celebration

iDisciple // Part 3


iDisciple Part 3 – His Last Words, Our First Priority

(Matthew 28:18-20 CSB) Jesus came near and said to them, “All authority has been given to me in heaven and on earth. Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe everything I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”

The Great Commission

It’s not merely…

  • Converts.

  • Decisions.

  • Christians.

But rather…

  • Disciples.

It’s not…

  • Come and see.

But rather…

  • Go and tell.

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Why Do I Need to Live on Mission?

1. It’s a command.

(Matthew 28:19-20 TPT) Now go in my authority and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. And teach them to faithfully follow all that I have commanded you. And never forget that I am with you every day, even to the completion of this age.”

(Matthew 28:20 CSB) teaching them to observe everything I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”

2. It’s your calling.

(Acts 1:8 AMP) But you will receive power and ability when the Holy Spirit comes upon you; and you will be My witnesses [to tell people about Me] both in Jerusalem and in all Judea, and Samaria, and even to the ends of the earth.”

(I Peter 2:9 CSB) But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his possession, so that you may proclaim the praises of the one who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.

3. It cultivates intimacy.

(Matthew 28:20 CSB) teaching them to observe everything I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”

The Goal: His last words shouldn’t be just another ministry in our church, but should be the ministry of our church.

All scripture is from the NIV unless otherwise noted


Why Do You need community?

1. To grow.

(Acts 2:44-45 TPT) All the believers were in fellowship as one body, and they shared with one another whatever they had. Out of generosity they even sold their assets to distribute the proceeds to those who were in need among them.

(Acts 4:32) All the believers were one in heart and mind. No one claimed that any of their possessions was their own, but they shared everything they had.

2. To heal.

(I Corinthians 12:26) If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honored, every part rejoices with it.

3. To multiply.

(Acts 1:8 CSB) But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”

(Acts 2:42, 46-47) Everyone was filled with awe, and many wonders and signs were being performed through the apostles. Every day they devoted themselves to meeting together in the temple, and broke bread from house to house. They ate their food with joyful and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. Every day the Lord added to their number those who were being saved.

All scripture is from the NIV unless otherwise noted

iDisciple // Part 2


iDisciple Part 2 – Community

(Acts 2:42-43 CSB) They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching, to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread, and to prayer. Everyone was filled with awe, and many wonders and signs were being performed through the apostles. Now all the believers were together and held all things in common. They sold their possessions and property and distributed the proceeds to all, as any had need.

Every day they devoted themselves to meeting together in the temple, and broke bread from house to house. They ate their food with joyful and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. Every day the Lord added to their number those who were being saved.

Whole Hearted Devotion

  • Apostles teaching.

(John 5:39) You study the Scriptures diligently because you think that in them you have eternal life. These are the very Scriptures that testify about me,

  • Fellowship.

(I John 1:6-7) If we claim to have fellowship with him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live out the truth. But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin.

  • Breaking of bread.

(Acts 2:46-47) Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.

  • Prayer.

(Acts 2:42 CSB) They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching, to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread, and to prayer.


Why Do You need community?

1. To grow.

(Acts 2:44-45 TPT) All the believers were in fellowship as one body, and they shared with one another whatever they had. Out of generosity they even sold their assets to distribute the proceeds to those who were in need among them.

(Acts 4:32) All the believers were one in heart and mind. No one claimed that any of their possessions was their own, but they shared everything they had.

2. To heal.

(I Corinthians 12:26) If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honored, every part rejoices with it.

3. To multiply.

(Acts 1:8 CSB) But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”

(Acts 2:42, 46-47) Everyone was filled with awe, and many wonders and signs were being performed through the apostles. Every day they devoted themselves to meeting together in the temple, and broke bread from house to house. They ate their food with joyful and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. Every day the Lord added to their number those who were being saved.

All scripture is from the NIV unless otherwise noted

iDisciple // Part 1


iDisciple Part 1 – Why Church?

