The Father provides the works…the Spirit equips the Church

Sunday 04/07/19

Series: Walking the Talk

Message – The Father provides the works…the Spirit equips the Church!

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The Father provides the works…the Spirit equips the Church!

Good Works

As we have been affirming – the primary work of the Kingdom…the work our Master/Nobleman & Lord has commissioned us with a stewardship to perform is – Good works springing from a heart conformed to His.

Good works are something the Father has prepared before our birth – things which should shape How we live our lives. It is in fact the purpose behind our new birth!

Last week we learned that Good works are the product of trust. We read this from Paul’s letter to the Philippians…

“…and be found in Him, not having my own righteousness, which is from working the law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which is from God by faith;”

So let me ask you…

  • What is the role that hope plays in relation to our faith?
  • How does the scriptures define faith?

Faith is the concrete under the feet of our expectation. It lends inner and unseen assurance for things we have come to expect and anticipate.

Let’s read a very familiar passage and examine it for a minute before continuing in our lessons on the salvation of our souls.

Turn with me to Ephesians 2

Eph. 2:1-10, HCSB “(1) And you were dead in your trespasses and sins (2) in which you previously walked according to this worldly age, according to the ruler of the atmospheric domain, the spirit now working in the disobedient. (3) We too all previously lived among them in our fleshly desires, carrying out the inclinations of our flesh and thoughts, and by nature we were children under wrath, as the others were also. (4) But God, who is abundant in mercy, because of His great love that He had for us, (5) made us alive with the Messiah even though we were dead in trespasses. By grace you are saved! (6) He also raised us up with Him and seated us with Him in the heavens, in Christ Jesus, (7) so that in the coming ages He might display the immeasurable riches of His grace in His kindness to us in Christ Jesus. (8) For by grace you are saved through faith, and this is not from yourselves; it is God’s gift– (9) not from works, so that no one can boast. (10) For we are His creation–created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared ahead of time so that we should walk in them.”

Two primary statements I want us to focus in on here.

The first is regarding God’s goal…His purpose for us:

Good Works

Eph. 2:10,  “For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.”

  • His Workmanship.
  • Created IN Christ.
  • SO THAT we may bear fruit – good works – godly lives – Christ likeness.
  • This new way of living was prepared ahead of time as something we should live in.

And  the second is HOW it is accomplished:

“(8) For by grace you are saved through faith, and this is not from yourselves; it is God’s gift– (9) not from works, so that no one can boast.”

  • His Influence upon our hearts revealing Christ to us in two ways – (To the lost the Holy Spirit reveals Christ to us calling us TO Him for salvation – to the child of God the Holy Spirit reveals Christ within stirring us towards Christ’s likeness.)
  • In order for this to work we must trust in Christ AS He is revealed to us. Salvation of the soul is made effective by our trust in Him. Just like a life preserver can only save you if you trust into it.
  • SO THAT we may be saved –  good works – Christ likeness.

So this just goes to add another brick in the structure we are building concerning the salvation of our souls.

These verses alone offer us sufficient evidence that salvation (all salvation) is BY grace – through Faith and it’s objective is ‘Christ in us’?

Last week we ended with 1Peter 1, capitalizing on verses 8 & 9,

“(8) You love Him, though you have not seen Him. And though not seeing Him now, you believe in Him and rejoice with inexpressible and glorious joy, (9) because you are receiving the goal of your faith, (which is) the salvation of your souls.”

I keep telling you we are going to discuss suffering…and this week we are going to take a look at one or two more passages concerning the progressive work of our salvation which introduces the need for suffering…plus I will teach on it in more depth as we continue in these lessons.

Turn if  you will to Hebrews chapter 10.

This is a chapter which has caused many to become defeated and discouraged through misunderstanding what it is saying.

  • Let me be really clear here – we KNOW sin is terrible.
  • We also know that it cannot BE sin if we did not know that what we chose to do was wrong. “Sin is to know to do right and not do it.”
  • We also know that Christians can actually LIVE in sin for a period of time and still be born again – as we see in 1st and 2nd Corinthians.
  • We also have Paul testifying that after he came to Christ the things he hated he found himself habitually practicing.

So this passage in Hebrews is NOT contradicting all we have read and learned before. It says WHAT it says in a context and then IMMEDIATELY qualifies it’s meaning. But you will see faith for soul salvation, suffering and Good works closely connected in these verses.

Let’s dive in…

Heb. 10:1-39, HCSB “(1) Since the law has only a shadow of the good things to come, and not the actual form of those realities, it can never perfect the worshipers by the same sacrifices they continually offer year after year. (2) Otherwise, wouldn’t they have stopped being offered, since the worshipers, once purified, would no longer have any consciousness of sins? (3) But in the sacrifices there is a reminder of sins every year. (4) For it is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins. (5) Therefore, as He was coming into the world, He said: You did not want sacrifice and offering, but You prepared a body for Me. {1Peter 2:24} (6) You did not delight in whole burnt offerings and sin offerings. (7) Then I said, “See, I have come–it is written about Me in the volume of the scroll–to do Your will, O God!” (8) After He says above, You did not desire or delight in sacrifices and offerings, whole burnt offerings and sin offerings, (which are offered according to the law), (9) He then says, See, I have come to do Your will. He takes away the first to establish the second. (10) By this will, we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once and for all.”

This is suffering – our bodies a living sacrifice to God. Holy & well pleasing which is no more than our reasonable service and evidence of true worship.

