Peter DeWitt

Peter is a husband to Megan, and a father to Peter (III), Andrew, and David. His background is in education, having served first as a science teacher and later as an assistant principal for his high school. Peter’s wife, Megan, led him to the Lord while they were both in college at Ohio State, a time where Peter mostly rock climbed and sometimes studied. Peter has since enjoyed freedom after freedom in the Lord as he has experienced more and more of God’s great love for him. One of Peter’s passions in life is speaking encouragement to the body of Christ. Whether with a couple in the DeWitt’s living room or from the pulpit, Peter loves to encourage, exhort, and equip his brothers and sisters in Christ! In addition to serving as an associate pastor at Agathos, Peter continues to work in education as a consultant for schools in Columbus and Ohio. Peter and Megan view their ministry as a joint effort and also enjoy woodworking together in their well-equipped home woodshop.

Sunday Service

8/5/18
- Peter DeWitt
Audio Written Summary

Using the New Testament scriptures that seem to speak most directly to Sunday service, we asked ourselves "what can we conclude scripturally about Sunday service?" We saw many themes - some suprising or perhaps different than we normally think of Sunday service (listen to the recording for more). After that group discussion we asked ourselves "what do these scriptures reveal about our Father?" In addition to "humble" and "community-focused," it was clear how empowering our Father is! If you listen to this sermon, I would encourage you to do the same study we did with the following scriptures:

  • Acts 2:42
  • Acts 2:46
  • Eph. 4:11-16
  • Heb. 10:24-25
  • Acts 20:7

Enjoy!

Trying a New Church Space

7/30/18
- Peter DeWitt
Audio

Not One Member, but Many

7/15/18
- Peter DeWitt
Audio Written Summary

“And they continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in prayers.” (Acts 2:42) There is no relative importance given to this list of 4 activities of the early church. They seem to each be an equal part of the mixture. 

Sometimes church is so highly structured that I feel like I was with people the entire time but truth be told I only talked to other people for a grand total of 3 minutes. You cannot change people’s lives outside of the church if you cannot talk with people in the church. 
 
“When the pastor stops talking now I have to be intimate with other people. And there is a great danger in that potentially because they might know me - and they could reject me.” But you are accepted in the Beloved! And if there was ever a place for you to be accepted it’s in church! 
 
If I notice that I am in a situation where I am not relationally comfortable … if I am meeting a famous person and I notice that there is a twinge of discomfort in me … do you know what I do? I take that to the Lord because there doesn’t need to be any! He paid for my acceptance in Him that I would know that so well that it wouldn’t even enter my mind to feel insecure in a social setting!  If you are in an environment and you feel insecure, that means your security is in the wrong place. If your security is in the Lord, then He’s the same always.
 
You may think “what’s that have to do with possibly being uncomfortable with talking in small groups at church in the park?” The point I am making is this: In that moment of discomfort you have 2 tracks that you can take: (1) you can either hate that I am asking you to talk with someone else or (2) you can see it as an opportunity for an upgrade.
 
We have an amazing opportunity as a church to do something that’s quite unique. One of the things that has been happening is we started house church 3 years ago. The million dollar question that house church asks and answers is “can church be church if it’s not in a church building?” I now believe this “ekklesia” thing is starting another new phase in something.
 
Erin then shared a testimony about a God-directed prayer time in house church. In 1 Cor. 12:14-15 “or in fact the body is not one member but many. If the foot should say, “Because I am not a hand, I am not of the body,” is it therefore not of the body?”  There were people sitting in our house church that morning that didn’t feel like they had anything to give to what the Lord was doing. They looked to others, expecting them to bring it! But God designed it to be THIS WAY - when the body comes together and does the work of the Kingdom AS A BODY - that is when the full power of God is released.
 
It’s not about your leader. It’s not about the person who seems to have the most obvious gifting. Some of the most powerful prayers that were prayed that morning were by new believers who thought they had nothing to give!  Every part of the body has a role to play - is bringing something when we come together! 

Fostering Discipleship

5/6/18
- Peter DeWitt
Audio Written Summary

Mentorship is breaking off a piece of your life and handing it to someone else. It is pulling someone to a higher place. It is taking what we have (our knowledge, wisdom of experience, favor, etc.) and offering it to someone in need of it. We can be a +1 for someone else! When you only have +1’s and no -1’s, you become a Dead Sea. Both inputs and outputs are needed for a health body. Find your +1’s and humbly receive from them, engage with your neutrals, and have the courage to reach out to your -1’s.

All of discipleship is on the foundation of prayer for the person you are discipling. If you want to start discipling someone, start praying for them! God will show you when / how to help them in person (listen to the message for more detail) but you can always help them through prayer for them!
 
Shame steals discipleship. Lack of shame comes from a knowledge of the Father’s acceptance of you.  When you know the Father’s acceptance towards you, when you know that His face lights up when He sees you, then you don’t have shame.
 
Proverbs 11:2 is a really important verse about shame “When pride comes, then comes shame.” That’s the root of shame. This is really helpful. If you are struggling with shame, you have a problem with pride. Shame is self-imposed relational separation. 
Pride is finding identity apart from God. Humility is “identity in God.” It’s that simple. In other words, pride is identity through separation (relational separation). What’s shame? Self-imposed relational separation. 
 
This sabotages discipleship. We’ve learned to operate in relational hiddenness instead of relational connection. When you operate in relational connection it provides an opportunity for discipleship. 
 
Discipleship can only be carried out in relationship. 
 
We live in a culture that says “if I am afraid of connection relationally, don’t worry, I will learn it on my own and after learning it on my own I will come back to you.” The Word of God is saying, don’t do that. It’s connection; it’s relationship. It’s connection; it’s relationship. Don’t let shame sabotage that relationship!

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!
 

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!  
 

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