Fulfilled - Part 6


Zephaniah 3:14-20 
Sing aloud, O daughter of Zion; shout, O Israel! Rejoice and exult with all your heart, O daughter of Jerusalem!The Lord has taken away the judgments against you; he has cleared away your enemies.The King of Israel, the Lord, is in your midst; you shall never again fear evil. On that day it shall be said to Jerusalem: “Fear not, O Zion; let not your hands grow weak. The Lord your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; he will rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you by his love; he will exult over you with loud singing.I will gather those of you who mourn for the festival, so that you will no longer suffer reproach. Behold, at that time I will deal with all your oppressors. And I will save the lame and gather the outcast, and I will change their shame into praise and renown in all the earth. At that time I will bring you in, at the time when I gather you together; for I will make you renowned and praised among all the peoples of the earth, when I restore your fortunes before your eyes,” says the Lord.

"How many observe Christ's birthday! How few, His precepts!"
- Benjamin Franklin

Matthew 1:18-25
Now the birth of Jesus Christ took place in this way. When his mother Mary had been betrothed to Joseph, before they came together she was found to be with child from the Holy Spirit. And her husband Joseph, being a just man and unwilling to put her to shame, resolved to divorce her quietly. But as he considered these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, do not fear to take Mary as your wife, for that which is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.” All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had spoken by the prophet: “Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall call his name Immanuel” (which means, God with us). When Joseph woke from sleep, he did as the angel of the Lord commanded him: he took his wife, but knew her not until she had given birth to a son. And he called his name Jesus.

"I will honor Christmas in my heart, and try to keep it all the year."
- Charles Dickens
"It is Jesus that you seek when you dream of happiness; He is waiting for you when nothing else you find satisfies you; He is the beauty to which you are so attracted; it is He who provoked you with that thirst for fullness that will not let you settle for compromise; it is He who urges you to shed the masks of a false life; it is He who reads in your heart your most genuine choices, the choices that others try to stifle.
It is Jesus who stirs in you the desire to do something great with your lives, the will to follow an ideal, the refusal to allow yourselves to be ground down by mediocrity, the courage to commit yourselves humbly and patiently to improving yourselves and society, making the world more human and more fraternal."
- John Paul II
"Christmas is built upon a beautiful and intentional paradox; that the birth of the homeless should be celebrated in every home."
- G.K. Chesterton, Brave New Family: G.K. Chesterton on Men and Women, Children, Sex, Divorce, Marriage and the Family

Luke 2:1-21 
In those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be registered. This was the first registration when Quirinius was governor of Syria. And all went to be registered, each to his own town. And Joseph also went up from Galilee, from the town of Nazareth, to Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David, to be registered with Mary, his betrothed, who was with child. And while they were there, the time came for her to give birth. And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in swaddling cloths and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn. And in the same region there were shepherds out in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And an angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were filled with great fear. And the angel said to them, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people.  For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. And this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger.” And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!” When the angels went away from them into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let us go over to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has made known to us.” And they went with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby lying in a manger. And when they saw it, they made known the saying that had been told them concerning this child. And all who heard it wondered at what the shepherds told them. But Mary treasured up all these things, pondering them in her heart. And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen, as it had been told them. And at the end of eight days, when he was circumcised, he was called Jesus, the name given by the angel before he was conceived in the womb.

"Christ became our Brother in order to help us. Through him our brother has become Christ for us in the power and authority of the commission Christ has given him. Our brother stands before us the sign of the truth and the grace of God. He has been given to us to help us. He hears the confession of our sins in Christ's stead and he forgives our sins in Christ's name. He keeps the secret of our confession as God keeps it. When I go to my brother to confess, I am going to God."
- Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Life Together: The Classic Exploration of Christian Community

Second City Church- Fulfilled Sermon Series - Rollan Fisher 2017

Fulfilled - Part 5


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

a.    Fulfillments

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?

1.    Respond
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
The players
•    Zechariah
•    Elizabeth
•    Baby John
•    Mary
•    Joseph

- 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

Fulfilled - Part 4

The heart cannot love what the mind does not know.
- Jen Wilkin, Women of the Word: How to Study the Bible with Both Our Hearts and Our Minds

Second Sunday of Advent 

Since the second century AD, Christians have been celebrating the Advent season.  The term Advent is derived from the Latin term advio meaning "coming to."  It is here that we celebrate Christ's first coming into the world to pay for our sins by His sacrificial death on the cross.  He came to Bethlehem to lead us in humility as a fulfillment of His Word.  This was the hope of the Old Testament community.  We now eagerly anticipate Jesus' second coming, according to His same word, Christ's return after His victorious resurrection from the dead and ascension to the right hand of the Father. 

