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Sun. 9:30am - 10:30am

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Wed. 6:30pm - 7:30pm

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Thurs. 3:00pm - 5:30pm

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Waiting Patiently for the Lord

Psalm 40:1-3

We invite you to join us for worship each Sunday morning at 9:30. You can download our service on iTunes or tune in for “The Good Word” each day on AM 1230 WSAL or on Hoosier Country 103.7 FM just after 8am. When we think of David, we often think of the man after God’s own heart. David was certainly a man of prayer and devotion to God. Ps. 40 is a Psalm of deliverance. Let’s look at some of the lessons David teaches us in this wonderful psalm.

  1. DAVID’S REALITY. We have a tendency to think the great men and women of Scripture as living in some dream or fantasy world, where they were, not completely untouched by sin, but certainly and apparently not affected by it as much as we are, right? Remember, David – the man after God’s own heart – was a murderer, adulterer, man of war, the target of assassination, not only by Saul, but by one of his own sons, and, his brothers didn’t exactly throw him a party when they found out he was God’s chosen to be king of Israel. So what is it that makes David so special, so sanctified, that God dealt so generously with him? I believe the answer is in these 1st 3 verses. To understand where David is in v. 1, we must look at v. 2. Notice he is in the pit of destruction, the miry bog. That is where David is mentally, emotionally and spiritually. Here is a question for you to ponder: while you are in the midst of terrible trouble what is your attitude and your heart toward the situation? Are you panic stricken, perhaps even fed up with trying to be a good Christian? Be honest now, because God and you know the real answer. That’s David’s reality! But here is the 1st of several lessons: Look at v. 1 where we see,
  2. DAVID’S REPOSE. Notice, in the midst of David’s reality – he waited patiently for the Lord! David actually wrote, “waiting, I waited.” Picture him in danger, and at the same time calm, serene, quiet! There is no other person in Scripture, save the Lord, Himself, that teaches us more distinctly than David to wait on God! What pit of destruction, what miry bog are you in right now? What is the trouble in your life that seems to suck all the joy out of living? It doesn’t make any difference how far in you are, how deep you have sunk; how tightly you are being held! If you’ll just stop panicking and start praying, the same thing will happen to you that happened to David. Notice that out of David’s repose, came
  3. DAVID’S REWARD. God heard David’s cry and responded just like He always does. This was not the 1st time David had cried to God. Read Ps. 18:1-6. Beloved, God delights in you as His adopted child. Of course He will rescue you whenever you are in danger. But He won’t do that as long as you are trying every way you can think of to get out of the mess you’re in. If you want God to help you, settle down, open His Word and let Him speak to you! Know what will happen? Look at V. 2 where we see:
  4. DAVID’S RESCUE. Look closely, David says, “God drew me up…” When we allow God to act in our lives He always draws us up! When David allowed God to rescue him, God’s way, God not only rescued David, but notice also
  5. DAVID IS RESTORED. God is in the restoration business! God not only rescued David, He established and secured him in his new situation. God doesn’t come to get us, pull us out of trouble, then drop us and go somewhere else. Far too often we abandon God once He has delivered us, don’t we! Ever wonder how much you’ve missed because you left too soon? Finally notice how after all God has done:
  6. DAVID REJOICES. V. 3. David is telling others how God delivered him from death! Now David is singing a new son of praise to God. How many times have you come through something so deadly and dangerous, that when you stop and rethink it, you realized only God’s intervention brought you through alive! It is easy to consider what God did for David from a physical viewpoint. But the point here is not physical destruction or death, it is spiritual destruction and death. So the question is: waiting, are you waiting? Are you focused on God to rescue and restore you, so you can rejoice with a new song of praise to God? If so, keep it up, if not, why not start today. God is waiting, why not follow His example?

If we can help you with your spiritual questions, call us at 574-643-9419.

