Bold Faith!

- Peter DeWitt
Audio Written Summary

Righteousness leads to faith and releases boldness! The goal of this message is to take the listener or reader from insecurity —> confidence and/or from confidence —> BOLD faith! Boldness (bold faith) is not something we put on, but instead it comes from taking something off. Boldness is the manifestation of NO condemnation! So what’s the solution to condemnation? Listen to this message and hear for yourself!

“What do you want Me to do for you?” & Ministry of Righteousness

- Peter DeWitt
Audio Written Summary

Jesus asked blind Bartimaeus "what do you want Me to do for you?" Faith asks. If you are not ASKING you are not "faith-ing." Jesus said that we will ask and receive from our place of conneciton with Him (John 15:7-11) and that continual process of asking and recieving will make our joy full. We need to be careful that we don't get lulled into eating the fruit of last season's asking without sowing the seeds of faith for the next harvest of righteousness in our life!

Condemnation causes us to lose our confidence before God. 1 John 3 says that if our heart does not condmen us we have confidence before God and whatever we ask we receive from Him. The message of no condemnation is opposed by the accuser of the breathren who inverts the actual ministry of the Holy Spirit which Jesus made clear in John 16:7-11. The reality is the ministry of the Spirit is a ministry or righteousness! (2 Cor. 3:5-9). When you received the gift of eternal life (Rom. 6:23) you also received the gift of righteousness (Rom. 5:17) He became sin who knew no sin that you might become the righteousness of God in Him! (2 Cor. 5:21). 

It's time to start asking again! Faith works by love - not just our love for others - but also our recognition of God's love for us and our right standing in Him! If you are in Christ, you are in perfect right standing (perfectly righteous) before God because the blood of His Son Jesus has cleansed you from ALL unrighteousness!

"So what do you want Me to do for you?" asks Jesus.

Recalibrating to the Goodness of God & Effortless Change

- Peter DeWitt
Audio Written Summary

Fine resteraunts serve multiple courses. In this message there were a few different "courses" as well. Enjoy the following topics:

  • Time to Ask!
  • Recalibrating to the Goodness of God after having Experienced Loss
  • Don't Let the enemy kill your Tesitmony
  • Grace is your answer!
  • Effortless Change

Testimony from Word of Knowledge


This recording has a tesitmony of a knee that was healed after corporate prayer based on a word of knowledge a few services ago! It also contains a short teaching on operating in words of knowledge and the prophetic. The rest of the sermon did not record successfully, but we already planned to revist that same content next week (1/6/19) so please plan to listen to that recording once it is available!

Transformed Fruit

- Peter DeWitt
Audio Written Summary

If you are bearing fruit, the Father will prune you. How much the pruning hurts depends on how much you’ve placed your identity in the fruit you just bore. In the natural, pruning is done at the place of connection. The Father is always pruning us back to that place of connection.

One visual of pride and humility can be seen in the pruning parable. Humility would be keeping yourself back in the place of connection with Christ. 
Pride is when we start to step out into the fruit saying “this fruit looks good! Look at me! This fruit IS me!” But you are not a human doing, you are a human being. You ABIDE - you BE in Christ and you do produce fruit. But if you get out here and say “this is my human DOING” when the Father says “I am going to reduce you to your place of strength, your connection with Me.” Now you will feel like you are squirming on the ground saying “this really hurt!” The only reason it hurt is because your identity had gotten out there in what got cut off! 
Humility is a big deal as it relates to the gospel of grace. Who does God give grace to? The humble!
From a pastoral perspective, if I could just let you into my thinking as I meet with people, humility is the issue. Now, this is a bit circular because actually the grace message will cause you to receive the love of the Father, which will drive out pride - which will position you in humility. The answer for the humility issue isn’t for me to say “be humble. Be humble! Be humble! Are you humble yet?!?” That approach doesn’t work.  The grace message - who you are in Christ, His love for you - will drive pride out. 
"What is grace?"
  • Grace is God‘s performance on our behalf whereas the law / works is our performance on God’s behalf.
  • Grace is RECEIVE not ACHIEVE.
  • Grace is my past, present, and future sins completely forgiven ONCE and for all.
  • Perfect right standing with God regardless of how I feel about it.
Why Grace? It changes the fruit of our lives. It is THE transformational agent in our lives. 
As powerful as this is - that grace is Gods’ transformational element in your life - next time we are going to see how the Father loves the gospel of grace for another reason even more than it transforming your fruit … and that’s that it transforms your connection with Him!
- Peter DeWitt
Audio Written Summary

Matthew 13:52 says “Then He said to them, “Therefore every scribe instructed concerning the kingdom of heaven is like a householder who brings out of his treasure things new and old.” 