(I Corinthians 12:12-19 CSB) For just as the body is one and has many parts, and all the parts of that body, though many, are one body—so also is Christ. For we were all baptized by one Spirit into one body—whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free—and we were all given one Spirit to drink. Indeed, the body is not one part but many. If the foot should say, “Because I’m not a hand, I don’t belong to the body,” it is not for that reason any less a part of the body. And if the ear should say, “Because I’m not an eye, I don’t belong to the body,” it is not for that reason any less a part of the body. If the whole body were an eye, here would the hearing be? If the whole body were an ear, where would the sense of smell be? But as it is, God has arranged each one of the parts in the body just as he wanted. And if they were all the same part, where would the body be?

Why the Church needs you?

  • You are important.

  • You are unique.

  • You are called.

(I Corinthians 12:27-28 AMP) Now you [collectively] are Christ’s body, and individually [you are] members of it [each with his own special purpose and function]. So God has appointed and placed in the church [for His own use]: first apostles [chosen by Christ], second prophets [those who foretell the future, those who speak a new message from God to the people], third teachers, then those who work miracles, then those with the gifts of healings, the helpers, the administrators, and speakers in various kinds of [unknown] tongues.

God’s perfect design for your Christian walk is not for you to date the church, but rather be whole heartedly dedicated to it.


Why You Need The Church?

1. The church provides community.

(I Corinthians 12:-13 CSB) For just as the body is one and has many parts, and all the parts of that body, though many, are one body—so also is Christ. For we were all baptized by one Spirit into one body—whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free—and we were all given one Spirit to drink.

2. The church helps you mature.

(Ephesians 4:13-16 NIV) until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ. Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of people in their deceitful scheming. Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ. From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work.

3. The church helps us refocus.

(Colossians 3) gathering together helps you stay on mission, helps you stay on track

All scripture is from the NIV unless otherwise noted

Relationship Goals // Part 3

Marriage: A display of Christ and the church

Colossians 2:13-15, 3:12-19

What marriage is:

Marriage is the doing of God , He created it (Gen 2:24)

  • Mark 10:6-9

Marriage is for the display of God’s glory

  • Ephesians 5:31-32

Marriage is a model of Christ and the Church

  • This lifts marriage out of the cultural sewer

  • This gives marriage a solid foundation in grace

  • This shows headship and submission are crucial and crucified

Marriage is a covenant between man and a woman not a contract.

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How we walk it out: Living vertically in His grace and bending out horizontally forgiveness, and justification.

We showcase it by resting in His grace

We live hour by hour in dependence on God’s forgiveness, justification, and promised future grace.

As the Lord has forgiven me, I must forgive my spouse.

Christ always forgives more and endures more than we do.

Take the vertical grace of forgiveness and justification and bend them out horizontally to your spouse - this is a display of Christ’s covenant keeping grace.

In our marriages we need daily:

  • The power of the Holy Spirit

  • Prayer

  • Meditation on God’s word

  • Counsel of wise friends

  • The church body

Relationship Goals // Part 2

Singles

Dating is obviously relevant to your life. You singles are pondering the relationship idea, this is right on par for you. So, I know you are on board.

Dating Singles

Just don't make it awkward. Do what you always do in church. Just keep your eyes forward. We will make it through this.

Married

This topic of dating, which is under the whole concept of relationships. Married folk, this is for you. You should continue to date your spouse. In fact, I hold to the idea that dating should be initiated with a trajectory towards marriage. So, all of the principles we will discuss will directly contribute to your marriage.

I am a working progress. I know what the Bible is teaching us about relationships. I understand that I must apply these truths as well. But my wife can tell you that I still mess up. So, let us continue in grace as we go forward.

Whether you are a long time, fully dedicated believer or you’re on the fence about this whole Jesus thing, let me qualify this for you. There has been no one ever in history who would argue, at least in their right mind, that Jesus was the most kind, most loving, and peace abounding man to ever walk this earth. So today, as we encounter the Word of God with the idea of seeing how God speaks into relationships and the topic of dating I want us to hang on to this. I really want us to grasp this.

