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Saturday, September 24, 2011

Sermon notes and text for 9-25-11

SEEK TO SERVE 
(ministery)

          Text: Luke Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again.


'It is more blessed to give than to receive.'

Matthew 10:8
Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse the lepers, cast out demons. Freely you received, freely give.

Romans N.A.S.B.
for the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable.


          Ephesians 4:7-16 But unto every one of us is given grace according to the measure of the gift of Christ.
 8Wherefore he saith, When he ascended up on high, he led captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men.
 9(Now that he ascended, what is it but that he also descended first into the lower parts of the earth?
 10He that descended is the same also that ascended up far above all heavens, that he might fill all things.)
 11And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers;
 12For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:
 13Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ:
 14That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive;
 15But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ:
 16From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love.

          Galatians 6:7-8 Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.
          8. For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but
he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting.

Steps to becoming a servant.

1.     Total commitment to God. (must be saved).

          John 15:5 I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.

2.     Must be healthy. (get healed. Everyone has baggage when they get saved).
Jesus is our healer
          Luke 4:18 The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised,

3.     Must be qualified. (get trained).

          2 Timothy Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.

Ephesians New American Standard Bible (NASB)
For the equipping of the saints for the work of service, to the building up of the body of Christ.


4.     Find your calling. (ministery).

          2 Peter Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall:

Don't change occupations 
          1 Corinthians 7:17-24 But as God hath distributed to every man, as the Lord hath called every one, so let him walk. And so ordain I in all churches.
          18Is any man called being circumcised? let him not become uncircumcised. Is any called in uncircumcision? let him not be circumcised. 19Circumcision is nothing, and uncircumcision is nothing, but the keeping of the commandments of God.                                                                20Let every man abide in the same calling wherein he was called.           21Art thou called being a servant? care not for it: but if thou mayest be made free, use it rather.                                                                                        22For he that is called in the Lord, being a servant, is the Lord's freeman: likewise also he that is called, being free, is Christ's servant.          23Ye are bought with a price; be not ye the servants of men. 24Brethren, let every man, wherein he is called, therein abide with God.
Use your gifts

          Matthew 25:14-30

 14For the kingdom of heaven is as a man travelling into a far country, who called his own servants, and delivered unto them his goods.
 15And unto one he gave five talents, to another two, and to another one; to every man according to his several ability; and straightway took his journey.
 16Then he that had received the five talents went and traded with the same, and made them other five talents.
 17And likewise he that had received two, he also gained other two.
 18But he that had received one went and digged in the earth, and hid his lord's money.
 19After a long time the lord of those servants cometh, and reckoneth with them.
 20And so he that had received five talents came and brought other five talents, saying, Lord, thou deliveredst unto me five talents: behold, I have gained beside them five talents more.
 21His lord said unto him, Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord.
 22He also that had received two talents came and said, Lord, thou deliveredst unto me two talents: behold, I have gained two other talents beside them.
 23His lord said unto him, Well done, good and faithful servant; thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord.
 24Then he which had received the one talent came and said, Lord, I knew thee that thou art an hard man, reaping where thou hast not sown, and gathering where thou hast not strawed:
 25And I was afraid, and went and hid thy talent in the earth: lo, there thou hast that is thine.
 26His lord answered and said unto him, Thou wicked and slothful servant, thou knewest that I reap where I sowed not, and gather where I have not strawed:
 27Thou oughtest therefore to have put my money to the exchangers, and then at my coming I should have received mine own with usury.
 28Take therefore the talent from him, and give it unto him which hath ten talents.
 29For unto every one that hath shall be given, and he shall have abundance: but from him that hath not shall be taken away even that which he hath.
 30And cast ye the unprofitable servant into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.


Thursday, September 22, 2011

Artical on the Apostle Paul

APOSTLE PAUL
 
Is Paul really an Apostle?
 
          There are five ministerial gifts that Jesus gave to the church. Apostles, Prophets, Evangelists, Pastors and Teachers. The question is, are these gifts still in the church today?
          There isn't any place in scripture where any of these gifts were made void.
          The question at hand is. Do we have Apostles in the church today and was Paul an Apostle? Below is the definition of what an Apostle is.
         
 
An Apostle is;
A delegate, messenger, one sent forth with orders
a) Specifically applied to the twelve apostles of Christ
b) In a broader sense applied to other eminent Christian teachers
1) Of Barnabas, Timothy and Silvanus
 
Today we don't call anyone an Apostle, but if we look closer, we find the ministry of an Apostle is alive and well.
     The scripture was translated into the Latin language. The word Apostle in Latin is M????? which when translated into English is missionary. Those we call missionaries today is really Apostles.
     I believe by definition, Paul cannot be excluded as an Apostle.
 