It’s just got to be both. If you are going to operate KINGDOM it’s just got to be both. Old AND New.  What have I bringing forth the last 2 months or so? New. 
We are about to bring out the old. The things that are review are actually the finest things - the mature wine.
“I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser. Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit He takes away (lifts up); and every branch that bears fruit He prunes, that it may bear more fruit. You are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you.”  (John 15:1-3)
Bill Johnson says it like this: when God prunes you, He reduces you to your place of strength. What is growth met with? Pruning.
The strength is always in the vine - it’s never in the branches. When branches are fruitful, our tendency as branches is to say “by golly, this is goin’ good!” God will come in and SNIP and you think “uh, that thing I was starting to trust in isn’t here anymore. Where did it go God?” He says “just draw back into Me. This was your place of strength from the start. Let’s just come right back to here. That out there (branch growth, great fruit) was only ever caused by this … do you remember? I know you forget right now, but do you remember? It was only ever produced by this connection so let’s just come back to this.”
Why does He do that? So that you can bear more fruit! That’s the process.
We're getting back to basics - to the gospel of grace! Right back to who we are in Christ! What’s God say about you? Who are you in Him? Is there any judgment left for you? These are those foundational truths!
All of the power in the Kingdom exists in ONE message. There are many good messages but all the power in the Kingdom is only in ONE message: Romans 1:16 shows us which one. “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek.”

Ministry From Identity

- Peter DeWitt
Audio Written Summary

Workers need a job description. Sons minister out of a set of core values. Job description never produces what identity produces. When people don’t have an identity you need to give them a job description so they do the right sorts of things … but when have the core values - when we have identity - it produces a whole different set of results. 

God is saying “receive your identity and then you will be allowed to work.” Jesus did no miracles until He came out of the desert … and He didn’t go into the desert until He had His identity. What was at stake in the desert was His identity and then He came out in the power of the Holy Spirit because He had held onto His identity.
We tend to think of ministry as a “what” not realizing ministry is Someone to be with. John 15 is clear - if you abide in the vine, you will produce fruit. We keep trying to do ministry as though it were some sort of job description … as though it was something “out here to go do” not realizing that if we would abide in Him we would naturally produce fruit.
If I read the Bible academically I will minister the Bible to people. If I read the Bible relationally I will minister my Savior to people. Paul’s gospel was not in words but in power. He was aware who He was carrying - Who was walking with Him. 
Jesus represented the Father. That’s what His job was. men! John 14:9  “… He who has seen Me has seen the Father …”  Similarly, in Matthew 11:27 Jesus said  “All things have been delivered to Me by My Father, and no one knows the Son except the Father. Nor does anyone know the Father except the Son, and the one to whom the Son wills to reveal Him.”
Father revealed to me  +  Me (a son) revealed to the World  =   Ministry!
The glory (in the prayer closet) + the anointing (stepping out in public) = Ministry!
- Peter DeWitt
Audio Written Summary

Our vision is to have a church with no ministries - just ministers. So how do you step into that place of ministry?

