Chicago Fire - Jesus and a Church With More To Learn

Chicago Fire Sermon Series

Chicago Fire: Jesus and a Church With More To Learn

  • A Matter of Perspective 

  • A Matter of Exposure


A Matter of Perspective

Acts 18:24-28 
Now a Jew named Apollos, a native of Alexandria, came to Ephesus. He was an eloquent man, competent in the Scriptures. He had been instructed in the way of the Lord. And being fervent in spirit, he spoke and taught accurately the things concerning Jesus, though he knew only the baptism of John. He began to speak boldly in the synagogue, but when Priscilla and Aquila heard him, they took him aside and explained to him the way of God more accurately. And when he wished to cross to Achaia, the brothers encouraged him and wrote to the disciples to welcome him. When he arrived, he greatly helped those who through grace had believed, for he powerfully refuted the Jews in public, showing by the Scriptures that the Christ was Jesus.

How big things can seem in our youth 

Psalm 37:23-26 
The steps of a man are established by the Lord, when he delights in his way; though he fall, he shall not be cast headlong, for the Lord upholds his hand. I have been young, and now am old, yet I have not seen the righteous forsaken or his children begging for bread. He is ever lending generously, and his children become a blessing.

The immensity of the trial is felt in proportion to your present capacity (think weight lifting).  God uses it to grow and strengthen you (Romans 5:5-8)

Experience Brings a Weight of the Glory of God

“It would seem that Our Lord finds our desires not too strong, but too weak. We are half-hearted creatures, fooling about with drink and sex and ambition when infinite joy is offered us, like an ignorant child who wants to go on making mud pies in a slum because he cannot imagine what is meant by the offer of a holiday at the sea. We are far too easily pleased.”

C.S. Lewis, The Weight of Glory, and Other 

A Matter of Exposure

Acts 19:1-10 
And it happened that while Apollos was at Corinth, Paul passed through the inland country and came to Ephesus. There he found some disciples. And he said to them, “Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?” And they said, “No, we have not even heard that there is a Holy Spirit.” And he said, “Into what then were you baptized?” They said, “Into John's baptism.” And Paul said, “John baptized with the baptism of repentance, telling the people to believe in the one who was to come after him, that is, Jesus.” On hearing this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. And when Paul had laid his hands on them, the Holy Spirit came on them, and they began speaking in tongues and prophesying. There were about twelve men in all. And he entered the synagogue and for three months spoke boldly, reasoning and persuading them about the kingdom of God. But when some became stubborn and continued in unbelief, speaking evil of the Way before the congregation, he withdrew from them and took the disciples with him, reasoning daily in the hall of Tyrannus. This continued for two years, so that all the residents of Asia heard the word of the Lord, both Jews and Greeks.

The person of the Holy Spirit 

Summer Reading List:

  1. The God I Never Knew by Robert Morris

  2. Surprised by the Power of the Spirit by Jack Deere 

  3. Holy Fire by RT Kendall

Amongst other things, we see here that the Holy Spirit has a role in testifying to the crucified, risen Christ, filling people with boldness to preach, convicting men and women of their sin, opening their eyes to the truth of the gospel through signs, wonders and miracles and conforming people to the image of Jesus.

John 16:4-15 
4 But I have said these things to you, that when their hour comes you may remember that I told them to you. “I did not say these things to you from the beginning, because I was with you. 5 But now I am going to him who sent me, and none of you asks me, ‘Where are you going?’ 6 But because I have said these things to you, sorrow has filled your heart. 7 Nevertheless, I tell you the truth: it is to your advantage that I go away, for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you. But if I go, I will send him to you. 8 And when he comes, he will convict the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgment: 9 concerning sin, because they do not believe in me; 10 concerning righteousness, because I go to the Father, and you will see me no longer; 11 concerning judgment, because the ruler of this world is judged. 12 “I still have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. 13 When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth, for he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak, and he will declare to you the things that are to come. 14 He will glorify me, for he will take what is mine and declare it to you. 15 All that the Father has is mine; therefore I said that he will take what is mine and declare it to you.

Second City Church - Chicago Fire - Pastor Rollan Fisher 2019

Chicago Fire - A heritage of faith in Jesus Christ

Chicago Fire Sermon Series

Chicago Fire: A heritage of faith in Jesus Christ

Main Scripture

Acts 16:1-5 ESV

Paul came also to Derbe and to Lystra. A disciple was there, named Timothy, the son of a Jewish woman who was a believer, but his father was a Greek. 2 He was well spoken of by the brothers at Lystra and Iconium. 3 Paul wanted Timothy to accompany him, and he took him and circumcised him because of the Jews who were in those places, for they all knew that his father was a Greek. 4 As they went on their way through the cities, they delivered to them for observance the decisions that had been reached by the apostles and elders who were in Jerusalem. 5 So the churches were strengthened in the faith, and they increased in numbers daily.

2 Timothy 1:1-7

Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God according to the promise of the life that is in Christ Jesus,

2 To Timothy, my beloved child:

Grace, mercy, and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord.

3 I thank God whom I serve, as did my ancestors, with a clear conscience, as I remember you constantly in my prayers night and day. 4 As I remember your tears, I long to see you, that I may be filled with joy. 5 I am reminded of your sincere faith, a faith that dwelt first in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice and now, I am sure, dwells in you as well. 6 For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands, 7 for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.

The Point

God uses family relationships and dynamics to bless the world with the Gospel of Jesus Christ while filling our relational needs.

  1. We receive the blessing God wants us to have through honoring the parents He has sovereignly given to us.    

    1. Exodus 20:12 ESV

      1. “Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long in the land that the Lord your God is giving you.”

    2. A natural honor leads to supernatural heritage of faith, and God’s manifest presence and favor..

  2. We receive the blessing God wants us to have through honoring the leaders He sovereignly given us

    1. Hebrews 13:17-18 ESV

      1. “Obey your leaders and submit to them, for they are keeping watch over your souls, as those who will have to give an account. Let them do this with joy and not with groaning, for that would be of no advantage to you.18 Pray for us, for we are sure that we have a clear conscience, desiring to act honorably in all things.”

  3. We walk in blessing by the support of family members

    1. Acts 18:9-11 ESV

      1. “And the Lord said to Paul one night in a vision, “Do not be afraid, but go on speaking and do not be silent, 10 for I am with you, and no one will attack you to harm you, for I have many in this city who are my people.” 11 And he stayed a year and six months, teaching the word of God among them.”

We interpret this in natural and we also interpret this in the spiritual.  Timothy received the faith of Christ we believe either through his grandmother Lois or mother Eunice.  What was a natural relationship led to a supernatural salvation of Timothy and all that would believe the message of Christ through Timothy.

Who are some people God uses to get a supernatural heritage of faith in God and trust in Jesus Christ to us?

  1. Parents

  2. Step-parents

  3. Adopted parents

  4. Foster parents

  5. Guardians

  6. “God” parents

  7. Grandparents

  8. Teacher

  9. Preacher

  10. Prophet

Exodus 20:12 ESV

“Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long in the land that the Lord your God is giving you.”

What does it mean to “honor your father and your mother”?

  1. The word honor in Hebrew means to ‘treat someone with proper respect due to the person and their role”

  2. How we treat our earthly and spiritual parents reveals our heart toward our Heavenly Father and Jesus as Lord

What does the promise “that your days may be long in the land that the Lord your God is giving you” mean?

  1. Peace with God as He is rooting you more and more in Christ and His kingdom

  2. Favor from God as He gives you more spiritual fruit (He who is faithful with little will be faithful with much)

  3. Treasure in Heaven as you prepare for His kingdom coming

How do we show this God commanded, Holy Spirit led proper respect to our biological and spiritual parents?

    1. Treat parents with deference, be submissive

      1. Ex 21:15

        1. “Whoever strikes his father or his mother shall be put to death.”

          1. don’t fight with them

      2. Ex 21:17

        1. “Whoever curses his father or his mother shall be put to death.”

          1. don’t curse them.

