Reforming the Home, Restoring the Prophetic Voice of the Church
Dr. Carlton C. McLeod, Senior Pastor, Calvary Revival Church Chesapeake

Hey friends.  It's rare that I cut and paste an entire article from another site, but this is an exception.  And here is the link to give proper credit to the author.  Although I don't agree with every single article, I agree with most and really like this website, www.gotquestions.org

The subject matter, Hyper-Grace, is coming on strong in so many churches.  I just off the phone with a friend in another state wondering what to do about the tidal wave of Hyper-Grace teachings breaking over the church he loves.  He's being told not to mention the Commandments, not to say the Lord's prayer, stay away from the Old Testament Prophets, etc.  Anyway, here is the article.  The stance is slightly softer than what I'd say (LOL), but good food for thought.

---------------------

 Question: "What is hyper-grace?"

Answer: The term hyper-grace has been used to describe a new wave of teaching that emphasizes the grace of God to the exclusion of other vital teachings such as repentance and confession of sin. Hyper-grace teachers maintain that all sin, past, present, and future, has already been forgiven, so there is no need for a believer to ever confess it. Hyper-grace teaching says that, when God looks at us, He sees only a holy and righteous people. The conclusion of hyper-grace teaching is that we are not bound by Jesus’ teaching, even as we are not under the Law; that believers are not responsible for their sin; and that anyone who disagrees is a pharisaical legalist. In short, hyper-grace teachers “pervert the grace of our God into a license for immorality” (Jude 1:4) and flirt with antinomianism.

Jesus’ words to the seven churches in the book of Revelation strongly contradict the idea that Christians never need to repent. To the church at Ephesus, Jesus said, “Consider how far you have fallen! Repent and do the things you did at first. If you do not repent, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place” (Revelation 2:4). Jesus rebukes five of the seven churches and demands repentance from them (Revelation 2:4, 6, 20; 3:3, 15–19). Far from believers being unaccountable for their sin, they must answer to Jesus for their disobedience (see also 2 Corinthians 5:10).

Preachers of hyper-grace doctrine discount the Old Testament and the Ten Commandments as irrelevant to New Testament believers. They even teach that Jesus’ words spoken before His resurrection are part of the Old Covenant and no longer applicable to born-again believers. But is this true?

In Mark 13:31, Jesus said, “Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away.” Before Jesus ascended into heaven, He promised that the Father would send the Holy Spirit who “will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you” (John 14:26). If Jesus’ words are no longer applicable to believers, why would we need to be reminded of them?

Hyper-grace teaching is a good example of mixing truth with error. An emphasis on the beauty and power of God’s grace is good, but some teachers are neglecting what Paul called the “whole counsel of God” (Acts 20:27). For example, it is true that Christians have been forgiven by God. But that doesn’t mean we never have to confess our sin. James 5:16 says, “Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed.” If we are to confess our sins to each other, why would we not need to confess them to God, since every sin is ultimately a sin against God (Psalm 51:4)?

Also, 1 John 1:9 gives clear instruction to believers about confessing sin. It begins with the word if: “If we confess our sin, He is faithful and just to forgive our sin and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” This is a cause/effect statement implying that we cannot have the second without the first. As blood-bought children of God, we do not continue to confess our sin in order to be saved from hell. We confess and repent in order to reestablish an intimate relationship with our Father. We are “positionally righteous” but “practically sinful.”

To counter this argument, hyper-grace preachers deny that John’s letters were written to believers. However, 1 John 2:1 begins with this: “My dear children, I write this to you so that you will not sin. But if anybody does sin, we have an advocate with the Father—Jesus Christ, the Righteous One.” John is clearly writing to believers whom he personally knew. He indicates that his believing friends may indeed sin, and that, when they do, they need to confess it.

