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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OCTOBER’S SERMONS

OCTOBER 5th  AM

 THE MISSION OF THE CHURCH

Part I

 SCRIPTURE READING: Isaiah 61:1-3

 SCRIPTURE TEXT: John 20:21

    Then said Jesus to them again, Peace be unto you: as my Father hath sent me, even so send I you.

 INTRO: We know that this Scripture is fulfilled in Jesus and His ministry but I also feel that it speaks to the Church of today.

    Luke 4:16-21 And he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up: and, as his custom was, he went into the synagogue on the sabbath day, and stood up for to read.  And there was delivered unto him the book of the prophet Esaias. And when he had opened the book, he found the place where it was written, the Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, to preach the acceptable year of the Lord.  And he closed the book, and he gave it again to the minister, and sat down. And the eyes of all them that were in the synagogue were fastened on him.  And he began to say unto them, This day is this scripture fulfilled in your ears.

    The Church has been given the task for continuing the work that Jesus came to do.

 2 Corinthians 5:18-20 (NIV) All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting men's sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation.  We are therefore Christ's ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ's behalf: Be reconciled to God.

    The task may seem beyond our abilities, and it is, but we must trust God to give us the ability and resources to fulfill His will.

 I. HOW WE ARE TO FULFILL GOD’S WILL?

 NOTE: God does not give us directions without also providing us the where withal to fulfill His will.

   A. GOD WILL EMPOWER US.

 NOTE: God does not expect us to fulfill His work in our own strength or abilities, He has sent to us the Holy Spirit Who will give us the power to be victorious.

 Isaiah 61:1a The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me; because the Lord hath anointed me…

 Zechariah 4:6 Then he answered and spake unto me, saying, This is the word of the Lord unto Zerubbabel, saying, Not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit, saith the Lord of hosts.

 Isaiah 10:27 And it shall come to pass in that day, that his burden shall be taken away from off thy shoulder, and his yoke from off thy neck, and the yoke shall be destroyed because of the anointing.

 Luke 24:49 And, behold, I send the promise of my Father upon you: but tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power from on high.

 Acts 1:8 But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.

    B. GOD DOESN’T EXPECT US TO BE A LONG RANGER.

 NOTE: God does not expect us to accomplish His task as individuals but rather as His Church.

 

1 Corinthians 12:4-7, 11-14 (NLT) Now there are different kinds of spiritual gifts, but it is the same Holy Spirit who is the source of them all.  There are different kinds of service in the church, but it is the same Lord we are serving.  There are different ways God works in our lives, but it is the same God who does the work through all of us.  A spiritual gift is given to each of us as a means of helping the entire church. It is the one and only Holy Spirit who distributes these gifts. He alone decides which gift each person should have. The human body has many parts, but the many parts make up only one body. So it is with the body of Christ.  Some of us are Jews, some are Gentiles, some are slaves, and some are free. But we have all been baptized into Christ's body by one Spirit, and we have all received the same Spirit. Yes, the body has many different parts, not just one part.

Hebrews 10:24-25 (NIV) And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds.  Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another--and all the more as you see the Day approaching.

    Remember, it is God that set up the work of the Church not man.

II. THE MISSION OF THE CHURCH.

 NOTE: The mission of the Church has many facets and no one individual can accomplish it by themselves.

    As there are many members in the Body of Christ so are there many tasks that need to be completed.

    A. PREACH THE GOSPEL TO THE MEEK.

 NOTE: The meek are those who recognized their weakness and need.

    They are the ones who will listen to the Gospel message.

 Matthew 5:5 Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth.

    Those who are proud will not listen to the message of the Gospel.

 Luke 18:10-14 Two men went up into the temple to pray; the one a Pharisee, and the other a publican.  The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, God, I thank thee, that I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican.  I fast twice in the week, I give tithes of all that I possess.  And the publican, standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying, God be merciful to me a sinner.  I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other: for every one that exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted.

    The Gospel message is all about God and not about self.

    It is not until they are broken that they will hear the Salvation message.

    B. BIND UP THE BROKENHEARTED.

 NOTE: There are many broken people today and the Church must be a safe refuge from them.

