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Infancy to Adulthood

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.

Why the Law?

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.

Faith, Not Works

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.

Missions Sunday 2018

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.

At Our New Home

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.

Let’s Stay United

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.

God is in Control

Preacher: Josh WhiteWell how are you looking forward to two thousand and eighteen.You're not here it comes right as you look forward to this coming year and I wonder if anyone has any big events that are coming up you're looking forward to maybe something in the summer you have a big occasion coming up in my family in my personal family the biggest event that's coming up is my little sister Becky is getting married. This Friday. In the shoot in she didn't time that out very well but anyway I'm happy for her she met this great guy and so I'm very very happy my sister is getting married Unfortunately I can't go I just found out about the wedding recently so. They're doing this and in four and four Friday and in Michigan and so that's their own fault you know they should come back it's like ten degrees back there and so I want to tell you about this is kind of funny my mom who lives in Montana Kalispell Montana obviously she's going to the wedding you know she didn't have a job so she she can go and so my mom has been into group texting you know texting is kind of new it's been around for a while or I just kind of contradicted myself but for her it's kind of new and so what my mom likes to do is she doesn't just text individuals she texts everybody and so in preparation for this wedding she texted me and all my sisters and then my stepdad Bruce his four grand kids texted all of us are like thirteen people in this text so they were moving out we're going to go out to Michigan we're looking for this but having a hard time getting out of Kalispell because of all the snow they're having a blizzard right now so yeah Bruce had to go out and plow the driveway anyone remember that plowing the driveway of snow aren't you glad you don't have to do that anyway so they put that in this curb text to everybody and as a good Phoenician I did what everyone is supposed to do I said oh that's too bad and I took a screenshot of the weather app the next nine days and I showed all of them it's going to be in the mid said. And he's down here in Phoenix and I told him I said you could all live vicariously through me this winter. I'm not very popular in my family right now because they did not like that Bill get over it you know your family they can't get rid of me but you know I think that's my second favorite thing to do in Phoenix in winter is send tax to people that are not in Phoenix area especially people up in Montana and Washington and Michigan my fest The second favorite thing about Phoenix my first favorite thing is that i'm see here in Phoenix for the winters and I'm sure most of you probably feel the same way Well we're about to end one year and tomorrow is going to begin another one and so we go it's disciplines every year and who knows what two thousand and eighteen will be like I'm sure most of it is going to be exactly like it's always been maybe there's a few things that are going to happen in the world events and there are definitely some things that are going to change but as each year goes by it's kind of nice right now to just stop and just reflect on the things that are the same and even the things that are different but as we look every year every year comes by we get the new years in the news even in New Year's Day when we wake up on the first day of every New Year there is one thing that has always been constant from the very beginning of time and that is that God is in control God is completely in control and nothing is going to happen in the year two thousand and eighteen that is either not caused by God or allowed by God to happen you know I mentioned a couple weeks ago that I'm taking a break for a few weeks from our series on Galatians last week was for Christmas today I wanted to do kind of a New Year's type of topical message next week when we're all together for the last two Sundays here in this building next week is going to be on unity because we're about to do something pretty big as a church and so I want to focus on unity we're also going to have our last communion service here in our church in this in this facility and then the week after. That on January fourteenth will be our last Sunday in this building and that's Sunday is going to be a little bit different it's not going to be our typical standard service we will sing there will be a message but we're going to talk about memories of what God has done in our church and the people and so on the hopefully you'll see in the bulletin I'm asking everyone to find pictures of people in the church doing stuff together whether it happened here at the church or camp or whatever in the Old or the better we want to see some funny pictures of people who really young but send those to me created an e-mail account just for this it's in your Bolton I think it's on. The on union hills a G.-Mail dot com Please send pictures there we're going to have a slideshow but then also share a favorite memory something that you're always going to remember but make it brief if you give a paragraph we're not going to be able to share so like a one or two sentences always remember this about this location of the Church of this occasion and please send those to me at that e-mail address and then we'll share that two weeks and then we'll have our first Sunday in the new building and then we have our annual missions conference and so we've got a really busy month of January coming up but for this morning what I want to do is I just want to talk about one of the many attributes of God that I find personally very comforting during this time of year as we enter into a new year especially for the changes that we're about to experience as a church so I want to reflect on God's sovereignty and how we should respond to that so when we say that God is sovereign I think most people have an idea of what it means. But let me give you a definition this is what the dictionary says sovereignty means there is an adjective form a noun form and so when we say that someone is sovereign and we're using the adjective we're talking about someone or something that is above and superior to everything else it is the chief or it's the greatest thing there is it's at the very top there's nothing above it so someone of a sovereign is. The very top and if you're using the noun form you're talking about a person who possesses a sortie or a power and so everyone answers to that person and so this children sovereignty is extremely exclusive there can be only one that is sovereign and so for us to say that someone is supreme above all others it means that they are the best and that's it there's no a discussion to be had and so over the last few days you've probably noticed.Especially online there's lists of the greatest the best of us last year two thousand and seventeen I like to go through those those are a little subjective aren't they sometimes they're not sometimes people want to words and so you can say that they're the best but isn't it interesting how every year changes there's always going to be a new best this new best that but every year that we change there's something that doesn't change and that is that God is sovereign and he always is and the implications of God's sovereignty are great and so for this morning what I want to do is just talk about God's sovereignty and God reveals His sovereignty in a number of ways but I just want to talk about one way in particular that God reveals His sovereignty to us and then we'll spend the rest of the time reflecting on how we should respond to the fact that God is sovereign and the one way that I want to share the way that God One of the ways that God reveals His sovereignty to us is through his promises this is one of the greatest things that I love about God and the Bible he reveals his prophet his sovereignty to us when he makes promises.I asked you before how many of you have big plans for two thousand and eighteen some of you probably do are going to be cations going to go anywhere do anything isn't it great to sit down and say I want to do this or I want to accomplish the story in this year however we hope that we can carry them out but there's a chance that we might not be able to because we're not in control of everything sometimes things happen that are outside of our. If we make a promise to another person and we say hey I'm going to meet you at a certain time in a certain place we have absolutely no ability to make that come to pass one hundred percent guaranteed And so when we make a promise to someone else what we're doing is we're sharing with them our best intentions and that's kind of all that we can do a promise is basically our best intentions and what we intend to do but there's nothing that any of us can guarantee with one hundred percent certainty. I'll tell you what I'm going to be doing tomorrow morning the first thing I'm going to be doing tomorrow morning if it is within my power for the new year is I'm going to do what I do every morning I'm going to wake up I'm going to make some coffee and I'm going drink some coffee and I'm ninety nine point nine percent sure I'm going to do that but who knows what's going to happen so only God is someone who can make a promising guarantee that it will be fulfilled and as you go through the Bible one of the things I love about the Bible is you go through it and you see that God is making promises to different people at different times and one of the biggest promises that he made was a promise to a man named Abraham and he told Abraham I'm going to bless you on in the bless the people of the world through you and I'm going to give you and your descendants a land that he made this promise and hundreds and hundreds of years later when he actually fulfilled that promise we see Joshua talking about God's promise I'll go ahead and read for you Joshua twenty three of verses fourteen and fifteen Joshua twenty three Joshua saying to the nation of Israel. And now I am about to go the way of all the earth and you know in your hearts and souls all of you that not one word has failed of all the good things that the Lord your God has promised concerning you all have come to pass for you not one of them has failed. So Joshua in the entire nation of Israel could say we're here because God promised that we were going to be here and beyond leading Israel into the process. Slain God has fulfilled many more of his promises and sometimes we talk about promises we use the word prophecy This is where God says I'm going to do this and specifically God fulfilled lots of the prophecies regarding the Messiah. And I know usually around this time of year everyone has a new year's resolutions I'm sure some of you probably said you want to do this or that. With this being the last Sunday of the I want to get one more cross that story and so I want to tell you about my Cross Fit Gym at Tusker Ossett they're doing a challenge for the month of January and our coach is asking us to give something up something that might hinder our performance it's kind of relative depending on your age if you're really performing well if you're in your twenty's if you're in your forty's maybe not so much but anyway he wants just to give something up and so a typical thing that most people are going to give up as you know unhealthy eating habits fast food sugar stuff like that and so on one day when we're warming up we're all talking about what we're going to give up for January and I said well I'm going to give up sweets like deserves hopefully I can go the entire most without any sweets and maybe cut back on some carbs and one one person said and just kind of joking joking around this person said and I'm not going to tell you who it is. They said you know that this is the reason why I don't believe in God and it wasn't so much making a religious statement there just joking around but they said this is why I don't believe in God because I don't think that a good God would make something that is so bad for us like sugar. And it was more of a joke but then this person said this is the reason why I don't believe in God I thought oh that's interesting and I was just thinking if the setting was a little bit different and if I had a different kind of relationship with this person what I would have said is this and this is something all of us can say to someone who says that they don't believe in God I would have said well if you don't believe in God then how do you explain all of the fulfilled propheciesand if I have a relationship with that person that's good enough or I could bring this up I would hope that they would respond by saying what in the world are you talking about trying to get them curious and say wait a second your god doesn't exist but how do you explain all the fulfilled prophecies in Scripture and hopefully that would spark some interest in someone to say I don't even know what you're talking about maybe I should check out the Bible to see if there's really something to it you know I've mentioned this before and that for me I believe in God and there's many reasons why I believe in God but one of the main reasons I believe in God It serves as a foundation for my faith is all of the fulfilled prophecies that we find in the Bible I believe in God because he has said many times I am going to do this in the future and he did hundreds and hundreds of years later I want you to go read your Bible so the Book of Acts we're going to look at a couple of these.And the neat thing about the book of Acts especially chapter two this is when Peter stands up and he's talking to everybody that's gathered there for Pentecost and what he's doing is all the the believers of the time the followers of Christ they're starting to realize and looking back at Christ life in the realizing hey when this happened it was the fulfillment of that prophecy way back in Isaiah or wherever it was. An action up to one beginning in verse fifteen Peter starts talking about these fulfilled prophecies in the first one X. one beginning in verse sixteen is about Judas and the betrayal of Judas and how they had to elect another disciple or apostle to replace Judas and so on Acts one fifteen says in those days Peter stood up among the brothers the company of persons was in All About one hundred twenty and said Brothers the scripture had to be fulfilled which the Holy Spirit spoke before hand by the mouth of David concerning Judas. Who became a guide to those who arrested Jesus and so here is Peter hundreds of years later saying hey this was talked about by King David this event was talked about and he was talking about our friend Judas or someone that we thought was our friend and this is the fulfillment of the prophecy found in Psalm one hundred nine verses sixteen rate and I include this in your sermon else if you want to look at these up but in Soma hundred nine versus sixty rate King David wrote under the influence of the Holy Spirit. Appoint a wicked man against him in accuser stand of his right hand when he is tried let him come forth guilty let his prayer be counted his sin may his days be few may another take his office and so they are sitting there here in Acts chapter two realizing this is Judas the one that we knew we served Christ alongside of David talked about him and so this was a fulfillment of prophecy and if you keep going and actually see that there is more go over to actually to. Beginning in verse twenty two X. two verses twenty two twenty four. Talking about Jesus the specific prophecy it says men of Israel hear these words Jesus of Nazareth a man attested to you by God with mighty works and wonders and signs that God did to him in your midst as you yourselves know this Jesus delivered up according to the