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Sun. 9:30am - 10:30am

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The Love of a Husband

Eph. 5:25-33

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. From the time of the Fall in Eden when Adam blamed Eve for making him sin, men in general have continued to oppress and suppress women. Unfortunately, the maltreatment of womankind has been practiced, and is still being practiced today, by men who claim to be men of God. It seems the universal theme song of the male side of the race is summed up in a statement from the OT and a statement from the NT. The statement from the OT comes from Gen. 3:16 when God says to Eve, “Your desire shall be for your husband, and he shall rule over you.” And the statement from the NT comes from Eph. 5:22, 23 “Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife…”Even men who don’t know where to find Genesis in the Bible will say, “It says in the Bible wives submit to your husbands.” The problem is in both cases those verses are taken out of context to make it sound like God created women to be slaves. However, you remember last month on Mother’s Day we studied the Scriptures in context to prove that God created woman to be man’s extraordinarily intelligent and imaginative equal partner. So on this Father’s Day let’s look at the role God has given to us as husbands and fathers as we consider, not just the dignity of man, as man, but also the high calling of God to the duties He has given us as His appointed head of the family. God begins with:

  1. LOVE YOUR WIVES. If you look up the word love in the dictionary inside a man’s head, love is defined as s-e-x! But when God defines love He spells it a-g-a-p-e. One of the simplest ways to define agape is to love as God loves. So the question is: what does agape love look like from a husband to his wife and children? God defines such love in these verses.
  2. A LOVE OF SIMILARITY. Men pay close attention here! God wastes no time in telling us as husbands exactly how/on what level/to what degree we are to love our wives. Do you see the parallelism here? As Christ loved – so husbands are to love! One writer says at this point, “the responsibility that is given to the man here is terrifying: to love their wives like Christ loved the church and gave Himself up for the church. ”This is not just a comparison, this statement, as one writer says – “places the husbands in emphatic parallelism with Christ.” Here the NIV makes that point very clearly by saying, “husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church…” The emphasis being on “just as. Our wives are to have the same value to us as the True, Universal Church has to Christ. The love a husband is to have for his wife and children is also:
  3. A LOVE OF SACRIFICE. As Christ gave Himself up for the church, so husbands are to give themselves up for their wives. If you thought that showing a love of similarity was terrifying – this love of sacrifice can be even more so! Why? Because the essence of the word sacrifice as it is used in this sentence means a willingness to die. Hey guys, if someone ask your wife – does your husband love you enough to give his lifeblood for you? What do you think the answer to that question is in the depths of her heart are only she and God go? In giving Himself up for the church, Christ became her bond servant or bond slave. That means He served/and still serves today, His bride, The Universal Church. Guys are you picking up on this? Sacrificial love means you submit to her, you become her servant. Now here is where this submission thing comes home to roost! This is where a real man of God will see and understand that God is teaching – if you want your wife to submit to you, then you teach her how to submit by submitting to Me as your Lord and Master 1st, then submitting to her by giving yourself up in ministry and service to/for her! Interesting how that works isn’t it? But wait there’s more!
  4. A LOVE OF SANCTIFICATION. There is an extremely important point that must be made here, and that truth is –only God can sanctify a heart. It is also true that only God can change a heart. Ladies you are not going to change our hearts, or even our minds! You might influence change – but you are not the agent that will bring about the change! Man, every word of that is true for us also. Only God can change a heart and the mind. On a much higher scale only God can sanctify, cleanse, or renew a sinful heart and make it a right heart before Him. We are given the responsibility and are accountable to God for the way we live our own personal lives in front of our wives and children. Our wives and children also need to see us studying and memorizing Scripture. Listen men, there is nothing “un-macho” about our wives and children seeing us struggle or scratch our heads or –here’s a really weird idea – seeking counsel and guidance from another man who is known to walk daily with the Lord! The result over our lifetime is that we become less stained, less wrinkled, and less blemished and more radiant. When that happens – God uses that spiritual growth to influence our wives and children to let Him sanctify them. Husbands are to love their wives with:
  5. A LOVE OF SERVICE! There are some important truths to notice in this comparison. 1st notice this love of service that cleanses and washes is a continual ministry that lasts an entire lifetime. Washing and cleansing are both continual processes. Turn to John 13:3-10. This love of service is how a love of sanctification happens. The more one reads and studies – and applies to their daily life what they have learned – the more separated from ungodliness they become because the living Word of God cleanses us deeper and deeper. Men, as we study and learn and grow, we are to share with our wives and children those things and encourage them to grow in their own personal walk with the Lord so they continually desire to become and remain washed and clean. A husband’s love to his wife is also:
  6. A LOVE OF SURRENDER. Now, guys, let me point out and explain something to you that will help you see why the love husband has for his wife must be a love of sanctification and service and what makes it so vitally important! A true man of God sees his wife (and children) as a gift from God. A true man of God also understands both his accountability and his responsibility to God for all that he has been given. Just as Christ is preparing The Church through continual sanctification and continual purification so that at His return She will be a proper bride adorned in His own righteousness and holiness for Him to present to Himself. So we as husbands are to continually nourish, teach, and lead our wives to Christ likeness, so that at our own personal judgment before Christ we can present them back to Christ as a radiant gift for Him. Read 2 Cor. 11:1, 2. You see Paul had the same idea about the Corinthians. So the question is: if you had to present your life to Christ today, would He be pleased with how you have prepared her? Another question you might consider is: how will you handle whatever time you have left to prepare her? And finally a husband’s love for his wife is to be:
  7. A LOVE OF SAFETY. A true man of God understands that not just his body, but his wife’s body also is the temple of the Holy Spirit. As such the husband is to care for and protect his wife in the same way he would care for and protect himself. Of course you understand this goes far deeper than just physical care and protection. It also includes mental, emotional, and especially spiritual nourishment and care. Again guys we have been given the responsibility for which we are accountable.  If you were to do a study of this section looking specifically for the requirements or duties assigned to the husband and the wife, you would discover the wife is told she is to submit to her husband and that she used to respect him. You can see God begins by telling husbands number 1 love your wives, and then God goes into great detail telling us 6 details that explain how we are to love our wives. So if you’re keeping score it is 2 to 7 in favor of the husband. Does that mean we win? What it means is that we have a far greater and much more detailed responsibility and accountability to our wives and children as the spiritual heads of our homes. And when you consider that God compares our wives to the church, and our ministry to our lives with Christ ministry to The Church we begin to see the dignity God has given to the institution of marriage.

