My Spirit

I will put My Spirit in you, and you shall live, and I will place you in your own land. Then you shall know that I, the Lord, have spoken it and performed it,” says the Lord.’ ”.  Eze 37:14

 

Introduction

It is important for God’s elect in the Gospel of God’s Righteousness which constitutes Jesus’ baptism, death and resurrection to know the greatest labour of the church in this hour is to have the Spirit of the Lord upon us.  In other words, we must have the anointing of  the Lord to accomplish the spiritual labour entrusted to us. 

In Luke 4:18-19, we see something very powerful in order to succeed in the labour of spiritual harvest. 

We see that Jesus knew He was anointed to labour and what He was anointed to labour. 

 

  1. Jesus Knew He Was Anointed To Labour

Jesus was consciously aware of an enduement, equipping and a supernatural endowment called anointing placed upon Him.  It is the will of God that every elect at NCCkl are consciously aware of this anointing and able to declare ‘the Spirit of the Lord is upon me.’  This is not simply an idea or an expression nor a figure of speech, we are talking about the tangible, manifested reality of the power of God resting upon the elects to labour in the harvest field.  When anointing came upon  Samson, he knew it.  This was a conscious awareness that he had spiritual power and anointing upon him.  Samson knew when this anointing was upon him and when it wasn’t.  When this power, anointing and  unction was upon him, he was unstoppable in his spiritual labour for the glory of God.  That was a shadow, a type of anointing that was going to come permanently  upon Jesus Christ and His covenanted elects whose faith are established in the Gospel of God’s Righteousness that comprises Jesus’ baptism and death. As God’s servant, I want to stress that this anointing for labour  was   not   just   for   Jesus   nor   pastors,  evangelists, prophets and teachers but also for all the elects born of water and Spirit.  It is God’s will that the elects made sinless and righteous by faith at NCCkl could say with the same certainty and authority as Jesus declared ‘the Spirit of the Lord is upon Me because He had anointed Me.’  The anointing is the divine enablement and empowerment to labour in the spiritual harvest field.

 

  1. Jesus Knew What He Was Anointed To Labour

Jesus was the pattern for us to follow with regard to knowing exactly what we are called to labour in the Kingdom of God.   In Acts 18:38, God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and power when He went about doing good and healing all those who were oppressed by the devil because God was with Him.  Jesus in His physical body is no longer here but His anointing is still here abiding in the hearts of those who believe in the Gospel of God’s Righteousness.  The same Holy Spirit and power is in us and we are His body, hands, feet and voice to carry on His unfinished labour for the lost souls.  We are anointed to preach the Gospel of God’s Righteousness,  to cast out demons, to heal the sick, to deliver those in bondage, to release the oppressed and to set the captives free.  This anointing is God’s power to break every yoke and to restore those who are heavy laden.  Isa 10:27 ; 1 John 2:20

 

It is unbecoming for elects at times to sing songs claiming we got the power and yet not able to understand how much power we are given to serve His Righteousness and Church. The sad reality is, there are some elects who have never really tapped into the power supply even to this day.  Unfortunately, they are living weak, inferior and anemic lives and are always looking for someone to bless them, encourage them and lift them up.  In other words, some elects live their lives as professional patients whereby they live their lives always in need, always struggling, always hurting and always suffering.  What God wants to do by the anointing of the Holy Spirt is to turn every patient into a spiritual doctor.  It is God’s desire for the elects to function and minister by the same anointing and to inject God’s power that is able to heal and deliver others from their spiritual sicknesses.  Acts 3:1-8

 

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Blessed Emptiness

“Then he said, “Go, borrow vessels from everywhere, from all your neighbors—empty vessels; do not gather just a few.  2 Kings 4:3

 

Introduction

It is imperative for God’s elect in the Gospel of God’s Righteousness which constitutes Jesus’ baptism, death and resurrection to know that blessed are the empty.  To a carnal mind, it may not make sense but with God less is more and nothing is everything.

In 2 Kings 4:1-6, the prophet says, “go borrow empty vessels and borrow not a few.”  How strange it seems to the carnal mind that the answer to the woman’s dilemma did not begin with fullness but with emptiness.  The natural mind would immediately begin to look for an overflow or a great supply to deliver her from the adverse situation.  Instead God has always been in the business of making something out of nothing.  There is nothing that attracts the attention of God like emptiness.  Let me introduce three points on ‘blessed emptiness.’

 

  1. Blessed Emptiness Is A choice

There is a natural law that states nothing remains empty.  It must be filled and it will be filled.  Elects ought to recognize that since nothing can remain empty, then we must by deliberate act of our wills choose to be emptied.  In our story, we do not know what various things may have filled the many vessels that were borrowed.  All we do know is that under God’s command they were of no use to Him until they were first of all empty.  Regardless of the condition of the vessel or how it was used, emptiness is an essential criteria.  This emptiness we are speaking of is the heart condition.  It is an attitude and disposition of the heart that places the entire life before God in total surrender. Only those born of the Gospel of God’s Righteousness have the providence to discern that they are nothing apart from God.  It is a life wholly given and sustained by God.  John 15:5; John 6:53  Elects are the most valuable to God when they are empty.  When elects become nothing, then God can become everything.  It is when elects are something that God become nothing.  In reality, emptying ourselves is a choice elects must willingly take in order to serve God’s righteousness.

