Wednesday, January 16, 2019
Tonight in Campus Community, we began our series Broken Vessels. For the first installment, Pastor David unpacks verses 20 -22 in the 9th chapter of Acts. In this passage of scripture, we see a newly converted Paul preaching in the synagogues. We see in the previous chapters, that Paul was completely against the mission of the church and playing for the other team. However, Jesus changed Paul’s life, and just four days after being saved, he begins preaching. Pastor David emphasized that this is still happening in today’s church in China. Chinese converts are told to think of 5 people who are not Christians and told to share the gospel with those people. This method appears to be “Un-American” and counter-cultural to western believers, however, Pastor David challenged us to seriously consider why we are not sharing the gospel. God uses broken vessels, like Paul and like you and me.
20 At once he began to preach in the synagogues that Jesus is the Son of God. 21 All those who heard him were astonished and asked, “Isn’t he the man who raised havoc in Jerusalem among those who call on this name? And hasn’t he come here to take them as prisoners to the chief priests?”22 Yet Saul grew more and more powerful and baffled the Jews living in Damascus by proving that Jesus is the Messiah.
After Paul’s conversion, at once he began to preach the gospel. The takeaway — the proclamation of the gospel is not for the mature in the faith.
New believers can share the gospel with others because they have the power of God’s Word and the power of their testimony. They do not need polish.
Paul always caused havoc! He stopped casting havoc against God and stated causing havoc for God.
Without The Gospel God’s gifts can become a curse. With The Gospel, God’s gifts become a blessing.
Whatever gift God has given you, that is the vehicle that he has given you to share the gospel with others.
When we are wrecked by the gospel, we become a wrecking ball for the gospel.
1) At times, we know that the path we are on leads to destruction, yet we have too much pride to switch teams. Is there anything holding you back from being allegiant to Christ?
2) Who are five people in your life that need to hear the gospel? How can you share the gospel with them?
3) Do you know the gospel well enough to share it with someone else? Do you see the power of your own testimony? What holds you back from sharing the gospel?
4) How can a gift become either a blessing for God’s glory or a curse, causing havoc against God? (Intellect, athleticism, beauty, humor, etc)
5) What gifts in your life could you be using to share the gospel with others?Posted at 6:27 PM | Comments (0) | Permalink
Wednesday, November 14, 2018
In our final week of Campus Community, we are wrapping up the Seven series by studying the church of Laodicea. The church of Laodicea was a church who amongst their wealth and prosperity was actually found to be desperate and bankrupt. There is a difference between being lost and having lost your way. Laodicea was not lost. They just were not fully in love with Jesus. At first glance they were decadent but the reality is that they were desperate. What made them desperate was the fact that they were self-sufficient. By sufficient, they thought they could contribute in some way shape or form to their own sanctification. We think works work. Works do work. But it is not ours! Praise God His works do! The Lord does not desire half-desperate faith, He desires fully committed, fully dependent followers. We pray the Lord would deliver us from this self-focused way of thinking, that He would deliver us from ourselves, that we would cease trying to earn it and, in the end, plead Christ's righteousness rather than ours.
"The lukewarm person is not one who is mildly passionate about God. Rather, the lukewarm person is one who has lost his dependence on God. In his arrogance, he believes he has no need of Christ's righteousness because he has enough of his own."
- Timothy Keller
"Your Heart is addicted to salvation by works.' As a result, we often wear out good deeds like spiritual merit badges on preening chests, thinking we can impress God with our righteous acts. We pride ourselves that we are not like other men. After all, we are not engaging in the perversity of our culture. Instead, we fast, tithe, read our Bibles and serve in the church. Yet, we must realize that arrogant, self-sufficiency results in disgusting works, no matter what these work may be."
- Walter Marshall
Revelation 3:14 - 22
“To the angel of the church in Laodicea write:
These are the words of the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the ruler of God’s creation. I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth. You say, ‘I am rich; I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing.’ But you do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked. I counsel you to buy from me gold refined in the fire, so you can become rich; and white clothes to wear, so you can cover your shameful nakedness; and salve to put on your eyes, so you can see.
Those whom I love I rebuke and discipline. So be earnest and repent. Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person, and they with me.
To the one who is victorious, I will give the right to sit with me on my throne, just as I was victorious and sat down with my Father on his throne. Whoever has ears, let them hear what the Spirit says to the churches.”
"Blessed are the poor in spirit for theirs is the kingdom of heaven."
1) Are there moments in your life where you don’t question your salvation but question how you got to the place of depending on your self-more than you depend on God?
2) Do you have areas in your life that you are hesitant to surrender to God which then results in a lack of commitment?
3) Do we choose self-sufficiency over Christ dependency? If so, when?
4) What lies do I believe to convince myself I am closer to God than I actually am?
Wednesday, November 7, 2018
Tonight Pastor Ed talked about commitment and how we have a huge problem with quitting. Society and culture make it okay to quit, but we have to get past what they say and stay committed. The three ways to be committed are spiritually, relationally, and vocationally. One way to keep these commitments is by declaring it to others and surrounding ourselves with other committed people. No matter what we commit our life to we are always going to face a quitting point. That quitting point can be overcome by allowing Jesus to walk beside us. Jesus wants to take us all the way to the finish line by not allowing us to quit.
"Commit your work to the Lord,
and your plans will be established."
"Commit your way to the Lord;
trust in him, and he will act.
He will bring forth your righteousness as the light,
and your justice as the noonday."
2 Corinthians 6:14
"Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers. For what partnership has righteousness with lawlessness? Or what fellowship has light with darkness?"
1 Corinthians 10:8
"We must not indulge in sexual immorality as some of them did, and twenty-three thousand fell in a single day."
1) Whatever we commit our life to we will "Hit the Wall." What does that mean, and what does it look like in the spiritual realm?
2) God is a God of commitment. Life is made up of commitments. God is the first one who has made commitments. What about you, what type of Spiritual Commitments have you made?
3) Relational Commitment, surrounding yourself with the right people, who can speak truth into your life is imperative. Look at your present inner circle of friends, is this true for you? Why or why not? Are there changes that must take place?
4) Have you made a declaration of your commitment to God? Take time in prayer, asking God to reveal areas in your life you have not surrendered to him, lay them before him. Have someone pray with you as you make your declaration.