      3. Luke 2:49-51 ESV (Jesus as a child deferred to the parents God gave him)

        1. And he said to them, “Why were you looking for me? Did you not know that I must be in my Father's house?” 50 And they did not understand the saying that he spoke to them. 51 And he went down with them and came to Nazareth and was submissive to them. And his mother treasured up all these things in her heart.

      4. Eph 6:1-3 ESV (Paul commanded deference)

        1. Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. 2 “Honor your father and mother” (this is the first commandment with a promise), 3 “that it may go well with you and that you may live long in the land.”

      5. 1 Tim 5:1-2 ESV (treat older women as mothers and encourage them, not rebuking them)

        1. Do not rebuke an older man but encourage him as you would a father, younger men as brothers, 2 older women as mothers, younger women as sisters, in all purity.

    2. Providing for them and looking after them in their old age

      1. Proverbs 3:9 ESV (it honors the Lord)

        1. Honor the Lord with your wealth and with the firstfruits of all your produce; then your barns will be filled with plenty, and your vats will be bursting with wine.

        2. Honoring the Lord comes with a blessing as does honoring our parents

      2. Mark 7:9-16 ESV (Jesus equates honor with financial help)

        1. 9 And he said to them, “You have a fine way of rejecting the commandment of God in order to establish your tradition! 10 For Moses said, ‘Honor your father and your mother’; and, ‘Whoever reviles father or mother must surely die.’ 11 But you say, ‘If a man tells his father or his mother, “Whatever you would have gained from me is Corban”’ (that is, given to God)[d]— 12 then you no longer permit him to do anything for his father or mother, 13 thus making void the word of God by your tradition that you have handed down. And many such things you do.” 14 And he called the people to him again and said to them, “Hear me, all of you, and understand: 15 There is nothing outside a person that by going into him can defile him, but the things that come out of a person are what defile him.”

      3. 1 Tim 5:3-8 ESV (we should provide for our parents in their distress)

        1. Honor widows who are truly widows. 4 But if a widow has children or grandchildren, let them first learn to show godliness to their own household and to make some return to their parents, for this is pleasing in the sight of God. 5 She who is truly a widow, left all alone, has set her hope on God and continues in supplications and prayers night and day, 6 but she who is self-indulgent is dead even while she lives. 7 Command these things as well, so that they may be without reproach. 8 But if anyone does not provide for his relatives, and especially for members of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.

A Mom and Wife as the personification and capstone of wisdom

Proverbs 31

The words of King Lemuel. An oracle that his mother taught him:

2 What are you doing, my son? What are you doing, son of my womb?

   What are you doing, son of my vows?

3 Do not give your strength to women,

   your ways to those who destroy kings.

4 It is not for kings, O Lemuel,

   it is not for kings to drink wine,

   or for rulers to take strong drink,

5 lest they drink and forget what has been decreed

   and pervert the rights of all the afflicted.

6 Give strong drink to the one who is perishing,

   and wine to those in bitter distress;

7 let them drink and forget their poverty

   and remember their misery no more.

8 Open your mouth for the mute,

   for the rights of all who are destitute.

9 Open your mouth, judge righteously,

   defend the rights of the poor and needy.


The Woman Who Fears the Lord

10 An excellent wife who can find?

   She is far more precious than jewels.

11 The heart of her husband trusts in her,

   and he will have no lack of gain.

12 She does him good, and not harm,

   all the days of her life.

13 She seeks wool and flax,

   and works with willing hands.

14 She is like the ships of the merchant;

   she brings her food from afar.

15 She rises while it is yet night

   and provides food for her household

   and portions for her maidens.

16 She considers a field and buys it;

   with the fruit of her hands she plants a vineyard.

17 She dresses herself with strength

   and makes her arms strong.

18 She perceives that her merchandise is profitable.

   Her lamp does not go out at night.

19 She puts her hands to the distaff,

   and her hands hold the spindle.

20 She opens her hand to the poor

   and reaches out her hands to the needy.

21 She is not afraid of snow for her household,

   for all her household are clothed in scarlet.

22 She makes bed coverings for herself;

   her clothing is fine linen and purple.

23 Her husband is known in the gates

   when he sits among the elders of the land.

24 She makes linen garments and sells them;

   she delivers sashes to the merchant.

25 Strength and dignity are her clothing,

   and she laughs at the time to come.

26 She opens her mouth with wisdom,

   and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue.

27 She looks well to the ways of her household

   and does not eat the bread of idleness.

28 Her children rise up and call her blessed;

   her husband also, and he praises her:

29 “Many women have done excellently,

   but you surpass them all.”

30 Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain,

   but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.

31 Give her of the fruit of her hands,

   and let her works praise her in the gates.

The Prayer

Heavenly Father help us receive the heritage of faith from Abraham, to David, to Jesus, to Barnabus, to Paul, to Timothy, and eventually to us.  Let this faith in the risen Christ dwell in us and work in us to love and honor you our Heavenly Father as well as the mothers and fathers you have given us.  In Jesus name amen.

Invitation to follow Jesus

The Rich Young Ruler

18 And a ruler asked him, “Good Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?” 19 And Jesus said to him, “Why do you call me good? No one is good except God alone. 20 You know the commandments: ‘Do not commit adultery, Do not murder, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Honor your father and mother.’” 21 And he said, “All these I have kept from my youth.” 22 When Jesus heard this, he said to him, “One thing you still lack. Sell all that you have and distribute to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me.” 23 But when he heard these things, he became very sad, for he was extremely rich. 24 Jesus, seeing that he had become sad, said, “How difficult it is for those who have wealth to enter the kingdom of God! 25 For it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the kingdom of God.” 26 Those who heard it said, “Then who can be saved?” 27 But he said, “What is impossible with man is possible with God.” 28 And Peter said, “See, we have left our homes and followed you.” 29 And he said to them, “Truly, I say to you, there is no one who has left house or wife or brothers[b] or parents or children, for the sake of the kingdom of God, 30 who will not receive many times more in this time, and in the age to come eternal life.

Second City Church - Chicago Fire - Pastor Cole Parleir 2019

Chicago Fire - Jesus and a Church Submitted to His Will

Chicago Fire Sermon Series

Chicago Fire: Jesus and a Church Submitted to His Will

In our own minds, we all have hopes and dreams - plans for your family, children, career, ministry, and life. 

But somewhere along the road, we’re all thrown curveballs, diversions to the roadmap we were laying out for ourselves.

Do these feelings sound familiar?: 

Frustration, dissatisfaction, anger, lack of contentment.  

Moving forward in faith with holy ambition 

vs. 

Being disgruntled and discontent

Why do we so often end up in the latter?

*Knowing God’s will and submitting to his will are two different things.  Knowing God’s will involves being aware of HIS objectives and goals (whose are you following today, HIS or your own?). 

Submitting to God’s will involves process, timing and circumstances we would not have chosen for ourselves, but in the wisdom and sovereignty of God, are necessary for our development and his glory.  

Knowing God’s Will 

Submitting to God’s Will

Knowing God’s Will

Acts 18:18-23 
After this, Paul stayed many days longer and then took leave of the brothers and set sail for Syria, and with him Priscilla and Aquila. At Cenchreae he had cut his hair, for he was under a vow. And they came to Ephesus, and he left them there, but he himself went into the synagogue and reasoned with the Jews. When they asked him to stay for a longer period, he declined. But on taking leave of them he said, “I will return to you if God wills,” and he set sail from Ephesus. When he had landed at Caesarea, he went up and greeted the church, and then went down to Antioch. After spending some time there, he departed and went from one place to the next through the region of Galatia and Phrygia, strengthening all the disciples.

Paul knew the will of the Lord by (Acts 13):

  1. The Word of God

“Your call will become clear as as your mind is transformed by the reading of Scripture and the internal work of God's Spirit. The Lord never hides His will from us. In time, as you obey the call first to follow, your destiny will unfold before you. The difficulty will lie in keeping other concerns from diverting your attention.”

Swindoll Charles R.

