Sunday, November 26, 2006

Our Purpose



Matthew 28:16 - 20

16 Then 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."



Last week we read scriptures about how we are to obey the laws of the land, and how even Jesus obeyed them.

We talked about the difference between submitting to the rulers and authorities, and how unless they contradict the scriptures, we are to follow the laws of the land.

We also talked about many figures in the Bible who did not obey the rulers and authorities when they directly contradicted the Holy Scriptures, and how God has given us the ability to observe the laws given to us and determine whether or not they contradict God’s Word, then we can determine if we are to obey them.

The example I gave was abortion, and how this is a direct contradiction to the scriptures, and we read many references on that matter, and how just because the land decides something is legal, does not necessarily make it OK with God.

This is one of the reasons why it is so important for us to read the Bible and educate ourselves on what pleases and displeases God.

It will do you no good on Judgment Day when you stand before Christ and say “But the laws said it was OK!”

The laws in the time of Daniel said it was OK to worship the King as God, but that doesn’t make it so.

We need to be mindful of God’s laws and how the devil is going to work overtime to get you to commit sin.

Although we all sin, even if we are saved, we should not live in sin.

Let me explain the difference from being a sinner (for all have sinned) and living in sin.

Anger is not always a sin, we read in the Bible that God became angry, and we all know the story of when Jesus was angry and kicked everyone out of the Temple.

But anger turns to sin such as when it is selfishly motivated:

Or when God’s goal is distorted;

Say someone does something against me or to me.

I become angry, and allow that anger to determine my behavior, and that behavior isn’t godly or won’t bring good fruit in a situation as we are instructed to live for God’s glory.

I’ve just sinned.

The proper response as a Christian when the sin is recognized, is the following;

  1. Confess my sin.
  2. Repent (stop doing)
  3. I receive forgiveness for that sin.

That’s the process.

If I do not do steps 1 & 2, I will not receive 3 Forgiveness.

Without forgiveness, I’m living in sin.

This is where we DON’T want to be because this is outside of God’s will, protection, blessings and benefits, as well as salvation.

There are many scriptures describing what will not be allowed in heaven, to do these things listed, you must be living in sin.

Someone who is living in sin is unforgiven.

They have either NOT confessed their sin to God, or they have NOT repented (or stopped doing) their sin.

This causes them to be in a state of unforgiven sin, or what we call, living in sin.

And this is where the devil wants all of us, so that we are living outside of God’s will, protection, blessings and benefits and in danger of eternal hell.

So we need to be mindful of the law that judges us on Judgment Day, and ensure that we are not breaking that law, because therein lies sin.

Daniel refused to worship the king as god because this was contradictory to the Holy Word of God.

Shadrach, Meshach & Abednego refused to bow to the idol made of gold because this was contrary to the Word of God.

These men obeyed the laws of the land until it meant sinning against God.

So we understand that we need to obey the laws of the land, and today, as we do, we fulfill the legal requirements to be recognized by the State of Michigan as a church.

Namely, the Constitution and Bylaws.

Of course, we are already a church, because anyone who belongs to the Body of Christ is part of “The Church.”

But we do need to be recognized as such so that we can worship in a building and function within the community fulfilling the Great Commission and Duty Christ has given to us to fulfill God’s will for us in our lives.

This brings us to the next part of our Constitution and Bylaws, entitled “Our Purpose”.


We first read in our scripture reference today in Matthew 28;

17 When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted.”

We generally think that Thomas was the only who doubted. Although he may have been more vocal about his disbelief, we see here in the scriptures that there was more than one disciple who had a problem believing.

But faith is the first step in following Jesus Christ’s instruction.

Faith in God’s Grace for salvation.

Faith that His Word will do what it says.

Some doubted, but Jesus still spoke to all, those who believed and those who doubted.

The Holy Spirit is doing the same today.

Speaking to all, whether or not they believe.

Why? Because the scriptures promise that none will be with excuse on that last day.

No one will be able to stand before the Lord and say, “You never gave me an opportunity”.

Jesus spoke to all of them, even those who didn’t believe.

First, He wanted them to know by what authority He had to say what He was about to say.