 

  1. Blessed Emptiness Will Be Filled

Elects ought to realize that when they empty themselves, God will fill them  up.  In 1 Sam 15:17 Samuel said  “When you were little in your own eyes, were you not head of the tribes of Israel? Furthermore, there is a story in Judges where God uses emptiness in a very powerful way.   In Judges 7:16 “Then he divided the three hundred men into three companies, and he put a trumpet into every man’s hand, with empty pitchers, and torches inside the pitchers.”  No swords, spears, knives or even stones were used.  Just a trumpet, an empty pitcher and a candle.  Judges 7:20   What was it that made the clay pitcher valuable to God’s purpose?  It was not their beauty, shape, origin, make or who used it but it became valuable to God’s purpose because they were empty and can be filled by God.  More so, the pitcher were breakable.  Likewise, elects can only become valuable to God if we can be filled and remain breakable.  If we want to get God’s attention, we need to show Him our emptiness,  If you want to attract the heart of God, we need to show our brokenness.  Elects can never serve God’s higher purposes until they are empty and broken.  Contrary to the ways of the world, God does His best with broken things, broken  pitchers, broken bread and broken hearts.

 

  1. Blessed Emptiness Will Be Filled With God’s Anointing

When elects are empty and ready to be filled, they will be able to house the divine treasure of God. 

Elects’ brokenness would allow the light that was inside to be seen, released or exposed to the dark world.  Unfortunately, many will not be used for God’s higher purpose because they refused to be emptied and filled by God.  Hence, those who refuse to be emptied  are not ready to be broken.  It is the light inside that must be seen, that is the whole purpose.  The sacred treasure, the divine holy anointing  that must be manifested.  Only emptiness can properly display God’s glory. Many elects have forgotten that our reason for being saved through the Gospel of God’s Righteousness is not to have a better, comfortable, happy life and go to Heaven but to manifest the reality of a resurrected living Savior to the world. A Savior Who has the power to save, deliver, heal, loosen, fill and to set the captives free from the bondage of Satan.  The emptiness we are speaking of is the emptying of the self life, a condition that must be maintained by us.  As we maintain this condition, we can receive the divine flow of Christ’s life within us and among us.  It is what we know as the abiding life in Christ. John 15:5-7; Acts 17:28

 

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Radical Seed

 “7 Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap. 8 For he who sows to his flesh will of the flesh reap corruption, but he who sows to the Spirit will of the Spirit reap everlasting life. 9 And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart. 10 Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all, especially to those who are of the household of faith.  Gal 6:7-10

Introduction

It is imperative for God’s elect in the Gospel of God’s Righteousness which constitutes Jesus’ baptism, death and resurrection to know that Jesus Christ is a Radical Seed.  As elects we are the offspring of the Radical Seed.  Hence, being radical in our pursuit for Christ is not a bad thing as long it is done with the right motive and love for lost souls. 

One of the most persistent laws of God is that of sowing and reaping.  This principle works in the natural, spiritual, emotional and intellectual realm.  Let me highlight two areas of bearing seeds that elects need to be concerned with namely, what we are sowing in our lives and what we are sowing on other people’s lives.

 

  1. Sowing And Reaping Gal 6:7-10

The Bible teaches us that we should sow the seeds of righteousness in our lives and to sow the word of righteousness in others.  Elects are called to be seed bearers.  It is impossible to change the laws of God, we get exactly what we sow in the harvest.  It is impossible to delude God on this unchanging principle.  Unfortunately, we tend to be smarter with carnal sowing than we are about spiritual ones.  What we sow eventually comes back in an identical way as the harvest.  Elects can’t sow to the fallen flesh and hope to reap spiritually healthy things.  Our lives today at NCCkl are the harvest of seeds planted in our lives.  What kind of fruits are we experiencing?  What kind of seeds are we putting in the ground right now?  Like farmers, we need to realize that we will receive in our lives only that we have sown all along its pathway. 

The one nice thing of the law of sowing and reaping is that if we are realizing a bad harvest because of poor seeds sown, we can plow up that field and ‘replant’. This almost sounds the same as ‘repent’ in the spiritual sense.  This is the true essence of salvation and faith in the righteousness  of  God  that  provides  spiritual   transformation.  It  is sometimes reflected in the Bible as ‘plowing up our hearts’ or ‘breaking up   the   hard   ground’.   However,  the  biggest  difficulty  about  this principle is the ‘waiting’ period.  It takes time for the harvest to come forth after planting.  Part of the frustration of the ‘waiting’ time between seeding and harvest however is the sense of continuous work with little reward for some time.  This is why some get discouraged and quit too soon.  We can become weary in doing good things and waiting for the fruit can be at times quite draining.

 

  1. Sowing And Responsibilities Lk 8:5-15

Jesus assumes all elects as sowers. This parable is about spreading the Word of righteousness around.  It is apparent that the farmer sowed seeds every where even though some would have inadvertently fallen  on  bad soil.  It becomes obvious that the sowers task was simply to spread the seed.  The seeds are given to him to sow. The farmer cannot make the seed, it is provided to him.  No farmer can guarantee the perfect conditions for every seed.  Farmers can sow seeds freely everywhere but yet would not know whether every single seed would find the right condition.  The farmer’s job is to scatter as widely as possible the seed provided for him.  This is an individual responsibility.  God has given us the best seed – the Gospel of God’s Righteousness. The area to cover is the whole world and to hope for the best.  The conditions would determine the quality of harvest.  Good things will definitely multiply if good seeds are used.  Likewise, if wicked seeds are used and the conditions are ripe, a larger harvest of wickedness will arise.

