JESUS – His Nature

Jesus has always been God and will always be God!

  • “Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us.” Matthew 1:23
  • “But unto the Son he saith, Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever: a sceptre of righteousness is the sceptre of thy kingdom.” – Hebrews 1:8
  • “And Thomas answered and said unto him, My Lord and my God.– John 20:28
  • I and my Father are one”– John 10:30
  • “Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever thou hadst formed the earth, and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting, thou art God.– Psalm 90:2
  • And he (Jesus) is before all things, and by him all things consist.” – Colossians 1:17

Yet, many claim that Jesus is not God!  They will say that He was a prophet, a good man, or the son of God, but not God the Son!

What are we to do?

  • “Try” the spirits – Read 1 John 1:1-4
    • Try = to test or approve
  • Believe that Jesus is God (same as God the Father and Holy Spirit) – Read 1 John 5:1-12

Jesus’ Omnipotence

  • “I am the Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty1:8
  • “Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high;“- Hebrews 1:3

Jesus’ Omniscience

  • “And Jesus knowing their thoughts said, Wherefore think ye evil in your hearts?” –Matt 9:4
  • “Nathaniel saith unto him, whence knowest thou me? Jesus answered and said unto him, before that Philip called thee, when thou wast under the fig tree, I saw thee.” – John 1:48
  • The woman at the well –John 4:1-26

Jesus’ Omnipresence

  • “Whither shall I go from thy spirit? Or whither shall I flee from thy presence? If I ascend up into heaven, thou art there: if I make my bed in hell, behold, thou art there. If I take the wings of morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea; Even there shall thy hand lead me, and thy right hand shall hold me.” Psalm 139:7-10

Jesus is God but He humbled Himself

  • Read Philippians 2:1-11

Why serve, give and love? Because He first loved us!  

“We love him, because he first loved us.”1 John 4:19



JESUS His Prophecies and His Promises

There are around 400 prophecies in the OT that speak of Jesus!  Here are a few…

  • The Messiah would bring a new covenant – Jeremiah 31:31
  • The Messiah would be forsaken and beaten – Psalm 22:1-18
  • The Messiah would be the rejected cornerstone – Psalm 118:22
  • The Messiah would be born of a virgin –Is 7:14
  • The Messiah would be pierced – Zechariah 12:10
  • The Messiah would ride on a donkey – Zech 9:9
  • The Messiah would be betrayed for 30 pieces of silver – Zechariah 11:12—13
  • The Messiah would be a willing sacrifice – 22:1-18
  • The Messiah will be born in Bethlehem- Micah 5:2
  • The Messiah would be preceded by a messenger – Malachi 3:1
  • The Messiah would be despised, rejected, and slaughtered– Isaiah 53
  • The Resurrection – Genesis 22:4, Hosea 6:1-2
  • The destruction of Jerusalem – Micah 3:12
  • Did all of these things happen? Yes or No?

How does this affect us?

  • Since God’s prophecies about Jesus were true back then, we can trust God’s promises now!
    • “Sanctify them through they truth: thy word is truth.” – John 17:17
    • “Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.”John 14:6
  • We have the Truth to believe in!

Some of Jesus’ Promises

  • Whoever believes in Jesus is not condemned and has eternal life – John 3:15-18
  • He will satisfy you and never lose you – John 6:30-40
  • He gives us eternal life – John 6:40, 44, 51. 57-58
  • He is preparing a place for us – John 14:1-3
  • We will be able to do greater works than Jesus – John 14:12
  • Our prayers will be answered– John 14:12-14
  • The Holy Spirit will abide with you forever – John 14:16
  • He won’t leave us comfortless – John 14:18
  • He will give you peace – John 14:27
  • He is coming back for us – Matthew 24:44
  • Nothing is impossible with faith in Him – Matthew 17:20
  • The gates of hell will not prevail against His church – Matthew 16:18
  • In Christ – you can find rest – Matthew 11:28


Growing Faith

The Goal:

To develop into the man or woman of God that He designed us to be

The Process: Step oneis realizing what is God’s work and what is our responsibility. Knowing this means that we won’t be frustrated by trying to fix outcomes in our lives or the lives of others because any good outcome comes from God.  Our responsibility is to be faithful to Him and His Word. Step twois keeping our eyes on Christ, not the people and circumstances around us.  Step threeis to continue to grow in our faith.