"The birth of Christ is the central event in the history of the earth -- the very thing the whole story has been about."
- C.S. Lewis

Micah means "Who is like Jehovah?"

While Isaiah was a nobleman who ministered in the king's court, Micah prophesied to the common people under the reign of kings who ruled from 752 to 697 BC.  Micah ministered in the southern kingdom of Judah speaking out strongly against immorality, social injustices and the oppression of the poor by the rich.  Who is like Jehovah who comes to both poor and the rich, the weak and the strong, the established and displaced to lead them all in humility to His great salvation?


What is an area that you need to submit in a fresh way to Christ's headship in your life?


What is an area that you can begin expressing a greater level of humility to those who surround you?  

Apologetic: Fulfilled is the place of Christ's birth - Bethlehem.  God is sovereign in taking world events to fulfill His purposes (Luke 2). 


Micah 5:1-6 (2,4-5)
Now muster your troops, O daughter of troops; siege is laid against us; with a rod they strike the judge of Israel on the cheek. But you, O Bethlehem Ephrathah, who are too little to be among the clans of Judah, from you shall come forth for me one who is to be ruler in Israel, whose coming forth is from of old, from ancient days. Therefore he shall give them up until the time when she who is in labor has given birth; then the rest of his brothers shall return to the people of Israel. And he shall stand and shepherd his flock in the strength of the Lord, in the majesty of the name of the Lord his God. And they shall dwell secure, for now he shall be great to the ends of the earth. And he shall be their peace. When the Assyrian comes into our land and treads in our palaces, then we will raise against him seven shepherds and eight princes of men; they shall shepherd the land of Assyria with the sword, and the land of Nimrod at its entrances; and he shall deliver us from the Assyrian when he comes into our land and treads within our border.

Continuing the theme of the Messiah coming as the Davidic king who would rule the earth, the Messiah comes from Bethlehem, a town located five miles south of Jerusalem.  It is the town of Jesse and his sons (Isaiah 11), most notably King David foreshadowing the Christ.

Jesus is the Messiah, the divine, eternal being "from ancient days." 

Jesus came to rule, but He came in humility of heart.  Therefore it is a joy to both trust, follow and obey Him. 

"Beware of posing as a proud person; God became a baby."
-Oswald Chambers


Matthew 2:1-12 
Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, wise men from the east came to Jerusalem, saying, “Where is he who has been born king of the Jews? For we saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him.” When Herod the king heard this, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him; and assembling all the chief priests and scribes of the people, he inquired of them where the Christ was to be born. They told him, “In Bethlehem of Judea, for so it is written by the prophet: “‘And you, O Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, are by no means least among the rulers of Judah; for from you shall come a ruler who will shepherd my people Israel.’” Then Herod summoned the wise men secretly and ascertained from them what time the star had appeared. And he sent them to Bethlehem, saying, “Go and search diligently for the child, and when you have found him, bring me word, that I too may come and worship him.” After listening to the king, they went on their way. And behold, the star that they had seen when it rose went before them until it came to rest over the place where the child was. When they saw the star, they rejoiced exceedingly with great joy. And going into the house, they saw the child with Mary his mother, and they fell down and worshiped him. Then, opening their treasures, they offered him gifts, gold and frankincense and myrrh. And being warned in a dream not to return to Herod, they departed to their own country by another way.


What is an area that you need to submit in a fresh way to Christ's headship in your life?


In what way do you need to submit to godly counsel in your life reflecting Christ's humility?

"BLESSED Lord, who hast caused all holy Scriptures to be written for our learning: Grant that we may in such wise hear them, read, mark, learn, and inwardly digest them, that by patience and comfort of thy holy Word, we may embrace and ever hold fast the blessed hope of everlasting life, which thou hast given us in our Saviour Jesus Christ. Amen." - From the Book of Common Prayer (1662) used in Anglican services for the second Sunday of Advent

Second City Church- Fulfilled Sermon Series - Rollan Fisher 2017

Fulfilled - Part 3


The Messenger and the Message

Righteous Judgements

We have a deep need and desire for what is wicked to be called evil and what is righteous to be called right. 

