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The Church – A shared Life

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ZNA-451 890108PM THE CHURCH – A SHARED LIFE MATTHEW 16:18 The church is literally the ekklesia, “called out ones”. Our study is a biblical portrait of who and what we are… More than a 160 year old organization we are an organism… The Scriptures call us the body of Christ, a living, growing body called […]

The Church- A Shared Life

Tagged With: / Miscellaneous

ZNA-448 890122AM “GRACE AND PEACE” I THESSALONIANS 1:1 It is amazing to watch the transfer of power of the greatest political force on earth this week. But 20 centuries ago an even greater power transformed lives. What a thrill to begin this morning plunging into this most special epistle! Paul as he writes is consumed […]

The Church – A Shared Life

Tagged With: / Miscellaneous

ZNA-441 890219PM Our shared life THE CHURCH: OUR SHARED LIFE EPHESIANS 1:4 0A Christian physician wrote some powerful words once that portray our life in Christ’s body as seen through our human bodies – Sometimes a dreaded thing occurs in the body – mutiny – resulting in a tumor… A tumor is called benign if […]

The Body of Christ

/ Miscellaneous

ZNA-415 890716AM Church #7 “As the Church, We Are” A Declaration of Dependence Some 300 years ago, John Donne penned the following words in Holy Sonnets: No man is an island, entire of it self; every man is a piece of the Continent, a part of the maine; if a Clod bee washed away by […]

What is a Church?

/ Miscellaneous

ZNA-203 931107AM WHAT IS A CHURCH? Quidnessett.. There are many quidnessetts, in the phone book i found: Grange-cemetary-country club-service center-school for young children-materials service-bookstore… Baptist… There are northern, southern, american, zion, reformed, free will, independent, conservative… But there is one word that is so vital to us this morning: church 1577 ekklesia {ek-klay-see’-ah} from a […]

Ten Vital Signs of a Healthy Church Pt 3

/ Miscellaneous

ZNA-197 931212am TEN VITAL SIGNS OF A HEALTHY CHURCH -Part Three  Illustration= George Washington Bled By Doctors Led To Death… A Healthy Church Family Member: 1. FEELS FOR ONE ANOTHER: Philippians 2:1; Hebrews 4:15-16 2. LONGS TO SEE EACH OTHER:Romans 1:11-12; Philippians 2:25-26 3. GIVES SACRIFICIALLY TO MINISTER TO THE FAMILY:2 Corinthians 8:1-5; Philippians 4:15-16 […]

How to Get Ready for Sunday

RIG-06 000910AM How to Get Ready for Sunday WFF: Message Forty-Nine (000910AM) The feasts of God may well be the most comprehensive roadmap ever made to point at Jesus Christ. For example, every year around the world every Jew observes Passover. At that Biblical feast each person holds in his hand a piece of bread. […]

Don’t Fake It by Just Playing Church

/ Our Shared Life

OSL-25 061001AM For a moment think of Jesus with me–Jesus founded His Church, purchased His Church, and now ever lives for His Church. Jesus is all about the Church. And what is Christ’s complete focus at present? He is building His Church.   So Christ’s priority, Christ’s focus, Christ’s activities are all centered upon the Church. That is where the action is. That […]

Our Shared Life

Tagged With: / Our Shared Life

OSL-24 060806AM We have gathered today to celebrate the power of endless life that we have as members of Christ. Life, endless life, abundant life, Christ’s life lived out in and through us is what we celebrate this morning.  Please open with me to Acts 5:20 as we study this morning the power of our shared life. […]

How to Get Ready for Sunday

/ Majesty Of Jesus

NR1-38 000910AM A matzah is a thin unleavened bread, pierced through with holes, marked with stripes, broken carefully from One piece into Three, the middle piece or 2nd of the unity is hidden or buried throughout the meal and then found or raised from the hiding place.   What does that sound like? The sinless life […]

