Wednesday, August 16, 2017

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By : Lonnie Branam [ Sermon Christ: king of Kings ]

                                                CHRIST: KING OF KINGS
Sometime back the following article was found in a church bulletin in  Atlanta, Georgia:
Oh, God — The bumper sticker says "Smile if you love Jesus." So I smiled all day long . . . And people thought I worked for Jimmy Carter. The bumper sticker said honk if you love Jesus; So I honked . . . and a policeman arrested me for disturbing the peace in a hospital zone.
The bumper sticker said wave if you love Jesus.  So I waved with both hands . . . but lost control of the car and crashed into the back of a Baptist bus.
Oh, God,  if I cannot smile ... or honk ... or wave . . . How will Jesus know I love Him? ... If you llove Jesus, tithe...honking is too easy. (1)
 In Colossians 1:13,14 , Paul writes that God has delivered  us from the power of darkness and transferred us into the kingdom of his beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.  Paul was speaking here about what Christ Christ had done for us. ves. Notice the first words of God's word, The first great truth we learn from this passage is that God has delivered us from the power of darkness. Christ delivered us from the power of darkness. What  what exactly is the power of darkness? It is the power that darkness and evil have over the lives of human beings. Darkness is a  metaphor and stands for the evil that blinds our hearts and minds  and causes spiritual, religious and moral blindness.   Before people become Christians they aare  living in the darkness, going down the wrong road.  Exactly what is the power of darkness.  It is the power that darkness has over the lives of human beings.   Jesus said there but two roads to travel in life, the  narrow way  that leads to eternal life, and the broad way that  leads to eternal destruction. But when people become followers of Christ, He transforms them, re-creates them, give them a new birth, born of water and Spirit and starts them on the way that leads to eternal life. "He delivered us  us from the power of darkness." This is a world of darkness in many ways.                                           
On October 20, 1988, three teenage boys in the tiny town of Carl Junction, Missouri, beat their friend to death with a baseball bat. There was no motive for their crime. They told police that they just thought it would be fun. Where did they get such a twisted definition of fun? It may have started with the things they put into their minds. The boys admitted that they often smoked pot and listened to violent heavy-metal music. The leader of the pack also claimed that he had given his life over to Satan. He stated that Satan told him, "Just open the door once and I promise I'll never let you go." Evidently, he opened that door in his mind, and this action bore horrible fruit in the lives of many people.(2)                                   .
There was an amusing story in the news several years ago about a burglary call that came in to the Oklahoma City Police Department. The  Officer  arrived at the scene of the crime, an apartment occupied by an elderly gentleman. The  Officer  began listing the stolen items. Then the old gent made a startling statement. "But what I'm really worried about is my one-armed orangutan," he said, "He can get downright nasty when he's not fed."              
"Your what, sir?" asked the  Officer.                                     
"My one-armed orangutan," answered the old man. "He's only about four-foot-six, but apes are unusually strong for their size, especially a one-armed ape. His left arm is as strong as three men's arms."                                        
"You had a one-armed orangutan here?"  The Officer  asked.                             
"Yes till he got stolen or ran off." said the old man. "He was here when I left. One of these hamburgers was for him. He'll be angry that he didn't get his burger."
At this point, the Officer n didn't know if the old guy was confused, pulling his leg, or the genuine owner of a missing orangutan. But the old guy's story was confirmed when the Officer  heard a disturbance call from an apartment nearby. It involved some crooks who were sitting around taking inventory of the items they had just stolen from the old man's apartment. The burglars were also inhaling toxic paint fumes to get high.                        
Unfortunately for them, these smart robbers  had forced a certain one-armed
orangutan, who just happened to be hanging out with them, to sniff the paint, too. The drugged-out ape had gone berserk and was wreaking havoc in the apartment. The police had to get the old man to talk the orangutan out so that the burglars could give themselves up to police without being torn apart.(3)                                   
An unknown writer for the Dynamic Preaching magazine said, “Drug addicts often use the term, ‘the monkey on my back.' Maybe it would be helpful if we visualized sin as a one-armed orangutan hanging over our back. It's got hold of us and won't let go. Somewhere, somehow, we got ourselves into an unhealthy situation that we can't figure a way out of.”                                  
