Sunday, December 21, 2008


Text: Luke 1:26-33.

Delivered on: December 21, 2008. Streetsboro.


  1. John 1:1. In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God.  John 1:14. And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.

  2. Philippians 2:5-7. Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men.

  3. We have arrived at that time of year where everyone is thinking about the birth of Jesus.

  4. While it should be noted that Christmas is not a Biblical holiday (we don’t read about it in the Bible), I am grateful that at least once a year, so many stop to think about Jesus.

  5. Unfortunately though, I am convinced that most don’t fully appreciate the enormous importance of the birth of Jesus.

  6. Even more tragic, most don’t respond to life and death of Jesus in the way that they should.

  7. The birth of Jesus was a herald of many profoundly important changes that were about to take place.

  8. This morning, let us answer the question, “What did the Birth of Jesus Mean?”


  1. IT MEANT THAT THE FULNESS OF TIME HAD COME. Galatians 4:4. But when the fullness of the time had come, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the law.

    1. “Fullness of time” is making reference to the fact that Jesus came into the world when the time was just right.

      1. God knew before He created the world that there would be a day when He would end His Son into it.  1 Peter 1:20. He indeed was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you.

      2. The Old Testament is a record of the preparations that God made for the day when the fullness of time had come.

    2. From the very first days in the Garden of Eden, we see preparation being made.

      1. Genesis 4:3-4. And in the process of time it came to pass that Cain brought an offering of the fruit of the ground to the LORD. Abel also brought of the firstborn of his flock and of their fat. And the LORD respected Abel and his offering, but He did not respect Cain and his offering. And Cain was very angry, and his countenance fell.

      2. Abel’s offering was made by faith. Hebrews 11:4. By faith Abel offered to God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, through which he obtained witness that he was righteous, God testifying of his gifts; and through it he being dead still speaks.

      3. Why were Cain and Abel even offering sacrifices?

      4. God was already teaching them the consequences of sin.

      5. He was already showing the need for a sacrifice for sin.

      6. Perhaps this is why God was not pleased with Cain’s sacrifice. God demanded a blood sacrifice for sin.

    3. We see this preparation being made in the Law of Moses.

      1. Hebrews 10:1-4For the law, having a shadow of the good things to come, and not the very image of the things, can never with these same sacrifices, which they offer continually year by year, make those who approach perfect. For then would they not have ceased to be offered? For the worshipers, once purified, would have had no more consciousness of sins. But in those sacrifices there is a reminder of sins every year. For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and goats could take away sins.

      2. Galatians 3:24. Therefore the law was our tutor to bring us to Christ, that we might be justified by faith.

    4. We see this preparation in the 4 great world empires.

      1. Babylon – Contributed synagogue worship which was important in the spread of the early church.

      2. Medes & Persians – Contributed a profound respect for law. Even the king could not alter the law once it was given. See the books of Daniel and Esther.

      3. Grecian – Contributed a universal language.

      4. Roman – Contributed a near global peace and system of roads for easier travel.


    1. The Kingdom was to be established by the Son of God.

      1. Daniel 7:13-14. “ I was watching in the night visions, And behold, One like the Son of Man, Coming with the clouds of heaven! He came to the Ancient of Days, And they brought Him near before Him. 14 Then to Him was given dominion and glory and a kingdom, That all peoples, nations, and languages should serve Him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion, Which shall not pass away, And His kingdom the one Which shall not be destroyed.

      2. 2 Samuel 7:12-13. “When your days are fulfilled and you rest with your fathers, I will set up your seed after you, who will come from your body, and I will establish his kingdom. 13 He shall build a house for My name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever.

    2. Jesus, John, the 12, and the 70 all taught that the kingdom was at hand.

      1. Jesus. Matthew 4:17. From that time Jesus began to preach and to say, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”

      2. John. Matthew 3:1-2. In those days John the Baptist came preaching in the wilderness of Judea, 2 and saying, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand!”

      3. The 12. Matthew 10:7. And as you go, preach, saying, ‘The kingdom of heaven is at hand.’

      4. The 70. Luke 10:8-9. Whatever city you enter, and they receive you, eat such things as are set before you. And heal the sick there, and say to them, ‘The kingdom of God has come near to you.’

    3. Jesus’ kingdom is His church. John 18:36. Jesus answered, “My kingdom is not of this world. If My kingdom were of this world, My servants would fight, so that I should not be delivered to the Jews; but now My kingdom is not from here.”

