Sunday Morning Sermon Notes

  • What The Bible Says & Teaches About How To Be A Better Witness For Our Lord Jesus Christ

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11-18-2018     Part 30     

This afternoon let’s finish up our series on Forgiveness and Unforgiveness.                                 Now last Sunday we address the very popular notion that exists today among so many, and that is you and I should know how to forgive our own selves.

But, what does the Bible have to say about this popular belief?                                       Does the Bible teach either, dual forgiveness, or self-absolution?

Remember, dual forgiveness teaches that we are first forgiven by God.                                But then, at some point in time you are to forgive your own self as well!

On the other hand, self-absolution teaches that we or some other person can absolve our past sins, or our sinful choices we have made.

So once again, is either dual forgiveness, or self-absolution really taught in the Bible?                                  Can we at some point learn to forgive ourselves?                                                             Can we or someone else absolve our past sins, or our sinful choices that we have made?  And the answer is, not at all!                                                                                                     But let me show you why?

Now, notice Mark 2:                                                                                                                   Vs. 5.  When Jesus saw their faith, (notice vs. 3&4), now Jesus said to the paralyzed man, Son, your sins are forgiven you.                                                                                 Vs. 6.  And some of the Scribes were sitting there and reasoning within their hearts,                         Vs. 7.  Why does this Man speak blasphemies like this?  *Who can forgive sins but God alone?

This is the only time in the Bible, that the Scribes and Pharisees were correct in their assessment.

Now notice again vs. 7b, who can forgive sins but God alone?                                            That’s good theology!                                                                                                                  That’s correct theology!                                                                                                                      Now notice again vs. 7b, who can forgive sins but God alone?

But this is why Jesus response later in vs. 10 to their unspoken statement was so extraordinary!

Notice vs. 10.  And Jesus said, so that you may know that the Son of Man has power or authority on earth to forgive sins.  Wow!

So once again, are we supposed to forgive ourselves?                                                              Can we or someone else absolve our past sins, or our sinful choices that we have made?    The answer is, not at all!

Listen It’s not about forgiving yourself, it’s about forgetting those things that are behind, and pressing on or moving ahead with God’s help.

Listen, we cannot forgive ourselves, but we can except, and receive, and be grateful and free, because of God‘s forgiveness towards you and me!

See Philippians 3: 13.                                                                                                                   Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forward to those things which are ahead.

Listen with God’s help, we are not to think on, nor meditate on, nor dwell on those things that we have already have dealt with, between us and God.  That is, we have taken the time to acknowledge and confess to God and to receive from God, the repentance that He so freely gives.

But also, we are not to think on, nor meditate on, nor dwell on those things that have already been dealt with between us and another person or persons.  That is, when we have taken the time to admit and to apologize about somethings.

As well as, to seek forgiveness and restoration between me and that other person, or persons if possible!  Whether it was minutes or hours ago.                                                                                     Or, whether it was months or years ago.

Listen, the Bible is encouraging us here in Philippians 3: 13a, not to think on, nor meditate on, nor dwell on those things that have already been dealt with between us and God, and between us and another person or persons.

Give an example how the smart players in professional sports in which they have terribly in a game.  Whenever they practice again to get ready for the next game, most wise players will not think on, nor meditate on, nor dwell on those things that Have been already dealt with in practice between them and the coaches, and with other teammates on their squad.

Listen, not to think on, nor meditate on, nor dwell on those things that have already been dealt with between us and God, and between us and another person is never easy.

Yet, with God’s help we must regularly be able to overcome the battle within and for my mind!

Now, notice II Corinthians 10:3-5.                                                                                          I will be reading from a paraphrase of II Corinthians 10:3-5.                                                         Vs. 3.  For though we walk in the flesh (our humanness), we do not war or battle according to the flesh, that is our human abilities. Why?                                                    Vs. 4.  Because the weapons of our warfare are not carnal based upon human ability. But the weapons of our warfare are mighty because of God, *for pulling down strongholds, for example!                              Notice vs. 5. *Casting down or pulling down imaginations or arguments. *As well as, every high or lofty thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God.  But also, it will bring every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ.

