Monday, June 27, 2022

What's the "Fall Away" in Hebrews 6 about?

  

Psalm 1

To set up the passage, we need to look at the progression and planting in Psalm 1

The progression begins with opening your ears to the wrong voices and culminates with sitting in the seat of the scoffer. A scoffer is someone who sits in condemnation of everything. Once you’re there, it’s really hard to get up from that seat because you become rooted there. Christians are not exempt from this. 





Watch the entire sermon here:


https://youtu.be/2-MCWZEmHYA



The Primary Command: 

1. Press On To Maturity (vv. 1-2)

Leave the simplicity of the gospel - it’s the foundation you build on, not the place you live. 


A Reminder:

2. God Is Sovereign (v. 3)

There is a settled determination to pursue spiritual growth and theological depth. Resources are brought to bear on this.

There is also an acknowledgement of God’s sovereignty and His permissive will governing all things. Two sides to the same coin: God’s Sovereignty and Man’s Responsibility


The Warning:

3. Falling Away

This passage does NOT teach that a true believer can lose their salvation. 

Philippians 1:6For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.

These verses teach that there are many in the church who are fully convinced they’re saved, but they’ve never repented and placed their faith in Christ. In the end, they’ll fall away and wont’ be saved. 

The warning is to examine the fruit of your life. Salvation always leads to sanctification. Those who are saved will produce fruit. Read the parable of the soils in Mark 4


The Evidence:

4. Where’s the Fruit?

Loop back to Psalm 1

Rather than listening to the wrong voices and sitting in the seat of the scoffer, plant yourself by the good streams of living water. It matters who you spend time with and listen to. You will be influenced.


THE HANDS

How To Plant Yourself 

by Streams of Living Water 















• Read More

• Pray More

the more you read the Bible

the more you’re planting yourself by streams of LIVING water

the more you’ll enjoy God and love Him.

the more you pray, the deeper your communion with Christ will be

God speaks to us through His Word. We speak to Him through prayer. 


• Engage More

The Christian life is far more than just a few hours on Sunday morning. We need to engage not just in the worship gathering, but throughout the week. Sunday morning is the icing on the cake from the past week and also the foundation of next week. You’re handed a bag with ingredients and a recipe each Sunday. Bring it back next week for the icing (rinse, wash, repeat).


A CAKE RECIPE:

Monday - read yesterday’s sermon passage

Review the Head, Heart, and Hand of the passage.

Pray for yourself and your family to digest and apply the Scripture. 

Tuesday - repeat Monday’s review. Be sure you’re on target with whatever Bible reading plan you’re on (If you need help with one, contact me and I’ll help you find one).

Pray for those you know well in the church. Those in your home group, Sunday school class, or discipleship group. Pray that they can digest and apply the Scripture to their lives. Pray Colossians 1:9-14 for them. 

Wednesday - Read last week’s passage and this coming Sunday’s passage together. Look for connections. You might want to go back a few more verses or ahead a few to keep the context and flow of the passage together. 

Pray for others in our church. Expand outside of your “usual group” and pray for others. Pray for any specific needs you know of. Pray that the Lord would be at work in our midst. 

Thursday - Repeat yesterday’s reading. Continue with your usual reading plan. 

Pray for the pastors as they prepare for the service. Thursdays are typically fully devoted to sermon prep for me and I covet everyone’s prayers as I seek the Lord’s direction for the message in my study. 

Friday - Read the passage for this coming Sunday. Think about what the major emphasis of the passage could be. (Don’t forget about your own regular reading plan)

Pray for yourself and fellow church members that we would all prepare our hearts for our time together this Sunday morning. 

Saturday. - Read the passage a couple of times. 

Pray for everyone leading in the service and in Sunday school tomorrow.

Remember: Sunday morning actually begins on Saturday night both spiritually, and practically. What can you do on Saturday to make tomorrow morning’s getting out of the house and to church go smoother?


• Serve More

Everyone is called to serve Christ in the context of their local church in some way. This is not a call to add one more thing to your serving list. If you’re not serving - you need to start NOW (contact a pastor to find the best place to serve). If you’re serving already, the “More” is a call to fine-tune how you serve. You might need to drop one area in order to serve better in another. You might need to switch all together. The idea here is to bring your skills, abilities, passions, and resources together in the best possible mix to most effectively serve Christ in your church. Talk to one of the pastors about this - any of us would be happy to help you think through the best way for you to serve.  


The Bottom Line?