    4. His kingdom was established on the first Pentecost after His resurrection.

      1. Mark 9:1. And He said to them, “Assuredly, I say to you that there are some standing here who will not taste death till they see the kingdom of God present with power.”

      2. After Pentecost, the kingdom is here. Colossians 1:13. He has delivered us from the power of darkness and conveyed us into the kingdom of the Son of His love.


    1. Some mistakenly believed that Jesus had come to destroy the Law of Moses.

      1. Not so.

      2. He came to fulfill the law.

      3. Matthew 5:17-18“Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill. 18 For assuredly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle will by no means pass from the law till all is fulfilled.

      4. All of the law pointed to Christ.

    2. Jesus is the guarantee of a better covenant. Hebrews 7:18-22. For on the one hand there is an annulling of the former commandment because of its weakness and unprofitableness, 19 for the law made nothing perfect; on the other hand, there is thebringing in of a better hope, through which we draw near to God. 20 And inasmuch as He was not made priest without an oath 21 (for they have become priests without an oath, but He with an oath by Him who said to Him: “The LORD has sworn And will not relent, ‘ You are a priest forever According to the order of Melchizedek’”),  22 by so much more Jesus has become a surety of a better covenant.

    3. He is the mediator of a better covenant. Hebrews 9:11-15But Christ came as High Priest of the good things to come, with the greater and more perfect tabernacle not made with hands, that is, not of this creation. 12 Not with the blood of goats and calves, but with His own blood He entered the Most Holy Place once for all, having obtained eternal redemption. 13 For if the blood of bulls and goats and the ashes of a heifer, sprinkling the unclean, sanctifies for the purifying of the flesh, 14 how much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without spot to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God? 15 And for this reason He is the Mediator of the new covenant, by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions under the first covenant, that those who are called may receive the promise of the eternal inheritance.

    4. Hebrews 8:13. In that He says, “A new covenant, ” He has made the first obsolete. Now what is becoming obsolete and growing old is ready to vanish away.

  4. IT MEANT THAT THE SACRIFICE FOR SINS WOULD SOON BE OFFERED. Matthew 1:21. And she will bring forth a Son, and you shall call His name JESUS, for He will save His people from their sins.”

    1. We have already noticed that the blood of bulls and goats cannot take away sin. Hebrews 10:4For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and goats could take away sins.

    2. It took Christ’s blood to take away our sins.

      1. Hebrews 9:22-28. And according to the law almost all things are purified with blood, and without shedding of blood there is no remission. 23 Therefore it was necessary that the copies of the things in the heavens should be purified with these, but the heavenly things themselves with better sacrifices than these. 24 For Christ has not entered the holy places made with hands, which are copies of the true, but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us; 25 not that He should offer Himself often, as the high priest enters the Most Holy Place every year with blood of another— 26 He then would have had to suffer often since the foundation of the world; but now, once at the end of the ages, He has appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself. 27 And as it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment, 28
        so Christ was offered once to bear the sins of many. To those who eagerly wait for Him He will appear a second time, apart from sin, for salvation.

      2. 1 Peter 1:18-19. Knowing that you were not redeemed with corruptible things, like silver or gold, from your aimless conduct received by tradition from your fathers, 19 but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot.


  1. What does Jesus birth mean to you?

  2. Is it just an excuse to have a celebration once a year?

  3. Or do you celebrate His birth every day of the year?

Sunday, December 7, 2008


Text: Acts 21:1-14.

Delivered on: December 7, 2008. Streetsboro.


  1. Paul had taken up a collection for the saints in Jerusalem. 1 Corinthians 16:1-3. Now concerning the collection for the saints, as I have given orders to the churches of Galatia, so you must do also: On the first day of the week let each one of you lay something aside, storing up as he may prosper, that there be no collections when I come. And when I come, whomever you approve by your letters I will send to bear your gift to Jerusalem. But if it is fitting that I go also, they will go with me.

  2. When his third missionary journey was over, he was on his way to Jerusalem to deliver the money to the saints there.

    1. Acts 19:21. When these things were accomplished, Paul purposed in the Spirit, when he had passed through Macedonia and Achaia, to go to Jerusalem, saying, “After I have been there, I must also see Rome.”