definite plan and for knowledge of God you crucified and killed by the hands of lawless men God raised him up loosing the pains of death because it was not possible for him to be held by it and so Peter says this was by the four knowledge in the definite plans of God And he saying this is the fulfillment and we see the fulfillment of the prophecy back in Isaiah fifty three a read for you Isaiah fifty three verses ten to twelve it says it was the will of the Lord to crush him referring to Christ. Just He has put him to grief when his soul makes an offering for guilt he shall see as offspring for he shall prolong his days then the will of the Lord shall prosper in his hand out of the anguish of his soul he shall see and be satisfied and by his knowledge shall the righteous one of my servants make many to be accounted righteous and He shall bear their iniquities therefore I will divide him a portion with the many and he shall divide the spoil with the strong because he poured out a soul to death in was numbered with the transgressors yet he bore the sin of many and makes intercession for the transgressors and so this is just a couple examples in fact if you go through acts you see Peter's referencing quite a few different prophecies but only someone who is sovereign can keep these promises in a world of people that change their mind only someone who is sovereign could bring to fulfillment these prophecies made hundreds and hundreds of years years before and so in this way as we see God controlling human events God reveals to us his sovereignty and so if God is sovereign and we see this being revealed to us how should you and I respond because there should be a response how should we respond to God Well let me give you three ways that we should respond and I think we should keep this in mind not only for the new year but for the rest of our lives the first way we should respond to God's sovereignty is we should worship him. We should worship Him If God is sovereign then one day we will realize that we either were with him or her against him and we need to make that choice now while we still can no one should claim to have complete control and authority over their lives if we do we're making a mockery of God and God will hold us accountable someday in fact some You're familiar with the story an abstract rich world where King Herod. Some of the Peters set up and he gave this speech and everyone said You are the it's not the voice of a man it's the voice of God and King Herod he didn't say anything and so God struck him down and gave him a worm a new eventually killed many died the sin God is not going to share his glory with anyone else and so one day our choice will be known before all mankind that we are either with God or against him and so we must worship God Now while we have the chance because he is sovereign So that's one obvious way that we should respond to got.Another way that we should respond is by believing in Him and by believing in Him I don't just simply mean that we believe that He exists that we should believe in him that he is involved and he is sovereign in your life specifically. We should believe that everything that comes into our life whether it's good or bad was either allowed by God or caused by God Everything that comes into our life falls under God's sovereignty. And so this is God's desire for us to become like Christ and so God will allow to come into our lives or causes them one thing that he will allow in your life is he will allow temptations to come into our lives and he allows that to come into our lives because God's will for us is for us to become more like His Son Jesus and so we allows that so that we will develop perseverance God also allows or causes blessings to come into our lives and the reason he does that is because he loves us so how many of you can look back at this year and say you know these really good things happen to me God cause that in some way because he's a sovereign God and sometimes he will allow hardships to come into our lives and he lets that happen so that we learn truly how to depend on him and so that means that everything is here for a purpose whether it's to bless us or to grow us or really shape us into the image of Christ I want you to churn in your Bibles to the book of Matthew.Speaking of God's sovereignty.This is something that all of us do even though we know that God is ultimately in control how many of you are worriers raise your hand if you're a worrier we've got a few worriers usually women worry more than men I don't know why it is they just do it but if you're a worrier maybe this is can say this is a New Year's resolution stop worrying you know it's kind of impossible but Matthew chapter six talks about I guess the futility of worrying and it really shows us that God is ultimately in control he knows the things that we need so Matthew chapter six beginning in verse twenty five I'm sure this is a passage most of you have heard before but just dumb just allows us to really give you comfort knowing that God is in control Matthew six beginning in verse twenty fivesays Therefore I tell you Do not be anxious about your life what you will eat or what you will drink nor about your body what you will put on is not life more than food and the body more than clothing look at the birds of the air they neither so nor reap nor gather into barns yet your heavenly father feeds them are you not more valuable than day and which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life that's a good verse we worry and we worry and it does absolutely nothing to prolong our life was twenty eight and why are you anxious about clothing considerable is of the field how they grow they neither toil nor spin it I tell you even Solomon and all of his glory was not a raid like one of these but if God so close the grass of the field which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven will he not much more clothe you oh you have a little face therefore do not be anxious saying What shall we need to work shall we drink or what shall we wear for the gentiles seek after all these things and your Heavenly Father knows that you need them all but seek first this kingdom the kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these will be added to you therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow for tomorrow will be anxious for itself sufficient for the day is its own trouble.Or any of you worrying about something right now something in the future you probably are I'm sure all of us are to some extent and I'm going to make a statement and I hope you understand why I'm saying this but when we worry. Are worrying is directly tied into us denying or doubting the sovereignty of God I can't tell you how many times I've had a conversation with so many people and you have this to we're talking to people and people are worried about some unresolved issue in their life they're not sure how something is going to turn out after all the life is full of uncertainty but being. Concerned about the outcome does not mean that we don't have any faith and doesn't mean that we're sinning but if we're worried about something it means that we're not trusting in God's sovereignty like we could be. And so God tells us to not worry about these things we're on is a twenty eight great verse it says and we know that for those who love God all things work together for good for those who are called according to his purpose how in the world could someone say God make that claim that everything that happens in our life can work together for good the only way that he can say that is if he is a sovereign God in control of all things well the final way I think we should respond to God is not only should we worship Him We should also believe in him but we should trust him trust him with whatever is going to happen in the future specifically your future some of you this next year are going to see changes in your life maybe somewhere you are looking for a job a new job maybe creating your own business or whatever it's going to be some of you are dealing with a very difficult situation God is involved and you can trust him with that process and not only can we trust him with the future the near present future we can also trust him for sure with our eternal future I love what it says in the fusions one thirteen or fourteen. Says in him you also when you heard the word of truth the gospel of your salvation and believed in him were sealed with the promise Holy Spirit verse fourteen says who is the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it to the praise of physical Henri that is guaranteed if you place your faith in Christ God here in tease that you will spend eternity with him. And also and this kind of gets relevant to all of us here as in Greece Bible Church of Phoenix as a church we. Can trust him with our future obviously two thousand eight hundred is going to be a very big year for our church there's going to be a lot of changes and as I think about this relocation I get excited to the closer we get to it I I get excited I'm a little scared normal nervousness you know change is obviously scary for a lot of people and if someone were to tell me last year at this time at the beginning of two thousand and seventeen that in one year from now we would be preparing to move to another facility I would say you are crazy how in the world is that going to happen yesterday as I was in the afternoon after I made all my family really mad at me by sending them a picture of whether I decide to go out enjoy the weather so I went for a walk yesterday and I was kind of just thinking about the sermon and I started thinking about OK we're moving in about three weeks from now and and I just I kind of got a little anxious and we do have a lot of stuff to do and then I just asserted reminding myself of what I was going to talk about today about God's sovereignty and I just can ask myself Josh do you trust God Yeah I do well don't worry about stuff and what I did is as I was out walking I had an opportunity as I was reviewing for the sermon to just kind of retrace the steps of how we got to where we are as a church right now and over the last few years we've known that we've been kind of outgrowing this facility and so we decided to take a couple different steps the first step was to go to two services we did that back in October of two thousand and sixteen and then our last congregational meeting in the spring a member of the board the board was saying OK let's talk about the next step and would eventually we're going to talk to our neighbor and I remember in the congregation meeting we're talking about the next step and we're going to talk to a neighbor maybe try to get his house and renovated and stuff like that and at the very end we said Anybody have any questions and we're waiting for for people to ask questions well how are we in the do this sort of going to do and there were two two women who spoke up and I don't know if you remember this but I'll remember this Judy camper and Patty variable and their comments were basically. Along the lines of let's stop talking about this is actually take a step and do something or they said well let's go talk to our neighbor let's go see if we can maybe secure a property and I remember I don't next congregation or next board meeting we said you know maybe the church is kind of waiting for us to stop talking about it and that's actually try to do something and so that summer we talked to our neighbor and it was like the next day God said finally now that you're going to take a step I'm going to show you what the future is and so as we're looking at next door and looking in the right direction right there I'm not going to do that much much longer our kids over there and my God you were looking in that direction and God said No no I'm moving your head over there where's the two or three church over there so that's not it this is your future and so what we did is we went we looked at that building and I remember we said you know the board the entire time we said if we're going to do this God you have to make a way for this to happen you have to show us yourself in this and the first way he showed himself to us is by having the other church accept our offer I mean we offered quite a bit less than they wanted and they were asking and they said yes and then the other way is the church voted ninety three percent approval to move forward in the pledges came in to where yes we can make this happen and the biggest thing that had to happen is we had to find someone to buy our building within six months and you know the story only a couple months ago or whenever it was someone came through one of three offers within a weekend and we got a full price cash offer which is exactly what we needed so here we are two more Sundays in this building and as I went for that walk I kept asking myself Josh do you trust God and I kept reminding myself absolutely another thought that came my mind was the fact that God cares for Grace Bible Church of Phoenix more than any of us can put together he cares about his church God knows the unique giftedness of our church he knows how to best use this for His glory and so. I trust that God is behind this not only for our church but there are three churches involved in this process and God cares for all three of these churches the church that selling our church and the church is buying this property and so I believe all those all three churches are True Body of Christ churches and God has what's in the best interest for all of us if we just trust him and so.Here we go two thousand and eighteen is going to be a big year and but I said I am confident that we can trust God Well that's for our church what about you what is it about this next year that you're going to be facing that you really need to trust God. I hope that you can see as we go through the consistency of every new year coming and God is still the same God the sovereign and he is in control while all of us at some point in this day will fall asleep. Who knows whether it be before midnight or after midnight and all those who will wake up and it will be a new year however the same God the same sovereign God is going to be in control still and because of that the way that we should respond is by worshipping him. And by believing in Him and by trusting in Him So let's close in prayer and reaffirm our trust in him.Your father I think you so much for bringing us to this point in human history. Just as mankind we can look back at all of human history biblical history and secular history and we can see that we're right exactly where we should be we're right on time everything happens according to your timeline because you are a sovereign God and thank you for giving us the perspective of history that we can look back and we can see the Jesus of Nazareth was the fulfillment of your promises that he is the one who died on the cross for our sins and that he is the one that we place our face in and when we do that and we have the hope of any church to be with you thank you so. Much Father for giving us that perspective and because the past is in your hand we can also trust that the future is and so for anyone here that is really worrying or struggling about something that might come up in the near future for them or I pray that today that you give them comfort and peace knowing that you are alternately control and Lord for us as a church this is going to be an exciting year but we are going to experience quite a bit of change especially this next month these next couple months as we relocate help us to reaffirm our trust in you and to follow where we believe that you are leading us we believe that you of face will be served through us to people these last forty years of our churches existence and we believe that you'll do the same for the next forty years or for however long we will exist or until you come causal world we love you we're so thankful for what you did for us in the year two thousand and seventeen and we look forward to how we can serve you in a greater ways in two thousand and eighteen we love you pray these things and pricing even.

