Follow along with the latest message from Pastor Barrett Berry and The ELC
Welcome to the Empowered Living Church (The ELC). We are celebrating our first church anniversary! Thank you for being a part of God's victory. Our objective is to save souls, make disciples, and build God's kingdom.
God’s Glory is His Light . . . the Light that Shines in the midst of Darkness
1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was with God in the beginning. 3 Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. 4 In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. 5 The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.
6 There was a man sent from God whose name was John. 7 He came as a witness to testify concerning that light, so that through him all might believe. 8 He himself was not the light; he came only as a witness to the light.
9 The true light that gives light to everyone was coming into the world. 10 He was in the world, and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognize him. 11 He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him. 12 Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God— 13 children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God.
14 The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.
One morning I got up at 3:30am and decided not to turn on the light. Now, there is a light right next to me on my nightstand, but I decided not to turn on the light. I figured that I knew my bedroom and knew these things were so I didn’t need the light. I figured I could make my own way in darkness, so I didn’t turn on the light. However, in the middle of the floor were some shoes I’d left out from the night before.
I didn’t know how many times I’ve been told not to leave my shoes in the floor and to put them up. So there they were in the middle of the floor and I had no light so I didn’t see them sitting there. As far as I was concerned, there were no shoes in the middle of the floor and iI was all right. I knew how many steps it would take before I had to turn right. I knew my room. I’d been living there for a lot of years.
A few minutes later, as i tried to pick myself off of the floor after stumbling, tripping, and doing James Brown all over the carpet, because I tripped over my shoes, I was reminded that when things are dark you don’t see things as they really are. You may think you’re okay when you’re not okay. You may think you’re fine when you‘re not fine. You may think you know what you’re doing when you don’t know what you are doing--all because you are trying to do your thing in the dark.
If I would have just turned the light on, I wouldn't have had to go through all those issues, I wouldn’t have had to face all those problems because the light would have revealed something was wrong in the middle of the floor.
Lesson One: Light Shines Through
John 1:1-4 (NIV) 1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was with God in the beginning. 3 Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. 4 In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. 5 The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.
Genesis 1:1-5 (NIV) ~ 1 In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. 2 Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters. 3 And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. 4 God saw that the light was good, and he separated the light from the darkness. 5 God called the light “day,” and the darkness he called “night.” And there was evening, and there was morning—the first day.
Light defined in Hebrew (Old Testament):: אוֹר ʼôwr, ore; illumination or (concrete) luminary (in every sense, including lightning, happiness, etc.):—bright, clear, day, light (-ning), morning, sun.
Light defined in Greek (New Covenant): φῶς phōs, foce; from an obsolete φάω pháō (to shine or make manifest, especially by rays; luminousness (in the widest application, natural or artificial, abstract or concrete, literal or figurative):—fire, light.
Lesson Two: Tell Somebody About It
John 1:6-8 ~ 6 There was a man sent from God whose name was John. 7 He came as a witness to testify concerning that light, so that through him all might believe. 8 He himself was not the light; he came only as a witness to the light.
John’s role was to set the stage for the light to come. He had followers, fame, and respect of the people, but he understood his role. He told somebody, if not everybody, about the one who was coming to empower through his brilliant light.
Lesson Three: Jesus is a Copy . . . an Exact Copy
John 1-9:14 ~ 9 The true light that gives light to everyone was coming into the world. 10 He was in the world, and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognize him. 11 He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him. 12 Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God— 13 children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God.
All men except Jesus find their origin in the first Adam. God is starting with the first Adam in the natural realm but will end up with a people of the last Adam in a higher realm.
But didn’t God say in Genesis 1:27 that He made the first Adam in His image…and in verse 31 that His work was very good?
The word “image” here in the original language (Hebrew) means image in the sense of “the shadow” or “illusion”, (and the word translated “likeness” from Hebrew means “resemblance” or “model” or “shape”).
In other words, the first Adam was in the image of God in the same sense as a photograph or stature is the image of the real thing, but it is not the real thing. Note however that the last Adam, (Jesus), in his resurrection was in the express (exact) image of God, as shown below from Hebrews 1:3-4 (NIV):
“3 The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word. After he had provided purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven. 4 So he became as much superior to the angels as the name he has inherited is superior to theirs.
So in summary the last Adam is the real thing of God in the flesh. This is emphasized in the verse below. The first Adam was necessary in order for the last Adam to come forth, but it is the last Adam that is the goal. First the natural and then the spiritual. This principle reoccurs throughout the Bible.
“2 This is how you can recognize the Spirit of God: Every spirit that acknowledges that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, 3 but every spirit that does not acknowledge Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you have heard is coming and even now is already in the world. 4 You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world. 5 They are from the world and therefore speak from the viewpoint of the world, and the world listens to them. 6 We are from God, and whoever knows God listens to us; but whoever is not from God does not listen to us. This is how we recognize the Spirit of truth and the spirit of falsehood.” — 1 John 4:2-3
So when God said that the first Adam was very good, it was as a man declares it is very good when he sees a foundation completed and ready for the building. Note also that God sees the end from the beginning and knew that in the end there would be a man in His EXACT image. The first Adam was just the beginning of building God’s house.
“I make known the end from the beginning, from ancient times, what is still to come. I say, ‘My purpose will stand, and I will do all that I please.“— Isaiah 46:10 (NIV)
How else do these two Adams differ? The verses below show a clear difference.
“7 Then the LORD God formed a man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being.“— Genesis 2:7
“45 So it is written: “The first man Adam became a living being” ; the last Adam, a life-giving spirit. 46 The spiritual did not come first, but the natural, and after that the spiritual. 47 The first man was of the dust of the earth; the second man is of heaven.“ — 1 Corinthians 15:45-47
The first was made a living soul while the last was made a quickening spirit. We can now add that to our graphic illustration. Quickening in the original Greek means “make alive, give life”. The last Adam can impart life to others because he is an “exact copy” of the Father. He is one with the Father, the source of life.
Celebration: We have Seen Glory
John 1:14 ~ 14 The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.
God’s Glory is His Light . . . the Light that Shines in the midst of Darkness
1 Corinthians 15:51-58 (NIV) - 51 Listen, I tell you a mystery: We will not all sleep, but we will all be changed— 52 in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed. 53 For the perishable must clothe itself with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality. 54 When the perishable has been clothed with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality, then the saying that is written will come true: “Death has been swallowed up in victory.” 55 “Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?” 56 The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. 57 But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. 58 Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.