Fulfilled - Part 1

fulfilled-sermon-series

Psalm 145
I will extol you, my God and King,
    and bless your name forever and ever.
2 Every day I will bless you
    and praise your name forever and ever.
3 Great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised,
    and his greatness is unsearchable.
4 One generation shall commend your works to another,
    and shall declare your mighty acts.
5
On the glorious splendor of your majesty,
    and on your wondrous works, I will meditate.
6 They shall speak of the might of your awesome deeds,
    and I will declare your greatness.
7 They shall pour forth the fame of your abundant goodness
    and shall sing aloud of your righteousness.
8 The Lord is gracious and merciful,
    slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love.
9 The Lord is good to all,
    and his mercy is over all that he has made.
10 All your works shall give thanks to you, O Lord,
    and all your saints shall bless you!
11 They shall speak of the glory of your kingdom
    and tell of your power,
12 to make known to the children of man your mighty deeds,
    and the glorious splendor of your kingdom.
13 Your kingdom is an everlasting kingdom,
    and your dominion endures throughout all generations.
[The Lord is faithful in all his words
    and kind in all his works.]
14 The Lord upholds all who are falling
    and raises up all who are bowed down.
15 The eyes of all look to you,
    and you give them their food in due season.
16 You open your hand;
    you satisfy the desire of every living thing.
17 The Lord is righteous in all his ways
    and kind in all his works.
18 The Lord is near to all who call on him,
    to all who call on him in truth.
19 He fulfills the desire of those who fear him;
    he also hears their cry and saves them.
20 The Lord preserves all who love him,
    but all the wicked he will destroy.
21 My mouth will speak the praise of the Lord,
    and let all flesh bless his holy name forever and ever.

John 6
After this Jesus went away to the other side of the Sea of Galilee, which is the Sea of Tiberias. 2 And a large crowd was following him, because they saw the signs that he was doing on the sick. 3 Jesus went up on the mountain, and there he sat down with his disciples. 4 Now the Passover, the feast of the Jews, was at hand. 5 Lifting up his eyes, then, and seeing that a large crowd was coming toward him, Jesus said to Philip, “Where are we to buy bread, so that these people may eat?” 6 He said this to test him, for he himself knew what he would do. 7 Philip answered him, “Two hundred denarii worth of bread would not be enough for each of them to get a little.” 8 One of his disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter's brother, said to him, 9 “There is a boy here who has five barley loaves and two fish, but what are they for so many?” 10 Jesus said, “Have the people sit down.” Now there was much grass in the place. So the men sat down, about five thousand in number. 11 Jesus then took the loaves, and when he had given thanks, he distributed them to those who were seated. So also the fish, as much as they wanted. 12 And when they had eaten their fill, he told his disciples, “Gather up the leftover fragments, that nothing may be lost.” 13 So they gathered them up and filled twelve baskets with fragments from the five barley loaves left by those who had eaten. 14 When the people saw the sign that he had done, they said, “This is indeed the Prophet who is to come into the world!” 15 Perceiving then that they were about to come and take him by force to make him king, Jesus withdrew again to the mountain by himself. 16 When evening came, his disciples went down to the sea, 17 got into a boat, and started across the sea to Capernaum. It was now dark, and Jesus had not yet come to them. 18 The sea became rough because a strong wind was blowing. 19 When they had rowed about three or four miles, they saw Jesus walking on the sea and coming near the boat, and they were frightened. 20 But he said to them, “It is I; do not be afraid.” 21 Then they were glad to take him into the boat, and immediately the boat was at the land to which they were going. 22 On the next day the crowd that remained on the other side of the sea saw that there had been only one boat there, and that Jesus had not entered the boat with his disciples, but that his disciples had gone away alone. 23 Other boats from Tiberias came near the place where they had eaten the bread after the Lord had given thanks. 24 So when the crowd saw that Jesus was not there, nor his disciples, they themselves got into the boats and went to Capernaum, seeking Jesus. 25 When they found him on the other side of the sea, they said to him, “Rabbi, when did you come here?” 26 Jesus answered them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, you are seeking me, not because you saw signs, but because you ate your fill of the loaves. 27 Do not work for the food that perishes, but for the food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give to you. For on him God the Father has set his seal.” 28 Then they said to him, “What must we do, to be doing the works of God?” 29 Jesus answered them, “This is the work of God, that you believe in him whom he has sent.” 30 So they said to him, “Then what sign do you do, that we may see and believe you? What work do you perform? 31 Our fathers ate the manna in the wilderness; as it is written, ‘He gave them bread from heaven to eat.’” 32 Jesus then said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, it was not Moses who gave you the bread from heaven, but my Father gives you the true bread from heaven. 33 For the bread of God is he who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.” 34 They said to him, “Sir, give us this bread always.” 35 Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in me shall never thirst. 36 But I said to you that you have seen me and yet do not believe. 37 All that the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never cast out. 38 For I have come down from heaven, not to do my own will but the will of him who sent me. 39 And this is the will of him who sent me, that I should lose nothing of all that he has given me, but raise it up on the last day. 40 For this is the will of my Father, that everyone who looks on the Son and believes in him should have eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day.” 41 So the Jews grumbled about him, because he said, “I am the bread that came down from heaven.” 42 They said, “Is not this Jesus, the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know? How does he now say, ‘I have come down from heaven’?” 43 Jesus answered them, “Do not grumble among yourselves. 44 No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him. And I will raise him up on the last day. 45 It is written in the Prophets, ‘And they will all be taught by God.’ Everyone who has heard and learned from the Father comes to me— 46 not that anyone has seen the Father except he who is from God; he has seen the Father. 47 Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever believes has eternal life. 48 I am the bread of life. 49 Your fathers ate the manna in the wilderness, and they died. 50 This is the bread that comes down from heaven, so that one may eat of it and not die. 51 I am the living bread that came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever. And the bread that I will give for the life of the world is my flesh.” 52 The Jews then disputed among themselves, saying, “How can this man give us his flesh to eat?” 53 So Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you. 54 Whoever feeds on my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day. 55 For my flesh is true food, and my blood is true drink. 56 Whoever feeds on my flesh and drinks my blood abides in me, and I in him. 57 As the living Father sent me, and I live because of the Father, so whoever feeds on me, he also will live because of me. 58 This is the bread that came down from heaven, not like the bread the fathers ate, and died. Whoever feeds on this bread will live forever.” 59 Jesus said these things in the synagogue, as he taught at Capernaum. 60 When many of his disciples heard it, they said, “This is a hard saying; who can listen to it?” 61 But Jesus, knowing in himself that his disciples were grumbling about this, said to them, “Do you take offense at this? 62 Then what if you were to see the Son of Man ascending to where he was before? 63 It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh is no help at all. The words that I have spoken to you are spirit and life. 64 But there are some of you who do not believe.” (For Jesus knew from the beginning who those were who did not believe, and who it was who would betray him.) 65 And he said, “This is why I told you that no one can come to me unless it is granted him by the Father.” 66 After this many of his disciples turned back and no longer walked with him. 67 So Jesus said to the twelve, “Do you want to go away as well?” 68 Simon Peter answered him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life, 69 and we have believed, and have come to know, that you are the Holy One of God.” 70 Jesus answered them, “Did I not choose you, the twelve? And yet one of you is a devil.” 71 He spoke of Judas the son of Simon Iscariot, for he, one of the twelve, was going to betray him.

