Text: 1 Peter 2:4-10
1. When the infant Jesus was being presented to the Lord at the temple, an interesting statement was made concerning Him by Simeon: “Behold, this Child in destined for the fall and rising of many in Israel…” – Luke 2:34
2. In other words, Jesus was destined to have different effects on different people
a. To some, He would be the cause of their rising
b. For others, He would be their down fall
3. In 1 Peter 2:4-10, the apostle Peter expands upon this same theme
a. To some people, Jesus serves as a “cornerstone”
b. To others, He is a “stumblingstone”.
I. TO THOSE WHO BELIEVE, JESUS IS A “CORNERSTONE”
A. HE IS A “LIVING STONE” – 1 Peter 2:4
1. Which was rejected by men
a. As stated by John in John 1:11
b. Instead, they crucified Him
2. And yet, He was chosen by God, considered to be precious
a. As foretold in Psalm 118:22, God has taken that which was rejected by men and made it the “cornerstone”
b. The cornerstone of what?
B. THE “CORNERSTONE” OF A GREAT SPIRITUAL HOUSE OR TEMPLE – 1 Peter 2:5-6
1. Upon which we are being built
2. The same thought or illustration is used by the apostle Paul – 1 Corinthians 3:9-11, 16-17
3. As this spiritual house built upon Christ, we fulfill certain responsibilities
a. We serve as a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices to God – 1 Peter 2:5
1) Our bodies – Romans 12:1-2
2) Our praise – Hebrews 13:15
3) Our doing good and sharing – Hebrews 13:16
4) Even our deaths – 2 Timothy 4:6-8
b. We therefore serve as God’s special people – 1 Peter 2:9-10
1) With a special task of proclaiming the praises of God
2) For by His grace…
a) We have been called out of darkness into His marvelous light
b) We who were not a people are now the people of God
c) We have obtained mercy!
C. JESUS IS THE ROCK UPON WHICH WE, AS INDIVIDUALS, BUILD OUR LIVES – Matthew 7:24-27
1. By following His teachings, we are able to establish our lives on solid ground
2. And this enables us to withstand the “storms” of life
II. TO THOSE WHO DISBELIEVE, JESUS IS A “STUMBLINGSTONE”
A. THERE IS NO OTHER ALTERNATIVE – 1 Peter 2:7-8
1. Either Jesus is the cornerstone
a. Upon which we are being built as stones in His temple
b. Upon which we are building our lives by following His teaching
2. Or He will be the “stumblingstone” over which we will meet our doom!
B. THAT JESUS WOULD BE A STUMBLINGSTONE TO SOME
1. Was foretold by Isaiah, who Peter quotes – Isaiah 8:13-15
2. We saw that Simeon also foresaw the same thing when Jesus was presented in the temple as a newborn – Luke 2:34
3. Even Jesus saw Himself as this stumblingstone – Matthew 21:42-44
C. SADLY, JESUS HAS BECOME A STUMBLINGSTONE TO ISRAEL
1. Romans 9:30-33; 1 Corinthians 1:23
2. Jesus was a stumbling block to many of the Jews because
a. They thought that they could attain righteousness by keeping the Law
b. They could not accept the need for a suffering Messiah to atone for their sins!
D. IN A SIMILAR WAY, JESUS IS A STUMBLINGSTONE FOR MANY PEOPLE TODAY
1. Pride prevents them from accepting Jesus on His terms!
2. They think that they can please God and go to heaven on the basis of their good deeds
3. Therefore, they are unwilling
a. To confess their sinfulness, and their need for Jesus Christ
b. To turn their lives over to Jesus, and to do His Will
E. THE SAD PART IS THIS: TO THOSE WHO STUMBLE BY BEING DISOBEDIENT, DOOM AWAITS!
1. For such doom has been appointed by God – 1 Peter 2:8
2. Such is logically necessary, for without Christ
a. We will die in our own sins – John 8:24
b. Righteous punishment can only follow – Revelation 20:11-15
1. We often sing “Jesus, Rock of Ages,” for truly Jesus is like a rock. But what kind of rock is He to us?
2. If we are willing to believe and obey Jesus, He can be the CORNERSTONE
a. Upon which we can be added as part of His church, the spiritual temple
b. Upon which can build our lives so as to have a full and meaningful life
3. But if we disbelieve and are disobedient, then by necessity Jesus will be our STUMBLINGSTONE
a. Over which we will fall
b. Under which we will be broken and be ground to powder
4. There is no middle ground. What will Jesus be for you? Are you obedient to His Word?
It happens all too often: we “know” where something is, only to find out we’re wrong.
- We’re sure our keys are hanging on the key rack, but instead we left them in our pocket.
- That restaurant was on the corner; now, it has relocated to the other part of town.
- The bread was in aisle 3; now, it’s in aisle 1.
In the religious world people look for the right things, but in the wrong places.
Eternal life is something that everyone needs, and should want! Where do we go to find it? Jesus said, “You search the Scriptures, for in them you think you have eternal life; and these are they which testify of Me (John 5:39).”
The first place to look is the Bible! Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever (Hebrews 13:8), and His word abides forever (1 Peter 1:23). When we study the Scriptures we learn to find eternal life, where it really is; in Jesus Christ!
John writes, “And this is the testimony; that God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life. These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, that you may know that you have eternal life, and that you may continue to believe in the name of the Son of God (1 John 5:11-13).”
Now that we see where eternal life is; let’s come and get it!
“But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to everyone that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear” (1 Peter 3:15).
Is faith a reasonable thing? There are those who would have us believe that our faith is built around a fallacy. The Bible, they argue, is not the word of God. Our world was not created, it just happened. Jesus Christ, if he lived at all, was nothing like the picture painted by today’s preachers.
TIME (April 8, 1996) focused on the debate. Jesus made the cover. In the past the magazine had drawn attention to the liberal claims of the Jesus Seminar (a self-appointed panel of so-called experts who deny any measurable historical content to the New Testament). This time, however, they offered at least a token response to the outlandish claims of this Seminar, and it was about time!
