Psalm 4 – “For you alone, O Lord, make me dwell in safety”

My teaching notes for Wednesday, May 12th. I am currently teaching through the book of Psalms.  Remember, these are my personal study notes and not a manuscript of the teaching.

Resources utilized for preparation and study:

  • Psalms Vol. 1 .The NIV Application Commentary, Gerald H. Wilson.
  • Psalms. Vol. 5. The Expositor’s Bible Commentary, Tremper Longman III and David Garland.

Psalm 4

INTRO

  • Meditating on God’s provision
    • Confidence in God
    • He will not abandon
  • The restoration of blessing and joy from the Lord

His Prayer – v. 1

O, Righteous God

  • He is righteous
  • He does righteous

You have given me relief

  • He has been faithful when “pressure” is present

Four Imperatives

  1. Answer me
  2. Give me
  3. Be gracious – generous provision
  4. Hear me – A call to respond in obedience

His Plea to His Enemies – vv. 2-5

The issues addressed:

Honor turned to shame – Love vain words

  • They scoffed at his glory
  • The pursuit of vain things (empty things)

Words of Encouragement (Seven Imperatives):

  1. Know – you have been set apart
  2. Be angry – Literally… tremble. Tremble in fear of the Lord.
  3. Do not sin
  4. Ponder in your own hearts – think and plan
  5. Be silent
  6. Offer right sacrifices – and put your trust in God

His Prayer – vv. 6-7

Restore the fullness your blessings.

Lift up the light of your face

  • His presence

Joy in my heart

  • Is greater than their grain and wine
  • Better than any earthly possession.

His Trust in the Lord – v. 8

He has peace and He can lie down and sleep

Because of his trust in God

  • For you alone, make me dwell in safety

Matthew 7:15-20 “Beware of the False Teacher” part 2 (Living as a True Teacher)

My sermon notes for Sunday morning, May 9th. Remember, these are my personal study notes and not a manuscript of the sermon.  They are provided to help you follow the sermon as you listen each week. The church provides a live stream of the service each Sunday at 10:45 on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/firstbaptistavonpark/  We also provide the services through YouTube on our website by Sunday afternoon at www.fbcap.net

Matthew 7:15-20

Living as a True Teacher

INTRO:

Last week we looked at:

  • the danger and description of false teachers.
  • I believe some Christians need to “tighten” things up a bit.  It is not as if we are trying to live as false teachers, but at times it may be difficult to grasp what it is we do believe… we live our life being tossed to and fro.
  • Some are babes in Christ and others are just not continuing to mature in the faith (milk rather than meat 1 Cor. 3:1-3 – [1] But I, brothers, could not address you as spiritual people, but as people of the flesh, as infants in Christ. [2] I fed you with milk, not solid food, for you were not ready for it. And even now you are not yet ready, [3] for you are still of the flesh. For while there is jealousy and strife among you, are you not of the flesh and behaving only in a human way? (ESV)
  • This morning I want to focus on how we can live our life in such a way that we KNOW WE ARE PEOPLE OF TRUTH.

Fear God

Matthew 10:28 – [28] And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather fear him who can destroy both soul and body in hell. (ESV)

Psalm 111:10 – The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom; mall those who practice it have a good understanding. His praise endures forever! (ESV)

Proverbs 14:27 – The fear of the LORD is a fountain of life, that one may turn away from the snares of death. (ESV)

Examine yourself

Is what we believe truly in the Bible or is just something we have always heard and considered to be truth.

2 Corinthians 13:5 Examine yourselves, to see whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Or do you not realize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you? —unless indeed you fail to meet the test! (ESV)

Cherish the Word

  • Start studying the Bible. Fresh and anew each day.
    • Some have never started
    • Some have slowed down over the years.  REFIRE YOUR PASSION FOR GOD AND HIS WORD.
  • Remain teachable.  For those that may think they know everything… continue to grow daily in your understanding and knowledge of the Lord through His Word.
  • Test Everything1 John 4:1Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, for many false prophets have gone out into the world. (ESV)

Be Bold

Be bold enough to say what needs to be saidCall truth, the truth and call sin, sin.

Boldness comes from passion and conviction.

We are bold about that which we really believe in and love. (Our passions).

Galatians 1:6–10 – [6] I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting him who called you in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel—[7] not that there is another one, but there are some who trouble you and want to distort the gospel of Christ. [8] But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel contrary to the one we preached to you, let him be accursed. [9] As we have said before, so now I say again: If anyone is preaching to you a gospel contrary to the one you received, let him be accursed. [10] For am I now seeking the approval of man, or of God? Or am I trying to please man? If I were still trying to please man, I would not be a servant of Christ. (ESV)

Ephesians 5:11–13 [11] Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them. [12] For it is shameful even to speak of the things that they do in secret. [13] But when anything is exposed by the light, it becomes visible,

Passion for God, His Word, His Church…HIS TRUTH!

Do not be quarrelsome

An over critical and judgmental person. The person that is always “against something.” Quick to point out the faults of others.

