1/15/17 - Why Are the Apostles So Encouraging? - Introduction - Part 5

Video     Audio

Everything's Backwards and Upside Down!
The things that the world esteems the most are often the same things that are potential handicaps in the spiritual life (eg. intellect, athleticism, beauty, strength/power, business acumen, shrewdness, etc.) (1Co 1:25-31)
"LET HIM WHO BOASTS"
The contrast between humility and arrogance is easy to identify. One only need ask "who" they are boasting in. If credit is funneled away from the Lord God, the giver of all things good, then it is arrogance.
"LET HIM WHO BOASTS"
On the supreme judicial scale of God, righteousness is the only thing with any mass to it. Man is incapable of bestowing righteousness to himself, it is a gift from God, both through imputation at salvation and impartation during sanctification. In all cases, God adds righteousness to His own scales on man's behalf (Pr 16:8-11). Gloria in excelsis Deo ("Glory to God in the highest").
Apostles
We may each be encouraged uniquely by the apostles. Each one of them were justified (made righteous) by grace through faith, not as a result of intellect (or any works of their own). (Ro 3:21-31; Eph 2:8-9).
Righteousness Credited
As was the case with Abraham (Ro 4:3), God gives grace (righteousness) to the humble (those who believe Him). You don't have to possess natural abilities (nothing to boast about) to earn favor with God. The apostles prove this.
"His own did not receive Him"
God promised the Jews a Messiah. He sent His own Son, Jesus Christ. He clearly introduced Himself, through word and deed. And they rejected Him. Once their rejection was consummated, Jesus' teaching changed from "propositional" to "parable".
Lk 19:10
"For the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost."
The Kingdom of Heaven/God
There's no difference or special "hidden" meaning between the "kingdom of Heaven" (Mt) and the "kingdom of God" (Mk, Lk, Jn, Ac, epistles) other than Matthew seemed more sensitive to the use of the word "God" as he addressed a Jewish audience.
Context of Jesus' Ministry
• He was sent to the Jews first
• He came "to seek and to save"
• He addressed His audience in language they would understand and that would resonate with them
• He trained His successors (the apostles) to do the same
"blasphemy against the Spirit"
The Pharisees knew who Jesus was, knowing He was sent from their God (Jn 11:48; Ac 4:16), which means they'd have to call the Spirit, who convicted them of who He was, a liar!
"uneducated and untrained"
This was human viewpoint, for these men were obviously much better trained than anyone who judged them. What confounded the Jewish leaders was that the apostles' message was simple, yet bold, the antithesis of their own.
Religion Today
"Pure and undefiled religion" (Jas 1:27) has always been offensive to false religion. It's too simple, too gracious, too loving for those trying to cling to the throes of creature-credit (man's scales instead of God's). False religion proposes that self-righteousness bear some mass on God's scales, and is terribly offended when it doesn't.
J. Vernon McGee on Jas 1:27
Christians should be getting out where the people are. I feel there is a grave danger of having a religion of the sanctuary but not a religion of the street.
J. Vernon McGee on Jas 1:27
We need a religion of the street also. We should be in contact with the world in a personal way, with tenderness and kindness and helpfulness.
J. Vernon McGee on Jas 1:27
There are a lot of people out yonder who want that personal contact. My friend, you can bring a Christian contact to these people with sweetness and love and consideration and kindness.
