Tates Creek Christian Church

Updates and Insights from Tates Creek Christian Church

Archive for the month “July, 2014”


The Fourth of July has always been one of my favorite holidays of the year. As a child, I can remember my mom, dad, brother, and I sitting out on the upstairs deck of our home in Plainfield, Indiana, as we watched the fireworks display put on by the local Elks Club. In later years, our family would make it a tradition to visit my Uncle Mike and Aunt Cathy in Lafayette, Indiana, to have a cookout and swim in their pool. After we had done all the eating, swimming, and sparklers we could, we’d all go over to Slayter Hill at Purdue University and watch the city’s fireworks display. Those were days I have cherished greatly. Even today, I still look forward to spending the Fourth with my wife and girls, watching the fireworks together here in Lexington.
Here’s an observation. Have you ever noticed the way we most often celebrate our independence as a country is by gathering together with others?
There is a myth about independence often prevalent in our American culture, and even sometimes in church culture, which seeks to convince us that our own self-determination and willpower are all we need to succeed. It’s the kind of go-it-alone mentality that says, “Just pull yourself up by your own bootstraps” to overcome life’s challenges. While it is true, biblically speaking, that we are each personally responsible for our choices in life (Ezekiel 18:20; Galatians 6:7-8), it is also true biblically that when we do decide to overcome significant obstacles, we cannot do it alone. We need God, His Son, His Holy Spirit, and His people.
Proverbs 27:17, Ecclesiastes 4:12, 1 Corinthians 12, and Acts 2:42-47, in particular, illustrate for us the interdependence we have on others. Surrounding ourselves in deep Christian relationships helps to sharpen us, strengthen us, equip us, and support us. The truth is, I need others in my life that will extend to me the grace that I cannot often give myself. And it is this interdependence that ultimately leads to a greater experience of the freedom we each have in Christ.

Nic Skinner

Sermon Outline, July 6, 2014, “Jesus: His Crucifixion”

Jesus: His Crucifixion
  Luke 23:33-49

Jesus’ Death offers Grace.
      Justice demands that Sin be punished.
           ~ Romans 6:23; Ezekiel 18:4

     Grace is how God gives us what we need.
           ~ Romans 6:23; Ephesians 2:8; Romans 3:24

Jesus’ Death offers Forgiveness.
      Jesus’ blood removes Sin.
           ~ Ephesians 1:7; I John 1:7; I Peter 1:18-19

     Jesus’ blood secures Salvation.
           ~ Acts 2:38; Romans 6:3-4

Jesus’ Death offers Access.
      Sin separates sinners from God.
           ~ Isaiah 59:2

     Jesus’ Death reconciles sinners to God.
           ~ Ephesians 2:18

Jesus’ Death offers New Life.
      Jesus willingly died.
           ~ John 10:10

     Jesus calls us to Crucify Self.
           ~ Luke 9:23; Romans 8:13

Jesus’ Death offers Eternal Life.
      God glorified His Son, Jesus Christ.
           ~ Philippians 2:8-11; Hebrews 1:3

     God wants to share Glory with Us.
           ~ John 17:3

Under God

The establishment of America was not an accident. From the beginning we were a people who relied on God for our existence. In our Declaration of Independence from England, Thomas Jefferson spoke for all our founding fathers when he wrote “We hold these truths to be
self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” Noting the peril they placed themselves in, Jefferson ended the Declaration of Independence “…with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.” God did protect them, we prevailed in the Revolutionary War and a new country was born.
Throughout history God has been faithful to sustain us. During the dismal days of the Civil War Abraham Lincoln believed that God would somehow preserve us and he expressed the confident hope that “…this nation under God shall have a new birth of freedom, and that government of the people, by the people, for the people shall not perish from the earth.”
There are some people in our country today who don’t acknowledge that God might have anything to do with the founding and preserving of our country. They deny that the United States has Christian roots and they try to paint any who disagree with them as ignorant and naïve. This troubles people of faith because we see it as a foolish and ungrateful attitude toward God. Our nation could become so secular that God, who has so abundantly blessed us, might turn His back on us.
To counterbalance the national drift away from God, the Church must permeate society, both locally and nationally. One effective method of outreach is through chaplains. I serve as director of the Chaplaincy Endorsement Commission, the organization which carefully evaluates, recommends, and mentors Christian Churches and Churches of Christ ministers to serve as chaplains for the military, hospitals, prisons, hospices, law enforcement departments, Civil Air Patrol, retirement homes, and other institutions. Besides supporting Christians, they also reach out to the unsaved who, otherwise, might not ever be touched by our nation’s churches. All over the country our chaplains are calling America back to being “one nation under God.” In this month when we celebrate our national birthday, please remember our chaplains in your prayers.

John Craycraft

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