Today, we continue our message series called “Basic Training.” Our manual for this Basic Training series is the Bible. The Bible is God’s revelation of Himself and how He has created us to live. God created mankind and He graciously gave us a manual on how to have a relationship with Him and live the life He intended us to live.

So today, the next discipline we’re going to learn about is “Hearing God’s Word.” Many people think that the Bible is just another book, like all the other millions of books that exist in our world today. Unfortunately, most of people who think that the Bible is just another book, have not read it. For when you begin to read the Bible with a heart to understand, you will soon see that it is a unique book, one of a kind. Although the Bible was written down by men, the words they wrote were not their own, they were inspired by the Holy Spirit.

2 Peter 1:21 (NIV)  For prophecy never had its origin in the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.

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Grow to Spiritual Maturity Message Introduction

Today, we’re continuing our message series called “Bondservant.” Every believer or disciple of Jesus Christ, is His bondservant. He is the master, we are His slaves, according to the Bible. As master, Jesus is not a cruel tyrant, but a loving master.

In this series, we are going to discover how we can grow as disciples or bondservants of Jesus. We want to learn how to more useful to the master. God created you for a purpose. When you believe in Jesus and are saved, you begin a journey to fulfill that plan and purpose.

Today, our message is entitled “Grow to Spiritual Maturity.” Let’s think about physical growth for a minute. Physical life begins at conception. That tiny baby grows in its mother’s womb for 9 months and then is born into the world. That baby then grows, learns to walk, talk and do many other things. The baby becomes a child and begins its education, as it continues to learn and grow. Ultimately, the child becomes a mature adult, becoming a productive part of society.

In the same way, when a person becomes a believer in Jesus, the Bible tells us that they are born again and saved. That new believer, whether they are 8 years old or eighty begins their spiritual life as a spiritual infant. The new believer must than experience spiritual growth until they become a mature, spiritually productive disciple of Jesus. 

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http://www.youtube.com/embed/9AkTEFuJh8M Today, we’re going to talk about church. What is the importance of church? A recent poll in April asked the question: Is attending church important? 49% of the people said somewhat or very important, while 51% said not too important or not important at all. About 50:50. When those under 30 were asked the question: only 20% think that attending church is important. Although as people grow older, many do return to church, this number is the lowest ever seen for this age demographic. Today, overall, 36% of people are regular church attenders, the lowest percentage in this decade. While, 40% have not attended church at all in the last 6 months, an all-time high. The top two reasons why people think that attending church is not important are: 1. I find God elsewhere and 2. Church is not relevant to me personally. Those are the opinions about church of people in our society today. So, this morning, we’re going to look at what the Bible has to say about church. My message is entitled “Loving God’s People in Community.” The Bible defines the church as the community of God’s people. The universal church therefore is comprised of all believers regardless of what denomination or local church they attend. By definition, the universal church has only believers in it.

Ephesians 2:19-20 (NIV)  Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and aliens, but fellow citizens with God’s people and members of God’s household,  built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone.

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The Bible gives us priorities for our lives. God’s Word teaches us how we are to live our lives with God’s priorities. When your priorities are in order, then the rest of life falls into place. In our current message series, “Four Priorities for Life” we’re looking at four of God’s top priorities. The first priority was Loving God. Today, we’re looking at the second priority of Loving God’s Word.

My message today is entitled “Loving the Truth of God’s Word.” The Bible is the Word of God. As such it contains God’s truth. We can say unequivocally that God’s Word is 100% true. No other book can make the same claim.

Psalm 119:160 (NIV)  All your words are true; all your righteous laws are eternal.

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Happy 4th of July weekend! I trust that you are having a blessed holiday. We celebrate the signing of the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776, 238 years ago. The Declaration of Independence begins with these famous words …

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness,”

So, the founders of our nation, acknowledged their creator God and the rights that He had blessed them with. Today, 238 years later, we must be careful to not forget the godly principles our country was founded upon. As Christians, we have been blessed to live in a country that was founded on biblical principles and gives us the freedom to worship God. Yet, we must remember that our allegiance as believers is first and foremost to the Kingdom of God.

Psalm 144:15 (NIV)  Blessed are the people of whom this is true; blessed are the people whose God is the LORD.

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