"uneducated and untrained"
This was human viewpoint, for these men were obviously much better trained than anyone who judged them. What confounded the Jewish leaders was that the apostles' message was simple, yet bold, the antithesis of their own.
What's the Problem?
Boldness in "uneducated" men unnerves the self-righteous because it debilitates the very basis of their self-esteem. A person whose self-esteem is tied to Christ is infinitely more powerful than one whose self-esteem is tied to self. Humility leaves arrogance speechless (Ac 4:14).
"what we have seen and heard"
Notice that the apostles confidence pivoted on their experiences, not just what Jesus taught them verbally, but what He taught them through His example.
"Follow Me."
There was much more to Jesus' words than simply a physical act. He was calling His apostles (as He has with each of us, even) to follow His example. He then sent these men out so that others could follow their example, in Christ...and so on throughout human history. Following is an experience.
"blasphemy against the Spirit"
The Pharisees knew who Jesus was, knowing He was sent from their God (Jn 11:48; Ac 4:16), which means they'd have to call the Spirit, who convicted them of who He was, a liar!
Blasphemy of the Spirit Today
Similarly, when an unbeliever says to an evangelist's face, "You're a liar," it is forgiven them. But, if that evangelist just sowed the good seed (ref. Mt 13:3-4), the unbeliever is now accountable to God for rejecting His Spirit (aka the "Spirit of Christ" - Ro 8:9). (1Th 4:8)
Sowing Seed
Facts about Jesus, His death, burial, and resurrection, whether believed or not, are not the issue in salvation, strictly speaking. The issue is a person's heart response to the Gospel (which includes these facts) as a result of the convicting ministry of the Holy Spirit.
Emancipation and the Road to Hell
The Jews were like the child that desires to be emancipated from their God-given parents - it's not about understanding who the authority is (that's known), it's about not wanting what God wants for you! Hell is where "spiritually emancipated" children go.
Hardness of the Heart
God will never allow a heart to be hardened UNTIL it FIRST understands the Gospel. It is the Spirit's ministry to testify about Jesus and His Gospel (Jn 15:26). No person will ever be sentenced to Hell unless they've first "tasted the gift" and been "enlightened" by the Spirit's conviction (Heb 6:4-6).
Heb 6:7-8 [NKJV]
For the earth which drinks in the rain that often comes upon it, and bears herbs useful for those by whom it is cultivated, receives blessing from God; but if it bears thorns and briers, it is rejected and near to being cursed [its destiny is set], whose end is to be burned.
Mt 13:22
"And the one on whom seed was sown among the thorns, this is the man who hears the word, and the worry of the world and the deceitfulness of wealth choke the word, and it becomes unfruitful."
Understanding the Parables
Due to the nature of parables, being word pictures meant to reveal profound spiritual lessons, it is imperative that you first understand the context of the parable (speaker (Jesus), audience, cultural norms, time, place, and circumstance).
Understanding the Parables
Jesus taught His parables to unexceptional men. The apostles were the primary receivers of the parables, and yet there was absolutely nothing remarkable about them. We ought to be very encouraged by this! (Mt 11:25)
Arrogance Is Unteachable
The apostles were teachable Jews, the arrogant Jews were not (e.g. the Pharisees).

