Sermon Notes: 10/17 RR7 – Don’t Try This at Home

Intro: Crazy Warning Labels!

WELCOME to CENTRALCHURCH OF CHRIST: Not a place, but a people connected by a common bond of Christ our Savior with a common mission to show HIS love, tell HIS story, and be HIS people!  We’re on our last week of an expository sermon series this week that I’m calling the “ROMAN ROAD.”  Expository means we learn from the text, and bring out it’s points, rather than topical, which is where we have a point and use the text to support it.  So here we are digging in for a while in the beautiful letter to the Romans from Paul. 

“…I could wish that I myself were cursed and cut off from Christ for the sake of my brothers, those of my own race, the people of Israel. Theirs is the adoption as sons; theirs the divine glory, the covenants, the receiving of the law, the temple worship and the promises. Theirs are the patriarchs, and from them is traced the human ancestry of Christ, who is God over all, forever praised! Amen.” Romans 9:3-5

“Did God reject his people?” (The Jews) Romans 11:1

“Did they stumble so as to fall beyond recovery?” Romans 11:11

“I am an Israelite myself, a descendant of Abraham, from the tribe of Benjamin.” Romans 11:1

“O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those sent to you, how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing.” Matthew 23:37

“I have reserved for myself seven thousand who have not bowed the knee to Baal.” Romans 11:4

“Isaiah cries out concerning Israel: ‘Though the number of the Israelites be like the sand by the sea, only the remnant will be saved.’” Romans 9:27 Quoting Isaiah 10:22

“In that day, I will gather the lame; I will assemble the exiles and those I have brought to grief. I will make the lame a remnant, those driven away a strong nation. The LORD will rule over them in Mount Zion from that day and forever. (Micah 4:6-7)

“And it shall come to pass that whoever calls on the name of the LORD shall be saved. For in Mount Zion and in Jerusalem there shall be deliverance, as the LORD has said, among the remnant whom the LORD calls.” Joel 2:32

2 Chronicles 16:9 “…the eyes of the LORD range throughout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him…”

“So too, at the present time there is a remnant chosen by grace.” Romans 11:5

You will say then, ‘Branches were broken off so that I could be grafted in. Granted. But they were broken off because of unbelief…” Romans 11:19-20a

“And if they do not persist in unbelief, they will be grafted in, for God is able to graft them in again. After all, if you were cut out of an olive tree that is wild by nature, and contrary to nature were grafted into a cultivated olive tree, how much more readily will these, the natural branches, be grafted into their own olive tree!” Romans 11:23-24

“(Israelites) were broken off because of unbelief, and you stand by faith. Do not be arrogant, but be afraid. For if God did not spare the natural branches, he will not spare you either.” Romans 11:20-21

“We must pay more careful attention, therefore, to what we have heard, so that we do not drift away.” Hebrews 2:1

“See to it, brothers, that none of you has a sinful, unbelieving heart that turns away from the living God.” Hebrews 3:12

 “… they (Israelites) were broken off because of unbelief, and you stand by faith. Do not be arrogant, but be afraid.  For if God did not spare the natural branches, he will not spare you either.  Consider therefore the kindness and sternness of God: sternness to those who fell, but kindness to you, provided that you continue in his kindness. Otherwise, you also will be cut off. And if they do not persist in unbelief, they will be grafted in, for God is able to graft them in again.” Romans 11:20-23

 

ROMAN ROAD: That restoration process is listed throughout the book of Romans to bring us toward salvation.

1. The Human Problem (Romans 3:10Romans 3:23, and Romans 6:23).

The first part of the Romans Road confirms the state of every human as sinful and the state of God as holy.

  • As it is written: “There is no one righteous, not even one;”(Romans 3:10)
  • For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,” (Romans 3:23)

After establishing that “all have sinned,” the first half of Romans 6:23 explains the depth of this problem and its consequences.

 “For the wages of sin is death…” (Romans 6:23a)

However, the second half of the verse hints at the hope sinners have for salvation through Jesus.

“…but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 6:23b)

 2. Humanity’s Hope in Christ (Romans 5:8).

The second part of the Romans Road further explains the hope we have in the love of God expressed through Christ.