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

Being Born Again (Part 2)

This message is a continuation of the previous week. The outlines are identical.

John 3:3-8

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. 2 Timothy 3:16 says, “All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching…” The word teaching can also be translated “doctrine.” Wayne Grudem defines doctrine as, “what the whole Bible teaches us today about some particular topic.” The study of just one doctrine at a time is called systematic theology. By studying Biblical doctrines individually, we are not only able to see how God teaches us that doctrine throughout Scripture; we are also able to learn how that doctrine functions as a necessary part or “ingredient” in our lives. We are studying the doctrine of regeneration. I am using Wayne Grudem’s outline because I like the way he so clearly explains the doctrine. He defines regeneration is a secret act of God in which He imparts (freely gives) new spiritual life to us.”

First, regeneration is: TOTALLY THE WORK OF GOD! Read John 1:9-13. Don’t miss that last phrase – everything that happens in verses 12 and 13 happens because God wills – or desires, or wants – it to happen. For anyone, anywhere who receives Christ as Savior, God then, immediately, instantly, regenerates, freely gives them new spiritual life! Read John 3:5-8; Eph. 2:4, 5 and 1 Peter 1:3; and you will see Scripture teaches that both God the Father and God the Holy Spirit bring about our regeneration.

There are some wonderful truths because regeneration is totally the work of God:

  1. Proves salvation must be a free gift of God’s grace. The Bible clearly teaches that all people everywhere are born dead in sin. To me the simplest and clearest proof that regeneration must find its origin in God’s grace is because dead people can’t do anything! If God doesn’t take the initiative, you will always be dead.
  2. That “regeneration is totally the work of God” provides security that cannot be broken! Paul tells us in the closing verses of Romans 8:28-33. Therefore because the new life we have is solely dependent upon God we can find great comfort that no matter what we do we cannot interrupt, cripple, or eliminate – even by mistake – the new life God gives to us in salvation.

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

Being Born Again (Part 1)

John 3:3-8

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. 2 Timothy 3:16 says, “All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching…” The word teaching can also be translated “doctrine.” Wayne Grudem defines doctrine as, “what the whole Bible teaches us today about some particular topic.” The study of just one doctrine at a time is called systematic theology. By studying Biblical doctrines individually, we are not only able to see how God teaches us that doctrine throughout Scripture; we are also able to learn how that doctrine functions as a necessary part or “ingredient” in our lives. We are studying the doctrine of regeneration. I am using Wayne Grudem’s outline because I like the way he so clearly explains the doctrine. He defines regeneration is a secret act of God in which He imparts (freely gives) new spiritual life to us.”