Listen in order not to think on, nor meditate on, nor dwell on those things that have already been dealt with between me and the LORD, or between me and another person, I must utilize these important guidelines in II Corinthians 10: 4&5.                                                                                                                                          Vs. 4.  Because the weapons of our warfare are not carnal based upon human ability. But the weapons of our warfare are mighty because of God, *for pulling down strongholds, for example!

Notice vs. 5. *Casting down or pulling down imaginations or arguments. *as well as, every high or lofty thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God.  But also, it will bring every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ.

Turn to Psalms 103:                                                                                                                     Vs. 1. Bless the Lord, O my soul; and all that is within me, bless His holy name!            Vs. 2. Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all His benefits:                                      Vs. 3. Who forgives all your iniquities, Who heals all your diseases,                                     Vs. 4. Who redeems your life from destruction, Who crowns you with lovingkindness and tender mercies,   Vs. 5.  Who satisfies your mouth with good things, so that your youth is renewed like the eagle's.

See II Peter 1:                                                                                                                                Vs. 9.  For he who lacks these things in vs. 5-8 is shortsighted, even to blindness, and has forgotten that they were cleansed from their old sins.                                                          Vs. 10. Therefore, brethren, be even more diligent to make your call and election sure, for if you do these things you will never stumble;

 11-25-2018     Part 1   

And let us return back to a topical series that we been away from for quite some time now!                     And we have been calling the series, “What We Believe And Why?”

Each month as the LORD leads, usually on the 4th or 5th Sundays of a given month.

We have been considering what the Bible says and teaches us about, the fundamentals, the basics, the core truths for being a committed follower of Jesus Christ, or you would like to be one day.

So, this morning let's begin to understand what the Bible says and teaches about how to be a better witness for our Lord Jesus Christ, and a more effective witness for Jehovah or Yahweh Almighty?

A basic definition for the word “witness” is someone who can attest to certain facts concerning a matter.

Now, you might recall when we considered many, many months ago, what the Bible says and teaches about the gospel, that according to I Corinthians 15: 1-4, and other parts of the New Testament, the Gospel is about Jesus Christ.

•His incarnation and virgin birth.                                                                                                 •His sacrificial substitutional death upon the cross.                                                            •His physical burial to prove that He was truly physically dead.                                        •His miraculous bodily resurrection from the dead.                                                                •And His prophetic and promised earthly rule and reign.

However, this morning, Let’s begin to understand what the Bible says and teaches us *how we can be a better witness for our Lord Jesus Christ, and a more effective witness for Jehovah or Yahweh Almighty.

Because, both verbal and nonverbal witnessing, or sharing, or ministering or communicating the truth, the Gospel message about Jesus Christ to a world that needs to know who He really is and what He has done, is to be our primary responsibility, our mission, our purpose, and a great privilege that is ours to live out, for the rest of our days!

For the LORD did not save us just for us to live for ourselves, but God has saved us and chosen us really to be a witness for Him in every generation, and in every place, in every circumstance, and with anybody, no matter what!

For example, God chose a group of people to be a witness for Him in a world that needed to know Him!

And notice here in Isaiah 43: 10&11 how the Prophet reminds them why it is, that God has saved them, and what is His real purpose for them!

Read Isaiah 43:                                                                                                                              Vs. 10. You are My witnesses, says the Lord, and My servant whom I have chosen, that you may know and believe Me, and understand that I am He.  Before Me, there was no God formed, nor shall there be after Me.                                                             Vs. 11.  I, even I, am the Lord, and besides Me there is no Savior.

Now, during the times of the Book of Acts and even right up until our present times, how it is that the Holy Spirit is reminding us who are truly saved, why it is that God has saved us, and what is His real purpose for each and every one of us!

See Acts 1: 8.                                                                                                                     But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses for Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea, and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.

See II Corinthians 5: 20.                                                                                    Now then, we are Ambassadors for Christ, as though God were pleading through us: we implore you on Christ’s behalf, be reconciled to God.

Also See I Corinthians 6:                                                                                                        Vs. 19.  Do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you whom you have from God, and you are not your own.                                              Vs. 20.  For or because, you were bought at a price; therefore, Glorify God in your body, and in your spirit which are His, for they belongs unto God and not ourselves!

Note: Unfortunately, personal happiness as replaced personal holiness for many who called themselves Christians today!

Listen, for many who called themselves Christians today, personal happiness, or, self-gratification, or, self-fulfillment, or, self-centeredness, is more important to them than being Holy, or Godly, or pure, or God-centered!

