Sermons

Summary: This message tells of the how & why of God’s people. How do we become His people? Answer: According to the good pleasure of His will. Why did He make us His people? Answer: For the praise of the glory of His grace.

Intro

Q. Have you ever been frustrated by a sense of powerlessness?

- The depression epidemic is one aspect of this feeling of powerlessness

- Some people are discontent with life & their jobs

- They feel a sense of hopelessness & that they are powerless to change their position

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- Most people aspire & crave for a job greater than the one they have

- Whether it be for more pay or more prominence, at the very least, people dream for something better

- Women who aspire to higher executive positions in companies talk about a glass ceiling that inhibits their rise to the top

- They can see where they’d like to go, but keep bumping against that glass ceiling

- They will speak of this in frustrating terms

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- Let’s think about this for a moment

Q. With the free exercise of your will, can you make it to the top?

Q. Can you change whatever you want simply because you choose to?

- E.G. If you want to become a commercial airline pilot, can you do it?

- Well perhaps you can, but is it true of everyone who dreams of becoming a commercial airline pilot?

- No – not at all

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1. The person will need lots of money for the training

- Where will that come from if you were born & grew up in the Dominican Republic?

2. The person will have to have good health

- Airline companies will not take someone who may not be physically healthy – I happen to agree with that

- I wouldn’t like to be at 45,000 ft when the pilot has a turn

Q. Does a person have absolute control over their health?

3. The person has to have a mental capacity adequate for the task

- A commercial pilot requires a high level of intelligence

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- What I’m saying is that the pure exercise of the human will is not enough to change your circumstances

- The human will is subject to human limitations

- As some people have commented to me about others: “hmmm, nature hasn’t graced him with the best of abilities”

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- The blessings spoken of in this passage today, gives us encouragement

- For what we could not achieve, God has achieved & has brought all our hopes & dreams to fulfilment

- Here Paul elaborates on these blessings in 3 ways:

1. That God’s people are God’s possession

2. God’s people depend on God’s will

3. God’s people live for God’s glory

1. God’s People are God’s Possession

A man was walking across a bridge one day, and saw a man standing on the edge, about to jump off. He immediately ran over and said "Stop! Don’t do it!"

"Why shouldn’t I?" he said.

The man said, "Well, there’s so much to live for!" "Like what?"

"Well ... are you religious or atheist?" "Religious."

"Me too! Are you Christian or Jewish?" "Christian."

"Me too! Are you Catholic or Protestant?" "Protestant."

"Me too! Are you Episcopalian or Baptist?" "Baptist."

"Wow! Me too! Are you Baptist Church of God

or Baptist Church of the Lord?" "Baptist Church of God."

"Me too! Are you Original Baptist Church of God,

or are you Reformed Baptist Church of God?" "Reformed Baptist

Church of God."

"Me too! Are you Reformed Baptist Church of God,

reformation of 1879, or Reformed Baptist

Church of God, reformation of 1915?" "Reformed Baptist

Church of God,

reformation of 1915!"

To which he said, "Die, heretic scum!" and pushed him off

- 200 yrs ago on the 23rd Feb. - that’s 2 days ago was the 200 yr anniversary of the abolition of the slave trade in the British Empire

- There is a new movie that has just been released in American cinemas called “Amazing Grace”

- It’s the story of William Wilberforce, the Christian member of parliament that worked tirelessly for abolition of the slave trade

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- I went on the Internet & had a look at the movie trailer

- One part in the trailer really stood out to me...

- One of the African slaves was showing Wilberforce an ownership brand mark that was burnt onto his chest by a branding iron

He said to him...they did this (showing his chest) to let you know that you no longer belong to God, but to a man

- For years & years, people have lived through the uneasy sense of powerlessness & oppression from men, but this has been radically altered by God

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- The OT spoke of the Jew being God’s possession

Dt 32:9 ..... 9 “For the Lord’s portion is His people; Jacob is the allotment of His inheritance.

- To be a Jew, meant to belong to God

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