Hebrews – Part 1: Jesus: God’s Ultimate Revelation

Scripture

Hebrews 1 (NASB)
1 God, after He spoke long ago to the fathers in the prophets in many portions and in many ways, 2 in these last days has spoken to us in His Son, whom He appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the world. 3 And He is the radiance of His glory and the exact representation of His nature, and upholds all things by the word of His power. When He had made purification of sins, He sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high, 4 having become as much better than the angels, as He has inherited a more excellent name than they. 5 For to which of the angels did He ever say, “You are My Son, Today I have begotten You”? And again, “I will be a Father to Him And He shall be a Son to Me”? 6 And when He again brings the firstborn into the world, He says, “And let all the angels of God worship Him.” 7 And of the angels He says, “Who makes His angels winds, And His ministers a flame of fire.” 8 But of the Son He says, “Your throne, O God, is forever and ever, And the righteous scepter is the scepter of His kingdom. 9 “You have loved righteousness and hated lawlessness; Therefore God, Your God, has anointed You With the oil of gladness above Your companions.” 10 And, “You, Lord, in the beginning laid the foundation of the earth, And the heavens are the works of Your hands; 11 They will perish, but You remain; And they all will become old like a garment, 12 And like a mantle You will roll them up; Like a garment they will also be changed. But You are the same, And Your years will not come to an end.” 13 But to which of the angels has He ever said, “Sit at My right hand, Until I make Your enemies A footstool For Your feet”? 14 Are they not all ministering spirits, sent out to render service for the sake of those who will inherit salvation?

Hebrews 2:1-4 (NASB)
1 For this reason we must pay much closer attention to what we have heard, so that we do not drift away from it. 2 For if the word spoken through angels proved unalterable, and every transgression and disobedience received a just penalty, 3 how will we escape if we neglect so great a salvation? After it was at the first spoken through the Lord, it was confirmed to us by those who heard, 4 God also testifying with them, both by signs and wonders and by various miracles and by gifts of the Holy Spirit according to His own will.

Opening Prayer

Heavenly Father, thank You for Your Son, our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Through Him You created the world. Through Him You reconciled mankind to Yourself. Through Him You will one day reclaim the world and all that is in it. Praise the Lord, Jesus Christ, for it is in His name that we pray. Amen.

Probing Question

How is Jesus God’s ultimate revelation, the living embodiment of His Word, superior to all other messengers?

Transitional Sentence

Jesus is God’s ultimate revelation, the living embodiment of His Word, superior to all other messengers because…

Main Points

1. Jesus Is Superior to the Prophets

Hebrews 1:1-3 (NASB)
1 God, after He spoke long ago to the fathers in the prophets in many portions and in many ways, 2 in these last days has spoken to us in His Son, whom He appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the world. 3 And He is the radiance of His glory and the exact representation of His nature, and upholds all things by the word of His power. When He had made purification of sins, He sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high,

Old Testament – Opening of the Revelation

Hebrews 1:1 (NASB)
1 God, after He spoke long ago to the fathers in the prophets in many portions and in many ways,

  •  In Many Ways
    • Dreams
    • Visions
    • Audible Voice
    • Writing Under His Own Hand (Ten Commandments)
  • Prophets
    • Moses
    • Elijah
    • Isaiah
    • Ezekiel

New Testament – Closing of the Revelation

Hebrews 1:2a (NASB)
2 in these last days…

  • Resurrection of Jesus Christ – Beginning of Last/End Times
  • Second Coming/Return of Jesus Christ – End of Last/End Times

Speaking as God Himself

Hebrews 1:2-3a (NASB)
2 in these last days has spoken to us in His Son, whom He appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the world. 3 And He is the radiance of His glory and the exact representation of His nature, and upholds all things by the word of His power…

2. Jesus Is Superior to the Angels

Hebrews 1:4-14 (NASB)
4 having become as much better than the angels, as He has inherited a more excellent name than they. 5 For to which of the angels did He ever say, “You are My Son, Today I have begotten You”? And again, “I will be a Father to Him And He shall be a Son to Me”? 6 And when He again brings the firstborn into the world, He says, “And let all the angels of God worship Him.” 7 And of the angels He says, “Who makes His angels winds, And His ministers a flame of fire.” 8 But of the Son He says, “Your throne, O God, is forever and ever, And the righteous scepter is the scepter of His kingdom. 9 “You have loved righteousness and hated lawlessness; Therefore God, Your God, has anointed You With the oil of gladness above Your companions.” 10 And, “You, Lord, in the beginning laid the foundation of the earth, And the heavens are the works of Your hands; 11 They will perish, but You remain; And they all will become old like a garment, 12 And like a mantle You will roll them up; Like a garment they will also be changed. But You are the same, And Your years will not come to an end.” 13 But to which of the angels has He ever said, “Sit at My right hand, Until I make Your enemies A footstool For Your feet”? 14 Are they not all ministering spirits, sent out to render service for the sake of those who will inherit salvation?

Angels Are Messengers

  • Word Study
    Greek Word: aggeloj
    Transliteration: aggelos
    Phonetic Pronunciation: ang’-el-os
    Vine’s Words: Angels, Messengers
    Definition: A messenger, envoy, one who is sent, an Angel, a messenger from God.
  • They Are All Ministering Spirits to Us, the Heirs of Salvation (14)

Not All Messengers are Angels: Jesus Is a Messenger, NOT an Angel

Jesus IS the Message

John 1:1-4 (NASB)
1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was in the beginning with God. 3 All things came into being through Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being. 4 In Him was life, and the life was the Light of men.

John 14:6 (NASB)
6 Jesus said* to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.

3. Jesus IS the Provider of Salvation

Hebrews 2:1-4 (NASB)
1 For this reason we must pay much closer attention to what we have heard, so that we do not drift away from it. 2 For if the word spoken through angels proved unalterable, and every transgression and disobedience received a just penalty, 3 how will we escape if we neglect so great a salvation? After it was at the first spoken through the Lord, it was confirmed to us by those who heard, 4 God also testifying with them, both by signs and wonders and by various miracles and by gifts of the Holy Spirit according to His own will.

Jesus: God’s Ultimate Revelation and Provider of Salvation Confirmed by

  • God
  • The Holy Ghost
  • His Disciples

Luke 3:21-22 (NASB)
21 Now when all the people were baptized, Jesus was also baptized, and while He was praying, heaven was opened, 22 and the Holy Spirit descended upon Him in bodily form like a dove, and a voice came out of heaven, “You are My beloved Son, in You I am well-pleased.”

Ignore At Own Peril

Hebrews 2:1-3a (NASB)
1 For this reason we must pay much closer attention to what we have heard, so that we do not drift away from it. 2 For if the word spoken through angels proved unalterable, and every transgression and disobedience received a just penalty, 3 how will we escape if we neglect so great a salvation?

Conclusion

Jesus is God’s ultimate revelation, the living embodiment of His Word, superior to all other messengers because:

  • Jesus is superior to the prophets
  • Jesus is superior to the angels
  • Jesus IS the provider of salvation

Closing Prayer

Heavenly Father, we praise You for Your Son Jesus. He is the living embodiment of Your Word. You and He are One. Far superior to the prophets and to the angels, Jesus is the message and the method of salvation. He is Lord and Savior and every knee shall bow and every tongue confess. Thank You for His precious gift of salvation, which can be found in no other. It is in Jesus’ name that we pray. Amen.

Epilogue

“Jesus: God’s Ultimate Revelation” is part 1 of a 10-part study on the Book of Hebrews. You may view any of the following parts by clicking one of the links below.

Gospel Invitation

Is the Holy Spirit stirring within your heart? Is He convicting you of the need to make changes in your life and/or calling you to take action? The Bible says:

James 4:17 (NASB)
17 Therefore, to one who knows the right thing to do and does not do it, to him it is sin.

1 John 5:3 (NASB)
3 For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments; and His commandments are not burdensome.

If the Holy Spirit is urging you to take action, it is important to respond with immediate obedience. Delayed obedience is disobedience. Please read the following sections that apply to your current situation and prayerfully consider the suggested course of actions.

I am lost. I need to accept Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior.

John 3:16-18 (NASB)
16 "For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. 17 "For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him. 18 "He who believes in Him is not judged; he who does not believe has been judged already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.

Action

  • To learn more about Jesus and His gift of redemption, read God's Plan of Salvation. If you are already familiar with the Plan of Savation, skip forward to section How to Become a Christian.
  • If you accept Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, please let us know by filling out the Contact Form below.

I am saved; but, I have sin in my life that I need to confess and repent.

1 John 1:8-9 (NASB)
8 If we say that we have no sin, we are deceiving ourselves and the truth is not in us. 9 If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

Acts 3:19 (NASB)
19  "Therefore repent and return, so that your sins may be wiped away, in order that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord;

Action

  • Fill out the Contact Form below to confidentially confess the sin in your life and your desire to repent. The information you send will not be shared with anyone else. Your privacy will be protected.

I am saved; but, I need to rededicate my life to the Lord.

Praise the Lord.

Action

  • In your own words, pray a prayer similar to the following:

Heavenly Father, I have fallen short of Your glory and have failed to live up to Your expectations for me. Please forgive me. Lord, I rededicate my life to You. Not my will; but, Your will be done. Thank You for being a God of second chances. Use me Lord. Shape me and mold me into the person You would have me to be. I pray this in the name of Jesus Christ, my Lord and Savior. Amen.

  • If you just rededicated your life to the Lord, please let us know by filling out the Contact Form below.

I need to discuss my situation confidentially.

James 5:16 (NASB)
16  Therefore, confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another so that you may be healed. The effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much.

Action

  • Fill out the Contact Form below to confidentially discuss the situation in your life that is troubling you. The information you send will not be shared with anyone else. Your privacy will be protected.

Contact Form






The Resurrection: Impact on Jesus’ Disciples

Opening Prayer

Heavenly Father, almighty God, we thank You for the gift of salvation made possible by Jesus’ willing and obedient sacrifice upon the cross in payment of our sins. We praise You for the power of the resurrection demonstrated by Jesus overcoming death’s grip on Him. We glorify You for the promise of eternal life in Your holy presence through faith in Jesus. It is in His name that we pray. Amen.

Scripture

Chronologically (Matthew 28:1-8; Mark 16:1-8; Luke 24:1-12; John 20:1-8)

Mark 16:1-3 (NASB)
1 When the Sabbath was over, Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James, and Salome, bought spices, so that they might come and anoint Him. 2 Very early on the first day of the week, they came* to the tomb when the sun had risen. 3 They were saying to one another, “Who will roll away the stone for us from the entrance of the tomb?”

Matthew 28:2-4 (NASB)
2 And behold, a severe earthquake had occurred, for an angel of the Lord descended from heaven and came and rolled away the stone and sat upon it. 3 And his appearance was like lightning, and his clothing as white as snow. 4 The guards shook for fear of him and became like dead men.

Mark 16:4-5 (NASB)
4 Looking up, they saw* that the stone had been rolled away, although it was extremely large. 5 Entering the tomb, they saw a young man sitting at the right, wearing a white robe; and they were amazed.

Matthew 28:5 (NASB)
5 The angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid; for I know that you are looking for Jesus who has been crucified.

Luke 24:6-7 (NASB)
6 “He is not here, but He has risen. Remember how He spoke to you while He was still in Galilee, 7 saying that the Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, and be crucified, and the third day rise again.”

Matthew 28:7-8 (NASB)
7 “Go quickly and tell His disciples that He has risen from the dead; and behold, He is going ahead of you into Galilee, there you will see Him; behold, I have told you.” 8 And they left the tomb quickly with fear and great joy and ran to report it to His disciples.

Luke 24:8-11 (NASB)
8 And they remembered His words, 9 and returned from the tomb and reported all these things to the eleven and to all the rest. 10 Now they were Mary Magdalene and Joanna and Mary the mother of James; also the other women with them were telling these things to the apostles. 11 But these words appeared to them as nonsense, and they would not believe them.

John 20:3-8 (NASB)
3 So Peter and the other disciple went forth, and they were going to the tomb. 4 The two were running together; and the other disciple ran ahead faster than Peter and came to the tomb first; 5 and stooping and looking in, he saw* the linen wrappings lying there; but he did not go in. 6 And so Simon Peter also came*, following him, and entered the tomb; and he saw* the linen wrappings lying there, 7 and the face-cloth which had been on His head, not lying with the linen wrappings, but rolled up in a place by itself. 8 So the other disciple who had first come to the tomb then also entered, and he saw and believed.

Probing Question

How did/should Jesus’ death and resurrection profoundly impact His disciples?

Transitional Sentence

Jesus’ death and resurrection profoundly impacted His disciples in that…

Main Points

1. They arrived early

Jesus was crucified and died upon the cross on Friday. Because the Sabbath would begin at sundown and dead bodies were not to be left out in the open on the Sabbath, Joseph of Arimathaea and Nicodemus hastily removed and anointed the body and placed it in Joseph’s unused tomb.

Mark 15:42-45 (NASB)
42 When evening had already come, because it was the preparation day, that is, the day before the Sabbath, 43 Joseph of Arimathea came, a prominent member of the Council, who himself was waiting for the kingdom of God; and he gathered up courage and went in before Pilate, and asked for the body of Jesus. 44 Pilate wondered if He was dead by this time, and summoning the centurion, he questioned him as to whether He was already dead. 45 And ascertaining this from the centurion, he granted the body to Joseph.

John 19:39-41 (NASB)
39 Nicodemus, who had first come to Him by night, also came, bringing a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about a hundred pounds weight. 40 So they took the body of Jesus and bound it in linen wrappings with the spices, as is the burial custom of the Jews. 41 Now in the place where He was crucified there was a garden, and in the garden a new tomb in which no one had yet been laid.

Matthew 27:60 (NASB) 60 and laid it in his own new tomb, which he had hewn out in the rock; and he rolled a large stone against the entrance of the tomb and went away.

Luke 23:54-56 (NASB)
54 It was the preparation day, and the Sabbath was about to begin. 55 Now the women who had come with Him out of Galilee followed, and saw the tomb and how His body was laid. 56 Then they returned and prepared spices and perfumes. And on the Sabbath they rested according to the commandment.

As a result, Mary Magdalene and others wanted to properly anoint Jesus’ body as soon as possible, which would be sunrise Sunday, the day after the Sabbath.

Mark 16:1-3 (NASB)
1 When the Sabbath was over, Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James, and Salome, bought spices, so that they might come and anoint Him. 2 Very early on the first day of the week, they came* to the tomb when the sun had risen. 3 They were saying to one another, “Who will roll away the stone for us from the entrance of the tomb?”

Matthew 28:2-4 (NASB)
2 And behold, a severe earthquake had occurred, for an angel of the Lord descended from heaven and came and rolled away the stone and sat upon it. 3 And his appearance was like lightning, and his clothing as white as snow. 4 The guards shook for fear of him and became like dead men.

Mark 16:4 (NASB)
4 Looking up, they saw* that the stone had been rolled away, although it was extremely large.

2. They entered expecting

Forgetting Jesus’ prophecies regarding His resurrection because they were still stricken with grief over His recent death and focused on giving Him a proper burial, they arrive at the tomb, expecting to find Jesus’ body.

Mark 16:5 (NASB) 
5 Entering the tomb, they saw a young man sitting at the right, wearing a white robe; and they were amazed.

Matthew 28:5 (NASB)
5 The angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid; for I know that you are looking for Jesus who has been crucified.

Luke 24:6-7 (NASB)
6 “He is not here, but He has risen. Remember how He spoke to you while He was still in Galilee, 7 saying that the Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, and be crucified, and the third day rise again.”

Matthew 28:7 (NASB)
7 “Go quickly and tell His disciples that He has risen from the dead; and behold, He is going ahead of you into Galilee, there you will see Him; behold, I have told you.”

3. They departed excited

Being reminded of Jesus’ prophecy regarding His death and resurrection, and seeing the tomb empty, except for the angel, they are filled with joy and excitement as they run to bare witness to the other disciples as instructed.

Matthew 28:8 (NASB) 
8 And they left the tomb quickly with fear and great joy and ran to report it to His disciples.

Luke 24:8-9 (NASB)
8 And they remembered His words, 9 and returned from the tomb and reported all these things to the eleven and to all the rest.

4. Others sought evidence

Even so, not everyone was quick to believe the women’s story.

Luke 24:10-11 (NASB) 
10 Now they were Mary Magdalene and Joanna and Mary the mother of James; also the other women with them were telling these things to the apostles. 11 But these words appeared to them as nonsense, and they would not believe them.