Jesus wanted the disciples to know that what He was about to tell them was the next step of a bigger plan.

God’s plan.

“18 Then Jesus came to them and said, "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.

All authority has been given to Christ. His is more than the head of the church, His Body, He is above ALL THINGS!

Remember, the authority of Christ belongs to His body, and we, the church, are the body of Christ.

Therefore we do all things in the name of Jesus, because that’s where our authority on earth lies.

Matthew 16:18 – 19

18 And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock (What rock? The revelation that Jesus is the Son of God!) I will build my church, and the gates of Hades (place of departed souls) will not overcome it. 19 I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.”

This is why when people pray they pray that sicknesses and such are bound.

Of course people pray that the devil and demons be bound as well, but you cannot bind the devil and his demons.

If you could, the devil would have been bound thousands of times by believers, and we would see the results because of the lack of his presence here on earth.

But that’s not the case.

The scriptures tell us that the devil will be bound by a mighty angel and cast into the pit for the thousand year reign of Christ on earth after tribulation.

At the end of the thousand year reign, the scriptures say the devil will be released for a season to gather armies and come against the Lord one last time, of course he will fail, and this will usher in Judgment Day.

So Christ has all authority in heaven and on earth.

And we see in Matthew, when we believe in our hearts, and say with our mouths that Jesus is the Son of God, we become a part of the body of Christ, the church that Jesus Himself promises to build.

A church that not even death can overcome, because Jesus is constantly building it, and adding members to His body.

And when we become part of the Church, the body of Christ, Jesus promises here in Matthew that He will give you the keys to the Kingdom of Heaven, and authority to bind and loose!

As Jesus prayed with the disciples, “Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.”

Whatever is bound or loosed by us, because of our authority as part of the body of Christ, it is done in heaven, and will be done on earth as well!

Revelation 1:18

“I am the Living One; I was dead, and behold I am alive for ever and ever! And I hold the keys of death and Hades.”

Again, Jesus telling us an important fact here, He is telling us “WHY” He has authority.


  1. “I am the living one” - He is God.
  2. I was dead, and behold I am alive for ever and ever! – He died for us, and rose again.

And I hold the keys of death and Hades.

Jesus decides Who dies, and when. And Hades is the Greek word for Sheol, which is the place of the dead, where all who died before Christ went.

Why did Jesus need those keys? To let those know that all those who died before Christ were not forgotten.

Because the scriptures say you cannot go to heaven without Jesus Christ. Therefore all of those who died before Christ went to the place of the dead. The righteous and the unrighteous.

Jesus had the keys to Sheol, to retrieve the righteous who died before Christ came on the scene in time.

So it is in this authority that we operate as the body of Christ.

This is why when we pray we say things like “in the name of Jesus”, or “In Christ’s name.”

Because we have no authority outside of the body of Christ, but as members of the body of Christ, we have His authority, and He is above all things.

So the first thing Jesus tells His disciples, even the ones who had a hard time believing, was that He’s in charge, and above all things.

“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,”

Therefore…why are we going to do what He is about to instruct?

Because ALL AUTHORITY in heaven and on earth has been given to Him!

So He instructs, and we obey!

To NOT do what Jesus is saying here is direct disobedience to the scriptures, and to Jesus Himself!

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”

We are to “make disciples” of ALL nations, and baptize them in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

How do you make a disciple?

It’s more than just telling someone about Jesus.

Jesus didn’t walk up to the 12 and say, “Do you have Jesus?”

Or, “Have you ever accepted Christ?”

He went beyond a casual introduction of himself.

He took people in, and taught them the way.

Jesus instructs us to do the same here!

How do we bring people in and teach them?

First of all, we need a building, a central point for the lost to come to when the Holy Spirit calls them!

Many come to church without introduction from anyone but the Holy Spirit.

That’s how I first came to the First Baptist Church.

No one invited me, but the Holy Spirit.

So we need an established place of worship for those who the Holy Spirit has called to come and meet Jesus Christ and experience first hand, the love of God.

Secondly, once they come, they need to be instructed in the word.

Disciples don’t happen over night, they are filled with the Word of God, and raised in the way until their hearts are so full of God’s Word it starts to overflow from their mouths and they begin being DOERS of the Word!

