Faith to Faith

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                                                                 Listeners: Joe and Sharon Patterson

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Paul's epistle to the Romans

chapter 1 verse 8-17

first, I thank my God throug Jesus Christ because

your faith is being reported all over the world

God whom I serve with my whole heart in preaching the gospel of his Son is my witness

how constantly I remember you in my prayers at all times

and I pray that now at last

the way may be opened for me to come to you

I long to see you so that I may impart to you some spiritual gift to make you strong

that is that you and I may be mutually encouraged by each other's faith

I do not want you to be unaware

from do so until now

harvest among you just as I have had among the other gentiles 

I am obligated

that is why I am  

may the Lord add a blessing to the reading of his word

Paul writing to the romans

Title of our message today is From Faith to Faith

if you had the KJV that's the way it read from faith to faith

this righteousness that is by faith it starts at the beginning all the way to the end

and today I am in faith year 2007 but my faith is built upon the faith of my mother who

was a christian who passed her faith on down

it was important ot her that her whole household was in church

I dont know who inspired her to first hear God's word

but I trust that it was faith passed down from generation to generation

I step over here and I think about

Theopholus

reading the letter aloud to that first century church

two or more are gathered in the name of Jesus  

Acts 1:  

Theophelus is reading a letter to a group of people

it's the beginning of faith for some

faith is being built by hearing the word of God

the word of God that Luke has

an orderly account

telling him

this is the sequel to that first letter I wrote to you

verse 5 we read along with Theophelus,

we read along with the first century church  

Luke 1:5-13

may the Lord add a blessing to the reading of his Word

our faith is built upon that Word

their names might as well have been Gill and Madeline

they were beyond the years of childbearing

some of us show up because it's our turn

we show up at the door with the buletins in our hands

to greet people at the door because we're on the list

our time has come up

and we're spotless

we're blameless

in our duty

our responsibility 

our sense of obligation

because we're living for the Lord

and our names on the list

we're in a rotation

and it's time for us to show up

it was time for Zechariah to show up that day

and the lot fell on him

to be the one

priviledged

to burn the incense

and as he was going about his obligation

his religious duty

that thing that he wanted to do

because he wanted to serve God

something happened that was unexpected

an angel

Gabriel appeared to him

afraid

Fear not

your prayers have been heard

we didnt know what exactly it was that Zechariah was praying

at that stage of his life

the narrator tells us

the writer

Luke tells us

Zechariah and Elizabeth were well beyond the years

of bearing children

and their household was empty

no one to pass on Godliness into the next generation through

no offspring

the man's prayers were heard

Elizabeth would be with child

and he was to name him John

our faith is built upon the story of John the Baptist

who preaches repentance in his generation

and yet

at the hight of his popularity he points to Jesus and says

behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world 

Acts 1:4-5

that Jesus has been participating in a

spiritual season of emphasis

40 Days of Resurrection

he's been with them 40 days as the resurrected Christ

nail prints in his hands and feet

he has eaten with them  

we read in that

an old man and an old woman

who've been given an answer to prayer

maybe even a prayer that was unspoken

angel says

your prayer has been heard

all these years later we read in Theophelus second letter

John has already come and he's baptized with water

but in a few days

Jesus tells his disciples

you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit

so when they met together ... Acts 1:6-8

everybody say POWER

now this word in the Greek is dunimis

it's the same word that Paul was using

I am not ashamed ...  Romans 1:16  power of God

Jesus said to his disciples who have walked with him during this

40 days of resurrection

I want you to wait

you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you and you will Acts 1:8