John 20:3-8 (NASB)
3 So Peter and the other disciple went forth, and they were going to the tomb. 4 The two were running together; and the other disciple ran ahead faster than Peter and came to the tomb first; 5 and stooping and looking in, he saw* the linen wrappings lying there; but he did not go in. 6 And so Simon Peter also came*, following him, and entered the tomb; and he saw* the linen wrappings lying there, 7 and the face-cloth which had been on His head, not lying with the linen wrappings, but rolled up in a place by itself. 8 So the other disciple who had first come to the tomb then also entered, and he saw and believed.

Even after Peter and John believed, it took many appearances by Jesus before the rest of the disciples began believing.

John 20:19-20 (NASB)
19 So when it was evening on that day, the first day of the week, and when the doors were shut where the disciples were, for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood in their midst and said* to them, “Peace be with you.” 20 And when He had said this, He showed them both His hands and His side. The disciples then rejoiced when they saw the Lord.

In Thomas’ case, he still needed physical evidence.

John 20:24-29 (NASB)
24 But Thomas, one of the twelve, called Didymus, was not with them when Jesus came. 25 So the other disciples were saying to him, “We have seen the Lord!” But he said to them, “Unless I see in His hands the imprint of the nails, and put my finger into the place of the nails, and put my hand into His side, I will not believe.” 26 After eight days His disciples were again inside, and Thomas with them. Jesus came*, the doors having been shut, and stood in their midst and said, “Peace be with you.” 27 Then He said* to Thomas, “Reach here with your finger, and see My hands; and reach here your hand and put it into My side; and do not be unbelieving, but believing.” 28 Thomas answered and said to Him, “My Lord and my God!” 29 Jesus said* to him, “Because you have seen Me, have you believed? Blessed are they who did not see, and yetbelieved.”

Conclusion

Jesus’ death and resurrection profoundly impacted His disciples in that

  • They arrived early
  • They entered expecting
  • They departed excited
  • Others sought evidence

Jesus’ death and resurrection should profoundly impact His disciples today in that

  • Blessed are they that have not seen, and yet believe
    • Admit your sinful ways, desire to turn from them, and be delivered from the judgment they bring
      • Romans 3:10 (NASB)
        10 as it is written, “There is none righteous , not even one;
      • Romans 3:23 (NASB)
        23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,
      • Acts 3:19 (NASB)
        19 “Therefore repent and return, so that your sins may be wiped away, in order that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord;
    • Acknowledge what Christ did for sinners on the cross, which was confirmed by His resurrection from the dead
      • Romans 5:8 (NASB)
        8 But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.
      • John 11:25-26a (NASB)
        25 Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes in Me will live even if he dies, 26 and everyone who lives and believes in Me will never die…
    • Receive Him as the only means of eternal life
      • Ephesians 2:8-9 (NASB)
        8 For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; 9 not as a result of works, so that no one may boast.
      • John 1:12 (NASB)
        12 But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, evento those who believe in His name,
      • John 6:40 (NASB)
        40 “For this is the will of My Father, that everyone who beholds the Son and believes in Him will have eternal life, and I Myself will raise him up on the last day.”
    • Appropriate His rightful claim as Lord of your life
      • Romans 10:9-10 (NASB)
        9 that if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved; 10 for with the heart a person believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation.
      • Philippians 2:10-11 (NASB)
        10 so that at the name of Jesus every knee will bow, of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 and that every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
    • Pray the sinner’s prayer
      • Holy God, be merciful to me: a sinner.
        Please forgive me.  I want Jesus to be my Lord and Savior.
        I believe He lived a sinless life,
        died upon the cross in payment of my sins,
        and conquered death so that I could have eternal life.
        Help me to live for You from this day forward.
        In Jesus’ name, Amen.
  • Disciples should keep His …
    • Commandments
      • John 14:15 (NASB)
        15 “If you love Me, you will keep My commandments.
      • Matthew 22:36-40 (NASB)
        36 “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?” 37 And He said to him, ” ‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart , and with all your soul , and with all your mind .’ 38 “This is the great and foremost commandment. 39 “The second is like it, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself .’ 40 “On these two commandments depend the whole Law and the Prophets.”
    • Ordinances
      • Believer’s Baptism
        • Romans 6:3-5 (NASB)
          3 Or do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus have been baptized into His death? 4 Therefore we have been buried with Him through baptism into death, so that as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life. 5 For if we have become united with Him in the likeness of His death, certainly we shall also be in the likenessof His resurrection,
        • Matthew 28:19 (NASB)
          19 “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit,
      • The Lord’s Supper
        • 1 Corinthians 11:23-26 (NASB)
          23 For I received from the Lord that which I also delivered to you, that the Lord Jesus in the night in which He was betrayed took bread; 24 and when He had given thanks, He broke it and said, “This is My body, which is for you; do this in remembrance of Me.” 25 In the same way He took the cup also after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in My blood; do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of Me.” 26 For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until He comes.
    • Great Commission
      • Matthew 28:19-20 (NASB)
        19 “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”

Closing Prayer

Heavenly Father, Jesus died through crucifixion, was buried, and resurrected on the third day so that anyone who believes upon His name and confesses Him as Lord and Savior will receive the gift of eternal life. Dear Lord, we pray that if there is anyone who does not know You as Lord and Savior the Holy Spirit would convict their hearts until they come to that saving knowledge and express it through faith in You. Dear Lord, we pray that those who already know You as their personal Lord and Savior would be convicted by the Holy Spirit to seek a more intimate relationship with You. May Your name be glorified in all for it is in Your name that we pray. Amen.

Gospel Invitation

Is the Holy Spirit stirring within your heart? Is He convicting you of the need to make changes in your life and/or calling you to take action? The Bible says:

James 4:17 (NASB)
17 Therefore, to one who knows the right thing to do and does not do it, to him it is sin.

1 John 5:3 (NASB)
3 For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments; and His commandments are not burdensome.

If the Holy Spirit is urging you to take action, it is important to respond with immediate obedience. Delayed obedience is disobedience. Please read the following sections that apply to your current situation and prayerfully consider the suggested course of actions.

I am lost. I need to accept Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior.

John 3:16-18 (NASB)
16 "For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. 17 "For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him. 18 "He who believes in Him is not judged; he who does not believe has been judged already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.

Action

  • To learn more about Jesus and His gift of redemption, read God's Plan of Salvation. If you are already familiar with the Plan of Savation, skip forward to section How to Become a Christian.
  • If you accept Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, please let us know by filling out the Contact Form below.

I am saved; but, I have sin in my life that I need to confess and repent.

1 John 1:8-9 (NASB)
8 If we say that we have no sin, we are deceiving ourselves and the truth is not in us. 9 If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

Acts 3:19 (NASB)
19  "Therefore repent and return, so that your sins may be wiped away, in order that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord;

Action

  • Fill out the Contact Form below to confidentially confess the sin in your life and your desire to repent. The information you send will not be shared with anyone else. Your privacy will be protected.

I am saved; but, I need to rededicate my life to the Lord.

Praise the Lord.

Action

  • In your own words, pray a prayer similar to the following:

Heavenly Father, I have fallen short of Your glory and have failed to live up to Your expectations for me. Please forgive me. Lord, I rededicate my life to You. Not my will; but, Your will be done. Thank You for being a God of second chances. Use me Lord. Shape me and mold me into the person You would have me to be. I pray this in the name of Jesus Christ, my Lord and Savior. Amen.

  • If you just rededicated your life to the Lord, please let us know by filling out the Contact Form below.

I need to discuss my situation confidentially.

James 5:16 (NASB)
16  Therefore, confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another so that you may be healed. The effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much.

Action

  • Fill out the Contact Form below to confidentially discuss the situation in your life that is troubling you. The information you send will not be shared with anyone else. Your privacy will be protected.

Contact Form






Rejoice! What Once Was Lost Now Is Found!

Proposition

God is compassionate and forgiving and rejoices with His angels when people repent of their sins and return to Him.

Probing Question

If God and His heavenly hosts rejoice when people repent and return to Him, should not we repent of our sins, return to Him, and encourage others to do the same?

Opening Prayer

Heavenly Father, as we study today’s Scripture, may the Holy Spirit illuminate its meaning and encourage us to repent of our sins and return to You, the Author and Finisher of our faith. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

Main Points

1. The Parable of the Lost Sheep

Luke 15:1-7 (NASB)
1 Now all the tax collectors and the sinners were coming near Him to listen to Him. 2 Both the Pharisees and the scribes began to grumble, saying, “This man receives sinners and eats with them.” 3 So He told them this parable, saying, 4 “What man among you, if he has a hundred sheep and has lost one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the open pasture and go after the one which is lost until he finds it? 5 “When he has found it, he lays it on his shoulders, rejoicing. 6 “And when he comes home, he calls together his friends and his neighbors, saying to them, ‘Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep which was lost!’ 7 “I tell you that in the same way, there will be morejoy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who need no repentance.

  • It may seem foolish for the shepherd to leave 99 sheep to go search for just one. But the shepherd knew that the 99 would be safe in the sheepfold, whereas the lost sheep was in danger.
  • Because each sheep was of high value, the shepherd knew that it was worthwhile to search diligently for the lost one.
  • God’s love for each individual is so great that He seeks each one out and rejoices when he or she is “found.”
  • Jesus associated with sinners because He wanted to bring the lost sheep – people considered beyond hope – the gospel of God’s kingdom.
  • Before you were a believer, God sought you; and His love is still seeking those who are yet lost.
    • We may be able to understand a God who would forgive sinners who come to Him for mercy.
    • But a God who tenderly searches for sinners and then joyfully forgives them must possess an extraordinary love!
    • This is the kind of love that prompted Jesus to come to earth to search for lost people and save them.
    • This is the kind of extraordinary love that God has for you.
    • If you feel far from God, don’t despair.
    • He is searching for you.

2. The Parable of the Lost Coin

Luke 15:8-10 (NASB)
8 “Or what woman, if she has ten silver coins and loses one coin, does not light a lamp and sweep the house and search carefully until she finds it? 9 “When she has found it, she calls together her friends and neighbors, saying, ‘Rejoice with me, for I have found the coin which I had lost!’ 10 “In the same way, I tell you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.”

  • Palestinian women received ten silver coins as a wedding gift.
  • Besides their monetary value, these coins held sentimental value like that of a wedding ring, and to lose one would be extremely distressing.
  • Just as a woman would rejoice at finding her lost coin or ring, so the angels would rejoice over a repentant sinner.
  • Each individual is precious to God.
  • He grieves over every loss and rejoices whenever one of His children is found and brought into the kingdom.
  • Perhaps we would have more joy in our churches if we shared Jesus’ love and concern for the lost.

3. The Parable of the Lost Son

Luke 15:11-32 (NASB)
11 And He said, “A man had two sons. 12 “The younger of them said to his father, ‘Father, give me the share of the estate that falls to me.’ So he divided his wealth between them. 13 “And not many days later, the younger son gathered everything together and went on a journey into a distant country, and there he squandered his estate with loose living. 14 “Now when he had spent everything, a severe famine occurred in that country, and he began to be impoverished. 15 “So he went and hired himself out to one of the citizens of that country, and he sent him into his fields to feed swine. 16 “And he would have gladly filled his stomach with the pods that the swine were eating, and no one was giving anything to him. 17 “But when he came to his senses, he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired men have more than enough bread, but I am dying here with hunger! 18 ‘I will get up and go to my father, and will say to him, “Father, I have sinned against heaven, and in your sight; 19 I am no longer worthy to be called your son; make me as one of your hired men.”‘ 20 “So he got up and came to his father. But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and felt compassion for him, and ran and embraced him and kissed him. 21 “And the son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and in your sight; I am no longer worthy to be called your son.’ 22 “But the father said to his slaves, ‘Quickly bring out the best robe and put it on him, and put a ring on his hand and sandals on his feet; 23 and bring the fattened calf, kill it, and let us eat and celebrate; 24 for this son of mine was dead and has come to life again; he was lost and has been found.’ And they began to celebrate. 25 “Now his older son was in the field, and when he came and approached the house, he heard music and dancing. 26 “And he summoned one of the servants and began inquiring what these things could be. 27 “And he said to him, ‘Your brother has come, and your father has killed the fattened calf because he has received him back safe and sound.’ 28 “But he became angry and was not willing to go in; and his father came out and began pleading with him. 29 “But he answered and said to his father, ‘Look! For so many years I have been serving you and I have never neglected a command of yours; and yet you have never given me a young goat, so that I might celebrate with my friends; 30 but when this son of yours came, who has devoured your wealth with prostitutes, you killed the fattened calf for him.’ 31 “And he said to him, ‘Son, you have always been with me, and all that is mine is yours. 32 ‘But we had to celebrate and rejoice, for this brother of yours was dead and has begun to live, and waslost and has been found.’ “

  • According to Moses’ law, pigs were unclean animals.
    • This meant that pigs could not be eaten or used for sacrifices.
    • To protect themselves from defilement, Jews would not even touch pigs.
    • For a Jew to stoop to feeding pigs was a great humiliation.
    • For this young man to eat food that the pigs had touched was to be degraded beyond belief.
  • The younger son had truly sunk to the depths.
    • Like many who are rebellious and immature, he wanted to be free to live as he pleased.
    • He had to hit bottom before he came to his senses.
    • It often takes great sorrow and tragedy to cause people to look to the only One Who can help them.
  • Are you trying to live life your own way, selfishly pushing aside any responsibility or commitment that gets in your way?
  • Stop and look before you hit bottom.
  • You will save yourself and your family much grief.
  • In the two preceding stories, the seeker actively looked for the coin and the sheep, which could not return by themselves.
  • In this story, the father watched and waited.
    • He was dealing with a human being with a will of his own, but he was ready to greet his son if he returned.
    • In the same way, God’s love is constant and patient and welcoming.
      • He will search for us and give us opportunities to respond, but He will not force us to come to Him.
      • Like the father in this story, God waits patiently for us to come to our senses.
  • The sheep was lost because it may have foolishly wandered away.
  • The coin was lost through no fault of its own.
  • The son left out of selfishness.
  • God’s great love reaches out and finds sinners no matter why or how they become lost.
  • It was hard for the older brother to accept his younger brother when he returned, and it is just as difficult to accept “younger brothers” today.
    • People who repent after leading notoriously sinful lives are often held in suspicion.
    • Churches are sometimes unwilling to admit them to membership.
    • Instead, we should rejoice like the angels in heaven when an unbeliever repents and turns to God.
    • Like the father, accept repentant sinners wholeheartedly and give them the support and encouragement that they need to grow in Christ.
  • In the story of the lost son, the father’s response is contrasted with the older brother’s.
    • The father forgave because he was filled with love.
    • The son refused to forgive because he was bitter about the injustice of it all.
    • His resentment rendered him just as lost to the father’s love as his younger brother had been.
    • Don’t let anything keep you from forgiving others.
      • If you are refusing to forgive people, you are missing a wonderful opportunity to experience joy and share it with others.
      • Make your joy grow: forgive somebody who has hurt you.
  • In Jesus’ story, the older brother represented the Pharisees, who were angry and resentful that sinners were being welcomed into God’s kingdom.
    • After all, the Pharisees must have thought, we have sacrificed and done so much for God.
    • How easy it is to resent God’s gracious forgiveness of others whom we consider to be far worse sinners than ourselves.
    • But when our self-righteousness gets in the way of rejoicing when others come to Jesus, we are no better than the Pharisees.

Conclusion

God is compassionate and forgiving and rejoices with His angels when people repent of their sins and return to Him; therefore, we should repent or our sins and return to Him.

Isaiah 55 (NASB)
1 “Ho! Every one who thirsts, come to the waters; And you who have no money come, buy and eat. Come, buy wine and milk Without money and without cost. 2 “Why do you spend money for what is not bread, And your wages for what does not satisfy? Listen carefully to Me, and eat what is good, And delight yourself in abundance. 3 “Incline your ear and come to Me. Listen, that you may live; And I will make an everlasting covenant with you, According to the faithful mercies shown to David. 4 “Behold, I have made him a witness to the peoples, A leader and commander for the peoples. 5 “Behold, you will call a nation you do not know, And a nation which knows you not will run to you, Because of the Lord your God, even the Holy One of Israel; For He has glorified you.” 6 Seek the Lord while He may be found; Call upon Him while He is near. 7 Let the wicked forsake his way And the unrighteous man his thoughts; And let him return to the Lord, And He will have compassion on him, And to our God, For He will abundantly pardon. 8 “For My thoughts are not your thoughts, Nor are your ways My ways,” declares the Lord. 9 “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, So are My ways higher than your ways And My thoughts than your thoughts. 10 “For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven, And do not return there without watering the earth And making it bear and sprout, And furnishing seed to the sower and bread to the eater; 11 So will My word be which goes forth from My mouth; It will not return to Me empty, Without accomplishing what I desire, And without succeeding in the matter for which I sent it. 12 “For you will go out with joy And be led forth with peace; The mountains and the hills will break forth into shouts of joy before you, And all the trees of the field will clap their hands. 13 “Instead of the thorn bush the cypress will come up, And instead of the nettle the myrtle will come up, And it will be a memorial to the Lord, For an everlasting sign which will not be cut off.”