Jesus explains to the disciples that  they have been given this good seed and when they are spread around, it will find a variety of soil conditions to fall upon.  Some  will produce brief life, some will produce weak life and some will produce huge harvest.  There will be variety of responses to the good seed of the Gospel of God’s Righteousness but no matter what kind of response we receive, we should keep on sowing.  There will be those who embrace the Gospel Truth for only personal gain and refuse to serve the Lord.  There will be those too preoccupied with the affairs of this life to allow spiritual growth to reach maturity.  There are those who produce a huge harvest from such small seeds entrusted to them.   However, one thing is clear, if we don’t sow, there will be no growth no matter what the condition of the soil is.  

Therefore, as elects we are called to be sowers of the seed of God’s Righteousness because only then the Gospel Word can sprout and bring life to the dead soul.

 

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Jordan Crossing

“for the Lord your God dried up the waters of the Jordan before you until you had crossed over, as the Lord your God did to the Red Sea, which He dried up before us until we had crossed over.” Joshua 4:23

Introduction

It is imperative for God’s elect in the Gospel of God’s Righteousness which constitutes Jesus’ baptism, death and resurrection to know that everyone has a Jordan to cross.  It is something that stands between us and the inheritance of salvation that God has promised. 

Jordan crossing is a critical point where we either breakdown or breakthrough.  It is one thing to know about salvation but it is another thing to inherit that salvation.  Jordan is a place that God had ordained and it acts as a dividing line.  It is a place where we need to decide whether to sow faith in the Word or in the flesh to attain salvation. Joshua 3:1-17 teaches us on what it takes to get across Jordan. 

 

  1. Sowing Into God’s Promise

God promised to send His Son into the world to save man from their eternal destruction.  Likewise, God promised Abraham that He will give the land of Canaan to His descendants.  In this passage, God does wonders among those who are willing to sow faith into the Word of promise. If there is anything that would keep us from crossing Jordan is unbelief and disobedience to the Word of promise. At the   age of thirty, Jesus came to the same River Jordan  as the Ark of the Covenant so that John the Baptist could pass all the sins of the world upon Him.  None of us can cross Jordan on our own.  One can only attain the true salvation of grace by sowing their faith in the Word of promise.  Only those who are baptized into Jesus can be baptized by faith into His death in order to rise up again with Jesus to enter into the Kingdom of God (Canaan).

 

  1. Sowing Into God’s Righteousness

After the death of Moses, God appointed Joshua as the leader of Israel.  Moses was the representative of the Law in the OT.  If Moses had crossed the Jordan River with the people of Israel and arrived at Canaan, it would not have been necessary for Joshua to become the leader of the people.  However, God made Moses reach the area just in front of the land of Canaan and prevented him from entering it. The reason why God gave man the Law (Moses) is to give one the knowledge of sin, to  make  the Law  one’s tutor and lead him to Christ so that one  could be justified by faith in the righteousness of God.  Gal 3:24   After the death of Moses, God appointed Joshua, the leader of Israel and ordered him to enter the land of Canaan with the people of Israel.  The name Joshua means ‘the Savior’ synonymous with ‘Jesus’.  Joshua ordered the priest to bear the Ark of the Covenant and to cross the Jordan River while leading the people as God instructed.  Through this incident, God teaches us that He had completely eliminated death caused by sin and subsequent judgment from mankind through the righteousness of  God.  This is reflected  when Jesus insisted to be baptized by John the Baptist when He said, “Permit it to be so now, for thus it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness.”  Mt 3:15

 

  1. Sowing Into God’s Power

The Jordan River is the place where Jesus virtually became sin Who knew no sin so that in and through Him we can become sinless and righteous by God’s power.  It is where the sins of the world were passed upon Jesus by John the Baptist who represented all man.  The historical events surrounding the crossing of the Jordan River is recorded in the OT and NT.  It is extremely an important act of faith to release God’s power for the deliverance from the curses and judgments arising from the sins of mankind.  In this river, Jesus through His baptism received all the flow of sins that cannot be ceased by any human beings and later died on the cross by accepting judgment in our place for those sins.  Throughout the history of humanity, all man were heading for destruction from their birth because of sin.  Even though they try hard to control their sinful nature, they could not  and that is why they were marching towards the river of judgment that leads to ultimate death.  However, Jesus Who is the power of God, cut off the flow of sin and judgment.  This story suggest that to be freed from sin, we must pay the wages of sins, which is death  and that through Jesus’ baptism and death, we are purified from all our sins to enter Heaven. 

 

Conclusion

It is recorded in the OT that when the priests dipped their feet into the  River Jordan, the river turn into dry land.  It is already miraculous enough that the water stopped but more than that it is incredible for the river turning into dry land. 

This incident serve as a guarantee of God’s deliverance from sins through Jesus’ baptism and death. 

