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Back To Basics - Standing On The Word


Good Morning Beloved Family,

To those of you who faithfully come
thank you for joining us again 
Please share with others
that we may continue to grow and spread His kingdom

For those of you joining us for the first time
I pray that you will return
and invite someone to join you next time.

Heavenly Father,

We thank You for Your grace
Your mercy and forgiveness
for creating a plan through
Jesus Christ for us to be made whole

At our very best, we are unworthy, so unworthy help us to be not like the Pharisee's believing more about ourselves than we ought, our righteousness  

help us to see ourselves as we are   
sinners, wretched, and unworthy

remind us of our need to repent
of our need for daily forgiveness
we can only do this properly
if we give ourselves to the discipline
and the obedience commanded in Your Word 
receiving Christs' atonement as payment for our sins
Lord, I pray that both saint and sinner
will be moved closer to You

You are Holy, You are pure,
yet You are gracious and forgiving 
thank You for Who You are
and for what You have done for us 
that we may spend eternity with You
in Jesus precious name
we humbly pray
Amen

"For this commandment which I command you today is not too difficult for you, nor is it out of reach. It is not in heaven, that you should say, ‘Who will go up to heaven for us to get it for us and make us hear it, that we may observe it?’ Nor is it beyond the sea, that you should say, ‘Who will cross the sea for us to get it for us and make us hear it, that we may observe it?’ But the word is very near you, in your mouth and in your heart, that you may observe it."
Deuteronomy 30:11-14  

Today's Message: Back To Basics - Standing On The Word


Most of what I really need to know about how to live and what to do, and how to be, I learned in kindergarten. Wisdom was not at the top of the graduate school mountain, but there in the sandbox at nursery school. These are the things I learned:

Share everything.
Play fair.
Don't hit people.
Put things back where you found them.
Clean up your own mess.
Don't take things that aren't yours.
Say you're sorry when you hurt somebody.
Wash your hands before you eat.
Always remember to flush.
Warm cookies and cold milk are good for you.
Live a balanced life.

Learn some and think some and draw and paint and sing and dance and play and work every day some.
Take a nap every afternoon.
When you go out into the world, watch for traffic, hold hands and stick together.
Always be aware of the wonder around you.

And let's not forget that the little seed in the plastic cup?
The roots go down and the plant goes up and nobody really knows how or why, but we are all like that.

Goldfish and hamsters and white mice and even the little seed in the plastic cup -- they all die.

And...so do we.

Then I can remember the book about Dick and Jane.
The first word you learned, the biggest word of all: Look.

Pretty much everything you need to know is in there somewhere.

The Golden Rule and love and basic sanitation.
Ecology and politics and sane living.

Begin your day with prayer.
Pray before you eat.

And just think ....what a better world it would be if we all, the entire world, had cookies and milk about 3 o'clock every afternoon and then lay down with our blankets for a nap.

Oh what a better world it would be, we had a basic policy in our nation and other nations to always put things back where we found them and cleaned up our own messes....

And it is still true, no matter how old you are, when you go out into the world, it is best to hold hands and stick together.

All these many, many years later, I still remember my kindergarten teacher.
I doubt she knew then, what a lasting impression she would make on my life.
I wonder if any of us did....

All of that said, this sermon, is about basics too.

As individuals and as a church, we have to make choices about what will be important to us, how we will choose to raise our children. I can’t control what you do, but as a person and as a pastor I can control what I do.

This week, the Lord directed me to a phrase in Scripture – “AS FOR ME.”

“Now, therefore, fear the Lord and serve Him in sincerity and truth; and put away the gods which your fathers served beyond the River and in Egypt, and serve the Lord. If it is disagreeable in your sight to serve the Lord, choose for yourselves today whom you will serve: whether the gods which your fathers served which were beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you are living; but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord."
Joshua 24:14-15 

"Moreover, as for me, far be it from me that I should sin against the Lord by ceasing to pray for you; but I will instruct you in the good and right way. Only fear the Lord and serve Him in truth with all your heart; for consider what great things He has done for you. But if you still do wickedly, both you and your king will be swept away."
1 Samuel 12:23-25

Webster defines the word “basic” as: forming the base or essence, constituting or serving as the starting point, fundamental.

