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Sermons from Midwest Church of Christ

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Jesus' gift of no condemnation - John 8: 1 - 11

Jesus has a confrontation with the religious leaders who again plan to trap him. They use the woman caught in adultery to trap him, so as to find a reason to accuse him. He turns the tables on them and exposes them with sheer brilliance. Where are we in the story The fact is we may like to think we are like her, the victim humiliated and exposed. However, sometimes we are like the judges, self righteous hypocrites. (See Romans 2: 1, 22). Everyone accuses and is accused. "All have sinned." Yet God in Christ comes to rescue and restore. Jesus was the only one who could in fact condemn her, and the only one with authority to forgive and heal her. Not long after he would shed his blood for her and us and her accusers! We receive the gift of no condemnation, and that enables to sin no more. The more you accuse, condemn, pressurise, manipulate and try control someone, the more they will rebel. God gives us liberty in Christ. We can live out purity under the gift of 'no condemnation'. This is the good news that we pass that truly sets free

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Jesus' single minded pursuit of us - John 7

Jesus' life was being threatened, which explains why it was dangerous for him to appear at the feast of tabernacles. He was the light bearer and hostility was growing to the light. The Jewish people were divided, some were undecided, still other derided as their leaders connived. But Jesus was single minded. He courageously pursued them (and us), spoke the truth to them and finally called them to find life in him. Jesus is our Passover lamb, our Pentecost and our Tabernacle. "The law is a shadow of the good things to come", which we have in Christ. In Jesus we see God who gave his all to save, heal and restore us back into relationship with God. We see throughout the Bible how much God loves us - how he clothed Adam and Eve in the garden, how he redeemed Israel out of slavery in Egypt finally laying down his life as a sacrifice of atonement. As we come to him, and have closeness with Jesus the Holy Spirit fill us and stream of living water flow out of Jesus into us. This will give us strength to pursue others as God pursued us.

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Only Gods Spirit can give life - John 6:60

What is the flesh? What is the Spirit? Jesus reveals here why his flesh is absolutely essential to salvation. The flesh representing human ability is incapable of eternal life. Humans cannot even grasp and appropriate who Jesus Messiah really is and what he offers unless the Father draws them. The flesh is not the body per se, but represents human frailty and inability. All rituals, spirituality, human effort, human will, human ego, human emotion is unable to bring about true salvation. Only the Spirit can do this through Jesus Christ

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The ministry of the Holy Spirit from Ephesians part 1 God's powerful presence

This is a three part series on the ministry of the Holy Spirit from the book of Ephesians. Paul has shared on the spiritual standing of the Ephesian church. There was much witchcraft and mystery religion to make life work for the Ephesians and to stop opponents. So these folk who came to Jesus needed to know all that Christ had done for them, their standing in Jesus and who he was. He was higher than all other powers - sovereign God. Paul then prays a prayer for them that we can pray for ourselves and each other. That they would know by the Holy Spirit experientially the depths of Christ. The sealing of the Spirit. The downpayment of their inheritance. This was theirs in Christ, but his prayer was for them to have the revelation in their hearts and to experience in their mental emotional state the hope, the inheritance, the power of Christ. This can come upon us like a slow drizzle or like a cloud burst where the joy, the power and presence of God fills us in an extraordinary way. It is the romance, the visions, the intimacy, the power and the joy that God has for us by his Spirit.

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Multiplying what little we have - John 6

The feeding of the 5000 mirrors the Exodus story. 12 disciples. The celebrations. The miracles. Messiah was visiting his people and initiating the new exodus. This would be the new covenant with Israel for the world. The followers of Jesus would inherit the earth (New heavens and new earth), not simply the land of Canaan in the middle east (See Psalm 37 and Matthew 5). The feeding mirrors God's provision in many ways in Exodus 16 and Numbers 11 where God fed the people with Manna. The application for us personally is powerful. Just as God tested Moses and the people, Jesus tested his disciples. What closes the gap between needs which seem overwhelming, our little strength and God's might power? It is faith. We are always tested to trust in situations we can't possibly accomplish in our own ingenuity. We simply have to trust and offer our few loaves loaves and fish. God can multiply them. This is how we close the gap

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