    2. Romans 15:25-26. But now I am going to Jerusalem to minister to the saints. 26 For it pleased those from Macedonia and Achaia to make a certain contribution for the poor among the saints who are in Jerusalem.

    3. This task was very important to him. Romans 15:30-31. Now I beg you, brethren, through the Lord Jesus Christ, and through the love of the Spirit, that you strive together with me in prayers to God for me, 31 that I may be delivered from those in Judea who do not believe, and that my service for Jerusalem may be acceptable to the saints.

  3. However, at every turn, he was being warned about troubles that would be waiting for him once he got there.

    1. Acts 20:22-23. And see, now I go bound in the spirit to Jerusalem, not knowing the things that will happen to me there, 23 except that the Holy Spirit testifies in every city, saying that chains and tribulations await me.

    2. Acts 21:10-11. And as we stayed many days, a certain prophet named Agabus came down from Judea. 11 When he had come to us, he took Paul’s belt, bound his own hands and feet, and said, “Thus says the Holy Spirit, ‘So shall the Jews at Jerusalem bind the man who owns this belt, and deliver him into the hands of the Gentiles.’”

    3. I take these statements to mean that the Holy Spirit was preparing Paul for the troubles he was about to face. Not as the Spirit trying to prohibit him from going to Jerusalem.

      1. What about Acts 21:4? And finding disciples, we stayed there seven days. They told Paul through the Spirit not to go up to Jerusalem.

      2. The question is: What is “Spirit” referring to?

      3. Is it referring to the Holy Spirit?

      4. Or is it referring to the spirits of those who were telling Paul not to go up to Jerusalem.

      5. I have to believe it is the latter. Otherwise, Paul would be disobeying the Holy Spirit.

      6. And we know that he had always been obedient on other occasions when the Spirit told him where to go and not to go.

  4. Regardless… Paul felt that he must go to Jerusalem and he knew that there were trials there waiting on him.

    1. What a test this must have been for him!

    2. It was also a test for his companions. Acts 21:12-13. Now when we heard these things, both we and those from that place pleaded with him not to go up to Jerusalem. 13 Then Paul answered, “What do you mean by weeping and breaking my heart? For I am ready not only to be bound, but also to die at Jerusalem for the name of the Lord Jesus.”

  5. I want to focus in on the next statement that is made. Acts 21:14. So when he would not be persuaded, we ceased, saying, “The will of the Lord be done.

  6. All of us need to be able to say, “The will of the Lord be done.”

  7. However, in order to be able to say that and really mean it, we need to possess three qualities.

    1. We must have a submissive heart.

    2. We must have a trusting heart.

    3. We must have a determined heart.



    1. In order to be able to say, “The will of the Lord be done” we must be willing to submit our will to His.

    2. Submit = to accept or yield to a superior force or to the authority or will of another.

    3. His will might not always be the same as ours.

      1. Our Lord did not look forward to going to the cross.

      2. Yet He had submitted to the will of the Father in that matter. Matthew 26:39. He went a little farther and fell on His face, and prayed, saying, “O My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as You will.”

      3. Some specific areas where men have had trouble submitting to the will of God:

        1. Worship.

          1. Men want to do it their way.

          2. Matthew 15:9. And in vain they worship Me, teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.

        2. The plan of salvation.

        3. The organization of the church.

        4. Moral issues.

          1. Homosexuality.

          2. Abortion.

          3. Premarital sex.

          4. Consuming alcohol.

    4. It is pride that keeps people from submitting to God.

      1. James 4:6-7. But He gives more grace. Therefore He says: “God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble.” Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you.

      2. One part of the definition of “submit” is to yield to a superior force.

      3. Many people have a hard time admitting that they are inferior to anyone or anything.

      4. Proverbs 16:17-19. The highway of the upright is to depart from evil; He who keeps his way preserves his soul. 18 Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall. 19 Better to be of humble spirit with the lowly, Than to divide the spoil with the proud.

      5. Truly, it is hard to kick against the goads. Acts 9:5And he said, “Who are You, Lord?” Then the Lord said, “I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting. It is hard for you to kick against the goads.”


    1. In order to be able to say, “The will of the Lord be done” we must trust in God. Hebrews 11:6. But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.

    2. As we have already discussed, His will is often not the same as ours.

      1. Sometimes, God allows us to be tried.

        1. 1 Corinthians 10:13No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it.

