Tag Archives: West Hickory Baptist Church

Life in the Father’s House: A Meditation on Luke 15:11-32

28 Oct

Ours is a day of disconnection and uncertainty. We are more connected than ever through technology but also more isolated and lonely than ever. There seems to be no unifying purpose to life and where there is no purpose there is no hope. So it is in view of these realities that we turn to Luke 15 today in search of hope.

Luke 15 (New American Standard Bible) . . . 11 And He said, “A man had two sons. 12 The younger of them said to his father, ‘Father, give me the share of the estate that falls to me.’ So he divided his wealth between them. 13 And not many days later, the younger son gathered everything together and went on a journey into a distant country, and there he squandered his estate with loose living.14 Now when he had spent everything, a severe famine occurred in that country, and he began to be impoverished. 15 So he went and hired himself out to one of the citizens of that country, and he sent him into his fields to feed swine. 16 And he would have gladly filled his stomach with the pods that the swine were eating, and no one was giving anything to him. 17 But when he came to his senses, he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired men have more than enough bread, but I am dying here with hunger! 18 I will get up and go to my father, and will say to him, “Father, I have sinned against heaven, and in your sight; 19 I am no longer worthy to be called your son; make me as one of your hired men.”’ 20 So he got up and came to his father. But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and felt compassion for him, and ran and embraced him and kissed him. 21 And the son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and in your sight; I am no longer worthy to be called your son.’ 22 But the father said to his slaves, ‘Quickly bring out the best robe and put it on him, and put a ring on his hand and sandals on his feet; 23 and bring the fattened calf, kill it, and let us eat and celebrate; 24 for this son of mine was dead and has come to life again; he was lost and has been found.’ And they began to celebrate.

25 “Now his older son was in the field, and when he came and approached the house, he heard music and dancing. 26 And he summoned one of the servants and began inquiring what these things could be. 27 And he said to him, ‘Your brother has come, and your father has killed the fattened calf because he has received him back safe and sound.’ 28 But he became angry and was not willing to go in; and his father came out and began pleading with him. 29 But he answered and said to his father, ‘Look! For so many years I have been serving you and I have never neglected a command of yours; and yet you have never given me a young goat, so that I might celebrate with my friends; 30 but when this son of yours came, who has devoured your wealth with prostitutes, you killed the fattened calf for him.’ 31 And he said to him, ‘Son, you have always been with me, and all that is mine is yours.32 But we had to celebrate and rejoice, for this brother of yours was dead and has begun to live, and was lost and has been found.’”

May the Lord bless the reading of His Word.

I think in this room today there may be many younger brothers and sisters and many older brothers and sisters which line up with the sons in this story. The younger brother is the one we call the prodigal son, the wasteful one. But the fact is both brothers were lost. The younger brother is just more obvious about it. He’s done with his family. He wants his share of his father’s estate, about 1/3 of his father’s possessions. This is something that wasn’t supposed to come to him until after his father’s death so basically he is telling his father that he wishes the father dead. And his father gave him his inheritance. He went far away and wasted his life, spending all his money on fleeting pleasures and ending up in poverty. He has to go feed pigs on a farm. No one helps him. No one is there for him. He chose the path of independence and now he is living with it. He is longing to eat pig slop he is so hungry. And then the Bible tells us in verse 17 that he came to his senses. He realizes out here on his own he is worse off than even the lowliest hired hand on his father’s estate. So he comes up with a plan. He will go back and apologize to his father and ask to be made a servant.

There is another brother. He asks for nothing. He serves faithfully. He keeps all the rules. He is an achiever. He’s got what it takes to get the job done. He’s the kind of guy you want to work with. But don’t cross him. He’s got a mind like a steel trap and he doesn’t suffer fools. He remembers what his younger brother did, how he dishonored the father, how he went away to live for himself. He’s not going to do that. He’s going to be good. He’s going to make his way with the father by being the exact opposite of his prodigal brother. He’s going to measure everything and make sure he’s doing it right.

These two men illustrate two ways people try to find their way in life. Timothy Keller says some people try to find life by being very bad and some try to find life by being very good. I don’t know which side you lean to. Maybe you are a person who just never quite fits in. You are a little rebellious and you like it that way. You don’t see why everybody is so uptight and you don’t see why we all can’t just have a little fun once in a while. Maybe your pursuit of pleasure has led you into some rocky relationships or put you in some tough spots but at least you lived, you know. Some of you may be trying to find life through pleasure.

