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February 18, 2011

The Importance of Bearing Fruit (Part 2)

By Tony V. Hammack

These notes are best when used in conjunction with the audio or video. To listen to the audio (podcast), click here. To watch the video, click here.




Introduction
Fruit is the part of a plant that produces food and seed.
     1. Food symbolizing the sweet flavor of a changed personality, conformed into Christ’s image. (Galatians 5:22,23)
     2. Seed symbolizing an effort to share God’s message and life to a lost and hopeless world. (Matthew 13:1-23)

Food
The Fruits of the Spirit, which show a changed personality are love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.
These fruits, when being expressed in the life of a believer, give us what we need to be able to scatter seed. It also makes us resemble Christ’s character and is good for us and others.

Seed
Matthew 13:1-23
The success of the sower in this parable is based completely on the condition of the hearer’s heart.
Path – Lack Understanding
Rocky Soil – People receive the Word with joy but when testing comes they fall away.
Thorns – Worries and anxieties of life, deceitfulness of wealth, choke out the Word
Good Soil – This person hears and understands producing a crop 30 60 or 100 x’s what was sown.
Here success is attributed to the wise

Proverbs 11:30 (Amplified)
The fruit of the [uncompromisingly] righteous is a tree of life, and he who is wise captures human lives [for God, as a fisher of men--he gathers and receives them for eternity].

Outline
I.     Fruit production is very important to God
II.    Fruit production for the believer begins with personal holiness.
III.  Abiding in Christ is a key to fruit production
IV.  Two ways you’ll know you are fruitful


II.   Fruit Production for the believer begins with personal holiness.
   A.  What is holiness?
   B.  Holiness, the fruit of the faith walk
   C.  Self righteousness = No grace
   D.  Grace is for the humble
   E.  Repentance is the foundation for the Kingdom to be fruitful.
         1.  Godly Sorrow
   F.  Instruments for special purposes
   G.  Walk in the Spirit


A. What is Holiness?
Holiness- Being set apart from the World, The Enemy, and the Flesh and being set apart to the Lord.

So when we’re talking about holiness we’re talking about being set apart from something and then being set toward something else.

B. Holiness, the Fruit of the Faith Walk
I believe it’s impossible for a Christian person to be set apart from sin w/o being set in faith to the Lord.

The Lord has available for the believer the grace and power to overcome the sinful nature.
Discipline can’t do it alone, determination can’t do it alone, devotion can’t do it alone. (Colossians 2:23) It requires surrender (humility) to the Lord allowing his grace to flow.

C. Self righteousness = No Grace
Amazing as it may sound sometimes our effort to be holy can frustrate God’s grace.
Galatians 2:21
I do not set aside the grace of God, for if righteousness could be gained through the law, Christ died for nothing!” (NIV)
I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain. (KJV)

Mercy forgives after the infraction and places the person back on track.
Grace empowers the believer to not sin in the first place keeping them on the right track.

Colossians 2:6
6 So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live your lives in him,

The same faith that saves you is the same faith that sanctifies you.
We get into trouble as Christians when we in our hearts tell God, “I’ll take it from here.” the clock starts ticking on a moral failure when we take over our own sanctification. The decision to do this is rooted in pride.

D. Grace is for the Humble
James 4:6b-7
“God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble.”(Pr. 3:34)7 Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.

Titus 2:11,12
11 For the grace of God has appeared that offers salvation to all people. 12 It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age,

E. Repentance is the foundation for the Kingdom to be fruitful.
Matthew 3:1-3
1 In those days John the Baptist came, preaching in the wilderness of Judea 2 and saying, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near.” 3 This is he who was spoken of through the prophet Isaiah:   “A voice of one calling in the wilderness, ‘Prepare the way for the Lord,    make straight paths for him.’”

What prepares the way for the Lord is a repentant heart. A holy heart can receive the kingdom. This kingdom get’s established in the hearts of men. A heart filled with corruption will fight against the kingdom of heaven.

Matthew 5:8 Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.
Psalm 51:10 Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.
  • 1. Godly Sorrow - The first step to receiving the kingdom of heaven is feeling sorry for sin. This Godly sorrow (2 Cor. 7:10) leads to repentance which ultimately provides a fertile place for the seed of God’s word to grow and develop in the heart of a Christian.
When we come to God we must not be confident in our own righteousness but admit that we are lost without his mercy and grace. (Luke 18:9-14) For all those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.

F. Instruments for special purposes.
2 Timothy 2:20-21  In a large house there are articles not only of gold and silver, but also of wood and clay; some are for special purposes and some for common use. 21 Those who cleanse themselves from the latter will be instruments for special purposes, made holy, useful to the Master and prepared to do any good work.

