John Lloyd - God's Power

Free in Christ: Study of Galatians

God’s Power Can Transform Anyone

Galatians 4:21-31

December 2, 2018

Coming face to face with the power of God is amazing like when He

transforms a life that seemed hopeless and beyond reach. Often the

greatest hindrance to God moving, is our own natural abilities, beliefs and

strengths which can block us from experiencing His power. I pray that

each of us will see that God can transform anyone!

Galatians 4:21 Tell me, you who want to live under the law, do you know

what the law actually says? 22  The Scriptures say that Abraham had two

sons, one from his slave wife and one from his freeborn wife. 23  The son of

the slave wife was born in a human attempt to bring about the fulfillment of

God’s promise. But the son of the freeborn wife was born as God’s own

fulfillment of his promise.

24  These two women serve as an illustration of God’s two covenants. The

first woman, Hagar, represents Mount Sinai where people received the law

that enslaved them. 25  And now Jerusalem is just like Mount Sinai in Arabia,

because she and her children live in slavery to the law. 26  But the other

woman, Sarah, represents the heavenly Jerusalem. She is the free woman,

and she is our mother. 27  As Isaiah said, “Rejoice, O childless woman,

you who have never given birth! Break into a joyful shout, you who have

never been in labor! For the desolate woman now has more children

than the woman who lives with her husband!”

28  And you, dear brothers and sisters, are children of the promise, just

like Isaac. 29  But you are now being persecuted by those who want you to

keep the law, just as Ishmael, the child born by human effort, persecuted

Isaac, the child born by the power of the Spirit.

30  But what do the Scriptures say about that? “Get rid of the slave and

her son, for the son of the slave woman will not share the inheritance with

the free woman’s son.” 31  So, dear brothers and sisters, we are not children

of the slave woman; we are children of the free woman.

Big Idea: God’s power can transform anyone into a child of God.

I. Without Jesus, I cannot _______________ myself or anyone else.

Galatians 4:21 Tell me, you who desire to be under the law, do you not

listen to the law? 22 For it is written that Abraham had two sons, one by a

slave woman and one by a free woman. 23 But the son of the slave was

born according to the flesh, while the son of the free woman was born

through promise.

“under the law”- “You who are bent on being under law. Your desire to be

under law is not in harmony with Scripture.” vs.22-23 Wuest

Romans 7:18For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh.

For I have the desire to do what is right, but not the ability to carry it out.

Two births: Physical birth versus spiritual birth that makes us the children

of God.

The Old Covenant The New Covenant

Law Grace

Hagar the Slave Sarah, the freewoman

Ishmael, conceived after the flesh Isaac, conceived miraculously

Earthly Jerusalem in bondage Heavenly Jerusalem which is free

Galatians 4:25 Now Hagar is Mount Sinai in Arabia; she corresponds to the

present Jerusalem, for she is in slavery with her children.

Without Jesus: I will be enslaved. I need to be born again!

John 3:6 That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of

the Spirit is spirit.  7 Do not marvel that I said to you, ‘You must be born

again.’

 Our culture opposes transformation and prefers ________________ .

Galatians 4:29 But just as at that time he who was born according to the

flesh persecuted him who was born according to the Spirit, so also it is

now.

Galatians 5:17 For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the

desires of the Spirit are against the flesh, for these are opposed to each

other, to keep you from doing the things you want to do.

II. God opposes conformation but brings _____________________!

Galatians 4:27 For it is written, “Rejoice, O barren one who does not bear;

break forth and cry aloud, you who are not in labor! For the children of the

desolate one will be more than those of the one who has a husband.”

Cast out what blocks you from God’s power.

Galatians 4:30 But what does the Scripture say? “Cast out the slave

woman and her son, for the son of the slave woman shall not inherit with

the son of the free woman.” 31So, brothers, we are not children of the slave

but of the free woman.

 Receive the __________________ of God through Jesus Christ.

Galatians 4:28 Now you, brothers, like Isaac, are children of promise.

(Romans 9:8, Galatians 3:28)

Isaac was born by God’s power! (Galatians 4:29)

Galatians 3:14 so that in Christ Jesus the blessing of Abraham might come

to the Gentiles, so that we might receive the promised Spirit through faith.

John 1:12 But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he

gave the right to become children of God,

Genesis 18:14 Is anything too hard for the LORD? (Luke 1:37)

 Keep seeking ____________ and His will above all else.

Galatians 4:26 But the Jerusalem above is free, and she is our mother.

(Col. 3:1-2, Matt. 6:33). What I seek the most will have power over me.

Isaiah 59:1 Behold, the LORD’s hand is not shortened, that it cannot save,

or his ear dull, that it cannot hear; (It’s not a ritual. It is a relationship)

Surrendering to God is the beginning of transformation.

God can transform anyone who comes to Him.

Spiritual Growth Questions for December 2, 2018.

Opener: What is the greatest miracle you have experienced?

1. Read Galatians 4:21-31. Describe in your own words what is

happening here. Why is this important? List all the examples of

symbolism you note in this passage.

2. Read Galatians 4:21-26. What are the contrasts between the two

women? Between their two sons?

3. Consider the four types of people (Keller mentions in pages 117-18)

a. law obeying-law relying, b. law disobeying-law relying, c. law

disobeying not law relying, d. law obeying but not law relying. Look back

over your past and trace your spiritual life in terms of the four categories

mentioned above. How have you progressed?

4. Read Galatians 4:23, Genesis 21:3. How does Paul demonstrate that

physical descent is not enough to make someone a child of God? What

is the crucial difference between Isaac and Ishmael? Read Gal. 4:28.

5. Read Galatians 4:23-26 and 4:29, John 3:19-21, Romans 3:19, 2

Timothy 3:12. Why does the conflict persist between followers of the old

and new covenants? “Persecution is opposing a Christian for either

obeying God or declaring God’s will and truth.” McKnight. How do we

experience this conflict in our worlds?

6. Read Galatians 4:27, Genesis 18:14, Luke 1:37. Can you identify with

Sarah in any way? If you can, how does her experience comfort and

excite you? In what ways could you treat your children (either those

you have or those you don’t) as your savior?

7. John Stott shares, “the persecution of the true church is not always by

the world who are strangers … but by our half-brothers, religious people,

the nominal church. The greatest enemies of evangelical faith are not

unbelievers, but the establishment, the hierarchy. Isaac is always

mocked by Ishmael.” How can “free” Christians guard against their

own kind of self-righteousness, feeling superior to legalists? How

do you respond to legalists?

John Lloyd - Applying The Gospel

Free in Christ: Study of Galatians

Applying the Gospel Brings Freedom: Christ being formed in us

Galatians 4:8-20

November 25, 2018

The Gospel (death, burial and resurrection of Jesus) applied brings great

freedom. The apostle Paul desired for the Galatians to thrive spiritually.

The Gospel changes us by addressing our physical, emotional,

psychological and spiritual needs. Yet, sometimes believers get off track

and need to find their way back to Jesus being formed in them. Today, we

will look at ways to thrive spiritually.

Galatians 4:12 Brothers, I entreat you, become as I am, for I also have

become as you are. You did me no wrong. 13 You know it was because of

a bodily ailment that I preached the gospel to you at first, 14 and though my

condition was a trial to you, you did not scorn or despise me, but received

me as an angel of God, as Christ Jesus. 15 What then has become of your

blessedness? For I testify to you that, if possible, you would have gouged

out your eyes and given them to me. 16 Have I then become your enemy

by telling you the truth?  17 They make much of you, but for no good

purpose. They want to shut you out, that you may make much of them.

18 It is always good to be made much of for a good purpose, and not only

when I am present with you,

Memory Verse: Galatians 4:19 my little children, for whom I am again in

the anguish of childbirth until Christ is formed in you.

Big Idea: We thrive spiritually when we apply the Gospel to every area of

our life. May Jesus Christ be formed in each of our lives!

I. Apply the Gospel to our past ______________________ to God.

Galatians 4:8 Formerly, when you did not know God, you were enslaved to

those that by nature are not gods. 9 But now that you have come to know

God, or rather to be known by God, how can you turn back again to the

weak and worthless elementary principles of the world, whose slaves you

want to be once more?

Enslaved- “they slaved for those who by nature are not gods.” They were

exchanging one form of slavery for another form of slavery. Lenski

The gospel unapplied always leads to enslavements.

I Corinthians 8:3 But if anyone loves God, he is known by God.

“Therefore, Paul is saying that earning one’s own salvation through

scrupulous biblical morality and religion is just as much enslavement to

idols as outright paganism and all its immoral practices! In the end, the

religious person is as lost and enslaved as the irreligious person.” Timothy

Keller (See questions 2&3)

● ______________ of your propensity to return false gods.

Galatians 4:10 You observe days and months and seasons and years!

11 I am afraid I may have labored over you in vain.

4:11 “These words breathe tears.” Martin Luther

2 Timothy 2:19 But God’s firm foundation stands, bearing this seal: “The

Lord knows those who are his,” and, “Let everyone who names the name of

the Lord depart from iniquity.”

The basic principle of the world is that we need to save ourselves. We will

worship what we think we need to fulfill ourselves, to give us “life”. And

Paul is saying that any basic “thing”—money, sex, mountains and so

on—can be worshiped, treated as a god, and become the basis of your

religion. And whatever it is that we worship, we will be enslaved by. Keller

(see questions 3&4)

Drop old idols! May Jesus Christ be formed in each of our lives!

II. Apply the Gospel to your present ____________ and _________.

Galatians 4:12 I entreat you, become as I am, for I also have become as

you are. You did me no wrong. 13 You know it was because of a bodily

ailment that I preached the gospel to you at first,

God does not promise to bless Christians by removing suffering, but to

bless Christians through suffering. Keller (see question 6)

Lord, help me to look for gospel openings in my trials.

III. Appeal to past receptivity and ___________ to continue thriving

spiritually.

Galatians 4:14 and though my condition was a trial to you, you did not

scorn or despise me, but received me as an angel of God, as Christ Jesus.

Galatians 4:16 Have I then become your enemy by telling you the truth?

“Paul is the truest friend the Galatians have even as he is telling them the

truth.” Lenski. (Ephesians 4:15, John 8:31-32, John 14:6)

Loving the truth of the Scriptures brings new life to Christ followers.

IV. Applying the Gospel means seeing Christ ____________ in me

and others.

Galatians 4:19 My little children, for whom I am again in the anguish of

childbirth until Christ is formed in you!

Formed-morphe- is always the form which expresses the essence, the

inner reality, it is never a mask or an assumed form which one can lay

aside. Here Paul deals with faith as embracing Christ, him fully, him alone.

Lenski

1 Thessalonians 1:9 For they themselves report concerning us the kind of

reception we had among you, and how you turned to God from idols to

serve the living and true God, (Acts 14:15b, I Corinthians 4:15)

It pains Paul when people are not thriving spiritually. He wants Christ to

dominate their lives so that there can be no change from a settled spiritual

condition. Douglas Moo (question 8&9)

Colossians 1:28 Him we proclaim, warning everyone and teaching

everyone with all wisdom, that we may present everyone mature in Christ.

29 For this I toil, struggling with all his energy that he powerfully works

within me.

Our goal is to see Christ put into the hearts of each person.

Applying the Gospel causes us to thrive spiritually.

Growth Group Questions for November 25 th

Opener: Who has been like a spiritual mother or father to you?

Describe how they have helped you?

1. Read Galatians 4:8-20. Describe in your own words what is happening

here. Why is this important?

2. Read Galatians 4:8-11. What did the Galatians life look like before they

heard the gospel? (v.8) What were they returning to? (v.9-10) What

was Paul concerned might happen with them? (v.11)

3. How can turning to a works salvation be considered enslavement to

false gods? What idols are you in most danger of serving?

4. Read Galatians 4:9, I Corinthians 8:3. What makes a Christian is not

so much us knowing God, but Him knowing us. Our knowing of God will

rise and fall depending on many things. But God’s knowing of us is

absolutely fixed and solid. How could this truth help you fight idolatry?

5. Read Galatians 4:12. In what sense did Paul want the Galatians to be

like him? Was it prideful for him to say this? Why or why not?

6. Read Galatians 4:12-14. Tim Keller shares that Gospel ministry is

culturally flexible, (v.12), transparent (v.12) and looks for opportunities in

hardship. (v.13) Discuss what this looked like for Paul and what it might

look like for us in our worlds. How can God bless us in our suffering?

7. Read Galatians 4:15-16, Ephesians 4:15, John 8:31-32, 14:6. What

do you see that changed the relationship the Galatians had with Paul in

the past and now? What should our relationship be with the truth?

8. Read Galatians 4:17-18. Contrast what Paul and his companions

wanted for the Galatians and what the false teachers wanted? Do you

ever find it appealing to have people relying on you in some way? Why?

Could you be motivated by the same goals as the false teachers?

9. Read Galatians 4:19-20. What did Paul want for the Galatians? What

encourages or discourages you in relation to what Paul is sharing?

How can we pray for Christ to be formed in you this week?

John Lloyd - God's Children

Free in Christ: Study of Galatians

Being God’s Beloved Children Brings Freedom

Galatians 3:26-4:7

November 18, 2018

One of the most beautiful sights to see is a treasured child. In a world often

filled with fear, class, gender and race comparisons, followers of Christ find

freedom from these barriers by understanding they are a beloved child of

God. “For in Christ Jesus you are all sons of God through faith.” We do

not have to live in fear because we are treasured by God.

Passage: Galatians 3:26-4:7 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. 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.

Big Idea: Jesus secured our sonship. The Holy Spirit makes sonship real

to us! Live as a beloved child of God!

I. Faith in Jesus begins the experience of beloved _____________.

Galatians 3:26 for in Christ Jesus you are all sons of God, through faith

A. Our sonship reaches ______________: we are Sons of our Creator.

Galatians 3:27 For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put

on Christ.

He who puts on Christ becomes partaker of his salvation. The imagery is

not pagan but that of the Old Testament. To put on Christ is to receive

justification: “I will greatly rejoice in the Lord, my soul shall be joyful in my

God; for he hath clothed me in the garments of salvation, he hath covered

me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decketh himself with

ornaments, and as a bride adorneth herself with here jewels. Lenski

Isaiah 61:10 “I will greatly rejoice in the LORD; my soul shall exult in my

God, for he has clothed me with the garments of salvation;  he has covered

me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decks himself like a

priest with a beautiful headdress, and as a bride adorns herself with her

jewels. (Luke 15:22)

B. Our sonship spans the _________: we are united with every Christian

around the world.

Galatians 3:28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor

free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.

“All the Galatians are not a lot of sons of God with many differences in their

sonship but a unit person. Whichever you take, the sonship is identical.

