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Genesis 1,1-2,3

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Genesis 1:1-2,3

CREATION – BECAUSE GOD CARES

Genesis 1:1-2:3

INTRODUCTION

There comes a time in all of our lives when we have our own private pity-party and say something like this, “Nobody cares about me.” It feels so good to wallow in our self-pity and misery. For a while, that is. But as Christians we really cannot say that nobody cares about us or nobody understands what we are going through in our life. God does. And He cares more than we do, just like a parent really cares more than that young child going though a pity party.

In discussing Creation we must begin with some very important philosophical foundations. Some, even religious people, say there is nothing personal about origins. Their view is that things just happened and suddenly, quite by accident, and here we are! There are many varieties or spin-offs on this philosophy. We just should not get all hung up over origins. It does not matter one way or another.

But it does matter. In seminary in systematic theology classes there is a statement that is used over and over because of its importance: “What is contained in the beginning is contained in the end.” In light of creation, what God does in creation, His attitudes, His goals, etc., will be also the same in the end of all things.

Let’s apply this statement to our discussion. If we accept the humanistic philosophy of origins that states basically that God really did not have anything to do with origins, then we must conclude that God will not have anything to do with the end of all things. A reflection of this philosophy is found in the Robin Williams movie, What Dreams May Come, where the main character dies, goes to ‘heaven,’ rescues his wife from ‘hell’ and builds his own satisfying eternity. Furthermore, another philosophy says, “Since there is no God in origins, there will be no God in judgment.”

But the Bible tells us that God is personally, judicially and completely involved in the end of all things. For the child of God Revelation 21 and 22 tells that we will dwell forever with Him in the New Jerusalem and the New Heavens and the New Earth. Logically, based upon this evidence, we must say that God was equally involved in Creation.

The one over – riding theme we find in the Bible is summarized in the children’s song, Jesus Loves Me. The entire Bible in a nutshell is encapsulated in John 3:16.

Therefore, origins are not randomness. Origins are the deliberating workings of the God Who loves us so much.

THEME: BECAUSE GOD CARES SO MUCH FOR US:

I. HE CREATED A PLACE FOR US Genesis 1:1-10

     A. He Began By Creating The Heavens And The Earth Genesis 1:1-2

          1. He created the heavens and the earth vs. 1

NOTE: Genesis 1:1 is the ‘title statement’

          a. Then beginning with verse two there is an expansion of the Creation account in Genesis 1:2-2:4

          b. Then in Genesis 2:5-25 there is an expansion of the creation account of Adam and Eve

               a. ‘Created’ – Hebrew – bars

               b. Definition of bara – To call into existence out of nothing

               c. The word ‘bara’ is found about fifty times in the Old Testament

NOTE: The only noun used with the verb ‘bara’ in the Bible is ‘God’

          2. He began with the earth ‘without form’ Genesis 1:2a

               a. From an unused root meaning to lay waste

               b. Empty place

               c. Nothing of worth

               d. Wilderness

          3. He began with the Spirit of God Genesis 1:2b

               a. The power of the Spirit was necessary in order to sustain it

               b. Moved

                    1) The only other place used in Scripture – As an eagle stirs up its nest, Hovers (ruwach) over its young, Spreading out its wings, taking them up, Carrying them on its wings      Deuteronomy 32:11 NKJV

                    2) The word expresses that tremulous motion made by the hen while either hatching her eggs or fostering her young

               c. The creation could not exist without God’s control and intervention

               d. There is a Biblical parallel: You hide Your face, they are troubled; You take away their breath (ruwach), they die and return to their dust. Psalm 104:29 NKJV

NOTE: When this collection of elementary principles was brought together, God

was pleased to spend six days in assimilating, assorting, and arranging

the materials, out of which he built up, not only the earth, but the whole

of the solar system.  Clarke

     B. He Began By Providing Light And Time Genesis 1:3-5

          1. God created light vs. 3

NOTE: All color comes from a combination of three colors: Red, Yellow and Blue

NOTE: The sun is not created until day four         Genesis 1:14-19

          2. God saw the light, that it was good Genesis 1:4

               a. It was exactly as he designed it

               b. It was fit to answer the end for which He designed it

          3. The evening and the morning were the first day Genesis 1:5

               a. The darkness of the evening was before the light of the morning

               b. One purpose of this contrast that it might set the day off to make us

appreciate it the better

NOTE: We begin in the darkness of our sin and God moves us to the light of His

presence

NOTE: For God who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of God’s glory in the face of Jesus Christ.  2 Corinthians 4:6 HCSB

NOTE: The Jewish day begins at sundown; night comes first. The day ends with sunlight. The Gentile day begins at midnight. The Bible records days per the Jew day.

