Hopeful

In Acts Chapter Two, Peter Teaches Us Of The Eternal Hope Found In Jesus.

Ross Sawyers
Nov 28, 2021    48m
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We live in a culture and a world that can feel overwhelming and hopeless, but this uplifting message reminds us that for believers of Jesus, there is always hope. In Peter's first sermon, found in Acts chapter 2, Peter teaches us of the eternal hope that is found in believing that Jesus is Lord. Video recorded at Grapevine, Texas.

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Ross Sawyers: [00:00:04] Man, what an incredible morning of worship, and I love being able to celebrate baptism, and what God is doing there, I believe today that we should be the most hopeful people of all, as followers of Jesus.

Ross Sawyers: [00:00:17] And I'm grateful today that I'm not the elk I read about this week with a tire around its neck. Did anybody read that story? Have you been tracking the elk in Colorado? If you haven't, I'm going to catch you up on that story, and I saw it a little bit late and I have a picture here for you, but you can find it pretty easily. But in Colorado, they've been tracking for the last two years in elk that has a tire around its neck. It was spotted two years ago, so at a minimum, it's been two years. They've been trying to get in close enough where they could remove the tire from the elk neck. It's a six-hundred-pound bull, about four years old, I believe, and he has been lugging this thing around on its neck. They were able to get in close enough to shoot a tranquilizer to put the elk to sleep, and then they proceeded to cut the tire off because of the metal in the tire, they couldn't cut it off. They had to remove the antlers from the elk, no fear that the antlers will grow back, and there was just enough room around the neck of the elk to pull the tire off of his neck. When they took it off, they found about 10 pounds of debris, pine needles, dirt, just all kinds of things that had collected inside that tire. Now, can you imagine lugging a nasty old tire around your neck that just continues to collect debris? They untranquilized the elk, and then he got up and took off back out into the wild.

Ross Sawyers: [00:01:49] Sometimes we're like that elk, we're walking around like we have a big, heavy tire around our neck, and we're just collecting all the nonsense and garbage around us, and it is an incredible weight to bear, But it is not a weight that you and I have to bear, we don't have to walk tired, we don't have to walk hopeless, we can walk as the most hopeful people of all. In Romans chapter 5, it says, "Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, 2through whom also we have obtained our introduction by faith into this grace in which we stand; and we exult in hope of the glory of God. 3And not only this, but we also exult in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance; 4and perseverance, proven character; and proven character, hope; 5and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us."

Ross Sawyers: [00:02:54] We've been talking about the Holy Spirit these last few weeks. If you'll turn in your Bibles to Acts chapter 2, we'll be in verses 29-36, as we continue in the message, the sermon that Peter gave. I believe it's an incredibly hopeful sermon, and I want us to think about hope today and being hopeful because this is the beginning of the Advent season. At Christmastime, in the church, we celebrate what is called Advent. That word Advent comes from a Latin word, which means Adventists, it simply means coming. And we anticipate, when we think about the birth of Christ, the coming of Christ. So the people prior to the gospels that we have in the Scriptures, they would have been anticipating the Messiah coming, that he would actually be born, and then live, and be the king that they anticipated would come. They would have understood in their day, in the New Testament days, they would have understood this idea maybe a little bit better than we do. Because prior to this that same word, a Greek word called parousia, which means coming, was used to think about an emperor when the emperor would arrive in a city. And when the emperor would arrive in the city, people would get notice of it and they'd begin to scramble to make sure they were ready to properly greet the emperor. The way they properly greeted the emperor was to wear their finest clothes, and to have the biggest of feast, to celebrate the emperor arriving in town.

Ross Sawyers: [00:04:27] It would be the same way that we would anticipate that the Messiah, that Jesus would be properly greeted, that people would be scrambling to give their very best to the Messiah and the Savior that was coming. That's not the welcome he received, it would be the one we'd want to give him, though. And there's another coming, though it's not just the first coming of Jesus, it's a second coming of Jesus that we anticipate. So there's that first Advent, and then there's the second Advent. And just like Jesus came the first time, we anticipate him coming the second time, and we have hope because we know he's coming, and we anticipate that day.

