Monthly Archives: November 2015

Back to the Beginning: Meet Our Powerful God


Back To the Beginning Gen 1.pdf.001

This morning I would like for you to meet God. When we make an introduction of someone we often give a framework by which others can understand and identify themselves. How would you introduce yourself?

Genesis means beginning and the first in our Bible is the Book of Genesis. Genesis gives us the beginning of almost everything: Universe, world, home, family, marriage, sin, redemption.

Right at the beginning we are given answers to life’s greatest questions:

  • Where did I come from?
  • Why am I here?
  • Where am I going?

We must get the beginning right so that when we reach the end we are in the right place!

The Physicist & Comologist Steven Hawking has received many prestigious awards for his work. In the 1980’s his wife Jane in an interview described her role as “simply to tell him that he’s not God”. In 2011, when narrating the first episode of the American television series Curiosity on the Discovery Channel, Hawking declared: “We are each free to believe what we want and it is my view that the simplest explanation is there is no God. No one created the universe and no one directs our fate. This leads me to a profound realization. There is probably no heaven, and no afterlife either. We have this one life to appreciate the grand design of the universe, and for that, I am extremely grateful.” (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stephen_Hawking)

This brilliant and accomplished man has concluded that “everything began with a big bang and ends in a black hole.”

Overview of the Book:

Genesis written by Moses @ 1446-1406 B.C. so that the Jewish people would understand where they came from and how God chose them from among the peoples of the earth.

The book is divided into two main sections. The first section is in chapters 1-11 and spans a period of 2000yrs.(4000+BC – 2090 BC) and focuses on four great events:

  • Creation (1-2)
  • Fall (3-4) First sin – man is separated from God. Second sin – man is separated from man.
  • Flood (5-10) Man multiplies and sin multiplies. God destroys man with the exception of Noah.
  • Nations (11) We are all one nation and one human race but because of rebellion at the tower of Babel, God fragments a single culture and language and scatters the people over all the earth.

The second section begins in chapter 12 and goes to the end of the book. This section spans a period of 286yrs (2090 BC-1804BC) and focuses on four great people (12-50):

  • Abraham – Pivotal point in the book
  • Isaac – God established his covenant, the link to Abraham not Ishmael
  • Jacob – God transforms him from selfishness to servanthood.
  • Joseph (37-50) – Suffers at the hand of his brothers an eventually takes the 70 persons to Egypt.

This is really an incredible book of Beginnings! If you have never read it, I hope you will do so right away! Over the next three weeks I want us to go “Back to the Beginning” to get a right perspective of God that will set the context for everything else: our relationship to God, our relationship with one another, and God’s purpose for our life.

CREATION REVEALS PROOF OF GOD’S EXISTENCE (Genesis 1:1-2)

God is eternal – “in the beginning God…” God existed before the beginning. “Before Abram was I am!” God had no beginning and has no end, He is eternal. He has no need for anything or anyone outside of Himself!

“Before the mountains were brought forth, Or ever You had formed the earth and the world, Even from everlasting to everlasting, You are God.” Ps 90:2

God is one yet exists in three persons:

  • God the Father (1)
  • God the Spirit (2)
  • God the Son (Col. 1:16-17; Jn. 1:1-3)

What does God say to those who deny His existence? He calls them fools! The fool says “no God.” (Ps. 14:1-3)

Fool – one whose judgment is warped and tainted by an evil mind and wicked desires, not someone who is a simpleton. The fool says “no God,” not for me, I’ll not have a God! To deny God is to make a bold declaration of faith in spite of overwhelming evidence to the contrary.

God is Creator – “God created…” God created all things:

“You alone are the LORD; You have made heaven, The heaven of heavens, with all their host, The earth and everything on it, The seas and all that is in them, And You preserve them all….” Ne 9:6

Intelligent design requires an intelligent designer. Planets and moons spin in opposite directions. If a big bang they would all spin the same way. Wrist watch – The atheist, agnostic, and evolutionist would say: “No one planned this watch, no one made it. It just happened by accident as a result of forces and circumstances over thousands and millions of years.

