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It seems natural to think that a successful relationship is all about finding the right person. Pastor Hugh Breland turns that idea upside down in this message that outlines temptations that can lead you down the wrong path in your dating relationships.
In Hebrew, the word "Selah" means to stop, pause and think. We invite you to take a moment and listen to Pastor Louis Straker Jr. as he talks about God's Kingdom, the Gospel of Jesus Christ and the relevance that it has for you right now. Please visit us at www.rockbrooklyn.org, download this MP3 and share it with your family & friends!
Growing Up with Jesus: Going Under To grow up with Jesus, be under, not just around Him. James 1:1 Andrew Bonaventura, Lead Pastor
The Book of Philippians: Outline History of Paul • The Book of Philippians was written by Paul the Apostle. • Paul was not always the prominent Bible book writer. He was first Saul of Tarsus. • Probably from a very rich family as he was born a Roman citizen in Tarsus (Northern Turkey) which was an honor for anyone outside of Italy...reserved for those that contributed much to the empire. • Best of education and amenities...educated by Gamaliel from the age of 14. (who was a man of wisdom...ref Peter's preaching) • Became was one of the leading members of the Sanhedrin. • Always acted promptly on his beliefs...was present at the stoning of Stephen (Acts Chp 6)..would go from house to house dragging out and punishing Christians. • He heard there was quite a Christian community in Damascus to he set out with his posse to go there and do some Christ bashing...but God interceded... • Probably today would be counted as disqualified...murderer...violent...and as such were some of you....we are so quick to judge when God is so quick to forgive. It doesn't matter your past...what binds you today? What compels you today? Truth...or your lusts....that is what God is seeking...those to worship Him in spirit and in truth...with a clean criminal record....no, not a chance..with a clean conscience having full assurance of hope trusting in His Son and manifesting that trust in a love relationship with Him. • Paul was not physically impressive. Neither am I... History of Philippi and Paul in Philippi • Philippi itself.... • Modern day northern Greece • Originally named Kreinedes which means 'fountains' • Founded in the 6th century BC • Phillip the second of Macedon (Alexander the Great's Father) captured the area around 360 BC and named it after himself...or Philippi. • The city and its surrounding areas were rich with gold and this gold actually financed Alexander the Great's conquering... • 200 years later the Romans conquered the city and finding the gold depleted they just killed everyone off and leveled the city....deserted... • The city actually became a battlefield..and in 42 BC Philippi was the site of the epic battle where Mark Antony and Octavian, who later became Caesar Augustus, defeated the forces of Brutus and Cassius. This effectively squashed the Roman Republic and gave rise to the Roman Empire. • At that point the city became a Roman colony where retired army veterans were given a grant of land as a reward for their years of service and were settled there • Along the Egnatian Way, which was the main road that connected Rome in the west with the far flung Roman provinces of its empire in the east. • 90 years later, in walks Paul...the born again! • Second missionary journey • Acts Chp 16...some amazing things happened during Paul's missionary journey into Philippi. About the book... • Written around 60 AD and chronologically was the 8th. • Prison Epistle. Written while in Rome. Other prison epistles were Colossians, Philemon and Ephesians. Paul finds himself in a Roman prison when he pens this letter. • Very personal letter. Written in the first person. • Uses “I” more than 100 times. • Philippi was the first place in Europe that the gospel was preached. Paul will refer to this group of believers as “my beloved and longed-for brethren, my joy and crown...” • With the conversion of Lydia and the Roman jailer and their households the church of Philippi came into being. From this the church grew. • It was the first church Paul established in Europe. • Luke, the beloved physician, was its pastor for the first six years. Overview • Paul makes three clear appeals in the text. • Have the knowledge of Christ. • Have the mind of Christ. • Have the peace of Christ. • Philippians is the epistle of joy and encouragement in the midst of adverse circumstances. • Overall the thematic center of the book is the Christian experience. Perfection that is not perfect. Chapter 1 • Paul and Timothy • Inference here...also from the heart of Timothy. • Many like this > 2 Cor, Col, 1 and 2 Thes. • It is essential to your growth and vitality in your walk to have a Paul/Timothy relationship. • Someone to pour into, • Someone who pours into you • Someone with whom you share a bond closer than blood • You grow in love for the Lord as you are taught or you are teaching • You grow in love for one another as you receive and observe someone just receiving from you and growing in their knowledge of the Lord. • This is the essence of the human of horizontal (as opposed to vertical or relationship with God) Christian experience. • It is the most intimate and the most profitable form of fellowship and is the prescription Jesus has given to His children for growth. Jesus said to go and make disciples... • Discipleship means exactly the relationship we observe between Paul and Timothy...disciplined, fruitful, centered on Jesus... • You may find yourself in a place today where you are stunted in your Christian growth or feel as though you are not receiving from the Lord...maybe in a dry place of desert experience which is something we all will experience while we wait upon the Lord. But may it be because there is a lack of discipleship in your life? • God has given us the recipe for growth...a recipe to have something we so desperately need per the perfect way in which we were created...fearfully and wonderfully. >>> You know if I were to have you over for dinner and you had a bowl of my wife's awesome cheeseburger soup you would probably ask for the recipe and April