Beloved, basics are not complicated, they are actually simple …
yet within their simplicity lies their power!

"For their sakes I sanctify Myself, that they themselves also may be sanctified in truth.
“I do not ask on behalf of these alone, but for those also who believe in Me through their word; that they may all be one; even as You, Father, are in Me and I in You, that they also may be in Us, so that the world may believe that You sent Me."
John 17:19-21

Beloved, our greatest power lies in UNITY.  
One body!
One Spirit!
One hope!
One faith!

Though there are different styles, different tastes and different preferences in the body, but there is ONE SPIRIT. It is God’s Spirit!

And dare I say,
One GOD!!! 

As for myself or any other minister, we do not have a right to impose our spirit on His church!

No matter how bad things get here on earth, as Christians, we have a HOPE beyond this life.
It is our ANCHOR of hope, in the middle of a storm!

I would like to also say, that we are not just a “Jesus Only” church, but we are a “Jesus Name” church! The Bible says that there is ONE throne in Heaven, and there is One that sits on that throne, and His name is Jesus Christ!

Some have questioned, that the Bible speaks simply of FAITH, but other times it speaks of THE FAITH. It is not just indicating individual belief, but the entire body of truth that we believe about Jesus Christ.

Paul lets us know that the Jesus we serve today is the same God who created everything that exists in the beginning! 

"He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. For by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things have been created through Him and for Him. He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together. He is also head of the body, the church; and He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, so that He Himself will come to have first place in everything. For it was the Father’s good pleasure for all the fullness to dwell in Him, and through Him to reconcile all things to Himself, having made peace through the blood of His cross; through Him, I say, whether things on earth or things in ]heaven."
Colossians 1:15-20

It does matter what you believe, not everyone is going to Heaven; not every church is right!
There is One God, in three persons, the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit!

Another issue that tends to confuse many believers today, baptism, in spite of many churches are teaching, that baptism is no longer needed.
I refer you to our Lord Himself, Jesus Christ, Who is the Authority, gives the definitive answer on the subject of baptism. 

"Jesus answered, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit."
John 3:5-6

The Bible says that there is only “one baptism” – so if there is only one right way to be baptized, 

WHAT IS IT?

WE MUST BE IMMERSED IN WATER
Because Jesus was baptized by immersion
Because every baptism in the Bible was by immersion
Because that’s precisely what the word baptism means
Because it is the best portrayal of a burial and resurrection

WE MUST BE BAPTIZED IN JESUS’ NAME

Every baptism in the book of Acts was performed in "Jesus’ name."
And the same is just as true today as it was two thousand years ago!

"Now when they heard this, they were pierced to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, “Brethren, what shall we do?” Peter said to them, “Repent, and each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. For the promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off, as many as the Lord our God will call to Himself.” And with many other words he solemnly testified and kept on exhorting them, saying, “Be saved from this perverse generation!” So then, those who had received his word were baptized; and that day there were added about three thousand souls. They were continually devoting themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer."
Acts 2:37-42

Though current culture may change, though biblical teaching may change...
The WORD OF GOD has not changed! It is ETERNAL and UNCHANGING!
Regardless of what any religion, denomination or church leader says.

It is all too easy, unknowingly and for apparently good reasons, to miss the purposes of God in any generation. If we want to avoid that in this generation, we must be diligent to follow the lessons of the Word of God exactly.

