Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Living The Lord's Prayer

Living the Lord’s Prayer

    [”For samples of vain repetitions, see I Kings 18:26; Acts 19:34.” McGarvey]

    To many people the “Lord’s Prayer” represents the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  Jesus gave it as a pattern of how people may approach GOD in prayer.  We pray as God’s children!

    Jesus was a man of prayer. 

We can imagine Him saying something like this.  “The Father is the secret of My success.  He is the reason for My existence, My vision, My horizon, My passion and zeal.  Living for Him is what life is all about.  If you miss this, you completely misunderstand Me, and every- thing I wish to give you.”  [John 10:17-18; Hebrews 2:9]

    1. Lord, teach us to pray. 

    “Now it came to pass, as He was praying in a certain place, when He ceased, that one of His disciples said to Him, "Lord, teach us to pray, as John also taught his disciples." Luke 11:1

In God's family, we, as His childen have the right to pray to Him personally. 

    In teaching how to pray, Jesus is teaching how to live.   For Him, constant communication with His Father was His life.  So what He prayed about each day was what He most cared about.

    a) A pattern for prayer.  “So He said to them, "When you pray, say: Our Father in heaven, Hallowed be Your name.” Luke 11:2 
    From the very beginning Jesus is teaching that human life is to be understood in relationship to GOD who is our FATHER.  If you want to become all you were meant to be - PUT GOD FIRST.  [This does not cancel the fact that God intends us to work to make a living.  Jesus worked as a carpenter, Paul made tents, Peter fished.  We work, but as a Christian.]

    Seek first the Kingdom.”  When we plan our day, when we set priorities, when we think of our short and long term goals, all of this must be viewed through our relationship to GOD, and His purposes and plans for our life.  “If the Lord is willing, we will do such and such.”  James 4:13-16

 b) Your kingdom come.  Satan is permitted to distort and confuse.  Yet GOD is on His Throne.  God’s Great Kingdom has come to earth and it will last forever!  Jesus prays that the kingdom of God will be welcomed into our hearts.  Each new baby born into our world is a candidate for citizenship in God’s kingdom.  Compare Phil. 3:20-21.  “For our citizenship is in heaven, from which we also eagerly wait for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ,” 

    c) Give us this day our daily bread.  God is NOT a fickle, distant, harsh, trickster, who is nearly impossible to please.  He is a loving Father who is committed to us without limit.  As He supplied manna to the Jews, He feeds us through the most focused, compassionate, powerful, and intelligent MAN who ever lived.  “I am the bread sent down from heaven.”

    “But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.  Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.”  Matt 6:33-34

    d) Forgive us as we forgive others.  “And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.  Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice.  And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God in Christ forgave you.”  Eph 4:30-32

    The apostles understood what they had received and what was at stake in Jesus’ command to forgive.  And Paul knew that we are all prodigals who stand in desperate need of forgiveness. Unforgiveness blocks the flow of God’s mercy. 

    e) Lead us not into temptation.  Jesus wants us to be alert, clear-minded, and ready for action.  He himself was tempted “in every way that we are” (Hebrews 4:14-16).  Sin kills.  At its core, sin is a refusal of God, a conscious rejection of His Plan and purpose for our lives.  But Jesus is the Lamb who takes away the sin of the world!  [But sin is what God says it is.  Some confuse their opinions with God's commands.
    f) But deliver us from evil.  The victory belongs to the Lord!  The idea that we look to God for help to defeat the devil seems weird to the modern mind.  Many today simply deny that there is a devil.  But some think Satan is as powerful as God.  Jesus does neither.  He wants us to be battle-ready and to look to God and draw on His strength.  “Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.”  Eph 6:10-11

    g) For Yours is the Kingdom and the Power and the Glory Forever.  Amen.  We can have faith in answered prayer when we ask for things worthy of the Lord and strive for holiness.  Of course, human prayers neither limit nor control the Awesome GOD.  He works for our eternal good, and for His Purpose to be completed here and now.