***Who has the Lord placed on your heart, that needs salvation? Together with others in your group pray that God would tender their hearts, to receive Jesus.Posted at 8:18 PM | Comments (0) | Permalink
Wednesday, October 24, 2018
This week, we are discussing the letter to the church in Philadelphia. As a city, Philadelphia had a good relationship with Rome until an earthquake ruined it. Once Philadephia could no longer produce, Rome lost interest in it. In the same way, the church had a good relationship with the synagogue because of their Jewish heritage. Once the church began to teach about Christ as the Messiah and His resurrection and convert Gentiles, the synagogue shut them out.
The church ultimately was excluded by both Rome and their Jewish heritage. However, in the face of these betrayals, God remained faithful to the church. Because of God's faithfulness to them, the church, though small, remained faithful to God. Their spiritual backbone, courage, and unwavering security were founded in confidence that God is faithful.
7 “To the angel of the church in Philadelphia write:
These are the words of him who is holy and true, who holds the key of David. What he opens no one can shut, and what he shuts no one can open. 8 I know your deeds. See, I have placed before you an open door that no one can shut. I know that you have little strength, yet you have kept my word and have not denied my name. 9 I will make those who are of the synagogue of Satan, who claim to be Jews though they are not, but are liars—I will make them come and fall down at your feet and acknowledge that I have loved you. 10 Since you have kept my command to endure patiently, I will also keep you from the hour of trial that is going to come on the whole world to test the inhabitants of the earth.
11 I am coming soon. Hold on to what you have, so that no one will take your crown. 12 The one who is victorious I will make a pillar in the temple of my God. Never again will they leave it. I will write on them the name of my God and the name of the city of my God, the new Jerusalem, which is coming down out of heaven from my God; and I will also write on them my new name. 13 Whoever has ears, let them hear what the Spirit says to the churches.
"In the economy of this world, everything is conditional. In the economy of God, He is faithful to the end."
"God is not asking for us to be faithful to Him without first being faithful to us. He never asks anything that He is not first willing to model."
"It's not about the size of the church but about the health of the church."
"If the light lives in you then the light shines through you."
1) What earthquake in your life has Satan used to try and make you spiritually pull your vines (uproot your faith)?
2) Share a story of how God has shown His unfailing faithfulness.
3) What does true faithfulness look like in the everyday life of a believer?
4) Are you apart of a church that is spiritually healthy? How do you know?
5) What is hindering you from being bold in your faith ("letting your life shine")?
6) How can the group pray for you (right now) concerning boldness in your faith?
Wednesday, October 17, 2018
This week in our series “Seven,” Pastor Nasser covered the church of Sardis. The church of Sardis was a busy church located in a busy city. This church seemed like they were thriving, however, their works were incomplete according to The Lord. Jesus warns this church that their deeds are dead because they are of the flesh and not of The Spirit. Pastor David highlighted seven truths about the Holy Spirit; the person, part, promise, power, protection, purpose, and projection. It is important that we are not caught up in the deeds but desperate for The Spirit. Let our deeds be Spirit-led and empowered by the promised Spirit of God.
Revelation 3:1-6: “And to the angel of the church in Sardis write: ‘The words of him who has the seven spirits of God and the seven stars.“‘I know your works. You have the reputation of being alive, but you are dead.2 Wake up, and strengthen what remains and is about to die, for I have not found your works complete in the sight of my God. 3 Remember, then, what you received and heard. Keep it, and repent. If you will not wake up, I will come like a thief, and you will not know at what hour I will come against you. 4 Yet you have still a few names in Sardis, people who have not soiled their garments, and they will walk with me in white, for they are worthy. 5 The one who conquers will be clothed thus in white garments, and I will never blot his name out of the book of life. I will confess his name before my Father and before his angels. 6 He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.’
Isaiah 11:2: "And the Spirit of the Lord shall rest upon him, the Spirit of wisdom and understanding, the Spirit of counsel and might, the Spirit of knowledge and the fear of the Lord."
Seven truths about the Holy Spirit:
Person - The Holy Spirit is a personal being, not an impersonal thing.
Scripture uses the pronoun “He” not “ it” over and over again when referring to the Holy Spirit.
John 15:26: "But when the Helper comes, whom I will send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth, who proceeds from the Father, he will bear witness about me. "
Part - The Holy Spirit is one of the 3 persons of our triune God. We have one God in 3 persons.
Matthew 28:19-20: "Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”
Promised - The Holy Spirit is promised to every believer at the point of salvation.
Acts 2:38: "And Peter said to them, 'Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.'"
Power - The Holy Spirit is the source of power both in and through our lives.
Acts 1:8: "But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”
Protects - the Holy Spirit protects and seals us in eternal hope.
Ephesians 1:13-14: "In him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it, to the praise of his glory."
Purpose - God accomplishes His purpose through the person of Jesus Christ by the power of the Holy Spirit.
1 Corinthians 2:9-11: "However, as it is written: 'What no eye has seen, what no ear has heard, and what no human mind has conceived” the things God has prepared for those who love him— these are the things God has revealed to us by his Spirit. The Spirit searches all things, even the deep things of God. For who knows a person’s thoughts except for their own spirit within them? In the same way, no one knows the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God.'"
Projects - The Holy Spirit projects attention to Christ
John 16:13-15: "When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth, for he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak, and he will declare to you the things that are to come. He will glorify me, for he will take what is mine and declare it to you. All that the Father has is mine; therefore I said that he will take what is mine and declare it to you."
The Holy Spirit testifies as Christ.
You know revival has come to Liberty when all we are talking about, singing about, dreaming about, and obsessing about is Jesus.
1) “Social Work” is about getting stuff done, “Gospel work” is activated through worship to get something done. Do you find yourself participating more in “Social Work” or “Gospel work?”
2) As a believer, it can be easy to be masked by “good works” with the absence of the Spirit of God. What truly motivates your “good works?” How can you be more intentional in participating in Gospel work and having the right intentions behind it?
3) We have one God in 3 Persons, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Do you feel that you ignore one of these Persons within this Trinity? How come?Postedby William Faber at 8:19 PM | Comments (0) | Permalink
Wednesday, October 10, 2018
Tonight's service is a simple message as to why we do CSER hours, why we ask you to go to on LU Send Now trips, why we do half a million hours of service in the city of Lynchburg, and why we partner with others in doing good. This reflects the Why and the How Jesus did ministry. Jesus met a need to connect people to eternity.
The words that Jesus used in John 6:35 cost Him His blood. 140,000 people will lose their lives because of what they believe. These are fighting words.
Jesus declares that He is the Bread of Life. Everything in this world will leave your soul hungry except for Jesus. Everything in this world is temporary and will leave you wanting. Everything in the world will leave you unsatisfied and unstable.
Jesus claims that He is The Light, The Door, The Great I Am, and The Answer to every question your soul ever had.
Context: Jesus says he is the Bread of Life the day after the feeding of the masses. The miracles were pointing to Jesus. Jesus was making God claims and doing things that only God could do to prove it. 15,000 people were hungry and one child brought lunch. Most of the people there wanted to see the show not to know Jesus. They wanted Him to be the bread-giver, not the Bread. They wanted "favors from God, not the favor of God."
The one boy gave what he had in obedience to God. Jesus doesn't need it but He lets the boy in on the miracle. Our job isn't to have enough, but bring the little we have to God and He will multiply it. Everyone ate and there were baskets left over. Jesus served everyone equally and 12 baskets were leftover for the disciples.
The people come around to Jesus the day after He had met their temporary need and told them He was the Bread of Life. The people have an eternal need for the bread of life.
We are called to worship in service of others to earn the right to speak the gospel to the lost.
Jesus meets the immediate need first, showing His kindness and earning the right to share the truth of redemption. We meet the need and we earn the right to speak the truth.
We are connecting people with the REDEMPTIVE TRUTH through our acts of worship.
Jesus met the woman at the well and told her to "go and sin no more" but first He met her need to have a friend and someone who is not ashamed to be with her in public. Jesus was willing to risk His reputation to meet her need and to earn the right to share the redemptive truth with her. The way of Jesus is to meet the need and share the redemptive truth.
Show up and be nice in order to win the right to share the gospel with others. Remember kindness leads to repentance. If your doctrine doesn't make you nicer, you are reading the Bible wrong. The deeper you get into Scripture, the nicer you should get. Kindness is a fruit of the Spirit and the evidence of Jesus in our lives.
John 6:1-14, 35
1 Sometime after this, Jesus crossed to the far shore of the Sea of Galilee (that is, the Sea of Tiberias), 2 and a great crowd of people followed him because they saw the signs he had performed by healing the sick. 3 Then Jesus went up on a mountainside and sat down with his disciples. 4 The Jewish Passover Festival was near.
5 When Jesus looked up and saw a great crowd coming toward him, he said to Philip, "Where shall we buy bread for these people to eat?" 6 He asked this only to test him, for he already had in mind what he was going to do.
7 Philip answered him, "It would take more than half a year's wages[a] to buy enough bread for each one to have a bite!"
8 Another of his disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter's brother, spoke up, 9 "Here is a boy with five small barley loaves and two small fish, but how far will they go among so many?"
10 Jesus said, "Have the people sit down." There was plenty of grass in that place, and they sat down (about five thousand men were there). 11 Jesus then took the loaves, gave thanks, and distributed to those who were seated as much as they wanted. He did the same with the fish.
12 When they had all had enough to eat, he said to his disciples, "Gather the pieces that are left over. Let nothing be wasted." 13 So they gathered them and filled twelve baskets with the pieces of the five barley loaves left over by those who had eaten.
14 After the people saw the sign Jesus performed, they began to say, "Surely this is the Prophet who is to come into the world."
35 Then Jesus declared, "I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty."
"These people always came unprepared. They always showed up wondering who brought lunch. These people don't believe Jesus is the bread of life. They're there because they want to see a show. They want Jesus to be the bread-giver, not the bread of life. They want His hand, not His life."
"Your job isn't to have enough. Your job is to bring what you have to Jesus and ask Him to do what only He can do with it. The boy brought what he had to God and God multiplied it. We have to bring what we have to God."
"Jesus wrapped the Gospel into a 'fish filet sandwich'."
"Jesus meets these needs because not everybody may have a financial, physical, or other need, but everybody has a need that only Jesus can meet."
1. What have you built your life on?
2. What has following Christ cost you? What are you willing to lose for the sake of Christ?
3. Are you seeking God's hand (what he can give) or God's heart (who he is)?
4. How can you meet a need (physical, or emotional) in order to share the redemptive truth with someone?
5. How are you allowing the Spirit to interrupt your day in order for you to show kindness toward someone else?
6. Share what you've given or can give over to Jesus so that He can multiply it for the Gospel.
Wednesday, September 26, 2018
Tonight we dove into the letter written to the church at Thyatira. This is the longest and harshest of the 7 letters, yet it was written to the smallest and least influential of the cities. Thyatira was being diligently disobedient to God; therefore, He responded to them with a love letter displaying His wrath. They were not ignorant. These people knew the will of God, yet they put someone in leadership who led them astray. They were eating food sacrificed to idols. They were also living in sexual immorality and they had no intention of stopping. God’s wrath was very real and evident, BUT GOD, being slow to anger still gave them time to repent. In this letter, we see the complexity of the attributes of God. We think about God’s wrath, anger, and jealousy as a negative thing because we can only see them through the lens of our flawed perspective when, in fact, all of those attributes flow from God’s great love for us.
God’s Display on the Cross
When Christ was crucified, two attributes of God were on display at once: the love of God and the wrath of God were both poured out.
It was the pleasure of God to go public in allowing His wrath to be imputed on His Son and to be seen by all mankind.
If God is not afraid to show us his wrath, then why are we going out of our way to hide his wrath? Perhaps because we think wrath is the opposite of love. The opposite of love is indifference.
God is Slow to Anger
God is a God of anger, but He is slow to anger. He is abounding in steadfast love.
To be godly, we should be abounding in love and slow to anger. We ought to be slow to be critical. Slow to make fun of people. Slow to blast people. Let’s be quick to love. Quick to give the benefit of the doubt.
God’s Wrath has 2 Tenses: Active and Passive
2 Samuel 6:6-7 Uzza died for touching the Ark of the Covenant. He believed his hands were less filthy than the ground.
Acts 5-- Ananias and Sepphira, lie to the church
Matthew 21—Jesus turning the table in the temple
Romans 1— the wrath of God is shown by God giving them over to their wicked ways. God takes his hands off of them.
Getting caught in sin is not the wrath of God but the mercy of God. God’s wrath is to let you get away with it and to continue destroying your life.
God loves you too much to leave you as you are.
“And to the angel of the church in Thyatira write: ‘The words of the Son of God, who has eyes like a flame of fire, and whose feet are like burnished bronze.
