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Sermons from The Church @ St. Charles

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The Grace of God Has Appeared, Bringing Salvation

What happened when God’s grace, kindness, and love became visible? He saved us! (3:4) God saved us – this is the account (becoming visible – known) of Christmas. We celebrate the birth of a child, born of a virgin who is Immanuel – God with us – and He is named Jesus, meaning “the Lord saves”! Christmas is the celebration of God’s salvation come to mankind. Christmas is wrapped in the expression of the “grace of God”, the gift brought to mankind, and the bountiful knowledge of knowing how we receive – open - this very gift. Like we open packages on Christmas morning, we unwrap the gift of salvation. A gift is given – a gift is love; a gift is not forced upon us nor do we earn such a gift to receive. How beautiful, how magnificent, how truly incredible this gift that has been given is toward us!

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She Was Pregnant from the Holy Spirit

To say the birth of Jesus was spectacular would be a shortcoming in oral skills at its best. Secularists, Agnostics, Rationalist and the logical and all those generally without practice of religion attempt to find many holes in the account of Jesus’ birth. At the forefront is the most significant element – the virgin birth. From a cultural collective gasp that so many could believe such an unscientific, supernatural doctrine, the world retorts, “… that Jesus Christ was born of a virgin is nothing less than evidence of intellectual dimness.” As the New York Times placed it, “American Christianity is becoming less intellectual and more mystical over time.” Wow … I rejoice that I am intellectually dim to the world and increasingly mystical to the Times in my view; for I wholly and without reservation claim to you this day, “She was pregnant from the Holy Spirit.” Because Jesus was born of a virgin, I have a redeemer from God . Jesus is not from mankind nor did religion create Him or His origin. People of the flesh can only reject Him but they never can remove nor erase His advent. Did I just believe the virgin birth because my church told me when I was a boy? Did I just blindly take this step of faith because my parents told me such a notion? Of course not. There is evidence and a record. So there is testimony - witness. The real matter at the forefront of Christmas celebration is this: “Do you believe in the virgin birth?” More to the point, “Do you face the fact that a denial of the virgin birth is a denial of Jesus as the Christ?” In today’s message we will explore the significance of God’s Word that reads, “She was pregnant from the Holy Spirit.” We will face the decision is God right and man wrong?

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Continue Constantly in Prayer, Being Vigilant in it with Thanksgiving, Part 4

Jesus gave the manner of prayer, “Forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.” The believer’s heart of thanksgiving begins in forgiveness … receiving and continually giving. As we truly understand forgiveness – how we have been forgiven and how we are to forgive – our hearts are opened, our eyes are enlightened and our hearts are freed from brokenness; our hearts begin in great praise to God and our gratitude multiplies. We see others around us differently, so much so we begin to see them as God sees them. God saw our need and declared, “God so loved the world He gave His only begotten Son…” God loves us – He loves us! So much in love for His people that He gave over His Son as our Sacrifice and Substitute that we might be reconciled to God. As we approach Thanksgiving, let us approach the forgiveness of God that we too might forgive and so rejoice in great thanksgiving.

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Continue Constantly in Prayer, Being Vigilant in it with Thanksgiving, Part 3

Jesus gave the manner of prayer, “Give us THIS DAY our daily bread…” How many of our prayers are time consumed with yesterday or bathed in requests for tomorrow? Jesus said, THIS DAY. We know yesterday is gone and tomorrow will have enough worries of its own. “Sufficient today” – we read – are the troubles we might encounter; so let our prayers be “THIS DAY”. When we ask for our daily bread, what exactly are we asking? “Bread” of course is our necessities such as food, water, clothing, and shelter; but it should be known we need and ask of our daily bread from the Word of God. As we desire our physical body to be fed and sheltered, do we seek our soul to be fed and sheltered in the great Word God has given us? When we then ask, “This day…” will we rest in thanksgiving that God has heard and therefore our God will answer? Do we depend wholly upon God and therefore give shouts of thanksgiving; or, do we ask as if “He may or may not” provide our needful requests THIS DAY? Our conversation with God must be bathed in a thankful heart. I pray Scripture – the reading, expounding, and applying – will cause great edification THIS DAY as we seek His Kingdom. May God bless our prayer THIS DAY more and more! Amen.

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Continue Constantly in Prayer, Being Vigilant in it with Thanksgiving, Part 2

Our Lord’s prayer and the manner in which we pray is, “Our Father in heaven, your name be honored as holy.” Our recognition of God’s location and Holiness brings the heart into thanksgiving – for He is Sovereign and has brought about His work, His deeds, and His salvation. What a great God we serve and great still is His Name! Our manner of prayer grows: “Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” Understanding God’s will and that God’s will is always done and never thwarted, brings about greater thanksgiving in the heart of the believer. Do we see this portion of prayer as asking that God’s will be done? Or, as needed, do we see this manner in praying as affirming matter-of-factly, His will is done in all manner and circumstance? This morning we look to God’s will and discover how boundless our God and because of this, greater our thanksgiving toward Him. The Church testified “… whom you anointed, to do whatever your hand and your will had predestined to take place.” (Acts 4:27c-28)

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