Sunday, April 30, 2017

Resurrection Sunday 2017

Resurrection Sunday
Pastor Bruce A. Shields
House of Faith Church | |


Isaiah 53
Who has believed our message and to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed? He grew up before him like a tender shoot, and like a root out of dry ground. He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him, nothing in his appearance that we should desire him.

He was despised and rejected by mankind, a man of suffering, and familiar with pain.
Like one from whom people hide their faces he was despised, and we held him in low esteem.

Surely he took up our pain and bore our suffering, yet we considered him punished by God, stricken by him, and afflicted.

But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed.

We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to our own way;
and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all.

He was oppressed and afflicted, yet he did not open his mouth; he was led like a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before its shearers is silent, so he did not open his mouth.

By oppression and judgment he was taken away. Yet who of his generation protested?
For he was cut off from the land of the living; for the transgression of my people he was punished.

He was assigned a grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death, though he had done no violence, nor was any deceit in his mouth.

10 Yet it was the Lord’s will to crush him and cause him to suffer, and though the Lord makes his life an offering for sin, he will see his offspring and prolong his days,
    and the will of the Lord will prosper in his hand.

11 After he has suffered, he will see the light of life and be satisfied; by his knowledge my righteous servant will justify many, and he will bear their iniquities.

12 Therefore I will give him a portion among the great, and he will divide the spoils with the strong, because he poured out his life unto death, and was numbered with the transgressors. For he bore the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.
a.      Today is NOT about Ishtar
i.       She was the Assyrian/Babylonian goddess of fertility, war, love and sex

ii.    This is why the Pagan holiday “Easter” is celebrated with bunnies, which are symbolic of reproduction, and eggs, which are a symbolic of fertility.

iii. Although Ishtar worship has been around for approximately 4,500 years, only 1 of the many days of Ishtar worship actually come near to the day of Passover.

iv.   CONTRARY to Pagan claims, today is NOT a Pagan holiday taken over by a “new” faith as one of their own, but rather, a HOLY DAY which just happened to take place during one of the many Pagan days that fill the calendar.

b.     It IS the PASSOVER
i.       Leviticus 23:5 specifies that the festival year begins with Passover, on the end of the fourteenth day of the month (Nisan 15).

ii.    In both the Old Testament and the New Testament, Passover is the Feast of Salvation.

iii. Jews receiving Salvation from Egypt after the death of the firstborn, and the blood of the lamb as a covering, and in the New Covenant, salvation from sin after the death of the Firstborn of God, and the Lamb's blood which does not cover, but cleanses.

iv.   Today, we mark our bodies (the house of the “spirit”) with the blood of Christ.

v.      Today is a celebration of Salvation!

c.      Today is a promise of God fulfilled!
i.       Man's relationship with God was broken because of sin

ii.    Through the atonement of Christ's sacrifice at Passover, He brought us a NEW COVENANT, purchased with His blood

iii. ANYONE who drinks of this cup, can receive the New Covenant with God, through Christ Jesus, and once again, be in fellowship with our Father in heaven.

a.      Through prophecies
i.       Such as Isaiah 53

ii.    There are literally thousands of prophecies concerning Jesus, which He fulfilled, proving He was the Christ

iii. The Old Testament teaches of Jesus, and the coming New Testament

iv.   Remember, the Testaments are COVENANTS (agreements/contracts made with God)

v.      There are currently 2 contracts with God, the Old which does not save, only condemn, and the New which was purchased in Christ’s Blood, and releases you from the requirements of the first contract.

b.     God also prepared His people by showing His people through example (or foreshadowing)
i.       Prophecies told of what was to come, and have been fulfilled by Christ, but foreshadowing SHOWED the people what was to come!

ii.    God showed what He was going to do to bring Salvation to His people and renew the relationship that had been broken because of sin, by saving the Jews from Egypt, using symbolic teachings such as the blood of a sacrificial lamb over the door stoops, and the death of the firstborn.

iii. This foreshadowed what Christ would accomplish.

c.      Finally, God not only gave prophecies to be fulfilled by Christ, and foreshadowing to SHOW what Christ would accomplish, but Jesus taught before the Cross of what His mission was, and what OUR mission would be once He left.

d.     Matthew 28:16-20Then the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go. 17 When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted. 18 Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
a.      Celebrate it as a feast of God!
i.       Not as a ritual, rather a feast of celebration in honoring God's fulfilled plan of Salvation

b.     Remember it!
i.       As the Israelites were instructed to do, teach it to our young, so the next generation will know what God has done!

c.      Many want to celebrate Christmas as Jesus' birthday, yet;
i.       We know from scripture Jesus was not born in December

ii.    We were NEVER told in scripture to celebrate Jesus' birth

iii. Jesus Himself told us in scripture to CELEBRATE HIS DEATH & RESURRECTION!