Ross Sawyers: [00:05:07] In the meantime, we find ourselves in the book of Acts, seeing what happened after Christ was resurrected and ascended. He promised that the Holy Spirit would come and it's the Spirit who would give them power, it's the Spirit who'd give them life, it's the Spirit who would give them the mission that they were to lead and to be enabled to lead that mission well. That's where we find ourselves in Acts chapter 2. They were waiting in prayer. the Spirit comes, Peter leans into what just happened, and he stands up, and he begins to speak an incredibly powerful message about Jesus Christ.

Ross Sawyers: [00:05:46] So we want to pick up with Peter in Chapter 2 versus 29-36. If you haven't been here, it's OK, this is the last part of Peter's sermon. We've talked about it over the last two Sundays and I will catch you up, so you'll be able to understand the context of it. Before I do that, I want to encourage you in this Advent season to do something that would keep your heart and your mind on the hope that we have in Christ, and several people have written Advent readings for us so that we can keep that focus. In the YouVersion of the Bible app, and inside that YouVersion Bible app, there's a 121 Advent reading plan there. So if you want it to do that, that would be a way, in this Advent season, you could just by yourself, or with friends, or family.

Ross Sawyers: [00:06:41] And then someone sent me the other day a recommendation for this called, Watch For The Light: Readings For Advent and Christmas, that could be one you could go for. But there are a number of readings out there, and I hope this will keep your heart set on the hope that we have in Christ in this season. Our hope is in Jesus today.

Ross Sawyers: [00:07:06] There's three things in this part of Scripture that are helpful for me to think about where we can be hopeful. And the first is this, we can be confident today in the resurrection of Jesus. Everything hinges, really for us as followers of Jesus, at that weekend when Jesus went to the cross and was crucified, and then when God raised him from the dead and the resurrection. The resurrection is a stumbling block for so many people today, it's hard for them to imagine that a man would be able to rise from the dead.

Ross Sawyers: [00:07:42] Yet we see with incredible confidence in 29 through 32, Peter, speaking about the resurrection. Verse 29, it says, “Brethren, I may confidently say to you regarding the patriarch David that he both died and was buried, and his tomb is with us to this day." So, he's continuing his message, he's quoted from a prophet, Joel, he's talked about the life of Jesus, he's talked about the crucifixion of Jesus, and he's still talking about the resurrection. And he's saying confidently, I can say to you, and he's talking about David, and he calls him the patriarch, David.

Ross Sawyers: [00:08:19] Now David was the second king of Israel, he's not often referred to as a patriarch, as the leader of the faith. When we think about the patriarchs, we think about Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, in Genesis, we don't usually think about David. And yet, David, here, is called the patriarch. He's the one that is saying then that the Messiah will come, and he talks about the resurrection of the Messiah. David, though, both died and was buried. He's been quoting Scripture, Peter has, from Psalm 16, Scripture that David wrote. And he's saying, David was not writing this about himself, he was writing this about someone else. And we know he was not writing about himself because David both died and was buried, and everybody in that day knew that David's tomb was in the south of the city. They knew he had died; they knew he was buried, and they knew that his tomb was still with them. And when we see the resurrection of Jesus, we know that the tomb is empty, and that Jesus was raised from the dead. Peter makes that case as he thinks about this particular part of Scripture.

Ross Sawyers: [00:09:34] Verse 30, “And so, because he was a prophet and knew that GOD HAD SWORN TO HIM WITH AN OATH TO SEAT one OF HIS DESCENDANTS ON HIS THRONE" So because he was a prophet, now David's not usually called a prophet. So in this once short little part of Peter's sermon, he's saying that David is both a patriarch and a prophet, meaning that he is speaking to that which is to come, in this particular case, as a prophet. And he knew that God had sworn to him with an oath to seat one of his descendants on his throne. David knew that there would be a king that would come through his line, that would be the forever king.