 Luke 10:30-35 And Jesus answering said, A certain man went down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell among thieves, which stripped him of his raiment, and wounded him, and departed, leaving him half dead.  And by chance there came down a certain priest that way: and when he saw him, he passed by on the other side.  And likewise a Levite, when he was at the place, came and looked on him, and passed by on the other side.  But a certain Samaritan, as he journeyed, came where he was: and when he saw him, he had compassion on him, and went to him, and bound up his wounds, pouring in oil and wine, and set him on his own beast, and brought him to an inn, and took care of him. And on the morrow when he departed, he took out two pence, and gave them to the host, and said unto him, Take care of him; and whatsoever thou spendest more, when I come again, I will repay thee.

    The Church must be the World’s Inn Keeper.

    The Church cannot discriminate against any who God brings within its doors.

 Acts 10:34 Then Peter opened his mouth, and said, Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons:

    It is not up to us to judge why people are broken, it is up to us to offer them healing through Jesus Christ.

 John 9:2-3 And his disciples asked him, saying, Master, who did sin, this man, or his parents, that he was born blind?  Jesus answered, “Neither hath this man sinned, nor his parents: but that the works of God should be made manifest in him.”

 CONCLUSION: Let us make ourselves available to the Holy Spirit to fulfill the mission of the Church.

OCTOBER 12th AM

THE MISSION OF THE CHURCH

 Part 2

 SCRIPTURE READING: Isaiah 61:1-3

 SCRIPTURE TEXT: John 20:21

    Then said Jesus to them again, Peace be unto you: as my Father hath sent me, even so send I you.

 INTRO: We know that this Scripture is fulfilled in Jesus and His ministry but I also feel that it speaks to the Church of today.

    The Church has been given the task for continuing the work that Jesus came to do.

 2 Corinthians 5:18-20 (NIV) All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting men's sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation.  We are therefore Christ's ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ's behalf: Be reconciled to God.

    The task may seem beyond our abilities, and it is, but we must trust God to give us the ability and resources to fulfill His will.

 I. HOW WE ARE TO FULFILL GOD’S WILL?

NOTE: God does not give us directions without also providing us the where withal to fulfill His will.

    A. GOD WILL EMPOWER US.

 NOTE: God does not expect us to fulfill His work in our own strength or abilities, He has sent to us the Holy Spirit Who will give us the power to be victorious.

 Isaiah 61:1a The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me; because the Lord hath anointed me…

 Luke 24:49 And, behold, I send the promise of my Father upon you: but tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power from on high.

Acts 1:8 But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.

    B. GOD DOESN’T EXPECT US TO BE A LONG RANGER.

 NOTE: God does not expect us to accomplish His task as individuals but rather as His Church.

 1 Corinthians 12:4-7, 11-14 (NLT) Now there are different kinds of spiritual gifts, but it is the same Holy Spirit who is the source of them all.  There are different kinds of service in the church, but it is the same Lord we are serving.  There are different ways God works in our lives, but it is the same God who does the work through all of us.  A spiritual gift is given to each of us as a means of helping the entire church. It is the one and only Holy Spirit who distributes these gifts. He alone decides which gift each person should have. The human body has many parts, but the many parts make up only one body. So it is with the body of Christ.  Some of us are Jews, some are Gentiles, some are slaves, and some are free. But we have all been baptized into Christ's body by one Spirit, and we have all received the same Spirit. Yes, the body has many different parts, not just one part.

 Hebrews 10:24-25 (NIV) And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds.  Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another--and all the more as you see the Day approaching.

    Remember, it is God that set up the work of the Church not man.

 II. THE MISSION OF THE CHURCH.

 NOTE: The mission of the Church has many facets and no one individual can accomplish it by themselves.

    As there are many members in the Body of Christ so are there many tasks that need to be completed.

    A. PREACH THE GOSPEL TO THE MEEK.

 

Mark 16:15-16 And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. [16] He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.

   B. BIND UP THE BROKENHEARTED.

 NOTE: There are many broken people today and the Church must be a safe refuge from them.

 Luke 10:30-35

    The Church must be the World’s Inn Keeper.

    The Church cannot discriminate against any who God brings within its doors.

 Acts 10:34 Then Peter opened his mouth, and said, Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons:

 

John 9:2-3 And his disciples asked him, saying, Master, who did sin, this man, or his parents, that he was born blind?  Jesus answered, “Neither hath this man sinned, nor his parents: but that the works of God should be made manifest in him.”