Hyper-grace preachers also claim the Holy Spirit will never convict Christians of their sin. Mature Christians should recognize this fallacy right away. Every disciple of Christ has felt the overwhelming conviction of the Holy Spirit when he or she has sinned. Jesus calls the Holy Spirit “the Spirit of Truth” (John 15:26). Truth, by its very definition, will not tolerate anything false. When the Spirit of Truth abides in a believing heart (1 Corinthians 6:19), He brings conviction about anything that is not truth.

In summary, much of what the hyper-grace preachers teach is valid. We are indeed saved by grace, not our works (Ephesians 2:8–9). And God’s grace is marvelous, great, and free (1 Timothy 1:14). However, hyper-grace teaching is out of proportion to the rest of Scripture. Any time one doctrine is emphasized to the exclusion of the rest, we fall into error because we fail to “correctly handle” the Word (2 Timothy 2:15).

Jesus was full of both “grace and truth” (John 1:14). The two are in delicate balance, and a tip to either side can result in a false gospel. We must always compare any new teaching with the “whole counsel of God” and learn to disregard anything that veers even slightly from the truth (1 John 4:1).

-------

So there you have it...a doctrine that says, "Thou shalt not say thou shalt not!"  I'm also researching...lots of very popular books and preachers here. 

Lord, give us the right balance.  Help us minister the whole counsel of God....

Amen.


I find myself wrestling over some hard realities this morning.  I pray that everything I say below (except the solutions part!) is WRONG, and I'm just up on the wrong side of the bed this week.  What a spiritually tough week!  You ever have one of those?

Friends, only someone with their head in the spiritual sand will refute this: we are losing.  I didn't say "we lost;" I said we are losing.  The battle for the soul of America that is.  (We cannot lose ultimately because Christ is returning and He is Lord!)

Yes there will be pockets of revival and reformation, but we are AT LEAST a generation away from widespread biblical reformation, if it ever comes before the coming of Christ.  I’m not trying to be a “downer,” but the devil pretty much owns:

  • Politics
  • Education
  • Economics
  • Religion (people’s views and worldviews)
  • Social Issues

In other words, most of America would fail the PEERS Worldview Test, or any other tool designed to measure biblical worldview...the application of Truth.

Just this week a lawsuit against the Virginia Marriage Amendment (which defines marriage as between one man and one woman) was heard in a Federal Court in Norfolk.  With Virginia’s new Gov, Lt. Gov. and AG all in support of gay marriage, I don’t have a good feeling about it ultimately.  Nor can I see many victories in courtrooms ahead defending marriage or overturning abortion because those making those decisions aren't thinking biblically, and neither is the country anymore.  Shucks, it’s hard to get CHURCHES to stand with God in these areas.  These issues aren’t political; they are spiritual!  We are past a tipping point.  Our children and even many churches won't declare Jesus is Lord in these areas because they simply don't believe it.

Will we keep preaching Law (what God has commanded) and Gospel (redemption in His Son alone) and fighting for Christ and souls?  Yes.  We love God and people too much to quit.  Plus, we have our commands from Christ and we must obey them.

BUT the hard reality is we are facing a VERY steep decline in Christian thought...even steeper than what brought us that mess at the Grammys.  And I hurt as I consider the enemy’s continual “pulling” at CRCC and churches of a similar mind. 

Oh Lord…protect your flock!  Help us!  Don’t allow the enemy to pull us apart as we fight for You!  Don't allow our adversary to attack the relationships, bodies, and emotions of your people unchecked!  Don't allow paranoia, unforgiveness, a lack of love, or temptation to overrun us!  Forgive us of our sins!  Help us to obey You!