"Christ-centered love is not possible without being Christ centered." (Matthew 22:37-40)

In this text, Jesus is dealing with Pharisees (religious know-it-alls) who are trying to get him caught up in his ministry. They ask Jesus, "Teacher, which command in the law is the greatest?"

Jesus then summarizes the 10 commandments, the law, into 2 categories, which fall under one topic.

- The law is about relationship with God and relationship with people.

- We find the law in Exodus 20 in our Bibles.

FIRST FOUR: These are about relationship with God. (vertical law)

LAST SIX: These are about relationship with people. (horizontal law)

Let me say this a different way:

"You cannot have right relationships, without first having the right relationship, right."

All that I am saying is this: Before we can be right with people, we must be right with God.

Let me say it this way now: We must be right with God, before we can ever expect to be right with people.

Vertical (v. 37)

"He said to him, 'Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind."

We have to go vertical!

Before we can even begin to consider relationships as they should be viewed, we have to have peace with God. (THE CROSS OF CHRIST)

  • We must be made right with God.

  • We were created in the image of God.

  • We were created by God.

  • And for God. We see this in creation account.

If this is true and I certainly believe that it is-this changes everything.

- We can't just opt into some co-dependent relationship, whether that be dating or marriage.

We must first learn what it means to be satisfied in Christ.

Often times, many people will say something like this, "I'm just so lonely. If only I had a boyfriend or a girlfriend."

What they do not understand is that they are setting their partner up for failure. That person can never fulfill the needs that you have.

We must be made right with God first.

By grace through faith.

It is through Jesus Christ that we are reconciled to the Father.

This way we obtain peace with God.

- Once we are granted peace with God, we then receive a piece of God (Holy Spirit), and through this we can then experience and share the peace of God.

Horizontal (v. 39)

"The second is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself."

When I read this verse, to truly understand it- I must be really honest with myself.

DO I LOVE MYSELF?

Do I love the good things about myself? SURE!

Do I love the bad things about myself? No one in their right mind loves the bad, that's just stupid.

But overall, DO I LOVE ME?

- I would say, for most of us- if not all, the answer is yes. I love myself.

That is why I feed myself, clothe myself, bathe myself. I love myself so much that I tend to myself. I take care of myself.

- You're getting the point.

Jesus says, "Love your neighbor as yourself."

Ok, Justin; Now, What does this have to do with dating?

Glad you asked.

You treat yourself well, treat your beloved well.

Christian, you pray for yourself, pray for your beloved.

You lead yourself into the presence of God, or you should be- do the same for your beloved.

- You all are getting the point. right?

Now, let's address our culture.

Stop looking for the "one"

I know, I know. But God has someone out there for you. That is what you have been told and that really does sound great, but it paints the wrong picture.

The truth is- You can marry who you want to.

The truth is- this searching for "my one" creates a situation where you set yourself up for failure. Here is what I mean.

- When you date, you date with a trajectory towards marriage. When we date with a trajectory towards marriage, we date with a purpose.

- When we pursue someone with marriage in mind, we then evaluate them according to a certain set of standards. Do we not? I think we do.

- The problem is that we most often compromise those standards, due to many different factors. But we still lower our standards.

- These standards should be established from the Bible and prioritized as primary and secondary. (For example, a secondary factor is: I like Ole Miss, she likes MSU) That should not be a deal breaker, but for some it is.

Instead of searching for the one, just keep your eyes open while staying on mission for God. Let me explain.

Do your research of what a Godly man or woman should look like.

Then, obviously, you will have some personal or situational criteria that you would prefer as well.

Think about these and measure all of your set standards by the Bible.

Now, here is the catch. While your faithful to God in all things- while you are living in the overflow. Meaning, living your life out of the overflow of your love for God. Be patient-but be intentional.

It is when you are single that you need to get the vertical relationship right. Don't waste your singleness. Get right with God, so you can share that peace of God with your future beloved.

