ONALASKA FIRST CHURCH OF GOD

"Where Your Experience In Christ, Makes You A Member"

133 3rd Avenue,  P.O. Box 245,  Onalaska,  Washington  98570     (360) 978-4161      FAX (360) 978-6941  
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DECEMBER 2, 2007

“THE PROVISIONS OF CHRISTMAS”

 SCRIPTURE READING: Mathew 16:13-19 

SCRIPTURE READING: Matthew 16:15 (NIV)   

"But what about you?" he asked. "Who do you say I am?"  

INTRO: As we enter this Christmas season it behooves us to stop and consider what Christmas is really all about. 

   Is Christmas just a time for giving and receiving gifts, spending time with family and enjoying special meals? 

   Is it just a time to reach out and help those who may be less fortunate than we? 

   Too often even we Christians lose sight of what Christmas represents and the many ways the true meaning of Christmas touches our lives. 

I Corinthians 13:1-3 Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal.  And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing.  And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing.  

   In order for us to celebrate the true meaning of Christmas we must first answer the question, “Who is Jesus?” 

   It is not important to us what others think of Jesus, what is important is who we say He is. 

Matthew 16:15 (NIV) "But what about you?" he asked. "Who do you say I am?"  

   This is the most important question we will ever answer. 

   Where we will spend eternity depends upon our response. 

   When we recognize that Jesus is the Son of God, all of heavens resources and blessings are open to us. 

I. THE PROVISIONS OF CHRISTMAS. 

Psalm 31:19 (NLT) Your goodness is so great! You have stored up great blessings for those who honor you.  You have done so much for those who come to you for protection, blessing them before the watching world.  

NOTE: One of the traditions of Christmas is the giving and receiving of gifts. 

   God gave the greatest gift possible; we can receive the greatest gift imaginable.  

John 3:16 (KJV) For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.  

   This gift has been given to the whole world but only a few have opened the gift. 

A.    THE SIZE OF THE BOX DOES NOT DETERMINE THE VALUE OF THE GIFT.

 

Luke 2:7a (KJV) And she brought forth her firstborn son,  

ILL: Christmas gift of Bar-B-Queue Potato chips. 

NOTE: God sent His Gift in a very small package, but His Gift had tremendous value. 

Isaiah 9:6 (KJV) For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.  

B.    THE WRAPPING OF THE BOX DOES NOT DETERMINE THE VALUE OF THE GIFT.

 

Luke 2:7b (KJV) and wrapped him in swaddling clothes,

Isaiah 53:1-3 (NLT) Who has believed our message? To whom will the Lord reveal his saving power?  My servant grew up in the Lord's presence like a tender green shoot, sprouting from a root in dry and sterile ground. There was nothing beautiful or majestic about his appearance, nothing to attract us to him.  He was despised and rejected—a man of sorrows, acquainted with bitterest grief. We turned our backs on him and looked the other way when he went by. He was despised, and we did not care.  

NOTE: The world has wrapped their gifts in bright fancy wrappings while the wrappings of God’s gifts seem dull and unattractive. 

1 Samuel 16:7 (NLT) But the Lord said to Samuel, "Don't judge by his appearance or height, for I have rejected him. The Lord doesn't make decisions the way you do! People judge by outward appearance, but the Lord looks at a person's thoughts and intentions."  

ILL: The portrait of the son. 

C.    WHERE WE FIND THE GIFT DOES NOT DETERMINE THE VALUE OF THE GIFT.

 

Luke 2:7c (KJV) and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn. 

NOTE: Too often people are more concerned where the gift was purchased than the gift itself. 

Mark 6:1-6 (NLT) Jesus left that part of the country and returned with his disciples to Nazareth, his hometown.  The next Sabbath he began teaching in the synagogue, and many who heard him were astonished. They asked, "Where did he get all his wisdom and the power to perform such miracles?  He's just the carpenter, the son of Mary and brother of James, Joseph, Judas, and Simon. And his sisters live right here among us." They were deeply offended and refused to believe in him.