Paul loves to end with a focal unit idea beyond which thought cannot go.”

Lenski

C. Our sonship looks back through ________________: We are heirs of

the promises made to Abraham.

Galatians 3:29 And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s offspring,

heirs according to promise.

Romans 8:17 and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and fellow heirs with

Christ, provided we suffer with him in order that we may also be glorified

with him.

Jesus Christ did everything needed to secure your sonship!

II. Our sonship frees us from our __________.

Galatians 4: 2 but he is under guardians and managers until the date set by

his father. 3 In the same way we also, when we were children, were

enslaved to the elementary principles of the world.

A. Sonship means you can ____________ God to manage your life.

Galatians 4:1 I mean that the heir, as long as he is a child, is no different

from a slave, though he is the owner of everything. (Matthew 6:30-32)

B. Sonship means you have received a new ___________ and status.

Galatians 4:4 But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his

Son, born of woman, born under the law, 5 to redeem those who were

under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons.

Our acceptability to God. When God looks at us, He sees us as His sons

because He sees his Son. The Lord Jesus has given us His

righteousness, His perfection, to wear. Keller

C. Our Sonship becomes experiential through the ______ __________.

Galatians 4:6 And because you are sons, God has sent the Spirit of his

Son into our hearts, crying, “Abba! Father!” 7 So you are no longer a slave,

but a son, and if a son, then an heir through God.

The son’s purpose was to secure for us the legal status of our sonship. By

contrast, the Spirit’s purpose is to secure the actual experience of it.

Timothy Keller

Abba Father- Very strong word that means a rending, loud cry. It refers to

deep and profound passion and feeling. Romans 8:15-16, 8:35,

Reflective Questions: Am I acting like a slave afraid of God or like a child

assured of their Father’s love?

Prayer: Lord, Thank you for securing my sonship because of the work of

your Son, Jesus Christ. Help me experience your Sonship everyday

through your Holy Spirit! May I live like a dearly loved child of God!

Spiritual Growth Questions for November 18th

Opener: What makes adoption into God’s family so beautiful? Share a

story of adoption that has blessed you.

1. Read Galatians 3:26-4:7. Describe in your own words what is

happening here. Why do you think it is important?

2. Read Galatians 3:26-29. How do we become adopted by God? Paul

picks on the three barriers that usually divide people: the cultural

barrier “Neither Jew nor Greek”, the class barrier “Neither slave nor

free,” and finally the gender barrier “Neither male nor female,” What

barriers divide people in our area? How are those broken down with

work of Jesus? How can you help people to see this? “I am a Christian

before I am anyone or anything else.”

3. Read Isaiah 61:10. How do you feel about being an adopted son of

God? In which area of your life do you struggle to remember that you’re

clothed with Christ? How can the words of Isaiah help you with this

struggle?

4. Read Galatians 4:1-3. What old relationships did Jesus free the

Galatians from? What old approaches to God has Jesus freed you?

5. Read Galatians 4:4-5, 3:13-14. Discuss the two transfers (our sins to

Jesus, but also His rights and privileges as Son to us) that Jesus

accomplishes for every believer. “Our inheritance is not a prize to be

won. It is a gift from Christ.” Which part of the transfer is the hardest for

you to experience? Why?

6. Read Galatians 4:6-7, Romans 8:16-17. “The Son’s purpose was to

secure for us the legal status of our sonship. By contrast, the Spirit’s

purpose is to secure the actual experience of it.” Is adoption something

you experience as well as understand? How can you meditate on the

Son’s work more and ask the Spirit to work on your affections more?

7. Am I acting like a slave who is afraid of God, or like a child who is

assured of my Father’s love?

John Lloyd - Faith Walking

Free in Christ: Study of Galatians

Living by Faith brings Great Freedom

Galatians 3:1-14

November 4, 2018

 

Journeying through Galatians, we learned that we are not saved into the kingdom of God by our moral efforts and good works, but through trusting in Jesus Christ and His gospel.  We are not only saved by the gospel but we grow by the gospel when it’s applied, by faith, to every area of our life.  Living by the gospel frees us from anything hindering us from God.

O foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you? It was before your eyes that Jesus Christ was publicly portrayed as crucified. 2 Let me ask you only this: Did you receive the Spirit by works of the law or by hearing with faith? 3 Are you so foolish? Having begun by the Spirit, are you now being perfected by  the flesh? 4 Did you suffer so many things in vain—if indeed it was in vain? 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”? 7 Know then that it is those of faith who are the sons of Abraham. 8 And the Scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, preached the gospel beforehand to Abraham, saying, “In you shall all the nations be blessed.” 9 So then, those who are of faith are blessed along with Abraham, the man of faith. 10 For all who rely on works of the law are under a curse; for it is written, “Cursed be everyone who does not abide by all things written in the Book of the Law, and do them.”

Memory Verse: Galatians 3:11 Now it is evident that no one is justified before God by the law, for “The righteous shall live by faith.” 

Galatians 3:13 Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us—for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who is hanged on a tree”— 14 so that in Christ Jesus the blessing of Abraham might come to the Gentiles, so that we might receive the promised Spirit through faith.

Big Idea: Living by faith leads to salvation, keeps us free and brings great freedom!

I.                Beware of false substitutes of living by faith.

Galatians 3:1 O foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you? It was before your eyes that Jesus Christ was publicly portrayed as crucified.

Three words that keep us on track:  Crucified, Crucified, Crucified

a.   Question of initiation:  Galatians 3:2    Let me ask you only this: Did you receive the Spirit by works of the law or by hearing with faith?

Romans 1:16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. 17 For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith for faith, as it is written, “The righteous shall live by faith.” 

b.   Question of completion: Galatians 3:3  Are you so foolish? Having begun by the Spirit, are you now being perfected by the flesh?

Philippians 1:6 And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.

c.    Question of persecution: Galatians 3:4   Did you suffer so many things in vain—if indeed it was in vain?

Acts 14:22 strengthening the souls of the disciples, encouraging them to continue in the faith, and saying that through many tribulations we must enter the kingdom of God.

d.   Question of miracles: Galatians 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.

“Accepting the Gospel means abandoning our old approach for acceptance by God.”  Timothy Keller

Lord help me abandon my old pattern of finding                        acceptance by God.  Living by faith brings great freedom!

 

II.              Living by faith began with Abraham and continues on in me.

Galatians 3:6 just as Abraham “believed God, and it was counted to him as righteousness”?  (Genesis 15:6, John 8:56, Gal. 3:7-9)

How are we made right with God?  Look at Abraham!                         How do we live by faith?  Study Abraham!

A.    Beware of functional saviors.

Galatians 3:10 For all who rely on works of the law are under a curse; for it is written, “Cursed be everyone who does not abide by all things written in the Book of the Law, and do them.”

“If I am getting angry what is it that I think I need so much?  What is being withheld that I think I must have it in order to be complete, to have hope, to be a person of worth? Comfort, control, and approval are functional saviors.  When they are blocked, we get bitter.”  Timothy Keller (See questions 4&7)

“Today’s anger becomes tomorrow’s bitterness. Bitterness is anger turned inward.”  Stephen Viars

Lord help me to replace my functional saviors                                      with Jesus Christ as my savior. Free me from me!

B.   Living by faith reverses the curse and brings God’s blessing.

Galatians 3:13 Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us—for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who is hanged on a tree”— (Isaiah 53:6, I Peter 2:24, Acts 4:12)

Jesus took my curse upon himself!  (Galatians 2:20, 3:2)

2 Corinthians 5:21 For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.

Galatians 3:14 so that in Christ Jesus the blessing of Abraham might come to the Gentiles, so that we might receive the promised Spirit through faith. 

Galatians 3:11Now it is evident that no one is justified before God by the law, for “The righteous shall live by faith.” 

Living by faith in Christ is how we got here. It is how we grow. It is how we will endure persecution/trials, and experience God’s power to finish strong. 

Living by faith brings great freedom!

 

Spiritual Growth Questions for the week of November 4th

Opener:  In what areas of your life are you tempted to earn God’s favor by your good actions? What were you putting your trust in besides God? 

1.   Read Galatians 3:1-14Describe in your own words what is happening here.  Why is this important? 

2.   Read Galatians 3:1-5. Write out the five questions asked in this passage.  Why is it effective to ask questions to determine where someone is at with the Lord?  Why are these questions asked?

3.   Twice Paul calls the Galatian Christians “foolish” (3:1,3).  In what sense is it foolish to add works to the Gospel of Jesus Christ? 

4.   Think of a sin that you regularly commit.  What are you worshipping more than Jesus that causes you to decide to disobey him?  How will you replace the false savior with your true savior when you are tempted?

5.   Read Galatians 3:6-9.  How does Paul use Abraham as an example of faith instead of keeping the law?  How are we similar to Abraham?  

6.   Read Galatians 3:10-14.    Why do you think Paul uses the words “curse” and “cursed” so often in this passage?  Why is there a curse hanging over those who try to rely on observing the law?  How is it helpful to re-depict Jesus becoming a curse in dealing with functional saviors?  (Reread Galatians 2:20, 3:1, 3:13)

7.   Consider a battle with anger/ or any sin.  If I am getting angry, what is it that I think I need so much?  What is being withheld that I think I must have it in order to be complete, to have hope and to be a person of worth?  Discuss how you would identify the functional savior and re-depict Jesus in your battle with anger/any sin?

8.   Read Galatians 3:13-14, 2 Corinthians 5:21, I Peter 3:18.  How does Jesus becoming a curse for you and crediting His righteousness to you change the way we as Christians see ourselves?  Our walk with God?

9.    What truth of this passage excites you the most today? Why?

John Lloyd - Exchange Life

Free in Christ: Study of Galatians

The  Exchanged Life

Galatians 2:11-20

October 28, 2018

 

It is an exciting truth in the Bible that God gives new life to those who put their trust in Jesus.  God does a heart transplant in the hearts of his followers.  This new life flows from the death, burial and resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ.  The apostle Paul knew that this new life would change not only our souls but also how we live.  There will always be pressure to live in our former ways but the real treasure is letting Jesus live through us. 

 

The Passage:  Galatians 2:11-21.

 

Memory Verses: Galatians 2:20  My old self has been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me. So I live in this earthly body by trusting in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. 21 I do not treat the grace of God as meaningless. For if keeping the law could make us right with God, then there was no need for Christ to die.

 

Big Idea: Accept new life in Christ.  Express new life through Christ!

 

I.               Peer pressure is the enemy of His life being expressed.

 

Galatians 2:11But when Cephas came to Antioch, I opposed him to his face, because he stood condemned. 12For before certain men came from James, he was eating with the Gentiles; but when they came he drew back and separated himself, fearing the circumcision party. (John 7:13)

Fearing- “fear made Peter act against his own better convictions. Fear causes us to think largely of only ourselves.” Lenski (see Acts 11:2-3 for past experiences with this group).

 

I Corinthians 10:12 Therefore let anyone who thinks that he stands take heed lest he fall. (Proverbs 29:25, 2 Timothy 1:7)

 

Galatians 2:13 And the rest of the Jews acted hypocritically along with him, so that even Barnabas was led astray by their hypocrisy. 14 But when I saw that their conduct was not in step with the truth of the gospel, I said to Cephas before them all, “If you, though a Jew, live like a Gentile and not like a Jew, how can you force the Gentiles to live like Jews?”

“Peter was allowing cultural differences to become more important than gospel unity. Fundamentally, he sees that something deeper is going on. Peter is “not acting in line with the truth of the gospel.” Timothy Keller

We are to think out its implications in every area of our lives, and seek to bring our thinking, feeling, and behavior “in line”. Keller

 

Psalm 139:23 Search me, O God, and know my heart! Try me and know my thoughts! 24 And see if there be any grievous way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting!

 

Realign me Lord if my thoughts or actions are out of line with your heart!

 

II.             Remember how God brings His life to all who call on Him.

 

Galatians 2:15 We ourselves are Jews by birth and not Gentile sinners; 16yet we know that a person is not justified by works of the law but through faith in Jesus Christ, so we also have believed in Christ Jesus, in order to be justified by faith in Christ and not by works of the law, because by works of the law no one will be justified.

 

Acts 15:9 and he made no distinction between us and them, having cleansed their hearts by faith.

 

Romans 5:1 Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.

 

Galatians 2:17 But if, in our endeavor to be justified in Christ, we too were found to be sinners, is Christ then a servant of sin? Certainly not! 18 For if I rebuild what I tore down, I prove myself to be a transgressor. 19 For through the law I died to the law, so that I might live to God. (Rom.3:20)

 

Acts 13:39 and by him everyone who believes is freed from everything from which you could not be freed by the law of Moses. (Acts 15:19)

 

Christ’s very life comes to those who trust in Him for salvation!

 

III.             Live the exchanged life: Let the life of Christ be expressed.

 

Galatians 2:20 My old self has been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me. So I live in this earthly body by trusting in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. 21 I do not treat the grace of God as meaningless. For if keeping the law could make us right with God, then there was no need for Christ to die.

 

“Paul says more than that Christ was crucified for him, and that Christ’s crucifixion is regarded as Paul himself has been crucified, or even as if all the benefits of Christ’s crucifixion were personally made Paul’s own. Only by being crucified with Christ does one die to law.  It is the one avenue of escape.  Paul’s whole present life is ‘in faith’ in this blessed sphere of trust. He did not want to do anything that would nullify this great truth.”  Lenski

 

Colossians 2:20 If with Christ you died to the elemental spirits of the world, why, as if you were still alive in the world, do you submit to regulations—

 

Romans 6:14 For sin will have no dominion over you, since you are not under law but under grace.

 

I Peter 2:24 He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By his wounds you have been healed.

 

I Peter 4:2 so as to live for the rest of the time in the flesh no longer for human passions but for the will of God.

 

“You are like a corpse at which the law can thunder with all its might and get in response not even a stirring of a finger or a flicker of an eyelash.  Why? You have found the righteousness by faith in Christ.” Lenski

 

A.   Surrender your past to God (both the good and the bad). (Philippians 3:4-7, I Timothy 1:15-16)

B.   Recognize your life is not your own. (2 Corinthians 5:15)

C.  Trust the Son of God for all things concerning your earthly life (Matthew 6:25-27)

D.  Keep focusing on this Jesus great love and sacrifice for you!

(John 15:13, Romans 5:8)

 

“The inner dynamic for living the Christian life is right here! Only when I see myself as completely loved and holy in Christ will I have the power to repent with joy, conquer my fears, and obey the One who did all this for me.”  Timothy Keller

Accept new life in Christ.  Express new life through Christ!

Growth Group Questions for October 28th

 

Icebreaker:  When you first started attending church, what was one of your favorite memories?