Guys, the woman of your dreams, most likely, is not going to bump into you as you leave the coffee shop causing you to spill your coffee on yourself and you instantly get googly eyes: like we see on Hallmark movies.

"Not saying you men watch Hallmarks that often but I'm forced to from time to time."

As romantic as these movies portray this, it's unlikely.

Ladies, the same for you. You must be intentional.

3. The Origin (v. 40) "ULTIMATE LOVE"

Summary:

So, we have vertical relationships and horizontal relationships. It is where the vertical and horizontal intersect that your geometry class calls this the "origin".

The origin is where relationships should "ORIGINATE."

In the gospel of Luke, we find one of the only few verses about the childhood of Jesus. Luke 2:52,

"And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature and favor with God and with people."

- It is in Jesus that we find this last point made manifest.

- It is in Jesus Christ that we find this last point lived out. Not necessarily in dating, but in normal everyday relationships.

Jesus found favor with God (1st.) and then with people (2nd.).

This is how we should live as well.

Now, back to verse 40.

"All the Law and the Prophets depend on these two commands."

- The commands referred to here in this verse, is summarized by the word LOVE. The law was given out of love, and the law should be obeyed out of love.

It is at the intersection of love for God and love for people that we find ourselves living according to the incarnational model. I call this incarnational living.

- This is not to be confused with the "Incarnated." That's Jesus! But rather, a model for right living in relationships.

- We first get the vertical relationship right. Then secondly, we are then enabled to get the horizontal relationships right.

It is at the Cross of Christ, where we find this displayed most ultimately. Jesus' love unto the Father, to be obedient unto death on a cross.

Also, the love of Jesus Christ displayed in his submission to the Cross. Jesus was more than a man.

- He was divinity-gift-wrapped in humanity for the ultimate purpose of glorifying the Father and for our good. Jesus was the gift given unto mankind to be the mediator which would bring us peace with God. However, this peace is obtained when God draws us.

- When God draws us, our eyes (our spiritual eyes) are opened. When our eyes open, we must become obedient to the point of death.

- It is at the moment that we receive sight, that we experience the greatest of miracles. Salvation- meaning hope for eternal life, also we receive that piece of God. (the Holy Spirit) that enables us to live horizontally according to the example Christ set for us.

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- We are made right with God, through the Cross of Christ and find our hope in the Resurrection of Christ. Once we experience this, we can then live in the overflow.

- Such a wonderous gift, can only cause the reaction of love and joy.

- Therefore, our overwhelming love and joy in this relationship with God, is how we live in the overflow. Maintaining that first love for God is another story.

But practically what are some goals (in our horizontal relationships) that we can strive towards as it relates to what we have already heard.

This first one relates to not searching for "the one." Love people for the image they are created in."

I said it earlier, We should not condemn people, but neither condone sin or evil. There is a major difference in condemning a person and not condoning their evil actions or sin.

The story of the "adultress woman" brought to Jesus to be stoned. (John 4)

- Jesus did not condemn her, but he did not condone here sinful living.

- Rather, he loved her for her, and empowered her to live for God. And we should too.

"Stop looking for the one" - All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.

You will find the one when you apply that first goal I gave you. Stop searching for that perfect person for you. It is when you choose to love people for who they are, that you will find yourself choosing to love a someone for all that they are. For better or for worse, for richer or poor. As God demonstrated his sacrificial love, it will begin to happen in your life. Just choose to love.

"Date with a trajectory towards marriage."

Date with intentionality.

- Don't be like some people who have been dating for 6 years and still haven't married. Stick to God's design, it is far better.

- You ever went to the grocery store and forgot what you came for? I have. And I leave with stuff that isn't even supposed to go home with me.

- You will catch that in a minute.

"Don't date non-Christians. Or Don't date Unequally Yoked."

Without a Christian spouse you will either drift away from God or make your spouse a functional god.

1 Kings 11:2-3, 6 (Solomon lead astray by women who didn't love the Lord.) He married many foreign women, meaning that they didn't serve the living God. His love for them lead him astray.

