You can listen to the podcast of this message by clicking here.
Take your bible out and turn with me to Galatians the 4th Chapter. Every Summer we like to break from our topical sermon series and go to a specific book and look at it from beginning to end. Galatians is a letter written by a man named Paul to the churches in Galatia.
I encourage you to read Galatians once a week. It is only 6 chapters. You could read a chapter per day or the whole book in one setting (30min.) Each time you read and each Sunday you will get a fresh impartation from God’s living bread, the Bible. His Word will go forth in your life bringing abundant Life and Hope.
This is PromiseLand Church. Last week, I talked about why that name is important. We believe Paul’s message in Galatians 3… that we are standing on the same PROMISE that God gave Abraham 4000 years ago. Even though some of our life details are not the way we want them to be, we are living in the LAND of PROMISE. So, we invite ANYONE who wants to live in the God’s Promises to join us. Become a family member here at PromiseLand San Marcos. We are a community that worships together, parties together, mourns together, and builds the Kingdom together. All under the core belief that we are God’s children, that he LOVES his kids, that he saves us from the turmoil of this life and sets us up for eternity.
Chapter 4 of Galatians covers two keys words of our mission statement:
We exist to Bring People into an Intimate Relationship with Jesus Christ and Each Other.
Galatians 4 talks about 2 words in our mission: Intimate Relationship.
Galatians 4:1 Think of it this way. If a father dies and leaves an inheritance for his young children, those children are not much better off than slaves until they grow up, even though they actually own everything their father had. 2 They have to obey their guardians until they reach whatever age their father set. 3 And that’s the way it was with us before Christ came. We were like children; we were slaves to the basic spiritual principles of this world. 4 But when the right time came, God sent his Son, born of a woman, subject to the law. 5 God sent him to buy freedom for us who were slaves to the law, so that he could adopt us as his very own children. 6 And because we are his children, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, prompting us to call out, “Abba, Father.” 7 Now you are no longer a slave but God’s own child. And since you are his child, God has made you his heir.
This is a coming of age. You have gone from some with potential to someone with inheritance. Paul writes to us in this book to remind us of the truth of the Good News. We turn things back to the legal, law so easily. Paul wants us to remember that our motivation to work should be fueled by our passion for God and come from the position of son instead of slave.
If you are Intimate with God you can say these 4 things:
If I Am Intimate with God, We talk A Lot
I talk to my wife all the time. Why? Because we are intimate. We are all up in each others business. All the time. We love to know what each other is doing. (that is normal) We like help from each other. We like to hang out together. We like to know what was good or bad about our day.
The closer you get to God, the more you talk. If you want to get closer to God, talk to him more often.
If this is a new concept to you, please go back to our podcast and get the sermon series “Talking to God” from earlier this year. Whole sermon series on how to talk to God.
If I Am Intimate with God, I Am Familiar With God
I know details about God. I know how and why God does things. To know all about the data and details. To know as much as possible. Always wanting to know more. A hunger for more.
We find all the knowledge we need of God in his written word.
2 Peter 1:2 May grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord.
We all want peace in our life. Peter says if you want peace, you need to get to know God. The more you know God, the more peace and Grace you have!
Men, if we can’t figure out women, we aren’t going to figure out God. BUT we can pursue our wife to know her more (and get counseling). We can do the same with God.
When we are intimately familiar with someone, we start taking on their traits. We start talking in that accent.
As a child of God we start loving and working just like God.
BECAUSE WE ARE. Not because we WANT TO BECOME. Because we are his kids we act like him, love like him, work like him.
3. If I Am Intimate with God, I Am Secure With God
I’m not worried about my relationship with Erica. We are good. We are tight.
I’m not faithful to my wife because of the laws of marriage. When a nice looking girl walks by, I don’t follow after her or get her number. I don’t do that because it is against the rules of my marriage and if I did that I would be divorced. Erica has told me multiple times that if I were to do that he would hit me with multiple bats, suitcases, machetes.
BUT that is not why I don’t look at other girls or chase after them. I don’t because I am in love with Erica. My intimacy with her has made me secure with her.
Galatians 4:8 Before you Gentiles knew God, you were slaves to so-called gods that do not even exist. 9 So now that you know God (or should I say, now that God knows you), why do you want to go back again and become slaves once more to the weak and useless spiritual principles of this world?