Sardis – Where the Great Physician Felt Their Pulse and Declared Them Dead

110911AM CLW-20 Sardis.doc Christ’s Last Word to His Church SERIES: Sardis: Where the Great Physician Felt their Pulse and Declared Them Dead Revelation 3:1-6 This morning Revelation 3 begins with the second shortest letter[1] of Christ’s Seven, written to Sardis, hometown of Aesop’s Fables and Midas’ Touch.   When we read these words we are […]

Philadelphia: Meet the True One, the Key of David Possessor, & the One Who Opens Doors

When Jesus Christ introduces Himself to those precious and faithful saints in Revelation 3:7, He makes one of the greatest promises ever made. They, like us, lived in an uncertain world, and more than to any other church, Jesus explains His power in a way we all can grasp and hold onto today.

We each need to hear and understand and hold onto by faith:

The Most Amazing Promise

In a world of uncertainties, lurking disasters, constant unknowns, and endless potential dangers-Jesus Christ told these believers so much like us: here is truth you can hold tightly.

Why Would God Want Every Church of Every Generation to Study the Revelation of Jesus Christ?

The Book of the Revelation has always been regarded by all who have taught it as unlike any other of the books in the Bible.

Revelation is not only the ending to God’s Word, it is also an invitation from God.

To prepare us for our overview of all 17 verses of Revelation 6, look again at the first 8 verses ofRevelation 1. Right from the opening words of this book, God explains to us:

Why Would God Want Every Church of Every Generation to Study the Revelation of Jesus Christ?

Body Building 101

Tagged With: / Our Shared Life

We share life as saved and born-again believers, we are all God’s building, we are all God’s house, we are all members of His family. Each of those word pictures describe who we are and what we are here to do. 

If I were to give you the short form of our shared job description as believers it would be: 

We are all employed as workers in a Divine Construction Company. God is the Master Builder, and the project is building up the Body of Christ. 

Living the Word-Filled Life: Making a Sacred Vow

Tagged With: / Our Shared Life

Join me in Matthew 6 and Jesus reminds us how to make life count for God.

This week, more than any other week, we can all sense time flying by. The old year is almost gone; the New Year is just in front us. In this spot, once each year we can see both the passing and the oncoming years more clearly than at any other time of the year.

Life continues to move in a river racing at 60 minutes per hour, but at the end of the year it seems clearer. Each minute is unstoppable and irreversible; but each minute is also redeemable and investable. 

Designed for Christ’s Church

Tagged With: / Our Shared Life

Calvary Bible is a church that belongs to Jesus. He is building this church, and as we celebrate our 80th year as a local church, Jesus has great plans for each of us. Every believer has been specially designed by God, to do ministry in Christ’s church. 

Please open to the verse that is on the lanyard holding our nametags. Find the reference on your lanyard or someone’s around you (and if you don’t know them, say hello and meet them). 

When you have opened to the verse, stand with me for the reading of God’s Word. First Peter 2:5 is a “design-check” verse. It is God reminding us that we all need to check if we are together doing the ministry He designed us to do in Christ’s church.

Our Part Mending the Body of Christ

Tagged With: / Our Shared Life

When Jesus first met His disciples as He walked along the shores of the Sea of Galilee, do you remember what they were doing? Fishing, right? As we open to Matthew 4, think with me about the type of men Jesus called to start His team of disciples. The first four were noted as “fishermen”.

Jesus Called Some Fishermen
As His Apostles

Up before dawn, out in all types of weather, sitting in hard planked boats, straining over wet and smelly ropes and nets, fishing in Century One was not quite modern day sport fishing with a bass boat sporting swivel, high back, cushioned seats and a cooler of Cokes. Fishing was a messy, physically taxing, and never ending hard work.

Our Part in Edifying the Body of Christ

Tagged With: / Our Shared Life

This morning, as we open to Ephesians 4, we are Christ’s church; and, as a member of Christ’s Church, we each need to understand what God expects from us.