Second City Church- Fulfilled Sermon Series - Rollan Fisher 2017

Grow - Part 5

grow sermon series

Grow in Eternal Focus

During Paul's ministry in Philippi, he was jailed with his ministry partner Silas, after shaking up the area's economy by driving an unclean spirit of divination out of a servant girl.  Here in the prison, Paul and Silas continued to worship God through hymns, minister and see people saved, even in the midst of their hardship.  What was it that could give them such a resilience?  Having met the resurrected Christ, Paul was also able to remember the words spoken by Moses, the man of God.  

Psalm 90:1-17
Lord, you have been our dwelling place in all generations. Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever you had formed the earth and the world, from everlasting to everlasting you are God. You return man to dust and say, “Return, O children of man!” For a thousand years in your sight are but as yesterday when it is past, or as a watch in the night. You sweep them away as with a flood; they are like a dream, like grass that is renewed in the morning: in the morning it flourishes and is renewed; in the evening it fades and withers. For we are brought to an end by your anger; by your wrath we are dismayed. You have set our iniquities before you, our secret sins in the light of your presence. For all our days pass away under your wrath; we bring our years to an end like a sigh. The years of our life are seventy, or even by reason of strength eighty; yet their span is but toil and trouble; they are soon gone, and we fly away. Who considers the power of your anger, and your wrath according to the fear of you? So teach us to number our days that we may get a heart of wisdom. Return, O Lord! How long? Have pity on your servants! Satisfy us in the morning with your steadfast love, that we may rejoice and be glad all our days. Make us glad for as many days as you have afflicted us, and for as many years as we have seen evil. Let your work be shown to your servants, and your glorious power to their children. Let the favor of the Lord our God be upon us, and establish the work of our hands upon us; yes, establish the work of our hands!

The great challenge of youth is remembering its end. 

