Emmanuel: the Light of Life

Light of Life

Sunday 12/16/18 

Series: Kingdom Work

Message – Emmanuel: the Light of Life


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Before we launched into praise and worship today we read this passage in Psalms and so it does not appear on the recording but I felt led to include it here in the written account of the service.

Psalm 32:1-11 HCSB,

“How happy is the one whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered! (2) How happy is the man the LORD does not charge with sin, and in whose spirit is no deceit! (3) When I kept silent, my bones became brittle from my groaning all day long. (4) For day and night Your hand was heavy on me; my strength was drained as in the summer’s heat. Selah (5) Then I acknowledged my sin to You and did not conceal my iniquity. I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the LORD,” and You took away the guilt of my sin. Selah (6) Therefore let everyone who is faithful pray to You at a time that You may be found. When great floodwaters come, they will not reach him. (7) You are my hiding place; You protect me from trouble. You surround me with joyful shouts of deliverance. Selah (8) I will instruct you and show you the way to go; with My eye on you, I will give counsel. (9) Do not be like a horse or mule, without understanding, that must be controlled with bit and bridle, or else it will not come near you. (10) Many pains come to the wicked, but the one who trusts in the LORD will have faithful love surrounding him. (11) Be glad in the LORD and rejoice, you righteous ones; shout for joy, all you upright in heart.”

Emmanuel: the Light of Life

“Then Jesus spoke to them again: “I am the light of the world. Anyone who follows Me will never walk in the darkness but will have the light of life. ~ John 8:12

John 1:1-18, (HCSB)

“(1) In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. (2) He was with God in the beginning. (3) All things were created through Him, and apart from Him not one thing was created that has been created. (4) Life was in Him, and that life was the light of men. (5) That light shines in the darkness, yet the darkness did not overcome it. (6) There was a man named John who was sent from God. (7) He came as a witness to testify about the light, so that all might believe through him. (8) He was not the light, but he came to testify about the light. (9) The true light, who gives light to everyone, was coming into the world. (10) He was in the world, and the world was created through Him, yet the world did not recognize Him. (11) He came to His own, and His own people did not receive Him. (12) But to all who did receive Him, He gave them the right to be children of God, to those who believe in His name, (13) who were born, not of blood, or of the will of the flesh, or of the will of man, but of God. (14) The Word became flesh and took up residence among us. We observed His glory, the glory as the One and Only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth. (15) (John testified concerning Him and exclaimed, “This was the One of whom I said, ‘The One coming after me has surpassed me, because He existed before me.'”) (16) Indeed, we have all received grace after grace from His fullness, (17) for although the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. (18) No one has ever seen God. The One and Only Son–the One who is at the Father’s side–He has revealed Him.”

Jesus HAD life in Him, and WAS in Himself the source of Life as the uncreated Lord, but as a human being – being incarnate and therefore part of this creation for the sake of His suffering, He drew His life from the Father. So it is the even though as God – Jesus needed no source of life since He is the source – as a human however, it had to be given Him. So we read in John 5:26, that the Father GRANTED to the Son to lave life in Himself.

John 5:26,

“(26) For just as the Father has life in Himself, so also He has granted to the Son to have life in Himself.”

It was asked of me if the Father truly turned His back on Christ on the cross – which I answered biblically – YES He absolutely and without ANY question DID. There are those in the modern church who from a “bleating heart” gospel will say otherwise by misunderstanding  Psalm 22 (though I sited Psalm 91 by mistake).

2 Cor. 4:1-6,

“(1) Therefore, since we have this ministry, as we have received mercy, we do not give up. (2) Instead, we have renounced shameful secret things, not walking in deceit or distorting God’s message, but in God’s sight we commend ourselves to every person’s conscience by an open display of the truth. (3) But if, in fact, our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing. (4) Regarding them: the god of this age has blinded the minds of those who do not believe so they cannot see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. (5) For we are not proclaiming ourselves but Jesus Christ as Lord, and ourselves as your slaves because of Jesus. (6) For God, who said, “Light shall shine out of darkness”–He has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of God’s glory in the face of Jesus Christ. But we have this treasure in earthen vessels that the excellence of the power may be of God and not of man.”