Christ’s plan for each of us is to focus on our part of the mending/equipping, and building up/edifying of other believers in His Church. To clarify God’s plan, we need to ask and answer some simple questions:

•    Why do we come to this same building each week called Calvary Bible on Drake? 
•    Why do we go through all the hoops to join this fellowship of believers formally, and become members of CBC?
•    Why do we submit to the direction of the elders and seek to follow what they prayerfully present as God’s plan for this church? 
•    Why are we celebrating these past 80 years and wearing these nametags?

Our Communion of Shared Lives

Tagged With: / Our Shared Life

But now comes the wonderful part. This truth is what has strengthened Christ’s church through all these centuries since Pentecost—when we gather obediently as Christ’s church, He is present; and when Christ is present He uses us to do his work of repairing one another from the injuries of life’s struggles.

This is what is repeatedly demonstrated throughout the pages of the New Testament:

Mended Lives Get Repaired And
Built Up by God’s Word and People

100% Employment: Christ’s Plan for His Church

/ Our Shared Life

This morning we are starting a year-long celebration of CBC’s 80th year of ministry. We often refer to this church by three initials, the initials CBC stand for:

•    Calvary (and hence the Cross up on the wall behind me, reminding us that Christ died for our sins);
•    Bible (and hence the constant usage of God’s Word in all of our ministries and programs, and every public worship service);
•    Church (and that is the special topic we will be focused on as we gather to celebrate these 80 years)! And especially this year our goal and focus as a church family will be:

Becoming All God
Wants us to be

What does it mean to each of us, individually, that we are part of Christ’s CHURCH? 

Our Responsibility as Parts of Christ’s Church

/ Our Shared Life

What does it mean to each of us, individually, that we are part of Christ’s CHURCH? That is the challenge to each of us today—we should become all that God wants us to be in His Church. To summarize my vision for CBC that I shared with the elders ever since we began to talk about our ministry here it would be: 

“100% Employment—Every Member in Ministry”.

Are you functioning as a healthy member of Christ’s church this evening?

For just a moment remember that there are no less than twelve metaphors in God’s Word for the Church . Each metaphor is a powerful way for us to see how God looks upon us who are Christ’s church.  

Jesus Describes Overcomers as Possessing Life the Way God Designed it to Be

One of the things I love about the Lord is that He always saves the best for last. Unlike the world whose joys run out and fade, God’s path that shines brighter each day we walk it (Pr. 4:18).

Just like when Jesus turned the water into wine, all the guests said that the best had been saved for the last. Just like the promise to those who stay close to the Lord in Psalm 92, our God is the God who gives better and better joys so that those at the end surpass all others. As we turn to Rev. 3:21-22 we find that once again, our God has saved the best for last.

Christ’s Question to Us – Do You See Yourself in the Picture of the Seven Churches

This morning we are looking back at where we’ve been. Much like getting home from a trip and spending time looking at the pictures that you took while traveling.

We have invested the past year, looking at the only part of God’s Word dictated by Christ, for the express purpose of: being sent to His Church, being read by His Church, and being obeyed by His Church.

There is no part of the Bible so clear, so personal, and so direct: as these three chapters. What exactly did we find in Revelation? We found that:

Christ Actually
Posted a Picture

Laodicea: Jesus Warns of the Danger of Having Too Much Stuff

As we open to Revelation 3:17, we are opening to Jesus the Christ of Christmas, talking about something so timely to Christmas, so relevent to our choices this season, and so right where we are today that it is uncanny.

Jesus is addressing the condition that the believers at Laodicea had gotten themselves into. They were simply described by Christ as: loaded down with stuff.

They could afford all that stuff, they bought all those items with their hard-earned money. They stored their possessions carefully, and used them regularly. But, what the Laodiceans are confronted with by Christ is not that they had so much, but the danger that comes when we have too much stuff.

Challenge #5: Getting Clothed for Christ’s Sake Daily

There’s only one portion of God’s Word, specifically written to the Church, by Jesus Christ: Rev. 2&3. Join me there as we to continue systematically exame Christ’s challenges to this, the seventh and final of the churches.

