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FEBRUARY 2, 2014






SCRIPTURE TEXT: John 17:23 (NLT) I am in them and you are in me. May they experience such perfect unity that the world will know that you sent me and that you love them as much as you love me.


INTRO: Our Nation became strong because we were united but today it is becoming more and more weak because we are divided.


   “Together we stand, divided we fall.”


   There is strength in unity, there is weakness in division.


Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 (NLT) Two people are better off than one, for they can help each other succeed. If one person falls, the other can reach out and help. But someone who falls alone is in real trouble. Likewise, two people lying close together can keep each other warm. But how can one be warm alone? A person standing alone can be attacked and defeated, but two can stand back-to-back and conquer. Three are even better, for a triple-braided cord is not easily broken.


   The spirit of division is found within the Church and we have become weaker because of it.


   One of Satan’s favorite plans to destroy the Church is to divide and conquer.


   We begin to divide when we look to ourselves instead of looking to God.


   There are many divisions within the Christian Church.


·         The Catholics and the Protestants

·         Within the Protestants there are hundreds of different churches that think they are the right church.

·         Within any local church there can be division over many different things.


NOTE: All these differences have weaken the Church.


   Jesus longs for His Church to live in unity.


   The more the Church is in unity the more they will show the Love of God.


John 17:23 (NLT) I am in them and you are in me. May they experience such perfect unity that the world will know that you sent me and that you love them as much as you love me.


   Four things that will help produce unity within the Church.


I.        HUMILITY


NOTE: Pride will cause division and destroy unity.


Romans 12:3 (KJV) For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith.


   When we think ourselves better than others we take God out of the picture.


Luke 18:9-14 (NIV) To some who were confident of their own righteousness and looked down on everybody else, Jesus told this parable: "Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. The Pharisee stood up and prayed about himself: 'God, I thank you that I am not like other men--robbers, evildoers, adulterers--or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week and give a tenth of all I get.' "But the tax collector stood at a distance. He would not even look up to heaven, but beat his breast and said, 'God, have mercy on me, a sinner.' "I tell you that this man, rather than the other, went home justified before God. For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted."


   Pride produces a spirit of judgment which will bring division


II.        LOVE


Matthew 22:37-40 (NLT) Jesus replied, “‘You must love the LORD your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. A second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ The entire law and all the demands of the prophets are based on these two commandments.”


NOTE: It is love that will bind us together


Colossians 3:14 (NLT) Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds us all together in perfect harmony.


   When we truly love one another we put the needs of others above our own.


Romans 12:10 (BBE) Be kind to one another with a brother's love, putting others before yourselves in honour;


   Our love one for another will attract others to Christ.


John 13:35 (KJV) By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.


   Love is like the skin of a Fruit.




Colossians 3:13 (HCSB) accepting one another and forgiving one another if anyone has a complaint against another. Just as the Lord has forgiven you, so you must also forgive.


NOTE: Division begins when we harbor hurts and disappointments caused by others.


   Division also comes when we allow jealousy to fill our hearts.


ILL: King Saul and David


   When bitterness enters our hearts it destroys unity.


Hebrews 12:15 (NLT) Look after each other so that none of you fails to receive the grace of God. Watch out that no poisonous root of bitterness grows up to trouble you, corrupting many.


   An unforgiving heart will hinder our relationship with God.


Mark 11:25-26 (KJV) And when ye stand praying, forgive, if ye have ought against any: that your Father also which is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses. But if ye do not forgive, neither will your Father which is in heaven forgive your trespasses.


NOTE: The best way to get rid of the root of bitterness is to forgive.


Ephesians 4:32 (KJV) And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you.


IV.        PURPOSE


NOTE: When we are living in unity we will have the same purpose.


1 Corinthians 1:10 (KJV) Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you; but that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment.


Philippians 1:27 (KJV) Only let your conversation be as it becometh the gospel of Christ: that whether I come and see you, or else be absent, I may hear of your affairs, that ye stand fast in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel;


CONCLUSION: Let us seek to living in unity so that we might fulfill the purpose God has given to us as a church and individuals.