19 “‘I know your works, your love and faith, and service and patient endurance, and that your latter works exceed the first. 20 But I have this against you, that you tolerate that woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophetess and is teaching and seducing my servants to practice sexual immorality and to eat food sacrificed to idols. 21 I gave her time to repent, but she refuses to repent of her sexual immorality. 22 Behold, I will throw her onto a sickbed, and those who commit adultery with her I will throw into great tribulation, unless they repent of her works, 23 and I will strike her children dead. And all the churches will know that I am he who searches mind and heart, and I will give to each of you according to your works. 24 But to the rest of you in Thyatira, who do not hold this teaching, who have not learned what some call the deep things of Satan, to you I say, I do not lay on you any other burden. 25 Only hold fast what you have until I come. 26 The one who conquers and who keeps my works until the end, to him I will give authority over the nations, 27 and he will rule[c] them with a rod of iron, as when earthen pots are broken in pieces, even as I myself have received authority from my Father.28 And I will give him the morning star. 29 He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.’
“The Lord, the Lord, a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness, keeping steadfast love for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, but who will by no means clear the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children and the children's children, to the third and the fourth generation.”
The church in Thyatira was willfully and aggressively allowing a false profit to indoctrinate in idolatry. -Tim Keller
“Removing the “wrath of God” from the Christian context virtually eliminates the value of Christ’s substitutionary atonement on behalf of all of humanity”.
Substitutionary Atonement: the belief that Christ died in the place of sinners, taking on Himself the wrath of God that I deserved.
1) How do God’s wrath and my anger differ?
2) Why do we feel the need to give God a “make-over” before the world and hide His wrath from them?
3) In what areas of your life has sin taken you further than you thought you’d ever go?
4) When it comes to other people, is your default setting compassion of criticism?
5) Are you living a life of willful disobedience and sin against God? Is there anywhere in your heart that God is being slow to anger, giving time to repent?
Wednesday, September 19, 2018
Just as the church at Ephesus and Smyrna, the church at Pergamum was guilty of allowing the world to come into the church instead of allowing the Lord to use them as a means to influence the world around them. Known as "the city of thrones", they were notorious for having many idols including alters to Zeus, Athena, and the first alter of cult emperor worship dedicated to Emperor Augustus. As a result, Jesus gave Pergamum the title "throne of Satan." Pergamum was a conservative church who found every step of their mission to reach their community to be an uphill battle. This struggle (just as with the other 6 churches) came because of the church's propensity to allow other gods to occupy the throne that only Jesus deserved. As the church, Christ requires 100% dedication from his bride and nothing less.
Each letter has a common pattern:
Jesus is saying:
These three complement each other not contradict and should play out into the decisions that we make and how we live our lives.
12 "To the angel of the church in Pergamum write: These are the words of him who has the sharp, double-edged sword. 13 I know where you live—where Satan has his throne. Yet you remain true to my name. You did not renounce your faith in me, not even in the days of Antipas, my faithful witness, who was put to death in your city—where Satan lives.14 Nevertheless, I have a few things against you: There are some among you who hold to the teaching of Balaam, who taught Balak to entice the Israelites to sin so that they ate food sacrificed to idols and committed sexual immorality.15 Likewise, you also have those who hold to the teaching of the Nicolaitans. 16 Repent therefore! Otherwise, I will soon come to you and will fight against them with the sword of my mouth.17 Whoever has ears, let them hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To the one who is victorious, I will give some of the hidden manna. I will also give that person a white stone with a new name written on it, known only to the one who receives it.
"Discernment is the ability to decide between truth and error, right and wrong. Discernment is the process of making careful distinctions in our thinking about truth. In other words, the ability to think with discernment is synonymous with an ability to think biblically." (John MacArthur)
"Character is always lost when a high ideal is sacrificed on the altar of conformity and popularity"
- Charles Spurgeon
1. As you think about your life, what god(s) can draw you away from serving the true God while you outwardly look enthusiastic for the things of God? Explain how this happens when you start out so strong for God?
2. How does the "two-edged sword" both cut and heal in your life?
3. According to tonight's Scripture, Dedication, Declaration, Doctrine, and Discernment are necessary to live the Victorious life. Unpack each of these, and how they should shape Your life?
4. How does doctrine and declaration complement your faith?
5. What part of tonight's Scripture is God calling you to go deeper in? How are you going to flesh it out?
6. Tonight, what declaration of faith is God calling you to proclaim out loud?Postedby William Faber at 8:33 PM | Comments (0) | Permalink
Wednesday, September 12, 2018
In week two of our “Seven” series, we cover the church of Smyrna. This suffering church was located in the patriotic city of Smyrna. Because of this city’s strong allegiance with Rome, they were facing persecution not only from the religious Jews, but the Roman government as well. Jesus is encouraging this church to remain faithful in the midst of this attack from the Devil. Tonight, Pastor David unpacked verse 8-11 in Chapter 2 of Revelation. He highlighted God not being the author of suffering; however, He is sovereign over it. Although Satan brings about suffering to the church, God uses it as a means to a greater end. God will reward those who remain faithful to His name through various persecutions. Suffering is a temporary affliction that leads to eternal hope.
8 “And to the angel of the church in Smyrna write: The first and the last, who [e]was dead, and has come to life, says this: 9 ‘I know your tribulation and your poverty (but you are rich), and the blasphemy by those who say they are Jews and are not, but are a synagogue of Satan. 10 Do not fear what you are about to suffer. Behold, the devil is about to cast some of you into prison, so that you will be tested, and you will have tribulation for ten days. [f]Be faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life. 11 He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. He who overcomes will not be hurt by the second death.’
The church in Smyrna offered little and asked much.
2 things fighting the church in Smyrna :
1. Smyrna was a patriotic city so the church was in trouble for believing in one God
2. Smyrna was a religious city so they were in trouble for believing Jesus was God.
The hotbed of persecution today is not in secular paces but a religious one
1. Suffering is the work of the enemy
2. Suffering is the means to a greater end. V.10
3. Suffering is the temporary affliction that points us to eternal hope
4. Don’t long for suffering or prosperity, long for Jesus.
“86 years have I have served him, and he has done me no wrong. How can I blaspheme my King and my Savior?” Polycarp’s Martyrdom (ca. 69-ca. 155)
1. What other “gods” are taking place of our One true God? What other gods are you bowing down to in your life and allowing to take God’s place?