2. The Holy Spirit directing through times of worship, fasting and prayer 

3. Christ-ordained confirmation through God-given and vetted counsel. 

It’s an issue of Control vs. Confidence (Trust) in the Lord

Proverbs 16:1,3,9 
The plans of the heart belong to man, but the answer of the tongue is from the Lord. 
Commit your work to the Lord, and your plans will be established.
The heart of man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps.

Submitting to God’s Will

“If you aren't vigilant, if you aren't daily humbling yourself before Him, seeking His face, discerning His timing, operating under the Spirit's control, you may push and shove and force your way prematurely into that place where God wanted you, but you will not have arrived in His own time.”

Charles R. Swindoll, Moses: A Man of Selfless Dedication


Job 42:1-6 

Then Job answered the Lord and said: “I know that you can do all things, and that no purpose of yours can be thwarted. ‘Who is this that hides counsel without knowledge?’ Therefore I have uttered what I did not understand, things too wonderful for me, which I did not know. ‘Hear, and I will speak; I will question you, and you make it known to me.’ I had heard of you by the hearing of the ear, but now my eye sees you; therefore I despise myself, and repent in dust and ashes.”

“God doesn't work on our timetable. He has a plan that He will execute perfectly and for the highest, greatest good of all, and for His ultimate glory.”

Charles R. Swindoll



God’s plans vs. Our Own

-Timing 

-Manner

-Results 

We know in part and we prophesy in part 

(I Corinthians 13)

“To be a follower of the Crucified means, sooner or later, a personal encounter with the cross. And the cross always entails loss.”

-Elisabeth Elliot

Joseph (Genesis 37-50)

Disappointment, discouragement and disillusionment are the result when we project our plans onto God’s.  

“You and I can become so dedicated to the will of God, we can be so driven by a false sense of purpose, that we might inadvertently take matters into our own hands and leave God completely out of the loop.”

Charles R. Swindoll, Moses: A Man of Selfless Dedication


Fruitfulness, Joy and Longevity result when we make faith-filled plans, trusting God and submitting to his will

When the Lord makes it clear you're to follow Him in this new direction, focus fully on Him and refuse to be distracted by comparisons with others.

Swindoll Charles R.


Be fruitful while you wait (through your church)

snow white and dwarfs working

snow white and dwarfs working


Acts 18:22-23 

When he had landed at Caesarea, he went up and greeted the church, and then went down to Antioch. After spending some time there, he departed and went from one place to the next through the region of Galatia and Phrygia, strengthening all the disciples.

How not to miss the will of God: 

***Counsel and the will of God!!

Who will you let into the decision-making part of your world?

Proverbs 24:5-6 
A wise man is full of strength, and a man of knowledge enhances his might, for by wise guidance you can wage your war, and in abundance of counselors there is victory.

Paul eventually ended up back in Ephesus, where he would minister for almost three years (Acts 19:1-10) and through his ministry, the entire province of Asia would come to hear the gospel.  He had to submit to God’s process and timing for this to be done, while moving forward with faith-filled plans in the light of his then present revelation. 

Our Posture: We advance (with the gospel) by faith

The Result: Increasing fruit and fruitfulness wherever the Lord wills

“I am Thy servant to do Thy will, and that will is sweeter to me than position or riches or fame, and I choose it above all things on Earth or in Heaven.”

A.W. Tozer

Second City Church - Chicago Fire - Pastor Rollan Fisher 2019

Chicago Fire - Jesus and a Church of Eternal Friendships

Chicago Fire Sermon Series

Chicago Fire: Jesus and a Church of Eternal Friendships

We all want friendships that will last.  People with whom we will experience love, loss, devotion, care and mutual concerns are naturally one of our greatest desires.  We’ve all experienced these relationships to varying degrees, but eventually, you ask, “What’s the point of it all?”  Is the point of friendship just to have another barbecue or share another Pinterest post together?  Though these things are good, they are not the full extent of God’s plan. 

For the Faith

For the Trial

For the Purposes of God

Acts 18:1-17 
After this Paul left Athens and went to Corinth. And he found a Jew named Aquila, a native of Pontus, recently come from Italy with his wife Priscilla, because Claudius had commanded all the Jews to leave Rome. And he went to see them, and because he was of the same trade he stayed with them and worked, for they were tentmakers by trade. And he reasoned in the synagogue every Sabbath, and tried to persuade Jews and Greeks. When Silas and Timothy arrived from Macedonia, Paul was occupied with the word, testifying to the Jews that the Christ was Jesus. And when they opposed and reviled him, he shook out his garments and said to them, “Your blood be on your own heads! I am innocent. From now on I will go to the Gentiles.” And he left there and went to the house of a man named Titius Justus, a worshiper of God. His house was next door to the synagogue. Crispus, the ruler of the synagogue, believed in the Lord, together with his entire household. And many of the Corinthians hearing Paul believed and were baptized. And the Lord said to Paul one night in a vision, “Do not be afraid, but go on speaking and do not be silent, 10 for I am with you, and no one will attack you to harm you, for I have many in this city who are my people.” And he stayed a year and six months, teaching the word of God among them. But when Gallio was proconsul of Achaia, the Jews made a united attack on Paul and brought him before the tribunal, saying, “This man is persuading people to worship God contrary to the law.” But when Paul was about to open his mouth, Gallio said to the Jews, “If it were a matter of wrongdoing or vicious crime, O Jews, I would have reason to accept your complaint. But since it is a matter of questions about words and names and your own law, see to it yourselves. I refuse to be a judge of these things.” And he drove them from the tribunal. And they all seized Sosthenes, the ruler of the synagogue, and beat him in front of the tribunal. But Gallio paid no attention to any of this.

For the Faith

We all need people who will stand with us as we look to grow in the knowledge, grace and life of God.  This is what gives friendship its foundation

Emerson said, Do you love me? means Do you see the same truth?-Or at least, "Do you care about the same truth?

C.S. Lewis, The Four Loves

There is a difference between carnal companionship and God ordained friendship. We should yearn for the latter, the greater. 

Friendship arises out of mere Companionship when two or more of the companions discover that they have in common some insight or interest or even taste which the others do not share and which, till that moment, each believed to be his own unique treasure (or burden). The typical expression of opening Friendship would be something like, "What? You too? I thought I was the only one." 

... It is when two such persons discover one another, when, whether with immense difficulties and semi-articulate fumblings or with what would seem to us amazing and elliptical speed, they share their vision - it is then that Friendship is born. And instantly they stand together in an immense solitude.

C.S. Lewis, The Four Loves

The very condition of having Friends is that we should want something else besides Friends. Where the truthful answer to the question "Do you see the same truth?" would be "I see nothing and I don't care about the truth; I only want a Friend," no Friendship can arise - though Affection of course may. There would be nothing for the Friendship to be about; and Friendship must be about something, even if it were only an enthusiasm for dominoes or white mice. Those who have nothing can share nothing; those who are going nowhere can have no fellow-travellers.

C.S. Lewis, The Four Loves

The purpose of friendship is to both introduce those who don’t know God to Jesus and to reach those who don’t know Christ alongside of those who do.  To truly act in love, there must eventually be an intentional “turning of the corner” for us all.  This is where the friendship between Paul, Aquila, Priscilla, Silas and Timothy found eternal significance and meaning.

On the cross, Jesus expressed the greatest level of friendship by laying down his life for the world that he loves.  As we come to Jesus in faith and repentance, he then gives us a family of fellow travelers, his church through whom we find eternal friendships.  Not only does Christ give us family, but in those friendships, purpose, value and meaning as we advance the Kingdom of God together.  

John 15:12-17 
12 “This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. 13 Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends. 14 You are my friends if you do what I command you. 15 No longer do I call you servants, for the servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all that I have heard from my Father I have made known to you. 16 You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name, he may give it to you. 17 These things I command you, so that you will love one another.