Malachi 2:17-3:5
You have wearied the Lord with your words. But you say, “How have we wearied him?” By saying, “Everyone who does evil is good in the sight of the Lord, and he delights in them.” Or by asking, “Where is the God of justice?” “Behold, I send my messenger, and he will prepare the way before me. And the Lord whom you seek will suddenly come to his temple; and the messenger of the covenant in whom you delight, behold, he is coming, says the Lord of hosts. But who can endure the day of his coming, and who can stand when he appears? For he is like a refiner's fire and like fullers' soap. He will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver, and he will purify the sons of Levi and refine them like gold and silver, and they will bring offerings in righteousness to the Lord. Then the offering of Judah and Jerusalem will be pleasing to the Lord as in the days of old and as in former years. “Then I will draw near to you for judgment. I will be a swift witness against the sorcerers, against the adulterers, against those who swear falsely, against those who oppress the hired worker in his wages, the widow and the fatherless, against those who thrust aside the sojourner, and do not fear me, says the Lord of hosts.

“A child of the light confesses instantly and stands bared before God; a child of the darkness says, 'Oh, I can explain that away.” 
- Oswald Chambers

The Advent season enables us to slow down, focus and place Christ in His rightful place. The refiner's fire separates the dross from the pure gold.  The impurities, the things that we've clung to and in which we've found our identity outside of Christ (i.e. - career, relationships, money, beauty, health, comforts) are removed whether through preaching or circumstance so that Jesus might be at the center again and forever.  

John 7:7
The world cannot hate you, but it hates me because I testify about it that its works are evil.

“Satan does not tempt us to do wrong things; he tempts us in order to make us lose what God has put into us by regeneration, viz., the possibility of being of value to God. He does not come on the line of tempting us to sin, but on the line of shifting the point of view, and only the Spirit of God can detect this as a temptation of the devil.” 
- Oswald Chambers, My Utmost for His Highest: Traditional Updated Edition

Matthew 5:13-16
“You are the salt of the earth, but if salt has lost its taste, how shall its saltiness be restored? It is no longer good for anything except to be thrown out and trampled under people's feet. 14 “You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. 16 In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.

Isaiah 40:3-8 
A voice cries: “In the wilderness prepare the way of the Lord; make straight in the desert a highway for our God. Every valley shall be lifted up, and every mountain and hill be made low; the uneven ground shall become level, and the rough places a plain. And the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together, for the mouth of the Lord has spoken.” A voice says, “Cry!” And I said, “What shall I cry?” All flesh is grass, and all its beauty is like the flower of the field. The grass withers, the flower fades when the breath of the Lord blows on it; surely the people are grass. The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God will stand forever.

John the Baptist came as the prophesied messenger and forerunner to Jesus who would prepare the way for Christ's redemptive work.  


Redemption came for Elizabeth and Zechariah who had served the Lord blamelessly for many years but remained barren until the birth of John the Baptist.  Redemption came for the line of Judah who had a family history of both wicked and good kings who would all lead to the perfect Christ.  

Luke 1:67-79
And his father Zechariah was filled with the Holy Spirit and prophesied, saying, “Blessed be the Lord God of Israel, for he has visited and redeemed his people and has raised up a horn of salvation for us in the house of his servant David, as he spoke by the mouth of his holy prophets from of old, that we should be saved from our enemies and from the hand of all who hate us; to show the mercy promised to our fathers and to remember his holy covenant, the oath that he swore to our father Abraham, to grant us that we, being delivered from the hand of our enemies, might serve him without fear, in holiness and righteousness before him all our days. And you, child, will be called the prophet of the Most High; for you will go before the Lord to prepare his ways, to give knowledge of salvation to his people in the forgiveness of their sins, because of the tender mercy of our God, whereby the sunrise shall visit us from on high to give light to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace.”


"It is not repentance that saves me, repentance is the sign that I realize what God has done in Christ Jesus."
- Oswald Chambers, My Utmost for His Highest

It is through the cross of Christ that we experience God's grace.  It is through His death, burial and resurrection that we truly enter into rest. 