     C. He Began By Building Our Atmosphere Genesis 1:6-8

          1. The Hebrew word means ‘to spread out as the curtains of a tent or pavilion’

          2. The two interpretations of the ‘waters above the firmament:’

               a. The clouds of water in the atmosphere

               b. The ice canopy model

                    1) A layer of ice circled the earth above the atmosphere

                    2) This layer filtered out harmful radiation from space, making longer life spans for humans

               3) This layer of ice fell to the earth when ‘the windows of heaven’ were open at the time of the Flood

NOTE: In the six hundredth year of Noah’s life, in the second month, the seventeenth day of the month, the same day were all the fountains of the great deep broken up, and the windows of heaven were opened.      Genesis 7:11 KJV

NOTE: The fountains also of the deep and the windows of heaven were stopped, and the rain from heaven was restrained   Genesis 8:2 KJV

     D. He Began By Separating Dry Land From Oceans Genesis 1:9-10

          1. God first prepared the upper realm of the physical earth

          2. He now works on the design of the earth for use by people

T.S. BECAUSE GOD CARES SO MUCH FOR US:

     I. HE CREATED A PLACE FOR US

II. HE CREATED LIFE FOR OUR BENEFIT Genesis 1:11-25

     A. God Created The Plants For Our Benefit Genesis 1:11-13

          1. We use the oxygen

               a. They use our ‘waste air’

               b. We use their ‘waste air’

          2. The fruit was planned for mankind before we came on the scene Genesis 1:11

               a. The fruit of trees

               b. The vegetables of the plants

     B. God Created The Universe For Our Benefit Genesis 1:14-19

          1. We run our calendar by the sky

          2. Our seasons are dependent upon the circuit of the sun

               a. Winter

              b. Summer

          3. We receive our light from the heavens Genesis 1:15-18

NOTE: And God made two great lights; the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night: he made the stars also.      Genesis 1:16 KJV

     C. God Created The Life In The Seas And The Air Genesis 1:20-23

          1. The creation of consciousness 1:20

               a. The soul – Hebrew: Nephesh

               b. Definition of Nephesh: A breathing creature

           2. Do creatures have a ‘soul’?

               a. Yes

               b. … an abundance of moving or living creatures … Genesis 1:20

               c. Only humans have a ‘living nephesh’ Genesis 1:2:7

NOTE: And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being.     Genesis 2:7 NKJV

NOTE: The order of created life

          a. Life in the seas came first

          b. Life in the air came second

NOTE: This all happened on day five         Genesis 1:23

NOTE: This is totally contrary to the evolution model

     a. Life evolved in the oceans

     b. Life climbed out on land

     c. Life climbed into trees

     d. Life flew

     D. God Created All Living Creatures vs. 24-25

          1. Cattle (KJV)

               a. Animals that can be domesticated

               b. Those that are used on farms, as transportation, etc.

               c. Clean and unclean animals

          2. Creeping things

               a. Smaller animals

               b. Generally thought to be those about the size of a rabbit and smaller

          3. Beast of the earth

               a. The wild animals

              b. Those not able to be domesticated

     E. God’s Works Of ‘Creating’ And ‘Making’

          1. The creation (bara) of the basic elements of the physical universe

NOTE: In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.       Genesis 1:1 NKJV

               a. Space

               b. Mass

               c. Seasons

          2. ‘Making’

               a. To make: asah

                    1) And God made two great lights; the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night: He made the stars also.  Genesis 1:16 KJV

                    2) Know that the Lord, He is God; It is He who has made us, and not we ourselves; We are His people and the sheep of His pasture.        Psalm 100:3 NKJV

               b. To form: yatsar

NOTE: And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being.     Genesis 2:7 NKJV

               c. Both words mean:

                    1) To mold into a form as by a potter

                    2) To assemble more complex systems out of more simple components

               d. In ‘making’ (asah & yatsar) something is always made from something else

T.S. BECAUSE GOD CARES SO MUCH FOR US:

          I. HE CREATED A PLACE FOR US

        II. HE CREATED LIFE FOR OUR BENEFIT

III. HE CREATED US IN HIS IMAGE       Genesis 1:26-31

     A. Image

          1. Four of the first five usages of this Hebrew word for ‘image’ refer to our being in the image of God

          2. And Adam lived an hundred and thirty years, and begat a son in his own likeness, and after his image; and called his name Seth Genesis 5:3 KJV

          3. The next twelve times the word ‘image’ is found it refers to images of idolatry and sinful people

          4. In the New Testament

               a. He (Jesus) is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. Colossians 1:15 NKJV

               b. For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren. Romans 8:29 KJV

NOTE: ‘Christian’ means ‘Little Christ;’ or image of Christ, image of God

               c. And he had power to give life unto the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak, and cause that as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed. Revelation 13:15 KJV

     B. ‘Man’ Is A Term For Male And Female Genesis 1:27

          1. So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them. Genesis 1:27 KJV

          2. Hence, ‘mankind’ or ‘man species’

     C. Deliberate Progress In Creation

          1. The work of each day was an appropriate preparation for the next day

          2. Humanity was to be the caretaker of Creation

NOTE: Then God blessed them, and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over every living thing that moves on the earth.”         Genesis 1:28 NKJV

NOTE: Then the Lord God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to tend and keep it.    Genesis 2:15 NKJV

          3. The appearance of age

          4. Creation was ‘mature’ from its beginning

          5. Everything was created and formed by God full grown

NOTE: Example: God did not teach language to Adam

T.S. BECAUSE GOD CARES SO MUCH FOR US:

          I. HE CREATED A PLACE FOR US

        II. HE CREATED LIFE FOR OUR BENEFIT

       III. HE CREATED US IN HIS IMAGE

IV. HE LEFT NOTHING UNDONE FOR US Genesis 2:1-3

     A. The Heavens And The Earth Were Finished Genesis 2:1

          1. The meaning of ‘finished’

               a. Accomplished

               b. Completed

               c. Done

               d. Ended

               e. Finished doing a thing

               f. Fulfilled

          2. There was no need for ‘touch – up’ work to be done

               a. Everything was completed

NOTE: The act of ‘creating’ of the universe is not now going on somewhere out there

               b. God called everything ‘good’ seven times in Genesis one

     B. God Ended His Work That He Had Made Genesis 2:2

          1. His work alone

          2. What He alone made

     C. God Rested On The Seventh Day Genesis 2:2

          1. God rested from the completed work of ‘creating’ and ‘making’ 2:3

          2. This is not that God ‘worked up a sweat’ and was tired

               a. ‘Rested’ is the Hebrew word for ‘Sabbath’

               b. It was a statement of completion; no more creation

          3. Rested

              a. Cease

               b. Celebrate

               c. Keep or observe the Sabbath

NOTE: For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the LORD blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it.       Exodus 20:11 KJV

