Monday, January 30, 2012


Click the icon to listen to this message 

·       Who said, “Patience is a virtue?" The first known publishing of this quote comes from the poem “Piers Plowman” written between the years 1360 and 1387. Typical of texts from the 14th Century, authorship can be debated though literary historians normally attribute most of the text to William Langland. However, there are multiple versions of this poem written at different times with sections believed to be authored by unknown people.[1]
·       As we continue in the study of the graces, or fruit, of the Spirit, we now come to longsuffering, or patience.
·       Most modern translations translate longsuffering as patience.
I.                  WHAT IS PATIENCE?
a.   3115.        μακροθυμία makrothumia; from 3117 and 2372; patience, long-suffering:—patience(14).[2]
b.    Matthew Henry, in his commentary on Galatians 5:22, defines patience as the deferring of anger and a contentedness to bear iniquities.
c.    Warren Wiersbe explains patience as courageous endurance without quitting.
d.   Patience is a result of love – 1 Corinthians 13:4 Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up,
e.   If we are not patient with those around us, then we cannot say that we are full of the love of God within us.
II.               WHO IS PATIENT WITH US?
a.   GodRomans 2:4 Or despisest thou the riches of his goodness and forbearance and longsuffering; not knowing that the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance?  
                                                            i.      If God were not patient with us, we would all be on our way to Hell right now!
                                                         ii.      Psalm 103:8 The LORD is merciful and gracious, Slow to anger, and plenteous in mercy.
                                                      iii.      God is slow to anger and patient with us, yet we have such a quick fuse with others around us.
b.   Others – Jesus was longsuffering towards me, so I should be to others – 1 Timothy 1:15–16 This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief. 16 Howbeit for this cause I obtained mercy, that in me first Jesus Christ might shew forth all longsuffering, for a pattern to them which should hereafter believe on him to life everlasting.
                                                            i.      Patience and longsuffering start with you! Not the one who wrongs you.
                                                         ii.      BTW – you may want to consider who is being patient with you right now?
a.    In love – Ephesians 4:2 With all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love;
                                                            i.      If you can’t be patient with others, then you are not filled with the love of God.
b.   Humbly – Ecclesiastes 7:8 Better is the end of a thing than the beginning thereof: and the patient in spirit is better than the proud in spirit.
                                                            i.      It is often our pride which gets in the way of spiritual growth, and the fruit of patience is no different.
                                                         ii.      Because we want to be vindicated when others wrong us, we don’t turn the other check…walk away…give grace.
c.    With listening ears James 1:19 Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath:
d.   In Joy – Colossians 1:11 Strengthened with all might, according to his glorious power, unto all patience and longsuffering with joyfulness;
Patience, it is a virtue, and a fruit of the Spirit.
No patience, no fruit.
No fruit, either…
·       No root – lost
·       You’re not filled with the Spirit.

[2] Thomas, R. L. (1998). New American Standard Hebrew-Aramaic and Greek dictionaries : Updated edition. Anaheim: Foundation Publications, Inc.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Sunday, 1/22/12 11am–Complete Peace

Listen to the full audio message by clcking on the icon –>audio






· Fruit/Grace of the Spirit – love…joy…PEACE

o Love and joy come together in the believer’s life, and this produces peace.

o This first trio of spiritual fruit reflects the “heavenward” aspect of our Christian life.

· What is peace? The world seeks it, but really does not know what true peace is?

o At a NOVEMBER 1999 ceremony in Oslo, Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak, Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat and United States president Bill Clinton vowed to finish the job of making Middle East peace begun by slain Israeli premier Yitzhak Rabin. Barak and Arafat hope to make progress on a timetable for reaching a final peace settlement within the next 10 months. [1]

o Peace is a constant struggle, and cannot be attained by the means implored by the world.

· Bible peace is the freedom from worry.

o People become attached to their burdens sometimes more than the burdens are attached to them.  ~George Bernard Shaw, "Family Affection," Parents and Children, 1914

o For peace of mind, resign as general manager of the universe.  ~Author Unknown[2]

· The Bible has a lot to say about peace.

o OT word – shalom

o Interestingly, it is used most in Leviticus and Isaiah.