Matthew 28:18 All authority

some translations say All power has been given

a different greek word

exucia

authority

we have been given the authority from Jesus

to go and make disciples of all nations

baptizing them by the authority of the name

of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit

and to teach them everything that Jesus has commanded

same authority

go before us

follow up after us

authority

presence of Jesus himself

Matthew 28:19

that authority is accompanied for us in 2007 by Power

dunimus of the holy spirit

we need more than just words

in the name of Jesus

we need power in which to proclaim that name

we need more

Sunday School

Team Kids

more than to just go through the motions

know that there is nothing to be ashamed of

what we proclaim is the power of God to save souls

there was a season

a moment

a time when Jesus said

you're gonna have to wait on me

wait until the Holy Spirit comes to dwell

the very spirit of Christ

to fulfill

I will be with you always Matthew 28:19

I love the Bible

the book has no power in and of itself

the book has to be made living word

through a believer speaking that word

living that word

there's a superstition

that book under their pillow at night

lay their head down on that Bible

that they're safe

there's a form of godliness that denies the power of God

the power comes through receiving the Holy Spirit

the Spirit of Jesus Christ

Acts 1:8-9

everybody look up

can't see very far can ya

Acts 1:9-11 but he was taken up before their very eyes and a cloud hid him from their sight ...

we watch him

our faith is built upon faith upon faith upon faith

from generations past

from first to last

we're here

in the present

but we're still looking ahead in the future

BECAUSE

we have been called to be his witnesses

empowered

not only to auburn

not only to the foothills

out through CA

through the USA in the year 2007

supposed to go to the very ends of the earth

not only  to the very ends

but to the very ends of the human spectrum

senior citizen

home bound

institutionalized

  nursing home

  prisons and jails

  mental institutions

we are to take the Gospel to the uttermost ends of the earth

people groups

7 year old

6 year old

3 year old

what can a 3 year old possibly know about the love of God? [Jeremiah Patterson John 1:1]

what can the preborn baby ..

the 3 month after conception

3 month old little baby

what could she possibly know about the love of God

well, if the church is the church ....

that little child will be exalted as sacred

as made in the very image of God

one to be protected

one to be cherished

likewise the senior citizen

87 years old

homebound

is not to be forgotten

by the ambassador of Jesus Christ

wow, what an assignment we have, huh?

its faith built upon faith built upon faith

Zechariah had no idea what was happening that day

the lot fell upon him to burn the incense

but he was foreordained

to have a heavenly visitation  
Gabriel, a famous angel, is gonna speak to him

its a rainy day today

look around

see some empty seats

couple weeks ago it was packed, wasnt it?

today there's some empty seats, what does it matter?

the lot has fallen upon you today

you're here

righteous

in right standing with God

at least looking toward God rather than running away from God

but there's a righteousness that comes from God

that no amount of our human effort

showing up with verse in hand

or work out

or work in

Romans 1:17 for in the gospel

Gospel- good news

in the good news

now what is the good news message?

that although all have sinned Romans 3:23

there is no one righteous in God's eyes

no one righteous no not one

though all have sinned

Jesus has paid the price [John 3:16]

that our sins may be forgiven

and that when the sins are forgiven fellowship can be restored

one mediator between God and man and he is Christ Jesus the one {1 Timothy 2:5}

in this good news

a righteousness from God is revealed

its a righteousness that is from faith to faith to faith

just as it is written in [Habakkuk 2:4; Romans 1:17] 

Life

what is life? [John 14:6]

for us the life of the good news is everlasting life

its not just biological life

not just the beat of a heart

the pulse

felt through the blood being pumped

not just brainwave activity 

the life is talked of in the covenant with Jesus Christ

everlasting life [John 3:16]

very life of God

when you ask Jesus Christ

grafted into an eternal vine

vine of Jesus Christ {John 15:1}

if you are found in him

a branch attached to the True Vine

you have everlasting life

pumping through your veins

without beginning

without end

very life of Christ

born in Him

born again [John 3]

he died on the cross

because you're in him

you died on the cross with him {Galatians 2:20 "Crucified with Christ pastorob"]

his sacrifice

made upon your behalf

he died and you died

when he rose

you also rose from the dead

the wonderful

glorious good news

and we dont always understand it when we're 3 years old

4 years old

but our faith is built from faith to faith to faith

its important for us today

that those who gathered

understand as much as we can today

and hold on to it

we have a visitor with us today

I met him beforehand

maybe there's on I didnt meet

maybe nobody came and greeted

I'd say to you that God has brought you here today

that you might hear this message

that your faith might be built up

you shall be

Acts 1:8

this is where we find ourselves

we are the church

this is our commission

for those who have asked Jesus Christ to be Lord and Savior

we dont just speak the words

we have to have the power behind the words

we have to be led of the spirit

filled with the Spirit

because we leak, dont we?