FEBRUARY 16, 2014








   And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you forever;


INTRO: There is no greater feeling than to know that someone who is able and willing to keep their promises has promised you what you most desperately need.


   The Church in America, for the most part, is suffering from a terrible spiritual drought.


   Many churches are people seeking.


   A church may grow numerically without growing spiritually.


   If you could name one thing that would cause our church to grow spiritually, what would that be?


·         Better music

·         A younger and more dynamic pastor

·         More programs to entice people to come


   What we need more than anything else is an outpouring of the Holy Spirit.


   Jesus knew that He was going to be leaving His disciples


John 13:1 (KJV) Now before the feast of the passover, when Jesus knew that his hour was come that he should depart out of this world unto the Father, having loved his own which were in the world, he loved them unto the end.


   He left them with this promise


John 14:16 (KJV) And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you forever;


   The promise of the Holy Spirit was given many year earlier.


Joel 2:28-29 (KJV) And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions: And also upon the servants and upon the handmaids in those days will I pour out my spirit.


   Why is it so important that Jesus promises the Church the Holy Spirit?


   Jesus’s earthly work was done; now the Holy Spirit would fulfill His ministry.




NOTE: We can see the activity of the Holy Spirit throughout the history of mankind.




Genesis 1:1-2 (KJV) In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.



·         Gideon


Judges 6:34 (GW) Then the LORD'S Spirit gave Gideon strength. So Gideon blew the ram's horn to summon Abiezer's family to follow him.


·         Samson


Judges 14:6 (KJV) And the Spirit of the LORD came mightily upon him, and he rent him as he would have rent a kid, and he had nothing in his hand: but he told not his father or his mother what he had done.


·         Zerubbabel was faced with a staggering task of rebuilding the Temple.


Zechariah 4:6 (KJV) 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.


·         The Holy Spirit will make a change in our lives


Ezekiel 36:26-27 (KJV) A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh. And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments, and do them.


·         The Holy Spirit is given to us to strengthen us to fulfill the task God has given.


Ephesians 3:16 (KJV) That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man;




NOTE: The Holy Spirit is available to all Believers.


Acts 2:38 (KJV) Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.


·         Two requirements to receive the Holy Spirit


John 14:15 (KJV) If ye love me, keep my commandments.


o    We must love Jesus

o    We must seek to keep His Commandments


John 14: 16 (KJV) And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you forever;


·         Jesus is interceding for us to be given the Holy Spirit

·         The Father will give us the Holy Spirit


Luke 11:13 (KJV) If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him?




NOTE: At one time we were the children of Satan and this world, but now we are the Children of God because His Spirit dwells within us.


Romans 8:16 (KJV) The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God:

Galatians 4:6 (KJV) And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father.

1 John 3:24 (KJV) And he that keepeth his commandments dwelleth in him, and he in him. And hereby we know that he abideth in us, by the Spirit which he hath given us.

1 John 4:13 (KJV) Hereby know we that we dwell in him, and he in us, because he hath given us of his Spirit.


CONCLUSION: There are many things about the Holy Spirit that we do not understand and there are many conflicting teachings on the Holy Spirit.


   We do not need to have a full understanding of the Holy Spirit or of His work to have Him dwell within us.




FEBRUARY 23, 2014






SCRIPTURE TEXT: John 16:8 (GW) He will come to convict the world of sin, to show the world what has God's approval, and to convince the world that God judges it.


INTRO: We often want to see God bring conviction to those who sin against us, but are we willing to have God bring conviction to us?


   The Holy Spirit brings conviction not only to the sinners but also to the saints.


John 16:8 (ASV) And he, when he is come, will convict the world in respect of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment:


   The Holy Spirit will convict us three different ways:


1.     Of sin

2.     Of righteousness

3.     Of judgment


   There is a vast difference between the convictions that man brings and the conviction the Holy Spirit brings.


   The purpose of the conviction of man is to bring condemnation; the purpose of the conviction of the Holy Spirit is to bring repentance.


2 Corinthians 7:10 (NLT) For the kind of sorrow God wants us to experience leads us away from sin and results in salvation. There’s no regret for that kind of sorrow. But worldly sorrow, which lacks repentance, results in spiritual death.


