, what really happened the day that Jesus dies?
  • We can read through John 19 and 20 and not really see all that it represents.
    • For instance…Pilate had Jesus "flogged"…this was torture…His skin was laid bare!
    • It also says that He carried his cross, and was then nailed to that very cross.
  • Capital punishment today is quick and predictable…not the case then.
Jesus willingly endured the cross for one reason…TO SAVE US!

(Advance Slide #4)
  • John 19:30, "It is finished"
  • What was finished?
  • It wasn't His life…it was the work of salvation!
(Advance Slide #5)

"Now when they heard this they were cut to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, “Brothers, what shall we do?”  And Peter said to them, “Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.  For the promise is for you and for your children and for all who are far off, everyone whom the Lord our God calls to himself.” And with many other words he bore witness and continued to exhort them, saying, “Save yourselves from this crooked generation.”  So those who received his word were baptized, and there were added that day about three thousand souls."  Acts 2:37-41

(Advance Slide #6)

We all need forgiveness for all sins…past, present, and future!

"There is no one righteous, not even one." Romans 3:10
  • Where are all the good people?  What happened to them?
    • According to the Bible, they were never here to begin with.
    • Other than Jesus, there is no such person as a "good person"
  • When sinners compare themselves to other sinners, we might just look good.
    • But God is the standard, and when compared to Him no one is righteous!
On the day of Pentecost the people there that day heard Peter preach the sinful nature of man.
  • They were cut to their heart and cried out, "What shall we do?"
    • "Repent and be baptized"

(Advance Slide #7)

John 1:9 says that Jesus is the light that came into the world.
  • He illuminates our lives and open our eyes to the truth of who we really are.
    • When we realize this we have two choices:
(Advance Slide #8)
  1. We can harden our hearts
  2. Our we can respond to His promise to save us
(Advance Slide #9)
What is your need?
Accepting the truth that you cannot save yourself is the all important first step in this process.
  • Only God can save us.
(Advance Slide #10)
  • Our sin separates us from the Creator, and no amount of effort on our part can repair the damage.
    • Whose power saves you? GOD'S POWER!
    • Not a little bit of you and a little bit of Him 
(Advance Slide #11)

"For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith for faith, as it is written, “The righteous shall live by faith.” Romans1:16-17
  • How does righteousness save us?
    • Jesus made us right with the law of God by paying the penalty.
(Advance Slide #12)

Part of repentance is a realization that you are going in the wrong direction.
  • When our eyes are opened to who we really are, a genuine sadness penetrates our hearts.
    • That sadness makes us begin to realize that our sins have wounded not only those around us but the heart of God too.
  • A person who has encountered Jesus does an about-face (REPENTANCE) and decides that he will live a new life
(Advance Slide #13)

Proclaiming your commitment
Jesus was clear that if we confess His name before others, He will confess our names before the Father - Matt. 10:32
  • A commitment to Christ is just that…a commitment!
  • We proclaim Him where? at home, school, at work, in the marketplace…everywhere!
Christians in the 1st Century proudly verbalized their commitment to Jesus.
  • Confessing Jesus is not a painstaking things, but rather a nature reaction.
(Advance Slide #14)
  • "So they called them and charged them not to speak or teach at all in the name of Jesus. But Peter and John answered them, “Whether it is right in the sight of God to listen to you rather than to God, you must judge, for we cannot but speak of what we have seen and heard.”  Acts2:19-20
(Advance Slide #15)

Cleansing your past

(Advance Slide #16)

"Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life." Romans 6:3-4 
  • There is nothing magical about the water, but God sees our willingness to obey His commands as a commitment to enter into a covenant r'ship.
  • In the waters of baptism God purifies us!
There are three things that you see with every baptism in the early church:

(Advance Slide #17)

Baptism was done immediately…no waiting period.

(Advance TEXT on Slide #17)

Baptism was done in response to God's command.

(Advance TEXT on Slide #17)

It was done by those who believed in the gospel.

One who truly wants to follow Jesus will purge their past.


