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

Saying No to Sin

This week we hear the message delivered at our annual church picnic.

A Heartfelt Sorrow for Sin (Part 2)

Continued from the previous week.

Psalm 32:1-5

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. Why is it that so many people today who claim to be Christians show little or no evidence in their daily living that they really came to a saving knowledge of Christ? The positive way to ask that same question is: what is it that causes a person who claims to be a Christian to make such a radical change in their life and lifestyle to live in submission and obedience to God and His Word? The answer is found in Wayne Grudem’s definition of repentance, which is: a heartfelt sorrow for sin, a renouncing of it, and a sincere commitment to forsake it and walk in obedience to Christ. In the coming weeks we will look at 4 truths that must be followed for true conversion to take place.

The 1st step must be A HEARTFELT SORROW FOR SIN. I don’t think anyone expresses heartfelt sorrow for sin more clearly than David. Read Ps. 32:1-5; 38:1-4, 18; 51:1-5. Can you feel the sorrow David feels when he is confronted-deep in his heart, with his sin? The true Christian, the true man or woman of God can feel that sorrow. The apostles had the same message, please go to Acts 2:37; 24:24, 25; 1 John 3:20. Repentance begins with sorrow of heart because you are confronted with the reality that you have defaced or marred God’s handcrafted workmanship, and impugned His reputation. When we were learning about the doctrine of regeneration, we learned our sinful nature is so dangerous because Paul tells us in Eph. 2:3 we do, or choose to carry out, the wishes of our understanding. Understanding means the ability to perceive; the thinking consciousness (including moral reflections); judgment; resolve; and intention. When God leads a person to the point in their life where they, of their own free will choose spiritual life and godliness, they also choose to do all God requires of those who accept His gracious gift of salvation, the individual knowingly, willingly, intentionally, and consciously chooses to turn from their life in sin (repentance), to a new life walking in obedience to Christ (faith).

True Biblical repentance is not an emotional experience. True Biblical repentance is a conscious, willful, intentional decision that takes place in a person’s mind. Repentance causes us to have a genuine sorrow and hatred for sin physically, mentally, and spiritually! So the question is—how does that genuine sorrow and hatred for sin become reality in a person’s life? Read John 16:1-11. It is the Holy Spirit who convicts the world of sin because they do not believe in Christ as their Savior. In this verse the word convict means, to show someone his sin and to summon him to repentance. Conviction can take place: privately between 2 people. Matthew 18:15. Conviction can also take place publicly. Read 1 Tim. 5:20. In the future the Lord Jesus will convict of sin In His letter to the church in Laodicea the Lord Jesus says, “those whom I love, I reprove and discipline, so be zealous and repent.” When all this happens in a person’s heart they have begun to turn from sin and repentance to Christ in the faith. And there is no greater experience in this life!

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

A Heartfelt Sorrow for Sin (Part 1)

Psalm 32:1-5

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. Why is it that so many people today who claim to be Christians show little or no evidence in their daily living that they really came to a saving knowledge of Christ? The positive way to ask that same question is: what is it that causes a person who claims to be a Christian to make such a radical change in their life and lifestyle to live in submission and obedience to God and His Word? The answer is found in Wayne Grudem’s definition of repentance, which is: a heartfelt sorrow for sin, a renouncing of it, and a sincere commitment to forsake it and walk in obedience to Christ. In the coming weeks we will look at 4 truths that must be followed for true conversion to take place.

The 1st step must be A HEARTFELT SORROW FOR SIN. I don’t think anyone expresses heartfelt sorrow for sin more clearly than David. Read Ps. 32:1-5; 38:1-4, 18; 51:1-5. Can you feel the sorrow David feels when he is confronted-deep in his heart, with his sin? The true Christian, the true man or woman of God can feel that sorrow. The apostles had the same message, please go to Acts 2:37; 24:24, 25; 1 John 3:20. Repentance begins with sorrow of heart because you are confronted with the reality that you have defaced or marred God’s handcrafted workmanship, and impugned His reputation. When we were learning about the doctrine of regeneration, we learned our sinful nature is so dangerous because Paul tells us in Eph. 2:3 we do, or choose to carry out, the wishes of our understanding. Understanding means the ability to perceive; the thinking consciousness (including moral reflections); judgment; resolve; and intention. When God leads a person to the point in their life where they, of their own free will choose spiritual life and godliness, they also choose to do all God requires of those who accept His gracious gift of salvation, the individual knowingly, willingly, intentionally, and consciously chooses to turn from their life in sin (repentance), to a new life walking in obedience to Christ (faith).

