Kansas City’s newest LGBTQ nondenominational church
Healing

Sermon Outline

 

The Vision of Peace River Ministries
a four week sermon series

Part 1 “Peace” – 06.14.15

 

“Let us always follow or pursue after the things which make for peace, and things which we may use to edify one another.” Romans 14:18

Every church must have a vision in order to achieve its purpose. Notice the vision of Peace River and this series in the benediction we say every Sunday. That benediction was written from this vision series. We have been given a vision for our church by which we function and fulfill God’s will. This vision is ever evolving as God takes us into the complete will of God, “line upon line and precept upon precept.” Our text admonishes us to follow after the things that make peace and things we may use to edify one another. 


I. GOD’S VISION FOR THE CHURCH

A. The Church is the Body of Christ. Ephesians 1:22-23

B. The Church is the residence (home) for Jesus to live in by His Spirit. Ephesians 2:19-22

C. The Church is an instrument through which God’s nature is revealed to the world. Ephesians 3:8-10

D. The Church is perfected by the washing of the water of the Word. Ephesians 5:23-27.


II. OUR FOCUS IS PEACE UPON WHICH ALL MUST PIVOT

A. A pivot is a person, thing, or factor having a major or central role, function, or effect in church and personal life. A pivot point is a place where an issue or event will turn having been impacted by the affect (influence) of the pivot (Christ’s blood purchasing our peace). Peace, its nature and preservation should be the factor or major role in deciding church life, personal life, and our spiritual journey.

B. Have you ever heard yourself or anyone else say, “If only my mortgage were paid off, then I’d have peace,” or “If only my spouse and my children were serving God, then I’d have peace?” Peace, however is not dependent upon your circumstances!

C. As a child of God, peace is your inheritance. If you are not walking in total peace, you need to know how to get it! If we compare the Old Testament with the New Testament, we can see a picture of how one man (Cain) lost peace in his life and how one man (Jesus) gained peace for all of us. John 14:27

1. Genesis, chapter 4 – The first murder. Adam’s son Cain murdered his brother Abel. After Cain killed Abel, God spoke to Cain and said, “The voice of your brother’s blood cries unto me. Your brother’s blood speaks to me, but it doesn’t speak peace – it speaks vengeance! You’ll have no peace because your brother’s blood is speaking against you!
2. From this Old Testament story we see that the shedding of blood robbed humanity of peace of mind. But in the New Testament we read about the shedding of blood that ensures peace for anyone who desires it: “You have come to Jesus, the One who mediates the new covenant between God and people, and to the sprinkled blood, which graciously forgives instead of crying out for vengeance as the blood of Abel did.”
3. Jesus Died and shed His blood, but His blood speaks of better things than Abel’s blood; Jesus‘ blood says, “Peace! You have a right to peace of mind because I shed My blood for you and presented it to the Father to purchase your peace with God.”
4. There is another Old Testament picture of blood speaking to God. When the Israelites were about to leave Egypt, God said, “Slay a lamb and put its blood on your doorposts. When the destroyer sees the blood, he will pass over your house.”  The blood of a lamb spoke to God and brought peace to each Hebrew household, but there was no peace for those outside the protection of the lamb’s blood


III.
LASTING PEACE!

A. Do you see the picture here? Jesus is the Lamb of God Who shed His blood. You and I need to apply the blood of Jesus – His death and Resurrection – to our lives before we can have any lasting peace. When we apply the blood of Jesus to our lives, we don’t have to look to outward things to give us peace, because we have peace on the inside.

B. God has always wanted peace on earth. Remember what the angels proclaimed to the shepherds at Christ’s birth? Later, after his resurrection, Jesus appeared to his disciples and said, “Peace be unto you.” Right after He said those words, Jesus showed his disciples His hands and His side. How could the disciples have peace? It was because Jesus had His hands and feet nailed to a tree, and His side pierced with a sword. He purchased our peace for us.