The words “Who do not believe” is the word ápistos – which is a type of Greek compound word. Pistos is the word for FAITH, with the á before it, it turns the word into a negative – meaning the opposite of faith. In some places it goes a step further and implies a type of hardness and impudence of heart in that they refuse to believe…and this passage in 2 Cor. 4:4 is one example of such.  It denotes one who disbelieves the gospel of Christ, ans is therefore an unbeliever and an infidel. It has that meaning in the following passages as well – 1 Cor. 6:6; 1 Cor. 7:12-15; 1 Cor. 10:27; 1 Cor. 14:22-24; 2 Cor. 4:4; 2 Cor. 6:14-15; 1 Tim. 5:8; Titus 1:15; Rev. 21:8.

John 16:13-15,

“(13) When the Spirit of truth comes, He will guide you into all the truth. For He will not speak on His own, but He will speak whatever He hears. He will also declare to you what is to come. (14) He will glorify Me, because He will take from what is Mine and declare it to you. (15) Everything the Father has is Mine. This is why I told you that He takes from what is Mine and will declare it to you.”

1 John 2:15-17,

“(15) Do not love the world or the things that belong to the world. If anyone loves the world, love for the Father is not in him. Because everything that belongs to the world– (16) the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride in one’s lifestyle–is not from the Father, but is from the world. (17) And the world with its lust is passing away, but the one who does God’s will remains forever.”

2 Tim. 1:8-14

“(8)  So don’t be ashamed of the testimony about our Lord, or of me His prisoner. Instead, share in suffering for the gospel, relying on the power of God, (9)  who has saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace, which was given to us in Christ Jesus before time began.  (10) This has now been made evident through the appearing of our Savior Christ Jesus, who has abolished death and has brought life and immortality (incorruptibility) to light through the gospel. (11)  For this gospel I was appointed a herald, apostle, and teacher, (12) and that is why I suffer these things. But I am not ashamed, because I know whom I have believed and am persuaded that He is able to guard what has been entrusted to me until that day. (13)  Hold on to the pattern of sound teaching that you have heard from me, in the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus. (14) Guard, through the Holy Spirit who lives in us, that good thing entrusted to you.

Paul – I am not ashamed of the gospel of Jesus Christ for it is the power of God unto salvation for everyone who will believe. Remembering that Peter in his first message of the gospel taught that what we were being saved from was a perverse and corrupt generation.

John 15:7-16,

“(7) If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you. (8)  By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so you will be My disciples. (9)  “As the Father loved Me, I also have loved you; abide in My love. (10)  If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love, just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love. (11)  “These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may remain in you, and that your joy may be full. (12)  This is My commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. (13)  Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends. (14)  You are My friends if you do whatever I command you. (15)  No longer do I call you servants,(a leave does not abode forever…) for a servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all things that I heard from My Father I have made known to you. (16)  You did not choose Me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit, and that your fruit should remain, that whatever you ask the Father in My name He may give you.”

This service had content that is NOT written out here, so I would encourage you to listen to it WHILE you read…Blessings! 

I hope this teaching will challenge you and encourage you to place your trust in the Lord Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord.

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Hi my name is Mark and though I am opposed to titles, I am currently the only Pastor (shepherd/elder) serving our assembly right now.

I have been shepherding in one capacity or another for nearly 30 years now, though never quite like I am today.

Early in 2009 the Lord revealed to me that the way we had structured our assembly (church) was not scriptural in that it was out of sync with what Paul modeled for us in the New Testament. In truth, I (like many pastors I am sure) never even gave this fundamental issue of church structure the first thought. I had always assumed that church structure was largely the same everywhere and had been so from the beginning. While I knew Paul had some very stringent things to say about the local assembly of believers, the point of our gatherings together and who may or may not lead, I never even considered studying these issues but assumed we were all pretty much doing it right...safety in numbers right?! Boy, I couldn't have been more wrong!

So needless to say, my discovery that we had been doing it wrong for nearly two decades was a bit of a shock to me! Now, this "revelation" that did not come about 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 following 9 very intense months of study and discussions with those who were leaders in our church at the time.

We now understand and believe that the Bible teaches co-leadership with equal authority in each local assembly. 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.

For a while we had two co-pastors (elders) (myself and one other man) who led the church with equal authority, but different giftings. We both taught in our own ways and styles, and our leadership skills were quite different, but complimentary. We were in complete submission to each other and worked side-by-side in the labor of shepherding the flock.

Our other Pastor has since moved on to other ministry which has left us with just myself. While 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.

As to my home, I have been married since 1995 to my wonderful wife Terissa Woodson who is my closest friend and most trusted ally.

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

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!