"So when they had come together, they were asking Him, saying, “Lord, is it at this time You are restoring the kingdom to Israel?” He said to them, “It is not for you to know times or epochs which the Father has fixed by His own authority; but you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth."
Acts 1:7-8 

"The word of God kept on spreading; and the number of the disciples continued to increase greatly in Jerusalem, and a great many of the priests were becoming obedient to the faith."
Acts 6:7

The narrative contained between Acts 1:8 and Acts 6:7 covers a period of about ten years. It contains an incredibly important lesson to the church that most people miss entirely:  
GOD'S BLESSING IS NOT A SURE SIGN OF GOD’S FAVOR; OBEDIENCE TO GOD’S WORD IS THE ONLY WAY TO PLEASE HIM. 

The real issue here is this: How much blessing does the church have to receive before she is willing and ready to fulfill the Great Commission left to her by Jesus Christ? One of the great dangers when we go from a struggling small congregation to a successful larger congregation is that we lose our cutting edge and our dependence on God’s power. We become self-centered instead of God centered, more focused on ease than on evangelism.

In many of our conferences, camp meetings, conventions, and church services, the focus is mainly on “our Jerusalem,” that it may grow and prosper so that it may continue to minister to US! We have “received power”, the first promise of Acts 1:8, but we have not “become witnesses”. the second promise of Acts 1:8. And the second promise is much more significant than the first!

The real test of any visitation of God or experience in the Spirit is whether we go out to become witnesses for Jesus!

The seemingly natural desire of the Christian to stay within the warm confines of the church is not of God’s Spirit! On the contrary, He desires to lead us outside of our four walls to become witnesses!

Thousands of Christians use the baptism of the Holy Spirit for purposes other than the purpose it was given! For that, we will someday give answer to God. WE ARE STEWARDS, NOT BOSSES, OF HIS BLESSINGS! 

The baptism of the Holy Spirit is so exciting that we think the experience is all there is to it. 
That's not so!

This was the heart of the battle in the early church. They did start out in obedience to the second half of Acts 1:8, but they stopped too soon. They wanted to reach out in Jerusalem, AMONG THEIR OWN KIND, but they did not want to go to the ends of the earth or even Samaria!

The early church needed a reversal in their thinking! They wanted to sit in a state of spiritual blessing in Jerusalem and have the nations flow to them. Jesus wanted them to be servants of the Kingdom who would leave their comfort zone and go to others, just as He had left heaven to come to us! Their responsibility was not just to care for the lost who came to find them, but to seek them out!

The modern church has also embraced this faulty mentality in at least three ways:

Let them “Come To Me” Mentality
The “Spirit Will Do The Work” Mentality
The “Perfect The Church First” Mentality

To be brutally honest, the question might now be asked, “SO WHAT?” So what if the church holds these concepts? So what if we are not as evangelistic as we should be? Can’t we still just have church for ourselves? This is the answer that is just as brutally honest: LOOK AT WHAT HAPPENED TO THE JERUSALEM CHURCH!        

In the early years, the Jerusalem church grew strong both spiritually and numerically, and even the attacks and setbacks they experienced quickly turned to gain and expansion. Even their problems seemed to work for them rather than against them.

In short, when the church wouldn’t move on their own, God gave them a shove!

In just one swift act of persecution, God forced obedience on His church, compelling them to move! The reaction of the early church was the same as ours would be “great lamentation” that their promising young Stephen had been cut down in his prime, and all their plans for “ministering to the widows” were now in disarray.

But Stephen’s death probably resulted in more obedience to the Great Commission than any other single event in the history of the early church, and was even a major factor in the conversion of Paul.
But the honeymoon was shattered with the martyrdom of Stephen and the intense persecution under the direction of Saul of Tarsus. Suddenly, disciples are being scattered everywhere, and while things grow worse in Jerusalem, great things are happening in Judea and even Samaria! 

The hidden message in these events is both awesome and fearful!
God loves lost people so much that He will allow ANYTHING to happen in order to fulfill His purpose of reaching them! God is not primarily committed to successful ministries or even great churches ... He is primarily committed to the Great Commission.

