The Master’s Class, Summit Church
JESUS WAS SENT FROM HEAVEN (John 6:37-51)

JESUS WAS SENT FROM HEAVEN (John 6:37-51)

February 10, 2019

When a person rejects Jesus Christ as their Savior, they are rejecting Him as the Son of God. They are rejecting Him being anything more than just a prophet, a teacher, or a good man. They are rejecting Christ as being sovereign. They are saying that He is nothing more than a man, that He was born as a baby, just like the rest of us. Therefore, He cannot be God, so He must be a man.

Yet, Jesus says “All that the Father giveth me shall come to me.” The Bible is clear that Jesus is the Son of God, and that His Father giveth Him people for salvation. There is no other path to salvation than through believing in Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior. He alone is the way, the truth, and the light.

John 6:47
47 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me hath everlasting life.
KJV

Click on the link below to hear a message on how Jesus is the bread of everlasting life. Jesus tells us, “I am the living bread which came down from heaven: if any man eat of this bread, he shall live for ever.”

Amen.

JESUS IS GOD’S ANSWER TO MAN’S DISABILITY (John 6:6-16)

JESUS IS GOD’S ANSWER TO MAN’S DISABILITY (John 6:6-16)

December 9, 2018

Many of us do not even realize that we are spiritually disabled. We live a good life, a moral life, so we do not recognize that our weakness is that we don't have the strength to be godly. Not good, not moral, but godly. We are without strength, and so Christ died for the ungodly. You see, I have a need to be godly in my life. What is God's plan for me? What is God's plan for you? God's plan for all of us is that we be godly. Yet, we don't have the strength to be godly. Without the power of the Holy Spirit in our hearts, we cannot be godly on our own. What does it mean to be godly? To live our lives as God would have us do, to do the things that God wants us to do, and to accomplish God’s work, and purposes, in this world. We cannot be godly without God in our heart.

So, if you are to have spiritual strength, then you must validate your weakness by acknowledging the primary source of your weakness is sin, you must recognize the paralyzing force of your weakness, and you must stop the persistent course of your weakness.

The second thing that you must do to gain spiritual strength is you must activate your will. You have to choose to accept the Lord Jesus as your Lord and Master. You have to choose to accept salvation by grace.

And then the third thing is that you must initiate your walk. You need to hear the Word of God, and then obey the Word of God. Salvation comes first, salvation by the grace of God, but then you must Rise, take up your bed and walk.

Click on the link below to hear a message on how you can have the inner spiritual strength to be godly. Jesus is God’s answer to your spiritual disability.

Amen.

FOR GOD SO LOVED THE WORLD (INCLUDING ME) (John 3:16)

FOR GOD SO LOVED THE WORLD (INCLUDING ME) (John 3:16)

October 14, 2018

What was the very first Bible verse that you can remember memorizing?

It would be John 3:16 for me. In fact, with my memory going away in my old age, it is probably the only verse I still have memorized. I know lots of verses by their context, but if it wasn’t for the internet search engines and the Bible concordance on my computer, I would have a hard time finding them. But John 3:16 is one I still remember.

So, why do you think that is? Why would this verse stay with me so readily, when others do not? It is because it tells me of God’s love for the whole world, but it is written in such a way, that it seems like He is talking to just me. God loves the world, but the word whosever means including me.

Who does the verse say loves this poor lost world? The one, true, almighty God. The eternal, self-existing, uncreated, and having need of nothing, God. It is God, omniscient, omnipotent, and omnipresent. It is God, the Creator and Sustainer of the universe. It is God, who takes the initiative. It is God, who loves and gives. It all begins with God.

That God is “not willing that any should perish” is a great Biblical truth that is revealed to us. John tells us in 3:16 that “whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” That is God's earnest desire for all the children of Adam. The gospel invitation is extended to all. If you want to make the invitation of this verse personal, then put your own name in the verse. For example say, For God so loved the world (including Keith Martin), that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever (including Keith Martin) believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. God’s plan for salvation, includes me, even me. God does not want me, or you, or anybody else to perish.

The word Perish is a word that should make us all tremble as we think of the consequences of our sin against God. The word perish reveals the other side of God's character. He is not only a God of immeasurable love, he is also a God of infinite holiness. It is the finality of the word that terrifies us. Death, and what occurs on the other side of death, is a mystery to the lost person, but John 3:16 brings clarity to the mystery. In it, God puts a choice before us. He says, “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” The choice that God gives us is to believe in Jesus Christ or perish. If we reject Christ, then God will allow sin to complete its work beyond the grave of condemning the soul to an eternity in torment.

