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Archive for April 2012

Series: Experience the SpiritPentecost12.gif

4/22/12

When Jesus said, “You must be born again in order to see the kingdom of God,” Nicodemus did not understand. He was confined to think in terms of the material world. How can a man that is old enter his mothers womb? He was confused. So as Jesus explains in v8: “The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit.”   Though we often think of the point of this passage as dealing with salvation, it really deals with a much larger truth.  The focus is on the Kingdom of God.  Being born again is the entrance into the Kingdom, but there is much more to the Kingdom of God than salvation. That’s why we see the wind blowing again on the Day of Pentecost, empowering the church to live like Christ and minister as Christ in the world with signs and wonders. And as we consider the parallel between the wind and the Spirit, it reveals to us several important truths about the work of the Spirit.

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Series: The Church Jesus is Buildingchurchseries.gif

4/15/12

Though it is true that His Church encompasses everyone who believes everywhere in the world, throughout time: it is also true that His Church is being built in specific places, among specific communities of people, throughout the world.  All of the epistles in the New Testament are addressed to churches or leaders of churches located in specific cities, such as: the church of Ephesus, the church of Colossae, or the church of Phillippi.  Today, this message is addressed to the church at Pembroke Pines.  New Life Assembly is the church that Jesus is building in this location at this time.

I believe that Jesus is speaking to New Life Assembly today through His words in Matt 16:18-19. This is Jesus’ own guarantee to us.  This is an absolute, 100% guarantee. No fine print. No exclusions. “I will build My church and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.” As I was praying over this passage of Scripture, Jesus spoke to me very clearly two words: invincible and indispensable.

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The resurrection is not just about something that happened in the distant past. Nor is it about something that will happen in the farResurrection.gif future. Paul didn’t say “we shall be raised with Christ,” he said “since then you have been raised with Christ....”  The resurrection is an accomplished action; a victory won.  It has already occurred, and it is a present reality – a reality that all those who have personally trusted in Christ have experienced. And Paul is basically telling the believers at Ephesus, and us as well, that we need to live and act like resurrected people. There was a cartoon in a magazine, that depicted a pastor addressing an overflow congregation on Easter Sunday and asking, “Are you not just a little curious as to what goes on here between Easters?” Well today we want to talk about what goes on between Christ’s resurrection 2000 years ago, and our blessed hope, when Christ shall come and we shall be taken up to spend all eternity with Him..But between those two Easters, or resurrections, we need to live a resurrection life.

Resurrection is the key, the guide, the power, the reason for living life now in this world.  The resurrection changes the way we live life on earth.  It makes a difference in our day to day life.

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Series: The Church Jesus is Buildingchurchseries.gif

3/25/12

We live in the in between time, between the coming of His Kingdom and the completion of His Kingdom.  We are living in a time when a huge cosmic conflict is under way, a battle between the kingdom of darkness and the kingdom of God, and as these two kingdoms confront one another the battle is for our hearts, for the heart of every person, for my heart and your heart, for the heart of the church.  The victory has been won, but the battle must be fought.

The battle that is wagging right now is the battle for Lordship.  Who will reign?  The choice is up to us.  In the garden, through disobedience, Adam and Eve rejected the rule of God, and embraced the rule of Satan. As we today, embrace the rule of God through faith and obedience, Satan and the kingdom of darkness is defeated, and God’s kingdom is established in our lives, and we become instruments to advance His kingdom in the world.

This kingdom parable that we are looking at this morning, reveals to us that until Christ’s return to consummate His Kingdom, He has entrusted the affairs of His kingdom here on earth into our hands. We are stewards of His Kingdom, and we need to understand what that means for us, because it will radically transform the way we live, even as the Kingdom of God is about radical transformation.

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