May I give an example how someone who maybe contemplating an unbiblical divorce, and they would call themself a Christian as they are trying to justify divorcing their spouse by saying to themselves and others, that God would not want me to be unhappy for the rest of my life!

Now notice II Corinthians 5: 10.  For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive the things done in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad.

So then, there are three ways we can be an effective witness for the LORD!

•A verbal witness. sharing, or ministering or communicating the truth, the Gospel message about Jesus Christ to a world that needs to know who He really is and what He has done!

•The second way to be an effective witness for the LORD is, a nonverbal witness in which one’s personal lifestyle, or conduct, or Biblical behavior, shines forth like a light in the midst of darkness.

•The third way to be an effective witness for the LORD is to be both a verbal and nonverbal witness for the LORD!

Listen, based on my lifestyle, my conduct, my Biblical behavior, I give witness unto a transforming life at work on the inside of me that is changing the outside of me.

But also, I share, or minister, or communicate the truth, the Gospel message about Jesus Christ to a world that needs to know who He really is and what He has done!

12-02-2018   Part 1  

As you know at least twice a year during the Resurrection or Easter Season and during the Christmas Season, it’s good for us to take a break from our current topic to focus on our first love, and that is the Lord Jesus Christ!

So, once again during this special month, during this special season, we are returning back to one of the most important subjects in all the Bible, and that is, “On The Significance and The Importance Of Jesus Christ, His Person And His Ministry, Amen!”

And lately we have been focused upon His ministry, especially His teaching ministry, Him being the most effective teacher who ever was, and that will ever be!

Because He was able to utilize various teaching methods to communicate God’s truth.

For example, on many occasions, Jesus taught utilizing parables as a teaching method that He would used to communicate God’s truth.

This afternoon we want to begin to focus on this last teaching method in which Jesus used quite frequently to communicate God’s truth.

Whether it was with a large group, or a smaller group like His disciples, or one on one with an individual.

The Lord Jesus Christ utilized a teaching method that was very straightforward, sometimes blunt and to the point in telling a person what they needed to hear!

I would like to call it, “straight talk!”

Straight talk is honest, direct, or frank communication, or conversation, or discussion.

In other words, straight talk refers to speaking to another person or with others in a very honest, or truthful manner.

Not being afraid or intimidated to share an opinion, an insight, or an observation, or even a different point of view, even if those views make the other person or persons upset or uncomfortable, or they are not in agreement.

Listen, the Lord Jesus Christ utilize this kind of method that was very straightforward, sometimes blunt and to the point in telling a person what they needed to Hear!

So then, this afternoon we want to focus on this teaching method which our LORD used that was indeed straight talk, wet it was effective in communicating God’s truth that was necessary both then, as well as now!

Show you what I mean!

Notice Mark 10:                                                                                                      Vs. 17.  Now as Jesus was going out on the road, one came running, knelt before Him, and asked Him, Good Teacher, what shall I do that I may inherit eternal life?                                                         Vs. 18.  So, Jesus said to him why do you call Me good?  No one is good but One, and that is God!               Vs. 19.  Jesus said, you know the commandments: Do not commit adultery, Do not murder, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Do not defraud, Honor your father and your mother.                              Vs. 20.  But the young ruler answered and said unto Jesus, Teacher all these things I have kept from my youth!                                                                              Vs. 21.  Then Jesus looking at him, and loved him, and said to him, one thing you lack: Go your way, and sell whatever you have, and give the proceeds to the poor, and you will have treasure in Heaven; and also come take up the cross, and follow Me.                                                                                                              Vs. 22.  But the young ruler was sadden at his words, and went away sorrowful, For Or Because he had great possessions.                                                         Vs. 23.  Then Jesus looked around and said to His Disciples, how hard it is for those who have riches to enter the kingdom of God!                                                         Vs. 24.  And The disciples were astonished at His words. But Jesus answered again and said to them, Children, how hard it is for those who trust in riches to enter the kingdom of God!                               Vs. 25.  In fact, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.                                                                       Vs. 26.  And the disciples were greatly astonished, saying among themselves, Who then can be saved?      Vs. 27.  But Jesus looked at them and said to them, with men it is impossible, but not with God!  Because with God all things are possible!