The large house symbolizes the size of the human soul. Large with many compartments and rooms. The soulish realm of a human consists of his/her
  • Mind
  • Will
  • Emotions

The articles in the house have two different purposes.
  1. Special Purposes
  2. Common Use
This passage reminds me of my mother breaking out the sterling silver and the china for special occasions.

The passage says that if a man will cleanse himself of the latter. Meaning if a man will remove from his/her soulish realm the things that are common, earthly, and sinful, he’ll be ready for special purposes, special missions and special works.

This cleansing of the latter things, (wood and clay) will make a believer an instrument for special purposes, made holy, useful to the Master and prepared to do any good work.

You can’t read your Bible enough, pray enough or do enough good works to “stay holy”. These disciplines are great if there’s a flow of God in them. However if you are doing them under the law their will be little if any flow of God empowering you to live according to God's moral law.

G. Walk in the Spirit
Galatians 5:16-18
16 So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. 17 For the flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh. They are in conflict with each other, so that you are not to do whatever[c] you want. 18 But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law.

When we walk in the spirit, we’re walking in faith receiving a flow of power from heaven to think differently, have a heavenly attitude and behave differently. We must humbly receive God’s grace if we’re to walk in true holiness. Obeying God’s moral law but not coming under the yolk of trying to obey His law by the law. We obey by the spirit.

Conclusion:

Philippians 3:16
16 Only let us live up to what we have already attained.

If you'd like to learn more about becoming a Christian please click here and watch all four videos on the page.

Visit with us at Jubilee Family Church this Sunday at 10:15 AM Central Standard Time U.S.A. or Wednesday evening at 6:30 PM Central Standard Time U.S.A. or via internet video on Jubilee T.V.

Please tune into KCCJ - 106.9 FM to listen to contemporary worship music.  Jubilee Family Church's FM radio station.


Jubilee Family Church
45 Thunderbird Dr.
Batesville, AR 72501


(870) 793-9124


View Larger Map

February 17, 2011

The Importance of Bearing Fruit

By Tony V. Hammack




These notes are best when used in conjunction with the audio or video. To listen to the audio (podcast), click here. To watch the video, click here.

Introduction
Fruit is the part of a plant that produces food and seed.
   1. Food symbolizing the sweet flavor of a changed personality, conformed into Christ’s image. (Galatians 5:22,23)
   2. Seed symbolizing an effort to share God’s message and life to a lost and hopeless world. (Matthew 13:1-23)


Food
The Fruits of the Spirit, which show a changed personality are love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.
These fruits, when being expressed in the life of a believer, give us what we need to be able to scatter seed. It also makes us resemble Christ’s character and is good for us and others.

Seed
Matthew 13:1-23
The success of the sower in this parable is based completely on the condition of the hearer’s heart.
  • Path – Lack Understanding
  • Rocky Soil – People receive the Word with joy but when testing comes they fall away.
  • Thorns – Worries and anxieties of life, deceitfulness of wealth, choke out the Word
  • Good Soil – This person hears and understands producing a crop 30 60 or 100 x’s what was sown.
Here success is attributed to the wise.
Proverbs 11:30 (Amplified)
The fruit of the [uncompromisingly] righteous is a tree of life, and he who is wise captures human lives [for God, as a fisher of men--he gathers and receives them for eternity].

Outline
I.    Fruit production is very important to God
II.   Fruit production for the believer begins with personal holiness.
III.  Abiding in Christ is a key to fruit production
IV.  Two ways you’ll know you are fruitful


I.  Fruit Production is Very Important to God
   A.  Dominion Mandate (Genesis 1:28)
   B.  The Parable of the Fruitless Tenants (Matthew 21:33-46)
   C.  Gentiles grafted in (Romans 11:17-21)
   D.  A Fruitless Tree (Matthew 21:19)
   E.  There’s Urgency to Produce (Luke 13:6-9)