· Peace, in the Bible, comes from the verb form that denotes binding together and is reflected in the expression “having it all together.”

· So, true peace is something that only comes from God, and is a complete peace. We see that in the three aspects of peace:

I. INNER PEACE – Philippians 4:7 And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

a. It is an inner repose (relaxation) and quietness, even in the face of adverse circumstances; it defies human understanding.[3]

b. This peace must come from God, because He is the only source.

c. “Freedom happens when the affirmation you look for from others is replaced by the affirmation you already possess in Christ.” [4]

d. God gives us a sense of well being because of our relationship in Jesus Christ and what He has accomplished for us – past/present/future tense.

e. There is a God-sized hole in each of us, and when we try to fill that with anything other than God – we will never be a peace with ourselves, others, or in this world.

f. God is concerned with our hearts (desire) and mind (thoughts). He wants our desires and thoughts to be at peace – and they only can through the cleansing blood of Jesus Christ.

g. That’s an inner piece that is indescribable.

II. OUTER PEACE – John 14:27 Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.

a. True peace from God is not only an inner work, but it will be evident on the “outside.”

b. It will be seen in our behavior towards others.

c. While the world will constantly scratch, claw, and fight for every last inch, and every last penny, the Christian who exhibits peace will not be caught up in this unfulfilling whirlwind of sin and destruction.

d. Matthew 5:9 Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.

e. If you can’t be at peace with others around you, then there is no way that God’s peace is in you.

f. This outer piece will also been seen in our reaction to the circumstances that surround us.

g. We have a new world view, based on verses like Romans 8:28.

h. Our new worldview is based on the revelation of God that does not depend on our circumstances because God is the ultimate authority of this world.

i. I have peace knowing that no matter what goes on, God is in control and working all situations for His good pleasure and my eternal good.

III. ETERNAL PEACE – Romans 5:1–2 Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ: 2 By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.

a. True peace comes from knowing that through faith in Jesus Christ, we are justified with God.

b. ‘Justify’ (Heb. ṣāḏaq; Gk. [lxx and nt], dikaioō) is a forensic term meaning ‘acquit’, ‘declare righteous’, the opposite of ‘condemn’ (cf. Dt. 25:1; Pr. 17:15; Rom. 8:33). Justifying is the judge’s act[5]

c. ILL: “One of the snores that is among the loudest evidences that we are asleep to the realities of death and eternity is the casual use of the phrase “R.I.P.” We say, “Rest in peace,” to wish a departed soul on its way to … where? For whom is death restful? Have we even considered the implications of this phrase?

i. Jesus says, “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest” (Matt. 11:28; emphasis mine). He also says, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me” (John 14:6; emphasis mine). And once again, “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid” (John 14:27; emphasis mine). Jesus is the way to rest, life, and peace. There is no “R.I.P.” without “R” or “P,” and Jesus is the only way to both.”[6]

d. In the judgment to come, those who have repented of their sins, believed in Jesus Christ as their Savior have already had their verdict of “not guilty” given – and there is nothing that can be done to overturn it!

e. No matter what happens on this side of eternity, we have a heavenly Father waiting for us in our eternal, heavenly home.


· The world has a warped and faulty view of true peace:

o Nothing can bring you peace but yourself. --Ralph Waldo Emerson[7]

· There is no peace within yourself. The Bible tells us that before we come to faith in Jesus, we are God’s enemy (Rom. 5:10).

· Maybe the peace you seek eludes you because you have never been justified in the presence of God.

· You can today by turning to the only true source of eternal peace – Jesus Christ.

· CHRISTIAN – God’s peace is much more than just an eternal peace – it is an everyday peace within you, and towards others.



[3] Walvoord, J. F., Zuck, R. B., & Dallas Theological Seminary. (1983- ). The Bible knowledge commentary: An exposition of the scriptures (Ga 5:22–23). Wheaton, IL: Victor Books.