Likewise, we should encourage others to repent of their sins and return to Him.

Hebrews 10:19-25 (NASB)
19 Therefore, brethren, since we have confidence to enter the holy place by the blood of Jesus, 20 by a new and living way which He inaugurated for us through the veil, that is, His flesh, 21 and since we have a great priest over the house of God, 22 let us draw near with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water. 23 Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful; 24 and let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds, 25 not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another;and all the more as you see the day drawing near.

Closing Prayer

Heavenly Father, thank You for loving us so much that You rejoice when we return to You. Please convict us through the Holy Spirit to repent of our sins, turn our hearts and minds back towards You, and encourage others to do the same. We love You Lord and it is in Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

Gospel Invitation

Is the Holy Spirit stirring within your heart? Is He convicting you of the need to make changes in your life and/or calling you to take action? The Bible says:

James 4:17 (NASB)
17 Therefore, to one who knows the right thing to do and does not do it, to him it is sin.

1 John 5:3 (NASB)
3 For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments; and His commandments are not burdensome.

If the Holy Spirit is urging you to take action, it is important to respond with immediate obedience. Delayed obedience is disobedience. Please read the following sections that apply to your current situation and prayerfully consider the suggested course of actions.

I am lost. I need to accept Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior.

John 3:16-18 (NASB)
16 "For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. 17 "For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him. 18 "He who believes in Him is not judged; he who does not believe has been judged already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.

Action

  • To learn more about Jesus and His gift of redemption, read God's Plan of Salvation. If you are already familiar with the Plan of Savation, skip forward to section How to Become a Christian.
  • If you accept Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, please let us know by filling out the Contact Form below.

I am saved; but, I have sin in my life that I need to confess and repent.

1 John 1:8-9 (NASB)
8 If we say that we have no sin, we are deceiving ourselves and the truth is not in us. 9 If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

Acts 3:19 (NASB)
19  "Therefore repent and return, so that your sins may be wiped away, in order that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord;

Action

  • Fill out the Contact Form below to confidentially confess the sin in your life and your desire to repent. The information you send will not be shared with anyone else. Your privacy will be protected.

I am saved; but, I need to rededicate my life to the Lord.

Praise the Lord.

Action

  • In your own words, pray a prayer similar to the following:

Heavenly Father, I have fallen short of Your glory and have failed to live up to Your expectations for me. Please forgive me. Lord, I rededicate my life to You. Not my will; but, Your will be done. Thank You for being a God of second chances. Use me Lord. Shape me and mold me into the person You would have me to be. I pray this in the name of Jesus Christ, my Lord and Savior. Amen.

  • If you just rededicated your life to the Lord, please let us know by filling out the Contact Form below.

I need to discuss my situation confidentially.

James 5:16 (NASB)
16  Therefore, confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another so that you may be healed. The effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much.

Action

  • Fill out the Contact Form below to confidentially discuss the situation in your life that is troubling you. The information you send will not be shared with anyone else. Your privacy will be protected.

Contact Form






The Best Is Yet To Come

Introduction

Background

Holman Bible Dictionary

When Cyrus took over Babylon in 538 B.C. and established the kingdom of Persia, the Hebrews came under a Persian governor. Permission was given for the exiles to return and restore their temples. After the death of Cyrus, and of his son Cambyses, Darius became ruler and continued the benevolent policies of Cyrus. Then Darius appointed Zerubbabel as governor with the specific responsibility of resuming work on the Temple, begun earlier by Shesh-bazzar.

Apparently the adjustments required of the returning exiles were so difficult that rebuilding their own homes and the Temple at the same time put a strain on their resources. They despaired of ever restoring the Temple to its former glory. Work on the Temple ceased. Haggai, along with Zechariah, helped Zerubbabel gain the support and help he needed from the returning exiles to carry out his assigned task.

Haggai’s answer was that if it was right for them to rebuild their own houses, it was also right for them to rebuild the Temple. Haggai noted that in rebuilding their own houses they had done well, but they were still not happy. His diagnosis was that they had neglected their spiritual lives. He said the way to correct their neglect was to rebuild the Temple.

  • Haggai directed his exhortation and prophecy to everyone at all levels
    • Who
      • Zerubbabel (Civil Leadership)
        • Son of Shealtiel
        • Descended from the royal line of David
        • Friend of Darius
          • Successfully competed before him in contest to determine the strongest thing in the world: wine, kings, women, or truth
            • Demonstrated truth was the mightiest of all
            • Became known as the king’s “cousin”
            • Granted permission to go to Jerusalem and rebuild the temple after the exile (537 BC)
          • Appointed Governor of Judah
          • Also served as Tax Collector
      • Joshua (Spiritual Leadership)
        • Son of Josedech
        • High priest
        • Returned from exile with Zerubbabel to rebuild the temple (537 BC)
          • Head of Levitical house which had oversight of the workmen in the temple
          • Led in rebuilding the altar
          • Led in restoring sacrifice
      • Lay People
        • Remnant
        • Those who would return/come
    • Action
      • Actively participate
        • 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 (NASB)
          19 Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own? 20 For you have been bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body.
      • Actively seek the participation of others
        • Active Believers
          • Colossians 2:6-7 (NASB)
            6 Therefore as you have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him, 7 having been firmly rooted and now being built up in Him and established in your faith, just as you were instructed, andoverflowing with gratitude.
        • Inactive Believers
          • 1 John 2:3-6 (NASB)
            3 By this we know that we have come to know Him, if we keep His commandments. 4 The one who says, “I have come to know Him,” and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him; 5 but whoever keeps His word, in him the love of God has truly been perfected. By this we know that we are in Him: 6 the one who says he abides in Him ought himself to walk in the same manner as He walked.
        • Unbelievers
          • Matthew 28:18-20 (NASB)
            18 And Jesus came up and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. 19 “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”
          • Ezekiel 33:7-9 (NASB)
            7 “Now as for you, son of man, I have appointed you a watchman for the house of Israel; so you will hear a message from My mouth and give them warning from Me. 8 “When I say to the wicked, ‘O wicked man, you will surely die,’ and you do not speak to warn the wicked from his way, that wicked man shall die in his iniquity, but his blood I will require from your hand. 9 “But if you on your part warn a wicked man to turn from his way and he does not turn from his way, he will die in his iniquity, but you have delivered your life.

Questions

  • Do you find yourself dwelling on and trying to recapture past glories?
  • Are you tired and discouraged?

Good News

  • God Is with You
  • The Best Is Yet to Come

Scripture

Haggai 2:1-9 (NASB)
1 On the twenty-first of the seventh month, the word of the Lord came by Haggai the prophet saying, 2 “Speak now to Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel, governor of Judah, and to Joshua the son of Jehozadak, the high priest, and to the remnant of the people saying, 3 ‘Who is left among you who saw this temple in its former glory? And how do you see it now? Does it not seem to you like nothing in comparison? 4 ‘But now take courage, Zerubbabel,’ declares the Lord, ‘take courage also, Joshua son of Jehozadak, the high priest, and all you people of the land take courage,’ declares the Lord, ‘and work; for I am with you,’ declares the Lord of hosts. 5 ‘As for the promise which I made you when you came out of Egypt, My Spirit is abiding in your midst; do not fear!’ 6 “For thus says the Lord of hosts, ‘Once more in a little while, I am going to shake the heavens and the earth, the sea also and the dry land. 7 ‘I will shake all the nations; and they will come with the wealth of all nations, and I will fill this house with glory,’ says the Lord of hosts. 8 ‘The silver is Mine and the gold is Mine,’ declares the Lord of hosts. 9 ‘The latter glory of this house will be greater than the former,’ says the Lord of hosts, ‘and in this place I will give peace,’ declares the Lord of hosts.”

Opening Prayer

Heavenly Father, all good things come from You. Through this sermon, please make plain to us how the best is yet to come. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

Proposition

Be strong, work, and fear not for God is with us and the greater glory is yet to come.

Probing Question

What should we do when we are tired and discouraged?

Transitional Sentence

When tired and discouraged, we should…

Main Points

1. Be Strong

Haggai 2:4a (NASB)
4 ‘But now take courage, Zerubbabel,’ declares the Lord, ‘take courage also, Joshua son of Jehozadak, the high priest, and all you people of the land take courage,’ declares the Lord…

  • What?
    • Meanings
      • Be(come) Strong
      • Strengthen
      • Prevail
      • Harden
      • Be Courageous
    • Connotation
      • Prevail
      • Be Courageous
  • Why?
    • Haggai 2:4b (NASB)
      …for I am with you,’ declares the Lord of hosts.
  • Illustrations
    • The Lion’s Tail (Source Unknown)
      Adrian Rogers tells about the man who bragged that he had cut off the tail of a man-eating lion with his pocket knife. Asked why he hadn’t cut off the lion’s head, the man replied: “Someone had already done that.”
    • Courage is … (Eddie Rickenbacker, Bits & Pieces, April 29, 1993, p. 12)
      Courage is doing what you’re afraid to do. There can be no courage unless you’re scared.
    • “Courage is being scared to death but saddling up anyway.” – John Wayne
    • “True heroism is remarkably sober, very un-dramatic.  It is not the urge to surpass all others at whatever cost, but the urge to serve others at whatever the cost.” – Tennis Star Arthur Ashe
  • How?
    • Have faith
      • Proverbs 3:5-6 (NASB)
        5 Trust in the Lord with all your heart And do not lean on your own understanding. 6 In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He will make your paths straight.
      • Philippians 4:13 (NASB)
        13 I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.

2. Work

Haggai 2:4a (NASB)
4 ‘But now take courage, Zerubbabel,’ declares the Lord, ‘take courage also, Joshua son of Jehozadak, the high priest, and all you people of the land take courage,’ declares the Lord, ‘and work…

  • What?
    • Meanings
      • Do
      • Fashion
      • Accomplish
      • Make
    • Connotation
      • Do
      • Make
      • Used with a sense of ethical obligation
        • Covenant people frequently commanded to “do” all that God commanded
        • Goes beyond mere mental abstraction and translates into obedience evidenced in a demonstrable act
  • Why?
    • Haggai 2:4b (NASB)
      4 …for I am with you,’ declares the Lord of hosts.
  • Illustrations
    • “Instant obedience is the only kind of obedience there is; delayed obedience is disobedience.  Whoever strives to withdraw from obedience, withdraws from Grace.” – Thomas A. Kempis
    • “One step forward in obedience is worth years of study about it.” – Oswald Chambers (Our Daily Bread, March 4, 1993)
    • “The cost of obedience is nothing compared with the cost of disobedience.” – Anonymous
    • “It is a great deal easier to do that which God gives us to do, no matter how hard it is, than to face the responsibilities of not doing it.” = Dr. B. J. Miller (MBI’s Today In The Word, November, 1989, p.11)
  • How?
    • Demonstrate your faith in God through obedience to Him
      • James 2:14-26 (NASB)
        14 What use is it, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but he has no works? Can that faith save him? 15 If a brother or sister is without clothing and in need of daily food, 16 and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, be warmed and be filled,” and yet you do not give them what is necessary for their body, what use is that? 17 Even so faith, if it has no works, is dead, being by itself. 18 But someone may well say, “You have faith and I have works; show me your faith without the works, and I will show you my faith by my works.” 19 You believe that God is one. You do well; the demons also believe, and shudder. 20 But are you willing to recognize, you foolish fellow, that faith without works is useless? 21 Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he offered up Isaac his son on the altar? 22 You see that faith was working with his works, and as a result of the works, faith was perfected; 23 and the Scripture was fulfilled which says, “And Abraham believed God, and it was reckoned to him as righteousness,” and he was called the friend of God. 24 You see that a man is justified by works and not by faith alone. 25 In the same way, was not Rahab the harlot also justified by works when she received the messengers and sent them out by another way? 26 For just as the body without thespirit is dead, so also faith without works is dead.

3. Fear Not

Haggai 2:4-5 (NASB)
4 ‘But now take courage, Zerubbabel,’ declares the Lord, ‘take courage also, Joshua son of Jehozadak, the high priest, and all you people of the land take courage,’ declares the Lord, ‘and work; for I am with you,’ declares the Lord of hosts. 5 ‘As for the promise which I made you when you came out of Egypt, My Spirit is abiding in your midst; do not fear!’

  • What?
    • Meanings
      • Fear
      • Be Afraid
      • Revere
    • Connotation
      • Fear
      • Be Afraid
      • Emotion of fear
      • Intellectual anticipation of evil without emphasis upon the emotional reaction
  • Why?
    • Haggai 2:4b-5a (NASB)
      4 …for I am with you,’ declares the Lord of hosts. 5 ‘As for the promise which I made you when you came out of Egypt, My Spirit is abiding in your midst…
  • Illustrations
    • Fear of Ridicule (Today in the Word, October 17, 1993)
      Anytime we are engaged in a work for God, we are likely to encounter the poison-tipped arrows of ridicule. A barrage of truth mingled with lies, innuendo, malicious gossip and implied threats is the normal experience of leaders. Malice arises from fear. And fear is a common response to someone else’s success. So expect to have your faults thrown in your face, your folly mocked and your real progress belittled. When this happens, by all means allow yourself to be cut down to size, but do not let yourself be dismayed or intimidated. Remember that the chorus of contempt has a diabolical conductor whose aim is to make your knees buckle. He likes tongue-tied, ineffective Christians and plays on your secret fears and inferiorities to make you one of them.
    • “I am full of fears and chasms of inferiority. Whenever I have listened to the enemy pointing them out I have stopped working for the kingdom. Yet in those moments when I have refused to listen to him and have feebly walked in obedience, I have been astonished at what God has done with my feeble performance.” – John White
  • How?
    • Persevere in your obedience to God through trust in Him
      • 2 Timothy 1:7 (NASB)
        7 For God has not given us a spirit of timidity, but of power and love and discipline.
      • Matthew 10:28 (NASB)
        28 “Do not fear those who kill the body but are unable to kill the soul; but rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.
      • Hebrews 13:6 (NASB)
        6 so that we confidently say, “The Lord is my helper, I will not be afraid. What will man do to me?”
      • Romans 8:31 (NASB)
        31 What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who isagainst us?

Conclusion

God encourages people to be strong, work, and fear not for He is with us and the greater glory is yet to come.

When we are tired and discouraged we should:

  • Be Strong
  • Work
  • Fear Not

Because:

  • God is with us
    • Haggai 2:4b-5a (NASB)
      4 …for I am with you,’ declares the Lord of hosts. 5 ‘As for the promise which I made you when you came out of Egypt, My Spirit is abiding in your midst…
  • The best is yet to come
    • Haggai 2:6-9 (NASB)
      6 “For thus says the Lord of hosts, ‘Once more in a little while, I am going to shake the heavens and the earth, the sea also and the dry land. 7 ‘I will shake all the nations; and they will come with the wealth of all nations, and I will fill this house with glory,’ says the Lord of hosts. 8 ‘The silver is Mine and the gold is Mine,’ declares the Lord of hosts. 9 ‘The latter glory of this house will be greater than the former,’ says the Lord of hosts, ‘and in this place I will give peace,’ declares the Lord of hosts.”

Closing Prayer

Heavenly Father, almighty God, thank You for Your promise to never leave us nor forsake us. Because of Your presence and watchcare over us, we can be strong, serve You, and not be afraid. Thank You for Your promise to give us life and life more abundantly. Thank You that the best is yet to come. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

Gospel Invitation

Is the Holy Spirit stirring within your heart? Is He convicting you of the need to make changes in your life and/or calling you to take action? The Bible says:

James 4:17 (NASB)
17 Therefore, to one who knows the right thing to do and does not do it, to him it is sin.

1 John 5:3 (NASB)
3 For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments; and His commandments are not burdensome.

If the Holy Spirit is urging you to take action, it is important to respond with immediate obedience. Delayed obedience is disobedience. Please read the following sections that apply to your current situation and prayerfully consider the suggested course of actions.

I am lost. I need to accept Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior.

John 3:16-18 (NASB)
16 "For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. 17 "For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him. 18 "He who believes in Him is not judged; he who does not believe has been judged already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.

Action

  • To learn more about Jesus and His gift of redemption, read God's Plan of Salvation. If you are already familiar with the Plan of Savation, skip forward to section How to Become a Christian.
  • If you accept Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, please let us know by filling out the Contact Form below.

I am saved; but, I have sin in my life that I need to confess and repent.

1 John 1:8-9 (NASB)
8 If we say that we have no sin, we are deceiving ourselves and the truth is not in us. 9 If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

Acts 3:19 (NASB)
19  "Therefore repent and return, so that your sins may be wiped away, in order that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord;

Action

  • Fill out the Contact Form below to confidentially confess the sin in your life and your desire to repent. The information you send will not be shared with anyone else. Your privacy will be protected.