ALMIGHTY God, give us grace that we may cast away the works of darkness, and put upon us the armour of light, now in the time of this mortal life, in which thy Son Jesus Christ came to visit us in great humility; that in the last day, when he shall come again in his glorious Majesty, to judge both the quick and the dead, we may rise to the life immortal; through him who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Ghost, now and ever. Amen.
From the Book of Common Prayer (1662) used in Anglican services for the first Sunday of Advent

Second City Church- Fulfilled Sermon Series - Rollan Fisher 2017

Fulfilled - Part 2


The prophet Isaiah ministered over 40 years (740-697 BC) spanning the rule of the four Judean kings Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz and Hezekiah.  As suggested by his comfort in the presence of these kings and the richness of his vocabulary, Isaiah was thought to be an educated, cultured nobleman, the son of a prince of Judah.  During the reigns of Uzziah and Jotham, there was relative peace and prosperity in the kingdom.  Yet along with his contemporaries Hosea, Micah and Amos, Isaiah spoke continually of the spiritual destitution of the people.  Tradition has it that Isaiah was eventually sawed in two because of his ministry during the reign of King Manasseh. 

By the time of Isaiah's writing, Israel's kingdom had been split in two, into a Northern Kingdom of Israel and the Southern Kingdom of Judah where worship was still conducted at the temple in Jerusalem.  

In a divided land, we need 3 things that the Messiah came to fulfill - 

An example of perfect, unadulterated worship, wisdom in how to serve God, and a king who would rally for, teach to, go to and win the war for those He came to liberate. 

Worship (Discipleship - an example to follow)

We deeply desire and need a perfect example to follow in the true worship of the one true God.

The Israelites of the North had long ago assimilated into the culture of the surrounding nations, defiling themselves with the worship of foreign gods in foreign ways.  Judah would not be far behind. 

Isaiah 11:1-10
There shall come forth a shoot from the stump of Jesse, and a branch from his roots shall bear fruit. And the Spirit of the Lord shall rest upon him, the Spirit of wisdom and understanding, the Spirit of counsel and might, the Spirit of knowledge and the fear of the Lord. And his delight shall be in the fear of the Lord. He shall not judge by what his eyes see, or decide disputes by what his ears hear, but with righteousness he shall judge the poor, and decide with equity for the meek of the earth; and he shall strike the earth with the rod of his mouth, and with the breath of his lips he shall kill the wicked. Righteousness shall be the belt of his waist, and faithfulness the belt of his loins. The wolf shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the young goat, and the calf and the lion and the fattened calf together; and a little child shall lead them. The cow and the bear shall graze; their young shall lie down together; and the lion shall eat straw like the ox. The nursing child shall play over the hole of the cobra, and the weaned child shall put his hand on the adder's den. They shall not hurt or destroy in all my holy mountain; for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord as the waters cover the sea. In that day the root of Jesse, who shall stand as a signal for the peoples—of him shall the nations inquire, and his resting place shall be glorious.

What this means for us today: Jesus did not come to abolish the law but to fulfill it.  

Matthew 5:17-20
“Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them.  For truly, I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not an iota, not a dot, will pass from the Law until all is accomplished.  Therefore whoever relaxes one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do the same will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever does them and teaches them will be called great in the kingdom of heaven.  For I tell you, unless your righteousness exceeds that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.

Whatever has been fulfilled in Christ is finished (i.e. - His sacrifice of atonement, etc.) and is not to be replicated.  However, it is our daily obedience to the law given by the Holy Spirit (Romans 8) that constitutes as worship in the spirit of the law.  It is, for example, the fruit of the Holy Spirit in our interaction with others, our preaching, our giving, our service, our coming, going and staying in the places God has called us to be that has not been fulfilled in Christ.  It is obedience to these things previously mandated in the law that are our worship to God today.  

This is where wisdom resides. 


We deeply desire and need wisdom that will enable us to follow God successfully as we walk in the fear of the Lord.  Jesus spoke with the unadulterated wisdom that leads us to the fear of the Lord and to the glorious resting place of His gospel. 