[4] Twitter @PastorTullian

[5] Wood, D. R. W., & Marshall, I. H. (1996). New Bible dictionary (3rd ed.) (636). Leicester, England; Downers Grove, Ill.: InterVarsity Press.



Sunday, January 15, 2012

1/15/12 11 am – Joy: The Lifeless Fruit of Today’s Christianity

Here the full audio by clicking the icon on the right. audio
bible joy bug


· Grace of the Spirit…Love (agape – love feast) - divine, self-sacrificing, self-giving love. It is the basis, the foundation of the other graces of the Spirit.
· When a person lives in the sphere of love, then he experiences joy—that inward peace and sufficiency that is not affected by outward circumstances.[1]
· GK DEF: 5479. χαρά chara, khar-ah´; from 5463; cheerfulness, i.e. calm delight:—gladness, × greatly, (× be exceeding) joy (-ful, -fully, -ulness, -ous).[2]
· Joy is a gift of the Grace of God. It is not a work that can be manufactured. WE EXPERIENCE THE JOY OF GRACE WHEN WE DELIGHT IN THE BLESSINGS WE POSSESS OF GOD.
· We often mistake the material blessings that we have as a sign of God’s approval and the source of our joy.
· But the Kingdom of God is made of the spiritual blessings of God.
o Romans 14:17 For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink (physical blessing); but righteousness, and peace, and JOY in the Holy Ghost.
· God does not saved you then cause you to live a miserable life so that you would enjoy heaven that much more (some of you believe that!), but He saves you so that you might have a heavenly, grace-filled joy that is evident to those around you TODAY!


a. Newsflash: Joy means having fun! Fun is not just something experienced by the un-churched who live for the pleasures of the world.
b. McGee - The world has what they call the “happy hour” in {bars} cocktail parlors all across our land. People don’t look too happy when they go in, and they sure don’t look happy when they come out! [3]
c. That is because the world cannot give to you the joy you seek.
d. Their joy is a manufactured fun that has no sustaining worth.
i. EX: More $, more fun…etc.
ii. EX: The more I do, the more God will “joy” in me – oppressive.
e. If your Faith is not Fun, then there is no joy.


a. John 15:9–11 As the Father hath loved me, so have I loved you: continue ye in my love. 10 If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father’s commandments, and abide in his love. 11 These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full.
b. We were created BY God to have joy IN God. When we seek to fill that joy with something else, we will never be fulfilled.
c. 1 John 1:4 And these things write we unto you, that your joy may be full.
d. It is God’s joy in us that produces more joy in our life.
e. True joy does not depend on our circumstances around us because it rests in the knowledge that God is in contro.
f. That is the truth behind Romans 8:28 And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.
g. We can have joy in trials because God is the source of our joy and not our circumstances.


a. Romans 5:1–11 Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ: 2 By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. 3 And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience; 4 And patience, experience; and experience, hope: 5 And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us. 6 For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. 7 For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die. 8 But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. 9 Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him. 10 For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life. 11 And not only so, but we also joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the atonement.
b. Our salvation and our security in God is the fulfillment of our joy.
c. Resting in God and His promises.