Others here may be consummate elder brothers. You are convinced that playing by the rules is the way to go and you’re not real patient with people who don’t play by the rules. You’re convinced that if more people just had the self-discipline and drive that you have that the world would be a better place. In the end, your hard work and determination puts you just a cut above everybody else, especially above those foolish people who spend their money on lottery tickets and beer. Some of you here may be trying to find life through performance.

Everyone who tries to find life through pleasure will be ultimately disappointed, as will those who seek life through performance. Why? Because both are self-centered and both are alienated from the father. The younger brother saw no value in the ways of the father, so he went away and wasted his life. The older brother saw value in the father’s ways, but saw following them as a path of exalting himself, of thinking highly of himself. His place in the father’s house was not rooted in a loving relationship with his father but in how he could build a track record with his father to make him feel good about himself.

Are you trying to find life through the pursuit of pleasure or through performance? Thinking about yourself is important. But thinking about the father in this story is far more important, because the father here is clearly a picture of God.

The perceptions we have of God in our culture are accurately reflected in this picture of the father. We tend in our culture to think of God as a little outdated, a little behind the times. We think of Him as old and not really with it. Both brothers thought they were smarter than the father. But what we find in Luke 15 is a father completely in control of his faculties. We find one who knew the hearts of his sons through and through. More importantly, the father knew his own heart, a heart that beat with love, mercy and compassion.

The father didn’t wait for words of confession from the prodigal son. The father ran for him and embraced him and kissed him before he even said a word. The text even implies that the father was looking for him, as it says that he saw the young man “while he was still a long way off.” The young man’s confession, while nice, is almost ignored by the father, who immediately sets into motion the full restoration of this son to his status in the family. The son gets a robe and ring and shoes and a party not because he is deserving but because the father is gracious. “My son was dead and has come to life, he was lost and has been found.”

The first verse of Luke 15 tells us that many tax collectors and sinners were gathering to hear Him. These words must have been like sweet music to their ears. They had all come out of a Jewish background. We would compare them today to people who had been in church as children. Many of you probably grew up in this church or one like it. But now you only come for funerals because of shame or because you feel judged. These tax collectors and sinners had a connection to the family of God but they turned away. They went their own way. And Jesus is telling them here, the Father welcomes you home. Come home. You’ll be received. You’ll be restored. And we’ll all rejoice. The Father says the same thing to you today if you identify with that prodigal son. It isn’t first and foremost about getting back into church as some sort of religious duty. It is first and foremost about coming home to your heavenly Father through repentance and faith.

The older brother needed salvation too. He was confident he was in the father’s house but he was really just as selfish as the younger brother, but in a different way. When he learns of the father’s acceptance of the younger brother, he is infuriated. He will not go in, he will not have anything to do with the party or with his father. He is deeply wounded because the father reached out a healing hand to his prodigal brother.

But I want you to note what happens. His father goes to him and begins pleading with him. The father doesn’t show compassion only to the miserable sinner, he also shows it to the insufferable “saint.” He shows it to the pleasure-seeker and the performer, to the one who thinks he finds life through being very bad, and to the one who thinks he finds life through being very good. Because both brothers need what the father can give: grace. Both the younger brother and the older brother need to know the same thing: through the father’s love I am accepted, through the father’s love I have a home.

The father won’t let the older brother go without reaching out to him. And when the older brother tries to distance himself from the family, accusing the father of killing the fattened calf for this “prodigal son of yours” the father won’t let him get away with it. No, son. “You have always been with me, and all I have is yours. But we had to celebrate and rejoice, for this brother of yours was dead and has begun to live, and was lost and has been found.” You are brothers who are both in need of my grace and that is what binds you together, that is what makes you family. It is as if the father tells us, “My love for you, not your lack of love or your dutiful love, is what makes all the difference. You have both blown it, and the only thing that will make it right is if I set it right through an act of my own compassionate will.”