NOTE: And now we come full circle in our discussion on Creation. God was, and is, in complete control. We did not make ourselves. Nothing else made us, only God. The Sabbath is a weekly reminder for us that this life’s daily grind is not all there is of life.

NOTE: There remains therefore a rest for the people of God.    Hebrews 4:9 NKJV

NOTE: And this rest is because of the complete work of redemption of the Lord Jesus Christ on the cross for us. He is now building our place of rest. It is available for every person who receives His salvation call.

NOTE: Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us …     Titus 3:5 KJV

CONCLUSION

BECAUSE GOD CARES SO MUCH FOR US:  

I. HE CREATED A PLACE FOR US

II. HE CREATED LIFE FOR OUR BENEFIT

III. HE CREATED US IN HIS IMAGE

IV. HE LEFT NOTHING UNDONE FOR US

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I Peter 5:8-11

THE GREATEST CARE WE HAVE

I Peter 5:8-11

INTRODUCTION

Suppose we were taking a trip down a strange road. We have never traveled this way before. Someone comes up to us and says they have traveled that road. It has some dangers ahead but if we will listen to them, then we will be okay.

It has be said by women for years that Moses travelled for forty years because he would not ask for directions.

On the highways of life, the journeys and dream of countless individuals have fallen prey to Satan’s stormy rage. Why? Because they have refused to be watchful or spiritually alert. As the theme of the world says, “I did it my way.”

How many people feel helpless and hopeless before the on-slot of the deceptions of Satan? Lives are ruined, careers are destroyed, homes are town apart, souls are lost forever.

THEME: IF WE ARE TO SUCCESSFULLY TRAVEL THROUGH LIFE WE MUST:

I. KNOW THE ABILITY OF SATAN I Peter 5:8

     A. To Know Satan’s Ability We Must Be Sober And Vigilant

          1. Be sober

               a. Don’t be flighty

               b. Don’t be carried away by ideas of others or self

          2. Be Vigilant

               a. Have a cautious attitude

               b. As if a lion were loose in the vicinity

     B. To Know Satan’s Ability We Must Be Aware Of How He Functions

          1. He functions as our adversary

               a. Opponent

NOTE: How Satan opposes us

          a. He resists our efforts to do what is in our best interests

          b. He resists our efforts to do the best and wants us just to do the good

          c. He resists our efforts to return to God

               1) He is our adversary, enemy

               2) He roars to overpower us

          2. He functions as a roaring lion

               a. He roars to alarm us

               b. He roars to overpower us

NOTE: Years ago a survey went to over fifteen hundred ministers. One of the questions asked: “Do you believe in a personal devil?” Fifty percent of the ministers said, “No.”

               c. He roars to intimidate us

               d. He roars to persecute us

               e. He roars because he eagerly seeks us

T.S. IF WE ARE TO SUCCESSFULLY TO TRAVEL THROUGH LIFE WE MUST:

     I. KNOW THE ABILITY OF SATAN

II. KNOW OUR ABILITY      I Peter 5:9

     A. We Are To Resist Steadfast In The Faith

          1. Resist

               a. By not denying the teachings of Jesus for fear of a martyr’s death

               b. By not denying Christ under the threat of death

               c. No matter what scares us, we stand up and oppose him

NOTE: David Livingstone was attacked twice by lions while he ministered in Africa. He was scarred for life by both encounters. Yet he continued his ministry.

          2. Steadfast

               a. Unbending

               b. Firm in our commitment to Jesus

NOTE: Failure comes when we in organizations and systems support the programs instead of Jesus

               c. Dying for Jesus, not programs or organizations

          3. In the faith

               a. Not in our strength

               b. Not in programs

               c. Not in organizations

              d. Not in copying others

              e. No place for self-dependency

                   1) Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall.         I Corinthians 10:12

2) Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.         Matthew 26:41

     B. Know Others Are Standing

          1. If others can successfully suffer, so can we

NOTE: Shall I be afraid to go where they have gone?

NOTE: An improvement on the Star Trek theme: To boldly go where every soul should go

          2. We can bear pain more easily when we feel we are not alone

NOTE: Behold, the Lord’s hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; neither his ear heavy, that it cannot hear         Isaiah 59:1

          3. Those He loves the most, often suffer the most

NOTE: The football coach works the star player harder than the one who sits on the bench because the star player will win the game and the bench warmer will not

          4. The same afflictions (troubles)

               a. Are in other Christians to strengthen them

               b. Are in those outside of Christ, possibly to bring them to Christ

NOTE: Being a Christian is no guarantee of security against the tragedies and ill common to humanity

T.S. IF WE ARE TO SUCCESSFULLY TO TRAVEL THROUGHT LIFE WE MUST:

          I. KNOW THE ABILITY OF SATAN

        II. KNOW OUR OWN ABILITY

III. KNOW THE ABILITY OF GOD                        I Peter 5:10-11

     A. He Gives Us Overcoming Grace

          1. Grace – favor

NOTE: We don’t deserve, but we get it

          2. All needful grace for each trial

     B. The God Of All Grace

          1. All grace

               a. Our needs

               b. Our stress

               c. Our urgencies

          2. 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.          II Corinthians 12:9

     C. He Calls Us To Eternal Glory

          1. Since He has called us to glory He will never leave us or forsake us

          2. Four light affliction, which is for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory      II Corinthians 4:17

NOTE: A farmer was heavily in debt. He promised his creditor that he would repay him when the apple crop came in.

