Sunday, September 22, 2013

The Great Physician and Prescription

Great Physician and Prescription

September 24, 2013

Misc Sermon
Great Physician and Prescription
Mt. 9:12

(Advance Slide #1)

I think that we all feel the pressure and pain of a having a loved one who is sick.
  • When this happens we are desperately interested in a cure…aren't we?
    • We will wait and watch them as their illness progresses.
(Advance Slide #2)
  • We will spare no time (i.e. appointments, procedures, long days and long nights)
  • We spare no trouble (i.e. travel to this expert and that expert, make physical changes if needed)
  • We spare no cost (i.e. sell prized possessions, miss bills)
(Advance Slide #3)

But would we…
  • Do the same to save the soul of a stranger?
    • Now here is the rub…right?
      • Maybe the soul is less valuable, but we know thats not true.
  • Well, what did Jesus say?
(Advance Slide #4)
    • "For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul?" Mt. 16:26
      • Jesus seems to infer that it would be awful for this to happen.
  • Yet, in the text we will read, some Pharisees grumble and growl at the efforts to save the soul.
The apostle Luke was a doctor.
  • It is easy for us to forget that the medical profession has been around for a long time.
    • Jesus in our text today says, "Those that are well have no need of a physician"
    • This seems to indicate that there were physicians in the area of Galilee.
      • The woman that had the issue of blood had gone and seen a physician…they had received fees but without result.
Most doctors have a fair amour of compassion
  • If you ask, most enter this profession to help others.
  • It is with this compassion in mind I want us to examine the life and practice of Jesus the Great Physician.
(Advance Slide #5)

"But when he heard it, he said, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick." Matthew 9:12

(Advance Slide #6)

In this text we find Jesus speaking to some grumbling Pharisees who are trying to put on a front like they a healthy and whole.
  • By their estimation they did not need anything that Jesus claimed to have.
  • This text hit them hardthey knew that sick people needed a physician.
  • What Jesus was doing was taking this principle from the physical to the spiritual.
    • They considered themselves healthy.
    • They defined righteousness by their strict observation to their interpretation of the lawthis was their sacrifice!
Jesus and the Pharisees had different definitions

(Advance Slide #7)
  • To the Pharisees - a sinner was who violates their interpretation of the law
  • To Jesus - a sinner was someone that violated God's will

(Advance Slide #8)

Jesus, the Great Physician
He knows…knows our dire condition and our desperate need.
  • As His patients we can have confidence in Him.
  • We can have FAITH that HE doesn't lose patients.
When sick we want a specialist…right?
  • One that knows their stuff…went to a good school.
  • One that knows our suffering, knows how we feel, but more importantly knows the cure.
  • Jesus is this Great Physician!
(Advance TEXT on Slide #8)

Our Spiritual Diagnosis
Our Great Physician chose 12 men.
  • To these men He gave the prescription for the soul.
    • Also, He sent them to preach repentance and baptism in the name of the Great Physician.
    • We find them doing this. throughout the NT
In Acts 2 on the Day of Pentecost Peter pronounced their problem:
  • He said you are wicked and you murdered the Messiah.
    • Scripture says that their reaction was this, "when they heard this they were cut to the heart" - vs. 37
  • For you to get well…take the Great Physician's medicine!
    • "Repent and be baptized everyone of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit." - vs. 38
(Advance TEXT on Slide #8)

The Prescription
They took the prescription, and we can too
  • They took the pills of faith, repentance, and baptism
    • And they were cured of their spiritual ills.
vs. 41 stays that, "those who received the words were baptized"
  • The original language adds a little here, it says that they "gladly received the words"
  • They did not change it one bit…they had full faith and confidence in the Great Physician!
Taking the divine treat kills the sin "germs" but what is next?
  • They continued in faith…to build strength and to grow spiritually.
(Advance Slide #9)
  • Peter describes it this way: (2 Pt. 1:5-9)
    • For this very reason, make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue, and virtue with knowledge, and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with steadfastness, and steadfastness with godliness, and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love. For if these qualities are yours and are increasing, they keep you from being ineffective or unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. For whoever lacks these qualities is so nearsighted that he is blind, having forgotten that he was cleansed from his former sins.
What happens if we do not follow through with the prescription for the Great Physician?
  • What was the matter with Simon in Acts 8?
(Advance  Slide #10)
    • "…your heart is not right before God." vs 21
    • He is diagnosed further, "For I see that you are in the gall of bitterness and in the bond of iniquity." - vs. 23
  • But what is the prescription?
    • He was told in vs. 22, "Repent, therefore, of this wickedness of yours, and pray to the Lord that, if possible, the intent of your heart may forgive you."

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Excuse Me?

Excuse Me?

