Guest Speaker - Charles Kiefer

guets speaker charles kiefer

Your Root Determines Your Fruit.

The Presence of God
Possibility of a Productive Life
The Person of Jesus
The People of God
Practical Instructions

Colossians 2:6-7
6 Therefore, as you received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in him, 7 rooted and built up in him and established in the faith, just as you were taught, abounding in thanksgiving.

Colossians 1:1-2:6
1 Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, and Timothy our brother, 2 To the saints and faithful brothers in Christ at Colossae: Grace to you and peace from God our Father. 3 We always thank God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, when we pray for you, 4 since we heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and of the love that you have for all the saints, 5 because of the hope laid up for you in heaven. Of this you have heard before in the word of the truth, the gospel, 6 which has come to you, as indeed in the whole world it is bearing fruit and increasing—as it also does among you, since the day you heard it and understood the grace of God in truth, 7 just as you learned it from Epaphras our beloved fellow servant. He is a faithful minister of Christ on your behalf 8 and has made known to us your love in the Spirit. 9 And so, from the day we heard, we have not ceased to pray for you, asking that you may be filled with the knowledge of his will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, 10 so as to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him: bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God; 11 being strengthened with all power, according to his glorious might, for all endurance and patience with joy; 12 giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in light. 13 He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son, 14 in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins. 15 He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. 16 For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him. 17 And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together. 18 And he is the head of the body, the church. He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in everything he might be preeminent. 19 For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, 20 and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross. 21 And you, who once were alienated and hostile in mind, doing evil deeds, 22 he has now reconciled in his body of flesh by his death, in order to present you holy and blameless and above reproach before him, 23 if indeed you continue in the faith, stable and steadfast, not shifting from the hope of the gospel that you heard, which has been proclaimed in all creation under heaven, and of which I, Paul, became a minister. 24 Now I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake, and in my flesh I am filling up what is lacking in Christ's afflictions for the sake of his body, that is, the church, 25 of which I became a minister according to the stewardship from God that was given to me for you, to make the word of God fully known, 26 the mystery hidden for ages and generations but now revealed to his saints. 27 To them God chose to make known how great among the Gentiles are the riches of the glory of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory. 28 Him we proclaim, warning everyone and teaching everyone with all wisdom, that we may present everyone mature in Christ. 29 For this I toil, struggling with all his energy that he powerfully works within me. 2 For I want you to know how great a struggle I have for you and for those at Laodicea and for all who have not seen me face to face, 2 that their hearts may be encouraged, being knit together in love, to reach all the riches of full assurance of understanding and the knowledge of God's mystery, which is Christ, 3 in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. 4 I say this in order that no one may delude you with plausible arguments. 5 For though I am absent in body, yet I am with you in spirit, rejoicing to see your good order and the firmness of your faith in Christ. 6 Therefore, as you received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in him,

1- Let the Word live in you richly (3:16)
2- Work as for the Lord (3:23)
3- Wrestle in prayer (4:2,12)

Second City Church: Guest Speaker - Charles Kiefer 2017

Revealed: The Names, Qualities and Character of God- Part 9


Back to Church Sunday is next week!


Exodus 29:45
I will dwell among the people of Israel and will be their God.

The word used here for dwell is Shekinah, speaking of God's intimate, glorious presence among His people.  (As the good shepherd Jesus walks among and cares for His flock - Exodus 33:14-16)

Are you satisfied to have God's gifts without the presence of the Gift-Giver Himself?  

The real danger of our lives is to become content with the pursuit of God's blessings rather than His person.  This is the derivation of all human folly, suffering, and sin. 

Context of Ezekiel 

Ezekiel 48:35 
The circumference of the city shall be 18,000 cubits. And the name of the city from that time on shall be, The Lord Is There.”

Jehovah-shammah means Jehovah is there. 

In the world there is constant devastation, both natural and man-made in turmoil, ruin, misery and war.  However, in the city of Jehovah's constant presence, there is safety, tranquility, healing, security and peace.  

Psalm 126:1-6
When the Lord restored the fortunes of Zion, we were like those who dream. Then our mouth was filled with laughter, and our tongue with shouts of joy; then they said among the nations, “The Lord has done great things for them.” The Lord has done great things for us; we are glad. Restore our fortunes, O Lord, like streams in the Negeb! Those who sow in tears shall reap with shouts of joy! He who goes out weeping, bearing the seed for sowing, shall come home with shouts of joy, bringing his sheaves with him. 

"Most men lead lives of quiet desperation and go to the grave with the song still in them."
- Henry David Thoreau, Civil Disobedience and Other Essays

Ephesians 2:11-13 
Therefore remember that at one time you Gentiles in the flesh, called “the uncircumcision” by what is called the circumcision, which is made in the flesh by hands— remember that you were at that time separated from Christ, alienated from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world. But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ.

Ephesians 2:14-22 
For he himself is our peace, who has made us both one and has broken down in his flesh the dividing wall of hostility by abolishing the law of commandments expressed in ordinances, that he might create in himself one new man in place of the two, so making peace, and might reconcile us both to God in one body through the cross, thereby killing the hostility. And he came and preached peace to you who were far off and peace to those who were near. For through him we both have access in one Spirit to the Father. So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the cornerstone, in whom the whole structure, being joined together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord. In him you also are being built together into a dwelling place for God by the Spirit.

Jesus is the embodiment of the presence of the Lord with all of God's fullness dwelling in Him (Colossians 1:19).  Because of Christ's reconciliatory work on the cross, as believers, we have individually become temples of the Holy Spirit whereby God chooses to dwell (I Corinthians 3:16).  God walks among us as a people as we commit to living holy lives (II Corinthians 6:16). However, there is a greater, final fulfillment when the Lord Himself, in His glorious presence, will be both the temple and light in which the people of God dwell in uninterrupted fellowship with Jehovah (Revelation 21:22-27).

The Return of the Mack

The good news of the gospel is that a crescendo is coming in the Lord, and for this we labor even as we pray "let your Kingdom come, let your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven."  

Jesus alluded to this when He said:

John 14:1-4
“Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe also in me. My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. You know the way to the place where I am going.”