        2. Hebrews 12:5-6And you have forgotten the exhortation which speaks to you as to sons: “My son, do not despise the chastening of the LORD, Nor be discouraged when you are rebuked by Him; For whom the LORD loves He chastens, and scourges every son whom He receives.”

      2. How will we respond when things don’t go the way that we think they should?

        1. Will we get angry?

        2. Will we be disappointed?

        3. Will we feel betrayed?

    3. Or will we trust that the Lord knows what He is doing. Like Paul.

      1. Philippians 1:12-14But I want you to know, brethren, that the things which happened to me have actually turned out for the furtherance of the gospel, 13 so that it has become evident to the whole palace guard, and to all the rest, that my chains are in Christ; 14 and most of the brethren in the Lord, having become confident by my chains, are much more bold to speak the word without fear.

      2. Philippians 1:19For I know that this will turn out for my deliverance through your prayer and the supply of the Spirit of Jesus Christ.

      3. 2 Timothy 1:12. For this reason I also suffer these things; nevertheless I am not ashamed, for I know whom I have believed and am persuaded that He is able to keep what I have committed to Him until that Day.

    4. Isaiah 55:9. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, So are my ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts.

    5. We may not always understand why things happen the way that they do,
      but we must always trust that God is in control and believe what is said in
      Romans 8:28.
      And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.


    1. In order to be able to say, “The will of the Lord be done” we must have a determined heart.

    2. Why do we need to be so determined?

      1. As we have already noted, things will not always happen the way we desire. His will is often different from ours.

      2. We will suffer persecution. 2 Timothy 3:12. Yes and all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution.

      3. Because the work will not be easy.

    3. Because of these things, many fall away. Matthew 13:20-21But he who received the seed on stony places, this is he who hears the word and immediately receives it with joy; 21 yet he has no root in himself, but endures only for a while. For when tribulation or persecution arises because of the word, immediately he stumbles.

    4. Are we determined and devoted enough to see God’s will be done even if it brings hardship on us?

      1. Jesus was. Matthew 26:42. Again, a second time, He went away and prayed, saying, “O My Father, if this cup cannot pass away from Me unless I drink it, Your will be done.”

      2. Paul was. Acts 21:13. Then Paul answered, “What do you mean by weeping and breaking my heart? For I am ready not only to be bound, but also to die at Jerusalem for the name of the Lord Jesus.”

      3. Are you? Luke 14:33. So likewise, whoever of you does not forsake all that he has cannot be My disciple.


  1. We often say it in our prayers.

  2. But do we really mean it?

  3. Do we have what it takes to really mean it?

    1. Are we willing to submit to the will of the Lord?

    2. Are we willing to trust the Lord?

    3. Are we determined to stay faithful no matter what the will of the Lord may be?

Friday, November 21, 2008


Text: Various.

Delivered on: November 23, 2008. Streetsboro.


  1. How often do you practice your religion?

  2. Is your religion a “once a week” religion?

  3. Is your religion a “twice a week” religion?

  4. Once a month? A year?

  5. How important is your religion to you?

  6. Is it right there with school, work, sports, etc?

  7. I would suggest to you that if you want a religion that is pleasing to God (and surely that is what all of us want), then you need to have a daily religion.

  8. When we are truly devoted to something, and love that thing, we do not consider it a chore.

  9. Luke 9:23. Then He said to them all, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me.

  10. Let’s look at some of the things that the early church did on a daily basis.


  1. DAILY DEATH. 1 Corinthians 15:31. I affirm, by the boasting in you which I have in Christ Jesus our Lord, I die daily.

    1. In what sense did Paul die on a daily basis?

      1. He gave himself completely over to service to Christ.

      2. Romans 12:1. I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service.

      3. Romans 6:6-7. Knowing this, that our old man was crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves of sin. For he who has died has been freed from sin.

      4. Galatians 2:20. I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.

    2. We too must die on a daily basis.

      1. Have you given your life over to Christ as a living sacrifice?

      2. If we get this right, then everything else will fall into place.

      3. 2 Corinthians 8:5. And not only as we had hoped, but they first gave themselves to the Lord, and then to us by the will of God.

      4. Luke 9:24. For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will save it.

  2. DAILY FELLOWSHIP. Acts 2:44-46. Now all who believed were together, and had all things in common, 45 and sold their possessions and goods, and divided them among all, as anyone had need. 46 So continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, they ate their food with gladness and simplicity of heart.