    It is not up to us to judge why people are broken, it is up to us to offer them healing through Jesus Christ.

    C. PROCLAIM LIBERTY TO THE CAPTIVES.

 NOTE: There are many who are held in captivity; both in and outside the Church.

·         Fear

o    Fear of the unknown

o    Fear of the past

o    Fear of failure

   Fear causes torment and unrest; we can share the news that Jesus can take away our fears if we put our trust in Him.

Isaiah 26:3 Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee.

 Romans 5:1 Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ:

 Ephesians 2:14 For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us;

·         Unbelief

 NOTE: Unbelief keeps us from all of God’s promises.

 Matthew 13:58 And he did not many mighty works there because of their unbelief.

    We cannot please God with unbelief in our hearts.

 Hebrews 11:6 But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.

·         Ignorance

 NOTE: Our ignorance of God and Who He is and what He can do, hold many in captivity.

    The privilege we have as God’s Church is to share Who God is and all that He can do for those who will put their trust in Him.

    Ignorance is an evil task master.

 Philippians 3:8 Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ,

·         Untruths

NOTE: There are many people today bound with the chains of untruths; teaching of man and not truths of God.

 Matthew 15:7-9 Ye hypocrites, well did Esaias prophesy of you, saying, this people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me. [9] But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.

John 8:32 And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.

CONCLUSION: Let us proclaim liberty to those who are held in captivity.

OCTOBER 19th  AM

THE MESSAGE OF JOY

 

SCRIPTURE READING: Isaiah 61:1-11

 SCRIPTURE TEXT: 2 Corinthians 3:17 (NLT) 

     Now the Lord is that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.

 INTRO: There are those who love to be the bearer of bad tidings.

    It is the privilege of the Church of God to bring to those, both in and out of the Church, the message of joy and liberty.

 I. THE MESSAGE OF SIGHT.

    In verse one the KJV reads and the opening of the prison to them that are bound;

    The Septuagint version reads and the blind will see.

    There are many people who have been blinded by Satan

 2 Corinthians 4:4 (NLT) Satan, the god of this evil world, has blinded the minds of those who don't believe, so they are unable to see the glorious light of the Good News that is shining upon them. They don't understand the message we preach about the glory of Christ, who is the exact likeness of God.

    There are those who are content in their blindness.

    There are others who long to see but need someone to show them how.

    God has sent us to them to open their eyes to the light of His Gospel.

    We ourselves cannot open their eyes but as we share the Gospel, God’s Holy Spirit will open them if they will listen to the words we speak.

 Psalm 146:8 The Lord openeth the eyes of the blind: the Lord raiseth them that are bowed down: the Lord loveth the righteous:

 Isaiah 29:18 And in that day shall the deaf hear the words of the book, and the eyes of the blind shall see out of obscurity, and out of darkness.

 Isaiah 35:5 Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened, and the ears of the deaf shall be unstopped.

 II. THE MESSAGE OF ACCEPTANCE.

 Isaiah 61:2a To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord, and the day of vengeance of our God…

    A. GOD WILL ACCEPT ALL WHO WILL COME.

 2 Peter 3:9 (GW) The Lord isn't slow to do what he promised, as some people think. Rather, he is patient for your sake. He doesn't want to destroy anyone but wants all people to have an opportunity to turn to him and change the way they think and act.

 NOTE: What a wonderful message we have to bring to those who are broken, enslaved and helpless.

 Ezekiel 34:16 I will seek that which was lost, and bring again that which was driven away, and will bind up that which was broken, and will strengthen that which was sick: but I will destroy the fat and the strong; I will feed them with judgment.

    Those who are broken need to hear the message of healing through Jesus Christ.

    Those who are enslaved need to here the message of freedom in Jesus Christ.

    Those who are helpless need to know that Jesus is there to help them.

    B. THE WARNING OF THE COMING JUDGMENT.

 NOTE: To be forewarned is too forearmed.

   There are those who can be loved into heaven and than there are those who have to be scared out of hell.

    The message of coming judgment has two major purposes.

·         To keep the godly on the righteous path.