Remember the main thrust of this passage:

Press on to Maturity - what are you going to do this week to grow in sanctification and in your knowledge of God?

Falling Away -  You can be in the church your whole life, hear all the sermons participate in all the classes and home groups, go on the trips, be a leader, serve on committees, and still be headed to hell…..

You can be right ABOUT the Gospel

And not be right WITH God

When a meal is set before you: 

Don’t just taste it. You must chew it and swallow. Just a taste can be sweet, but there’s no real benefit. 

Turn away from your self-righteous ways

from self-centered thinking and place your faith in Jesus Christ alone. 


The Head must contain the information.

It must move to and affect the Heart.

The evidence - the fruit - is seen in the Hands.


Hosea 10:12 – 

Sow with a view to righteousness,

Reap in accordance with lovingkindness;

Break up the unplowed, hard packed soil of your heart - fallow ground,

Indeed, it is time to seek Yahweh

Until He comes and rains righteousness on you.


The call to those who are saved and serving: 

Pray this: Lord, show me unplowed, hard-packed soil of my heart 

Show me the thorns and thistles in my life

Uproot me from the seat of scoffers and guide me to plant myself by streams of living water and use my life to produce vegetation useful for those for whose sake it was tilled - let my life not just be blessed personally, but also be blessing from to others as well. 


I look forward to preparing the icing for your cake next Sunday! It’s my favorite day of the week!!


Soli Deo Gloria!
Pastor Rob

Monday, February 28, 2022

Jesus is BETTER!

Who is Jesus?

and How do you respond to that? 

is the most important question you’ll ever answer. 

If you get that wrong  - you are not right with God. We must look to God’s Word for the answer. It is Inspired, Inerrant, Authoritative and Sufficient.


Watch the full sermon here.


Sufficiency is under-emphasized today. Here’s a brief definition before we go on:

Scripture is Sufficient means it contains all that we need for determining what we must believe and how we are to live before God

The Bible does need to be interpreted and applied, but we need no other source of special revelation for faith and life other than the Bible.

(See https://www.ligonier.org/learn/devotionals/biblical-sufficiency)


Hebrews 1:4-14

The main idea in this passage is that Jesus is superior to angels.


There’s always been plenty of misconceptions about angels.


They are spirit beings, winds of mystery, a flaming fire, brightly shining, and fabulous winged creatures. They can assume visible from. When they do, it’s usually terrifying. 


They worship and praise God continuously

They communicate God’s message to man

They minister to us - to believers

They’re also God’s agents in judgments

They’ll be quite involved in the 2nd coming


They’re amazing creatures who wield great power and are gathered around God’s eternal throne


They are an army of powerful warriors!


We must always remember the one point of this passage:

1. ONE POINT: Jesus Is Better

The structure of this passage reminds us to be wary of two tendencies we have today:

1. Pragmatism 

How will this change my life tomorrow is a good question, but shouldn’t be where we start.  

2. Emotionalism

We tend to think that if we were not moved emotionally,“worship wasn’t really that great today….”

While those two things aren’t important, when we notice that the whole first chapter of Hebrews addresses the HEAD, we see where we must start in 


How is Jesus Better?

A. His Name & Title

Jesus Christ the Son of God. He is far superior to any other name. 


B. His Honor

He is to be worshiped

If you are worshiping anyone or anything else 

you are actively participating in idolatry.


C. His Status - The prototokos

The Greek word translated “firstborn” is the word “prototokos” meaning - the preeminent one. The One who inherits everything, to whom all authority is given


Read Colossians 1:15-23 regularly)

Verse 7 - He created the angels. He commands them. He owns them. They serve Him.


Verse 8 probably the most powerful, significant declaration of the deity of Christ in the entire New Testament.


God is declaring that Jesus is on the eternal throne.


D. His Eternality

He always has and always will exist.

Hebrews 13:8Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.


We think of so many things as eternal, as things that will last for ever. But they’re all nothing. 


No matter how permanent, you may think something is.

Jesus is so much more permanent

So much more powerful

So much superior in the existence of who He is

That the tallest, most solid mountains in the world will be rolled up like we roll up an old T-Shirt before we stuff it in the trash. 

vv 11-12

Which leads us to 

E. His Supreme Position

He is the ultimate authority: seated on the Throne.


The angels - serve at His command. They serve us too. 


3. How Do We Respond?


Head - what do you need to know?

Never stop learning about Jesus. 

As much as you know, you’ll never arrive and you need to learn more.