But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:8)

 3. The Sinner’s Response (Romans 11:20, Romans 10:9-10, Romans 10:13, Romans 6:3-5).

  • Believe in Him – 11:20That is true. They were broken off because of their unbelief, but you stand fast through faith.
  • Repentance of sin Romans 2:3-5 “Do you suppose, O man—you who judge those who practice such things and yet do them yourself—that you will escape the judgment of God?Or do you presume on the riches of his kindness and forbearance and patience, not knowing that God’s kindness is meant to lead you to repentance? “
  • Confession of MouthIf you declare with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.”(Romans 10:9-10)
  • For, ‘Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.’” (Romans 10:13)
  • Baptism – “Or do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus have been baptized into His death?  4 Therefore we have been buried with Him through baptism into death, in order that as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life.  5 For if we have become united with Him in the likeness of His death, certainly we shall be also in the likeness of His resurrection,” (Romans 6:3-5)
 
  1. The Result of Salvation 16:25-27 – Strength & Glory.

Now to him who is able to strengthen you according to my gospel and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery that was kept secret for long ages 26 but has now been disclosed and through the prophetic writings has been made known to all nations, according to the command of the eternal God, to bring about the obedience of faith— 27 to the only wise God be glory forevermore through Jesus Christ! Amen.


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Sermon Notes: 10/10 RR6: The Gratitude Attitude

WELCOME to CENTRALCHURCH OF CHRIST: Not a place, but a people connected by a common bond of Christ our Savior with a common mission to show HIS love, tell HIS story, and be HIS people!  We’re on week 6 of an expository sermon series this week that I’m calling the “ROMAN ROAD.”  Expository means we learn from the text, and bring out it’s points, rather than topical, which is where we have a point and use the text to support it.  So here we are digging in for a while in the beautiful letter to the Romans from Paul.  I’m thankful for Patrick and Joelah filling in for me while I invested time with my family in the Harding Lectureships and visiting God’s natural beauty around the country.

ILLUS HAYDEN: For example, the great classical composer Joseph Hayden, was criticized because his church music was too cheerful (and you thought “contemporary music” was a tough sell).

  He replied: “I cannot help it.  I give forth what is in me. When I think of the Divine Being, my heart is so full of joy that the notes fly off as from a spindle. And as I have a cheerful heart, He will forgive me if I serve Him cheerfully.”

Romans 7:25a  “THANKS BE TO GOD— through Jesus Christ our Lord!”

“But THANKS BE TO GOD that, though you used to be slaves to sin, you wholeheartedly obeyed the form of teaching to which you were entrusted.” Romans 6:17

“But THANKS BE TO GOD, who always leads us in triumphal procession in Christ and through us spreads everywhere the fragrance of the knowledge of him.” 2 Corinthians 2:14
 
“THANKS BE TO GOD for his indescribable gift!” 2 Corinthians 9:15

 

  “Listen, I tell you a mystery: We will not all sleep, but we will all be changed—in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed. For the perishable must clothe itself with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality.

   When the perishable has been clothed with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality, then the saying that is written will come true: “Death has been swallowed up in victory.”

   “Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?” The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law.

   But THANKS BE TO GOD! He gives us the victory (over death and the grave) through our Lord Jesus Christ. I Corinthians 15:51-57

 

ILLUS PAUL IN PRISON: This legend tells of a wealthy merchant who had traveled to Rome to find this preacher he’d heard so much about. In his search, the merchant found Timothy… and Timothy arranged a visit.

  At the time, Paul was a prisoner in Rome. Stepping inside the cell, the merchant was surprised to find a rather old man, physically frail, but whose serenity and magnetism challenged the visitor. They talked for hours.

  Finally the merchant left and outside the prison, he asked Timothy “What is the secret of this man’s power? I have never seen anything like it before.”

  Did you not guess?” replied Timothy. “Paul is in love.”

  The merchant looked bewildered. “In Love?”

  “Yes,” the missionary answered, “Paul is in love with Jesus Christ.”

  The merchant looked even more bewildered. “That’s it. That’s all?”

  Timothy smiled and then replied, “Sir, that is everything.”

https://sermons.faithlife.com/sermons/25819-paul-the-apostle-in-love

 

 

“Two men owed money to a certain moneylender. One owed him five hundred denarii, and the other fifty. Neither of them had the money to pay him back, so he canceled the debts of both. Now which of them will love him more?”

Simon replies “I suppose the one who owed the greater debt.”

  ”You are correct” says Jesus

Then Jesus turned to the woman and said

  “Do you see this woman? I came into your house. You did not give me any water for my feet, but she wet my feet with her tears and wiped them with her hair. You did not give me a kiss, but this woman, from the time I entered, has not stopped kissing my feet. You did not put oil on my head, but she has poured perfume on my feet.  Therefore, I tell you, her many sins have been forgiven— for she loved much.

