Month: June 2016

The deity of Christ must be accepted for salvation from sin

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John 8

21 Then Jesus said to them again, “I am going away, and you will seek Me, and will die in your sin. Where I go you cannot come.”

22 So the Jews said, “Will He kill Himself, because He says, ‘Where I go you cannot come’?” 23 And He said to them, “You are from beneath; I am from above. You are of this world; I am not of this world. 24 Therefore I said to you that you will die in your sins; for if you do not believe that I am He, you will die in your sins.”

 

In order for Jesus to be the Savior of the world, the Lamb of God who could take away the sin of the world, He had to be sinless.  That is, Jesus Christ must live an absolutely sinless life.  For if Jesus told one half-truth, or one lie then He would not have been sinless and His mission would have failed.

 

The statement Christ made in verse 23 is a statement of His previous existence with the Father in an above place, not a place of this world.  Unlike all other men, Jesus came from above; all others came from beneath.  We came from two human parents.  We had no previous existence.  Jesus did not come from two human parents and yes, He did have a previous existence.

 

There are religions today that deny the deity of Christ and deny His eternal existence before His birth.  Islam calls Jesus a prophet like Mohammed.  Jehovah Witnesses deny the deity of Christ while accepting his personhood.  Their faith is in Jehovah alone.  The Mormons deny the atoning work of Christ so salvation is an earned end whereas Jesus became God so we too can become gods.  Any belief system that claims a work based salvation in theory denies the eternal existence of Jesus Christ and denies His role as the sinless Lamb who can take away sin.

 

Jesus stated it clearly here; those who die in their sins do so because they deny Him.  No one that denies Christ as come from God, as eternal with God, can have their sins forgiven by Him. The Pharisees, though the most religious people of their day, were going to go to the grave in their sin because they rejected Jesus as God.

 

Thankfully, the flip-side is also true; all who come to God by faith in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior will have their sins forgiven and will leave this life to enjoy Christ in the next.

 

Thank you to all of you who call Grace for Life Bible Church your home church.  Every time we gather we rejoice in the Lord together and are thankful for all that He has done on our behalf.  We rejoice in fellowship and in prayer and in song and in message of the faithfulness of God and the work of Christ.  We had a great opportunity Sunday night at the River Walk both singing and testifying of the power of God to salvation.  People come and go but the Word was given.  We will be doing this throughout the summer.  Join us next time.

 

VBS is still ahead of us.  Be praying with us for God to bring us children and parents to hear His gospel message.  There is no greater activity we can do than to invite people to Christ.  It was Jesus who said, “allow the little children to come unto me and do not forbid them for of such is the kingdom of heaven.”  We are seeking to just that – bring children to Jesus.

 

We still have yard signs if you would like one for your yard.  Call me and I will bring one by.

 

Have a great day in the Lord,
PS

Do we “see” Jesus as God

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John 8

14 Jesus answered and said to them, “Even if I bear witness of Myself, My witness is true, for I know where I came from and where I am going; but you do not know where I come from and where I am going. 15 You judge according to the flesh; I judge no one. 16 And yet if I do judge, My judgment is true; for I am not alone, but I am with the Father who sent Me. 17 It is also written in your law that the testimony of two men is true. 18 I am One who bears witness of Myself, and the Father who sent Me bears witness of Me.”

19 Then they said to Him, “Where is Your Father?”

Jesus answered, “You know neither Me nor My Father. If you had known Me, you would have known My Father also.”

 

In our cinematic age we have watched several men play “Jesus” in different movies.  I remember one portrayal that had Jesus laughing a lot.  Isaiah’s description of the Christ as a “man of sorrows” made me wonder if Christ enjoyed life as much as this actor portrayed.  I have seen passion plays and the “Passion of the Christ” movie where Jesus was portrayed very serious, very intense.  When I was younger all of the Jesus actors had long, really long hair but in 1 Corinthians it said that if a man had long hair it was a shame unto him so I wondered if those portrayals could be right.  (Did any of you have these conflicting thoughts when you watched screen adaptations of the Lord Jesus?)  Then there were the presentations of Christ where they found the most handsome actor they could whose body was ripped with muscles and used him as Jesus.  Again, that is not how Isaiah said it would be.

One aspect of Christ that I don’t remember being emphasized on screen was His equality with the Father.  Jesus and God were equals, they are one.  Christ, in His humanity, did not put aside His divinity.  He was the enfleshment of God, God in the flesh, God incarnate.  He did all the amazing things that He did because he was God.  Both Peter and Paul did amazing miracles but later in life they were not able to do the same miracles.  Jesus was able all the way to the end of His stay on earth.  Divinity did not come on Him and leave Him for Jesus was God from birth to death.