God created all things for His pleasure

““You are worthy, O Lord, To receive glory and honor and power; For You created all things, And by Your will they exist and were created.”” Revelation 4:11

Implications of this: God created all things therefore He owns all things – all things belong to Him and exist for His purposes. We have no problem serving the boss for a paycheck, why do you have a problem serving God who created and gave us all things.

CREATION REVEALS THE POWER OF GOD (Genesis 1:3-26)

Day 1 – Let there be light (3-5)

Light precedes life (John 1:9-12,3:19) “Then Jesus spoke to them again, saying, “I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life.”” John 8:12.

Light is divided from darkness (I Jn. 1:6, 2:8-11)

Day 2 – Let there be heavens (6-8)

Consider God’s greatness:  Scientists tell us that the observable universe 13.8 billion light years. How do you understand a billion of anything? Stack 100 $1 bills and the stack would be 10mm high, a stack of 1000 bills – 10cm high, 1,000,000 bills – 109m high, 100m bills – 10.9km high, and a stack of 1 billion $1 bills would be 109 kilometers high!

Or think of it this way: it takes 30yrs to accumulate 1bn seconds. So if you were to place 1 billion bills on edge in a line beginning in Kitwe your line would stretch just past Nsobe Lodge and stacking them one per second it would take you 30 years to get there.

But wait… that is just to understand one billion… our observable universe is 13.8 billion light years. A light year is the distance light travels in one year moving at a speed of 299,792 km per second. Traveling at the speed of light a traveller would circle the equator 7.5x per second.  And God created it all in an instant by simply saying the words, “Let there be…”

Day 3 – Let there be dry land & plant life (9-13)

Life has in it the seeds for new life (11a). Life results in fruit

““But other seed fell on good ground and yielded a crop that sprang up, increased and produced: some thirtyfold, some sixty, and some a hundred.”” Mark 4:8

Life results in fruit according to its kind (11b). If we are a child of God we will reproduce ourselves spiritually.

““You will know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes from thornbushes or figs from thistles? “Even so, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. “A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit. “Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. “Therefore by their fruits you will know them.” Matthew 7:16-20

Day 4 – Let there be lights (14-19) ILL: Light, creation

Lights – different word from v. 3. Lit: Light-bearers.

We are to be light-bearers to a dark world ““You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden.” Matthew 5:14

Day 5 – Let there be sea creatures and birds (20-23) ILL: Blue whale, 30mtr, 130 m. tons

Day 6 – Let there be earth creatures and man (24-26) ILL: Chameleon, watching the lions

Lessons:

God’s commands are God’s blessings… let there be… there was. God who created us knows what makes us tick, what will satisfy and fulfill us; so he blesses us by commanding us to do that very thing. Do God’s will!

If God is powerful enough to create the world, He is powerful enough to take care of the problem I am facing in my life today

“Ah, Lord GOD! Behold, You have made the heavens and the earth by Your great power and outstretched arm. There is nothing too hard for You.” Jeremiah 32:17

If God is powerful enough to create the world, He is powerful enough to help me when I call

“My help comes from the LORD, Who made heaven and earth.” Psalms 121:2

If God is powerful and wise enough to create the world, I can trust He knows best in my life.

“He has made the earth by His power; He has established the world by His wisdom…” Jeremiah 51:15

Because of creation, you are without excuse:

“because what may be known of God is manifest in them, for God has shown it to them. For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse,” Romans 1:19,20

Back to the Beginning: Meet Our Personal God


Back To the Beginning Gen 2.001

In Genesis 1:26-2:17 we meet the personal God of Creation.

The Book of Genesis gives us the beginning: Universe, world, home, family, marriage, sin, and redemption.  Right at the beginning we are given the answers to life’s greatest questions:

  • Where did I come from?
  • Why am I here?
  • Where am I going?

Genesis written by Moses @ 1446-1406 for the purpose of explaining to the Jews where they came from and how God chose them.