But that is not what God wants for us. God would have every person come to repentance. That is why the invitation of John 3:16 is universal, hinging on believing in him. Those who do, become heirs of everlasting [eternal] life. God created us with eternity in mind. We have an immortal soul and spirit that will exist for all of eternity. This great verse, which summarizes the whole gospel story, begins with God and ends with everlasting life. It begins with one who had no beginning. It ends with that which has no ending.

The fact that Jesus Christ has come into the world provides each person with the ultimate test of believing or disbelieving, of choosing whether to continue in their sins and surely perish, or whether to believe in him and pass from death to life. The coming of Christ into this world is the single decision point of eternal destiny for each of us.

This great verse is the essential foundation of the gospel of Christ. God loved the world, including me, so much that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever, including me, believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. Don’t walk away and reject such a gift. Choose Christ. Choose eternal life.

Click on the link below to learn just how much God loves you.

Amen.

JESUS, FULL OF GRACE AND TRUTH (John 1:14-17)

JESUS, FULL OF GRACE AND TRUTH (John 1:14-17)

July 29, 2018

If I were to ask you to name the one quality about God that you cherish the most, what would it be?

God’s love? Surely, this is the one quality about God that you cherish the most. God loved us enough to send His Son that we might live through Him.

God’s mercy? It is God’s mercy that causes Him to help us when we are at our most despicable in the eyes of God. It was God’s mercy that was shown to Saul of Tarsus.

God’s holiness? I had to think about this one for a moment. However, if God was not absolutely holy, then He would not be God. If God was not holy, we would not have a God that could do all things.

God’s wrath? For God’s love to be real, His wrath must also be real. This is certainly a quality about God that I want to avoid. Although, I have to admit there are some truly evil people out there in the world that I know will someday face the terrible wrath of God, which gives me a sense of balance in the world. This is a quality of God that I have come to trust and have faith in.

God’s glory? God’s true glory is beyond our ability to even conceive of. Yet, we were given a glimpse of this glory in the person of Jesus Christ, who stepped out of heaven, and for a brief time made Himself a little lower than the angels, just so that we might have our sins forgiven. Is this the quality of God that you cherish the most?

God’s grace? Imagine a God that could save us even though we rejected Him and nailed Him to a cross. God’s grace is the quality about God that I cherish the most, because it is through the grace of God that I can have eternal life with Him.

Amen.

JESUS CHRIST THE ALMIGHTY GOD (Revelation 10:3-11)

JESUS CHRIST THE ALMIGHTY GOD (Revelation 10:3-11)

October 29, 2017

The Book of Revelation presents to the world Jesus Christ as the Lion of the Tribe of Judah, the Creator of all things, and the Lord of lords and King of kings. Jesus is the One we worship.

One of these days, sin's clock will be stopped, and the mystery of God will be finished, and delay will be no more. Sin has been on a rampage. Righteousness seems to have suffered. It is now coming to a conclusion. God has given the inhabitants of the earth time for repentance, but time is running out. The clock will strike its last note and sin's clock is about to be stopped. God’s mercy for sin is about to end. The time for repentance will come to an end.

Don't get the idea that you have time before the rapture to turn to God, for that may come at any moment. Don't get the idea that even after the rapture, that God will continue to give you time, even if you've never heard the Gospel before. There is coming a time when time will run out. When God's clock stops, that's it! And if you are not on God's train, you are going to be left.

The Book of Revelation tells us about the majesty, the mastery, and the mystery of Jesus Christ. When I see the majesty of Christ that means Jesus, my Savior is due my total worship. When I see the mastery of His power that means that Jesus my Lord is worthy of my total confidence. He is the one who has everything under control. When I see God’s mysteries are revealed, then God’s mercy ends.

Click on the link below to hear a message on our Lord Jesus Christ as He is revealed in The Book of Revelation.

Amen.

THE SALUTATION OF REVELATION (Revelation 1:4-8)

THE SALUTATION OF REVELATION (Revelation 1:4-8)

March 19, 2017

THE SALUTATION OF REVELATION

In the day of text messaging, Skype, Instagram, Snapchat, emoji’s, and Twitter, the art of writing a salutation to a letter is not even a concept that is used. The word salutation is defined as a greeting at the beginning of a letter, or even at a meeting of two, or more, people. In today’s text world, it would be something like saying "Hey, 😊." However, prior to the advent of email, when letters and snail mail, ruled the day, the words at the beginning such as Dear Mr. Jennings, or To whom it may concern, were used as salutations. Often it extended into the first sentence or two and it let people know who the letter was written to and why they were getting it.

In the day of the New Testament writers, the salutation was important for establishing who the letter was being written to, who it was being written by, as well as the authority for the words of the letter. The New Testament books were often written as letters that were carried from church to church, read by the messenger to the congregation, and then sent on to the next church. Establishing the authority of writer, be it the apostle Paul, or Peter, or John, or any of the other writers was incredibly important to the people hearing the letter read to them.

