|FCPO Newsletter and Bible Study
||The "thin blue line" covered by the blood of Christ.
As you receive this updated version of this week's Centurion newsletter, our multi-ministry FCPO Outreach Team is gathering in Washington, DC to minister to our own during
Police Week 2018. We hope to see some of you there (look for us at our space in
) while at the same time asking you to join us in praying for God-ordained appointments to share the hope we have in Christ with the lost and hurting in our God-ordained but very troubled profession.
Due to the Police Week outreach, next week's newsletter will likely be late (at best) but I'll be posting from DC and Virginia on my Facebook page ("friend" me) and then recap our mission in the newsletter later in the week -- stay tuned! That said, you can watch this year's Candlelight Ceremony online from where you're at: Watch the Candlelight Vigil.
Also due to Police Week, we will NOT be meeting here locally on our regularly scheduled day (May 15th) but will instead meet on May 22nd (details below-right).
And speaking of our FCPO chapter fellowship (FCPO-Denver Metro, #217), the recap (summary) of our first study through the Gospel of John is posted for all below -- scroll down to "The Word and the Witness" (powerful application for all).
Let's stay safe on the street but radically bold in Christ!
(1) I can't encourage Christian officers enough to be active members of their church security teams (a central theme in my own
Centurion Church Safety Seminars
). That said, we must stay current. Here's the latest newsletter from brother Jimmy Meeks:
May Sheepdog Seminars Newsletter
PRAYER REQUESTS/PRAISE REPORTS
National Police Week 2018
upon us, p
lease be in prayer for our
Police Week 2018 FCPO Mission Team
as we serve in DC from May 12-16 to minister to our own.
(2) With the "War on Cops" raging on in many parts of the country, let's be proactive in both praying for and coming alongside one another. Moreover, I can't encourage you enough to embrace a Code 3 (lights and siren) sense of urgency for the lost and hurting in our God-ordained profession.
(3) Thanks to all who prayed for me reference my "ministry mission" at the FOP Conference in Durango. Lives touched, gospel shared and I gave away a plethora of ministry materials (seed planted).
Have a prayer request or announcement you would like included here? Need prayer?
! I also post prayer requests on my Facebook page ("friend" me).
(1) As I shared above,
Police Week 2018
is upon us and we seek your prayers as we again are "boots on the ground" (and standing in the gap) during our outreach in DC where we will be ministering to/sharing Christ with our own in law enforcement. Hope you'll stop by and see us at our space in Tent City!
(2) Colorado Springs PD Officer Nick Ryland is hosting the 2018 First Responder Retreat this coming June 13-16 in the mountains near Wheatland, WY. Sweet!
(4) FCPO-Canada is hosting their 2018 National Conference in Newfoundland & Labrador on August 3-5. You'll get to see a special part of Canada while hanging out with a great group of brother and sister officers.
(5) The Sheepdog Seminars is led by my friends Lt. Col. Dave Grossman, Officer/Minister Jimmy Meeks and fellow church safety expert Carl Chinn (among others). Outstanding, highly recommended training for every sheepdog (sworn and unsworn alike)!
The Centurion Law Enforcement Ministry
The Centurion Law Enforcement Ministry
is a national, FCPO-affiliated, evangelical Christian outreach to our own in law enforcement. These newsletters and Bible studies are part of this effort and past editions can be found on our
and our social media
) feeds. As always, feel free to adapt these messages for your own individual or group use and please share them with others.
The Centurion Ministry is lead by Police Officer and Chaplain/Evangelist Michael "MC" Williams, a 30-year law enforcement veteran and sought-after instructor and speaker at churches [including the well-received Centurion Church Security Seminar], retreats and both law enforcement and civilian conferences and seminars around the country. Contact MC via email for more.
