In Ephesians 4:1-6 Paul writes about the importance of walking worthy of Christ and ow to do so. In this message Pastor Steve walks through this passage defining this worthy walk and encouraging us to endeavor to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. Our church culture today needs to consider the teachings of the Apostle Paul in this passage to promote the testimony of Christ to our children and to our neighbors.
There are two great enemies of our communion with God, the devil and our own flesh. In this message, Pastor Steve addresses the realities of these enemies and exposes them for who they are and for what they want, our total destruction. Let us commit to fighting these enemies so that our communion with God may be rich.
We have two enemies, the devil and our own flesh. Both of these enemies are evident from the first temptation to the last temptation. These two can work apart from each other or in conjunction with each other. Oftentimes we can see where the devil might use something of this world to get our attention and then our sinful flesh is aroused to that desire.
James said that every man is tempted when he is drawn away by his own lusts and then enticed. Lust gives birth to sin and sin then brings its death.
First of all, we are not tempted to sin by God. James makes this clear. “Let no one say that when they are tempted they are tempted by God for God does not tempt anyone. Every one is tempted when they are drawn away by their own lusts and enticed.” So, our enemies are the devil and our own lusts of our own flesh.
How then do we fight these insidious enemies who do not love us but only love themselves and care nothing for our success or failure only for their gratification?
- There is no silver bullet to beat all temptations.
- Some sins are stronger to one person than to another.
- Some sins have different triggers to different people.
- Some sins are more addictive than others, particularly if there is a chemical involved.
- Some sins are attached to our natural desires for food, sleep, relationships, and sex.
- Some sins are passed down through families by example.
- Some sins just show up and we are not sure how they came into our lives.
- Sin does not respect the age, the wellness, the emotions, the time of day, nor the Word of God. We see this in Satan’s temptations of Christ.
- Therefore, there is not one answer for all sinful temptations.
- There are several Scriptures that deal with sin’s presence and sin’s attacks on our lives. Sin in a serious issue of life not to be taken lightly.
- 1 Peter 5:8-11 Satan is like a roaring lion… whom resist steadfast in faith…
- 2 Timothy 2:22 Flee also youthful lusts… pursue righteousness, faith, love, peace with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart.
- 1 Peter 2:11-12 Abstain from fleshly lusts which war against the soul, have your conduct honorable
- Romans 13:14 but put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to fulfill its
- Galatians 6:7 Be not deceived, God is not mocked, whatever you sow you will also reap.
- Romans 6:12-23 We are set free from sin but we are enslaved by whomever we submit ourselves to. God has set us free to live for him. Though the wages of sin is death, the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ, our Lord.
- 1 John 3:4-8
- We are to resist sin, flee from sin, abstain from sin, not make provision for sin, recognize that we still reap what we sow, have been set free from sin but can still come under its bondage, and we are not to consistently be living in sin. In the 1 Peter passage we are reminded that we resist sin steadfast in faith. This is not something that we get good at but something we must hold faithfully to God’s promises as our constant weapon.
- Ephesians 6:17 …and take the sword of the Spirit which is the Word of God. This is what Jesus did and we can do no better than to follow His example in temptation.
- There are teachings about God that will strengthen us in our temptations.
- God takes us into His presence, to His right hand to enjoy His pleasures:
- Psalm 16: 8 -11
- God save us, show us that we are important to Him, protects us, and He alone satisfies us:
- Psalm 17:6 -9 & 15
- Psalm 23, John 15 The Lord is my shepherd, ever with me, ever guarding me, ever protecting me.
- God is greater than our enemy: 1 John 4: You are from God, little children, and have overcome them; because greater is He who is in you than he who is in the world.
- The devil and all of his hosts are a defeated enemy, Satan was defeated at the Cross and at the empty tomb. The last enemy to be destroyed will be death, but even he will be defeated. 1 Corinthians 10:13 tells us that God will always make a way of escape for us.
- God takes us into His presence, to His right hand to enjoy His pleasures:
- How do we cleanse our minds from the filth of our past, from the repetitive sins that we do?
- With the washing of the water of the Word of God – Ephesians 5:25-27, Hebrews 10:19-22
- By presenting your bodies as living sacrifices and by renewing our minds with the Word of God – Romans 12:1-2
- Romans 6 – by not yielding ourselves to our fleshly desires but to the Lord.
