God’s Solution to Oppression

What is Spiritual Oppression?

When _________________ uses his power against you.

Have you ever been really ____________ on yourself? “For [the devil] stood before our God and accused our brothers and sisters day and night…” Re 12:10 (GNT)

Have you ever been ____________ to God’s word? “The seeds on the road are those who hear the Word, but no sooner do they hear it than the Devil snatches it from them so they won’t believe and be saved.” Lk 8:12 (The Message)

Have you ever been sick as a result of __________________? “A woman there had an evil spirit that had made her ill for eighteen years; she was bent over and could not straighten up at all.” Lk 13:11 (GNT)

Have you ever been ___________________ to disobey God? The tempter came to him and said, “If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread.” Mt 4:3

How to Experience Spiritual Freedom

1. _______________________ what Jesus paid for you.

“For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” Mk 10:45

“For you know that God paid a ransom to save you…And the ransom he paid was not mere gold or silver. It was the precious blood of Christ, the sinless, spotless Lamb of God.” 1 Pe 1:18-19 (NLT)

2. ______________________ what Jesus paid for you.

“Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death.” Ro 8:1-2

3. _______________________what Jesus paid for you.

“Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Come near to God and he will come near to you.” Jas 4:7-8

What is Physical Oppression?

When people in power abuse the ___________ and __________________.

God _______________ His followers who do not care for the poor

“At that time I will put you on trial. I am eager to witness against all sorcerers and adulterers and liars. I will speak against those who cheat employees of their wages, who oppress widows and orphans, or who deprive the foreigners living among you of justice, for these people do not fear me,” says the Lord of Heaven’s Armies.” Mal 3:5 (NLT)






How Does God Care for the Poor?

Through the obedience of His _________________.

“No, this is the kind of fasting I want: Free those who are wrongly imprisoned; lighten the burden of those who work for you. Let the oppressed go free, and remove the chains that bind people. Share your food with the hungry, and give shelter to the homeless. Give clothes to those who need them, and do not hide from relatives who need your help.” Is 58:6-7 (NLT)

The scroll of the prophet Isaiah was handed to him. Unrolling it, he found the place where it is written: “The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to release the oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.” Lk 4:17-19

God’s Solution to Guilt

Sermon Series: “RESTORED” – 2 of 4

December 7, 2008

Pastor John Fanous

RESTORED means “TO BRING BACK __________________

The Bible calls this _______________________

One picture the Bible offers is a _____________

The Day of Atonement

Leviticus 16

“This is how Aaron is to enter the sanctuary area: with a young bull for a sin offering and a ram for a burnt offering. He is to put on the sacred linen tunic, with linen undergarments next to his body; he is to tie the linen sash around him and put on the linen turban. These are sacred garments; so he must bathe himself with water before he puts them on.” Le 16:3-4

“Aaron is to offer the bull for his own sin offering to make atonement for himself and his household.” Le 16:6

“Then he is to take the two goats and present them before the Lord at the entrance to the Tent of Meeting. He is to cast lots for the two goats-one lot for the Lord and the other for the scapegoat. Aaron shall bring the goat whose lot falls to the Lord and sacrifice it for a sin offering. But the goat chosen by lot as the scapegoat shall be presented alive before the Lord to be used for making atonement by sending it into the desert as a scapegoat.” Le 16:7-10

“When Aaron has finished making atonement for the Most Holy Place, the Tent of Meeting and the altar, he shall bring forward the live goat. He is to lay both hands on the head of the live goat and confess over it all the wickedness and rebellion of the Israelites-all their sins-and put them on the goat’s head. He shall send the goat away into the desert in the care of a man appointed for the task. The goat will carry on itself all their sins to a solitary place; and the man shall release it in the desert.” Le 16:20-22


John 19

“Then Pilate took Jesus and had him flogged. The soldiers twisted together a crown of thorns and put it on his head.” John 19:1-2