A. Dominion Mandate
We’ve been given a mandate from God to be fruitful and multiply
  • Genesis 1:28
  • Genesis 9:1
  • Isaiah 54:1-3
  • Mathew 28:19
B. The Parable of the Fruitless Tenants
Matthew 21:33-46
33 “Listen to another parable: There was a landowner who planted a vineyard. He put a wall around it, dug a winepress in it and built a watchtower. Then he rented the vineyard to some farmers and moved to another place. 34 When the harvest time approached, he sent his servants to the tenants to collect his fruit. 35 “The tenants seized his servants; they beat one, killed another, and stoned a third. 36 Then he sent other servants to them, more than the first time, and the tenants treated them the same way.  37 Last of all, he sent his son to them. ‘They will respect my son,’ he said. 38 “But when the tenants saw the son, they said to each other, ‘This is the heir. Come, let’s kill him and take his inheritance.’ 39 So they took him and threw him out of the vineyard and killed him. 40 “Therefore, when the owner of the vineyard comes, what will he do to those tenants?” 41 “He will bring those wretches to a wretched end,” they replied, “and he will rent the vineyard to other tenants, who will give him his share of the crop at harvest time.” 42 Jesus said to them, “Have you never read in the Scriptures: “‘The stone the builders rejected has become the cornerstone; the Lord has done this, and it is marvelous in our eyes’? 43 “Therefore I tell you that the kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a people who will produce its fruit. 44 Anyone who falls on this stone will be broken to pieces; anyone on whom it falls will be crushed.” 45 When the chief priests and the Pharisees heard Jesus’ parables, they knew he was talking about them. 46 They looked for a way to arrest him, but they were afraid of the crowd because the people held that he was a prophet.

1. God is the landowner who planted a “vineyard”. He rented it to men and expected them to work in his vineyard producing fruit. The story is silent as to whether or not the tenants did in fact do any farming. Come harvest time he sends his servants to collect his fruit. (v. 33-34)

2. However it’s very clear that when the owner sends “his servants” to get the fruit the tenants don’t cooperate.
     a. tenants seize, beat, kill and stone them.
     b. The tenants treat more servants who are sent the same way.
     c. Last of all the owner sent his son saying, “They will Respect my Son.” (v. 35-37)

3. The tenants reason in their minds that the son is the heir so if they kill him they will steal his inheritance. So they kill him. (v. 38-39)

4. Jesus gets the very perpetrators of the crime to pronounce their own judgment.
     a. The tenants lives will be ended.
     b. The vineyard will then be rented to other tenants who will give him his share of the crop at harvest time. (v. 40-41)

5. Jesus then refers the Chief priests and the elders of the people to reflect on (Psalm 118:22,23)

The cornerstone (or foundation stone) concept is derived from the first stone set in the construction of a masonry foundation, important since all other stones will be set in reference to this stone, thus determining the position of the entire structure.

Jesus is the stone that was rejected by the builders.

6. Because of the inability of the chief priests Pharisees and elders of the people (v. 23,45) to produce fruit, the kingdom of God is taken away from them and given to people who can produce fruit. (v. 43)

7. If we fall on this stone (in faith and humility) we will be broken to pieces, but if the stone falls on us (in judgment) we will be crushed. (v. 44)

Bow now or bow later

Philippians 2:9-11
  • 9 Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, 10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

8. The parables (The Parable of the Two Sons and The Parable of the Tenants) are directed to the chief priests and the Pharisees. They knew the parables were referring to them. Their anger led them to want to arrest Jesus but they didn’t because the people held that he was a prophet. They loved the praise of men.

C. Gentiles Grafted In
Romans 11:17-21
17 If some of the branches have been broken off, and you, though a wild olive shoot, have been grafted in among the others and now share in the nourishing sap from the olive root, 18 do not consider yourself to be superior to those other branches. If you do, consider this: You do not support the root, but the root supports you.  19 You will say then, “Branches were broken off so that I could be grafted in.” 20 Granted. But they were broken off because of unbelief, and you stand by faith. Do not be arrogant, but tremble. 21 For if God did not spare the natural branches, he will not spare you either.

   1. Unbelieving Jews are broken off from God.
   2. Because of the Jews unbelief the way has opened up for the gentiles to be grafted into the life flow of God through faith.
   3. Gentiles are to have a humble view of themselves realizing that if God broke of the natural branches he can also break them off. (v. 21)

D. A Fruitless Tree
Matthew 21:19
Seeing a fig tree by the road, he went up to it but found nothing on it except leaves. Then he said to it, “May you never bear fruit again!” Immediately the tree withered.
John 15:6
If you do not remain in me, you are like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned.

E. There’s Urgency to Produce
Luke 13:6-9
6 Then he told this parable: “A man had a fig tree growing in his vineyard, and he went to look for fruit on it but did not find any. 7 So he said to the man who took care of the vineyard, ‘For three years now I’ve been coming to look for fruit on this fig tree and haven’t found any. Cut it down! Why should it use up the soil?’
8 “‘Sir,’ the man replied, ‘leave it alone for one more year, and I’ll dig around it and fertilize it. 9 If it bears fruit next year, fine! If not, then cut it down.’”