Then they recognize the calling God has placed on their lives and the talents they were given by the Holy Spirit, and they go out preaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ bringing others to knowledge of Christ.

Remember the scriptures say that “It is God’s will that ALL are saved and come to knowledge of Jesus Christ.”

So our purpose is to establish a local place of worship, and evangelize the world.

This means local & foreign missions.

Sometimes we can think of spreading the gospel as sending missionaries to third world countries, forgetting that there are people living within a stones throw of a church who does not know they need Jesus Christ.

So we not only need to send out missionaries, but evangelize our local community as well.

And we also need to remember that our goal in evangelizing IS NOT TO GET THEM TO COME TO OUR CHURCH, but to share Christ with them.

If we evangelize for the sole purpose of increasing our numbers, then we have already failed.

The ONLY goal for evangelizing is to bring others to knowledge of Christ.

There is many ways to do this.

This is why I believe it is important that many are involved, bringing their own unique talents God has given them, both naturally and spiritually, so that a greater variety will be working for the same goal.

We must be working towards the same goal for there to be unity and success in this body of believers here.

The goal is what Christ told us to do.

“Go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit”

So how do we reach the lost?

By establishing ministries and committees.

What’s the difference between a ministry and committee?

A ministry will minister to those outside the church, while a committee ministers to the needs within the church.

Although sometimes these will overlap, this is the general definition.

So we are to develop programs for the sole purpose of achieving the goal Christ has given us.

We MUST remember the goal Christ has given us, and ensure that all we do and work for is for bringing us as a body of believers closer to achieving that goal of reaching others with Christ.

As we grow and work toward that goal, ministries and committees will be started, and closed all in accordance to our needs at that time, and whether or not God is calling us in a particular direction.

Which at this time our goal is to reach as many as possible in Tawas with the Name of Christ!

Our direction may change over the years, but our goal will remain the same, bring Christ to the people.

“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.”

Ladies and Gentlemen, allow me to introduce you to church discipline.

Christ’s own Words here, “teach them to obey everything I have commanded you.”

It is so very important that we have and maintain Biblical discipline if we are to function as the Bible instructs.

Biblical discipline is a MUST, and without it, the institution will not function properly.

If you do not believe that, simply watch the news and see how many churches each week fail to serve Christ according to the Word of God because of lack of discipline within the church.

We’ve discussed church discipline before; in fact I have a series on it a while back.

But with great responsibility, comes discipline.

Responsibility without discipline is a formula for disaster.

Discipline is accountability, direction, instruction, structure, and a command of Christ.

We will get more into church discipline, the steps of discipline the Bible gives us to follow as believers, how we are not supposed to discipline those outside of the body of Christ, and how discipline is designed in the Bible to “bring those back into the fold” not “Drive them away!”

If we follow the instructions of the Bible on church discipline, we will become a well tuned, body of Christ, with the ability to achieve greatness for the name of the Lord and God’s glory because of our ability to maintain an obedient membership.

It is possible, or else God would not ask us to do it.

Another goal for us according to Christ’s instruction would be the continuing instruction into discipleship, which would include licensing ministers.

Though it may be a while before we are fully functional as a licensing body, it is important that when we recognize those who may be called to preach and teach the Word of God, that we “teach them” and give them the ability to continue the ministry God has called them to.

If we recognize this within our body, we need to do all we can to school, license, prepare, instruct and give opportunity for experience in the pastoral position so as to prepare those who have been called by God to the ministry of preaching and teaching.

We will have this ability as a recognized church.

The American Baptists call it “Certificate in Christian Ministry”.

And the last thing Christ leaves us with in this scripture, I feel is the most important.

“And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

Why is this so important?

Because we can not achieve anything Christ asked us to do, without Christ!

We need to, as the body of Christ, stay focused on the goal Christ has given us.

The means may change to reach that goal, but the goal will always remain the same.

If we stay focused on that goal, and continue to place Christ first, as the head of us, the body, obeying all He commands, we will live pleasing lives to the Lord, and because of this, when we stand before Him on Judgment Day, alone, with no one but you and Jesus Christ, the Lord will look upon you and say, “Well done good and faithful servant.”

