Archive for Christianity

03-01-20 Kevin Goins - Anatomy of An Illness, part 2

“Anatomy of an Illness”
John 9:1-38

Last Sunday we said that John 9 gives us an anatomy of illness. An anatomy is a study of how something works. This chapter shows us how sickness works and how people respond to it. What does John 9 teach us about sickness?

I First, sickness gets our attention and it gets the attention of Jesus (9:1).
II Second, sickness makes us uncomfortable (9:2).

III Third, sickness is caused by _________________________ (9:2).

A. Alienation comes from the word alien which means s____________ or o____________. Alienation is the act of ____________ someone into a stranger or an “other.”

B. There are _________ forms or kinds of alienation that we see in Genesis:

1. First, there is ________________ alienation.

a. Why was there a tree of the knowledge of good _____ evil? Why didn’t God __________ allow them to know good?

b. To be good you must be able to choose good, but you cannot choose good unless you can also choose __________.

c. Because of their sinful choice, Adam and Eve were __________ from the Garden of Eden, which was the place where God used to walk and talk with them.

2. Second, there is __________________ alienation.

-What does social alienation do? It creates ______________; it leads to crime and war and hatred and racism and acts of violence, and it endangers our _____________.

3. Third, there is _________________ alienation.

a. Before the fall Adam and Eve didn’t fight animals or eat animals – instead they ______________ the animals.

b. Now, because of sin we are alienated from the ___________ kingdom and from the _____________ earth, and that alienation has made us __________.

4. Lastly, there is _______________ alienation.

02-23-20 Kevin Goins - Anatomy of An Illness

“Anatomy of an Illness”
John 9:1-38

In 1979 Norman Cousins wrote a groundbreaking book entitled, Anatomy of an Illness. He wrote that book because he was suffering from a connective-tissue disease which had crippled him and he had to try and make sense of it. We may not be at the mercy of such a disease, but sickness is so common that we must make sense of it. The Bible can enable us to do that.

I John devotes an entire chapter to the healing of a blind man so that we can see an illness in all its d________________.

A. You and I cannot afford to see the healing miracles of Jesus in a shallow and superficial way because sickness is a terrible _____________ to everyone.

B. Two decades ago the U.S. ranked eleventh in terms of life expectancy, but we have now fallen to __________-_____________ in the world.

C. There is another statistic we cannot ignore: the mortality rate, and the mortality rate still stands at ___________ percent.

II What do we learn about sickness in this chapter?

A. First, sickness gets our __________________ (9:1).

1. The disciples noticed the blind man, but what John emphasizes in verse one is that Jesus noticed ___________.

2. Why would Jesus go to the trouble of noticing another sick person? Because that was his God-given _______________.

3. According to Isaiah, the work of Jesus in saving us from sin, and his work as healer, are somehow ____________ _________________.

4. That means that just as Jesus could not help but notice s____________, so also he could not help but notice the s___________.

B. Second, sickness makes us ________________________ (9:2).

1. The disciples needed an explanation for the man’s blindness that could keep them from seeing him as a _____________.

2. We are so threatened by the idea that terrible imperfection can exist in our world that we try to find someone to ____________.

3. We feel that something is wrong with a world in which people are born blind and children die of cancer, and the Bible says we are _________.

02-16-20 Kevin Goins - the Discipline of Fasting, Conclusion

“The Discipline of Fasting” (Conclusion) Matthew 6:16-18

For the past month we have been looking at how we can grow in our relationship with God by using the spiritual discipline of fasting. In Matthew 6 Jesus first emphasizes the negatives of fasting and then he focuses our attention on the positives of fasting:

I First, fasting allows us to reach up to God as whole persons.
II Second, fasting gives us a concrete way to express repentance.
III Third, fasting provides a way to share in the sufferings of Christ.
IV Fourth, fasting helps our prayer.

V Fifth, fasting helps us overcome __________________.
A. Practicing the discipline needed to say “No” to our appetite for _______ gives us practice in saying “No” to __________ appetites.
B. If we cannot say “No” to our appetite for food, what makes us think we can say “No” to _______ other appetite?