The dry land represented the way that all the sins of the world would be forgiven in Christ.  All sins went forth from Adam out to all mankind but the curse of judgment ended with Jesus’ baptism. Now all one needs to do to be forgiven of sins is simply  to have faith in Christ and receive the Holy Spirit.

 

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It’s A New Season

“And everyone who was in distress, everyone who was in debt, and everyone who was discontented gathered to him. So he became captain over them. And there were about four hundred men with him.,.” 1 Sam 22:2

Introduction

Dear friends, Blessed 10th Anniversary!

It is imperative for God’s elect in the Gospel of God’s Righteousness which constitutes Jesus’ baptism, death and resurrection to know that NCCkl is ushering in a new season. 

The Scripture above depicts a picture of our spiritual condition when we first started at NCCkl 10 years ago.  Don’t get mad at me, I do see that all of you are looking great today.  Somewhere back down memory lane, we came bound, oppressed, distressed, debtors, angry and bitter.  We came to Jesus with all our problems.  Jesus received us just like we were, just like David did with these 400 men.  The Lord saw something in us.  He looked at the worst and saw the best. 

 

  1. The Mission

Is anybody glad God saw something in us?  David looked and accepted a bunch of rejects and decided to turn them into the greatest military fighting force the world has ever seen.  They became an elite army of the highest level of courage, ability and integrity.  The Lord is doing the same thing with us at NCCkl,  building an army of soldiers to advance the Kingdom of God.  An army held together by commitment to God, the church and the lost.  An army made alive in Christ, full of force and energy.  It is not in the defense but on the offense to fulfill the Great Commission forcefully and aggressively by engaging and overcoming resistance.  Lk 10:19   Make no mistake, God is not speaking of everyone in the church.  He is speaking specifically to the elects that are consumed with the kingdom mandate to proclaim His sovereign grace. The elects are chosen to serve  in the frontline because they are best trained, best equipped and most qualified in the battlefield.

 

  1. The Vision

The Lord entrusted us with the Gospel of God’s Righteousness that constitutes Jesus’ baptism, death and resurrection so that we can set people free from demonic power and advance the Kingdom of God.  NCCkl is marching forward into a new season when so many churches have become lukewarm, self seeking, self preserving and self centered. God  is  raising up  a Vanguard Church.  Not a place where we hide out from the devil and pray for Jesus to come and deliver us but a place where we are trained, equipped and mobilized to take the world for Jesus.  I know this prophetic statement is not for everyone, it is a little too sharp and too penetrating for those who prefer comfort but there is a breed of people that know they were bred for battle.  They know God did not save them to fly away to Heaven but serve His righteousness on earth.  We are not just the family of God but we are also the army of God.  An army is made up of different ranking officers, each  is specifically trained and equipped to carry responsibilities and the authority of that rank.  The higher the rank, the higher and the greater the responsibilities as well as the authority. 

 

  1. The Commission

A Vanguard Church does not just happenMuch like the special forces of military services, the vanguard church is governed by God.  It must go through a process where God has to identify and call His elect and separate them from the main stream.  At first, this is very difficult because it feels like we are alone and isolated.  To be a vanguard church, we have to know that we do not rely on majority consensus for our confirmation of God’s call for our lives.  The vanguard church  demands extreme commitment, extreme loyalty and extreme passion towards God.  It is hard sometimes because we can be mistaken to be too fanatical.  This happens because true radical devotion and commitment to Christ exposes luke-warmness, half-heartedness and indifference in those who are mere church goers.  True unbridled passion and devotion to Christ always  awakens criticism and persecution from nominal Christians.  As your shepherd, I stand as a prophetic voice and declare what I am hearing what God is saying.  God is saying that He is not looking for a low-flying, don’t rock the boat and don’t disturb anybody kind of church because they are so preoccupied with the world.  God is looking for vanguard church.  Vanguard church is going to lead  the way passionately in sowing seeds of soul.  We are going to bring the lost out of the darkness into the light. 

I am anointed, called and appointed to lead the vanguard church of extreme radical Holy Spirit filled, devil hating and Jesus loving warriors into battle in the new season.

 

Conclusion

Vanguard means a position at the fore front of a new season with new ideas and development.  Moving together with radical passionate worship in pursuit of the Presence and the glory of God.  There will be a supernatural release of the Spirit and anointing of revelation that will begin to materialize in our minds like concepts and ideas,  The concepts and ideas are going to be so revolutionary that they are going to place us immediately in positions of influence and resources.  Let us stand today against the backdrop of carnality, slothfulness, spiritual indifference and take our place as the vanguard church of the Lord Jesus Christ in these last days.

 

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Sacrifice What?

 “And Abel brought of the firstborn of his flock and of the fat portions. And the Lord had respect and regard for Abel and for his offering,.” Gen 4:4

Introduction

It is imperative for God’s elect in the Gospel of God’s Righteousness which constitutes Jesus’ baptism, death and resurrection to know what sacrifice pleases God. The first recorded offering made to God is found early in the book of Genesis.  It says that God respected Abel and the sacrifice that he brought but it also said God did not respect Cain and the sacrifice that he brought.  Was it the sacrifice?  Was it the attitude?  Was it both?

The sermon for today is titled ’Sacrifice what?’  I would like  to highlight three points about the sacrifice that pleases God using Rom 12:1 which  the Apostle Paul was urging, fervently asking us to become.