Revelation 21:1-8 (esp. v. 1-2)
Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.” And he who was seated on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new.” Also he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.” And he said to me, “It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. To the thirsty I will give from the spring of the water of life without payment. The one who conquers will have this heritage, and I will be his God and he will be my son. But as for the cowardly, the faithless, the detestable, as for murderers, the sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars, their portion will be in the lake that burns with fire and sulfur, which is the second death.” 

"In that beautiful city, foursquare with its precious stones, its crystal river, its delectable fruits, and tree of life with its leaves for the healing of the nations, all will be light, and love, and holiness, and worship, and joy, and safety.  There shall be no more curse, no adversary, no defilement, no sorrow, for every wicked doer shall be cut off from that city of the the Lord or Jehovah.  Then will be realized the full and final rest of of the redeemed, the Sabbath rest of creation restored.  The glory of Jehovah will be fully manifested in the Lamb that was slain.  He will be seen and known in the full meaning and beauty of the names by which he revealed Himself to man's imperfect apprehension.  And we shall join in saying "To him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb be praise and honor and glory and power, for ever and ever (Revelation 5:13)."
- Nathan Stone, Names of God

Second City Church: Revealed Sermon Series 2017

Revealed: The Names, Qualities and Character of God- Part 7


Jehovah-rohi means Jehovah my Shepherd. 

The term Ro'eh meant to feed or lead to pasture, as a shepherd does his flock.  Ro'eh is used in relationship to rulers and their people.  Ro'eh is also translated "companion" or "friend" with the idea of intimately sharing life, food and the like.  It signifies to associate with, take pleasure in and to cherish something as treasured.  Though not a direct name of God, the description is one of the most intimate and heartfelt in all of Scripture.  

Psalm 23:1-6
The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters. He restores my soul. He leads me in paths of righteousness for his name's sake. Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; you anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord forever.

God's tireless care looking over the welfare of His people throughout the day and in sleepless nights was related in Jacob's care of Laban's sheep in the fields (Genesis 31:37-40).  God's watchful eye and constant protection even in the face of danger are depicted in David going up against the lion and the bear to protect his father's sheep (I Samuel 17:34-37).  Here, in unaided combat against the wild beasts (except for the aid of his heavenly Father), and later against Goliath, David showed himself to be resolute, resourceful and strong.  This is Jesus on the cross, and thereafter as our good shepherd, fighting for those He would redeem. 

Isaiah 40:10-11
Behold, the Lord God comes with might, and his arm rules for him; behold, his reward is with him, and his recompense before him. He will tend his flock like a shepherd; he will gather the lambs in his arms; he will carry them in his bosom, and gently lead those that are with young.

Our good shepherd is both strong and gentle.  He has both collective and individual relationship with us, calling us each by name. Thus, each of His people can say that Jehovah is my shepherd. 

Ezekiel 34:11-16 (esp. v. 15-16)
“For thus says the Lord God: Behold, I, I myself will search for my sheep and will seek them out. As a shepherd seeks out his flock when he is among his sheep that have been scattered, so will I seek out my sheep, and I will rescue them from all places where they have been scattered on a day of clouds and thick darkness. And I will bring them out from the peoples and gather them from the countries, and will bring them into their own land. And I will feed them on the mountains of Israel, by the ravines, and in all the inhabited places of the country. I will feed them with good pasture, and on the mountain heights of Israel shall be their grazing land. There they shall lie down in good grazing land, and on rich pasture they shall feed on the mountains of Israel. I myself will be the shepherd of my sheep, and I myself will make them lie down, declares the Lord God. I will seek the lost, and I will bring back the strayed, and I will bind up the injured, and I will strengthen the weak, and the fat and the strong I will destroy. I will feed them in justice.

"Shepherding does not change much in Palestine where wild beasts may descend still upon unprotected sheep and suddenly destroy them.  The Palestine shepherd lives night and day with his animals.  He establishes a degree of intimacy with them that is touching to observe.  He calls them all by their names and they, knowing his voice and hearing his only, heed.  He protects the sheep from thieves and preying animals who would devour them at night, by sleeping in the opening of the often makeshift sheepfold and they, sensing his watchfulness, fear 'no evil.'  He provides pasture and water even in the wilderness and the presence of enemies, and they, casting all their anxiety upon him, are fed.  There is a singular communion between the shepherd and his sheep which, after one has visited Palestine and observed it, makes the symbol of the good Shepherd peculiarly apt and the Twenty-third Psalm strangely moving." 
- Harriet Louise Holland Patterson in Around the Mediterranean with My Bible

John 10:1-18 (esp. v. 11-17)
“Truly, truly, I say to you, he who does not enter the sheepfold by the door but climbs in by another way, that man is a thief and a robber. But he who enters by the door is the shepherd of the sheep. To him the gatekeeper opens. The sheep hear his voice, and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. When he has brought out all his own, he goes before them, and the sheep follow him, for they know his voice. A stranger they will not follow, but they will flee from him, for they do not know the voice of strangers.” This figure of speech Jesus used with them, but they did not understand what he was saying to them. So Jesus again said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, I am the door of the sheep. All who came before me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not listen to them. I am the door. If anyone enters by me, he will be saved and will go in and out and find pasture. The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly. I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. He who is a hired hand and not a shepherd, who does not own the sheep, sees the wolf coming and leaves the sheep and flees, and the wolf snatches them and scatters them. He flees because he is a hired hand and cares nothing for the sheep. I am the good shepherd. I know my own and my own know me, just as the Father knows me and I know the Father; and I lay down my life for the sheep. And I have other sheep that are not of this fold. I must bring them also, and they will listen to my voice. So there will be one flock, one shepherd. For this reason the Father loves me, because I lay down my life that I may take it up again. No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down, and I have authority to take it up again. This charge I have received from my Father.”

We have now come to understand that everything the shepherd is with his sheep, our Jehovah Rohi is with us, His people.  This intimate relationship with the shepherd is the greatest privilege that the sheep have.  It is what Jesus made available to us through the cross, taking our sin and removing hostility. You do not follow or obey a voice that you do not recognize.  To know our Jehovah Rohi and His voice, as the sheep know the shepherd and his voice, we must have long, abiding and ongoing time in His presence to become familiar with His voice so that like wandering sheep we might not go astray.  Jesus is the shepherd of Isaiah 40 who gently leads those with young ones, the good shepherd of Ezekiel 34 who goes looking for the lost sheep.  It is the message of reconciliation that marks His life as He brings those He loves back home, into His fold.  The gospel is entrusted to His under-shepherds, those who've come to know Him, to do the same. 

