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Sun. 9:30am - 10:30am

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God’s Government (Part 2)

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James 1:2-8

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. Last week we began studying how God governs or manages everything in creation. One of the most comforting thoughts is that God will always achieve His purposes in his creation and sin can never stop those purposes from being accomplished. Today I want to share with you three more truths from Millard Erickson’s outline about God’s sovereign control over all of creation.

  • GOD’S GOVERNING ACTIVITY IS UNIFYING! The heart of God and His love, grace, mercy, and His plan of redemption are all designed to draw a person’s life into harmony with God’s will. God has told us what we must do to live a life as He expects His adopted children to do. Go to James 1: read 2-8. James is explaining to us that at different times, places, and in various ways God intervenes in our life in such a way that we understand what we have to do to bring our life into harmony with His will. When we freely choose to submit to God, to follow the prompting of the Holy Spirit to do what God wants us to do, the way He wants us to do it, and at the time he wants us to do it – then the result is that what God wants for us, and what we want for us become harmonious or unified. If you will spend some time thinking about that you will discover how amazing it is; and you will also realize that God is constantly drawing you to Him. The interesting thing about God drawing you is the more He draws you to Him – the more you want to be drawn to Him!
  • GOD’S GOVERNING ACTIVITY IS UNHAMPERED! Here are a couple questions for you: is it okay with you that God knows some things you don’t? Is it also okay with you that you don’t or can’t understand everything God tells us in His Bible? The reality is that there are some things it’s just not necessary for us to understand. God’s sovereignty, and His governing of creation is one of the things we don’t need to understand. Proverbs 3:5, 6 is just one passage that tells us that very thing. The point is this: God knows exactly what He is doing at all times, why He is doing it, and exactly what He wants His activity to accomplish.
  • GOD’S GOVERNING ACTIVITY IS UNQUESTIONABLE! As with all things concerning God, nothing about His governing activity over His creation ever contradicts anything about His nature or character. For example, the old saying it is never right to do wrong to do right! When a person believes that God is leading them to follow a certain course of action, when all things are the way God wants them, He lets us know we are on the right track. And once you have experienced the providence of God in your life in this manner – you will understand what a comforting and amazing doctrine this is.

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

God’s Government (Part 1)

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GOD’S GOVERNMENT      PART ONE

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. Today we are going to examine God’s government. One way to define God’s governing relationship to His creation according to Millard Erickson is by defining it as “God being actively engaged in achieving His purposes in His creation and that sin cannot thwart those purposes.” I’m going to use Mr. Erickson’s outline. We will look at the first 4 truths today, and the other 3 next week.

  • GOD’S GOVERNING ACTIVITY IS UNERRING! God’s sovereignty/providence is what directs the universe, and everything that happens in it. And it is unerring at every point! Caution! Do not confuse or mistake God’s perfect guidance over all of your life for a life of ease. Any true man or woman of God knows by personal experience that God’s perfect plan sometimes leads us through hot fires, dark valleys, severe trials, sharp rebukes, and other life changing processes that are neither easy nor pleasant while they are being experienced. Finally,
  • GOD’S GOVERNING ACTIVITY IS UNPREJUDICED! In His sermon on the Mount Jesus says, “God causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and unrighteous.”James 1:17 = “every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from The Father of the heavenly lights, Who does not change like shifting shadows.” There are certain benefits or blessings that God’s adopted children enjoy, that the unsaved and ungodly do not. However, God extends much of His goodness to all people everywhere. God’s universal laws work for all people whether saved or unsaved. Gravity keeps everything everyone that it’s supposed to in contact with the surface of the earth; God’s laws of physics are applied consistently everywhere to everyone. The love of God, His offer of salvation to all people without regard to the color of their skin or where they live –all have the same effect on people around the world. Notice next
  • GOD’S GOVERNING ACTIVITY IS UNIVERSAL! David says in Ps. 103:19 = “His kingdom rules over all.” We read in Daniel 4:35 “He does according to His will in the host of heaven and among the inhabitants of the earth; and none can stay His hand or say to Him, ‘What are you doing?’” Paul writes in 1 Cor. 15:27, “ God has put all things in subjection under His feet.” What these Scriptures and others like them are telling us is that God’s governing hand reaches two and touches every part of creation. The emphasis in Scripture is on the good that results from God’s universal governing activity. Jesus meeting the Samaritan woman at the well; Jesus healing the blind man by the pool; or perhaps something a little closer to home! How about those times you have been involved in conversations that’s began with some general topic – and turned to a discussion concerning the Lord? A coworker approached you asking you to pray for them – or ask you to answer a Biblical question? Please understand beloved, those are not random acts of chance! All of those are deliberately planned events that are result of God’s governing His creation. And here is what you should remember about that – sometimes God includes you in His government! Think about that! Now notice
  • GOD’S GOVERNING ACTIVITY IS UNIQUE! God’s family of adopted children is now and always will be innumerable. Only God Himself knows the number of people that will eternally inhabit the new earth. But here’s something you must remember –God calls every person to salvation individually! God does not have a family made of cookie-cutter children. You are as uniquely individual as your DNA. In a culture and society where people are being reduced to numbers, God’s children can be confident that He does not allow them to get lost in the shuffle. So beloved, if you are a true child of God rest assured you have His full attention – does he have yours?