[Christians are to SEE Jesus high and lifted up!  He is the Lamb of God who by Himself PURGED our sins [Hebrews 1:3].  This seems nonsense to some.  ”For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. For it is written: "I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, And bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent." 1 Cor 1:18-19; Isaiah 29:14]

Saturday, October 1, 2011


FOUR GREAT CERTAINTIES                                R.D.Ice

        “He then would have had to suffer often since the foundation of the world, but now, once at the end of the ages, He has appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself.  And as it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment, so Christ was offered once to bear the sins of many.  To those who eagerly wait for Him He will appear a second time, apart from sin, for salvation.”  Hebrews 9:26-28
 Everyone has to die once,
then stand at Judgment.
Christ died  once,
but His death was a sacrifice
that took care of sins forever.
When He Comes Again,
it will be salvation
for those waiting for Him.
[Hebrews 9:27-28]

        1st great certainty - Death.  “It is appointed for men to die once.”

        Christianity is about life.  Jesus said: “I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.”  John 10:10

        Jesus said: “For as the Father raises the dead and gives life to them, even so the Son gives life to whom He will.”  John 5:21.

        But we all die because we are human in Adam.  1 Cor. 15:22

        “Life is a constant and daily journey toward death.  One after another dies, and the living must merely engage in the miserable business of carrying one another to the grave.  All of us are traveling the same road together.”  Luther

        2nd great certainty - Judgment.  “We shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ.”  Romans 14:10.
        Judgment beyond this life is only fair and right.

        We shall be judged by a law which is “holy and just and good.”

        God’s promise to forgive and forget.  Hebrews 10:17; 1John 1:9.

        “Will my life stand the test of judgment?”

        3rd great certainty - Gospel.  “So it is certain that Christ was offered once to bear the sins of many.”
        The Good News Gospel of Christ is as certain as death and judgment.  God loves you and wants you to know what He has done for you in and through His Son, Jesus Christ.

        a) HE lived a sinless life - fulfilling God’s law. 
        b) HE died for us and paid the penalty for our breaking the law of God.  Romans 5:8.

        c) HE rose from the dead and commanded us to tell everyone the Good News that forgiveness and eternal life are offered freely to all who believe.  Luke 24:47; John 20:31

        4th great certainty - Christ is Coming Again.
        “He will appear a second time, apart from sin, for salvation.”

        God begins to reward us for Christ’s sake even now.  He accepts us as sons/daughters (John 1:12).  He gives us the Holy Spirit (Gal. 4:6).  He transforms our lives by making us a new creature (2 Cor. 5:17).

        To believers who wait eagerly for Him, Christ’s return is the “blessed hope.”  (Titus 2:11-13)
We are in a new life right now,
and we want the Day to come!
The glorious Day when our great
God and Savior, Jesus Christ, appears.
He offered Himself as a sacrifice
to free us from a dark, rebellious life -
into this good, pure life,
making us a people
He can be proud of.
[Titus 2:12-14]

Sunday, August 21, 2011


PHOTINI - The Samaritan Woman of John 4:4-9

(Sometimes a question sparks investigation. Luke mentions many writing about Jesus. Luke 1:1-4. The Bible does not try to tell everything that might be told. John 20:30-31; 21:25. But traditional history tells of Photini, the Samaritan woman.)

Whoever invests his/her life in God's Son
Doesn’t die, but gets given this everlasting life.
Do you think God sent His Son to slam people down?
NO! He sent His Son to liberate people! [John 3:17]

1. Who were the Samaritans [Palestinians]?

The Samaritans were a mixed race and traditional enemies of the Jews. Although they worshipped the God of Israel and were awaiting a Redeemer, they accepted only the first five Books of the OT (the Pentateuch) as their Scriptures. They had built their temple at Mt. Gerazim, which the Jews destroyed in 128 BC. Their worship was similar to the Koran of Islam. [Note the Koran shows Mohammed dead, but Mary's Son Jesus ascending to heaven. And the Koran shows Jesus coming at the End of the World.]

God allowed the 10 Tribes to be taken captive. 2 Kings 17:1-18.

"Then the king of Assyria brought people from Babylon, Cuthah, Ava, Hamath, and from Sepharvaim, and placed them in the cities of Samaria instead of the children of Israel; and they took possession of Samaria and dwelt in its cities."
2 Kings 17:24

Bwecxause these new people did not worship Him, God sent lions among them. 2 Kings 17:25-27.

"Then one of the priests whom they had carried away from Samaria came and dwelt in Bethel, and taught them how they should fear the Lord." 2 Kings 17:28

Note God sent no more lions. He must have accepted the things the Samaritans did to worship Him.

2. Jesus at the well.

Jacob's well was at the foot of Mt. Gerazim. It was here Jacob had the vision of the Ladder (Gen. 28:12-19).

