Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Ephesians 2.11 - 12 - "From No Hope, to Near, to Reconciliation!"

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Ephesians
Paul’s Greatest Church Planting Success
 31 January 2018
Archdale church of Christ – Russ McCullough
Lesson #6 – Ephesians 2.11 – 22

1.     What is the “therefore” there for?
2.     The Gentiles were in the past called what?
3.     Who were they called that by?
4.     What 3 key words describe the previous conditions of the Gentiles?
a.      S______________   (Without) (Lit. “A___ a S__________”) (Romans 3.21;  3.28;  4.6) 
b.     A______________ (Aliens) (Lit. “E___________, to be a non-P________________.”)  (The word is used only one other time in Hebrews 11.4)
c.      S______________ (Strangers)  (Lit. “F_____________, without a S______________ in”)  (I Timothy 5.10;  Hebrews 11.13;  13.2)
5.     What hope did the Gentiles have prior to Christ?
6.     How does Paul describe the current condition of the Gentile now in Christ Jesus?
7.     Just what was it that brought us “near?”
8.     What is the purpose of this blood?  (Matthew 26.28)
9.     How is this purpose applied?  (Acts 2.38)
10. For He Himself (Christ) is our what?
11. In this context, “peace” is best understood as the “Messiah’s Peace” or the W___________ of our S_______________  (Romans 2.10;  3.17;  5.1)
12. What metaphor does Paul use to describe the new status of the Gentile Christian?
13. Christ did this by abolishing what?
14. What plan did God have to bring about this peace, this “Messiah’s salvation?”
15. How did God plan to kill the former hostility between the parties?
16. “Reconcile” means to “B____________ back a former state of H______________.”
17. How was this message of reconciliation communicated?
18. Who are the “far off” and the “near?”
19. How is this concept often stated in the New Testament?
20. Vs. 18 describes what great doctrine?
21. What is the new description of the Gentile Christian?
22. In the New Testament, “household” is a synonym for what?
23. What is the foundation of the church of Christ?
24. That foundation rests upon what?
25. How is this foundation stated in Acts 2.42?
26. Upon what does the entire structure grow upon?
27. Who is the assembler of this structure?
28. What is the numerous building material of this structure?
29. Who will live in this structure?         



ANSWER GRID

1.     “Not of your own doing, it is a gift of God…”
2.     The un-circumcision
3.     The circumcised
4.     Separated – “At a space”
Alienated – “Estranged, participants”
Strangers – “Foreigner, without a share in”
5.     None
6.     Near
7.     The blood of Christ
8.     The remission or forgiveness of sins
9.     In water baptism
10. Peace
11. The way of our salvation
12. The dividing wall / fence at the Temple that separated the Gentiles from the Court of the Women with death to any who trespassed it.
13. The Law of Commandments and Ordinances
14. By creating in Himself one new man in the place of two.
15. He would reconcile them.
16. Bring, Harmony
17. Peaching
18. The Gentiles and the Jews
19. “To the Jew first and also to the Greek”
20. The Trinity
21. “Fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God”
22. The family
23. The apostles and prophets
24. The chief cornerstone, Jesus Chris
25. The Apostles Doctrine
26. Christ, the chief cornerstone
27. The Holy Spirit
28. Individual Christians
29. God Himself!




Monday, January 29, 2018

The Character of Mary



LISTEN! to "The Character of Mary" on SOUNDCLOUD!

https://soundcloud.com/archdale-church-of-christ/sunday-morning-012818-luke-1-acoc-the-character-of-mary-russ-mcculloughj

“The Character of Mary”
“From Ulster Plantation to the Carolina’s with the Gospel!” *



Text
Luke 1.26 - 28



Thesis: Mary, though a sinner, has many Godly character qualities we would do well to emulate AND her character was not sufficient for her own salvation.
Introduction:
1.      My Mother once told me to “have character, don’t be one.”
2.    The Oxford Dictionary defines character as those “mental and moral qualities that define an individual.”
3.     Noah Webster’s 1828 Dictionary defines character as; “a mark by cutting or engraving, as on stone, metal, or other hard material...”   “A mark or figure made by stamping or impression, as on coins...”   “The peculiar qualities that distinguish (one person) from others.”
4.    Share quotes 1 through 5
5.     Did Mary’s good character make her favorable?
6.    Does my good character make me favorable?