Did the original twelve accept Paul as an Apostle?
 
 
     At the counsel in Jerusalem, did the other Apostles recognize him as an Apostle?
     Acts 15:4 And when they were come to Jerusalem, they were received of the church, and of the apostles and elders, and they declared all things that God had done with them.
 
     There is no doubt that Paul was one sent forth by the Lord. The works that followed his ministry were that of an Apostle. The original twelve Apostles recognized this in his ministry.
 
What else should we look at?
 

          The Christian faith was in question in the early century. The question was; is this of God? This question was brought before Gamaliel. Gamaliel was a teacher of scripture. He was a devout Jew. Gamaliel was recognized as a leading authority in the Jewish community. He said concerning this new religion. Acts 5:38-39 And now I say unto you, Refrain from these men, and let them alone: for if this counsel or this work be of men, it will come to nought:

 39But if it be of God, ye cannot overthrow it; lest haply ye be found even to fight against God.
          The question we MUST ask ourselves is; did the apostle's writings come to nought? Beware lest you fight against God.
 
Did the teachings of Paul Differ
from the other Apostles or the teachings of Jesus?
 
Below is an article from the Jews for Jesus website.
 
 

Was Paul the Founder of Christianity? by Avi Snyder

March 1, 1984
This is an archived article. It originally appeared on March 1, 1984. Some information may be outdated.
In the past several decades, a particular program of reclamation has been undertaken by the Jewish people. It does not involve the rejuvenation of the land, nor the replanting of trees. Instead, it is the reclamation of one whom many regard as Israel's greatest native son: the reclamation of Jesus of Nazareth as, if nothing else, a Jew who deserves a rightful place in the history of our people.
However, while many Jews are willing to reclaim Jesus to some degree, there is another first-century Jew whom our people reject: Saul of Tarsus, the Apostle Paul. Why the acceptance of the one and rejection of the other? "Because," some reason, "Jesus was born a Jew, and he died a Jew. He had no intention of starting a new religion. His teachings were Jewish, and his life was an example of fidelity to the faith of our fathers. But Paul, on the other hand, not only veered away from Judaism, but his teachings laid the foundation for twenty centuries of misunderstanding and abuse from the Gentiles."
But is the argument accurate and justified? Or is it possible that Paul has himself been the victim of misunderstanding and abuse? Is it even possible, after nearly two thousand years, to know with any certainty precisely how Paul regarded us, and what significance he placed upon identity as a Jew?
Yes, it is possible to know. We have at our disposal not only the biographical account provided by his traveling companion, the physician Luke, but we also have Paul's words. These words were preserved in the letters he wrote to various congregations of believers in Jesus throughout Europe and Asia, as well as his personal correspondence to close friends. From these primary sources, an accurate portrait of the man's attitudes and character emerges.
"I am a Jew, born in Tarsus of Cilicia, but brought up in this city (Jerusalem). Under Gamaliel I was thoroughly trained in the law of our fathers…" (Acts 22:3).
Commenting upon his early commitment to the practices in which he had been trained, he described himself as:
"A Hebrew of Hebrews; in regard to the law, a Pharisee…as for legalistic righteousness, faultless" (Philippians 3:5, 6
But while en route to the city of Damascus, Saul records that he encountered one who had claimed to be the promised Messiah of Israel; one whom the young man Saul had known to have been crucified by a Roman guard; one whose followers in Jerusalem insisted had been raised from the dead in fulfillment of prophesies contained in the Holy Scriptures.
Saul insisted that he encountered the resurrected Jesus of Nazareth. The meeting irrevocably altered his life:
About noon as I came near Damascus, suddenly a bright light from heaven flashed around me. I fell to the ground and heard a voice say to me, 'Saul! Saul! Why do you persecute me? "'Who are you, Lord?' I asked. "'I am Jesus of Nazareth, whom you are persecuting,' he replied" (Acts 22:6-8.
Then in Damascus, a fellow Jew named Ananias informed Saul of the work God had in store for him: "You will be his witness to all men of what you have seen and heard" (Acts 22:15). Therefore, Saul, also known by his Greek name, Paul, spent the greater part of the remaining three decades of his life in foreign nations where he taught the Greek—speaking Gentiles about the "Christ"—the "Messiah."
Did his life among the Gentiles eradicate or even lessen his sense of being a Jew? His words would indicate that they did not. "I am an Israelite myself," he wrote to the congregation in Rome, "a descendant of Abraham, from the tribe of Benjamin" (Romans 11:1). That he continued to identify himself as a Jew can be seen in the fact that, upon entering each new city, the place he visited first was the local synagogue.
In speaking to his countrymen first, Paul followed a precedent. Jesus himself proclaimed his message initially and predominantly to the household of Israel. He told his early disciples, "You will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth" (Acts 1:8). Or, as Paul later put it, "first for the Jew, then for the Gentile" (Romans 1:16). But this principle of "first for the Jew" was more than an act of obedience, it was the outworking of Paul's continued love and concern for the Jewish people. "My heart's desire and prayer to God for the Israelites," he wrote, "is that they may be saved" (Romans 10:1).
But many, thought not all, of his countrymen rejected his pronouncement, and this caused him no little distress. So deep was his sadness that he was constrained to write, "I have great sorrow and unceasing anguish in my heart. For I could wish that I myself were cursed and cut off from Messiah for the sake of my brothers, those of my own race, the people of Israel" (Romans 9:2-4).
