GUARD YOUR HEART - Sermon 2

March 10, 2019

1Jn 2:15-16  Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.

 Christ gave His life by dying on the cross so you and I can receive God’s gift of salvation. Jesus died so mankind could be reconciled back to God. Jesus’ desire for His church is not to return to the beggarly elements of the world. His desire for us (Christians) is to grow into maturity and imitate Him.

In the Book of Genesis Chapter 1, God created the heavens, and the earth. He populated earth with every living creature and He blessed them. On the sixth day God created man. Man was to have dominion over the whole earth.

The Fall. As recorded in Genesis, Man sinned against God and lost his right to have dominion over the earth. Satan became the god of this world. Man fallen state incurred a sin nature.

The New Testament word world has three different meanings. It can mean the physical world, the earth we live on.  It also means the human world, mankind.  The term world in the bible is Satan’s system for opposing the work of Christ on earth. It is the very opposite of how God wants us to be, act, and walk in this world. A Christian is a member of the human world, we live in the physical world, but we do not belong to this present evil spiritual world. Our home is in heaven.

Worldliness is a matter of the heart. It is an attitude of NOT obeying God. Not just an attitude to stay away from bad things. Satan uses three strategies to ensnare Christians- the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life They worked in the garden with Adam and Eve. They still work today. The Christian is not told to cleanse himself from the flesh but from “the lust of the flesh” (Col 3:5) Cleanse himself from his sin nature.

As Christians, we fall short of not obeying God. 1Jn 1:8-9  If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

God gave us the Holy Spirit to lead us. The answer to conquering the lusts of the flesh is the Holy Spirit. God gave us the Holy Spirit to overcome the struggle between our flesh and our spirit. We are more than overcomers because of the indwelling Spirit of God. We are commanded to walk in the spirit so we will not fulfill the lusts of the flesh. When you feel the struggle within you to do evil verses good, remember the Holy Spirit is within you to help you overcome. Choose to believe God!

GUARD YOUR HEART

March 03, 2019

GUARDING YOUR HEART

 WHAT IS THE HEART?  The word “Heart” occurs over one thousand times in the Bible. Here in the Old Testament the term heart is used to define the center of our personal being. It is the seat of the thoughts, emotion, will and moral purpose. The heart is invisible itself.  The heart is that part of us that manifests itself in the whole of our outward lives.  It is the center or inner life that become visible in our character and behavior.  Every area of our lives intersects with what is going on in our hearts.  In summary the heart is related to the soul, or inner man.

THE HEART IS COMPLEX. Jeremiah says in 17:9,  Who can understand it? Jesus said in Luke 6:45, The good person out of the good treasure of his heart produces good, and the evil person out of his evil treasure produces evil, for out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks.

PARTS OF THE HEART

Our mind is a part of our heart.  In Matthew 9:4, But Jesus, knowing their thoughts, said, “Why do you think evil in your hearts?   Thinking is associated with the human mind.

 Our will is a part of our hearts.  Acts 11:23 (NIV),  When he came and saw the grace of God, he was glad, and he exhorted them all to remain faithful to the Lord with steadfast purpose, ” To purpose means to decide strongly to do something, to use our will, so this verse shows that our will is part of our heart.

Emotion is a part of our heart.  John 16:22 (ESV), So also you have sorrow now, but I will see you again, and your hearts will rejoice, and no one will take your joy from you.   We rejoice with our emotions, and here we see that our heart rejoices. This text shows that emotion is part of our heart.

Conscience is a part of the heart.  Hebrews 10:22 (ESV), let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, with our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water.   Conscience is a part of the heart.

 This is further confirmed by the phrase “if our heart blames us” in 1 John 3:20. Since our conscience is what blames or condemns us when we’re wrong, this verse makes it abundantly clear that our conscience is part of our heart. Whatever enters into us must enter through the heart. Whatever comes out from us must proceed through the heart.”

Jesus said in Mark 7:21-23 (ESV),  For from within, out of the heart of man, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, 22 coveting, wickedness, deceit, sensuality, envy, slander, pride, foolishness. 23 All these evil things come from within, and they defile a person.