10,000 Reasons by Matt Redman 
The sun comes up, it’s a new day dawning
It’s time to sing Your song again
Whatever may pass and whatever lies before me
Let me be singing when the evening comes
Bless the Lord

Bless the Lord
Oh my soul, oh my soul
Worship His holy name

Sing like never before
Oh my soul
I’ll worship Your holy name

You’re rich in love
And You’re slow to anger
Your name is great
And Your heart is kind
For all Your goodness
I will keep on singing
10,000 Reasons for my heart to find

Bless the Lord, oh my soul
Bless the Lord
Oh my soul, oh my soul
Worship His holy name

Sing like never before
Oh my soul
I’ll worship Your holy name

Sing my soul, sing my soul
Bless the Lord
Oh my soul, oh my soul
Worship His holy name
Sing like never before
Oh my soul
I’ll worship Your holy name

And on that day when my strength is failing
The end draws near and my time has come
Still my soul will sing Your praise unending
10,000 Years and then forever more

Bless the Lord
Bless the Lord
Oh my soul, oh my soul
Worship His holy name (For all Your Goodness)
Sing like never before
Oh my soul

I’ll worship Your holy name
I’ll worship Your holy name
I’ll worship Your holy name

Ecclesiastes 7:1-8 
A good name is better than precious ointment, and the day of death than the day of birth. It is better to go to the house of mourning than to go to the house of feasting, for this is the end of all mankind, and the living will lay it to heart. Sorrow is better than laughter, for by sadness of face the heart is made glad. The heart of the wise is in the house of mourning, but the heart of fools is in the house of mirth. It is better for a man to hear the rebuke of the wise than to hear the song of fools. For as the crackling of thorns under a pot, so is the laughter of the fools; this also is vanity. Surely oppression drives the wise into madness, and a bribe corrupts the heart. Better is the end of a thing than its beginning, and the patient in spirit is better than the proud in spirit.

Grow in Sharing the Good News

What do we do when we live with this reality in mind? 

  1. Mystery - Walk in the fear/reverence of the Lord. 
  2. Margin - Ask Him to teach us to number our days that we might gain a heart of wisdom.
    Give yourself to the most important things in life - God, family, and service.
  3. Ministry - We no longer live for ourselves but for Him who for our sake died and was raised, to know Him and make Him known. 

In Acts 18, after leaving the cities of Philippi, Thessalonica, Berea, and Athens, we see him move to minister in the city of Corinth in the region of Achaia.  

2 Corinthians 5:1-21
For we know that if the tent that is our earthly home is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. For in this tent we groan, longing to put on our heavenly dwelling, if indeed by putting it on we may not be found naked. For while we are still in this tent, we groan, being burdened—not that we would be unclothed, but that we would be further clothed, so that what is mortal may be swallowed up by life. He who has prepared us for this very thing is God, who has given us the Spirit as a guarantee. So we are always of good courage. We know that while we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord, for we walk by faith, not by sight. Yes, we are of good courage, and we would rather be away from the body and at home with the Lord. So whether we are at home or away, we make it our aim to please him. For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may receive what is due for what he has done in the body, whether good or evil. Therefore, knowing the fear of the Lord, we persuade others. But what we are is known to God, and I hope it is known also to your conscience. We are not commending ourselves to you again but giving you cause to boast about us, so that you may be able to answer those who boast about outward appearance and not about what is in the heart. For if we are beside ourselves, it is for God; if we are in our right mind, it is for you. For the love of Christ controls us, because we have concluded this: that one has died for all, therefore all have died; and he died for all, that those who live might no longer live for themselves but for him who for their sake died and was raised. From now on, therefore, we regard no one according to the flesh. Even though we once regarded Christ according to the flesh, we regard him thus no longer. Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation.  The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation; that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation. Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.

For those steeped in a humanistic and naturalistic worldview, faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of Christ (Romans 10).  There is no way for anyone to put their trust in Him to whom they've not been properly exposed. Let the love of God compel us to give them this exposure, leading them to the cross, forgiveness and redemption of Jesus Christ. 

Second City Church- Grow Sermon Series - Rollan Fisher 2017

Grow - Part 4

grow sermon series

Grow in Practical Faith

Philippians 4:1-9
Therefore, my brothers, whom I love and long for, my joy and crown, stand firm thus in the Lord, my beloved. I entreat Euodia and I entreat Syntyche to agree in the Lord. Yes, I ask you also, true companion, help these women, who have labored side by side with me in the gospel together with Clement and the rest of my fellow workers, whose names are in the book of life. Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice. Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me—practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.

