Sermons

"As a man thinks in his heart so is he." Prov. 23:7. Therefore it is imperative to receive good instruction in the Word so that we may have our hearts transformed to think like God thinks. The Bible tells us, "be not conformed to this world, but be transformed!" It then tells us how; "by the renewing of our minds." Rom 12:2. Our job is to get the Word in us, and then the Word will do the work. But this happens only when we understand it correctly! That is why the Lord gave us gifted and anointed teachers in the body of Christ; To effectively sow His Word into us. Though the world throws it’s problems at us, the Word of God teaches us how to face each and every situation of life and to do so victoriously and with Joy. The Lord did not say that we just have to put up with the problems in the world. He said that "We are to be more than conquerors through Him who loved us!" Rom. 8:37 As we hear the Word through anointed teaching, it comes alive inside of us and begins the transformation process. Hallelujah! Good teaching brings life! Good teaching will set you free! Come sit under the teaching at Agathos, and you can be assured to see more victory and more joy in every aspect of your life!

Descipling and being discipled

4/29/18
- Kenton Kauffman
Audio

In this church in the park "talk" Kenton shares about a simple discipleship ministry that he set up at a missionary high school / middle school when he was a senior in high school. Nearly 20 years later that ministry is still thriving! Discipleship is about humility. It is about being willing to learn from others. Humility is the precurosor to grace. God wants to pour His grace out upon your life in greater measure. Every believier can both disciple and be discipled. We all need mentors, peers, and those we are mentoring.

The Keys of the Kingdom of Heaven

4/15/18
- Peter DeWitt
Audio Written Summary

Your ability to steward a blessing from God in your life is partly evidenced by how much you rejoice when someone else is blessed. There is more than enough to go around. Lack is not a kingdom value.

By way of review, “church” is not in the Bible. Jesus chose the word “ekklesia” as what He would build. That word comes on the scene in Matthew 16:18 where Jesus says “you are Peter, and on this rock I will build My church (ekklesia), and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it.”
 
An ekklesia was a democratic governing body. An ekklesia was a house of governance. Ekklesia inherently prays Matthew 6:10 like our Lord told us to “Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.” That’s an ekklesia style prayer. 
 
The ekklesia serves the kingdom. The ekklesia carries much more than a message - you carry the kingdom!
 
Jesus walked 40 miles and made a certain declaration at Caesarea Philippi, Matthew 16:18 “you are Peter, and on this rock I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it.” The Gates of Hades are believed to be an actual place of demonic worship in Caesarea Philippi. What's the point? As Robby Dawkins says, Believers are to be dangerous to the darkness!
 
The ekklesia is inherently legislative. Matthew 16:19 is the very verse after Jesus introduces “church”to the whole world: “And I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.” Keys are authority. You’ve been given the authority to either lock things up or to set people free! 
 
If you go on your concordance and you look up the word “to pray” in the Old Testament you will notice that the first definition for the word to pray in Strong’s Concordance is “to judge.” When you pray you are releasing the judgement of Heaven into every situation. Our prayers are much more legislative than we know that they are. God desires for His Kingdom to come upon this earth and He has positioned the church - the ekklesia - to bring it!
4/1/18
- Peter DeWitt
Audio Written Summary

2 Corinthians 5:21 says “For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.” Jesus actually BECAME SIN FOR US so that we might become the RIGHTEOUSNESS OF GOD IN HIM!

When Jesus was on the cross He became the scapegoat for all of humanity - for you, for me - for all of our sins for all time! When Jesus died, He became everything that you are that you don’t want to be. He became sin. He became sickness. His thoughts became cursed (the crown of thorns represents this) - so that we can then have the mind of Christ. Everything that He was is everything that you become when you behold Him as crucified on your behalf. It’s the great exchange. He became sin who knew no sin that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.
 
When Jesus raised to life, He was raised BECAUSE OF our justification (see Romans 4:25). We were IN HIM when He was raised. We were in Him when He died and we were in Him when He was raised. Being that you died with Him (Col. 2:20) you were also raised with Him (Col. 3:1)!