VI Sixth, fasting helps us express our _____________.
____________ of the first _________ times fasting is mentioned in the Bible, it is an expression of grief for someone’s death.
What do we typically do when someone is grieving? We bring them ___________.

VII Seventh, fasting provides a way to respond to the ________ of others.
A. Since fasting is a blessing that comes from God, we can expect that it will benefit more than just _________________.
B. The early church practiced fasting in the light of __________ ____.

VIII Lastly, fasting provides a means to experience God in a ______ ______.
A. If our appetite for physical food, comfort, or pleasure is not under control, it will _______________ our spiritual appetite.
B. Occasional fasting from ___________ can enable us to hear _______ things from God.

02-09-20 The Discipline of Fasting, Part 3

“The Discipline of Fasting” (Pt. 3) Matthew 6:16-18

This January we are focusing on how we can grow in our relationship with God by using the spiritual discipline of fasting. In Matthew 6 Jesus first emphasizes the negatives of fasting [see message on 1/19] and then he
focuses our attention on the positives of fasting:

I First, fasting allows us to reach up to God as whole persons.
II Second, fasting gives us a concrete way to express repentance.
III Third, fasting provides a way to share in the sufferings of Christ.

IV Fourth, fasting helps our ______________.
A. This is why we emphasize fasting at the beginning of the New Year, because we need to pray for God’s d______________ and p_____________ for 2020.
B. How can fasting assist our prayers?

1. First, we need to talk about how it _____________ help our prayers: It cannot help our prayers by _____________ God to answer us.
2. How then, does fasting help our prayers?

a. First, fasting _____________ us to pray.
b. Second, fasting removes ___________________.
c. Third, fasting shows us when our ___________ is really in our prayer.

C. What kind of prayer calls for fasting?
1. First we ought to fast when we pray for our _______________.
2. Second, we ought to fast when we pray for the ____________.

a. The Bible describes sickness as ________________.
b. By fasting we can pray for the sick, not as s______________, but as i______________.

3. Third, we ought to fast as we pray for ____________________.
4. Lastly, we ought to fast as we pray for the _______ of God to be done in this _______________.

02-02-20 Kevin Goins - The Discipline of Fasting, Part 2

“The Discipline of Fasting, Part 2” Matthew 6:16-18

This January we are focusing on how we can grow in our relationship with God by using the spiritual discipline of fasting. In Matthew 6 Jesus emphasizes the positives of fasting, but he first begins with three potential negatives.

I The first negative of fasting is the NO evangelicals have typically said to fasting (6:16a).
II The second negative of fasting is the No Jesus says to the abuse of fasting (6:16).
III The third negative of fasting is the No our physical bodies sometimes say to fasting.

IV There are two clues in Matthew 6 that fasting is not a ____________, but something decidedly _____________.

A. First, Jesus says when you fast don’t look ___________ (6:16a).

B. Second, Jesus says the focus of our fasting is not ____________ (6:18).

V The rewards of fasting:

A. First, fasting allows us to reach up to God as _________ persons.

1. Fasting puts the body front and center in our relationship with God so that we are not just a _______ or ___________ worshiping God.

2. Not only this, but when worship ignores the body, it not only deprives the body, it _________ the ________ of our spirit.

B. Second, fasting gives us a concrete way to express _________________.

1. Repentance is a change of __________ which produces a change in the way we _________.

2. The practice of repentance went all the way back to God’s command to the people of Israel when they __________ became a __________.

3. The biblical pattern is that repentance and fasting go ________ in _________.

C. Third, fasting provides a way to share in the ____________ of Christ.

1. We cannot share in the __________________ of Christ unless we are first willing to share in his sufferings.

2. The great thing about fasting is that it gives us a simple way to _________ ourselves.

01-26-20 Kevin Goins - The Discipline of Fasting

“The Discipline of Fasting” Matthew 6:16-18

This January we are focusing on how we can grow in our relationship with God by using the spiritual discipline of fasting. Fasting has many advantages, but one advantage which is often overlooked is that this discipline can open our eyes to who we really are better than just about anything else we can do. In our text today Jesus emphasizes the positives of fasting, but he first begins with three potential negatives.

