Brookdale Baptist
November 14th AM service
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        A Sunday Bible Talks Series

        October 24, 2021 - 6:00 PM - 6:00 PM
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        Wednesday Night

        October 24, 2021 - 6:00 PM - 6:00 PM
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  • O Worship The King
  • Grace Alone
  • He Giveth More Grace
  • Grace Unmeasured
  • At some point in life, many people pause to evaluate their physical health and fitness. This personal checkpoint occurs sooner for some and later for others. If we’re wise, we look for a diet, medicine, supplement, or routine that offers more than a momentary, temporary solution. We want an approach that will heal ailments from the past, enable a healthy life in the present, and prepare for a vibrant life in the future. While no strategy accomplishes all these goals perfectly, we hope to achieve as much healing and wellbeing as possible so that we can maximize the longevity and quality of our lives.
    From a spiritual, eternal standpoint, from a much broader and deeper perspective than temporary scope of our physical health, we should pause to evaluate our spiritual fitness. We must all realize that we desperately need a solution to our spiritual incompetence and failure. We need a solution what will save us from the sinful choices of the past, the selfish struggles of the present, and the frightening uncertainties of the future.
    Thankfully there is a solution that solves all three of these problems comprehensively and perfectly – it is the grace of God.
    Grace is God’s free and unlimited ability to be what we should be and do what we should do, and this grace is indeed a comprehensive solution.
    As Titus 2:11-13 explains, God’s grace spans the past, present, and future. It saves us from past sins, teaches and enables us to live right today, and gives us hope for the future.
    What’s more, God’s grace is more than an abstract ability, concept, or force which we can utilize. It is a person with whom we can have a close and lasting relationship and upon whom we can rely for all our spiritual needs. Let’s take a closer look at how God’s grace transforms our lives.

    Grace saves us.

    Here Paul refers to the past aspect of God’s salvation which we call justification. We also describe this aspect of grace “positional salvation” by which God rescues us from the record and penalty of our sins and declares us innocent and righteous in his sight.
    When we talk about God’s grace, we often emphasize its nature as a gift, meaning that we don’t deserve it because we’re good enough and we can’t earn it because we’ve done enough. This is true. Yet there’s another aspect of grace we must also consider – it not only comes from God, but it begins with God. We didn’t request it, nor did we come up with the idea that we needed God to rescue us from our failures and sins.
    That God’s grace “appeared” means that God revealed to us it by his own initiative. He brought it to us because he wanted to do so even though we had rejected him. He made his grace available and accessible to us and he made it clear for us to see. No amount of exploration or investigation on our part could ever discover it or figure it out. So, how did he reveal his grace to us then?
    He did this by Christ coming into this world to save us not only as God but as a human being, too. We call this revelation of God’s grace the “incarnation of Christ,” referring to that time nearly 2,000 years ago when he became a human being by taking on flesh.
    Throughout his life on Earth, Christ proved to be that perfectly good human being which we cannot be and did those good things that God created us to do, but we cannot do due to our sinful choices and nature. He was the grace God in person, the ultimate revelation of God’s grace to us (John 1:1, 14, 17).
    John 1:1 NKJV
    In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
    John 1:14 NKJV
    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.
    John 1:17 NKJV
    For the law was given through Moses, but grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.
    Acts 27:20 illustrates what this word appeared means.
    Acts 27:20 NKJV
    Now when neither sun nor stars appeared for many days, and no small tempest beat on us, all hope that we would be saved was finally given up.
    Here it describes a prolonged storm at sea in which no daylight from the sun nor nighttime light from the moon and stars appeared for days on end. (The word appeared is the same as when the grace of God appeared through Christ.) As a result, the crew had direction by which to navigate their ship, so they lost hope that they would ever return to land and be saved.
    Luke 1:79 uses the same word for appeared to describe the coming of Christ into the world as our Savior from sin.
    Luke 1:79 NKJV
    To give light to those who sit in darkness and the shadow of death, To guide our feet into the way of peace.”
    When Christ appeared, God’s grace was revealed to us with more than ideas, promises, and words. It was revealed in flesh and in person. We were lost and drifting on the dark and stormy sea of existence and the light of God’s grace shined into our lives through the life, death, and resurrection of Christ.
    Finally, at last, there was a man who would not only be what we should be and do what we should do but who would also enable us to be what we should be and do what we should do. This was the man who would rescue us from our failures and sins and give us a close and lasting relationship with God. The grace of God was revealed, and it was revealed not only as a spiritual force or power of some kind but as a person, and that person was Jesus Christ. He himself is the ultimate revelation of the grace of God to us.
    Not only is Christ the ultimate unveiling of God’s grace to us, but he was revealed to everyone, not just a select few. When Paul says, “to all men,” he does not mean that Christ became visible to every person ever born because only those who actually saw him saw him. You haven’t seen him, of course, nor have I. Instead, Paul means that Christ appeared publicly (not secretively) and indiscriminately (not to a select audience). Christ was not revealed to a limited group of people but to anyone who will turn to him and trust in him as God and Savior by faith.
    In other words, Christ came to provide salvation for anyone who would trust in him by faith regardless of their ethnic, personal, or religious background and regardless of the kinds and number of sins they had committed. Paul made a similar claim to Christ’s universal offer of salvation to Timothy (1 Timothy 4:10).
    1 Timothy 4:10 NKJV
    For to this end we both labor and suffer reproach, because we trust in the living God, who is the Savior of all men, especially of those who believe.
    For this reason, we should get the message of Christ’s salvation to as many people as possible.