The Story of Genesis unfolds in two parts. The first section focuses on four great events (ch. 1-11) spanning a total of 2000+ years from 4000+BC – 2090 BC. These four great events are:

  • Creation (1-2)
  • Fall (3-4)
  • Flood (5-10)
  • Nations (11)

The second section focuses on four great people (ch. 12-50).  These people are:

  • Abraham
  • Isaac
  • Jacob – Ch. 12-36 – 193 years from2090 BC – 1897 BC.
  • Joseph – Ch. 37-50 – 93 years from 1897 BC – 1804 BC.

Here is how God reveals Himself in Creation

  • Chapter 1 – six days of creation – God reveals Himself as a powerful God.
  • Chapter 2 – sixth day of creation – God reveals Himself as a personal God.

We have already seen that:

  1. Creation reveals Proof of God (1:1-2)
  2. Creation reveals the Power of God (1:3-26)

From this we made several concluding applications:

  1. If God is powerful enough to create the world, He is powerful enough to take care of the problem I am facing in my life today
  2. If God is powerful enough to create the world, He is powerful enough to help me when I call
  3. If God is powerful and wise enough to create the world, I can trust He knows best in my life.

Now we will to see how creation reveals the Personal God of Creation (2:4-17).

CREATION OF MAN REVEALS THE PERSON OF GOD (1:27-2:17)

Chapter 1 introduces us to God by the name Elohim. This name refers to God as the Creator of the Universe. Now in chapter 2:4 the name Yaweh Elohim is used for the first time. Yahweh is the personal covenant name God takes when he relates to and redeems His people.

Desire (26)

Desire of the Godhead – Trinity to create man.  “Let us” (3:22, 11:7; I Jn 5:7). God’s will fulfilled in the creation of man.

“Everyone who is called by My name, Whom I have created for My glory; I have formed him, yes, I have made him.”” Isaiah 43:7

You are special! You are wanted! Your are loved! God desired for you to exist and live in this generation!

““For David, after he had served his own generation by the will of God, fell asleep…;” Acts 13:36

Design (26b-27, 2:7)

God formed man. The term formed speaks of “careful design”.  Man was designed after God! When the Great Architect of the universe wanted to make his highest creation, He used Himself as the design.

God formed man in His Image. This means we share in God’s attributes: life, personality, truth, wisdom, love, holiness, justice. Because to this we have the capacity for spiritual fellowship with Him. God is a spirit, does not have a body. We were created in His image:

  • Man has a conscience – ability to know right from wrong
  • Man has a mind – ability to reason
  • Man has a will – ability to choose to carry out his desires
  • Man has emotions – ability to feel joy, pin, remorse, excitement etc.

God breathed into Adam.  This breathing speaks of intimacy.  Adam was kissed by God and he became a living being. He breathes like all the other creatures, but he is different from them because God breathed into Him His life making him unlike all the animals. Man is immortal – he has been given the eternal life of God.

  • Man has immense capacities
  • Man is responsible
  • Man has great potential for glory and for disaster

In this we are vastly different from the animals. An ape has never composed a song, sang a song, played a musical instrument, never written a book or read one, never driven a nail or treated someone who is sick. No animal can think about eternity or salvation in God. We can for we are designed in His image!

You are of GREAT VALUE – created in the image of God!

Destiny (28)

What is the destiny of man? To obey God! (Eph. 2:10; I Jn. 5:3).  God said, “Be fruitful and multiply “(28; Ps. 127:3-5). God said, “Subdue the earth” which means to tend it (28, 2:15).

“When you eat the labor of your hands, You shall be happy, and it shall be well with you.” Psalms 128:2.

Purpose (15) – man was created to work, work was instituted prior to the fall of man into sin. Have dominion over all created things – to rule, exert leadership as God’s representative.
Follow God’s instructions – do not eat of the tree (2:16-17).

Person – Adam (7). God’s commands are God’s blessings. Commands obeyed lead to blessings enjoyed.  Love is demonstrated by obedience ““If you love Me, keep My commandments.” John 14:15

Place – Eden (8).  When we live in obedience it will result in blessings, disobedience brings a curse. When Adam rebelled he lost Eden!

Provision (9-14)

  • Pleasant to the eyes – God is a God of beauty
  • Pleasant to the taste – Good for food, water

We take so much for granted. Only a child of God can stop and really appreciate the blessings of God’s creation.

