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The Polity of the Church – Titus 1:5

   Today is Thursday, April 9, 2020 and you are listening to COVID-19 Connection series # 20
 
   Welcome. I am so glad that you could join me.
 
   Hope that you are all doing well.
 
   Drive-in Worship Service – Resurrection Sunday! Drive in Church out at the Buffalo Ranch 564 Roberts Lane, Blanchard Idaho. Come join us. Bonner County Sheriff’s approval. All precautions will be taken to keep people safe. NO ONE will be allowed to leave their cars. If you cannot follow the rules – PLEASE don’t come.
 
   Mask Making Contest – Mask Making Contest – I want to create a contest beginning today for the creation of the most unique face covering. Design it, create it, wear it, post a picture of you wearing it at my email – grace2u4@gmail.com. I will find a prize for the most creative face covering! Presently we have two entries.
 
  Shout out to Women Uncensored Podcast. My wife, Debbie and my daughter, Meghan interview Jocelyn Stenstrom, a nurse in Perce County, Washington about the Covid-19 Coronavirus and what our response should be. It is a good listen. The link will be in the show notes today:  https://open.spotify.com/show/4rtra9FVk1c6P2g3Rp3tr8?si=xPvewT1XSrWyOh6a-7XiDg

   Today in the News

   Good News and Bad News

   Even though Wednesday was another day that brought a record number of deaths reported from coronavirus in the United States, there was a glimmer of hope as models now have less dire forecasts for the total number of fatalities the country will see by the time the pandemic subsides.

   More than 431,000 people in the US have been infected, and more than 14,700 have died.

   A record 1,858 deaths were reported in just one day Tuesday, according to Johns Hopkins. On Wednesday there were 1,922 more.

   On Tuesday, the IHME estimated about 82,000 people will die from coronavirus disease by August. On Wednesday, that estimate was lowered to 60,415. (IHME – Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation).

California Woman Arrested After Allegedly Licking, Contaminating Shop Items

   A 53-year-old California woman was arrested this week after being accused of contaminating a cart full of items worth around $2,000 while inside a South Lake Tahoe supermarket.
Jennifer Gloria Walker, a resident of the city, was detained by officers from the local police department on Tuesday afternoon after being accused of licking groceries in the Safeway on Johnson Lane. It comes as U.S. citizens are being urged to practice proper hygiene during the COVID-19 outbreak.

   A boy Scout Comes to the Rescue – Creates an Ear Guard for Medical Masks

  Quinn Callander developed a simple but effective “ear guard” that prevents the elastic bands on a mask from rubbing against the backs of people’s ears. He prototyped several designs with his 3D printer, landing on a wide plastic strap that goes around the back of the head. The strap has notches so the wearer can loop the mask’s elastic straps around whichever notches are most comfortable, allowing them to adjust the tension while keeping the mask firmly in place. Over 6700 straps have been made and provided to hospitals.

 Pause for Prayer – How are you responding to COVID-19

  1. Rebellion – Proverbs 4:23 – “Watch over your heart for out of it flows all the issues of life.”
  2. Fear – 2 Timothy 1:7 – “For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and love and a sound mind.”
  3. Faith – 2 Corinthians 5:7 – “For we walk by faith and not by sight.”

   Let’s pray together:

  • SLBC FamilyTyler is traveling home today from Oklahoma City.
  • Tom Spann & Bob Ahsmuhs – Cancer treatment
  • Praise – Diana Garrido son didn’t have to be sent to New York. He is a medical doctor in the military.
  • Hospital workers and first responders
  • Police – Kevin Ward and other officers
  • God to use COVID-19 to bring about REVIVAL and Spiritual awareness
  • Open the eyes of God’s people to love the lost
  • Pray for all those who lost loved ones to the Coronavirus.
  • That God’s people will stand “steadfast, unmovable, and always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that you labor is not in vain in the Lord.” (1 Corinthians 15:58)

Our WORD from the Lord today comes from Titus 1:5,

   For this reason I left you in Crete, that you should set in order the things that are lacking, and appoint elders in every city as I commanded you—

   Today I want to have a word with you about The Polity of the Church. The word “polity” means: a form or process of civil government or constitution. Today we are going to take a look at the administration of the local church.

 
   I. The polity of the church

   When I use the word “polity” I am talking about how we the church should be organized and lead. SLBC is a Congregational led Church.

   The fundamental responsibility under God for the maintenance of all aspects of public worship of God belong to the congregation.

  • Settling disputes a among Christians – Matthew 18:15-17; Acts 6:1-54
  • Establishing correct doctrine – Galatians 1:8; 2 Timothy 4:3
  • Admitting and excluding members – 2 Corinthians 2:6-8; 1 Corinthians 5:1-13
  • The responsibility in the duty and the obligation to promote the continuance of a faithful gospel witness.
 
   II. Leadership in the church
  • As a gathered body the church must be lead University and locally.
  • Christ is the head of the church – he is the chief Shepherd.
  • The church is established with a simple order of leadership.

Five Biblical Principles of Leadership

  1. Church leaders need to be spiritually qualified – Acts 20:17-38; 1 Timothy 3:1-13; Titus 1:5-9, 1 Peter 5:14. Church leaders must reflect the character of Christ – care for the flock, a willingness to serve, a lack of greed for money, a refusal to lord over the flock, and exemplary life, blamelessness, being the husband of one wife, and the ability to manage a household well.
  2. Church leaders should be reputable with outsiders. What we are talking about here is respect, and that no one can bring charges that are truthful against church leaders.
  3. Church leaders should also possess a keen sense of accountability, knowing that they are also under authority themselves. Their lives as public leaders leave them open to public rebuke and correction – 1 Timothy 5:19-20
  4. Church leaders should exercise authority. While this observation may seem obvious, some just like using words like “leader” or “authority” – Hebrews 13:17,24
  5. Church leaders should edify the church. (Build people up). Make disciples who make disciples.

   Bring them in – Build them up – Train them for – Send them out

   III. Church officers?

   The Bible speaks of two specific offices in the local congregation: deacons and elders.

  • The Greek word translated for “Deacon” (diakonos) is usually translated “servant,” sometimes “minister,” and occasionally “deacon.”
  • Word refers to service in general – Acts 1:17,25; 19:22; Romans 12:7; 1 Corinthians 12:5; 16:15; Ephesians 4:12; Colossians 4:17; 2 Timothy 1:18; Philemon 13; Hebrews 6:10; 1 Peter 4:10-11; revelation 2:19
  • To rulers in particular – Romans 13:4
  • Women serve as deaconesses in the New Testament – Matthew 8:15, Mark 1:31; Luke 4:39; Matthew 15:41; Luke 8:3; Luke 10:40; John 12:2; Romans 16:1
  • Angels are also called servants – Matthew 4:11; Mark 1:13

What did Jesus teach about deacons?

  • John 12:26 – “Whoever deacons me must follow me; and where I am, my deacon also will be. My Father will honor the one who deacons me.”
  • Matthew 20:26 – “Whoever wants to become great among you, must be your deacon.”
  • Matthew 23:11 – “the greatest among you will be your deacon.”
  • Jesus is presented as a deacon – John 13
  • Christians are presented as deacons of Christ or his gospel –
  • Apostles are deacons – Acts 6:1-7

   Clearest office of the deacon is found in Acts 6:1-7

  • Deacons were set aside
  • They physically cared for the needs of people
  • They waited on tables

   It embodied God’s care – a Christlike love.

   Deacons must strive for the unity of the body

  • Caring for widows
  • Help make food distribution
  • Seek to stop further problems

   Deacons were appointed to support the ministry of the Apostles – Acts 6:3

  • Apostles must be given to the Word
  • Apostles must be given to prayer
 
   IV. The Role of Deacons in the New Testament Church
  • They had to meet qualifications – 1 Timothy 3:8-11 (Acts 6)
  • Full of the Holy Spirit
  • Minister to the physical needs of the people
  • Full of wisdom
  • Chosen by the congregation with full confidence
  • Worthy of respect
  • Sincere
  • Not be given to much wine
  • Not interested in dishonest gain
  • Steadfast in the deep truths of the faith with a clear conscience
  • Manage their households well
 
   V. The office of the Pastor (Elder, Bishop, Shepherd, Pastor, Overseer)
  • Most fundamentally – They minister of the Word of God.
  • Elders of Ephesus – Called Elders in Acts 20:17; they were to keep watch over yourselves and all the flock of which the Holy Spirit has made you overseer [or bishops].
  • Acts 20:20 –
  • Ephesians 4:11-12 –
  • I Peter 5:1-2 –
  • I Peter 2:25 –
  • The root of the word translated “overseer” used here is (episkop) and it is used 11 times in the New Testament.
 
   VI. Qualifications of Pastors – 1 Timothy 3:1-7; Titus 1:5-9 (Read through the qualifications)

   Have you ever heard the statement, “What is good for the goose is good for the gander?” Do you see the qualifications of a pastor or applicable for all Christians, except for being new believers, and apt to teach.

   Anyone desire to be a pastor should have a good handle on the word of God. Should be able to talk about and teach the doctors found in the Scriptures.

   Plurality of elders – Is a local congregation to be governed by one elder, or multiple of elders?

   Do elders rule over church, or do they leave the church?
It seems that according to the New Testament church’s word led by a plurality of elders –
  • Call for the elders of the church – James 5:14
  • “to the elders among you” – 1 Peter 5:1-5
  • Paul greeted the elders “the overseer” (plural) in the church – Philippians 1:1
  • Elders laid their hands on Timothy – 1 Timothy 4:14
  • Elders (Plural) – 1 Timothy 5:17,19
  • Titus was instructed to ordain elders in every town – Titus 1:5
  • The church in Ephesus had a plurality of elders – Acts 20:17
  • On Paul and Barnabas’ missionary journey they appointed elders – Acts 14:23
 
   VII. The Teaching Pastor
  • Examples – Timothy and Titus
  • Financially supported – Philippians 4:15-18; 1 Timothy 5:17-18
  • Vocational pastors – worked a job and preached
  • We have Pastoral letters – written to two pastors – Timothy and Titus
  • Revelation addresses seven churches – Revelation 2-3

   Bring it home to SLBC – What is our Polity?

