By Pastor Charles Lane
1New King James Version (NKJV)God’s Commission to Joshua1 After the death of Moses the servant of the Lord, it came to pass that theLord spoke to Joshua the son of Nun, Moses’ assistant, saying:
2 “Moses My servant is dead. Now therefore, arise, go over this Jordan, you and all this people, to the land which I am giving to them—the children of Israel.
3 Every place that the sole of your foot will tread upon I have given you, as I said to Moses.
4 From the wilderness and this Lebanon as far as the great river, the River Euphrates, all the land of the Hittites, and to the Great Sea toward the going down of the sun, shall be your territory.
5 No man shall be able to stand before you all the days of your life; as I was with Moses, so I will be with you. I will not leave you nor forsake you.
6 Be strong and of good courage, for to this people you shall divide as an inheritance the land which I swore to their fathers to give them.
7 Only be strong and very courageous, that you may observe to do according to all the law which Moses My servant commanded you; do not turn from it to the right hand or to the left, that you may prosper wherever you go.
8 This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate in it day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success.
9 Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”
Sermon By Pastor Julius Aquino
The Lord’s Message October 18, 2015
Intro: There are many occasions that happen in each of our lives that we celebrate as an important event. We celebrate our birth anniversary, wedding anniversary and today we are celebrating the birth of the Church Jesus planted here in Reno, known as the Filipino International Christian Fellowship. After the succeeding Sundays, 9 years ago after we congregated to worship the Lord, the Lord chose the name given to the original members. This church is not limited to Filipinos but open to nationals of other nations. Today we have a mix of Filipinos Americans, Hispanics and Asian Indians from India and once in a while a young man from Crosspoint church who is Vietnamese worships with us.
But what is important is we do not lose sight who started this church and who is responsible to add and grow in maturity. I say this upfront that this church belongs to Christ Jesus alone when He gave birth and started some nine years ago today.
When God sent God, the second person of the Trinity down to earth to become like one of us humans and in submission to God as His Father, Jesus humbled Himself as the Son of God with a mission and purpose to accomplish. Since He was born of the Spirit and not by the union of Joseph and Mary, He was pure in heart from birth and lived a sinless life until He was crucified on that cruel cross after living for thirty three years. In the last three years of His life He gathered disciples to follow Him and save them from the penalty of their sins, we call that salvation and He would be their Lord. On one occasion speaking to His apostles of twelve, He asked Peter who He was, after teaching them and performing many miracles. “Who do you say I am?” Simon Peter answered, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” Jesus replied, “Blessed are you Simon son of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you by man, but by my Father in heaven. And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock, I will build my church, and the gates of Hell will not overcome it.” Matt. 16:15-18
So Jesus revealed for the first time that He is the builder of His church and all the spiritual forces of evil will not overcome it. Why, because Jesus Christ is God and after He paid the price of those He will save He is given all authority in heaven and on earth over everything. In other words He saves sinners from their sins and He will build His church from those He has saved. Why is He able? Because,
“Christ is Faithful to the Church He Saved”
“Christ is faithful as a son over God’s house. And we are his house if we hold on to our courage and the hope of which we boast.” Heb. 3:6
Boasting here is not a sin or wrong when one boasts not of himself but of Christ who has given him the sure hope of eternal life. We see three things from this. 1. Christ is faithful to those He has saved. 2. God the Father has given Him those He will save to build His church. 3. Those who are now members of His church (house) will hold on to the one who has saved them with the sure hope of eternal life and will be courageous.