2. In what area of your life is the enemy causing suffering? How can you grow, knowing that God is sovereign over it?
3. Is there an area in your life where you are not trusting God to be sovereign over? What is that?
4. The real culprit behind suffering is the enemy, how can you shift your perspective and set your eyes on the eternal hope found in Jesus? How can you allow God to grow your faith through it?Postedby William Faber at 7:11 PM | Comments (0) | Permalink
Wednesday, September 5, 2018
Tonight, we begin our new series, "Seven," focusing on the letters written to the seven churches in Revelation. We begin with the church in Ephesus.
The Ephesian church existed in a place infested with sin. In Ephesus, addiction to vanity was easy and holding on to faith was difficult. While the Ephesian church had deep roots, knew the Word of God, and did much good work, Jesus needed to confront the believers there. In the letter to the church, Jesus acknowledges their good deeds, dedication, and adherence to doctrine. However, in the process of doing all of the right things, the church had neglected the intimacy they first had with Him. The Ephesian church had allowed their works for Jesus to become the focus, instead of Jesus, Himself. In response to the church's neglect, Jesus commands three things of them: remember the love they had for Him at the start, repent for allowing work to replace worship, and repeat the things that made them fall in love with Him.
"Watch that your work doesn't rob you of the joy of the Lord."
"Sometimes you can do things for the Lord but your spirit is just begging that someone would do that for you."
"The enemy is dedicated to taking believers to places of isolation, distraction, busyness, and idolatry. He is committed to choking our praise."
"Jesus, our High Priest, cares, protects, provides, and is present with His Church."
"Sometimes the fruit of intimacy can often rob us from intimacy."
"Practice the presence of God."
1) What is your salvation story? What do you remember about the change you felt at that moment?
2) In a culture that glorifies work, what can we do to prioritize seeking His face?
3) Are you experiencing intimacy with God? What is going well? What is in the way?
4) What dominates your thought life? Is the Lord at the center?
5) How is the Lord correcting you in love?
6) This week, what is one thing you could do to seek His presence?
7) What does fighting for intimacy with the Lord look like practically?Postedby William Faber at 8:37 PM | Comments (0) | Permalink
Wednesday, August 29, 2018
As Christians confined to the physical dimensions of this world, we frequently fail to recognize the bigger picture that is at work around us. God is constantly at work executing His pure and perfect will that will ultimately come to fruition in the end of days. Fortunately for us, He has not left us fully in the dark. God in His divine wisdom has provided His people with the Revelation, in order to give us a glimpse of the bigger picture for which we have been created.
After this, I looked and saw a door standing open in heaven. The first voice I heard was like the loud sound of a horn. It said, “Come up here. I will show you what must happen after these things.” 2 At once I was under the Spirit’s power. See! The throne was in heaven, and One was sitting on it. 3 The One Who sat there looked as bright as jasper and sardius stones. The colors like those of an emerald stone were all around the throne. 4 There were twenty-four smaller thrones around the throne. And on these thrones twenty-four leaders were sitting dressed in white clothes. They had crowns of gold on their heads. 5 Lightning and noise and thunder came from the throne. Seven lights of fire were burning before the throne. These were the seven Spirits of God.
6 Before the throne there was what looked like a sea of glass, shining and clear. Around the throne and on each side there were four living beings that were full of eyes in front and in back. 7 The first living being was like a lion. The second one was like a young cow. The third one had a face like a man. The fourth one was like a very large bird with its wings spread. 8 Each one of the four living beings had six wings. They had eyes all over them, inside and out. Day and night they never stop saying, “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God, the All-powerful One. He is the One Who was and Who is and Who is to come.”
9 The four living beings speak of His shining-greatness and give honor and thanks to Him Who sits on His throne as King. It is He Who lives forever. 10 The twenty-four leaders get down before Him and worship Him Who lives forever. They lay their crowns before Him and say, 11 “Our Lord and our God, it is right for You to have the shining-greatness and the honor and the power. You made all things. They were made and have life because You wanted it that way.”
"God gives us revelation to awaken our imagination to reality."
"Could it be that God gave you an imagination, not to unlock it and empower it for fantasy, rather to unlock it and empower it for reality?”
“Every sin in this world is rooted in something or someone sitting on the throne intended for God alone.”
"To unveil the person, the power, and the plan of Christ in the midst of our sin and suffering."
"God gives us this Revelation to prepare (not scare) and clarify (not confuse)."
“Revelation reminds us that there is something bigger going on!”
“Revelation does not always change our circumstances but it does change our perspective.”
1) What does it mean to imagine reality?
2) Is there a circumstance in your life, currently, that is making it harder or impossible to see the bigger picture?
3) What are some ways to see God’s perspective better?
4) Are you inviting things into your life that are preventing you from seeing God’s perspective?
5) Have you dug into the book of revelation before? If not what’s holding you back?Postedby William Faber at 7:00 PM | Comments (0) | Permalink
Wednesday, May 2, 2018
Tonight at Campus Community we wrapped up our Mor(ph)e series. Tonight we covered verses 8 through 10 in Ephesians chapter 2. In these verses, we find the purpose behind the 'BUT GOD' moment we read in verse 4. Salvation is a costly gift, but Jesus paid that price and because of that we are now His workmanship, His art, His masterpiece. God did this work through the worth of His son. This gift has no catch or strings attached and because of the gift He gave, we are able to be Gifted. Because we are a work of the Master we are now morphed from a mess into His masterpieces. We Are Masterpieces!
- Salvation is a gift.
- Salvation is THE gift that makes us gifted.
- I am a masterpiece.
'God does the work of salvation through the worth of His Son.'
'We are saved apart from works…to do his good works.'
'We don’t work to earn the gift. We work to honor the giver.'
'The work of the master makes the masterpiece a masterpiece.'
1) If salvation is a gift, why do we strive to earn it? What are ways you personally have attempted to?
2) Have you abused the free gift of salvation given to you? Get specific.
3) What are practical ways you can honor the gift of salvation in your own life?
4) Reflect on how God has morphed you from mess to masterpiece. Share your story of transition.
5) As you are reminded of God’s masterwork in your life, where do you feel the Holy Spirit continues to make you a masterpiece? What are specific areas you sense His work?