Revelation 7:15-17
“Therefore they are before the throne of God, and serve him day and night in his temple; and he who sits on the throne will shelter them with his presence. They shall hunger no more, neither thirst anymore; the sun shall not strike them, nor any scorching heat. For the Lamb in the midst of the throne will be their shepherd, and he will guide them to springs of living water, and God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.”

Second City Church: Revealed Sermon Series 2017

Revealed: The Names, Qualities and Character of God- Part 6



This term means Jehovah our righteousness.  The word tsidkenu is derived from the word tsdek and one of the most important in the Old Testament. Tsedek originally meant to be stiff or straight and signifies God's dealings with men carrying the ideas of righteousness, justification and acquittal.  As God revealed the acceptable manner of worship and the basis of our approach to Him as a holy God as Jehovah M'Kaddesh in Leviticus, as Jehovah Tsidkenu, He reveals right and just relationships among men. 

Jeremiah 23:1-8 (esp. v. 5-6)
“Woe to the shepherds who destroy and scatter the sheep of my pasture!” declares the Lord. Therefore thus says the Lord, the God of Israel, concerning the shepherds who care for my people: “You have scattered my flock and have driven them away, and you have not attended to them. Behold, I will attend to you for your evil deeds, declares the Lord. Then I will gather the remnant of my flock out of all the countries where I have driven them, and I will bring them back to their fold, and they shall be fruitful and multiply. I will set shepherds over them who will care for them, and they shall fear no more, nor be dismayed, neither shall any be missing, declares the Lord. “Behold, the days are coming, declares the Lord, when I will raise up for David a righteous Branch, and he shall reign as king and deal wisely, and shall execute justice and righteousness in the land. In his days Judah will be saved, and Israel will dwell securely. And this is the name by which he will be called: ‘The Lord is our righteousness.’ “Therefore, behold, the days are coming, declares the Lord, when they shall no longer say, ‘As the Lord lives who brought up the people of Israel out of the land of Egypt,’ but ‘As the Lord lives who brought up and led the offspring of the house of Israel out of the north country and out of all the countries where he had driven them.’ Then they shall dwell in their own land.”

The name of the last king of Judah before their exile to Babylon was Mattaniah (which means the gift of Jehovah), but was changed by Nebuchadnezzar to Zedekiah (which means the righteousness of Jehovah).  It was a scathing rebuke for those who had forsaken Jehovah Jireh, their provider, and thus forsook the healing that could have come from Him as Jehovah Rapha. Though the ten northern tribes of Israel had already been taken captive for over one hundred years because of their sin, those in Judah did not look to Jehovah Nissi, their banner, and were therefore plundered in war.  Without the sanctification that came from Jehovah M'Kaddesh, they no longer knew the peace of Jehovah Shalom and would inevitably lose His gifts.  

Jeremiah 33:6-26 (esp. v. 14-18)
Behold, I will bring to it health and healing, and I will heal them and reveal to them abundance of prosperity and security. I will restore the fortunes of Judah and the fortunes of Israel, and rebuild them as they were at first. I will cleanse them from all the guilt of their sin against me, and I will forgive all the guilt of their sin and rebellion against me. And this city shall be to me a name of joy, a praise and a glory before all the nations of the earth who shall hear of all the good that I do for them. They shall fear and tremble because of all the good and all the prosperity I provide for it. “Thus says the Lord: In this place of which you say, ‘It is a waste without man or beast,’ in the cities of Judah and the streets of Jerusalem that are desolate, without man or inhabitant or beast, there shall be heard again the voice of mirth and the voice of gladness, the voice of the bridegroom and the voice of the bride, the voices of those who sing, as they bring thank offerings to the house of the Lord: “‘Give thanks to the Lord of hosts, for the Lord is good, for his steadfast love endures forever!’ For I will restore the fortunes of the land as at first, says the Lord. “Thus says the Lord of hosts: In this place that is waste, without man or beast, and in all of its cities, there shall again be habitations of shepherds resting their flocks. In the cities of the hill country, in the cities of the Shephelah, and in the cities of the Negeb, in the land of Benjamin, the places about Jerusalem, and in the cities of Judah, flocks shall again pass under the hands of the one who counts them, says the Lord. “Behold, the days are coming, declares the Lord, when I will fulfill the promise I made to the house of Israel and the house of Judah. In those days and at that time I will cause a righteous Branch to spring up for David, and he shall execute justice and righteousness in the land. In those days Judah will be saved, and Jerusalem will dwell securely. And this is the name by which it will be called: ‘The Lord is our righteousness.’ “For thus says the Lord: David shall never lack a man to sit on the throne of the house of Israel, and the Levitical priests shall never lack a man in my presence to offer burnt offerings, to burn grain offerings, and to make sacrifices forever.” The word of the Lord came to Jeremiah: “Thus says the Lord: If you can break my covenant with the day and my covenant with the night, so that day and night will not come at their appointed time, then also my covenant with David my servant may be broken, so that he shall not have a son to reign on his throne, and my covenant with the Levitical priests my ministers. As the host of heaven cannot be numbered and the sands of the sea cannot be measured, so I will multiply the offspring of David my servant, and the Levitical priests who minister to me.” The word of the Lord came to Jeremiah: “Have you not observed that these people are saying, ‘The Lord has rejected the two clans that he chose’? Thus they have despised my people so that they are no longer a nation in their sight. Thus says the Lord: If I have not established my covenant with day and night and the fixed order of heaven and earth, then I will reject the offspring of Jacob and David my servant and will not choose one of his offspring to rule over the offspring of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. For I will restore their fortunes and will have mercy on them.”

Through the cross, Jesus was shown to be our Jehohvah Tsidkenu, taking our sin and shame on Himself while providing the righteous covering for us that can come from God alone. 