(Advance Slide #18)

It is important to understand the meaning of God's promise, "I Will Save You" for several reasons:
  1. We need to know how, and by whom, that promised can be claimed.
  2. In order to appreciate and be grateful about what we are being saved from (sin, death, enslavement).
  3. In order that we can have an understanding of what the promise isn't about (not being saved from trouble or hardship…not a life of laziness, but action).
Many people believe that God does not really exist and is as loving Christians claim that He is…
  • If He is then why not forgive everyone and then bring everyone to be with Him at the end of time?
  • These people only understand the one side of God's nature…His love!
The Bible portrays God as both holiness and love.
  • So when sin enters the picture, a tension exists between the love of God and the holiness of God.
    • God's holiness requires Him to punish sin.
  • But in, His love, He provided a way to meet both sides of His nature…by sending His Son to die on the cross.
    • "For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God." 2 Cor. 5:21
Jesus' death etched into history for al the world to see God's love for mankind! 

Sunday, June 16, 2013

I Will Forgive You

June 9, 2013

God's Unbroken Promises
I Will Forgive You
Romans 6:1-7

(Advance Slide 1)




(Advance Slide 2)

Forgiveness is a previous thing.
  • In fact, God graciously gives us those words in HIs Word, "I will forgive" (Jer. 31:34 for instance).
  • It is a profound promise and one that should resonate within our hearts.
Forgiveness is a beautiful, if not a mind-boggling, thing!
  • Forgiveness is a promise that God make for those who call upon his name and seek His Son's cleaning blood!
What's the big deal…why should I care that God forgives me?
  • The Bible does say that all have sinned and that the wages of that sin is death.
    • The world today might just tell you, "Sure your not perfect, but a sinner…now thats just harsh.  No, your a good person who occasionally does something bad."
    • The question I would pose is...if we were so good then why not stop doing those bad things.
    • "Well, that's just impossible!"
Jesus would say, "You are right…because you are a sinner!"
  • Indeed, the heart of man is wicked, deceitful and sick (Jer. 17:9)
  • Forgiveness is something that we all NEED! (last week's promise I WIll Give You What You Need)
(Advance Slide 3)

"What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin that grace may abound? By no means! How can we who died to sin still live in it? Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life. For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we shall certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his. We know that our old self was crucified with him in order that the body of sin might be brought to nothing, so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin. For one who has died has been set free from sin." Romans 6:1-7

Being forgiven…that just sounds too go to be true.

(Advance Slide 4)
  • I want you to notice all the past-tense verbs in this passage:
    • "have died to sin"
    • "were…buried with Him"
    • "old self was crucified"
    • "has been set free"
The message of forgiveness is one that deals with the past.
  • What do I mean?
    • This can be 30 years, 20 years, 15 years, 5 years, 10 hours, or minutes ago!
    • The past has no bearing on the whatsoever on the way in which God sees you now.
(Advance Slide 5)

When you come to God forgiveness is given once and for all:
  • Sin, addictions, moral lapses, abuse, failed marriages…when placed before God they are all FORGIVEN!
The charge that Paul make's here is clear & effective:
  • How can anyone who has been on the receiving end of the largest operation of grace continue to willfully sin?
  • How can anyone who truly understand the cost of forgiveness flippantly live in a life of sin?
  • How can anyone who understand the damage that sin causes make no effort to cease and desist?
(Advance Slide 6)

New Power
His greatest argument concerns the power that authentic forgiveness catalyzes in the life of a true convert.
  • "For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we shall certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his." vs. 5
    • What happens when we receive God's forgiveness?
    • We die to our old way and are then resurrected to a new way of life!
    • Before the spirit was willing but the flesh was weak…
    • Now, through Christ, the spirit is willing and the flesh is able!
Later Paul states:
  • "Do not present your members to sin as instruments for unrighteousness, but present yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life, and your members to God as instruments for righteousness." vs. 13
    • Will we ever reach perfection this side of heaven?  No….
    • BUT - we can choose to say no to sin when the temptation asked to use our mouth, ears, hands, heart, mind or any other part for sinful purposes.
(Advance Slide 7)

New Master
We are no longer slaves to our sin…we don't have to obey it!
This should motivate us to exercise discipline , effort and commitment towards defeating destructive habits in our lives.