You see, there was another group of people that day there listening to Jesus besides the tax collectors and sinners. It was the Pharisees and teachers of the law. The consummate elder brothers. The dutiful ones. And they weren’t even listening well. Luke 15:2 tells us they were grumbling about Jesus welcoming sinners and eating with them. But I am sure that some of them, when Jesus told his story about God’s outrageous grace, were listening very intently. And I am sure they heard in his words an indictment of their lives. The one who were so busy looking down on everybody else had their own issues. Life is not about being very bad or being very good. It is not about pleasure or performance. Life is about coming home to the Father’s house. Whether you’ve been away for a long time or whether you’ve been around the whole time, you need to come home today. He is waiting for you. He is looking for you. He is pleading with you. He has paid the price for you through the perfect life and atoning death of His Son Jesus. Come home. Drop the need to have it all together. Drop the urge to tear it all apart for the thrill of it. Come home. Tax collectors and sinners are welcome. Pharisees and teachers of the law are invited. Everyone in between is welcome. Let the truth of St. Augustine’s famous quote ring in your hearts today, “Thou hast made us for Thyself, O God, and our hearts are restless until they find their rest in Thee.”

John 14 “Do not let your heart be troubled; believe in God, believe also in Me. In My Father’s house are many dwelling places; if it were not so, I would have told you; for I go to prepare a place for you. If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself, that where I am, there you may be also. And you know the way where I am going.” Thomas *said to Him, “Lord, we do not know where You are going, how do we know the way?” Jesus *said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.

So let’s celebrate today. Let’s celebrate a God who so loved us that He gave His only begotten Son that we might have eternal life. Let’s celebrate because we were dead and have been made alive, were lost and have been found. Let’s celebrate that God loves Pharisees and sinners, elder brothers and younger brothers and He invites us today to enter into the fullness of life that is found in Him.

“Arise and Go” Evangelism Conference Day One: What is the Gospel? (Romans 1:16-17) Pastor Alan Carr

27 Apr

We were blessed in our first night of the “Arise and Go” Evangelism Conference with a stirring message from Pastor Alan Carr of Calvary Baptist Church in Lenoir. Below are my notes on the sermon. Please join us tomorrow night at 6pm for the second night of the conference. You will be blessed.

Romans 1:16-17  What is the Gospel?

 

Our theme “Arise and Go” comes from Mark 16:15 “Go and preach the gospel to all creation.” This is a simple command but a daunting task.

If we are going to obey Mark 16:15 and preach the gospel we have to know what the gospel is and this is the purpose of tonight’s message, to make sure we are all clear on what the gospel is and what it is not. Romans 1:16-17 gives us a great starting point for understanding the gospel . . .

16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.

17 For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith.

Now the question comes as we read this: why would anyone be ashamed of the gospel?

There were many reasons in Paul’s day for being ashamed. Paul’s Jewish background was looked down on by many he was trying to reach. Paul had been rejected and mistreated repeatedly in his ministry. Paul’s message of the death of a Jewish man bringing salvation was regarded as foolishness. To top it off his proclamation of this Jesus’ resurrection, ascension and return was ridiculous to his Gentile hearers (see 1 Cor. 1:18 and 1:22).  We face many of these same obstacles today in our world. But in spite of these obstacles, Paul was still willing and ready to share the gospel. The question is why? And the answer is found in Romans 1:16-17.

Paul was willing to preach the gospel because the gospel is POWERFUL.

God could have expressed His sovereignty in any number of ways but He chose to express it through the sacrifice of His Son for His people.

There are many false gospels: Religion, Materialism, Liberalism (I’m ok, you’re ok), Pleasure and the Social Gospel of good works but all of them are characterized by two things: the are all POWERLESS to save and NONE of them are good news.

The gospel on the other hand is the good news of God’s powerful working through His Son Jesus to bring about reconciliation of ourselves to God, transformation and abundant life. Paul knew the power of the gospel by firsthand experience through his encounter with Jesus on the Damascus Road (see Acts 9).

Paul was willing to preach the gospel because of the gospel’s good PURPOSE.

God sent Jesus to save (to deliver, rescue). Because the end of all sinners apart from Christ is eternal hell God sent Jesus.

“God gave Himself to Himself as a sacrifice to Himself to save us from Himself.”

Because of the depth of God’s self-giving love, we need not fear that if He saves us we will ever be lost (see John 10:28).

Paul was willing to preach the gospel because of the PLAN of the gospel.