All empowerment comes from personal, one-on-one intimacy with the Lord. This series is going to be called “primary source ministry.” All ministry is going to come from getting connected to the primary source! I know that we all have A connection with God, I’m saying “how current is our connection with God?” That’s the source of all ministry confidence.  I’m saying we are going to be a church of ministers, but I am not telling you to “prepare for ministry.” I’m telling you to “connect for ministry.” 
We tend to consider ministry more like “we’ve got to go do something.” Whereas God’s thinking more like “no, it’s about Who you are with!” Follow Me (be with Me) and I will make you fishers of men (ministers)!
If ministry is something you need to go do, instead of Someone you need to be with - it’s a very different thing. And if ministry is the goal for believers and it is something you have to do not someone you have to be with you now have a new God. Because the pinnacle of what you are reaching for is an action instead of a Person. 
It’s time to make a trade! Ministry is not “what you do” it’s “Who you are with.” That’s a new definition of ministry - a new facet of understanding what ministry is. If you are with Him, you are a MINISTER on fire! You will do more through being with Him, joined at the hip, yoked with Him, identified with Him, connected with Him, the branch in the Vine! Apart from that you can actually do nothing. Ministry is not something to do; it’s Someone to be connected to. 
I’m not trying to engage you in some ministry here. I am wanting to connect you to the Vine and you will bear fruit! Declare this: “If I’m connected to Him I will bear fruit and my joy is going to be full!”
From Brad Ettore: Jesus is our Example. So, looking at our Lord, how did He operate? You can read through the New Testament and watch this pattern: Jesus went from a place of prayer to a place of ministry. From a place of prayer to a place of ministry. He would minister and He would leave and go up on the mountain. He would come down and minister and he would leave and go up on the mountain. He kept doing that. Oftentimes when it was dark, Jesus would go pray and be there all night long and then He would come down the mountain, grab His disciples and go and minister. Then He would leave them and go back up on the mountain.
It was that connection. That’s what Jesus was ministering from. He studied the word. He knew it inside and out. He knew it better than the Pharisees. He knew the Word, but He didn’t rely on that for His ministry. He said “I want to watch the Father move. He moves in My heart and He’s moving Me over here now …” Jesus was moved by the Father and ministered from that which was inside through His study, but the Father would move Him. When Jesus would minister and heal the sick you will often see this phrase “and being moved with compassion” He would heal the sick. That was the Father moving in Jesus saying “go minister to this person.”
Just look at Our Lord. A place of prayer to a place of ministry. A place of prayer to a place of ministry. We have to constantly keep going back and connecting to the Vine and getting filled up and then it is easy. Ministry becomes even beyond easy - it’s a joy. When you are ministering strictly from you, it’s exhausting. It’s difficult. It’s hard. When you are ministering from what you’ve received from Him you are like “I just want to share this with somebody!” It’s a joy! Amen!
- Peter DeWitt
Audio Written Summary

The goal of this message is to continue (from the previous message on 10/7/18) to share some of the prophecies made concerning us in order to begin to empower each member of our church with the prophetic charge that I believe has been given to Agathos so that we can start to do the work of exploring what this new wineskin might look like.

- Peter DeWitt
Audio Written Summary
1 Timothy 1:18 says “This charge I commit to you, son Timothy, according to the prophecies previously made concerning you, that by them you may wage the good warfare …”
Our church has been charged with a charge. There is a charge on Agathos. “This charge I commit to you Agathos.” What’s the charge? The charge is “according to the prophecies previously made concerning you (concerning our church).” 


The goal of this message is to share some of the prophecies made concerning us in order to begin to charge you with the charge that I believe our church has been charged with so that as we start as we start to do the work of exploring what it looks like to walk that charge out that you may wage the good warfare to do that work. 

He's a Rewarder

- Peter DeWitt
Audio Written Summary

We can have strongholds IN THE LORD. He after all is our refuge and strong tower! He is the lover of your soul and there is not a moment that He doesn’t want to be with you. That’s also why He promises emphatically that if you will draw near to Him He WILL draw near to you. 