GOD BELIEVES IN HELL! So much that He robed Himself in a body of flesh and died in the most hideous way possible on the cross to save mankind from it. He believes in Hell enough to want His children to live with the same motivation, that we will do anything possible to reach lost people.

IF WE WILL NOT GO, God only has two alternatives when we continue to rest in our “Jerusalem comfort zone” …

PERSECUTION, to drive us out

SUBSTITUTION, to find someone else who will go willingly

Nothing is secure, nothing is permanent, nothing is guaranteed to have God’s favor forever, even if it seems to have been built by Him and to have His anointing. 

ONLY THE CHURCH THAT OBEYS HIS COMMANDS CAN BE ASSURED OF HIS CONTINUED BLESSING AND FAVOR!

It is not that the Jerusalem church rejected the Great Commission, it’s just that they could not seem to manage the kind of vision and commitment that was required in this period of church history. So, God used persecution first, (with some results), and then substitution when they continued to resist.

When the Apostle Paul had his life-changing encounter with God and came to the church at Jerusalem to share his vision of preaching to the Gentiles, the brethren sent him back to Tarsus, his birthplace, so that he couldn’t stir up any more revolutionary ideas!

When Peter is sent to the household of Cornelius, a gentile, to preach the message of salvation, he does so very reluctantly; he knows that he will be walking through a minefield with his brethren.

"Surely no one can refuse the water for these to be baptized who have received the Holy Spirit just as we did, can he?” And he ordered them to be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ. Then they asked him to stay on for a few days."
Acts 10:47-48

That’s not the language of vision; it is the language of reluctant obedience struggling with deep opposition!

Antioch was a mostly Gentile city, and it is inconceivable that they should ignore all but a small minority of Jews, assuming they were the only ones God wanted to save! But that’s what the first group did! However, thank God there was a second group not from Jerusalem (men of Cyprus and Cyrene) that preached to the Greeks – AND THE HAND OF THE LORD WAS WITH THEM!

This is a moment of destiny, when the church at Antioch was born! Not just a few transplants from the Jerusalem Jewish subculture, but some sinfully irreverent, Biblically illiterate Gentiles came to God!

Jerusalem never did know how to deal with revolutionary revivalists like the Apostle Paul, who continually jumped fences, ignored boundaries, and broke rules to win the lost. That’s why Jerusalem never sent out history’s greatest missionary, Antioch sent him out!

The Jerusalem church was originally chosen, richly anointed, full of New Testament teaching, experiencing amazing miracles and basking in rich worship. But God still turned His attention to Antioch because Jerusalem would not embrace God’s command to witness! If our little church building and program becomes the sum total of our vision, it will not last beyond a second or third generation!

In Closing....
BUT GREAT COMMISSION CHURCHES ARE CALLED TO BE DIFFERENT! 

Generation after generation, they run with vision. No matter what they achieve, they have never arrived, because there is always one more soul just beyond their borders that needs to hear about Jesus! Jerusalem held on to their resources, but Antioch accepted that Jesus had the right to demand of them any resource He wanted to use, people, prayer, finance, whatever! 
They also accepted that the Great Commission was at the very top of God’s priority list.

Jerusalem was unwilling to CHANGE to reach the culture of the world around it; instead, they demanded that the Gentiles become Jewish before they could get saved. You must speak our Jewish lingo, learn our Jewish customs, and like our Jewish music! THE SAME THING HAPPENS TODAY, and because change is hard, most churches simply do not want to be uncomfortable. They just want to touch their Jerusalem and leave it at that.

There are only two New Testament church models in the Bible, the Jerusalem Church and the Antioch Church. 

We have to be one or the other … and the choice is ours...

The Antioch church was full of risk-takers. 

Scripture teaches what was important tp God...
What about us today?

And now may the Lord bless you and keep you;

the Lord make his face shine upon you,
And be gracious to you;

The Lord lift up His countenance upon you,
And give you peace.

Now and forever, in Jesus' name
Amen

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Brian Monzon Ministries

The Brian Monzon Ministries

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