 

1.   Read Galatians 2:11-20Describe in your own words what is happening here.  Why is this important? 

2.   Read Galatians 2:11-15.  What was Peter doing that wasn’t in line with the gospel?  Do you see areas in your life where you have been walking in line with the gospel?  What does it look like for you?

3.   Are there people in your church you have not been “eating with” because they are not “like you”? What self-righteousness lies beneath this attitude?

4.   Read Galatians 2:16-18, Acts 15:7-11.  What principles do you see Paul and Peter using to motivate the Galatian and Jerusalem churches to apply the gospel to all of their relationships?   How could you motivate yourself and other Christians less with guilt, and more with the gospel?  Give specific examples.

5.   Read Romans 6:14, I Peter 2:24, 2 Cor. 5:15 and I Peter 4:2.  What do these verses teach us we should die to and live for?  What from your old life keeps you from expressing new life? 

6.   Read Galatians 2:20. What does the apostle Paul mean by this phrase “to be crucified with Christ?”  What difference should the death of Christ make in your love for Him and actions in life?  What exchanges do you see happening in this verse? 

7.   How would explain “justification by faith” to someone who has never been to church before?

8.   Read Galatians 2:21. How would you explain the difference between being moral and being a Christian to someone who thinks being good makes them acceptable to God?

Spend time praying for each other!Pray for those who need to hear the incredible truths of this passage!Pray for opportunities to share.

John Lloyd - Free In Christ

Free in Christ: Study of Galatians

Preserving our Spiritual Freedom in Christ

Galatians 2:1-10

October 21, 2018

 

Spiritual unity is a gift from God.  We humbly receive it when we put our trust in Jesus Christ as our Savior.  Yet, it is very easy to get sidetracked with peripheral issues that bring bondage and hinder our freedom. Spiritual unity brings tremendous power and discernment which sharpens our message and keeps us on mission.  Thank God for our unity in Jesus. 

Memory Verse: Galatians 2:10 Only, they asked us to remember the poor, the very thing I was eager to do.

Big Idea: Real unity is born by the Holy Spirit and brings freedom to discern the enemy, to share the gospel and stay on mission.  The Holy Spirit brings freedom… responding to the Holy Spirit keeps us free!

I.               Recognize spiritual unity comes from the Holy Spirit.

Galatians 2:1 Then after fourteen years I went up again to Jerusalem with Barnabas, taking Titus along with me. 2 I went up because of a revelation and set before them (though privately before those who seemed influential) the gospel that I proclaim among the Gentiles, in order to make sure I was not running or had not run in vain. (See Question 3)

“Nothing was threatening Paul’s certainty, but something was threatening his fruitfulness.”  Timothy Keller (Galatians for You)

Galatians 3:3 Are you so foolish? Having begun by the Spirit, are you now being perfected by the flesh?  (Galatians 1:1)

Ephesians 4:4 There is one body and one Spirit—just as you were called to the one hope that belongs to your call— 5one Lord, one faith, one baptism, 6one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.

Spiritual unity comes from the Holy Spirit.                                    Spiritual unity is kept by the Spirit.

II.             Discern the real enemies of spiritual unity.

Galatians 2:3 But even Titus, who was with me, was not forced to be circumcised, though he was a Greek. 4Yet because of false brothers secretly brought in—who slipped in to spy out our freedom that we have in Christ Jesus, so that they might bring us into slavery— (Galatians 2:14)

“Externalities are to do with our doing; internalities have to do with our being; Christianity is about who I am in Christ, not what I do for him.”  Keller

Colossians 1:22 he has now reconciled in his body of flesh by his death, in order to present you holy and blameless and above reproach before him, (See Mark 7:14-19, John 10:10)

The enemy wants you to believe that power of our fallen nature is more powerful than the Holy Spirit.  He wants to destroy us with old sin patterns. 

Romans 6:11 So you also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus. (I Thessalonians 3:5)

Romans 6:18 and, having been set free from sin, have become slaves of righteousness.  (I Peter 5:8, Revelation 12:10)

Freedom and community are two great yearnings of the human heart. The “earn yourself salvation” message always leads people only into bondage. Keller

Galatians 2:5 to them we did not yield in submission even for a moment, so that the truth of the gospel might be preserved for you. (Galatians 5:1)

Preserved- stay permanent with you

Hebrews 4:12 For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.

Spiritual unity brings freedom from cultural additions.

III.             Spiritual unity is powered by the Gospel message.

 

Galatians 2:6 And from those who seemed to be influential (what they were makes no difference to me; God shows no partiality)—those, I say, who seemed influential added nothing to me. 7 On the contrary, when they saw that I had been entrusted with the gospel to the uncircumcised, just as Peter had been entrusted with the gospel to the circumcised 8 (for he who worked through Peter for his apostolic ministry to the circumcised worked also through me for mine to the Gentiles),

 

“It was not just a question of circumcision and uncircumcision, of Gentile and Jewish customs.  It was a matter of fundamental importance regarding the truth of the gospel, namely of Christian freedom versus bondage.  Acceptance before God depends entirely on God’s grace in the death of Jesus Christ received by faith.”  John Stott

Romans 1:16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. (Acts 1:8)

 

Where there is great unity, there will be great power! 

IV.          Spiritual unity partners together to fulfill God’s mission.

Galatians 2:9 and when James and Cephas and John, who seemed to be pillars, perceived the grace that was given to me, they gave the right hand of fellowship to Barnabas and me, that we should go to the Gentiles and they to the circumcised. 10 Only, they asked us to remember the poor, the very thing I was eager to do. (Matthew 11:5) (See question 8)

Remember- keep caring for the poor.

True faith will inevitably show itself through deeds of mercy. Keller

Ephesians 4:3 eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. (Ephesians 4:26 & 27, 4:12)(See question 10)

Ephesians 4:16b when each part is working properly, makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in love. (John 13:35)

  Going the extra mile to keep the unity will preserve fruitfulness.     God will bring amazing fruit!

Dan Harper - Who's Afraid Of Liturgy

Worship Sermon October 14, 2018

Who’s Afraid of Liturgy?



Intro and BIg Idea

  1. My sermon on worship has gone through at least 3 distinct versions

    1. I’m tempted to use PJ’s Big Idea for the sermon as this:

      1. “Be thankful you don’t prepare a sermon every week.”

  2. We have been going through the book Sing! Both during:

    1. The 9 AM class on Sunday

      1. A lot of fun and very practical

        1. A shout out to the Underground Choir!!

    2. Pastor John’s two week mini series on the Getty’s book

      1. Well worth listening to again online!

  3. I want to thank both Laurel Porter and Esther Chan for championing this book and for the Keith and Kristyn Getty for writing it!

  4. I highly recommend reading this book

    1. I think it is still available downstairs or on Kindle

    2. And it is a great reminder that the Church is a singing church.

  5. As I was writing and rewriting this sermon I came across a quote that easily could have been included in the book Sing!

    1. True theology is theology that sings!”  

    2. Listen to  the words of Jesus  in Hebrews 2:12 (ESV): “I will tell of your name to my brothers; in the midst of the congregation I will sing your praise.”

      1. John Calvin makes this comment on this verse:

        1. “Christ is the great Choirmaster who tunes our hearts to sing God’s praise”

  6. So here was my dilemma.

    1. How and what to focus on for this last sermon of this worship sermon series?

      1. I considered taking a hymn apart and putting it back together and singing it with you as the choir.

      2. I considered a sermon that was a quick overview of worship and the comparison of a wedding ceremony to a church service.

      3. But I want to do something a bit different today and discuss something that may seem foreign or strange to some of you but if you bear with me I might say something that makes sense.  

    2. Now that you are completely nervous about this sermon let me make you even more nervous and give the title of the sermon.

Who’s Afraid of Liturgy???

What will be the goal of this sermon?

  1. I’m not going advocate that DPC start worshipping in a dry, dusty, formal liturgical manner and mumble words that we don’t know.

  2. We come from many different backgrounds.  

    1. Most of us are probably from a Free church background or what I might call broadly evangelical

      1. Though I challenge anyone to define evangelical in today’s world!!  

    2. Some of us may have grown up in a more liturgical church

      1. Either Lutheran or Presbyterian or in the Roman Catholic Church.

    3. Some of us didn’t grow up attending church at all and the word liturgis unknown to you.

  3. My goal is threefold:

    1. Define liturgy and show that every church has a liturgy

    2. Make a case for biblical, Trinitarian liturgy.

    3. Make a case for incorporating liturgy in the life of DPC


What is liturgy?

  1. The English word never appears in scripture

    1. So perhaps I should just stop here.

  2. But in the Greek similar words are in Scripture.

  3. Hebrews 8:1–2 (ESV): ...we have such a high priest, one who is seated at the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in heaven, 2 a minister in the holy places, in the true tent that the Lord set up, not man.

    1. That word minister is lietourgos ton hagion. A minister in the holy places.  Another way of saying “a high priest”

    2. leitourgos is a close related to leitourgia

      1. Or liturgy

      2. And the original meaning is: public service or worship of the gods.

    3. leitourgos is used several times in the New Testament


Liturgy and New Testament worship

  1. New Testament worship

    1. Many people think they know exactly what it is

      1. But it is quite difficult to pin down exactly what the early church did in worship.

      2. The early church was Jewish so let’s look at how Jewish synagogues conducted their worship services.

        1. We don’t exactly know for much of what we do know comes from a few centuries after Jesus.

      3. Okay, let’s use Scripture. It should give us a template for worship, right?

        1. Not really.  It gives us what the early churches did but not how they did it.  

          1. Breaking of bread - communion.

          2. Teaching

          3. Singing or chanting

          4. Service to others.

        2. Worship was considered more than just meeting once a week.  

          1. One word for worship means service or ministering.

          2. Another word for worship means adoration.

          3. So in English the phrase Adoration and Action is a more complete definition of worship.

  2. There was some sort of liturgy but we can’t specifically define it.

    1. Early on there is evidence of liturgy or an order to the corporate time of worship.

    2. It may have been a Covenant Renewal service

      1. A symbolic renewal based on that sacrificial system of the Old Testament but in a New Testament setting.

        1. with Jesus as our High Priest

        2. And Jesus as the Lamb of God

      2. A quote from Jeffrey Meyers:

“In response to God’s covenantal initiative—His drawing near to us—we submit to His sacrificial work; that is, we confess, thank, praise, and pray as we are renewed through the Spirit and enabled to give unto our Covenant Lord the glory due His Name. And it all culminates with a meal. The Lord serves us bread and wine at the Table, where we experience as a community His shalom.” (The Lord’s Service)

  1. Acts 13:2  (ESV): 2 While they were worshiping the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, “Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.”

    1. This could be translated as this: “On one occasion, while they were engaged in the liturgy of the Lord and were fasting, the Holy Spirit spoke to them”

      1. The Greek word for worshipping  is leitourgeo or public, congregational service.

  1. There is not nearly enough time or clarity on my part to go into this deeper.  We can talk later if this piques your interest.

  2. But thanks for bearing with me because while the exact word liturgy is not in Scripture it is referenced at least obliquely many times.


So where are we?

  1. Why did I just spend all this time making a case for liturgy when we are not a liturgical church.  

    1. Our Swedish ancestors broke away from a dead, liturgical church to worship God more purely and simply, right?

  2. Because every church has a liturgy.

    1. Even the most charismatic church without any structure

      1. Has structure even in its absence!!

    2. Example of my church and Mr. Elliot


Okay, so every church has liturgy but ours is not dead and formal.

  1. The presence or absence of a formal liturgy is not an indication of the spiritual health of a church.  

    1. It is simplistic to judge a church by how formal or informal their liturgy is.  

      1. Having said that, there are many churches that their only connection to the Bible and to the Father, Son, 5and Holy Spirit is through the words of their liturgy.  They may not believe it but they say the words!

My second goal for this sermon was to make a case for biblical, Trinitarian liturgy.

Let’s discuss the Trinity for just a minute.

  1. The Trinity is another word that is not explicitly found in the Bible.

    1. Some groups have tried to invalidate the concept because of this

      1. Jehovah Witnesses, Oneness Pentecostals, etc

  2. Many modern Christians only think of the Trinity as a marker of orthodox belief.

    1. A mere factoid of knowledge that is important but sure why.

    2. Dorothy Sayers, the British writer of the 20th century was a strong Christian and ‘suggests that the average churchgoer’s conception of the doctrine of the Trinity is more like a parody of the Athanasian Creed: “The Father incomprehensible, the Son incomprehensible, and the whole thing incomprehensible. Something put in by theologians to make it more difficult—nothing to do with daily life or ethics.”’ (Dorothy Sayers, The Dogma is the Drama)

  3. When a church comes together on Sunday

    1. We go to church

    2. We sing our hymns to God

    3. We intercede for the world

    4. We listen to the sermon

    5. We offer our time, talents, and money to God

    6. No doubt we need God’s grace to do this but we do it because Jesus taught us to do it.

    7. But worship is what we do before God.

    8. Here’s the problem with this. It means the only priesthood is our priesthood; the only offering, our offering; and the only intercession is our intercession.

      1. In Hebrews we saw that Christ is our High Priest.

      2. Christ is our offering for sins.

      3. Christ is our intercessor before God the Father.

      4. The Holy Spirit is the one who prays for us when we can’t

    9. The church I described is not fully Trinitarian in practice even though they truly believe intellectually in the the Trinity.

    10. It’s all about what WE do not what the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit have done and continue to do for us.

  4. A second type of corporate worship is this:

    1. The gift of participating through the Spirit in the incarnate Son’s communion with the Father.

    2. It means participating in union with Christ, in what he has done for us once and for all, in his self-offering to the Father, in his life and death on the cross.

    3. There is only one offering that is truly acceptable to God’s and it is not ours. It’s is Jesus’ offering.

      1. Hebrews 10:10 (ESV): 10 And by that will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.

    4. The meaning of life in the Spirit is expressed in the word, koinonia, which can be translated fellowship, sharing, participation.  

      1. Galatians 4:6(ESV): God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, “Abba! Father!”

  5. The difference between our working to satisfy God in corporate worship and our worship being a reflection of the worship between the Trinity is huge.  

    1. When we try to initiate worship it ultimately fails and is unsatisfying

    2. When we our corporate worship as a reaction to what Trinity has and continues to do FOR us, than we truly worship and are satisfied.

  6. In some of the older language of years ago the worship service was called this:

    1. The Lord’s Service.

      1. Where we come and the Lord serves us!!  

      2. We then can be nourished and truly worship Him.


Now liturgy is almost as big a subject as is worship


Let me share you my dream for DPC.  I’m only speaking for myself and no one else.  