First, regeneration is: TOTALLY THE WORK OF GOD! Read John 1:9-13. Don’t miss that last phrase – everything that happens in verses 12 and 13 happens because God wills – or desires, or wants – it to happen. For anyone, anywhere who receives Christ as Savior, God then, immediately, instantly, regenerates, freely gives them new spiritual life! Read John 3:5-8; Eph. 2:4, 5 and 1 Peter 1:3; and you will see Scripture teaches that both God the Father and God the Holy Spirit bring about our regeneration.

There are some wonderful truths because regeneration is totally the work of God:

  1. Proves salvation must be a free gift of God’s grace. The Bible clearly teaches that all people everywhere are born dead in sin. To me the simplest and clearest proof that regeneration must find its origin in God’s grace is because dead people can’t do anything! If God doesn’t take the initiative, you will always be dead.
  2. That “regeneration is totally the work of God” provides security that cannot be broken! Paul tells us in the closing verses of Romans 8:28-33. Therefore because the new life we have is solely dependent upon God we can find great comfort that no matter what we do we cannot interrupt, cripple, or eliminate – even by mistake – the new life God gives to us in salvation.

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

Persistence in Prayer

Luke 11:5-13

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. Wouldn’t it be just wonderful if God answered every prayer with an immediate yes or no? Even an immediate “wait” would be helpful wouldn’t it? We all know that’s not the way God works! Paul told the Thessalonians to pray without ceasing. Do you know he most likely learned that from the Lord? In Luke 18:1 in the prayer of the persistent widow, Jesus is teaching that we, “ought always to pray and not lose heart.” In Luke 10:2 Jesus tells us to “pray earnestly” for people who will share the gospel with those around them. One writer says, “Persistent prayer requires patience, determination and, at times, a willingness to wrestle with God for the desired outcome.” There is a “1st truth” that must always be obeyed when offering any kind of prayer for anything! That 1st truth is: all prayer must be in harmony and accordance with God’s truth. Let’s consider some other Biblical principles concerning a persistent prayer life.

  1. SHOULD BE WITH PATIENCE AND PERSEVERANCE! Read 1Chron. 16. Beginning in verse 8 is David’s song of thanksgiving and praise to God because He helped David to return the Ark of the Covenant to Jerusalem and it has been placed in a tent that David erected for that purpose. The key thought here is seek continually.” Read Psalm 40: read 1 – 3. Verse 1 describes David’s attitude concerning his prayer requests to God. David was willing to be content, waiting on God to answer his prayers. David did not put a time limit on his prayers, nor did he give God instructions on how to answer David’s prayers. If you learn to pray with patience and perseverance as did David – you will learn all the same lessons David did! Persistent prayer: Persistent prayer:
  2. IS THE PRACTICE TAUGHT BY CHRIST! Read Luke 11:5-13. In the parable, Jesus tells us the one who comes knocking and asking is impudent, or persistent. Impudent carries with it the idea of contemptuous nest or cocky boldness or disregard of others. The New Living Translation uses the phrase “shameless persistence.” The man’s attitude is, in essence, “I don’t care if you’re in bed, I’m in a bind and I need your help, so get up and give me the bread.” In verses 9, 10 Jesus teaches us persistence in prayer is also a demonstration of our uncompromising faith that God will provide for us that which we need. Notice Jesus says keep asking which is an invitation to come to The Father with our request; but is not to be taken as an order to pray. Conversation with our Heavenly Father must, like all other facets of our salvation relationship to Him, find its origin in grace – not law! As we ask we are to keep seeking = a redeemed heart in pursuit of God to secure His abundant provision. And we are to keep knocking = an indication that we will not be deterred or distracted in our pursuit of God. Persistent prayer was
  3. EXEMPLIFIED AND PRACTICED by the early Church. Read Rom. 12:9-18. If you notice beginning in verse 9 through verse 18 Paul writes a list of Christian virtues and character qualities that are all to be a way of life for the true Christian. In verse 10 we are told to be strong “in the Lord, and in His might.” Here is a truth for you to remember: The armor of God is spiritual armor – because we are in a spiritual warfare – against spiritual forces of evil! All our spiritual weapons must be rooted and grounded in prayer which is our most powerful resource. Let me give you just 4 reasons to be persistent in prayer: 1. The Bible teaches us to do so – as we have learned today. 2. It reminds us of specific petitions we have brought to God. 3. It reminds us to live in such a way that God can answer our prayers. 4. It reminds us that we cannot live independently of God and His provisions for our daily lives. So if God teaches us, and invites us, to come to Him continually with our requests, it is in our best interest to do exactly as He says!