If you had traveled to visited friends or family in Laodicea, three things would have stood out to you in the First Century. These three unique features to this city, are the framework of Christ’s words we are examining today in Revelation 3:18. These could be called:

Laodicea’s Three Key Industries

Laodicea – Seven Bad Habits of Believers that Sicken Christ and Make Him Vomit

Perhaps the most unlikely words to be uttered by the Lord Jesus Christ are in our Bibles this morning. Jesus says in modern terms of the church in Laodicea, “You make me sick!”

As we open to Revelation 3:14-22, Jesus writes a letter that all scholars conclude is the most piercing, stinging and scathing letter He ever wrote to any church. That means:

Laodicea is the Worst Church

Laodicea: The Seven Habits of Sanctified Believers

Today, and every day of our lives, the Cross of Christ is the source of our power to live in this world of sin.

Living a life that glorifies God is called sanctified living.

Sanctification means that God is leading and controlling our lives.

As we return to Christ’s Last Words to His Church, we find that His Church at:

Laodicea was not Living in the Shadow of Christ’s Cross

For two generations, all the local churches around Laodicea had savored the truths about the Cross of Christ. Today as Christ’s Church we gather to hear again for our generation His warning to: Never stop living in the shadow of the Cross.

Laodicea: Living in the Shadow of Christ’s Cross

As we turn to Romans, think of this: Christ’s death on the Cross is the heart of our salvation. His substitutionary death paid the penalty of our sin, removed the record of our transgressions, and purchased our eternal salvation.

Christ’s life, now lived in and for us, opens to us His sanctifying power to save us from sin’s destructive power and keep us useful for his glory.

Laodicea: Listening to Jesus, the Amen of God

Life for us as followers of Christ is all about Listening to Jesus. Jesus said that as His sheep we need to hear Him and follow Him.

Listening to Jesus

Jesus came on an unannounced visit to a church in central Asia Minor two thousand years ago and then wrote a startling letter back to them about their deteriorating spiritual health. They really should have listened to Him.

Philidelphia: How to Build a Quake-Proof Life

This morning we look at what should become the model for us at Calvary. Revelation 3 introduces us to the church that pleased Jesus Christ, and thus had a His blessings poured upon all that they did for Him.

Of all the seven churches, Philadelphia, the sixth church, can be described as the Faithful Church and stands out as the model. My prayer would be that we as a church here at Calvary would be seen by our Lord as a church filled with Philadelphia-like saints, who gather and live out Christ in this faithful way.

The promises Christ gave them, the insights He shares with them, and the lessons He offers to us who listen are unparalleled in any of the other letters.

Samson: A Study in the Impact of Chastening Upon a Compromised, Worldly (Thyatiran) Believer’s Life

All of us in Christ’s Church are called from darkness to light at salvation; and we are saved from the power of Satan; and we are being transformed into saints of God. That process in called consecration. Last week as we looked at the Church at Thyatira (Revelation 2:18-29), we saw that their consecrated lives were slipping because of compromise with sin and false doctrine.

Jesus called them to repent, to have a change of mind that would lead to a change in behavior. The letter to Thyatira is a challenge from Christ for His children of faith to do what is needed: repent of compromising their lives of sanctification.

Getting Ready for the Best Part of the Day: Dining with Jesus

Jesus changes the tone of His Voice as we open to Revelation 3:20. After seven rebukes to the most disobedient church of the seven, Laodicea is hearing something amazing. Jesus makes them an offer that is unbelievable. Jesus invites anyone who wants to spend time with Him, face-to-face and one-on-one, to join Him for the most refreshing meal of the day: the unhurried evening meal that every laboring person longed for after a hard day’s work, and every rich person looked forward to as the best time of the day.