In reality, a church when still young is immature and needs to grow and be built up. We know already who will build the church, Christ working through His servants. He gives them the spiritual gifts of evangelism, as pastors, teachers and those who do discipleship. This is God’s plan from birth and growth to maturity and service. Finally when God has accomplished His purposes through them He calls them to be with Him in heaven. And Jesus revealed this through Paul those Jesus saved individually, He gave them this promise. Again as revealed by Paul “I thank my God every time I remember you. In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, being confident of this that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” Phil. 1:3-6
What stood out from this church in Philippi is their partnership with the gospel meaning that they were also faithful to share and spread the gospel to the lost. Following the model of Paul in how God used him to spread the gospel and planted churches, in obedience to the command of Jesus before He went back to heaven. “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, in all Judea and Samaria and to the ends of the earth.” Acts 1:8
Notice what Jesus told them to do, “you will be my witnesses,” meaning every disciple of His, has a story to tell about what Jesus has done in and through them. After Paul got saved and as he grew in knowing Christ, he wrote this to a young pastor who was pastoring a church Ephesus, as to how Paul got his commission. “I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who has given me strength, that he considered me faithful, and appointing me to his service. Even though I was once a blasphemer and a persecutor and a violent man, I was shown mercy because I acted in ignorance and unbelief. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ was poured out on me abundantly, along with the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus.” 1 Tim. 1:12-14
Almost 34 years ago, I was also shown mercy and grace when God sent a missionary/church planter to tell me about Jesus the good news of salvation. At that time I had lived a very sinful life for 39 years. A few years back before this, I had the most fearful experience as I was doing my job as a pilot. I was only a step away to crashing a cargo plane that I was flying. I was afraid because I knew that if I died I would go straight to hell. I studied in a school in my hometown started by the Presbyterians and was taught the Bible. However, all I accumulated was head knowledge. After I got married to my dear wife I joined her religion as a Roman Catholic. I was not really serious of following their religious beliefs and practices. But after this near death experience I got so scared knowing in my heart that I deserved to go to hell because of the many sins I have committed against God even without knowing by heart the Ten Commandments. And yet even as I was faithful to follow the practices of this religion I still did not have the assurance that I would go to heaven when I die. I was still scared when I would encounter dangerous flying conditions. Three weeks earlier Gina was shared the gospel by the wife and she received eternal life. After prodding me just to listen I finally gave in after three weeks. Here are the facts the husband shared with me from the Bible which I heard and listened intently.
First he asked me if I was sure of going to heaven when I die, of course I had to be honest to myself and said no. The good news I immediately heard was God says in the Bible that we can know and be very sure. Then he asked me what my understanding was for a person to go to heaven and have this eternal life. So I gave my honest opinion from the religion I followed that if I do good works and follow as best I could the Ten Commandments I have a great chance of going to heaven if not to Purgatory. Then he pointed that going to heaven cannot be earned because it is by the grace of God given to undeserving sinners. This verse penetrated into my mind and sank deep in my heart which was contrary to what I have believed. “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith – and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God – not by works so that no one can boast.” Eph. 2:8-9
That was clear now to me that I was doing the opposite by trying to earn my salvation contrary to what God said is a gift. But the truth that amazed me is the amazing grace of God to save sinners like me who does not deserve one bit. And the fact is it is a gift and cannot be earned by my good works. But first I needed to hear the bad news because here’s what God says in His Word. “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Rom. 6:23
God will pay me for all the sins even for only one I have committed. I will physically die and then punished in hell forever and no one is exempted because, “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” Rom. 3:23
Initially it was a consolation because I was not the only one guilty of sin and cannot save ourselves. As I continue to listen, there is a way of escaping God’s wrath and judgment. Someone had to pay for my sin having no sin of his own and that man was Jesus Christ, and then he quoted what Jesus said that God is love. “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:16
I thought I believed in Jesus but did not really know who Jesus was. I believed in Christmas and even this verse from my former school but I did not have eternal life. So even though I believed God loves me but I did not know that God is also just and must carry out His law. But this problem of God’s justice we are already guilty of . On one hand God loves me but on the other side of the scale God has to punish me for my sins to satisfy His being just. Thank God he provided the solution that only He can resolve. The good news was already prophesied from the OT “But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed. We all like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way; and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all.” Isa. 53:5-6
And this prophecy was fulfilled in the New Testament as revealed to us by Paul, “By this gospel you are saved, if you hold firmly to the word I preached to you. Otherwise, you have believed in vain. For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised from the dead on the third day according to the Scriptures.” 1 Cor. 15:2-4
Jesus paid the full price of my redemption to satisfy God’s justice. He affirmed this when just before He died, He shouted, “It is finished”. He accomplished what He came for to be the only Savior of sinners. But there was one condition after believing what Jesus did and to respond to this gospel Jesus requires repentance of all of my sins. Here’s what Jesus said, “The kingdom of God is near. Repent and believe the good news.” Mark 1:15
Repentance as he explained is not only being sorry to have sinned against a holy God but a change of mind in regards to sin and in what I have believed. Then he challenged me to respond by giving up all my sins to Jesus for Him to pay and receive Him into my heart and be my Lord. With that I was not yet ready to give up the sins I love and enjoy but I knew where I stood before God. So I said I will think it over. This was on a weekday then I received a schedule to fly my boss to over the weekend. When I stepped inside the airplane I could not shake off the thought that if something should happen and I die I will go straight to hell. When we arrived safely in Bacolod, and before going to sleep that night still with the fear and now, what if I don’t wake up in the morning I will certainly meet my judge. I knelt down and prayed, repented of all my sins and invited Jesus to come into my heart and be my Lord. After that I experienced the peace that I could not understand and all the guilt of my sins and heavy burden have been lifted and then I felt the love of God, His joy and peace that made me sleep soundly thereafter.