    1. Sometimes I worry that we don’t really appreciate the idea of Christian fellowship.

      1. The first church had fellowship.

      2. They had all things common.

      3. They were together on a daily basis.

      4. They took meals together on a daily basis.

    2. We need this type of fellowship in the church today.

      1. I realize that work and school schedules don’t allow us to do as much as we would like.

      2. But we can do better than we are.

      3. How can we pray for one another if we don’t know each other well enough to know each other’s needs.

      4. There have been times when we have had members going through serious problems and they never let anyone know about it. That is not fellowship!

      5. Fellowship is sharing our joys and trials with our brethren. 1 Corinthians 12:26.  And if one member suffers, all the members suffer with it; or if one member is honored, all the members rejoice with it.

    3. We are told to exhort one another daily. In order to do this, we must be together. Hebrews 3:13. But exhort one another daily, while it is called “Today,” lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin.

  3. DAILY BIBLE STUDY. Acts 17:11. These were more fair-minded than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness, and searched the Scriptures daily to find out whether these things were so.

    1. We need to search the Scriptures on a daily basis.

      1. Matthew 5:6Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, For they shall be filled.

      2. 1 Peter 2:2. As newborn babes, desire the pure milk of the word, that you may grow thereby.

      3. 2 Timothy 2:15. Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.

      4. 1 Peter 3:15. But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts, and always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear.

      5. Psalm 1:1-3. Blessed is the man Who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly, Nor stands in the path of sinners, Nor sits in the seat of the scornful; But his delight is in the law of the LORD, And in His law he meditates day and night. He shall be like a tree Planted by the rivers of water, That brings forth its fruit in its season, Whose leaf also shall not wither; And whatever he does shall prosper.

    2. We need to search the Scriptures so that we can become teachers.

      1. Hebrews 5:12-14. For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the first principles of the oracles of God; and you have come to need milk and not solid food. 13 For everyone who partakes only of milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness, for he is a babe. 14 But solid food belongs to those who are of full age, that is, those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.

      2. We can’t be a good soldier of Jesus Christ if we don’t know how to use the sword of the Spirit.

        1. The sword of the Spirit is part of our armor.

        2. It is our only offensive weapon.

    3. We need to study with our children daily.

      1. Deuteronomy 6:6-7.  “And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up.

      2. One might say, that is Old Testament.

      3. That’s right!

      4. Hebrews 2:1-3. Therefore we must give the more earnest heed to the things we have heard, lest we drift away. For if the word spoken through angels proved steadfast, and every transgression and disobedience received a just reward, how shall we escape if we neglect so great a salvation, which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed to us by those who heard Him,

  4. DAILY EVANGELISM. Acts 5:42. And daily in the temple, and in every house, they did not cease teaching and preaching Jesus as the Christ.

    1. All of us either ought to be teachers or working toward the time when we can be teachers.

    2. Notice Acts 8:4. Therefore those who were scattered went everywhere preaching the word.

      1. Notice from verse 1 that the apostles stayed in Jerusalem.

      2. It was the congregation that was scattered.

      3. And they were the ones who did the teaching.

      4. Not only that but they were teaching at the risk of their own lives.

    3. Are you ready to teach others? Romans 1:15. So, as much as is in me, I am ready to preach the gospel to you who are in Rome also.

    4. 2 Timothy 2:2. And the things that you have heard from me among many witnesses, commit these to faithful men who will be able to teach others also.

  5. DAILY BENEVOLENCE. Acts 6:1. Now in those days, when the number of the disciples was multiplying, there arose a complaint against the Hebrews by the Hellenists, because their widows were neglected in the daily distribution.

    1. Benevolence – helping those who can not help themselves.

    2. James 1:27. Pure and undefiled religion before God and the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their trouble, and to keep oneself unspotted from the world.

    3. Galatians 6:9-10. And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart. 10 Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all, especially to those who are of the household of faith.

    4. Our benevolence need not be limited to the first and third Saturdays over here at the food pantry.

      1. We can visit the sick and shut-in.

      2. We can help shovel the neighbor’s driveway.

      3. We can go to the local nursing home and sit and talk with the residents.

    5. Don’t fall into the habit of thinking that since the church is helping feed the poor that it releases all of us as individuals from seeking to do good for others.


  1. How would you describe your religion?

  2. Daily?

  3. If not, make a correction.