I come in and I dont feel like singing the songs that have been chosen today

sometimes that's the only way that I'm gonna get filled with the spirit

to forget about

every care and concern of this world

choking out the Word {Matthew 13:3-9}

and just take that song in

breath in that word

open the bible and read it out loud for myself

say amen to that which I know is true

regardless of my feelings

my faith is not built on feelings

faith is built on faith

faith that's been delivered to me

from a faithful generation

I'm considering

where are we gonna go as God's people?

we're gonna go to Jerusalem

                 to our Jerusalem

                 to outlying areas

                 Judea

we are gonna go to the ends of the earth

Mission Committee

last tuesday night

about an hour and a half

we laid out a strategy for tying in every mission that there is

so that nobody'd be isolated

no little mission endeavor would be alienated

congruency to it all

somebody say

we dont have an international mission

I know we already do

already been written

forecast for us

somebody in this room's gonna go to Africa

Liberia

otherwise I'm brought here in vain

I dont think it's just to sit on the back burner the work that God started in me

in this country Liberia

this west african nation of Liberia

15 years of Civil War

children weren't educated

many parents killed

school

orphanage

sanctuary built

another school in an inner-city neighborhood that's gonna go up

I really think that I've been brought here to cast a vision

to empower with vision and with resource somebody that will go there

maybe for a year

somewhere in my heart

my passion for Cathy and me would be

that we would go and teach a generation who want to learn

to learn how to read

to hear God's word

so these are building days for us

I've got a vision for that country

as well

there's a pastor in Pakistan who has 27 other pastors

who are looking to him for leadership

regularly begging for a baptist church in America

to offer guidance

havent had time yet

to pass that vision to you guys

writing about it

vision's been written down

and we have just a couple of us

gathered enough resource for that pastor

Shamas Pervais

to go to the Asian Baptist Congress in May

it's not much

connection with other brothers in the world

just like the New Testament

who was paul writing to?

a church at Rome

name renown around the world already

heard about your faith

your faith is heard about all around the world

the world as paul knew it

and I ask myself

who knows about Bell Road in Auburn?

well

frontpage coverage couple weeks ago

some people heard about us

that front page coverage

carried on with a so called Prophetic Voice [hyperlink to newspaper article/photo]

looking me straight in the eyes and saying shame on you

Shame ...on ... you  

and that front page coverage went on to say

case closed

Bell Road Baptist church is dead as are all the institutional churches housed in buildings in Auburn

when someone looks you in the eyes and says

Shame ...on ... you

how does that make you feel?

it might make you feel guilty because

Romans 3:23, right

but I come to God's house today

I'm gonna be told

there is therefore now no condemnation {Romans 8:1}

and the Apostle Paul

we just read it today Romans 1:16

good news

there has throughout history been those who want to pound on people

hammer on people

and yet

even the way the gospel is translated

connotes joy

a good report

something good to share with people

you know in this world you will have trouble {John 16:33}

tribulation

experience evil

just as Paul in that first century world would experience evil

everywhere he went

society tends towards the flesh

but good news is sprouting up

and we're to take good news to the

prostitute

drug dealer

gangster

adulterer

sexually immoral

homosexual offender

pervert

prisoner

sweet little old lady

rambunctious boys and girls  

we're to be witnesses

locally

nationally

to the ends of the earth

and in that Great Commission Acts 1:8

that forecast of being witnesses

he also says you'll be my witnesses in Samaria

today's the day

happened upon this passage today

we've gotta talk about Samaria

often time ...