  • We are congregational lead church – the congregation sets the polity.
  • Presently we have one elder, pastor, bishop, overseer.
  • Our church has three deacons, who served as servants to the church. The only authority they have, is the authority give it to them by the congregation.
  • Together as a congregation, the pastor, and the deacons we seek to carry out all of the commands given to us by the chief Shepherd.

 

 

 

 



The Membership of the Church – Ephesians 2:19

   Today is Wednesday, April 8, 2020, and you are listening to COVID-19 Connection Series # 19

   Can you believe that we have been at this for 19 days! Wow! Double wow!    

   I want to welcome everyone that is joining me on Facebook today.

   Get the SLBC AppIt’s available again on Apple. You will need to download: “The Sharefaith App” first. Next, once it is downloaded you will tap it to bring it up, and once it is up you will type our ministry: Spirit Lake Baptist Church. And Wala you’ll have the SLBC app. You’ll get our blogs, sermons, and notifications.

   Resurrection Sunday Drive-in Worship Service – Drive in Church out at the Buffalo Ranch 564 Roberts Lane, Blanchard Idaho. Come join us. Bonner County Sheriff’s approval. All precautions will be taken to keep people safe. NO ONE will be allowed to leave their cars. If you cannot follow the rules – PLEASE don’t come.

   Mask Making Contest – I want to create a contest beginning today for the creation of the most unique face covering. Design it, create it, wear it, post a picture of you wearing it at my email – grace2u4@gmail.com. I will find a prize for the most creative face covering! Presently we have two entries.

   Three FREE books from Moody Press – https://www.moodypublishers.com/help/?utm_source=free-ebooks&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=april-7&utm_content=download-titles&utm_term=Download%20These%20Titles&&&&&cm_mmc=Act-On%20Software-_-email-_-This%20Week%27s%203%20Free%20E-Books-_-Download%20Thes

   Today in the News:

   Shout out to Oscar Ward – today is his birthday.

  Bonner County EOC has been informed by Bonner General Health of the third confirmed case in Bonner County. Case # 3 is listed as a female in her 40’s from Bonner County. Contact trace is ongoing. No other information is available at this time.

  FRANKFORT, Ky. (April 7, 2020) — U.S. Sen. Rand Paul said Tuesday that he has recovered from the coronavirus and has started volunteering at a hospital in his Kentucky hometown. The Republican lawmaker tested positive for the virus in March, becoming the first case of COVID-19 in the Senate.

“I appreciate all the best wishes I have received,” Paul said Tuesday. “I have been retested and I am negative. I have started volunteering at a local hospital to assist those in my community who are in need of medical help, including coronavirus patients. Together we will overcome this.”

   Bernie Sanders drops out of the Dem Presidential race. The nominee will no doubt be Joe Biden.

   YouTube has several drone flyovers of cities like Seattle, Las Vegas, and New York with empty streets and freeways. You should take a look at them. It is something we have never actually seen in these cities before. I’ll attach url for you to take a look at:

   Seattle – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EVI8f80y1Zs&t=13s

   Las Vegas – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QqhNmLe7GEg

   New York – https://youtu.be/xjoDEps5I8E

   Pause for Prayer:

  •  SLBC church family
  • Shut-in’s
  • National Revival
  • Hearts of believers – fear, anxiety, stress
  • Workers traveling daily
  • Drive-in Church on Resurrection Sunday – God’s Word to be preached clearly, and that people will respond to the message of Jesus Christ.
  • Physical health
  • Tom Spann & Bob Ahsmuhs – cancer treatment
  • Worship team practice

   Our WORD from the LORD today is taken from Ephesians 2:19,

  Now, therefore, you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God,

   Today I want to have a word with you about: The Membership of the Church.

    Please remember that we are walking through the book: The Church by Mark Dever, the pastor of the Capital Hill  Baptist Church in Washington, D.C.

   I. The Membership of the Church

   What comes to your mind when I say the word membership? Wait for response…

   Membership is very basic: Consider these ideas about membership.

  • Households and families have members – Mom and Dad, and the kids.
  • Races and tribes in clams have members – visit developing nations.
  • Communities and parties and elite groups like orders, guilds, and councils have members – Spirit lake has a City Council – they are called counsel members.
  • An even more basic meaning of member refers to the human person.
  • Our bodies have members – Roman 6:12-19; 7:23; 12:3-4; I Corinthians 6:15; 12:12-27; Ephesians 4:16; James 3:6; 4:1

   The Bible uses the concept of member and membership in all these various ways.

   The Bible also represents churches as composed of members.

  • The local church as an entity is made up of multiple individuals and yet identifiable as a unit.
  • They are even said to be part of one another – Romans 12:5
  • In many other places in the New Testament, the church appears to be composed of a specific and identifiable group of people – Acts 9:41; 12:1; 15:3,22; Ephesians 2:19; 3:6; 4:25; 5:30; Colossians 2:19; 3:15; 3 John 9
  • From the earliest times, local churches or congregations are specific, identifiable people. Take a look at all the churches mentioned in the New Testament. They are identifiable and they had members.
  • Clearly, the keeping of list was not unknown in churches. The early church kept a list of widows (1 Timothy 5:9). God himself keeps a list of all the belong to the universal church in the book of life (Revelation 20:12).

   As a pastor I find it strange that people are more comfortable belonging to Costco (which requires membership), and a gym (which requires membership) then do they to a local church (also requires membership).

   II. Responsibilities and Duties of Church Members
  1. Salvation – places you into the body of Christ.
  2. Baptism – identifies you as a believer and also is a mark of belonging to a local church.
  3. Church membership – joining a local church intentionally.
  4. The Lord Supper – partaking the elements in remembrance of the Lord and what he has done for us – I Corinthians 11:23-34
  5. Hearing the word of God preached – keeps you engaged and growing – Revelation 1:3
  6. Obedience to the commands of Jesus Christ.
  7. Gathering together for regular mutual edification – Hebrews 10:25; Acts 2:42
  8. To love others we love God – Mark 12:28-30.
  9. Evidence of the fruit of the spirit – Galatians 5:22-23
  10. Worship God – at home, work, community, and in daily life.

   Duties to the Congregation

  1. Christianity is a corporate matter, and the Christian life can only be fully realized only in relationship to others.
  2. Attend gatherings with other believers.
  3. We are to love one another – John 13:34-35; 15:12-17; Romans 12:9-10
  4. All the one another passages – 1 Corinthians 12:13-27
  5. To seek peace and unity within the congregation – strife should be actively avoided – Romans 12:16; 14:19; 1 Corinthians 13:7; Proverbs 17:14; Matthew 5:9
  6. Care for one another physically and spiritually – Matthew 25:40; John 12:8; Acts 15:36
  7. We are to watch over and hold each other accountable – Romans 15:14; Galatians 6:1-2; Philippians 2:3-4
  8. To edify one another – I Corinthians 14:12-26; Ephesians 2:21-22; 4:12-29
  9. To bear with one another – Matthew 20:18:21-22; Mark 11:25; Romans 15:1
  10. Not to sue another believer – 1 Corinthians 6:1-7
  11. To pray for one another – Ephesians 6:18; James 5:16
  12. To avoid those who would like to destroy the church – Romans 16:17; 1 Timothy 6:3-5
  13. To avoid a judge mental attitude – Matthew 20:26-27; Romans 12:10-16; James 2:1-13
  14. To contend for the gospel – Jude 3
  15. To be examples to one another – Philippians 2:1-18

   Duties towards Church Leaders

  1. Hold them in the highest regard and honor – Philippians 2:29; I Thessalonians 5:12-13
  2. Make yourself known to them – they watch over your souls.
  3. Regard them as a gift from Christ and sent to the church for their good.
  4. Defend his reputation – Luke 10:116; 1 Corinthians 16:10
  5. Remember your church leaders and imitate their life and faith – 1 Corinthians 4:16; 11:1; Philippians 3:17; Hebrews 13:7
  6. Financially care for those who serve you – 1 Timothy 5:17
  7. Pray for your ministers and assist them in any way you can – Ephesians 6:18-20; Colossians 4:3-4; 2 Thessalonians 3:1; Hebrews 13:18-1
 
   III. Responsibilities and Duties of the Congregation as a Whole
  • In the New Testament local congregations realize they had particular responsibilities which could not be delegated to groups outside themselves. The buck stops here!
  • Local congregations were responsible for ensuring a qualified minister of the word preach to them insofar as it was in their power – Galatians 1:8; 2 Timothy 4:3; Jude 3-4
  • The congregation is ultimately responsible for ensuring converts were baptized and that the Lord supper was duly administered to those giving credible evidence of regeneration – 1 Corinthians 15:1-13; 2 Corinthians 2:1-11
  • The congregation was ultimately responsible protecting and defending the membership of the church, both in admitting and dismissing members – Matthew 18:17
  • The congregation is also responsible for faithful stewardship of the gifts entrusted to it – I Corinthians 12-14; Romans 12:1-8
  • Congregation is responsible for ensuring that the gospel message reaches out across these different spheres (Local. National, International) – Galatians 1:6-9; Philippians 1:5; Colossians 1:3-4; 1 Thessalonians 1:8
  • The congregation cannot delegate their responsibilities off to others. No one is exempt! Do not take your membership lightly!
    See: Great Commission Exempt Form – You’ll want to download this form.
 
 
Remember, I am in touch, so you stay in touch. And as Robert Cook from the King’s College used to say, “Walk with the King today and be a blessing.” Voice of Dr. Robert Cook:
 


The Marks of the Church – Romans 10:17

Today is Tuesday, April 7, 2020, and you are listening to COVID-19 Connection series # 18.

Welcome – so that you are joining me today.