ILL: The ten virgins Matthew 25

 Luke 12:37-40 Blessed are those servants, whom the lord when he cometh shall find watching: verily I say unto you, that he shall gird himself, and make them to sit down to meat, and will come forth and serve them.  And if he shall come in the second watch, or come in the third watch, and find them so, blessed are those servants.  And this know, that if the goodman of the house had known what hour the thief would come, he would have watched, and not have suffered his house to be broken through.  Be ye therefore ready also: for the Son of man cometh at an hour when ye think not.

·         To bring the ungodly to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ.

John 3:36 He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.

III. THE MESSAGE OF COMFORT.

Isaiah 61:2b, 3 …to comfort all that mourn; to appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that he might be glorified.

 A.   COMFORT FOR THOSE THAT MOURN.

 Matthew 5:4 Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted.

 

NOTE: There is comfort for those who mourn over the sins of their past.

Psalm 30:5 For his anger endureth but a moment; in his favour is life: weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning.

 B.   BEAUTY FOR ASHES

 NOTE: The throwing of ashes was a sign of deep sorrow or repentance.

 

Esther 4:1 When Mordecai perceived all that was done, Mordecai rent his clothes, and put on sackcloth with ashes, and went out into the midst of the city, and cried with a loud and a bitter cry;

Job 42:6 Wherefore I abhor myself, and repent in dust and ashes.

 Matthew 11:21 Woe unto thee, Chorazin! woe unto thee, Bethsaida! for if the mighty works, which were done in you, had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes.

C.   OIL OF JOY TO THOSE WHO SORROW

 Psalm 126:5-6 Those who cry while they plant will joyfully sing while they harvest.  The person who goes out weeping, carrying his bag of seed, will come home singing, carrying his bundles of grain.

D.   GARMENTS OF PRAISE FOR THE SPIRIT OF HEAVINESS

 NOTE: Knowing that God loves us and that He is in charge of all things, in the midst of difficulties we can experience joy.

Psalm 118:24 This is the day which the Lord hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it.

 CONCLUSION: What a great privilege, we the Church of God, have; taking the good news of Jesus Christ to a lost and fallen world.

    That they might be planted by God as trees of righteousness.

    That God might be glorified.

 

OCTOBER 19th PM

 POOL SIDE HOPE

 SCRIPTURE READING: JOHN 5:1-14

 SCRIPTURE TEXT: John 5:6-9

 When Jesus saw him lie, and knew that he had been now a long time in that case, he saith unto him, Wilt thou be made whole?  The impotent man answered him, Sir, I have no man, when the water is troubled, to put me into the pool: but while I am coming, another steppeth down before me.   Jesus saith unto him, Rise, take up thy bed, and walk.   And immediately the man was made whole, and took up his bed, and walked: and on the same day was the sabbath.

 INTRO:  There are many people today who are in need of healing.

 v  PHYSICAL HEALING

v  FINANCIAL HEALING

v  PSYCHOLOGICAL HEALING

o   EMOTIONAL HEALING

o   MENTAL HEALING

v  SPIRITUAL HEALING

 NOTE:  I would like to liken the Pool of Bethesda to the Church today.

    If there was any place that the sick of this world should be able to find healing, it should be the Church.  But too often they turn away without being healed.

    Why?

 I.  THE CONDITION AROUND THE POOL.

    A.  THERE ARE MANY PEOPLE WHO ARE OUTSIDE THE

        CHURCH’S DOORS THAT NEED HEALING.

 v  They do not believe that healing can be found within the pool.

v  They see many who are poolside but are still in need of healing.

   B.  MANY PEOPLE BESIDE THE POOL NEED HEALING

        THEMSELVES.

 NOTE:  Many who regularly attend church fail to see their own need for healing.

    C.  THERE ARE ANIMALS AROUND THE POOL.

 NOTE:  How often both people within and without the church allow other things to keep them from the healing the need.

   D.  THE POOL ITSELF WAS MOST LIKELY FILTHY.

NOTE:  Sin, at its best, if there is such a thing, is repulsive, but when sin is found within the church it is even more repulsive.

 ILL:  The healing of Naaman.  II Kings 5

    God is able to use the Church in spite of its imperfections to bring healing to a sin sick world.