Grow in the Ways of the Lord

Philippians 4:10-23
I rejoiced in the Lord greatly that now at length you have revived your concern for me. You were indeed concerned for me, but you had no opportunity. Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. I can do all things through him who strengthens me. Yet it was kind of you to share my trouble. And you Philippians yourselves know that in the beginning of the gospel, when I left Macedonia, no church entered into partnership with me in giving and receiving, except you only. Even in Thessalonica you sent me help for my needs once and again. Not that I seek the gift, but I seek the fruit that increases to your credit. I have received full payment, and more. I am well supplied, having received from Epaphroditus the gifts you sent, a fragrant offering, a sacrifice acceptable and pleasing to God. And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus. To our God and Father be glory forever and ever. Amen. Greet every saint in Christ Jesus. The brothers who are with me greet you. All the saints greet you, especially those of Caesar's household. The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit.

Acts 18:1-5 (NIV)
After this, Paul left Athens and went to Corinth. There he met a Jew named Aquila, a native of Pontus, who had recently come from Italy with his wife Priscilla, because Claudius had ordered all Jews to leave Rome. Paul went to see them, and because he was a tentmaker as they were, he stayed and worked with them. Every Sabbath he reasoned in the synagogue, trying to persuade Jews and Greeks. When Silas and Timothy came from Macedonia, Paul devoted himself exclusively to preaching, testifying to the Jews that Jesus was the Messiah.

Romans 16:1-20
I commend to you our sister Phoebe, a deacon of the church in Cenchreae. I ask you to receive her in the Lord in a way worthy of his people and to give her any help she may need from you, for she has been the benefactor of many people, including me. Greet Priscilla and Aquila, my co-workers in Christ Jesus. They risked their lives for me. Not only I but all the churches of the Gentiles are grateful to them. Greet also the church that meets at their house. Greet my dear friend Epenetus, who was the first convert to Christ in the province of Asia. Greet Mary, who worked very hard for you. Greet Andronicus and Junia, my fellow Jews who have been in prison with me. They are outstanding among the apostles, and they were in Christ before I was. Greet Ampliatus, my dear friend in the Lord. Greet Urbanus, our co-worker in Christ, and my dear friend Stachys. Greet Apelles, whose fidelity to Christ has stood the test. Greet those who belong to the household of Aristobulus. Greet Herodion, my fellow Jew. Greet those in the household of Narcissus who are in the Lord. Greet Tryphena and Tryphosa, those women who work hard in the Lord. Greet my dear friend Persis, another woman who has worked very hard in the Lord. Greet Rufus, chosen in the Lord, and his mother, who has been a mother to me, too. Greet Asyncritus, Phlegon, Hermes, Patrobas, Hermas and the other brothers and sisters with them. Greet Philologus, Julia, Nereus and his sister, and Olympas and all the Lord’s people who are with them. Greet one another with a holy kiss. All the churches of Christ send greetings. I urge you, brothers and sisters, to watch out for those who cause divisions and put obstacles in your way that are contrary to the teaching you have learned. Keep away from them. For such people are not serving our Lord Christ, but their own appetites. By smooth talk and flattery they deceive the minds of naive people. Everyone has heard about your obedience, so I rejoice because of you; but I want you to be wise about what is good, and innocent about what is evil. The God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet. The grace of our Lord Jesus be with you.

Second City Church- Grow Sermon Series - Rollan Fisher 2017

Grow - Part 3

grow sermon series

Grow in Christ-Centered Identity

Philippians 3:1-11
Finally, my brothers,  rejoice in the Lord. To write the same things to you is no trouble to me and is safe for you. Look out for the dogs, look out for the evildoers, look out for those who mutilate the flesh. For we are the circumcision, who worship by the Spirit of God and glory in Christ Jesus and put no confidence in the flesh— though I myself have reason for confidence in the flesh also. If anyone else thinks he has reason for confidence in the flesh, I have more: circumcised on the eighth day, of the people of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of Hebrews; as to the law, a Pharisee; as to zeal, a persecutor of the church; as to righteousness under the law, blameless. But whatever gain I had, I counted as loss for the sake of Christ. Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God that depends on faith— that I may know him and the power of his resurrection, and may share his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, that by any means possible I may attain the resurrection from the dead.

Identity theft has affected millions of people.  It can involve a rigorous process to restore your identity when it's been stolen. 

What is it, like Paul that you've placed your identity in rather than Jesus?

Is it your career?  
Is it your financial stability?  
Is it your looks?  
Is it your talents?  
Is it your kids?
Is it your spouse?
Is it your sense of calling?  

You need to be able to stand in love for the Lord if any of these things were taken from you, because they can be.  What can not be taken or shaken is the love the Lord has for you and your inheritance in Him as you build your identity in the eternal, redemptive narrative of the gospel. 