Ross Sawyers: [00:10:13] We find that in Second Samuel chapter 7, an earlier part of the Old Testament, verses 12 and 13. It says, “When your days are complete and you lie down with your fathers, I will raise up your descendant after you, who will come forth from you, 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." So David is told that there will be a forever kingdom established, it will come through his lineage, and when he's writing here, he knows with confidence that God was going to do this.

Ross Sawyers: [00:10:56] Verse 31, "He looked ahead and spoke of the resurrection of the Christ, that HE WAS NEITHER ABANDONED TO HADES, NOR DID His flesh SUFFER DECAY." David, on one hand, dead and buried, they knew where his tomb was. He's writing about the one that would be his descendant to the throne, he looks ahead, he speaks about the resurrection of the Christ, he's confirming that Jesus would be resurrected. And we know that Jesus was not abandoned to Hades, to hell, and we know that Jesus was not abandoned, nor was his body suffering any kind of decay.

Ross Sawyers: [00:11:38] Verse 32, “This Jesus God raised up again, to which we are all witnesses. He takes great pains here in verses 24 through 32 to clarify and speak of the resurrected Christ. He confirms it through Scripture, and he says we were all witnesses to this. Peter saw the empty tomb, Peter saw the resurrected Jesus, Peter and the other disciples saw the resurrected Jesus, and we're told in First Corinthians 15, that five hundred plus other people saw the resurrected Jesus. So when Peter is delivering this first message after the Spirit comes, he's speaking as one who had actually witnessed the resurrected Jesus. We can have confidence today and be hopeful because of the resurrection of Jesus.

Ross Sawyers: [00:12:41] Now, we weren't there to see the physical resurrection of Jesus, however, we still see the effects of the resurrection of Jesus today in the hearts of men, and women, teenagers, boys, and girls. The Scripture says that every person, that their heart is dead in sin, and that God is the one that brings that heart back from death to life. So any person that knows Jesus Christ today has been brought back from the dead and made alive in their hearts. And we see the resurrection of Jesus, his effect, on the hearts of all those who know him. We see it in the lives of people who have been changed.

Ross Sawyers: [00:13:30] God opened up a door for me yesterday morning with a man, and we were talking, and somebody had, you know, we had a common acquaintance, and so he brought up something that guy had said. Well, then we began to talk, and he shared with me his background and his religion, and it's different than what ours is. And one of the things that he said is that he loves money, he just let me know. He's an entrepreneur, loves money, loves the competition of making as much money as he can. And it was clear that even with his religion, it was clear in my mind that that's really what he was about. And then I was able to ask him about his particular story, and did you grow up in this religion and so forth? And he explained he had, and so we talked about that. And then rarely do people do this with me, but he said, what about you? And I said you know what, I didn't grow up with anything, and I went to church because when I was 16 years old, a guy spoke at our high school. And then that night we went to hear him talk, and he talked about Jesus, how Jesus was crucified on the cross for us, God raised him from the dead, and I believed that, and it changed the trajectory of my life forever. That's what resurrection does, it takes a dead heart, makes it alive, and changes the trajectory of our lives forever, So while we're not physical witnesses to what Peter was able to see and the disciples saw, we still see the effects of it today, the effects of that resurrection.

Ross Sawyers: [00:15:15] We can be hopeful for a second reason when I see this part of what Peter's saying, and that's because we can be confident in the exaltation. Now that's a word that I don't use a whole lot in thinking about Jesus, and so I love that it's here so we can talk about it for a minute. And what we've seen in this sermon so far that Peter preaches, and I think this is a great way for us to think about the way we would teach or the way we would talk about Christ with other people. There are a number of things going on, and there are big words that people use sometimes to describe these. And this is what I've learned about master's work and doctoral work, this is what it seems to me overall, and I'm sure this will offend someone, but just take it for what it is. I really think master's and doctoral work is taking really big words, putting it on things that you already learned in your undergrad or in your high school, and then being able to go on and say, I was able to persevere and quote a lot of people and write papers about that very simple thing that it boils down to. I'm sure there are people that are smarter than me, that would disagree, but that just appears to be part of the case.