I am saved; but, I need to rededicate my life to the Lord.

Praise the Lord.

Action

  • In your own words, pray a prayer similar to the following:

Heavenly Father, I have fallen short of Your glory and have failed to live up to Your expectations for me. Please forgive me. Lord, I rededicate my life to You. Not my will; but, Your will be done. Thank You for being a God of second chances. Use me Lord. Shape me and mold me into the person You would have me to be. I pray this in the name of Jesus Christ, my Lord and Savior. Amen.

  • If you just rededicated your life to the Lord, please let us know by filling out the Contact Form below.

I need to discuss my situation confidentially.

James 5:16 (NASB)
16  Therefore, confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another so that you may be healed. The effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much.

Action

  • Fill out the Contact Form below to confidentially discuss the situation in your life that is troubling you. The information you send will not be shared with anyone else. Your privacy will be protected.

Contact Form






Have Faith in God: Let Go and Let God

Illustration

A Possible Episode from the Twilight Zone…

  • Imagine if you will, the sun beating down unmercifully upon the tiny town of Zarephath, a remote village well to the north of the land of Palestine.
  • It is there that a poor, widow woman searches for sticks.
  • Why is she searching for sticks?
  • She is searching for sticks because she has no more fuel, and must find something to help her prepare one last meal for her and her son.
  • You see, it has not rained in over 3 years.
  • The land is hard and dry and parched and barren.
  • There is a terrible famine., and as usual, the poorest are hit the hardest.
  • She is resigned to the fact that there is nothing else she can do to sustain her own life.
  • But for the sake of her son, with the hopes that he might somehow survive, she gathers up sticks, trying to ignore the stomach pains and fatigue, yet feeling her life force slowly ebbing away.
  • As she bends down to pick up a dead, dry chunk of wood, she sees in the corner of her eye, from a distance, the hazy figure of a man approaching the town gates.
  • She glances up and as he draws nearer, she can tell by his attire that this stranger is a Jew.
  • And she marvels in the fact that he looks relatively healthy, well-fed, almost portly in appearance.
  • (She does not know that this man of God has been fed each day by Ravens sent by God!”)
  • And this stranger, this middle-aged Jewish man, walks up to the sin-sick widow, and makes a request.
  • “May I have some water to drink?”
  • She is preparing to die, with barely enough energy to complete her chores, and this stranger has the audacity to ask for a drink of HER precious water!
  • What would you do? What would you say?
  • We would likely say,
    • “Get your own water stranger, I have got to worry about myself!”
    • “I am the last person in the world you should be asking for provisions.”
    • Or (out of politeness) we might say, “I am sorry sir, I cannot help you. Perhaps some wealthy citizen of this town could be of assistance.”
  • INSTEAD, she offers no resistance at all.
  • She quickly gets up and hurries over to her water jug, to fetch him some water.
  • THEN, he pushes the issue.
  • “While you are at it Ma’am, could you also give me a little bread to eat?”
  • WHO IS THIS MAN?
  • She turns to the prophet and sadly confesses her plight.
  • She explains to him that she only has enough flour and oil to make one last meal for her and her son.
  • She explains that they are starving and near the point of death.
  • After an explanation like that, we might expect an apology out of this stranger.
  • But instead, he is even more pervasive.
  • “Well then”, he exclaims, “please use the last of your flour and the last of your oil and make me a cake of bread and let me eat it!”
  • Then he adds, “God has promised that if you will serve me what you have, He will take care of you!”
  • WHAT WOULD YOU DO?
  • They say that there is nothing among men as strong as a mother’s love for her children, YET imagine if you will, what may have happened next.
  • She walks into her mud hut.
  • Her son is sleeping on a mat on the floor.
  • She begins to cook up the ingredients, the boy awaking to the pleasant aroma.
  • But then she turns her back to her own son and walks out the door, to the stranger!
  • She gives the cake to the stranger who begins eating it, crumbs falling into his beard.
  • She goes back into her house.
  • She is afraid to look in the jars. BUT WHEN SHE DOES…
  • THERE IS OIL! THERE IS FLOUR!
  • Have we just entered the Twilight Zone?
  • The signpost up ahead reads, “1 Kings 17:8-16”

Scripture

1 Kings 17:8-16 (NASB)
8 Then the word of the Lord came to him, saying, 9 “Arise, go to Zarephath, which belongs to Sidon, and stay there; behold, I have commanded a widow there to provide for you.” 10 So he arose and went to Zarephath, and when he came to the gate of the city, behold, a widow was there gathering sticks; and he called to her and said, “Please get me a little water in a jar, that I may drink.” 11 As she was going to get it, he called to her and said, “Please bring me a piece of bread in your hand.” 12 But she said, “As the Lord your God lives, I have no bread, only a handful of flour in the bowl and a little oil in the jar; and behold, I am gathering a few sticks that I may go in and prepare for me and my son, that we may eat it and die.” 13 Then Elijah said to her, “Do not fear; go, do as you have said, but make me a little bread cake from it first and bring it out to me, and afterward you may make one for yourself and for your son. 14 “For thus says the Lord God of Israel, ‘The bowl of flour shall not be exhausted, nor shall the jar of oil be empty, until the day that the Lord sends rain on the face of the earth.’ ” 15 So she went and did according to the word of Elijah, and she and he and her household ate for many days. 16 The bowl of flour was not exhausted nor did the jar of oil become empty, according to the word of the Lord which He spoke through Elijah.

Opening Prayer

Heavenly Father, as we study Your Word, open our eyes to Your unending provisions. Help us to have faith in You and Your promises. Continue to love us and teach us how to love others as You do. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

Probing Question

What should Christians recognize from the widow’s example of faith and obedience?

Transitional Sentence

From the widow’s example of faith and obedience, Christians should recognize…

Main Points

1. The Problem

1 Kings 17:8-12 (NASB)
8 Then the word of the Lord came to him, saying, 9 “Arise, go to Zarephath, which belongs to Sidon, and stay there; behold, I have commanded a widow there to provide for you.” 10 So he arose and went to Zarephath, and when he came to the gate of the city, behold, a widow was there gathering sticks; and he called to her and said, “Please get me a little water in a jar, that I may drink.” 11 As she was going to get it, he called to her and said, “Please bring me a piece of bread in your hand.” 12 But she said, “As the Lord your God lives, I have no bread, only a handful of flour in the bowl and a little oil in the jar; and behold, I am gathering a few sticks that I may go in and prepare for me and my son, that we may eat it and die.”

  • The widow was at the end of her resources
  • She was preparing to give up… to die
  • She had next to nothing and Elijah was asking her to give up even that to him
  • REFLECT
    • Do we have anything we hold on to?
      • A person?
      • A dream?
      • A job?
      • A thing? (e.g., money, car, etc.)
      • Our will? (e.g., not surrendering to God, His gift of salvation, etc.)
    • It is not easy to give some things up
    • In faith, the widow gave up her and her son’s last meal
    • We have to learn in faith when to stop holding on and instead let go

2. The Promise

1 Kings 17:13-14 (NASB)
13 Then Elijah said to her, “Do not fear; go, do as you have said, but make me a little bread cake from it first and bring it out to me, and afterward you may make one for yourself and for your son. 14 “For thus says the Lord God of Israel, ‘The bowl of flour shall not be exhausted, nor shall the jar of oil be empty, until the day that the Lord sends rain on the face of the earth.’ “

  • The resources at her disposal were not hers… she was only a steward
  • The widow was to steward the resources according to God’s will
  • God’s resources are limitless
  • The Bible tells us “The just shall live by faith.” (Romans 1:17)
    • What is faith?
      • Faith is believing in God
        • Romans 10:17 (NASB)
          17 So faith comesfrom hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ.
      • Faith is believing without seeing
        • Hebrews 11:1 (NASB)
          1 Now faith is the assurance of thingshoped for, the conviction of things not seen.
    • The widow exercised biblical faith
  • Whenever God promises something, you can “take it to the bank”
    • Does this mean if we let God tell us what to give and we cannot give it; but, we give it anyway, we will be able to give it, and we will receive something back in return?
      • That is exactly what God tells us
        • Luke 6:38 (NASB)
          38 “Give, and it will be given to you. They will pour into your lap a good measure—pressed down, shaken together, andrunning over. For by your standard of measure it will be measured to you in return.”
        • Matthew 6:33 (NASB)
          33 “But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.
    • Please be sure it is God leading you and not some TV Evangelist with ulterior motives

3. The Provision

1 Kings 17:15-16 (NASB)
15 So she went and did according to the word of Elijah, and she and he and her household ate for many days. 16 The bowl of flour was not exhausted nor did the jar of oil become empty, according to the word of the Lord which He spoke through Elijah.

  • The widow was an obedient steward of the resources at her disposal
  • God provided resources to the widow from His limitless supply
    • Some preachers debate whether the bowl and jar
      • Were full, or
      • Just did not run out
    • Does it matter?
      • That is not the point
      • The point is God’s supplies do not run out
        • It was true for the widow
        • It is true for us
    • God’s grace in our lives never runs out
      • John 1:16 (NASB)
        16 For of His fullness we have all received, and grace upon grace.
    • God’s Word never runs out
      • Matthew 24:35 (NASB)
        35 “Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will not pass away.
    • God’s ability to meet our needs will never run out
      • Philippians 4:19 (NASB)
        19 And my God will supply all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus.
  • Would the widow have ever known God’s ability if she did not first have an inability?

Conclusion

From the widow’s example of faith and obedience, Christians should recognize:

  • The Problem – We are at the end of our resources
  • The Promise – “Our” resources are not ours, we are only stewards
  • The Provision – God’s resources are limitless to obedient stewards

We must have faith in God that results in obedient stewardship of the resources He has placed at our disposal.

We must “Let Go” and “Let God”

Closing Prayer

Our most gracious Heavenly Father, thank You for always supplying our need. Help us to remember we are only stewards of Your many blessings and as such, we should be blessings to others. Teach us not to rely on what we think we have; but rather, place our faith and trust in You, Whose supplies are limitless. Please forgive us our sins, for we ask these things in Jesus’ precious name. Amen.

Gospel Invitation

Is the Holy Spirit stirring within your heart? Is He convicting you of the need to make changes in your life and/or calling you to take action? The Bible says:

James 4:17 (NASB)
17 Therefore, to one who knows the right thing to do and does not do it, to him it is sin.

1 John 5:3 (NASB)
3 For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments; and His commandments are not burdensome.

If the Holy Spirit is urging you to take action, it is important to respond with immediate obedience. Delayed obedience is disobedience. Please read the following sections that apply to your current situation and prayerfully consider the suggested course of actions.

I am lost. I need to accept Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior.

John 3:16-18 (NASB)
16 "For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. 17 "For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him. 18 "He who believes in Him is not judged; he who does not believe has been judged already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.

Action

  • To learn more about Jesus and His gift of redemption, read God's Plan of Salvation. If you are already familiar with the Plan of Savation, skip forward to section How to Become a Christian.
  • If you accept Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, please let us know by filling out the Contact Form below.

I am saved; but, I have sin in my life that I need to confess and repent.

1 John 1:8-9 (NASB)
8 If we say that we have no sin, we are deceiving ourselves and the truth is not in us. 9 If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

Acts 3:19 (NASB)
19  "Therefore repent and return, so that your sins may be wiped away, in order that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord;

Action

  • Fill out the Contact Form below to confidentially confess the sin in your life and your desire to repent. The information you send will not be shared with anyone else. Your privacy will be protected.

I am saved; but, I need to rededicate my life to the Lord.

Praise the Lord.

Action

  • In your own words, pray a prayer similar to the following:

Heavenly Father, I have fallen short of Your glory and have failed to live up to Your expectations for me. Please forgive me. Lord, I rededicate my life to You. Not my will; but, Your will be done. Thank You for being a God of second chances. Use me Lord. Shape me and mold me into the person You would have me to be. I pray this in the name of Jesus Christ, my Lord and Savior. Amen.

  • If you just rededicated your life to the Lord, please let us know by filling out the Contact Form below.

I need to discuss my situation confidentially.

James 5:16 (NASB)
16  Therefore, confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another so that you may be healed. The effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much.

Action

  • Fill out the Contact Form below to confidentially discuss the situation in your life that is troubling you. The information you send will not be shared with anyone else. Your privacy will be protected.

Contact Form






What Does God Expect From Me?

Formats

This sermon is available in text, video, and audio formats.

Opening Prayer

Heavenly Father, in Acts 1:8 You tell us we will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon us and that we will be Your witnesses in both Jerusalem, and all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth. We want to honor and glorify Your name in all the earth. As we study Your Word, please show us what You expect from us so that we may be pleasing in Your sight and be the witnesses You would have us to be. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

Scripture

Deuteronomy 10:12-13 (NASB)
12 “Now, Israel, what does the Lord your God require from you, but to fear the Lord your God, to walk in all His ways and love Him, and to serve the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul, 13 andto keep the Lord’s commandments and His statutes which I am commanding you today for your good?

Proposition

God expects certain things from His children.

Probing Question

What does God expect from His children?

Transitional Sentence

God expects His children to…

Main Points

1. Fear Him

Deuteronomy 10:12a (NASB)
12 “Now, Israel, what does the Lord your God require from you, but to fear the Lord your God…

What does it mean to fear the Lord?

  • Hate Evil

Proverbs 8:13 (NASB)
13 “The fear of the Lord is to hate evil; Pride and arrogance and the evil way And the perverted mouth, I hate.

  • Obey without Question or Hesitation

Genesis 22:1-2,9-12 (NASB)
1 Now it came about after these things, that God tested Abraham, and said to him, “Abraham!” And he said, “Here I am.” 2 He said, “Take now your son, your only son, whom you love, Isaac, and go to the land of Moriah, and offer him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains of which I will tell you.”

9 Then they came to the place of which God had told him; and Abraham built the altar there and arranged the wood, and bound his son Isaac and laid him on the altar, on top of the wood. 10 Abraham stretched out his hand and took the knife to slay his son. 11 But the angel of the Lord called to him from heaven and said, “Abraham, Abraham!” And he said, “Here I am.” 12 He said, “Do not stretch out your hand against the lad, and do nothing to him; for now I know that you fear God, since you have not withheld your son, your only son, from Me.”

  • Have an Awareness of God’s Watchfulness

Leviticus 19:14 (NASB)
14 ‘You shall not curse a deaf man, nor place a stumbling block before the blind, but you shall revere your God; I am the Lord.

  • Have an Awareness of God’s Judgment

Ecclesiastes 12:14 (NASB)
14 For God will bring every act to judgment, everything which is hidden, whether it is good or evil.

Matthew 12:36 (NASB)
36 “But I tell you that every careless word that people speak, they shall give an accounting for it in the day of judgment.

Revelation 20:11-12 (NASB)
11 Then I saw a great white throne and Him who sat upon it, from whose presence earth and heaven fled away, and no place was found for them. 12 And I saw the dead, the great and the small, standing before the throne, and books were opened; and another book was opened, which is the bookof life; and the dead were judged from the things which were written in the books, according to their deeds.

2. Walk In His Ways

Deuteronomy 10:12b (NASB)
12 “Now, Israel, what does the Lord your God require from you, but to fear the Lord your God, to walk in all His ways…

What does it mean to walk in His ways?

Titus 2:11-12 (NASB)
11 For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all men, 12 instructing us to deny ungodliness and worldly desires and to live sensibly, righteously and godly in the present age,

  • Deny Ungodliness and Worldly Desires

Matthew 16:24 (NASB)
24 Then Jesus said to His disciples, “If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross and follow Me.

Romans 6:4-6 (NASB)
4 Therefore we have been buried with Him through baptism into death, so that as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life. 5 For if we have become united with Him in the likeness of His death, certainly we shall also be in the likeness of His resurrection, 6 knowing this, that our old self was crucified with Him,in order that our body of sin might be done away with, so that we would no longer be slaves to sin;

1 Corinthians 6:9-11 (NASB)
9 Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals, 10 nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, will inherit the kingdom of God. 11 Such were some of you; but you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and in the Spirit of our God.

  • Live Sensibly, Righteously, and Godly

Romans 6:16-19 (NASB)
16 Do you not know that when you present yourselves to someone as slaves for obedience, you are slaves of the one whom you obey, either of sin resulting in death, or of obedience resulting in righteousness? 17 But thanks be to God that though you were slaves of sin, you became obedient from the heart to that form of teaching to which you were committed, 18 and having been freed from sin, you became slaves of righteousness. 19 I am speaking in human terms because of the weakness of your flesh. For just as you presented your members as slaves to impurity and to lawlessness, resulting in furtherlawlessness, so now present your members as slaves to righteousness, resulting in sanctification.