Are there solutions?  Sure!  But to many they are too hard, considered unnecessary, unloving, or don't match a certain political persuasion or worldview framework so they are jettisoned quickly as ridiculous.  With the Holy Spirit's enablement:

  1. Preach the whole Gospel.  Cry out for men to repent.  Help them see their sin before a holy God that they might thirst for righteousness in Christ.
  2. Set a standard.  Live holy; live differently.  Don’t love the world.
  3. Pull your children out of public schools and either home educate based on Scripture or send them to a Worldview Christian School.  The humanist indoctrination and situational traps must stop.  This has become one of the primary reasons we teach biblical stewardship: getting out of debt, saving, etc.
  4. Build family based on God's Word...father led, mother supported, children discipled by parents and pulled as far as possible out of secularism.  Yes I know this isn't current reality for many and might even seem impossible, but this is what we should be shooting for and this biblical ideal should inform our "dating" practices, marriages, and sexual paradigms.
  5. Support God-fearing churches as you preach the Gospel and make disciples.  Good pastors...many of them...are afraid to death of losing members because of preaching the full truth of God's Word.  And that actually is a real possibility.  Yes, that is a flaw in the pastor.  Nevertheless, please encourage leaders to take a stand, with love, and support them when they do. 

Even with all this in place…even on a massive scale…I think we are decades away any widespread change unless the Lord says differently.  But YOU can change, and so can I.  Will you?  I'm going to try.

Help Lord.
 


I wanted to make sure CRCC and others who follow our ministry are encouraged to understand how we view the use of God's Moral Law.  Below are some links to recent sermons notes, a repost of some wonderful teaching by Ray Comfort and Kirk Cameron, and the book/class we recommend for all our Covenant Members on our actual Vision Triangle.

Enjoy! :)

The Role of the Law

Biblical Examples of Use of the Law

 Loving Others Lawfully

The School of Biblical Evangelism

Or PLEASE read The Book if you cannot take the class.

Edit: And here is a FREE BOOK that is worth a read!

1Ti 1:8-11 ESV - Now we know that the law is good, if one uses it lawfully, (9) understanding this, that the law is not laid down for the just but for the lawless and disobedient, for the ungodly and sinners, for the unholy and profane, for those who strike their fathers and mothers, for murderers, (10) the sexually immoral, men who practice homosexuality, enslavers, liars, perjurers, and whatever else is contrary to sound doctrine, (11) in accordance with the gospel of the glory of the blessed God with which I have been entrusted.

Please forgive me if I haven't been clear here: keeping the Moral Law DOES NOT save us: we are under GRACE.  It's use is about giving us a good foundation to rightly love God and others, and to show sin and the need for men to repent in evangelism.

Amen.


Or at least in the way I'd like I'd like to think I am...

"I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing." John 15:5

The longer I live the more it dawns on me that truthfully, I can do nothing without the grace of God. I cannot live, move, breathe, or even provide for my family unless God blesses me to do so.

This is really is true: I am nothing. HE alone is all and all.

So Lord, thank YOU for feeding my family. Thank YOU for teaching Your flock at CRCC...caring for them...loving them. Thank YOU for humbling us and loving us and protecting us.

Love you Jesus. Grateful. Aware more than ever that all I have and know and succeed at is Yours and must be for Your glory alone.

Soli Deo Gloria!


I just watched (barely stomached) the Grammy's clip with Queen Latifah "marrying" several couples...some gay some not.  There was a lot of talk and lyrics about love, peace, harmony, all people ultimately believing in the same God...songs about "all of us not just some" etc.  People were waving, crying, dancing, cheering, and quite happy about it all.

Not me.

My heart broke.  And I was angry.  Angry at the devil for perpretrating such mass deception.  Angry at the church for being limp-wristed with Scripture.  Angry that Christian families allowed generations of children to grow up educated with such worldviews.  Angry that Christ and His Word was mocked, misinterpreted, and misrepresented.

Sad that so many people are totally blind to the truth and destined for an eternity without Christ...and sad that people who hold the biblical view will also be mocked, misinterpreted, and misrepresented.

Gracious Lord...please open their eyes.  Please pull off the scales.  Please help them to see You...the True You.  Please use the true church to preach your Gospel.  Please stop this tidal wave of wickeness in our Nation.  Please save...