· 1 Peter 1:3–9 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 4 To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you, 5 Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. 6 Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations: 7 That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ: 8 Whom having not seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory: 9 Receiving the end of your faith, even the salvation of your souls.
· In spite of all that you may be going through, faith in the Lord Jesus Christ produces a joy that is unspeakable.
· Our joy is not conditional to our circumstances – because God is bigger than our circumstances.
· Our joy is not based on the world’s philosophies and material desires because the spiritual blessings of God far outweigh them.
· God’s joy is fun and filled with fulfillment. God created you to Joy in Him and there is nothing the world can offer you that will fill that need.
· Our Joy is in God, because God is in us through His Son Jesus Christ and the indwelling of the Holy Spirit.
· Christian, have you lost your joy?
·Hymn Writer Loses Joy Of Salvation
· Robert Robinson, author of the hymn “Come, Thou Fount of Every Blessing,” lost the happy communion with the Savior he had once enjoyed, and in his declining years he wandered into the by-ways of sin. As a result, he became deeply troubled in spirit. Hoping to relieve his mind, he decided to travel.
· In the course of his journeys, he became acquainted with a young woman on spiritual matters, and so she asked him what he thought of a hymn she had just been reading. To his astonishment he found it to be none other than his own composition. He tried to evade her question, but she continued to press him for a response.
· Suddenly he began to weep. With tears streaming down his cheeks, he said, “I am the man who wrote that hymn many years ago. I’d give anything to experience again the joy I knew then.” Although greatly surprised, she reassured him that the “streams of mercy” mentioned in his song still flowed. Mr. Robinson was deeply touched. Turning his “wandering heart” to the Lord, he was restored to full fellowship.
· —H. G. Bosch[4]

[1] Wiersbe, W. W. (1996). The Bible exposition commentary (Ga 5:22). Wheaton, Ill.: Victor Books.
[2] Strong, J., S.T.D., LL.D. (2009). Vol. 1: A Concise Dictionary of the Words in the Greek Testament and The Hebrew Bible (77). Bellingham, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc.
[3] McGee, J. V. (1991). Vol. 46: Thru the Bible commentary: The Epistles (Galatians) (electronic ed.). Thru the Bible commentary (104). Nashville: Thomas Nelson.
[4] Tan, P. L. (1996). Encyclopedia of 7700 Illustrations: Signs of the Times. Garland, TX: Bible Communications, Inc.

Why You Like Tebow Too Much

Patriots Broncos FootballIn a previous post, which you can read here, I wrote about why so many people hate Tim Tebow, the much aligned, much talked about Quarterback for the Denver Broncos. In that post, I made this statement in the opening:

To be fair, there are those who are fans of Tim Tebow who go overboard the other way. But that discussion is for another post another day.

Well, today is that day. Before you read any further, please understand where I am coming from and don’t misunderstand my motives for posting this. This is not a critique of the football player. Other than the fact that he is the subject of the adoration of many, he really has very little to do with what I am talking about. From everything I have read and seen, he is very genuine about his faith and practices what he believes. This is a warning to his fans who follow him.

Have you spent much time wondering why it is that so many Christians want to champion him as the new “Face of the Faith” in everything they say and do? It seems to me as if many Christians today have an inferiority complex. They feel like if they could just point to someone famous, or popular, then they themselves would feel some sort of connection with that elusive “cool club.” {And yes, I realize that by typing the words “cool club” I probably will never be admitted into it!}. The truth of the matter is, God did not save us and set us apart to be cool, popular, or even in the mainstream. Instead, we have been called to be a peculiar, or set apart, people for God (1 Peter 2:9).  Truth is, we don’t need a nee “Face of the Faith,” we have Jesus and His Word.

Also, this “Tebow-mania” reminds me a lot of the old email about how NASA found the missing day that is mentioned in the book of Joshua. The crux of the thought behind the email usually went like this:sun in sky

And if NASA found it, then Bible must be true and there is no way you could deny that so now you must believe in Jesus as your savior, too…etc.

While I am not trying to pick on you if you forwarded that email sometime in the past (the truth on this issue can be read here at the Answers in Genesis website), the truth is this – we don’t need NASA or any celebrity Christian to validate the correctness of the Bible, God, and Jesus Christ. You don’t have to try to find some sort of biblical relevance for every little thing Tebow does on the football field. Even if he didn’t throw 316 yards in his first playoff victory after being told to by his owner, whose first name was John, John 3:16 would still be in the Bible and would still be wealth of truth.

