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Sunday Services September 2, 2018

Morning Service (10:45 - 12:00)
Fresh Vision 2018: Commitment
Luke 9:23,24

1. Every now and again over the years the Lord has given me a fresh look at 
what we are all about as a church.  What is our mission?  Why are we here?  
What does the scripture say?  Some years back the Lord took me to Acts 2:42, and it really hit me about what was happening there.  There had been 
no church before, the Lord Jesus had predicted it, even said the gates of hell 
would not prevail against it.  He said He would be the foundation of it, and 
would use the apostles to start it.  The local church would be the focus of His 
work in the world until He comes.  God’s people prayed, the Holy Spirit came 
in response to their prayer in the upper room.  Peter preached on Pentecost 
and three thousand people were saved and were baptized and all of a sudden there was a church, with no manual on how to do church, just the Holy Spirit showed them in their hearts.  “They were continually devoting themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer” (Acts 2:42).  And so, from the beginning, the activities 
of the local church were Bible teaching, fellowship, breaking of bread and prayer.  The passage goes on to describe other things they were doing, worship, giving, evangelism, gladness and sincerity of heart, enjoying one 
another, making an impact on the people around them (Acts 2:43-47). 

2. Someone asked me if we had a mission statement at our church and I said yes, we did.  They wondered if it was written down someplace, and I had to smile, right on the front of your bulletin, every Sunday!  It is based on Acts 2, “Captivated by the love of Christ, centered on BIBLE TEACHING built up in FELLOWSHIP, renewed by BREAKING OF BREAD, empowered by PRAYER, we will REACH OUT AND MAKE DISICIPLES in the KANSAS CITY NORTHLAND AND BEYOND!”  Pretty good, biblical mission statement.  But it is not something that is familiar to us, and makes and impact on what we’re actually doing, I wrote it, and I have to jog my memory
to quote it to you.

3. Here awhile back I read something about mission statements.  Don’t even 
remember who the author was.  He said, for them to be effective, they have
to be obviously biblical, we wouldn’t have it any other way.  But from a practical standpoint, he suggested these things.  It should be easy to remember, it should be communicated well, everyone in the church knows it
and could say easily, it should be something you can fit on a refrigerator magnet.  And it should not just be a theological statement, it should make an
impact on what you are doing.  This summer I have put a lot of time into this,
and the Lord has given me my refrigerator magnet, only four words, all begin
with the same letter, what we are about as a church and where we are going.
I am going to repeat it a lot, and I’m going to get us all a refrigerator magnet.
The trouble with mission for ministry is it leaks if we don’t emphasize it enough and that same author said, that about the time a leader is completely
sick of telling about it, that’s when everybody’s just starting to get it.  There
is no new special revelation here, it is basic, solid church, making a difference.  Four C’s God gave me, Commitment; Connectedness; Compassion and Community.  We’re going to take the next four Sundays
and take one each.  That’s our refrigerator magnet.

4. The reason we are part of this church is our relationship with Jesus Christ, 
and our commitment to follow Him, to obey His word and to bring Him glory.
Why am I part of a local church?  Because I am committed to Jesus Christ 
and it was His idea that I should be part of this.  OUR COMMITMENT TO JESUS IS WHAT KEEPS THE FAMILY TOGETHER.

Read Luke 9:23,24

As we consider our commitment to Jesus Christ, and how that relates to 
being part of the church, remember something He said, that we looked at a 
couple of weeks ago, Mark’s account gives a few more details  A crowd was 
sitting around Him, and they *said to Him, “Behold, Your mother and Your 
brothers are outside looking for You.”  Answering them, He *said, “Who are 
My mother and My brothers?”  Looking about at those who were sitting 
around Him, He said, “Behold My mother and My brothers!  For whoever does the will of God, he is My brother and sister and mother.” (Mark 
3:32-35).  We are not a corporation or an organization, we are more like a
family, Jesus said so.  And the members of that family are the ones with a
commitment to Him, to do the will of our heavenly Father.  And we are a 
family, with a commitment to the Lord and to each other.  As I tell every young 
couple that I do their wedding, no matter how many great things there are 
about that one they are marrying and becoming a family, it is the commitment
we make that will always keep them together.  Our commitment to the church 
starts with our commitment to the Lord, so let’s remind ourselves what our 
A life committed to Jesus Christ means…..

