Sermons by Dr. Gregory C. Magruder

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RADIATE JESUS: Be the Church

Gregory C. Magruder  Parkview Baptist Church, Gainesville, FL 09/25/16
 
Be the Church
Hebrews 13:7-19
 
INTRODUCTION: Jesus asked his disciples, “’Who do you say I am?’  Simon Peter answered, ‘You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.’ Jesus replied, ‘Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah…on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it’” (Matt. 16:15-18). Jesus established his church on the confession that he was the Messiah, the Son of God. All who put their faith and trust in Jesus as Savior become part of his church. The writer of Hebrews has stressed the uniqueness of Jesus above and beyond any other system or person. We are to embrace the mission and message of Jesus and tell the world that He is Lord. We are to be the church. How do we do that as community of believers? Hebrews 13:7-19 gives us some final and practical instructions.
 
PATTERN YOUR LIFE AFTER GODLY LEADERS (7-8).
 
“Remember your leaders, who spoke the word of God to you. Consider the outcome of their way of life and imitate their faith. Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever” (7-8).
 
  • Look for faithful and consistent pastoral leaders to be your example.
  • Jesus never fails. You can trust him. He is eternally consistent and faithful.
 
GUARD YOUR DOCTRINAL BELIEFS (9-14).
 
“Do not be carried away by all kinds of strange teachings. It is good for our hearts to be strengthened by grace, not by eating ceremonial foods, which is of no benefit to those who do so. We have an altar from which those who minister at the tabernacle have no right to eat” (9-10).
 
  • Get a right view of Jesus and God’s grace to avoid wrong ideas about God and faith.
 
“The high priest carries the blood of animals into the Most Holy Place as a sin offering, but the bodies are burned outside the camp. And so Jesus also suffered outside the city gate to make the people holy through his own blood. Let us, then, go to him outside the camp, bearing the disgrace he bore. For here we do not have an enduring city, but we are looking for the city that is to come” (11-14).
  • We are not to be ashamed of Christ and his Cross.
  • We are to embrace the blood of Christ for our redemption and live our lives in his service (Romans 12:1-2).
  • This world is not our home; we are just passing through (Heb. 11:16)
 
WORSHIP GOD IN WORD AND DEED (15-16).
 
“Through Jesus, therefore, let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise—the fruit of lips that openly profess his name. And do not forget to do good and to share with others, for with such sacrifices God is pleased” (15-16).
 
  • We worship God with our praises and testimonies.
  • We worship God through our service to others.
  • We worship God through our contributions and gifts for ministry.
 
SUPPORT YOUR LEADERS (17).
 
“Have confidence in your leaders and submit to their authority, because they keep watch over you as those who must give an account. Do this so that their work will be a joy, not a burden, for that would be of no benefit to you” (17).
 
  • Jesus Christ is the head of the church but he has given leaders to oversee the church.
  • Respect your leaders and cooperate with them because they have to give an account to God on how they do their work and care for God’s people.
  • When everyone works together, the church experiences joy.
 
PRAY (18-19).
 
“Pray for us. We are sure that we have a clear conscience and desire to live honorably in every way. I particularly urge you to pray so that I may be restored to you soon” (18-19).
 
  • Pray for your leaders.
  • Pray for integrity and  unity in the church and truth to be revealed.
  • Pray for personal concerns.
 

The church is the alternative to a lost and dying world system. Be the church that Jesus built.

RADIATE JESUS: Marriage

Gregory C. Magruder  Parkview Baptist Church, Gainesville, FL 09/18/16
 
Marriage
Hebrews 13:4
 
INTRODUCTION: All of us have legitimate intimacy needs. Adam was living the American Dream but he was lonely. “The Lord God said, ‘It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him’” (Genesis 2:18). God made us for relationships. We have intimacy needs that can only be filled in the context of relationships. God designed marriage (Genesis 2), the family (Genesis 4) and the Church (Matthew 16) to minister to our loneliness and other intimacy needs. Satan viciously attacks these areas of relationships where genuine care, grace and love are practiced. That is why the writer of Hebrews affirms the importance of protecting and honoring marriage and family. He writes, “Marriage should be honored by all, and the marriage bed kept pure, for God will judge the adulterer and all the sexually immoral” (Hebrews 13:4).
 
