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Jesus Preached The Word



"And Jesus returned to Galilee in the power of the Spirit, and news about Him spread through all the surrounding district. And He was teaching in their synagogues, being glorified by all."
Good Morning my beloved,

We are delighted to come together today to worship in the presence of our Heavenly Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. It is a true honor and a privilege to have you with us today. We are grateful for those who have continued to share our ministry's website with their friends, neighbors and loved ones.Your commitment and dedication to spreading the Gospel message has produced remarkable outcomes, it is such a joy to see how God is using this ministry to impact the lives in regions that have not been reached previously. We humbly ask for your continued prayers, so that we may proclaim the truth boldly despite the difficulties we face as we continue to work with a number of countries, in Europe, the Middle-East, North Africa and Asia, these people are so hungry to hear the Gospel of Jesus Christ. While the journey ahead may be long and full of obstacles, but I am confident that with God's grace, we can triumph, emerging stronger and more resilient than ever before for His glory. 
We are living in a day where people cannot be trusted, if we've learned anything whether you're talking about individuals or whether you're talking about nations, people are unfaithful. They are often unreliable to keep their word, the promises they make lack credibility. And, if we're being completely honest, we would have to acknowledge the fact that includes Christians. I believe it's fair to say that this unfaithfulness also extends to Christians, who are frequently unfaithful to God, despite His unwavering faithfulness towards them. God is always faithful and He always keeps every promise ever made. Every Word is true. The reliability of God is not only reassuring, it is paramount, because if God is unable to be trusted, then everything we believe is at stake, including our salvation must be called into question. 

I mention this because the debate surrounding the doctrine of "once saved always saved" salvation has continued to be a heavily debated topic throughout the years, it's an ongoing battle that arises from time to time, one that rages on even today and I must say I find it intriguing that the security of the believer's salvation is even called into question despite the numerous passages that are written in the New Testament that emphasize the assurance of our salvation, that affirm that our eternal salvation is secure. Let's look at a few of them.  John 3:16, "For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life." Romans 5:6-10, "For while we were still helpless, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. For one will hardly die for a righteous man; though perhaps for the good man someone would dare even to die. But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from the wrath of God through Him. For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life."
If Christ died for us while we were yet sinners, if there was nothing in us to merit His love for us while we were the enemies of God, what could there possibly be in us to make Him stop loving us after we've been justified? Romans 8:38-39, "For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord."
John 5:24, "Truly, truly, I say to you, he who hears My word, and believes Him who sent Me, has eternal life, and does not come into judgment, but has passed out of death into life." If you have received eternal life, the only question that you need to ask yourself is "How long is eternal?" Hebrews 7:25 "Therefore He is able also to save forever those who draw near to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them." What kind of salvation would it be if He Who saved us, is unable to keep us when we sin? Our salvation is eternally secure because He's eternally faithful, there is no addendum, there is no hidden conditions. That's the blessed assurance we have in Christ, we have received the reconciliation with God. I hasten to say, that if we're not walking in the Spirit we are not going to fully experience that assurance. Which is why Satan continuously seeks to drive a wedge between us and God, because he knows if he can create doubt, we will not feel close to God if we are uncertain our standing before Him. That said, we are made for the glory of God and must never just ignore our sin, or shrug off our shortcomings, we must acknowledge them in faith that He will forgive them and purify us from all wrongdoing. In order for us to be able to stand strong in the battle, we must know who we are in Christ. Salvation is a gift, given by God's grace, through our faith. I don't care how good of a person you think you are, you do not deserve salvation, you deserve condemnation in the pits of Hell, in fact, we all do! Romans 3:10 says "As it is written, "There is none righteous, not even one." I know many find that very difficult to comprehend. We've been conditioned to find merit in human achievement, but there is nothing we can do to earn God's grace, it is a divine accomplishment, not the result of human achievement, so that no one can boast. (Ephesians 2:8-9) Imagine if Christ had not submitted to God’s will. Imagine if He had chosen to pursue His own will. Where would we all be today? Broken, without hope, not to mention all of us would be doomed! Condemned in Hell. Our salvation is protected by the power of God, if it depended upon us, we would have lost it a long time ago.
By the way, trials are the surest way to prove and strengthen our faith, they reveal what is really in our heart, that's why James says "Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance." Christ was not immune to trials or persecution, it was the knowledge that His Father is always in control that gave Him the confidence to endure suffering, we can be just as confident of this same truth. If you are a Christian, and have lost the joy of reconciliation provided by the Holy Spirit its likely because you're living in disobedience, whether its some small hidden sin or some glaring evil that is very obvious to everyone around that is stealing your sense of assurance. Pray, ask the Holy Spirit to search the depths of your heart, and give you the assurance that your salvation is secure. The greatest blessing God has given us as believers is the secure promise of eternal life, there's more comforting than that. Scripture knows nothing of a salvation that is present and not future, that's why you can't lose salvation. Romans 8:29-30, "For those whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son, so that He would be the firstborn among many brethren; and these whom He predestined, He also called; and these whom He called, He also justified; and these whom He justified, He also glorified." We're already been adopted into the family of God, but we've yet to enter fully into the future glory, when our redeemed souls are joined to our redeemed bodies. We've been changed on the inside but not yet on the outside. We aren't yet all we are going to be, that's why trying to obey righteousness is such a struggle, because the old flesh is still there fighting against the new redeemed soul. So beloved, we live in hope based on the precious promises of God. The Holy Spirit is the down payment on our future eternal salvation, the guarantee of our future glory, and everything works toward that because of the intercessory work of the Spirit of God.
Would you pray with me?
Heavenly Father,
Father, thank You for Your precious Word. Lord, we ask that You would grant assurance to that doubting heart, manifest the evidence of Your love, strengthen our dedication to follow Christ faithfully. We know that whoever comes to You, where those desires rise in the heart, we have the promise You will never turn away, because it's the work of  Your Spirit. Lord, I can't even begin to express the gratitude in my heart, knowing that nothing shall ever separate us from Your love, not even sin. O how we long for the day when we will ultimately be conformed into the very image of our blessed Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ.
Father, I pray that You would bring people into Your kingdom even today, then reveal those with whom they can share the Gospel that You may be glorified and Christ may be exalted. We ask and pray this in Christ's precious name.

