February 7th // The Gospel & Modern day Judaism

Title of Message: The Gospel & Modern Day Judaism

 

Series:  What's the Difference

 

- Rabbi Larry Feldman is continuing the series "What's the Difference," a study to hold up the New Testament Gospel of Jesus and then compare it to other religions and religious thoughts. 

-Week One Pastor Frank walked us through the Gospel - "Jesus Plus Nothing."  This study was the basis for all sermons in this series.  If you missed it, catch this message from January 10th via the website at http://www.woodbridgecommunitychurch.org/sermons/.

-The past three weeks we preached on the differences between the Gospel and Islam, Mormonism, and the religious traditions observed throughout Christendom. 

-This week Rabbi Larry Feldman from Shuvah Yisrael will speak on the differences between the Gospel and modern day Judaism

Verses usedLeviticus 17, Isaiah 49, Isaiah 53, Psalm 2, John 8:24

Key verse: Isaiah 53

Sermon Notes: 

Introduction

  1. The difference between witnessing and apologetics
  2. The Romans Road for salvation

G-d’s plan for atonement can be found in the Jewish Scriptures.

  1. The Jewish Bible teaches all have sinned
    1. The kings of Israel declare this
      1. Solomon said it
      2. David said it
    2. The prophets of Israel proclaim this
      1. Isaiah said it
      2. Jeremiah said it
  2. The Jewish Bible teaches there are consequences for sin
    1. Sin causes death
    2. Sin causes separation from G-d
  3. The Jewish Bible teaches atonement only comes through sacrifice
    1. The Jewish concept of atonement
      1. It had to be the shedding of blood
      2. The Jewish Bible teaches Messiah was the sacrifice
      3. For Jewish and Gentile people
      4. He took our place
  4. The Jewish Bible teaches we must accept the Messiah
  5. The Jewish Bible teaches we must receive Him now

Conclusion

G-d’s plan for forgiveness can be found in the Tenach.

January 31st// The Gospel and Religious Traditions

Title of Message:  The Gospel and Religious Traditions

Series:  What's the Difference

 

-We are continuing in the series entitled "What's the Difference;" a study to hold up the New Testament Gospel of Jesus and then compare it to other religions and religious thoughts. 

-Week One Pastor Frank walked us through the Gospel - "Jesus Plus Nothing."  This study was the basis for all sermons in this series.  If you missed it, catch this message from January 10th via the website at http://www.woodbridgecommunitychurch.org/sermons/.

-The past two weeks Pastor Frank preached on the differences between the Gospel and both Islam and Mormonism.

-This week Pastor Vince will speak on the differences between the Gospel and the Religious Traditions observed throughout Christendom.

 

Verses used:  Galatians 1:6-7, Galatians 2:1-3, 7-9, 16, 1 John 1:7, 1 John 5:11-13, 1 John 4:18-19, Ephesians 2:8-9, Isaiah 1:13-17

 

Key verse:  Galatians 2:1-16

   1Then after an interval of fourteen years I went up again to Jerusalem with Barnabas, taking Titus along also. 2It was because of a revelation that I went up; and I submitted to them the gospel which I preach among the Gentiles, but I did so in private to those who were of reputation, for fear that I might be running, or had run, in vain. 3But not even Titus, who was with me, though he was a Greek, was compelled to be circumcised. 4But it was because of the false brethren secretly brought in, who had sneaked in to spy out our liberty which we have in Christ Jesus, in order to bring us into bondage. 5But we did not yield in subjection to them for even an hour, so that the truth of the gospel would remain with you. 6But from those who were of high reputation (what they were makes no difference to me; God shows no partiality)—well, those who were of reputation contributed nothing to me. 7But on the contrary, seeing that I had been entrusted with the gospel to the uncircumcised, just as Peter had been to the circumcised 8(for He who effectually worked for Peter in his apostleship to the circumcised effectually worked for me also to the Gentiles), 9and recognizing the grace that had been given to me, James and Cephas and John, who were reputed to be pillars, gave to me and Barnabas the right hand of fellowship, so that we might go to the Gentiles and they to the circumcised. 10They only asked us to remember the poor—the very thing I also was eager to do.

11But when Cephas came to Antioch, I opposed him to his face, because he stood condemned. 12For prior to the coming of certain men from James, he used to eat with the Gentiles; but when they came, he began to withdraw and hold himself aloof, fearing the party of the circumcision. 13The rest of the Jews joined him in hypocrisy, with the result that even Barnabas was carried away by their hypocrisy. 14But when I saw that they were not straightforward about the truth of the gospel, I said to Cephas in the presence of all, “If you, being a Jew, live like the Gentiles and not like the Jews, how is it that you compel the Gentiles to live like Jews?

      15“We are Jews by nature and not sinners from among the Gentiles; 16nevertheless knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the Law but through faith in Christ Jesus, even we have believed in Christ Jesus, so that we may be justified by faith in Christ and not by the works of the Law; since by the works of the Law no flesh will be justified.” 

Sermon Notes: 

I. Why did Paul single out Apostles and Angels? Gal. 1:8

A.   Apostles come from the greek Apostolos which means messenger or ambassador

B.    Angel comes from the greek Angelos which means messenger from God

C.    Jesus is the ultimate revelation from God. There will be no more new revelation from God

II. Main Issue in the church: Does a person need to follow the Law of Moses in order to be saved?

A.   The Apostles and Church leaders agreed: No! It’s Jesus plus nothing Gal 2:1-3, 7-9

B.    The Judaizers said Yes! It’s Jesus plus the Law of Moses

C.    Paul said all the religious traditions do not add anything to earn your salvation

Gal 2:16

III. Guidelines for evaluating the validity of a religious tradition

A.   Religious tradition is not a means to be saved nor a means to have your sins forgiven Eph 2:8-9

B.    Religious tradition must have a basis that is consistent with the teachings of the bible

C.    Observance of religious traditions must come from the heart, and not just a meaningless ritual done out of obligation Isaiah 1:13-17

D.   Religious tradition must not contradict the teachings of the bible

E.  We do good things not to earn salvation, but to learn about following Jesus

IV. God wants us to be assured of our relationship to Him 1John 5:11-13

A.   Why? Because He loves us! 1John 4:18-19

B.    For love to be love, it cannot be motivated by fear

Some questions to consider this week:

1.     What was one thing you remember from the message on Sunday?

2.     Gospel literally means good news. How would you define the gospel? Look at 1Cor 15:1-4

3.     Why is it important for a person to know where he is going after he dies?

4.     How does what Jesus did on the cross answer question 3?

5.     What "religious traditions" did you grow up with that you aren't practicing today?

6.     Do you still have family or friends who are practicing a works-based religion? Has it caused conflict in your relationship with them and how have you dealt with it?

7.     Quote: In church we do good things not to earn salvation but to learn about following Jesus. How does that statement clarify the purpose of religious tradition in your understanding?

8.     Thinking about the first week in this series on the "Gospel of Jesus" and this week's study of Religious Traditions, what does it mean in your life to say, "Jesus plus Nothing"?

9.     How can we be “stirring in” the sermon's verses into our lives this week?

 

 

January 24th // The Gospel and Mormonism

 

Title of Message:The Gospel and Mormonism

Series:  What's the Difference

-Pastor Frank is continuing in his series entitled "What's the Difference," a study to hold up the New Testament Gospel of Jesus and then compare it to other religions and religious thoughts. 

