By Faith We Receive
i. Jesus came in accordance with the Old Testament Scriptures to fulfill the law and our ultimate needs for forgiveness unto restoration into God’s family. To do this He revealed our Heavenly Father, became our best friend, forgave us of our sins, and gives us a spiritual family.
ii. God’s words do more than reveal the condition of our hearts. God’s words create the yearning of our hearts. When God prophecies that a thing shall come to pass (including how we should live to bring Him glory), the words themselves create a need and expectation in the human soul for the thing that was prophesied. Sin happens when we choose to fulfill the need with a way other than God’s perfect and lasting way.
1. “Let us, therefore, strive to enter that rest, so that no one may fall by the same sort of disobedience. For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart. And no creature is hidden from his sight, but all are naked and exposed to the eyes of him to whom we must give account.” - Hebrews 4:11-13 ESV
i. Father: Jesus came to reveal God the Father to us according to the Scriptures. We need a Father before we need a friend.
1. OT Scripture reference
a. “For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and of peace there will be no end, on the throne of David and over his kingdom, to establish it and to uphold it with justice and with righteousness from this time forth and forevermore. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will do this.” - Isaiah 9:6-7 ESV
2. NT Scripture reference
a. “Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me. In my Father's house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also. And you know the way to where I am going." Thomas said to him, "Lord, we do not know where you are going. How can we know the way?" Jesus said to him, "I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. If you had known me, you would have known my Father also. From now on you do know him and have seen him." Philip said to him, "Lord, show us the Father, and it is enough for us." Jesus said to him, "Have I been with you so long, and you still do not know me, Philip? has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, 'Show us the Father'? Do you not believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me? The words that I say to you I do not speak on my own authority, but the Father who dwells in me does his works. Believe me that I am in the Father and the Father is in me, or else believe on account of the works themselves.”- John 14:1-11 ESV
3. How does this fulfill us?
a. “He was in the world, and the world was made through him, yet the world did not know him. He came to his own, and his own people did not receive him. But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.” - John 1:10-13 ESV
i. By faith in Jesus, our desire to be fathered is filled: Everyone has a dad. There are no orphans and no single-parent homes in God’s kingdom.
ii. Jesus revealing the Father removes humanity's excuse for sin holding us accountable to it and at the same time shows us His heart and desire to forgive and heal us. Satan has always been trying to impersonate God and was cast out of heaven for it. Kings of the earth have also always been trying to claim the title of God and God has cast them down from their thrones for it. In Jesus Christ, God has removed all confusion for all the peoples of the earth so they can know: 1) God’s character and will towards them, and 2) since they are created in His image, how they are to live and behave as His image bearers.
i. Friend: We are designed to have one-on-one intimate friendship with God. Because God designed us for relationship with Himself, no religion or way of living will ever meet that need unless it postures us for friendship.
1. OT Scriptures
a. Adam and God were meant to be walking and talking in the garden, the original worship session. Instead Adam hid from God and friend.
i. “And they heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God among the trees of the garden. But the Lord God called to the man and said to him, "Where are you?" And he said, "I heard the sound of you in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked, and I hid myself."” - Genesis 3:8-10 ESV
a. Moses and God talked in the tent of the meeting, similar to the garden of Eden as it had been made a holy space. The relationship had begun to be restored and a whole nation was being offered friendship.
i. “Now Moses used to take the tent and pitch it outside the camp, far off from the camp, and he called it the tent of meeting. And everyone who sought the Lord would go out to the tent of meeting, which was outside the camp. Whenever Moses went out to the tent, all the people would rise up, and each would stand at his tent door, and watch Moses until he had gone into the tent. When Moses entered the tent, the pillar of cloud would descend and stand at the entrance of the tent, and the Lord would speak with Moses. And when all the people saw the pillar of cloud standing at the entrance of the tent, all the people would rise up and worship, each at his tent door. Thus the Lord used to speak to Moses' face to face, as a man speaks to his friend. When Moses turned again into the camp, his assistant Joshua the son of Nun, a young man, would not depart from the tent.” - Exodus 33:7-11 ESV
1. NT Scriptures
a. Jesus said, ‘I no longer call you servants, but friends, for a servant does not know his master’s business.' We first need a Father and then we need a friend. Friends are made through service, and God’s case, through obedience.
