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Jesus Will Not Reject His Own (John 6:35-48)

April 1, 2015

Reflecting on the Passage:

Here at East Point Church, we had the pleasure of welcoming our brother Jim Whittle (Project Director at Equipping Leaders International, Inc.) to bring the Word of God this week. This week’s sermon shows the power of rejection. Rev. Whittle highlights the significance of Christ’s sufficiency. The focus of this sermon is on the power of God’s acceptance in Jesus to overwhelm the enslaving effects of the fear of rejection.

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The Fathers Love Gifts to the Son

Jesus said to them, I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in me shall never thirst. But I said to you that you have seen me and yet do not believe. All that the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never cast out. For I have come down from heaven, not to do my own will but the will of him who sent me. And this is the will of him who sent me, that I should lose nothing of all that he has given me, but raise it up on the last day. For this is the will of my Father, that everyone who looks on the Son and believes in him should have eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day (John 6:35-40;ESV).

Rev. Whittle emphasizes the importance God the Father giving those who come to Jesus the Son as love gifts. Fear leads to discouragement, but Jesus says He will not lose any nor reject those who come to Him in faith. Moreover, the love of Christ overwhelms and nullifies fear as we draw closer to Him (cf. 1 John 4:18).

The Sons Acceptance

So the Jews grumbled about him, because he said, I am the bread that came down from heaven. They said, Is not this Jesus, the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know? How does he now say, I have come down from heaven? Jesus answered them, Do not grumble among yourselves. No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him. And I will raise him up on the last day. It is written in the Prophets, And they will all be taught by God. Everyone who has heard and learned from the Father comes to me not that anyone has seen the Father except he who is from God; he has seen the Father. Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever believes has eternal life. I am the bread of life (John 6:41-48; ESV).”

The Father draws us to Himself through Jesus. When God draws those who He choses to Himself, the love of Christ will overwhelm the fear of rejection, since they know Jesus accepts and receives them on behalf of the Father. For example, as we trust Christ instead of fear of rejection, we can imitate Christ by serving others in love; we can forgive freely; we can share the love of Christ through the preaching and teaching of His Word; and above all, we can become more generous with those in need.

Do you believe the Lord is drawing you to Himself?

We try everything in our power to avoid situations where we may experience rejection from others. How much more should we concern ourselves with our state before God? We cannot earn our salvation and unless the Father draws us to His Son, no sense of rejection will be more devastating than hearing Him say to us, “Depart from me” (Luke 13:23-30).

Listen to this week’s full sermon for free and check out the sermon note below.

For more information concerning Rev. Whittle and ELI, please visit their website at: http://www.equippingleadersinternational.org/missionary-families/rev-jim-and-shari-whittle/.

The Gospel is Unstoppable (Acts 18:1-17)

March 25, 2015

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 displays the Power of God in the Gospel. Pastor Duncanson illustrated how the Gospel changes those to whom God choses. The focus of this sermon is on how the Gospel motivates its messengers, moves beyond boundaries, and manifests the power of God and the Grace of God.

The Gospel is Unstoppable: Motivating the Messenger

After this Paul left Athens and went to Corinth. And he found a Jew named Aquila, a native of Pontus, recently come from Italy with his wife Priscilla, because Claudius had commanded all the Jews to leave Rome. And he went to see them, and because he was of the same trade he stayed with them and worked, for they were tentmakers by trade. And he reasoned in the synagogue every Sabbath, and tried to persuade Jews and Greeks (Acts 18:1-4;ESV).

Paul, once persecutor of the Church, is now preacher of the One to whom he ran from, namely, Jesus Christ. Although Paul lacked financial support when he first arrived in Corinth, this inconvenience did not prevent him from teaming up with Aquila and Priscilla so that he could continue proclaiming the good news of the Gospel in this city. Perhaps, Paul worked as fellow tent-maker throughout the week, then preached on the weekends.