THE NEED FOR A HEART TRANSPLANT

God created the human heart mirror His own heart.  We were designed to love Him, to walk in harmony with Him.  I believe also that God designed the human heart with the power to choose.  We see this in the garden with Adam and Eve as they chose to disobey God.  God compares a rebellious heart to a heart of stone. (Zechariah 7:12). A heart of stone finds it impossible to repent, to love God, or to please Him (Romans 8:8). The hearts of sinful humanity are so hardened that we cannot even seek God on our own (Romans 3:11).  That is why Jesus said no one can come to Him unless the Father first draws him (John 6:44). A change of heart toward God requires a supernatural transformation. Jesus called it being “born again” (John 3:3).

When we are born again, God performs a heart transplant, as it were. He gives us a new heart. The power of the Holy Spirit changes our hearts from sin-focused to God-focused. We do not become perfect (1 John 1:8); we still have our sinful flesh and the freedom to choose whether or not to obey it. However, when Jesus died for us on the cross, He broke the power of sin that controls us (Romans 6:10). Receiving Him as our Savior gives us access to God and His power— The Holy Spirit gives us a desire to please God; a desire to be like His Son, Jesus. (Romans 8:29).

God spoke through Ezekiel and said that after the heart of stone had been replaced by the heart of flesh, His people would look back on the evil things they did and be ashamed and sickened by what they had done (Ezekiel 36:26).

Even though God has given us a new heart.  We still have a sinful nature.  But we have to take care of it by putting good things into it.   Proverbs 4:23 says, “Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.”

God has given us the power to overcome our old sinful nature. If we cooperate with God, He will fill us with His presence, love, joy and peace.

Our hearts seeps into every conversation, it dictates every relationship that we have, it determines how we see other and the world.  It determines how we live as parents, how we lead, how we confront problems.  The heart controls how we react, what we believe.  Every arena of our lives intersects with what is going on in our hearts.

TWO IMPORTANT QUESTIONS

Question #1, do you have a new heart?  A new heart comes through regeneration, being born again.  It is to believe the gospel, repenting of sin, accepting Christ as Lord, Do you have a new heart?

Question # 2, Are you honest about what is going on in your heart with God?  Are you asking God to help you guard your heart?   Your efforts alone, unassisted by God, will be of little avail. We must be assisted by “the Captain of our Salvation [ John 15:5.].” We must “be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might [Note: Ephesians 6:10.].”

  1. Honesty
  2. Earnest— The utmost exertion is required.
  3. Constant – Our hearts of themselves are “bent to backslide from God,” We must be always “on our watch-tower,” Jesus said “Watch and pray; lest ye enter into temptation: and, what I say unto you, I say unto all, Watch.”]
  4. Persevering—Let our circumstances be ever so favorable, we know not but that we shall fall the very next moment.

THE FALL OF MANKIND - Sin Enslaves - Sermon 4

February 24, 2019

THE TRAGEDY – THE TRIUMPH

 Over the past weeks we have walked through God’s Creation of the world.  We spoke of God as being Eternal, Self Sufficient; Self Sustaining, all present, all knowing and all powerful.  Most recently, we shared concerning the Fall of Mankind through Adam and Eve.  Because of their disobedience to God, all of mankind suffers spiritual death, physical death and separation from God. We were born after their likeness, thus partakers of their sin nature.

THE SPIRITUAL BIRTH DEFECT – THE SIN NATURE – The sin nature is that part of us that impels us to commit sin. The tendency to sin is seen in our sinful actions, thoughts, and feelings.  It is our nature to violate God’s moral commands.  Another way to say this is that sin is embedded in our flesh.  Scripture says that we are born sinners.  Psalm 51:5 (ESV), states that we all come into the world as sinners: “Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, and in sin my mother conceived me. David saw himself as a man whose sinful parents had brought forth a sinful child.

INDWELLING SIN – DEPRAVITY – Paul speaks of the sin that dwells in him, Romans 7:18 (ESV),  For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh [sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is right, but not the ability to carry it out.  We are depraved.  We are sinners and cannot please God apart from His Saving Grace through Christ.  We are guilty before God and deserve eternal punishment.

