January 7, 2018: The Glorious Freedom of Grace

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Preached by Casey Kluver (00:43)

Grace is one of the most misunderstood and most attacked tenants of the Christian faith.

As a Christian you know that God’s grace saved you (from sin and Hell), but afterwards it’s easy to act like works keeps you safe. The Christian life is one of outward works which are signs/evidence of an inward change, but outward works never earned God’s favor and they don’t keep God’s favor. We do good works to honor God and live like Jesus, but it is God’s grace and his Spirit that makes us new and guides us into the perfection God wants in our lives. It’s not the works you do that fix you.

We hold onto works because we don’t listen to who God says we are – a beloved child and friend of His. A person works for God’s love and his liking because they don’t fully accept that God already loves them and likes them.  A life transformed by grace is a life of good, outward action and at the same time it is a life at peace, not striving to do good, but one that rests in the grace of God trusting first in the secure love of God.

Be encouraged by Casey’s message and know that you don’t have to work for God’s favor.  Joy and peace in your life will come when you trust in the fact that God loved you and chose you before you did anything good.

Scripture references: Galatians 3:1-14

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March 19, 2017 – The Only Two Rules You Need

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Preached by Evan Stewart (00:30)

When we become a Christian one of the first questions we ask is, “what am I supposed to do now?”  You ask an older, more experienced Christian help you figure out what to do; to tell you the rules of the game.  So, an older Christian comes along and says, “Well, that’s easy.  Here’s what I’ve learned during my life.  Do this, don’t do that, do a lot of this, and be sure to stay away from that.”

Within a short period of time, well-intended advice can become a wrong standard of salvation.  More mature believers might sometimes unknowingly take good advice and turn it into a roadblock pointing people away from Jesus.  We all want the rules of the game, but it’s a fine balance to keep advice from turning to performance based rules.

This is what the older Jewish Christians did for the new Gentile Christians in Acts 15.  The new Christian men asked, “What now?”  The older, more experienced men of God said, “That’s easy.  For starters, get circumcised. This has been the practice of God-honoring men since the days of Abraham.  It worked for my father and my sons. It is the law God gave us. So, come on, let’s make an appointment down at the clinic.”  Then they took it further and added, “And if you don’t, then God won’t accept you.”

Just like the well-intended Pharisee Christians in the first church, we too will mistake rules for relationship with God.  We must be watchful to avoid creating rules that Jesus never provided.   If you want a rule to live by, then live by the two rules Jesus lived by.

Let these two rules be your standard: Will your action or thought show love to God?  Will it help your neighbor feel love or experience God’s love?  If yes, then do it freely.  If not, don’t do it.  These are the rules of the game, you don’t need any others.

Scripture Reference: Acts 15:1-5; Romans 12:9-21; Matthew 7:1-5, 22:37-40

Related Sermon: Conform to Jesus Not a List of Rules

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November 15, 2015 – Philippians: Killing the Little Legalist Inside You

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Preached by Rod Benner (00:47)

Rod continues a series in Philippians. A relationship with God is possible only through Jesus Christ; by what he did for us. Yet, we so eagerly want it to be about our hard work and we are quick to compare our behavior with other people. Instead of pointing people to God we find it easier to point at their problems and failures. Legalism is a belief system that adds certain good deeds as a requirement for salvation. Before the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, God demanded that his people follow very strict rules and act a certain way to be his follower. Then Jesus came and fulfilled the law of God; doing what you and I could never do. You get salvation by what Jesus did and by your faith in him. You don’t get it by your good deeds. When you become a Christian, God gives you the desire to do good and the power to do good. Any goodness in you is due to God working in you.

So, instead of telling other people what they are doing wrong, encourage them to honorable living in the light of the gospel. The first requires you to walk over another person while the second requires you to walk with that person as a loving friend. Point up not at.

Scripture References: Phil 3:1-16

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A Very Good Friday and a Good Friday Service at 7PM

Remember today as the saddest day in history.  If you do not have a church fellowship to meet with this evening, you are more than welcome to join us at Life’s Journey Christian Fellowship at 7:00 PM as we remember the saddest day in history in order to prepare our spirit, heart and mind to celebrate the greatest day in history.

Nearly two thousand years ago, the most innocent man in the history of the world was condemned by the most guilty panel of judges the world has ever experienced; me and you.  The man who knew no sin was the man who received the fullest penalty of the law for sin.  Jesus Christ came to earth to live a sinless life in order to fulfill the righteous law of God that the first man, Adam, failed to accomplish.  He lived this way so that he could die according to that same righteous law and bring life to all of us who already stood condemned.  “‘He himself bore our sins’ in his body on the cross, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; ‘by his wounds you have been healed'” (1 Peter 2:24).

Today when you see the evil of the world, don’t point a condemning finger at your neighbor or “those people”.  First look in the mirror and know the bad news; that because of you Christ died.  Then know the greatest news; that for you Christ died.  Because of me, the man who knew no shame became shame for me.  Understand this truth as G.K. Chesterton who, when asked, “What’s Wrong with the World?”, so insightfully replied,  “I am. Yours truly”.  Yet, come to understand the greater truth that because of his love for me he died to set me free

Today with tears of sorrow we remember the death of the Lord Jesus so that we may prepare our hearts to celebrate the coming Sunday as the greatest day in history; the day He swallowed “up death forever” (Isaiah 25:8) when he rose from the dead.

Good Friday Service
Life’s Journey Christian Fellowship
7:00 PM
1 Victory Ln, Colstrip, MT

Come and be welcomed, be loved, and be forgiven.