Today's Message: Jesus Preached The Word
Open you Bibles with me, if you would and turn them to Luke chapter 4. I trust that you will follow along with me read these four verses to you, to set it in our minds as we open our hearts and listen for the voice of our Lord. Luke 4:14-15.
"And Jesus returned to Galilee in the power of the Spirit, and news about Him spread through all the surrounding district. And He was teaching in their synagogues, being glorified by all." 
We have finished dealing with all the genealogies, all the credentials, the battles of temptation He faced with Satan in the wilderness after His baptism, serving as a beacon of hope and encouragement for us all who struggle with the constant battle with temptation. Now that Jesus has triumphed, victorious in His conflicts with Satan to put God to the test, now in Luke's account immediately after the temptation it's time for Jesus to emerge from the Judean desert and return to Galilee in the power of the Spirit to begin His public ministry, proclaiming and preaching the kingdom of God. His Galilean ministry lasted approximately a year and a half before He makes His move toward the south. Chronologically, He had a lengthy ministry up to a year between verses 13 and 14, before He ever began His Galilean ministry. If you look at Matthew, Mark and John you can begin to get a clearer picture of the events that happened in the period of time before He actually began His Galilean ministry that Luke omits. If you will recall, the ministry of John and Jesus overlapped until John was imprisoned, which Luke referred to in chapter 3, but not in chronological sequence. 