  1. This is a bit risky talking out loud without Pastor John being here.

  2. Also, I’m not proposing that ANY of this even be seriously considered

    1. Think of this as an after dinner conversation on the back porch.


A Slightly modified order of worship


Call to Worship/Prayer

Opening Song

Meet and Greet

The Lord’s Prayer (spoken)

(Or occasionally a corporate prayer of confession)

Doxology (sung)

Songs 2-4

Ministry of the Word (sermon)

Ministry of Communion

Pastoral Prayer

Ministry of Giving

Announcements

Final Song

Benediction/Blessing


A Major Change of the order of worship


Announcements on screen before the service,

Call to Worship/Prayer

Sung Response (short)

Corporate Confession

Sung Response

Doxology

Songs 2-4 (Actually 1-3 or 1-4)

Ministry of the Word (sermon)

Ministry of Communion

Pastoral Prayer ending with the Lord’s Prayer

Ministry of Giving

Final Song

Final Blessing and Encouragement


NOTES on the changes


Announcements on screen before the service,

  1. Where to put the annoucements is alway difficult.

Call to Worship/Prayer

  1. God calls us to worship Him.  

  2. Acknowledgement of why we are here.

  3. Preparing our hearts and minds to worship

Sung response

  1. A very short song or chorus

Corporate Confession

  1. Not a long drawn out time because we should be prepared to worship including private confession beforehand

Sung response

  1. A very short song or chorus reflecting on God’s promise to forgive us.

Doxology and/or the Apostle’s Creed

  1. Either both or alternate

Songs 2-4 (Actually 1-3 or 1-4)

  1. A longer time of singing

Ministry of the Word (sermon)

  1. Including the corporate reading of Scripture

Ministry of Communion

  1. As we do now

Pastoral Prayer ending with the Lord’s Prayer

  1. We could sing or recite the Lord’s Prayer

Ministry of Giving

  1. As we do now

Final Song

  1. As  we do now

Final Blessing and Encouragement



Why even think about changes?

  1. First, this is just a conversation not a proposal in any real sense.

  2. This helps DPC integrate not just the doctrine of the Trinity into our services but learn to appreciate and love the communion that comes from the Trinity.

  3. Help integrate even more truth, beauty, and goodness into our life at DPC.



Nevertheless, a few choice insights from the Orthodox liturgist Alexander Schmemann will help illumine the importance of beauty for “modern” man. “The liturgy is, before everything else, the joyous gathering of those who are to meet the risen Lord and to enter with him into the bridal chamber. And it is this joy of expectation and this expectation of joy that are expressed in singing and ritual, …..in that whole ‘beauty’ of the liturgy which has so often been denounced as unnecessary and even sinful.

Unnecessary it is indeed, for we are beyond the categories of the necessary. Beauty is never necessary,’ functional, or useful. And when, expecting someone we love, we put a beautiful tablecloth on the table and decorate it with candles and flowers, we do all this not out of necessity, but out of love. And the church is love, expectation, and joy. It is heaven on earth, according to our Orthodox tradition; it is the joy of recovered childhood, that free, unconditioned and disinterested joy which alone is capable of transforming the world. In our adult serious piety we ask for definitions and justifications, and they are rooted in fear—fear of corruption, deviation, ‘pagan influences,’ whatnot. But ‘he that feareth is not made perfect in love’ (1 Jn. 4: 18). As long as Christians will love the Kingdom of God, and not only discuss it, they will ‘represent’ it and signify it in art and beauty’ (Alexander Schmemann. For the Life of the World; pp 29-30.  Quoted by Jeffrey Meyers, The Lord’s Service)


John Lloyd - Amazing Grace

Free in Christ: Study of Galatians

Amazing Grace Sets us Free

Galatians 1:11-24

October 7, 2018

 

I pray that each of us would truly receive God’s amazing grace for our lives.  The apostle Paul was blind to it but God opened his eyes and changed his life.  God’s amazing grace sets us free, and we are kept free as we share it with others.  Enjoying the Journey, Pastor John

Today’s Passage:  Galatians 1:11-24

Memory Verse: Galatians1: 23b “He who used to persecute us is now preaching the faith he once tried to destroy.” 24 And they glorified God because of me.

Some Big Themes in Galatians:1. In Jesus’ sin bearing death, Christ is the substitute for all Christians, whom he brings into a new realm of freedom and life. (see 1:4, 2:20, 3:13). 2.  The gospel is for humanity, but there is no sense that it has its origin in humanity, it comes only from God. (1:1,11-12, 15-20). 3.  The gospel is appropriated not by works of the law but by faith which is the route of justification (2:16). 4. OT Scripture itself testifies to the truth of justification by faith, both in the life of Abraham and in the prophecy of Habakkuk. (Genesis 15:6, Habakkuk 2:4)

Big Idea: God’s amazing grace sets and keeps us free!

I.               Amazing grace ______________ me right to God.  Galatians 1:11-12

Galatians 1:11 For I would have you know, brothers, that the gospel that was preached by me is not man’s gospel. 12 For I did not receive it from any man, nor was I taught it, but I received it through a revelation of Jesus Christ.  (Galatians 1:1)

Brothers- to those who believe and confess the true gospel.

Acts 26:18 to open their eyes, so that they may turn from darkness to light and from the power of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those who are sanctified by faith in me.’

No one is so good that they don’t need the grace of the gospel, or so bad that they can’t receive the grace of the gospel.  Paul was deeply religious but he needed the gospel.  Paul was deeply flawed, yet he could be reached with the gospel.  As C.S. Lewis once said, “Christianity must be from God, who else could have thought it up?  Timothy Keller  

Amazing grace is God’s idea!

II.             Amazing grace _____________ me past my deepest sin.  1:13-14

Galatians 1:13 For you have heard of my former life in Judaism, how I persecuted the church of God violently and tried to destroy it. 14 And I was advancing in Judaism beyond many of my own age among my people, so extremely zealous was I for the traditions of my fathers. (Acts 8;3,

Acts 8:3 But Saul was ravaging the church, and entering house after house, he dragged off men and women and committed them to prison. (Acts 9:1-2, I Corinthians 15:9)

 “Grace is the free, unmerited favor of God, working powerfully on the mind and heart to change lives. There is no clearer example than Paul that salvation is by grace alone, not through our moral and religious performance. Though Paul’s sins were very deep, he was invited in.”   Timothy Keller

I Timothy 1:15 The saying is trustworthy and deserving of full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am the foremost. (Isaiah 43:25, Psalm 103:12, Micah 7:19)

2 Corinthians 5:21 For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.

Amazing grace means Jesus died in my place on the cross.

God’s amazing grace is greater than all my sin.

 

III.             Jesus Christ __________________ amazing grace to me.  1:15-16

 

Galatians 1:15 But when he who had set me apart before I was born, and who called me by his grace, 16 was pleased to reveal his Son to me, in order that I might preach him among the Gentiles,  (See question 4)

 

“The gospel calls us out of religion just as much as it calls us out of irrelgion.”  Keller

 

Reveal-apokalupto- refers to the disclosure of something by the removal of what was concealing it.

 

When amazing grace is revealed to you, you see God’s hand on every detail of your life.

 

Acts 9:4 And falling to the ground he heard a voice saying to him, “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me?” 5 And he said, “Who are you, Lord?” And he said, “I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting. 6 So he, trembling and astonished, said, "Lord, what do You want me to do?"

 

Everything changes when you receive God’s amazing grace         through Jesus Christ.  Amazing grace sets me free!

 

IV.          Amazing grace keeps me free when I ________ it with others.1:23-24

Galatians1: 23 They only were hearing it said, “He who used to persecute us is now preaching the faith he once tried to destroy.” 24 And they glorified God because of me. (see questions 5&6)

It’s amazing grace to be rescued out of religion or irreligion.  It’s even deeper when you allow God to use you to rescue others.

God did it! God did it by grace!  God did it through Christ!  God did for the sake of others!  Warren Wiersbe 

Ephesians 2:8 For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, 9not a result of works, so that no one may boast.

Sharing this amazing grace glorifies God and His Son, Jesus Christ!

Spiritual Growth Questions for October 7th, 2018

Opener:   When someone goes through a radical change, what kind of questions does it raise for you?

1.   Read Galatians 1:11-24.  Describe in your own words what is happening here.  Why is this important?

2.   Read Galatians 1:11-17What were the driving forces in Paul’s life before his conversion?  What evidence is there that God was working in Paul’s life even before he met Jesus?   How does Paul’s pre-conversion life add weight to the claim that his gospel came from God?

3.   Read Jeremiah 1:5, Galatians 1:15. In what ways can you see how God worked in your life before your conversion, to equip you to serve Him after it?

4.   Do you ever find yourself thinking you deserve God’s grace? What prompts you to think this way? How does the gospel of grace free you from pride and guilt? (Meditate on Ephesians 2:8, Romans 11:6)

5.   Read Galatians 1:18-24. Given Paul’s reputation, how might he have expected the churches to respond to him as a supposed new believer?  What significance do you see in the fact that Christians in Judea “praised God because of” Paul rather than praising Paul?

6.   Read Galatians 1:23-24, 2 Thessalonians 1:12. How could you live your life so that people would respect and praise God more because of you?

7.   Read John 12:43, Proverbs 29:25. How are you most tempted to fear men and seek their approval? What would change if, in those moments, you lived to please God who is pleased with you?

8.   Read Luke 5:16, Hebrews 10:25, Acts 1:8How committed are you to spending time with God… spending time with other believers…  spending time telling others your testimony?  

9.   What are the biggest changes which knowing Christ has brought about in your life?  What changes in your life would you still like the Lord to bring about?  Pray for your will to be in cooperation with God’s working.  How can we pray for you this week?

John Lloyd - Freedom With God

Free in Christ: Study on Galatians

(True Freedom) It all begins with God

Galatians 1:1-10

September 30, 2018

 

God has wired every person to have a great desire to be free.    Often, we look for the things of this world to set us free.  Yet, we soon realize these things bring much pain and hurt to our souls.  Timothy Keller shares, “the book of Galatians is dynamite.  It is an explosion of joy and freedom which leaves us enjoying a deep significance, security, and satisfaction- the life of blessing God calls His people into.”  It’s our prayer that God will use this study to help us better walk in Christ’s freedom. Pastor John

Passage:  Galatians 1:1-10

Memory Verse: Galatians 1:4 who gave himself for our sins to deliver us from the present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father.

Big Idea:  True freedom begins, endures and ends with God.

Background to Galatians: Who:  Paul, Galatians, Why:  False teachers distorting the gospel, adding the fulfilling of the law to it. When:  48-50 AD.  Where:  South Galatia- Derbe, Lystra, Iconium, Pisidia Antioch  (Acts 13-14)  What:  Galatians is an explosion of joy and freedom in Christ.  It’s an explanation and arsenal of the true gospel to guard the church for generations.

I.                Jesus Christ rescues us from ____________ freedoms.

Galatians 1:1 Paul, an apostle—not from men nor through man, but through Jesus Christ and God the Father, who raised him from the dead

Apostle- One commissioned and sent

Not from men nor through man- (See Acts 13:3, 9:4 & 9:15)

Galatians 1:3 Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

“Grace is fundamental, peace is its result.  Grace is undeserved favor by which sinners are received and cleansed from sin and guilt.”  R.C.H. Lenski

Galatians 1:4 who gave himself for our sins to deliver us from the present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father,

To deliver us- to pluck out, to rescue.  The gospel is a rescue an emancipation from a state of bondage.

“All that floating mass of thoughts, opinions, maxims, speculations, hopes, impulses, aims, aspirations, at any time current in the world, which it may be impossible to seize and accurately define, but which constitute a most real and effective power, being the moral or immoral atmosphere which at every moment of our lives we inhale, again inevitably to exhale.”  Trench

Evil (poneros)- not content unless it is corrupting others as well, pernicious.

According to the will of our God and Father

Galatians 1:5 All glory to God forever and ever! Amen. (Paul’s motive)

Only Jesus can break the hold of this present evil age.

II.              Beware of false freedom whose source is ________ not God.

Galatians 1:6 I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting him who called you in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel— 7 not that there is another one, but there are some who trouble you and want to distort the gospel of Christ.

Deserting-changing from one religious conviction to another. Present tense

Different- heteros- not only a difference in kind but also speaks of the fact that the character of the thing is evil or bad.

 “Every system of religion except the Bible bases salvation on the good works of the worshipper.” Kenneth Wuest (See Question 8) Titus 3:5 

Luke 22:31“Simon, Simon, behold, Satan demanded to have you, that he might sift you like wheat.” 2 Corinthians 11:13-14

These direct claims reveal that Paul writes Galatians to combat people who are pressuring the Galatians to undergo circumcision and submit to the law of Moses as a means of completing their Christian experience. Doug Moo

Galatians 3:1a O foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you?

Two lies: True Gospel is false.  False Gospel is true.

The error of Cain is that he substituted his own way instead of embracing God’s sacrifice.  (See Genesis 4)

Galatians 5:4 You are severed from Christ, you who would be justified by the law; you have fallen away from grace.

Human doing is always inadequate.  Works always fall short.

III.             Accept no substitutes except the __________________ substitution.

Galatians 1:8 But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel contrary to the one we preached to you, let him be accursed. 9 As we have said before, so now I say again: If anyone is preaching to you a gospel contrary to the one you received, let him be accursed.

“Jesus did all we needed to do, but cannot do. The moment you revise the gospel you reverse it.”  Tim Keller

Galatians 5:6 For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision counts for anything, but only faith working through love. (Galatians 6:14-15, Titus 3:5, Hebrews 10:12)

Galatians 1:10 For am I now seeking the approval of man, or of God? Or am I trying to please man? If I were still trying to please man, I would not be a servant of Christ.

True freedom comes when I realize I am accepted not because of what I have done or do, but solely on what Jesus did for me. True Freedom begins and ends with God!

Growth Group Questions for September 30, 2018

Opener:  Have you ever been led astray?  Have you ever been convinced by a dynamic speaker or persuasive book only to later find out that it was wrong?  Please describe.  How should we test truths? 

1.   Read Galatians 1:1-10.  Describe in your own words what is happening here.  Why is this important? 

2.   Read Galatians 1:1-5.  What key themes emerge in verses 1-5 in response to the controversy with the false teachers? Discuss: “You are in such a hopeless position that you need a rescue that has nothing to do with you at all. And then it says: God in Jesus provides a rescue which gives you far more than any false salvation your heart may love to chase.” (Keller: Galatians for You page 17)

3.   Read Galatians 1:6-10. Paul’s tone reminds us that Christian faith is a matter of heart, as well as head—feelings, as well as intellect. How does this encourage you? How does it challenge you?  Why are his words so strong against these teachers?   When do you find it hardest to accept the authority of apostolic N.T. teaching? Why?