Romans 14:1–10 – [1] As for the one who is weak in faith, welcome him, but not to quarrel over opinions. [2] One person believes he may eat anything, while the weak person eats only vegetables. [3] Let not the one who eats despise the one who abstains, and let not the one who abstains pass judgment on the one who eats, for God has welcomed him. [4] Who are you to pass judgment on the servant of another? It is before his own master that he stands or falls. And he will be upheld, for the Lord is able to make him stand. [5] One person esteems one day as better than another, while another esteems all days alike. Each one should be fully convinced in his own mind. [6] The one who observes the day, observes it in honor of the Lord. The one who eats, eats in honor of the Lord, since he gives thanks to God, while the one who abstains, abstains in honor of the Lord and gives thanks to God. [7] For none of us lives to himself, and none of us dies to himself. [8] For if we live, we live to the Lord, and if we die, we die to the Lord. So then, whether we live or whether we die, we are the Lord’s. [9] For to this end Christ died and lived again, that he might be Lord both of the dead and of the living. [10] Why do you pass judgment on your brother? Or you, why do you despise your brother? For we will all stand before the judgment seat of God; (ESV)

Pray for gentleness and patience

Galatians 6:1–2 [1] Brothers, if anyone is caught in any transgression, you who are spiritual should restore him in a spirit of gentleness. Keep watch on yourself, lest you too be tempted. [2] Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ. (ESV)

Ephesians 4:11–16 [11] And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds and teachers, [12] to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, [13] until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ, [14] so that we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes. [15] Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ, [16] from whom the whole body, joined and held together by every joint with which it is equipped, when each part is working properly, makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in love. (ESV)

Strive to Walk in the Spirit

Galatians 5:16–26 [16] But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. [17] For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh, for these are opposed to each other, to keep you from doing the things you want to do. [18] But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law. [19] Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, [20] idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, [21] envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. [22] But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, [23] gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. [24] And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. [25] If we live by the Spirit, let us also keep in step with the Spirit. [26] Let us not become conceited, provoking one another, envying one another. (ESV).

Psalm 3 – “But You, O Lord, are a Shield About Me”

My teaching notes for Wednesday, April 28th. I am currently teaching through the book of Psalms.  Remember, these are my personal study notes and not a manuscript of the teaching.

Psalm 3

INTRO

Firsts in this Psalm

  • Lament
  • Psalm with a headingA Psalm of David when he fled from Absalom
  • Selah – Pause. Rest

MY ENEMY– vv. 1-2

David’s troubles and his enemies:

  • 2 Sam. 7:1 – Peace within the kingdom
  • 2 Sam. 11-12- David’s Sin with Bathsheba
  • 2 Sam. 12-14 – Family troubles
  • 2 Sam. 15-19 – Kingdom taken over by Absalom’s rebellion
  • 2 Sam. 17:24 – David had to flee the rebellion and wait it out across the Jordan

The enemy

  • Surrounded… Has him hemmed in. “Pressure”
  • Many and Growing

Many are saying to my soul

  • Discouragement from the depths of the soul.

There is no salvation for him in God

  • God cannot help…will not help
  • YET, God will keep His promises 1 Kings 2:12, 46

MY SHIELD – vv. 3-4

But you, O Lord

  • He cries out. – This was his battle plan.  CALL OUT TO GOD!
  • Does not address the enemy… He knows God is the one His focus needs to be one. NOT THE TROUBLES.

My Shield

  • Protector

My Glory

  • Dignity and honor

Lifter of my Head

  • As a king would life a head of a subject.  Acceptance and approval.

I Cry Aloud and He Answers

  • When he cried out, he know God would answe.

MY DELIVERER – vv. 5-8

I lay down to sleep

  • David at peace.  His confidence and assurance.

I will not be afraid (fear)

  • Even though the enemy is numerous and the trial great.

Arise, O Lord

  • Numbers 10:35 – Moses’ prayer.
  • They rose up against David.  God RAISES UP!  To rise to accomplish something.

Strike the enemies of the cheek and break their teeth

  • Defeat, Righteous judgment. Complete. Total

Salvation belongs to the Lord, Your blessing to your people

  • Deliverance and Blessing belong to the Lord

THOUGHTS

We will face trials.  We will have enemies.

  • They are not wanted nor or they enjoyed

The goal of the enemy is defeat.  To doubt our relationship with God.

  • Yet, we realize all trials are for God’s glory and our benefit.
  • Bring about our sanctification. Show us our dependance on Him.

God alone is our shield and lifter of our head

  • God is enough. Jesus is enough. –  Philippians 3:20-21

Matthew 7:15–20 – “Beware of False Teachers” Part 1

My sermon notes for Sunday morning, May 2nd. Remember, these are my personal study notes and not a manuscript of the sermon. They are provided to help you follow the sermon as you listen each week. The church provides a live stream of the service each Sunday at 10:45 on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/firstbaptistavonpark/ We also provide the services through YouTube on our website by Sunday afternoon at www.fbcap.net

Matthew 7:15–20

INTRO:

  • Jesus has just stated the importance of the right gate that leads to the right way. (vv. 13-14)
  • Here He is alluding to the ‘Voices” that point to which gate is the best.
  • We must know that we have false teachers among us.  There always has been and always will be.  (in the time of the NT and today in 2021)
  • Just because someone SAYS we are all on the same team (Christian/Believers/Religious… it is not always the case.  Mormons and  7th Day Adventist are great examples. Jehovah Witness does not try to identify as a “Christian” church… ALL THREE STARTED IN AMERICA IN THE 1800’s, They claim that God told them to start so that they could be the true church (prophet or prophetess)
  • It is not our job to fix people or to unbiblically judge people, but it is our job to have the desire and discernment to recognize, avoid, and point out FALSE TEACHERS.

Beware

  • Be on the look for. Pay careful attention to.
  • A shepherd can since when something is not right.  His job is sheep… he is supposed to recognize when something is not quite right.
  • 1 John 4:1 TEST THE SPIRITS. – Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, for many false prophets have gone out into the world. (ESV)
  • Acts 20:28–31 [28] Pay careful attention to yourselves and to all the flock, in which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to care for the church of God, which he obtained with his own blood. [29] I know that after my departure fierce wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock; [30] and from among your own selves will arise men speaking twisted things, to draw away the disciples after them. [31] Therefore be alert, remembering that for three years I did not cease night or day to admonish every one with tears. (ESV)
  • Identify, Avoid, Call Out (if within the body 1 Tim. 5:20)

Of False Prophets (False Teachers)

  • •In the OT/NT/Bible times it was anyone who spoke as a messenger from God, when in fact the message was not from God.
  • Today… A person who teaches/preaches something as truth (from God), yet is contrary to true biblical teaching (My definition)
    • Received through a vision.  A fresh word.  God told me to tell you. I just think…

Who come to you in Sheep’s Clothing

  • Dressed like a shepherd (trying to look like the one who is taking care of the sheep.)
  • The intent is to appear normal and part of the sheep fold.