"Then the woman of Samaria said to Him, "How is it that You, being a Jew, ask a drink from me, a Samaritan woman?" For Jews have no dealings with Samaritans. Jesus answered and said to her, "If you knew the gift of God, and who it is who says to you, 'Give Me a drink,' you would have asked Him, and He would have given you living water." John 4:9-10

"Are You greater than our father Jacob, who gave us the well, and drank from it himself, as well as his sons and his livestock?" John 4:12

Jesus is greater than Jacob. He is the final revelation of God. "And He said to him, "Most assuredly, I say to you, hereafter you shall see heaven open, and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of Man." John 1:51

3. Fountain of Living Water.

"but whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst. But the water that I shall give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life." John 4:14

The living water given by Jesus is the Holy Spirit as a gift. The inspired explanation is John 7:37-39. "He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water." But this He spoke concerning the Spirit, whom those believing in Him would receive; for the Holy Spirit was not yet given, because Jesus was not yet glorified." And the Holy Spirit Himself becomes a Fountain of Water which flows with eternal life. [Jesus was glorified in the Cross & Resurrection.]

4. I AM - who speak to you am He.

Jesus reveals Himself to be more than the Messianic Prophet [who the Samaritans were expecting] and more than the Jewish Messiah. He is the Incarnate GOD Himself.

"Then they said to the woman, "Now we believe, not because of what you said, for we ourselves have heard Him and we know that this is indeed the Christ, the Savior of the world." John 4:42

The Samaritans are the first to recognize Jesus as the Savior of the world. The Gospel is for the world. The Samaritan woman becomes the first evangelist, testifying to the advent of Christ and bringing others to Him (John 4:39).

According to an early tradition, after the Resurrection of Christ she was baptized [at Pentecost] and given the Christian name Photini, "the enlightened one." Along with her two sons and five daughters she went to Carthage to spread the gospel. There they were arrested and taken to Rome under Nero, imprisoned, and later martyred.

O Lord, open our lips.
And our mouth shall proclaim your praise.
Blessed are You, O God.
In Christ the walls that divide are broken down,
the chains that enslave are thrown aside,
and we are freed from death and despair
and given life and hope.
We are liberated from hate and war
and empowered to love and to seek peace.
For these and all Your mercies, we praise You:
Father, Son, and Holy Spirit:
Blessed be God for ever!
[from an old prayer]

Thursday, July 7, 2011


God Bless America! July 4, 2011

While the storm clouds gather far across the sea,
Let us swear allegiance to a land that's free.
Let us all be grateful for a land so fair,
As we raise our voices in a solemn prayer:
[Irving Berlin]

"As we enter another Independence Day weekend, I think it would be good to remind ourselves of who those men were that counted the cost and paid the price to bring this land of liberty into existence." Chuck Baldwin

July 4th marks the day in 1776 when the Continental Congress approved the Declaration of Independence in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, after 3 days of spirited debate.

Scripture instructs us to pray for the Nation in which we live.

"And seek the peace of the city where I have caused you to be carried away captive, and pray to the Lord for it; for in its peace you will have peace." Jeremiah 29:7-8

"Therefore I exhort first of all that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men, for kings and all who are in authority, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence. For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth." 1 Tim 2:1-4

"Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.” Hebrews 4:16

1. All nations serve God, (but also do bad things).

"For he is God's minister to you for good. But if you do evil, be afraid; for he does not bear the sword in vain; for he is God's minister, an avenger to execute wrath on him who practices evil." Romans 13:4

a) Roman power kept the peace in Paul's world. People could travel safely. This made it possible for the Christian Gospel to be spread from place to place. While war is bad, it causes people to come into contact with new ideas and new possibilities. God sends times of Revival. History shows this to be true.

b) "You cannot strengthen the weak by weakening the strong. You cannot help small men by tearing down big men. You cannot help the poor by destroying the rich. You cannot lift the wage earner by tearing down the wage payer. You cannot keep out of trouble by spending more than your income. You cannot help men permanently by doing for them what they could and should do for themselves." Abraham Lincoln - via North Drexel Church of Christ, Oklahoma City

2. Pray for a New Pentecost.

a) "We need a New Pentecost because we need a New Evangelization.” So said Mr. Ralph Martin. "The New Evangelization seeks to reawaken the call to holiness within every person. Living out the love of God and neighbor is the path of holiness that the saints have trod on their way “from baptism to the Vision of the Ages.” Holiness, he insisted, is not reserved for a group of religious elite, but is the vocation of all the baptized and, ultimately, is the only path to heaven. Proclaiming this Gospel message is urgent – not simply a matter of enriching lives but of saving souls. Part of our own mission as the church is to proclaim the Good News of salvation in Christ and to build communities (churches) of prayer and holiness."

b) Holiness is becoming in fact what we already are in Christ.