Second City Church - Chicago Fire - Pastor Rollan Fisher 2019

Resurrection

Resurrection

People have often missed the point of Easter:

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For the Christian, the skeptic and the prodigal looking to come home, we hope to answer these questions:

Why does the empty tomb matter?

How can I historically have confidence that there was an empty tomb?

What does the empty tomb mean about Christ?

What does the empty tomb mean for me?

Why does the empty tomb matter?

*The resurrection matters because Jesus came to reconcile us to God, redeeming our sin scorched and broken lives.

Putting God: F.I.R.S.T. takes:

Focus

Identity

Reverence

Suffering 

Trust

1 Peter 5:1-14 
So I exhort the elders among you, as a fellow elder and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, as well as a partaker in the glory that is going to be revealed: shepherd the flock of God that is among you, exercising oversight,  not under compulsion, but willingly, as God would have you;  not for shameful gain, but eagerly; not domineering over those in your charge, but being examples to the flock. And when the chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the unfading crown of glory. Likewise, you who are younger, be subject to the elders. Clothe yourselves, all of you, with humility toward one another, for “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.” 6Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you. Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. Resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same kinds of suffering are being experienced by your brotherhood throughout the world. And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you. To him be the dominion forever and ever. Amen. By Silvanus, a faithful brother as I regard him, I have written briefly to you, exhorting and declaring that this is the true grace of God. Stand firm in it. She who is at Babylon, who is likewise chosen, sends you greetings, and so does Mark, my son. Greet one another with the kiss of love. Peace to all of you who are in Christ.

1 Corinthians 15:17-20 
And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile and you are still in your sins. Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished. If in Christ we have hope in this life only, we are of all people most to be pitied. But in fact Christ has been raised from the dead, the first fruits of those who have fallen asleep.


How can I historically have confidence that there was an empty tomb?

tomb

Mark 15:42-47 
And when evening had come, since it was the day of Preparation, that is, the day before the Sabbath, Joseph of Arimathea, a respected member of the council, who was also himself looking for the kingdom of God, took courage and went to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus. Pilate was surprised to hear that he should have already died. And summoning the centurion, he asked him whether he was already dead. And when he learned from the centurion that he was dead, he granted the corpse to Joseph. And Joseph bought a linen shroud, and taking him down, wrapped him in the linen shroud and laid him in a tomb that had been cut out of the rock. And he rolled a stone against the entrance of the tomb. Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of Joses saw where he was laid.

Mark 16:1-8 
When the Sabbath was past, Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome bought spices, so that they might go and anoint him. And very early on the first day of the week, when the sun had risen, they went to the tomb. And they were saying to one another, “Who will roll away the stone for us from the entrance of the tomb?” And looking up, they saw that the stone had been rolled back— it was very large. And entering the tomb, they saw a young man sitting on the right side, dressed in a white robe, and they were alarmed. And he said to them, “Do not be alarmed. You seek Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified. He has risen; he is not here. See the place where they laid him. But go, tell his disciples and Peter that he is going before you to Galilee. There you will see him, just as he told you.” And they went out and fled from the tomb, for trembling and astonishment had seized them, and they said nothing to anyone, for they were afraid.

Taken from crossexamined.org article written on the evidence for the empty tomb (https://crossexamined.org/the-evidence-for-jesus-resurrection-part-4-fact-2-the-empty-tomb/):

  1. The Jerusalem Factor

  2. All Four Gospels Feature Women As Witnesses To The Empty Tomb 

  3. The Enemies Of Christianity Presupposed The Vacancy Of The Tomb When They Said That The Disciples Stole The Body

  4. The Empty Tomb Is Multiply Attested

  5. Mark’s Account Is Simple And Lacks Signs Of Embellishment

  6. Multiple Literary Forms 

  7. The Reason The Women Went To The Tomb – Historical Fit/Coherence

  8. Archeological Evidence Presents An Edict That Makes The Most Sense In Light Of Jesus’ Tomb Being Empty 

  9. Jesus’ Tomb Was Never Venerated As A Shrine 

“In Palestine during the days of Jesus, at least fifty tombs of prophets or other holy persons served as sites of religious worship and veneration. However, there is no good evidence that such a practice was ever associated with Jesus’ tomb. Since this was customary, and since Jesus was a fitting object of veneration, why were such religious activities not conducted at his tomb? The most reasonable answer must be that Jesus’ body was not in his tomb, and thus the tomb was not regarded as an appropriate site for such veneration. . . . It seems, then, the lack of veneration at the tomb of Jesus is powerful evidence that the tomb was empty.”  - Philosopher and Apologist J.P. Moreland 

I was thinking of the resurrection in light of the recent Mueller reports investigating alleged collusion with the president and Russia during our latest presidential elections.  It brought me naturally to an even earlier time of confirmed scandal in our country with Richard Nixon and Watergate.  One of the men involved was a man named Charles Colson, who after his conviction and imprisonment, became a Christian.  Here is what he had to say about the resurrection. 

“I know the resurrection is a fact, and Watergate proved it to me. How? Because 12 men testified they had seen Jesus raised from the dead, then they proclaimed that truth for 40 years, never once denying it. Every one was beaten, tortured, stoned and put in prison. They would not have endured that if it weren't true. Watergate embroiled 12 of the most powerful men in the world-and they couldn't keep a lie for three weeks. You're telling me 12 apostles could keep a lie for 40 years? Absolutely impossible.”

Charles Colson

What does the empty tomb mean about Christ?

John 1:1-5, 14

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life, and the life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.

And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.


Romans 1:1-6 
Paul, a servant of Christ Jesus, called to be an apostle, set apart for the gospel of God, which he promised beforehand through his prophets in the holy Scriptures, concerning his Son, who was descended from David  according to the flesh and was declared to be the Son of God in power according to the Spirit of holiness by his resurrection from the dead, Jesus Christ our Lord, through whom we have received grace and apostleship to bring about the obedience of faith for the sake of his name among all the nations, including you who are called to belong to Jesus Christ,


We can be hesitate and prolong responding to Jesus fully because we are afraid of what acknowledging his reality in our lives would mean. 


What does the empty tomb mean for me?

For the Christian:

God can resurrect things that seem dead when we’re attempting to follow him faithfully. 

For the skeptic:

It means there’s a judgment to come when I will give an account of my life to a holy, righteous God.  It means my sin has earned death and condemnation for me but that Jesus paid a substitutionary price for me on the cross.  It means because Jesus was innocent and sinsless, death couldn’t hold him down.  It means there is life after the grave and Jesus calls me to an eternal peace in him.  It means that he offers me forgiveness that covers over all of my wrongs as I repent of my sin and put my trust in Him.  It means that Jesus calls me to healing can begin now and power to begin a new life today because of his resurrection from the dead.  

For the prodigal:

Jesus has came to deliver me and set my life back on course.  It means that he can restore broken lives, resurrect dead relationships and provide a purpose and a future to those who were once hopeless. It means the devil is defeated and you have one who can tame the roaring lion who looks to tear to your family, your finances, your mental health, your body and your soul apart.  It means that though up to this point so many things seemed to have fallen apart, there is a God who gives life to the dead because he is the resurrection and the life!!


John 11:25-26
Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, 26 and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die. Do you believe this?”


In conclusion: 

The bodily resurrection of Jesus Christ best explains the empty tomb which was known, could be located, was well guarded by Roman soldiers yet at the end of the day, was missing its most important contents.  

The empty tomb also best explains God’s intention for your life - to leave the death, sin, endless life altering mistakes and bitterness behind at the tomb.  It is to choose Christ and allow him to forgive you, heal you and set you on a new course because of the price he paid for your sins on the cross.  It is to allow him within his church to take off the grave clothes (John 11 + 12) and allow you to live a resurrected and redeemed life through your faith in the Son of God.  Let him be your Lord and Savior today and come into his resurrection life!


