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Sermons from Faith Bible Church Greenfield Illinois

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Made Alive

As we begin this week of Thanksgiving we indeed have much to be thankful for. At the heart of our thanksgiving as Christians is the life that God has given to us in Christ Jesus. In Ephesians 2 there is a great reminder of who we are without Jesus, what God did for us and what we are to be doing as a result. I. Who we were A. We were dead in our trespasses and sin (Ephesians 2:1-3) 1. We walked around doing what the world does 2. We were obedient to satan a. He is the prince of the air b. He works in the all sons of disobedience 3. We obeyed what our flesh wanted a. Fulfilling its lusts b. Fulfilling the desires of the and our fallen minds B. We were by nature children of wrath – like everyone else II. What God did for us A. He acted while we were dead (Ephesians 2:4, 5) 1. Because He is rich in mercy 2. Because He loves us B. By an act of grace He has made us alive (Ephesians 2:6) 1. Now we sit together alive 2. In the heavenly places C. We have been saved by grace through faith (Ephesians 2:8) 1. Salvation is a gift of God 2. Even faith is a gift of God (Romans 3:10, 11) III. What we are to be doing now A. We are to be on display for Him for the ages (Ephesians 2:7) 1. In us He displays the exceeding riches of His grace 2. In us He displays His kindness B. Living with humility (Ephesians 2:9) C. Doing good works (Ephesians 2:10) 1. We are His workmanship. He shaped us for His work 2. We were created for good works 3. God has prepared us for them and now we must walk them out As we gather with friends and family over Thanksgving we need to be most thankful that God did for us what we couldn’t do for ourselves. He has saved us by His grace. He has taken we who were dead in our trespasses and sins and made us alive. We are breathing the air of heavenly places and not the poisoned air of this earth. We are not enslaved by the world, our flesh or the devil.

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High Priest and King

Last week we saw Zechariah remind the people of Judah and Jerusalem that they had an Advocate and Intercessor in the Son of God. In one of the stories we read this week God has Zechariah take a gift that is brought to Jerusalem and use it to make the point that Messiah is coming and that when He comes He will take up the mantle of Priest and King. I. A gift arrives from Babylon A. Zechariah was to receive the gift from the captives (Zechariah 6:9, 10) B. We find out that what they sent was silver and gold 1. They were sending support 2. God had a different plan for their gift II. Make a crown with the silver and gold (Zechariah 6:11) A. It was to be elaborate B. It was to be set on the head of Joshua the high priest C. This crown was not meant to be worn by Joshua every day (Zechariah 6:14) 1. It was a memorial 2. It was to be in the temple III. Here is what was to be learned from this crown A. Behold the Man who is the Branch (Zechariah 6:12) 1. Symbolic of the branch that would spring from the severed kingly line 2. Jeremiah used the same words in prophesying Messiah (Jeremiah 23:5, 6) B. The Messiah shall branch out (Zechariah 6:12b, 13a) 1. He shall build the temple of the Lord a. Right now we are the temple of God (Ephesians 2:19-22) b. The temple will be built in the Millennium (Haggai 2:6-9) 2. He shall bear the glory (Zechariah 6:13b) a. Right now our purpose is to glorify Him with our lives (I Corinthians 6:20) b. He will receive glory forever and ever (Revelation 5:13) 3. He shall sit and rule on His throne a. Right now He rules a kingdom that is not of this world (John 18:36, 37) b. One day He will rule this world . His reign will be forever (Revelation 11:15) 4. He shall be a Priest on His throne a. He is our Priest now (Hebrews 4:14-16) b. He is Priest and King forever like Melchizedek (Hebrews 6:20-7:3) God encouraged the people of Jerusalem and Judah with the symbolism of a crown placed on the head of their High Priest to picture the promise that was yet to be filled of the coming Messiah who would be Priest and King. The crown was put in the temple as a memorial, and there it sat symbolically waiting for the One who would pick it up (Zechariah 6:14). Today we know His name, Jesus.

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Our Intercessor and Advocate

Zechariah was prophesying in Jerusalem at the same time that Haggai was telling the people that God wanted them to start building the temple again. The visions that we will examine today were given by God to encourage the people that God was with them and that He would keep His promises. The nation of Israel would again survive and thrive and one day from Jerusalem their Messiah would reign over the world from there. In the Son of God they had an intercessor and an advocate. I. The Son of God intercedes for His people A. Roughly five months after Haggai told the people to build the temple (Haggai 1:1) 1. They were just getting started on this work 2. Foundation of the temple laid 24th day of the ninth month (Haggai 2:18) 3. This would be hard and at times discouraging work B. This vision comes two months after the foundation was laid (Zech. 1:7) C. The three symbolic images in this vision (Zech. 1:8, 9) 1. Myrtle trees in a hollow - Israel 2. A man on a red horse – Angel of the Lord (Son of God) 3. Others on red, sorrel and white horses – Angels D. The angels report to the Angel of the Lord (Zech. 1:10, 11) 1. They had surveyed the earth 2. It was at rest E. The Angel of the Lord (Son of God) intercedes for Israel (Zech. 1:12) 1. How long will You not have mercy on Jerusalem and Judah? 2. It’s been seventy years F. The Lord of Hosts replies (Zech. 1:13-17) 1. With good and comforting words 2. He was zealous for Jerusalem and angry with the nations II. The Son of God an advocate for Joshua A. Joshua was the High Priest of the people 1. He stood before the Angel of the Lord (Zech. 3:1) 2. Satan at his right hand as his accuser 3. Clothed in filthy garments (Zech. 3:3) B. The Angel of the Lord takes action 1. He rebukes satan (Zech. 3:2) 2. Joshua was one that God had plucked from the fire 3. The Angel of the Lord ordered new clothes be brought (Zech. 3:4, 5) a. Take off the old clothes representing sin – Son of God removed it b. Clothe him with rich robes – Son of God replaced it c. Put a clean turban on his head C. Angel of the Lord speaks words of encouragement to him (Zech. 3:6, 7) Jesus intercedes as a High Priest for us as His people (Hebrews 7:25). He prays for us as a people (Romans 8:34). We have an Advocate before the Father (I John 2:1). He advocates for us when the accuser of the brethren (Revelation 12:10) brings charges. He was an advocate and intercessor for Peter even as He went to the cross (Luke 22:31, 32).