Ross Sawyers: [00:16:21] So I just want to use some big words for a moment and what you're using here, I use my education every once in a while. And so what you're seeing and have happened here is the incarnation of Jesus. And all that big word means is that God made himself flesh, and he came, and he dwelt among us, and he lived among us, he was incarnated, and Peter talks about that in verse 22. In verse 23, he talks about, crucifixion, that Jesus died on the cross for us, and he turned away the wrath of God, and he took on our sin on himself. In verse 24, he talks about the resurrection and following. So his incarnation, his crucifixion, his resurrection, in Acts chapter 1, we see his ascension, and now we see his exaltation. What does it mean that Jesus is exalted? It means he finished his work here, and God exalted him at his right hand, he's the one to be exalted.

Ross Sawyers: [00:17:32] Verse 33, he's the ruler, he's the one that's in authority. He's in his rightful place. Verse 33, “Therefore having been exalted to the right hand of God, and having received from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, He has poured forth this which you both see and hear." So he's been exalted to the right hand of God, he's in his rightful place now, and he's received the promise of the Holy Spirit from the Father, and he's poured this forth, which you both see and hear. Jesus received the Spirit, he said, I promise you that when I ascend, and I'm exalted, then I'm going to send you the Spirit. That's what's happening in Acts 2, that the Spirit is coming. And then at the beginning of Act Chapter 2, we see when he says here, you've both seen and heard. Remember what happened at the beginning of chapter 2? It was a sound like a violent rushing wind when the Spirit came down, they heard the Spirit coming, and they saw tongues of fire that were going on the tops of every individual that was there and they saw it. So they heard it, and they saw the Spirit coming down on them, and it'll be possible from now on for every person that believes what Jesus did to receive the Holy Spirit of God. And it's not just like a sprinkling of the Spirit, it is an unleashing of the Spirit, the word here is a pouring of the Spirit.

Ross Sawyers: [00:18:59] Now, several years ago, Lisa and I had the privilege of being able to go to Niagara Falls, and we were on a choir tour with our youth group that we were a part of in Florida that we were leading at the time, and that was one of our side treks just to see just kind of the awesomeness of God. And I know some of you who've had that opportunity, you've been there, or maybe you've seen it, or seen a video of it, but it is an incredible power to see those falls coming over, to see Horseshoe Falls, just to see that horseshoe and to see the water just coming with force. And then if you're a good tourist, you paid, and you got a pink raincoat. And you put on that raincoat, and you got on a boat, and that boat would get up just as close as it could to the mist and the outflow of that waterfall. And that's what happens, I believe, that when people have the Spirit of God poured on them like that, that it comes through such force that it gets on everybody else around them. It's like a mist, you better get a raincoat on if you don't want the love of Christ, the grace of Christ, or the mercy of Christ all over you. Because if we're walking in the power of the Spirit, that is what will flow. And he said it is pouring out, the Spirit is poured out now, and they're about to experience that even more than what they've experienced here at the beginning, and you and I can experience it as well.

Ross Sawyers: [00:20:27] He continues to make his case in verses 34 and 35, "It was not David who ascended into heaven." So remember when he said David died, and David was buried, and here's his tomb over here. David's not the one that is ascended into heaven, he's not the one that's done that. Now, why do you think Peter is making such a big deal out of David? Why, in your very first message, would you be talking so much about King David? He knew his audience, and they revered the second king of Israel, and he knew his audience that day that they revered the Scriptures, so he continued to quote the Scriptures. Depending on our audience today would depend on the way we would bridge someone to be able to hear the message of Jesus. He's talking about David because they understood that, and we can grab it, we want to understand what he was saying, and then we can move it to here.