Make sure you visit our website -slbc2u.com

SLBC App – It’s available again on Apple. You will need to download: “The Sharefaith App” first. Next, once it is downloaded you will tap it to bring it up, and once it is up you will type our ministry: Spirit Lake Baptist Church. And Wala you’ll have the SLBC app. You’ll get our blogs, sermons, and notifications.

Resurrection Sunday Service – Drive in Church out at the Buffalo Ranch 564 Roberts Lane, Blanchard Idaho. Come join us. Bonner County Sheriff’s approval. All precautions will be taken to keep people safe. NO ONE will be allowed to leave their cars. If you cannot follow the rules – PLEASE don’t come.

Mask Making Contest – I want to create a contest beginning today for the creation of the most unique face covering. Design it, create it, wear it, post a picture of you wearing it at my email – grace2u4@gmail.com. I will find a prize for the most creative face covering! Presently we have two entries.

Three FREE books from Moody Press – https://www.moodypublishers.com/help/?utm_source=free-ebooks&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=april-7&utm_content=download-titles&utm_term=Download%20These%20Titles&&&&&cm_mmc=Act-On%20Software-_-email-_-This%20Week%27s%203%20Free%20E-Books-_-Download%20Thes

Today in the News:

NYC coronavirus deaths jumped by 731 on Monday – the biggest daily increase.

U.K. Boris Johnson in stable condition in ICU.

Treasury dept seeking $ 200 billion to replenish small business coronavirus program.

Apple buys Dark Sky weather app.

US Dept of Transportation orders airlines to pay refunds.

Disneyland tickets are not refundable, but still useable.

Pause for Prayer:

  • Resurrection Sunday Service
  • Anxiety in the life of people
  • God to bring about a Revival in America
  • Spirit Lake Police Dept – Kevin Ward
  • Local responses to people’s needs.
  • Divine encouragement through Scripture.
  • Healing for those who have COVID-19 in our major cities.
  • Tom Spann & Bob Ahsmuhs – cancer treatment.
  • Elderly in Spirit Lake.

    What can I pray for you today? Send us your prayer requests.

 Our WORD from the Lord today is taken from Romans 10:17

   Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God.

   Today I want to have a word with you about The Marks of the Church. Please remember that I am reading through a book by Mark Dever called, The Church. Hope that you are blessed as we study The Church together. 

   Yesterday we look at Four Attributes of the Church – The church is one, holy, universal, and apostolic. Today, I want us to take a look at two very clear Marks of the Church. These two marks are what makes a church a church. They are:

  • Right preaching of the Word of God.
  • Right administration of baptism and the Lord’s Supper.
 
   I. Right Preaching as a Mark of a True Church

   Right Preaching the Word of God

  • God’s people in Scripture are created by God’s Revelation of himself. His Spirit accompanies his Word and brings life.
  • Theme of Scripture – Life through the Word.

   God created life in Genesis 1 by his breath. God spoke and the world and all living beings were created. In Genesis 1:30, the living creatures are described as having the “breath of life” in them.

   Genesis 2:7 God created man and breathed in him the breath of life.

   After the Fall how did God sustain the offspring of Adam and Eve? The Word. Over 3,000 times we read in the Old Testament, “Thus saith the LORD.”

   When God chose Abram he called him by his Word – Genesis 12:1-3

   When God called Moses he called hi by his word at the burning bush – Exodus 3:4

   When God gave his people the Law he gave them 10 “words” – Exodus 20

   When God gave Ezekiel a prop hectic picture of a valley of dry bones (represented Israel), those bones came to life when the prophet preached to them – life in the word – Ezekiel 37:7-10.

   The consistent message of Scripture is that God created his people and brings them life through his word.

   New Testament

   God’s word plays a central role as the bringer of life.

   So the eternal Word of God, the Son of God, became incarnate for the salvation of God’s people – John 1:14

   Jesus preached God’s word, and he also embodied it perfectly.

   Romans 10:17 – Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God.

   The Framework of Right Preaching: Biblical Theology

   Deuteronomy 6:4 – “Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one!

   Hear God / Love God

   What is the greatest of all commandments? Matthew 22:37

   A right understanding of God provides the right framework for preaching. Everything a preacher says must be placed with and shaped by the grid of biblical theology that teaches both preacher and congregation about God and what he requires of humanity.

   The church has at its center – God, and God’s Word.

   What do we know about God? What are God’s Attributes?

  • God is holy – Luke 11:44-45; 19:2; 20:7; 1 Peter 1:16).
  • God is faithful – He keeps his promises – Exodus 34:6-7; Deuteronomy 18:15-19
  • God is loving – John 3:16
  • God is sovereign – Matthew 6:10 (His rule will one day be acknowledged by all at the end).

   The God of the Bible must be the foundation and framework of all teaching and preaching in the church.

   The Center of Right Teaching: The Gospel

   The church must have a right understanding of the gospel.

   If a church’s teaching depicts people as merely spiritually sick, not spiritually dead, the gospel has been distorted. Robert Schuller theology was that man only has a bad self-image. Change his bad self-image and he is a new creation. If congregants are regarded as consumers rightly expectant of a spiritual upgrade, not as rebels before a holy judge, then the gospel has probably been forgotten.

   Right teaching about the gospel also centers the church on Christ’s work of atonement and not only on his teaching of life example.

   The Bible is more than good moral or ethical instructions.

   Right teaching about the gospel center the church not on human actions but on receiving by faith and repentance the rewards of God’s actions in Christ.

   2 Corinthians 5:21 – For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.

   James 2:17,26

   A gospel centered church teaches the need to both turn from sin and to turn to Christ.

   A cross not taken up by repentance or affirmed by faith is a cross that does not save.
 
   II. Right Administration of the ordinances as a Mark of a True Church

   What two ordinances did Christ leave for the church to keep? Baptism and the Lord’s Supper. Some add foot washing from John 13. However, I believe Jesus was setting an example of service, and not an ordinance.

  • Baptist churches – ordinances – ordained by Christ.
  • Catholic church – sacrament – provides an element of salvation.

   Baptism: As set forth by Christ and Scripture

   Jesus Christ was baptized by John the Baptist in the Jordan River – Matthew 3:15-16; Luke 3:21; John 1:29-34

   The Christian church is commanded to practice baptism by immersing a person in water who both professes and evidences conversion. This baptism is performed in obedience to Christ as a confession of sin, a profession of faith in Christ, and a display of hope in the resurrection of the body. It is performed only once.  The proper mode, subjects, and significance of baptism are now considered.

  • Mode – Immersion best provides the picture of death, burial, and resurrection.
  • Subjects – Jesus himself was an adult when he was baptized – Matthew 3:15

   Baptism is exclusively for those who believe in Christ and follow him. Four reasons:

  1. Those who evangelize are commanded to baptize those who repent and believe – Matthew 28:18-20; John 4:1-2
  2. In the book of Acts only those who repented and believed were baptized – Acts 2:37-41; 8:12-13:36-38; 9:18; 10:47-48; 16:15,33; 18:8; 19:5
  3. Paul’s letters demonstrate the twin assumptions that those who have believed have been baptized and those who have been baptized believe – Romans 6:1-5; Galatians 3:26-27; Colossians 2:11-12
  4. Paul associated baptism with baptism with salvation not as a cause of salvation but as roughly contemporary occurrences – Acts 2:38; 1 Peter 3:21

   Baptism doesn’t create saving faith. No baptism is the outward sign of the inward change. It testifies to the presence of such grace and faith.

   The Lord’s Supper: Do this in remembrance of Me – Luke 22:19; 1 Corinthians 11:24

  • Bread – His broken body
  • Cup – Fruit of the vine – his shed blood.
  • Form – no protocols were provided.
  • Elements – bread and wine (Matthew 26:29)
  • Prayer of thanks – Matthew 26:27
  • Hymn – Matthew 26:30
  • Participants – As with baptism the participants are those who have placed their faith and belief in Jesus Christ. We are talking about Christians.

   Picture – It is the believers subject of identification with Christ saving work, represent it objectively by the elements on the table. The one who takes the bread and the cup testifies to sharing in the fruits of Christ death, including a communion with both God and fellow Christians through the Spirit.

   Paul’s warning – 1 Corinthians 11:29

   Because faith is required for those who celebrate the Lord supper, it must be reserved for those who have believed and have been baptized.

   How often? The Lords supper should be repeated regularly as a continuing symbol of participating in Christ by faith. Those who look by faith to the body and blood of Christ for salvation are called to participate in this feast and do so in remembrance of him and in expectation of that final day when, Jesus said, “I drink it anew with you in my Father’s kingdom.” (Matthew 26:29).

   Thought for the day: The Lord supper is a rehearsal for the marriage supper of the lamb – Revelation 19:9

   Remember, I am in touch, so you stay in touch.

   As Robert King always ended his daily radio program, “Walk with the King today, and be a blessing.”



Four Attributes of the Church – Acts 4:32

It’s Monday, April 6, 2020, and this is COVID-19 Connection Series # 17

Welcome! So glad that you are joining me today.

Today in the News: How many of you remember that this is an election year?

Dems fret over Biden’s strategy during coronavirus, and rage at Bernie for hanging in. Dems shelling out 22 million to run as backing democrats in fall campaign.

Dow surges 1,100 points as coronavirus shows signs of slowing down.

New Jersey Church sparks movement after sending care packages to member with coronavirus. Created a movement called: Boxes of Hope. Vision to see hope spread faster than COVID-19.

Best family movies on NetFlix are Incredibles 2; Mary Poppins Return; Hook; Ralph Breaks The Internet.  Looking for a series – The Chosen One.

   Mask Making Contest – I want to create a contest beginning today for the creation of the most unique face covering. Design it, create it, wear it, post a picture of you wearing it at my email – grace2u4@gmail.com. I will find a prize for the most creative face covering! Presently we have two entries. 

Pause for Prayer: 

  • SLBC family
  • National Pandemic – COVID-19
  • Local cases and care
  • Our elderly
  • Wisdom to navigate through this time
  • Political and local leaders
  • Police (Kevin Ward lots of hours)/Fire/First responders
  • Resurrection Sunday service at the Buffalo ranch. 