 

  1. Sacrifice Must Be Total

There are a number of different animal sacrifices instituted in the OT.  In some of them,  the complete   animal was offered by fire and it would be totally consumed until nothing but the ashes were left.  It was a total sacrifice.  The animal could not just sacrifice part of his life and go on living the way it had before.  The sacrifice was total, it was complete.  It is clear that we are looking at such a sacrifice that had to die.  If nothing had to die, then there was no sacrifice.  Therefore, if we are to present ourselves as a living sacrifice, then something has to die.  In Rom 8:13-14, Paul explains what needs to die so that we can go on being a living sacrifice. 

A living sacrifice does not live according to the flesh because it leads to death but if by the Spirit,  we put to death the deeds of the flesh, we will live. 

When we become a living sacrifice, when we respond to God’s calling, we put off the old man, the old way that we used to live.  The sacrifice is total, we cannot cling to even a little bit of our favorite former ways.  Col 3:5-9  The totality of who we are must be committed to following God, our emotions, our thoughts, our desires, all of it.  For us to become a living sacrifice does not mean that we literally sacrifice our physical body but it does mean that we completely turn that life, the life that we have, over to God to use as He sees fit.  A total sacrifice is a continual sacrifice.  When we are a living sacrifice, it is not just a one time event in our lives.  It is something that has to be on-going throughout the rest of our lives.  1 Cor 15:31-32

 

  1. Sacrifice Must Be Holy

The verse in Rom 12:1 continues to allude that as living sacrifice we ought to present ourselves as holy.  To be holy is to be like God for He is holy.  A holy God wants to have a holy people.  1 Pet 1:13-16     Peter wrote that we are to be holy in all our conduct and behavior.  He says we are to be obedient children.  We must obey God to be holy.  Peter also writes here that we are not to conform ourselves to the former lusts.  It refers to the old desires that we had before we were born again by the Gospel of God’s Righteousness that comprises Jesus’ baptism and death.  This is describing again on how we need to put to death the lusts of the flesh and be led by the Spirit to be holy as God is holy.  To do that, we need to always have God’s Word in our mind and in our hearts to guide our actions.  To be holy, we must continue to practice righteousness by consistently meditating on the Gospel of God’s Righteousness.  God delights when we obey His voice.  To obey is better than sacrifice.  1 Sam 15:22  As a living sacrifice we need to be holy and pleasing to God.  It is vitally important that we obey God’s voice and strive to walk by faith in the holiness of God.

 

  1. Sacrifice Must Be Acceptable

A living sacrifice means to be acceptable to God.  Looking back to the sacrifice that Abel and Cain offered, God disrespected Cain’s offering because he denied that he was a sinful creature under the sentence of divine condemnation after the fall.  Instead of accepting and approaching God’s way, he offered to God the fruits of the ground, which God had cursed.  He presented the product of his own toil, the work of his own hands.  God refused to accept it.  This is to validate that salvation is only through grace by faith in the absolute finished work of Christ that constitutes Jesus’ baptism, death and resurrection.  However, Abel brought the first born of his flock and of the fats portion.  It consisted the flesh, blood and fats of the lamb.  This acceptable offering represents Jesus Christ Who is the Firstborn that came by the flesh, blood and the Spirit.  Salvation is attained only when we bring Jesus, the perfect sacrifice given to us before God.  Lev 22:17-21   As elects, after being saved by Jesus Who came by the baptism and death, we must continue to bring Jesus our acceptable offering before God in all that we do.  A living sacrifice must be perfect  without  defect to be acceptable.  Which of us are free of defect?  Which of us are perfect?  How can we ever fit that description?  We can become an acceptable sacrifice,  free from defects  through Jesus Christ.  He gave Himself for us so that He can sanctify and make us holy.  We have been washed from our sins by His pure water and blood.  We have been made perfect by a single offering so that we can become an acceptable offering to God.  Heb 10:14

 

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Self Preservation Is Natural But Self Sacrifice Is Supernatural

“I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service.  And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.” Rom 12:1-2

 

Introduction

It is imperative for God’s elect in the Gospel of God’s Righteousness which constitutes Jesus’ baptism, death and resurrection to know that self preservation is natural but self sacrifice is supernatural.  The entire design, finishing and materials of the tabernacle found in the OT sacrificial system depicts the portrait of Jesus Christ.  There was only a single entrance to God’s Presence within the design which is  the eastern gate.  Jesus is that door or gate, the entrance to God.  When we enter the tabernacle through the proper way, the first thing to greet us is the altar of sacrifice. 

Most of us would have preferred to find the ‘table of showbread’ where God makes provision for us but we find ourselves first at a place of sacrifice.  Nothing of real value comes to us without real sacrifice or we would not appreciate it. 

A biblical faith is one that recognizes the priority of sacrifice and willingness to give rather than receive. 

One cannot bypass the altar of sacrifice into God’s Presence.  Let us examine the materials, message and manifestation of a true sacrifice.