Lawful
              Moral
                           Troubled
                                                Discerning
                                                                     Fearful
(“endued with Grace”) Ephesians 2.5, 8, 14 -18         FAVORABLE
                                                                     Great
                                                Son of God
                           Reign on David’s Throne
              Reign over Jacob forever
Eternal Kingdom

CONCLUSION:  

·       We find the Grace of God the same way Mary did – Concession, surrender, submission, obedience, contrition, and brokenness.

·       All the good character of all the good people of all time is not sufficient to warrant out salvation.

The Meaning of the Text in It’s Theological, Historical & Cultural Context: Favor, Grace, and Obedience CANNOT be separated!

The Challenge of the Text for Christians Today – “The question is not; “Do I know Jesus?”  The question is; “Does JESUS know me?”  

The question right now

The question when you pull out of the parking lot

The question at 5:30 this evening

The question tonight at bedtime

The question when you get up in the morning

The question when you clock in to work in the morning

The question when you clock out tomorrow evening

The question every day and in every circumstance

Write it on your mirror in your bathroom; “Does Jesus know me?”

Finding grace is not the same as surrendering to grace.  The Rich Young Ruler found grace and he walked away from grace.


“The Gospel Call”

Find favor,
be endued with Grace,
obey the Gospel! 

Whatever you do today, DON’T walk away from God’s Favor.

“Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the Name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit!”

·         My fifth great uncle was Hugh Gaston who was rector at the Ballywillan Presbyterian Church (pictured above left) in County Antrim, Ulster Plantation (Northern Ireland) and wrote the most dangerous book of his time; Gaston’s Collections.  It allowed “the ploughman to know more Bible than his clergyman.”  Hugh fled to South Carolina where he died prematurely of the measles.  He is buried just one hour south of Charlotte in Chester County, S.C. in “Burnt Meeting House Cemetery.”   Uncle Hugh continues to inspire my ministry to this very day.  You can read more about Uncle Hugh here: http://www.ballywillanpci.org/rev-hugh-gaston
Ruins photo courtesy of: ballywillanpci.org.


Russell H. McCullough / Archdale church of Christ, 2525 Archdale Drive, Charlotte, NC 28210
www.archdale.org 
Date:  28 January 2018


Sunday, January 28, 2018

A Groaning Crescendo

An exposition of Romans 8.18 - 27 given on Sunday evening, 28 January 2018, at the Archdale church of Christ, 2525 Archdale Drive, Charlotte, NC 28210 by Russell H McCullough.

LISTEN! on SoundCloud:

https://soundcloud.com/archdale-church-of-christ/sunday-night-012818-acoc-romans-8-groaning-crescendo-russ-mccullough


Monday, January 22, 2018

Our Hope - The Most REAL Thing in the Universe!

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https://soundcloud.com/archdale-church-of-christ/our-hope-acoc-evening-sermon-russ-mccullough-21-january-2018

Hope is NOT what you feel when your favorite quarterback rears backs and slings a pass into the end zone as time expires during the play offs.

Hope is NOT a wish. It is not what you do jumping up and down with your fingers crossed and eyes closed.

Hope IS the very real expectation of an un-seen guarantee of eternal life with God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit forever and ever AMEN!

"My hope is built on nothing less than Jesus' blood and righteousness!"  "I dare not trust the sweetest frame but wholly lean on Jesus' Name!"  "On Christ the solid Rock I stand, all other ground is sinking sand..."

This sermon was preached on Lord's Day evening, 21 January 2018 at the Archdale church of Christ, 2525 Archdale Drive, Charlotte, NC 28210.  Your speaker is Russ McCullough.  You and yours are always invited!

The Way of Zebah and Zalmunna

Illustration Courtesy of: www.st-takla.org via Google Images

LISTEN! to this lesson on SOUNDCLOUND!  Just click the link:

It's called a number of things.  Pragmatism.  Outcome based thinking.  Visualization.  Positive thinking.  Self improvement.  Self actualization.