1 Peter 1:14-19 (NASB)
14 As obedient children, do not be conformed to the former lusts which were yours in your ignorance, 15 but like the Holy One who called you, be holy yourselves also in all your behavior; 16 because it is written, “You shall be holy, for I am holy.” 17 If you address as Father the One who impartially judges according to each one’s work, conduct yourselves in fear during the time of your stay on earth; 18 knowing that you were not redeemed with perishable things like silver or gold from your futile way of life inherited from your forefathers, 19 but with precious blood, as of a lamb unblemished and spotless, the bloodof Christ.

2 Peter 1:5-9 (NASB)
5 Now for this very reason also, applying all diligence, in your faith supply moral excellence, and in your moral excellence, knowledge, 6 and in your knowledge, self-control, and in your self-control, perseverance, and in your perseverance, godliness, 7 and in your godliness, brotherly kindness, and in your brotherly kindness, love. 8 For if these qualities are yours and are increasing, they render you neither useless nor unfruitful in the true knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9 For he who lacks these qualities is blind or short-sighted, having forgotten hispurification from his former sins.

3. Love Him

Deuteronomy 10:12c (NASB)
12 “Now, Israel, what does the Lord your God require from you, but to fear the Lord your God, to walk in all His ways and love Him…

Psalms 18:1 (NASB)
1 “I love You, O Lord, my strength.”

Psalms 145:20 (NASB)
20 The Lord keeps all who love Him, But all the wicked He will destroy.

1 John 2:15-17 (NASB)
15 Do not love the world nor the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. 16 For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the boastful pride of life, is not from the Father, but is from the world. 17 The world is passing away, and alsoits lusts; but the one who does the will of God lives forever.

Deuteronomy 6:4-9 (NASB)
4 “Hear, O Israel! The Lord is our God, the Lord is one! 5 “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. 6 “These words, which I am commanding you today, shall be on your heart. 7 “You shall teach them diligently to your sons and shall talk of them when you sit in your house and when you walk by the way and when you lie down and when you rise up. 8 “You shall bind them as a sign on your hand and they shall be as frontals on your forehead. 9 “You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.

What does it mean to love Him?

  • Keep His Commandments

1 John 5:3 (NASB)
3 For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments; and His commandments are not burdensome.

  • Love our Neighbor

1 John 4:19-21 (NASB)
19 We love, because He first loved us. 20 If someone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for the one who does not love his brother whom he has seen, cannot love God whom he has not seen. 21 And this commandment we have from Him, that the one who loves God should love his brother also.

Matthew 22:37-39 (NASB)
37 And He said to him, ” ‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart , and with all your soul , and with all your mind .’ 38 “This is the great and foremost commandment. 39 “The second is like it, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself .’

4. Serve Him

Deuteronomy 10:12 (NASB)
12 “Now, Israel, what does the Lord your God require from you, but to fear the Lord your God, to walk in all His ways and love Him, and to serve the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul,

Joshua 24:14-15 (NASB)
14 “Now, therefore, fear the Lord and serve Him in sincerity and truth; and put away the gods which your fathers served beyond the River and in Egypt, and serve the Lord. 15 “If it is disagreeable in your sight to serve the Lord, choose for yourselves today whom you will serve: whether the gods which your fathers served which were beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you are living; but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.”

How are we to serve Him?

  • With All Our Heart and a Willing Mind

1 Chronicles 28:9 (NASB)
9 “As for you, my son Solomon, know the God of your father, and serve Him with a whole heart and a willing mind; for the Lord searches all hearts, and understands every intent of the thoughts. If you seek Him, He will let you find Him; but if you forsake Him, He will reject you forever.

  • With Gladness

Psalms 100:2 (NASB)
2 Serve the Lord with gladness; Come before Him with joyful singing.

  • By Doing His Will

Psalms 103:21 (NASB)
21 Bless the Lord, all you His hosts, You who serve Him, doing His will.

  • By Serving with Others

Zephaniah 3:9 (NASB)
9 “For then I will give to the peoples purified lips, That all of them may call on the name of the Lord, To serve Him shoulder to shoulder.

  • By Serving Him Only

Matthew 4:8-10 (NASB)
8 Again, the devil took* Him to a very high mountain and showed* Him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory; 9 and he said to Him, “All these things I will give You, if You fall down and worship me.” 10 Then Jesus said* to him, “Go, Satan! For it is written, ‘You shall worship the Lord your God, and serve Him only .’ “

Matthew 6:24 (NASB)
24 “No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and wealth.

5. Keep His Commandments and Statutes

Deuteronomy 10:12-13 (NASB)
12 “Now, Israel, what does the Lord your God require from you, but to fear the Lord your God, to walk in all His ways and love Him, and to serve the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul, 13 andto keep the Lord’s commandments and His statutes which I am commanding you today for your good?

How Do We Know His Commandments and Statutes?

  • By Studying His Word

Deuteronomy 17:18-19 (NASB)
18 “Now it shall come about when he sits on the throne of his kingdom, he shall write for himself a copy of this law on a scroll in the presence of the Levitical priests. 19 “It shall be with him and he shall read it all the days of his life, that he may learn to fear the Lord his God, by carefully observing all the words of this law and these statutes,

  • By Meditating on His Word

Joshua 1:8 (NASB)
8 “This book of the law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it; for then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have success.

  • By Memorizing His Word

Psalms 119:16 (NASB)
16 I shall delight in Your statutes; I shall not forget Your word.

What Are the Benefits of Keeping His Commands and Statutes?

  • It Brings Blessings

James 1:25 (NASB)
25 But one who looks intently at the perfect law, the lawof liberty, and abides by it, not having become a forgetful hearer but an effectual doer, this man will be blessed in what he does.

  • It Brings Delight

Psalms 119:33-35 (NASB)
33 Teach me, O Lord, the way of Your statutes, And I shall observe it to the end. 34 Give me understanding, that I may observe Your law And keep it with all my heart. 35 Make me walk in the path of Your commandments, For I delight in it.

  • It Brings Life

Psalms 119:137-144 (NASB)
137 Righteous are You, O Lord, And upright are Your judgments. 138 You have commanded Your testimonies in righteousness And exceeding faithfulness. 139 My zeal has consumed me, Because my adversaries have forgotten Your words. 140 Your word is very pure, Therefore Your servant loves it. 141 I am small and despised, Yet I do not forget Your precepts. 142 Your righteousness is an everlasting righteousness, And Your law is truth. 143 Trouble and anguish have come upon me, Yet Your commandments are my delight. 144 Your testimonies are righteous forever; Give me understanding that I may live.

Conclusion

God expects His children to

  • Fear Him
  • Walk In His Ways
  • Love Him
  • Serve Him

with all their heart and soul, and to

  • Keep His Commandments and Statutes

for their own good.

Closing Prayer

Heavenly Father, help us to fear You, walk in Your ways, love you, serve You with all our heart and soul, and to keep Your commandments and statutes for our own good. May we trust that You know what is best for us and have our best interest at heart. We love You Lord. We pray this in the name of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Amen.

Use the video player below to watch a video of this sermon as it was delivered to Sturgis Baptist Church in Sturgis, Mississippi at their 11:00am Morning Service on Sunday, June 21, 2015. I pray it speaks to your heart.

Sermon – What Does God Expect from Me? (Video) – Sturgis Baptist Church – June 21, 2015 11:00am

Sermon – What Does God Expect from Me? (Video) – Sturgis Baptist Church – June 21, 2015 11:00am

Size: 171.63MB

Use the audio player below if you are experiencing bandwidth problems with the video or would just prefer to listen to the audio only.

Sermon – What Does God Expect from Me? (Audio) – Sturgis Baptist Church – June 21, 2015 11:00am

Sermon – What Does God Expect from Me? (Audio) – Sturgis Baptist Church – June 21, 2015 11:00am

Size: 86.46MB

Gospel Invitation

Is the Holy Spirit stirring within your heart? Is He convicting you of the need to make changes in your life and/or calling you to take action? The Bible says:

James 4:17 (NASB)
17 Therefore, to one who knows the right thing to do and does not do it, to him it is sin.

1 John 5:3 (NASB)
3 For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments; and His commandments are not burdensome.

If the Holy Spirit is urging you to take action, it is important to respond with immediate obedience. Delayed obedience is disobedience. Please read the following sections that apply to your current situation and prayerfully consider the suggested course of actions.

I am lost. I need to accept Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior.

John 3:16-18 (NASB)
16 "For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. 17 "For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him. 18 "He who believes in Him is not judged; he who does not believe has been judged already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.

Action

  • To learn more about Jesus and His gift of redemption, read God's Plan of Salvation. If you are already familiar with the Plan of Savation, skip forward to section How to Become a Christian.
  • If you accept Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, please let us know by filling out the Contact Form below.

I am saved; but, I have sin in my life that I need to confess and repent.

1 John 1:8-9 (NASB)
8 If we say that we have no sin, we are deceiving ourselves and the truth is not in us. 9 If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

Acts 3:19 (NASB)
19  "Therefore repent and return, so that your sins may be wiped away, in order that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord;

Action

  • Fill out the Contact Form below to confidentially confess the sin in your life and your desire to repent. The information you send will not be shared with anyone else. Your privacy will be protected.

I am saved; but, I need to rededicate my life to the Lord.

Praise the Lord.

Action

  • In your own words, pray a prayer similar to the following:

Heavenly Father, I have fallen short of Your glory and have failed to live up to Your expectations for me. Please forgive me. Lord, I rededicate my life to You. Not my will; but, Your will be done. Thank You for being a God of second chances. Use me Lord. Shape me and mold me into the person You would have me to be. I pray this in the name of Jesus Christ, my Lord and Savior. Amen.

  • If you just rededicated your life to the Lord, please let us know by filling out the Contact Form below.

I need to discuss my situation confidentially.

James 5:16 (NASB)
16  Therefore, confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another so that you may be healed. The effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much.

Action

  • Fill out the Contact Form below to confidentially discuss the situation in your life that is troubling you. The information you send will not be shared with anyone else. Your privacy will be protected.

Contact Form






The Peace of God

Illustration

Encarta World English Dictionary [North American Edition] © 2005

PEACE

  • Freedom from War:
    freedom from war or the time when a war or conflict ends
  • Tranquility:
    a calm and quiet state, free from disturbances or noise
  • Mental Calm:
    a state of mental calm and serenity, with no anxiety
  • Harmony:
    freedom from conflict or disagreement among people or groups of people

Holman Bible Dictionary © 1991

PEACE

  • Spiritual:
    sense of well-being and fulfillment that comes from God and is dependent on His presence
  • Old Testament:
    wholeness or well-being
  • New Testament:
    well-being, restoration, reconciliation with God, and salvation

Scripture

Philippians 4:4-7 (KJV)
4 Rejoice in the Lord alway: and again I say, Rejoice. 5 Let your moderation be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand. 6 Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. 7 And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

or…

Philippians 4:4-7 (NASB)
4
Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice! 5 Let your gentle spirit be known to all men. The Lord is near. 6 Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. 7 And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Opening Prayer

Heavenly Father, the peace of this world cannot compare to the peace that comes from You. Lord, help us to experience your peace, the peace that surpasses all understanding. Lead, guide, and direct us. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

Proposition

Supernatural peace is available to all who place their faith completely in the Lord.

Probing Question

What is the “Peace of God,” which surpasses all understanding?

Transitional Sentence

The “Peace of God” is…

Main Points

1. The Gift of God

Psalms 29:11 (NASB)
11 The Lord will give strength to His people; The Lord will bless His people with peace.

2. Equated with Salvation

Its presence can be equated with salvation

Isaiah 52:7 (NASB)
7 How lovely on the mountains Are the feet of him who brings good news, Who announces peace And brings good news of happiness, Who announces salvation, Andsays to Zion, “Your God reigns!”

Its absence can be equated with judgment

Jeremiah 12:12 (NASB)
12 “On all the bare heights in the wilderness Destroyers have come, For a sword of the Lord is devouring From one end of the land even to the other; There is no peace for anyone.

3. Available to All Who Will Trust in God and Love/Obey His Law

Trust in God

Isaiah 26:3 (NASB)
3 “The steadfast of mind You will keep in perfect peace, Because he trusts in You.

Love/Obey His Law

Psalms 119:165 (NASB)
165 Those who love Your law have great peace, And nothing causes them to stumble.

4. Identified with a Righteous Life

Peace is clearly identified with a righteous life

Isaiah 32:17 (NASB)
17 And the work of righteousness will be peace, And the service of righteousness, quietness and confidence forever.

Isaiah 57:1-2 (NASB)
1 The righteous man perishes, and no man takes it to heart; And devout men are taken away, while no one understands. For the righteous man is taken away from evil, 2 He enters into peace; They rest in their beds, Each onewho walked in his upright way.

Apart from righteousness, no one is able to find true peace

Isaiah 48:22 (NASB)
22 “There is no peace for the wicked,” says the Lord.

5. Recognized in Jesus Christ, Who Is “Our Peace”

We are justified through Him

Romans 5:1 (NASB)
1 Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ,

Reconciled through the blood of His cross

Colossians 1:19-20 (NASB)
19 For it was the Father’s good pleasure for all the fullness to dwell in Him, 20 and through Him to reconcile all things to Himself, having made peace through the blood of His cross; through Him, I say,whether things on earth or things in heaven.

Made one in Him

Ephesians 2:14 (NASB)
14 For He Himself is our peace, who made both groups intoone and broke down the barrier of the dividing wall,

In Him we discover that ultimate peace which only God can give

John 14:27 (NASB)
27 “Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful.

6. Experienced as an Inner Spiritual Peace by the Individual Believer

Inner spiritual peace

Romans 15:13 (NASB)
13 Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that you will abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.

Associated with…

  • Receptiveness to God’s salvation

Matthew 10:12-13 (NASB)
12 “As you enter the house, give it your greeting. 13 “If the house is worthy, give it your blessing of peace. But if it is not worthy, take back your blessing ofpeace.

  • Freedom from distress and fear

John 16:33 (NASB)
33 “These things I have spoken to you, so that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world.”

  • Security

1 Thessalonians 5:9-11 (NASB)
9 For God has not destined us for wrath, but for obtaining salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, 10 who died for us, so that whether we are awake or asleep, we will live together with Him. 11 Therefore encourage one another and build up one another, just as you also are doing.

  • Mercy

Galatians 6:16 (NASB)
16 And those who will walk by this rule, peace and mercy beupon them, and upon the Israel of God.

  • Joy

Romans 14:17 (NASB)
17 for the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.

  • Grace

Philippians 1:2 (NASB)
2 Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

  • Love

2 Corinthians 13:11 (NASB)
11 Finally, brethren, rejoice, be made complete, be comforted, be like-minded, live in peace; and the God of love and peace will be with you.

  • Life

Romans 8:6 (NASB)
6 For the mind set on the flesh is death, but the mind set on the Spirit is life and peace,

  • Righteousness

James 3:18 (NASB)
18 And the seed whose fruit is righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace.

7. A “Fruit of the Spirit”

Fruit of the Spirit

Galatians 5:22-23a (NASB)
22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control; …

Forms part of the “whole armor of God”, enabling Christians to withstand the attacks of the forces of evil

Ephesians 6:10-18 (NASB)
10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might. 11 Put on the full armor of God, so that you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil. 12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places. 13 Therefore, take up the full armor of God, so that you will be able to resist in the evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm. 14 Stand firm therefore, having girded your loins with truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, 15 and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; 16 in addition to all, taking up the shield of faith with which you will be able to extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. 18 With all prayer and petition pray at all times in the Spirit, and with this in view, be on the alert with all perseverance and petition for all the saints,

Conclusion

True peace, the peace of God, is not the absence of danger; it is the presence of God.

  • Man was made to have a relationship with God
  • Unbelievers are unable to experience peace unless they reconcile with God
  • Believers are able to rejoice knowing it doesn’t depend upon their temporary circumstances, but on God’s eternal presence and faithfulness

Philippians 4:4-7 (NASB)
4 Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice! 5 Let your gentle spirit be known to all men. The Lord is near. 6 Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. 7 And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Illustration

When John was an 11 year old boy, his father trained him in the art of being a master Captain of a trade ship.  When the British Navy drafted him – he could have done well as the Captain of the Royal Navy ship, but he lacked self discipline, and got in with the wrong crew – John was arrested for desertion, publicly flogged and demoted to common sailor.  At 21, John hopped on board an outbound ship from the African coast, and continued in the depravity of his teens, getting involved with the lowest of crew members.  He ridiculed the seamen in his company, ridiculed the ships’ Captain, and even ridiculed a book he had found on board, entitled “The Imitation of Christ”.