Ross Sawyers: [00:21:31] But what he's showing us in 34 and 35, David says, ‘THE LORD SAID TO MY LORD, “SIT AT MY RIGHT HAND, 35UNTIL I MAKE YOUR ENEMIES A FOOTSTOOL FOR YOUR FEET.” So he's quoting Scripture again, and I love what he does here because he continues to go back to the Old Testament, and the Old Testament always points us to Jesus, it always points us to Jesus. The Gospels, Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, they tell us about Jesus, the Book of Acts, and everything after that, they point us back to Jesus. It's all about Jesus, the whole thing, cover to cover, everything is about Jesus. And he uses this Scripture in Psalm 110:1, and this is one of the most common Scriptures to talk about the exaltation of Jesus that we find being quoted in different times throughout the Scripture. He said, "The LORD says to my Lord: “Sit at My right hand until I make Your enemies a footstool for Your feet.” So Jesus now is at the right hand of the Father, he's in that exalted position with God, and then he'll be there until his enemies are a footstool for your feet. This was the idea of Old Testament kings, that when they would vanquish an enemy, they would symbolically put their foot on the neck of the defeated, and that's the imagery that's here. Right now evil is being pushed back, but there will be a day when it is finally vanquished, and he gives us that picture.

Ross Sawyers: [00:23:12] Now, in the spirit of knowing our audience, I know we have some football fans here, so I want to give another picture. Yesterday was a fantastic day of football, until, like late last night. But I want to highlight one part of that Texas Aggie game, and one player who had a nightmare all night long, and probably has still not slept. And I kind of feel bad because it's somebody's kid, so I just I hate that, but the left tackle for LSU, that guy still doesn't know what hit him last night. Number two, Michael Clemons, Texas A&M, he had four sacks, I mean, he was just a nightmare to this guy, continually pushing him back, pushing him back, play after play. That guy had to dread every time he saw Clemmons line up on his side, there's no other, he had to have. But I think that's a great picture of what's happening right now, is what Jesus did on the cross, he vanquished evil that day, and he took care of sin, and he took care of Satan, he took care of death, he took care of all of it on that cross, he defeated it. But we live in an already, not yet, and there's not a final vanquishing yet, there will be, that day is coming. We anticipate that second coming of Jesus when Jesus will put his foot on his enemies, and that'll be vanquished, and evil will be flat out destroyed. What that guy was doing last night, that defensive end for A&M, he kept pushing back the one who is in his way. And that's what Jesus is doing, he's pushing back evil and advancing light. Oh, it might not look like it sometimes, but that's what's going on.

Ross Sawyers: [00:25:14] And every time, when we talk about Vision 2025, that worship is being established where there is none. Every time there's a live group established in a neighborhood, that is pushing back the evil until that final day, because now there's light in that place, every time on one of our school campuses, somebody establishes something that is a light post on that campus, a gathering of followers of Jesus, it's pushing back that darkness. Any time there's a church plant, any time there's a new missionary that goes out, any time in your workplace you take a firm stand in God's grace and God's mercy, and you've determined that you'll be a light in that workplace and you're not going to be pushed back, you're not going to shrink back, you're not going to waver, you're going to stand firm in the light, in the grace of God, and you're going to let the power of God flow out of you to all those around you, even though they're pushing evil against you, every time you stand, it pushes it back more until that final day.

Ross Sawyers: [00:26:13] But Jesus is in that exalted position, and from that position, he will return one day. Now, how did Peter know to use this Scripture? I wonder if it's in part because he heard Jesus use it in Mark Chapter 12 verses 35 through 37, and Jesus applied this Scripture to himself. And I think that's a great example for us, to know what to share with other people. I don't have to come up with something clever, I'm just passing on what I've heard Jesus say. That's what Peter is doing here, he's passing on what he heard Jesus say. He heard Jesus speak from the Old Testament, to talk about himself, and that's what Peter did in this sermon. In verses 17 through 21, he quoted Joel chapter 2 verses 28 through 32. In 25 through 28, he quoted Psalm 16, verses 8 through 11. Here he's quoting Psalm 110 verse 1. He heard Jesus to it, this is what he's doing.

