Ikthus East Sermon (April 5, 2015)

RISEN WITH CHRIST

(How the Resurrection of Jesus Christ Changes Us)

INTRODUCTION:

Today I’d like to share with you one of the deep doctrines of the Christian life: the doctrine of “Union with Christ,” which means that what is true of Christ is also true of those who belong to him. Therefore, since Christ died, we who have put our faith in him also died with him (Col. 3:3). Since he rose from the dead, we too have been raised with him (Col. 2:12). Continue reading “Ikthus East Sermon (April 5, 2015)”

Ikthus Villa Angela Sermon (September 21, 2014)

THE CONCLUSION OF THE MATTER

SUBTITLE: How to live a meaningful life in a meaningless world.

TEXT: Ecclesiastes chapter 12

INTRODUCTION

You might think that this is the end of our series on Ecclesiastes; I assure you it isn’t. This is a conclusion that isn’t a conclusion because in the Sundays to follow Pastor Andrew and Pastor Twister intend to preach some more from this book. On the other hand, it is a conclusion because our text is the last chapter of the book and verse 13 says very clearly, “The end of the matter; all has been heard.” And also we’ll be dealing with the subject of death, which is very much the conclusion of life under the sun. So “The Conclusion of the Matter” seems a most apt title for today’s message.

Now by way of introduction, let me remind you that Ecclesiastes is a pre-evangelistic book because it leads people to despair of life under the sun. And despair is either a good or bad thing: bad if you stay there, good if it leads you to seek after God. But Ecclesiastes is also for those who are already Christians, because it helps them to be realistic about life, and it disabuses their minds of the misconception that the Christian life is a bed of roses. It isn’t. Suffering and injustice afflict the righteous and the unrighteous alike, and Christians should therefore patiently endure life under the sun, make the most of it, and remain steadfast in the hope that God will make all things beautiful in his time. Continue reading “Ikthus Villa Angela Sermon (September 21, 2014)”

Ikthus Villa Angela Sermon (June 2014)

WHAT ARE WE HERE FOR?

(Matt. 5:13)

INTRODUCTION:

It’s very important that we know what our purpose in life is, otherwise we go around in circles. Life is meaningless and unsatisfying unless we know what we’re here for and we pursue that.

At the same time there’s no contradiction between Ikthus’ mission statement and this message because this message is really about discipleship. You’ve heard it said that our only purpose in life is to glorify God and make disciples. But of course one has to be himself or herself a disciple first. Continue reading “Ikthus Villa Angela Sermon (June 2014)”

Ikthus Villa Angela Sermon (March 2014)

FORGIVENESS AND THE CHURCH (Colossians 3:12-15)

INTRODUCTION:

Forgiveness is our theme this month. Today we touch on forgiveness and the church. You’ve probably heard of Tina Turner’s song, “What’s love got to do, got to do, with it?” In the same vein, someone might ask, “What’s the church got to do, got to do, with it?” I wouldn’t be surprised by such a question because we live in an individualistic age. Many people come to church with the mind-set of a moviegoer: we come to watch and then we go. We never really get involved. And if there’s a better movie somewhere, well, we can always go there next time around. But this “dating the church” mentality means you’ll never really understand and learn what forgiveness is all about because it is only by being deeply involved in the life of the church that one can truly understand and learn what forgiveness is all about. This is because the church is the one community above all others which has experienced the forgiveness of God and is therefore in a unique position to be the channel of God’s forgiveness to a world that desperately needs forgiveness, provided of course that the church lives up to its calling. Paul’s letter to the Ephesians is primarily about the church, and in chapter 1 verse 7 he points out that in Jesus Christ the beloved we (i.e. the church) have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace. Others, however, do not share in this blessedness. In chapter 2 of Ephesians Paul says that those who are not in Christ Jesus are dead in trespasses and sins, are sons of disobedience and are by nature children of wrath. Those however who are in Christ Jesus have been reconciled to God by the blood of Christ. And in chapter 4 verse 32 he draws out the implications of this truth: “Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.” To repeat: it is in the church, i.e. among the forgiven people of God, the community which has received forgiveness and is therefore mandated to practice forgiveness, that we ought to seek a true understanding of forgiveness and it is in committed participation in the life of the church, especially the local church where God has called us to serve, where we can be trained to practice Christian forgiveness.