4.    Read Galatians 1:3-5. How would you explain the gospel to someone who asked you today what you believe?  Create an outline of the gospel based on these verses.  How can we recognize the true gospel? How important is gospel truth to you?  How is this shown in your life?

5.   Why will understanding the true gospel produce anger at false “gospels?”  (deception: true gospel a lie, false gospel as truth)

6.   Which of the three modern false-gospel dangers could you or our church most easily fall for?  (1. Saved through surrender plus right beliefs and behavior, 2. Doesn’t matter what you believe as long as you are good person.  3. Extremely intolerant of small differences of dress or custom.)  Why are we so prone to false gospels?                                                     Do you know someone being swayed by false teaching and how can you help that person?  How can we pray for you this week?

Galatians 1:1 Paul, an apostle—not from men nor through man, but through Jesus Christ and God the Father, who raised him from the dead— 2 and all the brothers  who are with me, To the churches of Galatia: 3 Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ, 4 who gave himself for our sins to deliver us from the present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father, 5 to whom be the glory forever and ever. Amen.  6 I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting him who called you in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel— 7 not that there is another one, but there are some who trouble you and want to distort the gospel of Christ. 8 But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel contrary to the one we preached to you, let him be accursed. 9 As we have said before, so now I say again: If anyone is preaching to you a gospel contrary to the one you received, let him be accursed. 10 For am I now seeking the approval of man, or of God? Or am I trying to please man? If I were still trying to please man, I would not be a servant of Christ.

 

Memory Verse:

Galatians 5:1 For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery.

“Jesus is not so much a teacher as He is a rescuer. Because that’s what we most need.  Nothing in who we are or what we do saves us.  This what theologians call spiritual inability.”  Timothy Keller

John Lloyd - Passionate Worship: Respond In Worship

Passionate Worship:  Responding to God in Worship

Psalm 66

September 16, 2018

Pastor John Lloyd


We pray that an army of people would be raised up in the bay area to be, as John Piper says, “white hot worshipers” of Jesus!  We want to teach our children how to passionately worship God both through praise and in their lives. God builds His kingdom within all generations through meaningful worship.  He speaks through the Scriptures and the Holy Spirit; our response should be praise and worship. Pastor John


Psalm 66:1 Shout for joy to God, all the earth; 2 sing the glory of his name; give to him glorious praise!  3 Say to God, “How awesome are your deeds!  So great is your power that your enemies come cringing to you.  4 All the earth worships you and sings praises to you; they sing praises to your name.” Selah 5 Come and see what God has done: he is awesome in his deeds toward the children of man.  6 He turned the sea into dry land; they passed through the river on foot. There did we rejoice in him, 7 who rules by his might forever, whose eyes keep watch on the nations—  let not the rebellious exalt themselves. Selah     8 Bless our God, O peoples; let the sound of his praise be heard, 9 who has kept our soul among the living and has not let our feet slip.10 For you, O God, have tested us; you have tried us as silver is tried.  16 Come and hear, all you who fear God, and I will tell what he has done for my soul. 17 I cried to him with my mouth, and high praise was on my tongue. 18 If I had cherished iniquity in my heart, the Lord would not have listened. 19 But truly God has listened; he has attended to the voice of my prayer. 20 Blessed be God, because he has not rejected my prayer or removed his steadfast love from me!


Big Idea:  Worship is the response God looks for from His followers.

Respond to God by worshiping Him.  Take us deeper in worship!


Passionate Welcome,  Worship, Word, Witness, Way of Life  

We are a neighborhood, intergenerational church worshipping God together!   This response to God is what brings amazing unity.


1. Worship flows from a heart surrendered to His greatness.


Psalm 66:1-3, Psalm 147:5


Ps. 48:1 Great is the LORD and greatly to be praised in the city of our God!


“If you wish to deepen the worship of the people of God, above all deepen their grasp of his ineffable majesty and in all his works.”  D.A. Carson Worship by the Book


Psalm 48:10 As your name, O God, so your praise reaches to the ends of the earth.

My response to God’s greatness is worship!


2. Worship flows in recognition God as our Creator.


Psalm 95:6 Oh come, let us worship and bow down; let us kneel before the LORD, our Maker!


Psalm 66:4 “All the earth worships you and sings praises to you; they sing praises to your name.”


Psalm 139:13 For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.  Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well. Ps.100:1-3


“We are a singing people because it is how God has created us.  It’s what we do. And when we do, we’re simply joining in with what the rest of creation is doing.”  Keith and Krystin Getty


Revelation 4:11 “Worthy are you, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things, and by your will they existed and were created.”  (Psalm 98:4-9 an example of creation praising God)


“Your voice may not be of professional standard, but it is of confessional standard.  Our singing is not like prayer—it is prayer.” Keith & Krystyn Getty


Westminister Shorter Catechism- “to glorify God and enjoy Him forever.”  


My response to my Creator is worship!


3. Worship is the response God has commanded.


I Chronicles 16:28 Ascribe to the LORD, O families of the peoples, ascribe to the LORD glory and strength! 29 Ascribe to the LORD the glory due his name; bring an offering and come before him! Worship the LORD in the splendor of holiness.


Psalm 66:5 Come and see what God has done: he is awesome in his deeds toward the children of man. (Psalm 145:3 &6 Intergenerational)


Psalm 66:16 Come and hear, all you who fear God, and I will tell what he has done for my soul.  John 8:31-32


“Worship comes as a response to revelation. Praise is prompted by-compelled by-the revelation of something glorious.“


Matthew 4:10  “‘You shall worship the Lord your God and him only shall you serve.’” Matthew 22:37


“But God sent His only begotten Son. He was born of the virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, dead and buried, and rose the third day from the dead. And He sits at the right hand of the Majesty in the heavens in order that He might restore us again to worship.  It restores us not only in our relationship to God but also our purpose for living.” Tozer

Romans 5:8 But God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.  Revelation 5:9


Biblically oriented worship is orientated to the end.  Even the Lord’s supper is until he comes and thus an expectation of that coming, a renewal of vows in light of that coming.  D.A. Carson


Romans 12:1 I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship.  


We worship passionately when we know/believe in what we have received.

Our aim is to praise God who saves us by grace!  Timothy Keller


My response to all God has done for me is Worship!


Spiritual Growth Questions for September 16th


Icebreaker:   How has singing played a role in your spiritual development?  Can you recall an example of a memorable occasion where you enjoyed singing in church?  What about that event made an impact on you?


  1. Read Psalm 66.  Summarize in your own words what you hear the psalmist saying.  Write down one verse that is speaking to you and why you chose it.

  2. Read Psalm 66:1-4.  What reasons does God give us to praise Him?  Draw some applications from the psalmist to your own life.  What are your reasons for praising God? How are they similar or different?

  3. Read Colossians 3:16, Ephesians 5:19-20.  What do the verses teach us about the content of what we should be singing to God?  What is the link between thankfulness and singing? What are some things that might help you cultivate singing with intentional thankfulness?

  4. Read Psalm 40:2-3.  What revelation is the psalmist seeing?  What is his response? Think of similar revelation that Jesus has done for you?  Describe it and what is your response?

  5. Read Exodus 15:1-7.  What revelation is Moses seeing?  What is his response? Think of a similar revelation that Jesus has done for you?  What song would you consider to be your personal testimony song?

  6. Read Acts 16:25, Romans 8:38-39.  What revelation do you think Paul is singing about?  How can his example help you in difficult situations?  

  7. Share a song that has connected with you in such a way that you believe it may become a milestone hymn for the future?


Memory verses:  Psalm 66:4 All the earth worships you and sings praises to you; they sing praises to your name.” Selah

Psalm 139:14 I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well.


John Lloyd - The Sermon On The Mount - Foundations

Seeking God First:  A Study on the Sermon of the Mount

Best Foundation for Living   Matthew 7:21-29

September 9, 2018

Pastor John Lloyd

 

In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus expresses His desire for us to live for Him in an upside down world.  This greatest sermon ever given, is uplifting, yet challenges us to live a life with Jesus that is far better than any other! It is our prayer that you will be encouraged and challenged by studying and applying this great sermon to your life. Small groups are also available throughout the week to further discuss and put into practice the lessons taught from the Sermon on the Mount.

 

Today’s Passage:   Matthew 7:21-29

 

What Jesus says is this: “Try all the ways of life you may, and in the end you will find that nothing comes out as solid reality but this way of mine. Everything else is sand; this way is rock.”  E. Stanley Jones

 

Big Idea:  Hearing God’s Word must result in obeying God’s Word.  Hearing results in heeding!

 

I.              Our profession of faith must be more than words.

 

Matthew 7:21“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. 22 On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ 23 And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’

 

Luke 6:46 “Why do you call me ‘Lord, Lord,’ and not do what I tell you?

 

I John 4:2 By this you know the Spirit of God: every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God,  (I Corinthians 12:3)

 

A.    Do not be content with intellectual assent.

 

Matthew 7:21“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven

 

James 2:19 You believe that God is one; you do well. Even the demons believe—and shudder!

 

What is Christ referring to? Is this salvation by works? No. In the context of the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus is referring to the Beatitudes and the deep ethical, spiritual obedience found in God’s kingdom. “The will of my Father” refers to God’s will as Jesus has revealed it in the Sermon on the Mount. Jesus is referring to a profound heart obedience that is not only on the surface but permeates our inner being. “The will of my Father” indicates the character and the conduct of the kingdom of God.  Kent Hughes

 

B.    Beware of false assurances.  

 

Matthew 7:21“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.

 

Luke 16:15 And he said to them, “You are those who justify yourselves before men, but God knows your hearts. For what is exalted among men is an abomination in the sight of God.  I John 2:4, I Samuel 15:19-22

 

Beware of the trap of just accepting Scripture for what it

says doctrinally and not what it says we should practice.

 

Matthew 7;22 On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ 23 And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’

 

These are the most solemn words ever uttered in this world, not only by any man, but even by the Son of God Himself.  D. Martyn Lloyd Jones

 

Philippians 3:10 that I may know him and the power of his resurrection, and may share his sufferings, becoming like him in his death,

 

The one thing that matters is our relationship to Jesus!

II.              Our hearing must result in doing.

 

Matthew 7:24 “Everyone then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock.” James 1:22

 

For Jesus is not contrasting professing Christians with non-Christians who make no profession. On the contrary, what is common to both spiritual housebuilders is that they hear these words of mine. So both are members of the visible Christian community. Both read the Bible, go to church, listen to sermons and buy Christian literature. The reason you often cannot tell the difference between them is that the deep foundations of their lives are hidden from view.  John Stott

 

A.    Build your life on Jesus Christ, the solid Rock.

 

Luke 6:48 he is like a man building a house, who dug deep and laid the foundation on the rock. And when a flood arose, the stream broke against that house and could not shake it, because it had been well built.

 

B.    Everyone’s profession of faith will be tested before God.

 

Matthew 7:26 And everyone who hears these words of mine and does not do them will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand. 27 And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell, and great was the fall of it.”

 

“This whole concluding section of the discourse thus leaves us with the uncomfortable demand to consider not just what we profess but whether it is based on a genuine relationship with Jesus and issues in the life of a true disciple.”  D.A. Carson and R.T. France

 

2 Timothy 2:19 But God’s firm foundation stands, bearing this seal: “The Lord knows those who are his,” and, “Let everyone who names the name of the Lord depart from iniquity.”  Luke 8:21, Psalm 112:7

 

John 15:5 I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.

 

There are no regrets when you build on the Rock!

Make the choice of a lifetime and build your life on Jesus Christ.

Spiritual Growth Questions for September 9th

 

Icebreaker:    Describe a time you experienced something you thought was really solid/deep foundation but ended up not being what it appeared to be. 

 

1.   Read Matthew 7:21-29.  Summarize in your own words what you hear Jesus saying.  Ask God to speak to your heart and how these verses can be applied to your life.

 

2.   Read Matthew 7:21-23. Jesus comes now to his conclusion. What positive features can you identify in those whom Jesus calls evildoers? What is the crucial thing they lack?

 

3.   Read Matthew 7:24-27, I John 1:6, 2:4.  Ultimately, there are only two possible responses to this Sermon. What are they?  What response was the apostle John urging from his congregation?  

 

4.   Can you think of ways in which you have heard the words of Jesus without putting them into practice? What are the dangers of doing this? ‘The Bible is a dangerous book to read … the church is a dangerous society to join.’ Why?

 

5.   Read I Peter 2:1-11.  What ideas can we get from this passage on how to build a strong spiritual house for God.  List as many as you can from this passage. 

 

6.   Read Matthew 7:28-29.  Why is Jesus’ teaching so different than that of other religious figures?  What was the response of those who heard this sermon? 

 

7.   ‘Only when the Christian community lives by Christ’s manifesto will the world be attracted and God be glorified.’ What steps do you need to take in order to align your life more closely with Jesus’ teaching in this Sermon? Pray for one another as you put these into practice.

 

Verses for Reflection: Matthew 7:24 “Everyone then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock. 

Luke 6: 46“Why do you call me ‘Lord, Lord,’ and not do what I tell you?”

John Lloyd - The Sermon On The Mount - Spiritual Discernment

 Seeking God First:  A Study on the Sermon of the Mount

Spiritual Discernment   Matthew 7:13-20

September 2, 2018

Pastor John Lloyd

 

In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus expresses His desire for us to live for Him in an upside down world.  This greatest sermon ever given, is uplifting, yet challenges us to live a life with Jesus that is far better than any other! It is our prayer that you will be encouraged and challenged by studying and applying this great sermon to your life. Small groups are also available throughout the week to further discuss and put into practice the lessons taught from the Sermon on the Mount.

Today’s Passage:   Matthew 7:13-20

Big Idea:  Choose and continue on the narrow path which leads to life and fruitfulness.

I.               There are two gates available to everyone.

Matthew 7:13“Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. 14 For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few.

A.   The way to destruction is wide.

Matthew 7:13b For the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many.

Proverbs 13:15 Good understanding gains favor, but the way of the unfaithful is hard. (NKJV)

B.   Man and his ideas are the gatekeeper.

Proverbs 16:25 There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way to death.  Psalm 1:1

“The broad way is spacious, roomy with no effort required to practice.  One just needs to follow the falleness of our own hearts.” D. Martyn Lloyd Jones

Genesis 3:5 For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” 2 Cor. 11:3

“When we are motivated to please people, we will find that it might not please God at all.”  Michael Wilkins

II.              The narrow way to eternal life is through Jesus Christ.

Matthew 7:13a “Enter by the narrow gate. 14 For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few.

John 14:6 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.  Acts 4:12

I Timothy 2:5 For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, 6 who gave himself as a ransom for all, which is the testimony given at the proper time.