-Week One Pastor Frank walked us through the Gospel - "Jesus Plus Nothing."

-Last week he covered the differences between the Gospel and Islam.

-This week he is focusing on the differences between the Gospel and Mormonism.

Verses used:  Galatians 1:3-10, 2 Corinthians 5:17-21, Psalm 147:5, Psalm 139:1-4, 1 John 3:20, 2 Peter 3:8, Galatians 3:1-5.

Key verse:  Galatians 1:3-10

3 Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ, 4 who gave Himself for our sins so that He might rescue us from this present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father, 5 to whom be the glory forevermore. Amen.

6 I am amazed that you are so quickly deserting Him who called you by the grace of Christ, for a different gospel; 7 which is really not another; only there are some who are disturbing you and want to distort the gospel of Christ. 8 But even if we, or an angel from heaven, should preach to you a gospel contrary to what we have preached to you, he is to be accursed! 9 As we have said before, so I say again now, if any man is preaching to you a gospel contrary to what you received, he is to be accursed!

10 For am I now seeking the favor of men, or of God? Or am I striving to please men? If I were still trying to please men, I would not be a bond-servant of Christ. 

Sermon Notes:

1.     If you mess with the identity of Jesus who died on the cross or what Jesus did by dying on the cross…you change the Gospel.

Mormonism and Islam are two faiths, similar in many ways:

2.     They both involve angels in the new revelations of God.

3.     They both teach about Jesus.

4.     They both accept the Bible as from God.

5.     They both teach that God tried to communicate clearly in the Bible but man over time corrupted His message.

6.     They both teach that God had to re-do His message through another prophet.

7.     They both teach that this time it can’t be corrupted.

8.     The god of Islam and the god of Mormonism is a god learning how to communicate to his creation over time.

What’s the difference between the God of the Bible and Mormonism?

9.     The God of the Bible doesn’t learn.

10.  The God of the Bible says there are no other gods but Him.

11.  Mormon theology teaches of a different Jesus who hung on the cross.

Some questions to consider this week:

1.     What was one thing you remember from the message on Sunday?

2.     Pastor Frank asked, "How are we reconciled to God?" and "What happened so that God doesn't count our sins against us?"  Discuss the power of what Jesus did for us on the cross.

3.     What do you recall are the main differences between Mormonism and Christianity and how do you think these affect a person’s life.

4.     Share your thoughts on our God who is all knowing vs the Mormon god who does not have perfect knowledge and is learning.

5.     Remember Pastor Frank's quote: "If you mess with the identity of Jesus who died on the cross or what Jesus did by dying on the cross … you change the Gospel."  Discuss the attributes of the Jesus of the Mormon faith vs the Jesus of the New Testament Gospel.

6.     Tolerance:  to be tolerant means you can admittedly disagree with another person and still be cordial and kind to one another.  How tolerant would you say you are?

7.     Thinking about the first week in this series on the "Gospel of Jesus" and this week's study of Mormonism, what does it mean in your life to say, "Jesus plus Nothing"?

8.     How can we be “stirring in” the sermon's verses into our lives this week?

Something to reflect on this week:

In the New Testament Gospel, you have God the Savior - not scales of good and bad deeds.  He pays for your sins by His blood.  You are forgiven!

            Jesus plus nothing

            Faith in Christ alone

            Not our goodness but His

            Not our righteousness but His

            Not our works but His and what He did on the cross!

            He who?  God!

 

January 17th, 2016 // The Gospel and Islam

Title of Message: The Gospel and Islam

Series:  What's the Difference

 

-Last week Pastor Frank began a new series entitled "What's the Difference," a study to hold up the New Testament Gospel of Jesus and then compare it to other religious thoughts and religions.  He began by walking us through the Gospel - "Jesus plus nothing."

-Today, Pastor Frank continues in the series, focusing on the differences between the Gospel and Islam.

 

Verses used:  Galatians 1:1-10, 2 Corinthians 5:17-21, Ephesians 2:8-9, Galatians 3:5.

 

Key verse:

Galatians 1:10

1 Paul, an apostle (not sent from men nor through the agency of man, but through Jesus Christ and God the Father, who raised Him from the dead), 2 and all the brethren who are with me, To the churches of Galatia:

3 Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ, 4 who gave Himself for our sins so that He might rescue us from this present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father, 5 to whom be the glory forevermore. Amen.

6 I am amazed that you are so quickly deserting Him who called you by the grace of Christ, for a different gospel; 7 which is really not another; only there are some who are disturbing you and want to distort the gospel of Christ. 8 But even if we, or an angel from heaven, should preach to you a gospel contrary to what we have preached to you, he is to be accursed! 9 As we have said before, so I say again now, if any man is preaching to you a gospel contrary to what you received, he is to be accursed!

10 For am I now seeking the favor of men, or of God? Or am I striving to please men? If I were still trying to please men, I would not be a bond-servant of Christ.

 

Sermon Notes:

            In Islam-

1.     Jesus didn’t die for your sins on the cross and you are not reconciled to God.

2.     You need to work off your sins through religious activity.

3.     In heaven there are scales where God is measuring your good deeds and your bad.

4.     The only way you are promised heaven is if you die for God.

5.     In Islam you are promised a pardon of your sins by dying for God.

6.     In the New Testament Gospel you are promised a pardon for your sins by God coming to Earth and dying for you.

7.     The Islamic religion doesn’t add to the Gospel of Jesus but eliminates it.

Some questions to consider this week:

1.     What was one thing you remember from the message on Sunday?

2.     What kind of contrary "gospel" was being preached that led the Galatians astray?

3.     What do you think are the main differences between Islam and Christianity and how do you think these affect a person’s life.

4.     Based on what you've learned about Islam, do you find that you have more compassion for  those born into this faith?  Why?

5.     Why do you think Muslims might have a hard time with the Gospel?

6.     Given the chance to witness to a Muslim, what would you share about Christ that would show them the peace and assurance of heaven that only comes through Him?

7.     Thinking about the first week in this series on the "Gospel of Jesus" and this week's study of Islam, what does it mean in your life to say, "Jesus Plus Nothing"?

8.     How can we be “stirring in” the sermon's verses into our lives this week?

January 10th, 2016 // The Gospel

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Title of Message: The Gospel

Series:  What's the Difference  

 

-Last week Pastor Frank taught using the 23rd Psalm, sharing with us that nothing is going to happen to us in 2016 that God doesn’t know about and nothing is going to happen to us that we and He can’t get through together!

-This week Pastor Frank begins a new series entitled "What's the Difference" and, starting today on the topic of "The Gospel," will walk us through the differences among the predominant religions of the world today.

 

Verses used:  1 Corinthians 15:1-4, Galatians 1:1-9, 1 Peter 2:24, 1 Peter 3:18, 2 Corinthians 5:17-21, Matthew 5:48.

 

Key verses:

1 Corinthians 15:1-4

1 Now I make known to you, brethren, the gospel which I preached to you, which also you received, in which also you stand, 2 by which also you are saved, if you hold fast the word which I preached to you, unless you believed in vain.  3 For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received, that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, 4 and that He was buried, and that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures,

Galatians 1:1-9

1 Paul, an apostle (not sent from men nor through the agency of man, but through Jesus Christ and God the Father, who raised Him from the dead), 2 and all the brethren who are with me,

To the churches of Galatia:

3 Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ, 4 who gave Himself for our sins so that He might rescue us from this present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father, 5 to whom be the glory forevermore. Amen.

6 I am amazed that you are so quickly deserting Him who called you by the grace of Christ, for a different gospel; 7 which is really not another; only there are some who are disturbing you and want to distort the gospel of Christ. 8 But even if we, or an angel from heaven, should preach to you a gospel contrary to what we have preached to you, he is to be accursed! 9 As we have said before, so I say again now, if any man is preaching to you a gospel contrary to what you received, he is to be accursed! 

Sermon Notes:

1.     Jesus plus nothing.

2.     If you add something to what Jesus did on the cross then you are subtracting from what He accomplished on the cross.

3.     All means all and that’s all that all means!

4.     Religion is salvation through moral effort.

5.     Gospel is salvation by grace through faith alone in Jesus.

6.     Religion focuses on what I do or don’t do.

7.     The Gospel focuses on what Jesus has done.

8.     Religion produces pride or despair.

9.     The Gospel produces humility, gratefulness and confidence.

 

Some questions to consider this week:

1.     What was one thing you remember from the message on Sunday?

2.     Like a counterfeit bill, how do you think you would do in spotting a counterfeit gospel?

3.     Have you ever had someone try to present you with a false gospel?  If yes, how did you respond?  Or perhaps, how do you wish you would have responded?

4.     What does Paul say will happen to anyone who promotes a "gospel" other than that which he preached - the good news of grace?

5.     If you had to argue for the reality of the Gospel of Jesus Christ by giving one example of how you have changed as a result of your faith, what would you share?

6.     What practice have you established to ensure that you "hold firmly to the word?"

7.     Why do you think other religions and cults have such a hard time with the Gospel?

8.     "For Christ died for sins once for all" (1 Peter 3:18).  How does this verse influence and strengthen your conviction of His Gospel?

9.     How can we be “stirring in” the sermon's verses into our lives this week?

 

January 3rd, 2016 //God Is Your Shepherd for 2016

Title of Message: God Is Your Shepherd for 2016

This morning Pastor Frank will be teaching using the 23rd Psalm.  Nothing is going to happen to you in 2016 that God doesn’t know about and nothing is going to happen to you that you and He can’t get through together!

Verses used:  Psalm 23, Matthew 28:18-20.

Key verse:  Psalm 23

1 The Lord is my shepherd,
I shall not want.
2 He makes me lie down in green pastures;
He leads me beside quiet waters.
3 He restores my soul;
He guides me in the paths of righteousness
For His name’s sake.

4 Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I fear no evil, for You are with me;
Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.
5 You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies;
You have anointed my head with oil;
My cup overflows.
6 Surely goodness and loving kindness will follow me all the days of my life,
And I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.

Sermon Notes:

1.   Discipleship happens in meaningful relationships.

As you walk with God in 2016:

2.     Your heavenly Father will be protecting and providing for you.

3.     You will have times of blessings and prosperity.

4.   You will have times of rest and renewal.

5.   He will guide you on a good path for His name.

6.   Life is still going to happen and there is going to be hard days but He will never leave you!

7.   Remember all His good promises for your life will happen in His time.

8.   Remember this is a temporal world that we live but we have an eternal home waiting!

 

Some questions to consider this week:

Are you walking in a dark valley now? 

Has God rescued or protected you with His rod and staff"? 

What "green pastures and still waters" has He brought your way? 

Who are your "enemies" today? 

What would you like your cup to overflow with?

December 27th, 2015// A Defining Moment

“A Defining Moment”

12/27/2015

Key Verses: Acts 9:1-22, Philippians 3:4-6 

9 Meanwhile, Saul was still breathing out murderous threats against the Lord’s disciples. He went to the high priest 2 and asked him for letters to the synagogues in Damascus, so that if he found any there who belonged to the Way, whether men or women, he might take them as prisoners to Jerusalem. 3 As he neared Damascus on his journey, suddenly a light from heaven flashed around him. 4 He fell to the ground and heard a voice say to him, “Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?”5 “Who are you, Lord?” Saul asked.“I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting,” he replied. 6 “Now get up and go into the city, and you will be told what you must do.”7 The men traveling with Saul stood there speechless; they heard the sound but did not see anyone.8 Saul got up from the ground, but when he opened his eyes he could see nothing. So they led him by the hand into Damascus. 9 For three days he was blind, and did not eat or drink anything.10 In Damascus there was a disciple named Ananias. The Lord called to him in a vision, “Ananias!”“Yes, Lord,” he answered.

11 The Lord told him, “Go to the house of Judas on Straight Street and ask for a man from Tarsusnamed Saul, for he is praying. 12 In a vision he has seen a man named Ananias come and place his hands on him to restore his sight.”13 “Lord,” Ananias answered, “I have heard many reports about this man and all the harm he has done to your holy people in Jerusalem. 14 And he has come here with authority from the chief priests to arrest all who call on your name.”15 But the Lord said to Ananias, “Go! This man is my chosen instrument to proclaim my name to the Gentiles and their kings and to the people of Israel. 16 I will show him how much he must suffer for my name.”17 Then Ananias went to the house and entered it. Placing his hands on Saul, he said, “Brother Saul, the Lord—Jesus, who appeared to you on the road as you were coming here—has sent me so that you may see again and be filled with the Holy Spirit.” 18 Immediately, something like scales fell from Saul’s eyes, and he could see again. He got up and was baptized, 19 and after taking some food, he regained his strength.

Saul spent several days with the disciples in Damascus. 20 At once he began to preach in the synagogues that Jesus is the Son of God. 21 All those who heard him were astonished and asked, “Isn’t he the man who raised havoc in Jerusalem among those who call on this name? And hasn’t he come here to take them as prisoners to the chief priests?” 22 Yet Saul grew more and more powerful and baffled the Jews living in Damascus by proving that Jesus is the Messiah.

Sermon Notes:


Defining moment:  An experience; something that you’ve been through, that defines the person that you are today.

Saul’s defining moment speaks to us in a number of ways:

1.    Saul came to the realization that he was chosen by God [9:15]

2.    There was a definite purpose and plan for his  life [9:15,16]

3.    Saul was helped by others, and recognized his need for others [9:8,17]  

4.    Saul was used by God immediately [9:20]

5.    Your conversion is a real experience

6.    We need to live our life in the reality of meeting Him, and knowing Him, and following Him


December 20, 2015 // The Birth of Jesus and a Clash of Kingdoms

Title of Message: The Birth of Jesus and a Clash of Kingdoms

December 20, 2015

text: Matthew 2:1-12

This morning Pastor Frank will be teaching regarding the birth of Jesus.  We will see that nothing has impacted humanity as much as the coming of this little baby born in Bethlehem 2,000 years ago!

Verses used:  Matthew 2:1-12, Matthew 2:16.

Key verse:  Matthew 2:1-12

1 Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, magi from the east arrived in Jerusalem, saying, 2 “Where is He who has been born King of the Jews? For we saw His star in the east and have come to worship Him.” 3 When Herod the king heard this, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him. 4 Gathering together all the chief priests and scribes of the people, he inquired of them where the Messiah was to be born. 5 They said to him, “In Bethlehem of Judea; for this is what has been written by the prophet:

                  6 ‘And you, Bethlehem, land of Judah,
            Are by no means least among the leaders of Judah;
            For out of you shall come forth a Ruler
            Who will shepherd My people Israel.’”

