Chambersburg Bible Church

Let God be Magnified

Do you pray for yourself?  I’m not talking about asking God for “food and clothing,” though there is nothing wrong with that.  As a matter of fact, God commands and encourages His children to ask Him for their daily bread (Matthew 6:11Matthew 6:11
English: King James Version (1611) - KJV

11 Give us this day our daily bread.  

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)!  The kind of prayer that I’m referring to is asking the Lord to bring about real Christian growth in your life.  We have been conditioned to pray for others, but we feel that petitioning God on our own behalf is somehow self-serving and contrary to the Scriptures.  Christians rally to pray for the hungry in Africa and the devastated in Haiti, but are reluctant to bow their knees in prayer for their own spiritual growth.  Why is it that so many of us neglect prayer for our own spiritual development?  Allow me to suggest a few reasons why we avoid this kind of prayer.

A failure to understand the importance of seeking the Lord’s strength in spiritual transformation heads the list.  Many Christians think that spiritual transformation (i.e. being conformed to the image of Christ) can be accomplished through human initiative.  We conclude that Christ-  likeness is the necessary result of personal effort and determination.  While it is true that the Bible commands the believer to work out his own salvation (sanctification) with fear and trembling (Philippians 2:12Philippians 2:12
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12 Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.  

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), it also tells us that God is at work (energizing) in us making us both willing and able to undergo this radical transformation (Philippians 2:13Philippians 2:13
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13 For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.  

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).  Since God has determined that every Christian be conformed to the image of His Son (Romans 8:29Romans 8:29
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29 For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.  

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) and since He is the One who is at work in us to accomplish this goal, doesn’t it stand to reason that we should pray to Him asking Him for daily power for the process?

Another reason why this kind of personal prayer never crosses our mind is because we never make Christ-likeness a priority.  We somehow think that God is really not concerned about our spiritual growth.  God is indifferent and it really doesn’t matter to Him how we live.  Beloved, the Bible declares that God’s will for us is that we be dedicated to Him (1 Thessalonians 4:31 Thessalonians 4:3
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3 For this is the will of God, even your sanctification, that ye should abstain from fornication:  

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).  God is far from indifferent concerning our spiritual growth.  He has willed it to be so!  Henry Martyn, a missionary to India in the early 1800’s, understood the importance of his own spiritual development.  He said:  “Let me be taught that the first great business on earth is the sanctification of my own soul.” Martyn made his sanctification a priority and he prayed about it.

Finally, I think that many believers avoid personal prayer out of discouragement.  Oh, we understand that we have the omnipotence of God at our disposal to accomplish our sanctification.  We even understand that transformation is according to His perfect will for us.  But many times we fall short of that biblical standard.  We experience failure after failure and we begin to think that the quest for Christian maturity will never become a reality for us.  We become discouraged, convinced that we are the exception to the rule and that even though God has accomplished transformation in the lives of so many others, He is powerless to bring us to Christ-likeness.  Beloved, nothing could be further from the truth!  Take heart!  In Ephesians 3:14-21Ephesians 3:14-21
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14 For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, 15 Of whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named, 16 That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man; 17 That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, 18 May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; 19 And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God. 20 Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us, 21 Unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen.  

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, the Apostle Paul prays a powerful prayer for the saints at Ephesus concerning their sanctification.  Paul concludes that prayer by praising God for His ability to accomplish the sanctification of all His children.  Let the truth of verse 20 sink into your soul.  Take heart and pray for yourself like you have never prayed before!

Posted by Pastor Yoder On May 10, 2013 Pastor's Desk

Text: 1 Corinthians 1:1-91 Corinthians 1:1-9
English: King James Version (1611) - KJV

The First Epistle of Paul the Apostle to the Corinthians 1 1 Paul, called to be an apostle of Jesus Christ through the will of God, and Sosthenes our brother, 2 Unto the church of God which is at Corinth, to them that are sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints, with all that in every place call upon the name of Jesus Christ our Lord, both theirs and ours: 3 Grace be unto you, and peace, from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ. 4 I thank my God always on your behalf, for the grace of God which is given you by Jesus Christ; 5 That in every thing ye are enriched by him, in all utterance, and in all knowledge; 6 Even as the testimony of Christ was confirmed in you: 7 So that ye come behind in no gift; waiting for the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ: coming: Gr. revelation 8 Who shall also confirm you unto the end, that ye may be blameless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9 God is faithful, by whom ye were called unto the fellowship of his Son Jesus Christ our Lord.  

