Service Times

Worship Service
Sun. 9:30am - 10:30am

Sunday School
Sun. 10:45am - 11:20am

Prayer Meeting & Bible Study
Wed. 6:30pm - 7:30pm

Crusaders Club (Seasonal)
Thurs. 3:00pm - 5:30pm

Crusaders Teens (Seasonal)
Thurs. 6:00pm - 8:00pm

Introduction to Conversion

Acts 3:17-21

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. In recent weeks and months we have been studying what happens to us when we accept God’s gracious invitation for salvation. It is the desire of my heart that as you learn all that God has done, and continues to do, to provide salvation – the understanding and value of your salvation grows into a deeper and richer desire to be, literally, consumed with God in all parts of your daily living. So far we have studied the doctrines of election, calling, and regeneration. There are at least 3 truths these amazing doctrines have in common: They all originate in God’s heart, they all demonstrate God’s grace and mercy, and God is the only Active Agent in them. Your salvation was solely God’s idea! Scripture makes it very clear that the effect of sin causes all people to run from God with no desire to seek Him, let alone have a personal relationship with Him! He chose you to be His adopted child because He 1st loved you – then brought you into being and lead you to Calvary. Beloved, if you don’t learn anything else from these magnificent truths learn that you are saved because God, not you, designed and desired it. Salvation always begins in the heart of God and moves under His direction toward the heart of Man. From God’s perspective salvation might look something like this. *God’s willing response to man’s willful choice to sin is salvation, which is God’s gift of grace (desire) that results in spiritual life. From our perspective, conversion is (as defined by Wayne Grudem): Our willing response (desire) to the gospel call, or invitation to be saved, resulting in spiritual life in Christ, as God’s adopted child. Notice for the first time WE take an active role in our salvation. At this point God has done all that is necessary to prepare us to receive new spiritual life in Christ. Conversion applies only to us – never to God. Now watch how these 2 truths begin to come together in a harmony that could only be by divine design! God’s willing desire to save and our willing desire to be saved meet in Christ! Now that is the theology or the information – here is the practical part or the application: God chooses/desires to give us life in Christ – we choose/desire to give up life in sin. The Biblical doctrine of conversion – where we get involved in our salvation – says to God, “I knowingly and willingly agree to Your terms of salvation, no exceptions! Someone might say, “I didn’t know what I was getting into; I didn’t know my life would have to change it so radically. I just got save so I could go to heaven.” Here are 2 more truths about salvation: no one knows or understands from the beginning what all is involved. The reason is called progressive revelation – which means God tells us things on a need to know basis. The 1st and most important thing every human being needs to know as soon as possible is they are in desperate need of a Savior, and how to apply His redeeming work to their life to eradicate their eternal sin penalty. The 2nd truth is: nowhere does the Bible ever teach the reason for salvation is to go to heaven. The reason for salvation is to reestablish the proper relationship and fellowship between God and Man that is lost in sin. Conversion means turning. It means a complete 180° turn from sin. The turn from sin is repentance and it means abandonment, or leaving permanently and forever. Next time we will begin to look at how repentance and faith work together to raise us from our knees in the brokenness of sin at Calvary – and transform us into the image of Christ that we will forever bear with him in his heaven. If we can help you answer your spiritual questions, call us at (574) 643-9419.

What Being Born Again Looks Like (Part 2)

This is a continuation of the previous message. The notes are the same.

1 John 3:4-10

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 have studied an introduction to the doctrine of regeneration. You remember one writer defines regeneration as = a secret act of God in which He imparts or freely gives new spiritual life to us. God tells us many times throughout the NT that we have new spiritual life in Christ, and it is designed to reveal itself in our changed lives. Our focal passage in Acts 16 teaches that one result of regeneration is that it opens our hearts to respond to Scripture. I want to share with you this morning 3 truths that teach us how God has designed this important doctrine as a deeply personal and intimate proofs that our own salvation is real – and also how it is a public invitation to others to come to Christ. The 1st truth is that regeneration:

  1. PROHIBITS US FROM LIVING IN CONTINUAL SIN. Read 1 John 3:4-11. John is teaching us that regeneration causes us to live in accordance with God’s law. The first word in verse 4 is the most important! John is making it very clear here there is no person, no group so elite they are above God’s laws. John says everyone – there are no exceptions. Look back up at 3:29. The emphasis is on “everyone who practices righteousness has been born of Him.” The contrast being made here is between the life, and lifestyle of the true Christian, and the life, and lifestyle of the ungodly and unsaved. The point is this: the unsaved and ungodly person who practices sin does so willingly and habitually. No Christian will ever live a sinless life this side of heaven. That is not John’s point. We will all continue to sin until the Lord comes to take us out of this sin infected world. The truly regenerated heart knows when it has sinned, and it is immediately broken and grieved by it; a truly regenerated heart also immediately goes to the Lord in prayer asking forgiveness and greater effort in expelling it from daily life. Regeneration also:
  2. PROMOTES LIVING IN CONTINUAL SUBMISSION. Read 1 Jn. 5:1-5. Here John is teaching us that regeneration causes us to love in accordance with God’s law. Now he is talking about the inward man, or how regeneration affects the soul. Notice v. 3. This is where John points out one of the radical changes true regeneration, or spiritual life, brings about in a person’s life. He makes a statement “God’s commandments are not burdensome.” God’s commands do not oppress or grind or crush one into the ground. When John tells us God’s laws are not burdensome, he is simply repeating what Jesus told the people in the Sermon on the Mount. Now, look at v. 4 where John teaches us why true Christians find it easy to obey God’s commands. Believers are given power from God to obey His commandments. I’ve given you several verses on your outline that you can read that verify that truth. Go to 4: read 1 – 6. The concept that John is teaching here is that regeneration or new spiritual life brings with it the power of God that gives us the ability, and the desire, and putting forth continual effort to overcome the temptation, pressure, influence, and seduction of all that is ungodly – or what is commonly referred to in Scripture as the world! So here we learn that regeneration – in simple terms – means true Christians not only love keeping God’s commands, they find it both doable and delightful. This mysterious doctrine of regeneration also:
  • PROVIDES LIVING IN CONTINUAL SHELTER! Read 1 John 5:18. Notice how John continually returns to the truth that regeneration causes one to abandon sin and sinfulness as a continuing way of life. One writer says it this way, “John is affirming, new conduct should follow from new birth.” Regeneration brings with it divine protection that we don’t realize is there. This doctrine of regeneration is one of the most amazing and all of Scripture. It brings us from spiritual death to spiritual life that is generated by the Holy Spirit Who lives within us. I think it would be totally improper to wait till we get to heaven to praise and thank Him. We should be doing that all day every day of our lives.

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

What Being Born Again Looks Like (Part 1)

1 John 3:4-10

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 have studied an introduction to the doctrine of regeneration. You remember one writer defines regeneration as = a secret act of God in which He imparts or freely gives new spiritual life to us. God tells us many times throughout the NT that we have new spiritual life in Christ, and it is designed to reveal itself in our changed lives. Our focal passage in Acts 16 teaches that one result of regeneration is that it opens our hearts to respond to Scripture. I want to share with you this morning 3 truths that teach us how God has designed this important doctrine as a deeply personal and intimate proofs that our own salvation is real – and also how it is a public invitation to others to come to Christ. The 1st truth is that regeneration:

  1. PROHIBITS US FROM LIVING IN CONTINUAL SIN. Read 1 John 3:4-11. John is teaching us that regeneration causes us to live in accordance with God’s law. The first word in verse 4 is the most important! John is making it very clear here there is no person, no group so elite they are above God’s laws. John says everyone – there are no exceptions. Look back up at 3:29. The emphasis is on “everyone who practices righteousness has been born of Him.” The contrast being made here is between the life, and lifestyle of the true Christian, and the life, and lifestyle of the ungodly and unsaved. The point is this: the unsaved and ungodly person who practices sin does so willingly and habitually. No Christian will ever live a sinless life this side of heaven. That is not John’s point. We will all continue to sin until the Lord comes to take us out of this sin infected world. The truly regenerated heart knows when it has sinned, and it is immediately broken and grieved by it; a truly regenerated heart also immediately goes to the Lord in prayer asking forgiveness and greater effort in expelling it from daily life. Regeneration also:
  2. PROMOTES LIVING IN CONTINUAL SUBMISSION. Read 1 Jn. 5:1-5. Here John is teaching us that regeneration causes us to love in accordance with God’s law. Now he is talking about the inward man, or how regeneration affects the soul. Notice v. 3. This is where John points out one of the radical changes true regeneration, or spiritual life, brings about in a person’s life. He makes a statement “God’s commandments are not burdensome.” God’s commands do not oppress or grind or crush one into the ground. When John tells us God’s laws are not burdensome, he is simply repeating what Jesus told the people in the Sermon on the Mount. Now, look at v. 4 where John teaches us why true Christians find it easy to obey God’s commands. Believers are given power from God to obey His commandments. I’ve given you several verses on your outline that you can read that verify that truth. Go to 4: read 1 – 6. The concept that John is teaching here is that regeneration or new spiritual life brings with it the power of God that gives us the ability, and the desire, and putting forth continual effort to overcome the temptation, pressure, influence, and seduction of all that is ungodly – or what is commonly referred to in Scripture as the world! So here we learn that regeneration – in simple terms – means true Christians not only love keeping God’s commands, they find it both doable and delightful. This mysterious doctrine of regeneration also:
  • PROVIDES LIVING IN CONTINUAL SHELTER! Read 1 John 5:18. Notice how John continually returns to the truth that regeneration causes one to abandon sin and sinfulness as a continuing way of life. One writer says it this way, “John is affirming, new conduct should follow from new birth.” Regeneration brings with it divine protection that we don’t realize is there. This doctrine of regeneration is one of the most amazing and all of Scripture. It brings us from spiritual death to spiritual life that is generated by the Holy Spirit Who lives within us. I think it would be totally improper to wait till we get to heaven to praise and thank Him. We should be doing that all day every day of our lives.

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

Freedom: From God’s Perspective (Part 2)

This is a continuation of the previous message. The notes are the same.

Romans 6:5-11

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. Webster’s New World dictionary defines freedom as, “not under the control of some other person or some arbitrary power; able to act or think without compulsion or arbitrary restriction; having liberty. ”True freedom is freedom from an existence which in sin leads through the law to death. Often in Scripture the meaning of freedom is fashioned by contrast with the bondage of the slave. See Romans 6:5 – 23. According to the Theological Dictionary of the New Testament (TDNT), in the NT freedom is expressed as freedom from sin, from the law, and from death. One writer says, “The great freedoms of the Christian life are: (1) freedom from the ruling power of sin in our lives; (2) freedom from guilt because our sins have been forgiven by God; and (3) freedom from the impossible obligation of attempting to earn favor with God through perfect obedience.” I’m going to use the statement from the TDNT and this last statement as my outline for today. So true freedom begins with:

  1. FREEDOM FROM SIN Read Jn. 8:31-33. Notice first that both the promise and the principal are conditional. The entire law of God is summarized, by God Himself, with the condition of personal choice. The entire summary is if (your choice) you obey Me I will bless you, but if (your choice) you disobey Me I will curse you. So if you want to reduce this entire doctrine to its simplest statement – freedom from sin is a personal choice. Notice in verse 31 Jesus says, “if you abide in My word,” John wrote, “if you continue.” The entire 15th chapter of John has to do with abiding, continuing, remaining, and enduring in Christ and His Word. John’s point is to teach us that all things concerning our salvation relationship to God are as permanent, enduring, and as unchangeable as God Himself. The only starting point is, if (your choice) you want to be free from sin and its ruling power in your life. True freedom is also:
  2. FREEDOM FROM THE LAW. Read Rom. 7:1-6. Paul’s statement here is an analogy to help us understand how our salvation changes our relationship to the law. There are at least 3 ways our salvation frees us from the law: First, we are free from the provocation to defy the law. Read Rom. 7:7-20. From the time God told Adam and Eve not to eat off the tree of the knowledge and good and evil, until the time they were tempted, was the law in effect? Absolutely! Look at v. 8. Until Adam and Eve were tempted to defy/disobey God, they were dead to sin! Remember the law – don’t eat – is in effect. And as you know their personal choice was to leave the freedom from sin in which they were created, and plunge themselves and the entire race into the slavery of sin. Second, we are also free from the perfection demanded by the law. Read James 2:8-13. God makes a very clear-cut line between right and wrong, just and unjust, and holy and unholy. From God’s perspective one is either completely righteous, just, and holy – or they are completely wrong, unjust and unholy. Here’s another way to say it: God never tolerates or allows just a little sin! A morally perfect God demands-rightfully so-moral perfection from His creation. Third, we are free from the penalty for disobeying the law. God makes the penalty for disobeying the law very clear from the beginning when He tells Adam and Eve “eat of the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil and you will die.”  As we all know, Jesus Christ, the Son of God, God in the flesh, lived a perfect, sin-free life which qualified Him to be the sacrifice for mankind. This sets us free from the bondage and penalty of the law and that freedom includes what is perhaps the greatest freedom of all:
  3. FREEDOM FROM DEATH! Read Rom. 6:20-23. Paul’s central theme, not just here but throughout this chapter as well as chapters 7, 8 is that all those who are truly born again into spiritual life through faith in Christ as Savior, have been set free from the bondage and eternal death-penalty sin carries with it. To be free from death is to be free from the fearful reality of being separated from God for all eternity – that is what hell is! Our salvation gives to us the freedom to choose to do right according to God’s Word.