LESSONS FROM CREATION

We were created by God.

I know where I came from. I am not an accident. I am not here by mistake or chance, I’m not the result of some evolutionary process.

“But indeed, O man, who are you to reply against God? Will the thing formed say to him who formed it, “Why have you made me like this?”” Romans 9:20.

Life Lesson: God cares especially for me. He knows all about me and desires my good.

““But the very hairs of your head are all numbered.” Matthew 10:30

We were created in the image of God

I was created with an inner spiritual nature that enables me to know God and worship Him.
I am different from the animals with privileges, cares and responsibilities.

Life Lesson: I must seek by His power to be like Him, conformed to His image – to love like Him, give like Him, be holy like Him, forgive like Him.

“For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren.” Romans 8:29

We were created to have dominion over the world (1:26,28)

Law, courts, justice etc.

“Let every soul be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and the authorities that exist are appointed by God.” Romans 13:1.

We were created to worship, praise and obey our wonderful Creator (1:31; Rev. 4:11)

God saw that it was “very good” – Creation is not evil. As we see God’s work in creation we are filled with awe and worship… Not the creation, but the Creator!

Why am I here? The chief purpose of man: To glorify God and worship Him forever. If we are worshippers of God, we will be obedient! We were created to be good stewards of God’s creation.

Because everyone is created in God’s image, we should respect our fellow human beings who are also created in the image of God (Gen. 9:6).

“For who makes you differ from another? And what do you have that you did not receive? Now if you did indeed receive it, why do you boast as if you had not received it?” 1 Cor 4:7

  • No tribalism
  • No superiority complex
  • No prejudice because of race or position
  • No ill-treatment of our fellow mankind
  • We should appreciate the gifts we of God’s creation and not waste or exploit them.  We should not throw garbage everywhere
  • We should not carelessly, needlessly destroy or trash things
  • We should not in greed destroy animal life – killing animals for food and needs is acceptable, but hunting rhino to extinction for their horn is wrong.
  • We should not abuse animals

“A righteous man regards the life of his animal, But the tender mercies of the wicked are cruel.” Proverbs 12:10.

Word of warning: God will destroy those who destroy the earth.  We cannot honor the God of creation if we dishonor his creation.

“The nations were angry, and Your wrath has come, And the time of the dead, that they should be judged, And that You should reward Your servants the prophets and the saints, And those who fear Your name, small and great, And should destroy those who destroy the earth.”” Revelation 11:18

Here are two questions to consider as we conclude:

  1. Do you know the Personal God of Creation? He wants you to know Him. He desires a relationship with you!
  2. Are you honoring God by honoring His creation. Are you treating others with respect and love?

Understanding God’s Plan for Missions from Beginning to End


Introduction:

Anytime we begin a project in life we must have a plan to get us to completion.  Before we ever begin any action we must have the end goal in mind.  This would be true of building a house, going on a journey, or running a business.  If we ever want to reach our goal we must have a plan.  Well, the same is true of the church. When it comes to the mission of the church we must begin with the end in mind.

What does such a plan look like.  Let’s again consider organizations all around us in the world. Every successful business, ministry, and government has a vision statement, a purpose statement, a list of core values that will govern their behavior, and policies or plan of action to describe how they will go about making their vision a reality.  What actions they will and will not take in order to accomplish their purpose.

Well, Jesus did this very thing for his disciples, both in the early days of the church and today.  Jesus’s vision statement, purpose statement, core values, and ministry plan

Today’s message is an overview of the big picture plan of Christ to build His church through the activity that we call missions.  There are four main points that I want to share with you today.  In the future we will dig deeper on each of these points in their own sermons because there is so much that needs to be understood about each one so that we can put the ideas into practice in everyday life.  For today we will focus on the big picture of missions.

Today we will look at Christ’s overall plan that he laid out for us, His church, to follow in order that His church will multiply and spread through entire world.  He has a plan for us, but we won’t fulfill it unless we understand it.