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

Someone to Stand in the Gap

Ezekiel 22:23-31

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. Our scripture this morning is only a few verses but what they say about standing in the gap could fill a library. Ezekiel preached from about 593 to 571 BC. He was a prophet in Israel during the time she was in exile to Babylonia for her disobedience and continual rejection of God’s Word. One might say America today is much like Israel in Ezekiel’s time. One might also say America’s destiny could be the same as Israel’s if America does not repent and turn back to the God who made her great! Notice that God speaking through His prophet Ezekiel makes it crystal clear that the national population was responsible for the national degradation. Pay attention to:

  1. The Misguidance of the Princes – v. 25. The princes were like our governors. The difference was there was no state government only federal government. They didn’t care about the people they governed; their only concern was personal gain.
  2. The Misdeeds of the Priests – v. 26. These were the seminary professors who were to teach the proper interpretation and practice of the law of God. However, instead of being men of The Word they had degenerated into nothing more than minions of the world profaning and desecrating the holiness of God and worship to Him!
  3. The Misconduct of the Politicians – v. 27. These officials were appointed by the high ranking nobility who were in fact to serve the people; instead the politicians made the people their slaves.
  4. The Misrepresentation of the Prophets – v. 28. These would have been the pastors of the day. They were to be examples of the moral and spiritual purity God expected from His people. Instead many became more interested in false prophecies, spiritism or delving into the spiritual underworld, and disregarding or whitewashing sin in general.
  5. The Misbehavior of the People – v. 29. If one reads vs. 25-28, then v. 29 is the only possible outcome. In any organization, it is true that as the leadership goes – so goes the organization. That is true whether the organization is one family, an entire nation, or an entire race! Now watch! Ezekiel turns from his miserable resume of the population, and he looks heavenward to hear:
  6. GOD’S INQUIRY (V. 30). Turn back to 13: read 1–7. As you know cities then had walls built around them for protection and defense from enemies. A breach or gap in the wall made it easy for the enemy to infiltrate and conquer the city. From a spiritual perspective a breach or a gap in the wall is an image that pictures how Satan can infiltrate and conquer the soul, to turn God’s people from Him and then destroy them. Here God was/is looking for God is looking for an individual who will in NT language “live a life worthy of the calling you have received, being an imitator of God.” Throughout Scripture we hear God issue such a proclamation at those times when cultures, societies, and nations had degenerated into moral and spiritual iniquity. People like Noah, Moses, Deborah – the only woman judge, Isaiah, Ezekiel, – all the profits, and finally and ultimately the Lord Jesus Christ have all stood in the gap – many of them standing alone – so God would withhold, or at least delay, His terrible judgment on the land and the people. Now notice:
  7. GOD’S INDIGNATION! 30, 31. It is expressed in the last 4 words of verse 30 – “but I found none.” We as a fallen race cannot begin to imagine what it must be like to God when He looks down on His creation and finds none righteous. I am still looking for a man among my people who should build up the wall and stand in the gap before me for the land that I should not destroy it – and I still find – none! I wonder if the reason there is no national spokesman for God in America today is because God sees America in verse 31 of Ezekiel 22!

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

Prayer as a Response to God (Part 2)

Isa. 6:1-7

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. Two weeks ago we began looking at prayer as a response to God. I would like to look at the 2nd half of that definition today as we focus on seeking God’s guidance concerning His will for our lives. You will remember in the model prayer recorded in Matt. 6, Jesus taught His disciples to pray, “Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” You also remember when Jesus prayed in Gethsemane just before His arrest, “Father, if You are willing, remove this cup from Me. Nevertheless, not My will, but Yours, be done.” People often say, “I wish I knew what God’s will for my life is.” God does not teach us to pray, us on the one hand, Thy will be done, and on the other hand, keep us in the dark by making us try to guess or wonder what His will for us is! Everything God expects us to do to obey Him, He clearly reveals to us. If you want to know what God’s will for your life is – read the Bible! So, now that we know God has taken guesswork out of the Christian life let’s look at how we can use prayer in response to seeking guidance for God’s will in our life. Let’s start with:

  1. PRAYER OF CONFESSION. Let’s focus on prayer of confession in response to God’s holiness. Read Isa. 6:1-7; 55:6-11. Of all God’s attributes, His holiness is the first and most important. Holiness is His covering attribute. In this passage there are three truths to keep in mind as we pray: 1st God’s consecration. We are never allowed to forget Who God is, and that He is, above all, Holy. The 2nd truth here is Isa.’s confession. Isa. is telling us here in light of God’s holiness as it is revealed to him from the throne room of heaven, he realizes that his awful and sinful condition is made abundantly clear to him. 3rd we see God’s compassion. Notice here how it is God Who sends the Seraph to Isa, not Isa going to God! It is always God’s compassion that causes Him to come to us calling us to redemption. When see prayer as a confession in response to God’s holiness, we are then able to offer
  2. PRAYER OF COOPERATION in response to God’s purposes. Go to Phil. 2: read 12, 13. Paul’s comment to work out your own salvation… does not mean one gets saved by works; it means because of the enormity and cost of the gift of salvation, every believer is to, as Peter tells us in ch.1 of his 2nd letter “make every effort, will all diligence” to make some spiritual progress in your life every day. How does one grow spiritually every day? See Ps. 119:105, 6. We find God’s formula for spiritual growth is to memorize and obey Scripture. Go to John 15:7, 8, 16. Now watch, there are two purposes here. We glorify God and prove we are true Christians. But Jesus adds another way. He says, “showing, (NIV) proving, (ESV) you are my disciples.” What is the best way to prove we are true Christians? See I, II above!! Also, viewing prayer as a response to God, includes:
  3. PRAYER OF CONFIDENCE. In response to God’s Mercy and Grace. Go to Neh. 1:4-11; now go to Ps. 123:1,2; There are many definitions for God’s grace. One of them is God providing forgiveness and salvation to those who don’t deserve it. As if that isn’t enough, God’s mercy is also extended to you. Like grace, there are many definitions for God’s mercy. Also, one of them is God withholding eternal punishment and separation from those who deserve it. We deserve hell and God offers us heaven! I trust you see that prayer is not just mind-numbing repetition of flowery, “King Jamesy,” or worn out and over-used phrases and words. True prayer is offered as a response to God’s call to us, and is the way we confess His holiness, and our sin to Him.

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

The Dignity of Woman

Gen. 2:7, 15-25

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. Our passage today teaches us the truth about how man was formed from the dust of the earth by God Himself, and how God breathed into the man’s nostrils the breath of life causing man to become a living soul. God’s inspired Word teaches us that woman was also handcrafted by God Himself from the rib taken out of Adam. And then, watch, the Bible teaches that God brought the woman to the man! Listen up! Every mother – and father – and every young woman – and every young man needs to hear, believe, and trust this Biblical truth: God will bring your spouse to you! Nowhere in Scripture does God ever even hint that He leaves finding the one and only completer He has prepared for any of His adopted children to chance! Also, Christians should never date a non-Christian. Go to 2 cor. 6:14. Never date anyone, even a Christian, you wouldn’t marry. Why is that? if you think enough of someone to date them, for any reason, it isn’t very far, or very long, from thinking enough of them to date them, to thinking enough of them to give them your heart. Once you think enough of someone to give them your heart – it is extremely difficult to take it back. Another way to say that is once you’re in love with someone, it’s nearly impossible to stop loving them. Now, just a word of caution. Be extremely careful about dating someone with different doctrinal beliefs. Does that mean you have to agree on every word of every doctrine? Of course not! But there ought to be no question in your agreement on the fundamental doctrines of the faith. Today is Mother’s Day so let’s consider some Biblical truths concerning one of God’s most amazing creations – a woman! 1st let’s consider:

  1. Her Purpose in Creation. There are 2 fascinating truth is that every man should know and remember! 1st she was created from one of Adam’s ribs taken from his side to be his extraordinary counterpart. She was not taken from his head to rule over him, nor was she taken from his foot to be trampled by him – she was taken from his side to be nurtured, respected, and cherished because of her extreme value. 2nd Eve, as a woman, and all women everywhere are to be recognized as man’s equal completion. It is fascinating that in Hebrew the word rib means half circle. So when God took the half circle from Adam, and created Eve with her own ribs, half circles, God then brought them together and they became one each completing the other! If man is God’s crowning glory to creation, then woman is certainly the unique, one-of-a-kind, precious gemstone that is the radiance that gives the crown its extraordinary value. Now let’s consider:
  2. God’s Plan for her in creation. 1st She gives aid and support to her husband. 2nd she is God’s agent to provide wise counsel and guidance so her husband is able to carry out his God-given ministry, and therefore receive blessings from the Lord that could not be achieved without her help. (Spiritual/Mental support). 3rd She is God’s design for the blessing of children. Want to see something interesting? Go to Gen. 3:14. Read 14a; now go look at v. 17 –read. Now look at v. 16-read. What’s not there that was in the other 2 verses? Right, no curse! Had God cursed childbirth, He would have been condemning His own creation. He can’t do that – because God does not create imperfection!

When God brings a man and a woman together in the bonds of marriage they are united as one flesh in spiritual union – in mental and emotional union – and in physical union – and that is the only holy and righteous and pure plan ordained by God. It is indeed a high calling and holy privilege to be called woman.

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