The Master’s Class, Summit Church
GOD WANTS YOUR WORSHIP (John 4:1-23)

GOD WANTS YOUR WORSHIP (John 4:1-23)

October 28, 2018

Have you ever been out working under that hot July sun and you are sweating, and getting really thirsty? So, you go inside for a moment and pull a soft drink out of the refrigerator. Boy, it is ice cold and you drink one and it tastes so good and it just seems to hit the spot and you go back out to working in the yard and before long in that 100 degree heat you're thirsty again. So, you go back in for another soft drink and you drink that one, and it seems so good and it seems to satisfy, but before long you're thirsty again. But this time, instead of a soft drink, you tell yourself, I know what I need, and you go back and you get you a big tall glass of ice water, pure, ice cold water, and you drink it and you tell yourself, now that really does satisfy my thirst.

Ok, so why is that? Well, if you look at that bottle of soft drink, you'll see that it says it is artificially colored, artificially flavored, and most of all artificially sweetened. That tells me that there's just something there that doesn't have that touch of authenticity and reality. Instead of fake news, it is a fake cola, right?

Now, there are a lot of us who are trying to satisfy and to quench our thirst with things that are artificially colored, things that are artificially sweetened, and artificially flavored, and what we need is the water of life. What will truly satisfy us is to learn how to worship God in spirit and in truth.

Clink on the link below to hear a message explaining how God created you to worship Him. And until you learn how to worship him, truly reverence him, truly praise him, truly love him, truly adore him, truly have communion with him, there will always be in your heart and in your spirit a God shaped vacuum. You can be a Christian, and not know how to worship God, and as a result there will be this God shaped vacuum in your heart. Learn from the Word of God about how to worship Him.

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.

LOVING GOD EQUALS JOY IN YOUR HEART (1 Peter 1:8)

LOVING GOD EQUALS JOY IN YOUR HEART (1 Peter 1:8)

February 21, 2016
We live in a world where true joy can be hard to find at times.  I want you to think back to the last time that you felt your heart so overcome with joy, that it was just bursting out of you.  Troubles at home, or with a family member, friends, your health, your work, these are all things that we worry about, or have problems with, and it can seem like real joy is hard to find, right?

Certainly, as I think back to times when there was real joy in my heart, playing in the backyard with my kids when they were young.  Sitting with my wife next to a babbling mountain stream, just relaxing and enjoying the view and the companionship. Holding a newborn grandchild in my arms. Watching my son be ordained into the ministry.  These are some of my memories of a heart full of joy.  

However, joy in the life of a believer is to be so much more than just an emotion of happiness.  In our lesson today, Peter is going to tell us that the joy a believer has in his heart is the reward that God gives us for truly loving Him.  When we love God, we will find God’s gift of joy in our heart.  So if this is true, why do we not always feel full of joy?  Certainly, I love God, you love God, as believers, we all love God.  Yet, was joy the first thing you thought of when you got up this morning to come to church?  Did you say, "Good Lord, its morning", or did you say, "Good Morning, Lord!"  Think about it and be honest, where was your joy?

Joy comes from the Lord.  It resonates from our spirit, and it is placed there by the Holy Spirit when our heart is filled with the Spirit of God, and the love of God.  It is sin that separates us from this Joy.  When we allow satan to have a place in our heart, be it from holding a grudge against somebody for some harm they did you, or from some secret sin in your life, anything that detracts you from loving God, the joy that God gives us will not be gone, but it will be harder to find.  Remember, loving God equals joy in your heart.  The more you love God, the more joy that you will have.  The more you allow satan into your life, the harder your joy will be to find.  It really is that simple.  

Loving God equals joy in your heart.  Want more joy, then love God more.  Listen to this podcast to learn how to have a heart full of God’s joy even when there is trouble all around you.
THE RESPONSIBILITY OF LIBERTY (Romans 14:13-14)

THE RESPONSIBILITY OF LIBERTY (Romans 14:13-14)

October 4, 2015
THE RESPONSIBILITY OF LIBERTY

We live in a country where our liberty to pursue our lives as we choose is a cherished right.  It is such a cherished right that many of our men and women have fought and died so that we could keep that right.  Yet, that same liberty requires that we regulate our own behavior in a manner that does not harm others.  Self-government requires self-regulation.