 


1/12/17 - Why Are the Apostles So Encouraging? - Introduction - Part 4

Video     Audio

Everything's Backwards and Upside Down!
The things that the world esteems the most are often the same things that are potential handicaps in the spiritual life (eg. intellect, athleticism, beauty, strength/power, business acumen, shrewdness, etc.) (1Co 1:25-31)
Apostles
We may each be encouraged uniquely by the apostles. Each one of them were justified (made righteous) by faith, not as a result of intellect.
"His own did not receive Him"
God promised the Jews a Messiah. He sent His own Son, Jesus Christ. He clearly introduced Himself, through word and deed. And they rejected Him. Once their rejection was consummated, Jesus' teaching changed from "propositional" to "parable".
Lk 19:10
"For the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost."
"blasphemy against the Spirit"
The Pharisees knew who Jesus was, knowing He was sent from their God (Jn 11:48; Ac 4:16), which means they'd have to call the Spirit, who convicted them of who He was, a liar!
Blasphemy of the Spirit Today
Similarly, when an unbeliever says to an evangelist's face, "You're a liar," it is forgiven them. But, if that evangelist just sowed the good seed (ref. Mt 13:3-4), the unbeliever is now accountable to God for rejecting His Spirit (aka the "Spirit of Christ" - Ro 8:9). (1Th 4:8)
Sowing Seed
Facts about Jesus, His death, burial, and resurrection, whether believed or not, are not the issue in salvation, strictly speaking. The issue is a person's heart response to the Gospel (which includes these facts) as a result of the convicting ministry of the Holy Spirit.
"blasphemy against the Spirit"
The Pharisees knew who Jesus was, knowing He was sent from their God (Jn 11:48; Ac 4:16), which means they'd have to call the Spirit, who convicted them of who He was, a liar!
Emancipation and the Road to Hell
The Jews were like the child that desires to be emancipated from their God-given parents - it's not about understanding who the authority is (that's known), it's about not wanting what God wants for you! Hell is where "spiritually emancipated" children go.
Hardness of the Heart
God will never allow a heart to be hardened UNTIL it FIRST understands the Gospel. It is the Spirit's ministry to testify about Jesus and His Gospel (Jn 15:26). No person will ever be sentenced to Hell unless they've first "tasted the gift" and been "enlightened" by the Spirit's conviction (Heb 6:4-6).
Mt 13:22
"And the one on whom seed was sown among the thorns, this is the man who hears the word, and the worry of the world and the deceitfulness of wealth choke the word, and it becomes unfruitful."
Understanding the Parables
Due to the nature of parables, being word pictures meant to reveal profound spiritual lessons, it is imperative that you first understand the context of the parable (speaker (Jesus), audience, cultural norms, time, place, and circumstance).
Understanding the Parables
Jesus taught His parables to unexceptional men. The apostles were the primary receivers of the parables, and yet there was absolutely nothing remarkable about them. We ought to be very encouraged by this! (Mt 11:25)
Asking For Help
Have you ever noticed how often the Bible encourages us to ASK for help from the Lord??? The humble person asks the Lord for everything! Receiving grace is a function of prayer, whether we are praying for ourselves or someone else is on our behalf.
Arrogance Is Unteachable
The apostles were teachable Jews, the arrogant Jews were not (e.g. the Pharisees).
God Gives Grace To the Humble
The apostles received "hearing" as a grace gift because they were humble enough to receive it. Beforehand, they were unable to hear, but were available (aka humble).
Ability vs. Availability
The Lord's not looking for natural abilities, but available hearts. Those who are available (humble) will be GIVEN ability (ala 1Co 2:14). The Lord God opened the apostles "ears to hear" (Mt 13:17).
"Uneducated" Men Understood the Parables
Jesus' parables are unlocked, not by intellect, but by honest pursuit of the Truth. The Holy Spirit will reveal said truth to those with "ears" to hear with (Mt 13:9). The apostles prove this.
Balance Statement
The issue of Jesus' choosing the 12 is not that the apostles were unexceptional, as compared to the Pharisees/intellectuals, but RATHER, it is to establish that IT DOESN'T MATTER. Paul stands as the counterweight in our analysis, proving this same principle, but being an intellect (a Pharisee).
Balance Statement
You're no better, with no better "chance" of receiving grace whether you're dumb or smart. The point is that IT DOESN'T MATTER!!! Do NOT make a false doctrine out of any of this!!! You can have character, faith, and purity, regardless of intellect.
Called From Different Places
Jesus called the original twelve apostles, the so-called "uneducated", and they followed Him. However, with Paul the intellect, He had to knock him down!!!
 