Ross Sawyers: [00:27:40] We also see something that can be an encouragement to us today when we think about being hopeful, these are prophecies that are Old Testament prophecies, in Acts 2 that are now fulfilled. When we think about the birth of Christ, there are other prophecies we see in Scripture fulfilled in Jesus. In Micah 5-2, we see that it was prophesied that he would be born in Bethlehem, that would have been some 700 years before his birth. In Isaiah chapter 9 verses 6 and 7, we see his life, a son will be given to us; And the government will rest on His shoulders; And His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace." This is who he is. We see in Isaiah 53 verses 4 through 6, we see the crucifixion of Jesus is predicted, "Surely our griefs He Himself bore, and our sorrows He carried. See, we see all through the Scriptures, the Old Testament prophecies fulfilled in the birth, life, death, resurrection, ascension, exaltation, and return of Jesus. That return, we can count on it because of all these other things.

Ross Sawyers: [00:28:56] This made me think a little bit about our day, and I run into this somewhat often, where people disbelieve the Scriptures. And I want you to know this can be a place where you can be so curious, and you can ask your questions, whatever they are. If we can't handle the questions, then we're in trouble, and our faith is not on that solid ground that we sing of. We can handle the questions. Sometimes, I don't know, is the answer, but we'll sure give it a shot to find the answer. So I hope that in our life groups, and here, that everyone has a comfortability to ask their questions. And we need to be able to do that because the Scripture is in an ongoing assault, of people wanting to say it's been mistranslated, it's got errors, there's no way it can be accurate, it's just a bunch of men that wrote it a couple of thousand years ago, there is no way they got it right.

Ross Sawyers: [00:30:07] Well, I was thinking this week, what if people spend as much time, I thought about a criminal. And there are some incredibly bright people that spend a lot of time figuring out how to break the law, and what if they use that same energy for something good and positive, they'd probably be millionaires. What if people spent less time trying to argue the lack of validity of the Scriptures, and spent more time appreciating the God of them? God has made himself known in creation, when we look out in creation, the Scriptures tell us, we can see the fingerprints of God. God has made himself known in our consciences, we know what's right and what's wrong, even though we have a culture that is flipped morality on its head, and that which is immoral is now called moral. By the way, in Isaiah 5:20, he said that would happen, that was 700 years before Christ, that's not new today. But God has put in our consciences, in Romans 2, a sense of morality of that which is right and wrong.

Ross Sawyers: [00:31:29] God has given us his word, and each historical find, each archaeological find, it just continues to verify God's word. It doesn't mean you have to believe it, but it's hard to dismiss it as not being trustworthy, valid, reliable, in one of the most historically reliable documents in all of history. We have his word, and then finally, we have Jesus. God has made himself known in so many ways, and we spend so much time trying to argue against him, and this is not right, and this is wrong, and it can't be, and we want to wrestle through those questions. But what a beautiful spot, when we can see God in creation, we can acknowledge his morality, we can see the word for what it is and find it life-giving. And we see the Son, Jesus Christ, and he's the one that gives us that ultimate life.

Ross Sawyers: [00:32:30] But why do people work so hard against it? I think verse 36 actually answers the question, I think people work so hard against it because we're wrestling with who gets to be Lord in our lives, we're wrestling with who gets to actually have authority in our lives. Now, please hear this, every person in this room, online, me with you, every one of us is submitting to some kind of lord. We might not call it that, but every one of us is submitted to something. And whatever gets our greatest allegiance, that's our Lord, that might be our self, that might be the government, that might be another person, that might be...Really, the story I described earlier of the man I encountered, what's his lord? Money. I mean, he just said it, I wasn't guessing. What gets your allegiance?

Ross Sawyers: [00:33:53] Verse 36, so the confidence in Jesus is Lord is the last part here, “Therefore let all the house of Israel know for certain that God has made Him both Lord and Christ—this Jesus whom you crucified.” Therefore, he's wrapping up the sermon, therefore, so just in light of all I've talked about Jesus, let all the house of Israel know for certain, he's not wishy-washy at this point, he's an uneducated fisherman, he has extreme confidence in Jesus Christ, in the God who sent him, and in the Spirit, who now has empowered him to do what he's doing. He said, let us know for certain, you don't have to wonder, you don't have to doubt, we know for certain.

