The Master’s Class, Summit Church
THE BLOOD COVENANT (1 Samuel 18:1-3)

THE BLOOD COVENANT (1 Samuel 18:1-3)

September 6, 2020

One of the most important concepts in the Bible is that of the blood covenant. The blood covenant is what the Bible is all about.  In fact, it is the subject of the Bible.  The Hero of the Bible is Jesus, the subject is the blood covenant.

Now, not only is the blood covenant the subject of the Bible, but it is therefore the strength of the believer.  The believer's security, the believer's victory, comes to the one who learns what his covenant rights are.  If you want to live a victorious Christian life, then you want to have the strength that belongs to you because of your covenant rights.  It is no wonder that it is the secret of blessing.  

Why would God show mercy to me? Why would God have mercy on such a person as I am? 

Eph 4:32
32 And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you.
KJV

Why does God forgive me? Because I am worthy? No, I am under a sentence of death. Because I deserve it? No, I'm a rebel. Because I first loved him? No, I feared him. Why does God forgive me? For Christ’s sake, "Be ye kind, tenderhearted, forgiving one another even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you." 

It is because of the blood covenant that the Lord Jesus Christ made with God the Father that I am forgiven. We are brought in, not because of what we have done, but because Jesus Christ made a blood covenant for us.  When you understand the covenant, no longer do you become a slave to fears. Sometimes you feel unworthy, but that doesn't make any difference. The covenant is kept no matter how you feel about it, and the Lord will never break his covenant.  Quit living by the tyranny of feeling, just live by the covenant.  It doesn't matter whether you are worthy or not. 

Christianity is not based upon your ability. It is not your responsibility. It is your response to his ability. That's what Christianity is. Jesus cut a covenant for you.  There is no longer any need for you to live like a beggar, and die like a pauper, when you can walk on this earth as one of the king's sons because of the blood covenant. Hallelujah for that. 

Click on the link below to hear a message on how the covenant that David made with Jonathan illustrates the blood covenant that Christ made for us, so that we can have everlasting life.

Amen.

WHAT DO YOUR REACTIONS SHOW? (John 18:1 to 11)

WHAT DO YOUR REACTIONS SHOW? (John 18:1 to 11)

May 9, 2020

I want to start by telling you something important, and here it is, the true test of your character is not seen in your actions but in your reactions. Have you ever gone to the doctor? And, when you were there, he was checking you out, and he put you up on the table, and took that little hammer and tapped your knee? He wanted to see if you had a particular reaction. He's trying' to find out something about you. Now, you could sit up there, and he could say, "Lift your knee," and you could raise it up and down like he said. But, he doesn't want to see what you planned to do, or that you can follow instructions. He wants to see the reaction he gets from you when he hits your knee with the hammer, because it is that reaction that is going to tell him something about you.

Now, all of us can control our actions. But, it's our reactions that really count and really show what we are. How you react, what comes out of your mouth, when somebody cuts you off as you are driving down the road, or if you stub your toe, or hit your finger when you are trying to hit a nail, says a lot about what is in your heart.

The difference between our actions and our reactions is really the difference between reputation and character. Somebody once said that reputation is what others think about you. Character is what God and your wife know about you. Sometimes there is a vast difference. But I want us to think today about reactions, and what we can learn about how we should react from how our Lord Jesus reacted to the events leading up to His crucifixion.

Jesus Christ gave himself for us on the cross to pay for our sins, and then he rose again to give himself to us that he might live his life through us. The same Jesus who reacted that way so long ago will react that way in you today, if He is inside of you. If he's not there, if He is not in you, they you are just an imitation of Jesus. But, if he is there, you can say, "The life I now live I live by the life of the Son of God who loved me and gave himself for me." Isn't that wonderful?

Click on the link below to learn how when we begin to live that way, the joy begins to come, the power begins to come, our loved ones get saved, our friends get reconciled, and God is glorified. That's what I want. That's what we want. We want our reactions to show people who we really are, a twice born person and a servant of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Amen.

