Sermons by Mitchell Gregory (Page 3)
God lovingly and freely gives the gift of eternal life to all who believe in His Son. For this is the will of my Father, that everyone who looks on the Son and believes in him should have eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day. John 6:40 (ESV) Eternal life is a present reality that we possess now, an eternal relationship that will be fully realized in the resurrection when we will enjoy Him forever. Thanks be to God for his inexpressible gift! 2 Corinthians 9:15 (ESV)
John 3:16 expresses the depth of God’s great love for us. The holy self-existent God who holds us accountable loved the world: all of humanity. In love He gave His Son, Emmanuel, God with us, to die as a substitutionary sacrifice and pay the penalty for our sins. Jesus calls us to trust and believe in Him so that we might not perish but find everlasting life.
Hebrews 3:3 reminds us to pray for out persecuted brothers and sisters. Continue to remember those in prison, as if you were together with them prison, and those who are mistreated as if you yourselves were suffering. Here are a few ways we can pray: Pray that the persecuted church (and we as well) will be unafraid and faithful (Revelation 2:8-11). Pray for God to fill them with the Holy Spirit and enable them to speak and act boldly with clarity, wisdom, and courage (Acts 4:31). Pray that they will be joyful, rejoicing that Jesus and His name are worthy of any cost (Acts 5:41).
It is impossible to live a life of Christian holiness without the filling of the Holy Spirit. This is accomplished by letting God’s Word saturate our lives (cf. Colossians 3:16-27) and by asking the Spirit to control us. Lives filled with the Holy Spirit are characterized by worship form the heart, gratitude for God’s presence, and sovereignty, and submission to one another out of reverence for Christ.
What does it mean to grieve the Holy Spirit? Ephesians 4:25-32 gives examples of how believers can grieve the Hoy Spirit, the third person of the Trinity, co-equal with God in Deity and in love for us. Whenever a person participates in lies, sinful anger, stealing, corrupt speech, and animosity we fail to live up to our confession of faith and we grieve the Holy Spirit. Instead, let us pursue truthfulness, generosity, encouragement and compassion.
The Holy Spirit is a person, not a vague spiritual force, co-equal with God in the Trinity. The Holy Spirit lives in believers, a forever present Helper who reveals the truths of Scripture to us. It is important to follow the command of Jesus to ask the Father for the Holy Spirit to increasingly fill us and work in our lives.
In the verse above Jesus makes this promise to all believers that not only will we carry on His work, but we will do His work in a greater way than He did. What could this possibly mean that we could do greater works? Pastor Gregory breaks down this verse for us and shows us how the work of spreading the gospel to reach others is an even greater work.
The only way that we accurately know the Father is through knowing Jesus. God the Father and Jesus share one divine essence – “I and the Father are one” (John 10:30). God’s character and nature are on full display in Jesus. Jesus makes the Father known by His words and by His mighty works.
Jesus plainly claims to be the exclusive path to the Father. In scripture: “I am” is the sacred name of the eternal, self-existing God (Exodus 3:14). “The way” is a path that begins under God’s judgement and ends in the presence of God in His house. The only path is Jesus, our sin-bearing substitute. “The truth”,Jesus came to bear witness to the truth that brings us freedom. (John 8:32) “The life” Those who believe in Christ Have crossed over from death to life! (John 5:24)
In John 14, Jesus comforts His disciples and explains to them how to live for his glory in this world. He encourages them to believe in Him and to trust in the promise of heaven. Heaven is a real place, available to all who believe in the Gospel. It is our eternal home, a place filled with joy and love. There we will be with Jesus “…at home with the Lord.”
Why does our celebration of the Lord’s Supper matter? Jesus commanded us to celebrate communion. We should share Christ’s fervent desire to participate because it represents Christ’s death that brings us forgiveness and salvation. It’s a memorial meal that looks back at Jesus, and a family meal that reminds us to look around at those with whom we share unity in Christ. Communion is a victorious meal where we look forward to Christ’s return in glory, and it is a time to give thanks and worship.
Why is baptism important? Baptism is a command of Jesus, an essential part of His great commission to the disciples in Matthew 28:18-10 (above). It is also a visible picture of our faith in the triune God (Matthew 28:19), of our salvation experience (Romans 6:3-4), and of our desire to live faithfully for Christ. Finally, baptism is an act of worship (Acts 8:36-39).
“Now is the Son of Man glorified.” Jesus often referred to Himself using the title Son of Man – a reference to Daniel 7 in which the Messiah is prophesied to arrive in heaven and receive an everlasting kingdom. God is glorified by the death of Christ because the cross fully displays the character of God. His faithfulness is revealed in fulfilled prophesy. His holiness and wrath are made evident, because God’s purity and justice can not be compromised. God’s love is on display: “but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
In John 13:18-30, Jesus announces in the upper room that on of the disciples will betray him. Jesus is fully aware of the spiritual condition of Judas. Judas did not lose his salvation – he never possessed grace (John 13:10). Jesus extends the morsel of food to Judas in a final gesture of love and opportunity of grace, but Judas rejects Christ and heads out of the room, into the darkness forever. It is possible to know a lot about Jesus and still be outside of His grace. Jesus is the Light of the World, come to Him in faith today.
What are the marks of a true disciple according to Jesus? Disciples abide in God’s Word. Their lives are saturated in the scriptures, and this leads to true spiritual freedom. Disciples love one another, following Christ’s example as their standard. Disciples bear fruit to the glory of the Father. Fruit includes our witness, worship, and character, all increasing in holiness and honoring God before a watching world.
Just hours before His arrest, Jesus performed the lowly task of washing the feet of the disciples. Christ calls us to follow his example – to be be willing servants of others. Jesus also explained to Peter that if a person has bathed, he only needs his feet washed daily. In the same way when we believe in Christ, our sins are forgiven once for all, but because we still sin we need daily cleansing to remain in close fellowship with the Lord.
On the eve of His crucifixion, Jesus took on the lowly task of washing the disciples’ feet. Jesus “showed the full extent of His love,” not only by washing their feet, but by dying for the sins of all. Although He possessed sovereign authority as Emmanuel, God with us — He stooped to serve. May we make the specific choice to cultivate humility (1Peter 5:5).
As Jesus speaks with Martha before raising Lazarus from the dead, (John 11:25-26) He first clams to be the self existent, self sustaining I AM. Next, He promises to be the resurrection and the life for all who believe. Finally, He asks the question, “Do you believe this?” It is critical to understand that the promises of a physical resurrection (Philippians 3:20) and never-ending spiritual life (2 Corinthians 5:8) are only for those who believe in Christ, personally relying on Him. We must trust, not in our own works, but in Christ’s substitutionary death on our behalf.
The resurrection is evidence that God accepted the sacrifice of Jesus as explained in 1 Corinthians 15:17. If Christ did not rise, our faith is worthless and we are still in a state of unforgiveness, answerable to the holy God for our sin. “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His great mercy has caused us to be born again to a living hope, through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. (1 Peter 1:3)” This hope is freely available to all who believe. Let us worship the risen Jesus!
When evening came, his disciples went down to the sea, got into a boat, and started across the sea to Capernaum. It was now dark, and Jesus had not yet come to them. The sea became rough because a strong wind was blowing. When they had rowed about three or four miles, they saw Jesus walking on the sea and coming near the boat, and they were frightened. But he said to them, “It is I; do not be afraid.”…