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Accepting Peace

Track 3 of 5 in the Making Peace with God series
Running time: 1 hour, 05 minutes, 31 seconds.
Everyone is invited across the bridge (Jesus) back to Gods side. But not everyone accepts the offer. In scripture Jesus lays out how man accepts His wonderful offer. It is pretty plain and simple for man to know how to accept God. What does the Bible have to say about saying yes to God One would think this is an easy question but it is amazing how many different ways man has come up with to accept the relationship with God. The Bible makes if very plain for all to know.

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Mike Nobis Speaker: Mike Nobis
Sunday School Teacher, Former Elder at Madison Park Christian Church. Mike is President of JK Creative Printers & Mailing in Quincy, IL. He is married to Pam and has three children, Tom, Tyler and Jennifer. Mike has three grandchildren: Ryne, Ivy and Alicia.

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Making Peace with God Accepting Peace Last week we talked about the offer of peace God gives to man. The picture was man on one side and God on the other and Jesus in the middle bringing the two sides together through the blood He shed on the Cross. Jesus death on the Cross made it possible for there to be peace between God and man. The important point is “Jesus made it possible”. Even though God offers peace to man, it still takes man to accept that peace before there to be a peace treaty in effect. So how does man accept the offer of peace made by God? The picture is like this, you and I are on the Illinois side of the Mississippi river looking across the Quincy Bridge. On the other side is God inviting us to come be with Him in Missouri. We have the Quincy Bridge to cross over but until we cross the river using the bridge, we are still in Illinois even though the way to Missouri is in front of us. Everyone is invited across the bridge (Jesus) back to God’s side. But not everyone accepts the offer. In scripture Jesus lays out how man accepts His wonderful offer. It is pretty plain and simple for man to know how to accept God. Too often man, in his attempt to find God, confuses himself and others on what God says is the way. How do we accept the offer? What does the Bible have to say about saying yes to God? One would think this is an easy question but it is amazing how many different ways man has come up with to accept the relationship with God. The Bible makes if very plain for all to know. Entering this relationship with God begins with Faith (Confidence). Another word for faith can be the word confidence. When a person has faith in God, it is like saying I have confidence in God. Everyone has confidence in something for meaning and purpose in life. What are the things in your life that you put your confidence in to make life meaningful and to have purpose? God calls people to put their faith or confidence in Him. Hebrews 11:6 And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him. Hebrews 4:2 For we also have had the gospel preached to us, just as they did; but the message they heard was of no value to them, because those who heard did not combine it with faith. Now we who have believed enter that rest, just as God has said, I think it is interesting what the writer of Hebrews said about hearing the Gospel preached. What makes hearing the Gospel valuable? True faith, the right kind of faith causes a response. This faith requires not only an intellectual belief, but also a response. In the Bible, faith that is not illustrated in action is not acceptable faith to God. Faith literally means response. True or False: Belief in Jesus is Christian faith? FALSE – Anyone can believe in Jesus, even Satan and the demons believe in Jesus and shutter, but they don’t have faith Faith = Response. James 2:17 In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead. Story of Charles Blondin: French tightrope walker, The Great Blondin This he accomplished, first on 30 June 1859, a number of times, always with different theatric variations: blindfold, in a sack, trundling a wheelbarrow, on stilts, carrying a man (his manager, Harry Colcord) on his back, sitting down midway while he cooked and ate an omelet. If I combine what I hear with faith, I will respond by doing what God has asked me to do! Repentance In Acts 2 we see the beginning of the Church. At Pentecost, Peter stands up before a large crowd of Jews and gives a great sermon about Jesus, how the Jews killed Him and the salvation He brought and offers. The conclusion of his sermon ended with this statement: Acts 2:36 Therefore let all Israel be assured of this: God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Christ.” The next verse shows us their response. Peter’s words moved them so much that they knew they needed to do something other than just agree with what he said. Acts 2:37 When the people heard this, they were cut to the heart and said to Peter and the other apostles, “Brothers, what shall we do?” By asking the question, they revealed that they believed the message. They asked what their response should be. They knew they had to do more than just mentally agree about Jesus. Peters