Romans 3:9-26
What then? Are we Jews any better off? No, not at all. For we have already charged that all, both Jews and Greeks, are under sin, as it is written: “None is righteous, no, not one; no one understands; no one seeks for God. All have turned aside; together they have become worthless; no one does good, not even one.” “Their throat is an open grave; they use their tongues to deceive.” “The venom of asps is under their lips.” “Their mouth is full of curses and bitterness.” “Their feet are swift to shed blood; in their paths are ruin and misery, and the way of peace they have not known.” “There is no fear of God before their eyes.” Now we know that whatever the law says it speaks to those who are under the law, so that every mouth may be stopped, and the whole world may be held accountable to God. For by works of the law no human being will be justified in his sight, since through the law comes knowledge of sin. But now the righteousness of God has been manifested apart from the law, although the Law and the Prophets bear witness to it— the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe. For there is no distinction: for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God put forward as a propitiation by his blood, to be received by faith. This was to show God's righteousness, because in his divine forbearance he had passed over former sins. It was to show his righteousness at the present time, so that he might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.

For our daily sustenance we need Jehovah Jireh our provider.

For the terrorist attacks in Barcelona, Spain we need our Jehovah Rophe and Jehovah Nissi, our healer and our banner.

For the White supremacist and Neo Nazi rally in VA, we need our Jehovah M'Kaddesh, our sanctifier.

For the nuclear threat out of North Korea we need our Jehovah Shalom, our peace.

In it all, because of humanity's sin, we need Jesus our Jehovah Tsidkenu turning us to repentance at the cross, and providing us with a righteousness through which we live by the power of His resurrection and new life in us! 

Hymn: I Once Was a Stranger by Robert M. McCheyne and Adoniram J. Gordon

I once was a stranger to grace and to God,
I knew not my danger, and felt not my load;
Though friends spoke in rapture of Christ on the tree,
Jehovah Tsidkenu was nothing to me.
I oft read with pleasure, to
sooth or engage,
Isaiah’s wild measure and John’s simple page;
e’en when they pictured the blood sprinkled tree
Jehovah Tsidkenu seemed nothing to me.
Like tears from the daughters of Zion that roll,
I wept when the waters went over His soul;
Yet thought not that my sins had nailed to the tree
Jehovah Tsidkenu—’twas nothing to me.
When free grace awoke me, by light from on high,
Then legal fears shook me, I trembled to die;
No refuge, no safety in self could I see—
Jehovah Tsidkenu my Savior must be.
My terrors all vanished before the sweet name;
My guilty fears banished, with boldness I came
To drink at the fountain, 
life giving and free—
Jehovah Tsidkenu is all things to me.

Second City Church: Revealed Sermon Series 2017

Revealed: The Names, Qualities and Character of God- Part 5



Leviticus 20:7-8
Consecrate yourselves, therefore, and be holy, for I am the Lord your God. Keep my statutes and do them; I am the Lord who sanctifies you.

M'Kaddesh means to sanctify, set apart, make holy.

It was used of times, like the Sabbath, and places, as in the camp of Israel, Jerusalem and the Temple.  It was applied to articles for worship and the setting apart of persons like the kings, priests and the nation of Israel (I Peter 2:9,10).  Most importantly, it was used of the Holy Spirit, the person and agent of God's santicfying work.  All things holy found their significance based on their contact with God.

To understand God is to understand that He is holy.  

An old Scottish divine wrote of God's holiness in this way: 

"It is the balance...of all the attributes of Deity. Power without holiness would degenerate into cruelty; omniscience without holiness would become craft (skill used in deceiving others); justice without holiness would degenerate into revenge; and goodness without holiness would be passionate and intemperate fondness doing mischief rather than accomplishing good."  

It is what constitutes God's fullness and perfection as opposed to the false deities that were otherwise worshiped among men. 

God's statutes were His holy commands which created the fabric of Israel's social, relational and civic lives.  It is the same today. 

1 Peter 1:13-25
Therefore, preparing your minds for action, and being sober-minded, set your hope fully on the grace that will be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ. As obedient children, do not be conformed to the passions of your former ignorance, but as he who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, since it is written, “You shall be holy, for I am holy.” And if you call on him as Father who judges impartially according to each one's deeds, conduct yourselves with fear throughout the time of your exile, knowing that you were ransomed from the futile ways inherited from your forefathers, not with perishable things such as silver or gold, but with the precious blood of Christ, like that of a lamb without blemish or spot. He was foreknown before the foundation of the world but was made manifest in the last times for the sake of you who through him are believers in God, who raised him from the dead and gave him glory, so that your faith and hope are in God. Having purified your souls by your obedience to the truth for a sincere brotherly love, love one another earnestly from a pure heart, since you have been born again, not of perishable seed but of imperishable, through the living and abiding word of God; for “All flesh is like grass and all its glory like the flower of grass. The grass withers, and the flower falls, but the word of the Lord remains forever.” And this word is the good news that was preached to you.

"Being a Christian is less about cautiously avoiding sin than about than about courageously and actively pursuing God's will."
-Dietrich Bonhoeffer 

It is the prerequisite of God's revelation as Jehovah-M'Kaddesh and our holiness that brings us into God's Shalom, His peace. 


Shalom is one of the most important terms in the Old Testament and carries the meaning of wholeness and that which is full.  In the physical and material sense, it meant one's welfare.  It meant to make good, pay for, repay or make restitution.  The word is most often and appropriately translated "peace" implying the harmony of relationship or reconciliation based on the completion of a transaction, the satisfying of a debt.    Its meanings all point to the doctrine of Christ's atonement as the basis of our peace with God.  

Judges 2:6-12
When Joshua dismissed the people, the people of Israel went each to his inheritance to take possession of the land. And the people served the Lord all the days of Joshua, and all the days of the elders who outlived Joshua, who had seen all the great work that the Lord had done for Israel. And Joshua the son of Nun, the servant of the Lord, died at the age of 110 years. And they buried him within the boundaries of his inheritance in Timnath-heres, in the hill country of Ephraim, north of the mountain of Gaash. And all that generation also were gathered to their fathers. And there arose another generation after them who did not know the Lord or the work that he had done for Israel. And the people of Israel did what was evil in the sight of the Lord and served the Baals. And they abandoned the Lord, the God of their fathers, who had brought them out of the land of Egypt. They went after other gods, from among the gods of the peoples who were around them, and bowed down to them. And they provoked the Lord to anger.