September 15, 2013

Misc Sermon
Excuses Me?
Luke 14:15-24

(Advance Slide 1)

John L. Swigert, Jr. was last minute substitution to the the Apollo 13 mission who went to the moon in 1970. 
  • On the second day of Apollo 13, April 12, I asked Mission Control to begin work to get me an extension of the filing date for his income taxes. 
    • Since he had been a last-minute substitution things had moved so fast he simply forgot about it. 
  • The IRS didn't have to make a special ruling to grant Swigert a two-month extension because of his I'm-on-my-way-to-the-moon excuse. 
    • There was already a regulation that provided an automatic extension for anyone out of the country.
We all use them; we have one for every occasion; we might even have favorite ones.
  • What are they…EXCUSES!
  • What excuses are you using and why?
This morning we are going to briefly look at the parable found in Luke 14 and ask two questions:

(Advance Slide 2)
  1. Has God ever accepted excuses?
  2. Will He accept ours?

(Advance Slide 3)

16 But he said to him, “A man once gave a great banquet and invited many. 17 And at the time for the banquet he sent his servant to say to those who had been invited, ‘Come, for everything is now ready.’ 18 But they all alike began to make excuses…Luke 14:16-18a

The scene here is not very different from a gathering we might plan today.

(Advance Slide 4)
  • Each guest has been given and knows the exact time that they are to present themselves.
    • They had agreed to this…yet THEY REFUSED!
      • On top of that they offered weak excuses about the change of their plans.
(Advance Text on Slide 4 x3)
  • I bought a field and need to go see it.
  • I bought 5 yoke of oxen and need to examine them.
  • I have married a wife and I cannot be there.
    • "A person good at excuses is not usually good at anything else" - unknown
  • And the nerve of those guests…they actually expected another invitation!
    • The real reason for their absence was that they were not ready.
(Advance Slide 5)

But this meal was not going to be wasted.
  • "Servant, Go and bring all the outcasts"…
    • "Master, we've done that and there is still room."
    • "Then go to highways and hedges."
  • The original guest lost their invitation…the door was shut on them.
(Advance Slide 6)
  • "none of those men who were invited shall taste my banquet.” vs. 24 

(Advance Slide 8)

Has God Accepted Excuses in the Past?

(Advance Text on Slide 8)

Adam and Eve - were given a law to not eat of a certain tree, but they did
  • The transgressed against God's command.
    • They tried to offer excuses, but He did not accept them.
    • They had rejected His word, and in return He rejected them.
(Advance Text on Slide 8)

The people of the Noah - the world was filled with wicked.
  • Man sought to do nothing but evil…they had rejected the word of God.
    • They were destroyed, and He did not excuse them for their actions.
(Advance Text on Slide 8)

The people of Sodom - were also filled with wickedness.
  • Lot and his family had not turned from God.
  • Like those of the time of Noah, they were destroyed.
    • Once again, He did not excuse them for their wickedness.
(Advance Text on Slide 8)

King Saul - was commanded to destroy the Amalekites and all their stock.
  • He failed to strictly obey God.
    • He tried to make excuses for himself for not obeying the word of the Lord.
    • No matter how hard he tried he was not able to form an excuse that God would accept.
(Advance Slide 9)

Will God Accept Our Excuses?
If God did accept the excuses of these, we need to ask this question, "Will He accept our excuses?"
  • Given the evidence that we see in each of these how can we think that He will accept them?
    • In fact, when I search scripture I find that the only position to be in is one of earnest obedience to the Word of God.
  • When we have the opportunity to know God and fail to do so there IS NO EXCUSE.
(Advance Slide 10)
  • 18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth. 19 For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. 20 For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse. Romans 1:18-20
I found this list on-line, it is called the top 10 list of excuses:
     1. I forgot.
     2. No one told me to go ahead.      
     3. I didn't think it was that important.
     4. Wait until the boss comes back and ask him. 
     5. I didn't know you were in a hurry for it. 
     6. That's the way we've always done it. 
     7. That's not in my department. 
     8. How was I to know this was different? 
     9. I'm waiting for an O.K. 
     10. That's his job--not mine.

(Advance Slide 11)

God has provided a way for everyone to be saved.
  • Jesus is that way…He died for us.
  • God requires that all men be taught about this Way
  • It also requires all men to obey this gospel message!
(Advance Slide 12)

God has provided a way for us to live…a standard above any other.
  • God requires that all men live according to His Way.
  • It also requires that all men obey His commands.
God will not accept excuses of those intelligent enough to obey but do not!
  • In the parable they first guests were not given another chance.
(Advance Slide 13)

El Salvador Mission Report

Sunday, September 1, 2013

I AM the Vine

I AM the Vine

September 1, 2013

I AM the Vine 
Jesus in the Present Tense
John 15:1-8

(Advance Slide 1)


(Advance Slide 2)

This is the last of the I AM statements that we find in the gospel of John.
  • The first four were made publicly.
  • One was spoken privately to Martha.
  • The last two were privately spoken to the apostles in the upper room.
(Advance Slide 3)

Jesus was explaining how they could serve in His absence.
  • A deep sea diver receives ended oxygen from above.
  • Christians grow and serve because of a living connection with Christ and abide in Him.
(Advance Slide 4)
  • Jesus was clear in His teachings…apart from Him, they could do nothing.
    • NOTICE - Jesus did not say that they were disabled or disadvantaged; they could do nothing.
(Advance Slide 5)

Our service must begin in Christ, continue by being sustained by Christ, and end at Christ (and His glory) for it to last.