Heart - Jesus has to capture both our attention… and our affection.

We must know who He is

In order to love Him as we should.


The more you know about  Jesus, the more you’ll love Him. The more you Love  Him, the more you’ll want to know about Him.


Hand - this knowledge and this affection should literally affect everything you do every minute of every day.

Train your brain

Engage your heart

And that will guides your hand


Commit yourself to full, comprehensive, RADICAL obedience in every situation. 

in every thought

in every attitude

in every interaction with others

in every action that you do

That’s what’s meant by “HAND”

Head - Heart - Hand

Soli Deo Gloria!
Pastor Rob


Sunday, January 23, 2022

Not about a Great Fish, but a Great Prayer

 


If you haven't watched the sermon, watch it here:


The Five Principles for Purposeful Prayer are:

1. Acknowledge God’s Sovereignty

verse 3  You had cast me into the deep

5 verses earlier in 1:15they lifted Jonah up and hurled him into the sea


So which is it? The Sailors? or God?

Yes. 

God cast Jonah into the ocean, and He did it using a crew of hardened sailors.


Two verses, sitting essentially side-by-side here show the parallel nature of man’s responsibility  and God’s sovereignty. 


2. Be Honest

Honestly confess your thoughts, feelings, emotions, and your struggles to God. 

And he’s acknowledging God’s hand in it.


3. Repentance

This prayer drips with repentance and genuine humility before the Lord. 

Jonah acknowledges unequivocally that this is his own fault even though God’s sovereignly brought him here.

The clincher: verse 6 – ...O Yahweh my God.


4. Thanksgiving

Thanklessness is a sin.

We need to overflow with thanksgiving for all we have, rather than overflow with complaining about what we don't have. We're so abundantly blessed, 


5. Commitment

Acts 26:20  that they should repent and turn to God, practicing deeds appropriate to repentance

This is a call to action!

To faithful obedience in all areas, especially evangelism, since that's the primary command/context of Jonah.

How can we say that 

   we affirm God’s sovereignty, 

   we’re committed to the truth

   we’re living lives of repentance

   truly thankful

   committed to obedience

If we won’t speak of our own deliverance from death any time we have the chance. 

Can we truly say we’re thankful if we won’t tell others the thing we say we’re most thankful for?

Our purposeful pursuit of prayer must include and conclude with this kind of commitment to the Lord..


We must pray purposefully as we pursue being fired up followers of Jesus, radically obedient to a passionate pursuit of knowing Him and making Him known.


Purposeful prayer is one of the indispensable components of living the kind of life we’re called to live as believers. 


Soli Deo Gloria!

Pastor Rob


Monday, December 6, 2021

Pause and Ponder


How To Celebrate Christmas

Treasure & Ponder

Click here to watch pastor Rob's sermon on this.


Take Time every day between now and Christmas. 

• Before getting out of bed

• During morning coffee

• Hide in the bathroom for a few minutes

• Pull over in a parking lot along the way

Whatever it looks like..

Pause

Treasure these things

Ponder them in your heart.



Read Luke 2:8-20

Contemplate the Six Celebratory Principles in these verses:

1. It’s Good News of Great Joy

It’s eternally good news

It should bring great joy


2. It’s For All the people. 

This is a universal proclamation

Everyone needs to hear this message.


3. It’s About Jesus

While it’s become a cultural holiday, it’s still

fundamentally about Jesus.


4. The Gospel is Central

The Gospel is about the Glory of God

Peace with God is only possible because of 

Jesus who was born to die so that we

might have life by trusting in Him.


5. We Must Make it Known

This message must be proclaimed

Capitalize on the CHRISTOCENTRICNESS

of this time of year. 


6. Be Like Mary.

Treasure and ponder

This was of great value to Mary

She spent much time considering & 

contemplating it all.



How to Treasure and Ponder

Isaiah 9:1-7

7 points from 7 verses


1. Gloom to Glory

the lands of Zebulun and Naphtali is a reminder of the beginning of the dark days for the people of Israel.

Beautiful reminder: God is in Control!

And He is rescuing His people.


2. Darkness to Light

Jesus is the light that broke into the darkness.

Whatever the darkness is in your life

Whether it’s simply not knowing Christ, or some current situation, Jesus drowns it out.



3. The Big Picture Plan

It is the Lord who is doing everything. 

This has been God’s plan all along. Everything.


4. Freedom

Your burden, the yoke of your slavery to sin, the rod of your taskmaster, the oppressor…

The LORD defeats it.