Listen, Jesus’ straight talk, one on one with this particular individual, will help us to know three important things,                                                                                •God never accepts or affirms our religious self-righteousness!                         •God will always expose or reveal our real issues, so that we might humble ourselves and repent!            •God must save us and not we ourselves!

First, God never accepts or affirms our religious self-righteousness!

Mark 10:                                                                                                                   Vs. 17.  Now as Jesus was going out on the road, one came running, knelt before Him, and asked Him, Good Teacher, what shall I do that I may inherit eternal life?                      Vs. 18.  So, Jesus said to him why do you call Me good? No one is good but One, and that is God!                Vs. 19.  Jesus said, You know the commandments: Do not commit adultery, Do not murder, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Do not defraud, Honor your father and your mother.                                          Vs. 20.  But the young ruler answered and said unto Jesus, teacher all these things I have kept from my youth!

God never accepts or affirms our religious self-righteousness!  (Explain)

Now, also see Galatians 2: 16.  Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law but by faith in Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Christ Jesus, that we might be justified by faith in Christ and not by the works of the law; for by the works of the law no flesh shall be justified.

Listen, Jesus’ straight talk, both then and now will help us to know three Important Things. Secondly, our God will always expose or reveal our real Issues, so that we might humble ourselves and repent!

Mark 10:                                                                                                                       Vs. 21.  Then Jesus looking at him, and loved him, and said to him, one thing you lack: Go your way, and sell whatever you have, and give the proceeds to the poor, and you will have treasure in Heaven; and also come take up the cross, and follow Me.                                                                                                            Vs. 22.  But the young ruler was sadden at His words, and went away sorrowful, for or, because he had great possessions.                                                           Vs. 23.  Then Jesus looked around and said to His Disciples, how hard it is for those who have riches to enter the kingdom of God!                                          Vs. 24.  And the disciples were astonished at His words.  But Jesus answered again and said to them, Children, how hard it is for those who trust in riches to enter the kingdom of God!  Vs. 25.  In fact, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.

Listen, our God will always expose or reveal our real issues, so that we might humble ourselves and repent!

See Revelation 2:                                                                                                    Vs. 4.  Nevertheless, I have this against you, that you have left your first love.     Vs. 5.  Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent and do the first works, or else I will come to you quickly and remove your lampstand from its place unless you repent.

See Revelation 2:                                                                                               Vs. 14.  But I have a few things against you, because you have those who hold the doctrine of Balaam, who taught Balak to put a stumbling block before the children of Israel, to eat things sacrificed to idols, and to commit sexual immorality.                                                                                                                Vs. 15.  Thus, you also have those who hold the doctrine of the Nicolaitans, which thing I hate.                      Vs. 16.  Repent, or else I will come to you quickly and will fight against them with the sword of My mouth.

See Revelation 3: 15.  I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot. I could wish you were cold or hot.                                                                              Vs. 16.  So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of My mouth.             Vs. 17.  Because you say, I am rich, have become wealthy, and have need of nothing, yet do not know that you are wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked.                               Vs. 19.  As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten. Therefore be zealous and repent.

Listen, Jesus’ straight talk both then and now, will help us to know three important things.

Thirdly, Our God must save us and not we ourselves!

See Mark 10:                                                                                                        Vs. 26.  And the disciples were greatly astonished, saying among themselves, who then can be saved?      Vs. 27.  But Jesus looked at them and said to them, with men it is impossible, but not with God!  Because with God all things are possible!

Listen, our God must save us and not we ourselves!

See Acts 4:                                                                                                          Vs. 12.  Neither is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under Heaven given among men by which we must be saved.

12-09-2018    Part 2  

For this month, let’s continue this afternoon with our special topic, for this very special season.

For we are focusing upon a specific teaching method that the Lord Jesus would use from time to time, that was very straightforward.  Sometimes, even blunt and to the point, yet very necessary in telling a person or persons, what they needed to hear or know!

So, we are calling this teaching method that Jesus used both then, as well as now, it is simply known as, “Straight Talk”!

Remember straight talk is, honest, direct, or frank communication, or conversation, or discussion.

In other words, straight talk refers to speaking to another person or with others, in a very honest, or truthful manner about someone or something.

Straight talk means not being afraid or intimidated to share an opinion, or an insight, or an important observation, or even a different point of view.  Even if it makes another person or persons upset or uncomfortable, or they are not in agreement.

