The Truest Thing About You is What God Says is True

 Identity: The truest thing about you is what God says is true

God says that we have received the permanent and transforming gift of the Holy Spirit

  • The Father planned salvation, the Son accomplished salvation and the Holy Spirit applies and empowers salvation
    • Every believer has been baptized, indwelt, sealed, regenerated and adopted into God’s family by the Spirit
    • The Holy Spirit’s presence in our lives is the sign and the seal of the New Covenant
    • The Holy Spirit has come to transform our lives, make us more like Christ and empower us to be servants and witnesses for Jesus

 
Romans 8:1-16, 26-27 (NLT)
8 So now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus. And because you belong to him, the power of the life-giving Spirit has freed you from the power of sin that leads to death. The law of Moses was unable to save us because of the weakness of our sinful nature. So God did what the law could not do. He sent his own Son in a body like the bodies we sinners have. And in that body God declared an end to sin’s control over us by giving his Son as a sacrifice for our sins. He did this so that the just requirement of the law would be fully satisfied for us, who no longer follow our sinful nature but instead follow the Spirit.
Those who are dominated by the sinful nature think about sinful things, but those who are controlled by the Holy Spirit think about things that please the Spirit. So letting your sinful nature control your mind leads to death. But letting the Spirit control your mind leads to life and peace. For the sinful nature is always hostile to God. It never did obey God’s laws, and it never will. That’s why those who are still under the control of their sinful nature can never please God.
But you are not controlled by your sinful nature. You are controlled by the Spirit if you have the Spirit of God living in you. (And remember that those who do not have the Spirit of Christ living in them do not belong to him at all.) 10 And Christ lives within you, so even though your body will die because of sin, the Spirit gives you life because you have been made right with God. 11 The Spirit of God, who raised Jesus from the dead, lives in you. And just as God raised Christ Jesus from the dead, he will give life to your mortal bodies by this same Spirit living within you.
12 Therefore, dear brothers and sisters, you have no obligation to do what your sinful nature urges you to do. 13 For if you live by its dictates, you will die. But if through the power of the Spirit you put to death the deeds of your sinful nature, you will live. 14 For all who are led by the Spirit of God are children of God.
15 So you have not received a spirit that makes you fearful slaves. Instead, you received God’s Spirit when he adopted you as his own children. Now we call him, “Abba, Father.” 16 For his Spirit joins with our spirit to affirm that we are God’s children…26 And the Holy Spirit helps us in our weakness. For example, we don’t know what God wants us to pray for. But the Holy Spirit prays for us with groanings that cannot be expressed in words. 27 And the Father who knows all hearts knows what the Spirit is saying, for the Spirit pleads for us believers in harmony with God’s own will.
 
1.    The law of the Spirit of life has set us free from the law of sin and death
For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death. (ESV)

  1. A.   The Holy Spirit is described with the title “the Spirit of life”
  2. B.   The Holy Spirit produces a new way of living
    1. C.   Example of a jet’s engines superceding  the law of gravity
    2. D.   The Holy Spirit’s indwelling presence sets us free from the control of sin and from the consequence of sin-death
    3. E.   Our freedom was a past tense completed action so it is true right now

 
2.    The righteous requirements of the law are fulfilled in us who walk according to the Spirit
in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit. (ESV)

  1. God’s righteousness expressed in the Law had a quantitative nature to it
  2. That righteous attainment and standard is imparted to every believer by virtue of their faith in Christ and new position in the Spirit
  3. This is not indication potentiality but purpose
  4. This is true for those who are walking in the Spirit; both positionally and experientially
  5. The Spirit empowers us to live righteously
  6. We are righteous by God’s imputation and we live righteously because the Holy Spirit empowers and transforms us
  7. G.  Example of pushing a car verses sitting behind the wheel, turning on the key, putting it in drive and stepping on the gas. The power in the Christian life to be holy comes from the Holy Spirit not from ourselves

 
3.    We are in the Spirit and the Spirit of God dwells in us
You, however, are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if in fact the Spirit of God dwells in you. Anyone who does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to him. (ESV)

  1. We are those who walk in the Spirit because we have the Spirit living in us
    1. 1st class condition, the Spirit does in facet indwell us
    2. We were regenerated, baptized, indwelt, adopted and sealed at the moment of our salvation
    3. The Spirit, whom Jesus called the Helper is with us and in us 24/7 all the time, everywhere
    4. In the OT, the Spirit came on people but did not indwell them, after Pentecost the Holy Spirit permanently indwells believers the moment they receive Christ
    5. F.    Example having a camera in your phone; when you want to take a picture you don’t need to find a camera, you already have one in your phone.of needing a camera, one is in my phone. When we need the help of the Holy Spirit, He is already in us!
    6. Have you ever needed help, do you need help, do you think you might need help in the future? The Spirit is there because He is here, in us
    7. Because we have the Spirit we belong to Christ