He breaks you loose from your bonds


Without Christ, we’re slaves of sin (under the yoke of the burden). When we understand that we are sinful and confess our sinfulness and great need for salvation, and obey from the heart the command to repent and place our faith in Christ alone, He saves us!


5. Peace

Peace is the Absence of War

When you trust in Christ, you’re at peace with God. This is a forever thing. If you’re truly saved, your salvation is secure. You can burn all the trappings of your former enmity with Him.


6. The Pinnacle of the Story

This is the high mountaintop of praise and worship.


Jesus is the:


• Wonderful Counselor - the King who has supernatural wisdom. He’s omniscient

• Mighty God - the most powerful King - the most powerful warrior - none can defeat Him

He is the Most High God! (Daniel 4:34-35)


• Everlasting Father

He is a Father to His people. He cares for us like a loving father cares for his children. 


• Prince of Peace

The only One who brings peace with God or bring peace to our lives.


These are also radically personal titles!!!!

–> He is YOUR Wonderful Counselor

He will always lead you and guide you 

in the ways of truth as you trust Him

following and obeying His Word

(Psalm 119:105)

–> He is YOUR Mighty God

You have the most powerful Being in the 

universe on your side

He’s got your back! (Romans 8:35-39)

–> He is YOUR Everlasting Father

God deals with us as with sons. He disciplines us for our benefit, so that we may share His holiness. It yields the peacefulfruit of righteousness in our lives. (Hebrews 12:7-11)

(Romans 8:15)

–> He is YOUR Prince of Peace

He can still the turmoil in your heart.

(Philippians 4:6)


7. The Eternal King

Jesus is the rightful heir to David’s Throne

The King of kings

The Lord of lords



Soli Deo Gloria!

Pastor Rob










Monday, November 29, 2021

How to Celebrate Christmas

In 1871Charles Spurgeon said, We have no superstitious regard for times and seasons. Certainly we do not believe in the present ecclesiastical arrangement called Christmas… because we find no Scriptural warrant whatever for observing any day as the birthday of the Saviour

While the Bible does not command us specifically to celebrate the birth of Christ, as a culture, we’ve set aside an entire month called “Christmas.” How do we rightly celebrate Jesus’ birth during this holiday season?

The entire sermon is avaialble here

Read Luke 2:1-20 (click here to read online)


The angel of the Lord declared this event to be:

• Good News of Great Joy!

So why wouldn’t we celebrate it?


If God saw fit to send an angel - and as we’ll see in a couple of verses a multitude of the heavenly host to announce something - the coming of the Messiah, 

It’s absolutely appropriate for us to celebrate it


2,000 years later - it’s still good news

No greater news has ever been proclaimed

It’s still the source of great joy


• For All the People!

Ever wonder why Christmas is so all-encompassing even everyone wants to make it about everything BUT Christ? Because from the very beginning it was to be for all the people. 


This doesn’t mean that all the people will be saved, but it does points to the universal proclamation of the gospel.


• It’s About Jesus! (vv. 11-12)

With all the “stuff” of Christmas, we need to intentionally plan to keep it about Jesus. Think through it on the front end


• The Purpose of Christmas (vv 13-14)

Glory & Peace

The whole purpose of literally everything is to glorify God (1 Corinthians 10:31, Psalm 96)


One of the primary ways we can glorify God in our daily lives is to point to Jesus, speak about Jesus, and obey Him.

Peace means peace with God

You can have peace with God through repenting of your sin and trusting in Jesus alone for salvation.


Don’t be someone who professes to know God, but by [your] works they deny Him, being detestable and disobedient and unfit for any good work.


As we move into the Christmas season

Remember, refocus on the message of the gospel and whether or not you’re in Christ.

Click here for an explanation of what it means to repent of your sins and trust in Jesus. 


The Pattern/Example (15-21)

Follow the example of the Shepherds

They went in a hurry

And they were loud about the message.

All who heard it marveled at the things which were told them by the shepherds

Be like the shepherds - everyone should know what you’re all about.

Also be like Mary, who

was treasuring all these things, pondering them in her heart.


Treasure the Christmas story

Treasure the reason for the Season

It’s absolutely ok to enjoy the “stuff” of the season as long as what you’re treasuring is Jesus Christ - who was born to die so that you might have life by trusting in Him.