 

  1. The Materials Exo 38:1-7

The ‘acacia’ wood was the basic material of the altar.  It is a tree that grows in the desert under severe conditions.  This wood was chosen for its quality of being nearly indestructible, a shadow of Christ Who is eternal.   The wood was then covered with bronze. Bronze symbolizes judgment in the OT.  The altar of sacrifice by its appearance reminded the believers of God’s judgment.  It was on this altar that the sacrificial animal was presented for God’s judgment to be atoned for sin.  It symbolizes Christ’s ultimate expression of sacrifice when He took our judgment of death after taking all the sins of the world through the baptism He received from John the Baptist at the River Jordan. There were four horns on the altar to bind the sacrificial animal.  The wood of the altar symbolizes the humanity of Jesus and our sacrifices offered to God after being born again. There is no such  faith   for   an   elect  that  does  not  include  the  ‘sacrifice.’    Anyone that thinks they can live for God without a need for sacrifice will only find a dead Christianity.  The order of approach to God cannot be ignored or replaced with other means.

 

  1. The Message 1 Kings 1:50

Unfortunately, today we hear much preaching that attempts to draw people into Christianity that promises all kinds of earthly ‘goodies.’  The preaching that expects no sacrifice by the hearer is a hollow Christianity.  There is too much ‘shallow Christianity’ now in the world.  Christians who only want but do not give.  Jesus clearly taught us about sacrifice by His own statement, “I came into the world not to do my own will but to do the will of Him Who sent Me.”  The search for the real God will always bring us first to the place of sacrifice.  Sacrificial giving of an elect is displayed by one’s lifestyle, faith, resources and attitude.  The ‘horns of the altar’ symbolizes our becoming a willing bound sacrifice.  In 2 Sam 24:24, David clearly states that he could not accept for ‘free’  the land and the sacrifice from Araunah.  David would not offer a sacrifice to God that cost him nothing.  A commitment to Christ that is without sacrifice is no commitment.  There are enough worldly calls that promise ‘at no cost.’ This doesn’t work in the Kingdom of God.  A dynamic faith is real, it will not just have the appearance of sacrifice.  Jesus sacrifice of Himself through His baptism and death was the greatest and costliest.  He also brought us the greatest and most valuable gift, eternal life.  There is no easy cheap way to give the finest gift.  Faith in the righteousness of God and the quality of our new creation life will only be as good as the sacrifice we make because of it. 

 

  1. The manifestation Rom 12:1-2

Paul spoke clearly in the NT, “….offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God.”  What is symbolized by the altar of sacrifice? The elect ought to be a living sacrifice.  One difference however, in the OT, the sacrifice was killed.  In the NT, Christ’s baptism and death  paid the price once and for all so that the elects do not need to physically die. We are to be ‘living’ sacrifices.  One problem with this, unlike a dead sacrifice, living ones tend to want to crawl off the altar, especially when they feel the heat.  This is when we need to take hold of the horns of the altar, to keep from leaving the altar of sacrifice.  We too must be bound to the altar by constantly establishing ourselves in the Gospel of God’s Righteousness  that constitutes Jesus’ baptism, death and resurrection.  Paul says, “this is our spiritual act of worship” meaning the basis of spirituality is our sacrifice even in worship.  A dynamic worship service is not so much about what I get, as much as what I give through my sacrifice of praises, offering, time and talents.  The goal therefore is not to gain but to give.  Ironically, when we give we do gain.  The sweetest gaining come from giving.  The will of God is found in our life of sacrifice.  When we really give ourselves, we literally, ‘test and approve’ what God’s will is for us everyday and in every way.

 

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Have Your Way

“In whose hand is the life of every living thing, the breath of all mankind?.” Job 12:10

Introduction

It is imperative for God’s elect in the Gospel of God’s Righteousness which constitutes Jesus’ baptism, death and resurrection to know that our life is in God’s hand.  This is to ascertain that our lives hangs by a thread of sovereign grace.  God owns every soul.  God made us and we belong to Him by virtue of His being our Creator.

When an elect cries out to God, ‘have your way’ in my life, it is a sign of acceptance that God can give and take life as He pleases according to His infinite wisdom.  God never does anyone any wrong.  Job 1:20-21 ; 1 Sam 2:6 ; Deut 32:39 ; James 4:13-16   Our life is not our own.  It belongs to God and He decides what life is for.  In our message today, let us examine what matters most to Jesus when it pertains to a life of sacrifice. 

 

  1. Value The New Creation Life

Jesus does not want the elects to waste their lives after being born again.  If God wills, many of us have several decades to live on earth before we go back home.  All of us have to give an account of what we did with our lives.  A person’s “life does not consists in the abundance of his possessions”  Lk 12:15    Accumulating things is not what life is for.  This night our life will be required of us and then whose will this possession be?  No sane person on his deathbed  ever was comforted by his possession.  Lk 12:16-21 ; Mt 16:24-26   Is it possible to waste our life?  After embracing the Gospel of God’s Righteousness, few things should make us tremble more than the possibility of taking this onetime gift of life and wasting it.  More and more we smell eternity.  How can we use our lives well for God’s glory.  Life is so short and so fragile and so final.  We got one chance to live our life and then a certain judgment. Heb 9:27 We should decide resolutely that our remaining energy and freedom, we will pour out for Christ and His Church so that when we meet Him, we will smile at His Word, ‘well done good and faithful servant.’ 

