Preacher: Josh WhiteWell does anyone know what yesterday was.It's a trick question yesterday was the day that the evil Ohio State men's basketball team lost to the wonderful make Nissin Gonzaga Bulldogs gone is there right out of.Adams and I.O.C. fan I'm a gun Sega fan because I'm from Spokane you know God's country up there and is my favorite basketball team there by far my favorite college basketball team and they were playing against my least favorite college in the universe Ohio State and so it was yesterday was a good day and then on top of that my favorite college is probably the University of Michigan I don't have a talk about that here but I like the University of Michigan and they won on a last second three pointer to be Houston to go to the Sweet sixteen so yesterday was a really good day for me unfortunately guns a good Michigan my two favorite teams they actually have to play each other next Thursday so I know if that's the worst part of my week you know life's pretty good right now I carry care of the plane but obviously yesterday was St Patrick's Day I don't know if you guys did anything you had corned beef and cabbage or whatever you had my family decided to celebrate in a way I think probably most Americans celebrate but before before I tell you how we celebrated. I have really tried this year to cut out sugar from my diet like completely and I've done really well in fact I can probably count on one hand how many times I've had a dessert in two thousand and eighteen that is until yesterday. And so after Jackie's soccer game we're like oh we need to have something for St Patrick's Day and someone came up with the idea I don't know who was maybe maybe it was me is probably me hey let's get some shamrock shakes from McDonald's How many do you like those those are those are awesome so I drove over to McDonalds Kyle and I went over there and I got two large shamrock shakes who came back and we split it all up into five cups and we all drank I'm. And boy it was really sweet not having sugar for a long time was really good and then Kristin and Jackie went to Safeway and Kristen came home with a box of donuts.And it were it was the old fashioned Don't you know what the buttermilk in the frosting on top and they were just speaking calling out to me and I was thinking No I already had it I already had a milkshake I shouldn't have anything and I looked at those and you know what those donuts are like the best tone in the world for dipping in coffee you know yes some people are already saying coffee you know you break it up and so I'm thinking you know I resist as long as there's no more coffee I won't make any coffee so I went over to the craft and lo and behold it's a stainless steel craft so I can see what's in it it's about halfway full so.I can always coffee right so poor a cup of coffee heated up and I had a donor and at that point I'm thinking well I've already had a shake I might as well have a donut right. It's kind of like there are a lot of things are like that and like you say well I've already started so I don't necessarily need or want to stop you know. We need to be very careful in our life because a lot of things are just like that on they can take on a life of their own if we're not careful some of you are probably heard the parable of the two wolves if not all share that with you right now it's amazing how many worldly parables actually have a lot of spiritual significance in them as well but the parable of the tools goes something like this. A grandfather is talking with his grandson and says that there are two wolves inside us which are always at war with each other and one of them is the Good Wolf and that represents love and kindness and bravery and love and the other is a bad wolf which represents things like greed he treated and fear and the grandson stops and thinks about it for a second then looks up his ground when he says will which wolf wins. And the Grampus says the one that you feed. Many of you probably heard something like that before the funny thing is it sounds a lot like what Paul is teaching us here in Galatians chapter five and so I'd like you to open your Bibles right now to Galatians chapter five we're continuing in our passage or in our series on Galatiansand we're definitely into the practical section and here in Galatians chapter five what we looked at last week was Paul revealing to us the calling that has on our lives one of the many callings there's plenty of different places in the Bible where God says that we are called to do something or called to live a certain way and last week Paul mentions to us Elise what we read last week is how we have been called to freedom we've been called to Liberty and then Paul goes on to say and you have two basic options two ways to use your freedom and to use your liberty the first thing you can do with your freedom is you can use your freedom to indulge your sinful flesh you can use your freedom to focus on yourself and find out all the fun things that are going to make you sell yourself a really good and you could do that or you can use your freedom which is what he's telling us to do to love and to fill the greatest commandments and what Paul is about to do and will look at this I'm after Easter is next week's Palm Sunday than Easter but he's about to show us what good fruit looks like if someone is allowing the Holy Spirit to take control of their life they will exhibit the fruit of the spirit and will look at that in a few weeks but first he shows us what it looks like if we use our freedom to feed the Bad Wolf if we use our freedom to focus on ourselves and so today's sermon is about how not to use your freedom and is followed by a very specific warning that will look at and so let's go ahead and we'll read in what I want to do is just because it's three verses let's let's read our verses from last week and then we'll get into our verses for this week's of glacial chapter five beginning in verse thirteen glacial chapter five beginning of verse thirteen says.For you are called to freedom brothers only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh but through love serve one another for the whole laws fulfilled in one word you shall love your neighbor as yourself but if you buy. Devour one another watch out that you are not consumed by one another now for a passage for this week. Or sixteen but I say walk by the Spirit and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. For the desires of the flesh are against the spirit and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh for these are opposed to each other to keep you from doing the things you want to do but if you are led by the Spirit you are not under law now the works of the flesh are evident sexual immorality impurity sensuality idolatry sorcery enmity strife jealousy fits of anger rivalries dissensions divisions envy drunkenness orgies and things like these I warn you as they warned you before that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.And so in this passage we see Paul's desire for us to live free and he tells us how not to use our freedom and he starts by telling us this kind of point number one don't use your freedom to focus on the flesh Look at verse sixteen again.But I say walk by the Spirit and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh and of really descriptive phrase or so what exactly are these desires that we're not supposed to gratify or is he talking about milkshakes and donuts I mean I have those desires you have those kinds of desires Well obviously in life there are some good desires and there are some some bad desires that we have and some of our bad desires are not necessarily sinful and maybe there are unhealthy think a lot of things fall into that category or maybe some of them are unwise but many times in the Bible we are shown that some of our desires are actually sinful I mean obviously sinful the word for desire can be translated using a few different words. It can also be translated other places using the word lost or cravings or longings what I want you to do is stay here and in Galatians but go over to the Book of Romans chapter one. And as I've discovered as I've been going through teaching through the book of Galatians Romans is the perfect. Companion to the book of Galatians it goes on and explains things English and even in more detail and so there are several passages that we're going to look at in the book of Romans today the kind of pick up where glaciers ends so Romans chapter oneand God teaches us in Romans about some of these desires and house they are in fact sinful so Romans chapter one beginning in verse twenty four will just read a couple verses here Romans one twenty four. Says Therefore God gave them up in the lusts of their hearts to impurity the word for Lust is the same word it's the desires the desires of the flesh so therefore God gave them up to the loss of their hearts to improve. To the dishonoring of their bodies among themselves because they exchange the truth about God for a lie and worship and serve The Creator rather than the creature rather than the Creator who is blessed forever amen and so in this passage it tells us that God is trying to restrain us from going after these selfish sinful desires and at some point with some people he just he lets them go and he says if this is what you are are totally consumed with doing I'm just going to allow you to do this and says God gave them up to the lusts of their hearts. Go over to chapter six of Romans. Romans Chapter six.Beginning in verse twelve Romans six twelve.Another passage says.Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body to make you obey its passions same word for desires or lusts do not present your members to sin as instruments for unrighteousness but present yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life and your members to God as instruments for righteousness for sin will have no dominion over you since you are not under law but under grace so I think we all understand this some of our desires their good desires and some of them are obviously bad and where do these bad or sinful desires come from you know what does it source what is its its energy or its strength Well back to five in verse sixteen it still tells us where these desires come. From Paul says inflation's five sixteen but I say walk by the Spirit and you will not gratify the desires of what of the flesh the Greek word for flesh is the word SARS and it has to mean senses whenever you see the word flash in the New Testament as one of two meanings two primary senses the first is flesh can be our skin literally what holds the bones in the blood and everything together but from a spiritual standpoint the flesh is talking about the human nature that without any divine influence it is prone to sin and it is opposed to God you know the song that we sing Prone to wander Lord I feel it we all understand what that is that's our Sark sore our flash sometimes I think the N.A.V. translates that word a many times sinful nature that's our sinful nature and it's not so much a substance like our flesh is but rather more like a force in Romans if you're still in Romans go to look at Romans chapter eight.Romans chapter H. talking about the flesh and how we're not to focus on the flesh Romans chapter eight beginning verse sixit says for to set the mind on the flash or the SARS is death but the set the mind on The Spirit is life and peace for the mind that is said on the flesh the sinful desires is hostile to God for it does not submit to God's law indeed it cannot those who are in the flesh cannot please God Another example is just in the chapter before this in chapter seven Romans seven five. Romans Chapter seven verse five it says For while we were living in the flesh our sinful passions aroused by the law were work in our members to bear fruit to death and so this is hopefully this is fairly obvious if you're a human being it doesn't take much to understand that our flesh there's something in us that just has these longings and cravings and desires that are opposed to God's law and backing Galatians a strong back there now we get a list of what these fleshly desires look like and Paul is telling us not to focus on these kinds of desires so back to Glacier chapter five Look at verse nineteen.Says now the works of the flesh are obvious are evident. Sexual immorality impurity sensuality idolatry sorcery enmity strife jealousy fits of anger rivalries dissensions divisions envy drunkenness orgies and things like these.And up to this point in a sermon you're probably thinking you know there's nothing that I have been taught this morning that I didn't already know or I've already been made aware of I think by nature most of us know right from wrong and even people that don't even have the Word of God They know the difference between right from wrong but what Paul is sharing with us is an important truth that we have a choice we can choose to focus on these kinds of desires and to satisfy them. Or we can choose to focus on the spirit one last passage of the glitter Romans.I think this is the last one A Romans Chapter thirteen.And I think in here Paul add something I think is definitely worth remembering Romans thirteen beginning in verse thirteenRomans thirteen thirteen. He says Let us walk properly as in the daytime not in orgies and drunkenness not in sexual morality and sensuality not in quarrelling and jealousy but put on the Lord Jesus Christ and then he says this phrase and make no provisions for the flesh to gratify its desires the word for provision means just that it means to provide for something I like of the N.I.V. puts this verse where fourteen and I.V. says rather close yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ and do not think about how to gratify the desires of the flesh and this is what Christ set us free from the bondage of always thinking how am I going to satisfy my flesh how am I going to do how many in a spend my Friday night or my Saturday night one of the activities that I want to do so that I'm being satisfied and fulfilled and so that is what God has has set us free from it says Do not focus on those things and so I was a reading in the book of Galatians and as we read anywhere in scripture one thing that we already know is that if we sin our sins have been paid for because Jesus Christ died on the cross our sins are paid for and so someone might say and you might think this yourself I think all of us at some point might think this all of our sins are already paid for then what does it really matter if I go ahead and indulge my Flash because it's paid for Christ has already paid for those things well this is where the warning that Paul gives us comes in and so the things that Paul is telling us hearing Galatians are here is how not to use our freedom he tells us first and foremost to not use our freedom to focus on our flesh and then he gives us a warning for those who choose to focus on their flesh Now look again a verse twenty one of glaciers five. Questions five twenty one says in these drunkenness orgies and things like these I warn you who is he talking to here he's talking to believers right. I warn you as I warned you before that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God Now what exactly is Paul saying here is he saying that people who do these things won't go to heaven when they die because if that's what Paul is saying then we're we're all in big trouble right and of parenting Christ sacrifice wasn't enough and that's what we know that's not the truth that that's not true at all so look again at verse twenty one he says I warn you as I warned you before that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God you know this passage can be taken a couple different ways we have to ask ourselves is he saying that people who live like this are obviously not saved and they will go to heaven when they die we know that that is true in and of itself but is this what Paul is saying here or is he saying is he warning believers about living like this and he's giving believers A warning now there are three passages in the New Testament that are almost identical to this one hearing Galatians glacial five there's also one that is in first Corinthians Chapter six verses one through eleven and there's also one in the fusions chapter five and for the rest of this morning what I want to do is I want to transition to the Ephesians five passage of turning your Bibles through fusions chapter five.And some of you might be thinking you know I think he's talked about this before so I know that all of you pay such close attention to my sermons that you can just reciting you know from memory but actually I preach a sermon on the fusions five back in August of two thousand and fourteen August tenth two thousand and fourteen and the reason I'm bringing this up is because this passage got me thinking as I was going through fees and is this passage a warning for people who do not have a relationship with God he's warning them that these are activities of the unsaved or is he warning believers that if you live like this there's the possibility that you can lose out. On something and Paul uses this phrase three times that you will lose out on something it in he calls us an inheritance in the kingdom and so what I did is back in August of two thousand and ten or two thousand and fourteen I actually wrote some of you might remember this I wrote to thirty of my pastor friends or people that were ministry and I asked them these two questions I said is this passage any talking to believers warning them that if they live like this they are losing out on potential rewards in heaven or is he writing to people who are unsaved and warning them to stop that because that is obviously the activity of someone who will not go to heaven.I revealed to you the results of the survey back in August tenth of two thousand and fourteen so if you don't remember that sermon you're just never going to know the results of the survey it maybe I'll let you know but let's you were an efficiency or let's go ahead let's read this passage the fusion chapter five beginning in verse one and we're just going to read these for several verses here and you'll notice how almost identical This is to our passage in Galatians he says five beginning of verse one therefore be imitators of God His beloved children and walk in love as Christ loved us and gave Himself for us a freighter an offering and sacrifice to God So already it sounds a lot like glacial doesn't it verse three but sexual morality and all impurity are covetousness must not even be named among you as is proper among saints let there be no filter in this nor feel foolish talk or crude joking which are out of place but instead lead to rethinks giving for you may be sure of this that everyone who is sexually immoral or impure or who is covetous that is an idolater has no inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God let no one deceive you with empty words for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience. Therefore do not become partners with them so again who is being warned here is that sinners like if they don't change their they can't go to heaven or is this a warning to believers who are living like this if they continue to choose to live like this that they will lose out on what he says here an inheritance or a reward in Eternity a look again of verse five of the seasons for you may be sure of this that everyone who is sexually immoral or impure or who is covetous that is an idolater has no inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God. You know I I wouldn't say that this is necessarily a controversial passage and people take different positions on this. But there is a good motivating force here is the motivation that God is giving us the fear of punishment to sinners that they will go to… or is it on that of a reward that we might miss out on an inheritance or reward if we choose to focus our lives by living according to the flesh Well this passage for sure and most possibly I think the collation passages as well it's written to believers and I believe it's a warning that believers can lose out on their potential rewards if they choose to live in a way that they will live to feed the flesh so want to look at this passage a little closer so like just like in Galatians this passage is written to people who already have a relationship with God through facing Christ look at verse one again of effusions five well just look at this little closely little more closely if he says five one who is he writing here to he says therefore be imitators of God as BE LOVED children so as Paul writing here to believers I think obviously these are people who have a relationship with God you don't tell the unsaved who don't have a relationship with God to be imitators of God You don't call them children so he's talking here to believers first to and walk in love as Christ loved us and gave himself. Up for us those who are redeemed as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God verse three but six you sexual immorality and impurity are covetousness of this not even be named among you as is proper among the saints so who is he talking to here obviously he's talking to people who are redeemed he's talking to the proper way for believers to live verse for. Let there be no filth in this nor foolish talk more crude joking which are out of place but instead let there be thankfulness and then we get to our key verse verse five for you you believe years may be sure of this that everyone who is sexually immoral or impure or who is covetous that is an adulterer has no inheritance in the kingdom of Christ in God So as Paul reminding believers that sinners without Christ are in danger of going to… or is this God through the Apostle Paul warning believers that there are consequences for believers who act and live like the unsaved and I think the next couple of verses confirm that that's exactly the case verse six Let no one that deceive you with empty words for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience Paul is not wanting believers to be deceived we are not deceived about the unsaved not having a relationship with God There is no deception there the deception is that the believer can live like that without any consequence and the proof is the God's wrath is going to come upon the unsaved because he hates sin and hate sin in unbelievers just as much as he hates and in the life of believers and so he says in verse seven therefore you believers do not become part with them for one time you were darkness but now you are light in the world walk as children of light so here Paul is trying to say to believers he's warning them do not behave and do not. Live like the unsaved because if you do you will have no inheritance in the kingdom of God or of Christ and another thing that's important to point out and maybe the most important thing for this morning for us if you're wondering where this is going is verse five Look at verse five again it sayseveryone who is that everyone who is sexually immoral and goes on continues the verb for who is there is a present active indicative and the significance of that is this Paul is talking to people who are living in on going open unrepentant lifestyle and there is no desire to change he's not referring to people who have committed any of these things in this list and realize that was wrong I need to get right with the Lord because I think all of us can look at this list and say several of those things all of us are probably partaking of in some sense but here Paula saying for those people who are living in ongoing unrepentant people who are choosing to live in the sin they are in danger of not losing their salvation but losing out on a potential reward in heaven.I want you to go to one other passage in this is in first Corinthians Chapter three. First Corinthians chapter three and this is where Paul tells us about the Judgment Seat of Christ and how what will happen to every single believer that stands before the bema seat that they will either receive one of two things they will either receive rewards for their faithfulness or they will suffer a loss for living the way the God warns us to not live so here in First Corinthians Chapter three. Beginning in verse eleven.Paul talks about this moment that all of us will have in our lives he says for no one can lay a foundation other than the which is laid which is Jesus Christ now if anyone builds on the foundation with gold silver precious stones wood Hey straw each one's work will become manifest for the day will disclose it because it will be revealed by fire and the fire will test what sort of work each one has done if the work that anyone has built on the foundation survives he. Will receive a reward if anyone's work is burned up he will suffer loss though he himself will be saved but is only as through fire and so this passage is a wonderful passage if if you have place your faith in Jesus Christ there is nothing that can change your status as God's child you will spend eternity with Him no matter what but there will come a day when we stand before him and we have an opportunity to live our lives in faithfulness in this life so that we will not suffer loss but so that we will be rewarded for faithful faithful service you know a good example of someone who is saved and is not going to have any rewards of the bema seat is actually in Chapter five the first Corinthians Oh go ahead read this passage were you talking about a man who was sexually immoral any he just he chose not to repent he was living this lifestyle and process of those people in Corinth he says when you are assembled in the name of the Lord Jesus and my Spirit is present with the power of our Lord Jesus you are to deliver this man's man to Satan for the destruction of his flesh so that his spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord that person was living an ongoing unrepentant sin and they were forfeiting I believe their inheritance yet obviously they were see. What coming back to our passage in the lation Zz and what are we supposed to do with this you know Paul is telling us that we are free and that we are to live up to this calling that he has placed on our life and then it is great care for us he shows us what it's like to live in prison to our flesh and also the consequences and I think we should all take the warnings in this passage very seriously you know we're approaching Easter I always look forward to Easter in fact I mention your Sunday School class this morning I think I look forward to Easter more than Christmas if you can believe it Christmas is about the birth of Christ and it's wonderful but Easter is where we find all the fulfillment and this is where we're all of the good stuff really. It happens in the death and resurrection of Christ and the interesting thing is in the nation of Israel as they were preparing for the Passover the Feast of Unleavened Bread and those of you in the Sunday school class you probably remember this from this morning but leading up to this Feast of Unleavened Bread everyone who is a good Jew will go through their house and they will make sure that there is no bread anywhere in the house they will remove all the leaven and leaven represents sin in our life they were very careful to make sure that there is no leaven anywhere in the House and for us today you know even though our sins are paid for if we aren't careful we can allow sinful activity to come back into our life and God is asking us to look at your life and make sure that your life is free from those sins there are to paid for but a little bit of cynic and spread and it can affect everything else and if we go back and we allow sin full activity back into our life it can rob us of our freedom but also like we see in this passage English and also in the fusions and first Corinthians it can possibly lead to loss of rewards at the Judgment Seat of Christ. So I think what God is wanting us to do and what the Apostle Paul is warning us to do is to pay very close attention to what we are being taught in these passages and make sure that our focus is on The Spirit of God and not on our sinful flesh Well let's go ahead and close in prayer as look forward especially to a Palm Sunday and Easter Sunday next Sunday for the next couple weeks and then also looking at what it means to have the Spirit of God at work in our life so that we can bear fruit for him let's prayFather thank You for this passage today and I realize you've given us your entire word for so many different reasons first and foremost so that we can know how to be saved were saved through the atoning work of the sacrifice of your Son Jesus Christ you gave him up so that our sins will be paid for the Lord in this passage as we read today I think we all know as long as we have to live in these these bodies we're going to be prone to sin and father even though those sins are paid for there are consequences we can possibly lose our freedom we can get wrapped up in addictions that are very harmful but Lord you want to see you want to stand before you at the judgment seat and you desire to say Well done my good and faithful servant and so you warn us about these things and so Father My prayer is for all of us here to just closely examine our lives and the see if there is any sin in our lives to see if there's any leaven hidden in the corners of the rooms of our heart a lot of that's the case help us to boldly come before you just thank you for the forgiveness that you offer us and to remove those things from our lives and even to depend on each other for help if that's what it takes but Father thank you so much for giving us the book of Galatians and the entire Word of God and Lord my prayer is that we won't spend time focusing in making provisions for the flesh but instead we will focus on the Holy Spirit that you put into our hearts so that we might bear fruit for your holy and most glorious name as in Christ name that we now pray Amen.