I’m loyal to God. I don’t run after other lovers or other gods.
4. I Really, Really Like God A Lot
Intimate relationships have nice benefits. Know what I’m saying?
Emotional benefit. Physical benefits.
This is the part of intimacy in which most are familiar. Without a doubt, to be intimate means to be affectionate and loving. Song of Solomon reveals the potential of affectionate love.
“I am not these things.” That is why WE are here!
“How much more are you these things now, then when you first attended PSM?”
Intimacy does not just happen. It is not an emotion. Jesus gave the disciples distinct instruction before His ascension.
Intimacy is a beautiful baby of systematic discipline. That doesn’t sound very romantic or Hollywood. However, I believe many people are mistaken when they think that they will have a relationship with God by following after a mythical religious experience.
Just as intimacy with my spouse comes after vulnerability, faith, work, perseverance, and romance so does my intimacy with God. Invest. Sow seed. Reap…
Here are the sermon notes for Galatians “Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Jesus!” Week 2. You can listen to the podcast by clicking here.
Take your bible out and turn with me to Galatians the 3rd Chapter. Every Summer we like to break from our topical sermon series and go to a specific book and look at it from beginning to end. This is not an exhaustive look at Galatians. In fact, this series is only 5 weeks long. Lacy taught on ch 1-2 last week. Today, I will teach on 3-4 and then the next 3 weeks we will slow down some and look at ch 5-6.
So, by the time we are finished, you will have a good perspective on this book.
I encourage you to read Galatians once a week. It is only 6 chapters. You could read a chapter per day or the whole book in one setting (30min.) Each time you read and each Sunday you will get a fresh impartation from God’s living bread, the Bible. His Word will go forth in your life bringing abundant Life and Hope.
Galatians is a letter written by a man named Paul to the church of Galatia. The first several chapters talk specifically about The Real Gospel of Jesus. The Real Gospel is the Good News that you don’t have to save yourself from this world, but that God loves you so much He saves you. (period)
It is a free gift, unattached from any good or bad thing you have done.
Adam was walking around the Garden of Eden feeling very lonely, so God asked, “What is wrong with you?” Adam said he didn’t have anyone to talk to. God said he was going to give him a companion.
God said, “This person will cook for you and wash your clothes. She will always agree with every decision you make. She will bear your children and never ask you to get up in the middle of the night to take care of them. She will not nag you, and she will always be the first to admit she was wrong when you’ve had a disagreement. She will never have a headache, and she will freely give love and compassion whenever needed.” Adam asked God, “What will this woman cost?”
God replied, “An arm and a leg.” Adam said, “What can I get for just a rib?”
As humans, we are always conscious of what things cost. What will that cost me. Then, we make the determination if we want to spend the effort or time or money and pay the price for whatever we are shopping for. In Galatians 1-3, Pauls tells us that God pays the full price. There is a cost and it was fully paid. Therefore, we should quit trying to make people pay for their salvation.
In order to make his point in chapter 3, the writer, Paul, goes way back in time. (over 2000 years)
God Makes a Covenant or PROMISE to Abraham
Look how Paul relates the PROMISE of Abraham to us today.
Galatians 3: 6 In the same way, “Abraham believed God, and God counted him as righteous because of his faith.” Righteous means clean, right before God. Ready for relationship. 7 The real children of Abraham, then, are those who put their faith in God. 8 What’s more, the Scriptures looked forward to this time when God would declare the Gentiles (all of us in here today) to be righteous because of their faith. God proclaimed this good news to Abraham long ago when he said, “All nations will be blessed through you.” 9 So all who put their faith in Christ share the same blessing Abraham received because of his faith.
God gives the LAW to Moses through an Angel
Galatians 3: 19 Why, then, was the law given? It was given alongside the promise to show people their sins. But the law was designed to last only until the coming of the child who was promised. God gave his law through angels to Moses, who was the mediator between God and the people. 20 Now a mediator is helpful if more than one party must reach an agreement. But God, who is one, did not use a mediator when he gave his promise to Abraham. 21 Is there a conflict, then, between God’s law and God’s promises? Absolutely not! If the law could give us new life, we could be made right with God by obeying it. 22 But the Scriptures declare that we are all prisoners of sin, so we receive God’s promise of freedom only by believing in Jesus Christ.
