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Peter’s Sermon on Pentecost (Acts 2:14-21)

March 5, 2014

Reflecting on the Passage:
Here at East Point Church, we have begun a new sermon series entitled “Acts: The Spirit and the Church in the World“. This week’s sermon emphasized the Power of God in the Person of the Holy Spirit. Elder Duncanson gave the different accounts of Peter before Pentecost and the work of the Holy Spirit on Pentecost to illustrate the Power of God. The focus of this sermon is on the Peter’s confidence in the Word rather than in himself.

What Happened to Peter?

Acts Series

But Peter, standing with the eleven, lifted up his voice and addressed them: “Men of Judea and all who dwell in Jerusalem, let this be known to you, and give ear to my words (Acts 2:14; ESV).”

Anyone familiar with Peter’s life with Christ on earth would describe Peter as cowardly, unfaithful, arrogant, among many other things (Matt. 26:30-75; Mark 14:26-50, 66-72; Luke 22:31-34, 39-46, 54-62; John 18:1-11, 15-18, 25-27). Peter was not alone in his abandonment of Christ. Scripture tell us that all 12 of Christ’s Apostles abandoned Him in the hour of His betrayal (Mark 14:50). But, something happened after Pentecost, despite Peter and the Twelve’s abandonment, they had a promise that Christ would never abandon them, instead He would send His Holy Spirit to empower them to make much of Him not themselves (Matt. 28:20; John 16:14-15).

The Work of the Holy Spirit

For these people are not drunk, as you suppose, since it is only the third hour of the day. But this is what was uttered through the prophet Joel…(Acts 2:15-16; ESV).”

The Apostles had a promise despite their sinfulness. They had been promised that Christ would not leave them alone. He would send His Holy Spirit to equip them for the task He had given them (John 14:15-31). Now, we see the fulfillment of the promise in the work of the Holy Spirit, who comes to guide them into all truth, convict the world of sin, righteousness and judgment, and glorify Jesus Christ. Here we see the Holy Spirit at work in Peter’s understanding and confidence in the Word of God, rather than his former confidence in himself.

The Day of the Lord

And in the last days it shall be, God declares, that I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh, and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams; even on my male servants and female servants in those days I will pour out my Spirit, and they shall prophesy. And I will show wonders in the heavens above and signs on the earth below, blood, and fire, and vapor of smoke; the sun shall be turned to darkness and the moon to blood, before the day of the Lord comes, the great and magnificent day. And it shall come to pass that everyone who calls upon the name of the Lord shall be saved (Acts 2:17-21; ESV).”

Now empowered by the Holy Spirit, Peter could do that which he could never do in his own strength, be a witness of God by proclaiming His word before men. Peter could now teach those before him what Pentecost meant. He did so by explaining the event through the prophecy of Joel, while also pointing to a greater day when Christ would return in all His majesty and glory. Elder Philip described prophecy as declaring the things of God, not necessarily telling the future. The fulfillment of prophecy can be both the already happened and the yet to come. Likewise, the “last days” are defined as the time period between Christ’s incarnation and His return.

Are You Ready for the Day of the Lord?

Power belongs to God not us. The Holy Spirit makes all the difference; He makes all things new by pointing to the One who has the power to save. We all have denied Christ in some area of our life, yet He is faithful and just to forgive us of our sin and cleanse of all unrighteousness.

Do you live in the reality that the Day of the Lord is near? The message of the Gospel is to get over yourself. You cannot save yourself since you are exceedingly sinful; but God is faithful and despite your sinfulness He comes in the Person of Jesus Christ to redeem you, cleanse you, and empower you to do His will. The joy of this message is that it does not say get yourself together, instead it tells us to call on the name of Jesus Christ as the only hope of your salvation. If you have not turned to Christ in faith, and He has granted you mercy to hear His Word today, don’t delay! Repent and believe the Gospel of Jesus Christ, for the kingdom of God is near.

Listen to this week’s full sermon for free.