“But,” asked the creditor, “how do you know you will have a good apple crop?”

“Because there are blossoms on the trees,” replied the farmer.

     D. He Gives Things To Us Through Our “Suffering A While”

          1. He makes us perfect

               a. Perfect

NOTE: Applies to nets that have been broken cf. souls slip through our fingers

               b. Affliction is the key ingredient to perfect us

          2. He establishes us

               a. Sets us fast (as in concrete)

               b. Immovable

          3. He strengthens us to bear trials in the future

          4. He settles us on a firm foundation

NOTE: The story is told of a Christian professor who lived a life of such purity and serenity before others that his students were in awe. One day he was asked the secret of his apparent holy life and peace. They asked him about temptations. One asked, “Do not temptations ever come knocking at the door of your heart?

“Yes, I know of the things you speak. When temptations come knocking at the door of my heart, I always answer, ‘The place is occupied!’”

CONCLUSION

IF WE ARE TO SUCCESSFULLY TO TRAVEL THROUGH LIFE WE MUST:

I. KNOW THE ABILITY OF SATAN

II. KNOW OUR ABILITY

III. KNOW THE ABILITY OF GOD

 

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Christ The Creator

CHRIST THE CREATOR

John 3:3

INTRODUCTION

There are several important debates going one in our society, in denominations and in churches today. There is the issue of abortion. There is the issue of gays, lesbians and identity gender. There is the issue of euthanasia. There is the issue of church and state. There is the issue of “Intelligent Design” or origins in our schools. But these debates are often smoke screens for the greater issue.

So many people on both sides of these debates are not addressing the most critical issues. Someone may say, “What is more important than standing (against or for) (a certain issue)?”

In the days of the New Testament there were debates of right and wrong there were just as hotly debated as we have today. And, just like today, they missed the point. When John begins his gospel, he does not begin by addressing the morals (or lack there of) in Roman and Jewish society. He did not lament that things were not like they were in the ‘good old days.’ He did not try to force anyone to hold to his beliefs. He did not go out and kill people in the name of God.

Instead John begins with the reality that almost everyone in his day failed to confront: God. When we begin with God and not with ourselves or our agenda, we find ourselves on a different path in life. The solution is not political or military or social or educational or religious or any other power. Rather, So he answered and said to me: “This is the word of the Lord to Zerubbabel: ‘Not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit,’ Says the Lord of hosts.   Zechariah 4:6 NKJV

But one of the most important issues to investigate is what the Bible says about origins. This is an important subject for the child of God. But not so we can argue and debate and ‘put people in their place.’ “He convinced against his will is unconvinced still.” We will only be sounding brass and tinkling cymbals unless we investigate the reality behind the origins debate. And what we will see is just as significant if we were to discuss any other hot button issues of today.

It is said that there is an empty, God – shaped place in the soul of every person that only God can fill. Many try to fill that empty place with things of this world that never satisfy. Only Jesus can satisfy.

Our souls are empty until we receive the Lord Jesus Christ as our Personal Savior. But there is more that the salvation of our souls. There is the salvation of our lives, our homes, our purpose in life.

The goal of this church is to help every child of God to be the best in their soul, their life, their family, and their testimony for God and in their understanding of God.

THEME: WHY IS CREATION SO IMPORTANT TO US THE CHILDREN OF GOD

I. CREATION IS IMPORTANT TO US BECAUSE OUR CREATOR IS GOD John 1:1

     A. The Word Is The Lord Jesus Christ In The Flesh

          1. And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth. John 1:14 NKJV

          2. John bore witness of Him and cried out, saying, “This was He of whom I said, ‘He who comes after me is preferred before me, for He was before me.’” John 1:15 NKJV

          3. But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law Galatians 4:4

     B. Why John Chose The Word “Word” To Denote The Lord Jesus Christ

NOTE: Matthew begins with Abraham

Mark begins with His ministry

Luke begins with Adam

John begins with eternity

          1. The first verse of John, including the term “Word,” would refer the Jewish reader to the first words of the Book of Genesis

               a. In the beginning God spoke and all things came into being

               b. Like Moses, John does not argue the point, just states it

               c. To the Jewish mind Jesus would somehow be associated with:

                     1) The creative power of God

                     2) The self-disclosure of God in creation

NOTE: We get a feeling of what it was for a Jew to read this passage as we Americans would read: “When in the course of human events” and words like “self – evident” and “inalienable rights”

          a. For us this reminds us of the Declaration of Independence

          b. The beginning of the founding principles of the American republic

          c. The ideal of ‘word’ would have also meant more to a Jewish mind than it does to us today

               1) A word spoken was a deed done

               2) “Just say the word …”

NOTE: And God said, Let there be light: and there was light.   Genesis 1:3

NOTE: So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.    Isaiah 55:11

          2. The Greek view of logos

               a. For the Greeks, the answer to this question is found, not in religion, but in philosophy

               b. In the sixth century B. C. a philosopher, Heraclitus, lived in Ephesus

               c. He and others asked, “How come everything that exists is not in a state of perpetual chaos?

               d. Heraclitus said that the controlling principle of matter was God’s logos

               e. He then applied it to all events of history and the mental order that rules the minds of people

               f. For Heraclitus the Logos was nothing less than the mind of God controlling this world and every one and everything in it

               g. This was so powerful of a thought that Socrates, Plato and the Stoics built upon this “logic”

NOTE: Plato is said to have once turned to a group of philosophers and students around him and said, “It may be that some day there will come forth from God a “Logos” who will reveal all mysteries and make everything plain.”