But inwardly they are Ravenous Wolves

  • Most common enemy of sheep
  • Always looking to kill the sheep.
  • SATAN HAS ONE GOAL. John 10:10–The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly. [11] I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. (ESV)

You will recognize them by their Fruits

Are grapes gathered from thorn bushes, or figs from thistles?

  • Not easy. First appearance may fool you.
  • In Palestine some bushes produced berries that looked like grapes and some thistles have blooms that could have been confused with figs.
  • Just because they say they are preachers/teachers… Just because they say they have a word from God.
  • The proof is in THE FRUITS.

We must look at their life. – One’s life lived out. Our faith on display. What we produce BECAUSE of our relationship with the Lord. The overflow of the inflow of the Spirit-filled life.

  • One’s CharacterColossians 1:10 – so as to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him: bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God;
  • One’s Doctrine – Belief about God, Scripture, Christ, Holy Spirit, Salvation, The Church, and etc.
    • Vague, wishy washy, no real stance on doctrinal issues.
    • My Pastoral Examples: Unity at all costs. Stressing God’s love over God’s holiness. Much emphasis placed on emotion and experience (feeling over fact.) To believe in God, but not believe God. (Dustin Benge)

Different Types of False Teachers

(3 & 4 could very well be believers)

  1. The Heretic – Someone who openly teaches that which is false. Intentionally teaching what is contrary to Gospel Truth. Never been part of the faith or has left the faith (an apostate).
  2. The Deceiver – Gives the appearance of a believer, but knows they are teaching that which is false.
  3. The Misinformed –Their information is wrong, yet they want to be right.  They have taken someone’s word on a subject. (Examples. – I heard a preach say.  I read online). Have not personally studied the Bible themselves.  Not necessarily trying to be wrong, yet they are.  They may be sincere, yet they are sincerely wrong!
  4. The babes in faith (Never really thought about it) – Does not have enough Bible knowledge or understanding on the subject.  A new Christian or immature in their understanding of biblical doctrine. Never been challenged to DIG DEEPER or just never did.

A FEW THINGS TO CONSIDER:

  • With so many different views of “things” today.  Who is right? Who is wrong?  All we can do is allow God’s Word to be our guide.
  • A false teacher is not just necessarily identified by what they say, but also in what they do not say. (they hold back so that they can have an audience. They hold back so they are not exposed)
  • What starts of as a little wrong… and appears to not be a big deal… remember, we have only two gates.  The further you get down the “WRONG PATH” the closer you get to destruction. Slow and subtle shift of THE TRUTH.
  • Examples – The little and subtle changes in our culture in regard to sex and marriage.
  • Years ago you would have never lived with someone. Now it is acceptable in church circles.

Theological Triage, Albert Mohler – How to respond when we disagree over biblical matters.


SCRIPTURE

1 Timothy 5:19–20 – [19] Do not admit a charge against an elder except on the evidence of two or three witnesses. [20] As for those who persist in sin, rebuke them in the presence of all, so that the rest may stand in fear. (ESV)

Colossians 1:9–14 – [9] And so, from the day we heard, we have not ceased to pray for you, asking that you may be filled with the knowledge of his will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, [10] so as to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him: bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God; [11] being strengthened with all power, according to his glorious might, for all endurance and patience with joy; [12] giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in light. [13] He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son, [14] in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins. (ESV)

Romans 14:1–10 – [1] As for the one who is weak in faith, welcome him, but not to quarrel over opinions. [2] One person believes he may eat anything, while the weak person eats only vegetables. [3] Let not the one who eats despise the one who abstains, and let not the one who abstains pass judgment on the one who eats, for God has welcomed him. [4] Who are you to pass judgment on the servant of another? It is before his own master that he stands or falls. And he will be upheld, for the Lord is able to make him stand. [5] One person esteems one day as better than another, while another esteems all days alike. Each one should be fully convinced in his own mind. [6] The one who observes the day, observes it in honor of the Lord. The one who eats, eats in honor of the Lord, since he gives thanks to God, while the one who abstains, abstains in honor of the Lord and gives thanks to God. [7] For none of us lives to himself, and none of us dies to himself. [8] For if we live, we live to the Lord, and if we die, we die to the Lord. So then, whether we live or whether we die, we are the Lord’s. [9] For to this end Christ died and lived again, that he might be Lord both of the dead and of the living. [10] Why do you pass judgment on your brother? Or you, why do you despise your brother? For we will all stand before the judgment seat of God; (ESV)

Psalm 2 – “The Reigning King”

Wednesday’s Word” teaching notes for Wednesday, April 28th. We are currently working through the book of Psalms.  Remember, these are my personal study notes and not a manuscript of the teaching.

Psalm 2

INTRO

  • Royal Psalm – A song of royal hope.
  • The Ruling King over the Kingdom – THEN
    • King David over Israel
  • The Ruling King over the Kingdom – NOT YET
    • Future Messiah
    • After the exile of the nation the people would have understood the Psalm to point to the future Messiah that will come and rule them.
    • The problem was that when Christ did come, they were looking for a military and political deliver.  They missed their greatest need.  THEY NEEDED A REDEEMER.

THE PEOPLES REBELLION – vv. 1-3

The nations rage

  • Not God’s people
  • Gentiles then… the unconverted now.
  • Those opposed to God. Enemies of God.

In vain

  • Pointless, Empty

Against the LORD

  • It is always against God.

Break and Burst from

  • Breaking from His Lordship and Rule
  • The issue is and always will be… acknowledging His Lordship over our life.
  • Rebellious man wants it their way

THE REACTION FROM HEAVEN – vv. 3-6

Sits in heaven

  • His majesty and Lordship.  Reigning Ruler

Laughs

  • He is so great and so in control.
  • The only option in face of their plots… laugh
  • We need that perspective today!!!!!

Speaks to them in His wrath

  • From laughter to rebuking.
  • Who are you to not acknowledge God as God. THE CREATOR OF THE UNIVERSE.

As for me, I have set my King on Zion

  • No immediate divine judgement.
  • A reminder.  I have a plan. I HAVE AN ANOINTED!
  • NOW – King David – NOT YET – King Jesus

THE PRESENTATION OF THE KING – vv. 7-9

You are my Son…begotten you

  • 2 Sam. 7:8-16 – God’s Covenant with David
  • Divine relationship
    • Heb. 1:5-6
    • Acts 13:33-34 – Paul preaching at Antioch in Pisidia.

Nations your heritage… earth your possession

Then – giving of the land to the tribes of Israel. Their inheritance.

Not yet – The rule of God over all creation. The Lordship of Christ over all the nations.

Break them with rod… dash them in pieces

  • A picture of total and complete authority.
  • A picture of their frailty
  • Divine Judgment
  • The Book of Revelation and the return of Christ!

THE WARNING TO THE PEOPLE – vv. 10-12

Be wise, be warned

  • Listen, Pay attention
  • Count the cost

Serve with fear and rejoice with trembling…Kiss the Son, lest He be angry and you perish

  • Honor and Respect
  • That is due the King.

Blessed are all who take refuge in Him

  • Not immediate judgement but an opportunity for repentance
  • God did not judge after EDEN…. HE SENT HIS SON!
  • GRACE, GRACE, MARVELOUS GRACE

Matthew 7:13–14 – “The Many and the Few”

Matthew 7:13–14

My sermon notes for Sunday morning, April 25th. Remember, these are my personal study notes and not a manuscript of the sermon.  They are provided to help you follow the sermon as you listen each week. The church provides a live stream of the service each Sunday at 10:45 on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/firstbaptistavonpark/  We also provide the services through YouTube on our website by Sunday afternoon at www.fbcap.net

INTRO THOUGHTS

  • He is teaching to the multitudes, religious leaders, and His followers.
  • As the sermon winds down, we see Jesus laying out a choice.
    • Believe or Not. Follow Him or not.
    • All of redemptive history points to THIS.  The OLD is fulfilled in the NEW. Forsake our way and believe in Christ.
  • The religious leaders had added so much to the LAW that it was now THEIR WAY of salvation.  JESUS IS SAYING IT IS MY WAY!
  • The WORDS OF OUR LORD always demand a response.
  • Will we hear, believe, trust in, and follow after?
  • No middle ground.  We either do or do not.
  • The way of life is always on God’s terms. (John MacArthur)

[13] “Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. [14] For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few. (ESV)

THE GATE AND WAY

Enter

  • ENTER is the decision to go through the gate.
  • Requires action.
  • Not just admiration or acknowledgement, but also action.
  • One does not just stumble into it.

A Gate is an entrance to something.

  • Think of it as a decision.  Deciding how we are going to live our life.
  • Who is going to have CONTROL over my life.  Who is my master.
  • Only 2 gates.  Following Christ. NOT FOLLOWING CHRIST.
  • GOD SAYS – John 14:6 – I AM THE WAY, THE TRUTH, and the LIFE
  • SATAN SAYS – God did not really say that. WHAT GOD MEANT.
  • JESUS IS LORD or YOU ARE MAKING YOURSELF LORD. (Satan’s plan)

Ways

  • Each gate leads to a path. LIFE’S JOURNEY
  • The gate indicates the life.  The life will leave indicates the destination.

THE WAY OF LIFE

Narrow

  • Those who find it are few
    • We spend way too much time worrying about what the world would think if we truly lived for Christ.
  • Individual decision to enter. Only one at a time.
  • No belongings… empty handed
    • Broken and in denial of self. Casting my sin at His feet.
  • The narrowness of God’s righteousness.
    • We could not, but CHRIST DID
  • Enter/Find (not obvious, unique, different)
  • We would never choose the narrow gate on our own.  THE JOY OF THE HOLY SPIRIT BRINGING US TO CONVICTION THROUGH THE GOSPEL!
    • The wonder of election and free will.
    • Eph 1:3-14 & Eph. 2:8-9 & Baptist Faith and Message
      • God is all knowing and wise, all loving, and all powerful.
    • I tend to focus more on God’s sovereignty, because most people lend to much toward free will, therefore causing one to have a lower view of God.
      • (read statement from JW)
    • We do not need to reconcile friends (Spurgeon)
    • Our will is as free as God allows it, yet we come to Christ!

Hard

  • Difficult. NOT EASY.  We want the easy, quick fix.
    • Getting out of debt, Getting in shape
      • Is not easy… Determination, Diligence.
  • Prepare for and expect persecution and suffering.
    • Matt. 5:3&6 – Poor in Spirit… Persecuted for righteousness’ sake… for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. The Bookend of the beatitudes.
  • Fearing God more than we fear man!

THE WAY OF DEATH

Wide

  • Popular. New and Open minded
  • Plenty of room for all the stuff. No restrictions.
    • Morally, Intellectually.
  • Tolerant of ALL. No Absolutes
  • Many will enter

Easy

  • No denial of self
  • I am not the problem… everyone else is
  • You be you! Have it your way!
  • AC/DC (80’s babies)

The world says, “Love yourself.”