The Coming of the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:1-13)

February 26, 2014

Reflecting on the Passage:
Here at East Point Church, we have begun a new sermon series entitled “Acts: The Spirit and the Church in the World“. This week’s sermon described the events of Pentecost as a unique display of God the Holy Spirit fulfilling the promises of Christ. Elder Duncanson emphasized the importance of understanding this event as with other glorious events of Christ (cf. crucifixion, resurrection, ascension). The focus of this sermon is on the power of God, the presence of God, and a miracle.

The Power of God

Acts Series

When the day of Pentecost arrived, they were all together in one place. And suddenly there came from heaven a sound like a mighty rushing wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting (Acts 2:1-2; ESV).”

Pentecost marks the fiftieth day after Passover in Jewish culture, however, this Pentecost was like none other, because the power of God was in the midst. The Holy Spirit is compared to wind frequently throughout Scripture, probably considering wind is powerful, unseen, and is known only by the effect it has on an object (cf. Gen. 8:1; John 3:8; Zec. 4:8). The power of God had come not only to fill this house, but also to fill the followers of Jesus Christ, in order for them be witnesses for Christ.

The Presence of God

And divided tongues as of fire appeared to them and rested on each one of them (Acts 2:3; ESV).”

This Pentecost was not simply unique because the power of God was displayed, but also because God the Holy Spirit had come to rest with each believer personally rather than just corporately. Here we see in this account that like Moses and the burning bush, God chose to reveal Himself as both powerful and loving considering He could have devoured them in His presence due to our inherent sinfulness. Instead, God the Holy Spirit faithfully carries out His ministry of comfort by identifying each one of them as witnesses of Jesus Christ.

A Miracle

And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit gave them utterance. Now there were dwelling in Jerusalem Jews, devout men from every nation under heaven. And at this sound the multitude came together, and they were bewildered, because each one was hearing them speak in his own language. And they were amazed and astonished, saying, “Are not all these who are speaking Galileans? And how is it that we hear, each of us in his own native language? (Acts 2:4-8; ESV).”

Along with the power and presence of God, we also see a miracle. Miracles are not as common as many of us think they are. If miracles were common, everyday occurrences, they wouldn’t be miracles. The events of Pentecost clearly describe a true miracle. First, God the Holy Spirit intervened as Christ promised His disciples He would, hence “suddenly there came from heaven”. Secondly, God the Holy Spirit transcends the natural law of language, by making various languages or “tongues” become as one. This was in reverse to what God did at the Tower of Babe. (Gen. 11:1-9). At Babel, man was trying to reach up to God. At Pentecost, God came down to man. Lastly, what was the special purpose of God the Holy Spirit filling all that were present? God’s redemptive plan included all the nations through the work of Jesus Christ, thus, He provided the power to unite them (Gen. 12:1-3).

Who is sufficient for these things?

We need to understand that the Baptism of the Spirit comes along with conversion not after. There are those who make much of Pentecost as another gifting of the Spirit, but you cannot trust Christ without the baptism of the Holy Spirit! Similarly, you don’t believe because you see miracles, you believe because you see Jesus Christ.

Christians are inadequate to do what they are called to do in their own strength, yet, they can trust in Gospel of their salvation, which is the power unto God. The filling of the Holy Spirit is to empower the Christian to proclaim Christ with godly living and service to others. We are to be witnesses of Christ, and He will use us as He sees fit.

As the Christian witnesses, he or she will receive a response from their hearers, those who want to know more and those who want to mock (v. 11-12). God does not perform miracles merely to amaze or to amusze people. Jesus said to him, “If they do not hear Moses and the Prophets, neither will they be convinced if someone should rise from the dead” (cf. Luke 16:31). Repent and believe the Gospel of Jesus Christ!

Listen to this week’s full sermon for free.

Replacing Judas (Acts 1:12-26)

February 19, 2014

Reflecting on the Passage:

Here at East Point Church, we have begun a new sermon series entitled “Acts: The Spirit and the Church in the World“. This week sermon provided us with a vivid picture of God’s mercy to those He chooses. Pastor Carter helps us see our need of Christ as our Great High Priest to intercede for His own, lest they perish with the wicked. The focus of this sermon is on how the disciples and Apostles sought God’s Word and Will for answers to the present enigma, namely, replacing Judas.