The same can happen to us.

Does your love for God spur your beloved onward to the living God?

Does your beloved spur you onward to the living God?

"Don't Flirt to Convert."

This one is grounded in a four-letter word that is not love. LUST.

But Justin I am going to lead him to Jesus. That is great, but you can do that without dating him.

When this happens, a student will bring that beloved to church and they will sit up front. Next thing, they have moved to the back. They start showing up late. Next, they find themselves missing church sometimes. Before you know it- they got married. Oh that's great you got married, its biblical. Sure, except for the fact that he isn't a Christian. Before long, your new husband says, "Babe, I now it's Sunday and you go to church and all, but it is my only day off. Can we just stay home and be together for once?"

- Out of love for your husband you stay home. Next, you start missing once a month, next thing you know you are out Church and haven't been back in 6 months until you got invited back for the revival or the Awesome August event. That is why you don't flirt to convert. It leads you astray and sometimes into apostasy.

This is the most important and it relates directly to our first point. (Vertical Relationship). PURSUE A PURE MIND.

Out of first-hand experience I can tell you today that this is the greatest gift you can bring your spouse on the day of your marriage.

Traditional church in the last few years has taught- "Sex before marriage is bad." And they are right, but it is much deeper than that.

Most men and women too, have heard don't have sex before marriage so much that they actually believed getting to marriage a virgin was the only important thing. The problem is that, in the process we probably filled our hearts and minds with lust.

Many men and women, in this case struggle with pornography.

Many men and women, in this case commit many other fallacies because we were shooting for a goal that was short sighted.

Relationship Goals // Part 1

(Mark 12:30-21) Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.”

Action steps

Sever harmful friendships.

(I Corinthians 15:33 TPT) So stop fooling yourselves! Evil companions will corrupt good morals and character.

Nurture healthy friendships.

(Proverbs 18:24 AMP) The man of too many friends [chosen indiscriminately] will be broken in pieces and come to ruin, But there is a [true, loving] friend who [is reliable and] sticks closer than a brother.

(Proverbs 13:20) Walk with the wise and become wise, for a companion of fools suffers harm.

Pursue new and few friendships.

(Proverbs 12:26 NKJV) The righteous should choose his friends carefully, For the way of the wicked leads them astray.

(Proverbs 18:24 AMP) The man of too many friends [chosen indiscriminately] will be broken in pieces and come to ruin, But there is a [true, loving] friend who [is reliable and] sticks closer than a brother.

True Friends

Hold us accountable.

(Proverbs 27:5-6 AMP) Better is an open reprimand [of loving correction] Than love that is hidden. Faithful are the wounds of a friend [who corrects out of love and concern], But the kisses of an enemy are deceitful [because they serve his hidden agenda].

(Proverbs 27:17) As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.

Speak the truth in love.

(Philippians 2:5 TPT) In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus:

(Proverbs 12:26 TPT) Lovers of God give good advice to their friends, but the counsel of the wicked will lead them astray.

Refresh us.

(Proverbs 27:9 TPT) Sweet friendships refresh the soul and awaken our hearts with joy, for good friends are like the anointing oil that yields the fragrant incense of God’s presence.

Am I a friend who daily makes deposits or withdraws?

Baptism Sunday

What is Baptism

(Matthew 28:18-20 NASB) And Jesus came up and spoke to them saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.

Baptism is immersion in water.

(Acts 8:38-39 NASB) And he ordered the chariot to stop; and they both went down into the water, Philip as well as the eunuch, and he baptized him. When they came up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord snatched Philip away; and the eunuch no longer saw him, but went on his way rejoicing.

What does baptism signify?

Baptism signifies that a change has occurred.

(Acts 8:36-38 NASB) As they went along the road they came to some water; and the eunuch said, “Look! Water! What prevents me from being baptized?” And Philip asia, “If you believe with all your heart, you may.” And he answered and said, “I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.” And he ordered the chariot to stop; and they both went down into the water, Philip as well as the eunuch, and he baptized him.