7 Then Herod secretly called the magi and determined from them the exact time the star appeared. 8 And he sent them to Bethlehem and said, “Go and search carefully for the Child; and when you have found Him, report to me, so that I too may come and worship Him.” 9 After hearing the king, they went their way; and the star, which they had seen in the east, went on before them until it came and stood over the place where the Child was. 10 When they saw the star, they rejoiced exceedingly with great joy. 11 After coming into the house they saw the Child with Mary His mother; and they fell to the ground and worshiped Him. Then, opening their treasures, they presented to Him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. 12 And having been warned by God in a dream not to return to Herod, the magi left for their own country by another way.

Sermon Notes:

1.     He was called Herod the Great because he was a great builder!  

2.     He built the impossible that defied nature!

3.     He built the first man-made harbor ever constructed in the history of the world, Caesarea.

4.     He took the temple in Jerusalem and did an amazing makeover that came to be known as one of the most beautiful buildings in the Roman Empire!

5.     He built a man-made mountain called the Herodian and put a fortified palace on top of it.

6.     He built a mountain fortress in the Dead Sea called Masada.

7.     Herod was so paranoid of losing his kingdom that he had his second wife and first three sons  executed! 

Some questions to consider this week:

1.     What was something you learned or what stood out to you from the sermon on Sunday?

2.     What is your favorite Christmas memory or tradition?

3.     What do the star, the Magi, the gifts, the homage, the hostility and the prophecy teach about the significance of Jesus?

4.     In your journey toward God, how are you like the Magi?  Unlike them?

5.     When, if ever, have you felt like Herod – struggling between your kingdom and Christ's?

6.     How can we be “stirring in” the sermon's verses into our lives this week?

 

December 13,2015 // Orientation, Disorientation, Reorientation: The Christian Life

Title: Orientation, Disorientation, Reorientation: The Christian Life

Text: Luke 2:8-21

Context

This is the story of Jesus’s birth and how it was made known to the world and the people who came to visit Him. 

Main Point

The events surround the birth of Jesus is a gospel story that causes us to do the following:

1) Reveals our personal orientation of who we think Jesus is and what it means to be a Christian. 

2) Disorients us when we encounter the biblical Jesus and the difficult events surrounding His life as well as our own hardships. 

3) Reorient our thoughts and action to whom Jesus says He is and what it means to follow Jesus. 

1) Orientation:

Luke 2:8-9 (Isaiah 9:5-7, 42:1-4)

In orientation we have self centered reference vs. savior centered reference.

2) Disorientation

Luke 2:10-12 (Isaiah 53:3-7,  Matthew 1:23, Psalm 13)

In disorientation we have the Lord vs. the law which always leads to greater love vs. legalism. 

3) Reorientation

Luke 2:16-20 (Jeremiah 29:13, John 14:26, John 6:63, Romans 8:26)

In disorientation God calls us to repent vs. repress.

God was our orientation, Jesus became our disorientation, Holy Spirit is now our reorientation. 

"If we do not recognize the depths of our sin, Jesus will always remain a saint, and never a savior."

Questions to ponder this week:

1) What has been your orientation of God? 

2) What events or thoughts have caused you to be disoriented with God? 

3) What caused you to embrace or reject the reorientation of God? 

4) How are you currently living out of the reorientation? If so, how?

December 6 ,2015//The Holy Ghost and His Power - Part 2

Title of Message:The Holy Ghost and His Gifts - Part 2

(Series:  “Ghost Stories”)

 

This morning we will be continuing in the series called Ghost Stories as we look to the supernatural and the third person of the trinity. We will see that God doesn’t just dwell in you…but the third person of the trinity has gifts for you.

Verses used:  Acts 2:1-12, 1 Corinthians 14:1-5, 1 Corinthians 13:8-10, 1 Thessalonians 5:20-22.

Key verses:  Acts 2:1-12, 1 Corinthians 14:1-5

Acts 2:1-12

 1 When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place. 2 Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. 3 They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. 4 All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them. 5 Now there were staying in Jerusalem God-fearing Jews from every nation under heaven. 6 When they heard this sound, a crowd came together in bewilderment, because each one heard their own language being spoken. 7 Utterly amazed, they asked: “Aren’t all these who are speaking Galileans? 8 Then how is it that each of us hears them in our native language? 9 Parthians, Medes and Elamites; residents of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, 10 Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya near Cyrene; visitors from Rome 11 (both Jews and converts to Judaism); Cretans and Arabs—we hear them declaring the wonders of God in our own tongues!” 12 Amazed and perplexed, they asked one another, “What does this mean?”

1 Corinthians 14:1-5

1 Follow the way of love and eagerly desire gifts of the Spirit, especially prophecy. 2 For anyone who speaks in a tongue does not speak to people but to God. Indeed, no one understands them; they utter mysteries by the Spirit. 3 But the one who prophesies speaks to people for their strengthening, encouraging and comfort. 4 Anyone who speaks in a tongue edifies themselves, but the one who prophesies edifies the church. 5 I would like every one of you to speak in tongues, but I would rather have you prophesy. The one who prophesies is greater than the one who speaks in tongues, unless someone interprets, so that the church may be edified.

Sermon Notes:

What is the spiritual gift of Tongues?

1.     It is the supernatural ability to speak a language that has never been learned.

2.     It can be used as a supernatural sign to help spread the Gospel.

3.     When a person speaks in tongues they speak to God!

The Prophets' jobs were:

4.     Forth telling:  to speak for God as God’s mouthpiece, and to reveal God's thoughts, His feelings and His will for His people.

5.    Fore telling:  predicting future events before they come to pass.

 Some questions to consider this week:

1.     What was something you learned or what stood out to you from the sermon on Sunday?

2.     Have you ever traveled where you did not speak the language?  Was that funny?  Frustrating?  Humbling?

3.     Have you witnessed someone exercise a spiritual gift without regard for "building up the church"?

4.     According to 1 Corinthians 14:2-4, what is the difference between speaking in tongues and prophesying?

5.     If you do not have a clear sense of the spiritual gifts God has given you, review the gifts listed in  1 Corinthians 12.  You can also take the Spiritual Gifts Inventory today after the service or request a copy of the Inventory.

6.     Going beyond today's sermon, read all of 1 Corinthians 14 to learn more about Corinthian worship and how they used the gift of tongues.

7.     How can we be “stirring in” the sermon's verses into our lives this week?

November 29, 2015 // The Holy Ghost and His Gifts

Title of Message: The Holy Ghost and His Gifts

(Series:  “Ghost Stories”)

This morning we will be continuing in the series called Ghost Stories as we look to the supernatural and the third person of the trinity. We will see that God doesn’t just dwell in you…but the third person of the trinity has gifts for you.

Verses used:  1 Corinthians 12:1-31, John 7:37-39, James 1:17, Romans 12:6-8, Ephesians 4:4-13, Revelation 22:18-19.

Key verse:  1 Corinthians 12:1-11

1 Now about the gifts of the Spirit, brothers and sisters, I do not want you to be uninformed. 2 You know that when you were pagans, somehow or other you were influenced and led astray to mute idols. 3 Therefore I want you to know that no one who is speaking by the Spirit of God says, “Jesus be cursed,” and no one can say, “Jesus is Lord,” except by the Holy Spirit.