All These with One Accord

Acts Series

All these with one accord were devoting themselves to prayer, together with the women and Mary the mother of Jesus, and his brothers (Acts 1:14; ESV).”

After the Ascension, prayer would be the cornerstone of the ministry to which God has called the disciples. They would become prayer warriors. Pastor Carter emphasized that devoted meant that those who accompanied the Apostles in the Upper Room, intentionally, continually and fervently prayed. What made them do this? The text does not tell us explicitly, but we can infer from the text two things: 1) they were not sure what to do; and 2) there was an elephant in the room.

Something needed to be said and done about Judas Iscariot. After praying, the Bible says Peter spoke up, revealing two important things to us about the disciple and the ongoing ministry in the book of Acts: 1) their trust in God’s Word (v.16-18) and 2) their trust in God’s Will (v. 21-26).

Their Trust in God’s Word

Brothers, the Scripture had to be fulfilled, which the Holy Spirit spoke beforehand by the mouth of David concerning Judas, who became a guide to those who arrested Jesus. For he was numbered among us and was allotted his share in this ministry…reward of his wickedness (Acts 1:16-18; ESV).

Could Judas have chosen not to betray Jesus Christ? The simple answer is no; not if, as Peter says that the Scripture were to be fulfilled.  Judas had to betray Jesus (cf. Jesus Birth or Death).  Judas is an enigma, difficult for us to really understand, because he shared in the ministry of Christ.  The disciples saw the need to put all things in the context of God’s sovereign Word, even the difficult ones. This is instructive for us. Before we seek, before Holy Spirit comes, that for which we are waiting and speaks to us, let us search for what He has already said and find some direction there!

It was their understanding of God’s sovereign Word that allowed them to begin to understand who Judas really was. It is not sitting around trying to see who Judas was, instead they sought to understand what God’s Word said, and that allowed them to understand who Judas was and what he did. The difference between Peter and Judas was not Peter’s activity; it was Christ’s and His interceding for Peter (Luke 22:32; John 13:21-30).

Judas forfeited his share among the disciples, and thus he had his share among the wicked; the faithless, who will have their share in the lake that burns eternally, there is the reward for the faithless, there is the reward for the wicked (Rev. 21:8).

Their Trust in God’s Will

So one of the men who have accompanied us during all the time that the Lord Jesus went in and out among us, beginning from the baptism of John until the day when he was taken up from usone of these men must become with us a witness to his resurrection. And they put forward two, Joseph called Barsabbas, who was also called Justus, and Matthias.  And they prayed and said, You, Lord, who know the hearts of all, show which one of these two you have chosen to take the place in this ministry and apostleship from which Judas turned aside to go to his own place. And they cast lots for them, and the lot fell on Matthias, and he was numbered with the eleven apostles (Acts 1:21-26; ESV)?

In replacing Judas, the Apostles not only trusted in God’s Word, but also in the Will of God. Notice that there are three elements of this choice as they seek to distinguish Barsabbas and Matthias: 1) the qualification, must have been called by Christ, 2) the determination, submitting to God’s sovereignty by casting lots, and 3) the obligation, must become with us a witness to His resurrection. The call to be an apostle was a call to die, it was a call to leave everything in order gain Christ.  The Greek word for witness in v. 22 is marturos, the word from which we get the word martyr – signifying that the apostle God chose would follow the other Apostles, losing their lives for the sake of the Gospel.

Have you been called to be a witness of Jesus Christ?

If you are saved, and really saved, then the lot has fallen on you to sacrifice and to give up your life for Christ. Really, is that you? If so, your life should be then on a similar mission, for anyone who would follow after Christ, Jesus says “must deny themselves, take up their cross and follow Me” – and be willing at any moment to get up on that cross and sacrifice your own self, your own feelings, your own lusts, your own desires, so that you might be a witness to who Jesus Christ is!