Answer: Acts 2:38 “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. When you hear the word REPENT, what are some of the images that come to your mind? Repent = Making a U-Turn. Turning from having rejected Jesus as Lord to submission to His authority and Lordship. There are two types of sins in this world Sins = (List some of the sins we commit). A result of sin singular. Sin = Sin is unbelief in Jesus. John 16:9 Repentance involves making a promise to God, a statement of intent. It is like saying I do in a wedding. Acts 3:19 Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord. Confession How many of you would consider me as your friend? How many of you are willing to admit that to others? What is the result of a hidden relationship? Matthew 10:32-33 “Whoever acknowledges me before men, I will also acknowledge him before my Father in heaven. But whoever disowns me before men, I will disown him before my Father in heaven. Romans 10:9-10 That if you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved. Baptism Every covenant God had with man included a test. In every case, the test didn’t make sense and required an act of faith (confidence). God would promise and man in faith would act. The new covenant is no different. I truly believe that baptism is the test of mans faith to enter the relationship with Him. If you were Satan and wanted to mess up or prevent man from being in relationship with God, where would you attack? In every situation, Satan attacked where man had to commit to God and actually trust God in areas that didn’t quite make sense. It usually was over, in man’s perspective, the trivial things. I believe that is why there is so much confusion concerning baptism. How can so many Christians and churches have so many different opinions over baptism? Some look at it legalistically, some don’t believe it is necessary at all, many fight over the form and there is a big division within the church as at what age a person should be baptized. It is important to look at what the Bible actually says about this natural response to God’s call to enter into relationship with him. 1 Corinthians 15: 3-4 For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures If you were at the last few moments of your life and you had your kids and friends close by to you, what do you think would be your last words? For me, I think my last words would be the most important things I want my kids and friends to know. Matthew 28:18-20 Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” Romans 6: 3-4 Or don’t you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life. The Greek translation for baptize means to dip, plunge or immerse. Historically the first church practiced only immersion when baptizing. Reason – reenact the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus and ours to come. SLIDE 15A: But there is more to the story. BEING BAPTIZED IS A VISIBLE, GOD CHOSEN, AND GOD COMMANDED RESPONSE OF MY FAITH. 1. It is my pledge of allegiance to God of my devotion and life. 1 Peter 3:21 The word pledge in the Greek is the same word that is used when two businessmen enter into a deal. The seller offers a proposition, the buyer considers it. If accepted, both pledge that they will live up to the terms of their agreement. Many times this is done in front of witnesses and that final pledge makes the agreement binding. The same is true in the covenant of Christ. God offers, we consider and either say yes or no. If we agree to the terms, we finalize the agreement through baptism. The agreement is then binding on both parties. Baptism is like signing your signature on the dotted line of the covenant. 2. It is my union with Christ. Galatians 3:27 3. It is also my union with His Spirit. In baptism we give ourselves to Him and He gives Himself to us through His Spirit. Acts 2:38 4. It assures me of the cleansing forgiveness of my sins Acts 22:16 5. It represents my identification with Jesus in His death, burial and resurrection, guaranteeing my own resurrection. Romans 6:5 True or False: Faith saves me? Repentance saves me? Confession saves me? Baptism saves me? Can I enter the covenant without faith? Without repentance? Without confession? Without baptism? Marriage and Christianity – A Comparison Romans 7:4 So, my brothers, you also died to the law through the body of Christ, that you might belong to another, to him who was raised from the dead, in order that we might bear fruit to God. We are married, so to speak, to the one who rose from the dead. Marriage and Christianity are both covenant relationships. What is the one illustration Jesus uses the most when He tries to explain the covenant relationship between He and man? Again, we see God playing out over and over again, through the act of marriage, the prefect description of what our relationship to God is like. Marriage and the covenant with Christ are identical. Can you now see why there is such a tremendous attack on the institution of marriage? Satan is trying to wipe out the visual model we have for salvation. Marriage and Christianity are both covenant relationship. Malachi 2:14 It is because the LORD is acting as the witness between you and the wife of your youth…the wife of your marriage covenant.