What about Jesus Christ? Believing that He IS. He is the Son of God and that he fully paid for the cost of our sins.
Jesus came to Free Us and Get us in on the PROMISE
Galatians 3:10 But those who depend on the law to make them right with God are under his curse, for the Scriptures say, “Cursed is everyone who does not observe and obey all the commands that are written in God’s Book of the Law.” 11 So it is clear that no one can be made right with God by trying to keep the law. For the Scriptures say, “It is through faith that a righteous person has life.” 12 This way of faith is very different from the way of law, which says, “It is through obeying the law that a person has life.” 13 But Christ has rescued us from the curse pronounced by the law. When he was hung on the cross, he took upon himself the curse for our wrongdoing. For it is written in the Scriptures, “Cursed is everyone who is hung on a tree.” 14 Through Christ Jesus, God has blessed the Gentiles with the same blessing he promised to Abraham, so that we who are believers might receive the promised Holy Spirit through faith.
We now stand on the PROMISE of God looking to the cross and empty grave of Jesus Christ and putting our faith in the fact that he absorbed the law. Took the punishment for breaking the law. When we put our faith in Jesus, then we are exempt from the punishment due for our sin.
This is why our church has been called PromiseLand for so long! We believe that we are living in the land of God’s Promise. He doesn’t go back on his Promise!
At the beginning of the chapter he says:
Galatians 3:2 Let me ask you this one question: Did you receive the Holy Spirit by obeying the law of Moses? Of course not! You received the Spirit because you believed the message you heard about Christ. 3 How foolish can you be? After starting your new lives in the Spirit, why are you now trying to become perfect by your own human effort? 4 Have you experienced so much for nothing? Surely it was not in vain, was it? 5 I ask you again, does God give you the Holy Spirit and work miracles among you because you obey the law? Of course not! It is because you believe the message you heard about Christ.
WHY WOULD HE BE SAYING ALL THIS?
Paul is dealing with this issue because the Christians of Galatia are starting to add things to the Gospel, in essence contaminating the Good News. Turning it from Good News to sort of Good News or Just News.
Specifically, these people were telling Christians that if they really wanted to be saved, then they needed to be circumcised (like the law required). They had to follow the law in order to be eligible for the Good News.
People are trying to live on the right side of the cross but apply the principles of the law to people who have put their faith in Jesus.
It is in our human nature (especially those studying the Old Testament and American culture), to think that the amount of effort put into something is the amount of product gotten out. The amount of seed you sow is the amount of crop you harvest. The amount sweat equity burned is the amount of profit received. That concept works on everything in the world. It works for everything in the Kingdom except one thing.
That is precisely why it is called Good News. Because it goes against every natural thought pattern and every way of the world.
But even after we have heard it and received it, we can go back to the old ways. Once we have received it for ourselves, we can look down our noses at those who haven’t lived to the standard that we have!
That is why Paul writes this letter. He starts out the chapter:
Galatians 3:1 Oh, foolish Galatians! Who has cast an evil spell on you? For the meaning of Jesus Christ’s death was made as clear to you as if you had seen a picture of his death on the cross.
We can be foolish San Martians!
This is how it happens:
- I find Jesus, he forgives me and saves me by His Grace.
- The Holy Spirit convicts me of sinful thoughts and behaviors.
- I am discipled by other people and learn healthy/Biblical ways to live.
- I am made Holy (sanctified) slowly by the Grace of the Holy Spirit.
- This leads me to activities like gathering with other believers every Sunday and regular prayer and scripture reading. Because of my devotion and discipleship and mostly by the sanctification of the Holy Spirit, I also stop doing things like getting drunk and blasting people with profanity.
- Then the CREEPER creeps!
- You elevate yourself: “Look at how you are doing! So good! You are really holy! You love God! Great effort! Great work!” You start being elevated on a pedestal. You are saved, you do these holy things and don’t do these evil things, so then the right logic is that all these people around you that aren’t doing these things aren’t saved.
- If people want to be saved, they need to do these things like you do. Or look at this theology that I know. I know all about the rapture. If you don’t believe like I do about the end times, then you aren’t saved. If you don’t believe like I do about baptism, then you aren’t saved. If you don’t believe what I do about circumcision, then you aren’t saved. If you don’t believe like I do about wearing shorts on the stage on a Sunday, then you aren’t save.