1/10/17 - Why Are the Apostles So Encouraging? - Introduction - Part 3

Video     Audio

"His own did not receive Him"
Jesus was the Jewish Messiah prophesied of in the Old Testament. His own people, led by Jewish leaders, rejected Him first. They had the privilege of receiving Him, but as a people, they did not.
Jn 8:24
"Therefore I said to you that you will die in your sins; for unless you believe that I am He, you will die in your sins."
"His own did not receive Him"
God promised the Jews a Messiah. He sent His own Son, Jesus Christ. He clearly introduced Himself, through word and deed. And they rejected Him. Once their rejection was consummated, Jesus' teaching changed from "propositional" to "parable".
Understanding the Parables
Due to the nature of parables, being word pictures meant to reveal profound spiritual lessons, it is imperative that you first understand the context of the parable (speaker (Jesus), audience, cultural norms, time, place, and circumstance).
Understanding the Parables
"He who has ears, let him hear" (Mt 13:9). Since the Jewish rejectors were spiritually deaf, they could not "hear" the spiritual lessons encapsulated in Jesus' parables; however, the Apostles would've had the most acute sense of hearing. Therefore, it behooves us to understand the Apostles whom the Lord gave "hearing" to.
Understanding the Parables
Jesus taught His parables to unexceptional men. The apostles were the primary receivers of the parables, and yet there was absolutely nothing remarkable about them. We ought to be very encouraged by this! (Mt 11:25)
Rest vs. Oppression
What TLJC offers "infants" is something much, much greater than what the Pharisees were offering in the name of God.
The Apostles' Example
Jesus wants "infants" as disciples, not people who think they are already righteous!!! (Lk 5:32)
Lk 5:32
"I have not come to call the righteous [those who think they are] but sinners to repentance."
Understanding the Parables
Jesus taught His parables to unexceptional men. The apostles were the primary receivers of the parables, and yet there was absolutely nothing remarkable about them. We ought to be very encouraged by this! (Mt 11:25)
Asking For Help
Are we WILLINGLY HUMBLE to ask for directions when we need it? Or do we remain willfully proud when confronted by something we don't understand?
Asking For Help
Have you ever noticed how often the Bible encourages us to ASK for help from the Lord??? The humble person asks the Lord for everything! Receiving grace is a function of prayer, whether we are praying for ourselves or someone else is on our behalf.
Asking For Help
Humility isn't afraid of being embarrassed. Humility just wants to know the truth.
Understanding the Parables
Jesus taught His parables to unexceptional men. The apostles were the primary receivers of the parables, and yet there was absolutely nothing remarkable about them. We ought to be very encouraged by this! (Mt 11:25)
Understanding the Parables
Jesus chose these simple ordinary men to make the point that His grace is sufficient, and to show that He gives grace to the humble, allowing them (and we believers) to understand and even do supernatural things. Therefore, TO GOD be the glory.
"Uneducated" Men Understood the Parables
The apostles, especially Jesus' inner circle (Peter, John, & James), were chosen specifically because they weren't educated. Jesus chose character, faith, and purity over intellect.
"Uneducated" Men Understood the Parables
It's perfectly OK that folks like you and I don't understand something as magnificent as the parables the first time around. In fact, it makes us like the apostles that walked with the author and perfecter of our faith!!!
"Uneducated" Men Understood the Parables
Jesus' parables are unlocked, not by intellect, but by honest pursuit of the Truth. The Holy Spirit will reveal said truth to those with "ears" to hear with (Mt 13:9). The apostles prove this.
The Twofold Purpose of Jesus' Parables
• Hide the truth from self-righteous, intellectual unbelievers (e.g. the Pharisees)
• Reveal simple truths to those with childlike faith (e.g. the apostles)
The Encouraging Apostles
Satan's strategy is to make the apostles out to be superhuman and therefore relegate them unrelatable. However, in fact, they are the exact opposite! Jesus chose them knowing we'd be able to relate to them as fellow sinners who needed a Savior.
Catholic tradition holds that the Basilica is the burial site of St. Peter, one of Christ's Apostles and also the first Pope; supposedly, St. Peter's tomb is directly below the high altar of the Basilica.
- Wikipedia
The Encouraging Apostles
What the apostles lacked in intellect over the Pharisees, they possessed in humility over them. Human IQ is often the greatest handicap of all to spiritual growth.
Discouraging "Christians"
The higher the IQ, the more likely a person is to complicate the simple teachings of Jesus. Why? To assert their sinful desire to dominate others (teshuqa). The saving grace for any intellect is humility, something the apostle Paul learned in spades (Php 3:2-9).
"I far more"
Think of THE most accomplished theologian today. If Paul were alive today, he'd annihilate them if forced to compete with them on fleshly grounds (intellect, doctrinally, etc.).
"righteousness...on the basis of faith"
The standout exception we have to the rule (Paul) is most humbly stating that, as smart as he is, it means absolutely nothing. The righteousness that all men need is a grace gift, not an intellectual pursuit.

 


