When one comes to Jesus, one gains so so much. Much more than just forgiveness of sins and hope for eternal life. We are able to kill the sin in our life with the help of the Holy Spirit and find freedom from the slavery of sin and fear. Replacing the fear is a new spirit of adoption. Adoption by the Father through the Holy Spirit allowing us to cry out "Abba, Father".
God promised to pour out His Spirit on His people. When Isaiah spoke of this, noone knew when this would happen. When Jesus arrived on the scene, we began to see some of this promise yet no one, including His disciples, fully understood what the promise meant. Jesus instructed His disciples to wait in Jerusalem until the promise of the Father was manifested. When the Holy Spirit arrived on Pentecost, the disciples knew it and their eyes were opened to all that Jesus had taught them in the previous 3 1/2 years. This same power and Spirit is available to us all today if we but believe and ask.
We know that Jesus died for our sins but we often don't realize that he died for much more than that. Paul writes in Galatians (3:13-14) "Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us—for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who is hanged on a tree”— so that in Christ Jesus the blessing of Abraham might come to the Gentiles, so that we might receive the promised Spirit through faith." If Jesus had not died, resurrected, and ascended to His throne, then the Holy Spirit would not have been poured out as He has been. We begin to look at not what but who the Holy Spirit is and what He does. This week we dig deeper into 1 Corinthians 2:6-16 and examine what Paul has written about the Spirit of God.
We are still examining the Resurrection and its after effects on the follower of Jesus. This week using John 21 as the backdrop, we look at how many of the disciples appear to be lost without their teacher. We find several of them back in the region of Galilee with Peter and he announces he is going to go fishing - his old trade; they go with him. The fish all night but catch nothing. However as the sun rises, things take a turn. Deep, challenging, life-changing events take place as one of the fishermen turned disciple turned fisherman recognizes Jesus on the shore building a fire. Let's explore the lessons being offered here by the Holy Spirit.
Over the past few weeks, we examined the last week of Jesus' life, His crucifixion, and His resurrection. Sorrow, more sorrow, intense agony, and then uncontrollable, unspeakable joy! What can surpass the resurrection of Jesus? Well, we know something has to because He is not walking around in the flesh today and that something is the Ascension of Jesus to claim His throne at the right hand of God.
Jesus during His ministry referred to His leaving several times, however, his disciples never really understood. In spite of Jesus telling them that He came to fulfill the prophets, the disciples didn't get it. They didn't understand the He had to die and they didn't understand that He would rise on the third day until they saw it. Now, can you imagine the looks of Jesus' disciples as they witnessed "...and with the clouds of heaven there came one like a son of man, and he came to the Ancient of Days and was presented before him." (Daniel 7:13 ESV)
This week we begin looking at just what the Ascension meant to the early church and to us, the present church. Sit, listen, be blessed.
Continuing with Jonathan and his Armor Bearer rabble raising with the Philistines, we first look at why God has left enemies of Israel in the land He promised to give to the descendants of Abraham. The reasons for God's actions then are still as applicable to our lives today -- collectively and as individuals. Good stuff, good lessons. Let go see who the heroes, traitors, and cowards are.
Andrew preached out of 1 Samuel 10 about the Lord being a God of Peace.
Today Pastor Matt preached through 1 Corinthians 12:12-31 looking at the exhortation for all believers to be using their gifts for the edification of the body and the furtherance of the Kingdom of God!