"When I shut up heaven and there is no rain, or command the locusts to devour the land, or send pestilence among My people, if My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land." 2 Chronicles 7:13-14

"Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new." 2 Cor 5:17

"Therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, put on tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering; bearing with one another, and forgiving one another, if anyone has a complaint against another; even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do. But above all these things put on love, which is the bond of perfection. And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to which also you were called in one body; and be thankful." Col 3:12-15 

Tuesday, May 31, 2011


Eve - Mother of All Living

1. God created Mankind.

“What is man that You are mindful of him, And the son of man that You visit him? For You have made him a little lower than the angels, And You have crowned him with glory and honor.” Psalms 8:4-5; Hebrews 2:6-8

“This is the book of the genealogy of Adam. In the day that God created man, He made him in the likeness of God. He created them male and female, and blessed them and called them Mankind in the day they were created.” Gen 5:1-2

a) Both Adam and Eve were created in the image of God. So are each one of us.

“So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.” Gen 1:27

Because of the law of natural generation, the lives of men and women are intertwined. Paul wrote: "Nevertheless, neither is man independent of woman, nor woman independent of man, in the Lord. For as woman was from the man, even so the man also is through the woman; but all things are from God." (1 Cor. 11:11-12).

b) Brothers and sisters in Christ.

“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 neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” Gal 3:27-28

c) Fill the earth with people.

“Satan is unable to beget sons and daughters.” Jack Hayford. Only Jehovah God has the power to Create and Generate.

“And Adam called his wife's name Eve (Life), because she was the mother of all living.” Gen 3:20

“Now Adam knew Eve his wife, and she conceived and bore Cain, and said, "I have acquired a man from the Lord." Gen 4:1

d) God authorized Marriage with Adam & Eve.

“And He answered and said to them, ‘Have you not read that He who made them at the beginning made them male and female.’ and said, ‘For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.’” Matt. 19:4

“Therefore I desire that the younger widows marry, bear children, manage the house, give no opportunity to the adversary to speak reproachfully.” 1 Timothy 5:14

2. The Seed of the Woman.

"But when the fullness of the time had come, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the law." Gal. 4:4

The Eternal Word - God The Son - came as the son of a human mother. He came into our world to be our Savior. He came as the seed of the woman - without a human biological father.

“Nevertheless she [Eve = woman] will be saved in [the] childbearing if they [women] continue in faith, love, and holiness, with self-control.” 1 Timothy 2:15 [The original Bible has "the childbearing."]

MacKnight (a contemporary of Campbell) says: “However, though Eve was first in transgression, and brought death on herself, her husband, and her posterity, the female sex shall be saved equally with the male, through [the] childbearing; through bringing forth the Savior; if they [women] live in faith, and love, and chastity [holiness], with sobriety [modesty] which I have been recommending.”

Probably Paul says some of these things to refute those who said that woman was guilty of destroying the human race. Paul shows us, that if woman brought sin into the world, she also brought the Savior [the seed of the woman, Gen. 3:15]!

3. Companions and partners in salvation.

Salvation is the goal of both the man and the woman. They both achieve great happiness in working out the penalty which God placed on Adam and Eve.

“Paul argues that now, by faith in who Christ is and what He has done, men and women of all races, and of every social class, are offered the opportunity to become inheritors of the promise made to Abraham. By faith and baptism they become part of Christ and part of each other, caught up into the Family of God. Gal. 3:26-29."

“We cry ABBA FATHER” Romans 8:15.

KJV - First Printing

First Printing of the King James Version

The very first printed Bible was the Latin Version from Gutenberg’s Printing Press some time in 1454 or 1455.

May 5, 1611, the first printed edition of the KJV came from the press. This Bible was 17½ inches tall and 12 inches wide by 5½ inches thick and weighed 30 pounds. The original KJV 1611 was published in Black Letters (Old English Letters) and it included the Books of the Apocrypha. It also contained an introduction by the Translators, and a justification for their work.