I. Understanding that I am justified by faith in Jesus Christ.

A. I have been in churches growing up where this was not something
many, if not most of the people I went to church with would know.  
There were some really nice people there, that I enjoyed being with
and have a lot of good memories.  But I would say that from the pulpit
and through the congregation people did not know they needed a 
personal relationship with Jesus Christ, just went to church I suppose
because it felt good, or, like was the way in America until recently, 
people figured it was a good thing to do.

B. For us, at Northwest Bible Church, our own personal relationship 
with Jesus Christ IS the reason we want to be part of this.  Apart from
Jesus Christ, standard human beings are described as sinners, aliens
and strangers, even enemies of God.  “There is none righteous, no, 
not one” (Rom. 3:10).  God is good and righteous, so good, so holy
we cannot comprehend it entirely.  “You are not a God who takes
pleasure in wickedness; NO evil dwells with You” (Psa. 5:4).  And He
wants us to be with Him, so something had to happen.  “While we  
while we were still helpless, at the right time Christ died for the 
ungodly.  For one will hardly die for a righteous man; though perhaps 
for the good man someone would dare even to die.  But God 
demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet 
sinners, Christ died for us” (Rom. 5:6-8).   If we will believe in the
Lord Jesus Christ, we will be justified, that is made righteous in God’s
eyes, based on Jesus’ righteousness, not our own.  “Therefore, 
having been justified by faith, we have peace with God” (Rom. 5:1).

C. What we want more than anything else is for everyone to find faith
in Jesus Christ, begin their new life following Him!  Commitment.

II. Being baptized, learning and observing God’s word.

A. When we think about commitment, the word for someone who is
a committed follower of Jesus in the Bible is a disciple.  When Jesus
rose from the grave, for about 40 days He appeared various places
and taught the disciples.  What He left them with was what is called
the Great Commission.  We will talk about this a lot in the coming 
weeks, but I want you to notice a couple of things in Matthew 
28:19,20.  He told the disciples to make disciples of all the nations,
and gave them two things that would be true about any disciple in
the age of the church.  

B. He told them to baptize them in the name of the Father, the Son
and the Holy Spirit.  When 3,000 people were saved at Pentecost the
first thing they did in Acts 2:41 was to baptize them.  In our day, likely
to emphasize that salvation is not by works, you have heard it said,
“You don’t have to be baptized to be saved”.  That’s true, you don’t.
But where did anyone get the idea that being baptized wasn’t 
important to Jesus!  HE was baptized and He said He did it to fulfill all 
righteousness.  If I am a fully devoted follower of Jesus it is 
obedience to His command to be baptized and we need to get 
better at emphasizing that.  

C. The other thing was teaching God’s word and we will always do
that, it is foundational to everything we believe here at church.  But 
notice the emphasis, is teaching, that we would OBSERVE, that is 
obey, put into practice all that He commands.  

D. Our personal commitment involves baptism, and obedience to 

III. Learning the life habits that feed and grow my new nature

A. In a couple of passages that are directed in the Bible to leaders,
who were responsible to see that those under their care followed 
Jesus, we see the importance of a personal life habit of learning 
God’s word.  One in the Old Testament and one in the New.  

B. Joshua 1:8 – Joshua was being charged with the leadership of
all Israel, and God told him to meditate on the scriptures day and 
night, with the goal of being careful to put it into practice.  God 
promised him good success if he would do that.