Wednesday, April 25, 2018
What is bigger than salvation? The glory of God-His own glory is greater than the person being saved through the work of salvation. God’s glory is seen through the salvation of a soul. This passage ( Eph. 2:7-9) is preceded by a section that is full of "bad news," but also good news because God steps into draw and save those who are His “…but God!” This section answers the "why" behind the reason God actually initiates salvation. God decides to take dead people and make them alive for His own glory. The ultimate plan for salvation is for God’s own glory. Glory is defined as "making much of." The purpose then of salvation is that “much is made” of God-a saved soul shows off God’s glory for God Himself to receive His own glory. The point of salvation then is to show off the Glory of God so that we are no longer the center of salvation, but God is, and his own glory. God is receiving glory from our salvation, but God through our glorification is receiving glory because we are living eternally to praise him completely sinless, for in glorification we will be perfect! Even now God sees us in our full dignity! In common grace, God honors dishonorable men. Thus, we should show honor to all men, those who are called our neighbors, and most certainly those who are of the household of faith. It is supernatural to act in a way that God has acted to us, by showing us grace and compassion to others we glorify God! All have great worth and dignity to God!
"7 so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. 8 For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, 9 not a result of works, so that no one may boast." - Ephesians 2:7-9
"Jesus answered, 'I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me'." - John 14:6
"27 'Now my soul is troubled, and what shall I say? ‘Father, save me from this hour’? No, it was for this very reason I came to this hour. 28 Father, glorify your name'!” - John 12:27-28
God does the work of justification, sanctification, and glorification. They all have a higher aim.
The ultimate aim of salvation is not salvation, it is the glory of God.
God is an appropriate show- off.
Kabod (Hebrew)- heaviness/ weight
If God exists for God, so should we
God is a God who is fully committed…
Self-centered gospel makes man’s salvation the ultimate aim of the gospel.
A God centered gospel makes the glory of God the ultimate aim of the gospel.
“The will of God is the glory of God made manifest”
Glory of God. Glory in Man.
The Doctrine of Glorification is God’s final removal of sin from the life of the saints in our eternal state
1) If God exists for God, so should we. Or are you looking to glorify yourself?
2) Reading Ephesians 2:7, why does God do what He does?
3) A God-centered gospel makes the glory of God the ultimate aim of the gospel. Are you actively looking for God’s glory in your life?
4) Dishonor is the opposite of glory, is there something in your life that dishonors someone else? Dishonors God?Postedby William Faber at 8:59 PM | Comments (0) | Permalink
Wednesday, April 18, 2018
Tonight, Pastor Tyler Staton showed us three movements --each one a different part of the mosaic that is the resurrected life. We first move from darkness to light. We are called to live as children of the light -- illuminated people -- in the community of His people. On our own, we are not enough. When we confess openly to each other, we allow God`s illuminating grace to do its work. We are also called to wake to what is happening around us. There is a cultural current that, unless we swim against it, will lead us to apathy. The natural pull of this current can lull us to sleep spiritually. We need to be active in swimming against it. Finally, we move from flesh to Spirit. Through the power of the Holy Spirit, we move from simple theory to personal experience. We go to God with the deepest appetites of our lives. He alone is the living water that will quench the spiritual thirst of the things of this world cannot.
'When we gather together as the people of God, we often act as if everything is okay, that we`ve got our lives under control and that whatever small or petty sin we may or may not be wrestling with as a matter between each of us and God. But we often forget that the story we`ve been called to embody before the world is not one where we get to be the `good guys.` Jesus was crucified on account of my sins and your sins --past, present and future --and so when we gather there is little reason for pretense. We are the company of the forgiven, and yet when we gather together we often work very hard to give the impression that we are the company of those who `have it together`.' - Philip Kennesson
'The greatest threat to your spiritual life is probably not moral failure, but spiritual drowsiness.' - Tyler Staton
'The great enemy of hunger for God is not poison but apple pie. It is not the banquet of the wicked that dulls our appetite for heaven, but endless nibbling at the table of the world. It is not the X-rated video, but the prime-time dribble of triviality we drink in every night. For all the ill that Satan can do, when God describes what keeps us from the banquet table of his love, it is a piece of land, a yoke of oxen, and a wife. The greatest adversary of love to God is not his enemies but his gifts. And the most deadly appetites are not for the poison of evil, but for the simple pleasures of earth.' - John Piper
'If we are all sleepwalking together, it looks like we are awake.' - Tyler Staton
'Instead of making you less aware of your problems, the Spirit makes you more aware of your resources.' - Tim Keller
1) What is God saying to you today?
2) Have you allowed God to illuminate ALL of your life? What do you keep hidden and why?
3) What are the areas in your life where you feel God calling you to confession?
4) If Jesus rose to give us life, how do you live it?
5) What has your daily affection? Is it the Lord or something else?
Wednesday, April 11, 2018
Tonight we looked at how the Christian life is supposed to be lived out as we look forward to heaven. Ephesians 2:6 states, “And raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus.” Jesus took our spot on the cross so we may be seated with Him in heaven. When God rescues us from our sin and brokenness, we are considered righteous, even when our actions are unrighteous. Therefore, all the benefits are afforded to us as believers on this side of eternity. God has given us everything we need for a godly life. Yet, it is completely possible for believers to live a life completely ineffective if we don’t use the benefits that God has given us through Christ. The “everything” in Ephesians means that He gave us Himself. Through Jesus, we now have the power to get rid of the sin that is plaguing us in our life. The power of Ephesians 2:6 should give us strength and power knowing that Jesus has seated us with Himself in the heavens, completely conquering sin and death.
"4 But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, 5 even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved— 6 and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus," - Ephesians 2:4-6
"His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. 4 Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature, having escaped the corruption in the world caused by evil desires. 5 For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; 6 and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; 7 and to godliness, mutual affection; and to mutual affection, love. 8 For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ." - 2 Peter 1: 3-8
"Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, 2 fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross,scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.3 Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart. 4 In your struggle against sin, you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood." - Hebrews 12: 1-4
“Do not imagine that if you meet a really humble man he will be what most people call “humble” nowadays: he will not be someone….who is always telling you that, of course, he is nobody. Probably all you will think about him is that he seemed a cheerful, intelligent chap who took a real interest in what you said to him. If you do dislike him it will be because you feel a little envious of anyone who seems to enjoy life so easily.” – C.S. Lewis
“The resurrection and sitting in heaven, which are here mentioned, are not yet seen by mortal eyes. Yet, as if those blessings were presently in our possession, he states that we have received them; and illustrates the change which has taken place in our condition, when we were led from Adam to Christ. It is as if we had been brought from the deepest hell to heaven itself.” — John Calvin
"God has given us as complete a resurrection from the death of sin to a life of righteousness as the body of Christ had from the grave…Believing therefore the record which God gave of His son, we received this atonement and were raised from a death of sin to a life of righteousness, and now we sit in heavenly places — we have a right to the Kingdom of God." — Adam Clarke
“There are only two appropriate responses to this reality.” Humility + Holiness”
1) Do you understand the depth of your depravity as well as the freedom that can be found in Jesus?