Perhaps the best definition of darkness in all the Bible is given us by the Apostle Paul who describes the darkness that the ancient Gentile world fell into before Christ came into the world in Romans 1: “Wherefore God gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts to dishonor their own bodies between themselves: who changed the truth of God into a lie and worshiped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen. For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections; for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature. And likewise also  the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust toward one another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves the due penalty for their perversion....Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness, full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, and malice. They are gosips, slanderers, God-haters, , insolent, , arrogant and boastful. They invent ways of doing evil, disobey their parents  without understanding, covenant-breakers, without natural affection, heartless and unmerciful, who  knowing the judgment of God that they who commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but approve of those who do such things.(Romans 1:24-32).  The meaning of the latter statement is that such evil people do not deserve to live God's good earth.  All of these things is part of the darkness of this world. All of these things and many additional new ones have blinded the minds and hearts of people in the 21st century. The darkness in the 21st century is worse than the darkness that existedin  the first century. Our text says the Christ delivered Christians  from all darkness in this world that touched and corrupted their lives.  How did He do it?  He did it by forgiveness.  3500 years ago, God delivered Israel out of Egyptian slavery by forgiveness. He forgave them when each family offered the Passover Lamb as a redemptive sacrifice to God. He delivered   Christians from the  slavery of  darkness to a holy life of freedom. Christ did it by  offering His crucified body to God as the Lamb of God that takes away the sins of the world. Israel offered a Passover Lamb, Christians were willing to make to turn their llives around by faith in Christ as Savior, by turning away from past evil,  and  submitting to baptism for the forgiveness of sins. Immersion in water  metaphorically represents the death, burial and resurrection of Christ. In this way all who become Christians  participate in the death, burial and resurrection of Christ. That is the way Christ delivered  us from the power of darkness.                                   
Finally, our text tells us that not only did God the Father deliver us through  Christ from the power of darkness, but He also “ transferred us into the kingdom of his beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins." What is this kingdom and where is it?  It is also called the kingdom of God.  The second truth we learn from our text is Jesus Christ is a king. The word kingdom is a metaphor for the church which literally  means the people God called out of darkness. The kingdom of Christ is a figure of speech for the Church of Christ, and it conveys the idea that Christians serve Christ like the citizens of an earthly kingdom serve their king. In the book of Acts it is said that the Lord added  to the church daily such as were are being saved. Jesus continues to do that today. Christ alone decided who are transferred into the kingdom of Christ on the eaarht. Those  people who Christ adds to Christ's church are the ones God transfers into the kingdom of Christ. Christians should honor Christ as people on earth honor their kings.  The transfer of people called out of darkness into the kingdom of Christ declares the supreme Lordship of Christ in this world. Christians are members of the kingdom of Christ which is on the earth today.  To become a Christian is to become a citizen in the kingdom of Christ, and their names are written the Lamb's book of life.  The apostle Peter said when Christ comes back Christians will  enter the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ”(I Peter 1:11). Thanks be unto God for transferring us into the kingdom of His beloved Son.                          
In addition to being the king of His earthly church- kingdom, Christ is also the universal king of the entire human race.  In Revelation 19:15,16  a glorious description of Christ
is presented  which states that Christ will smite the nations , and rule them with a rod of iron, ...and He has on His garment and on His thigh an name written, KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS.” The same truth was predicted by the prophet Daniel, “I was watching in the night visions and behold One like the Son of Man coming with the clouds of heaven.  He came to the Ancient of days, and they brought Him near before Him. Then to Him was given dominion and glory and a kingdom, that all peoples, nations and languages should serve Him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion which shall not pass away, and His kingdom the one which shall not pass away”(Daniel 7:13,14). Daniel here describes the ascension of Jesus to heaven and the  universal dominion God gave Christ over all nations.  Just as the kingdom of Christ is above and greater than all other kingdoms on earth, so Christ's position as King is superior to all other kings on earth. .  Legally and rightly that has been His position since He took His seat on David's throne at God's right hand in 33 A.D.  This universal king is distinctly said to be the Son of man.  There is no questions as to who this is. He is the new Head and representative of humanity. This is the second Adam, taking the place of the first Adam, father of the human race, by whom the human race fell into sin..  Christ began to exercise His office as unversal King immediately after His ascension, and has been doing so ever since. The foundation of His visible kingdom in the world was laid on the day of Pentecost A.D. 33  when Peter declared in Jerusalem,   “Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly that God has made that same Jesus, whom you have crucified, both Lord and Christ.”  He is the Head of the Church  the Lord over the human race, and rules all nations by His laws revealed in the New Covenant.   If the nations of the world oppose and reject His laws, they can expect some kind of retaliation, providentially.  No nations should have laws that contradict the laws of the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. 

1. “What God Wants to Know” by Bruce Larson Chapter 

2. Lewis B. Smedes “A Life of   Distinction pp.121-122
3. Daniel Butler and Alan Ray “Wanted Dumb or Alive”

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