If you'd like to learn more about becoming a Christian please click here and watch all four videos on the page. Visit with us at Jubilee Family Church this Sunday at 10:15 AM Central Standard Time U.S.A. or Wednesday evening at 6:30 PM Central Standard Time U.S.A. or via internet video on Jubilee T.V.

If you live in Batesville please tune into KCCJ - 106.9 FM to listen to contemporary worship music.


Jubilee Family Church
45 Thunderbird Dr.
Batesville, AR 72501


(870) 793-9124

View Larger Map

February 8, 2011

Cruizin' with Pastor Tony (Feb. 8th 2011)

Click Here to watch me talk about discipleship and the fullness of Christ



If you'd like to learn more about becoming a Christian please click here and watch all four videos on the page.
Visit with us at Jubilee Family Church this Sunday at 10:15 AM Central Standard Time U.S.A. or Wednesday evening at 6:30 PM Central Standard Time U.S.A. or via internet video on Jubilee T.V.
If you live in Batesville please tune into KCCJ - 106.9 FM to listen to contemporary worship music.

Jubilee Family Church
45 Thunderbird Dr.
Batesville, AR 72501

(870) 793-9124


View Larger Map

February 6, 2011

Cruizin' with Pastor Tony - Forgiveness

Enjoy this weeks "Cruizin' with PT" as I discuss the new world wide internet radio station www.kccjfm.org 106.9 LPFM as well as discussing the subject of forgiveness and bitterness.



If you'd like to learn more about becoming a Christian please click here and watch all four videos on the page. Visit with us at Jubilee Family Church this Sunday at 10:15 AM Central Standard Time U.S.A. or Wednesday evening at 6:30 PM Central Standard Time U.S.A. or via internet video on Jubilee T.V. If you live in Batesville please tune into KCCJ - 106.9 FM to listen to contemporary worship music.
Jubilee Family Church 45 Thunderbird Dr. Batesville, AR 72501
(870) 793-9124

View Larger Map

February 2, 2011

Ashamed of Jesus and His Words?

By Tony V. Hammack



Abundant Life Today Media
Abundant Life Today Podcast

Podcast: Play in New Window | Download
To watch the video, click here.
Abundant Life Today Video
These notes are best when used in conjunction with the audio or video. 
 

Our Key Scripture

Mark 8:31-38
31 He then began to teach them that the Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders, the chief priests and the teachers of the law, and that he must be killed and after three days rise again. 32 He spoke plainly about this, and Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him.   33 But when Jesus turned and looked at his disciples, he rebuked Peter. “Get behind me, Satan!” he said. “You do not have in mind the concerns of God, but merely human concerns.”  34 Then he called the crowd to him along with his disciples and said: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. 35 For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me and for the gospel will save it. 36 What good is it for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul? 37 Or what can anyone give in exchange for their soul? 38 If anyone is ashamed of me and my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, the Son of Man will be ashamed of them when he comes in his Father’s glory with the holy angels.”

Expository Introduction

I. The Suffering Messiah
v. 31,32 Jesus speaks plainly about the suffering and rejection he was to endure including death and his resurrection after 3 days. Peter decides he’s going to rebuke Jesus about this. The following scriptures have to do, I believe, with Jesus correcting what he sees in Peter's heart.

II. Peter’s Biggest Problem
v. 33 He has a Satanic agenda for Jesus’ life in his heart and declares it out of his mouth. This Satanic agenda is compared to the things of men.

III.   Peter has Misdirected Ambition
v. 34 Peter is being challenged here for not denying himself. It’s relatively easy to see that Peter is seeing himself as Jesus’ right hand man. A suffering and dead messiah didn’t fit with his personal ambition to rule over the Roman empire with Jesus. Peter sees the messiah as fulfilling his complete mandate in Jesus. However we know that Jesus came as the Lamb of God, he will return as the conquering King at his second advent.

IV.  The Paradox of Death to Self
v. 35 You save your (spiritual or eternal) life by losing your (natural) life. Submitting your human will to the will of God. Jesus then states the same thing using the opposite wording. Whoever loses his (natural) life for me and the gospel will save (his spiritual or eternal life) it.

V.   Jesus Reasons with his Hearers
v. 36,37 Jesus now begins to reason with his audience. What good is it for a man to gain the whole world, yet forfeit his Soul? Or what can a man give in exchange for his soul?
Again, he’s most likely talking about Peter here. Peter, trying to “gain the world” was going about it in his own way. If we are to gain the world we must seek first God’s kingdom and righteousness, his way.

VI.  Shame of Jesus Identifies us with Adultery and Sin
v. 38 If anyone is ashamed of me and my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, the son of Man will be ashamed of him when he comes in his Father’s glory with the holy angels.”
Peter was ashamed to identify himself with a suffering Messiah. He much rather wanted to identify himself with a “winner”.