To everyone that believes. Salvation is not through ritual or through good works but by grace through faith (see Eph. 2:8-9; Titus 3:5; John 3:16; John 6:47).

Paul was willing to preach the gospel because of the PURPOSE of the gospel.

to everyone who believes (see John 1:12-13; John 6:37). No distinction. The gospel is for young and old, rich and poor, black and white, morally upright and morally suspect.

Paul was willing to preach the gospel because of the PRODUCT of the gospel.

In the gospel the righteousness of God is manifested (see Galatians 3:22 and Romans 3:10). We are not righteous. We are not good. We are destined for wrath and judgement. But God is so good that He sent Jesus to die in our place and to bear the wrath of God as our substitute. God counts the righteousness of Jesus to our account and then over the course of our lives He makes us righteous in our actual experience. Salvation makes us different people (see 2 Corinthians 5:17). Salvation is by faith from first to last and that life of faith produces a changed life.

So the question for all of us tonight is: what have we done with this gospel? Are we believing in God’s gift of His Son Jesus or have we rejected His gift? And if we have believed, do we have an unashamed passion like Paul to share the gospel with others? Tomorrow night, we’re going to talk about how to share this great gospel with others all around you.

Come back and join us tomorrow at 6pm. You will be blessed as we join together to “Arise and Go.”

 

 

 

 

 

Sunday Morning Preview 4.15.18

14 Apr

As we prepare for our morning worship service tomorrow at 10:30am, I wanted to share with you our order of service and make a few comments on the various elements of the service. I hope you will come join us if you are in the Hickory, NC area and are not an active member of another local church (www.westhickorybaptist.org).

Sunday Morning Worship — April 15, 2018

Prelude   — will be followed by a welcome and a few announcements from Pastor Dickerson.

Call to Worship #173 — Christ is Alive

Our service today will bring us back to Easter, since there is a sense in which every Sunday and every day is a Resurrection Sunday. Two of our three congregational hymns this morning will be oriented toward the resurrection with our final hymn turning our minds back to the cross.

Here are the lyrics to Christ is Alive

Christ is alive! Let Christians sing.
The cross stands empty to the sky.
Let streets and homes with praises ring.
Love, drowned in death, shall never die.

Christ is alive! No longer bound
to distant years in Palestine,
but saving, healing, here and now,
and touching every place and time.

In every insult, rift and war,
where color, scorn or wealth divide,
Christ suffers still, yet loves the more,
and lives, where even hope has died.

Women and men, in age and youth,
can feel the Spirit, hear the call,
and find the way, the life, the truth,
revealed in Jesus, freed for all.

Christ is alive, and comes to bring
good news to this and every age,
till earth and sky and ocean ring
with joy, with justice, love and praise.

(Lyrics by Brian Wren)

After a piano offertory, we will speak together our church memory verses for April – Romans 12:1-2

12 I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.

We plan after speaking our memory verses together to sing a classic hymn #407, Because He Lives . . .

God sent His son, they called Him, Jesus;
He came to love, heal and forgive;
He lived and died to buy my pardon,
An empty grave is there to prove my Savior lives!

Chorus
Because He lives, I can face tomorrow,
Because He lives, all fear is gone;
Because I know He holds the future,
And life is worth the living,
Just because He lives!

How sweet to hold a newborn baby,
And feel the pride and joy he gives;
But greater still the calm assurance:
This child can face uncertain days because He Lives
!

Chorus

And then one day, I’ll cross the river,
I’ll fight life’s final war with pain;
And then, as death gives way to victory,
I’ll see the lights of glory and I’ll know He lives!

(Lyrics by Gloria and Bill Gaither)
After our hymn we will hear a word of testimony from Steve Workman of the Christian Community Outreach Ministry (CCOM). Steve is a godly man with a passion to share the gospel and care for our community. You will be blessed hearing from Steve and learning more about the work of CCOM.

Our choral offering is the song In the Presence of Jehovah. We don’t just affirm Jesus’ resurrection and cross, we also affirm that this dying and rising has brought us into the very presence of God, tearing down the wall of separation our sin had raised between us and God.

In and out of situations
that tug of war at me,
All day long I struggle
for the answers that I need.
But when I come into His presence
All my questions become clear,
And in that sacred moment
No doubts can interfere.