   But he who has been forgiven little loves little.” Luke 7:36-47

Romans 7:25 Paul says “THANKS BE TO GOD— through Jesus Christ our Lord!”

 

“Get up, be baptized and wash your sins away, calling on his name.” Ac 22:16

“Here is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners— of whom I am the worst.” 1 Timothy 1:15

“But for that very reason I was shown mercy so that in me, the worst of sinners, Christ Jesus might display his unlimited patience as an example for those who would believe on him and receive eternal life.” 1Timothy 1:16

“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal.” Mt 6:19-20

 

“What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death?

   Thanks be to God— through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, I myself in my mind am a slave to God’s law, but in the sinful nature a slave to the law of sin. Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death.” Romans 7:24 – 8:2

In a moment, we’re going to sing the song TRUST and OBEY.  The hymn was inspired in 1886 when the composer of the music, Daniel B. Towner (1850-1919), was the music leader during one of Dwight L. Moody’s famous revivals

“We were in Brockton, Massachusetts, and I had the pleasure of leading singing. One night a young man rose in a testimony meeting and said, ‘I am not quite sure—but I am going to trust, and I am going to obey.’ I just jotted that sentence down, and sent it with a little story to the Rev. J. H. Sammis. He wrote the hymn, and the tune was born.”

Invitation: If you are thankful for the salvation that Jesus brings, if you are saying along with me, “Thanks be to God!”  Then the next move after thankfulness is trusting and obeying. 

“Trust and obey—for there’s no other way

To be happy in Jesus, but to trust and obey.”


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Ministry Meeting on 10/10

Central Reminder: On Sunday, Oct. 10th the Elders, Ministry leaders, & Deacons will meet in the outside pavilion for lunch and to submit ministry goals, plans, & budgets for 2022.

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Harding Streaming

The Wiles family has arrived in Searcy, Arkansas. Yet this Lectureship isn’t just for ministers and wives, it’s a resource for all members of the church to grow from. Tonight at 7pm, the Wiles will be sitting in on David Shannon’s (president at Freed-Hardeman) keynote address titled “Invincible! God’s Eternal Kingdom (Daniel 7:9-18)“.
 
You can watch it live with us on Harding’s livestream here: https://thelink.harding.edu/hu16/

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Sermon notes: 9/19 RR3: Proper Burial

WELCOME to CENTRALCHURCH OF CHRIST: Not a place, but a people connected by a common bond of Christ our Savior with a common mission to show HIS love, tell HIS story, and be HIS people!  We’re on week 3 of an expository sermon series this week that I’m calling the “ROMAN ROAD.”  Expository means we learn from the text, and bring out it’s points, rather than topical, which is where we have a point and use the text to support it.  So here we are digging in for a while in the beautiful letter to the Romans from Paul.  The first week we saw in Romans 1 about Creation that God is there and he really cares for us!  Last week in Romans 3 we gained a more full understanding of the nature of &&&Justifying Grace in Salvation. This week, Romans 6 connects us to a very poignant image concerning God’s saving Grace. 

Romans 6:3-4“.. don’t you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his DEATH?

Romans 6:2 says “…We DIED to sin; how can we live in it any longer?”

Romans 6:6 says “For we know that our old self was CRUCIFIED with him so that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin”

 

Colossians 3:3 “For you DIED, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God.”

2 Timothy 2:11 “Here is a trustworthy saying: If we DIED with him, we will also live with him”

 

John 3:23 tells us – “Now John (the Baptist) also was baptizing at Aenon near Salim, because there was PLENTY OF WATER…”

“… both Philip and the eunuch went down into the water and Philip baptized him. When they came up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord suddenly took Philip away, and the eunuch did not see him again, but went on his way rejoicing.” Acts 8:38-39

DIDACHE***Chapter 7. Concerning Baptism

And concerning baptismbaptize this way: Having first said all these things, baptize into the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy SpiritMatthew 28:19 in living water. But if you have not living water, baptize into other water; and if you can not in cold, in warm.

https://www.newadvent.org/fathers/0714.htm

Romans 6:4 

 “We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life.”

  •  

****Acts 16:26-33 tells us

 “About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening to them. Suddenly there was such a violent earthquake that the foundations of the prison were shaken. At once all the prison doors flew open, and everybody’s chains came loose.