Jesus says, “Deny yourself.”

The world says, “Serve yourself.”

Jesus says, “Serve others.”

The world says, “Forgive yourself.”

Jesus says, “Forgive others.”

The world is diametrically opposed to the agenda of Jesus Christ.

(Twitter @DustinBenge)

CONCLUSION

Both point to the same place (A GREAT LIFE), But only one TRULY gets us there.

Our eternal life is being played out now.

Life in Christ

  • Eph 1:3; 11-14 – Spiritual blessings. In Christ.
  • Now and for all eternity

Death apart from Christ

  • Apart from Christ.  NOY WALKING THE SAME PATH OF/WITH CHRIST
  • Now and for all eternity

ENTER BY THE NARROW GATE

Believe on, Come to, Trust in, Follow After, Live for

TAKE UP CROSS AND FOLLOW ME

Luke 9:23–26 – [23] And he said to all, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. [24] For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will save it. [25] For what does it profit a man if he gains the whole world and loses or forfeits himself? [26] For whoever is ashamed of me and of my words, of him will the Son of Man be ashamed when he comes in his glory and the glory of the Father and of the holy angels. (ESV)


SCRIPTURE:

Ephesians 1:3–14 – [3] Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, [4] even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love [5] he predestined us for adoption to himself as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, [6] to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved. [7] In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace, [8] which he lavished upon us, in all wisdom and insight [9] making known to us the mystery of his will, according to his purpose, which he set forth in Christ [10] as a plan for the fullness of time, to unite all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth.

[11] In him we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to the purpose of him who works all things according to the counsel of his will, [12] so that we who were the first to hope in Christ might be to the praise of his glory. [13] In him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit, [14] who is the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it, to the praise of his glory. (ESV)

Ephesians 2:8–10 – [8] For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, [9] not a result of works, so that no one may boast. [10] For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them. (ESV)

Baptist Faith and Message 2000 – Section 5 – God’s Purpose of Grace

Election is the gracious purpose of God, according to which He regenerates, justifies, sanctifies, and glorifies sinners. It is consistent with the free agency of man, and comprehends all the means in connection with the end. It is the glorious display of God’s sovereign goodness, and is infinitely wise, holy, and unchangeable. It excludes boasting and promotes humility.

All true believers endure to the end. Those whom God has accepted in Christ, and sanctified by His Spirit, will never fall away from the state of grace, but shall persevere to the end. Believers may fall into sin through neglect and temptation, whereby they grieve the Spirit, impair their graces and comforts, and bring reproach on the cause of Christ and temporal judgments on themselves; yet they shall be kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation.

Matthew 7:7-12 – “Ask, Seek, & Knock”

Matthew 7:7-12

My sermon notes for Sunday morning, April 18th. Remember, these are my personal study notes and not a manuscript of the sermon.  They are provided to help you follow the sermon as you listen each week. The church provides a live stream of the service each Sunday at 10:45 on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/firstbaptistavonpark/  We also provide the services through YouTube on our website by Sunday afternoon at www.fbcap.net

INTRO THOUGHTS:

  • We tend to take a surface level view of prayer in these verses. (I am afraid we miss the context)
  • Remember, we are still in the section of “Relationships”
    • 7:1-6 – My relationship with others
    • 7:7-11 – My relationship with God
    • 7:12 – My relationship with others
  • Sandwiched between others is our relationship with God.
    • We are to pray so that we can have a right relationship with God. (not to get something, but to change US)
  • As we pray, we understand who He is.  We understand who we are.  We understand what we really need.

Hopefully, we can understand why it is we ask, seek, and knock, so that we can really understand THE PRIVILEGE OF PRAYER

  • Passionate about prayer
  • Purposeful with our prayer
  • Persistent in our prayers

The Imperative to Pray

ASK, SEEK, KNOCK – v. 7

THE “DO” – Believing people are praying people.

  • Grammar – Now and keep on.

Notice the progression.

  • I ask, then seek, then knock

ASK

  • We have a need.
  • We know we cannot address the need alone
  • There is a person in whom we are addressing.

SEEK

  • More than just a request
  • It is not in my possession
  • I am involved.  Devotion, Determination and Diligence.
  • Matthew 6:33–34 – [33] But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. [34] “Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble. (ESV)

KNOCK

  • (THIS IS NOT A SALVATION DOOR)
  • I know the who.
    • Going to the source of the solution
    • God’s Will and God’s Word
  • Matthew 11:28–30 – [28] Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. [29] Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. [30] For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” (ESV)
  • A door is an entry way.  The doorway to God’s Will.
  • Keep knocking…until the door is opened

Keep on with the Keep on!  1 Thess. 5:17 – Pray without ceasing.

  • Ask without ceasing
  • Seek without ceasing
  • Knock without ceasing

The People of Prayer

Everyone who…v. 8

Everyone who is…

  • Born Again
  • Seeking to know the Lord’s Will
  • Understands the true privilege and opportunity for prayer
  • John 10:27–29 [27] My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. [28] I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand. [29] My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all, and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand. (ESV)

  • Prayer is more about GOD THAN US!
    • Us KNOWING His Will.  NOT HIS GIVING me what I think I need.

A great guide to keep us on focus:

  • Start with Adoration and Praise
  • Then Confession
  • Then Thanksgiving
  • Then Intersession (praying for others)
  • Then Petition (praying for our needs)

Everyone who Asks receives – Seeks finds – Knocks the door will be opened

  • KEEP PRAYING until we rest in and have peace with GOD’S PERFECT WILL.
  • Prayer changes us… our will to His Way.
  • Because we know they are HEARD and ANSWERED
  • Yes, No, Wait.  THREE ANSWERS.

