Tates Creek Christian Church

Updates and Insights from Tates Creek Christian Church

Archive for the month “September, 2015”

A New Generation

A new generation of “warriors” for God is emerging!  In the past several years we have focused our church planting efforts among adults…training leaders to evangelize, disciple and multiply cell groups.  But during all that time we have seen a great need among the youth and children.  We just kept thinking, “if we can just reach them young enough we can save them from the disastrous life choices made by those who have gone before them.”  But some of the “normal” ways of doing youth ministry and children’s ministry didn’t seem to be making the impact we had hoped.  So we prayed, and we asked God for HIS help and guidance in this area and to send us someone to focus on this vital ministry.  God answered us in a big way!

First, he sent us a young man from Argentina (Juan David, 22 years old) who committed to come for a year (but has now committed to come back for a longer term) and help establish a specific ministry among 12-17 year olds that challenges them in the areas of evangelism, discipleship and even church planting.  It has been amazing to see the growth in the lives of the youth.  We are not just providing a place to “keep them off the streets,” but we are now sending them TO the streets as evangelists.  They are discipling and encouraging each other to live in radical commitment to JESUS.

As we saw the results among the youth, we were also praying for the children.  Our yearly VBS has been a major outreach event in the community.  But year after year we saw the same children come and felt like the message (though planted) was not growing in their hearts to make a lasting change in their lives and situations.  So we asked Juan David if there was a ministry (similar to the youth ministry) that had major impact in the lives of children.  He arranged for another young man from Argentina (Nehemias, 18 years old!) to come for the summer to help us radically change our VBS and our children’s ministry.  The impact, thus far, has been amazing!

Thank you for your prayers and partnership in the ministry!

Greg and Vicki Syverson

Legacy of Truth

Our current sermon theme is “We Hold These Truths!” When it comes to our families, the leaders in the families must hold on to these truths. At the same time, the family leaders consisting of parents and grandparents must pass these truths to the next generation. Hold on to these truths? Most definitely! Pass these truths to the next generation? Absolutely! A favorite Old Testament text found in Deuteronomy 6:6-7 says, “And these words, which I am commanding you today, shall be on your heart; and you shall teach them diligently to your sons and shall talk of them when you sit in your house and when you walk by the way and when you lie down and when you rise up.” Notice the text says, “Shall be on your heart,” meaning “We Hold These Truths.” And “You shall teach them diligently” means we are to pass these truths to the next generation. Passing these truths to the next generation demonstrates the meaning of leaving a legacy! Could there be a more important legacy to leave? How do we pass these truths to the next generation?
The Grandparents on both sides of my family passed along these great truths of the Bible to their children. My parents were diligent to pass these truths to our generation! How did they do that? Our parents taught us that going to church was top priority; more important than anything else. So, we were always in church; never missed. Since we lived on a dairy farm, the cows had to be milked every morning and every evening ~ even Sunday morning and evening. As a child I thought, “Surely, cows need a day off too!” However, that did not keep us from going to church. The cows were milked in the morning before we went to church, and the cows were milked in the evening before we went to evening services. Going to church included Sunday school too! I had great Sunday school teachers. We were taught the Word in Sunday school, and we were taught the Word during the sermon time.
Another priority that our parents instilled in us was the importance of having our own Bible and reading it. Since my Dad had a great love for history, I remember him reading the Old Testament. Dad loved to talk about the Bible too! From time to time, he would ask questions about the Bible. I am convinced that my siblings and I are standing in the Bible truths because of our parents and grandparents. Is the Bible important to you? Is passing it to the next generation a priority?

Tommy Simpson

Truth About Baptism – Colossians 2:11-13

When I received my topic, I had two, almost simultaneous, reactions. Immediately I felt relief that I got baptism instead of homosexuality or racism, but that euphoria was followed by a sense of sadness. Why would baptism be included in a list of controversial subjects? The Bible is quite clear on the subject in both word and demonstration. Only adults are baptized, and they are always immersed. I doubt most people who were not raised in an immersing church really read the Bible and question what it says about baptism. However, they may be reluctant to imply that Mom and Dad or Grandma and Grandpa were wrong about something so important. One thing is for sure, refusing to do what the Bible says won’t make what anyone else did, or didn’t do, any more right or wrong. But, for anyone who reads and understands the Bible, the scripture is clear. “Whoever knows what is right to do and fails to do it, for him it is sin.” James 4:17

But even with those arguments to the side, baptism is still a point of discussion and, sometimes, disagreement among Christians. Does being baptized make someone a Christian? Without belief…. No. Without belief, you’re not being baptized; you’re just being dunked. Each step is important. How can anyone say if belief, repentance, or confession is more important? Each one is vital, but baptism is unique and special. When you are baptized, you are buried with Christ. You come in contact with the precious blood of Jesus. Your sins are forgiven and you receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. Why would anyone want to pass on any of that? But it just keeps getting better. You are a new creation and you become part of the body of Christ. You get to walk with Jesus every day. Better still is the best and final promise found in Romans 6:5 ….
“For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we shall certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his.”