Every day, the Christian is called to die just a little bit more to self, and to live just a little bit more for Christ, everyday!  Until that day when you find that there is no more self, and there is only Jesus, at that time you are gone; you’ll be forever in the presence of the One for whom you died and now live (Gal. 2:20).

Listen to this week’s full sermon for free.

The Promises of Christ (Acts 1:1-1)

February 12, 2014

Reflecting on the Passage:

Here at East Point Church, we have begun a new sermon series entitled “Acts: The Spirit and the Church in the World“. This week’s sermon revealed that the power of God the Holy Spirit is absolutely necessary to accomplish anything for God. Pastor Carter reminds us of our need and dependence on God’s provision. The focus of this sermon is on the faithfulness of Christ in making three promises to His disciples before he left:  The Promise of the Holy Spirit; The Promise of the Witness; The Promise of Christ Return.

Acts Series

The Promise of the Holy Spirit

And while staying with them he ordered them not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for the promise of the Father, which, he said, you heard from me; for John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now. (Acts 1:4-5; ESV).”

God is always faithful. There are many examples of His faithfulness throughout Scripture, from His delivering the children of Israel from Egypt to His providing an ultimate Seed to atone for the sin of Adam. Here we see yet another testimony of His faithfulness in Christ’s promise to His disciples that He would send the power from Heaven to fit them for the task given them. But, much like the patriarchs before them, they would have to wait on God’s timing not theirs, in the matter in which He prescribed, namely, staying Jerusalem. Since it was a promise, they were not only to wait, but also to anticipate the glorious baptism of the Holy Spirit, and when He came He would identify them as God did with Christ.

The Promise of the Witness

So when they had come together, they asked him, Lord, will you at this time restore the kingdom to Israel? He said to them, It is not for you to know times or seasons that the Father has fixed by his own authority. But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth. (Acts 1:6-8; ESV).

The promise of the Holy Spirit was also a promise unto witnessing. Pastor Carter described three important things about this witness, The Power for this Witness: Holy Spirit; The Person of the Witness: Jesus Christ; and The Pattern of the Witness: Here, There, and Everywhere. The Holy Spirit provided the early Church with the power they needed to accomplish what Christ called them to do, and for this reason, they had to wait for God’s provision. Secondly, the ministry of the Holy Spirit was and still is to make much of Christ, not of Himself. Lastly, we see when you get the power of the Spirit, and you understand that power comes upon you for the witness of Christ, you begin to witness here (i.e. home), and as you become effective at home you go there (i.e. local area, neighborhood, job, community), and then if you have a heart for the things of Christ, you want to tell all the world what He has done for you.

The Promise of Christ’s Return

And when he had said these things, as they were looking on, he was lifted up, and a cloud took him out of their sight. And while they were gazing into heaven as he went, behold, two men stood by them in white robes, and said, Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking into heaven? This Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will come in the same way as you saw him go into heaven.(Acts 1:9-11; ESV)?

The great motivation of the early church was based on two realities, the resurrection of Jesus Christ and His return. These are the two realities that the early Church staked their lives and witness upon, the promise that Christ will return. How did He go up? He went up gloriously! He went up unexpectedly!  How will He return?  He will return unexpectedly! He will return gloriously!

Will you be ready when The Lord returns?

Many of us can agree that waiting is difficult for us. Don’t run out and call yourself doing your thing for God; wait until God has really done His thing in you; slow down and wait until the Holy Spirit comes and guides you into these truths. If you believe the Lord has called you to a ministry, you should wait until He has actually prepared and filled you so that ministry can be fruitful (cf. Moses).

God’s timing is rarely our timing, therefore, it is necessary to always seek to be patient and wait on the Lord, anticipating the fulfillment of His promises. The baptism of the Holy Spirit is an identification, marking you out for the One in whom you have baptized, to which, you are no longer your own, you belong to Him.