we just draw a bunch of concentric circles

that's samaria-- North America etc

annie Armstrong easter offering

that's our samaria

then the ends of the earth

Lottie Moon Christmas offering

foreign missions

nice tidy little package

every time samaria's mentioned

it has to do with

our prejudice

that place we dont wanna go

that people group we look down on

samaria is different for every people group

my samaria might look and smell different than you're samaria

jesus walked straight through when everybody else wanted to walk around

that's why it's so ironic

the samaritan would be the one person who treated someone as a neighbor should [Luke 10:30-37}

the story of the good samaritan is ironic just the idea that you'd have a good samaritan

it'd be like saying a good, good-for-nothing

we always have to ask ourself

am I willing to go to that place I dont wanna go?

most likely Jesus is gonna walk us straight through that place where we dont wanna go

we gotta be willing to go there

maybe the mission trip to mexico

to the deaf school

is so fun

because the people are so loving, so welcoming

the trip to Africa is so fun

music is joyous

people are struck with poverty and so much want

they're so glad

maybe the skatepark in Auburn might be somebody's samaria

maybe the nursing home

not the top notch nursing home

but the nursing home struggling along to make ends meet

smells of the nursing home

you'd just soon walk right past

challenges that come with working with rambunctious boys and girls

on a wednesday night

maybe that's samaria

maybe you're not ready quite yet to sit down at the well and talk with a samaritan woman [John 4]

but Jesus wants to ...

and he wants us to learn about this

this food that he has to eat

this everlasting food

that food that when you eat it

it stirrs you up on the inside

reminds you who you are

whose you are {1 Corinthians 6:20, 7:23}

so I ask

what is our samaria?

and I ask ...

like paul...

what are we known for?

Paul said that the faith of the Romans is known the world over.

What are we known for?

are we known for faith?

are we known for forgetting about what's behind {Philippians 3:13-14}

forgetting about the feelings

and building our mission on faith

that this is what Christ has said he wants us to do

and this is the power that he has extended for us to do it

this is the step we're gonna take by faith

here's the next step that we're gonna take

by faith

and that somewhere in the world

somebody's gonna write to Bell Road

and say

I've heard about the faith

and I wanna stop at Bell Road and impart to you some spiritual gift

I'm not ashamed Romans 1:16

you aren't either

now what about the senior citizens

they were in our message today, weren't they?  

names might as well ahve been gill and madeline

fay clyde

cathy and rob

what ministry is to be born next?

what is that thing that you wouldnt even expect

because you're faithfully following the footsteps of faith

messenger of heaven

leaving this temple transformed

vision

even have a name to call him

his name's gonna be John

he's gonna point others towards Jesus

God's word does not go forth without {Isaiah 55:10,11}

goes through one ear and out the other

might just be like a pipe cleaner

I dont want that to be what God's word is doing

I want God's word to work a wonder in me

work in me today

as I chew on

why these 3 passages are chosen for us today

who is it that has been entrusted to you in years past?

do you have a John in your life?

do you have somebody, a daughter in the faith ?

a son in the faith

somebody who you had vision for

somebody God put on your heart

as I consider that

I think about candles I lit

before Easter

praying for certain people

and I've gotta revive that again today

it's not easy raising John

he's the child of promise

I've got a great hope for him

raise him in a certain way

there's his free will

it's not easy

raising up the person God has entrusted to you

might be your biological kindred

might just be a spiritual son, daughter

going from faith to faith

Zechariah

Elizabeth

john's just about 14 years old

yet a ways to go

before he's going to be pointing people to Jesus

vision that that's what God wants

the very best that can happen for him

might look different

than any kind of ministry that we've seen before

height of John's popularity

do you think mom and dad are just pleased as punch?

well, if he got a haircut

maybe put on a robe

think about John

does he look anything like

maybe mom and pop thought he would turn out to look like

but he had the message God wanted him to speak

spoke with passion

the two went together perfectly

John was faithful

even to the point of

giving his head

to speak out

prophetic voice

again this shame ..

I'm not ashamed Romans 1:16

as long as its the gospel

out of my heart and my mind

if I'm preaching anything else

maybe shame is all over me

but if it's good news for lost sinners

strayed souls

no matter how many steps

away from the Lord

one step back

I've got nothing to be ashamed of