The Kingdom Message

3/18/18
- Peter DeWitt
Audio Written Summary

Our church has a mission - the Great Commission from Mt. 28 and Mk. 16! Rick shared a testimony about being born again during worship service. We are reminded that "ask" is not to beg - but instead to demand as something due to us. One of the keys of financial breakthrough is sowing and reaping, but another one is to know just how much our Father delights in our prosperity. In Nehemiah 5, we see that the workers of God needed more dough, help with mortgages, and help with taxes. God knows what you have need of and has promised to SUPPLY His servants as we seek first His Kingdom (Mt. 6:33). 

Luke 16:16 says everyone is trying to press into the Kingdom! What’s the message Jesus preached? KINGDOM! What’s the message He sent His disciples out to preach? KINGDOM! What’s the message He said would be preached until the end and then the end would come? KINGDOM! 

The Kingdom of God is a clash of kingdoms. It’s light and darkness and darkness stands no chance. This is the kingdom! What is the message of the ekklesia? The KINGDOM! 

 

What is Church?

3/4/18
- Peter DeWitt
Audio Written Summary
What is church? Surely something so central to our lives as believers would be clearly defined in our minds! Yet, for most believers (myself included), if we are honest about our thoughts, our definition of church has historically been comprised of a loosely connected thoughts about buildings, organizations, professional ministers or clergy members, and gatherings at specific times of the week. 
 
We know that Jesus said He would build His church. When He said He would build HIs church, what was He meaning? Did He promise to build magnificent structures? Did He promise to increase attendance at Sunday worship services? Surely beautiful church buildings and well-attended church meetings are a good thing, but is that what Jesus was saying He’d build?
 
The answer may be surprising to you. Jesus did not say He would build His “church.” Instead He said He would build His “ekklesia.” While “ekklesia” is translated as “church” 112 times in the King James Version of the Bible, the truth is the word “church” is not actually in the Bible. It turns out the word “church” seems to have come into being nearly 300 years after Christ’s resurrection and it was later popularized as a translation for the Greek word Jesus actually used in Matthew 16:18 - “ekklesia.”
 
So what was an “ekklesia?” An ekklesia was a well-known Greek / Roman construct at the time of Christ. His disciples would have been very aware of what an ekklesia was and how it functioned. In short, an ekklesia was simply an assembly of local citizens that actually ruled and legislated concerning all matters of society and culture in their town or city. They represented their city or town to either Athens or Rome and when they convened they operated with the delegated authority of Athens or Rome in their midst. This is the “ekklesia” that Jesus promised to build!
 
Jesus did not say “upon this rock I will build my synagogue.” He could have - after all synagogue is used 67 times in the New Testament! Instead Jesus said “upon this rock I will build my ekklesia” - a Greek or Roman entity best translated (in one word) as “assembly.” Church isn’t in the bible, but ekklesia is. Jesus was the first to call it an ekklesia. The question is “why didn’t Jesus use ‘synagogue’ and what’s that mean to us?”  That’s what we’re going to discover - or at least investigate - in this series.
2/18/18
- Peter DeWitt
Audio Written Summary

There are basically two camps theologically as it relates to eternal secuirty of the believer. One says “once saved always saved.” In other words if you’ve received Christ your eternity is secure. The other camp says “saved, lost, saved, lost.” 

If you look at the “eternal security” side, there are many scriptures that support it … but the side that says you can lose your salvation also has many scriptures that they can cite. It’s important to be slow in forming doctrine. This teaching will present a third position that we believe dovetails with both sets of scriptures. 
 
Scriptures such as John 3:16, John 10:27-28, Hebrews 10:10, Hebrews 10:14, Romans 4:7-8, and 1 Peter 1:3-5 make it clear that your salvation is everlasting, eternal, will never perish, is once-and-for-all, perfected forever, incorruptible, undefiled, reserved in Heaven for you, and it will not fade away! Sounds like eternal security!
 
As if that wasn’t strong enough, scriptures like Romans 3:21-28, Galatians 3:1-3, Col. 2:6, and Eph. 2:5-8 make it overwhelmingly clear that you did not ever gain your salvation by righteous works of your own, but instead entirely through faith alone! Therefore, if your salvation came by faith - not by works - how could you be perfected by works or lose you salvation by a lack of works?!?
 