Preacher: Josh WhiteWell how many of you remember your of ever. Most of you we should remember our first job is kind of I know some people here probably never had a job yet they're looking for that I know for and I'm realizing now that whenever I mention my first job I'm really dating myself I'm aging myself because my first job was a paper route people these days do not know their first job being a paper route but I have a people route growing up in Spokane Washington and it was on Wednesday only it was the valley Herald and so it was a once a week paper delivery and so I would deliver it to responsibilities. Papers I pick them up on Wednesday I would package them and I get them ready then I would deliver them handle live or them on my bike to all the people in my paper route and then once a month I would go knock on right to collect a dollar. At this paper the valley here old was a free paper yet when they charged a dollar on it was basically for my delivery fee the other money after advertisements and so what happened is I would go knock on the door once a monthtelling.Us for why they didn't have a dollar.A day I don't know there was a job description for delivering the valley here old but if if I could rewrite it I would say this is the job description pick up a pair and deliver papers to customers every Wednesday and once a month knock on listen to all the excuses people come up with for why they don't have a dollar in their dollars that was my first job.You know sometimes there's a difference in a written job description comparing what the job really entails Have you ever experienced that in your own life maybe you had a job as well as a job description says this is a well no it's not the real job description him across some funny job descriptions and so I want to share a few of those with you today and so what I'll do is all read the job description and these are considered real job all reading for you and I'll give you just like a couple seconds to see if you can figure out what the real job is OK this is kind of fun all right so if your job to read things that don't matter then write papers saying they do matter for points that don't matter in order to get a job doing something totally unrelated.You are a student.For a steward are years I got a few of these are pretty good if your job is to take numbers on pieces of paper rearrange them and put them on different pieces of paper. Then your job is a tax accountant now bad all right if your job is to show innovative ways to burn the money in the spirit of patriotism.You are a firework stand manager.Who want to blow your money.If your job is to supervise the good guys and gals who try to protect the good people from the bad only to be hated by the good people and the bad people you are a police sergeant Yeah you got that one. Pretty good this one this was a funny one I don't know if you get this one but if your job is to manage urban renewal and pest control you are a B. fifty two bomber pilot.Controlling a lot of us are there's a good one if your job is to ensure that stupid people stay in the gene pool. You are a lifeguard.If you're just here just getting that OK. If your job is to spend most of the day looking out the window then you are an airline pilot.Mike's Now here is you know he's in for a look out the window if you and I don't like this one because this one's very true but if your job is to take pictures of the unlucky and the stupid. You are an X. ray technician. That's very true the couple times I've been an X. ray technician is because I was very unlucky and got a few more of these OK if your job is to have people spend far more than they estimated then you are a building inspector is naturally building is very is always good to do that if your job is to run away and call the police. Your job as a security guard that's all he can do you call the police if your job is a stand on a field and get yelled at for hours. You're a baseball umpire you know you got that one come or disc a couple more if your job is to make food that is as healthy before it goes in your body as when it comes back out of your body you are. A fast food worker. Last one last one.There's a lot of more of these I could have done this all day but if your job is to be a human a napkin. You are a mother of three that's where your job is that's a job description of a mom of three kids being a human napkin you know job description the exist because it's supposed to describe what a person is going to be doing how they're going to be spending their time and what they're responsible for and you know based on that. People might be drawn to certain jobs and many of you when you were looking for a career or a job you looked in the want ads and you thought well you know what I like to do this is this something that I'd like to spend my time doing or not and so that's kind of an important thing to read however there's something that goes beyond a job most people when they're growing up they don't looking necessarily for a job they're looking for a career or another word for career is vocation and the interesting thing about the word vocation it comes from the Latin word for vox V O X which means voice and so vocation is basically the way that we express ourselves to the world and so if you have a a calling if you have a career or if you have a vocation it's your way of expressing yourself to the world around you that's how you make yourself useful to those around you so for those of you here I know many of you are you are retired but how many of you can say that you've truly found your vocation in life you've truly found your calling hopefully many many people are able to say that I want to kind of hold that thought for just a moment and ask you this question. If you were to have a conversation with someone this week and they would ask you Hey what did you do this weekend he said Well Saturday I did this and that but Sunday I went to church and then I moved the rocks out of the river bet my church and and they said church what what are you going to church what is what is church all about and and what would be the job description of a Christian how would you answer that question what is the job description of a Christian first of all you'll never be asked that question because it's a bad question there's no job description for a Christian but maybe a better way to ask a question is what is God's calling on the life of the child of God on a believer what is their calling How how should they voiced on who they are how are they to spend their time or do they to focus their energy on what is their voice in the world well that's what Paul is about to talk about in our next passage so I want you to open your Bibles to go after five.Galatians chapter five will pick up where we left off from last week which is verse thirteen.Chapter five beginning in verse thirteen.And oh yeah I've been should be for that soon as we get to go lation chapter five and six were in the practical section but I think that this these couple verses vs thirteen fourteen and fifteen are probably the most transitional passage in the entire book of Galatians up until this point Paul has been talking to the people in Glacier explaining to them how the law has been fulfilled how Christ has fulfilled the Law The Law was given to point us to Christ the law was given to show us that we cannot fulfill it we need Christ and now we're free from the law and now Paul kind of transitions from the doctrinal portion into the so wide and so if you've been freed from the lot how does that make a difference in your life and he answers that question in these couple verses verse thirteen questions five thirteen it says For you were called to freedom brothers. Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh but through love serve one another for the whole laws fulfilled in one word you shall love your neighbor as yourself but if you buy them devour one another watch out that you are not consumed by one another. In verse thirteen I think the most important verse or the most important word at least for this morning is the word for called The word called This is an important topic and in this sense the word called we can see this is used several times throughout Scripture calling has several different meanings one in the way that we're going to look at it primarily today is when it says that you've been called the something it can mean in some sense is that you've been chosen to do something by in another words if you're chosen to do something you don't have much of a choice God or whatever the context is this chosen you for a specific project or a purpose but in this sense and many times where we see this word called that we have been called to something the word call really means more of an invitation that you have been invited to share in this you've been invited to free to. You've been invited to live in freedom what I want to do is I want to look at a few other places in the Bible where we see this word call and this says believers this whenever we see this word that we've been called to do something this is where we should really pay attention because this is where God is really giving us the purpose of being a child of God A few other times where a similar usage is is used for this word for calling first place is in the fish and I was on the train over there is just a couple pages over your bible glaciers efficiencies chapter fourhe's in chapter four beginning in verse one and here we have the same word used in the sim very similar sense meaning that we've been called to do something. If he's in chapter four beginning in verse onePaul writes I therefore a prisoner for the Lord urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called with all humility and gentleness with patients bearing with one another in love eager to maintain the unity of the spirit in the bond of peace there is one body and one Spirit just as you were called to the one hope that belongs to your call and so when here in this passage we see this word called recalling just a couple different ways the last one in verse four it says that we have been called to the one hope so what is this one the hope that God has called us to wellness passage especially it can mean the hope of being resurrected from the dead when you and I die we hope that we will be resurrected and we will spend eternity with Christ in Heaven a minute the very beginning it says because that is your call which you've been invited to walk or live in a manner that is worthy of that calling that God has placed on your life and so we see that here in efficiency chapter for another one I'll just read this quickly for you first US one in four seven it says God is not called us for impurity but in holiness and so God has called us to be as children not so that we live impure lives he's called us so that we live holy lives. Another one I want you to turn to these a couple of them are in first Peter so go over to first Peter chapter two.First Peter chapter two and this is one that none of us like to read because we never want to be in the situation of first Peter chapter two.Beginning in verse eighteen will read out for context first Peter chapter two beginning in verse eighteen there is another calling that is on all of us as believers if we will find ourselves in this situation it's a servant to be subject to your masters with all respect not only to the good and gentle but also to the unjust for this is a gracious thing when mindful of God one endure sorrows while suffering unjustly for what credit is it if when you sin and are beaten for it you endure but if when you do good and suffer for it you endure this is a gracious thing in the sight of God for to this you have been call because Christ also suffered for you leaving you an example so that you might follow in his steps and for especially for the people who are reading this that Peter wrote this this book to they were suffering on behalf of their faith in Jesus Christ and I don't know how much suffering we go through here in America especially this day and age but some people do suffer because of their faith in Jesus Christ and says this is what you've been called to do so if you've been called to represent Jesus Christ and you suffer live up to that calling in your life. I'm going over to chapter three here and first Peter beginning in verse eight.First Peter's three beginning in verse eight.Says finally all of you have unity of mind sympathy brotherly love a tender heart in a humble mind do not repeat evil for evil or reviling for reviling But on the contrary blessed for to this you were called the Jew may obtain a blessing lesson this is telling us that you and I are called for many things were invited for many things but we are called to live in unity with each other and to seek. And to be purposeful in seeking out unity with each other it's an invitation to participate in something that is good and this calling that we see in scripture it's really it's a choice that we have we can either do this or not do it another sense of the word call it like an invitation is used by Jesus in Luke five you can turn there if you like Luke Chapter five. This is the last example that will look at North about to a passage but in Luke Chapter five. Speaking of an invitation maybe a stronger sense of this word call can be used in it can be translated more like a. In the sense to rouse people or to summon people to action where you call people you're really calling the the army to battle or to arms and this is how Jesus used this example in Luke Chapter five beginning in verse twenty nine.Luke five beginning in verse twenty nine.Says and Levi made him a great feast in his house and there was a large company of tax collectors and other reclining at the table with them and the fair season the scribes grumbled at His disciples saying why do you eat and drink with tax collectors and sinners and Jesus answered them those who are well have no need of a physician but those who are sick I have not come to call the righteous but sinners to repentance so Jesus saying I have come to rouse him to summon those who know they need a savior I've called him calling them to repentance as opposed to the people who think that they are already righteous Well this is definitely a war whenever we see this in Scripture it's definitely a word that we need need to pay attention to and this word called really reveals to us a purpose that we have in our relationship with God We are called to do this and so in Galatians go back to Chapter five when it says that we are called to freedom that's exactly what Paul the same Paul says here in glaciers that we are called to be free and in the very next sentence. Paul tells us what this calling gives us if we're called to be free called to Liberty exactly what does it give us it gives us choices too specifically look at verse thirteen again.Says For you are called to freedom brothers only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh but through love serve one another so here this freedom that Paul's talking about here in place and five gives us two basic choices you are free your free from the burden of the law and you can do with that freedom one of two things you can either turn your attention on yourself and looking create new ways to bring pleasure to yourself or you can use that freedom and use it to serve others and to love others you know before I was thinking about this before the people in Glacier especially the Jews before the wall was fulfilled how much freedom did they have you know that they didn't have much the law gave them bondage in here's a kind of a serious question I was wondering on the whole ever know the answer to this but I wondered for the people who were under the law and they were trying specifically to follow all the ceremonial aspects of the law like every week in every month and every year they had to do certain things and soon the law has been abolished and Christ fulfilled the law literally how much more free time did people have now over the law had been fulfilled and just just consider them I don't know the answer that question but they literally had a lot more time on their hands now that they were not required to follow the law. Don't all of us look forward to having a little more more time on our hands we all look forward to that we usually look forward to the weekends right you look forward to the weekends and you say when I'm not working I want to do this on the weekends we look forward to our vacation time and people especially look forward to retirement right yeah some of you are going to retire saying amen It's funny I hear a lot of the people that are newly rich. Hired say they're so busy in retirement they have no idea how they had enough time to do their job when they were actually working a very go something that all of us could look forward to hopefully someday. But this freedom from the law it actually gave them more time I mean literally it gave them more time so when you have free time what do you do I don't want you to actually answer that question I want to think about this we have options right if you have free time and one thing is you might spend time working on a hobby right I mean if you like to go do that OK then I hear you got a hobby and work on a hobby some of you like like my wife will clean stuff around the house she looks forward to having time also she can get stuff done so I know some of you are like that some of you if you have more time on your hands what you want to do is you want to sit in front of the T.V. and waste way so we watching T.V. in movies or maybe spending time on the Internet right those are called teenagers right that's that's what they do but with this freedom that God has called us to he did not read the muscles so that we can turn inward and find more and better ways to please ourselves he freed us so that we can spend our time doing the only thing that can only be done in this lifetime that is trying to point others to a relationship with Jesus Christ and serve them that's something that we will not be able to do in the life to come because everyone who's going to be there will already have a relationship with them so let that let that sink in the one thing that we can only do in this lifetime is serve others in the hopes that they might have a relationship with Jesus Christ and so the big question of the day is this if we have been called to freedom are we supposed to use that freedom and we're supposed to use our freedom to serve others then what is the one thing that we need in our lives in order to not misuse our freedom there's one thing that we need to make sure is in our lives so we don't misuse our freedom and the answer to that is in our past. As for today let's read it again versus thirteenth your fifty.Five versus thirteen to fifteen it says. For you are called to freedom brothers only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh but through love serve one another for the whole law is fulfilled in one word you shall love your neighbor as yourself but if you buy it in devour one another watch out that you are not consumed by one another and so alternately what Paul is showing us are really reminding us because this is taught so many times in Scripture that this call on our lives this freedom that we have is a call to love and to love others the way that God has loved us when we are committed to loving each other then we are going to be using our freedom in the way that God is intended for us to use it and if we don't love each other then we will be selfish and self-centered and then verse fifteen will happen in our lives or good versus team again but if you buy it in devour one another watch out that you are not consumed by one another so the answer to the question is how do we make sure we use our time wisely with the freedom that God has given to us we have to put love into our relationships and so let's go to the passage of love First Corinthians thirteen I want to read this you know this is a passage that I call this the wedding passage it's kind of like a good good passage should read it weddings and I have some of the weddings that I've done I have I have used this before but something that's interesting about this description of love this is God's definition of love not man's definition of love but in this definition of love here in First Corinthians chapter thirteen we get to lists and if you've never seen this before maybe this will kind of bring to light what true love is in this list God gives us a description of what love does. And just as importantly what love does not do so let's go ahead and let's read this and kind of mentally you can put these things in the list of the things that we're supposed to do and things that we're not supposed to do so first Corinthians chapter thirteen verse four.Says Love is patient and kind love does not envy your boast it is not arrogant or rude it does not insist on its own way it is not irritable or resentful it does not rejoice at wrongdoing but rejoices with the truth love bears all same's believes all things hopes all things and endures all things. In those three verses there are seven things that love does but eight that love doesn't do and so love is just as much what you don't do to another person as what you do and you know the opposite of love may be the best word we could describe where does the opposite of love is the word hate and let's look at this description again do any of these descriptions sound like the practice of someone who hates other people it says envy we boast were arrogant there is rude or insists on their own way someone is very selfish irritability resentfulness rejoicing at wrongdoing that is the action of someone who is doing the opposite of love and as we listed off those eight things that we're not supposed to do Have you done any of those things but all of us are right probably this morning you can by think of a couple of things that maybe even you did today you know I look at this less and I wonder you know are any of these any of these things do they come easier to some of us or than to others you know all of these are definitely an opportunity to please the flesh you know how good does it feel when you are bitter and resentful towards another person sometimes it doesn't feel good kind of. The flesh that's why God tells us that we're not supposed to do it and therefore not careful we can become people who are the opposite of the calling that we've received what we are called to do is this we are called to be patient with others we are called to be kind we are called to rejoice with the truth and that's difficult these days because you don't people like to do they like to invent their own truth right. But this as we rejoice with is the truth not in individual persons truth we rejoice with the truth.Love bears all sayings it believes all things it hopes all sayings in endures all things and if we allow God to fill our hearts with this kind of love then we will fulfill our calling but we also need to notice when we are doing the exact opposite. I want to share the story of something to happen to me in fact I never thought that I probably share the story but this week as I was starting this coming came to my mind I feel like I'm a pretty easy going person I can get along with most people and in fact you know there's not a list in my mind of people that I hate I got a hateful person yet during my years in college my second year there was a person that I didn't like too much I didn't I didn't like it was a girl that I had dated OK.We dated very casually just for a couple months it never got serious but I'm over the summer she did a couple things that I didn't appreciate And so when we got back to college I just I didn't want to have anything to do with her and so I was twenty years old and it's kind of embarrassing to even say this but in my mind I just kind of made it so that she didn't even exist like she didn't even exist the problem is if you're going to act that way on a small Christian campus with only one hundred students people are going to do notice the way they treat other people and a couple months into the semester. I find out an eye opening experience was kind of shocking a good friend of mine Geoffrey horse someone you know Jeff Arroyo your nephew and he came up to me one day and he gave me a book and the book was titled loving people we would rather hateand you laugh and first I laugh of the what is this for and he says well when I saw this book I thought of you.I'm a pretty happy go lucky person and it just dawned on me that as Jeff went to the Christian bookstore and he's looking at books to read and buy for himself he saw that book loving people we'd rather hate.And I was the first person that he thought of.And so he bought me that book.That was really eye opening and it was really hard for me to realize the way that I was treating another person everyone saw me as a hater of so and so and I didn't want to be known as a hater of anyone and so I swallowed my pride and I made the situation a lot better but listen this is part of our calling God has not called us to be a hater of anyone no one people that we know people that we don't know hate and resentment I've heard this is scripture that maybe you have to it's really great when you hate or you resent or you're bitter towards another person it's like drinking poison hoping to hurt the other person that's what bitterness does that's what he and resentment does in our lives and listen Christ died so that we can be free from that prison and you and I we choose to put ourselves in that prison because Christ has set us free from that prison so Hating people is not part of the job description of a child of God and that goes for people that you know and also people that you don't know putting politicians in the gutter what side of the aisle you go on one thing you know my soapbox here Christian should not be vocalizing hatred towards anybody that's not what we've been called to do You can disagree with people but not show hate Well how do we fulfill this calling last verse that I want to look at today is Romans Chapter five chapter five.Beginning in verse oneRomans Chapter five beginning in verse one.It says this Therefore since we have been justified by faith we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we now we stand and we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God not only that but we rejoice in our sufferings knowing that suffering produces endurance and endurance produces character and character produces hope and hope does not put us to shame and here's the passage right here this is the phrase because God's love has been puir into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us is that a wonderful passage in fact I get a really good mental image God wants us to fulfill this calling in our lives to love others and so we can get this mental image of God taking this big pitcher of water or pitcher of Lebanese he's pouring it into us and he's wanting us he's calling us to open our hearts to get rid of bitterness resentfulness and all those things that love is not so we open our hearts for the God's love can be poured into our hearts so that it overflows so that we can share it with others that's the calling that God has put on our lives you know if you're a believer in Christ and hope that everyone here is today then you are free and so far up to this point in time Paul has shown us exceedingly well that we are free from the law we are free from the burden of following the ceremonial aspects of the law but most importantly we are now free to love. We are free to love everyone we are free to share the love of God and that happens when we give up our sinful selfish self-centered desires and we allow God to pour into our hearts His love so that we can share with those around us that is our calling and this is something that we can do while still holding on to the truth we can love others without compromising the truth but that is what we are called to do as. Share the gracious merciful love of God with the world that is your job description for this week that's my job description for this week. So let's get out there let's go to work. This close and prayerDear Lord I thank you so much for this reminder that you've given us here in Galatians.And how appropriate is it after you've called us and revealed to us that we are free from the law we're free from those burdens and obligations in the next thing you tell us is we are now free to love we are free to act towards the world the way that you acted towards the world.
Preacher: Josh WhiteThey're all getting so big so fast this kind of scary.Well today's I've titled My sermon using or lose it I like that phrase if you are used the phrase The former has anyone ever used it on you you can use it in a number of different ways I know my mom I can I can hear a picture of my mom saying it in my ears right now use it or lose it but on this phrase can be used in a number of different ways it can be used in reference to several different things like for instance use it or lose it can be used in reference to a coupon is a coupon or coupon we're going to like a big bite right now.But if you haven't coupon I say call them coupons Have you ever saved coupons and then you go to use it and then you realize it's expired isn't the most frustrating thing in the world so if you don't use your coupon coupon you're going to lose it lose the ability to use it it one of the other things that I like coupons because I cheap and so I like to use coupons and if you ever bought the entertainment book like you buy you literally are buying coupons so you have to make sure that you use it otherwise you're going to lose all that everything you put into it another way that use it or lose it can be in reference to money if someone has money in their pockets some people you know who you are if you like if there's money in your pocket you need to go out and spend it right away right. Some people you know who I'm talking to.The I'm not necessarily like that I like to save money and make sure you have something for a rainy day but I honestly there are some things in life where if you have an opportunity to do something you should really take advantage of it and I think that's true of a lot of things in life and sometimes even money on this phrase can also be used in reference to when it's someone's turn to do something have your played a game with someone and they're not paying attention and it comes to their turning to skip them or you want to skip them reduced to their kids all the time teaching them to play and it's their turn and come on pay the engine use it or lose it use your church or have you ever been at a stop sign and someone who should be taking their turn is not in you look up in one of the usually doing their texting on their phone right you don't lose it use your churn or lose it last way it can be used in reference to release it all mention this morning is energy right we only have so much energy to make it through the day and I'm trying not to to put all my Cross Fit illustrations too close together but I got it out for you and I got to talk about it we're in the open right now we got a half a million people worldwide are doing this competition and the neat thing is on Thursday night what they do is they share with us what the comp it what the workout is going to be the next day on Friday night and so everyone has about twenty four hours where they strategize how am I going to attack this workout and everyone has the same dilemma do I go out really fast and use up all my energy at the front or do I hang on to it and try to save some towards the end. And I'm kind of among the mindset of when you've got it using Use it or lose it a good workout a good cross that workout ends with you on a pile a keep on the floor in a big sway that's a good workout that's why I'm crazy and that's why you know anyway you know this phrase use it or lose it I think you kind of know what this is in reference to but can we use this from a biblical standpoint is there any biblical way that we could use this phrase and what we're going to look at today in Glacial chapter five you can open your Bibles there now.Chapter five and what Paul is doing with the glaciers here is he's sort of saying to the glaciers Christ has set you freelive free but if you don't live free what you might what might happen is you might be tricked into giving your freedom up and going back and living under the law and so he's telling them to use your freedom otherwise you might lose it so relations chapter five and up until this point I'm glad that we're now in the last couple chapters in glaciers the very practical section and up until this point what Paul has been doing is he's been proving to those English A that the law has been completed the righteous requirements of law have been fulfilled in Christ the law has been a ball has been set aside there are no longer required to follow the law and that gives us freedom everyone who is a believer in God and in Jesus Christ they now have freed of Christ and now that we are in again like the practical section it's important for us to understand what Paul what his heart is trying to do for the people in Glacier and what he's trying to get them to do is to put their faith into practice so that they grow up and they become mature and they become like Christ during the lay sions I just look at chapter four verse nineteen this kind of shows you the heart that Paul has for those in Glacier elations for nineteen.He says to them my little children for whom I am again in the anguish of childbirth until the Christ is formed in you and so this is Paul's heart this is his desire for those people in these churches that he's writing to and so now Paul shares with them the potential things that they could lose and suffer if they start going back to the law and following the law and before we read through this passage I do need to say this I think it's a very important to understand as a reading this understand Paul is writing to people who are believers right and so the things that he's going to warn them that they are potentially going to lose out on it's not dealing with their salvation in any way shape or form this is talking about daily living in a specifically in the section they're potentially live going to miss out on some of the freedom that Christ died to give them and so let's go ahead and read through this and what we see is there are three things that they could lose if they revert back and submit to the law in the first thing that they can lose this probably the most obvious thing it's their freedom they're in danger of losing their freedom if they submit to the law.Five chapter one verse chapter five Verse one five one it says for freedom Christ has set us free stand firm therefore and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery so it says for freedom crisis set us free and then we have Thousand question OK what are we free from one thing that we're not free from when we talk about the law we are not no one is free from the moral aspects of the law that is timeless there is no time limit on God's moral commands and so we're not free from God's moral law but we are free from the burden and the bondage of the ceremonial systems that God put in place no one could live up to that no one could could be found righteous by following that we're going to stay obviously but I found his special as I've been going through Glacial is that Paul explains a lot of things he says English is a little better in Romans and so go to Romans chapter eightRomans chapter eight.And here in this section Paul explains early shares with us how Christ fulfilled the requirements of the law and then gives us the freedom to focus on Christ and not ourselves Romans chapter eight beginning in verse one.Because there is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus for the law the spirit of life has set us free so you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death for God has done what the law we can do by the flesh could not do by sending his own son in the likeness of sinful flesh and for sin he condemned sin in the flesh in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us who walk not according to the flesh but according to the spirit and so here he's saying the requirements they're done they've been fulfilled the debt has been paid there's no need to keep paying the debt of the law I don't know if any of you here have actually paid off your mortgage maybe there's some of you I have not but I look forward to the day of writing that last check to the mortgage company wouldn't it be foolish after you write that last check to the mortgage company to the next month just write them another one just because you got used to doing it but any kind of foolish I'm sure they wouldn't mind but yeah I'm sure they'd probably have to give a back I don't know them Paul talks about where a person's mind needs to be depending on what they're focused on if you're free if the requirements of lot of fulfilled than this is how you should live or spite of Romans eight. For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh but those who live according to the spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit for to set the mind on the flesh is death but to set the mind on The Spirit is life and peace for the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God for does not submit to God's law indeed it cannot those who are in the flesh cannot please God You however are not in the flesh but in the spirit if in fact the Spirit of God dwells in you so Paul taught both the Galatians and the Romans in this passage that the law has been fulfilled so we are free so don't go back to living according to the law you know a couple ways to think about this from a practical standpoint when a child leaves the house after they graduated from high school and they go off to college and they graduate from college they've got a couple options now they're an adult right and they have freedom that they didn't have when they were living in the house and so when someone's an adult can live on their own pay their own rent and they can go to bed whenever they want if someone wants to stay up until two o'clock in the morning they can go ahead and do that and they can eat whatever kind of food they want right but if someone let's say they graduate from college and they are not ready to get out there on their own they can go back to their parents place right parents are like and nope no you cannot. But if you go back to living in your parents' place they might say All right well if you're going to live in my household then you're going to go by by my rules and you're not going to stay up until two o'clock and you're going to eat meals with us and so the kind of giving up some of their freedom even though they're an adult's member in talking with this glacial passage they're talking using a lot of them things that the people in Greek and Roman society would understand now when someone is young they would live under the Guardian or the tutor of a slave even though they were eventually going to be the owner of the inheritance of the estate that day so it would be somewhat ridiculous. For an adult Roman citizen to willingly submit themselves to live under the guardianship of a slave as a free Roman citizen and so that's what Paul is saying to those in Galatians you're free you're free from all these don't willingly submit yourself back to the thing that Christ died to free you from and so by following the law practically speaking Paul is warning those people in Glacier you're about to lose your freedom and what God has given them is the freedom to pursue serving God instead of obeying rules so that's the first thing that they're in danger of losing if they go back and continue to follow the law another thing Paul warns them about possibly losing is their power losing their power let's read a few verses here beginning universe two glaciers chapter five Verse twoplace in Chapter five Verse twolook I polled say to you that if you accept circumcision Christ will be of no advantage to you I testify again to every man to accept circumcision that he is obligated to keep the whole law you are severed from Christ you who would be justified by the law you have fallen away from grace for through the Spirit by faith we are selves eagerly wait for the hope of righteousness for in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision counts for anything but only face working through love you know last week we looked at what Paul's thorn in the flesh could possibly be I speculated that it might have been an eye problem that he was going through and it's not I'm not the first person that came up with that idea lot of people hold to that but when he was going through that and he referred to that as a thorn in the flesh Paul in a very valuable lesson he learned where the source of his power comes from when he learned that when he realized in of himself he doesn't have the power to fulfill the things that God wants him to do he asked to depend on God And so in second Corinthians twelve nine Paul says but he said to me this is God he said to me My grace is sufficient for you for my power is made perfect in weakness. And so Paul had to learn that when he realized how weak he was then he could depend on God and receive the power from God to fulfill anything that God called him to do you know when Jesus was still on earth and he was training up his disciples that last week before he was betrayed he said something very interesting in John you can turn there if you like John Chapter fifteen just going to read a couple of versesJohn fifteen beginning in verse four will just reverses four and five says Jesus speaking to His disciples and he says this basically telling them where the source of their power is going to be coming from John fifteen for three or five Jesus says to his disciplesabide in me and die in you as the branch cannot bear fruit by itself unless it abides in the vine neither can you unless you abide in me I am the vine you are the branches whoever abides in me and I in him he it is that bears much fruit for apart for me you can do nothing and this is so true for all of us if we turn our ways our if we turn our eyes away from Christ what we have to do to get our source of power is we have to turn them in the word and try to get that power from ourselves or no law if we do that then we're no longer abiding in Christ like it says here in John fifteen we're no longer allowing Christ to produce fruit in our lives and while timidly we're looking inward towards ourself trying to produce obedience so that we can please God and that's why Paul says what he does Ingle ations five to look at verse two again this is a really interesting phrase that he says and it can be kind of confusing unless you take a look a close look at this in glaciers five Verse two Paul says look I Paul say to you that if you accept circumcision Christ will be of no edge of vantage to you what does he mean by this Now remember these people are Satan so I firmly believe Paul is not referring to salvation but rather the power for a living. The word for advantage is the Greek word a fairly arrow which means to assist or to be useful or advantageous for the prophet something so he's saying the Christ would be of no advantage sure no assist or prophet to you this word is only used just a few other times in the New Testament but I'm there's one place in First Corinthians fourteen I want to share with you a kind of helps us understand what Paul is trying to say here and in First Corinthians fourteen Paul is talking about the sign gifts for those of you who are familiar with first currency and first Corinthians thirteen fourteen and this is during a time in the church where the sign gifts were still being used because we did not have the Bible and so Paul goes in and tells those in Corinth he says to them first Corinthians fourteen six Speaking of tonguesnow brothers if I come to you speaking in tongues How will I benefit you that's the word how will I benefit you unless I bring you some revelation