If you have never devoted yourself to being part of the body of Christ, or perhaps you feel that you have lost sight of the goal, come forward and I will pray for you.

If perhaps you have never confessed your sin to Christ, and you are still living in unforgiven sin, come forward as a statement of your faith and commitment to Christ.

If you have confessed, but are having difficulties in your life repenting, you find yourself committing the same sin over and over, come forward and I will pray for you, that the Holy Spirit strengthen you.

If you have any other prayer concerns or requests, please come forward and I will pray for you as it says in James.

Do this now during our closing song.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Obeying the Laws of the Land



Titus 3:1 & 2

“Remind the people to be subject to rulers and authorities, to be obedient, to be ready to do whatever is good, 2 to slander no one, to be peaceable and considerate, and to show true humility toward all men.”



Over the next few weeks we will be looking at the scriptures which define who we are supposed to be as the body of Christ, and how we are supposed to operate.

This new sermon series will coincide with the formation of our constitution and bylaws to better explain why it is written, as well as the way it is written.

I believe that through examining the Holy Bible, we will be able to see and understand the way things have to be for us to function effectively within the legal system of our society.

The first of our sermon series is entitled, “Obeying the laws of the land”.

This can sometimes seem to be a catch 22 for those who follow the word of God, because sometimes the laws of the land are not very godly.

For example, Daniel was in a bad situation.

The laws of his land stated that only the king could be worshipped.

Daniel faithfully prayed to God daily, and no law was going to keep him from praying to God.

God did not expect Daniel to obey a law like this.

Obviously Daniel was caught and had to pay the price for placing God first in his life, but because Daniel was obedient to the word of God, God protected Daniel from the consequences of his obedience.

Again, the same time period, Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, disobeyed the law which commanded all to worship an idol.

This would have been a direct disobedience to the Word of God, so they refused.

Again, God saved them from the consequences of their obedience to His Word over the laws of men which disobeyed God.

In both cases, these men did observe, and submit to the authority in the land, but did not obey what directly contradicted God’s Holy Word.

God has given us a gift called common sense.

And we can determine with our intelligences whether or not something is offensive to God or not. We then determine whether or not we are going to obey.

Some examples, if our land decides that abortion is legal, does that make it OK for us?

No, because that directly disobeys God’s Word, such as;

Psalm 100:3

“Know that the LORD is God.
It is he who made us, and we are his…”

Exodus 20:13 – Literal Translation from Hebrew

“Thou shalt not murder.”

Psalms 139:13 – 16

13 For you created my inmost being;
you knit me together in my mother's womb.

14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.

15 My frame was not hidden from you
when I was made in the secret place
When I was woven together in the depths of the earth,

16 your eyes saw my unformed body.
All the days ordained for me
were written in your book
before one of them came to be

We know from scriptures that God has made us, has known us before He made us, and that we are His from before we are born. That the days we live have been ordained (set aside) a certain number for us to live and that He is our Author.

Abortion, the murder of the unborn is against the Word of God.

P.s. So is the killing of abortion doctors.

Psalms 11:5

“The LORD examines the righteous,
but the wicked and those who love violence
his soul hates.”

So as long as the laws do not contradict the Word of God, we are to obey and submit to them.

When we do, just as in the many examples throughout the Bible, God will make a way for us.


It has never been debated that anyone other than Paul wrote this letter to Titus.

The two men had been longtime associates, and Paul introducing himself at the beginning of this letter with “apostle of Jesus Christ” (1:1) was for the sake of believers in the churches of Crete who did not know him.

This was next to the last letter that Paul would write.

Paul’s last letter was “The Acts of the Apostles”, or the book of Acts.

Most of these letters were named centuries later, so many of the books of the Bible have a few differing titles.

This letter to Titus was a lot like the two letters Paul had written to Timothy and was much for the same purpose, to encourage and strengthen a young pastor whom he had discipled.

In our scripture reading today we see an instruction to Titus with a list of seven qualities that he as a Christian man was supposed to posses.

Duties that were vital to his serving Jesus Christ.