Pergamum: The History of Satan’s Religion

As we open Revelation 1:1, stop for a moment and remember how God starts this final book. We read that:

God Wants His Servants to Understand the Future

God opens the Book of Revelation by telling us that He wrote this book “to show His servants” (Rev. 1:1) things that we need to know about the future. Only followers of God and servants of Christ have the incredible insight for living that comes from knowing for sure, what will happen in the days, months and years ahead.

Thyatira: Jesus Searches Our Hearts and Minds

As we open to Revelation 2:18-29, we come to the letter to the Church at Thyatira.

That term, Thyatira, is usually a bit foreign to us outside of this chapter. To get our bearings we could also say, we are opening to the geographic area that received more of the books (epistles) of the New Testament than any other geographic area of the ancient world.

Have you ever thought about where these letters we hold were first sent?

God Sent More New Testament Letters Here than Anywhere Else

Here’s the lineup if you haven’t stopped to do the math.

When Jesus Visits His Church and Finds Unrepentant Sins

John is flattened on Patmos when he sees Jesus. Those flaming eyes seemed so much like the ones John had seen when Jesus cleansed the Temple of Jerusalem. But this time its not the Temple of Jerusalem,  Jesus is headed towards the local churches that make up His Body, His visible presence on Earth.  Jesus with piercing eyes of holiness and glowing feet of chastisement is headed to stomp out the sin that is diminishing His power in His Church.

John is staggered. The churches that received the letter Jesus sent them through John were put on notice and Church History records the results. Those churches that did not repent have gone extinct. Jesus removed their lamp from the stand and He had to find others who would stay useful in His sight.

The Book of Revelation

Open to the only book exclusively devoted to introducing us to what our Master and Savior Jesus is doing RIGHT NOW: the last book of the Bible, the Revelation of Jesus Christ.

Have you paused yet today to check in with Jesus Christ? The best way to do that is through your Bible, because Jesus Christ is revealed to us as the Word of God. He is the Word, and the Word reveals Him.  Each time we open God’s Word we can hear His Voice.

At Creation God the Son, the Creator spoke and made all things; and through His Apostles and Prophets, His Word has been given. As you open to the last book of your Bibles, you open to the climactic conclusion of God’s Word written down for us.

God’s Reminder to Us: Keep Your Eyes on Jesus

Revelation is God lifting the lid off of Christ, or pulling back the wrapping paper on something very special about Jesus, but not yet fully seen or known. That is what the first word of this book says.

So, chapter 1 is God holding out for us: What Jesus is doing right now.

Chapters 2-3 are God showing us what Jesus sees in His Church.

Chapters 4-22 are what God wants us to know about His plans for the future.

Each of these sections of Revelation is a disclosure and an unveiling of things not yet fully seen, or even really understood.

The Sight of Jesus & Our Progressive Sanctification

As we open to Revelation 1:14 this is the second set of twin descriptions of Christ: His head and hair are white, like wool and snow; His eyes are like burning flames of fire.

When John turned to see who it was that spoke to him, he turned and saw the Ancient of Days Himself, in all His power, in all His holiness, and with those eyes ablaze with an inescapable and penetrating gaze. That is how Jesus Christ the Risen Lord appears at this moment, as we gather before Him. Let that sight get imprinted upon your heart:

Christ’s Flaming Eyes of Penetrating Holiness

Christ’s Chastening & Comforting Work in His Church

When John saw Jesus that Sunday morning on Patmos, he collapsed and was like a dead man. It wasn’t that he was old and weak, or overcome by emotion, John had seen that look in Christ’s eyes before. When he realized what Jesus was communicating, it overwhelmed him. John saw Almighty God the Son, Jesus Christ, who was displeased with His Church.

Did you know that in less than 60 years, the original edition of Christ’s Church had gotten to the point where 70% of the local assemblies were displeasing to God? That’s right 5 out of the 7 churches that Jesus had visited were reprimanded and warned. Christ’s expressed in 5 out of 7 letters His displeasure about the way that were living out God’s plan for their lives.

 
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