As appropriate for a book that describes the Almighty God’s plan for the consummation of the ages, the salutation of the Book of Revelation is important for us to read, and it sets the stage for all that comes after it.

Here is the message that we have before us today. Jesus is coming again, and it may happen at any moment. And when it does, you will be caught unaware. You may be living the successful life of this world. You may not even know about the sufferings of the Lord Jesus when He came the first time as the Savior of the world. You may even use His name in vain. This is your hour, but one of these days, the hour of the Lord will come.

1 Tim 6:15
15 Which in his times he shall shew, who is the blessed and only Potentate, the King of kings, and Lord of lords;
KJV

John declares the victory from the beginning of the book. It is no mystery. You don’t have to skip ahead and read the last chapter to find out how things are going to work out. He says, Behold, he cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see him, and they also which pierced him: and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him. Even so, Amen.

Click on this link to hear a podcast describe the salutation of the Book of Revelation written by the triune God, God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit.

GROW IN GRACE AND KNOWLEDGE (2 Peter 3:13-18)

GROW IN GRACE AND KNOWLEDGE (2 Peter 3:13-18)

February 19, 2017

In this final lesson of our study of the book of 2 Peter, Peter will complete his exhortation to believers. He has told us what authentic Christianity is. He has warned us about apostates, and their false doctrines, who want to distract, disrupt, and destroy, the efforts of true believers to share the gospel message of Jesus Christ. He has reminded us of the promises of the Second Coming of our Lord and the new heavens and the new earth that will be our home in the day of God. And then he has said that knowing these things to be true, we are to be found blameless and without spot, as we work diligently to accomplish the tasks that the Lord has given us. The corrupt and tragic events of today’s world are not what our eyes should be focused on, but on the coming of our Lord.

In the nineteenth century, there was a world famous tightrope walker by the name of Charles Blondin. He would stretch his tightropes across great structures and natural wonders. One was Niagara Falls. When the press was interviewing him, they asked him how he could do this, how did he keep from falling or getting distracted. His response was, “When you see my tightrope set up someplace, look at the platform at the other end. Above that platform is a great big silver star. I keep my eyes focused on that star and I do not look away.”

This is the lesson that Peter has for us as we close out this wonderful epistle, keep your eyes focused on the coming of our Lord. In fact, look beyond that day to the day when Jesus Christ will create a new heaven and a new earth that we will spend eternity with Him on and in. Focus on that day and do not look away to the things that are happening all around you.

Listen to this podcast as we discuss how the world is full of darkness. Yet, it is the light of Jesus Christ that should occupy your mind and heart. Join us next week as we begin a study of the book of Revelation. We are in the last days, and it is important we understand what the Bible says so can be ready and encouraged by Who is coming.

JUDGMENT IS COMING (2 Peter 3:7-9)

JUDGMENT IS COMING (2 Peter 3:7-9)

February 6, 2017

Jesus Christ is coming again, and when He arrives the time of judgment will begin. The Great White Throne of Judgment will deal with all who have rejected Christ. Satan and all of his antichrists, false prophets, apostates, demons, fallen angels, and followers, will be cast into the lake of fire. A new heaven and a new earth will be created, and Christ will reign in power for all of eternity. This is the promise that the Bible has given us as believers. The whole purpose of the Gospel message of Christ is so that man can avoid this judgment and live with Christ in the new heavens and on the new earth for eternity. God’s plan of salvation for the corrupted human race has been planned by a loving God from the foundation of the world.

Rev 13:8
8 And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.
KJV

God knew that we would reject Him and His Son, but He loved us anyway.

1 John 4:19
19 We love him, because he first loved us
KJV

God loved us so much that He sent His Son to die on the cross for the sins of the world.

John 3:16-21
16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.
18 He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.
19 And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.
20 For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved.
21 But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God.
KJV

Christ has done all of the work of salvation for us, all we have to do to have everlasting life with Christ is accept His free gift of redemption. Yet, there are those who still reject this gift. They deny these truths, and they claim that Jesus Christ was not the Son of God. He was a good man, a teacher, and a prophet, but He was not the Son of God. The apostate rejects Christ, and claims that he cannot find Christ. They shout, where is He?

The apostate cannot find Christ for the same reason that a thief cannot find a policeman. Because he doesn’t want to find Him.

The only hope of the salvation of any soul rests in the patience, longsuffering, and self-control of God. God is long–suffering; He is patient; He is not rushing things. After all, He has eternity behind Him and eternity ahead of Him. But this almighty, merciful, and patient, God has promised that the final judgment, the dissolution of the earth and the heavens, is coming. God cannot lie. The day of judgment is coming.