4 There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit distributes them. 5 There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. 6 There are different kinds of working, but in all of them and in everyone it is the same God at work.

7 Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good. 8 To one there is given through the Spirit a message of wisdom, to another a message of knowledge by means of the same Spirit, 9 to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by that one Spirit, 10 to another miraculous powers, to another prophecy, to another distinguishing between spirits, to another speaking in different kinds of tongues, and to still another the interpretation of tongues. 11 All these are the work of one and the same Spirit, and he distributes them to each one, just as he determines.

Sermon Notes:
1.     A spiritual gift is a supernatural capacity given to every believer by the Holy Ghost, after salvation for Christian service.

2.     A spiritual gift is something a Christian did not possess before becoming a Christian.

3.     This is what distinguishes a spiritual gift from a natural talent.

4.     All spiritual gifts given to the church by the Holy Spirit are equal in value!  All are important!

Some questions for your group this week:

1.     What was something you learned or what stood out to you from the sermon on Sunday?

2.     Do you have a clear sense of the spiritual gifts God has given you?  If you're not sure, review the gifts listed in 1 Corinthians 12.  Which do you believe you have you received?

3.     How have you used your gift(s) for the common good?  For the Lord's work?

4.     How do the scriptures, in describing the various spiritual gifts, help you understand your place in the body of Christ, as well as our need for others?

5.     Using Pastor Frank's illustration of the over-flowing water, how do you interpret the Spirit's work in the same way?  How about in your own life?

6.     How can we be “stirring in” these verses into our lives this week?

November 22, 2015 // The Holy Ghost and Power

Title of Message: The Holy Ghost and Power

(Series: “Ghost Stories”)

This morning we will be continuing in the series called Ghost Stories as we look to the supernatural and the third person of the trinity. We will see that when you walk with the Holy Spirit in your life, you walk with a being of great power, the power to transform a life!

Verses used: Acts 4:1-31, Ephesians 1:13, Acts 1:6-8, 2 Timothy 1:7, Philippians 2:25-27, 2 Timothy 4:20, John 5:19, 1 Corinthians 12.

Supporting Media:

Key verse: Acts 4:1-31

The priests and the captain of the temple guard and the Sadducees came up to Peter and John while they were speaking to the people. They were greatly disturbed because the apostles were teaching the people, proclaiming in Jesus the resurrection of the dead. They seized Peter and John and, because it was evening, they put them in jail until the next day. But many who heard the message believed; so the number of men who believed grew to about five thousand. The next day the rulers, the elders and the teachers of the law met in Jerusalem. Annas the high priest was there, and so were Caiaphas, John, Alexander and others of the high priest’s family. They had Peter and John brought before them and began to question them: “By what power or what name did you do this?” Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them: “Rulers and elders of the people! If we are being called to account today for an act of kindness shown to a man who was lame and are being asked how he was healed, then know this, you and all the people of Israel: It is by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified but whom God raised from the dead, that this man stands before you healed. Jesus is “‘the stone you builders rejected, which has become the cornerstone.’ Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved.” When they saw the courage of Peter and John and realized that they were unschooled, ordinary men, they were astonished and they took note that these men had been with Jesus. But since they could see the man who had been healed standing there with them, there was nothing they could say. So they ordered them to withdraw from the Sanhedrin and then conferred together. “What are we going to do with these men?” they asked. “Everyone living in Jerusalem knows they have performed a notable sign, and we cannot deny it. But to stop this thing from spreading any further among the people, we must warn them to speak no longer to anyone in this name.” Then they called them in again and commanded them not to speak or teach at all in the name of Jesus. But Peter and John replied, “Which is right in God’s eyes: to listen to you, or to him? You be the judges! As for us, we cannot help speaking about what we have seen and heard.” After further threats they let them go. They could not decide how to punish them, because all the people were praising God for what had happened. For the man who was miraculously healed was over forty years old. On their release, Peter and John went back to their own people and reported all that the chief priests and the elders had said to them. When they heard this, they raised their voices together in prayer to God. “Sovereign Lord,” they said,“ you made the heavens and the earth and the sea, and everything in them. You spoke by the Holy Spirit through the mouth of your servant, our father David: “‘Why do the nations rage and the peoples plot in vain? The kings of the earth rise up and the rulers band together against the Lord and against his anointed one. Indeed Herod and Pontius Pilate met together with the Gentiles and the people of Israel in this city to conspire against your holy servant Jesus, whom you anointed. They did what your power and will had decided beforehand should happen. Now, Lord, consider their threats and enable your servants to speak your word with great boldness. Stretch out your hand to heal and perform signs and wonders through the name of your holy servant Jesus.” After they prayed, the place where they were meeting was shaken. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke the word of God boldly.

Sermon Notes:

  1. There is a permanence of the indwelling of the Holy Spirit.
  2. There is an available filling of the Holy Spirit when believers submit to Him.
  3. Believers may lose the filling but never the indwelling of the Holy Spirit.
  4. Why did God do this?
  5. What did God want to communicate to the Carrs by doing this miracle?
  6. Why did God wait to answer their prayers until their pastor prayed for them?
  7. Would God have done this if I/Pastor hadn’t prayed for them?

Some questions for your group this week:

  1. What was something you learned or what stood out to you from the sermon on Sunday
  2. From the story in Acts 4, what about the Holy Spirit is most striking to you?
    • How personal the Spirit is – “They were filled with the Holy Spirit.”
    • How inspiring the Spirit is – they became bold and courageous.
    • How powerful the Spirit is – the place literally shook.
  3. When you look at the life that you lived before the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, where have you seen the greatest change?
  4. As you recognize the changes in your life, how have you felt the “power” of the Holy Spirit leading and supporting you?
  5. In reviewing the sermon notes of Sunday, why do you think God performed a miracle in the life of the Carrs?
  6. What do you think God was trying to communicate to them by this miracle?
  7. Why do you think God waited to answer the prayers of the Carrs until after Pastor Frank prayed for them?
  8. Do you think God would have performed this miracle if Pastor Frank had not prayed for them?
  9. How can we be “stirring in” these verses into our lives this week?

Something to consider this week:

Ask yourself, “In what way do I most need the power of the Holy Spirit?”

  • For boldness in witnessing
  • For heat I take as a Christian
  • To pray more effectively
  • To believe that I can change
  • To empower me to make a difference in the world
  • To face my fear of _________________
  • Other

November 15, 2015 // The Holy Ghost and the Journey of Life

Title of Message: The Holy Ghost and the Journey of Life

(Series:  “Ghost Stories”)

Today’s message by Mike Cranford is the third message in the series Ghost Stories, a look at the supernatural and the third person of the trinity

Verses Used: Psalm 39:4, Galatians 5:16-25, 1 John 2:17, John 14:27

Key Verses: Galatians 5:16-25

SERMON NOTES:

1. The Holy Spirit desires holiness in the center of our lives. He contradicts our learned habits of disobedience.

2. The Holy Spirit doesn’t just tell us what to do. He leads us away from our sinful tendencies to the fruit of a life that is controlled by him.

3. The world is controlled by the flesh, and the result is self-destructive behavior. The world and its desires are not part of the kingdom of God.