How do you know you belong to Him (Rom. 8:16)? His Spirit will bear witness to your spirit that you belong to Christ. The Spirit comes to make much of Jesus and empower us to do the same. Understand that Christ promised that He would be raised from the grave and He did; He also promises He will return. How do I get ready? Great question, you live your life standing on the promises of Christ, believing that there is salvation in no else, but Jesus Christ and Him alone (Acts 4:12)!

Listen to this week’s full sermon for free.

Our Big God (Jonah 4:5-11)

February 5, 2014

Reflecting on the Passage:

This week’s sermon from Jonah 4 illustrates that God’s concerns far outweigh, surpass, and dominate Jonah’s small, petty, futile concerns.  Pastor Carter contrasted this record of Jonah’s lack of contentment with God to the Apostle Paul’s satisfaction and fulfillment with God in Christ. The focus of this sermon is on God, once again, teaching Jonah that His thoughts and ways are higher than ours (Is. 55).

Jonah Series

God is Bigger than Your Circumstances

Now the LORD God appointed a plant and made it come up over Jonah, that it might be a shade over his head, to save him from his discomfort. So Jonah was exceedingly glad because of the plant (Jonah 4:6; ESV).”

If Jonah learned anything from this experience with God sending him to Nineveh, he learned that God was certainly in control of his circumstances from start to finish (Jonah 1:4-17, 2:1-10, 3:10, 4:5-11). What Jonah realized was since God had chosen him, God was not going to leave him alone, and if there were any comforts in this life, they come from God in His grace and mercy. Unfortunately, Jonah took the comforts of God disregarding the Comforter, by rejoicing in the plant rather than rejoicing in the gracious God who provided the plant for him. Therefore, God now not only had to change Jonah’s circumstances, He had to change Jonah’s attitude.

God is Bigger than Your Attitude

God appointed a worm that attacked the plant, so that it witheredGod appointed a scorching east wind, and the sun beat down on the head of Jonah so that he was faint. And he asked that he might die and said, “It is better for me to die than to live” (Jonah 4:7-8; ESV).

Why did God take away Jonah’s comfort, you ask? God will not allow us to find satisfaction outside of Him. He will take away comforts, even the ones He gives, if those comforts and blessings keep us away from Him (2 Cor. 12). Jonah’s attitude was discontentment, to which Pastor Carter defines as an attitude of dissatisfaction, longing for a change and a chronic unhappiness until that change comes. Thus, Jonah was dissatisfied with God. Unlike Jonah, Paul realized this great truth, when he wrote to the Corinthians, encouraging and admonishing them to concern themselves with giving praise to the Comforter rather the comforts of this life, as he had done.

God is Bigger than Your Concerns

But God said to Jonah, “Do you do well to be angry for the plant?” And he said, “Yes, I do well to be angry, angry enough to die.” And the LORD said, “You pity the plant, for which you did not labor, nor did you make it grow, which came into being in a night and perished in a night. And should not I pity Nineveh, that great city, in which there are more than 120,000 persons who do not know their right hand from their left, and also much cattle(Jonah 4:9-11; ESV)?

Like Jonah, we concern ourselves with a number of things, but rarely do we take the time to consider, “Are we concerning ourselves with the things that God is really concerned about?” Jonah was concerned about the plant, but his concern for the plant was really a concern for himself, because he has lost his comfort. God’s concern, on the other hand, was for the lost in the city of Nineveh, but His concern for the lost was not that He might lose them, instead to save them from the danger of losing Him. What an amazing testimony of the grace and mercy of God!

Is Your Contentment in Christ or things, today?

The Christian is a learner, everyday, and willing to be challenged, corrected and disciplined. The Bible describes those who do not care to learn as scoffers or fools (Prov. 9:8, 15:12). Likewise, the scoffer or fool is, typically, not a disciple. The prophecy of Jonah is the prophecy of a scoffer, and the lesson God wanted Jonah and Israel to know is that God is Big. We serve a Big God. The Bible is not about big men and women, but a Big God; and there is nothing greater than God and His mission.