In the meantime, He is giving men everywhere a further opportunity to repent and accept His gift of grace. This is the reason you and I need to get the Word of God out. It is the only thing that can change hearts and lives. It is by the Word of God that man is born again:

1 Peter 1:23
23 Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever.
KJV

It is not God’s will that you should perish. God does not want you to come into judgment; He wants you to pass from death unto life. And you can do that—you can turn to Him and receive the wonderful salvation that He has for you.

Did you know that you cannot keep God from loving you? You can reject His love, but you cannot keep Him from loving you. Neither can you keep it from raining, but you can raise an umbrella to keep the rain from falling on you. Also, you can raise the umbrella of indifference, or the umbrella of sin, or the umbrella of rebellion, so that you won’t experience God’s love, but you cannot keep Him from loving you.

My friend, you can slap God in the face; you can turn your back on Him; you can blaspheme Him, and you can shake your fist in defiance at Him, but you cannot keep Him from wanting to save you. You cannot keep Him from loving you, for He provided a Savior, His own Son, to die in your place. The Lord Jesus will save you if you will receive the free gift of salvation that He offers. My friend, things are not going to continue as they are now. It is coming to an end, and judgment will come. You and I are living in a world which is moving toward judgment.

We tend to think in terms of “balance scale” justice. God thinks in terms of mercy. He wants everyone to accept His gracious forgiveness so as not to pay the ultimate penalty for sin. Especially since it has already been paid for them! Listen to this podcast to learn of the promise of God that a day of judgment is coming for all who reject Christ.

BLESSED ASSURANCE (2 Peter 1:8-11)

BLESSED ASSURANCE (2 Peter 1:8-11)

November 1, 2016
There once was a blind lady by the name of Fanny Crosby who was one of the most prolific hymn writers to ever live.  A woman friend came to Fanny and said, Fanny would you listen to this melody and perhaps you could add the words to it.  So, Fanny listened to the melody for a while and then she said, oh that is easy, it says, Blessed Assurance, Jesus is mine, oh what a foretaste of glory divine.  Do you have that blessed assurance that Jesus is yours?  I hope that you do. 

Over the last several weeks, we have been studying about the promises that God has given to us in order that we can live a victorious Christian life.  However, the very first thing that you must do is to make sure that you are truly saved, that your calling and election are sure.  A Christian should not be walking around like a question mark, he ought to be an exclamation point.  You shouldn’t be a doubting Christian, you should be a shouting Christian.  You shouldn’t be a hope-so Christian, you should be a know-so Christian.  You must make your calling and election sure.  

If you want to be sure that you are sure, then you must have a faith that knows, a faith that grows, and a faith that shows.  

To have a faith that knows, Peter has said that we are to have a faith that has a supernatural knowledge of Jesus Christ, this is a deep personal relationship with Christ.  When I get to heaven, I am not going to meet a stranger in the Lord, I am going to meet my best Friend.  I am not going to meet Someone I only know through reading a book, I am going to meet someone that I have a heart knowledge of.  Someone who I know better than anyone else in the world.  I am going to meet my Lord and Savior who has lived constantly within my heart from the day I was saved.  

Not only am I to have a supernatural knowledge of my Lord, I am to know what the Word of God says and how I can claim the promises of God for wisdom, courage, strength, and perseverance.  We don’t have to pray for these things to be added to our lives, for we already have all that we need that pertains to life and godliness.  They are in God, and God is in us, so we already have these things.  This type of knowledge is practical wisdom, knowledge that comes from the diligent study of the Word of God to show myself to be an approved workman for the Lord. 

Then I am to have a faith that grows.  Using both the supernatural and practical knowledge that I have gained, I am to give all diligence to add to my faith the seven graces of virtue, knowledge, self-control, patience, godliness, brotherly kindness, and agape love.  We are to grow our faith by making sure these things are added to our faith.  These graces come from the Holy Spirit that resides within us as we turn more and more of our lives over to Him.  They are the evidence of our faith.

When these graces are in our lives, then we will have A faith that shows.

2 Peter 1:8
8 For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.
KJV

We are to have a faith that knows, a faith that grows, and a faith that shows.  When this is the type of faith that we have, then we will have A faith that is sure.  
THE BENEFITS OF A CHRISTIAN (2 Peter 1:1-2)

THE BENEFITS OF A CHRISTIAN (2 Peter 1:1-2)

October 10, 2016
We live in a world full of apostasy.  False teachings abound.  Satan is seeking to destroy the church from within.  The Christian life is more than just a birth.  It is a growth, and it is a development.  The key to a victorious Christian life in the midst of apostasy is found in the last verse of the book of 2 Peter. 