I.   Christ’s Purpose – To Seek & to Save the Lost

  • Luke 19:10
  • John 6:38-40

II.   Christ’s Promise – I Will Build My Church (Matthew 16: 13-19)

III.   Christ’s Vision – People from everyplace & culture on earth who’ve been redeemed from sin – Revelation 5

  • This vision is still something that has not become a reality yet, but we are assured of the fact that it will become reality because this is the vision that God has for this world.  This is the eternal purpose of God that He will not abandon.  It is the destination that He will not stop until it has been reached.

IV.   Christ’s Method to Fulfill the Purpose, Promise, & Vision – The Rescued Souls become the Messengers so more can be rescued.

  • 2 Corinthians 5:17-20
  • Matthew 28:18-20
  • Mark 16:15
  • Luke 24:46-48
  • John 20:21
  • Acts 1:8

When we combine all of these elements together we get the Biblical concept of missions.

“Mission” is the work of God in reconciling sinful human beings to Himself. God introduces and sustains the mission.  The church partners with God’s agenda.

What earthly function does the church play?  We are the rescued who become the messengers so others can also be rescued. This past week at Bible Study one of you made an important statement. “If we really believe the message of the Gospel then it means that those who have not repented of sin and put faith in Christ are going to hell.  That means that most of the people we see all around us are on their way to hell.  If we believe that then we have to do something about it.  We have to share the Gospel with them.”

“Missions” is the plan of committed believers to accomplish the mission of God.  It is knowing Christ personally ourselves and then making Him known.

V.   The Church’s Pattern of Multiplication – 2 Timothy 2:2

VI.   The Power of Multiplication

Let’s contrast the two types of growth – addition and multiplication.

  • Linear growth:  Addition…and increase by a constant amount at regular      intervals.

o A person leads 1000 people to Christ every day of the year.  (Is this even possible?  Of course not!  But for the sake of the illustration let’s pretend.)

o At the end of the first year there would be 365,000 believers

o After 25 years, there would be 9,125,000 new believers.

  • Exponential growth:  Multiplication.  An increase by a constant percentage of the whole at regular intervals.

o A person leads 1 person to Christ in a year and spends that year building, teaching and training that individual to grow to maturity, give witness of his faith and build up others.

o At the end of the first year there would be one new, mature, reproducing believer.

o After 25 years, there would be 33, 554, 432 mature, reproducing believers.

Years     One Pastor Leading Others   to Christ The Pastor Trains Others who Lead Others to Christ who lead others to Christ
  1   365, 000     2
  2   730,000    4
  10   3,650,000    1,024
  19   6, 935,000    524,288
  20   7,300,000    1,048,576
  25   9,125,000    33,554,432
  • This is the Pattern of Christ
  • This is the Pattern of Paul

So, how can normally people like us be involved in missions today?  If we are really going to understand the big picture of missions from beginning to end we must put ourselves in the story.  Let’s close by looking at three Biblical ways in which each of us can be involved in missions work today.

VII.   The Individual Church Member’s Privilege & Responsibility

  • Pray – Romans 15:30
  • Give – Philippians 4:10-20
  • Go – Mark 16:15

Conclusion:  

So, today we have seen the mission that God has entrusted to His church.  We have seen it from beginning to end.  But I leave you with one important question.  Are we doing the work or have we forgotten our purpose.  We, who have been rescued, must take seriously our privilege to run the life saving station – the church – to do our part in rescuing those lost in sin.

Change of Meeting Location 8 November


IMPORTANT CHURCH NOTICE: Kitwe Church will be meeting at Central Africa Baptist College Campus this Sunday, 8 November only, due to the Remembrance Day ceremony being held at our usual venue of the MOTHS Club.

Adult Bible Fellowship will still take place at 9:00am.

The Church service will begin at 10:15am.

Directions to CABC Campus in Riverside Kitwe:

  1. Jambo Drive past Copperbelt University and G&G Bakery.
  2. Next right after CBU (Almalik Street). The Riverside Mini-mart is on the corner.
  3. Take the first right off Almalik Street (it is a gravel road), follow the signs to the campus. Questions? Ring 0976153466.