II. THOSE WHO HELD A POOL SIDE HOPE.

 NOTE:  Another reason why people are not being healed is because they were putting their faith in the pool instead of in God.

    It is not the church that brings healing to the lives of those who are sick.

    The church at its best is but a Band-Aid that only covers the sickness or hurt, but cannot heal it.

    A.  THEY ALL WERE WAITING FOR AN ANGEL TO COME.

 NOTE:  There are those who are always looking for some special visitation from some special person.

    There are others who were looking for some special emotional ecstasy that would lift them up.

    B.  THEY HAD NO ONE TO HELP THEM.

 v  Those who were too sick themselves to be able to help others.

v  No one was willing help make sure they were healed.

    C.   ONCE IN A WHILE SOMEONE WOULD BE HEALED.

 v  Once they were healed they failed to see the need to help those who still in need of healing.

 NOTE:  So here they remain as they are, with their POOL SIDE HOPE, always hoping but very seldom receiving.

 III. THEN JESUS COMES ON THE SCENE.

 NOTE:  What a difference Jesus makes.

    It is much better to be touched by Jesus than to enter into water that is troubled by an angel.

    God’s Messengers are wonderful, but a personal visit from God is far better.

 

Psalm 127:1 Except the Lord build the house, they labour in vain that build it: except the Lord keep the city, the watchman waketh but in vain.

    A.  JESUS ASKED A QUESTION.

 John 5:6 When Jesus saw him lie, and knew that he had been now a long time in that case, he saith unto him, Wilt thou be made whole?

 NOTE:  He asks us the same question.

    B.  THE MAN’S REPLY.

 John 5:7 The impotent man answered him, Sir, I have no man, when the water is troubled, to put me into the pool: but while I am coming, another steppeth down before me.

 v  The first step in receiving anything from God is having the desire.

 NOTE: There are many people both inside and outside the church who are willing to stay as they are and they have no desire to be healed.

v  The second step is being obedient to the Word of God.

 NOTE: The man was healed the moment Jesus spoke but he did not experience the healing until he obeyed, not matter how ridicules it may have sounded.

 ILL:  How many times did Jesus tell people to do things that made no sense only to see a miracle?

 o   Fill the pitchers with water.

o   Fish on the right side of the boat.

o   Feed 5000 with five loaves and two fishes.

    C.  JESUS’ INSTRUCTIONS.

 v  Take up your bed.

 NOTE: Jesus will liberate us from that which enslaves us and will give us the victory over it.

    That which once was a symbol of our defeat now becomes the banner of our victory.

 v  Walk.

 NOTE: Once Jesus delivers us He does not expect us to stand still but to live a life that will bring honor and glory to Him.

 o   Walk so that others will see what Christ had done in your life.

o   Walk so that others will be encouraged to see Jesus for their own healing.

 NOTE: Not all who witness the power of God in your life will rejoice. 

     There will be those who will criticize what God had done. 

Vs 10-16

v  Sin no more.

 John 5:14 Afterward Jesus findeth him in the temple, and said unto him, Behold, thou art made whole: sin no more, lest a worse thing come unto thee.

 NOTE: Why did Jesus find him at the Temple?

   If we want God’s blessing in our lives, we must live our lives as a blessing to God.

CONCLUSION:  Let us seek to live a life that will attract others to Christ that they too might be healed.

 

 

OCTOBER 26th AM

THE CHANGE JESUS BRINGS

 Part I

SCRIPTURE READING: Isaiah 61:10 – 62:4

 SCRIPTURE TEXT: Isaiah 62:4

     Thou shalt no more be termed Forsaken; neither shall thy land any more be termed Desolate: but thou shalt be called Hephzi-bah, and thy land Beulah: for the Lord delighteth in thee, and thy land shall be married.

 INTRO: Those who have come to accept Jesus Christ as their Savior have experienced and will continue to experience change.

 2 Corinthians 5:17 (NLT) What this means is that those who become Christians become new persons. They are not the same anymore, for the old life is gone. A new life has begun!

    If you have not experienced a change since you have come to Christ, you have not truly experienced Christ in your life.

    In this particular portion of Scripture, God will bring several changes into our lives when we put our trust in Him.