A.    Jesus is the gatekeeper.

John 10:9 I am the door. If anyone enters by me, he will be saved and will go in and out and find pasture.  Matthew 16:24, 5:11,

Revelation 7:9 9After this I looked, and behold, a great multitude that no one could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes.  Ephesians 2:8-9

B.    The narrow way leads to eternal life both now and forever.

Matthew 7:14 For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few.

Psalm 16:11 You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.  Matt.11:30

On the narrow road, you lose nothing but gain everything!                The narrow road is hard at first but leads to everlasting life.

III.             Discernment is key to staying on the narrow road.

Mt.7:15 “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves. 16 You will recognize them by their fruits.

A.    Look at doctrinal fruit.

1.   There will be a false emphasis on one attribute of God.

2.   There will be an avoidance of the final judgment of God. Heb.9:27, 2 Peter, Jude, I John are not books that are favorable to them.

3.   There will be a failure to emphasize the depravity of mankind. Rom.3:23, Ephesians 2:1

4.   There will be a deemphasizing of the substitutionary death and atonement of Jesus Christ.  Hebrews 9:22

5.   There is no emphasis on repentance.  Jeremiah 23:16

“There is only one person God has treated worse than he deserved.” John Piper

B.   Look at the fruit of character and conduct.

Matthew 7:17 So, every healthy tree bears good fruit, but the diseased tree bears bad fruit. 18 A healthy tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a diseased tree bear good fruit. 19 Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 20 Thus you will recognize them by their fruits.

Galatians 5:22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,  (Titus 1:16)

I John 1:9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. Psalm 32:5

John 6:68 Simon Peter answered him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life, 69 and we have believed, and have come to know, that you are the Holy One of God.”  Acts14:22

Lord, keep and lead me on your path that leads to eternal life.

Give me discernment when I stray from your path.

It’s never too late to join, receive or return to Jesus.                       

Jesus = eternal life!

 

Spiritual Growth questions for September 2nd

Icebreaker:   Describe a time when you disciplined yourself by practice and it paid off for you in providing freedom and new opportunities.   

1.   Read Matthew 7:13-20.  Summarize in your own words what you hear Jesus saying.  Ask God to speak to your heart and how these verses can be applied to your life.

2.   Read Matthew 7:13-14.  What is Jesus saying?  Why is that true discipleship will always be a minority position in this world? 

3.   Discuss this quote:  “God’s revealed truth will impose a limitation on what we believe.  God’s revealed goodness will place a limitation on how we behave.”  What limitations are placed on the follower of Christ?

4.   Read John 14:6, Acts 4:12, John 10:9.  What exclusivity does Jesus place on what we believe? Why is the belief in “universalism” (everyone is going to heaven) not a biblical concept?  Why is this so critical for a follower of Christ to understand and embrace?  

5.   Read Matthew 7:15-20, Jeremiah 23:16-17.  Discuss the doctrinal tests and character test that is applied to prophets/teachers of the Word. What were the prophets of Jeremiah’s time teaching?  Discuss any modern correlation to what Jeremiah is saying?   

6.   Read I John 4:1-3.  What test does the apostle John give to discern between truth and error?  What examples have you experienced in our modern times of this error? 

“If we believe that everyone is going to be okay in the end, and if we embrace universalism however it is cloaked, then we’re free to live our lives however we want, to sit back as easygoing Christians in comfortable churches, because in the end all these masses are going to be okay.”  David Platt

7.   Ask the Lord to show you what road you are on.  Spend time in prayer for yourself and others who need to be on the road with Jesus.

Verses for Reflection:

Matthew 7:20 Thus you will recognize them by their fruits.

Acts 14:22 Strengthening the souls of the disciples, encouraging them to continue in the faith, and saying that through many tribulations we must enter the kingdom of God.

John Lloyd - The Sermon On The Mount - Ask, Seek, Knock

 

Seeking God First: A Study on the Sermon of the Mount

Relationships that Encourage Matthew 7:1-6 Part One

August 19, 2018

Pastor John Lloyd

 

In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus expresses His desire for us to live for Him in an upside down world.  This greatest sermon ever given, is uplifting, yet challenges us to live a life with Jesus that is far better than any other! It is our prayer that you will be encouraged and challenged by studying and applying this great sermon to your life. Small groups are also available throughout the week to further discuss and put into practice the lessons taught from the Sermon on the Mount.

Today’s Passage:   Matthew 7:1-6

Big Idea:  Relationships that encourage are built with great humility, discernment, love and truth.  Build encouraging relationships.

To build relationships that encourage:

I.               Let authentic __________________ be my guide.

Matthew 7:1 “Judge not, that you be not judged. 2 For with the judgment you pronounce you will be judged, and with the measure you use it will be measured to you.

Three types of judgment:  1. Final judgment of our relationship before God.

2. Self-examination of our relationship with God.  3.  Judgment of our rewards/works as believers.

Judge-krino is used 114 times in the NT.  It ranges from ordinary judgment.  Luke 7:43.  It can also mean judicial litigation,  Mt.5:40, a bestowal of reward, Matthew 19:28,   a pronouncement of guilt, John 7:51, or an absolute determination of a person’s fate, Matthew 5:22.

Jesus makes an announcement and then gives reason for it.  A disposition to look unfavorably upon others especially character and actions.

A.    Beware of ________________ inappropriately.

Matthew 7:1 “Judge not, that you be not judged. Romans 2:1

“Two extremes Tolstoy who believed that we should have no human courts at all.  This has do with individual judgment.  Our culture on the other side feels that we should suspend our evaluative faculties and have no discernment at all.”  D. Martyn Lloyd Jones

Luke 18:11 The Pharisee, standing by himself, prayed thus: ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other men, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even like this tax collector. (Luke 16:15, Romans 14:4 &10, I Corinthians 4:3-4)

I should not judge:

1.     People’s motives because I cannot know why they do what they do. I can’t see into their minds.

2.     How people serve in ministry – to his own Master he stands or falls.

3.     Conscientious scruples about things that are morally neutral.

4.     Outward appearances – what is in the heart is what counts.

5.     Harshly or critically – “a habitual fault-finder is a poor advertisement for the Christian faith.” George MacDonald

B.  Remember that I will _________ relationally what I _______ relationally.

Matthew 7:2 For with the judgment you pronounce you will be judged, and with the measure you use it will be measured to you. Galatians 6:7

Unkind treatment of others will be returned to you.  People tend to treat us the way that we treat them.  Break the pattern of this.  This may be why many are not experiencing the type of relationships that they desire. Kent Hughes

How I think about others matters to God.                                                     Help me to break harsh judgmental patterns in my soul! 

I.               __________ and ________________ my internal motives.

Hebrews 4:12 For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.

We have a tendency to exaggerate the faults of others and minimize the gravity of our own.  John Stott

      A.         Regularly ________________ my heart and testimony.

Matthew 7:3 Why do you see the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? 4Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when there is the log in your own eye?  2 Corinthians13:5, Psalm139:23-24.

Shallow examination versus perpetual autopsy.

“When a man examines himself first he never judges anyone in the wrong way.”  D. Martyn Lloyd Jones

I Peter 2:24 He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By his wounds you have been healed.

B.     Build encouraging relationships with __________ and ___________.

Matthew 7:5 You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye. I Cor.13:6

To sum up, the command to judge not is not a requirement to be blind, but rather a plea to be generous. Jesus does not tell us to cease to be men (by suspending our critical powers which help to distinguish us from animals) but to renounce the presumptuous ambition to be God (by setting ourselves up as judges). Stott, John.  (Ephesians 4:15, Galatians 6:1-2)

How I confront faults matters to God.

III.            Ask God for ______________ when discernment is appropriate.

Matthew 7:6“Do not give dogs what is holy, and do not throw your pearls before pigs, lest they trample them underfoot and turn to attack you. (Matthew 7:15, 20, Galatians 1:8, James 1:5, Matthew 4:4)

John 8:11She said, “No one, Lord.” And Jesus said, “Neither do I condemn you; go, and from now on sin no more.”

“Lord when I am wrong, make me easy to change; When I am right make me easy to live with.”  Peter Marshall

I John 1:9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

God give me wisdom to build encouraging relationships!

 

Growth Group questions for August 19th

  

Icebreaker:  Describe a time you experienced harsh judgment.  What was your response?  How did it help or hurt you? 

 

1.     Read Matthew 7:1-6.  Summarize in your own words what you hear Jesus saying.  Ask God to speak to your heart and how these verses can be applied to your life.
 

2.     Is it sinful for Christians to judge one another?  Why or why not? What is the difference between hypercritical condemning and discernment?  What is right or wrong with each one?
 

3.     Read Matthew 7:2, Galatians 6:7.  Describe the quality of relationships a judgmental person will reap.  How does this hinder the gospel? 
 

4.     Read Matthew 7:3-5, 2 Cor. 13:5, Psalm 139:23-24.  How does examining ourselves help us to not become hypercritical in our relationships?  What does Jesus tell us to do?  What does he tell us not to do? 
 

5.     Read Matthew 7:6, 15,20.  What qualities are needed to fulfill these verses?   Describe what Jesus is telling us to do and not to do?  Why is this so important? 
 

6.     Read Galatians 6:1-2, Matthew 18:15-16.  What is the process for confronting a wayward believer?  What is the goal?  How did the Pharisees and Scribes deal with wayward believers?  Luke 18:11
 

7.     Read I Peter 2:24-25, I Timothy 1:15-16, Romans 2:4  How can these verses help us in taking the log out of our own eyes?  Why is the kindness of God a key tool in bringing people to repentance?

Memory Verse: Matthew 7:1 “Judge not, that you be not judged. 2 For with the judgment you pronounce you will be judged, and with the measure you use it will be measured to you.

 

 

John Lloyd - The Sermon On The Mount - Relationships that Encourage

Seeking God First:  A Study on the Sermon of the Mount

Relationships that Encourage Matthew 7:1-6 Part One

August 19, 2018

Pastor John Lloyd

 

In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus expresses His desire for us to live for Him in an upside down world.  This greatest sermon ever given, is uplifting, yet challenges us to live a life with Jesus that is far better than any other! It is our prayer that you will be encouraged and challenged by studying and applying this great sermon to your life. Small groups are also available throughout the week to further discuss and put into practice the lessons taught from the Sermon on the Mount.

 

Today’s Passage:   Matthew 7:1-6

 

Big Idea:  Relationships that encourage are built with great humility, discernment, love and truth.  Build encouraging relationships.

 

To build relationships that encourage:

I.               Let authentic humility be my guide.

Matthew 7:1 “Judge not, that you be not judged. 2 For with the judgment you pronounce you will be judged, and with the measure you use it will be measured to you.

 

Three types of judgment:  1. Final judgment of our relationship before God.

2. Self-examination of our relationship with God.  3.  Judgment of our rewards/works as believers.

Judge-krino is used 114 times in the NT.  It ranges from ordinary judgment.  Luke 7:43.  It can also mean judicial litigation,  Mt.5:40, a bestowal of reward, Matthew 19:28,   a pronouncement of guilt, John 7:51, or an absolute determination of a person’s fate, Matthew 5:22.

Jesus makes an announcement and then gives reason for it.  A disposition to look unfavorably upon others especially character and actions.

A.   Beware of judging inappropriately.

Matthew 7:1 “Judge not, that you be not judged. Romans 2:1

“Two extremes Tolstoy who believed that we should have no human courts at all.  This has do with individual judgment.  Our culture on the other side feels that we should suspend our evaluative faculties and have no discernment at all.”  D. Martyn Lloyd Jones

Luke 18:11 The Pharisee, standing by himself, prayed thus: ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other men, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even like this tax collector. (Luke 16:15, Romans 14:4 &10, I Corinthians 4:3-4)

I should not judge:

1.   People’s motives because I cannot know why they do what they do, I can’t see into their minds.

2.   How people serve in ministry – to his own Master he stands or falls.

3.   Conscientious scruples about things that are morally neutral.

4.   Outward appearances – what is in the heart is what counts.

5.   Harshly or critically – “a habitual fault-finder is a poor advertisement for the Christian faith.” George MacDonald

B.  Remember that I will reap relationally what I sow relationally.

Matthew 7:2 For with the judgment you pronounce you will be judged, and with the measure you use it will be measured to you. Galatians 6:7

Unkind treatment of others will be returned to you.  People tend to treat us the way that we treat them.  Break the pattern of this.  This may be why many are not experiencing the type of relationships that they desire. Kent Hughes

How I think about others matters to God.   

Help me to break harsh judgmental patterns in my soul! 

II.             Pray and discern my internal motives.

Hebrews 4:12 For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.

We have a tendency to exaggerate the faults of others and minimize the gravity of our own.  John Stott

A.    Regularly examine my heart and testimony.

Matthew 7:3 Why do you see the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? 4Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when there is the log in your own eye?  2 Corinthians13:5, Psalm139:23-24.

Shallow examination versus perpetual autopsy.

“When a man examines himself first he never judges anyone in the wrong way.”  D. Martyn Lloyd Jones

 

I Peter 2:24 He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By his wounds you have been healed.

 

B.   Build encouraging relationships with love and truth.

 

Matthew 7:5 You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye. I Cor.13:6

 

To sum up, the command to judge not is not a requirement to be blind, but rather a plea to be generous. Jesus does not tell us to cease to be men (by suspending our critical powers which help to distinguish us from animals) but to renounce the presumptuous ambition to be God (by setting ourselves up as judges). Stott, John.  (Ephesians 4:15, Galatians 6:1-2)

 

How I confront faults matters to God.

 

III.            Ask God for wisdom when discernment is appropriate.

Matthew 7:6“Do not give dogs what is holy, and do not throw your pearls before pigs, lest they trample them underfoot and turn to attack you. (Matthew 7:15, 20, Galatians 1:8, James 1:5, Matthew 4:4)

John 8:11She said, “No one, Lord.” And Jesus said, “Neither do I condemn you; go, and from now on sin no more.”

“Lord when I am wrong, make me easy to change; When I am right make me easy to live with.”  Peter Marshall

I John 1:9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

God give me wisdom to build encouraging relationships!

 

Growth Group questions for August 19th

 

Icebreaker:  Describe a time you experienced harsh judgment.  What was your response?  How did it help or hurt you? 

 

1.   Read Matthew 7:1-6.  Summarize in your own words what you hear Jesus saying.  Ask God to speak to your heart and how these verses can be applied to your life.

2.   Is it sinful for Christians to judge one another?  Why or why not? What is the difference between hypercritical condemning and discernment?  What is right or wrong with each one?

3.   Read Matthew 7:2, Galatians 6:7.  Describe the quality of relationships a judgmental person will reap.  How does this hinder the gospel? 