WE CAN TRUST IN THIS… BECAUSE OF

The Motivation of our Prayer

The Father’s Love – vv. 9-11

How much more does our heavenly Father love His own!

  • He is Our Creator, Sustainer, and Provider

Father in Heaven

  • Intimate and personal relationship
  • Holy (reverent) relationship.

The Golden Rule – v. 12 (Others)

vv. 1-7 – Stop judging…look within

v. 12 – Treat others right.

HOW IS THIS POSSIBLE.

  • Because of vv. 7-12.
  • WE ARE ONE WITH THE FATHER.

CONCLUSION

Relationships are crucial.

  • Our Relationship with Christ
  • Our Relationship with others

They go hand and hand

  • Some of us have a string of broken relationships and problems with others.  (It is always someone else)
  • When we are right with the Lord, then we should have a desire to be right with others.

They KEY IS MY PERSONAL WALK WITH THE LORD THROUGH THE WORD AND PRAYER.

  • Both are a privilege
  • Am I passionate about my daily communion with God?
  • Do I understand the purpose of the Word and Prayer?
  • Am I willing to develop new way of thinking and doing that will allow me to be persistent in these things?

Great Resources:

Prayer Changes Peoples WillJohn Piper (Article)

https://www.desiringgod.org/messages/prayer-changes-peoples-wills

Grace To You – John MacArthur – (A collection of resources on Prayer)

Praying the Bible By: Donald Whitney (Book)

https://www.christianbook.com/praying-the-bible-donald-whitney/9781433547843/pd/547843?event=ESRCG

Psalms – An Introduction

Wednesday Night Bible Study teaching notes for Wednesday, April 14th. We are currently working through the book of Psalms.  Remember, these are my personal study notes and not a manuscript of the teaching.

Martin Luther referred to Psalms as the “Little Bible”

Spans from the time of Moses to the return of the Exiles (1000 years)

A major theme for Psalms is WORSHIP (Obviously there are other themes found in Psalms, but tonight I want to focus on worship)

  • A book of Worship for the nation of Israel…then
  • A book of Worship for the redeemed today!…NOW

God is worthy of worship because of who He is, what He has done, and what He will continue to do.

  • He is the Ruler who Reigns. (Reigning King)
  • He is all knowing, all powerful, and ever present.
  • From “Trusting God” By: Jerry Bridges
    • God is perfect in Love
    • God is infinite in Wisdom
    • God is completely Sovereign

Worship = To give honor. To acknowledge. Bow down. Reverence. Respect, Dependence. (Remember, He is our creator and provider of all things)

  • Psalms 8 – Praise His name (who He is… His character)
  • Psalm 19 – Seek guidance and instruction
  • Psalms 51 – Confess our sin
  • Psalm 103 – Offer thanksgiving
  • Psalm 107 – Cry out in need

Since God rules over all, he can provide refuge for his servants and defeat all their enemies (Psalms 3–7; 9–18), turning them into willing subjects (22:27–28). His people can leave their enemies in his hands. He is King now and forever (93:1–2); he “has established his throne in the heavens, and his kingdom rules over all” (103:19). As Creator he provides food for all his creatures and blesses people with all good things (145:15–16; 147:12–20). In short, God is the Great Shepherd who is with his people now in joy and trouble and will usher them into his house to live safely forever (Psalm 23). ESV Systematic Theology Study Bible – Intro to Psalms

Putting Truth Into Action:

  • What does it mean to worship God?
  • What are some specific examples of how someone can personally worship God?
  • How should true worship change the way we live our life?

We desire to worship Him because WE REALIZE who He is.

We have no desire to worship Him because WE DO NOT REALIZE who He is.


Additional Resources:

A deeper dive into the introduction to Psalms

An Introduction to Psalms – ESV Global Study Bible

An Overview of Psalms – The Gospel Coalition

Why We Should be Praying Through the Psalms – Donald Whitney article on 9Marks

Matthew 7:1-6 “To Judge or To Judge Not?”

Matthew 7:1-6

My sermon notes for Sunday morning, April 11th. Remember, these are my personal study notes and not a manuscript of the sermon.  They are provided to help you follow the sermon as you listen each week. The church provides a live stream of the service each Sunday at 10:45 on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/firstbaptistavonpark/  We also provide the services through YouTube on our website by Sunday afternoon at www.fbcap.net

INTRO:

Often when we see this verse, we think of HOW MANY TIMES WE HAVE HEARD… JUDGE NOT LEST YOU BE JUDGED

  • Usually in the context of us addressing the actions of someone doing something that we perceive as wrong.

What these six verses should teach us:

  • The danger of self-righteousness
  • Warning against a judgmental and critical spirit
  • The daily discipline of looking within before we look out
  • The importance of spiritual discernment as we strive to live obediently and passionately FOR TRUTH.
    • Believers relating to others in fallen world
    • What we need to say… and when to say it.

We need to consider a few things as we get started:

  • The balance of standing for truth and loving others.
  • The balance of being right and hoping people will become right.
  • 1 Tim. 1:3-5, 1 Tim. 4:11-16, 2 Tim. 2:22-25, 2 Tim. 4:1-5
  • Truth is important. – How we treat others is also important
    • We do not need to try to separate the two.

THE TEXT:

When you take this section as a whole, we see that vv. 1-6 are teaching us about spiritual discernment in relationships.

  • With Other Believers – vv. 1-2
  • With Ourselves – vv. 3-5
  • With the World in General (unbelievers) – v. 6

Other Believers – vv. 1-2

Judge not, that you be not judged

  • Criticize, condemn, fault finding
  • This is unrighteous judgment (the Pharisees were experts in this)
  • Putting oneself spiritually above others
  • Wrong heart and wrong motives. (THIS IS KEY)

The reason people judge this way:

  • In our flesh we enjoy talking about others and point out their faults.
  • We think… it makes us look better

For with the judgment you pronounce you will be judged

  • BE CAREFUL, because WE DO NOT know the motives of others… or their heart and what they are thinking
  • BUT God DOES know our heart. He is the righteous judge
  • We may think we are pointing out the faults in others, but we are actually pronouncing judgment on our life.

