PLAIN VIEW HERITAGE FARM,

RURAL BRYANT, SD, PRESENTS:

Phil Wellington's First Sermon,

Republished with Permission, August 21, 2020

The first message I ever preached may have been the simplest, but it has great meaning to me.

In the Gospel of John the 10th verse Jesus says: "The thief cometh to kill and destroy but I have come that ye might have life and life full and meaningful."

It is obvious to all who the thief is, it is Satan. Satan comes to you to steal and destroy. But not Satan alone. It may be that Satan appeals to you in the form of a woman or a man. It may be that Satan appeals to you in the form of pornography or a TV show. It may be that Satan may appeal to you in the form of go-carting, motorcycling, or cars in general.

Can we see that anything which keeps us from fellowshipping with God may be Satan's tool for appealing to our base nature? It may be as innocent as collecting baseball cards that is keeping you or me from being a good father, a good husband, or a good Christian.

God has said "Thou shall have no other gods before me!" Can you see that camping, sailing, racing, garage sales, or any other of a million things can distract you from God?

I was once a member of a church where half of the youth went to the desert to sand buggy every weekend. They were fellowshipping with other Christians out in the desert. They had prayer before meals and around the bonfire on Saturday night and they came home Sunday afternoon to get some rest before work on Monday. They justified sand bugging as a Christian activity and gave up attending church but not attending work.

Work on Monday was not an option but Church on Sunday morning and evening was. Do you believe they had no other gods before God Almighty or do you believe that the heart is deceitfully wicked and who can know it?

Let me give you an "out". Man was not created unto the day [the Sabbath], but the day unto man. We are to rest from our labors and regenerate ourselves [on the Sabbath]. See, we are justified doing whatever we want!

Think so [?] Here is a little guide to help us in our decision-----"That which is not of faith is sin." In other words if your conscience is bothering you it is not of faith and it is sin. One more before we move on, "Forsake not the gathering together of believers!"

1. Hebrews 10:25, King James Version (KJV) 2: "Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching."

Enough said!

We have talked about what the thief came for, now let's us talk about why Jesus came.

King James Bible: "The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly."

Now there [can be] no confusion that we are sinners in need of a Savior and Jesus is that Savior. So is that the end of the message? Jesus came that we might have abundant life.

He came that we might have eternal life, life everlasting, but what is this abundant life?

The abundant life is available to all but most of us know it not. We enjoy our life and look forward to life eternal in Heaven with God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit, and we rightfully should, but God the Trinity wants to give us abundant life.

The abundant life is the Spirit-Filled life. Whoa, brother Phil, are you talking tongues and the like? No dancing with serpents in this Church!

I repeat, the abundant life is the Holy Spirit-filled life. Are we saved? Are we sanctified? Are we justified? I think in this group I can rightly agree that we are, but are we filled with the Holy Spirit?

It may be enough for you that you are saved, sanctified and justified, but only those who Study the Word of God, who pray, and I mean deeply pray, and those who seek the Spirit filled life are those who are experiencing the abundant life.

Just as God is a Triune God we must have no other gods before God Almighty, and we must be saved through the shed blood of Jesus Christ and we must be Filled with the Spirit of God.

When I have studied the Word of God, prayed for understanding and shared the Word with others, I find a joy abundant in my life that wants me to tell others about God and what a great God He is. I find that I don't want to sin, [rather], I want to worship. God has so much of me I just want to explode in love, joy, peace and a thousand other adjectives.

As I come to a the end of this message, I ask you to remember the day you asked Christ to come into your life. You probably started like this: "Heavenly Father, this is Phil. I am a sinful man and I want Jesus in my life. God forgive me my sins and make me the man of God that you want me to be."

At that moment in time Jesus who was without sin and who had died on the cross shedding his blood to wash away your sin came into your life. God the Father who is Holy, Holy, Holy absolute pure and perfect in every way, looked at you and saw no sin but the blood of Jesus having washed away your sin [so that] you were clean, clean, clean. And the Holy Spirit of God was the seal put upon you until the day of redemption. Think back, do you remember that joy?

For some this may have been the last abundant joy you felt. Jesus is telling you now that that pure abundant joy can be yours now and always if you seek the Spirit-filled life.

It is not enough to be Jesus's disciple but to experience the Abundant Life that Jesus came to bring you, meaning, you must be filled with the Spirit.

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