Pick your own title.  They are all the same.  We are told that we can "become what we imagine."  Really?!  Can we?  Can we make our own success by these methods?  Sadly, no.

Long ago, a 15,000 man army "imagined" that they could retreat, relocate, and relax having escaped from the Lord of Hosts and the 300 man army of Gideon.  Their two "positive thinking" commanders were named Zebah and Zalmunna.  The Bible says in Judges 8.11 that this army "felt secure."  Feelings lie.  Far from secure, this army that retreated from the Lord of Hosts, relocated to a valley of perceived security, and finally relaxed in a false hope...instead were soon destroyed as a fighting force.  Their two leaders were slain by Gideon himself.

And so it is today.  Unless we surrender to Jesus Christ, we too, will be surrounded and destroyed.  To retreat from our sin, relocate to a new place of perceived security, and relax in a false hope will gain us nothing and cost us everything.

This sermon was preached by Russ McCullough at the Archdale church of Christ, 2525 Archdale Drive, Charlotte, NC 28210 at the 10 a.m. morning worship service on Lord's Day morning, 21 January 2018.  Feel free to use this material as you choose.

Sunday, January 21, 2018

Judges 8.1 - 21 - The Final Defeat of Midian by Gideon

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         Judges
A Judge by Judge Bible Study -  21 January 2018
Archdale church of Christ – Russ McCullough
Lesson #9 – Judges 8.1 – 8.21
1.     Who has a complaint and what was it?
2.     How was Gideon accused?
3.     What two rhetorical questions does Gideon now ask of his accusers?
4.     What is the “gleaning of the grape?”
5.     What is the “vintage” in comparison?
6.     What 3rd rhetorical question does Gideon now ask?
7.     After these 3 rhetorical questions were asked and answered, what happened to the wrath of the Eprhriamites?
8.     What does Gideon now do per vs. 4?  In what condition was his army?
9.     To where did Gideon go and what did he ask of those people?
10. Who was Gideon pursuing?
11.  Geography: Succoth is E_______ of the Jordan and NE of the D__________ S________.
12. What was their reply?  Today, we would call this P________________.
13. How did Gideon respond to their terseness?
14. Where did Gideon go next to ask this same question?
15. Geography: Penuel is due E___________ of S________________.
16. What was the response of the Penuelites?
17. How did Gideon respond to them?
18. Where was the combined Midian army of Zebah and Zalmunna?
19. Geography: Karkor is slightly N___________ of Penuel.
20. How many men of Midian were left?  How many had already fallen?
21. Where did Gideon attack?  What was the disposition of the enemy?
22. Gideon attack formation went first N__________ and E______ a considerable ways into the Arabian desert to N___________, swung around to the S_______ and W_______ to J_____________, then swung around to the N______ W_________ to attack the enemy at K__________ which is next to P______________.
23. The two kings did what when attacked?  What happened to them?  What result of this came upon their army?
24. Verse 8.13 - What two words does the King James add here to the text?  The original Hebrew says literally; “the H__________ from the A____________ of..”  The S____________, the S__________ and the A__________ versions model the O___________ Hebrew, while the KJV T____________ the meaning of the places name.  The word translated “before” in the KJV means in Hebrew, min maaleh, which means B___ A___________.
25. As Gideon arrived at Succoth, he captured a Y_____________ man and did what with him?  What intel did Gideon receive from this young man?
26. What does Gideon now do with the leaders of Succoth?
27. What does he now do with Penuel?
28. What question does Gideon now ask of Zebah and Zalmunna?  To whom is he referring?  (6.2)
29. What order does Gideon now give to his first born son?
30. What was Jether’s reaction?  Why?
31. What does Gideon now do?  What did he take?
How does the Holy Spirit remember Gideon?  (Hebrews 11)

ANSWER GRID:


Who has a complaint and what was it?
Ephraim, “Why were we left out?”
2.     How was Gideon accused?
Fiercely
3.     What two rhetorical questions does Gideon now ask of his accusers?
a.     “What have I done in comparison with you?”
b.     “Is not the gleaning of the grapes of Ephraim better than the (vintage) of Abiezer?”
4.     What is the “gleaning of the grape?”
The very last left overs in the corner of the field for the poor
5.     What is the “vintage” in comparison?
The very best first fruits
6.     What 3rd rhetorical question does Gideon now ask?
“What have I been able to do in comparison with you?”
7.     After these 3 rhetorical questions were asked and answered, what happened to the wrath of the Eprhriamites?
It subsided
8.     What does Gideon now do per vs. 4?  In what condition was his army?
Crossed over Jordan with his 300 men.  “Exhausted yet pursuing.”
9.     To where did Gideon go and what did he ask of those people?
Succoth.  He asked for bread for he and his men.
10. Who was Gideon pursuing?
Zebah and Zalmunna, kings of Midian
11.  Geography: Succoth is E_______ of the Jordan and NE of the D__________ S________.
East.  Dead Sea.
12. What was their reply?  Today, we would call this P________________.
No, you haven’t won as yet.  No reward until success.  Quid Pro Quo.  Pragmatism.
13. How did Gideon respond to their terseness?
When I win I will return and flay your bodies with the thorns of the wilderness.
14. Where did Gideon go next to ask this same question?
Penuel
15. Geography: Penuel is due E___________ of S________________.
East.  Succoth.
16. What was the response of the Penuelites?
The same answer as he heard in Succoth.
17. How did Gideon respond to them?
I will break down this tower.
18. Where was the combined Midian army of Zebah and Zalmunna?
Karkor.
19. Geography: Karkor is slightly N___________ of Penuel.
Northeast.
20. How many men of Midian were left?  How many had already fallen?
15,000.  120,000.
21. Where did Gideon attack?  What was the disposition of the enemy?
By way of the tent dwellers east of Nobah and Jogbehah.  They felt secure.
22. Gideon attack formation went first N__________ and E______ a considerable ways into the Arabian desert to N___________, swung around to the S_______ and W_______ to J_____________, then swung around to the N______ W_________ to attack the enemy at K__________ which is next to P______________.
North and East.  Nobah.  South and West.  Jogbehah.  North West.  Karkor.  Penuel.
23. The two kings did what when attacked?  What happened to them?  What result of this came upon their army?
Fled.  They were captured.  Panic.
24. Verse 8.13 - What two words does the King James add here to the text?  The original Hebrew says literally; “the H__________ from the A____________ of..”  The S____________, the S__________ and the A__________ versions model the O___________ Hebrew, while the KJV T____________ the meaning of the places name.  The word translated “before” in the KJV means in Hebrew, min maaleh, which means B___ A___________.
Comes up.  Heres   Ascent.  Septuagint.  Syriac.  Arabic.  Original.  Translates.  By Ascent.
25. As Gideon arrived at Succoth, he captured a Y_____________ man and did what with him?  What intel did Gideon receive from this young man?
Young.  Question.  The names of 77 elders and leaders of Succoth.
26. What does Gideon now do with the leaders of Succoth?
Teaches them a lesson by flaying their flesh with the thorns of the wilderness.
27. What does he now do with Penuel?
Broke down their tower and killed the men of the city.
28. What question does Gideon now ask of Zebah and Zalmunna?  To whom is he referring?  (6.2)
“Where are the men whom you killed at Tabor?”  His family who was hiding in the caves of Mt. Tabor mentioned in Judges 6.1 – 2.
29. What order does Gideon now give to his first-born son?
To kill Zebah and Zalmunna.
30. What was Jether’s reaction?  Why?
He failed to comply.  He was young and afraid.
31. What does Gideon now do?  What did he take?
He rose up and killed Zebah and Zalmunna.  He took the crescent ornaments that were on the neck of their camels.
32. How does the Holy Spirit remember Gideon?  (Hebrews 11)
Gideon is in the “Hall of Faith.”

Church Growth 1st Century Style

Public Domain Image Produced before 1923 A number of years ago I read a book entitled The Purpose Driven Church .  It was essent...