or knowledge or prophecy or teaching and so well Paul is saying to them this is when tongues and prophesy knowledge are still being used if I come to you and I'm speaking in a tongue a tongue that you do not know the language to how is that any way going to benefit you unless someone interprets it and so he's saying if you want this to be of an advantage you have to know what it's saying and so Paul is saying back you're English and if you want the power of Jesus Christ you can't revert to the law you have to keep your eyes focused on Jesus Christ it's kind of sort of like saying what advantage is it to you of having a winning lottery ticket if you don't turn it in right kind of obvious or what do the images it to you have a car parked in your garage full of gas if you're choosing to just walk everywhere but it's of no advantage to and it's sitting there it's right there for you or what advantage would it be to have a G.P.S. in your car if all you're going to do is stop roll down the window now somebody for directions you have that power right there or maybe the best illustration is that I think come up with is what benefit is that if I use a cross that illustration and you've never done Cross Fit right you know I was coming you know I say that jokingly because Kim worst Kimock faddish in hereshe's in the nursery Well candid chat and she tried Cross Fit Yesterday way to go Kim and she even wrote on her Facebook page I am glad I did cross this so I can understand pastor Joshua sermon illustrations now. That I love that girl and really go camping and so I want you to be like him and so everyone finds some room in the aisles where do some bird reason thrusters really quick no.I like my job that would go pretty well and very well so.But how to pull this thing he's saying in Christ we have power but if you turn away from the power of Christ to become slaves to the law as the source of your power then Christ is of no advantage to you and so why in the world would someone be tempted to add back the law into their lives if they placed their face in Jesus Christ and the answer that question in some ways you say I have no idea why someone would do that but you look at scripture here and you also look at the way that people do that in the world today and maybe one of the answers to that question is this people will add back the law and add that to their face in Christ just in casejust in case we might need it oh everyone here has insurance don't you it's some kind of insurance health live dental your insurance is just in case as you don't know what's going to happen in fact the definition of insurance is the practice or in a regime between you and a company to provide a guaranteed compensation for a specified loss and so if something happens to you and you're paying them a commission or fee then they're going to guarantee I like to think of insurance like a parachute you need to put it on before you need it so that you have it when you do right and so a lot of you I know you probably have insurance your home and auto I never use home insurance but I've used auto insurance replacing windshields as kind of a nice life insurance I have life insurance Hopefully I won't need to use it only my wife will need to use it I have health insurance the only times that I've recently used health insurance was after playing church softball I tend to hurt myself playing softball but there's all different kinds of insurance but many people in Glacier maybe were thinking of circumcision and not just circumcision but the entire law sort of like this it's a good idea to fall these laws just in case just in case Christ isn't enough or just in case it will give be a better standing with God And so what Paul does is he shows them the flaw in this thinking. Grace and law are two things that cannot be can bind because they work in two entirely different ways the law is all about your effort what you can do for yourself and the law was ultimately given to prove that our effort isn't enough grace is all about God's effort and what God has done and so you cannot accept God's work and then try to add to it your own work to improve your standing in God's eyes if he says two eight nine they one of the most important passages in all scripture it says For by grace are you saved through faith and this is not your doing it is the gift of God not a result of works so that no one may boast. If you're in delay sions look at Chapter three again we've looked at this before but this is telling us that you cannot combine grace and law they don't work they're not compatible.Verses ten through twelveelations three verses ten through twelveit says for all who rely on the works of the law are under a curse for it is written personally everyone who does not abide by all things written in the book of the law and do them now it is evident that no one is justified before God by the law for the righteous shall live by face but the law is not a faith rather the one who does them shall live by faith. So they're not compatible but you know another thing in our passage for today verse five is very interesting Paul talks about this hope of righteousness and I think this is important at this point because what are what is our hope in and every time we have in the Bible where Paul talks about the hope of something it's usually referring to something to the future obviously hope is always in the future and there's two possibilities of verse five what he's talking about here look at verse five again it says for through the Spirit by face we ourselves eagerly wait for the hope of righteousness so what exactly is that what are you and I eagerly waiting for what is this hope of righteousness there's two possibilities and both are true in another themselves but I think Paul is referring to one of them here when we talk about hope our hope is obviously that when we die we will be in Heaven with Christ forever right that's the hope I don't think that that's what he's referring to here that I think it's just. A different type of hope the hope that he might be referring to here is that when we stand before God as the righteous Judge we hope that the righteousness that he's going to see in our life is not the one that we tried to make for ourselves but the hope of Christ's righteousness credited to us that's our hope that when we stand before God He will see Christ's righteousness in our lives so we can hope for Christ's work that it will God has done in his place Christ's righteousness into our lives and when we stand before Him He will say that we are deemed innocent So how how do we make the switch then as we look at this passage from depending on ourselves like they were doing under the law to living depended upon God and we make that switch obviously it's something mental We have to put our focus on and that leads us to the third thing a person might lose if they start following the law and that is that they might lose their direction they might lose their direction now remember what Jesus said to the young man when he called when he when he called them to be disciples remember when he said follow me and I will make you what fishers of men notice Jesus did not say follow me and I will make you better rule followers he didn't say that he said follow me and I will make you fishers of men because he was trying to get them to not look inward but outward and if you look at the two greatest commandments in all the law there are commandments that make us look outward to love the Lord God with all of our heart and soul mind and to love our neighbor as ourselves and so when a person starts to follow the law they're going to lose their direction else reverses seven to twelve year English and five.Five or seven through twelve that says you were running well who hindered you from obeying the truth this persuasion is not from Him who calls you. A little leaven leavens the whole lump I have confidence in the Lord that you will take no other view and the one who is troubling you will bear the penalty whoever he is but if I brother still preach circumcision why am i still being persecuted in that case the offense of the cross has been removed I wish those who unsettle you would emasculate themselves so here in verse seven Paul starts off with an athletic illustration and it's important to note that every time and Paul does this quite a bit through Scripture whenever he uses an athletic illustration it's not in reference to how someone is to be saved it's in reference to someone who is saved how to live out their salvation but in the Greek world in order for someone to run in a race they had to be a citizen they had to be an actual citizen and similarly with us in order for us to run in this race that is marked out for us we have to be a child of God and so he says to them as Christians you were running well you were focused on Christ and then someone ran in front of you they cut you off and they convince you to stop following Christ and you go back and start following the law again and so he says that and then he switches to another illustration he switches to a cooking illustration you know sports and food Paul knows how to get one's attention on his good he says that leaven will spread and it will affect everyone you know as any time we look at scripture when it leaven is used leaven is described as sin and if leaven is left alone it will grow and take over in the same is true with sin and so the idea that Paul is sharing with us is this don't let the wrong method of running the race creep in meaning a law instead of grace otherwise you'll find yourself running in a different race and you look at the world today and the world is full of false religions and other gospels we look at that of the Be very beginning of Galatians and they are these other gospels these other religions the sects in these cults they are all based on law all these rules and they falsely give people the idea that if they fold the rules well enough they can earn for themselves whatever it is the their hope is in the future whether it's their own world or salvation or whatever that is and that's the per the persuasion that the world is trying trying to lead us to those are just some examples that I can think of and I think if you just sit down you think about all the different religions it's it's scary to see how they're trying to cut us off and get us to run a different race and basically it makes us to look inward make ourselves look good and sort of making us look outward and saying how how we can be the salt and light that God wants us to be in the world around usyou know as we continue wanting to lay sions we're in this the practical section and and it starts off by Paula telling us that we're free and as Americans we love freedom don't we. Love the word freedom we love to fight for our freedom and most of what Paul has been talking about focuses on what we are free of we are free of or we are free from the burden of the law but when someone grows and matures in the face what we need to start doing is looking at the other side of freedom and the other side of freedom is this when we have freedom in Christ it's more about what we are free to do not what we are free from we are free from the law but God a saved us so that we are now free to serve him. And now so Paul is going to spend most of the rest of Galatians talking about so we can look forward to looking at that right now let's go ahead and close in prayer and thank God for the freedom that we have but especially That's ask him to give us the wisdom and the insight that we need to use our freedom in a way that will give God glory let's praythere Lord as we're continuing on English and I'm so thankful for this book which helps us to understand the purpose of the law you gave the law to show us our need for our Savior and in our inability to earn our favor in your eyes by through our own works and Lord and now we're getting to the part where we realize our freedom should allow us to serve you and and ultimately bear fruit so Father My prayer is as we continue to study that that all of us will seriously consider where our source of power is are we we truly leaning in leaning on you and depending on you to produce enough of the fruit that you desire to produce a house or are we trying to do that ourselves so Father thank You for our church that you've given to us I thank you for this body of believers that is here this morning May we be an encouragement to each other to run the race that is marked out for us so that we can bear the fruit for you or alternately that is in your honor and glory we praise in Christ me a myth.
Preacher: Josh WhiteYou know we people we human beings we like to categorize everything right you're either in this category or that category and I was thinking of some of some categories maybe we all will find ourselves in and so all just say the names and you can put yourself in whatever category was right so some of us are optimists and some of us are pessimists right and there are some people who are introverts and some who are extroverts and falling where this is going a little bit there are some who are Republicans and some who are Democrats there are some who are greedy and there are some are a generous and we can do this with pretty much every subject in the world there's Ford and Chevy you know all those different things and maybe the most important category that we fall into is either whether you like hard shell tacos or soft shell tacos that's one of the more important ones though that's a trick question because both are awesome so you can have both you know I when you're thinking of like an optimist in the past Miss introvert extrovert usually that's kind of on a continuum and we're not either all one or the other we kind of fall so more along a line and. You know our passage that we're looking at in Galatians we're talking about two different things we're talking about law and grace and in fact open to glaciers chapter four we're going to search reading in just a few minutes.But Paul has been talking to us and to the people in Glacier about the difference between law and grace and this issue is actually extremely important because there are some people who believe that unless you follow the law you cannot be saved and so what we've looked at so far in the first three four chapters of Galatians is Paul is really gone to great lengths to teach them how salvation has always been by face through the grace of God and now we're finally getting to the portion of the issues that really made me want to preach through it to begin with and that's more of the practical section and so what we're going to do today is we're going to read how Paul is sort of revealing to the Galatians the difference in the way that someone acts when someone is following the law as opposed to someone who is following grace in their lives and that maybe the best way to put that is on there's a difference between someone who is living according to the flesh as opposed to someone who is living according to the Holy Spirit that Inge Wells' them and so open a chapter for if you haven't done so yet and as we continue in this next section he really shows the glaciers the difference in their actions when they were following the law and Falling Grace and I have two points of my sermon for you today for those of you who are looking at the outline and a lot of times when you put something on a piece of paper it's kind of an oversimplification and these two points are definitely oversimplifications it's not as black and white as these two points but hopefully what all of us will see today is that the truth is you and I have a decision to make we can either live according to the Holy Spirit that lives within us or according to our flesh and the law and we see the big difference that it makes and so the first point that Paul shows them is that people who live according to the law the law makes people look inif someone who is following the law they're looking inward to themselves they're focused quite frankly on themselves and so let's read verses eight through eleven the first portion hearing elations chapter four and let's see what Paul is teaching that these these people glacier says formally when you did not know God you were enslaved to those that by nature are not gods but now that you have come to know God or rather to be known by God How can you turn back again to the weak and worthless elementary principles of the world whose slaves you want to be once more you observe days and months and seasons and years I am afraid I have labored over you in vain and so for those of you kind of familiar with us what happened is before Paul met these people they followed like everyone else kind of in the world back then they followed idols they worship idols they worship false gods and what Paul says here the worthless elementary principles of the world and Paul says that they were slaves to themeveryone is a slave to something in this world that we live in today people worship and follow after similar things like What are some of the things that people are slaves to today usually the idea that if you get more money or fame or possessions that you'll find happiness in those things that's that's what most of the world isn't slave to that kind of idea but what Paul did is he went to them and he told them of the truth about who Jesus Christ was and he Three them from that trap but then later some Judaizing Oh that's fine that you blister faith in Jesus Christ but unless you're circumcised unless you follow the law you cannot be saved and so they were in slaves into this new trap. And what Paul is gone through so far in Galatians and hopefully remember this from a couple weeks ago Paul shared with them the primary reason why God gave the law and the two primary reasons why God gave the nation of Israel the law and ultimately for the whole world is one is to reveal sin when God says You shall not and then he gives you a whole bunch of commands of what you shall I do when you do it you know that you're a law breaker and so it reveals someone sends to them the second reason why God primarily gave the law was to point people to Christ because Christ was the fulfillment of the Law God did not give the law as a way to provide a means for salvation for mankind and what happened over the years was Satan twisted this in trying to convince the Jews and many other people that that's what happens so that's how people would be saved and so you have to ask the question why is the law such a great trap for mankind what is there within each of those it within you and me that makes the law so appealing you know I was. Reading it in a book that I'm reading as I'm going through Galatians and kind of helping the study by Warren will be on he brought up the SRI things that that appeal to us as human beings according to the law and I thought this is really insightful and so I want to share these with you I want to share with you three things three appeals of the law all right and so the first thing that appeals to us as human beings as you look at the law and what makes it so appealing to follow after is pride or boasting the law enable someone to become prideful or boastful Now if you accomplish something that's really difficult in your life it's OK for you to have a sense of accomplishment and pride I give you went on to give your college degree or your master's or your doctorate or something that's a long hard process and if you're done it's OK I think it's normal and healthy for you to say wow look at this a great accomplishment I had to have have kind of a healthy sense of pride or if you did some great physical strength or whatever it is you know we have this pride or we sometimes you have pride in what other people of accomplished however when you take some religious component and you add that to an accomplishment it will lead to unhealthy pride and boasting. And that's what happened with the Jews when God gave them the law and then as they started following the law in accomplishing the law they really embraced it because it gave them something to be prideful about and boasting about what they could say God give the law and look at how well I do it following the law that the gospels are full of examples of people who are prideful because of their ability to follow the law I want to just look at one so go over your Bibles to Luke Chapter eighteenLuke Chapter eighteen this is just one of several examples of a person following the law and filled with pride based on their ability to follow the law Luke Chapter eighteen beginning in verse nineLuke eighteen. Beginning in verse nineit says He also told this parable to some who trusted in themselves that they were righteous and treated others with contempt again people who follow the law trusting in their own righteousness verse ten to men went up to the temple to pray one a fair city and the other a tax collector the ferrous The standing by himself prayed to us God I thank you that I am not like other men extortioners unjust adulterers or even like this tax collector I fast twice a week I give ties of all I get but the tax collector standing far off would not even lift up his eyes to heaven but beat his breast thank God be merciful to me a sinner I tell you this man went down to his house justify his I was justified rather than the other for every one who exults himself will be humble but the one who humbles himself will be exalted and so just imagine what this fair city was thinking in saying the fair city is saying to himself I know the rules and I'm really good at following the rules and so he was able to boast in his own accomplishments and his own abilities see that's one of the things that makes the law so appealing to us from a human standpoint you know Paul knew this was true about himself and specifically as form a way of life I'm goal over to Philippians chapter threePhilippines chapter three and Paul talks about all the the things that he has to be proud of all of his accomplishments and how he views them today live in chapter threebeginning in verse two.This is how Paul kind of changed his view on the law and his own accomplishments plebeian Chapter Three beginning in verse twoit's look out for the dogs look out for the evil doers look out for those who mutilate the flesh for we are the circumcision who worship by the Spirit of God in glory in Christ Jesus and put no confidence in the flesh though I myself have reason for confidence in the flesh Also if anyone else thinks he has reason for confidence in the flesh I have more so here Paul is talking about one point Paul took pride in his ability to follow the law and all of his accomplishments and he starts to list them on verse six verse five circumcised on the eighth day of the people of Israel are of the tribe of Benjamin the Hebrew of Hebrews as to the law a fairer seen as to Zeal a persecutor of the church and has to righteousness under the law blameless and so Paul a saying we're trying to compare each other to each other if you think that you did a great job following the law I did even better and so he says this is the kind of pride that he had in himself and now this is how we use his accomplishments in the law or something but whatever again I had I counted his loss for the sake of Christ. Indeed I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord for His sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish in order that I may may gain Christ to be found in him not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law but that which comes through faith in Christ the righteousness from God That depends on face so Palm knew that the law made people look inward and soon as you look inward toward yourself as you're following the life fills you with pride and the ability to boast and so that's one of the reasons why the law is very appealing to human beings another reason why it's appealing is because it appeals to our senses there are so many things in the law that we can look at and we can touch and we can taste and in we can grab the law was full of things that you can do you know in preparation for my Sunday School class talking about the feast in the festivals God told them these are the seven feast and festivals that you're supposed to do for every generation and all the feast of festivals about things that they're specifically supposed to do things that are specifically supposed to make and eat in all these rituals and so every year as they look for them to say to these feasts and festivals they would get excited thinking OK here's part of the law and here is the things that I'm doing and they can look forward to the meals that they're going to eat and so that's what the law does it puts everything kind of. The saying goes we live by his face not by sight someone who lives by according to the law lives by sight and not by faith and there's a big difference between that and you know John four twenty three and twenty four when Jesus met a woman he was talking to her about how people are going to worship in the future because now they were speaking in the temple and Jesus says to her he says but the hour is coming and is now here when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and in truth but the Father is seeking such people to worship Him God is Spirit and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth there's only one way that you and I can are possibly please God and that's through our faith in him and sometimes faith is not according to the things that we see and so that's why the law and some other false religions are so appealing because it gives you something that you can actually see and grab onto now the third thing that makes it so appealing is something that I can really relate to and that is what makes a lot of Pilling is the ability to compare and to compete with other people all right is anyone here else competitive I think there's a few of us that might be competitive competition is all about comparing and um Have I ever mentioned this thing called Cross Fit to any of you ever heard of that before yeah he the thing I love about cross what I've been doing for about a year and a few months and it is the thing I love about it is is a competitive person's dream come true if you're competitive and slightly athletic you would love Cross Fit and the nice thing that I like about it is you compete everything every day you go and you compete you have a competition every single day that you do this first and foremost you're competing against yourself. Because you want to get stronger and faster and as you continue to do this and you see your times you're getting better and then your weight is going up but then also you're competing against other people it's kind of fun when you're new class and you see all these people working out you try to beat a couple people and there's people that are going to be to this that's just how it goes but right now this is every cross that has dream because right now going on in the world right now is something called the Cross Fit open and that's where everyone who goes cross cross that has an opportunity to literally compete against everyone else in the world over five hundred thousand people are doing this competition right now what are they going to competitions are there in the world that are like this I can't think of any of them and so right now it's the open and if you do well enough in the open then you go to regionals and if you go well enough regionals you go to the games and most people are obviously doing the open just because they're trying to just better themselves but the neat thing is it goes on for five weeks and they have they have a website will which you do is you do a workout and then you take your score and then you put it online and you can see how you compare against everybody else in the world but more specifically it breaks down into subcategories and so what I can do is when I put in my score I can look and see how I did against other men and then I'm going to want to definitely put in by my age so men between ages forty to forty four and then I can even say people that lived in the southwest region of the United States or even in Arizona and you can even get so specific to say I want to compare myself to people who are in my own occupations like firefighters police officers teachers it's it is a competitive person's dream come true it's awesome so. Friday was our very first workout eighteen point one the eighteen point one for two thousand and eighteen goes up to eighteen point five and the leader board is constantly being updated and so guess what this sick person was doing all yesterday I'm checking the leader board you know is my name on there unfortunately I. Coach he hasn't validated our scores yet slacker.It's a sickness I know it's a sickness I'm going to go to counseling right after when you've got going to testify but you know it's fun because people who are competitive they want to see where they stack up against other people another reason and I'm being serious when I say this another reason why I'm glad I found Cross Fit is because I am naturally a competitive person and I have learned very early in my pastoral ministry that it's not good for me to channel my competitiveness into the church it's not good for me it's not good for anyone right and the main reason is because church is not designed to be a place where we compete with each other than just the opposite church is a place where we go where we are united with each other we don't compete with each other or just turn your Bibles through fusions chapter forefficiency chapter fourin this passage Paul is talking about some of the different roles that he gave people to be in the church to have these roles and functionsand he sees in chapter four beginning verse eleven talks about this is the reason for church so he says for leaven it saysand he gave the apostles the prophets the Evangelists the shepherds and teachers for this reason to equip the saints for the work of ministry for building up the body of Christ until we all attain to the unity of the face and of the knowledge of the Son of God to mature manhood to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ and so God wants the church to be a place where we are united with each other not competing with each other there's no divisions there should be no divisions within the body and so someone who follows the law is going to be drawn into the trap of comparing and competing against other people and ultimately that leads to being judge mental.All right here is a little time for on a city that any of you ever compared yourself to another person within the church and realizing that you shouldn't do that I mean we tend to do that right and usually I'm not even talking about sins I'm talking about the good things that we're supposed to be doing Have you ever thought ladies well she never does fill in the blank and I do that all the time what's wrong with her ever thought Don't raise your hand if you've ever thought that OK or are guys you know something like you know this is so and so I bet he's never done this in his life and I have discipline myself to regularly make that a part of my life we can tend to do that when we start comparing against each other and the law a really appeals to that and so Paul is trying to release us from that trap of the law and so do these thirty three things make sense the law appeals to pride to our senses into comparison and so this is what Paul was freeing them from and then someone came and talked about the law and it appealed to them and what did they do they ran right back into the bondage of the law so the law makes people look inward it makes them focus on themselves how they can raise their standing in God's eye and also how they can elevate themselves above all others but grace and living by the Spirit should produce in each of us the exact opposite and so now let's look at how grace makes us look out long makes us walk in the grace makes us look out and we'll keep reading here and Galatians But before we do what I want to do is kind of a transition passage I want to go to Romans fourteengo to Romans Chapter fourteenthis is a great passage on not being judge mental and because what Paul is dealing with in this passage is a lot of people who would do maybe some ceremonial aspects of the law and people are judging each other because of that and so on Romans here chapter fourteen beginning in verse thirteenPaul is telling them how they should work towards unity as opposed to judging each other. Or skipping verses one through twelve just talking about what people eat and what they should be eating and how people are judging according to that but Romans Chapter fourteen will pick up in verse thirteen and they use this kind of as a transition to our next point almost fourteen thirteenTherefore let us not pass judgment on one another any longer but rather decide never to put a stumbling block or hindrance in the way of a brother. I know and am persuaded in the Lord Jesus that nothing is unclean in itself but it is unclean for anyone who thinks it is unclean for if your brother is grieved by what you eat you are no longer walking in love by what should we do not destroy the one for whom Christ died so do not let what you regard is good it to be spoken of as evil for the Kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking but of righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit whoever thus serves Christ is acceptable to God and approved by man in verse nineteen the most important this passage says so then let us pursue what makes for peace and for mutual building let's not judge each other let's not be could become judge mental let us pursue what is going to cause us to be unified and to come to and to build each other up and so that's what Grace allows us to do and so what how do we pursue this and that is it's by the Holy Spirit so now Paul talks how the Galatians At first they demonstrated in their own lives the difference between looking outward and looking looking inward and looking outward and as we're going to read this we're going to read this in just a second I've got another passage I want to look at how many of you heard of the thorn in Paul's side Storen in the flesh that Paul had most of you probably have heard of that right if you have it you're going to hear about it today how many of you think you know what it isyou have no injuries there and there's a good there's a good reason you should be raising your hand because Paul doesn't tell us exactly what it is however there are lots of theories some of the series on what Paul's thorn was include temptation some people think that maybe it was a temptation that he was dealing with some talk about something physical that was wrong with them like malaria migraines epilepsy or maybe even a speech disability or some other people speculate that it could have been either a mental or emotional problem that he was struggling with. Or this thorn could have actually been a literal human being you know we all have kind of that thorn in the flesh you know we can call people a thorn The nice thing is that Paul never tells us what it is and the great thing about that is so that all of us can relate because all of us at different times in our life we have something that is causing us to you know turn to the Lord and so the leading theory of what Paul was dealing with is actually in our next section that we're going to read all right but first I want to go to the second Corinthians twelve and read this because in this we see how Paul because of this thorn in his flesh it caused him to stop looking at himself inward and he looked outward second twelve beginning in verse seven.So you can see in chapter twelve beginning in verse seven.Paul writes about this thorn in the flesh he says so to keep me from becoming conceded because of the surpassing greatness of the revelations a storm was given me in the flesh a messenger of Satan to harass me to keep me from becoming conceited three times I pleaded with the Lord about this that it should leave me but he said to me My grace is sufficient for you for my power is made perfect in weakness therefore I will boast all the more gladly in my weaknesses so that the power of Christ may rest upon me for the sake of Christ then I am content with weaknessespersecutions and calamities for when I am weak then I am strong so what did this born cause Paul to do the first it caused him to look in and what did he realize this soon as he looked into him self he realized that he is inadequate he realized that there is this level of powerlessness that he had and ultimately that caused him to look out to God and realize that he needed toand so what was this what was this thorn that he was talking about well it was probably an eye problem that Paul mentions in verses twelve or fifteen so let's go back to Chapter five chapter four and will reach out our verses twelve to fifteenand here he mentions in i problem which is the reason why he saw all the people in Galatians to begin withso beginning in chapter two verse twelve says brothers I entreat you become as I am for I also become as you are you did me no wrong you know it was because of a bodily element that I preached the gospel to you of first and though my condition was a trial to you you did not scorn or despise me but receive me as an angel of God as Christ Jesus What then has become of your blessedness for I testified to you that if possible you would have gout out your eyes and given them to me. And so it's interesting here Paul mentions that the reason why he went to Calais should have begin with was some type of medical emergency probably something dealing with his eyes and so you look at this new thing was this just like a coincidence that he was single a sure was this God's Providence but here went something like this Paul was having an issue and obviously his health plan was a P.P.O. because he was out of network so he's traveling around so he he's in the way she is so we can see the people but he has a physical problem so he stops single Asia which led to him meeting these people which led to them asking Who are you and what are you doing here which led to him explaining who he is and how he knows the God of Israel and that he met Jesus Christ the Messiah and how face in him leads to salvation which led to them accepting the message that Paul gave to them which led them to stop looking inward and look outward and what did they want to do as soon as they accepted the gospel of their salvation they wanted to help Paul as soon as they were led not by the flesh but by the Spirit they wanted to help Paul and so in verse fifteen we see this transformation take place first fifteen policy is what then has become of your blessedness what has become of this gratitude that you had for except in the Gospel he says For I testify to you that if possible you the gal JOAT your eyes and given them to me and so this is where the theory of the chronic i problem comes from but do you see what took place here they used to be enslaved to the worthless principles of this world and it made them look inward to themselves and to compare themselves against others and to do all of those things and then when they receive God's grace through Paul sharing the gospel with them they stopped looking inward and they looked outward and they said how can I help other people that's what the Gospel does to us that's what it should do and that's what it means to live by grace and not by law. Hopefully you all are familiar with the two greatest commandments God has been trying to get us to do this our entire lives the two greatest commandment to love the Lord your God with all your heart soul and strength and to love your neighbor as yourself that's an outward focus while how in the world are we able to do that we're able to do that when the Holy Spirit that lives within us is in control and that's kind of what Paul is going to talk about for the rest of Galatians glace in Chapter five in Galatians chapter six why I hope you have seen this transition take place in your own lives have you ever see everything I hope you can say yeah you know I can be selfish and greedy from time to time but when I love the Holy Spirit when I spend time in God's Word I sense within myself a desire to be focused on others and not myself I hope that you've seen that in your own life well on the rest of Galatians again like I said goes into greater detail about living according to the spirit as opposed to the flesh but I want to finish this chapter in the we're going to start in Chapter five next week so let's go ahead let's finish this chaptercontinues with them he says have I then become your enemy by telling you the truth they make much but for no good purpose they want to shut you out that they make much of you much of them it is always good to be made much of for a good purpose and not only when I am present with you my little children for whom I am again in the anguish of childbirth and so a crisis formed in you I wish I could be present with you now and change my tone for I am perplexed about you tell me you who desire to be under the law do you not listen to the law for it is written that Abraham had two sons one by a slave woman and one by a free woman but the son of the slave was born according to the flesh while the son of the free woman was born through promises Now this was now this may be interpreted allegorically these women are two Covenants one is for Mount Sinai bearing children for slavery she is Hagar now Hagar is Mount Sinai in a Rabia she corresponds to the present Jerusalem for she is in slavery with her children but the Jerusalem above is free and she is our mother for it is written rejoice so barren one who does not bear break forcing quiet you who are not in labor for the children of the desolate one will be more than those of the one who was has a husband now you brothers like Isaac or children of promise but just as at the time he was born it was according to the flesh persecuted him who was born according to the spirit so also it is now but what also but what does the preacher say of the slave woman and her son for the slew the son of the slave woman shall not inherit with the son of the free willof the slave but of the free woman. In there we're done with chapter four you know as we move on to the practical section of the glaciers which I'm looking forward to the focus is really placed on the Holy Spirit's role in our life and noticing what that looks like and so as we're getting ready for these last couple chapters I want you to kind of prepare yourself and to think about this week pay attention to what your focus is on is it on you and of course is going to be on you because you know we're human beings and we're always going to be think about ourselves but is your focus on you in a way that you are making comparisons between yourself and other people or maybe you're keeping score or maybe your focus is on you because you're desiring to become prideful and make things all about yourself or can you sense the Holy Spirit's role in your life and leading you to think about how you can build others up remember what Romans fourteen one thousand nine hundred.Leads us into this week it says so then let us pursue what makes for peace and for mutual building so let's do that this week let's look outside ourselves and seek to build each other up let's close in prayerDear Lord I thank you for this passage today and thank you for all of your written word that you've given to us that we can constantly go back to and learn new things and also remind ourselves of things but Lorida today is always talking to those in Glacier just the difference the stark difference between someone who lives according to the flesh as opposed to someone who lives according to The Spirit Lord help us to be aware of that in our own lives we want to be Spirit led We don't want to be led and controlled by our flesh so Father I thank you for this book and I pray that I will just continue to be blessed in Chapters five and six as you really talk about the fruit of the spirit and living according to your Holy Spirit within us to present Christ in it.
