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Bob Price speaks with New York Times best-selling author Stephen Mansfield about his new book on the execution of Jesus. (Note that some content may not be appropriate for children)
Sermon #29 from the "God with Us" series. Scripture from John 12:12-50.
The Glory has left the temple for good! Are you ready for the Glory, Jesus Christ, to return again?
Romans Chapter 5 Verses 1 – 2 • Two of the most wonderful verses in all of scripture, Paul opens this new chapter with a profound therefore… • Whenever there is a therefore, always think to yourself, ask yourself, “what is it there-for?” Therefore what? Well therefore, in other words, in light of…in light of the marvelous truth that Paul has shared in the previous four chapters…the truth that has absolutely set him free and what’s more, entirely set him on fire. • You ever find a deal that is so good that you become somewhat of a spokesperson? Recently I began to fly Spirit Airlines. I bought the ticket because it was the only flight out late night so that I could go to Madison’s school program. She was going to be signing man and I had to be in Texas the next morning and I was not going to miss her performance! • And so I booked the flight and it was odd. Very cheap ticket but I had to go online and pay for my bags, even my carry on…and I had to pay for my seat. That is their business model. Cheap ticket initially but you pay for everything, your seat included. Well I discovered that to fly first class, the price difference was only $15 and so I said, “hey…bigger seat…I’m in!” After it was all said and done, round trip the entire cost including first class was about $250. • Then I went. New plane. High Tech plane at that. Large, super reclining seat…smooth flight…it was awesome. I proceeded to tell everyone at the office about Spirit Airlines man! The deal. The seat. The cool plane…it was just too good to keep to myself! • Well paling in comparison is my story to the love and the realness that had entered into Paul’s heart through God’s abundant grace. You know Paul was always after that. Why do you think he was so zealous as a Pharisee? Why do you think that he spent countless days and long nights studying the scriptures with Gamaliel being brought up as a Hebrew of the Hebrews? Because he was after truth…but he settled man…he settled for religion when after all of his studying, all of his tutoring, all of his testing and professing…he didn’t find it man… • It was only after he was made blind man…only then was he able to see…Saul of Tarsus, encountering Jesus on the road to Demascus…God touches him and says see as you’ve seen…no more…and Paul was born man…born into a relationship with Truth Himself…filled with God’s unrelenting, unearned and unrestrained love…and what he almost forgot he was looking for…arrived in a moment…. • Truth that is so good that he is just poured out bent on telling the world…that just like Abraham, just like Moses, just like David, he has found grace man…he has found what every human heart is looking for…he found The Way…the One that all of scripture points to…the Truth…the very Son of God risen from the grave…man he found the life…the Messiah…the Savior of the entire world…and man he says here…in light of all that…therefore having been justified by faith… • Not earning it, not learning it…not even discerning it…simply being declared righteous is literally what that word “justified” means in the Greek…simply by God’s open and public declaration by the perfect sacrifice upon Calvary’s cross and the proof of His sufficiency in that the grace could not hold Him…check this out…through my redemption in Jesus Christ alone, I have peace with God! • You can never have the peace of God in your life until you have peace with God folks…why? Why is life void of peace other than simply being saved, citizens of heaven…the sure steadfast promise of inheritance sealed up in your heart of hearts…well, it’s simply really…this world in its fallen state is actually arranged in such a twisted and distorted fashion…that peace is fleeting… • This world is not able to offer you and I peace. From birth, throughout all of history, babies and children and adults have been taught existentialism…be all that you can be…you can do anything that you’d like, if you simply put your mind to it…you have the freedom for the pursuit of happiness as all men are created equal…nothing wrong with that at all! That is pure and good…the problem is…we aren’t. • From birth man, growing up, science projects, school electives, class elections and talent shows…we have all been encouraged and this world system allows each person to see the world uniquely…differently…creatively…and therefore there is no universal truth of how things ought to be…Movies are made without endings, paintings are completed and hung as masterpieces and they are pointless or chaotic which allows the viewer the right of interpretation…to craft their own perspective or resolve. In a world ruled with righteousness, love and purity…this is wonderful. • But in our world, existentialism (which is the only way man in an apple-eaten state can be) this results in disunity and that disunity drives isolation. Isolation indefinitely leads to defense and eventually aggression. The chips are stacked from birth in this fallen place…but Paul has found…peace. Jesus said in John 14, “Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives…My peace is actually real. It begins and ends at peace with My Father.” • Paul searched his whole life for peace…maybe you’re searching today. Peace from the booze, peace from the pipe, peace with your children, peace with your wife…peace with your coworkers…please hear me…peace is not to be sought out, its to be freely received. What you need is peace with God yourself. You need your heart opened to relationship with the Father through the indwelling Spirit of Him who accomplished your rescue. What you need is surrender man…and until you’re ready to simply believe in Him, trust in Him…even if it costs you greatly…there will be no peace… • But Paul, stoned several times, shipwrecked three times, beaten with rods three times, often laboring without sleep or food, thrown into prison time and time again, well accustomed to being cold and naked…yet his heart cry…I am full, man…the power of peace piercing mightily through any hardship that would