So let’s settle that at the outset. If you want to be more connected to God, He wants to be connected to you even more than you want to be connected! But what if we don’t even want to draw near to Him?
Hebrews 11:6 says “But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.”
So what if we don’t even want to draw near to Him? Well Hebrews 11:6 says that he who comes to God MUST (1) believe that He is & believe (2) that He is the rewarder of those who diligently seek Him!
If you are not currently in the place of hunger to draw near to God, who are you believing that He is? Secondly, do you think He is a rewarder - or not? “Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all His benefits …” (Ps. 103:2)
Maybe you’ve met a Christian that says they don’t seek God for anything … they just seek Him for Him! Well, scripturally, we are supposed to seek Him knowing that He’s the rewarder! That sort of no-reward approach to Christianity will not last. He wants to be your provision. He wants to be your supply - and He wants that to motivate you! 
Without faith, it is impossible to please Him! Faith is not an a la carte item in the Christian life; it is the main dish! The righteous shall live by faith! Not have faith sometimes; we will actually LIVE by faith!
Faith is ALWAYS an invitation to greater relationship with God. Every ounce of His grace is an invitation to relationship. Every new facet or perspective on His provision, sufficiency, and supply, is actually an invitation to closer relationship. 
God is a rewarder. The first point is that you cannot please God apart from faith. The second point is that God is a rewarder.…” Look at the father’s response to his older son in Lk. 15:31 “Son, you are always with me, and all that I have is yours.” Do you notice the 2 priorities of the father? Intimacy (you’re always with me) and provision (all that I have is yours). Religion is trying to do for God what you’ve not yet allowed Him to do for you. The Father is not against your service, He just wants it to be out of His provision and out of intimacy with Him … and not in order to either earn intimacy with Him or to earn provision. 
Mark Crawford says the kingdom of God is not about you changing; the kingdom of God is about exchange. Everything in the kingdom is about exchange! He became sin who knew no sin in order that I might become the righteousness of God in Him! Religion is about change. Change yourself. Change yourself. Will power. Change yourself. Check yourself. If you are a little depressed … not really wanting to seek God …. are you operating in “change” or “exchange?” 
What about us doing for God? This is a “chicken or egg” question. God knows that when we receive from Him we will become like Him! We will lay down our life because He laid down His!
David slayed Goliath for God and the Israelites but remember … God had slayed a lion and a bear for David! Matthew 10:8 says “freely you have received, freely give.” Do not minister what you’ve not freely received. If you didn’t freely receive it, it means it’s not from grace which means it won’t have the power of God upon it. This is, I believe, the biggest problem in all of ministry - trying to give away something that you have not yet received from God. 
The Lord spoke to me early this summer and then I started reading the Psalms like this for a month or two - looking for everything in the Psalms that said who God is to me! My relationship with God grew and this became a stronghold for me in Him. Here’s the phrase God gave me:
"All of who I AM is who I want to be for you!"
Faith is spelled R-E-C-E-I-V-E. The only way to please the Father is to receive. Said shortly: 
Receive to Please
Go ahead and start building this stronghold in your life! Read the Psalms looking for who God is and therefore who He wants to be for you!

Believing that "He is"

- Peter DeWitt
Audio Written Summary

You can create Godly strongholds in your life. The Lord has developed a new stronghold (or perhaps just a new facet of an old stronghold) in my life over the past few months. I want to share about that over the next couple sermons.

There is no fruit apart from connection with God. In ministry you don’t want to get eaten alive. So, you better bear fruit so that they don’t eat the branch. How do you bear fruit? Connect yourself to the vine! 
One way I can tell you how to get connected to the vine is by saying “be in the Word and be in prayer. Don’t forsake fellowship.” When you are in the Word and in prayer, it will produce connection with God. So there is a place for me to just tell you plainly like that “be in the Word and be in prayer” and I would do well to tell you that. Nevertheless, I recognize that sometimes we struggle to even get to that point.
Does God have Dry Seasons for You? In John 4:14, Jesus said “but whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst. But the water that I shall give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life.” This does not sound like a dry season. 
James 4:8 says “Draw near to God and He will raw near to you.”  Jesus died to have connection with you! So the first thing I want to highlight about abiding - if we believe that sometimes He will draw near to us and sometimes He will not draw near to us, we will be very inconsistent in our approach to our relationship with God - not realizing that He said “if you draw near to Me, I WILL draw near to you.” It’s a promise.
So how do you get to a place of abiding in God? If you are a branch that is not currently consistently connected to the vine, what do you need to do? You need to draw near to the Vine! Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. The biggest mark of Christian maturity (in my experience) is how long of a season of disconnection you will tolerate. 
So if you are not abiding in the Lord, you have to draw near. And God has promised that He will ALWAYS draw near to you; He does not have seasons of disconnection for you. But what causes a believer to draw near to God? If we knew what causes a believer to want to draw near, then we could govern our own hearts to stay in the place of choosing to draw near and thereby choosing to abide in the Lord!
Let’s look at Hebrews 11:6. This is the scripture that these two sermons are going to based on. “But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.”
What causes us to draw near to God? Hebrews 11:6 has an explicit answer! “… for he who comes to God must …” For he who draws near to God must … (1) believe that He is, and that (2) He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him. This scripture gives 2 characteristics of folks that draw near to God … and they must have these two characteristics in order to draw near to God. 
Next time, we are going to talk about those 2 characteristics: that He is a rewarder, and that He is. What does that mean that “He is.” The new stronghold that the Lord has been developing in my life is learning to recognize who He is! The God that you acknowledge is the One that will make your paths straight (Prov. 3:5-6). So who is He?!?

Sunday Service

- 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


Trying a New Church Space

- Peter DeWitt

Not One Member, but Many

- 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!