 

Types of Faith:

  • Weak faith: “Him that is weak in the faithreceive ye, but not to doubtful disputations.” 14:1 “We then that are strong ought to bear the infirmities of the weak, and not to please ourselves” – Ro 15:1
  • Little Faith: “Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith? – Matthew 6:30
  • Wavering faith: “But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed.  For let not that man think he shall receive anything of the Lord.  A double minded man is unstable in all his ways.– James 1:6-8
  • Unwavering faith: “Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering;(for he is faithful that promised;)” – Hebrews 10:23
  • Strong Faith: “He (Abraham) staggered notat the promise of God through unbelief, but was strong in faith, giving glory to God.– Romans 4:20
  • Growing Faith: “We are bound to thank God always for you, brethren, as it is meet, because that your faith growth exceedingly,and the charity of every one of you all toward each other aboundeth.– 2 Thessalonians 1:3
  • Active Faith: “But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead? Was not Abraham our father justified by works, when he had offered Isaac his son upon the altar? Seeth thou how faith wrought with his works, and by works was faith made perfect?James 2:20-22

Our Faith…

  • Leads to a stable life – Romans 4:20
  • Pushes us to give of our Time, Talent and Treasury – 2 Thessalonians 1:3
  • Causes us to abound in hope – Romans 15:13

How to Grow our Faith?

  • Faith comes from the Word of God– Ro 10:17
  • Faith is taught– 2 Timothy 1:5
  • Faith is strengthened by the example of others– Heb.11


God’s Work vs. Our Responsibility

Context: In whatever stage or position of life we are in, it is an easy trap to fall into to think that we are in charge of good results in our life, the lives of others and this church!  However, the truth is that we have never been given the charge of fixing the results of our lives or the lives of others!  It is God who works in us to work His will…

God’s Work in us – Romans 8:28-39

  • (predestined, called, justified, glorified) – “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are called according to his purpose. For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren. Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified, and whom he justified, them he also glorified.” – Romans 8:28-30
  • It is God that justifieth.” – Romans 8:33
  • Sanctification – 1 Cor. 6:11
  • Spirit’s work -1 Cor. 12:13, Ro. 8:9, Eph 1:13
  • Completion of work started – “Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ.” Philippians 1:6

2 extremes of thought about our responsibility

  • The legalist that thinks that as long as he dresses, acts, and speaks a certain way that this shows his spiritual maturity! (What I have to do)
  • The “freedom in Christ person that thinks they can do as they please since they have God’s forgiveness already! (What I can do)

The balance

  • Although there are things that we can and should do (works) it is only God that can get the glory! What do we take credit for? What do we take the blame for?

(Philippians 2:13 –For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.”)

Our Responsibility (a few things)

  • Love God – “And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment.” – Mark 12:30
  • Faithfulness – “Moreover it is required in stewards, that a man be found faithful.” 1 Cor 4:2
  • Obedience – John 14:15
  • Stand…with God’s Armor – Ephesians 6:10-20
  • Continually submit ourselves to God – “Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God.” Romans 6:13


Spiritual Warfare – The Walk of Repentance

2 Samuel 12:1-23
  • David was greatly blessed by God, but he was blinded by his lust – How quickly we can forget!
    • 2 Sam 12:7-8: God gave his the kingship, delivered him from Saul, gave him Saul’s house, his wives, and the house of Israel and Judah…if that wasn’t enough God would have given him more!
  • David’s sin first was against God!
    • Psalm 51:4Against thee, thee only, have I sinned, and done this evil in thy sight…”
    • 2 Sam 12:13 – “And David said unto Nathan, I have sinned against the Lord…”
  • David despised the commandment of God!
    • 2 Sam 12:9 – Wherefore hast thou despised the commandment of the Lord, to do evil in his sight?…”
    • 2 Sam 12:10 – “Now therefore the sword shall never depart from thine house; because thou hast despised me (God)…”
    • Despise = to disesteem, disdain, contemptible

Can a child of God despise God? YES!

  • God’s word can be despised – Numbers 15:31
  • You can serve God or money – you’ll love one and despise the other – Matthew 6:24
  • We can despise God’s goodness – Romans 2:4
  • We can despise God’s chastening – 12:5
  • We can despise God – 1 Thessalonians 4:8

BUT, God gives us the ability to Repent/Turn

  • Rom 2:4 – “Or despisest thou the riches of his goodness and forbearance and longsuffering; not knowing that the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance.”

The walk of repentance/The walk of pleasing God!

  • Read 1 Thessalonians 4:1-8
    • Question – is my walk pleasing God?

Psalm 16 – You Won’t Walk Alone – God’s Presence

  • He preserves us!
    • 2 Timothy 4:18“And the Lord shall deliver me from every evil work, and will preserve me unto his heavenly kingdom: To whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.”
  • He is our strength – 16:8
  • He shows us the path of life – 16:11
  • He is always with us – 16:11, Hebrews 13:5
    • In God’s presence there is fullness of joy!
  • When we walk with God it pleases Him and we feel His pleasure in us!16:11


Spiritual Warfare – Repentance

“(For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;) Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;” – 2 Corinthians 10:4-5

Repentance = Greek word “Metanoia” which means “to think differently”.  Your thinking changes your actions!

Jesus and repentance

  • “I (Jesus) came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.”Luke 5:32
  • “From that time Jesus began to preach, and to say, Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” – Matthew 4:17

Repentance is a gift

  • “Him hath God exalted with his right hand to be a Prince and a Saviour, for to give repentance to Israel, and forgiveness of sins.Acts 5:31
  • “When they heard these things, they held their peace, and glorified God, saying, Then hath God also to the Gentiles granted repentance unto life.”Acts 11:18

God’s Goodness in repentance

  • Or despisest thou the riches of his goodness and forbearance and longsuffering; not knowing that the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance?”Romans 2:4
  • “The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.”2 Peter 3:9
  • “I say unto you, that likewise joy shall be in heaven over one sinner that repenteth, more than over ninety and nine just persons, which need no repentance.”Luke 15:7

Repentance brings refreshing

  • “Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord;”Acts 3:19

Flee and Repent

  • Flee also youthful lusts: but follow righteousness, faith, charity, peace with them that call on the Lord out of a pure heart. But foolish and unlearned questions avoid, knowing that they do gender strifes. And the servant of the Lord must not strive; but be gentle unto all men, apt to teach, patient, In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth; And that they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him at his will.” – 2 Timothy 2:22-26

 

Everyone should repent

  • “And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men every where to repent:”Acts 17:30

Repentance looks like…

  1. We see our sin for the grossness that it is – Psalm 51
  2. We have sorrow of our sin
  • . For godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation not to be repented of: but the sorrow of the world worketh death.” 2 Corinthians 7:10
  1. We take ownership of our sin (confess it) – Ps 51:1-6
  2. We feel the shame of our sin
  • The opposite of shame – Ezra 9:6, Jeremiah 6:15
  1. We hate our sin “our sin should disgust us” – Acts 9
  2. We turn from our sin
  • Ezekiel 14:6 – “…repent, and turn yourselves from your idols…”
  • Ezekiel 18:30 – “…Repent, and turn yourselves from all your transgressions…”
  • Ezekiel 33:11“…but that the wicked turn from his way and live: turn ye, turn ye from your evil ways,…”
  • Acts 26:20 – “…repent and turn to God, and do the works of repentance.”

It’s time to repent!

  • Hosea 10:12 Sow to yourselves in righteousness, reap in mercy; break up your fallow (untilled) ground: for it is time to seek the LORD, till he come and rain righteousness upon you.”

Everyone should repent

  • “And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men every where to repent:”Acts 17:30

Repentance looks like…

  1. We see our sin for the grossness that it is – Psalm 51
  2. We have sorrow of our sin
  • . For godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation not to be repented of: but the sorrow of the world worketh death.” 2 Corinthians 7:10
  1. We take ownership of our sin (confess it) – Ps 51:1-6
  2. We feel the shame of our sin
  • The opposite of shame – Ezra 9:6, Jeremiah 6:15
  1. We hate our sin “our sin should disgust us” – Acts 9
  2. We turn from our sin
  • Ezekiel 14:6 – “…repent, and turn yourselves from your idols…”
  • Ezekiel 18:30 – “…Repent, and turn yourselves from all your transgressions…”
  • Ezekiel 33:11“…but that the wicked turn from his way and live: turn ye, turn ye from your evil ways,…”
  • Acts 26:20 – “…repent and turn to God, and do the works of repentance.”

It’s time to repent!

  • Hosea 10:12 Sow to yourselves in righteousness, reap in mercy; break up your fallow (untilled) ground: for it is time to seek the LORD, till he come and rain righteousness upon you.”


Spiritual Warfare…Strongholds

“(For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;) Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;” – 2 Corinthians 10:4-5

(Strongholds are patterns of thinking based on our family history, our personal experiences, and our worldview

)

Generational/family influences form strongholds

Jacob’s Family – Lying/Deception

  • Abraham lied about Sarah being his wife (Gen 12, 20) Isaac lied about Rebekah being his wife (Gen 26:7) Jacob/Rebekah lied to Isaac (Gen 27:18-24)
  • Jacobs sons lied about Joseph (Gen 37:31-35)

Jacob’s Family – Favoritism

  • Abraham favored Isaac over Ishmael
  • Isaac favored Esau, Rebekah favored Jacob (Genesis 25:28)
  • Jacob favored Joseph (Genesis 37:3)

Generational Sins

“Thou shalt not bow down thyself unto them, nor serve them: for I the Lord thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me, and shewing mercy unto thousands of them that love me and keep my commandments.” – Deuteronomy 5:9-10

  • The influence of fathers (parents) can be felt for generations, but our sins are our own, and no one else. We will stand before the Lord one day to give account for what we did, not our parents.
  • “For we all must appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad.” – 2 Corinthians 5:10

God works in amazing ways Genesis 31:7, 36-42

Jacob’s strongholds led to fear-based decisions

  1. God promised to be with Jacob (Gen 31:9) but Jacob still feared Esau (Gen 32:7, 11) His fear (rather than trusting God) led to disbelief!
  2. Jacob continued to try to figure things out by using his own thinking (Gen 32:13-15, 20)
  3. When in trouble we easily can revert back to strongholds

Strongholds begin to break apart…Genesis 32

  • When were confronted w/ the pain of our decisions
  • When you are get alone with God
  • When you wrestle with God
  • When God prevails over you
  • When we repent!

“Now I rejoice, not that ye were made sorry, but that ye sorrowed to repentance: for ye were made sorry after a godly manner, that ye might receive damage by us in nothing.”2 Corinthians 7:9



Spiritual Warfare, Part 2

“For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.” – Ephesians 6:12

What Satan uses to tempt us…

“For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.” – 1 John 2:16

See Matthew 4:1-11 (The devil attacks hardest when we are at our weakest points….tired and hungry)

  • 1st temptation (1-4), Satan used the lust of the flesh to tempt Jesus
  • 2nd temptation (5-7), Satan used the pride of life to tempt Jesus
  • 3rd temptation (8-11), Satan used the pride of life to tempt Jesus!
Satan did the same thing in

Genesis 3:6

  • “And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food (Lust of the flesh) and pleasant to the eyes (Lust of the eyes), and a tree to be desired to make one wise (Pride of life), she took the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat.”

 

 

Human effort alone cannot stop a spiritual attack!

  • It was the Word of God that Jesus used…
    • 1st temptation – Jesus used 8:3
    • 2nd temptation – Jesus used 6:16
    • 3rd temptation – Jesus used 6:13
  • “It’s hard to use a weapon if you don’t know the weapon!” Jesus knew the Word!

Jesus’s reason to be tempted

  • “For in that he himself hath suffered being tempted, he is able to succor them that are tempted.” – Hebrews 2:18

Jesus had victory over temptation

  • “For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.” – Hebrews 4:15

Submission and Resistance

  • Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” James 4:7

2 sides of submission

  • Surrender to God and draw close to God

How to resist?