However Proverbs 18:17 says “The first one to plead his cause seems right, Until his neighbor comes and examines him.” It is important to be slow in forming doctrine!  We can actually prove from scripture that you can in fact lose your salvation.  
 
Scriptures like Col. 1:21-23, 2 Tim. 2:11-13, Mt. 24:12-14, 2 Pe. 2:18-22, Luke 12:8-11, Rev. 3:5, and Hebrews 10:26-31 all make it abundantly clear that we must endure, continue in the faith, and overcome. These are simply too many scriptures to ignore: a believer can in fact lose their salvation ... AND we know from above that it can't be on account of sin because a believer's righteousness was never beceause of a lack of sin but because of faith in Christ. So the question is how? 
 
Listen to this sermon (or read the written summary) for more!

Introduction

2/4/18
- Peter DeWitt
Audio Written Summary

When we make declarations about finances, we need to remember that our God is able to exceedingly, abundantly above all that we ask, seek, or imagine. The righteous shall live by FAITH! You have access by faith into all that Jesus has access to by obedience! Everything that Jesus did by obedience becomes what you have access to by faith. This is the walk. You go from glory to … glory! Because the righteous shall live by faith. I want to encourage you in your finances. God wants breakthrough in your finances. I believe that it is a season of feasting that has come upon this body!

The enemy will often send evil days on the tail-end of your breakthrough to try to get you to capitulate the ground that you actually just took. You actually just had a huge breakthrough so stand firm therefore in the evil day with the belt of truth fastened around your waist and you breastplate of righteousness firmly in place!  So when you have a breakthrough - you need to know that there is going to be opposition that comes and the whole thing the enemy is trying to do is to get your to capitulate your breakthrough. 
 
Whenever you are forming doctrine to be VERY PATIENT in your study. In my experience, issues with doctrine come from either having already heard a doctrine from others and thereby reading the Bible through that lens … or having an impatience that says “I HAVE to form my doctrine on this now!”… instead of just continuing to  devote yourself to reading the Word knowing that understanding will come. 
 
There of basically two schools of thought / doctrinal camps as it relates to the eternal security of the believer. The first is that “once you’re saved, you’re always saved.” The other camp says once your saved you can become lost again - and usually they will say that would happen because you’ve sinned. 
 
The question is, does the scripture say you can lose your salvation - and if so, how would that happen? This is the first sermon in a two part series that works through the New Testament scriptures on eternal security. Listen for more!
 
1/21/18
- Agathos
Audio
This is the recording from a special Sunday service which we planned for the whole service to be worship. The set list is below. Prophetic words, exhortations, and testimonies are found in the recording as well (particularly toward the end):
  • Here For You - Matt Redman
  • We Love Your Name - The Cry/Jaye Thomas
  • Lion And The Lamb - Bethel Music and Leeland
  • Praises - Bethel Music and Josh Baldwin
  • (Communion and Prayer for Healing)
  • His Banner Over Me - Kevin Prosch
  • Love Came Down - Brian Johnson
  • (Prophecy and Testimonies)

The Foundation From Which We Fast

1/7/18
- Peter DeWitt
Audio Written Summary
Fasting is a physical act that is a spirutal tool that sensitizes us to the reality of who we already are in Christ! Paul said in 1 Cor. 3:11 “For no other foundation can anyone lay than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ.” Jesus went into fasting NOT to get the love of God, but BECAUSE of the love of God! The love of God was already expressed to Jesus in Matthew 3:17 and THEN He fasted. Do not fast to earn the love of God!
 
I have news for you … Jesus enjoyed His fast! “The Kingdom of Heaven is not a eating and drinking, but righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit.” (Rom. 14:17) Was Jesus in the Holy Spirit when He was in the wilderness fasting? You better believe it - the Holy Spirit had just descended on Him like a dove! So, Jesus was in righteousness. Jesus was in peace. And yes, Jesus was enJOYing His fast! You can too - if you fast out a revelation of God’s love for you!
 
If you don’t fast out of a revelation of God’s love for you, find another way to torture yourself … because you will be the one walking around with a disfigured face telling people that you are “serving God!” We fast out of the basis of God’s love for us. Jesus was feeding on the revelation of His Father’s love for Him the entire time.
 