 

  1. Essence Of The New Creation Life

What is the essence of the new creation life?  It is a life that puts the  infinite  value  of  Christ on  display for the world to see.  The  passion of the new creation life is to joyfully display the supreme excellence of Christ by the way we live.  Our new life is given to us so that we can use it to make much of Christ.  Possessions are given to us so that by the way we use them, we can show that they are not our treasure but Christ is our treasure.  Money is given to us so that we will use it in a way that shows money is not treasure but Christ is our treasure.  The great passion of the new creation life is to magnify Christ.  Phil 1:20-21   Paul’s all consuming passion was that in his life and his death Jesus Christ be honored,  that is, that Jesus be made to look like  the infinite treasure that He is.  The reason we have new life is to make Jesus look great.  Phil 3:7-8    Paul displays the worth of Christ by counting everything else as loss for Christ’s sake.  It is a life that uses everything to show that Christ is more valuable than it is.  Money is used to show that Christ is more valuable than money.  Time and talent is used to show that Christ is more valuable than time and talent.  Food is used to show that Christ is more valuable than food is.  Houses, land and cars are used to show that Christ is more valuable than they are.  Family, friends and our life are a place to show that Christ is more valuable than any of them.  We display the supreme worth of Christ in our lives by treasuring Christ above all things. 

 

  1. Essential Things For Living The New Creation Life

 

a. Life and death are given to us as a means to display the supreme value of Christ. Phil 1:20-23

b. The supreme value of Christ is displayed when we treasure Jesus Christ above all earthly things and all other earthly persons.

c. This treasuring of Jesus Christ above all earthly things and persons is most clearly seen in what we gladly willing to risk or to sacrifice in order to enjoy more of Him. 2 Cor 12:9-10

 

Conclusion

Are we going to waste our new creation life away with the rest of the world by striving to minimize our sacrifice and maximize our comforts in this life?  Are we going to work for the bread that perishes?  Build bigger barns? Lay up treasures on earth?  Strive for the praise of man?  Or will we see in Christ baptized, crucified and risen as all satisfying treasure of our life.  I believe when God raises up a generation like us at NCCkl, a completion of the Great Commission will come to pass.  It will not come to pass unless a generation is joyfully willing to lay down their lives. 

If our passion is to display the worth of Christ, treasure Him above all things, risk and sacrifice for the display of His supreme value, then God will use us mightily to fulfill His purposes in these last days.

 

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Sacrifice At Its Highest Point

“By faith Abraham, when he was tested, offered up Isaac, and he who had received the promises offered up his only begotten son, of whom it was said, “In Isaac your seed shall be called,” concluding that God was able to raise him up, even from the dead, from which he also received him in a figurative sense.”  Heb 11:17-19

Introduction

It is important for God’s elect in the Gospel of God’s Righteousness which constitutes Jesus’ baptism, death and resurrection to know what is sacrifice at its highest point.  Abraham came to the place where he gave back to God what was always God’s in the first place.  Abraham’s faith teaches us to hold lightly what we value greatly. 

Elects ought to know that it is the kindness of God that led Abraham to Moriah to offer Isaac.  Likewise, it is God’s kindness that leads us back to the place of sacrifice where we yield up to Him our dreams, our desires, our plans, our hopes, the things we own, our loved ones and finally we give to God the life He gave us in the beginning. 

It is God’s kindness that is on display in this story. 

No wonder in Hebrews 11:17-19, the writer focusses on three aspects of Abraham’s amazing faith where sacrifice is demonstrated at its highest point. 

 

  1. Sacrifice At The Highest – Test vs 17

In reality,  this story presents several problems.  How could a loving God ask Abraham to sacrifice his only son?  Some critics have dismissed the story on the grounds that it presents a grotesque caricature of the God of the Bible.  It would have been enough if God had simply said ‘take your son’.  Instead, God qualified that phrase in three ways.  ‘Your Only Son’ – not forgetting Ishmael was also his son but meaning that Isaac was the promised son.  Isaac – the son for whom Abraham and Sarah had waited for 25 years.  ‘Whom You Love’ – which might seem as if God was mocking him but these words were to reassure Abraham that God knew what He was asking.  By saying it this way, Abraham would know that God understood what it would cost him to obey.  This is what God told Abraham to do, sacrifice your Isaac  by killing him and burning his body as an offering to God.  At that point, the man of faith only had two options.  Either you obey or you don’t.  If  you stop to argue, that in itself is a form of disobedience.  If you try to talk God out of it, that too is disobedience.  If you offer an alternate plan, that is also disobedience.

 

  1. Sacrifice At The Highest – Trust vs 18

At this point,  the writer wants us to think about what was at stake.  We naturally focus on the unimaginable sorrow of losing a child.  Nothing in all the world seem more trying than for parents to bury their children.  In this case, God told Abraham to offer his own son. Abraham was fully prepared to do it, so prepared.  In fact, Heb 11:17 actually says that Abraham ‘offered’ Isaac as a sacrifice, meaning that when he laid his son on the altar and raise his knife, Abraham fully intended to put him to death.  Naturally our minds focus on that aspect because it is so poignant and personal.  In Gen 12:1-3, God had said that He would bring forth a nation from Isaac’s descendant.  Here we are faced with what seems to be enormous contradiction.  God commanded Abraham to offer Isaac while having promised to bring forth offspring through  Isaac. The promise and the command seem to flatly contradict each other.  Abraham did not know how God would do it.  He just knew God would do it somehow.  Herein lies a lesson for all of us.  When God makes a promise, it is folly and disbelief to wonder how He will keep His word.  Faith does not reckon with ‘how’.  Faith believes and leaves the ‘how’ in the hands of  God.  There are times in life when our only job is to take the next step.  We aren’t called to figure out the big picture or to explain where it will lead.  This is the true life of faith.

