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

An Introduction to Justification

Romans 3:20-28

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 begin a study into one of the most important doctrines of Scripture and salvation. We are going to study the doctrine of justification. Again, I am following an outline from a theologian who is gifted in presenting the doctrine in a clear and distinct manner that makes understanding it easy. Just to review, and help us keep putting all this together, we started with the Gospel call, which is God’s invitation to us to trust in Christ alone for our salvation. Then, we studied the doctrine of regeneration where we learned God imparts new spiritual life to us. The doctrine of conversion teaches that we willingly respond to God’s invitation to be saved, at which time we sincerely repent of our sins and trust Christ for salvation. The turning from sin to Christ is repentance.

At some time or another all of us have received invitations to occasions that require an RSVP, right? We know when the invitation was extended, the sender had already settled in their mind the event would happen. All the necessary requirements for the event had already been considered and all conditions were met, or would be met before the date of the event. It is also truth that when God determined He would not immediately send Adam and Eve to hell for eating the forbidden fruit, but that God would redeem them, He had already determined that the incarnation, Calvary, and the resurrection would happen! Listen, Christ had already made the willing choice of His own free will, He would be the Sacrificial Lamb, and would endure and persevere through all of that to the very end, leaving no “I” un-dotted, nor any “T” uncrossed, so every condition necessary for the salvation to be offered to you, would be met and satisfied in full. Here is yet another truth most of you know, but those without salvation, sometimes believe: God never brings a person to the point where they understand their need of a Savior, without fully intending to save them if they respond! The idea some people have: Oh, God wouldn’t save me, I’m too bad is very popular as an excuse in hell, but it never appears in Scripture! The point is: invitations are extended to those whom the host wants to attend the event, and those are the only ones to whom an invitation is extended. The invitation is extended with the desire that the person will, in fact, choose to attend the event. Another way to say that is: God wanted you to be one of His adopted children, long before you ever thought of being saved. Because God wanted you, is the reason you received the invitation. Jesus makes that truth clear when He tell us “I chose you, you didn’t choose me…” Once God received your RSVP, you had met all the qualifications to attend the event. God then added you to the guest list. God adding your name to His guest list is – Justification! To say that from a Biblical viewpoint: God added your name to the Lamb’s Book of Life. Read Rev. 20:11-15; 21:22-27. Now that we know just a little about this wonderful doctrine of justification, let’s summarize all this by using Wayne Grudem’s definition of justification. He says “Justification is an instantaneous legal act of God in which He (1) thinks of our sins as forgiven and Christ’s righteousness as belonging to us, and (2) declares us to be righteous in His sight.” Look at that definition very carefully. Who is the active agent or person who does the “thinking” in number1? God! Who is the active agent or person doing the “declaring” in number 2? God. It is God, not man, Who is the One, the only One, Who can declare man is no longer guilty of breaking God’s Laws and as a result condemned to hell for eternity?

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

 

Our Enemy the Devil

Isa. 14:12-14

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. Last month we talked about angels, and learned they are extremely large, powerful and intelligent beings that minister for God, and often act in, or on our behalf as God instructs them. . As Christians we are to spend our time learning and focusing on the truths, principles, and law of God for our daily living. However, it is necessary for us to have some information about our enemy the devil, so we understand better why we need to be prepared to defend ourselves when he attacks. One theologian defines demons as “evil angels who sinned against God and who now continually work evil in the world.” Let’s start with:

  1. THE ORIGIN OF DEMONS. Read Gen. 1:31. Remember God cannot create anything that is in any way flawed or imperfect. Those angels that are now demons were not created evil! They were created in absolute and holy perfection like all the other angels. Read 2 Peter 2:4 where Peter tells us God did not spare the angels “when they sinned.” Scripture is telling us when the angels sinned, God immediately expelled them from His presence, because God cannot and does not tolerate sin in His presence. Next notice the angels made a choice of their own free will to rebel/sin against God. Read Jude 6.The angels were originally created to dwell in heaven with God, but “they did not keep their positions of authority, but abandoned their own home.” Again the truth that the angels made a free choice is reinforced! Notice again they are kept in darkness with everlasting chains. When an angel or a person is not in the presence of God as His adopted child through the saving grace of Christ, that person has no choice but to live in the eternal bondage of sin in darkness and gloom. The Biblical word for that place is hell! The point being made is that any created being who thinks they can oppose or usurp the authority and sovereignty of God is immediately doomed and condemned to bondage and darkness, being expelled from the light of God’s Shekinah glory! So where did Satan come from? Let’s consider:
  2. THE ORIGIN OF SATAN. In our focal passage today Isaiah is warning Babylon of coming judgment. However, in v. 12-15 the picture being given causes one to think more about heaven than Earth and an earthly king. In Ezek. 28, many good scholars believe v. 11b-19 are a description of what happened when Lucifer exalted himself in heaven. V. 12 verifies that Lucifer like all other angels who sinned, was created perfect in every way. V. 12 tells us he was in Eden and his appearance was beautiful beyond imagination. V. 14 seems to indicate that he was the covering cherub of the throne of God. Prov. 16:18 tells us “Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a” Here is a most important truth for you to remember about Satan: It was Satan’s pride that destroyed him. And it is pride that has and will destroy every resident of hell! Let’s think about some:
  3. BIBLICAL TRUTHS CONCERNING DEMONS. Satan has only one purpose and that is to accuse anyone who is saved, of all the ungodliness in their life before and after their salvation to cause God to destroy them. Satan’s only goal is to oppose and destroy Christians and everything Godly, righteous and holy. Another truth concerning demons. The demons’ power is limited by God’s control. They can do no more than God allows them or gives them permission to do. Here is a truth many of you need to hear, learn, and remember! Demons can be successfully resisted by Christians through the power Christ gives them. James tells us to “submit yourselves, then, unto God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. If you look carefully at that verse in 4:7 you will see “resist the devil” is a command, not a suggestion. Demons use Scripture and Biblical principles to lead us astray by presenting ½ truths to us in such a way as to make us think going the wrong way is what we are supposed to do. In salvation all Christians are indwelled with the Holy Spirit and have the power to resist the devil, making him run from you! We have an advantage that gives us the winning edge. 1 John 4:4 tells us, “the One Who is in you is greater than the one who lives in the world.” It is the indwelling Holy Spirit that gives us the power, wisdom, influence, and courage to resist the devil, not just on occasion, but as a way of life. Ask anyone who has tapped into that power to resist the devil and they will tell you life is just better with a high resistance factor!

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

How to Have Certain Hope (Part 2)

This is a continuation from last week’s message. The outline is the same.

Psalm 42

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. The title of this message might appear to be a contradiction to some. Hope is often associated with uncertainty rather than with certainty. Even many Christians live with an uncertain hope about their future. Why is that? The simple answer is because many Christians don’t really understand Biblical hope. Biblical hope is one of the most absolutely certain truths that should reign in a Christian’s life. Let’s start with:

  1. HOPE’S DEFINITION. Baker’s Ency. Of Bible has this intro to define hope: An expectation or belief in the fulfillment of something desired. Historically people have looked to the future with a mixture of longing and fear. Many have concluded that there is no reasonable basis for hope and therefore to hope is to live with an illusion. So let’s consider
  2. HOPE’S DILEMMA. Paul teaches in Eph. 2:12, “remember that you were at that time separated from Christ, alienated from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world.” Hope is always looking to the future. Since the future is always unknown to us, hope is also uncertain – if viewed from a strictly humanistic perspective. The “something desired” is the total eradication of all human need in all societies and cultures. The “expectation or belief” is that as humanity move forward it will continually get better and better until the “desire” is realized! Here’s the rub: The expectation of a better future (hope) is continually contradicted by the history of the human race. In the 6K years (give or take) since Adam and Eve were banished from Eden because of sin, people have failed to get better and better. Optimism is constantly confronted with the pessimism of sin. Sin won’t allow people to become better and better. The optimism of a hopeful society that trusts in itself is further frustrated by the fact that sin works in such a way as to make people believe they can improve on their own, while at the same time leading them further away from Christ as Savior, and into eternal destruction. Let’s let OT history show us this is true. Consider:
  3. HOPE’S DISCERNMENT. For the Old Testament Jew expectation was either good or bad. If the expectation was good it was hope, as David expresses in Ps. 22:8. If the expectation was bad it was fear, as expressed in Zech. 9:5. When students of the Word think of Biblical models of faith, Abraham most often comes to mind almost immediately. Read Rom. 4:13-25. Probably the most defining truth concerning Abraham that sets him above all other men of faith, save Christ, Abraham’s faith, and therefore, his hope was based on God’s faithfulness. Hope must be in God, because He has proven Himself to be faithful and trustworthy. He can always be trusted to act exactly as He says He will. He will also fulfill all the promises He has made. So the question is: who are you relying on in your daily life to plan for your future? You can find the real answer to that question by answering this one: who is it that I depend on to orchestrate just today? Now let’s consider:
  4. HOPE’S DECISION Read Rom. 12:1, 2-then 9-13. Notice particularly v.12. The 1st decision you need to make is to offer yourself to God by transforming your mind. Today we might say, “get over yourself and submit to God’s way of living according to His Word.” If you have trusted Him to keep you out of hell for eternity, what is there about Him you feel you cannot trust with your daily life? Do you see how when you say, “I trust Christ to keep me out of hell for eternity, but I don’t trust Him to guide my daily life, you are contradicting your own philosophy of life? Once you make that permanent decision to offer yourself to God by transforming your mind, you must then let God teach you to be patient in tribulation.