“(11) Now every priest stands day after day ministering and offering time after time the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins. (12) But this man, after offering one sacrifice for sins forever, sat down at the right hand of God. (13) He is now waiting until His enemies are made His footstool. (14) For by one offering He has perfected forever those who are sanctified. (15) The Holy Spirit also testifies to us about this. For after He had said: (16) This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, says the Lord: I will put My laws on their hearts, and I will write them on their minds, (17) He adds: I will never again remember their sins and their lawless acts. (18) Now where there is forgiveness of these, there is no longer an offering for sin.” [No more need for and so none offered]

“(19) Therefore, brothers, since we have boldness to enter the sanctuary through the blood of Jesus, (20) by the new and living way that He has inaugurated for us, through the curtain (that is, His flesh); (21) and since we have a great high priest over the house of God, (22) let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed in pure water. (23) Let us hold on to the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful. (24) And let us be concerned about one another in order to promote love and good works, (25) not staying away from our meetings, as some habitually do, but encouraging each other, and all the more as you see the day drawing near. (26) For if we deliberately sin after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, (27) but a terrifying expectation of judgment, and the fury of a fire about to consume the adversaries.”

Willful sin here answers to the old testament “high handed” sin. It was not presumptuous but defiant. It was a shaking the fist at – it was an open and avoid reject of the law that says not to – as is seen in the following verse where the writer first offers an example immediately followed by a description.

“(28) If anyone denied, despised or condemned Moses’ law, they died without mercy, based on the testimony of two or three witnesses. (29) How much worse punishment, do you think one will deserve who has trampled on the Son of God, regarded as profane the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified, and insulted the Spirit of grace?”

These are three very descriptive and horrible things – they go beyond egregious into the blackest and most defiant and violently ugly of treasons.

    1. Trampled the son of God underfoot – means to treat with the utmost contempt and indignity.
    2. It means more than to simply think it to be common and esteem it as being of no higher value than that of a sheep, goat or even a swine. As common – not special, not priceless as possessing no transcendent nor holy value at all. But it means to press on an consider it no just common but unconsecrated, unclean and defiled.
    3. To insult the Spirit of Grace – To treat with despite or reproach. To treat with contempt, an attitude of despising and malice.

This is the spirit of what? GRACE (John 16 & Eph. 2:8 (8) For by grace you are saved through faith, and this is not from yourselves; it is God’s gift)

This is the complete antithesis of Phil. 2:12-13,

“(12) And so, my dear friends, just as you have always obeyed, not only when I was with you but even more now that I am absent, continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling.  (13) For it is God who is producing in you both the desire and the ability to do what pleases him.”

We will very likely look deeper into faith & sufferings and the role they play in the salvation of our souls next week.

Blessings! 

 

I hope this message will bless you richly…not because I taught it, but because it reveals Christ. He alone is our blessing and if in any way – whether big or small, 100% accurate or even just partially so – I have revealed our great God and Savior to you in a relationally knowable way, then this was time well spent on both our parts.

We at Living Grace Fellowship encourage you to place your trust in Jesus Christ, deliberately choosing Him and bowing the knee to Him as your Master and Lord, so as to come to realize Him as your Savior.

You have a special place in God’s family & kingdom. The fact that you exist… that you are His creation, says you were in His heart, you are His delight!

If you do not know Him, please reach out to us. Give us a call at the number located on every page of this website or use our ‘Contact Us‘ page. We would be deeply honored, if you gave us the privilege of introducing you to the Lord. Neither money nor attendance at our church will EVER be mentioned.

If you HAVE been spiritually fed by this ministry and WANT to give, we truly appreciate that and you may do so here, but please understand that all the outreaches of this ministry are FREE for you and anyone to enjoy at no cost.

Blessings!

Hi I am Pastor Mark...

I have been a pastor for nearly 30 years now (2018), though never quite like I am today. (more on that in a moment)

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As to my home, I have been married since 1995 to my wonderful wife Terissa Woodson who is my best friend, greatest personal support and most valued aid.
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As far as my education goes, I grew up in a Christian home, but questioned everything I was ever taught. I graduated from Bible college in 1990 and continued to question everything I was ever taught (I do not mention my college in order to avoid being labeled). Perhaps my greatest preparation for ministry has been life and ministry itself. To quote an author I have come to enjoy namely Fredrick Buechner in his writing entitled, Now and Then,

"If God speaks to us at all other than through such official channels as the Bible and the church, then I think that He speaks to us largely through what happens to us...if we keep our hearts open as well as our ears, if we listen with patience and hope, if we remember at all deeply and honestly, then I think we come to recognize beyond all doubt, that, however faintly we may hear Him, He is indeed speaking to us, and that, however little we may understand of it, His word to each of us is both recoverable and precious beyond telling."

~ Fredrick Buechner

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By 2009 I’d been Pastoring for nearly 20 years. Earlier in 2009 the Lord revealed to me that the way we had structured our church was not in keeping with the New Testament. This was a shock to me and it is was a revelation that did not come all at once but over the course of a few weeks.

We were a traditional single pastor led congregation. It was a top-bottom model of ministry which is in part biblical, but not in the form of a monarchy.

The needed change did not come into focus until about 9 very intense months of study and discussions with those who were leaders in our church at the time.

We believe the Bible teaches co-leadership with equal authority in each local assembly and though we currently only have one Pastor/Elder, it is our desire that God, in His faithfulness and timing, may bring us more as we grow in maturity and even in numbers. Having multiple shepherds with God's heart and equal authority protects both Shepherds and sheep. Equal accountability keep authority and doctrine in check. Multiple shepherds also provides teaching with various styles and giftings with leadership skills which are both different and complementary.

Well that is about all there is of interest to tell you about me. I hope our ministry here is a blessing to you and your family. I also hope that it is only a supplement to a local church where you are committed to other believers in a community of grace.

~God Bless!