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

Guest Speaker: Herb Bruss

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This week we invite Herb Bruss to deliver the message that God has given to him for us.

Kept by the Power of God

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Colossians 1:15-20

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. To the true Christian man or woman of God this great doctrine of the providence of God brings the ultimate confidence and security to their hearts in knowing that “for those who love God all things work together for good…” We know that because God’s way is perfect (and David uses exactly those words in Psalm 18:30) all God wills is always flawless and righteous.

  1. THE INTERPRETATION OF PRESERVATION! Millard Erickson defines preservation as God’s maintaining his creation in existence. Wayne Grudem defines it as God keeping all things existing, and maintaining the properties with which he created them. When we say everything today is the way God created it we mean – water has always been two parts hydrogen and one part oxygen in every molecule – or water has always been water. Grass has always been grass. Let’s consider:
  2. THE IMPLICATIONS OF PRESERVATION! There are some important truths we need to notice at this point! As we examine these truths they begin to help us see how intricately and intimately God is involved with us as individuals, not just as the human race. The first truth is: All preservation is always in the present tense! Right now you are on God’s mind and He is keeping/holding you in existence, as He has done since your conception. And that just concerns your physical life here and now. The truth is you have been in God’s mind from eternity past until the time you were conceived – then you were not only in His mind, but you became an eternal part of His creation. Depending on both your current relationship and fellowship with God as one of His adopted children – knowing that preservation is always in the present tense – should bring to your daily life security, peace, joy, confidence, and a significant sense of humble gratitude. It is God who maintains our existence, and everything about it! Think of it this way – you continue to exist because God wants you too! A second truth that we should understand concerning preservation is that it should be thought of in a very positive way! We know that God will always act to direct all the affairs of our life so the ultimate result is always the best possible way to the best possible goal! Another truth to consider is preservation is also a means of God’s provision. OT history is filled with examples of God’s provision for His people. NT history records that Jesus told The 12, not to take any provisions with them as He sent them out to preach the gospel, because God would provide for them all they would need – including the words they would speak on His behalf. Now let’s consider:
  • THE IMPACT OF PRESERVATION! Go with me to Phil. 1. Look at v. 6. The 1st impact of God’s preservation is that *He will finish the good work he has started in you. God will not leave any part of His creation undone or unfinished – and that includes you! What is the good work God has started in you? A short, clear answer can be found in Romans 8:29 where God tells us His adopted children have been “predestined to be conformed to the image of Christ.” The bottom line is this – if you are a true Christian – it doesn’t make any difference what circumstances you’re under, or what “lot” you consider your life to be – God will finish the good work He has started in you!

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

An Introduction to God’s Providence

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Hebrews 1:1-3

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. We must understand there are some things we just don’t and never will understand about our infinite, and eternal God. We must come to the point where we say I just don’t get it, but God does and that is what is important to me. Before we can begin to study what God does in salvation, we must first study how and why God does what He does. The only starting point that ultimately leads to complete harmony, peace, and as much understanding as is humanly possible is – in the beginning God! To start anywhere else can only lead to confusion, turmoil, and utter despair. When we start with, “in the beginning God” we have a rational explanation for the great doctrine of the providence or sovereignty of God. We believe in a personal God Who is infinite in His wisdom, power and righteousness or goodness. We also believe God is the one and only Creator of all that exists; which, by right of creation, makes Him the exclusive owner of all creation in all its parts. We further believe that as a righteous and Holy God, He will act toward His creation in a manner that is always consistent with Who He is. A. H. Strong, defines God’s providence as (on your outline) the actual care and control of the physical, mental, and moral universe. Like all Biblical doctrines, this one can become overwhelming – because it stretches from eternity past into eternity future. So what I want to try to do is answer the question: why do I need to know this in the first place?