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

How to Have Certain Hope (Part 1)

Psalm 42

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. The title of this message might appear to be a contradiction to some. Hope is often associated with uncertainty rather than with certainty. Even many Christians live with an uncertain hope about their future. Why is that? The simple answer is because many Christians don’t really understand Biblical hope. Biblical hope is one of the most absolutely certain truths that should reign in a Christian’s life. Let’s start with:

  1. HOPE’S DEFINITION. Baker’s Ency. Of Bible has this intro to define hope: An expectation or belief in the fulfillment of something desired. Historically people have looked to the future with a mixture of longing and fear. Many have concluded that there is no reasonable basis for hope and therefore to hope is to live with an illusion. So let’s consider
  2. HOPE’S DILEMMA. Paul teaches in Eph. 2:12, “remember that you were at that time separated from Christ, alienated from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world.” Hope is always looking to the future. Since the future is always unknown to us, hope is also uncertain – if viewed from a strictly humanistic perspective. The “something desired” is the total eradication of all human need in all societies and cultures. The “expectation or belief” is that as humanity move forward it will continually get better and better until the “desire” is realized! Here’s the rub: The expectation of a better future (hope) is continually contradicted by the history of the human race. In the 6K years (give or take) since Adam and Eve were banished from Eden because of sin, people have failed to get better and better. Optimism is constantly confronted with the pessimism of sin. Sin won’t allow people to become better and better. The optimism of a hopeful society that trusts in itself is further frustrated by the fact that sin works in such a way as to make people believe they can improve on their own, while at the same time leading them further away from Christ as Savior, and into eternal destruction. Let’s let OT history show us this is true. Consider:
  3. HOPE’S DISCERNMENT. For the Old Testament Jew expectation was either good or bad. If the expectation was good it was hope, as David expresses in Ps. 22:8. If the expectation was bad it was fear, as expressed in Zech. 9:5. When students of the Word think of Biblical models of faith, Abraham most often comes to mind almost immediately. Read Rom. 4:13-25. Probably the most defining truth concerning Abraham that sets him above all other men of faith, save Christ, Abraham’s faith, and therefore, his hope was based on God’s faithfulness. Hope must be in God, because He has proven Himself to be faithful and trustworthy. He can always be trusted to act exactly as He says He will. He will also fulfill all the promises He has made. So the question is: who are you relying on in your daily life to plan for your future? You can find the real answer to that question by answering this one: who is it that I depend on to orchestrate just today? Now let’s consider:
  4. HOPE’S DECISION Read Rom. 12:1, 2-then 9-13. Notice particularly v.12. The 1st decision you need to make is to offer yourself to God by transforming your mind. Today we might say, “get over yourself and submit to God’s way of living according to His Word.” If you have trusted Him to keep you out of hell for eternity, what is there about Him you feel you cannot trust with your daily life? Do you see how when you say, “I trust Christ to keep me out of hell for eternity, but I don’t trust Him to guide my daily life, you are contradicting your own philosophy of life? Once you make that permanent decision to offer yourself to God by transforming your mind, you must then let God teach you to be patient in tribulation.