Chorus:
In the presence of Jehovah,
God Almighty, Prince of Peace,
Troubles vanish, hearts are mended,
In the presence of the King.

Through His love the Lord provided
A place for us to rest,
A place to find the answers,
In our hour of distress.
Now there’s never any reason
For you to give up in despair;
Just slip away and breathe His name,
You will surely find Him there.

Music and Lyrics by Becky Davis and Geron Davis

Our sermon from Pastor Frady tomorrow will cover the entire book of Romans as we look at the world-changing message of Jesus Christ in Paul’s great letter to the Romans. The message has two points . . .

I. The ARGUMENT of Romans.

II. The APPLICATIONS of Romans.

Our closing song will be #144 When I Survey the Wondrous Cross. I once heard this was a favorite hymn of Martin Luther King, Jr. This great Isaac Watts hymn has more verses than what we find in our hymnal. I am going to share all the verses below, noting the verses not in our hymnal with an asterisk.

When I survey the wondrous cross
On which the Prince of glory died,
My richest gain I count but loss,
And pour contempt on all my pride.

Forbid it, Lord, that I should boast,
Save in the death of Christ my God!
All the vain things that charm me most,
I sacrifice them to His blood.

See from His head, His hands, His feet,
Sorrow and love flow mingled down!
Did e’er such love and sorrow meet,
Or thorns compose so rich a crown?

His dying crimson, like a robe,
Spreads o’er His body on the tree;
Then I am dead to all the globe,
And all the globe is dead to me.*

Were the whole realm of nature mine,
That were a present far too small;
Love so amazing, so divine,
Demands my soul, my life, my all.

To Christ, Who won for sinners grace
By bitter grief and anguish sore,
Be praise from all the ransomed race
Forever and forevermore.*

When it comes to the closing hymn, we invite anyone who would be helped by coming to the front to pray to do so. We also invite those in need of someone to pray with them to come pray with a pastor. In the end, we do not believe anyone is saved by walking an aisle but we also believe that any time the Word of God is preached it calls for response. That response may be in the heart right in the pew or by coming forward. Hopefully the greatest effect of the service is seen in our lives from Sunday to Sunday.

It is interesting to note that all the songs we are singing tomorrow are directed toward one another. Most songs we sing in church are either addressed to God or to one another. It is appropriate on a day when the sermon focuses on the gospel and we hear a testimony of community outreach that our songs are songs we sing to encourage one another about the work of Christ in the gospel. It is also interesting to note that the last two hymns we will sing are individual songs that we are singing in the congregation. So though we are singing the songs together, we are affirming individually the truths of each song.  “Because He lives, I can face tomorrow . . . ” and “When I survey the wondrous cross . . .”

Our benediction is a time to summarize the morning and briefly invite the church to other events of the week. Tomorrow’s benediction will be from 1 Corinthians 15:58 . . .

Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain.

We are far from perfect. We know Christians have differing convictions about how worship should look when we gather together. This article is just intended to give you a little help in preparing your heart for worship.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Prayer Days 2018

7 Jan

This year we are happy to be bringing back to our church a practice I first learned at Columbia Bible College years ago, a quarterly Prayer Day. A couple of times each semester classes would be called off for the day and the whole campus would be called together for a day of prayer. This was done in a variety of ways but the focus was on calling on God. This is a practice we want to take up this year as a church.

Our first Prayer Day will be Friday February 2nd. That night at 7pm, we plan to gather together in the sanctuary for an evening of Prayer. John Whaley, US Director of the Rooftop ministry (https://therooftop.org/us/), will be our guest and he will lead us as a congregation to seek God.

Our second Prayer Day will be on the National Day of Prayer, Thursday May 3rd. That evening, John Whaley will again be with us but we will be meeting at 7pm at Penelope Baptist Church with several other area churches to pray together for God’s working in our lives.

Our third Prayer Day will be on Friday, August 17th, as again we will gather at the church for an evening dedicated to prayer.

Finally, on Sunday evening, November 4th, we will join again in prayer at the church in preparation for our Missions Conference the weekend of November 9th and 10th.

If you are a member of West Hickory Baptist Church, we urge you to come join us for each of these Prayer Days. If you are in the Hickory, NC area, we also invite you to come pray with us. If you go to another church, keep going and support the work God is doing there, but we want to invite you to come pray with us on these days.