THE LORD’S PRAYER FOR YOU-PART II (John 17:14-26)

THE LORD’S PRAYER FOR YOU-PART II (John 17:14-26)

May 3, 2020

This is a prayer where Jesus asks the Father to keep and strengthen the Lord’s disciples, both the men who were gathered around Him on this dark night before His crucifixion, and those who would later come to believe on Him throughout the church age.

John 17:11
11 And now I am no more in the world, but these are in the world, and I come to thee. Holy Father, keep through thine own name those whom thou hast given me, that they may be one, as we are.
KJV

It is amazing to understand that 2,000 years ago, Jesus, on His way to be crucified, took time to pray for you and me. It is a prayer that has transcended time and space. The Lord’s prayer has impacted every believer that has claimed Him as their Savior since the day He prayed it.

Did you know that you have this ability as well? You do. When you pray to Father, in the power of the Holy Spirit, in the name of Jesus, and for the things that Jesus wills for you, then your prayer can transcend time and space just as the Lord’s did. You can pray for people in other parts of the world that you don’t even know. You can pray for your great-grandchildren that have not even been born yet. This is the power of praying to an almighty God. It is a wonderful thing to know and apply in our lives.

What was the Lord praying about for you on that street so long ago? He was praying for our protection, our security, our sanctification, and that we would have the power to do all the things that He has asked us to do. He prayed that we would share the gospel message of Jesus Christ to a lost world.

Click on the link below to hear a message on the how the Lord Jesus Christ prayed that you do the things that He has sent you to do, and then, that you would come to be with Him. Heaven is incomplete for Jesus without you. Jesus wants you to be with Him. That is such a wonderful thought to apply in our heart. Jesus wants you to be with Him.

Amen.

THE OPPOSITE OF LOVE IS HATE (John 15:21-16:26)

THE OPPOSITE OF LOVE IS HATE (John 15:21-16:26)

February 23, 2020

There are people who deliberately choose to hate anyone who loves the Lord Jesus Christ. They hate God’s people because we are different. We separate ourselves from the world. We are a people chosen out of the world. We stand for the absolute truths about right and wrong as expressed by God in His Word. We remind them of the sin in their lives that they do not want to give up. The world cannot tolerate such absolute standards of right and wrong, nor, can they tolerate a sovereign God that has the right to tell them what is right and wrong. The world hates God's people simply because they are His people. They hate God. Therefore, they hate His people.

They hate us because they do not know the one, true, almighty God. Unfortunately, the persecution of Christ and his church has come mainly from other religious people. It has been the same in almost all the ages of the Christian era. Just because people are religious, or sincere in their beliefs, or active in their faith, does not prove that they know God. Behind all Christ-rejecting religion is Satan, who masquerades as an angel of light, who is the father of lies, and a deceiver from the beginning.

They hate us because they know Satan as their master. They do not know the almighty God. They use different names for God, but they do not worship the same God that we do. They do not know God, and the persecution of God’s people comes from this ignorance.

Click on the link below to hear a message on how Jesus wanted to prepare us for the hardships to come. To teach us how we are to love others in a world of hate, and how we are to put aside our own feelings of fear, and to share the gospel message of Christ that can give eternal life to those who will accept it.

Amen.

TO LOVE IN A WORLD OF HATE (John 15:12-26)

TO LOVE IN A WORLD OF HATE (John 15:12-26)

February 16, 2020

Is Jesus Christ your personal friend? If not, you are missing out on the best of all friends. Jesus is my personal friend. I have all there is of Jesus just for me, and yet, you can have all there is of Jesus just for you as well. Only God can do that. Only deity can do that. He loves us all, but, He loves us each. He loves us individually. He cares for us. The God who runs this universe, in and through Jesus Christ, is your own personal friend. What a friend we have in Jesus!