The list consisted of the following seven qualities that we too should posses as servants of Jesus Christ.

Remembering that this letter was to encourage and build up, we too can look at its contents and know that it was preserved for us as well to be encouraged and lifted up.

  1. Remind the people to be subject to rulers and authorities.

This duty, which is given to us in the Holy Scriptures of God, pertains to our attitude and conduct when it comes to our secular government.

We see in the letter that Paul does not mention any particular type of government, just to be subject to rulers and authorities.

This instruction serves many purposes.

a) We are the body of Christ, and we are to be an example of Christ to the unsaved world.

We are called out of the world to be different, and a light, so that those who do not know Christ will be drawn to Him through us.

What example of the Kingdom of God do we give if we are lawbreakers?

How many times in your life have you heard someone who is not a Christian say about a professing Christian, “They are no different than me!”

We are a witness whether we want to be or not.

We are either going to be witnessing poor behavior and give the name we are called by a bad reputation, or we can live an exemplary life and in doing so give glory and honor and praise to the name we are called by for making us that way.

b) The devil is watching.

He is not called the accuser of our brothers, who accuses them before our God day and night, for nothing! Revelation 12:10.

The devil looks for any reason to attack and slander the name of Christ and His church so that those who are not involved in the body of Christ will see no reason to get involved, because, “They are no different than the world.”

The devil tried to use this trick on Jesus, and believe me; he will try and use it on you.

On one of the many occasions in the Bible when the Jewish leaders tried to maneuver Jesus into heresy or treason, the Pharisees and Herodians approached Jesus with the law of the land.

Matthew 22:15 – 22

15 Then the Pharisees went out and laid plans to trap him in his words. 16 They sent their disciples to him along with the Herodians. "Teacher," they said, "we know you are a man of integrity and that you teach the way of God in accordance with the truth. You aren't swayed by men, because you pay no attention to who they are. 17 Tell us then, what is your opinion? Is it right to pay taxes to Caesar or not?" 18 But Jesus, knowing their evil intent, said, "You hypocrites, why are you trying to trap me? 19 Show me the coin used for paying the tax." They brought him a denarius, 20 and he asked them, "Whose portrait is this? And whose inscription?" 21 "Caesar's," they replied. Then he said to them, "Give to Caesar what is Caesar's, and to God what is God's." 22 When they heard this, they were amazed. So they left him and went away.

You see, the devil wants to trap you too in legalism.

Now, many will try to say; “If you want to follow the Word of God word for word you are a legalist.”

But following God’s word and believing what it says to be the truth of God is not legalism.

Taking God’s word, and turning it into mans laws, and demanding it to be followed as God’s word is true legalism.

Who were the legalists in the Holy Scriptures?

The Pharisees and the Sadducees.


Here’s an example.

God’s Holy Word says, “It is not lawful to work on the Sabbath, and you must keep it Holy.”

Man takes this Holy Word and says, “If you walk more than one mile you have broke the Sabbath.”

Jesus healed a man and was attacked for working on the Sabbath!

True legalism is taking the Holy Word of God, making man’s laws and expecting them to be followed.

We are not being legalistic because we want to adhere to the teachings of the Holy Bible, we are being obedient.

Now, Jesus did not suggest that the tax was fair or that it would be used for good purposes.

Everyone, including Jesus, was fully aware that Caesar claimed to be god and that Jews considered his likeness on the coin to be a form of Idolatry.

Yet Jesus declared clearly that the tax should be paid.

On another occasion Jesus said that even He was not exempt from obeying the laws of the land!

Matthew 17:24 – 27

24 After Jesus and his disciples arrived in Capernaum, the collectors of the two-drachma tax came to Peter and asked, "Doesn't your teacher pay the temple tax?"

25 "Yes, he does," he replied.
When Peter came into the house, Jesus was the first to speak. "What do you think, Simon?" he asked. "From whom do the kings of the earth collect duty and taxes—from their own sons or from others?"

26 "From others," Peter answered.

"Then the sons are exempt," Jesus said to him.

27 "But so that we may not offend them, go to the lake and throw out your line. Take the first fish you catch; open its mouth and you will find a four-drachma coin. Take it and give it to them for my tax and yours."