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The Gospel is Unstoppable: Moving beyond Measure

When Silas and Timothy arrived from Macedonia, Paul was occupied with the word, testifying to the Jews that the Christ was Jesus. And when they opposed and reviled him, he shook out his garments and said to them, Your blood be on your own heads! I am innocent. From now on I will go to the Gentiles. And he left there and went to the house of a man named Titius Justus, a worshiper of God. His house was next door to the synagogue. Crispus, the ruler of the synagogue, believed in the Lord, together with his entire household. And many of the Corinthians hearing Paul believed and were baptized (Acts 18:5-8; ESV).”

When Paul came to a new city, he went to the synagogue (when possible) to preach the glories of Christ because he had a burden to see the Jews saved (cf. Romans 9-10). However, the Jews were not receptive to the message of Jesus as the Messiah, leaving Paul with no choice but to take this message to those who were outside of his natural heritage (cf. Matthew 10:14; Mark 6:11; Luke 9:5; Romans 10:5-21). While the Jews were slow to believe, the Lord prepared the hearts of two Gentiles named Tititus and Crispus, who were only a few feet from the synagogue.

The Gospel is Unstoppable: Manifestly Merciful

And the Lord said to Paul one night in a vision, Do not be afraid, but go on speaking and do not be silent, for I am with you, and no one will attack you to harm you, for I have many in this city who are my people. And he stayed a year and six months, teaching the word of God among them.

But when Gallio was proconsul of Achaia, the Jews made a united attack on Paul and brought him before the tribunal, saying, This man is persuading people to worship God contrary to the law. But when Paul was about to open his mouth, Gallio said to the Jews, If it were a matter of wrongdoing or vicious crime, O Jews, I would have reason to accept your complaint. But since it is a matter of questions about words and names and your own law, see to it yourselves. I refuse to be a judge of these things. And he drove them from the tribunal. And they all seized Sosthenes, the ruler of the synagogue, and beat him in front of the tribunal. But Gallio paid no attention to any of this (Acts 17:12-15; ESV).”

Pastor Duncanson described how the Lord provides encouragement for those carrying the message of Christ by elaborating on the vision Paul received during his time of need (cf. Hebrews 4:16). First, God reminds Paul in the vision that His plans will always be accomplished, regardless of the apparent opposition (Isaiah 55). Secondly, God encourages Paul with the promise of His presence (cf. Matthew 28:20).

Does the Gospel govern your pursuits?

Whether working a secular job or not, Paul’s message of the Gospel was the same. The Gospel governed all of his pursuits, since he understood that through his preaching some would believe in the Christ he proclaimed. If you believe the God of the Universe is with you, you would live differently.

Listen to this week’s full sermon for free and check out the sermon note below.

A World of Desire (1 John 2:15-17)

March 18, 2015

Reflecting on the Passage:

Here at East Point Church, we had the pleasure of welcoming our brother Walter Henegar (Senior Pastor of Atlanta Westside Presbyterian Church) to bring the Word of God this week. This week’s sermon demonstrates the power of the Gospel to combat worldliness. Pastor Henegar makes clear distinctions between the will of God and the desires of the World. The focus of this sermon is on the problem of worldliness and the promises of God.

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The Problem of Worldliness

Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride of life is not from the Father but is from the world (1 John 2:15, 16;ESV).

Pastor Henegar describes three prominent expressions of worldliness. The things and accolades we use to define ourselves before the Lord usually reveal the pride of life. The restless desire of the eyes and the flesh often lead us to seek for fulfillment in created things rather than the Creator.

The Promises of God

And the world is passing away along with its desires, but whoever does the will of God abides forever (1 John 2:17; ESV).”

On the other hand, there are two essential promises to quench the desires of this world. First, the world and the desires therein are passing away, which means everything in this life is temporary. Secondly, God promises eternal life to those who abide in Christ (cf. John 3).

Where in your life do your desires draw you away from God rather than toward Him?

The problem is not that we have desires, but our problem stems from insatiable desires that lead us away from God. Our heart naturally opposes the things of God due to the sin we inherited from Adam and not to mention our own sin. Fortunately, Jesus Christ is able to deliver us from the enslavement of sin and even our desires, in order that we may do His will (cf. Galatians 1:3-5).