Grow in the Call of God

Philippians 3:12-21
Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own. Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. Let those of us who are mature think this way, and if in anything you think otherwise, God will reveal that also to you. Only let us hold true to what we have attained. Brothers, join in imitating me, and keep your eyes on those who walk according to the example you have in us. For many, of whom I have often told you and now tell you even with tears, walk as enemies of the cross of Christ. Their end is destruction, their god is their belly, and they glory in their shame, with minds set on earthly things. But our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will transform our lowly body to be like his glorious body, by the power that enables him even to subject all things to himself.

Second City Church- Grow Sermon Series - Rollan Fisher 2017

Grow - Part 2

grow sermon series

Grow in Showing Honor

Philippians 2:1-11
So if there is any encouragement in Christ, any comfort from love, any participation in the Spirit, any affection and sympathy, complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind. Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant,  being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

Grow in Character

Philippians 2:12-18
Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, so now, not only as in my presence but much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure. Do all things without grumbling or disputing, that you may be blameless and innocent, children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and twisted generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world, holding fast to the word of life, so that in the day of Christ I may be proud that I did not run in vain or labor in vain. Even if I am to be poured out as a drink offering upon the sacrificial offering of your faith, I am glad and rejoice with you all. Likewise you also should be glad and rejoice with me.

2 Timothy 2:1-7
You then, my child, be strengthened by the grace that is in Christ Jesus, and what you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses entrust to faithful men,  who will be able to teach others also. Share in suffering as a good soldier of Christ Jesus. No soldier gets entangled in civilian pursuits, since his aim is to please the one who enlisted him.An athlete is not crowned unless he competes according to the rules. It is the hard-working farmer who ought to have the first share of the crops. Think over what I say, for the Lord will give you understanding in everything.

John 13:27-30
Then after he had taken the morsel, Satan entered into him. Jesus said to him, “What you are going to do, do quickly.” Now no one at the table knew why he said this to him. Some thought that, because Judas had the moneybag, Jesus was telling him, “Buy what we need for the feast,” or that he should give something to the poor. So, after receiving the morsel of bread, he immediately went out. And it was night.

Psalm 106:24-27
Then they despised the pleasant land, having no faith in his promise. They murmured in their tents, and did not obey the voice of the Lord. Therefore he raised his hand and swore to them that he would make them fall in the wilderness, and would make their offspring fall among the nations, scattering them among the lands.

Grow in Loyalty

Philippians 2:19-30
I hope in the Lord Jesus to send Timothy to you soon, so that I too may be cheered by news of you. For I have no one like him, who will be genuinely concerned for your welfare. For they all seek their own interests, not those of Jesus Christ. But you know Timothy's  proven worth, how as a son with a father he has served with me in the gospel. I hope therefore to send him just as soon as I see how it will go with me, and I trust in the Lord that shortly I myself will come also. I have thought it necessary to send to you Epaphroditus my brother and fellow worker and fellow soldier, and your messenger and minister to my need, for he has been longing for you all and has been distressed because you heard that he was ill. Indeed he was ill, near to death. But God had mercy on him, and not only on him but on me also, lest I should have sorrow upon sorrow. I am the more eager to send him, therefore, that you may rejoice at seeing him again, and that I may be less anxious. So receive him in the Lord with all joy, and honor such men, for he nearly died for the work of Christ, risking his life to complete what was lacking in your service to me.

Second City Church- Grow Sermon Series - Rollan Fisher 2017

Grow - Part 1

grow sermon series

Grow in Partnership

Philippians 1:1-11
Paul and Timothy, servants of Christ Jesus, To all the saints in Christ Jesus who are at Philippi, with the overseers and deacons: Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. I thank my God in all my remembrance of you, always in every prayer of mine for you all making my prayer with joy, because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now. And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ. It is right for me to feel this way about you all, because I hold you in my heart, for you are all partakers with me of grace, both in my imprisonment and in the defense and confirmation of the gospel. For God is my witness, how I yearn for you all with the affection of Christ Jesus. And it is my prayer that your love may abound more and more, with knowledge and all discernment, so that you may approve what is excellent, and so be pure and blameless for the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God.

Grow in Perspective

Philippians 1:12-20
I want you to know, brothers, that what has happened to me has really served to advance the gospel, so that it has become known throughout the whole imperial guard and to all the rest that my imprisonment is for Christ. And most of the brothers, having become confident in the Lord by my imprisonment, are much more bold to speak the word without fear. Some indeed preach Christ from envy and rivalry, but others from good will. The latter do it out of love, knowing that I am put here for the defense of the gospel. The former proclaim Christ out of selfish ambition, not sincerely but thinking to afflict me in my imprisonment. What then? Only that in every way, whether in pretense or in truth, Christ is proclaimed, and in that I rejoice. Yes, and I will rejoice, for I know that through your prayers and the help of the Spirit of Jesus Christ this will turn out for my deliverance, as it is my eager expectation and hope that I will not be at all ashamed, but that with full courage now as always Christ will be honored in my body, whether by life or by death.