For more information about West Hickory Baptist Church, see http://www.westhickorybaptist.org

How to Get the Most Out of Our Philippians Summer Groups

8 Jun

On June 1st our church began a summer series on the book of Philippians. This series includes a study guide and home groups which are meeting at several locations in the area. Here are a few things you can do to benefit from this series . . .

1. Read through Philippians several times each week. The book can easily be read in a thoughtful way in about 20 minutes. Most of us can read through the book at least three times each week. You may think reading through a book over and over during the summer might be boring but you will actually probably see new truths each week as you read through the book.

2. Read this blog for sermon transcripts. Many of the messages from the series will be posted here. This is a good way to review the book each week.

3. Join one of our home groups. These groups have just kicked off so if you are not in a group yet, now is the time. Being in a group allows you to have fellowship with many believers whom you can encourage and who can be a blessing to you.

4. Come worship at West Hickory this summer. To be here for worship is one of the most important ways you can enter into the message of this great book. As our pastors explore the meaning and importance of Philippians you will be drawn into a closer relationship with God and the joy of worshiping with other believers.

5. Learn portions of Philippians. There are some who may be able to commit the whole book of Philippians to memory. For those who are not able to do so, I would recommend memorizing at least 2:5-11. If you can do more add 3:8-10 and 4:4-6. And of course, don’t just memorize, but meditate on what you read.

6. Use the questions in the study guide. Pastor Rob has put together an excellent study guide filled with good questions. You can think about these questions through the week in preparation for your home group or just use them on an individual basis.

7. Pass it on to your children. Doing this study together gives us many golden opportunities to talk about the power of the gospel with our children. You can learn verses with them, ask them what they heard about in the sermon, review key points of the book with them or ask them questions like, “How do you think Paul could write such a joyful letter while he was in prison?” This summer will be a great time to encourage your children to grow spiritually. You can even encourage them to read Philippians on their own or you can read it together as a family.

New Sermons from the Titus Series Now Online

20 Jan

In recent weeks I have been preaching through Titus in a series called, “The Living Church.” The first three messages are now online at http://www.westhickory.org. Hope they will be a blessing to someone.

First John

20 Jun

Next week while our church’s Vacation Bible School is going on I will be teaching a class for adults on the book of 1 John. If you are in the Hickory, NC area, come to West Hickory Baptist Church and join us starting at 6:30 pm on Sunday, June 23.

To get us started, I am posting today the text of 1 John for us to meditate over during the next couple of days. If you are not in the area and want to interact with the study, I will be posting a summary of each day’s class here starting next week. Right now, if you have any questions about 1 John you can post them in the comments section on this post. Hope to see you Sunday for this study.

Here is the text of 1 John

Chapter 1
1Jn 1:1 That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we looked upon and have touched with our hands, concerning the word of life—
1Jn 1:2 the life was made manifest, and we have seen it, and testify to it and proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and was made manifest to us—
1Jn 1:3 that which we have seen and heard we proclaim also to you, so that you too may have fellowship with us; and indeed our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son Jesus Christ.
1Jn 1:4 And we are writing these things so that our joy may be complete.
1Jn 1:5 This is the message we have heard from him and proclaim to you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all.
1Jn 1:6 If we say we have fellowship with him while we walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth.
1Jn 1:7 But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin.
1Jn 1:8 If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.
1Jn 1:9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
1Jn 1:10 If we say we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.

