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Summary: 1- We are called through the gospel 2- We are saved through the Spirit 3- We are equipped through the Word

INTRO.- ILL.- On the first day of creation, God created the dog.

- On the second day, God created man to serve the dog.

- On the third day, God created all the animals of the Earth to serve as potential food for the dog.

- On the fourth day, God created honest toil so that man could labor for the good of the dog.

- On the fifth day, God created the tennis ball so that the dog might or might not retrieve it.

- On the sixth day, God created veterinary science to keep the dog healthy and the man broke.

- On the seventh day, God tried to rest, but He had to walk the dog.

Not Biblical at all, but cute. Not the creation account we know.

ILL.- Mike Huckabee had Bill Maher on his new Saturday night TV show on Fox called Huckabee. Who is Bill Maher? He is an American stand-up comedian, television host, social and political commentator, and author.

Recently Maher made/produced a movie entitled, "Religulous." Maher is highly critical of religion, which he once described as a neurological disorder that justifies crazies and stops people from thinking.

He said, "Religion to me is a bureaucracy between man and God that I don’t need. But I’m not an atheist, no. I believe there’s some force. If you want to call it God... I don’t believe God is a single parent who writes books."

He asserts that religion provides answers to questions that cannot possibly be answered. Questions such as: "Where do I go when I die?" or "Is there a heaven?" Maher argues that religion is dishonest and it "stops people from thinking."

I think Maher is a nut case and an antichrist! He is definitely opposed to Christ.

ILL.- There is a fictitious story about a group of men who set out to find an answer to the question, “Where did the earth come from?” They compiled much data covering many areas of investigation and then fed it into the mammoth computer. When they had completed their work and had given the machine all the information, they pushed the “answer” button and waited expectantly for the results. Lights flashed! Bells rang! Buzzers sounded! When the great moment arrived, this printed message emerged: “See Genesis 1:1 (quickview) .”

That’s smarter than most computers today. We believe the message of the Bible! IN THE BEGINNING GOD. And from the beginning God has been thinking and doing. He is at work!

Our text reveals some of what God was thinking from the beginning as we know it. And His thinking deals with people and how to have a relationship to them. God has always desired a relationship to the people He created.

PROP.- How does that relationship come about? And what does it mean? These questions are answered somewhat in this text.

1- We are called through the gospel

2- We are saved through the Spirit

3- We are equipped through the Word

I. WE ARE CALLED THROUGH THE GOSPEL

14He called you to this through our gospel, that you might share in the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.

ILL.- Do you remember that Verizon wireless commercial: "Can you hear me now?" The "Can you hear me now?" guy, Verizon says, is the "personification" of a crew of 50 Verizon employees who each drive 100,000 miles annually in specially outfitted vehicles to test the reliability of Verizon’s network.


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