At the end of the day, those who are anti-Tebow, and anti-faith, will still continue to mock and make fun of him. That much we know. What I am wondering is this: Will those who spent so much time talking to to others about this certain believer who happened to play football for a living now begin to talk as much to those same people about the Savior who motivated him and should motivate us? Maybe if more people did, then guys like Tebow would not be such a rarity to the media today. That is the real issue at play here.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Kindle Book Review: Surprised By Grace by Tullian Tchividjian

surprised by grace

At the recommendation of a preacher friend of mine, and some good reviews about it from other sources, I picked up (or uploaded to my Kindle Fire) Surprised by Grace by Tullian Tchividjian (pronounced cha-vi-jin) and read it as my maiden voyage with my new Kindle Fire. Books are often like movies, sporting events, and other heavily promoted items and events – your expectations are so high going in that there is no way it will live up to hype. That was NOT the case for this book with me.

I am in the habit of highlighting in my Kindle when I read (BTW – one small aspect of the Fire that could be improved upon), and this is by far the most I have ever highlighted of one book. Never before have I read something that so concisely and clearly painted a picture of the fullness of grace for not only the unbeliever, but more importantly, the believer. Unfortunately for many Christians, grace and the Gospel are relegated to their conversion experience and those times when repentance is needed for daily sin. But God’s grace is so much more than just that and Surprised by Grace points us to that liberating truth.

What may be even more surprising is that he uses the book of Jonah as his text in laying out for us the fullness of God’s grace. My only disappointment is that I have recently preached through the book of Jonah and I did not have this book to help shed some valuable insight for my study and preparation.

While I, as a non-Calvinistic Baptist, would definitely not agree with all that Tullian Tchividjian would teach and believe, this work on God’s grace is one of the best I have ever read and would be a blessing to preacher and layperson alike.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Why You Don’t Like Tim Tebow

Well okay, maybe not YOU, but there are a lot of those out in traditional and social media who love to do what ever they can to belittle and mock Tim Tebow, quarterback of the Denver Broncos. To be fair, there are those who are fans of Tim Tebow who go overboard the other way. But that discussion is for another post another day. As far as why he is so divisive, and what he does that causes such vitriol? While there may be many reasons behind this, here are the two major ones that I can come up with:

  1. He is very outspoken about his faith, and that always rubs people the wrong way. tebow prayingThe sad truth is that most of our society couldn’t publish fast enough and loud enough how great he has been in unexpectedly leading his team to victories if they knew that he was: getting drunk with his teammates afterwards, in a sexual relationship with some Hollywood scarlet, etc. How often does the media bemoan all the bad qualities of athletes, and yet when one comes along who is the opposite of MOST, he is mocked and belittled for it? But that is to be somewhat expected from non-Christians.
    • What surprises me most (and maybe it shouldn’t) are all the Christians who fall into this category. But maybe it has to do with the fact that we see someone who does what we know we should be doing but have always convinced ourselves that it is impossible – sharing our faith publically and at work. Tim Tebow is an ever present example to all Christians on how to practically fulfill the Great Commission in our own life, and that convicts us.
  2. He is doing more with less. tebow This one is a little more tricky to spot, but I really think many have a problem with Tebow because they perceive him as having “no talent,” and yet he is leading his team in surprising fashion. Maybe the source of their negativity is in a lack of their own accomplishments. Seeing someone who shouldn’t be doing what he is doing makes them feel guilty for not doing more with their life when they have more self-perceived “talents” in their own business field.

Now, most who like to criticize Tebow will never say it has to do with either of the two listed above. But most articles, commentaries, blow_out candle 1tweets, etc. point to one of these two reasons. And at the end of the day, isn’t that one of the big problems within our society: taking our own shortcomings out on others who succeed where we fail? It is the idea that if I can blow out someone else’s light, mine will burn brighter, which is just not true.

Instead of finding reason’s to tear someone down, how about we congratulate them and then examine our own life to see whether or not we are using our talents, gifts, abilities, and blessings as a testimony for God to the benefit and blessing of others?