His sentiments nearly echo the cry of another communicator of God's revelation to our people and to the world: the prophet Moses, "Oh, what a great sin these people have committed," Moses admitted before the Lord after we had worshiped the golden calf. "They have made themselves gods of gold. But now, please forgive their sin but if not, then blot me out of the book you have written" (Exodus 32:31-32).
Two men, separated by several centuries, but united in a love for their people that prompted each to offer his life in exchange for the well-being of the nation.
But unlike his predecessor Moses, Paul was commissioned to carry his message primarily to the world at large to the Gentiles. In light of Paul's extensive Jewish education, one might wonder, "Why would God choose Paul—a man with a mind so thoroughly imbued with Jewish law, custom and thinking—to be the chief herald of the Messiah among the Gentiles? Why not pick a Gentile convert to the Messianic movement, one who could communicate to his own?"
At first glance, the selection of Paul might seem to be a baffling choice. But on closer examination it is seen that Paul was the perfect candidate. Someone was needed who could speak to the Gentiles in a manner that they could understand, while assuring the faithful translation of a Jewish message into a Gentile setting. Paul spent his boyhood in Tarsus, a city in Asia Minor noted as a center of Gentile culture. Though Paul's father, a Pharisee, would have kept him from indulging in any of the common pagan practices, Paul had the opportunity to observe the Gentile culture and modes of thought. Who, then, could be better equipped to guarantee the proper transmission of a Jewish message to a Gentile world than an expert on Jewish law and theology who also possessed an understanding of the world beyond the boundaries of ancient Israel? Who, indeed, but Paul?
A threat existed that only Paul was qualified to check. As the number of Gentile converts surpassed the number of Jewish believers in the Messiah, there was the danger that the Gentile Christians might lose sight of the Jewish origins of their faith and look upon the majority of disbelieving Jews with disdain. They might conclude in ignorance that God was finished with his ancient chosen people. But Paul, the ardent Jew, by whose labor these Gentiles had heard of the Messiah, carried the authority to meet the danger head on. Only Paul could admonish them so bluntly: "Do not be arrogant," he warned, "but be afraid. For if God did not spare the natural branches (the Jewish people), he will not spare you either…And if they do not persist in unbelief, they will be grafted in, for God is able to graft them in again" (Romans 11:20-21, 23).
Yet Paul is often accused of refashioning the Jewish teachings of Jesus into a pagan religion completely cut off from its middle eastern origins. Were it not for Paul, some speculate, Christianity would have either continued to flourish as a sect within Judaism, or it would have met a natural death within the embrace of the culture that had first given it life.
There are two problems with this line of reasoning. On the one hand, it presumes a discrepancy between the teachings of Jesus and the teachings of Paul. The former is regarded as authentically Jewish, the latter as thoroughly pagan. But an honest investigation of the documents indicates that no discrepancies are to be found. Instead, we discover a development of thought, beginning with the teachings of Jesus and faithfully disseminated by the rabbi from Tarsus to the Gentile world at large.
Concerning the purpose of the Law, Jesus taught "These are the Scriptures that testify about me…" (John 5:39). Paul reaffirmed this position in his letter to the Galatians where he wrote, "So the law was put in charge to lead us to Messiah that we might be justified by faith" (Galatians 3:24).
As for the Law's duration, Paul continued, "Now that faith has come, we are no longer under the supervision of the law" (Galatians 3:25). Here again, he merely echoed the teachings of Jesus: "The Law and the Prophets were proclaimed until John. Since that time, the good news of the kingdom of God is being preached…" (Luke 16:16).
If we accept the Jewishness of Jesus' teachings and most Jewish scholars do then we must accept the Jewishness of the teachings of his disciple. The Jewish scholar Joseph Klausner writes, "There is nothing in the teaching of Paul not even the most mystical elements in it that did not come to him from authentic Judaism."1
The second problem to be addressed is historical. The breach between Judaism and the Messianic movement had already take place prior to Paul's new commitment of faith. Tensions with the local religious authorities had even culminated in the death of a Jewish believer named Stephen.
Paul is implicated in the aftermath of the matter, but not as a disciple whose teachings fomented strife. Rather, he is depicted as the messianic sect's most ardent adversary.
Paul concedes as much in a letter to the congregation in Galatia: "How intensely I persecuted the church of God and tried to destroy it" (Galatians 1:13). To blame the schism on the teachings of Paul is to overlook the fact that the schism had already occurred.
The actual reason for the schism did not center around any pagan innovations introduced by Paul, nor did it center around a lack of harmony between the teachings of the Nazarene and his apostle. The conflict centered around who Jesus claimed to be.
He claimed to be the Messiah.
Are the teachings of Jesus and those of Paul in harmony with one another? We believe they are. Are these teachings inconsistent with the teachings of the Hebrew Scriptures? We believe they are not.
Is Jesus the Messiah? We believe he is. We invite you to consider the matter for yourself by examining the New Testament which records his teachings, his assertions and the prophecies in the Tanach upon which he based his claims.