i. “This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends. You are my friends if you do what I command you. 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. 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. These things I command you so that you will love one another.” - John 15:12-17 ESV
a. The parable of the prodigal son teaches us that we first need a father, then humility in that father/son relationship leads to friendship. For the older son, he obeyed his father but didn’t rejoice when his father rejoiced due to pride and jealousy. These can kill the love that is supposed to obedience that leads to friendship.
i. “And he arose and came to his father. But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and felt compassion, and ran and embraced him and kissed him. And the son said to him, 'Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son.' But the father said to his servants, 'Bring quickly the best robe, and put it on him, and put a ring on his hand, and shoes on his feet. And bring the fattened calf and kill it, and let us eat and celebrate. For this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found.' And they began to celebrate. "Now his older son was in the field, and as he came and drew near to the house, he heard music and dancing. And he called one of the servants and asked what these things meant. And he said to him, 'Your brother has come, and your father has killed the fattened calf, because he has received him back safe and sound.' But he was angry and refused to go in. His father came out and entreated him, but he answered his father, 'Look, these many years I have served you, and I never disobeyed your command, yet you never gave me a young goat, that I might celebrate with my friends. But when this son of yours came, who has devoured your property with prostitutes, you killed the fattened calf for him! It was fitting to celebrate and be glad, for this your brother was dead, and is alive; he was lost, and is found.'" Luke 15:20-30, 32 ESV
One. The first shall be last and the last shall be first. God exalts the humble and opposes the proud. God humbles us so He can be with us.
1. How does this friendship fulfill us?
a. “A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for adversity.”- Proverbs 17:17 ESV
i. We are loved! We don’t have to keep running! Mercy is waiting! We have a Father and a capital ‘F’ friend in Jesus who will never leave us or forsake us!
b. “The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. "The Lord is my portion," says my soul, "therefore I will hope in him." The Lord is good to those who wait for him, to the soul who seeks him.”- Lamentations 3:22-25 ESV
c. “A man of many companions may come to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.”-Proverbs 18:24 ESV
i. When we have Jesus Christ as our friend, we have all the friends we need to make it through life. Christ, Community, Culture- God’s plan is that we live in a Christ-centered community so Jesus can show us this type of friendship that never quits or abandons. You don’t need companions, you need Jesus and His people filled with the Holy Spirit as your friends.
i. Forgiveness: What God starts He maintains and finishes by His Spirit. Jesus came to ‘reboot’ the relationship between God and humanity by being the perfect person who could present Himself as the perfect sacrifice to bring perfect justice to a perfect God, in the process making perfect all those who place their trust in His forgiveness.
1. OT Scriptures
a. “The Lord God said to the serpent, "Because you have done this, cursed are you above all livestock and above all beasts of the field; on your belly, you shall go, and dust you shall eat all the days of your life. I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her offspring; he shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel."- Genesis 3:14-15 ESV
i. Forgiveness has been needed since the first people and is the foundation of the work the Father sent the Son to fulfill. Jesus is this foundation and cornerstone that all our work as the church and children of God is built upon. All work not done in the humility of forgiveness through Christ Jesus is shifting sand and will tumble one day.
ii. A prophecy is not a ‘prediction’ that might happen, it’s a promise that will happen. Sometimes we treat them functionally as ‘predictions’ though we call them prophecies. Faith is the difference of whether we are impacted by a prophecy or not.
b. “All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned— every one—to his own way; and the Lord has laid upon him the iniquity of us all.”- Isaiah 53:6 ESV
i. We are all in the same boat. Universal need. Everyone is sick with sin.
2. NT Scriptures
a. “The next day he saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, "Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world! This is he of whom I said, 'After I come to a man who ranks before me because he was before me.' I myself did not know him, but for this purpose, I came baptizing with water, that he might be revealed to Israel." And John bore witness: "I saw the Spirit descend from heaven like a dove, and it remained on him. I myself did not know him, but he who sent me to baptize with water said to me, 'He on whom you see the Spirit descend and remain, this is he who baptizes with the Holy Spirit.' And I have seen and have borne witness that this is the Son of God."- John 1:29-34 ESV
i) Only Jesus can take away our sin because only God can forgive sin. This ‘blasphemy’ is the reason that was used to murder to Jesus on the cross.
i. Family: Jesus came to bring us peace with God that leads to peace with each other. When we come to Jesus in repentance forsaking our attempts to hide from God as leader of our lives, and accept Him as the only one who can save us, we are filled with His Spirit, the Holy Spirit. This Holy Spirit enables us to love Him, ourselves, and each other helping us turn daily from sin. This group of people who are washed clean by the blood of Jesus and are surrendered to His leadership is the Church, the family of God!