Preacher: Josh WhiteYou know I also spent some time this week for obvious reasons as you were going to get into the message I'm looking at how much of life is different as an adult than it was as a child I think everyone can probably attest to that right it's a little different like for instance this week I don't know why I thought about this but I will remember when I was a little kid maybe five six seven eight years old I made a vow that I was never going to do something as an adult so whenever I was watching cartoons my mom or my dad would come into the house and they would make me change the channel so that they could watch the news you know anyone ever experience that I get so frustrated I think when I am an adult I'll never change cartoons on my kids.But that's when you have like one you know T.V. in the house now there's T.V.'s and computers and all those things so they probably watch cartoons all the time and the other thing I was thinking about how things are different especially now in today's world before I was sixteen almost every teenager what they look forward to was getting their driver's license and getting a car kids these days they don't care about that they got their cell phones they can connect with everybody back in my day if you want to this is somebody had to get in your car and driving over see them but very different but you know a life as an adult is obviously different than life as a child for obvious reasons but once a person reaches adulthood they should not go back to living and behaving like a child right. Now all the wives are saying yeah husband did you hear what he just said I want to open your Bible so the book of Galatians and we've been in Galatians now for a while and what Paul is doing is he's explaining to those in Glacier why God gave the law and how they're no longer required to follow the law because it's been fulfilled by Christ. And last week what we did is we looked at two of the main reasons why Paul explained that God gave the law to the nation of Israel one of the main reasons God give the law was to reveal sin as soon as God says Thou shalt not do this and if you do that you know it's a sin and so God gave the law to reveal sin but also God gives the law to point us to Christ because Christ fulfilled the Law And so today Paul is still trying to get for passage for today's trying to get the glaciers to understand the relationship with the law and in our passage for today will read here in the first several verses of chapter four he teaches them about their new identity how they are no longer children but rather in God's sight they are adult in Christ and so today Paul uses this concept of adoption His sons of God to explain why of the or not to place themselves back under the law so let's go ahead and read a passage for today and then we'll go back through it and we'll break it down so glacial chapter four beginning in verse one.For oneit says I mean that the air as long as he is a child is no different from a slave though he is the owner of everything but he is under guardians and managers until the date set by his father in the same way we also when we were children were enslaved to the elementary principles of the world but when the fullness of time had come God sent His forth His Son born of a woman born under the law to redeem those who were under the law so that we might receive adoption as sons and because you are sons God has sent the spirit of his son into our hearts crying Aba father so you are no longer a slave but a son and if a son then and air through God. And so this is one of the handful of passages in the Bible that really teach about how you and I become sons and children of God And today I just make this statement I'm going to talk about being sons of God and some of you ladies might say wait a second what are daughters of God in the Greek world in the Roman world the sons had the double portion of the inheritance but now in Christ there is neither woman nor man or slave or free and so every time we talk about being a Son of God It includes women too I think hopefully you are you already know that but I just wanted to make sure that it was understood now the word for adoption used in the Bible there's some obviously some similarities between adoption today but the main difference is this today when we talk about adoption in the concept that we get in our mind is of a loving young couple who goes to an adoption agency and they take home an infant child and they bring that child up on their house in a loving environment that's what adoption is today that's what it was back then as well but the word for adoption used in the Bible has some different standing meaning specifically to say that someone was adopted it's a legal standing with that individual it means that that person that son that has been adopted has full rights and privileges within the family and has access to all of its resources and possessions and so when a person expects Jesus Christ as the Lord and Savior their condition is as a child or as an infant in Christ in fact the apostle Peter wrote in first Peter chapter two he encourages them and says like newborn infants long for pure spiritual milk that by it you may grow up into salvation and so that's our condition but our position as far as our position is concerned as an adopted son is that we are an adult son and we can draw on our father's wealth and can exercise all the wonderful privileges and responsibility as an adult Erin within that family so that's what adoption means in this setting. I read a phrase this week after one of the books that I'm reading to help me study for this and I'll read this to you and hopefully it will sink in he says he says in his book he says that we enter God's family through regeneration of the don't make sense you know we talk about we use the word we're born again we enter God's family by being born again the regenerating work of the Holy Spirit which washes us places us as a member of God's family so we enter God's family through regeneration but we enjoy God's family through adoptionif you're adopted into God's family it means that we should enjoy it there's something about being a son or a child of God that allows us to enjoy the grace of he has for us so I just ask all of you if you're a child of God if you're an adopted son or daughter of God Are you enjoying yourselves ation I want to go off on a really small rabbit trail here my next sermon series after Galatians I'm going to go through the prodigal son and there are several sermons and that little portion in Luke but I want you to go over to Luke root Luke fifteen really quick I want to read thisas I've kind of been pretty studying this I found something that's very interesting in a kind of is resonating especially as I'm going to glaciations but Luke Chapter fifteen beginning in verse twenty five for those of you familiar with the story how many sons did the owner have to he had the prodigal and then they had the older son the older son never enjoying being the son of his wealthy father and we read about this here Luke fifteen twenty five.Says now is older son was in the field and as he came in drawn you near to the house he heard music and dancing This is after his younger brother the prodigal had come home and he called one of the servants and asked what these things meant and he said to him Your brother is come home and your father is killed the fatted calf because he has received back safe and sound but he was angry the older brother and refused to go in His father came out and entreated him but he answered his father look these many years I have served you and I have never disobeyed your command yet you never gave me a young go that I might celebrate with my friends but when the son of yours comes came he has devoured your property with prostitutes you killed how to care for him and he said to him Son you are always with me and all that is mine is yours it was fitting to celebrate and be glad for this your brother was dead and is alive he was lost and has found you know you read that parable and you have to ask the question if the older son was always in his father's presence why did the A never allow himself to enjoy being a son of his fatherwell that's something I look forward to preaching on in a few weeks from now after we're done with Galatians but for this morning what I want to do is I want to look at the transition that takes place in the life of a believer moving from an infant under the law to an adult son being free from the law and so to understand this transition takes place we need to understand three things in the first thing is this we need to understand what we were we have to understand what we were and what we were is children in bondage let's read the first three verses again of chapter four lation chapter four verses one through three This talks about us being children in bondage Paul says again he says I mean that the air as long as he is a child is no different from a slave though he is the owner of everything. But he is under guardians and managers and so the date set by his father in the same way we also when we were children were enslaved to the elementary principles of the world now it's fascinating if you learn more about the culture of the Romans and the Greeks in this time it really gives us an a greater understanding of what Paul is really teaching here in the Roman world and I kind of mentioned this last week children of wealthy people had virtually the same standing as the slaves there was no difference between a child of the owner of an estate and a slave in fact until the child was an adult he was under the supervision of the slave or guardian and so the order of authority when the owner of the estate then the guardian or a slave and then the Son or the dark of the child the infant was under the slave or the guardian. And this is the spiritual condition of the Jews that we were under the law look back on chapter three and this is a couple verses from last week chapter three verses twenty three three twenty five this is what Paul is teaching them to glaciers three twenty three three twenty five says now before face came we were held captive under the law imprisoned until the coming faith would be revealed so then the law was our guardian until Christ came in order that we might be justified by faith but now that faith this come we are no longer under a guardian and so when these Judaizing years came to those in Galatians they led them back into legalism they weren't leading them only into religious bondage but really into moral and spiritual infancy that God had rescued them from so that's the first thing that we need to understand who we were the second thing we need to understand is what God did in order for us to become adult children in God's family God redeemed us he received us versus four and five let's reverse four and five againso that when the fullness of time had come. God sent forth His Son born of a woman born under the law to redeem those who were under the law so that we might receive adoption as it's you know this glacial passage is one of my favorite Christmas verses I know I've done a couple of Christmas or omens based primarily off that passage but the neat thing about this is God had been preparing the world the modern civilized world for decades and centuries for the moment when Christ came into the world I want to talk about the two major world powers that preceded the birth of Christ the Romans were in power power when Christ was born but before that we're the Greeks and the way that the Greeks had influence society to really prepare the world the world for Christ is in a couple ways they they've changed the way that people would gather together in cities in the cities called the policy if you like of metropolis that's from Greek influence and one thing I loved about Phoenix when I moved here it's so easy to find your way around isn't it all the streets are north and south and east and west and then you have all the business is happening in kind of a central area that's based on Greek influence and so Greeks change and influence the way that cities were structured another thing that the Greeks did is they made sure that everyone spoke the exact same language and so that's why the New Testament is written in Greek and then after the Greeks came the Romans you may have heard this phrase before how many of you heard the phrase All roads lead to Rome Well there's a reason why there's a saying you because the Romans built roads they built roads all throughout the empire and not only did they build roads the Romans were very good about if anyone's caused any problems there was a disturbance the Romans would go and they would pretty pretty much put an end to it and so there was peace from the Romans and also roads and so Kiri how and when Christ was born never before had the modern civilized world had one language peace and roads that connected the entire empire and everyone living in these cities and so God had been working everything out for thousands of years so that when the Messiah would come it just the right time with the purpose of redeeming us and adopting us as His sons look again at verse fiveVerse five says the Jesus came to redeem those who were under the law so that we might receive adoption as sons now the word redemption means to set free to pay a price so that you can redeem it so you can buy it out of whatever condition it's in you know back then maybe some of you have heard slavery was very prominent in fact there are about sixty million slaves in the Roman Empire and bags in a man who a wealthy man can walk into and pretty much any woman city and he could buy a slave and after he bought a slave he could do one of two things he could either keep the slave for himself or he could set the slave free and so would this is telling us is when Jesus came he paid our price to be ransomed through his own blood and not only did he set us free from the law but he did something even more important he set us free from the bondage to sin but he adopted us as adult sons in God's family that's what God did so under the law the Jews were only children but under grace the believer is a Son of God with an adult standing in God's family and so now is talk about the third thing that we need to understand as we go from infancy to adulthood the first thing is we need to understand what we were children in bondage second is what God did He redeemed us and the search thing we need to understand is what we are and if you place your faith in Jesus Christ what you are is a son and then air a co-heir with Christ that is your legal standing in God's eyes look at verses six and seven again.Because you are sons God has sent the spirit of a son into our hearts crying Father so you are no longer a slave but a son and if a son then an heir through God you know because God has adopted us into his family as adult sons as far as a legal standing is concerned we have any credible inheritance waiting for us and part of that inheritance we can start enjoying even right now I don't know what it's like in your family some of you might be thinking when you're at some point in the future you might receive an inheritance others of you are like nope I'm just looking forward to Social Security or whatever it is whatever it is you're in your situation but when you stop and you think about what it means that we're children of God we are sons and colors with Christ there is an inheritance that God is going to bless us with and the Bible gives us just kind of a glimpse of what that is I want you to turn in your Bibles to Romans chapter eightRomans chapter eightmore beginning will pick up in verse fifteen I'm something else you need to know about the Roman world in the Roman world a son of a wealthy landowner a son always had a future to look forward to a slave did not sometimes a wealthy landowner would provide in a slave's old age but it was not a requirement but if you grew up in the household even if you were under the slave you knew that when the time came for you to be an adult you had an inheritance waiting for you.Read Romans chapter eight this is one of my favorite passages when it comes to talking about our future and beginning in verse fifteen Romans eight fifteen says for you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear but you have received the spirit of adoption as sons by whom we cry Father the Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God and if children then errors heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ provided we suffer with Him in order that we may also be glorified with him.But the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us for the creation awaits with eager longing for the revealing of the sons of God That's you and me for the creation was subjected to futility not willingly but because of him who subjected it in hope that the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to corruption and attain the freedom of the glory of the children of God For we know that the whole creation has been groaning together in the pains of childbirth until now and not only the creation but we ourselves who have the first fruits of the Spirit grown in really is we eagerly we wait eagerly for our adoption as sons the redemption of our bodies for in this hole we were saved now hope that is seen that is seen as not hope for who hopes for what he has but if we hope for what we do not see we wait for it with patience you know there's this passage is wonderful and verse nineteen I think is fascinating look at verse one thousand again it says that the creation itself waits with eager longing for the revealing of the sons of God There is a time in the future when those who are truly God's children who have been adopted through the regenerating word of the Holy Spirit our faith in Christ that we will be revealed to all mankind in all creation and the creation is longing for that kind of interesting in the Roman world when someone was adopted there were two ceremonies First there was the private ceremony when the person when the slave was actually purchased and then there was also a public ceremony when the son would be revealed to the officials and to the community at largewe have already received our first ceremony as adopted children of God. Now it's Christ has put his Holy Spirit into us but the second one the public ceremony when you are in high as God's True Children and coworkers with Christ that's going to be a public ceremony and the world's going to see it that's exciting and then you get a good response you're not awake right now I think citing just think about that's what it means to be a son or a daughter of God and adopted child of God That's pretty incredible you know as we as we work our way through Galatians You know Paul is teaching them a number of reasons why they're no longer under the law and they're not suspicious of most supposed to submit to circumcision and all these different things and and I think hopefully as he's going through that the reasons they start to kind of add up in a very convincing way but the fact is still in today's world there is another Gospel being preached all around the world and Paul says in the beginning glaciers there is no other gospel there's only one and that's the gospel of works other religions teach that if you earn your way if you're good enough that you can earn your favor with God or whatever your deity is and it's a very popular Gospel and the reason why it's so popular is everyone wants to think that they're in control of their life right we want to say well if I only do these things then I can earn my approval and so the gospel of the world is very popular but the truth is it's only because of God's grace the Jew and I can have a hope in the future and if the Bible is true and I believe it is then our future will be enjoyed as sons of God and co-heirs with Christ himself we don't deserve that doing but we would be fools if we didn't accept it.So let's close in prayer and let's thank God for this gift of sun ship and the hope of eternal life that we have in him a spray thatdear Lord every now and then we just we read what your word says and we we can be overwhelmed with how good and gracious you are and it's so obviously we don't deserve your mercy we don't deserve your gracebut in your great love for us you did not want to to stay under bondage to sin so you sent your son to pay the price for our adoption and Lord that first ceremony has taken place we place our faith in you you send your spirit into our hearts and we cry out the father we are your children we forever will be the Lord there's a day coming someday soon we hope for the second ceremony where the world will see who the true children of God are for those of us who have the first fruits of the Holy Spirit something that those are hearts with hope but until that moment or do you put a commission on our life you've given us a calling and that is to spread the message of your grace and truth to the world around us so Lord I just continue to pray that for the church you have us in this community for a reason and we want to share the message of grace to the world around us those thank you so much Father for paying the price to have us as your adopted sons and daughters and co-heirs with our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ we love you and we thank you for this incredible rich a gift we praise and pricing it.