What does baptism symbolize?

Baptism symbolizes being washed in His blood.

(Romans 6:3-5) Don’t you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death? We were therefore buried with Him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we, too, may live a new life. For if we have been united with Him in a death like His we will certainly also be united with Him in a resurrection like His.

(1 Peter 3:21) And this water symbolizes baptism that now saves you also – not the removal of dirt from the body but the pledge of a clear conscience toward God. It save you by the resurrection of Jesus Christ.

Who can be baptized?

Disciples or Followers of Jesus Christ.

(Matthew 28:19) Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit…”

Why should you be baptized?

Jesus was baptized.

See Matthew 3, Mark 1 and Luke 3

Jesus commanded it.

(Matthew 28:19) Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them…”

It’s your next step.

Brand New // Part 3

(II Corinthians 5:17 TPT) Now, if anyone is enfolded into Christ, he has become an entirely new creation. All that is related to the old order has vanished. Behold, everything is fresh and new.

Bad news

(Psalm 51:5 NLT) For I was born a sinner--yes, from the moment my mother conceived me.

(Romans 3:23) for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,

Good news

(Ephesians 2:8-9) For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast.

Born from above

(Titus 3:5) He saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit,

Made new

(Romans 6:4 ESV) We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life.

What can I do?

Meditate.

(Psalm 119:11 AMP) Your word I have treasured and stored in my heart, That I may not sin against You.

(Psalm 1:2) but whose delight is in the law of the LORD, and who meditates on his law day and night.

Declare.

(Psalm 71:15 NLT) I will tell everyone about your righteousness. All day long I will proclaim your saving power, though I am not skilled with words.

(Proverbs 18:21) The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit.

Discipline.

(Philippians 2:12-13 TPT) My beloved ones, just like you’ve always listened to everything I’ve taught you in the past, I’m asking you now to keep following my instructions as though I were right there with you. Now you must continue to make this new life fully manifested as you live in the holy awe of God—which brings you trembling into his presence. God will continually revitalize you, implanting within you the passion to do what pleases him.

Brand New // Part 2

(II Corinthians 5:17 TPT) Now, if anyone is enfolded into Christ, he has become an entirely new creation. All that is related to the old order has vanished. Behold, everything is fresh and new.

In Christ we are not simply reformed, refurbished, or remade, but made completely new.

Born again?

(John 3:3;5-6) Jesus replied, “Very truly I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God unless they are born again. ” Jesus answered, “Very truly I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless they are born of water and the Spirit. Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit.

(Romans 5:17-19 CSB) Since by the one man’s trespass, death reigned through that one man, how much more will those who receive the overflow of grace and the gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man, Jesus Christ. So then, as through one trespass there is condemnation for everyone, so also through one righteous act there is justification leading to life for everyone. For just as through one man’s disobedience the many were made sinners, so also through the one man’s obedience the many will be made righteous.

Repentance. (Luke 5:31-21)

Belief. (Romans 10:9-10)

Transformation. (Romans 8:28-30)

Being born again (regeneration) means that salvation includes God’s work both for us at the cross of Jesus, and in us by the Holy Spirit. 

What does it mean to be “Made New?”

New Life.

(Romans 6:4) Therefore we have been buried with Him through baptism into death, so that as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life.

New Identity.

(Galatians 2:20) I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.

New Father.

(Romans 8:15) The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship. And by him we cry, “Abba, Father.”

New Power.

(Romans 8:11 NLT) The Spirit of God, who raised Jesus from the dead, lives in you. And just as God raised Christ Jesus from the dead, he will give life to your mortal bodies by this same Spirit living within you.

God desires us to be born again in Him and live a new life as a new person in relationship with Him rather than to seek to transform ourselves through behavior modification or external religious performance.

Brand New // Part 1

(II Corinthians 5:17 TPT) Now, if anyone is enfolded into Christ, he has become an entirely new creation. All that is related to the old order has vanished. Behold, everything is fresh and new.