Judges 6:1-24
The people of Israel did what was evil in the sight of the Lord, and the Lord gave them into the hand of Midian seven years. And the hand of Midian overpowered Israel, and because of Midian the people of Israel made for themselves the dens that are in the mountains and the caves and the strongholds. For whenever the Israelites planted crops, the Midianites and the Amalekites and the people of the East would come up against them. They would encamp against them and devour the produce of the land, as far as Gaza, and leave no sustenance in Israel and no sheep or ox or donkey. For they would come up with their livestock and their tents; they would come like locusts in number—both they and their camels could not be counted—so that they laid waste the land as they came in. And Israel was brought very low because of Midian. And the people of Israel cried out for help to the Lord. When the people of Israel cried out to the Lord on account of the Midianites, the Lord sent a prophet to the people of Israel. And he said to them, “Thus says the Lord, the God of Israel: I led you up from Egypt and brought you out of the house of slavery. And I delivered you from the hand of the Egyptians and from the hand of all who oppressed you, and drove them out before you and gave you their land. And I said to you, ‘I am the Lord your God; you shall not fear the gods of the Amorites in whose land you dwell.’ But you have not obeyed my voice.” Now the angel of the Lord came and sat under the terebinth at Ophrah, which belonged to Joash the Abiezrite, while his son Gideon was beating out wheat in the winepress to hide it from the Midianites. And the angel of the Lord appeared to him and said to him, “The Lord is with you, O mighty man of valor.” And Gideon said to him, “Please, my lord, if the Lord is with us, why then has all this happened to us? And where are all his wonderful deeds that our fathers recounted to us, saying, ‘Did not the Lord bring us up from Egypt?’ But now the Lord has forsaken us and given us into the hand of Midian.” And the Lord turned to him and said, “Go in this might of yours and save Israel from the hand of Midian; do not I send you?” And he said to him, “Please, Lord, how can I save Israel? Behold, my clan is the weakest in Manasseh, and I am the least in my father's house.” And the Lord said to him, “But I will be with you, and you shall strike the Midianites as one man.” And he said to him, “If now I have found favor in your eyes, then show me a sign that it is you who speak with me. Please do not depart from here until I come to you and bring out my present and set it before you.” And he said, “I will stay till you return.” So Gideon went into his house and prepared a young goat and unleavened cakes from an ephah of flour. The meat he put in a basket, and the broth he put in a pot, and brought them to him under the terebinth and presented them. And the angel of God said to him, “Take the meat and the unleavened cakes, and put them on this rock, and pour the broth over them.” And he did so. Then the angel of the Lord reached out the tip of the staff that was in his hand and touched the meat and the unleavened cakes. And fire sprang up from the rock and consumed the meat and the unleavened cakes. And the angel of the Lord vanished from his sight. Then Gideon perceived that he was the angel of the Lord. And Gideon said, “Alas, O Lord God! For now I have seen the angel of the Lord face to face.” But the Lord said to him, “Peace be to you. Do not fear; you shall not die.” Then Gideon built an altar there to the Lord and called it, The Lord Is Peace. To this day it still stands at Ophrah, which belongs to the Abiezrites.

The Israelites had lost their way as the people of God set apart for His purposes in the land.  They were swept away by the gross idolatries and materialism of the nations that surrounded them because they found it enough to merely live, inhabit the land and multiply rather than be set apart as holy.  They did not realize that their unity as a people and right to the land was fully intertwined with Jehovah-M'Kaddesh and His service.  The covenant was based on "if you obey, then..." promises from God (II Chronicles 15:2).  It was their mission to be examples, set apart from the corruption and abominations of the land to help turn the people of the land back to the worship of the one true God.  By failing to do so, they no longer had a right to the land and lost their purity, peace, prosperity and freedom.  

The word Shalom used by Gideon translated "peace" was translated some 170 times in the Old Testament.  It expressed the greatest measure of contentment and satisfaction in life, the deepest desire and need of the human heart.  As in the time of the judges, this peace is only found in repentance, a return to being set apart to God.  Gideon understood that in the presence of Jehovah-M'Kaddesh, the only way to fulfill His holy requirements was through the Lord who becomes our peace.  The Lord Jesus is the one who provides peace with the Father and in our lives.

Isaiah 9:1-7
But there will be no gloom for her who was in anguish. In the former time he brought into contempt the land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali, but in the latter time he has made glorious the way of the sea, the land beyond the Jordan, Galilee of the nations. The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; those who dwelt in a land of deep darkness, on them has light shone. You have multiplied the nation; you have increased its joy; they rejoice before you as with joy at the harvest, as they are glad when they divide the spoil. For the yoke of his burden, and the staff for his shoulder, the rod of his oppressor, you have broken as on the day of Midian. For every boot of the tramping warrior in battle tumult and every garment rolled in blood will be burned as fuel for the fire. For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and of peace there will be no end, on the throne of David and over his kingdom, to establish it and to uphold it with justice and with righteousness from this time forth and forevermore. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will do this.

Throughout Scripture, it is clear that God desires to bring both welfare and peace to the nations (Numbers 6:26; Jeremiah 29:11; Ezekiel 33:11). 

Without the presence of Jehovah-Shalom, there is no peace in an individual's life (Isaiah 57:20-21; 59:7-8).  

Without the presence of Jehovah-Shalom, there is no peace in a nation (Isaiah 26:2-3). 

Luke 1:76-79
And you, child, will be called the prophet of the Most High; for you will go before the Lord to prepare his ways, to give knowledge of salvation to his people in the forgiveness of their sins, because of the tender mercy of our God, whereby the sunrise shall visit us from on high to give light to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace.”

The requirements for peace with God were ultimately satisfied through the cross of Jesus Christ - His sinless sacrifice and resurrection from the dead.  He will ultimately return one day to bring God's peace, His Shalom, to His creation and all who are waiting for Him.

Romans 5:1-5
Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God. Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God's love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.

Second City Church: Revealed Sermon Series 2017

Revealed: The Names, Qualities, and Character of God Pt 4

Revealed Sermon Series


Isaiah 6:9-10 
And he said, “Go, and say to this people: “‘Keep on hearing, but do not understand; keep on seeing, but do not perceive.’ Make the heart of this people dull, and their ears heavy, and blind their eyes; lest they see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their hearts, and turn and be healed.”