What We Do in Sanctification

Romans 12:1-8

We invite you to join us for worship each Sunday morning at 9:30. You can download our service on iTunes or tune in for “The Good Word” each day on AM 1230 WSAL or on Hoosier Country 103.7 FM just after 8am. Just as any child is expected to learn to do many different things that will make them productive as adults, God expects His adopted children to learn to do many different things that will make them productive members of Christ’s body! I’m using an outline from a prominent theologian as a guide. Let’s start with what is probably the hardest part for most of us:

  1. CONCEDING TO GOD. In Rom. 12:1 we are told to “Present our bodies as living sacrifices to God…” In Rom. 6 we are told to “yield our members to God as instruments of righteousness…” Conceding or yielding or giving up, anything to anyone is hard for us because the old sin nature still wants us to put us 1st. Conceding, yielding, presenting, giving and a host of other such words are all synonyms for “humility.” This 1st step in sanctification is demands we allow God to have His way in conforming us to Christ’s image, which is one of the main tenants of sanctification. Read Rom. 8:12, 13. Do you see how God is teaching us our sanctification is a unified effort involving both God and us? Look at v. 13. If you live according to the flesh you will die, but, now watch closely, if – by the Spirit – you – put to death… Your active role in your sanctification is you killing/stopping/eliminating from your life the ungodliness and unrighteousness that infected it before your salvation. Look again at v. 13. If you.. BUT if –now look and see with your eyes and heart! But if BY THE SPIRIT – you… If you want God’s help, you must change your perspective. Now in all this remember, this is a process, not an event. Change, even God’s way, more often than not takes time, perseverance, and patience, and practice! Notice the next step in progressive sanctification is:
  2. CLEANSING THE TEMPLE OF GOD. Read 2 Cor. 7:1, then 1 Thess. 4:1-5. Notice 1st God’s will is for our sanctification. God wants His adopted children to be sanctified, set apart, separated for all ungodliness and unrighteousness; which is the message of this, and many other passages in both OT/NT. Another way we cleanse the temple is: B. Make every effort to become sanctified. Read 2 Peter 1:1-11. In the 1st 4 vs, God is the Active Agent Who is giving to us what we cannot obtain through any efforts on our own. In v. 5 Peter says, “For this reason/because of what God has done/because of what He has given us = make every effort. How does one make every effort? It is simple, one simply chooses to become like Christ. As we cleanse the temple our progressive sanctification certainly leads us to:
  3. CONFORMITY TO THE WORD OF GOD. Read Phil 2:12, 13. The key phrase here is “work out your own salvation.” In Paul’s theology the work of salvation is an inward desire that is always being prompted by the indwelling Holy Spirit to obey all God says. That inward desire to obey is demonstrated outwardly by a life that conforms to the will of God as expressed in His Word, and under the scrutiny of witnesses both good and evil. To break old sinful habits is more often hard that easy, and requires extraordinary diligence and perseverance over the long haul. Only a redeemed heart surrendered to the will of God is infused with the divine power that supplies everything for righteousness and godliness!

If we can help you with your spiritual questions, call us at 574-643-9419.

What God Does in Sanctification

Romans 8:12-17

We invite you to join us for worship each Sunday morning at 9:30. You can download our service on iTunes or tune in for “The Good Word” each day on AM 1230 WSAL or on Hoosier Country 103.7 FM just after 8am. Last time we learned that sanctification teaches us we are to be constantly moving further and further from sin while becoming more and more like Christ. There is another interesting truth about sanctification that is important for us to know. Sanctification involves cooperation between God and us. Sanctification is the doctrine that so clearly explains how God reveals His will and work in redemption through His adopted children. So let’s begin with:

I. GOD’S ROLE IN SANCTIFICATION. All things God begin with God The Father. So God’s role in our sanctification begins with The Father as:

  1. HE PREPARES US. Read 1 Thess. 5:23 and Heb. 12:3-11. We tend to think of discipline backwards rather than in the order God presents it. Here is a concise definition of “discipline” from TDNT the upbringing and handling of the child which is growing up to maturity and which thus needs direction, teaching, instruction and a certain measure of compulsion in the form of discipline or even chastisement. When God disciplines us, He is involving us in the entire spectrum of “being conformed to the image of Christ.” We start with instruction which is saying – this is WHAT you need to know or learn. Once we have the information, we then enter the teaching, or application phase which tells us – this is HOW. Then follows direction which is EXAMPLE or what you are learning is supposed to look like. God never begins with chastisement; He always begins with instruction or telling us what we need to know, then how to do it, and what it looks like in our daily life. This principle of discipline is presented in God’s dealings with Israel and is spelled out by Jesus and recorded in Matt. 18. As God The Father prepares us,
  2. GOD THE SON IS OUR PATTERN. Read Heb. 12: 1,2. V. 1 tells us progressive sanctification is to be the norm of daily living. The race is life; endurance, perseverance, patience are all words that mean a constant and consistent effort that doesn’t fluctuate. 1 Pet. 1:22 reminds us “Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in His steps.” 1 John 2:6 tells us “He who abides in Him ought to walk in the same way in which He walked.” The entire earthly life of Jesus says to us “here is The Example/pattern of what your life as an adopted child of God is to look like. The earthly life Jesus “teaches” us how what we read in Scripture is to be lived out in our daily lives. Finally: God is active in our sanctification in that:
  3. GOD THE HOLY SPIRIT PRODUCES sanctification within us. Read 1 Peter 1: 1, 2. The Holy Spirit influences and brings about true sanctification/separation as a result of desire from the heart of the believer. Our positive response to the promptings of the Holy Spirit to become more and more like Christ is what Scripture calls being led by the Holy Spirit. Now watch, how this works. When we allow God’s Holy Spirit to lead us He leads us in such a way that it becomes our heart’s desire to “walk by the Spirit” as Paul says in Rom. 8:14, and walking by the Spirit is a visible sign to us privately that we are progressing in our spiritual growth and being conformed to Christ’s image; it is also a visible sing to others around us that our salvation is real, and our commitment to Christ is also genuine. All this is just the beginning of the part God play in our sanctification. The more you study Scripture, the more you will see God is involved in every part of our life all the time, with the goal of leading us further and further away from the ungodliness of this sinful world, and closer and closer to Himself and a life of holiness and righteousness. Next time we will look our part or role in sanctification.

If we can help you with your spiritual questions, call us at 574-643-9419.

The Doctrine of Sanctification (Part 2)

Romans 6:1-14

We invite you to join us for worship each Sunday morning at 9:30. You can download our service on iTunes or tune in for “The Good Word” each day on AM 1230 WSAL or on Hoosier Country 103.7 FM just after 8am. As I often do, I am following the outline of a conservative theologian gifted in writing concise outlines. Sanctification is presented in Scripture in 3 stages:

I. IT’S ORIGINATION. There are some indicators that help us know in our own hearts, and are visible signs to other believers that our salvation is real, not fake. One of the first outward signs is a desire to obey Scripture. Read Titus 3:1-11; and 1 John 3:1-10. Both these passages are teaching us that when a person is truly saved, there is an immediate change in their life and lifestyle. The point being made is that true salvation instantly changes a person’s desire to begin to learn to follow Christ more and more, and the world less and less. A second indicator is a definite break/separation from a sinful life and lifestyle. Read Rom. 6 which is perhaps the best summary of what sanctification is, and how a real Christian allows the Holy Spirit to separate them from a life of sin and sinfulness. There are 2 truths we must admit concerning our sanctification:  First, we will never be completely free from sin in this life. The second truth is: We can never stop making every effort to overcome every sin that infects our life. Now listen, listen carefully to me! Neither of those truths can ever be used as an excuse to continue in sin. The desire to continue to become more like Christ is seen in the second stage of our sanctification which is:

II. MAGNIFICATION. Under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, Paul teaches continued/ magnified/progressive sanctification in almost all of his letters. Note in Rom. 6:11, 17, 18, Scripture teaches the temptations of sin are less tempting. We are dead to sin, but alive to God. Read Col 3:5-11. As the sanctification process continues to engulf more and more of our life, our soul or our mind, will, and emotions begin to take on the character and nature of Christ. As it fills our soul with it transforming power, and our thoughts, motives, and intents become more Christ-like, it suddenly becomes outwardly evident in our actions and speech that we are letting God do His purifying work in us. Often that is when we realize the determination to live a righteous life is more tempting, than sin! One of the most exciting truths about our sanctification will be its third stage which is:

III. CONSUMMATION. The consummation/completion of our sanctification happens in two parts. First, at our physical death our souls are completely sanctified when they go to be with the Lord. The second stage is that our bodies will be completely sanctified at the Rapture. Read Phil. 3:17-21; and 1 Cor. 15:42-49. I believe that our souls and our bodies will be reunited/rejoined at the time of the Rapture. Of all the events that follow for the Christian, there is none that indicate our bodies and souls are not reunited forever! Sanctification is the doctrine that teaches we don’t have to judge whether or not a person is a real Christian; all we have to do is watch and listen for them to tell us. Lord willing, next we will look at how God and His adopted children work together in sanctification.

If we can help you with your spiritual questions, call us at 574-643-9419.

