The Story Ashland - Who is God: God the Father

Key passage: John 17:24 (ESV)

24 Father, I desire that they also, whom you have given me, may be with me where I am, to see my glory that you have given me because you loved me before the foundation of the world.

Key Points:

  • Although creation is the first act we see of God in the scriptures, Creator is not His primary identity.
  • If such was the case, He would need a creation in order to be who He truly is.
  • What was God doing before creation?
  • Before God ever created anything, God was a Father who was loving His Son.
  • Gods primary eternal identity is a loving Father.
  • Your Heavenly Father wanted you even if your earthly father didn't.
  • Those who grew up with an absent dad have a present Heavenly Father.
  • God the Father is so loving that you cannot know Him without yourself becoming loving.
  • The God who is love is the Father who sends the Son.
  • Love is not something God the Father has, or one of His moods, rather He is love!
  • God is love because from eternity past he had a perfect love for His eternal Son. 
  • Jesus invites us into the same personal intimate relationship that He had with God the Father. 
  • God has made a way for us to call Him Father by adopting us into His family through Jesus!
  • The Fathers act of adopting us into His family is the greatest evidence of how much He loves us. 
  • God love for us is not a response to our love for him. 
  • God the Father has an eternal uncaused love for each and every one of us.  

Other verses:

Psalm 68:5,
1 John 4:7-9,
John 3:35,
John 5:20,
Matthew 6:9,
Ephesians 3:5,
Galatians 4:4-7,
1 John 3:1,
John 15:9,
1 John 4:19,
John 3:16.

The Story Ashland - Who is God: The Origin of God

Key passage: Genesis 1:1 (ESV)

1 In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.

Key Points:

  • The first subject of the first sentence of the Bible is God.
  • The entire bible is first and foremost about God.
  • Genesis 1:1 refutes all man’s false philosophies concerning the origin of God, man, and the world.
  • Creation itself declares the existence of God.
  • God is one and yet there is a plurality within the Godhead.
  • God has existed from eternity past in community with himself.
  • The origin of God is unlike the origin of any other created thing, God is eternal.
  • Eternal refers to an endless past and an unending future.
  • God is not subject to time but exists and operates outside of it.
  • God views all things as an eternal here and now!
  • This eternal God chose to reveal Himself to finite man through His Son Jesus!
  • Jesus stepped into time from eternity to give us a glimpse of God!
  • The fact that God is eternal is the foundation for our hope in eternal life spent with Him!
  • The eternal God has promised us eternal life through His eternal Son!

Other verses:

The Story Ashland - Identity: Restored

Passage: Philippians 2:5-8 (ESV)

Key Points:

  • Your identity is: God made you, Jesus saved you.
  • Because of sin man spiritually, morally, and mentally incomplete.
  • Our identity as image bearers was marred by sin, but in Christ it is fully restored.
  • In Christ we become spiritually, morally, and mentally complete.
  • God made man in His likeness and sent His Son in our likeness.
  • Humans needed a human to show us what it looked like to accurately represent and reflect God’s image.
  • Jesus enabled finite man to see what the infinite God is like.
  • Man was made in God’s image, Jesus was the fullness of God’s image.
  • Jesus became like us to show us what God is like and to remove the identity we received from Adam which was "sinners."
  • In Christ our new and renewed identity is Image bearers!
  • Man in Christ is conformed to the image of God.
  • You know you have found vertical identity in Christ when living for His glory brings you the most joy in life.

The Story Ashland - Identity: Lost

Passage: Genesis 3:1-5

Notes: 

  • The first sin was rooted in identity. 
  • A false understanding of our identity is the root of every sin. 
  • God made Adam and Eve in His image and likeness and Satan tempted them saying, "you can be like God."
  • Satan tempted them to achieve what they had already received. 
  • The identity we are born with living in a post-fallen world is sinner.
  • The sin we inherited made us look horizontally for identity rather than vertically. 
  • Prevalent horizontal identities:
    • 1) Money/Possessions
      • - You are not defined by the size of your bank account or what you own.
    • 2) Career/Achievement 
      • - What you do does not define who you are.
      • - Who you are determines what you do.
    • 3) Relationships
      • - You are not defined by your relationship status.
    • 4) Physical appearance 
      • - Our identity is not found in the mirror.
    • 5) Your past sins
      • - Jesus showed that our sin would not have the final say over who we are when he conquered sin and death on the cross. 
      • - You are not defined by your sin or your past. 
      • - Corinthians 5:17 "Therefore, if anyone is in Christ he is a new creation. The old has past away, behold, all things have become new."

The Story Ashland - Identity: Image Bearers

Passage: Genesis 1:26-28

  • God created man in His image and after His likeness. 
  • The purpose of an image is to display and represent the substance. 
  • Our goal as image bearers is not for the world to know us, but to know Him. 
  • God created us in His image so that we would look to Him to discover our identity. 
  • Being created in the Image of God means God created us to have a relationship with Him. 
  • The degree that you know who He is is the degree that you will know who you are. 
  • You can't know yourself apart from knowing God. 
  • Humans are the only creatures made in the image of God.
  • Since man was created to represent God on the earth it required Divine collaboration from the complete Godhead to make man in Gods image. 
  • Every person was made in the image of God to show us the greatness of God.

