New Hope Notes
Triple A Christianity
Pastor Jon Burgess
Triple A Christianity
Pastor Jon Burgess
April 6 & 7, 2019
Welcome, New Hope! Over the past couple of weeks we have been breaking down the meaning of Jesus’ last command,The Great Commission, which is really a Co?Mission. Understand that commission can't happen without the co—co means with. Notice how this involves you and me, with each other, and with the Trinity (Father, Son, Holy Spirit)—which is the community of God! This is so important because it’s Jesus’ last instruction to His disciples (us) before He ascended into heaven:
Matthew 28:18-20 NIV says, “18 Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
Next week we're kicking off Holy Week (celebration of what Jesus did for us) and Palm Sunday with water baptism—after the 11 o'clock service under the ohana tent. I can't think of a better way to kick off Holy Week than by baptizing all who are willing, in the name of the Father, the Son, and The Holy Spirit (community of Trinity). Water baptism is a public confession of our faith (community of Faith): We baptize by going under the water (dying to sin) and coming up (alive to Christ)! The community of the Trinity and the community of Faith are to go into the community around us to tell them: “Jesus loves you!”
Jesus was water baptized even though He wasn't a sinner—so why did He get water baptized? Matthew 28:15 NIV says, “Jesus replied, ‘…it is proper for us to do this to fulfill all righteousness.’” John 13:15 NIV says,“I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you.” Jesus is calling us to follow in His footsteps, to do what we see Him doing—He is our pattern for living. We may not always understand why God asks us to do something, but may we come to that place and say, “All right, I'll acquiesce.”
Matthew 28:13-17 NIV says, “13 ThenJesus came from Galilee to the Jordan to be baptized by John. 14But John tried to deter him, saying, “I need to be baptized by you, and do you come to me?” 15 Jesus replied, “Let it be so now; it is proper for us to do this to fulfill all righteousness.” Then John consented. 16 As soon as Jesus was baptized, he went up out of the water. At that moment heaven was opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting on him. 17 And a voice from heaven said, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.”
It makes sense that John deterred from baptizing Jesus because only sinners got baptized; and He recognized Jesus as the Spotless Lamb of God (come to take away the sins of the world) and didn’t need to be baptized. John felt he should to be baptized by Jesus—but he obeyed and baptized Him! What we see happening to Jesus next, we can expect to happen to us as—Triple A Christianity:
1. Anointed By The Holy Spirit
Anointing represents empowerment for living a pure life with purpose and passion for the things of God! When we invite Holy Spirit to do for us what we cannot do ourselves, He enables us to overcome and break the yoke of bondage in our lives—God puts His super in our natural; and we are empowered by the power by the Holy Spirit to do as Jesus does!
2 Corinthians 1:21 AMP says, “Now it is God who establishes and confirms us [in joint fellowship] with you in Christ, and who has anointed us [empowering us with the gifts of the Spirit].”
We must get rid of the lie in our culture that says, “The only way to make your life better is by your own inner fortitude; in other words, by pulling yourself up by your bootstraps.” But the good news is that the anointing of the Holy Spirit (the power that Jesus walks in) is the same power that you and I can walk in! You will have the empowerment to walk with the authority that Jesus is commissioning you to walk in—that in the name of Jesus demons flee!
We don't have enough strength or determination in ourselves to change anything, but the anointing of the Holy Spirit (as we repent) changes us from the inside out! It's no longer just inspiration, information, or behavioral modification; it's about inviting the Holy Spirit into our lives to bring about complete transformation—and change what we cannot change!
Also, our new ministry, Celebrate Recovery, will teach and help remove the lies of the enemy. It's for anybody with hurts, habits, and/or hang?ups that have actually been stealing your life, joy, and identity. The good news is that the anointing of the Holy Spirit can free us from all bondages and we can be who we are meant to be! Celebrate Recovery meets on Tuesdays at the Mauka Annex, in the Acoustic Cafe. Come and check it out. Receive the promise of the Holy Spirit’s anointing and allow Him to transform you.