2 Peter 3:18
18 But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and for ever. Amen.
KJV

You will not be able to live for God unless you have a knowledge of the Word of God.  Yet, we need to have more than simple knowledge about Christ, the kind of knowledge we find in a library book.  Rather, we are to have a super knowledge of Jesus.  To have this kind of knowledge of Christ is to know Him better than your closest loved one.  To know Him, is to know life eternal.  First comes salvation by the grace of God, then as we begin to know Jesus, we gain peace in Jesus.  

In our lesson today, we find that in just the first two verses of this book we are told of some truly marvelous benefits of being a Christian.  We have a like precious faith, made precious by the object of our faith, the Lord Jesus Christ.  It is through our faith in Christ that we have obtained all the righteousness of God.  Our sins have been wiped clean, and we have a standing before God as completely righteous.  Then, by the grace of God we obtained our salvation, and being justified by God’s grace we can have the peace of God because we have a super-natural knowledge of God.  We have a personal relationship with the Creator of all things, the almighty God.  But not just any personal relationship, we know Christ better than we know our own spouse because the Holy Spirit resides in our hearts.  He constantly speaks to us of the things that Christ tells Him to share with us, and He speaks to us when we are all alone.  

Amazing, huh?  Listen to this new series of podcasts to see the rest of what God has in store for us in this little book.
GOD’S GLORY AND GOD’S GRACE (1 Peter 5:10-14)

GOD’S GLORY AND GOD’S GRACE (1 Peter 5:10-14)

October 3, 2016
God’s glory.  God’s true glory is beyond our ability to even conceive of.  Yet, we were given a glimpse of this glory in the person of Jesus Christ, who stepped out of heaven, and for a brief time made Himself a little lower than the angels, just so that we might have our sins forgiven.  Is this the quality of God that you cherish the most?

John 1:14
14 And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.
KJV

Heb 2:9
9 But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honour; that he by the grace of God should taste death for every man.
KJV

God’s grace.

Eph 2:4-8
4 But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us,
5 Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;)
6 And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus:
7 That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus.
8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:
KJV

For me it is God’s grace that I cherish the most, for it is by God’s grace that I am saved.  It is by God’s grace that I can live the victorious Christian life against all evil.  It is by God’s grace that I have anything that I have, for I deserve nothing but judgment, but it is God’s grace that allows me to call the almighty God, Abba, Father. 

It is by God’s grace that believers can live a victorious Christian life no matter what the circumstances, terror, or adversary, that we face.  Peter describes our Lord as the God of all grace.  In other words, God has absolutely total control and ownership of this amazing resource.  He has a limitless supply available at all times.  Now this is a concept about God’s grace you may not have thought of before, God has total control and ownership of this quality.  There is none other with this quality.  

God's grace provides strength enough for every situation.  Grace for living and grace for dying, grace to deal with the penalty of sin and grace to overcome the power of sin, grace to face persecution and grace to forgive the persecutor, grace to see us through and grace to get us home. 

God's grace guarantees us a share in God's eternal glory.  God's grace is sufficient to translate that into a living reality in our lives. Satan cannot win.  God's grace cannot fail, and it is ours because of Christ Jesus our Lord.  Let Satan roar and prowl all he wants.  Neither Satan, nor ten thousand Nero’s, nor the prospect of a horrible death, nor anything else can stop God's grace in Christ from getting us home.

Rom 8:35-39
35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?
36 As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.
37 Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.
38 For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come,
39 Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
KJV

This is the power of God’s grace.  It is supremely sufficient for all of our needs, and it is the quality about God that I cherish the most.   

Listen to this podcast as we learn about God’s grace and God’s glory.
THE PERFECT SACRIFICE (1 Peter 2:22-25)

THE PERFECT SACRIFICE (1 Peter 2:22-25)

July 3, 2016
If I were to ask you to describe something in your life that was absolutely perfect, what would you say?

I would say a big round plate, with three buttermilk biscuits, made from scratch, piping hot from the oven, split open with steam coming off of them, and then multiple ladles of sausage gravy filled with pounds and pounds of spicy sausage poured all over those biscuits.  And then me with permission to eat the whole plate, bite by bite, until it was all gone.  Now that is the absolutely perfect meal.

How about the love of my wife for me, now that is absolutely perfect.  Why she loves, I don’t know, but she does, and in my eyes it is perfect.  

Unfortunately, as good as those things are, we really have no concept of the absolute perfection of the living, true, almighty, God.  That sausage gravy may be too thick or runny, and as perfect as my wife is, she still gets mad at me from time to time.  Yet, God’s perfection is total and complete.  