Fellowship of Christian Peace Officers
FCPO-USA exists to provide biblical support ("backup"), accountability and iron sharpens iron fellowship to Christian officers first in the U.S. and throughout the world as well. Our metro-Denver chapter of the Fellowship of Christian Peace Officers -- (aka FCPO Chapter 217) -- is a Centurion Law Enforcement Ministry affiliate. We meet most 1st and 3rd Tuesday evenings starting at 7 PM in Highlands Ranch (email me for details) for profession-focused/life-focused
Bible study, prayer and servant-warrior/sheepdog fellowship (the iron sharpens iron kind). Spouses are both welcome and encouraged to attend with their LEO.
With our Police Week outreach falling during our next regularly scheduled day, I've pushed out the next meeting to Tuesday, May 22nd.
Hope to see you there!
"The Word and the Witness"
The Gospel of John has powerful application for us who serve in law enforcement and all in general.
With the influx of new believers into our Denver-Metro police fellowship and Bible study, God has clearly pressed me into teaching through the Gospel of John (a great starting place for "baby Christians" and a powerful refresher for seasoned believers). Moreover, John's Gospel also has important application for all of serving in law enforcement (and all in general). Let's dig in!
By way of
, who is the author? While John physically wrote it, God Himself is ultimately the author. Paul, also (like John) writing under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, rightly exclaimed that ALL Scripture is "
) by God (
2 Timothy 3:16
). If that were not enough, it is unquestionably clear that God is quoted throughout the Bible. O
ver 400 times alone we find the words "thus says the Lord." Moreover, the Bible refers to itself as the Word of God dozens of times (e.g.,
Psalm 119; Proverbs 30:5; Isaiah 40:8; 55:11; Jeremiah 23:29; John 17:17; Romans 10:17; Ephesians 6:17; Hebrews 4:12
) and that it proceeds from the mouth of God (
Deuteronomy 8:3; Matthew 4:4
). In short, the evidence that God is the ultimate author of the Bible is nothing short of undeniable!
And what then does the word "gospel" mean? It simply means "good news" and, in fact, John's gospel is very Good News indeed!
John begins with the profound announcement that Jesus was present "in the beginning" -- the Word of God who became "God with skin on" as a human being born to be the light for the world. After this comes the "love letter-esque" proclamation that Jesus is the Son of God sent from the Father to finish His work in the world (John 4:34).
As we'll see, Jesus' famous words to Nicodemus summarize this Gospel's central theme: "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). The Greek word "believe" of course means a whole lot more than how we usually use it in English (it literally means "complete surrender," to hold on/cleave to God like your life depends on it -- and it does).
In John 20:31, John clearly states what God has called him write his gospel so "that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in His
With that, using bullet points (cops love using bullet points in writing reports) let's begin by breaking down the first 18 verses of Chapter 1:
Verses 1-3: In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through Him, and without Him was not any thing made that was made.
(1) "The Word" is someone who can be referred to as "Him" (v. 3). The Greek word for "Word" is Logos, and is another name and title for Jesus! In fact, we could do a whole series on that word (the Word) alone!
(2) So then Jesus was both "with God" the Father and "was God" Himself (v. 1). We have to be careful here: cults like the Watchtower Society (Jehovah's Witnesses) intentionally change "was God" to "was a god" -- a false teaching that Jesus is Michael the Archangel as shown in their grossly misleading and ever-changing "bible," the New World Translation. This is another reason that teaching "sound doctrine" (Titus 2: 1, et al) is so vital!
(3) He existed from "the beginning" (v. 1-2). The beginning of what? Turn all the way back to Genesis 1 (the literal beginning) and find out! As you do so, take special note of the word "Us" in Genesis 1:26. And who is Us? This is one of many places we find the Trinity ("Us" being God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit)!
Verses 4-5: In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.
(1) The Life? As we'll see later in John 14:6, "the Life" (life) is yet another name for Jesus.
(2) The Light? Still yet another name for Jesus with the emphasis of outshining and defeating the darkness of sin and hell.