2. Approved By The Father
When John the Baptist baptizes Jesus in the Jordan River, the Holy Spirit comes on Jesus in the form of a dove, and the Father from heaven says: “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased,” or in our vernacular: “I'm so proud of him. Look at him. My son is amazing!” The interesting thing is that Jesus hadn't done a single thing yet—He had not healed anyone or performed any of miracles—so why is the Father so proud of Him?
We misunderstand the love of the Father because we live in a results oriented culture that says, “If you want approval or attention, you better earn it!” “If you want attention, the only way you will get it is if you earn it!” But our Heavenly Father says to Jesus then, and to His sons and daughters now, “ I'm so proud of you, just because you’re mine!” It's not because of anything you can do. He will not love you any more or any less than He loves you right now. Let that sink in because most of us have difficulty receiving a love that we cannot earn.
Romans 5:8 NASB, says,“But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.”
The Father proved His love for us while we were still sinners by sending His Son to die for us. It's not a formula. The Father loves us! He knows everything about us and yet chooses us and calls us by name as we seek His righteousness and His kingdom.
3. Authorized By Jesus, the Son.
Jesus was given all authority by the Father to walk in miracles, signs, and wonders; then, Jesus literally looks His disciples in the eyes and says: “Now you go and do the same…”
John 20:21-23 NIV says, “21 Again Jesus said, “Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.” 22 And with that he breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit. 23 If you forgive anyone’s sins, their sins are forgiven; if you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven.”
After the disciples betrayed Jesus, they ran and left Him to die alone! They were terrified and in hiding, and Jesus walks into the room and says, "Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive anyone's sins, their sins are forgiven; if you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven."
The early church fathers never took that to mean that we have the same power to forgive sins as Jesus does. Jesus is the only One who can forgive sin. What He has given us is the authority and privilege to tell people the terms of forgiveness, salvation and deliverance—that eternal salvation and forgiveness are free!
We have been authorized by Jesus to announce the way to forgiveness, but did we actually forgive? If we're bitter, mean, and holding something against another when, every time we talk about that person, anger from the past is brought up. How is that representing the authority of Jesus?
Uncle Wally in Ewa Beach showed us limu kala, which is very bitter, and grows in the roughest part of the ocean. Kala in Hawaiian means to free or to forgive. It's used in a ho'oponopono ceremony (a reconciliation ceremony) that family members or friends take part in if they are experiencing problems that lead to hostility. To end the bitterness, they would sit together in a circle with some of the limu kala. Each person takes a piece and offers it to the person they ere angry at. Both would eat it to represent reconciliation—a sense of I'm forgiving you and you're forgiving me—now we can move forward together!
Uncle Wally said he heard a story from friends of Kalapana on the Big Island who were angry at each other, but made lei po'o. The lei po'o on their heads represented all the unforgiveness, bitterness, and frustration. They walked into the water, and kept walking until the seawater covered their heads and the lei po'o floated off in the tides. They turned back and walked out the water unified—all the unforgiveness, bitterness, and frustration washed away with the limu kala in the tides! They walked out restored, leaving the pilikia (problem) behind them.
We need forgiveness the most in relationships in the roughest waters. Ho’oponoponoi s not about letting someone take over; it’s about letting God take over! This is about us inviting God in those rough waters to bring us to a place where all can be set free. When we do that, we are walking in the authority of Jesus. We cannot earn forgiveness—yet, we have been given the authority to extend forgiveness to those around us.
That's really what water baptism is all about: You walk into the water with unforgiveness, sin, and regret and leave it all there; and walk out clean and pure, anointed/empowered by the Holy Spirit for holy living; approved by the Father, who will not love us any less or any more than He does right now; and authorized by Jesus to go out and change the world!
God said you are the perfect one to represent Him to all the people in your lives. Everywhere that you go, in your words, actions, and responses, you show Jesus. You cannot save anybody, but Jesus can. You cannot change anybody, but Jesus can. You can show Jesus and walk in that authority.
Study Questions to Ponder