Friday, May 10, 2013
Sunday, March 17, 2013
Media Pastor-Boonville Wesleyan Church
3. HUNGER: Exodus 33:17-20
“Instead, desire first and foremost God’s kingdom and God’s righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.”
Without human refinement and education he was able to tap into the infinite resources of God to bring divine grace to multitudes.
Friday, November 23, 2012
Thanksgiving 2012 is now history. Most of us are probably having ham or turkey sandwiches today along with the usual leftovers. Some may even complain about leftovers while much of the world is still hungry. Christmas decorations have been hanging in the Big*Box stores since Halloween, their second biggest retail season only to Christmas, due largely to our culture's fascination with the occult and the vampire craziness of late in television and motion pictures. Black Friday is now being pushed to Thursday, even sooner on some internet shopping sites. Jesus and His birth are almost forgotten by much of our quasi-religious and atheistic culture.
A good way for the individual and the church to remember the signifigence of this Christmas Season is the observance of the four Sundays of Advent. Our Catholic and most of our mainline churches already observe Advent. Sadly, many of our Wesleyan and sister churches do not. At best, some will celebrate with a service after Thanksgiving such as"Hanging of the Greens." This is great, but why stop there.
Advent Dates for 2012
• December 2 - First Sunday of Advent
• December 9 - Second Sunday of Advent
• December 16 - Third Sunday of Advent
• December 23 - Fourth Sunday of Advent
In Western Christianity, Advent begins on the fourth Sunday prior to Christmas Day, or the Sunday which falls closest to November 30, and lasts through Christmas Eve, or December 24. When Christmas Eve falls on a Sunday, it is the last, or fourth Sunday of Advent.
In Eastern Orthodox churches which use the Julian calendar, Advent begins earlier, on November 15, and lasts 40 days, rather than 4 weeks.
Why not light a candle and read the complimentary Scriptures leading up to Christmas? This only takes a few minutes during the morning worship service and helps us to focus on what happened two thousand years ago. Its also great to hear Scripture in our Bible starved society. of today. That's what I think anyway...what are your thoughts? keith 1 Cor 13
Keith Kiper is an ordained minister in The Wesleyan Church. He currently serves as Media Pastor at Boonville Wesleyan Church. He is married to Vicky. The Kiper's have a grown daughter Kristen, a Maltipoo named Opie, a Cockerpoo named Jackson and two cats.
Saturday, August 18, 2012
We are told we should not judge others. Quotes will show up in blogs about the beam in our eye when we are focusing on the speck in our brothers eye. Some of the newer ones in response to"Love the sinner, hate the sin" tell us we should focus on hating our own sin. Of course, only the quotes of Jesus about this are given, none about helping our brother out of sin, or the authority of God's Word. And yes, there is some truth here as it sounds good at face value. Our preaching should point to Christ in a loving way, but sometimes we have to be specific, something lacking in many of today's sugar coated sermonettes.
Theologians have a term for focusing only on the words of red while ignoring the rest of the New Testament. They term this the Christological Fallicy. Romans Chapter one warns of the consequences of the ungodly lifestyle. The rest of Chapter One is o surprisingly up to date.
18 God’s wrath is being revealed from heaven against all the ungodly behavior and the injustice of human beings who silence the truth with injustice. 19 This is because what is known about God should be plain to them because God made it plain to them. 20 Ever since the creation of the world, God’s invisible qualities—God’s eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, because they are understood through the things God has made. So humans are without excuse. 21 Although they knew God, they didn’t honor God as God or thank him. Instead, their reasoning became pointless, and their foolish hearts were darkened. 22 While they were claiming to be wise, they made fools of themselves. 23 They exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images that look like mortal humans: birds, animals, and reptiles. 24 So God abandoned them to their hearts’ desires, which led to the moral corruption of degrading their own bodies with each other.
The Bible does hold the Christian responsible for speaking the truth in love to others. As Christians and as Wesleyans we are obligated to do so. We have practiced civil disobedience in the past when man's law conflicted with God's law. We may have to do so again in this upside down world. I close with what James had to say about the matter. I love James' practical insights into Christian living.
" My brothers and sisters, if any of you wander from the truth and someone turns back the wanderer, recognize that whoever brings a sinner back from the wrong path will save them from death and will bring about the forgiveness of many sins." James 5:19,20 CEB
Keith Kiper is an ordained minister in The Wesleyan Church. He currently serves as media pastor at Boonville Wesleyan Church. He is married to Vicky. The Kiper's have a grown daughter Kristen, a Maltipoo named Opie, and two cats. Keith manages several facebook pages, blogs, and websites.