There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. He came as a witness, to bear witness about the light, that all might believe through him. He was not the light, but came to bear witness about the light. The true light, which gives light to everyone, was coming into the world. He was in the world, and the world was made through Him, yet the world did not know Him. He came to his own, and his own people did not receive Him. But to all who did receive Him, who believed in His name, He gave the right to become children of God, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.
(1) Here we are introduced to the unimpeachable expert "witness" of our study (a concept that we who serve in law enforcement can most certainly understand). And who is this John the "witness?" Not John the author of the gospel, but rather John the Baptist!
God then spells out for us John the Baptist's "calling" in verses 7 and 8: to
(testify) about Jesus!
are "His own" who rejected Him? The Israelites (Jesus' fellow Jews)!
(3) And those who "received" Him and were "born" not of the flesh (human birth) but "of God?" In short, all who
repent and believe
) in Christ and are "born again" in Him as Lord and Savior and thereby become God's children!
And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth. J
ohn bore witness of Him and cried out, saying, "This was He of whom I said, 'He who comes after me is preferred before me, for He was before me.'"
And of His fullness we have all received, and grace for grace. For the law was given through Moses, but grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. No one has seen God at any time. The only begotten Son, who is in the bosom of the Father, He has declared Him.
Verse 14 reveals that Jesus -- God the Son -- "
ecame flesh and dwelt among us."
Flesh? Again, "God with skin on!"
Verse 18 brings us to a point of precision about Jesus' relationship with God the Father:
No one has seen God at any time. The only begotten Son, who is in the bosom of the Father, He has declared Him. In the original Greek, "only begotten" literally means "one of a kind" (unique, incomparable) with the connotation that He has always existed (from "the beginning") with God the Father.
So how can we now summarize this Jesus (the Beginning) that John the Baptist is witness to and is about to give testimony about?
A. Jesus, as God the Son, is someone who can be rightly referred to as "He" or "Him."
B. Jesus is the only begotten Son of God the Father.
C. Jesus is God in the flesh.
D. Jesus existed from "the beginning."
E. Everything was made through Jesus.
Enough to chew on for one sitting? Most certainly (although we could do a whole lot more). Next time we'll dig into John the Baptist's "expert witness" testimony and wrap up our first chapter!
So do you, in faith, truly "believe" (
in the original Greek -- stay with me) in Jesus as your one true Lord and Savior? Or do you continue to believe (the "not so much" kind) that you can "badge" or otherwise "earn" your way into heaven and escape a just "life sentence" of the eternal kind in hell? As I share in nearly every newsletter, I invite you to take the
Good Person Test
and see how you do. Pass? Consider then the following:
esus' first recorded words in His earthly ministry were and remain: "
Repent and believe in the Good News
is a "180" -- a complete, radical change of mind and heart as it relates our sin. To
(pisteuo) as He intends it here is to cry out to God for your salvation and wholeheartedly
surrender to Christ in faith
in the same way we have "faith" that our body armor will do its job against the rounds it is intended to stop, that our weapons will function properly in when facing an enemy intent on destroying us (or those we love, serve and protect), or that our parachute will open when it is supposed to (we stake our very lives on it)! And the "Good News" that we talked about in our study today? It is of course His gospel and plan of salvation.
(2) This same concept of "
" (pisteuo -- the saving kind) is further revealed in
where Jesus says, "...
you must be born again.
" Note our Lord's emphasis on the word "
" (not "may" or "should"): this is ultimately the
personal relationship (and NOT "religion") with Jesus Christ that I stress here every week (see
What does it mean to be a born again Christian
(4) Still in doubt? Check out this powerful, short video message by my friend, fellow officer and noted trainer,
Cops and Salvation.
Now, if you've made a decision for Christ and don't know what to do next, click on Now what? Understand that the "Now what?" has to include regular fellowship with other believers -- including other officers -- who can help support you, encourage you, disciple you and yes, hold you accountable). Message me for how you can do that!
In closing, know that we will be sharing some of these same points with the lost and hurting in DC during Police Week. With
raging, we covet (the good kind) your prayers and support while at the same time hoping to see some of you there!