Raised With Christ! Sermon Audio Here
If you join a sports team, you are expected at practice. If you join the cast of a show, you are expected at rehearsal. What is expected of you if you join with Christ?
Every Who Loves God Faces Four Challenges:
1] Set Your HEART
v1 “since then” refers to those who fulfill condition in Col. 2:12:
2:12: [You were] buried with Him in baptism and raised with Him through your faith in the power of God, who raised Him from the dead.
3:1: Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God.
What do you LONG for?
2] Set Your MIND
v2 Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things.
What do you DWELL on?
We all know the importance of correct settings: a mechanic uses Top Dead Center; a navigator uses North on a map. Our spiritual lives have settings, too; and when we try to set them according to our own whims instead of God’s standards, is it any wonder that we, too, get lost?
3] Let Your LIFE HIDE
v3 For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God.
What do you CRAVE that you need to let go?
4] Let Your LORD BE SEEN
v4 When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.
Whose glory have you been seeking?
We talked about settings, but what about LETTINGS? We have to admit that at times, we have to allow OTHERS to do for us: we don’t perform our own surgery. It’s good to let our SELF stop pretending it’s in control.
Jeremiah 31:3~ The LORD appeared to us in the past, saying: “I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with loving-kindness.”
The Lord fulfills that promise IN YOU; God loves you, and the Lord is drawing you even today.
Published April 9, 2017
Lent , Sermons
Tags: handshake, King, palm reading, Palm Sunday, palms, priest, prophet, receiving, reception
Lent: Our Reception Sermon Audio Here
In computer terminology, a “handshake” is an exchange of signals necessary for two-way communication. How does God “signal” us that He is at work?
God Readies His People To Receive
Notice the Preparation ~ Matthew 21:1-5
- v1/3 Jesus functions as PROPHET; because of vs 3 “IF anyone says anything”
- => PROPHET – one chosen by God to listen for and tell others the Word of the Lord
- v4/5 Prophecy points to Jesus as KING; segue to next section
Notice the Reception ~ Matthew 21:6-11
- v8/9 Crowds received Him as KING: cloaks on the road just like King Jehu in Old Testament (2 Kings 9:13)
- => KING – one invested with authority
- Crowds received Him with joy: palm branches as expressions of joy (Lev. 23:40; 1 Maccabees 13:51)
- v10/11 Crowds recognized Him as PROPHET
1) Since Jesus is Prophet: How will you LISTEN for God’s Word?
2) Since Jesus is King: how will you FUNCTION under God’s authority?
3) Since Jesus is Savior: How will you WELCOME Jesus as He approaches?
Published April 2, 2017
Lent , Sermons
Tags: flesh, flesh vs. spirit, life forever, life struggle, possession, presence of the Spirit, Romans, service, two natures, zombies
Lent: Our Struggle Sermon Audio Here
When your engine making weird noises, or your computer is behaving strangely, or there’s a sudden change in health status; It’s important to pay attention to what’s going on internally!
Why Is The Spiritual Life A Struggle?
We’re Stuck With Two States ~ Romans 8:6-8
- v6 “mind of the flesh” to live according to that state; “mind of the Spirit” to live in the state of the Spirit
- v7 description of the meat-minded: hostile/OPPOSED; it wants its OWN way, not God’s, and it CAN’T choose God on its own!
- v8 NOT merely “controlled by” but IN THE FLESH; there’s no separation. We do NOT have a neutral nature that is somehow influenced by a bad fleshly side and a good godly side
we are either living led by the Spirit, or we are quite literally meat-heads
We’re Settled By One Spirit ~ Romans 8:9
- v9 IF the Spirit lives in you, you aren’t “of the flesh”; Spirit brings life and peace to the spiritually dead (God breathed the Spirit-becomes a living soul); CONVERSELY, if the life lived isn’t of the Spirit, that means the Spirit isn’t present = meat-minded
If a person can’t live led by the Spirit, they’re lost
We’re Saved To Serve Forever ~ Romans 8:10-11
- v10 NOTE: your body is dead because of sin whether you have the Spirit or not; all flesh dies. The point Paul makes here is that even though your meat-tent will pass away, what is YOU, your SELF, doesn’t need to: when you allow the Spirit to make Your life His HOME, He brings you to life, KEEPS you alive, and produces His righteousness IN you to show you it works
- v11 God’s Spirit OVERRIDES death; we no longer need fear it, because we will live THROUGH/PAST it; our bodies will still fade, but they are merely temporary dwelling places for our SELVES which have been joined to the Spirit. And since the Spirit (our roommate in us) will live forever, so will we!
Ezekiel 37:14~ I will put my Spirit in you and you will live, and I will settle you in your own land. Then you will know that I the LORD have spoken, and I have done it, declares the LORD.'”
God DESIRES to bring us to life: but we have to receive what He gives on His terms so we know HE is at work, not us.