Application

I. Sometimes God’s ways and Man’s ways are in direct opposition. Even when in the mind of man it convincingly seems good and right.

II. Sometimes this human agenda rooted in selfishness, logic and personal promotion is completely in line with the plans and agenda of Satan himself.

III. The Christian life is a life of self denial. When the Lord tells us to “take up our cross” he’s creating an image of a man, already condemned, required to carry the cross beam of his own cross to the place of execution. Cross-bearing is a willingness to suffer and die for the Lord’s sake.

IV. By dying to ourselves we get to take on the life of God that is truly life. With this dying comes eternal life and God’s purposes being expressed through our lives on the Earth. If we live unto ourselves we will show that we’re not kingdom people and our eternal destiny comes into question.

V. The highest priority in your life should be your soul. What is worth losing your soul over?

VI. We must not allow our own plans and agendas based on human wisdom to cause us to be ashamed of Jesus and his words.

Conclusion

Now because I’m a Trinitarian I believe that Jesus, God and the Holy Spirit are one. So when Jesus says, “ashamed of me and my words” (Mark 8:38), I believe he’s not just talking about the red type in the Bible but he’s speaking about the entire counsel of God’s word as well as the Godhead. Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

A.  How could a person be ashamed of Jesus?
B.  How could a person be ashamed of the Holy Spirit?

A.  Ashamed of Jesus
Our shame of Jesus today would be very similar to the feelings that Peter had. Which one of us wants to suffer and die? It’s not an easy pill to swallow.

So we may gravitate toward teaching that focuses more on (from a human perspective) good things. Subjects like
  • Positive thinking for blessings
  • Becoming the best you
  • Achieving your Dreams
  • How to Increase God’s Favor in your life to get what you want
Now I believe all these things are available to the believer but the overshadowing reality here is that we have to be willing to suffer for Christ. That message isn’t popular however it’s central to the life of Jesus and his Gospel. If we’re ashamed to identify ourselves with a suffering messiah we will find ourselves out of proper relationship with Jesus when he comes back.

When Jesus comes back I don’t want him to be ashamed of me. I want him to say, “Well done, good and faithful servant.” “You have been faithful with a few things, now become master over much.” “Come into my rest.”

However according to the Lord’s own words in Mark 8:34 there is no such thing as cross-less Christianity. Cross-less Christianity is a Satanic philosophy that will lead many astray. (2 Tim 4:3)

B.  Ashamed of the Holy Spirit
Many churches today prefer to control what happens in services. They will use scriptures like
1 Cor. 14:40 But everything should be done in a fitting and orderly way.
To say everything should be controlled.

In using that scripture they tend to forget the entire chapter proceeding it. Even the verse before it, v. 39 says, “39 Therefore, my brothers and sisters, be eager to prophesy, and do not forbid speaking in tongues.”

Have you ever been in a meeting where you hoped no one gave a message in tongues and an interpretation or a prophetic utterance because someone might be there who would think this was weird and potentially be offended?

If you have then you were ashamed of the Holy Spirit.
God’s plan is to use these gifts to manifest himself. When we squelch these gifts we are saying, “Yes God I know you have a plan but I think I’m a little smarter than you. We’re going to do it my way.”

God help any ministry that doesn’t encourage the manifestations of Holy Spirit when the body of Christ is gathered together in his name. The Holy Spirit is God.

Tongues need to be interpreted. If you are going to pray out loud in a meeting in tongues where unbelievers are present you have a responsibility to interpret what you say. If you don’t have an interpretation pray in tongues in your mind or so quietly no one can hear you.

1 Corinthians 14:23,28 23 So if the whole church comes together and everyone speaks in tongues, and inquirers or unbelievers come in, will they not say that you are out of your mind? 28 If there is no interpreter, the speaker should keep quiet in the church and speak to himself and to God.

2 Timothy 1:8
So do not be ashamed of the testimony about our Lord or of me his prisoner. Rather, join with me in suffering for the gospel, by the power of God.
Revelation 19:10b
For it is the Spirit of prophecy who bears testimony to Jesus.”

If you'd like to learn more about becoming a Christian please click here and watch all four videos on the page.

Visit with us at Jubilee Family Church this Sunday at 10:15 AM Central Standard Time U.S.A. or Wednesday evening at 6:30 PM Central Standard Time U.S.A. or via internet video on Jubilee T.V.

If you live in Batesville please tune into KCCJ - 106.9 FM to listen to contemporary worship music.

Jubilee Family Church
45 Thunderbird Dr.
Batesville, AR 72501

(870) 793-9124

View Larger Map