Our WORD from the LORD today will be taken from Acts 4:32

    Now the multitude of those who believed were of one heart and one soul; neither did anyone say that any of the things he possessed was his own, but they had all things in common. 

Today we are going to take a look at: Four Attributes of God’s Church.

   In the Niceno-Constantinopolitan Creed fashion by the Council of Constantinople in AD 381 Puts forth the following statement:

   “The church is one, holy, universal, and apostolic as a reflection of God’s unity, holiness, immensity, eternity, and truthfulness.”

   Did you catch the Four Attributes of God’s Church? Let’s take a look at them together.

   I. The Church is One
  • The church is one and this to be one because God is one.
  • Christians have always been characterized by their unity – Acts 4:32
   Now the multitude of those who believed were of one heart and one soul; neither did anyone say that any of the things he possessed was his own, but they had all things in common.
  • Divisions and quarrels in a church are particularly serious scandal.
  • Paul brings out that the church is one in Ephesians 4:4-6,

   4 There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called in one hope of your calling; one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.

  • In I Corinthian’s 1, Paul argued for the unity of the Christian-based under unity in Christ.
  • In Romans 12 in I Corinthians 12, Paul taught that there was one body.
  • Galatians 3:27-28, Paul writes that Christians are one in Christ, regardless of ethnicity.
  • In Philippians 2:2 Paul called the Church to unity.
  • Paul’s teachings reflect Christ on teachings that there is one flock – John 10:16
  • Jesus prayed for his followers to be one – John 17:21

   The church is one, though divided. Local church and universal church.

   This unity is not visible at the organizational level; it is a spiritual reality, consisting in the fellowship of all true believers sharing in the Holy Spirit. It becomes visible when believers share the same baptism, partake of the same supper, and look forward to sharing and one heavenly city. The church on earth experiences this unity only as its members are united in God’s truth as it is revealed in the Scriptures.

   II. The Church is Holy
  • The church is holy because God is holy.

   “But as He who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct. Because it is written, “Be holy, for I am holy.” (I Peter 1:15-16).

  • God declares the church holy – This comes through the doctrine of Justification (just as if I never sinned) – Romans 5:1
  • The word sanctification means: to be set apart unto holiness – I Corinthians 1:2
  • Ephesians 5:25-27 – 2Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her, 26 that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word, 27 that He might present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish.
  • The church is holy, then, in the sense that it is daily advancing and is not yet perfect.

   Both the old and New Testament emphasize the importance of holiness marking the people of God so that they might accomplish the service to which they have been called…

   A whole church is a set apart church.

   III. The Church is Universal

   The church is universal and it’s to be universal because God is the Lord of all the earth and king of the ages. The church is universal and that it stretches across space and time.

   You may have heard that the word universal means Catholic.  Catholic is the older English word used to describe this attribute. But because of the word association with the church of Rome, universal provides a better translation of the Greek word originally used in the creed.

   Ignatius of Antioch’s letter to the Smyrneans in the early second century A.D., he wrote that “where Jesus Christ is there is the universal church” (Smyrn 8.2).

   While every true local church is a part of this universal church and is in entire church itself, no local church can be said to constitute the entire universal church.

   The universal church in the end will be composed of people from all nations – Revelation 5:9

   “And they sang a new song, saying: “You are worthy to take the scroll, And to open its seals;For You were slain, And have redeemed us to God by Your blood  Out of every tribe and tongue and people and nation,”

   The church, in both its local and universal manifestations, belongs to Christ and Christ alone.

   IV. The Church is Apostolic

   The church is apostolic and is to be apostolic because it is founded on and is faithful to the word of God given through the apostles.

   Early in Jesus his public ministry, Jesus “called his disciples to him and chose the 12 of them, who we also designated apostles” (Luke 6:13).

   Towards the end of his ministry, Jesus then prayed “for those who will believe in me through their [the apostles] message” (John 17:20).

   From the apostles to the present the gospel continues to be passed down from the Christian to the unsaved, to the one who gets saved, to the next.

   Paul tells the Ephesian Christians that they had been built on the foundation of the apostles in the prophets – Ephesians 2:20

   We should be very thankful for the succession of faithful teachings from apostolic Times to the present.

   Edmund Clowney put it succinctly:

   “To compromise the authority of Scripture is to destroy the apostolic foundation of the church.”

   Only with the apostles teaching is the church “the pillar and foundation of the truth,” – I Timothy 3:15

   These four attributes have long been used to express the Bible teaching about the church. They are the church’s gifts and task. One theologian summarized:

   “The church is already one, but it must become more visibly one… in faith and practice. The church is already holy in its source and foundation, but it must strive to produce fruits of holiness in its sojourn in the world. The church is already universal, but it must seek a fuller measure of universality by assimilating the valid protest against church abuse… into its own life. The church is already apostolic, but it must become more consciously apostolic by allowing the gospel to reform and sometimes even overturn its time-honored rites and interpretations.

   Remember, I am in touch, so you stay I touch. Also remember the words of Robert Cook, “Walk with the king today and be a blessing”. See you all tomorrow, Lord willing.F



The Nature of the Church – Hebrews 10:25

It’s Saturday April 4, 2020, and you are listening to the COVID-19 Connection Series # 16

How are you doing today? Well, I hope.

SLBC app – available on Google Play Store. For whatever reason I can’t locate it on Apple Store. I am working on it, so stay tune. I’ll post its location on Facebook as soon as I find out what went wrong.

Make sure you visit SLBC Online for resources that will help your family during the Stay Home/Stay order.

In the News Today: Headline News 

   Mask Making Contest – I want to create a contest beginning today for the creation of the most unique face covering. Design it, create it, wear it, post a picture of you wearing it at my email – grace2u4@gmail.com. I will find a prize for the most creative face covering!

   Yesterday I received my first picture of someone who made a mask. Get your picture into me.

Pause for Prayer: 

  • Continue to pray for church family (use directory)
  • Pray for hardest hit states – New York, California, Louisiana, and others.
  • Pray for health officials and those on the frontline.
  • Kevin Ward and the local Police Department.
  • Pray for Shut-in’s.
  • Pray for Tom Spann and Bob Ahsmuhs with cancer treatment.
  • Pray for those depressed, and afraid.
  • Pray for those going to work every day.
  • Pray for those who have been laid off that their needs would be met.
  • Pray for wisdom regarding our Easter services. 

Our WORD from the LORD today comes from Hebrews 10:25.

Today I want to have a Word with you on the topic of The Nature of the Church.

Christians have the Bible – 66 books – Genesis to Revelation. It is broken into two parts: Old and New Testament. In the Old Testament we read about the Israelites, the Jews. In the New Testament we read about the coming of Jesus Christ (the fulfillment of the Law), and the birth and history of the Church.

Now please hear this – Israel of the Old Testament is NOT the Church of the New Testament, and the New Testament Church is Not the Israel of the Old Testament. Many people make this mistake and they assume that Israel is the Church, and that we are all Israel. And they also assume that we can claim all the promises that God made to Israel.

We learn about the Church from Israel only in terminology – Israel is called an assembly. As a matter of fact we learn the following in the Old Testament about Israel:

The People of God in the Old Testament: Israel

  • Israel is called God’s son (Exodus 4:22).
  • Israel is called God’s spouse (Ezekiel 16:6-14).
  • Israel is called the apple of God’s eye (Deuteronomy 32:10).
  • Israel is called God’s vine – Isaiah 5:1-7; Naham 2:2).
  • Israel is called God’s flock – (Ezekiel 34:4).

Through these names God foreshadows what the work he would eventually do through Christ and his church.

Etymologically, a connection exists between the Old Testament word for “assembly” and the New Testament word translated “church,” ekklesia. The Greek version of the Old Testament, the Septuagint, translates “assembly” in Deuteronomy 4:10 and elsewhere with ekklesia. And this word for assembly is closely bound up in the Old Testament with the Lord’s distinct people Israel. The rich association between the assembly of God and the distinct people of God in the Old Testament assembly then carries over to the New Testament ekklesia, the Church.

The Church is an assembly (Hebrews 10:25). It is God’s assembly because God dwells with the church.

Old Testament Israel:

  • They are ethnically distinct.
  • Live under God-given Laws.
  • Circumcision was required for all males.

New Testament church:

  • They are ethnically mixed.
  • They live under the rule of the nations.
  • Baptism is required for all believers.

Why such differences between the Old and the New Testament? Jesus Christ made the difference. He came and fulfilled all of the shadows and promises given in the Old Testament (Read the book of Hebrews).

Because of Israel unbelief we today, the church are the benefactors. 

The People of God in the New Testament: The Church

Explicit Teaching

“The people of God” – I Peter 2:10; Luke 1:17

Meaning of Ekklesia

N.T. English word church can be used to describe both a local congregation or all Christians everywhere.

  • In contemporary use the word is used to describe buildings and denominations. These latter ways the English word church does not parallel the Greek word in the New Testament.

Ekklesia is used 114 times in the New Testament. 109 times it is used directly for the Christian church.

  • Jesus uses the word twice – Matthew 16:18; 18:17
  • The Book of Acts refers to specific local assemblies in Jersualem, Antioch, Derbe, Lystra, and Ephesus. These churches met and sent out missionaries (Acts 15:3).
  • Paul says the ekklesia was bought by Christ’s blood (Acts 20:28).
  • Paul quite often spoke of the church – Philippians 3:6; I Corinthians 15:9.