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Sunday, 1/8/12 -- Love: The Outflow of God’s Grace

Click here to listen to the full audio version of this message.

heart treeSERIES: Stop Doing and Start Growing

TEXT: Peter 3:18; Galatians 5:22

TITLE: Love: The Outflow of God’s Grace



· “Grow in grace” – What is GRACE = the divine influence upon the heart, and its reflection in the life

· The Fruit of the Spirit listed here in Gal 5:22-23 are what is known as the Graces of the Spirit.

· There is a different from the:

o Gift of the Spirit (Salvation): Acts 2:38 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.

o GiftS of the Spirit (Service): mention in 1 Cor. 12 – the diversities of gifts and abilities to be used within the body of Christ.

o Graces of the Spirit (Christian Character) : Galatians 5:22-23

· Before we talk specifically about the first fruit, notice the wording in 5:22.

o “Is” –The word “fruit” is singular, indicating that these qualities constitute a unity, all of which should be found in a believer who lives under the control of the Spirit. In an ultimate sense this “fruit” is simply the life of Christ lived out in a Christian.[1]

· Possibly “singular” because it is produced by a singular seed: Holy Spirit.

o EX: Apple tree=apple seed – Peach tree= peach seeds.

· It can be said that the first fruit listed, Love, is the primary and foundational fruit, and from it STEM and GROW all others.

o Love:

o What is listed in 5:22-23 are NOT several spiritual fruits that are to be collected, but a single fruit of the Christian life.

· Paul’s other writings seem to back up this idea that love is the primary fruit and from which stem all others.

o 1 Corinthians 13:1 Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity (agape), I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal.

· So then, what does the Bible mean when it says LOVE?

o It is not the sensual love thought of by most of society today.

o The Gk word used here is agapē, agapaō, which means love, or love feast.

o It is the most common word used in the NT for love.

o This is one of the least frequent words in classical Greek, where it expresses, on the few occasions it occurs, that highest and noblest form of love which sees something infinitely precious in its object.[2]

· It is a divine, self-sacrificing, self-giving love.

o It has been said that the early church took this rarely used word for love – agape – and infused it with new meaning to describe God’s special love.


· Knowing how God loves us will help us to learn how we are to love.

a. His Love is the Source

i. To understand that God is the source of love, it will help to go back to 5:13-15.

ii. A misunderstanding of liberty causes Christians to live a life of self-indulgence.

iii. True liberty is the not the ability to do whatever we want, but to live the life that God has created us to live for Him.

            1.  EX: Fish out of water – not liberty, but death.

iv. 5:16-21 - The flesh, or our old sin nature, produces works of the flesh.

v. There is a difference between “works” in 5:19 and “fruit” in 5:22.

          1. Works are manufacture, like in a machine.

          2. Fruit is something that is grown.

          3. Hebrews 9:14 How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?

vi. But when we tap into the power source of God, washed in the blood of Jesus and filled with the Holy Spirit, God produces fruit within us and through us.

vii. This is what John 15 (Vine/Branch) is all about.

       1. W/Out Him, we can do NOTHING!

       2. No fruit, no root.

       3. But if there is a root, then there should be some spiritual fruit. This is contrary to the “Easy-Believism” that permeates Christianity today.

        4. James (Wed night) is a good book that teaches the biblical truth of fruit, or works, following our conversion.

viii. John 15 shows us that our spiritual fruit should grow and grow from “fruit, to more fruit, to much fruit.”

ix. McGee - He wants us to bear much fruit. Now the fruit is produced by the Lord Jesus using the Spirit of God in our lives. He wants to live His life through us. That is the reason I keep saying that you are never asked to live the Christian life. You are asked to let Him live through you. No believer can live the Christian life himself. The old nature cannot produce the fruit of the Spirit.[3]

x. Branches don’t WORK UP fruit; they just produce it because the source of power flows it through them.

b. His Love is Sacrificial

i. God is love and loves the world

       1. 1 John 4:8 He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love.

