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Tag: The Word series (page 1 of 3)

All Things New

The Word

All Things New (Rev 21:1-8)

What once was broken will be made right again. Jesus is making all things new.

CONTEXT

  • The Apostle John was exiled on the island of Patmos when he received a revelation from Jesus.
  • Addressed to seven churches, he encouraged the people to persevere in the increasingly challenging times.
  • Jesus sought to protect the Church from the devil’s forces whether by violence (beast), heresy (false prophet), or affluence (prostitute).

CONTENT

  • The devastating effects of sin will be completely absent in the new heaven and the new earth (Rev. 21:1).
  • The sea represented chaotic danger and Jesus’ new creation will have nothing of the such (Rev. 21:1).
  • Heaven is experienced by God reaching down to man – not man reaching up to God (Rev. 21:2).
  • The greatest treasure of heaven is the nearness of God (Rev. 21:3).
  • Heaven is a place where our Father comforts our despair, eliminates our danger, and removes our pain (Rev. 21:4).
  • Jesus doesn’t improve what is broken but makes new what is depleted (Rev. 21:5).
  • The entry cost into heaven can only be paid by Jesus (Rev. 21:6).

CONCEPT

  • Most of my frustration in this world is due to the fact that this isn’t my home.
  • Heaven is not obtained by those wishing to avoid Hell but those who desire Jesus (Rev. 21:7-8).
  • The Word of God is trustworthy and true even to the very end (Rev. 21:5).

When Jesus Sat Down

The Word

When Jesus Sat Down (Heb. 10)

Priests could never sit down in worship because sacrifices would always need to be offered. Once Jesus offered himself, he sat down at the right hand of God because the task was finished once and for all.

CONTEXT

  • As the early Church grew in doctrine, they saw the complete biblical picture become increasingly clearer.
  • The unknown author of Hebrews showed Jewish believers how Jesus was the superior fulfillment for all things related to the Old Covenant.
  • The sacrificial system was a placeholder until the Messiah would come.

CONTENT

  • The need for repeated, religious offerings showed their inability to deal with sin completely (Heb. 10:1-4).
  • No amount of religious sacrifices could ever compare to a willing and obedient substitute (Heb. 10:5-9).
  • Our sanctification is wrapped up in Jesus’ sacrifice (Heb. 10:10).
  • Man’s continual sin required continual sacrifice until Christ’s complete sacrifice achieved complete forgiveness (Heb. 10:11-12).
  • Jesus’ death was the crucial blow to our enemies (Heb. 10:13).
  • Jesus offers a salvation that changes our status; we are seen as perfect even though we are still a work in progress (Heb. 10:14).

CONCEPT

  • True believers are known by God’s laws being transferred from a page to a heart by the Holy Spirit (Heb. 10:15-18).
  • True believers are known by a full assurance of faith that produces an increasing intimacy with God (Heb. 10:19-23).
  • True believers are known by a commitment to stirring up other believers to love and good works (Heb. 10:24-25).

Red and Yellow, Black and White

The Word

Red and Yellow, Black and White (Eph 2:11-22)

In Paul’s description of the Church in Ephesians 2, he explained that Jesus’ cross broke down sinful, ethnic boundaries we established.  How are we to combat racism within the Body of Christ?

CONTEXT

  • The early Church was originally predominately Jewish, and they initially struggled with how to accept Gentiles.
  • At the Jerusalem Council, the leaders denounced the notion that Gentiles had to become Jewish before becoming Christians.
  • Paul wrote to the Gentiles in Ephesus to communicate their standing before God in light of the gospel.

CONTENT

  • The Jews unfortunately believed themselves to be the end rather than a means of God’s redemption (Eph. 2:11-12).
  • Jesus Christ is the only way to salvation for all peoples (Eph. 2:13)
  • While differences divide us, the cross is able to unite us (Eph. 2:14-16).
  • There is no preferential placement regarding race in God’s family (Eph. 2:17-18).
  • The Church is a multiracial family that should celebrate diversity rather than condemning it (Eph. 2:19-20).
  • The closer we grow in the Lord, the less resistance we will feel towards embracing all types of people (Eph. 2:21-22).

CONCEPT

  • Stop desensitizing feelings that you have never felt.
  • Don’t rebuild racial walls where the cross of Christ has knocked them down.
  • Don’t let your associations become your identity.
  • Racial reconciliation will not happen without churches becoming intentional.

Doers of the Word

The Word

Doers of the Word (James 1:22-25)

Learning biblical information does not guarantee biblical transformation.  We must learn how to apply the Word of God into our lives.

CONTEXT

  • The early Church spread rapidly through the power of the gospel.
  • The apostles wrote letters to clarify doctrine and practice to the growing Church.
  • James, the brother of Jesus and leader of the Jerusalem Church, wrote his letter emphasizing how right doctrine leads to right duty.

CONTENT

  • Hearing God’s Word should lead to obeying God’s Word.
  • Our churches can be filled with auditors – attendees who come for information but not application.
  • Failing to obey Scripture doesn’t deceive others – it only deceives yourself.
  • If you only look at yourself, you forget the image that you are supposed to bear.
  • God’s Word provides the blueprint for how are lives are supposed to look.
  • The commandments of God are not enslaving but liberating.
  • Information will be forgotten, but transformation will be lasting.
  • There is freedom and blessing to be found in obedience.

CONCEPT

  • Salvation is the only thing powerful enough to produce an increasing level of obedience.
  • You will not experience transformation by mere information.
  • Stop merely learning the Word and start living the Word.

Salt and Light

The Word

Salt and Light (Matt. 5:13-16)

As Jesus began his public ministry, he gathered disciples in order to teach them how to live for the Kingdom. As he once encouraged them to be salt and light, we are called to the same lifestyles as his followers.  

CONTEXT

  • Since we could not make it to God, God came to us in the person of Jesus.
  • Jesus called a group of disciples together in order to model and to multiply Kingdom living.
  • In the Sermon on the Mount, he articulated how a disciple’s beliefs should determine a disciple’s behavior.

CONTENT

  • Kingdom identity always precedes Kingdom activity.
  • SALT
    • As salt’s primary purpose was preservation, Christians’ presence is meant to preserve the earth from further sinful decay.
    • Salt cannot lose its saltiness, it simply loses its impact when it is contaminated with lesser things.
    • Followers who seek the role of popularity over preservation will eventually experience ruin.
  • LIGHT
    • As light’s primary purpose was illumination, Christian’s presence is meant to illuminate the world to the ways of God.
    • The greatest light coverage is always united, uplifted, and unfiltered.
    • If we shine our lights correctly, people will praise the One we illuminate rather than the ones illuminating.
  • Don’t contaminate the salt and don’t cover up the light.

CONCEPT

  • We are better together than when we are on our own.
  • We are unable to impact a world that is influencing us.
  • We are more effective for those on the inside when we prioritize those on the outside.