4. The life which is controlled by the Holy Spirit will result in an experience of true fulfillment and a lifestyle of love and self-control.

5. If we have new life in the Spirit, our old life is gone. We should keep in step with the Spirit as he leads us to the things that last forever.

SOME QUESTIONS FOR YOUR GROUP THIS WEEK:

1. What was something you learned or what stood out to you from the sermon on Sunday?

2. Have you ever gone for a walk and gotten lost? What were you doing (or not doing) that led you to the wrong place?

3. When you were younger, did you intentionally break the rules set by your parents? If so, what motivated you to disobey?

4. Was there a time when you felt strongly led to do the right thing, and later you realized it was the Holy Spirit? How did you know?

5. When you look at the world, how are its priorities typified in television and the movies? How does this differ from what you actually see in people’s lives that live that way?

6. When you read the fruit of the Spirit in Gal. 5:22, which of these traits do you especially need more of in your life? What would it look like, if you had more of that trait?

7. When Paul writes that we need to keep in step with the Spirit (Gal. 5:25), what are some ways that you can pick up the pace?

November 8. 2015// The Holy Ghost In You

Title of Message:  The Holy Ghost In You

(Series:  “Ghost Stories”)

This morning we will be continuing in the series called Ghost Stories as we look to the supernatural and the third person of the trinity.  The Holy Ghost resides in us when we accept Jesus Christ, and that is an unbreakable seal that cannot be taken away.

 

Verses used:  Romans 8:5-16, Genesis 2:7, Psalm 51, Joel 2:28-29, John 14:15-17, Romans 5:1-2,  2 Corinthians 5:21, John 16:7, Acts 1:6-8, Acts 2:36-41, Jude 1:17-19, Ephesians 1:13.

Key verse:  Romans 8:5-16

5For those who are according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who are according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit. 6For the mind set on the flesh is death, but the mind set on the Spirit is life and peace, 7because the mind set on the flesh is hostile toward God; for it does not subject itself to the law of God, for it is not even able to do so, 8and those who are in the flesh cannot please God.

9However, you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. But if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Him. 10If Christ is in you, though the body is dead because of sin, yet the spirit is alive because of righteousness. 11But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you.

12So then, brethren, we are under obligation, not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh— 13for if you are living according to the flesh, you must die; but if by the Spirit you are putting to death the deeds of the body, you will live. 14For all who are being led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God. 15For you have not received a spirit of slavery leading to fear again, but you have received a spirit of adoption as sons by which we cry out, “Abba! Father!” 16The Spirit Himself testifies with our spirit that we are children of God.

Sermon Notes:

1.      At the fall mankind became spiritually detached from God.

2.      They have become spiritually dead, separated from God.

3.      In the Old Testament the Holy Spirit abided with mankind and His power fell on some but the Holy Spirit never abided in mankind.

4.      Because the Holy Spirit is Holy.

5.      Jesus paid it all for us on the cross and paved the way for the Holy Spirit to dwell inside us once again!

6.      The Holy Spirit comes in you by faith when you accepted Jesus!

Some questions for your group this week:

1.      What was something you learned or what stood out to you from the sermon on Sunday?

2.      Can you describe how it feels to you to have the indwelling of the Holy Spirit?

3.      How at home are the Father, Son and Holy Spirit in your life?  Are they more like owners or temporary guests?

4.      What should we do with the knowledge that at the time of believing, we were then sealed with the Holy Spirit?  Who do you know who might find faith in the understanding of the believer’s guarantee of his salvation?

5.      Something to think about – how do you need the Spirit to help you?

6.      How can we be “stirring in” these verses into our lives this week?

November 1, 2015 // Who Is The Holy Ghost?

Title of Message:  Who Is The Holy Ghost?

(Series:  “Ghost Stories”)

This morning, we will be starting a new series called Ghost Stories as we look to the supernatural and the third person of the trinity. Is the Holy Ghost an “it” or a He?

Verses used: Acts 8:9-24, Isaiah 1:18, John 14:15-17, John 14:26, John 15:26, John 16:7-15, 1 Corinthians 4:1, Deuteronomy 6:4-5, Genesis 1:26-27, Matthew 28:18-19, Isaiah 48:12-16, 1 Thessalonians 5:23, Zechariah 4:6, Luke 4:14, Acts 1:6-8, 2 Timothy 1:7, 2 Peter 1:21, Mark 12:35-37.

Key verses:

John 14:15-17, John 14:26, John 15:26, John 16:7-15,

John 14:15-17

“If you love Me, you will keep My commandments. I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may be with you forever; that is the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it does not see Him or know Him, but you know Him because He abides with you and will be in you.

John 14:26

"But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I said to you.

John 15:26

"When the Helper comes, whom I will send to you from the Father, that is the Spirit of truth, who proceeds from the Father, He will bear witness of Me.

John 16:7-15

"But I tell you the truth, it is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper shall not come to you; but if I go, I will send Him to you. "And He, when He comes, will convict the world concerning sin, and righteousness, and judgment; concerning sin, because they do not believe in Me; and concerning righteousness, because I go to the Father, and you no longer behold Me; and concerning judgment, because the ruler of this world has been judged. "I have many more things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. "But when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all the truth; for He will not speak on His own initiative, but whatever He hears, He will speak; and He will disclose to you what is to come." He shall glorify Me; for He shall take of Mine, and shall disclose it to you. "All things that the Father has are Mine; therefore I said, that He takes of Mine, and will disclose it to you.

Sermon Notes:

1. The Holy Spirit is not an IT but a HE.

2. 20 times Jesus calls Him a PERSON. 

3. The Holy Ghost is the third PERSON of the trinity.

4. The Holy Spirit is associated with POWER! 

The Power of the Holy Spirit was active in the Old Testament in:

5. CREATION of the universe. (Gen 1:2)

6. FALLING upon people to do miraculous things. (Judges 14:6) 

7. INSPIRATION of the written Scripture. (2 Pet 1:21)

Some questions for your group this week:

1. What was something you learned or what stood out to you from the sermon on Sunday?

2. What has been your journey in trying to understand the person and the nature of the Holy Spirit?

3. When we think of the supernatural, we often conger up images of darkness rather than the light of the Holy Ghost. Do you have any “ghost stories” in your life where you felt you encountered darkness?

4. Regarding Halloween, how do you feel about its influence of the spirit of darkness?

5. What are your “Holy Ghost” stories?

6. What is the relationship of the Father, Jesus and the Holy Spirit to the believer? To each other?

7. John 16:8-11 names the various roles of the Holy Spirit. How would you paraphrase the goals of the Spirit’s work?

8. How can we be “stirring in” these verses into our lives this week?

October 25, 2015 // A Changed Sight

Title of Message:  A Changed Sight

(Series:  “Changed”)

 

This morning, we will be finishing our series called “Changed.”   We have been studying the Gospel of John and looking primarily at the people whose lives were changed by meeting Jesus.  Today we will be visiting a man born blind and how his encounter with Jesus changed his physical and spiritual sight forever!

Verses used:  Isaiah 29:18-19, John 8:12, John 9.

Key verses:  Isaiah 29:18-19, John 8:12, John 9:1-7.

Isaiah 29:18-19

18On that day the deaf will hear words of a book, And out of their gloom and darkness the eyes of the blind will see.  19The afflicted also will increase their gladness in the Lord, And the needy of mankind will rejoice in the Holy One of Israel.