    Grace changes us.

    Here Paul refers to the present aspect of God’s salvation which we call sanctification. We also describe this aspect of grace “practical salvation” by which God delivers us from the impulses and power of sin in our everyday lives.
    God’s free and unlimited grace revealed through the life, death, and resurrection of Christ does more than save us in the past from the positional authority and guilt of sin (justification). It also (he also) saves us in the present from the practical power of sin in our daily lives (sanctification). He not only releases us from the penalty of our sins, but he empowers us to overcome the regular urges to sin as well
    This daily, persistent, regular change and transformation occurs once we’ve trusted in Christ alone for forgiveness of sins and Paul describes this transformation as an ongoing process of teaching. The word for teaching here is a word that Scripture uses to describe child training. Once the grace of God saves us from the penalty of sin it teaches us to overcome the power of sin as well.
    God’s grace (which is the permanent, personal influence of Christ in our lives, not just some abstract force emanating from God) first births us into God’s spiritual family (John 3:7).
    John 3:7 NKJV
    Do not marvel that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’
    Then it trains us to behave as though we’re actually God’s children because that’s what we are. Like any good child training and parenting approach, this transformation includes both negative and positive aspects.
    The negative aspects include what we might called chastisement or discipline. These are the difficult and even painful experiences which are either the consequences of sinful choices or God-ordained, God-allowed circumstances of suffering that whittle away at our selfish nature (Heb 12:5-7).
    Hebrews 12:6–7 NKJV
    For whom the Lord loves He chastens, And scourges every son whom He receives.” If you endure chastening, God deals with you as with sons; for what son is there whom a father does not chasten?
    Paul says that these negative experiences educate us to “say no” desires that are contrary to God’s desires, plans, and purposes for our lives.
    There is also a positive, proactive aspect to how God’s grace transforms our life. The example and influence of Christ’s life and teaching inspires us to follow his example (1 Pet 2:21).
    1 Peter 2:21 NKJV
    For to this you were called, because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that you should follow His steps:
    This positive transformation targets three specific areas of change.

    Our spiritual inward condition (“live soberly”).

    Paul has highlighted this quality repeatedly in his preceding instructions to pastors, older men, older women, younger women, and younger men in the church and now he mentions it again here.
    This quality emphasizes self-control and reminds us that God’s grace enables us to think different thoughts and desire different desires. We see how Christ responded to sinful temptations, for instance, and know that we can now rely on him to overcome, resist, say no, and walk away (Heb 4:15).
    Hebrews 4:15 NKJV
    For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin.
    We can also rely on him for the strength and wisdom to do the right thing (Rom 7:24-25).
    Romans 7:24–25 NKJV
    O wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? I thank God—through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, with the mind I myself serve the law of God, but with the flesh the law of sin.

    Our spiritual outward condition towards others (“life righteously”).

