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Senior Pastor Phil Roland


Pastor Ray Scott


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          Hope is being pulled over by a police officer at 9 pm in the center of Hubbard, Ohio's downtown. The lights are flashing and I had no clue what I did wrong. I looked for Registration and found it. All I could find for Proof of Insurance was an expired year old Allstate policy card. I was sunk.

          After a long period of time checking his on board lap top the officer decided I was just a tired old man who went through the intersection on a yellow light. Much to my relief he only issued me a warning. My hope is in the Lord, and not on my own late night driving skills or the mercy of the Hubbard police department.

          Hope is a scarce commodity in our global world today. It’s hard to search our newspapers, magazines and news networks for hope: they aren’t offering any. Again I say, our HOPE is in the Lord and He is our strength.        Even our entertainment media is filled with revenge, despair and hopelessness.  

          Thinking more about it, we were once far away from God and His Kingdom. We were hopeless, strangers from God, destitute, blind, beggars, yes, the vilest of sinners. However, we have been brought near to God only by the atoning blood of Jesus shed on Calvary.  He alone is the only source of our purity. His Resurrection has given us a purifying hope.


“But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Since we have now been justified by his blood, how much more shall we be saved from God's wrath through him!”  Romans 5:8-9


Pastor Phil  <><<








April 16, 2017 -  Easter Morning

Sheepfold Ministries / Pastor Phil Roland



1 JOHN 3:1-3

“This HOPE that purifies causes us to become one with Spring’s birth. We walk in Jesus’ promise to return and His Resurrection Promise, ‘Because I Live, you shall live also.’”  Maranatha, Come, Lord Jesus!  Phil Roland <><<


2 Beloved, now we are children of God; and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is. 3 And everyone who has this hope in Him purifies himself, just as He is pure.   1 John 3:2,3


For 18 years I commuted on Los Angeles freeways listening to KGER - Long Beach, California, 870 on the AM Dial, now KRLA. One of my favorite broadcasters was gravelly voiced J. Vernon McGee of the Church of the Open Door in downtown Los Angeles. Later, he called his broadcast, "Through the Bible Radio." He suggested the three points of my outline, which I share with you this morning.



I. WHAT WE ARE: GOD'S CHILDREN   -  1 John 3:1:

1 Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called children of God! Therefore the world does not know us, because it did not know Him.
A. We are what we are because of the Father's Love - John 1:12

                 12 But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become

                     children of God, to those who believe in His name:

                        1. Acknowledge your undone state before God

                        2. Ask for His help to restore you in His eyes

                        3. Confess Him as your personal Lord and Savior - Rom. 10:9

                       9 that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in

                        your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.

                        4. Invite Him into your heart and begin to walk daily with Him

                        5. We become a member of God's family through Jesus

            B. We are NOT slaves but Family

                        1. Eg. JW once told me, "I am Jehovah's faithful slave."

                        2. Jesus says we are Sons / Daughters of the Most High God

                        3. He says we ARE His Family - Matthew 12:49-50

                                49 And He stretched out His hand toward His disciples and said,

                          "Here are My mother and My brothers! 50 For whoever does the will

                           of My Father in heaven is My brother and sister and mother."

                        4. Jesus loves and treasures us w/a Father's love for his kids

            C. We are unknown to the World, but known to Him

                        1. I've noticed accolades the World gives themselves

                        2. Our rewards are out-of-this world w/a forever family



II. WHAT WE SHALL BE. . .LIKE HIM - 1 John 3:2

2 Beloved, now we are children of God; and it has not yet been revealed what

we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for

we shall see Him as He is.

            A. Now are we the Children of God

                        1. Not “Pie-In-The-Sky-Bye-And-Bye”

                        2. Present tense rights as Children of God - John 1:12

                                12 But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become

                          children of God, to those who believe in His name:

                        3. Now in the Present tense, God's children

                                    a. Not After Baptism and church ritual

                                    b. Not after an announcement to the world

                                    c. Now!

            B. When He is Revealed, we shall see Him - Job 19:23-26

            23 "Oh, that my words were written! Oh, that they were inscribed in a book!