Tuesday, April 17, 2012
Boonville Wesleyan Church
I recently bought an old book in a consignment shop written by James Samuel Knox. I still like books, especially old ones. Guess I haven't quite caught the I-pad fever. The title of the book is Personal Efficiency. I believe this was written as a companion to a book on salesmanship. Although some passages are humorous, because they are dated, specifically to the life and times of 1920. I like what Mr. Knox says in his chapter on time capital.
Saturday, February 4, 2012
“The Biblical Principle of Spiritual Adoption”
by Keith Kiper
A Message from Romans 8:18-25
Life sure goes by fast, doesn’t it? Our daughter Kristy is 22 years old and a college student. Those of you with children can relate I’m sure. Just seems like yesterday she was only a baby. I can still remember her first day of school, sweet sixteen birthday parties, and then High School graduation. But you see, December 15th, 1989 was a very special day for Vicky and myself. Our daughter Kristy came into our lives that year. Although we will probably never meet her, Vicky and I thank God every day Kristy’s biological mother chose life. There were a couple of times the agency thought they had a child for us, but things just didn’t work out. At the time it was hard to understand why. We were even willing to take a child with medical problems. But you see, God always knows what is best for us, even when WE can’t see the big picture!
The Bible talks about adoption. When reading what Paul tells us in Romans chapter eight we quickly learn that Spiritual adoption is a very important Biblical principle. Our key verse 23 tells us, ”And it’s not only the Creation. We ourselves who have the Spirit as the first crop of the harvest also groan inside as we wait to be adopted and for our bodies to be set free.” (CEB) The NASB calls this being set free, ”the redemption of our body”
You see, the one who does yet not know Christ, or have God’s Holy Spirit dwelling within-groans from their innermost being until they are adopted into the family of God. The Greek word used in this passage to describe adoption is arraboon. We can also find it in 2 Corinthians 1:22 and Ephesians 1:14. In the common Greek usage it would mean the same as a pledge, much so as with an engagement ring. In the Roman world of that time, an adopted son could not be deprived of his father’s inheritance. The son was recognized legally in the same way as one born naturally. Paul was explaining God’s love to them in a way that they could understand. The English word for adoption is derived from the Latin word meaning to choose - option is derived from the same word). The translation simply means the acceptance of another person's child as one's own. Adoption is very ancient, and is commonly found everywhere in the world among many cultures. The Bible perspective on adoption expands the principle of natural adoption to include national and spiritual adoption. The last one, spiritual adoption, is "the point" of God's offer of eternal life, made available to everyone of all nations who will exercise their option to genuinely repent and truly obey Him
Paul used adoption to illustrate his point because Natural adoption was common during Bible History. Some Bible examples are:
"And the child grew, and she brought him to Pharaoh's daughter, and he became her son; and she named him Moses, for she said, "Because I drew him out of the water." (Exodus 2:10 RSV)
"He had brought up Hadassah, that is Esther, the daughter of his uncle, for she had neither father nor mother; the maiden was beautiful and lovely, and when her father and her mother died, Mordecai adopted her as his own daughter." (Esther 2:7 RSV)
Spiritual adoption is available to all who will repent and obey God:
"His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us to His own glory and excellence, by which He has granted to us His precious and very great promises, that through these you may escape from the corruption that is in the world because of passion, and become partakers of the divine nature." (2 Peter 1:3-4 RSV)
"But to all who received Him, who believed in His Name, He gave power to become children of God" (John 1:12 RSV)
"For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the spirit of sonship. When we cry, "Abba! Father!" it is the Spirit Himself bearing witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs, heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with Him in order that we may also be glorified with Him" (Romans 8:15-17 RSV)
Romans tells us the whole earth groaned in travail after sin entered God’s perfect Creation through Adam’s disobedience. Because of Adam’s sin our sin separates us from God. Death, disease, sin, and sickness are in the world because of our spiritual death through our biological parents, Adam and Eve. Adam did not die immediately after he sinned, he lived to be several hundred years old. And yes, when we correctly understand Genesis, we know that Adam really lived this many years. Spiritual death was immediate for Adam, physical death came later. Physical death will come for all of us here today save the return of Christ.