 
4.    The Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in us and He will give resurrection life to our mortal bodies
10 But if Christ is in you, although the body is dead because of sin, the Spirit is life because of righteousness. 11 If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit who dwells in you. (ESV)

  1. The Spirit is life and He is the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead
  2. 1st class condition, assumes the reality of the condition, “Since the Spirit…”
  3. The greatest demonstration of God’s power-Eph. 1:18-21
  4. He will give life to our bodies through the Spirit
  5. Where does He give life: our bodies
  6. When does He give life: at the physical resurrection but the context is now!
  7. What kind of life does the Spirit give: resurrection life
  8. The Spirit gives us love when we feel no love, courage when we are afraid, power to resist sin when we feel weak, guidance wisdom when we are confused, compassion when we are unfeeling, enablement to obey God’s Word by faith when are feelings are not in line with obedience.
  9. The hope of resurrection life is ours right now because the Spirit produces this life in us
  10. Example of your IPad running on battery and then going dead. When you plug it in to your charger, new power from the outside energizes it. We have received new resurrection power from the Holy Spirit.

 
5.    We have received the Spirit of adoption as sons and we cry, “Abba, Father”
14 For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. 15 For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, “Abba! Father!” (ESV)

  1. We are sons of God because we have the Spirit in us and leading us
  2. The Spirit doesn’t enslave us but adopts us as sons
  3. Both men and women are sons of God
  4. We have intimacy to cry Abba-Father
  5. Example of my girls calling me “Daddy”
  6. The devil wants to deceive us into thinking God is mad at us, doesn’t care about us, is too busy for us but the truth is He lives inside of us, we are His heirs and we have intimacy with Him as our Father and Daddy

 
6.    The Spirit bears witness with our spirit that we are God’s children
16 The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God (ESV)

  1. The Holy Spirt speaks to us, bears witness to the fact that we are God’s children
  2. As sons and heirs we are in His family
  3. It is the Spirit who affirms and confirms this truth
  4. He wants us to know what is true about us
  5. Example of using Ancestry.com and finding out about your family. The Holy Spirit reveals to us that we are in God’s family.

 
7.    The Spirit helps our weakness,intercedes for us and helps us pray
26 Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words. 27 And he who searches hearts knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God. (ESV)

  1. The Spirit helps our weaknesses generally but specifically in prayer
  2. Greek word, Sunantilambano: together with against to take up; rendering help alongside with where it is needed to someone already working; we are weak in prayer but we are trying, the Spirit comes along, helps where we need it and our prayers are interceded to the Father
  3. Example of Nickel package in football; an extra defensive back is added to the defensive in order to stop the pass. Help is needed in the backfield so that is where it is applied.
  4. The Spirit intercedes for us even when we don’t know what to pray for
  5. The Spirit knows our longings and desires and He knows God’s will
  6. The Spirit will pray in and through us so that God hears our longings

 
Conclusion

  • God says we have received the permanent and transforming gift of the Holy Spirit
  • He lives inside us
  • He will never leave us
  • The Spirit has been sent by Jesus to be our Helper, to produce Christ’s resurrection life within us and to empower us to boldly live as Christ’s witnesses

 
Believe what God says is true and ask for the help and empowering of the Holy Spirit who lives inside you!

The Power of the Truth

I recently read a fictional book about the hunt for a powerful bio-weapon that could trigger the annihilation of the entire population of the United States. In this thriller, America’s top agent travels the Middle East and Europe seeking to intercept and neutralize this impending threat. The weapon was so potent, a no holds barred approach was taken to find it and eliminate it.
Truth is a powerful weapon.  When used for God’s Kingdom, the truth can change lives and eternity.  Jesus said, “You shall know the truth and the truth shall set you free!” (Jn. 8:31).  The truth of Jesus Christ literally sets men free.  Free from sin, free from addictions, free from anger, free from selfishness, free from spiritual bondage…free!
Imagine a man who is chained to an anchor all of his life.  Everywhere he goes he must drag the anchor.  Every waking hour he is conscious of the chain.  His first thought in the morning and his last thought at night is colored by his bonds.  One day he is liberated.  The chain is torn asunder and the burden of the anchor is released from his grasp.  Dutifully however, the man picks up the anchor and carries on about his business.  The chain is broken, yet the man continues to bear its weight.  That is a picture of many Christian men.  Jesus Christ has set them free, yet they continue to live in bondage.  John 8:36 says, “ If the Son shall make you free, then you are free indeed” and Gal. 5:1 says, “It was for freedom that Christ set us free”.  Jesus calls us to live in the freedom that He purchased.  It is the truth that declares that freedom to us and empowers us to experience it in life changing ways.
Are you living in truth’s freedom or in bondage to some false belief?  I have discovered that I choose what I believe in.  My beliefs are my responsibility.  I can believe the truth and be set free or I can believe a lie and be in bondage.  But here is the reality, Satan does not fight fair.  He is constantly seeking to deceive me.  That is why I must continually be abiding in the truth, continually be encouraged by men of truth, continually be worshipping the God of truth, because the truth sets me free!
Again I ask you, are you living in the freedom and power of the truth or are you stuck in the grip of the lie?  No matter how strong your chains may be or how heavy your anchor, the truth of Jesus will set your free!