C. 1 Tim. 4:7 – The worldly fables he is talking about is all the junk,
the bad information we get from all over on a daily basis, to reject 
that and discipline myself for the purpose of godliness.  That there
would be time for God in my day, that I would make it happen that I 
would be in the scriptures and in prayer.  It is the responsibility of the 
church to feed the flock with God’s word, but that better not be all we 
are getting.  All of us when we gather on Sunday ought to have 
something to share that we got on our own, that will form the basis of 
some really good sharing and relationships when we gather.

IV.  Maintaining a vital involvement with my local church.

A. We had a couple visit us one Sunday, and they told me they were
only going to be there one Sunday because they were plugged into 
an online church, and their server was down that Sunday.  They 
thought a lot of the person who taught on that website and said they
learned a lot.  Maybe they did.  We have so many places we can 
learn God’s word, books, with pages and downloaded.  Any number 
of Bibles and versions, available free online, and you can listen to 
them in Audio books.  Commentaries, devotionals, even novels with
biblical lessons.  Podcasts, websites, radio and TV, this is the 
information age.  I have a friend who listens to audio books on his
motorcycle.  If it was just about me and what I can learn, and I want
to interact with a phrase, “what I get out of it”, that I hear frequently
in regard to church, we are missing what the church is for, for the
committed follower of Jesus Christ.  This is NOT meant to be done
alone, and it is not about ME, it is about one another.  A committed
follower of Jesus understands that.

B. The passage I love the most and you have heard it a lot from me
because I think it explains it as well as any is Hebrews 10:24,25.

C. Notice the first thing is to consider how to help each other.  I like
the way the way the KJV says it, because I like the first verb.

1. Let us consider one another – If we study the Greek word
that is translated “consider” it is the word NOTICE.  We come
together to NOTICE one another, to make a study of what they
are going through and how I can help them.
2. The second part is “how to stimulate one another to love and
good deeds”.  You really have to know people to know how you
can help them.  So we really have to NOTICE, so we can see 
something about why we are part of the church, we are here,
for others, not for what I can get out of it.  Church is not a 
consumer product or a viable option among many for Sunday
activity, we see that next.

D. We are not to forsake the assembling of ourselves together.  The
exceptional thing is, the times we miss.  

E. When Jesus comes back, He will want to find us encouraging one
another.  It’s what committed Christians do.  OUR COMMITMENT TO JESUS IS WHAT KEEPS THE FAMILY TOGETHER.

V. Living to see that the local church multiplies beyond just me.

A. We will discuss this more on week four, “Community”.  But 
something we notice in the Great Commission back in Matt. 28:19,
it looks like a command to go into all the world, but it’s not a 
command it’s a description of one of three activities, going, baptizing
and teaching.  What it literally says, is “in your going”.  For a 
committed disciple of Jesus Christ, we are always going.  Our regular
life as a disciple is aimed at making other disciples.  

B. So when we consider how and why we do a lot of things at church,
a big part of it is not to make ourselves more comfortable, but to be
winsome so that we will attract the unchurched and those who do not
know Jesus as their Savior.  It is something we will always be about.

VI. I will make a life process of putting some things to death in myself and instead follow Jesus.

A. Going to the passage I read at the beginning in Luke 9:23,24, 
Jesus Himself gives a description of what it means to follow Him and
be His committed disciple.  

B. If someone had taken up a cross that only meant one thing, they
were going to die.  This might be something for some of us, we hope
not, but just this last week twenty five believers in Nigeria lost their 
lives to Islamic terrorists, 95 homes were burned.  This probably
will not happen in America, for now at least, we have religious 
freedom.  But the command at the first is “deny himself”.  Being
a committed follower of Jesus and being part of His church is an
unselfish thing.  Every time I do something for Jesus, every time I
do something for my church, I am NOT doing something else I 
might rather do.  But we do it, because we follow Jesus.  So as
a church, we will encourage one another in our commitment to 

Sunday Services August 22, 2018

If They Ever Doubted Before…..                                                                             
Luke Sermon Series #27 – 8:22-39                               


1. Think back to a time when God did something that just made us shake 

our head in wonder.  Maybe He brought you through a scary situation, 

healed us or one of our loved ones from an awful illness, took us through a 

storm safely, provided a big financial need.  Maybe it was when we came to 

know Him and as a new believer we could hardly believe that God would 

show us grace, and forgive us completely of all the things we did when we 

were young and stupid.  I’ve been there.  