In John 1:29, John is still carrying on his ministry by the Jordan river, pointing people to the Messiah, "The next day he saw Jesus coming to him and said, 'Behold, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!" Apparently, John called Jesus the Lamb of God almost every time he saw Him. Then, in verse 34, "I myself have seen, and have testified that this is the Son of God." And, in verses 35-39, "Again the next day John was standing with two of his disciples, and he looked at Jesus as He walked, and said, Behold, the Lamb of God!" The two disciples heard him speak, and they followed Jesus. And Jesus turned and saw them following, and said to them, "What do you seek?" They said to Him, "Rabbi (which translated means Teacher), where are You staying?" He said to them, "Come, and you will see." So they came and saw where He was staying; and they stayed with Him that day, for it was about the tenth hour."  Based upon the testimony of John the Baptist, Jesus is unofficially beginning to collect His disciples, the official affirmation of their apostleship came later, a thoughtful and intentional process that laid the foundation for the future spreading of His message.
If we search the Bible, there is no indication that Jesus sought to draw attention to Himself throughout the years before He stepped onto the stage to begin His ministry. First, John introduces us to His person, He is the Lamb of God, the Son of God, the Messiah, later he highlights one of the divine attributes of His deity, the all-knowing nature of His omniscience, in verse 42, "You are Simon the son of John; you shall be called Cephas” (which is translated Peter),"and in verse 47, when Jesus saw Nathanael He said, "Behold, an Israelite indeed, in whom there is no deceit!" Then, in verse 51, still talking to Nathanael, His transcendence is indicated. John to convey that Jesus is not merely another man, He is the God-Man, the One and Only mediator between God and man, granting us full free access to the Father and the very throne of God. In fact, He's even more accessible than many of you probably realize because His Spirit dwells in us. This is the confidence we need, God is in control, He is still at work, even now, when times of uncertainty surround us.
Apparently, on the third day after His temptation, John records that Jesus returned to Galilee with His disciples - Nathanael, Philip, Simon, and Andrew to attend a wedding in Cana, just outside of Nazareth, where His mother was also present during the event, which generally lasted about seven-days, when tradition dictates that the friend of the bridegroom would hand the bride over to the groom and everybody leaves and they consummated the marriage. It was during this brief visit to Galilee when He performed His first miracle. It is crucial to recognize that this event marked His first miracle, as there are some claims suggesting He performed miracles even as a young boy in Nazareth. In fact, the Quran details Jesus as a miracle-working child who created birds from clay, and bringing them back to life from the dead, as mentioned in the "Infancy Gospel of Thomas" accredited to an author named Thomas the Israelite, which is simply not accurate. It's important to understand that all of the miracles Jesus performed were intended to bring glory to God and demonstrate that He was Who He said He was, the Son of God. 
I encourage you follow along with me as I read to you from John chapter 2, verses 3 through 11. "When the wine ran out, the mother of Jesus said to Him, "They have no wine." And Jesus said to her, "Woman, what does that have to do with us? My hour has not yet come." His mother said to the servants, "Whatever He says to you, do it." Now there were six stone waterpots set there for the Jewish custom of purification, containing twenty or thirty gallons each. Jesus said to them, "Fill the waterpots with water." So they filled them up to the brim. And He said to them, "Draw some out now and take it to the headwaiter." So they took it to him. When the headwaiter tasted the water which had become wine, and did not know where it came from (but the servants who had drawn the water knew), the headwaiter called the bridegroom, and said to him, "Every man serves the good wine first, and when the people have drunk freely, then he serves the poorer wine; but you have kept the good wine until now." This beginning of His signs Jesus did in Cana of Galilee, and manifested His glory, and His disciples believed in Him." Jesus wasn't being rude or disrespectful when He said, "Woman, what does that have to do with us? My hour has not yet come." This was to emphasize to Mary that He was now under the control of His Father and the Holy Spirit, fully dedicated to His ministry and that the dynamic of their typical mother-son relationship had shifted, she needed to see Him not as her son, but as her Savior. John tells this very important story to show that He has the omnipotent power to create something out of nothing. 

Then in chapter 2, starting with verse 14, John introduces us to another one of His divine attributes, holiness. Holiness. Jesus entered His Father's House burning with righteous indignation against those who were running the temple operation as a successful business for profit, calling it a robbers den, over turning the money changers tables seeking to make a fortune, an act of hostility toward the Jewish leaders that ultimately led to His death. Down in verse 18, The Jews then said to Him, "What sign do You show us as your authority for doing these things?" Jesus answered them, "Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up." An assertion they would later use as evidence against Him, claiming He literally threatened to destroy the temple, having had no clue that He was referring to the temple of His own body. And, when He was raised from the dead on the third day, instead of believing that He was Who He said He was, they tried to cover up the resurrection with bribery and deception. If only they had known the Scriptures they so faithfully read, they would have known that He is God. Which brings us to another one of His attributes, His acute penetrating discernment by divine illumination, the capacity to see things exactly as they are but are not necessarily obvious, the ability to know what was really in the heart of a man. Clarity of vision, He can never be wrong in His assessment. John is showing us that God never ceases to be God, it's why Jesus can never be deceived by people who call themselves Christians, who claim to be converted, saying that they believe in Him, claiming to love Him. Jesus summed it up in John 14, when He said "If you love Me, you will keep My commandments." Let me say it as simply as I can, if there's no obedience, there's no love, an essential element of the Great Commission is to teach people the necessity of obeying everything Christ commanded. The call to salvation is a call to obedience, a call to obey the Lord Jesus Christ, it isn't a question of whether or not you want to obey, you do it with a willing heart, out of love for Him. Obedience is the deepest desire of a truly regenerate soul, even though we find it difficult.