The Truest Thing About Me is What God Says is True

Identity: The truest thing about me is what God says is true
God says, “I am righteous and saved by grace”
Romans 5:12-21
12 Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all men, because all sinned— 13 for before the law was given, sin was in the world. But sin is not taken into account when there is no law. 14 Nevertheless, death reigned from the time of Adam to the time of Moses, even over those who did not sin by breaking a command, as did Adam, who was a pattern of the one to come.

  1. I came into this world as a sinner who sins

15 But the gift is not like the trespass. For if the many died by the trespass of the one man, how much more did God’s grace and the gift that came by the grace of the one man, Jesus Christ, overflow to the many!

  1. I was dead in sin but God’s grace overflowed to me in Christ

16 Again, the gift of God is not like the result of the one man’s sin: The judgment followed one sin and brought condemnation, but the gift followed many trespasses and brought justification.

  1. I was under God’s judgment and condemnation but because of Christ’s gift I now have received justification

17 For if, by the trespass of the one man, death reigned through that one man, how much more will those who receive God’s abundant provision of grace and of the gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man, Jesus Christ.

  1. I was dead with death reigning in me but now I have received God’s provision of grace and am righteous with life reigning in me

18 Consequently, just as the result of one trespass was condemnation for all men, so also the result of one act of righteousness was justification that brings life for all men.

  1. I was under condemnation but because of Christ’s righteous act I have been justified and have life

19 For just as through the disobedience of the one man the many were made sinners, so also through the obedience of the one man the many will be made righteous.

  1. I was essentially a sinner but now I am essentially righteous

20 The law was added so that the trespass might increase. But where sin increased, grace increased all the more, 21 so that, just as sin reigned in death, so also grace might reign through righteousness to bring eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

  1. Sin used to reign in me unto death but now grace reigns through righteousness and brings me eternal life in Christ

 

30 things the Bible says to Pastors

A Biblical Theology of Pastoral Leadership

1 Timothy

 
1. Pastor’s must rebuke and correct false teaching (1:3-5)
2. Pastor’s need to demonstrate the grace of God in their lives through their salvation and call to service (1:12-16)
3. Pastor’s need to hold on to faith and a good conscience (1:18-20)
4. Pastor’s need to lead their congregations in prayer (2:1-2)
5. Pastor’s need to teach on the appropriate roles of men and women (2:8-15)
6. Pastors need to be men of integrity and godly character (3:1-7)
7. Pastors need to teach people how to live as followers of Christ in God’s Church (3:14-15)
8. Pastor’s need to be able to discern and expose demonic teaching and correct it with true doctrine (4:1-6)
9. Pastors need to discipline themselves to grow in godliness (4:7-9)
10. Pastors need to focus on the preaching and studying of God’s Word (4:11-16)
11. Pastors need to treat people with respect and love (5:1-3)
12. Pastors need to treat the office of being an elder with honor and holiness (5:17-22)
13. Pastors need to be free from the love of money (6:7-10)
14. Pastors are to live as godly men (6:11-16)
15. Pastors are teach their people to trust in God and to store up treasures in Heaven (6:17-19)
16. Pastors are to guard their hearts and not give in to godless talk (6:20-21)

2 Timothy

17. Pastors are to build relationships with,  pray for and encourage young leaders (1:3-7)
18. Pastors need to recognize their calling from the Lord (1:11-12)
19. Pastors hold fast to Biblical doctrine (1:13-14)
20. Pastors are strong in Christ’s grace (2:1)
21. Pastors are to practice spiritual reproduction by training leaders to teach others (2:2)
22. Pastors are committed, disciplined and hardworking in their calling (2:3-10)
23. Pastors teach their people the truth and charge them not to argue about non-essentials (2:11-14)
24. Pastors don’t waste time with foolish arguments but instead diligently study the Word of God (2:14-16)
25. Pastors flee from youthful lusts but pursue righteousness and the fruit of the Spirit (2:22)
26. Pastors don’t argue but they gently correct those in opposition (2:23-26)
27. Pastors know and preach the Word of God (3:14-4:2)
28. Pastors fulfill their ministry by doing the work of an evangelist (4:5)
29. Pastors who serve well can look forward to an eternal reward (4:6-8)
30. Pastors are strengthened by God so that they may preach the gospel (4:17-18)