The Story Ashland - Identity: Creatures

This is the first in a twelve part series presented by Xavier Brassuer, Lead Pastor of The Story Ashland. We thanks Xav and The Story Ashland for sharing this series with us at 2nd and B.

Resources For This Week

Passage- Genesis 1:26-27 (ESV)

Key Points:

  • Your identity is: God made you, and Jesus saved you!
  • Man is fundamentally a creature of God.
  • Your life does not belong to you, it belongs to God.
  • You were created on purpose for a purpose. 
  • Vertical identity is rooted in worshiping God as Creator.
  • Every single human is beautifully unique as a testament of Gods creative glory. 
  • The church should be a safe place for people to be able to work through every identity issue. 
  • The biblical worldview begins with God creating gender distinctions, male and female. 
  • Manhood and womanhood are directly linked to our biology and genetics. 
  • All other gender identities are a distortion of the image of God and the good order He established when He created them male and female. 
  • We have been made by Jesus for Jesus and we can only know ourselves in Him! 

Heaven

On January 7th we had for our guest the Xavier Brassuer, the pastor of a new church plant in Ashland, The Story Ashland. You can find their website at TheStoryAshland.org This message was recorded in December 2017.

Resources for this week

Passage: Revelation 21:1-4

Key points:

  • Heaven is not just a place but a person, Jesus!
  • Because God is an infinite God He can be infinitely enjoyed in Heaven! 
  • If we see heaven as the end goal and Jesus as a means to get there we have misunderstood the gospel! 
  • Christ is the center component of Heaven!
  • All joys of Heaven derive from Jesus who is the fountain of supreme joy! 
  • Heaven is not a place where good people go, but a place where sinners go who have sought the mercy Jesus freely offers us through His death and resurrection! 

When the Devil Knocks - Week 3 - The Destroyer

When the devil can’t have our heart, he goes to his backup plan: destruction. He’ll try to break you down until you’re ready to cry out. But you can build something stronger than any of the devil’s attacks. Learn how this weekend as we wrap up this amazing message series, When the Devil Knocks! #devilknocks

Resources For This Week's Message

Bulletin Outline
Preaching Outline

When the Devil Knocks - Week 1 - The Deceiver

In this series, we’re going to prepare people to fight the daily battles they often don’t even know exist: the attempts by Satan to attack our mind with lies, our hearts with pride, and our souls with accusations. By the end of this series, attenders will have two main takeaways: awareness that we have an enemy looking to take us out every day, and confidence that we have the tools to fight from victory instead of for it.

He’s mastered shame and trademarked embarrassment. His lies wound, and his accusations sting. He’ll build up your pride just to throw you down. Yes, the devil is strong, but there’s one power he can’t beat—and it’s on your side. Learn how to answer When the Devil Knocks.

He’s a liar—and he is really, really good at it. What lies has the devil tried to tell you? This weekend, we’ll take a good look at how the devil’s deceit tries to bring us down, and how we can stand strong against him. Are you coming to Week 1 of When the Devil Knocks? Let us know in the comments! #devilknocks

Resources For This Week's Message

Bulletin Outline
Preaching Outline

Overwhelmed

So much to do, and so little time to do it ...sound familiar? When you're spread thin, it's easy to feel defeated—but you don't have to be Let's look at how we can bring some strength and sanity to our daily lives.
This is a one-week message about taking time to find the right place to start, the right perspective, and the right priorities to avoid the feeling of being overwhelmed. Whether it’s busyness, finances, marriage problems, kids, illness, or any another struggle, this message will look at how putting God at the top of our list of priorities is always the right choice.

Resources For This Week's Message

Bulletin Outline
Preaching Outline

Just a Stick

It takes faith beyond ourselves to believe we can do incredible things, and it takes a power beyond ourselves to do them. In the right hands, the ordinary can be extraordinary. Join us this weekend to see how a simple twig can be more than Just a Stick.

We're honored to share this message from guest Jentezen Franklin, pastor of Free Chapel church in Georgia.

Resources for this week's message

Sermon Outline
 

Talk it Over

I Want to Believe...But - Part 1 - On-Demand God

It’s often difficult to believe in a God we cannot see. We wonder why God didn’t answer our prayers, why God allows suffering, or why we can’t feel His presence. God may not meet all your expectations—but that’s good news! Find out why in the series I Want to Believe, But....

  • On-Demand God – God should always do what I want and always make me happy.

Resources For This Week's Message

Bulletin Outline
Preaching Outline

Talk it Over

Since we are only doing this first message in this series at this time I will post the other messages soon for those who want to view the rest on their own. You might want to get a small group together and watch and discuss them together.