C. Notice what Jesus said and did next: “He spoke to them again and said, ‘Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I send you.’ Then he breathed on them and said to them, ‘Receive the Holy Spirit.’” The blood of Jesus provides peace with God, and it also provides peace with people around us. It can do that because through Jesus’ blood we receive the Holy Spirit who enables us to forgive those who offend us. Have you ever experienced a lack of peace when you are upset with someone or when someone is upset with you? The Holy Spirit brings a forgiving attitude towards others that allows us to walk in complete peace with those around us at home, at work, or at church.

D. Let me give you an example: I wasn’t going to take communion one Sunday because of someone in the church I was currently attending. I was struggling to forgive them. When I arrived, someone wanted to take communion with me. I explained the situation and they responded with… “Why, Dan… you teach everybody to do everything by faith. Are you trying to forgive someone with your feelings?” They hit the nail on the head! I wanted to feel forgiveness for the person. I was trying to forgive someone by my sense of knowledge rather than by faith. I had forgotten the Word of God which says, “When you forgive someone, I forgive them too. And when I forgive them (for whatever is to be forgiven), I do so with Christ’s authority for your benefit.” (II Corinthians 2:10)

E. Jesus has peace for us in all our earthly relationships; but in order to get it, we have to walk in the Holy Spirit and forgive others. In order to keep it, we have to be free from unforgiveness, bitterness, resentment, and unrest.

F. If we walk away from this relationship with Christ, neglect to keep it healthy and focused, this blood of Christ also will cleanse us and bring us back to fellowship. Remember when Jesus appeared to His disciples? Thomas wasn’t there. Where do you think he was? I think he had become so negative due to his doubting that perhaps he was off somewhere pouting in doubt. When Jesus showed him his hands and his side, Thomas was brought back into fellowship. Never forget 1 John 1:9 …“If we are living in the light of God’s presence, just as Christ is, then we have fellowship with each other and the blood of Jesus, His Son cleanses us from every sin. …If we confess our sins to Him, He is faithful and just to forgive us from every wrong.”


IV. PEACE LIKE A RIVER

A. Let’s be practical about all of this. How can we live in an atmosphere of peace at all times when all around us there are problems, tragedies, confusion, bickering, and unbelief? God gave the answer to Isaiah nearly 3,000 years ago: “Oh that you had listened to my commands! Then you would have had peace flowing like a gentle river and righteousness rolling like a wave.” (Isaiah 48:18) 

B. Jesus wants you to have a river of peace – peace with your spouse, peace with your employer, peace with your neighbor, peace with your fellow employees, and peace with everyone at church. How do we experience this kind of peace? It comes by living in God’s Word and putting God’s Word in your heart and mind. The more you are living the Word, the less you will be offended by others and the more you will trust the Lord to handle life’s challenges. Remember… “Always be full of joy in the Lord. I say it again – rejoice! Let everyone see that you are considerate in all you do. Remember, the Lord is coming soon. Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. If you do this, you will experience God’s peace, which is far more wonderful than the human mind can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.”  Philippians 4:4-9

C. Saturate your mind on the things of God’s Word… “think on these things!” we are instructed and God’s Word will produce a river of peace in your life that will flow into every area and sweep away fear and anxiety that is robbing you of true peace.


V. LET’S PRAY THIS TOGETHER…

Loving God, I want to experience peace like river, flowing in my life. Please forgive me for holding on to worry, torment, and anxiety and cleans me of any sin committed against You. Thank You that Jesus’ blood has provided peace for me that the world and the outward things just can’t give. From this day forward I am going to apply the blood of Jesus to my life by saturating my mind with Your Word. Amen!”
And So It Is!

 

Part 2 “Forgiveness” – 06.21.15

 

“If you forgive those who sin against you, your heavenly Creator will forgive you. But if you refuse to forgive others, your Creator will not forgive you.” Matthew 6:14-15

Every church must have a vision in order to achieve its purpose. We have been given a vision for our church by which we function and fulfill God’s will. This vision is ever evolving as God takes us into the complete will of God, “line upon line and precept upon precept.”