befall him… • And notice verse two, the wonderful trifecta of faith…Paul has been given the peace that he’s always thirsted for and faith has also delivered access man and so he rejoices! The inexpressible, inexhaustible wonder of the man or woman filled with the Holy Spirit! They have peace, they have access and they rejoice! • And not only that, Paul would say…but they are unreasonably strong man…look at the next verse… Romans Chapter 5 Verse 3 • “Glory in tribulations?” Paul that’s unreasonable! Of course it is…unreasonable to the short-sided…to the one who is concerned with convenience and comfort rather than wisdom and abiding stability and strength! The child of God sees deeply into the circumstance and trusts God at His word man! Gives God the place of God in their lives! What a novel idea and by watching God be continually continually continually faithful…always always always true to His Word and enjoying even what Paul would call the “fellowship of suffering,” in Philippians 3, when its only you and the Lord man…no one else knows, no one else sees…the pain man that comes from simply suffering for righteousness sake…when you have outs but all of them are unfaithful and so you choose God’s way, even to your own hurt as David would write in Psalm 15… • You know what you find? No one comforts like Him…no one grows you up like Him…no one is faithful like Him…and that kind of faith in tribulation…well Paul tells us here…is power. The storm hits, you stand. The circumstance crushes, you surge! The hearts of the people melt, just like they did at Jericho…yet Joshua marched forward to an impossible victory! Following after the Ark of the Lord. Paul says here bowing the knee to Jesus and honoring all that He is all that He had done…solidifies the lasting and eternal peace with God from which comes access to the Father and a heart filled with rejoicing…so when the storm comes…faith’s face flourishes! • What does it look like? Is the faith real? Enter test…hard times…hard nights…hard people…and the face is exposed (faith’s face)…what’s the faith really look like? Is it real or just sensationalism? Do I really believe? Am I really empty of self? Do I really trust in the Lord with all of my heart, soul, mind and strength? The truth is…we don’t know…not without difficulties…not without tribulation and therefore Paul glories, why? Because he sees…perseverance man…and his faith…even to himself…is proven genuine…and most of all, worship occurs. Romans Chapter 5 Verse 5 • And so perseverance reveals the inward work of the Holy Spirit…and character shines forth. Integrity, strength, honor, power, love…a sound mind…you never know what’s in the sponge until you squeeze it…but once character in Jesus advances…blooms just like fruit on a well rooted tree and your heart is filled with hope! • Why? Because you’ve waited on the Lord…you’ve trusted in the Lord and therefore the Lord has an opportunity to show you His love and power and faithfulness. If you trust in self and hope in self then what opportunity does God have? And then when God shows up, you miss Him! You’re eyes are on you! You get the glory! And so very often God withholds His blessings, His provision…He had to! Lest you misunderstand that He is Jahovah Jirah…The Provider…that He is Jehovah Rapha…The Healer…that He is Jahovah Shalom…The peace in not only the situation but the only real peace there is…not you man…and God desires for you to make it…not fail or falter…He desires for you to live and live abundantly…not settle for the scraps when He has prepared for you sufficiency! • Hope in self is forever fickle…”Oh I hope that this comes about…but I fear it won’t.” It’s a fearful hope…this word that Paul uses here, the kind of hope that we are filled with by God is completely different…literally it means, “anticipation of a sure thing…in pleasure!” • It does not disappoint, not while you’re hoping and not at the end of the matter…and that kind of hope is, as Paul says here, “poured out in our hearts.” Not rationed, not enough for today, not enough for this test, not enough for this tribulation…MAN POURED OUT by the Holy Spirit who was earned by us? NO! Given to us! How? Why? • By Jesus giving Himself. We had no hope….we couldn’t even hang out with the Holy Spirit because before Jesus giving Himself and dying for our sins, in our place, we were enemies of the Holy Spirit…but God so loved you and so loved me that He gave His Holy Son…and by that gift, we receive another…the communion in our hearts with the Holy Spirit. Romans Chapter 5 Verses 6 – 8 • Paul had found life…a deal so good, he was set ablaze. And today he stands in the eternal presence of God Almighty when if left to himself, he would be banished to outer darkness where the fire is not quenched and there is incessant weeping and gnashing of teeth…know who said that, Jesus…why? Because He is desperate for you to be with Him. So desperate, that He paid the highest price…He died to set you free. • Call upon His name! You’re so thirsty! All of this trying and reaching….what has it gotten you? You can’t even sleep through the night, your mind is tormented with dis-rest and peace is missing…what’s holding you back? God has not stopped calling to you since the day you were born…you even heard Him once, didn’t you…hear Him again, today…and come alive. Its time you were declared righteous and its time you enter into the power and peace of Your Father who loves you so much!
In this message Pastor Joshua Claycamp demonstrates the spiritual connection between the heart and the stomach, and calls on Bridge Baptist Church, Kamloops to fast as an act of worship to God
Peacemaking is one of the more misunderstood parts of this passage. Peacemaking is not peace-keeping, not is it avoiding conflict. Peacemaking is the intentional rebuilding of damaged relationships, making them stronger than they were before. It is not in us to do this, and reliance on Christ is our only hope for truly great relationships.
Saul can be considered the Osama ben Laden of his day, he hated Jesus and the church and hunted down and voted to kill Christians. But as he neared the ancient city, he discovered that God had other plans for him. As Saul traveled to Damascus he was confronted by the risen Christ and brought face to face with the truth of the Good News.
In this weeks podcast Pastor Sid Forster continues to expound on the topic of true worship.