“When looking back on the lives of men and women of God, the tendency is to say, “What wonderfully keen and intelligent wisdom they had, and how perfectly they understood all that God wanted!” But the keen and intelligent mind behind them was the mind of God, not human wisdom at all. We give credit to human wisdom when we should give credit to the divine guidance of God being exhibited through childlike people who were “foolish” enough to trust God’s wisdom and His supernatural equipment.”
- Oswald Chambers, My Utmost for His Highest: Traditional Updated Edition
"The messianic expectations in the Jewish and Christian faiths are traced back to God's covenant with King David (II Samuel 7) and the aftermath of exile and cessation of the Davidic dynasty.  Hope arose that God would someday restore a godly king to Israel.  Some of Israel's prophets foretold the coming of a regal Davidic descendant, and their descriptions seem to portray him as far more than a mere mortal.  Isaiah foretold the coming of a "child" and "son" who "will be named Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace," and whose kingdom will never end (Isaiah 9:6-7).  Again, Isaiah prophesied the coming of a Branch of David, on whom the Spirit of God will rest, who will rule the earth with justice and equity (Isaiah 11:1-5).  Descriptions such as these hinted that the coming anointed one, the Messiah, would be God Himself."
- Craig A. Evans

War (That leads to rest)

We deeply desire and need a champion who will fight for us and win battles that we can not win for ourselves.  Saul was the first such king, rallying the Israelites to the defeat of the Ammonites (I Samuel 11); Jesus is our greatest, the king of kings and Lord of lords. 

Jesus is the shoot from the stump of Jesse, reassuming and resuming the Davidic kingship. By the time of Jesus' appearing, David's great royal line had been whittled down. Instead of King David's prominence, the Messiah would come out of Jesse's obscurity. 

Matthew 1:1-16
The book of the genealogy of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham. Abraham was the father of Isaac, and Isaac the father of Jacob, and Jacob the father of Judah and his brothers, and Judah the father of Perez and Zerah by Tamar, and Perez the father of Hezron, and Hezron the father of Ram, and Ram the father of Amminadab, and Amminadab the father of Nahshon, and Nahshon the father of Salmon, and Salmon the father of Boaz by Rahab, and Boaz the father of Obed by Ruth, and Obed the father of Jesse, and Jesse the father of David the king. And David was the father of Solomon by the wife of Uriah, and Solomon the father of Rehoboam, and Rehoboam the father of Abijah, and Abijah the father of Asaph, and Asaph the father of Jehoshaphat, and Jehoshaphat the father of Joram, and Joram the father of Uzziah, and Uzziah the father of Jotham, and Jotham the father of Ahaz, and Ahaz the father of Hezekiah, and Hezekiah the father of Manasseh, and Manasseh the father of Amos, and Amos the father of Josiah, and Josiah the father of Jechoniah and his brothers, at the time of the deportation to Babylon. And after the deportation to Babylon: Jechoniah was the father of Shealtiel, and Shealtiel the father of Zerubbabel, and Zerubbabel the father of Abiud, and Abiud the father of Eliakim, and Eliakim the father of Azor, and Azor the father of Zadok, and Zadok the father of Achim, and Achim the father of Eliud, and Eliud the father of Eleazar, and Eleazar the father of Matthan, and Matthan the father of Jacob, and Jacob the father of Joseph the husband of Mary, of whom Jesus was born, who is called Christ.

These kings were charged to both protect and preserve the freedom that God provided for them in the promised land.  

Exodus 15:1-3
Then Moses and the people of Israel sang this song to the Lord, saying, “I will sing to the Lord , for he has triumphed gloriously; the horse and his rider he has thrown into the sea. The Lord is my strength and my song, and he has become my salvation; this is my God, and I will praise him, my father's God, and I will exalt him. The Lord is a man of war; the Lord is his name.

“To live a remote, retired, secluded life is the antipodes of spirituality as Jesus Christ taught it. The test of our spirituality comes when we come up against injustice and meanness and ingratitude and turmoil, all of which have the tendency to make us spiritual sluggards.” 
- Oswald Chambers, My Utmost for His Highest: Traditional Updated Edition

The Messiah who was to come is the Davidic king who would fight for our freedom.  This would ultimately be accomplished through Jesus' sacrifice on the cross to make war against sin and death triumphing over them through His victorious resurrection from the dead.  Turn away from sin and believe the good news. Come to Him now to be fulfilled in worship, wisdom and war for your forgiveness and freedom that has already been won.  

Second City Church- Fulfilled Sermon Series - Rollan Fisher 2017

Fulfilled - Part 1


Jesus is the fulfillment not only of Messianic prophecy but each of the prophecies point to how Christ is a fulfillment of the deepest seeded God-given desires and needs in our lives.  


The Hebrew word channuwn is gracious which means abounding in compassion.