Chapter 2
1Jn 2:1 My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin. But if anyone does sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous.
1Jn 2:2 He is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the sins of the whole world.
1Jn 2:3 And by this we know that we have come to know him, if we keep his commandments.
1Jn 2:4 Whoever says “I know him” but does not keep his commandments is a liar, and the truth is not in him,
1Jn 2:5 but whoever keeps his word, in him truly the love of God is perfected. By this we may know that we are in him:
1Jn 2:6 whoever says he abides in him ought to walk in the same way in which he walked.
1Jn 2:7 Beloved, I am writing you no new commandment, but an old commandment that you had from the beginning. The old commandment is the word that you have heard.
1Jn 2:8 At the same time, it is a new commandment that I am writing to you, which is true in him and in you, because the darkness is passing away and the true light is already shining.
1Jn 2:9 Whoever says he is in the light and hates his brother is still in darkness.
1Jn 2:10 Whoever loves his brother abides in the light, and in him there is no cause for stumbling.
1Jn 2:11 But whoever hates his brother is in the darkness and walks in the darkness, and does not know where he is going, because the darkness has blinded his eyes.
1Jn 2:12 I am writing to you, little children, because your sins are forgiven for his name’s sake.
1Jn 2:13 I am writing to you, fathers, because you know him who is from the beginning. I am writing to you, young men, because you have overcome the evil one. I write to you, children, because you know the Father.
1Jn 2:14 I write to you, fathers, because you know him who is from the beginning. I write to you, young men, because you are strong, and the word of God abides in you, and you have overcome the evil one.
1Jn 2:15 Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.
1Jn 2:16 For all that is in the world—the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride of life—is not from the Father but is from the world.
1Jn 2:17 And the world is passing away along with its desires, but whoever does the will of God abides forever.
1Jn 2:18 Children, it is the last hour, and as you have heard that antichrist is coming, so now many antichrists have come. Therefore we know that it is the last hour.
1Jn 2:19 They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would have continued with us. But they went out, that it might become plain that they all are not of us.
1Jn 2:20 But you have been anointed by the Holy One, and you all have knowledge.
1Jn 2:21 I write to you, not because you do not know the truth, but because you know it, and because no lie is of the truth.
1Jn 2:22 Who is the liar but he who denies that Jesus is the Christ? This is the antichrist, he who denies the Father and the Son.
1Jn 2:23 No one who denies the Son has the Father. Whoever confesses the Son has the Father also.
1Jn 2:24 Let what you heard from the beginning abide in you. If what you heard from the beginning abides in you, then you too will abide in the Son and in the Father.
1Jn 2:25 And this is the promise that he made to us—eternal life.
1Jn 2:26 I write these things to you about those who are trying to deceive you.
1Jn 2:27 But the anointing that you received from him abides in you, and you have no need that anyone should teach you. But as his anointing teaches you about everything, and is true, and is no lie—just as it has taught you, abide in him.
1Jn 2:28 And now, little children, abide in him, so that when he appears we may have confidence and not shrink from him in shame at his coming.
1Jn 2:29 If you know that he is righteous, you may be sure that everyone who practices righteousness has been born of him.

Chapter 3
1Jn 3:1 See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are. The reason why the world does not know us is that it did not know him.
1Jn 3:2 Beloved, we are God’s children now, and what we will be has not yet appeared; but we know that when he appears we shall be like him, because we shall see him as he is.
1Jn 3:3 And everyone who thus hopes in him purifies himself as he is pure.
1Jn 3:4 Everyone who makes a practice of sinning also practices lawlessness; sin is lawlessness.
1Jn 3:5 You know that he appeared in order to take away sins, and in him there is no sin.
1Jn 3:6 No one who abides in him keeps on sinning; no one who keeps on sinning has either seen him or known him.
1Jn 3:7 Little children, let no one deceive you. Whoever practices righteousness is righteous, as he is righteous.
1Jn 3:8 Whoever makes a practice of sinning is of the devil, for the devil has been sinning from the beginning. The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the works of the devil.
1Jn 3:9 No one born of God makes a practice of sinning, for God’s seed abides in him, and he cannot keep on sinning because he has been born of God.
1Jn 3:10 By this it is evident who are the children of God, and who are the children of the devil: whoever does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor is the one who does not love his brother.
1Jn 3:11 For this is the message that you have heard from the beginning, that we should love one another.
1Jn 3:12 We should not be like Cain, who was of the evil one and murdered his brother. And why did he murder him? Because his own deeds were evil and his brother’s righteous.
1Jn 3:13 Do not be surprised, brothers, that the world hates you.
1Jn 3:14 We know that we have passed out of death into life, because we love the brothers. Whoever does not love abides in death.
1Jn 3:15 Everyone who hates his brother is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him.
1Jn 3:16 By this we know love, that he laid down his life for us, and we ought to lay down our lives for the brothers.
1Jn 3:17 But if anyone has the world’s goods and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God’s love abide in him?
1Jn 3:18 Little children, let us not love in word or talk but in deed and in truth.
1Jn 3:19 By this we shall know that we are of the truth and reassure our heart before him;
1Jn 3:20 for whenever our heart condemns us, God is greater than our heart, and he knows everything.
1Jn 3:21 Beloved, if our heart does not condemn us, we have confidence before God;
1Jn 3:22 and whatever we ask we receive from him, because we keep his commandments and do what pleases him.
1Jn 3:23 And this is his commandment, that we believe in the name of his Son Jesus Christ and love one another, just as he has commanded us.
1Jn 3:24 Whoever keeps his commandments abides in God, and God in him. And by this we know that he abides in us, by the Spirit whom he has given us.

