The Silence of God

Today, we ponder the silence of God. [At least to us (Jesus was actually making a triumphal pronouncement in Tartarus (1 Pet 3:18-20; 2 Pet 2:4)]

In the history of the disciples 2000 years ago, they had THE most discouraging day of their lives. They had spent several years with the Man they thought was the Messiah. He had said and done all the right things. They even watched the triumphal procession into Jerusalem just a few days before. The contact with the religious leaders of the Passover week was a crescendo.  It was only a matter of moments in their view and He would reveal Himself as the Messiah to the world and they would be in on the Greatest Reversal of all time – the Jewish people under the thumb of Rome, paying taxes to Rome and giving allegiance to Rome – would be reversed!.  Now was “their” moment when all of that would be changed!.  The Romans would recognize Jesus as Messiah and they were in on the “ground floor”!

But then tragedy. Their hopes were dashed. Their leader was crucified the most heinous of deaths. Their adrenaline took a deep dive. Temporary depression set in. They were bewildered. “What happened?”

Has that ever happened to you?

On Saturday, the disciples would likely have been wondering, “What just happened? What do we do now? We left everything and the very thing we were hoping for, counting on and trusting in…was gone!”

Has that ever happened to you?

Indeed, God was silent to them. Sometimes God intentionally is silent, because He wants us to be silent. To meditate on the promises of God, the power of God and the presence of God, even when we can’t see it, experience it and to know we need to remember them.

The Sons of Korah wrote, Psalm 46. Verse ten says, “Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth! (Ps 46:10)”  IN FACT, the rest of the Psalm is incredible for this day.

As you ponder anew the silence of God, and maybe you are experiencing the silence of God, consider what happened in just one more day 2000 years ago.  The Silence of God means He is ready and able to do a truly Great Reversal!


Our hope is in Him! Always!


Truth: Doctrine of the Hypostatic Union

Doctrine means “teaching.” This doctrine is an essential Truth to understand the awesomeness of Jesus Christ. Do not pass go, collect 200 dollars or leave your seat until you understand this very important Truth!

1)    Definition- At the Virgin Birth of Christ, deity and humanity were inseparably united without mixture or loss of identity, without loss or transfer of properties or attributes- the union being personal and eternal. Jesus Christ is the unique Person of the universe. He is fully God and true humanity in one Person forever. Continue reading

God: Jesus, the Great Servant

Jesus, the Great Servant

There is no one in the world like Jesus Christ.  He was well known in the Old Testament, but not identified by name.  God the Father spoke of Him as the anonymous Servant in several passages.  Let’s note several things about the “Anonymous Servant.”

Read below for some application to these truths.

1)      God put His Spirit upon Him Is. 42:1

“Behold! My Servant whom I uphold, My Elect One in whom My soul delights! I have put My Spirit upon Him; He will bring forth justice to the Gentiles. (Is. 42:1)

a)      God put His Spirit upon Him Luke 4:1,14, 18; 5:17; 6:19; 8:46; Acts 10:38

b)      He was filled with the Spirit even at the cross Heb. 9:14

2)      He will bring forth Justice is. 42:1

“Behold! My Servant whom I uphold, My Elect One in whom My soul delights! I have put My Spirit upon Him; He will bring forth justice to the Gentiles. (Is. 42:1)

a)      His justice was removed Acts 8:33

b)      His work brings justification to every believer Rom. 3:24-26

c)      He will bring about justice for all Matt. 25:31-46; Jude 1:14-15

d)     His death brings about justice for all Heb. 9:27-28

3)      He will mediate a covenant with Israel as a light to Gentiles Is. 42:6-7

6 “I, the LORD, have called You in righteousness, And will hold Your hand; I will keep You and give You as a covenant to the people, As a light to the Gentiles,
 7 To open blind eyes, To bring out prisoners from the prison, Those who sit in darkness from the prison house.  (Is. 42:6-7)

a)      He came first to deliver and take away their sins Rom. 11:26-27

b)      God sent Jesus who was known, but rejected to be a blessing Acts 3:21-25

c)      God made the special covenants for His people Israel Rom. 9:4

d)     We have a choice like they did to pursue His agreement Heb. 11:15

4)      He submitted to the Father’s will, even when it meant abuse Is. 50:4-6

4 “The Lord GOD has given Me The tongue of the learned, That I should know how to speak A word in season to him who is weary. He awakens Me morning by morning, He awakens My ear To hear as the learned.
 5 The Lord GOD has opened My ear; And I was not rebellious, Nor did I turn away.
 6 I gave My back to those who struck Me, And My cheeks to those who plucked out the beard; I did not hide My face from shame and spitting. (Is. 50:4-6)