We give thanks to God because of His continued kindnesses towards us. 

Psalm 145:8-21
The Lord is gracious and merciful, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love. The Lord is good to all, and his mercy is over all that he has made. All your works shall give thanks to you, O Lord, and all your saints shall bless you! They shall speak of the glory of your kingdom and tell of your power, to make known to the children of man your  mighty deeds, and the glorious splendor of your kingdom. Your kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and your dominion endures throughout all generations. [The Lord is faithful in all his words and kind in all his works.] The Lord  upholds all who are falling and raises up all who are bowed down. The eyes of all look to you, and you give them their food in due season. You open your hand; you satisfy the desire of every living thing. The Lord is righteous in all his ways and kind in all his works. The Lord is near to all who call on him, to all who call on him in truth. He fulfills the desire of those who fear him; he also hears their cry and saves them. The Lord  preserves all who love him, but all the wicked he will destroy. My mouth will speak the praise of the Lord, and let all flesh bless his holy name forever and ever.

We give God thanks for the ways that He's continually provided for us, whether we've known Him or not. 


One of the most enduring pictures of God's kindness towards His people is His provision of bread from heaven, manna, with which He fed them their forty years wandering in the desert. 

John 6:22-40
On the next day the crowd that remained on the other side of the sea saw that there had been only one boat there, and that Jesus had not entered the boat with his disciples, but that his disciples had gone away alone. Other boats from Tiberias came near the place where they had eaten the bread after the Lord had given thanks. So when the crowd saw that Jesus was not there, nor his disciples, they themselves got into the boats and went to Capernaum, seeking Jesus. When they found him on the other side of the sea, they said to him, “Rabbi, when did you come here?” Jesus answered them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, you are seeking me, not because you saw signs, but because you ate your fill of the loaves. 27 Do not work for the food that perishes, but for the food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give to you. For on him God the Father has set his seal.” Then they said to him, “What must we do, to be doing the works of God?” Jesus answered them, “This is the work of God, that you believe in him whom he has sent.” So they said to him, “Then what sign do you do, that we may see and believe you? What work do you perform? Our fathers ate the manna in the wilderness; as it is written, ‘He gave them bread from heaven to eat.’” Jesus then said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, it was not Moses who gave you the bread from heaven, but my Father gives you the true bread from heaven. 33 For the bread of God is he who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.” They said to him, “Sir, give us this bread always.” Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in me shall never thirst. 36 But I said to you that you have seen me and yet do not believe. 37 All that the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never cast out. 38 For I have come down from heaven, not to do my own will but the will of him who sent me. 39 And this is the will of him who sent me, that I should lose nothing of all that he has given me, but raise it up on the last day. 40 For this is the will of my Father, that everyone who looks on the Son and believes in him should have eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day.”

Jesus is the original "Chicken Soup for the Soul."

Jesus is our great provision being the bread of life in everyday life. 


Though God is kind, His wrath still had to be satisfied through the cross of Jesus Christ. His mercy was most clearly expressed in offering eternal life to those who did not deserve it.  He withheld His anger from the children of men and women and put it on His own Son, Jesus Christ, as a righteous, blameless sacrifice for our sins.  Jesus was our great provision in that He fulfilled the hunger and thirsting of our present day souls.  He also, through the cross, provided eternal life through His death, burial and resurrection that we might not hunger or thirst forevermore.

Psalm 145:8-21
The Lord is gracious and merciful, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love. The Lord is good to all, and his mercy is over all that he has made. All your works shall give thanks to you, O Lord, and all your saints shall bless you! They shall speak of the glory of your kingdom and tell of your power, to make known to the children of man your  mighty deeds, and the glorious splendor of your kingdom. Your kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and your dominion endures throughout all generations. [The Lord is faithful in all his words and kind in all his works.] The Lord  upholds all who are falling and raises up all who are bowed down. The eyes of all look to you, and you give them their food in due season. You open your hand; you satisfy the desire of every living thing. The Lord is righteous in all his ways and kind in all his works. The Lord is near to all who call on him, to all who call on him in truth. He fulfills the desire of those who fear him; he also hears their cry and saves them. The Lord  preserves all who love him, but all the wicked he will destroy. My mouth will speak the praise of the Lord, and let all flesh bless his holy name forever and ever.

Second City Church- Fulfilled Sermon Series - Rollan Fisher 2017