Ross Sawyers: [00:34:33] I want to highlight, are you hearing that highlighted, that when you go out this week and you hear Satan start to cast doubt, and you hear people on Instagram kind of come after you a little bit, and then you're on Facebook and see a post, and whenever you get a text from someone in a group chat, wherever you find yourself, in WhatsApp, wherever you are this week, you might hear somebody cast doubt. And I want you to know we hear this voice this week, you can know for certain that God made Jesus both Lord and Christ. What is Christ mean? Messiah, Savior, God has made Jesus Savior, and God has made Jesus Lord, he's made him Lord, he's the one who gets our allegiance.

Ross Sawyers: [00:35:26] I have ingrained in my head, a Bible study that I had our students do when I was a youth minister years ago. The intention is right, the heart is right in the study, it was a great study, I don't think the title is right, it's called Making Jesus Lord. I want you to know today nobody is making Jesus Lord, he is Lord. The question is, will we yield to Him as Lord? That's the question, will I surrender to the one who is already Lord, not will I make him Lord? He is Lord over the universe, he is the ruler, and the authority, and the power, you don't have to wonder that, we know that. What we want to know is, for each of us, are we willing to yield to him?

Ross Sawyers: [00:36:21] This week, I was reading a blog by John Stonestreet on Breakpoint. I mention this quite a bit, it's one of my favorite blogs. But I found it interesting that on November twenty-fifth this week, he talked about Jesus is Lord. And I thought, God, I love how you do that, I love how you bring these things together. And here's what he said, here's a summary of what he wrote, that when Peter said Jesus is Lord, he's saying our allegiance goes to him. But in that day, the Romans were the ruling government, and what you were supposed to say is Caesar is Lord. It'd be the equivalent today of saying whatever government is in power, that government is Lord. And when you say Jesus is Lord, you're in effect rejecting Caesar as Lord. When we say Jesus is Lord, we're rejecting that government is Lord, we're rejecting that someone else I know is Lord, we're rejecting that this stuff is Lord. When we say Jesus is Lord, it is about allegiance, and rival allegiances will not be tolerated. Where does your ultimate allegiance lie?

Ross Sawyers: [00:37:50] Let's just imagine that you and I are at a coffee shop together, let's go to Redefined in downtown Grapevine, and I'm just there with you. And we're sitting across from each other, you're enjoying your coffee, I'm having hot chocolate, I don't like coffee. And we're just kind of hanging out and we're talking about this, and I'm going to ask you a question at the table. Can you say today that Jesus is Lord? It is only by the Holy Spirit, we're told in First Corinthians, that you or I could say that. Can you personally say today, without hesitation, that Jesus is Lord? If so, what you're saying is he has your total allegiance. And if he has your total allegiance, everything changes. My worldview lens changes, now I see through God's lens. My view on sexual ethics changes, now I see it through God's lens. I don't expect someone to see through God's lens, who doesn't know him as both Savior and Lord? If you know him and would say he is Lord, then the way you see sexual ethics today is through God's lens, not anybody else's. If you say Jesus is Lord, then the way you see justice today is through God's lens, not somebody else's lens. The way we see relationships today, we see through God's lens, not anybody else's lens. Is Jesus. Lord?

Ross Sawyers: [00:39:54] I want to give you a picture that we go to often, and I want to ask you this, this week, I want us to think about this in light of Jesus as Lord, and I want to do it really simply in a way to talk about what Peter did here in Acts Chapter 2. And this is just kind of a big picture of God's story, you've seen it, a number of you have, some of you have not, this will be your first time. If you've seen it, will you just be reminded today and be asking, God, who could I pass this on to this week? Who could I offer hope to this week? It might be a Christian that I encourage with this, it might be someone who's not. But will you at least ask God, who should I pass this on to?

Ross Sawyers: [00:40:37] And when we think about Jesus is Lord, that's the way I want to think about it. And we see God's story, we see that God is the very center of everything, and everything is centered on him. He's the one that supreme, he rules the universe, he's overall, and then he's now has made Jesus both Lord and Christ. But when we see this story, we see that God starts with creation, and he makes everything perfect in creation. And it's there, even in Genesis 1:26-27, that he said that he's made both male and female in his image, in the image of God, he created them. And then it says, God blessed them, and he and he multiplied them, he told them to be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth, and subdue it, and rule over it. So God, who is Lord overall, now in his perfect creation has made us the ones who will be responsible for what he's created.