Lent: Our Light Sermon Audio Here
Consider the history of the light bulb – all variations on a concept: power passing through a medium gives off light.
How Do We Live As People Of Light?
- v8 my favorite verb: peripateo; walk around in the light; we are to MOVE
- v9 we are to BEAR FRUIT of light: this is a natural result, not forced
- v10 “find out” less ‘discover’ and more ‘determine’ we are to INVESTIGATE
- v11/12 “have no fellowship” we are to EXPOSE (shine the right amount of light, like developing ground-penetrating radar of a minefield
- v13/14 we are to SHINE (this little light of mine)
1 Sam.16:7 – But the LORD said to Samuel, “Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The LORD does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.
Lent: Our Peace Sermon Audio Here
I’ve been noticing new construction around our town. Have you ever considered all the parts that go into the construction of a permanent dwelling? Jesus said He’d prepare a place for us – we haven’t “moved in” yet, but what do we already have right now?
What Parts of Peace Do We Have?
Present Terms of Peace ~ Romans 5:1-5
- v1 NOT “we must make peace” but “realize that you already HAVE peace”; this is not a call to cessation of conflict with God – this is an encouragement to let us know that God has already granted us peace because of our being made just according to HIS will
- v2 access INTO grace? Faith is a VERB here; when we USE our faith, we enter into the grace we’ve been given. Example: a builder constructs a house to specifications, but we have to walk INTO the house to take possession of what we own “on paper”
- v3/4 suffering leads to perseverance, and then character, and then hope
- v5 we hope for God’s love; our hope is REALIZED because of the presence of the Spirit; once we recognize our hope, we give God glory in response
Perfect Timing for Peace ~ Romans 5:6-11
- v6/7 “right time” Kairos; God’s timetable, not ours
- v8 God gave us what we needed BEFORE we knew we needed it: Christ’s atoning death
- v9 Jesus’ sacrifice fulfills God’s covenant with us
- v10 Every blessing we have is because we are connected to Christ. His death paid our price; His Resurrection pulls us into Eternal Life
- v11 “have now received” Both PRESENT AND FUTURE
“Behold, I will stand before you there on the rock at Horeb, and you shall strike the rock, and water shall come out of it, and the people will drink.” And Moses did so, in the sight of the elders of Israel. ~Exodus 17:6
God stands before us in our times of trouble with His solution. He has already provided everything you need for peace; you just have to recognize it.
Lent: Our Credit Sermon Audio Here
Romans 4:1-5; 13-17
Your credit score is based on other people’s estimation of the likelihood that you’ll pay your debts on time. But what if you have a debt that is IMPOSSIBLE to pay? How will that effect your bottom line?
To Build Your Eternal Bottom Line
Deal In The Right Currency ~ Romans 4:1-5 [Don’t trust in your capacity to demonstrate righteousness to God]
- v1/2 do our works earn God’s favor? NO
- v3 our righteousness is ASSIGNED to us
- v4/5 we earn wages from our work; we are ENRICHED by God’s character and choice;
- in other words, our reception of righteousness isn’t about us at all; it’s about GOD’s goodness towards us
Live In The Right Design ~ Romans 4:13-17 [Don’t Force the Law to fulfill a role for which it is not designed]
- v13 LAW is based in the negative; you don’t receive goodies for keeping the Law, that is expected; rather, you are punished if you BREAK the Law
- v14/15 therefore, law brings wrath as its wage (if you break it)
- v16 God’s goodness isn’t demonstrated by Law, but by Grace
- v17 Grace can come to anyone, even those who aren’t part of the Law system
God is not a crutch; God is our entire life support system!
Paul makes 2 points we have got to catch: 1) We CANNOT EARN God’s favor; it is ALWAYS assigned to us on credit. 2) the point of the Law isn’t righteousness; it’s relationship. We cannot live according to the Law to be considered “righteous”; the Law acts as a mirror to show us our brokenness, our NEED for God.
Lent: Our Need Sermon Audio Here
How do we discover our need? Often, we encounter a situation where something needed is discovered lacking; other times, we’re informed that a previously unknown circumstance affects us in ways for which we are unprepared.
We Have A Great Need
A Terminal Sickness ~ Romans 5:12-14
- v12 No one doesn’t sin, so no one escapes death
- v13/14 you claim “I’m a good person, I don’t break the law” but sin isn’t about breaking the Law
A Treatable Situation ~ Romans 5:15-18
- v15 sin is passed generationally; grace overflows directly
- v16 sin snowballs over time; grace fixes the problem
- v17 death is passive consequence of sin; grace is active reception of life
- v18 we receive results from previous choices: sin from Adam, salvation from Jesus
19 For as by the one man’s disobedience the many were made sinners, so by the one man’s obedience the many will be made righteous. ~ Romans 5:19
Our need is beyond our ability to meet: left on our own, we will die in our sin. Thank God We Have A Great Savior who meets us IN our need and covers it completely!