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

 

When Christmas is Over

Luke 2:15-20

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. For many people the Christmas season begins with excitement and anticipation, but often ends in exhaustion and anxiety. Christmas is like other events throughout the year in that, we spend much time looking forward to it, planning for it, and thinking about it. Then all of a sudden it happens, and almost in the blink of an eye it’s over! Finally, on Christmas evening as you crash into your easy chair, or your recliner, or the sofa it suddenly occurs to you that you are quite content with the excitement you feel just watching the tiny bubbles in your glass of Alka-Seltzer meander their way to the surface! Why is it that so many people, including Christians, suffer from post-holiday stress? Does the Bible tell us how to avoid the post-Christmas stress syndrome, or how to get out of it if we’re already suffering? Let’s go back to Luke 2 and find out. The Bible doesn’t tell us how long the Shepherds visited the stable. The shepherds returned… It’s what happened next that is to be our focus, as it was theirs. I like the way one writer summarizes what could be considered a prescription to cure the after Christmas doldrums. Notice:

  1. WE ARE TO GLORIFY AND WORSHIP GOD. Scripture doesn’t tell us the shepherds focused on the journey from Bethlehem back to their flocks; or that they were affected by the confusion from the crowd in and around Bethlehem, or that they were sad because they had to leave the presence of the Christ child. What the Bible does tell us is, that the shepherds returned focusing on the birth of the Messiah. We are to follow their example by glorifying and worshipping God! Someone will say what we do that all the time. In reality that’s not true. If we praised and worshipped God all the time we would be seraphim wouldn’t we! Glorifying and praising God are an inseparable duo. You cannot do one without doing the other. Read 2 Peter 1:3-11. We are to glorify God because we are partakers of the divine nature! In just 3 words David, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, tells us not only how to get out of, and stay out of worldly depression and negativity, and live a life that is characterized by glory and praise to God. The last part of Ps. 42:11 tells us to Hope in God! One of the major differences between those whose life is characterized by glory and praise to God, and those who do not is the source of their hope. Please understand a life that depends on, or hopes in itself, cannot find a reason to glorify and praise God. That’s because self must be exalted above God. Now, if you understand your salvation to as God presents it in His inspired Word, then to glorify and praise God is in fact natural! Glorifying and praising God will keep us out of the doldrums because it encourages us to
  2. PROCLAIM AND WITNESS Luke 2:17, 18. When the shepherds went to Bethlehem and found the Christ child they told others the glorious thing that had happened to them, and that they had been told how to find the Savior. When God acts in a redeemed heart, that heart wants to share God’s goodness and blessing with others. Here’s something for you to remember: you get to choose the governing principles of your life! If you choose to allow God’s principles to govern the entirety of your life, you may suffer an occasional bout of discouragement or depression, or anxiety, but because of your desire to properly proclaim Christ and be an ambassador for His kingdom – you will immediately lift all that to God in prayer and allow Him to restore the joy of your salvation. If you choose to govern your life according to your own principles then God will allow you to live in your misery! The choice is yours!

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

 

Some Good News

Luke 2:8-14

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 the year comes to a close, tradition holds that we turn our thoughts to Christmas. To most people Christmas means almost everything except the birth of The Savior. From a Biblical viewpoint there is no such thing as the Christmas season! From a Biblical viewpoint the birth, earthly life, death, burial, and resurrection of the God-Man Jesus Christ – or simply stated – salvation or redemption is to be the focus of our entire life all day every day of our life! In v. 10 of our passage today we see 2 truths that the angel brought to the shepherds, and all mankind,

  1. GOOD NEWS OF GREAT JOY! There are at least 2 important truths we must see in this good news of great joy! The news was to alleviate fear! One writer said, the first two words of the Gospel are “fear not!” What was it that would cause the Angel to speak the words “fear not” before anything else? It was the glory of the Lord that surrounded the shepherds. That glory or light is the very essence of God’s holiness. What they saw was the Shekinah glory of God that will light heaven for all eternity. What would cause a person to be afraid of the glory of God? Simple answer = sin. How do I know that? Scripture tells us very clearly throughout. Sin causes fallen man to fear everything about God and His holiness. It is interesting to note that in a redeemed heart, and only in a truly redeemed heart, it is the fear of God that keeps sin at bay! The 2nd truth of the good news is: it is for all the people. That little phrase “all the people” includes you! It means “you,” where you are, and just the way you are in your life right now. If you’ve never come to a saving knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ, then this good news of great joy is for you personally. The good news of great joy to you this day is that if you will humble yourself and pray asking God to forgive you for your sin and heal you from your sin nature and you will declare Christ as your Savior, and allow Him to become the unchallenged sovereign Lord of your life, you can become one of God’s adopted children today! This is the good news of great joy Angels brought to the Shepherds that night – and it is still good news of great joy to all who will hear, believe, and accept it! Notice next the:
  2. SIGNS THAT LED THEM TO THE SAVIOR! 12. The 1st sign given to the shepherds by the Angels was a common practice, He was wrapped in swaddling clothes. The Lord Jesus Christ was miraculously conceived within Mary by the Holy Spirit, but He was born as all humans are born, and thus identified Himself with us from His birth. The other sign given to the shepherds was that the Savior would be found in an uncommon place! Scripture doesn’t tell us that Jesus was born in a stable, only that He was lying in a manger. One doesn’t have to have much imagination to figure out that the guiding star that came to rest over the place where Jesus was made it fairly easy for them to find! Do you find it hard in some ways to relate to the Man Jesus? Remember this, other than His deity meaning Jesus is 100% God and at the same time 100% Man, and His sinless perfection throughout his entire life – He was like us in every way. He experienced every human emotion that you experience, felt every human feeling that you feel, and was tempted in every way – and even to a greater degree – as you are tempted! If you have never met the Man Jesus, who is God’s Christ, the Savior of the world, or if you’re one of those people who just pretend you’ve met the Savior, and the only good news is that as long as you’re still breathing you have an opportunity to be rescued from an eternity in hell! You should not be afraid to humble yourself now, while you have the opportunity. Rest assured, if you continue to put off the new birth in Christ, there is nothing in this life to the fear you will experience for all eternity! The bad news for you is in your current situation you have absolutely no hope! The good news is Jesus is waiting with all the hope you’ll ever need!