But let me also say that I've declared NO TRUCE with the world.  None.  No white flags waving at the McLeod house.  I have no plans to capitulate, back down, compromise, back up, make a deal, run scared, move over, move out, just be quiet, become an appeaser, stop loving enough to state the truth, or stop believing that God can still, through the finished work of His Son, save those trapped in this mess of a mindset.

No truce.  Nope.  And not cozying up with the devil either.  May the Lord rebuke him.

As for me in my house, we will serve the Lord.


Ran across this old A.W. Tozer devotional just now...had to post it! :)

------------------

Therefore "Come out from among them and be separate," says the Lord. "Do not touch what is unclean, and I will receive you."
- 2 Corinthians 6:17

The church's mightiest influence is felt when she is different from the world in which she lives. Her power lies in her being different,rises with the degree in which she differs and sinks as the difference diminishes.

This is so fully and clearly taught in the Scriptures and so well illustrated in Church history that it is hard to see how we can miss it. But miss it we do, for we hear constantly that the Church must try to be as much like the world as possible, excepting, of course,where the world is too, too sinful....

Let us plant ourselves on the hill of Zion and invite the world to come over to us, but never under any circumstances will we go over to them. The cross is the symbol of Christianity, and the cross speaks of death and separation, never of compromise. No one ever compromised with a cross. The cross separated between the dead and the living. The timid and the fearful will cry "Extreme!" and they will be right. The cross is the essence of all that is extreme and final. The message of Christ is a call across a gulf from death to life, from sin to righteousness and from Satan to God.  (-The Set of the Sail, 35, 36).

---------------

Lord, help me to be willing to be different.  Forgive me for the sin of blending in.  I pray that our neighbors would see something different in our church and our people and be drawn to the Savior. 

Amen.


As we near the end of another season of Consecration, don't fall into the trap. You know the trap don't you?  It's when we pray and pray and pray and seek God and hunger and walk around in the sanctuary and cry out and tears fall and read and study and push the plate away aaaannnnndddd when we are done....do nothing differently.

No fundamental change.  No real growth.  No real life and attitude movements.  All that time with God results in the same church attendance, giving, lack of Gospel sharing, no real holiness adjustments, no real worldview adjustments, no more intensity in serving others, standing for truth, loving others, forgiving others, etc.  Yes I know sometimes we just want to be with God...but being with God, by definition, changes us.

The Trap:  I'm deep...I "consecrated..." annnndddd....zilch.  LOL! :)

Don't fall for it!

Isa 58:1-12 ESV

"Cry aloud; do not hold back; lift up your voice like a trumpet; declare to my people their transgression, to the house of Jacob their sins. (2) Yet they seek me daily and delight to know my ways, as if they were a nation that did righteousness and did not forsake the judgment of their God; they ask of me righteous judgments; they delight to draw near to God. (3) 'Why have we fasted, and you see it not? Why have we humbled ourselves, and you take no knowledge of it?' Behold, in the day of your fast you seek your own pleasure, and oppress all your workers. (4) Behold, you fast only to quarrel and to fight and to hit with a wicked fist. Fasting like yours this day will not make your voice to be heard on high. (5) Is such the fast that I choose, a day for a person to humble himself? Is it to bow down his head like a reed, and to spread sackcloth and ashes under him? Will you call this a fast, and a day acceptable to the LORD? (6) "Is not this the fast that I choose: to loose the bonds of wickedness, to undo the straps of the yoke, to let the oppressed go free, and to break every yoke? (7) Is it not to share your bread with the hungry and bring the homeless poor into your house; when you see the naked, to cover him, and not to hide yourself from your own flesh? (8) Then shall your light break forth like the dawn, and your healing shall spring up speedily; your righteousness shall go before you; the glory of the LORD shall be your rear guard. (9) Then you shall call, and the LORD will answer; you shall cry, and he will say, 'Here I am.' If you take away the yoke from your midst, the pointing of the finger, and speaking wickedness, (10) if you pour yourself out for the hungry and satisfy the desire of the afflicted, then shall your light rise in the darkness and your gloom be as the noonday. (11) And the LORD will guide you continually and satisfy your desire in scorched places and make your bones strong; and you shall be like a watered garden, like a spring of water, whose waters do not fail. (12) And your ancient ruins shall be rebuilt; you shall raise up the foundations of many generations; you shall be called the repairer of the breach, the restorer of streets to dwell in.