There are a lot of people out there who have never met our friend Jesus, and He tells us, "You are my friends if you do what I command you, that you love one another as I have loved you." If we are to do this, then we need to say, "O God, help me to find someone that I can love and cultivate for Jesus. And help us to make our church a family of friends.'

When people come to a church that loves Jesus Christ, do you know what they should be impressed with? They should be impressed with the way the members love one another: the bigness of their love, and the warmth of their spirit. They should see any church that loves Jesus as a family of friends. We have the best Friend that a person could have, and we should share that Friend with them.

But there is another side of the world. There are people who deliberately choose to hate us just because we love the Lord. The opposite of love is hate. The Lord has been commanding His disciples to love one another. One reason why such love is imperative is because of the hatred of the world for the Lord and his own. He commands us to love one another, including those outside of the church, but He also wants to prepare us for the hatred that the world has for His followers.

Click on the link below to learn how to love as Jesus loves, in a world of hate.

Amen.

ARE YOU PART OF THE FAMILY Part I (John 15:12-17)

ARE YOU PART OF THE FAMILY Part I (John 15:12-17)

February 9, 2020

So, what kind of church do you belong to? A growing church, or a dying church? Here at Summit, we have a wonderful staff. Our pastors are some of the best pastors I have ever served under. We have good teachers, and dedicated volunteers. God has blessed those efforts, but is it possible for those blessings to become a negative for our church?

We come on Sunday, and Sunday by Sunday, our preachers, our teachers, our workers, and our musicians, they all present a wonderful program. Each Sunday we come and enjoy it and then go home and wait for the next service, and then we come and enjoy that and then we go home. The problem with a successful church, actually with any church, is that there are a few people working very hard, but a large part of the congregation does not share the load. They don’t become a part. They are in danger of becoming a congregation of spectators. They see the blessings, but they fail to remember the real purpose of a church, which is to be a hospital for souls. They forget that there are so many people in our church, and in our community, who need Jesus. There are so many who are hurting, so many who do not enjoy the blessings, the friendship, the warmth, and the love, that we enjoy. We need to ask ourselves, "How can we change this in our church, and how can we reach out to this community?" What is the message that we want to share?

One of the most important things that a person needs is a feeling of belonging. Well, belonging to what? Belonging to a family of friends who cares for them. Are we a family of friends? If we are to reach out to others and invite them into our family, then we must first be a family of friends.

A church that loves Jesus Christ is to be a family. You say, "Well, Bro. Keith, I live alone." That's all the more reason you need a church family because we are your extended family. And whether you have a great big family sitting around your dinner table or whether you live by yourself in an apartment, or in a room somewhere, your church is to be family. But it is more than family. It's friendship. And the two longings that people have in our world today are, for family, or a sense of belonging, and for friendship, or a sense of caring.

Each week you are given an opportunity to invite people who need Jesus to come and be a part of the family. But how many of you invite those people? Many of you have done that. We have been blessed by those that have come. But the fact that you invited them will only get people in the doors of the church. What they find inside the church is what matters. Do they find a family of friends who will welcome them into their family?

Jesus tells us, “This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you.” It is not optional, we have a duty, an obligation, a privilege to love others as Jesus loves us.

Click on the link below to hear a message on what it takes to be a friend and to have a friend. To be a family of friends.

Amen.

TO LOVE AS JESUS LOVES-PART II (John 13:31-35)

TO LOVE AS JESUS LOVES-PART II (John 13:31-35)

November 17, 2019

Last week we began a message on learning how to love everyone, including hard to love people, in the same way that Jesus loves us. I believe the one thing we would all admit is that there are people in this world who it would be very difficult to love as Jesus loves them, but that is what we have been commanded to do.