I The first negative of fasting is the NO A__________ e_____________ have said to fasting (6:16a).

A. One reason evangelicals have said no to fasting is because our culture has led us to the unbiblical view that the __________ is the enemy of the ___________.

B. But there are other reasons why we American evangelicals have a bias against fasting:

1. First, we associate fasting with what __________ _____________ do.

2. Second, we see it as a __________.

3. Third, fasting contradicts our _______________ mind-set.

II The second negative of fasting is the No __________ says to the ___________ of fasting (6:16).

A. The Pharisees took fasting, which was given by God, and used it as a way to _______________ themselves.

B. Jesus says people who fast to get noticed will be noticed, but that is all the _______________ they will get.

C. And we not only see this abuse of fasting in the Pharisees, we also see it throughout ___________ ___________.

III The third negative of fasting is the No our ___________ __________ sometimes say to fasting.

A. There are times when fasting is not advised, such as fasting during an _______________.

B. Some ____________ conditions make fasting dangerous.

01-19-20 Kevin Goins - What we must do to hear from God

Posted in sermon, First Alliance Church Atlanta, Christianity, Dr. Kevin Goins, Bible, Discipleship by facatl on January 21st, 2020

“What We Must Do to Hear From God” Luke 2:36-38

Many people, both Christian and non-Christian, would like to hear from God, but how do we make that happen? In the Christmas story we find someone who can teach us what we must do to hear God speak to us. Her name is Anna. What does she teach us about listening to God?

I First, we cannot be satisfied with a s___________________ life .
A. Anna’s _______ was to hear from God.
B. Hearing from God ran in her _____________.
C. Her desire to hear from God made her s________ o_______.
D. Anna’s biggest __________ was to hear from God.
E. Jesus made it clear that the superficial life h_________ our relationship with God.

II Second, we must be __________ we can hear from God (2:37b).
A. While Anna waited to hear from God about the birth of the Messiah, she was a_________ on what she had already heard
B. The only place we can really hear from God is a place of ___________________.

III Third, we must ask like we really _____________ it (2:37c).
A. Just as Anna fasted for Jesus to come the ________ time, so we must fast for him to come the _____________ time.
B. Fasting, as Richard Foster points out, is all about _________ from God.

IV Finally, if we want to hear from God, we must know what to do with the ________________ (2:38). -- Three things we must do if we want answers:
A. We must ______________ an answer.
B. We must _________ _______________ for the answer.
C. We must ____________ about the one who is the answer.

01-12-20 Kevin Goins - Paul’s Helping Resolutions

Posted in sermon, First Alliance Church Atlanta, Christianity, Dr. Kevin Goins, Discipleship by facatl on January 14th, 2020

“Paul’s Helping Resolutions”   Philippians 3:12-14

Many Christians do not believe in making resolutions, but the Apostle Paul made the kind of resolution in Philippians 3:10-11 which takes our breath away! Fortunately for us, Paul provides us with some helping resolutions which are not as daunting as the first, but which can help us as we seek to know and follow Jesus better in 2020.

I When we make resolutions we usually think of what would be i________.

A. Paul makes the ______ ideal resolution any Christian could ever make in 3:10-11.

B. Fortunately, Paul also gives us ________ ___________ resolutions.

II First, we should resolve never to be s____-s___________ followers of Jesus (3:12).

A. With everything that Paul has seen and heard and done, he says, “I am not yet m_____________.”

B. We must resolve never to be satisfied with what we have r____________.

III Second, we should resolve to stop looking _________ (3:13).

A. To forget here cannot mean to stop _____________.

B. To forget the past means to stop allowing it to have any __________ over us.

IV Third, we should resolve to be s_________-m_____________ (3:13b).