Is there any real reason for us to question the validity of the Biblical record, and especially the New Testament account of Christ and His church? Frankly, research into the past is not as easy as we would like. There are no old newspapers, file footage of events, or tape recordings to be consulted. It is impossible to verify the gospel story with these modern methods. Obviously, we cannot go back and interview the main participants in the saga. There is not that much extra-biblical material from that period to be examined. But, what does exist in no way destroys the creditability of the Scriptures.
Among the earliest believers, however, there would have been opportunity to consult with eyewitnesses, to verify facts, to determine truth. And, there is no doubt that such was done. The writers of the New Testament claim to have been eyewitness of the things which they describe. Peter wrote: “We have not followed cunningly devised fables, when we made known unto you the power and coming of the Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of his majesty” (2 Peter 1:16). John said much the same thing (1 John 1:1-3).
The antiquity of the Bible, and in particular the New Testament, is undeniable. Given the age of Scripture and the events described, who would be in a better position to accurately represent the true Jesus, His contemporaries, or a group of self-appointed liberals in the twentieth century with an agenda to destroy the credibility of the Bible and Christianity?
Be assured, there are many, many highly educated, scholarly men and women who accept the historical reliability of the Scriptures. Our faith in Jesus Christ is built on a solid foundation. Those who take the time to learn the facts, if they are fair minded, will have no trouble accepting the fact that Jesus Christ was the Son of God, and that the Biblical record of His life and ministry is true!
Text: Revelation 1:18
I. Christ lived!
A. He was born of a virgin as prophesied and witnessed by the wise men, Simeon, Anna, and others – Matthew 1; Luke 2
B. Jesus grew, and amazed many with His wisdom and understanding – Luke 2:52
C. Jesus was baptized by John to fulfill all righteousness – Matthew 3:15
D. He performed many miracles as multitudes witnessed.
E. He overcame temptation, witnessed by the devil – Matthew 4
F. Jesus taught His disciples, the Jews, the Pharisees, the Sadducees, and countless others.
II. Christ died!
A. He was falsely accused and put on trial:
i. They placed a crown of thorns on His head.
ii. He was struck, spat upon and mocked.
iii. He was crucified on a cross.
iv. His side was pierced with a spear.
v. Darkness covered the sky.
vi. The veil of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom.
vii. The earth quaked, the rocks were split, and graves were opened.
B. Witnessing these events, the centurion and guards confessed “truly this was the Son of God.” – Matthew 27:54
C. Joseph of Arimathea:
i. Wrapped the body of Jesus.
ii. Lay His body in the tomb.
iii. Rolled the large stone to guard the entrance.
III. Christ arose!
A. The tomb was empty!
i. The stone was rolled away.
ii. The linen clothes and handkerchief were neatly folded separately.
B. An angel declared,
i. “He is risen”
ii. “why do you seek the living among the dead?”
C. He appeared to:
ii. The apostles
iii. Some on the road to Emmaus
iv. Saul of Tarsus
v. Over 500 at one time!
IV. Christ lives forevermore!
A. Romans 6:3-5, 8-11
B. 1 Corinthians 15:1-26, 54-57
C. 2 Timothy 1:10
D. Acts 2:22-24
V. Because of Christ’s death, burial, and resurrection, we can live forever!
A. Eternal life is in Christ alone – John 11:25-27; 1 John 5:10-13 John 10:10
B. To be in Christ, one must be baptized into Christ – Galatians 3:27
C. All spiritual blessings are in Christ – Ephesians 1:3
D. Just as Christ died, was buried, and rose again, we must die to sin, be buried with Christ, and be raised to walk a new life – Romans 6:1-5
E. Man must die except Christ should come first, but then what? – Hebrews 9:27
I had never thought of Jesus as a basketball player, but Mark Eaton, center for the Utah Jazz, did. He said: “I think Jesus would have been a great basketball player. He would have been one of the most tenacious guys out there. I think he’d really get in your face – nothing dirty, but he’d play to win” (USA Today, March 17, 1992).
I must confess, I have difficulty seeing the Lord in a basketball uniform, but I don’t believe Jesus would be opposed to the game. (He might, however, think that some of the salaries border on the vulgar.)
I doubt the Lord’s idea of a great basketball player and ours would be the same. We judge a man’s ability on the court by the way he jumps, passes and shoots. If he’s aggressive and physical all the better. He must be intense. Once in a while he may even explode and punch someone. Or, he may intentionally step on an opponent while he’s down. We really don’t care what kind of person he is as long as he puts points on the board.
Jesus, on the other hand, is less impressed with how many points a player scores. He doesn’t measure a man’s height, but his heart (1 Samuel 16:7). The winning team, in His eyes, would not necessarily be the one with the highest score at the buzzer. The real winners would be those who played fairly, showed good sportsmanship, and conducted themselves in a way befitting God’s people.
The point is, folks, the real winners are not always those who score the most points, command the highest salaries, or get the most press. A man can do all those things and still fail miserably at life.
I don’t know what kind of basketball player Jesus would have been, but I know what kind of man he was. We can only be successful when we imitate Him. That’s true on the basketball court, in the classroom, at home, and on the job. Our goal is to be like Him, to attain unto the “measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ” (Ephesians 4:13).
Will you join with us as we seek to follow His lead?
In my work as a gospel preacher I have been called upon to conduct many funerals. I have tried to keep accurate records for each individual including date of birth, date of death, and place of burial. Without a great deal of difficulty, I believe I could locate every grave. Why? Because they are all still dead, and I know where they are buried.
But, what about Jesus?
John’s record says that there was a garden at the place where He was crucified, and in the garden a new tomb. It was there that Joseph and Nicodemus placed the body of Christ. Can the place be identified with certainty today? Is the body of Jesus still there? What would we find if we visited the tomb?
The exact location of Christ’s tomb is unknown.