One night the ship sailed into a violent storm and John awakened with a cabin filled with seawater.  The ship’s side had caved in and ordinarily such damage would send a ship to the bottom within a few minutes.  The buoyant cargo, however, bought a few hours of precious time.

After nine hours at the pumps, John overheard a desperate remark form one of the crew; they were all goners.  For the first time in his life he prayed, “If this will not do, the Lord have mercy on us.”

Miraculously the ship did not go down.  Did John’s forget his prayer?  No, it was remembered with prayer and fasting, every year on its anniversary as the most significant incident in his life.

John Newton retired from the sea to become a minister.  He wrote these words to a popular hymn we sing:

“Amazing grace.  How sweet the sound, that saved a wretch like me.
I once was lost, but now am found, was blind, but now I see.”

John Newton had found that night at sea that peace with God, in Christ Jesus, that passeth all understanding.

Illustration

Danny Simpson, a 24 year old Canadian, went to jail for robbing a bank, in Ottawa.  He was arrested for robbing a bank of $6,000 and then sent to jail for six years.  His gun went to a museum.

He had used a .45 caliber Colt semi-automatic, which turned out to be an antique made by the Ross Rifle Company, Quebec City, in 1918.  The pistol is worth up to $100,000.  If Danny Simpson had just known what he carried in his hand, he wouldn’t have robbed the bank.  In other words, Danny already had what he needed.

There are so many Christian in the world today who are searching for peace, not knowing they already have what they need in their heart, what they need in their hands.

Philippians 4:4-7 (NASB)
4 Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice! 5 Let your gentle spirit be known to all men. The Lord is near. 6 Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. 7 And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Illustration

One of the great hymns of faith we sing was written by a man who was a successful attorney in Chicago.  The Father of five children, and active member of a Presbyterian church, his successful life suddenly turned to disaster.

Without warning his only son died.  Then in the Chicago fire he lost all his real estate investments.  He decided to take his family to Europe to lift their spirits and assist Dwight L. Moody in his evangelistic campaign.  He sent his wife and four daughters ahead by ship.

Halfway across the Atlantic their ship was struck by an English ship and sank in 12 minutes. Tanetta, Maggie, Annie, and Bessie drowned in the watery grave.  Miraculously Mrs. Spafford was saved.

When Horactio was standing on the ship carrying him to rejoin his sorrowing wife in Wales, the ship passed the approximate place where his precious daughters had drowned.  Overwhelmed in his grief, he took out a legal pad and wrote:

“When sorrows like sea billows roll,
whatever my lot, thou hast taught me to say,
It is well, it is well, with my soul.”

That is a peace within that passeth all understanding.  Only God can give it to sustain us, to keep us in the midst of the storm.

Closing Prayer

Dear Heavenly Father, peace, true peace, only comes from You. The world’s peace is hollow and fleeting; but, Your peace is complete and everlasting. For those who do not have a relationship with You, I pray that You will prick their hearts through the conviction of the Holy Spirit, that they would feel that irresistible call to surrender their life to You. Your peace is only accessible through a close, personal relationship with You, made possible only through Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior. Draw all of us closer to You that we may feel the warmth of Your love, the safety of Your strength, and the peace of reconcilliation to You. In Jesus’ name we pray, amen.

Gospel Invitation

Is the Holy Spirit stirring within your heart? Is He convicting you of the need to make changes in your life and/or calling you to take action? The Bible says:

James 4:17 (NASB)
17 Therefore, to one who knows the right thing to do and does not do it, to him it is sin.

1 John 5:3 (NASB)
3 For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments; and His commandments are not burdensome.

If the Holy Spirit is urging you to take action, it is important to respond with immediate obedience. Delayed obedience is disobedience. Please read the following sections that apply to your current situation and prayerfully consider the suggested course of actions.

I am lost. I need to accept Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior.

John 3:16-18 (NASB)
16 "For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. 17 "For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him. 18 "He who believes in Him is not judged; he who does not believe has been judged already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.

Action

  • To learn more about Jesus and His gift of redemption, read God's Plan of Salvation. If you are already familiar with the Plan of Savation, skip forward to section How to Become a Christian.
  • If you accept Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, please let us know by filling out the Contact Form below.

I am saved; but, I have sin in my life that I need to confess and repent.

1 John 1:8-9 (NASB)
8 If we say that we have no sin, we are deceiving ourselves and the truth is not in us. 9 If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

Acts 3:19 (NASB)
19  "Therefore repent and return, so that your sins may be wiped away, in order that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord;

Action

  • Fill out the Contact Form below to confidentially confess the sin in your life and your desire to repent. The information you send will not be shared with anyone else. Your privacy will be protected.

I am saved; but, I need to rededicate my life to the Lord.

Praise the Lord.

Action

  • In your own words, pray a prayer similar to the following:

Heavenly Father, I have fallen short of Your glory and have failed to live up to Your expectations for me. Please forgive me. Lord, I rededicate my life to You. Not my will; but, Your will be done. Thank You for being a God of second chances. Use me Lord. Shape me and mold me into the person You would have me to be. I pray this in the name of Jesus Christ, my Lord and Savior. Amen.

  • If you just rededicated your life to the Lord, please let us know by filling out the Contact Form below.

I need to discuss my situation confidentially.

James 5:16 (NASB)
16  Therefore, confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another so that you may be healed. The effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much.

Action

  • Fill out the Contact Form below to confidentially discuss the situation in your life that is troubling you. The information you send will not be shared with anyone else. Your privacy will be protected.

Contact Form






Relationship or Religion

Formats

This sermon is available in text, video, and audio formats.

Opening Prayer

Dear Heavenly Father, we come to You in awe of Your presence. We come to You amazed that You love and want to have a close, personal relationship with us. Open our hearts Lord that we may love as You love and seek a close, personal relationship with You. Please forgive us when we fail you. In Christ’s name, amen.

Proposition

Religion is important; however, relationship is at the heart of what God seeks from us.

Main Points

1. Man Is Created for Relationship

  • With God

Genesis 1:24-28 (NASB)
24
Then God said, “Let the earth bring forth living creatures after their kind: cattle and creeping things and beasts of the earth after their kind”; and it was so. 25 God made the beasts of the earth after their kind, and the cattle after their kind, and everything that creeps on the ground after its kind; and God saw that it was good. 26 Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; and let them rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over the cattle and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” 27 God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. 28 God blessed them; and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth, and subdue it; and rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over every living thing that moves on the earth.”

  • With Man

Genesis 2:18-24 (NASB)
18
Then the Lord God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone; I will make him a helper suitable for him.” 19 Out of the ground the Lord God formed every beast of the field and every bird of the sky, and brought them to the man to see what he would call them; and whatever the man called a living creature, that was its name. 20 The man gave names to all the cattle, and to the birds of the sky, and to every beast of the field, but for Adam there was not found a helper suitable for him. 21 So the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall upon the man, and he slept; then He took one of his ribs and closed up the flesh at that place. 22 The Lord God fashioned into a woman the rib which He had taken from the man, and brought her to the man. 23 The man said, “This is now bone of my bones, And flesh of my flesh; She shall be called Woman, Because she was taken out of Man.” 24 For this reason a man shall leave his father and his mother, and be joined to his wife; and they shall become one flesh.

2. God Desires Relationship with Man

Deuteronomy 7:6-8a (NASB)
6 “For you are a holy people to the Lord your God; the Lord your God has chosen you to be a people for His own possession out of all the peoples who are on the face of the earth. 7 “The Lord did not set His love on you nor choose you because you were more in number than any of the peoples, for you were the fewest of all peoples, 8 but because the Lord loved you…

Romans 8:14-17 (NASB)
14
For all who are being led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God. 15 For you have not received a spirit of slavery leading to fear again, but you have received a spirit of adoption as sons by which we cry out, “Abba! Father!” 16 The Spirit Himself testifies with our spirit that we are children of God, 17 and if children, heirs also, heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him so that we may also be glorified with Him.

1 Peter 2:9-10 (NASB)
9
But you are a chosen race, A royal priesthood, A holy nation, a people for God’s own possession, so that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light; 10 for you once were not a people, but now you are the people OF GOD; you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.

3. Religion Is Important… Relationship Is Vital

  • Religion Is Important

Exodus 19:5-6a (NASB)
5 ‘Now then, if you will indeed obey My voice and keep My covenant, then you shall be My own possession among all the peoples, for all the earth is Mine; 6 and you shall be to Me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation…

  • Relationship Is Vital

Revelation 2:2-5a (NASB)
2
‘I know your deeds and your toil and perseverance, and that you cannot tolerate evil men, and you put to the test those who call themselves apostles, and they are not, and you found them to be false; 3 and you have perseverance and have endured for My name’s sake, and have not grown weary. 4 ‘But I have this against you, that you have left your first love. 5 ‘Therefore remember from where you have fallen, and repent and do the deeds you did at first…

Conclusion

Religion is important; however, relationship is at the heart of what God seeks from us.

Luke 10:38-42 (NASB)
38
Now as they were traveling along, He entered a village; and a woman named Martha welcomed Him into her home. 39 She had a sister called Mary, who was seated at the Lord’s feet, listening to His word. 40 But Martha was distracted with all her preparations; and she came up to Him and said, “Lord, do You not care that my sister has left me to do all the serving alone? Then tell her to help me.” 41 But the Lord answered and said to her, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and bothered about so many things; 42 but only one thing is necessary, for Mary has chosen the good part, which shall not be taken away from her.”

Revelation 3:20 (NASB)
20
‘Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and will dine with him, and he with Me.

Closing Prayer

Abba, Father, we love You. We are only capable of love because You first loved us. We seek to have a close, personal relationship with You. Allow us to feel the warmth of Your presence. Let us bathe in You lovingkindness. Immerse us in joy as only You can. We love You and pray this in the name of our precious Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Amen.

Use the video player below to watch a video of this sermon as it was delivered to Double Springs Baptist Church in Maben, Mississippi at their 6:00pm Evening Service on Sunday, September 2, 2007. I pray it speaks to your heart.

Sermon – Relationship or Religion (Video) – Double Springs Baptist Church – September 2, 2007 6:00pm

Sermon – Relationship or Religion (Video) – Double Springs Baptist Church – September 2, 2007 6:00pm

Size: 190.07MB

Use the audio player below if you are experiencing bandwidth problems with the video or would just prefer to listen to the audio only.

Sermon – Relationship or Religion (Audio) – Double Springs Baptist Church – September 2, 2007 6:00pm

Sermon – Relationship or Religion (Audio) – Double Springs Baptist Church – September 2, 2007 6:00pm

Size: 70.41MB

Gospel Invitation

Is the Holy Spirit stirring within your heart? Is He convicting you of the need to make changes in your life and/or calling you to take action? The Bible says:

James 4:17 (NASB)
17 Therefore, to one who knows the right thing to do and does not do it, to him it is sin.

1 John 5:3 (NASB)
3 For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments; and His commandments are not burdensome.

If the Holy Spirit is urging you to take action, it is important to respond with immediate obedience. Delayed obedience is disobedience. Please read the following sections that apply to your current situation and prayerfully consider the suggested course of actions.

I am lost. I need to accept Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior.

John 3:16-18 (NASB)
16 "For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. 17 "For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him. 18 "He who believes in Him is not judged; he who does not believe has been judged already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.

Action

  • To learn more about Jesus and His gift of redemption, read God's Plan of Salvation. If you are already familiar with the Plan of Savation, skip forward to section How to Become a Christian.
  • If you accept Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, please let us know by filling out the Contact Form below.

I am saved; but, I have sin in my life that I need to confess and repent.

1 John 1:8-9 (NASB)
8 If we say that we have no sin, we are deceiving ourselves and the truth is not in us. 9 If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

Acts 3:19 (NASB)
19  "Therefore repent and return, so that your sins may be wiped away, in order that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord;

Action

  • Fill out the Contact Form below to confidentially confess the sin in your life and your desire to repent. The information you send will not be shared with anyone else. Your privacy will be protected.

I am saved; but, I need to rededicate my life to the Lord.

Praise the Lord.

Action

  • In your own words, pray a prayer similar to the following:

Heavenly Father, I have fallen short of Your glory and have failed to live up to Your expectations for me. Please forgive me. Lord, I rededicate my life to You. Not my will; but, Your will be done. Thank You for being a God of second chances. Use me Lord. Shape me and mold me into the person You would have me to be. I pray this in the name of Jesus Christ, my Lord and Savior. Amen.

  • If you just rededicated your life to the Lord, please let us know by filling out the Contact Form below.

I need to discuss my situation confidentially.

James 5:16 (NASB)
16  Therefore, confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another so that you may be healed. The effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much.

Action

  • Fill out the Contact Form below to confidentially discuss the situation in your life that is troubling you. The information you send will not be shared with anyone else. Your privacy will be protected.

Contact Form






2011 Christmas Series Part 3: A Savior Given – Jesus Is Born

Opening Prayer

Heavenly Father, we come to You with worship, praise, and thanksgiving for all that You have done and continue to do for us. We thank You that You supply all of our needs, especially our most significant need: a Savior to cleanse us of our sins and reconcile us to You. We can never repay the gracious gift You have given us. We love You Lord and pray this in the holy, precious name of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Amen.

Main Points

1. Final Prophecies

  • Birth of the Forunner: John the Baptist

Luke 1:5-20 (NASB)
5 In the days of Herod, king of Judea, there was a priest named Zacharias, of the division of Abijah; and he had a wife from the daughters of Aaron, and her name was Elizabeth. 6 They were both righteous in the sight of God, walking blamelessly in all the commandments and requirements of the Lord. 7 But they had no child, because Elizabeth was barren, and they were both advanced in years. 8 Now it happened that while he was performing his priestly service before God in the appointed order of his division, 9 according to the custom of the priestly office, he was chosen by lot to enter the temple of the Lord and burn incense. 10 And the whole multitude of the people were in prayer outside at the hour of the incense offering. 11 And an angel of the Lord appeared to him, standing to the right of the altar of incense. 12 Zacharias was troubled when he saw the angel, and fear gripped him. 13 But the angel said to him, “Do not be afraid, Zacharias, for your petition has been heard, and your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you will give him the name John. 14 “You will have joy and gladness, and many will rejoice at his birth. 15 “For he will be great in the sight of the Lord; and he will drink no wine or liquor, and he will be filled with the Holy Spirit while yet in his mother’s womb. 16 “And he will turn many of the sons of Israel back to the Lord their God. 17 “It is he who will go as a forerunner before Him in the spirit and power of Elijah, to turn the hearts of the fathers back to the children , and the disobedient to the attitude of the righteous, so as to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.” 18 Zacharias said to the angel, “How will I know this for certain? For I am an old man and my wife is advanced in years.” 19 The angel answered and said to him, “I am Gabriel, who stands in the presence of God, and I have been sent to speak to you and to bring you this good news. 20 “And behold, you shall be silent and unable to speak until the day when these things take place, because you did not believe my words, which will be fulfilled in their proper time.”

  • Birth of the Messiah: Jesus

Luke 1:26-35 (NASB)
26 Now in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a city in Galilee called Nazareth, 27 to a virgin engaged to a man whose name was Joseph, of the descendants of David; and the virgin’s name was Mary. 28 And coming in, he said to her, “Greetings, favored one! The Lord is with you.” 29 But she was very perplexed at this statement, and kept pondering what kind of salutation this was. 30 The angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary; for you have found favor with God. 31 “And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall name Him Jesus. 32 “He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David; 33 and He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and His kingdom will have no end.” 34 Mary said to the angel, “How can this be, since I am a virgin?” 35 The angel answered and said to her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; and for that reason the holy Child shall be called the Son of God.

2. Prophecies Fulfilled

  • Birth of John the Baptist

Luke 1:57-66 (NASB)
57 Now the time had come for Elizabeth to give birth, and she gave birth to a son. 58 Her neighbors and her relatives heard that the Lord had displayed His great mercy toward her; and they were rejoicing with her. 59 And it happened that on the eighth day they came to circumcise the child, and they were going to call him Zacharias, after his father. 60 But his mother answered and said, “No indeed; but he shall be called John.” 61 And they said to her, “There is no one among your relatives who is called by that name.” 62 And they made signs to his father, as to what he wanted him called. 63 And he asked for a tablet and wrote as follows, “His name is John.” And they were all astonished. 64 And at once his mouth was opened and his tongue loosed, and he began to speak in praise of God. 65 Fear came on all those living around them; and all these matters were being talked about in all the hill country of Judea. 66 All who heard them kept them in mind, saying, “What then will this child turn out tobe?” For the hand of the Lord was certainly with him.