NOTE: Now John is saying, “Yes, Plato, the Logos has come. Now God is revealed to us perfectly.”

          3. In this verse John is declaring the unknown God

               a. The unknown God of the Greeks

               b. The hidden God of the Middle Ages

               c. The “silent God” of the twenty first century is neither unknown, hidden or silent; He is fully revealed in Jesus

NOTE: No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him.       John 1:18

NOTE: The entire Gospel of John is intended to be read in light of this one verse

     C. The Word (Logos) Is Related:

          1. First to God

          2. Then To Creation,

          3. Then To Mankind

     D. The Most Important Question Anyone Will Ever Face Is: Who Is Jesus Christ?

          1. There can only be one of two answers or choices:

          2. He is only a man

          3. He is everything that the Bible says He is

     E. We Know Three Things About Jesus From This Verse

          1. He is before all creation

          2. He was with God

          3. He is in His very essence God

T.S. WHY IS CREATION SO IMPORTANT TO US THE CHILDREN OF GOD?

     I. CREATION IS IMPORTANT TO US BECAUSE OUR CREATOR IS GOD

II. CREATION IS IMPORTANT TO US BECAUSE OUR CREATOR HAS ALWAYS BEEN

John 1:2

     A. Our Creator Is “The Same”

NOTE: Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever.     Hebrews 13:8

          1. The same One Who was before the beginning

          2. The same One Who was with God

          3. The same One Who was God

     B. This Very Person, The Logos, The Lord Jesus Is Equal With The Father

          1. In the Gospel of John this is the crucial issue in the confrontation of Jesus with the Jews

          2. Therefore the Jews sought the more to kill him, because he not only had broken the sabbath, but said also that God was his Father, making himself equal with God. John 5:18

          3. The Jews answered him, We have a law, and by our law he ought to die, because he made himself the Son of God. John 19:7

     C. The Eternity Of The Word Is Not To Be Overlooked Or Minimized

          1. The close relationship between the Father and the Logos

               a. Face to face with God

               b. Equality and intimacy

               c. The Logos already has been operating in history before His birth in Bethlehem

          2. John makes three declarations about Christ

               a. He is eternal – He always was, never was He not in existence

               b. He is equal with God

               c. He is God Himself

T.S. WHY IS CREATION SO IMPORTANT TO US THE CHILDREN OF GOD?

     I. CREATION IS IMPORTANT TO US BECAUSE OUR CREATOR IS GOD

   II. CREATION IS IMPORTANT TO US BECAUSE OUR CREATOR HAS ALWAYS BEEN

III. CREATION IS IMPORTANT TO US BECAUSE OUR CREATOR MADE EVERYTHING

vs. 3

     A. The Subject Of Creation

  1. The use of the verb “was made” is a signal to the reader that John now has moved the focus of his discussion to the subject of creation
  2. Both creation and salvation have to do with God telling us about Himself
  3. In creation we see God’s power at work
  4. In salvation we see God’s power at work

 

  1. “All Things” Refers To The Created Order
  2. “All things” in the absolute sense, the universe with all that it contains
  3. All realities are created except God

 

NOTE: Hebrews one discusses that angels are created, the Son is not and is therefore superior to the angels

 

  1. Apart From What Jesus Has Made Nothing Else Has Been Created

 

NOTE: An arrogant evolutionist challenged God to see if creation was that hard to do. He set the rules. “We will meet on Sunday, we each will take some dirt and make something. No big thing.” So on the appointed day God showed up. The evolutionist bent down and started to scoop up some dirt and God said, “No, no. You make your own dirt.”

 

  1. “Not any thing” could be rendered, “not one single thing”
  2. John three gives us two statements about the creation
  3. The statement is first positive and from the viewpoint of the past; all things were made by him
  4. The statement is then negative and from the viewpoint of the present; without him was not any thing made that was made

 

NOTE: There are no exceptions

 

  1. Two Facts Are Stated About The Source Of Our Lives:
  2. Christ was not created; He is eternal
  3. All things, without exception, were created by Him

 

  1. Science Has Helped Us Spiritually
  2. Science silences us before God in wonder and awe

 

NOTE: Until discoveries in the 1920’s, the Milky Way was thought to be the entire universe

 

  1. Now we have come to the reality that there are at least billions of galaxies
  2. But this verse also helps us put science in its proper place
  3. The universe is incredibly wonderful
  4. How much more wonderful must be the One upon whose origin, purpose and power it depends

 

NOTE: … he who hath builded the house hath more honour than the house.       Hebrews 3:3

 

T.S. WHY IS CREATION SO IMPORTANT TO US THE CHILDREN OF GOD?