For example, I have the liberty to purchase the car of my choice.  I could buy a convertible Honey Bee yellow 1970 Hemi Plymouth Cuda that can go from 0-60 in less than 5.8 seconds or top out at a speed of 160 mph, but if I want to drive that vehicle on the road with others there are limits to what I can do with that liberty of owning such a powerful vehicle.  Our traffic laws have been put in place to help me from doing something that might harm someone else, but even acting within these laws my behavior can potentially harm others.  

We choose to limit our liberty because we value the lives of others and we protect their rights to choose how they want to live their lives.  

We also have to be careful how others see us and what we do.  I used to ride motorcycles when I was 15 to about 17.  I really enjoyed it, in fact, I still have a motorcycle designation on my driver’s license just in case I ever get a wild feeling and decide to ride again.  So why haven’t I ridden a motorcycle since I was young?

It is because I got married, and had then I had two boys who watched everything that I did.  Getting married meant that I had someone else depending on me to go to work every day to provide a place for us to live.  Having sons meant setting an example of the kinds of behavior that would keep us, and them, safe.  It is not that riding a motorcycle is bad or evil, in fact, it is a lot of fun, nor, am I concerned with my own ability to ride safely.  What I am concerned about is riding on a small, two wheel, fully exposed vehicle, in amongst a bunch of 2,000 lb. heavy metal vehicles driven by people who do not even see a motorcycle rider coming down the road, and hit them on a regular basis.  

So I have the full liberty to do something that is not evil, yet I choose not to do that activity because of what the impact may be on those around me.  I choose not to exercise my liberty because it may impact my ability to be a good provider, and it might set an example that would cause someone else around me to stumble, or to get hurt, just because they saw me doing something.  

We choose to do, or not do, certain things because we love Christ and we want to be more like Him.  We also choose to do, or not to do, certain things because we are to love our neighbors as we do ourselves and we do not want to be a stumbling block to them. 

This is what our lesson is about today, being, or not being, a stumbling block to others. 
A CHRISTIAN’S LOVE (Romans 13:8-11)

A CHRISTIAN’S LOVE (Romans 13:8-11)

September 1, 2015
Why do you obey the commandments of God?

It is because you are afraid of God?  Certainly, there have been times when somebody says something particularly stupid about God that I have said, “Wait just a minute while I step over here so that I will not get in the way of the lightning bolt that is getting ready to come down upon you.”  And I certainly believe that for God’s love to be real, so must His wrath be real.  

But, as believers, we obey the commandments of God because we love God and we want to please Him, and we can do that because the question of our salvation, or eternal life, has already been settled by our faith in Christ.  This means that our obedience is because we love God. 

Why do you obey the laws of the various governments and employers that God has placed in authority over you?

Because you are afraid of the consequences?  Perhaps, but our lessons over the last several weeks would say that the believer is to obey the laws of man because we love God, and we want to please Him.  Right?

Why are you committed to being faithful to your spouse?  Certainly it is because we love them, but more importantly, we love God, and we want to glorify Him by the way that we love our spouse.   

So in each case, it is our love of God that is the motive behind our obedience.  Not fear, but love.  

So how do we show the people who we meet in the world around us that we love them?  

The answer is the same as it was for the other three questions I just asked, we show our neighbors that we love them by obeying God’s commandments.  The Lord Jesus simplified this for us by saying that if we obeyed just two commandments, all of the others would just fall into place.  

The first was to love God with all of our heart, with all of our soul, with all of our mind, and with all of our strength, and the second was to love our neighbor as ourselves.

This is what our lesson is about today, our love of God, and how we show that love.  
HOW SECURE IS GOD’S LOVE? (Romans 5:6-11)

HOW SECURE IS GOD’S LOVE? (Romans 5:6-11)

November 7, 2014
We live in a society where everything changes, where nothing is permanent.  A majority of people in our state can define marriage as being between one man and one woman, and yet a set of activist judges, with no regard for the constitution of the U.S., can overrule the will of the people.  

We can live in this nation for hundreds of years with clearly defined morals about what is right and wrong based on the absolute truths established by God, and then suddenly anything that God says must be disregarded.  Where man is involved, everything changes, nothing is secure.  

So it is easy to understand why people have a hard time accepting God’s gift of salvation as permanent.  Surely there must be things that we can do to take that salvation away, or perhaps God will change His mind as He looks at the depravity of man in our current world.   