General Epistles

  • Hebrews mentions the church once – Hebrews 12:23
  • James refers to a local church and its elders – James 5:14
  • 2 and 3 John picture a particular congregation and its struggles with false teachers and leaders.
  • Revelation has more occurrences of ekklesia than any other New Testament book – Revelation 1-3; Revelation 22:16

Images and Names of the Church

Paul Minear writes that there are 96 images for the church in the New Testament. Key: No single image can comprehend all aspects of the church. But allow me to mention a few of them for us:

  • The herald of the Gospel – Acts
  • The obedient servant – Isaiah
  • The bride of Christ – Revelation 19; 21
  • The church is a building – I Peter 2:5; Ephesians 2:21
  • The church is a temple – I Corinthians 3:16; II Corinthians 6:16; Ephesians 2:19-22; I Peter 2:4-8
  • The church is the salt of the earth – Matthew 5:13
  • The church is a letter from Christ – II Corinthians 3:3
  • The church is a family of believers – Galatians 6:10; Mark 3:31-35
  • The church is the family of God – I Peter 4:17
  • The church is a new creation – II Corinthians 5:17
  • The church is a fellowship (based on fellowship with Christ) – John 17; Luke 12:4; John 15:15
  • The church is the body of Christ – I Corinthians 10:17; I Corinthians 12; Ephesians 3:6

   The church is the koinonia of fellowship of people who live under the rule and reign of Jesus Christ. He is our king, and our Lord. We wait for our coming King, and His kingdom.

   Remember, we are in touch, so you be in touch. Walk with the King today and be a blessing.



The Answer is in the Bible – II Timothy 3:16-4:2

Today is Friday, April 3, 2020, and you are listening to COVID-19 Connection Series # 15

Welcome and thank you for allowing me into your home.

Today in the News:

  • Number of confirmed cases have topped 1 million worldwide. 25% in the United States.
  • President Trump is now encouraging people to wear face covering in public to slow down the spread of COVID-19.
  • Yesterday we heard 6.6 million Americans filed for unemployment benefits. Today the number has reached 10 million.
  • Gas prices dropping. In Spirit Lake the price is $ 1.89. In Oklahoma City the price for a gallon of gas is .98 cents. (Cheap gas but no place to go). This is worrying OPEC members and countries like Russia and Saudi Arabia.
  • Experts have reported that social distancing has helped slow the spread of COVID-19 in Los Angeles and Seattle.

   Mask Making Contest – I want to create a contest beginning today for the creation of the most unique face covering. Design it, create it, wear it, post a picture of you wearing it at my email – grace2u4@gmail.com. I will find a prize for the most creative face covering!

Pause for Prayer:

  • We received news that a nephew living in Colorado has tested positive (Josh), and is at home self-quarantined. He is a father of three children.
  • That Christians would STOP fighting the commonsense steps of stopping the spread of the Coronavirus. It’s not about the economy right now – it’s about saving lives!
  • Health workers, first responders, essential workers.
  • Shut-in’s – Lowana, Virginia, Marilyn, and others.
  • Easter Sunday – wisdom that we do things right.

Our WORD from the LORD today is found in II Timothy 3:16-42. We read,

   16 All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, 17 that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work. 4 I charge you therefore before God and the Lord Jesus Christ, who will judge the living and the dead at His appearing and His kingdom: Preach the word! Be ready in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching.

   I want to have a word with you about: The Answer is in the Bible 

   Everything that we need to know about the Church, and how the Church is to live in this present world is found in God’s Word. The Bible is so central to everything about Christianity.

   Everything we know about God and his will comes from God’s own Revelation. Consider:

  • The Good News of Jesus Christ came from Revelation. (Revealed truth).
  • Man’s redemption / New life – John 17:20
  The whole salvation of mankind is depended on God’s clear revelation to man.
  • Acts 10:44 – While Peter was still speaking these words, the Holy Spirit fell upon all those who heard the word.
  • Acts 11:14 – who will tell you words by which you and all your household will be saved.
  • Romans 10:17 – Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God.

   The declared (preached) Word creates life – it also sustains and grows it. The Bible is our lifeline, and feast. Go back and reread II Timothy 3:16-4:2.

   I’m sharing this Facebook Live with the idea that we might understand and recover the faithfulness of God’s Word. Scripture is essential for salvation, but it is also necessary for obedience – what a local church is to be in to do. What we believe determines how we live.

   The Scriptures teaches us about all of life in doctrine, including how we should assemble for corporate worship and how we are to organize our corporate life together. It doesn’t teach us everything, but neither does it teach us nothing.

   I. What should churches do?
  • Abraham – Genesis 12:1-3 God called him, and told to believe a promise (covenant).
  • New Testament – Matthew 28:19-20 – God called us, and told what to do.

   Scripture tells Christians and preachers and local churches how to live: we are to go, make disciples, baptize, and teach disciples to obey, God’s word has to do with life.

   The apostle Paul established churches and taught them by his example and his letters – how to live –

   Colossians 4:16 – Now when this epistle is read among you, see that it is read also in the church of the Laodiceans, and that you likewise read the epistle from Laodicea. 

   God’s word by direct command, example, implication, or principles, tells us everything we need to know about every aspect of following him in life from dating to marriage, from working to grieving, from evangelizing to eating. What should churches do? The answers in the Bible.

   II. What should churches believe?

   The answer to that question is also found in the Bible.

   Churches believe the Bible – Genesis to Revelation. My pastor used to say, “From Genesis to the Maps”. Believers understand that it is the word of God.    

They seek to obey the commands of Jesus Christ, in obedience to the leading of the Holy Spirit.

Churches believe in the Gospel. What is the Gospel? The death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Spend some time in I Corinthians 15:1-4,

    1 Moreover, brethren, I declare to you the gospel which I preached to you, which also you received and in which you stand, by which also you are saved, if you hold fast that word which I preached to you—unless you believed in vain. For I delivered to you first of all that which I also received: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures,

   You cannot be at church if you do not accept the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. These are key doctrines of the local church. This is why Paul was so hard on the Galatians when they began to be tempted by other gospels (Galatians 1:6-9).

   What we believe should come from the Bible.

   III. How should churches worship?

   Same answer – we turn to the Bible.

   God tells us how we should approach him in public worship. What are the steps of worship?

  • We read the Bible
  • We sing the Bible
  • We preach the Bible
  • We pray the Bible
  • We see the Bible – baptism and the Lord’s supper
  • We respond to the Bible

   The church is not just a group of people who have invited Jesus Christ to be their savior, and who live under the full control of the Holy Spirit, no, we are a group of people who come together on a regular basis to worship God, in Jesus’ words, “In spirit and in truth” (John 4:24).

   Hebrews 10:25 – not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching.

   By the way – you and I are having a worship service right now. A quarantine doesn’t stop WORSHIP of God. Persecuted Christians have been quarantined for decades, and yet they still WORSHIP God.

           Scriptural Ways in which we Approach God
  • We begin with a scriptural call to worship so that we formally begin our time by hearing God address us in his word.
  • We may corporately recite various summary statement of what the Bible teaches, just as Romans 10:9 calls Christians to confess what they believe with their mouth’s.
  • We sing hymns, Psalms, and worship songs because we are commanded to (Romans 15:11; Ephesians 5:19; Colossians 3:16; James 5:13).
  • We pray and praise (Hebrews 13:15), and we pray intercession for others as we have been instructed to (James 5:13-18; Ephesians 6:18).
  • We read God’s word to one another (Revelation 1:3; I Timothy 4:13).
  • We confess our sin (I John 1:9), and then we remind ourselves from some passages of scripture that God fully forgives our sins through Jesus Christ.
  • We give financially as God instructed (Galatians 6:6; II Timothy 2:6), and as exampled in I Corinthians 16:2 (cf. the example of the Philippians in supporting Paul’s ministry in Philippians 4:15-16).
  • We attend to preaching as God commanded (II Timothy 4:2), and as exampled throughout the book of Acts.
  • We baptize as Jesus commanded (Matthew 28:18-20), and we celebrate the Lord supper as he instructed (Luke 22:19)
   IV. How should churches live together?

   Biblically!

   How we choose to live together gets to the matter of church polity an organization.

   What is the organizational structure of the church? Again the answer is found in the Bible. However, we have many types of church polity and organizational structure, so which is right? Should churches be self-governed, such as SLBC? Or should churches be ruled by Elders, as some other churches in our region?

   We know the scripture speak of the church, which are all those who have received Jesus Christ into their heart as Savior and Lord. The Bible also speaks of church leaders, shepherds or pastors, and deacons, servants. And we’ve already taken a look at how the church is to worship when it gathers to meet with God.

   In Bible college I was taught the following principal when studying scripture. The principle is this: When the plain sense makes commonsense sense seek no other sense. 

   I believe a key to church polity and organization is unity within the fellowship. If we will seek unity, the Spirit of God will reveal to us revelation to guide us in our polity and organizational structure. 

I want to conclude by sharing with you Two Confessions of Faith

The New Hampshire’s Confession of Faith 

   A visible church of Christ is a congregation of baptize believers, associated by covenant in the faith and fellowship of the Gospel; observing the ordinances of Christ; governed by His laws; and exercising the gifts, rights, and privileges invested in them by his word; that it’s only scriptural officers are Bishop or Pastors, and Deacons, whose qualifications, claims, and duties are defined in the Epistles to Timothy and Titus. 

The Westminster Confession of Faith

   The whole counsel of God, concerning all things necessary for His own glory, man’s salvation, faith and life, is either expressly set down in Scripture, or by good and necessary consequence may be deduced from Scripture: unto which nothing at any time is to be added, whether by new revelations of the Spirit, or traditions of men (WCF 1:6; cf. II Timothy 3:15-17; Galatians 1:8-9; II Thessalonians 2:2).

Thought for today: Revelation provides Inspiration for Transformation.
 
Material from: The Church by Mark Dever

It’s Thursday, April 2, 2020. Welcome to our COVID-19 Connection Series # 14

  It is always wonderful to have a listening audience. I count it a privilege that you allow me to come into your home on a daily basis.

   How are you handling your emotions through all of this? I am hearing that some are stressed, some are worrying, some are scared, and some are living as if life is normal. You may experience a wide variety of emotions. It’s okay! God knows that we are human. Can I remind you however that if you are walking through some negative emotions that are affecting your daily activities that you give those emotions over to God in prayer? He told us through His Word,

   “Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we might find mercy and find grace to find help in time of need.” (Hebrews 4:16).  

In The News Today: 

America is running out of supplies – Government’s emergency stockpile of medical supplies are nearly depleted because of the Coronavirus.