I. WE DESIRE TO BE AND RECEIVE FORGIVERS!

A. The word forgiveness states the action or purpose of its role in a believer’s life. It is the act of FOR GIVING something into any situation requiring the powerful release of guilt or rejection. Our vision is to nurture true forgiveness

B. Forgiveness of God to man, of man to man, and forgiveness to themselves. In doing so, we generate a power greater than any other power within the realm of mortal humanity… the power of release! By that release there is restoration of wholeness and healing.

C. How does one know if they have unforgiveness in their heart? The following questions will bring a quick diagnosis for all individuals. Check them out and wait on the Lord for the spiritual enlightenment of your heart. You may be surprised at what the Holy Spirit will bring to your remembrance.

1. One has a compulsion to tell others what has been perpetrated upon them, naming people and sometimes events. “For out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks.” Matthew 12:34 If Jesus dwells in your heart, His light will divide out the darkness, continually shoving out of your mouth this information. Are you always blurting out of your mouth this information without really wanting to, what ‘so and so” did and said? “The godly are showered with blessings; evil people cover up their harmful intentions. The words of the godly lead to life; evil people cover up their harmful intentions. Those who control their tongue will have a long life; a quick can ruin everything. ” Proverbs 10:6, 11; 13:3
2. Do you still resent what someone said or did, even after they have asked your forgiveness?  “Wise people treasure knowledge, but the babbling of a fool invites trouble. The godly person gives wise advice, but the tongue that deceives will be cut off. The godly speak words that are helpful, but the wicked speak only what is corrupt.” Proverbs 10:14, 31-32
3. Can you forget what they did and the harm they perpetrated upon you and/or your loved ones? “No dear brothers and sisters, I am still not all I should be, but I am focusing all my energies on this one thing: forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead.” Philippians 3:13
4. Are you uncomfortable in their presence? “My goal is that they will be encouraged and knit together by strong ties of love. I want them to have full confidence because they have complete understanding of God’s secret plan, which is Christ himself.” Colossians 2:2 “Love each other with genuine affection, and take delight in honoring each other.” Romans 12:10 If any of these conditions exist in your life, there is reason to believe some type of unforgiveness lies in your heart towards people you have reacted to in these ways.


II.
A ROOT OF BITTERNESS

A. In Hebrews 12:12-15, we read about a ‘root of bitterness.” “So take a new grip with your tired hands and stand firm on your shaky legs. Mark out a straight path for your feet. Then those who follow you, though they are weak and lame, will not stumble and fall but will become strong. Try to live in peace with everyone, and seek to live a clean and holy life, for those who are not holy will not see the Lord. Look after each other so that none of you will miss out on the special favor of God. Watch out that no bitter root of unbelief rises up among you, for whenever it springs up, many are corrupted by its poison.”

B. When it talks about a root in the Bible, it is talking about something that has grown in depth, as roots in a plant in the natural. Metaphorically, it is as a cause, an origin, a source from ancestors, or that which springs forth from this root (Greek: rhiza noun) So a ‘root of bitterness’ can be caused or originated some time before the bitterness becomes evident. In some instances when the original thing happened, a ‘hate seemed to boil up the spine into your head.’ In Hebrews 12:15 it tells us “many are corrupted by its poison or defiled.” Defiled in the Greek is mianino which means tainted, made unholy unclean, or polluted.

C. Going back to verse 12 of Hebrews 12 we can see some physical results of this defilement: tired hands and shaky legs. Harboring and holding onto bitterness, unforgiveness, resentment, will affect the physical body. Hands which hand down or are weak and tired are arthritic. Feeble knees or shaky legs are the same thing. The writer in Hebrews says they shall be healed or become strong and not stumble.

D. Notice verse 14. What is it doing between the exhortation of verse 13 and 15? This is the answer to verses 12 and 13 showing how our healing of diseases and infirmities come to us. The peace that we are talking about here is in regards to having agreement, unity, or accord. Even with our enemies. This is where that agape love has to become manifested, Jesus in us, moving His love through us to others. 