Discovering and using your spiritual gifts

1 Corinthians 12:4-7
4 There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit. 5 There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. 6 There are different kinds of working, but the same God works all of them in all men. 7 Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good.
1 Peter 4:10-11
10 Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God’s grace in its various forms. 11 If anyone speaks, he should do it as one speaking the very words of God. If anyone serves, he should do it with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ. To him be the glory and the power for ever and ever. Amen.
Romans 12:4-8
4 Just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, 5 so in Christ we who are many form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. 6 We have different gifts, according to the grace given us. If a man’s gift is prophesying, let him use it in proportion to his[a] faith. 7 If it is serving, let him serve; if it is teaching, let him teach; 8 if it is encouraging, let him encourage; if it is contributing to the needs of others, let him give generously; if it is leadership, let him govern diligently; if it is showing mercy, let him do it cheerfully.
Ephesians 4:16
15…we will in all things grow up into him who is the Head, that is, Christ. 16 From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work.
Ten Questions to ask and answer in seeking to discover and use our spiritual gifts (Romans 12:1-8; 1 Cor. 12:4-13, 27-31; Eph. 4:11-16; 1 Peter. 4:10-11)

  1. Have I offered my whole life to God as an act of worship? (Rom. 12:1)
  2. Am I living in the power of the Holy Spirit? (1 Cor. 12:1-7)
  3. How can I maximize my service to God, stewarding His grace so that I give Him the greatest glory? (1 Pe. 4:10)
  4. How does the Holy Spirit manifest Himself in me and through me to others? (1 Cor. 12:4-7)
  5. How can I help the body grow in love? (Eph. 4:15-16)
  6. Has God designed me to be more of a speaker or more of a server? (1 Pe. 4:10-11)
  7. If the Church as whole is a Body, what part am I? What is my role on the team? (Romans 12:4-8, 1Cor. 12:27-31)
  8. Do I have any of the supernatural sign gifts? (1 Cor. 12:7-11)
  9. Do I have any of the greater gifts? Have I been gifted and called to lead, shepherd or equip the whole Body when it is gathered for worship? (1 Cor. 12:27-31)
  10. Am I an Equipper or one who is to be equipped to do the work of ministry? Have I been gifted to train others to do ministry? (Eph. 4:11-13)

Victory by the Spirit

Victory by the Spirit

Romans 7:21-8:11

 
1.    There is both struggle and victory in the Christian life
21 So I find this law at work: When I want to do good, evil is right there with me. 22 For in my inner being I delight in God’s law; 23 but I see another law at work in the members of my body, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within my members. 24 What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death? 25 Thanks be to God—through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, I myself in my mind am a slave to God’s law, but in the sinful nature a slave to the law of sin. 1 Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus,2 because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death.

  • We are new people in Christ but we have indwelling sin in the flesh
  • There are two extremes in understanding Christian experience:

1) No struggle only victory
2) Struggle and only defeat

  • Legalism says respond to the struggle with law
  • Mysticism says respond to the struggle by seeking some liberating experience
  • The truth is we can have victory over the struggle by means of the Spirit

 
2.    Victory in the Christian life is produced by the Holy Spirit
2 because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death. 3 For what the law was powerless to do in that it was weakened by the sinful nature,God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful man to be a sin offering.And so he condemned sin in sinful man, 4 in order that the righteous requirements of the law might be fully met in us, who do not live according to the sinful nature but according to the Spirit.

  • Ex. Of Jet overcoming law of gravity(Newton’s 1,2 and 3 law of motion and Bernoulli’s law of pressure)
  • The law depends on the flesh and therefore is doomed to fail
  • God fulfilled the law for us in Christ and paid for our sin
  • Now, in Christ, by means of the Spirit we have the righteousness of Christ
  • We have a new righteous position in Christ and as we live by the Spirit He produces that righteousness in our character and lifestyle

 
3.    Victory by the Spirit begins with our minds
5 Those who live according to the sinful nature have their minds set on what that nature desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires. 6 The mind of sinful man is death, but the mind controlled by the Spirit is life and peace; 7 the sinful mind is hostile to God. It does not submit to God’s law, nor can it do so. 8 Those controlled by the sinful nature cannot please God.

  • Flesh vs. Spirit
  • The key is the mind; we need to surrender our minds to Christ and ask for the help of the Spirit to control our thoughts
  • We need to intentionally set our minds on the Spirit’s truth and direction

 
4.    Victory by the Spirit is certain because of the Spirit’s indwelling
9 You, however, are controlled not by the sinful nature but by the Spirit, if the Spirit of God lives in you. And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Christ. 10 But if Christ is in you, your body is dead because of sin, yet your spirit is alive because of righteousness.