There were no markers or monuments. Even if we visited the precise tomb where the body of Jesus was placed, we would discover it empty. Mary Magdalene had just such an experience. Going to the tomb early Sunday morning, on the third day after His execution, she found the stone rolled away and the tomb empty. She burst out in tears because she thought others had stolen his body (John 20:13). But grave robbers had not taken Him away. Neither His enemies nor His disciples had anything to gain by stealing the body. There must be another explanation.
What happened that morning? He arose!
Jesus, who had been dead, was alive again. He had conquered death. He had beat the devil. He had triumphed over sin. He would never die again!
There can be no other explanation.
Only the resurrection satisfies the facts. Our Savior is alive. “Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice, and shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation” (John 5:28-29 KVJ).
Resurrection is assured.
But, will it be a resurrection to eternal life or death? That is the question we face each day. The answer is found in our response to Jesus.
Thank God, He is alive!
Text: Isaiah 53:4-6
You and I have a great burden, load, or weight, something in which is very heavy, we can not bear alone.
This burden that needs lifted from our shoulders is the deadly weight of sin – 1 John 3:4
All of us have this weight on our shoulders – Romans 3:10, 23
Jesus bore all the weight of our sin on the cross that we might live. We stood condemned to die, but Jesus freely took our place that we might live – 1 Peter 2:24
- Before Jesus went to the cross, He bore mockings of the solders whom stripped Him of His clothes and platted a crown of thorns on His head, saying “Hail King of the Jews – Matthew 27:27-31. Jesus, bore the physical pain and shame of crucifixion, He bore the cruel mockings of the Jews – Matthew 27:39-43. He also bore ridicule of one of the malefactors crucified with Him – Luke 23:39.
- Why did Jesus have to bear it all for the sins of the world? Because, almost all things, by the law, are purged by shedding blood – Hebrews 9:22. And that the animal sacrifices of the Law of Moses were not sufficient to take away sins – Hebrews 10:1-4. This is why Jesus offered himself once for the sins of the world because, He is the perfect sacrifice for sin – Hebrews 9:28.
- Jesus bore it all to break the chains/bonds of sin and to set the captives free. Jesus bore it all to conquer sin and death, so those that would believe and obey Jesus Christ would be saved – John 3:16.
- The Holy Spirit along with Jesus is pleading with you to come that you might live – Revelation 22:17.
Salvation: Hear - Believe - Repent - Confess - Be Baptized - Live Faithfully
Around the middle of the 19th century Bruno Bauer, a German theologian and historian, concocted the notion that Jesus never lived. According to Bauer, Jesus was entirely mythical. He argued that Christ was simply a mental invention of a few second century Christians who drew their concepts of their “Messiah” from Greco-Roman philosophy.
Albert Schweitzer (1875-1965), a more recent German theologian and medical missionary, acknowledged the existence of a “Jesus,” but asserted in his book The Quest of the Historical Jesus (1906) that the real Jesus of history was so different from the Christ revered by Christians that the Lord Jesus of New Testament fame could not really be based upon historical fact.
Rudolf Augstein, publisher of the German Der Spiegel (Germany’s equivalent to our Time magazine), wrote a book titled Jesus, Son of Man in which he claimed that it is impossible to believe that Jesus was God the Son.
Believers in Jesus are often saddled with the reputation of being very gullible.
Christianity reminds some people of the scene in Alice in Wonderland when Alice asks the queen, “How old are you?” The queen responds, “I am a hundred and one, five months, and a day.” Alice shakes her head, “Oh, I can’t believe that.” The queen assures her, “Can’t you? Shut your eyes, hold your breath and try again.”
Faith in Jesus Christ as the Son of God is not some blind leap into the dark.
The identity of Jesus is based on an historically reliable document (Luke 1:1-4). We can know with certainty who He was, what He did, and what He expects of us. Our faith is not based on hearsay testimony, but on eyewitness accounts of His life, death, and resurrection (2 Peter 2:16; 1 John 1:1-3). The events and characters in question were not removed from the mainstream of life and society, but were open to the closest public examination. As Paul said to King Agrippa, “These things were not done in a corner” (Acts 26:26).
Those who investigate Jesus are stuck by His amazing appeal. He speaks to the issues that concern us. The words of Jesus offer comfort and challenge to us:
- In the hospital
- At the graveside
- In the comfort of our own family room
The alternative, disbelief, offers nothing.
There is not the slightest reason for us to question the biblical record concerning Jesus.
We can be confident that the record is true. Our faith is not misplaced.
A popular misconception about Jesus Christ is that He is the complete embodiment of the Godhead and that the Father and the Holy Spirit are manifested in Him. This view denies the Biblical doctrine of the Godhead by arguing that there is only one person, rather than three, which occupies the state, office, or quality of being God. Typically, this is called the “Oneness Doctrine.”
Advocates of this teaching cite Colossians 2:9 as proof of their argument. The passage says, concerning Jesus, “in him dwelleth all the fullness of the Godhead bodily.” The assertion made is that this verse is saying that Jesus is the literal embodiment of the Godhead and that the Godhead begins and ends with Him. But, this conclusion is not supported by the Scriptural evidence. The context in which Colossians 2:9 appears is a defense against Gnosticism, which denies the divinity of Jesus. Paul argued that Jesus is every bit as divine as the other members of the Godhead.
Another so-called proof text of the Oneness Doctrine is John 15:9, in which Jesus says, “he that hath seen me hath seen the Father.” Again, the assertion is that Jesus affirmed that He is the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, all rolled up in one being. But, that does not fit in with the rest of the Scriptures. It is much more reasonable to conclude that Jesus affirmed His equality with the Father, in this passage (Philippians 2:5-6).
Passages like the record of the baptism of Jesus Christ are endlessly frustrating for those who teach the Oneness Doctrine. In Matthew 3:13-17, we see Jesus being baptized, the Holy Spirit lighting upon Him, and the Father speaking His approval of Jesus from Heaven. This event could not possibly have taken place, as it is described, if the Oneness Doctrine is true.
The fact that there are three beings in the Godhead does not mean that we worship more than one God. As the ancient Hebrews understood it, “The Lord our God is one Lord” (Deuteronomy 6:4).