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

Freedom: From God’s Perspective (Part 1)

Romans 6:5-11

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. Webster’s New World dictionary defines freedom as, “not under the control of some other person or some arbitrary power; able to act or think without compulsion or arbitrary restriction; having liberty. ”True freedom is freedom from an existence which in sin leads through the law to death. Often in Scripture the meaning of freedom is fashioned by contrast with the bondage of the slave. See Romans 6:5 – 23. According to the Theological Dictionary of the New Testament (TDNT), in the NT freedom is expressed as freedom from sin, from the law, and from death. One writer says, “The great freedoms of the Christian life are: (1) freedom from the ruling power of sin in our lives; (2) freedom from guilt because our sins have been forgiven by God; and (3) freedom from the impossible obligation of attempting to earn favor with God through perfect obedience.” I’m going to use the statement from the TDNT and this last statement as my outline for today. So true freedom begins with:

  1. FREEDOM FROM SIN Read Jn. 8:31-33. Notice first that both the promise and the principal are conditional. The entire law of God is summarized, by God Himself, with the condition of personal choice. The entire summary is if (your choice) you obey Me I will bless you, but if (your choice) you disobey Me I will curse you. So if you want to reduce this entire doctrine to its simplest statement – freedom from sin is a personal choice. Notice in verse 31 Jesus says, “if you abide in My word,” John wrote, “if you continue.” The entire 15th chapter of John has to do with abiding, continuing, remaining, and enduring in Christ and His Word. John’s point is to teach us that all things concerning our salvation relationship to God are as permanent, enduring, and as unchangeable as God Himself. The only starting point is, if (your choice) you want to be free from sin and its ruling power in your life. True freedom is also:
  2. FREEDOM FROM THE LAW. Read Rom. 7:1-6. Paul’s statement here is an analogy to help us understand how our salvation changes our relationship to the law. There are at least 3 ways our salvation frees us from the law: First, we are free from the provocation to defy the law. Read Rom. 7:7-20. From the time God told Adam and Eve not to eat off the tree of the knowledge and good and evil, until the time they were tempted, was the law in effect? Absolutely! Look at v. 8. Until Adam and Eve were tempted to defy/disobey God, they were dead to sin! Remember the law – don’t eat – is in effect. And as you know their personal choice was to leave the freedom from sin in which they were created, and plunge themselves and the entire race into the slavery of sin. Second, we are also free from the perfection demanded by the law. Read James 2:8-13. God makes a very clear-cut line between right and wrong, just and unjust, and holy and unholy. From God’s perspective one is either completely righteous, just, and holy – or they are completely wrong, unjust and unholy. Here’s another way to say it: God never tolerates or allows just a little sin! A morally perfect God demands-rightfully so-moral perfection from His creation. Third, we are free from the penalty for disobeying the law. God makes the penalty for disobeying the law very clear from the beginning when He tells Adam and Eve “eat of the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil and you will die.”  As we all know, Jesus Christ, the Son of God, God in the flesh, lived a perfect, sin-free life which qualified Him to be the sacrifice for mankind. This sets us free from the bondage and penalty of the law and that freedom includes what is perhaps the greatest freedom of all:
  3. FREEDOM FROM DEATH! Read Rom. 6:20-23. Paul’s central theme, not just here but throughout this chapter as well as chapters 7, 8 is that all those who are truly born again into spiritual life through faith in Christ as Savior, have been set free from the bondage and eternal death-penalty sin carries with it. To be free from death is to be free from the fearful reality of being separated from God for all eternity – that is what hell is! Our salvation gives to us the freedom to choose to do right according to God’s Word.

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

Guest Speaker: Dr. James Gabhart

This week we invite Dr. James Gabhart to deliver the message that God has given to him for us.

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.