2) Have you received the grace that God offers to all who believe?
3) Are you living your life actively pursuing righteousness or are you being apathetic towards your walk with the Lord?
4) Are you pouring more of the world into your life or are you asking the Lord to guide you on how to overcome sin?
5) Are you living a life that exemplifies Jesus?Postedby William Faber at 9:11 PM | Comments (0) | Permalink
Wednesday, April 4, 2018
From our time together in Ephesians 2 during our Mor(ph)e series, we have learned about who we were before Christ. This week in Campus Community we have reached our "But God" moment. We unpack Ephesians 2:4-5, learning about the unbelievable mercy and grace of God. God just doesn't withdraw hell, but He gives Heaven. Tonight Pastor David emphasized three points; God's loves supersedes, God's love withholds, God's love lavishes. There is nothing like His love and that truth is worth being celebrated.
4 But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, 5 even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ by grace you have been saved -Ephesians 2:4-5
God loves us, not because we are lovable, but despite the fact that we are not.
Grace is God's unmerited favor: His relentless, overwhelming, reckless love.
In mercy, we don't get what we deserve, but in grace, we get what we don't deserve.
1) Where has God's grace and mercy been displayed in your life?
2) God's unconditional love, not based on anything we have done is lavished upon his children. Describe a recent time you have seen this lavish love personally.
3) In mercy, we see the transference of God's wrath on Jesus. In what ways has this mercy changed your life?
4) As we reflect on the grace, mercy, and love of God displayed in the Gospel, how much does it compel you to share the Gospel with others, and show your love for the Father?Postedby William Faber at 9:06 PM | Comments (0) | Permalink
Wednesday, March 14, 2018
Tonight we continue our Mor(ph)e series from Ephesians 2. Up to this point, the news has been pretty rough. In fact, “it is worse than we thought”. Within the first few verses, the Apostle Paul has done an incredible job of reminding us just how bad off we are without Christ ruling and reigning over our hearts and lives: we are dead; possessions of the prince of the power of the air (Satan); children of wrath; given over to our nature that “holds the seed of every sin”…BUT GOD…! With these two words Paul transitions, in dramatic fashion, to deliver some of the greatest news found within all of Scripture.
These verses are full of accusations; face-to-face with accusations made by God. Many accusations can be devastating to us but the difference between accusations made by the enemy and accusations made by God is the intent behind the accusations. The enemy accuses in order to destroy…BUT GOD…accuses in order to build up and restore.
And you were dead in the trespasses and sins 2 in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience— 3 among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind. 4 But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, 5 even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved—
The wicked go down to the realm of the dead, all the nations that forget God. But God will never forget the needy; the hope of the afflicted will never perish.
If I had cherished sin in my heart, the Lord would not have listened; but God has surely listened and has heard my prayer.
My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.
7 Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous person, though for a good person someone might possibly dare to die. But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
1 Corinthians 1:26-28
26 Brothers and sisters, think of what you were when you were called. Not many of you were wise by human standards; not many were influential; not many were of noble birth. 27 But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. 28 God chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things—and the things that are not—to nullify the things that are,
1 Corinthians 3:5-6
6 I planted the seed,Apollos watered it, but God has been making it grow. 7 So neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but only God makes things grow.
“‘My house will be called a house of prayer, but you are making it ‘a den of robbers.”
Matthew 23: 23-24
24 “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You give a tenth of your spices—mint, dill and cumin. But you have neglected the more important matters of the law—justice, mercy and faithfulness. You should have practiced the latter, without neglecting the former. 24 You blind guides! You strain out a gnat but swallow a camel.
25 Jesus answered, “I did tell you, but you do not believe. The works I do in my Father’s name testify about me, 26 but you do not believe because you are not my sheep. 27 My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me.
16 So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth. 17 You say, ‘I am rich; I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing.’ But you do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked.
“The source of an accusation is the power of an accusation.”
“The intent of the accuser
"But me": is always tragic, always destructive. Always not enough. Always falling short.”
“But God”: is always constructive, always redemptive, always full of hope.”
“You will never really appreciate the positive accusations found in Ephesians 2:4-10 if you do not understand and grasp the harsh reality of the accusations made in Ephesians 2:1-3.”
1) What accusations are you believing in your life right now?
2) Who is the accuser and what is his motivation? Is the accusation meant to hurt or meant to help?
3) Who does God say I am?
4) What are some “BUT GOD” moments from your life where you can clearly see the hand of God on display?
God's track record: Andrew Jones
1. Noah was a drunk But God used him to save humanity
2. Abraham was too old But God gave him a Son
3. Joseph was abandoned & left in a ditch but God placed him in pharaoh's palace
4. Moses had a stuttering problem but God used him to proclaim truth
5. Gideon was afraid but God made his army victorious
6. Rahab was a prostitute but God placed her name in the lineage of Christ
7. Jeremiah was too young but God saw his youthfulness as an asset
8. David was an adulterer and a murderer but God called him a man after His own heart
9. Elijah was depressed but God used him to reign down fire from heaven
10. Jonah had an attitude problem but God still used him to save the Ninevites
11. Job went lost everything but God restored what he lost times 2
12. Peter denied Christ but God built his church upon his confession
13. The disciples failed Jesus but God used them to turn the world upside down
14. The Samaritan woman was divorced but God made her a great evangelist
15. Paul was a Christian-killer but God turned him into the greatest missionary the world has ever known.
16. Oh…and Lazarus was dead but God raised him to life!
17. YOU and you…and me….we were once dead BUT GOD RAISED US TO LIFE!
Postedby William Faber at 8:21 PM | Comments (0) | Permalink
Wednesday, February 28, 2018
The doctrine of original sin means that we are all conceived in sin and thus are capable of sin. As people, our default nature is a sinful one. We don’t sin to become sinners; we are sinners who sin. This sin nature was inherited from Adam, the original man who brought about sin, and our actions are the evidence that sin nature. But not only are we conceived in sin, we are also fully capable of sin. We are entirely capable of committing any kind of sin we can think of.
It is merely circumstances that water those seeds into fully grown sins. It is important for us to understand the implications of original sin. In grasping it, we are able to understand the root of the problem. We are better able to understand both ourselves and others.