Preacher: Josh WhiteLoons mad I am your medicine is executive director of the Grace gospel fellowship and that Amazon is in town because last year yesterday we had a regional meeting with our church and the other churches in California that we don't affiliate with an associate with and so we invited him out here to be a part of our regional meeting and then also to see our new building and so on we asked Matt to just share with us what's going on in the grace gospel fellowship our churches throughout the country and there are some critics I think still that want to thank you Matt. Awesome Thank you Pastor Josh it is a privilege to be with you this morning we were here about a year ago for Bruce scampers funeral and to be a part of worship on Sunday morning at your old building and so it's great to be here this morning excited for what the Lord has in store what has already happened in this few weeks but what's going to happen in the coming months and years as this church grows and reaches into the community was great being a part of the regional meeting yesterday very challenging lots of things going on some struggles within our region within the region but also some really exciting things to share I want to hit on a couple things. And I went to Puerto Rico a couple weeks ago to visit with our churches there we have two churches in the port on Puerto Rico on the island and obviously back in the fall they had the devastating hurricane Maria and that had nothing to do with the McFadden's at all. But Hurricane Maria was obviously devastating and still is devastating the CAN'T ministry can't Creba is still without power to this day so that's four plus months later they do not have power and it was a great time to visit with the church as we took a freewill offering amongst all of our Grace gospel fellowship churches and we had thirty plus churches respond bringing in forty thousand dollars for the ministries in Puerto Rico to help the missionaries to help the camp the churches there as well it was great to come together as a. Fellowship of churches and we just want to thank you for being a part of that for many churches and individuals being a part of that I want to read to you a passage that I read when I had the chance to preach in Puerto Rico and if you turn your Bibles quickly I just want you to be familiar with this as you go through the week but Psalm one thirty three. Psalm one thirty three.And it was it was interesting to be able to preach I'd preaching in Spanish I don't speak a lot of Spanish but I thought you know this might be better than me having a translator jury's still out on that but the church was very open to criticizing or critiquing the words and making sure that I make said them correctly which actually was really fine you may not think that's fine to be critical criticize up here but it was a lot of fun to be a part of that car geisha but Psalm one thirty three I'm not saying you should criticize Josh when he comes up here and misspeaks on Galatians or balloons but Psalm one thirty three. How good and pleasant it is when God's people live together in unity it is like precious oil poured on the head running down on the beard running down on Aaron's beard down on the collar of his robe it is as if the dew of Herman were falling on the mount on the Mount Zion for there the Lord bestows His blessing even life forevermore that's one of the things that we want to see as a fellowship of churches that we are partnering together we're not just individual churches trying to do life trying to do ministry on our own but the we work together whether that's in the Southwest region whether it's across the country that we work together and with churches just down the street as well one of the exciting things I want to leave you with is the fact that we are church planting and we want to revitalize churches we want to develop new leaders but we are excited. That Josh Wurman who is from the church in Seattle from shoreline that he has moved to Portland Oregon area and is looking to plant a church in the coming weeks and months in the we're excited for that we want to build a plant churches in all of our regions and for churches to be thinking how can we plant and you may think well we just got in this new building we're good right here well the thinking of the future you be thinking of what would it look like to plant a church on another side of Phoenix or going other places in Arizona. God is doing amazing things in and through the churches in the.So we're excited to share some of us and please be praying for Josh as he moves Portland.Lots of challenges with church planting but we ask you to pray if you'd like to be a part of supporting church planting you can see me afterwards you can go to USA dot work and be a part of that effort but we want to see churches all over the country want to see you engaged in church planting revitalizing churches and developing new leaders which is a big part of that if we have church plants we have so they have to have leaders so seeing that in all of our churches is important we thank you for the opportunity when I entered my wife Sharon door I'm not going to stand up that wouldn't go well for the rest of the trip. And her sister Lisa so just grateful to be here with you this morning the great friendships that we have and I just thank you for the opportunity.Thank you Matt thank you for sharing that you know as he's up here on thinking I went to college with Matt and now he's in a position of the executive director of the greatest coffee shop and we're about the same age I'm getting old.But not as old as you imagine you are older than me I am not going to let your forget that just by a few months the few months well how many of you live in an age or way I do. But half of you roughly about half of you there are some good things about it two ways about things right well this last week I got a letter from my beloved H. away and they were saying this screams on the side of your house are not dark enough.So you know how interesting how it's kind of interesting how that now works out just like that and so and also when we moved in four years ago they sent us another letter right when we moved in saying a couple of your screens are not dark enough above the garage you need to fix those and they didn't say the two that I have to fix they were I'm a little frustrated my age away if you can tell but you know what honestly as annoyed as it is I'm actually glad there are some things about our nature way that I like like for instance I make sure that all the other houses in the neighborhood are going to be kept up in maintaining So that's kind of a blessing of a nature a way also when we submitted the application of pain our house they told us it's approved but you can't paint your house the same color as your next door neighbor which kind of makes sense but I'm glad I live in a nature a way that will prevent my neighbor from painting their house purple and gold because you know that would be awful unless it's in church you know then it's OK if it's in the church to be purple and gold but H. a ways it's you know what human beings we like laws and at some point we all have to deal with the laws of the land and usually when we look at these laws that are out there a lot of us ask the simple question why why are there these laws why are there laws that govern us I googled Why do we have laws because that's the thing that you need to do if you have a question and Google says this for why we have laws laws Google says the law as a set of rules for society designed to protect basic rights and freedoms and to treat everyone fairly and I'm glad that I live in a nation that has laws I'm sure you are too but some laws are absolutely ridiculous and I found a few ridiculous laws I'm going to share these with you and as a share them we always have to remember there's a reason why this law is in place because someone did the very thing that they're outlawing so in Connecticut apparently it is illegal for a barber to hum a tune while cutting your hair.I want to know the story behind that that's got to be a good story in Minnesota now this should be common sense but in Minnesota airplanes are not permitted to land in city parks.You know the fact that they have to have a law about that in New Hampshire it is illegal to collect and carry away see we have to be church but only at night. That's kind of interesting in New Mexico persons may not spit on the steps of the Opera House apparently that was a problem in New York I totally agree with this one it is illegal to congregate in public with two or more people well each wearing a mask or his you face covering which just guys is your identity. Right debts or that's actually a really good law I like that law. In Rhode Island no person may buy off another's limbs are you serious. In South Carolina a person must be each in years old to play a pinball machine that's really bizarre in her mind you're like this one so how if you will like this one. Women must have Taina written permission from their husbands in order to wear false teeth a.Couple more moments done and I was done to do this all day in Virginia no animal may be hunted on Sunday with the exception of raccoons of course which may be hunted only intel two AM Our last one Kentucky I know someone's from Kentucky sorry but this is a Kentucky one may not die a duckling blue and offered for sale unless there are more than six for sale at the same time.Again you every time I see a ridiculous law you have to remember it's their fur is then because someone broke that law well those are our laws and we've been going through the book of Galatians and so we have to ask the question because this is a question that's being asked today is why did God. Give the law why did God give to the nation of Israel the laws that govern their society and up to this point in time as we've been going to the book of the way sions Paul's been proving to the Galatians and specifically the Judaizing years that a person cannot be saved by obeying the law just if you obey the Ten Commandments if you pay all the other laws that God has given that does not save you I want to go into a little bit of background on the Jewish law there is more than just the chain Commandments and the Jews obviously they were very proud of the fact that God chose to give them the law and the law as we read through the Old Testament it's primarily found in the Book of Exodus Leviticus and Deuteronomy and what Exodus does is it records Israel leaving from Egypt there in bondage and slavery to Egypt they come out of Egypt on their way to the Promised Land God brings them to Mount Sinai and God has Moses come up on Mount Sinai and he gives them the law and so that's what we read about in Exodus you get into Leviticus and it gets into some of the more of the ceremonial details of the law like for instance in Leviticus chapters once or sixteen it contains the rituals of the ceremonial aspects of the law and then Leviticus seventeen to twenty seven it contains the moral and ethical aspects of the law and obviously today we talk about how the law has been abolished the laws been fulfilled but the moral in the ethical aspects of the law have not because that's a reflection of God's holiness and so kind of like a brief summary on the law and God's relationship with Israel the law was given to Israel to show them how to be holy and then also so that they would be an example to the rest of the world now before we go into Galatians I want to hold to go back to Deuteronomy.Deuteronomy. Genesis actual surveyed against Deuteronomy numbers Deuteronomy don't forget numbers so that's not misspeaking that you mentioned like last week I told everyone to close their heads in. As we declare.Today hopefully.But in Deuteronomy this is the second giving of the law and this is near the end of them for the forty years of them wandering in the wilderness and this is just before Moses' death and so Moses reminds them of the law and here we have the the Ten Commandments are given in Exodus Chapter five and through Exodus what I'm going to do we're not going to read all this by going to give you some of the different subjects that are touched on Moses telling the nation of Israel this is how you do this and so he talks about worship he talks about idolatry he talks about clean unclean foods he gives the law on the ties the Sabbatical year firstborn animals the feasts and festivals leaders laws record regarding leaders on protecting life protecting sexual morality various laws protecting property talks about laws and justice marriage business first fruits and ties and so living there Deuteronomy going through all those things and then we get to chapter twenty eight Deuteronomy each one E. eight and here is somewhat of a summary there are several of these throughout Scripture but this is a summary that Moses gives to the nation of Israel and basically says this if you follow the Law God is going to bless you and if you don't follow the Law God is going to bring just the opposite of all those blessings on you so let's read this and what I want you to do is I want you to imagine before we go back to the lay sions that the Judy eyes yours in the province of Galatians who were telling those English and you have to be circumcised in order to be saved they knew about these blessings that were about to read and these blessings were probably very close to their hearts and they wanted the people in Galatians to have these blessings and also to avoid the plagues and the curses that would come if they didn't follow the law and so as we read this understand the heart of someone who is Jewish they're passionate for these blessings in their passion for God So Deuteronomy twenty eight. Beginning in verse one I'll just read a portion of this not the whole chapter. God says the nation of Israel says and if you faithfully obey the voice of the Lord your God being careful to do all his commands and I command you today the Lord your God will set you high above all the nations of the earth and all these blessings shall come upon you and overtake you if you obey the voice of the Lord your God bless it shall you be in the city and bless it shall you be in the field less it shall be the fruit of your room in of the fruit of the ground and of the fruit of your cattle the increase of your herds and the young of your flock bless it shall be your basket and your kneading Bowl bless it shall be you be when you come in and bless it shall you be when you go out the Lord will cause your enemies who rise against you to be defeated before you they shall come out against you one way and flee before you seven ways the Lord will command the blessing on you and in your barns in and all that you undertake and he will bless you in the land that the Lord your God is giving you the Lord will establish you as a people holy to himself as you swore as he has sworn to you if you keep the commandments of the Lord your God and walk in His ways and all the peoples of the earth shall see that you are called by the name of the Lord and they shall be afraid of you and the Lord will make you a bound in prosperity in the fruit of your womb and in the fruit of your livestock in the fruit of your ground within the land that the Lord swore to your fathers to give you the Lord will open to you his good Treasury the heavens to give the rain to your land in its season and to bless all the work of your hands and you shall lend to many nations but none as you shall not borrow and Lord will make you the head and not the tail and you shall go up and not down if you obey the commandments of the Lord your God which I command you today being careful to do them and if you do not turn aside from any of the. Words that I command you today to the right hand or to the left or go after other gods to serve them and so they know about these blessings and they're passionate to receive these blessings and the blessings were conditional upon obedience and what Satan did is over the years Satan deceived them into taking this further to the point where they thought that their obedience to the law was going to earn them salvation Well here's the curses that come with it if they don't follow pick it up in verse fifteen of Deuteronomy here says but if you will not obey the voice of the Lord your God or be careful to do all those commandments in the statutes that I command you today then all these curses shall come upon you and overtake you curse it shall be you in the city and Curse of Chalion be in the field curse it shall be your basket in your needing will curse it shall be the first of your womb your fruit of your womb and the fruit of your ground the increase of your urge herds and the young of your flock person shall you be when you come in and curse and show you be when you go out and this goes on and on and on and on and we're not going to read this whole thing but hopefully from one standpoint you can understand why the Judaizing years were so passionate about following the law and O.B. being obedient to the covenant of circumcision but they were also concerned about the consequences of not following the law and so that's why they went to Glacier and they told them that they must be circumcised Now I want to kind of make a general comment before we look at our passage today you know if you were to go and read the law in Exodus Leviticus or Deuteronomy all those moral and ethical laws there's really nothing in there that should shock any of us where we'd say you know why is that a law to some extent it's basically common sense this is talking about decency and dignity and also it's truly a reflection of God's holiness but it's all in one sense it gets the majority of God's law it is a reflection of God's Holy S. now in Galatians Paul just spent time talking about the faith A. Abraham and how he was saved by his face years before the law was given and hundreds and hundreds of years after God give the promise to Abraham God called them up out of Egypt and he gave them the law and so you have to ask the question What is the correlation between the covenant that God gave to Abraham and the law and that's where we get to our passage today glaciers are turned over to glaciers chapter threeGalatians chapter three will begin in verse nine in just a minute but we finally get to the point where this rhetorical question is being asked by those the Judaizing years Paul is telling them that salvation is NOT come from the law but then you have to ask the all important question well if salvation doesn't come from the law then what I did God give the law in the first place what's the purpose of the law. And I think many of kids they ask that question to their parents when their parents tell them that they can't do something right now I remember being a child and my mom would say no you can't do that and I would always ask her why you would your reason behind that we're here Paul explains why God gave the law so let's read glaciers Chapter Three beginning in verse nineteen. Why then the law it was added because of transgressions until the offspring should come to whom the promises been made and it was put in place to reign Jools by an intermediary now an intermediary implies more than one but God is One is the law then contrary to the promises of God certainly not for the law had been given that could give life then righteousness would indeed be by the law but the Scripture imprisoned everything under sin so that the promise by face in Jesus Christ might be given to those who believe now before face came referring to Christ we were held captive under the law imprisonment all the coming face would be revealed so then the law was our guardian until Christ came in order that we might be justified by face but now that faith has come we are no longer under a guardian for in Christ Jesus you are all sons of God through face for as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ there is neither Jew nor Greek there is neither slave nor. Free there is no male or female for you are all one in Christ Jesus and if your Christs then you are Abraham's offspring errors according to promise and as I was reading this passage a kind of going through this week I realize there's there's actually a lot in that section that I just read and that we just looked at but I want to summarize this and get down basically to the two main reasons at least two of the main two of the main reasons we see in this passage as to why God gave the law and I want to give those to you right now and so the first reason that we see in this passage why God gave the law was number one to prove that you and I are sinners God gave the law to prove to you and me that we are sinners and if we're all honest with ourselves we all know that we're sinners right we don't need someone else to tell us but having it written down clearly that this is wrong helps to justify our sinfulness.In reading from the E S V I sometimes I like to go to some other translations and see how they word something or maybe phrase a little bit differently the New Living Translation translates these couple verses nineteen and twenty it says like this why then was the law given it was given alongside the promise to show people they are since. When you read the law when you read anything in the Bible do you ever just your eyes kind of get opened you really thought I am not living up to the standard that God has in his word and that's why he wrote this down for us.We're going to come back here to glaciers but I want you to turn over to Romans Chapter seven really quick on the I really appreciate about Romans as Paul just does a great job just explaining things in the beginning to the end of Romans and here in Romans Chapter seven. He talks about why God gave the law. And a backs up what he says here in Galatians Romans Chapter seven beginning in verse seven.Will just read just a few verses here Romans Chapter seven beginning in verse seven.Also what then shall we say that the law is sin by no means yet if I had not been if it had not been for the law I would not have known sin for I would not have known what it is to covet if the law had not said You shall not covet but since seizing an opportunity through the commandment produced in me all kinds of covetousness for apart from the law sin lies how many is it how many times that ever happened to you you're told not to do something and what's the next thing that you want to do you want to do it right you have that's exactly how we were just how we are designed how many of you know the Ten Commandments I'm sure all of you're pretty familiar with the Ten Commandments I don't know if all of you have all ten memorized if we kind of were to put you on the spot maybe you'd be able to recite several of them maybe forget a couple of them but how many of you know that you broke in at least one of the Ten Commandments or more right especially as we get down towards the very bottom I'm going to read the Ten Commandmentsand this verifies that we are sinners. Thank you ma'am as you shall have no other gods before me.You shall not make for yourself an idol in the form of anything. You shall not misuse the name of the Lord your God.Remember the Sabbath and keep it holy honor your father and mother.You shall not murder you shall not commit adultery. You shall not steal.Is anyone here ever sold something in their life you shall not give false testimony against your neighbor has anyone here ever lied you shall not covet your neighbor's house wife or property. You know this is just ten of the commandments these are the ten big ones but when the laws are written down there is no hiding from the fact that we are sinners and we are lawbreakers So the law or reveals our sinfulness and that we cannot fulfill it you know how many of you enjoy being caught doing something wrong I for instance you know like the typical example is you're speeding down the road and the police officer pulls you over and they ask you that question do you know why I pulled you over in and then they show you how fast you were going in it's a miserable feeling you broke the law and you've been caught that's why God gave the law or at least that's one of the reasons why God gave the law and I'm so thankful that God didn't give us the law just to show us our sins because God also gave us the law for this point Point number two he gave us the law to point people to Christ. He gave us the law to show us the answer to our sinfulness or read it again in Galatians chapter three beginning in verse twenty three.Place in chapter three verse twenty three says now before faith. Came we were held captive under the law imprisoned until the coming face would be revealed so then the law was our guardian until Christ came in order that we might be justified by faith but now that faith has come we are no longer under a guardian I think in the this the section that I just read maybe the most important word in this section is the word until God gave the law for a temporary reason the law was not meant to be permanent it was temporary untel perfection had come and so Paul talks about a guardian here and some of the translations might use a different word and might say a schoolmaster or guide but this is really interesting this concept of guardian because those in Galatians and anyone that grew up in the Roman Empire they would probably understand this concept very well many of the Roman in Greek households had slaves and some of the more well educated slaves were actually to look after the children sometimes they would take them to or from school or they watched over them during the day sometimes these well educated slaves they would actually teach the children they would protect the children and sometimes they would actually discipline the children and so that is what Paul meant by calling the law our guardian the word is pedagogy which means a child conductor the law was a guardian untel And so using this illustration Paul is doing a couple things for those in just in the Roman Empire in Glacier the first thing is used to the Jews that they were not born through the law but rather that they were brought up by the law the law was their guardian not their life giver the slave or The Guardian The law is not the child's father he was simply the Guardian in disciplinary and so the law did not give life a regulated life and they needed to understand that and the second thing Paula stooging here is that the work of the Guardian is to prepare the child for Mitch. Surety and once the child is mature they no longer need the Guardian and so the law was a preparation for the nation of Israel and held the coming of the promised Seed who is Jesus Christ and in verse twenty seven interesting here he says for as many of us were baptized into Christ have put on Christ you still playing off this idea of a guardian because in Greco-Roman world what they did is the kids would wear a certain type of clothing but as soon as they became adults they would take off the children's clothing and they would put on the toga of an adult citizen and so he's saying for as many of you has been baptized in the Christ you've identified with Christ you have put on adulthood you have put on maturity So Paul is saying now that you've identified with Jesus the baptism of the Holy Spirit you are no longer a child you are an adult son of God and as an adult you must put on the clothes of an adult and lay aside the clothing of a child so that's what Paul is teaching them here in this section in Galatians he's saying he's already said the law cannot save you but the law was given to show you that you're a sinner and the law was also given to point us to Christ as the fulfillment of the law and that's the only way that you and I can reach maturity and be true heirs along with Abraham.You know as is whenever we study the Bible whether it's in the center school class or on our own or here and in the service I think it's always helpful for us to put ourselves in their shoes to try to understand you know what they were thinking maybe some of the cultural background the kind of helps them understand what Paul is teaching and the Galatians in the Judaizing years in this period of time as were reading the letter that Paul wrote to glacially they were going through a period of transition. There was a big transition going from the law or regulating their life to understanding the law has now been fulfilled. And that now the maturity is calm with Christ we are not in this time of transition now and so we kind of miss that sense of urgency that the book is really giving to us but thankfully what we can do is we can learn from it they had to go through the transition from law to Grace and how that explained to them and I'm sure some of them they got it right away oh yes I am a sinner OK I see the purpose of the law and I see oh Christ is the fulfillment of why I will accept him as my Lord and Savior some of them got it right away some of them are probably took them a while probably some of these Judaizing is it took them a while because they were so so passionate for the law and they were fighting for it and obviously never understood it and they live the rest of their lives in slavery towards the law and then also to sin while something happens similar today to each of us as human beings as we are exposed to what the Bible teaches us some people get it right away and maybe you're one of those people that got it right away and you realize yeah I'm a sinner and that's that's a problem but I realize that God sent His Son to die on the cross so that I can have the hope of eternal life and I get that in a place my faith and. Some of us get it right away some people might take a while it might take years and years of learning and hearing this and then all of a sudden kind of the light goes off and you say oh that's what the Bible is about that's what life is about and some people they never comprehend the truth. But I hope everybody hears this morning I don't know where you're out in your relationship with God but I hope everyone here gets this and what Paul is teaching what the Bible teaches us there isn't I don't think anything more important in this life for us to get him to understand than this truce and for those of us who do get this are you glad they God revealed to you your sin and also his grace so that you can accept it. And so we look at the Bible and sometimes. We say it's kind of harsh we don't want to tell people all the the do nots in the Bible but unless they know what sin is they will never know that they're a sinner and so we can be thankful to God in His great love and mercy for us showed us that we're sinners but more importantly showed us. The solution to our sin which is the Son Jesus Christ as individuals and as a church we need to commit ourselves to sharing God's truth in the hope that it will lead more people to accept His Grace let's close in Perth this morningdear Lord as we continue to go through the book of Galatians and try to put ourselves in the shoes of those back then and realize just the important transition that was taking place during that time where people are realizing that Christ had come and he was the fulfillment of the law and now that the law had been fulfilled we are no longer under law but we are now under grace and the world can accept that Lord this truth has been going on for many years for thousands of years and here we find ourselves here in Phoenix Arizona in two thousand and thirteen and Lord this this mission this is gospel that you've given to us is just as important today as it ever has been so Father I pray for anyone here this morning that is coming to the realization that there are a sinner and that their sins have separated them from God that you will you'll put on their heart to accept the free gift of salvation through your Son Jesus Christ and Lord I know that this church is in the midst of a neighborhood full of sinners where we were all sinners or I pray that in some way that you might stir them to visit us and so that we can share with them this this truth oh Lord I know that every single one of us has a relationship with at least another person another human being in this world who does not know how their sins can be forgiven and I pray that Lord at the right time maybe in the right way you'll give us the words to say and the graciousness to share this message of salvation with the world around us thank you for calling the Apostle Paul to this incredible ministry that you've given to him thank you for giving us the word of God so that we can study it and know what the truth is the Lord my prayer is that we as a church and as individuals we will hold fast to this truth and we will put it into practice so that the world can see that there is something different and special about us in our lives or we want to live our lives for you and pray this in Christ's name.Now only the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ the love of God the Father in the fellowship of the Holy Spirit with you all meant.