Jesus says that we are not to offend, because if we offend, we can not minister God’s word.

We also see from the scripture Jesus showed us how God provided for their need.

Now at this time the disciples had been traveling with Jesus and they had collected alms and tithes and had money, but Jesus did not have the tax paid with their money because He wanted to show that God will provide in times of need, and when we are obedient to God’s word, and subject to the authorities and rulers, He will provide.

So we are SUBJECT to authorities and rulers of the land.

  1. We are to be obedient to human authorities.

The only exception to this would be if the authorities and rulers were to command us to do something that is against the commands of God.

If it does not go against the commands of God, we are to be obedient.

The Sanhedrin, the Jewish high council in Jerusalem, ordered Peter and John “not to speak or teach at all in the name of Jesus.”

The apostles replied to this command with, “Whether it is right in the sight of God to give heed to you rather than to God, you be the judge; for we cannot stop speaking what we have seen and heard.” (Acts 4:18 – 20; Acts 5:40 – 42.)

So unless it contradicts God’s Holy Word we are to obey the rulers and authorities. Why? Because God’s word says so.

This brings us to where we are in our process of becoming a Church.

First of all, the church is us.

Anyone who belongs to Christ is in the “Church”.

The church is the body of Christ, and Jesus promises that “He will build His church”.

And He does, through the Holy Spirit by bringing others to believe on Him.

So we are already recognized by God as a church because we are a body of believers.

But the word of God tells us we are subject to rulers and authorities, and we are to obey them.

This brings us to the process.

First of all, we would like to have a building, a meeting place for us to have worship services and meet and function out of as a base of Christian operations if you will.

For us as a body of believers to have a building, we must first be recognized by the State of Michigan as a body of believers.

And the first step of this process was the development of the Articles of Incorporation.

These articles of incorporation give substance to an entity.

The entity is this body of believers.

Our articles of incorporation give a name to this collection of believers, which is the House of Faith Ministries.

These articles have been written, and submitted to the State of Michigan, which has received, accepted and filed into their official paperwork our existence.

The House of Faith Ministries was a ministry Terri and I started years ago, and we financially supported missionaries and other Christian organizations, but a as we move from ministry to church, the DBA which was filed years ago for the ministry wouldn’t apply to the church, so this is why the articles had to be filed.

Now that we have obtained recognition as an entity, the House of Faith Ministries, our next step is to be recognized by the State of Michigan as a religious organization.

Now this isn’t just so we don’t have to pay taxes.

We have to be recognized as a religious organization for many reasons.

First of all, you cannot legally give money to an organization that is not classified, and unless that organization is classified as a non-profit, you cannot write off your tithes.

And really, scripturally speaking, you should write off your tithes, because if you do not write off your tithes, at the end of the year you are paying taxes on that money as if you had it and spent it, so you’re paying taxes on money you gave away.

The laws of our land offer you a break, and since we have to obey the rulers and authorities that don’t really help us, we should take advantage of the ones that do.

But we also have to be recognized as a religious organization for other reasons, such as purchasing a building for worship, operating in the community with programs to help other without having to obtain any special licenses or privileges, because they come with the recognition.

So once we have our letter of filing from the State of Michigan showing that our dues were paid for the Articles of Incorporation, we can file for our 501(c)(3) non-profit Religious Organization status.

Another thins that is required for receiving this recognition is the following;

  • A Constitution & Bylaws with certain legal terminology
  • Many different operation policies
  • A statement of faith
  • A description of our ecclesiastical government
  • A membership and membership process

These things will all be explained over the next few weeks in our sermon series where I will show how we are following the legal guidelines needed for our recognition while at the same time obeying the Holy Word of God.

We do not need to step out of God’s Bible and operations described within to obey the laws at this time.

They can both be done, and we are doing it.

We will have sermons over the next few weeks which will show where we are sticking right to scriptural structure of church operation, and we will also examine some of the areas that are required by law, but do not necessarily contradict scripture.

We need to remember another bonus of being recognized as a religious organization, which is the separation of church and state.

We as a church can operate in accordance to the bible without fear of being told how, when or where we can worship God!