The Little Things Matter

Preacher: Josh WhiteI got a question for you to start off with just to kind of get you thinking do you have a favorite Bible character or maybe favorites maybe if you have them I was thinking about this because we're going to be talking about a specific person this morning and as a little boy I think most little boys are probably the same you hear these bible stories for the first time and you start to really like and look up to certain Bible characters like for instance one of my favorites is obviously Samson because he was the strongest person ever so looking at that story and you know I kind of like Samson and as a young boy hearing about how David killed Goliath with just the sling in the stone it's kind of an exciting story and so David becomes kind of a favorite and one of my personal favorites is definitely going to be a lie just me could you imagine the battle that he had on Mark Karr Mount Carmel against the prophets of Bale and he did teach them that's an exciting story in Daniel in the Lion's Den And so there's all these great Bible characters and you read through the stories and you think ah this is this is one of my favorites and sometimes we become a favorite one of these characters becomes our favorites because we can identify with them maybe they have certain personality traits that we kind of pick up on that we can identify with. Being a boy I you know I kind of gravitate towards those I I should ask my daughter you know who's your favorite Bible character I don't know what she would say I don't know if she would say something like You know Mary is one of my favorites because she was the mother of Jesus or I wonder how many little girls hear the story of Esther you know she was the beauty queen and God used her to really help her people but the more per a person spends time reading the Bible is a wonderful thing is we realize that the people in the Bible they're just like you and me and sometimes the Bible records a person's great.They're great stepping out in face and they're able to conquer certain things and a lot of times the bible actually talks about some of the mistakes that they made and so we can relate to them Well today we're going to do is we're going to read about. And study another very dearly beloved Bible character that I think many of us can relate to and that is Peter All right we're still in the book of Galatians I want to open a glacial chapter two but this next section the the second half of glacial Chapter two is dealing with Peter.And Peter is one of the I think the best Bible characters that we have I wrote you know I just wish that I could have known him what he was like you know in this life he kind of comes across as one of those highly rambunctious you know fearless person and yet he's completely human because he keeps making some mistakes but some of Peter's things that he's done that he's known for he I think he's experienced some of the highest highs and some of the lowest lows of many of the people in the Bible like for instance Peter was the one who was the first one recorded to have claimed that Jesus was the Christ. Peter James and John and all the disciples There were hanging out with Jesus and Jesus says Hey who do people say that I am and so we read about this in Matthew go ahead read this for you. They're answering Jesus and they said well some say John the Baptist other say Alija other say Jeremiah or one of the prophets Jesus said to them but who do you say that I am and of course we have Peter saying you are the Christ the Son of the Living God I mean that that's a that's a goose bump moment just imagine Peter was standing in front of Jesus and he says that to him kind of affirming his faith in this conviction that you are the one that the Old Testament was telling us about so that's Peter that's one of his highs another one and this is another one my favorite stories about Peter remember what happens in the garden of guess somebody when the soldiers came to rest Jesus you know Peter did he took out his sword and he cut the year off of the one of the soldiers and so you know it's kind of a way to go Peter really go another one. Oh one of the highs that he experienced is he was given this vision from God This sheet came out of heaven and it was filled with all these different animals and and God says go ahead kill and eat and so he was given the special vision so they could understand that there's a new truth taking place and so you look at Peter's life and you think Wow Peter was a great Bible character and he God used him to do some amazing things but the Bible also records a lot of the things that Peter did wrong and some of his failings like for instance some of you may you probably know some of these stories but Peter was the one who was on in the boat on the water and Jesus came walking to him at night and who of all the people in the boat who was the one who spoke up it's got to be Peter says Lord if that's you tell me to come come to you on the water and so Jesus has come and so Peter gets up gets out of the boat he starts walking on the water courageous faithful Peter and then he gets distracted he sees the when he sees the rainy season the waves and and he falls into the water and Jesus says oh you of little faith so one moment he has great faith and the next moment his face kind of fails him also another feeling of Peter in we can't really hold this against him but Peter said that he was willing to die with Christ if the soldiers were to take him in fact I'm as they were meeting the night before he was betrayed as passages found him out to be six So then Jesus said to them they're all all the disciples are meeting together. You will all fall away because of me this night for it is written I will strike the shepherd and the sheep of the flock will be scattered but after I am raised up I will go before you to Galilee and Peter answered him though they all may fall away because of you I will never fall away typical Peter that's something that Peter would say and Jesus said to him Truly I say to you this very night before the rooster crows you Peter will deny me three times and Peter said to him even. If I must die with you I will not deny you and all the disciples said the same and then Why did Peter do you denied Christ three times and so your passage for today we see another failing of Peter Peter is also one of the first ones to kind of grasp this idea that Jesus had fulfilled the law and you no longer need to follow the law and yet it as has the normal person that he is he's living by faith one minute in a circumstance comes up and then he fails because of fear so one of passage for today what we have this Paul is using Peter as an example of why it's so wrong to go back to a Grace plus works mindset so let's read a glacier in Chapter Two beginning in verse eleven. Last week we read verses one through ten today will just pick up and will finish after two so delicious Chapter Two beginning in verse elevenPaul says but when capice was Peter came to Antioch I opposed him to his face because he stood condemned for before certain men came from James he was eating with the Gentiles but when they came he drew back and separated himself fearing the circumcision party and the rest of the Jews acted hypocritically along with him so that even Barnabas was led astray by their hypocrisy but even I saw their conduct was not in step with the truth of the gospel I said a calf a speech for them all if you know a Jew live like a Gentile and not like a Jew How can you force the Gentiles to live like Jews and this is a time in Peter's life that you would think he should have known better I mean Peter has gone through quite a bit before in fact Peter is been through a lot of these things before and these issues should have been resolved for instance you know earlier in the chapter this chapter of chapter two last week we read about how Paul and Barnabas had a secret meeting a private meeting with Peter James and John and they presented to them the gospel that Jesus that the Polish preaching Casey ran in vain in vain and so Paul and Peter therein and Peter is affirming Yes that is that is the truth and he gave them the right hand of fellowship and so Peter knew the truth that the law has been fulfilled in Jesus Christ and later after this event in Acts Chapter fifteen this is what we looked at last week Peter actually confirms exactly what Paul has been talking about how Gentiles are now included and so maybe maybe this interaction between Peter and Paul here helped him confirm that in Acts Chapter fifteen but in Acts Chapter eleven after Peter had gone to Cornelius house and shared the truth with some Gentiles He had to defend himself to the same people that are coming to Antioch I want you to turn over and in your bible State Acts Chapter eleven.Accept or allow. And so this happened. Some time before this took place in glaciers Chapter two So Peter's already been through this being accused by the circumcision party of associating with the Gentiles acceptor eleven beginning in verse one.Says now the Apostles in the brothers who were throughout Judea heard that the Gentiles also had received the Word of God So when Peter went up to Jerusalem the circumcision party criticized him saying you went to uncircumcised men and ate with them but Peter began to explain it to them in order and so he explained that while he was at Cornelius house the sheep came down from heaven and God said Go kill and eat Peter and to go talk to the Gentiles and so he shared with them the gospel with the Gentiles and this is what happened the good of verse fifteen.X. eleven fifteen this was as I began to speak the Holy Spirit fell on them the Gentiles just as on us at the beginning and I remembered the word of the Lord how he said John baptized with water but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit if then God gave the same gift to them as he gave to us when we believed in the Lord Jesus Christ who was I that I could stand in God's way when they heard these things they fell silent and they glorify God saying then to the Gentiles also God has granted repentance that leads to life and so Peter has already had to deal with the circumcision group and so he's already been through this before so why in this moment in Antioch Why did he fail while the passage tells us exactly why he failed Look at verse twelve said for before certain men came from James he was eating with the Gentiles but when they came he drew back and separated himself fearing the circumcision party and I think this is what makes Peter so relatable how many of us in our lives have changed our behavior because we. Feared another person or a group of people and their opinions you know we all want to be accepted we all want to be liked and we give into fear of other people and their opinions of us for their approval you know in this passage there's a couple of tragedies before I get into the Five Points you look at this passage and you think you know this is this is such a small thing what is the big deal about Peter eating with Gentiles and then he he stops doing that and he starts eating with the Jews Well there's a couple things that are very important about this these little things truly do matter this made Peter a hypocrite. And Paul even tells him that he was a hypocrite he was a hypocrite because Peter was saying that he was doing this or maybe in his mind he was convinced that he was doing this because of his faithfulness to the Jewish people but he was doing this because he was afraid of what they were saying going to say about him the second tragedy is that Peter's actions lead other people astray as well his example affected other people you know in reading through Galatians I'm usually pretty much in any time I am preaching a sermon I try to get other sources to really help me how to get a different perspective I'm reading a book called Galatians by Dr Warren will be some you might have heard him before and in this next section he he shares his observation about how there are five Christian doctrines that Peter denied by his actions here and I thought that was really insightful and so I just want to share that with you he did this simple thing he stopped eating with the Gentiles went back to eating with the Jews and we think that's not that big of a deal but he did five things by his actions he denied five very important Christian doctrines so let's look at those right now. The first Christian doctrine that Peter denied by his actions was the unity of the church he denied the unity of the church by withdrawing from these Gentiles look at verse fourteen again.Paul says to him. But when I saw that their conduct was not in step with the truth of the. Gospel I said to countless before them all if you though a job you live like a Gentile and not a Jew How can you force the Gentiles to live like the Jews so Peter was a Jew but because he put his face in Christ he was a Christian just like every other human being who is going to put their faith in Jesus Christ and because he was a Christian he was a part of the church and in the church there are no racial differences if you're in Galatians just turn over one chapter to chapter three and begin in verse twenty five Paul tells us that now there is no distinction between Jews and Gentiles. Three verse twenty five.Says but now that faith has come we are no longer a guardian for in Christ Jesus you are all sons of God through faith for as many of you were baptized into Christ have put on Christ there is neither Jew nor Greek there is neither slave nor free there is no male in female for you are all one in Christ Jesus and if you are Christ then your Abraham's offspring heirs according to promise you know that Peter Paul says in the book of effusions that Christ came when he destroyed the dividing wall of hostility between the Jews and the Gentiles is destroyed so now there are one and so by Peter eating with the Gentiles and going back in just eating with the Jews it's like he just built back up that will haul that Jesus destroyed that's the problem here the unity of the church you know I think this is something that we need to take to heart as well today here in two thousand and seventeen among God's people a lot of us are not caught up in the whole distinction between Jews and Gentiles that's that's kind of been on the stablish unresolved but how many times in this kind of a personal question how many times have you run across another believer in someone else's place or faith in Jesus Christ because there may be of a different denomination.USA Well maybe we shouldn't have fellowship with each other you know I think it's car is a tendency that I think all of us are at risk of doing or maybe some different racial differences or economic differences there are some divisions within the Body of Christ when they are they shouldn't be Jesus died so that we would all be one together you know I think it's very natural for you know the phrase birds of a feather flock together and so it's very normal and natural for us to kind of hang around with people that we know and that we think alike but if we are purposely purposefully distinguishing ourselves from one another then we are living contrary to the truth of the gospel which is the unity of all believers and so Peter did that second doctrine that he denied by his actions was the doctrine of Justification by faith alone justification by faith alone was read versus fifteen and sixteen.Says we ourselves we ourselves are Jews by birth are not Gentiles sinners yet we know that a person is not justified by works of the law but through faith in Jesus Christ so we also have believed in Jesus Christ Jesus in order to be justified by face in Christ and not by works of the law because by works of the law no one will be justified justification this were justified is a very important word and if you've probably ever heard the the saying that goes along with the word justification just as if I never sin that's kind of partly for the way for us to understand justification it goes beyond that though if a person is justified their sins have been forgiven but they've also been credited by God with the righteous works of Christ himself and so when God sees us he doesn't see a sinner he sees someone who is sinless and someone who is as righteous as Jesus Christ Another thing about justification I think it's important or stand if this goes beyond someone just being forgiven or parted like for instance let's say you are somebody for one hundred dollars because you need one hundred dollars and they give you one hundred dollars and a week later they say hey I want my hundred dollars back you know you borrowed that hundred dollars you say you know what I don't have it I just I just don't have one hundred dollars please give me time because you know what forget it I forgive you don't worry about the debt your debt has been forgiven