III.
THE FORGIVENESS BY THE BLOOD OF THE CROSS

A.  “For God in all His fullness was pleased to live in Christ, and by him God reconciled everything to Himself. He made peace with everything in heaven and on earth by means of his blood on the cross. This includes you who were once so far away from God. You were his enemies, separated from him by your evil thought and actions, yet now he has brought you back as his friends. He has done this through his death on the cross in his own human body. As a result, he has brought you into the very presence of God and you are holy and blameless as you stand before Him without a single fault. But you must continue to believe this truth and stand in it firmly. Don’t drift away from the assurance you received when you heard the Good News!” Colossians 1:20-21

B. This is the peace offering in Leviticus 3:1-17 which was foreshadowing the sacrifice of Jesus Christ, the lamb slain for our salvation, which brought mankind peace with God. His sacrifice brought us into salvation which means this peace brought humanity deliverance from addictions, wholeness, perfect health, body, soul, and spirit, safety, preservation, protection, prosperity, and favor. Three kinds of peace for the three parts of human existence:

1. The Physical Realm:
a. Is. 53:5 “…the chastisement of our peace was upon Him: and with His stripes we were healed.”
b. John 14:27 “My peace I leave with you…” this is the legacy prophesied of in Isaiah 53. Peace for the body – from pain and sorrow.
2. The Soul Realm (Mind):
a. Phil. 4:6-7 “And the peace of God, which passes all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”
b. Is. 26:3 “You wilt keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on God; because he trusts in God.”
3. The Spirit Realm (Heart):
a. Proverbs 16:7 ”When a person’s ways please the Lord, he makes even their enemies to be a peace with them.”

C. Remember what Jesus said on the cross? “Father, forgive them for they know not what they do.” Can you imagine the magnitude of the divine power of love, peace, and reconciliation which was set into operation with that utterance? Through our peace, we release and beam out this same reconciliation to those who have offended us. When we release the reconciling power of the Cross to those who have cursed, persecuted, tormented, offended, harmed, hurt, criticized, or cheated us financially, or shamed us in anyway, we set an almighty power of God to work for us as well as them.

D. II Corinthians 5:18-21 “All this newness of life is from God, who brought us back to Himself through what Christ did. And God has given us the task of reconciling people to him. For God was in Christ, reconciling the world to himself, no longer counting people’s sins against them. This is the wonderful message he has given us to tell others. We are Christ’s ambassadors, and God is using us to speak to you. We urge you, as though Christ himself were here pleading with you, “Be reconciled to God.” For God made Christ, who never sinned to be the offering for our sin, so that we could be made right with God through Christ.” The ministry of reconciliation involves more than one person. In order for us to be forgiven, we must forgive others. Remember how Christ taught us to pray? “And forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us.”

E. EXAMPLE: I wasn’t going to take communion because of someone in the church and my struggle to forgive them. Got there, someone wanted to take communion with me. I explained the situation when they responded with… “Why, Dan… you teach everybody to do everything by faith. Are you trying to forgive someone with your feelings?” She hit the nail right on the head! I wanted to feel forgiveness for the person. I was trying to forgive someone by sense of knowledge rather than by faith. I had forgotten the Word of God which says, “When you forgive someone, I forgive them too. And when I forgive them (for whatever is to be forgiven), I do so with Christ’s authority for your benefit.” (II Corinthians 2:10)


IV. LET’S PRAY THIS TOGETHER…

Loving God, I ask you to forgive me of my offenses as I forgive those who have offended me. Then I extend mercy and forgiveness to all how have harmed, hurt, and shamed me; who have persecuted, criticized me, who have taken advantage of me, or perpetrated an injustice upon me. I release them from judgment and condemnation. Cleanse me from bitterness, resentment, and unforgiveness. I now release them In Jesus Name I pray, Amen!
And So It Is

 

Part 3 “Social Justice” – 07.05.15

 

“So God has given us both a Divine promise and a Divine oath. These two things are unchangeable because it is impossible for God to lie. Therefore, we who have fled to God for refuge can take new courage, for we can hold on to God’s promise with confidence.” Hebrews 6:18

Every church must have a vision in order to achieve its purpose. We have been given a vision for our church by which we function and fulfill God’s will. This vision is ever evolving as God takes us into the complete will of God, “line upon line and precept upon precept.”