2 Corinthians 5:14-15 
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.

Second City Church - Resurrection - Pastor Rollan Fisher 2019

The Inside Job - Part 4

the inside job

Putting God: F.I.R.S.T. takes:

Focus

Identity

Reverence

Suffering

T

1 Peter 4:1-19 
Since therefore Christ suffered in the flesh,  arm yourselves with the same way of thinking, for whoever has suffered in the flesh has ceased from sin, so as to live for the rest of the time in the flesh no longer for human passions but for the will of God. For the time that is past suffices for doing what the Gentiles want to do, living in sensuality, passions, drunkenness, orgies, drinking parties, and lawless idolatry. With respect to this they are surprised when you do not join them in the same flood of debauchery, and they malign you; but they will give account to him who is ready to judge the living and the dead. For this is why the gospel was preached even to those who are dead, that though judged in the flesh the way people are, they might live in the spirit the way God does. The end of all things is at hand; therefore be self-controlled and sober-minded for the sake of your prayers. Above all, keep loving one another earnestly, since love covers a multitude of sins. Show hospitality to one another without grumbling. As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God's varied grace: whoever speaks, as one who speaks oracles of God; whoever serves, as one who serves by the strength that God supplies—in order that in everything God may be glorified through Jesus Christ. To him belong glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen. Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery trial when it comes upon you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice insofar as you share Christ's sufferings, that you may also rejoice and be glad when his glory is revealed. If you are insulted for the name of Christ, you are blessed, because the Spirit of glory and of God rests upon you. But let none of you suffer as a murderer or a thief or an evildoer or as a meddler. Yet if anyone suffers as a Christian, let him not be ashamed, but let him glorify God in that name. For it is time for judgment to begin at the household of God; and if it begins with us, what will be the outcome for those who do not obey the gospel of God? And “If the righteous is scarcely saved, what will become of the ungodly and the sinner?” Therefore let those who suffer according to God's will entrust their souls to a faithful Creator while doing good.

If you are unwilling to suffer, then ultimately you’ll be unwilling to do what’s right.  Obedience to God (many times) takes suffering.  Doing what’s right often (not always) involves pain.  

Wowza. Yes, that stings. 

I’m going to take you through a spiritual work-out routine with me.

Three Scriptures I’ve had to come to embrace  (I consider it an upper-body day to guard my heart, tongue and mind):

Proverbs 10:12
Hatred stirs up strife, but love covers all offenses.

Proverbs 17:9
Whoever covers an offense seeks love, but he who repeats a matter separates close friends

1 Peter 4:7-8
The end of all things is at hand; therefore be self-controlled and sober-minded for the sake of your prayers. Above all, keep loving one another earnestly, since love covers a multitude of sins.

This is the runway that we give people as we’re working with them, believing for them to come to repentance, into the grace of God and mature in him. It requires patience, the fruit of the Holy Spirit that literally means LONG-SUFFERING.   

No pain, no gain in the gym.  (My recumbent bike). So it is in relationships (marriages, family, friendships and work relationships included), godliness, health, finances and the pursuit of the high call of God in Christ Jesus.  

Luke 9:23-27 

And he said to all, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. 24 For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will save it. 25 For what does it profit a man if he gains the whole world and loses or forfeits himself? 26 For whoever is ashamed of me and of my words, of him will the Son of Man be ashamed when he comes in his glory and the glory of the Father and of the holy angels. 27 But I tell you truly, there are some standing here who will not taste death until they see the kingdom of God.”

Come to Christ at the cross to find grace, help, forgiveness and healing in the midst of the salvation that he provides.  

Second City Church - The Inside Job - Pastor Rollan Fisher 2019

Guest Speaker - Matt Rasch

guets speaker charles kiefer

Sleeping in the Storm

Testimonies

• Marseille: Salvations of François and Virginie, Easter Outreach coming up, pray

• Paris: great core group forming, last fall had 2 outreaches where 5 students made

a commitment to follow Christ. That was with 23 evangelists from all over the

world descending on Paris for a solid week.

- Marine’s testimony: law school, don’t believe in God. Sister called her, said

you’re going to meet some christians and you need to listen to them.

• Ministry School of Europe

• Answering the call to be a disciple of Jesus is exciting and life transforming, but it

doesn’t stop there. There’s more! There’s following Him daily. Learning to hear

God’s voice and be led of His Spirit is truly walking the way Jesus walked. Its not

easy, that’s why he mentored or taught 12 disciples.

- Jesus taught and demonstrated walking with God in a way we can all learn from.

- On of my favorite stories of where we can learn to walk with God is found in

Luke 8:22-25

Passage

Luke 8:22-25
“Now on one of those days Jesus and His disciples got into a boat, and He said to them, “Let us go over to the other side of the lake.” So they launched out. But as they were sailing along He fell asleep; and a fierce gale of wind descended on the lake, and they began to be swamped and to be in danger. They came to Jesus and woke Him up, saying, “Master, Master, we are perishing!” And He got up and rebuked the wind and the surging waves, and they stopped, and it became calm. And He said to them, “Where is your faith?” They were fearful and amazed, saying to one another, “Who then is this, that He commands even the winds and the water, and they obey Him?”

Breakdown

1. You can trust Jesus’ leading no matter what it looks like

  • • We walk by faith and not by sight. 2 Cor. 5:7

  • • Jesus said, “Let’s go to the other side.” In Matthew, it says “Jesus gave orders to

  • depart to the other side”

    • We see that Jesus knows where He is going and they are clearly following His lead like so many other times.

    • Normally when Jesus leads, things get exciting. For example: healings, miracles,

  • demons cast out, supernatural financial provision, amazing teaching and

  • revelation, rebuking the religious, etc.

    • However, they don’t normally get life-threatening! This time is very different!

    • * NOTE: Sea of Galilee Storms at bottom

  • Sea of Galilee background

    • 1992 - 10 foot waves recorded in Sea of Galilee.

    • Cause: Colder winds coming down off the Golan heights in East at 2500

  • feet above sea level falling onto the warmer air on the lake at 700 feet below

  • seas level.

    • Storms can come out of nowhere and bring great devastation quickly, even

  • in modern times.

    • Today, most boats can handle 1 foot waves for every 10 feet of boat.

    • These fishing boats of Galilee were on average about 27 foot long.

  • Therefore, they could handle safely 3 foot waves. Most professional

  • fishermen today with power boats would not go out in 6-8 foot waves, and

  • certainly not bigger.

    • We don’t know how big the waves were in this story, but you could imagine

  • they were big enough to put the fear of God in those men!

    • You can be assured that wherever Jesus leads you, He intends it to all work out

  • just fine. You can trust in His commands and leadings. He is good and will protect you.

    • The safest place to be is in His will.

    • If you are not in His will, you are living in His mercy, and no telling how long you can test God and receive His mercies(which are new every morning) before all hell breaks out.

    • In fact, today you may be feeling like things are breaking down around you, just keep not working out. I always say that one big disappointment can be by coincidence or hazard, but 2 or more big disappointments close together need to be examined and prayed about. Typically stiff comes out because it was in there and needed to.

  • Partial obedience to God is the same as disobedience.

  • If God has led you somewhere or made you know what you need to do, and

    you are not doing it, you need to seriously make a change of course. If its a

    question of timing, then you need to make sure you got the timing right. You

    could be living outside His will, and therefore outside His protection.

2. Jesus was sleeping

  • Here he releases his command and will, and the disciples start walking it out.

  • Then, things turn south.

  • We can just see the disciples stressing, starting to get afraid, seeing the water

    coming into this boat that’s being tossed to and fro, making everyone sick at the

    stomach. They could even be throwing up, which would be totally normal.

  • In a situation like this, you see your master sleeping, and probably they argued

    about whether to wake him up, but that argument didn’t last long as they began

    to sink.

  • Jesus somehow is sleeping through it all, but how?

  • One can’t ignore 6-8 foot waves in a boat that small

  • Example: 5 of us coming back from deep-sea adventure

  • How?

Key #1

  • Jesus walked with His heavenly Father in deep intimacy.

    • He knew He had to go to the cross and die for the sins of humanity.

    • Therefore, what He heard and saw when He was in prayer with God, He knew was more real and must be accomplished, therefore He was at peace.