  The jailer woke up, and when he saw the prison doors open, he drew his sword and was about to kill himself because he thought the prisoners had escaped. But Paul shouted, “Don’t harm yourself! We are all here!”

   The jailer called for lights, rushed in and fell trembling before Paul and Silas.

   He then brought them out and asked, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?”

  They replied, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved— you and your household.”

   Then they spoke the word of the Lord to him and to all the others in his house.

  AT THAT HOUR OF THE NIGHT the jailer took them and washed their wounds; then immediately he and all his family were baptized.”

 

 

***ANCIENT WORDS: For the first 1500 years of the church’s existence everybody taught that baptism was part of the salvation act. Every early church leader who talked about baptism taught this.

 

  • Justin Martyr (A.D. 110-165) said “We have learned from the apostles this reason” for baptism: “in order that we… may obtain in the water the remission of sins” (First Apology, 61).

 

  • Tertullian (A.D. 145-220) said, “Happy is our sacrament of water, in that, by washing away the sins of our early blindness, we are set free and admitted into eternal life” (On Baptism iii). Also “The act of baptism… is carnal, in that we are plunged in water, but the effect is spiritual, in that we are freed from sins” (ibid., vii).

 

  • Cyril of Jerusalem (A.D. 315-386) said, “When going down… into the water, think not of the bare element, but look for salvation by the power of the Holy Ghost” (Catechetical Lectures III:4).

 

“baptized into Christ (you have) clothed yourselves with Christ.” Galatians 3:27

  • 1 Peter 3:21 says “and this water (Noah’s Flood) symbolizes baptism that now saves you also— not the removal of dirt from the body but the pledge of a good conscience towards God. It saves you by the resurrection of Jesus Christ.”

That’s what Colossians 2:12 that says “having been buried with him in baptism and raised with him THROUGH YOUR FAITH in the power of God, who raised him from the dead.

Mark 16:16: “Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned.”

 

To m


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Sermon Notes: 9/12 Roman Road 2 – What’s So Great About Grace?

The Law can be funny sometimes can’t it!  The following is a list of police comments that reportedly were taken from actual police car videos where police arrested various law-breakers:

  1. One officer told a man who was complaining about how tight the handcuffs were by saying: “Relax; the handcuffs are tight because they’re new. They’ll stretch out after you wear them awhile.”
  2. Another criminal looked like he was going to run: “If you run, you’ll only go to jail tired.”
  3. A drunk was pulled over and asked a series of questions ending with this one: “Was Mickey Mouse a cat or a dog?”
  4. “No, sir, we don’t have quotas anymore. We used to have quotas, but now we’re allowed to write as many tickets as we want.”
  5. “I’m glad to hear the Chief of Police is a good personal friend of yours. At least you know someone who can post your bail.”
  6. “You didn’t think we give pretty women tickets? You’re right, we don’t. Sign here.”
  7. “Warning? You want a warning? O.K., I’m warning you not to do that again or I’ll give you another ticket.”

https://www.heartlight.org/articles/200605/20060527_warningtickets.html

WELCOME to CENTRALCHURCH OF CHRIST: Not a place, but a people connected by a common bond of Christ our Savior with a common mission to show HIS love, tell HIS story, and be HIS people!  We’re on week 2 of a new expository sermon series this week that I’m calling the “ROMAN ROAD.”  Expository means we learn from the text, and bring out it’s points, rather than topical, which is where we have a point and use the text to support it.  So here we are digging in for a while in the beautiful letter to the Romans from Paul.   I learned that there is this “Roman Road to Salvation” that has been preached & taught in religious circles today, but it seems more like a cherry picking of verses.  We want to walk through Paul’s words and see what God’s Holy Spirit inspired him to say to believers. Last week we saw  in Romans 1 that God is there and he really cares for us!

Romans 6:23 tells us of that penalty: “…the wages of sin is death…”

Paul wrote: “through the law we become conscious of sin.” Romans 3:20

“All have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God…” Romans 3:23

“So that every mouth may be silenced and the whole world held accountable to God.” (Rom3:19)

The Law’s main focus was not to cleanse people… it was to point to our need of to be cleansed

“For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God,” – Ephesians 2:8

 

This distinction is starkly demonstrated by comparing a parable taught by Jesus with a similar story found in Buddhist literature. Both stories involve sons who became rebellious and left home, but who then saw the error of their ways and decided to come back and be reconciled with their families.