Preacher: Josh WhiteWell before we get into the sermon what I want you to do is I want you to take this. The sheet out of your bulletins I want to kind of highlight I want to talk about these small groups or these community groups that we're going to be starting up here pretty soon and I made mention to this a few times we've been talking about this for several weeks but we are now ready to launch our small group ministry here at our church and some of your thinking yeah it's about time I know we're kind of a little behind on this but I'm one of the things about small groups and I want to understand why we see that this is a viable ministry or part of the ministry that we want to have here is small groups are able to do things that we can't really do and accomplish on a Sunday morning three things in particular small groups excel at connection it's hard to get to know and have relationships with people on a Sunday morning I mean that's not the purpose of a worship service and so when you get into a small group with about ten or twelve or fourteen other people you can really connect with other people and get to know them because you're seeing them on a consistent basis another thing that small groups excel at our care when there's a need that goes on in somebody's life in the church if they're in a small group that small group can huddle around them and really help them and that's a direct immediate care and so small groups are really good at that and then also accountability and I mean that from like a positive standpoint it's so easy to kind of just kind of flow through our life and maybe not do the things that God wants us to but if you're part of a small group of people we can encourage each other I have a couple verses on there which really highlight the importance of small groups like the one is from Hebrews ten twenty four and twenty five it says and let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works not neglecting to meet together as is the habit of some but encouraging one another and all the more as you see the day drawing near one of the best environments to do that in is a smaller group where people get to know each other on a much better basis and so what we're going to be doing is we have a group of people that are being trained right now to be the initial leaders and so starting in March. In April we're warning everyone here that's able to do this everyone to be a part of these small groups and so it's just a short commitment some of you are like wow I'm ready to be in a small group right now for you know the indefinitely but some of your things I don't know if I'm going to like a small herb you know what is it like you know what do you talk about so this gives you an opportunity to try it for about two months and so we're asking everyone to sign up and be a part of a small group it will be basically March and April and then we'll take the summer off and they will launch those a little more a full fledged in the in the in the summer after the summer is done but what I want you to do is to fill out your name who's going to be involved with this you are you and your spouse or whoever phone number email and then your address that's very important because we're going to try to assign people to the small group based on where you live all right because you'll be driving across town for this and other thing is the meeting preference these are most likely going to meet either Friday Saturday Sunday or Monday night I'm sure most of them will probably be meeting on a Sunday night but you can a select which is the best for you which will work best with your schedule or if any night is open and you can put that on if there's a certain night that you cannot meet obviously include that so that we know not to have unit group with that on that night and then also will you need help with childcare yes or no some groups if you have children you think you know I like to be in small risk but I have the I have kids how am I going to be able to do that well some of the groups will have childcare there at the house that you'll be meeting in OK so if you have any of the questions come talk to me Come talk to someone else on the staff to take these and turn these in the information booth in the fellowship area or you can hand these to me but we'd like you to really try this especially for the next eight weeks I know that if you try this you're really going to enjoy it again any questions you can you can have simulator Well now we're getting back to our series on Galatians But first I want to ask you how many of you heard about the missile that blew up the state of Hawaii.A few of you OK some of your like what in the world are you talking about Well apparently a gentleman who works for a certain agency in Hawaii he sent out and over the wrong message and this happened on January thirteenth Saturday morning January thirteenth at eight o seven am and this is what everyone on the island of Hawaii that had a cell phone they were watching television or on the radio this is the message alert that they received at eight o seven Saturday morning January thirteenth.Ballisticballistic missile threat inbound to Hawaii seek immediate shelter this is not a drill everyone received that.Obviously Hawaii is still there.But they didn't know that this was an error this was human error but just imagine if you're on Hawaii and you may be traveling or you're visiting their home vacation and on your phone you receive this message on your phone what are you going to do I mean literally many people on Hawaii thought that they were going to die so what happened is there was a gentleman that worked for one of these organizations of the agency or was the whole why emergency management system he sent out this false alert and he said that when he before he sent it out he was one hundred percent sure that he was doing the right thing and there was actually a missile threat you know tensions a little high right now with North Korea and so a lot of people thought this was this was actually going to happen but what happened is this emergency worker and I couldn't find his name but I read an article on him either protecting his identity and he says that he did not hear they send out this on a regular basis as a drill and they say before and after this exercise exercise exercise then they send this out and so everyone knows that this is not something that they're supposed to publish to the entire state of Hawaii but he says that he claims that he did not hear them say that it was an exercise and so he sent this out after an internal review again apparently five other people that he worked with they said that they heard that it was an exercise he is quoted as saying that it is very difficult and emotional for me he says that as soon as he realized his error he just wanted to crawl under a rock could you imagine you have course I think all of us would want to do that so the officials who led the investigation they realized that this individual to send out this false warning had problems in the past he had a history of confusing drill and the real world events and the worker had mistakenly believed in the past the drills for tsunamis and fire warnings were real emergencies so this is probably not the right person. To have this job he was able to tell the difference but you look at this and you know I really feel bad for the people that receive that on their telephones I mean they they have some of them sought they were about to die I mean this was shock in terror and horror for these people and I kind of feel bad for the sky you know talk about a bad day at the office right you know the next time you have a bad day at the office you can always tell yourself well at least I'm not the guy who sent out a false warning to the entire state of Hawaii.You know I'm sure that living in Hawaii is nice this is another reason why I really enjoyed living here in Phoenix because we don't have tornadoes we don't have blizzards you know we don't have forest fires we don't have earthquakes and we don't live in terror that we're going to be have a nuclear missile come to us we just have to worry about giant dust storms and plants that hurt us that's all we have to really worry about but you know this isn't a great example of why it's important for us to have the correct information we need correct information in this life to get through it in from time to time we get bad information or we're given bad information by other people and generally speaking it doesn't cause a catastrophe like this usually if we receive bad information or if we misread something it costs us a little bit of time and money like how many of you received bad information on maybe you know a price that something was going to cost or maybe like a movie time or an address it just cost you time and money it's not the end of the world but there is some information in this world that is absolutely critical that we get one hundred percent correct and I would say especially because we're here in a church I think you're probably going to knowing the say the most important information that we as human beings can ever have in this life is this how can we have our sins forgiven and have the hope of eternal life and we live in a world where there are several different answers to that question you ask a lot of different people how is it that I can have the. Hope of eternal life and you might get several different answers if the Bible is correct then we can trust it and in the Bible Jesus is quoted as saying in John fourteen six Jesus says. I am the way and the truth and the Life no one comes to the Father except through me. And I want you to notice what Jesus did not say he did not say no one comes to the Father except through me and that you have to follow a bunch of rules in order to earn God's approval he didn't say that he said no one comes to the Father except through Me Well we're going back to go away sions right now we took a few weeks off for Christmas and then moving into here like you to open your Bible stick Nations and we're picking up in Galatians chapter three.Glaciers chapter three and what we've looked at so far in Chapters one in Chapter two is we saw the history of what was happening during this time and what Paul did in the first Porsche portion of glacial chapter one chapter two specifically as he talked about how he had established those churches he talked about his apostleship He also talked about the history of his relationship with the other apostles so that they know that he's not off doing his own thing that there's there is fellowship and there's harmony between what Paul is doing and what those before him had done but shortly after Paul it established these churches and glacier some men came and started teaching something different and he taught and you read about that one place is an accepted fifteen verse one in there it says so men came down from Judea and were teaching the brothers unless you are circumcised according to the custom of Moses you cannot be saved and suppose going around telling people all you need to do is have facing the death and resurrection of Christ and you will be God's son or church daughter and these other piece. You are saying no that's fine it's fine to believe in Jesus but you have to be circumcised and follow the laws of Moses if you don't do that you cannot be saved and so we ask the question Who's right this is an important question to get right isn't it well that's why the reason why Paul wrote the book of Galatians again the first couple chapters he's kind of going over the history of his ministry as apostleship his interaction with the other apostles and now in Galatians three in chapter four what Paul does is he uses several different arguments to prove to the Galatians and ultimately to us as well that obedience to the law does not save an individual and I think this is very critical for them and for us to know Paul is obviously a very learned man various scholar and we need him to keep to say to us something more than just I know what I'm talking about you have to trust me he needs to prove this because so much is at stake and so what we have here today in our passage for today we're going to look at two of these arguments that prove that salvation is by faith alone apart from the law and the first argument that he presents us with is the personal argument let's read the first five verses Paul starts by appealing to their own conversion experience as evidence that salvation is by faith alone so glacial chapter three three the first five verses. He says of them over.Who has be which. It was before your eyes the Jesus Christ was publicly portrayed as crucified let me ask you only this did you receive the Spirit by works of the law or by hearing with face are you so foolish how they begun by the Spirit are you now being perfected by the flesh did you suffer so many things in vain if indeed it was in vain does he who supplies the spirit to you and works miracles among you do so by works of the law or by hearing with face. You know who to talking about personal experience that's the proof it's very dangerous for us to find out the truth based on someone's experience right because sometimes experiences are not based on truth I guess a missile warning in Hawaii is a great example how many of those people that received the warning were terrified probably all of them right but that fear was not based on truth there was no missile inbound to Hawaii and so but fear was not based on truth and so usually we need something besides our experiences to validate our experiences and that's where we get the word of God But look at verse four. In verse four Paul writes in the I'm reading from the E.S.D. or translations might say something different the word for suffer here can also be translated experience did you suffer or did you experience so many things in vain if indeed it was in vain in other words policy did you experience the power of the Holy Spirit in your life for nothing Paul is reminding them that they experience the work of the Holy Spirit and that was because of their face in Christ apart from the law and if that experience was real which it was they cannot now try to add something in order to make their experience or salvation experience more real you know also the book of Galatians Paul mentions the Holy Spirit eighteen different times and I were assuming that as he was meeting with them in establishing the churches he probably taught them quite a bit about the Holy Spirit we don't get any systematic teaching on the Holy Spirit in the book of Galatians but we do elsewhere but I think it's important for us to highlight what Paul is referring to the experience of the work of the Holy Spirit in their lives as evidence of their salvation so I want to highlight a couple works of the Holy Spirit so that we can understand what Paul is talking about and one of the first works of the Holy Spirit that any human being will ever experience is the convicting work of the Holy Spirit in John Chapter sixteen or seventeen before Christ ascended to heaven before he was crucified he said this to. The disciples John sixteen beginning verse seven he says Nevertheless I tell you the truth it is to your advantage that I go away for if I do not go away the Helper will not come to you but if I go I will send him to you and when he comes he will convict the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgment and so this is a work of the Holy Spirit the Holy Spirit convicts us and the Galatians experience that because if they didn't experience the convicting or did the Holy Spirit they never would have placed their face in Christ to begin with and how many of us here have ever experienced the convicting work of the Holy Spirit I hope every single person have we need that initially to tell us that we're sinners they need to be saved and even after our salvation experience sometimes the Holy Spirit convicts us of our doing something that we should be doing or or do you thinking thoughts that we shouldn't be thinking and think sometimes the Holy Spirit convicts us when we are not doing things that we should be doing it kind of prompts us in that way and so the Holy Spirit convicts they experienced the convicting work of the Holy Spirit a couple of the things that the Holy Spirit did I'm sure Paul probably talked to them about this is well but the Holy Spirit this is dealing with our identity will seal you and baptize you with the Holy Spirit and place you as a member of the Body of Christ in the fusions one thirteen it says in him you also when you heard the word of truth the gospel of yourselves ation and believed in him were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit.God is only going to seal us with the promised Holy Spirit who is the guarantee of our inheritance if we are truly saved another thing the Holy Spirit does to us as he baptizes us in places us into the Body of Christ First Corinthians twelve twelve thirteen. So for in one spirit we were all baptized into one body Jews or Greeks slaves or free and all were made to drink of one spirit and so. If someone is the Holy Spirit in them they are now one with everyone else within the Body of Christ and so with the Holy Spirit in our hearts and our lives we experience unity with each other have you ever experienced the unity of the Holy Spirit other believers that's one of the powers in the works of the Holy Spirit that they experienced I want you to turn over to this one this is a good one Romans chapter eight.Romans chapter eight beginning in verse nine or actually will just read first nine Romans chapter eight verse nineand too bad Paul had not already read or written Romans he could have probably referenced this quite a bit in this in his dealings with the Galatians but in Romans chapter eight verse nine it says this You however are not in the flesh but in the spirit if in fact the Spirit of God dwells in you.And the sentence is very important anyone who does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to him. And so the question is did those in Glacier did they have the Spirit of God The answer is yes and so that's proof of their salvation that it's by face and not by works and so then Paul asked them this question verse three. Ingle ations three are you so foolish having begun by the Spirit are you now being perfected by the flesh in other words if you did not begin your salvation experience by following the law why are you bringing it in now why are you shunning the Holy Spirit and using the works of the law to promote your own maturity and growth and faith you know as I'm going through the book of Galatians one of the commentaries that I'm reading it's written by a man by name of war and there's the something you're probably very familiar with him in a section I was reading this last week he brought up a great analogy that I think I want to share with you because if it's really well you know our birth as a human being in our birth as a child of God have some similarities and he kind of brought this out when a human being is born. A human being has everything that they need in order to grow and develop and mature and obviously they still need food and any time in the need of correction and and direction but have you ever seen a baby obviously birth defects and stuff like that might be different but if you ever had a baby you saw a baby that was born part of the human race and about three or four weeks later they went to the first doctor appointment of the doctor said all right now that your baby your human child has come to this point in life in order for them to continue to be a human being we. To add something to them we're going to add a mouse today and they add the mouse to the child. And then a couple weeks later you go back to another doctor appointment the doctor says now in order for your child to continue to be a human being we need to add something else we need to add eyes to them now OK Has that ever happened you know obviously done and then several weeks later you get you go in and you get legs and feet a child is born with everything it needs in order to develop and become a mature hopefully responsible adult someday and the same is true when someone is born of the spirit and born as a child of God They have everything that they need within them as long as they have the Word of God and that the Spirit of God dwelling within them to grown to develop and mature there's not any point in the future in their life we're God will say now that you've come to this point for you to continue to be a child of God You have to add this to your life and that's what the world has been deceived with thinking that you have to add works to your relationship with God in order to continue to be a child of God And so when we have the Holy Spirit and as we feed on his word we will put his practice into the truth in truth and we will grow and we will mature and so Paul uses this personal argument to remind the people in glacier that their experience with the work of the Holy Spirit is evidence that they are see and this is a really good place to start when use talking to them or trying to convince them but I think more evidence is required so that's why Paul uses next the Scriptural argument let's read a verse to sixty or fourteen and what Paul does here is he goes back to the Old Testament to prove that salvation was never by works and uses probably the best example that we can possibly use and that is Abraham is proof let's begin reading again I let's pick up in verse five in the will just keep reading glacial chapter three verse five.Says does he who supply the spirit to you and works miracles among you do so by works of the law or by hearing with face. Just as Abraham believed God and it was counted to him his righteousness know then that it is those of face who are the sons of Abraham and the Scripture foreseen that God would justify the Gentiles by face preach the gospel before hand Abraham saying in you shall all the nations be blessed so then those who are a face are blessed along with Abraham the man to face. How was Abraham savedby faith that's how he was saved he was not saved by works everyone in the New Testament would agree those who knew who Abraham was they would agree if there's anyone in the will test for that we know as a child of God It's Abraham because of the blessings they got that he was going to do through Abraham I want you to CERM we're going to turn to God Genesis and also Romans we're going to finish off the sermon and these two passages go first to Genesis Chapter twelve and then eventually we'll get to Romans Chapter four. But it's going to Genesis Chapter twelve and you know every every time I preach I don't know how many of you are familiar with these stories but I'm assuming that some of you have never heard these stories before and so I hope that there's someone here today that's going to learn something for the first time and that's the important relationship to God how with Abraham to go to Genesis Chapter twelve and we begin in verse one. Genesis Chapter twelve beginning in verse oneso Genesis Chapter twelve beginning in verse one this kind of telling us about the relationship that God had with Abraham says now the Lord said to Abraham go from your country and your kindred and your father's house to the land that I will show you and I will make of you a great nation and I will bless you and make your name great so that you will be a blessing I will bless those who bless you and him who dishonors you I will curse and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessedthis is a huge covenant and a huge promise that God made to Abraham and so Abraham is expecting God to do what he said he was going to do well time went by and Abraham is waiting for his offspring to come so that the blessings could come in this promise that God gave him and eventually in chapter fifteen God and Abraham are having this conversation in Abraham saying God you say you're going to give me offspring but I don't have any offspring all my inheritance is going to go to my relatives over here and God says no no he's not going to get your inheritance I promised you that I would give you offspring and let's pick up in Genesis fifteen five.Genesis fifteen five and as you're having this conversation Genesis fifteen five this is where God said Abraham Genesis fifteen five and he brought him outside and said look towards heaven a number of the stars if you are able to number them then he said to him God said Abraham so shall your offspring be verse six. And he Abraham believed the Lord. And he counted it to him as righteous this is when Abraham his faith saved him and God counted it to him as righteousness that's when Abraham was saved and he was saved because of what because he believed God he had facing what God said he was going to do now want to go to Romans Chapter four because here in Romans Chapter four Paul explains in much greater detail what just happened in Genesis Chapter fifteen.Romans Chapter four beginning in verse one.Romans Chapter four verse one says.What then shall we say was gained by Abraham our forefather according to the flesh for favorite was justified by works he has something to boast about but not before God for what does the Scripture say and here's a direct quote from chapter verse verse six. Ford a scripture say Abraham believed God and it was counted to him his righteousness now to the one who works his wages are not counted as a gift but as his due and to the one who does not work believes in him who justify the godly his faith is counted as righteousness just as David also speaks of the blessing of the one to whom God counts righteousness counts righteousness apart from works Blessed are those whose lawless The deeds are forgiven and whose sins are covered Blessed is the man against whom the Lord will not count as sin. Is this blessing then only for the circumcise or also for the uncircumcised for we. Say that phase was counted to Abraham as righteousness How then was it counted to him was it before or after he had been circumcised and this is huge because this clearly the Bible clearly answers this question and the answer is this it was not after but before he was circumcised he received the sign of circumcision as a seal of the righteousness that he had by faith were all he was still uncircumcised the purpose was to make him the father of all who believe without being circumcised so that righteousness would be counted to them as well and to make him the father of the circumcised who are not merely circumcised but who also walk in the footsteps of the face of our father Abraham had before he was circumcised and so Abraham was saved before her circumcision was even a sign and so over the years what the Jews did is they misinterpreted the meaning of the law and they misinterpreted the purpose of circumcision circumcision and the law was not given as a wage for someone to be saved and in the coming chapters Paul talks about then what exactly is the purpose of the law you know I wonder how many of the Judea is what they would say after they were brought their attention to Genet what we call Genesis fifty five How was he saved it was saved by his faith not because of the sign of circumcision and so the bottom line the Paul is telling them is this works did not save Abraham his faith did and the same is true for us just like Abraham was saved by face we are saved by face and today we definitely have the greater blessing because we are able to look back and say our faith isn't what God did as opposed to Abraham and those before they had to say my faith is in God or God will do we can look back and say what God did as he sent his Son to die on the cross for our sins and raised him back to life well what I want to do is I'm also look at him in Romans Chapter Four look at verses twenty two and twenty five it's kind of finishes off his thoughts here in Rome. It's Romans four twenty two twenty five. Says that is why it is faith was counted to him as righteousness but the words it was counted to him were not written for his sake alone but also for ours it will be counted to us who believe in Him who raised from the dead Jesus our Lord who was delivered up for our trespasses and raise for our justification so here in Galatians chapter three this first section we see two of these arguments that Paul uses to correct the Judaizing years he uses their very own experience he says you've experienced the work of the Holy Spirit and only someone who is saved experiences that and then he also uses the proof of Abraham salvation that the Judaizing is a wrong well I want to finish this section here in Galatians before we continue our next week let's go ahead to read of verses ten to fourteen and then we'll wrap this up Chapter three verses ten to fourteen. While continues and he says. For all who rely on works of the law are under a curse for it is written curse it be everyone who does not abide by all things written the book of the law and do them now it is evident that no one is justified before God by the law for the righteous shall live by faith but the face but the law is not a faith rather the one who does them shall live by them Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us for it is written curse it is everyone who is hanged on a tree so that in Christ Jesus the blessing of Abraham might come to the Gentiles so that we might receive the promised Holy Spirit through faith Hopefully this is clear enough for them back then they are trying to find out the purpose of the law they're trying to remove themselves from the law and so it's very confusing time for them but hopefully for us in this day and age because we have the totality of scripture this is clear to us and hopefully it is clear to you and so the question that we need to be asking which will be answered here pretty soon is if the law didn't save anyone then why did. God give the law in the first place and the answer to that question is what we're going to start looking at next week's you have to come back for that find out why the law was given in the first place but before that what I want to ask you is this you know the Bible talks about boasting quite a bit you know as you as you're a student of God's word every now and then certain themes kind of come out when they really hit you and lately I've been noticing the word boast is used quite a bit in Scripture about who are you able to boast in and you're here this morning and you're here in a church because you probably believe on some level that the Bible is true and that there is if there is an afterlife after this and what are you going to be able to boast in as the reason for you being able to exist for eternity with God only one of two options you along with most of the other people this world might say I feel that I can boast that I was a good enough human being in order to stand before God and say I can be in heaven with you because of what I have done and the Bible clearly teaches us that no one will be able to make that boast the only boast that we can make is in the work that Jesus Christ it and at the end of Galatians in chapter six verse fourteen Paul says but far be it for me to boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ by which the world has been crucified to me and I to the world. You know I I don't know where all of you are at in your relationship with God But today might be the first time that you ever heard that salvation is free it's not something that you have to earn it's something that you get from God If you place your faith in Jesus Christ his death and resurrection and if you've ever done that before then you can say Well Paul you can boast in the cross of Christ and that's the reason why you can spend eternity in heaven but if you've never done that and you're trying to earn your salvation I hope that today as you look at scripture salvation is not by works it's by what Jesus Christ did for you and if you've never placed your faith in. Crisis done for you and have the hope of eternal life you can do that in this very moment I'd like to ask all of you to close your head or close your eyes and all your head close in your head to is optional. Probably not a good idea but if you're here today and you would like to place your faith in Christ and what he did for you and have the hope of eternal life simply pray this prayer to God He will hear you say Father I know I am a sinner who needs to be forgivenand I believe you sent Jesus to pay for my sins on the crossand I also believe you raised him from the grave to give us the hope of eternal lifeand so right now I place my face in Jesus Christ alone for myself ation.If you prayed that prayer for the first time today I hope that you would not leave here without telling someone you can tell me on your way out I'd like to to connect with you and answer any questions that you have right now let's close in prayer on this commit to spreading the good news of how we can be saved to the world around us Dear Lord I thank you so much for giving us the book of Galatians I think you also for calling the Apostle Paul into this ministry where he is able to argue and really explain in greater detail to those that are misled how we can be saved Lord were saved because of what you've done for us were say because of your mercy and your grace no one has ever been saved by their own works. And because of that no one will ever be able to be in your heaven and boast that they're there because of what they've done so father this message is so important we need to share with the world around us and so I pray that as individuals and also as a church that we will have the passion and the courage and the conviction to spread this ministry this this message of reconciliation of your Grace to the world around us thank you for giving us this message should do that and giving us the hope of eternal life we pray these things in Christ a myth.
Preacher: Tim HeathWell this time let's have all the missionary couples come on up Robin take would have an opportunity to introduce themselves and Tim and Judy Come on upI'm not sure how many people were at the women's ministry yesterday but a chance like in the morning I know that the ladies were able to share in it last night we had a barbecue and a fire at the house it was great I get to know some of these guys and also for Sunday School Robbie and Tegan were able to share we want you to introduce yourself tell us a bit about yourself and your ministry All right my name is Robbie Heath and.A wife when here. And we have a son named Vernon we are missionary candidates through things to come mission we are going to South Africa this summer and just recently we got back from the Philippines and we were traveling around this coming year getting prepared to go to South Africa and I just wanted to thank you for having us here and thank you for being so open and receptive and the men's thing yesterday was wonderful it was so many people who just had wonderful questions and it was awesome to be able to answer it in that kind of setting so.Please come in come to our table in the back we have our information and newsletter sign up on the table and please sign up on that if you would like to hear from us on a more regular basis and yeah thank you so much.I think Watchmen or Tim's going to preach. Judy's not going to preach with Judy that's Judy.But Jim you were I think you were here last you've been here a couple times right yeah and I've always enjoyed hearing from you and and feeling convicted and all by themselves to do something afterwards so that's good so it's good to be on the other side but I just want to pray for you rather before we begin Laura thank you so much for this again this mission's conference and just just this reminder how important is to share the message of salvation with the world around us thank you for these couples that have given their lives to serving you in these unique roles so I just pray that through our brother here you really speak to us and show us how to put our faith into practice because in questioning.It'sgood to be here I'm not sure if you can see me in the back because there's no lights up here but.I'll talk and you listen you know I never really get a good joke I'm kind of like my mom where you remember parts of it but mess up the punch line sighs think of me and I go home and I can take my cell phone out and then say What am I doing.I'm so phoning over you and.I won't get that because I don't I don't use a watch so that's where my my watch is myself anyway I know that you didn't do that either OK so now if you're a visitor today I just want you to be aware that what is happening today is historic It really is it will never be repeated again in the history of this church. That a guest speaker is speaking as many times as the regular pastor has spoken.Very cool I have been in this church and at this Paul but the same amount of time as your pastor.And it won't happen again he won't have me back no.If you're visiting I trust that you will take advantage of getting to know some of the folks obviously I have no clue of who you might be. But I am thankful to be able to be here Judy and I live up in Leavenworth Washington make sure you don't think of that as Kansas.That's a different Leavenworth where with things that come mission we were missionaries for three and a half years in Southeast Asia in the country of Malaysia and really enjoyed it but didn't see the fruit that we were hoping for came back and ended up doing what I'm doing now and that is representing things to come mission and especially the teams and I'll get into that a little bit more but it's really important to understand that right now there is a real paradigm shift taking place in missions at least in things to come mission where we are getting missionaries Robbie are. Not now the newest missionary candidates and they call them the candidate until you get to the field then you become a missionary So they're missionary candidates going to South Africa but we have another couple that will be coming around next year Sanders and they are going to be working in Penang Malaysia as well as a single gal Janay we're trusting she'll be travelling at the same time and she will also be going to Penang that church and printing that the kill goes started about four years ago is really growing and we're real excited about what God is doing there your missionary theme is.Beautiful feet I'm trying to think smelly feet what I knew it had do with feet but you know there are some interesting verses in the Bible Jesus said if your foot offends you cut it off.Jesus characterized Simon the fairest chastises not characterizes chastises Simon the fair city for not washing his feet but a prostitute is washing his feet with her tears and wiping them with her hair Jesus also told his disciples to shake the dust off of their feet their sandals if a town doesn't accept their message and I was thinking about that as I was looking at that verse thinking wow what if we did that today in let's say Thailand where they work for three four years before they see a person come to know Christ as Savior sometimes longer than that and then they work with them another five to six eight ten years before they really break away from. Buddhism and can really understand the freedom that we have in Christ it's tremendously difficult and yet Christ was saying you know you go out and you preach if they don't like you you shake the dust off your sandals It's like walking through sand you know you get more sand in your sand you shake it off and go forward but I want you to look at the fish and this is not the theme passage I'll get to the theme passage in a minute.But going home last night this is what was I don't know what to do introductions are really important because that's where you really grip the people and whether it did or not but I felt like God I was thinking about several different things and and God gave me this idea of what the Scriptures say about feet in the Bible besides the one in Romans that we're going to go to but any fusions Chapter six beginning and burst into says finally be strong in the Lord in the power of His might put on the whole armor of God that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the stand he knows that word.A person who does not have legs can't stand so you need feet and you need legs in order to stand so there we get feet OK So we have to be standing on our feet in fact Robbie inside the school says we've got to get our feet wet I think if we thought about it much I think we would do a whole lot with feet.In fact we had a contest I mean.I don't know what you call it a fun time in our church one time in Leavenworth years ago where we had guys hide behind a sheet OK and they had rolled her pants up and you and they were just bare bare feet and we're supposed to guess who belong to the feet OK And so we were guessing who bought the feet and it's amazing feet are not normally beautiful and I had guys I should say guys gals I don't know why God did that gals are beautiful guys or just well that's what we are and one of them is not cute feet. But but so so here he's saying stand in with your feet focused on God but he goes on for we wrestle not against flesh and blood but against the rulers against the authorities against the cosmic powers over the present darkness against spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places therefore take up the whole armor of God that you may be able to withstand in the evil day and having done all to stand for so then he says therefore stand stand stand stand. We are challenged today when we think of missions to to stay in the gap to keep going to keep focusing and I want you to turn over to Romans Then in chapter ten this is where their theme is taken from is Romans ten.And HAWR.The way Paul says it. He starts from one spot and moves backward OK So Romans Chapter ten verse fourteen How then will they call on Him in whom they have not believed this is Romans ten verse fourteen fifteen let's say on how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard and how are they to hear without someone preaching and how are they to preach unless they are sin as it is written How beautiful it feeds of those who preach the good news so if we reversed that OK that order and do it like we would normally do it we would say that a group or an individual sins someone to preachwhen the good news is preached they will hear upon hearing some will believe once they believe that they will call in the name of the Lord now sometimes we get confused with well if they believe in the call in the name it Lord isn't that the same thing and it's really not. In in a psalm and I just want to read it to you real quick because it helps you to see that calling on the name of the Lord in other words if I didn't know about Jesus when I'm facing a problem what would I call to would I bow and do my. Eight verse prayer that the Muslims do five times a day so who would I call on when I am hurting and in some one hundred sixteenfirst four verses says I love the Lord because he has heard my voice and my pleas for mercy because he inclined his ears to me therefore I will call on him as long as I live the snares of death encompassed me the pains of Shiel laid hold of me I suffer distress and anguish then I called on the name of the Lord oh Lord I pray deliver my soul do you see the situation therewhen the world is hurting and that's what Robbie was talking about in Sunday school when people are hurting they will call on someone they will say well I just got us tough it out. That's their god that they are going to try to do it because the world says everyone has a God in them that your god so you call on yourself doesn't work real well when you're going through heavy problems and struggles and trials and so when when we are going and facing difficulties in this world we need to call in the name of the Lord but we can't call on them if we don't know who we is that's the point the missions. That's why we send missionaries and I want to focus on the sending I because I wanted to touch on the beautiful feet OK but but you know what you are you're the sending groupyou are the sitting group you are really critical