  • 1st class condition; therefore the Spirit does live in us!
  • The indwelling of the Spirit is synonymous with being a Christian
  • Our body is under the law of sin, it will die and it will be subject to fleshly temptations
  • But the Spirit who indwells us has made alive our human spirit through the righteousness that was imputed to us in Christ
  • We now are in the Spirit because we are indwelt by the Spirit
  • Example of crabgrass; once it invades your lawn it will spread and take over because its growth potential is greater than normal grass
  • The Holy Spirit has imparted Christ’s life to us and in us; He will continue to produce Christ’s life within us

 
5.    Victory by the Spirit is certain because the Spirit who indwells us is the Spirit of resurrection
11 And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit, who lives in you.

  • The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of God, the Spirit of Christ and He is the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead
  • The Spirit, by virtue of who He is and what He does, will give us life in our bodies
  • He is the Spirit of resurrection, therefore He will produce the resurrection life of Jesus within us
  • Example of Peter before Pentecost and Peter after Pentecost
  • Indwelt by the Spirit and filled with the Spirit, we can expect victory over our struggles
  • Not the absence of conflict but victory in and victory over our conflicts

 
 

You got to have faith!

 
1. The Example of Abraham
6Consider Abraham: “He believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness.”7Understand, then, that those who believe are children of Abraham. 8The Scripture foresaw that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, and announced the gospel in advance to Abraham: “All nations will be blessed through you.”9So those who have faith are blessed along with Abraham, the man of faith.
16The promises were spoken to Abraham and to his seed. The Scripture does not say “and to seeds,” meaning many people, but “and to your seed,” meaning one person, who is Christ18For if the inheritance depends on the law, then it no longer depends on a promise; but God in his grace gave it to Abraham through a promise…29If you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.

  • Abraham is presented as the example of salvation in the OT
  • Abraham was chosen by God and became the father of the Jewish nation
  • Abraham believed God and it was credited to him as righteousness
  • Abraham is a prototype for all who would come to God by faith
  • God made a Promise/Covenant with Abraham
  • It is this covenant that was inaugurated by Jesus and sealed by the Holy Spirit

 
2. The Promise of God
16The promises were spoken to Abraham and to his seed. The Scripture does not say “and to seeds,” meaning many people, but “and to your seed,” meaning one person, who is Christ. 17What I mean is this: The law, introduced 430 years later, does not set aside the covenant previously established by God and thus do away with the promise. 18For if the inheritance depends on the law, then it no longer depends on a promise; but God in his grace gave it to Abraham through a promise…21Is the law, therefore, opposed to the promises of God? Absolutely not! For if a law had been given that could impart life, then righteousness would certainly have come by the law…29If you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.

  • The Promise/covenant supersedes the Law
  • The inheritance depends on God’s promise
  • The Promise is based on grace
  • When we belong to Christ are heirs of the Promise

 
3. The Purpose of the Law
10All who rely on observing the law are under a curse, for it is written: “Cursed is everyone who does not continue to do everything written in the Book of the Law.”11Clearly no one is justified before God by the law, because, “The righteous will live by faith.” 12The law is not based on faith; on the contrary, “The man who does these things will live by them.” 13Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us, for it is written: “Cursed is everyone who is hung on a tree…17What I mean is this: The law, introduced 430 years later, does not set aside the covenant previously established by God and thus do away with the promise. 18For if the inheritance depends on the law, then it no longer depends on a promise; but God in his grace gave it to Abraham through a promise.19What, then, was the purpose of the law? It was added because of transgressions until the Seed to whom the promise referred had come. The law was put into effect through angels by a mediator. 20A mediator, however, does not represent just one party; but God is one. 21Is the law, therefore, opposed to the promises of God? Absolutely not! For if a law had been given that could impart life, then righteousness would certainly have come by the law. 23Before this faith came, we were held prisoners by the law, locked up until faith should be revealed. 24So the law was put in charge to lead us to Christ that we might be justified by faith. 25Now that faith has come, we are no longer under the supervision of the law.