  1. CREATION IS IMPORTANT TO US BECAUSE OUR CREATOR IS GOD
  2. CREATION IS IMPORTANT TO US BECAUSE OUR CREATOR HAS ALWAYS BEEN

        III. CREATION IS IMPORTANT TO US BECAUSE OUR CREATOR MADE EVERYTHING

 

  1. CREATION IS IMPORTANT TO US BECAUSE OUR CREATOR GIVES US LIFE vs. 4

 

  1. In This Grand Statement, John Challenges Us His Readers With The Greatest Concepts We Can Possibly Entertain
  2. He first relates the Logos (Word) first to God
  3. He then relates the Logos (Word) to the universe
  4. He then relates the Logos (Word) to us

 

  1. To God, The Most Important Aspect Of Creation Is Humanity
  2. The most significant element in creation is the creation of life
  3. The most significant element in salvation is the creation of eternal life

 

  1. From The Creative Work Of The Logos John Turns To The Salvation Work Of The Logos

 

NOTE: He uses two brief statements in this verse

 

  1. In Him was life
  2. The light was the light of men
  3. Light equals truth
  4. This signifies reality, namely that all reality is in God
  5. When all these realities are properly voiced in human language, we call them doctrines
  6. Every unreality (lie), though it is wrapped up in the most captivating language, constitutes a false doctrine and by its very nature works death and destruction for the soul

 

NOTE: Without the sun in the physical heavens we would perish in physical darkness

Without the Son of God and His saving life we would likewise perish in spiritual darkness, which hell is

 

NOTE: And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish …     John 10:28

 

  1. What John says in verses 1-4 is a summation of what the rest of the Gospel of John is all about

 

  1. The Purpose Of John Writing This Gospel
  2. Not for speculative philosophers
  3. Not for lofty theological thinkers
  4. But for Christians and those seeking the truth that can only be found in the Logos, the Lord Jesus Christ

 

  1. Life
  2. “Life” is one of the key words in the Gospel of John
  3. It is used fifty four times
  4. In the Greek there is no article (the, a, an)
  5. Stresses the quality of life
  6. Life in the fullest, highest sense
  7. The eternal, blessed life of God

 

  1. The Light Of Men (Created By God)
  2. To the ancients light was an important symbol
  3. Light and darkness in philosophical thought
  4. The opposing deities in Persia was a god of light and a god of darkness
  5. The Egyptians had Ra, the sun god who conquers darkness
  6. The Dead Sea Scrolls had the children of light and the children of darkness
  7. But John presses to the deepest insight of all
  8. In our rationalistic thought all answers are found in a closed system of either “scientific” analysis or the secure logic of verbal formulas
  9. John shows that the ultimate source of the universe is not merely in our systems or in our self made enlightenment but is found in the Life – giver

 

CONCLUSION

 

WHY IS CREATION SO IMPORTANT TO US THE CHILDREN OF GOD?

 

  1. CREATION IS IMPORTANT TO US BECAUSE OUR CREATOR IS GOD

 

  1. CREATION IS IMPORTANT TO US BECAUSE OUR CREATOR HAS ALWAYS BEEN

 

III. CREATION IS IMPORTANT TO US BECAUSE OUR CREATOR MADE EVERYTHING

 

  1. CREATION IS IMPORTANT TO US BECAUSE OUR CREATOR GIVES US LIFE

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WHAT I HAVE LEARNED IN FIFTY SIX YEARS ABOUT THE MINISTRY

WHAT I HAVE LEARNED IN FIFTY SIX YEARS ABOUT THE MINISTRY

INTRODUCTION

How can one encapsulate one’s life and ministry in a thirty-minute sermon? It can’t be done. But every life has mountain peaks and valleys. And the comparison and contrast of life on the mountain peaks and valleys gives a feel of one’s life. As we go through life and ministry we are most aware that as high the mountain peak is we stand upon, there usually is a valley just as deep just ahead. Minuet details are sometimes laid aside and the great issues of a life emerge. On the mountain peaks we can see the other peaks of life, while the shadows of the valleys are obscured. Yet it is on the mountain peaks of life where the real light shines. But how does one get to the top of the mountain? By taking one small step at a time. Every one of us here are here because of the small choices we have made and how we have responded to the mountain peaks and the valleys of our lives where these small choices have taken us.

In the short time before us there will be time to speak to those who are in the valleys of the ministry. There may be darkness that tries to soak into the soul. There may be weariness. There may be the creeping spirit of fear that may be lurking nearby one’s soul. There may be that frustration that only one can experience who is in the warfare for souls. Be assured He is with you there. And light and fruit and victory are a short distant away.

And there may be those with us who stand on the doorstep of the beginning of their journey in their ministry. It is a road of adventure, mystery, warfare, scars, defeat and renewal and more. And the road ahead has twists and turns never yet to be dreamt in your philosophy, Horatio.

And there is one other group to be addressed. There may be those here who are engulfed in the fear of taking the first step of faith into the greater and more expansive grandeur of the life of ministry as a sold out man or woman of God.

And one final explanation in this introduction: This is not, by the grace of God, a boring, egotistical self-exalting, boasting narration about this vessel of clay.

Naught have I gotten but what I received;

Grace hath bestowed it since I have believed;

Boasting excluded, pride I abase;

I’m only a sinner saved by grace!

 

Only a sinner saved by grace!

Only a sinner saved by grace!

This is my story, to God be the glory,

I’m only a sinner saved by grace!