If you are fasting longer than you have ever done, get a book on fasting and read the testimonies about fasting every day! It will be really difficult to get discouraged if you are reading fasting testimonies consistently.
When you step into the fast on any level - you step into it WITH CHRIST, you do not step into a structure. You do need to decide the length and type of your fast ahead of time, but you are going to do a fast with the Holy Spirit not a fast with your plan. I am not trying to get intimate with my fasting plan, I am trying to draw near to God.
 
I would encourage you to start slowly. If you were to run a marathon you would generally need to run less than 26 miles before you tried to run 26! Fasting is a spiritual workout. Obviously this fast is voluntary and I am trusting you to have discretion about your own body.  If you’ve not fasted a good bit, I would advise you to use discretion. If you are fasting longer than 3 days on liquid only, you can actually injure yourself if you don’t know some basics about fasting. Especially about breaking the fast is very important for your health. It was good Jesus did not eat bread straight away at the end of 40 day fast! There are simply some things you need to tend to while fasting. Be sure to know those basics before starting your fast. If it feels like a stretch to you and you have peace on it, it is probably a great thing to do.
 
When we look at the many testimonies in the Word of God about fasting, we see that fasting can do what no other thing can do. There are things that your time in the Word can do that prayer cannot do. There are things that prayer can do that your time in the Word by itself cannot do. And there are things that fasting can do that neither of the other two can do totally by themselves.  Fasting is a super-charger on your spiritual car. So my question for you is “what are you hungry for?” What are the breakthroughs that you are hungry for in this season? Ask the Holy Spirit. What keeps coming up in prayer? What are your hungry for?
 

When you have a vision for what this fast is about - why you are doing it - it makes it so much easier! Brad just pictures that empty plate and it is getting filled up during the time that he’s fasting and it helps him through it! May we see Your face, know Your love, and have tremendous breakthrough in this fast in Jesus’ Name!

Why, What, Things to Expect, and How to Prep

12/31/17
- Peter DeWitt
Audio Written Summary
According to Jesus in Mt. 6:16-18, fasting is a "when" not an "if" and it carries with it Heavenly rewards. Fasting is not legalism. You are not earning anything with God. Jesus already gave you it all. God’s given us a great tool to sensitize ourselves to the things of the Spirit … that’s all it is. It’s like prayer. It’s an opportunity. 
 
In Mt. 17:21, Jesus also made it clear that some kinds of unbelief only come out by prayer and fasting. Fasting mixes faith with your prayers. Scripture is full of examples of breakthrough that came on the heels of fasting.
 
This message will share more about the why of this fast, what fasting is, things you can expect while fasting, and how to prepare for a fast.
 

Touched by His Love (Part 4)

12/17/17
- Peter DeWitt
Audio Written Summary
Authority is positional. As a believer, you are in Christ! That means that you are in His authority! You have the signet ring! When you pray and say “in Jesus’ Name” you are NOT using vain repetition as the heathens do. You are not heard because of many words. “IN JESUS’ NAME” is a statement of KNOWN AUTHORITY. 
 
Colossians 3:1-3 says “If then you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God. Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth. For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God.” We need to set our minds on things above! How can you set your mind on things above? Read the Word! Recite a memory verse! Speak about the things of God with another believer! Worship God! Or you can break out your secret weapon for heavenly-mindedness … praying in the Spirit - praying in tongues!
 
Praying in tongues is a major way to keep yourself in the Love of God. Jude 20-21 “But you, beloved, building yourselves up on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Spirit, keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life.” Notice that you are called “beloved.” You are not just loved by God - your identity has become that of one who IS LOVED … “beloved.” When you pray in the Holy Spirit we actually build ourselves up in our most holy faith. Every time you pray in tongues, it is evidence of the love that God has bestowed up on you - it’s evidence of your perfect acceptance before God. When you pray in tongues you are therefore inherently keeping yourself in the love of God!  In fact, praying in the Spirit is the 7th piece of the armor of God!  (Eph. 6:18)
 
If you can start your day with God, it’s powerful. One way that you can start with God - even before you open up your Bible, even before you get before Him in prayer, or anything else  - you can have a declaration in the morning - a specific verse that you are declaring to shape your thinking before you let your mind go to anything else. Don’t turn to the news or open up Facebook or your email. Wake up and declare your destiny according to His Word and Will for your life!
 