God’s Son, Jesus Christ, is perfect.  He came to this earth and He remained absolutely perfect.  He died on the cross for our sins, even though he was totally pure of sin in any form. He had no reason to do this other than His love for us.  No other sacrifice could do what His did.  No other sacrifice could be good enough to meet the demands of God’s holiness. This is why no amount of good behavior can grant you eternal life in heaven.  We simply cannot be good enough, there is nothing on this earth that is truly perfect.  But Jesus Christ was and is, and He chose to suffer for us.  At Calvary, all of the sins of the world, past, present, and future were placed upon this perfect sacrifice.  The Lord Jesus his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree.  He died so that we might live.

Last week we described the Jesus Christ who willingly chose to step down from His throne in heaven and come to earth as God incarnate in man in order to suffer for us because sin raised its head in the universe and was transplanted to Earth.  Adam fell.  Sin entered, and death by sin.  Now the Creator must become the Christ.  Prophet after prophet arose to foretell the coming of a Kinsman-Redeemer, a Savior which is Christ the Lord.

So God's Son became the Seed of the woman, the Seed of Abraham, the Seed of David.  He was to be the Lion of the tribe of Judah.  He was the Child born and the Son given.  He was called the Wonderful Counselor, the Father of eternity, the Mighty God, the Prince of peace.

He was born of a virgin in Bethlehem, the Lord's Anointed, Prophet, Priest, and King.  Page after page of the Old Testament told the story.  Book after book was written, all about Him.  Detail added to detail increased the wonder of it all.  He stood apart from all others, robed in majesty, the altogether lovely One, and the chiefest among ten thousand, the One who suffered for us.  He was the perfect sacrifice.
OUR RESPONSE TO GOD’S GRACE (1 Peter 2:9b-10)

OUR RESPONSE TO GOD’S GRACE (1 Peter 2:9b-10)

May 8, 2016
Today is Mother’s Day.  It is a special day for everyone, because no matter who you are, you had a Mother.  You may not know who your Mother was.  You may not have had a very good Mother, but if you are like most people, your Mother is very special to you.  Your Mom was there when you fell.  She was there when you cried out in fear of the darkness.  She was there when you hit a home run, or when you struck out for the third time that day, and she was there when you walked across the stage as a graduate.  She loved you no matter what.  She loved you when you didn’t call her, when you didn’t come by to see her, and even when you forgot her on Mother’s Day.  She just loved you.  How do you respond to that kind of love, to that kind of grace?

Do you tell other people how great she was?  Do you tell your children what a great mom you had?  Do you do your best to make her proud of you, of what you have become?  Not everyone’s Mom is still with us.  In fact, in a class with people of our age, some of our mom’s passed away some time ago.  I firmly believe that my Mother is looking down from heaven on me and my sister and brother, and she is checking up on us to make sure we are doing what she taught us to do.  My guess is that she has a conversation with Jesus every once in a while telling Him what she thinks of us.  

How do you respond to that kind of love and grace?

Our lesson today is about several things, we are going to finish up our discussion on our position before God, about the mercy and grace that God has shown us, but we are also going to talk about how we are to respond to our God who has loved us so much, and has shared His grace upon us.

How do you respond to that kind of love and grace?  Pretty amazing isn’t it?  Listen to this podcast to learn how to respond to God’s grace.  
REDEMPTION THROUGH GRACE (1 Peter 1:2c-d)

REDEMPTION THROUGH GRACE (1 Peter 1:2c-d)

January 24, 2016
So when we are facing times of terrible persecution, or difficult trials, when things are so bad that they are out of our ability to control, what are you most grateful for?

Certainly, I am grateful for a loving God who cares for me, watches over me, and provides for me.  I am grateful for the power of the Holy Spirit living within me.  I am grateful for the promises of God that we find in His word, such as, that we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. (Romans 8:28)

So this verse is interesting because it doesn’t promise that all things work together for the good of all men, it puts a qualifier on this promise.  What is that qualifier?

You have to be someone who loves God, and someone who is called according to His purpose.  This means that if you want to claim the promise of this verse, that no matter what you are going through, that it will work out for your good, then you must meet the requirements of this promise.  And in order to meet those requirements you must be saved, a born again child of God.  

So, the first thing that you need to have in order to face persecution, trials, or difficult times in your life, is the certain knowledge that you have been redeemed by God, and that Jesus Christ is your Lord and Master.  This is the basic minimum for this promise to be true.   

The next most important thing that I believe we need is the grace of God.  When I am facing a difficult time, the one thing that I cherish most from God is His grace.  It is His grace that allows me to be forgiven.  It is His grace that allows me to be justified freely before God.  It is His grace that allows the blood of Christ to wash my sins away, in spite of the sin in my life.  That is God’s grace.  

This leads us to the third thing that we must have to face persecution.  The result of knowing that we are saved, and that God’s grace has been bestowed on us, is the peace of God in our hearts.  When we have God’s peace in our heart, we have comfort in the knowledge of God’s provision for us.  