Just as Jesus is the "true bread" He is also the "true vine" - vs. 1
  • This group of verses have a lot of practical truths in them.
  • The practical nature of their teachings is on faithful servanthood.
(Advance Slide 6)

"5 I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing. If anyone does not abide in me he is thrown away like a branch and withers; and the branches are gathered, thrown into the fire, and burned. If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you." John 15:5-7

(Advance Slide 7)

This is no better description of God's transforming work then this description.
  • In this description Jesus reveals that this transformation is a team effort.
    • Without God we would never start our journey.
  • As we consider this transformation we MUST keep in mind that we may become more like Christ
(Advance Slide 8)
    • Gal. 5:22 helps us to see what this Christlikeness look like, "love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self control"
(Advance Slide 9)

Jesus says, "I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing."
  • He is describing the believer's new life as a branch that is attached to the vine (God).
(Advance Slide 10)
  • A branch growing from a vine becomes the recipient of the life and nutrients that flow from the vine.

(Advance Slide 11)

True Living - comes from bearing fruit (Advance Slide 12)
  • In Ezekiel 15 branches are described as being good for two things:
  • Good for fruit or fuel; that is to say bearing or burning
    • If the branch is not bearing fruit it is not fulfilling its purpose in life and should be discarded.
You may be attached to the vine and be spiritually alive, but not very healthy.
  • Remember Psalm 1 last week?
    • Vs. 3 described a tree planted by water that received nutrients, yields fruits doesn't wither.
  • We can learn from this that branches do not produce fruits to feed its self but to feed others.
    • For us we need ot realize that God's will is not a punishment; rather it is fulfillment and nourishment.
(Advance Slide 13)

What is the "fruit" that we are to bear?
  • It represents those that we lead to Christ.
    • "I do not want you to be unaware, brothers, that I have often intended to come to you (but thus far have been prevented), in order that I may reap some harvest among you as well as among the rest of the Gentiles." Romans 1:13
  • Growing is another "fruit" that we harvest.
(Advance Slide 14)

Fruit Bearing - is the result of abiding in Christ (Advance Slide 15)
  • Communion begins with out unioin with Christ in baptism.
    • As the branch (i.e. Christian) we have a living union with Christ.
    • Because of this living union, we are alive and we bear fruit from this living union with Him.
  • Bearing fruit requires discipline (both agriculturaly and spiritually speaking)
(Advance Slide 16)

Sometimes living wood must be pruned to create growth.
  • Scripture confirms this:
    • Abraham - had to leave his city and family...also had to offer Isaac.
    • Jacob - had to lay aside his own plans so his family would become the nation of Israel.
    • The same process can be seen in the lives of Joseph, David, Paul, and Peter
We have this Greek word in the NT it is meno
  • It means "inward enduring personal communion.
    • Now, to me that sounds a lot like abiding.
    • To fully communon with Him is to abide with Him...those that i mentioned did.
  • Union does not always guarantee communion though.
    • "No longer do I call you servants, for the servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all that I have heard from my Father I have made known to you." John 15:15
Do you meet with The Lord daily and communion with Him?

Is there evidence of abiding with Christ?
  • You experience love (vs. 9; 12-13)
  • You have a joy (vs. 11)
  • You will be hated and opposed by the world (vs. 18-19)
(Advance Slide 17)

Abiding in Christ - is the result of obeying Christ
  • Every discipline in life has law that must be followed if we wish to suceed.
  • Laws goven our moral and spiritual life as well.
  • "If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and abide in his love." John 15:5
The best reason and way to obey is becasue you want to.

(Advance Slide 18)
  • Obey becasue you are motivated by love.
    • "If you love me, you will keep my commandments" John 14:15
    • “If anyone loves me, he will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him." John 14:23
(Advance Slide 19)

By obeying we show that we know Him.
  • Just think of all the people that you are acquanted with.
  • You know them more than you know Jesus...who you claim to be your Savior.
    • The more that we know Him, the more we will love Him       

(Advance Slide 20)

"What therefore God has joined together, let not man separate.” - Mark 10:9
  • Jesus was speaking about marriage, but the command is for other areas of life as well.
  • In His I AM statement Jesus joined together abundant living and fruit bearing.
We cannot manufacture spiritual fruit.
  • It must flow from our fellowship with our Savior.
  • It is joined with obeying and loving Him
The more we love Him, the more we will obey Him. The more that we obey Him, the more we abide with Him.