“For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one.” – 1 John 5:7
Many modern critics of the Bible assert that Jesus was merely a man who was chosen by God to be the Messiah. Even in ancient times, people were confused about the nature of the Christ. “There was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews: the same came to Jesus by night, and said unto him, Rabbi, we know that thou art a teacher come from God: for no man can do these miracles that thou doest, except God be with him” (John 3:1-2). But, Jesus was not just an ordinary human being who was chosen by God to be the Messiah. “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life” (John 3:16).
There is a sense in which every human being is a child of God (Romans 8:16). There is a special sense in which every Christian is a spiritual child of God (Ephesians 1:5). But Jesus is the “only begotten” Son of God—and that makes Him unique (John 1:14). The English term, “only begotten” is the translation of a Greek term that is pronounced, “monogenes” and which literally means, “only one of a kind” and “of begetting children.” This describes the unique status of Jesus, as being both God and man at the same time. The Father and the Holy Spirit do not fit this description and neither does any human or angelic being. That is why only Jesus could be the Messiah. He is both human and divine, making Him the perfect Mediator to bridge the gap between God and man (1 Timothy 2:5; Hebrews 8:6; 9:15; 12:24; 1 John 2:1). The virgin birth of Christ made Him our Savior (Matthew 1:24-25).
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” – John 3:16
When the prophet Isaiah wrote about the name of the Messiah, he listed several terms, which describe many of the characteristics of His nature. “For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace” (Isaiah 9:6). Prior to His incarnation, however, He was simply known as the Word. “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God…And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth” (John 1:1, 14).
When He was born into this world, He was given the name, Jesus (Matthew 1:24-25). This is the Greek form of the Hebrew name, Joshua. Both of these names literally mean, Savior (Luke 2:11). Christ is not His last name, but rather His title (Matthew 1:16). This is the Greek form of Messiah. Both of these names literally mean, Anointed and they bear reference to His divinity and to His authority, as the King of Kings and Lord of Lords (Luke 1:32-33). While He lived on Earth, He frequently called Himself the Son of God. This term was an affirmation of His divinity. “Therefore the Jews sought the more to kill him, because he not only had broken the sabbath, but said also that God was his Father, making himself equal with God” (John 5:18). Also, He frequently called Himself the Son of Man. This term was an affirmation of His humanity. “And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory” (1 Timothy 3:16).
Most of the time, the New Testament simply calls Him the Lord, which can be problematic, since God, the Father is also called “the Lord” in Scripture. It was a term of respect, which was used by His own disciples (Acts 1:6). Also, they called Him Master and Rabbi or Teacher (John 13:13; John 3:2). To His apostles, Jesus was their Lord and Master, but He was not unapproachable. They could come to Him with any question and they could count on Him to respond with wise counsel. Our relationship with Jesus ought to be the same. His word still speaks to us today (John 12:48).
“That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow…” – Philippians 2:10
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Text: 1 Peter 2:9-10
- There is sin everywhere and the world is lying in wickedness – 1 John 5:19. The world outside of Christ, is dead in trespasses and sins. They’re walking aimlessly in darkness toward destruction. This is why you need to step out of darkness and death and into the light of Jesus because He has made us alive through God’s grace – Ephesians 2:1-5.
- Jesus came to earth to heal the brokenhearted, to send the message of deliverance to the captives that they might be free, and to recover the sight of the blind that they would see and obey the truth of God – Acts 26:16-18. Jesus came to deliver us out of darkness in his marvelous light – 1 Peter 2:9-10.
Why Must You Step Out of Darkness?
- You must step of darkness because it will cause you to stumble and go in the wrong direction – John 11:9-10. Men and women do not have the ability to direct their own way successfully – Jeremiah 10:23. The Word will guide you – Psalm 119:105. You should step out of darkness, because in darkness, Satan blinds you and keeps you from seeing and obeying the only Truth that can save you – 2 Corinthians 4:3-4.
- It is necessary to step out of darkness because remaining in darkness will lead you to hating your brother instead of walking in the light of love – 1 John 2:9-11. Therefore, let us cast off the works of darkness – Romans 13:11-14.
- It is imperative that you step out of darkness and into light of Jesus because if you do not believe in Jesus, you will be eternally separated from God – John 8:24. In John 3:36, the Spirit of truth confirms, you will not have everlasting life with God, if you do not believe in Jesus. You will spend eternity wailing and gnashing your teeth in outer darkness, if you continue to walk in darkness – Mathew 13:40-42.
Why should You Walk into the Light of Jesus Christ?
- You should walk into the light of Jesus to get out of darkness, because Jesus came into the world to be the light of the world – John 8:12. And since Jesus is the light, those whom are unbelieving, and walking in darkness are condemned.
- Do know why people hate Christians? They hate the light because Jesus exposes who they are – John 3:18-21. In John 1:5 the Bible declares “And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehendeth it not.“
- You must step into the light of Jesus because by the power of God you can overcome sin and darkness through Jesus. In Colossians 1:12-14, the Sword of the Spirit declares God has delivered us from the power of darkness and has translated us into the kingdom of His dear Son. We must abide in Jesus so darkness will not abide in us – John 12:46.
- Therefore, let those of us that were in darkness make sure we continue to walk as children of light – Ephesians 5:8-11. If you are lost walking in darkness, why not make the decision to walk in the pathway of light, right now?
Salvation: Hear - Believe - Repent - Confess - Be Baptized - Live Faithfully
- To surrender, to submit, or to be subject to, means: to yield your will, power, or control, to the will or authority of another. The Bible teaches us to be subject:
- Church subject to Christ – Ephesians 5:24
- Higher powers / government – Romans 13:1-2
- Masters (Employer) – 1 Peter 2:18
- Wife subject to their own husbands – Colossians 3:18
- Christians to the shepherds of the flock – Hebrews 13:17
The world views submission to God as a weakness, but Jesus shows us and the Bible teaches it’s a strength – Matthew 26:39.