TREAT MARRIAGE WITH HONOR AND RESPECT.
 
*Marriage is designed by God to minister to our loneliness and provide companionship. “The Lord God said, ‘It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him’” (Genesis 2:18).
 
*Marriage is divinely ordained to be between and man and a woman
  • Genesis states it: “That is why a man leaves his father and mother and is united to his wife, and they become one flesh” (Gen. 2:24).
  • Jesus confirms it: “Haven’t you read,” he replied, “that at the beginning the Creator ‘made them male and female,’ and said, ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh’? (Matthew 19:4-5).
 
*Marriage forms a new home and the promise of children. The married couple breaks with their family of origin and creates a new family.  “That is why a man leaves his father and mother and is united to his wife, and they become one flesh” (Gen. 2:24).
 
GUARD THE SACREDNESS OF MARRIAGE INTIMACY.
 
*Intimacy is sharing one’s life with another person. Marriage is one way God has made to meet our intimacy needs. Friendship, family and the church are other ways our intimacy needs can be met. God wants us to live life without guilt or games. “Adam and his wife were both naked, and they felt no shame” (Gen. 2:25).
 
*How do we reach this place of intimacy in our relationships and our marriage?
  • Leave the past. “That is why a man leaves his father and mother…”
(Gen. 2:24). We are alone (Gen. 2) and fallen (Gen.3). Our cup is full of damaged emotions and sin. We need to empty the cup. We “leave” our mother and father when we no longer look to our family of origin to meet our needs (see handout). Our cup is full.
  • Live in the present. “That is why a man leaves his father and mother and is united to his wife…” (Gen. 2:24). Literally, the word is “clings” to his wife. Abundant living is lived in the present (John 10:10). You must empty the cup of sin and damaged emotions so you can live in the present. Face your hurt. Understand the Truth. Forgive the offender.
  • Learn to practice intimacy. Intimacy is closeness, becoming one. “That is why a man leaves his father and mother and is united to his wife, and they become one flesh” (Gen. 2:24). Be vulnerable and know the other person’s hurts. Healing takes place when we experience God at the point of his word (see handout). You must speak words of comfort to heal hurt.
 
*Sexual intimacy flourishes within the context of marriage. “Adam and his wife were both naked, and they felt no shame” (Gen. 2:25).
  • Marriage allows physical intimacy without guilt or shame (25).
  • Healthy marriages enjoy and protect sexual intimacy. “But since sexual immorality is occurring, each man should have sexual relations with his own wife, and each woman with her own husband. The husband should fulfill his marital duty to his wife, and likewise the wife to her husband. Do not deprive each other…” (1 Cor.7:2-5).
  • Marriage intimacy can produce children.
 
KNOW THAT GOD PUNISHES IMMORALITY AND ADULTERY.
 
*There are many threats against marriage in today’s world: society’s redefinition of marriage; presumption in the relationship; physical neglect; abuse; lack of basic care and respect. We must keep our marriages strong. “However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband” (Ephesians 5:33).
 
*Infidelity and immorality destroy the marriage bond. Jesus said of a man and wife:  “So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate” (Matthew 19:6). That is why, ”God draws a firm line against casual and illicit sex” (Hebrews 13:4 MSG).

RADIATE JESUS: Practical Spirituality

Gregory C. Magruder  Parkview Baptist Church, Gainesville, FL 09/11/16
 
Practical Spirituality
Hebrews 13:1-6
 
INTRODUCTION: The writer of Hebrews says we are to run the race set before us fixing our eyes upon Jesus. We need to endure hardship and persevere. We must be strong but we must also help others finish the race. A spiritual lifestyle demands some practical obligations. We could call these spiritual disciplines or practical spirituality. The Christian life must be lived with integrity, purity, and love. So what are these obligations of the Christian life? The writer discusses our responsibilities in Hebrews 13:1-6.
 
CHRISTIANS HAVE SOCIAL OBLIGATIONS.
 