would gladly share the recipe with you...but then if you went home and a week later said to yourself..mmmm I really want some of that awesome cheeseburger soup, I think I'll make it...but then you got hotdogs and honey combs and ice cream and stirred it all together in a pot...excited to have that wonderful flavor you had over at my place...finished it up and sat down and took a big spoonful and put it in your mouth.....YUCK! Well what did you expect to get? It’s the same with spiritual growth... • Jesus has laid out the recipe so clearly that the bible says a babe can have understanding but we do our own thing...make and do what’s convenient and grow not. • So interesting to me that most of the time we find ourselves sitting back and saying God what’s wrong with me? Why do I not receive from you but the truth is NOTHING is wrong with you... • it’s just the ingredients...you're not following the recipe...so so simple but so profound. • Interesting side of this illustration is that in and of themselves hot dogs are great, honey combs are great and ice cream is great but they are not what makes cheeseburger soup...and Paul once said that all things are lawful for me but not all things are expedient...you see mostly everything in your life is probably good...you probably don't dabble in drugs, you probably don't get drunk, you probably don't overtly hurt people and so the world will conclude that you are a “good person” but are the ingredients prescribed by the word of God in the soup of your life...if not then guaranteed there is no profit...no fruit...maybe works, maybe good intentions but fruit...not so much and it’s the fruit of the spirit that satisfies...not fruit of good works. How essential it is to read the bible, learn from it and actually put into practice what it teaches... And so Paul and Timothy, bondservants of Jesus Christ... • Bondservant in the Greek is the word doulos. • Powerful title to affix to yourself. • Can only be held by one who is submitted to the Lordship of Jesus Christ. A bondservant is one who gives himself up to another's will...one who is devoted to the other and disregards their own interests. • To be one's bond slave is completely voluntary. The servant would fulfill their duty however would then make the public proclamation that they intended to stay and serve their master by becoming their bond slave...because their master was good and it was an act of love to become a doulos... • Doulos occurs 127 times in the Greek text of the New testament. • Doulos is a masculine noun however you do also find this word in the feminine in the text and that is Doule. • In the Lord's Kingdom, Galatians 3:28 tells us that there is neither Jew nor Greek, free nor slave, male nor female for you are all one in Christ Jesus. • The calling to serve Jesus is universal. To women, to children, to men...to business men, to politicians...we are all called to serve the One who is worthy of all service. • Check out Romans Chp 12 • Jesus has broken the stronghold that sin and death held over our lives through His death and resurrection. • You know you and me, we were born doulos...but not to the light rather to the darkness. Paul uses this word in Romans also as he says that he was formerly a doulos of Satan...but God intervened on that fateful road trip Paul took to Damascus. • The Bible says that He loves us to the uttermost. Our natural, wise and rightful response is to give Him our lives. Which is exactly what is meant by Paul when he identifies himself and Timothy as the doulos of Jesus Christ. • One other note > The root word for doulos is dew which means bound. Paul writes in 2 Cor 5:14 that the love of Christ compels or constrains us and that really is the Way of the One who is Righteous. He overcomes evil with good...He destroys the power and stronghold of darkness with sacrifice, humility and holiness...it is the love of God that leads men to repentance. • It is the love of God that probably attracted you to learn more of Him and even give your life to Him. • Even now you continue to enjoy and learn more of His love as you witness, experience and even share in His grace...his unmerited favor that has been afforded to you by His love. • If we but glimpse His love for us then our hearts would swiftly and gladly bow...we choose to be bound by His will because we know that His thoughts towards us are thoughts of peace and not of evil to give us a future and a hope. • We choose His way over our way because we trust in His love for us...that He is willing to and has gone to the uttermost to save us...where better to place your trust? In yourself? Hardly...my heart is desperately wicked and deceitful above all things...who can know it (Jeremiah wrote in Chp 17 verse 9) certainly not me...my heart will lead me astray like a tiny dingy boat tossed to and fro in the wind and the waves. My anchor is set upon Him who is able to keep me from stumbling and to present me faultless before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy. Am I able to do that? Are you? Tell me, who rules your actions? Your attitudes? Your reactions? The one who is able to present you in perfection? Or your imperfect heart and subsequent emotions and feelings? • Jesus said that he is the Way, the Truth and the Life and no one will come to the Father except by Him...you cannot get to the father through good works and good intentions and good anything....that is empty religion James would say....if you want to see the Father in your life and grab a hold of all that He has purposed for you then you must forsake your own way and be bound by His will. • Paul was the top of the food chain in the Sanhedrin...but lost, empty and angry. Paul was educated, successful, loved and admired by his peers, but completely miserable....(rescue mission) And so Paul, with his son in the faith, bound by the love of their Master identify themselves as the authors of this heartfelt letter....and the letter continues....
Charlie begins a four week miniseries on the book of Hebrews with an introduction to the book and an overview of it's content.
As we return to our series on the Gospel of Luke, Pastor Pizzino takes a look at the book as a whole.
The importance of the Old Testament scriptures in the live of followers of Jesus