“But they shouted, ‘Take him away! Take him away! Crucify him!'” Jn 19:15a

“Finally Pilate handed him over to them to be crucified. So the soldiers took charge of Jesus.” Jn 19:16

“But he carried away the sins of many people…” Is 53:12b (NCV)

The Priest

Hebrews 10

“The old system under the law of Moses was only a shadow, a dim preview of the good things to come, not the good things themselves. The sacrifices under that system were repeated again and again, year after year, but they were never able to provide perfect cleansing for those who came to worship. If they could have provided perfect cleansing, the sacrifices would have stopped, for the worshipers would have been purified once for all time, and their feelings of guilt would have disappeared.” Heb 10:1-2 (NLT)

“Every priest goes to work at the altar each day, offers the same old sacrifices year in, year out, and never makes a dent in the sin problem. As a priest, Christ made a single sacrifice for sins, and that was it! Then he sat down right beside God and waited for his enemies to cave in. It was a perfect sacrifice by a perfect person to perfect some very imperfect people. By that single offering, he did everything that needed to be done for everyone who takes part in the purifying process.” Heb 10:11-14 (The Message)

Maybe our message to the world is “the goat has left the _____________.”

*Thanks to Rob Bell for the inspiration for this sermon

Habit #3: Regularly Rubbing Shoulders with Christians

Sermon Series: “Deeper” – 4 of 4

November 23, 2008

Pastor John Fanous

“Let us think of ways to motivate one another to acts of love and good works. And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another…” Heb 10:24-25 (NLT)

You need ________________ to deepen your relationship with God.

Two Reasons We Sometimes Avoid Other Christians

1. “I don’t ____________.”

If the foot should say, “Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body,” it would not for that reason cease to be part of the body. And if the ear should say, “Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body,” it would not for that reason cease to be part of the body. 1 Co 12:15-16

God says, “You’re _____________.”

“If the whole body were an eye, where would the sense of hearing be? If the whole body were an ear, where would the sense of smell be?” 1 Co 12:17

2. “I’m doing fine __________________.”

God says, “You have ____________.”

The eye cannot say to the hand, “I don’t need you!” And the head cannot say to the feet, “I don’t need you!” 1 Co 12:21

Your closest friends _______________ you.

Do not be fooled: “Bad friends will ruin good habits.” 1 Co 15:33 (NCV)

Two Biblical Insights

1. The Bible is mostly addressed to _____________ of people.

“You are the light of the world.” Mt 5:14

2. The greatest commandment includes other ________________.

“Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?”

Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.” Mt 22:36-40

How Most of Us Grow Spiritually: _________________________

1. You have “need to ___________” moments.

2. You have “need to ___________” moments.

The key is being _______________________ with other Christians.

How Do I Regularly Connect with Other Christians?

Get involved in a __________________.

“Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts…” Acts 2:46-47

“Day after day, in the temple courts and from house to house, they never stopped teaching…” Acts 5:42

Habit #2: Continually Meditating on the Bible

Sermon Series: “Deeper” – 3 of 4

November 16, 2008

Pastor John Fanous

“The whole Bible was given to us by inspiration from God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives; it straightens us out and helps us do what is right. It is God’s way of making us well prepared at every point, fully equipped to do good to everyone.” 2 Tim 3:16-17 (LB)


The Three-Legged Stool Illustration


“Faith comes from hearing the Word of God.” Rom. 10:17

Ways to Hear God’s Word

  • Church services & studies
  • Sermon tapes
  • The Bible on CD/mp3

PROBLEM: We forget _____ % of what we hear after 72 hours.


1. Set your expectations ______________.

“How sweet are your words to my taste, sweeter than honey to my mouth!” Ps 119:103

2. Deal with ______________ that prevent hearing God (Mark 4:1-20)

(Jesus) “Consider carefully what you hear,” he continued. “With the measure you use, it will be measured to you-and even more.” Mk 4:24

– A _____________ Mind: Is fear, pride or bitterness preventing me from hearing God?