a)      He submitted specifically to the Father’s will John 5:19

b)      He submitted to the Father at the hands of men Mark 9:31; Luke 9:44

5)      He does not become discouraged by His course for history Is. 50:7-9

7 “For the Lord GOD will help Me; Therefore I will not be disgraced; Therefore I have set My face like a flint, And I know that I will not be ashamed.
 8 He is near who justifies Me; Who will contend with Me? Let us stand together. Who is My adversary? Let him come near Me.
 9 Surely the Lord GOD will help Me; Who is he who will condemn Me? Indeed they will all grow old like a garment; The moth will eat them up. (Is. 50:7-9)

a)      He kept His eyes on the Father in the face of their rejection Matt. 11:25-27

b)      He overcame the world so that we could have peace John 16:33

c)      He overcame and one day every knee would bow to Him Phil. 2:9-11

d)     He endured the hostility of sinners to set us free Heb. 12:2-3

6)      While rejected by Israel, He will bring salvation to the Gentiles Is. 42:6; 49:5-6

6 “I, the LORD, have called You in righteousness, And will hold Your hand; I will keep You and give You as a covenant to the people, As a light to the Gentiles, (Is. 42:6)
5 “And now the LORD says, Who formed Me from the womb to be His Servant, To bring Jacob back to Him, So that Israel is gathered to Him1 (For I shall be glorious in the eyes of the LORD, And My God shall be My strength),
 6 Indeed He says,`It is too small a thing that You should be My Servant To raise up the tribes of Jacob, And to restore the preserved ones of Israel; I will also give You as a light to the Gentiles, That You should be My salvation to the ends of the earth.'” (Is. 49:5-6)

a)      When Israel’s leadership rejected Jesus, He left the house desolate Matt. 23:37-39

b)      Jesus turned from Israel to include the Gentiles John 10:16

c)      While Jesus suffered, He was raised up for all, including Gentiles Acts 13:37-42

7)      He suffered as a substitution (vicariously) for the sins of all Is. 52:15; 53:6

15 So shall He sprinkle1 many nations. Kings shall shut their mouths at Him; For what had not been told them they shall see, And what they had not heard they shall consider. (Is. 52:15)
6 All we like sheep have gone astray; We have turned, every one, to his own way; And the LORD has laid on Him the iniquity of us all. (Is. 53:6)

a)      He became sin for us 2 Cor. 5:21

b)      He abolished in His flesh the hostility Eph. 2:13-16

c)      He died that we might live for righteousness 1 Pet. 2:24

8)      He suffered silently Is. 53:7

7 He was oppressed and He was afflicted, Yet He opened not His mouth; He was led as a lamb to the slaughter, And as a sheep before its shearers is silent, So He opened not His mouth. (Is. 53:7)

a)      He did not speak a word at the accusations Matt. 27:12,14

b)      He did not answer the questions Mark 15:3-5

9)      He suffered innocently Is. 53:9

9 And they1 made His grave with the wicked– But with the rich at His death, Because He had done no violence, Nor was any deceit in His mouth. (Is. 53:9)

a)      No one could convict Him of sin John 8:46

b)      He was a fitting High Priest set apart from sin Heb. 7:26

c)      In Him, there was no sin 1 John 3:5

10)  He would die with criminals, but buried with a rich man Is. 53:9,12

9 And they1 made His grave with the wicked– But with the rich at His death, Because He had done no violence, Nor was any deceit in His mouth. (Is. 53:9)

12 Therefore I will divide Him a portion with the great, And He shall divide the spoil with the strong, Because He poured out His soul unto death, And He was numbered with the transgressors, And He bore the sin of many, And made intercession for the transgressors. (Is. 53:12)

a)      He died between two criminals Matt. 27:44

b)      He was buried by a rich man Matt. 27:57-60

11)  He will be resurrected to an exalted position Is. 52:13

13 Behold, My Servant shall deal prudently; He shall be exalted and extolled and be very high. (Is. 52:13)

a)      He chose to die, by giving up  His spirit Matt. 27:50

b)      He was seen after His death by many Acts 1:3; 1 Cor. 15:1-6

c)      Every knee will bow to Him Phil. 2:9-11

12)  The Father chose to crush Him Is. 53:10

10 Yet it pleased the LORD to bruise Him; He has put Him to grief. (Is. 53:10)

a)      The Father was pleased with the Son Matt. 3:17; 17:5

b)      The Father send the Son to be the propitiation 1 John 4:10 

Many believe their sufferings are great and they often are. It may seem like people aren’t aware of how much you are suffering, and they often aren’t.  However, the Lord does.  He knows every detail about your life.  He knows every pain in and of your life.  You will never go through anything that the Lord does not come to your aid to sustain you through trial.  He went through His trials for you. No one has ever gone through the sufferings of the Lord Jesus Christ.  He did it all for you.