- There are a number of things that can prevent one from surrendering all to Jesus, such as covetousness, greed, materialism, pride, and selfishness. In our society, one device in Satan’s arsenal to prevent one from surrendering all to Jesus is “radical feminism”, which attacks the institutions of God, marriage, and the church.
- When a person decides to obey the gospel of Jesus Christ, they have resolved to yield or surrender their life to Jesus in every way. A person who thinks he can only give a very small part to the Lord, and the rest to the world or family, has not learned the meaning of “surrendering to God” – Joshua 24:15; Matthew 6:24. When you have been washed in the blood of Jesus, you have surrendered your life with Jesus Christ on the cross – Galations 2:20.
You Must Surrender Your Personal Affections to Jesus
- The things that are of great value to you, which are precious in your sight, such as family, education, accomplishments, career, clothes, and entertainment, you must surrender to Jesus, if you want eternal life – Matthew 19:16-22.
- To surrender all to Jesus, you must be willing to forsake all worldly pleasures (Hebrews 11:24-25 “Moses”). Because in James 4:4, the Word of God teaches, the friendship with the world is enmity with God. To be a friend of the world is to be an enemy of God.
- In order for you to surrender all to God, your love and devotion to God must be greater and superior than your love for your personal desires, and interests. Are you willing to surrender all to Jesus to become His disciple? Luke 14:25-27, 33.
Are You Ready to Surrender Your Life to Jesus?
- There are a number of people doing good things in this life. However they have not surrendered their life to Jesus, and are lost. In Romans 10:1-3, Paul’s earnest desire and prayer for Israel is that they might be saved, because they had a zeal for God, but not according to knowledge. They established their own righteousness and ignored God righteousness.
- How many of you are willing and ready to offer your body, talents, time, and resources as a living sacrifice to God? Paul beseeched the brethren to surrender their lives to Jesus as a living sacrifice – Romans 12:1. If you really love God, you will surrender your life to Him – John 14:15; John 15:14.
- Jesus died on the cruel rugged cross and God raised Him to life that you might live. If you have not surrendered your life to Jesus, why not come obeying Jesus today?
Salvation: Hear - Believe - Repent - Confess - Be Baptized - Live Faithfully
Text: Mark 15:1-39
- The cross of Jesus Christ is essential to every soul. It has even more importance than food, shelter, and love have on you and I. Without the cross of Calvary, we would be lifeless, hopeless and in despair – Ephesians 2:16.
- The cross of Calvary is the most significant event in human history that has changed the outlook and well being of nations and peoples that have embraced the power of God to save man – Romans 1:16-17. The cross of Jesus Christ overshadows all tragedies that mankind has seen because through the cross of Jesus, His death, burial, and resurrection one can be saved & be reconciled with God – Romans 5:8-10.
The Preaching of the Cross is Necessary to Save the Lost
- Men, women, boys, and girls will never have true love, joy, peace, and unity with their Creator until the good news of the gospel of Jesus Christ is planted in the minds of the lost – Romans 10:14-15.
- Christians should feel the necessity of teaching the message of God because it is our ministry – 2 Corinthians 5:18; 1 Corinthians 9:16. Without faithful servants of Jehovah teaching the gospel the world will be lost because only the preaching of the cross will save those that will believe – 1 Corinthians 1:18, 21.
- Examples of those confronted with the cross of Jesus Christ: Acts 2:36-41 (Day of Pentecost); Acts 8:26-39 (Ethiopian Eunuch); Acts 16:19-33 (Philippian Jailer). There will be two responses when one is confronted with the cross of Calvary - Obedience or Rejection
The Cross of Jesus is Necessary for Eternal Happiness
- It is through the cross of Jesus Christ, His death, burial, and resurrection that Christians can look forward to being resurrected in that Great Day – John 6:40. Without the cross of Jesus Christ we would be forever separated from God. Without the cross there would be no salvation, no forgiveness of sins, no peace, no hope, only condemnation for all, no possibility of eternity in heaven, and we would always be at enmity with God. Therefore let us be thankful for the cross!
- The cross of Calvary is so necessary to us because without it, the preaching of the gospel would be meaningless. We could not enjoy and rejoice in some of the songs we sing such as “The Old Rugged Cross”; “Lead Me To Calvary”; “Lift Him Up” Your faith in God would be without strength & value, and we would live in constant misery – 1 Corinthians 15:12-19.
- Jesus Christ the only begotten of the Father has bore the pain, agony, and shame of sin on the cross. Why not make a decision today to follow Jesus, to take up your cross and follow him. Why not come obeying today?
Salvation: Hear - Believe - Repent - Confess - Be Baptized - Live Faithfully
(Sin Separates Man from God, but Through Jesus Man can be Reconciled to God)
Text: Romans 5:6-11
- According to 1 John 3:4, God defines sin as the transgression of the law. Anytime you miss God’s mark, or decide to rebel against His commandments, you have sinned, and as a result the relationship between you and God has been cut off or severed – Isaiah 59:1-2. The text even points out God will hide His face from you and not hear you because of sin – John 9:31; 1 Peter 3:12.
- Being separated from God because of your sins leaves you in a lost, unsaved, unfruitful, and dead state because being alienated from God means you have been severed from God, the Creator, the source of physical and eternal life – John 15:4-6. In Romans 6:23, God teaches us the end result of sin is death, but through Jesus there is eternal life.
God has Showed His Love Toward Us After We Sinned
- After man had sinned, and was separated from God, God extended His love to us, in that He sent His Son Jesus Christ to die for our sins, so that we could escape His wrath reserved for the children of disobedience – Romans 5:8-9. Therefore, we should be encouraged to love God because He first loved us – 1 John 4:9-10.
- In Ephesians 2:4-6 the Holy Scriptures show us the great love God had for us. While we were dead in sins, He made us alive through Jesus Christ. God has a special love for us that we sometimes overlook. This love for us is so great. He was willing to give His only begotten Son to save us – John 3:16-17.
- It is God’s desire that all men would be saved – 1 Timothy 2:3-4; 2 Peter 3:9.