to this whole process because Paul says how are they going to preach and less they are sentsomeone has to send the missionary out that's you see sometimes if if this wasn't and I'm not Joel Bless your heart you've done a great job but if you weren't aware of the mission conference. Let's say if you were aware of the missionary conference you may not have come because people don't like to feel guilty Oh man here the missionaries come everyone supposed to be a missionary when I don't feel like being a mission area and so I'm not doing God's WillI'm not sure if you felt that way but I know of people when I was pasturing that would not come to a missionary conferencethey don't want to feel guilty let me take your guilt awayyou're here with a job to do and you cannot be a missionaryI was thatwe're not looking for youunless unless a large broad thing then you want to say yes to God But you say you've got an important taskand I want to I want to look at a couple things about the senders to be sent means you have a you have a person involved you see we don't send money and tracks in a sense we do but what we really are sending is people you are sending people and by sending people you help them financially.Robbie and take one cannot go to South Africa without support Judy and I wouldn't be traveling unless we could have support we're still on missionary support. You make it possible for us to do what we're doing OK So you as the senders are involved in a person's life in a number of people's lives and you're really important.I just came back from a board meeting in Indianapolis and we acceptedtwo missionary families that are Filipino who are going to be going out and we accepted one American couple that will be going out next year and one single gal so we have seven people.One two three four groups that have the potential of going out and being involved in people's lives who have never heard about Jesus Christ never they do not know who Jesus is so they cannot call on him so how can they call in someone that they don't know how will they know unless someone is sent you know that whole process see that process involves you you have the glorious opportunity to work hard here to be involved here and to send out those who are needed other areas and I just want to encourage you I am so excited for where you are I am so privileged to be here today and to be able to share with you I just appreciate so much Pastor Josten your ministry you're doing and the vision you have you're surrounded by all these homes how will the people here unless somebody is sentand in that way it involves you it involves you running into people at the store it involves you seeing somebody out in fact and David others say David you probably all know who he is but we were leaving. I was and Robbie because we weren't invited to the ladies' luncheon for some reason and and we were leaving for coffee and oh no I was picking up Judy that's right Judy and I would leaving after the the thing was the ladies and and the guy was kind of looking at Judy and asked if we were.OK OK what church moved in here so she was just talk a little bit but David saw him talk he walked right over to him See if you want to interact in people's lives you have to walk across the room. Don't you. Most people won't come to you you have to cross the bridge that man put out a bridge he said what church is this now crazy church or what and see I don't even know if that person is here so if you are please though I had no idea that would be really bad if I'm telling a story and you're here but but the thing was.One of the members of your church walked over to him right at the fence over here and began talking with him I have no idea what happened but I was so excited because that is what you get to do here that we desire our missionaries to do their It's amazing how similar it is in Malaysia we had to go out to the people they did not come to us now there is an advantage overseas.When we went in the Paul we were in a small village and no up white person it ever stayed overnight in the village and they had never seen a white woman stay in the village so I thought they were coming to see me and Judy the second time I went to Nepal and I was in the village nobody came so I realized wow they came to see my wife Judy because she was the attraction of the area.Now you don't get that here I understand that but you have the most exciting opportunity everything's new the community is new the church is new to youwhat would we do with itthe exciting thing is to ask God to open up the bridges that you will ask God for the courage to walk across the bridgeyou see if I'm waiting for the bridge and I'm praying for the bridge I don't have to panic on what I'm going to try to saybecause God brings the bridge over to me something happens I say hi they say Hi I can walk across the bridge. We look at the bridges in our life walk across the bridge to minister to people but it always involves a person and it it's a person that has a purpose.What would happen ifVernon Anderson never went to the Philippinesyou know those first missionaries Vernon went to the Philippines Vernon and Darlene then the Watkins went and then. I think it was near it was the drivers of the Bigelow's of the hunts and then we came in sixty sevenwhat if that had never happenedthousands and thousand five hundred churches now turning out between four and eight Filipino missionaries every yearbecause they decided there was a purpose for T.C.M. to be there God had brought about what he was wanting to do through this organization called things the commission we're not the only mission others can do it but we have the privilege of seeing specific people come to know Jesus Christ the Savior and that's the purpose in living my mom turns ninety five in another week or so you know what her is at ninety five she's still pretty strongWhat's the purpose of me still living and I said Mom no purpose go ahead and die no I don't. Know. But that's what she feels like why doesn't God just take me home I said Mom you have a purpose OK I can pray Well when I get back this time and part of my ministry is going to be watching my ninety five year old mom I just need to do that and I'm going to take her downtown and we're going to have these little flyers little teeny things that says Are you considering church cascade MT Bible Church the phone number the web address and I'm going to give one to my mom and saying OK let's give it to somebody because she talks to everybody so she'll talk to buy them to my church and I give her another way I'm going to give her a purpose to be alive now I want you to know what if this church wasn't herethere's other churches in town.But no one gets to be watching over people.You seeyou have a purpose for being hereno matter how old you areno matter what your condition isno matter how young you are you have a purpose to be here and when we understand that there is a purpose for our ice we begin to then look for a planand we need a plan so you have a purpose and when one is sent they realize I am sent as a missionary I'm sent as a an ambassador to those around me and I have I have got a purpose that today I am praying that God will give me an opportunity to present the gospel of Jesus Christ or to encourage someone or to just lift him up out of their hopelessness to give them the word of of grace from the Lord Jesus ChristI have endeavored to just tell people when I pass on the Lord Jesus bless you if I open somebodies door you remember I told you that I like repeating if you do this if I do it twiceif I do it four times OK that's what my son in law Nathan helped me do so if he sells a joke now we go like this one hundred eighth and yeah so but if I told you this but see it when you're when you're out and about you say can I take your card for you and they say wow thank you shopping cart I mean not take it with groceries in it but when they're done.And they say thank you and when they sank you to simply say The Lord Jesus bless you I have no idea what that will do in a person's lifebut they're not hearing the name of Jesus as a swear wordthey're hearing it as a blessingI want the name of Jesus Christto be heard as a blessing because I'm tired of hearing it as a swear wordand we have the opportunity to do thatyou have a purpose for being here let's make a plan.A plan for outreach a plan to minister a plan to if you're here for the first time we're going to have lunch togetherand then maybe you get a card to Windies for ten buckswho know to make the plan when a person is sent out they have to have know that there's a meaningful purpose for them being there and they're developing a plan that God will use to touch people's lives our plan is to open up country after country and not just in Southeast Asia we're in fifteen countries right now in South America only in Brazil at the present time though we'd like to see some things change in Africa we're in South Africa Kenya new Gonda and and then in Southeast Asia we've just open to new fields at this last mission conference a Mission Board meeting Vietnam and East Timor you may have never heard of East Timor and you'll have to look at up it somewhere in Indonesia. But I think we do know where Vietnam is OK that's just opened up we have to missionaries one going to each of them plus others that will graduate and join them so we have teams so there's team booklets on the pack if you haven't ever gotten one of those get a team booklet it will be on your right as you leave we have team Laos we have team Cambodia we have a team in Mazar which has opened up in just this last year very tough field that we just need prayer everything is expensive there they can only stay at the first thirty days twenty one days and then they had to leave and they had to come back so the bees the problem is big time in many countries and we're trying to work through trying to figure out a way to have a visa that will last longer and then I'm not talking about a Visa card for those of you who have traveled you realize you have to have a visa to get into the country except for America and then you just walk across the border but.What that might be really a put I forgot all of a sudden where I was.Ministry have a plan I mean that's even a whole nother thing I mean talk about a plan to reach the Mexican populationsee develop the plan if one is going to be sent to preach they have to know that they have purpose in life and then that they have a plan and then I want to look oh man don't look at your watches OK everyone's go look at your watch OK now we got that done.And then there's the placementI'm not sure what that means like cut it off oh no.OK I just want this kind of close with this.Where you go is really important and Paul in Romans ten has just talked about if you confess with their mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead you'll be saved for with a heart one professes and and is saved and with the mouth confession is made and to salvation anyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved that's why we go out as missionaries and that's why you go out and share with your neighbors and your friends the reality that without Jesus Christ what is there hope in Australia the Aborigines tribes I don't know if they still do it or not but if they had twins and we have some twins here if you were born in that tribe you would take pick one of the twins and you would take him and lay him in the sand and then you would take sand and poured in his mouth as he's crying and tell he dies because they were afraid of what it meant to have two that looked exactly the same that's without Christ if you were in a mountain village and your wife was accused of being unfaithful she was to climb the tallest tree in the village and when she got to the top she would jump out and if she didn't die she was innocent if she died she was guilty that's because they don't know about Jesus Christ. If you are in a tribe and Papa New Guinea and you had lair in giantess they would bury you because the life is in the voice and if you couldn't talk you must be dead and so they would bury you alive you see these accounts of what has happened all over the world is in numerable we could go over and over and over again why because the reality is if they do not know Christ they have no hope and you are the ones to sin them you are the ones that sacrificed to send them a missionary should not have to travel fifteen thousand miles to raise support because it is critical that they get there and share Jesus Christ with those who are in need and you get to send themyou don't have to goalthough they venture is leaving in May and.It's it's almost it and two weeks in Southeast Asia see the kind of three countries all your expenses paid once you get their four thousand dollar gift and you know it's a wonderful opportunity to see countries but for many of you you may not even have a passport let alone go overseas so I would love to encourage you to do thatbut you have such an important thing here it's not about numbers it's about bringing hope to people's liveswe can't be satisfied with a group large group we can't be satisfied with a filled churchbecause there are people around uswho don't call on the name of the Lord because they don't know who he isand they have no hopeit's not as bad as an Australian tribebut it's the consequences are just as horribleit's not guilt it's the excitement that you get the P. a part of God's plan right here in Phoenix but around the worldas you see that you have a purposefor what God is doinggrab that purpose with all your heart make the planet.Go give whatever God needed to do with all your heartand see what God will do let's pray Heavenly Father you are so good.Youdon't motivate us Father through guilt you motivate us through the excitement of being part of the God of creations workforcethe God who works in us and through us we have that opportunity we have that blessingthat excitement of realizing that we can be involved in eternal work just simply because we know Jesus Christ and His Spirit lives within us we glorify your name father we are so excited about this church right here and we pray Father that there will be wonderful stories of how bridges were extended to them and they went over those bridges and saw people's lives changed for eternity Oh father may you give them an excitement to be used by you right here and and other places as they get involved in prayer in giving and visiting but Lord all we pray a blessing on this area this special church and each individual here Lord they have a purpose Help them to develop their plan so they can go to the right place and see you work in a person's life and we give you the praise of our Savior States.
Preacher: Josh WhiteI'm sure you posted them online they're free don't worry about it so I'm just curious did anyone else time yourself to see how fast you can get here this morning I did ten minutes and twenty three seconds anyone be any of the few people that I know a lot of people kind of excited about that but in thinking about last Sunday or last Sunday Union Hills I know that was it was a great Sunday motional maybe for some of us but I was just absolutely amazed and so encouraged with how quickly we got out of the old location into this new one it took us about three and a half hours to get everything from union hills to here on twelfth Street and member I was here was unpacking things and someone said yeah we're pretty much all done at Union Hills What's really yeah and everything is already clean so for those of you who stuck around thank you so much for doing this it made everything really nice three enough hours to move and fortunately it's going to take three and a half months to unpack everything but you know we're not in a hurry it doesn't really matter and now that this is official I mean you know this is our building I can now say I'm so glad that this is what happened and not buying our next door neighbor's house and renovating that for several months and doing multiple building projects over there something I also just want to remind everyone where you are sitting today this is now your permanent seat so no switching seats after today this is it this is where you're out obviously you know I'm just getting but also things around the campus are going to change we're still trying to figure out how to do things like even in a sense where we're going to do some decorations to make it look really nice on some functional things that we're going to be doing we need to do some things with the lighting so don't get used to the she and the leaders they might be going away OK.Just waiting for revolts you know no revolts OK So anyway so there are going to be doing some things we're obviously going to be doing the children's play area so there's lots of things that we're going to be doing around the campus and I just thank you all in advance for your support unity and encouragement but this will be great you know as I was I thought about us last week moving a church of about not quite two hundred people five miles down the road I wonder what it was like for Moses so moved the entire nation of Israel and how that went you know this move how can very well was very smooth and I know we're still kind of getting settled in but it does make me wonder what it was like for Moses leading the nation of Israel to the Promised Land just imagine how much bickering and complaining he had to deal with right are we there yet you know how much further what's coming up next you know what kind of potty breaks they had you know that must have been difficult you know they didn't have like a McDonald's on the side of the road or they could just stop in and get all the food and so the logistics that was just something incredible but for our first Sunday here in our new building what I want to do is look at a passage in Joshua chapter four so if you don't in your Bibles right nowJoshua chapter four and I think there are some some similarities between what was happening in the nation of Israel at that time and what we're dealing with todayand to give you some context of Joshua chapter four this is after the Israelites had now entered into the Promised Land they're ready to take possession they have not fought any fights they have not tried to remove any of the the. The inhabitants of the land yet so this is the very beginning of when they're taking possession of the promised land and as soon as they crossed over the Jordan and they were officially in the land God wanted them to set up a memorial so that they would always remember what happened and so what I want to do for today is focus on the three things that I want us to remember as we begin our ministry here on Wall Street so if you will just read with me Joshua chapter four beginning in verse one Joshua chapter four beginning in verse oneit says when all the nation had finished passing over the Jordan the Lord said to Joshua.In the back door that was it and then eventually we built and so we had it on the same sure in a gymnasium and so then we went from one key to our one key you were two doors to four doors we had the front the back and then two side doors but still the one key and then I moved here to Phoenix and Phoenix is not quite like the northern states especially with the temperature in the climate and everything up in the northern states usually when you have a building a church or whatever it is usually have a couple exteriors doors and then all the doors are inside well here in Phoenix because of the climate you can have lots of exteriors doors and so I counted the doors at Union hills and I think I have this right so when I came here I was given a set of keys and I think I had forty is on there there were fifteen doors and there were two different locks and so on my set I had four different keys into for the locks on the gate some of the gates in the front and then when we got here here's a little bit different and so when we exchanged keys they gave me this is giant bucket filled with keys. And this is about like an inch thick full of keys and we passed some of these out in the meantime but what it what the way that the church is set up here is the pastor you lived in the house it was the parsonage so that had its own set of keys and then our preschool room which was there they had an apartment for travelling people they can come they had a second set of keys and then everything else was supposed to be on one set but there was two sets of keys for all those and so Monday into Tuesday for every one that was working here were always taken out the key and OK which which door does is on lock and you try it no that's not the right one you put another one in we got everything reheat on Wednesday so things will be going better from here on forward but when you want to go into a room you want something to work you have to use the right key I think that makes sense to all of us as a church we are trying to do life the right way and the one key that works is this right here the Bible is the one true key that we must know and use and trust in order for us to do the minister that God is called to your soul and Joshua I want you to turn over the chapter oneand three just the first several verses of Joshua chapter one and this is a reminder that God gave to the nation of Israel in him here God is telling them remember remember the words that I spoke to you and to put those into practice so Joshua chapter one beginning in verse onesays after the death of Moses the servant of the Lord the Lord said to Joshua the son of Nun mosts assistant Moses My servant is dead now therefore arise go over this Jordan you and all this people into the land of and giving to them to the people of Israel every place that the sole of your feet foot will try to Upon I have given to you just as I promised to Moses from the wilderness and this Lebanon as far as the great river the river Euphrates and all the land of the Hittites to the great sea towards the going down of the sun shall be your territory no man shall be able to stand before you all the days of your life just as I was with Moses so I will be with you I will not leave you or for sake you be strong and courageous for you shall cause this people to inherit the land that I swore to their fathers to get them so this is the promise that God made to the nation of Israel this is what God is going to do for them and then God tells them to do this for seven only be strong and very courageous being careful to do according to all the law that Moses my servant commanded you do not turn from it to the right hand or to the left that you may have good success wherever you go. 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 good success and so what did God say they needed to do in order to have good success to be prosperous they needed to know God's word and to put into practice first night last verse Have I not commanded you be strong and courageous do not be frightened and do not be dismayed for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go and so this is aren't He just like it was for them this is our key this is what we're suppose to turn to to find out the meaning of life to find the eternal truths that don't change even a society changes this is what we turn to to find out how we can have healthy relationships with each other how we can handle conflict how we can have our sins forgiven and tells us about the hope that we can have for eternity and on and on it tells us so many things and so you know you look at life in the world and you realize there's a lot of problems out there and you want to know why there are so many problems in this world because people aren't focusing their thoughts on God's word and just as important applying them as well and so the key that we need to use is a combination of knowing God's word and putting it in having the courage really to put it into practice so let's always remember that as a church we are a Bible Church so this is the first thing that we need to remember the next thing we must remember is point number two if church is worth doing it's worth doing together. If this is worth doing it's worth doing together how did the nation of Israel leave Egypt together they went together how did the nation of Israel cross over the Jordan they did it together they didn't do it in different groups how did the nation of Israel dispersed the nations that were in there how did they fight those nations they did it together and you know as you look in the Bible and as you look at all the different characters that God had in the Word of God you don't find many lone rangers people out there just kind of trying to do things all on the Rome own use usually when God puts a calling on someone's life it's to do that with other people and do it together you know think of Jesus' ministry you know we just went through the series on the truth of the four chairs did Jesus do his ministry all by himself you know what's one of the first things that he did when he began his public ministry he went out and he recruited and he trained the disciples when Paul went on his missionary journeys did he go by himself no he took somebody else he took multiple people with him so that he could train up others if anything is worth doing as a church than it's worth doing together and to be united you know I have a friend in ministry who gave me the same and it's very true and it applies to lots of things in life but especially for church and he said this If you want to go fast go alone but if you want to go far go together and make such a big difference when you go with other people ecclesiastics for nine and ten says two are better than one because they have a good reward for their toil for if they fall one will lift up his fellow but whoa to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up you know I have a saying about church and I'm not sure if I came up with this or somebody else did you know you ever have sayings like that when I hear this but I like to say when it comes to making decisions as a church things happen at the speed of church meaning it takes a while to get stuff done and the reason why it takes a while instead of just having one person to just make all these decisions that we need to be united we need to come together and have consensus and so we take sometimes our own personal opinions and preferences and we have to set those things aside and so that we do things together the Bible talks quite a bit about the importance of us doing things together one passage I want to look at isn't Romans twelve so the overhead and turned over to Romans Chapter twelveRomans Chapter twelve and we will look at verse four and then a few other once or Romans Chapter twelve beginning was forRomans Chapter twelve beginning in verse fourit says For as in one body we have many members and the members do not all have the same function so we though many are one body in Christ and individually members one of another so God has designed church and ministry to happen this way where we need each other and we need to depend on each other and that means that we need to behave according to how God tells us how to behave let's look at verses nine through eighteen these are some really great commands to tell us how to treat each other and how how we can do church together beginning in verse nine it says Let love be genuine. A… what is evil hold fast to what is good love one another with brotherly affection outdo one another in showing honor Do not be slothful in zeal be fervent in spirit serve the Lord rejoice in hope be patient in tribulation be constant in prayer contribute to the needs of the saints and seek to show hospitality bless those who persecute you bless and do not curse them rejoice with those to rejoice weep with those who weep live in harmony with one another do not be haughty but associate with the lowly never be wise in your own sight repaid no one evil for evil but give thought to do what is honorable in the side of all if possible so far as it depends on you live he simply with all you know Romans twelve the section that we just read is probably a passage that we should all read about once a week you know just dealing with all of our relationships now even just here in church but with all of our relationships this is how how we do this and so as we do church we must remember if it's worth doing it's worth doing together so that's what we're going to do and you're going to hear a lot more about this in the coming weeks but an excellent way for us to do church together goes beyond just Sunday morning and I've mentioned this before you're going to be hearing this a lot in the coming weeks we are going to be launching a home based small groups very soon in fact on next week the leaders of the first groups that we're going to have are going to start meeting and then in a few weeks we're going to ask all of you hopefully to join a small group through the spring and then in the fall we're going to launch small groups and hopefully this will be a very major part of our ministry moving forward but we need to do ministry together and do life together and so that's one thing that we always need to remember here is a church and so remember these two things certain First and foremost we're going to use the right key which is the Word of God If something is worth doing it's worth doing together and the surge thing the final thing that I want to remember at least for today is this might be the most important one this right here this is Christ's church. This is Christ's church before it's any of ours and it's wonderful for us to feel ownership and take ownership in a ministry but this is ultimately Christ's church I want you to go back to Joshua chapter five this is one of my favorite passages Joshua chapter fiveand what we're about to read is this is before Joshua fought Gerry Jericho and this is before they really had fight anyone and so here is Joshua in the nation of Israel and they know they're going to go to battle they know they're going to or and they start taking maybe a little too much ownership over what they're about to do and so in Joshua chapter five beginning in verse thirteen Joshua has an encounter with someone and this is someone who might be familiar with this phrase this is most likely Christoph anie this is when the pre-incarnate Christ the second person of the Trinity came before he took on flesh and so this is very possible that Joshua was talking with who we know as Jesus so Joshua chapter five beginning verse thirteensays when Joshua was by Jericho he lifted up his eyes and looked and behold a man was standing before him with his drawn sword in his hand and Joshua went to him and said to him Are you with us or for adversaries and he said no but I am the commander of the Army of the Lord and I have come and Joshua fell on his face to the earth and worshiped and said to him what does my Lord say to a servant and the commander of the Lord's army said to Joshua take off your sandals from your feet for the place where you are standing is holy and Joshua did so. You know what Joshua did was very normal here but he forgot he thought that this was his battle that he was about to fight it wasn't his battle you know his battle was it was God's this is God's plan for the nation of Israel you know here a great Scrabble churches are very for Sunday and I look around and see pretty much a very familiar faces and um and I know that everyone here has a different relationship to the church some of you might be here this morning just visiting us being here for the first or should service or maybe you're just checking us out some of you say well you know Grace Bible Church of Phoenix that's where I go that's my church that's where I worship God Some of you might say Grace Bible Church of Phoenix that's my church family those are the people that I know and I do life with and there are some of you who Grace Bible Church of Phoenix is such a part of your identity and you've committed so many years and so much time and effort over the years to this church that it's hard for you to separate your faith from this local church and all of those thoughts and processes are very normal and natural and most of them are very healthy however what we all need to realize is that we are all as individuals and even as a church we are simply one leaf on the one true vine of Jesus Christ this is his ministry this is his church we are on Christ's side he's not on our side we're on Christ side you know a couple weeks ago and I preached a sermon on unity a lot of you came up to me afterwards and said that was a very preemptive sermon because I gave you an illustration Well I have another illustration that I want to share with you but just going to remind you of of that sermon a couple weeks ago on unity and I said the way that we stay united is that we're focused on our purpose that we lift each other up we encourage each other and that we handle conflict well and then I told a story about when we were going to paint our same she wearing what I call I got a call the night before from someone who's very upset because his group didn't get to choose choose the paint in the color of the carpet Well there's another story from back then and I've been waiting like fourteen or fifteen years to tell this one so I'm going to tell it I think the statute of limitations off so I can tell it and so this is kind of another bad example which is very normal for human beings to go through this but it's this is dealing with forgetting whose church it is all right well when I first got to my church in in Michigan Grace Bible Fellowship I guess it was kind of a small building and there was about eighty or ninety people there and I'm like This morning you know how we had everyone turning preacher neighbor while at G.B.'s that's what we call it we had this extended handshaking time that went on every Sunday for about two or three minutes.I know it's kind of hard to understand but two or three minutes is a long time we do ours not every Sunday and we just shake the hands of people around us and it goes on for maybe twenty or thirty seconds just imagine every Sunday doing it for like two or three minutes and when I first got there it was enough time that everyone could literally shake hands with everybody else in the same it was that much time and know those that were extroverts they loved it you know it was great and as a pastor I like that you can shake everyone's hand just so I had a chance to see everyone well over the years and this took place over the years over the years we heard from some visitors that they didn't really feel comfortable with that and I can understand if you walk into a place and you don't know anyone and for two or three minutes you're shaking hands it's kind of awkward right so we're like yeah for twenty seconds it's awkward so you know we don't do it every Sunday but this would go on for two or three minutes and our worship leader God bless him you know he would stand up and say Norris go sell Sisco's west we're going to do the G.B.'s shuffle and then we'd all shake hands in the band would come down they'd shake hands and newsgroup for the people who liked it but over the years we heard from visitors in fact we had visitors say I kind of like the church but I'm so uncomfortable with the hand-shaking time I'm not going to come back and you hear that from one person and you're fine that's that's fine not everyone's going to like everything and then you hear from like five people you're like OK And then you when you keep hearing it over the years in your research start to say maybe we should rethink this maybe it's not accomplishing what we're wanting to have a cup O. Blish and so I and the elders we talked to the worship leader we said hey this is what's going on can you just kind of scale it back a little bit you know we're still shaking hands but you know it's making people feel uncomfortable Well after a few of those conversations and nothing ever happened eventually we said hey why is that why aren't there any changes and so we said OK the elders feel that we need to cut back this handshaking time because it's making people feel uncomfortable while the worship leader an official got with his group and they made a decision when they decided was and this is not word for word but this is basically what they said they felt that the hand-shaking time it was SO DO YOU NEED to our identity and our church culture it's what distinguished us from every other church in West Michigan that they refused to change it handshaking right now you really this really did help in everywhere the time I thought you got to be kidding me what are you going to do and so basically they said here's a line in the sand you're either with us or you're with them either we're going to do it like we've always been doing it or not going to do it at all that's the attitude that they had and so we said we're not going to do it. And eventually we shook hands for like twenty seconds and then we got over it and that was about a year to a year and a half before that same group called me and said hey you chose the color of the walls and it was so sad to see so on one hand you want people to take ownership in church but you don't want them to get to the point where they say this is the way I do it this is mine and it's more important than anyone else's feelings you know this kind of thing it happens all the time it happens everywhere we are naturally Hopefully you understand what I'm saying but we are naturally selfish people and if we fail to remember that this is Christ's church what we will do is we will take ownership over something that's not truly ours to own and we're going to ask people Are you with me or are you against me and that's not what God wants us to do when I was a bad example No I have a good example something that happened this week so on Sunday we moved everything over here and we're putting everything away and a lot of you you went back home and there's some people here and stuff and there was a handful of us here and there were a couple teenage boys out in the parking lot and they're right near bikes around and as an old fuddy duddy guy my first thought was are these kids are they going to fall they going to hurt themselves you know what's in our insurance policy you know Mike Thompson you know are we cover for this or are you are they going to do some like vandalism in fact rebel and I rebel and I we're going to talk about the what we do with these kids and and then it just kind of you know the libel comes off and says wait a second this is exactly why we're here to be Christ's examples in this community so they were our first unofficial visitors and I was so glad as they're riding their bikes around aside it out that Hakim to them in my can fathom went up to them said hey guys who are like hey dude where do I know you said there's your I get there dude So how do you guys do and we ask them their names and you know what the kids are actually pretty nice they're not bad kids they're good kids and we invited them they come to church with us someday that's why we exist we must remember that this is Christ's church and it's our on are to serve him you know from of a pastor's perspective as people they come to a church for the first time I'm sure every pastor feels the same way there's a process of ownership and usually when someone comes to a church for a few weeks they ask questions like this hey I've got a question for you how do you guys do this whatever it. And then eventually I love it when they start using this word hey I've got a question for you how do we do this and I love that because it means that they've taken ownership and they say it's not me and you it's it's us this is now my my body of believers as well but we need to just make sure that we are careful and not let it slip into further and say this is how I do this and either you're with me or you're against me again pride and selfishness can subtly creep its way into our hearts and our minds and we take ownership over things that are not ours to own and one of my favorite parables is found in Matthew twenty five I'm sure many of you are familiar with it it's the parable of the talents how the Master went on a trip and he gave his talents to three of his servants I'll just read a couple of verses for you don't have to turn their message twenty five fourteen it says for will be like a man going on a journey who called the servants and intrusted his property to them to one he gave five talents to another two to another one to each according to his ability then you want to weigh whose property was it it was the owner's right and when he came back from the journey he called all of them and they had to give account for what they have done could you imagine what it would have went like if the first person said all right give me an accounting of what you don't my talents and say oh wait a second no no you left and I made five more and so I've decided that these talents are all mine how do you think that what I won over with the owner probably not too well our job is not to own anything or to say it's us against you our job is to just be faithful First Corinthians four two says moreover it is required of skewers that they be found faithful and so my hope for us as a church is that we will all be passionate we have to be passion about what God has called us to do and to take ownership for what God has called us to do but we need to take pride and do all those things but never let it get to the point where we cross the line and we say this is mine are you with me or are you against me. Well here we are this is our our first Sunday in this new building I'm excited you know I didn't even get nervous arrears weird for this Sunday I was just excited and I look around at the same faces you know just a just a different building I'm also absolutely amazed at how fast and smooth this relocation took place things shouldn't happen this easy and maybe there's a reason for that night and I've I think I've mentioned this before but sometimes I sit and I think how fast and how smooth this took place it's like the hod when we decided to meet with our next door neighbor on twelve or on union hills when we decided to meet with him we started to take a step moving in a certain direction gods kind of like he took our head and said No no that's not what I have for you it's over here I don't want you to waste your time with multiple building projects I have work for you to do I have ministry for you to do and so Grace Bible Church of Phoenix this is Christ's church in the Bible is our key and we're going to do this togetherI want to read one last passage for you today articulations lation six nine and ten it says and let us not rule weary of doing good for in due season we will reap if we do not give up so then as we have opportunity let us do good to everyone and especially to those who are of the household of faithso here we are we're on twelfth Street this is our opportunity so let's do it together let's close a prayer.Dear Father thank you so much for what we have seen you do in our midst just in the has David last week talked about the forty fifty year history of our church how you brought us to this point and you brought to the people to the church at this point Florida we're excited for this ministry that you've given to us thank you for this transition thank you for allowing it to go smoothly even with just physically getting everything from union hills here to troll Street well or we're anxious we're eager to do your work and so father as we're beginning our ministry here help us to remember these things help us to remember that the Bible is the source of our authority it's the source of everything that we need to do for ministry or to help us to remember that unity and teamwork and partnership is the way that we should do ministry if if it's worth doing it's worth doing together and most importantly help us all realize that you have invited us to join you with what you are doing this is your church father for the years and years and years to come in the ministry that you call this to hear Risperdal church of Phoenix on trial street or we do this for your honor and for your glory and it's in your precious name we pray.