Grow in Perseverance

Philippians 1:21-30
For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain. If I am to live in the flesh, that means fruitful labor for me. Yet which I shall choose I cannot tell. I am hard pressed between the two. My desire is to depart and be with Christ, for that is far better. But to remain in the flesh is more necessary on your account. Convinced of this, I know that I will remain and continue with you all, for your progress and joy in the faith, so that in me you may have ample cause to glory in Christ Jesus, because of my coming to you again. Only let your manner of life be worthy of the gospel of Christ, so that whether I come and see you or am absent, I may hear of you that you are standing firm in one spirit, with one mind striving side by side for the faith of the gospel, and not frightened in anything by your opponents. This is a clear sign to them of their destruction, but of your salvation, and that from God. For it has been granted to you that for the sake of Christ you should not only believe in him but also suffer for his sake, engaged in the same conflict that you saw I had and now hear that I still have.

Second City Church- Grow Sermon Series - Rollan Fisher 2017

Gifted - Part 3 - Gifted for Glory

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I believe God wants to fill this church with His glory, with His goodness, creating spiritual growth and life transformation.

Gifted for Glory - Guest Speaker Pastor Reggie Roberson

Ephesians 3:20-21
Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen.

When the church is glorified the goodness of God is revealed throughout the earth which means the earth becomes a better place.  How many you think we could use better on our planet?  Shootings in Las Vegas, ethnic tension, political upheavals, personal challenges -we need the goodness of God.

Right after Paul makes the statement about glory in the church and in Christ Jesus we find…

Ephesians 4:1-13 NIV
“Therefore I, a prisoner for serving the Lord, beg you to lead a life worthy of your calling, for you have been called by God. Always be humble and gentle. Be patient with each other, making allowance for each other’s faults because of your love. Make every effort to keep yourselves united in the Spirit, binding yourselves together with peace. For there is one body and one Spirit, just as you have been called to one glorious hope for the future. There is one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is over all, in all, and living through all. However, he has given each one of us a special gift through the generosity of Christ. That is why the Scriptures say, “When he ascended to the heights, he led a crowd of captives and gave gifts to his people.” Notice that it says “he ascended.” This clearly means that Christ also descended to our lowly world. And the same one who descended is the one who ascended higher than all the heavens, so that he might fill the entire universe with himself. Now these are the gifts Christ gave to the church: the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, and the pastors and teachers. Their responsibility is to equip God’s people to do his work and build up the church, the body of Christ. This will continue until we all come to such unity in our faith and knowledge of God’s Son that we will be mature in the Lord, measuring up to the full and complete standard of Christ.”

Main thought: God’s glory fills the church when each one of us actively uses our God given gifts.

I have 3 thoughts related to our main point:

  1. Godly character and unity makes gifts well received.
  2. Jesus paid the price to give every believer a gift.
  3. God's gifts are to help the church grow. 

Godly character and unity makes gifts well-received v. 1-6

It’s like eating lettuce at a restaurant (Mexican). It looks delicious but when you bite into it feels like you are eating rocks.  (Something tastes bad and you keep tasting it out disbelief. You even pass it over to others). 

Have you ever known anyone who was incredibly gifted but just had really bad character?   How many of you think you would enjoy working with someone like that?  

It’s a poorly wrapped gift. 

If a person does not have character or does not seek unity they are like that lettuce I ate or a poorly wrapped gift. 

●      People will tolerate them and eventually, no one will want to work with or be around them, him or her.

●      Even more dangerous, they will build something up with his or her gift and tear it all down with their character.

Godly character can be summed up in these verses as love and unity. Love is humble, gentle, patient, forgiving, peacemaking. Unity is when we gladly make concessions and are inconvenienced to be with each other because we are focused on Jesus and not ourselves.  Complaining, gossiping, and having a critical attitude is not going to release the glory of God in this spiritual community. 

Love and unity will. Love and unity is what makes our gifts well received. 

God is pleased with love and unity. 

Love and unity will make a gift effective and powerful in helping other people. (Helpful Help).  Love and unity come from focusing on Jesus and making him a priority in your life! That is what this scripture is saying.

Let godly character and seeking unity be the foundation of your gifts.
 

Jesus paid the price to give every believer a gift (v. 7-11).

