Aug 31 2009

Spirituality

Posted by Anthony Crumley

When we talk about spirituality, what do we mean?  What are we referring to?  The spiritual realm includes God, angels, Satan, demons, and the souls/spirits of people, both alive and dead.  Our spirituality is determined by how much of our life is involved in the spiritual realm.

How involved are we with God?  How involved are we with the souls/spirits of people?  How much do we pray to God the Father?  How much of Jesus’ life is lived through us?  How much are we learning from the Holy Spirit?  How much of the Holy Spirit’s fruit can be seen in our life?  How much control over our life have we given to the Holy Spirit?  How much of our life is lived following the Holy Spirit’s leading?

In the parable of the sower and the seeds, Jesus compares unspiritual and spiritual believers.

Other seeds fell among thorns that shot up and choked out the tender blades.  But some seeds fell on fertile soil and produced a crop that was thirty, sixty, and even a hundred times as much as had been planted.  …  The thorny ground represents those who hear and accept the Good News, but all too quickly the message is crowded out by the cares of this life and the lure of wealth, so no crop is produced.  The good soil represents the hearts of those who truly accept God’s message and produce a huge harvest–thirty, sixty, or even a hundred times as much as had been planted.  (Matt. 13:7, 8, 22, 23, NLT)

The unspiritual are focused on this life and the physical realm.  As a result, their life does not produce spiritual fruit.  Spiritual believers are focused on God.  Therefore, He does powerful works in and through them.

The key evidence of spirituality is spiritual fruit.  Spiritual people produce a lot of spiritual fruit.  Spiritual fruit are the powerful works God performs in and though the lives of spiritual people.


Aug 30 2009

Watch And Pray, Reviewed

Posted by Anthony Crumley

Sermon by Joe Clark on Sunday, August 30, 2009.

 
icon for podpress  Watch And Pray, Reviewed [43:47m]: Play Now | Play in Popup | Download

Aug 29 2009

Romans 1:20

Posted by Anthony Crumley

For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse,

God personally created the entire universe.  His person is not visible to the human eye but His creative work is open and exposed in all that He made.

In the world around us we can see many of His characteristics.  The amazing intricacies and harmony of creation reveal His wisdom.  His goodness can be seen in all that is enjoyable and beautiful.  His faithfulness is evident in the predictability of days and nights, seasons and tides, gravity and the laws of physics.  His personal characteristics are seen in the personalities of people since we are created in His likeness.

All these characteristics of God are clearly understood by the things that God has made, especially by people.  We have the greatest capacity of all creatures to understand what God has revealed of Himself in creation.

God’s continual and limitless power is demonstrated in the most spectacular ways.  The power expended by our sun everyday is mind boggling.  The energy expended in a powerful hurricane is equivalent to 200 times the world-wide electrical generating capacity.  (NOAA)  Of all that can be seen of God in creation, power is the most clearly seen.

The word Godhead refers to Gods divinity, the fact that He is God.  His existence and the reality that He is God is revealed by His character and characteristics being seen in creation.

As a result, every person in the world is without excuse before Him.  He has provided us with overwhelming evidence that He exists and has clearly revealed to us what He is like.

Romans 1:19Romans 1:21


Aug 28 2009

Arise And Go

Posted by Anthony Crumley

To be useful to God, we must always be listening for His leading and ready to act on His behalf.  When He leads us to act we must do so immediately.  Timing is important.  God will coordinate the meeting of two people in the most amazing and opportune way imaginable.

Now an angel of the Lord spoke to Philip, saying, “Arise and go toward the south along the road which goes down from Jerusalem to Gaza.” This is desert.  (Acts 8:26)

Philip was led by God to get up and walk down a certain road into the desert.  He didn’t even know why he was going down there.  As he walked, he came across a man riding in a chariot and needing someone to explain scripture to him.  God coordinated the timing of a man walking with a man riding in a chariot, a man who knew God with one that wanted to know God, and a man following God with a man seeking God.  This is a feat no man can pull off on His own.  Only God can see and orchestrate all these things.

So [Saul], trembling and astonished, said, “Lord, what do You want me to do?” Then the Lord said to him, “Arise and go into the city, and you will be told what you must do.”  (Acts 9:6)

So the Lord said to [Ananias], “Arise and go to the street called Straight, and inquire at the house of Judas for one called Saul of Tarsus, for behold, he is praying.  (Acts 9:11)

Very often God will create a crisis in a person’s life so He can get their attention.  While He has their attention, He needs someone else He can trust to tell them what He wants them to know.

If we are going to be used by God in these kinds of situations, we need to be ready and listening for His leading.  As we become more attuned to God, He will begin using us in ways that are obviously orchestrated by Him.  Life with God is an exciting adventure.  We never know what He is going to do with us next.


Aug 27 2009

Romans 1:19

Posted by Anthony Crumley

because what may be known of God is manifest in them, for God has shown it to them.

There are things about God that are knowable to everyone. Yet, people everywhere suppress that knowledge and God is justifiably angry with them.  (vs. 18)

This information about God is not hidden.  The knowable things about God are in plain sight, visible for everybody to see and recognize.

God is not visible by accident.  He purposefully and personally put Himself on display to be seen by all.  He has shown Himself to the whole world.