Preacher: Josh WhiteYou know I must say I'm up here and I'm looking out at the congregation and seeing everyone together in one service it's really great it's really good for us to be kind of back together as a family and you know the two services it was a means to an end and you know it accomplished what we were trying to do it was an ideal but I think we learned some valuable lessons from it but it's it's really good to us to be back together again well in two weeks we're going on a journey. Or about five miles that way and the steerer going to be things that are different although the most important things are going to be pretty much exactly the same same Jesus right same Bible say musicians same preacher same people for the most part same purpose all those things are going to be the same but with this change of location it's going to signify sort of like the end of one chapter in our church's history this will be the fourth location of the church has met at Georgia the barn Union hills and now twelfth Street Church and so we'll be talking about this for years to come the way when did that happen was it at the Union Hills Church or the church so something new is about to happen and as we go on this journey I think all of us want to arrive safely at our destination right but I really want to make sure that we survive the journey there and when I say the destination I mean we're going to be there after next Sunday will move and physically we're going to be there but we're going to have several months of transition of getting to know what it's like and where do we do this and how do we do this and where are these things found in we'll get there but I want to survive the journey because we're going to go through a lot of things in the meantime so I kind of feel like I'm the dad looking at the family saying we're going on this trip and so here are the rules for us to go on this journey and so that's how we're going to talk about today because we're going to be in a state of transition for a while it's so important for us as a church to be very. Committed to being united with one another.I'm sure everyone here has probably been with some group of people or on some team that works really really well and it's exciting you are able to see how effective and powerful a group that works together can be what you think of about a group that you can identify with in your past that it's been like that it might even be like a sports team.The thing that probably came to my mind is when I played soccer in college everyone seemed they had their own unique role they had their own position and if everyone did their job the team would succeed in thrive or maybe maybe you were on a with a group of people that you worked with and every one they got along really well they knew what their job was they didn't overstep their bounds and everyone worked really effectively or maybe you worked on a project with some other people it's it is wonderful and it's a blast to work with a group of people that work effectively and work together and in order for that to happen certain things must take place and so I want us to look at a few Bible passages today there are new teachers about unity and what it looks like and the first one I want you to turn to is the fees chapter four.Here and if he's in chapter four the first several verses are about the ones of the face of things that unite us but Paul shares with his readers here and this is the importance of being united so it's Rediffusion chapter four and will begin in verse one.It's funny how you read passages from time to time but if you know you're about to experience something kind of means a little bit more to you and so hopefully all of you you'll really see how important it is for us as a church to put this into practice if he's in chapter four beginning in verse one.Paul says to them he says I therefore a prisoner for the Lord urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called with all humility and gentleness with patience bearing with one another in love and eager to maintain the unity of the spirit in the bond of peace. You know when any group is maintaining a unity it is a powerful testimony and voice to the world and I'm sure I hope I hope everyone here no matter how long you've been at this church wants for what verse for three says to happen we are all eager for there to be unity of the spirit in the bond of peace I think all of us want that in every hour of our lives how many of you want unity in the bond of peace in your marriage we all do right how many do you want that in your family how many of you want that in the place that you go to work how many do you want in the place that you go to church the people that you fellowship with and so we need to be eager to maintain the unity of the spirit in the bond of peace and verse two tells us how we need to act in order to have this unity we need to act with a verse to with all humility and gentleness and patience so that we are bearing with one another in love.Those words are very important and powerful really didn't have to put those into practice Psalm one hundred thirty three one says Behold how good and pleasant it is when brothers dwell in unity and so for this morning what I want to do is I want to give us three very specific ways that we as a. Church can maintain unity and if we do these three things if we treat each other these ways with the unity and there with the humility and great gentleness of patients then I think we're going to stay united So let me give you three things OK the three things that we need to do for the next several months especially the first thing that we need to do is we must focus on our purpose. We as a church exist for a very specific reason and we can't get sidetracked we have to know why we exist and you know what our purposes because all through October and November we talked about our purpose as a church Our purpose is our mission statement which is we exist to develop committed followers of Jesus Christ through the teaching and encouragement of God's word and so that's why we exist that is our purpose and we can do that anywhere the location doesn't matter we can and we have been doing it here on union hills and we can certainly do that at twelve street and if we moved somewhere else if it wasn't sure we could you know wherever we want we exist to develop committed followers of Jesus Christ through the teaching charisma of God's word but if we lose sight of our purpose then problems are going to arise aren't you to all open your Bibles to Genesis Chapter eleven. This is a great story and every time I read the story I wish there were more details in fact I think I was sure there are more details in every story in the Bible but Genesis Chapter eleven this is talking about a time in human history where people were reunited they were extremely united The only problem is they were united and their purpose was to promote themselves and not to honor God and so let's see how God responds to their unity so Genesis Chapter eleven beginning in verse oneGenesis eleven verse one says.Now the whole earth had one language in the same words and as people migrated from the east they found the plane in the land of China are in settled there and they said to one another Come let us make bricks and burn them thoroughly and they had brick first stone and be mutant bitumen for mortar and they said then they said Come let us build ourselves a city and tower with its top in the heavens and let us make a name for ourselves lest we disappear lest we be dispersed over the face of the whole earth. And the Lord came down to see the city and the tower which the children of man had built and the Lord said this is interesting listen behold they are one people and they have all one language and this is only the beginning of what they will do and nothing that they propose to do now will be impossible for them now that's a very interesting very fascinating I think some day we're going to know exactly what we're God was talking about I'm sure they probably are technological advances that you know we probably don't give them credit for we're seven Come now let us go down and they're confused their language so that they might not understand one another speech so the Lord dispersed them from there over the face of all the earth and they left off building the city therefore its name was called Babel because there the Lord confused the languages of all the earth and from there the Lord dispersed them over the face of all the earth so it's interesting very fascinating idea of a specific time in human history all people said hey let's work together to do something great for ourselves they were united and God said wait a second your purpose is not according to my purpose and so I'm going to scatter you and disperse you all over the face of the earth you look at this and you think you might get confused you know is God against us being united not at all as long as our purpose is in alignment with God's purpose and that the thing that Jesus prayed for on the night that he was betrayed was that all of God's followers all. The followers of Christ are going to be one that just like he is with the father when he read for you from John seventeen and this is Jesus in his high priestly prayer in the garden against somebody the night before he was betrayed this is John seventeen beginning in verse twenty Jesus praying to the Father and he says I do not ask for these only speaking of His disciples but also for those who will believe in Me through their word that they may be one just as you Father are in me and I knew that they also may be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me so Jesus praying God take my children my followers and make them united in one because soon as they are united and they are one with each other then the world will know the truth about who Jesus Christ is and so that's God's desire God's desire is for us to be united and for our purpose to be in alignment with God's will and as we look at God's Word we know many different times it says God's will is for this him for that but I want to remind us of one of the very specific is that God's will is and this is found in first of the two for it says this is good and it is pleasing in the sight of God our Savior who desires all people to be saved and come to a knowledge of the truth that's God's will that everyone come to a knowledge of the truth and it's so interesting how when God's children are united that speaks to the world and it really reveals that truth and so the way that we will stay united as a church really begins with us agreeing that our purpose as a church is first and foremost All right so can we do that as we do this as we move we are doing this but our purpose is not changing at all we exist to develop followers of Jesus Christ All right another way that we stay united is by choosing to lift each other up this church leads to be a very positive place where people are growing in their face and being lifted up I want to look at a couple passages to talk about this core to Romans Chapter fifteen.Romans Chapter fifteen beginning in verse one.Romans Chapter fifteen beginning in verse one.It says We who are strong have an obligation to bear with the failings of the weak and not to please ourselves let each of us pleases neighbor for his good to building him up for Christ did not please him self but as it is written the reproach of those who reproached you fell on me for whatever was written in the former days was written for instruction that through the endurance and through the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope you know we have our mission statement and this is one of the passages that kind of supports our mission statement we exist to develop committed followers of Jesus Christ in the teaching encouragement of God's word and if you picked up on this but that's what this verse says that we are encouraged through the Scriptures Now verse five talks about every Our interaction with each other this is me the God of in durance and encouragement grant you to live in such harmony with one another in accord with Christ Jesus that together you may with one voice glorify the God and Father of Our Lord Jesus Christ therefore welcome one another as Christ as welcomed you for the glory of God.Verse six in this passage is extremely important to God Look at this again God is desiring for us with one voice one united voice to glorify Him and that only happens. As one voice if we do what verse two says was to says Let each of us pleases neighbor for his good to build him up you know this is one of the best ways to promote unity among people and that's to build each other out and the wonderful thing about that is it's our choice we get it choose to do this once you go to another passage in Feagin chapter four.So there's another passage of talks about the importance of building each other up in order to keep unity.If you Chapter four beginning in verse twenty five.He's in chapter four beginning in verse twenty five and you've probably noticed in most of Paul's Epistles the last couple chapters he's always dealing with how Christians are supposed to get along and there's this common theme of unity and and getting along and building each other up and we see that again here efficiency for verse twenty five. So therefore having put away falsehood let each of you speak the truth to his neighbor for your all members one of another be angry and do not sin do not let the sun go down on your anger and give no opportunity to the devil let the thief the longer steal but rather let him labor doing honest work with his own hands so that he may have something to share with anyone in need verse twenty nine let no corrupting talk come out of your mouth but only such as is good for building up as fits the occasion that it may give grace to those who hear you want to make a observation that I made before and this is not make I'm not making a political statement all right and as soon as you say that you think oh no you are making political statement but I'm not. In these last several years have you noticed America is divided and very contentious and if some foreigner were to come from another country not having any Having known anything about the United States and if they were just to watch the news and read the Internet in observe America would they get the impression that we are a united nation or a divided nation politically speaking divided I mean it's obvious and why would they get the assumption that we are divided because we are criticizing each other politics have gone from the point of saying well let's just agree to disagree too if you don't agree with me I hate you and kind of our politics are out a little bit and so was that political environment and I'm sure it'll change and then you know twenty years from now will probably change back and there's their site. Rules and patterns that take place in human history but for the Church the Body of Christ this is our time to shine the world around us should see True Body of Christ Church is not complaining and not criticizing but coming together with one purpose and building up the people in their bodies that's how we should shine as a church in a body of Christ we should be doing that now and I think that we are and we should definitely be doing this in the future and so the time for the church to have a great testimony in America it's not in the past it's even today right now and so that's another way that we stay united so we stay united by focusing on our purpose by choosing to lift each other up and finally this last point that I'm going to share with you is for when number one and number two fail OK. We see a united by handling conflict the right way all right we stay united by handling the conflict the right way when it comes up now for those of you who are on a road trip. What's it like for the people in the backseat especially of their kids how well do they get along right eventually they're going to be yelling and screaming and you know dad Jackie touched me or did Karl did this or you know just as an example using some some names at random as an example you know. Our kids are pretty good you know growing up in one thousand nine hundred four my family took a trip down the west coast from Spokane Washington going to Disneyland and asked for a farm and we were in a station way and me and my three sisters and your touch an inode is horrible but I survived and now I'm an adult now you drive it's a lot better that way but you know and on a on a road trip you know the kids in the back seat or whoever it is they're asking you know when are we going to be there hey can we pull over or can we do this soon can we do that and everyone's complaining. The road trip there's going to be conflict Well guess what guess who is in our church people. And so whenever you get people together there's bound to be conflict on some level so at some point in the next few days or a few weeks or a few months there's going to be a disagreement between at least two people about something going on with the new church and so what's going to happen is we have a lot of decisions that need to be made that's kind of the trick right now we're in a transition time we're a lot of decisions are going to be made decisions about how to do something or where are we going to put this and decisions are going to have to be meeting guess what comes with decisions opinions.In every single person in here has an opinion about something right well it's a open up another passage to cautions chapter three.And you're laughing because you know what's true is so true cautions chapter three and so it's nice to just kind of talk about it and get this open. Air This is how we're going to deal with conflict when it comes up cautions Chapter Three beginning in verse twelve.Kolache in chapter three verse twelve. It says put on then as God's chosen ones holy in Beloved Listen to this bizarre way to treat each other compassionate hearts kindness humility meekness and patience bearing with one another and if one has a complaint against another forgive each other as the Lord has forgiven you so you also must forgive and above all these put on love which binds everything together in perfect harmony the time for us to be patient with each other is now the time for us to bear with one another is now and so again whenever you are put in a situation whether it's a church or a family to make multiple decisions like we're about to make theirs is the conditions are perfect and right for conflict in disunity and usually because a lot of the decisions are not based on what is right or wrong but they're based on opinions and preferences OK I want to share a story with you and enough time has passed that I can now share this story all right this is a story about what happened at my first church in Michigan when we built so came to a point where we had outgrown our little little is a small room and so we built a gymnasium in a sanctuary on the back of our building and everyone was excited and it was exciting to do this and so when you do something in this which you have to do is in order to make decisions you cannot have the entire congregation vote on every item right that would be insane right the parents could you imagine that with your kids having them help with every decision so you put people in charge that are responsible and make good choices in certain areas and so we did as we were doing this to put some people in charge of this area ministry and we put people in charge of that area ministry and there were certain people who were in charge of picking the colors for different things all right and they did a great job and so we had to pick the color for the walls in the same jury for the the chairs and also the carpet and so the person in charge it was a group of people in charge and they looked at all these different examples and they said OK let's pick this and so what they did is they picked gold walls and purple chairs.You know summer you're responding interesting summer you had of thinking bad cold bad purple All right well guess what there was a group in my church that had that same response and they didn't Hindle it the right way and so what happened is a few people said you know what we haven't seen these colors and and gold gold walls and purple chairs this is we need to put an end to this and so what they did is they got a group of people together and they got each other all fired up and all worked up convinced that whoever was in charge couldn't possibly make a good decision and so I literally got a call about nine or ten o'clock the night before the painter came to paint the walls in the same jury and they were demanding for me to tell them who was in charge and why they picked the colors and why they didn't talk to so and so and these people I was kind of taken back rookie mistake I know better now all right and as I was talking to this individual and I wasn't even the individuals that had the opinion they had somebody else make the phone call I asked this person I said Have you seen the colors will know one of these other people seen the colors will know that well if it is too late they're coming it's ordered it's going to be painted Well guess what the walls were colored painted gold the chairs came in they were purple and he looked awesome elt great in fact after everything was in I did not hear one single complaint from anyone but the color of the walls or the chairs unfortunately there had there's a there's a sad ending to the story that group of people they had allowed themselves to not handle conflict to the point where they basically poison themselves with negativity and about several months right after we moved in they had become convinced that it wasn't their church and they left the church and it's so sad looking back because they missed out on a blessing they allowed themselves to not handle conflict the right way and. They put their preferences over the purpose. I don't want to see that happen again I don't want to see that happen again and this church good thing is the walls are already painted so we're going to be retiring.But there's going to be an opinion on well this should have been over there and that should have been over here and you know we're we're going to deal with that we're human beings that's going to happen but listen if over the next several months you see something happening that you don't like or you don't prefer I'm serious when I say this everyone needs to stop and take a step back and ask ourselves these two questions Is this a matter of right and wrong I guess is a matter and usually these are not doctrinal issues OK but it is a matter of right and wrong and maybe the best way to judge that is will this decision help us achieve our mission statement does this help us develop committed followers of Jesus Christ or right like for instance give you kind of a crazy example someone might come up and say hey I think we should start selling hard on the church on Saturday and so we're going to ask ourselves a question does this help us develop committed followers of Jesus Christ and the answer is no so we're not going to be selling hot dogs in church on Saturday OK you had that idea sorry we're just not going to do that but if you can say this is yes this is an issue of right or wrong then please speak up and go to the right people and do it the right way OK but if you you realize that there is a decision being made Ask yourself Is this a question of opinion and preference and if it is a matter of opinion or preference then hit all of the right when the best thing to do is to simply go in a loving patient calm way to the person in charge and say hey I have some ideas here they are and then you've just got to back off and let it go you have to do that OK and if you handle it the right way you might give someone some insight that they didn't have before I can't tell you how many times I have had an idea of what I wanted to do at the church and someone came up to me in the right way and they said Hey Will here's an idea want you to sway and then I thought about it and I realize that's a really good idea. Maybe we should and it's an issue of preference and opinion not right or wrong so let's handle conflict the right way I want to go to one last passage Philippians chapter four.Philippines' chapter four.Beginning in verse one.And I've used this passage before and I thought about this passage so many times this is the typical standard happens in every church every relationship ever this happened so let's read what Paul is telling these two wonderful women to do live in chapter four beginning of verse oneis there for my brothers whom I love and long for my joy and my crown stand firm Thus in the Lord my beloved I entreat and I entreat sin chickie to agree in the Lord yes I also ask you to companion help these women who have labored side by side with me in the Gospel together with Clement and the rest of my fellow workers whose names are in the book of life and so here Paul calls out two women who had spent years united in purpose and then something came up and it doesn't tell us what it is because it doesn't matter because it happens all the time maybe you wanted gold colored walls and since he wanted gray colored wall who who knows what it is but Paul realized that they had put their preference in again we don't know what it is but they maybe have put their preference over the purpose and Paul wants them to wake up you are focusing on the minor details don't have your preference trump the purpose of the ministry of the goddess called you to. And so that is what I hope that we will do that we will handle conflict well when it arises and I think if we do all three of these things it will help us definitely stay united we need to focus on our purpose we need to lift each other up and handle conflict the right way. Or right now as we are going to close our second to last service here I want to do communion and I want to do communion because this is reminding us of the reason why you and I are truly united so I can have the men come forward.And we will be prepared to take communion.And here in our church this is how we do communion if you are a member of the Body of Christ if you place your faith in Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior and you have the hope of spending eternity with Him then you are part of the Body of Christ and we welcome you to share in the bread and the juicer presents the body in the blood of Jesus Christ but if you here today and you're just just trying to figure who God is as the elements are passed down you can feel free to just let them go by but as we said we're going to pass on the bread first which represents the body of Jesus Christ and I want to give all of you a time to just think and reflect and a couple thoughts I want to give you to think about and reflect on as you're handing as you're handed a piece of bread and you're holding onto it and you're looking at it it represents it represents obviously the body of Jesus Christ and it's not broken body of Jesus Christ and nothing else in the universe that unites us to God.And it also unites us to each other.So here we are as a body of believers thanking him praising God for the forgiveness of sins that we have and it's because. Of Jesus' body that he willingly gave for us so spend time thinking in reflecting on that and praising God for that truth.Paul writes about that night in the upper room when Jesus is meeting with his disciples and he says privacy from the Lord What I also deliver to you but the Lord Jesus on the night when he was betrayed took bread and we've given thanks he broke it and he said this is my body which is for you do this in remembrance of me.Father we thank you so much for the sacrifice that you made by sending your son. To die on a cross and give us the hope of eternal life. Right now in the quietness of this moment. As as your church is your body we acknowledge that there is no other hope that we have other than the death of your son.To be united with you and so Father thank You for this great sacrifice what unites us not only to you but also as you are teaches us to each other or to help us as a church be united in the months in the years to come. A man.Now as we pass on to the users represents the blood of Jesus Christ.It represents a promise and specifically for those disciples to represent the promise that God was about to sign the Holy Spirit the new covenant which was in the cup as Jesus said for us today it also represents that God is not done with what he's doing he says Jesus says drink this cup and how I come back and so that is the one hope that you and I have a unites us and so as we take this cup hold on to it and think about the fact that the blood of Jesus Christ is the same blood that saves every single person in this room and the same Holy Spirit that enjoys every single person in this room and gives us the same hope and the same future we are truly one with God and one with each other so let's thank God for this unity.Scripturealso says in the same way also he took the cup after supper saying This cup is the new covenant in my blood do this is often as you drink it in remembrance of me for as often as you drink this read this bread and drink this cup you proclaim the Lord's death and tell.Your god we proclaim just at this this morning we believe that you are coming back to call us to be home with you forever and I tell that time lord you've given us a great purpose that is to spread the message of reconciliation to the world around us and so father my prayer for us is a church and as individuals as that we will take that calling very seriously that we as a church will you be united with each other in our purpose and that we will lift each other up as we talked about this morning the Lord that will help each other to handle conflict while Laura Dunn has been so excited to see your faithfulness in this church these last forty years and even the last twenty years here at this location and we believe in your faithfulness for future generations at the New Church Lord I pray that we will be a great testimony and that new location and Laura where we pray that you will keep us united throughout this process that is our prayer in Christ and we pray that you can pass the cops to the aisles the men will come by and they'll pick those up. And I mean the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ the love of God the Father and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all amen.