So salvation, grace, and peace, are what I consider the three most important things that I must know, claim, and be sure of, when I have hard times.  Everything else that God is going to do for me flows from these three Biblical truths.  The presence and power of the Holy Spirit resides in my heart because of the redemption and grace that God has given me, and it is because I am redeemed, and that I am the recipient of God’s grace, that God’s peace is there, as well.   

Listen to this podcast to learn what it means to be redeemed by God, and to have God’s grace and peace, to give us comfort during times of persecution. 
GOD’S GIFT AND GOD’S GRACE (Romans 5:16-21)

GOD’S GIFT AND GOD’S GRACE (Romans 5:16-21)

November 28, 2014
Each day that I live I am grateful for the gift of God and the grace of God.  It is by the gift of God’s Son, Jesus Christ, that I can have eternal life in Heaven, and it is the grace of God that makes it all possible.

Nothing can stand in the way of God’s grace.  It is absolutely sovereign.  Eternal life through Jesus Christ is assured.  God’s abundant grace will reign through the righteousness of Jesus Christ, for all who believe on Him, unto everlasting life.  That is our security as a believer.  It was God’s gift and God’s grace that allowed us to have salvation, and nothing can stand in the way of God’s grace.  Absolutely nothing.  We are secure in God’s grace.  

This whole concept of sin and death, and of God’s gift and grace, is so amazing that it is hard to believe.  Yet, it is also so simple and direct that it truly brings out the divine nature of God, His omniscience and omnipotence, and most of all His love for each of us.  His desire that none should perish but that all should have everlasting life is one of the great promises of the Bible.  I know that God loves me because the Bible has told me so.

On this week of thanksgiving, I praise God that:

John 3:16-18
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.
18 He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.
KJV
JESUS IS THE SOLUTION (Romans 5:15)

JESUS IS THE SOLUTION (Romans 5:15)

November 18, 2014
Sin has caused the death of every human that has ever lived.  So you might ask Is there a solution to the problem of sin and death?

The answer to this question is found in the love and grace of God.  God loves us so much that He planned the solution to the problem of sin and death before the world was ever formed.  

The answer is where one man created the problem, a second Man is the solution, or a last Adam.  Jesus Christ.  The One who through His obedience to will of the Father restored all that the first Adam threw away by his willful rebellion against the command of God.  
WHAT IS THE SOLUTION TO DEATH?  (Romans 5:12-14)

WHAT IS THE SOLUTION TO DEATH? (Romans 5:12-14)

November 14, 2014
There is no question that one of the greatest trials that we will face in our lifetime is the loss of a loved one.  As we face that event we often begin to ask God questions like, why did my parent, or spouse, or child have to die?  Even more difficult is the day the doctor tells you that you are going to die.  When faced with the death of a loved one, or even our own death, we ask God, Why must everyone die?  

Why do innocent babies die?  Why do good people die?  Why is it that bad people are not the only ones that die?  According to the way that man thinks, if it was a just world, good people would live forever, and bad people would die at a young age, in a horrible way.  But that is not the way it works in our world, everyone dies.  Little children die, moral people die, and even religious people die right along with the bad people.  Death is universal.  The question is why, and is there a solution to the problem of death?

For a universal effect there must be a universal cause.  That cause is a state of universal sin, but what was the cause of this universal state of sin?  The direct answer is that we all die because the first man, Adam, rebelled against God by violating God’s direct commandment.  

The consequence of Adam’s sin was that a universal state of sin was given to all of Adam’s descendants.  As the descendants of Adam all men must now die, even innocent children.  There is the saying that only two things are certain in this life, death and taxes.  Until the day Jesus comes, each of us will certainly face death because of sin.  

Well you say, Keith that is not fair.  Why must I die because of something Adam did?  Actually, not only is it fair, but it is to our advantage to have sin enter the world through the acts of one man.  

Listen to this podcast to learn that the wonderful thing about God’s love for man is that it is because sin and death entered as a result of one man’s sin, that the solution is provided by the death of one Man as well.  Jesus Christ is the world’s solution to eternal death.  

The death, burial, and resurrection, of Jesus Christ means that everyone who has ever lived can have eternal life if they have, or will, believe in Christ’s completed work of salvation.  We can have eternal life with Jesus in heaven because He was divinely capable of being the One man who could pay the universal penalty of our sin, and Jesus volunteered to do this for you and for me.  
HOW CAN WE BE RIGHTEOUS? (Romans 3:24-26)

HOW CAN WE BE RIGHTEOUS? (Romans 3:24-26)

October 2, 2014
For the believer who has Christ as his Savior, words like justified, freely, grace, redemption, propitiation, faith, and blood all have very specific meanings to their faith.  Yet how many Christians can define these words in a way that allows others to understand how God’s plan of salvation has changed their lives?  