2. Maybe it is a story in scripture, a truth that made tears roll down our face 

as we saw the greatness of God, and wonder that such a God would care 

about me.  We respond to such things with gratitude, and wonder.  If we 

have been with Jesus any amount of time, we always have things like that,

the things that inspire, wonder, awe and service to the Lord Jesus Christ.

We were the good soil, that heard and received the word of God eagerly.

3. But time goes by we tend to forget.  Maybe no church in history had so

many great things happen as the church in Ephesus.  (read Rev. 2:1-7)

Time went by, they worked hard, they had good doctrine, they had 

perseverance in a long walk with Jesus.  But they forgot the wonder, they

needed to be reminded, to reacquire the awe and wonder of Jesus Christ.
Passages like the one today are for one who has ears to hear, and needed 

to hear, “I have this against you, that you have left your first love.  

Therefore remember from where you have fallen, and repent and do the 

deeds you did at first”.  Jesus Christ is still the most wonderful of all in the

universe, and we dare not lose that.


Luke 8:22-39




Last week we finished the Lord Jesus’ powerful sermon, where right in the 

middle of it, He called out, “He who has ears to hear, let him hear” (Luke 

8:8).  And He told those who were listening the parable of the one who 

sowed the seed of the word of God and it fell on four kinds of soil.  Three 

did not respond for one reason or another, but some fell on good soil.  The 

seed that is the word of God in good soil is those who receive God’s word.

They receive it in an honest and a good heart, and it puts down roots and

grows a strong plant that bears lots of fruit.  He uses the word perseverance!  

Strong!  He goes on to say that when we have been given this light it is up 

to us to shine it.  A disciple of Jesus learns God’s word, puts it into practice 

and looks for ways to share it with others.  As we shine our light He gives us

more light to shine.  And we don’t go about this alone.  Not even Jesus did 

that.  He pointed out that the others who follow Christ in an honest and good

heart are like our own mother and brothers.  The other ones who hear God’s

word and do it.  Do we receive God’s word with an honest and a good heart?

Then it was time to move on to the next place, this time across the Sea of

Galilee and they would go in a boat, not an odd thing for a bunch of old 

fishermen, and on the way, and on the other side, two of the most powerful

miracles the Lord Jesus did would happen.  Written down by reliable 

eyewitnesses and preserved impeccably so we would get it and read about 

it.  And the message to us, is this:


I. In a fierce storm on the Sea of Galilee, as the disciples woke Jesus from a nap, He simply told the storm to be still, and it was!  vv. 22-25

A. I love the way this passage starts out, “Now on one of those days”.

He decided they would sail across the Sea of Galilee, so they 

launched out.  Apparently a big enough boat for twelve plus men, 

plus enough room to lay down.  Likely these men had contacts, Peter,

Andrew, James and John were old fishermen, “Hey Zebedee, could 

we borrow one of your boats?  Likely several available and several of

these guys were pretty good at sailing and handling boats.  

B. The Sea of Galilee is the lowest lake in the world, it is really a 

lake, but kind of like when you look at Lake Michigan you have a

hard time not thinking it is the ocean.  It is 700 feet below sea level,

and there are hills on its edge that rise up to 2000 feet.  The sea 

shore is warm, kind of tropical and there is cool air on the hill tops 

that can blow down and whip up a storm.  In addition, it is a only

about 200 feet deep and more prone to storms like Lake Erie is,

because it is shallower.  In 1992, 10 foot waves came off the Sea

of Galilee and tore up the seashore at Tiberius.