Ourselves – vv. 3-5

See the speck, but not the log – v. 4

  • See – more concerned with others (continue to look)
  • We need to be more concerned about our OWN HOLINESS (start with our circles of responsibility and leadership before we look out… my life, my home, my career….etc)
    • 2 Cor. 13:5 – Let us examine ourselves.
    • Psalm 51:10 – Create in me a clean heart, O God
    • Daily seek Him, Ask Him, Yield to Him. MORE OF HIM…LESS OF ME

You hypocrite… take the log out of your own eye – v. 5

  • Mask wearing
  • Phil 2:2-5 – do nothing out of selfish ambition…look after the interest of others
  • A GREAT TRUTH TO CONSIDER – Galatians 6:1–5 – [1] Brothers, if anyone is caught in any transgression, you who are spiritual should restore him in a spirit of gentleness. Keep watch on yourself, lest you too be tempted. [2] Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ. [3] For if anyone thinks he is something, when he is nothing, he deceives himself. [4] But let each one test his own work, and then his reason to boast will be in himself alone and not in his neighbor. [5] For each will have to bear his own load. (ESV)

Once we understand the importance of having our life in order (progressive holiness… daily sanctification) then we can RIGHTLY HANDLE THE WORD OF TRUTH AS WE RELATE TO THE WORLD)

The World in Which We Live (unbelievers) – v. 6

Dogs and Pigs – Attack and Trample You

  • It goes without saying that we are to evangelize and engage the lost world with the Gospel.
  • Dogs and pigs were not looked upon favorable in society
  • This is in reference to false teachers and those lost and hostile toward the Gospel.
  • Attacking and disagree with the truth.
  • Do not waste your time.  Apart from a working of the Holy Spirit, they will never respond and receive.

2 Timothy 2:15–19 – [15] Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth. [16] But avoid irreverent babble, for it will lead people into more and more ungodliness, [17] and their talk will spread like gangrene. Among them are Hymenaeus and Philetus, [18] who have swerved from the truth, saying that the resurrection has already happened. They are upsetting the faith of some. [19] But God’s firm foundation stands, bearing this seal: “The Lord knows those who are his,” and, “Let everyone who names the name of the Lord depart from iniquity.”

2 Peter 2:1–3 – [1] But false prophets also arose among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, bringing upon themselves swift destruction. [2] And many will follow their sensuality, and because of them the way of truth will be blasphemed. [3] And in their greed they will exploit you with false words. Their condemnation from long ago is not idle, and their destruction is not asleep. (ESV)

We are to be careful as we judge others, but we also are to be careful expecting the unbelieving world to agree with us over the truth of the Gospel.

CONCLUSION:

1 Tim. 6:11-16

  • Flee these things
  • Pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, steadfastness, and gentleness
  • Fight the Good Fight of Faith
  • Take Hold of eternal life

Scripture:

1 Timothy 1:3–5 – [3] As I urged you when I was going to Macedonia, remain at Ephesus so that you may charge certain persons not to teach any different doctrine, [4] nor to devote themselves to myths and endless genealogies, which promote speculations rather than the stewardship from God that is by faith. [5] The aim of our charge is love that issues from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith. (ESV)

1 Timothy 4:11–16 – [11] Command and teach these things. [12] Let no one despise you for your youth, but set the believers an example in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, in purity. [13] Until I come, devote yourself to the public reading of Scripture, to exhortation, to teaching. [14] Do not neglect the gift you have, which was given you by prophecy when the council of elders laid their hands on you. [15] Practice these things, immerse yourself in them, so that all may see your progress. [16] Keep a close watch on yourself and on the teaching. Persist in this, for by so doing you will save both yourself and your hearers. (ESV)

2 Timothy 2:22–25 – [22] So flee youthful passions and pursue righteousness, faith, love, and peace, along with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart. [23] Have nothing to do with foolish, ignorant controversies; you know that they breed quarrels. [24] And the Lord’s servant must not be quarrelsome but kind to everyone, able to teach, patiently enduring evil, [25] correcting his opponents with gentleness. God may perhaps grant them repentance leading to a knowledge of the truth, (ESV)

2 Timothy 4:1–5 – [1] I charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by his appearing and his kingdom: [2] preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience and teaching. [3] For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, [4] and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths. [5] As for you, always be sober-minded, endure suffering, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry. (ESV)

  • Reprove – convince, correct, using biblical arguments (mind)
  • Rebuke – Convict over sin, more pointed (the heart)
  • Exhort – To teach, with great patience and instruction

Psalm 51:7–12

              [7] Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean;

                             wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.

              [8] Let me hear joy and gladness;

                             let the bones that you have broken rejoice.

              [9] Hide your face from my sins,

                             and blot out all my iniquities.

              [10] Create in me a clean heart, O God,

                             and renew a right spirit within me.

              [11] Cast me not away from your presence,

                             and take not your Holy Spirit from me.

