Covenant Concepts ~ Noah: God Will Remember

Covenant Concepts ~ Noah: God Will Remember Sermon Audio Here

Genesis 9:8-17/1 Peter 3:18-22

To start this new series based on Covenant Concepts, we need to realizes that Covenants are agreements between stronger and weaker parties. Just like when a person borrows money to purchase a home, they go to the bank (the stronger party in this instance because they have the money) and agree to pay them more money over a long period of time because they do not currently have sufficient cash to purchase the house. The relationship between the strong party (the bank) and the weak party (the home-buyer) are defined by the terms of the covenant. God does this with us; He provides ways for us to understand Him through the use of covenant. Why does God use this format?

God Frames Relationships With Covenant Concepts

God Remembers Us In Faithfulness
Gen.9:8-17

  • v8-10 God’s faithfulness is for EVERYONE
  • v11-13 God’s faithfulness reassures us
  • v14-17 God does not forget (Heb 6:10)
  • bow as token is for US to remember that God will not forget – the definition of faithfulness

=> Mark Twain and his friend William Dean Howells stepped out of church just as a violent rainstorm began. Howells said, “I wonder if it will stop”; and Mark Twain replied, “It always has.”

God Redeems Us In Authority
1 Peter 3:18-22

  • v21 Baptism is a symbolic act of covenant; we agree that we are unable to save ourselves
  • v22 God raised Jesus; we will be raised because of our connection to Christ

Remember: God Is Faithful; He Does NOT forget us. God is Able; He Does Not abandon us.

Winning Others In Context

Shaped By A Savior: Winning Others In Context Sermon Audio Here

1 Corinthians 9:16-23

Pastor Don Baker relates a story of Rev. Tom Erickson: The Public Library has a system called “Dial-A-Tale.” Anytime a young child wants to hear a fairy tale, he can call the number and a voice comes on reading a short fairy tale to the listening young ear. However, the number is only one digit different from Rev. Tom Erickson. Because the small fingers often make a mistake, Tom gets frequent calls from a child listening for a fairy tale.

After several unsuccessful attempts to explain a wrong number to the small child, Tom felt he had only one alternative. He obtained a copy of Three Little Pigs, and set it by the phone. Now, whenever a child calls, he simply reads them the tale. A beautiful illustration of yielding personal rights. He didn’t, as you might have thought, change his telephone number to avoid the “invasion of his privacy.”

To Capitalize On Your Context

Discern Your Drive
1 Corinthians 9:16-17

  • v16 Paul can’t not preach
  • Question: to what are you driven?

Mind Your Motivation
1 Corinthians 9:18-19

  • v18 free access (to gospel) more important than payment
  • Question: by what are you motivated?

Consider Your Connection
1 Corinthians 9:20-23

  • v20/22 “became like” ginomai (in the state of being); caused himself to be;
  • v22 identification is the bridge over which salvation comes
  • Question: to whom are you connected?
  • v23 share in its blessings WITH THOSE BEING BLESSED

A few years ago at the Seattle Special Olympics, nine contestants, all physically or mentally disabled, assembled at the starting line for the 100-yard dash. At the gun, they all started out, not exactly in a dash, but with a relish to run the race to the finish and win.

All, that is, except one boy who stumbled on the asphalt, tumbled over a couple of times and began to cry.

The other eight heard the boy cry. They slowed down and looked back. They all turned around and went back. Every one of them.

One girl with Down’s Syndrome bent down and kissed him and said, “This will make it better.” All nine linked arms and walked across the finish line together.

Everyone in the stadium stood, and the cheering went on for several minutes. People who were there are still telling the story. Why? Because deep down we know this one thing:

Life is more than winning for ourselves. Winning is helping others cross the finish line.

Navigating Your Freedom

Shaped By A Savior: Navigating Your Freedom Sermon Audio Here

1 Corinthians 8:1-13

Consider this story told by Bernard L. Brown, Jr., president of the Kennestone Regional Health Care System in the state of Georgia.

Brown once worked in a hospital where a patient knocked over a cup of water, which spilled on the floor beside the patient’s bed. The patient was afraid he might slip on the water if he got out of the bed, so he asked a nurse’s aide to mop it up. The patient didn’t know it, but the hospital policy said that small spills were the responsibility of the nurse’s aides while large spills were to be mopped up by the hospital’s housekeeping group.

The nurse’s aide decided the spill was a large one and she called the housekeeping department. A housekeeper arrived and declared the spill a small one. An argument followed.

“It’s not my responsibility,” said the nurse’s aide, “because it’s a large puddle.” The housekeeper did not agree. “Well, it’s not mine,” she said, “the puddle is too small.”