I. CREATED EQUAL OR FAIR

A. In today’s news we hear a lot about “War on Women,” “Gay Marriage,” “Immigration,” “Age Discrimination,” “Civil Rights,” “Taxation,” and the list goes on and on. There are many issues that face us as a nation, not to mention the world where social injustices are occurring consistently. Civil war, ethnic cleansing, political power struggles that culminates in blood baths; we live in an age where social justice is called for, begged for, and desperately needed.

B. Social justice generally refers to the idea of creating a society or institution that is based on the principles of equality and solidarity, that understands and values human rights, and that recognizes the dignity of every human being.

C. Social justice is based on the concepts of human rights and equality and involves a greater degree of economic egalitarianism through progressive taxation, income redistribution, or even property redistribution. These policies aim to achieve what developmental economists refer to as more equality of opportunity than may currently exist in some societies, and to manufacture equality of outcome in cases where incidental inequalities appear in a procedurally just system. The Constitution of the International Labor Organization affirms that "universal and lasting peace can be established only if it is based upon social justice. Furthermore, the Vienna Declaration and Program of Action treats social justice as a purpose of the human rights education.

D. The term and modern concept of "social justice" was coined by the Jesuit Luigi Taparelli in 1840 based on the teachings of St. Thomas Aquinas and given further exposure in 1848 by Antonio Rosmini-Serbati. The word has taken on a very controverted and variable meaning, depending on who is using it. The idea was elaborated by the moral theologian John A. Ryan, who initiated the concept of a living wage. Father Coughlin also used the term in his publications in the 1930s and the 1940s. It is a part of Catholic social teaching, the Protestants' Social Gospel, and is one of the Four Pillars of the Green Party upheld by green parties worldwide. Social justice as a secular concept, distinct from religious teachings, emerged mainly in the late twentieth century influenced primarily by philosopher John Rawls. Some tenets of social justice have been adopted by those on the left of the political spectrum.

E. Let’s move from a political perspective to a biblical perspective. We see a striking picture of social justice in the Old Testament providing equality and “fairness” to those in need.


II.
A PICTURE OF SAFETY AND SOCIAL JUSTICE… A REFUGE

A. These thoughts take us back to an Old Testament story that is found in Numbers, chapter thirty-five and Joshua, chapter twenty. This story tells about the communities that God designated as “cities of refuge” in the nation of Israel. The command to the nation is plainly written in these chapters, “You shall provide six cities, three on this side of Jordan, and three in Canaan.

B. In the Old Testament times the fugitive might flee to the nearest point to refuge and be assured of justice and a fair trial.  The avenger could not touch him as long as he remained within the boundaries of this sanctuary. These cities were selected for:

1. Their prominence – identifiable, noticeable, accessible.
2. Have easy access – wide roads, lit at night for safe passage
3. The gates of the city had to be open day and night, always open to the one in need.
4. The way had to be clearly marked so that no one fleeing for their life might miss the way.


C. This is one of the most beautiful pictures of salvation in the entire Bible. Jesus must be lifted up so that the individual in distress can be drawn to the Him. This pathway to Christ must be kept open and it must be a free access highway to all humanity everywhere.

D. The cities were selected for their convenience. The Bible says, “… whosoever calls upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.” God’s provision is always immediate.