right here's the difference that hundred dollars is still out there floating somewhere and it's not like it magically made its way into the lenders pocket they're out one hundred dollars someone who's been forgiven or pardoned their sin or their trespasses still unpunished but justification says this your sins have not just been forgiven they've been paid.They've been paid by Jesus Christ so you are debt free. Romans five one says Therefore since we have been justified by faith we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ we have peace there's nothing that needs to be paid for because it's already been paid and if Peter is truly if he truly had peace with God in this instance why is he acting based on fear and reverting back to a practice of the law practice that could not save him you know I'm sure you know as we're looking at X. or glacial Chapter two I'm sure as Peter was doing this he probably wasn't thinking through his actions you know how many of us we act before we really think I think that's probably was going on. But that's why I think it's important for us to fellowship with other believers because how many times have you seen another person acting a certain way and maybe they weren't aware of it that's why fellowship with each other is so important so hopefully we can we can graciously hold each other accountable so that's what we really see going on here the search truth of Peter denied by his actions was freedom from the law we are now free from the burden of the law and this is something that they all were learning about this time in church history whatever seventeen and eighteen.Says but if in our endeavor to be justified in Christ we too were found to be sinners is Christ then a servant of sin certainly not for if I rebuild what I tore down I proved myself to be a transgressor that's kind of an interesting phrase if I rebuild what I tore down I prove myself to be a transgressor So Paul's argument to Peter is going something like this he says Peter you and I we did not find salvation through our works we found it through facing Christ and so now after being saved why are you going back to the law that would mean that Christ alone did not save you and so when someone goes back to legalism you're building up what you tore down this means that you sin by tearing it down in the first place of youth. That thing is actually going to save you you know in a way I kind of feel bad about dumping all of these things on Peter it's easy to look at somebody and say look at all the mistakes that you made but I think this gives us is a great example of of how we need to understand the truth and hopefully live by it you know if anyone today anywhere in the world is preaching Henri's or proclaiming that Grace plus something is necessary for someone to be saved they're not living in the cordons with the truth of the gospel and you know this kind of a personal story in the share with you or a personal experience I grew up in an environment like this my whole life where grace alone saves us and so maybe sometimes I take that for granted I'm not really sure what other churches are teaching and what other groups are teaching but I came across this a while ago this was back when I was living in Michigan and there was a couple pastor friends and I we went to we go to conferences from time to time together and there was one on the east side of the state of Michigan it was a preaching conference put on by a university a Christian university and so one of my pastor friends said hey there's this there's a cheap preaching conference just you know over in the Detroit area it's mid week maybe we should go it's not very expensive let's go let's have fellowship was be encouraged maybe we can get something from this conference and I checked with my board and they said you know go ahead so we went the three of us went in we didn't really know much about this university or this denomination that they were a part of when we went all right I'm not going to tell you the name of the nomination but as we're sitting there and we're listening big kept saying certain phrases and then we did they did they just say that what did they say what do they mean by that and so after a couple the first section sessions we went back and I don't remember where we were maybe a coffee shop and we're looking online the denomination and this church this denomination and this university they believed in something called baptismal regeneration they believe that you you had to be baptized by. By water in order to be saved let me rephrase that they believe that if you were not baptized by water you could not be saved. This is modern day Judy eyes or ears you know they said you have to be circumcised in order to be saved and so this whole idea about Grace plus works is it's alive today and so we thought do they really believe this and so after one of the sessions we asked one of the speakers we said hey can we can we ask you some questions and we started asking questions along this line trying to get them to actually say yes that's what we believe and we're asking questions they're going to hemming and hawing and eventually we just said OK just let's stop just yes or no.If someone has not been physically baptized in water do you think that they will not go to heaven and they said yeah we believe that they won't go to heaven and it was such a unique experience I'm standing in front of this man and I place my faith in Jesus Christ alone for myself nation and he's basically telling me because I've never been water baptized by water he's saying you will not go to heaven because of something that you didn't do.Not what Jesus did for me but what I had to do is such a unique experience and I take for granted that this message of grace alone is not preached everywhere and so that's why it's so important for us to understand the truth of this doctrine so the force doctrine that Peter denied with his actions was the gospel itself he denied the Gospel itself through his actions verse one thousand and twenty. Says for through the law I died to the law so that I might live to God I have been crucified with Christ it is I no longer I who live but Christ who lives in me and the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God who loved me and gave Himself for me listen the one true gospel is about face in the complete work of Jesus Christ and we say complete work we mean this his death completely paid for. All the sins of mankind and his resurrection completely guarantees the resurrection for anyone who places their faith in him that's the gospel that's the truth of the gospel I want you to stay here in the lay sions but turn over to Romans Chapter six.We're in chapter six Paul explains the soul in a little bit more detail in this passage omens Chapter six beginning in verse five. We'll just read a couple of these verses here were in chapter six beginning in verse five says.For if we have been united with him in a death like his we shall certainly be united with him in a resurrection like kids we know that our old self was crucified with him in order that the body of sin might be brought to nothing so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin for one who has died has been set free from sin and now if we have died with Christ we believe that we will also live with him listen that's the gospel in its great news if it happened to Christ then it will happen to us if it happened in Christ he died in was buried for our sins then it happened to us God says and if he was raised from the dead it's going to happen to us that's the truth of the Gospel and finally the last doctrine that Peter denied by his actions is simply the grace of God He denies the grace of God alone verse twenty one says I do not know if I had the grace of God For if righteousness were through the law then Christ died for no purpose and that one verse right there if it's not underlined in your bible it should be there's a few in there actually that are pretty good but this one verse is so simple yet so powerful it just simply says this if we could be saved by following the law then Jesus didn't need to die. If salvation could come through our good works then Jesus died for absolutely no reason and that boils down to this. Either he did it for us or we have to do it for ourselves.You know hearing Galatians Unfortunately there's no record of Peter's response to Paul now you know this is another time where I wish that you know the glacier in Chapter two when for a little bit you know a few more verses and we kind of figured out what happened I'm sure something went along the lines of this Peter said you know what Paul is thank you for pointing this out to me you're right I'm not acting in accordance with the Gospel and so maybe I'm sure they're still for they're still friends you know obviously Acts Chapter fifteen at the Jerusalem Council Peter is defending Paul but in preparing for the sermon you know I thought about a few different things you know I you look at this passage and in Peter's mind I'm probably sure he did not over analyze his actions he probably didn't thinking consider what his actions were going to do when he stopped eating with the Gentiles and started eating with the Jews you know he was meat eating and making friends with the Gentiles and then he stopped he withdrew he probably did that more based on habit than anything else sort of like muscle memory you know this is what he did when he was a child he was grown up as entire life taught the law and saying you cannot eat with Gentiles but it's Paul who was the one who saw the significance of what he was doing and so sometimes it takes someone on the outside to kind of watch someone else's behavior and let them know what's really going on that's very true of someone like some if someone's addicted to drugs they say you know I'm not hurting anyone but the people all around them can say you know not only are you hurting yourself you're hurting so many other people around you so that's why it's important for us to fellowship but I think you know after reading this passage you're English and chapter two it's a great opportunity for us to ask ourselves some of these questions like Are we living in accordance with our faith you know in Romans square head Turn to Romans chapter one so last passage. In Romans chapter one you see the Apostle calls passion here in his purpose. Romans chapter one. Paul explains to all of us that he was called a legit will just read Romans Chapter one Verse one. Paul a servant of Christ Jesus called to be an apostle set apart for the gospel of God which he promised before and through His prophets in the Holy Scriptures then just go down to verse five speaking of Jesus he says this phrase through whom we have received grace in apostleship to bring about the obedience of faith so Paul a saying God has commissioned me to preach the gospel of God so that people who have faith will be living in obedience to it there should be obedience to the faith but then this is why well diversified again to whom we have received grace in apostleship to bring about the obedience of faith for the sake of his name among all the nations including you who are called to belong to Jesus Christ so God wants us to live in obedience to our faith that's for the sake of his name so people will see the truth and so even the little things in our life they matter all right so now let's take the microscope off Peter let's give him a break right he's been forgiven let's put it on ourselves now OK and let's just kind of ask I want to ask a couple questions in light of this example you know we should we should ask ourselves these questions and it begins I think with the most important one most important question everyone here should ask themselves Is this have I been saved by the grace of God alone.If you're here today and you can say yeah it's nothing that I've done there's nothing that I have done that I'm going to be able to say to God I'm I can be in heaven because of of these actions it's something that each person here needs to truly answer for themselves have you been saved by the grace of God alone and I hope you can answer that by saying yes second question is are you trying in some way to mix grace and the law.Maybe the best way to understand what. Law is long means I must do something to please God That's what the law basically boils down to I must do something to please God and I think sometimes in our Christian faith we might say I know that I'm saved I know that I'm saved boy I did something really bad and I need to make it up to God I need to do something to make him pleased with me and so we try to earn God's favor that's legalism whether we do it to ourselves or someone else puts that on us you know there's a lots of things that we see in the Bible that we should do as believers but we should do them because they benefit us and because they lead to maturity we don't have to do them to earn God's favor and along those lines last question I want to ask you is are you living in any part of your faith out of fear.Or you live in any part of your faith out of fear because you say what I'm going to do these things because I know if I don't do these things then people are going to be upset with me are going to stop doing this or start doing that and we can just kind of go through a whole list of things that we start doing out of fear but the truth is when it comes to God's grace there is nothing you can do to make God love you more. There's nothing and there's nothing you can do to make God love you any less and that is equally true for every human being that has ever lived well up to this point some delay sions as we're reading through Galatians I knew this going in it's Ben the first couple chapters have been corrective meaning he's addressing different problems and if you read nothing but corrective literature it can get kind of heavy are a good thing is when we get to Chapter five it gets a little lighter and Paul is talking about what it means to live by God's grace and we'll get there eventually about what we're going to do for the next several weeks I just want to let you know we're going to take some time away from because we have next who have Christmas Eve and then the week after that we have New Year's the last two Sundays that will have here in this church during. The month of January I'll do some topical sermons especially talking about kind of what we're doing as a church and then our first week will be in the new church on the twenty first and then we have a missions conference right after that so we have so really busy six seven eight weeks but I want to leave everyone with this this last thought especially as regards Chapter two so far it's Christmas time and what we're doing right now is we're focusing on the fact that God became a man to die for our sins and set us free. Is now wonderful God became a man to set us free we are free. But that freedom came at a great cost. An incredible cost and so let's take that freedom seriously and hopefully you and I can live in such a way that we might be able to point other people to this great love and grace of Jesus Christ. Let's close in prayer.Dear Lord I thank you so much for all of the examples that you show us in Scripture the good ones in the bad ones and Lord I know that what Peter did was was not. Probably not well thought out like some of the things that we do throughout our life but this is a great learning experience is a great opportunity for us to see that even the small things in life that matter and Peter's going back to old habits and going back to following the law made a significant difference and so thank you for giving the Apostle Paul wisdom and insight and even the courage to confront Peter about this Florida we believe in the unity of all believers we believe in salvation by grace alone through faith we believe that we're free from the law and so our conduct in the way that we live should mirror exactly what we believe and so Father we pray for your strength and your wisdom in our lives so that we can truly examine our lives and not just to live carelessly but that we will consider every every. Sation that we have him every action that we take is this helping us to live in accordance with the truth of the Gospel that you've given to us Lord if not I pray that maybe we hope people in our lives that can graciously come along side of us and reveal those things to us so that we can be restored to the right kind of living well then again thank you so much for giving us your Holy Word which gives us all these wonderful and practical examples of how to live a life that is not only pleasing to you but also a good example in testimony to the world around us we pray these things in Christ any minute now May the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ the love of God the Father and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all human.