Los Angeles officials urged residents to cover their faces in public to prevent further transmission of COVID-19. This is a reversal of guidelines set by the CDC, but remember these are changing times we are living in.

6.6 million Americans have filed for unemployment. Doubling the record the week before.

In France the government is trying an experiment of paying companies not to lay people off.

A million N95 masks are being flown in from China.

Pause for Prayer: Psalm 5:2-3“Give heed to the voice of my cry, My King and my God, For to You I will pray. My voice You shall hear in the morning, O LORD.” 

  • Church family and emotional stress
  • Shut-in’s
  • Cup of Grace & Senior center meals to those in need
  • Wisdom for every SLBC family – navigate during these days
  • Ministries of SLBC – Women’s Online Bible Study, Daily Devotions on Facebook, Church office staff
  • Local police – Kevin Ward
  • Spirit Lake Citizens
  • Miller’s grocery store
  • People in essential employment – protection
  • 6 million Americans who filed for unemployment benefits
  • Direction for our National leaders

Our WORD from the Lord today is taken from Matthew 16:18. It reads,

   And I also say to you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it. 

The Foundation of the Church 

   Notice what Jesus stated in this verse. He said very emphatically, 

   I will build My church. 

   Please hear this – the church is NOT built on Peter; nor is it build on a religious institution. The Church is built on Jesus Christ alone.

I am going to start something a little different, and together we are going to walk through a book by Pastor Mark Dever entitled: The Church. What we are going to be doing is taking a look three areas of the church:

  1. What does the Bible say? About the Church.
  2. What has the Church Believed? About the Ordinances and Organization.
  3. How does it all fit together? Why different types of ChurchesThe Utter Importance of the Church

   Christian Author and Pastor John Stott said, “The church lies at the very center of the eternal purpose of God. It is not a divine afterthought. It is not an accident of history.”

   The church should be regarded as important to Christian’s because of its importance to Christ:

  • Christ founded at the church – Matthew 16:18 

   And I also say to you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it.

  • Christ purchased it with his own blood – Acts 20:28

   Therefore take heed to yourselves and to all the flock, among which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the church of God which He purchased with His own blood. 

  • Christ intimately identifies himself with it – Acts 9:4

   Then he fell to the ground, and heard a voice saying to him, “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me?”

 What do we KNOW about the Church?

         1. The church is the body of Christ – I Corinthians 12:12-27; Ephesians 1:22-23; 4:12; 5:20-30; Colossians 1:18-24; 3:15
 
   2. The church is the dwelling Place of his Holy Spirit – I Corinthians 3:16-17; Ephesians 2:18,22; 4:4
 
   3. The church is the chief instrument for glorifying God in the world – Ezekiel 36:22-38; Ephesians 3:10
 
   4. The church is God’s instrument for bringing both the gospel to the nations and a great host of the redeemed humanity to himself – Luke 24:46-48; Revelation 5:9

Jan Hus (John Huss), the fifteenth-century Bohemian reformer, put it this way: “Every earthly pilgrim ought faithfully… to love Jesus Christ, the Lord, the bridegroom of that church, and also the church herself, his bride.”

What we must watch out for as a Church?

  1. Shifting currents of pragmatism – what works now.
  2. Thinking success is the immediate response of non-Christians.
  3. The disowning of Christianity in our current culture.
  4. Evangelism being characterized as intolerant.
  5. Biblical doctrine classified as hate speech.
  6. Man’s felt needs replacing the message of the gospel.
  7. Numerical growth as primary indicator of church health.
  8. Compromise of biblical truth.

   Churches must remain true to the message of the gospel no matter what – PERIOD! (See Romans 1:16; I Corinthians 15:3-4; Galatians 1:6-10)

   William Carey (The Father of Modern Missions) served faithfully in India and Adoniram Judson persevered and Burma not because they met immediate success or advertise themselves as “relevant”.

  William Carey didn’t see his first convert until after seven years of preaching the Gospel. He spent 41 years in India. After 41 years only 700 converts could be found.

   William Carey was a plodder for Christ. He just kept doing what He was commissioned to do – preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

   William Carey was instrumental in others going to the mission fields of the world.

   Here is one of my favorite quotes of William Carey,

   “Expect great things from God; attempt great things for God!” 

   Church – don’t EVER criticize the Church founded by Jesus, the Church purchased by His blood, and the Church that He identifies with.



The Foundation of the Church – Matthew 16:18

It’s Thursday, April 2, 2020. Welcome to our COVID-19 Connection Series # 14

  It is always wonderful to have a listening audience. I count it a privilege that you allow me to come into your home on a daily basis.

   How are you handling your emotions through all of this? I am hearing that some are stressed, some are worrying, some are scared, and some are living as if life is normal. You may experience a wide variety of emotions. It’s okay! God knows that we are human. Can I remind you however that if you are walking through some negative emotions that are affecting your daily activities that you give those emotions over to God in prayer? He told us through His Word,

   “Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we might find mercy and find grace to find help in time of need.” (Hebrews 4:16).  

In The News Today: 

America is running out of supplies – Government’s emergency stockpile of medical supplies are nearly depleted because of the Coronavirus.

Los Angeles officials urged residents to cover their faces in public to prevent further transmission of COVID-19. This is a reversal of guidelines set by the CDC, but remember these are changing times we are living in.

6.6 million Americans have filed for unemployment. Doubling the record the week before.

In France the government is trying an experiment of paying companies not to lay people off.

A million N95 masks are being flown in from China.

Pause for Prayer: Psalm 5:2-3“Give heed to the voice of my cry, My King and my God, For to You I will pray. My voice You shall hear in the morning, O LORD.” 

  • Church family and emotional stress
  • Shut-in’s
  • Cup of Grace & Senior center meals to those in need
  • Wisdom for every SLBC family – navigate during these days
  • Ministries of SLBC – Women’s Online Bible Study, Daily Devotions on Facebook, Church office staff
  • Local police – Kevin Ward
  • Spirit Lake Citizens
  • Miller’s grocery store
  • People in essential employment – protection
  • 6 million Americans who filed for unemployment benefits
  • Direction for our National leaders

Our WORD from the Lord today is taken from Matthew 16:18. It reads,

   And I also say to you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it. 

The Foundation of the Church 

   Notice what Jesus stated in this verse. He said very emphatically, 

   I will build My church. 

   Please hear this – the church is NOT built on Peter; nor is it build on a religious institution. The Church is built on Jesus Christ alone.

I am going to start something a little different, and together we are going to walk through a book by Pastor Mark Dever entitled: The Church. What we are going to be doing is taking a look three areas of the church:

  1. What does the Bible say? About the Church.
  2. What has the Church Believed? About the Ordinances and Organization.
  3. How does it all fit together? Why different types of ChurchesThe Utter Importance of the Church

   Christian Author and Pastor John Stott said, “The church lies at the very center of the eternal purpose of God. It is not a divine afterthought. It is not an accident of history.”

   The church should be regarded as important to Christian’s because of its importance to Christ:

  • Christ founded at the church – Matthew 16:18 

   And I also say to you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it.

  • Christ purchased it with his own blood – Acts 20:28

   Therefore take heed to yourselves and to all the flock, among which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the church of God which He purchased with His own blood. 

  • Christ intimately identifies himself with it – Acts 9:4

   Then he fell to the ground, and heard a voice saying to him, “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me?”

 What do we KNOW about the Church?

         1. The church is the body of Christ – I Corinthians 12:12-27; Ephesians 1:22-23; 4:12; 5:20-30; Colossians 1:18-24; 3:15
 
   2. The church is the dwelling Place of his Holy Spirit – I Corinthians 3:16-17; Ephesians 2:18,22; 4:4
 
   3. The church is the chief instrument for glorifying God in the world – Ezekiel 36:22-38; Ephesians 3:10
 
   4. The church is God’s instrument for bringing both the gospel to the nations and a great host of the redeemed humanity to himself – Luke 24:46-48; Revelation 5:9

Jan Hus (John Huss), the fifteenth-century Bohemian reformer, put it this way: “Every earthly pilgrim ought faithfully… to love Jesus Christ, the Lord, the bridegroom of that church, and also the church herself, his bride.”

What we must watch out for as a Church?

  1. Shifting currents of pragmatism – what works now.
  2. Thinking success is the immediate response of non-Christians.
  3. The disowning of Christianity in our current culture.
  4. Evangelism being characterized as intolerant.
  5. Biblical doctrine classified as hate speech.
  6. Man’s felt needs replacing the message of the gospel.
  7. Numerical growth as primary indicator of church health.
  8. Compromise of biblical truth.

   Churches must remain true to the message of the gospel no matter what – PERIOD! (See Romans 1:16; I Corinthians 15:3-4; Galatians 1:6-10)

   William Carey (The Father of Modern Missions) served faithfully in India and Adoniram Judson persevered and Burma not because they met immediate success or advertise themselves as “relevant”.

  William Carey didn’t see his first convert until after seven years of preaching the Gospel. He spent 41 years in India. After 41 years only 700 converts could be found.

   William Carey was a plodder for Christ. He just kept doing what He was commissioned to do – preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

   William Carey was instrumental in others going to the mission fields of the world.

   Here is one of my favorite quotes of William Carey,

   “Expect great things from God; attempt great things for God!” 

   Church – don’t EVER criticize the Church founded by Jesus, the Church purchased by His blood, and the Church that He identifies with.



You just Gotta Love Jesus! – Mark 2:1-12

04/01/2020 

   Welcome to our COVID-19 Connection Series # 13 

   How are you doing today church family? I hope that you are all well. 

   How many of your felt the earthquake yesterday? I’ve got to tell you that I was standing in the foyer of the church visiting with Christians Starr, Caleb Harris, and Paul Kressin when I felt a spinning taking place inside of me. I asked if they were feeling the same thing. Christian said that he thought it was just his body doing something. Paul said, “I feel that way all the time.” Caleb said he didn’t feel anything. I told them I think we just had an earthquake somewhere. As soon as I said that I got a phone call from Debbie, and he first question to me was, “What was that?” I asked her if she felt it too, and she said that our house was moving. Later I got a text message from Paul that read, “You were right, there was an earthquake. Magnitude 6.5 earthquake 78 miles from Boise, Idaho. Largest earthquake in 40 years.