Bill Clem

Sermon Outline, September 27, 2015, “Jesus ~ The Person of Truth”

Jesus ~ The Person of Truth

John 14:6

Jesus Christ is the Messiah.

Jesus is the Christ of Fulfilled Prophecy.

~ Luke 24:44

Jesus is the Christ of Fulfilled Purpose.

~ Isaiah 53:5; Matthew 1:21; John 1:29; Luke 19:10; Acts 4:12

Jesus Christ is the Son of the Living God.

Jesus is the Only Begotten Son of God.

~ Matthew 1:20; Matthew 17:5

Jesus is Fully Divine.

~ John 1:1; Colossians 2:9; Philippians 2:6; Hebrews 1:3

Jesus is Fully Human.

~ Colossians 2:9; John 1:14; Philippians 2:8; Hebrews 2:14

Jesus Christ is Lord.

Jesus conquered Death.

  • The Position of the Grave Stone.
  • The Roman’s Seal is Broken.
  • The Tomb is Empty.
  • The Position of the Grave Clothes.
  • Eyewitnesses
  •  Changed Lives of the Apostles.
  •  Two Ordinances of the Church.   ~ I Corinthians 15:54-57

Jesus conquered the Devil.       ~ Hebrews 2:14

What does the Bible Really Say?

When I was a child I had a really neat, full-color, picture Bible.  I carried it to school with me on occassion, always had it with me at church, and used it often to preach from.  In fact, when I was very small my dad built a pulpit for me and a pew for my sister.  During his sermon, I would  lean on my dad’s words and take very detailed notes. When we returned home after church and lunch, my sister and I would play church.

From my early ages I learned the truth came from the Bible.  I was never taught that the world was pure evil and I needed to live in a bubble to be protected.  The more time I spent in the world growing up the more I learned how much truth is in God’s words.  I learned songs like Jesus Loves Me, The B I B L E, Jesus Loves the Little Children, and Amazing Grace.  I learned verses like John 3:16-17.  In fact, I learned that my life and direction was dependent on God’s Word.  When I grew up though I made new friends.  My world view grew in an enormous way.  I took classes about world religions and learned that other people around the world base their truth in other books.  As I shared respectful and sometimes heated discussions with some of these people (including family and friends) it became even more clear to me how TRUE God’s Word is.

In the midst of all of this though, I started some bad habits.  It started one day when I just tossed my Bible at my friend as a game.  I was quickly corrected for this and told that the Bible isn’t a pillow to be tossed around.  As the bad habit wasn’t corrected, I found myself relying on my own knowledge of God’s Word in debates instead of quoting chapters and verses.  I started to use a phrase that I had probably heard from others more times than the words, “I love you.”  I started to say the phrase, “The Bible says…”

Then, I studied the temptation of Jesus.  I noticed that three times Jesus’ defense to the devil’s attacks were from scripture.  I wondered to myself, “when the devil attacks me personally do I depend on my own knowledge and strength to defend, or are the scriptures my defense.”

What does the Bible really say?  This next school year in Uptown we are going to find out as we suit up for battle and learn how to protect, defend, and fight against the devil’s attacks.  We are going to put on the FULL ARMOR OF GOD!  To get us started on this challenge, consider these words from Jesus…
 Jesus replied, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ’Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”   Matthew 22:37-40

Matt Lee

God’s Stories are True

Every week when we do our teaching during ‘Jesus in the Park’ we start our lesson time by holding up our Children’s Bible.  “What is this?” We ask the children.  “Bible!”  They shout back enthusiastically.  “Whose stories are in here?”  We ask.  “God’s!” (Jesus is thrown out with fervor as well).  Lastly, “What are God’s stories?” “True!!”  We then go on to talk to the children about the different people who have listened to God in these stories, and those who haven’t.  What happened to them, both good and bad.  We teach this because we have these stories, we know that Jesus loves us, and that wherever we go we are protected by His love.

I know, as adults, we learn more from the words in the Bible than just the “simple” stories.  We can read between the lines to figure out what the  main point might be, and we understand the parables that Jesus spoke.  But we as adults forget the main point.  All of the words are true.  We are to follow them and use them as our guide (2 Timothy 3:16).  We are to obey the words given to us.  We are living in a world right now that is making up right and wrong as it goes, and we must hold fast to those words that we know are true.  God is the Father, and the way to the Father is through the Son (John 14:6).