  • Practice brotherly love: “Keep on loving one another as brothers and sisters” (Heb. 13:1).
  • Practice hospitality: “Do not forget to show hospitality to strangers, for by so doing some people have shown hospitality to angels without knowing it” (Heb. 13:2).
  • Support those in prison:Continue to remember those in prison as if you were together with them in prison…” (Heb. 13:3).
  • Care for the mistreated: “Continue to remember…those who are mistreated as if you yourselves were suffering” (Heb.13:3).
 
CHRISTIANS HAVE HOME OBLIGATIONS.
 
“Marriage should be honored by all, and the marriage bed kept pure, for God will judge the adulterer and all the sexually immoral” (Heb. 13:4).
 
  • Respect marriage and keep your intimacy pure.
  • Do not commit adultery and abstain from immorality.
 
CHRISTIANS HAVE PERSONAL OBLIGATIONS.
 
“Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, ‘Never will I leave you; never will I
forsake you.’  So we say with confidence, ‘The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid.  What can mere mortals do to me?’” (Heb. 13:5-6).
 
  • Avoid greed.
  • Be satisfied with what you have.

GROW OUTREACH: Seeds that Grow

Gregory Magruder   Parkview Baptist Church   Gainesville, FL   09-04-16
 
Seeds That Grow
Matthew 13:3-9
 
INTRODUCTION:  Jesus told the parable of the Farmer and the Seed to explain why some soil produces abundant growth and other soils do not.  By any definition, growth is a miracle.  A single dormant seed mysteriously springs to life and with proper nurture produces a bountiful harvest.  You can experience the miracle of growth in your own life as well.  There are three ways you can GROW in your Christian life.  The Lord causes these seeds to GROW.
 
GOD REWARDS OUR WORSHIP.
 
-God deserves our PRAISE.  Let everything that has breath
praise the LORD. Praise the Lord (Psalm 150:6 NIV).
 
And again, Praise the Lord, all you Gentiles, and sing praises to him, all you peoples (Romans 15:11 NIV).
 
            -God chooses to DWELL where He is praised.  But thou art holy, O thou that inhabitest the praises of Israel (Psalm 22:3 KJV).
 
            -The Lord rewards those who earnestly desire to KNOW Him.  And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him (Hebrews 11:6 NIV).
 
-You can GROW through worship.
 
GOD REWARDS OUR WITNESS.
 
-Jesus said every one of His FOLLOWERS would be a witness.
“But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses  in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth" (Acts 1:8 NIV).
 
            -A witness gives a personal TESTIMONY about what he
or she has seen or heard or experienced.  “The life appeared; we have seen it and testify to it, and we proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and has appeared to us. We proclaim to you what we have seen and heard, so that you also may have fellowship with us. And our
fellowship is with the Father and with his Son, Jesus Christ”
(1 John 1:2-3 NIV).
 
            -The Lord gives SUCCESS to those who tell others about Him. 
Then I heard a loud voice in heaven say: "Now have come the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God, and the authority of his Christ.
For the accuser of our brothers, who accuses them before our God day and night, has been hurled down.  They overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony” (Revelation 12:10-11 NIV).
 
            -You can GROW through your witness.
 
GOD REWARDS OUR WORK.
 
            -Labor is necessary for success and GROWTH.  Then he told them many things in parables, saying: "A farmer went out to sow his seed
                                                                        (Matthew 13:3 NIV).

 
“Lazy people want much but get little, while the diligent are prospering
                                                                                   (Proverbs 13:4 TLB).
 
Never be lazy in your work, but serve the Lord enthusiastically”
                                                                                 (Romans 12:11 TLB).
 
            -God’s work requires WORKERS.  Jesus said to his disciples:
"The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field”
 (Matthew. 9:37-38 NIV).
 
            -God honors our EFFORTS for Him.  “Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain”          (1 Corinthians 15:58).
 
            -The best work is TEAMWORK.  Paul wrote:  “God is important because he is the one who makes things grow.  Apollos and I are working as a team with the same aim, though each of us will be rewarded for his own hard work.  We are only God’s coworkers
                                                                       (1 Corinthians 3:7-9 TLB).
 
            -You can GROW through your work for the Lord.