Listen to this week’s full sermon for free and check out the sermon note below.

For more information concerning Pastor Henegar and AWPC, please visit their website at: http://www.atlantawestside.org.

Paul in Athens, Part 2 (Acts 17:22-34)

March 11, 2015

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 unveils the mystery of God in the Person of Jesus Christ. Pastor Duncanson attests to the sufficiency of the Gospel regardless of the context. The focus of this sermon is on how Paul proclaims the Gospel by sharing the Identity of God, the Imminence of God and the Instruction of God with the Athenians.

The Identity of God: Creator God

So Paul, standing in the midst of the Areopagus, said:Men of Athens, I perceive that in every way you are very religious. For as I passed along and observed the objects of your worship, I found also an altar with this inscription, To the unknown god. What therefore you worship as unknown, this I proclaim to you. The God who made the world and everything in it, being Lord of heaven and earth, does not live in temples made by man, nor is he served by human hands, as though he needed anything, since he himself gives to all mankind life and breath and everything. And he made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined allotted periods and the boundaries of their dwelling place (Acts 17:22-26;ESV).

Pastor Duncanson outlines the way Paul went about proclaiming the Gospel to these who were not familiar with the Scriptures. First, Paul explains to his audience that there is only one True God, who is the Creator of all things. As you began understand see God as the Creator, you also began to realize He is does not need anything from us, considering He made all things from nothing (cf. Genesis 1; Psalm 50:7-15; John 1). In other words, life exists because God exists.

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The Imminence of God: Personal God

that they should seek God, and perhaps feel their way toward him and find him. Yet he is actually not far from each one of us, for

“‘In him we live and move and have our being;

as even some of your own poets have said,

“‘For we are indeed his offspring.

Being then God’s offspring, we ought not to think that the divine being is like gold or silver or stone, an image formed by the art and imagination of man (Acts 17:27-29; ESV).”

Paul also demonstrates how this True God desires to be known by His creation. Here were men and women in Athenians desperately looking for the True God, then Paul shows up to proclaim to them that the One to whom they were looking for has provided the means for them to know Him. They needed to rethink how they thought about God. If He created the world and everything in it, does it really make sense for us to build gods for ourselves using His own creation (cf. Exodus 32; Isaiah 40)?

The Instruction of God: Sovereign God

The times of ignorance God overlooked, but now he commands all people everywhere to repent, because he has fixed a day on which he will judge the world in righteousness by a man whom he has appointed; and of this he has given assurance to all by raising him from the dead (Acts 17:30-31; ESV).”

More importantly, not only does the True God create and personally reveal Himself, He requires that every man worship Him through the means He prescribes because He is Sovereign. Although Paul does not mention the name of Jesus explicitly in this account, what he does mention demonstrates the love and severity of God (Romans 11:22). The love of God is demonstrated in His patience toward even these people in Athens by sending His Word, instructing them to repent of their ignorance, their evil deeds (i.e. transgressions) and good deeds (i.e. self-righteous, pride, arrogance). On the other hand, unlike the idols they served, the severity of God requires that everyone repents from their sins and believe in the resurrected Man He has appointed, or they shall perish on the Day of Judgment (Mark 1:15; Luke 13:1-5; John 5:21-25; Jude 14-25).

Does my life reflect that there is only One God?

Since God does exist and can be known through the Eternal Son, Jesus Christ, we must repent. We must turn from serving our idols to the Living God. Idols do not mind you having other idols, but the True God demands total allegiance (Matthew 6:24, 22:36-40; Mark 12:29-31; John 12:49).

Listen to this week’s full sermon for free and check out the sermon note below.

Paul in Athens, Part 1 (Acts 17:16-23)

March 4, 2015

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 uncovers the subtly of idolatry. Pastor Carter explains why idolatry is so offensive to God. The focus of this sermon is on the discovery idolatry in Athens and the dexterity of the Gospel in Athens.