- By constantly putting off the old self and putting on the new self made in the image of Christ – Colossians 3
- By regularly gathering with God’s people – Hebrews 10:22-25
- Will we ever get ultimate victory over sin in this life? Will we ever have a time when sinful desires won’t be attacking us?
- We are to be putting off the old
- We are to be being sober and diligent
- We are to continually walk in the light
- We are to continue yielding ourselves to Christ – the verb forms are continuous action.
- Paul wanted to depart this life and to be with Christ, which would be far better. Philippians 1:23
- Paul called himself the least of all saints and the chief of sinners.
- We are called to war against sin, to wrestle against the spiritual enemies of this life. These are aggressive terms defining the actions we must take against the enemies of our communion with God.
- 2 Corinthians 10:2-6
- Psalm 19:7-11 The Word of God is perfect, sure, clean, true, righteous, enlightening to the eyes, making wise the simple, gives warning, brings reward; it teaches us what is acceptable to think about and what is acceptable to speak about.
- 1 Timothy 1:18 This charge I commit to you, son Timothy, according to the prophecies previously made concerning you, that by them you may wage the good warfare,
- Ephesians 6:12 -13
- What benefits are there from fighting the enemies of our communion with God?
- Psalm 16:8 …gladness, rest for the soul, life, fullness of joy, pleasures forever.
- Psalm 17:6-15 speaks of several benefits in this life and full satisfaction in the presence of the Lord.
- Psalm 1 speaks of the one who lives the blessed life.
- Paul started every epistle with the greeting of grace and peace.
- 1 Corinthians 15:58 speaks to the live lived in the power of the resurrection knowing that their life was not in vain but had great purpose both now and forever.
- The peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, guards our hearts and minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:7
- In the kingdom parables, the ones who were prepared for their Lord’s return were always glad to see him.
- All of God’s promises are true. 2 Corinthians 1:20 22
- In contrast, what the benefits of walking in sin? John 10:10, the enemy comes to steal, to kill, and to destroy. We are to resist this roaring lion by remaining steadfast in the faith of God, His word, the work of Christ, and the communion of God through the indwelling Holy Spirit.
- A final reason to fight the enemies of our communion with God is the opportunity we gain to rejoice with the saints of all of the ages in praising and worshipping, having communion with, God.
Revelation 19:6 And I heard, as it were, the voice of a great multitude, as the sound of many waters and as the sound of mighty thunderings, saying, “Alleluia! For the Lord God Omnipotent reigns! 7 Let us be glad and rejoice and give Him glory, for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and His wife has made herself ready.”
1 Peter 1:3-9
Luke 10:18 -20
Revelation 3:1-17 is the call to the faithful church, the church of Philadelphia. There were many promises given to this faithful church, promises for now and for eternity.
2 Timothy 4:6-8
Those who love the coming appearing of the Lord Jesus are those who are fighting the good fight of faith, enjoying communion with God, and never fully giving in to the enemies of this life.
There is no positive fruit that comes from sin. The fruit of sin is shame and death. Romans 6:21,23 Though we will never be fully free from sin in this life, in Christ we are able to battle against sin, enjoy victories, confess defeats, get help, get back up and continue in the battle for the glory of God and for the souls of those around us.
When a Christian battles Satan and the flesh, that Christian is a testimony of the grace and love of God. When a Christian stops battling Satan and the flesh they become a reproach to the name of Christ and lose any influence in caring for the souls of others. We are called to be faithful. We can faithfully battle the enemies of our communion with God and enjoy His presence within us day after day until we find ourselves in His eternal presence where we will finally know fullness of joy and eternal pleasures at His right hand.
God’s purpose of creating man was to have communion with his people. Satan came along and through sin separated mankind from God and communion with God ceased. But God still had his intended purpose and sent Christ to pay for our sin so that we could again commune with him. In this message, Pastor Steve brings our minds and hearts back to God’s intended design and invites us to daily communion with God. (The message is only 35 minutes long, the recording wasn’t stopped until much later.)