(Advance Slide 8)

EX. - Charles Blondin - tight rope walker in the mid-1800's
  • He walked from Canada to US 17 different times on a tightrope!
  • In one story he was on the rope and shouted, "I am Charles Blondin,do you believe me?"
  • They responded by saying, "Yes, we believe you!"
  • Next he said, "Do you believe that I can go back across carrying someone on my shoulders?"
  • "Yes…we believe!"
  • "Who will be the first one?"…the crowd went silent!
    • Saying your committed is totally different from living if you actually are.
    • Total commitment is the life that God is calling us to!
Have you ever met someone who claims to be a Christ-follower but has a casual attitude towards sin?
  • Christ's promise to forgive our sin is followed by the power to overcome it.
(Advance Slide 9)
  • "Do not lie to one another, seeing that you have put off the old self with its practices and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of its creator." Col. 3:9-10
(Advance Slide 10)
  • "I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me." Gal. 2:20
(Advance Slide 11)

Two examples of this (I've uses them before but they are both so fitting):

(Advance TEXT on Slide 11)

King David - he stole another man's wife, got her pregnant, and then killed her husband to cover it all up (2 Sam. 11)
  • But he came to his senses; humbled himself, confessed his sins and repented.
  • He later wrote: " far as the east is from the west, so far does he remove our transgressions from us." Psalm 103:12
(Advance TEXT Slide 11)

Saul - God also chose a man who's past is far worse than any of ours.
  • He was responsible for the deaths of hundreds of Christians
  • In fact, as Stephen was being stoned he was there giving his approval oftheir actions.
  • He would launch the Christian movement in much of the Greco-Roman world.
  • He would pen most of the NT that we study today!
(Advance Slide 12)

"in him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace…" Eph. 1:7

Those who have been been baptized and follow Christ are sons and daughters of God.
  • Our heavenly Father loves and cadres for us like no other, and one of the greatest gifts of this love is His forgiveness!
    • Paul wrote of this in his letter to the church in Rome,
(Advance Slide 13)
  • "Blessed are those whose lawless deeds are forgiven, and whose sins are covered;" Rom. 4:7
Why are those who have been forgiven so blessed?
  • Because forgiveness means that nothing stands between them and God.
  • For many the blessing is so overwhelming that they approach it with weeping and gratitude.
    • They realize that God reached out when no one else would, and offered the most precious gift of all…FORGIVENESS!
(Advance Slide 14)

Sunday, June 9, 2013

I Will Give You What You Need

June 9, 2013

God's Unbroken Promises
I WIll Give You What You Need
Mark 2:1-12



(Advance Slide 1)


(Advance Slide 2)

EXAMPLE - The Toy Story trilogy
  • The theme of these movies were friendship
    • Particularly between Buzz and Woody.
    • The ultimate goal for the "toy characters" is to make Andy happy.
This kids movie is a lot like our world.
  • Meaning and significance drive what we say and what we do.
    • We spend our time chasing elusive dreams in a hope that they will make us happy.
(Advance Slide 3)
  • "If I could just get _______ then the world would be a great place."
(Advance Slide 4)

This is the backdrop of Mark 2:
  • We meet a man and his friends (unnamed)…
    • The man has a longing to be healed, he is paralyzed.
  • The man was confined to a mat (assume that it was 6ft by 3-4 ft.)
    • His whole life was lived in these confines…he was totally dependent on others!
(Advance Slide 5)

Which is easier, to say to the paralytic, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Rise, take up your bed and walk’? But that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins”—he said to the paralytic— “I say to you, rise, pick up your bed, and go home.” Mark 2:9-11

(Advance Slide 6)

