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
We are all THE SAME. We all messed up! God eagerly and lovingly awaits your attention. You can listen to the podcast of this message by clicking here.
Last week, we talked about our sameness is our identity. Our identity is like clothing. We have the same type clothes. The good news of Jesus is that he brings a new set of clothes. A new identity. Be clothed with Christ. A new identity, a new family name based on the name of Jesus.
Today, I want to talk about HOW that change actually happens. Going from the same ol’ same ol’ me to a transformed, child of God. Different attitude. Different results. Type of me!
We can make all the resolutions about change that we want, however a resolution without a new routine is like a Ferrari without any gas. It looks really good but it will not take you anywhere.
Your resolve won’t change anything that your routine created. Determination alone can’t change conditions that your decisions created. You can’t believe your way out of problems that were created by routines of behavior.
You have been in the same pattern and that is the problem. The problem is the pattern.
There are patterns everywhere! Weather patterns, fashion patterns, seating patterns/parking patterns, daily patterns, weekly patterns, music patterns.
JESUS GIVES US THE TRUE PATTERN OF LIFE
John 15 :1 “I am the true grapevine, and my Father is the gardener. 2 He cuts off every branch of mine that doesn’t produce fruit, and he prunes the branches that do bear fruit so they will produce even more. 3 You have already been pruned and purified by the message I have given you. 4 Remain in me, and I will remain in you. For a branch cannot produce fruit if it is severed from the vine, and you cannot be fruitful unless you remain in me. 5 “Yes, I am the vine; you are the branches. Those who remain in me, and I in them, will produce much fruit. For apart from me you can do nothing. 6 Anyone who does not remain in me is thrown away like a useless branch and withers. Such branches are gathered into a pile to be burned. 7 But if you remain in me and my words remain in you, you may ask for anything you want, and it will be granted! 8 When you produce much fruit, you are my true disciples. This brings great glory to my Father.
Remain is the key word in the passage. Remain Remain. Jesus repeats this SAME word. Remain, stay, repeat, same, pattern, stay, remain, repeat, same, pattern. This is a pattern that Jesus is establishing. You will have a pattern in your life and it is all about remaining in Jesus. Abiding in Jesus.
The faith to step out is worthless without the faithfulness to stick it out!
There is a process and purpose. Pain is not pointless if you remain in me. I don’t hate pain, but pointless pain is brutal. Our life bears fruit through purposeful pain.
Our spiritual life produces through a pattern of sowing, waiting, fruitfulness, pruning.
Pruning/testing/trying in the fire. We are pruned so that we can produce again. It is a pattern. Verse 2 – he cuts off every branch! Whoa! That is not the gardener we want to hear about
Jesus is trying to get his disciples to perceive a pattern. He is about to be crucified. He will look like he lost. He is pruned himself. He wants his disciples to know that sometimes life seems random, but there is a pattern. Even, when there is trouble or difficulty, remember the story you are in is not your story, it is God’s story and the pattern is that he wins every time.
Movie – “the way way back” – pacman – a grown man playing pacman and the kid interrupts him.
I wouldn’t normally care, but I’m having the game of my life. I’m on the cherry level.
DUNCAN But, that’s the first level.
GUY Yeah, and I still have one man left. So, like I said, it’s the game of my life. 24.
DUNCAN (smirks) You like Pac Man?
GUY What? It’s a classic! (re: other games) Not into all the bells and whistles, my man. Too much going on.
CLOSE ON Pac Man screen. Pac Man chases a “blinking ghost”, barely devouring it before it changes back.
GUY (CONT’D) See, my mistake is that I get greedy. Going for all the ghosts and fruit instead of just clearing pellets.
DUNCAN You know, there’s a pattern.
GUY Oh, don’t tell me you’re one of those guys. That takes all the challenge out of it. Anybody can learn a pattern.
Just then, the blue-shirted GUYS start to get up, putting up their TRAYS. BLUE-SHIRTED
GUY Owen, we gotta go! We hear the familiar sound of PAC MAN DYING.
OWEN (GUY) Well, so much for the game of my life.
Romans 12:2 Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will. (NIV)
Realize the pattern. It’s not the world that is the problem, it is the pattern of this world.
If you don’t perceive the pattern of this world, then you will spend your whole life chasing after ghosts and strawberries, and new majors, new friends, new jobs, new cars and or even a life without trouble.
When you perceive God’s pattern, life doesn’t seem as random anymore. Life is not a series of unrelated problems. Everything is a part of the pattern.
2 Timothy 1:13 Follow the pattern of the sound words that you have heard from me, in the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus. 14 By the Holy Spirit who dwells within us, guard the good deposit entrusted to you.
Some of you might wonder why we talk about some of the same things over and over. The reason why is THAT MESSAGE is what God is wanting us to abide in.
The Gospel needs to keep thriving.
We can’t disregard the patterns of what has made us what we are. We can’t think we are getting too smart for the old fashioned pattern. Paul says we need to keep the sound pattern of teaching.
Romans 5:14 Yet death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over those whose sinning was not like the transgression of Adam, who was a type of the one who was to come.
Adam was ‘the man’ and he was a bad pattern. He started a pattern of sin.
A child comes into the world with a natural inclination to sin and rebel.
We reproduce what we are. What ever you are as a parent, you are passing down a pattern to your kids. Just like your great grandpaw.
Hebrews 8:5 They serve in a system of worship that is only a copy, a shadow of the real one in heaven. For when Moses was getting ready to build the Tabernacle, God gave him this warning: “Be sure that you make everything according to the pattern I have shown you here on the mountain.” 6 But now Jesus, our High Priest, has been given a ministry that is far superior to the old priesthood, for he is the one who mediates for us a far better covenant with God, based on better promises.
Moses was warned to make the tabernacle exactly what the pattern was. It was modeled after the original in the heavens. Same thing with us! We are to pattern our life after the original Word of God.
It is not complicated. It is not. Peaceful people are those that are following the pattern. Get over yourself, submit to a higher authority (Jesus), live for him, serve others.
Math patterns –In Multiplication the problem is a pattern.
111×6=666 111×6 is problem. But the problem is a pattern. 111, 111, 111, 111, 111, 111 The problem is the pattern. The product is 666 (not the kind of # you want to come up with). If you don’t like the product, you have to change the pattern!
Truth1: We are all THE SAME. We all messed up!
Truth2: God eagerly and lovingly awaits your attention. (PERIOD)
The church is a hospital. A community where people can find healing and new life. A community where we are healed and then heal others. We were found. We are a found people that find people. Come as you are. You don’t have to pretend that you are ok. You can belong before you believe. You are welcomed to show us your issues because that is the way to healing.
Today, we are going to talk about “The Same….Clothes” Turn to your neighbor and ask: “I like your outfit. Who are you wearing?” (Red carpet conversations)
My wife has told me repeatedly that she is going to overhaul my wardrobe. I know I’m getting old because I love to keep clothes and do not care at all that I’m wearing jeans that I had in college…17 years ago. I’m wearing shoes that I have holes in them. I don’t care. They are covering my parts.
Clothes are meant to cover up some things. We wear clothes to cover up our literal nakedness.
The style of what you wear and how much you wear reflects who you are and who you think you are.
Your clothes GIVE OFF a persona. They define who you are:
I brought some pics with me today since you liked the ones so much last week: