Small steps in faith

Sunday, April 17, 2011

"John 3:31-36"

These are my notes from the Apex sermon this am
This weekend Apex had a men's conference on Fri night/Sat am/afternoon
More than 700 men attended
The 2 things that stood out
1. A baptism of a new believer
2. The into of love our city.. We need to love our city..reach our with our city.
To love a city...we need to love it's children
Apex has signed an agreement to support Big Brothers /Big Sisters with men who will mentor young boys.

John 3:31-36
In the midst of conflict, John reacts with humility. The conflict is about baptism

John understood the origin and height of Jesus(v31)
Jesus is from heaven....John is from dust...just like we all are. We need to remind ourselves of this
He is above all
We try to be kings/queens of our own hell
Jesus died on a hill...He is the King of the hill

Jesus has a vantage point we don't have
We don't know what happens in the future

John's humility is fueled by the authenticity of Jesus (v32-33)
We have the seal of Jesus on our life

We are only qualified to share the gospel because of blood of Jesus Christ

John is fueled by the sustaining spirit of Jesus (v34)
God does not hold out on us...he gives without measure
If you're burn is've stopped repenting. We are always in need of His grace

John is fueled by the sobering goodness and wrath of Jesus
goodness=eternal life
Jesus is not just the good mood of God
The last face you see before going to Hell is the face of Jesus in judgment
God's goodness fuels his wrath
You can't have love without having hate

"John 3:22-30" Competition

These are my notes from Apex for 4/10
Competition...sometimes it's taken too far
Women...relationships,looks lead to jealousy
Men...goal oriented..condescending to others
All of us are competitive in some way
There is no room for competition in the church of Jesus Christ
how do you deal with the fact that someone is always better than you?
How do we deal with losing?
Who you are jealous of is your functional god

John is baptizing differently than Jesus
Full immersion vs repentance
In the church today, we do Romans 6 baptism
Jealousy minimizes what you have and maximizes what you don't have
"All are going to him" This is an exaggeration
How does John the Baptist respond?

1. John saw everything no matter how small as grace (v27)

2. John understood his role in the kingdom (v28)

3. John had met his joy (v29) He was the best man at the wedding. The groom was the object of the wedding

Men.....Has there been some resentment, frustration form a root of competition that has gone too far?
Women Are you comparing to other women?

Monday, April 04, 2011

"John 3:16-21"....and Rob Bell's "Love Wins"

These are my notes from yesterday's sermon on 4/2/11

John 3:16 is one of the most well known verses of the Bible. It's often used out of context.
When we look at the word love, we are looking at God's intensity and how God plays out that intensity

The Extravagant Love of God is displayed by....

1. Sending His best. He gives his only son. The word begotten means unique.
You and I get the love of God when we give others our best....not just our leftover extras

2.Removing present and perishing condemnation
We are already's already been decided.
The good news is in Romans..."Now there is no more condemnation for those in Christ
Hell is eternal existence eternity away from the presence of God that's an eternity of suffering
Many in today's generation want to rebel against the talk of Hell because they felt the talk of Hell,fire , and brimstone was pushed at them...but....Jesus talked about Hell...alot
He talked about it with the topics of anger, misplaced fear,our wrong focus, the pharisees and their evangelism
Sometimes we try to lessen it's horrific nature
Rob Bell wrote a book called "Love Wins" Rob doesn't discourage us from reading it but make sure you have your Bible when you read it.
Rob Bell is a pastor and he talks about hard questions that many pastors deal with.
We get enamored with the questions, but sometimes the answers he provides don't add up.
2Corinthinians 10:5
Teachers and Preachers have a mandate to critique opinions to make sure they are of God.

The Approaches taken to lessen the horrific nature of Hell

1. The approach of language.... "well maybe that word doesn't actually mean that" "Maybe it's nuance of a phrase"
When you take this approach, you are on a slippery slope. An example of this is the serpent in the garden of Eden
"Did God really say that?"
In Hebrew Old Testament , there is one word for Hell ...sheol
In Greek New Testament , there are three words..tartaroo(used by Peter), Hades, and Gahenna

Hades..equivalent to Sheol..pit
Intermediate state...redeemed and unredeemed before Christ comes back
Don't get intermediate state confused with purgatory
In Intermediate State...there is no change in stay reedemed or unreedemed
Gahenna.....Jesus uses the term for the valley in SW Jerusalem...the trash dump..Rob Bell points this out but stops there. He fails to tell you that it was known in 2 Kings as the Valley of Son of Hinnom where children were burned.
Jesus uses that concept to talk about the horrific nature of Hell. It's not just a trash dump
perish- everlasting punishment...on andon or just an age? Context always rules
If you use the word everlasting as just an have to use it in that way for goodness as well
Revelation 14-future judgment ..."the smoke of their torment goes up forever and ever and they have no rest day or night"

2. The approach of History...(the"Oliver Stone" way)
Giving back and breathing in a new narrative
The Apostolic Fathers..a generation after Christ.
Every generation has heretics and heresy
The Bible recalibrates us when we are abusive in theology

3. The Approach of Universalism- everyone goes to heaven
Christian universalism...Jesus wears different masks.
If Jesus redeems, the words are the same...the message is the same.
If you read the doctrines for Hindu,Buddhist,Muslim,Jehovah's Witness,Mormonism....the message is not the same
Faith...hearing through the word of Christ

4. The Approach of's not an eternal existence
In Philippians tells us that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow in heaven and on earth, and under the earth.

For the questions by Rob Bell as to whether an unfathomable amount of people will exist in Hell and a small number be saved

1. Jesus said so Himself. Matthew 7:13-14 Christ warned against Hell. He didn't use it as a "scare tactic"

2. I remember God's full justice would allow no one in heaven....none of us deserve heaven..we are all sinners and have created treason

3. God's love can't be separated or elevated above his Holiness...God is love but He is also Holy

4. I remember God's love is not done. Revelation 5:9 "..and by your blood you ransomed people for God from every tribe and language and people and nation" The message of the gospel will be made known to all...

5. I remember to get back to the work of the gospel
The greatest heresy isn't Rob's us who sit and do nothing to reach the lost.

6. I remember grace...
"Think lightly of Hell and you will soon think lightly of the cross" Charles Spurgeon

Saturday, April 02, 2011

"John 3:9-15"

These are my notes for Apex sermon on 3/27

We treat God like a telemarketer who seeks us at inconvenient times. He shares what our needs are and we screen Him.
Nicodemus was screening the call of God. Religion was getting in the way.
Jesus is on a collision course with Nicodemus on two different types of knowledge.
Nicodemus..a scholar but doesn't understand the word of God
Do you look at it as a duty..a stopping point or as a place to jump off and love others more?

1 Samuel 10:16
Isaiah 32:5
Jeremiah 31:33

Nicodemus knew these verses. The personification was standing in front of him and he didn't know it

Our knowledge must flow out of...

1. the authority of Jesus (11-13)
He is not a consultant
Who is the "we"?
Jesus uses sarcasm
He is talking about Himself and the Father
He has authority in and of Himself
We only have derived authority
Jesus is the bridge between heaven and earth

2. the mercy of Jesus (14)
Knowledge without love...we get puffed up
Many with knowledge only are one wants to be around them.
They have the knowledge but it's a wall not a conduit
Numbers 21:5
God's divine judgment and divine mercy
The serpent on the pole
The lamb of God on the cross
He who knew no sin became sin for us

3. the mission of Jesus(15)
Luke 5:31
Came to save sinners
Ezekiel 34:16
seek the lost strengthen the weak
We don't gain knowledge to become fat and immobile.
It's to serve others and to be a blessing to others