 In our main text Paul applies Psalm 68:18 to the life, crucifixion, and resurrection of Christ where He is pictured winning a war, taking spoils, and distributing gifts to His people.  Paul’s says that Christ gave people as gifts -apostles, prophets, evangelist, pastors or shepherds and teachers.  In his letter to the Corinthians, which you have been reading, Paul expands the list saying God has appointed people as gifts in the church.  As we read through this list I want to ask, what is your appointment or function? 

1 Corinthians 12:28

Apostles

Prophets

Teachers/shepherds

Miracle workers/evangelists

Gifts of healing

Helpers

Administrators

Various kinds of tongues speakers

You may be asking how do I know which one I have? Your gift is whatever you do well with that benefits others but doesn’t require a massive amount of effort. You do it with ease. (Admin-Eric; Leah; Rollan and B- leadership, Cole- pastoring, my wife- creativity & communication) 

Ways you discover your gifts that Jesus gave you are:

●      Prayer: Since He made you He knows better than anyone else what is your purpose. Acknowledging God and inviting Him into your life through prayer is a vital piece to discover your gifts.

●      Building Christ centered relationships: Gifts are identified and called out by our brothers and sisters in Christ.  (As student being called a prophet)

●      Assessments that help you to understand your personality, leadership style, and spiritual gifts. 

●      Serving: When I am sharing about gifts I always get questions about what is my gift.  Do I have healing?  Have you ever prayed for healing?  I watched Rollan and B’s gifts emerge as they served the church and our campus ministry.

Make every effort you can to figure out what gifts Jesus gave you since He paid the price for your gift.  

God's gifts are to help the church grow. (v. 11-13).

God’s gifts are categorized into two types that help the church or body of Christ to grow.  There are equippers; apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers.  There are ministers; people serving in the church and through the church to show God’s goodness to the community.  The Fisher's and Parleir’s are equippers; guess what you are?  Ministers! What this reveals is that every person is actively using the gifts Jesus purchased for them with His blood, with godly character, to build or grow the church.  There is no one hidden in the dugout. There is no one on the bench.  The bench is all the people who are in heaven. That's right. Hebrews 12:1 tells us. Everyone is playing his or her part. 

That happens when we do life together, strategize together, and pray together. We learn and serve together.  It also happens when you have support, encouragement, and accountability from other believers and church leaders as you use your gifts in the community and at your workplace. 

Let me summarize what I’ve said.

God’s glory fills the church when each one of us actively uses our God given gifts.
If we recognize the gifts Jesus paid for through His blood, if we have godly character and seek unity, if we use them to grow the church, then the glory of God, His goodness, will fill this church to produce spiritual growth and life transformation. 

Second City Church- Gifted Sermon Series - Rollan Fisher 2017

Gifted - Part 2

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I Corinthians 13:1
If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give away all I have, and if I deliver up my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing. Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends. As for prophecies, they will pass away; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will pass away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part, but when the perfect comes, the partial will pass away. When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I gave up childish ways. For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known. So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love.

Gifts are the tools that God gives us to build His kingdom with supernatural grace.  

Love is the way that these gifts are to be administered.

Don't Be Fooled

I Corinthians 12:31
But earnestly desire the higher gifts. And I will show you a still more excellent way.

The higher gifts are those that build up others in love.  As an example, Paul teaches about the gift of tongues, which God gives you as a prayer language to build yourself up, unless there is an interpretation so that others may be edified (I Corinthians 14:1-5).

The gifts of God can cause us to be a distraction if used improperly.  A resounding gong or a clanging cymbal are distractions unless they are played in harmony with the rest of the orchestra.  You need to be unified with your local church and find ways to play in concert.  When used properly, these instruments were effective in times of war to call people to arms.

The gifts of God can cause us to think that we are something in the sight of God and man when we are not.  Love allows prophetic revelation to be utilized for the strengthening, encouragment and comfort of other believers as we look to serve God together (I Corinthians 14:3).  It allows the possessor of knowledge to come as a servant to those by whom they are surrounded to engender a greater love for Jesus and others expressed through obedience to God's holy commands (I Corinthians 8:1-3).  Love motivates those with the gift of faith to roll up their sleeves in the trenches with those who need mountains moved.  Those with the gift of faith begin calling upon God faithfully in prayer, repeatedly declaring the promises of His Word and contributing to life-transforming action until the mountains of life are moved. What matters is being able to (as we did with Christ) see your "blood on the ground" - how like Christ in humble service, your life, time, resources and efforts have been utilized to directly impact others' lives through Christ's church. This is where you are transformed from a pundit into a participant in the kingdom.  