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

What Angels Do

Psalm 103:20-22

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 talked about the character and classes of angels. We learned that all angels were created as sinless, holy beings with superhuman strength and intelligence. This week we are studying some of the specific ministries of angels. First let’s look at: I’m still using the outline from one write because he presents this study of angels in a clearly understandable fashion:

  1. THE COMMISSION OF ANGELS. One of the many activities of angels is revelation of God’s concern for Man. The angels and Man are different from all other elements of everything God created; in that they are the only moral and highly intelligent beings. Both Man and angels were created, not evolved to be, highly intelligent. We know Man was, because Adam gave names to all the animals. Though he and Eve did not understand all the consequences of sin, both of them knew their disobedience resulted in fearful consequences that caused them to fear God so much they tried to hide from Him. Our morality and intelligence are about the only things we have in common with the angels. From there on the revelations are significantly different. Another part of the commission of the angels is to impress upon us reverence, or a respect for the truth that the unseen world of spirits is real. Read Heb. 12:18-24. The festive gathering is not named here, but you and I will be there with those innumerable angels. If you’re looking for social status as a Christian – just be patient! The angels have been commissioned by God to be role models for Christians. We have read many Scriptures that make it clear the angels do only what God wants done, when He wants it done, and exactly the way God wants it done! Some of the angels are also commissioned as representatives of God in the affairs of creation. Some have the privilege of delivering good news with great joy, as recorded in Luke 1. Then there was the angel who met with Philip and told him to go to Gaza. There are those angels who have been sent by God to patrol the earth and war against demonic forces. The references I’ve given you and Zachariah 1 and Revelation 12 are examples. In his 1st letter to the Thessalonians Paul said that an archangel would announce the return of Christ. Let’s consider:
  2. OUR CONNECTION TO THE ANGELS. The Scriptures make it clear that there is a relationship or an association between us and the angels. Read Heb. 12:1, 2. Those witnesses are not only people around us, they are the angels in heaven who see and watch us. It is ludicrous to believe the angels can’t see us because we can’t see them. Now Read Heb. 13:1, 2. Someone will say all that’s never happened! I question to them is – how do you know? Angels are part of our daily living! Scripture teaches us to be alert and aware of the presence of angels because angels can deceive people. After remember the demons are fallen angels. We read in 2 Cor. 11:14 that even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. 1 Peter 5:8 reminds us our adversary the devil walks around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. When the angels of heaven are sent by God to interact with us, they cannot deceive or mislead us. One sure way to know if you are being misled is to consider what has been put into your mind, and examine it very closely. If any part of it at any time contradicts, or is inconsistent with God, His Word, His nature, or His character, then it is from hell and you can ignore it! In our connection to the angels, they are NOT to be: worshiped, prayed to, or sought. Paul says that in those words to the Colossians. One of the angels who spoke to John while giving him the book of the Revelation, specifically told John not to worship him. So the question is: do you want to find God, as much as He wants you to find Him? Even as His redeemed children, we are to seek Him with our whole heart, mind, and soul in gratitude for our salvation.

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