2 Corinthians 3:18 (NLT) And all of us have had that veil removed so that we can be mirrors that brightly reflect the glory of the Lord. And as the Spirit of the Lord works within us, we become more and more like him and reflect his glory even more.

 Psalm 92:12-15 (NLT) But the godly will flourish like palm trees and grow strong like the cedars of Lebanon.  For they are transplanted into the Lord's own house.  They flourish in the courts of our God.  Even in old age they will still produce fruit; they will remain vital and green.  They will declare, "The Lord is just! He is my rock! There is nothing but goodness in him!"

 I.  A CHANGE OF ATTITUDE. Vs. 10

 NOTE: One of the first things that changes within the heart and life a new Believer is that of their attitude.

    A. TOWARDS SIN.

1 Corinthians 6:11 And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.

Psalm 101:3 (GW) I will not put anything wicked in front of my eyes.  I hate what unfaithful people do.  I want no part of it.

 2 Peter 2:8 (GW) Although he was a man who had God's approval, he lived among the people of Sodom and Gomorrah. Each day was like torture to him as he saw and heard the immoral things that people did.

    B. TOWARDS GOD.

 Colossians 1:21 And you, that were sometime alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now hath he reconciled:

 NOTE: Before coming to Christ we had a different attitude towards God and the things of God.

    C. OUTLOOK ON LIFE.

Isaiah 61:10a I will greatly rejoice in the Lord, my soul shall be joyful in my God…

 NOTE: As a Christians we have a different outlook on life than those who do not know Christ as their Savior.

   True Christians have the assurance that all things will work out according to God’s plan regardless how hopeless it may seen to the natural eye.

   II. A CHANGE OF CHARACTER. Vs. 10

 Isaiah 61:10b …for He hath clothed me with the garments of salvation

 1 Peter 2:9-10 (GW) However, you are chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, people who belong to God. You were chosen to tell about the excellent qualities of God, who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.  Once you were not God's people, but now you are. Once you were not shown mercy, but now you have been shown mercy.

 III. A CHANGE OF CONDUCT. Vs. 10

 Isaiah 61:10cHe hath covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decketh Himself with ornaments, and as a bride adorneth herself with her jewels.

 1 Peter 2:1-3 Wherefore laying aside all malice, and all guile, and hypocrisies, and envies, and all evil speakings, as newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby: if so be ye have tasted that the Lord is gracious.

 IV. A CHANGE OF PRODUCTIVITY. Vs. 11, 62:1

 Isaiah 61:11 For as the earth bringeth forth her bud, and as the garden causeth the things that are sown in it to spring forth; so the Lord God will cause righteousness and praise to spring forth before all the nations… For Zion's sake will I not hold my peace, and for Jerusalem's sake I will not rest, until the righteousness thereof go forth as brightness, and the salvation thereof as a lamp that burneth.

 V. A CHANGE OF RECOGNITION. Vs. 62:2a

 Isaiah 62:2a And the Gentiles shall see thy righteousness, and all kings thy glory…:

 Matthew 5:16 (KJV) Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.

 1 Peter 2:12 (NLT) Be careful how you live among your unbelieving neighbors. Even if they accuse you of doing wrong, they will see your honorable behavior, and they will believe and give honor to God when he comes to judge the world.

 VI. A CHANGE OF NAME. Vs. 2b – 4

 Isaiah 62: 2b – 4 and thou shalt be called by a new name, which the mouth of the Lord shall name.  Thou shalt also be a crown of glory in the hand of the Lord, and a royal diadem in the hand of thy God. Thou shalt no more be termed Forsaken; neither shall thy land any more be termed Desolate: but thou shalt be called Hephzi-bah, and thy land Beulah: for the Lord delighteth in thee, and thy land shall be married.

 A.   A NEW NAME INDICATES THE END OF THE OLD LIFE AND THE BEGINNING OF A NEW LIFE.

 ILL: Abraham  Genesis 17:5, 15 Neither shall thy name any more be called Abram, but thy name shall be Abraham; for a father of many nations have I made thee…And God said unto Abraham, As for Sarai thy wife, thou shalt not call her name Sarai, but Sarah shall her name be.

    This was the turning point in Abraham’s life; he no longer tried to work things out himself but totally trusted God.

    She who was one time childless became the mother of the promised seed.