Chapter 4
1Jn 4:1 Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, for many false prophets have gone out into the world.
1Jn 4:2 By this you know the Spirit of God: every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God,
1Jn 4:3 and every spirit that does not confess Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you heard was coming and now is in the world already.
1Jn 4:4 Little children, you are from God and have overcome them, for he who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.
1Jn 4:5 They are from the world; therefore they speak from the world, and the world listens to them.
1Jn 4:6 We are from God. Whoever knows God listens to us; whoever is not from God does not listen to us. By this we know the Spirit of truth and the spirit of error.
1Jn 4:7 Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God.
1Jn 4:8 Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love.
1Jn 4:9 In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live through him.
1Jn 4:10 In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.
1Jn 4:11 Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.
1Jn 4:12 No one has ever seen God; if we love one another, God abides in us and his love is perfected in us.
1Jn 4:13 By this we know that we abide in him and he in us, because he has given us of his Spirit.
1Jn 4:14 And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent his Son to be the Savior of the world.
1Jn 4:15 Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him, and he in God.
1Jn 4:16 So we have come to know and to believe the love that God has for us. God is love, and whoever abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him.
1Jn 4:17 By this is love perfected with us, so that we may have confidence for the day of judgment, because as he is so also are we in this world.
1Jn 4:18 There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love.
1Jn 4:19 We love because he first loved us.
1Jn 4:20 If anyone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen cannot love God whom he has not seen.
1Jn 4:21 And this commandment we have from him: whoever loves God must also love his brother.

Chapter 5
1Jn 5:1 Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ has been born of God, and everyone who loves the Father loves whoever has been born of him.
1Jn 5:2 By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and obey his commandments.
1Jn 5:3 For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments. And his commandments are not burdensome.
1Jn 5:4 For everyone who has been born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith.
1Jn 5:5 Who is it that overcomes the world except the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?
1Jn 5:6 This is he who came by water and blood—Jesus Christ; not by the water only but by the water and the blood. And the Spirit is the one who testifies, because the Spirit is the truth.
1Jn 5:7 For there are three that testify:
1Jn 5:8 the Spirit and the water and the blood; and these three agree.
1Jn 5:9 If we receive the testimony of men, the testimony of God is greater, for this is the testimony of God that he has borne concerning his Son.
1Jn 5:10 Whoever believes in the Son of God has the testimony in himself. Whoever does not believe God has made him a liar, because he has not believed in the testimony that God has borne concerning his Son.
1Jn 5:11 And this is the testimony, that God gave us eternal life, and this life is in his Son.
1Jn 5:12 Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life.
1Jn 5:13 I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God that you may know that you have eternal life.
1Jn 5:14 And this is the confidence that we have toward him, that if we ask anything according to his will he hears us.
1Jn 5:15 And if we know that he hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests that we have asked of him.
1Jn 5:16 If anyone sees his brother committing a sin not leading to death, he shall ask, and God will give him life—to those who commit sins that do not lead to death. There is sin that leads to death; I do not say that one should pray for that.
1Jn 5:17 All wrongdoing is sin, but there is sin that does not lead to death.
1Jn 5:18 We know that everyone who has been born of God does not keep on sinning, but he who was born of God protects him, and the evil one does not touch him.
1Jn 5:19 We know that we are from God, and the whole world lies in the power of the evil one.
1Jn 5:20 And we know that the Son of God has come and has given us understanding, so that we may know him who is true; and we are in him who is true, in his Son Jesus Christ. He is the true God and eternal life.
1Jn 5:21 Little children, keep yourselves from idols.

New Audio Online

10 Nov

Our church website has been updated with audio of the several of the latest sermons from Exodus, as well as our Homecoming sermon. To listen, go to www.westhickory.org and click on the sermons on the sidebar.

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