I praise God and thank Him for this country we live in and the freedoms we do have.

Next week we will examine our Biblical purpose and calling as a body of believers, and how the scriptures which instruct us in this direction are instilled into the opening of our constitution and bylaws.

Please make sure that you have a copy of the Constitution and Bylaws, and take them home and examine them, look up the scriptures, and hopefully you will find that my work of over 2 years has shown in the structure and organization of the document which is needed for us to be recognized by the State of Michigan as a religious organization.

If you have any questions, you can speak with me. I know that most of your questions will be answered over the next few weeks as we go through our sermon series, it does coincide with the Constitution and Bylaws, and each matter will be discussed and explained.

So, next week we will discuss establishing places of worship, evangelizing here and foreign, the establishing of ministries and committees, and licensing ministers of the gospel, such as is done in denominational churches like ABC with their Certificate in Christian Ministry Program.

Let me close with a final word about the scripture reading today.

To be subject to rulers and authorities.

To be obedient.

To be ready for every good deed.

We must to be ready to do whatever is good.

Galatians 6:9 – 10

9 Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. 10 Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers.”

We are called to be known for consistent aggressive goodness, done NOT simply out of duty but out of love for our Lord and for other people.

The scripture goes on to say in verse 2, to slander no one.

Not even those who may malign you and your name. We must never stoop to maligning those whose sin is detestable.

We are to be peaceable and considerate, which means friendly and peaceful towards the lost rather than quarrelsome and belligerent.

In an ungodly immoral society, it is easy to become angry with those who corrupt it, condemning them and writing them off as hopeless and beyond God’s grace.

But we have no right to become hostile when unbelievers act like unbelievers.

Romans 12:18 tells us “If possible, so far as it depends on you, be at peace with all men.”

If God so limitlessly and unconditionally loved the world that he sent his Son to redeem it, how can we, as sinful recipients of His redeeming grace, be callous and loveless toward those who have not received it yet?

We are to be gentle, not holding grudges but always giving others the benefit of the doubt.

And finally, we read in our scripture reading today, that we are to show true humility toward all men.

Remember your former condition, before Christ and His Holy Spirit changed you from the inside out.


Sunday, November 12, 2006

House of Faith - Part 6 - Being Doers of the Word



James 1:22

22Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.”


Only 1 obstacle stands between a complacent mediocre church, and a thriving spirit filled house of God.

1 obstacle…1 Word


Most of us have discovered the gifts God has given us.

If you haven’t there are some discovery tests we can get to you so you can take them home and fill them out.

We may be excited about what we found out about our gifts, or even confused.

You may be surprised.

Now comes the time where we begin to use them, becoming doers.

Do you remember the illustration about my lawn mower I gave a while back?

I can have a lawn mower, but unless I use it, my grass will never get cut.

We must be doers if we expect this church to serve and please God.

You are not just here to keep the chairs warm.

You are not just here to tithe.

You are not just here to visit and have fellowship.

God has a purpose for you personally in this church!

If you are here today, it’s because God has a purpose for you in your life, and He wants you to live it!

Today we are going to discuss 3 principles to help you develop your discoveries.

At first my plan was to give you a list of what gifts work well for which positions within the church.

But as I thought about that, what if God wants us to move in a direction yet unknown to us?

How could I define a position that does not exist yet?

So instead of showing you where your gift belongs, we will discuss how to develop and grow your gift, and God will lead you in the right direction.

“Seek God in everything and he will guide your path.”

So we will continuously seek God for direction while we are growing.

  1. Take Advantage of Opportunities

We could all be more effective teachers, singers, leaders, visitors, councilors, maintenance workers, and witnesses if we would take advantage of learning and training opportunities.

Just because God has given you a gift, doesn’t mean that you will immediately use it to its full potential.

Although the Spiritual Gift is God’s ability not ours, we need to use it so it will grow.

Remember the story of the talents?

When the master saw he could trust the servant with a little, he gave the servant a lot!

When we faithfully exercise our gift, God will grow that gift.

When we show God He can trust us to use what He gives us, He will give us more!

It’s about obedience, and it’s about DOING.

