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Easter Message 2019

…and here is one man. Look at His track record. He actually raised people from the dead. It was known. It was witnessed. It was irrefutable. He was a good man. He healed the sick. He set demonized people free. He even fed people when they were hungry.

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Matthew 21:1-13

21 When they approached Jerusalem and came to Bethphage at the Mount of Olives, Jesus then sent two disciples, telling them, “Go into the village ahead of you. At once you will find a donkey tied there, and a colt with her. Untie them and bring them to Me. If anyone says anything to you, you should say that the Lord needs them, and immediately he will send them.”

This took place so that what was spoken through the prophet might be fulfilled:

Tell Daughter Zion,
“Look, your King is coming to you,
gentle, and mounted on a donkey,
even on a colt,
the foal of a beast of burden.”

The disciples went and did just as Jesus directed them. They brought the donkey and the colt; then they laid their robes on them, and He sat on them. A very large crowd spread their robes on the road; others were cutting branches from the trees and spreading them on the road. Then the crowds who went ahead of Him and those who followed kept shouting:

Hosanna to the Son of David!
He who comes in the name
of the Lord is the blessed One!
Hosanna in the highest heaven!

10 When He entered Jerusalem, the whole city was shaken, saying, “Who is this?” 11 And the crowds kept saying, “This is the prophet Jesus from Nazareth in Galilee!”

12 Jesus went into the temple complex and drove out all those buying and selling in the temple. He overturned the money changers’ tables and the chairs of those selling doves. 13 And He said to them, “It is written, My house will be called a house of prayer. But you are making it a den of thieves!”

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Galatians 3:19-26

19 Why then was the law given? It was added because of transgressions until the Seed to whom the promise was made would come. The law was put into effect through angels by means of a mediator. 20 Now a mediator is not for just one person, but God is one. 21 Is the law therefore contrary to God’s promises? Absolutely not! For if a law had been given that was able to give life, then righteousness would certainly be by the law. 22 But the Scripture has imprisoned everything under sin’s power, so that the promise by faith in Jesus Christ might be given to those who believe. 23 Before this faith came, we were confined under the law, imprisoned until the coming faith was revealed. 24 The law, then, was our guardian[r until Christ, so that we could be justified by faith. 25 But since that faithhas come, we are no longer under a guardian, 26 for you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus.

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Galatians 3:10-18

10 For all who rely on the works of the law are under a curse, because it is written:Everyone who does not continue doing everything written in the book of the law is cursed. 11 Now it is clear that no one is justified before God by the law, because the righteous will live by faith. 12 But the law is not based on faith; instead, the one who does these things will live by them. 13 Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us, because it is written: Everyone who is hung on a tree is cursed.[l 14 The purpose was that the blessing of Abraham would come to the Gentiles by Christ Jesus, so that we could receive the promised Spirit through faith.

15 Brothers, I’m using a human illustration. No one sets aside or makes additions to even a human covenant that has been ratified. 16 Now the promises were spoken to Abraham and to his seed. He does not say “and to seeds,” as though referring to many, but referring to one, and to your seed, who is Christ. 17 And I say this: The law, which came 430 years later, does not revoke a covenant that was previously ratified by God[p and cancel the promise. 18 For if the inheritance is from the law, it is no longer from the promise; but God granted it to Abraham through the promise.

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Grace Busters Part 2

Fear, Unbelief and Religion

This is the second teaching in the Grace Busters series. This series deals with identifying obstacles and those things that prevent us from receiving God’s grace. 

Fear, unbelief and religion keep us bound, restricting and holding us back from accepting the freedom that God has for us. These are things that need to be addressed so we can move ahead and grow in our Christian life.

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Galatians 3:1-9

You foolish Galatians! Who has hypnotized you, before whose eyes Jesus Christ was vividly portrayed as crucified? I only want to learn this from you: Did you receive the Spirit by the works of the law or by hearing with faith? Are you so foolish? After beginning with the Spirit, are you now going to be made complete by the flesh? Did you suffer so much for nothing—if in fact it was for nothing? So then, does God supply you with the Spirit and work miracles among you by the works of the law or by hearing with faith?