    Jacob: Genesis 32:28, 31-32 And he said, Thy name shall be called no more Jacob, but Israel: for as a prince hast thou power with God and with men, and hast prevailed… And as he passed over Penuel the sun rose upon him, and he halted upon his thigh. Therefore the children of Israel eat not of the sinew which shrank, which is upon the hollow of the thigh, unto this day: because he touched the hollow of Jacob's thigh in the sinew that shrank.

    Jacob’s walk changed.

    Paul: Acts 13:9 Then Saul, (who also is called Paul,) filled with the Holy Ghost, set his eyes on him,

    Paul’s goals changed.

 1.      A new name was to be given when they returned from Babylon.

   There name was changed from Forsaken to Hephzibah (My delight is in her).

    The land’s name was changed from Desolate to Beulah.

    The word “Beulah” means “married,” and the figure rests upon the Eastern notion of the desolate condition of a maiden or a widow, and the happy satisfied state of the married woman, who has husband and home. A “married” land is one watched over, tended, cared for, and loved. Pulpit Commentary R. Tuck

 2.      A new name is given to those who turn from the life of sin and accept Jesus as Savior.

   Those who have come to Christ has taken on a new name, Christian.

 3.      A new name is given when entering into marriage signifying the end of the old life in the father’s house.

    Those who have come to Christ no longer call this world their home but are looking for that new home in heaven.

 Hebrews 11:16 But now they desire a better country, that is, an heavenly: wherefore God is not ashamed to be called their God: for he hath prepared for them a city.

 4.      God will give us a new name when we enter into heaven.

 Revelation 2:17 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; to him that overcometh will I give to eat of the hidden manna, and will give him a white stone, and in the stone a new name written, which no man knoweth saving he that receiveth it.

 NOTE: This name is not a name we give ourselves but a name that is given to us by God.

    What the name is to be God only knows, but it will recognize the fact that the people had been faithful, and were rewarded for their faithfulness. A singular sentiment prevailed among the Jews in connection with this new naming. The possession of a new name came to be regarded among the pious as a demonstration that all sins committed under the old name were forgiven, and all decrees annulled which were issued against the sinner while possessed of his former appellation. Accordingly, at the approach of death, the Jews were wont to change the name of the dying person, and the reason of this custom will be perceived from the following prayer offered for the dying, to whom the new name has been given: “O God, take pity on A (his former name), and restore him to health, and let him henceforth be called B (the new name); and let him be glad in his new name, and let it be confirmed to him. Be pleased, we entreat thee, O God, that this change of name may abolish all the hard and evil decrees against him, and destroy the broad sentence. If death be decreed upon A (the former name), it is not decreed upon B (the new name), if an evil decree was made against A, lo! this hour he is another man, a new creature, and like a child born to a good life and length of days.”                       Pulpit Commentary     R. TUCK

CONCLUSION: There are those who try to make changes themselves but the only true changes come when it is God who makes the change.

 

 OCTOBER 26th PM

 OUR CALLING

 SCRIPTURE TEXT: EPHESIANS: 1:1

     Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, to the saints which are at Ephesus, and to the faithful in Christ Jesus:

 INTRO: Paul the great apostle was called of God out of a life of sin and disobedience into a life of grace and servitude.

   As we consider Paul’s calling we also are called in like manner.

 2 Peter 1:10 Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall:

    Paul’s calling is in many ways different from ours, yet at the same time it has the same frame work.

    Four things about Paul’s calling that are similar to ours.

 I. PAUL CONSIDERED HIS CALLING A PRIVILEGE.

 NOTE: There is no greater privilege in the world than serving God.

 Philippians 3:7-14 (GW) These things that I once considered valuable, I now consider worthless for Christ.  It's far more than that! I consider everything else worthless because I'm much better off knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. It's because of him that I think of everything as worthless. I threw it all away in order to gain Christ and to have a relationship with him. This means that I didn't receive God's approval by obeying his laws. The opposite is true! I have God's approval through faith in Christ. This is the approval that comes from God and is based on faith that knows Christ. Faith knows the power that his coming back to life gives and what it means to share his suffering. In this way I'm becoming like him in his death, with the confidence that I'll come back to life from the dead.