What does it mean to love someone in the same way that Jesus loves them? Does it mean that you are best friends, that you socialize with them, that you are going up to them hugging and kissing them all of the time? How did Jesus treat the Pharisees, or the Romans who crucified Him? Did He love them? Yes, He died on a cross for them. How did He treat the one who betrayed Him? Jesus washed his feet. He reached out to him in love. Why? To give him an opportunity to make Jesus his Lord and Savior.

I want you to think carefully about that, and I want this thought in your mind. How did Jesus show the entire world that He loved them? Jesus died on the cross for the sins of everyone. Why did He do that? So, their sins could be forgiven, and they could choose to receive the free gift of salvation. Without the Lord’s shed blood, then no one could be saved, no one would have a choice to be saved.

How can you go about offering people, even hard to love people, the same gift that Jesus offered them? Can you die on a cross for them? No. Can you witness about the gospel message of Jesus Christ to them? Yes. Can you live a life that would be different enough to make them want to be a Christian? Yes.

Jesus loved everyone so much, even hard to love people like Judas, or Pilate, or the Romans who beat Him, that He died so that they could be saved. Can you love others enough to offer them the gospel message so that they could be saved? If yes, then would that be one way that you could love them in the same way that Jesus does? Don’t misunderstand me, this is not all there is to this commandment, and we are going to talk about what type of love this is, but we need to put this into the context of why we, as believers, are even still on this earth. The reality is that once you are saved, you cannot be unsaved. So, why does God leave us here on the earth? Why not just take us to heaven right away? What is a key element in His plan for your life? Spreading the gospel message to a lost world, an ugly world, an evil world, a hard to love world. That is how Jesus loved the entire world, and it is one way that you can love others as Jesus has loved you.

Jesus said, a new commandment I give unto you that you love one another even as I have loved you. It is only men and women who are big in the grace of God, knowing that they have come from God, knowing that they're going to God, knowing who they are, that can obey this new commandment. They can do it because they tell themselves, God has accepted me. I accept that he accepts me, I accept me, and I accept you, and now you can accept me.

What does this type of love look like?
• You love them enough to lead them to Christ.
• You love them enough to not think of yourself as you are dealing with them.
• You love them enough to stand by them in the hard times.
• You love them enough to serve them.
• Most of all, you love them enough to forgive them.

Click on the link below to hear a message on how to love people as Jesus loved them. It is pride that drives wedges between people. It is a love like Christ’s love that builds bridges. “A new commandment I give unto you that you love one another, even as I have loved you.” That's how to love as Jesus loved.

Amen.

TO LOVE AS JESUS LOVES-PART I (John 13:31-35)

TO LOVE AS JESUS LOVES-PART I (John 13:31-35)

November 10, 2019

In our message today, the Lord is going to give His disciples, and all of us, a new commandment, “…to love one another, as Christ has loved us.” Now, I have to admit, for me, that is a tall order because there are people around, even some Christians, who are hard to love. But that is what this new commandment tells us to do.

John 13:34
34 A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another.
KJV

Now, Jesus is not just talking about loving other Christians. He is talking about everyone. He is saying that we should love everyone as Christ loves us. Is there someone you know that you just say, Lord that is not happening, I cannot love this person? Someone who has done you wrong, perhaps, even harmed you? Friends that have betrayed your trust? Family members who may have abused you, either physically or mentally? There are likely more than just one person who may fit into this category.

Well, why is it a new commandment? Love is not new. The Old Testament certainly taught us to love. In the New Testament gospels, Jesus even gave us a summary of all the commandments when He said,

Matt 22:37-39
37 Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.
38 This is the first and great commandment.
39 And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.
KJV

What’s new, is that Jesus said that “we are to love as I have loved you.” Never before has this world known love like the love that Jesus Christ showed and the love that Jesus Christ gave. And that is what made it radically new. We are to love others not just as we love ourselves, but as Jesus loved us. This takes the love we are to show to a whole new level.

Click on the link to below to hear a message on how to love that person, who has harmed you, in the same way that Jesus Christ loves them.

Amen.

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.

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