  • Jesus’ peace came through His intimate relationship with the Father

  • So will yours and mine

  • Verses:

  • Isaiah 9:6-7

    For a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us; And the government will rest on His shoulders; And His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace. There will be no end to the increase of His government or of peace, On the throne of David and over his kingdom, To establish it and to uphold it with justice and righteousness From then on and forevermore. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will accomplish this.

  • Phil. 4:6-7

    “Be anxious for nothing, 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 comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

Key #2

  • Jesus was secure

  • Jesus knew His authority and power that was in Him because He knew who He

    was and whose He was.

  • Jesus was not like most of us, a walking insecurity bomb looking for a place to

    blow up and make a scene.

  • He was so full of acceptance from the Father that He exuded confidence and joy.

  • No peace, no confidence and no joy.

    • Spending quality time with the Father is an exercise in being filled up with God’s acceptance of you no matter what you’ve done or haven’t done.

  • God loves you the same the day you were born as the day you were at your worst.

  • He loves you as much the day before you gave your life to Him as the day after

    you decided to walk with Him.

  • Only God’s love will fill the huge insecurity gaps we all have. There’s not enough praise from man, promotions at work, companies we can start, that will fill the insecurity vacuum in each of our hearts.

  • Some of us need to stop the running around looking for a person to love us and to fill us up and heal us, and run to God the Father and His huge embrace!

  • Because Jesus knew who He was, He knew how to manage the storms in His life.

  • When we know truly who we are, we will also know that any storm that comes is an opportunity to demonstrate who we are as God’s children and bring order out of chaos.

Conclusion

2 Keys to sleeping in storms:

1. Walk in intimacy with Father God

1. Word, prayer, authentic relationships

2. Be secure:

1. Receive the love of Father God to overflowing everyday

Prayer

  • Who here has never made that decision to become a follower of Christ Jesus? Would you do that with me today?

  • Who needs to encounter the love of God at a deeper place?

  • Who needs to walk in full obedience to things you know you should be in?

  • Who needs courage to take a big step forward in God to re-order your priorities to truly follow Jesus daily?

  • Who needs prayer to learn how to sleep in the storm?

Second City Church: Guest Speaker - Matt Rasch 2019

The Inside Job - Part 3

the inside job

Putting God: F.I.R.S.T. takes:

Focus

Identity

Reverence

S

T

Background

The Apostle Peter is writing from Rome (which he calls Babylon) in chapter 5.  Peter is writing to gentile and most likely Jewish believers scattered throughout the Roman provinces to the east in Asia Minor which is now modern day Turkey.  He is writing them to encourage them to endure unjust suffering because Christ was also and firstly rejected by humans and endured suffering from sinners. Upon suffering he inherited the blessing of life, setting us an example that by faith in Him we can also endure suffering and rejection (which social rejection is what most of us feel now) with an expectation of the blessing of life to come.  In the previous chapter, chapter 2, Peter reminds those suffering of the God given IDENTITY that Christ is an immovable cornerstone that God Himself has placed, and that we believers and followers of Christ have an IDENTITY of a holy priesthood. By faith in Christ as the one and only Lord and Savior, we are being built into a spiritual house of worship of which he is the cornerstone.  In this spiritual house (or temple) we are expected to bring spiritual sacrifices to walk out our new IDENTITY as a holy priesthood.  Peter then says that because of this new IDENTITY of being a chosen royal priesthood and having received mercy though they formally were objects of God’s wrath,

“Live such good lives among the pagans that, though they accuse you of doing wrong, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day he visits us.” 2:12

This is where Peter begins to tell the believers what it looks like to live such good lives (making spiritual sacrifices) that will one day glorify God when Jesus returns.  The Holy Spirit through Peter says we will live these lives, make spiritual sacrifices, out of REVERENCE for God, submit yourselves.  Peter addresses a few specific groups of people but starts with all people under the Roman government. Then picks up with the most vulnerable  of the society working his way up to the least vulnerable. The weakest to the most powerful. He starts with slaves, then wives, husbands, and finally all people.  He also knows that Christ likeness starts in the home at a family level where our inner motives and most played out.

Main Scripture

1 Peter 3

3 Wives, in the same way submit yourselves to your own husbands so that, if any of them do not believe the word, they may be won over without words by the behavior of their wives, 2 when they see the purity and REVERENCE of your lives. 3 Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as elaborate hairstyles and the wearing of gold jewelry or fine clothes. 4 Rather, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight. 5 For this is the way the holy women of the past who put their hope in God used to adorn themselves. They submitted themselves to their own husbands, 6 like Sarah, who obeyed Abraham and called him her lord. You are her daughters if you do what is right and do not give way to fear.

7 Husbands, in the same way be considerate as you live with your wives, and treat them with respect as the weaker partner and as heirs with you of the gracious gift of life, so that nothing will hinder your prayers.

8 Finally, all of you, be like-minded, be sympathetic, love one another, be compassionate and humble. 9 Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult. On the contrary, repay evil with blessing, because to this you were called so that you may inherit a blessing. 10 For,

“Whoever would love life

   and see good days

must keep their tongue from evil

   and their lips from deceitful speech.

11 They must turn from evil and do good;

   they must seek peace and pursue it.

12 For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous

   and his ears are attentive to their prayer,

but the face of the Lord is against those who do evil.”[a]

13 Who is going to harm you if you are eager to do good? 14 But even if you should suffer for what is right, you are blessed. “Do not fear their threats[b]; do not be frightened.”[c] 15 But in your hearts REVERE Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, 16 keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander. 17 For it is better, if it is God’s will, to suffer for doing good than for doing evil. 18 For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God. He was put to death in the body but made alive in the Spirit. 19 After being made alive,[d] he went and made proclamation to the imprisoned spirits— 20 to those who were disobedient long ago when God waited patiently in the days of Noah while the ark was being built. In it only a few people, eight in all, were saved through water, 21 and this water symbolizes baptism that now saves you also—not the removal of dirt from the body but the pledge of a clear conscience toward God.[e] It saves you by the resurrection of Jesus Christ, 22 who has gone into heaven and is at God’s right hand—with angels, authorities and powers in submission to him.

Message Summary

When we have a genuine inner REVERENCE of Christ we will genuinely love, respect and honor those whom Christ died for as our spiritual sacrifices and worship in Spirit and Truth.  This inner REVERENCE will produce in us a gentle and quiet spirit because we have been delivered from fear of man.

What is REVERENCE?

Reverence is honor and respect that is deeply felt and outwardly demonstrated.  ‘Reverence’ and ‘revere’ are closely tied together with fear, awe, honor, and respect.  In the Bible when people encountered God their reverence drove them to the groundDo you fear God or simply respect God?  Respect alone will not drive you to sacrifice for God, but may influence you to make better decisions when convenient.   

Reverence toward our amazing God and Saviour starts in the heart as a work of the Holy Spirit but if it’s genuine it will not stay there.  We will begin to love ourselves the way Christ has loved us, by demonstrating the fruit of the spirit toward ourselves (Love your neighbor as YOURSELF).  It will work its way out through love, respect, submission and honor to our spouses and family second, and then our community.  

How do we know if we have genuine REVERENCE for Christ and aren’t just giving lip or hand service?

  1. Wives - If your husband isn’t obeying the Word, are you loving them by having pure and respectful conduct, putting on the inner beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which God sees and says is very precious in his sight?  Essentially, living with REVERENCE of God even when they aren’t?

  2. Are you doing ‘good’ despite threats or is the fear of man quenching your spirit?

  3. Husbands- are you living with your wives in an understanding way, showing her honor as God’s heir with her in the gift of life?  Do you feel like your prayers are being hindered?