  In the Buddhist story, the errant son is required to work off the penalty for his past misdeeds by spending years as a slave.

  But you know how the Christian parable of the Prodigal Son ends — with the repentant son being warmly welcomed home by his loving father and being given UNDESERVED GRACE.

https://www.comparativereligion.com/prodigal.html

“… justified freely by his GRACE” (vs. 24)

“… because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions— it is by GRACE you have been saved. Ephesians 2:4-5

Romans 3:24.  “… are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.”

Heb 2:14-15 – “Since the children have flesh and blood, (Jesus) too shared in their humanity so that by his death he might destroy him who holds the power of death— that is, the devil— and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by their fear of death.”

  Mordred (who hated his father and wanted to destroy everything Arthur held dear) gleefully declares:

“Arthur! What a magnificent dilemma!

            Let her die, your life is over;

            Let her live, your life’s a fraud.

            Which will it be, Arthur?

            Do you kill the queen or kill the law?”

 

 “Well, you’re human after all, aren’t you Arthur? Human and helpless.”

 https://www.sermoncentral.com/sermon-illustrations/6607/tale-of-two-kings-by-sermon-central

 

When nothing else could help, not even the Law, Love Lifted Us.

Love lifted me,
Love lifted me,
When nothing else could help,
Love lifted me;
Love lifted me,
Love lifted me,
When nothing else could help,
Love lifted me.


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Sermon Notes: 9/5 Roman Road1

“When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, what is man that you are mindful of him, the son of man that you care for him? Psalm 8:3-4

WELCOME to CENTRAL CHURCH OF CHRIST: Not a place, but a people connected by a common bond of Christ our Savior with a common mission to show HIS love, tell HIS story, and be HIS people!  We’re beginning a new expository sermon series this week that I’m calling the “ROMAN ROAD.”  Expository means we learn from the text, and bring out it’s points, rather than topical, which is where we have a point and use the text to support it.  So here we are digging in for a while in the beautiful letter to the Romans from Paul.   I learned that there is this “Roman Road to Salvation” that has been preached & taught in religious circles today, but it seems more like a cherry picking of verses.  We want to walk through Paul’s words and see what God’s Holy Spirit inspired him to say to believers.  And so he starts with Creation:

“When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, what is man that you are mindful of him, the son of man that you care for him? Psalm 8:3-4

 

Psalm 136

”Give thanks to the Lord of lords: His love endures forever

to him who alone does great wonders, His love endures forever.

who by his understanding made the heavens, His love endures forever.

who spread out the earth upon the waters, His love endures forever.

who made the great lights— His love endures forever.

the sun to govern the day, His love endures forever.

the moon and stars to govern the night; His love endures forever.

“For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities— his eternal power and divine nature— have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse.” Romans 1:20

http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_M5bBKfTxp6s/R1SGnkCfZOI/AAAAAAAAALM/OJRjoGyV6fI/s1600-R/05-03-07-Cartoon-CLR.gif)

Geliese 581C

(GOLDILOCKS ZONE)

https://exoplanets.nasa.gov/resources/323/goldilocks-zone/

Back in 1968, Apollo 8 astronaut Bill Anders took pictures of the earth and he noted that “It was the only color we could see in the universe…”

Romans 1:18 “The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of men who suppress the truth by their wickedness”

“They exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator— who is forever praised. Amen.” Romans 1:25

 

One site declared “Enjoy Nutrition as Nature Designed:” – Raw Food Diet

            https://www.naturalnews.com/raw_foods.html

Another site proclaimed “Jewelry Designed By Nature”

            https://www.boredpanda.com/floios-jewelry-designed-by-nature-from-up-cycled-silver-nature-is-created-in-golden-proportion-and-shouldnt-be-changed-by-people/?

In another place someone stated “nature designed you to hold as little muscle and as much fat as possible” (that should give us at least good excuse for being overweight!)

            https://indexarticles.com/retirement/mens-fitness/ask-the-strongman-2/

But my favorite quote was from the title of a book by an evolutionist at Amazon.com:

***“Moral Minds: How Nature Designed Our Universal Sense of Right and Wrong”.

            https://www.amazon.com/Moral-Minds-Nature-Designed-Universal/dp/B001PO6ACW/ref=sr_1_2?