       2. John 3:16

ii. Such self-sacrificing love that sent Christ to die for sinners is the kind of love that believers who are Spirit-controlled manifest.[4]


a. To Himself

i. Matthew 22:15–22 15 Then went the Pharisees, and took counsel how they might entangle him in his talk. 16 And they sent out unto him their disciples with the Herodians, saying, Master, we know that thou art true, and teachest the way of God in truth, neither carest thou for any man: for thou regardest not the person of men. 17 Tell us therefore, What thinkest thou? Is it lawful to give tribute unto Caesar, or not? 18 But Jesus perceived their wickedness, and said, Why tempt ye me, ye hypocrites? 19 Shew me the tribute money. And they brought unto him a penny. 20 And he saith unto them, Whose is this image and superscription? 21 They say unto him, Caesar’s. Then saith he unto them, Render therefore unto Caesar the things which are Caesar’s; and unto God the things that are God’s. 22 When they had heard these words, they marvelled, and left him, and went their way.

ii. Love is God’s, and comes to us from God, for He is the creator and owner of it. Therefore, we love God by giving back to Him what is already His.

iii. What we give, and what we give to, shows what source our love comes from.

      1. If work…family…hobbies, etc. come first, then God is not the source of our love.

      2. But when God is first and foremost in our life, then we know that God is the source of that love.

iv. 1 John 4:19 We love him, because he first loved us.

v. The only reason we have the ability and desire to love God is because He first loved us!

b. To Others

i. We love God first, and then to others for His sake.

ii. We are to use the liberty we have in Christ, not for our own wants and benefits, but to serve others in love.

iii. 1 John 4:21 And this commandment have we from him, That he who loveth God love his brother also.

iv. The gifts of the Spirit that I mentioned at the beginning of the message are for the benefit of the body of Christ.

v. The grace of the Spirit, and love in particular, are the collective attitude that is needed to perform these gifts.

vi. It is possible to exercise your Gifts of the Spirit without exercising the Grace of the Spirit.

vii. A bad spirit, attitude (anger, harshness, unforgiving, verbally hurtful, etc.) WHILE TRYING TO SERVE GOD is a great indicator that something is not right spiritually.


God is love; He is the source of all love. And His love is a sacrificial love.

Do we exhibit love that flows from God, through us, to others?

[1] Walvoord, J. F., Zuck, R. B., & Dallas Theological Seminary. (1983-). The Bible knowledge commentary : An exposition of the scriptures (Ga 5:22–23). Wheaton, IL: Victor Books.

[2] Wood, D. R. W., & Marshall, I. H. (1996). New Bible dictionary (3rd ed.) (701). Leicester, England; Downers Grove, Ill.: InterVarsity Press.

[3] McGee, J. V. (1991). Vol. 46: Thru the Bible commentary: The Epistles (Galatians) (electronic ed.). Thru the Bible commentary (101–102). Nashville: Thomas Nelson.

[4] Walvoord, J. F., Zuck, R. B., & Dallas Theological Seminary. (1983-). The Bible knowledge commentary : An exposition of the scriptures (Ga 5:22–23). Wheaton, IL: Victor Books.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Stop Doing and Start Growing: Grow in Grace

