Sep 09, 2018 | Lee Becknell
The Beginning of Great Things. Joining God's Family.
* I believe that every church is defined by what it is committed to, listen to this slogan:
“A Great Commitment to the Great Commandment and the Great Commission will grow a Great Church.”
Theme: “Often people don’t appear to need a thing, so we pass them by without sharing the gospel, but I’m here to remind you that these are facades. People are empty. People are lonely. People feel a sense of guilt. Everyone is afraid to die. When we understand this it will change the way we look at people. We will see past the superficial layers to the genuine human needs that make the message of the Gospel our only hope.”
* ill Barbara Walters asked the actor Richard Dreyfuss: “If you could have one wish, what would you wish for?”
(A) “Every time I have a birthday, every time I blow out candles, every time I see a shooting star, I wish for the same thing----I wish for inner security.”
* So many people are pretending to be something they are not.
Romans 9:25-26 [The Message]"I'll call nobodies and make them somebodies; I'll call theunloved and make them beloved. In theplace where they yelled out, 'You're nobody!"they're calling you God's living children."
* This morning I want to share with you the message that will change your family and the world.
* The early church focused on this message. Peter preaches the Gospel message and many believed.
- Why do people join God’s family?
Acts 2:37-39, “When the people heard this, they were cut to the heart and said to Peter and the other apostles, “Brothers, what shall we do?” 38 Peter replied, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. 39 The promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off—for all whom the Lord our God will call.”
* Peter preaches again in Acts chapter three. Turn with me to Acts 3:19.
Acts 3:19, “Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord,”
* God is in the business of wiping out sin. Praise the Lord. He’s wiped out plenty of mine.
* I love it. “Times of refreshing”, sounds good doesn’t it. My prayer for you today!
* Obviously, Jesus did not mention Baptism by accident (verse 38). Baptism symbolizes the new life in Christ.
* How can you be Christ like without Christ? Baptism is the sign of the change. The sign and the faith go together.
* But as they say in those commercials: “Wait, there’s more!”
- How do you become a member of God’s family?
Acts 2:40-41, “With many other words he warned them; and he pleaded with them, “Save yourselves from this corrupt generation.”41 Those who accepted his message were baptized, and about three thousand were added to their number that day.”
* Answer: Accept the message of Jesus!
* We are allotted Christ’s righteousness.
* What God did for us is amazing. He allotted to your account the righteousness of Jesus Christ.
Philippians 3:9, “and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ‑‑ the righteousness that comes from God and is by faith.
We are acquitted of sin
* The apostle Paul put it this way in his letter to the Romans.
1 Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, 2 through whom we have gained accessby faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God.
* There is a phrase here I don’t want you to miss: “justified by faith.”
* It sounds complicated but really it is very simple. It describes a legal act of God whereby you are declared not guilty.
* It is as if Christ was saying: “Hey, I did it. I’m guilty. Kill me instead.”
We are adopted into God’s family. By adopting me God is saying: “Don’t just stand there in awe of me. Come close to me.” God wants us close to Him.
* The Gospel is capable of reaching every person. It cuts through cultural barriers, racial barriers, economic barriers.
* My goal is to proclaim the Gospel as accurately as I can and leave the work of conversion up to the Holy Spirit.
* But wait there is still more!!
- What is it like to become a member of God’s family?
Acts 2:46, “Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke breadin their homes and ate togetherwith glad and sincere hearts,”
*A place where you belong.
* This is referring to the worship experience of the Lord’s supper. They were practicing what Jesus had instituted on the night of His betrayal.
* “Do this in remembrance of me”.
Acts 2:42-43, “They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teachingand to fellowship,to the breaking of breadand to prayer.43 Everyone was filled with awe at the many wonders and signs performed by the apostles.”
Note as well the reference to: ‘teaching’, ‘fellowship’, ‘breaking of bread’ (Lord’s Supper) and “prayer”
* Sometimes we get so busy working for God, we don’t have time to express our love for Him through worship.
* We shouldn’t worship out of guilt but out of love. We should want to worship God.
* Do you look forward to Sundays? Do you come to church expecting to worship God?
* God secures a place in Heaven for us.
1 Peter 1:3-4, “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,4 and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade. This inheritance is kept in heaven for you,”
* The infant church was still observing the temple hours of prayer. Three times a day the temple offered a prayer service. 9 AM, 12 noon, and 3 P.M.
* These were worship opportunities for the new church.
* The Bible tells us that each time we reach out to others in love we are in fact ministering to them.
* Not only has God forgiven you, not only has God justified you, but God has adopted you into His family.
* We receive resources from the family of God
Acts 2:44‑45, “All the believers were together and had everything in common. 45 Selling their possessions and goods, they gave to anyone as he had need.”
* This is the only time this is mentioned. The scriptures are not speaking about communism.
* You must remember that many were visiting Jerusalem so they were being included and invited to homes and what we would call Bible studies.
* The important thing to note is how they gave freely. The church can only operate with the free gifts of its members.
* Many times I am asked: “how can you do all those things” referring to ministries to the community.
* The answer is that God’s people give freely to His church. It is Gifts of love that keep us going.
* The word “Go” in the Great Commission is a present participle in the Greek text. Literally it means: “as you are going” make disciples.
* Evangelism is more than our responsibility; it is our privilege. We are invited to be a part of bring people into God’s family.
* Do you understand God and His plan of Salvation.
8 year-old's Explanation of God -- By Danny Dutton
Written by an 8 year old from Chula Vista, CA, for his third grade homework assignment. The assignment was to explain God. I just wonder if any of us could do as well?
One of God's main jobs is making people. He makes them to replace the ones that die, so there will be enough people to take care of things on earth. He doesn't make grownups, just babies. I think because they are smaller and easier to make. That way he doesn't have to take up his valuable time teaching them to talk and walk. He can just leave that to mothers and fathers. God's second most important job is listening to prayers. An awful lot of this goes on, since some people, like preachers and things, pray at times beside bedtime. God doesn't have time to listen to the radio or TV because of this. Because he hears everything, there must be a terrible lot of noise in his ears, unless he has thought of a way to turn it off. God sees everything and hears everything and is everywhere which keeps Him pretty busy. So you shouldn't go wasting his time by going over your mom and dad's head asking for something they said you couldn't have. Atheists are people who don't believe in God. I don't think there are any in Chula Vista. At least there aren't any who come to our church. Jesus is God's Son. He used to do all the hard work like walking on water and performing miracles and trying to teach the people who didn't want to learn about God. They finally got tired of him preaching to them and they crucified him. But he was good and kind, like his father, and he told his father that they didn't know what they were doing and to forgive them and God said O.K.
His dad (God) appreciated everything that he had done and all his hard work on earth so he told him he didn't have to go out on the road anymore. He could stay in heaven. So he did. And now he helps his dad out by listening to prayers and seeing things which are important for God to take care of and which ones he can take care of himself without having to bother God. Like a secretary, only more important. You can pray anytime you want and they are sure to help you because they got it worked out so one of them is on duty all the time. You should always go to church on Sunday because it makes God happy, and if there's anybody you want to make happy, it's God. Don't skip church or do something you think will be more fun like going to the beach. This is wrong. And besides the sun doesn't come out at the beach until noon anyway. If you don't believe in God, besides being an atheist, you will be very lonely, because your parents can't go everywhere with you, like to camp, but God can. It is good to know He's around you when you're scared, in the dark or when you can't swim and you get thrown into real deep water by big kids. But... you shouldn't just always think of what God can do for you. I figure God put me here and he can take me back anytime he pleases. And this is what I know about God.