The Bad News

(Genesis 3:6-9) When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it. Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they realized they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made coverings for themselves. Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the Lord God as he was walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and they hid from the Lord God among the trees of the garden. But the Lord God called to the man, “Where are you?”

(Romans 5:12) Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all people, because all sinned—

Sin is not a behavior issue,  it is a heart issue.

(Jeremiah 17:9) The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it?

(Mark 12:30) Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’

The Good News

He initiates.

(John 6:44, 65) “No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws them, and I will raise them up at the last day. He went on to say, “This is why I told you that no one can come to me unless the Father has enabled them.”

(Romans 5:8) But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

He illuminates. 

(I Corinthians 2:14 TPT) Someone living on an entirely human level rejects the revelations of God’s Spirit, for they make no sense to him. He can’t understand the revelations of the Spirit because they are only discovered by the illumination of the Spirit. 

(Ephesians 2:1) As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins,

He implements.

(Ezekiel 36:26-27 CSB) I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; I will remove your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. I will place my Spirit within you and cause you to follow my statutes and carefully observe my ordinances.

(Titus 3:5 CSB) he saved us—not by works of righteousness that we had done, but according to his mercy—through the washing of regeneration and renewal by the Holy Spirit.

Vision Sunday

Love unconditionally.

(1 John 4:19) We love because he first loved us.

Serve sacrificially.

(Mark 10:45 TPT) For even the Son of Man did not come expecting to be served by everyone, but to serve everyone, and to give his life as the ransom price in exchange for the salvation of many.”

Reach who-so-ever.

(John 3:16) For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

Adopt this mindset:

Lost people aren’t projects, their people.

(Matthew 9:10-13) While Jesus was having dinner at Matthew’s house, many tax collectors and sinners came and ate with him and his disciples. When the Pharisees saw this, they asked his disciples, “Why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?” On hearing this, Jesus said, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. But go and learn what this means: ‘I desire mercy, not sacrifice.’ For I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.”

The #1 way God wants to love, serve, and reach your community is you.

(Acts 1:8 TPT) But I promise you this—the Holy Spirit will come upon you and you will be filled with power. And you will be my messengers to Jerusalem, throughout Judea, the distant provinces —even to the remotest places on earth!”

Making an impact

Read daily.

(Colossians 3:16 TPT) Let the word of Christ live in you richly, flooding you with all wisdom. Apply the Scriptures as you teach and instruct one another with the Psalms, and with festive praises, and with prophetic songs given to you spontaneously by the Spirit, so sing to God with all your hearts!

Pray daily.

(Luke 18:13-14) “But the tax collector stood at a distance. He would not even look up to heaven, but beat his breast and said, ‘God, have mercy on me, a sinner.’ “I tell you that this man, rather than the other, went home justified before God. For all those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.”

Give generously.

(2 Corinthians 9:6 AMP) Now [remember] this: he who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows generously [that blessings may come to others] will also reap generously [and be blessed].

Be engaged.

(Matthew 4:19) “Come, follow me,” Jesus said, “and I will send you out to fish for people.”

Invite people.

(Matthew 4:19) “Come, follow me,” Jesus said, “and I will send you out to fish for people.”

He Invites Us To Pray // Matt Mackey, Matthew 7

He invites us to pray….

Matthew 7: 7-11

7 “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. 8 For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened. 9 Or which one of you, if his son asks him for bread, will give him a stone? 10 Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a serpent? 11 If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him!

Jesus invites us to pray

  • Ask- it will be given

  • Seek- you will find

  • Knock- it will be opened

Jesus gives us seven promises.

  • Ask

  • Seek

  • Knock

  • Everyone who asks receives 

  • The one who seeks finds 

  • The one who knocks finds

  • Good things will be given by your Father

God’s presence is experienced in different ways.