When I returned to Manila the following day, I immediately called the missionary and he was excited and wanted to meet with me right away and so we met at a restaurant before going home. He wanted to hear my commitment to Jesus as my Lord and asked me to pray the sinner’s prayer. Because God said in His Word, “That if you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved.” Rom. 10:9-10
Nineteen years ago, the Lord called us to the US to be on fulltime mission with Christ. Ever since I got save on Dec. 28, 1981, my life was never the same again. Jesus transformed me by the Holy Spirit who is now living in me, and the sins which I loved were replaced with new desires to follow Jesus and live a life with a purpose. I had the passion to tell the good news to anyone who was willing to listen, starting with my family and relatives. When we said goodbye to the church I was pastoring before leaving for the US, I made this commitment to my Lord what Paul said to the elders and families of the churches he planted. “And now, compelled by the Spirit, I am going to Jerusalem, not knowing what will happen to me there. I only know that in every city the Holy Spirit warns me that prison and hardships are facing me. “However, I consider my life worth nothing to me, if only I may finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me – the task of testifying to the gospel of God’s grace.” Acts 20:22-24
I thank the Lord that I was not put in prison in Georgia and in Reno but have experienced hardships, difficulties, trials, insults and persecutions because of the gospel. I do not find my life worth anything to me then and even today for without Christ I am nothing. I was already hell bound if not for the grace of God to save me which I did not deserve. I was already worthless and my life today is not even mine because I have surrender it all to the One who bought me with a price, Jesus Christ who died to pay for all my sins and has given me eternal life. We are leaving again to answer His call and this time back to the Philippines in Tagaytay City, with a greater passion, relying fully on His grace to finish the race and to do the task the Lord Jesus is giving us for His glory, honor and praise.
If you are here today and do not have this eternal life and now that you have heard the way how to have eternal life, this may be your day, the Lord is calling you by His grace to save you. Come to Jesus and surrender your life to Him to save you. If you are convicted of your sin, surrender and receive Christ as your Lord, then pray with me where you are, and after that come forward to publicly confess that Jesus is now your Lord. Jesus is looking at your heart and if you open and invite Him, He will enter in. If there are other decisions you want to make to Christ, come
Sermon by Pastor Joe Salcedo
Romans 8:28 NKJV
Mark 15:42-47 (NKJV)
John 20:1-10 (NKJV)
John 20:11-18 NKJV
Exodus 5:1-2 NKJV
John 8:47 NKJV
Exodus 5:6-9 AMP
Exodus 5:15-21 NKJV
Exodus 5:22-23 NKJV
Joshua 7:7 NKJV
Matthew 27:46 NKJV
Romans 8:28 NKJV
Jeremiah 29:11 (NIV)
Philippians 2:3-4 (NKJV)
1 Peter 5:6-7 (NKJV)
1 Thessalonians 5:11(NKJV)
Joshua 1:9 (NKJV)
Philippians 4:6-7 (NKJV)
Isaiah 41:10 (NIV)
The Lord’s Message
through Pastor Julius Aquino October 4, 2015
Intro: The first leader that we know of in the Bible is Moses. Compared to Abraham who was called by God to build a nation, Moses was to deliver the nation the descendants of Abraham from slavery in Egypt after four hundred years. Why Moses? While the Israelites were slaves in Egypt they were exploding in numbers and Pharaoh was threatened that the men will be more than the men of Egypt so he had all the boys born to be killed. There was no abortion at that time so the midwives were instructed to kill the baby if it was a boy but they defied Pharaoh’s orders. When Moses was born the mother saw something in the boy. “When she saw that he was a fine child she hid him for three months.” Ex. 2:2
I trust we have read and familiar with this account. What the Lord wants us to see is this boy was special and God kept him from being killed. Fast forward, when he was eighty years old, after forty years of tending sheep, God appeared to him in a burning bush then spoke to him audibly and here’s what God said, The Lord said, “I have indeed seen the misery of my people in Egypt. I have heard them crying out because of their slave drivers, and I am concerned about their suffering. So I have come down to rescue them from the hands of the Egyptians and to bring them up out of that land into a good and spacious land, a land flowing with milk and honey – the home of the Canaanites… So now, go. I am sending you to Pharaoh to bring my people the Israelites out of
Egypt. ” Ex. 3: 7-8, 10