  • Using the Word of God to fight off the devil
  • Have faith – 1 Peter 5:9a…”Whom (Satan) resist stedfast in the faith…”

Remember – “And the Lord shall deliver me from every evil work, and will preserve me unto his heavenly kingdom: to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.” – 2 Timothy 4:18



Spiritual Warfare

Knowing the Enemy
  • Satan (Lucifer) is a created being (angel) that cannot be everywhere at every time! Only God can do that! He uses his demons to work his plan.
  • As a created being, he is capable of sinning. Satan was kicked out of Heaven because of his prideful attempt to be greater than God – Isaiah 14:11-14
  • He is the father of lies – John 8:44
  • He is known as the “god of this world” that blinds the minds of unbelievers – 2 Corinthians 4:4

What Satan attacks?

  1. Faith – if he can get you to not believe in God and His Word, he is winning in your life!
  2. Peace – Once he gets you to disbelieve in God and His promises, your peace is attacked
  3. Purpose – A lack of faith and no peace leads to wondering what your purpose is as a Christian (“If this is the best there is, why live for God?”)

After this = Satan has you! Any sin is possible!

How to fight off the Attacks

  • “Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” James 4:7
    • Satan is a coward! By the authority of God he has to flee as we submit to God!

 

  1. The Word of God
    1. “Thy word have I hid in my heart that I might not sin against thee.” – Psalm 119:11
  2. The Holy Spirit
    1. “Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world.” – 1 John 4:4
  3. Prayer and Fasting – 2 Chronicles 20:1-4
    1. When you are in great distress – Fast!
    2. And being in an agony he (Jesus) prayed more earnestly: and his sweat was as it were great drops of blood falling down to the ground.”Luke 22:44
  4. Other believers – Galatians 6:1-5

Will there ever be complete victory? YES!!!

  • The 2nd Coming of Jesus Christ ( 19:11-21)
  1. Jesus is on a white horse; His eyes are a flame of fire, many crowns, and vesture dipped in blood, bringing the wrath of God.
  2. Armies on white horses, dressed in white. These are His saints (all believers)
  3. 1 Thess. 3:13 – “To the end he may stablish your hearts unblameable in holiness before God, even our Father, at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ with all his saints.” (see 14:4,5)
    • Anti-Christ/armies are defeated. Anti-Christ/false prophet in Lake of Fire.
  • Satan is thrown into bottomless pit 20:1-3
  • Satan loosed from the bottomless pit – 20:7-10 – cast in lake of fire forever!


Growing a Healthy Church, Part 7

Don’t be too alarmed; there is a “great falling away” from God that is going to happen! (We have been moving this way for a long time) – 2 Thess. 2:1-17
  • Don’t be shook up! Don’t be troubled!  Don’t be weary in well doing2 Thess. 3:13. Apostasy is coming! Apostasy = A Falling Away
  • Read 1 Timothy 4:1-3
  • This falling away refers to the time of the “Great Tribulation”, but we are in the pre-stages of this.

Falling away…

  • Man of sin, son of perdition = Anti Christ
  • The Holy Spirit will hinder Satan and the antichrist until the rapture of the church. After the rapture of the church, the devil will not be restrained!
  • Those that do not believe the truth of Jesus are damned! See John 3:15-18
  • The church will be gone during this time, but people can still be saved, thus, the Holy Spirit is still work, just not restraining the Wicked. We have been chosen:

Chosen us…

  • To be saved – 2 Thess. 2:13 (also see 1 Pet 1:2)
  • A chosen generation – 1 Peter 2:4-9
  • In Him before the foundation of the world 1:4
  • The foolish things to confound the wise – 1 Cor. 1:27…foolishness of the gospel – 1 Cor. 1:18
  • To be a soldiers –Read 2 Timothy 2:1-4

What to do:

  • Go to war and hold the faith – 1 Tim 1:18-20
  • Stand fast and hold to the Word – 2 Th. 2:15-17

Remember:

  • God is faithful! God will establish and keep you! – 2 Thessalonians 3:3

A Healthy Church takes a team approach towards discipleship – Ephesians 4:11-16

  • Church leaders are given by God for:
    • The perfecting (maturing) of the saints
    • The work of the ministry
    • The edification (building up) of the church
  • With the purpose of:
    • Having unity of the faith
    • a knowledge of the Son
    • producing mature believers who are grounded in their faith and not swayed false teaching and sinful living!