The exasperated patient listened for a time, then took a pitcher of water from his night table and poured the whole thing on the floor. “Is that a big enough puddle now for you two to decide?” he asked. It was, and that was the end of the argument.

Bits & Pieces, September 16, 1993, p. 22-24.

Learning to Love with Liberty
Love Trumps Knowledge ~ 1 Cor. 8:1-3

  • v1 love builds
  • v3 God knows who loves, who builds up others

Truth Trumps Idols ~ 1 Cor. 8:4-6

  • v4/5 idols are symbols of allegiance to a lesser lord
  • v6 Only One Actual God (Deut. 6:4)

Concern Trumps Freedom ~ 1 Cor. 8:7-13

  • v7 old mistaken ideas can still have power
  • v9 stumbling block – beat the breast in grief
  • v10 weak – not received benefit of being strengthened
  • v10 rebuilds allegiance to false symbol
  • v12 beat down instead of build up; anti-love
  • v13 skandalon, set up a trap

Use your freedom to build up, not beat down.

Making Hay While The Sun Shines

Making Hay While The Sun Shines Sermon Audio Here

Jonah 3:1-5, 10 / 1 Cor. 7:29-31

The Fable of the Farmer Who Woke Up
Once upon a Time there was a Farmer who thought he had a Dairy, because he kept a Herd of Cows and also raised Corn, Wheat, Oats, and Alfalfa. In the Summer he hired Farm Hands whose Appetites were 100 per cent Plus. When the Bell rang, they came rushing into the Mess Hall and devoured Everything except the Crockery. In a Test to see who could eat the Most, it was a Draw among several. All of the Rest were entitled to Honorable Mention.

One day the Farmer went out into the Field to watch his Harvest Hands at Work. He noticed that Some worked like Beavers, while Others went through the motions of Work, but accomplished very little. They seemed to him to have no Fixed Relation between Perspiration and Desired Results. The one who had taken several First Prizes in the Eating Contest was Particularly Conspicuous among those who worked as Little as possible. Then he stopped to remember that he was paying these Men for the Work they did and not for their Capacity as Eaters.

That Night several Harvest Hands were fired.

Then the Farmer reflected that his Cows had Good Appetites all the year round. He recalled that his Monthly Cream Check depended not upon the Quantity of Milk he delivered, but upon the amount of butter fat in the milk. Until now he had ignored the Suggestion of his County Agent to join the Cow Testing Association.

The lesson of the hungry, but lazy Farm Hand had struck home. Not only did he make a Mad Scramble to join the Cow Testing Association, but he purchased a Testing Outfit and Got Busy.

It was not Long before he discovered which of his Cows were profitable from the Butter Fat standpoint and which were only Boarder Cows. In a Short Time his non-producing Cows were eliminated and his Herd, consisting of good Butter Fat producers only, made him a success as a Dairy Farmer. Now he receives Regular Money through his Cream Checks, has improved his Farm and Buildings, and rides about in a Regular Car.

~ from the Jersey Bulletin, Volume 2, Volume 41, 1922

We Can’t Partner With God If We Don’t

Respond to Mercy
Jonah 3:1-5 ~ Jonah obeys, so does Nineveh

  • v1/2 “second time” second chance
  • v3/4 obedience is immediate
  • v5/10 repentance & compassion

Realize the Moment
1 Cor. 7:29-31 ~ Time is short

  • v29 short time; retrospect
  • v30 not live by temporary emotion
  • v31 but live by eternal perspective

Farm boy overturns wagon; neighbor invites boy to dinner, boy responds, “Pa won’t like it”. Neighbor insists, boy gives in, with “Pa won’t like it”. After dinner, boy says, “Pa’s gonna be real upset”; neighbor says, don’t be foolish – by the way, where is Pa?
“Under the wagon!”

How many of our friends and neighbors are under the wagon while we go about our lives? Let’s lift them up in Christ.

Body Honor

Shaped By A Savior: Body Honor Sermon Audio Here

1 Sam. 3:1-10/1 Cor. 6:12-20
When a young person enlists in the military, they swear an oath. They agree to live by a standard BEFORE they know what that means, and are held accountable to do so.

Our Response To Our Experience Shows Our Allegiance

When God Speaks; who listens?

1 Sam. 3:1-10 How does Samuel respond?

  • v1/4 God calls specifically; Eli didn’t hear
  • v5/7 God calls repeatedly; Eli didn’t catch on right away
  • v8/9 Eli realizes God is calling Samuel; helps boy respond appropriately
  • v10 God calls personally; Samuel connects because of Eli’s instruction

TRANSITION: even though used to help Samuel, Eli is rebuked by God for not controlling his sons’ inappropriate behavior

When our Bodies speak, who’s in control?
1 Cor. 6:12-20 How do we respond to our own flesh?