The prophet Jeremiah commented on our sinful nature: “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it?” (Jeremiah 17:9). Isaiah says, “We have all become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous deeds are like a polluted garment. We all fade like a leaf, and our iniquities, like the wind, take us away” (Isaiah 64:6).  The book of Romans offers the most comprehensive look at the human condition. In Romans 5:12, Therefore, just as sin came into the world through one man, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because all sinned— Thus, we are depraved; all humanity is dead in trespasses and sins. Man is unable to save himself.

Acts 4:12 (ESV), And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.

When a person trusts in Christ for salvation, he or she receives a new nature. Humanity is lost, broken and beaten down by sin and under condemnation, but God seeks to restores us into fellowship with Himself, and empower us to live a holy life.  Romans 5:21 (ESV), so that, as sin reigned in death, grace also might reign through righteousness leading to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”

In Galatians 2:20 (ESV), the Apostle Paul, begins to tell of the change God made in his life through Christ.  He says, “ I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.” I believe Paul was saying, “I came to terms with who I really was; a rebellious persecutor of the Christian Church; a partaker of the Adamic nature. But on the day that I met Jesus, I received a new nature.  My life is now associated with His death and resurrection.   I may still live in a sin-contaminated fleshly body, but there is a new resident, Jesus Christ live in me.  I have begun a journey in life, experience Christ living through me”. He would say also, pleasing God is not performance, its accepting God’s gift of salvation through Christ.

Have you experienced new life in Christ?  Are you born again?  Today is the day of salvation.  Jesus said in John 3:7, You must be born again.  Yes, there was a tragedy in the garden of Eden, but we are triumphant through Christ.  Romans 5:18 (ESV), Therefore, as one trespass led to condemnation for all men, so one act of righteousness leads to justification and life for all men.  God Bless You, Pastor Vic

THE FALL OF MANKIND – Sin Enslaves – Sermon 4

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THE FALL OF MANKIND - Sin Enslaves - Sermon 3

February 17, 2019

Genesis chapter 3, next to Creation, Genesis chapter 3 is the second most important event in the word of God.  The events of this chapter sets in motion a pattern that is going to follow in human history and man’s relationship with God. Because of the Fall, we live in a world without morals; a world without absolutes, a world where anything goes. We live in an age of tolerance.  We are told that every person can determine what is right for themselves. We live in an age that calls for tolerance as long as you do not disagree with what I believe or want.

 HIDING FROM GOD –Genesis 3:8-9, And they heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God among the trees of the garden. But the Lord God called to the man and said to him, “Where are you?” Adam and Eve seeks to hid from God.  Two points, first God pursues them in spite of their failure to obey Him.  Our doing wrong does not mean that God no longer cares for us or that He has abandoned us.  The truth is that there is no place we can go to flee from His presence.  Psalm 139:11-12 (NIV), If I say, “Surely the darkness will hide me   and the light become night around me,” even the darkness will not be dark to you; the night will shine like the day, for darkness is as light to you.  Just as Adam and Eve could not hide from God, neither can you.

The second point I want to make is that they covered themselves with fig leaves was not so much an expression of shamefulness of their nudity, but rather an expression of their new fleshly nature that had become a part of them.  They knew they had alienated themselves from God.

 MAKING EXCUSES – Genesis 3:8 (ESV) And they heard the sound of God walking in the Garden in the cool of the day …

Genesis 3:12-13, The man said, “The woman you put here with me—she gave me some fruit from the tree, and I ate it.”  Then the Lord God said to the woman, “What is this you have done?” The woman said, “The serpent deceived me, and I ate.” Isn’t it ironic that even today, we continue to make excuses for our rebellion against God?  What sins are you excusing today?

THE CURSES – Genesis 3:14-19, Adam and Eve lost the close fellowship that they had with God.  Our sins will separate us from God.  Because God is Holy; because God is Just, there must be consequences to sin.

GOD’S REDEMPTIVE PLAN: Thank God, He choose to forgive us of our sins  and redeem us to Himself again..  I Peter 1:18 (KJV), For as much as you know that you were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; but with the precious blood of Christ as of a lamb without blemish and without spot.  Have you been redeemed?