But how did Moses respond? Did he say yes right away? He gave excuses that he is so and so, and what if… but did God gave up and said okay, if you are not willing to go, I’ll find someone else? No! God did not give up on Moses because he was His chosen one to deliver His people from bondage. But who was behind Moses to accomplish what he did? God said to him, “I will be with you.” Then who took Moses’ place to lead God’s people and be appointed by God? Then Moses summoned Joshua and said to him in the presence of all Israel. “Be strong and courageous, for you must go with this people into the land that the Lord swore to our forefathers to give them, and you must divide it among them as their inheritance. The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged…Now Joshua son of Nun was filled with the spirit of wisdom because Moses has laid his hands on him. So the Israelites listened to him and did what the Lord had commanded Moses.” Deut. 31:7-8; 34:9
Now fast forward to the New Testament as is written from the book of Hebrews. “Therefore, holy brothers, who share in the heavenly calling, fix your thoughts on Jesus, the apostle and high priest whom we confess. He was faithful to the one who appointed him, just as Moses was faithful in all God’s house. Jesus has been found worthy of greater honor than Moses, just as the builder of the house has greater honor than the house itself. For every house is built by someone, but God is the builder of everything. Moses was faithful as a servant in all God’s house, testifying to what would be said in the future. But Christ is faithful as a son over God’s house. And we are his house, if we hold on to our courage and hope whom we boast.” Heb. 3:1-6
What is common between Christ and Moses? Both were faithful. Faithfulness is the main character of a leader. But here’s the difference in their faithfulness. Christ was faithful to the one who appointed him. Christ is faithful as a son while Moses was faithful as a servant to take care of God’s house only and those were the Israelites numbering more than two million people that were delivered by God from Egypt until he died. Christ is faithful to this day till He returns to take the house, that is the church that He purchased by His blood. Christ said this to Peter, “I will build my church and the gates of Hades will not overcome it. I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.” Then he warned his disciples not to tell anyone that he is the Christ. Matt. 16:18b. [in the ESV version it is Hades is “hell”]
Why were they not to tell that Jesus was the Christ? Because at that time, Jesus was still alive and the gospel was not yet fulfilled? Jesus had to die, buried and be raised on the third day. But was Peter faithful to His Lord after Jesus was arrested to be identified with Jesus? He denied Him three times. Then after Jesus was raised from the dead Jesus restored and gave Peter three commands, “Feed my lambs, take care of my sheep and feed my sheep.” Was Peter faithful after that? Yes, he was. He suffered and endured persecution and later was also crucified for his Lord because he was faithful by the Spirit who was now in him producing faithfulness.
What about the one appointed by God to plant churches as a missionary? We know about Paul who was faithful to his religion of Judaism that he even persecuted Christian which in effect he was persecuting Jesus who was in them. And by the grace of God was saved and appointed him into his service. Here’s his testimony to a young pastor he mentored for the ministry Timothy, “I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who has given me strength, that he considered me faithful, appointing me to his service. Even though I was once a blasphemer and a persecutor and a violent man, I was shown mercy because I acted in ignorance and unbelief. The grace of the Lord was poured out on me abundantly along with the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus.” 1 Tim. 1:12-14
God then used Paul to write most of the letters in the New Testament addressing churches how they are to carry out God’s purpose in building Christ’s churches. When did God think of saving and calling Paul to this assignment as a missionary and church planter to the Gentiles? Here’s what the Holy Spirit revealed to him. “But when God, who set me apart from birth and called me by his grace, was pleased to reveal his Son in me so that I might preach him among the Gentiles, I did not consult any man, nor did I go up to Jerusalem to see those who were apostles before I was, but I went immediately into Arabia and later returned to Damascus.” Gal. 1:14-17
I believe that the Holy Spirit led him to Arabia to be on one on one with Jesus for three years. He got all his knowledge of Christ, His purpose and His will for the churches he will plant and grow in the Lord. Paul then wrote in his letters who and how God appoints leaders or pastors for His churches. The title of this message is.