Ross Sawyers: [00:41:38] But there's a problem we sort of messed that up, and that's the second part of the story here, and we call that the fall and everything is broken here now. So while we're connected perfectly to God here, now, we're broken and not connected to him. And that's the state of every person in humanity from the time we're born, we're disconnected from God. Why? Because we want to be Lord, we don't want Jesus to be Lord, we want to be Lord, we want to do things our way, the Bible calls that sin. And all that is saying, we want to control everything. Somebody is in control, who is it personally for you? So this is bad news.

Ross Sawyers: [00:42:25] There's good news, though, and the way we get connected back to God is through what we've described here, through the cross, what Jesus did at the cross. And it's there that all our brokenness, our selfishness, our pride is taken care of because Jesus bears the weight of it, he takes it on himself, and the way that we enter into this is to repent and believe. Trust me, that's what it says. I turned from being Lord of my own life, and I'm saying, Jesus, you're Lord, I'm acknowledging that you are, and I surrender to you, I give it all to you.

Ross Sawyers: [00:43:25] Everything changes, there's still a battle, though. Until Chapter four, when we have the new heavens and the new Earth. In the meantime, Jesus is Lord, but we're battling those other rivalries that are going to come against us to be with the Lord. And that'll be until the day Jesus comes back in that second coming, and then we're with him forever in the new heavens and the new Earth.

Ross Sawyers: [00:44:12] Can you just pass that big idea, God's the center, he created everything perfectly, we fell, everything's broken. Jesus, fixed it, we can be in on that fix by believing it, now, the rest of our life is in allegiance to Jesus as Lord, even though there are these battles, and then one day it'll all be right. And this is what's going to happen on that last day, Paul writes it in Philippians 2, "Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus, 6who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, 7but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men. 8Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. 9For this reason also, God highly exalted Him, and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name, 10so that at the name of Jesus EVERY KNEE WILL BOW, of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11and that every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father." There will be a day where every person will bend the knee to Jesus and declare him as Lord, it will be too late for many, but it doesn't have to be if you'll bend the knee now, and confess with your mouth, Jesus is Lord.

Ross Sawyers: [00:46:01] Father, that's our confession this morning as a church, Jesus, that you are Lord, that your Master, that you're the King, you're the King of the universe, everything is yours. God, thank you for making a way for us to be yours. And Father, thank you for the cross, thank you for what you did there on our behalf. Thank you for the power of the resurrection. Thank you for your Holy Spirit who dwells those who receive you, God. I pray that we would be a people that have the Spirit so poured on, in, and through us, that your love and patience and peace and gentleness and self-control and goodness and faithfulness, will just flow through our lives, God. And I pray people would know how deeply they're loved by you, and that they no longer resist and claim other lords, but instead that they would bend the knee and confess with their hearts who you are, Jesus. And then, God, live the lives that are the most fulfilling, joyful, and glad as they could possibly live. Today, Father, we're the most hopeful people, and I thank you, and I pray we would not keep that to ourselves, but in this Christmas season, shouted out. In Jesus' name.

Ross Sawyers: [00:47:27] Let's continue just in quietness before the Lord, and if you've got questions about things, or are curious about things, we'd love to be able to be a help to you on that. I pray that today would be a day, if you're allowing something else, some rival to be your allegiance today, that today would be a day of repentance for you if you know Jesus already, and that you would just yield yourself back to him. If you have never yielded yourself to Christ, that today would be that day for you, what a beautiful thing in this Thanksgiving and Christmas season to be able to acknowledge Jesus is Lord today. And we thank you, Jesus, and pray. In Christ's name and pray. We'll just respond well in silence.



Recorded in Grapevine, Texas.
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121 Community Church
2701 Ira E Woods Ave.
Grapevine, Texas 76051
817.488.1213