Sunday, July 24, 2022

Balanced Thinking About Our Remaining Sin - Nathan Rages

"My little children, 
I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin. 
And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous;"  1John 2:1

As Christians, we have no greater challenge than dealing with our own remaining sin.  In this one verse, the Apostle John provides balanced instruction on the matter.  His two statements provide "guardrails" to protect us from two "ditches" into which we may easily slide: (1) being too lenient about our sin or (2) despairing after we have sinned. 

Sunday, July 17, 2022

Walking in the Darkness or in the Light? - Nathan Rages

1John 1:6-10 6 If we say that we have fellowship with Him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth; 7 but if we walk in the Light as He Himself is in the Light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin. 8 If we say that we have no sin, we are deceiving ourselves and the truth is not in us. 9 If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 10 If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar and His word is not in us. 

In these verses, the Apostle John contrasts those who "walk in the darkness" (unsaved people) with those who "walk in the light" (Christians).  Folks in the darkness love their sin, but often deny their sin problem.  Those walking in the light, on the other hand, have confessed their sins to God and received His complete forgiveness and cleansing through the blood of Jesus His Son.  God is faithful and righteous to bestow this wonderful salvation upon all who embrace this simple Gospel promise! 

Sunday, July 10, 2022

God is Light! - Nathan Rages

"This is the message we have heard from Him and announce to you, that God is Light, and in Him there is no darkness at all."  (1John 1:5)

Light symbolizes:
1. God’s revelation of truth.
2. God’s moral purity.

This great truth, that “God is Light, and in Him there is no darkness at all”...
1. Is the right starting point.
2. Is both refreshing and terrifying.
3. Gives confidence in God’s Word.
4. Gives comfort regarding God’s actions.
5. Is necessary to understand the Gospel.

Saturday, July 9, 2022

Fall Fellowship Camp 2022 Registration is OPEN NOW

Registration for the Fall Fellowship Camp, October 6-9, 2022 is now OPEN.  See this page for all the details and registration form. 

Sunday, July 3, 2022

How to Have Fullness of Joy - Nathan Rages

1John 1:4 These things we write, so that our joy may be made complete. 

One motivation for John writing his epistle was to increase believers' joy level.  Thus, his letter contains the secrets for experiencing fullness of joy.  In the course of the letter, John addresses various things that can *destroy* our joy (false conversion, false doctrine, practicing known sin, being loveless toward others, etc.) but the largest driver of consistent joy is found in the previous verse: "indeed our fellowship is with the Father, and with His Son Jesus Christ".  Christian joy cannot be based on the ups and downs of daily happenings but on the foundation of God Himself, fellowshipping with the One who cannot change.  

Many similar Bible verses describe believers experiencing fullness or completeness of joy:
Ps 16:11 11 You will make known to me the path of life; In Your presence is fullness of joy; In Your right hand there are pleasures forever. 
John 3:29 29 “He who has the bride is the bridegroom; but the friend of the bridegroom, who stands and hears him, rejoices greatly because of the bridegroom’s voice. So this joy of mine has been made full. 
John 15:11 11 “These things I have spoken to you so that My joy may be in you, and that your joy may be made full. 
John 16:24 24 “Until now you have asked for nothing in My name; ask and you will receive, so that your joy may be made full. 
John 17:13 13 “But now I come to You; and these things I speak in the world so that they may have My joy made full in themselves. 
Rom 15:13 13 Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that you will abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. 
2John 1:12 12 Though I have many things to write to you, I do not want to do so with paper and ink; but I hope to come to you and speak face to face, so that your joy may be made full. 
1Pet 1:8 8 and though you have not seen Him, you love Him, and though you do not see Him now, but believe in Him, you greatly rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory, 

These Scriptures make clear that God desires for Christians to have joy, not just in small fleeting amounts, but to be *filled* with joy as a normal, expected part of Christian experience.