AND WE HAVE CONTAMINATED THE GOSPEL!! Oh you foolish, San Marcos people! Were you saved because you knew enough about this or that or you were perfect here or there?
NO! you were saved because you put your faith in Jesus Christ. That’s it! You believed that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. He came here to save the world and fulfill the law. We are not longer cursed because of the law but set free because of the finished work of Jesus. Believe on Him!!
Galatians 3: 26 For you are all children of God through faith in Christ Jesus. 27 And all who have been united with Christ in baptism have put on Christ, like putting on new clothes. 28 There is no longer Jew or Gentile, slave or free, male and female. For you are all one in Christ Jesus. 29 And now that you belong to Christ, you are the true children of Abraham. You are his heirs, and God’s promise to Abraham belongs to you.
YOUR #1 IDENTIFYING FACTOR IS YOUR FAITH IN JESUS. YOU ARE A SON OR DAUGHTER OF GOD.
You no longer get your identity from your gender, race, hometown, college, sexual orientation…
You are not saved because you are a heterosexual. If you are gay, you are not saved by becoming heterosexual. You are saved because you place your faith in Jesus Christ. Then, what happens?
Your identity is from being a child of God. You do not need the acceptance of people to make you complete or happy. Your PRIDE doesn’t come from people agreeing with you about your sexuality. You do not need your gender or you sexual orientation to give you the acceptance you have been craving.
Let’s see what God can do with your life and the power of the Holy Ghost when you surrender to His will for your life. Let’s see what God can do with your sexuality and gender when put your faith in the one who created the world and is an expert mending broken things. God is known for not throwing things away, but loving them back to a place they were originally intended to be.
And that is our role as a church. We point people to Jesus. He is the answer. If they have no interest in Jesus, then we show them love anyway. We extend ourselves beyond our comfort zone while keeping our feet firmly planted in the truth. Showing grace and mercy to anyone and everyone that has fallen short of the law. After all, that is what Christ did for us through others when we were strung out, bitter, confused, angry, sad, despondent, sin-filled, selfish, religious.
We started the message with a clip from Tombstone (movie).
These western movies scratch an itch for us. They show us gross injustice followed up by a person that brings swift punishment and vindication for all.
- No one likes a bully
- Young, arrogant punk needs to be set straight.
- Old, bitter abuser needs to be dealt with.
- The womanizer, the scammer, shoddy business man, the shoplifter.
We as humans love to see Justice dealt. We love firm, swift, effective Justice being served. Punishment for those deserving it. Blessings to those deserving it.
It makes us feel right and complete. When there is injustice around us, we often feel incomplete. It just doesn’t seem right. They need to be stopped. They need to be taught a lesson. They need to be punished. The victims need to be vindicated. Justice needs to be served. BUT HOW? WHO?
What injustice have you personally experienced? Who has done you wrong? Who has taken advantage of your kindness, your resources, your life? Who owes you?
Sermon Notes for The Helper May 31, 2015. You can listen to this message on the PromiseLand Podcast. Click here.
Jesus was speaking to his disciples on a ‘dark and stormy night’. Hours before his captivity and death.
John 16:5 But now I am going away to the one who sent me,…
“Tomorrow, I am leaving you.” Jesus was the best thing that they had encountered. For the past 3.5 years he WAS their life. He was their hero, role model, rock star. The disciples were addicted to the confidence of Jesus, teaching, leadership, knowledge of scripture and God. Now, he was leaving them.
How lonely and desperate they must have felt.
Many of you know what it is like to have people taken from you. Losing your best friend. Losing your prized possession. Having the thing or place where you feel the most secure. The items that protect you. The items that convey your identity, transport you, provide shelter. The flood took from San Marcos residents the very things that were the dearest to them. Their homes, clothes, cars, electronics, communications, phones, tablets, jewelry, pictures, furniture all gone. I walked the streets and hugged necks and looked deep into tired eyes. People at a loss.
Who are you when all of these things are gone? Where are you? How do you exist? How do you move forward?
Jesus told the disciples that he was leaving them. Even though Jesus would raise from the dead, he was going to leave them on the Earth without his physical presence. They would walk out the rest of their days on earth without their best friend and teacher. Not only was he leaving them, but he was leaving them with a huge task of spreading his message to the entire world. How could this be possible?