The Doctrine of Sanctification (Part 1)

Romans 6:1-14

We invite you to join us for worship each Sunday morning at 9:30. You can download our service on iTunes or tune in for “The Good Word” each day on AM 1230 WSAL or on Hoosier Country 103.7 FM just after 8am. There are 3 truths involved in most relationships with others.

  1. We choose the people with whom we establish personal relationships;
  2. we are responsible for maintaining the relationship;
  3. we determine the quality/level of the relationship. How we interact with the other person determines how strong, intimate, and detailed the relationship becomes, and how long it stays intact.

Establishing, a personal relationship with Almighty God is similar, except

  1. God chooses with whom He has a personal relationship;
  2. God is responsible for maintaining the relationship;
  3. He sets the criteria that determines the quality of the relationship. And there is a 4th truth concerning a personal relationship with God, and that is
  4. the relationship is eternal. We learn these truths from the Biblical doctrines of election, calling and adoption.

Our response to and cooperation with God in allowing Him to conform us into Christ’s image determines the quality of the fellowship we have with God. Fellowship is the way the relationship expresses itself through the lives of those involved. God has given us very clear criteria we must follow if our fellowship with Him is to be dynamic, thriving, inviting and growing. We learn what that criteria is in the Biblical doctrine of sanctification. As one theologian explains: Sanctification is the progressive work of God and man that makes us more and more free from sin and more and more like Christ in our actual lives. Another way of saying this that is more practical is to say sanctification is: the gradual and progressive influence of the Holy Spirit in a person’s life that causes them to exchange unrighteousness for righteousness in their daily living. You have also heard sanctification defined as “separation” or “setting apart”. It is only to the degree we allow God to be the Sovereign Ruler of all parts of our lives that we become more and more like Christ. The only way to become more like Christ is to allow The Holy Spirit to influence us to obey all of God’s Word. Obedience is simply doing what God says, the way He says, when He says. An unsaved or unredeemed heart can’t submit to God and His Word because it is unable to let anyone else, especially God, be first or be in control. Sin can’t, and won’t allow humility! It is possible for a person to be a true Christian with much evidence of their salvation and love for Christ in their daily living, but have not come to the point in their life where they feel that can trust God to teach them humility. These people are not legalists or hypocrites, they are true men and women of God who, for some reason, have not come to the point in their Christian life where they are able to let others either show or teach them a different way to do something. Normally, such people are not arrogant or rude, they just have to do everything their way. They are telling their brothers and sisters in Christ, please be patient with me; I love my Savior, I am just struggling in this one area of sanctification. You can pray that God will open a door for you, or they will come to you and ask you to pray with/for them as they learn to trust God in that area of their life.

If we can help you with your spiritual questions, call us at 574-643-9419.

Becoming Part of God’s Family (Part 2)

1 John 3:1, 2

We invite you to join us for worship each Sunday morning at 9:30. You can download our service on iTunes or tune in for “The Good Word” each day on AM 1230 WSAL or on Hoosier Country 103.7 FM just after 8am. One of the most wonderful blessings we enjoy is that of family. Now I know every family has its issues. Someone once said, the trouble in most families is relative!  Today, we want to study 2 more truths concerning our adoption that will draw us deeper into this amazing salvation relationship we have with God our Creator. We are using one theologian’s definition of adoption, which, as you remember, *is an act of God whereby He makes us members of His family. I am continuing to follow one author’s outline and some of his information concerning adoption. Let’s look at:

  1. THE PARTICULARS OF OUR ADOPTION. Like all aspects of our salvation, adoption is a privilege that is a reward and result of our salvation. It is solely by God’s grace we are chosen and called or invited to be saved and adopted by Him. We are never to abuse our privilege as Sons of God. Adoption is a distinct act of God apart from all other blessings and benefits of salvation. Adoption is just one of the privileges that comes to us as a result of salvation, and it comes to us at a high price on God’s part. I like the way one author summarizes the particulars of our adoption when he says: Regeneration has to do with our spiritual life within. Without spiritual life, there is no hope of a relationship with God. Justification has to do with our standing before God’s law. Without a proper standing before God, there is no hope of fellowship with Him. Adoption has to do with our relationship with God as our Father, and puts is into a position to receive many of the greatest blessings we will know in eternity! Now let’s consider:
  2. THE PRIVILEGES OF OUR ADOPTION. We experience the privileges of adoption in at least 2 specific ways: 1st is the way God reveals Himself to us in a Father-child relationship. He does that In our prayers, In our perceptions; and in our provisions. God also reveals Himself as Father to us in Father-child fellowship. One of the 1st ways we see God relate to us in fellowship is in our practices. The 1st practice of a true Christian is prayer. Our relationship with God is eternally established through our adoption. Our fellowship is determined by our compliance and conformity to Scripture. God relates to us in Father-child fellowship in our perspectives. Read Eph. 4:1-16. All true Christians are members of God’s family the Church. As we show honor and respect to our parents and family elders, we are to show respect and honor to all others in our church family. All this doesn’t begin to explain the fullness of our adoption into God’s family. It does help us understand how important the privilege is of being related to God as His adopted child, and the ensuing fellowship that comes to us as a result. Once again it reveals to us God’s amazing grace.