This is the way man acts, right?  Our love towards others is generally dictated by how that other person treats us.  It is easy to love someone who loves us back.  It is much harder to love someone who intentionally harms us.  So this is man’s concept of love, do unto others as they have done unto me.  

However, God’s concept of love is very different from ours.  In our lesson today, Paul will tell us that God loves even the ungodly.  He loves us even if we have rejected Him.  He loves us even if we have done things that He has established as evil and wrong.  God loves us in spite of what we do, say, or even if we do not love Him back.  Paul will go on to say that it is because God’s love for us does not change that our salvation, once accepted, is unchangeable.  Once we have become a reborn, sanctified, justified, and adopted child of God, we cannot be unborn, nor can our adoption to the family of God be revoked.  Once we are in the hand of our Lord, nothing can remove us.  Our salvation is secure, because God’s love for us is secure.  

It is the love of God that guarantees our eternal security.  That same love that planned our redemption at the foundation of the universe, that sent His own beloved Son to die on a cross, will be the same love that will fling wide open the gates of glory to welcome us home. 
THE PERFECT LAW OF LIBERTY (James 2:8-13)

THE PERFECT LAW OF LIBERTY (James 2:8-13)

February 11, 2014
What is the perfect law of liberty?

Have you ever considered what it would be like to go someplace where there were no laws, and no police officers to enforce those laws?  To be totally free to do whatever you wanted, for as long as you wanted, and in any way that you wanted to do it?

Sounds pretty good doesn't it?  If I don’t want to get up in the morning, I don’t have to.  If I want to drive my car as fast as it will go, then I can.  

This is pretty much what it was like for the early pioneers who opened up the western part of the United States.  When they stepped out into that wilderness, they were free from the laws and those that would enforce it.  They lived by their wits, their strength, and their courage, for even though there were no societal laws, there were always the laws of nature, and the laws of the strongest shall prevail.  

So the question is, are you truly free when you step out of the boundaries of the laws of a civil society?  Is this true liberty?

Without laws, is there such a thing as criminal behavior?  To be a lawbreaker there must be a law to break.

God, as our Creator, knew that man needed laws to establish the absolute truths about right and wrong, so He gave us His Word that we call the Bible.  It contains the Mosaic Law, The Sermon on the Mount, and it contains Christ’s Law, which is the perfect law of liberty.  These laws identify what is sin for man.  They let man know that he has broken those laws, that the penalty of that sin is death, and that man needs a Savior.  The very Savior named Jesus Christ who died on a cross to pay the penalty for man’s sin.  

As a believer we are no longer under the Mosaic Laws, but our behavior is to be controlled by two commandments.  

The first is, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind.  This is a believer’s responsibility to God.  

The second is, To love thy neighbor as thyself.  This is a believer’s responsibility to others.

How do we find perfect liberty?  Listen to this podcast to learn that the answer is to be redeemed, released, and ruled by Christ.  
THE CASE FOR LOVE AND PROPHECY (1 Cor. 13:8 to 14:6)

THE CASE FOR LOVE AND PROPHECY (1 Cor. 13:8 to 14:6)

October 2, 2011

In this lesson Paul completes his description of agape love, and then he compares it and the gift of prophecy to the gift of tongues.  

He tells us of the permanence of agape love and how tongues fail. 

He tells us of the supremacy of prophecy over tongues. 

He tells us to desire that which is permanent and that which is of more value to the body of Christ. 

Here what Paul has to say in this verse-by-verse study of 1 Corinthians 13:8 to 14:6. 

Listen and be blessed by the Word of God as we learn a description of Jesus Christ.

THE GIFT OF LOVE (1 Cor. 13:1-7)

THE GIFT OF LOVE (1 Cor. 13:1-7)

September 25, 2011

Paul describes the gift of love as the more excellent way.  But this kind of love is more than an emotion.  It is an act of will. 

Love involves the heart, the mind, and the will. 

Love is a fruit of the Holy Spirit. 

Although we are to covet earnestly the best gifts, they are to be exercised in love, and only the Spirit of God can do that. 

Love is the thing that needs to be added to every gift of the Spirit. 

Without love your gift is worthless. 

Paul describes this wonderful gift in a verse-by-verse study of 1 Corinthians 13:1-7. 

Listen to how the Word of God describes agape love and be blessed.