Exodus 15:22-27
Then Moses made Israel set out from the Red Sea, and they went into the wilderness of Shur. They went three days in the wilderness and found no water. When they came to Marah, they could not drink the water of Marah because it was bitter; therefore it was named Marah. And the people grumbled against Moses, saying, “What shall we drink?” And he cried to the Lord, and the Lord showed him a log, and he threw it into the water, and the water became sweet. There the Lord made for them a statute and a rule, and there he tested them, saying, “If you will diligently listen to the voice of the Lord your God, and do that which is right in his eyes, and give ear to his commandments and keep all his statutes, I will put none of the diseases on you that I put on the Egyptians, for I am the Lord, your healer.” Then they came to Elim, where there were twelve springs of water and seventy palm trees, and they encamped there by the water.

1 Peter 2:24-25
He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By his wounds you have been healed. For you were straying like sheep, but have now returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls.

Revelation 22:1-5
Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, bright as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb through the middle of the street of the city; also, on either side of the river, the tree of life with its twelve kinds of fruit, yielding its fruit each month. The leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations. No longer will there be anything accursed, but the throne of God and of the Lamb will be in it, and his servants will worship him. They will see his face, and his name will be on their foreheads. And night will be no more. They will need no light of lamp or sun, for the Lord God will be their light, and they will reign forever and ever.


Exodus 17:8-16
Then Amalek came and fought with Israel at Rephidim. So Moses said to Joshua, “Choose for us men, and go out and fight with Amalek. Tomorrow I will stand on the top of the hill with the staff of God in my hand.” So Joshua did as Moses told him, and fought with Amalek, while Moses, Aaron, and Hur went up to the top of the hill. Whenever Moses held up his hand, Israel prevailed, and whenever he lowered his hand, Amalek prevailed. But Moses' hands grew weary, so they took a stone and put it under him, and he sat on it, while Aaron and Hur held up his hands, one on one side, and the other on the other side. So his hands were steady until the going down of the sun. And Joshua overwhelmed Amalek and his people with the sword. Then the Lord said to Moses, “Write this as a memorial in a book and recite it in the ears of Joshua, that I will utterly blot out the memory of Amalek from under heaven.” And Moses built an altar and called the name of it, The Lord Is My Banner, saying, “A hand upon the throne of the Lord! The Lord will have war with Amalek from generation to generation.”

Romans 8:31-39
What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things? Who shall bring any charge against God's elect? It is God who justifies. Who is to condemn? Christ Jesus is the one who died—more than that, who was raised—who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? As it is written, “For your sake we are being killed all the day long; we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered.” No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord. 

Second City Church: Revealed Sermon Series 2017

Revealed: The Names, Qualities, and Character of God Pt 3

Revealed Sermon Series


Genesis 15:1-6
After these things the word of the Lord came to Abram in a vision: “Fear not, Abram, I am your shield; your reward shall be very great.” But Abram said, “O Lord God, what will you give me, for I continue childless, and the heir of my house is Eliezer of Damascus?” And Abram said, “Behold, you have given me no offspring, and a member of my household will be my heir.” And behold, the word of the Lord came to him: “This man shall not be your heir; your very own son shall be your heir.” And he brought him outside and said, “Look toward heaven, and number the stars, if you are able to number them.” Then he said to him, “So shall your offspring be.” And he believed the Lord, and he counted it to him as righteousness.

Isaiah 6:1-10
In the year that King Uzziah died I saw the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up; and the train of his robe filled the temple. Above him stood the seraphim. Each had six wings: with two he covered his face, and with two he covered his feet, and with two he flew. And one called to another and said: “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts; the whole earth is full of his glory!” And the foundations of the thresholds shook at the voice of him who called, and the house was filled with smoke. And I said: “Woe is me! For I am lost; for I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips; for my eyes have seen the King, the Lord of hosts!” Then one of the seraphim flew to me, having in his hand a burning coal that he had taken with tongs from the altar. And he touched my mouth and said: “Behold, this has touched your lips; your guilt is taken away, and your sin atoned for.” And I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?” Then I said, “Here I am! Send me.” And he said, “Go, and say to this people: “‘Keep on hearing, but do not understand; keep on seeing, but do not perceive.’ Make the heart of this people dull, and their ears heavy, and blind their eyes; lest they see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their hearts, and turn and be healed.”


Genesis 22:1-19
After these things God tested Abraham and said to him, “Abraham!” And he said, “Here I am.” He said, “Take your son, your only son Isaac, whom you love, and go to the land of Moriah, and offer him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains of which I shall tell you.” So Abraham rose early in the morning, saddled his donkey, and took two of his young men with him, and his son Isaac. And he cut the wood for the burnt offering and arose and went to the place of which God had told him. On the thirdday Abraham lifted up his eyes and saw the place from afar. Then Abraham said to his young men, “Stay here with the donkey; I and the boy will go over there and worship and come again to you.” And Abraham took the wood of the burnt offering and laid it on Isaac his son. And he took in his hand the fire and the knife. So they went both of them together. And Isaac said to his father Abraham, “My father!” And he said, “Here I am, my son.” He said, “Behold, the fire and the wood, but where is the lamb for a burnt offering?” Abraham said, “God will provide for himself the lamb for a burnt offering, my son.” So they went both of them together. When they came to the place of which God had told him, Abraham built the altar there and laid the wood in order and bound Isaac his son and laid him on the altar, on top of the wood. Then Abraham reached out his hand and took the knife to slaughter his son. But the angel of the Lord called to him from heaven and said, “Abraham, Abraham!” And he said, “Here I am.” He said, “Do not lay your hand on the boy or do anything to him, for now I know that you fear God, seeing you have not withheld your son, your only son, from me.” And Abraham lifted up his eyes and looked, and behold, behind him was a ram, caught in a thicket by his horns. And Abraham went and took the ram and offered it up as a burnt offering instead of his son. So Abraham called the name of that place, “The Lord will provide”; as it is said to this day, “On the mount of the Lord it shall be provided.” And the angel of the Lord called to Abraham a second time from heaven and said, “By myself I have sworn, declares the Lord, because you have done this and have not withheld your son, your only son, I will surely bless you, and I will surely multiply your offspring as the stars of heaven and as the sand that is on the seashore. And your offspring shall possess the gate of his enemies, and in your offspring shall all the nations of the earth be blessed, because you have obeyed my voice.” So Abraham returned to his young men, and they arose and went together to Beersheba. And Abraham lived at Beersheba.