THEME: AFTER FIFTY-SIX YEARS IN THE MINISTRY I HAVE LEARNED THAT:

I. WITHOUT AN INNER HOLY BOLDNESS FROM THE SOUL WE WILL NOT SURVIVE THE MINISTRY

     A. The Ministry Is Not For The Timid

NOTE: Those who know God show great energy and boldness for God … shall be strong

and carry out great exploits.    Knowing God, J. I Packer

          1. We must have from our soul great enthusiasm for the work of God

               a. “Enthusiasm”

               b. Comes from two Greek words

                    1) en – in

                    2) Theos – God

               c. Meaning – In the essence of God

          2. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.

Philippians 4:13 NKJV

               a. Then Peter and the other apostles answered and said, We

ought to obey God rather than men. Acts 5:29 KJV

               b. But I count my life of no value to myself, so that I may finish

my course and the ministry I received from the Lord Jesus,

to testify to the gospel of God’s grace.    Acts 20:24 HCSB

NOTE: Many of us have known the story of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego

since we were knee high to a grasshopper. In his telling of the story

Oswald Chamber said, when these three took their stand, they “smilingly

washed their hands of the consequences.”

     B. How Many Of Us Who Knew God Had A Calling And Work On Us Came

To The Conclusion That We Could Not Turn Back?

NOTE: The size of a person is determined by what it takes to stop him

Howard Hendricks

NOTE: The size of a person is determined by how filled he or she is of God

NOTE:           Back to the cold world I will not go

Back to the old paths of pain and of woe,

Back to the old life of sin, O no!

I’ve had a glimpse of Jesus.

John R Clements

 

T.S. AFTER FIFTY-SIX YEARS IN THE MINISTRY I HAVE LEARNED THAT:

     I. WITHOUT AN INNER HOLY BOLDNESS FROM THE SOUL WE

         WILL NOT SURVIVE THE MINISTRY

II. WITHOUT THINKING LESS OF OURSELVES WE WILL FAIL IN THE MINISTRY

NOTE: Sewell’s Law #2 – Circumstances do not make people.

Circumstances reveal what people already are.

NOTE: Humility is not thinking less of yourself, but thinking of yourself less

C. S. Lewis

     A. We Must Understand That The Ministry Is Not About Us

          1. I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but

Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live

by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for

Galatians 2:20 NKJV

NOTE: The mother of John Wesley wrote to him these significant words:

“Whatever weakens your reason, impairs the tenderness of your

conscience, obscures your sense of God, or takes off the relish of spiritual

things – whatever increases the authority of your body over your mind –

that thing to you is sin.“

          2. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.

Philippians 4:13 NKJV

     B. We Must Understand That The Ministry Is About Jesus

NOTE: At the core of our ministry is one thing: Who Is Jesus?

NOTE: In a battle a machine gun nest can stop the advance of the troops. But in

order to take out the machine gun, the easiest way is to get rid of the

soldier using the gun.

Satan wants to take us out so we will not use the sword of the spirit that

is the word of God.

NOTE: And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit,

which is the word of God                 Ephesians 6:17 KJV

NOTE: If Paul was writing Ephesians 6:17 today he might say, “take the helmet

of salvation and the AK-47 of the Spirit, which is the word of God.”

T.S. AFTER FIFTY-SIX YEARS IN THE MINISTRY I HAVE LEARNED THAT:

     A. WITHOUT AN INNER HOLY BOLDNESS FROM THE SOUL WE

          WILL NOT SURVIVE THE MINISTRY

     B. WITHOUT THINKING LESS OF OURSELVES WE WILL FAIL IN THE

          MINISTRY

III. WITHOUT JESUS FIRST OUR MINISTRY WILL BE EMPTY

     A. No Matter How Hard Our Ministry Is, We Have No Where Else To Go

          1. The disciples of Jesus were confronted with a decision in John 6

               a. Others did not want to continue following Jesus because of His

hard sayings

               b. They turned aside

NOTE: From that time many of His disciples went back and walked with

Him no more.

Then Jesus said to the twelve, “Do you also want to go away?”

But Simon Peter answered Him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You

have the words of eternal life.

John 6:66-68 NKJV

          2. The criteria for the content of our preaching and teaching is not

“political correctness”

NOTE: Billy Sunday was approached by a well-meaning pastor who was

concerned that Sunday was too abrupt and abrasive in his preaching.

“Billy,” he said, “you are rubbing the cat’s fur the wrong way.”

Sunday’s answer, “Then let the cat turn around!” (Def. of repentance)

     B. God Does Not Want “Gospel Work-a-holics; He Wants Us To Love Jesus

NOTE: A young married couple was having one of their first real argument. He

was complaining because she was always nagging him about being gone,

never at home. “Don’t you understand how hard I have to work to get

you these things, the house, the furnishings, your own car?” Her reply

was, “I don’t want these things. I want you!”

     C. Why Do We Have A Ministry?

          1. Do we want to give God things?

          2. Do we want others to love Jesus as we love Him?

NOTE: Hard questions

          a. What is the real motive behind our ministry?

b. Is the goal of our ministry Biblically correct?

NOTE: Ever notice how our prayer life increases in proportion to our troubles?

Maybe if we prayed as much and as earnestly when there are no troubles,

then we might not have those troubles. God wants to hear from us.