  4. Do you have unit of mind with other believers?

  5. Do you have sympathy?

  6. Do you have brotherly love?

  7. Do you have a tender heart?

  8. Do you have a humble mind?

  9. Do you bless those who do evil to, revile, or despise you?

  10. Do you keep your tongue from evil?

  11. Do you lie?

  12. Have you turned away from evil and are doing good?

  13. Are you seeking and pursuing peace?

  14. Are you honoring Christ the Lord as holy?

  15. Are you always ready to give a defence for your faith...with gentleness and respect?

  16. Are you willing to suffer for doing good knowing that Christ did this for you while you were still a sinner?

    1. For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God. He was put to death in the body but made alive in the Spirit.

Invitation to Water Baptism next week on April 7th

“I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.” - John 15:5

The only way to truly have REVERENCE for God in your heart is to accept His son Jesus Christ by repentance of sins and placing your faith in Christ alone for your righteousness.   Noah and the other 7 who were saved from the destroying floods showed their heart’s inner REVERENCE, repentance and trust in the LORD by obeying God’s good news and getting into the ark to be saved.  Today, we show our reverence of and trust in Christ by being clothed with Christ going down in the water of baptism as they went into the flood waters. They emerged into a new earth cleansed of sin and we emerge into a new life with Christ and cleansed conscience, being still in the world but not of the world any longer.

Supporting Scriptures

  • Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ- Eph 5:21

  • If you, Lord, kept a record of sins,

    Lord, who could stand?

But with you there is forgiveness,

   so that we can, with reverence, serve you. - Psalm 130:4

Then King Darius wrote to all the nations and peoples of every language in all the earth:

“May you prosper greatly!

“I issue a decree that in every part of my kingdom people must fear and reverence the God of Daniel.

“For he is the living God

and he endures forever;

his kingdom will not be destroyed,

his dominion will never end.

He rescues and he saves;

he performs signs and wonders

in the heavens and on the earth.

He has rescued Daniel from the power of the lions.” - Daniel 6:25-27

  • “My covenant was with him, a covenant of life and peace, and I gave them to him; this called for reverence and he revered me and stood in awe of my name. - Malachi 2:5

  • 24 The following day he arrived in Caesarea. Cornelius was expecting them and had called together his relatives and close friends. 25 As Peter entered the house, Cornelius met him and fell at his feet in reverence.26 But Peter made him get up. “Stand up,” he said, “I am only a man myself.” - Acts 10:24-26

  • Therefore, since we have these promises, dear friends, let us purify ourselves from everything that contaminates body and spirit, perfecting holiness out of reverence for God. - 2 Cor 7:1-3

  • 28 Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe, 29 for our “God is a consuming fire.” - Hebrews 12:28-29

Second City Church - The Inside Job - Pastor Cole Parleir 2019

The Inside Job - Part 2

the inside job

Putting God: F.I.R.S.T. takes:

Focus

Identity

R

S

T

1 Peter 2:1-25
So put away all malice and all deceit and hypocrisy and envy and all slander. Like newborn infants, long for the pure spiritual milk, that by it you may grow up into salvation— if indeed you have tasted that the Lord is good. As you come to him, a living stone rejected by men but in the sight of God chosen and precious, you yourselves like living stones are being built up as a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. For it stands in Scripture: “Behold, I am laying in Zion a stone, a cornerstone chosen and precious, and whoever believes in him will not be put to shame.” So the honor is for you who believe, but for those who do not believe, “The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone,” and “A stone of stumbling, and a rock of offense.” They stumble because they disobey the word, as they were destined to do. But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light. Once you were not a people, but now you are God's people; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy. Beloved, I urge you as sojourners and exiles to abstain from the passions of the flesh, which wage war against your soul. Keep your conduct among the Gentiles honorable, so that when they speak against you as evildoers, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day of visitation. Be subject for the Lord's sake to every human institution, whether it be to the emperor as supreme, or to governors as sent by him to punish those who do evil and to praise those who do good. For this is the will of God, that by doing good you should put to silence the ignorance of foolish people. Live as people who are free, not using your freedom as a cover-up for evil, but living as servants of God. Honor everyone. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the emperor. Servants, be subject to your masters with all respect, not only to the good and gentle but also to the unjust. For this is a gracious thing, when, mindful of God, one endures sorrows while suffering unjustly. For what credit is it if, when you sin and are beaten for it, you endure? But if when you do good and suffer for it you endure, this is a gracious thing in the sight of God. For to this you have been called, because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, so that you might follow in his steps. He committed no sin, neither was deceit found in his mouth. When he was reviled, he did not revile in return; when he suffered, he did not threaten, but continued entrusting himself to him who judges justly. 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.

We will be judged by the Word of God. Therefore we must know it to know that for which we’ll be held responsible. 

John 12:47-50
47 If anyone hears my words and does not keep them, I do not judge him; for I did not come to judge the world but to save the world. 48 The one who rejects me and does not receive my words has a judge; the word that I have spoken will judge him on the last day. 49 For I have not spoken on my own authority, but the Father who sent me has himself given me a commandment—what to say and what to speak. 50 And I know that his commandment is eternal life. What I say, therefore, I say as the Father has told me.”

Mentions of Christ’s Identity:

  1. A living stone

  2. Rejected by men

  3. Chosen and precious in the sight of God 

  4. The cornerstone

  5. The one who as people believe in him, will not be put to shame. 

  6. A stone of stumbling and rock of offense

  7. Our example 

  8. Committed no sin

  9. One without deceit in his mouth 

  10. Suffering Servant 

  11. The one who did not return reviling with reviling 

  12. Bearer of our Sins that we might die to sin and live to righteousness

  13. Our Healer by his wounds 

  14. Shepherd and Overseer of our Soul

Mentions of the Believer’s Identity:

  1. Like newborn babies 

  2. Like living stones being built up as a spiritual house

  3. A holy priesthood offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.

  4. Chosen race

  5. Royal priesthood

  6. A holy nation

  7. A people of his own possession

  8. Those who are to proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light

  9. God’s people

  10. Those who have received mercy

  11. Beloved 

  12. Sojourners and exiles

  13. Servants 

  14. Sheep

“Man often becomes what he believes himself to be. If I keep on saying to myself that I cannot do a certain thing, it is possible that I may end by really becoming incapable of doing it. On the contrary, if I have the belief that I can do it, I shall surely acquire the capacity to do it even if I may not have it at the beginning.” - Mahatma Gandhi


As I urged you when I went into Macedonia, stay there in Ephesus so that you may command certain men not to teach false doctrines any longer nor to devote themselves to myths and endless genealogies. These promote controversies rather than God's work–which is by faith. The goal of this command is love, which comes from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith. (1 Timothy 1:3-5 NIV84)]

Truth and Faith are inextricably bound in the Kingdom of God.  

You must know who your God is and worship Him accordingly (John 17:3). 

You must know who He has made you and serve Him exceedingly (Ephesians 2:10; I Peter 2:9-12). 

You must know how these two things converge and believe Him extravagantly (John 6:25-29). 

The Importance of Definition:

What is the good of pretending to be what you are not? Well, on the human level, you know, there are two kinds of pretending. There is a bad kind where the pretense is there instead of the real thing; as when a man pretends he is going to help you instead of really helping you. But there is also a good kind, where the pretence leads up to the real thing. When you are not feeling particularly friendly but know you ought to be, the best thing you can do, very often, is to put on a friendly manner and behave as if you were a nicer person than you actually are. And in a few minutes, as we have all noticed, you will be really feeling friendlier than you were. Very often the only way to get a quality in reality is to start behaving as if you had it already."