1. OT Scripture
a. “Now the Lord said to Abram, "Go from your country and your kindred and your father's house to the land that I will show you. And I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you and make your name great so that you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and him who dishonors you I will curse, and in you, all the families of the earth shall be blessed." - Genesis 12:1-3 ESV
i. Jesus lineage traces back to Abraham. Jesus is the seed. The plan hasn't changed.
2. NT Scriptures
i. “For he himself is our peace, who has made us both one and has broken down in his flesh the dividing wall of hostility by abolishing the law of commandments expressed in ordinances, that he might create in himself one new man in place of the two, so making peace, and might reconcile us both to God in one body through the cross, thereby killing the hostility. And he came and preached peace to you who were far off and peace to those who were near. For through him we both have access in one Spirit to the Father. So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the cornerstone, in whom the whole structure, being joined together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord. In him you also are being built together into a dwelling place for God by the Spirit.”-
Ephesians 2:14-22 ESV
i. The unique forgiveness found in the unique Jesus is mankind’s universal need that brings the fulfillment of all of humanity’s other needs.
ii. “For the promise to Abraham and his offspring that he would be heir of the world did not come through the law but through the righteousness of faith. For if it is the adherents of the law who are to be the heirs, faith is null and the promise is void. For the law brings wrath, but where there is no law there is no transgression. That is why it depends on faith, in order that the promise may rest on grace and be guaranteed to all his offspring—not only to the adherent of the law but also to the one who shares the faith of Abraham, who is the father of us all, as it is written, "I have made you the father of many nations"—in the presence of the God in whom he believed, who gives life to the dead and calls into existence the things that do not exist. In hope he believed against hope, that he should become the father of many nations, as he had been told, "So shall your offspring be." He did not weaken in faith when he considered his own body, which was as good as dead (since he was about a hundred years old), or when he considered the barrenness of Sarah's womb. No unbelief made him waver concerning the promise of God, but he grew strong in his faith as he gave glory to God, fully convinced that God was able to do what he had promised. That is why his faith was "counted to him as righteousness." But the words "it was counted to him" were not written for his sake alone, but for ours also. It will be counted to us who believe in him who raised from the dead Jesus our Lord, who was delivered up for our trespasses and raised for our justification.”- Romans 4:13-25 ESV
i. The church is the family of God, not an organization or a club, but a heavenly, spiritual, eternal family.
a. The main point
i. The Word of God found in the Bible is full of prophecies, promises of God. These prophecies are to give us hope. The fulfillments are the reason we have faith, more than hope.What now?
a. Do you feel faith stirring in your heart? Are you cut to the heart by God’s love for us? Do you believe God so loved the world that He gave his only begotten Son so that whoever believes in Him won’t perish but have eternal life? As we go back into worship with song, open your mouth and your heart, receive this gift of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit by faith.
The hope in a person’s heart is not something made up but is there because of an expectation that God has given. The God given expectation is ‘prophecy.’ Prophecy is where our hopes come from.
• OT messianic prophecy list https://therefinersfire.org/prophecies.htm
• Baby John
- The woman at the well
- When Messiah comes He will tell all things Eternity is in the hearts of men- Ecclesiastes This Eternal life, to know Jesus Christ- John 17
- Hope deferred makes the heart sick but a desire fulfilled is a tree of life The message of Jesus is the Spirit of Prophecy - Revelation
- What man desires is unfailing love - Proverbs
The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom. - Proverbs
The stone the builders rejected has now become the cornerstone.
The Third Sunday in Advent.
LORD Jesus Christ, who at thy first coming didst send thy messenger to prepare thy way before thee; Grant that the ministers and stewards of thy mysteries may likewise so prepare and make ready thy way, by turning the hearts off the disobedient to the wisdom of the just, that at thy second coming to judge the world we may be found an acceptable people in thy sight, who livest and reignest with the Father and the Holy Spirit ever, one God, world without end.. Amen. - The Book of Common Prayer of the Church of England
Second City Church- Fulfilled Sermon Series - Cole Parleir 2017