John 8:12

12Then Jesus again spoke to them, saying, “I am the Light of the world; he who follows Me will not walk in the darkness, but will have the Light of life.”

John 9:1-7

1As he went along, he saw a man blind from birth. 2His disciples asked him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?”  3“Neither this man nor his parents sinned,” said Jesus, “but this happened so that the works of God might be displayed in him. 4As long as it is day, we must do the works of him who sent me. Night is coming, when no one can work. 5While I am in the world, I am the light of the world.”  6After saying this, he spit on the ground, made some mud with the saliva, and put it on the man’s eyes. 7“Go,” he told him, “wash in the Pool of Siloam” (this word means “Sent”). So the man went and washed, and came home seeing.

Sermon Notes:

Look at his progression of understanding Jesus.

1.     A man called Jesus healed me, John 9:11

2.     He is a Prophet, verse 17

3.     He is from GOD. Not a false prophet but the real deal!  verse 33

4.     He is the Son of Man,  verse 35 (messianic title, Daniel 7)

5.     He is the LORD and he worships Him! verse 38

6.     The blind man in many ways represents all of mankind in that we are all born spiritually blind.

7.     This man also shows the way to the light of salvation and healing of our blindness by faith in Jesus.

Some Questions for your Group This Week:

1.   What was something you learned or what stood out to you from the sermon on Sunday?

2.     Name a time in your life when you were in a physically dark place; where was it and how did that make you feel?  Then share a time when you were in a spiritually or emotionally dark place, and how Jesus brought light to that situation.

3.     When you hear about another person’s misfortune, do you have a tendency to react like the disciples or Jesus?

4.     What do you see differently now that Jesus is in your life?

5.     If you didn’t have the chance to write on cardboard, what words would describe who you were before you met Jesus and what words would you use to identify how He has changed you?

6.     As we wrap up the series and you have reflected on how Jesus has “changed” you, how do you see God “changing” you into the future?

7.     How can we be “stirring in” these verses into our lives this week?

 

October 18, 2015 // Drop Your Rocks!

Title of Message:  Drop your Rocks!

(Series:  “Changed”)

 

We are continuing the series called “Changed” as we study the Gospel of John and look primarily to the people whose lives were changed by meeting Jesus.  Today we will be studying how the Jewish Religion back then dealt with sinners and how Jesus dealt with sinners.

Verses used:  John 8:1-11, Leviticus 20:10, Deuteronomy 22:22, Deuteronomy 17:6-7, Matthew 7:1-3, John 3:16-17

Key verse:  John 8:10-11

10 Jesus straightened up and asked her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?”

11 “No one, sir,” she said. “Then neither do I condemn you,” Jesus declared. “Go now and leave your life of sin.”

Sermon Notes:

Background

1.     Setting: It is common for Rabbis to bring their disciples to the temple courts and teach from there

2.     A crime was committed. That was not the proper venue for a judicial hearing. Jesus was not a civil magistrate. He had no jurisdiction in legal matters. Clearly this was mob action, a public lynching with an agenda.

3.     The religious leaders were not concerned about justice or the law. They did not even follow the proper legal proceeding. The law required both man and woman caught in adultery to be punished, or else there is no case. Where was the man? This clearly had an agenda and Jesus knew it.

4.     The agenda was a trap for Jesus. If Jesus said stone her, he would be violating Roman Law which prohibits capital punishment without the Roman governor’s approval. If he said no to stoning, he would be going against the Torah. Deuteronomy 22:22, Lev 20:10.

5.     No respectable Rabbi would side with an adulterer, let alone defend her. And yet Jesus did. Why?

Who was on trial?

·      In the eyes of the man, the woman was on trial.

·      In the eyes of God, the crowd was on trial.

 

Problems presented in the story

·      The crowd. The problem with public lynching is it’s never fair. Why? It has no rules. And they thought they could intimidate Jesus by their sheer numbers.

·      The religious leaders. The problem with religion is its propensity for control by using the fear of God as a means to manipulate and control people. Stoning is about fear and control. Conformity is motivated by fear, which leads to abuse.

·      The woman. She already knew the harshness of the punishment for adultery. Why did she do it?

·      Jesus. What was their problem with Jesus? The power of Religion rests upon the people’s fear. If the people no longer believe the religious leaders, they lose their power. Jesus was challenging their authority. They considered him a threat to their very existence, so they wanted to eliminate him.

What is the wrong way to judge?

·      When you look down on another person and place yourself above that person, thinking that you are better and they are inferior.

What is the right way to judge?

·      Look at the person with compassion and a desire to help, not condemn.

Application

·      1.Whenever we judge others, we are on trial.

·      2. We who experienced redemption are not in a position to judge or condemn the world. Rather we are in a position to save it. John 3:16-17 

Some Questions for Your Group This Week:

1.     What was something you learned or what stood out to you from the sermon on Sunday?

2.     The woman caught in adultery was clearly guilty of the crime. What was wrong with the way the religious leaders handled her case?

3.     Grace is defined as undeserved favor. How was grace demonstrated in this passage? (John 8L1-11)

4.     Why do you think the crowd didn’t stone the woman?

5.     The ultimate act of grace is forgiveness. How did Jesus forgive the woman?

6.     How do show love and grace to people who are difficult to love? (Hint: begin with your own heart’s attitude!)

October 11, 2015 // A Changed Perspective of Jesus

A Changed Perspective of Jesus

(Series:  “Changed”)

This morning, we will be continuing our series called “Changed” as we study the Gospel of John and look primarily to the people whose lives were changed by meeting Jesus.  Today we will be studying how Jesus fed the multitude and in the process how His disciples’ were also changed by a deeper understanding of who Jesus is.

Verses used:  John 6:1-15, Genesis 49:9-10, 2 Samuel 7:12-14, Isaiah 9:1-2, 6-7, Matthew 14:21-33, Isaiah 52:13-15, 53:1-12, 1 Peter 1:10-11, Matthew 16.

Supporting Media:

Key verse:  John 6:14-15

14Therefore when the people saw the sign which He had performed, they said, “This is truly the Prophet who is to come into the world.”  15So Jesus, perceiving that they were intending to come and take Him by force to make Him king, withdrew again to the mountain by Himself alone.

Sermon Notes:

Do you know of a man who was:

1.     High and lifted up exalted?

2.    Marred more than any man?

3.    Forsaken by his people?

4.   Pierced through, scourged for sins of others?

5.   Silent before his accusers.  Didn’t defend himself to be saved?

6.   Assigned death with wicked men…yet he was put in a    rich    man’s tomb?

7.    Called the Righteous One?  No one in the Old Testament was called righteousness...sinners, but this person is a Special person…sinless.

8.    In His death bears the sins of many!

9.   John 6 is also about Jesus identity and people struggling with their personal perspective of who he is supposed to be.

Some questions for your group this week:

1.     What was something you learned or what stood out to you from the sermon on Sunday?

2.     Why do you think Jesus did the feeding of the 5,000 in John 6?

3.     Why did the crowd want to make Jesus king (v.14)?

4.     Who and what do you think Jesus was praying for as he sent away the people and the disciples after this miracle (Matthew 14:23)?

