Calvary Baptist Church
July 25th Sunday Morning Service
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        April 7, 2021 - 7:30 PM - 8:30 PM
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        Prayer Meeting

        April 7, 2021 - 7:30 PM - 8:30 PM
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        Praise Team Practice

        April 28, 2021 - 6:30 PM - 7:30 PM
  • At Calvary
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  • Less Like Me
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  • You Are My King
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  • Burning the Only Bridge Back to God

    Whenever there are times where I feel I am not doing my best to provide what I believe God wants it is often due to my dwelling in the past. However, God only reminds us of what happened in the past to show how we are separated from Him.
    I enjoy watching movies where the anxiety, action, and danger leave you wondering how the characters are going to succeed. From the Lord of the Rings attempting a long journey to destroy the ring to others where people are traveling to reach an impossible task, often there are times where there is a scene where a deep chasm is crossed.
    Thinking over my life, I have realized how my sins have destroyed the connected relationship that I could have with God. I feel the anxiety, destruction, and danger that resides within me if I would dwell on that destroyed bridge.

    Focusing only on the Past Prevents us from Moving Forward

    Many of us may not have had the best experiences in our lives. The enemy of God would like for us to remain focused on what has separated us from the ability to have a relationship with God.
    When we are driving on life’s highway, we are in danger of running off course if our eyes are only focused on the rearview mirror. We may glance behind us in our attempts to see what we are leaving behind but our focus should be on the present situation and our destination in the future.
    We can use past events as learning situations. Things to remind us of what worked well and what allowed us to be steered off course. Then we are better prepared for what life throws our way.
    Ephesians 2:1 NASB95
    And you were dead in your trespasses and sins,
    One of the great paradoxes that people have a difficult time with is time itself. We must realize that God exists outside of the construct of time and that His ability to look upon creation from that vantage point gives Him the only unique perspective of witnessing creation from beginning to end.
    In witnessing this, He alone is able to see that we were eternally separated from Him through our trespasses and sins.One of my favorite illustrations of the outside observer is that of Shrodinger’s cat.
    Bartholomew, David J.. 2008. God, Chance and Purpose : Can God Have It Both Ways?. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Accessed July 24, 2021. ProQuest Ebook Central.
    https://youtu.be/4C5pq7W5yRM
    Ephesians 2:2 NASB95
    in which you formerly walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, of the spirit that is now working in the sons of disobedience.
    Paul expresses here that the prince of the air, or the enemy of God is working in those people who remain against His will. Sons of disobedience are any of those who do not accept God’s gift in Jesus Christ.
    Therefore, they remain against God and they are unknowingly working for the enemy. 2 Cor. 4:4 states the enemy keeps those in disobedience blind to the gospel.
    Ephesians 2:3 NASB95
    Among them we too all formerly lived in the lusts of our flesh, indulging the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, even as the rest.
    How we are blinded is through the temptations, lusts, and desires of our hearts which keep us off the path towards life. Because God is a Holy and Just God, His actions against sin ensure that there will be a carrying out against those who are considered the children of wrath.
    Remember, the enemy desires to have you focused on the past to keep you off the grace that covers the sins of your past.
    Ephesians 2:4 NASB95
    But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us,
    Ephesians 2:5 NASB95
    even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved),
    With God’s Grace, Paul explains that we are alive with Christ. This is what salvation looks like. Through God’s grace in the actions of Jesus Christ, we are saved from the death we deserve through our disobedience. Those who remain in disobedience will at one point suffer as they remain children of wrath.
    Ephesians 2:6 NASB95
    and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus,
    Not only are we saved, but the restoration of our lives is wholly dependent upon God’s grace working in us. Since God is the outside observer, He sees those who accept His gift already seated with Christ.
    Rev 3:5 mentions those people who have accepted God’s gift in Christ are the ones who Jesus proclaims to God. In God’s court, Jesus testifies that you are with Him and have believed in Him.
    Ephesians 2:7 NASB95
    so that in the ages to come He might show the surpassing riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.
    Ephesians 2:8 NASB95
    For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God;
    Ephesians 2:9 NASB95
    not as a result of works, so that no one may boast.
    Ephesians 2:10 NASB95
    For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.
    Paul emphasizes that man cannot gain, earn, or work towards his own salvation. There is nothing in the world or outside of this world that man can use on his own to rebuild the destroyed bridge crossing the uncrossable chasm leading back to God.
    Only through the faith in Jesus Christ is one capable of crossing that divide. Jesus’ arms stretched out on the cross provide the path back to God.