- In 1 Timothy 1:15, the apostle Paul declares that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners. But the question remains: will you believe on Jesus Christ, the Son of God? John 3:36.
Why not Change Your Relationship with God and be Reconciled?
- In regard to the relationship man has with God, the word reconcile denotes an action to change from enmity to friendship. Therefore, something had to happen on both sides to change the separation of God and man because of sin, because man could not do it himself. In Romans 5:6-10, the Bible teaches us the action by God to reconcile is the sacrificial death of Jesus Christ, a sacrifice for man’s sins to give man life – Ephesians 2:13-16.
- Reconciliation or making peace between God and man comes only through Jesus Christ. It’s what Jesus did on the cross, the giving of His life and the shedding of His blood. In Colossians 1:20-23, the Spirit of truth teaches all things are reconciled by Jesus – Hebrews 2:17.
- In 2 Corinthians 5:18-20, the Sword of the Spirit teaches that God has reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ (2 Corinthians 5:18). As long as you are in Christ and abiding in His Word, God is not imputing your trespasses to you (2 Corinthians 5:19). And God has given us the ministry of reconciliation to call sinner’s to be reconciled to God (2 Corinthians 5:18-20). This means the sinner, man, must do something to be reconciled to God. God did His part, have you done your part? Acts 2:38, 41.
Salvation: Hear - Believe - Repent - Confess - Be Baptized - Live Faithfully
Consider these thoughts about the man (or woman) that hath not God:
- The man that hath not God has no fellowship with the Lord.
- The man that hath not God is walking in darkness because he has turned from the light (Jesus).
- The man that hath not God is transgressing and abiding not in the doctrine of Christ.
- The man that hath not God has nothing of true value. He is separated from God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit – 2 John 9.
Text: John 14:6
- In John 14:6, Jesus Christ, the Son of God, declares, “…I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” In Acts 4:12 and John 3:16, the Bible teaches salvation comes by no other name than Jesus.
- On June 24, 2008, The Columbus Dispatch, published on the front page an article entitled “U.S. Believers Open-Minded Most See Several Paths To Heaven” According to a study by the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life 70% said that many religions-not just their own-can lead to eternal life.
- The world’s Burger King Religion (You Can Have It Your Way) will lead us to destruction. In Proverbs 14:12, the Word of God teaches the way that seems right to us will destroy us – Proverbs 16:2. The problem is we have abandoned the Bible and God’s commandments – Jeremiah 6:16; Acts 17:11.
Enter at the Door Because You Can’t Climb in Some Other Way
- Many will try to enter the sheepfold by a way God has not authorized, and will be prevented – John 10:1-2. You must enter the door of Jesus to be saved, because only He sacrificed His life that you might live – John 10:7-11; John 20:30-31
- There are two ways (2 doors) in which you can attempt to enter. One way goes where you want and will lead you to life, the other only leads to death. Your decision will primarily be based on whether you’re carnally or spiritually minded – Romans 8:5-8. In Matthew 7:13-14, Jesus teaches many will choose the broad way of destruction, and few will choose the narrow way to life – Luke 13:24 and 1 Peter 3:20
- Religious groups and denominations are the wrong way because they replace the Word of God with their own traditions and doctrines of men. They’re trying to climb up into the kingdom by some other way – Mark 7:5-13; Matthew 7:21-23.
The One Way is the Church Jesus Purchased with His Blood
- In John 14:6, Jesus says “…I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” There is only one church, one body, that God has called us out of darkness into the Light of Christ – 1 Peter 2:9-10. The Bible teaches the church, the body of Christ is one – 1 Corinthians 12:12-14; Ephesians 1:22-23; Colossians 1:18
- This is the church that Jesus purchased with His own blood – Acts 20:28. After Peter, confesses Jesus divinity, Jesus said I will build my church – Matthew 16:13-19. The church is Jesus Christ body where sinners can be added & reconciled to God in one body by the cross – Ephesians 2:13-16
- If you’ve been driving the wrong way, God wants you to turn to His Son Jesus Christ, that has made a way for you – John 8:36
Salvation: Hear - Believe - Repent - Confess - Be Baptized - Live Faithfully
Preached at the Gahanna-Jefferson church of Christ 7-12-2008
(Jesus Came to Seek and to Save That Which Was Lost)
Text: Luke 19:1-10 - Scripture Reading: Luke 19:10
- This morning I want to focus your attention on evangelism, the activity of Christians announcing the message of good news of the gospel of Christ to save mankind from sin – Isaiah 52:7.
- Before Jesus ascend to heaven, He gave us a great job to perform, we call it the great commission, teaching the world how the power of God can save man from his sins through the sacrifice of Christ – Matthew 28:19-20.
Before Zacchaeus Was Saved, Jesus Interacted With Him – Luke 19:5
- Christians must understand, that association, interaction, and communication with sinner’s is necessary to bring them the message of the good news of Jesus Christ. In Matthew 9:9-13, Jesus tells his opponents his purpose for eating with publicans & sinner’s was to call sinners to repentance.
- We sometimes have to overcome the fear of having close proximity or interactions with the undesirables of our society such as drug users, prostitutes, murderers, or sexual predators – 2 Timothy 1:7.
- (Luke 19:7) When the Jews, saw Jesus went to be a guest with a man that was a sinner, they murmured, made compliant. But they didn’t understand that Jesus was not associating with him to be likened to the character of the sinful practice of many publicans of the day, but He was trying to save Zacchaeus and his house – Luke 19:10. Note: [II Corinthians 6:14-18; Epesians 5:11, We must not to be united with unbelievers & theirs sins]
Zacchaeus Is Penitent and Made Restitution for His Sins – Luke 19:8-10
- It’s implied in our scriptural text, while Jesus was a guest in Zacchaeus house that he taught him he must repent of his sins to obtain salvation, which is consistent with the preaching ministry of Jesus – Matthew 4:17; Mark 1:14-15.