Jesus is "at home" in Capernaum.
  • It is unclear who's home it is, but it is standing room only!
  • Jesus was like a celebrity…maybe even a rockstar!
  • No room inside or outsidepeople were everywherelistening and watching
There are some similarities to the account we find in 1:21-28 (Jesus heals the man with unclean spirit)

(Advance Slide 7)
  • In both of these instances the people were astonishedAMAZED at what Jesus was saying and doing!
  • In the former there was even the recognition of His authority
(Advance Slide 8)
  • “What is this? A new teaching with authority! He commands even the unclean spirits, and they obey him.” 1:27

(Advance Slide 9)

Who are you carrying?
These 4 unnamed men were amazing friends
  • This was a time when other would have behaved callously against someone like this man
    • Possibly they would have thought like the disciples in John 9:2, and though he was the worst of sinners.
  • Yet, they had a different mindset!
  • Their friend's problem became their problem too.
What was the problem…a friend that they cared for couldn't walk
  • They knew what he needed (or they thought they did), were willing to do whatever it took.
    • With such a large crowd imagine trying to carry the mat and elbow your way through the crowd.
    • We can't get in…so close yet so far away.
(Advance Slide 10)
  • One friend was "thinking outside of the box" - climb up top and dig through the roof!
    • Imagine Jesus teaching and preaching with clumps of clay and straw and ceiling falling in front of Him?
(Advance Slide 11)

Jesus sees their faith and says, "My son, your sins are forgiven."

Who are you carrying?
  • We have been saved by the grace and mercy of God and we are passionate about our faith
  • Who are you going to sacrifice for?  Who will we be inconvenienced by?
  • Who are we going to try to get to Jesus?
(Advance Slide 12)

What we really need

(Advance Slide 13)

Why did these men bring their friend to Jesus?
  • For healing…not for anything else.
    • "Thank you just the same Jesus, but if you could just give us some healing…everything will be okay."
(Advance Slide 14)

While being sympathetic to them Jesus is reminding them of something deeper.
  • This is relevant teaching for everyone who believe that there is emoting out there that we really need.
    • Job promotion to make life complete.
    • Enough money to get through the bad economy then I'll be content.
    • If you will make my loved one well I'll never ask for anything else again.
  • These things only provide temporary satisfaction
    • God gives what we truly need!
The Bible does say:

(Advance Slide 15)
  • God is aware of our need for food, shelter and clothing - Mt. 6
  • God is able to bless us beyond what we actually need - 2 Cor. 9
  • God will supply all our needs - Phil. 4:19
We know the rest of the story:
  • Until we are right with God, we never really feel alive.
  • Nor will we continue to seek what doesn't fill us up.
(Advance Slide 16)

"Rise, pick up your mat and go home"
  • Consider the atrophied muscles…they become strong again.
  • Yes, Jesus gave him what he WANTED, but He also gave him what he NEEDED
(Advance Slide 17)
  • “Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? Mt.6:25-26
(Advance Slide 18)
  • "The Lord will keep you from all evil; he will keep your life. The Lord will keep your going out and your coming in from this time forth and forevermore." Psalm 121:7-8  
(Advance Slide 19)

God is worthy and faithful…HE has promised to care for us!
  • To teach us His ways - Ps. 32
  • To give us peace - Jn. 14
  • Grant us His deliverance - Ps. 72
  • Give us His strength - Philip. 4:13

Sunday, June 2, 2013

I Will Care For You

June 2, 2013

God's Unbroken Promises
I Will Care for You
1 Peter 5:6-7

(Advance Slide 1)




(Advance Slide 2)

Have you ever heard it said, "If God was so powerful…"
  • Why doesn't He stop or alleviate the pain and the suffering in the world?
    • If we say that He can't co-exist with this pain assumes that there is no good reason for it.
  • Is it possible for HIs kingdom to be advanced in the midst of pain and suffering?
(Advance Slide 3)

His ways are not always understood.
  • Last week we studied the promise, "I will be with you"
(Advance Slide 4)

  • We know that this is not an escape hatch from trouble, but a comfort and a presence through our troubles.
  • Many of our "issues" come form the fact that God has given us free will.
Question of the day:

(Advance Slide 5)
  • Does God care?
  • If He does then how will His care be shown.