True Biblical repentance is not an emotional experience. True Biblical repentance is a conscious, willful, intentional decision that takes place in a person’s mind. Repentance causes us to have a genuine sorrow and hatred for sin physically, mentally, and spiritually! So the question is—how does that genuine sorrow and hatred for sin become reality in a person’s life? Read John 16:1-11. It is the Holy Spirit who convicts the world of sin because they do not believe in Christ as their Savior. In this verse the word convict means, to show someone his sin and to summon him to repentance. Conviction can take place: privately between 2 people. Matthew 18:15. Conviction can also take place publicly. Read 1 Tim. 5:20. In the future the Lord Jesus will convict of sin In His letter to the church in Laodicea the Lord Jesus says, “those whom I love, I reprove and discipline, so be zealous and repent.” When all this happens in a person’s heart they have begun to turn from sin and repentance to Christ in the faith. And there is no greater experience in this life!

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

What is Saving Faith? (Part 3)

2 Cor. 7:8-12

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 are continuing our study in the doctrine of conversion. We learned last time that in order for a person to be saved they must be aware of truth. That awareness comes through revelation-or reading the inspired Word of God. In order for a person to be saved they must also come to the point where they agree that the Bible is truth and accept it as such, especially if a person has had no, or very little, exposure to Scripture. However, the next step is one of the hardest steps in receiving God’s free gift of salvation. At some point every person who has ever received God’s gift of salvation has come to the point where they stop trusting, or depending in themselves and all their own efforts to gain favor or merit with God – and become totally dependent upon the finished work of Christ to save them.

You remember conversion means turning from sin which is repentance to Christ which is faith. This is so, to speak, the point where you take your hands off the wheel and trust Christ to do all the driving for the rest of your life! Often times the first time you ever try anything new in your life, is the hardest. The first time you tried to tie your shoe, or the first time you tried to button your shirt or blouse, or the first time you tried to parallel-park. Throughout our life there are many first times that are hard for us. Many of those hard times happen in our Christian life when God asked us to trust Him completely in a new area of our life for the 1st time! Conversion, or becoming totally dependent on the finished work of Christ as the only work that will change the direction of our life from eternal death in hell to eternal life in Christ – is for all who are saved, the first time they are required to trust their eternal future to a Person they have yet to meet face-to-face. Wayne Grudem correctly teaches, our faith should increase as our knowledge increases. We place our lives in the devices of our daily living without giving a second thought because we do it every day and it has become commonplace to us.

This doctrine of conversion is part of the reason I tell you, you do not have to judge whether or not a person is a true Christian. All you have to do is watch how they live their daily life away from this place, and listen to the way they talk away from this place, the way they treat others away from this place, and they will tell you, and show you whether or not their heart belongs to Christ. One reason even true Christians struggle in growing in Christ is because they do not fully understand, as Wayne Gruden so clearly explains, faith and repentance must come together. He defines repentance as “a heartfelt sorrow for sin, a renouncing of it, and a sincere commitment to forsake it and walk in obedience to Christ.”  My prayer is that God will bring the following question to your mind over and over in the days to come. Ask yourself this question: if someone who doesn’t know me, and had never before read The Bible, watched me and listened to me without my awareness they were doing so; and at the same time read just the NT for the 1st time in their life, would they, at the end of the week, come and ask me to teach them how to live the way the Bible teaches because they’d seen me live that way all week? Now beloved, everyone in this room, and many in the listening audience, already know the true answer to that question. And as you deal with that question this week it’s important for you to remember God also knows the true answer. If we can help you answer your spiritual questions, call us at (574) 643-9419.

What is Saving Faith? (Part 2)

Continued from the previous week.

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 are continuing our study of the Biblical doctrine of conversion. Beloved, listen carefully! It is important that you understand, at least the general workings, of this doctrine. Why? Because when you share the Biblical message of salvation with someone you will help walk them through the initial part of their conversion. This doctrine of conversion is part of the roadmap you need to follow to bring them to a saving knowledge of Christ, then help them grow in Christ. Remember last time we learned God’s willing response to man’s willful choice to sin is salvation, which is God’s gift of grace (or His desire that all should come to repentance) that results in spiritual life. Conversion means turning from sin (which is repentance) to Christ (which is faith). In its simplest form, one might say God’s plan of salvation involves only 3 agents to help a person come to a saving knowledge of Christ. Do you know what those 3 are? The Bible, John recorded Jesus prayer in the garden where He prayed, “sanctify them in the truth; Your Word is truth.” The 2nd agent God uses is the Holy Spirit, John records Jesus words and 15:26 when He says, “when the Helper/Holy Spirit comes, whom I will send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth, who precedes from the Father, He will bear witness about me.” And the most amazing agent of all is YOU! Let’s look at 3 more parts of this doctrine of conversion that will also help us to understand how important we are as God’s ambassadors, and why it is so “life and death” important that we who call ourselves Christians continually grow by letting The Holy Spirit conform us to the image of Christ every day of our lives. Here again Wayne Grudem provides a clear and concise outline of what true saving faith includes:

  1. Revelation. Romans 10:14 says in part, “how can they believe in Him of whom they have not heard.” Before people can be saved they must have some revelation or information about Christ. But, knowledge of mere facts, even though they are truth, is not enough by itself to bring a person to the point of salvation. Read Rom. 1:18-3:31 where Paul, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, contrasts God’s righteous does with man’s unrighteousness; and how God’s wrath is justified because all have sinned and come short of the glory of God. So knowledge alone will never get anyone to heaven. In addition to revelation true saving faith must include…
  2. Ratification, which means agreeing with the facts, and that those facts are truth. Read Jn. 3: 1,2. In his statement here Nicodemus verifies that information and approval by themselves, do not result in salvation. Nicodemus is viewing this whole thing from a purely physical, intellectual viewpoint. Has anybody ever told someone how to be saved and their response to you is, “I hear you and I believe you, I’m just not ready!” So why isn’t knowledge, even if it is accepted that the knowledge you are sharing is truth, enough to bring a person to the point where they are ready to be saved? Because in addition to knowledge and approval there must be a…
  3. RESOLUTION. Listen to the way Wayne Grudem defines this resolution or decision of dependency; “in addition to knowledge of the facts of the gospel and approval of those facts, in order to be saved, I must decide to depend on Jesus to save me. In doing this I moved from being an interested observer of the facts of salvation and the teachings of the Bible to being someone who enters into a new relationship with Jesus Christ as a living person. We may therefore define saving faith as trust in Jesus Christ as a living Person for forgiveness of sins and for eternal life with God.”

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

What is Saving Faith? (Part 1)

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 are continuing our study of the Biblical doctrine of conversion. Beloved, listen carefully! It is important that you understand, at least the general workings, of this doctrine. Why? Because when you share the Biblical message of salvation with someone you will help walk them through the initial part of their conversion. This doctrine of conversion is part of the roadmap you need to follow to bring them to a saving knowledge of Christ, then help them grow in Christ. Remember last time we learned God’s willing response to man’s willful choice to sin is salvation, which is God’s gift of grace (or His desire that all should come to repentance) that results in spiritual life. Conversion means turning from sin (which is repentance) to Christ (which is faith). In its simplest form, one might say God’s plan of salvation involves only 3 agents to help a person come to a saving knowledge of Christ. Do you know what those 3 are? The Bible, John recorded Jesus prayer in the garden where He prayed, “sanctify them in the truth; Your Word is truth.” The 2nd agent God uses is the Holy Spirit, John records Jesus words and 15:26 when He says, “when the Helper/Holy Spirit comes, whom I will send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth, who precedes from the Father, He will bear witness about me.” And the most amazing agent of all is YOU! Let’s look at 3 more parts of this doctrine of conversion that will also help us to understand how important we are as God’s ambassadors, and why it is so “life and death” important that we who call ourselves Christians continually grow by letting The Holy Spirit conform us to the image of Christ every day of our lives. Here again Wayne Grudem provides a clear and concise outline of what true saving faith includes:

  1. Revelation. Romans 10:14 says in part, “how can they believe in Him of whom they have not heard.” Before people can be saved they must have some revelation or information about Christ. But, knowledge of mere facts, even though they are truth, is not enough by itself to bring a person to the point of salvation. Read Rom. 1:18-3:31 where Paul, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, contrasts God’s righteous does with man’s unrighteousness; and how God’s wrath is justified because all have sinned and come short of the glory of God. So knowledge alone will never get anyone to heaven. In addition to revelation true saving faith must include…
  2. Ratification, which means agreeing with the facts, and that those facts are truth. Read Jn. 3: 1,2. In his statement here Nicodemus verifies that information and approval by themselves, do not result in salvation. Nicodemus is viewing this whole thing from a purely physical, intellectual viewpoint. Has anybody ever told someone how to be saved and their response to you is, “I hear you and I believe you, I’m just not ready!” So why isn’t knowledge, even if it is accepted that the knowledge you are sharing is truth, enough to bring a person to the point where they are ready to be saved? Because in addition to knowledge and approval there must be a…
  3. RESOLUTION. Listen to the way Wayne Grudem defines this resolution or decision of dependency; “in addition to knowledge of the facts of the gospel and approval of those facts, in order to be saved, I must decide to depend on Jesus to save me. In doing this I moved from being an interested observer of the facts of salvation and the teachings of the Bible to being someone who enters into a new relationship with Jesus Christ as a living person. We may therefore define saving faith as trust in Jesus Christ as a living Person for forgiveness of sins and for eternal life with God.”

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

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.