  • When we try to come to God on the basis of law we are under a curse
  • The Law demands perfect and continual obedience
  • Law is in contradiction to faith
  • Christ redeemed us from the curse of the Law
  • The Law was added because of transgressions
  • The Law is a tutor to lead us to Christ
  • The Law is no longer our supervisor

 
4. The Blessings of Believing
6Consider Abraham: “He believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness.”7Understand, then, that those who believe are children of Abraham. 8The Scripture foresaw that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, and announced the gospel in advance to Abraham: “All nations will be blessed through you.” 9So those who have faith are blessed along with Abraham, the man of faith…11Clearly no one is justified before God by the law, because, “The righteous will live by faith.” 12The law is not based on faith; on the contrary, “The man who does these things will live by them.”…14He redeemed us in order that the blessing given to Abraham might come to the Gentiles through Christ Jesus, so that by faith we might receive the promise of the Spirit….22But the Scripture declares that the whole world is a prisoner of sin, so that what was promised, being given through faith in Jesus Christ, might be given to those who believe. 23Before this faith came, we were held prisoners by the law, locked up until faith should be revealed. 24So the law was put in charge to lead us to Christ that we might be justified by faith. 25Now that faith has come, we are no longer under the supervision of the law.  26You are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus

  • We are declared righteous by faith
  • Faith brings the Abrahamic blessing
  • The righteous live by faith
  • By faith we receive the Holy Spirit
  • We receive God’s promise by faith
  • Faith sets us free from the Law
  • We are sons of God through faith in Christ

Faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not yet seen. Faith pleases God and God rewards faith. Faith it until you feel it!
 
 

Praying the Word

In Acts 4:23-31, the early church responded to crisis with prayer.  Threatened with persecution, the church prays for God’s protection and the power of the Holy Spirit to be witnesses for Christ.  Most of the prayer is a recitation of Scripture.  God honors His Word and answers when we pray it back to Him.  Acts 4:31 describes God’s work among His followers in response to their prayers, “And the place where they gathered together was shaken, they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak His Word with all boldness.”  Let’s take God’s Word and pray it back to Him!
• Ask God to give you a love for Him and a love for people
Matthew 22:36-40 36“Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?” 37Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ 38This is the first and greatest commandment. 39And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.‘40All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”
Ask God to produce fruit through your life as you abide in Jesus
John 15:7-8 7If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be given you. 8This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.
• Pray that you will live a transformed and holy life
1 Peter 1:13-15 13Therefore, prepare your minds for action; be self-controlled; set your hope fully on the grace to be given you when Jesus Christ is revealed. 14As obedient children, do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance. 15But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do
Pray for your church to be a healthy and growing community
Ephesians 4:11-16 11It was he who gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers, 12to prepare God’s people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up 13until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ. 14Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of men in their deceitful scheming. 15Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will in all things grow up into him who is the Head, that is, Christ. 16From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work.
• Pray for your church to boldly preach the gospel and lead many to Christ
Mark 16:15 15He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation.
Jesus promised that He would do greater things through us as we prayed and asked the Father to work miracles in His name (John 14:12-14). Let’s believe great things about God, ask great things of God and attempt great things for God!

Facing Your Goliath in the Lord's Strength

Facing Goliath

1 Samuel 17:2-11, 16, 23-24
2 Saul and the Israelites assembled and camped in the Valley of Elah and drew up their battle line to meet the Philistines. 3 The Philistines occupied one hill and the Israelites another, with the valley between them.
4 A champion named Goliath, who was from Gath, came out of the Philistine camp. He was over nine feet tall. 5 He had a bronze helmet on his head and wore a coat of scale armor of bronze weighing five thousand shekels; 6 on his legs he wore bronze greaves, and a bronze javelin was slung on his back. 7 His spear shaft was like a weaver’s rod, and its iron point weighed six hundred shekels. His shield bearer went ahead of him.
8 Goliath stood and shouted to the ranks of Israel, “Why do you come out and line up for battle? Am I not a Philistine, and are you not the servants of Saul? Choose a man and have him come down to me. 9 If he is able to fight and kill me, we will become your subjects; but if I overcome him and kill him, you will become our subjects and serve us.” 10 Then the Philistine said, “This day I defy the ranks of Israel! Give me a man and let us fight each other.” 11 On hearing the Philistine’s words, Saul and all the Israelites were dismayed and terrified…  16 For forty days the Philistine came forward every morning and evening and took his stand…23 As he was talking with them, Goliath, the Philistine champion from Gath, stepped out from his lines and shouted his usual defiance, and David heard it. 24 When the Israelites saw the man, they all ran from him in great fear
 
1.    We are in a battle

  • The context of Israel and Philistia
  • Every person is in a spiritual battle
  • We are not in the garden anymore
  • Every day we battle the world the flesh and the devil

 
2.    Every Person Faces Goliath

  • The size and stature of Goliath: the largest man who ever lived and humanly speaking, the scariest warrior
  • The response of Israel—fear
  1. Goliath’s strategy is to consume us with fear
  • Fear robs us of our identity
  • Fear can lead to shame, anger, pride, lust or selfishness
  • If the devil can deceive us to look at our fear rather than God, then we are paralyzed to fight the battle, pursue after Christ and become servants for Christ’s Kingdom

 
1 Sam. 17:32-50
32 David said to Saul, “Let no one lose heart on account of this Philistine; your servant will go and fight him.”
38 Then Saul dressed David in his own tunic. He put a coat of armor on him and a bronze helmet on his head. 39 David fastened on his sword over the tunic and tried walking around, because he was not used to them.
“I cannot go in these,” he said to Saul, “because I am not used to them.” So he took them off. 40 Then he took his staff in his hand, chose five smooth stones from the stream, put them in the pouch of his shepherd’s bag and, with his sling in his hand, approached the Philistine.
 
