Sunday, September 15, 2013

C3 Church: Understanding Who I Am In Christ

Speaker: Matt Fry

Please refresh this blog over the next hour to follow Pastor Matt's message as it happens or watch it on our live video feed. Today's message is titled, "I Am."
When Jesus came into the region of Caesarea Philippi, He asked His disciples, saying,“Who do men say that I, the Son of Man, am?”
14 So they said, “Some say John the Baptist, some Elijah, and others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.”
15 He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?”
16 Simon Peter answered and said, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.”
17 Jesus answered and said to him, “Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah, for flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but My Father who is in heaven. 18 And I also say to you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it. 19 And I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.”
Matthew 16:13-19 (NKJV)
When we begin to discover the Great I Am, then I get to discover who I am.

We Are Blessed

As we look at these 7 I Am statements over the next few months, we will realized that we are blessed. When we realize who God is, we will then realize a blessed life.

As a father, Matt wants to bless his kids. They know that if they come to him, they can have just about anything that they want. In the same way that Matt wants to bless his kids, God wants to bless us.
“You fathers—if your children ask for a fish, do you give them a snake instead? 12 Or if they ask for an egg, do you give them a scorpion? Of course not! 13 So if you sinful people know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him.”
Luke 11:13 (NLT)
God's blessings are eternal and our eternity begins right now.

We Get To Build His Church

Jesus came to establish two things: Family and the Church. What is the church? We are. Pastor Matt says. The church is not a building, but the people. At C3, we want to build up the people so that they can make a difference in this world and in their own lives. 

In the beginning of C3, we didn't have a building. As we planet churches around the world, many of them do not start with beautiful buildings. 

Every day, we get to share the Gospel and help build his church. We should be excited about that.

Also, a church is not a denomination. He says that it's not bad to have a denomination, but the church didn't start out with denomination. 

Aren't you glad that when we get to heaven, it is just going to be heaven? Period. (Applause) 

The local church is the hope of the world. Men and women filled with God and working together can change the world. 

He Gives Us The Keys To The Kingdom

The keys are understanding who we are in Christ. When I encounter the Great I Am then I discover who I am.

How do you finish this sentence? "I am..." 

Some will say, "I am so tired, slow, ugly, old, bored or stupid." However you answer that question, that response will come and haunt you. Instead, we should change the message to say, "I am a wonderful, vibrant, or blessed."
The tongue has the power of life and death,
and those who love it will eat its fruit.
Proverbs 18:21 (NIV)
Stop putting out negative messages, but change it to something positive. As an example, age is just a number but it doesn't have to limit who we become. 
If we put bits into the mouths of horses so that they obey us, we guide their whole bodies as well. 4 Look at the ships also: though they are so large and are driven by strong winds, they are guided by a very small rudder wherever the will of the pilot directs. 5 So also the tongue is a small member, yet it boasts of great things.
How great a forest is set ablaze by such a small fire!
James 3:3-5 (ESV)
We can see supernatural things happen in our lives. We are not just average or ordinary. We are unique and one of a kind. You are God's masterpiece. He took his time when he made you. God don't make no junk. You are an original.

Pastor Matt talks about growing up with his older sisters. He was the "Ooops!" baby. He was a surprise. In any case, their dad used to call his sister "His Princess." As a result, she has become an amazing champion for God. See, the power of words can affect everything. Let's be careful what we call our kids. Talk life into their lives.
(as it is written, “I have made you a father of many nations”) in the presence of Him whom he believed—God, who gives life to the dead and calls those things which do not exist as though they did; 18 who, contrary to hope, in hope believed, so that he became the father of many nations, according to what was spoken, “So shall your descendants be.”
Romans 4: 17-18 (NKJV) 
We should speak those things that are not as though they are. If you feel tired, the Bible says that we should say that we are strong. Don't say that you're too old, declare new mountains for God. Declare that you are a warrior for God instead of saying that you just this ordinary person.

You don't have to be average, let Jesus define who you really are. We must know who we are in Christ and who we are not.

There are some who feel forsaken, forgotten, abandoned, rejected, useless, helpless, hopeless, condemned, confused, confounded, doomed, destroyed, desolate, deserted, uncared for, unprotected, unwanted, unknown, or unloved. This is not true. Isn't that amazing?

Joshua and Caleb are the only two people out of 12 spies that were positive about the Promised Land. How many of the 12 spies do you know? The only two that are remembered were the positive warriors and change agents. Be like Joshua and Caleb. Have a can-do attitude.
Then the Lord said to Moses and Aaron, 27 “How long must I put up with this wicked community and its complaints about me? Yes, I have heard the complaints the Israelites are making against me. 28 Now tell them this: ‘As surely as I live, declares the Lord, I will do to you the very things I heard you say.
Numbers 14:26-28 (NLT)
The Bible is filled with 31 I Am statements. Pastor Matt will share these statements on his blog and provide daily devotionals. Make sure to visit for more details.

Do You Need A Fresh Start?

If you would like to make a fresh start in your life and receive God's love, pray this prayer:
Dear God, I realize I've sinned and I need you. Thank you for dying on the cross and rising from the grave. Come in to my heart and save me. Thank you for giving me eternal and abundant life. Help me to live for you, for the rest of my life. In Jesus' name. Amen.
To share your story, want more information about next steps, or just in need of prayer, please contact Pastor Matt Fry.


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Damond L. Nollan, M.B.A.

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