RADIATE JESUS: Warnings and Worship

Gregory C. Magruder  Parkview Baptist Church, Gainesville, FL 08/28/16
 
Warnings and Worship
Hebrews 12:12-28
 
INTRODUCTION: The writer of Hebrews says we are to run the race set before us fixing our eyes upon Jesus. We need to endure hardship and persevere. We must be strong but we must also help others finish the race. We must cheer others on and clear the obstacles in their way. Therefore, strengthen your feeble arms and weak knees. “Make level paths for your feet,” so that the lame may not be disabled, but rather healed (12:12-13). How do we do run the race in this way? Our author shows us in Hebrews 12:12-28.
 
RUN IN PERSONAL HOLINESS.
 
Make every effort to live in peace with everyone and to be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord. See to it that no one falls short of the grace of God and that no bitter root grows up to cause trouble and defile many. See that no one is sexually immoral, or is godless like Esau, who for a single meal sold his inheritance rights as the oldest son. Afterward, as you know, when he wanted to inherit this blessing, he was rejected. Even though he sought the blessing with tears, he could not change what he had done” (Hebrews 12:14-17).
 
*The writer gives six admonitions and instructions to run the race straight and strong:
  • Live in peace with all people.
  • Live a holy life that pleases God.
  • Make sure everyone lives in the grace of God.
  • Root out all bitterness and discontent.
  • Abstain from sexual immorality.
  • Don’t reject God’s blessings for carnal appetites.
 
RUN IN GODLY FEAR.
 
*The Old Covenant was given on Mt. Sinai with frightening fire and thunder and shaking. The voice of God was so alarming that people were afraid to approach God (12:18-20). The sight was so terrifying
 that Moses said, “I am trembling with fear” (12:21).
 
*We must not reject God’s voice today. The people of Israel failed to obey the Old Covenant. We must be on guard to not reject the New Covenant. We must develop a godly awe and respect of God’s word to us.  See to it that you do not refuse him who speaks. If they did not escape when they refused him who warned them on earth, how much less will we, if we turn away from him who warns us from heaven? At that time his voice shook the earth, but now he has promised, “Once more I will shake not only the earth but also the heavens.”(12:25-26).
 
RUN IN GOD’S BLESSINGS.
 
But you have come to Mount Zion, to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem. You have come to thousands upon thousands of angels in joyful assembly, to the church of the firstborn, whose names are written in heaven. You have come to God, the Judge of all, to the spirits of the righteous made perfect, to Jesus the mediator of a new covenant, and to the sprinkled blood that speaks a better word than the blood of Abel.
 
*In contrast to Mt. Sinai, we have come to Mt. Zion, the city of God, the New Jerusalem. The New Covenant established by Jesus brings us many benefits and blessings:
  • We have an eternal home where God lives.
  • We have angels rejoicing with us in our new home.
  • We will join fellow citizens of Heaven who entered before us.
  • We come before the God of Justice who makes all things right.
  • We join the redeemed that have been made whole.
  • We meet Jesus our mediator who made a new covenant for us.
  • We come to the shed blood of Jesus which brings forgiveness.
 
RUN IN PRAISE AND WORSHIP.
 
Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe, for our “God is a consuming fire” (12:28).
 
*The only response to the unshakable kingdom we are receiving is gratitude, reverence and worshipful obedience. Keep on keeping on.
 
 

RADIATE JESUS: The Discipline of Perseverance

Gregory C. Magruder  Parkview Baptist Church, Gainesville, FL 08/21/16
 
The Discipline of Perseverance
Hebrews 12:1-13
 
INTRODUCTION: We have been captivated by the Olympics in Rio this summer. We have seen amazing victories and achievements and we have seen some heartbreaking defeats. But in every event the athletes aim to excel, cross the finish line and finish the race. What we don’t often see are the hours and hours of training and practice and pain that go into competing in the Olympics. The writer of Hebrews switches metaphors from being on a journey to running a race in chapter 12. Christians are running a race that requires the discipline of perseverance. We must persevere and overcome the obstacles that would keep us from finishing the race God has called us to run. How do we do that?
 
YOU PERSEVERE WHEN YOU RUN THE RACE WELL.
 
Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles (Hebrews 12:1).
 
  • Others are watching and cheering us on (Heb. 11). We do not want to disappoint them.
  • We are in a relay race. The baton has been passed on to us. We must run our leg of the race well. Prepare to finish the race.
 