– A _____________ Mind: Am I really serious about wanting to hear God speak?

– A _____________ Mind: Am I too busy and concerned with other things to concentrate on what God has to say?

3. Confess any _________ in your life.

“… Get rid of all moral filth and humbly accept the Word…” James 1:21

4. Take __________ on what you hear.

“We must pay more careful attention to what we’ve heard, so that we do not drift away!” Heb. 2:1

5. __________ on what you hear!

“Whoever … does not simply listen and then forget, but puts it into practice – that person will be blessed in what he does.” James 1:25 (GN)


“Happy is the one who reads this book … and obeys what is written in it!” Rev. 1:3 (GN)

How often should I read God’s Word? ____________________

“(The Scriptures) shall be his constant companion. He must read from it everyday of his life so that he will learn to respect the Lord his God by obeying all of his commands.” Deut. 17:19 (LB)


  • Read it ______________________.
  • __________________ key verses.
  • Choose a _____________________ and stick with it.

Study Bibles:

· The Best Personal Study Bible:

“The Life Application Bible” (Tyndale)

· The Best Background Study Bible:

“The NIV Study Bible” (Zondervan)

“(Those) who are always meditating on His Laws … are like trees along a river bank bearing fruit … they never wither and whatever they do prospers.” Ps. 1:2-3 (LB)

Meditation is ________________ on a Bible verse in order to discover how I can apply its truth to my own life.


1. It is the key to becoming like ________________.

” … Your life is shaped by your thoughts.” Pr. 4:23 (GN)

” … Be transformed by the renewing of your mind.” Rom. 12:2

“As we … contemplate the Lord’s glory, we are being transformed into His likeness …” 1 Cor. 3:18

2. It is the key to ____________________ prayer.

“If you live your life in Me, and my words live in your hearts, you can ask for whatever you like, and it will come true for you.” John 15:7 (Ph)

3. It is the key to ____________________ living.

” … Meditate on (the Word) day and night, so you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful.” Josh. 1:8


1. _________________ it! Visualize the scene in your mind.

2. _________________ it! Put yourself in the story.


“Do not fool yourselves by just listening to the Word. Instead, put it into practice.” James 1:22

” … Whoever practices and teaches these commands will be called great in the kingdom of heaven.” Matt. 5:19


1st ask: What did it mean to the original ________________?

2nd ask: What is the underlying timeless ________________?

3rd ask: Where or how could I _________________ that principle?

“Now that you know these things – do them! That is the path of blessing!” John 13:17 (LB)

Habit #1: Constantly Communicating with God

Sermon Series: “Deeper” – 2 of 4

November 9, 2008

Pastor John Fanous

Connecting with God through Constant Communication =


Why is CONNECTING with God by COMMUNICATING with Him important?

Because Jesus cares more about your communication with Him than He

does how much you _________ for Him.

“Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, but only one thing is needed. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.” Lk 10:41-42

“Just as a branch cannot produce fruit unless it stays joined to the vine, you cannot produce fruit unless you stay joined to me.” Jn 15:4 (CEV)

What do I talk with God about?

Talk about the things that _______________ you from connecting with Him.

4 Questions to Ask Yourself:

1. What am I _____________________ about?

“Give us today the food we need.” Mt 6:11

“Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done.” Php 4:6

“You do not have, because you do not ask God.” Jas 4:2b

Write it down:

2. Who am I _____________________ with?

“Forgive us our sins, as we have forgiven those who sin against us.” Mt 6:12

“Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you.” Lk 6:27-28

Write it down:

3. What am I feeling __________ about?

“And don’t let us yield to temptation, but rescue us from the evil one.” Mt 6:13

“Work hard to show the results of your salvation, obeying God with deep reverence and fear. For God is working in you, giving you the desire and the power to do what pleases him.” Php 2:12b-13 (NLT)

Prayer of permission:

Instead of “Lord, help me do it, pray “Lord, help me _________ to do it.”

