Sunday, October 14, 2012

Happy Birthday Jon!

Happy Birthday Jon!!!!  I hope you have a wonderful day full of happiness, joy and unexpected blessings! Thanks for being my best buddy!!!!!  May all your dreams come true!

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Alpha Session 4: How Can I Be Sure of My Faith?

When someone becomes a Christian, he comes a brand new person inside.  He is not the same anymore.  A new life has begun!  2 Corinthians 5:17 

What does it mean to be a Christian?

     Is it just being a nice person?  Is it being born in a Christian home?  Is it going to church?

     Being a Christian means having a living relationship with God through Jesus Christ.

     Yet to all who received Him, to those who believed in His name, He gave the right to become children of God.  John 1:12

    I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life.  1  John 5:13

    Also see:  Ephesians 3:12

What has God done so I can be sure of my faith?

1.  The promises of God.  B-I-B-L-E (Basic Instructions Before Leaving Earth)

      Faith comes from listening to this Good News--- the Good News about Christ.  Romans 10:17

      The good news is that our faith is based on facts not on feelings.  (Feelings are not reliable).

A.  Jesus promises to come into our lives.

      "Here I am!  I stand at the door and knock.  If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with Me."  Revelation 3:20

B.  Jesus promises to be with us always.

      "And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age."  Matthew 28:20

C.  Jesus promises to give His followers eternal life.
      I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish;  no one can snatch them out of My hand.  John 10:28

      No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love Him.  1 Corinthians 2:9

       Take Away Point #1

       Salvation is not a feeling, but a faith in God!  The more you trust God, the more you find He is faithful

2.  The finished work of Jesus.

      For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life. Romans 6:23

       See also:  Luke 23:40  John 19:30

 A.  God loves us and died to prove it!

       For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal ife.  John 3:16

B.  Jesus took our sins upon Himself.

     See:  Romans 3:23

     Take Away Point #2

      Whenever anything begings to disintegrate your life with Jesus, turn to Him at once and ask Him to establish rest. 

      When I am weak, Christ makes me strong.  2 Corinthians 12;10

3.  The promise/presence of the Holy Spirit.

A.  The Holy Spirit transforms us from within,

      The acts of the sinful nature are obvious:  sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like.  I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.  Galatians 5:19-21

     Take Away Point #3

      Bad company does not make good character.  1 Corinthians 15:33

      But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.  Galatians 5:22-23

B.  The Holy Spirit brings a deep, personal conviction that we are God's children.

      For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the Spirit of sonship.  And by Him we cry, "Abba, Father."  The Spirit Himself testifies with our spirit that we are God's children.  Romans 8:15-16

    When you doubt your faith, call on the Holy Spirit. 

     Take Away Point #4

     Sorrow looks back, worry looks around, but faith looks up!

How do we respond to this gift?

A.  By faith.

      This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe.  Romans 3:22

B.  By trust.

      Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding;  in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight.  Proverbs 3:5-6

Alpha Session 3: Why Did Jesus Die?

For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.  John 3:16

God Loves  You!

1. What's our problem?  Sin!

      All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.  Romans 3:23
      Galatians 3:22:  The whole world is a prisoner of sin.

What are the consequences of our sin?  There are 4:

A.  The pollution of sin
       What comes out of a man is what makes him "unclean."  For from within, out of men's hearts, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, greed, malice, deceit, lewdness, envy, slander, arrogance, and folly.  All these evils come from inside and make a man unclean.  Mark 7:20-23

B.  The power of sin. 

       Jesus replied, "I tell you the truth, eveyone who sins is a slave to sin."  John 8:34

C.  The penalty of sin.

       For the wages of sin is death.  Romans 6:23

        Why is there a penalty?  Because God refuses to compromise the spiritual integrity of Heaven.

D.  The partition of sin.

        Surely the arm of hte Lord is not too short to save, nor His ear to dull to hear.  But your iniquities have separated you from your God; your sins have hidden His face from you, so that He will not hear.  Isaiah 59:1-2

2.  What is God's solution for our sin?

       You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly.  Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous man, though for a good man someone might possibily dare to die.  But God demonstrates His own love for us in this:  While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.  Romans 5:6-8

God's answer is love!

A.  The self- substitution of God.

      Christ, the sinless, became sin so that we, the sinners, could be counted sinless.

       God made Him who had no sin to be sin fo rus, so that in HIm we might become the righteousness of God.  2 Corinthians 5:21

        See also:  Romans 9:22 and 1 John 4:10

B.  The agony of the cross!

      Jesus cried out in a loud voice...."My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?"  Mark 15:34

3.  What did the cross achieve?

A.  The cross achieved forgiveness: our sins are forgiven as if they never existed.

       Take Away Point #1
        Jesus Christ paid the debt He didn't owe to cancel the debt we couldn't pay!!!

B.  The cross achieved freedom:  The addictive power of sin has been broken. 
       It is for freedom that Christ has set us free.  Galatians 5:1

       Take Away Point #2

        The cross reveals God's heart for the lost.

C.  The cross achieved cleansing:  The cross takes away the pollution of sin. 

       But if we walk in the light, as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one anohter, and the blood of Jesus, His Son, purifies us from all sin.  1 John 1:7

D.  The cross achieved reconciliation/restoration:  Jesus' death brings us back into a relationship with God!

        All this is from God, who reconciled us to Himself through Christ.  2 Corinthians 5:18

        Take Away Point#3

         Jesus took my place on the cross to give me a place in Heaven.

         "I tell you the truth, whoever hears My Word and believes Him who sent Me has eternal life and will not be condemned; he has crossed over from death to life."  John 5:24