“God Chooses the Pastors for His Church[es]”
“But to each one of us grace has been given as Christ apportioned it. This is why it says: “When he ascended on high, he led captives in his train and gave gifts to men.” (What does “he ascended” means except that he also descended to the lower, earthly regions. He who descended is the very one who ascended higher than all the heavens in order to fill the whole universe.) It was he who gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers, to prepare God’s people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up, until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and be mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.” Eph. 4:10-13
The grace Paul mentions here is the grace given to everyone Christ appoints to do certain tasks. The gift refers to spiritual gifts not eternal life. So we see what Paul said that it is Christ who appoints and gives the grace to enable the person to do what he called them to do. Who chose and called the apostles? Christ did. Are there apostles today, no more because the last one was the apostle Paul? The equivalent of the apostles today, are the missionaries sent out to plant churches as Paul did. Who were called to be prophets? Paul was one who prophesied about the rapture foretelling the future events and wrote in the Scriptures. Prophets today are those who declare and explain what was prophesied both from the Old and the New Testaments. Those gifted with evangelism are those who are enabled to evangelize to huge crowds with the gospel, like Peter, Paul and today Billy Graham, etc. Then when God gather His elect together and combine them to form a church, Christ calls and appoints a pastor to lead His flock. A pastor is a teacher as well given the grace of God to enable them to do the task. It is Christ who appoints who will pastor His church and not man who chooses to be the pastor of the church of Jesus Christ. So when we were about to draw the lot whom Christ will appoint who should have decided that? And the Lord Jesus Christ did it in a dramatic way by exposing the heart of the other candidate who was not willing to submit to God’s will to be chosen but set his own condition if he is not chosen he will leave. We were in awe at how the Sovereign Lord revealed His will. So God has spoken through the rejection by one not to submit to God’s will.
So now Christ the head of His church has a new pastor as a replacement after he sends the current pastor to a new assignment. We have already taken in the past the qualification of those who are called and willing to be given the gift to lead God’s flock. Here’s Paul’s exhortation to young Timothy. “This is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance (and for this we labor and strive), that we have put our hope in the Savior of all men, and especially those who believe. Command and teach these things. Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in life, in love, in faith and in purity.” 1 Tim. 4:9-12
In addition to this Paul charged young Timothy this, “But you, man of God, flee from all this, and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance and gentleness. Fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called when you made your good confession in the presence of many witnesses.” 1 Tim. 6:11-12
Timothy was to flee from the love of money which is the root of all kinds of evil.
Then there is also a charge for the church concerning the leaders especially the pastors appointed by Christ to serve His church starting with these commands. “Keep on loving each other as brothers.” Heb. 13:1 “Remember your leaders, who spoke the word of God to you. Consider the outcome of their way of life and imitate their faith. Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.” Heb. 13:7-8
This means Christ headship over His church remains the same from the past till the present and future and this is because Christ our God will never change. Lastly, “Obey your leaders and submit to their authority. They keep watch over you as men who must give an account. Obey them so that their work will be a joy, not a burden, for that would be of no advantage to you.” Heb. 13:17
And lastly, I believe and you have witnessed and affirmed that brother Joe Salcedo in now the Pastor who will take over when I leave. I now echo what Paul admonished Timothy and other pastors he has mentored. “Keep watch over yourselves and all the flock of which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers. Be shepherds of the church of God, which he bought with his own blood. I know that after I leave, savage wolves will come in among you and will not spare the flock. Even from your own number men will arise and distort the truth in order to draw away disciples after them. So be on your guard… Now I commit you to God and to the word of his grace which can build you up and give you an inheritance among those who are sanctified.” Acts 20:28- 31a, 32
Today we will accept and affirm God’s appointment of Pastor Joe as your pastor.