3.    Our confidence to defeat Goliath needs to be in God and not in ourselves

  • Saul’s armor represented the flesh, the best of human resources
  • Our problem is not just that we are weak but we are completely inadequate and helpless!
  • Eph. 2:1, Romans 8:1-3, 2 Cor. 3:4-6
  • David’s confidence was in God
  • He had seen God work in His life in defeating the lion and bear
  • We need small victories to build a track record of trusting God and seeing Him work in our lives
  • David understood God’s nature and provision of victory
  • David rejected the resources of the flesh
  • We need to say no to sin and to self-sufficiency; there is a difference between Christ-confidence and self-confidence
  • Sometimes in order to break with the flesh we must put it to death!
  • Col. 3:5
  • We have got to be ruthless with ourselves so that we don’t take matters into our own hands and trust in ourselves rather than trusting in God
  • David took off Saul’s armor and we need to take off the old self and put on the new self-Ephesians 4:20-24

 
41 Meanwhile, the Philistine, with his shield bearer in front of him, kept coming closer to David. 42 He looked David over and saw that he was only a boy, ruddy and handsome, and he despised him. 43 He said to David, “Am I a dog, that you come at me with sticks?” And the Philistine cursed David by his gods. 44 “Come here,” he said, “and I’ll give your flesh to the birds of the air and the beasts of the field!”
45 David said to the Philistine, “You come against me with sword and spear and javelin, but I come against you in the name of the LORD Almighty, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied. 46 This day the LORD will hand you over to me, and I’ll strike you down and cut off your head. Today I will give the carcasses of the Philistine army to the birds of the air and the beasts of the earth, and the whole world will know that there is a God in Israel. 47 All those gathered here will know that it is not by sword or spear that the LORD saves; for the battle is the LORD’s, and he will give all of you into our hands.”
48 As the Philistine moved closer to attack him, David ran quickly toward the battle line to meet him. 49 Reaching into his bag and taking out a stone, he slung it and struck the Philistine on the forehead. The stone sank into his forehead, and he fell face down on the ground.
50 So David triumphed over the Philistine with a sling and a stone; without a sword in his hand he struck down the Philistine and killed him.
 
4.    The Battle is the Lord’s

  • David challenged Goliath in the Lord’s strength and he ran full out to the fight his enemy
  • God is the Victor
  • Jesus has already won
  • We have victory in Jesus’ name
  • We need to know our rights as a children of God
  • When our eyes are on Christ and we know our position in Him, we have His confidence to run to battle and defeat the enemy
  • The battle belongs to the Lord!

 