  • Birth of Jesus

Luke 2:1-20 (NASB)
1 Now in those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus, that a census be taken of all the inhabited earth. 2 This was the first census taken while Quirinius was governor of Syria. 3 And everyone was on his way to register for the census, each to his own city. 4 Joseph also went up from Galilee, from the city of Nazareth, to Judea, to the city of David which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and family of David, 5 in order to register along with Mary, who was engaged to him, and was with child. 6 While they were there, the days were completed for her to give birth. 7 And she gave birth to her firstborn son; and she wrapped Him in cloths, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn. 8 In the same region there were some shepherds staying out in the fields and keeping watch over their flock by night. 9 And an angel of the Lord suddenly stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them; and they were terribly frightened. 10 But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid; for behold, I bring you good news of great joy which will be for all the people; 11 for today in the city of David there has been born for you a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. 12 “This will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.” 13 And suddenly there appeared with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying, 14 “Glory to God in the highest, And on earth peace among men with whom He is pleased.” 15 When the angels had gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds began saying to one another, “Let us go straight to Bethlehem then, and see this thing that has happened which the Lord has made known to us.” 16 So they came in a hurry and found their way to Mary and Joseph, and the baby as He lay in the manger. 17 When they had seen this, they made known the statement which had been told them about this Child. 18 And all who heard it wondered at the things which were told them by the shepherds. 19 But Mary treasured all these things, pondering them in her heart. 20 The shepherds went back, glorifying and praising God for all that they had heard and seen, just as had been told them.

    • Genealogy through Joseph (adopted, legal heir)

Matthew 1:1-16 (NASB)
1 The record of the genealogy of Jesus the Messiah, the son of David, the son of Abraham: 2 Abraham was the father of Isaac, Isaac the father of Jacob, and Jacob the father of Judah and his brothers. 3 Judah was the father of Perez and Zerah by Tamar, Perez was the father of Hezron, and Hezron the father of Ram. 4 Ram was the father of Amminadab, Amminadab the father of Nahshon, and Nahshon the father of Salmon. 5 Salmon was the father of Boaz by Rahab, Boaz was the father of Obed by Ruth, and Obed the father of Jesse. 6 Jesse was the father of David the king. David was the father of Solomon by Bathsheba who had been the wife of Uriah. 7 Solomon was the father of Rehoboam, Rehoboam the father of Abijah, and Abijah the father of Asa. 8 Asa was the father of Jehoshaphat, Jehoshaphat the father of Joram, and Joram the father of Uzziah. 9 Uzziah was the father of Jotham, Jotham the father of Ahaz, and Ahaz the father of Hezekiah. 10 Hezekiah was the father of Manasseh, Manasseh the father of Amon, and Amon the father of Josiah. 11 Josiah became the father of Jeconiah and his brothers, at the time of the deportation to Babylon. 12 After the deportation to Babylon: Jeconiah became the father of Shealtiel, and Shealtiel the father of Zerubbabel. 13 Zerubbabel was the father of Abihud, Abihud the father of Eliakim, and Eliakim the father of Azor. 14 Azor was the father of Zadok, Zadok the father of Achim, and Achim the father of Eliud. 15 Eliud was the father of Eleazar, Eleazar the father of Matthan, and Matthan the father of Jacob. 16 Jacob was the father of Joseph the husband of Mary, by whom Jesus was born, who is called the Messiah.

    • Genealogy through Mary (physical heir)

Luke 3:23-38 (NASB)
23 When He began His ministry, Jesus Himself was about thirty years of age, being, as was supposed, the son of Joseph, the son of Eli, 24 the son of Matthat, the son of Levi, the son of Melchi, the son of Jannai, the son of Joseph, 25 the son of Mattathias, the son of Amos, the son of Nahum, the son of Hesli, the son of Naggai, 26 the son of Maath, the son of Mattathias, the son of Semein, the son of Josech, the son of Joda, 27 the son of Joanan, the son of Rhesa, the son of Zerubbabel, the son of Shealtiel, the son of Neri, 28 the son of Melchi, the son of Addi, the son of Cosam, the son of Elmadam, the son of Er, 29 the son of Joshua, the son of Eliezer, the son of Jorim, the son of Matthat, the son of Levi, 30 the son of Simeon, the son of Judah, the son of Joseph, the son of Jonam, the son of Eliakim, 31 the son of Melea, the son of Menna, the son of Mattatha, the son of Nathan, the son of David, 32 the son of Jesse, the son of Obed, the son of Boaz, the son of Salmon, the son of Nahshon, 33 the son of Amminadab, the son of Admin, the son of Ram, the son of Hezron, the son of Perez, the son of Judah, 34 the son of Jacob, the son of Isaac, the son of Abraham, the son of Terah, the son of Nahor, 35 the son of Serug, the son of Reu, the son of Peleg, the son of Heber, the son of Shelah, 36 the son of Cainan, the son of Arphaxad, the son of Shem, the son of Noah, the son of Lamech, 37 the son of Methuselah, the son of Enoch, the son of Jared, the son of Mahalaleel, the son of Cainan, 38 the son of Enosh, the son of Seth, the son of Adam, the son of God.

    • Presentation to the Lord

Luke 2:21-24 (NASB)
21 And when eight days had passed, before His circumcision, His name was then called Jesus, the name given by the angel before He was conceived in the womb. 22 And when the days for their purification according to the law of Moses were completed, they brought Him up to Jerusalem to present Him to the Lord 23 (as it is written in the Law of the Lord, “Every firstborn male that opens the womb shall be called holy to the Lord “), 24 and to offer a sacrifice according to what was said in the Law of the Lord, “A pair of turtledoves or two young pigeons.”

3. Prophecy Fulfillment Confirmed

  • Simeon

Luke 2:25-35 (NASB)
25 And there was a man in Jerusalem whose name was Simeon; and this man was righteous and devout, looking for the consolation of Israel; and the Holy Spirit was upon him. 26 And it had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not see death before he had seen the Lord’s Christ. 27 And he came in the Spirit into the temple; and when the parents brought in the child Jesus, to carry out for Him the custom of the Law, 28 then he took Him into his arms, and blessed God, and said, 29 “Now Lord, You are releasing Your bond-servant to depart in peace, According to Your word; 30 For my eyes have seen Your salvation, 31 Which You have prepared in the presence of all peoples, 32 A Light of Revelation to the Gentiles , And the glory of Your people Israel.” 33 And His father and mother were amazed at the things which were being said about Him. 34 And Simeon blessed them and said to Mary His mother, “Behold, this Child is appointed for the fall and rise of many in Israel, and for a sign to be opposed— 35 and a sword will pierce even your own soul—to the end that thoughts from many hearts may be revealed.”

  • Anna

Luke 2:36-38 (NASB)
36 And there was a prophetess, Anna the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was advanced in years and had lived with her husband seven years after her marriage, 37 and then as a widow to the age of eighty-four. She never left the temple, serving night and day with fastings and prayers. 38 At that very moment she came up and begangiving thanks to God, and continued to speak of Him to all those who were looking for the redemption of Jerusalem.

  • Wise Men

Matthew 2:1-12 (NASB)
1 Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, magi from the east arrived in Jerusalem, saying, 2 “Where is He who has been born King of the Jews? For we saw His star in the east and have come to worship Him.” 3 When Herod the king heard this, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him. 4 Gathering together all the chief priests and scribes of the people, he inquired of them where the Messiah was to be born. 5 They said to him, “In Bethlehem of Judea; for this is what has been written by the prophet: 6 ‘And you, Bethlehem , land of Judah , Are by no means least among the leaders of Judah; For out of you shall come forth a ruler Who will shepherd My people Israel .’ ” 7 Then Herod secretly called the magi and determined from them the exact time the star appeared. 8 And he sent them to Bethlehem and said, “Go and search carefully for the Child; and when you have found Him, report to me, so that I too may come and worship Him.” 9 After hearing the king, they went their way; and the star, which they had seen in the east, went on before them until it came and stood over the place where the Child was. 10 When they saw the star, they rejoiced exceedingly with great joy. 11 After coming into the house they saw the Child with Mary His mother; and they fell to the ground and worshiped Him. Then, opening their treasures, they presented to Him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. 12 And having been warned by Godin a dream not to return to Herod, the magi left for their own country by another way.

Conclusion

John 3:16-18 (NASB)
16 “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. 17 “For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him. 18 “He who believes in Him is not judged; he who does not believe has been judged already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.

Closing Prayer

Most gracious Heavenly Father, You loved the world so much that You gave Your only begotten Son, that whomsoever believes in Him shall not perish but, have eternal life. We thank You Lord for Your mercy and grace. May all creation praise Your holy name. In Jesus’ name we pray, amen.

Gospel Invitation

Is the Holy Spirit stirring within your heart? Is He convicting you of the need to make changes in your life and/or calling you to take action? The Bible says:

James 4:17 (NASB)
17 Therefore, to one who knows the right thing to do and does not do it, to him it is sin.

1 John 5:3 (NASB)
3 For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments; and His commandments are not burdensome.

If the Holy Spirit is urging you to take action, it is important to respond with immediate obedience. Delayed obedience is disobedience. Please read the following sections that apply to your current situation and prayerfully consider the suggested course of actions.

I am lost. I need to accept Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior.

John 3:16-18 (NASB)
16 "For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. 17 "For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him. 18 "He who believes in Him is not judged; he who does not believe has been judged already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.

Action

  • To learn more about Jesus and His gift of redemption, read God's Plan of Salvation. If you are already familiar with the Plan of Savation, skip forward to section How to Become a Christian.
  • If you accept Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, please let us know by filling out the Contact Form below.

I am saved; but, I have sin in my life that I need to confess and repent.

1 John 1:8-9 (NASB)
8 If we say that we have no sin, we are deceiving ourselves and the truth is not in us. 9 If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

Acts 3:19 (NASB)
19  "Therefore repent and return, so that your sins may be wiped away, in order that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord;

Action

  • Fill out the Contact Form below to confidentially confess the sin in your life and your desire to repent. The information you send will not be shared with anyone else. Your privacy will be protected.

I am saved; but, I need to rededicate my life to the Lord.

Praise the Lord.

Action

  • In your own words, pray a prayer similar to the following:

Heavenly Father, I have fallen short of Your glory and have failed to live up to Your expectations for me. Please forgive me. Lord, I rededicate my life to You. Not my will; but, Your will be done. Thank You for being a God of second chances. Use me Lord. Shape me and mold me into the person You would have me to be. I pray this in the name of Jesus Christ, my Lord and Savior. Amen.

  • If you just rededicated your life to the Lord, please let us know by filling out the Contact Form below.

I need to discuss my situation confidentially.

James 5:16 (NASB)
16  Therefore, confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another so that you may be healed. The effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much.

Action

  • Fill out the Contact Form below to confidentially discuss the situation in your life that is troubling you. The information you send will not be shared with anyone else. Your privacy will be protected.

Contact Form






2011 Christmas Series Part 2: A Savior Promised – Prophesies of a Messiah

Introduction

God created a perfect world.

Man was placed in a garden paradise to enjoy fellowship with God.

Man fell from grace through disobedience to God, causing sin and death to enter the world.

God already planned a Savior to redeem mankind and restore fellowship with Him.

Scripture contains increasingly specific prophecies pointing to the Savior and God’s plan for redemption.

Opening Prayer

Our most gracious Heavenly Father, although Your creation was perfect, You knew man would ultimately fail you and so, in Your infinite wisdom, before the very foundation of the world, made plans for a Messiah, a Savior for mankind, in the personhood of Your only begotten Son, Jesus Christ. Your love, mercy, and grace are unrivaled throughout all that exists. Thank You God for loving us despite our shortcomings. Thank You God for providing a path to reconcilliation with You. In Jesus’ precious name we pray, Amen.

Main Points

1. The Promised Seed

Genesis 3:15 (NASB)
15 And I will put enmity Between you and the woman, And between your seed and her seed; He shall bruise you on the head, And you shall bruise him on the heel.”

  • Protevangelium – The first hint of the Gospel (very generalized)
  • Although containing a promise for mankind, it is addressed to the serpent
    • Part of a sentence of judgment passed upon an enemy of God and man
    • It is about God’s rule as much as it is man’s need
  • It is also a prophecy of hostility and struggle
    • Enmity comes from a Hebrew word meaning “to hate”
    • Warns of opposition between Satan and mankind as well as the One who will bring God’s plan of salvation to pass
  • Enmity is with Satan and his seed, not against serpents in general
    • Scriptural use of enmity only occurs between persons and/or morally responsible agents
    • New Testament revelation reveals the figure of Satan behind the serpent

Revelation 12:9 (NASB)
9 And the great dragon was thrown down, the serpent of old who is called the devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world; he was thrown down to the earth, and his angels were thrown down with him.

  • The struggle is between Satan and the woman, his seed and her seed, and more specifically, between Satan and an individual of her seed
    • Satan’s defeat and that of his seed (the unbelieving world) would come from the seed of the woman
    • First anticipation of the virgin birth (her seed, NOT man’s, NOT theirs)
  • Two things are stated about the seeds and their enmity
    • Her seed will bruise/crush the serpent’s (Satan’s) head
      • Mortal wound
      • Her seed will be victorious
      • A deliverance is anticipated
    • The serpent (Satan) will bruise her seed on the heel
      • Her seed will suffer
      • It will not be a mortal wound
  • Eve gives birth to Cain and Abel

Genesis 4:1-2 (NASB)
1 Now the man had relations with his wife Eve, and she conceived and gave birth to Cain, and she said, “I have gotten a manchild with the help of the Lord.” 2 Again, she gave birth to his brother Abel. And Abel was a keeper of flocks, but Cain was a tiller of the ground.

    • Cain (“gotten” or “acquired”)
    • Did Eve think Cain was the promised seed?
    • God accepted Abel’s sacrifice over Cain’s, could he be the promised seed?
    • Cain soon murdered Abel, so it was obviously neither

2. The Godly Seed: The Line of Seth

Genesis 4:25-26 (NASB)
25 Adam had relations with his wife again; and she gave birth to a son, and named him Seth, for, she said, “God has appointed me another offspring in place of Abel, for Cain killed him.” 26 To Seth, to him also a son was born; and he called his name Enosh. Then menbegan to call upon the name of the Lord.

  • Seth is from a Hebrew word meaning “to set, place, or appoint”
  • Seth and his line (as opposed to Cain) begin to call upon the name of the Lord
  • Through the line of Seth, we eventually reach Noah
  • Except for Noah, his wife, and his three sons and their wives, the world had become so corrupt God decided to destroy it with a flood
  • After the flood, Noah’s sons, Shem, Ham, and Japheth became the fathers of the entire human race
  • Through the line of Shem, we eventually reach Abram

3. The Call of Abram and the Abrahamic Covenant

Genesis 12:1-3 (NASB)
1 Now the Lord said to Abram, “Go forth from your country, And from your relatives And from your father’s house, To the land which I will show you; 2 And I will make you a great nation, And I will bless you, And make your name great; And so you shall be a blessing; 3 And I will bless those who bless you, And the one who curses you I will curse. And in you all the families of the earth will be blessed.”

  • A specific portion of land is now in view (Canaan, later to be called Palestine)
    • This land will become the center of the world as God views it
    • The woman’s seed will come out of this land
  • A specific nation is now in view
    • A nation will arise from the descendants of Abram
    • God changes Abram’s name to Abraham meaning “father of a multitude”
  • Universal blessings are promised for all nations of the earth
    • Abraham’s seed will become a channel of blessing to all the world
    • The woman’s seed will come from Abraham’s descendants
  • The covenant is an everlasting, unconditional covenant

Genesis 17:3-8 (NASB)
3 Abram fell on his face, and God talked with him, saying, 4 “As for Me, behold, My covenant is with you, And you will be the father of a multitude of nations. 5 “No longer shall your name be called Abram, But your name shall be Abraham; For I have made you the father of a multitude of nations. 6 “I will make you exceedingly fruitful, and I will make nations of you, and kings will come forth from you. 7 “I will establish My covenant between Me and you and your descendants after you throughout their generations for an everlasting covenant, to be God to you and to your descendants after you. 8 “I will give to you and to your descendants after you, the land of your sojournings, all the land of Canaan, for an everlasting possession; and I will be their God.”

4. The Line of Isaac

Genesis 17:17-21 (NASB)
17 Then Abraham fell on his face and laughed, and said in his heart, “Will a child be born to a man one hundred years old? And will Sarah, who is ninety years old, bear a child?18 And Abraham said to God, “Oh that Ishmael might live before You!” 19 But God said, “No, but Sarah your wife will bear you a son, and you shall call his name Isaac; and I will establish My covenant with him for an everlasting covenant for his descendants after him. 20 “As for Ishmael, I have heard you; behold, I will bless him, and will make him fruitful and will multiply him exceedingly. He shall become the father of twelve princes, and I will make him a great nation. 21 “But My covenant I will establish with Isaac, whom Sarah will bear to you at this season next year.”