If we can help you with your spiritual questions, call us at 574-643-9419. 

Becoming Part of God’s Family (Part 1)

John 1:1-13

We invite you to join us for worship each Sunday morning at 9:30. You can download our service on iTunes or tune in for “The Good Word” each day on AM 1230 WSAL or on Hoosier Country 103.7 FM just after 8am. Now that we have studied how God gives us new spiritual life in regeneration, we turn our attention now to the 6th doctrine in the systematic explanation of all that happens in our salvation, and that is the doctrine of adoption. Adoption is an act of God whereby He makes us members of His family. In all interpersonal interaction there are two “ships” that we need to understand. The 1st ship is relationship! Webster defines a relationship as “The quality or state of being related. A connection by blood, marriage, etc.”  When God adopts us into His family He is establishing a personal relationship with us. That relationship is established on the shed blood of His Son. Our relationship to God in salvation cannot be broken by us because we have nothing to do with any of the conditions that establish the adoption agreement, nor do we have any involvement in any of the conditions that hold the agreement in force. The second “ship” is fellowship. Mr. Webster defines fellowship as “friendly association; a mutual sharing, as of experience, activity, interest, etc; a group of people with the same interests; company; brotherhood.” Fellowship is the way the relationship expresses itself in the lives of those involved. The act of God in adopting us into His family, establishes an eternal relationship that is expressed to us through fellowship. With that information, let’s consider what Scripture tells us about:

  1. THE PROOF OF ADOPTION. We are related to God in Christ – Read Jn. 1:12; and Rom. 8:14-17. Read Eph. 4:1-16 where, because we are all adopted into God’s family as His children, we are also related to each other as brothers and sisters. Now let’s consider an important, though often ignored proof of adoption into God’s family; and that is proof in our daily lives. Read Gal. 4:1-7. The proof Paul is addressing is the proof of assurance, or reassurance that comes to our hearts when Satan attacks us with thoughts of doubt. Another way we see the proof of adoption through our daily lives is our obedience from our heart to ALL God’s Word! As with most everything, God gives overwhelming proof that we are adopted into His eternal family. Now let’s consider the:
  2. PROCESS OF OUR ADOPTION. have all heard people say, “I’ve been a Christian all my life”. The Biblical doctrine of adoption clearly teaches that no one is born a Christian. One writer says adoption is opposite to the idea of being born into a family. The very concept of adoption is a demonstration of mercy and grace in action. When a person is adopted it is because the one doing the adopting is compelled by the love in their heart to change the status of the person being adopted from being an orphan without a family, into the status of being a family member. In order to be saved a person must believe the truth about Christ being the Savior, and they must place their faith in Him. So adoption is one of God’s responses to saving faith. Or, faith comes before adoption. Read Gal. 3:23-30. We read John 1:12 earlier. There we learn “all who receive Christ as Savior are given the power to become children of God.” Again, notice – the power to become children of God – comes from God! Another part of the process of adoption is assurance of adoption is given by The Holy Spirit. Notice in Gal. 4:6 Paul tells us the result of being adopted children of God causes the Holy Spirit to call God “Father.” Look closely at Gal. 4:7. The manner in which God conducts the process of adoption is that we are adopted as legal heirs. Paul’s point in Galatians is that our salvation changes the way God sees us, from being viewed as His enemy, to being adopted into His family as a child. Take a few minutes to review this information and you will see how serious God is about establishing and maintaining an eternal relationship with you! How grateful we should be God chose us to be part of His family! Amen!

If we can help you with your spiritual questions, call us at 574-643-9419.