Just as Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him for righteousness,then understand that those who have faith are Abraham’s sons. Now the Scripture saw in advance that God would justify the Gentiles by faith and told the good news ahead of time to Abraham, saying, All the nations will be blessed through you. So those who have faith are blessed with Abraham, who had faith.

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Galatians 2:15-3:5

15 We who are Jews by birth and not “Gentile sinners” 16 know that no one is justified by the works of the law but by faith in Jesus Christ. And we have believed in Christ Jesus so that we might be justified by faith in Christ and not by the works of the law, because by the works of the law no human being will be justified. 17 But if we ourselves are also found to be “sinners” while seeking to be justified by Christ, is Christ then a promoter of sin? Absolutely not! 18 If I rebuild the system I tore down, I show myself to be a lawbreaker. 19 For through the law I have died to the law, so that I might live for God. I have been crucified with Christ20 and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me. 21 I do not set aside the grace of God, for if righteousness comes through the law, then Christ died for nothing.

You foolish Galatians! Who has hypnotized you, before whose eyes Jesus Christ was vividly portrayed as crucified? I only want to learn this from you: Did you receive the Spirit by the works of the law or by hearing with faith?Are you so foolish? After beginning with the Spirit, are you now going to be made complete by the flesh?Did you suffer so much for nothing—if in fact it was for nothing? So then, does God supply you with the Spirit and work miracles among you by the works of the law or by hearing with faith?[e

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Galatians 2:11-21

11 But when Cephas came to Antioch, I opposed him to his face because he stood condemned. 12 For he regularly ate with the Gentiles before certain men came from James. However, when they came, he withdrew and separated himself, because he feared those from the circumcision party. 13 Then the rest of the Jewsjoined his hypocrisy, so that even Barnabas was carried away by their hypocrisy. 14 But when I saw that they were deviating from the truth of the gospel, I told Cephas in front of everyone, “If you, who are a Jew, live like a Gentile and not like a Jew, how can you compel Gentiles to live like Jews?”[e

15 We who are Jews by birth and not “Gentile sinners” 16 know that no one is justified by the works of the law but by faith in Jesus Christ. And we have believed in Christ Jesus so that we might be justified by faith in Christ and not by the works of the law, because by the works of the law no human being will be justified. 17 But if we ourselves are also found to be “sinners” while seeking to be justified by Christ, is Christ then a promoter of sin? Absolutely not! 18 If I rebuildthe system I tore down, I show myself to be a lawbreaker. 19 For through the law I have died to the law, so that I might live for God. I have been crucified with Christ20 and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me. 21 I do not set aside the grace of God, for if righteousness comes through the law, then Christ died for nothing.

(Galatians 2:11-21, HSBC)

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Grace Busters Part 1

Legalism

This is the first message in a series addressing the Grace Gap: both the lack of understanding of God’s Grace as well as those things that keep us from taking hold of that which he would give us.

Legalism seeks to close the Grace Gap by adding to or turning to rules and rituals rather than fully depending on the Grace of God alone. Legalism of the heart versus legalism of the mind is also addressed in this teaching.

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Galatians 2:1-10

Then after 14 years I went up again to Jerusalem with Barnabas, taking Titusalong also. I went up according to a revelation and presented to them the gospel I preach among the Gentiles—but privately to those recognized as leaders—so that I might not be running, or have run the race, in vain. But not even Titus who was with me, though he was a Greek, was compelled to be circumcised. This issue arose because of false brothers smuggled in, who came in secretly to spy on the freedom that we have in Christ Jesus, in order to enslave us. But we did not give up and submit to these people for even an hour, so that the truth of the gospel would be preserved for you.

Now from those recognized as important (what they really were makes no difference to me; God does not show favoritism)—they added nothing to me. On the contrary, they saw that I had been entrusted with the gospel for the uncircumcised, just as Peter was for the circumcised, since the One at work in Peter for an apostleship to the circumcised was also at work in me for the Gentiles. When James, Cephas, and John, recognized as pillars, acknowledged the grace that had been given to me, they gave the right hand of fellowship to me and Barnabas, agreeing that we should go to the Gentiles and they to the circumcised. 10 They asked only that we would remember the poor, which I made every effort to do.

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