Listen, the Lord Jesus Christ utilize this kind of teaching method, straight talk that was straightforward, sometimes even blunt and to the point, but always necessary in telling a person or persons what they needed to hear or to know! and whether it was with a large group, or a small group like His Disciples, or one on one with an individual, we focused upon this straight talk teaching method that our LORD used that was one on one with an individual known in the Scriptures as, ”the Rich Young Ruler!”

However, this afternoon, we will focus upon this straight talk teaching method that our LORD.

And last Sunday used both then, as well as now, that was done within a small group of people like His Disciples, who needed to hear and to know God’s truth for them.

Now there is one section in the Gospels, in fact in the Gospel of St. John, chapters 13 thru 16.  For within these four chapters we see the Lord Jesus Christ ministering, preparing, and utilizing this His straight talk teaching method even among His Disciples, that was necessary back then, and is really necessary right now!!

Say something about you and me being modern day Disciples of Christ in our day, in our time!

Then quote Luke 14:                                                                                                   Vs. 26.  If anyone comes to Me and does not hate his father and mother, spouse and children, brothers and sisters, yes, and their own life also, they cannot be My disciple.                                                                   Vs. 27.  And whoever does cannot be My disciple.                                                        Vs. 33.  So likewise, whoever of you does not forsake all that you have, cannot be My disciple.                           

Therefore, here in St. John 13: 1-17, our Lord begins His straight talk teaching with the Disciples that was needed then, and is badly needed now, and that is, caring for one another is born out of true humility, and not out of selfish ambition, or religious duty.

See St. John 13:                                                                                                           Vs. 12.  So, when Jesus had washed their feet, taken His garments, and sat down again.  And He said unto them, do you know what I have done unto you?                  Vs. 13.  You call me Teacher and Lord, and you say well, for so I am.                           Vs. 14.  If, I then your Lord and Teacher have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another's feet.   Vs. 15.  For I have given you an example, that you should do as I have done to you.                           Vs. 16.   Most assuredly, I say to you, a servant is not greater than his master; Nor is he who is sent greater than, he who sent him.                                              Vs. 17.   If, you know these things, blessed are you if you do them.

Listen, caring for one another is born out of true humility, and not out of selfish ambition, or religious duty.

Now see Luke 22:                                                                                                 Vs. 19.  And He took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them, saying, this is My body which is given for you; do this in remembrance of Me.    Vs. 20.  Likewise, He also took the cup after supper, saying, this cup is the new covenant in My blood, which is shed for you.                                                                  Vs. 21.  But behold, the hand of My betrayer is with Me on the table.                        Vs. 22.  And truly the Son of Man goes as it has been determined, but woe to that man by whom He is betrayed!                                                                      Vs. 23.  Then they began to question among themselves, which of them it was who would do this thing.       Vs. *24.  Now there was also a dispute among them, as to which of them should be considered the greatest, this was selfish ambition!                                          Vs. 25.  And Jesus said to them, the kings of the Gentiles exercise lordship over them, and those who exercise authority over them are called benefactors.

Vs. 26.  But not so among you; on the contrary, he who is greatest among you, let him be as the younger, and he who governs as he who serves.                               Vs. 27.  For who is greater, he who sits at the table, or he who serves? Is it not he who sits at the table? Yet I am among you as The One who serves.

Also, notice Philippians 2:                                                                                          Vs. 2.  fulfill my joy by being like-minded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind.         Vs. 3.  Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself.                                                       Vs. 4.  Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others.                 Vs. 5.  Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus,                              Vs. 6.  who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God,                                   Vs. 7.  but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men.                                                                                     Vs. 8.  And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross.

Finally, see St. John 13:                                                                                                   Vs. 34.  A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also Love one another.                                                                Vs. 35.  By this shall all men know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.

But is this human love or Divine love?

Remember I Corinthians 13:                                                                                    Vs. 4.  Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up;          Vs. 5.  Does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not easily provoked, and thinks no evil;                  Vs. 6.  Does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth;                                       Vs. 7.  bears all things,                                                                                                     believes all things,                                                                                                                hopes all things,                                                                                                               endures all things.                                                                                                         Vs. 8a.  Love never fails, or will not give up, it is always available no matter what!