***Back to ROMANS 1:18 – THE WRATH OF GOD – ME & PHOTOGRAPHER PIRACY!

            https://www.stockphotosecrets.com/questions-answers/can-i-use-photos-from-facebook.html

“The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of men who suppress the truth by their wickedness, since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities— his eternal power and divine nature— have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse.” Romans 1:18-20

One person said it this way: “Only God is in a position to look down on someone.”  Habeeb Akande

            https://www.quotes.wiki/only-god-is-in-a-position-to-look-down-upon-som/

“All have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God” Romans 3:23

 

Paul gives us a whole litany of the sins of people who are

“filled with every kind of wickedness,

They are evil, greedy and depraved.

They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit and malice.

They are gossips, slanderers, God-haters, insolent, arrogant and boastful;

 they invent ways of doing evil; they disobey their parents;

they are senseless, faithless, heartless, ruthless.

And although they know God’s righteous decree that those who do such things deserve death, they not only continue to do these very things but also approve of those who practice them.” – Romans 1:29-32

“I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile.” Romans 1:16

Consider the simple “wooly worm” or caterpillar. (saw my first one yesterday)

            https://www.almanac.com/woolly-bear-caterpillars-and-weather-prediction

Isabella Tiger Moth – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pyrrharctia_isabella

CLOSE: Astronomer Allan Sandage

   “It was my science that drove me to the conclusion that the world is much more complicated than can be explained by science. It is only through the supernatural that I can understand the mystery of existence.”

https://quotefancy.com/quote/1636834/Allan-Sandage-It-was-my-science-that-drove-me-to-the-conclusion-that-the-world-is-much

 


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Wed PM Bible Study in Auditorium

Central News: Our Wed PM Midweek Devotional will meet tomorrow night beginning in the AUDITORIUM to allow people room to social distance. Classes may choose to meet in larger spaces such as the annex upstairs, ladies classroom, etc. We will continue to livestream the first part including the devotional. Be blessed!

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Sermon Notes 8/29 Take Me Back: Martyrs Code

Take Me Back: Code of the Martyrs

Hebrews 11:1-4,Hebrews 11:35-38 – Acts 7:54-60

I was especially struck by the feel good feeling watching the end of the movie 2016, Sully, in which Captain Sullenburger and his crew safely brought Flight 1549 out of LuGuardia safely to a water landing in the Hudson River after a bird strike saving all 155 passenger and crew. It was based off a true story of 2009 events.

            One line in the movie stuck out to me. – Sully, I’ve been flying for 40 years, but I’ll be judged by 208 seconds. 3&1/2 minutes! 

 

  • ***WELCOME: To Central Church of Christ, not a place, but a people called out to Show God’s Love, Tell God’s Story, Be God’s Family. Lately we’ve been enjoying a new sermon series called, Take Me Back. It’s inspired by a desire from the elders to reexamine early Christianity, what the disciples after Jesus did, how they gathered, worshipped, and encouraged each other., and what the heart of the church looked like. It’s a desire to Take Us Back to Church.

Take me back

To the place that feels like home

To the people I can depend on

To the faith that’s in my bones

Take me back

To a preacher and a verse

Where they’ve seen me at my worst

To the love I had at first

Oh, I want to go to church

The question is, WHAT CHURCH do we go back to? 1990’s, 1950’s, late 1920’s, 1800’s, 1600’s KJV, 1500’s Martin Luther, 313AD (Constantine made state religion of Roman Empire), Church of the 2nd Century under writers (PolyCarp, Clement, Hermas, Ignatius).

 

They “conquered kingdoms, enforced justice, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions, quenched the power of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, were made strong out of weakness, became mighty in war, put foreign armies to flight.” Hebrews 11:33-34

“Some were tortured, refusing to accept release, so that they might rise again to a better life. Others suffered mocking and flogging, and even chains and imprisonment. They were stoned, they were sawn in two, they were killed with the sword. They went about in skins of sheep and goats, destitute, afflicted, mistreated — of whom the world was not worthy…” Hebrews 11:35-38

 

Hebrews 11:4 tells us “By faith Abel (the first man mentioned in the chapter) offered to God a more acceptable sacrifice than Cain, through which he was commended as righteous, God commending him by accepting his gifts. And through his faith, though HE DIED, he still speaks.”