4.   Read Matthew 7:3-5, 2 Cor. 13:5, Psalm 139:23-24.  How does examining ourselves help us to not become hypercritical in our relationships?  What does Jesus tell us to do?  What does he tell us not to do? 

5.   Read Matthew 7:6, 15,20.  What qualities are needed to fulfill these verses?   Describe what Jesus is telling us to do and not to do?  Why is this so important? 

6.   Read Galatians 6:1-2, Matthew 18:15-16.  What is the process for confronting a wayward believer?  What is the goal?  How did the Pharisees and Scribes deal with wayward believers?  Luke 18:11

7.   Read I Peter 2:24-25, I Timothy 1:15-16, Romans 2:4  How can these verses help us in taking the log out of our own eyes?  Why is the kindness of God a key tool in bringing people to repentance?

 

Memory Verse: Matthew 7:1 “Judge not, that you be not judged. 2 For with the judgment you pronounce you will be judged, and with the measure you use it will be measured to you.

Linda Carlson - Marsielle Missions Report & The Power Of Jesus’ Stories

The Power of “Jesus Stories”

A Woman Healed and Restored – Mark 5:21-34

August 12, 2018

Linda Carlson

 

In the Gospels, we learn that the promised Messiah, Jesus Christ, has the power over life and death, both physical and spiritual.  Telling “Jesus stories” is one of the most effective ways to communicate the Good News about Jesus cross-culturally.

 

Today’s Passage:   Mark 5:21-34

 

What is the power of Jesus in my life, and what is the story that I have to tell others?

 

Big Idea: Finding my “Jesus Story” starts with knowing who Jesus is and having confident faith in Him.  The woman in this story is our example.

I.               There was a woman who had suffered a chronic illness for 12 years.  As a result, according to Jewish law, she was ceremonially unclean.  The result of her condition was that she was isolated from her community.  

      Reference: Leviticus 15:25-30 II.             What motivated the woman to seek out Jesus?  She heard the reports about Jesus.  One of the first miracles Jesus performed in her town was the healing of a man with an unclean spirit.

         Reference:  Mark 1:21-27; Mark 2:1-12; Mark 3:1-6; Mark 4:35-41;    Mark 5:1-20

III.            Why was the woman healed when she touched Jesus’ garment?  Because she touched his garment in faith, she felt in her body she was healed of her disease.

         Reference:  Matthew 9:20; Luke 8:44; Mark 5:34

IV.          What was the significance of the fringe on Jesus’ garment?  It represented his identity as a Jewish man and commitment to keeping    the law.  But for the Messiah, it was a sign of his power to heal.

         Reference:  Numbers 15:37-41; Malachi 4:2

V.            What was the significance of Jesus perceiving that power had gone out of him?  He identified with her sorrow and had intimate knowledge of the transaction of healing.

         Reference:  2 Corinthians 5:17, 21

VI.          Why did Jesus ask, “Who touched me?”  Because He wanted to confirm the woman’s faith, to take away her shame, and to help her make a public confession.

     Reference: Mark 5:34

VII.         What was the role of the woman’s faith in her healing?  It was means or instrument by which she took hold of Jesus’ healing power and conveyed her confidence in Him.

     Reference:  Mark 5:34; I John 5:14-15

VIII.       Why did Jesus heal?  To demonstrate that he is merciful and compassionate; that he was the promised Messiah; and that he had power over physical and spiritual life and death.

     Reference: Matthew 9:36; 14:14; Isaiah 35:5-6; Mark 2:1-12

IX.           What is the significance of Jesus’ sending her home in peace?  It was to set her free and to assure her of her complete healing.

         Reference: John 16:33, Philippians 4:6-7; Mark 5:34

X.            What is the parallel between the woman’s healing and our spiritual healing?  When we confess our sins, God forgives us and cleanses us from all unrighteousness.

         Reference: I John 1:9; Mark 5:34

         Growth Group questions for August 12th

Icebreaker:  What situation are you frustrated about that may have been hanging on for a long time? Something you don’t have an answer for?

Thought Questions on the Scripture texts

1.  There was a woman who had suffered for 12 years….

Mark 5: 25-26

Is there a particular physical, spiritual, emotional or circumstantial need in your life right now that only the person and power of Jesus could help?  If so, what would that be?  Have you experienced being made whole by Jesus in an area of your life?  If so, can you describe that?

2.  Is there a Biblical story about Jesus that you can relate to personally?  If so, what is it in that story that touches you, that has changed you, that you could share with someone else? 

3.  If I only touch the fringe of his garment….

Matthew 9:21; Mark 5:28

Do you ever think thoughts in God’s direction that are really prayers?  Have you seen Him answer or respond to these?  What do they sound like?  What does that tell you about the nature of prayer?

4.  Jesus, perceiving that power had gone out from him….

Mark 5:28-30; Malachi 4:2; Matthew 14:34

When you think about Jesus, do you think about His power and authority?   How could considering His power and authority and ability to act change how you might be responding to a situation in your life?

5.  Who touched me ...

Mark 5:30-31; 2 Corinthians 5:17

What changes has God brought about in your life as a result of becoming a new creation in Christ?  What evidence of Christ’s presence and power can you share with someone?

2 Corinthians 5:21

6.  When the Bible says that Christ has been made sin for us that we might become the righteousness of God in Him, what does that mean to you in real-time in your life?

7.  What does the idea of Jesus taking your impurities, your wrong-doings, your sins on Himself mean to you?  Have you experienced the exchanged life – in the sense of being receiving new life from Christ and being set free to be a new person?

8.  Your faith has made you well…

Mark 5:34a; I John 5:14-15

Jesus affirmed the woman’s faith has having a part in her healing.

What was that part?  Why is faith important?  What role has faith had in the work of Jesus in your life?

What is the relationship of faith and healing?

9.  Go in peace, and be healed of your disease.

Mark 5:34b; Philippians 4:6-7;  John 16:33

When you are anxious and fearful, what do you do? Is the peace of God real in your life?  How would you encourage someone who is not at peace to find peace?

What do these words of Jesus mean to you, “In me you have peace. Take heart, I have overcome the world.”  Is this personal peace possible?  Do you have a story about that? 

Lord, help me to believe that you are worthy of my trust!

Memory Verse:  Mark 5:34 “Daughter, your faith has made you well: go in peace, and be healed of your disease.”

John Lloyd - The Sermon On The Mount - Seeking His Kingdom First

Seeking God First:  A Study on the Sermon of the Mount

Seeking God’s Kingdom First Matthew 6:22-34

August 5, 2018

Pastor John Lloyd

 

In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus expresses His desire for us to live for Him in an upside down world.  This greatest sermon ever given, is uplifting, yet challenges us to live a life with Jesus that is far better than any other! It is our prayer that you will be encouraged and challenged by studying and applying this great sermon to your life. Small groups are also available throughout the week to further discuss and put into practice the lessons taught from the Sermon on the Mount.

Today’s Passage:   Matthew 6:22-34

22 “The eye is the lamp of the body. So, if your eye is healthy, your whole body will be full of light, 23 but if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light in you is darkness, how great is the darkness!

24 “No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money.

25 “Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing?

26 Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? 27 And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life?

28 And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, 29 yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.

30 But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? 31 Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’

32 For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. 33 But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.

34 “Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.

How do we seek God’s kingdom first in our everyday lives? 

Big Idea: Seeking His Kingdom first transforms my vision, values, concerns and ambitions. 

I.               Treasuring His treasures transforms my vision.

Matthew 6:22 “The eye is the lamp of the body. So, if your eye is healthy, your whole body will be full of light, 23 but if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light in you is darkness, how great is the darkness!

24“No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money. 

“We need to have spiritual vision, if our spiritual perspective is correctly adjusted, then our life is filled with purpose and drive.   Our vision can be clouded by materialism, we lose our sense of values, then our whole life is in darkness and we cannot see where we are going.  Covetousness causes us to lose our vision.”  E. Stanley Jones

Acts 26:19 “Therefore, O King Agrippa, I was not disobedient to the heavenly vision,” 

Acts 26:17-19

Revelation 5:9 And they sang a new song, saying, “Worthy are you to take the scroll and to open its seals, for you were slain, and by your blood you ransomed people for God from every tribe and language and people and nation.

Revelation 5:12

I do not cling to these things. They do not become the center of my life and existence. I do not live for them or dwell upon them constantly in my mind; they do not absorb my life. On the contrary, I hold them loosely. I am not governed by them; rather do I govern them; and as I do this I am steadily securing, and safely laying up for myself, “treasures in heaven.”  Hughes

Lord, Give me a heavenly vision of what you treasure.  May my heart, soul and vision be on what you treasure. May your Vision be mine!

II.             Seeking His Kingdom first changes my concerns.

“Therefore” is used three times: Matthew 6:25, 31, 34

Trinity of cares:  What shall we eat? What shall we drink? we wear?

Matthew 6:25 Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing?

Matthew 6:31 Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?  32 For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all.

Matthew 6:34 Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.

Ignorant worry – Do not know enough

Knowledgeable worry – Know too much

Rich worry – Afraid of losing what they have.

Poor worry – Do not have enough.

Old worry – Because they are facing death.

Young worry – Because they are facing life.

Anxious/worry – means to be distracted and consumed by the cares of this world.

Philippians 4:6 do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.

“No person ever sank under the burden of the day.  It is when tomorrow’s burden is added to the burden of today, that the weight is more than a person can bear.”  George Macdonald

 I Peter 5:7 casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you.

Make God’s Concerns my concerns

III.           Seeking His Kingdom first changes my ambitions.

Matthew 6:32 For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. 33 But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.

“If worrying is dominating my life, then I am really behaving like those who do not know God.”  D. Martyn Lloyd Jones

Mt. 6:10 Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.

“Worrying does not enable you to escape evil. It makes you unfit to cope with it.”  Kent Hughes

Mt. 5:3 Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Luke 12:32 “Fear not, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.” 

Matthew 5:6 Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.

Colossians 1:13 He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son, 14 in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.

Instead of worrying, seek!  When seeking, trust!

Our Heavenly Father can be trusted with every detail of our lives.

Growth Group questions for August 5th

Icebreaker:  Share something that brings anxious thoughts to you.  What do you do to help deal with these thoughts?

1.   Read Matthew 6:22-34.  Summarize in your own words what you hear Jesus saying.  Ask God to speak to your heart and how these verses can be applied to your life.

2.   Read Matthew 6:22-24.  Discuss how money is a horrible master.  Why is debt such a difficult master?  What would you share with a new follower of Jesus about God and money? 

3.   Read Matthew 6:25-30.  Reflect on this passage.  What are they doing that is wrong?  What examples does Jesus give them to help them?  How do these principles help you with your concerns?

4.   Why does worrying about material things cause us to live like those who do not know God?  Why is worry incompatible with the Christian faith?  We are free from worry but not free from trouble and trials.

40% worry about things that will never happen.

30% worry about things that have already happened.

12% worry about unfounded criticism.

10% worry about our health.

8% worry about actual problems.

5.   Read Matthew 6:31-33, Philippians 4:6-8. In both passages, what are they doing that is wrong?  What are they commanded to do? What does seeking God and His righteousness mean to you?

6.   Read Matthew 6:34, James 4:14.  How do these verses put tomorrow in a godly perspective?   

John Lloyd - The Sermon On The Mount - Treasure God's Treasures

Seeking God First:  A Study on the Sermon of the Mount

Treasure God’s Treasures   Matthew 6:16-24

July 29, 2018

Pastor John Lloyd

 

In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus expresses His desire for us to live for Him in an upside down world.  This greatest sermon ever given, is uplifting, yet challenges us to live a life with Jesus that is far better than any other! It is our prayer that you will be encouraged and challenged by studying and applying this great sermon to your life. Small groups are also available throughout the week to further discuss and put into practice the lessons taught from the Sermon on the Mount.

 

Today’s Passage:   Matthew 6:16-24

 

How do we live securely in this insecure world?

 

Big Idea: Treasure His treasures!  

 

I.               Treasure the approval of __________ above human recognition.

 

Matthew 6:16 “And when you fast, do not look gloomy like the hypocrites, for they disfigure their faces that their fasting may be seen by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. 17 But when you fast, anoint your head and wash your face, 18 that your fasting may not be seen by others but by your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you. (Leviticus 23:27)

 

The law required fasting on the Day of Atonement (Leviticus 23:27).  The Jews fasted also on anniversaries of national calamities and in cases of great drought.  Jesus is referring to the fasting of the Pharisees on every Thursday when Moses ascended Mt. Sinai and on Monday when he came back down again. Fasting and sorrow went together.  It had its place in Judaism not as ascetic practice but as an accompaniment to prayer when expressing deep sorrow for sin and asking God to turn away his penalties away.  But the Pharisees practice private fasting as a means to secure the reputation of great holiness among the people. Lenski

 

Treasure God’s Treasures!

 

 

II.             Treasure heavenly _________________ above earthly treasures.

Matthew 6:19 “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, 20 but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”

A.   Reject the ________ that earth’s treasures are the ultimate.

Do not lay up for yourselves-

“Treasures on this earth are corruptible and therefore insecure, whereas treasures in heaven are incorruptible and therefore secure.  After all, if our object is to lay up treasure, we shall presumably concentrate on the kind which will last and can be stored without depreciation or deterioration.”      E. Stanley Jones. (Luke 12:15, Proverbs 6:6-8, I Timothy 5:8)

Poverty Theology- Disdain for earthly possessions. Wrong to have excess.

Prosperity Theology- Prosperity is the reward for the righteous.  If God is happy with you, He will bless you with many possessions. 

Proper Theology- Possessions are a trust given by God-responsible to manage them.  All belongs to Him. I Timothy 6:17-18, Ps.24:1, I Cor.4:7

B.   ___________________ treasures are the ultimate.  (Matthew 6:20)

Lay up for yourselves-

I Thess.2:19 For what is our hope or joy or crown of boasting before our Lord Jesus at his coming? Is it not you? 20 For you are our glory and joy.

Matthew 6:33 But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.  (Versus rust, moth and thieves)

“Earthly treasures will never fully satisfy.  There will always be something wrong with them.  Even the person with everything still desires something more.”  John Stott

Worldly person says I own these things.  Godly person realizes we are stewards who must give account of them.  They are just leased to me. “I am leasing.” This is how I must view myself, and how I view my life in this world.  These things will not be the center of my existence. Wiersbe

Reflective Questions:  What makes a treasure truly valuable?  What are your affections truly set on?  Col. 3:2 (See Growth Group last question)

May what God treasures be what I treasure!

III.            Treasuring His treasures ____________________ my vision.

Matthew 6:22 “The eye is the lamp of the body. So, if your eye is healthy, your whole body will be full of light, 23 but if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light in you is darkness, how great is the darkness! 24“No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money. 