John 1:29-31
The next day he saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, “Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world! This is he of whom I said, ‘After me comes a man who ranks before me, because he was before me.’ I myself did not know him, but for this purpose I came baptizing with water, that he might be revealed to Israel.”

Revelation 5:5-14
And one of the elders said to me, “Weep no more; behold, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has conquered, so that he can open the scroll and its seven seals.” And between the throne and the four living creatures and among the elders I saw a Lamb standing, as though it had been slain, with seven horns and with seven eyes, which are the seven spirits of God sent out into all the earth. And he went and took the scroll from the right hand of him who was seated on the throne. And when he had taken the scroll, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb, each holding a harp, and golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints. And they sang a new song, saying, “Worthy are you to take the scroll and to open its seals, for you were slain, and by your blood you ransomed people for God from every tribe and language and people and nation, and you have made them a kingdom and priests to our God, and they shall reign on the earth.” Then I looked, and I heard around the throne and the living creatures and the elders the voice of many angels, numbering myriads of myriads and thousands of thousands, saying with a loud voice, “Worthy is the Lamb who was slain, to receive power and wealth and wisdom and might and honor and glory and blessing!” And I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and in the sea, and all that is in them, saying, “To him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb be blessing and honor and glory and might forever and ever!” And the four living creatures said, “Amen!” and the elders fell down and worshiped.

Second City Church: Revealed Sermon Series 2017

Revealed: The Names, Qualities, and Character of God Pt 2

Revealed Sermon Series

The first recorded language in which we have God reveal Himself is Hebrew. This is the language from which these names are transliterated.


Translated in our English Bibles most times as "God."

The opening statement of Scripture begins with Elohim.  "In the beginning, God..." is the word Elohim here.

Not the most frequently cited term for the deity, but it occurs 2,570 times.

His Qualities

The derivation of the name is thought to come from two possible sources, one which points to God's:

Power (derived from the shorter Hebrew word El which means mighty, strong or prominent).

The other possible source of Elohim's derivation is which implies an important aspect of His nature which speaks of:

His Character

Covenant (derived from Alah which means to declare or swear).  This speaks of the right of the omnipotent being to establish designated and defined relationship with His creation, the basis of which is His authority as the sovereign Creator. 

He fulfills the covenant Himself (Genesis 15).

Many scholars believe that the plural in the name Elohim points to the Trinity, even as a singular pronoun or adjective was used to describe Him. 

This speaks of the unity in the Godhead as well as the person and purpose of Jesus.


Translated in our English Bibles most times as capitalized "the LORD."

*Most frequently used name of God in the OT, utilized 6823 times beginning in Genesis 2 where it is combined with Elohim.  YHWH transliteration which Jews after the destruction of the temple in 70AD used.

From the Hebrew verb havah which means "to be" or "being.

His Qualities

This means that He is the self-existent one, without beginning or end.  He is eternal and is the possessor of essential life with a permanent, unchanging existence.  The word translated "He" when relating to God is strikingly similar to the Hebrew havah, the word for being.

"The most noted Jewish commentator of the Middle Ages, Moses Maimonides, said with regard to this name (Jehovah): "All the names of God that occur in Scripture are derived from His works except one, and that is Jehovah; and this is called the plain name, because it teaches plainly and unequivocally of the substance of God."  Another has said: "In the name Jehovah, the personality of the Supreme is distinctly expressed. It is everywhere a proper name denoting the person of God, and Him only...Elohim....denoting usually the Supreme.  The Hebrew may say the Elohim, the true God, in opposition to all false gods; but he never says the Jehovah, for Jehovah is the name of the true God only.  He says again and again, my God or my Elohim, but never my Jehovah, for when he says my God he means Jehovah.  He speaks of the God (Elohim) of Israel but never of the Jehovah of Israel, for there is no other Jehovah.  He speaks of the living God, but never of the living Jehovah, for he cannot conceive of Jehovah as other than living."
- Nathan Stone, The Names of God

This is the name God used of Himself when He revealed Himself to Moses in the deliverance that He would bring about for Israel.

Exodus 3:13-17
Then Moses said to God, “If I come to the people of Israel and say to them, ‘The God of your fathers has sent me to you,’ and they ask me, ‘What is his name?’ what shall I say to them?” God said to Moses, “I am who I am.” And he said, “Say this to the people of Israel: ‘I am has sent me to you.’” God also said to Moses, “Say this to the people of Israel: ‘The Lord, the God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, has sent me to you.’ This is my name forever, and thus I am to be remembered throughout all generations. Go and gather the elders of Israel together and say to them, ‘The Lord, the God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, of Isaac, and of Jacob, has appeared to me, saying, “I have observed you and what has been done to you in Egypt, and I promise that I will bring you up out of the affliction of Egypt to the land of the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Amorites, the Perizzites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites, a land flowing with milk and honey.”’

"Elohim is the general name of God concerned with the creation and preservation of the world, that is, His works.  As Jehovah, He is the God of revelation in the expression of Himself in His essential moral and spiritual attributes.  But He is especially, as Jehovah, the God of revelation to Israel."
- Nathan Stone, The Names of God

John 8:51-59
Truly, truly, I say to you, if anyone keeps my word, he will never see death.” The Jews said to him, “Now we know that you have a demon! Abraham died, as did the prophets, yet you say, ‘If anyone keeps my word, he will never taste death.’ Are you greater than our father Abraham, who died? And the prophets died! Who do you make yourself out to be?” Jesus answered, “If I glorify myself, my glory is nothing. It is my Father who glorifies me, of whom you say, ‘He is our God.’ But you have not known him. I know him. If I were to say that I do not know him, I would be a liar like you, but I do know him and I keep his word. Your father Abraham rejoiced that he would see my day. He saw it and was glad.” So the Jews said to him, “You are not yet fifty years old, and have you seen Abraham?” Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I am.” So they picked up stones to throw at him, but Jesus hid himself and went out of the temple.


Translated in our English Bibles most times as "God Almighty."

Exodus 6:2-4
God spoke to Moses and said to him, “I am the Lord. I appeared to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, as God Almighty, but by my name the Lord I did not make myself known to them. I also established my covenant with them to give them the land of Canaan, the land in which they lived as sojourners.