Pause and Pray: 

Pray for our national response to COVID-19. The statistical data doesn’t look promising. Estimates are as high as 240,000 dying here in the U.S.

Pray for the epicenters of the COVID-19, which is our large cities: New York, Los Angeles, Seattle, Chicago, New Orleans…

Pray that Christians will do their part in the SLOW the SPREAD during the month of April.

Pray for cities and health workers that are stretched beyond their limit.

Pray through the church directory. Pray for families being affected in our area.

Pray for wisdom for how we as a church are to respond. Especially within our own community.

Pray for your own need today. What is it that you need from the Lord?

Hold on to the truth in II Timothy 1:7 (Have you memorized this verse). 

Our WORD from the Lord today is found in Mark 2:1-12.   

When I was a youth pastor, I would take our youth group to a large youth conference in Ellensburg, Washington (YouthQuake). At the conference they had competitions for basketball teams, volleyball, swimming, choirs, speech, and many other things. It was a big deal, and the youth loved it. The conference was so large that the majority of hotels were filled with youth from all over the Northwest. In the general conference the youth would be sitting in the bleachers of a large sports complex. The leaders of the conference would have the youth divided into two sections, and they would have one group start a cheer that went like this: I Love Jesus Yes, I do, I love Jesus how about you? Then they would have the other side responded a little bit louder and say: I Love Jesus Yes, I do, I love Jesus how about you? The youth would do this over and over for quick a bit of time. It was great!

   Well today I want to have a word with you about: You just Gotta Love Jesus!

   In our Scripture today we are going to take a look at the Biblical account of Jesus healing a paralytic man. It is a very well-known story found in three of the four Gospels. The parallel passages are Matt. 9:1–8; Luke 5:17–26.   Why do we love Jesus?  

   I. Because of His teaching – Mark 2:1-2

   2 And again He entered Capernaum after some days, and it was heard that He was in the house. Immediately many gathered together, so that there was no longer room to receive them, not even near the door. And He preached the word to them.

   What do you love about the teachings of Jesus?

  • The message He shared
  • The encouragement He provided
  • The wisdom He imparted
  • The truth He taught
  • The hope He instilled
  • The prophecy He provided

   Our text tells us that when people heard that Jesus was in the house that they came “many gathered together, so that there was no longer room to receive them, not even near the door.”

   I don’t know a pastor who wouldn’t like to have that kind of a problem. We would love to see the church PACKED with people, so much so that there was no room at the doors. People loved the teachings of Jesus. Why? Because he spoke different. His words were from the Father. They were God’s truth to thirsty souls.

   Take a look at the end of verse 3,

   And He preached the word to them.

   This is really why we love the teaching of Jesus. His words came from His Father. When Jesus spoke, He literally was speaking the Words of His Father (John 8:28, 12:49, 14:10).

   In the high priestly prayer of Jesus found in John 17, Jesus prayed the following words in verse 17,

   Sanctify them by your Word, Your Word is Truth.

   II. Because we can bring our friends to Him – 2:3-4

Then they came to Him, bringing a paralytic who was carried by four men. And when they could not come near Him because of the crowd, they uncovered the roof where He was. So when they had broken through, they let down the bed on which the paralytic was lying.

   In this account we have four friends bringing their paralytic friend to Jesus. When they got him to the house they couldn’t get in, and so they came up with Plan B. They took apart the roof and lowered him down to Jesus with ropes on the four corners of the mat. How is that for being creative?

   When it comes to sharing Jesus or even bringing our friends to Jesus how creative are, we? What have been our modus of operations?

  • Invite to Church?
  • Share a tract?
  • Invite them home for a meal?
  • Talk with them over a cup of coffee?
  • Take them to a Christian concert?
  • Share our testimony?

   Our new method – Social media and Online Church.

   How important was it for the four friends in this account to get their friend to Jesus? How important is it for us to get our friends to Jesus?

  They were WHATEVER it takes friends! Are we?

   III. Because He forgives sins – 2:5-6 

   5 When Jesus saw their faith, He said to the paralytic, “Son, your sins are forgiven you.” And some of the scribes were sitting there and reasoning in their hearts, “Why does this Man speak blasphemies like this? Who can forgive sins but God alone?” 

   Please hear this next comment: Faith and Forgiveness go together.

   We read in our text that Jesus saw their faith. What is faith? Trust. Confidence. Assurance. It is belief. These men believed in the awesome power of Jesus. Do we? Have you? Will you?

   Once the friend had been lowered down to Jesus, He looked at him and he said, “Son, your sins are forgiven you.” Hear this: The greatest need a person has is NOT physical healing, but spiritual healing. It is better to have your sins forgiven than to be healed of any type of infirmity. Jesus has the POWER to forgive sins.

   Is there anyone listening today that needs to have their sins forgiven? Come to Jesus right now. Make a decision for Jesus Christ today. Don’t put it off. 

  Next, I want us to notice who else appears in the crowd – the religious naysayers. We will always have the religious naysayers in the crowd. Who are they, but the Pharisees? They were considered the legalist of the day. If something could be pointed out as being wrong – they were the ones to point it out.

   They didn’t like what they heard, that Jesus forgave this man his sin. 

   IV. Because He speaks directly to the heart – 2:8-10 

But immediately, when Jesus perceived in His spirit that they reasoned thus within themselves, He said to them, “Why do you reason about these things in your hearts? Which is easier, to say to the paralytic, ‘Your sins are forgiven you,’ or to say, ‘Arise, take up your bed and walk’? 10 But that you may know that the Son of Man has power on earth to forgive sins”—He said to the paralytic, 

Now, if the truth be known we like it when Jesus speaks directly to the heart, unless it is our heart that is being spoken to.

  • Jesus knew what the Pharisees were thinking.
  • He knew what they reasoned within their hearts.

  Get this – Everything about life flows from our heart. All the issues of life come from the heart (See Proverbs 4:23).

   Jesus asked the Pharisees a question: Which is easier, to say to the paralytic, ‘Your sins are forgiven you,’ or to say, ‘Arise, take up your bed and walk’? Why did He ask them this particular question?

   I believe the truth that Jesus was seeking to drive home is that the first would take care of the second. In other words, “Your sins are forgiven you” would also take care of the physical problem of the paralytic. However, if Jesus just said to the man, “Arise, take up your bed and walk” nothing spiritual inside the man would have occurred.

   Jesus’ words often confirm what is going on in our hearts! This is why we so desperately need to be in the Word on a consistent basis. 

   V. Because of the miracles of Jesus – 2:11-12 

11 “I say to you, arise, take up your bed, and go to your house.” 12 Immediately he arose, took up the bed, and went out in the presence of them all, so that all were amazed and glorified God, saying, “We never saw anything like this!” 

   What commands does Jesus give this man?

  1. Arise – You have been healed.
  2. Take up his bed – Take your belongings with you.
  3. Go to your house – Tell your family first what has happened to you.

   Do you know what I don’t see in these verses? Hesitation or Procrastination! There is no hesitation on the forgiven and healed man’s part. Immediately he arose, took up his bed, and went out in the presence of them all. This man was healed!

   What is going through the minds of those watching all this unfold before their very eyes? They were all amazed and glorified God, saying,

   “We never saw anything like this!” 

   Jesus is the miracle worker! If we saw Jesus’ miracles, I assure you that we too would say,

   “We never saw anything like this!”

Here are some questions we might ask ourselves from this text:

  1. Do we love the words of Jesus?
  2. Are we pro-active when it comes to bringing people to Jesus?
  3. Have your sins been forgiven by Jesus Christ?
  4. Have you had Jesus speak directly to your heart?
  5. Are you thankful for Jesus’ miracles?
   
   Until tomorrow, Walk with the King today and be a blessing.   
 


Spending Time in Scripture when Life is Uncertain – Selected Scripture

Welcome to our COVID -19 Connection Series # 12  

   It snowed in North Idaho today! Winter going out like a lion. We can look forward to April showers and May flowers!

   Most of you have probably heard that the President’s 15 day Slow the Spread has now been pushed out through April 30th. What does this mean for you and me? What does this mean for our church? Well, as of now nothing will change – we will continue to meet online daily at 11:00 A.M., and at 10:00 A.M. on Sunday mornings. We will continue to stay in contact with each other through social media like Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and now Zoom.

   Now, a word to the SLBC family. I would really like to encourage all of us to stay in contact with each other – use the church directory. Make a phone call. Pray with another church member – pray for each other’s family. Also will you keep your pastor and his family in prayer? I would greatly appreciate it.

   Women’s Online Bible Study – 20/20 books are available for pickup at the church. Please drop by between 9:00-4:00 P.M. You can Ring the Ring doorbell, and we will come and assist you.

   Let’s develop a Volunteers list: Should the need arise and you would like to volunteer to prepare and deliver meals let us know my going to slbc2u.com and use the connect with us on the bottom of our front page. Let’s be prepared should we be called upon.

Pause for Prayer

  • Tom Spann.
  • Bob Ahsmuhs.
  • Shut-in’s.
  • Chuck Morse – shoulder pain.
  • Emergency workers.
  • God would bring revival and an end to COVID-19.
  • Be with the sick, and those recovering.
  • Provide for the needs of God’s people.
  • Help us to be wise during these times.
  • Minister grace to the city of Spirit Lake.
  • Use Cup of Grace and Senior center – meals.

