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The Breath of God

January 15, 2017 Speaker: Damian Mericka Series: Your Kingdom Come

Topic: Breath of God Passage: Matthew 4:12–4:17, Luke 24:44–24:49, Matthew 3:11–4:11, Matthew 1:18, 1 Corinthians 12:12–12:13, Ephesians 4:4–4:6, Deuteronomy 9:9–9:12, John 4:1–4:11, Luke 4:14–4:15, Matthew 4:18–4:22, John 1:35–1:42, Matthew 4:23–4:25, John 20:19–20:23

The Breath of God
-Going Deeper Study Guide-

In the last sermon series we looked at a prophecy given by Isaiah in which the region of Galilee would be the place this Messiah would appear as a great light to push out the darkness (See Isaiah 9: 1-2). This among other prophecies had prepared the descendants of Israel to be looking for a deliver who would bring about the end of their captivity. As generations passed the captors did as well- from Babylonian, Persian, Greek and then Roman- each generation looked for the fulfillment of these words.

When Jesus arrives it was not to overthrow Rome, but the ruler over all kingdoms of this world. His kingdom would not be built by man nor would it evolve from what already existed. It would be a kingdom coming from God the Father Himself. Jesus will come to teach His Disciples to pray, “Your kingdom come, your will be done”. In a 5 part sermon, Jesus teaches how His kingdom is both present and still coming. As we begin this new series my prayer is that we are encouraged, challenged and empowered to go and live for Him!

Go ahead and pull your outlines out from last Sunday. If you missed the service, please take the time to listen to the sermon entitled, “The Breath of God”. With outline in hand, let’s begin.

Turn to Matthew 4: 12-17. Once Jesus learned that John had been arrested He chose to withdraw into the region of Galilee.

  • Why was this significant?
  • When Jesus began preaching, Matthew (the writer of the Gospel we are in this week) refers to the kingdom as “of heaven” rather than “of God”. Why did he do this and is there a difference?
  • Why would Jesus call for repentance? What is Biblical Repentance (See Jeremiah 31:19 / Acts 3:19)

Now let’s turn to Matthew 3:11- 4:11. As Jesus is starting His public ministry it is important to note the role the Holy Spirit is playing in all of this. Let’s note some of the key moments in this relationship between the two.

  •  Matthew 1: 18. Why was Jesus “conceived” by the Holy Spirit?
  • As John was preaching repentance through Baptism he noted that his was for cleansing (3:6) while this Messiah would be with the Holy Spirit and fire.
  • Turn and read both 1 Corinthians 12:13 & Ephesians 4: 4-6. The baptism referred to here and in the Matthew passages was one of Unity. The Holy Spirit would come to baptize into the Body of Jesus through faith.  How is unity symbolic of the Kingdom of God?

Fire here is symbolic of judgment. For those who come to faith through repentance they are appointed as heirs with Christ to life and those who reject faith through repentance are appointed for the judgment of God’s Wrath.

  • When Jesus was baptized by John, what two things happened?
  • Now, what is the role of the Holy Spirit in Jesus’ life? (Read 4:1).

In the Sermon we compared Moses (Deuteronomy 9:9-12) and Jesus (John 4: 1-11).

  • What are some of the similarities? What are the differences?

What I want to focus on with this is that Moses received the Word of God; Jesus was the Living Word of God. See, Jesus did not just quote Scripture- He lived it out. Moses could only judge and the Law only condemn. But Jesus overcomes the ruler of this world through His faithfulness to God’s Word.

  • Can we know God’s Word and not be doing God’s Will?
  • Can we be living a healthy life with God without being in His Word? Note how Jesus responded all three times to Satan. With God’s Word. Not only quoting in, but not being fooled by Satan’s use of it, Jesus understood the context from having studied it so that He recognized Satan’s mis-use of the Word. And finally Jesus fully surrendered to God being glorified through obedience to that Word. Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven – we are to pray and live this.
  • If the Word is important, can its importance be seen in your life by those around you? What can you do to make this a higher priority in your personal life and leadership?
  • We read now in Luke 4: 14-15 Jesus has returned not only led by the Holy Spirit, but empowered by the Holy Spirit.

As Jesus continues His Ministry in Galilee He multiplies His ministry through both Andrew and Peter along with James and John- sons of Zebedee.

  • Why is it important to note that this was not their first interaction with Jesus?
  • How does this impact how we view our own witness to others?
  • Do you find yourself striving to make others like yourself or find yourself frustrated when people do not live up to a standard you place on them? What did Pastor Damian mean when he said, “helping people take one step closer to Jesus”? And can we labor in love to discover that step with them rather than forcing them into a “Pray, dunk & join” drive churches have done in times past?

Now Let’s turn to Matthew 4: 23-25. This turned out to be such a hefty challenge for us as a church here in Cornerstone. Jesus preached throughout all of Galilee (fulfillment to Isaiah’s words) a message that called for confession, repentance, and empowerment.

When we opened this study, John was arrested and immediately Jesus began to preach right where he left off. Repentance. Acknowledging the brokenness is not enough; coming to God through the mercy He offers in atonement is the only means for change. That is the Baptism of the Spirit. Resisting or rejecting this is the baptism of fire or judgment.

As word spread great crowds brought those in need for healing. Read the list of ailments that found healing. Jesus is greater that the ruler of this world.

  • Do we believe in this same God today?
  • Do we believe that in preaching the fullness of the Gospel we can see God work and bring healing to physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual need? Than why are we not living like we do? Why are we not bringing the sick with us to hear and meet God’s living Word -Jesus?

Finally let’s close with John 20: 19-23. Fear kept them behind a door they themselves locked. Jesus did not knock to be let in, but appeared in the room- symbolizing the center of their fear. As a light appearing in Galilee to drive out the shadows of darkness Jesus appears in the center of our being to drive out fear. Let our light shine for Jesus.

Jesus breathes on them- empowering them to carry on His work. As John was arrested, Jesus picked up the message. As Jesus ascends to Heaven, we are empowered to carry on this message- this work of Kingdom building.

God’s Kingdom has come through it’s citizens present- you and I living out this Great Commission. But even this is but a shadow of what is to come. As the Gospel drives back evil- one day evil will be recipient of that fire baptism and forever cast off. Until that day, “Come Lord Jesus. Come.”


More in Your Kingdom Come

February 12, 2017

The Blessing of God

February 5, 2017

The God of Humanity

January 29, 2017

The Voice of God - Part 2