1/8/17 - Why Are the Apostles So Encouraging? - Introduction - Part 2

Video     Audio

A Year+ In Review
• 117 Parts: "The Gospel, Salvation, and Sanctification"
• "The 'Difficult' Passages":
o 4 Parts: "The Gospels" + "The Gospel Context"
o 6 Parts: "Believing"
o 30 Parts: "Grace and Works"
What Do We Learn After the Gospel, Proper?
What did Jesus teach after He taught the Gospel in its proposition form? In other words, after presenting the clearest possible facts about entrance into the Kingdom of God, what did He do?
The Gospel of Matthew at 50,000'
If Jesus' ministry were represented as a topological map, we would see a clearly articulated valley right down the middle of it. One side would be labeled "Propositional" and the other "Parable".
"His own did not receive Him"
Jesus was the Jewish Messiah prophesied of in the Old Testament. His own people, led by Jewish leaders, rejected Him first. They had the privilege of receiving Him, but as a people, they did not.
Jn 8:24
"Therefore I said to you that you will die in your sins; for unless you believe that I am He, you will die in your sins."
"His own did not receive Him"
God promised the Jews a Messiah. He sent His own Son, Jesus Christ. He clearly introduced Himself, through word and deed. And they rejected Him. Once their rejection was consummated, Jesus' teaching changed from "propositional" to "parable".
Mt 23:24
"You blind guides, who strain out a gnat and swallow a camel!"
This is no different than any religious/legalistic person is even today.
Understanding the Parables
Due to the nature of parables, being word pictures meant to reveal profound spiritual lessons, it is imperative that you first understand the context of the parable (speaker (Jesus), audience, cultural norms, time, place, and circumstance).
Understanding the Parables
"He who has ears, let him hear" (Mt 13:9). Since the Jewish rejectors were spiritually deaf, they could not "hear" the spiritual lessons encapsulated in Jesus' parables; however, the Apostles would've had the most acute sense of hearing. Therefore, it behooves us to understand the Apostles whom the Lord gave "hearing" to.
Understanding the Parables
Jesus taught His parables to unexceptional men. The apostles were the primary receivers of the parables, and yet there was absolutely nothing remarkable about them. We ought to be very encouraged by this! (Mt 11:25)
The Apostles' Example
Jesus wants "infants" as disciples, not people who think they are already righteous!!! (Lk 5:32)
Lk 5:32
"I have not come to call the righteous [those who think they are] but sinners to repentance."
Understanding the Parables
"He who has ears, let him hear" (Mt 13:9). Since the Jewish rejectors were spiritually deaf, they could not "hear" the spiritual lessons encapsulated in Jesus' parables; however, the Apostles would've had the most acute sense of hearing. Therefore, it behooves us to understand the Apostles whom the Lord gave "hearing" to.
Understanding the Parables
Jesus taught His parables to unexceptional men. The apostles were the primary receivers of the parables, and yet there was absolutely nothing remarkable about them. We ought to be very encouraged by this! (Mt 11:25)
Asking For Help
Have you ever noticed how often the Bible encourages us to ASK for help from the Lord??? The humble person asks the Lord for everything! Receiving grace is a function of prayer, whether we are praying for ourselves or someone else is on our behalf.
Understanding the Parables
Jesus taught His parables to unexceptional men. The apostles were the primary receivers of the parables, and yet there was absolutely nothing remarkable about them. We ought to be very encouraged by this! (Mt 11:25)
"Uneducated" Men Understood the Parables
The apostles, especially Jesus' inner circle (Peter, John, & James), were chosen specifically because they weren't educated. Jesus chose character, faith, and purity over intellect.
"Uneducated" Men Understood the Parables
It's perfectly OK that folks like you and I don't understand something as magnificent as the parables the first time around. In fact, it makes us like the apostles that walked with the author and perfecter of our faith!!!
"Uneducated" Men Understood the Parables
Jesus' parables are unlocked, not by intellect, but by honest pursuit of the Truth. The Holy Spirit will reveal said truth to those with "ears" to hear with (Mt 13:9). The apostles prove this.
The Twofold Purpose of Jesus' Parables
• Hide the truth from self-righteous, intellectual unbelievers (e.g. the Pharisees)
• Reveal simple truths to those with childlike faith (e.g. the apostles)
Context is key!!!
The Encouraging Apostles
Satan's strategy is to make the apostles out to be superhuman and therefore relegate them unrelatable. However, in fact, they are the exact opposite! Jesus chose them knowing we'd be able to relate to them as fellow sinners who needed a Savior.
Catholic tradition holds that the Basilica is the burial site of St. Peter, one of Christ's Apostles and also the first Pope; supposedly, St. Peter's tomb is directly below the high altar of the Basilica.
- Wikipedia
The Encouraging Apostles
What the apostles lacked in intellect over the Pharisees, they possessed in humility over them. Human IQ is often the greatest handicap of all to spiritual growth.
Discouraging "Christians"
The higher the IQ, the more likely a person is to complicate the simple teachings of Jesus. Why? To assert their sinful desire to dominate others (teshuqa). The saving grace for any intellect is humility, something the apostle Paul learned in spades (Php 3:2-9).
"I far more"
Think of THE most accomplished theologian today. If Paul were alive today, he'd annihilate them if forced to compete with them on fleshly grounds (intellect, doctrinally, etc.).
"righteousness...on the basis of faith"
The standout exception we have to the rule (Paul) is most humbly stating that, as smart as he is, it means absolutely nothing. The righteousness that all men need is a grace gift, not an intellectual pursuit.