            24 That they were engraved on a rock With an iron pen and lead, forever!

            25 For I know that my Redeemer lives, And He shall stand at last on the

               earth; 26 And after my skin is destroyed, this I know, That in my flesh I

               shall see God,

                        1. Looking down the Eons of Time, Job longs for more

                        2. Is man created with the spark of life to live and die?

                        3. Is he just destined for the dust of the ground?

                        4. As one Cynic put it, "To take a Dirt Bath!"

                        5. Job makes a declarative two faith-statements

                                    "I know. . ." "I shall see God!"

            C. Jesus answers and fulfills Job's age-old longing - John 14:19b       

            19 ". . . Because I live, you will live also."

                        1. Jesus tells Martha who He is - John 11:25-26

                                25 Jesus said to her, "I am the resurrection and the life. He who

                           believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live. 26 And whoever

                           lives and believes in Me shall never die. Do you believe this?"

                        2. Job's longing is fulfilled in Jesus

            D. John sees a glimpse of how He will appear Revelation 1:11-16

                13 and in the midst of the seven lampstands One like the Son of Man,

               clothed with a garment down to the feet and girded about the chest with a

               golden band. 14 His head and hair were white like wool, as white as snow,

               and His eyes like a flame of fire; 15 His feet were like fine brass, as if

               refined in a furnace, and His voice as the sound of many waters; 16 He had

               in His right hand seven stars, out of His mouth went a sharp two-edged

               sword, and His countenance was like the sun shining in its strength.



3 And everyone who has this hope in Him purifies himself, just as He is pure.



            A. Uncleanness is part of the Human Condition - Isaiah 6:5

                5 So I said: "Woe is me, for I am undone! Because I am a man of unclean

              lips, And I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips; For my eyes have

              seen the King, The LORD of hosts."

                        1. Remember Job's Declarative Faith Statement?

                        2. NE Ohio / N/W Pennsylvania Mud Rooms

                        3. Every old house in this region has a Mud Room

                        It is a place of showering off the grime of the workplace. The Mud

                        Room is usually in the basement. It will have a shower and a toilet.

                        This ritual is one of the reasons people of the last century have their

                        laundry in the basement. Easier to toss the work grimed clothes into

                        the washer. The Mud Room was a place of purifying and cleaning.

                   4. The Mud Room was a place to Purify Yourself

                        5. This Cleansing was only for the Outer Physical Person

            B. God desires a Spiritual Purifying / Cleaning

                        1. His Cleansing is more than limited 6-week Lenten fasts

                        2. Jesus Purifies the Heart

            C. The Blood of Jesus purifies us - 1 John 1:7

                7 But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one

              another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin.

            D.  We purify ourselves - 1 John 3:3

                3 And everyone who has this hope in Him purifies himself, just as He is





1. Our views of World Political Systems are changed

2. Our need for Revenge is transformed

3. Our need to Blame God, Self and Others. . .dies

4. Our poor attitudes about Trials and Tribulation are banished

5. Our terror of Suffering and Death is transformed






          In the city of Hanover is a graveyard which has been closed for a number of years—the Garden Churchyard. Owing to its antiquated monuments and the fact of its being the resting place of a number of celebrated characters, it awakens the liveliest curiosity.

          A few paces east of the unassuming little church in the graveyard is a monument tottering from its foundation. It is built in the form of steps, and the massive stones are secured by heavy iron clasps. The monument was erected in the year 1782.

          Beside the usual family inscriptions, at the base of the monument are engraved these arrogant lines:

“The sepulchre, purchased for all eternity, is not permitted to be opened.” Opposed to this determination of man, a beech seed, perhaps carried by the wind, found its way into a crevice of the foundation.

          In the course of years this little seed grew to be a strong, luxuriant tree, mocked the proud inscription of the monument, raised the massive stones from their foundation, and rent the strong iron clasp asunder.

          This open grave reminds the visitor of the frailty of earthly scenes, and the fallacy of man’s resolution to project plans to last for “all eternity.”

Dictionary of Anecdote, Incident, Illustrative Fact, Selected and Arranged for the Pulpit and the Platform, Walter Baxendale