Set Free in Christ to Live for Him

What a great response to our message last Sunday, “You are set free in Christ to live for Him!” I love how God sets us free that we are no longer under law, but under grace (Rom. 6:14), which makes us want to love the Lord with all our heart. It motivates us to want to live for Him rather than for self! It makes us want to press to the upward call of God in Christ Jesus, rather than the sinful ways of the world. You are free to please Him, not the requirements of the law. You get to live for Him, not something in the world. And you’ll see that love, by who is getting the attention in your life!

One of the topics in the message was the subject of baptism. Paul wrote that we are “buried with Him in baptism” and we looked briefly at baptisms in Scripture. I mentioned there are real and ritual baptisms. The three ritual baptisms are :
1) the baptism of John (Matt. 3:1-11)
2) the baptism of Jesus (Matt. 3:13-17)
3) the believer’s baptism (1 Cor. 1:13-17).

A ritual baptism involves immersion and identifies the person with another subject, as in:
1) the kingdom
2) Christ’s public ministry on earth under the Father’s authority
3) identification with Christ’s burial and resurrection unto life, respectively.

By contrast, a real baptism is an actual identification with the object mentioned. For example:
1) the Baptism of Moses (1 Cor. 10:1-2) is Israel’s actual identification with Moses going through the Red Sea
2) the Baptism of the Holy Spirit (1 Cor. 12:13) is the actual identification of the believer with the body of Christ
3) the Baptism of Fire (Matt. 3:11) is an actual identification of the unbeliever into Fire at the end of the Tribulation and Great White Throne judgment
4) the Baptism of the Cup (cross) (Mark 10:38-39) is Christ’s actual identification with the cross
5) the Baptism of Noah (1 Pet. 3:18-19) is an actual identification of the seven souls with Noah.

Let’s bring it back to you – you were buried with Christ, so you are free in Christ to live for Him. You are not under the law or requirements, so you are free to pursue with all your life to live in holiness and truth! By the way, Justin’s youth paintball expedition went fantastic! Great charge on the opposing forces! Too bad they nailed you so well! Only minor battle wounds and the old guys still have what it takes to whoop up on the younger soldiers! It was a great day of bonding!

Our Treasure in Christ

We had a wonderful outpouring of worship yesterday.  In brief summary of the message: First, all treasure is found in Jesus Christ.  We can search for and acquire many things (and God gives richly for us to enjoy 1 Tim. 6:17), but the greatest riches are found in what you acquire in Jesus Christ.  Nothing else compares.  Secondly, the normal Christian way of life is a struggle to help others experience that treasure.

We should look for opportunities to help people understand and live the treasure of Jesus Christ.  It may often be a struggle, but that’s when you see God’s glory working through you.  You could serve in the Children’s Ministry, for there are still a few opportunities to be assistants (contact Pat Hillebrand). You could serve in the Youth Ministry helping our youth find treasure in Jesus Christ.  There’s usually several opportunities every quarter to be involved without a huge commitment  (contact Justin Williams).  There are eternal rewards for helping others find the treasure.  There’s also opportunity to join us Saturday morning at 8:30 am for the evangelism seminar Pastor Gary will lead.  He’ll be done around noon.  It’ll be a great opportunity to sharpen your sharing skills or learn a new tool.

Many things give temporary happiness, but nothing compares with living out His salvation and helping others find Him as their treasure.  It is God’s blessing as we give away the treasure, because we gain many-fold more in blessing. It’s often a struggle, but what treasure isn’t worth the effort?

Pray for Becky Gluff as she flies out Friday to Ukraine to minister to women and pastors.  She’ll be teaching, training and giving her testimony of God’s grace. 

Don’t forget to turn your clocks ahead one hour Saturday night for Daylight Savings Time.  Spring forward on your clock and you’ll not miss the great tribute service for Pastor Dick!

The Preeminent Christ

Jesus is Preeminent!  He is preeminent as God, Creator, Sustainer and Head of the Body!

I love how Grace is responding to that preeminence by looking for ways to connect to worship Jesus.  Grace has many opportunities to equip growing believers to become more like Jesus Christ and minister in the stature we have in Christ.  We need to multiply ourselves in order to reach the world.  There is little time to waste, because the seeds of darkness look for any crack to root down, sprout up and smother our desire to honor the Lord Jesus!

We had a full day with the commissioning of deacons and elders.  What a joy to see new men rise up and serve at Grace.

I should have mentioned a handout on the information counter on Sunday.  Many religions don’t view Jesus the way we do.  I’ve listed nine different religions and compared what they believe about salvation and about Jesus to what we believe.  Hopefully you can use that list to worship Jesus by your words and life.

Thanks for your great support and prayers as I leave to my dad’s funeral.