Lesley Tipton

Person of Truth

As a UK medical school neuroscience professor, my work involves teaching medical and graduate students about how the nervous system functions and what happens when it becomes diseased or injured.  It is obviously essential that I am dedicated to presenting information in my lectures that is as accurate, up to date, and as truthful as I can make it.  In addition, much of my time is spent directing laboratory research which is focused on the discovery of drug treatments that, when administered to patients after a traumatic brain or spinal cord injury, will act to preserve the damaged, but initially surviving, nervous tissue from undergoing degeneration.  The more nerve cells and brain circuits that are saved during the first hours determines how much neurological functional recovery will take place.  In my published research papers and oral presentations it is critical that I remain dedicated to conveying the truth concerning my findings, whether positive or negative.  Indeed, during the training of my graduate students who will carry on the efforts of my generation, one of my repeated instructions to them is that they never compromise their integrity; that they are always honest about the details of their experiments and results.  However, sometimes the results of our experiments are confusing making our ability to decide whether or not the drug works in protecting injured nervous tissue uncertain, requiring us to do additional studies before giving up.

As a Christian, in sharp contrast to my sometimes uncertain research results, I am comforted that in the most important area of my life, I can place my full certainty in what Jesus, my Lord and Savior, has presented to me in John 14:6 – “I am the way, the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”  In other words, the only path to salvation and eternal life is through my belief that Jesus is who He says He is.  His declaration is as unchangeably true and faithful as it was 2000 years ago. Jesus was and will always remain the Person of Truth.

Ed Hall

Sermon Outline, September 20, 2015, “The Bible Tells Me So”

The Bible Tells Me So

September 20, 2015

II Timothy 3:16

Inspiration declares the Bible is Truth.

The Meaning of Inspiration.

~ II Timothy 3:16; II Peter 1:20-21

The Scope of Inspiration.

~ II Timothy 3:16

The Result of Inspiration.

~ II Peter 1:20-21

Inerrancy declares the Bible is Truth.

Inerrancy means the Bible is truth.

~ John 10:35; John 17:17; Titus 1:2; Hebrews 6:18

Internal Evidence speaks to Inerrancy of Scripture.

  • First Proof ~ The Unity of the Bible.
  • Second Proof ~ Fulfilled Prophecies ~ Isaiah 41:21-23.
  • Third Proof ~ Internal Consistency.
  • Fourth Proof ~ Historical Accuracy.
  • Fifth Proof ~ Resurrection of Jesus Christ ~ John 10:35; John 17:17.

External Evidence speaks to Inerrancy of Scripture.

Indestructibility declares the Bible is Truth.

The Bible is Indestructible because it is Eternal.

~ Isaiah 40:8

The Bible is Indestructible because it is Permanent.

~ Matthew 5:18

The Truth Shall Make You Free

“Today not only in philosophy but in politics, government, and individual morality, our generation sees solutions in terms of synthesis and not absolutes. When this happens, truth, as people have always thought of truth, has died.”  ~ Francis Schaeffer

A lot of people say there is no such thing as absolute truth.  They say that all truth is relative.  The interesting thing is that both of those statements are absolutes.  I believe that absolute truth is found in God, the Holy Spirit, Jesus, and the Bible.  There are things that we can discover as true outside of the Bible, but these things are still truths that God set in motion at the creation of the world.  You see, the funny thing about truth is…its true…whether you believe it or not.

The main source for the revelation of truth is God’s Holy Word, written for us in the Bible.  The topic of the Bible as a source for truth has been widely debated over many, many years.  But over any other historical document, the Bible has proven over and over that it is historically accurate.  The Bible is supported by countless archaeological findings and other historical records.  The Bible provides many scientific facts that science didn’t affirm until much after it was recorded.  The Bible has also faced unrelenting scrutiny as a source for truth and has stood the test of time.

The Bible has been the single most influential literary piece in history.  The perfect moral code that Jesus sets before us in the gospel has been the inspiration for many of our laws even today.  There is nothing that has shaped culture the way the Bible has.

When all these things are considered, it is easy to see that the Bible is the best source for truth, especially moral truth.  When we live the way that Jesus outlines for us in scripture, our lives are free.  There is peace in the truth of God.

“The sum of your word is truth, and every one of your righteous rules endures forever.”  Psalm 119:160

Mike Allen

Prayer

Psalm 119:129-131
“Your statutes are wonderful; therefore I obey them. The unfolding of your words gives light; it gives understanding to the simple. I open my mouth and pant, longing for your commands.”

When I first learned about prayer, that lesson came from a 7th grade classmate’s gift of a plastic box labeled “Daily Bread”.  This little box contained individual cards with a scripture on each one, front and back.  Some of the cards had verses from the Book of Psalms.  I realized that so many emotions were expressed in this book and that reading them out loud became my prayers.  Being able to release those emotions to God helped me to be comfortable with praying.

As I have grown in my Christian walk, I have learned that prayer is a two-way conversation.  I need to listen as well as speak to God.  The problem I faced was personalizing the Scriptures.  Daily readings seemed like stories or sermons given to the Jews and early Christians, not me.  Things began to fall into place when I started reading Proverbs. I felt as if God was instructing me about his ways that would honor him.  I finally began to feel the full experience of prayer.  That experience has encouraged me to “pray without ceasing”.

As of now, prayer has become the foundation of my faith.  As a tree needs deep roots to survive storms, my faith needs these deep roots of prayer as its foundation to continue my daily walk with Him.

Peggy Crawford

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