No Going Back!

Preacher: Josh WhiteWow that what they're doing down in Paraguay Well it's Christmas time right how many of you have started your Christmas shopping you are lying.Somewhere you may be on top of the you know I'm going to be honest with you one other thing I can do several different things I can see in front of a group of people in talk but you asked me to go Christmas shopping for people and I get nervous about that because I'm not good at buying gifts and so one thing that I really appreciate in this teenage is something called Online shopping all of this is the best I love that because what I can do is I can tell my my wife my kids OK what do you want and I we do a lot of shopping on Amazon I'm sure some of you do that as well and you can put the item that you want on the wish list and so you know exactly when to get the person you know before Amazon Christmas shopping for me was horrible I was very very nervous about that because you don't want to get the wrong gift right you don't want to get the wrong gift for the wrong for the for the person they want something different so that's why you always make sure that you keep your receipts but you know if you give someone a wrong good for Christmas it's not going to be the end of the world right they're going to live in they're going to survive and they're not going to remember your gift anyway. You know there are other decisions in life that are much more important than picking the right Christmas gift for a friend or a family member specifically stuff like who you're going to marry that's a little bit more important right than which Christmas gifts you're going to buy or what career you're going to go into that's a little bit more important or even something like Do you buy the doing it with or without sprinkles that's a very important decision that you need to make while it's one of the decisions I make on a on a regular basis but the most important decision that every human being needs to make in their life is what message are they going to follow what truth are they going to build their lives on.Oprah Winfrey hasn't been on T.V. for a while at least I don't think she's on T.V. anymore. But a while ago she had this big panel of all these people and they all came together and Oprah declared that she believes that no matter what you believe it's fine because ultimately all paths lead to God or to heaven or to paradise or whatever you you call it so that's what Oprah believes and Oprah's it she's a smart person right she's a very accomplished individual so you should we take Oprah's advice and should we should we just trust what Oprah says is the truth that it doesn't matter what you believe all paths are eventually going to lead to heaven.Jesus doesn't agree with over Actually let me read for you a couple things that Jesus said Jesus said in John fourteen six he said I am the way and the truth and the Life no one comes to the Father except through me.So we have two different messages out there we have Oprah Winfrey's which is all roads lead to heaven and Jesus so who are you going to trust here hopefully you're going to trust Christ also acts four twelve it says in there is salvation and no one else for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved. You know last week I began our current series in the book of Galatians So if you turn in your bible struggle ations chapter one right now.And what we did last week we just look at the very first few verses.And talked about what Galatians is about and so for those of you here were here last week you probably remember this the lation is about two primary things it's about the truth and it's about freedom. The lation is about the One True Gospel that Paul shared with those Ingle Aisha and the rest of the Bible rest of the of the book to of glaciers is about some people who came in and they tried to distort this message that Paul gave to them and so it's about truth and ultimately it's about freedom because if you believe the truth Jesus said The Truth Will Set You Free. And if you are believing in something that is not the truth ultimately that's going to lead to bondage in some way so let's go ahead and read part of the introduction to glaciers again let's start in verse three this reduced couple verses.One beginning in verse three it says Grace to you in peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ who gave Himself for our sins to deliver us from the present evil age according to the will of our God and Father To Him be the glory forever and ever amen and so last week all we get is we looked at these first couple verses and we realized that Paul gives us three things and here gives us a distinction of ages that we are now in an age and that there is going to be an age after this there is a description of this age would which he calls it's the present evil age and then we also get the good news about us being delivered from the power of this age but so Paul is talking to the people in glaciers and in Glacier and there is a problem after Paul came in and established these churches other people came in and they were inserting something else into the gospel they added works into the Gospel that Paul had message to talk to them and so in this passage that we're going to look at today what Paul is doing is he is talking about the authenticity of his message and where he got his message from and in the next passage what we'll look at next week Paul talks about the authenticity of his ministry as an apostle that he goes to the other apostles the original apostles and they talk and they confer about what Paul is preaching but Paul shares with us this situation so let's keep reading and we'll pick up in verse sixPaul says this to those Ingle Aisha he says. I am astonished that you are so quickly deserving Him who called you in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel not that there is another one but there are some who are troubling you and want to distort the gospel of Christ.Some of you probably aware of this you know you look at the word gospel and you say you know what exactly is that the Greek word for gospel is the word on it simply means good news so whenever you are in the New Testament in your read the word gospel the Gospel of Jesus Christ the gospel of God The gospel the grace of God It's talking about the good news kind of a very generic term it's the gospel which is the good news and what Paul is specifically talking about is this the good news of Jesus Christ he went in told them the good news about Jesus Christ about his death for their sins and about his resurrection so that they can have the hope of eternal life and so back when Paul wrote this people were taking that good news and they were distorting it just like he says at the end of that verse in verse seven they are troubling you and they want to distort the Gospel or the good news of Christ and so the issue back then revolved around the law of Moses and what to do with it and later in Galatians Paul reveals that the Law was given to lead people to Christ not to give people a way to be saved I think that's a very important point and so Paul says that there's only one gospel there is not two there's not five there's not fifty there's not many ways to be saved there's only one gospel and then Paul says something that I think is fascinating and we're going to spend the rest of this morning talking about how prophetic what Paul said was and I've actually kind of been looking forward to the sermon.I've never preached to Galatians before and I did a class Sunday school class or the church about two or three years ago on different world religions and it never dawned. On me that what Paul said here in the late chapter one was somewhat prophetic because what Paul says in this next verse that we're going to look at has happened is come to pass so let's look at verse eight glacier's one verse eight. Paul says.But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel contrary to the one we preach to you let him be a cursed Now this word for a cursed some of your translations might say something different the Greek word is anathema and anathema means that you devote something to God so it can be destroyed so Paul is saying if anyone tells you something that contradicts what I told you let him be presented to God so that God can destroy him and he has no hope of redemption verse nine as we have said before so I now say again if anyone is preaching to a gospel contrary to the one you received let him be a cursed from I now seeking the approval of man or of God or am I trying to please man if I were still trying to please man I would not be a servant of Christ so what is the deal what is going on back there that Paul is he's really passionate about this and he's going back to these people in Galatians saying Guys we have to discuss this I have to let you know what's going on back in that day the issue was about circumcision. God gave the covenant of circumcision to Abraham and his descendants and what the Israelites did is over the years they are they misunderstood the purpose of circumcision and all the ceremonial aspects of the law and what they did is over the years they began to think that if you do these specific things that the law requires us to do by doing them you'll be saved but that's not the purpose of the law and Paul goes on to talk about that but back then in this day this was the issue they literally thought that unless you are circumcised you cannot be saved in fact in Acts chapter. After fifteen this was such a big issue that a lot of the leaders they got together and they had this discussion X. fifteen verse one I'll read this for you it says but some 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 so this was the hot big issue back then how many of you recently have had a discussion with another person and they've told you yeah that's great talk about Jesus Christ but unless you're circumcised you can be saved as you have is anyone ever had a discussion like that no we had this issue has been resolved the Church the Body of Christ has obviously resolve this and we look at Paul's Epistles and just the rest of the New Testament and this is done that issue doesn't exist anymore today however if you look at human history ever since this was written Satan has been busy creating new gospel.And he's been inserting them into human history and what Paul says next about having an angel come in th you a new truth it's actually happened and so what I'm going to do today is I'm going to give you a crash course on some other major world religions again like I said I did this in a Sunday school class a couple years ago although I did this over like a three or three months so you're I'm just going to have to pick and choose different parts of these different religions that I'm going to share with you because this is exactly what Paul was mentioning I mean look at two specific religions that claim to have been started by an Angel giving a new gospel to them and another one they do they don't claim that it was started by an angel but they have extra biblical material and they claim that is overseen by the Spirit of Jesus and angels and so their information is coming out to us and so the three other religions that we're going to talk about this morning are Mormonism Jehovah Witness and the big one is law and we're just going to kind of give you a sampling of this and so I know I'm going to give you a lot of information in the next few minutes. It's going to be like getting a drink from a fire hydrant but these sermons are online and you can do some research if you want to later but I'm Let's talk about Mormonism to begin with and before I say anything else I do want to say specifically with Mormons in Jehovah Witnesses I'm not presenting this to you to shame or to ridicule anyone who is in these religions OK I have people that I truly consider friends that are both Jehovah Witnesses and Mormons I'm here in Phoenix and I grew up in Spokane Washington both of those religions are very popular so what I'm going to do is I'm just simply going to present what these religions teach OK So this is what Mormonism teaches all right Mormonism teaches that it was founded by a man named Joseph Smith I'm sure many of you probably have heard that before and the story goes or the claim goes that when Joseph Smith was fourteen years old. He was visited by God the Father in Jesus who told him that Christianity had become corrupt and three years later and Angel by the name of morrow and I came and visited Joseph Smith and told him where he could find some golden plates that were buried and that would explain the true Gospel and so later what happened to Smith miraculously found these golden plates and he translated the plates from reform de Gyptian into English and that's where they get the Book of Mormon Mormonism began in Paul Myra New York in the year eight hundred twenty right so that's how Mormonism began it began by an angel from heaven proclaiming a new gospel All right so what are the differences in the content of what Mormonism teaches and what Christianity teaches All right so here are some of the differences the differences talk about who God is Mormonism teaches that man you and me that we can become like a god all right they say. Mormon prophet Lorenzo Snow said this as man is God once was as God is man may become and so they believe that Heavenly Father began as a mortal man on another planet and through learning obedience progressed to becoming a god who was given this planet to rule so they believe that Jesus was just like us who lived on another planet and he was obedient to the face and so he was given this planet to rule over all right so that's what Mormonism teaches they also teach right now that Heavenly Father who is the father of Jesus lives on a planet that circles a star named Colobus and that the Mormon God known as Elohim is also married and has many wives and that there are literally millions of gods ruling millions of planets and Mormons believe that they too can become a god like him and be given their own planet to rule over OK. This is sound like the Gospel that was given to the Apostle Paul and the other possibles absolutely this is definitely a different gospel also not only is that content different but how a person is saved is also different now Mormons do claim that you are saved by grace through faith in Jesus OK So there are some similarities however then they add to it and so that's what they say they say that Jesus atone for the effects of Adam's sin allowing all mankind good and bad to be resurrected to become immortal so basically Mormonism teaches that every single human being is going to be saved but to reach full salvation or to go beyond that initial salvation you have to do this by works and so this is what one of their prophet said. The Atonement of Jesus Christ enables God's children to overcome the effects of the fall and to obtain eternal life by obedience. It also says this the effect the first effect of the Atonement is to secure to all mankind alike exemption from the penalty of the fall thus providing a plan for general salvation the second effect is to open a way for individual salvation whereby. Man we secure remission of personal sins so these are