Let’s look a bit further at 2 Corinthians 13:14 “The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with you all. Amen.”  And John 14:23 says “If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home with him.” As we experience the grace of the Lord Jesus, it invites us into the love of the Father which as we encounter His love for us and pleasure in us, draws us deeper into communion with the Holy Spirit!  Holy Spirit is in us. The Father and the Son are knocking on the door of your heart and they want to come in and dine with you. Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. 
 
Hope actually comes from knowing, experiencing, and responding to God’s love. (1 Cor. 2:9 and Rom. 5:5) Hope does not disappoint when it is the sort of hope that is coming from a place from the love of God being shed abroad in your heart. Faith is the substance of things hoped for. So we see that love is actually driving hope and hope is the impetus for faith. Put together, we see that faith is actually a tag-along with His love! And here’s one more! 1 Cor. 13:13 “And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love.” Why? Because you cannot have hope or faith from God without His love! Love truly is the greatest because it releases hope, which leads to faith!
 
What did Jesus do after He got a revelation of the Father’s love in Matthew 3:16-17? He went and fasted in the wilderness. The idea of doing a corporate fast in the new year has been growing in my heart over the past month or so. It’s a voluntary corporate fast. No requirements, OK? It will be corporate fast if at least one other person does it with me. With this fast, you should do what you have faith for. Anything done apart from faith is sin. Faith does come by hearing and hearing by the Word of God so I am going to teach from the Word of God on fasting!  
 

Touched by His Love (Part 3)

12/3/17
- Peter DeWitt
Audio Written Summary

Do not feel bad having to work on your love relationship with God. If we think that love is just an emotion, we won’t work at it. But, if we think that love HAS emotions associated with it - that when we do the things love does, emotions follow which are a blessing - than we will work at doing the things that love does. Remember that the Ephesian church had departed from their first love and Christ instructed them to “do the first works.” If we do the things that love does in our relationship with God - and we stick at that - we will experience all the beauty that comes with it.  

We can meditate not only in the quantity of God’s love, but also in the qualities of His love! The magnitude of God’s love includes everything up to and including the value of His very own Son! That’s how GREAT a love with which He loved us! While that’s a great meditation, if you want to understand and have more of a revelation of God’s love, you have to go past just thinking about quantity and step into a place of also thinking about the qualities of God’s love.
 
Let’s look at Galatians 5:22-23 “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.” Now, if these are the fruit of the Spirit, that means that when you sow the seed of God (which is the Word of God) these are the things that are naturally produced in your life. That means that these characteristics are inherent to the very DNA of God! The fruit of the Spirit are actually an opportunity to meditate on who God is to you! In other words, God IS love, joy, peace, patience, kindness … these are actually describing God! Now, watch this … what is the first fruit of the Spirit? Love. Therefore all the other fruit of the Spirit come through the avenue of love. When you have love, it gives access to the rest.
 
God’s love is actually filled with joy. God’s love is totally rooted in a covenant of peace with you. Then you find out that His love is patient toward you. God’s kindness toward us starts with His patience toward us. When you see how patient and kind He is with us, it becomes clear that He has only goodness for us!  And how can He help but be faithful toward you when His intentions toward you are ONLY good?” His love lacks no gentleness. Lack of gentleness comes from a desire to control. God’s love, by nature, is self-controlled, which means He is NOT controlling you. 
 
You can do the same thing with 1 Corinthians 13. We know that “love is from God, God is love, and we love because He first loved us …” (1 Jn 4:7,8,19) So, when we look at 1 Corinthians 13, we see that love doesn’t behave rudely and therefore you can say “God does not behave rudely toward me.” We also see that His Love does not envy, is not puffed up, and does not parade itself. 
 
There are opportunities to meditate not just in the quantity of God’s love, but also the qualities of God’s love. You are invited to explore His love. There is so much more to discover and experience!

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