You can stop watering a plant, or cut it from its stem. It will eventually die. It is the same way with all humankind. Sin separates us from God. Without Christ in our life, through Spiritual Adoption, we are dead spiritually and then will die physically. Just as we can water the dying plant, the Bible tells us Jesus is the living water! Jesus restores our relationship with the Heavenly Father. We are then justified. Remember the old familiar bromide, “Just as if I never sinned?”
When our daughter Kristy first came into our life, she was 2 ½ months old. There is a reason for this. The state of Florida has some of the best adoption laws in the nation. I believe that is one of the reasons why God led us there in 1983. When a child’s biological mother contacts an adoption agency, the child is placed with foster parents for 2 ½ months. After 2 ½ months the agency places the child with the adoptive parents. The main reason is this allows the mother and/or father time in case there is a change of heart. After this passage of time and the judge drops his gavel, it’s a done deal as they say. Not even the president of the United States can reverse his or the parent’s decision. If every state did this, it would save a lot of heartache. Kristy was our daughter the same as if she was biologically ours…birth certificate and all. Can you see the Spiritual application here? It’s the same with God’s love through Jesus His Son. When we accept Christ’s forgiveness, we are born into God’s family. We become His son or daughter. Just as if we never sinned! There is then the heavenly birth certificate called the book of life. Our name is entered there. No one can remove it but we ourselves.
This doesn’t mean we will then be without trials and tribulatioins. They will come but they will pass. God provides the Comforter the Holy Spirit to live in and through us if we will allow and submit.
From now on, our sense of significance derives not from our performance but our position in Christ. Who we are, and indeed what we are, derives from the fact that we are adopted by grace. From this knowledge flows our sense of value. No longer are we preoccupied with the way others see us. We are wholly taken up with the way God sees us.
Mark Stibbe the Vicar of St Andrew’s, Chorleywood. Mark was adopted as a child and has authored a book on the doctrine of adoption, From Orphans to Heirs. In closing, listen as I read his list of privileges from his book that we have when we are adopted into the family of God.
I have been given the right to be [called] a child of God (John 1:12).
I am no longer a slave but a friend of Christ (John 15:15).
I have been bought for adoption through Christ’s blood (I Corinthians 6:20).
I was predestined for adoption (Ephesians 1:5).
I am a child of Abba by adoption (Romans 8:15).
I am God’s work of art (Ephesians 2:10).
I am no longer under any condemnation (Romans 8:1).
I cannot be separated from the Father’s love (Romans 8:35).
I am loved by the Father himself (John 16:27).
I have been redeemed and forgiven (Colossians 1:14).
I am a citizen of heaven (Philippians 3:20).
I have not been given a spirit of fear (2 Timothy 1: 7).
I am no longer a slave but a son (Galatians 4:7).
I am seated with the Son in heaven (Ephesians 2:6).
I am of the same family as Jesus (Hebrews 2:11).
I am a brother of the Lord Jesus (Hebrews 2:11).
I can approach the Father with confidence (Hebrews 4:16).
I am a brand new person in Christ Jesus (2 Corinthians 5:17).
Saturday, October 29, 2011
What comes to your mind when you think of Martin Luther and the Diet of Worms? Was this an early form of a fad diet in 15th century Germany? After all, just a few years ago you could find advertisements in magazines for tapeworms. Just swallow a few of these, the ad would say, and you can lose weight without really trying. Our brand is even hygienic for your good health, it would say! But, a Diet of Worms? Our form of the English language can be a fascinating thing. We can only imagine how strange it seems to others when they attempt to learn and speak our brand of English.
Martin Luther, as many of you well know was the father of the Protestant Reformation. Martin was born in eastern Germany in 1483. This was only some forty years after Johann Gutenberg invented the printing press. Martin Luther protested some of the practices in the Catholic Church of that time. A diet was a judicial hearing or court. Worms was the German city where the trial was to be held. And now, as the late Paul Harvey would often say, you know the rest of the story.
History demonstrates that at various times and different locations, the Christian church has veered off and even jumped the track. God calls out men and women, grounded in His Holy Word, the Bible, to steer the Christian Church back into the right direction. He has done this from Old Testament times until the present age in which we now live. The bigger question is whether or not the church of today will listen.
Recently, a well known television pastor and evangelist (Click for the interview) was asked what he thought about the Mormon faith. This was in response to recent criticism of a particular political candidate. The tele-evangelist’s answer seemed logical, and probably sounded OK to much of today’s Biblically illiterate culture. He said he probably would not agree with everything he Church of Latter Day Saints would teach. He went on to say that they were probably not the purest form of Christianity…that recognizing Jesus as the Son of God was the most important thing. The thing this well known evangelist neglected to consider is that the Mormon Church does not believe that virgin birth of Jesus Christ happened by any miraculous means.