The following is from this wonderful blog:  http://lvng4chrst.blogspot.com.  It is reposted by permission.  May it bless you!

-----------------

Lessons Part 3: You Shall Not Murder

Early this morning I woke up praying and pleading for the lives of unborn babies whose voices cannot be heard. I asked God to move on the hearts and minds of those who would see fit to make their way out to "Choices" the local abortuary. The workers at the clinic, the doctor who shows up in a new luxury vehicle every Saturday, the young women who show up alone (though they weren't alone when they got pregnant), and the cowardly men who blindly come with some women and shirk their responsibility of protecting those same women. I prayed that Christ would grant them the gift of repentance, that He would allow them to believe the Gospel, that their lives would be forever changed. What I didn't realize was a young lady who is 7 weeks pregnant, was also praying...pleading with Jesus to send someone to "Choices" to stop her from doing what she knew she shouldn't do, despite her big sister's efforts to put pressure on her...to murder her unborn child.

I was there with my little sister Khadijah, Pastor Adam Gray and his wife and seven children, Jason, Christine and her little one Jaden, Ms. Lea a determined senior saint, and Chris a brother who goes all over trying to persuade others to believe the Gospel. We also had a Roman Catholic visitor out at "Choices" today with a flag with the virgin Mary on it, walking the line praying the rosary. We know God can use anyone, so we welcome his efforts regardless of how misled the origin of said efforts may be, however I won't go into it...that is a whole other blog post :-) . Some of us were there at 8:30AM others came at different times, but we prayed before we proceeded with ministry. Pastor Gray began by preaching the Gospel and pleading with the workers who were already inside setting up to open at 9AM. Several cars drove by during this time. Khadijah and I were able to minister to one of the clinic workers one on one. We shared law and Gospel with her, pleaded with her to find employment elsewhere, for several minutes. But when it became apparent that there was no real outward conviction we let her know that we wouldn't hold her anymore, that we would be praying for her and her coworkers. We gave her several tracts to share with those on the inside of the clinic, and I specifically let her know that we all will spend an eternity in one of two places, heaven or hell. I personally cannot condemn her but because of her dogged determination to suppress the truth in unrighteousness (Rom 1:18-32) I let her know she was already condemned (Matt 3:18).

Shortly after that exchange a young lady who had gone to the back of "Choices" to wait for the doors to open, drove back out about fifteen minutes later. On her way in she took some information from Lea about the Crisis Pregnancy Center in Norfolk (Keim Center) and after she read it and heard Chris preaching the Gospel and trying to persuade those in the back to come out, she reappeared crying. We guided her car over to the side and Khadijah and I approached the car to minister to her. We couldn't proceed though because the young lady was so upset all we could do is begin to pray. Once we prayed she stopped crying and I asked her, why was she at the clinic today, what was the reason for her visit? She said she was coming for an abortion and that she was seven weeks but she didn't want to do it. The young lady expressed how she had pleaded with God to send someone to stop her from doing it early this morning. As she continued to wipe more tears she shared with us how her older sister had been putting immense pressure on her to abort her baby because it would be "too hard." Her sister spoke against Christ and His church by exclaiming, "the Christians will just judge you when you begin to show, you are only 20 years old... you should just go ahead and have the procedure and repent...God would forgive you." We were very sad to hear that her parents had both gone on to be with the Lord...one last year and the other the year before, and her big sister was all she pretty much had. Praise God she shared how her parents were Christians, and how they taught her about Christ and told her that they believed abortion was wrong. This young lady knows that "you shall not murder" includes unborn babies as well (Ex 20:13). Yet even with how their parents attempted to disciple them in the things of the Lord, Christ had not called her sister to faith and though her big sister had been taught the truth, she still tried to convince her not to have the baby. Now mind you, this woman has a college degree, a steady job, and the father of the baby standing with her and saying he wanted to keep the baby, she still considered giving in to her sister. The entire time as she spoke all I could think was wow this woman is ministering to US! She is telling us what we intended to approach the vehicle and say to HER! It was amazing the amount of conviction and clarity Christ gave her as she listened to the Word of the Lord go forth, as she waited in the parking lot in the back. How Christ brought to her remembrance what her parents instilled in her and gave her the strength to stand on those precepts when she needed to the most.