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It's Time to Build

There are times when we neglect building the house that is our faith, or build it with less than prime materials. When the people of Israel returned from Babylon part of what they started to do was build the temple. Opposition from the nations around Israel (Ezra 4:1-5) and a letter from Artaxerxes (Ezra 4:23, 24) discouraged them and caused them to quit. Now 16 years had passed, Artaxerxes had been dead a year and they had not returned to building the temple. Through Haggai God tells the people that it’s time to stop making excuses and build the temple. I. The people made excuses for not building the temple A. It’s not the right time (Haggai 1:2) 1. They used the opposition they faced to say it wasn’t God’s time 2. They found time to build their own houses (Haggai 1:4, 5) 3. Their priorities were off – building own houses but not temple B. We are the dwelling place of God 1. As a Church (Ephesians 2:19-22) a. Do we say maybe it’s not God’s time because it is hard? b. Are we busy with things that have no eternal consequence? 2. As individuals (I Corinthians 3:16, 17) a. Do we say that it’s too hard so maybe it’s not God’s time? b. Are we busy with things that don’t matter and neglect the spiritual? II. Their disregard for building the temple was costing them A. They worked hard but it wasn’t yielding enough 1. Not enough food and water (Haggai 1:6) 2. Not enough clothes and wages 3. Consider your ways (Haggai 1:7) B. Missing out on all they could have 1. God was withholding blessing (Haggai 1:9-11) 2. They weren’t building the temple 3. They were taking care of their own houses C. We work hard for food and clothing and wages investing all that time, care and worry 1. We never are satisfied - God is trying to get our attention (Haggai 2:15-17) 2. Joy comes when we invest in our spiritual house III. Building a spiritual house A. The foundation of the house is Jesus (I Corinthians 3:11-15) B. How do we build on that? 1. First, are we building at all? 2. Are we building with materials that will withstand judgment and endure to eternity? a) Correct motives b) With maximum effort and commitment c) Using natural abilities alone, or by faith humbly using your spiritual gifts We need to build on the foundation that was laid in our lives by what Jesus did. If we want to grow and be fully blessed by God we need to build our spiritual buildings and build them with lasting materials on the foundation provided to us by Jesus.

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God's Calling in the Last Day

Zephaniah preached in the early days of the reign of Josiah and the good news is that as a result of his preaching and the preaching of others and the discovery of the law that revival came to the land of Judah and the judgement that was coming on Judah was delayed. The judgment of a people and the world can be delayed by the repentance and humility of that people. I. God’s call for repentance A. He told them that judgment hung over them 1. The day of the Lord’s anger was coming (Zephaniah 2:1, 2) 2. True for the world and human race (Romans 1:18) 3. Jesus will judge the secrets of men (Romans 2:16) B. God urges the people to repent (Zephaniah 2:1, 2) 1. Come together 2. Before the decree is issued and this chance passes away like chaff 3. Before God’s anger falls on you II. God’s call for believers in these last days before judgment A. He calls on the meek – who have upheld justice (Zephaniah 2:3) 1. Seek the Lord a. He rewards those that seek Him (Hebrews 11:6) b. Search for Him with whole heart (Jeremiah 29:13) 2. Seek righteousness a. Hunger and thirst for it (Matthew 5:6) b. Seek first His righteousness (Matthew 6:33) 3. Seek humility a. Blessed are the poor in spirit and meek (Matthew 5:3, 5) b. Have the mind of Jesus (Philippians 2:5, 8) B. So that you will be hidden in the day of the Lord’s wrath III. God’s protection of His people from judgment A. Examples 1. Noah, Lot 2. The people of Israel in Egypt 3. A remnant left here after judgment (Zephaniah 3:12, 13) 4. We will be caught up, some of us alive a. We who are alive will be caught up (I Thessalonians 4:16, 17) b. We will not all sleep (I Corinthians 15:51, 52) B. Characteristics of those who survive 1. They will be a meek and humble people 2. They will trust in the name of the Lord 3. They will be righteous and honest Judgement is hanging over our ungodly nation and world, but we can delay that judgment if we can lead our nation to repentance. Whether they listen or not our call is to be a holy, humble separate people seeking after God in these wicked days. When the storm of judgment comes it will pass over us. We will be preserved into glory.

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