YOU PERSEVERE WHEN YOU FOCUS ON JESUS.
 
*Jesus is our example and motivator. He has run well and pushes us to run well. We need to keep our eyes on Jesus at all times. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith (Heb. 12:1-2).
 
*Jesus is our goal and his “well done” is our reward. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart (Heb. 12:2-3).

YOU PERSEVERE WHEN YOU ENDURE HARDSHIP.
 
*God’s discipline proves you are God’s child.
 
  • The biblical evidence from Proverbs 3:11-12. In your struggle against sin, you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood. And have you completely forgotten this word of encouragement that addresses you as a father addresses his son? It says, “My son, do not make light of the Lord’s discipline,  and do not lose heart when he rebukes you, because the Lord disciplines the one he loves, and he chastens everyone he accepts as his son” (12:4-5).
 
  • The human analogy. Endure hardship as discipline; God is treating you as his children. For what children are not disciplined by their father? If you are not disciplined—and everyone undergoes discipline—then you are not legitimate, not true sons and daughters at all (12:5-6).
 
*Discipline has its benefits and rewards.
 
Moreover, we have all had human fathers who disciplined us and we respected them for it. How much more should we submit to the Father of spirits and live! They disciplined us for a little while as they thought best; but God disciplines us for our good, in order that we may share in his holiness. No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it (12:7-11).
 
YOU PERSEVERE WHEN YOU ENCOURAGE OTHERS.
  
* We must be strong but we must also help others finish the race. We must cheer others and clear the obstacles in their way.
Therefore, strengthen your feeble arms and weak knees. “Make level paths for your feet,” so that the lame may not be disabled, but rather healed (12:12-13).
 

RADIATE JESUS: The Journey

Gregory C. Magruder  Parkview Baptist Church, Gainesville, FL 08/14/16
 
The Journey
Hebrews 11:8-19
 
INTRODUCTION: We all have a story. As we journey through life, we compose our story. God has a story too. God’s story has a beginning, middle and end except God’s story continues forever. The secret of our journey is to connect our story with God’s eternal story. Abraham went on a journey of faith that fulfilled God’s bigger purposes. We too can begin a journey of faith that connects with God’s eternal purposes. God’s people are on a journey of faith. The Bible says that this journey “is by faith from first to last, just as it is written: ‘The righteous will live by faith’” (Romans 1:17). So how do we live out our journey of faith?
 
PEOPLE OF FAITH LOOK AHEAD TO A PROMISED LAND.
 
*God called Abraham out of his own country to go to a place that he would inherit. Abraham believed God and went on a journey of faith.
“By faith Abraham, when called to go to a place he would later receive as his inheritance, obeyed and went, even though he did not know where he was going” (11:8).
 
*Abraham lived by faith as a stranger and pilgrim in the land and never personally received the promised land. “By faith he made his home in the promised land like a stranger in a foreign country; he lived in tents, as did Isaac and Jacob, who were heirs with him of the same promise…All these people were still living by faith when they died. They did not receive the things promised; they only saw them and welcomed them from a distance, admitting that they were foreigners and strangers on earth: (11:9, 13).
 
*Abraham looked beyond an earthly home to the city of God, his heavenly home. “For he was looking forward to the city with foundations, whose architect and builder is God…People who say such things show that they are looking for a country of their own. If they had been thinking of the country they had left, they would have had opportunity to return. Instead, they were longing for a better country—a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called
 their God, for he has prepared a city for them” (11:10, 14-16).
 
*We by faith look forward to the coming city of God, the New Jerusalem. John the Apostle wrote: Then I saw “a new heaven and a new earth”… I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband (Revelation 21:1-2).
 
PEOPLE OF FAITH TRUST IN A PROMISED SON.
 
*Abraham and Sarah were promised a child in their old age. By faith they trusted God to complete his promise that all the nations of the earth would be blessed by Abraham’s offspring. And by faith even Sarah, who was past childbearing age, was enabled to bear children because she considered him faithful who had made the promise. And so from this one man, and he as good as dead, came descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and as countless as the sand on the seashore (11:11-12).
 