a.      At the Passover feast, the night Jesus was taken into custody, he celebrated with the Disciples, and had the “Last Supper”, and during the breaking of bread, and the drinking of the cup into the New Covenant, Jesus told them “EVERY TIME you do this, do this in remembrance of me”

b.     Jesus told them, every “communion”, as we call it, every breaking of bread, celebrate the Passover, Jesus' substitutional death & His resurrection!

c.      Why?  Because it is ONLY through His atoning sacrifice that we have a New Covenant, which Jesus told us was purchased with His blood, which was poured out for the remission of sins; and His body, which was broken for you and me, on PASSOVER.

So, TODAY, Passover, Easter, resurrection Sunday, whatever we call it, was, is and always will be a celebration of the Salvation of God's people!

Let us celebrate PASSOVER today!  Resurrection Sunday!

Feast with family and friends, give thanks, accept the New Covenant with God the Father, through Jesus Christ, and HONOR the Lord, by LIVING the Great Commission of Jesus Christ!

If you have never taken the opportunity to accept this New Covenant in Christ, then you will be judged by the Old covenant and found guilty.

Accepting the New Covenant in Christ is simple.

Accept Jesus Christ died on the cross to pay the debt of sin, the requirements of the Old Covenant.

Believe that this payment for our debt through His substitutional atoning death on the cross was acceptable by God as payment, because God raised Christ from the dead as the First Fruits.

Confess your sin, and repent, accepting Jesus as your Lord

And your sins will be forgiven, and Christ, through the Holy Spirit will begin a new work in you, and you will become a NEW creation!

The Old will pass away, and you will be counted among the children of God.


Want to learn more about Salvation and Getting Saved?    CLICK HERE!

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Paul's Epistles – Colossians - Part 9: Final Instructions

Paul's Epistles – Colossians - Part 9:
Final Instructions
Pastor Bruce A. Shields
House of Faith Church | |

- Listen to the audio of this sermon, as well as many others at House of Faith Church


Paul’s letter (Epistle) to the Colossians was a letter to correct Heresy.

Heresy is having an opinion which is in opposition to true doctrine. In other words, the Colossian church had, as many other early churches, fallen prey to false doctrine.

We see a mixture of Judaism, Gnosticism, Asceticism, Angel worship, etc.

Judaism would be the adherence to Old Testament teachings while ignoring the completed works of the cross.

Gnosticism is the belief that “secret” knowledge existed, specifically that the world was created by a lesser divinity, and ruled by an emissary of the remote Supreme Being. This belief system, which was carried over to Christianity, placed God the Father as the Supreme and Jesus as the lesser ruling divinity.

Asceticism is the severe self-discipline and avoidance of all forms of indulgence, typically for religious reasons.   The doctrine that a person can attain a high spiritual and moral state by practicing self-denial, self-mortification (embarrassment and shame – “mortified”) and the like. Rigorous self-denial; extreme abstinence; in a severe nature.

The heresy, destroyed the Supreme lordship and sovereignty of Jesus Christ, it dethroned Him, destroying the mediator-ship of Christ, making Him only 1 of a multitude of mediators, (such as the Hindu belief in avatars, a manifestation of a deity or released soul in bodily form on earth; an incarnate divine teacher.)

However, we know Jesus is so much more than that, He was, is and always will be God.

Last week we discussed the Christian Household…
Instructions for a Christian Household

Masters, provide your slaves with what is right and fair, because you know that you also have a Master in heaven.

Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful. And pray for us, too, that God may open a door for our message, so that we may proclaim the mystery of Christ, for which I am in chains.Pray that I may proclaim it clearly, as I should. Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders; make the most of every opportunity. Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.

Tychicus will tell you all the news about me. He is a dear brother, a faithful minister and fellow servant in the Lord. I am sending him to you for the express purpose that you may know about our circumstances and that he may encourage your hearts. He is coming with Onesimus, our faithful and dear brother, who is one of you. They will tell you everything that is happening here.
10 My fellow prisoner Aristarchus sends you his greetings, as does Mark, the cousin of Barnabas. (You have received instructions about him; if he comes to you, welcome him.) 11 Jesus, who is called Justus, also sends greetings. These are the only Jews among my co-workers for the kingdom of God, and they have proved a comfort to me.12 Epaphras, who is one of you and a servant of Christ Jesus, sends greetings. He is always wrestling in prayer for you, that you may stand firm in all the will of God, mature and fully assured. 13 I vouch for him that he is working hard for you and for those at Laodicea and Hierapolis. 14 Our dear friend Luke, the doctor, and Demas send greetings. 15 Give my greetings to the brothers and sisters at Laodicea, and to Nympha and the church in her house.
16 After this letter has been read to you, see that it is also read in the church of the Laodiceans and that you in turn read the letter from Laodicea.
17 Tell Archippus: “See to it that you complete the ministry you have received in the Lord.”
18 I, Paul, write this greeting in my own hand. Remember my chains. Grace be with you.