- Repentance is being sorrowful of your sins which brings about a change of action in regard to sin – 2 Corinthians 7:9-10. In Luke 19:8, Zacchaeus expresses his penitent heart over his sins by giving half his goods to the poor, and restoring anyone he wronged in his profession fourfold – Luke 13:3.
- Therefore, you and I must focus our goals in our lives at finding ways and avenues that will effectively communicate in the spirit of love the saving gospel message of Jesus Christ – Proverbs 11:30.
Salvation: Hear - Believe - Repent - Confess - Be Baptized - Live Faithfully
Preached at Gahanna-Jefferson church of Christ 8-23-2008
Text: Luke 4:16-21
- Deliver means “to save by rescuing from evil or danger. It means to release, to set free, to rescue & preserve from eminent danger or death.
- Have you have ever found yourself in the “claws” of disparity, where there was danger all around you, perhaps a medical crisis, or accident, and all you could think of was getting help or calling 911 because danger or death was emanate?
- There’s a greater danger, we face, that our world is becoming more blind to, it’s spiritual death, separated from God, the everlasting punishment for our sins, where the worm dieth not and the fire is not quenched in hell according to (Mark 9:43-48). This is why you need to obey Jesus to be saved. Let us learn how Jesus has delivered us from death to life.
Jesus Delivers Us from Sin by Offering Himself as the Perfect Sacrifice
- According to the law in order to have atonement for your soul there must be the shedding of blood of a fleshly sacrifice – Leviticus 17:11. In Hebrews 9:22, the Word of God declares that without the shedding of blood is no remission. The blood of bulls & goats were not able to take away sins – Hebrews 10:4. The only sacrifice that will take away our sins is the offering of Jesus body – Hebrews 10:10-14.
- Jesus was able to be the perfect sacrifice for man’s sins because He was both God and man in flesh – Isaiah 7:14; Matthew 1:18-23; (Luke 1:26-35). He overcame the temptations of Satan – Matthew 4:3-4. Jesus was the only sacrifice without blemish or without sin that could take away our sins – Hebrews 4:15. In 2 Corinthians 5:21, the Bible teaches Jesus knew no sin that we might be made the righteousness through Him.
- Jesus delivered us from death to life because He was willing to give His life for the sheep – John 10:10-11. Jesus laid His life down for the sheep (John 10:18), and endured the pains of the cross that we might live – Luke 23:46
God Raised Jesus to Deliver Us from Death to Life
- When God raised Jesus to life from the grave, and when Jesus ascended to heaven to be at the right hand of God, the Bible teaches in Psalm 68:18-19, Jesus led captivity captive. Which means Jesus led away, the enemy which captured us (Sin, death & Satan), Jesus has subdued, and overcome, through His death, burial, and resurrection. This is why we can sing the song Victory in Jesus – 1 Corinthians 15:54-57.
- In John 5:24, the Bible teaches, Jesus will deliver the faithful in Christ from death to life – John 6:40. This will occur at His second coming, which will be the great Day of Judgment (Resurrection day) when the just will be resurrected to life and the unjust will be resurrected to damnation – John 5:28-29; 1 Thessalonians 4:14-18.
- Jesus has delivered us from death to life. The question you must answer for yourself is will you be ready when He comes – Matthew 11:28-30. Why not be delivered from your sins today and obey the gospel of Jesus Christ?
Salvation: Hear - Believe - Repent - Confess - Be Baptized - Live Faithfully
Text: John 10:2-4, 11
They don’t know me!
If I ran into Governor Kasich at the mall today, he wouldn’t know my name.
If I went to a campaign event and got close enough to one of the presidential candidates to shake his hand, he’d have no idea who I am.
I met Coach Jim Tressel at an event one day, and he didn’t seem to be interested in developing a close, personal friendship.
But none of that particularly bothers me.
Isn’t it incredibly encouraging to know that the only One who really matters knows each of us individually?
Here’s the way Jesus put it:
But he who enters by the door is the shepherd of the sheep. To him the gatekeeper opens. The sheep hear his voice, and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. When he brings out all his own sheep, he goes before them, and the sheep follow him, for they know his voice. . . . I am the good shepherd - John 10:2-4, 11
Just a number…
Have you ever attended a college that identified you by your student number?
Or worked for a company where you were little more than an employee number?
Your government knows you by the nine-digit number assigned to you shortly after you were born.
Not Jesus, our Good Shepherd
He knows us by name, not by number!
He knows us as individuals, not constituents, taxpayers, or employees.
He’s counted the hairs on our heads (Luke 12:7)… and if that’s true, could anything escape his notice?
He knows about the tough day you had at work last week, the argument you had with your spouse last night, and the anxieties in your heart right now.
He knows how much you love your children, and he knows your plans, your dreams, your hopes.
He’s the Shepherd who knows, loves, and protects.
None of the heavy hitters may know you, but in the end only one who matters does.
He knows your name, and he’ll shout it loudly sometime soon when he comes back to get his flock.
1. “How do I know when I’m ready to be baptized?”
2. I appreciate this question!
3. All too often, I am afraid that we are guilty of simply telling people that they need to be baptized and not really explaining to them that baptism is merely a part of God’s plan to save man.
4. The one who asks this question realizes:
a. That baptism is important.
b. That baptism is not something to be done on a whim.
c. That one needs to be PREPARED to be baptized.
5. How do we know when we are ready?
6. All of the preparation is mental.
YOU ARE READY TO BE BAPTIZED WHEN…
I. YOU UNDERSTAND SIN AND IT’S CONSEQUENCES…
A. A question to ask someone who says that they want to be baptized…
1. “If you were to die right now, before you were baptized, would you go to heaven or hell?”
2. If the person answers that they believe that they would go to heaven, then that person does not yet understand sin or the purpose of baptism.
B. Before one is a scriptural candidate for baptism, he must realize that he is lost!
1. One must understand what sin is.
a) All mankind lives under God’s Law.
Galatians 6:2. Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.
b) Sin is lawlessness or disobeying God’s law.
1 John 3:4. Whoever commits sin also commits lawlessness, and sin is lawlessness.
c) There are sins of commission, omission, and ignorance.