5.     What does the prophesy in Isaiah 53 mean to you?

6.     In your own spiritual journey, how has your understanding/perceptions of Jesus changed over      the years, both before you became a believer and after?

7.    When Jesus comes again as a political Messiah (Isaiah 9, 11, Psalm 2) what do you look forward to most in His rule as King over all the earth?

8.    His coming again is coming. Are you ready?

9.    How can we be "stirring in" these verses into our lives this week?

 

 

 

 

October 4, 2015 // A Changed Identity

A Changed Identity

Series: Changed

Verses used: John 5:1-18, John 1:12, 1 John 3:1, John 5:18-47, John chapters 1-5.

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Key verse: John 5:1-18

Some time later, Jesus went up to Jerusalem for one of the Jewish festivals. Now there is in Jerusalem near the Sheep Gate a pool, which in Aramaic is called Bethesda and which is surrounded by five covered colonnades. Here a great number of disabled people used to lie—the blind, the lame, the paralyzed. One who was there had been an invalid for thirty-eight years. When Jesus saw him lying there and learned that he had been in this condition for a long time, he asked him, “Do you want to get well?” “Sir,” the invalid replied, “I have no one to help me into the pool when the water is stirred. While I am trying to get in, someone else goes down ahead of me.” Then Jesus said to him, “Get up! Pick up your mat and walk.” At once the man was cured; he picked up his mat and walked. The day on which this took place was a Sabbath, and so the Jewish leaders said to the man who had been healed, “It is the Sabbath; the law forbids you to carry your mat." But he replied, “The man who made me well said to me, ‘Pickup your mat and walk.’ ” So they asked him, “Who is this fellow who told you to pick it up and walk?” The man who was healed had no idea who it was, for Jesus had slipped away into the crowd that was there. Later Jesus found him at the temple and said to him, “See, you are well again. Stop sinning or something worse may happen to you.” The man went away and told the Jewish leaders that it was Jesus who had made him well. So, because Jesus was doing these things on the Sabbath, the Jewish leaders began to persecute him. In his defense Jesus said to them, “My Father is always at his work to this very day, and I too am working.” For this reason they tried all the more to kill him; not only was he breaking the Sabbath, but he was even calling God his own Father, making himself equal with God.

Sermon Notes:

  1. This chapter is about identity.

  2. It is primarily about the identity of Jesus.

  3. A Christian is not simply a person who gets forgiveness ,

  4. ...who gets to go to heaven ; who gets the Holy Spirit.

  5. A Christian, in terms of their deepest identity, is a child of God!

  6. Being a Christian is not just getting something ; it is being someone!

  7. Being born again means becoming someone who is very different to what he/she was _ before.

Some questions for your group this week:

  1. What was something you learned or what stood out to you from the sermon on Sunday?

  2. Why do you think Jesus asked the lame man if he wanted to get well?

  3. From the lame man’s response, what did he not understand about Jesus?

  4. Why do you think Jesus chose this man to heal? Why did Jesus not heal the others there who were sick or crippled?

  5. The Jews sought to kill Jesus for 2 things that He did. What were they?

  6. What was your identity in your High school/college years? How did people see you?

  7. How do you think people see your identity now?

  8. When did you really begin to see yourself the way God sees you as his child? What has your journey in heavenly identity been like?

  9. Do you know of anyone who needs healing but is so discouraged they’ve given up hope? What could you do, as Jesus did, to help build their faith?

  10. How can we be “stirring in” these verses into our lives this week?

Something to ponder:

Jesus asked the lame man a fair question, “Do you want to be healed?” Today, we all have issues in our life that need healing. What areas of healing would you like to see Jesus to do in your life?

September 27, 2015// Ready for a Surprise

Changed;

Ready for a Surprise

We are continuing our new series called “Changed” as we study the Gospel of John and look primarily to the people in the book whose life was changed by meeting Jesus.  We will be looking at a woman who was empty and hopeless because of her sin, but was changed by her meeting with Jesus.

Verses used:  John 4:1-42.

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Key verses:  John 4:1-26

1 Now Jesus learned that the Pharisees had heard that he was gaining and baptizing more disciples than John— 2 although in fact it was not Jesus who baptized, but his disciples. 3 So he left Judea and went back once more to Galilee. 4 Now he had to go through Samaria. 5 So he came to a town in Samaria called Sychar, near the plot of ground Jacob had given to his son Joseph. 6 Jacob’s well was there, and Jesus, tired as he was from the journey, sat down by the well. It was about noon.

7 When a Samaritan woman came to draw water, Jesus said to her, “Will you give me a drink?” 8 (His disciples had gone into the town to buy food.) 9 The Samaritan woman said to him, “You are a Jew and I am a Samaritan woman. How can you ask me for a drink?” (For Jews do not associate with Samaritans.)10 Jesus answered her, “If you knew the gift of God and who it is that asks you for a drink, you would have asked him and he would have given you living water.”

11 “Sir,” the woman said, “you have nothing to draw with and the well is deep. Where can you get this living water? 12 Are you greater than our father Jacob, who gave us the well and drank from it himself, as did also his sons and his livestock?” 13 Jesus answered, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, 14 but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” 15 The woman said to him, “Sir, give me this water so that I won’t get thirsty and have to keep coming here to draw water.”

16 He told her, “Go, call your husband and come back.” 17 “I have no husband,” she replied. Jesus said to her, “You are right when you say you have no husband. 18 The fact is, you have had five husbands, and the man you now have is not your husband. What you have just said is quite true.”

19 “Sir,” the woman said, “I can see that you are a prophet. 20 Our ancestors worshiped on this mountain, but you Jews claim that the place where we must worship is in Jerusalem.” 21 “Woman,” Jesus replied, “believe me, a time is coming when you will worship the Father neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem. 22 You Samaritans worship what you do not know; we worship what we do know, for salvation is from the Jews. 23 Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in the Spirit and in truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks. 24 God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in the Spirit and in truth.”

25 The woman said, “I know that Messiah” (called Christ) “is coming. When he comes, he will explain everything to us.” 26 Then Jesus declared, “I, the one speaking to you—I am he.”

Sermon Notes:

1.     She was ready for a surprise (John 4:1-9)

She was not expecting who Jesus was, the gift he brought, or the future he had planned for her.

2.     She needed a new hope (John 4:10-18)

She was trapped in her sin and the disappointment of her failed dreams, and had no options left.

3.     She found a new purpose (John 4:19-26)

In place of her own plans she was free to worship in Spirit and in truth, to become the kind of person that the Father was seeking.

4.     God has a surprise for all of us, who are tired of our failure and disappointment, and thirst for a drink of the living water. (John 4:27-4) 

Some questions to ponder this week:

1.     What is the best surprise you’ve ever received? What made it a surprise?

2.     Do you picture the woman at the well as young or old? Why?

3.     Why do you think Jesus revealed that he is the Messiah to this woman when he keeps this hidden from most people?

4.     What things in this story surprise you about how Jesus speaks to this woman?

5.     What lesson do you think Jesus’ disciples learned from what happened with the Samaritans?

6.     In what ways has Jesus reached out to you like he did the woman at the well?

7.     What wells have you drunk from in life that promised you satisfaction but left you empty?

8.     What are some areas that you need more of the Holy Spirit to help guide you in your life? How would this change you?

9.     What are some ways God is calling you to worship him in Spirit and in truth?