   When we experience conviction, if it does not lead us to Godly sorrow, it will lead us to eternal death.


   We often think of conviction as being a bad thing but when it comes from the Holy Spirit it is good.




NOTE: Sin will bring destruction and death to those who continue live in sin.


   The Holy Spirit seeks to warn us of the dangers of sin and seeks to turn us away from its consequences.


   How we react to the conviction of the Holy Spirit will determine our relationship with God.


ILL. Consider King Saul and King David.


   King Saul sinned but did not repent.  He was sorry for getting caught but was not sorry for what he did.  I Samuel 13 & 15


   When David sinned he repented of his sin.


Psalm 32:1-5 (NLT) Oh, what joy for those whose disobedience is forgiven, whose sin is put out of sight! Yes, what joy for those whose record the LORD has cleared of guilt, whose lives are lived in complete honesty!  When I refused to confess my sin, my body wasted away, and I groaned all day long. Day and night your hand of discipline was heavy on me. My strength evaporated like water in the summer heat. Interlude Finally, I confessed all my sins to you and stopped trying to hide my guilt. I said to myself, “I will confess my rebellion to the LORD.” And you forgave me! All my guilt is gone. Interlude


   We should desire that the Holy Spirit would search out our hearts and convict us of any sin that might be hidden there.


Psalm 139:23-24 (KJV) Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts: And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.




John 16:8 (GW) He will come to convict the world of sin, to show the world what has God's approval, and to convince the world that God judges it.


NOTE: The Holy Spirit will not only convict us of what we should NOT DO, but He will also convict us of what we SHOULD DO.


   We should hate what God hates (sin) and we should love what God loves (righteousness).


NOTE: There is no place for neutrally in the heart of the Believer, we must shun evil and seek righteousness.


Micah 6:8 (BBE) He has made clear to you, O man, what is good; and what is desired from you by the Lord; only doing what is right, and loving mercy, and walking without pride before your God.


   If it is our desire to be righteous we must seek it.  Too many want God to just dump it on them.


Psalm 23:3 (KJV) He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name's sake.

   The Holy Spirit will reveal what is righteous, but we must pursue it.


Romans 12:9 (BBE) Let love be without deceit. Be haters of what is evil; keep your minds fixed on what is good.


1 Peter 3:11 (BBE) And let him be turned from evil and do good; searching for peace and going after it with all his heart.


Psalm 97:10 (NAB) The LORD loves those who hate evil, protects the lives of the faithful, rescues them from the hand of the wicked.




NOTE: The Holy Spirit convicts the world of coming judgment not as a threat but as a warning.


Hebrews 9:27 (NIV) Just as man is destined to die once, and after that to face judgment,


NOTE: The Holy Spirit convicts us of two judgments.


1.     The judgment of the ungodly.


Revelation 20:11-15 (KJV) And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them. And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works. And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works. And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.


NOTE: God has no desire to see the wicked die in their sins and face His judgment.


Ezekiel 18:23 (NAB) Do I indeed derive any pleasure from the death of the wicked? says the Lord GOD. Do I not rather rejoice when he turns from his evil way that he may live?


NOTE: The Holy Spirit brings conviction on the sinner seeking to turn the sinner away from sin and to salvation.


2.     The judgment of the saints.


2 Corinthians 5:10 (KJV) For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad.


NOTE: The Believer will not face judgment for their sins, but for how they used the talents & gifts God gave them.


1 Corinthians 3:11-15 (NLT) For no one can lay any foundation other than the one we already have—Jesus Christ. Anyone who builds on that foundation may use a variety of materials—gold, silver, jewels, wood, hay, or straw. But on the judgment day, fire will reveal what kind of work each builder has done. The fire will show if a person’s work has any value. If the work survives, that builder will receive a reward. But if the work is burned up, the builder will suffer great loss. The builder will be saved, but like someone barely escaping through a wall of flames.


CONCLUSION: We should rejoice when we experience the conviction of the Holy Spirit, knowing that it is there because God loves us and longs for us to be like Him.


Psalm 139:23-24 (KJV) Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts: And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.



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