The gifts of God can cause you to think that you will have or deserve a reward that is not truly yours.  Love is the motivation through which God honors our sacrifices (Matthew 6). 

Double Down on Love

I Corinthians 13:4-6
Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

If I don't have these character traits in my interaction with family members, co-workers, church family and the community on a daily basis, I am missing God and what He requires. Our focus on not just what, but how things need to be done is just as important to God. 

Don't Be Worried You Missed It

I Corinthians 13:8-13
Love never ends. As for prophecies, they will pass away; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will pass away. but when the perfect comes, the partial will pass away. When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I gave up childish ways. For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known. So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love.

How do I know I haven't missed my chance to walk in the gifts of God?
"For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face."
"Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known."

When we meet God in judgement, as Christians it will be in the righteousness Jesus Christ made available to us through His sacrificial death on the cross and resurrection from the dead.  As now on earth we've put our faith in Christ and chosen to love Him, we will then bow humbly, seeing Jesus face to face, knowing Him fully (I Corinthians 15:50-58).  No Christian can say that they are walking with God in the body yet, able to see Him face to face (II Corinthians 5:1-10) or know Him fully at this point.  We have the Word of God and the gifts of the Holy Spirit to both prepare us and strengthen us for that time to come.  

How can I discover my gifts?

  1. Find an outlet for your natural skills within and through your church. 
  2. Pray.  Ask God for the greater supernatural gifts that point people to the truth of Jesus' gospel and build others up in Christ.  (Come to the training for a practicum.)
  3. Ask what needs to be done, not just what I want to do.  God gives gifts to meet the needs of His people, His church, His kingdom and world, not just our interests.  If you haven't found your gifts, it may be that you are not looking for the actual needs.  Don't hold out until you see where you prefer to use your skills.

I Corinthians 13:11
When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I gave up childish ways.

Childish thinking causes me to think only about doing what I want, when I want, not what Mom and Dad had to do to run a household in love. 

“Ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country.”
- John F. Kennedy 

4. Commit to doing everything in love and God will make you aware of your gifts that will actually be useful in building His church and kingdom.

Galatians 5:6
For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision counts for anything, but only faith working through love.

Second City Church- Gifted Sermon Series - Rollan Fisher 2017

Gifted - Part 1

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1 Corinthians 12 (ESV)
Now concerning spiritual gifts, brothers, I do not want you to be uninformed. 2 You know that when you were pagans you were led astray to mute idols, however you were led. 3 Therefore I want you to understand that no one speaking in the Spirit of God ever says “Jesus is accursed!” and no one can say “Jesus is Lord” except in the Holy Spirit. 4 Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit; 5 and there are varieties of service, but the same Lord; 6 and there are varieties of activities, but it is the same God who empowers them all in everyone. 7 To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good. 8 For to one is given through the Spirit the utterance of wisdom, and to another the utterance of knowledge according to the same Spirit, 9 to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by the one Spirit, 10 to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another the ability to distinguish between spirits, to another various kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues. 11 All these are empowered by one and the same Spirit, who apportions to each one individually as he wills. 12 For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ. 13 For in one Spirit we were all baptized into one body—Jews or Greeks, slaves or free—and all were made to drink of one Spirit. 14 For the body does not consist of one member but of many. 15 If the foot should say, “Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body,” that would not make it any less a part of the body. 16 And if the ear should say, “Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body,” that would not make it any less a part of the body. 17 If the whole body were an eye, where would be the sense of hearing? If the whole body were an ear, where would be the sense of smell? 18 But as it is, God arranged the members in the body, each one of them, as he chose. 19 If all were a single member, where would the body be? 20 As it is, there are many parts, yet one body. 21 The eye cannot say to the hand, “I have no need of you,” nor again the head to the feet, “I have no need of you.” 22 On the contrary, the parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable, 23 and on those parts of the body that we think less honorable we bestow the greater honor, and our unpresentable parts are treated with greater modesty, 24 which our more presentable parts do not require. But God has so composed the body, giving greater honor to the part that lacked it, 25 that there may be no division in the body, but that the members may have the same care for one another. 26 If one member suffers, all suffer together; if one member is honored, all rejoice together. 27 Now you are the body of Christ and individually members of it. 28 And God has appointed in the church first apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then miracles, then gifts of healing, helping, administrating, and various kinds of tongues. 29 Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Do all work miracles? 30 Do all possess gifts of healing? Do all speak with tongues? Do all interpret? 31 But earnestly desire the higher gifts. And I will show you a still more excellent way.

Second City Church- Gifted Sermon Series - Rollan Fisher 2017

Guest Speaker - Charles Kiefer

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Your Root Determines Your Fruit.

The Presence of God
Prayer
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