NOTE: I would be the most foolish person on the footstool earth if I believed for

one moment that I could perform the duty assigned to me without the

help of one who is wiser than all Abraham Lincoln

T. S. AFTER FIFTY-SIX YEARS IN THE MINISTRY I HAVE LEARNED THAT:

     I. WITHOUT AN INNER HOLY BOLDNESS FROM THE SOUL WE

         WILL NOT SURVIVE THE MINISTRY

    II. WITHOUT THINKING LESS OF OURSELVES WE WILL FAIL IN THE

          MINISTRY

  III. WITHOUT JESUS FIRST OUR MINISTRY WILL BE EMPTY

IV. OUR MINISTRY WILL NEVER STOP

     A. Our Ministry Does Not Stop When We Hit Brick Walls

          1. The brick wall of outward, culture failures

NOTE: The great “ministry sin:” How many did you have Sunday?

          2. The book of Acts is full of numbers of growth in the early church

              a. And in those days Peter stood up in the midst of the

disciples, and said, (the number of names together were

about an hundred and twenty) Acts 1:15 KJV

               b. Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and

the same day there were added unto them about three

thousand souls.   Acts 2:41 KJV

               c. However, many of those who heard the word believed; and

the number of the men came to be about five thousand.

Acts 4:4 NKJV

          3. After Acts 4:4 numbers in the church are never mentioned again

NOTE: And believers were the more added to the Lord, multitudes both

of men and women.       Acts 5:14 KJV

          4. From now own there are other matters

               a. Sin in the church      Acts 5:1-11

               b. Persecution      Acts 5:12-42

NOTE: And they departed from the presence of the council, rejoicing that

they were counted worthy to suffer shame for his name.

Acts 5:41 KJV

               c. Organization and administration      Acts 6:1-7

               d. Martyrdom      Acts 6:8-7:60

     5. The emphasis is now upon the ministry to the flock

          a. Him we proclaim, warning everyone and teaching everyone

with all wisdom, that we may present everyone mature in

Christ.         Colossians 1:28 ESV

          b. Shepherd the flock of God which is among you, serving as

overseers, not by compulsion but willingly, not for dishonest

gain but eagerly;

nor as being lords over those entrusted to you, but being

examples to the flock

1 Peter 5:2-3 NKJV

     B. The Brick Walls Of The Christian Life

NOTE: In his book When God Doesn’t Make Sense, James Dobson penned these

words, “ … to be a follower of Jesus Christ is no fool-proof policy against

the storms of life.”

NOTE: Any of us can fall into the trap of being mad at God

NOTE: You therefore must endure hardship as a good soldier of Jesus

Christ.                 2 Timothy 2:3 NKJV

          1. The ministry of suffering

NOTE: that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the

fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death

Philippians 3:10 ESV

          2. The ministry of the role model

NOTE: A ministry God gave me – cancer

               a. … be an example to the believers in word, in conduct, in love,

in spirit, in faith, in purity.        1 Timothy 4:12 NKJV

               b. Show yourself in all respects to be a model of good works,

and in your teaching show integrity, dignity Titus 2:7 ESV

     C. The Brick Walls We Never Consider That Are Still Before Us

NOTE: But I count my life of no value to myself, so that I may finish my

course and the ministry I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify

to the gospel of God’s grace. Acts 20:24 HCSB

     D. Our Ministry Does Not Stop When We Retire

NOTE: The call of God does not have an expiration date on it

NOTE:                 The Road goes ever on and on

Out from the door where it began,

Now far ahead the Road has gone,

Let others follow it who can!

Let then a journey new begin,

But I at last with weary feet

Will turn towards the lighted inn,

My evening-rest and sleep to meet.

Bilbo Baggins

The Return Of The King

J. R. R. Tolkien

     E. Our Ministry Does Not Stop When We Die

NOTE: For I am already being poured out as a drink offering, and the

time of my departure is at hand.      2 Timothy 4:6 NKJV

          1. The key words that describe us say it all

               a. Ministry

               b. Minister

NOTE: And there shall be no more curse, but the throne of God and of

the Lamb shall be in it, and His servants shall serve Him.

Revelation 22:3 NKJV

          2. Brothers and sisters in the Lord Jesus Christ:

               a. He saves us! He calls us! He empowers us! He leads us!

               b. And He still does all the work through these frail vessels of clay!

               c. And He will also as the ages roll, aion upon aion upon aion never

ending!

          3. The One to Whom we minister

               a. The one who is without sin – the Lord

               b. The one who is qualified to condemn sin – the Lord

               c. The one who is qualified to forgive sin – the Lord

               d. The one who is able to set people free from sin – the Lord

               e. The Lord is the self-existing, and ever-existing God, the great I AM,

Who was lifted up on the cross, to draw all to Himself

               f. The eternal God, came unto us to be life and light, to deliver us from

the bondage and darkness of sin

               g. And what must we keep on saying?

                   1) “I am only a sinner saved by Grace

                   2) This is my story, to God be the glory!”

3) Amen and Amen

NOTE: And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall

reap, if we faint not.      Galatians 6:9 KJV

CONCLUSION

AFTER FIFTY-SIX YEARS IN THE MINISTRY I HAVE LEARNED THAT:

I. WITHOUT AN INNER HOLY BOLDNESS FROM THE SOUL WE WILL NOT SURVIVE

   THE MINISTRY

II. WITHOUT THINKING LESS OF OURSELVES WE WILL FAIL

III. WITHOUT JESUS FIRST OUR MINISTRY WILL BE EMPTY

IV. OUR MINISTRY WILL NEVER STOP

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WHAT I HAVE LEARNED IN FIFTY SIX YEARS ABOUT THE MINISTRY – Power Point

What I Have Learned In 56 Years About The Ministry

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Haggai 1:1-11 – KJV – Power Point

Haggai 1,1-11 KJV

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