“Translated out of the original tongues and with the former translations diligently compared and revised by His Majesty’s special command. Appointed to be read in Churches.”

1. King James was answering two requests.

a) Shouldn’t there be a standard Bible for the Church? The version approved by King James was to be used by all the Church of England.

b) Shouldn’t there be a standard Church for the Bible. The Church of England was to be the authorized Church. The Book of Common Prayer (how to do it manual) was also produced to standardize the worship, marriages, funerals, etc. (1662). We make use of these forms today (Episcopal).

2. The King James translators and revisors.

These were Christian scholars who read and studied Greek, Hebrew, Latin, as well as German, French, and many others.

a) “For when Your Highness had once out of deep judgment apprehended how convenient it was, that out of the Original Sacred Tongues, together with comparing of the labours, both in our own, and other foreign Languages, of many worthy men who went before us, there should be one more exact Translation of the holy Scriptures in the English tongue:” [from the original introduction of the King James Version Bible.]

They said: "We are so far off from condemning any of their labors that travailed before us in this kind, either in this land or beyond sea, either in King Henry's time, or King Edward's...or Queen Elizabeth's of ever renowned memory, that we acknowledge them to have been raised up of God, for the building and furnishing of his Church, and that they deserve to be had of us and of posterity in everlasting remembrance."

3. To every man in his own language.

“Now Pilate wrote a title and put it on the cross. And the writing was: JESUS OF NAZARETH, THE KING OF THE JEWS. Then many of the Jews read this title, for the place where Jesus was crucified was near the city; and it was written in Hebrew, Greek, and Latin.” John 19:19-20 (NKJV)

a) Moses spoke Hebrew (also Egyptian and other languages).

b) The Greek version of the Old Testament (LXX) was used by the New Testament writers. Greek was the universal language of the New Testament world.

c) Latin was the language of the Roman soldiers. The Latin Bible communicated God’s message for more than a thousand years in our Western world. But God speaks all languages and He raised up men who published new versions in German, English, and many other languages. “All of us hear them speaking in our own languages the wonderful things God has done.” (Acts 2:5-11).

d) English became the language of the British Empire. It developed from many roots including Norman French. Since its publication in 1611, the KJV has influenced the language of the English-speaking world, the study noted, generating now-common phrases such as “fight the good fight,” “reap the whirlwind” and “feet of clay.”

More than half of all American adults (62%) own a KJV Bible, and those who read the Bible regularly are more likely to read the KJV. 82% of Americans who read the Bible at least once a month own a KJV, and 67 % of American adults who own a Bible have a KJV.

e) NKJV. Words do change their meanings, and some words are no longer used. The “Search For The Lord’s Way” TV program has switched to the NKJV.

“All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.” 2 Tim 3:16-17 (NKJV)

“For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek. For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, "The just shall live by faith." Romans 1:16-17 (NKJV)

“who Himself bore our sins in His own body on the tree, that we, having died to sins, might live for righteousness--by whose stripes you were healed.” 1 Peter 2:24 (NKJV)



"Oh, that my words were written! Oh, that they were inscribed in a book! That they were engraved on a rock With an iron pen and lead, forever! For I know that my Redeemer lives, And He shall stand at last on the earth; And after my skin is destroyed, this I know, That in my flesh I shall see God, Whom I shall see for myself, And my eyes shall behold, and not another. How my heart yearns within me!” Job 19:23-27

The Bible shows us God’s love and God’s power. As a loving Father, God wants everyone to turn to Him and be saved. By His power He brings everything into subjection to Himself.

God means what He says.
His powerful Word is as sharp as
a surgeon's scalpel, cutting through
everything, whether doubt or defense,
laying us open to listen and obey.
[Hebrews 4:11-13]

We’ve got a fantastic Chief-Rep -
Jesus, God’s Son, already up there,
working on our case.
Our Rep isn’t distant and cold.
No, He’s been through it all.
We can walk up to God’s Throne,
boldly confident of His Generosity!
[Hebrews 4:14-16]

1. God’s opened door.

Rev. 3:7-8. “And to the angel of the church in Philadelphia write, ‘These things says He who is holy, He who is true, He who has the key of David, He who opens and no one shuts, and shuts and no one opens.’ I know your works. See, I have set before you an open door, and no one can shut it; for you have a little strength, have kept My word, and have not denied My name.”