This is the one thing that stands between a mediocre church and a pleasing and thriving church of God.

You could have 3000 members, but if they are not spreading the gospel of Christ, what are they really accomplishing?

Or you could have 12 apostles, and change the world by spreading the good news of Jesus Christ!

Which church do we want to be?

This is a very real and important question.

Look around you and ask, “Is this the beginning of God’s will for the House of Faith Ministries?

Is this just the beginning of what God has planned for us and the city of Tawas?”

If there are training classes for your gift, take them!

You may have a gift of counseling. There are Christian counseling courses that can help you be more effective.

If there are books available to help you understand your gift, read them!

Especially the Bible!

If there are conferences to help you with your gift, go to them!

Promise Keepers.

If there are schools to educate you in your gift, then by all means go to them!

God has given me the spiritual gift of pastor, preacher/teacher of God’s word.

I have had this gift for many years now, but that doesn’t mean I didn’t have to go to seminary.

Just because God gives you a gift or ability, doesn’t mean you don’t have a responsibility.

I went to Day Spring Ministries for 4 years before graduating, then taking correspondence courses to obtain a second ordination, a certificate in pastoral counseling and a church charter for the House of Faith Ministries that Terri and I started in January 2003.

In 2003 Terri and I started this ministry which mainly focused on helping missionaries, and children in third world countries.

We helped finance the building of an Abandoned Baby Center in Honduras, the building of wells in Africa, and the development of an agricultural city in Kenya, as well as the financial support to a young blind girl in Kenya and a boy in Ethiopia who still writes me letters.

Here is a letter he sent me a couple months ago.

I was DOING. In accordance to the gifts God has given me.

If we expect to experience God’s greatness in our lives, and make a difference in others lives, we must be DOERS of His word.

For the first few years I listened to Christian seminars on audio tapes in my car everywhere I went.

I was constantly and consistently filling myself with God’s word and education of God’s word.

  1. Exercise your Gift

Your spiritual gift is like a muscle, the more you use it, the stronger it becomes.

If you have the spiritual gift of hospitality, and you decide to use it, the first time you have people over you may have made coffee for them.

But you keep using your gift and you keep exercising it, and the next thing you know when people come over you have the table set, with their choice of coffee, hot tea, cold tea, flavored creamers, cookies, snacks, mood music, etc..

You became more efficient at using your gift.

Perhaps you really didn’t know what to talk about when you first invited people over, but after a while, they don’t want to leave because there is always wonderful conversation.

Exercise your gift!

  1. recognize value

“Spiritual gifts are only for the super-spiritual”


Too many people believe this, and when they take this attitude they resign themselves to being a second-rate Christian, unaware that God gives every believer gifts capable for maximum service!

Recognizing your value is especially helpful when your motivation is low.

If you feel depressed or discouraged, you’ll have little desire to develop your gifts.

But if you realize the advantages of developed gifts, your motivation may increase.

You are serving God when you use your gift!

You are fulfilling God’s will for your life and calling when you use your gift.

You are building up the body of believers, the body of Christ, when you use your gift!

Develop and use your gift and you will discover the answers to some of life’s hardest questions.

Who am I?

Why am I here?

Where am I going?

Proverbs 18:16 - Amplified

“A man’s gift makes room for him and brings him before great men.”

David’s gift of music opened the door to Saul’s palace.

Philip’s gift of evangelism and miracles opened the door to Samaria.

Paul’s gift of Apostleship and teaching brought him to the western world with the gospel.

Elijah’s gift of faith closed the heavens for 3 years, and brought him before King Ahab and the people of Israel.

Bezalel’s gift of craftsmanship built the tabernacle of God in the wilderness.

Nathan’s gift of prophecy brought him before David the King.

Solomon’s gift of wisdom brought great men and women of the world to his court.

Peter’s gift of exhortation caused 3,000 Jews to repent in a single day.

My gift God has given me caused me to write a sermon, and that sermon was found by a minister in India who preached it to 5,000 people, and nearly 2,000 accepted the Lord!

A man’s gift makes room for him.


Pray and God will guide you.

Use your gift and God will work through you.

Live the Word, and change peoples lives, including your own.

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