    It's not that I've already reached the goal or have already completed the course. But I run to win that which Jesus Christ has already won for me.  Brothers and sisters, I can't consider myself a winner yet. This is what I do: I don't look back, I lengthen my stride, and I run straight toward the goal to win the prize that God's heavenly call offers in Christ Jesus.

    Paul put his calling of God of greater importance than any earthly calling he might receive.

    He made it his number one priority.

 Matthew 6:19-21, 33 (GW) "Stop storing up treasures for yourselves on earth, where moths and rust destroy and thieves break in and steal.  Instead, store up treasures for yourselves in heaven, where moths and rust don't destroy and thieves don't break in and steal.  Your heart will be where your treasure is    But first, be concerned about his kingdom and what has his approval. Then all these things will be provided for you.

 II. HE WAS CALLED TO BE AN APOSTLE (messenger).

 NOTE: The word apostle means ambassador of the Gospel, or messenger.

    Although we may not be an apostle as Paul was, we are all called to carry the message of the Gospel to those we come in contact with.

 Matthew 28:18-20 (GW) When Jesus came near, he spoke to them. He said, "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.  So wherever you go, make disciples of all nations: Baptize them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.  Teach them to do everything I have commanded you.  "And remember that I am always with you until the end of time."

 Mark 16:15 (GW) Then Jesus said to them, "So wherever you go in the world, tell everyone the Good News.

 Luke 24:49 (GW) "I'm sending you what my Father promised. Wait here in the city until you receive power from heaven."

 Acts 1:8 (GW) But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes to you. Then you will be my witnesses to testify about me in Jerusalem, throughout Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth."

 John 21:15-17 (GW) After they had eaten breakfast, Jesus asked Simon Peter, "Simon, son of John, do you love me more than the other disciples do?"  Peter answered him, "Yes, Lord, you know that I love you."  Jesus told him, "Feed my lambs."  Jesus asked him again, a second time, "Simon, son of John, do you love me?"  Peter answered him, "Yes, Lord, you know that I love you."  Jesus told him, "Take care of my sheep."  Jesus asked him a third time, "Simon, son of John, do you love me?"    Peter felt sad because Jesus had asked him a third time, "Do you love me?" So Peter said to him, "Lord, you know everything. You know that I love you."  Jesus told him, "Feed my sheep.

 NOTE: Christ needs messengers to carry the good news of the Gospel to those who are lost.

 Romans 10:14-15 How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher?  And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!

III. PAUL HAD A PERSONAL EXPERIENCE WITH CHRIST.

 NOTE: Not everyone who claims to be a Christian is a Christian.  Only those who have had a personal relationship with Christ are true Christian.

   Our conversion may not be a spectacular as Paul’s but it must be as personal.

John 3:3 Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.

 John 3:5 Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.

 NOTE: We cannot join the Family of God; we must be born into it.

    A change takes place when we are born into this natural world.

   Another change takes place when we are born into the spiritual world of Salvation.

 2 Corinthians 5:17 (NLT) What this means is that those who become Christians become new persons. They are not the same anymore, for the old life is gone. A new life has begun!

    When we have a personal relationship with Christ everything changes.

 IV. PAUL WAS CALLED BY GOD.

 NOTE: Paul’s calling went further than accepting Jesus Christ as his Savior, it also meant accepting Jesus Christ as his Lord or master.

    He put the will of God above his own.

    Paul no longer sought to please himself but rather to please God who had called him.

 1 Peter 1:18-19 (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; but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot:

 1 Corinthians 6:19 What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?

 2 Corinthians 13:5 Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates?

1 Corinthians 9:19-23 (NLT) This means I am not bound to obey people just because they pay me, yet I have become a servant of everyone so that I can bring them to Christ. When I am with the Jews, I become one of them so that I can bring them to Christ. When I am with those who follow the Jewish laws, I do the same, even though I am not subject to the law, so that I can bring them to Christ.  When I am with the Gentiles who do not have the Jewish law, I fit in with them as much as I can. In this way, I gain their confidence and bring them to Christ. But I do not discard the law of God; I obey the law of Christ.

    When I am with those who are oppressed, I share their oppression so that I might bring them to Christ. Yes, I try to find common ground with everyone so that I might bring them to Christ.  I do all this to spread the Good News, and in doing so I enjoy its blessings.


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