    Grace not only teaches us to be like Christ in our internal desires and thoughts, but it also teaches (or trains) us to be like Christ in our behavior towards and treatment of other people. Righteous living emphasizes the just, proper, and right treatment of other people whether they follow Christ or not.
    Righteous living is learning to treat our fellow human beings with the dignity and respect that being made in the image of God requires. This sort of behavior does not merely “do unto others as you would have others do unto you,” but it “does unto others as God would have you do unto him.” Christ himself lived this way and taught the same to us, connecting the right treatment of others with the right treatment of God (Matt 22:37-40).
    We know this is the right way to live but are unable to live this way without the grace of God through the help and example of Christ to guide us.

    Our spiritual upward condition towards God (“live godly”).

    Grace ultimately enables us to behave properly towards God. Christ himself shows and empowers us treat God with the obedience, respect, and worship that he deserves.
    Christ devoted his entire earthly life to doing the will of God (John 6:38).
    John 6:38 NKJV
    For I have come down from heaven, not to do My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me.
    Therefore, we should do the same (Rom 12:1-2).
    Romans 12:1–2 NKJV
    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. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.
    Without the grace of God revealed through Christ’s life, death, and resurrection, we are unable to be this kind of person and do these kinds of things – we are unable to please God. Yet thanks to Christ we now can.

    Grace prepares us.

    So, the grace of God as revealed through the life, death, and resurrection of Christ was revealed to us in the past and teaches us in the present, making lasting salvation and ongoing transformation possible. Yet it also does one more thing – it prepares us for the future. God’s grace was not only revealed to us in Christ’s previous coming, but it will also be revealed in Christ’s future coming.
    “Looking for” means something like “looking forward” to something. In this case it is a blessed (or “happy” or “thrilling”) and glorious (or “eye-opening” or “magnificent”) appearing. This “appearing” is another occurrence of the word Paul has already used to described how God’s grace was revealed through Christ’s birth, life, death, and resurrection as a human being (Tit 2:11). Now he uses this word to describe a second appearance of Christ that will reveal God’s grace in a personal, visible way once again.
    This second coming of Christ will make clear that Christ is both our God and Savior. He will not come to suffer as he did before, but he will come to reign instead. He will also come to remove the presence of sin from our being entirely (not just its penalty and its power as he has done in the past and is doing now in the present respectively). And when he reigns, we will reign with him and will enjoy a sinless existence forever with him.
    It is this hope that John features at the end of the book called Revelation, a book intended to comfort and encourage us to follow Christ in this life no matter how great our struggle and suffering may be (Rev 22:20).
    Revelation 22:20 NKJV
    He who testifies to these things says, “Surely I am coming quickly.” Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus!
    There is coming a day when all pain and suffering will cease, and Christ will make all wrongs right forever. This is the hope that grace provides.
    How is Christ – who is the grace of God revealed for us – touching your life today?
    Is he revealing your need to turn to and trust in him for salvation from your past sins?
    Is he revealing your need to say no to certain, present sinful desires and to become more like him in your personal desires, your treatment of other people, and your treatment of God?
    Is he revealing your need to give more attention to Christ’s future coming as a motivation to change and serve God today?
    Whatever your spiritual need may be, God’s grace is entirely able to meet your need, enabling you to be what you must be and do what you must do. There is no spiritual need – past, present, or future – which God’s grace revealed through the life, death, resurrection, and return of Christ is unable to meet, so there is no excuse for spiritual failure. Will you stop making excuses and trust in Christ to save and transform you today?
      • John 1:1ESV

      • John 1:14ESV

      • John 1:17ESV

      • Acts 27:20ESV

      • Luke 1:79ESV

      • 1 Timothy 4:10ESV

      • John 3:7ESV

      • Hebrews 12:6–7ESV

      • 1 Peter 2:21ESV

      • Hebrews 4:15ESV

      • Romans 7:24–25ESV

      • John 6:38ESV

      • Romans 12:1–2ESV

      • Revelation 22:20ESV

  • Grace Unmeasured
  • Ancient Of Days
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        Wednesday Night

        October 24, 2021 - 6:00 PM - 6:00 PM
        Prayer Groups

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