True joy does not lie in things, but in God. Joy is in the Power of God, in the Presence of God, in the Praise of God, and found only in the Person of God; Jesus Christ is our Only Hope of joy (Ps. 16:11, 43:4, 126:3,127:6). Yet, despite our advancements in the things of this world, our discontentment grows worse. How do you know if your contentment is in things? When they are gone or we do not get them, so goes our happiness and contentment.

The lesson God wanted Jonah to know, one He wants all us to learn, is the secret to true contentment, which is really no secret, Christ is the key to contentment, to be satisfied in Him (Phil. 4:11-13). The Christian man or woman who desires to be untouchable, unflappable and unstoppable has Christ as the key to their contentment (cf. Elijah, David, Paul). God’s concerns are bigger than your concerns, and the Gospel is for your joy. “Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent, and do the works you did at first,” says Christ, the Lover of your soul (Rev. 2:5).

Listen to this week’s full sermon for free.

Jonah’s Resentment, God’s Restraint (Jonah 4:1-4)

January 31, 2014

Reflecting on the Passage:

This week’s sermon from Jonah 4 emphasizes God’s mercy toward an undeserved people and His resentful servant.  Pastor Carter paralleled this record of God, Jonah and the Ninevites with the parable of the Prodigal Son, which also consisted of a loving Father, a repentant son, and a resentful older brother (Luke 15).  The focus of this sermon is on Jonah’s resentment, but also on God’s restraint.

Jonah Series

What Displeased Jonah?

But it displeased Jonah exceedingly, and he was angry (Jonah 4:1).” 

The repentance of Nineveh and the relenting of God displeased Jonah exceedingly, and made him angry (Jonah 3:10).  Rather than rejoicing, Jonah was vexed in his soul, not only because the Ninevites had repented, but what God had done in response to their repentance.  The nation of Israel knew how evil the people was in Nineveh, considering it was the central city in the Assyrian empire; the Assyrians were evil people, terrorists, who terrorized all of their neighbors.  Therefore, Jonah along with the rest of Israel wanted the Assyrians destroyed; and if God would move in destruction against the Ninevites and the Assyrians as a whole, no one would have lost any sleep, because no one cries when the wicked get their just deserts, do we?

Jonah Resents Their Repentance

And he prayed to the Lord and said,’O Lord, is not this what I said when I was yet in my country (Jonah 4:2)?‘”

The wicked should be destroyed, right?  Sometimes they are not.  Instead of destroying the wicked, sometimes God redeems them.  What should be then our response, as God’s people, when God is pleased to redeem the wicked? Well, Jonah’s response was resentment.  Pastor Carter defines resentment as the feeling of anger or frustration at a real or perceived wrong or grievance. Jonah’s anger and frustration at what God did for the Ninevites gave way to his expression of resentment as he spoke to God; he prayed to God, not in submission but rather praying seeking to justify and vindicate himself before God, while seeking to vilify God. Jonah wanted his enemies destroyed, not redeemed, like the older brother in the parable of the Prodigal Son, Jonah did not want his younger brother to return, “Let them stay lost…” But, God is gracious, namely, God is good. God desires good for His creation, especially His people (Ps. 119:68).

Jonah Knew God

“…for I knew that you are a gracious God and merciful, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love(Jonah 4:2)

Jonah knows who God is because he knows how God has revealed Himself, and desires Himself to be known; that is the only way to know God, as He has revealed Himself in His Word. God is gracious, He is merciful, and He is patient abounding in steadfast love (Ex. 34:6; Num. 14:8; Neh. 9:17; Ps. 86:15, 103:8, 145:8; Joel 2:13).

Gods Agenda Was Not Jonahs Agenda

Therefore now, O Lord, please take my life from me, for it is better for me to die than to live (Jonah 4:3).”