    Then Jesus told them, "A prophet is honored everywhere except in his own hometown and among his relatives and his own family."  And because of their unbelief, he couldn't do any mighty miracles among them except to place his hands on a few sick people and heal them.  And he was amazed at their unbelief.      Then Jesus went out from village to village, teaching.  

John 1:46 (NLT) "Nazareth!" exclaimed Nathanael. "Can anything good come from there?"  "Just come and see for yourself," Philip said.  

John 7:52 (NLT) They replied, "Are you from Galilee, too? Search the Scriptures and see for yourself—no prophet ever comes from Galilee!"

ILL: Things of great value have been found in second hand stores and yard sales. 

   A valuable collection of jewelry was purchased at a Salvation Army Thrift store in Vancouver B.C.

 CONCLUSION: Do not lose out on the provisions of God because of its size, wrapping or when it 

 

DECEMBER 9, 2007
THE NEED A REDEEMER

 

SCRIPTURE READING: Matthew 1:18-25 

SCRIPTURE TEXT: Matthew 1:21 (KJV)   

    And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name Jesus: for he shall save his people from their sins.  

INTRO: The world is in need of a Redeemer. 

   Why is the world in need of a Redeemer? 

   The sinfulness of man has continually increased from the time of the Fall unto this present day.

    The flood failed to cleanse the world from sin, and man is unable to fulfill the Law and keep from sinning. 

   Through these two things, God has revealing to man the inability of anything or anyone to remove sin.

    There is no agent that can clean the heart and life of sin. 

1 Peter 1:18 (KJV)  Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; 

No man can either cleanse himself or anyone else from sin.

 

Psalm 49:7 (KJV) None of them can by any means redeem his brother, nor give to God a ransom for him: 

Proverbs 20:9 (KJV) Who can say, I have made my heart clean, I am pure from my sin?

 I. WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO REDEEM SOMETHING OR SOMEONE? 

NOTE: It means to buy back, to get or win back, and to free from distress or harm, to free from captivity by payment of ransom, to release from blame or debt, to free from the consequences of sin.

 Leviticus 25:25-27 (NLT) If any of your Israelite relatives go bankrupt and are forced to sell some inherited land, then a close relative, a kinsman redeemer, may buy it back for them.  If there is no one to redeem the land but the person who sold it manages to get enough money to buy it back, then that person has the right to redeem it from the one who bought it. The price of the land will be based on the number of years until the next Year of Jubilee. After buying it back, the original owner may then return to the land.  

A.    GOD CREATED MAN 

Genesis 2:7 (KJV) And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul. 

B.    MAN SINNED AND FELLOWSHIP WITH GOD WAS BROKEN. 

Isaiah 59:2 (NLT) But there is a problem—your sins have cut you off from God. Because of your sin, he has turned away and will not listen anymore.  

C.    ALL MANKIND IS IN NEED OF REDEMPTION. 

Romans 3:23 (KJV) For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;  

II. GOD SENT HIS SON, JESUS, TO REDEEM FALLEN MAN. 

Galatians 4:4-5 (KJV) But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law, to redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons.  

A.    WE HAVE BEEN REDEEMED FROM THE CURSE OF THE LAW. 

Galatians 3:13 (KJV) Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree:  

NOTE: The curse of the Law was two folded: 

      1. Death waited for all who failed to keep the Law.

      2. No one is able to keep the Law. 

B.    WE HAVE BEEN REDEEMED FROM ETERNAL DEATH. 

Hosea 13:14 (KJV) I will ransom them from the power of the grave; I will redeem them from death: O death, I will be thy plagues; O grave, I will be thy destruction: repentance shall be hid from mine eyes.  

1 Corinthians 15:55-57 (KJV) O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?  The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law. ] But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.  

1 Corinthians 15:20-22 (KJV) But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept.  For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead.  For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.  

C.    WE HAVE BEEN REDEEMED FROM THE POWER OF SIN. 

Psalm 130:8 (KJV) And he shall redeem Israel from all his iniquities.  

Titus 2:14 (KJV) Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.  

NOTE: A Mighty Fortress Is Our God; “Did we in our own strength confined, Our striving would be losing.” 

   We do not, in ourselves, have the power to resist the power of Satan and sin. 