2. God’s opened eyes.

Isaiah 42:7; Luke 4:17-21. “And He was handed the book of the prophet Isaiah. And when He had opened the book, He found the place where it was written: "The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, Because He has anointed Me To preach the gospel to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, To proclaim liberty to the captives And recovery of sight to the blind, To set at liberty those who are oppressed; To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord....Today this Scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.”

3. God’s opened ear.

Isaiah 50:5; John 18:37. “The Lord God has opened my ear; And I was not rebellious.”

“Jesus answered, ‘You say rightly that I am a king. For this cause I was born, and for this cause I have come into the world, that I should bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth hears My voice.”

4. God’s opened Scriptures.

Luke 24:32, 45. “And they said to one another, ‘Did not our heart burn within us while He talked with us on the road, and while He opened the Scriptures to us?”

1 Cor. 2:12-13 “Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might know the things that have been freely given to us by God. These things we also speak, not in words which man’s wisdom teaches but which the Holy Spirit teaches, comparing spiritual things with spiritual.”

5. God’s opened heart.

Acts 16:14. “Now a certain woman named Lydia heard us. She was a seller of purple from the city of Thyatira, who worshipped God. The Lord opened her heart to heed the things spoken by Paul. And when she and her house were baptized . . .”

Christ Is Risen

He Is Risen From The Dead!

“But now Christ is risen from the dead, and has become the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. For since by man came death, by Man also came the resurrection of the dead.”
1 Cor 15:20-21

If HE didn’t Come Back from death,
then just pack it in, guys.
We would be just a Club like any other.
But HE DID! And blew apart Adam’s death-chains!
And at the right time HE’ll kill death! [Rev. 20:14]
All because HE Came Back to Life!

An old hymn of praise.

Alleluia! Christ is Risen!
The Lord is Risen indeed! Alleluia!
Blessed are You, almighty God,
for You have raised from the dead
Your Son, our Lord Jesus Christ.
We rejoice to share in the redemption
made known to us by the Apostles,
the steadfast and sure witnesses of salvation,
who desired to know You, the Father,
in the fullness of truth.
For these and all Your mercies, we praise You
Blessed be God for ever!

1. Christ IS Risen!

“But the angel answered and said to the women, "Do not be afraid, for I know that you seek Jesus who was crucified. He is not here; for He is risen, as He said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay. And go quickly and tell His disciples that He is risen from the dead, and indeed He is going before you into Galilee; there you will see Him. Behold, I have told you." So they went out quickly from the tomb with fear and great joy, and ran to bring His disciples word. And as they went to tell His disciples, behold, Jesus met them, saying, "Rejoice!" So they came and held Him by the feet and worshiped Him. Then Jesus said to them, "Do not be afraid. Go and tell My brethren to go to Galilee, and there they will see Me." Matt 28:5-10

“For as the Father raises the dead and gives life to them, even so the Son gives life to whom He will. For the Father judges no one, but has committed all judgment to the Son, that all should honor the Son just as they honor the Father. He who does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent Him."
John 5:21-23

2. Paul gave his witness to the Risen Christ.

“But God raised Him from the dead. He was seen for many days by those who came up with Him from Galilee to Jerusalem, who are His witnesses to the people. And we declare to you glad tidings--that promise which was made to the fathers. God has fulfilled this for us their children, in that He has raised up Jesus. As it is also written in the second Psalm: 'You are My Son, Today I have begotten You.'” Acts 13:30-33

“Paul, a bondservant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle, separated to the gospel of God which He promised before through His prophets in the Holy Scriptures, concerning His Son Jesus Christ our Lord, who was born of the seed of David according to the flesh, and declared to be the Son of God with power according to the Spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead. Through Him we have received grace and apostleship for obedience to the faith among all nations for His name, among whom you also are the called of Jesus Christ;” Romans 1:1-6

“But you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. Now if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he is not His. And if Christ is in you, the body is dead because of sin, but the Spirit is life because of righteousness. But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you.” Romans 8:9-11

3. The Grace of God.

The word grace appears 136 times in the KJV. God's Throne is a Throne of Grace.

“For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men, teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in the present age, looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from every lawless deed and purify for Himself His own special people, zealous for good works.” Titus 2:11-14

What God Wants

Does God Get What God Wants?