The Discovery of Idolatry

Now while Paul was waiting for them at Athens, his spirit was provoked within him as he saw that the city was full of idols. So he reasoned in the synagogue with the Jews and the devout persons, and in the marketplace every day with those who happened to be there. Some of the Epicurean and Stoic philosophers also conversed with him (Acts 17:16-18a;ESV).

Pastor Carter describes the city of Athens as a seductive place. In other words, there was something for everyone. However, as Paul realized, when the first impression wore off you began to see by God’s grace the wickedness of worshipping anything other than Jesus. In fact, Paul was provoked within his spirit as he saw the Athenians worshipping idols because he had learned to love what God loved and despise what God despised. Therefore, in response, Paul seeks to turn these men and women from idols to serving the true and living God (cf. 1 Thessalonians 1:9).

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The Dexterity of the Gospel

And some said, What does this babbler wish to say? Others said, He seems to be a preacher of foreign divinities”—because he was preaching Jesus and the resurrection. And they took him and brought him to the Areopagus, saying, May we know what this new teaching is that you are presenting? For you bring some strange things to our ears. We wish to know therefore what these things mean. Now all the Athenians and the foreigners who lived there would spend their time in nothing except telling or hearing something new. So Paul, standing in the midst of the Areopagus, said:Men of Athens, I perceive that in every way you are very religious. For as I passed along and observed the objects of your worship, I found also an altar with this inscription, To the unknown god. What therefore you worship as unknown, this I proclaim to you (Acts 17:12-15; ESV).”

When God provided Paul with an opportunity to preach Jesus and His resurrection, Paul demonstrated the dexterity of the Gospel. He showed how Gospel is fitting for the synagogue, but he also displayed how the Gospel is just as important in reaching those outside of the synagogue. Surprisingly, Paul explains in the Areopagus that everyone was religious, meaning seeking after truth and life, but he also realized that the way they went about searching was not the True Way (John 14). Thus, Paul understood what it meant to be religious but lost, and he proclaims the Truth to them concerning Jesus the Christ, who is the One they are looking for and the One they need.

Do you know the Resurrected Christ?

Being religious is not enough. We have to know the Living God. He has made Himself known in creation, in the Scriptures, and ultimately, in the Person of Jesus Christ. The faithful Christian is not the one who does not have any idols, but the one who is seeking to replace them with the cross of Christ and His righteousness (Matthew 6:33).

Listen to this week’s full sermon for free and check out the sermon note below.

Open Minds, Hearts, Ears (Acts 17:10-15)

February 25, 2015

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 brings to light the redemptive plan of God. Pastor Carter attests to the goodness of God in accomplishing His plans for His glory and the good of His people. The focus of this sermon is on the Goodness of God to send His Word and the faithfulness of God to save some in Berea.

The Goodness of God: The Son Sent

The brothers immediately sent Paul and Silas away by night to Berea, and when they arrived they went into the Jewish synagogue. Now these Jews were more noble than those in Thessalonica; they received the word with all eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily to see if these things were so (Acts 17:10-11;ESV).

No sooner than Paul and Silas had ministered in Thessalonica, they had to prepare to leave this city abruptly due to the opposition developing (cf. Acts 17:1-9). God had other plans for Paul and Silas in a small city called Berea, despite the opposition. Truly, Berea did not have the notoriety of the larger cities such as Corinth, Thessalonica or Philippi, yet God sent these men to proclaim the necessity and sufficiency of Jesus the Messiah. Surprisingly, the believers in Berea received the Word sent to them concerning Christ by these missionaries with gladness while considering whether what they heard and saw corresponds with the Scriptures.

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The Faithfulness of God: The Son Received

Many of them therefore believed, with not a few Greek women of high standing as well as men. But when the Jews from Thessalonica learned that the word of God was proclaimed by Paul at Berea also, they came there too, agitating and stirring up the crowds. Then the brothers immediately sent Paul off on his way to the sea, but Silas and Timothy remained there. Those who conducted Paul brought him as far as Athens, and after receiving a command for Silas and Timothy to come to him as soon as possible, they departed (Acts 17:12-15; ESV).”