Two final thoughts:

1. Use this time as a gospel reminder.

Plant in your head and heart the phrase;
Born to die that we might have life by trusting in Him


How can you use this season as an opportunity for evangelism?

Pick up some of the little “Christmas Cards” in the foyer. Attach them to a small ornament, candy cane, etc. and hand them out everywhere you go. 


2. Don’t just celebrate the incarnation one month a year. 

It’s an every day thing. Celebrate the gospel daily. 

Be intentional

Think through it

You do that for presents, decorations, travel, food, budget, vacation days, etc.

Do it for the spiritual aspect of your life as well. as well. 


Celebrate and share the gospel continually during the Christmas season and beyond.


That’s how you should celebrate Christmas


Soli Deo Gloria!
Pastor Rob


Sunday, November 7, 2021

A High View of God's Word...


2 Timothy 3:16-17 is about a high view of God’s Word, It's connected directly to 2 Timothy 4:1-2, the first implication of that. 

A high view of God’s Word leads directly to a high view of preaching. 


View the Sermon HERE


The Sermon Subtitle:

Priorities of a Faithful Pastor

There are implications for believers within the instructions to pastors. 


1. Serious about Preaching

Preaching is the most profound responsibility that a pastor has.


If the preacher is to be serious about preaching

You must be serious about preaching


How to be serious about preaching:

A. Be in church. In the service. 

Unless you’re providentially hindered, you should be in church on Sunday mornings. 

B. Come Prepared

Get plenty of sleep. Read the passage ahead of time. Pray. Be on time. Sit strategically. 

C. Bring Your Bible

Follow along in the Bible you use devotionally. Make notes - highlight - underline.

D. Engage &

E. Follow Up

Take Notes is extremely helpful. As you go through your week, refer back to your notes as you strive to apply the sermon and prepare for the next Sunday. 


2. Preach the Word

The central command: Preach the Word. It’s the most important a pastor does. It’s also of critical importance for every believer. 


Also - the entire Bible is important. There is no “unhitching” from the Old Testament. 


If you’ve never read through the entire Bible, you need to start on that path today. 


3. Broad in Scope

…be ready in season and out of season

This points to regularity and consistency. 

Be ready to bring God’s Word to bear on any situation.


Here’s the question: Are you a student of theology?
We’re all theologians. Are you a good one, or a bad one?

You need to know the basics of the Christian faith - AND be growing in your knowledge of the Bible


4. The Role of the Word

Reprove - STOP! That’s sin

Rebuke - You need to go that way instead

Exhort - let me help you get there - I’ll walk alongside you.


God’s Word is:

5. Incredibly Important

because people are wanting to have their ears tickled…

Every single one of us has this tendency. We want to hear what we want to hear. 

The more you listen to the lie, the harder it becomes to accept the truth. 


6. A Steady Disposition

sober in all things

Reminder of 1 Timothy 3 - an overseer must be temperate, sensible, respectable…

A pastor must not be someone who reacts harshly

Not quick to anger, constantly irritated,  aggravated, or easily frustrated


He must be level-headed, well balanced, stable, and consistent

That should be everyone’s goal.


7. A Costly Thing

A faithful ministry that’s not costly - does not exist.

When you’re faithfully following Jesus

Radically obedient to a passionate pursuit of knowing Him and making Him known….

It will mean difficulty, struggle, trials, tribulation. 


8. A Gospel Task

Do the work of an evangelist 


Every church everywhere on every Sunday

Needs to hear the gospel.


The Gospel is that God is redeeming the world through Christ and that He calls everyone everywhere to repent of their sin and believe in Jesus Christ for salvation. 


Each of us has sinned against God, breaking His law and rebelling against His rule. The penalty for our sin is death and hell. 


BUT because of His great love, God sent His Son, Jesus, who lived, the perfect, obedient life God requires and that we could not. He died on the cross in our place enduring the punishment that we deserved. 


On the third day, Christ rose bodily from the grave and now reigns in heaven. He offers forgiveness, righteousness, and eternal life in God’s presence to everyone who repents of their sin and trusts in Him alone for salvation.


The call right now is:

repent and believe in the gospel

trust in, rely on, and cling to Christ


The final thing Paul says to Timothy:

9. Committed to Completion

Paul says fulfill your ministry


We don’t always know what the fullness of our calling is, so we stay steadfastly committed to serving Jesus as passionately until He calls us home.


May we all faithfully pursue having a high view of God, His Word, and preaching for the sake of our own sanctification. 

Soli Deo Gloria!
Pastor Rob