“We need to have spiritual vision, if our spiritual perspective is correctly adjusted, then our life is filled with purpose and drive.   Our vision can be clouded by materialism, we lose our sense of values, then our whole life is in darkness and we cannot see where we are going.  Covetousness causes us to lose our vision.”  E. Stanley Jones

Acts 26:19 “Therefore, O King Agrippa, I was not disobedient to the heavenly vision,”  Acts 26:17-19

Revelation 5:9 And they sang a new song, saying, “Worthy are you to take the scroll and to open its seals, for you were slain, and by your blood you ransomed people for God from every tribe and language and people and nation. Revelation 5:12

I do not cling to these things. They do not become the center of my life and existence. I do not live for them or dwell upon them constantly in my mind; they do not absorb my life. On the contrary, I hold them loosely. I am not governed by them; rather do I govern them; and as I do this I am steadily securing, and safely laying up for myself, “treasures in heaven.”  Hughes

 

Lord, Give me a heavenly vision of what you treasure.

May my heart, soul and vision be what you treasure! 

 

Growth Group questions for July 29th

 

Icebreaker:  Besides your family and friends, what do you see as your most valuable possession?  Why is it so valuable?

 

1.   Read Matthew 6:16-24.  Summarize in your own words what you hear Jesus saying.  Ask God to speak to your heart and how these verses can be applied to your life.

2.   Read Matthew 6:16-18, Leviticus 23:27, Acts 13:2,3.  Describe what the Pharisees were doing?  What is wrong with this approach?    What is the right way to fast?  What kind of fasts have you done and why?

3.   Read Matthew 6:19-20, Colossians 3:2, I Timothy 6:17-18.  How does materialism tie our hearts to this earth?  How does generous giving tie our heart to the Father? 

4.   Read Matthew 6:21, Hebrews 11:13, Job 1:21.  How can recognizing that we are pilgrims on this earth be an antidote to materialism?  Discuss this quote: “The worldly person says I own these things.  The godly person says I am leasing these things.”  What things are the hardest for you to not feel like you own?

5.   Read Matthew 6:22-24, I Timothy 6:19, I Peter 1:4, Hebrews 13:16. What are the contrasts given in Matthew 6:22-24?  What truths are absolute from this passage?  Reading the other passages, what kind of vision do you see being presented?  How can this help you? 

 

Personal Reflective Questions:   Examine your heart and life before God

What occupies my thoughts when I have nothing else to do? What occupies my daydreams? Is it my investments, my position? If so, those are the things I treasure, and that is where my heart really is. Similarly, what is it that I fret about most? Is it my home or perhaps my clothing? If so, then I know where my treasure lies. Apart from my loved ones, what or whom do I most dread losing? What are the things that I measure others by? (This question is a very revealing mirror because I measure other people by that which I treasure.) Do I measure others by their clothing? By their education? By their homes? By their athletic prowess? Do I measure others by their success in the business world? If so, I know where my treasure lies.

Lastly, what is it that I know we cannot be happy without?  

John Lloyd - The Sermon On The Mount - Dynamic Prayer

Seeking God First:  A Study on the Sermon of the Mount

Dynamic Prayer Matthew 6:5-15

July 22, 2018

Pastor John Lloyd

 

In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus expresses His desire for us to live for Him in an upside down world.  This greatest sermon ever given, is uplifting, yet challenges us to live a life with Jesus that is far better than any other! It is our prayer that you will be encouraged and challenged by studying and applying this great sermon to your life. Small groups are also available throughout the week to further discuss and put into practice the lessons taught from the Sermon on the Mount.

Today’s Passage:   Matthew 6:5-15

Big Idea:  Prayer is dynamic when filled with God first and us second.   God first, my needs second!  “Lord, teach us to pray,” (Luke 11:1b).

Matthew 5:20 For I tell you, unless your righteousness exceeds that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.

Dynamic Prayer: 

      I.         Focuses on _________ first and foremost!

The essence of Christian prayer is to seek God.  Behind all true prayer lies a conversation which God initiates:  “Thou has said, “seek my face.’ My heart says to thee, ‘thy face, Lord do I seek.” Psalm 27:8

A.   Deals with the intruder of ________________________.

Matthew 6:5“And when you pray, you must not be like the hypocrites. For they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and at the street corners, that they may be seen by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. 6But when you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you.

Room-tameion- was used for a room where treasures might be kept.

“Secret prayer is a key to purify our motives in praying. Regarding the practice of prayer in general, Jesus has contrasted the pharisaic way (ostentatious and selfish) with the Christian way (secret and godly).”Stott

Matthew 6:7 “And when you pray, do not heap up empty phrases as the Gentiles do, for they think that they will be heard for their many words. 8 Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.

“Self-adulation is something that follows us even into the very presence of God.  It sometimes produces this result; that even when we try to persuade ourselves that we are worshipping God, we are actually worshipping ourselves and doing nothing more.” D. Martyn Lloyd Jones

B.    Focuses on our relationship with ________ as ______________.

Matthew 6:9 Pray then like this:  “Our Father in heaven,”

Our Father-(see Galatians 4:6, Romans 8:15, John 1:12, Galatians 3:26). The word “Father” is used 14 times in OT and 60 times in the Gospels.

·      He is __________________.

·      He is ______________. 

·      He is __________________.  

Psalm 27:8 You have said, “Seek my face.” My heart says to you, “Your face, LORD, do I seek.”

Matthew 6:9 Pray then like this: “Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name. Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.

    II.          Prays for this ____________ to know Jesus Christ as Lord.

Hallowed by your name- Set apart as holy/ to treat as holy/Awe

Acts 4:12 And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.”

John 17:6 “I have manifested your name to the people whom you gave me out of the world. Yours they were, and you gave them to me, and they have kept your word.”  Psalm 34:3

God first, us second!  Lord, teach us to pray!

   III.         Expects and asks for ________________ rule to come.

Your kingdom come- bringing people into obedience to God’s will.

Expectation- longing for the glorious and final consummation of the kingdom of God.  Desiring His kingdom rule to come to hearts.

Matthew 5:3 “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.  2 Peter 1:11, Ephesians 6:12

Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. (attitude of submission)

“I invite you God to conquer me. I will submit on earth like I will be in heaven.”  Psalm 40:8 I delight to do your will, O my God; (Matthew 26:39).

Either His will or my will be done.

Prayer:  Lord, I want to focus on submitting completely to your will!

 IV.         Intercedes for _________: physical, soul and spirit. (Dependence)

“Your to Our”- necessities rather than luxuries.

Matt. 6:11 Give us this day our daily bread:  (Petition) physical needs

Matt. 6:12 and forgive us our debts: (Confession). Spiritual needs

Matt.6:12b as we forgive our debtors: (Compassion) relational needs

Matt.613 And let us not into temptations but deliver us from evil: (moral needs, expressing our dependence upon God in every area of life.)

John 17:15 I do not ask that you take them out of the world, but that you keep them from the evil one.  (2 Timothy 4:18, 2 Thess.3:3)

“Do not allow us to be led into temptation that it overwhelm us, but rescue us from the evil one.”  Stott

“If a man knows that he is forgiven by the blood of Jesus Christ, is a man who must forgive others.  True forgiveness breaks a man and He must forgive.”  Ephesians 4:32

Commitment:  I will ask God to teach me to pray.  I will put God first in my prayers and my needs second.   

God first, us second!  Lord, teach us to pray!

Growth Group Questions for July 22nd

Icebreaker: Tell about a person who is a powerful prayer warrior.  What made their prayers so powerful?

1.   Read Matthew 6:5-15.  Summarize in your own words what you hear Jesus saying.  Ask God to speak to your heart and how these verses can be applied to your life.

2.   Read Matthew 6:5-8.  Describe what the Pharisees were doing?  What is wrong with this approach?    How could we fall into the same trap today?  How does secret prayer purify our prayer life? 

3.   Read Matthew 6:9.Galatians 4:6, Romans 8:15, John 1:12.  Write down how God is presented as father in these verses.  Why is the father’s heart of God critical to making our prayers dynamic?    What does “in heaven” teach about God’s power to answer prayer?

4.   Read Matthew 6:9b-10. How can the following three statements enhance your prayer life: “Holy by your name, Your kingdom come, Your will be done.”  Share some ways that this could be modeled in your prayers.

A.B. Simpson shares that God does not give us all the grace we need in one big lump sum. We couldn’t handle it.  An earthly father realizes the danger in doing that as well.  He puts it into the bank and lets him draw it out a little at a time with a check.  Prayer is our check to have an avenue to receive the grace we need to face every situation.  Give us this day our daily bread.  Our daily check. 

5.   Read Matthew 6:11-13.  Describe how each one of these requests is a daily check that we need to be asking God.  How does each one bring a new life to your prayer life?

6.   Read Matthew 6:9-13.  Go through the prayer and describe how it expresses an attitude of awe, submission, dependence and complete confidence in His love.

7.   Read Matthew 6:14-15.  How does bitterness and unforgiveness interrupt my relationship with God?  This passage means that the proof that you and I are forgiven is that we forgive others.” Jones .       2 Cor. 2:10-11.  What problems arise when we do not forgive others? 

John Lloyd - The Sermon On The Mount - Living

Seeking God First:  A Study on the Sermon of the Mount

Living our Lives to Please God Matthew 6:1-4

July 15, 2018

Pastor John Lloyd

 

In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus expresses His desire for us to live for Him in an upside down world.  This greatest sermon ever given, is uplifting, yet challenges us to live a life with Jesus that is far better than any other! It is our prayer that you will be encouraged and challenged by studying and applying this great sermon to your life. Small groups are also available throughout the week to further discuss and put into practice the lessons taught from the Sermon on the Mount.

Today’s Passage:   Matthew 6:1-4, Psalm 139-23-24. 

Big Idea:  Our greatest goal is to please God in our actions, motives and manner of living.  All for His Glory!

Matthew 5:20 For I tell you, unless your righteousness exceeds that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.

Living with a single focus to please God means:

I.               My motives are dedicated to glorifying God.

Matthew 6:1 “Beware of practicing your righteousness before other people in order to be seen by them, for then you will have no reward from your Father who is in heaven.”

6:1 To be seen of them- with the view or intention of being beheld of them.  Same expression is used in 5:28 and also in Matthew 5:16. The difference is one is in self glorification and one in God glorification.

Matthew 5:16 In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.

Luke 16:15 And he said to them, “You are those who justify yourselves before men, but God knows your hearts. For what is exalted among men is an abomination in the sight of God.”

A.   Beware of inward divisions in our motives.

Matthew 6:1a “Beware of practicing your righteousness before other people in order to be seen by them.”  (Romans 7:23)

Matthew 7:22 On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ 23And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’  Matthew 23:5

B.   Surrender our motives to purity of His glory.

Matthew 6:2 “Thus, when you give to the needy, sound no trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may be praised by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward.

2 Corinthians 5:9 So whether we are at home or away, we make it our aim to please him.  2 Corinthians 13:5, Psalm 139:23-24, Hebrews 4:12.

Prayer:  God, examine me, my thoughts, motives and to purify them by your Words of life.  All for His Glory!

II.             My actions are dedicated to glorifying God.

Matthew 6:3 But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing.

The secret is not in conflict with 5:16. Luther has the key: “Thus I do not see it even though other people may see it.”  The left hand does not represent men who are, indeed, to glorify God on seeing my good works. The left hand represents myself just as the right hand does; the right, me with my good deed, the left, me with my good opinion about my good deed.   If then, the left does not even know what the right is doing, I shall be absolutely free of desiring any praise or credit from men.  This is the secrecy Christ wants even when all the church knows my deeds. Lenski

Acts 20:35b  remember the words of the Lord Jesus, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’”  2 Corinthians 9:7b God loves a cheerful giver.

Ephesians 2:10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.

Hebrews 10:24 And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works,

I dedicate my acts of giving to the glory of God.  Lord, help me to refrain from keeping track.  God keeps track. All for His Glory!

III.             My greatest rewards will be from God. 

Matthew 6:4b so that your giving may be in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you.

And as we help others we must guard our eyes from wandering from those we are helping to the observers.  Do not keep track. Do not give yourself merit marks.  Forget your goodness.  Follow God. Do it, forget it. Hughes

Matthew 6:6 But when you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you. Matthew 6:18, 10:42, 25:40.

“Let’s do everything we can to please Him.  We shall find that God will have an account.  Nothing we have done will be forgotten, our smallest act will be remembered.”  D. Martyn Lloyd Jones

Colossians 3:23 Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, 24 knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ.  Hebrews 11:6

John 17:4 I glorified you on earth, having accomplished the work that you gave me to do.

Revelation 4:11 “Worthy are you, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things, and by your will they existed and were created.”

Prayer:  Lord, I do not want this to be about my glory but all for your glory!

Living to please God makes both what I do and how I do it,                an offering of glory to God.   All For His Glory!

 

Growth Group Questions for July 15th

Icebreaker: What is the nicest thing someone has done for you without you knowing about it?  How did it impact you?

1.   Read Matthew 6:1-4.  Summarize in your own words what you hear Jesus saying.  Ask God to speak to your heart and how these verses can be applied to your life.

2.   Read Matthew 6:1, Matthew 5:16, Hebrews 10:24.  Read both verses carefully.  What are differences between them?  How should one share about good works? If at all? How should we encourage one another to serve selflessly?

3.   Read Matthew 6:2.  What is the motive behind what the hypocrites were doing?  Read 2 Corinthians 5:9, Hebrews 11:6, John 17:4.  What should our motives be?  How can we check our motives?

The secret is not in conflict with 5:16.  Martin Luther has the key: “Thus I do not see it though other people may see it.”  The left hand does not represent men who are, indeed, to glorify God on seeing my good works. The left hand represents myself just as the right hand does; the right, me with my good deed, the left, me with my good opinion about my good deed.   If then, the left does not even know what the right is doing, I shall be absolutely free of desiring any praise or credit from men.  This is the secrecy Christ wants even when all the church knows my deeds. Lenski

4.   Read Matthew 6:3, Luke 16:15 and the Lenski quote above.  Discuss what it looks like practically to you to follow the guidelines given by Jesus. 

5.   Read Matthew 6:4, Ephesians 2:10, Hebrews 6:10, Matt.10:42.  What is it that God rewards?  What works has God prepared for us to do?  How is it helpful to know that God notices and rewards every act of service done in His name? 

6.   Why does God mention great is your reward in Matthew 6:1,6:4, 6:6, and 6:18?  What message is He giving the disciples?  How would you explain the rewards God gives to someone who is new to the faith?

7.   Read Psalm 139:23-24.  How is this prayer helpful in keeping our motivation in check?