  • v12/13 Corinthians had idea that all natural urges are fair game;
    While the urges may be real, they do not need to be in control
  • v14/15 We are connected to Christ; live accordingly!
  • v17 “is one spirit”; more than just affinity
  • v18/20 don’t let your flesh override God’s spirit

v19 you can listen to the Holy Spirit in you *over* your own flesh

Preaching Schedule for 2015

Every year in the fall, I try to get away and prepare for the upcoming material that we, as a church congregation, will be learning. I try to select the texts from which I’ll preach, read through them, and come up with basic themes which will guide my preparation time in the coming year.

Every other year, the idea was to submit to the discipline of using the Revised Common Lectionary, as a way to ensure that our congregation isn’t just studying texts that are *my* personal favorites. The Lectionary texts are used all over the world, and it’s always a bit of a challenge to read through them all, and seek guidance on what we’ll study together as a church body.

If you’re really interested, you can go to The Revised Common Lectionary at Vanderbilt to see what texts we’ll be using for the particular day.

Here are the themes and texts we’ll be using in 2015:

11/30/14   Shaped By A Savior: Gifted with Grace   Isa. 64:1-9   1 Cor. 1:3-9
12/07/14   Shaped By A Savior: Holy in the Meantime   Isa. 40:1-11   2 Pet. 3:8-15a
12/14/14   Shaped By A Savior: Practical Sanctification   Isa. 61:1-4, 8-11   1 Th. 5:16-24
12/21/14   Shaped By A Savior: Conduits of Glory   2Sam. 7:1-11, 16   Rom. 16:25-27
12/28/14   Shaped By A Savior: Adopted Royalty   Isa. 61:10-62:3   Gal. 4:4-7
01/04/15   Shaped By A Savior: Toolkit of Grace   Jer. 31:7-14/Sirach 24:1-12   Eph. 1:3-14
01/11/15   Shaped By A Savior: Hovering of the Holy Spirit   Gen. 1:1-5   Acts 19:1-7
01/18/15   Shaped By A Savior: Body Honor   1Sam. 3:1-10, (11-20)   1 Cor. 6:12-20
01/25/15   Shaped By A Savior: Making Hay While The Sun Shines   Jonah 3:1-5, 10   1 Cor. 7:29-31
02/01/15   Shaped By A Savior: Navigating Your Freedom   Deut. 18:15-20   1 Cor. 8:1-13
02/08/15   Shaped By A Savior: Winning Others In Context   Isa. 40:21-31   1 Cor. 9:16-23
02/15/15   PULPIT SUPPLY   2Ki. 5:1-14   1 Cor. 9:24-27
02/22/15   Covenant Concepts ~ Noah: God Will Remember   Gen. 9:8-17   1 Pet. 3:18-22
03/01/15   Covenant Concepts ~ Abraham: God Will Rename   Gen. 17:1-7, 15-16   Rom. 4:13-25
03/08/15   Covenant Concepts ~ Moses: God Expects Righteousness   Ex. 20:1-17   1 Cor. 1:18-25
03/15/15   Covenant Concepts ~ Israel: God Rescues from Rebellion   Num. 21:4-9   Eph. 2:1-10
03/22/15   Covenant Concepts ~ Jer.: God Emphasizes Relationship   Jer. 31:31-34   Heb. 5:5-10
03/29/15   Covenant Concepts ~ Congregation: Responds in Rejoicing   Isa. 50:4-9a   John 12:12-16
04/05/15   Up From The Grave He Arose!   Isa. 25:6-9   John 20:19-31
04/12/15   Walking in Two Worlds: Where Do You Walk   Psa. 133   1Jn. 1:1-2:2
04/19/15   Walking in Two Worlds: Chipping Away   Psa. 4   1Jn. 3:1-7
04/26/15   Walking in Two Worlds: Love in Action   Psa. 23   1Jn. 3:16-24
05/03/15   PULPIT SUPPLY   PNWNACCC meeting in Anchorage, AK   1Jn. 4:7-21
05/10/15   Walking in Two Worlds: Kingdom or Republic?   Psa. 98   1Jn. 5:1-6
05/17/15   Walking in Two Worlds: Assurance Policy   Psa. 1   1Jn. 5:9-13
05/24/15   Birthday Presence   Ez. 37:24-28   Rom. 8:22-27
05/31/15   God in Three Persons: A service for Trinity Sunday   Job 38:1-7   Luke 9:18-26
06/07/15   The Gospel Challenge ~ Get Your House In Order   Gen. 3:8-15 Psa. 130   Mark 3:20-35
06/14/15   The Gospel Challenge ~ Use GMO Seed   Ez. 17:22-24   Mark 4:26-34
06/21/15   PULPIT SUPPLY   1Sam. 17:57-18:5, 18:10-16   Mark 4:35-41
06/28/15   The Gospel Challenge ~ Have Faith in the Crowd   Lam. 3:22-33   Mark 5:21-43
07/05/15   The Gospel Challenge ~ Live the Verb, Not the Title   Ez. 2:1-5   Mark 6:1-13
07/12/15   The Gospel Challenge ~ The Price of Mistaken Identity   Amos 7:7-15   Mark 6:14-29
07/19/15   The Gospel Challenge ~ Feed The Crowd   Jer. 23:1-6   Mark 6:30-34
07/26/15   Bread From Heaven: Pointing to the Prophet   2Ki. 4:42-44   John 6:1-21
08/02/15   Bread From Heaven: Feeding on the Food from God   Ex. 16:2-4, 9-15   John 6:24-35
08/09/15   Bread From Heaven: Breaking Down the Bread of Life   1Ki. 19:4-8   John 6:41-51
08/16/15   Bread From Heaven: Sustenance of the Savior   Prov. 9:1-6   John 6:51-58
08/23/15   PULPIT SUPPLY   Joshua 24:1-2a, 14-18   John 6:56-69
08/30/15   Practical Christianity: From the Ear to the Hand   Deut. 4:1-2, 6-9   James 1:17-27
09/06/15   Practical Christianity: Who Chooses The Poor   Isa. 35:4-7a   James 2:1-10
09/13/15   Practical Christianity: The Most Dangerous Church Member   Isa. 50:4-9a   James 3:1-12
09/20/15   Practical Christianity: Top Shelf, Good Stuff   Jer. 11:18-20   James 3:13-4:3
09/27/15   Practical Christianity: Prescription: Prayer!   Num. 11:4-6, 10-16, 24-29   James 5:13-20
10/04/15   Highlights from Heb. : The Founder of Salvation   Gen. 2:18-24   Heb. 2:5-12
10/11/15   Highlights from Heb. : The Approachable Throne   Amos 5:6-7, 10-15   Heb. 4:12-16
10/18/15   Highlights from Heb. : The Great High Priest   Isa. 53:4-12   Heb. 5:1-10
10/25/15   Highlights from Heb. : The Perfect Go-Between   Jer. 31:7-9   Heb. 7:23-28
11/01/15   Highlights from Heb. : The Power of the Blood   Deut. 6:1-9   Heb. 9:11-14
11/08/15   Highlights from Heb. : The Real Mercy Seat   1Ki. 17:8-16   Heb. 9:24-28
11/15/15   Highlights from Heb. : The Full Assurance of Faith   Dan. 12:1-3   Heb. 10:11-14
11/22/15   The Ancient of Days Today   Dan. 7:9-10, 13-14   John 18:33-37