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Topic:
Examining the characteristics of the true Church

In 1 Corinthians, we learn much about the reputation of Church at Corinth. They were spiritually blessed by God (1 Corinthians 1:5,71 Corinthians 1:5,7
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5 That in every thing ye are enriched by him, in all utterance, and in all knowledge; 7 So that ye come behind in no gift; waiting for the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ: coming: Gr. revelation  

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), they had it all (spiritual gifts in chapter 12), they were spiritually proud, they were carnal minded, and they were spiritually divided. In this first epistle, Paul had some tough things to say to the church, through the Spirit of God, but he prefaces these words by reminding the Corinthians who they really were in Christ.

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  • Christians are the Church of God
    • They have a geographic address (1 Corinthians 1:21 Corinthians 1:2
      English: King James Version (1611) - KJV

      2 Unto the church of God which is at Corinth, to them that are sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints, with all that in every place call upon the name of Jesus Christ our Lord, both theirs and ours:  

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      )
      • The Church which is “at Corinth”
      • 1 Corinthians was written to God’s people who gather in Corinth
      • Written to those who were called upon by God to represent Him in that place
      • God is in the business of establishing churches in various places around the world to represent Him.
  • Are you a member of the Church of God?
    • This does not refer to local church membership or affiliation
    • Have you experienced the call of God?
    • You can know that God is calling you by
      • An awareness that you are not right with God
      • Feelings of guilt and remorse for sin
      • Desire to trust Jesus as Savior
  • Do you have a spiritual address?
    • Jesus will save you if you call on His Name
    • It is the promise of God!
Posted by Pastor Yoder On April 10, 2013 Sermons

Text: John 17:1-19John 17:1-19
English: King James Version (1611) - KJV

17 1 These words spake Jesus, and lifted up his eyes to heaven, and said, Father, the hour is come; glorify thy Son, that thy Son also may glorify thee: 2 As thou hast given him power over all flesh, that he should give eternal life to as many as thou hast given him. 3 And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent. 4 I have glorified thee on the earth: I have finished the work which thou gavest me to do. 5 And now, O Father, glorify thou me with thine own self with the glory which I had with thee before the world was. 6 I have manifested thy name unto the men which thou gavest me out of the world: thine they were, and thou gavest them me; and they have kept thy word. 7 Now they have known that all things whatsoever thou hast given me are of thee. 8 For I have given unto them the words which thou gavest me; and they have received them, and have known surely that I came out from thee, and they have believed that thou didst send me. 9 I pray for them: I pray not for the world, but for them which thou hast given me; for they are thine. 10 And all mine are thine, and thine are mine; and I am glorified in them. 11 And now I am no more in the world, but these are in the world, and I come to thee. Holy Father, keep through thine own name those whom thou hast given me, that they may be one, as we are. 12 While I was with them in the world, I kept them in thy name: those that thou gavest me I have kept, and none of them is lost, but the son of perdition; that the scripture might be fulfilled. 13 And now come I to thee; and these things I speak in the world, that they might have my joy fulfilled in themselves. 14 I have given them thy word; and the world hath hated them, because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. 15 I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that thou shouldest keep them from the evil. 16 They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. 17 Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth. 18 As thou hast sent me into the world, even so have I also sent them into the world. 19 And for their sakes I sanctify myself, that they also might be sanctified through the truth. sanctified...: or, truly sanctified  

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Topic: An examination of Christ’s prayer for the Church as recorded in the book of John

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James 5:16James 5:16
English: King James Version (1611) - KJV

16 Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.  

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tells us that the effectual prayers of a righteous man availeth much. If a man is right with God, that man is on praying ground, and God will not only hear his prayer, but He will answer it (e.g. Elijah).

1 John 2:11 John 2:1
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2 1 My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous:  

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& Hebrews 7:25Hebrews 7:25
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25 Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them. to the...: or, evermore  

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tell us that Jesus Christ, our High Priest, is constantly making intercession for us.

John 17 records the nature of Jesus’ prayer for the believer.

  • Verses 1-5, Jesus prayed for the mutual glorification of the Father and the Son
  • Verses 6-26 record Jesus’ prayer for the saint
    • Personal preservation
    • Spiritual sanctification
    • Familial unification
  • A request for the spiritual sanctification of the saint

  • The measure of sanctification

Supporting Texts:

  • Hebrews 4:12-13Hebrews 4:12-13
    English: King James Version (1611) - KJV

    12 For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. 13 Neither is there any creature that is not manifest in his sight: but all things are naked and opened unto the eyes of him with whom we have to do.  

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Posted by Pastor Yoder On April 1, 2013 Sermons

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