{My goal is publish every Monday my previous Sunday morning’s message (Yes, I realize that I am starting this on a Wednesday!). My primary goal is to be a benefit to those who were there and want to review something that was said. But if this can be a blessing to those who are not here, then great! I don’t type out full manuscripts before I preach. This is just an outline. I will work on getting ahold of the full audio version of each sermon and posting those, as well.}
SERIES: Stop Doing and Start Growing
TITLE: 01 – Grow in Grace
TEXT: 2 Peter 3:18
· What is the primary feeling felt by the majority of Christians today: Love…Joy…? Contentment…Peace…etc?
· For many, if not most, it is …GUILT.
· We have programmed ourselves that the more we do, the more God likes us: Attendance, Bible reading, offering, evangelism, etc.
· Therefore, we think the opposite is true – when we sin, God is so angry with us that He disowns us and there is no way we can return to Him…the church…etc.
· All of this is the result of faulty understanding of the Gospel and of Grace.
o Weak definition of Grace & the Gospel that leads us to believe grace only involves us when we sin.
· Our goal is to correct this mindset in 2012:
o AM – Fruit of the Spirit – not something we do, but something that flows.
o PM – The Gospel – for Christians!
· This morning, we need to start with the issue of Growing in Grace.
a. Grace – charis clip_image002
b. 5485. χάρις charis, khar´-ece; from 5463; graciousness (as gratifying), of manner or act; espec. the divine influence upon the heart, and its reflection in the life; including gratitude):[1]
i. So, Grace is not just something that God bestows upon us, but something God flows through us.
c. For many, grace is only something that involves either salvation or something we need when we sin. But grace is much more than that.
i. We are STRENGTHENED by grace – 2 Timothy 2:1–4 Thou therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus. 2 And the things that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also. 3 Thou therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ. 4 No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life; that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier.
ii. We ENDURE SUFFERING by grace – 2 Corinthians 12:7–10 And lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure. 8 For this thing I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me. 9 And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. 10 Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong.
iii. We GIVE when GIVING IS DIFFICULT by grace – 2 Corinthians 8:1–2 Moreover, brethren, we do you to wit of the grace of God bestowed on the churches of Macedonia; 2 How that in a great trial of affliction the abundance of their joy and their deep poverty abounded unto the riches of their liberality.
iv. We SING when SINGING IS DIFFICULT by grace – Colossians 3:16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.
v. We ARE WHAT WE ARE by grace – 1 Corinthians 15:10 But by the grace of God I am what I am: and his grace which was bestowed upon me was not in vain; but I laboured more abundantly than they all: yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me.
d. When we do not recognize and exercise the grace of God within us, it means it was given to us in vain.
i. Paul used his grace, and it was grace that used Paul.
ii. William Barclay – The Christian must daily experience the wonder of grace, and daily grow in the gifts which grace can bring.[2]
a. Grow – the word is a present, active imperative and means to be constantly growing, not in spurts.
i. Spiritual spurts may get more initial recognition, but continual growth has lasting impact.
b. The fruit of the Spirit, which are listed in Gal 5:22-23 and we will be studying for the next couple of weeks, are evidences of growing in grace.
c. Growing in grace does mean that you must experience and go through trials and even suffering.
i. Wiersbe – We never really experience the grace of God until we are at the end of our resources.[3]
ii. The lessons learned while enrolled in the “School of Grace” always cost a lot, but are worth the price.
d. To grow in grace means to be more and more like Jesus.
i. John 1:16 And of his fulness have all we received, and grace for grace.
ii. We grow IN grace BY grace!
· Have you experienced Eternal Grace?
· Have you experienced Daily Grace?
o Are you growing in grace? Let’s grow in grace in 2012.

[1] Strong, J., S.T.D., LL.D. (2009). Vol. 1: A Concise Dictionary of the Words in the Greek Testament and The Hebrew Bible (77). Bellingham, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc.
[2] William Barclay, The Letters of James and Peter,(Saint Andrew Press; Edinburgh, Scotland, 1960), pg 415
[3] Warren Wiersbe, The Bible Exposition Commentary, vol. 2, (Chariot Victor Publishing, Colorado Springs, COL, 1989), pg. 470

Monday, January 2, 2012

My 2012 Book List

I have made it a personal goal to read at least 24 books this coming year. The reason I share my list is so that you might add to it books that would be of benefit to me. I try to vary what I read as far as style and subject. Here is my list that I have so far:
  1. Surprised By Grace by Tullian Tchividjian
  2. Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy by Eric Metaxas
  3. The Soul-Winner by Charles Spurgeon
  4. Against Calvinism: Rescuing God's Reputation from Radical Reformed Theology, by Roger Olson
  5. Works of Jonathan Edwards, vol. 1 &2
  6. 10 People Every Christian Should Know by Warren Wiersbe
  7. The Pursuit of Holiness by Jerry Bridges
This is the start of my list. What books would you recommend?