This is my Bible, I am what it says I am.
I have what my Bible says I have.
I can do what my Bible says I can do.
I believe I have the Victory which Jesus won. [Hebrews 2:9]
I believe I can resist the devil and he will flee.
I believe the Holy Spirit has poured [Romans 5:1-5]
the Love of God into my heart, and that
I can rejoice with joy unspeakable and
full of glory just as Peter wrote. [1 Peter 1:8]
Thank You, LORD, that my Bible says
You love me and You give me the power [John 1:12-13]
to love You and to follow You all the way.
Thank You LORD for that eternal home
which my Bible talks about,
the City not made with hands.
Thank You, Thank You, O LORD!

What does God desire?

God does desire for all to be saved (2 Peter 3:9). God will save people from all over the world. God really does love everyone. God is the creator of all. If scripture is clear about what God wants, what would keep God from getting it done? It would not be for lack of love or lack of power. Would it be because God gave up trying? We would agree that salvation would not be lacking due to any of those things.

God has compassion on all He has made –

“The Lord is gracious and full of compassion, Slow to anger and great in mercy. The Lord is good to all, And His tender mercies are over all His works. All Your works shall praise You, O Lord, And Your saints shall bless You.” Psalms 145:8-10

God’s anger is temporary but His love endures forever –

“Sing praise to the Lord, You saints of His, And give thanks at the remembrance of His holy name. For His anger is but for a moment, His favor is for life; Weeping may endure for a night, But joy comes in the morning.” Psalms 30:4-5

God wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth –

“For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. For there is one God and one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus,” 1 Tim 2:3-5

We are all God’s offspring –

”Therefore, the One whom you worship without knowing, Him I proclaim to you: God, who made the world and everything in it, since He is Lord of heaven and earth, does not dwell in temples made with hands. Nor is He worshiped with men's hands, as though He needed anything, since He gives to all life, breath, and all things. And He has made from one blood every nation of men to dwell on all the face of the earth, and has determined their preappointed times and the boundaries of their dwellings, so that they should seek the Lord, in the hope that they might grope for Him and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us; for in Him we live and move and have our being, as also some of your own poets have said, 'For we are also His offspring.'” Acts 17:23-28

All the ends of the earth will turn to the Lord and all the families of the nations will bow down Him –

“And I say to you that many will come from east and west, and sit down with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven.” Matt 8:11; Psalm 22

Every knee will bow and tongue confess Jesus as Lord –

“and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” Phil 2:11

So everyone will show JESUS ultimate respect,
Everyone will stand for inspection all “present and correct,”
And every mouth will say, He’s LORD, this Lamb of God,
His reputation will soar - JESUS CHRIST IS LORD!!!

Awesome God

Awesome God of Life and Death

We prepare for the future by looking back to the past. The world seems hopelessly out of control. Yet it has all happened before. We look back to the faith and obedience of those who lived before us. Their words and language may bless our efforts today. See how God blessed them.

Solomon wrote in Ecclesiastes 12:1. “Remember now your Creator in the days of your youth, Before the difficult days come, And the years draw near when you say, "I have no pleasure in them":

In the Book of Revelation John was told: "Do not be afraid; I am the First and the Last. I am He who lives, and was dead, and behold, I am alive forevermore. Amen. And I have the keys of Hades and of Death. Write the things which you have seen, and the things which are, and the things which will take place after this.” Rev 1:17-19

King David spoke as a prophet (Acts 2:30) and his Psalms are inspired words reaching up to God. Again and again David says: “Why am I so sad? Why am I so troubled? I will put my hope in God, and once again I will praise Him, my Savior and my God.”

1. Worship in Spirit and Truth.

a) It is time to begin our worship.

Note Hebrews 12:1-2. “Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.”

Lord, we lift our voice to You.

We come together in the presence of almighty God and of the whole company of heaven to offer unto Him through our Lord Jesus Christ our worship and praise and thanksgiving; to make confession of our sins; to pray, as well for others as for ourselves, that we may know more truly the greatness of God's love and show forth in our lives the fruits of His grace; and to ask on behalf of all men such things as their well-being doth require.

b) Life and death are in God’s Hands.

God of life and death,
from the fullness of Yourself
You have created all that is.
Through the power of Your love
You call us towards Yourself.
In the giving of Your Son
our salvation has been wrought.
Our flowering and our passing,
all the seasons of the vine,
belong to You, O Lord.
For these and all Your mercies, we praise You,
Father, Son and Holy Spirit:
In the Name of Christ Jesus.
Blessed be God for ever!