 

  1. Sacrifice At The Highest – Triumph vs 19

In this verse, we learn something that is only hinted at in Gen 22.  Twice in that chapter Abraham intimates that he expects that somehow, some way, God was going to work things out so that Isaac would live.  Gen 22:5  Abraham believed that he and his son would somehow return together.  The writer of Hebrews tells us why Abraham could talk like that.  Abraham believed that God could raise the dead.  Gen 22:7-8   Abraham reasoned from what he knew about  God to what he knew about the situation.  Abraham offered his son, the Father offered His Son.  Isaac carried the wood, Jesus carried the cross.  Isaac was laid on the altar, Jesus was nailed to the cross.  Abraham was willing to put his son to death, the Father willed that His Son should die.  The ram was offered in the place of Isaac, Christ was offered in the place of sinners.  Abraham received his son back ‘figuratively’, Jesus literally rose from the dead.

 

Conclusion

What are we suppose to take away from this true story?  In summary, God is saying, ‘I asked for your most precious possession and you gave it to me.’

 

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Sharing Becomes You

“that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death, 11 if, by any means, I may attain to the resurrection from the dead…” Phil 3:10-11

Introduction

It is important for God’s elect in the Gospel of God’s Righteousness which constitutes Jesus’ baptism, death and resurrection to know that Jesus is the greatest gift that God willingly shared with humanity.  Born as a Man on earth, the Son of God came to share His life with all men.  Through His baptism, Jesus took the sins of the world upon His body, experienced death for every individual person and was raised from the dead to secure our justification of faith in the righteousness of God.  

Likewise, elects born of the Spirit of Christ ought to share their life with others.  God has not stopped sharing His Son through us to those who believe in the righteous act of Jesus.  In our text, the Apostle Paul nicely sums up what the elects are supposed to be before sharing with others.  Christianity is definitely not a religion of rules and rituals that one must work to climb the ladder of heaven.  In fact, it is a personal growing relationship with the risen Christ that results in our growing conformity to Him. 

Our goal is to know Him and to become like Him in order to share our lives. 

  1. The Goal Of The Elect Is To Know Christ

Jesus said the same thing when He prayed, “and this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God and Jesus Christ Whom You have sent.”  John 17:3   Christianity is primarily a growing relationship with the infinite God Who has revealed Himself through the Gospel of God’s Righteousness.  As with all relationships, it begins with an initial encounter.  It is the same with our relationship with Jesus Christ.  Everyone has a story about their first encounter with Jesus.  However, we can know a lot about someone without knowing the person Himself.  As such, ‘sharing becomes you’  requires us to know who Jesus claim to be, things He did and taught, understand His baptism and death for our sins and that He was raised bodily from the dead.  Like any relationship, once we have met, we must cultivate that relationship. Cultivation requires time.   Closeness and intimacy are essential to foster strong relationship.  We cannot know the Triune God except as He has chosen to reveal Himself to us in the Word.  Heb 1:1-3

 

  1. The Goal Of The Elect Is To Be Like Christ

When we met our future mate, fall in love and got married, our life was permanently changed.  We would never be the same again.  It is the same, only much more so, when we meet Jesus as our Savior and Lord.  Jesus marks us for life, the more we spend growing to know Him, the more we are different.  Phil 3:10-11 shows the components and direction of the change that goes along with knowing Christ.

 

a. To be like Christ requires knowing the power of His resurrection. Eph 2:4-6; Acts 26:18; Col 1:13

Changes to one’s life is accomplished not through human persuasion or through self improvement program.  They require the same mighty power of God that raised Jesus from the dead. 

b. To be like Christ requires knowing the fellowship of His sufferings 1 Pet 4:19 ; Rom 8:17-25 ; 2 Cor 1:5

Our Savior came to suffer for our sins by accepting the baptism of righteousness and to be crucified on the cross.  His entire ministry was marked by misunderstanding, rejection, opposition, betrayal and death.  While we can never enter into His suffering in the same way that He suffered,  yet there is a sense in which we can never be like Him if we do not go through suffering and learn to entrust our souls to our faithful Father in doing what is right.  Fellowship points to closeness or intimacy.

c. To be like Christ requires being conformed to His death Gal 2:20 ;  Col 1:15 ; Rom 8:13

This phrase is related to ‘fellowship of His sufferings’  and grows out of it.  It also has another dimension which Paul describes in many other places, that of dying to sin and self through the baptism and death of Christ.  When we trust in Christ, we are placed ‘in Christ’ which means we are united with Jesus in His baptism, death and resurrection.  We have to live experientially what is true of us positionally.  This is what Jesus meant when He said that whoever follows Him must deny self and take up His cross daily.  Lk 9:23

d. To be like Christ will be realized in the resurrection from the dead Phil 3:11 ; Rom 8:17-21

Paul is referring to the future resurrection of the righteous at the return of Christ, when our mortal bodies will be transformed into the likeness of Christ resurrected body, free from sin.  We will then share in His glory throughout eternity.

 

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