1.     Klausner, Joseph, Ph. D., From Jesus to Paul; MacMillan Cp., New York; 1943; p. 466.
Many scholars acknowledge that the teachings of Jesus are distinctly Jewish. But what about Paul? We believe that a comparison of Tanach, the sayings of Jesus and the letters of Paul reveal a distinct harmony. Consider what Paul, Jesus and the Hebrew Scriptures have to say about the law, the law's purpose and the law's duration.
 
Tanach
Jesus
Paul
The Law
"Oh, how I love your law! I meditate on it all day long." (Psalm 1 19:97)
"Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them." (Matthew 5:17)
"So then, the law is holy, and the commandment is holy, righteous and good." (Romans 7:12)
The Law's Purpose
"Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path." (Psalm 119:105)
"These are the Scriptures that testify about me…" (John 5:39)
"So the law was put in charge to lead us to Messiah that we might be justified by faith." (Galatians 3:24)
The Law's Duration
"'The time is coming,' declares the Lord, 'when I will make a new covenant with the house of lsrael and with the House of Judah…I will put my law in their minds and write it on their hearts."' (Jeremiah 31:31, 33)
The Law and the Prophets were proclaimed until John. Since that time, the good news of the kingdom of God is being preached and everyone is forcing his way into it." (Luke 16:16)
"Now that faith has come, we are no longer under the supervision of the law." (Galatians 3:25)
 
 
 
Should Paul be the replacement of Judas as the twelfth Apostle?
    
     There isn't any evidence in scripture to indicate that Paul replaced Judas a foundation Apostle. Paul was called out of due season.
 
 
Is the foundation Apostles the only ones qualified to write inspired scripture?
 
If this is the case, we must reject the books of Mark, Luke and Acts as well as the writings of Paul.
 
Is there other Apostles mentioned in the bible besides the original twelve and Paul?
 
     Acts 14:14 Which when the apostles, Barnabas and Paul, heard of, they rent their clothes, and ran in among the people, crying out.   
 
     Here in the book of Acts (Acts was written by Luke) Luke refers to Paul and Barnabas as Apostles. Timothy and Silvanus were also Apostles.
               
 
Peter recognizes Paul as being genuine.
 
     2 Peter 3:15-16 (New International Version 1984, ©1984)
15 Bear in mind that our Lord's patience means salvation, just as our dear brother Paul also wrote you with the wisdom that God gave him. 16 He writes the same way in all his letters, speaking in them of these matters. His letters contain some things that are hard to understand, which ignorant and unstable people distort, as they do the other Scriptures, to their own destruction.
 
Should we accept Paul's writings as inspired scripture?
                                   
     The question is. What is the proper criterion for determining what is inspired scripture? Some say the writings of Joseph  Smith should be accepted. Others say Ellen G. White etc... Some people accept the Lost Books of the Bible.    
     Most Christians accept the sixty six books known as the Holy Bible. There are many translations. 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