Mark 1:9-11 and the Trinity

The Life and Teaching of Jesus the Messiah
Mark 1:9-11
9 At that time Jesus came from Nazareth in Galilee and was baptized by John in the Jordan. 10 Just as Jesus was coming up out of the water, he saw heaven being torn open and the Spirit descending on him like a dove. 11 And a voice came from heaven: “You are my Son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased.”
I. What the Bible does not teach
1. There are three gods; Polytheism
2. Jesus is less than God: Arianism
3. There is One God who reveals Himself through different modes at different times: Modalism
II. What the Bible does teach
1. There is One infinite and personal God
Genesis 1:1
In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.
Deuteronomy 6:4
4 Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one.
Isaiah 40:15-29
Surely the nations are like a drop in a bucket (compared to the Lord);
they are regarded as dust on the scales;
he weighs the islands as though they were fine dust.
16 Lebanon is not sufficient for altar fires,
nor its animals enough for burnt offerings.
17 Before him all the nations are as nothing;
they are regarded by him as worthless
and less than nothing.
18 With whom, then, will you compare God?
To what image will you liken him?
19 As for an idol, a metalworker casts it,
and a goldsmith overlays it with gold
and fashions silver chains for it.
20 A person too poor to present such an offering
selects wood that will not rot;
they look for a skilled worker
to set up an idol that will not topple.
21 Do you not know?
Have you not heard?
Has it not been told you from the beginning?
Have you not understood since the earth was founded?
22 He sits enthroned above the circle of the earth,
and its people are like grasshoppers.
He stretches out the heavens like a canopy,
and spreads them out like a tent to live in.
23 He brings princes to naught
and reduces the rulers of this world to nothing.
24 No sooner are they planted,
no sooner are they sown,
no sooner do they take root in the ground,
than he blows on them and they wither,
and a whirlwind sweeps them away like chaff.
25 “To whom will you compare me?
Or who is my equal?” says the Holy One.
26 Lift up your eyes and look to the heavens:
Who created all these?
He who brings out the starry host one by one
and calls forth each of them by name.
Because of his great power and mighty strength,
not one of them is missing.
27 Why do you complain, Jacob?
Why do you say, Israel,
“My way is hidden from the LORD;
my cause is disregarded by my God”?
28 Do you not know?
Have you not heard?
The LORD is the everlasting God,
the Creator of the ends of the earth.
He will not grow tired or weary,
and his understanding no one can fathom.
29 He gives strength to the weary
and increases the power of the weak.
Acts 17:22-30
22 Paul then stood up in the meeting of the Areopagus and said: “People of Athens! I see that in every way you are very religious. 23 For as I walked around and looked carefully at your objects of worship, I even found an altar with this inscription: TO AN UNKNOWN GOD. So you are ignorant of the very thing you worship—and this is what I am going to proclaim to you.
24 “The God who made the world and everything in it is the Lord of heaven and earth and does not live in temples built by human hands. 25 And he is not served by human hands, as if he needed anything. Rather, he himself gives everyone life and breath and everything else. 26 From one man he made all the nations, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he marked out their appointed times in history and the boundaries of their lands. 27 God did this so that they would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from any one of us. 28 ‘For in him we live and move and have our being.’ As some of your own poets have said, ‘We are his offspring.’
29 “Therefore since we are God’s offspring, we should not think that the divine being is like gold or silver or stone—an image made by human design and skill. 30 In the past God overlooked such ignorance, but now he commands all people everywhere to repent.
2. Each of the persons of the Trinity are fully God
3. The Father is God
Matthew 6:9-15
9 “This, then, is how you should pray:
“‘Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name,
10 your kingdom come,
your will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven.
11 Give us today our daily bread.
12 And forgive us our debts,
as we also have forgiven our debtors.
13 And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from the evil one.’
14 For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. 15 But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.
4. The Son is God
John 10:30-33
30 I and the Father are one.”31 Again his Jewish opponents picked up stones to stone him, 32 but Jesus said to them, “I have shown you many good works from the Father. For which of these do you stone me?”33 “We are not stoning you for any good work,” they replied, “but for blasphemy, because you, a mere man, claim to be God.”
Colossians 2:9
9 For in Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form
5. The Spirit is God
Acts 5:1-4
Now a man named Ananias, together with his wife Sapphira, also sold a piece of property. 2 With his wife’s full knowledge he kept back part of the money for himself, but brought the rest and put it at the apostles’ feet.3 Then Peter said, “Ananias, how is it that Satan has so filled your heart that you have lied to the Holy Spirit and have kept for yourself some of the money you received for the land? 4 Didn’t it belong to you before it was sold? And after it was sold, wasn’t the money at your disposal? What made you think of doing such a thing? You have not lied just to human beings but to God.”
2 Corinthians 3:17-18
17 Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. 18 And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.
6. The persons of the Trinity have an eternally distinct yet unified relationship
Mark 1:9-11
9 At that time Jesus came from Nazareth in Galilee and was baptized by John in the Jordan. 10 Just as Jesus was coming up out of the water, he saw heaven being torn open and the Spirit descending on him like a dove. 11 And a voice came from heaven: “You are my Son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased.”
Romans 8:9-11
9 You, however, are not in the realm of the flesh but are in the realm of the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God lives in you. And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, they do not belong to Christ. 10 But if Christ is in you, then even though your body is subject to death because of sin, the Spirit gives life because of righteousness. 11 And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies because of his Spirit who lives in you.
Hebrews 9:14
14 How much more, then, will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself unblemished to God, cleanse our consciences from acts that lead to death, so that we may serve the living God!
1 Peter 1:1-2
Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, to God’s elect, exiles scattered throughout the provinces of Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia and Bithynia, 2 who have been chosen according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through the sanctifying work of the Spirit, to be obedient to Jesus Christ and sprinkled with his blood:
7. Keep your focus on Jesus
John 1:14-18
14 The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.15 (John testified concerning him. He cried out, saying, “This is the one I spoke about when I said, ‘He who comes after me has surpassed me because he was before me.’”) 16 Out of his fullness we have all received grace in place of grace already given. 17 For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. 18 No one has ever seen God, but the one and only Son, who is himself God and is in closest relationship with the Father, has made him known.
2 Corinthians 4:6
6 For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of God’s glory displayed in the face of Christ.
III. What is our response to the Trinitarian nature of God
John 4:23-24
23 Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in the Spirit and in truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks. 24 God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in the Spirit and in truth.”
Romans 12:1
Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship.
• Worship is Biblical Confession
• Worship is Passionate Expression