“And you were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience-- among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind.” - Ephesians 2:1-3
“The seed of every sin known to man is in my heart.” – Robert Murray McCheyne
“If you love someone, you will tell them the truth.”
“Paul isn’t saying that every sinner does all of these sins all the time. Rather, he is saying that the seeds for all of these sins are planted deeply in every fallen human heart. Through His common grace, God prevents sinners from being as terrible as they would be if He didn’t restrain them.” – SJ Cole
1) Why is it so important for Christians to understand the concept of original sin?
2) Why is the concept of “wretch” so important to the salvation message?
3) When you reflect upon your salvation experience, what is it that you see yourself being saved from?
4) What is the significance of the statement, “The seed of every sin is within my heart”?
5) What are the circumstances in your life that are watering the seeds of sin in your life?
6) Are you categorizing sins in your life?
7) Who or what are you comparing your life to as it pertains to sin?
8) What is the danger of calling sin by any other name?Postedby William Faber at 8:39 PM | Comments (0) | Permalink
Wednesday, February 21, 2018
In the series Mor(ph)e, we have been going through Ephesians 2:1-10. Tonight we discussed Ephesians 2:3. When a human is not in Christ, in our sinful state we are children of wrath. As children of wrath we need to realize that a spiritual clean up will do nothing, but instead, we need a resurrection. We are dead in our sins, therefore, we need life. We are not partially owned by the devil or partially owned by God. You are either completely owned by the devil or completely owned by God.
We explored the different attributes of God, and how each attribute of God is immersed in Holiness. When you consider the kindness of God, it shows the Holiness of God, similarly, when you talk about the wrath of God it points back to the Holiness of God.
As we discover the reality of hell as believers, we are invited to think about people we know who do not know Christ. Let us also remember this hell is ultimately what we are saved from through the blood of Christ. If Hell is a real place and we believe what Jesus said about Hell, then the person who we know that is apart from Christ is heading there right now. Hell is not a place where God is absent but instead, it is the place where the mercy of God is absent. Hell is the continual presence of the wrath of God. God saves us from the wrath of God. The love of God saves us from the wrath of God.
"And you were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience -- among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind." - Ephesians 2:1-3
"Consider the kindness and severity of God." - Romans 11:22
"Because of your hard and unrepentant heart you are storing up wrath for yourself on the day of wrath when God's righteous judgment will be revealed." - Romans 2:5
"Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience." - Ephesians 5:6
"God so loved the world that he gave his only son, that whomsoever believers in him will not perish but have everlasting life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God's one and only Son." - John 3:16-18
"So it will be at the end of the age. The angels will come out and separate the evil from the righteous and throw them into the fiery furnace. In that place, there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth." - Mathew 13:49-50
"And if your eye causes you to sin, tear it out. It is better for you to enter the kingdom of God with one eye than with two eyes to be thrown into hell, 'where their worm does not die and the fire is not quenched." - Mark 9:47-48
"Therefore, knowing the fear of the Lord, we persuade others. But what we are is known to God, and I hope it is known also to your conscience." - 2 Corinthians 5:11
"Disbelieve hell, and you unscrew, unsettle, and unpin everything in Scripture." - J. C. Ryle
"Gods wrath is his righteousness reacting against our unrighteousness -J. I. Packer
"I cannot preach on hell unless I preach with tears." - Dwight L. Moody
"God literally saves us from himself"
1) Do you actually believe God is enough and He is the only one that will satisfy your soul? In what areas of your life do you not believe He is enough?
2) Do you understand the weight sin has in humanity? How have you seen sin impact your personal life?
3) Have you consider the severity of the wrath of God? In which ways do you think your life should look different as you understand more of the severity of His wrath?
4) Do you believe hell is real and those who do not declare Jesus as their Lord and Savior are heading that way? Do you know anyone who does not know Jesus as their Lord and Savior? As they come to mind spend some time in your group praying for them.Postedby William Faber at 8:52 PM | Comments (0) | Permalink
Wednesday, February 7, 2018
Paul, in chapter 2 of Ephesians, points out the obvious darkness of our existence outside of Christ. In fact, it’s worse than we thought, we were dead in our sin. Literally, dead men/women walking. Tonight we are going to drill down on what it means to be dead spiritually but alive physically. We are going to focus on the three areas that dominate our lives when we are not alive in Christ. The very serious implication of this truth is that there is no such thing as a third option. We are either alive or dead. We are either slave or free. “We are either possessed (owned) by the prince of the power of the air or (owned) by the Prince of Peace…who is actually the King of Kings!!”
This week: A trifecta of Domination:
The world: thoughts & opinions
The adversary: Do you believe he is real?
The flesh: us-On our own! There are times when we blame Satan for a sin that we did all on our own!
Affected but not owned
"1 And you were dead in the trespasses and sins 2 In which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience— 3 among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind."
1 Peter 5:8-9
"Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour."
"You are of your father the devil, and your will is to do your father's desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks out of his own character, for he is a liar and the father of lies."
"For those who are according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who are according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit."
"Now those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires."
“If Satan convinces us that he is not real, then most of the battle is already won.”
“The apostle Paul is saying that those of us who are spiritually dead, anyone who has not been born again, all who has not been saved are dominated and directed by the urgings and the desires and the instincts of the world, the flesh and the devil. They’re not getting their marching orders from God. That’s for sure." - Ligon Duncan
“You mean to tell me that if I don’t know Christ in my heart, I am totally under the control and the dominion of Satan? That is exactly right. He has every right and every reign to walk in and out of your life since he is the landlord of the property." - Dr. Wayne Barber
“Satan is an imposter. He roars “like” a lion… Jesus however is THE LION OF JUDAH.”
Mor(ph)e: Worst and Better! “Paul gets an F in grammar but A in theology!” - Ray Steadman
1) What does it look like to be awakened to everything we have through Christ? How does your life radically change when you live as someone awake?
2) What does it look like to be spiritually dead but physically alive? Discuss this based on personal experiences.
3) Do you mentally toe the line between who you ARE in Christ and who you WERE in sin? Does your life reflect complete ownership of Christ, even the way you see yourself?
4) What are the standards of the people of God? What should look different about us?
5) How have you seen the enemy come after you lately? Are you aware of his working? How can this group pray against the schemes of the enemy in your life?
Postedby William Faber at 8:56 PM | Comments (0) | Permalink