 


1/5/17 - Why Are the Apostles So Encouraging? - Introduction

Video     Audio

A Year+ In Review
• 117 Parts: "The Gospel, Salvation, and Sanctification"
• "The 'Difficult' Passages":
o 4 Parts: "The Gospels" + "The Gospel Context"
o 6 Parts: "Believing"
o 30 Parts: "Grace and Works"
What Do We Learn After the Gospel, Proper?
What did Jesus teach after He taught the Gospel in its proposition form? In other words, after presenting the clearest possible facts about entrance into the Kingdom of God, what did He do?
The Gospel of Matthew at 50,000'
If Jesus' ministry were represented as a topological map, we would see a clearly articulated valley right down the middle of it. One side would be labeled "Propositional" and the other "Parable".
"His own did not receive Him"
Jesus was the Jewish Messiah prophesied of in the Old Testament. His own people, led by Jewish leaders, rejected Him first. They had the privilege of receiving Him, but as a people, they did not.
Jn 8:24
"Therefore I said to you that you will die in your sins; for unless you believe that I am He, you will die in your sins."
"His own did not receive Him"
Jesus was the Jewish Messiah prophesied of in the Old Testament. His own people, led by Jewish leaders, rejected Him first. They had the privilege of receiving Him, but as a people, they did not.
"His own did not receive Him"
God promised the Jews a Messiah. He sent His own Son, Jesus Christ. He clearly introduced Himself, through word and deed. And they rejected Him. Once their rejection was consummated, Jesus' teaching changed from "propositional" to "parable".
Understanding the Parables
Due to the nature of parables, being word pictures meant to reveal profound spiritual lessons, it is imperative that you first understand the context of the parable (speaker (Jesus), audience, cultural norms, time, place, and circumstance).
Understanding the Parables
"He who has ears, let him hear" (Mt 13:9). Since the Jewish rejectors were spiritually deaf, they could not "hear" the spiritual lessons encapsulated in Jesus' parables; however, the Apostles would've had the most acute sense of hearing. Therefore, it behooves us to understand the Apostles whom the Lord gave "hearing" to.
Understanding the Parables
Jesus taught His parables to unexceptional men. The apostles were the primary receivers of the parables, and yet there was absolutely nothing remarkable about them. We ought to be very encouraged by this! (Mt 11:25-26)
"Uneducated" Men Understood the Parables
The apostles, especially Jesus' inner circle (Peter, John, & James), were chosen specifically because they weren't educated. Jesus chose character, faith, and purity over intellect.
"Uneducated" Men Understood the Parables
Jesus' parables are unlocked, not by intellect, but by honest pursuit of the Truth. The Holy Spirit will reveal said truth to those with "ears" to hear with (Mt 13:9). The apostles prove this.
The Twofold Purpose of Jesus' Parables
• Hide the truth from self-righteous, intellectual unbelievers (e.g. the Pharisees)
• Reveal simple truths to those with childlike faith (e.g. the apostles)
The Encouraging Apostles
Satan's strategy is to make the apostles out to be superhuman and therefore relegate them unrelatable. However, in fact, they are the exact opposite! Jesus chose them knowing we'd be able to relate to them as fellow sinners who needed a Savior.

 


1/3/17 - A Year In Review - The Gospel of Jesus Christ - Part 2

Video     Audio

A Year+ In Review
• 117 Parts: "The Gospel, Salvation, and Sanctification"
• "The 'Difficult' Passages":
o 4 Parts: "The Gospels" + "The Gospel Context"
o 6 Parts: "Believing"
o 30 Parts: "Grace and Works"
Learning Through Sharing
We have so much we can learn from each other, as each of our lives have a different context and therefore perspective, even as we grow in the Lord.
1Ti 1:5
But the goal of our instruction is love from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith.
Your Diligence Bears Encouraging Fruit
Never underestimate your impact in this world. Honorable diligence produces fruit that others may be encouraged to see. For those engaged in helping you along the way, your fruit becomes their fruit, indirectly. (Pr 13:4; 10:4; Gal 6:9; 1Co 15:58; 2Pe 1:10)
Pro 10:4 
Poor is he who works with a negligent hand,
But the hand of the diligent makes rich.
Pro 13:4 
The soul of the sluggard craves and gets nothing,
But the soul of the diligent is made fat.
Diligence Reaps
When we are diligent, we will reap. Again it's not talent based, or intelligence based; it's based on working hard and being persistent for the Lord.
2Pe 1:10
Diligent = spoudazo; to use speed, i.e. to make effort, be prompt or earnest:
United In Spirit
People that think and love alike are a force to be reckoned with. A congregation like ours may be used to splinter an otherwise unified position our enemy has taken.
The Great Commission & The Lord's Prayer
• He's prepared us (Jn 16)
• He's sent us out (Mt 28:18-20)
• He's prayed for us (Jn 17)
Mt 28:20b
"...I am with you always, even to the end of the age."
Who Is Praying For Us?!
The Perfect Man. And the prayers of a Perfect Man are PERFECT, and they are being made on our behalf, even right now! Heb 7:25, Rom 8:34
The Great Commission & The Lord's Prayer
• He's prepared us (Jn 16)
• He's sent us out (Mt 28:18-20)
• He's prayed for us (Jn 17)
Jn 14:12
"Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do, he will do also; and greater works than these he will do; because I go to the Father.
The Great Co-mission
What greater miracle is there than for Jesus, Himself, to wrap His loving arms around yet another person and say, "I love you...you are Mine now...and I'm never, ever, EVER letting you go!"