  • Everyone who asks receives 

  • We are praying to our Father 

  • Our heavenly Father is infinitely better

  • He gives us good things because he has given us the gift of sonship

Hark! // Part 3

Hail! the heaven-born

Prince of peace!

Hail! the Son of Righteousness!

Light and life to all he brings,

Risen with healing in his wings

Mild he lays his glory by,

Born that man no more may die:

Born to raise the son of earth,

Born to give them second birth.

Hark! the herald angels sing,

"Glory to the new-born King!"

(Luke 2-8-20 CSB) In the same region, shepherds were staying out in the fields and keeping watch at night over their flock. Then an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, “Don’t be afraid, for look, I proclaim to you good news of great joy that will be for all the people: Today in the city of David a Savior was born for you, who is the Messiah, the Lord. This will be the sign for you: You will find a baby wrapped tightly in cloth and lying in a manger.” Suddenly there was a multitude of the heavenly host with the angel, praising God and saying: Glory to God in the highest heaven, and peace on earth to people he favors! When the angels had left them and returned to heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let’s go straight to Bethlehem and see what has happened, which the Lord has made known to us.” They hurried off and found both Mary and Joseph, and the baby who was lying in the manger. After seeing them, they reported the message they were told about this child, and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. But Mary was treasuring up all these things in her heart and meditating on them. The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had seen and heard, which were just as they had been told.

The Good News

Perfect Peace.

(Isaiah 9:6) For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

(Romans 5:1 AMP) Therefore, since we have been justified [that is, acquitted of sin, declared blameless before God] by faith, [let us grasp the fact that] we have peace with God [and the joy of reconciliation with Him] through our Lord Jesus Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed).

Perpetual Life. (never ending, eternal, permanent)

(John 3:16-17) For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.

(Romans 6:23) For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Promised Healing.

(I Peter 2:24 CSB) He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree; so that, having died to sins, we might live for righteousness. By his wounds you have been healed.

(Romans 8:28 CSB) We know that all things work together for the good of those who love God, who are called according to his purpose.

Hark! // Part 2

Christ by highest heav'n adored

Christ the everlasting Lord!

Late in time behold Him come

Offspring of a Virgin's womb

Veiled in flesh the Godhead see

Hail the incarnate Deity

Pleased as man with man to dwell

Jesus, our Emmanuel

Hark! The herald angels sing

"Glory to the newborn King!"

(Luke 2-8-20 CSB) In the same region, shepherds were staying out in the fields and keeping watch at night over their flock. Then an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, “Don’t be afraid, for look, I proclaim to you good news of great joy that will be for all the people: Today in the city of David a Savior was born for you, who is the Messiah, the Lord. This will be the sign for you: You will find a baby wrapped tightly in cloth and lying in a manger.” Suddenly there was a multitude of the heavenly host with the angel, praising God and saying: Glory to God in the highest heaven, and peace on earth to people he favors! When the angels had left them and returned to heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let’s go straight to Bethlehem and see what has happened, which the Lord has made known to us.” They hurried off and found both Mary and Joseph, and the baby who was lying in the manger. After seeing them, they reported the message they were told about this child, and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. But Mary was treasuring up all these things in her heart and meditating on them. The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had seen and heard, which were just as they had been told.

The Good News

Sinless Savior.

(Luke 1:35 AMP) Then the angel replied to her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you [like a cloud]; for that reason the holy (pure, sinless) Child shall be called the Son of God.

(Hebrews 4:15-16 TPT) For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet he did not sin. Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.

Substitutionary sacrifice.

(Isaiah 53:5) But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed.

(II Corinthians 5:21 TPT) For God made the only one who did not know sin to become sin for us, so that we who did not know righteousness might become the righteousness of God through our union with him.

Steadfast king.

(Deuteronomy 7:9 AMP) Therefore know [without any doubt] and understand that the Lord your God, He is God, the faithful God, who is keeping His covenant and His [steadfast] lovingkindness to a thousand generations with those who love Him and keep His commandments;

(Luke 1:37) For no word from God will ever fail.”