III.
THE SIX CITIES OF REFUGE, THEIR NAMES AND WHAT THEY MEAN

A. The first city in Jordan was BEZER.

1. The name Bezer means: “FORTIFICATION.” It indicates strength – protection.
2. We are weak and without strength we need a place of strength. Paul says, “… It seems to be a fact of life that when I want to do what is right, I inevitably do what is wrong. I love God’s law with all my heart. But there is another law at work within me that is at war with my mind. This law wins the fight and makes me a slave to the sin that I still want to do. Oh, what a miserable person I am! Who will free me from this life that is dominated by sin? That God! The answer is in Jesus Christ our Lord. So you see how it is: in my mind I really want to obey God’s law, but because of my sinful nature I am a slave to sin.” Romans 7:21-25
3. We need a shield. That is why this term is used for Jesus so often:
a. Psalm 3:3 - “But thou, O Lord, art a shield for me; my glory, and the lifter up of mine head.”
b. Psalm 18:35 - “You have given me the shield of Your salvation." Your right hand supports me; Your gentleness has made me great.”
c. Psalm 33:20 – “We depend upon the Lord alone to save us. Only He can help us, protecting us like a shield.”

B. The second city was the city of RAMOTH IN GILEAD. The name means “ELEVATION” or “LIFTED UP.”

1. We not only find a balm in Gilead and healing for our souls, but like David we can say: “I waited patiently for the Lord to help me, and he turned to me and heard my cry. He lifted me out of the pit of despair, out of the mud and the mire. He set my feet on solid ground and steadied me as I walked along. He has given me a new song to sing a hymn of praise to our God. Many will see what he has done and be astounded.” Psalm 40:1-4

C. The third city was the city of GOLAN. The word means “MANIFESTATION.”

1. What a compassionate lover of souls Jesus is to the desperate and individual. We love Him because He first loved us.
2. Again it is written: “God showed how much he loved us by sending his only Son into the world so that we might have eternal life through him. This is real love. It is not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as a sacrifice to take away our sins.” I John 4:9-10

TRANSITION:
Now… let’s go from Jordan and take a look at the three cities on Canaan’s side. Not only does the person who is lost, confused, in a wilderness of emotion or hurt need a refuge, but those in God’s family of believers need a refuge from time to time as well.

D. First there was the city of KADESH. The word means “HOLINESS” – in the sense of a consecrated life given entirely to God.

1. Paul states the boundaries of such a life when he says in Colossians 3:1-4 “Since you have been raised to new life with Christ, set your sights on the realities of heaven, where Christ sits at God’s right hand in the place of honor and power. Let heaven fill your thoughts. Do not think only about things down here on earth. For you died when Christ died, and your real life is hidden with Christ in God. And when Christ, who is your real life is revealed to the whole world, you will share in all his glory.”

E. The next city in Canaan was the city of SHECHEM. The name means “SHOULDER” and speaks of strength.

1. The New Testament states in I Peter 5:7, “Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about what happens to you.” The Divine shoulder is always under my burden.

F. The next city in Canaan was the city of HEBRON. The name means “FELLOWSHIP.”

1. There is safety in fellowship. II Corinthians 3:12-18
The secret is keeping close to our Savior.
2. When we venture away from His Presence and fail to gather with each other for encouragement, edification, and education, we can grow careless about prayer, communion, and teachings of the Word. We become prime targets for the “Thief,” the “lion that goes about roaring, seeking who he may devour.” I Peter 5:8

G. We… a church… a city of refuge become a place where all who enter receive social acceptance, justice, and respect. Regardless of gender, generation, orientation, socioeconomic strata, color, or education, all are welcome here to receive of God’s bounty. This is “safe home,” a place for social justice for all.


IV. LET’S PRAY THIS TOGETHER…

Loving God, I want to reflect Your social acceptance, justice, and respect for all people. Help me to be the protection, the encouragement, the compassion, an example of Your holiness, a shoulder to bear the burden and fellowship that embraces all people. By your grace I will become the result of Your design for my life. I ask this in the name of our Lord, Your Son Jesus Christ, Amen!
And So It Is

 

 

 



Peace River Ministries • Matt Ross Community Center • 8101 Marty, Overland Park, KS. • 913.400.2837 • info@peaceriverministries.com