How would it be possible to spread the message of salvation in Jesus Christ when: there men who take advantage of women, governments that are corrupt, destruction, loss, pain in communities? “Seriously, Jesus, how are we going to do this?
John 16:7 Nevertheless, I tell you the truth: it is to your advantage that I go away, for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you. But if I go, I will send him to you.
How many of you could use a helper right about now? I don’t know about you, but I need a helper!
As David said years ago in his dark hours:
Psalm 121:1 ….From where does my help come? 2 My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth. 3 He will not let your foot be moved; he who keeps you will not slumber. 4 Behold, he who keeps Israel will neither slumber nor sleep. 5 The Lord is your keeper; the Lord is your shade on your right hand. 6 The sun shall not strike you by day, nor the moon by night. 7 The Lord will keep you from all evil; he will keep your life. 8 The Lord will keep your going out and your coming in from this time forth and forevermore.
Psalm 61:1 Hear my cry, O God, listen to my prayer; from the end of the earth I call to you when my heart is faint. Lead me to the rock that is higher than I, for you have been my refuge, a strong tower against the enemy.
Jesus tells his disciples:
John 14:1 “Don’t let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God, and trust also in me. 2 There is more than enough room in my Father’s home. If this were not so, would I have told you that I am going to prepare a place for you? 3 When everything is ready, I will come and get you, so that you will always be with me where I am. 4 And you know the way to where I am going.”
Of course, he is talking about our eternal home here. I love the lesson we learn here. Just as the flood victims are not really pleased with their temporary home, Jesus is telling all of us, All that live on the earth now even in mansions, I’m sorry that you are having to live on a broken earth for a while. Just hang on. There is going to be a new heaven and a new earth that you will live in someday. That is going to blow even the best current conditions away.
Hang on a while longer! You are going to make it. There is something better on the way.
Thomas responds…I love this honesty…so raw…
5 “No, we don’t know, Lord,” Thomas said. “We have no idea where you are going, so how can we know the way?”
So sincere and honest. Have you seen what I have gone through? Have you noticed how difficult this life is? How do we know the way?
6 Jesus told him, “I AM the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me. 7 If you had really known me, you would know who my Father is. From now on, you do know him and have seen him!”
John 14:15 If you love me, you will keep my commandments.16 And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper, to be with you forever, 17 even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him, for he dwells with you and will be in you. 18 I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you.
50 days later while these men and women were praying…
Acts 2:2…suddenly there came from heaven a sound like a mighty rushing wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting. 3 And divided tongues as of fire appeared to them and rested on each one of them. 4 And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit gave them utterance.
Acts 2:39 This promise is to you, to your children, and to those far away—all who have been called by the Lord our God.” (you know the ones that are in San Marcos in 2015. I’m calling them too) 40 Then Peter continued preaching for a long time, strongly urging all his listeners, “Save yourselves from this crooked generation!”
And because of this comforting power of the Holy Spirit
Acts 2:42 All the believers devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching, and to fellowship, and to sharing in meals (including the Lord’s Supper), and to prayer. 43 A deep sense of awe came over them all, and the apostles performed many miraculous signs and wonders.44 And all the believers met together in one place and shared everything they had. 45 They sold their property and possessions and shared the money with those in need. 46 They worshiped together at the Temple each day, met in homes for the Lord’s Supper, and shared their meals with great joy and generosity—47 all the while praising God and enjoying the goodwill of all the people. And each day the Lord added to their fellowship those who were being saved.
It is not far fetched to think that with the power of the Holy Spirit in our communities we could see unprecedented unity. That the love of God could permeate every school hallway, the quad, and dorm. No law or administration can stop it. Just as the flood on Saturday night was unstoppable and indiscriminant, so is the power and love of God when it begins to flow in the hearts of broken men and women. Start seeing a vision of your life and community with the influence of the Holy Ghost. What would happen to your life when the Spirit of God is not just flowing around you, but is overwhelming you? In fact, John the Baptist said that Jesus would baptize you with his Holy Spirit. This is an overwhelming.
Let’s pray today for an overwhelming of God’s presence. I have talked long enough. Let’s pray. If you are here today and want an overwhelming love of God in your life, then come to the front right now and we are going to pray that the power of God intersect with your difficulties and problems.