Our WORD from the Lord today comes from a wide selection of Scripture. I am going to title this devotional: Spending Time in Scripture when Life is Uncertain

   Each of us deals with times of uncertainty in life. They come in many shapes and sizes:

  • A financial crisis – loss of income due to COVID-19 and layoffs.
  • A medical diagnosis – something you didn’t want to hear.
  • The loss of a loved one – we have recently had that in our church family.
  • Uncertain days ahead of us – we don’t know about tomorrow. (Note: You didn’t know about tomorrow before the COVID-19 pandemic).
  • A broken relationship – young love, divorce, separation.
  • A natural disaster – we will probably see other things happening around the world.
  • Global panic – nations of people are afraid.
  • Betrayal by a friend – a friend walked out when you needed them the most.
  • A wayward child – a child decides to walk away from God, and make a bunch of wrong choices.
  • And so many others – anyone want to comment of other things that are uncertain about life? Leave your comments.

   Regardless of what shape these times of uncertainty take, they are enough to stir fear, worry, and anxiety in the heart – Let us be reminded of II Timothy 1:7

   Just the other day we talked about the need for a solid anchor (our time in the book of Hebrews). Well, when the seas get rough, we need to lower the anchor, and find some stability. God’s Word is this anchor.

   Psalms 119:105 reminds us too that God’s Word is a lamp to light our path in times of darkness. God’s Word is a great source for everything that pertains to life and godly living.

   Thank God for His HOLY Word in times of uncertainty.

   Because we know that we live in a fallen world, we know that not every day will be sunshine and bless. There will be storms, rain, hail, and many other types of hardships. In this world we will face persecution and problems. No one is exempt.

   Do you want some GOOD NEWS? God has not left us to fend for ourselves but has given us words of hope and the promise of His presence (Hebrews 13:5). When times are uncertain, we must cling to, rely on, and memorize the Scriptures (Joshua 1:8). Be in the Word/ Hold on to the Word/ Trust fully in the Word.

   Today I want to walk with you through some very encouraging Bible verses. I have 30, but I will only be sharing 15. I will make this a blog post and you will be able to download it and obtain all 30 verses. They will bless you, encourage you, comfort you, and provide assurance in the midst of these difficult days.  May God use this devotional to bless the socks right off your feet.

   Let the Word of God provide you peace in the midst of the storm, and light to see you through to the other side. Download handout for Scripture

  1. Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be courageous; be strong. – 1 Corinthians 16:13
  1. The Lord is with me; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me? The Lord is with me; he is my helper. – Psalm 118:6-7
  1. May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. – Romans 15:13
  1. What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? – Romans 8:31
  2. So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. – Isaiah 41:10
  1. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. – Philippians 4:6
  1. For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind. – 2 Timothy 1:7
  1. Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. – Psalm 23:4
  1. The righteous person may have many troubles, but the LORD delivers him from them all; – Psalm 34:19
  1. But now, this is what the Lord says ÖFear not, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine. – Isaiah 43:1
  1. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. – Romans 8:38-39
  1. Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go. – Joshua 1:9
  1. God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. – Psalm 46:1
  1. You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world. – 1 John 4:4
  1. The LORD is a refuge for the oppressed, a stronghold in times of trouble. – Psalm 9:9
  1. I keep my eyes always on the LORD. With him at my right hand, I will not be shaken.- Psalm 16:8
  1. Truly he is my rock and my salvation; he is my fortress, I will not be shaken. – Psalm 62:6
  1. You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you. – Isaiah 26:3
  1. The LORD is good, a refuge in times of trouble. He cares for those who trust in him, – Nahum 1:7
  1. But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. – 1 Corinthians 15:57
  1. For we live by faith, not by sight. – 1 Corinthians 5:7
  1. But the Lord is faithful, and he will strengthen and protect you from the evil one. – 2 Thess-alonians 3:3
  1. May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope. – Romans 15:13
  1. There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love. – 1 John 4:18
  1. But as for me, I will look to the Lord; I will wait for the God of my salvation; my God will hear me. – Micah 7:7
  1. For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. – Jeremiah 29:11
  1. And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose – Romans 8:28
  1. I can do everything through him who gives me strength. – Philippians 4:13
  1. Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. – Proverbs 3:5
  1. Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful. – Hebrews 10:23

   What can you do with these 30 wonderful Bible verses? You can pray them back to God. You can use them to encourage others. They would make great social media posts. You can write them out and post them in key locations throughout your home. You can start a Bible memory program while you are self-quarantining. Yes, take some time to actually hide God’s Word in your heart (Psalm 119:11).

   Thanks for joining me today. I will speak with you again tomorrow Lord willing. Remember, walk with the King today and be a blessing. (Dr. Robert Cook)



The Certainties because of Christ – I John 5:13-21

Good morning and welcome to our COVID-19 Connection Series # 11

Headlines News – Deadline for stay home stay safe has been extended to April 30th. Please do you part to SLOW the Spread of the coronavirus.

Visit Apple store or Google Play Store to download the slbc app.

Pause for Prayer:

Church family

Spirit Lake Citizens

Police and City Hall

Senior Center

Shut-in’s

National response to the COVID-19 pandemic

Our WORD from the Lord today is found in I John 5:13-21. The title of our devotional today is: The Certainties because of Christ.

Grab your Bible and follow along with me.

   We have all heard that there are two things certain in life – Death and Taxes. Have you heard that before? Well, I would like to remind us that the Bible is filled with certainties that we as believers can hold on to in uncertain times.

   I want to share six certainties with you this morning. They are:   

   I. We are certain of eternal life – vs. 11-13

   11 And this is the testimony: that God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. 12 He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life. 13 These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, that you may know that you have eternal life, and that you may continue to believe in the name of the Son of God.

   This was actually one of the very first sections of Scripture that was shared with me after I gave my heart to Jesus Christ. I was told that whenever I doubted my decision for Christ, or when the devil tried to discourage me about the decision, I made for Christ that I needed to go to this section of Scripture.

   The word “testimony” means recorded.

   What did God give us according to verse 11? Eternal life. How long I eternal life? It’s forever! (Illustration: Send a bird to the moon to bring back a grain of sand. By the time the bird emptied the moon that would be but a day in eternity).

   Where is this eternal life found? It is only found in the person of Jesus Christ – John 14:6; Acts 4:12.

   Take a look at verse 12 again. We read,

   12 He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life.

   This verse is emphatic! It is ROCK solid theology. If you know Jesus, you have eternal life. If you do not know Jesus Christ, you do not have life.

   Finally, I want you to underline in your Bible the word “know” in verse 13. You and I can know that we know that we know we belong to Jesus Christ.

   By the way, when does eternal life begin for the believer? At the moment of death, or at the moment of one’s conversion? It begins at the moment of salvation. 

   II. We are certain of answered prayer – vs.14-17

  The heading in my Bible over these verses reads: Confidence and Compassion in Prayer. 

   Are you praying in the days we are presently living in? I hope you are. There are so many things to be praying about. Immediate family to our global family. Local to International issues. 
 
   A. We have confidence in our prayers – v. 14

14 Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. 

   B. We have confidence that God hears our prayers – v. 15

15 And if we know that He hears us, whatever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we have asked of Him.

God delights to answer prayer – See Matthew 7:7-12.

God wants to be asked. Many times we do not have because we do not ask. We are to ASK, SEEK, and KNOCK according to Jesus. How are you doing in your prayer life today?

   C. We have confidence that we can pray for a sinning brother – v. 16-17

16 If anyone sees his brother sinning a sin which does not lead to death, he will ask, and He will give him life for those who commit sin not leading to death. There is sin leading to death. I do not say that he should pray about that. 17 All unrighteousness is sin, and there is sin not leading to death.

   Do you know a believer that is living in open rebellion against God? You and I should be praying for them.

   There is a hit as to what the sin of death is in these verses, especially verse 17. It is all unrighteousness. Practice sin and you could die! That’s the sin leading to death.

   III. We are certain that we can have victory over sin and Satan – v. 18

18 We know that whoever is born of God does not sin; but he who has been born of God keeps himself, and the wicked one does not touch him.

What do we have here in verse 18? We discover that…

  • True believers do not practice habitual sin – does not sin.
  • True believers know that they have a responsibility before God – Look at the two words – “keeps himself”.
  • True believers know that when they are walking close to Jesus Christ that the wicked one (Satan) does not touch them.
   IV. We are certain we are of God – v. 19

   19 We know that we are of God, and the whole world lies under the sway of the wicked one.

   What do we have in verse 19? We learn two great truths. They are:

  • We can know that we are of God. How?
  • We received His Son, Jesus Christ.
  • We love God’s Word.
  • We hate sin, and the things God hates.
  • We have a love for what’s right – righteousness.
  • The whole world lies under the sway of the wicked one.

   What comes to your mind with the word “sway” – isn’t that just like sin in people’s lives. It as if they are swaying back and forth. People usually sin, walk away from their sin, and then go back into their sin.

   V. We are certain that Jesus Christ is the true Son of God – v. 20

20 And we know that the Son of God has come and has given us an understanding, that we may know Him who is true; and we are in Him who is true, in His Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God and eternal life.

   Again in verse 20, underline the word “know”. This speaks of certainty. It speaks of biblical fact. This is what our devotional is all about today. We can and are a certain people who hold to certain facts.

Don’t miss that the first “know” in verse 20 provides the second “know” in verse 20. What is the second know?

   We know that the Son of God has come and has given us an understanding, that we may know Him who is true.

   Because of the certainty that Jesus Christ came, we can be certain to know Him, and we can be certain that we are in the one who is true, in Jesus Christ. 

   VI. We are certain that Jesus Christ alone satisfies – v. 21

21 Little children, keep yourselves from idols. Amen.

I truly hope by now that we as followers of Jesus Christ have learned that idols do not satisfy. Only a walk with Jesus Christ fully and completely satisfies.

  • Idols provide no eternal life.
  • Idols provide no answered prayer.
  • Idols provide no victory over sin or Satan.
  • Idols provide no certainty that we belong to God.
  • Idols provide no certainty that Jesus is the Christ.
  • Idols provide no satisfaction.

   Live for your idols and you will be just a dead and cold as they are.

   Only Jesus Christ fully and completely fills the VIOD in our lives.

   Dr. Robert Cook from the King’s College used to end his daily radio program by saying, “Walk with the King today and be a blessing.”