A. Only when we _______ at the target of God’s Kingdom can we _______ all the other worthy targets in our life.

B. If we make our one goal to please Jesus, it will benefit _________________, especially those who do _____ know Jesus.

V Lastly, we should resolve to be people who never __________ (3:14).

12-29-19 Kevin Goins - Celebrating Advent in the Right Direction

“Celebrating Advent in the Right Direction” Luke 2:36-38

For many people Christmas overflows with memories of the past. In fact, the story of the birth of Jesus is an event confined to the past. But the celebration of Advent isn’t limited to the past. It actually looks in two directions at the same time. A woman named Anna shows us why this dual perspective is so beneficial.

I First, when our celebration of Advent focuses on both the first and second comings of Jesus, it sets us free from the _________ myth.
A. There is a problem with Santa: Santa discriminates against __________.
B. Santa may be for children, but the Second Advent of Jesus will impact e________ p__________ who has ever lived on planet earth.

II Second, when our celebration of Advent focuses on both the first and second comings of Jesus, it sets us free from the ‘w__________ is only for ____________” myth (2:37b).
A. Anna made sure she was in the right _________ to be ready for the Messiah, and because she was, she ________ him.
B. If there is a Second Advent that could happen at any moment, then making worship the h__________ of our life makes s_______.

III Third, when our celebration of Advent focuses on both the first and second comings of Jesus, it sets us free from the “Christianity is for s______________” myth (2:37c).
A. Anna didn’t just attend church; she did something: she _______ and _______.
B. Just as Anna had something for which to pray and fast, so do we: we want to see the work Jesus began ________________.

IV Fourth, when our celebration of Advent focuses on both the first and second comings of Jesus, it sets us free from the myth that says the best Christmases are p________ (2:38).
A. If we must look backward to get excited about Christmas, something is _____________.
B. Anna was looking e______________ for the coming of the Messiah and so she was looking ___________, not __________.

V Finally, when our celebration of Advent focuses on both the first and second comings of Jesus, it sets us free from the “Christmas comes but o_______ a y________” myth (2:38b).

12-22-19 Kevin Goins - Making Simeon’s Story Our Story

Posted in sermon, First Alliance Church Atlanta, Christianity, Dr. Kevin Goins, Advent, Bible, Christmas by facatl on December 23rd, 2019

“Making Simeon’s Story Our Story” Luke 2:25-35

One of the people who saw the baby Jesus, but whose participation in the Christmas story is often overlooked, is Simeon. Simeon can teach us a lot about how to make the Christmas story our story, but be warned: much of what he teaches us is shocking. For example:

I First, Simeon teaches us that to make the Christmas story our story we need the ___________ __________ (2:25-27a).
A. First, without the Holy Spirit no one has the s__________ v__________ necessary to see Jesus.
B. Second, Luke tells us it was the Holy Spirit that enabled ___________ to make the Christmas story his story.
C. Third, not only does the Bible and the life of Simeon tell us we need the Holy Spirit to make the Christmas story our story, so also does Charles Dicken’s A C____________ C_____________.

II Second, Simeon teaches us that to make the Christmas story our story, we must be prepared for ____________ (2:27-29).
A. When Simeon saw the baby Mary and Joseph brought to the
temple, he knew two things: God ________ his promise and he could now _______ in peace.
B. When the Christmas story becomes our story it transforms, not just our present, but the _______ moment of our life.

III Third, Simeon teaches us that to make the Christmas story our story, we must be concerned about more than just _________ ____________.
A. When Simeon sees Jesus, his vision is _____________.
B. We can’t make the Christmas story our story until we realize that we have a ______________ mission to tell all about the Christ of Christmas.

IV Fourth, Simeon teaches us that to make the Christmas story our story, we must be willing to be the cause of ______________ (2:33-35).
A. Simeon paid attention to the Old Testament prophets – he knew not everyone would accept the _______________.
B. In Romans 9 Paul says many in Israel stumbled over Jesus because they believed they could achieve their own personal righteousness by keeping the________.


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