The name was revealed to Abraham and Sarah as God gave the promise of overcoming the natural death in their bodies and produced a supernatural lineage beginning with their son Isaac.  It had an even greater connection to the concept of God's self- and all-sufficiency - meaning that He is the one who nourishes, supplies and satisfies us fully as at a nursing mother's breast.

Genesis 17:1-8
When Abram was ninety-nine years old the Lord appeared to Abram and said to him, “I am God Almighty; walk before me, and be blameless, that I may make my covenant between me and you, and may multiply you greatly.” Then Abram fell on his face. And God said to him, “Behold, my covenant is with you, and you shall be the father of a multitude of nations. No longer shall your name be called Abram, but your name shall be Abraham, for I have made you the father of a multitude of nations. I will make you exceedingly fruitful, and I will make you into nations, and kings shall come from you. And I will establish my covenant between me and you and your offspring after you throughout their generations for an everlasting covenant, to be God to you and to your offspring after you. And I will give to you and to your offspring after you the land of your sojournings, all the land of Canaan, for an everlasting possession, and I will be their God.”

Because of our sin, we are brought to the end of ourselves and must rely on Jesus' sinless life and sacrificial death on the cross to be reconciled to God.  It through His resurrection from the dead and forthcoming return that our El Shaddai will satisfy us with eternal life, purpose, and hope. 

Second City Church: Revealed Sermon Series 2017

Revealed: The Names, Qualities, and Character of God

Revealed Sermon Series

An Introduction

- Nathan Stone, The Names of God

- Nathan Stone, The Names of God

Psalm 138:1-8 
I give you thanks, O Lord, with my whole heart; before the gods I sing your praise; I bow down toward your holy temple and give thanks to your name for your steadfast love and your faithfulness, for you have exalted above all things your name and your word. On the day I called, you answered me; my strength of soul you increased. All the kings of the earth shall give you thanks, O Lord, for they have heard the words of your mouth, and they shall sing of the ways of the Lord, for great is the glory of the Lord. For though the Lord is high, he regards the lowly, but the haughty he knows from afar. Though I walk in the midst of trouble, you preserve my life; you stretch out your hand against the wrath of my enemies, and your right hand delivers me. The Lord will fulfill his purpose for me; your steadfast love, O Lord, endures forever. Do not forsake the work of your hands.

What's in a Name?

2 "you have exalted above all things your name and your word"

1) God is self-revealing. 
It is important how someone identifies themselves so that you might know who they are and how to relate to them. 

Throughout Scripture, we have historical accounts of God revealing Himself by certain names (through which gives us a picture of His personal qualities and reputation on which He wants us to stake our hopes) and word (through which He gives us promises on which we build our lives based on His character). 

2) God's qualities give you a foundation through which you relate to Him.

It answers the questions:

What do I do? 
1-2a "I give you thanks, O Lord, with my whole heart; before the gods, I sing your praise; I bow down toward your holy temple" 

Why? - God possesses the qualities of steadfast love and faithfulness

3) God's character gives you a foundation to which you respond to Him and others in the midst of life's circumstances. 

3 "On the day I called, you answered me; my strength of soul you increased."

Psalm 138:4-6
All the kings of the earth shall give you thanks, O Lord, for they have heard the words of your mouth, and they shall sing of the ways of the Lord, for great is the glory of the Lord. For though the Lord is high, he regards the lowly, but the haughty he knows from afar.

The gospel is found in all of His words 

7 "Though I walk in the midst of trouble, you preserve my life; you stretch out your hand against the wrath of my enemies, and your right hand delivers me. "

The right hand was known as a source of strength, deliverance, a form of rescue.  Jesus stretched out His arms on the cross to show us His strength through the weakness of dying that our sin might be atoned for and we might be forgiven through repentance and faith in His name.  

1 Corinthians 1:22-25 
For Jews demand signs and Greeks seek wisdom, but we preach Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and folly to Gentiles, but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. For the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men.

The Most Important Name

The most important name through which God revealed Himself is the name of Jesus (which means the Lord saves and comes with the reputation of Christ's necessary sinless life, sacrificial death on the cross for our sins and triumphant resurrection from the dead to provide eternal life). There is no knowing God without this penultimate revelation of His Son who encompasses all of His qualities and expresses all of His character. 

Matthew 1:21-23 
She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.” All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had spoken by the prophet: “Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall call his name Immanuel” which means, God with us.

Yeshua/Jesus - He will save his people from their sins
Immanuel - God with us 

John 14:8-9 
Philip said to him, “Lord, show us the Father, and it is enough for us.” Jesus said to him, “Have I been with you so long, and you still do not know me, Philip? Whoever has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’?

John 17:1-5 
When Jesus had spoken these words, he lifted up his eyes to heaven, and said, “Father, the hour has come; glorify your Son that the Son may glorify you, since you have given him authority over all flesh, to give eternal life to all whom you have given him. And this is eternal life, that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent. I glorified you on earth, having accomplished the work that you gave me to do. And now, Father, glorify me in your own presence with the glory that I had with you before the world existed.

John 17:6-19
“I have manifested your name to the people whom you gave me out of the world. Yours they were, and you gave them to me, and they have kept your word. Now they know that everything that you have given me is from you. For I have given them the words that you gave me, and they have received them and have come to know in truth that I came from you; and they have believed that you sent me. I am praying for them. I am not praying for the world but for those whom you have given me, for they are yours. All mine are yours, and yours are mine, and I am glorified in them. And I am no longer in the world, but they are in the world, and I am coming to you. Holy Father, keep them in your name, which you have given me, that they may be one, even as we are one. While I was with them, I kept them in your name, which you have given me. I have guarded them, and not one of them has been lost except the son of destruction, that the Scripture might be fulfilled. But now I am coming to you, and these things I speak in the world, that they may have my joy fulfilled in themselves. I have given them your word, and the world has hated them because they are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. I do not ask that you take them out of the world, but that you keep them from the evil one. They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth. As you sent me into the world, so I have sent them into the world. And for their sake I consecrate myself, that they also may be sanctified in truth.

Through that same faithfulness, God fulfills His purpose for our lives. 

Psalm 138:8
The Lord will fulfill his purpose for me; your steadfast love, O Lord, endures forever. Do not forsake the work of your hands.

Second City Church: Revealed Sermon Series 2017