When you look at what we call the Christian calendar, there are several key dates. Christmas, Passover, Resurrection, and there is one coming up next Sunday called Pentecost Sunday.
Everyone here is pretty aware of what Christmas celebration is. That is the celebration of God becoming man and coming to the Earth to participate in His creation on our level.
Passover- has been celebrated for over 3000 years. It began when the Jews were delivered from Egypt and the death angel passed over their community without killing them. When they put the blood of a lamb on their door post, the death angel passed by. They were saved from death the blood of a lamb.
Fifty days after Passover, Moses went up on Mt Sinai and God gave Him the law. So for thousands of years, the Jews have celebrated the Passover AND the feast of Weeks or it was also called Pentecost to celebrate the law being given.
Fast forward to Jesus’ day. Jesus’ Jewish community continued to celebrate the Passover and Pentecost. LOOK WHAT HAPPENS. When Jesus goes to his death, it just so happens that he is taken into custody during Passover and goes to his death at the same time of the year that the original lambs went to their death. Jesus was the ultimate Passover lamb. Because of his death burial and resurrection, we have been passed over by the death angel. Death has been defeated.
LOOK AT THIS! Remember, what happens 50 days after Passover? Pentecost. 50 days after the Resurrection of Jesus was Pentecost (feast of weeks). Jesus told his disciples to go to Jerusalem and wait for something new given by God. Something new sent from heaven. The original day of Pentecost saw the law come from God/heaven to earth. NOW, the disciples of Jesus would be waiting in Jerusalem on the day of Pentecost for the Holy Spirit of God. AND IT HAPPENED!
Acts 2:1 On the day of Pentecost all the believers were meeting together in one place. 2 Suddenly, there was a sound from heaven like the roaring of a mighty windstorm, and it filled the house where they were sitting. 3 Then, what looked like flames or tongues of fire appeared and settled on each of them. 4And everyone present was filled with the Holy Spirit and began speaking in other languages, as the Holy Spirit gave them this ability.
We continue to celebrate the day of Pentecost as the day that the Holy Ghost descended to us.
More over, we celebrate and recognize that this Spirit is alive and available to everyone in the room today!
To BE BAPTIZED BY GOD.
The word baptism comes from the Bible’s original word: Baptidzo- to immerse, submerge, or overwhelm.
There are thee baptisms a believer can experience. It is necessary to experience these baptisms in order to know the whole counsel of God.
1. BAPTISM OF SALVATION
Maybe you haven’t considered salvation as a baptism, but think about it for a minute.
We are immersed in the Father’s love.
You are overwhelmed by the grace of God.
You are HUMBLED, brought to your knees in repentance.
Your response to God’s love and grace is emotional, psychological, spiritual.
You know the feeling when you are talking to someone that you don’t want to talk to?
Let’s be honest. It’s church. Sometimes you are talking to someone that is driving you crazy. And then a friend near you realizes the state that you are in and comes up to the conversation and grabs your arm and says, “Hey, we need to go so and so is waiting for us and we are late.” SHEW! You tell them, “Thanks…you just saved me from that.”
While you are living your life and it is really messing you up one side and down the other, Jesus comes and takes you by the arm and saves you from depression. Jesus comes up to you grabs your arm, whisks you away and saves you from fear. Jesus is eager to be the friend that steps in and saves you from a lifetime of wandering and Jesus is ready to set you up in the kingdom forever. To spend an eternity with him in the new heavens and new earth. Ruling and reigning with the King of Kings.
We are talking about the Baptism of Salvation.
When you knew nothing of God or his deep love for you and were living a life that often dishonored him, HE CAME FOR YOU.
Ephesians 2:8 For by grace you are saved through faith, and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God; 9 it is not from works, so that no one can boast.
Romans 10:10 For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved.
We call Abraham the father of our faith.
Ephesians 3:5 Does he who supplies the Spirit to you and works miracles among you do so by works of the law, or by hearing with faith— 6 just as Abraham “believed God, and it was counted to him as righteousness”?
Abraham was considered right with God because of his Faith. And so it is with us.
Faith translates to right standing.
When you are married there are many elements to the wedding: vows, rings, songs, license, cake, dancing, sex, living together, kids.
Early on in my pastoring life, I had a bride call me on Sunday evening and say that she want to cancel the marriage and not have me send in the marriage license. I call the county and they told me that if I heard them say their vows to each other then they were legally married. I had to turn in the certificate.