 

            54 Now when they heard these things they were enraged, and they ground their teeth at him. 55 But he, full of the Holy Spirit, gazed into heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God. 56 And he said, “Behold, I see the heavens opened, and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God.” 57 But they cried out with a loud voice and stopped their ears and rushed togetherb] at him. 58 Then they cast him out of the city and stoned him. And the witnesses laid down their garments at the feet of a young man named Saul. 59 And as they were stoning Stephen, he called out, “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.” 60 And falling to his knees he cried out with a loud voice, “Lord, do not hold this sin against them.” And when he had said this, he fell asleep.

“Five times I received at the hands of the Jews the forty lashes less one.    Three times I was beaten with rods. Once I was stoned. Three times I was shipwrecked; a night and a day I was adrift at sea; on frequent journeys, in danger from rivers, danger from robbers, danger from my own people, danger from Gentiles, danger in the city, danger in the wilderness, danger at sea, danger from false brothers; in toil and hardship, through many a sleepless night, in hunger and thirst, often without food, in cold and exposure.” II Corinthians 11:24-27

“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” John 16:33
 
Back in the 1800’s there was a successful lawyer and businessman named Horatio Spafford. He and his wife Anna had five children and it seemed that all was well with his life. But then, in 1871, his young son died of pneumonia. And in that same year, much of his business was destroyed in great Chicago fire. By 1873, he’d rebuilt his business and could afford to take a vacation with the family, so they booked an ocean liner to travel to Europe. However, because of an unexpected business issue, Spafford was forced to stay behind. But he promised he’d catch another ship and join his family later. About four days after his family left for Europe, the liner collided with another ship and quickly sank – 226 of the 313 passengers drowned, including Spafford’s 4 daughters. His wife Anna was rescued and sent a telegram to her husband “Saved, alone.” Spafford took the next available liner to be with his wife, and as his ship passed near where his daughters had died he was overcome with grief. But on that voyage, he penned the words to now famous hymn… it goes like this:

***“When peace like a river attendeth my way; When sorrows like sea billows roll. Whatever my lot, Thou hast taught me to say “It is well, it is well with my soul.” It is well (it is well) With my soul (with my soul). It is well, it is well with my soul.

“Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return. The LORD gave, and the LORD has taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD.” Job 1:21

 “I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 8:38-39

            History holds Polycarp of Smyrna (69-155AD) as an elder of the church that met in Smyrna, just north of Ephesus in Asia Minor. Both Irenaeus (130-202AD)and Tertullian(155AD-220AD)record that Polycarp had been a disciple of John the Apostle. Jerome(342-420AD)writes that Polycarp was a disciple of John the Apostle and that John had ordained him as an elder of the church at Smyrna. The Martyrdom of Polycarp is an ancient writing dated to about 155AD and contains the final trials and words of Polycarp before he was executed. Here are the recorded words of his final prayer.

 

“O Lord God Almighty, the Father of your beloved and blessed Son Jesus Christ, by whom we have received the knowledge of You, the God of angels and powers, and of every creature, and of the whole race of the righteous who live before you, I give You thanks that You have counted me, worthy of this day and this hour, that I should have a part in the number of Your martyrs, in the cup of your Christ, to the resurrection of eternal life, both of soul and body, through the incorruption [imparted] by the Holy Ghost. Among whom may I be accepted this day before You as a fat and acceptable sacrifice, according as You, the ever-truthful God, have foreordained, have revealed beforehand to me, and now have fulfilled. Wherefore also I praise You for all things, I bless You, I glorify You, along with the everlasting and heavenly Jesus Christ, Your beloved Son, with whom, to You, and the Holy Ghost, be glory both now and to all coming ages. Amen.”

https://www.newadvent.org/fathers/0102.htm

       Revelation 21:4 says “God will wipe away every tear from (our) eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.”

“By faith Abel offered to God a more acceptable sacrifice than Cain, through which he was COMMENDED as righteous, God COMMENDING him by accepting his gifts.” Hebrews 11:4

Hebrews 11:16 “… they desire a better country, that is, a heavenly one.  Therefore, God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared for them a city.”

“From heaven even the most miserable life will look like one bad night at an inconvenient hotel.” Teresa of Avila


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Postponements this weekend

Out of care for our community and in an effort to limit the spread of the Covid-19 virus, the elders have decided to postpone the Sunday Bible classes and Saturday fellowship events this weekend. Men’s & Women’s breakfast events will be rescheduled to a later date.
 
Sunday services will still be at 10am in the auditorium.
 
Please continue to pray to Christ for the health of our church members affected by the virus. Thank you for your patience.

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