*Abraham’s descendant became the Savior of the world. We are blessed and become part of God’s family when we put our faith and trust in the promised Messiah Jesus. For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life (John 3:16).
 
PEOPLE OF FAITH HOPE IN A PROMISED RESURRECTION
 
*The journey of faith has many trials and sacrifices. The person of faith relies on God no matter what the test at hand. By faith Abraham, when God tested him, offered Isaac as a sacrifice. He who had embraced the promises was about to sacrifice his one and only son,  even though God had said to him, “It is through Isaac that your offspring will be reckoned” (11:17-18).
 
*Abraham trusted God so much that he believed God would raise his son from the dead in order to fulfill his promise (Gen.22:5). Abraham reasoned that God could even raise the dead, and so in a manner of speaking he did receive Isaac back from death (11:19).
 
*God raised Jesus from the dead so we have hope for the future. Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die…Do you believe this?”(Jn.11:25).

RADIATE JESUS: Righteous Faith

Gregory C. Magruder  Parkview Baptist Church, Gainesville, FL 08/07/16
 
Righteous Faith
Hebrews 11:4-7
 
INTRODUCTION: Faith is the simple trust that something or someone is true. Righteous faith is trust in God and the belief that what he says is true. Habakkuk the prophet wrote that “the just will live by his faith” (Hab. 2:4 KJV). A righteous person trusts God. Paul wrote “For in the gospel the righteousness of God is revealed—a righteousness that is by faith from first to last, just as it is written: ‘The righteous will live by faith’” (Romans 1:17). In fact, Hebrews tells us “without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him” (Heb. 11:6). Righteous faith pleases God. The writer of Hebrews gives three examples of men who had a righteous faith and pleased God in Hebrews 11:4-7.
 
FAITH HAS A HEART FOR GOD.
 
*Jesus called Abel a righteous man (Matthew 23:35). Abel gave an offering in faith and his offering was accepted by God (Genesis 4:4-5). By faith Abel brought God a better offering than Cain did. By faith he was commended as righteous, when God spoke well of his offerings. And by faith Abel still speaks, even though he is dead (Heb. 11:4).
 
*Abel’s heart was right with God. Cain’s heart was not right with God and he fell into sin. Then the Lord said to Cain, “Why are you angry? Why is your face downcast? If you do what is right, will you not be accepted? But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door (Gen. 4:6-7).
 
*Righteous faith has a heart that seeks to please God.
 
FAITH WALKS WITH GOD.
 
*A person of faith desires to have fellowship with God. Enoch developed a close relationship with God on a daily basis and God let him walk right into Heaven. Enoch walked faithfully with God 300 years and had other sons and daughters. Altogether, Enoch lived a total of 365 years. Enoch walked faithfully with God; then he was no more, because God took him away (Gen. 5:22-24).
*The mysterious Enoch pleased God by his simple faith and dependence upon God. By faith Enoch was taken from this life, so that he did not experience death: “He could not be found, because God had taken him away.”For before he was taken, he was commended as one who pleased God (Heb. 11:5).
 
*Righteous faith spends time with God daily.
 
FAITH HEARS AND OBEYS GOD.
 
*Faith believes God and trusts his word. We live by faith when we do what God says to do. The Word of God is the basis of our faith. Noah took God’s warning about a flood to heart and built an ark to save his family. By faith Noah, when warned about things not yet seen, in holy fear built an ark to save his family (Heb. 11:7).
 
*Noah was a righteous man who was faithful to God during a time of wickedness and rebellion. Noah was a righteous man, blameless among the people of his time, and he walked faithfully with God (Gen. 6:9).
 
*Noah’s obedience to build the ark proved his faith and rejected the pressures to conform to the world. By his faith he condemned the world and became heir of the righteousness that is in keeping with faith (Heb. 11:7).
 
*Righteous faith trusts God’s word and does what it says.
 
CONCLUSION:
 
Noah’s ark is a symbol of salvation. The world was about to be destroyed. Only those who entered the ark were rescued and saved.
 
The Bible tells us that “faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word about Christ” (Romans 10:17). We are saved by putting our faith and trust in Jesus Christ.
 
A man asked Paul and Silas, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” They replied, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved” (Acts 16:30-31). Have you done this? Do you have a righteous faith?
 