the four conditions to obtain individual or full salvation All right I'll just give you a couple of them they are to have faith in Jesus to accept Joseph Smith as his successor as God's mouthpiece to repent and be baptized and to be a member of the Latter Day Saints Church they also believe that if it were not for Joseph Smith and the restoration of this truth that salvation would not be available to any human being all right so before eight hundred twenty I don't know what they believe about who people were how people were saved or not they also believe that in order to be saved you have to keep the commandments follow all the laws and ordinances of the church do good works and you have to tie to the church All right so that's what they believe that you have to do in order to be saved a lasting about Mormonism one of their prophets name Spencer Kimball he said one of the most of foolishness doctrines originated by Satan and propounded by man is that man is saved by the grace of God that belief in Jesus Christ alone is all that is needed for salvation. So that's what Mormonism believes that Satan tricked mankind to think in the only way you can be saved is by the grace of God So that is something else that's in the world today and this is what Paul said was going to happen so now it's Mormonism this is a great example of what Paul warned us English and Chapter one analysis walk about and Joe Hoeffel witnesses are right and again I'm not I am not an expert on Mormonism Jehovah Witnesses or Islam OK I am an expert on Christianity so I'm just sharing with you the information that I received so this is something about Jehovah Witnesses. Joe Hoeffel witnesses say that Michael the arch NG Arc Angel is none other then Jesus so they say that they're the same person and they believe that this same Michael that became flesh and died for the sins of the Jehovah Witnesses was disintegrated in after he died and then he was copied by the father. By memory and raised in spirit as Michael and so Michael and Jesus what they believe came back in the year eight hundred seventy four invisibly and he came to the Watchtower headquarters in New York in one nine hundred fourteen to inspect Jehovah's organization to see if everything is running right so the job when his headquarters are back in New York and they believe Jesus invisibly came back and he's overseeing their headquarters and making sure that the Watchtower is producing correct information and so the Watchtower's extra biblical information that is coming out and they say that it is being overseen by Michael or Jesus and angels write what they teach about sin and salvation they teach that sin was only partially atone for by Christ they Christ death paid the ransom that remove the effects of Adam's sin but individual still have to work to earn forgiveness for their president future since one of their leaders said this is a quote they say belief involves taking in accurate knowledge of God's purposes and his way of salvation then Faith has to be exercised in Jesus as the chief agent not the only but the first agents of salvation this places the Christian in a saved condition but he must now purser veering doing good gods who are God's will and continue to adhere to all God's requirements for the rest of his life and only then will he be saved to eternal life so this is a salvation by works so here's the requirements for salvation baptism by immersion repentance active association with the Watchtower Society righteous activity absolute loyalty to Jehovah and then even then there's still no salvation assurance of salvation and if you can't live up to those requirements then your disfellowshipped by the Watchtower Society and have no hope for salvation right that's what the Jehovah Witnesses believe it is a is a gospel of works all right and now. Well is long it did I don't know if any of you heard what Alex Goulart said that they were in a mosque All right I personally I'm sure I probably know some people who are Islamic or Muslims I couldn't tell you it my friend you know this person and this person are is all this but Alex grew in Delta Goulart are in Paraguay and that's the religion that they are kind of battling with and so this is very real maybe not so much in America right now but this is the major world religion that Christianity is definitely I'm going up against the word is one how many of you know what is long means it means obedience or submission or surrender.Islam was started fifteen hundred years ago in Mecca Saudi Arabia by the Prophet Muhammad and while Mohammad was contemplating inside a cave and angel named Gabriel came and visited him and the angel gave him messages over the next twenty three years and so this is what Islam teaches about sin and salvation they believe that people are born sinless and are good by nature therefore we don't need a savior but we depend on our own efforts to please Allah and so there are monotheists as well they believe that there is only one God They also believe that all people will be judged on Judgment Day according to their deeds helping others testifying to the truth of God leading a virtuous life and they believe that if you did more things good things than all law will count out against the bad things that you did one of their prophecies coming from there the Koran this is from Sir twenty three one hundred one hundred three it says those then those whose balance of good deeds is heavy they will be successful but those whose balances light will be those who have lost their souls in… will they abide and so in other words to go to Paradise which they believe is why. Or you go when you die you have to believe in Allah the prophets of Islam the Koran angels and judgement day you have to repent and obey Islamic law but that still might not be enough so Islam is a religion based on works hopefully you do enough to please Allah and if you do enough then you get to go to paradise and so can you understand why there are radical Islamics they are doing things to the extreme because what they're doing is they truly believe that they're doing something that is going to please Allah and if they can please all ah all will forgive their sins and allow them to come into heaven so these are some of the belief systems that are out there in the world today and guess what Paul warned us that this was going to happen that angels from heaven are going to preach a new gospel to people let's go back to Paul and what I want to do is I want to read the rest of first chapter one of the lation Zz and I want you to see how Paul explains how he received the message that Christ gave to him and you're going to see some similarities and some differences and we're going to highlight the differences at the very end so let's go ahead let's read the rest of the lation chapter once a glacial chapter one beginning in verse eleven.So as for I would have you know brothers that the Gospel that was preached by me is not man's gospel for I did not receive it from any man nor was I taught it but I received it through a revelation of Jesus Christ here stop right there what's the number one difference between Paul and the other religions Jesus Christ is the one who came the resurrected Jesus Christ is the one who came and talked to the possible verse thirteen for you have heard of my former life in Judaism how I persecuted the church of God violently and tried to destroy it. And I was advancing in Judaism beyond many of my own age among my people so extremely zealous was I for the traditions of my. Years but when he would set me apart before I was born and who called me by His Grace was pleased to reveal his son to me in order that I might preach him among the Gentiles I did not immediately consult with anyone nor did I go up to Jerusalem to those who were apostles before me but I went into Arabia and returned again to Damascus then after three years I went up to Jerusalem to visit kephas who was Peter in remain with him fifteen days but I saw none of the other apostles except Jesus the Lord's brother and what I am writing to you before God I do not lie then I went into the regions of Syria and Silicio and I was still unknown in persons person to the churches in Judea that are in Christ they only were hearing it said he who used to persecute us is now preaching the face he once tried to destroy and they glorify God because of me and so I think in this passage you see obviously the difference is that Jesus appeared to Paul Jesus Himself appeared to Paul and in the next chapter what Paul does is he validates his message by going in confirming with the original possibles and we'll look at that next week besides the deliverer of the message was Jesus the content is different Listen every other religion in this world teaches essentially the same thing they teach the only way you can get to heaven or paradise or to. Wherever it is that you think you're supposed to it achieve you can only get there by works so every other region religion if they're true then that means that when someone gets to heaven or paradise then they will all be able to say the same phrase listen they'll be able to say I am here because I did this. And you know what they gives man the ability to do to boastother religions give man the ability to boast and God tells us that in his presence none of us will be able to boast Let me read for you from first Corinthians one twenty eight it says God chose what is low and despised in the world even things that are not to bring to nothing things that are so that no human being might boast in the presence of God when we stand before God none of us will be able to boast we will only be able to say I am here because of what you did for me now what if you choose to wait nine cents just for by grace you have been saved through faith and this is not your own doing it is the gift of God not a result of works so that no one may boast.So what is the core of this gospel you know we talk about the good news and we're talking about Christianity so what is the core of the good news of Christianity and we're able to kind of boil it down to the most essential parts of what is the gospel the wonderful thing is and first Corinthians Chapter fifteen Paul does exactly that so I want to all over to Georgia First Corinthians Chapter fifteen and we'll look at exactly what this gospel is what this good news is that Paul told the people in GalatiansFirst Corinthians Chapter fifteen beginning in verse one and this is a truth that has not changed First Corinthians Chapter fifteen beginning in verse one.He says now I would remind your brothers of the gospel I preach to you which you received in which you stand and by which you are being saved if you hold fast to the word I preach to you unless you believed in vain and here it is here's the Gospel first three For I delivered you as a first importance what I also received that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures that he was buried and that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures That's the good news that's the good news right there that God promised that he was going to do this before he did it and he sent his Son to die on the cross he was buried in the after three days he rose from the grave and that's all a person needs to do in order to be saved is to believe in that and so we will be able to stand before God some day and not boast but we will be able to say God I am here because of what you did for me by your grace I am saved. You know if you're here today I hope that you have taken what Paul says in First Corinthians fifteen and you have placed your face in your trust in this this is by face but obviously the nice thing is we look at scripture and we realize that there is so much evidence that supports this faith especially when it says Christ died on the cross for our sins according to the Scriptures and he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures God gives us enough reason and evidence to believe that this is true but if you're here today and maybe you're not following a specific other religion but if you in your mind in your heart you've been thinking you know what I know there's a God I know there's a heaven and I want to be there someday when I die but you're trying to do it through your own good works you're trying to do it so you can say God I was good enough I did more good than bad hopefully you'll realize that that's not going to get you into heaven and today you can place your face in what Christ did alone as the reason why you can have the hope of eternal life if you're today and you've never done that I invite you. To make that confession of faith right now like when you close your eyes and about your head and if you're here today and you realize that it's only what Christ did for you and not your own works that can get you the right standing with God simply pray this prayer to God and He will hear you just simply pray. To your father I believe. I believe you sent Jesus to die for my sins and I believe you raised him from the dead to give us the hope of eternal life. I place my faith in what Jesus did for me as the only reason why I can have my sins forgiven in B.C..If you've ever prayed that prayer or if you prayed that just today for the very first time you are and forever will be a child of God and that is the gospel that saves us let's close in prayer us thank God for giving us this truth.Dear Lord I thank you so much for what you've written to us today through the Apostle Paul and I know that even at the time when you were inspiring him to write these words he was dealing with the issue there in Galatians about circumcision and how people were trying to convince people that they had to do the works of the law in order to be saved and obviously Lord in that time those issues were resolved and people saw the truth of of the message the Lord as we go through human history we see that Satan is still trying to battle your truth and we see that he has caused millions and millions of people throughout human history to be led into deception and so father and I pray that you open our eyes continue to have our eyes open to what the truth is thank you for giving us your written word that is consistent through the ages so that we can study it and we can know what your truth is and Lorida for us as a church I just pray that you will help us to be a mouthpiece that shares with the world around us the true Gospel that salvation comes only through the death and resurrection of our Savior Jesus Christ and the Lord right now as we are in the season of Christmas and I know that we might be getting more people visiting. Yes I pray that that message will be very clear and that you might move people's hearts and minds to understand the truth of the One True Gospel and Lord thank you so much for saving us none of us want to be able to be boasting before you in heaven and only thing that we can do is boast about what you've done for us and so Lord I thank you so much for this passage that we're able to read today which gives us confidence in the assurance of our salvation we pray this in Christ me even.Now I mean the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ the love of God the Father the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all that.