    The Enemy Places Distractions Along Life’s Highway

    You may have realized after God has worked out His miracle of restoring the bridge back to Him that the enemy still works to distract us from following the path.
    Your temptations may lie where your past sins distracted you from God in the first place. God knows this and reminds us to be aware of the power of temptation.
    Genesis 4:7 NASB95
    “If you do well, will not your countenance be lifted up? And if you do not do well, sin is crouching at the door; and its desire is for you, but you must master it.”
    Some people believe that the grace of God allows them to continue being distracted by the enemy. But Paul reminds the Ephesians that death lies for those who remain in the place where their sins have master over them.

    God’s Gift of Grace is the Only Thing that Saves

    During the Protestant Reformation, one of the major themes is the fact that only God’s Grace saves people. Paul says not through works so that people can boast of what they have accomplished on their own (Eph. 2:8).
    There were five Solas or “Alones” that people adhered to as a moniker of belief. One of those was Sola Gratia, or Grace Alone.
    “It is little wonder that one of the Reformation watchwords was sola gratia , by grace alone. The Reformers had come to understand that the Roman Church had so profoundly corrupted the gospel that, while it spoke of salvation by grace, it actually taught that grace alone was not enough. This teaching was affirmed at the Council of Trent in the 1540s: “If any one saith that the sacraments of the New Law are not necessary unto salvation…and that without them, or without the desire thereof, men obtain from God, through faith alone, the grace of justification…let him be anathema.”1 Grace puts God where He belongs, uniquely and alone on the throne of the cosmos, and puts believing sinners where they belong, at His feet in humble adoration.”
    Hamilton, Ian. Ephesians, Reformation Heritage Books, 2017. ProQuest Ebook Central, http://ebookcentral.proquest.com/lib/liberty/detail.action?docID=5842228. Created from liberty on 2021-07-24 12:25:32.

    Our Good Works are a Result of God’s Grace

    Once we realize that only God’s grace draws us back into relationship with Him, we are then capable of doing the good works necessary to show the world who Jesus Christ is.
    Many people recognize there are good things that people do. There is no denying that there are unbelievers who do much good work outside of their belief. However, it is not saving good work which will bring others to God’s grace. If it is only a temporary work that is disguised as continuing to help society’s furtherance then we are not working out God’s plan but our own.
    We must always point to God as the author of the plan and reference Jesus Christ as the one who brings about the way to see the plan clearly.

    God Desires Others to Know the Gospel

    In our daily travels, our lives should reflect the character of Christ. We are to embrace the works that God has set before us. As God molds us and breaks off the parts of our lives which are holding fast to this world we are better prepared to complete the works He has prepared for us.
    If we continue to be distracted by the desires of the flesh, we will not be able to see what God has placed before us. In our travels, we see the large billboards the enemy has placed on the path and are enticed to put our time, energy, money and focus on those worldly distractions.
    However, God desires to have you focus on His grace, gospel, and go to where He sends you.
    Hamilton asks if your life reminds others of Jesus Christ? If not, then what is distracting you from showing the world Jesus? Are you allowing the enemy to keep you focused on the past? Jesus reminds us that the path to life is narrow and few find it. Matt 7:14.
    Let God’s Grace bring you onto the path of life.
      • Ephesians 2:1NASB95

      • Ephesians 2:2NASB95

      • Ephesians 2:3NASB95

      • Ephesians 2:4NASB95

      • Ephesians 2:5NASB95

      • Ephesians 2:6NASB95

      • Ephesians 2:7NASB95

      • Ephesians 2:8NASB95

      • Ephesians 2:9NASB95

      • Ephesians 2:10NASB95

      • Genesis 4.7NASB95

  • Oh My Soul
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  • Jesus, Lover of My Soul-Single
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  • Think About His Love
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        Praise Team Practice

        April 28, 2021 - 6:30 PM - 7:30 PM

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