Continue reading “Ikthus Villa Angela Sermon (March 2014)”

Ikthus Villa Angela Sermon (December 8, 2013)

THE CHRIST OF CHRISTMAS

30 And the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God.31 And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus. 32 He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. And the Lord God will give to him the throne of his father David, 33 and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end.”

34 And Mary said to the angel, “How will this be, since I am a virgin?”

35 And the angel answered her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be bornwill be called holy—the Son of God.

(Luke 1:30-35)

I. JESUS CHRIST WAS CONCEIVED BY THE HOLY SPIRIT – THE SON OF GOD (v. 35)

A. To be the Son of God was to be equal to God himself. (John 5:18; Heb. 1:8). To be the Son of God is to share the nature of God the Father: since the Father is God, the Son is also God. But note that Jesus’ sonship is different from ours. We are adopted children; he is the only begotten son. Moreover, he is begotten not made. He is begotten from eternity. He has always been the Son of God or, if you prefer, God the Son. This is the logical conclusion that we can draw from the fact that Scripture refers to him as the Creator and not creature (John 1:1,2; Heb. 1:3; Rev. 1:8 & Rev. 22:12, 20). See also I John 5:20, Phil. 2:5,6, 9 & Isa. 45:22, 23; Matt. 1:23 & Isa. 9:6)

B. If Jesus Christ were not God, then it would be idolatry to worship him (Rev. 22:8-9; Isa. 42:8 & John 17:5). But the Bible teaches that Jesus is to be worshiped; therefore, he is God (Heb. 1:6; John 9:38).

C. If Jesus Christ were not God, he could not be savior (Isa. 45:21, 22). How could the blood of an ordinary man pay for the sins of the whole world? The claims of divine justice are infinite. Our sins deserve eternal punishment. Only God can satisfy the claims of his own justice. Only the infinite merits of God himself can pay for the penalty of sin. But the Bible says Jesus Christ is our savior from sin; therefore, he is God (Matt. 1:21, 23).

II. JESUS CHRIST WAS BORN OF THE VIRGIN MARY – THE SON OF MAN (vv. 30-31)

A. “And the Word was made flesh and dwelt among us.” (John 1:1,14; Phil. 2:5-8)

B. Because Jesus Christ is truly man, then –

(1) His sufferings for us were genuine (Isa. 53:6). Only as man could he share human suffering.

(2) His love for us was great (Rom. 5:6). Had he not taken the nature of man he could not have demonstrated his love for us by dying for us.

(3) His sympathy for was sincere (Heb. 4:15). He understands what it means to be tempted, to be hungry, to be thirsty, to be wounded, to be hurt both physically and emotionally, to be rejected by his own family and people, to be forsaken and even betrayed by those closest to him.

 

CONCLUSION: JESUS CHRIST IS THE GOD-MAN.

  1. Because Jesus is truly God, he is a powerful savior. We can trust him to save us (Heb. 7:25; Acts 16:31)
  2. Because Jesus Christ is truly man, he is a compassionate savior. We can be confident that he is willing to save us if we come to him (Heb. 4:16; Matt. 11:28).

                        

Ikthus-Villa Angela Sermon (November 2013)

BUILDING A LIFE OF THANKSGIVING

TEXT: Acts 16:22-34

INTRODUCTION:

In spite of the crises we have recently faced both individually and as a nation we nevertheless give thanks in everything. Why? because we are the people of God. And thanksgiving is the constant characteristic of God’s people. To be thankful is what it means to be one of God’s people.

“But we your people, the sheep of your pasture, will give thanks to you for ever; from generation to generation we will recount your praise.”  (Ps. 79:13)

“And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful.”  (Col. 3:15 ESV) Continue reading “Ikthus-Villa Angela Sermon (November 2013)”