It was no small coincidence that we (the entire group) were out at the clinic on this 4th Saturday of the month and that was the day she showed up. I believe God answered her prayers and was so very gracious to her in so many ways. You see her big sister cannot have children, because she had an abortion years ago that was botched, and left her infertile. Today Christ gave this young woman a way out (1 Corin 10:13) this was clear. He gave her the strength to take advantage of the chance to not to murder her child like her sister did years ago and risk suffering a similar outcome.

We exchanged numbers, contact information, and information on our church, Calvary Revival Church Chesapeake, with our new friend and sister in Christ. We began the arrangements to make sure she could get back and forth to her prenatal appointments. Finally we made sure she knew that she was loved and not only that, because she had truly repented, forgiven for her sins against Christ, and that she should not allow ANYONE to condemn her for what Christ has already forgiven.

Please continue to pray for "A" and her big sister. That this young woman will grow in her relationship with Christ and that she would allow us to assist her with anything that she needs so that she can have this baby and raise the baby in the discipline and instruction of the Lord. Ultimately that her big sister would come to know the Lord and support "A" in her decision to keep the baby. Pray for the clinic worker that we preached the Gospel to who rejected the message. Pray for another couple that left but did not speak with us. Pray for an Asian couple that came to abort their unborn baby because they already had two children and felt that they could not handle another. Pastor Gray ministered to that couple and is currently working to make sure we can connect with them and walk with them as well.

Please pray that all involved that are not saved, would be granted repentance by the Holy Spirit, and come to know Christ as Lord AND Savior through the Gospel.. We always want to try to stand in the gap for voiceless babies who cannot cry out or speak for themselves, however we want to make the Gospel known to the lost as well. That Jesus Christ came and died in our place, while we were yet His enemies, because of our sin. That He rose again on the 3rd day and is sitting at the right hand of the Father and because of His sacrifice many have been redeemed and according to His sovereign will alone, many more will repent and come to know Him as well (1 Corin 15:1-5). He now commands those of us who have been saved to share the Truth and make disciples of all nations (Matt 28:18-20). My prayer is that if you are in the area or live close by that you will join us every 4th Saturday at 8:30AM at 891 Norfolk Sq, Norfolk, VA. Feel free to contact Pastor Adam Gray at Albermarle Reformed Church in Elizabeth City, NC as well.

Finally, we are all so very grateful and thankful to Christ and we praise Him alone and He alone gets the glory for the lives that were saved today. Please be encouraged by this testimony and I pray that it would reduce you to love others enough to take action, and to be bold in speaking the Truth.

--------

Amen!



Happy and Holy New Year!

Here is the message from New Year's Eve that I only got about a quarter of the way through! Yes...I over prepare.  :) :)   Love you all!

-----------------

Text: Colossians 1:13-18
Col 1:13-18 ESV 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. (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.

A few thoughts:
1. Last Sunday, we read these verses among others from Philippians:

Php 1:20-21 ESV - as it is my eager expectation and hope that I will not be at all ashamed, but that with full courage now as always Christ will be honored in my body, whether by life or by death. (21) For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.