Write it down:

4. What am I _________________ for?

“No matter what happens, always be thankful.” 1 Th 5:18a (The Living Bible)

Write it down:

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How to Enjoy What Most People Miss Out On

When Communicating with God:

Take time to _______________ to Him

“I’m listening,” Samuel answered. “What do you want me to do?” 1 Sa 3:10 (CEV)

Ask, “God, what do you want to _________ to me?”

How to make sure you hear correctly:

When Do I Communicate with God?

1. Communicate with God ________________________

“Pray all the time.” 1 Th 5:17 (The Message)

2. Communicate with God ________________________

“About eight days after Jesus said this, he took Peter, John and James with him and went up onto a mountain to pray.” Lk 9:28

3. Communicate with God ________________________

“But Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed.” Lk 5:16

Why “Deeper” Is Vital

Sermon Series: “Deeper” – 1 of 4

November 2, 2008

Pastor John Fanous

Why Is It Important to Deepen My Relationship with God?

You were _________________ for relationship with God

“Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the Lord God as he was walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and they hid from the Lord God among the trees of the garden.” Genesis 3:8

“Being with you will fill me with joy.” Ps 16:11a (NCV)

“I’m asking God for one thing, only one thing: To live with him in his house my whole life long.” Ps 27:4a (The Message)

“Keep company with God, get in on the best.” Ps 37:4 (The Message)

“As a deer gets thirsty for streams of water, I truly am thirsty for you, my God. In my heart, I am thirsty for you, the living God. When will I see your face?” Ps 42:1-2 (CEV)

“O God, you are my God, and I long for you. My whole being desires you.” Ps 63:1a (GNT)

“Then Moses said, ‘If you don’t personally go with us, don’t make us leave this place.’ Ex 33:15 (NLT)

“Nothing is as wonderful as knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. I have given up everything else and count it all as garbage. All I want is Christ and to know that I belong to him.” Php 3:8-9a (CEV)


It’s not about _________________, it’s about RELATIONSHIP.

“‘I will set out and go back to my father and say to him: Father, I have sinned

against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son; make me like one of your hired men.’ So he got up and went to his father. But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him.” Lk 15:18-20

It takes ___________…

and God’s best is still ____________ of you.

How Do I Deepen My Relationship with God?

It begins with a ______________.

“As Jesus went on from there, he saw a man named Matthew sitting at the tax collector’s booth. ‘Follow me,’ he told him, and Matthew got up and followed him.” Mt 9:9

“Stay joined to me, and I will stay joined to you. Just as a branch cannot produce fruit unless it stays joined to the vine, you cannot produce fruit unless you stay joined to me.” Jn 15:4 (CEV)

Finishing and Beginning Well

Sermon Series: “Sacred Romance” – 8 of 8

Song of Solomon 8:6-14

October 26, 2008

Pastor John Fanous

Solidifying Your Marriage

8:6Place me like a seal over your heart, like a seal on your arm;

Acknowledge that God designed marriage for __________

è Never talk or joke about _______________

for love is as strong as death, its jealousy unyielding as the grave.

Believe that God rewards _________________

è Avoid tempting _________________

It burns like blazing fire, like a mighty flame. 8:7Many waters cannot quench love; rivers cannot wash it away. If one were to give all the wealth of his house for love, it would be utterly scorned.

Believe that true love has its _______________ in God

è _______________ yourself to God first

Preparing for Marriage

8:8We have a young sister, and her breasts are not yet grown. What shall we do for our sister for the day she is spoken for?

8:9If she is a wall, we will build towers of silver on her. If she is a door, we will enclose her with panels of cedar.

“For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh.” Genesis 2:24

8:10I am a wall, and my breasts are like towers. Thus I have become in his eyes like one bringing contentment.