 


1/1/17 - A Year In Review - The Gospel of Jesus Christ

Video     Audio

A Year+ In Review
• 117 Parts: "The Gospel, Salvation, and Sanctification"
• "The 'Difficult' Passages":
o 4 Parts: "The Gospels" + "The Gospel Context"
o 6 Parts: "Believing"
o 30 Parts: "Grace and Works"
2016 Congregational Reflection #1
What has been the major theme the Spirit has impressed upon you over the past year?
Answer to Question #1
"Understanding the Gospel fully and completely. Not to be ashamed of the Gospel. Making sure to give the whole Gospel and not a 'nice' version."
- NCC Congregant
Answer to Question #1
"When you understand that the Gospel is the center of the Bible, you 'see' everything as clear as day. Perspective, perspective, perspective!"
- NCC Congregant
2016 Congregational Reflection #2
If "humility is truly the key to the spiritual life," what does this mean to you?
Answer to Question #2
"When I don't trust in Him, I don't have humility. The spiritual life is a faith issue + our faith increases the more we get out of our way and trust in Him."
- NCC Congregant
Answer to Question #2
"You can't ever be changed without humility. My heart has been changed not because of me, but because of our Lord."
- NCC Congregant
2016 Congregational Reflection #3
What's the greatest spiritual "Aha!" moment you've had this year?
Answer to Question #3
"That on one side I was adding to the Gospel and on the other side subtracting from it to appease people! - trying to bend the Gospel to fit men."
- NCC Congregant
Answer to Question #3
"Action. Love expresses itself."
- NCC Congregant
Answer to Question #3
"It's all about the Gospel (proper). Not to think, 'Does this lesson from the pulpit apply to me,' but, 'How and to what extent does this lesson apply to me.'"
- NCC Congregant
2016 Congregational Reflection #4
What have all the lessons on The Gospel of Jesus Christ taught/revealed to you?
Answer to Question #4
"The importance of repentance of the heart, and how saving faith is a heart issue, not just a mental acknowledgment of Jesus."
- NCC Congregant
Answer to Question #4
"Jesus is a simple man. The Gospel, His Gospel, is simple, too...it's about a person, our Lord and Savior."
- NCC Congregant
A Shepherd's Delight
A teacher's vocation is a source of great delight when he sees growth in his students. A shepherd's reward (his "crown") is simple - it is the joy of seeing those he loves and cares for delivered. (Jn 17; Php 2:1-2, 4:1)
Your Diligence Bears Encouraging Fruit
Never underestimate your impact in this world. Honorable diligence produces fruit that others may be encouraged to see. For those engaged in helping you along the way, your fruit becomes their fruit, indirectly. (Pr 13:4; 10:4; Gal 6:9; 1Co 15:58; 2Pe 1:10)
A Shepherd's Delight
A teacher's vocation is a source of great delight when he sees growth in his students. A shepherd's reward (his "crown") is simple - it is the joy of seeing those he loves and cares for delivered. (Jn 17; Php 2:1-2, 4:1)
United In Spirit
People that think and love alike are a force to be reckoned with. A congregation like ours may be used to splinter an otherwise unified position our enemy has taken.
A Shepherd's Delight
A teacher's vocation is a source of great delight when he sees growth in his students. A shepherd's reward (his "crown") is simple - it is the joy of seeing those he loves and cares for delivered. (Jn 17; Php 2:1-2, 4:1)
The Great Commission & The Lord's Prayer
• He's prepared us (Jn 16)
• He's sent us out (Mt 28:18-20)
• He's prayed for us (Jn 17)

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