Those, to whom God opened ears and minds, received opened hearts. Pastor Carter explains the folly of receiving a lot of information in your mind, but the information received does not change your heart (cf. Luke 24:25-32; John 13:17; James 1:22-25). In other words, the Gospel of Jesus Christ brings life to those who hear (John 5:24-25). In the Kingdom of God, there is no distinction (Galatians 3:27-29). Whether you find yourself in high standing or low standing economically, socially, cognitively, or emotionally, all need to hear the Gospel of Christ and receive Him as their only hope for salvation.

Have you received Jesus Christ?

Through the Word of God, the Spirit of God reveals to the people of God the glories of the Son of God (John 15:24-27). You can search the Scriptures for many things, but if that searching does not point to your need of Jesus the Christ, your searching is in vain (John 5:36-47). When Jesus comes into you life, you can never be the same (Acts 9:1-30, 22:1-22, 26:1-20; 1 Corinthians 15; Galatians 1).

Listen to this week’s full sermon for free and check out the sermon note below.

The Priority of Preaching Christ (Acts 17:1-9)

February 19, 2015

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 unveils the mystery of the Gospel. Pastor Carter makes the clear the priority of preaching Christ. The focus of this sermon is on Paul’s preaching Christ in the synagogue to the result of some being persuaded while others were perturbed.

Pauls Preaching: The Necessity & Sufficiency of Christ

Now when they had passed through Amphipolis and Apollonia, they came to Thessalonica, where there was a synagogue of the Jews. And Paul went in, as was his custom, and on three Sabbath days he reasoned with them from the Scriptures, explaining and proving that it was necessary for the Christ to suffer and to rise from the dead, and saying, This Jesus, whom I proclaim to you, is the Christ. (Acts 17:1-3;ESV).

Pastor Carter explains the two main reasons for preaching Christ. The first reason is the necessity of Christ to suffer on the behalf of sinners and rise from the dead for their reconciliation (Isaiah 53:6; Romans 5). If Jesus did not rise from the dead, then preaching His death is meaningless (1 Corinthians 15). The second reason for preaching Christ is the sufficiency of Jesus to satisfy. Since Jesus is the promised suffering and risen King, believers can suffer well for Christ, knowing that He is able to restore whatever they lose for His sake (Mark 10:17-31; John 6:60-71).

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The Result: Some Persuaded, Others Perturbed

And some of them were persuaded and joined Paul and Silas, as did a great many of the devout Greeks and not a few of the leading women. But the Jews were jealous, and taking some wicked men of the rabble, they formed a mob, set the city in an uproar, and attacked the house of Jason, seeking to bring them out to the crowd. And when they could not find them, they dragged Jason and some of the brothers before the city authorities, shouting, These men who have turned the world upside down have come here also, and Jason has received them, and they are all acting against the decrees of Caesar, saying that there is another king, Jesus. And the people and the city authorities were disturbed when they heard these things. And when they had taken money as security from Jason and the rest, they let them go (Acts 17:4-9; ESV).”

The goal of preaching Christ from all of Scripture is persuade men and women that Jesus is the Messiah (2 Corinthians 5:11). Paul and Silas were willing to speak up for Jesus. In doing so, while some were persuaded, others were perturbed seeking to silence Paul and Silas. Jesus turned the world upside through His life, teaching, death and resurrection (Matthew 5-7; Luke 6:20-49; Colossians 2:15). Similarly, those who follow Jesus will also upset the world by following His life, teaching, death and resurrection (John 15).

Do you see your need of Jesus?

Every human heart is looking for Jesus, whether we know it or not. People offer many alternatives to the Gospel, but these alternatives do not satisfy. We must settle in our hearts the necessity and sufficiency of Jesus, there is no substitute (John 6:39-47).

Listen to this week’s full sermon for free.

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