God of saving power,
remember us in times of sorrow and despair.
Redeem us with Your strength
and guide us through the wilderness.
God of merciful compassion,
Your Son came to heal those
who were broken in body or spirit,
and to turn their sorrow into joy.
Grant that Your Church may possess
the same vision and compassion
that we will not close our eyes
to the plight of the poor and neglected,
the homeless and destitute, the old and the sick,
the lonely and those who have none to care for them;
through Jesus Christ our Lord,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever. Amen.

2. Jesus came with a Cross and a Towel.

“After that, He poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples' feet, and to wipe them with the towel with which He was girded.” John 13:5

“Blessed is he who considers the poor; The Lord will deliver him in time of trouble. The Lord will preserve him and keep him alive, And he will be blessed on the earth; You will not deliver him to the will of his enemies. The Lord will strengthen him on his bed of illness; You will sustain him on his sickbed. I said, "Lord, be merciful to me; Heal my soul, for I have sinned against You." Psalms 41:1-4



“When they heard these things they became silent; and they glorified God, saying, "Then God has also granted to the Gentiles repentance to life." Acts 11:18

1. The Kingdom of God

“From that time Jesus began to preach and to say, "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand." Matt 4:17

Our Lord sometimes spoke of the new kingdom as already come -- in His own Person and ministry; but it was only "at hand" until the blood of the cross was shed, and the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost opened the cleansing fountain for sin and for uncleanness to the whole world.

“Truly these times of ignorance God overlooked, but now commands all men everywhere to repent, because He has appointed a day on which He will judge the world in righteousness by the Man whom He has ordained. He has given assurance of this to all by raising Him from the dead.” Acts 17:30-31.

Campbell preferred to use the word “reform.” He saw repentance as a “turning away from the world” and turning to God in humble obedience. Some Versions translate it that way.

“But now He commands all of them everywhere to turn away from their evil ways.”

John the Baptist spoke of “doing works worthy repentance.” Matt. 3:8-10.

2. Jesus showed us repentance.

Jesus told a parable to demonstrate repentance.

“But what do you think? A man had two sons, and he came to the first and said, ‘Son, go, work today in my vineyard.’ He answered and said, ‘I will not,’ but afterward he regretted it (repented) and went. Then he came to the second and said likewise. And he answered and said, ‘I go, sir,’ but he did not go. Which of the two did the father’s will?” (Matt. 21:28-31).

Note 2 Cor. 7:10. “For godly sorrow produces repentance to salvation, not to be regretted; but the sorrow of the world produces death.”

Paul shows how this repentance operated in the Corinthians’ lives. “See what God did with this sadness of yours: how earnest it has made you, how eager to prove your innocence! Such indignation, such alarm, such feelings, such readiness to punish wrongdoing! You have shown yourselves to be without fault in the whole matter.”

Repentance is much more than being sorry for sin. There is a “godly sorrow” and a “sorrow of the world.” Note the difference between Peter and Judas in how they reacted to the sorrow for their sin. Peter came to the LORD with sin on his hands and asked for forgiveness - which he received. Judas regretted what he had done, and went out and destroyed himself.

Saul of Tarsus persecuted the Christians. But he did it in ignorance of who Jesus is. “But I obtained mercy because I did it ignorantly in unbelief” (1 Timothy 1:13). Saul repented and this changed his whole life.

In the Parable of the Prodigal Son, the son showed his repentance by saying: “I will arise and go to my father, and will say to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you, and I am no longer worthy to be called your son. Make me like one of your hired servants.” Luke 15:18-19.

The Prodigal took a good look at where he was and what he had gotten himself into. He had no hope and the only solution he could see was to return to the father. At least as a hired servant he would have food & housing and be able to live.

But the father was waiting for him! He ran out to meet the prodigal who was bringing himself back home. Jesus shows us how willing God is to forgive us and save us! God still loves us!!! God eagerly waits for us to come to Him!!!

The Church at Laodicea was spiritually dead but there was still hope. The Lord said: “As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten. Therefore be zealous (earnest) and repent. Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me. To him who overcomes I will grant to sit with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne. He who has an ear, let him hear what the [Holy] Spirit says to the churches.” Rev. 3:19.

“If You, LORD, should mark our iniquities, O LORD, who could stand? But there is forgiveness with You, That You may be feared.” Psalm 130:3-4.