Romans 1:18Romans 1:20


Aug 26 2009

Denying The Power

Posted by Anthony Crumley

Paul warns about people who appear to have respect for God but they reject His power and ability to make a difference.  They “[have] a form of godliness but [deny] its power.”  (2 Tim. 3:5a)

To have a “form of godliness” means to have an outward appearance that does not match the inner reality.  They are posers.  They wear a “godliness” costume and act the part but they deny the reality of it.

A key evidence of God working in a person’s life is power.  A godly person is a powerful person.  This power comes from God and Paul prayed that believers would realize the kind of power God puts at their disposal through the Holy Spirit.

Therefore I … do not cease to give thanks for you, making mention of you in my prayers: that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him, the eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that you may know … what is the exceeding greatness of His power toward us who believe, according to the working of His mighty power which He worked in Christ when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places (Eph. 1:15-20)

The kind of power God used to raise Jesus from the dead and seat Him in heaven is the kind of power at work in believers today.  Those who have only the outward form of godliness, the pretenders, will not accept that this power exists.  They deny it and reject its reality.

Believers are not to spend a lot of time with people like this but “from such people turn away!”  (2 Tim. 3:5b)  We are to avoid being influenced by their lack of faith and denial of God’s powerful working in His people.


Aug 25 2009

Romans 1:18

Posted by Anthony Crumley

For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness,

The righteousness of God is revealed by faith but the wrath of God is revealed by unbelief.  Wrath is not just anger but anger that is expressed by punishment.

God makes His wrath known in many ways but ultimately it will be made clear at the end of time.  The word “revealed” is based on the same word as apocalypse and the name of the book of Revelation.  It means to reveal something that has been hidden.  People tend to believe that the wrath of God is not real because it has been hidden from them for so long.  Nevertheless, it will be revealed in a horrific way when God decides it is time.

And God has also commanded that the heavens and the earth will be consumed by fire on the day of judgment, when ungodly people will perish.  But you must not forget, dear friends, that a day is like a thousand years to the Lord, and a thousand years is like a day.  The Lord isn’t really being slow about his promise to return, as some people think. No, he is being patient for your sake. He does not want anyone to perish, so he is giving more time for everyone to repent.  But the day of the Lord will come as unexpectedly as a thief. Then the heavens will pass away with a terrible noise, and everything in them will disappear in fire, and the earth and everything on it will be exposed to judgment.  (2 Peter 3:7-10, NLT)

God’s wrath is “against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men”.  Ungodliness is a lack of respect, honor and reverence toward God.  Ungodly people act as if God does not exist.  Unrighteousness is doing things that are wrong and violate God’s law.  Unrighteous people do what is right in their own eyes rather than what is right in God’s eyes.

God makes Himself known to us all through our conscience and His creation.  Yet, we tend to suppress and hinder the truth about God.  With our wrong actions we violate our conscience and with our wrong thinking we deny His hand in creation.

Romans 1:17Romans 1:19


Aug 24 2009

Remain In Christ

Posted by Anthony Crumley

God’s desire is for every believer to produce a lot of spiritual fruit.  Spiritual fruit represents unbelievers being saved from their sins by believing the gospel and believers being delivered from their sins by becoming more spiritual.  How can we produce this kind of fruit?

Jesus said … Remain in me, and I will remain in you. For a branch cannot produce fruit if it is severed from the vine, and you cannot be fruitful apart from me.  Yes, I am the vine; you are the branches. Those who remain in me, and I in them, will produce much fruit. For apart from me you can do nothing.  (John 15:4, 5, NLT)

We produce spiritual fruit by remaining in Jesus.  To remain means to stay somewhere continually, to live our lives in that place, to abide there.  This word remain is an imperative verb which makes it a command.  Jesus is not suggesting that we remain in Him, He is ordering us to remain.  Also, this word remain is an active verb which means it requires action and effort on our part.  Remaining in Christ requires us to put forth continuous effort.  Our natural tendency is to remain in our sinful flesh.

If we will live our lives remaining in Him then He will live His life in us.  Just like a branch receives life from the vine it is attached to, so we receive Christ’s life as long as we remain attached to Him.  It is Jesus’ life in us that produces spiritual fruit, that saves unbelievers from their sin and produces spirituality in the lives of believers.

The blunt truth we must come to grips with is that we can do NOTHING apart from Jesus.  Therefore, we must remain in Him so that He can produce much fruit through us.


Aug 23 2009

The Holy Spirit

Posted by Anthony Crumley

Sermon by Joe Clark on Sunday, August 23, 2009.

 
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Aug 23 2009

Romans 1:17

Posted by Anthony Crumley

For in [the gospel] the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, “The just shall live by faith.”

Through the gospel, God is shown to be faithful, true and right in dealing with sinful people.  Also, through the gospel God makes sinful people right before Him.

We cannot become right by our own efforts or goodness.  When we place our faith in Jesus, God makes us right by giving us the righteousness of Jesus.

Our right standing before God comes “from faith”.  When we first put our faith in Him, He makes us right before Him forever.  This initial faith leads “to [more] faith” because “The just shall live by faith.”

The Christian life is a life produced by faith.  The same kind of faith that begins our Christian life is the kind that enables us to experience the very life of Christ each day thereafter.  Faith isn’t something we just need in difficult circumstances.  It is the very air we breath in our spiritual lives.

And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.  (Heb. 11:6, NIV)

Romans 1:16Romans 1:18