I hope that’s helpful to you as you prepare to study God’s word!
KFJ – Ed

Hovering of the Holy Spirit

Hovering of the Holy Spirit Sermon Audio Here

Genesis 1:1-5/Acts 19:1-7
This Sunday is often referred to as the Baptism of Christ Sunday. The Gospel of Mark describes the scene in chapter 1, verses 4 through 11. Notice the Descent of the Holy Spirit as a dove. How did those viewing the scene recognize the Spirit, and not just a random bird? Perhaps these Scriptures will help answer the question.

Can You Recognize the Holy Spirit? Look for

The Presence of the Holy Spirit in Creation
Gen.1:1-5 How does the Holy Spirit participate?

  • v1 God is FIRST
  • v2 Spirit is present even in chaos
  • v3/4 God has the idea before the reality
  • v4 God’s ideas are good

The Preparation of the Holy Spirit in Christians
Acts 19:1-7 How does the Holy Spirit make a difference?

  • v1/2 Ask yourself: do you know the Holy Spirit?
    (Greek new believers wouldn’t know about Gen. 1:2)
  • v3/4 Ask yourself: being good, or belonging to God?
  • v5 ask yourself: sign of surrender, or act of identification?
  • v6/7 Holy Spirit effected them: change was present

Can you recognize the Holy Spirit at work in you? Ask yourself: have YOU changed? Are you struggling with old sin? God wants more than to just hover; He wants to change you from within!


Pastor Ed Backell

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