(Advance Slide 6)

"Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you." 1 Peter 5:6-7

(Advance Slide 7)

Peter knew that Jesus cared:
  • Jesus healed his mother-in-law - Mrk. 1
  • Jesus gave him the great catch - Lk. 5
  • Jesus helped him pay the temple tax - Mt. 17
  • Jesus helped him walk on water - Mt. 14
  • Jesus repaired the damage caused by his sword - Lk. 22
In these two passages Peter draws out the significance of humility and grace for the suffering believers.
  • The instruction was for them to humble themselves "under the mighty hand of God"
    • Why? Only he alone can affect the dark world.
    • Why should we turn to Him…HE CARES!
Christians are empowered by the knowledge that God cares for and loves us!


(Advance Slide 8)

What is the best way for us to see how God cares? 
  • We see this in the person and work of Jesus.
  • More specifically we can read about it in Jn. 11 and the death of Lazarus
The Sickness

(Advance Slide 9)

We find that Lazarus is named in vs. 1
  • This is important…the lame man, the blind man, the paralyzed man…they were not named.
    • This was not some random guy off the street.
(Advance Slide 10)

  • More so we learn in vs. 3 that Jesus loved him.
    • If this is true then we are confused by Jesus reaction when He gets the news that Lazarus is sick.
    • He waited…He didn't go running.
I think we'd all agree that Jesus is all powerful and good.

(Advance Slide 11)
  • If so, then why not rush to His friend's side.
  • Why did they call for him in the first place?
  • Imagine the reaction of His disciples and their confusion.
After 2 days He decides to make His move - vs. 7

(Advance Slide 12)

  • "Let us go to Judea again."
    • The disciples get scared, "The Jews there want to kill you…why would you want to go there again?"
  • Lazarus is asleep and I'm going to go there to wake him up.
    • Well, if he is asleep then he will get better.
"No, he IS dead and for your sake I am glad." - vs. 14-15
  • Why say this…so that they may believe!
The Comforter Appears
When Jesus arrives you see two very different reactions from Mary and Martha…and Jesus too.
  • Martha didn't even wait for Jesus…she ran out to Him.
(Advance Slide 13)

  • "Lord, if you had been here…" - vs. 21
  • "Whatever you ask God will give you." - vs. 22
He will rise again Jesus tells her.

(Advance Slide 14)
  • “I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die. Do you believe this?”
Martha is acting very logical and she is seeking truth and that's what Jesus gave her.

Mary came to where Jesus was - vs. 32
  • She fell at His feet in an emotional episode, and says the same thing as Martha.
(Advance Slide 15)

  • "Lord, if you had been here…"
(Advance Slide 16)

  • Jesus saw her weeping and the weeping of the others and HE WEPT TOO!
    • Our Lord shed tears.
When we are hurting we need both truth and tears…logic and emotion.
  • Martha needed the logic.
  • Mary needed the emotion.
    • Their comfort came form two different reactions, and He was able to show that He cared for them.
(Advance Slide 17)

Action Step:
What do we need?

(Advance TEXT on Slide 17)
  • In our lives we need fixers and feelers.
    • Some want to logically think things through and fix the issue.
    • Other have the emotion needed to bring comfort that way.
(Advance Slide 18)

How do we see that He cares?
  • But here is the great blessing that we have as Christians…we are a part of His church.
    • The church is a community of thinkers and feelers.
    • "I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me." Gal. 2:20  
Does God care? ABSOLUTELY!
  • First - He gives us both truth and tears.
    • Despite the appearance of abandonment He is present and in charge.
    • God is sovereign and in control.
  • Second - God has a built-in mechanism to give care and comfort.
(Advance Slide 19)

  • "Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ." - Gal.2:20
(Advance Slide 20)

  • "Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep." - Rom. 12:15
God DOES care!
  • No trouble or hardship can separate us form His love!
(Advance Slide 21)

"For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord." Rom. 8:38-39