James 4:7-8 (KJV) Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.  Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded.  

D.    REDEMPTION COMES ONLY FROM GOD. 

Psalm 49:7 (KJV) None of them can by any means redeem his brother, nor give to God a ransom for him:

 1 Peter 1:18 (KJV) Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers;  

Hebrews 2:17 (KJV) Wherefore in all things it behoved him to be made like unto his brethren, that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people.  

III. WHAT HAS REDEMPTION ACCOMPLISHED FOR US? 

N0TE: Our redemption through Christ has given us many things. 

A.    THE FORGIVENESS OF SIN. 

Ephesians 1:7 (KJV) In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace;  

Colossians 1:14 (KJV) In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins:  

B.    WE HAVE BEEN JUSTIFIED. 

Romans 3:24 (KJV) Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus:

 NOTE: Justification (just as if we have never sinned. 

C.    WE ARE ADOPTED INTO THE FAMILY OF GOD. 

Galatians 4:4-5 (KJV) But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law, To redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons.  

NOTE: This is what Christmas is all about; the redemption of fallen man. 

CONCLUSION: This gives us reason to rejoice. 

Isaiah 44:22-23 (KJV) I have blotted out, as a thick cloud, thy transgressions, and, as a cloud, thy sins: return unto me; for I have redeemed thee. Sing, O ye heavens; for the Lord hath done it: shout, ye lower parts of the earth: break forth into singing, ye mountains, O forest, and every tree therein: for the Lord hath redeemed Jacob, and glorified himself in Israel.  

Isaiah 51:11 (KJV) Therefore the redeemed of the Lord shall return, and come with singing unto Zion; and everlasting joy shall be upon their head: they shall obtain gladness and joy; and sorrow and mourning shall flee away.  

 

DECEMBER 23, 2007
THE MESSAGE OF THE MANGER
 

SCRIPTURE READING: LUKE 2:1-20 

SCRIPTURE TEXT: John 3:16 (KJV)  

    For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.  

INTRO: The true meaning of Christmas has been lost to most people. 

   People are so busy celebrating that they don’t take the time to try and understand what they are celebrating. 

   They think that Christmas is all about them, and it is but not the way they think. 

   Even many who call themselves Christians fail to understand the true meaning of Christmas. 

   The meaning of Christmas can be found in the “Message of the Manger”, the redemption of fallen man. 

   The manger without the cross is just a nice story. 

I. THE MESSAGE OF CHRIST’S BIRTH IS A MESSAGE OF GOD’S LOVE.

 NOTE: God’s love for us began long before we came into this world. 

   He planned our redemption before we were created. 

Romans 5:8 (KJV) But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.

 Rev. 13:8 (KJV) And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.  

   In the beginning God… 

   God wanted man to love Him by choice not by command. 

   God had to allow man to make a choice between Him and sin. 

   God allowed Satan to remain so man was faced with the choice between God and sin. 

   When man took of the forbidden tree it was a choice to lean evil. 

   Man had made a choice and now the mission of the cross came into being. 

   The mission of the Cross in hidden in the message of the manger.

   Man became more sinful, God sent the flood. 

   Man again became more sinful and God sent the Law. 

   But these could not provide redemption for fallen man. 

   So God came down in the form of a baby, born in a stable and laid in a manger. 

Philippians 2:5-7 (KJV) Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: but made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men:  

Hebrews 2:14-17 (NLT) Because God's children are human beings—made of flesh and blood—Jesus also became flesh and blood by being born in human form. For only as a human being could he die, and only by dying could he break the power of the Devil, who had the power of death.  Only in this way could he deliver those who have lived all their lives as slaves to the fear of dying.

    We all know that Jesus came to help the descendants of Abraham, not to help the angels.  Therefore, it was necessary for Jesus to be in every respect like us, his brothers and sisters, so that he could be our merciful and faithful High Priest before God. He then could offer a sacrifice that would take away the sins of the people.  

II. CHRIST’S BIRTH IN THE STABLE IS THE MESSAGE OF GOD’S ACCEPTANCE OF ALL WHO WOULD COME.

 NOTE: A stable is a filthy and smelly place. 