2. We were reminded again of what we learned as church several years ago…that the ultimate reason why we live or die is to please Christ; that whether He chooses for us suffering or prosperity, His name be praised; all that matters is that He alone is glorified through our lives; that…Ahem…Jesus Is Enough! :)  

3. We also said that we, as a church, need this kind of faith. Again, our church has been given foundational truths. We are set soundly (though surely imperfectly as we are all sinners saved by grace) on the Rock of Christ.

4. The question now is, “Like Paul and so many others, are we willing to ‘go to jail’ for Christ and will we be able to rejoice, by faith, in the process?”

5. In other words Church, will we pursue Christ’s commands by faith, even when it costs us?  Will we help the church restore her Prophetic Voice? Will we:

a. Reclaim the Gospel? Will we preach both Law and Grace that people might truly be delivered from sin, death and hell?
b. Reestablish Holiness? Will we both live for and fight for what is right according to the whole of Scripture? Will we allow Kingdom holiness to permeate our total thinking?
c. Ready the Church through Stewardship? Do we have the faith to believe that we can truly take dominion biblically? Do we believe we can structure our total lives to raise godly children and promote a biblical worldview, even when it’s hard?
d. Reform the Family? Are we willing to, by faith, obey God’s precepts, principles, and patterns concerning marriage, singleness, courtship, manhood, womanhood, treatment of our parents/grandparents, and discipling our children?
e. Restore Trust in Leadership? Are we willing to conform to biblical commands and principles concerning church eldership and headship, the diaconate, and overall pattern-housing that by His Grace, we might be a light to others?

6. We said Sunday that there is a connection we are just beginning to understand, between the JESUS IS ENOUGH sort of faith and our mandate. Could it be possible that our Reaching, Teaching, and Releasing in house could, by His Grace, become a platform for Prophetic Voice Reformation outside the house?  And if so, isn’t it fairly obvious that if we are living for what the world has to offer, or are trying to please or identify with that which is ungodly, that we’ll fail?  Why?  Because the road chosen for us by our Lord is not easy, popular, trendy, or cultural: “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.” (Gal 1:10 ESV )

7. 2014 is a “faith-significant” year for us.  I’d like to encourage you all to look again at the notes from last Sunday AND open your faith to this quick walkthrough through Colossians. 

Jesus IS ENOUGH…a few thoughts:
1. First, from our Text: Col 1:13-18 ESV 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. (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. 

a. From verses 13-14, the Christian’s faith and joy is anchored firmly in the saving work of Christ our King!  We have been, because He chose us from the foundation of the world, delivered! Hallelujah!
b. Our challenge is to allow such a great Gospel and salvation to permeate our daily living. Truly, “The end of the matter; all has been heard. Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of man. (14) For God will bring every deed into judgment, with every secret thing, whether good or evil.” Ecc 12:13-14 ESV
c. The “saving faith” we’ve been granted, if we are truly saved, should cause the continuing growth of a thirst for righteousness! The truly saved CANNOT just sit back for long! Christ is King!
d. From verse 15…Christ is God!
e. From verse 16, Christ is Creator!
f. From verse 17, Christ is Sustainer and Eternal!
g. From verse 18, Christ is Head over the church, and indeed, EVERYTHING! There is NO neutrality for the Christian. JESUS IS LORD! (Acts 10:36; 1 Cor 12:3)
h. We are simply advocating the use of God-given faith to make Him Preeminent in the major parts of life…FOR HIS GLORY! And when it gets hard, remember that HE IS ENOUGH!

Now let’s look at a few other verses from this power-packed and well-balanced letter from the Apostle Paul to the church in Colossae…another letter written around 62AD from jail…

2. Col 1:3-5 ESV We always thank God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, when we pray for you, (4) since we heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and of the love that you have for all the saints, (5) because of the hope laid up for you in heaven. Of this you have heard before in the word of the truth, the gospel…

a. Just a quick point: note the motivation and reason of Christ faith in Christ and love for one another: the hope laid up in heaven.
b. Oh that our “heavenly citizenship” (Php 3:20) might be more of a factor in our daily lives! Everything would change!