For example, as you relate God’s plan of salvation to someone you know, can you tell them how it meets their need of being seen as righteous before God because of the redemptive price that was paid by Jesus on the cross.  How it grants them redemption?  How it serves as propitiation, and how the means of this salvation is our faith in Christ?  How the redemptive price for this salvation was so high, that it cost the shed blood of the Son of God?

The wonderful good news about God’s plan of salvation is that a holy and perfectly righteous God devised a plan of salvation that reaches down into the depths of sin and darkness that man has fallen to, and yet does not compromise God’s own inherent holiness, justice, and righteousness.  Listen to this podcast to learn what these words mean to your salvation, and to the salvation of those who want eternal life with Jesus in heaven.
WE ARE MORE THAN JUST A LITTLE GUILTY (Romans 3:13-20)

WE ARE MORE THAN JUST A LITTLE GUILTY (Romans 3:13-20)

September 19, 2014
When your religion demands that you do more good than bad, you must always ask yourself, Have I done enough? The problem is that you will not know the answer to that question until you stand before the judgment of God.

You must ask yourself, how many right things does it take to outweigh a really bad thing? Is there ever a way to earn enough good things to overcome a violent crime, such as a rape, or an armed robbery, or even murder?  Is there anything that a person can do that can overcome these things in a religion that says that the good a person does must outweigh the bad things that a person does?  

This is the question that most people are asking themselves, have I done enough to please God?

What if I told you that there was a simple answer to this question?  The answer is, no, you have not, and you never will.  That is probably not the answer that you were expecting, right?  Well, right here in this question and answer is the key to what makes Christianity, God’s true plan for salvation, so much better, so much more practical, and so much simpler, than all of the religions that rely on the scales of right and wrong. 

The gospel message of Christ presents a much different scenario for man.  We do not have to wait until we die to find out where we shall stand in the judgment.  We can know right now.  Paul says that there is none righteous, no not one.  Then he says that through God’s law, that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God.  Every mouth, not some mouths, but every mouth shall be stopped from protesting their innocence.  For by the law all the world, not some select group of do gooders, but everyone, all the world becomes guilty before God and therefore we all need a Savior.  You know this now, not when you stand before Christ on that judgment day, you know this now, and your opportunity to do something about it is now.  

John tells us that He that believeth on him (Christ) is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. John 3:18

If you fail to accept Jesus as your Savior, the verdict that you will hear from Christ at the Great White Throne judgment will be that you rejected Christ.  That none of your good works are good enough, they are as filthy rags before a holy God, and that you are condemned to spend eternity burning in the fires of hell.  

It is a vain belief in any religion that says you should hang on to hope that somehow, even still, that your good deeds can outweigh your bad deeds.  That maybe somehow you will be able to do something that God will judge as acceptable to Him.  If you believe this, then this lesson is for you.  The best, the most sincere, and the most strenuous attempts to please God by keeping His law will fail.  It cannot be done.  Truly, man is not only helpless in his condition, but he is hopeless in his case before a Holy God.  

Yet all is not lost.  The wonderful good news of the gospel is that if man is to be saved, then God must save him.  God loves you, and His most sincere desire is that you join Him in heaven for all of eternity.  If you are willing to accept His free gift of salvation, then you can indeed do just that.  This week’s lesson tells us that we are all guilty before God, that we all need a Savior, and that Savior is Jesus Christ.
HOW TO DRAW NEAR TO GOD (James 4:4-8)

HOW TO DRAW NEAR TO GOD (James 4:4-8)

April 28, 2014
When I was a small child, I always wanted to be near my Father, because I knew that he loved me, and that he would protect me.  When I put my small hand into his big hand and we walked somewhere, I always felt secure and safe.  When he hugged me I knew all was right with the world.  

Now that I am a child of God, I want God to be so close that I can feel the warmth of His embrace.   I want God to be so close that I can put my small hand into His infinite hand and I want to walk and talk with Him.   

What is so amazing about our God is that He wants to be close to us as well.  He wants to walk and talk with us in the cool of the afternoon as He did with Adam and Eve.  The Bible tells us that there is a great gulf fixed between man and God, yet God has taken the initiative on this side of the grave.  In an act of infinite compassion God has come looking for us because we are lost.  God has sent His Son Jesus Christ to be the bridge that can bring us to God.  

God has come as far as He can.  He stops short of violating the human will.  He stands at the edge of the bridge with arms outstretched and says Come! Come! Come!

In our lesson today, James tells us how to draw near to God.  How it is possible to have a personal, up-close, relationship with the almighty Creator of all things.