2. Sin separates a person from God.
a) Genesis 2:17. But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.
b) Romans 6:23. For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
c) Isaiah 59:1-2. Behold, the LORD’s hand is not shortened, That it cannot save; Nor His ear heavy, That it cannot hear. But your iniquities have separated you from your God; And your sins have hidden His face from you, So that He will not hear.
C. Unremitted sin will cause us to be eternally separated from God.
1. Revelation 14:11-13. And the smoke of their torment ascends forever and ever; and they have no rest day or night, who worship the beast and his image, and whoever receives the mark of his name.” Here is the patience of the saints; here are those who keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus. Then I heard a voice from heaven saying to me, “Write: ‘Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on.’” “Yes,” says the Spirit, “that they may rest from their labors, and their works follow them.”
2. Revelation 20:13-15. The sea gave up the dead who were in it, and Death and Hades delivered up the dead who were in them. And they were judged, each one according to his works. Then Death and Hades were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. And anyone not found written in the Book of Life was cast into the lake of fire.
II. YOU UNDERSTAND WHO JESUS WAS…
A. There has always been confusion and disagreement on the identity of Jesus.
Matthew 16:13-16. 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?” So they said, “Some say John the Baptist, some Elijah, and others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.” He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” Simon Peter answered and said, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.”
B. Without a proper understanding of who Jesus was, one can not be scripturally baptized.
C. Our salvation depends, in part, on our perception of Jesus.
John 8:23-24. And He said to them, “You are from beneath; I am from above. You are of this world; I am not of this world. Therefore I said to you that you will die in your sins; for if you do not believe that I am He, you will die in your sins.”
1. What does it mean t believe that Jesus is the “I AM.”
2. If we acknowledge Jesus as the “I AM” we:
a) Are acknowledging Him as part of the Godhead.
Exodus 3:14. And God said to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM.” And He said, “Thus you shall say to the children of Israel, ‘I AM has sent me to you.’”
b) Are acknowledging His pre-existence.
John 8:56-58. Your father Abraham rejoiced to see My day, and he saw it and was glad.” Then the Jews said to Him, “You are not yet fifty years old, and have You seen Abraham?” Jesus said to them, “Most assuredly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I AM.”
c) Are acknowledging His authority.
Matthew 28:18. And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth.
D. Belief alone is not sufficient to save.
James 2:19. You believe that there is one God. You do well. Even the demons believe—and tremble!
III. YOU UNDERSTAND REPENTANCE…
A. Repentance is also necessary to salvation. Luke 13:3. I tell you, no; but unless you repent you will all likewise perish.
B. But what is repentance?
1. Examples of repentance
Matthew 21:28-31. “But what do you think? A man had two sons, and he came to the first and said, ‘Son, go, work today in my vineyard.’ He answered and said, ‘I will not,’ but afterward he regretted it and went. Then he came to the second and said likewise. And he answered and said, ‘I go, sir,’ but he did not go. Which of the two did the will of his father?” They said to Him, “The first.” Jesus said to them, “Assuredly, I say to you that tax collectors and harlots enter the kingdom of God before you.
2 Corinthians 7:10-11. For godly sorrow produces repentance leading to salvation, not to be regretted; but the sorrow of the world produces death. For observe this very thing, that you sorrowed in a godly manner: What diligence it produced in you, what clearing of yourselves, what indignation, what fear, what vehement desire, what zeal, what vindication! In all things you proved yourselves to be clear in this matter.
2. Repentance is a change in mind (brought on by godly sorrow) that leads to a change in action.
C. People must be willing to repent of sin in their lives before they are ready to be baptized.
1. If one is a thief, he must quit being a thief.
2. If one is a liar, he must quit being a liar.
3. If one is an adulterer, he must quit being an adulterer.
IV. YOU UNDERSTAND CONFESSION…
A. Jesus says we must confess Him before men.
Matthew 10:32. Therefore whoever confesses Me before men, him I will also confess before My Father who is in heaven.
B. Paul said that confession is made to salvation.
Romans 10:9-10. That if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.
C. It is called the good confession.
1 Timothy 6:12-13. Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, to which you were also called and have confessed the good confession in the presence of many witnesses. I urge you in the sight of God who gives life to all things, and before Christ Jesus who witnessed the good confession before Pontius Pilate
1. The confession that Jesus made before Pilate was that He was the Son of God.
2. John 18:36-37. Jesus answered, “My kingdom is not of this world. If My kingdom were of this world, My servants would fight, so that I should not be delivered to the Jews; but now My kingdom is not from here.” Pilate therefore said to Him, “Are You a king then?” Jesus answered, “You say rightly that I am a king. For this cause I was born, and for this cause I have come into the world, that I should bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth hears My voice.”
D. Without this confession, one is not ready to be baptized.
Acts 8:36-37. Now as they went down the road, they came to some water. And the eunuch said, “See, here is water. What hinders me from being baptized?” Then Philip said, “If you believe with all your heart, you may.” And he answered and said, “I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.”
V. YOU UNDERSTAND THE PURPOSE OF BAPTISM.
A. Without a proper understanding of the purpose, baptism is useless.
B. What is the purpose of baptism?
1. Remission of sins.
Acts 2:38. Then Peter said to them, “Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.
2. Washes away sins.
Acts 22:16. And now why are you waiting? Arise and be baptized, and wash away your sins, calling on the name of the Lord.’
3. Saves us.
1 Peter 3:21. There is also an antitype which now saves us—baptism (not the removal of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God), through the resurrection of Jesus Christ
4. Puts us into Christ.
Galatians 3:27. For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ.
5. Puts us into the body.
1 Corinthians 12:13. For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body—whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free—
1. When are you ready to be baptized?
2. When you understand sin and its consequences in your life.
3. When you understand who Jesus was and what He did for you.
4. When you are willing to repent of sin in your life.
5. When you are willing to confess Jesus.
6. When you understand the purpose of baptism.
Delivered on: December 18, 2011. Streetsboro.