In John 21, Jesus sharply rebuked Peter for questioning what was going to happen to John in the future.
"So Peter seeing him said to Jesus, "Lord, and what about this man?" Jesus said to him, "If I want him to remain until I come, what is that to you? You follow Me!" Jesus is saying "Listen, John is none of your business, I give the orders and you obey them." When you became a Christian, God gave you His Holy Spirit to help keep you pure, by giving you a desire, a longing in your heart that you might obey Him, though imperfectly. It is that ongoing work of the Holy Spirit that maintains that "no condemnation" status in us, we could never do that on our own, even though our soul is redeemed, our body's still presents a problem. That's why Paul wrote in Romans 7:22-25, "For I joyfully concur with the law of God in the inner man, but I see a different law in the members of my body, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin which is in my members  Wretched man that I am! Who will set me free from the body of this death? Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, on the one hand I myself with my mind am serving the law of God, but on the other, with my flesh the law of sin."
It's distinctively different for those who don't know God, they despise authority, and reject obedience, obedience goes against their grain. Those who live in disobedience aren't His children, it doesn't matter to them what God's Law says, they have no desire to obey anyone or anything that threatens to rain on their parade, or their priority is for pleasurable things that satisfy the flesh, yet are always unsatisfied and wanting more. We live in a very selfish, self-centered, self-entitled, self-absorbed society, I find it difficult to imagine any culture in human history being more cumulatively evil, more morally depraved, more corrupt than the one we live in today, because according to Scripture, the evil tendencies of men will progressively continue to get worse and worse the longer people live on this fallen earth. 
I know some of you might be asking yourselves what in the world does all that have to do with anything, there is a close relationship with love and obedience to God's law, just take the two greatest commandments in Matthew 22, "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the great and foremost commandment. The second is like it, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ On these two commandments depend the whole Law and the Prophets." Jesus is not saying that love replaces the law, He's saying it is love that makes obedience possible. Listen, if you loved God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind, then you're never going to have a problem with loving anything else. True love is devoted to its object,if you have love for God, you're going to remain faithful. You don't have to tell me not to dishonor God, or not to take His name in vain, I'm not going to because I love Him. Love is where it starts, I don't need to have a sign posted in my house reminding me to try to get through the day without causing harm to my children, I dearly love my children, I'm not going to hurt them, I'm going to do everything that I can to meet their needs.

That's why love is the principle for living the Christian life, love God, love others and then, sin as much as you want. That's right, love God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and love others the way you love yourself and sin all you want. If you love God you will never do anything to sin against Him or violate Him in any way and if you love others, you'll be faithful and always desire what's best for them, and sinning against them isn't going to be an option. In order to love like that, you need a new heart, so you have to be born again. Ezekiel 36:26, "Moreover, I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; and I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh."
That's why when Jesus talked about salvation, whether with Nicodemus or anybody else, regardless of their level of religiosity, He addressed the core issue directly - your sinful nature and lack of forgiveness, you need a new heart, acknowledge your sinfulness and be born again. A new heart responds in belief and belief commands a response of obedience. That's John 3:36, "He who believes in the Son has eternal life; but he who does not obey the Son will not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him." You either believe to receive eternal life or you don't believe to receive God's wrath. You must be born again. Then, after His conversation with Nicodemus on His way north, intent on bringing the Gospel to the world, He went through Samaria and presents Himself as the Messiah to the Samaritan woman at Jacob’s well. A woman who had five husbands and was living with a man who wasn't her husband. No self-respecting Jew would even go through Samaria, because they didn't want any Samaritan dirt on their feet. They hated and despised Samaritan's because they desecrated their birthright by inter-marrying with Gentiles. Samaritans were a cursed people. She was the worst of all things, a Samaritan, she's a woman who has had five husbands and she's currently living in adultery. We won't go into the whole story but you can read the details in John chapter 4. To sum it up, the Samaritan woman believes and she is saved, and because of her testimony many of the Samaritans believed. They were asking Him to stay with them; and He stayed there two days, and many more believed because of His word. And they were saying to the woman, "It is no longer because of what you said that we believe, for we have heard for ourselves and know that this One is indeed the Savior of the world." The first people to come to the knowledge of the Messiah weren't even Jews. 

So, when we look at these simple statements in Luke 4:14-15, we'll have a better understanding why the news about Him was spreading all over the place and the environment when He began teaching in their synagogues, being glorified by all because they were aware of everything He was doing before. We know that because John tells us in 4:43, "After the two days He went forth from there into Galilee." And when all the people came to the Passover in Jerusalem, over two million of them, the Word was already spreading through those 240 towns and villages in the area of the northern part of Israel, known as the Galilee. All this to demonstrate the purpose of His mission, the nature of His ministry, He came to seek and to save that which was lost, to be the Savior of the world, not just the Savior of Israel. We'll look at Jesus' Galilean ministry, the northernmost province of the Jewish people, which initially started off good and His visit to Nazareth where He had grown up and the synagogue teaching that offended His hometown crowd and lead to an attempt on His life next time.
Today, the Word has come so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God and that believing you may obtain salvation and with it eternal life. It’s fine to talk about Christ, to marvel at all the great things He's done but unless you cry out to the Lord Jesus Christ, who has come to save the lost and ask Him to save you and put your trust in Him, you'll never know if Christianity is really true. It is my prayer that you will do that even now.

May it be so..

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


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