Being saved by God is similar. If you are looking what makes you his, then you don’t have to start completing a list of things that would look appealing to him. Then one day he will consider you married to him. The potent element of your marriage is what Jesus has already done. When you put your faith in his work for you, then you are married to him.
The essence of marriage is a covenant. The essence of salvation is Jesus. He is the covenant.
After we are baptized into the Father’s love and we are His, he shows us another baptism.
2. BAPTISM IN WATER
Matthew 28:18 Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”
Contains the portion of the Great Commission that instructs Christians to go into all the world and baptize with water.
Romans 6:3 Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? 4 We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life.
In our water baptism into Christ, we identify with his death, burial and resurrection.
This is our first public display of affection towards Christ. We are going public, but it is more than that.
There is spiritual transformation when your faith moves to obedience.
Water baptism doesn’t save you, yet baptism belongs with salvation in its very nature.
It is intrinsically connected to salvation.
We believe in what is called Believer’s Baptism. That means that you first believe in the power of God unto salvation.
Water Baptism doesn’t “work” when it happens because you are following religious rules or because your spouse or parent wants you to do it. OR if all of your friends are doing it.
The water is just water. You can go down a wet sinner and come back up a wet sinner, if your faith hasn’t saved you.
You are dipped in water, because you have faith and believed in Jesus for your salvation and now want to identify with his death, burial, and resurrection.
Old Testament baptism was every time you came to temple to worship to cleanse. We only have one baptism when we publically identity with his death, burial, and resurrection. This happens once in your faith journey (at the beginning) to symbolize that Jesus’ work was once and for all sufficient.
If you haven’t been water baptized as a believer, then I urge you to enter into Water Baptism! Today, Next Sunday, don’t put it off. Those who have been water baptized, give me a good amen!
There is a 3rd Baptism. That Day of Pentecost, Holy Ghost Baptism.
3. BAPTISM OF THE HOLY SPIRIT
The Holy Spirit was present in the Old Testament, but only for short periods of time and for specific purposes.
When Jesus baptizes one with the Holy Spirit, that Spirit takes up permanent residence in the person.
John 1: 32 And John bore witness: “I saw the Spirit descend from heaven like a dove, and it remained on him. 33 I myself did not know him, but he who sent me to baptize with water said to me, ‘He on whom you see the Spirit descend and remain, this is he who baptizes with the Holy Spirit.’ 34 And I have seen and have borne witness that this is the Son of God.”
The Holy Spirit was upon Samson, David, and Elijah. They Holy Spirit was accessible to the High Priests once a year when they would enter into the sacred room of the Temple called the Holy of Holies.
God’s Holy Spirit had never descended and remained until Jesus died on the cross.
Acts 1:4 And while staying with them he ordered them not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for the promise of the Father, which, he said, “you heard from me; 5 for John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.”
He will be with you when you know it and when you don’t. He will be with you always. He is not a relic that you connect with at the altar of PSM, he goes home with you. He meets you wherever you go.
Let’s be baptized with all three dimensions. Accept God into your heart, repent, baptized into Jesus Christ, and be filled with the gift of the Holy Spirit.
PUSH you want everything that Jesus died for you to have. Don’t settle for less than what God has promised for you.
Don’t put it off another day.
John and Mary went to Ephesus. It was a strong church.
Acts 19:1 While Apollos was in Corinth, Paul traveled through the interior regions until he reached Ephesus, on the coast, where he found several believers. 2“Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?” he asked them. “No,” they replied, “we haven’t even heard that there is a Holy Spirit.” 3 “Then what baptism did you experience?” he asked. And they replied, “The baptism of John.” 4 Paul said, “John’s baptism called for repentance from sin. But John himself told the people to believe in the one who would come later, meaning Jesus.” 5 As soon as they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. 6 Then when Paul laid his hands on them, the Holy Spirit came on them, and they spoke in other tongues and prophesied.
They were true seekers. Never stuck in their ways. Baptised by John but left the holy land to do missionary. They were spreading the message of repentence of John and Paul pushes them to the next level of holy Spirit. They weren’t religious. They didn’t try to prove themselves. They said, “tell us all about it.” Paul, “After you left…Jesus….”
Don’t stop short of all three baptisms. Yes! You received forgiveness from God. Don’t stop. Be bap