Jesus was asked what the greatest commandment of the law was. The lawyer of the Pharisees who asked it knew that there were over 600 commands either to keep or to avoid and he wanted to trip up the Lord Jesus by this tricky question. The Lord pushed through any fog of confusion telling the lawyer that the greatest command was to love the Lord with all of his heart and to love neighbors as self.
In this message, Pastor Steve addresses Christians in general and Grace for Life specifically. He looks at God’s nature as a nature of love, God’s actions of love, and how we are to show love through our actions of giving to one another.
We are called to identify with Christ in our actions. We are called to partake of the Lord’s Table when we are identified with Christ. In 1 Corinthians 10 Paul addresses the issue of those who would partake of the demons table and then come to the Lord’s Table. The absurdity of this is obvious. Yet in this world people do try to sit at both tables. In this message, Pastor Steve opens up 1 Corinthians 10 to seek clarity from the Scriptures.
The Apostle John gives us many evidences of Christ in us. In this passage Pastor Steve brings out some more evidences of who lives within. When we live within we cannot bring out the evidences of God. But when God, in his Holy Spirit, lives within, there are definite changes that take place from the inside out of our lives.
In this passage, John makes it very clear that people who are loving are of God and people who are not loving are of Satan. He uses Cain as an example of someone filled with hatred that led to murder and then states that no murderer has eternal life. In this message, Pastor Steve looks carefully at the two sides of this passage and reminds us that the Lord Jesus delights in saving murderous people who will be saved. But, those who reject God’s grace and live in hatred are not nor can they be children of God.
In this passage John makes some very strong statements about who is and who is not following Jesus Christ. The basis of John’s qualifying statements lies in someone’s heart attitude toward their own sin. In this message, Pastor Steve takes a look at John’s instructions regarding those who practice or continue in sin while claiming to be a Christian.
The Apostle John calls all children of God to live pure lives. In this message, Pastor Steve looks at this passage as a call to purity to all who have received eternal life by grace. John says that Jesus is coming back and that we will be like Him when we see Him. He then calls us to live in purity as we await the Savior’s return. In a time when churches are drifting away from greater purity of life, this passage calls us to an increase in pure living each day until we meet Jesus.
Jesus Christ is the way, the TRUTH, and the life. In this passage the Apostle John emphasizes the truth of Christ and God over the lies of the antichrists of this world. The truth of Jesus Christ and the anointing of the Word and the Spirit lead to God’s promise of eternal life.
On Mother’s Day, Pastor Steve brought this message to encourage women to be the women that God, in His image, created them to be. The woman in Proverbs 31 is far from under-rated, under-paid, and under-respected. She is well spoken, well gifted, and well compensated. Furthermore, she is well known for the exercise of all of her gifts both in the home and in the market. She loves her family well and is held in high esteem by all. In the face of hyped up feminism, a woman who fulfills her God-given purposes stands in stark contrast and is greatly fulfilled and respected by all.
Still in the Book of Ruth, Pastor Steve builds on the message of God’s hesed toward us showing that God established our salvation long before time began. God, in hesed toward us, defined two offices of the go’el, the kinsmen redeemer in the Law of Moses. In office, the go’el was to redeem his brother’s property; in another office, the go’el was to redeem his brother’s life. This study shows the complexity of our salvation and the wisdom of God who designed it so that our enemy, Satan, would be defeated while our Redeemer, Jesus Christ, becomes King and restores both land and life to His eternal children.
In this message from Ruth Pastor Steve explains why the Hebrew word hesed does not have a good English equivalent and then uses the story of Ruth, Naomi, and Boaz to show us what God has done in His hesed toward us. As Christians, we need to have greater understanding of what God did for us and continues to do for us all stemming from His heart of love, compassion, commitment, and mercy.
“Love not the world nor the things that are in the world,” has been the text of many sermons urging Christians not to follow after whatever thing of the world that the preacher wanted to preach against. That type of emphasis from this passage has created a negative attitude of “not loving the world.” While the commandment here is clear, Pastor Steve brings out that the key point of the passage is that we don’t love the world because we have enjoyed the love of the Father.
“The love of the Father” is the fulness of God in our lives loving us in spite of our sin and caring for us now and forever with His eternal love for us. When we enjoy the love of the Father we will love Him more than we love this world. This is the positive side to loving not the world; enjoy the Father