Why does this matter?  If we perceive Jesus as seen on TV and in the movies we are not going to see Him in the fullness of who He is.  If we perceive Jesus as less than fully God then we are not going to entrust Him with our entire lives and eternity.  God did not want any images made of Him lest people would worship Him for less than He was for no image can depict God accurately.  Thus, no actor can portray Christ fully.  If we see the actor we are not seeing Christ.

The Lord Jesus repeatedly defended His equality with God.  Christ wants us to know that He and God are one and that we can therefore trust the Lord Jesus, who saves and indwells us, with our entire lives, i.e. our minds, our wills, our emotions, our present, our past and our future.  Since Jesus is God in fullness He is able to save and to keep.  When we pray to God in Christ we are praying to the sovereign God of all creation and of all time and space.  We are praying to God!  When we worship Jesus Christ we are worshipping God!  Hallelujah! What a Savior.

Whew, what a week this has been!  A good week of ministry and a very full week of ministry.  We asked God to open doors of opportunity and He surely has.  I look forward to hear how God has opened doors of opportunity for you. 

Sunday is our dinner day.  Plan to come and join us for lunch after the morning service.  Before lunch there is a mandatory VBS meeting for all workers.  We are one week away and need to make sure that all loose ends are going to be tied up.  I will be going out passing out flyers for a while after lunch.  If anyone wants to join me bring walking shoes. 

The VBS yard signs came in late yesterday.  I will be bringing them by your houses later today.  I could use some help tomorrow afternoon getting the church yard sign painted and put together.  If you can come lend a hand please let me know. 

Bobbi will be at the church tomorrow getting the auditorium decorated.  There are still props to paint and cut so if you can help come in the morning around 9:00. 

Most of all, pray for God to send us children and parents.   The more we can get the better it will be for the more that will hear the Gospel, the good news unto salvation.

Have a great day in the Lord,
PS

God is able, Sin gets in the way – Isaiah 59

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In Isaiah 59 the prophet asks if God’s hand had become shortened so it could not save or if God’s ear had become heavy that it could not hear. The answer was that no, God did not have the problems but the people’s sins had separated them from their God. In this message, Pastor Steve walks through the chapter exposing the sins that separate people from God and what that separation means. As the chapter continues God looks for an intercessor and finds none reminding us that no human can intercede for another human; so God decides to roll up His own sleeves and intercede. How great our God is to reach down to us through our sin to bring us to Himself.

 

They need His light

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John 8

12 Then Jesus spoke to them again, saying, “I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life.”

My friends, I am convinced more than ever that those around us who are living apart from Christ have no light to guide them.  They have no moral light to walk in.  They have no political light to guide them.  They have no satisfying light to keep them satisfied.  And when they face death, they have no eternal light to give them hope.  The proliferation of the internet has taught us all this and more.  People immediately, without sufficient thought, post what they are thinking and the absurdness of so many of their thoughts demonstrates their darkness.

Kindness is a fruit of the Holy Spirit so people without the Lord are not naturally kind and their unkindness deepens the darkness for others.  Without the Light of Christ people’s treatment of other people goes from minor to horrific unkindness.  Our political election system has demonstrated this to us day after day with great shame and darkness.

The Light of Life leads us into God’s wisdom for life and without God’s light wisdom is based on self and on the experiences of others.  Thus, it is not wisdom but “group think” which leads to greater darkness.  No, we are not living in an enlightened age but a darkened age that is getting darker by the moment. Sin is justified as free speech.  Perversion is justified as the way we were born.  Detestable desires are practiced in public and hardly any one stands up against the darkness.

Oh how we should be praying for this sin-darkened world to come to the Light of the Lord Jesus.  Whenever anyone follows Him they will come into His light and will see sin for what it is and will turn from it for Christ’s sake.  I know that we cannot legislate morality but we can lift of Jesus as the Light of the world and let Him draw people unto Himself.  Pray for the salvation of the worst people you know.  Pray for salvation for the best people you know.  They are all walking in darkness and need the Light of Life.

Bobbi is working on VBS stuff today from 9:00-1:00.  Anyone available to help, please come.  There is still much to do and VBS begins a week from Sunday.

Sunday evening we will do an outreach in Naperville.  More details on Sunday morning.

Friday morning is our monthly men’s prayer breakfast at Denny’s

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Sunday is our dinner fellowship after church.

Have a great day in the Lord,

PS