- C.S. Lewis in Mere Christianity, ch. 7, part 4

“Your time is limited, so don't waste it living someone else's life.” - Steve Job


Paul, a servant of Christ Jesus, called to be an apostle and set apart for the gospel of God– the gospel he promised beforehand through his prophets in the Holy Scriptures regarding his Son, who as to his human nature was a descendant of David, and who through the Spirit of holiness was declared with power to be the Son of God by his resurrection from the dead: Jesus Christ our Lord. Through him and for his name's sake, we received grace and apostleship to call people from among all the Gentiles to the obedience that comes from faith. (Romans 1:1-5 NIV84)

"Identity precedes activity in the Kingdom of God."  -Ron Lewis 

Paul, called to be an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, and our brother Sosthenes,

To the church of God in Corinth, to those sanctified in Christ Jesus and called to be holy, together with all those everywhere who call on the name of our Lord Jesus Christ–their Lord and ours:

Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. (1 Corinthians 1:1-3 NIV84) 

Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, and Timothy our brother,

To the church of God in Corinth, together with all the saints throughout Achaia:

Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. (2 Corinthians 1:1, 2 NIV84)

Paul, an apostle–sent not from men nor by man, but by Jesus Christ and God the Father, who raised him from the dead– and all the brothers with me,

To the churches in Galatia:

Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ, who gave himself for our sins to rescue us from the present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father, to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen. (Galatians 1:1-5 NIV84)

Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God,

To the saints in Ephesus, the faithful in Christ Jesus:

Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. (Ephesians 1:1, 2 NIV84) 

Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, and Timothy our brother,

To the holy and faithful brothers in Christ at Colosse:

Grace and peace to you from God our Father. (Colossians 1:1, 2 NIV84)

We were not looking for praise from men, not from you or anyone else.

As apostles of Christ we could have been a burden to you, but we were gentle among you, like a mother caring for her little children. We loved you so much that we were delighted to share with you not only the gospel of God but our lives as well, because you had become so dear to us. 

(1 Thessalonians 2:6-8 NIV84) 

This is good, and pleases God our Savior, who wants all men to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth. For there is one God and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself as a ransom for all men–the testimony given in its proper time. And for this purpose I was appointed a herald and an apostle–I am telling the truth, I am not lying–and a teacher of the true faith to the Gentiles. (1 Timothy 2:3-7 NIV84)

So do not be ashamed to testify about our Lord, or ashamed of me his prisoner. But join with me in suffering for the gospel, by the power of God, who has saved us and called us to a holy life–not because of anything we have done but because of his own purpose and grace. This grace was given us in Christ Jesus before the beginning of time, but it has now been revealed through the appearing of our Savior, Christ Jesus, who has destroyed death and has brought life and immortality to light through the gospel. And of this gospel I was appointed a herald and an apostle and a teacher. That is why I am suffering as I am. Yet I am not ashamed, because I know whom I have believed, and am convinced that he is able to guard what I have entrusted to him for that day.

What you heard from me, keep as the pattern of sound teaching, with faith and love in Christ Jesus. Guard the good deposit that was entrusted to you–guard it with the help of the Holy Spirit who lives in us.

You know that everyone in the province of Asia has deserted me, including Phygelus and Hermogenes.

May the Lord show mercy to the household of Onesiphorus, because he often refreshed me and was not ashamed of my chains. On the contrary, when he was in Rome, he searched hard for me until he found me. May the Lord grant that he will find mercy from the Lord on that day! You know very well in how many ways he helped me in Ephesus. (2 Timothy 1:8-18 NIV84) 

Paul, a servant of God and an apostle of Jesus Christ for the faith of God's elect and the knowledge of the truth that leads to godliness– a faith and knowledge resting on the hope of eternal life, which God, who does not lie, promised before the beginning of time, and at his appointed season he brought his word to light through the preaching entrusted to me by the command of God our Savior,

To Titus, my true son in our common faith:

Grace and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Savior. (Titus 1:1-4 NIV84)

Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ,

To God's elect, strangers in the world, scattered throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia and Bithynia, who have been chosen according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through the sanctifying work of the Spirit, for obedience to Jesus Christ and sprinkling by his blood:

Grace and peace be yours in abundance. (1 Peter 1:1, 2 NIV84)

To the elders among you, I appeal as a fellow elder, a witness of Christ's sufferings and one who also will share in the glory to be revealed: Be shepherds of God's flock that is under your care, serving as overseers–not because you must, but because you are willing, as God wants you to be; not greedy for money, but eager to serve; not lording it over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock. And when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the crown of glory that will never fade away. 

(1 Peter 5:1-4 NIV84) 

Simon Peter, a servant and apostle of Jesus Christ,

To those who through the righteousness of our God and Savior Jesus Christ have received a faith as precious as ours:

Grace and peace be yours in abundance through the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord. 

(2 Peter 1:1, 2 NIV84) 

The elder,

To the chosen lady and her children, whom I love in the truth–and not I only, but also all who know the truth– because of the truth, which lives in us and will be with us forever:

Grace, mercy and peace from God the Father and from Jesus Christ, the Father's Son, will be with us in truth and love. (2 John 1:1-3 NIV84)

The elder,

To my dear friend Gaius, whom I love in the truth.

Dear friend, I pray that you may enjoy good health and that all may go well with you, even as your soul is getting along well. It gave me great joy to have some brothers come and tell about your faithfulness to the truth and how you continue to walk in the truth. I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth. (3 John 1:1-4 NIV84)

Jude, a servant of Jesus Christ and a brother of James,

To those who have been called, who are loved by God the Father and kept by Jesus Christ:

Mercy, peace and love be yours in abundance.

Dear friends, although I was very eager to write to you about the salvation we share, I felt I had to write and urge you to contend for the faith that was once for all entrusted to the saints. (Jude 1:1-3 NIV84)

The work horse and war horse have two different purposes and training.  The war horse can not be skittish when bullets or arrows are flying.  It must be steady, where the work horse would be unsettled and run.  The war horse is trained for speed and agility to advance in the face of danger; the clydesdale for strength and perseverance, a steady discipline plowing the same field day after day.  David was built for war, Solomon for diplomacy.  The Christian needs to learn from and exemplify both in their character, while specializing in their gifts and call. 

DreamWorks Pictures' "War Horse," director Steven Spielberg's epic adventure, is a tale of loyalty, hope and tenacity set against a sweeping canvas of rural England and Europe during the First World War.

Come to Christ at the cross and allow him to identify you.

Second City Church - The Inside Job - Pastor Rollan Fisher 2019

The Inside Job - Part 1

the inside job

1 Peter 1:1-25
Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, To those who are elect exiles of the Dispersion in Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia, according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, in the sanctification of the Spirit, for obedience to Jesus Christ and for sprinkling with his blood: May grace and peace be multiplied to you. Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, who by God's power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, so that the tested genuineness of your faith—more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire—may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ. Though you have not seen him, you love him. Though you do not now see him, you believe in him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory, obtaining the outcome of your faith, the salvation of your souls. Concerning this salvation, the prophets who prophesied about the grace that was to be yours searched and inquired carefully, inquiring what person or time the Spirit of Christ in them was indicating when he predicted the sufferings of Christ and the subsequent glories. It was revealed to them that they were serving not themselves but you, in the things that have now been announced to you through those who preached the good news to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven, things into which angels long to look. 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.

"The Bible must be your chart, and you must exercise great watchfulness that your way may be according to its directions. You must take heed to your daily life, as well as study your Bible, and you must study your Bible that you may take heed to your daily life. With the greatest care a man will go astray if his map misleads him; but with the most accurate map he will still lose his road if he does not take heed to it. The narrow way was never hit upon by chance, neither did any heedless man ever lead a holy life. We can sin without thought, we have only to neglect the great salvation and ruin our souls; but to obey the Lord and walk uprightly will need all our heart and soul and mind. Let the careless remember this."
- C.H. Spurgeon, on Psalm 119:9

"I prayed for Faith, and thought that some day Faith would come down and strike me like lightning. But Faith did not seem to come. One day I read in the tenth chapter of Romans, 'Now Faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God'. I had closed my Bible, and prayed for Faith. I now opened my Bible, and began to study, and Faith has been growing ever since. " - DL Moody

"You know more about your magazines and novels than what God has written; many of you will read a novel from the beginning to the end, and what have you got? A mouthful of foam when you are done. But you cannot read the Bible; that solid, lasting, substantial, and satisfying food goes uneaten, locked up in the cupboard of neglect; while anything that a man writes, a best seller of the day, is greedily devoured." - C.H. Spurgeon

Second City Church - The Inside Job - Pastor Rollan Fisher 2019