Galatians 2:20 “I have been crucified with Christ.”  How did Paul know?  How do you know?  Paul was a dead man walking.  His life was no longer his to live as he pleased.  The hate filled persecutor of the Church was now dead

If you are redeemed this morning, have you come to terms with your death.  If you are saved, you have been crucified with Christ whether you feel it or not.  There is a new resident in an old house.  I may still live in sin-contaminated fleshly body, but there is a new resident, Jesus Christ live in me.

Have you been redeemed?  HOW are you living your life to please God?

THE FALL OF MANKIND – Sin Enslaves – Sermon 3

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THE FALL OF MANKIND - Sin Enslaves - Sermon 2

February 10, 2019

On a certain day, Satan meets Eve in the garden.  He observes that she is curious or just speculating in her mind what it would be like if to taste of the fruit on the Tree of The Knowledge of Good and Evil.  We are often like Eve, curious and having interest in things that God has forbidden us to partake of.  Satan’s victory in tempting us often starts with him observing what we desire to have that opposes God’s will for us.

Genesis 3:6 (NASB), When the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was desirable to make one wise, she took from its fruit and ate; and she gave also to her husband with her, and he ate.

 Notice that Satan starts the conversation.  His statement is true but not complete in context with God’s command. Genesis 3:1b, and he said unto the woman, Yea God has said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden.  His goal is to lure us into sin without disclosing the pain that it brings.

 Scripture makes it clear that Eve knew what God had told Adam.  However, knowing the truth and acting on the truth are two different things.  Genesis 3:2-3 (NASB), The woman said to the serpent, “From the fruit of the trees of the garden we may eat; but from the fruit of the tree which is in the middle of the garden, God has said, ‘You shall not eat from it or touch it, or you will die.’ “

Satan deceived Eve as he deceives mankind.  He is the father of lies.  Genesis 3:4-5 (NASB), The serpent said to the woman, “You surely will not die!  “For God knows that in the day you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil. The serpent knew exactly what God has said.  He adds one thing, “You shall surely not die.” He is attempting to get Eve to sin by:

  1.  Casting doubt on God’s Word. He wanted Eve to doubt God’s command. He wanted her to believe that God would not hold to His Word. Disregard and disrespect for God’s word makes us vulnerable to temptation (Psalm 119:11). It produces distrust, dissatisfaction, and finally disobedience.   It is our duty to study the Word, and apply it in our lives.   Eve’s words to Satan should have been as our words should be God has said and that is the end of our conversation.
  2. Satan sought to arouse Eve’s passion beyond God’s limitations. God knows that the day you eat of it, you’ll not surely die. Instead you’ll be like God. You will be like the One Who created you, who walks in the Garden with you.  The Devil seeks to tempt us through the lust the eyes, the lust of flesh, the pride of life.  He chose not to tell Eve that her choice would lead to the worst thing she and Adam would ever do.  It would plunge mankind head long into death and separation from God. What seemed like a wonderful experience to her would be devastating for all Mankind.
  3. Satan sought to defame God’s character. He wanted Eve to feel that somehow, God is holding out on you. He does not want the best for you.  How often have you felt in your heart that all of what God is asking me to do is unfair?  It is too hard for me.  What He is asking and allowing in my life cannot be the best for my life.

Because of their disobedience, their innocence was replaced with separation from God, guilt, fear and shame.  However,

I rejoice that God is not just one Who judges, but He is also our Redeemer. As sin came into the world by one man and death upon all; righteousness come through One man unto everlasting life.  That man is Jesus Christ, the Son of God.

 Romans 5:12 (ESV), 12 Therefore, just as sin came into the world through one man, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because all sinned—

Roman 5:19 (ESV), 19 For as by the one man’s disobedience the many were made sinners, so by the one man’s obedience the many will be made righteous.

Have you experienced God’s righteousness through faith in Christ?  God desires you to be reconciled to Him and that you live your life for His glory.  Through the first Adam came sin and death.  Through Jesus, the second Adam comes reconciliation with God, eternal life and peace.  Receive Him Today!

THE FALL OF MANKIND – Sin Enslaves – Sermon 2

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