   This shows to me that anyone regardless of the sin in their lives can come to God and be accepted as His child. 

   Unlike the world who is often particular who they serve, God will serve any and all who would come for Salvation. 

2 Peter 3:9 (NLT) The Lord isn't really being slow about his promise to return, as some people think. No, he is being patient for your sake. He does not want anyone to perish, so he is giving more time for everyone to repent.  

Romans 2:11 (KJV) For there is no respect of persons with God.  

Acts 2:21 (KJV) And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved.  

1 Tim. 2:4 (KJV) Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.

 III. GOD USES THOSE WHO SEEM MOST UNLIKELY TO FULFILL HIS WILL.  

1 Corinthians 1:26-29 (NLT) Remember, dear brothers and sisters, that few of you were wise in the world's eyes, or powerful, or wealthy when God called you.  Instead, God deliberately chose things the world considers foolish in order to shame those who think they are wise. And he chose those who are powerless to shame those who are powerful.  God chose things despised by the world, things counted as nothing at all, and used them to bring to nothing what the world considers important, so that no one can ever boast in the presence of God.  

NOTE: Consider those whom God used in bringing Jesus into the world. 

   A. MARY WAS A YOUNG VIRGIN. 

   B. JOSEPH WAS A POOR CARPENTER. 

   C. SHEPHERDS CAME TO VIEW AND WITNESS HIS BIRTH. 

   D. SIMEON & ANNA WERE USED TO CONFIRM JESUS’ MISSION.

 

   E. FOREIGN MEN CAME TO RECOGNIZE JESUS AS KING. 

Luke 1:37 (KJV) For with God nothing shall be impossible.  

Philippians 4:13 (NLT) For I can do everything with the help of Christ who gives me the strength I need.  

CONCLUSION: Let us not forget the message of the manger, The Redemption of Fallen Man.

 1.     GOD LOVED US SO MUCH HE CAME TO EARTH TO SAVE US. 

2.     GOD ACCEPTS ALL WHO WILL COME TO HIM. 

3.     GOD WILL USE THE UNLIKELY TO FULFILL HIS WILL. 

 

DECEMBER 30, 2007
“REFLECTIONS & VISIONS”
 

SCRIPTURE READING: ISAIAH 51:1-6 

SCRIPTURE TEXT: Jeremiah 29:11 (NLT)  

   For I know the plans I have for you," says the Lord. "They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.

 INTRO: There are two things that we should do as we come to the end of the year: 

1.     Reflect on what God has done for us during the past year.

2.     Have a vision on what we want God to do for us in the year to come. 

I.  REFLECTIONS OF THE PAST. 

Isaiah 51:1 (KJV) Hearken to me, ye that follow after righteousness, ye that seek the Lord: look unto the rock whence ye are hewn, and to the hole of the pit whence ye are digged.  

   Reflecting on the past should give us hope and desire for the future. 

   Things we can remember: 

·         Blessings we have received

·         Victories God has given to us.

·         Needs God have met.

·         Spiritual growth we have experienced.

·         Trial we have faced.

1 Thessalonians 5:18 (KJV) In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.

    We need to remember every good gift come from God. 

James 1:17 (NIV) Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.

 II. VISIONS FOR THE FUTURE.

 NOTE: The first step in seeking our visions for the future is to ask God what He wants to do for and though us.

 Jeremiah 29:11 (NLT) For I know the plans I have for you," says the Lord. "They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.

 NOTE: If God has great plans for us, should we not seek to know what those plans are?

    What are your spiritual desires for the coming year?

    What do you want God to do for and through you? 

Philippians 2:5 (GW) Have the same attitude that Christ Jesus had.

 NOTE: Jesus’ attitude was to fulfill His Father’s will. 

John 6:38 (KJV) For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me.  

   God has a purpose for each of us to fulfill in our own personal lives and in the life of our church.

 Philippians 3:14 (GW) I run straight toward the goal to win the prize that God's heavenly call offers in Christ Jesus.  

   Prayerfully consider what God has done for you this past year and what are your goals for 2008.

 

 

 

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