All genuine Christianity is built on the foundation of what seemed to be a small detail to him. God sent His perfect, sinless Son, born of a virgin to be a sacrifice for mankind’s sin. Christ became sin for us on the cross at Calvary that we might have eternal life. The virgin birth is of utmost importance because sin is passed through the blood of each generation. Because Mary was impregnated by the Holy Spirit, Christ was born without sin!
Back in the 1970’s there was a popular television called Happy Days. As with most television shows, ratings decline the longer a program remains on the air. In an effort to gain a ratings boost, the Happy Days gang went on a beach vacation. In one particular scene Fonzi is seen wearing his famous leather jacket while on water skis. Still on the skis he then jumps over a shark to the cheers of everyone on the beach. Because of this particular scene, movie and television critics invented a new name for programs that leave common sense behind and go off into a strange direction. It’s called “Jumping the Shark!” My friends, there are many churches today that have jumped the shark!
The bigger question today is…how do we as a The Church get back on track? I would like to focus on several things today that I personally believe would get our church and nation headed back into the right direction based on God’s Word.
I. A Return to Christian Community: When I say church, I’m talking about the church as a whole. I’m not criticizing our church, Boonville Wesleyan Church. We are just a part of a much larger picture, Christ’s church, the entire Christian Community. Union with Christ establishes our membership in His Church, the community of the faithful. I’m afraid that because many times we as Christians have put so much emphasis on a personal relationship, that we forget we are all called to work together to be the light of the world. As an individual we belong to Boonville Wesleyan Church. Our church is part of the Indiana South District of The Wesleyan Church. Our district is part of The Wesleyan Church USA. And of course, all churches that believe that Jesus is Savior and Lord are part of the Kingdom of God. The first step the church of today must take in getting back on track is accountability. We must remain true to the Word of God and in fellowship with the entire Christian Community of believers that are striving to do the same.
II. A Return to Christian Social Witness: What do I mean when I speak of a social Christian witness? John Wesley once said, ”Any religion that can be concealed is not Christianity.” What do you think Wesley meant when he made that statement? As you study his life it becomes quite clear. The England of Wesley’s day had become very corrupt. Alcoholism was very rampant in the streets. Children could be hanged for stealing rabbit from a gentlemen’s estate. Not much different than today is it? Florida is the leading state to treat children as adults with over 300 under the age of eighteen in the adult prison system. Florida is followed closely by Texas. I’m sorry folks, regardless of the crime, a twelve year old boy is not an adult and does not deserve life in prison! I would not want to be in the judge’s shoes who sentenced a child for personal political gain when the King of Kings judges him. Jesus tells us about the fate of those who mistreat children. And just as the early Wesleyans constantly decried the evils of slavery…we should cry out to God for our leaders who justify the nearly 4000 thousand children who are murdered each day in their mother’s womb. God tells us clearly that the children’s innocent blood cries out from the ground to Him.
Early Wesleyans and like-minded Christians of other faiths worked to reform the prison system, end slavery, and feed the poor. A Social Gospel is putting into action what we believe and know in our heart is right based on what the Bible clearly shows us. . That is what it means to be salt and light. This is putting the golden rule into action. True revival brought about the needed social change in England. The answer to America’s problems is true spiritual revival, not more laws and political rhetoric.
Many would look for a political or presidential candidate to solve the problems.
Someone once said,” Why do we choose from just two people to run for president and fifty for Miss America?” Good question!
Both major political parties have had periods of time when they experienced complete control with the presidency and both houses of congress. If being democrat or being republican were the only answer, then our problems should have been solved by now. If you seek God in honest prayer, He will guide you in selecting a candidate, nationally or locally.
In spite of billions of dollars pouring in every year, our public school system has become a disaster. Abraham Lincoln said that the classroom of one generation will become the government of the next one. The great reformer Martin Luther recognized the problem nearly 500 years ago when he said, “I am afraid that the schools will prove the very gates of hell, unless they diligently labor in explaining the Holy Scriptures and engraving them in the heart of the youth.”
Dr. Leon Henson said, ”Whenever the Christian lives an authentic life, the world around is permeated with God’s presence… The pure in heart not only see God, but become letters through which society sees Him.”
Check back later for Part Two...God Bless -Keith 1 Cor 13