At this point, Jonah could only think of himself, he resented the Nineveh’s repentance, his own calling by God, and then he also resented God’s grace. Jonah wanted no part of God’s agenda. Overall, Jonah’s resentment really boils down to Jonah being angry with God for being God, because God’s grace to the Ninevites would mean that the Ninevites were just like the Israelites. God is merciful; God looks beyond your faults, not that we do not have faults, to supply our needs; our need of forgiveness, mercy, and Him (Ps. 46:1).

God’s Restraint

And the LORD said,’Do you do well to be angry (Jonah 4:4)?‘”

Jonah refused to rejoice with those who would rejoice in the gospel of grace, and his resentment causes him to be numb to this insanity of racism and nationalism. Jonah forgot that we are all made of one blood; Jonah, the Ninevites, black, white, all of us are created from one blood; and we are all created from the dust (Ecc. 3:20; Acts 17:26). Therefore, we need to understand that my lump of dust is not better than your lump of dust, neither is your lump of dust better than mine. In fact, if God is pleased to give grace and to save any lump of dust, all other lumps of dust ought to rejoice! However, despite Jonah’s sinful resentment and disrespect toward Him and His ways, God is restrained. God is slow to anger (i.e. patient), namely, God is self-controlled although He does not have to be, considering He is great in power (Nahum 1:3).

What is the Cure to the Sin of Resentment?

Like Jonah, many of us grow angry and resentful, because God does not do what we want Him to do when we want Him to do it. Do you realize this is sin? Jonah was in sin. The only cure for sin is to reflect on the nature of God; when you understand again, the goodness and grace of God, the patience and kindness of God, the love and mercy of God; when you reflect upon them in the midst of your resentment, you are faced with the question Jonah was faced with, “have you any reason to be angry (Jonah 4:4)?” Repent, and rejoice with those who rejoice in Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Listen to this week’s full sermon for free.

Jonah 3: The God of second chances, and third, and fourth…

January 16, 2014

Jonah 3: The God of second chances, and third, and fourth…

Reflecting on the Passage:
This week’s sermon from Jonah 3 highlights God’s precious gift of redemption. Pastor Carter defined redemption as being saved by one more powerful than the one who holds you captive. God lovingly and graciously pursues His children to do us good. What amazing grace! Take a moment to reflect on these truths taken from God’s Word.

Redemption is a Second Chance.  (Jonah 3:1-4)

Then the word of the Lord came to Jonah a second time: “Go to the great cityJonah Series of Nineveh and proclaim to it the message I give you.” Jonah obeyed the word of the Lord and went to Nineveh. Now Nineveh was a very large city; it took three days to go through it. Jonah began by going a day’s journey into the city, proclaiming, “Forty more days and Nineveh will be overthrown.”

Redemption is Head, Heart, and Hand. (Jonah 3:5-8)

The Ninevites believed God. A fast was proclaimed, and all of them, from the greatest to the least, put on sackcloth. When Jonah’s warning reached the king of Nineveh, he rose from his throne, took off his royal robes, covered himself with sackcloth and sat down in the dust. This is the proclamation he issued in Nineveh: “By the decree of the king and his nobles: Do not let people or animals, herds or flocks, taste anything; do not let them eat or drink. But let people and animals be covered with sackcloth. Let everyone call urgently on God. Let them give up their evil ways and their violence.

Redemption is God Relenting. (Jonah 3:9-10)

Who knows? God may yet relent and with compassion turn from his fierce anger so that we will not perish.” When God saw what they did and how they turned from their evil ways, he relented and did not bring on them the destruction he had threatened.

Praying to Our Redeeming God

Loving Father, thanks feels so insufficient to express our gratitude for the ultimate second chance You’ve gifted to Your people. Yet what more can we say? Thank You for pursuing us after we’d rejected you. Thank you for saving us from the sin that so easily enslaved us. Thank You for allowing us to be used in Your great plan to redeem people from every tribe and nation. Thank you for allowing the Gospel to change us. And keep us from the foolish evil of trying to change the Gospel. Thank You for redeeming our minds, hearts, and hands. And thank You that one day we will no longer need second chances- when You transform us into the perfect image of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Amen.

Listen to this week’s full sermon for free.

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