The One True Gospel

Preacher: Josh WhiteWow that what they're doing down in Paraguay Well it's Christmas time right how many of you have started your Christmas shopping you are lying.Somewhere you may be on top of the you know I'm going to be honest with you one other thing I can do several different things I can see in front of a group of people in talk but you asked me to go Christmas shopping for people and I get nervous about that because I'm not good at buying gifts and so one thing that I really appreciate in this teenage is something called Online shopping all of this is the best I love that because what I can do is I can tell my my wife my kids OK what do you want and I we do a lot of shopping on Amazon I'm sure some of you do that as well and you can put the item that you want on the wish list and so you know exactly when to get the person you know before Amazon Christmas shopping for me was horrible I was very very nervous about that because you don't want to get the wrong gift right you don't want to get the wrong gift for the wrong for the for the person they want something different so that's why you always make sure that you keep your receipts but you know if you give someone a wrong good for Christmas it's not going to be the end of the world right they're going to live in they're going to survive and they're not going to remember your gift anyway. You know there are other decisions in life that are much more important than picking the right Christmas gift for a friend or a family member specifically stuff like who you're going to marry that's a little bit more important right than which Christmas gifts you're going to buy or what career you're going to go into that's a little bit more important or even something like Do you buy the doing it with or without sprinkles that's a very important decision that you need to make while it's one of the decisions I make on a on a regular basis but the most important decision that every human being needs to make in their life is what message are they going to follow what truth are they going to build their lives on.Oprah Winfrey hasn't been on T.V. for a while at least I don't think she's on T.V. anymore. But a while ago she had this big panel of all these people and they all came together and Oprah declared that she believes that no matter what you believe it's fine because ultimately all paths lead to God or to heaven or to paradise or whatever you you call it so that's what Oprah believes and Oprah's it she's a smart person right she's a very accomplished individual so you should we take Oprah's advice and should we should we just trust what Oprah says is the truth that it doesn't matter what you believe all paths are eventually going to lead to heaven.Jesus doesn't agree with over Actually let me read for you a couple things that Jesus said Jesus said in John fourteen six he said I am the way and the truth and the Life no one comes to the Father except through me.So we have two different messages out there we have Oprah Winfrey's which is all roads lead to heaven and Jesus so who are you going to trust here hopefully you're going to trust Christ also acts four twelve it says in there is salvation and no one else for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved. You know last week I began our current series in the book of Galatians So if you turn in your bible struggle ations chapter one right now.And what we did last week we just look at the very first few verses.And talked about what Galatians is about and so for those of you here were here last week you probably remember this the lation is about two primary things it's about the truth and it's about freedom. The lation is about the One True Gospel that Paul shared with those Ingle Aisha and the rest of the Bible rest of the of the book to of glaciers is about some people who came in and they tried to distort this message that Paul gave to them and so it's about truth and ultimately it's about freedom because if you believe the truth Jesus said The Truth Will Set You Free. And if you are believing in something that is not the truth ultimately that's going to lead to bondage in some way so let's go ahead and read part of the introduction to glaciers again let's start in verse three this reduced couple verses.One beginning in verse three it says Grace to you in peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ who gave Himself for our sins to deliver us from the present evil age according to the will of our God and Father To Him be the glory forever and ever amen and so last week all we get is we looked at these first couple verses and we realized that Paul gives us three things and here gives us a distinction of ages that we are now in an age and that there is going to be an age after this there is a description of this age would which he calls it's the present evil age and then we also get the good news about us being delivered from the power of this age but so Paul is talking to the people in glaciers and in Glacier and there is a problem after Paul came in and established these churches other people came in and they were inserting something else into the gospel they added works into the Gospel that Paul had message to talk to them and so in this passage that we're going to look at today what Paul is doing is he is talking about the authenticity of his message and where he got his message from and in the next passage what we'll look at next week Paul talks about the authenticity of his ministry as an apostle that he goes to the other apostles the original apostles and they talk and they confer about what Paul is preaching but Paul shares with us this situation so let's keep reading and we'll pick up in verse sixPaul says this to those Ingle Aisha he says. I am astonished that you are so quickly deserving Him who called you in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel not that there is another one but there are some who are troubling you and want to distort the gospel of Christ.Some of you probably aware of this you know you look at the word gospel and you say you know what exactly is that the Greek word for gospel is the word on it simply means good news so whenever you are in the New Testament in your read the word gospel the Gospel of Jesus Christ the gospel of God The gospel the grace of God It's talking about the good news kind of a very generic term it's the gospel which is the good news and what Paul is specifically talking about is this the good news of Jesus Christ he went in told them the good news about Jesus Christ about his death for their sins and about his resurrection so that they can have the hope of eternal life and so back when Paul wrote this people were taking that good news and they were distorting it just like he says at the end of that verse in verse seven they are troubling you and they want to distort the Gospel or the good news of Christ and so the issue back then revolved around the law of Moses and what to do with it and later in Galatians Paul reveals that the Law was given to lead people to Christ not to give people a way to be saved I think that's a very important point and so Paul says that there's only one gospel there is not two there's not five there's not fifty there's not many ways to be saved there's only one gospel and then Paul says something that I think is fascinating and we're going to spend the rest of this morning talking about how prophetic what Paul said was and I've actually kind of been looking forward to the sermon.I've never preached to Galatians before and I did a class Sunday school class or the church about two or three years ago on different world religions and it never dawned. On me that what Paul said here in the late chapter one was somewhat prophetic because what Paul says in this next verse that we're going to look at has happened is come to pass so let's look at verse eight glacier's one verse eight. Paul says.But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel contrary to the one we preach to you let him be a cursed Now this word for a cursed some of your translations might say something different the Greek word is anathema and anathema means that you devote something to God so it can be destroyed so Paul is saying if anyone tells you something that contradicts what I told you let him be presented to God so that God can destroy him and he has no hope of redemption verse nine as we have said before so I now say again if anyone is preaching to a gospel contrary to the one you received let him be a cursed from I now seeking the approval of man or of God or am I trying to please man if I were still trying to please man I would not be a servant of Christ so what is the deal what is going on back there that Paul is he's really passionate about this and he's going back to these people in Galatians saying Guys we have to discuss this I have to let you know what's going on back in that day the issue was about circumcision. God gave the covenant of circumcision to Abraham and his descendants and what the Israelites did is over the years they are they misunderstood the purpose of circumcision and all the ceremonial aspects of the law and what they did is over the years they began to think that if you do these specific things that the law requires us to do by doing them you'll be saved but that's not the purpose of the law and Paul goes on to talk about that but back then in this day this was the issue they literally thought that unless you are circumcised you cannot be saved in fact in Acts chapter. After fifteen this was such a big issue that a lot of the leaders they got together and they had this discussion X. fifteen verse one I'll read this for you it says but some 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 so this was the hot big issue back then how many of you recently have had a discussion with another person and they've told you yeah that's great talk about Jesus Christ but unless you're circumcised you can be saved as you have is anyone ever had a discussion like that no we had this issue has been resolved the Church the Body of Christ has obviously resolve this and we look at Paul's Epistles and just the rest of the New Testament and this is done that issue doesn't exist anymore today however if you look at human history ever since this was written Satan has been busy creating new gospel.And he's been inserting them into human history and what Paul says next about having an angel come in th you a new truth it's actually happened and so what I'm going to do today is I'm going to give you a crash course on some other major world religions again like I said I did this in a Sunday school class a couple years ago although I did this over like a three or three months so you're I'm just going to have to pick and choose different parts of these different religions that I'm going to share with you because this is exactly what Paul was mentioning I mean look at two specific religions that claim to have been started by an Angel giving a new gospel to them and another one they do they don't claim that it was started by an angel but they have extra biblical material and they claim that is overseen by the Spirit of Jesus and angels and so their information is coming out to us and so the three other religions that we're going to talk about this morning are Mormonism Jehovah Witness and the big one is law and we're just going to kind of give you a sampling of this and so I know I'm going to give you a lot of information in the next few minutes. It's going to be like getting a drink from a fire hydrant but these sermons are online and you can do some research if you want to later but I'm Let's talk about Mormonism to begin with and before I say anything else I do want to say specifically with Mormons in Jehovah Witnesses I'm not presenting this to you to shame or to ridicule anyone who is in these religions OK I have people that I truly consider friends that are both Jehovah Witnesses and Mormons I'm here in Phoenix and I grew up in Spokane Washington both of those religions are very popular so what I'm going to do is I'm just simply going to present what these religions teach OK So this is what Mormonism teaches all right Mormonism teaches that it was founded by a man named Joseph Smith I'm sure many of you probably have heard that before and the story goes or the claim goes that when Joseph Smith was fourteen years old. He was visited by God the Father in Jesus who told him that Christianity had become corrupt and three years later and Angel by the name of morrow and I came and visited Joseph Smith and told him where he could find some golden plates that were buried and that would explain the true Gospel and so later what happened to Smith miraculously found these golden plates and he translated the plates from reform de Gyptian into English and that's where they get the Book of Mormon Mormonism began in Paul Myra New York in the year eight hundred twenty right so that's how Mormonism began it began by an angel from heaven proclaiming a new gospel All right so what are the differences in the content of what Mormonism teaches and what Christianity teaches All right so here are some of the differences the differences talk about who God is Mormonism teaches that man you and me that we can become like a god all right they say. Mormon prophet Lorenzo Snow said this as man is God once was as God is man may become and so they believe that Heavenly Father began as a mortal man on another planet and through learning obedience progressed to becoming a god who was given this planet to rule so they believe that Jesus was just like us who lived on another planet and he was obedient to the face and so he was given this planet to rule over all right so that's what Mormonism teaches they also teach right now that Heavenly Father who is the father of Jesus lives on a planet that circles a star named Colobus and that the Mormon God known as Elohim is also married and has many wives and that there are literally millions of gods ruling millions of planets and Mormons believe that they too can become a god like him and be given their own planet to rule over OK. This is sound like the Gospel that was given to the Apostle Paul and the other possibles absolutely this is definitely a different gospel also not only is that content different but how a person is saved is also different now Mormons do claim that you are saved by grace through faith in Jesus OK So there are some similarities however then they add to it and so that's what they say they say that Jesus atone for the effects of Adam's sin allowing all mankind good and bad to be resurrected to become immortal so basically Mormonism teaches that every single human being is going to be saved but to reach full salvation or to go beyond that initial salvation you have to do this by works and so this is what one of their prophet said. The Atonement of Jesus Christ enables God's children to overcome the effects of the fall and to obtain eternal life by obedience. It also says this the effect the first effect of the Atonement is to secure to all mankind alike exemption from the penalty of the fall thus providing a plan for general salvation the second effect is to open a way for individual salvation whereby. Man we secure remission of personal sins so these