C. So the Lord Jesus took a nap as they were sailing along, and 

notice something.  Enough of a big storm came up that a half dozen

experienced sailors and fishermen were panicking, and the boat 

was about to be swamped, that is how bad it was.  The Lord Jesus

is sleeping.  I have to say, out of the miracles He did, this is the one

I would have liked to see.  MASTER WE ARE PERISHING.  They

woke Him up.  He got up, looked at the wind and the waves about 

to kill them, and Mark gives us His words…..Hush be still (Mk. 4:39)

AND IT BECAME CALM…..flat smooth water, the rain stopped. 

D. He looked at the men, “Where is your faith?”  And they were 

amazed “Who is this, that He commands even the winds and the 

water, and they obey Him?”  Who indeed?  The Christ, the Son of the 

Living God!  I think He finished His nap….


II. When they got to the other side of the lake, they were met by a man who was demon-possessed, by a legion of them  vv. 26-31

A. And so they sailed and landed on the east side of the Sea of 

Galilee, the country of the Gerasenes.  Josephus calls the people

who lived over there Syrians, and that is the nation that is there 

today.  I guess the thing that made me search that out was the fact

they were herding pigs near where they landed and no Jew would 

have any use for a pig, it was an unclean animal in the law of Moses.

B. Jesus got out of the boat and went onto the land and immediately

look what greeted Him.  The description of this guy is absolutely 

scary.  Matthew mentions two of them, one was prominent, and this is

the one Mark and Luke mention, the one who wanted to stay and go 

with Jesus after he got well.  This man had been naked for some 

time, and did not live with people but stayed in the cemetery.  The 

man was physically powerful, driven by demons inside.  Mark tells 

this in more detail.  “A man from the tombs with an unclean spirit met 

Him, and he had his dwelling among the tombs. And no one was able 

to bind him anymore, even with a chain; because he had often been 

bound with shackles and chains, and the chains had been torn apart 

by him and the shackles broken in pieces, and no one was strong 

enough to subdue him.  Constantly, night and day, he was screaming 

among the tombs and in the mountains, and gashing himself with 

stones”  (Mark 5:2-5).  Can you imagine how awful this was?

And he raced up and fell before Jesus.  And I have a question,

was this the fear the demons had of Jesus that made them drive this

man to Him and yell these things, or was there some glimmer of hope

in this man who managed to get to Jesus?  I’m not sure we can know.

C. But know this, this is a really scary naked man, with many voices

coming out of him crying out “What business do we have with each 

other, Jesus, Son of the Most High God?”  I beg You, do not torment

me” (Luke 8:28).  What prompted this, was right when this man ran

up to Him, the Lord Jesus commanded the unclean spirit to come out 

of the man.  I can see it.  “Get out of him and leave him alone”, the

same calm voice that calmed the storm.  The Lord Jesus is NOT 

AFRAID IN THE SLIGHTEST BIT.  And this is not just one demon,

this is a lot of them.  Keep in mind, these things attach themselves

to certain kinds of activities and I cannot imagine what sort of things

this man or his family must have gotten themselves into with 

paganism and the immorality and idolatry that goes with that.  Paul

wrote “What do I mean then? That a thing sacrificed to idols is 

anything, or that an idol is anything?  No, but I say that the things 

which the Gentiles sacrifice, they sacrifice to demons and not to God; 

and I do not want you to become sharers in demons”. (1 Corinthians 

10:19,20).  Again, there were a lot of them, they even say how many.

D. He asked them what was their name, and the voices said “legion”.

I found a historical society called United Nations of Roma Victrix

given to the comprehensive study of the Roman empire, the number

of a legion was officially 6,000, but likely 5,300 fighting men, the rest

were troops like medical and other support roles.  Anyway, when the

answer was “legion” it was a lot.  I am imagining this huge, awful 

voice, these many voices together roaring from this man.  Don’t miss 

this, they are TERRIFIED of Jesus.  And this is our Lord Jesus Christ, 

facing this awful thing with the calm of a man taking a nap in the 

middle of a huge storm and telling it to be still.  Aren’t you awed by 

the Lord Jesus Christ?  This is a WHOLE LEGION of violent awful

demons and they are begging Him for mercy.  They did not want to
be sent into the abyss.  Apparently there are a lot of them locked up

there even now, I am not sure why them in particular, but I know they

are let out at the fifth trumpet judgment in the Great Tribulation to do

all kinds of havoc on the earth (Rev. 9).  At the second coming of the 

Lord Jesus Satan will be locked up there for a thousand years (Rev. 