              [12] Restore to me the joy of your salvation,

                             and uphold me with a willing spirit. (ESV)

Philippians 2:2–5 – [2] complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind. [3] Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. [4] Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. [5] Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, (ESV)

1 Timothy 6:11–16 – [11] But as for you, O man of God, flee these things. Pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, steadfastness, gentleness. [12] Fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called and about which you made the good confession in the presence of many witnesses. [13] I charge you in the presence of God, who gives life to all things, and of Christ Jesus, who in his testimony before Pontius Pilate made the good confession, [14] to keep the commandment unstained and free from reproach until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ, [15] which he will display at the proper time—he who is the blessed and only Sovereign, the King of kings and Lord of lords, [16] who alone has immortality, who dwells in unapproachable light, whom no one has ever seen or can see. To him be honor and eternal dominion. Amen. (ESV)

Colossians 2:8–15 – The Gospel – Our Only HOPE This Resurrection Sunday

My sermon notes for Sunday morning, April 4th. Remember, these are my personal study notes and not a manuscript of the sermon.  They are provided to help you follow the sermon as you listen each week. The church provides a live stream of the service each Sunday at 10:45 on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/firstbaptistavonpark/  We also provide the services through YouTube on our website by Sunday afternoon at www.fbcap.net

Colossians 2:8–15

INTRO:

  • Christians should be people of Hope… Confidence in the now and the future…because of the past!!
  • HOPE in the GOSPEL. Having HOPE because of who we can be IN CHRIST.
  • I cannot think of a greater day (RESURRECTION SUNDAY) to celebrate that HOPE.

DO NOT LET THE WORLD FOOL YOU – vv. 9-10

(do not listen to the lies)

[8] See to it that no one takes you captive by philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the world, and not according to Christ. [9] For in him the whole fullness of deity dwells bodily, [10] and you have been filled in him, who is the head of all rule and authority.

See to it that no one takes you captive by philosophy and empty deceit – “stealing people”

Human tradition – Not divine revelation. Without God’s intervention… how man thinks.

Elemental Spirits of the WorldGal. 4:3 – elementary. Basic thinking from a human perspective, NOT DIVINE.

  • Importance of divine revelation.  (THEN – Prophets, Jesus, Apostles.  NOW – The Spirit of God through the Word of God.)

Not according to Christ

  • Who He is
  • Who sent Him
  • What He came to do
  • How it impacts our life

Fullness of deity dwells

  • The fullness of God dwells bodily IN Christ.  HE IS GOD.
  • Fully God and Fully man

Filled/Made Complete

You have been filled IN HIM.

  • positionally – justified
  • progressively – sanctified

We are COMPLETE.  Jesus/The Gospel is enough.

Stop living incomplete

  • Spiritually – out of fellowship with God
  • Morally – the actions of our life outside the will of God.
  • Mentally – not knowing ultimate truth.

Head of ALL RULE and AUTHORITY

We do not need anything else…All we need is Jesus (Savior and Lord)

THE SACRIFICIAL LAMB IS THE REIGNING KING!

WE ARE GIVEN NEW LIFE – vv. 11-14

[11] In him also you were circumcised with a circumcision made without hands, by putting off the body of the flesh, by the circumcision of Christ, [12] having been buried with him in baptism, in which you were also raised with him through faith in the powerful working of God, who raised him from the dead. [13] And you, who were dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made alive together with him, having forgiven us all our trespasses, [14] by canceling the record of debt that stood against us with its legal demands. This he set aside, nailing it to the cross.

Circumcision – v. 11

  • Old life is gone (cut way, gone, discarded)

Baptism – v. 12

  • New life. We have been raised up, newness of life

From Dead to Alive. – vv. 13-14

  • Sick men need a doctor, but dead men need a Savior!!!
  • Alive together with Him.
  • Forgiving us ALL OUR TRESPASSES (crossing a boundary)
  • canceling the debt – having wiped off…nailed to the cross
    • We all owe God a debt for our sin (Rom. 3:23), only through Christ and His redemptive work is it TAKEN CARE OF…PAID IN FULL.

SO THAT WE MAY LIVE – v. 15

[15] He disarmed the rulers and authorities and put them to open shame, by triumphing over them in him. (ESV)

Living with HOPE

  • Living as people of HOPE with peace, purpose, and new perspective!

Disarmed –stripped of power

All the authority that took part in His arrest and crucifixion.  JESUS HAS DISARMED

  • Rome – Governmental power.
  • Jews – Religious power.
  • Satan – Deception and fear

Triumphant – walking in victory

  • Jesus just a few days ago entered Jerusalem (Triumphant Entry). THIS IS MANIFESTED TO THE FULLEST.
  • As a returning Roman army after conquest.
  • 2 Cor. 2:14 – But thanks be to God, who in Christ always leads us in triumphal procession…
  • WE GOT THIS…NOT TODAY SATAN!

LIVING the LIFE OF HOPE (if you have been raised with Christ…. then here is the life you can now live!!!! You do not HAVE TO… YOU GET TO)

Colossians 3:1–17

[1] If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. [2] Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. [3] For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. [4] When Christ who is your life appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.

[5] Put to death therefore what is earthly in you: sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry. [6] On account of these the wrath of God is coming. [7] In these you too once walked, when you were living in them. [8] But now you must put them all away: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and obscene talk from your mouth. [9] Do not lie to one another, seeing that you have put off the old self with its practices [10] and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of its creator. [11] Here there is not Greek and Jew, circumcised and uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave, free; but Christ is all, and in all.

[12] Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, [13] bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. [14] And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. [15] And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful. [16] Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God. [17] And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. (ESV)

CONCLUSION:

REMEMBER.  THROUGH CHRIST… WE ARE PEOPLE OF HOPE

Colossians 1:15–23 – [15] He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. [16] For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him. [17] And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together. [18] And he is the head of the body, the church. He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in everything he might be preeminent. [19] For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, [20] and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross.

[21] And you, who once were alienated and hostile in mind, doing evil deeds, [22] he has now reconciled in his body of flesh by his death, in order to present you holy and blameless and above reproach before him, [23] if indeed you continue in the faith, stable and steadfast, not shifting from the hope of the gospel that you heard, which has been proclaimed in all creation under heaven, and of which I, Paul, became a minister. (ESV)