are the four conditions to obtain individual or full salvation All right I'll just give you a couple of them they are to have faith in Jesus to accept Joseph Smith as his successor as God's mouthpiece to repent and be baptized and to be a member of the Latter Day Saints Church they also believe that if it were not for Joseph Smith and the restoration of this truth that salvation would not be available to any human being all right so before eight hundred twenty I don't know what they believe about who people were how people were saved or not they also believe that in order to be saved you have to keep the commandments follow all the laws and ordinances of the church do good works and you have to tie to the church All right so that's what they believe that you have to do in order to be saved a lasting about Mormonism one of their prophets name Spencer Kimball he said one of the most of foolishness doctrines originated by Satan and propounded by man is that man is saved by the grace of God that belief in Jesus Christ alone is all that is needed for salvation. So that's what Mormonism believes that Satan tricked mankind to think in the only way you can be saved is by the grace of God So that is something else that's in the world today and this is what Paul said was going to happen so now it's Mormonism this is a great example of what Paul warned us English and Chapter one analysis walk about and Joe Hoeffel witnesses are right and again I'm not I am not an expert on Mormonism Jehovah Witnesses or Islam OK I am an expert on Christianity so I'm just sharing with you the information that I received so this is something about Jehovah Witnesses. Joe Hoeffel witnesses say that Michael the arch NG Arc Angel is none other then Jesus so they say that they're the same person and they believe that this same Michael that became flesh and died for the sins of the Jehovah Witnesses was disintegrated in after he died and then he was copied by the father. By memory and raised in spirit as Michael and so Michael and Jesus what they believe came back in the year eight hundred seventy four invisibly and he came to the Watchtower headquarters in New York in one nine hundred fourteen to inspect Jehovah's organization to see if everything is running right so the job when his headquarters are back in New York and they believe Jesus invisibly came back and he's overseeing their headquarters and making sure that the Watchtower is producing correct information and so the Watchtower's extra biblical information that is coming out and they say that it is being overseen by Michael or Jesus and angels write what they teach about sin and salvation they teach that sin was only partially atone for by Christ they Christ death paid the ransom that remove the effects of Adam's sin but individual still have to work to earn forgiveness for their president future since one of their leaders said this is a quote they say belief involves taking in accurate knowledge of God's purposes and his way of salvation then Faith has to be exercised in Jesus as the chief agent not the only but the first agents of salvation this places the Christian in a saved condition but he must now purser veering doing good gods who are God's will and continue to adhere to all God's requirements for the rest of his life and only then will he be saved to eternal life so this is a salvation by works so here's the requirements for salvation baptism by immersion repentance active association with the Watchtower Society righteous activity absolute loyalty to Jehovah and then even then there's still no salvation assurance of salvation and if you can't live up to those requirements then your disfellowshipped by the Watchtower Society and have no hope for salvation right that's what the Jehovah Witnesses believe it is a is a gospel of works all right and now. Well is long it did I don't know if any of you heard what Alex Goulart said that they were in a mosque All right I personally I'm sure I probably know some people who are Islamic or Muslims I couldn't tell you it my friend you know this person and this person are is all this but Alex grew in Delta Goulart are in Paraguay and that's the religion that they are kind of battling with and so this is very real maybe not so much in America right now but this is the major world religion that Christianity is definitely I'm going up against the word is one how many of you know what is long means it means obedience or submission or surrender.Islam was started fifteen hundred years ago in Mecca Saudi Arabia by the Prophet Muhammad and while Mohammad was contemplating inside a cave and angel named Gabriel came and visited him and the angel gave him messages over the next twenty three years and so this is what Islam teaches about sin and salvation they believe that people are born sinless and are good by nature therefore we don't need a savior but we depend on our own efforts to please Allah and so there are monotheists as well they believe that there is only one God They also believe that all people will be judged on Judgment Day according to their deeds helping others testifying to the truth of God leading a virtuous life and they believe that if you did more things good things than all law will count out against the bad things that you did one of their prophecies coming from there the Koran this is from Sir twenty three one hundred one hundred three it says those then those whose balance of good deeds is heavy they will be successful but those whose balances light will be those who have lost their souls in… will they abide and so in other words to go to Paradise which they believe is why. Or you go when you die you have to believe in Allah the prophets of Islam the Koran angels and judgement day you have to repent and obey Islamic law but that still might not be enough so Islam is a religion based on works hopefully you do enough to please Allah and if you do enough then you get to go to paradise and so can you understand why there are radical Islamics they are doing things to the extreme because what they're doing is they truly believe that they're doing something that is going to please Allah and if they can please all ah all will forgive their sins and allow them to come into heaven so these are some of the belief systems that are out there in the world today and guess what Paul warned us that this was going to happen that angels from heaven are going to preach a new gospel to people let's go back to Paul and what I want to do is I want to read the rest of first chapter one of the lation Zz and I want you to see how Paul explains how he received the message that Christ gave to him and you're going to see some similarities and some differences and we're going to highlight the differences at the very end so let's go ahead let's read the rest of the lation chapter once a glacial chapter one beginning in verse eleven.So as for I would have you know brothers that the Gospel that was preached by me is not man's gospel for I did not receive it from any man nor was I taught it but I received it through a revelation of Jesus Christ here stop right there what's the number one difference between Paul and the other religions Jesus Christ is the one who came the resurrected Jesus Christ is the one who came and talked to the possible verse thirteen for you have heard of my former life in Judaism how I persecuted the church of God violently and tried to destroy it. And I was advancing in Judaism beyond many of my own age among my people so extremely zealous was I for the traditions of my. Years but when he would set me apart before I was born and who called me by His Grace was pleased to reveal his son to me in order that I might preach him among the Gentiles I did not immediately consult with anyone nor did I go up to Jerusalem to those who were apostles before me but I went into Arabia and returned again to Damascus then after three years I went up to Jerusalem to visit kephas who was Peter in remain with him fifteen days but I saw none of the other apostles except Jesus the Lord's brother and what I am writing to you before God I do not lie then I went into the regions of Syria and Silicio and I was still unknown in persons person to the churches in Judea that are in Christ they only were hearing it said he who used to persecute us is now preaching the face he once tried to destroy and they glorify God because of me and so I think in this passage you see obviously the difference is that Jesus appeared to Paul Jesus Himself appeared to Paul and in the next chapter what Paul does is he validates his message by going in confirming with the original possibles and we'll look at that next week besides the deliverer of the message was Jesus the content is different Listen every other religion in this world teaches essentially the same thing they teach the only way you can get to heaven or paradise or to. Wherever it is that you think you're supposed to it achieve you can only get there by works so every other region religion if they're true then that means that when someone gets to heaven or paradise then they will all be able to say the same phrase listen they'll be able to say I am here because I did this. And you know what they gives man the ability to do to boastother religions give man the ability to boast and God tells us that in his presence none of us will be able to boast Let me read for you from first Corinthians one twenty eight it says God chose what is low and despised in the world even things that are not to bring to nothing things that are so that no human being might boast in the presence of God when we stand before God none of us will be able to boast we will only be able to say I am here because of what you did for me now what if you choose to wait nine cents just for by grace you have been saved through faith and this is not your own doing it is the gift of God not a result of works so that no one may boast.So what is the core of this gospel you know we talk about the good news and we're talking about Christianity so what is the core of the good news of Christianity and we're able to kind of boil it down to the most essential parts of what is the gospel the wonderful thing is and first Corinthians Chapter fifteen Paul does exactly that so I want to all over to Georgia First Corinthians Chapter fifteen and we'll look at exactly what this gospel is what this good news is that Paul told the people in GalatiansFirst Corinthians Chapter fifteen beginning in verse one and this is a truth that has not changed First Corinthians Chapter fifteen beginning in verse one.He says now I would remind your brothers of the gospel I preach to you which you received in which you stand and by which you are being saved if you hold fast to the word I preach to you unless you believed in vain and here it is here's the Gospel first three For I delivered you as a first importance what I also received that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures that he was buried and that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures That's the good news that's the good news right there that God promised that he was going to do this before he did it and he sent his Son to die on the cross he was buried in the after three days he rose from the grave and that's all a person needs to do in order to be saved is to believe in that and so we will be able to stand before God some day and not boast but we will be able to say God I am here because of what you did for me by your grace I am saved. You know if you're here today I hope that you have taken what Paul says in First Corinthians fifteen and you have placed your face in your trust in this this is by face but obviously the nice thing is we look at scripture and we realize that there is so much evidence that supports this faith especially when it says Christ died on the cross for our sins according to the Scriptures and he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures God gives us enough reason and evidence to believe that this is true but if you're here today and maybe you're not following a specific other religion but if you in your mind in your heart you've been thinking you know what I know there's a God I know there's a heaven and I want to be there someday when I die but you're trying to do it through your own good works you're trying to do it so you can say God I was good enough I did more good than bad hopefully you'll realize that that's not going to get you into heaven and today you can place your face in what Christ did alone as the reason why you can have the hope of eternal life if you're today and you've never done that I invite you. To make that confession of faith right now like when you close your eyes and about your head and if you're here today and you realize that it's only what Christ did for you and not your own works that can get you the right standing with God simply pray this prayer to God and He will hear you just simply pray. To your father I believe. I believe you sent Jesus to die for my sins and I believe you raised him from the dead to give us the hope of eternal life. I place my faith in what Jesus did for me as the only reason why I can have my sins forgiven in B.C..If you've ever prayed that prayer or if you prayed that just today for the very first time you are and forever will be a child of God and that is the gospel that saves us let's close in prayer us thank God for giving us this truth.Dear Lord I thank you so much for what you've written to us today through the Apostle Paul and I know that even at the time when you were inspiring him to write these words he was dealing with the issue there in Galatians about circumcision and how people were trying to convince people that they had to do the works of the law in order to be saved and obviously Lord in that time those issues were resolved and people saw the truth of of the message the Lord as we go through human history we see that Satan is still trying to battle your truth and we see that he has caused millions and millions of people throughout human history to be led into deception and so father and I pray that you open our eyes continue to have our eyes open to what the truth is thank you for giving us your written word that is consistent through the ages so that we can study it and we can know what your truth is and Lorida for us as a church I just pray that you will help us to be a mouthpiece that shares with the world around us the true Gospel that salvation comes only through the death and resurrection of our Savior Jesus Christ and the Lord right now as we are in the season of Christmas and I know that we might be getting more people visiting. Yes I pray that that message will be very clear and that you might move people's hearts and minds to understand the truth of the One True Gospel and Lord thank you so much for saving us none of us want to be able to be boasting before you in heaven and only thing that we can do is boast about what you've done for us and so Lord I thank you so much for this passage that we're able to read today which gives us confidence in the assurance of our salvation we pray this in Christ me even.Now I mean the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ the love of God the Father the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all that.