3. Col 1:28-29 ESV Him we proclaim, warning everyone and teaching everyone with all wisdom, that we may present everyone mature in Christ. (29) For this I toil, struggling with all his energy that he powerfully works within me.

a. By faith, let us proclaim both the warnings and the teachings of Scripture! May we utilize heavenly wisdom and disciple others towards maturity! May we even, by faith, be willing to TOIL and STRUGGLE, knowing that Christ will empower us!

4. Col 2:8 ESV 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.

a. Huge one here! By faith, may we work towards a more biblical worldview! This is a massive issue for the church right now! We are steadily losing the ability to apply the precepts of the King to life.
b. Saints, let’s loose our fear here…fear of looking or sounding like someone we don’t like…fear of man…fear of societal norms!

5. Col 2:15 ESV He disarmed the rulers and authorities and put them to open shame, by triumphing over them in him.

a. Ha! Hallelujah! Our Lord reigns! By faith, believe it and act like it! 

6. Col 2:16-17 ESV Therefore let no one pass judgment on you in questions of food and drink, or with regard to a festival or a new moon or a Sabbath. (17) These are a shadow of the things to come, but the substance belongs to Christ.

a. By faith, let’s always beware of legalism as we pursue righteousness. Let’s never go beyond what is written.

7. Col 3:1-4 ESV 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.

a. By faith, elevate your thinking! This mindset actually causes you to serve “on earth” better! Why? Because it defeats selfishness and fear. It becomes a joyful motivation to rise in the morning and work in the vineyard until you sleep!

8. Col 3:5-6 ESV 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.

a. By faith, let us keep striving, with the Holy Spirit’s help, against sin! Jesus is enough! Let us please our Master!

9. Col 3:12-14 ESV 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.

a. By faith, let us stay together! Let’s not miss the chance to grow by loving one another! Forgive quickly because Jesus is Enough! Bear with one another…because Jesus is Enough! Have compassion…because Jesus is Enough!
b. May we increase our love for one another and see a more “perfect harmony!”

10. Col 3:16 ESV 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.

a. By faith, embrace the Sufficiency of Scripture (see also 2 Tim 3:16-17). What a beautiful picture!  Can you imagine homes like this? Churches? Friendships? Schools? I can!

11. Col 3:18-24 ESV Wives, submit to your husbands, as is fitting in the Lord. (19) Husbands, love your wives, and do not be harsh with them. (20) Children, obey your parents in everything, for this pleases the Lord. (21) Fathers, do not provoke your children, lest they become discouraged. (22) Slaves, obey in everything those who are your earthly masters, not by way of eye-service, as people-pleasers, but with sincerity of heart, fearing the Lord. (23) Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, (24) knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ.

a. By faith, let us keep reforming the family, striving to obey biblical precepts!
b. By faith, let us believe God for the salvation and obedience of our children!
c. By faith, let us work hard in our jobs, fearing the Lord, for whom we actually work!
d. By faith, let us do everything for Christ and for a heavenly inheritance!

12. Col 4:2 ESV Continue steadfastly in prayer, being watchful in it with thanksgiving.

a. Let us begin in January, by faith, with a renewed purpose and passion in prayer! And may our prayers be “watchful.” Remember, the spirit is willing, but the flesh… (Mark 14:38)

13. Col 4:5-6 ESV Walk in wisdom toward outsiders, making the best use of the time. (6) Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person.

a. And finally, let us, by faith, open our mouths and preach the Gospel of Christ. Let us do so graciously but saltily. 
b. Remember, salt has 3 functions: it adds flavor (sweetens or sours!), it produces thirst (causes a seeking), and it acts as a preservative (it saves!)! 
c. In 2014, may we do all three with all we come in contact with, for the glory of Christ alone!

Amen.
 



Copyright © 2010 CRC Chesapeake. All rights reserved.
Powered by Wordpress