RADIATE JESUS: Faith

Gregory C. Magruder  Parkview Baptist Church, Gainesville, FL 07/10/16
 
Faith
Hebrews 11:1-3
 
INTRODUCTION: We do not belong to those who shrink back and are destroyed, but to those who have faith and are saved” (Hebrews 10:39). The writer of Hebrews says we can endure and persevere because we are people of faith. He defines faith in Hebrews 11 and lists examples of the heroes of faith. Their example encourages us to persevere until we fulfill God’s purposes for us. People of faith endure to the end. So what is faith? Hebrews 11:1-3 tells us.
 
FAITH PROVIDES HOPE FOR THE FUTURE.
 
*Faith is not fantasy or a leap in the dark. It is based on content. Faith is the foundation of hope. In business terms, it is the “title-deed” or guarantee of what is hoped for. “Now faith is confidence in what we hope for…” (11:1).
 
*The believers of old endured tremendous trials because they were confident in the promises of God. Their trust proved that God was faithful to his promises.  “This is what the ancients were commended for” (11:2).
 
FAITH PROVIDES COURAGE FOR TODAY.
 
*Faith is the “assurance about what we do not see” (11:1). The word “assurance” means proof or conviction. Our faith proves the reality of the invisible. We cannot see it with our senses, but we believe it as fact, and we experience it as a present reality. This gives us courage.
 
*Faith rests on the word of God. God reveals to us his truths through his word and we live our lives based on his truth. For example, “By faith we understand that the universe was formed at God’s command, so that what is seen was not made out of what was visible” (11:3).
 
*Faith must believe and act on the promises of God. Christians place their trust in Jesus Christ and God’s promises and experience peace. “Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ” (Romans 5:1).
 

RELIGIOUS LIBERTY SUNDAY

Gregory Magruder       Parkview Baptist     Gainesville, FL     7/03/16
 
“Religious Liberty”
John 8:31-36
 
INTRODUCTION: Americans have basic rights guaranteed by our Constitution: freedom of worship, freedom of the press, freedom of assembly and freedom of speech.  As Americans we assume the first freedoms found in the First Amendment: Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press: or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievancesAs Christians, we believe that true freedom comes through Jesus Christ who provides the basis for the freedoms we have as citizens of this world.  Jesus said, “You will know the truth, and the truth will make you free” (John 8:32 NRSV).  Religious Liberty Sunday celebrates that we are Free in Christ, Free to Worship and Free to Know.
 
YOU ARE FREE IN CHRIST.
 
            -Jesus used the image of slavery to describe you and me.  “Jesus said to the Jews who had believed in him, "If you continue in my word, you are truly my disciples;   and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free.   “They answered him, "We are descendants of Abraham and have never been slaves to anyone. What do you mean by saying, "You will be made free'?"  Jesus answered them, "Very truly, I tell you, everyone who commits sin is a slave to sin(v. 31-34).
 
            -Jesus has the authority to set us free from sin“The slave does not have a permanent place in the household; the son has a place there forever.  So if the Son makes you free, you will be free indeed(35-36).
 
            -You will find true liberty when you come to know Jesus as your Savior and Lord: “you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free.”  Truth is found in a Person, Jesus Christ.  “Jesus said to him, `I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me’ (John 14:6).
 
Have you discovered the freedom found in Jesus Christ?

YOU ARE FREE TO WORSHIP.
 
            -Freedom in Christ assumes personal responsibility and dignity before God. “For freedom Christ has set us free. Stand firm, therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery(Gal. 5:1).
 
            -The First Amendment recognizes our right to full religious
Liberty: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof....”
 
You have the right under God to worship without coercion.
 
YOU ARE FREE TO KNOW.
 
            -Freedom in Christ assumes the right to know the truth.  Jesus said, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life” (John 14:6) and “you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free(John 8:32).   
 
            -Freedom of the press, speech, assembly and pursuit of justice are guaranteed in the First Amendment. Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press: or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances. 
 
You are obligated in Christ to tell the truth and speak your mind.
 
YOU ARE
           
            ...free in Christ
 
                        ...free to worship
 
                                    ...free to know!
 
 
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