Wednesday, March 16, 2011

SO BIG!!!!

WHEN MY CHILDREN WERE LITTLE we used to play a little game with them which included asking the question, "How big are you?"  To which they would answer by stretching out their arms as far as possible and declare, "SO BIG!!!"  When they were really little we would move their arms for them, and as they grew they could fully join us in this little "action game."

My present sermon series, "Obeying the Speed Limit: Truths to Keep Us Safe Along the Way" is dealing with the truths we have held to as a local church over the past fifty years and which we will continue to hold on to as we continue on the journey to which God has called us.  As a foundation for this series I am using the Statement of Faith for the Evangelical Free Church of America using its articles to drive us into the Scripture upon which each article is founded.

My plan was to go over one of the ten articles each much for my plans!  I still "stuck" in article number one dealing with the nature and character of God.  This week the plan is to go back to article one and deal specifically with the Trinity.  I didn't feel I could deal with such an important part of our theological understanding of God in just the few minutes I had left last Sunday (Us long-winded pastors are a bane for sure!)

Anyway, while I have been studying this bedrock of our faith, seeking ways to communicate this almost imponderable truth about God, I came across an article in the latest edition of Biola University magazine. Associate Professor Fred Sanders has addressed the topic in a clear and concise way.  His article, "Think Bigger: There's Not a Trinity Verse -- and that's a good thing" is well-worth reading. You can click on that title and read it for yourself.

So, thanks Professor Sanders.  I promise not to plagiarize your work, but you will find yourself most definitely quoted once or twice. (Honor to who honor is due!)  I must agree with the Professor, that the theological turth of the Trinity only goes to make the God we worship so much BIGGER!

What a great and awesome God is He!
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Tuesday, March 08, 2011

Keeping the Speed Limit

As part of our our church's celebration of their Year of Jubilee, leading up to our 50th anniversary of ministry in the San Lorenzo Valley, I have chosen to spend a few weeks preaching on those truths that have kept us safe along the way.  To facilitate these messages we are using the Statement of Faith of the Evangelical Free Church of America (the denomination of which we are a part).

Our journey as a church family has been a great one.  Sure there have been some bumps and detours along the way, but as we have endeavored to obey the rules of the road, we can truly say we have been blessed.  That is the reason we have chosen "Blessed to be a Blessing" as our year-long theme.

Last Sunday, March 3rd, I began the series by looking at Deuteronomy 6:1-12 in a sermon entitled, "My God's Bigger than Your God."  It was all about the importance of the primacy of God in every area of our lives.  This coming week, as the Lord grants me breath and a clear mind, I hope to spend time discussing the first article in our Statement of Faith, the article that deals with who God is.

In our American culture (not to mention the multitude of cultures around the world) we have quite a range of definitions regarding who God is. There is of course a LOT that can be said about God, and one must be very careful to not put God in a box, so with that in mind I am including below the first article in our Statement of Faith, followed by Scripture references which speak to its various statements.  My prayer is that as we look intently at what the Bible says about our God our hearts will be over-flowing with praise and our lives motivated to obedience.

As a quick side note, we will also begin a new class after church using the DVD curriculum entitled "Basic: Who is God?"  This study material featrues the teaching of Francis Chan and some very thought-provoking video stories.  If you're in the area come and join us for our worship gathering and stay for the deeper discussion. You can check out the church website for more information.

So, here's the material:

1. We believe in one God, Creator of all things, holy, infinitely perfect, and eternally existing in a loving unity of three equally divine Persons: the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. Having limitless knowledge and sovereign power, God has graciously purposed from eternity to redeem a people for Himself and to make all things new for His own glory.

1.            One God – Deuteronomy 6:4; Mark 12:29
2.            Creator of all things – Genesis. 1:1; Psalm 33:6; John.1:3; Colossians 1:15-17; Hebrews 11:3)
3.            Holy -- Exodus 15:11; Isaiah. 6:3; 57:15
4.            Infinitely perfect – Deuteronomy 32:4; Job 1:7-10; Psalms 18:30; 50:2; 90:2; 145:3; Matthew 5:48
5.            Eternally existing – Psalms 33:11; 102:25-27; 115:3; Daniel 4:34-35; John 5:26; Acts 17:24-25
6.            A loving unity – John 3:35; 17:24; 1 John. 4:8,16)
7.            Three equally divine Persons – John 17:11; Matthew 3:16-17; 28:19; 2 Corinthians 13:14; 1 Peter 1:2:
8.            The Father – Deuteronomy 32:6; Matthew. 6:6; Roman 8:15; 1 Corinthians 8:6
9.            The Son – Matthew 3:17; John 1:14; 3:16; Galatians 4:4; Hebrews 1:5
10.         The Holy Spirit – John 14:16, 17, 26; 15:26; 16:7-15; Romans 8:9, 26; Galatians 4:6
11.         Limitless knowledge – Psalms 139:1-16; 147:5; Isaiah 46:10; John 21:17
12.        Sovereign power – Jeremiah 32:17; Ephesians 1:11; Romans. 8:28; 2 Corinthians 6:18; Ephesians 3:20; Revelation 1:8
13.        God has graciously purposed from eternity to redeem a people for Himself – 1 Corinthians 2:7; Ephesians 1:11; 3:10,11; 2 Timothy 1:9; Titus 1:2; 1 Peter 1:20; Revelation 13:8
14.        To make all things new – Matthew 19:28; Acts 3:21; Romans 8:19-21; Revelation 21,22
15.        For His own glory – Psalm 19:1-2; Isaiah 43:7; Jeremiah 13:11; Colossians 1:15-23; Revelation 4:11; 5:9-14