Genesis 21:12-13 (NASB)
12 But God said to Abraham, “Do not be distressed because of the lad and your maid; whatever Sarah tells you, listen to her, for through Isaac your descendants shall be named. 13 “And of the son of the maid I will make a nation also, because he is your descendant.”

  • God will make nations from both Ishmael and Isaac
  • However, Isaac will be the line through which the covenant is established
    • Isaac has two sons, Esau and Jacob
    • The Deliverer will come from one of these lines

 5. The Line of Jacob

Genesis 25:21-26 (NASB)
21 Isaac prayed to the Lord on behalf of his wife, because she was barren; and the Lord answered him and Rebekah his wife conceived. 22 But the children struggled together within her; and she said, “If it is so, why then am I this way?” So she went to inquire of the Lord. 23 The Lord said to her, “Two nations are in your womb; And two peoples will be separated from your body; And one people shall be stronger than the other; And the older shall serve the younger.” 24 When her days to be delivered were fulfilled, behold, there were twins in her womb. 25 Now the first came forth red, all over like a hairy garment; and they named him Esau. 26 Afterward his brother came forth with his hand holding on to Esau’s heel, so his name was called Jacob; and Isaac was sixty years old when she gave birth to them.

  • God reiterates the Abrahamic covenant through Jacob

Genesis 28:10-15 (NASB)
10 Then Jacob departed from Beersheba and went toward Haran. 11 He came to a certain place and spent the night there, because the sun had set; and he took one of the stones of the place and put it under his head, and lay down in that place. 12 He had a dream, and behold, a ladder was set on the earth with its top reaching to heaven; and behold, the angels of God were ascending and descending on it. 13 And behold, the Lord stood above it and said, “I am the Lord, the God of your father Abraham and the God of Isaac; the land on which you lie, I will give it to you and to your descendants. 14 “Your descendants will also be like the dust of the earth, and you will spread out to the west and to the east and to the north and to the south; and in you and in your descendants shall all the families of the earth be blessed. 15 “Behold, I am with you and will keep you wherever you go, and will bring you back to this land; for I will not leave you until I have done what I have promised you.”

  • God changes Jacob’s name to Israel, which is where the nation gets its name
  • Jacob has twelve (12) sons which become the twelve (12) tribes of Israel: Reuben, Simeon, Levi, Judah, Issachar, Zebulon, Dan, Naphtali, Gad, Asher, Joseph, and Benjamin

6. The Tribe of Judah

Genesis 49:10 (NASB)
10 “The scepter shall not depart from Judah, Nor the ruler’s staff from between his feet, Until Shiloh comes, And to him shall bethe obedience of the peoples.

  • On his deathbed, Jacob pronounced his blessings on his sons, indicating the royal line would be in the tribe of Judah
  • Judah means “praise”
    • Through this tribe God would do things to cause men to lift up their voices in praise
  • The “scepter” and the “ruler’s staff” refer to Judah’s right to rule and to it being the royal line
  • “Shiloh” is a messianic title referring to the woman’s seed or the coming Deliverer
  • Jacob’s blessing prophesied that
    • Judah will become the royal line
    • The right to rule will always remain with Judah until the Deliverer comes

 7. The Family of Jesse

1 Samuel 16:1 (NASB)
1 Now the Lord said to Samuel, “How long will you grieve over Saul, since I have rejected him from being king over Israel? Fill your horn with oil and go; I will send you to Jesse the Bethlehemite, for I have selected a king for Myself among his sons.”

Isaiah 11:1,10 (NASB)
1 Then a shoot will spring from the stem of Jesse, And a branch from his roots will bear fruit. … 10 Then in that day The nations will resort to the root of Jesse, Who will stand as a signal for the peoples; And His resting place will be glorious.

  • God informs Samuel that He has selected a king from among the sons of Jesse
  • Isaiah also prophesies that one of Jesse’s sons will bear much fruit, becoming a signal for the people
    • Prophecies are moving away from the general toward the more specific
    • Could one of Jesse’s sons be the promised deliverer/redeemer?

 8. The Line of David

  • The people of Israel demand a king

1 Samuel 8:4-10,19-22 (NASB)
4 Then all the elders of Israel gathered together and came to Samuel at Ramah; 5 and they said to him, “Behold, you have grown old, and your sons do not walk in your ways. Now appoint a king for us to judge us like all the nations.” 6 But the thing was displeasing in the sight of Samuel when they said, “Give us a king to judge us.” And Samuel prayed to the Lord. 7 The Lord said to Samuel, “Listen to the voice of the people in regard to all that they say to you, for they have not rejected you, but they have rejected Me from being king over them. 8 “Like all the deeds which they have done since the day that I brought them up from Egypt even to this day—in that they have forsaken Me and served other gods—so they are doing to you also. 9 “Now then, listen to their voice; however, you shall solemnly warn them and tell them of the procedure of the king who will reign over them.” 10 So Samuel spoke all the words of the Lord to the people who had asked of him a king. … 19 Nevertheless, the people refused to listen to the voice of Samuel, and they said, “No, but there shall be a king over us, 20 that we also may be like all the nations, that our king may judge us and go out before us and fight our battles.” 21 Now after Samuel had heard all the words of the people, he repeated them in the Lord’s hearing. 22 The Lord said to Samuel, “Listen to their voice and appoint them a king.” So Samuel said to the men of Israel, “Go every man to his city.”

  • God had already planned to give them a king
    • One after His own heart
    • One who would rule under God’s authority with God ruling over his heart
  • Due to Israel’s impatience, God gave them a king
    • Saul, from the tribe of Benjamin, NOT Judah as had been prophesied by Jacob (Genesis 49)
    • God’s sovereignty and providence despite Israel’s impatience
      • Judah sinned and had illegitimate sons, Perez (firstborn) and Zera (Genesis 38:6-30)
      • Being the firstborn, Perez was the seed or royal line (Matthew 1:3; Luke 3:33)
      • However, illegitimate sons are prohibited from entering the congregation of the Lord until the tenth generation (Deuteronomy 23:2)
      • Perez, and any of his descendants, until the tenth generation, were therefore prohibited from serving as either a king or a priest
      • Jesse, David’s father, was a ninth generation descendent of Perez
      • David, was a tenth generation descendent, and, as such, was eligible to serve as king
    • God gave Israel Saul until David could come of age

1 Samuel 16:12-13 (NASB)
12 So he sent and brought him in. Now he was ruddy, with beautiful eyes and a handsome appearance. And the Lord said, “Arise, anoint him; for this is he.” 13 Then Samuel took the horn of oil and anointed him in the midst of his brothers; and the Spirit of the Lord came mightily upon David from that day forward. And Samuel arose and went to Ramah.

  • King David was well liked and had won the hearts and minds of the people
  • Many probably began looking to him as the fulfillment of the prophesy
  • Through his sins (e.g., Bathsheba), they discover that David can not the chosen one, they must look to his descendants

Isaiah 9:6-7 (NASB)
6 For a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us; And the government will rest on His shoulders; And His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace. 7 There will be no end to the increase of Hisgovernment or of peace, On the throne of David and over his kingdom, To establish it and to uphold it with justice and righteousness From then on and forevermore. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will accomplish this.

  • God affirms this through the Davidic Covenant

2 Samuel 7:12-17 (NASB)
12 “When your days are complete and you lie down with your fathers, I will raise up your descendant after you, who will come forth from you, and I will establish his kingdom. 13 “He shall build a house for My name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever. 14 “I will be a father to him and he will be a son to Me; when he commits iniquity, I will correct him with the rod of men and the strokes of the sons of men, 15 but My lovingkindness shall not depart from him, as I took it away from Saul, whom I removed from before you. 16 “Your house and your kingdom shall endure before Me forever; your throne shall be established forever.””‘ 17 In accordance with all these words and all this vision, so Nathan spoke to David.

  • The royal line passes from David to his son, Solomon

1 Chronicles 28:4-5 (NASB)
4 “Yet, the Lord, the God of Israel, chose me from all the house of my father to be king over Israel forever. For He has chosen Judah to be a leader; and in the house of Judah, my father’s house, and among the sons of my father He took pleasure in me to make me king over all Israel. 5 “Of all my sons (for the Lord has given me many sons), He has chosen my son Solomon to sit on the throne of the kingdom of the Lord over Israel.

 9. The Messiah to be Preceded by a Forerunner

Isaiah 40:3 (NASB)
3 A voice is calling, “Clear the way for the Lord in the wilderness; Make smooth in the desert a highway for our God.

Malachi 3:1 (NASB)
1 “Behold, I am going to send My messenger, and he will clear the way before Me. And the Lord, whom you seek, will suddenly come to His temple; and the messenger of the covenant, in whom you delight, behold, He is coming,” says the Lord of hosts.

  • Prophecy predicted the Messiah would be preceded by a forerunner who would prepare the hearts of the people for the Lord

10. The Messiah to be Born of a Virgin

Isaiah 7:13-14 (NASB)
13 Then he said, “Listen now, O house of David! Is it too slight a thing for you to try the patience of men, that you will try the patience of my God as well? 14 “Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, a virgin will be with child and bear a son, and she will call His name Immanuel.

  •  Virgin is the translation of the Hebrew word, hm;l][“ (`almâ), meaning “a mature, young, unmarried, and chaste woman” representing a young woman, one of whose characteristics is virginity
    • Long before any Christological controversies, the Septuagint used the Greek word, parqe/noj (parthenos), meaning “virgin”, in two of the seven occurrences of the Hebrew word, hm;l][“ (`almâ), including Isaiah 7:14, which is what the angel quoted to Joseph as a prediction of the virgin birth (Matthew 1:23)
    • There is no instance where one can prove that hm;l][“ (`almâ) designates a young woman who is not also a virgin
    • hm;l][“ (`almâ) is the only Hebrew word that unequivocally signifies an unmarried woman
    • It is sometimes argued that the Hebrew language has a more precise word for “virgin”: hl;WtK] (bethulah); however, this word may also indicate a betrothed virgin or one who is already married (Joel 1:8)
      • In such a case, the birth of the child might be viewed as the result of the normal husband/wife relationship
      • Instead, Isaiah is speaking of a young, unmarried virgin who conceives miraculously

 11. The Promise Preserved, Despite Royal Line Being Cut Off/Cursed

Jeremiah 22:28-30 (NASB)
28 “Is this man Coniah a despised, shattered jar? Or is he an undesirable vessel? Why have he and his descendants been hurled out And cast into a land that they had not known? 29 “O land, land, land, Hear the word of the Lord! 30 “Thus says the Lord, ‘Write this man down childless, A man who will not prosper in his days; For no man of his descendants will prosper Sitting on the throne of David Or ruling again in Judah.’ “

  • The Royal Line is cut off and cursed
    • No physical seed of Coniah (Jeconiah) could ever occupy the throne of David
    • Included in the royal line of David, through Solomon, was Jeconiah
    • Consequently, the royal line of David, through Solomon, was cut off
  • The Promise preserved
    • Through the virgin birth
      • Jesus was the legal son of Joseph by adoption
      • Jesus was the physical son of David though Mary
    • Joseph was in the royal line of David through Solomon, giving Jesus legal title to the throne by adoption (Matthew 1:1-17)
    • Mary was a descendant of Nathan, another son of David, which made Jesus a literal son of David (Luke 3:23-38)

12. The Time of the Messiah’s Birth

Daniel 9:24-27 (NASB)
24 “Seventy weeks have been decreed for your people and your holy city, to finish the transgression, to make an end of sin, to make atonement for iniquity, to bring in everlasting righteousness, to seal up vision and prophecy and to anoint the most holy place. 25 “So you are to know and discern that from the issuing of a decree to restore and rebuild Jerusalem until Messiah the Prince there will be seven weeks and sixty-two weeks; it will be built again, with plaza and moat, even in times of distress. 26 “Then after the sixty-two weeks the Messiah will be cut off and have nothing, and the people of the prince who is to come will destroy the city and the sanctuary. And its end will come with a flood; even to the end there will be war; desolations are determined. 27 “And he will make a firm covenant with the many for one week, but in the middle of the week he will put a stop to sacrifice and grain offering; and on the wing of abominations will comeone who makes desolate, even until a complete destruction, one that is decreed, is poured out on the one who makes desolate.”

  • Indicates when the Messiah will appear on the scene: 69 weeks of years, or 483 years (Daniel 9:25), commencing upon the decree to restore and rebuild Jerusalem in 445 BC (Nehemiah 2:1-8)
  • Indicates the Messiah will be rejected by His people
  • Indicates the Messiah will be cut off temporarily (a reference to the cross)
  • The words “…until Messiah the Prince…” refer to a time when the Messiah would be manifested as the Prince of Israel (although debated, probably refers to the triumphal entry of Christ into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday when He presented Himself and was recognized by the people as Messiah Prince – ca. 30-33 AD, placing His birth around 0-4 AD)

13. The Place of the Messiah’s Birth

Micah 5:2 (NASB)
2 “But as for you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, Toolittle to be among the clans of Judah, From you One will go forth for Me to be ruler in Israel. His goings forth are from long ago, From the days of eternity.”

  • The Messiah would be born in Bethlehem

14. The Messiah’s Birth to be Celestially Announced

Numbers 24:17 (NASB)
17 “I see him, but not now; I behold him, but not near; A star shall come forth from Jacob, A scepter shall rise from Israel, And shall crush through the forehead of Moab, And tear down all the sons of Sheth.

  • God would provide a celestial sign, announcing the birth of Christ

Conclusion

  • The Bible is not a simple collection of semi-related books
    • The Bible reveals the character and nature of God
    • The Bible provides a theological history revealing:
      • God’s creation of a paradise within which He desired to have a relationship with mankind, whom He created in His image
      • Mankind’s fall from grace through sin, plunging him and creation into death and despair
      • God’s plan for redemption and restoration through a deliverer, redeemer, savior
  • From Genesis through Revelation, the Bible provides progressive revelation of God’s plan for redemption and restoration
    • First revelation given immediately upon the fall of man
    • Initial revelations are vague and non-specific, but, with each successive revelation they become clearer and more specific
  • Initial fulfillment came in the form of the birth of Jesus Christ
  • Final and complete fulfillment will occur when Jesus returns
  • Will you be ready when He comes?

Closing Prayer

Heavenly Father, Sovereign of Creation, thank You for knowing in advance that mankind would need redemption through the Savior You provided. Thank You for the progressive revelations of the Messiah so that we could have hope: hope of eternal reconcilliation with You. Lord I pray that those who do not possess that hope would draw nigh unto You and receive the hope and peace that can only come from You. In Jesus Christ’s name we pray, Amen.

Gospel Invitation

Is the Holy Spirit stirring within your heart? Is He convicting you of the need to make changes in your life and/or calling you to take action? The Bible says:

James 4:17 (NASB)
17 Therefore, to one who knows the right thing to do and does not do it, to him it is sin.

1 John 5:3 (NASB)
3 For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments; and His commandments are not burdensome.

If the Holy Spirit is urging you to take action, it is important to respond with immediate obedience. Delayed obedience is disobedience. Please read the following sections that apply to your current situation and prayerfully consider the suggested course of actions.

I am lost. I need to accept Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior.

John 3:16-18 (NASB)
16 "For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. 17 "For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him. 18 "He who believes in Him is not judged; he who does not believe has been judged already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.

Action

  • To learn more about Jesus and His gift of redemption, read God's Plan of Salvation. If you are already familiar with the Plan of Savation, skip forward to section How to Become a Christian.
  • If you accept Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, please let us know by filling out the Contact Form below.

I am saved; but, I have sin in my life that I need to confess and repent.

1 John 1:8-9 (NASB)
8 If we say that we have no sin, we are deceiving ourselves and the truth is not in us. 9 If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

Acts 3:19 (NASB)
19  "Therefore repent and return, so that your sins may be wiped away, in order that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord;

Action

  • Fill out the Contact Form below to confidentially confess the sin in your life and your desire to repent. The information you send will not be shared with anyone else. Your privacy will be protected.

I am saved; but, I need to rededicate my life to the Lord.

Praise the Lord.

Action

  • In your own words, pray a prayer similar to the following:

Heavenly Father, I have fallen short of Your glory and have failed to live up to Your expectations for me. Please forgive me. Lord, I rededicate my life to You. Not my will; but, Your will be done. Thank You for being a God of second chances. Use me Lord. Shape me and mold me into the person You would have me to be. I pray this in the name of Jesus Christ, my Lord and Savior. Amen.

  • If you just rededicated your life to the Lord, please let us know by filling out the Contact Form below.

I need to discuss my situation confidentially.

James 5:16 (NASB)
16  Therefore, confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another so that you may be healed. The effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much.

Action

  • Fill out the Contact Form below to confidentially discuss the situation in your life that is troubling you. The information you send will not be shared with anyone else. Your privacy will be protected.

Contact Form