The overall message of this epistle to the church is;
The Supreme Glory, Deity and Dignity of Christ Jesus”.

a. Masters, provide for your slaves (LIT. servants)
                                                                 i. There are approximately 10 or more Hebrew and Greek words that have been translated into “servants” or “slaves” in bibles, depending on your translation

                                                              ii. Knowing the difference is important

                                                           iii. In days past, pro-slavery proponents misused scripture to prove slavery was not only right, but approved by God
1. Diakonos – minister, deacon, servant
2. Pais – young servant
3. Oiketes – house servant
4. Diakoneo – minister, administrator, deacon, service rendered, wait, waiter
5. Duolos – bond servant, slave
6. Sunduolos – fellow servant
7. Also words for servant, servant-lad, bond woman, bond man

                                                            iv. Here it is used in the Literal Translation as SERVANT

1. Or, voluntary, subjection, subservience, bond-servant, employee

b. That which is just and equal
                                                                 i. Just – by character or act, implying innocent, holy, to provide righteously

                                                              ii. Equal – in likeness or condition

                                                           iii. In other words, provide the same conditions for your people (servants, employees, those you oversee), the same conditions in holy and righteous considerations that you expect

c. Knowing that you have a Master in heaven
                                                                 i. However you treat those you oversee must be treated with the equal and just way your Father in heaven has treated you.

                                                              ii. This scripture alone disputes the evil atrocities of slavery from early American (as well as other countries) history.

a. Be watchful and thankful and pray for us too

                                                                 i. Devote yourselves to prayer, be watchful…
1. Don’t let your prayer habit fade away

                                                              ii. And thankful

1. Most prayers should be thanksgiving, not wants, or vain prayers willed with our will

                                                           iii. And pray for us too!

1. We should always pray for others, especially those who are doing God’s will and work, for they are the ones who will be met with most opposition.

b. Pray I may proclaim the gospel clearly as I should
                                                                 i. Being able to share the gospel in a clear and understandable manner should be the goal of us all

                                                              ii. The gospel may not be easy for all, but it is simple!

c. Be wise in the way you act towards outsiders
                                                                 i. More instruction on taking the simple, clear message to others who need it

                                                              ii. “be wise”
1. Many scriptures tell us to “be smart” about our conversations
2. Attacking someone with the gospel, bible or scriptures will win no one to the Lord
3. We must be wise in how we communicate our belief to others
4. How we shine as a light with our behavior
5. How we reach out to others

                                                           iii. “Make the most of every opportunity”
1. Any time you meet someone, there’s a chance to share Christ

                                                            iv. “Let your conversations always be filled with Grace seasoned with Salt”
1. Grace – meaning your conversation is gracious and pleasant

2. And where appropriate, add “salt” which is the incorruptible Word of God

3. We are not to argue, fight, confront, be aggressive, but kindly and graciously converse with others, sharing the Truth of God’s Word

a. I will send brothers to inform you

                                                                 i. Paul was going to send believer’s who had spent time with him to the Colossian church to help and inform them of what was happening with Paul and his ministry.

                                                              ii. He had already sent a few, and planned to send more.

                                                           iii. One of them was even an escaped slave from Colosse who was a believer and would return to let the church know what was happening in Rome.

b. Fellow prisoners send greetings
                                                                 i. Paul also mentions many other Jewish and non-Jew prisoners who sent their greetings back to the church as well.

c. Share my letter with other churches
                                                                 i. Paul finishes his letter with a benediction and a request that this letter be shared with the church, as well as with the church in Laodicea

                                                              ii. This notes the importance of the contents of this letter as well as the fact that the letter pertains not just to the Colossian church, but any and all Christian churches.

CONCLUSION – Colossians instructions

In conclusion of Paul’s epistle (letter) to the Colossian church, Paul has clearly demonstrated the supremacy of the Son of God, squashing the false teachings and false doctrines which here brought in by outside influences.

He has shown how we obtain the spiritual fullness of Christ, meaning Spiritual Maturity.

How we have freedom from man’s laws and rules as our moral compass, obeying Christ’s teachings and the Word is our objective.

Paul has instructed how we are to live as those who were made alive in Christ, leading our lives as such as well as our homes in a Godly manner, teachings us how to be husbands, fathers, wives, mothers, and children of God.

Want to learn more about Salvation and Getting Saved?    CLICK HERE!