20).  Anyway, these really don’t want to go there and they beg the 

Lord Jesus not to send them there.  But don’t fixate on the demons,

be awed by the Lord Jesus calmly standing there, who can send 

them to the abyss, the bottomless pit, without a word.

III. The Lord cast them into a herd of pigs, who ran into the sea.  There was incredible shock to the people who saw the man in his right mind  vv. 32-37

A. They asked to go into a herd of pigs, and He gave them 

permission.  The whole herd killed themselves by rushing down the

bank and drowning themselves in the sea.  But the important thing

was, they got out of the man, and he knew what it was like to be 
normal and healthy for the first time in years.

B. Of course the impact on the people was powerful.  Probably 

everybody knew about these guys, kids were warned to stay away

from them and what about their family, they were probably known as

the ones with the crazy guy, and who knows, maybe they were like 
that too, this guy probably came by all this evil stuff honestly.  The

herdsmen with the pigs were shook up, and they were the ones who

reported what happened all over.  

C. People ran down by the sea, and can you imagine, this is the

man who had scared them for years, sitting down at the feet of Jesus,

no longer naked, no longer scary and evil looking, and get this, IN 

HIS RIGHT MIND.  Jesus never does it halfway, this man was WELL.

These people saw it, but there was no great revival, they knew a 

miracle happened, but it just plain scared them.  They asked Jesus to 

leave, maybe they were afraid of financial ruin, if He stays around 

there won’t be any pigs left around here.  Shows they missed the 

point of the incredible value of a tortured man made well.  It was the

way of whole crowds of people to miss the point that only the very

Son of God could do a miracle like this.


IV. Notice the impact on the man!  The one who is forgiven much, loves much!  vv. 38,39

A. The man was with him, sitting up in his RIGHT MIND.  

B. And he begged Jesus that he could just pick up and go with Him.

Remember the lesson that the one who is forgiven much loves much, 

from chapter seven.  In the first part of chapter eight, notice that Mary

Magdalene had SEVEN demons cast out of her!

C. Don’t miss this.  The Lord Jesus cast a LEGION of demons out of

a man.  Most of his life had been screaming and bashing his head on

tombstones.  No one could be more messed up than this man.  Jesus

made him well, AND GAVE HIM A MINISTRY.  “Return to your house

and describe what great things God has done for you”.  And he did it,

he went through the city and told everyone that would listen what 

Jesus had done for him.  Consider this.  No matter how messed up

you used to be, God can deliver you from it, and better yet, GIVE 



Do you suppose, sometime in the years ahead, that the man got tired of

proclaiming what Jesus had done to anyone who would listen, and settled

into life and got complacent with his faith?  Did he forget the awfulness of a 

legion of demons and all the fear, the anxiety, the bad stuff that has to go 

with that?  And then did he run into a really difficult situation, maybe not as

bad as this one was, and give in to worry and wonder if Jesus would be 

with him this time?  I don’t know.  But most of us have been through some 

bad times and Jesus brought us through them.  Maybe you would shake 

your head and say Pastor, you didn’t know me when I didn’t know Jesus, it 

was pretty bad.   But time has gone by and we’ve run into trouble and we 

are wondering if He would be with us this time?  I don’t know about the 

man from the Gerasenes, but I do know the disciples did.  So the reminder

today is this is the same Jesus who calmed the sea with a word, who 

raised the dead, who cast out a legion of demons, who ROSE from the 

dead!  Who was there for us last time.  Why would we doubt Him this time?


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