In his book, Christian Theology, Millard Erickson gives a clear 4-point answer that helps us see the need, at least for a fundamental knowledge of this doctrine.

First, it is necessary to study the doctrine of providence because it explains how and why God preserves his creation.

Second, the doctrine of providence explains how God is actively engaged in achieving his purposes in his creation and that sin cannot thwart those purposes. Read Ps. 135:5-7; Eph. 3:7-13.

Third, the doctrine of providence explains how prayer brings the Christian in line with God’s purposes, thus enabling God to accomplish those purposes. Read Ps. 84:11; 1 Cor. 12;9-10.

Fourth, the doctrine of providence explains how and why God uses miracles to fulfill his purposes. Read Josh. 10:12-14; John 9:1-7. Mr. Erickson then makes a great concluding statement when he says, for the believer; God is ever present and active in caring for him or her. The Providence or sovereignty of God over all creation should be, to the true Christian, one of the most comforting and reassuring truths in all of Scripture.

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

How Does a Person Become Saved?

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Romans 8:28-30

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. I want to do today is introduced you to the doctrines that are involved in a person’s “salvation event!” So the question is: what happens when a person gets saved? This “order of salvation” as it is affectionately referred to when we systematically study the doctrines of Scripture is for the purpose of helping us grasp the sheer magnitude of God’s amazing grace and mercy in offering redemption to a fallen and doomed race.

The first doctrine that comes into play where salvation is concerned is the doctrine of election. Frankly, this is a hard doctrine to understand. However, once we have an understanding of this view from inside God’s heart as He reveals it in His Word, it causes us to fall to our knees in humble gratefulness that we have experienced it.

The second doctrine is that of the gospel call. A person who is not called cannot be saved. Another way to say that is this – the only way the lost and dying learn that their only hope of avoiding eternity in hell is found in salvation through the Lord Jesus Christ– is from the Scriptures, and from those of us who have been redeemed.

The third doctrine is that of regeneration. As the name implies this doctrine teaches us that it is God who “restarts” or begins anew the spiritual life that was taken away in Eden when Adam and Eve committed the original sin.

The fourth doctrine is the doctrine of conversion. To me this doctrine reveals the infinite generosity of God towards those He calls to salvation.

The fifth doctrine of salvation is the doctrine of justification. By the fact that God sees us as justified or legally qualified to stand before Him in a right relationship, we can begin to understand the great burden that was lifted from us because Christ stood condemned in our place.

The sixth doctrine of salvation is the doctrine of adoption. This doctrine teaches us that God does not redeem us then leave us alone and unprotected in the world from which He saved us. God changes us from being His enemy by re-creating us to be His children in the image of His own Son.

The seventh doctrine of salvation is the doctrine of sanctification. This is another doctrine that God designed to prove to us salvation is real.

The eighth doctrine we’ll study is the doctrine of perseverance. Part of this doctrine teaches us about our eternal security in Christ; and part of it teaches us why true Christians have the desire to become as much like Christ in this life as is humanly possible.

The ninth doctrine of salvation is the doctrine of death! Someone might say wait a minute –salvation has to do with life—not death! Our response to that person is then you better check your Bible again! Physical death is the way we are ushered into the presence of our Savior. But we also learn about the death of our old self.

The tenth doctrine of salvation is the doctrine of glorification. Receiving our resurrection body is only part of the glorification that God has in store for us. Try as you will – you cannot begin to imagine how glorious heaven and everything about the eternal life after this one will be!

If we can help you answer questions concerning spiritual life, or the Scriptures, please call us at 574- 643-9419.

Brave Acts of the Faithful and Compassionate

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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. This week, we invite Bill Brittain of Baptist Children’s Home to share with us at our annual Casual Sunday and Church Picnic.