è Trust God’s ____________________ for marriage and sex

8:11Solomon had a vineyard in Baal Hamon; he let out his vineyard to tenants. Each was to bring for its fruit a thousand shekels of silver. 8:12But my own vineyard is mine to give; the thousand shekels are for you, O Solomon, and two hundred are for those who tend its fruit.

è Put God __________, and ____________ Him with your love life

He speaks:

8:13You who dwell in the gardens with friends in attendance, let me hear your voice!

She speaks:

8:14Come away, my lover, and be like a gazelle or like a young stag on the spice-laden mountains.

Cared for by God’s Love

Sermon Series: “Sacred Romance” – 7 of 8

Song of Solomon 7:10-8:4

October 19, 2008

Pastor John Fanous

“He pays even greater attention to you, down to the last detail-even numbering the hairs on your head!” Mt 10:30 (The Message)

God cares about…

whether you are getting _______________________ with your spouse

who your children are learning about the “_______ and the ________” from

whether your marriage is a “____________ place” for you

1. God wants you to get ________________________ with your spouse

“Come, my lover, let us go to the countryside, let us spend the night in the villages…” So 7:11

“…Let us go early to the vineyards to see if the vines have budded, if their blossoms have opened, and if the pomegranates are in bloom- there I will give you my love. The mandrakes send out their fragrance, and at our door is every delicacy, both new and old, that I have stored up for you, my lover.” So 7:12-13

Principle: Plan ____________ that you are excited about that include your spouse’s __________________.

2. God wants ______ to teach your children about the “birds and the bees”

“If only you were to me like a brother, who was nursed at my mother’s breasts! Then, if I found you outside, I would kiss you, and no one would despise me. I would lead you and bring you to my mother’s house- she who has taught me. I would give you spiced wine to drink, the nectar of my pomegranates.” So 8:1-2

Resource: A Chicken’s Guide to Talking Turkey with Your Kids About Sex by Kevin Leman and Kathy Bell

Tips for talking with your kids:

1.       Remember that sex is ___________ and from God

2.       Know what teens are already _________________ about

3.       Don’t assume your teen is ________________

4.       Know your own ______________

5.       Don’t hide your _____________

6.       Make it a ______________________

3. God wants you to feel safe and ________________ in your marriage

“I belong to my lover…” So 7:10a

_____________ and __________________ your husband.

“…and his desire is for me.” So 7:10b

The Hebrew word for “desire” is “tâshuwqah”: “to stretch out after”

____________ your wife and make sure she is __________.

“His left arm is under my head and his right arm embraces me. Daughters of Jerusalem, I charge you: Do not arouse or awaken love until it so desires.” So 8:3-4

“Her spirit returned, and at once she stood up. Then Jesus told them to give her something to eat.” Luke 8:55

Reunited by Love

Reunited by Love

Sermon Series: “Sacred Romance” – 6 of 8

Song of Solomon 6:11-7:9, 2 Corinthians 5:15-18

October 12, 2008

Pastor John Fanous

Solomon and his wife experience a ______________

The Bible says that your biggest need for reunion is with _________

“This is the kind of love we are talking about-not that we once upon a time loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as a sacrifice to clear away our sins and the damage they’ve done to our relationship with God1 John 4:10 (The Message)

The Biblical word for reunion with God is “____________________”

How people try to reunite themselves with God:
















According the Bible, how can you be reunited with God?

By beginning a relationship with ___________________

“And all of this is a gift from God, who brought us back to himself through Christ.”
2 Corinthians 5:18a (NLT)


Jesus will radically change your ______________

“Christ died for all so that those who live would not continue to live for themselves. He died for them and was raised from the dead so that they would live for him.”
2 Corintians 5:15 (NCV)

Jesus will radically change your ________________

“This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!” 2 Corinthians 5:17 (NLT)

How do I begin a relationship with Jesus?

______________ that you cannot be reunited with God on your own

__________ Jesus to come into your heart and reunite you with God

____________ God to have every area of your life